His Secret Child

Chapter Four

Gwenas POV

Unfortunately, I would never see him again. A shame really. He had a great face, great body, and great…attributes. Cassius, his name was. He gave it to me at the beginning so I could, and I quote, ”scream it later. ” And I gave him mine in return just to be polite. Reflecting back, it was a bad idea. He could try to find me…But I didn give him my last name so I should be safe. The last thing I wanted was him. Or a mate in general.

”Little frantic there, huh? ” smirked Maybelle.

”Yeah, ” I said, nodding. ”Last night will be something I never forget. ” For several reasons.

Maybelle laughed. The rest of the drive was spent with me listening Maybelle gush over the man she met last night, including the fact that they had exchanged numbers. Ive said before that Maybelle and I were complete opposites. This included our opinions on mates. Maybelle believed in mates and always dreamed of meeting hers in some dramatic, romantic way. She was open to relationships, wanting to get more out of it than just physical needs. She had emotional needs. Needs that could be met by whatever partner she was with currently. While she was that way, Maybelle didn get broken hearted easily. Yes, she was upset when a man broke up with her, but she never stayed sad long. I think it was because none of the men were her mate, so it didn matter.

Sneaking back into the house was more stressful than sneaking out. Every creak, crunch, and jingle of keys seemed louder in the silent space. Luckily, we made it upstairs without being caught. I cleaned my makeup-caked face, changed into pajamas, and flopped onto my bed. Id have to wait to take a shower in the morning. Well, later in the morning.

Maybelle joined me in bed, turning off the lamp. I was tired. Physically and emotionally drained. Having a one-night stand with your mate did not leave you feeling good. My wolf whined, though her noises faded as I slept. I didn sleep for long before Clay was bursting into my room, music blaring, yelling at the top of his lungs.

”HAPPY BIRTHDAY! ”

Maybelle squeaked and fell out of bed. Lights were flicked on, causing me to flinch and cover my head with a pillow.

”Breakfast is ready for you, Birthday Girl, ” Clay said at normal volume. ”Come downstairs when your ready. ”

He left, leaving blissful silence behind. I heard shuffling as Maybelle got up from the floor. After I showered, I dressed in a navy skirt with pink florals and a white shirt. I descended the stairs and entered the dining room, glancing at the clock on the way. 8:47.

”Happy Birthday, ” greeted Lucy.

”Happy Birthday, Gwena! ” said Dylan.

I took a seat at the head of the table, at the chair which was the designated birthday seat. It was decorated in streamers and a party hat. I could hear Clay moving around in the kitchen. Maybelle came down a few minutes afterwards, taking a seat next to Dylan.

”So, how was your night? ” Dylan asked.

”What do you mean? ” questioned Lucy. She gasped, looking around the table at us. ”Did you sneak out? ”

Maybelle nodded. ”We went to D3. It was awesome. ”

”Yeah, the dragon heart is really good. Have you tried it Dylan? ” I inquired.

”Yes. But I prefer non-rum drinks. ”

At that moment, Clay entered with two plates. The first one was filled with stacked pancakes and the second one was filled filled with bacon.

”Lucy, theres one more plate. Can you get it for me? ”

Nodding, she jumped up from her chair and entered the kitchen. She returned a while later with a plate of eggs. When everything was in place, Clay sat on the other end of the table,

”Happy birthday, Gwena, ” he said. ”Lets eat! ”

Plates were passed around and emptied. Clay had to go back into the kitchen to restock the plates with pancakes and eggs. Everyone chatted lively with one another. Clay explained the plans for the rest of the day. Its Dylans and Lucys job to keep me out of the house while Clay is setting it up for the party.

”You don have to go all out, you know, ” I said to Clay after breakfast was over. ”Its just going to be the five of us, so it doesn have to be all extravagant. ”

Clay smiled. ”I know. I know. Trust me, youll love the party. ” He hugged me. ”Have fun. Be back around four, okay? ”

”Will do, ” said Dylan.

Lucy, Maybelle, Dylan, and I all climbed in Clays convertible. I sat in passenger, while Dylan drove. Maybelle said that she worked later today, but could spend the morning with us. The first stop was at the movie theater. We watched a romantic comedy for two hours. The leading female swore off dating, but then had double amount of men interacting with her. The whole movie was just her figuring out how to steer clear of men, but in the end let herself love again.

It was lunch by the time we exited the movie theater. We had snacked on popcorn and candy while inside, but needed real nourishment. Dylan drove us to the restaurant of my choice: The Food Shack. It served any types of food; from bar food to Italian. The best burgers in town were served there. They also had pretty good chicken sandwiches and fried lobster. Its amazing how good their food is with all the different kinds.

