Warning: This story mentions non-descriptive adult themes near the end. I don't want to give it away, but just be warned.

Revised 4/19/13

You Should Have Been There

"You look ridiculous," Seth said flatly, holding his daughter to his chest.

"I do not!" Ava protested, adjusting the bright blonde wig on her head. "I'm supposed to look like Lucy's mom. Ergo blonde."

"You can put on all the blonde wigs you want, you're not gonna look like Mira," Seth commented.

"Don't you watch TV?" She asked, "The choose people with the same hair color to play parents and relatives of other characters. Viewers aren't the wiser to it."

"You look like Hannah Montana." He suddenly paused and frowned. "Are you wearing Mira's perfume?"

"I want it to be realistic, okay?"

Seth rolled his eyes followed his friend up the sidewalk to the daycare center, trying to remind himself again why he was doing this.

Ava stopped abruptly in front of him, he nearly crashed into her. She stood stock still, just staring at the entrance of the building. Her mother was in there. Her palms started sweating at the very thought.

"Are you okay?" Seth's voice broke through her haze. She looked up to see her tall friend staring at her in concern, "If this is too much, we can turn back."

"No," Ava said immediately, "I've waited seventeen years for this." She reached her hands out for the baby. "Let me hold her, it'll send a more 'family' message."

Seth kissed Lucy's head, then handed her to Ava. Upon leaving her father's arms, she started to whimper.

"It's okay, baby," Ava said, "Come to… mommy?" The word was still strange to her. She looped her free arm through Seth's. They walked in together, Ava's heart banging against her ribs. She spun a bit of her cheap Hannah Montana wig around her finger.

"May I help you?" The woman behind the counter asked.

"Um, we're here to take a tour," Ava said, "As you can see, we have a baby, so we need a tour of this fine establishment." From beside her, Seth rolled his eyes.

Fortunately, the lady was patient, "Of course, I'll get Miss Adelman for you." She picked up the phone and dialed a number.

Ava leaned into Seth, "Miss Adelman, that's my mother!"

The receptionist hung up the call, "She'll be out in a minute, feel free to sit down." she gestured to the chairs against the nearby wall.

"Thank you," said Ava.

By now, Lucy's whining had gotten louder. She squirmed in Ava's arms, clearing wanting to get back into Seth's.

"Here," Seth said, taking his baby into his arms. He set her so she was standing on his thighs, his hands around her stomach holding her up. "Come on baby girl, you wanna stand for me?"

Ava watched the scene quietly. When Lucy was born, and they had all held her, Ava had noticed how Mira looked at the baby. It was the look of unconditional love of someone she had only known a short time. The love that only came from a mother. And Ava longed to get a look like that for herself.

Seth's nudged her. She looked up to see… her.

A smiling, petite woman approached them. She was smartly dressed; a maroon blouse, black skirt, and black high heels. She had thick black hair that hung straight past her shoulders. Her eyes were a light brown, and shaped like fat almonds, with well sculpted cheekbones, and a soft jaw line. Her nose had a thin bridge, like Ava's. Hell, everything about her face was like Ava's.

Ava's hand gripped onto Seth's arm in shock. This was her.

"Welcome! You must be Seth and Mira, " the woman said brightly. Her voice was strong, full of confidence, and slightly raspy. She shook hands with Seth, and then held it out to Ava, who stared at it.

She felt Seth elbow her, and reached her own hand out to shake it. Bridgett's handshake was firm and convinced. It made Ava feel like this woman knew exactly what she was doing and what she wanted. And it also startled Ava that she read so much into a handshake that she failed to realize that this was the first time she and Bridgett had touched.

"And who is this little angel?" The woman asked, smiling at the baby in Seth's arms. Bridgett was a few inches taller than Ava, especially in heels, so she was still considerably shorter than Seth, therefore at eye level with Lucy.

"This… this is Lucy," Ava finally whispered.

"What a beautiful little girl," Bridgett commented. She smiled at Ava, "She looks just like you."

While Seth was frowning and examining his daughter's face, Ava was beaming. Bridgett thought Lucy looked like Ava, and that Lucy was beautiful. Did she think she was beautiful too?

"Shall we go to my office and get things started?" Bridgett asked with a smile.

Bridgett's office was, for lack of a better word, work-y. There was pretty much nothing that told her more about the woman. A few diplomas hung on the pale blue walls, shelves of thick books with long titles, and a potted fern in the corner. The desk was completely organized and void of photos or anything personal.

"Nice office," Seth said awkwardly.

