Lisa Fuller woke up from a sound sleep. Her eyes crusty and her body aching, she pushed herself out of bed. She shouldn't have had to struggle so hard to lug herself out of bed--she was only eighteen years old after all--but she had a special reason for being so sluggish. The huge, swollen dome underneath the blanket was a clear indication that she was carrying a stowaway. Lisa winced as stood up, using her arm to balance herself on the bed.

She was an unusually beautiful young girl; pale, alabaster skin, shimmering blue eyes, wonderfully pink lips and a mane of long, straight, golden-bright hair. Even aching and clearly not feel her most glamorous, she was a vision. It was difficult to clearly define her figure underneath the over-sized pajamas she was wearing but prior to the pregnancy she must've been a slim waif of a girl; not bony by any means but certainly not natural thick or with an even moderately curvaceous body type.

She had the natural bone structure and frame of a European runway model only without the elitist swagger or perpetual upturned chin. She was just an average American teenage girl, only with a hugely distended belly.

"Callie?" she whined.

Lisa's sister, Callie, walked into the room with attentive concern.

"Umm, can we go to O'Malley's?" Lisa asked.

"You need something at the market?"

Lisa scratched her head. "I was thinking of getting some milk."

"How's the baby?" Callie asked, wearing a motherly smile.

"Good. She was rolling around in there all night, restless. She's sleeping now, though. I'm glad at least one of us is getting a decent round of sleep," Lisa mused.

"Well, I've gotta go to that little clothing store next door, so maybe you can get what you need and then come over to where I am? How's that?" Callie offered.

"That sounds fine. Thanks, sis. But, hey, if I'm a little touchy today, don't take it personal, okay? I'm just a little irritable, that's all." Lisa warned.

"Oh, I know how it is. I'll try to stay on your good side." Callie grinned before walking out of the room.

Due to the pregnancy, Lisa's once small but pert breasts were now straining against her skin, bulging at least a cup size over their original dimensions. Her nipples were already sensitive and sore in preparation for all of the breastfeeding she was going to be doing.

"How do girls with huge knockers do it?" Lisa said, adjusting her breasts within the confines of the tight-fitting bra.

Callie hopped into her car and waited as Lisa waddled out towards it, her belly easily a pace ahead of the rest of her.

It was a cool, breezy, beautiful spring day. Unfortunately, Lisa's hormones were driving her towards 'perilously volatile' status. With Callie she could control herself, but she knew that any strangers would be on thin ice is they did even the slightest thing to irritate her. It wasn'ther fault, really, just a bi-product of her pregnancy.

The ride to the market helped calm her nerves a tad, since it was such a smooth, easy ride and they made it through a gauntlet of green lights. Lisa and her big sis exchanged some small talk before arriving at the market.

As Callie pulled the car into a spot right close to the market entrance, she shut off the ignition and looked over at Lisa knowingly. "Take it easy in there, okay?" Callie said with a smirk. "...and try to keep your temper in check. If you fly off the handle..."

"Be sure to apologize and blame it on the pregnancy," Lisa said, echoing words she's heard Callie tell her many a time before. "I know."

Callie looked down at Lisa's hand, and at her bare wedding ring finger. "You know, you should wear that phony ring, just in case."

"Oh yeah," Lisa remembered, fishing a silver ring out of her pocket and slipping it on her wedding ring finger.

"You know how bullshit people can be when they see a pregnant girl who's not hitched." Callie said.

"Like I give a shit." Lisa retorted with a passive snicker.

"It just makes things easier on you. That way, all of the old ladies can fawn all over you and ask you about the baby without whispering in their bingo circle about "that-unwed-pregnant-teen-they-met-in-the-supermarket.". Callie said.

"Yeah, yeah," Lisa joked. "Don't you have some clothes to rifle through?"

"Yup!" Callie said as she shuffled out of the car, with an agility that Lisa envied.

Callie shut her door and made for the clothing shop that was part of the mini-mall connected to O'Malley's. "Don't forget to lock your door!" Callie said over her shoulder as she made her way up the crosswalk.

Lisa winced as she rose on weak legs, her back arching to supported the extra weight in her tummy. She exhaled frustratingly, muttering to herself, "No, thanks, sis, I got it from here!"

