“I don’t know. Nothing’s wrong. Everything’s wrong.” I throw my hands up in the air, feeling stupid for making a big deal out of…nothing? I’m overly emotional and I can’t even begin to understand why.


Oh, you know why. You just don’t want to face the truth yet.

“So uh, have you started yet?” he asks, his voice low.

“Have I started what?” I’m playing stupid on purpose. I know exactly what he’s talking about.

He sighs and runs his fingers through his hair. I love it when he does that. I love his hair. I love everything about him. But I don’t think we know what we’re doing when it comes to all of this serious stuff. “Your period. Have you started yet?”

I slowly shake my head, not saying a word, and he blows out a frustrated breath.

“How late are you?”

“I don’t know.” I shrug. I do know. “Ten days?” More like twelve, maybe even thirteen. Oh yay, thirteen, a lucky number.

Not.

“Have you taken a test yet?”

“No.” I don’t want to waste the money on one. I’m trying to save every penny because I’m going to need those pennies come next semester when money’s going to become even tighter.

“Why not? We need to figure out what’s going on,” he starts, but I cut him off.

“Don’t you mean I need to figure out what’s going on? Considering I’m the one whose dealing with all of this?” I take a step back when he reaches for me. “Don’t touch me, Gabe. Don’t try and play this off with a few choice kisses and reassuring hugs. I’m kind of freaking out here.”

“I am too, Luce. Seriously. I want to help you. Be there for you.” He lets his hands drop to his sides. “But I don’t know what you want from me.”

“I don’t know what I want from you either,” I return.

“Yo, G!” Tristan yells from the back porch. He was manning the barbecue last I saw. He really irritates me sometimes. He’s just so…arrogant. And I don’t think he likes me much. Jade said he didn’t like her at first either so I don’t know what his problem is. “Where you at? Dinner’s about to be served!”

I roll my eyes. “Your people request your presence.”

Gabe glares and I immediately feel like a shit. I’m being awful, but it’s like I can’t help myself. I’m an emotional wreck. “I’d like you to come with me,” he says. “That is, if you want.”

Swallowing hard, I stand up straighter and tell myself to get over it. All the stress and bullshit of the past few weeks is getting to me and making me act like a jerk. “I’d like that.” I pause. “And I’m sorry.”

He doesn’t even hesitate, just pulls me to him and hugs me, my face buried against his chest, his hand cupping the back of my head. “I’m sorry, too. For whatever I did. I don’t like thinking you’re mad at me, Luce. It sucks.”

“I don’t want you mad at me either,” I confess, trying my best to push past the fear.

But it’s no use. He’s going to hate me when the truth comes out. It’s something I have to deal with whether I want to or not.

“Tomorrow I want to buy you a pregnancy test. We’ll do this together, okay?”

I nod, pressing my face more firmly against his chest. He smells so good. Feels even better. Having him hold me like this would never grow old. “Okay.” His chest muffles my voice and I breathe deep, inhaling his fresh clean scent.

“I’m here for you no matter what.”

I hope he means that.

I hate that Lucy and I argued tonight. I don’t like seeing her stressed and I swear at one point she was going to cry. That’s the last thing I wanted to see. Her tears would kill me. She’s extra emotional lately and that scares the ever-loving crap out of me. Seeing her act like that just reconfirms my suspicions.

I’m pretty certain she’s pregnant. Not that I have any experience in dealing with pregnant women but I’ve heard stories that they cry over everything or get irrationally angry. That describes Lucy’s current emotional state perfectly.

After calming her down, we went to the kitchen and she helped me set out the food, plates and silverware. I like having her in my kitchen fussing over me, helping me organize this last minute get together I decided to throw. I feel like we’re a real couple, like hosting this party is a declaration that we’re official.

I want to be official with Lucy. I don’t know if she senses that, but I want her to be my girlfriend. And this isn’t just about her being pregnant either. I care about her. I want people to realize that she’s an important part of my life.

Now if I can just gather up the nerve to tell my parents how important Lucy is to me…

Yeah, that’s going to take some time.

I make sure everyone is fed and has a drink before I make my own plate. I end up eating in the kitchen and chatting with one of the guys who works part time for us. Lucy’s in the living room with Jade talking and eating. I like that they’ve become close. Lucy is being brought into our fold more and more and I’m comfortable with that. I like having her around, someone I can count on. And I hope she knows that she can count on me too.

When I start hearing more and more voices out back, I decide to check out what’s happening. The second I walk outside I see there is a large group of women standing on my back patio, each one of them clutching a beer bottle in their hands and not a one of them were invited. I send a questioning look in Shep’s direction, who merely shrugs and indicates with his beer bottle that the person I need to talk to is Tristan. He who is standing among the group of women with a giant smile on his face as they all watch him with adoration glowing in their eyes.

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