Bridgett smiled, "Thank you. Please have a seat. Would you like anything to drink? I have water or coffee."

"No thanks, I'm good," Seth said, looking over at Ava, who was fidgeting in her chair.

"Alright." Bridgett sat in her chair across from the young couple. "Before we begin, I have to ask; how old are you?"

"Seventeen," The answered together.

"That's pretty young," She commented. Judging by the look on her face, she didn't get a lot of teen parents. That wasn't a big surprise; this place was very exclusive and expensive.

"Yeah well, what are you gonna do?" Seth asked rhetorically, shrugging. Ava released the breath she didn't know she'd been holding. She knew how sensitive Seth was about people talking about him being a teen father. She knew he knew that as long as he was a good father, age didn't matter. And she prayed that Bridgett wouldn't press the issue.

"Can we hear about the classes?" Ava asked hopefully.

"Of course." Bridgett pulled a drawer out of her desk and withdrew some papers, handing one to each teen.

Ava crossed her legs and listened to Bridgett tell them about the 'classes' they had at this daycare. It was mostly stuff that would interest Seth and Mira, seeing as she didn't have a kid. She was too busy staring at Bridgett. This was her, it was really her. Beautiful and confident and all around amazing.

She let her eyes wander over to the bookshelf, and was surprised to see the middle shelf full of books she was familiar with. She needed an excuse to go over there, so she knocked Seth's leg with her knee. Lucy, who had been asleep in his lap, was roused by the harsh movement and started crying.

"Oh, sweetie," Ava cooed, reaching over and taking the baby. "She just misses her mommy," she explained to Bridgett. "I'm gonna calm her down, just keep talking."

She stood up, clumsily rocking the baby from side to side while making her way to the bookshelf. Bridgett continued talking to Seth, but Ava had stopped listening at this point. Bridgett's books were… exactly the same as the ones on Ava's shelf at home.

The Scarlett Letter


To Kill a Mockingbird

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

The Secret Garden

But there was one particular book that caught her eye. Unable to help herself, she slid it free from the shelf and read the title.

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?" Ava asked, turning her head to look at her mother. Bridgett looked up, confused, then smiled at what she was holding.

"One of my favorites," She said. Ava's heart did a funny jump.

"Mine... mine too," Ava said in wonder. A slow smile spread over Bridgett's face and an identical one crossed Ava's.

Their moment was interrupted by Ava's idiot friend finally reading the paper Bridgett had handed him.

"Hold up!" Seth said loudly, "You charge almost nine hundred dollars to lock eighteen month olds in a room for three hours and teach them to speak Spanish?"

Bridgett looked back at him, "I know it seems overwhelming…"

"Overwhelming?" he asked incredulously, "They're eighteen months old! If they are going to read and speak Spanish, then their parents need to teach them."

"Seth," She began calmly, "Studies show that at that age, children are more-"

"Do you even have any kids, lady?" Seth snapped before he could stop himself. He froze immediately after saying it.

Ava's head turned so fast she practically got whiplash, staring at her mother to get her reaction.

Bridgett stared at him coolly, but there was a flash of something, it was so brief that Ava could have imagined it, but there was a flash of something in Bridgett's eyes. The woman drew her mouth into a thin line.

"We do our best here to make sure children reach their true potential, if you don't like this, then you don't have to enroll your daughter here!" Her voice raised a little, startling both teens.

Seth glared back at her. It was like he was glaring back at Ava, but he held his gaze. Finally, he stood up and took his daughter from Ava.

"Lady, you're crazy," He said, walking out of the room. Ava looked at Bridgett, and then raced after Seth.

"What the hell was that?" she hissed, grabbing his arm and spinning him around, "You're ruining everything!"

Seth looked at her for a long moment, "you need to stop hiding, Aves." He nodded at the blonde wig. "She was gonna ask for identification and papers. And then she would figure out we were lying."

"So wait," She said, holding up her hands, "That was a setup for me to 'come out'?"

"You're welcome."

Ava stood on her tippy toes, grabbed his face and pecked his cheek. "Thank you."

She waited for Seth and Lucy to leave before she went back into Bridgett's office. And boy, if her heart was pounding before, it was hammering now. The woman was stacking papers and putting back in the drawer of her desk, eyes not seeing her daughter.

"I'm sorry about him," Ava said eventually. Bridgett looked up, and smiled a little. "He's an… he can be an idiot sometimes."

Bridgett waved a hand, "No problem. I have to deal with that all the time. A lot of people disagree with my methods, but it is what's best for the child." She stood up and slipped more papers in the file cabinet, "The sooner a child learns, the smarter they'll be."

