Olivia woke up the next morning to the feeling of someone shaking her. Once she finally managed to open her eyes, she saw that it was her stepbrother. He was actually awake before her so she figured something was wrong until she remembered they were at the beach house and Scotty had been waking up before everyone during their whole vacation.
"Wanna go surfing?" Scotty asked. Olivia wasn't surprised to see that he was already in his swim trunks and carrying his surfboard.
"Not right now," Olivia responded. "I have to meet someone in a couple of hours."
"Oh, the mystery girl," Scotty said and playfully hit Olivia on the arm. "Is she hot? Nah, I know she is. She has to be fine if she's making you forget about Alex."
"Scotty, she is Alex."
"That's a good one," he said and started laughing. "Stop fucking with me, Liv."
"I'm being serious for once, but this has to stay between us. Alex is here with her mom and her aunt and we ran into each other while I was with the girls."
"Nice. So did you tap that yet?"
"No!" Olivia said, trying not to laugh. She had almost forgotten that her stepbrother had a one-track mind. "I'd never just use Alex for sex."
"Then what have you two been doing?" he asked, still amazed that Olivia could be around Alex and think about something other than having her way with her.
"We've been going on dates," Olivia said and started blushing. "She kissed me on the lips."
"She kissed you?" Scotty asked sarcastically. "Next, are you going to hold hands and go to the 6th grade dance together?"
"You're a dick," she said as she slugged him on the arm. "We're taking things slow and I've never been happier."
"Does your mom know?"
"You're the only one who knows and I want to keep it that way," Olivia said sternly. "The fact that it's a secret makes it even more exciting."
"I got you," Scotty said as he stood up. "Sure you don't wanna go? There's a storm coming and the waves are fucking crazy right now."
"I'm sure," Olivia told him. "I don't want to make my girl wait and I'm really not in the mood to die in the ocean."
Alex woke up to her mother shouting her name from the living room. While she was sleeping, she had the most beautiful dream about Olivia asking her to be her girlfriend and she was sad to realize that it hadn't actually happened.
"Alexandra!" her mother shouted out again.
"You have a phone call!"
A phone call? Here? Alex became nervous at the thought of someone calling her at the beach house. She knew Olivia wouldn't dare call her there unless…
"Is it my bastard father?" Alex asked. "If it is, tell him he can go to hell."
"It's Abbie!" Mrs. Cabot shouted out to her.
Alex got out of bed and ran over to the phone. It had been over a month since she had talked to Abbie and she was the last person she'd ever expect a phone call from. They hadn't parted on the best of terms and Alex's curiosity was getting the best of her even if she didn't exactly want to talk to Abbie.
"Lex? It's so good to hear your voice."
"I wish I could say the same," Alex said coldly.
"I guess I deserved that."
"How did you get this number?" Alex asked.
"I called your dad's office and he gave it to me."
"Where are you calling from?"
"Texas," Abbie said hesitantly. Alex was taken aback. It was the end of July and Abbie was usually in Texas around the time of her family reunion, which was in the beginning of the month. She knew something had to be wrong if she was in Texas and it had to be really bad if she'd resort to calling Alex.
"Why are you in Texas?"
Abbie sighed. "It's been a hell of a summer."
"Spill it, Carmichael. I know something's up if you're calling me long distance."
"I'm sorry about what happened with Liv, but—"
"Forget it," Alex said. "Liv and I are doing great right now. I miss you, Abbie."
"It didn't seem like you missed me when you first got on the phone," Abbie told her.
"I thought you were going to bullshit me about something and I didn't know how to react to hearing your voice for the first time in so long. So, how is your piece of man candy?"
"He was staying in Texas with me," Abbie began. "It was nice, I guess, not your typical visit."
"Why?" Alex asked. She was starting to get worried by the way her friend's voice was changing.
"I'm pregnant again," Abbie said quickly. "It's like it's meant to be, you know? Trent's sperm, my egg. Would I be this fertile with any guy or just him? Not that it matters. We broke up last night at the airport before he went back to Indiana. Everything was fine, Alex. We were doing great. I should love him. I really should, but I don't. I still love Serena. I'm always going to love Serena, Alex. Serena's arms are like my home. What if I can never go home again? I ruined my whole life when I should have just done what she told me to do. I should have made her my world. I wish I could go back to her."
"What are you doing today?" Alex asked, hoping her question wasn't too ridiculous.
"Moping," Abbie said glumly.
"Do you want to come to the beach? I'll wire you the money for a ticket and you can stay with me. Liv is here and I'm sure she'd want to see you, too."
"Liv went with you on vacation and your mom is cool with it?"
