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Secrets

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Secrets
by Jamie Yarbrough

Chapter 19

Jessica sat in the bathroom scared to death. Her father had become almost obsessively protective since Kay had disap-peared. Jess had snuck out as often as possible to make up for it. She had known it was dangerous but never realized fully how dangerous it could be until now. She glanced down at the stick in her hand once again. Oh God, she thought, Dad is going to kill me. She wondered at how so many young girls had dealt with this same moment, the terror and an-ger and misery. She wondered how she was going to possibly tell Reese. She had been worried for the last three months but she had convinced herself over and over again that it was a fluke. Now she was facing reality. She was so wrapped up in her own thoughts she barely heard her fathers footsteps and voice as he came upstairs.

"Jess? Hey sweetie, there is someone downstairs to see you!" Sam called.

Jess threw the test into the trash can and covered it she would deal with it later she thought as she flushed the toilet and washed her hands.

"Coming, Dad!" She called wondering if her voice sounded as bad to him as it did to her.

Reese must have come back from college she thought, she didnít know if she could deal with him right now but she knew she couldnít come up with an excuse now. She took a deep breath and headed down the stairs. She stopped as she heard voices and wiped her face again hoping she didnít look too much like she had been crying and hoping she could come up with some reasonable explanation if she did.

Jessica nearly fell down the stairs when she spotted who was in the living room. Her sisterís familiar face made her re-alize how alone she had felt the last year. Charity had been around and her mother, but Jessica had missed her sister more than she had imagined. Only Reese knew she had cried over her and been scared for her for so many nights. She rushed into the room not noticing Noah and Luis and threw her arms around her sister. She nearly forgot her own problems as she hugged her. Noah cleared his throat and poked Jess in the side and she pulled back and gave her brother a hug too.

"Oh wow Kay I canít believe you are here! Are you ok? Where have you been? Were you with Noah?" Jessicaís questions tumbled over one another. She hugged her sister again and Kay opened her mouth to reply when Jessica glanced at Luis and saw the baby in his arms. She let out a shriek and whipped her gaze back on her sister who smiled, Kay got out al-most a whole word before Jessica rushed out of the room and up the stairs tears flowing down her cheeks. Everyone stared after her surprised. Kay held back her own tears of disappointment and forced herself to think clearly she had known not everyone would be accepting of Ahnna. She got up from the couch and stopped her father from following Jess and walked up the familiar stairs herself.

"Jess?" Kay knocked lightly on the door to their old room. She opened the door and found Jessica sprawled over her bed sobbing. Kay felt her heart tear and she held back her tears.

"I am so sorry, I know that it is a shock, I know I shouldnít have left and I hurt you, but please donít hate Ahnna be-cause I made mistakes. She is a wonderful little girl." Kay explained her voice shaking.

She walked to her sister and realized that Jessica had missed her and also that she really owed her an explanation. She sat tentatively on the edge of Jessicaís bed and started telling her about how she had fallen in love with Luis and how she had realized it wouldnít work and left Harmony, she talked for what felt like forever telling Jessica about her apartment and her job and how scared and lonely she had been but how wonderful it was to have Ahnna as proof of her love for Luis. Kay didnít even realize she was telling her sister more than she ever had and she barely noticed when Jess pulled herself up and sat against the wall watching her.

Jessica couldnít believe it, Kay who had always had it all together, was a wreck, she obviously still loved Luis and thought it would never work, she was miserable and she was a teenage mother. Jessica didnít know if she should laugh or cry, she did a little both as Kayís voice began to go out, she reached over and hugged her big sister.

"Kay," she said shakily, "I need your help."

"Anything Jess, I am just so sorry I left you and I am sorry I hurt you..." Kay replied.

"Iím pregnant." Jessica whispered.

Kay wasnít sure if she had heard her. She felt a plummeting in the pit of her stomach. Her little sister? Fallen into the same situation she had? Kay laughed at the horror of the situation. And cried a little more as she held her sister.

"It will be ok." Kay said. "Tell them now while they have so much to distract them." Jessica managed a grin. She saw a look of horror pass over Kayís face and was about to burst into tears again when Kay began telling her about their mother. Jessica was furious and disbelieving but then Kay pulled an envelope out of her pocket, a pack of note from Grace to Harry Kay had an investigator collect for her over the last year. Jessica shook with rage as she read them and finally looked up at Kay her eyes flashing.

"I canít believe her," Jessica growled.

"Letís get her." Kay replied and wrapped her arm around her sister as they went down to introduce Jess to Ahnna.

