C16 Isabelle - He's here?
A mix of emotions washed over Isabelle. Anxiety, fear, and unbelief. She was pregnant! Her body refused to move as she stared at the positive pregnancy stick. All three tests had come back with the same results...she was going to have a baby.
“Congratulations,” Julia said, swooping off the couch and hugging her.
“How can you be so excited?” Shock raced through her. Her life had changed in the blink of an eye. She felt as if someone had strapped her to a spaceship and blasted her into outer space. What would Principal Cooper do when he found out? How would she look after the baby herself without her teaching job? Oh my god, the father. She had no way of getting through to him. She’d have to hire a detective or something. Calm down, it’s not the end of the world. Lots of women have babies every day.
“Well, at least we know you're not contagious with the flu or anything.”
Isabelle laughed and the tension pressing down on her lifted slightly. At least Julia was onboard. What about Kohl? Would he be happy or freaked out? How about her sisters? God, she was totally going to lose her job at the private school over this because what kind of example would she be having a baby out of wedlock. Especially after a one-night stand where she didn’t even know anything about the guy except his first name. No, his nickname as she couldn’t pronounce his full name. What had it been? Kohlcem, Kohlminch, or Kohlxchijr? She couldn’t remember much less spell it. Probably Russian or something.
“So now we find your guy and get him prepared.” Julia patted her shoulder then stood.
Yes, he deserved to know. Even if he didn't want to be in her life, which was the message he'd sent so far, he needed to know about his child.
Isabelle wrapped her arms around herself. She was going to be a mom.
“You look a bit pale.” Julia frowned. “Let's get that pizza ordered.”
“I'm fine.” She took a deep breath. Her life was changing and she needed to get ahold of herself.
Julia cocked a hand on her hip and raised an eyebrow.
“Really, it's just a shock. I didn't think this would happen.”
“Did you and he use protection?” Julia's expression softened.
“Of course we had protection...I asked him and he…” Wait, she had asked him if he had a condom, hadn't she? That night was a bit fuzzy now and she'd been drunk. Though the memory of his touch and kiss branded her. If she closed her eyes, she could feel the warmth of his hands, the sweetness of his mouth. He made her feel sexy...desirable. Almost like he had never had sex before. But that wasn't possible. I mean he was six foot all muscle and sexiness. No way would he not have had sex before her.
“Earth to Isabelle.” Julia waved a hand in front of her face breaking her out of her thoughts.
“Sorry. Did you say something?”
“It’s probably too early to talk about this…but what are you feeling?”
She knew what her friend wanted to know. Was she keeping this baby or not? “Shock. I’m terrified. I always wanted a big family, but I thought I’d at least be dating the father of my child rather than one night of passion with a stranger.” God, she still couldn’t believe she’d done that. But it was so amazing making love with Kohl that she’d do it again even if she knew this would happen. She placed a hand over her belly. “All I know right now is that I’m not going to get an abortion. I’d never be able to face my students or myself if I did that. Life is a miracle.”
Julie hugged her. “I’ll be here for you and help any way I can.”
“Thanks.” She scrubbed a hand over her face. “For now, I’m starving.”
“Well then, what kind of pizza do you want?”
“Surprise me.” And she wanted fruit. Weird. Normally she didn't eat any. “But add extra pineapple to my side.”
“You got it.” Julia spun to the kitchen where she had left her phone.
“Wait up, it's my treat, remember for getting the tests.”
“Right.” She smiled over her shoulder.
While her friend ordered their dinner, Isabelle placed her credit card on the table in front of her. This morning, the idea of food had been sickening. Now, Isabelle wanted an entire large pizza.
“Food will be here in twenty. Want to hunt through baby names online? I know a website that lets you plug in a first name and gives suggestions for middle names that fit.”
“No, I'd rather not.” For now, she wanted to put on a funny movie and forget her life was upside down all because of one amazing night.
“Sure. I don't think you wanna grade papers though?”
Isabelle shook her head. “Nah. How about the new comedy movie that came out?”
