I woke up facing Harry in the bed. He was already awake and was scrolling through his phone.
"What time is it?" I asked.
"Like 8:30." he answered.
We managed to make it through dinner last night without anymore hostility from Everett. Even when we got back to the house he was decent to us while we sat around drinking and playing cards downstairs. I was hoping that's how today would go over as well.
"Oh shit, I got an email from Rhodes and that conference I have to go to is Wednesday to Friday next week. I can't go to the concert with you." he said.
"Shit. I'll ask Liam or Louis then. Maybe they'll be interested." I said.
"I bet Liam would." Harry said.
"That sucks though I wanted you to come." I said.
I stayed laying on my back for a little while longer before I got my phone off the bedside table. I checked my work emails from clients and responded to as many as I could before I got frustrated. I texted my Ma to see how she was doing today when there was a light knock at the door.
"Come in." Harry called propping himself up against the headboard.
"How'd you sleep?" Dylan said entered the room.
"Really well actually." I said.
"Good, I'm glad." he nodded. "So, I don't know if you guys are interested or not, but a bunch of mine and Teddy's friends are home for the holiday and we always get together to play a game of pickup football down at our old school. Wanna come?"
"Yeah definitely when?" Harry asked.
"A couple hours. Everett is coming too and I'm sure Kaine will try to crash the game like she always does." he said.
"Sounds good." I nodded.
"My mom has breakfast set upstairs if you guys are interested in that too." he said.
"Very interested." I said pulling the covers off of me to follow him up.
Harry and I walked upstairs behind him where Annette had breakfast laid out on the island.
"Morning boys, how was it down there?" she asked.
"It was good thank you." Harry said politely.
We followed Dylan's suit and piled breakfast onto our plates like him. Teddy, Kaine, and Everett came from their rooms to join us a few minutes later.
"You get them to play today?" Teddy asked Dylan with a mouthful of food.
"Yeah they're in." he said taking a sip of coffee.
"Good, we've gotta be at the field at 11." he said.
"I'm coming too, I always do." Kaine said.
"You sure you want to play? We're playing full on tackle this year I don't know if you should." Dylan asked her.
"Of course I want to play. Me crashing your game is tradition and I can take a bunch of boys." she defended herself.
"Can you take a bunch of 30 year old men because that's what we are now." Teddy said.
"I'll run laps around you guys." she teased.
"Well look out because I've been told I'm a great linebacker and I will take you down." Harry joked.
"Oh sure you will." she brushed it off.
Everett stayed silent throughout this conversation and I took that as him being worried about Kaine getting hurt. She was strong minded though, there was going to be no convincing her otherwise. We finished up breakfast and walked back downstairs to our room to change. Teddy knocked on the door and peaked his head in.
"Sorry to keep bothering you guys but do you need to borrow and warmer clothes or anything? A jacket or something?" he asked.
"Maybe a windbreaker if you have a couple spare? We've got sweats but that might be helpful." Harry said.
"Yeah we've got some upstairs I'll lay a few out for you." he nodded.
"Thanks." I smiled.
I put on a pair of warmup pants over my joggers to try and keep warm and Harry followed suit. We threw on tee shirts and sweatshirts as well then headed back upstairs to get our sneakers from the mudroom. Teddy came back downstairs in sweats with a couple jackets for us.
"Here you guys go, wanna ride with me and Dylan?" he asked.
"Yeah sounds good." I said lacing up my sneakers.
"Hey Junior?" his dad said and began walking down the hall. "Dinner is at 4 so make sure you're home to help your mother and look presentable."
"Sure dad." Teddy said blushing. "And could you tell Kaine and Everett to bring a case of water down with them?"
"Yeah no problem. Take my car if you want." he said.
"Thanks Dad." his son smiled at him.
"Remember you two, this is American football, yeah?" he said to us.
"We'll remember, we've got this." I said with a laugh.
"Ready to get your asses handed to you?" Dylan asked throwing a football down the hall to his dad.
"I've got a pretty good touchdown dance so look out." Harry said.
"I might let you get one just so I can see that." he said.
"See you later boys." their dad said as we walked out the door.
We were in the garage when I realized I left my beanie inside and I ran back in.
"Missing something son?" Theodore said when I walked back into the kitchen.
"Yeah, my beanie, I think I left it up here last night." I said.
"Oh I put that with junior's stuff in the mud room. On the shelf in the closet." he said.
"Thank you." I smiled and followed him back to the hall.
"So, how has my girl been adjusting out in the city?" he casually asked.
"She's been good, staying out of trouble." I answered.
"Is she doing alright at Wolfe House?" he asked.
"Yeah she's got Helen who's been helping her out, she's lovely." I said.
"I'm glad she's got a couple people out there like you and Harry to help her out." he said. "I've been worried sick about her."
