Change of Plan

For the past six months, after finding out I was officially pregnant, my mother’s voice began to grate on my nerves almost simultaneously. I could only compare it to nails on a chalkboard.

When she was through yelling at Yanni, she busted into my room, only slowing down when she saw me glaring at her.

“Why didn’t you call me?” she barked in Alex’s direction.

“I couldn’t call you because I didn’t know myself. You know how Starlet can keep things to herself. She’s stubborn as hell.”

“Hey, watch yourself, Mister!” I warned.

At that moment, Alex tried to let go of my hand, but I gripped it harder.

“So, what is Dr. Randolph saying, Ms. Starlet?” my mother asked, her tone still a little too loud for my tastes.

She was back in full-nurse mode, and I was absolutely out of patience with her.

“First of all, please stop yelling! You are rattling me and my baby! Plus my nerves are already fried,” I snapped.

“Starlet Marie, I know you’re pregnant, but you don’t have to be rude.”

“Change the tone in your voice, and I’ll work with you.”

Once again Alex tried to snatch his hand away, but I held on. He gave up and leaned close to me. “Starlet, maybe you and your mother should talk alone,” he whispered.

“No, thanks. You can stay. It’ll save me having to repeat myself—so, you might as well take a front-row seat.”

My mother started pacing around. I could tell she was really agitated with me and the whole situation. Eventually she opened the door again and grabbed the chart off the door.

She continued to pace as she read through Dr. Randolph’s notes. “It says here that you were brought in with Braxton Hicks and that your pressure was a little low. How do you feel now?”

“Are you asking as my mother or my nurse? You know my doctor is right outside the door, if you want those questions answered.”

“Star, stop being a smart ass, damn it. Answer my questions! Besides, Brandon isn’t in the hall, or I would have seen him on my way in.”

“All I know is that my pains were beginning to go away, until you came down the hall yelling at people like some kind of gangbuster.”

“So, you are in pain now?” she asked, completely side-stepping what I’d said.

I sighed. What was the use?

“I’m not in major pain, but I am uncomfortable. Dr. Randolph said I have to stay off my feet for the next week,” I said in exasperation. “I don’t have time for this—I have a presentation to do on Monday.”

“Starlet, God is talking to you in a big and profound way,” my mother began, “now just listen and stay off your feet. Alex, are you going to be at home with her?”

“You know I will. That’s the only way to keep her on bed rest,” he responded, reminding me so much of a school boy who’s arrived to take his girl to the prom and wants to say all the right things.

I simply rolled my eyes and kept pouting.

“Alex, I almost forget . . . there was one goon and one rude boy at you all’s apartment when I went over. I had to beat that ill-mannered one with my purse. Just an arrogant little something or ‘nother. I wanted to slap that little yella boy into next week.”

I laughed because I knew it had to be Mason. And by the way she sounded, she was going to beat his butt if he did something shady in her book.

“But it was the other one who looked like a teddy bear,” she continued, frowning as if something had just occurred to her. “What’s wrong with his breath? Does he brush his teeth? What happened to his hygiene?”

“Mom, well, you know Red’s a little slow,” I quickly replied.

“So you say, baby, so you say.”

While talking to me, my mother was preparing to make herself comfortable. She gave every indication that she was going to stay in my room as long as Alex stayed.

I closed my eyes to hide the irritation and because feigning sleep might get me some alone time.

“Starlet, are you falling asleep on me?” she asked.

“I’m not sleeping, just resting my eyes.”

“Yea, right!” she answered sarcastically. “You’ll do anything not to tell me more about this boy who tried to hijack you.”

I expelled air and drew in a deep breath. I wanted to tell her how I was trying to figure out a way to get rid of her and Alex. I still had a mission to accomplish—my hands around Sabrina’s throat. Vincent being here was her fault, and she was going to pay what she owed.

Now, if I could just get my purse and find some way to slip out of here and get to Rain. There was about to be a change of plan.