A/N: I'm new to this fandom, but I have to say: I'm glad I was convinced to watch Pretty Little Liars! I've read the books and love them, but I didn't like how Aria and Ezra's relationship just...ended. In the TV show, I was pleased to see their relationship was still working out.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this chapter! This is just a prologue, so the next ones will be longer, I promise!


By Lady Elena Dawson

Disclaimer: I do not own Pretty Little Liars—neither the TV show nor the books by Sara Shepard.

Chapter 1


The two lines that had always reminded Aria of math class and the Christian faith glared holes into her now tainted soul, something the religious would call sin. Though she never uttered much of a prayer in her liberal views, she could feel her brain struggling to find the right words she learned years back, the guilt eating her up from the inside as the heat flushed out of her body and replaced it with a cold, dreadful lump in the pit of her stomach.

Her long-ago healed OCD creeping up inside her, she started to fidget by clicking her fingernails to the point of breakage. She would prefer to chew them into bits instead, but she couldn't find the courage to stick them into her utterly dry mouth; and most of all, she wished all of this was a dream or, more accurately, a nightmare. Heck, she would pick waking up in a horrible sweat over this world-stopping reality she was experiencing at that moment.

The test was positive.

For a while she'd been feeling queasy and dizzy, almost as though she had the flu, but…not. Usually the nausea would just blow away in the next few minutes, and other times it would become so unbearable she'd throw up her breakfast. And for a while she forced herself to believe that it was just one of those things that would pass, but it never did—so she had to accept the facts and bought a pregnancy test.

Fingers convulsing horribly, she reached into the blue plastic bag, which crinkled loudly in the small tiled bathroom, and pulled out another unused test. Maybe it was a defect, she told herself as she licked her dry lips and prepared to take it again. These things aren't always right.

Maybe it was all a dream, and she'd wake up in her bed in a cold sweat after her gnawing nightmare.

But she came crashing back to earth after the next excruciating few minutes passed, and the test came out positive again.

So she was in reality after all.

As Aria drove to Spencer's house to spend the night—she had called up her friends and told them it was an emergency, meanwhile tossing the two positive tests in her bag for show—her fingers tapped on the steering wheel nervously. She couldn't disagree that she was agitated, but she was also in denial that all of this was happening to her. Yes, she had been a rebel for a while, but she didn't think her strong opinions and tenuous moral code would get this far.

Aria, she told herself, was supposed to be the girl known for her bohemian style and shocking resemblance to Rachel Weisz, who had given her the inspiration to do her eyeliner the same way as Evelyn Carnahan after a showing of The Mummy at Rosewood's local theater. She was supposed to be remembered as the girl with the pink stripes in her hair, not the girl who became pregnant by her ex-English teacher.

God, how wrong that sounded, Aria thought as she rolled her eyes. If word got out whom the father of her baby was—she already knew she was having it; abortion was out of the question—things would get messy really fast. And the last thing she needed was another issue to add to her long list of dramatic experiences that happened this year aside from A, which was a whole entity of its own.

As though she predicted it, her phone rang, giving out a short beep that signaled a new text message. Heart pounding tremendously hard in her chest, she ignored it, telling herself the excuse was no texting while driving. But then another beep permeated the tension-filled air, and she no longer knew who it was from. Didn't A usually send just one threatening text at a time?

Sliding her tongue along her dry lips, she began fidgeting with her fingers again, tapping away. No way was this happening right now. Bile rose in her throat, and she knew she was going to vomit, but…

The feeling quickly subsided. One of the many perks of pregnancy, she guessed. Those words were supposed to ease the tension, but she was still uncomfortable thinking of herself in that way. Though her mind was plagued with terrifying thoughts of her parents' reactions when they figured out what was wrong—or, to put it more specifically, what was growing inside her and who helped produce it—she attempted to push it out. After all, Ezra would be by her side once he learned that his child was on the way…

Wouldn't he be?

Suddenly, she jumped when her phone was bombarded with another text message, three more beeps ringing out. Who could this be? Aria fumed exasperatedly as she came to a stop at a red light.

Fumbling for her phone which had lit up again on the dashboard, she unlocked it and saw the list of messages from an unknown number. She sighed as she opened the first one, which contained the file to an old picture A took to bribe Hanna into spilling her illegal secret. The other had no text but another picture, this one of her and Ezra making out in the car at Mona's birthday party. Her mind becoming crazed by the many texts, she opened the next one—her and Ezra at the museum; and the other—her and Ezra speaking tensely at Ian's funeral. By the time there was one text left, she was shaken: A had this much evidence on her?

As she trembled in her seat, heart pounding in her throat, she quickly opened the next text haphazardly. What it read made her free hand roam down to her stomach naturally, as though protecting what was being blackmailed inside.

Poor, foolish Aria. See where lying has gotten you? Remember, I can't always keep your secrets. And I'll be there to spill them first if you don't take the lead. That baby bump can't hide forever! –A

There came an aggravated honk from behind her, and Aria threw her phone on the passenger seat and uneasily and unseeingly began to drive. Now she couldn't wait to arrive at Spencer's house to tell her friends all about what happened.

But more importantly—what was she going to do?