Accidentally in Love

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All Jessica wanted was a distraction; one night where she could have some fun and drink away her sorrows and maybe forget all about her douche of an ex-boyfriend. So when she meets Ashton, she thinks the situation may be perfect and he may be just the distraction she was looking for. Until what was supposed to be a one night stand turns into something neither of them expected.

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2. I Need A Sign

As uncertain as I was about everything I did on land, I was the complete opposite in the water. Swimming brought me serenity and gave me sanctuary from the craziness and chaos of the real world.

I splashed my legs happily in the water as I looked out at the pool after my morning swim, thinking today’s dip had been especially helpful. Work had me more stressed out than usual, what with the addition of a large number of high profile clients due to the recent acquisition of the record label, and working off my excess tension through swimming had put me at ease.

Of course, the realization that the guy with whom I’d had a one night stand was now connected to the company I worked for was also a cause for stress. I’d spent the first two weeks afterwards constantly wondering if the band would show up at the office for a meeting and I’d end up having to explain why I was awkwardly avoiding eye contact with the drummer. Luckily, though, thus far, nothing of the sort had occurred and Ashton remained a fond memory of the one night where I decided to live a little. 

Glancing up at the clock, I cursed as I stood up and scurried towards the recreation center locker rooms, knowing that if I didn’t hurry, I was going to be late for my weekly brunch date with Haley.

After showering and throwing on frayed denim shorts and a t-shirt, I walked outside to find Haley waiting for me, tapping a dark brown bootie clad foot as she leaned against the wall and inspected her nails.

“Cute shoes,” I said as I approached her, my fingers curling around the strap of the duffel bag that held my still slightly damp swim suit, towel, and hair dryer I’d used to keep my locks from becoming utterly disgusting.

My compliment distracted her from my tardiness and a bright smile appeared across her face. “Thanks, I got them on sale.”

We never really planned out ahead of time where we were going to eat, so as we walked down the street and chattered happily, we hoped sudden inspiration would strike and we’d get drawn in to a local restaurant by some sort of sensational smell.

“So how’s the love life?” Haley asked, smirking slightly, her neon pink painted nails tapping against the strap of her brown leather bag. As my best friend, I suppose she thought it was her duty to ask me the question every now and again. It had been about a week since the last time.

I rolled my eyes in response, hiking up the strap of my duffel bag on my shoulder. “Nonexistent.”

An uncomfortable feeling developed in the pit of my stomach as I spoke, almost as though I was about to vomit. Apparently just thinking about men induced my gag reflex.

Haley let out a frustrated sigh. “I don’t understand, a month ago, you had your first ever one night stand and ever since then, I haven’t even seen you talk to a man.”

I shrugged. Haley was right, of course. Sleeping with Ashton had been incredible, especially as it had been so long since I’d slept with anyone. You would think after having such an amazing sexual experience, I would want to go out and have similar experiences elsewhere, but no. After that night with Ashton, I barely wanted to be associated with any member of the opposite sex. Maybe it was the shock of figuring out that my first one night stand had been with an internationally famous superstar.

The urge to vomit once again bubbled up in my gut, but this time it actually threatened to come out, so I hurried to the nearest trash bin and emptied the contents of my stomach into the metal container.

“Are you ok?” Haley cried out as she rushed up to me and began rubbing my back as a soothing reflex.

I nodded, my head still bent over the bin. “It’s probably just food poisoning. I tried a new place for lunch yesterday.”

Once I was certain nothing else was coming up, I wiped my mouth and smiled wearily at Haley. “Sorry about that.”

She waved a hand to indicate she was fine with my public upchuck, a gesture which completely contradicted the slight scrunching of her nose in disgust. “Don’t worry about it. At least it’s just food poisoning. It could be worse.”

I raised an eyebrow at her as we left the trash bin behind and continued walking, keeping my gaze on her as I searched my purse for a pack of gum. “How so?”

Haley shrugged and joked, “You could be pregnant.”

