A Baby for the BillionaireBy: Victoria Davies
To what? Get weak kneed at the sight of him with a baby in his arms?
Mentally, she shook her head. Now was the worst possible time to see him as anything other than her oldest friend.
“I’m not going anywhere,” she said, staring up at him. “Not for three weeks. Use me as a resource while I’m here so you can function when I leave.”
His gaze darkened. “Let’s not think about that.”
“You of all people should know ignoring reality doesn’t make it disappear.”
“Yes, but a reality where I’m alone isn’t one I want to dwell on.”
“I’ll still be just a speed dial away,” she said, her gaze skidding away from his.
“Yeah.” But his tone wasn’t much more convincing than hers.
Luckily, the baby in her arms decided he was done with his bottle.
“Here,” she said, passing it to Walker while she threw a dish towel over her shoulder and shifted the baby.
“How do you know how to do all this?” Walker said, watching her.
“There’s nothing to it,” she replied, rubbing the child’s back. “I told you my mother always had me helping with my siblings. Looks like it’s still second nature.”
“Good because I have no idea where to start.”
She smiled. “Doctor, nanny, shopping. Not necessarily in that order.”
As Walker went off to find his laptop, she patted the baby’s back.
“We’ll be all right,” she said to him. “Just you wait. Everything will be okay, little one. I promise.”
It was the only option. She’d get through her three weeks, and then Walker and his son would be fine.
Just like she and Walker would be fine.
Because he was right. Any other reality wasn’t worth considering.
Walker strode into his workshop, grabbing one of the laptops not synced up into his elaborate network. Every screen, every wire was exactly where he wanted it.
And looking at it now all he could see was a death trap. What if the baby pulled a cord and a computer tower fell on him? Or he might stick his tongue in one of the many custom-built electrical sockets. He’d read about children doing that, though at the time it had just seemed like survival of the fittest in the twenty-first century, but now that he had a life of his own to protect, everything was glaringly more real.
“Doctor, nanny, shopping,” he repeated to himself. He was an expert at research.
Though Clara was the one who had managed to make the baby’s crying stop in seconds.
I’d trade superpowers in a heartbeat.
Grabbing the computer, he retraced his steps to the living room. There he saw his new roommate settling his son on one of the fluffy blankets his driver had dropped off last night. She was utterly at ease as she leaned over the little body.
His steps slowed as he took in the sight. He’d never thought of Clara having children. He’d known he never would and had just assumed it was the same for her.
But seeing her now, he realized how ridiculous he’d been to think what worked for him would for her.
There was no impatience in her face as she grinned down at the baby, making different expressions to make the child coo in delight. Her body language was relaxed as she slipped back into a role he knew she’d tried to put behind her. For all their years together, he’d been told only the bare minimum about her childhood. She’d helped raise her mother’s second family and left it all behind the moment she turned eighteen. Beyond that, all he had were vague references and the overlying assumption that her past hadn’t been much rosier than his.
It was part of the reason he’d been drawn to her in the first place.
But she’s not like me. I would have been fine with a lifetime of my computers and casual partners, but not her.
She needed more. A family, a home.
A partner by her side.
He tamped down the stirrings of panic that rose within him at the thought of such a permanent future. He’d seen firsthand the horror that came from being trapped in a relationship that didn’t work. He’d never be willing do that to either of them.
But someone would come along and offer her the life he never could. His chest felt hollow at the thought.