Milllionaire Dad, Nanny Needed!

By: Susan Meier



“I didn’t forget you. I said I forgot what a stickler for detail you are. And, if I remember correctly, we didn’t slip out of my family’s Christmas parties. I slipped out. You always found me and squealed on me.”

“I was twelve. To me that was fun.”

“Right.”

“Bet you were glad when I stopped coming with my mom.”

“About the time you stopped coming I stopped slipping out.” He laughed. “It seems that as I got older, the parties got less boring.”

Bent inside the car, Audra called, “Really?”

***

Dominic took a pace back. She probably didn’t realize she was presenting a very enticing view of her backside, and as a gentleman appreciative of the help she was giving him, Dominic diverted his attention.

“Yes. When I became the administrator of the Manelli College Scholarship, as my first full-fledged family responsibility, I thought it was best to begin getting to know the people in line for the money so I could choose the right recipient.”

“I never did thank you.”

Her voice drew his gaze back to his car where she busily worked on freeing the baby seat. This time he noticed the long length of leg exposed beneath her coat. She certainly wasn’t twelve anymore. And from the way she didn’t hesitate to help him, she’d become a lot like her generous, happy mother. He couldn’t believe he’d thought her annoying all those years ago when she’d always found his Christmas party hiding place and gone running to his dad.

“Why would you want to thank me?”

“For the scholarship.”

“You earned it.”

She pulled out of the car, then reached in and retrieved the car seat. “All set.”

“Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.” She motioned to the kitchen door. “I’ll just follow you in. We’ll give the car seat to my mom and have her assign someone to put it in your SUV.”

Dominic said, “Great.” He started toward the door, but the diaper bag strap slipped off his shoulder and landed with a thump on his forearm. That caused the bottle to fall. The already-wet baby blanket billowed beside the bottle and even the baby looked precarious.

“Damn it.”

Joshua began to cry and Audra grimaced. Obviously feeling sorry for him, she reached for the little blue bundle of joy. “I’ll take the baby. You put the bottle in that side compartment on the diaper bag. Then put the diaper bag in the car seat and the wet blanket behind the diaper bag and then carry the car seat.”

Dominic handed Joshua to her. “I swear I will learn how to do this stuff.”

Baby on her arm, she headed for the door again. “Of course you will. All new parents need a little time.”

Reminded of his brother and sister-in-law and how silly they’d been, fussing over Joshua in the first days after his birth, Dominic sucked in a breath to control a burst of sadness, as he shoved the bottle into the diaper bag.

“Yeah. Well, if there’s one thing I don’t have, it’s time. When Marsha’s mother discovered she had cancer and the doctors recommended she begin chemotherapy immediately, I had to take Joshua. Now. Today. I don’t have a nanny, so I’ll be walking the floor with him tonight. Without a clue of what I’m doing.”

Almost at the door, she glanced over her shoulder at Dominic. Her pretty eyes filled with concern that she quickly masked with a big smile before she said, “You’ll do great.”

Joshua dropped his rattle and without a second’s hesitation, she dipped, scooped it up and tucked it in her coat pocket—not giving the dirty rattle back to Joshua—and without missing a beat in the conversation.

“Waiting for my sisters to come home, I’ve walked the floor. At two o’clock in the morning it seems like hell, but then you cuddle the baby against you and whisper sweet things, and he settles down. You’ll feel like a million dollars because you could soothe him.”

Tucking the diaper bag into the car seat, Dominic stood in awe. She didn’t merely know what to do. She knew what not to do, and both appeared to be second nature to her.

“I’d give you just about anything you wanted if you’d help me tonight.”

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