His Virgin Babysitter(8)

By: Lila Younger

I walk up the stone steps to the large, double doors and ring the doorbell. I can hear it echoing inside, followed by the shriek of a little kid. A few minutes later, the door opens. Carter and Luna are at the door, both of them smiling as soon as they see me.

“Jade! Perfect timing,” he says.

“Hi,” I say timidly. God, the man looks good. I sort of thought maybe I had imagined it, but nope, he looks amazing in his suit. Tall, intimidating, and powerful, his look softened only by the blue tie that brings out the color of his eyes.

He opens the door further, and I walk in. I’m not skinny and tiny by any measure, but I do feel small and fragile next to him.

“Jade!” Luna cries out. It looks like she’s slept in her Belle dress, because it’s definitely a lot more wrinkled than yesterday. “We’re having pancakes!”

“Yum,” I say. “Who’s we?”

She holds up a rather scraggly teddy bear.

“This is Oscar,” she says solemnly. “My best friend.”

I lean down and shake Oscar’s stuffed paw.

“Nice to meet you. I think we’ll become good friends too,” I say to the bear.

“Luna, why don’t you go and finish breakfast?” Carter says.

We watch as Luna scampers back down the hall, Oscar trailing along the floor behind her. I’m suddenly very aware that we’re all alone together in the entryway. I bite down on my lip, nerves coming over me even though I should know better. My heart flutters as he turns towards me.

“It’s been a long twenty-four hours,” he says, rubbing his neck. “She refused to take off the princess dress.”

I give him a reassuring smile. We’re on a topic I know a lot about, kids, and that calms down my nerves.

“I don’t think a night in a ball gown will hurt her any,” I say. “Did she sleep okay at least?”

“Like a log,” he says. “Although it took her a little bit to get used to the silence. She says there’s usually music and all sorts of noise. I feel fucking terrible. I can’t imagine what sort of environment she’s been living in.”

“Her mother hasn’t called at all?”

“No,” Carter says with a grimace. “But that’s fine. The more I learn about what Luna’s life has been like, the more resolved I am to get custody of her.”

“It’s going to be tough with a four year old kid,” I say softly. “And she still hasn’t processed losing her mom. That will come later.”

Luna seemed like a wonderful little girl, but kids have delayed reactions to things sometimes, and it can really make them act out. They just don’t have the words to put to their thoughts and feelings and it can overwhelm them. I hope Carter knows that. It’s going to turn his life upside down to have a well-adjusted kid around, much less a little one from a troubled home.

“Yes, I’ve been doing some reading. I couldn’t sleep last night either. I’m hoping that having you here can ease that transition,” he says.

“Of course. Anything for Luna. She’s adorable.”

Carter flashes me a smile that makes my face flush, my body perking up at his presence. He puts a hand on my shoulder, and my legs turn to jello. I’m surprised I haven’t crumpled onto the floor in a puddle. What is going on with me? I’m never this way. Never. Not even when I got paired up with Jordan the star quarterback for science lab.

“Thank you Jade. I know I can count on you,” he says.

“Uh huh,” I say faintly.

This is embarassing. Why couldn’t I get a hold of myself? I’m practically throwing myself at Carter. I guess until now I’ve never met a real man, one who wasn’t all pimply and juvenile. No, Carter exuded confidence and raw power, and my body’s response to it was really quite natural. I just wish it wasn’t so obvious.

Carter’s eyes darkened, pupils widening for a moment before he stepped back again. I blink, dazed. I must have imagined it. There’s no way that Carter would ever be even remotely interested. I was young and inexperienced, while he looked as handsome as an actor. I had no doubt that women more gorgeous than I were throwing themselves at him on a daily basis.

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