Igroaned as someone opened the window and light poured into the bedroom.
"Rise and shine, my beauty!" Eliza called out cheerfully.
I groaned again.
"Go away." I opened my eyes and glared at her.
"My mom made a huge breakfast to celebrate Caspian's birthday. Everyone's waiting for you."
I sat up with a start, my heart hammering. My head was spinning, and I tried to remember if I’d drank anything last night. I hadn’t even had a sip of wine, but this certainly felt like a terrible hangover.
Wait a minute…Caspian's birthday?
“He never said anything," I said anxiously, dragging myself out of bed. "I haven’t gotten anything ready. I haven’t gotten him a present!"
Eliza set her hand on my shoulder. "Syn, settle down. Caspian doesn't really celebrate birthdays. We don't ever make a big deal out of that, but my mom at least makes his favorite foods that day."
I put my hands over my face. "I'm a horrible girlfriend," I moaned before grabbing clothes off hangers and beginning to undress.
"Girlfriend, ha? Feels a little bit more serious than that," she teased. I leaned over to put on the skirt, and my head started spinning again.
"Are you all right?"
"Just feeling a bit off this morning.” I finished pulling up my skirt. Eliza examined me closely.
“You do look a bit like shit. And I’m pretty sure you weren’t feeling well yesterday, too,” she commented.
I scoffed. “Thanks a lot,” I drawled.
"I'll see you out there," she sang, walking towards the door. "And stop freaking out. How were you supposed to know it was Caspian's birthday when no one ever told you."
I should've asked, I thought to myself. But I guess with the whole kidnapping thing and reuniting, we hadn't exactly gotten to that point.
After I had clothes on—although I was far from respectable looking based on the fact that my skin looked pale and my eyes were a bit bloodshot—I walked out to the hallway and down into the dining area where Hendrix, River, and Caspian all sat discussing something.
As soon as I walked in, all three of them practically bounded out of their seats to greet me.
I took a step away from them and shook my pointer finger in the air. "Nope. I’m mad at all of you. Why didn't anyone tell me it was Caspian’s birthday?" I snapped halfheartedly.
All of them looked a bit guilty, but it was Caspian who swept me into his arms and walked over to the table carrying me. "I never really had a reason to celebrate before," he murmured, smacking a perfunctory kiss against my lips.
"And why didn't anyone wake me up earlier?" I complained as some of the staff began to file in with an array of delicious breakfast items they set on the table.
Caspian was a big fan of food, and it showed based on this birthday breakfast. There was everything from caramel apple pancakes to chocolate chip waffles to omelettes to eggs Benedict. Really, everything you could possibly want. Caspian moved some eggs Benedict in front of me, knowing that it was my favorite. I took one sniff of it, and that was it. I turned my head at the last second, puking all over the chair next to me. The room went silent and then there was a bustle of movement as all three of them crowded around me.
I waved my hands in the air, wanting them to get away from my vomit, which smelled so bad that I was about to throw up again. At that moment, one of the girls came in carrying a loaf of banana bread, and…nope.
I lurched out of my chair and stumbled from the room, barely making it to a hall trashcan before I puked up everything else in my stomach. I sank to my knees in front of it, moaning in agony.
The guys’ anxious voices filtered down the hallway as they rushed towards me. "You’re sick again? What's going on? What do you need?”
Just then, Eliza's mother strode into the hallway, her hands on her hips. "Why aren’t any of you eating?" she began to scold before her words faded away. She saw me on the floor, basically hugging the trashcan. She cocked her head. "What's wrong, Syn?"
In answer, I groaned again. And then I leaned forward and wretched. But there was nothing in my stomach, so I was mostly just dry heaving.
Which was almost worse.
She clucked her tongue and pushed the guys out of the way as she moved towards me, squatting down and pulling some of my hair out of my face.
"How long have you been sick for?" she questioned.
“I’ve been feeling off the last couple of mornings, but today…today, I feel like I'm dying."
"Um… And your symptoms, besides throwing up?"
"Nausea, vomiting, dizziness… And feeling like my period’s on the way. Without it actually happening."
The guys were silent as they listened, and although I didn't usually talk about my cycle in front of them, the symptoms were an apt description for how I'd been feeling.
"And when was your last cycle?" she asked.
I opened my mouth to tell her last month, but then I promptly closed it.
Because I hadn't had my period last month.
With everything that was going on, I had just kind of brushed it off, not really even paying attention. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and began to scroll through my calendar, looking for the last time I’d marked the start of my cycle.
It had been over two months. But I was just stressed, right? She was looking at me knowingly, something I didn't appreciate right about now because I was flipping the fuck out.
"What is it? What's going on?" Hendrix snapped, sounding like he was ready to tear the world In half if it would help me.
My stomach was in knots, and it wasn't just from the nausea. It felt like if I said it out loud, then it would be true.
When I thought about it, it was all there. The swollen boobs, the bloating, the morning sickness, I’d even had some weird cravings… peanut butter-covered carrots anyone? And I thought I’d just been gaining weight from actually having regular meals, but what if…
"I think I need a pregnancy test," I blurted out. I squeezed my eyes closed when I said it, in fear of what I would see written on their faces. I mean, surely this was going to freak them out more than anything else. We were definitely not ready for a baby. When it was so silent that I wasn't quite sure they were still standing there, I peeked open one eye to see all of them looking like they’d just had the biggest surprise of their life.
Which, in fairness, was probably true.
It was Caspian who moved first, sinking down to his knees in front of me, his gaze caught on my stomach.
"You think you could be…pregnant?" he gasped, a sort of reverence in his voice.
I could feel the heat in my cheeks, from what I wasn't quite sure. Maybe from anxiety?
"I've missed two months worth of periods, and stress has never really affected me like that before. So…"
Hendrix turned and lunged forward, basically screaming at the top of his lungs. "I need a fucking pregnancy test right now," he growled as he stormed down the hallway.
One of the maids, Rosie I think was her name, came bustling from the kitchen, a pregnancy test in her hand. This was becoming a freaking spectacle.
I reached my hand out, trying to ignore the nausea building up, but Hendrix ignored it. Instead, he leaned over and scooped me into his arms, before hustling down the hallway towards my room. I didn't have any energy, so I just leaned my head against his chest, wondering when I was going to stop feeling like I was going to puke up my insides.
Hendrix sat me down on the marble floor of my bathroom, and I swayed in place.