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Story #2: The Pitter Patter Panic Attack

Many readers were curious as to what Liv was going through as she was spazzing out in the bathroom.

So, this is a one-shot, off-shoot from Heartbreaker.


-- Liv --

It had been a long time since I had thought about my rollercoaster analogy, but I started to think about the whole phenomenon again right around the time Nick left on tour with Brooke. After sixteen wonderful years as Mrs. Nickolas Carter, it was hard to think of any real down moments.

And in hindsight, I guess the whole thing I'm talking about isn't really a 'down' event.

It was just shocking.

It wasn't that I hadn't had my suspicions, because I did, but I just hadn't said anything. Things had been so hectic. When you're a mother of four, time plays a lot of tricks on your mind.

Especially when you’re a mom with a little boy like Landon.

Landon was a complete whirlwind. Mom always remarked that Landon was kind of how she imagined Nick as a child. To me, Landon was the complete package. He had Brooke's attitude from when she was a baby, Noah's bright ideas, and Peyton's energy.

It was a scary trio in one little dark-haired package. Not that I would trade him for the world, of course.

Yet honestly, I had been happy being the mom of three. But Nick was dad of the year. He was amazing. And he had made the idea of one more sound so appealing one night over a bottle of wine. Even after everything we'd been through...or maybe because of everything we'd been through.

But after Landon, I had gone on the defensive. I had chosen the Mirena method instead. One painful doctor's visit was supposed to have me in the clear for five years. It was the perfect option. My doctor knew everything that didn't work for my crazy body. This, she was sure, was the sure-fire method against Nick's red-caped wonders.

But the key word was supposed to.

The first sign was the weight gain. I had gained a ton of weight with Landon. Admittedly, I hadn't been able to lose it all, but I had started a diet before Nick and I had gone to Australia. I was still (for the most part) keeping the streak going.

And yet I had gained five pounds in no time at all.

I broke down a couple days at Nick and Brooke left and scheduled a doctor's appointment with Dr. Tresher. I needed to make sure that my safety net was still working like it should. I went in, got a confirmation that everything was still where it should be, got some blood drawn, and went home.

When the phone rang right at eight a.m. one morning, I didn't think anything of it when I saw Dr. Tresher on the display. She was just following up. For all I knew I might have even been going into menopause. Sure, I was only 44, but that hadn't stopped white hair from cropping up all over the place.


"Hi Liv, it's Dr. Tresher."

I frowned. I usually talked to the nurse about trivial things. The fact that Dr. Tresher was calling wasn't good.

"Oh," I said suspiciously.

"I got your blood work back," she said. "I'm going to need you to come back in."


I tucked the phone underneath my chin as I folded Landon's little underwear into neat piles that he would immediately mess up.

"We need to get the device out."

I frowned. "Is it defective?"

Dr. Tresher laughed. Yes, she laughed.

"This hardly ever happens," she added fondly. "Only you, Liv."

I stopped folding.

"What do you mean only me?"

"You're pregnant, Liv."

I closed my eyes. "You're kidding."

"Have I ever joked with you about that?"

I sighed. "No."

"Can you come in this afternoon? I want some more blood drawn and maybe an ultrasound. Any idea when this happened?"

I puckered my lips. Of course I had a hunch when it happened. Australia. Our honeymoon.


"Yeah, I'll fill you in when I get there," I said.

We hung up. I paused for just a moment. I seriously couldn't help myself.

I screamed.

I don't really remember hitting the steps.

"Oh my god, I can't believe this," I muttered to myself. "Nickolas Carter how could you do this again? Oh my god, you're not human."

I threw my hands up in the air and took a deep breath. I blindly walked down the hall.

"Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god."

I found myself in the bathroom. The same bathroom I had locked myself in when I had taken the pregnancy test for Landon. I locked the door and sat down heavily on the toilet lid.

Another baby. Five kids. This meant we'd have to get a crib out again. There'd be diapers. And breastfeeding.

And more gray hair. A lot more gray hair.

