The 12 week scan had arrived, Pearl and Laken were excited but nervous. They had informed who they needed to and began to set plans in motion.
Pearl's parents were filing for a divorce, her dad now moving permanently to dubai for work and her mother floating around, as per the norm. The house was Pearl's, and for her mother to stay in on the odd occasion, as she had found new freedom - she was making plans to go touring Europe in a camper van.
Her father had agreed to send a monthly allowance to them until she could head into some form of work, but advised Laken had to provide the same or more. The house mortgage was paid so no concern there, Pearl was lucky there was money, she was grateful for their financial support and the home she grew up in she could make it her own now. Emotionally they seemed pleased, shocked but overall happy. Lakens parents were ECSTATIC, if anything slightly over bearing. They adored Pearl and were highly involved in gifts, outfits, hugs and messages. Pearl hadn't really known this affection from parents before, she was hesitant at first but soon began to thrive and enjoy their company.
Leading up to the scan had flown by, she was nauseas, sick and had started to realise certain things she loved she couldn't bear to look at - mainly mayonnaise. She was bloated but also had a healthy glow about her.
They held hands as the midwife scanned her stomach, the cold liquid spread over her and they saw the tiny little being bounce on the screen. Lakens eyes filled with tears and his grip tightened on Pearl's. They left the appointment grinning like maniacs staring at the little image of their person, her little buddy.
Sat outside in the glorious, spring sunshine Pearl closed her eyes and held her stomach as she imagined scenarios of her birth, baby and life with Laken. She took a photo of their scan and she sent it to Lyla.
All events had sent Pearl into a euphoric state, compared to the 4 months drama prior, she fully believed her little buddy was her saviour.
"I'm gonna have to nip out this afternoon." Laken said from behind her, startling her slightly.
"what are you upto?" Pearl asked noting the grin on his face.
"Nothing outrageous, just some paint and bits..... For a room...baby's room." he said with a cheeky smile.
He planted a soft kiss on her lips, with a whispered "bye" and headed out.
Pearl smiled to her self and began to pull out the rest of her coursework to complete, she still intended to get the best grades she could to ensure their future was on track. She had plans to sell her work on the side after having had the baby and set up a mug and t shirt business, she could design, Laken could print with the machinery.
She started to paint her next piece, a sunset, refreshing and lighter colours than usual. Portraying her recent transition in life.
Her phone beeped with love heart emojis filling the screen from Lyla, "I've got pressies for you and gossip, I'll head over in a bit." the text read.
An hour passed and a knock at the door came, "it's open!" she shouted from the conservatory. Concentrating on her piece she continued "it's been crazy hun, just finishing this bit then I'll do a drink."
"it looks good." replied a voice that wasn't Lylas. Pearl went cold and turned fearing an intruder, but instead was met with a face and body she knew all too well.
"Chase.. Wha - what are you doing here?" she stammered, her face dropping and becoming pale. "if Laken...." she started.
"ah, so that's the who." he replied calmly. "I've been thinking about you."
"I don't want you here chase." Pearl said calmly whilst putting down her painting tools.
"I don't need you here." she said coldly.
Chase grabbed his chest, as if his heart was in pain and smiled cheekily. "I've got a few questions, that's all... Then I'm gone."
Pearl lowered her head to her stomach and stared him squarely in the eyes "buddy's not yours." she said flatly.
"so that answers one, are you sure? Because... It doesn't matter either way... I would be there." chase replied.
"how? How would you be there? You've disappeared Chase, god knows what you're doing and you left me remember?" pearl hissed back.
"I can explain..." he started..
"no chase, this.. Is done." she said firmly.
"I've left Cheryl, for good this time. It's been awful, my job, my career, I've lost it all and you. It doesn't matter it's not mine, I would have you and buddy with me in a heartbeat." he said quietly, begging almost.
Pearl's face lit up red in rage "you don't get to talk about buddy...you left us! You cannot come back after this time and pick me up again, whatever we had was bad. So sooo bad.. And I'm not game anymore."
She stood still, fists clenched while Chase edged towards her slowly. She didn't move as his smell wafted into her nostrils, his scent reminded her of so much lust and her gut dropped.
Chase continued to step towards her, inches away while Pearl continued to look down, fearful of her anger but also of her emotions.
"We can have the bubble Pearl, I promise you." Chase whispered into her ear before reaching out and softly gliding his fingers along her waist.
Pearl let out a soft moan and closed her eyes, there was a power chase held over her but there was no way she could give in.
" you need to leave. "she hissed.
" you need to leave. " repeated Lylas voice behind them.
Pearl looked startled but relieved at her friends presence.
Chase stepped back and turned to Lyla" you really hate me don't you? " he asked Lyla, her mouth curled into a cheeky grin" I don't hate you, I think you've got issues. " she spat at him.
He turned to Pearl" one more question please? "
Pearl gave in and nodded as Lyla made her way to her side, she mouthed ten minutes to him and clock watched.
" Cheryl's gone, I'm back at my parents. I'm looking for a new job, she was toxic I know that now and I wanted to apologise for how I treated you..... I also regret ever leaving you. I need to know, can we ever have us again?" he asked looking depressed throughout.
" no" replied Pearl flatly. "you need to let me go, I'm happy now...."
Chase looked hurt and began to leave "call me if you need anything." he said before hastily leaving.
Pearl looked at Lyla and breathed a huge sigh of relief, "Laken is gonna flip his shit when he finds out" she said.