Ava didn't say anything while her mother talked, but her hand slipped into her shoulder bag and took something out.

"Bridgett?" Ava asked timidly. Bridgett looked up, a little startled at being called her first name. "I… there was another reason why I came here today."

"And what's that?"

Ava hugged the photo close to her chest, then set it face down on the desk, sliding it across until it was in front of her mother. Bridgett looked a little amused and picked it up.

Once she saw it, all the color drained from her face. Her hand holding the photo began to shake. She looked at Ava in alarm then back at the photo.

It was the picture Ava found in the attic months ago. Bridgett was six months pregnant in it. It wasn't much, but it was all Ava had.

"How…" Bridgett breathed.

"My name isn't' Mira Pascal," Ava said in a soft voice. "It's Ava. Ava White. I'm... your daughter."

The woman froze, slowly turning her face to meet her daughter's eyes. Ava, not leaving her gaze, grasped the crown of her Hannah Montana wig and yanking it off. Jet black hair spilled out of its confinement, framing her face and hanging down her back.

The photo slipped out of Bridgett's hand. And only one thought came to her mind.

She still doesn't look like him.

The tension between them was stretched taut for what seemed like an eternity. Bridgett had dropped back into her chair, staring at the photo then back at the teen. Ava moved to sit in the chair on the opposite side.

After several minutes, Ava couldn't take it anymore. "I know this must be a shock."

From her chair, Bridgett nodded mutely, eyes glued to the photograph in front of her.

"That..." Bridgett began to say.


Bridgett cleared her throat, "That… baby you were with… was she your…"

"Oh! No, no!" Ava said, flustered, "she's not my baby. I mean, she-she's his baby, but not mine. My friend got pregnant last year and… yeah." She shrugged, hoping she didn't look like a total idiot in front of her mother.

Bridgett nodded absently, eyes trained on Ava's face. She took a long breath and set the photo on the desk, "Ava," She began. And the teen's heart stopped a little at hearing her say her name for the first time. "I… don't exactly know what to say here."

"You don't have to say anything," Ava leaned against the desk, "Maybe… maybe we could go out for coffee? Talk?"

Bridgett ran her finger over the photo and sighed, "I don't think that's a very good idea."

Ava's face fell, "Why not?" She stood up, "I'm not asking you to take me shopping for tampons, I just want to know you!"

"Well you can't!" Bridgett shot back. The dark haired women stared angrily at each other for a minute. Bridgett sighed and ran a hand through her hair. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have yelled at you. It's just… you can't spring this on me."

"I'm sorry," Ava said, "But I didn't know how else to meet you. I was afraid if I showed up as me, you'd freak out or something."

"I was going to freak out regardless." Bridgett gave her a dry smile. "Sit down," She said; gesturing to the seat Ava had been currently residing in. This time, Bridgett moved to sit beside her.

There were a few awkward moments before Bridgett spoke again, "Do your dads know you're here?"

Ava shook her head, mouthing the word 'no'.

"Do they know you know who I am?"

"Yeah," Ava answered, "After my friend had her baby a few months ago, I decided I wanted to find you. I found that picture," She nodded at the photo in Bridgett's lap, "and asked them about it. They um, they told me…" She trailed off, looking away.

Bridgett tilted her head a little so she could see her daughter's face, "They told you what?"

"They told me you were… a drug addict who they took off the street and adopted her baby. They also told me you died in a car accident years ago."

Bridgett drew her lips into her mouth and nodded slowly, her face unreadable. "I see."

"Was any of that... true?" Ava asked softly.

"I never met your dads," Bridgett informed her, "I knew that two men were adopting you, but it was a closed adoption and I never met them."

"So they lied to me," Ava hissed, quickly turning angry.

"No!" Bridgett said quickly, "They were protecting you."

"From what?"

"From…" Bridgett sighed, "Ava, I'm not the kind of person you want in your life. And I'd imagine they feel the same way."

"What if I want you in my life?" Ava asked immediately, "I'm a good judge of character, and you seem fine to me!"

"Because…" This was going to be hard, "Because I'm your mother, but I'm not your mother."

"That makes no sense!" Ava stood up, "You're playing with my head!"

"Then I'll make it simple." Bridgett's tone was firm, her eyes cold. "I gave you away for a reason. I didn't hold you, I didn't know what your name was, I didn't even know who was adopting you!"

