Thank you so much for all the reviews, it truly made me happy to see so many people who still want me to continue this story. I can't believe I've reached 200 reviews! Wow! You guys rock. :) Sorry it took so long for me to update, school is slowly killing me. But no worries! Here is your update.

Chapter Eighteen

"The key to to let go of fear."

Rosanne Cash

"Earth to Sam? Hello?"

Sam blinked, glancing over at Jen who was sitting cross-legged across from her on the bed. She was staring at her, an eyebrow quizzically raised.

"I was telling you about the flowers for my wedding," Jen said.

"Oh, right," Sam replied, shaking her head a little before adding uncertainly, "Tulips?"

"No," Jen sighed in exasperation, "I want lilies. Honestly Sam, are you even listening?"

"I'm sorry," Sam stated with a pained expression, "I'm not really myself right now."

"Well that's obvious," Jen said matter-of-factly, before reaching out to touch Sam's hand. "What is it? You can tell me."

"I know, which is why I asked you to come over, so I could tell you…" Sam trailed off, bit down on her bottom lip, and glanced down at her lap.

Come on, you can do this. Just say it. It's not that hard. She's your best friend…

Gathering just the right amount of courage, Sam glanced up at Jen's face and murmured quietly, "So I could tell you that I'm pregnant."

Immediately, Jen gasped. "Oh, my God!" she exclaimed, her eyes widening behind her glasses as she stared at Sam in shock. "You're pregnant? Really? Are you…are you sure?"

Sam nodded, her throat dry. "I'm sure. I took a pregnancy test…a couple, actually."

A brief moment passed. "Wow," Jen remarked, blinking rapidly. "Is it Jake's?"

Sam nodded again and murmured, "Of course. I've never…I've never been with anyone else, if you know what I mean."

Jen's eyes softened considerably. "Oh, Sam…you two truly are meant for each other."

Sam smiled slightly. "I just wish we had taken better precaution. There is no way that I am ready for all this. I thought that I'd be married to Jake for at least two years before even thinking about having a child. And now I'm pregnant and we're not even married yet."

Jen smiled gently in understanding. "I know, but life doesn't always turn out the way we want it to, Sam. Plans change, for better or for worse. There's absolutely nothing we can do about it except learn to live with it…but that's the beautiful thing, Sam. We're humans – we can adapt to almost anything. We're capable of so much, and as one of your best friends I know you are capable of having this child…and becoming a great mother."

"Oh, Jen," Sam leaned over and wrapped her in a warm hug. "Thank you. You always know exactly what to say."

Jen patted Sam on the back and said, "I'm here for you, no matter what. Now, tell me this." She drew back and stared at Sam squarely in the face. Her tone was serious as she asked, "Does Jake know?"

"He was the first to find out," Sam replied, and then nearly kicked herself upside the head. Great, now Jen would ask who else knew, and she really didn't feel like going into the Ezzy drama at the moment. Ezzy was the last person Sam wanted to talk about…

Needless to say, Jen was too smart to miss anything. "Wait, am I one of the last to know?" she questioned, looking a little hurt.

"No!" Sam exclaimed, vigorously shaking her head, "Quite the contrary, actually. You and Jake are the only ones that know…including, um, Ezzy."

Jen's mouth dropped open. She held out her hand and said, "Whoa, hold on a second. Are you telling me that Jake told Esmeralda that you're expecting his baby? What on earth was he thinking?"

"He didn't," Sam explained, "Ezzy overheard Jake and me talking in the barn. It…didn't go so well."

"Well of course it didn't," Jen said, smirking a bit. "Ezzy is totally into him."

"She's not just into him," Sam muttered, and then let out a sigh. "She's in love with him and apparently has been for years."

"Oh, wow. She said that?"

"And much more…you would have found it quite entertaining, I'm sure."

Jen chuckled and said, "You bet. Don't waste your time feeling sorry for her, trust me, you don't know her like I do. She's the most manipulative person I've ever met."

"Even worse than Rachel?"

Jen grimaced. "Yes, much worse."

"What ever happened to her, anyway?" Sam asked curiously. She hadn't thought about Rachel Slocum in years. It was funny to even think about her now. It felt like it had been a century since she had last spoken to her, let alone seen her. Sam wondered whether she was still the same old rich, snobby "witch" she's always been.

"Moved to New York about a year after high school," Jen said, snorting. "Wanted a job in fashion. I knew she wouldn't stick around here for long. She was too superficial for small town life."

Sam grunted softly in agreement. "Well, good riddance to her, I say. I wouldn't want my baby growing up around her, anyway."

Jen beamed a huge smile. "You're stickin' around, then?'

Sam blinked at her best friend in bewilderment. "Well, of course I am. This is my home - and Jake's too. I wouldn't want to raise my kid anywhere else."

"Good," Jen said, continuing to grin, "Because then we can raise our babies together. Who knows, maybe they'll grow to become best friends like us?"

Sam smiled warmly and said, "I wouldn't expect anything less."

Once Jen had left, Sam strolled down to the barn to check up on the Phantom's new foal. She felt like a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders after spilling the truth to Jen, but due to the fact that most of her family had yet to discover the truth, she was a tad bit anxious. What if everyone found out before she decided to tell them?

Sam shuddered inwardly at the thought. She could only hope and pray that Ezzy would keep her mouth shut.

The moment Sam entered the barn she breathed in the wonderful essence it bestowed and almost immediately all anxiety fled from her body. Walking up to Kismet's stall, she smiled the second she caught sight of the newborn colt standing proudly beside his mother, looking as handsome as could be.

Sam whistled softly to catch his attention. He whipped his head around, ears sternly pricked forward, and nickered a gentle greeting. Kismet, who had been munching peacefully on a pile of hay, lifted her head to gaze at Sam.

"Hey there, pretty girl. I see you're taking good care of your baby…he's a beauty, just like you," Sam cooed.

Kismet snorted, and then went back to eating her hay. Knight nickered once more and took another step towards Sam, staring at her curiously.

Sam stood very still behind the stall door, waiting to see if he would come to her. It wasn't long until the black colt had ventured all the way across the stall to stand in front of Sam. With her soft gaze locked on his face, Sam slowly lifted the palm of her hand and allowed it to hover inches away from his nose.

A second passed, and then another. And then, all of a sudden, Knight's forehead touched the palm of her hand and Sam was rendered speechless. Tears formed in her eyes, and for the longest moment Sam was overwhelmed with emotion. He knows, Sam thought in complete awe. He knows how much I love him.

Smiling, Sam leaned forward and kissed his nose. "You're right," she whispered to him, "I do love you. And I love your Papa too, with all of my heart. He's a great stallion you know…and the best leader his herd has ever seen. But he's very old…" Sam trailed off, and then tilted her head to look at him. "But you, you are very young…and soon, you'll be as strong as he once was; perhaps even stronger."

And then all of a sudden it hit her…an idea.

What if Knight became the next leader of The Phantom's herd?

I would write a longer chapter, but I have a busy week ahead of me and unfortunately I need to start studying. Duty calls! Hope you enjoyed this chapter. Leave me a review to tell me what you think! I would appreciate that very much. :)