I began to laugh off that statement but then realization hit me: I had missed my period.It wasn’t as though my body was a clock, so I hadn’t really thought much about it until this very moment when I realized I was a full week late, which was highly unusual. Paralyzed, I stood wide eyed and unable to move on the sidewalk, my fingers tightening over the edge of my purse. Haley stopped walking when I did, looking over at me, wondering why I hadn’t responded to her ridiculous accusation.

As soon as she saw the shocked expression on my face, her jaw dropped as she processed what my silence meant. “No…”

I shrugged weakly, hoping I was wrong. “Maybe?”

A look of determination lit up her eyes as she grabbed my hand and we marched on until we found the nearest drug store.

Thirty minutes and three bottles of water later, Haley and I sat in our apartment bathroom, our brunch plans completely forgotten, me about five seconds away from knowing my fate.

As the timer went off, I squeezed my eyes shut, wanting this all to be a dream. Keeping my eyes closed, I instructed Haley, “You look. I can’t.”

There was about ten seconds of silent agony before Haley whispered, “You’ll make me godmother, right?”

My eyes shot open as I grabbed the stick from her and stared at the result. There was no denying it. It clearly said I was pregnant. All five tests.

Gasping, I brought my knees to my chest and hugged them close. “I’m pregnant.”

Haley pushed herself away from the edge of the bathtub to join me and wrapped her arm around my shoulder. “I know, babe. It’ll be alright.”

Would it though? I was only twenty two; I still had so much life left to live. I had a job I loved in a city I had yet to fully explore. Having a baby would change everything and I wasn’t sure I was emotionally mature enough to handle it.

Haley seemed to read my mind. “You have options, you know.”

Raising an eyebrow, I looked at her. “What, abortion?” I didn’t even give her time to respond before I shook my head. “No, I couldn’t. I think I would end up regretting it.”

“Adoption,” Haley threw out.

I contemplated that option for a moment. Considering my situation, adoption would be the right thing to do, but I couldn’t do it. Maybe I was being selfish, but if I went through life knowing that somewhere out there was a child that I had given up, I would always feel as if a part of me was missing. I had always wanted children, I just assumed it would happen later in life, when I was in a stable relationship and perhaps a bit more emotionally mature. But perhaps this was the universe’s way of telling me that it was time to grow up. I was a financially independent adult and it was time for me to start acting like one.

I shook my head and took a deep breath as I came to my decision, releasing my knees from my embrace. “I’m keeping it.”

Haley smiled slightly and bit her lip, reaching out to squeeze my shoulder comfortingly. “I’ll be here for you, you know.”

I smiled gratefully at her. No matter how chaotic Haley’s own life was, she was always on my side. She was my rock, and I knew now I would need her more than ever.

“What about the father?”

Haley’s question brought me back to reality and sent my mind to the person I’d been actively avoiding thinking about.

Ashton.

He should probably know that he was going to have a child. It wasn’t right to keep a secret of that magnitude from him. Biting my lip nervously, I said, “Hales, about the father…”

She furrowed her eyebrows slightly, trying to remember everything I’d told her about my one night stand. “You said his name was Ashton, right? I’m sure we can find him.”

Finding him wouldn’t be a problem.His face was plastered on every magazine in the country. Maybe that was another reason I never got back out there after Ashton; I had never been able to escape him.

I smiled slightly. “It shouldn’t be too hard. It was Ashton Irwin.”

“Why does that name sound familiar?” Haley asked, squinting her eyes in question.

“Because,” I sighed, reaching up to brush back a stray strand of hair from my face. “He’s the drummer in 5 Seconds of Summer.”

“5 Seconds of Summer,” she muttered, her eyes widening as they sparked with realization. “As in ‘she looks so perfect standing there’?”

I laughed at her horrible singing of the song that we had both drunkenly danced to during many of our girl’s nights. “Yes.”

Her jaw dropped, much like mine had when I first saw the magazine cover and made the connection. “Wow.”

