Disclaimer: Not mine!!
Summary: It leads right up to where we find Rick, Evie, and Alex at the beginning of TMR. I put in a song at the end, owned by Sara Evans. Or Edwin McCain. Oh well, someone other than me owns it. ~~References to another one of my stories, Precious Moments~~
Please R/R!!!

Evie couldn't believe it. Tomorrow would be her and Rick's eighth anniversary. How had time gone by so quickly? She thought about all of the wonderful memories that they had shared over the years. Their wedding day. The day Alex had been born. All of their anniversaries. Their fifth one had been her favorite though. She looked down at her ruby necklace that he had given her.
She had found the perfect gift for him this year. She was sure of it. She was getting lost in her own thoughts when a crash interrupted her. She looked up, and sprinted towards the library, which was where the sound came from.
When she got into the room, she had to stifle a giggle. Her seven year old son, Alex, was sitting in the middle of a huge pile of books, looking very distraught.
"Alex, what where you doing?" she asked.
"Um....well, I was trying to build a pyramid. And it didn't work." He said, defeated, looking up at his mother. She laughed a little and told him to clean up his mess because dinner would be ready soon.
As she walked out of the room, she rolled her eyes. This was a mistake, because when she rolled them, she didn't see Rick turn the corner. He was looking down at the mail, so he didn't see her either. They bumped into each other with yelps, and proceeded to land on their rears.
"Oops, sorry Evie," Rick said, half laughing. He stood and took her hand to help her up. She took it, and rubbed her head with her other hand. She had hit it on a table on her way down.
"Oh, it's alright darling." Rick chuckled, but suddenly stopped laughing when he saw that Evie had hurt herself.
"Are you OK?" he asked, concerned.
"Yes, yes, fine. I just bumped it is all," she stopped rubbing her head and smiled up at him. He wasn't convinced. She rolled her eyes again. He could be so overprotective! It frustrated her sometimes, the way he acted as if she scraped a knee she would collapse. To convince him, she wrapped her arms around him and kissed him. He returned it, and she felt his muscles relax. But he was running his hands through her hair, and touched where she had hit the table. She couldn't help it, she winced and squeaked a little. Rick suddenly broke the kiss.
"You see? You're not OK, now let me see," he said indignantly. She swatted his hands away.
"I'm fine, I'm fine!" She turned and picked up the mail that Rick had dropped and headed towards the kitchen. "So, how was work? Anything happen after I left?"
"Well, actually, it did," Rick said, his eyes dancing. "We got a new shipment of artifacts from the pyramids." He knew that would get her attention, and it did.
"Really? We've been waiting for those forever!" she cried happily.
"Yup, well, we got them and I've already gotten them cleaned and put on display."
She walked over to him and gave him a hug.
"Thank you so much, darling. You really didn't have to do that, but I'm glad you did. You saved me from a half a day's work that I would have had to do tomorrow, and I wasn't planning on going to work. But I assume you aren't, either." She looked up at him and smiled.
Rick was confused.
"Uh...why wouldn't I go to work? Do we have something planned?" He looked at her, puzzled.
"Well, I thought that we would spend the day together." Now she was confused.
"Well, I would love to, but I can't just not go to work. There has to be a reason not to."
She couldn't believe it. How could he have forgotten? Maybe he was just playing with her. He did that sometimes. But when she looked into his blue eyes, all she saw was confusion. He really had forgotten.
"But...but tomorrow...tomorrow is...oh, just forget it," she turned on her heel and walked out the back door, fighting tears that rarely ever came to her.

Just then, Jonathan walked into the kitchen. Maybe he would know, Rick thought.
"Hey, what's up with Evie today?" Rick asked.
"Well, I don't know, she seemed fine earlier. Why?" Jonathan looked over at Rick.
"She just came in and told me that she hadn't planned on going to work tomorrow and didn't think that I would go either. Why wouldn't she go to work?"
"I'm not sure. What is tomorrow?"
"Tuesday." Just a plain old Tuesday. A day in the middle of the week, in the middle of August.....August.....Uh oh. Rick looked over at Jonathan.
"Uh, Jonathan, what's today's date?" Rick asked, fearful of the answer.
"Well, let's take a look at the old calendar here...today would be....Monday, August the nineteenth."
That was the date Rick didn't want to hear. He slapped his forehead, amazed at his own stupidity. That made tomorrow August twentieth. His and Evie's anniversary. He looked out the window towards the garden. He knew that was where she was. That was where she always went when she was upset. And he knew he had blown it this time.
Jonathan noticed the distressed look on his brother-in-law's face.
"I say, is tomorrow important?" he asked.
"Uh, yeah, just a little, Jonathan. Tomorrow's our anniversary." Rick grabbed his keys off the table. Jonathan whistled under his breath.
"What are you going to do?"
"Well, I dunno, but I do know that I have to go shopping. Be back later." Rick walked out the front door after taking another glance at the garden. Just then Alex walked in.
"What's goin' on, Uncle Jon?" He asked. "Did mum and dad have a fight?" His parents rarely fought, so when they did he got extremely worried.
"Oh, no, partner, just a little bit of a mix up."
Satisfied with this answer, Alex went up to his room to play with his toys. Jonathan decided to take a walk in the garden.