By the time this baby would graduate I'd be 60. Nick would be 63. More likely than not we'd also probably be grandparents by that time. Brooke would be 32. Noah wasn't going to be far behind.

And Pey...

"Oh my god."

The thought caused me to throw my head down between my legs.


It was Noah. I couldn't answer him. I just needed to be alone and away from the male Carters in my life.


Of course, Noah was persistent. After about an hour I thought he had given up, but twenty minutes later the door opened. A cell phone flew in and then the door quickly closed.


I stared at the phone. It was Nick.

"Honey? It's Nick. Talk to me. What's going on?"

I took several deep breaths.

"I'm pregnant," I blurted out. "The Mirena failed. You broke through my last defense. Oh my god, Nickolas Gene Carter."

"You're sure?"

"Of course I'm sure! I'm 'Dr. Tresher' sure!"

At that point I lost it. Nick said something about coming home, but I was only half listening.

In less than nine months time, I was going to bring yet another Carter into the world.


"While we remove the Mirena and do the ultrasound, I'm going to run these labs through really

quick," Dr. Tresher said. I nodded numbly.

Noah was watching Landon and Peyton. Nick was on his way home.

And I was at the doctor's office.

Dr. Tresher left for just a minute. When she returned, I settled back down on the exam table.

"How's Landon?"

"He's a wild child," I said. Dr. Tresher laughed.

"I would have expected Peyton to be the wild one," she mused. "Considering how she entered the world."

I smiled. "Well, let's just say she's a daredevil."

"Take a deep breath and give me a bared down exhale," she instructed. I did as she was told. She took the evil piece of trickery out.

"If you notice any bleeding in the next couple days let me know immediately."

I nodded. A couple more minutes passed. She moved equipment around.

"You get to try our newest technology today," she said.


"It gives us a better picture of what's going on with you this early in the ballgame," she explained.

"We can zoom in for amazing detail."

The general set-up was the same. I jumped a little as the gel was applied. I glanced at the screen.

Dr. Tresher moved the wand slightly.

"Oh my," she said.

I groaned. "That's not good."

"Well," Dr. Tresher paused. "You're about nine weeks along already."

I sighed. "I figured this happened on the honeymoon."

"When was that?"

"The first week of July."

"That would be right," Dr. Tresher agreed. She tapped the screen.

"Do you see anything different?"

I looked at the screen. I had seen four other ultrasounds. I knew what it was supposed to look like.

This one looked different. I felt my mouth grow dry.

"Is that what I think it is?"

Dr. Tresher nodded.




Nick was knocking on the bathroom door. The moment I had gotten home, I had relocked myself in the bathroom. I was laying in the empty tub with my hands resting on my already protruding belly.


I heard Nick's footsteps fade down the hall. Five minutes later I heard a key turn in the lock.


I pulled the shower curtain closed. I heard the door close. Nick opened the curtain and sat down on the floor.

"How'd it go at the doctor's? How far along are you?"

I looked at him. We were going on two decade together and yet he hadn't aged a bit. When he smiled at me, there was still that spark in his eye.

"I'm nine weeks along," I said. I was surprised my voice sounded so calm. I knew I probably should have been strapped in a straight-jacket earlier in the day.

"And you and baby are doing okay?" he asked. I gave him a look. His forehead creased in worry.

"It's not okay?"

"It's...not a baby," I said.

He gave me a smile. "What is it then?"

"It's bab-ies."

It took him a second to process that. His eyes widened. "You mean--"

"Twins," I said.

"Oh my god!"

He jumped up and paced the small space.

"That's awesome!"

I stared at him incredulously.

"You know what's awesome?" I said. He turned.


I smiled. "You getting a vasectomy."

The smile left his face. "Hey, now...wait..."

"No, I won't wait. Your little caped crusaders are getting cut off at the pass."

Nick blanched. We had talked about it after Landon was born, but after I had the Mirena, Nick talked me out of it.

But there was no changing my mind.

I had teased him years ago about having twenty kids.

I wasn't making that a reality.

Six kids were more than enough.