After being seated, our drinks came. A while later, so did our food. With Clay not here, Maybelle and I spilled the details of our night out.

”Really! ” exclaimed Lucy. ”I can wait for my twenty-first birthday. ”

All three of us laughed.

”It was great, ” I said. ”One of the best experiences of my life. ” My smiled faltered as I remembered Cassius, but quickly fixed it. Hopefully, no one noticed. Before we left the restaurant, Maybelle and I excused ourselves to used the restroom.

”Are you okay, girl? ” she asked.

”Yeah, ” I replied, confused. ”Why? ”

She shrugged. ”You didn talk about the man you met. And you looked a little sad at one point. ”

I knew I would never be able to keep it from my best friend. Sighing, I spilled my guts to her. ”So that man I met…was my mate. ”

”What! ” Maybelle eyes were blown wide, mouth hanging open.

I nodded, embarrassed. ”I was too drunk to notice when met him, but when I woke up…I felt it. ”

Understanding dawned on her. ”Thats why you were running to the car. I thought he had mentioned having a relationship, so you ran away. ” She pulled me into a hug. ”Im sorry. I know how you feel about mates. It couldn have come a worst time. ”

Though I was sad, I smiled. It felt nice to have someone understand me. ”Yeah, but its not going to ruin my life. Ill never see him again and move on. ”

⇐O⇒

We returned home before four. Maybelle had left us at one oclock, saying it was time for her to go to work. Dylan, Lucy, and I hung out around time afterwards. We got ice cream, went to the bookstore, and sat on the beach. A blindfold was tied around my eyes when we turned down the street with our house on it.

”I already know about the party. Why do I need a blindfold? ” I asked. No one answered. ”Seriously? ” I felt the moment we pulled in the driveway because of the bump of fresh concrete. Clay had redone the driveway and forgot to smooth out the part where it met the street. I unbuckled myself on one try and was escorted by Dylan and Lucy into the house. Neither of them said anything.

”Hello? Clay? ” I wondered why there wasn music.

Finally, Dylan spoke. ”On the count of three take off your blindfold. ” I nodded. ”One…two…three. ”

Ripping the cloth away, I came face to face with my living room. Why was I blindfolded when there was nothing there? ”Wha— ”

Suddenly, lights were flicked on. People jumped out from their hiding places, screaming, ”HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! ”

Clutching my chest, I startled. When my brain realized there was no danger, I relaxed. In the crowd, I saw aunts and uncles from Clays and Lucilles side of the family. And Maybelle! I smiled. That sneaky chick.

”Thank you so much! ” I cried. ”It was definitely a surprise. ”

As the party started, I toured around the house, admiring the hard work of Clay and his helpers. Pink, white and gray balloons floated randomly throughout the house. Some were tied to chairs, railings, lamps and others were bumping gently against the ceiling, the strings tickling my face. The kitchen table was filled with pot-luck dishes. I noticed Aunt Esmeraldas famous macaroni and three cheese dish, Uncle Stewarts barbeque sausages, and my cousin Lindas colorful cookies. And—

”Is that Grandma Susans cake? ” I asked. ”I didn know she was here. ” Last I heard she was sick and forbidden to travel. I hoped she didn force herself to come down here. I didn want her to relapse.

”Yes, ” Clay said, coming up beside me. ”Grandma Susan was sad she couldn come down, so she sent this with Esmeralda. Do you like the party? ”

”I absolutely love it, ” I said, every word the truth. I embraced him tightly. ”Its awesome. Thank you. ”

He released me. ”Want to go have cake? Im pretty sure everyone has eaten. ”

Cake! ”Yes, please. ”

Clay and I spread the word about cutting the cake. I was seated at the table, the caked placed in front of me. There were twenty-one multi-colored candles on the cake that had to be lit. Lights were turned off, phone cameras turned on. Then, everyone began singing.

”Happy birthday to you. ”

I crossed my hands awkwardly in my lap while everyone stared at me.

”Happy birthday dear, Gwena, ” everyone sang, high-pitched and off key. ”Happy birthday to youuuu! ”

With everyone clapping, I leaned forward and blew out all the candles. I unwrapped presents while Aunt Judith cut slices of cake and Roland, my cousin, passed them out. The cake as always was delicious. Nothing can beat Grandma Susans cooking.

As the night winded down to an end, guests started to leave one by one. Maybelle was the last to go. Despite protest from Clay, I helped clean up the decorations and trash. The day had been awesome. The best I had in a long time. I sent up a prayer to any entity that was listening, thanking them for giving me Clay, Lucy, and Dylan.

