“Lola, you okay? I’d be glad to take the kids for a few hours this afternoon if you want to get some rest. Drew leaves for work around two-thirty, so I could play with them all afternoon.” I’m starting to get really concerned, because if the dark circles are any indication, she hasn’t slept in weeks.

“It’s just this virus that’s going around is making me feel like shit. I’ll be okay.”

I don’t buy it for a second, but I don’t press it. “All right, well just let me know. My offer still stands.”

Ginny and I head to the buffet together and I help her with her plate. For three years old, she’s not as picky as one would assume. Her plate is filled with bacon, eggs, fruit, and mashed potatoes.

“That’s quite the combo,” Travis says as I set her plate down.

“She’s got good taste.” I chuckle. “And a big appetite.”

“You’re telling me,” Viola chimes in. “She asks for a snack before I even rinse her plate off after every meal. I can’t even imagine how they’re both going to be as they grow up.”

“I’d start saving now,” I tease.

We chat and eat for the next half hour. I watch as Viola shuffles food around her plate and I can’t help but notice she’s not eating.

“I’m going to use the restroom. Ginny, you need to go potty?” Viola stands up, but Ginny shakes her head with a mouthful.

“I’ll come with you,” I tell her, standing up before she can insist I stay put. Something’s going on with her, and I intend to find out.

Once we’re secure in the bathroom, I stare at her through the mirror until she lifts her head and meets my eyes. “What?”

“Are you pregnant?” I ask bluntly, holding her gaze so she can’t lie to me.

“What?” She whips her head toward me. “I have my tubes tied,” she reminds me, but I’m not convinced.

“So? That isn’t one hundred percent effective. Have you taken a test?”

“No, but I know I’m not pregnant.”

“How do you know? You’ve been sick, nauseous, you aren’t eating, you look worn down,” I list them out for her on my fingers. “This isn’t just a virus, Lola.”

“The chances of getting pregnant after getting your tubes tied is really low,” she informs me.

“But there’s a chance?” I raise a brow. “All right, you need to take a test. Come over this afternoon after Drew leaves for work, and I’ll buy you a pack of tests. Bring the kids so Travis doesn’t get suspicious.”

“Court…” she starts to argue, but I cut her off.

“C’mon, just humor me, then. I’m worried about you. If you aren’t pregnant, then you need to get looked at for something else.”

She sighs and then shrugs her shoulders. “Okay, fine. I’ll pee on a stupid stick for you, but don’t say I didn’t tell you so.” She flashes a cocky grin.

“Ha! Better drink up!”

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

DREW

The first day back to work is always the hardest for me. I hate leaving Courtney after getting a couple days together and my night is usually packed with paperwork and patrol duty is usually the busiest on Sunday nights.

Once my shift is over and I head back home, I tiptoe into my bedroom and once I get Buddy off my side of the bed, I slide under the covers next to Courtney. She immediately molds her body to mine and I softly kiss her forehead, cherishing these moments. There’s no better feeling than knowing the person you love is home waiting for you.

Courtney kisses me goodbye in the morning before she heads off for work and Buddy and I sleep for another couple of hours before I decide I need to get up and head to the gym. I blast my music as I lift weights and do some cardio, and by the time I head home, I have to get ready for work again.

I love my job—I wouldn’t change it for anything—but ever since Courtney and I have been together and our relationship’s gotten more serious, I wish I worked normal daytime hours. I want to be home when she’s home and spend the evening hours with her. Buying a house together, adopting a dog, and thinking about our future as a couple makes it harder to work these swing shifts.

As I finish up in the bathroom and hang up my bath towel, I glance down and notice something odd in the wastebasket. I bend down and grab the box, and as soon as I read the words pregnancy tests, my eyes nearly pop out of my head. The box is open and when I peek inside and see two white sticks, I immediately pull them out.

I’m not expert on pregnancy tests, but I’m pretty certain a plus sign means it’s positive. If that’s the case, I’m pretty certain that means Courtney is…pregnant.


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