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The Billionaire's Unexpected Baby

By:Kira Archer

To my hubs, who never complains when he has to sleep on the couch because I'm so exhausted I snore the roof tiles off.


Chapter One

Brooks Larson was the luckiest SOB on the planet and he knew it.

He leaned against the railing of his yacht, took a large sip of  ridiculously expensive champagne, and a deep breath of crisp ocean air.

"Enjoying yourself?"

Cole Harrington, Brooks's partner and best friend since college, joined him at the railing.

"Hell, yes. We just closed one of the biggest deals of our career, making us disgustingly wealthy-"

"Which we already were," Cole said.

Brooks ignored that. "And I'm floating around in this magnificent tub of  luxury surrounded by gorgeous women. Is there anything better in this  world?"

"Yes," Cole said with a smile that made his friend's heart clench.

Brooks followed Cole's gaze to where Kiersten and Piper, Cole's wife and  baby daughter, were lounging in the shade on a chaise longue.

"Are you really happy?" Brooks asked.

Cole scowled at him, but Brooks shook his head. "No. I'm not being  sarcastic or trying to be insulting. I really want to know. You're  married. You have a baby. You've promised to be with the same woman for  the rest of your life and have produced a tiny, crying little human who  has effectively trapped you into adult responsibility. Don't you miss  being … free? Having your own life?"

Cole snorted. "Nice way to describe my family. And your goddaughter. And  yes, to answer your question, I really am happy. And no, I don't miss  being free. I am free. I do have my own life. My life is there," he  said, pointing to his wife and daughter. "Everything I ever wanted is  right there. I just never knew it until I met her."

Kiersten looked up at that moment and smiled at her husband and, for a  brief second, a small twinge of what might have been jealousy wormed its  way through Brooks. What would it be like to have someone look at him  the way Kiersten looked at Cole?

He shook his head and pushed the thought to the back of his mind. No one  would ever look at him that way, and he sure as hell never wanted  anyone to.

"Well, I'm happy for you, but you keep all that monogamy over on your  side of the boat. I'm happy playing in the singles pool. Speaking of  which … " He nodded at the striking young woman sitting next to Kiersten.  "Who is that?"

Cole was already shaking his head. "Don't even think about it."

Brooks leaned on the railing, his gaze intensifying. "Well, now you've piqued my interest."

Cole groaned. "I mean it, Brooks. That's Leah Andrews. She's one of  Kiersten's oldest friends, and Piper's godmother. She's helping out with  the baby this weekend until we find a permanent nanny. And you are not  to touch."

"Hey. Poker club etiquette doesn't apply here. She's not an assistant, girlfriend, wife, or sister."

"Or mother."

"You really need to let that go."

Cole snorted. "She's Kiersten's friend. She will neuter you faster than you can squeal out your phone number."

"Oh, come on. Surely the lovely Leah can make her own decisions. She's not attached to anyone, is she?"

"I think she's going to be a nun."

Brooks raised an eyebrow. "A challenge. I like it. A nun? Really?"

Cole sighed and rubbed his forehead. "I don't know. Maybe she only works with nuns. At a school or something."

Brooks clutched his chest. "Oh my God, you're killing me. Seriously? A Catholic school teacher? Does she wear a uniform?"

Cole punched his arm and Brooks grunted. "Ow. Okay, okay. I'll lay off.  Unless she comes on to me. I'm a gentleman, after all. Turning her down  would be rude."

Cole laughed. "I should let you go for her just to watch Kiersten chew  you up and spit you out. You know how she feels about you dating her  friends."

Brooks sighed. "Yeah, yeah. Though I still maintain my innocence on that front."

"Right, because everything about you screams innocence."

Brooks flashed his best smile. "I don't know what you're talking about. I'm a total angel."       

   





Kiersten looked up at the sound of her husband laughing and waved at him. Cole blew her a kiss.

Brooks groaned. "Oh, God. You've got it bad, don't you?"

"For my wife? Yes, yes I do."