I nodded as I rolled my eyes, still finding it all a little hard to believe. “I know.”

“Are you sure you want to tell him?” Haley asked, tilting her head to the side.

I furrowed my eyebrows at the question. Why wouldn’t I tell the father of my baby about the baby? “Yes?”

Haley shrugged. “It’s a fair question. Honey, he’s famous. Having a kid will change everything for him.”

I sighed as I realized Haley was right. As much as my life would be different after having a baby, Ashton’s life would be changed drastically. His rock star lifestyle would become a thing of the past. I feared telling him about the baby would cut his career short and hinder his ability to truly live out his dreams.

But he deserved to know. Whether or not he chose to stick around was his decision, but he had to be the one to make that choice. I shook my head. “I have to tell him; he has a right to know about his own child.”

Haley nodded sadly as she squeezed my shoulders before dropping her arms. “And what if he says he doesn’t want to help?”

I shuddered at the thought, but it was reasonable to assume that Ashton would want nothing to do with this child. But if that was his decision, I would support it, because opportunities like the ones he had were only given to one in a million people, and I wasn’t going to be the one who destroyed him.

I looked Haley straight in the eyes as I answered. “Then I’ll do this on my own.”

Reaching over, she squeezed my hand. “You’ll never be on your own.”

I smiled at her gratefully. Sighing, I picked myself up off the floor and dusted off my shorts. “Well I better go tell Ashton about this baby before I lose my nerve.”

Haley smiled sympathetically as she rose as well. “Do you want me to come with you?”

Having moral support would be great, but I felt as if this was something I needed to do on my own, a conversation that was supposed to be had between just me and Ashton. So I shook my head, and replied, “I’ll be fine.”

Pulling me into a hug, she squeezed me and whispered, “Good luck, babe.”

Nodding at her, I released myself from her embrace and walked out the bathroom door. As I gathered my purse and keys and phone, I inhaled deeply before heading out of the apartment, knowing that over the course of the next few hours, both my life and Ashton’s life would be forever changed. 

...

For the second time, I found myself standing nervously outside Ashton’s apartment door. While my last experience in this position had adrenaline pumping through my veins, the nerves I was feeling this time were of a completely different variety.

How do you give someone news that will change their life forever? Besides the fact that I was about to deliver life altering news to a member of one of the world’s most popular bands, my other concern was a personal one. What if Ashton didn’t remember me?

I honestly didn’t expect him to. Unattached, world famous rock stars generally engaged in sexual encounters with random women on a fairly regular basis, right? Chances were I was just one of many. Which only made this situation all the more frightening and potentially awkward.

Shaking out my hands in hopes that it would somehow shake out my nerves as well, I took a deep breath and knocked on the door, having managed to remember where he lived despite the lack of mental awareness of my surroundings I had exhibited the last time I had been in this position.

A sense of déjà vu washed over me when Ashton swung the door open, grinning widely. It was easy to see why he looked so natural on magazine covers and posters. He fit into the role of heartthrob seamlessly: from the perfectly tousled hair to his trendy yet casual style, Ashton was a stunning picture of perfection.

To be honest, I was slightly miffed that he was more fashionably dressed than me. His black skinny jeans were tucked into black combat boots and his simple gray t-shirt made his slender torso look endless, offset by a red plaid shirt tied by the sleeves around his waist. He was simply dressed yet looked as though he had just stepped off the runway.

His smile faltered and his eyes widened when he saw me, apparently expecting someone else. “Jessica?”

My lips parted in shock and my eyebrows rose as he said my name, my heart swelling with hope that maybe our night together had meant something to him as well. “You remember me?”

Instantly, a smirk returned to his face. “Well it’s not often I wake up alone after spending the night with a woman.”

Apparently I was right. His statement only confirmed my suspicion that ‘spending the night with a woman’ was an activity he engaged in with some frequency. Unsure of how to explain my quick getaway the morning after, I blurted out, “I thought that’s how it worked.”

