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Drawn to Mr. King: Chapter 16

Megan

    news!” Lydia sings as she plonks herself on my desk and ruffles my hair with one hand. “You clever little sausage.”

“Sorry, what?” I murmur as I count in my head again.

I must be missing something or just be bad at math.

My phone screen lights up with a text from Rachel. She’s probably replying to the panicked voicemail I just left her. I know she’s boarding two-hundred and fifty passengers onto a flight to Washington right now, so she is probably texting me from the onboard lavatory.

Rachel: Did you work it out yet?

“The book cover is being finalised by Tina this morning! You’ve aced it, girl! Your work here is done,” Lydia announces.

I pick up my phone and fire back a text to Rachel.

Me: Not quite, but I’m sure I’ve got it wrong. Don’t worry about it. Have a safe flight, and text me when you land.

Rachel: Okay. But text me the minute you know.

I put my phone back down and enlarge the calendar on my computer to full screen.

I narrow my eyes at it as I tap on the weeks with my pen, counting them for the hundredth time.

“Aren’t you even a tiny bit excited that you’re done? That your role in the campaign is mostly complete?” Lydia leans her face in front of mine, blocking the screen.

“Of course I am. It’s just… oh God, I’ve lost count again.”

“What are you doing?” Lydia sits back up and looks at the computer screen. “Why are you looking at last month’s calendar?”

“I’m trying to work something out. This is so confusing,” I huff as I lean down to my bag underneath my desk and pull my phone out.

I unlock it and bring up my period tracker.

Lydia’s eyes go wide as she watches. “Megan? Why are you looking at that and counting? And why is your nose extra crinkly right now?”

“What?” My hand flies to it. “It’s not, it’s—” I move my hand back down and chew on my lip as I whisper to Lydia. “My period is four days late… I think.”

“You think?” she whispers back, her brows shooting up.

“I mean… I don’t know.” My eyes dart around the office.

Lydia drops her voice low, her eyes fixed on mine. “How can you not know? Either it is, or it isn’t. What’s your app say?”

“It doesn’t. I forgot to log the dates of the last one. I’ve probably just got it wrong. I mean, I’ve only just had sex again since my last period. It’s not enough time for anything to happen, is it?”

I look up at Lydia, willing her to say something that will put my mind at ease and explain all this.

She nods her head. “You’re right. Unless Fox King has super sperm that defy biology, then it’s not enough time. I remember my neighbour talking about it once when she was trying to conceive. They call it the two-week wait. You ovulate like, two weeks before your period and then have to wait two weeks before you know if you’re late and can take a test. You only had sex on Friday, didn’t you? Unless you were at it before when you said you were working late?” She narrows her eyes at me suspiciously, and I fold my arms and glare at her in response. “Okay, that’s a no. So, you only had sex on Friday, and it’s now Tuesday. There’s no way you’re pregnant.”

Relief floods my body, and my shoulders drop as I flop back into my chair and blow out a breath, “thank god.”

“But there’s also this thing called implantation bleeding that happens when your period should be. It’s when the egg burrows into your womb or something. If your last period was normal, then the chances are slim,” she adds.

I bolt back up in my seat, my mouth feeling like I’ve swallowed a load of sawdust as I croak, “Implant… what? What do you mean, normal?”

“Like, normal. Whatever’s normal for you.” Lydia studies my face. “It was normal, wasn’t it, Meg?”

“It was… no. It was light and shorter, and… shit…Lyds! Why didn’t you tell me that before?”

Her hand flies to her chest.

“Me? I’m not going to ask you to describe it to me, am I? Here, Megan, here’s a cup. Go measure your flow for me, so we can compare! Maybe it’s not your period, after all. Maybe it’s blood from where your fertilised egg is attaching itself to the inside of you!”

“Shh,” I hiss. “Okay, I’m sorry. I’m just freaking out here a bit.”

I pick up a pamphlet on my desk and fan myself with it as my heart pounds in my chest.

Lydia gives me a small smile, reaching over to squeeze my shoulder.

“There’s only one way to find out. Where did you put that test I gave you?”

“I’m not taking a test at work! Don’t be ridiculous. I must have just counted wrong.”

“You’re telling me you can carry on like this for the rest of the day? When all it will take is two minutes?” She looks at me as I’m wafting my shirt, trying to get some air to my skin.

Two minutes.

She’s right.

It will only take two minutes, and then I can stop melting and get on with my work.

