A Baby for the BillionaireBy: Victoria Davies
“Whatever you need.”
Nodding, she dropped to the couch, eyes on the baby, and hoped she hadn’t just made the biggest mistake of her life.
Walker stared at the crib in his bedroom. It didn’t belong. It didn’t fit. His walls were lined with bookshelves filled with books and spare parts. One corner of the room was a makeshift workshop where he tinkered and created in the middle of the night when sleep evaded him. The other side housed a low couch where he’d sat with his arm wrapped around a woman a time or two. Neither sides of his life were conducive to a crib pushed up by the bed. It was out of place. A physical reminder that a baby didn’t fit into his world any more than a crib did into his bedroom.
What am I doing?
He couldn’t raise a child. What did he know about babies? His driver had been the one to scourer the city tonight trying to find the essentials he’d need to get him through the next few hours. He hadn’t even known what to ask for before Clara had told him.
I have no business being a father.
A smile tugged at his lips. He could almost imagine Clara’s response if she could hear his thoughts.
“There’s a baby in your home, Sherlock. It’s a little late for second thoughts.”
Even when she wasn’t here she was right. He’d made reckless mistakes that in hindsight were the heights of stupidity. He was lucky it was just a baby on his doorstep and not someone trying to extort him. He should have been more careful. More intelligent.
He should have been more like Clara.
How the hell did I let this happen?
And who had it happened with?
He ran a hand down his face, doing the mental math to back date the months. Somewhere out there was his baby’s mother who obviously wanted nothing to do with him. Not that he could blame her after having clearly gone through a pregnancy alone, but still. Didn’t creating a kid together warrant a conversation?
Unable to help himself, he crossed over to the crib to run his fingers along the wood.
Regrets did him no good. Reality had arrived and he needed to figure out how to deal with it. Finding his son’s mother wasn’t his top priority right now. Not when he only had a month to learn how to keep a child alive before Clara left. Three weeks would fly by and then he’d be alone again.
There’d been no missing the shock and pain in Clara’s eyes when she’d looked at his son. She’d help him through his latest mess, but he couldn’t guarantee what would happen after. This might be the straw that finally pushed her too far. She’d realize she could do a hell of a lot better than an absentminded genius who spent more time thinking about software than people.
And then he’d have to watch the light in her eyes die when she looked at him. Her face would go carefully blank when he entered a room, and her words would become polite and bland until they finally parted ways. He’d seen it before. Watched it happen time and again to those who’d claimed to care for him. He’d been waiting ten years to see that expression on Clara’s face.
And tonight, she’d come close enough to make his heart twist in his chest.
I’ve been alone before.
He could do it again if he had to.
The soft sound of her voice wrapped around him, banishing the dark thoughts. For a second, he closed his eyes, embracing the tiny respite that her presence offered.
“I think I have him settled.”
Sighing, he turned to see her in the doorway.
The breath froze in his lungs at the sight. Clara stared up at him, her feet bare, her hair messy, with a baby nestled peacefully in her arms. His child. She was cuddling his son, and that knowledge made his chest tighten.
“Is the crib ready?” she asked, shifting her weight in a small rocking motion.
“Yes.” The word scraped against his throat as he pushed it out.
Her gaze drifted off him as she came farther into the room. Avoiding him, she made a beeline for the crib and gently lay the baby down.
“He needs a name,” she said, tucking the child in.
“I don’t know what to call him.”
“No one ever does. Pick one that makes sense to you.”
Name another human being as if it’s nothing.