A Baby for the BillionaireBy: Victoria Davies
Taking a deep breath, she rolled back her shoulders. She’d been guilty of many things in her life but leaving a friend hanging wasn’t one of them.
Glancing at her watch, she ran back into the living room and grabbed the purse she’d tossed onto an armchair. Catching a glimpse of herself in the mirror hanging above her mantel, she groaned. Yoga pants that had never seen a day of yoga. A tank top that boasted a ripped hem, and a cardigan she’d chosen for comfort rather than style. Throw in the curly brown hair gathered in a messy bun plus the freshly washed face without a speck of makeup and this was pretty much as far from the way she wanted Walker to see her as possible. But when the doorbell rang there wasn’t much she could do about it. Her friend was in trouble. That took priority over vanity.
Grabbing her coat, she opened the door to the waiting chauffeur.
“Mr. Beckett is expecting you,” the driver said, giving her a once-over.
“I know,” she replied. “Let’s go.”
Pulling the door closed behind her, she followed the driver into the elevator.
“Did he give you any sort of message or information for me?” she asked as the floors descended.
“Afraid not, ma’am,” her companion replied. “But we’ll be there shortly.”
She knew that. It wasn’t the first time Walker had sent a car around for her.
Pulling her jacket around her to keep away the spring chill, she climbed into the back of the car.
As the world flashed by outside her window, Clara couldn’t keep her mind from returning to one burning question in her mind.
Who’s the mother?
Not that it really mattered who it was. That woman would be stepping into Clara’s role now. She’d be the one Walker called in emergencies. The one he ordered takeout for while they binge-watched their favorite shows.
They’d start talking less. The time between hang outs would stretch longer and longer. Then they’d only get together at Christmas and make promises to make more effort to stay in touch. Eventually their friendship would fade to a fond memory. They’d move on with their lives. Without each other.
Clara shook her head to banish the sobering thought. Any dreams of the two of them ending up together had died in college, but she’d enjoyed the quasi-girlfriend role she’d played in his life. It’d been nice, in the absence of a real partner, to have someone she could turn to no matter what.
But everything would change now.
The car slowed to a stop outside the skyscraper she’d come to know well. Saying goodbye to the driver, she strode into the elegant lobby. The concierge waved her toward the elevators, recognizing her immediately after all this time. Within seconds she was standing outside the penthouse on the top floor of the building.
Courage. Whatever lay beyond that door, she could deal with it. Even if it meant her life was about to change in an irrevocable way, just as Walker’s was.
Lifting her chin, she knocked on the gleaming wood.
The door jerked open.
“Hi, Walker,” she said.
His velvety voice rolled over her, sending a shiver down her spine. Walker looked as good as he always did, even under less than ideal circumstances. His black hair was tousled in all the right ways, hanging around his chiseled face. She’d always thought he looked more like a movie star than a technological visionary. With his piercing blue eyes and the hint of stubble along his strong jaw, he could have held his own on any film poster. To add insult to injury, he’d never even lost his athletic build from college, despite the long hours staring at a computer screen. And unlike her, his impressive body was covered in clothes with designer tags. Even alone on a weekend evening he looked impeccable, whereas she wrapped her coat more firmly around her curvy body.
“Come in,” he said, holding the door open for her.
She stepped over the threshold into the luxury that was his life. Her little apartment didn’t hold a candle to the sweeping penthouse with all the top-of-the-line toys. Just one more reminder that even though they began their adult lives together, they were now from completely different worlds.
“I think you need to start from the beginning,” she said.
He nodded, running his fingers through his hair. “That’s fair. Come this way.”