He walked around for about five minutes before he found Evie. She was sitting on a bench, looking miserable.
"Hey there, Old Mum," he said gently. She looked up, startled.
"Oh, hello, Jonathan. How was work?" Her eyes were red, he could tell that she had been crying.
"Good, good. Just another day. How about you? Anything special?"
"Well, yes, actually. Those artifacts came in today." She forced a small smile.
"I say, that's wonderful! You've been waiting forever for those!" He cried happily, and gave her a quick hug.
"Yes, it is. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go start dinner," she got up, dusted herself off, and walked towards the house.
"Oh, no you don't. You're not going in there until you tell me what's wrong," he demanded.
She turned.
"Nothing's wrong. It isn't a big deal."
"If it's not a big deal, then why have you been crying?"
She stopped and faced him, horrified. The only thing she hated worse than crying was other people being able to tell she had been. She quickly began rubbing under her eyes, trying to destroy the evidence.
"Oh...it's just that...Rick forgot our anniversary. And it's not that it's a big thing, but it is, you know? I mean, how could he forget? He never forgets things like this, not when it comes to us...." She sighed, and looked at her brother.
"Well, tell him then. Remind him."
"No, I don't want to do that, it will just make him feel bad."
Well, then all you can do is let it pass this year, I suppose."
She nodded. She could just save his perfect gift until Christmas. It was the only thing to do. She turned and walked into the kitchen, shoulders slumped in defeat.

Driving towards town, Rick was very angry with himself. He hated it when Evelyn was upset, especially when he was the cause of it. How could he have forgotten? When it came to her, he never forgot important things like that. Work had just gotten the best of him, that was the only thing. Now he just had to find the perfect gift to make it up to her.
He decided against nice jewelry. He always got her stuff like that. Flowers? No, he was in too deep to be able to redeem himself with flowers....suddenly, he got an idea. He pulled up and parked next to the jewelry store.
Before he walked in, he stopped and got out his wallet. He took out two photographs. One was of him and Evie on their honeymoon. He smiled, remembering. The other was of him, Evie, and Alex, the day they brought him home from the hospital. Holding the two pictures, he walked into the store.
It took him awhile, but he finally found the perfect locket. It was a small heart-shaped one, and it had a delicate chain. But it opened up in a way that four pictures could be inserted. He smiled, because he knew that Evie would still want the pictures of her parents near her. He had the jeweler put the two pictures he had in the locket, paid him, and headed home. He had to do some things there, too.

Evelyn was banging around the kitchen, trying to get her mind off the events of the afternoon. When she had walked in, Rick's keys were gone. She assumed he had left because he knew she was upset. That was fine with her, she didn't think she could face him right now without crying. And when she cried in front of him, it made him feel bad, which made her feel worse...
Evelyn shook her head. She didn't want to think about it at the moment. Just then, she heard the front door open. Rick was home. Her muscles tightened. But she had to be natural. She couldn't let him know she'd been upset....She looked into a pan at her reflection. Her eyes were still red. 'Oh, well. If he asks, I was in the garden and my allergies acted up.' But he didn't ask. He just walked into the room silently.

