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Chapter 21

Scarlett’s POV

The word overwhelmed is an understatement. I feel like I might vomit.

I’ve had my suspicions. I’ve thought that I felt different. It’s a hard concept to understand your body the way you instinctively do. But, since coming home from the trip. I’ve seemed more tired. Yes, it could be from the lack of sleep and the time change, or the fact that I’m literally working myself to the bone for this charity show, but I wanted to make sure it wasn’t something else keeping me lethargic.

I went to the convenience store down the block from my work after closing up the studio. Adrien jet out a bit early so I figured it a perfect time to go pick up a test. I wanted to check myself, by myself, only because I didn’t think it could be real. It couldn’t be, could it?

I can’t be pregnant.

After sneaking into the penthouse, I about shit my pants. Here I was, holding a bag with a pregnancy test in it behind my back, while Toren approaches me with his sexy grin. Pretty sure he can hear my pulse from where he’s at. I need a quick diversion.

I pretend to have some sort of surprise up my sleeve. I force him into the shower, then rack my brain for something, anything...

A massage!

I set up a towel, light some candles, find the old baby oil I use for my legs when I get all dry and cracked from these damn New York winters. I slip into my robe, tie my hair up and plaster on a smile.

This looks planned.

After his massage and of course, they amazing sex that follows, I feel a bit more relaxed. Until he brings up kids in conversation.

He sees my nervousness, senses it like he always does. Dammit for not being able to put on the poker face I have in my head. He talks about the stress of children and how it affects a partnership. Then he reiterates that he doesn’t want them anytime soon.

Soon.

I feel like there’s a ton of bricks on my chest at the moment. I can’t breathe properly. I want to take this test and just know for sure and be done with it. But, I can’t at the moment. I don’t want to talk about something that isn’t real yet. I don’t want to walk down that road yet if we aren’t even talking about marriage. I also don’t want him to think I’m one of those crazy ladies trying to trap him with a kid. Not that I think he is, but still, I’d feel weird.

I tell him I’m tired and just need some rest. It’s true, kind of. But mostly, I really want him to go to sleep so I can run into the bathroom and pee on this ridiculously stressful stick.

I didn’t get my period yet. I’m late, and I know it doesn’t really mean anything, but since being on the IUD, I have a pretty set system for a while now, so any change to that makes me nervous.

I can’t be pregnant. Shit, who am I kidding, we fuck like rabbits, I’ll be surprised if there aren’t quintuplets in there. This can’t be happening.

I hear his soft breaths, feel his chest expand and contract slowly, and I know he’s asleep behind me. His arm is wrapped so tightly around my waist, and as much as I want to stay here forever and not face this, I know I’ll never sleep again until I know.

I lift his heavy arm, causing him to stir a bit in his sleep. I hold still until he rolls over and continues sleeping.

I find the bag I tucked in the back of my underwear drawer in the dresser, and tiptoe my way to the bathroom.

I feel sick. I’m shaking. This is supposed to be easy right? I look at the instructions, figuring out what I need to do, and get ready to take this test.

I pee, and let it sit on the counter. I stare at the thing like it’s some sort of alien life form that might attack and kill me. Because literally, that’s what it’s representing. An alien life form that’s about to take over my body.

I pace the bathroom, thinking about what this means. What if I’m pregnant? Toren will be thrilled, right? I mean what if he doesn’t want kids for a while? Maybe he wanted to focus more on business and traveling the world before settling down? I know I do, or did...shit. This test really needs to hurry up.

A kid is life changing and life stopping, right? How will I continue with my business with a little one? How can I be a mom and a successful artist? I’ll be so preoccupied. We’ll need a nanny, but

I don’t want a nanny. I want to be the one to teach my child things, I wanted to be the parent I never had.

But am I even able to be a good parent? I know nothing. Absolutely nothing about kids. I just held my first baby a few weeks ago. How the hell could I bring one home and take care of it? It doesn’t talk!? How will I know what it needs!?

I’m freaking the fuck out!

Jesus, I need Adrien, or Maggie. Someone to vent this to before I implode.

Okay, breathe, Scar. Nothing’s happened yet.

I check my phone again and see that the time has run out. It’s done. The test is done.

I squeeze my eyes shut tightly and blow out a huge breath, grabbing the test in my hand when the bathroom door flies open.

I quickly clutch the test and put it behind my back as Toren stands there in only his boxers, rubbing his eyes with a fist.

“You alright? What are you doing in here? I woke up and you were gone,” he says in an adorable raspy tone.

His hair is wildy unruly, his eyes all squinty, and his lips look puffier than normal. He’s just so damn perfect no matter what time of day it is.

“Sorry, just looking for some aspirin, have a headache. Maybe in my purse.”

I sneak past him, hiding the test in the bottom of my shirt before walking over to our closet and slipping it into my purse. I pull out the small aspirin bottle and shake it at him with a little grin.

“Got it.”

I walk back into the bathroom, pretending to swallow something, as he stands leaning against the door frame with his arms crossed.

“What’s going on with you?” he asks softly, reaching an arm out to stop me from passing him.

“Nothing that I know of,” I answer honestly.

“You sure you’re okay? You don’t have to talk to me about it if you don’t want to. I know something’s up, just let me be here for you. I can’t sleep if you’re bothered.”

I bite my bottom lip, looking down at his hands that are slowly traveling up my arms. He knows my head is racing, yet wants to simply be here with me. He doesn’t want to push me, doesn’t need me to open up, he just wants to be present while I go through whatever it is I’m going through. The problem is, I don’t know what I’m going through.