Ava felt the unfamiliar feeling of tears welling in her eyes, and she quickly blinked them back. She never cried, and she wasn't going to start now.

"So you didn't want me?" Ava asked in a small voice.

"No. I didn't." Her tone was clipped and void of emotion. "I didn't want you then and I don't want you now."

Ava's arms dropped limply at her sides in defeat. All those years of wondering, all the time she spent wondering who she was and where she came from, and what kind of person gave her life... was a waste of time.

Tearing her blurring gaze from the other woman, Ava scooped up her bag from beside the chair, turned on heel and marched through the door, not looking back.

Bridgett watched her go numbly. Once she was out of sight, she moved back to sit in her chair, pulling on the desk until her legs were under it. She rubbed her forehead with her right hand, sniffling. When she felt her sleeve slip past her elbow, she looked down.

There, in blue ink, just below the crook of her elbow, but above the bottom of her forearm, was the tattoo she had gotten seventeen and a half years ago.



Staring at it for a moment, she dropped her head into her arms and wept.

Nearly eighteen years ago, a twenty-four-year-old Bridgett Adelman sat, four months pregnant, in an uncomfortable chair waiting for the next candidates to walk in.

"Who's next?" She asked her agent, Georgina something. She had spent the last three weeks going over adoption candidates, and narrowed the twenty folders down to four. She had spoken to two of them so far.

"Mason and Daniel White," Georgina answered. Bridgett settled back in her chair as the agent made her way out of the room to get the couple.

She stood up when she returned, two men in tow. A tall Native American man and a petite little redhead with the brightest blue eyes she had ever seen.

"H-hello," Bridgett managed to say, stomach twisting at the sight of them. "I'm-I'm Bridgett Adelman."

The little redhead eagerly held out his hand for her to shake. Bridgett was barely 5'3, and was only a couple inches taller than her.

"I'm Danny Mitchell-White," he said happily, bouncing on his heels with the goofiest grin on his face.

"Forgive him," Mason said, his deep voice startling her. "He's just very excited." He held his own hand out, noticing the small flinch that crossed the young woman's face. "I'm Mason White." His big hand practically swallowed Bridgett's.

"Shall-shall we get started?" she asked nervously, reminding herself over and over again that they were gay. She was safe.

"Will the father not be joining us?" Mason asked. Bridgett froze, gripping the arm of her chair before she sat down.

"No the father is… is not going to be a part of this."

Over the next few hours, Bridgett learned more about them. They were both twenty-seven, been together for five years. Mason was an accountant. Danny was hoping to open his own bookstore in the next few years.

But that wasn't what Bridgett really paid attention to.

She noticed the way they looked at each other while one was talking. She noticed how at least one of their hands was always touching the other's arm or leg, and she saw the hope in their eyes whenever they spoke about their plans of having a baby.

They were perfect.

By twenty-seven weeks, Bridgett knew she was having a girl.

Danny had squealed when he heard the news, bouncing around talking about what colors to paint the nursery. Mason had gotten tears in his eyes, but passed it off as 'allergies'.

By twenty-nine weeks, she had a name.

"We were thinking Ava Luanne," Danny announced, watching Bridgett across the booth eating her breakfast special. She stopped the fork full of sausage halfway into her mouth and looked at them curiously.

"Ava, because I've always loved that name," Mason elaborated, "And Luanne after Danny's aunt."

"She took me in when I was a teenager, bless her heart." Danny sipped his coffee sadly.

"What do you think?" Mason asked excitedly.

Bridgett finished her bite of sausage and shrugged, "It's your baby; you can name it whatever you want."

By thirty-one weeks, Danny and Mason went to the ultrasound appointment to hear her heartbeat.

Both men had been completely shocked at the sound. Danny had taken about a dozen photos of the little picture of their little Ava.

Bridgett just stared blankly at the machine. She had no interest in this baby's heartbeat. She just wanted it out of her so she could move on with her life.

By thirty-three weeks, they made her an offer.

"You can be part of her life, you know," Mason said suddenly. Bridgett had been over to their house for dinner. She hadn't wanted to, but she did anyway. Another night in her apartment without anyone to talk to just sounded too painful.

"What?" Bridgett asked.

"Ava. You can be a part of her life, if you want to," Danny filled in. Both men had clearly given this decision a lot of thought. But unfortunately, so had Bridgett.

"I don't think that's a very good idea." She helped herself to another scoopful of mashed potatoes.

They looked a little crestfallen. It wasn't a secret that these men cared for her. They had offered to let her stay with them, offered her money, offered her a chance to see the baby whenever she wanted. But she turned them down repeatedly. Once she had it and gave it to them, she would be out of their lives.

