“I find that hard to believe.”
Caleb snorted and then told him about his encounter with Annie.
“What’s the big deal?” Ryan asked. “So, a woman comes to you for help. I admit it seems kind of crazy that she would ask for help, but it’s a good thing. She doesn’t want to fuck the kid up, like a lot of people do. Shouldn’t you be, like, happy about that?”
“It’s not that. I’m attracted to this woman.”
“So? You’ve been attracted to women in the past, and not acted on it.”
He rubbed at his temples.
“Remember, this is a job and attraction is good. It’s fine. Was she attracted to you?”
“I have no idea. She was more concerned with the baby in her arms.”
Ryan burst out laughing. “Already this woman is right up your street.”
“This is not something to laugh about.”
“What? Come on. You can’t be pissed off,” Ryan said. “You’ve denied yourself women, time and time again. The first one comes along, and sure, she’s about to be a client, but you’ve not been a nanny in a long time, Caleb. You stopped, remember, and decided to set up The Nanny in the first place, to bring all good respecting nannies under one roof.”
“I know why I started my company.” Which had started out asMr.Nanny. He’d been determined to cater to the male nannies in the world, but then, he’d expanded to women as well.
So, his company was simply called The Nanny.
“Look, man, I’ve got to go, but this doesn’t sound like a bad thing. You’ve not dated anyone in a long time. Maybe it’s time to put that little black book away and focus on the here and now. Not every person out there is going to break your heart. Some of them will enhance your life for a short time before passing through and moving on. It’s time for you to heal. We’ll meet up for drinks in a few days, okay?”
“Yeah, sure, no problem.”
He doubted he’d be ready for drinks for some time. He didn’t say as much, but he placed his cell phone back on his desk once the call had ended. That wasn’t the support he wanted. He’d wanted Ryan to tell him to stop being crazy, to get one of his other nannies to handle the job, and to carry on with his day.
Running a hand down his face, he tried to clear the fog from his mind. Glancing down at her address, he saw it was in a nice part of town, not too far from where he lived. It was an apartment. A nice one.
He was tempted to run her name through an Internet search, but decided against it. He wasn’t going to learn too much detail about Annie Wells until he absolutely had to.
He stood up and called in his PA, Donald, and got to work giving him the reigns of the place until he returned. He was only ever a phone call away, and Donald was the best PA in the company.
He arranged for all calls to be transferred to his cell, but Donald was only to transfer the important calls he couldn’t handle himself. There were not many meetings this week. He asked Donald to reschedule the ones that were important. With everything arranged for his company for the next couple of days, he grabbed the paperwork, his bag, and headed off to Annie.
Annie wanted to write so badly. She was so inspired, but each time she got to the computer, Tara always seemed to need something—a diaper change, some food, some attention. It would end in a couple of hours of stress where Annie didn’t know what to do. Okay, so she’d only been doing this for two days, but that was more than enough chaos for her to know she needed help.
Lots of help.
The Nanny had been the first place to come up on her search, and to her, that was like a sign as it also wasn’t too far.
She sat on the sofa, while Tara was on the floor, looking up at the mobile she had built.
“What am I going to do with you?” she asked.
None of her grandparents wanted her. She had already called and asked. They wanted nothing to do with their child’s baby. Their grandchild.
The truth was, this was hard work.
Tara’s parents had broken her heart so long ago. Now she had their baby to look after. Part of her thought she might hate Tara for who she was, but she didn’t. The moment the baby had been placed in her arms, she felt this overwhelming need to take care of her. To love her. To make sure she never went without anything, which was another reason why she had gone to The Nanny.