Twenty-five minutes later, the doorbell rang.
“Pizza time!” Isabelle paused the show and hurried to the door. “Thanks.” She took the pizza and brought it into the living room.
After three slices, she glanced up to find her friend staring at her. “What? I've only had a protein shake all day.”
“I didn't say anything.” Julia rubbed her chin. “Just wondering if you actually chewed or just inhaled.”
“Ha-ha, funny.” She tossed a pillow at Julia.
Picking up another slice, Isabelle took a huge bite.
An hour later, Julia left and Isabelle sat down with her students’ papers to grade.
Halfway done with the stack, a knock pounded on the door. Isabelle jumped. It was almost midnight, who would be stopping by this late?
She rushed forward. Her cat darted before her, nearly knocking her over.
“What the shit?” she yelped.
The cat huddled in the corner of the kitchen beside the stove and hissed. Its ears flat against its head. All the hairs along Isabelle’s arms stood on end.
Her hand shook as she flicked on the porch light. “Hello? Who is it?” Her insides quivering, she added, “I have a gun so stop pranking around. I don't want anyone getting hurt.”
At no response, she let out a shaky breath. Another knock boomed, and she screamed.
“Enough. I'm calling the cops.” Whoever was out there was trying to scare her. She'd take their picture on her phone and turn it into the police. Even if the cops didn't do anything, it would worry whoever it was.
She slid her phone off the table and darted to the door. “Last chance.” She opened the camera app and dragged her kitchen chair to the tiny window in the archway over her door. The position was one that she couldn't see the porch, but the angle would allow her to take a photo of half the entranceway. Click. She brought her phone around and pulled up the picture.
Wow, what was he doing here and why didn't he answer her?
The unease pressing against her gut didn't let up. Maybe it was good to be cautious. She really didn't know the guy. He could be drunk or on drugs. After she latched the chain lock, she opened the door a fraction. “Kohl, why are you here?” God, he looked intimidating the way he stared at her. His brow furrowed and his gaze like he stared at a bug he wanted to squish.
He raised a finger and pushed it through the opening and stroked the chain. Then stepped back and turned away.
Where was he going? Was he offended that she had kept a lock on the door?
“No, don't leave.” She had to tell him about the baby. Get his contact information...his last name.
Her hands shook as she hastily closed the door and unhooked the chain. “Wait.”
She flung open the door and dashed outside. Feet away, he waited. The man who had changed her life in one night stood here.
“I need to speak with you, please don't go.” How would he take the news? Shock? Disbelief? Horror? She was still wrestling with emotions herself and that all of this felt surreal like a crazy dream that she wasn’t sure if it was good or bad. God, she was going to be a mom. Would she be any good? Sure, it was one thing to teach kids for so many hours a day, but raise one was completely different. Would she make a good mom? Did Kohl want to be a father? If he was open, maybe they could make a go of an actual relationship together. Not that she needed a guy, but she’d love to have her child have both his or her parents.
In the flickering light of cars driving past on the freeway, he stared at her. There was something off about him. Her gut told her to run.
“W-will you stay and listen?” she asked.
He offered her a hand and she stepped forward, taking it. Everything was going to be okay. Even if he didn’t want to have anything to do with her or their baby, at least he would know about the child.
Her hand touched his and a shiver plowed through her. Without a word, he hauled her close. A weird smell permeated the air around him...like burning sulfur.
His mouth crushed her lips, and she cried out. Pain jabbed her tongue as though she raked it across something sharp. Her blood filled her mouth and Kohl sucked her hard and drew out the blood.
She pushed against him. When he stepped back, she slapped him. “You bit me!”
“And I'm going to do a whole lot more than that to you, human.”
He didn't sound like Kohl. His voice grew gravelly and pronouncing the words oddly. He must be high.
“I think you should leave.” When she spun away, he snatched her wrist and squeezed.
“No, I’m not finished with you.”
“Ow, Kohl you're hurting me.” Before she could scream, he struck her in the face and her world darkened.