As she sat up in the bed, Randall took the chair opposite her. “Lift your shirt up, sweetheart.”

She lifted her shirt to beneath her breasts and let out a little gasp as he squirted some gel on her stomach.

“Sorry, it’s cold.”

Preacher didn’t let go of her hand.

“Now, we may not find out the sex of the baby today, but we will get a nice good look at what is going on in there. All of your blood work came back normal. You’re a healthy young woman, Robin. I’ll write you up a prescription for some folic acid, and we’ll get things moving on as they should.”

She nodded, not really hearing anything.

He put the ultrasound probe onto her stomach, and she tensed up.

Her stomach was rounding. Her pants were getting tighter, as were her bras. Her body was getting bigger, ready for the baby.

“Right, let’s have a look.”

She heard some weird sound and then… “Is that a heartbeat?”

“It is, and may I say it is mighty strong.” Randall pressed some buttons and then turned the screen. “Look, a heartbeat. A nice, big, healthy, strong heartbeat.”

“Oh, wow,” she said.

There wasn’t much to look at, just the unmistakable sound of a beat.

“Your baby is in there, and right now, I think we’re looking at a good healthy size.” The doctor kept on talking, but Robin stopped listening.

She smiled at the screen.

There was a baby. It didn’t look like a baby, but it was there.

A heartbeat.

Her baby.

Randall wiped the gel off her stomach, and she moved off the bed. Preacher still hadn’t let her hand go, and she was thankful.

“We’ll meet again in a month’s time. If we’re lucky, we’ll get to see what little angel you’re having.” Randall handed her the picture. “For you to keep. Remember what I said. This is your decision, no one else’s.”

She nodded. “Thank you.”

“You’re doing really well here, Robin. If you ever need to talk, let me know and I will make sure I’m available to you.”

“I appreciate it.”

Preacher led the way out of the small practice. His bike was waiting, and she paused.

“Oh,” she said.

“Don’t worry. We can walk from here,” he said. “Bear and Rebecca wanted to see you. I figured we could stop in before we went home.”

“Okay.”

“Are you good to walk?”

“Yes, of course.”

Preacher held his bike, taking off the stand and turned off the brake. They walked in silence for several minutes, neither of them speaking. The picture in her hand felt like everything.

“How are you feeling?” he asked.

“I’m feeling good. You?”

“Yeah, I’m good. How are you handling everything?”

“I’m not going to shatter or break.”

“Bishop?”

“He’s upset. I won’t give him what he wants, and like a child, he’s acting out. There’s not a lot I can do to change that.” She shrugged. “He’ll come around, I hope.” She looked down at her wedding band. “I don’t think we should have gotten married.”

“I’m going to protect you. You and Bishop, it’s a sure thing.”

“Yeah, a sure thing.”

“You don’t think it is?”

“I don’t know what I think anymore.” She sighed. “I can’t believe it’s a baby.”

“What did you think it was?”

“I don’t know. A little monster maybe? I’m not sure anymore what I expected. With every day that passes, this grows more real, you know.”

“Yeah, it does. You’re handling everything really well, sweetheart.”

“Thanks, I think.” She glanced over at him. “Thank you for everything. With Randall, and you know, everything.”

“It’s the least I can do.”

“You know you don’t owe me anything.”

Preacher didn’t say anything, and she waited.

“I don’t want you to get rid of our child,” Preacher said.

“I won’t.”

“I know it was an option I gave to you and it still is, but I’m asking you not to. I want to have this baby.”

She stopped and looked at him.

Grabbing his hand, she placed it on her stomach, holding it flat. “This is our baby, Preacher. I won’t get rid of it. It was never an option for me. Especially not now.” She lifted up the picture. His hand was still on her stomach. “How could I do that to this little baby?”

His blue eyes again.

What was happening to her?

They captivated her.

Preacher gently rubbed her stomach. “I’ll take care of you, and I’ll deal with Bishop.”

“He’s really not so bad.”

“Still, he’s my son, and I don’t like how much of a dick he’s behaving. I don’t accept it. I’ll deal with him.”

They arrived at her parents’ home.

She hadn’t been back to here since after the wedding.

Her parents had spent her last couple of days living there arguing all the time.

Preacher parked his bike and took the lead, standing at the door. He knocked on the door, and seconds later, Bear answered.

He pushed Preacher out of the way, pulling her in close for a hug. She held onto him so tightly. This was still her father, and she loved him so much.

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