"We're always looking out for her, I'm actually her supervisor so I have to." I said with a little laugh.
"Does that get in the way of your relationships with your advisees?" he asked while opening the door and handing me my beanie.
"No, I'm pretty much friends with everyone at work. I don't have much power over the people below me, I'm just there to lend a helping hand since I've been with the company so long." I said.
"Well I'm glad you can be her friend or whatever you are to her without your profession getting in the way." he smiled. "I won't keep you. Good luck out there."
"Thank you Mr. Westbrook." I nodded and went back outside.
I walked through the garage to the driveway where the boys were waiting in the car. It was the wagon that Everett picked us up from the airport in which left me a little confused.
"I thought this was Everett's." I said climbing in the backseat.
"Oh no. It's my dad's, just has the most room so that's why he took it to pick you up. He drives a Camry." Teddy laughed and pulled out the drive.
"I was wondering how he could afford this on a teacher's salary." I said earning a laugh from the other two.
"He likes to cause confusion and turmoil, not so keen on him because of that." Dylan said.
"Yeah he messes with Kaine's head sometimes, and she's our little sis, we don't want her getting hurt." Teddy said.
"So you guys realize he's extremely territorial then?" Harry asked.
"Yeah he's just not the easiest to get along with, never has been. We thought the distance was going to drive a wedge between them but I guess not." Dylan shrugged.
"He's an alright guy to date around for a while but he's just not the right fit for her, he's too uppity and nothing at all like her." Teddy added.
I was trying hard not to compare Kira to Everett in this moment but I was beginning to see their similarities. They both were too high strung, and Kira used to hate when I would casually talk to other girls. And they both tried so hard to pry into other people's lives. They seemed like they could be the perfect match. I put my beanie on and tried to get her back out of my thoughts.
"Cute nickname your dad has for you there yeah?" Harry said to Teddy.
"Oh stop he's called me that since I was a kid can't try to stop him now." he said defending himself.
"Sure, sure Junior." Harry teased.
We were the first car down at the field at their old high school. We got out on the field and started throwing the ball around while other cars showed up. Teddy and Dylan greeted all their friends with open arms like they must have done every year. We got introduced to the lot and continued throwing the ball around until everyone else got there. Everett and Kaine showed up carrying a couple cases of water as well.
"Hey Ryan! I didn't know you were gonna be here!" Kaine said hugging one of Dylan's friends tightly.
"Kaine, it's been a while." he said returning the hug.
Everett came over to stand with me and Harry away from all the guys who had known each other for years.
"Do you know who Ryan is?" he asked me.
"How in hell would I know." I said.
"It was a simple question, don't get all defensive." he scoffed.
"I'm just saying I know less about her than you do so I have no clue who this Ryan is." I said.
"I wouldn't worry about him mate." Harry added. "I get why you're being territorial of her to us but these are the people she's grown up with and has known forever, I'm sure there's no threat."
That shut him up. We divided off into teams and me and Harry were on Teddy's friends team and Everett and Kaine were thrown with Dylan's friends. I was set to be a safety on defense and a tight end on offense. I couldn't tell you the last time I played football and was actually a little nervous.
One of Teddy's friends was apparently the quarterback on their high school football team so he took his job seriously. He managed to rush the ball 39 yards before he got tackled by the kid Ryan. We played for about ten minutes before we stopped for some water. The score so far was 7-0, our team being up. Harry ended up having to tie his hair back because it was getting too sweaty in his face and I took one of my sweatshirts off. I was warm but ready to get back out there.
In our next attempt Harry was handed off the ball and managed to rush it about 15 yards before Dylan took him down.
"Come on don't you want to see my touchdown dance?" Harry laughed helping Dylan off the ground.
All of our clothes were muddy from slipping around on the ground so much but it was all in the spirit of the game. We ended up having to kick and scored another three points.
Kaine was a wide receiver strictly because she was such a fast runner. The attempts their team had she was flying down the field but was never open. This time she was thrown the ball and she took off full steam ahead. She was running past every player on my team and before I knew it she was only 15 yards in front of me. I was actually going to have to make some defensive moves.
I ran on a diagonal trying hard not to slip and nearly reached her. I didn't want to full out tackle her but this was football, I had to do what I had to do.
I was one step away and I reached my arms out in front of me and secured them around her waist. I couldn't let her make a first down so I tugged on her hard and started falling backwards dragging her with me. I fell on my side and the momentum of us falling made us roll over a couple times. I ended up nearly laying on top of her. I propped myself up on forearms to get my chest off of her trying not to crush her.
We started laughing at each other then. I looked down at her underneath me and thought about how nice it would be to always have this view of her, or someone like her for that matter, every time I woke up.
"I've still got possession at least." Kaine said between laughs staring up at me clutching the ball to her chest.
"You've also got a shit ton of mud on your face." I laughed.
