A Baby for the BillionaireBy: Victoria Davies
The baby gurgled a response.
“You’ll bat those blue eyes and wrap everyone around your finger. And I’ll get to say I predicted it all the first day we met.”
Won’t I? Fifteen years from now, would she meet the unruly teen the child in her arms would grow into?
“That’s a problem for another day,” she said, her voice high pitched as she cooed to her charge. “One step at a time.”
The timer went off and she went to prep the formula, testing it on her wrist before she offered it to the baby.
“Hungry little thing, aren’t you?”
Rocking the infant, she strolled around the kitchen while he fed, making a mental list of the extras they’d need to buy today. Walker’s driver had done a stellar job getting them through the night, but there was only so much one could buy at midnight.
“More formula, diapers, baby clothes, toys,” she listed off. “We should get you checked out by a pediatrician, too. I’m sure your father will hack the hospital system and find the best doctor in the city. Nothing is too illegal for his little boy, right?”
“Or I could just ask for a referral.”
She spun to see Walker making a beeline for the coffee.
“A referral? How blasé. I was trying to convince your son what a badass he had for a father.”
“I haven’t hacked a government system since our first year of college,” he replied. “You hit me over the head and told me to stop screwing with my future, remember?”
“Sounds like me.”
“Keeping me on the straight and narrow.” He held out a coffee mug to her. Adjusting the baby, she accepted it with relish.
“And look where it landed you,” she said.
“Being a single father terrified a loose couch cushion might smother my kid?”
“I was going to say successful billionaire, but that’s another way to go.”
She sipped her coffee and sighed in pleasure, closing her eyes. Walker always had the best beans. When she wanted to splurge on coffee, she’d go to a designer coffee shop and buy a tiny bag of an exotic flavor. Walker flew the damn things in directly from whatever plantation caught his fancy.
Yet another reason she often strung late movie-watching nights into sleepovers. Walker had all the best toys, and she wasn’t above using him for his coffee connections.
“The coffee cake you like is in the fridge.”
“I saw,” she said with a smile. “Nice perk.”
“It’s worth my while to keep it stocked for the month.”
She opened her eyes, glancing at her friend. Tension radiated from him as exhaustion lined his face. Unable to stop herself, she crossed to him and traced a soft finger along his jaw.
“You don’t have to do that,” she told him softly. “I promised I’d stay and I will, regardless of how much cake you keep on hand.”
A tiny smile tugged the corner of his mouth. “I can’t do this without you. Last night proves it.”
“Last night was this little guy’s first night in a new place. He’ll settle once he learns his new routine. Besides, you should have called me. I might have been able to help.”
“Why?” she asked, exasperated.
He glanced away. “Why give you one more reason to run from this apartment?”
Her head jerked up. “What?”
Blue eyes so like the baby’s in her arms met hers. “I know what I asked of you isn’t easy. It goes beyond anything I’ve ever asked of anyone, and you agreed because you’re a decent person. I didn’t want to test that resolve your first night here.”
“Because you thought I’d toss my hands in the air and, what? Succumb to a fit of vapors?”
“I thought you’d make the logical choice and tell me to go to hell.”
“Love isn’t logical.” His eyes widened and she hurried to correct the words that had slipped out. “Platonic love, that is. You’re my best friend, Walker. You know how much I care about you.”
A low sigh left him. “I know.”
Slinging an arm around her shoulders, he pressed an off-handed kiss into her hair.
Platonic. Yeah right.
Hush, she chided her own mind. His world had just upended itself. Now wasn’t the time to…