A week of throwing up and Dennis finally took me to the doctors the following Saturday. He sat out in the waiting room and I waited impatiently for the doctor to come in.
As she did she immediately asked, "What's wrong?"
"Well I keep throwing up, but I don't have any other cold symptoms," I said.
"It says here you don't have a fever. Clare, are you sexually active?" The doctor asked bluntly.
I looked at her questioningly and my mouth dropped open and I thought back to my week with Dennis and Mac.
"Yes," I said weakly.
"When was your last period?"
"About a month ago... I should've gotten it two days ago," I said slowly realizing what this was coming too.
"That's still too early too tell, but my guess is you're pregnant. We can test you here and call you tomorrow with the results," she said already filling out test forms.
The next fifteen minutes was a blur and then I was sent on my way. I was spacey, I was woozy, I felt like crying.
Dennis was sitting there waiting for me. "Hey why'd it take so long?" He said looking up at his watch. He then looked at me and concerned washed over his face. "Are you okay?"
"You're?" He asked cluelessly trying to get it out of me.
"Pregnant," I whispered as I leaned into him and started crying.
Once I started crying I couldn't stop, and finally Dennis took me to the back seat of his car and just held me and stroked my hair.
After about twenty minutes the sobs subsided and I was just sniffling as I looked at him with watery eyes.
"So we had sex... I know that. But did you and Mac..."
I nodded slowly and he looked away. He already knew it but he had to confirm it, just in case, by some miracle it wasn't true.
The tears welled up again and I felt Niagara falls part two, but Dennis pulled me in close and kissed the top of my head. "Stop that," he started in a whisper. "We'll get through this. We'll just say its mine and we'll be a family and you can live with me and everything will be fine."
"Dennis, I'm 21 years old. I wanted to do so much. Well actually two things, before I had a family. Fall in love, and become a journalist. Yes, I've done one, but how can I do the other with a child, who also may not be yours?" I said sadly.
He looked a little hurt and pulled away. "Well we'd know if you didn't have sex with Mac."
"Don't be an asshole," I said as I backed all the way up towards the other door.
He sighed and shook his head, "Look, I wanna be with you. I love you. It maybe way sooner than I ever thought I'd have a child, but lets do it. I'm here for you, and I always will be," he said inching closer to me.
My defensive wall dropped and I closed the space and leaned into him. "We have to tell Mac."
Dennis hit his head against the car window and gave an exasperated sigh. "Why?" He asked frowning.
"Because it's only fair. If he is the dad, and he wants to be the dad, he'll be in this child's life too," I said with a harder tone then I intended.
He kissed the top of my head and accepted defeat. "Whatever you want Clare," he whispered and pulled me in tight.
I smiled as he stroked my hair. I knew I'd made the right choice.
The next day I went back to work and so did Dennis. It didn't take long for most of the people who had vital communication with me knew what was going on.
It was a rough past week and I walked in and smiled weakly at Linda, the first assistant who sat by the door and she smiled and stood up. She walked around from behind her desk and looked at me with concern.
"How are you feeling dear?" She asked putting her hand lightly on my back.
"I don't know," I said in a defeated voice.
She frowned and walked me to my desk, "Maybe it's best if you tell them what's going on, and then you can go on maternity leave," she suggested.
"Maternity leave for an intern?" I asked raising an eyebrow at her. "I don't think that's going to happen."
"It's worth a shot, and you can always get a new job after the baby comes! It's not like your life has to stop, but you can't be doing this for nine months! You're so small as it is, having a baby is really going to weigh down on you honey," Linda said with genuine concern.
I smiled up to her. She reminded me a lot of my mom.
"I'll play it by ear Linda, but thank you," I said smiling at her before she turned and walked away.
I walked out the door at 4:30 because my boss had me running around all day and I didn't get in til 4:15.
When I walked outside Dennis stood leaning against his range rover again- except this time he didn't look nearly as happy.
"What's up?" I asked walking to him with a frown.
"Nothing, why? Are you okay?" He asked taking his sunglasses off his eyes and placing them on his head.
I nodded and opened the passenger door. "Can we please just go to my apartment?" I asked. The exhaust made its way into my voice as my sentence progressed.
He drove there, and it didn't take very long. I led him up to my apartment and I fell on the couch with a sigh.
"I don't know if I can do this," I said in a weak voice to Dennis.
He frowned and took my hand. "I mean, the bar could probably hold us up. It's been doing a lot better. You can just quit your job til after the pregnancy," he said with a shrug.
"But what about my apartment? Utilities? Groceries?"
Dennis paused for a moment and shrunk into the ground in front of the couch with thought.
"Simple solution!" He exclaimed with a smile.
I looked at him with a raised eyebrow and he turned too look at me on one knee. He grabbed my left hand and my eyes got wide.