I slyly rolled my hips into hers once while rolling off of her and then stood up offering her a hand to help.
"You're quicker than I expected I was sure I had that one in the bag." she said taking it.
"Are you okay? Hurt at all?" I asked pulling her to her feet.
"Nope I grew up with brothers I know how to take a tackle." she said throwing the ball off to the QB on her team. "Nice technique."
"Thanks." I said with another laugh.
I adjusted my hat on my head and finally looked to Everett who was glaring at me. He started walking over to make sure Kaine was fine.
"It's just part of the game mate." I said quietly to him while I jogged back to my spot in the lineup.
Everett was less than enthused with me for the rest of the game and I could tell because when he had the chance to tackle me he did not hold back. He nearly dove into me and brought me down to the ground hard where I landed on my shoulder. He got up and offered me a hand to stand.
"Just part of the game right?" he asked sternly.
"I guess so." I said grabbing it to get up.
Teddy scored for our team bringing the score up to 17-0 and the other team had one last attempt before we called it quits for the day. They ended up having to kick and they scored three. It was nearly two and we had to get home before their parents started freaking out.
"You guys going to the game tomorrow?" one of Dylan's friends asked him.
"No, Harry and Niall got the invite from my dad already." he said. "But we were gonna go watch it at a bar. I'll text you where we can meet up."
"Yeah sounds good. Nice meeting you guys." his friend said shaking our hands.
The guys were prolonging their farewells so Kaine offered to bring us back to the house.
"I'm a little terrified we've never been in a car with you driving before." Harry joked as we got into the backseat.
"I'm not a bad driver, I just haven't driven in a long time." she said buckling her seatbelt.
"She's lying, she's a bad driver. Always has been." Everett said.
"Well you didn't know how to get to the school but I know it like the back of my hand so I figured why not drive for the first time since July?" she said with a little laugh putting the car in gear.
We made it back to the house in one piece and she parked in the garage. If there was one thing Everett was ever going to be right about it was the fact that Kaine was an awful driver.
"Yeah, never getting into a car with you again. Ever." I said getting out.
"Oh enough." she groaned.
I slipped off my muddy sneakers in the garage and opened the door to go back in.
"Wait wait!" Annette called as we all filed into her house. "I just mopped you aren't tracking any mud in here."
"Mom, we took our shoes off it's okay." Kaine said trying to walk around her.
"Nope, take off at least your outer layers I don't want and dirt in my house." she said.
"Fine." Kaine said dismissively. "Strip boys."
I laughed and just took off the jacket and my top pair of pants while the rest of them did the same.
"Thank you." she said. "Just toss them in the laundry basket in there I'll throw in a load later. Sorry I just treated you all like your kids."
"It's okay, my Ma is always the same way." I said tossing my stuff in the other room.
"Where are your brothers?" she asked Kaine.
"Should be home any minute." she answered.
"Alright go wash up everyone." she said walking back into the kitchen.
Kaine rolled her eyes and put her dirty clothes in the other room.
"Sorry about her, she gets like this when she gets stressed out." she apologized.
"All mothers do." Harry said.
"Alright there's three showers in here, just find one and get to it before my family starts freaking out." Kaine said.
"You guys go first, I can wait." I said.
"Lucy is in one of the bathrooms now so just take turns." Annette called.
"Ev, just take the shower in my parents room, I'll take a bath or something in the tub." Kaine said and grabbed at his hand to lead him off.
Harry walked downstairs and I walked off to the kitchen to make myself useful. Annette and her mother were at the island making some sort of dough and I figured I could do something. Even if it just meant looking after Cooper who was sat in his high chair near the women.
"Do you need any help in here?" I asked Annette.
"Oh, you don't have to." she said politely.
"No really, I don't mind. What do you need me to do?" I asked.
"Well first could you heat a bottle for Cooper? There's a bunch on the door of the fridge." Kaine's Nani said to me.
"Absolutely." I said walking over. "Must be pretty cool to spend some time with your great grandson."
"He's a good boy, my husband would've loved him. He reminds me a lot of my son Adam when he was young, and Adam's our only son, he absolutely adored him." she said.
I knew that her name was Josephine, but I wasn't sure of her last name. Kaine obviously had never brought it up. I looked toward Annette who smiled at the mention of her father, Cain. I took the bottle out of the microwave and sat down next to Cooper's chair.
"I can do it if you want." Annette said.
"It's okay, I've got him." I said picking him up out of his seat.
I laid held him in my arms and started feeding him the bottle. He was small for his age but still was trying to hold the bottle on his own.
"You said you had a nephew right?" she asked me.
"Yeah my brother's son, Theo." I smiled thinking about him. "He's old now but I remember when he was this small. I went home for a couple weeks when he was born and then about six months after and I really fell in love with him."
"Well I understand why you're so good with him then." Josephine said to me.
