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Stencil: Sugar and Spice, Ink # 2 is Coming October 10th! Check out chapters one and two!

Chapter One

Sierra

I run to the bathroom just as the contents of my stomach come out. Thankfully I didn’t miss the toilet this time because that was not pretty. After I flush the toilet, I get up and brush my teeth. Back in my bedroom I crawl onto my bed and curl into a protective ball.

I can’t shake this stomach bug, and I’ve been sick for over a week now. Yes, I know one might think I am pregnant, but I took a test, and it was negative. Of course, it could’ve been too early or a false negative. Oh fuck, who am I kidding; I’m so pregnant.

Between my late period, the puking, and my tender breasts, how could I deny something that is clearly setting off red alerts loud and clear.

I blow out a breath and grab my cell phone. I scroll through my contacts and find Dr. Honn, my OB/Gyn’s number, and press the call button. When the receptionist answers, I give her my name and explain that I need to come in for an appointment.

I’m lucky, and they can see me on Thursday, so I only have to wait two days. I don’t remember my older sister Mona having morning sickness when she was pregnant with my niece, but everyone is different.

I climb off the bed and stand in front of my full-length mirror. I grab the hem of my tank top and pull it up, turning to the side. My stomach is still flat for now, but do my boobs look bigger?

I cup them and give them a little squeeze. They don’t feel bigger.

In the living room, I curl up on the sofa and turn on the TV. I watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians and can’t help but wonder what I’m going to say to Nick. Well, I’m not saying anything until I get confirmation from the doctor.

More than likely he’s going to run when I tell him I’m pregnant anyway. Our arrangement was just sex, wasn’t it? It hasn’t felt like just sex since our first weekend together.

I’ve tried to break things off multiple times, but either he ignores me or I come back because I can’t get enough of him, and I miss him. It’s like I’ve finally met my other half. When we’re together it’s effortless. He scares me to death. I always thought something was wrong with me because of my high sex drive, but I just love sex; better yet, I love sex with Nick.

Ugh, I feel like shit, and I’m still getting horny just thinking about him, but I’m not calling him until I know for sure what’s going on.

***

“Well, Sierra, you’re definitely pregnant, and about six weeks along.” Dr. Honn smiles as she delivers the news. “You’re due date is August sixteenth.” She hands me a piece of paper. “This is a prescription for prenatal vitamins.”

She goes over tips for the morning sickness and tells me she wants me to make an appointment for four weeks, and we’ll try to hear the heartbeat then.

“Do you have any questions?” I shake my head because right now I can’t think.

Dr. Honn walks me to the reception desk and congratulates me before disappearing in the back. Outside, I pull out my phone and dial Nick.

“Hey, sexy, what are you up to?” His voice alone makes me do a full body shiver.

I take a deep breath. “I need to see you. We have to talk.”

He sighs into the phone. “Here we go again. If you’re about to break things off with me again then no, I don’t want to talk.” Nick disconnects, and I stare down at my phone in shock.

My stomach turns because of course he thinks I’m about to break things off. I’ve done it since we met. I’ve never connected to someone the way I’ve connected with him. Yes, he’s gorgeous, but he’s loud, he says inappropriate things all of the time, and he’s always surrounded by beautiful women ever since he became the co-owner of Atlanta’s arena football team. We’ve connected on a sexual level, but it’s so much more than that.

When I was in college, I swore I’d found the love of my life, and things were great with Lance until they weren’t. I’d been home for a visit and had decided to head back to school to surprise him at his apartment. That was when I found him plowing his best friend, Ben.

I was heartbroken and devastated because our whole relationship was one big fucking lie. I was his beard and didn’t even know it; well, obviously I didn’t.

After that I kept it to casual fucks and one-night stands until I met Nick. We met while my sisters and I took Iris, my niece, on a little weekend getaway before school started back up.

The moment that giant man walked up to me, ignoring everyone else, I felt like I’d had a tiny orgasm. We ditched everyone. First, we went to the resort bar and had a couple of drinks. It didn’t take long before we made our way toward his room.

We barely made it inside before he had me against the wall. I’d been with quite a few men, I wasn’t going to apologize, or be embarrassed, but I’d never been with a man with a cock as large as Nick’s. With as big as he is, I would’ve been disappointed had it not been proportionate with the rest of him.

It was long with the most perfect girth. We fit together perfectly. In one night we’d had sex against the wall, on his bed, and outside while snuggling in front of the fire pit.

By the time the weekend was over, I felt like I was walking bow-legged and was certain I’d never hear from him again.

That didn’t happen, of course, and ever since we’ve had this on and off again relationship. I’ve ended things multiple times, mainly when things were getting too relationship-y.