Rick looked at Evelyn, and he could tell right away that she had been upset. But he knew that when he pointed that out to her, it made her more upset, so he didn't say anything. He hesitated, trying to find the right words.
"Uh...what's for dinner?" he asked, immediately wondering why he had asked such a stupid question.
Evelyn looked at him.
"Chicken," was all she said. He nodded.
"That sounds good. But I think I've got a better idea." She looked at him, puzzled. But before she had time to say anything, Rick summoned Jonathan from upstairs. Jonathan came into the kitchen, confused as well.
"Hey, Jonathan, why don't you take Alex out for dinner. I need to talk to Evelyn." Jonathan knew that when Rick had that tone of voice, he had to listen. So he just nodded his head and went to get Alex.
"Rick? What are you doing? I've been planning dinner for quite some time now and I don't think that---"
She was interrupted, Rick had grabbed her up by the threshold and had started carrying her out to the garden.
"Rick?!? What are you doing??" He just grinned his goofy grin at her, and didn't set her down until they were a good ways from the house.
"Nothin.' Just a little surprise is all...." He smiled at her; she was confused, and she looked so cute when she was confused.
They walked a little farther to a clearing by the pond. Evelyn gasped. Rick had set up a candlelit picnic. A huge blanket had been set out, and a basket of food was waiting for them, next to the wine and candles.
"Rick, what's all this?" She looked at him, stunned.
"Well, me being the outrageously stupid man I am, made a big mistake. And I really want to make it up to you." He led her over to the blanket and helped her sit.
"What mistake are you talking about, Rick?" she looked at him. Had Jonathan told him? He better not have. Rick better have figured it out on his own, otherwise the sincerity of the moment would be lost.
"Well, I'll admit I was confused when you started talking about the whole 'not going to work' thing. So I started thinking, 'Why wouldn't she go to work?' and then I remembered. And lemme tell ya, I feel so terrible. And I want you to know that I'm extremely sorry and it will never happen again. You mean more to me than life itself, and I would never want to do anything, ever, to compromise our feelings. I realize I screwed up,"
Evelyn smiled at this. And as much as she hated it, tears were starting to form. But she made herself hold them until he was finished. Rick was no orator, so when he spoke like this, she made sure to listen.
"and I know it's gonna take a long time for me to make it up to you. I want to go ahead and give you your anniversary gift." Rick reached into the picnic basket and pulled out a small box. He handed it to Evelyn. She looked at him, and then at the box.
"Well, honey, it's not gonna open itself..." he grinned at her, his adorable, goofy grin. She smiled back and started to unwrap it. What she saw when she opened the box took her breath away.
"Oh, Rick," she said softly. Then she couldn't hold back anymore. The tears started to flow. Rick wiped them away with his thumb. She smiled. He always wiped away her tears with his thumb. He may not have realized it, but whenever he did that she instantly felt better. She daintily lifted the locket from the box.
"Open it," he told her.
She did, and the tears started to flow harder.
"Darling, there are two spots without pictures." she looked at him, confused.
"Well, I knew I couldn't ask you to stop wearing your locket with your parents pictures, so I got one where you could keep us all around your neck."
All she could do was look at him. It was the most thoughtful, wonderful thing he had ever given her.
"Thank you. Thank you so very very much!" She gave him a hug and a kiss.
They spent the rest of the evening eating, talking, laughing, and reminiscing. They had so much they were thankful for. When the laughter slowed, Rick took Evie by the hand and helped her stand. Then they started to dance together to their own music. Under the moonlight, neither of them could think of a time when they had been happier. They had been dancing for a few minutes when rain started to fall. Softly at first, and then a terrential downpour.
"Rick, I think we should head in. We'll get sick if we stay out here!" Rick silenced her with a kiss.
"I don't care. I don't ever want to stop." She smiled up at him. She didn't, either. So they kept dancing. When they finally went in, they were so exhausted from happiness that they went straight to bed.

It rained all night long, never letting up. Rick woke up with a slight fever and the chills.
Evelyn smiled at him.
"I told you we would get sick." Rick looked up at her.
"I don't care," he said again. "Last night was worth it."
Evelyn nodded. It had been. They sat in silence for a moment. Well, mainly because Evie had just shoved a thermometer in Rick's mouth. Suddenly, she jumped up.
"Oh! I almost forgot!" she rushed out of their room and down the hall, while Rick just sat there, looking confused.
Evelyn came back in holding a very big box.
"Last night we were so tired I didn't get to give you YOUR present." she nudged the box towards him. It was very heavy.
"I can't believe you're giving me a gift. I don't deserve it." he said.
"I know you don't," she said with a smile. He gave her a look. "Just kidding. But go ahead and open it."
Still surprised, he opened it. It was a tool kit, a rather large one. One so big that it looked like a big treasure chest. It had everything that would be needed for a huge archaeological dig. On the chest, his initials had been engraved.
"Oh, Evie, this is great! But I'm a little confused..."
"I've decided to take the whole family back to Egypt on a dig. We can take Alex and Jonathan, and spend a good six weeks or so looking at tombs and things. I know how bored you are just sitting around here and at the museum, and I know how much you love Egypt and going on digs. So, this is my present to you."
Rick was speechless. How had she known how badly he had wanted to go back? And to bring the whole family? It was perfect. He had never expected it.
"When?" he managed to say.
"Well, I'm sorry about this, but it may take a few months to a year....after all, Alex is only seven, and school is still in session...."
Rick nodded. That was fine with him.
"Oh, Evie, this is the perfect gift....thank you so much!" He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. She looked at him, not satisfied.
He shook his head.
"I don't want to get you sick, too!"
Now it was her turn to say she didn't care. She kissed him, right on the lips. When it was over, he smiled. Then he layed back on his pillow, and she layed back with him. He put his arm around her. It had been their best anniversary yet.
They both sighed happily and just sat together, looking out the window at the rain.

Lying here with you
Listening to the rain
Smile just to see the smile upon your face
These are the moments I thank God that I'm alive
And these are the moments I'll remember all my life
I've found all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more

Looking in your eyes
Seeing all I need
Everything you are is everything in me
These are the moments
I know heaven must exist
And these are the moments
I know all I need is this
I've found all I've waited for, yeah
And I could not ask for more

I could not ask for more than this time together
I could not ask for more than this time with you
And every prayer has been answered
Every dream I've had's come true
Yeah, right here in this moment
Is right where I'm meant to be
Here with you here with me

These are the moments I thank God that I'm alive
And these are the moments I'll remember all my life
I've found all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more

I could not ask for more than this time together
I could not ask for more than this time with you
And every prayer has been answered
Every dream I've had's come true
Yeah, right here in this moment
Is right where I'm meant to be
Oh, here with you here with me
No, I could not ask for more
Than this love you gave me
Cause it's all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more
No, yeah
No, I could not ask for more....