Furrowing his eyebrows, he opened the door wider and gestured for me to enter. Taking a deep breath, I stepped inside and found myself gazing in awe at his enormous apartment because I hadn’t really taken it in the last time I’d been there.

After closing the door behind me, he shoved his hands in his pockets and pursed his lips. “You thought that’s how what worked?”

I turned to stare at him, wide eyed. Having to explain my thought process was awkward, but he wasn’t leaving me much choice. “One night stands.”

He tilted his head to the side and studied me for a moment, as if he was checking my sincerity. “It wasn’t supposed to be a one night stand.”

My heart rate began to increase at his statement, but I was still confused as to what he meant. He seemed like he knew what he was doing at the time, but considering that wasn’t a situation I had ever been in before, maybe afterwards, he’s realized it was a huge mistake. Bewildered, I furrowed my eyebrows. “What do you mean?”

“I wanted to see you again,” he replied simply, taking a step towards me as he spoke. “I was actually pretty sad when you disappeared the morning after.”

By now my throat had gone completely dry and I was losing feeling in my legs. Gulping, I responded in a whisper because I couldn’t will myself to speak any louder. The thought that our connection had not been one sided overwhelmed me, making me feel slightly dizzy. “You did? You were?”

Biting his lip, he nodded as he neared me. His gaze dropped to my lips and I felt as though my knees were about to give out, so I told myself to focus, remembering that I was here for a reason. Before he caused me to completely forget my purpose for seeking him out in the first place, I blurted out, “I’m pregnant.”

That stopped him on his tracks. His eyes widened and his gaze shot up to meet mine. As his jaw went slack, he let out a whispered, “What?”

Biting my lip, I studied him nervously, still trying to gauge his reaction. He currently was showing no emotion whatsoever. “I’m pregnant, Ashton. You’re the father.”

He let out a breath in an attempt to reinstate a normal breathing pattern. “You’re sure?”

There were multiple things this question could be referring to, so I decided to answer all of them. Lacing my hands together and squeezing my fingers, I replied, “Yes, I’m sure I’m pregnant. I took about five different tests. And yes, I’m sure it’s yours.”

He gave me a knowing look, as if asking for proof and I rolled my eyes. “You were my first sexual partner in over a year.”

His eyebrows lifted in surprise. “A year? Really?”

I rolled my eyes again. Boys“Really? That’s what you’re getting from this conversation?”

“Right,” he said, taking a step back. He ran a hand through his already messy hair and began to pace. “You’re pregnant with my baby.”

I nodded as I watched him continue to pace, trying to give him ample time to absorb the information. Once I began to feel dizzy from his constant movement, I called out, “Ashton.”

He looked up but kept pacing. “I’m sorry I haven’t exactly responded yet, I’m still trying to process all this.”

“I know, Ashton…”

He ignored me, still pacing. “It’s just this is life changing, really, and I’m not quite sure how to deal with it.”

“Ashton!”

Finally, he stopped to look at me. I licked my lips as I continued. “I know who you are.”

My declaration caused his eyes to widen in surprise. He didn’t speak, so I kept talking. “I know you’re famous, so this situation is probably more overwhelming for you than it would be for most people. So I’m giving you an out.”

Furrowing his brow in confusion, he took a step towards me and cocked his head to the side. “What do you mean?”

Taking a deep breath, I began to explain the decision I had come to earlier. “I mean, I can do this on my own. So if you want to walk away right now, you can; no hard feelings. I promise I won’t resent you for it later. I just figured that you should at least know, in case later in life you need a kidney or something.”

Even though I spoke with conviction, I desperately wanted to scream out that I wasn’t nearly as confident as I sounded. I would love it if Ashton would take this journey with me, but I needed him to come to that decision on his own. He was the one who had to step up and take responsibility. I didn’t want raising our child to be something he did out of sense of duty, not because it was what he truly wanted.  