Lisa crossed the crosswalk, passing an elderly couple as she did. They both smiled warmly at her as they passed. Lisa typically got positive feedback from strangers about her pregnancy, especially when she wore the ring. Unfortunately, the father of Lisa's baby didn't deem the situation sufficient to propose to her. Instead, he booked it and went back to his mom's house in Kentucky. Lisa decided not to file for child support payments.

She could be snarky, a little snappy and definitely short-tempered at times, but Lisa wasn't a vindictive person. She knew that Mark, the baby's father, was never in their relationship for the long term, he just wanted sex with a willing teenage girl. He was 24 and she was barely 17 when she became pregnant.

Technically, this constituted statutory rape and he knew it. It wasn't that he worried about. In fact, bragging to his buddies that he was getting a girl her age into bed wasn't a mark of shame, but a badge of honor. When he discovered she was pregnant, though, the thought of fatherhood shattered his porn fantasy dream and reality crashed down on top of him. He did what most cowards do--he ran.

Lisa was an emotionally and physically independent girl, though, and only relied on Callie for any help. Beyond that, though, she was her own woman. Screw Mark if he didn't know a good thing when he had it. "Fine, leave town." was Lisa's point of view. She didn't need that type of man in her life. Unfortunately, it took an unplanned pregnancy to convince her of this.

Lisa grabbed a shopping cart and made her way inside. Sure, she was just there to get milk, but she was also an 18-year old girl. She stood at the magazine rack for what seemed like ages, looking over teen-centric magazines: the heartthrob flavors of the month, the girlish pop stars, the new "it" girls, they were all present. It was a wall of Photoshopped faces, caked in make-up and bright, toothy smiles.

Deep down, Lisa envied them, making their millions in big cities, idolized by legions of raving, loyal fans. The thing she envied the most was that none of them had the swelling concavity jutting out from above their belts that she had. With a private, muffled sigh, she put back the magazine she'd be scanning over and swung the shopping cart towards the back of the store where the milk freezers were.

Having to pass through an aisle that contained frozen desserts, her temptations crept up on her. She looked over the chocolate cream pies and the cheesecakes, her mouth watering. Lisa knew, though, that if she had any hope of losing the baby weight she'd have to control her taste buds and keep her impulses under lock and key.

With great regret, she finally drug the cart to the milk freezers. Upon reaching the frosted freezer doors, though, she noticed that the milk she wanted was way in the back, just barely within arm's reach. She's have to lean in, though, and squat a bit to reach it which, in her current physical condition, wasn't an easy task. She stared at the freezer, formulating a way to solve the problem.

"You need some help?" a calm voice called out.

Lisa looked over her shoulder and there stood a young man of about his mid-twenties from the looks of him. He was carrying a store basket with a few sundry items. His smile was easy and non-threatening. Clean-shaven and well-groomed, he was dressed in a suit jacket, collared shirt and slacks. There was a definite boyish handsomeness there.

Lisa didn't really care, though. She just wanted at that milk. "Yeah, actually. The milk is stuck back there. I'd reach in myself but I'd probably just fall over," she quipped, trying to keep her tenor personable but not overly friendly. She had been the subject of unwanted male advances in situations similar to these and, although he was handsome, her hormones had switched her into hunger mode, not romance mode.

The young man set his basket down and hurriedly held the freezer door open, deftly leaning in and snatching the milk out for her with nary a labored exhaled breath.

"Thanks," she said, careful not to keep eye contact as he set the milk down inside her cart, lest he think she was being wily and flirtatious. She nodded as she pushed the cart past him.

"Oh, no problem at all," he said as she moved away.

Leisurely perusing the fruit section, Lisa noticed some delicious looking mangos--mangos were her favorite--and she was drawn to them.

The young man, her white knight, had strayed towards the other end of the store, having helped Lisa and collected his own gallon of milk. A muffled ringing noise clattered from inside his jacket pocket. He fished out his cell phone and answered it. "Hi, mom," he said, chatting for a minute or so with an unabashed grin on his face, before saying goodbye and hanging up.

Having filled his basket to capacity, he was heading for the cashier when the idea struck him to snatch up a few bananas, even if they'd be piled on top on the small basket. Lisa, on the other hand, was dealing with a bit of a conundrum. Reaching for a particular mango amidst a pile of mangos, she caused the pyramidal fruit structure to become dislodged and crumble, with a number of mangos rolling across the carpeted fruit aisle floor.