“Come here.” He pulls me into his chest and I sigh against his skin.

His arms close around me and I sink into his embrace. His arms rub up and down my back in the most comforting way. He always knows how to handle me. He calms me during my freakouts and meltdowns, he excites me when I didn’t think I could be more excited, he breathes life back into me after the tragedies I’ve conquered, making me feel deserving of love again. He always helps me find myself again.

“Let’s play a game,” he suggests, pulling me back towards the bed. “Get your mind off whatever it is.”

We get back under the covers, facing each other on our sides.

“A game? It’s so late, you should get some r-”

“Nonsense. Fuck, Marry, Kill...who you got? Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, or Jeffrey Dahmer?”

“Oh my God! What?! These are my options?!” I laugh.

“Serial Killer Edition.” He shrugs with an adorable smile.

“Jesus...alright, um...” I think.

He starts playing with my hair on the pillow as I’m contemplating which serial killer is most compatible. This is tough.

“Okay, Fuck Charles, Marry Ted, Kill Jeffrey.”

“Really...” he says, surprised.

“Yeah, I mean, I’d screw Charles. The blood on the walls after would drive me crazy, cleaning wise. I’d marry Ted because, let’s be honest, he’s charming, and we both know I’m a sucker for charming, intelligent men. And, yeah, I’d kill Jeffrey. I need my nipples.”

Toren is curled over laughing now. He rubs a hand on his jaw in the sexiest way, running his tongue along his teeth at me, his eyes filled with pure entertainment.

“You’re one of a kind, Scar.”

I wrinkle my nose playfully at him. “Alright, your turn.”

“Who you got for me.” He rubs his hands together as if warming them up. “I’m ready.”

“Alright, fuck, marry, kill. Aileen Wuornos, Lizzy Borden, or...John Wayne Gacy?”

“What?! John Wayne Gacy!? I can’t even get three women?” He laughs.

“Sorry, there are just so many men who decided to become serial killers, I can’t remember three women off the top of my head.”

“Oh, there are more...” he states with a serious face that turns into a smile.

“Anyways...whatcha got?”

He bites his bottom lip, looking up to the ceiling to contemplate this difficult life choice.

“Fuck Lizzy, marry Aileen, kill John.”

I can’t control the laughs rumbling out of me.

“Tell me why, now!” I playfully place my hand on his hip and shake him.

“Okay, so obviously, I can’t marry Lizzy, she’d kill our family with axes. Not a stable family to raise a child,” he says, eyes on the ceiling, imagining.

I swallow, trying to remain calm at the mention of a child.

“I’d marry Aileen because, well, she’s got a good heart, right? Doesn’t like bad guys, we can bond over that.” he shrugs, looking at me with a grin.

“And John?” I ask with a cocked brow, excited to hear his reasoning.

His face changes as he looks me dead in the eyes. “I’m scared of clowns.”

My eyes widen with amusement. “Seriously?”

I can hardly control the urge to laugh but his face is showing me there must be some traumatic memory attached to this. I’m dying inside.

“It all started back when I was six...” he begins.

I literally have my knuckles to my mouth, biting back the laughter of the seriousness of this moment. This is a moment down memory lane I’m not about to forget.

“...my parents took Ronan and I to this carnival once. It was great. There was a huge ferris wheel, cotton candy, the games...all of it was amazing. I was in heaven, until I wasn’t.”

My brows lower slightly at his change in tone. Oh shit, I’ve dug up some sort of buried childhood trauma.

“Ronan wanted to ride the ferris wheel again, but I wanted to check out the fun house, so we parted ways. I went into the fun house alone and made my way through the mirrored alleys, the spinning floors, until I came to a dark hallway with a clown at the end of it.”

I sit up on my elbow, looking down at him with a worried expression.

“I walked towards him as he waved his finger at me in a come hither type of way.” His voice cracks when he talks, his face distorts into disgust.

“Tor, we don’t need to talk about this,” I say in a soft tone.

He continues as if he’s caught in the memory now.

“I was only a kid, I didn’t know what to think. I walked towards him and he...he...” His voice cracks again.

My hand is over my mouth, the thought of what this clown may have done to little Toren suddenly enraging me. I want to know but I don’t. I wait for him to continue.

He sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose before he turns to look me dead on.

“He handed me a balloon and said I hope you had fun.”

I sit there, my mouth open with concern all over my face, as his serious demeanor cracks and his lips drag into a huge toothy grin.

He’s laughing now. Hard. Curled over into himself muttering nonsense about you should've seen your face while I fight the urge to beat his ass. My lips are pursed together, my eyes narrowed, channeling my inner Adrien while he continues chuckling.

“I really don’t like you,” I say, pushing away from him.

“Lies!” He laughs, pulling me in towards him again. “You love me.”

I crack a reluctant grin. It was kinda funny.

“But on a serious note, I really don’t like clowns. They freak me out.” He clarifies.

“Same.”

He wraps his arm under my neck, pulling me close to his chest, our legs intertwined.

“I’d love to do that with you. Making memories as a family. I have so many amazing memories of going to the carnival as a kid, all of us together. Maybe that can be us someday.” His lip pulls slightly at the corner, a hopeful look in his eyes.

I have to tell him.

I have to tell him.

I have to tell him, now.

I swallow down any nervousness before I overthink it again. I just need to spit it out. I close my eyes tightly and let the words fall out.

“Toren, I took a pregnancy test in the bathroom.”

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