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Bad Boy's Baby(155)

By´╝ÜSosie Frost



I couldn’t think of hiding anything now. I managed a classy and dignified I’m pregnant, I want ice-cream between sniffles.

Azariah didn’t question it. She brought me ginger ale, a hot fudge sundae, and bitched out the nurse who claimed she was on break when she refused to find information on Zach.

I didn’t even know what happened to him?

He was fine one minute…and then…

Two hours in the hospital with no news drove me crazy. Between the nerves, morning sickness, and ill-fated citrus bruschetta hors d’oeuvres, I should have waited for the doctor while sitting on the floor in the nearest bathroom stall.

It was a strange thing for my worst fear to come to life.

I wasn’t ready for this. Getting pregnant should have been my biggest shock for the week. It was supposed to be a woman’s most crazy revelation. Instead, life threw me for a loop then, mid-way through the ride, crashed my ass down.

Azariah forced me to sit instead of pacing, but I couldn’t handle her hovering. Now wasn’t the time to piece together just how, where, why I ended up pregnant. She was a big girl. She’d figure it out. I sent her back to the house to clean up, glad for the quiet.

Another hour passed and nothing from the nurses or doctors. I bumbled through my purse for change before discovering the vending machine took credit cards. Halloween came early.

…Until the machine stuck and I hulk-raged to dislodge the candy bar and scared a passing orderly. Was it too soon to get an epidural?

I returned to my perch with a Kit-Kat I purchased and a Milky Way that dropped in its own terror. I didn’t open either. I sipped my ginger ale but regretted giving up coffee because the internet said it might be dangerous for the baby.

Were mocha frappachinos bad too? I mean, the baby needed to get used to it sooner rather than later. Her first words would probably be double pump.

No.

Her first word would be Dada.

I wouldn’t let it happen any other way.

“Shay?”

I bolted to my feet, punting the ginger ale into an unfortunate plant. I turned, candy bars in hand. Gretchen met me with a cautious smile.

“Hey,” she said. “How is he?”

Oh, guilt tasted about as good as morning sickness. I hated how I’d acted around Zach’s pretty blonde doctor, but she didn’t hold a grudge. She hugged me.

“I haven’t heard anything yet,” I swallowed. “He didn’t look...”

“What happened?”

“He just…fell. He slurred his words, and he kept rubbing his head. Then, boom. He went down. I tried to protect him when he…he…seizured. I don’t know anything else.”

Gretchen nodded. “I did my residency here. I’ll find someone who still owes me a favor and ask about Zach.”

“Thank you.”

“Don’t worry,” she said. “He’s a fighter. He’ll pull through.”

Pull through what? What the hell could completely level a six foot four, two hundred and fifty pound beast of pure muscle?

Gretchen snuck through the nurses’ station and ducked though the double doors. She disappeared into the mess of swirling white coats and dashing nurses.

It took her a half an hour to return, and I was proud that I only got sick once. Somehow she knew. She offered me a package of saltines and some apple juice.

“Did you find him?” I asked.

She sighed before sitting. “Yeah, I did. The doctor will be out to talk with us.”

“And?” I didn’t like her delay. My throat closed. “Gretchen?”

“He had some lasting effects from the head trauma he sustained in combat. An un-ruptured aneurysm. He’s heading in for surgery now.”

“And that’s…going to fix him, right?”

Gretchen nodded, pulling her hair back into a ponytail from a scrunchie over her wrist. “They caught it before any serious damage, they think. We’ll know more once he’s in recovery.”

“Oh.”

Gretchen’s sigh was a polite frustration. “I told him to get checked out. I didn’t like the headaches. But Zach was too stubborn. Didn’t want anything to prevent him from getting back into the SEALs.” She grunted. “I’m surprised the damn thing didn’t rupture when the doctor denied him the waiver.”

My hand crunched the crackers into dust. I stared at Gretchen. “He was denied?”

She scrunched her nose. “Oh, he…hadn’t told you?”

“He told you?”

“I guessed when I hadn’t heard from him after he returned from D.C.”

“So…he’s not re-enlisting in the SEALs?”

“Nope. And he’s probably pissed.”

No, he was probably heartbroken. Crushed.

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