I turn to him. “No,” I say desperately. “Nothing you could do would ever make me feel uncomfortable.”

His cheeks blush, and a smile quirks the side of his mouth. “I should go check on Bailey.”


She’s really crying now, an angry, demanding sound.

I swallow and shake off this heavy, lust-filled feeling. Maybe it’s for the best we were interrupted. It’s not like we could just strip right here and do it on his brother’s countertop.

I look around.

Or could we?

No. Definitely not. Sam could come home at any moment and we would be caught. I don’t want to give Sam a reason to hate me anymore than he already does.

We go upstairs to the office to Bailey’s playpen. She’s standing up, reaching for her dad when she sees him. It’s the most adorable thing in the world. Definitely a daddy’s girl. And he’s so good with her. There’s just something so sexy about a man holding his child.

He picks her up and they sit on the floor. Bailey’s tears stop. She must remember me from yesterday, because she reaches her little hand toward me. I take it and sit beside them.

“Wow, she’s really picky about the people she lets near me,” Deacon says. “She’s kind of territorial. She must really like you.”

I cross my eyes, making funny faces at her, getting her to laugh. “I like her too.”


He starts to hum a tune, a lullaby I remember from my own childhood. I hum along. I can’t help myself. He smiles, encouragingly, so I start to sing the words and he sings along too. He has a great singing voice, and I was always given solos when I was in the school choir so I know I sing well too. Bailey seems to like it. Her smile stretches her chubby cheeks and she lets out happy gurgling sounds. After a few minutes she’s dozing off. By the end of the song, she’s passed out.

Deacon lays her in the playpen and I step out of the room into the dark hallway. This is where we were standing yesterday when he moved the hair from my shoulder and we almost kissed. He comes toward me, but stops before getting too close. His eyes are intense, focused on mine. The need in them is undeniable. They sparkle in the low light, begging for something more. I step up to him, letting him know I’m ready and willing. I want this kiss more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life.

Only, instead of closing the gap between us, he takes a step back. He’s reluctant about it. Did I read him wrong? In the kitchen it seemed like he really wanted me. I feel so confused right now, and torn. I know if we kiss, or if things go any further, that might change the dynamic between us. It might screw up this whole arrangement. Maybe he’s afraid if we sleep together and things change between us, he won’t have someone to take care of Bailey while he goes to work. I can’t blame him. I know how hard it would be for him to find someone he trusts to watch his daughter.

“I should get to work,” he says, his voice hesitant, as if he doesn’t really want to leave.

I want to tell him to stay, to be with me, but I don’t want him to get in trouble at work. I don’t want to be selfish. “Of course. Don’t worry about a thing.”

“Surprisingly, I don’t worry about anything knowing you’re watching my daughter. I’m always worried about her otherwise, but I can see she’s in capable hands.”

These hands are capable of other things too, not just watching children. They’re capable of making him very happy. I want to show him that. I want to tell him that, but I can’t. Not without changing things between us that might not be for the good.

He leaves for work. I watch him from the window as he pulls out of the driveway and heads down the road. Once he’s out of sight, I go to his room. All these years wondering what it was like in there. I need to see it for myself.

The first thing I do is go to the window where there’s a direct view to my room. So it’s possible that he was watching me last night. There are fingerprint smudges there. Had he watched me and touched the window?

I look around at the rest of the room. He has a queen size bed with a blue sheet set and matching comforter. Such a bachelor room. It’s very sparse on the decoration, and everything is bland, dark colors. Kicking off my shoes, I flop back on his bed, sprawled out, moving my hands like I would if I were making a snow angel on the cool fabric of his comforter.

I can smell him on the sheets, the leathery musk of his cologne, the soap he uses, and the gel he wears in his hair. Putting his pillow over my face, I hug it tight and breathe in deep. I’m so turned on right now, I can hardly stand it. I used to masturbate with my pillow when I would think of him. That was before I was old enough to go to the sex shops and buy myself toys. I would take my body pillow and pretend it was him, get naked and then rub against it until, well, you know. I’m half tempted to use his pillow as my new play thing, maybe switch it out for one of my own. I could take Bailey when she wakes up and run over to my house. All I’d have to do is put his pillowcase on it.

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