Home > Deep (Stage Dive #4)

Deep (Stage Dive #4)
Author: Kylie Scott

PROLOGUE

Positive.

I reread the instructions, doing my best to flatten out the creases in the piece of paper one-handed. Two lines meant positive. Two lines sat on the test. No, not possible. My gaze darted back and forth between the two, willing one of them to change. I shook the test and turned it this way and that. I stared and stared, but just like with the first one sitting rejected beside the sink, the answer remained the same.

Positive.

I was pregnant.

“Fuck.”

The word echoed around and around the small bathroom, bouncing off the white-tiled walls and beating at my head. This shit shouldn’t be happening to me. I didn’t break laws or do drugs. Not since that blip after Dad left. I was studying hard for my degree in psychology and I behaved. Mostly. But those definite neat pink lines stood loud and proud in the pregnancy test’s little window, taunting me, the evidence irrefutable even when I squinted or crossed my eyes.

“Fuck.”

Me as someone’s mom. No.

What the hell was I going to do?

I sat on the edge of the bathtub in my plain black underwear, covered in goose bumps. Outside, a barren limb swayed in and out of view, buffeted by the wind. Beyond it lay the endless gray of a February Portland sky. Screw it all. All of my plans and dreams, my whole life, changed at the say of a stupid plastic stick. I was only twenty-one, for goodness sake, not even in a relationship.

Ben.

Ah, man. We’d barely talked in months, what with me doing my best to avoid any situation where he might be present. Things had been a little awkward ever since I threw him out of my hotel room in Vegas minus his pants. I’d been done with him. Finished. Kaput.

My uterus apparently did not agree.

We’d had sex once. Once. A secret that I’d long since decided to take to my grave. Him never telling anyone was a given. But still, his penis went in my vagina one time only, and I’d watched him roll the condom on, god damn it. Me lying spread out on the California king–size, trembling with excitement, and he’d just kind of smiled. There’d been this warmth in his eyes, a gentleness. Given the obvious tension running through his big body, it’d seemed so strange and yet wondrous. No one had ever looked at me that way, as if I meant everything.

An unwelcome warmth filled my chest at the memory. It’d been so long since I’d thought of him with anything other than ugh.

At any rate, apparently someone had diddled away their shift at the prophylactics factory and here we were. Pregnant. I stared unseeing at my skinny jeans, lying discarded on the floor. Sure, they’d fit. As in, I could wiggle up the zip halfway and the button was out of the question. The pressure they inflicted upon my belly was a definite no go.

Things were changing so fast. I was changing.

Normally, I had more going on in the back than up front. But for the first time in my life, I actually had the makings of a rack. Not enough boobage to get me a job at Hooters or anything, but still. And as much as I’d like to believe that god had finally answered my teenage prayers, when you added up all the evidence, it wasn’t likely. I had a person growing inside of me. A little baby bean-shaped thing made from equal parts of me and him.

Mind-boggling.

What I’d wear tonight was, however, the least of my worries. If only I could get out of going. He’d be there, all six foot five–worth of rugged rock star. Just the thought of seeing him turned me inside out, filling me with nerves. My stomach dived, nausea rolling through me. Puke rushed up, filling my throat and making me gag. I only just made it to the toilet in time to lose what little I’d had for lunch. Two Oreos and half a banana, going, going … gone in a hot rush.

Yuck.

I groaned loudly and wiped my mouth with the back of my hand, flushed the toilet and staggered over to the sink. Whoa. The girl in the mirror looked spectacularly crappy, face too pale and long blond hair hanging in straggly wet strands. What a hot mess. I couldn’t even bring myself to meet my own eyes.

That I’d dropped the pregnancy test didn’t even occur to me until I stood on it. My heel pressed down, grinding of its own accord. Plastic cracked and splintered, the noise strangely satisfying. I just stamped on it, over and over, trampling the bastard, pounding it into the scuffed wooden floor. God yeah, the good vibes just flowed. The first test soon met the same fate. I didn’t stop until I was panting and only wreckage remained on the floor. That felt so much better.

So I’d been knocked up by a rock star.

Big deal.

Deep breath. Okay.

I would handle this like an adult, pull myself together and go talk to Ben. We’d been friends at one time. Sort of. I could still talk to him about stuff. Specifically, stuff relating to our progeny arriving in, oh … seven or so months.

Yes, I could, and I would.

Just as soon as I’d finished throwing my tantrum.

* * *

“You’re late. Get in here,” said my sister, Anne, grabbing my hand and dragging me through the doorway. Not that I’d been lurking outside, skulking and hesitating. Much.

“Sorry.”

“I thought you were going to bail on me. Again.” She gave me a quick, affectionate squeeze, then stole my coat off my shoulders. It got thrown onto a nearby chair already overflowing with other jackets. “Everyone else is already here.”

“Great,” I mumbled.

True enough, there was a goodly amount of noise happening within the multimillion-dollar Pearl District loft. Anne and I didn’t come from money. Quite the contrary. If it hadn’t been for her encouraging me to go for scholarships and supporting me financially by paying for books, etcetera, I’d never have made it to college. Last year, however, my normally sensible and subdued sister had somehow found herself shacked up with rock ’n’ roll royalty.

I know, right? How it all happened still confused me, somewhat. Between the two of us, I’d always played the role of the bubbly one. Whenever Anne got down, I’d pick her back up again, fill the spaces in the conversations and keep right on smiling through the rain. Yet here she was, high on life and crazy in love, truly happy for the first time in just about forever. It was wonderful.

Details regarding their whirlwind romance ranged from vague to none. But just before Christmas, she and Malcolm Ericson, the drummer for Stage Dive (about the biggest rock band ever), had tied the knot. I was now counted as part of the band’s extended entourage. To be fair, they’d embraced me wholeheartedly from the start. They were good people. It was just the thought of seeing him reducing me to a jittering, nervous wreck with super enhanced puking abilities.

 

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