I hate it and feel bad every time, but I swore I was never going to allow myself to get hurt again. That man has the power to destroy me, whether he knows it or not.

I pull up his contact information again, but it goes straight to voicemail. “Nick, please call me back. It’s not what you think, but I need to talk to you. Please come over tonight, or I can come to you. Please.” I don’t want to beg, but I also need to talk to him.

Back at my apartment I park in my designated parking spot. I climb out of my car and head into my building. It’s not the fanciest apartment, but it’s clean, safe, and the manager is a good guy who will actually fix stuff if it’s broken.

I let myself in as my stomach begins to growl. I ignore it and try calling Nick again, but it goes right to voicemail. “Hey, it’s me. I didn’t want to leave this on your voicemail, but since you’re not taking my calls I have no choice.” Fuck, I can’t do this over voicemail. “Please just call me back or come over.” I lower my voice to almost a whisper. “I really need to talk to you … please.”

After making myself a bowl of chicken noodle soup, I eat it while standing on my balcony watching for him, but by the time I finish my soup I accept the fact that he’s not coming.

I put my bowl in the sink and head back to my bedroom to get ready to head to the studio. Lucky for me, my morning sickness is strictly morning, mostly, so I’m able to make it through the workday.

I haven’t told my brother, sisters, or parents yet; not that I don’t want to, but I want Nick to know first. Plus Mona and her man Joaquin are settling in to cohabitative bliss, and I didn’t want to disrupt it.

They waited until right after New Year’s to make the move, which was really easy since Iris already had her own room there, and they both had clothes there.

In my bedroom I throw on a pair of holey jeans, my black Sugar and Spice, Ink V-neck t-shirt, and black Nikes. I do my makeup, curl my platinum blonde locks, and then spray them with hair spray.

I grab the box of saltines and dump a couple of cans of ginger ale into my Yeti cup. My phone taunts me, and I pick it up—no call from Nick yet. Disappointment fills me as I shove it in my bag along with the box of saltines. I’m starving, but I know better than to try to eat before I do some ink.

Last week I’d eaten a chicken sandwich before I went in, and halfway through the sleeve I was working on the food came right back up. That was the first sign that something wasn’t right. Anyway, luckily after I got rid of the sandwich I was good to go.

Thirty minutes later I pull into the parking lot of Sugar and Spice, Ink. I’m so proud of the work we’ve done here. We’ve made a name for ourselves in the tattoo industry. One that we worked damn hard for.

Inside I find my sister Greta at the counter with our new apprentice, Lainey, sitting with her and learning how to make appointments, downloading designs for upcoming appointments, as well as the paperwork clients will fill out when they come in.

“Hey, ladies.” I kiss Greta’s cheek as I walk by and head toward the office. My beautiful sister Mona sits behind the desk typing on the computer. “Hey, you. I didn’t see your car out there.”

She smiles up at me. “Joaquin dropped me off. He and the kids were running to the store to get stuff for me to make cupcakes for Iris and Max’s class.”

Joaquin insisted that Iris go to the same school as his son and insisted that he pay for it. That was one of the worst fights they’ve had, but Joaquin just wanted Iris to have the same advantages as Max because he loves our girl. She finally relented when she saw how important it was and then how excited Max was about the possibility of Iris going to school with him.

I know Mona was worried about Iris fitting in. My niece is certainly a free spirit, but that’s what we love about our girl. Joaquin swore that Max would make the transition smooth for her, and so far he has.

I set my bag on the loveseat across from the desk. My stomach does a little pitch, and I take a sip of my ginger ale.

“Are you okay? You look a little green.” Mona gets up and comes toward me.

I take another sip of my drink. “I’m fine. I think I have a touch of that stomach bug going around. I’ll wear a mask while I work.”

Joaquin and the kids show up to get Mona, and my other sisters and I go outside to say hi to everyone. That sweet little Max is already calling us aunt and gives us high fives because he’s too cool for hugs. They take off after I get hugs and smoochies from Iris. We head inside, and I wait for my appointment to show up.

***

I wipe off my station as my last appointment pays Greta, whom thankfully stuck around to walk out with me. In between clients I kept checking my phone, but I haven't heard anything from Nick. He’s probably out banging as many women as he can; no, I’m not going to get all negative.

Greta comes into the back and hands me some cash. “She tipped you a hundred dollars.” I take it from her and stuff it into my back pocket.

“She’s so sweet and generous. She always over tips when she comes in.” After I shut down my station, I head into the office and put my money in my bag then pop a peppermint into my mouth.

“What was with the mask tonight?” My sister steps inside the office.

I smile at her and shrug. “I just wasn’t feeling that great and thought I’d better be cautious.” I look my younger sister, and our resident piercer, over. “You look so pretty today.” Most of her body is covered in beautiful ink that Mona, Heidi, and myself have worked on. Her long brown hair hangs down her back in beautiful waves.

