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August 1, 2014

Los Angeles, California

Three months had gone by since Zac and Vanessa had gotten married. They had gotten all settled into their house, which had used to just be Zac's house, and were used to living as husband and wife. Although Vanessa had moved in with Zac before the wedding, it felt different living together and being married. They both owned the home, they both had responsibilities to do, and both their salaries were going toward the same bills. On top of that, they had to come to agreements regarding what changes to make to the house and yard and what food to buy at the grocery store. However, all of that wasn't as hard as it seemed at first.

It was on a hot summer day, when Zac and Vanessa were sitting out by the backyard pool after a swim, that the topic of change came up for about the twentieth time since their wedding. This time, however, it wasn't about what new color to paint the dining room or if the couch in the master bedroom should be replaced. Instead, it was about expanding the Efron family.

"Zac," Vanessa began, curling closer to Zac on the beach chair they were sharing. "I'm ready..."

"Ready for what?" Zac queried, taking off his sunglasses to look into Vanessa's eyes.

Vanessa was silent for a minute before answering, "A baby...I want a baby, Zac."

"Now?"

Vanessa nodded.

"Are you sure, Nessa? Because I don't want to pressure you into something you're not ready for. I mean, if you're really ready, it's fine, but I don't want you to start having kids just because I'm anxious to be a daddy."

"I'm positive," came Vanessa's response. "I really want to start trying for a baby." She chewed on her lip.

"Well, if you're ready, I'm not gonna disagree with you," Zac spoke, pressing a kiss into Vanessa's hair.

"Okay. I'll have to call my doctor later this week and ask about stopping with birth control. Once I get that all figured out, we can see if we can make a baby." Vanessa smiled up at Zac.

"Why do you need the doctor to stop taking birth control?"

"I'm not sure if I do...but I've been on it ever since we started having sex, so I just wanna make sure it's okay to stop using it," explained Vanessa. "I mean, I've missed a few days here and there, and I wasn't real strict about taking it when I was with BUTTler, since we didn't do anything, but I'm just not sure about completely switching off of it."

"Yeah...you'd better be safe than sorry," Zac agreed.

...

August 17, 2014

Arroyo Grande, California

"Can you pass the butter, Nessa?" asked Zac. He and Vanessa were eating dinner at his parents' house, and the meal consisted of a salad, pasta with meatballs, and Italian bread and butter.

"Sure." Vanessa slid the butter tray over to Zac.

"So how are you guys doing?" David queried. "We haven't seen you much since the wedding."

"We're good," Zac replied. "I actually just got offered a role in another movie, but I'm still debating about if I want to accept it or not."

"Why?"

"Well, Vanessa and I..." Zac glanced over at Vanessa, who nodded her approval, before continuing. "Vanessa and I started trying for a baby," he revealed. "I'm not sure how soon she'll get pregnant, but I don't want it to happen, then leave her in L.A. while I'm out all over the world filming, promoting, and being interviewed. I just don't feel think that would be very supportive."

"Yeah, I can see where you're coming from," David agreed. "You could always just bring her along with you, though, but that's something the two of you will need to discuss for yourselves."

Before Zac could say anything, Starla exclaimed, "A baby already! I've been waiting so long for you and Vanessa to give me grandchildren...even before you were engaged."

"You still gotta be patient, Mom," Zac pointed out. "Vanessa's not even expecting yet." He shoved a forkful of pasta into his mouth.

"Well, I'm still getting excited," smiled Starla. "And I hope you have a little girl. I have the urge to go shopping for adorable baby dresses."

"So Zac and I were a disappointment to you?" joked Dylan.

"No. I was actually glad I had boys," Starla responded. "But I just think that a granddaughter would be nice."

"Yeah, I want a little girl, too," Zac agreed. "Then we can have a little mini Vanessa in the house." He wrapped an arm around his wife's shoulders and kissed the top of her head.

Vanessa giggled. "Well, I hate to break up the party, but I would like to have a boy first, then we'll see how that goes and decide from there if we want any more kids or not."

"Well, Vanessa, I have a feeling my son is going to talk you into having at least two, if not three," David remarked.

"And that won't be hard for you guys to do," Dylan added teasingly.

Vanessa blushed and briefly rested her cheek on Zac's muscular arm.

"Well, however many kids we end up with, I'll make sure that my goal will always be to treat them better than Austin treats his kid." Zac laughed. "You know, on his Twitter, he posted a tweet that said, 'Gonna go buy some more chocolate milk. Damn, babies are so expensive.' Then he hashtagged the words 'unhappy dad.'"

"Wait, what? How old is his son...Aukki, I think his name is?" queried Starla.

"He's seven or eight months be now. But when Austin posted that tweet, he was only about two months."