"It's a long story," Alex told her. "Just get to the airport."
After hanging up with Abbie, Alex hurried to find her mom. She knew her plan wasn't exactly practical, but the situation they were in called for them to do something crazy. Once Mrs. Cabot handed over the keys, Alex put them in her purse, and ran over to meet Olivia.
Olivia leaned against the railing along the pier as she waited for Alex to show up. She had nothing special planned for them that day, but all that mattered was that she would get to see Alex again. She had the best of intentions and none of her thoughts went further than wanting to kiss Alex again. Before last night, she had forgotten what it was like to kiss Alex and anticipate a kiss from Alex.
Olivia was brought out of her daze by the feeling of someone tapping her on the shoulder.
"Pookie, I need to talk to you," Alex managed to say as she was catching her breath.
"What, babe?" Olivia asked. Before Alex had a chance to respond, Olivia pulled her close so she could hold her.
"Abbie's going to be joining us," Alex said nervously.
"Why?" Olivia asked. "Most importantly, how is she going to be joining us?"
"She's flying over here. I wired the money to her. Her flight lands tonight and I was wondering if you'd come with me."
"To the airport?" Olivia asked, knowing that's exactly where Alex wanted her to go. "That's three hours away!"
"And that's why I want you to go with me. Keep me company."
"But, Alex, there's a storm coming," Olivia reminded her.
"It's not supposed to hit until after her flight lands, so we'll get Abbie and then hurry back over here."
"I don't know," Olivia said hesitantly.
"Please, Pookie. Keep me safe?" Alex pleaded as she nuzzled Olivia's shoulder. The innocent look on Alex's face proved to be Olivia's undoing. She knew there was a storm coming—a big storm—and she was going to risk being caught in it because Alex had called her 'Pookie' and nuzzled up to her.
"Okay," Olivia sighed. "What's going on with Abbie? She in Texas?"
"She's pregnant, Liv."
"She and Trent broke up, she's carrying his baby, and she's head over heels for Serena. I think she's going through enough without you making any snide comments."
"I'll keep the comments to myself even though she deserves to hear them," Olivia pointed out. "After all, she was the one who put us through hell, Alex. To top it off, she said she couldn't be friends with me anymore."
"A part of me is still angry with her, too, but she needs us right now, Liv. If there's ever been a time when Abbie needs us, it's now."
Olivia knew Alex was right even though she was reluctant to admit it. As they drove to the airport, her mind was consumed with thoughts of Abbie. She missed her and there was no denying it, but she didn't miss who she was when she was spending time with Abbie. Olivia didn't want to be that girl who was obsessed with her best friend; she wanted to continue what she had been doing with Alex, but that was over now. There would be no more sneaking around and acting like a couple of carefree teenagers. Instead, there was going to be three of them and they were going to be talking about something very serious in Abbie's life. Olivia wanted to help her, but she wanted there to be a way she could help Abbie without losing herself in her like she had done in the beginning of the summer.
I can't lose Alex again, I can't.
Abbie had a hard time leaving her grandparents, but they insisted that she get away for awhile to clear her head. She was only going for a few days before returning to Texas, but she felt like it was an eternity. She wanted to see her friends and she couldn't deny being excited about seeing them, but she couldn't help worrying about their upcoming reunion. Alex seemed happy about seeing her, but would Olivia feel the same way? Did Olivia even want to be her friend anymore? She tried to ignore those questions as the plane took her further from Texas and closer to Alex and Olivia.
The flight wasn't too uncomfortable for her and Abbie was grateful that her nausea wasn't as bad as it was during her first pregnancy. She passed the time on the plane by thinking of Serena and everything they had been through together. She imagined what it would be like if Serena were hers again. Abbie pictured the two of them being inseparable just like they used to be. Her thoughts of Serena were all innocent. In fact, sex hadn't crossed her mind ever since she found out she was pregnant. She knew sex wouldn't harm her baby, but she didn't want to take the risk. Unlike with her first pregnancy, Abbie knew how to take care of herself and her focus was on the well-being of her unborn baby.
When her plane landed, Abbie felt her chest start to tighten. She was finally going to see Alex and Olivia, her two best friends, but she wanted nothing more than to get back on the plane and fly back to Texas.
"Abbie!" Alex called out as she waited near baggage claim. When she finally spotted Alex, she saw that she was carrying a teddy bear with a pink bow tied around its neck and a pink rattle attached to its paw.
Leave it to Alex, Abbie thought as she smiled at her. It was far too soon to know if Abbie was going to have a boy or a girl, but that teddy bear was proof that Alex wanted a new generation of Cabenmichael girls.