⇐O⇒

Something was wrong. My period had started this morning, but it was unusually light. And I rarely ever cramped, but right now it felt like a cat was trying to dig out of my stomach. At breakfast, the food didn sit right so I only ate a few bites. I didn want to make myself throw up. But that ended up happening anyways. I had a fluctuating headache that didn go away.

”Gwena, are you up to eating some toast or crackers? ” asked Clay. He had sent me up to bed the moment I complained of feeling nauseous.

”Ill try. ” Sitting up, grabbed the plate of toast from Clays hand as he set the crackers on my nightstand. Taking a bite, the food settled in my stomach, causing no weird sensations. ”My stomachs better. Thank you. ”

An hour later, the contents of my stomach ended up in the toilet. With nothing else in my stomach, I began dry heaving. It was awful. All that came out was spit. I hollered to anyone who could hear. My throat and nostrils burned as nothing came up. It sounded like I was drowning. Hurried footsteps approached. The sink was turned on and I saw Clays black socks. Panting, I hovered over the toilet, unsure if I was done.

”Here. ” Clay held out a wet washcloth. I wiped my mouth on it, then pressed it to my forehead. I folded so the puke part was on the inside.

”We should probably take you to the doctors. ”

”No, Im fine, ” I said. It was rough period symptoms. ”Im going to go laid back down. ”

Clay refilled my glass of water before retreating back to his office to continue working. Lucy and Dylan popped their heads into my room to check on me. Although, I was exhausted, my body wouldn sleep. Instead, I watched TV since my head hurt worse when standing.

Knock Knock.

”Hey. ” It was Clay. I rolled over. He had gotten dressed. ”I need to go into work real quick, ” he said. ”Are you going to be okay here? ”

”Yeah. ”

”Dylan went to work, so it will just be you and Lucy. Try to eat something. It might be better than dry heaving. ”

I nodded. ”Thanks. ” Moments after Clay left, Lucy appeared with a plate of plain toast.

”My door will be open so yell if you need anything. ”

My heart swelled. It felt so nice to be taken care of instead of taking care of others. I slowly ate the toast. When I sat up to put my plate out of the way, my head didn ache as much. Hopefully, that meant whatever stomach bug Id gotten had passed.

That was not what it meant.

I threw up again after finishing a second plate of toast. I heard Lucys stomping footsteps as she hurried into the bathroom. After the bread and water left my stomach, I leaned against the wall, huffing.

”Clay said that if you threw up again, I should take you to the hospital. ”

I was too tired to argue with her. I changed into a fresh shirt and slipped on shoes. Lucy grabbed the keys to my car and walked me to the vehicle. I laid the seat down and rested on the ride to the emergency room. Luckily, Lucy was old enough to drive. I didn know if I had the strength to do it myself.

Waiting to be admitted wasn long. The nurse called my name, waving us back. Standing, the room dipped. Grabbing Lucys arm, I waited for it to pass before moving. The nurse took my heart rate, blood pressure, the whole routine.

”How long has it been since your last period? ” she asked.

”It started today. ”

”When was the last time you had sex? ”

Good thing I had sent Lucy out. I had expected these questions and didn want her listening. ”A week. We used protection, so I can be pregnant. ” My last hook-ups name was Mark. Hed been alright. Nothing like Cassius. Stop it, I scolded myself. Forget about him.

She smiled. ”Condemns aren a hundred percent effect. ” She jotted something down on her clipboard. ”What are your symptoms? ”

”Cramps, nausea, bleeding, and dizziness, ” I listed.

She hummed. ”Alright. The doctor will be right with you. ”

A few minutes later, Dr. Angela Richard entered the room. She was dressed nicely under her white lab coat. She introduced herself, then read over the paper the nurse had put together.

”Im going to have you pee in the cup so we can take a urine sample, ” she explained. ”That way we can rule some things out. ”

Taking the cup, I went into the bathroom. An awkward minute later, I handed the cup back to her, which she disappeared with. I laid back down while waiting for her. I took a small nap, waking up to the doctor rapping on the door.

”So, it looks like your pregnant. Congratulations! And according to the percentage of hCG, you are a 2 weeks along. ”

My brain froze. I used condemns every single time and never gotten pregnant until now? What sense did that make? None, thats what! I can remember if I used one when I slept with Cassius!!

”But… ”

The doctor rambled on about options and checkups and words that blurred together in my head. Leaving the hospital passed in a blur. She gave me pain meds to help with the cramping and headaches, warning me to be sure what I took in the future was safe for the baby. I didn tell Lucy the outcome. I was waiting for her to ask, but she never did. When I got to my room, I sat on the bed, disconnected from myself. My body moved on its own without my command. My brain was too busy trying to process the new information. That…That Im…Im pregnant. The urge to tell someone crashed into me, knocking me back to myself. I picked up my phone, clicking on Maybelles contact. It rang.