"He was feeding his kid chocolate milk when he was only two months old? That's not good for babies...not at all."

"Well, Mom, you gotta consider the sanity of the parents," Dylan interjected. "I mean, who names their kid 'Aukki?'"

Everyone laughed.

"Alright...well to change the topic to something a little happier, Vanessa, how's it going for you? Do you have any new projects or anything?" David inquired.

"No," Vanessa answered. "I haven't for a long time, and I think I'm just gonna let my career go. I guess the High School Musical fame kind of wore off, and if I wanna be a mom, I won't have time to try auditioning for stuff to get myself back in the business."

"So you're planning to be a stay-at-home mom, then? That's good," David smiled.

"I haven't decided yet. Zac and I will need to talk that over when the time comes for us to worry about it. For now, I'm not sure if I wanna be home with the kids or find a job somewhere else...I wouldn't mind teaching dance classes or something like that." She took a sip of her water.

"Well, you have plenty of time to think about it. When Mom and I decided to have Zac, she didn't know what she wanted to do after he was born until her maternity leave from work was up. Then she decided she was enjoying taking care of him and would rather stay at home than work all day and leave him in day care."

"Yeah," Starla put in. "I wanted to make sure he was raised in the way I wanted him to be raised. Same with Dylan. And not to brag or anything, but I think I did a pretty good job."

"Yes, you did," smiled Vanessa. "Zac is a very good husband, and I think he'll be a good daddy, too."

Rubbing the back of his neck, Zac smiled back at his wife.

The rest of the meal passed with some less interesting conversation. When all the dishes were cleared, an apple crumb pie was brought out for dessert, and everyone enjoyed a large slice. Once they were done that, Zac and Vanessa chatted with Zac's parents and Dylan for a couple hours, then announced that they needed to head home, as Los Angeles was three hours away, and their plan was to arrive back at their place around midnight.

"Alright. Well, it was nice having you here," Starla said. "Have a safe trip home." She hugged Zac, then Vanessa. "Love you both."

"Love you," Zac and Vanessa both responded. Although Starla wasn't her real mother, Vanessa felt closer to her than Gina. She was always so easy-going and kind, while Gina was very stubborn and, at times, hateful.

"Bye." David took a turn hugging Zac and Vanessa once Starla had moved away from them. "Call us soon, okay?"

"I will, Dad," Zac promised.

"See you later," spoke Dylan, sharing a manly hug with Zac, then embracing Vanessa.

"See you. Bye." Zac took Vanessa's hand as he opened the door to leave. After leading her to the car and getting her settled into the passenger seat, he pulled out a blanket and pillow from the trunk and handed them to her. "Just in case you get sleepy on the way back. I know you had a late night last night, and you always seem to get sleepy in the car." He kissed her forehead. "You feel warm, baby girl," he remarked with surprise. "Are you alright?"

"I'm fine," Vanessa assured.

"You sure?"

Vanessa nodded.

"Well, if you say so." Pressing another kiss onto Vanessa's face, Zac got behind the wheel and started up the car. As he backed out of the driveway, he let out a sigh at the thought of being on the road for three long hours.

...

August 18, 2014

Los Angeles, California

Zac handed Vanessa a glass of water. "Here, angel. Try drinking a little of this." On the way back to Los Angeles the night before, Vanessa had gotten sick in the car. Overnight, she had woken up about five times to go throw up in the bathroom. Zac was very concerned, and wanted to try his best to make Vanessa feel a little better.

Vanessa shook her head. "I don't want water," she moaned, sinking back into the pillows and turning away from Zac.

"But sweetie, you need to stay hydrated," Zac encouraged. "Just take one sip. Please?"

Sighing, Vanessa slowly sat up and, taking the cup of water from Zac, sipped a little of it before placing it on the bedside table.

"I know. I know it's hard not feeling good." Zac slid into bed beside Vanessa and pulled her close to him.

"I've always had bad periods ever since my first one," Vanessa whimpered. "Not necessarily throwing up every time, but I'd get horrible cramps and headaches. When I was on birth control it got a lot better, but now I just feel like shit again." She rested her head on Zac's chest.

"Aww, Nessa." Zac pressed a kiss into Vanessa's hair. "I'm a guy, so I can't give any advice about your time of the month, but I can tell you that if you don't feel ready to go through all this, you can go back on birth control and we can wait some more time before trying for a baby again. It's up to you, sweetie."

"Well, I want a baby..." Vanessa replied. "So I guess I'll just have to suffer for a while."

"It'll get better," promised Zac. "And I'm sure all this will be worth it when we get to see a baby that we made together."

"Yeah," sighed Vanessa, letting out a small groan and closing her eyes. "It'll be amazing."

 

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