“I know, dad, and I appreciate that, but I want to work. I enjoy it, and I need to be a good role model to my baby.”

“Sometimes I hate how well I raised you. Los Angeles is so far away.”

“Actually, I could stay here and work from home. But they want to meet me and asked me to fly out for an interview at the end of the week.”

He took my hand. “See, even when things are hard, good things happen. This sounds ideal, Leah.”

“I don’t have the job yet. I still have to graduate and pass the interview.”

He made a dismissive gesture. “They’ll love you and I’m sure Sebastian will put in a good word in for you.”

My heart stung at the mention of Sebastian.

“They don’t have a problem hiring someone who worked with adult toys?” he asked.

“I guess not, may be they figure adult toys lead to babies…”

He laughed. “I suppose you’re right.”

That night when I went to bed, I felt lighter. I still had the guilt over not telling Sebastian yet, but it was so nice to have the support of my father. I didn’t have to carry this on my own. I knew for certain my baby would be well cared for and loved, not just by me, but by my father as well. If this job interview went well, I’d have a job. So, all in all, things were looking up.

On Thursday, I boarded a plane and flew to Los Angeles. Before I left, Niall had called and told me that both he and Craig had given me a glowing reference. He also suggested a hotel not far from the company’s headquarters.

“Try to get on the top floor. It’s got a view of the city and if it’s not hazy, you can see to the ocean.”

“How do you know so much about this place?”

“My sister works there, and on occasion I visit. They tried to recruit me, but I prefer sex toys over nappies.”

I snorted. “You’re such a guy.”

“If you only knew.”

I rolled my eyes even though he couldn’t see me through the phone. “Thank you for this, Niall.”

“You’re welcome. I’m just sorry we couldn’t keep you here.”

I sighed. I felt bad about that too, but I knew why and in some ways it was best. I’d never get over Sebastian if I had to work for him. At some point, I’d have to see him and, assuming he wanted to be in the baby’s life, I’d have to deal with him.

“Have a safe trip and don’t be a stranger.”

The flight was uneventful and Niall was right about the hotel room. I was lucky to have money which meant I was able to get a top floor suite that had a spectacular view.

On Friday morning, I took a car to the headquarters for my interview. I was nervous, but also hopeful. This felt right.

Niall’s sister Megan met me in the office. “Niall gushes about you and he never gushes, so I told my boss we needed to interview you.”

“Niall has been really good to me.”

She studied me. “I think he’s halfway in love with you, not that he’d admit it. He likes his horn dog image.”

I laughed. “His image is safe.”

Megan gave me a tour until it was time to meet with the hiring person. “If this goes well, you’ll be able to meet Sadie herself.”

“Then I hope it goes well.”

My palms were sweaty and my hands shook as I sat down to start the interview, but within a few questions in, I’d relaxed. I felt in my element answering questions about my methods of coming up with marketing plans, my strengths, and desire for the job. I was able to let them know about my interest in design, and they said all employees have input on design. Not that I knew the first thing about baby clothes, but that would be remedied soon.

After the interview, Megan took me to lunch. “You won’t get Mexican food anywhere better outside of Mexico.”

Fortunately, my stomach wasn’t bothering me as much anymore, and I was able to enjoy the food. After lunch, I was brought up to meet Sadie, the company’s founder.

She was in her thirties, and while she appeared confident and competent, she also looked like a mom. “I’ve heard good things about you, Leah.” She said as she motioned me to sit.

“I’m honored.”

“I’ll be honest, the idea of hiring someone to work virtually is new to me, but I’d like to get a foothold in New York. I’m hoping along with taking care of our online marketing campaigns, you’d be able to help with that.”

I nodded, and I realized that they’d probably done their research on me. My father was connected to many important people in New York, and they probably knew that would give them an introduction to those same people, whether it was getting into the stores, or getting financing to expand the business. “I’m well connected in New York.”

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