A Baby for the BillionaireBy: Victoria Davies
She shrugged. “You’re about to get a crash course.”
“Yes, I am.” His gaze went back to the baby. “And I need your help.”
“I can see that.” She sighed. “Okay, I can help you make a list of things he might need. Then we can plot out your next steps.” She looked up at him with her wide brown eyes. “This is a far cry from what I thought I’d be doing tonight.”
“Tell me about it,” he said. “But I need more than a night from you.”
She arched a brow, a familiar sight that brought a smile to his face even as his life was falling apart. Yes, this was the right choice. He could navigate this unexpected twist as long as Clara was by his side.
“What exactly do you want me to do?”
His smile turned into a full-fledged grin. “Move in with me.”
He did not just ask me that.
Sure, she hoped at some point her life would move in the direction of living with another person, but not Walker. And not like this.
When she decided to move in with a man she wanted it to be because they never wanted to be apart, not because she had a skill a friend needed. But then again, it’s not like her fantasies about Walker ever played out right. She should know by now he never did the expected. No, he was a man who’d marched to his own drummer from the moment they’d met.
And now it looked like he was going to bring his more unconventional practices to child rearing as well.
“I’m not going to be your nanny,” she told him, point-blank.
“That’s not what I’m asking,” he replied. “I’ll have a nanny show up first thing tomorrow. What I need is…”
She crossed her arms, waiting him out.
“You,” he finished with a shrug. “I don’t know what to ask. What to think about or provide. I’ve never even touched a baby let alone tried to keep one alive for an extended period.”
“You realize that time is at least eighteen years, right?”
He ran a hand down his face. “Obviously, I don’t expect you to be around that long.”
There was no stopping her flinch.
“Dammit, I didn’t mean—”
“I know what you meant,” she said, focusing on the child rather than looking at him.
“I just need help. Please, Clara. I can’t do this without you.”
She crouched in front of the baby carrier, studying the little life asleep on Walker’s far too expensive coffee table. The tiny boy’s face was smooth of worry. Miniature hands fisted as his head lolled against the side of the carrier. She couldn’t help wondering if he had the same ice blue eyes of his father.
This is Walker’s flesh and blood.
She still couldn’t believe it. He’d gone and made a whole new human being.
“I can’t be a part of this,” she said as she rose to her feet. “Of course, I’ll support you and help you as your friend, but I can’t be your surrogate wife.” She shook her head. “It’s not fair.”
With a last look at the innocent life she was leaving behind, she reached for her bag. She was standing on quicksand, and if she didn’t free herself fast, she’d be stuck here playing nursemaid to a child who wasn’t hers for a man she couldn’t touch.
Get out while you still have your pride.
Lifting her chin, she tried to do exactly that.
“Wait.” His fingers curled around her upper arm, stopping her retreat. “Stop. Just wait.”
When she glanced back at him, there was a wildness to Walker she’d never seen before. Calm, cool, and perpetually detached, she’d never seen the tech genius sweat. But the thought of her leaving had desperation filling his eyes that rooted her feet to the ground.
“I know it’s not fair,” he said, pulling her closer. “It’s the most selfish thing I’ve ever asked in my life. It isn’t your problem.”
“A child isn’t a problem,” she tried.
“It is for me,” he replied. “I never wanted kids. You know that.”
“It’s a little late for that now.”
“I know.” His sapphire gaze shifted to his son. “I will do everything in my power to see this baby has the best chance at a good life. But I don’t know where to start. Hell, I don’t even have his birth certificate. Or a record of whether he’s had his immunizations or checkups. And a lawyer. Do I need a lawyer? There are issues here I just don’t know how to handle. You practically raised your siblings. You know how to do this far better than I do.”