Tina might have finalised the cover choices, but I still have a load of other jobs Phil dumped on me this morning after our meeting with Tina. I swear he did it on purpose, so I barely had time to breathe, let alone celebrate what I’ve achieved.

“Okay, fine.” I open the top drawer of my desk and pull out the pink box, slipping it into my bag. “Will you come with me?”

Lydia hops down from the desk. “Of course. I’m not holding it, though. You’re going to have to aim yourself.” She winks.

I’m grateful she’s trying to put my mind at ease and make light of it. But seriously, what the hell? I can’t be. I just can’t.

“Come on. Half the office is taking lunch,” she says, looking around. “No one will even notice you’re gone.”

I walk with her to the ladies’ toilets, and she darts her eyes back and forth like we’re undercover spies as she pushes me inside and then makes sure all the cubicles are empty.

“Go pee on it. I’ll wait here and time for you.” She leans back against the sinks, making herself comfortable.

I freeze on the spot, unable to get my feet to listen to my brain.

“Megan, go.”

I take one last look at Lydia and drag myself into the stall, closing the door behind me.

“Make sure you take the cap off before you pee,” she calls.

“You know a lot about this,” I reply as I take the box out of my bag and take the cellophane off.

“I’ve taken one before. Haven’t you?”

“No! Until recently, my body thought sex had ceased to exist.”

I pull the plastic stick out of the box and pull off the pink cap as I lift my skirt up and pull my panties down to sit on the toilet.

I can’t believe I’m doing this.

I sit, and nothing happens.

“Um, Lydia?”

“Yeah?”

“I can’t go.”

“Sure you can. You’ve just got stage fright.”

I wriggle around a bit and screw my eyes shut in concentration.

Crashing waves. Running taps. Flowing water.

“Lyds, it’s not working.”

“You can do it. I won’t listen. I’ll sing, okay?”

She doesn’t wait for me to answer before the sound of her belting out sweet child of mine fills the room.

I slap my hand over my face.

Of all the songs she could choose.

It does the trick, though, as before she can hit the second chorus, I’ve successfully covered the stick—and my fingers.

I put the cap back on the test and dry it on some toilet paper. “Okay, now what?”

The singing stops.

“Now we wait.”

I get myself ready and open the door, walking over to the sinks to join Lydia.

“How long has it been?”

She looks at her watch. “Twenty-three seconds.”

“Oh God.”

I put the test face down on the counter and then stare at myself in the mirror. My eyes have a wild craziness about them. I don’t look like someone who’s pregnant. Surely, I would know? I’d glow like they say.

I am definitely not glowing.

My skin is grey, as though I’m about to throw up. As if on cue, my stomach churns.

“Is it time yet?” I look at Lydia, who shakes her head.

“No. But it might show already, especially if—”

I grab the test and turn it over.

“Thank god,” I sigh, taking a deep breath to steady the pounding in my chest.

Lydia looks at it. “Megan, you—”

“God, that was crazy!” I grab her arm as I laugh. “For a second, I thought I might actually be… thank fuck,” I sigh, running my fingers through my hair. I catch sight of myself in the mirror again.

Now I’m glowing.

My eyes are bright, and I’m grinning in relief.

I knew I couldn’t be pregnant. It was a ridiculous idea. We’ve used condoms every time. Jaxon may be extremely skilled in that area, but he doesn’t have super latex-dissolving sperm. I must have gotten my dates wrong or just been stressed with work. Yes, that must be it. Stress and working hard can make your period late.

“Megan? Megan!” Lydia snaps. “You’ve got two lines.”

“I know. Thank God it’s not a plus sign, eh?” I giggle, blowing out a big breath. “Here, I’ll take it. Better put it in the bin at home, just to be safe.” I grasp one end of the test, but Lydia curls her fingers around the other and holds on tight. “Lyds, I said I’ll take it.”

“It’s two lines, Meg.” Her face is serious as she stares at me. “Read the box.”

I wrinkle my nose at her as I take the box back out of my bag.

“I don’t understand.” I read the text on the back of the box over and over again until the words blur.

“It’s not a plus test,” Lydia says gently, putting her hand over mine. “Two lines means positive, Meg. You’re pregnant.”

“I’m… not.” I swallow the lump in my throat.

“Yes, honey. You are.”

“I can’t be.” I stare back at her. “We used condoms.”

She shrugs her shoulders. “It’s still possible.”

