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Will it be a boy or a girl? What will we name him or her? All these thoughts race through my head at once until I feel like I might pass out. Now to tell my mom … She’s waiting outside the bathroom door, pacing. She picks at her eyebrows, something she has always done when she’s nervous. She barely has any left and has to draw them on. She sees me and her eyes open wide. “Well?” she says. I hold up the sticks and burst into happy tears. “I’m going to have a baby!” She starts to cry too. “Oh my god,” she says. But instead of cussing or saying something that might break my heart, she smiles and says. “I’m going to be a grandma.” We hug, both of us melting into tears. “What do you think Deacon’s going to say?” she says when we come apart. I wipe away the mascara rolling down my cheeks. “He’s going to be really happy, Mom. I promise. You have nothing to worry about.” She smiles, her eyes red and watering. “I trust you. I know you’re a smart girl and wouldn’t rush into anything unless you were absolutely sure you knew what you were doing.” “Thanks Mom,” I say and hug her again. Now to tell Deacon. I’m twisting my hands. They’re sweating. I feel like I’m going to pass out. Deacon will be happy. I know that. But I’m still afraid. This will drive a wedge so far between him and Sam that I don’t know if that relationship will ever recover. I don’t want to be the one responsible for ruining a family. But he has to know. And soon. This isn’t something I can keep from him. I go next door and ring the bell. Sam answers. He rolls his eyes when he sees me, but stands aside to let me in. There are boxes stacked up all over the living room. Bailey is in her playpen next to the couch. “What’s going on?” I ask, a tinge of fear ringing through me. Someone has obviously packed their belongings to move and I doubt it’s Sam. Deacon comes down the stairs. He looks mad at first until he sees me. His face relaxes into a gentle smile. “What are you doing here?” he asks in a way that lets me knows he’s happy for the surprise. “I need to talk to you.” I wave my hands around, pointing at all the boxes. “What is all this?” “I found a place of my own,” he says. I didn’t even know he was looking. If he has a place of his own that means we can finally spend as much time together as we want, make as much noise as we want while having sex. Hell, we can walk around naked if we feel like it. There won’t be anyone around to judge us or tell us what we can and can’t do. “This is all your fault,” Sam says, glaring at me. “How is this my fault? I don’t even know what’s going on,” I say. “Sam is just being a dick,” Deacon says, tossing a gym bag on top of the pile of suitcases stacked up by the door. “We didn’t start fighting until she came into the picture,” Sam says. Deacon snaps back, “We wouldn’t have started fighting had you minded your own business. What I do with my life has nothing to do with you. You’re a control freak. You get off on it.” “No. I care about what happens to my brother.” Deacon shakes his head. “You care about getting your way. If you cared what was best for me, you’d see that I was happy for the first time in a long time and Remy is what’s best for me.” “You’re wrong about me, Sam,” I say, unable to stay quiet any longer. “I love Deacon. I would never do anything to hurt him or our kids.” They both turn to look at me, their brows furrowed similarly. It’s the only time I’ve ever seen any kind of family resemblance between the two of them. “Kids?” Deacon says. “As in more than one?” I cradle my belly protectively when I see the angry look on Sam’s face. “I found out this morning,” I say. “You’re sure?” Deacon replies. Sam opens his big mouth and says, “See, I told you she was trouble. She went and got herself knocked up so you’re forced to stay together. You’re trapped now, man.” He gets this smug look on his face like he’s waiting for his brother lose his shit, but instead, Deacon’s smile stretches across his face and he scoops me into a hug, his laughter filling the house. Bailey responds with a happy squeal. “We’re going to have a baby?” he says. Tears fill his eyes. Seeing his tears brings tears of my own. I nod my head, unable to get words around the emotion in my voice. He turns to Sam. The pissed off, soured Deacon has been replaced by someone jovial. Someone who looks about to explode with happiness. “You better behave at our wedding, brother,” Deacon says.
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