His expression softened as he realized I was being genuine. He took another step closer to me, my heart pounding wildly as he bent his head downwards, expecting his kiss to be his assurance that we were in this together. His lips inched towards mine. Closer. Closer. His nose brushed against my cheek and my eyes fluttered closed.

And then his phone rang.

Wincing, he pulled back, cursing under his breath and shoving his hand in his pocket to silence the buzzing cellular device.

“Sorry,” he said apologetically, gesturing to the phone.

I shook my head and waved it off, inwardly cursing the person who interrupted our near perfect moment. “Don’t worry about it.”

I longed for Ashton’s kiss more than I could bear, but I had to be strong. Our situation was already complicated enough without the added sexual tension. I took the interruption as my cue to leave before I did something I regretted. “Look, I should probably be going anyway. I’ll give you some time to think about all this.”

Before he could respond, I exited his apartment, inwardly congratulating myself on having the strength to walk away. I let out a sigh of relief as I pushed the elevator call button, thinking my confession had gone better than I expected.

He hadn’t become angry or hysterical, he just seemed overwhelmed. And who wouldn’t be; having a baby was a big deal. Especially to someone with as much at stake as Ashton.

A ding signaled the arrival of the elevator, and just as I was about to step inside, I felt a hand grab my arm and spin me around.

In front of me stood a panting, disheveled Ashton, his palms resting on his knees as he bent over and gasped for air.

I raised my eyebrows in surprise as I took in his harried appearance. He had obviously chased after me, a feat which seemed a bit dramatic considering he could have just called out my name.

“Ashton, are you ok?” I asked, concerned after hearing his haggard breaths.

He nodded, but didn’t answer my question, instead blurting out, “I’ll do it.”

Furrowing my brow, I responded, my fingers curling around the strap of my purse, “Do what?”

Using his finger, he first pointed to me and then to himself as he stood up straight and gazed at me directly, his green eyes flooding with conviction. “You, me, this baby. I’ll do it. I’m all in.”

That certainly wasn’t the reaction I was expecting. A simple ‘yeah, I’ll help out with the kid’ would have sufficed, but Ashton seemed to have a flair for the dramatic.

Now here he was, going on about how he was ‘all in’. What the hell did that even mean? Did he expect us to fly into the sunset on a magic carpet or something?

Sure, it would be great to have Ashton help out, because although I was determined to make sure this kid had a great life either way, having both its parents would probably be a huge bonus. But that didn’t mean I necessarily expected anything from Ashton. It’s not like we were going to get married and live happily ever after.

Although we did need to establish some kind of relationship. Having parents who are ‘strangers who accidentally got pregnant after a one night stand’ probably wasn’t the healthiest environment for a child to grow up in.

Sighing, I raised an eyebrow at him. “Are you sure?”

He nodded, using the thumb on one hand to rub at the black tally marks tattooed on the wrist of the other. I had noticed them the night we spent together, a symbol of his band and the friends he undoubtedly loved dearly. “This probably sounds completely selfish, but I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I knew somewhere out there I had a child that didn’t know who their father was.”

My eyes widened a little in surprise. His reasoning had been almost exactly the same as mine. Were we always on exactly the same wavelengthGiving him a small smile, I shook my head. “That doesn’t sound selfish. It sounds like you’re taking responsibility for your actions.”

A smile spread across his face and he let out a sigh of relief. “Thank god. For a second there I thought you were going to tell me to go to hell.”

I let out a laugh. “I wouldn’t do that. Especially since your reason for going through with it is almost identical to mine.”

He grinned, the indentations in his cheeks deepening. I resisted the urge to reach out and poke them, instead distracting myself by asking a question. “So, what now?”

“Well,” he said slowly, “maybe we should get to know each other. You know, as people.”

I blushed at the realization that we already knew each other. Well, knew each other’s bodies anyway. We had yet to establish any sort of personal relationship through conversation. So I nodded and followed him back to his apartment.

We sat down on his couch and I pulled my legs up, sitting cross legged so I could face him. He laughed and mimicked my position.