"Yeah I love kids, I can't wait to have my own." I said.
"You'll make a great father from the looks of it." she said.
I tilted the bottle up further so that he wasn't getting so much air and let him finish off what was inside. Annette handed me a hand towel to put over my shoulder to burp him after. I was pacing around the room carrying the baby in my arms gently patting his back and bouncing him up and down a little while I made conversation with the ladies. Teddy and Dylan made it back to the house and called that they were home and Annette gave them the same lecture she gave us.
Everett walked back into the kitchen dressed for dinner but with wet hair.
"Kaine's almost done in there so you can probably take that shower." he said.
"Alright thanks." I said.
"I can take him." Teddy said walking into the kitchen.
I handed his son off to him and went downstairs to grab clean clothes then went back upstairs and was pointed in the direction of the bathroom. I lightly knocked on the door and called Kaine's name.
"Yeah come in." she said.
I walked into the large bathroom where she was in a robe with a towel on her head. She was standing in front of the mirror at her mother's vanity with a pair of tweezers in her hand plucking at her eyebrows.
"Do you mind if I keep getting ready in here while you shower?" she asked pausing her work.
"Yeah go ahead." I said setting my clothes down on the other vanity.
"Thank you. I've just got to fix my hair." she said. "Also you've got a little baby vomit on your shoulder."
I looked over my left shoulder and saw some on the back of it and laughed. I took it off and started rinsing it in the sink so it wouldn't stain.
"I'm glad you guys came home with me." she said when I shut off the water. "My mom loves you two. I ran into her in the kitchen early this morning and she wouldn't stop talking about how polite and nice you were."
"I'm glad they do because I like them too." I laughed.
"Alright get in the shower before they hate you for being late to dinner now." she joked.
I obliged and walked through the doorway that separated the shower from the rest of the room and stripped down. I got in the shower and was out relatively quickly and ran a towel through my hair. I tied it around my waist and walked back out to where Kaine was now in her dress and drying her hair.
I grabbed my clothes off the vanity and went back to get changed out of her sight. I slipped on my boxers and khakis and put my shirt on and walked back out starting to button it. Kaine shut the dryer off and turned to me.
"Want me to zip you the rest of the way?" I asked.
"Yes please." she said. "Have you ever tried blow drying your hair up?" she asked while I zipped her up.
"Can't say I have. I don't own a dryer." I said. "I just run some product through it and hope it stays up."
"We've got time to kill before we get yelled at for dinner, let me try it?" she asked holding the dryer in her hand.
"Do whatever you'd like." I said with a little laugh.
"Alright sit down." she said patting the counter.
I sat up on the counter and she began her work. She used a round brush to get all my hair off my forehead and brushing it up so it would stay as she dried it. For the last bit she kneeled up on the counter next to me to make sure she got it all dried.
She got off the counter and stood square in front of me fixing some of the strands. I was looking up at her face which was fully concentrated on getting my hair looking as good as she could.
"Alright fix it up yourself, make it your own." she said stepping away.
I stood up and looked in the mirror, my hair was very fluffy and I looked younger. I ran my hands through it a couple times and used some of the hair wax that was on her dad's counter to fix it up. I ruffled my hands through a couple more times to make it look less polished then turned to her. Kaine whistled at me and then laughed.
"Not looking so bad Mr. Horan." she said.
"Thanks to you." I said feeling a blush creep to my face.
"Alright, we better get downstairs. Grab your clothes to throw in the wash." she added.
We walked back down into the kitchen where her Nani was taking a couple pies out of the upper oven. Kaine's dad was taking the carving the turkey on the counter and her mom was setting the table. We were all gathered in the kitchen around the island eating the cheese and crackers that were set and just having a laugh. Addie handed us a couple of beers and we kept in good company until dinner.
Even though Harry and I were just guests in this house they welcomed us like family. We were included in every conversation and they treated us like we were old friends just catching up. Kaine's family was the nicest one out there, and I began thinking what it'd be like to be an actual part of it.
Kaine's parents treated Addie like she was there own and they absolutely adored Lucy. And don't get me started on how much they loved their grandson. The family was just great and I had never witnessed anything like it growing up with divorced parents. I longed for in laws like this, and I realized I never would've gotten this with Kira. She rarely saw her family.
Kaine's alive grandparents were wonderful as well. Her Grandpa talked to me and Harry the whole time up until dinner about how Manchester United was looking that year and what a big footy fan he was. Her Nani was making sure Harry and I were doing alright basically any time we were in the same room as her.
"It's nice to feel welcome." I whispered to Harry about halfway through dinner.
"Agreed." he said putting another bite of dressing in his mouth.
We finished off our first Thanksgiving dinner and sat around playing board games with the rest of the family and eating dessert until late that night.
I didn't understand why Kaine left for New York when she had an amazing family like this one.