Scott was growing concerned. Josie’s stomach bug had lasted most of the week. He had always thought those things were 24-48 hour deals.
She came in to work a couple of nights, after midnight, saying that she was feeling better and thought she might finally be shaking it loose, only to be sick again the next afternoon. She finally gave up and went to see her doctor.
When Scott got up that evening, he tried calling her to see what she found out, but her phone went straight into voicemail. He tried texting her off and on throughout the night, but she never responded.
That wasn’t like her; before, she had always called to tell him she either wouldn’t be in at all, or would try to come in late. He wondered if the doctor gave her something strong that knocked her out. That wasn’t a very comforting, though, though, since she lived alone. What if she wasn’t able to take care of herself?
He hemmed and hawed about going to her house to check on her, but he finally talked himself out of it; if she was resting, he didn’t want to disturb her. And she had obviously turned off her phone for a reason.
But when he got up the following afternoon and she still hadn’t responded to his texts and still wouldn’t answer her phone, he resolved to go to her house immediately. He threw on some jeans and a polo shirt—both gifts from Josie because she felt sorry he didn’t have anything to wear except suits—and paced the floor of his living room impatiently, waiting for the daylight to fade sufficiently. Po watched him anxiously, as if he knew something was wrong.
Half an hour later, he took Po out for a brief walk, then shut him up again in the basement. The building was dark and empty and echoing as he walked up the hallway to the front door.
Scott had really missed Josie over the past week; he had never fully appreciated how much she lit up his life until he had to spend long amounts of time alone. And even when she had been at work during the past week, she had clearly not felt well, because she didn’t smile and joke and laugh like she normally did.
Scott went to the grocery store first to pick up a dozen pink roses for her, then he swung back by her house. From the outside, everything looked normal. Scott wasn’t sure what he expected it to look like, since Josie had only been sick a week, but he felt like the house or yard or something should reflect its owner’s illness.
He hid the flowers behind his back and rang her doorbell. It only occurred to him afterward that if she was too sick to answer her phone, she was probably too sick to get the door. What if she was lying in the floor, unable to get up?
He resolved to break down the door if she didn’t answer the bell after a few minutes.
But, before he could be driven to heroics, Josie opened the door. Scott was shocked by how pale and weak she looked—and how un-Josie. Her hair wasn’t combed, much less styled, she had on no makeup, and she was wearing a pair of knit pajama bottoms and a tank top. She looked like death warmed over. Whatever the doctor had given her, it didn’t seem to be working.
She looked almost surprised to see him. “Scott, what are you doing here?”
He pulled the flowers out and handed them to her. “I hadn’t heard from you since you went to the doctor, and I was afraid you might be so sick or drugged out that you couldn’t take care of yourself. So I came to help.”
She briefly smiled, then he watched her face fall again. “Actually… I need to talk to you,” she said, her voice hollow and a bit resigned. “I… just didn’t know how to do it. So, I guess it’s good you came by.” She stepped back to allow him into the house.
But Scott didn’t budge. His lifeless lump of a heart had just fallen to his feet.
“Josie…” he began to plead. He wasn’t sure what to say, but he knew he had to say something. A “Dear John” talk was eminent. If he didn’t head her off at the pass, the next thing out of her mouth was going to be “it’s not you; it’s me.” Or the dreaded “I still want to be friends.”
She took him by the arm, gently tugging him inside. “Don’t look like a sad puppy or you’re going to make me cry.”
He let her lead him into the living room. “I can’t help it; you’re about to make me sad, aren’t you?”
“‘Sad’ isn’t the word I would choose….”
He sat down on her couch. “Give it to me,” he said, sounding more steeled than he really was. Inside he was flinching, knowing the pain was about to come.
Josie put the flowers down on the coffee table, sat beside him on the couch—turned to look at him—and took a deep breath. “I’m pregnant. The doctor did a pregnancy test on me yesterday and…” she spread her hands helplessly, “I’m pregnant.”
Scott was stunned into silence. That hadn’t been what he was expecting at all. In fact, nothing could have possibly been further from his mind.
Crickets chirped somewhere in the living room. A dust bunny rolled across the living room floor.
“Whose is it?” he finally managed to ask in a choked voice.
“I knew you were going to say that!” she accused him angrily. “I knew it!”
“Well, what did you think I was going to say?” Scott said, raising his voice. “Vampires are sterile, so I know it’s not mine.”
“Scott, I haven’t slept with another man since we started dating. No, scratch that—since I started sleeping with you. Even before we actually started dating, I wasn’t sleeping around.”
He continued to look at her skeptically. Vampires were sterile; that was a known medical fact.
Josie glared at him, then stomped off into another part of the house. She returned a moment holding a large, hardback book. “What do you think about this?” she asked, thrusting it angrily into his face.
The red-bound book glowed with the light of the sun, blinding Scott; at the same time, he felt an invisible force push him back. He was lying on the couch before he knew it.
Josie pulled the book back, and the force and light went away.
“What the hell was that?” Scott demanded.
Josie knelt in the floor on the other side of the coffee table and put the book on top. “It’s a Torah,” she replied. “I told you I don’t believe in a Christian bible, but I do believe in this—as you can see.”
Scott sat up slowly, feeling very confused. “What has that got to do with anything?”
Josie put her hand on top of the book. “I swear on the Torah, and on my ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, that since you and I have been together, I have not had sex with another man. I am pregnant with your child, so help me God.”
Scott sat there for a long moment in silence. Looking into Josie’s fierce eyes—and knowing she was swearing an oath before a God she very much believed in—he couldn’t help but believe her.
“O-okay,” he finally stuttered.
“Do you believe me?” she demanded, still looking fierce. Even if he hadn’t, he might have lied just because he was a little afraid of her.
“Yes,” he replied honestly.
“Good,” she said, getting to her feet and returning the book to the case in the dining room. When she came back into the living room a few moments later, she plopped down on the couch next to him, still in a bit of a huff.
She crossed her arms over her chest. “I have never had unprotected sex before in life,” she said, sounding rather bitter. “I only did with you because vampires aren’t supposed to be fertile or have any diseases.”
“I didn’t have any diseases before,” Scott hurried to assure her.
“Good. Because if someone’s lied about vampires’ fertility, they might have lied about the STDs, too.”
They sat in silence for several minutes. Scott was almost afraid to say anything, but he finally decided that they had to move—either forward or backwards; they couldn’t sit still forever.
“So…” he said slowly, “now what?”
“I have no idea,” she said helplessly, before bursting into tears.
“Hey,” he said soothingly, “hey, it’s okay. It’ll be okay.” He reached for her and gently pulled her to his side. She wrapped her arms around him, clinging desperately as she sobbed.
Scott rubbed her back, and took stock of the situation. He was forty-four—nearly forty-five—years old, and in defiance of all known medical science, he had gotten his twenty-nine year old secretary pregnant out-of-wedlock.
Either God hated him, or He had a twisted sense of humor.
Read the entire series–The Bloodsuckers: Vampire Lawyers of Middle Tennessee