‹ Prequel: I Don't Do Lonely Well
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Inside Your Heaven

small bump.

“Virginia, slow down,” I sooth. “What’s the matter?”
“Nothing fits,” she cries. “And I’m so fucking emotional because I’m PMS-ing. I don’t even know, Alex. Fuck.” I laugh, and she just groans. “And all I want to do is have sex. Seriously, get home.”
“Anything else?”
“Some Chinese food.”
“I love you.” I hear her laugh a little. “How’s work?”
“Pretty good. They finally took some of the workload off of me. How’s tour been for you?”
“Amazing, but I miss you like crazy.” She gets quiet for a moment. “Babe?”
“How’s Jack?” she wonders.
“What do you mean?”
I hear Virginia sigh. “Grace is just worried. We went through some tough spots when you were touring, and she’s just scared, I guess.”
“Oh, in that sense of the question. She doesn’t have to worry about him. He doesn’t even take a second glance at the girls he used to. I’ve never seen him care about a girl so much.”
“Good. I just wanted to hear it for sure.” She falls quiet again. “Listen, I’m going to go. I really don’t feel well, and I think I’m going to get some sleep. I love you, Lex.”
“I love you, too. Feel better, babe. I’ll call you tomorrow.”
We actually don’t end up talking for another three days between all the interviews, shows, and filming the Somewhere In Neverland music video. I don’t forget to send her a text when I wake up and before I go to bed reminding her that I love her, and she always replies with she loves me more and tells me to change a life.
By the time I get a hold of her, she sounds horrible. “I’ve literally been throwing up for three days. I can’t get out of bed.”
“Maybe you should go to the doctor, hon. You sound pretty sick.”
“I am, but the stomach bug was going around the school. Grace stops in at her lunch break to check on me. I’m sure I’ll be fine by Monday.”
“Shit, is it Friday already?”
“Yeah, I know. I feel the same way.” She lets out a weak, raspy laugh. “Two more weeks, though.”
“Two more weeks.”
I drop down next to Rian on the couch, and he looks up from his phone to glance at me. “How’s Virginia?”
“Alright. I guess she’s pretty sick.”
He just hums in response and continues his text to probably Cassadee, but he doesn’t have the usual smile when he talks to her.
“You okay, dude?”
Rian snaps his attention back to me. “Yeah, I’m good…”
“Are you and Cass good?”
“We’re fine. Why?”
“You just….never mind.” He nods and wordlessly returns to rapidly texting. I get up and pass Zack lying in his bunk texting as well. “Hey, dude.”
Zack, too, just nods and doesn’t take his eyes off of his phone. He can’t be texting a girl. He’s single as fuck.
Jack is in the back of the bus with Madden on pause, his phone in both hands. “Okay, what the fuck is going on?”
“Huh?” He locks his phone and drops it in his lap, turning to me. “What are you talking about?”
“You three are acting fucking weird.”
“Nothing,” Jack replies. “I got in an argument with Grace last night. It was stupid. Maybe they overheard.”
I purse my lips and stare at my best friend. “Dude, you’re lying. I’ve known you for years. You’re the worst liar ever.”
“Your point?”
“What’s going on?”
He just smiles, pulls his fingers across his lips like a zipper, and throws away a pretend key.

It’s been two weeks of feeling like I’m missing something and that the rest of the band is playing I-know-something-you-don’t-know. It’s safe to say that I’m just ready to be home, even if it’s still around all of them. At least I’ll be with Virginia.
The guys bust it out of the bus as soon as we get back, but I take my time. I just need to collect myself. I don’t want to be pissy the first time I see Virginia in two months. It takes about five minutes, but I finally grab my stuff and head inside.
The guys, Virginia, and Grace are laughing in the kitchen. I drop my bags at the door, and Virginia turns at the noise. She smiles widely and waits for me to approach her. I’m about to embrace her, but she stops me and just pecks my lips. I look around the room, and I still get the same feeling that I’m missing something huge. I’ve had enough.
“Is someone going to tell me what the fuck has been going on for the past two weeks?”
“Dude,” Jack cuts me off. He just shakes his head, and Grace is biting her lip. I look from Rian to Zack and finally to Virginia.
“Seriously. It’s pissing me off that you’re all keeping something from me.”
“Alex,” Virginia chimes in, “please don’t do this. You just got home, and you’re tired.”
“Do you get what I’m saying? I clearly don’t know something, and we’re a band—a fucking family. I’m not okay with it.”
“Alex, stop.”
“What could possibly be going on that I can’t know about it?” Silence overtakes the entire room. “Fucking great.”
I turn around and head straight for bed, leaving all my bags at the stairs. “Alex, come on,” Virginia calls after me. I ignore her and march up the stairs, making sure to slam the door shut with enough conviction that they get the point.
I collapse on my back in bed and just lie there staring at the ceiling. I don’t know how long I’m lying there, but the door finally pushes open. Virginia comes into my vision as she stands at the foot of the bed. “What are you doing?” she demands.
She rolls her eyes. “Get up.”
“Because I know something you don’t know.” Her voice bears a mocking presence to it, causing me to roll my eyes. “Get up.”
I sigh heavily and push myself off of the bed. She crosses her arms over her chest and waits until I approach her. “Are you looking for an apology or something? Because I’m not the one keeping things from you.”
“You’re really going to pick this fight with me, Alex?” I drop my head in defeat. “That’s what I thought.”
“Are you going to tell me?” I try to sound as least irritated as possible, but I know I still do.
Virginia tugs off the large sweatshirt that envelopes her torso—one of mine that I left behind for her to wear. Underneath, she’s wearing yet another article of mine, but it’s just a t-shirt. From there, she takes my hands and pulls me a little closer. I’m not quite sure what she’s doing. So, I don’t say anything and just observe.
She guides my hands to the hem of the shirt and up just above the waistband of her yoga pants. And she gently pulls my hands against her stomach.
Caught off guard is one way to describe how I feel. I don’t know how I feel.
I take my hands off and pull the shirt up and over her head. My breath gets caught in my throat, and I drop onto my knees, my hands resting on Virginia’s waist. My heart races in my chest, my hands are shaking, and my eyes are starting to burn. I rest my forehead against her stomach, taking a moment to let it sink in, to let the feeling of the small bump overtake my fingertips.
I lift my head and press my lips just below her belly button before rising back to my feet. She holds onto the sleeves of my shirt while my hands still hold her hips. “This is what everyone was hiding?”
Virginia nods, not sure if she should smile or not. Her eyes are teary. I can’t imagine how emotional she is. “I wanted to tell you in person.”
“When did you find out?”
“Two weeks ago.” My lips pull into the smile that she’s obviously been searching for, and she throws her arms around me, breaking into happy laugh-sobs. “We’re having a baby, Alex.”
I hold her tightly against my chest and bury my face into her hair. “We’re having a baby.”
I feel a tear roll down my cheek. This is nothing that I’ve ever deserved in my life—to have things this perfect. I have everything I’ve ever dreamed, and I’m so grateful.
We’re lying in bed, her head on my chest and one hand on her stomach. “I’m glad we did this right,” she states. “Maybe a little different, but right.”
I lift my head and look at her. “What do you mean?”
“We waited until we were both ready to have sex, we got engaged and didn’t rush getting married, and now, after we’re married, we’re having a baby. It’s stupid, but not everyone does it like this anymore. It’s something I’ve always wanted.”
I press my lips to the top of her head. “I’m glad we did, too.”
♠ ♠ ♠
you're just a small bump unknown;
you'll grow into your skin.
with a smile like hers
and a dimple beneath your chin.