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Running From The Past

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Frowning to herself as she looked down at the stick in her head Avery sat it on the bathroom counter. Not even sure what to do with it or with the news it had given her.

She was pregnant with a baby that she knew wasn't her husband's not by a long a shot. Her husband had, had a vasectomy before they had even been married so no, this baby wasn't his at all but she did know whose baby it was.

Avery was pregnant by the man she'd been having an affair with for a while now. Her best friend's husband as well as the father of her best friend's baby.

She was pregnant by Daryl and this was the last thing anyone needed even if Avery did want a baby. This wasn't how she had wanted to have one. Not when it would expose an affair that she'd much rather have kept a secret because of how it would hurt her best friend and ruin that marriage once Beth knew.

It wasn't like Avery was sure if she cared about her own marriage to Shane. Hadn't they just been talking about a divorce last week? Both of them it seemed realized what they had wasn't worth saving not when it hadn't been built on love and hell maybe this baby would be just the thing to end it.

Avery had her out and once Shane knew he'd be done as well.

It seemed that thought in and of itself must have been enough to conjure the devil himself because before she even had time to process things the bathroom door opened and Avery froze when Shane slipped inside.

Her heart seeming to stop when she watched his gaze land on the pregnancy test on the bathroom sink.

*****

Jumping up in bed when she heard a cry, Avery blinked several times as she felt her heart hammering in her chest. Her mind still being on the dream in which she had been awoken from. A dream that wasn't really a dream but was more of a flashback.

A flashback to the last days of her marriage over a year ago now. Something she rarely thought about because it wasn't like the end of her marriage had devastated her. It had been a long time coming and if a baby she had conceived with another man was the reason it fell apart then so be it.

What had devastated her was the decisions she made after that. Once everything with Shane had been settled she had decided to leave town before word spread about her baby and the reasons why her marriage had ended. Avery hadn't wanted to stick around, hadn't wanted to be there when and if Daryl found out.

She wasn't sure what he would have done if he knew she had his baby though she did know if she had stayed in town eventually Beth would have figured it out. There was no way she wouldn't have she was smart and if other things didn't give it away then when her baby arrived it would have.

Her son who she had given birth to seven months ago now was more Dixon in looks than Beth's own child with Daryl and how could they have hid the truth then?

There would have been no way.

Hearing her son cry out again Avery sighed softly as she moved from the bed she was sleeping in, heading down to the makeshift nursery that was set up in her mother's house after she had left her bedroom and once she made it to the nursery she smiled at the sight because it seemed her mom had beaten her to the nursery.

Her mom sitting in the rocking chair holding Avery's son in her arms and trying to shush him from crying. Though it seemed she was failing and of course she would be. It wasn't like she knew how to soothe her grandson yet.

Avery having kept her child away from anyone who might be able to know the truth including her own family. But now it seemed she couldn't keep her family away from the baby. Not when she had came to town a few weeks ago after her father's heart attack.

They had almost thought he wouldn't make it but he had and now she was still here with her baby. Her mother winning a fight on her staying and trying to get settled back into a town that she had grown up in. A town that if her secret ever finally came out would talk and would ruin lives.

"I was hoping I could get Hunter on my own without him waking you," Diana spoke softly as she looked up at Avery giving her daughter a wink. "But I guess I failed in that."

Laughing Avery walked farther into the room, "He just isn't used to you yet," she told her mother as she reached the rocking chair, bending down and smiling when she looked at her son.

Her hand reaching out to run through his brown hair as her brown eyes locked with her son's blue ones. He was such the spitting image of the man who had fathered him. A fact that was like an elephant in the room now with her family because of course everyone in her family who had seen the baby knew who his father was as soon as they saw him.

It was hard not too.

"Not my fault," Diana said accusingly as she looked down at her daughter. "He'd be used to me if you hadn't' left before we even knew you were pregnant," she sighed with a shake of her head. "To think I had to find out through a picture you sent days after you'd given birth that you had even been pregnant for months and hadn't said anything."

"I'm sorry," Avery apologized softly as she stood up some, reaching out for her son then and she was thankful when her mom handed Hunter over. Hunter seeming to hush as soon as he was in Avery's arms, his head resting on her shoulder. "But I didn't see any other option," she confessed knowing with her words she was walking a thin line with her mother.

A thin line where the truth could come out or be ignored and maybe Avery wanted someone to acknowledge it. To state what was her secret.

"Because Daryl is the father of Hunter," her mother stated and it seemed like her baiting had paid off. The truth was finally being spoken by someone other than Avery and her thoughts. "You had an affair with your best friend's husband and got pregnant."

"I did," Avery said as she nodded her head. "And that's why I couldn't stay in town. If I did people would eventually find out. They'd have known and it would devastate Beth and she'd take Addie away from Daryl and I couldn't do that to her. I couldn't ruin her family because despite everything she is my best friend."

Diana paused at that, eyeing Avery with a judgement she wasn't used too from her mom but it was one she expected. Her mom was a god fearing Christian and of course she probably hated what Avery had done.

How Avery had shamed herself by having an affair while married and also having an affair with another married person. Her best friend's own husband.

"So what now then?" Diana asked the judgement fading from her face. "You agreed to stay and you know once you start going out, especially when you take Hunter out people are going to know. There is no denying that child is a Dixon and there is no denying that he isn't Merle Dixon's bastard child."

Going silent Avery adjusted Hunter on her hip, "I'll cross that bridge when I come to it I guess," she said honestly knowing she would have too.

It wasn't like she could keep Hunter hidden away forever even if she wanted too.

"And you're just going to wait until Daryl hears the town talking to tell him?" Diana questioned with a raised eyebrow and again Avery had to go silent.

Not sure she had ever really thought how she'd go about telling Daryl or even if she had even thought about him finding out. Though she knew it was inevitable. He'd find out the truth and so would Beth and everything she hadn't wanted to happen would happen.

"I don't know what I am going to do about that," she finally spoke as she shook her head with a frown and again she hated that look of judgement that came back on her mom's face.

Like her mom blamed her deep down for everything and maybe Avery blamed herself as well. All it had taken was one careless weekend of fucking at the house she had shared with Shane while he had been away for her to get pregnant. One careless weekend of forgoing condoms which they had always used and now she was stuck with a child that was a ticking time bomb to her best friend's happiness.

"You don't think Maggie's said anything do you?" Avery asked referring to her brother Taylor's wife. A woman who was not only her sister-in-law but she was Beth's biological sister.

A woman who had been cold to her ever since she had spotted her in the hospital waiting room with Hunter.

"No," Diana said with a shake of her head. "Maggie hasn't said anything but I'm pretty sure she wants too. No one likes keeping secrets."

"I'll figure out something," Avery said knowing she needed too because while Maggie didn't like keeping secrets neither do Avery. She hated not telling Daryl about their baby.

Diana nodded her head as she leaned in close to Avery, kissing her forehead softly, "I know you will," she spoke sounding so sure of her words and confident in Avery.

Avery almost wished she had that same confidence in herself.