Ethan paced his bedroom as he held his son. He had no idea how he was going to deal with the next years alone. Liam had cried and been fussy almost since Gwen walked out the door. Ethan knew they would be alright it was just after four hours of dealing with a screaming baby that he wasnít sure how it would be alright. He had called his mother and she had said she would be there right after her meetings but in the meantime Ethan was out of ideas. He walked out onto the balcony as the sun set and he sang to his son trying to soothe him.

Theresa walked up to the door of Ethanís townhouse and was debating whether she should turn and run when she heard his voice and a whimpering baby. She watched as he walked across the balcony rocking Liam and singing lullabies he only knew half the words to. Theresa knew she could never love anyone else the way she loved Ethan. She couldnít imagine how she would live without him she saw him smile as Liamís cried stopped and she ached to take them both in her arms she was walking up the stoop again as Ivy drove up the drive.

"Theresa? Well, hello! Goodness I didnít know if I would ever see you again!" Ivy cooed as she hugged Theresa. She had supported Ethan when he had planned to marry Theresa and she had wondered at Ethanís marriage to Gwen until the announcement of the baby had come. Her heart had gone out to Theresa knowing how horrible it is to watch the man you love marry another.

"Ivy!" Theresa hugged her back, "I was just here to see if Ethan needed some help, she pointed up to Ethan who had been holding his sleeping son and watching his mother talk to the woman he loved.

Charity had spent the day working in Graceís shop and she was getting very tired of her "temporary" job. She loved the shop but she had somehow begun to run the whole thing, she could barely remember when Grace had been in last. She was exhausted and worried, she had gone over the books and more money had been missing Charity wasnít sure how to tell Grace. She sighed as she unlocked her door to her apartment and groaned at the stacks of boxes. Miguel had been basically living there for the last 3 months since Charity had found it and she had loved it, she was excited for it to be official next week. However over those months Miguel had only brought the necessities and now in a sudden need to settle in he had brought box after box of stuff and the apartment looked like a dump. Who knew men had so much stuff, she wondered as she rubbed her neck and wandered through the maze of boxes. She walked into the kitchen and poured a glass of iced tea and then flopped down on the bed just as she heard the door open and Miguel call for her.

"Honey! Charity! I could use a hand!" He called.

Charity grumbled and got up making her way back to the door, she was ready to yell when she made it into the living room but stopped and grinned and then laughed delightedly at the sight.

Miguel was laden with a box and several bulging bags and looked ready to drop but in his left hand cradled against him was a pair of tiny white kittens, each with a pink bow. Charity scrambled over the boxes and the kittens mewled and clawed at Miguel frightened by the sound and Charity swept them both into her hands and cuddled them while Miguel set down all of their supplies.

"I thought we could be a family..." Miguel said wrapping his arms around Charity inhaling her sweet scent. Charity smiled up at him and then kissed him as she dashed off to the kitchen to get some milk for the kittens.

Whitney slammed her racket down. She had been working out hard for the last two hours and finally gave up and had a minor temper tantrum in the middle of the open courts. She hadnít stopped thinking about Noah and she hated him for it. She kept feeling his hands on her skin and shivering at the memories. She scooped up her racket and headed into the club to shower, cursing him all the way. She was drying her hair when she heard a familiar voice and another less fa-miliar one. Mindy had been her roommate for the entire last year and Whitney was about to duck around the lockers and say hi when she heard the name Noah.

"I canít believe you would do this to me Kaylie" Mindy said angrily. Kaylie? Whitney thought, that must be the red head I think that was her name. She moved closer to hear better, still out of sight.

"Look Min, I canít help it he broke it off with you to have me." Kaylie replied snottily.

" I canít believe you!" Mindy snarled, "if he hadnít seen me with Jake you would have never gotten your hooks in him!"

"Well your loss is my gain as usual."

"Look, you better not think just because you have him now you are going to keep him, I could tell him about a certain womanís drug problem , and why you are able to stay so thin.... speed works wonders on a figure. Not to mention all the extra-curricular activities you have with that dealer as an added workout." Mindy said as she stormed out of the locker room.

Whitney couldnít believe her ears. Mindy had cheated on him? And Kaylie! Good grief she thought. I wonder what he did to deserve this sort of behavior. She ducked back into a shower stall as Kaylie ducked out the door. She let out a breath as the door closed and thought about how she could approach Noah now and let him know. She let her heart leap at the idea of Noah not being a jerk and then squelched it down, he was still a player.

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