She’s the tallest of us girls and has a body that any woman would kill for; feminine but lean and the perfect hourglass. Her piercings which include small gauges in each ear, a piercing in each cheek, septum, nipples, belly button, and clitoral hood, are amazing. Well, okay, I don’t know about her nether region piercing or her nipples, but the others are so feminine on her.

Greta’s been featured in tattoo and piercing magazines and is quickly becoming an influencer on Instagram.

She blushes and tucks her hair behind her ear. “Thanks. I tried this new makeup line. It’s vegan and so light I don’t feel like I’m wearing anything. Are you about ready?”

“Yep.” I follow her out after setting the alarm. We paid a lot of money for the security system we have, but some of our equipment is expensive.

I’m sure she’s heading back to the apartment she shares with our baby sister Heidi. When I reach mine I find Nick’s new red Mercedes AMG GT in the guest parking spot next to mine. It’s such a douchy car, but he does look sexy when he drives it.

As soon as I climb out of my car, he climbs out of his. Damn, he makes my stomach flutter every time I look at him. His dark blond hair is styled to look messy, but you know he totally styled it. Nick’s blue eyes are framed by thick, dark lashes.

He meets me on the sidewalk. “I didn’t expect to see you,” I say quietly as I walk with him toward the doors. Nick hasn’t made a move to touch me, and it’s got me freaking out because normally he can’t keep his hands off of me.

I feel Nick at my back as we walk up the stairs. He’s angry, and I can feel it coming off of him in waves. “I wasn’t going to come because I know what’s about to happen, but let’s hurry and get this over with.” I let us into my apartment and tell him to have a seat. My heart begins to pound in my chest, my stomach is doing so many flips, and my hands tremble.

I sit on my coffee table right in front of him so we’re facing each other. It’s probably best to just say it and get it out. I open my mouth to speak, but he holds his hand up.

“Before you say whatever it is you’re going to say, I want to say something. You’ve done nothing but lead me around by my dick since the beginning. I’ll admit I was a willing participant, but that’s done. You’re not going to jerk me around anymore, breaking things off one minute and then come climbing on my cock the next. We’re done.”

My eyes begin to burn, and I’m about to throw up what little I ate. “You need to leave.” I’m proud of myself for sounding so strong at the moment.

He stands and walks to the door, turning to me as he raises his brow. “What were you going to tell me? Not like I don’t already know what it is.”

I open the door for him to walk through, and he steps onto the porch then turns back to me. I look into his eyes and announce, “I’m pregnant,” right before I slam the door in his face.




Chapter Two

Sierra

It takes a good five minutes before Nick starts pounding on my door, but I’m not going to answer it—not right now. I know our weird relationship was just sex, or it was supposed to be, but this hurts … bad.

“Sierra, open the door.”

I swipe roughly at the tears that run down my cheeks with the back of his hand. “Go home, Nick. I don’t want to talk right now.” My voice catches at the end. I look through the peephole to find him pacing back and forth in front of the door.

“Please, Sierra, let me in. Let’s talk about this, okay?”

I clear my throat and stand my ground. “N-not tonight, Nick. I’m tired, and I want to go to bed.”

Moments tick by as Nick paces the porch, remaining quiet. He slows his strides and leans against the door, bracing both hands on the frame. “I’ll give you tonight, Sierra, but promise we’ll talk tomorrow.” I don’t miss the desperate look on his face.

“I promise, Nick.” He doesn’t move right away, but after a few minutes he pushes off the door and rubs his hands through his hair. As soon as he’s gone, I grab my phone and send a text to Mona.

Sierra: Are u up?

The dots bounce almost immediately.

Mona: Of course. What’s up?

Sierra: Can I come stay with you guys tonight?

Mona: Yes, come over. Are you okay?

My sister is my best friend in the whole wide world. She’s definitely my ride or die girl.

Sierra: I’m fine. I just don’t want to be alone tonight.

I quickly pack a bag to take with me and lock up my place. This time of night traffic’s not bad, so I’m able to get to their fancy ass home in twenty minutes. As soon as I pull in the driveway my sister is standing in the open doorway.

I grab my bag and then walk directly into my sister’s arms. “Is it Nick?” she asks quietly. That’s what sucks about this whole thing—Nick and Joaquin are best friends, and I don’t want to put Mona or Joaquin in the middle.

“Kind of,” I say, because I’m not ready to tell Mona about the pregnancy. She’d never judge, but until I get things with him sorted out I want to keep this to myself.

“We don’t have to talk, but let’s drown ourselves in cupcakes. I have lots of extras.” Of course she does because she spoils her man and her kids, and that’s okay because I’ve never seen my sister happier than she is right now.

