Falling For Zoe (The Camerons of Tide's Way #1)
looked so distressed.
    “Are you—” Ava glanced down, then back up. “Are you pregnant?”

Chapter 13
    ZOE’S BREATH CAUGHT in her chest with painful suddenness. Zoe had begun to really show about three or four weeks ago, but the judicious choice of clothing had hidden it. Just now, when she had reached up to touch her curls, her shirt must have hiked up and revealed the unmistakable swell of her growing belly.
    “I am.” No use denying it. Ava would have found out eventually. Jake would know next.
    “But there’s no Mr. Callahan.”
    Zoe couldn’t decide if there was condemnation in Ava’s question, or just curiosity. She decided to be honest and treat Ava as an equal. That was the advice she’d given Jake not so long ago—accept the fact that Ava was growing up and treat her accordingly. Ava would make her own judgment about Zoe, but at least she’d know Zoe hadn’t treated her like a child.
    “Porter didn’t want to be married. He didn’t want to be a father either.”
    Ava sank down on the side of her bed and gazed up at Zoe with open curiosity. “Did you mean to get pregnant? Or was Porter one of those guys you were talking about who only want one thing and don’t spend much time worrying about the consequences?”
    “No and yes. No, I didn’t mean to get pregnant. And apparently yes to Porter and his motivations.”
    “Well, if you didn’t mean to get pregnant, how did you let it happen? I mean, you’re old enough to know how to get stuff.”
    Zoe turned the desk chair toward the bed and sat down. Innocent though she was, considering the discussion they’d already had about boys and sex, Ava deserved the truth. “I am, and you’re right. I should have been protecting myself. I thought I was in a different kind of relationship than it turns out I was. I got careless, and . . . well, here I am. About to become an unwed mother. I guess I’m not the best example of how to conduct one’s personal life and relationships.”
    “But what about this guy, Porter? Don’t you love him?”
    Zoe took a deep breath. Confession was supposed to be good for the soul, but looking into the guileless eyes of this young woman, Zoe wondered if she should be confessing to her at all. Now that she’d started, though, there seemed no reasonable way to end the inquisition.
    “I wanted to love him. My father wanted me to love him. But it just didn’t happen.”
    “Then how come you were—you know . . . ?”
    “Intimate?”
    Ava nodded, a fiery flush surging up her neck and into her cheeks.
    “It’s kind of complicated. I shouldn’t have let it happen, but I did. Porter was the first man who really seemed interested in me, and it was exciting. I was flattered, and I really wanted to fall in love, but . . .”
    “But, what?” Ava’s brows puckered. She folded her hands in her lap, waiting for Zoe’s explanation.
    “Like I said, it’s complicated. First off, you have to understand that my father always planned for my brothers to become lawyers and join the firm. Only none of my brothers wanted to be lawyers, and my father was pretty disappointed. Then Porter came to work for him, and when my dad brought him home for dinner, Porter met me. Before long, he asked me out on a date. I never figured my dad for a matchmaker, but I think he got the idea that if Porter and I got married, Daddy would finally get to add son to the company name.
    “I know it’s not an excuse, but I let my father’s attitude convince me that Porter and I were meant to be. When Porter invited me to spend the weekend with him at a classy resort in Hilton Head, it seemed—” Zoe hesitated, remembering how it had felt to be treated like someone’s princess. “It felt special and very romantic. And it was. Or would have been if we’d really been in love, but we weren’t.”
    “Is that when it happened?” Ava glanced at Zoe’s belly, then back to her face.
    Zoe looked away from the assessing, questioning eyes. It

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