As Charlie walked past the bathroom door that morning she heard the sounds of retching coming from the other side. Knocking on the door she called, "Are you alright in there?"
"I'm fine Mom." Ivy replied.
Not satisfied, Charlie entered the bathroom to see for herself how her daughter was.
Ivy stood at the basin splashing cold water on her face.
"Sweetheart you don't look well." She said regarding her daughters peaky face.
"It's probably just a tummy bug." Ivy dismissed, "I'll be OK."
"Hmmm." Charlie replied, pressing her hand over her daughters forehead, "You have a temperature too, i think you need to stay home from school today."
"But Mom! I have to go to school, it's drama class today." She begged.
"Either you stay in bed or we take a trip to Doctor Rasman's office and he checks you over." Charlie threatened, knowing her daughters hatred for all things medical.
"OK if you insist." Ivy relented, "Will you make me some chicken soup later?"
"And will you get me some magazines to read?"
"Of course darling, now off you go and get some rest." Charlie smiled as Ivy practically skipped from the room, she always perked up when she got her own way.
Charlie made her way towards the kitchen to prepare the breakfast but as she passed the hallway she noticed Iris clutching her stomach in pain.
"Iris honey are you feeling sick too?" She asked, concerned that Ivy had been correct about the stomach bug.
"I'm fine Mom, i think I'm just hungry." Iris replied.
"Well i can make you some scrambled eggs if you like?" Charlie offered.
Iris's face seemed to turn grey at the suggestion of eggs and she clamped her hand over her mouth and ran towards the bathroom.
Charlie followed her in and held back her hair as she vomited, violently.
"I think you'd better take the day off school too." Charlie demanded.
"Too?" Iris queried before rinsing her mouth out with water.
"Yes, your sister is sick as well. Why don't you go back to bed and I'll fetch you both some sweet tea." Charlie instructed.
Instead of heading to her own room, Iris headed for Ivy's room and climbed on the bed next to her sister.
"Mom said you're sick too?" She clarified.
"You were really sick?" Ivy asked, looking surprised.
"Yes. Wait what do you mean really sick?" She asked.
"I was just faking." Ivy shrugged, "I have double maths today and equations really bore me. What's your excuse?"
"You promise you won't tell anyone?" Iris asked.
"Sure." Ivy agreed.
"I'm not sick either."
"Well, well Iris Traytor miss goody two shoes skiving off school." Ivy taunted gently.
"I'm not sick, I'm pregnant." Iris concluded.
"Your what!" Ivy shrieked.
"Shh, keep your voice down." Iris begged.
"Are you serious? Iris what did i tell you about that guy? I knew he would pressure you into it."
"Ivy he didn't pressure me, it was my idea." Iris advised, "Cody's leaving Bridgeport, he graduated yesterday and he and his friends are going to travel the country. I didn't want him to leave without knowing what it was like to be with him." She admitted blushing.
"But Iris if he's leaving town you're never going to see him again, what were you thinking?"
"I was thinking just that. I know the chances are he'll meet someone else and I'll never see him again, that's why it had to be now. Ivy i wanted him to be my first." She said.
"Does he know?" Ivy asked.
"No." Iris shook her head, "I can't tell him now."
"What! Iris you HAVE to tell him." Ivy exploded.
"If i tell him he'll think I'm trying to trap him into staying, i can't do that to him, i won't." She replied stubbornly.
"Iris Traytor you can and you will tell him, or i will." Ivy demanded, before jumping up from the bed and beginning to dress.
"What are doing?" Iris begged.
"Get up, get dressed." Ivy demanded, "We're going to find him and tell him the news."
Iris dressed reluctantly, she knew it was pointless to argue with Ivy and if she was honest she really did want Cody to know about her predicament.
Although she had tried to persuade herself that it was best to let him go there was a much more dominant part of her that longed for him to stay.
"We'll have to sneak out, Mom thinks we're both sick." Ivy commanded, "We'll go down the drainpipe, Oh can you manage in your condition?"
