A Baby for the BillionaireBy: Victoria Davies
“Sounds like a plan.”
“Good. And Clara, remember one thing.”
There was a pause before Diane said, “This baby isn’t yours.”
She hissed out a breath. “I know.”
“Good. Then that’s all I’ll say. Give me a call if you need me.”
“Thanks. Will do.”
Disconnecting the call, Clara tossed her cell onto the next pillow. Snuggling back into the guest room’s decadent bed she stared up at the ceiling. It wasn’t the first time she’d slept in this room. She kept a shoebox full of essentials in a corner of the closet for exactly these occasions. Once, one of Walker’s overnight guests had come across it and demanded to know what another woman’s belongings were doing in the room she’d been staying in. Clara smiled as she remembered it was the woman who’d been sent packing, rather than her little emergency box.
Pushing herself out of bed, she retrieved her belongings and fished out a toothbrush and some toothpaste. It was likely a miracle she hadn’t woken to the cries of a baby. She’d set her alarm for only a few hours of sleep but still, either the child was an angel or Walker had been trying to keep the kid quiet. She appreciated the consideration, but she wasn’t sure silence was a good sign from a man this out of his element with a baby.
Hurrying through her morning routine, she shrugged back into her yoga pants and tank top and went searching for her new roommate.
Padding through the penthouse barefoot, she ran down the stairs to the lower level and searched through the sprawling open-concept living space. Not seeing him in either the kitchen or living room, she wandered over to the towering windows and spotted a sight she’d never thought to see.
Out on the balcony Walker bounced a baby in his arms as he paced back and forth.
“Please stop,” she heard him say as she opened the sliding door. “Please be quiet.”
His back was to her, but she didn’t need to see his face to hear the desperation edging his words.
“Name your price. A Ferrari on your eighteenth birthday? Done. Just stop crying now.”
“I don’t think the parenting books recommend bribing your children with European luxury vehicles.”
He glanced over his shoulder. “You’re awake.”
“Yeah. You too by the looks of things. How long have you been up?”
“I don’t think I ever went down,” he replied.
She blinked. “What?”
“He started crying almost immediately,” he said. “I tried to keep him quiet, so I brought him out here since it was a warm morning. I think we might have slept a few minutes here or there, but I’m not entirely sure I didn’t hallucinate them.”
“Okay. Let’s put the tiny life-form down,” Clara said, scooping the baby from his arms. “How about I fix him a bottle and you can get a few minutes’ rest?”
“Are you an angel?”
“If I had a nickel.”
She glanced up at his exhausted face and her heart twisted. He was clearly exhausted yet here he was, doing his best for his child.
He’ll be a good dad.
She’d never thought about Walker that way, but it was true. Once he found his footing, she knew he’d throw himself at this challenge the way he did everything else. And though she’d never pictured him being a father, now she saw things differently.
Things change. Things you never thought would.
It was a dangerous idea. One that opened a door to possibilities she’d spent years trying not to think about.
Stop it. You’re here to be his support. Do your job.
“I’ll meet you in the kitchen when you’re ready,” she said as she turned away.
Holding the baby with sure hands, she left Walker and headed for the kitchen. Soon the newly bought formula was heating on the stove, and a strong pot of coffee brewed on the counter.
“What do you think?” she asked the baby, sitting at the high island table as she waited for their drinks to finish. “Are you going to be a hellion or are you just adjusting to the change in your world?”
She stared down into wide unblinking eyes.
Eyes the same vibrant blue as his father’s.
“Hellion,” she murmured, tracing a finger along one soft, chubby cheek. “You’ll be brilliant like your papa, and it will drive your teachers crazy because they won’t be able to keep up. But you’ll be fine because you’ll come home and tell all your ideas to your dad, and he will help you make them a reality.”