Completed: a Devoured novella
Christmas comes and goes without a word from my mother and New Year’s follows. I know she’s staying with friends—she’s had contact with Gram (to ask for cash, of course)—but I’ve started to believe that Lucas was right. That maybe his lawyers really have scared the shit out of Mom.
Regardless, I do my best to put her out of my mind when we fly to Florida for a Your Toxic Sequel show in the middle of January. Kylie’s texted every day for the last week, threatening me with bodily harm if I don’t tagalong with Lucas, so I’m ready to spend time with her after we check into our hotel early and Lucas disappears to do band stuff. When I step into the breakfast restaurant she’s picked, it’s the first time I’ve seen her in a few weeks. She stands as soon as she sees me, and I decide she’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in a quirky black mustache-print maternity top, jeans, and knee high boots.
“You are so—” I start as I approach our table, but Kylie holds up a finger and jerks her head from side to side.
“Don’t you dare, Sienna.” But she hugs me tightly.
“Totally cute,” I finish, and she snorts. “Seriously, I hope I look that good someday when I’m pregnant.”
“Oh please, you’re like seven foot tall. No shit you’ll look good.” Laughing, she releases me and we both sit down. She takes a sip of water and then puts her elbows on the table. “We had dinner with Sinjin last night and I made the mistake of wearing a blue dress. That ass had the nerve to call me Violet Beauregarde.”
I cock an eyebrow. “I have no idea who that is.”
Her dark brown eyes go wide. “Good Lord, woman. She’s the little blueberry from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” She shakes her head, her expression wavering between disbelief and sadness. “I could have sworn you told me you were a Johnny Depp fanatic.”
“I am.” I wink. “Just haven’t seen that particular movie.”
“Where the hell did my brother find you?”
We go back and forth for a few minutes, the conversation light and joking, but after we order breakfast—pancakes for me and an omelet for her—Kylie finally asks about my mom. “Is she still keeping away?”
Slowly, I spin my spoon around my coffee, stirring the creamer until the dark liquid is a light caramel color. “Nothing yet.” I shrug. “But that doesn’t mean anything, she always comes back.”
“You’d think by now she’d just wave a white flag.” Kylie leans close to the table and a grin gradually makes its way across her face. “Want to hear a secret?” When I nod, she dances in her seat. “It’s a boy,” she whispers, and I beam.
“Congratulations! And holy crap, does Wyatt know?”
She bobs her head. “But he’s the only other person who knows.” Her lips thin into a sheepish smile. “We were planning on keeping it a secret, but as you can see I suck royally at secrets.”
“I’m honored.” And I am. I’d been one of the first people she had told about her pregnancy, and the fact I’m one of the only people who know the gender of her baby makes me feel like a million bucks. I lifted my coffee in a toast. “Here’s to Wyatt McRae Jr.”
She rolls her eyes. “Don’t get ahead of yourself, babe.” She lifts her glass. “And who the hell knows, maybe we’ll be sitting here someday toasting to Lucas Wolfe Jr.”
It’s not until late the next evening as we’re flying back to Nashville that I really think of Kylie’s words—and I probably wouldn’t have if I hadn’t accidentally pulled a couple tampons from my bag in an embarrassing search for my license at the airport’s security checkpoint.
Sitting next to Lucas on our flight, I search my brain for dates, trying to remember my last period. I’d transitioned to a different type of birth control right around Thanksgiving, which is the last time I can remember. Biting my bottom lip to avoid grinding my teeth, I try and try to remember a date—any date more recent than Thanksgiving—but absolutely none come to mind.
“What are you thinking about?” Lucas’s warm breath fans my ear, and I swallow hard. I keep my stare straight ahead at the Sky magazine tucked into the back of the seat right in front of me. “Sienna?”
“What?” Oh god, why does my voice sound so panicky? Out the corner of my eye, I see his face work into a frown.
“Is everything alright, Red?” He cocks his head to the side, strands of his dark hair falling into his face. Automatically, I brush it back and he catches my hand in his, kissing my palm. “Tell me what’s wrong.”
“Nothing,” I murmur, but he cups my face in his other hand, turning my gaze to his. I stare into his hazel eyes, scared out of my mind, wishing I were home right now. “I promise I’m fine,” I say.
But five hours later when Lucas is sleeping and I’m alone in one of the guest bathrooms, I’m freaking out all over again.
When I drove to the 24-hour pharmacy a couple miles away, I’d been so afraid I’d make a mistake that I had gotten multiple pregnancy tests.
And they all told me the same thing.