Iris gave her sister a withering look, "I'm sure i can cope."
They shimmied down the pipe and headed toward the beach.
"Hey Iris come and check this out!" Cody called spotting her and Ivy entering the beach.
"Look we all got matching tattoo's to mark the start of the rest of our lives." Cody, Dalton and Alex all turned to show off their dolphin tattoo's, "Maybe you can get one too, before you come out and join us." Cody enthused.
Iris felt Ivy's eyes boring a hole in the back of her head at Cody's comment, she had neglected to mention to her sister that Cody had asked her to leave town.
"Oh they're really awesome." Iris exclaimed, feigning interest.
"Yeah awesome!" Alex retorted mocking Iris's lingo.
"What's your malfunction?" Ivy countered, staring hard at Alex.
Alex snorted, "Who asked you Barbie?" she sneered.
"Ha! You're calling me Barbie? If that hair had any more peroxide in it, it would turn green." Ivy retorted.
"OK everyone chill." Cody commanded, "What are you two doing here anyway?"
"Iris has something she needs to tell you." Ivy butted in.
"Ivy!" Iris reprimanded her sister with a glare.
"Iris?" Cody asked, turning towards her.
"Yeah Iris spit it out coz we've got packing to do." Alex said impatiently.
Iris put out her arm to stop Ivy from going for Alex when a wave of nausea hit her like a freight train, clutching her stomach and clamping her hand to her mouth for the second time that day she ran from the group to the nearby public toilet.
"Iris!" Cody called after her, "What's going on Ivy? Is Iris OK?" he begged.
"No she most certainly is NOT OK!" Ivy yelled, turning her anger on Cody, "I warned her about getting involved with you and your loser friends and now you've messed up her life!" she accused.
"That's it Barbie you take that back right now or I'm gonna knock you on your ass!" Alex yelled, lurching forward.
Cody restrained her yelling "Would you cut it out! Ivy please tell me what's wrong with Iris? Is it because I'm leaving? Because she told me she was cool with it."
"And you believed her?" Ivy laughed shaking her head at this idiot who had knocked up her sister, "Well maybe she is cool with it but are you cool with walking away from your unborn child?" She spat.
"My what!" Cody exclaimed stepping back in surprise.
"Iris is pregnant." Ivy confirmed.
"That bitch!" Alex yelled, "She's done this on purpose Cody, just to get you to stay. She's trying to tie you down."
"That's enough Alex." Cody whispered, his shock overwhelming him too much to yell at her, "Don't ever talk about Iris that way." He said his eyes conveying his sincerity.
Stumbling forward he walked away from the group across the beach to the lit fire pit. He stood staring into the flames as if entranced by the light, the shock of the revelation still refusing to permeate into his brain.
Iris approached him carefully, unsure of his reaction.
"Cody?" she ventured.
"Is it true Iris?" He asked, his face a picture of confusion.
She simply nodded afraid her voice would crack if she tried to speak.
"Why didn't you tell me?" He pressed.
"I've only just figured it out myself." She confessed.
"What do you mean figured it out?"
"I knew i was late last week but since then i feel sick all the time."
"Wait so you're not certain then?" He clarified.
"I haven't done a test Cody no, but I'm sure I'm pregnant."
"Iris it could be a false alarm." He said visibly relaxing, "We need to be sure. You should go see your doctor, i could come with you." He offered.
"I will, I'll make an appointment." She immediately agreed.
"Iris, did you make this up to get me stay?" He asked cautiously.
"No! Cody i would never do that!" She cried, shocked by his accusation, "I was sick this morning and my Mom made me stay home and Ivy had lied and said she was sick too, so i told her that i was pregnant because that's what i thought was wrong and she made me come down here to tell you, i didn't want to." She protested, her words coming out fast at the mixture of shame and anger she suddenly felt.
"OK Iris calm down, I'm sorry i asked you that, i just wanted to be sure, because you are OK with me leaving aren't you?" He asked.
She bit her lip and looked away, "Of course i am." She said through gritted teeth.