At the breakfast bar she sets a cupcake with lavender frosting and rainbow sprinkles on top in front of me.

“Do you want wine or milk?”

I’d love a huge glass of wine, but obviously I have to choose the milk. She sets a glass in front of me and then takes the seat next to mine. “Where’s Joaq?”

“He’s sitting outside drinking a beer. He was giving us privacy if we needed it.” See, the guy is amazing.

We eat our cupcakes in silence, partly because it’s so delicious and also because I just don’t even know what to say. I finish my cupcake and grab our wrappers to throw them away. “Nick broke things off with me,” I say when I return to the breakfast bar, taking my seat.

“What? Really? Did he say why?”

“He said he's tired of me leading him around by his dick.” I rest my head in my hand, leaning on the counter.

Mona grabs my hand. “I’m not taking his side, but do you think that maybe that’s what you’ve been doing?”

I shrug. “Maybe. We were supposed to just be having sex. Things weren’t supposed to become serious.” I open my mouth to tell her I’m pregnant, but change my mind at the last second. I reach out grabbing a loose strand of her hair. “I love this color.” It’s gray with a hint of lavender.

“Thanks. I’m glad I decided to do it. I almost did baby blue, but she showed me this one, and I had to do it.”

Joaquin comes inside, greeting me with a side hug before kissing my sister. I won’t lie, I’m a little jealous of what they have. The love he feels for Mona and my niece is all I could ever hope for. “The room down from the kids’ is all ready for you.”

“Thank you. Sorry to disrupt your night.” I smile up at him.

“It’s seriously no trouble. The kids will be happy to see you in the morning.” He looks at Mona. “I’ve got a couple of things to do in my office.” Joaquin kisses her again before leaving the room.

Mona watches him walking out of the room, and I swear she’s got hearts swirling around her head. “I’m so happy for you and Iris.”

She grabs my hand between both of hers. “How are you, really? Because you look hella sad right now.”

“I’m hurt, mad, and embarrassed. I don’t know what I’m going to do, Mo.” I yawn because I’m honestly so exhausted. I’m not sure if it’s the baby, but I need to sleep, and I need to avoid letting Mona answer.

We stand, and I insist that she doesn’t need to walk me upstairs. I hug her and make my way up to the spare bedroom. I change into a black tank top and a pair of boxers I stole from Nick.

In the bathroom I quickly wash my face and moisturize. I brush my hair out and throw it into a knot on top of my head and then brush my teeth.

Once I crawl into bed I place my hand on my lower stomach, still amazed that there is a baby in there. “If it ends up just being you and me, I’m going to love you so much you’re not going to know any different.”

I roll over to my side, close my eyes, and drift off to sleep.

***

I open my eyes and blink as my eyes adjust to my surroundings. “Where am I?” It takes a second for the cobwebs to clear. I realize I’m at Mona and Joaquin’s, and then I remember why. I’m going to have to talk to Nick today. My stomach turns at the thought because, honestly, I don’t know what I’m going to say.

I sit up and take some slow, deep breaths, praying I don’t get sick. After a couple of minutes I stand, and my stomach stays sort of calm, so I grab my stuff and hop into the shower.

Once I’m done, I throw on a long-sleeved Sugar and Spice, Ink hoodie the color of raspberries, over the tank top. I brush my hair out and then throw it back up in a bun. I head downstairs and smile when I find my niece and nephew sitting at the bar eating breakfast.

My sister and her man are drinking coffee while leaning against the counter. “Good morning.”

Iris smiles at me. “Auntie Sierra! I didn’t know you were here for a sleepover.” I walk around and kiss the top of her head.

“Hey, Maximum.” I ruffle his hair and give him a side hug.

He smiles at me. “Hey, Auntie Sierra.”

“Good morning, guys.” I look at Mona and Joaquin’s coffee lovingly, but I can’t have any, and that makes me sad. “Do you have any juice?”

Joaquin grabs the orange juice and pours me a glass. I thank him and take a big sip. I snag a piece of toast from Iris’ plate and take a bite. As soon as I swallow it down my stomach turns.

“Sierra?” Mona stares at me. “Are you okay? You look a little green.”

I run into the bathroom in the hall and throw up the bite of toast and orange juice. Nasty. I feel a hand rub my back and know it’s my sister.

“You don’t have a stomach bug; you’re pregnant.” There’s no judgment in her tone, just concern. “Does Nick know?”

I nod and rest my cheek on the seat. I begin to tell her about the phone call and how he assumed I was breaking things off again and what transpired afterward. In the distance I hear pounding and then male voices.

I close my eyes and take a deep breath. When I open my eyes, I find my baby daddy standing in the doorway and proceed to throw up … again.


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