I’ll need to keep my asshole mouth in check so she’s willing to. And my dick in check so I don’t decide to keep her here longer for all the wrong reasons.

She tucks her hands into her pockets. “Sure. I should be able to do that. If you’re okay with it.”

I’m not sure I trust my thoughts on anything regarding her right now. “I have a conference this week, so I’ll be gone Wednesday and Thursday.” The timing is crappy, since Nic just got here. I work so much that Lilly doesn’t usually get upset when I have to leave for a couple of days, but I’m not sure how it’ll go when she’s staying with someone new instead of her grandmother. “My sister Shay offered to come stay here if you want help.”

Nic shakes her head. “That’s not necessary at all. Lilly and I will be just fine. Leave me Shay’s number and tell her I’ll call her if I need anything.”

“I can do that. This week is going to be hard on Lilly with her grandmother leaving, so she might need to be distracted, and I won’t be around to help cheer her up.”

“I promise I’ll call Shay if she needs family.” She tilts her head to the side, studying me. “I know you don’t think much of me, but I wouldn’t have taken this job if I didn’t know how to work with children.”

“Right.” I grab a stack of my pre-hung shirts from the basket. They’re carefully ironed and look like I just picked them up from the dry cleaner. “We’re going to Brayden’s tonight, so you’ll be on your own for dinner.”

She twists her hands in front of her. “Your mom actually asked me to go to dinner with you.”

Of course she did. “Fine. We’ll need to leave in fifteen minutes.”

She heads out of my room but stops a few steps into the hallway. “Let me know if I can do anything to help with the nanny search,” she says without looking at me. “I’d really hate for you to have to endure my presence for any longer than necessary.”

A is for asshole.

Nicole

Teagan: How’s it going? Any development in your Grey’s Anatomy-style drama? Any middle-of-the-night sexy times?

Me: Grey’s Anatomy? How do you figure?

Teagan: Come on. You hooked up with the hot doctor the night before you started working for him. It’s TOTAL Grey’s. So, is he Dr. McSteamy or Dr. McDreamy?

Me: Neither.

Teagan: Liar.

Me: He’s Dr. McBroody Pants.

Teagan: You’re killing me. I was counting on you for some vicarious orgasms.

Me: He’s a jerk who wants me out of his house as soon as possible. There will be no middle-of-the-night sexy times. You’re just going to have to get your vicarious orgasms elsewhere.

The energy in Kathleen’s house is completely unexpected. Sadness and grief seem to be hiding around every corner at Ethan’s, but his childhood home is full of happiness and laugher. I can’t help but smile as I watch the family bustle about the kitchen. The space is huge, but these boys—no, men—are bigger. Kathleen introduces them to me as they arrive one by one, and the oxygen in the air is slowly replaced with testosterone.

I have myself tucked into the back corner with my minor dinner-prep task of chopping up a fruit salad—an assignment Kathleen was reluctant to give me at all.

On the other side of the kitchen, there’s an informal dining area with a TV mounted over a small fireplace. The guys gather around it, pointing to the screen and arguing about the football game that’s supposed to start later tonight. I already knew Jake from the bar and that first day at Ethan’s, but there are three other brothers, all varying degrees of tall, dark, and handsome—it might be tough to keep them straight—and a sister who hasn’t made it into the kitchen for introductions yet.

I watch her in the dining room with her mother. She’s raven-haired and curvy. If her brothers are Greek gods, she’s Aphrodite. When she comes my way, I quickly avert my gaze and pretend I wasn’t staring.

She squeezes past the guys and extends a hand in my direction. “Thank God! It’s so nice to have some more estrogen around here. I’m Shayleigh, but everybody calls me Shay.”

I take her hand. “I’m Nic. I work for Ethan.” My cheeks heat, and I realize I sound like an idiot. “But obviously you already know that.”

“You bet. Lilly told me all about you the second I walked in the door. It seems you’ve won over the family princess.”

“She’s precious.”

She purses her lips, but I can tell she’s biting back a smile. “She’s not the only one who’s told me about you.”

I stop chopping and meet her eyes. “What?”

She lowers her voice and leans toward me. “Word on the street is that you’re good for my grumpy brother, so I apologize in advance if he fires your ass just because he thinks he’s allergic to happiness.”


Tags: Lexi Ryan Erotic
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