"Iris, look at me." He asked, "Remember our plan, I go make us some money and in a year it'll be me and you, Iris and Cody out in the big wide world, remember?" He prompted.
"I remember." She admitted leaning in towards him for support.
Cody placed his arms around her and held her tight, "It's getting late, you should head home. I'll call you tomorrow." He promised kissing her forehead.
She smiled and released herself from his grasp reluctantly, as she walked away, towards Ivy, Alex crossed her path.
"If you ruin his life he'll never forgive you." She said jabbing her finger at Iris angrily.
"It's none of your business Alex, this is between me and Cody." Iris replied defiantly, "He's my boyfriend, not yours."
"You think he's going to want to know you after this?" She sneered before walking away.
When the twins arrived back home, Charlie and Finn were waiting for them.
"Where on Earth have you been?" Charlie demanded, the now stone cold chicken soup sitting on the counter behind her.
"Ivy?" Finlay demanded, instantly assuming that it was another of his more willful daughter's grand schemes.
"This is my fault." Iris chimed. She nodded to Ivy to leave them alone and sat at the dining table across from her parents.
"Iris what's going on? I know you were sick this morning i was in the bathroom with you." Charlie demanded.
"I'm not sick Mom I, I think I'm....." She choked on the words at the already disapproving faces of her parents.
"Whatever it is Iris you can tell us." Finlay encouraged.
Iris swallowed and attempted to confess again, "I think i might be .......... pregnant." She mumbled, feeling her face flush bright red.
"WHAT!" Finn yelled, holding up his hands as if to refute her announcement.
"Oh Iris, no!" Charlie cried raising her hand to cover her gaping mouth.
"I'm sorry." was all Iris could manage in reply.
Finn leaped up from the chair the anger was visible in his face, "I want to know his name." He demanded.
"Mom please make him calm down." Iris pleaded.
"Finn please, you're only making things worse." Charlie reasoned, "Iris go to your room, we'll discuss this with you tomorrow."
"I'm sorry." She repeated before sloping off to bed.
"How can this have happened to our Iris?" Finn asked running his hand through his hair roughly, "She's always been such a good girl, i never expected this."
"No parent expects this Finn." Charlie replied.
"Did we do something wrong?" He questioned out of frustration.
"Lets take it a step at a time. I'll take her to see Doctor Rasman tomorrow and then we'll know for sure." Charlie reasoned.
The next morning, Charlie took Iris to the Doctor's surgery while Finn waited impatiently at home.
He had, had the worst nights sleep of his life last night, tossing and turning as the implications of his daughter's announcement bounced around his mind.
He had always known that Iris was the more naive of her sisters but he never expected her to do anything as foolish as this.
As he looked out of the kitchen window he noticed a young man approaching the house hesitantly. Seeing red Finn ran to the front gate to confront him.
"You! It was you wasn't it?" He demanded.
"W-what? I'm here to see Iris." The man stammered.
"Iris isn't here, she's at the Doctors with her mother." Finn spat, "You, i mean you're a young adult! What are you doing dating my teenage daughter?"
"Mr Traytor, i only just graduated, I'm 18." Cody started to defend himself, "I've been dating Iris for months now."
"She's a child!" Finn shouted, "You i want you gone, do you understand me? You are never to see my daughter again!"
"Please, Mayor Traytor i just want to know if she's alright." Cody begged.
"She will be alright because I will take care of her, like i have everyday for her whole life."
"I love your daughter." Cody admitted, trying to appease the situation.
"If you care for her at all you will get out of her life, because the last thing she needs is to be tied down to somebody like you." Finn threatened, "Now i want you off my property and if i so much as hear about you trying to contact Iris then so help me God!"
Cody stepped back from the forcefulness with which Iris's father spoke to him, he guessed that she must of come clean to them about her suspicions of being pregnant.
Reluctantly he walked away from her house as her Dad glared at him. Cody supposed that he should listen to what the Mayor had told him, after all you don't go against the most powerful man in town.