Brooks shook his head again. In all honesty, he didn't blame Cole.  Kiersten was a hell of a woman and there had been a brief, fleeting  moment when Brooks could have imagined himself possibly trying for  something other than his usual flings-before his friend had fallen head  over heels in love with her, and she with him. Now, he was content to  continue his eternally single ways. Most of the time.

He pushed away from the railing. "I can't watch that anymore. Come on,"  he said, towing his friend back toward the bar, "let's get another  drink."

"Fine. But I mean it, Brooks. Leah is off-limits."

Because telling a man that a gorgeous woman was off-limits was the one  surefire way to make sure he stayed away, right? No flaw in that logic  at all.

 …

Leah Andrews stared down at the sweet baby sleeping in her arms and tried not to vomit.

The rolling waves of morning sickness that hit her without warning were  not meshing well with the literal rolling waves of the ocean. Though if  she was going to be sick, she could definitely think of worse places to  be. Floating around on a private yacht certainly beat lying around on  her bathroom floor. Although, the bathroom, at least, was private.

The fresh air on the deck helped. She took a deep, shaky breath and  tilted her face up to the sun. The sleepy little bundle of adorableness  on her lap squirmed and she glanced down to make sure all was well.

"She doing okay?" Kiersten asked.

Leah smiled at her. "Your baby is perfect."

Kiersten smiled down at her offspring. "She is pretty perfect, isn't she?"

Leah laughed and handed the baby back to her mother. Kiersten Harrington  was one of the few high school friends with whom Leah kept in contact,  and she was seriously the luckiest woman alive. First, she'd done the  impossible and won the lottery. Then she'd won the relationship lottery  and married her gorgeous, billionaire boss. But, really, if it had to  happen to anyone, Kiersten was a good one for it to happen to. She was a  genuinely nice person, someone Leah had always felt she could turn to.  And she'd never needed her more than she did now.

"How are you feeling?" Kiersten asked her.

Leah took stock of her stomach before answering. "Okay, I think. I was  kind of iffy there for a second, but it's passed. I'd been feeling  pretty great compared to the first couple months. Maybe the motion of  the boat kick-started it again."

Kiersten gave her an indulgent smile. "I remember those days." She  adjusted the baby in her arms. "You're past twelve weeks now, aren't  you?"

Leah nodded, her hand cupping the tiny bump that was only just beginning to show. "Just barely."

"I'm glad you could help us this week. It's the first time I've been out of the house since Piper was born."

"Happy to. I could use the practice," she said with a wry smile.

"Have you heard from the father yet?"

Leah shook her head, keeping her gaze focused on the sea.

"Well … maybe he'll still contact you," Kiersten said, her voice bright with false hope.

"Maybe. Though as I told him, I'm fine if he doesn't. I think I'd prefer  it. I don't know if he's read the letter yet. I had to message him on  Facebook. It's a terrible way to tell someone they're going to be a  father, but it's the only way I could get ahold of him. Didn't really  expect my one-night stand to turn out like this. We never exchanged  numbers. If he doesn't answer the message, I guess I can try asking  people on his friends list. Though that would be awkward."

Kiersten patted her hand. "Just don't ever think you're alone, okay? You need help for anything, call me."

"I will," she said, giving Kiersten a grateful smile.

A shout of laughter came from further up the deck and the girls stopped chatting to see what was going on.

Brooks Larson, best friend and business partner of Kiersten's husband,  sprinted up the deck with what looked like an octopus in his hands. A  live, squirming octopus that he was using to chase two other men with.  After he got a couple good squeals out of them, he dropped it back over  the side.       

   





Leah glanced at Kiersten who just grinned. "That's Brooks for you."

"Class clown?"

"Not really as bad as that, but he definitely likes to be amused."

Leah looked him over. The man was mouthwateringly gorgeous. Like some  model or actor who was too insanely good-looking to be real. He'd give  the Hemsworth brothers a run for their money. In fact, he was like the  perfect mash-up. The coloring and chiseled features of Chris and the  height and build of the slightly less buff Liam. With the good-natured  goofiness of Dean from Supernatural. The man was perfection.

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