Lacing his fingers together, he rested his elbows on his legs and his chin on his hands. “So, first things first. What’s your last name?”

I blinked at the question. It seemed outrageous that I had shared such an intimate experience with Ashton but neither of us had known the other’s full name. A smile spread across my face. “Martin.”

“Jessica Martin,” he said, rolling my name around in his mouth as if deciding whether or not I was telling the truth. He nodded, satisfied with my response and a grin spread across his face. “That would have been useful when I was trying to find you a month ago.”

Once again, I found myself blinking at him. He had tried to find me? Maybe to tell me that I didn’t understand how one night stands worked. “You looked for me.”

I didn’t as it ask a question, and he didn’t treat it as such. “Yes. But as I didn’t know your last name, it was proving to be very difficult to track you down.”

“Why?”

He seemed startled by my question, as if it made no sense for me to be asking it. “Why?”

I nodded, needing an explanation. “Why were you trying to find me?”

He laughed, and I was taken aback by his reaction. My question was hardly entertaining. “Well, Jessica, I generally like to get to know the women I sleep with.”

I furrowed my eyebrows at his comment. His nonchalant attitude about the ‘women he sleeps with’ did nothing to quell the nervous waves picking up in the pit of my stomach. “So you’re still in contact with all the women you’ve slept with?”

It was his turn to send me a confused glance. “All the women? How many women do you think I’ve slept with?”

As I contemplated his question, I decided it was best not to respond. Chances were any guess I had would be decidedly lower than his actual number. I was almost certain that Ashton engaged in one night stands as somewhat of a nightly ritual. But calling him out on it seemed a tad harsh and frankly, none of my business. So I settled for shrugging.

He shook his head at my noncommittal response. “I’m not nearly as much of a player as you seem to think.”

I smirked, thinking I probably shouldn’t be so quick to judge. “So you don’t consider hooking up a sport?”

Biting his lip, he studied me for a moment before a soft smile touched his lips. “I enjoy the company of women, but that doesn’t mean I sleep with all of them.”

His answer made sense, but it didn’t answer the one question that had been burning in the back of my mind since the night we met. “Then why me?”

His smile grew as his emerald eyes gazed at me, sparkling with light. I looked away as a blush crept across my cheeks. “Because five minutes after meeting you, I felt like I had known you my entire life.”

My eyes shot up to meet his. He had felt it too. The connection. That undeniable level of comfort. As if somehow, we already knew each other. My eyes widened, and the only word I could get out was, “Wow.”

He broke our gaze and shook his head, laughing. “So, getting to know one another.”

Right. Back to the issue at hand. I nodded, glad he was keeping me focused. As much as I wanted to explore the possibilities of a romantic relationship with Ashton, I knew this was more important. For the benefit of the baby, we had to be friends first. “Right. Let’s do that.”

“What do you do?”

Sitting up a little straighter, I grinned as I explained the job I loved. “I work for a public relations company. We promote famous people. Such as actors, artists…”

“Musicians?” Ashton filled in, smiling.

Laughing, I gestured to him as I responded. “Right. Those too.” I bit my lip as it finally dawned on me that Ashton was famous. Millions of screaming fans famous. “Speaking of that…”

Ashton sighed, once again able to read my thoughts. “You want to know about the fame.”

I gave him a small nod. “Well, I want to know how all of this is going to work in relation to the fame.”

Pursing his lips, he mulled over my question for a moment. “I think we should be straightforward.”

I was somewhat shocked by his response. I had expected him to want this entire situation to remain a secret. Outing an unplanned pregnancy seemed counterproductive. I raised my eyebrow in response. “Really? You do realize, once the world knows, there’s no turning back.”

He stared into my eyes and nodded. “I know.”

He was being completely irrational. I couldn’t let him throw away a perfectly good career. Not for me. “Maybe you should think about this…maybe there’s a less dramatic option. One which doesn’t involve the potential destruction of your career and end with millions of teenage girls wanting to eviscerate me from the face of the earth.”