Lisa exhaled, with rapid and burgeoning vexation, and attempted to crouch down but realized there were probably a dozen mangos rolling about the floor, mocking her. Her pulse was quickening, her rage simmering, boiling to the surface. She went to fetch up the pieces of stray fruit when someone crouched down in front of her and started fetching up the fruit for her. It was her boyish white knight again.

He chuckled, "It's a good thing I decided to swing back to the fruit aisle for some bananas. These mangos can be tricky little buggers, though."

Lisa, still chafed, put one hand on her hip and tucked strands of her tussled hair behind her ear. She didn't like this feeling of helplessness, of being waited on hand and foot by strangers. Belly or not, she wasn't going to stand there like a store window mannequin. She crouched down, her stomach pressing against her thighs, and started grabbing for some of the mangos.

The two of them stood up carrying their finds, and managed to reset the fruit pyramid. The young man made sure to assemble it so it wouldn't topple again. He turned to her. "It happens. Are you okay?"

Visibly, she wasn't nearly as personable or receptive as she were before. The veneer of civility was quickly fading. She blinked, eyes glanced off to the side in a passive-aggressive stance. He got the message.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks again," she said, her face betraying the otherwise kind words, before she gathered up a few select mangos for herself and firmly drove the cart away from the scene.

He felt as though the floor beneath him had become brittle as eggshell and each step from then on had to be measured and delicate. The air grew instantly icy as he saw her angelic face display clear and unapologetic disdain. He figured, though, that she was the type of girl who had to fend guys off constantly and, pregnant or not, the advances persisted and she'd grown increasingly impatient with them.

The man mentally flashed back to ensure that, in their two encounters, he didn't make as though he were hitting on her because he clearly wasn't. His approach to her would've been the same approach to a six-year old boy reaching for milk or an aged woman who'd spilled a totem of fruit.

He decided to scoop up the rest of his dignity and be off. As he rounded the corner of the aisle heading towards the row of cashiers, he realized he had the misfortune of having to walk past Lisa. It seemed like something out of a horror movie or a bad comedy, but as Lisa walked towards the cashiers, her purse slipped off of her shoulder and hit the linoleum floor--SPLUT!--, spilling its contents out.

He cringed, seeing Lisa only from the back, stop dead in her tracks and hang her head low. He could tell from her body posture that she was about to go postal and start raging. He walked past her and her fallen purse, but that voice in his head wouldn't relent, that guiding, moral voice--that chivalrous horn beckoning him to act. The man stopped, spun a 180 turn and crouched down to meet Lisa again, hovering over her spilt goods.

"You got it?" he asked gently, politely.

She didn't even look at him. "Yes. I think you've done enough for me today, thanks."

Reaching for a stray lipstick-tube, Lisa clumsily knocked it away. The young man almost felt like this was some kind of sick joke now, a prank or worse. He reached down and picked up her lipstick.

"Umm..." he didn't know what to say as he handed it to Lisa. She snatched it from him, scooping the rest of her purse's contents back into it. Her lips curled, rage boiling over. Finally, she stood up, her wild blue eyes drilling into him. "Do I really look like I'm interested?!" she barked, showing her "wedding" ring and indicating her swollen belly.

The young man stepped back, hands out at his side in an apologetic gesture. "I didn't mean-- I wasn't..."

Everyone in the store heard her outburst and all eyes in the area swung over to them, and him. He felt completely emasculated, exposed at the hands of this petite, expectant beauty. He'd never seen anyone so beautiful, yet so threatening. Her gaze was vicious and accusing, leaving him not an inch to compose himself.

She didn't even allow him to finish his sentence as she grabbed the handles of the shopping cart and proceeded to move to a cashier. Suddenly, though, her cell phone rang and she pulled off to the side to answer it. The young man, still a tad shaken from his confrontation with Lisa, went up to the nearest cashier and set them on the conveyor.

The cashier, who was an older woman, peeked up at him with cautious eyes. "That's what a guy gets for being nice nowadays, isn't it? If chivalry is dead, I sure as hell know what killed it. Mean girls."

He blew it off, shaking his head. "She had a rough day, I'm sure. We all have bad days."

"Not only a nice guy, but a forgiving one, too. There's a shortage of your kind runnin' around out there. I hope you know that," she complimented.

"I have great parents," he said with a glowing smile.

"I'll bet. They did good with you," the cashier said, ringing up the last of his few items.

