There are a thousand and one types of tests, lubricants, and condoms, but no vitamins. You’d think they would keep everything in a useful area. I check over the shelves again and grab a bottle of warming lube while I’m there. It could be fun to put to use.

“Can I help you, sir?” A teenaged boy looks up from his squatted position on the floor while stocking shelves. He points me in the direction of the prenatal vitamins when asked, and barely gives me a second glance as I thank him. He’s likely used to far odder requests.

The designated shelf has multiple brands of vitamins, and I grab three. The sour gummy vitamins are labeled with a giant red star marking them as something new to the store. If nothing else, I can return what Lia doesn’t want. Vitamins obtained, I go to the baby aisle and start searching. It’s early; she can’t even be a full two months along, but I have to buy something. Our baby needs a present. Lia needs to know just how happy I am.

Maybe I should be worried about how Tasha will react to the news. Fuck, I should probably be worried about how Paul and Jean are going to take it… I have time to think about that later. Right now, I’m obsessed with making sure Lia is okay and understands that I’m excited to begin this new chapter in our lives.

A small tiger attached to a rattle sits lonely on a shelf, pale green and orange in its gender-neutral colors. Surrounded by an ocean of pink and blue, it begs to join my household. It will be perfect. Choosing a toy was easy; the card will be far harder. Picking out cards has never been my forte. The glitter-coated ones are instantly dismissed as options. I don’t want that crap all over the office, and I’m going to surprise Lia with these gifts at work.

Settling on one with a silhouette of a pregnant woman, I start thinking of all the words I could write in it. Do I use the word love yet? Would she think I was just saying it because she’s knocked up?

In truth, I was feeling more than just lust and affection for her before we tumbled onto the couch and slept together. I could not have bedded her with just carnal desires driving me forward. She’s worth so much more than that to me.

Yes, I can use the word love—at least in my head. I will wait a while before saying it aloud to Lia. She is the type who would be spooked, and she’s already so overwhelmed.

I pay for my purchases, tapping my foot against the grimy tile while the cashier bags them and prints the receipt. “Thank you!” I grab it from her outstretched fingers before she can begin her spiel about how I should be healthy or whatever the hell she’s paid to say, and sprint for my car.

The evergreens marking my driveway were planted when Tasha was born. What would we plant for this baby? Lia has to know that I will want her and the baby here. She can’t be under the stress of worrying about rent or how her father will react to this news. I want to protect her, keep her safe, care for our baby before and after it’s finished growing inside of her. I can’t lose her. I’m hers, and she is mine. I’ll fight for her if that’s what it takes. I hope it will be easy, though. We’ve both earned it.

A car parked in the driveway emerges in my view as I round the bend, and my fingers fumble in the darkness for the garage opener on my visor. The car is the one I loaned Lia. I did not expect her here; she must have lost track of time. My pulse quickens, breath coming faster too as I think of getting to see her again. It probably makes me a caveman to be hard over having gotten Lia pregnant, but I feel like the king of the world.

My dick throbs with each heartbeat, and I ache by the time I reach the house. “Tasha? Lia?” I call out for both women while passing into the kitchen and dining room, and I drop my purchases off in my study before searching in earnest. Running up the circular stairwell to the bedrooms, I pause at the top, listening for any voices. It’s too early for them to be asleep.

Tasha’s door is open, meaning she hasn’t been in it since the housekeeper went through this afternoon to wash windows and vacuum. Maybe they’re outside?

Just in case, I slip into my bedroom and check the private, attached bath. I had invited Lia to make herself feel at home. The carpet is unmarred except by my own footprints, and I make a second path of tracks as I go back down the hall. Peeking over the balcony, I notice that the lights are still off out back; no one would be swimming in the dark. Copyright 2016 - 2023