by Jaime Clevenger
Paige Dannenberg has never taken a water aerobics class. As a busy farm vet, she’s never even given a second thought to water aerobics. But when she gets roped into teaching her mom’s class, it’s time to learn a new skillset—and fast.
Lately the unexpected is the new norm for Seren Winters. She’s single, four months pregnant, and trying not to worry about where she’ll be living by the end of the year. Still, the last thing she expects when she shows up for her first doctor-prescribed water aerobics class is a hot butch instructor. Even more unexpected is accidentally dunking her.
Despite an undeniable attraction, Seren is sure dating Paige is a bad idea. But can Paige change Seren’s mind before her two weeks teaching the class is up?
|Publication Date||June 16, 2022|
|Cover Designer||Kayla Mancuso|
“Wow. Your boobs look fabulous.” Leslie pushed up her own breasts and made a face in the mirror behind Seren. “Want to share some of that with me?”
“I wish it worked that way.” Seren Winters pulled back her shoulders and tried to appreciate the fact that she now completely filled out a D-cup. Her breasts did look fantastic, even if it was more than she was used to.
“Is it messed up that I feel kind of turned-on staring at my best friend’s breasts?” Leslie stuck out her tongue to make it clear she was joking. “How much bigger are they gonna get?”
“You, too, could get pregnant. Turns out, all it takes is one trip to the sperm bank.”
“Not everyone gets prego the first time they have contact with sperm, you know.”
She did know. At thirty-eight, she’d had more than one doctor tell her to expect multiple attempts and likely IVF. Or at least medications to induce ovulation and six to nine months of trying. Nope. All it took was squirting a little tube of defrosted sperm into her uterus and she was on the fast track to being a mom. The reality of that still managed to thrill and terrify her. “I think that’s why I’m freaking out. Everything’s happening so fast.”
“Which means you get to the good part faster. Having a baby in your arms.”
“You’re right.” She had to keep her mind focused on that. Yes, she was overwhelmed, but if the universe kept smiling on her, in roughly five months she’d get to hold her very own baby. A brand-new person—who she already knew she’d love more than anything else in the world.
“But seriously. Do you think your boobs are just going to keep growing?”
“They can’t keep getting bigger, right?” She readjusted herself, but that only seemed to push more cleavage into view. “I’m starting to get intimidated. Maybe I should try a different bathing suit.”
“You look amazing in this one.”
“I look like a porn star.”
“Stop. You don’t. Well, not entirely.” Leslie sidestepped Seren’s swat, laughing as she did. “Anyway, it’s not like you’re wearing this to work. You’re going to water aerobics. The only people you’re going to see are a bunch of older ladies—and you know they love big boobs.”
“Old ladies love big boobs?”
“Well, when I’m an old lady I know I’ll love them.”
Seren smiled at Leslie. “You’re the best.” She dropped her shoulders a moment later. “Some days I feel like an old lady already.”
“We’re in our thirties. We’re barely middle aged.”
“This”—Seren tapped her belly—“at thirty-eight, is a geriatric pregnancy.” The bump wasn’t yet visible in her work clothes, but the cut of the swimsuit seemed to broadcast her truth. She’d also seen the ultrasound images with the cute little glob of cells, and there was no doubt her body was changing. It still made her heart race to think about. Again, thrilling…and also terrifying.
“You’re gorgeous. And I’m not just saying that because you’re my best friend and you’re standing here looking uncomfortable in a bathing suit while everyone else is fully clothed.”
“Thanks.” Seren rolled her eyes.
“It’s the truth. At fifteen weeks pregnant, my best friend is a total hottie. You’ve got that pregnancy glow thing going on.”
“Whatever. We both know you’re the hottie.” Seren did appreciate the compliment though. She was already self-conscious about her body changing, and parading around in a bathing suit took things to a whole different level. “But, just so you know, I love having a best friend who always says the right thing. And who will go shopping with me at the drop of a hat.”
“Always. You know how I feel about shopping.”
“I didn’t expect that the first thing I’d need from the maternity store would be a bathing suit.” Stretchy leggings had become her favorite fashion now that she couldn’t fasten her other pants and she’d simply switched to wearing more of her loose longer knit shirts. No one at work knew. Yet. She’d promised herself to tell everyone yesterday at the monthly meeting, but she’d lost her nerve at the last minute. As excited as she was, she couldn’t shake the worry that any little misstep of fate could rip the future she’d dreamed about right out of her hands.