Ok, so maybe he wasn’t the only one with a flair for the dramatic.

“This is the right thing to do, Jessica,” he said, shaking his head. “Look, the fans find out everything, even if we don’t tell them. And if I keep this a secret, the fallout will be greater in the end than if I’m honest about it from the beginning.”

I sighed, propping my head up in my hands. He was right. Telling the public now would allow them time to get used to the idea before the baby was born. Maybe they would even be happy for us.

“Ok,” I replied, giving him a small smile.

Reaching over, he grabbed my hand and squeezed it. It was meant as a gesture of reassurance, but I found myself flushing as a result of his touch and quickly pulled my hand away. He looked taken aback for a moment, but shook off my odd reaction. “It’ll be ok.”

It was amazing how I was so inclined to believe everything he said. It was as if his voice had some sort of supernatural power over me, forcing me to trust him, no matter how loudly my brain protested.

Calm washed over the room and we sat in comfortable silence for a few minutes, exchanging reassuring smiles. And then Ashton said, “We should live together,” and the tension returned.

The thought of living with a man was completely foreign to me. I was an only child and my father had traveled so regularly for business that he rarely graced our house with his presence. My adolescent years had consisted of clothes that smelled like potpourri and vanilla scented shampoo.

Living with Ashton would be like living in a foreign country. I had no idea what living with a member of the opposite sex entailed. Would I have to cook? I hoped not, I hated cooking and I was awful at it.

But there was something about the hopeful light in Ashton’s eyes that urged me to hear him out. So I gulped and replied, “What?”

He answered slowly, trying to properly gauge my reaction. “Well, it would make things simpler, don’t you think? Especially after the baby is born.”

His logic was sound. Living together provided a sense of security and would ensure a stable environment for our child. I froze as I realized I had just referred to the baby as ‘our child’.

This was actually happening.

Taking a deep breath to calm myself, I smiled at Ashton. “Ok. Let’s live together.”

Ashton grinned and leaned over to hug me. Because of our positioning on the couch, he ended up with his arms around my neck in a sort of chokehold while I awkwardly patted his back with my free hand. Gasping for air as we pulled apart, I smiled at him, feeling a sense of warmth spread through me at the sight of his happiness.

Everything seemed to be working out better than I could have hoped. The only question left to answer was what Ashton and I were to each other. Before I could ask for the definition of our relationship, a hot blonde burst through the door.

It was the same hot blonde that Haley had been making out with at the club. And his face also happened to be plastered on every magazine in the city alongside Ashton’s, generally more in the center because he was the lead singer.

Shoving his hand in his pockets, he smiled as he walked towards us.

“Hello, there,” he said, nodding at me. His glance shifted to Ashton. “Ashton, mate, you’re not going to introduce me to your lovely friend?”

Ashton shot the blonde a strange look before replying, “Luke, this is Jessica. Jessica, this is Luke. He’s in the band with me.”

“I know,” I nodded at Ashton before turning to smile at Luke. “Hello.”

A spark of recognition lit up Luke’s bright blue eyes and he grinned at Ashton. “Jessica. This is the girl that had you going insane for weeks.”

I raised my eyebrows in surprise. Ashton had told his band mates about me. Maybe sharing stories about their conquests was how they bonded. But that didn’t explain why they had been talking about me for weeks. Making a mental note to question Ashton about it later, I smiled brightly at Luke. “I’m also his baby mama.”

Luke’s jaw dropped, his eyes widening in surprise.

I sat in the midst of tense silence as Luke processed the information. He had been staring blankly at me, his jaw slack and eyes wide, for about a minute.

I shot a concerned glance at Ashton and was shocked to find him holding in a fit of laughter, his hands covering his mouth as if to prevent him from erupting at any moment.

My gaze shifted between the two band members as I wondered which one I should be more concerned about: the giggling dumbass or the paralyzed idiot.