”Hey, girl. Whats up? ”

My mouth wouldn open, couldn form the words.

”Gwena, is everything alright? ” she said, worried.

”No, ” I croaked. ”I…I…I need you. ”

She cursed. ”Okay. Im on my way. ”

She hung up. I curled on top of my bed. Someone knocked on my door. It wasn Maybelle. That was too quick.

”Gwena? ” It was Dylan. ”Lucy said the doctors visit didn go well? Do you want to talk? ”

I was on the brink of breaking. ”Not really. Maybe tomorrow, ” I responded.

He sounded hurt. ”Okay. Good night. ”

After Maybelle, Dylan was the next person I was closest too. I usually told him everything that I told Maybelle, besides certain bits and pieces of information that he did not need to know about. Like my sex life, or the fact that I got pregnant from a one night stand. He would be so disappointed. They all would be. Clay would be so mad. He adopted me, rescued me, and I repay him by an accidental pregnancy. I have accomplished nothing.

I heard the doorbell. Minutes later, Maybelle was barreling through the door.

”Who do I have to kill? ” she roared. ”I will rip out their heart and feed it to them. Ill make them throw it up and then feed it to them again! ”

Against my will, laughter bubbled from me. She smiled, taking a seat next to me, pulling me into a hug. ”Whats wrong, Gwena? ”

I opened my mouth and this time I couldn stop the words that poured out. I started out when I met Cassius at the club and led up to now. I choked on sobs, trying to hold them back so I could finish explaining. Then I could fall apart. Eventually, I gave up and my words turned into a blubbering mess.

”Shhh. Its okay. ” She stroked my hair. ”I didn understand a lot of that, but I think I got the gist of it. You got pregnant from your one-night-stand from the club and your terrified. ”

I nodded. She pushed me arms length away to look me in the eye.

”There is nothing to be scared about, ” she said. ”Ill support whatever decisions you decide on. So will Clay and Dylan and Lucy. We love you and will support you no matter what. ”

That made me cry harder. ”But I-I-Im scared. Im s-s-scared that, that they will be disappointed in me. I don , don want to become one of those girls y-you hear about being shunned by her family for becoming— for getting pregnant at a young age. ”

”Clay isn like that. He will love you no matter what. ” Maybelle embraced me again. ”What do you think you
e going to do? ”

There was only one option I could live with. ”Im going to keep it. ”

”Im going to be the best aunt ever. ”

I chuckled. ”Youll be there when I tell them, right? I don think I can do it without you. ”

”Of course. I got your back. When do you want to do it? Tonight? ”

I shrugged. ”Might as well as get it over with. ”

The trip downstairs only took minutes, but in that time my anxiety grew tenfold. I held Maybelles hand all the way to the living room where everyone was gathered. Clay had returned home and was most likely informed by Lucy what had happened. They all turned when we entered the room.

”I have something to tell you guys, ” I began.

Dylan stood. ”Gwena, I will always be your brother and I will always love you. ” He paused, flushing. ”I, uh, just wanted to say so you wouldn be so scared. ”

”Same, ” Lucy said. ”We
e family and family sticks together. ”

”I will help you with whatever you are about to tell us, ” said Clay. ”You are my daughter and I love you. ”

Hearing their words gave me the strength I needed. I squeezed Maybelles hand one last time before letting go. ”Im pregnant. ”

The room was dead quiet. I glanced from the three of them, my anxiety growing. Then Lucy let out a squeal.

”Im going to be an aunt! ”

Some of the tension lifted. Dylan smiled. ”And Im going to be an uncle. Im going to be an uncle, ” he cheered. ”Im going to have a niece or nephew!!! ”

I laughed, tears of joy leaking out. I turned my attention to Clay as Lucy and Dylan gushed over how they were going to spoil my baby. Clay approached me. I cowered under his steady gaze, like I was a child again. I sighed in relief, all tension leaving me when he pulled me into a hug.

”You are going to be a wonderful mother. Im so proud of you, ” he whispered. ”Lucille would also be proud of you. ”

The dam broke. Tears spilled down my cheeks, onto his shoulder. Clays words…All their words made me so happy. All my fears and insecurities vanished. I felt arms wrap around my back. One of my hands let go of Clay to wrap around Dylan, who had joined the hug. Lucy and Maybelle followed, surrounding me in love and protection.

As long as I had them, Id never be alone.

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