Which, in a way, would be hard, they were such nice people.

Without realizing it, Bridgett placed a hand on her unusually small baby bump. Despite being almost eight months pregnant, she could easily pass for six months. The doctor told her it was healthy though. There was nothing wrong with it and it was growing right. It was just a very small baby, it looked like.

"She'll ask about you," Mason said, "She'll want to know who you are. What do we tell her?"

Bridgett shrugged, "I don't know," she answered quietly, "Make something up. Tell it… I was some pregnant drug addict you took in off the street and adopted the baby. Tell it I died in a car accident years ago."

She felt it kick in her stomach, like it didn't like her answer. She ignored the feeling.

By thirty-four weeks, she saw the nursery.

"I hope you like it!" Danny flung open the door, clicking on the light. "I've spent months coming up with the right color scheme!"

Bridgett walked past them into the room. The walls were a very light shade of green, with a brown tree painted on the back wall. From each branch sprung a collage of brightly colored leaves, that each looked hand painted. Like Danny had spent hours perfecting each one.

The white curtains were open, letting in the early February light. A white rocking chair with a blue cushion sat beside the window. Perfect for late night feedings.

Against the left wall was a white crib. She walked over to it and looked inside. The bedding was cream colored with little green fishes printed on it. A pale yellow embroidery hoop hung above the crib, the words 'Let her sleep for when she wakes she will move mountains' stitched in dark pink.

Parallel to crib, on the right wall, was the matching dresser/changing table. Bridgett ran her fingers over the top of the smooth wood. She pulled the top drawer open to reveal diapers lined in neat rows, a bottle of hand sanitizer, changing table pads, containers of wipes, and a bottle of baby lotion. The drawer below that held an assortment of blankets. A metal closed-lid trash can sat beside it.

The closet was next. She opened the twin doors and saw it was a walk-in. Eight bars worth of baby clothing hung on either side of her. Bridgett crossed her arms and eyed the beautiful dresses and little outfits. She rubbed her thumb and index finger along a red velvet dress.

The shelves were full of toys. Stuffed toys, teething rings, rattles, pacifiers, an enormous teddy bear, and a stack of plush books. She picked one up and squeezed it, making it squeak.

When she walked out of the closet, she saw Mason and Danny watching her with hopeful smiles. Like they were hoping seeing where their daughter would be sleeping would make her change her mind about being part of Ava's life.

It wasn't.

She allowed herself one last look around the room, taking in the soft colors and the toys and clothes.

"It's… nice."

At thirty-six weeks, the night of February twenty seventh, her water broke.

Bridgett had been getting ready for bed when a sudden rush of liquid between her legs alerted her.

"Shit," she hissed. It couldn't be time; it wasn't due for three weeks!

Bridgett took a deep breath. Then she calmly changed out of her pajamas and into her navy maternity pants and light blue blouse.

She drove herself to the hospital, and had just gotten through the front door when the first contraction hit. She nearly collapsed, if a passing man hadn't of caught her arm. And she nearly screamed when he did.

Yanking her arm back, she made her way to the front desk.

After three hours, she was informed that she was in labor. And if she hadn't been in so much pain, she would have screamed that she already knew that. Bridgett leaned back against the pillows, breathing heavily. For the first time since the night it happened, her emotions were reeling.

"Is there anyone you'd like to call?" The nice nurse asked, "And family you'd like to be here?"

Bridgett shook her head, "No," she whispered, "No family. But…" She looked around, "I have a number in my purse for Danny and Mason White. Call them, please?"

"You got it." The nurse picked up the purse and dug through it until she found the little book full of people's numbers.

Danny and Mason were there twenty minutes later.

Danny had been asleep on his husband's shoulder when Mason's voice roused him.

"How do you think everything's going in there?"

Danny sighed sleepily and snuggled closer, "Have you ever seen a live birth?"

"Only in a seventh grade health class video," Mason said with a snort.

Danny smiled, "Are you really worried about how things are going, or how things might end?"

Mason looked down at his partner, "It happened before," He said quietly, "The girl changed her mind at the last minute, remember?"

"Of course I do." Danny picked his head off his shoulder and took his hand tightly, entwining their fingers. "But right now we have to be optimistic. If she doesn't want to… to give us her baby, then we go somewhere else."

Mason smiled lovingly at him and kissed his forehead, "How did I ever get along without you?"

"You didn't."

After nearly six hours of labor, Bridgett let out one last scream and one last push.