Someone singing, “Aaaaashton” down the hallway shattered the tension and I looked to the door to find who I assumed was the rest of 5 Seconds of Summer entering the apartment.

The one with a tan, black hair, and a pretty smile grinned as he entered, seeming not to notice Luke in his frozen state. Bouncing up to me, he held out his hand. “Hello, I’m Calum.”

I was slightly stunned that he didn’t question why a random woman was seated in Ashton’s apartment, but reached out to shake his hand. “Jessica.”

His grin immediately grew and he glanced at Ashton, who shot him a glare. I was dumbfounded. Twice in the last ten minutes, Ashton had exchanged meaningful glances with two different friends. They knew something I didn’t, and it was bugging me.

Before I could inquire, the last remaining member, a man with warm green eyes and hair that was dyed bright purple stepped forward, smiling in a manner which immediately put me at ease. “Hi, I’m Michael.”

“What’s wrong with Luke?”

Calum’s question brought me back to the reality of the situation. None of the other band members knew about Ashton’s future child. And the fact that Luke was still standing frozen in the middle of the room was definitely a cause for concern.

Ashton shot me a look before squeezing his hands together. “Umm, so we have some news…”

“We?” Michael raised his eyebrows as he responded. He pointed at Ashton and then at me. “Are you two dating?”

Ashton looked panicked, and I shrugged. We couldn’t even answer that question for ourselves; how were we supposed to answer it for others? Glaring at me in annoyance due to my unwillingness to help, Ashton turned back to his friends, his gaze shifting nervously between the three who were actually capable of movement. “Not exactly, you see…”

“Ashton impregnated me.”

The words flowed out before I had a chance to stop them and I immediately covered my mouth with my hands afterward as I stared wide eyed at Ashton.

Seeing as there was no way no take back my declaration, Ashton now had his eyes trained on his friends as he waited for their reactions. I, on the other hand, was waiting for Ashton’s apartment to turn into a human statue garden.

But quite the opposite happened. Calum clapped his hands together and grinned, claiming, “That’s incredible,” while Michael offered his congratulations. By this time Luke had fallen out of his trance and was also smiling widely at us.

I gaped at them, flabbergasted. “You’re ok with this?”

Michael smiled warmly and shrugged. “Sure, why wouldn’t we be?”

I opened and closed my mouth a few times, furrowing my brow in confusion as I replied. “So you don’t think this will ruin Ashton’s life?”

All the boys seemed taken aback by my question. I felt Ashton’s hand reach out and squeeze my own so I turned to look at him, my eyes searching his face for reassurance.

“I don’t think it will ruin my life, Jessica,” he said softly.

“You don’t?” I whispered, needing to hear, once and for all, that Ashton wouldn’t resent me for this later. Though I supposed he wouldn’t have a reason to anyway, seeing as it wasn’t as though I’d gotten pregnant on my own.

He smiled softly and scooted closer so our knees were touching on the couch. “Of course not. I’m excited. This will be an adventure. We’re in this together, remember?”

Blinking back tears, I nodded gratefully and leaned into him for another hug.

Calum clapped his hands together. “Now that everything is sorted, can I throw out some name suggestions?”

I laughed, my doubts and insecurities quickly forgotten. “We don’t even know even know the gender yet.”

Calum shrugged, coming over to take a seat near us, the other boys following suit. “No matter, I have many ideas for you to consider.”

Ashton shook his head and laughed. “I’m sure you do.”

“This is so unreal,” Michael said, his eyes flitting between me and Ashton as a slow smile spread across his face. “Can you imagine a mini Ashton running around?”

“It would be pretty incredible,” Luke agreed before turning to me. “I’m sorry about acting so strangely, by the way. It was just pretty big news. I’m happy for you two, though.”

Smiling in gratitude, I reached out to squeeze his hand. “Thank you, Luke.”

He nodded once before turning to rejoin the conversation. I smiled as I watched the boys interact with each other. It was comforting to know that our child would have such a stable and loving environment to grow up in. Maybe everything would be alright after all.

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