Milllionaire Dad, Nanny Needed!

By: Susan Meier



“In the Manelli house we don’t call boys beautiful.”

Audra’s mom rose. “Dominic’s right. The senior Manelli would have your head if he heard you call any Manelli male beautiful.”

As Mary rounded her desk, Dominic watched the baby in her arms, unwittingly realizing both Greene women were correct. Though his dad might have anyone’s hide for calling a Manelli male beautiful, with his eyes closed in sleep and his round cheeks flushed pink Joshua was beautiful.

Audra laughed lightly. “He’s stealing your heart, isn’t he?”

And looking into her sparkling blue eyes, Dominic felt another tug of emotion. Except this tug had nothing to do with family love. This one was all about attraction. Audra’s face glowed with life and vitality. Her full lips bowed into a smile so warm he felt it reach out and touch him. In one quick glance he saw and responded to the way her breasts strained against the pretty blue top she wore over a navy-blue skirt that subtly outlined a very shapely bottom.

Two weeks ago he’d have turned on enough charm to light New York City in a blizzard. Today he turned away. “I don’t have time for anybody to be stealing my heart.”

“And that scares you?”

It didn’t scare him as much as it filled him with remorse, regret and even guilt. While Peter had gone looking for a wife, Dominic had had his pleasure with every woman who suited his fancy. While Dominic took trips to Monaco, Peter had studied. While Peter attended business meetings and summits with their father, Dominic hadn’t paid more than a passing glance of attention at the family business.

Dominic had thoroughly enjoyed the past fifteen years that Peter had spent working, settling in, doing the right thing by the family. And now Dominic, the family playboy, suddenly had everything his brother had wanted—the business and the baby. He couldn’t fail. He refused to fail, to let everything Peter had started fall to ruin. Yet Dominic didn’t feel right taking charge, either. He was confused, grief stricken and in over his head.

All he really wanted was his own life back. The one he knew how to live.

Mary quietly said, “Do we now have someplace I can lay him down to sleep?”

Audra turned to the door. “The baby carrier is in the kitchen. I’ll get it.”

Dominic followed her. “I might as well bring the rest of his things to the nanny suite.”

“Good idea.”

“Then I’ll accompany you to Olivia’s, but after that I’m off to work.”

Audra said, “That’s fine. I can handle the furniture shopping this morning.”

“Then this afternoon you can move in.”

***

That comment stopped Audra dead in her tracks. For all her talk of getting up for 2:00 a.m. feedings, it hadn’t sunk in that she’d have to move into the nursery while Dominic scouted a permanent nanny. Still, what difference did it make? She needed money. She was offering to be a nanny to get that money. And nannies usually lived in. No big deal. Especially considering Dominic was the epitome of the type of man she had sworn off forever.

She turned to tell him that she’d be moved in by the time he returned from work, but their gazes caught and she didn’t see the fun teenager who had turned into a playboy. She saw a man who had lost his brother three months ago in a tragic accident and who had gained custody of Peter’s son because of another family tragedy. Circumstances had made him serious and sad in a way that caused Audra’s heart to awaken from a near year-long sleep. She felt it yawn and stretch and open again, as if welcoming him.

Any teasing comment she could have made froze on her lips. She might have been immune to the playboy, but would she really be safe with this guy? With a child to raise, he didn’t have time to gallivant around the globe. He’d be underfoot. A brooding, sexy man aching for love. Like Heathcliff. What woman could resist that?

Worse, they would be living together. Running into each other in various stages of undress as they went about their morning and evening routines.

Still, it was too late to back out now. This deal was all about promises. She’d not only promised Dominic her assistance, but the Belles had promised Julie a wedding. And only she could earn enough money fast enough to pay for that wedding. One way or another she would resist him.

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