"Clare... Will you move in with me?" He asked with a grin.
I slapped him and let out a big breath. He laughed, and that caused me to laugh.
"Yes," I smiled laying my head down. "But what am I supposed to do all day?"
"Well..." He said hesitating for a moment. "You could work at the bar."
"Dennis you've gotta be kidding me," Frank said as he looked at me standing in the middle of the bar.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Dennis said putting his arm around my waist.
My face turned to a frown and Frank put his hand on his face and sighed.
"We don't have money to pay someone else! Besides we don't need anymore help!" Frank exclaimed.
"Well... I'm not really asking for anything... I kinda quit my job and I was just gonna do odd jobs around here when I felt okay," I said to Frank quietly.
Dennis gently rubbed my back and smiled at me.
Frank looked around the empty bar for a moment and shrugged. "Alright, why the hell not. At least Dennis is taking responsibility for knocking you up," he said throwing his hands in the air and walking to the back office.
Dennis shrugged and walked behind the bar. I followed behind him after a minute and sat on the bar while he stood next to me.
He grinned at me and leaned over and kissed me lightly.
"Just great guys," a familiar voice said coming from the back door of the bar.
Mac frowned a little as he was closely followed by Charlie.
"Sorry," I said quietly and Dennis shook his head.
"Mac we need to talk to you... Privately," Dennis said looking at Charlie.
Charlie didn't get the memo at the moment and stood there. As Dennis, Mac, and I looked at him he squinted and frowned.
"Why do I have to leave?" He asked a bit frustrated.
"It's private," I said giving him a threatening look.
He retaliated back and finally I just gave up and ignored him. I turned to Mac and we looked in each others eyes for what felt like forever. I missed those eyes.
"Mac," Dennis said breaking the trance.
We both looked over at him and he sighed. "Clare has something to tell you."
"What is it?" Mac asked looking back towards me.
I sighed and jumped down from the bar and walked around to the front of it.
"I'm pregnant," I said quietly looking at my feet.
When I looked up his face was absolutely overwhelmed with joy.
"And it's mine right? So does that mean its me?" He asked jumping to conclusions and grabbing my hands.
This made my eyes tear up and I shook my head no as I bit my lip.
He stepped back and sighed.
"Well the thing is... I don't know who's it is," I said with a tear falling from my eye.
He sighed and shrugged.
"Just say it's Dennis' then. You guys can be one big, happy family," he shrugged turning his back.
"But what if it's yours?" I asked him.
"Doesn't matter. You don't want me around anyway," he said with a slight resentment in his voice.
"But it does..." I started taking a step towards him.
He turned to face me and shook his head. "No it doesn't, cause either way Dennis will be playing dad and you don't want me around."
"I never said that!" I exclaimed taking another step towards him
He just started backing up and shrugging his shoulders. "It was your choice," he said with a tilt of his head. He let the door slam behind him and I immediately fell to my knees and cried.
Dennis ran to my side and pulled me into his lap.
"This is gonna get reallllll interesting," Charlie said as he reached over the counter and grabbed a beer.
It had been a month since Mac told me he didn't want to be apart of my child's life, even if it was his.
"It just, it still hurts," I said to Dee when Charlie walked out of the Bar to go god knows where.
"I know, but... I mean can you really blame him after what you put him through?" Dee asked sincerely.
I couldn't be mad at her for saying that even though I really wanted to be.
"But it doesn't matter... He knew what he was getting into..." I mumbled, trying to take some of the feeling of guilt out of my stomach.
Dee shrugged and looked at her watch. "Hey, I have a date tonight, would you mind watching the bar by yourself til Dennis gets here?"
"Have fun," I said weakly with a smile.
She grabbed her purse and made her way to the door, almost colliding with Mac in the process.
I grabbed a rag and started wiping the bar down to busy myself and keep my attention away from Mac.
He sat on a bar stool and looked at me. "Hey, can you pass me a beer?"
I ignored him and kept at what I was doing, just hoping he would go away. I wasn't one for childish behavior, but I didn't have anything to say to him, let alone did I want to do anything for him.
He sighed and made his way around the bar, as he grabbed a beer he stopped right next to me and put his hand on my arm.
"Please Clare, please, say something."
"I don't know what you want or what you expect Mac. I don't know why you tell me you don't care if this baby's yours or not and then ignore me for a month and then beg me to say something."
"Because I fell in love with you when I first laid eyes on you, and I thought you were gonna pick me. For the first time in my life I didn't just want sex. I still want you Clare," he said moving his face closer to mine.
He could only see me shake my head no before something zoomed past my face, missing it by inches, and hitting him square in the nose.
I looked back to see Dennis reaching across the bar with his hand still clenched in a fist and traces of blood on his knuckle.
"You need to stay the fuck away from her," Dennis said as angrily as I've ever heard him.