“Say something funny, Lyds. Make a joke. This is all a bad joke.”

She looks at me with a mix of sympathy and worry. “I’m serious, Meg.”

My mouth hangs open as I look back between her and the test.

Two lines.

Two little lines that will change everything.

“Look at it this way. Your baby was conceived in a swanky hotel penthouse. It’s better than the back seat of a car.” Lydia smiles before wrapping her arm around my shoulders. All I can do is stare back at her. “You wanted a bad joke?”

I hold the test up, and we both stare at it again.

Stare at the two tiny lines.

“It explains why you were feeling sick before.”

“I just… I can’t—” I put my hand over my mouth. I’m not even sure what I feel. Like I’ve been let in on a big secret that the universe knew about, only didn’t think to tell me, or to even ask me for my opinion.

This can’t be real.

“It wasn’t supposed to happen like this, Lyds. I was going to be married and have a house and a coffee machine, the bean kind, and a husband and… a dog! Then maybe a baby.”

I screw my eyes shut, so the two lines disappear.

Maybe if I keep them shut, they won’t exist.

“You’re just doing it in a different order, that’s all.” She tightens her arm around me, and I drop my head against her shoulder.

I can’t be pregnant. We used condoms that first night and every time since. I’m only just getting to know Jaxon.

“He’s got a grown-up son. What if he doesn’t want more children?” My voice cracks as I suck in a shaky breath and recall his words on the trial day.

“From what I’ve seen, he’s crazy about you, Megan. It may not have been long, but who cares? It’s not about anyone else, just the two of you. Call him and tell him you need to see him.”

I swipe at my eyes with trembling hands. “He’s at a meeting. He said it’ll run into the afternoon.”

“Then call him this afternoon and tell him you need to see him tonight.”

I nod at Lydia, and she wraps her other arm around me, pulling me into a hug.

“It’ll be okay. I promise. It’ll all work out. You believe me, don’t you?”

“Yes,” I lie as I hold on to her.

We sneak back to my desk together.

Everything is exactly the same as how we left it. Frankie still has his head down at his desk, oblivious to the fact my life just got turned on its head. Everyone else is either working or away at lunch.

I slump down into my seat, my fingers still wrapped around the test.

“Can I look again?”

I hand Lydia the test, and she studies it. “It’s not going to change, is it?” I ask, hopefully.

She shakes her head. “No. It’s definitely positive.”

“Hi Lydia, you look especially beautiful today, like a—”

“Tim!” Lydia plasters a smile on her face as he approaches my desk out of nowhere.

She thrusts the test towards me behind her back. My hands are still shaking, so instead of taking it from her, I accidentally knock it out of her hand, and it bounces on the floor, landing by Tim’s feet.

He bends and scoops it up. “Megan, you dropped this.” His brows knit together as he looks at the result window and then holds it out towards me.

Lydia’s eyes whip to my face and then back to Tim.

“Oh, that’s mine, Tim.” She bats her eyelashes. “Thank you.” She plucks it from his hand as he pulls at his collar, growing flustered.

“Oh, I see. Right, well. You’re welcome, Lydia. I’ll see you later.” He hurries off as though he can’t wait to escape.

“You didn’t have to do that,” I say once he’s out of earshot.

She waves her hand in the air. “Yes, I did. Besides, he probably doesn’t even know what it means.”

“Really?” I raise a brow at her.

“Yeah. Even if he does, so what? It’ll buy you some time to get your head around it and speak to King Fox.”

“Thank you,” I whisper.

“I’m your friend, Megan. Anything I can do, you only have to ask, okay?”

“Make it all a dream?”

“Except that. I can’t perform magic.” She smiles at me as she squeezes my hand. “You going to be alright?”

“Yeah,” I breathe, looking at the back of my desk, where the empty cup of ginger tea sits. “I’ll be fine. You go. They’re going to wonder where you are in accounts.”

She rolls her eyes. “Another fun afternoon in accounts.”

“At least it’s not Phil’s filing,” I murmur, giving her a small wave as she blows me a kiss and heads off to the lifts.

When she’s gone, I fire off a quick text to Rachel—or a small grenade, I should say.

Then I sink my head into my hands and close my eyes, hoping that the twilight zone I’ve found myself in will disappear any second.

Any second now…

… please?

I take a deep breath in through my nose and blow it out slowly.

I’m pregnant.

With Jaxon’s baby.

What. The. Hell?


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