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On Your Side

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Avery stared at the stick. Then she looked at the directions again. Then back at the stick. The worst possibility had come true; she was pregnant. The test wasn’t brand new–it was actually one she had stolen from Kate since she and Zac were living in the pool house until their new house was ready. But Avery was sure it was accurate. Her period had been missing for weeks. She was definitely pregnant.

She was still staring at the pregnancy test when the door was shoved open. In her haste to take the test before anyone woke up, she had evidently forgotten to lock it, and now Zac was staring at her, eyes wide and hair sticking up in a dozen different directions.

“Tell me that’s not a–” Zac began, then shook his head. “I am not awake enough for this yet.”

Avery nodded, tears welling up in her eyes. She couldn’t say the words, but there was no denying it anyway.

Zac sighed heavily, but stepped into the bathroom and shut the door. There was a stern look on his face as he stared down at her, but when her tears started flowing, it faded away and he sank to his knees in front of her.

“Okay,” he said. “So what’s the plan?”

“There isn’t one,” she replied, sniffling. “I mean, it was just some guy. I don’t even know his name.”

“Just some guy, Ave? Didn’t we teach you better than that?” There was only a hint of judgment in Zac’s voice, in spite of his harsh words.

“Somebody spiked my drink at that party Jeremy had last month,” Avery explained. “I knew what I was doing, but I was pretty drunk. And I really don’t need a lecture right now.”

“No lectures,” Zac replied. “I promise. But if I see this little asshole who took advantage of you and, I’m guessing, has no desire to be part of your life or his kid’s life… I may kill him. I know what teenage boys are like, Avery. They’re assholes.”

“You would know, wouldn’t you?” She asked, giggling in spite of herself. Somehow, even though her life was falling apart, Zac had made her feel better.

“I would; it’s true,” he said, taking her hands in his. “Hey, listen. You’ll get through this, alright? And even if no one else is, I’m on your side.”