He paid and, on his way out, he decided to buy a coffee from the little kiosk near the exit. The barista, a girl who was probably still in high school, had a kind of freaked expression; eyes wide and tense. "Wow, she kind of freaked out, huh? Probably off her meds."

He chuckled it off and made his order. A few minutes later, after doing her magic with the frappacino machine, the barista handed him his coffee. He sat down at a booth near the door, setting his small bag of groceries next to him.

Lisa had finished her phone call and paid for the few items she'd selected. She decided to keep the cart so she wouldn't have to lug the heavy jug of milk. As she pushed the cart towards the exit, she noticed the young man, her persistent white knight, with his back to her, quietly drinking his coffee and looking through a magazine he'd purchased. The phone call and time at the register had calmed her. She realized how she's snapped at him and guilt crept into her mind.

She slowed her pace towards the exit, inching closer and closer to the unrewarded young man who acted honorably but was essentially scolded for doing so. The guilt grew infectiously, quickly overtaking her. As she neared him, she slowed even more until she'd rolled up beside him and stopped completely.

He hadn't noticed her yet so she just stared at him, remorseful, trying to find the courage to gather a few kind words. Finally, she stopped. "Umm, excuse me," she muttered, doing her best to convey her self-reproach through a meek delivery. He looked up finally, still impenetrably warm and approachable, as if the rabid confrontation she'd sprung on him only minutes earlier had never happened.

"I--I really just wanted to apologize... for earlier," Lisa managed to force out, trying with all her might to be as fastidious and cautious with her words now as she'd been careless and hurtful earlier.

He had a soft smile, just listening raptly to her. "I don't know, I was just having a bad day. Hormones are kind of raging right now, because of--" she said, pointing at her belly.

"Oh, I completely understand," he said, no longer allowing her to display such needless self-degradation. "I have bad days. It's not a big deal. Everyone's allowed to get mad every now and then."

She wasn't allowing this. He was being excusatory beyond acceptability. Plain and simple, she had been a bitch and deserved to feel the shame of having to apologize. "No, you were really sweet to help me," she urged. "...and then you were sweet again AND then one more time, and I basically rewarded you by bitching you out and that was wrong. I'm sorry. I really am."

He had to admit that he was captivated by this young beauty just giving herself over in apology. She didn't have to. She owed him nothing, but there she was with that glowing, pale skin, those boundlessly blue eyes and that mane of impeccably groomed bright-blonde hair just looming over him, a Nordic angel, one whose belly was distractingly swollen with child.

He nodded in acceptance. "It's cool. I'm Justin, by the way," he reached out, extending an open hand.

She shook his hand. "I'm Lisa."

"I hope the mangos are worth all that trouble we went through," he said with a sly grin.

She chortled. "Oh, yeah. I don't know, I love them, but they really made me work for 'em this time."

"They get pretty fast. I think they grow them rounder around here so they roll better or something." She giggled again. He was on a roll. "But, yeah, it's no big deal. And congratulations on the..." he nodded towards her belly.

"Oh, yeah. Thanks," she returned with a glint of strange coyness.

"How far along are you, if you don't mind me asking?" Justin asked, growing bolder and braver with each word.

"20 weeks today, actually," she shared with confidence.

"Wow, just a few more months. Do you know if it's a boy or girl?"

"It's a girl."

Justin looked around his empty space. Save for a handful of elderly patrons, the sitting area was empty. "Did you want to sit down? Rest your feet a little?" he asked, rearranging the items on the table to make space for her.

"Oh, no. I shouldn't. I should probably be going. My sister's next door shopping for clothes..." she said hesitantly, scanning him for the slightest hint. "I mean, I wouldn't want to be a bother."

He shrugged. "You wouldn't be a bother. Here, sit down," he offered.

She finally bit. "Okay, if you're sure."

"Yeah, definitely. Do you want a coffee? I can grab another one, unless the caffeine is bad for the baby."

"Oh, thanks, but no. I drink mostly milk and juice. The caffeine would keep the baby up and I want her sleeping as much as possible." she laughed as she slid into the booth seat directly facing him.

After a few minutes of chit-chatting, they had both loosened up a bit. "Yeah, about earlier," he admitted. "I didn't mean to make it seem like I was making an unwanted advance on you or anything. I know you probably get that all the time, even with the ring. I really was just trying to help you out."

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