And Ava Luanne White announced her arrival to the world with a scream.

Bridgett collapsed back on the bed, gasping for breath. She had denied the epidural; she needed to feel the pain of this.

She watched tiredly as a group of doctors and nurses cleaned her off and checked her over. The baby continued screaming, the sound was both deafening and heartbreaking. Before she knew was she was doing, a weak sob was let out of her, and it took her a moment to realize she was crying.

Bridgett covered her face with her hands and cried, her body trembling with the force of her sobs. She'd told herself that being aloof and numb to the situation would make it easy to get through, but she was wrong. She was so wrong.

She felt someone touch her shoulder, but she ignored it in favor of running her hands up her forehead and through her hair, practically ripping it out of the back of her head.

"Miss Adelman?" She looked up and saw the doctor, holding a tiny white blanketed bundle. "Would you like to hold her?"

Bridgett had prepared herself to say no. She had been ready to have the doctor take it to Danny and Mason.

But now there was something she had to do.

She nodded her head frantically, sitting up and holding her arms out. The doctor set the child in her arms.

Bridgett closed her eyes and forced herself to take a deep breath and calm down. Then she opened her eyes once more and looked down at the baby. Immediately she was amazed with the wondrous beauty of the little creature she held. She truly was a beautiful thing; black hair and pink cheeks, tiny fist curled around the blanket that swaddled her. If Bridgett didn't know any better, she would have thought it was like looking down into one of her own baby pictures.

She did as all new mothers did; counted the little fingers and toes, inspected her closely, then settled back and took another breath. The thumb on her right hand stroked her smooth cheek before moving to slip into her grasp. Even in her sleep, the baby's tiny fingers wound around it.

Bridgett had known almost the entire pregnancy that it would be a small baby, but she never thought she would be this little. She imagined Mason would easily be able to cradle her in his big hands. Danny's smaller hands would be the perfect size for this baby.

With a choked sob, she brought a hand under Ava's head and lifted it up to press against her cheek, feeling the full head of jet-black hair

She didn't look like him.

That's what Bridgett had been afraid of more than anything. That she would look like him.

She would never forget his face. Dark blue eyes, longish dirty blond hair, sharp nose and chin, heavy eyebrows, full lips.

She remembered that day like it was yesterday. She remembered walking home from the corner store. She remembered being grabbed and dragged to that alley, behind that dumpster. She remembered his hands all over her, tearing her clothes.

And she remembered pain. So, so much pain as she was shoved to the ground and he forced himself into her. She had fought and screamed as much as she could. But his strength overpowered her effortlessly. A hand over mouth and a hand around her throat were all it took to silence her. Then he'd left her, bleeding and broken, in that alleyway.

Bridgett had gotten up that night, walked home, and took a shower hot enough to sear through her skin. She'd thrown her clothes in the trash compactor, swallowed a handful of pain pills, and waited until she was in bed to break down. She barely remembered doing anything to take care of herself after coming home; it was like her body was on autopilot.

No one knew. She had only moved to the town three weeks ago, and therefore hadn't had the time to make any close friends. Add the estrangement with her family and she was completely alone. She had told herself that that night never happened. No one would ever know that she had been raped.

But now she sat, holding living, breathing proof that that night did indeed happen.

Bridgett took a deep breath, inhaling that scent that could only be described as 'baby'. Little Ava was nothing more than a tiny weight in her hands.

She never wanted to hand her back to the doctor. But she had to.

Because Ava wasn't hers. Not really. She couldn't give this baby the love and home she needed. Danny and Mason were her parents. They would be everything she needed.

She saw the two men standing over her crib at night, just watching her sleep. She saw them holding her when she fell off her bike and scraped her knee. She saw Christmases, birthdays, and other events where she would be showered with love and presents.

This child would never feel alone or unloved, she just knew it. She'd have the perfect life.

Warm tears tracked their way down her cheeks, and she held the baby closer, trying to memorize every detail she could in these crucial moments.

"Okay," she suddenly, startling the doctor, "Here, take her." she held her daughter out. The woman took her out of her arms, and Bridgett suddenly felt empty. Suddenly felt as cold as she did before.

Bridgett watched as the doctor carried her out of the room, down the hall to where she would meet her family. Her real family.

"Good luck," Bridgett whispered. "Good luck, Ava."

I hope this was good, it's been a long time since I wrote something that wasn't around Seth and Mira.

I have made a banner for this story, it is in the link in the 'other' category. To see Bridgett, go check it out.

Read and Review.