For as long as she could remember, she’d wanted to be a mom. The time to start a family had never seemed right, though, and then all of a sudden, it’d felt like time had run out. It hadn’t, clearly. And she wanted to simply be thankful that she’d gone for it and that so far everything was going exactly the way it should. Well, minus all the morning sickness and the ginormous breasts. She tugged at the shoulder straps to see if she could make her cleavage less pronounced, then made a sultry face. “You really think I should buy this one?”
“Hell, yes. We should also talk about safe ways to earn some extra cash on the side with those girls of yours. How do you feel about pole dancing?”
Leslie’s joking always got her laughing—no matter what mood she was in. “Only you could say that right now.” At least the suit was comfortable. And her boobs did look amazing.
“When’s your first class?”
“Want moral support? I could skip my morning run…If I hadn’t signed up for this damn marathon, I’d switch to a pool workout in a heartbeat.”
“I’ll be fine. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of company in the pool. Everyone’s grandma is gonna be there.” As long as she didn’t get sick, part of her was looking forward to it. She’d had to give up running and her usual gym workout because every time she broke a sweat, she wanted to vomit. Or did vomit. Her doctor had been the one to suggest water aerobics, and she’d read up on all the benefits. It might not be marathon training, but she was looking forward to it. “When I signed up, the guy at the gym said I should come early to get a spot. Apparently the teacher is super popular.”
“Maybe after this marathon, I’ll switch to water aerobics. Then I’ll get to buy myself a sexy bathing suit for the occasion.”
“And then we can shake it for the old ladies together?”
Leslie clapped her hands. “Yes!”
“Deal. After your marathon, you join me in water aerobics.” Seren glanced at her reflection again. “I miss our morning runs.” Truthfully, she also missed being in running shape, and a little part of her worried she wouldn’t ever be fit again. That worry was probably ridiculous, but everything was changing. “What if I made the wrong decision? I mean, I know I want a baby, but switching to water aerobics feels like only the beginning. What if everything’s different?”
“Hey. You.” Leslie reached for Seren’s hand and gave it a squeeze. “Being pregnant is temporary. Yeah, some things will change. For one, you’ll have a kid. But I know you. After you pop that baby out, you’ll be back to running circles around everyone else in no time. Just with a stroller in front of you.”
She wanted Leslie to be right. Unfortunately, she couldn’t push away the feeling it wouldn’t be so simple. She thought of the pros and cons list she’d made before she’d let herself research sperm donors. Big boobs wasn’t on the list. Neither was her whole world changing. But she pictured the sidebar note that was only one word long—“baby”—and knew she hadn’t made a mistake.
No matter the cost, there was nothing she wanted more in life. She took a deep breath and rocked her head side to side. “I think I can get used to myself with big boobs.”
“Plenty of people could get used to your big boobs.”
Seren laughed. “Again, only you would say that right now. Let me change out of this suit and then let’s get dinner. I’m starving.”
“Think that baby would let you eat spicy food? I feel like Mexican.”
“I could probably handle tortilla soup. With a side of plain rice.” Everyone said her appetite would bounce back in the second trimester, and she was counting the days. She was even kind of looking forward to the wacky cravings.
“Tortilla soup sounds perfect. Now go change before some porn star walks into this place and gets jealous of your look.”
A year ago, she’d have thought that a porn star browsing a maternity store in Davis was as ridiculous as her signing up for water aerobics. But now nothing seemed all that unbelievable. The last year had changed everything.
Before she started cataloging all of the changes in a mental loss/gain chart, she stepped into the changing stall and pulled the curtain behind her. Despite feeling like she had no idea what life would throw at her next, she got through every day tolerably well. Especially if she ignored the question about how long she could work before the baby came, the worries about finances, and the stress about her living situation.
At least she wasn’t stressed about being single. In fact, she didn’t even want to meet someone now—even if her boobs, not to mention her rising libido, seemed to suggest otherwise. A girlfriend would only complicate things. Thankfully someone had invented vibrators and, really, what more did she need?