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The Billionaire's Unexpected Baby(2)

By:Kira Archer



Or those could be the hormones talking. Either way, she'd never wanted  to get up close and personal with a total stranger so badly in her life.  She glanced back over at Kiersten, blushing when she realized her  friend had been talking the whole time and she hadn't heard a word.

"Sorry. What was that?"

Kiersten grinned at her. "I said, you should go for it."

Leah frowned. "Go for what?"

Kiersten nodded over at where Brooks now leaned against the railing,  drink in hand as he gazed out at the sparkling Mediterranean.

"What? You're crazy."

"Why? You're on vacation, have a little fun."

"I'm pregnant," Leah said, lowering her voice, though no one was close enough to hear them.

"I know," Kiersten said. "No reason to tell him that, though. You aren't  looking for a baby daddy. Just a nice little send-off before the  craziness begins."

Leah glanced back at Brooks. It was a crazy idea. But … maybe. She shook  her head. "I can't. Besides, he might not even be interested."

"Oh, he's interested." Kiersten nodded over at him and Leah risked  another look only to catch him staring at her with a soft smoldering  smile that belonged on some Disney prince.

"Look," Kiersten said. "I'd normally be the last one to advocate  something like this, but I know you. You've done nothing but obey the  rules your whole life and the one time you step out of line … "

"I get pregnant," Leah finished for her. Yeah. She didn't miss the  unfairness in it all. She'd always done everything right. Heck, even the  little fling that had gotten her in her current predicament had been  done by the book. She'd met a guy at a party hosted by good friends.  He'd been a stranger, but he was a good, upstanding man as far as she  could tell. A businessman based overseas in the city for a meeting.  Didn't drink, at least in front of her. They'd gone into it both on the  same page, and they'd used condoms. Several.

One hadn't worked.

"Right," Kiersten was saying. "But that's my point. When you get home,  you'll be preparing for imminent parenthood and starting your new job at  a private Catholic school of all places, so you'll never be able to  have a lick of fun again. You might as well seize the opportunity while  you can."

"Oh, ha ha," Leah said, though Kiersten wasn't all that wrong. Her  employment came with a strict morality clause. Anxiety about what the  school would do when they found out about her pregnancy kept her stomach  in knots. They wouldn't be happy, but she hoped since she hadn't signed  her employment agreement until after her one-night-stand-gone-wrong,  there'd be some wiggle room. She'd come up with and rejected a dozen  plans already. The thought of flat-out lying, saying she was a widow or  had a husband who traveled, was a possibility, but not one that sat well  with her. Her current plan involved doing the best damn job she could  for the first few months, show them what an asset she could be. And then  pray they'd be Christian enough to take pity on an unwed mother. There  weren't many other jobs out there that offered free lodging and a good  salary and healthcare. Losing it would hurt. She wouldn't be homeless.  Kiersten wouldn't ever allow that to happen. But she didn't want to rely  on her friend's charity. She was going to make her own way in the  world. Build a life for her and the baby.

Before she could respond further to Kiersten's suggestion, a shadow fell  over her. She glanced up right into the sky-blue eyes of the man in  question.       

   









Chapter Two

Brooks smiled down at Leah, loving the slight blush that stained her  cheeks. She had that innocent, good-girl vibe emanating off her like a  homing beacon. He didn't know why that was such a turn-on. Maybe because  it was different. He typically steered clear of the good girls; too  many complications. And he had a strict policy of only getting involved  with women who were as commitment-phobic as he was. It made life easier.

But he'd been watching Leah all morning and couldn't get her out of his  head. The yacht was crawling with people. A pre-christening party for  his goddaughter. When Cole had mentioned they were bringing someone to  help with the baby, Brooks had pictured some heavyset matriarch wielding  diapers and wet wipes. Not this brown-eyed beauty that blinked up at  him with a shy smile. How could he possibly resist that?

Besides, Kiersten was smiling, not glaring any warnings at him. That was a green light in his book.

"I don't think we've met yet," he said, extending a hand. "I'm Brooks  Larson. Their second in command," he said, nodding at Kiersten and Cole,  who had come up behind her.

"Leah Andrews," she said. "Their nanny for the weekend."

He took her hand, holding it rather than shaking it. "It's a very great  pleasure to meet you," he said, laying on the charm as thick as he  dared.

"Likewise," she said, her fingers tightening around his ever so slightly.

Hmm, intriguing. He'd expected her to be a bit shy. And while her voice  was quiet, it was strong, straightforward. Confident and sexy as hell.

"Would you care for a walk around the deck before the party really gets  underway? I saw the DJ setting up near the bow, but there's a perfect  spot to view the islands from the stern."

"That sounds great," she said, glancing back at Cole and Kiersten. "If you don't need me right now?"

Cole glanced at his wife, his forehead slightly creased, but Kiersten  grinned. "Go on. It's about time for me to feed Piper anyway."

Brooks held out his hand and waited for Leah to take it. He wasn't  completely sure she would, which was an unusual experience for him. He  was young, rich, and good-looking-that was a winning trifecta right  there.

The woman before him, however, was not his usual prey. For one thing,  she took care of children for a living, which typically meant she was a  responsible adult. Responsible adults rarely had fun. And Brooks liked  to have fun. She also had a bright-eyed innocent look about her. Unlike  some of the other guests who were lounging in bikinis and sarongs while  sipping champagne, Leah wore a cute sundress, complete with a gold  crucifix necklace, and was drinking what looked like an ice water with  lemon. Not the type he usually went for and certainly not the type that  went for him.

"You look confused," she said, slipping her hand into his.

"Maybe a little," he said with a short laugh. "Kiersten just smiling and  encouraging you to go off with me instead of beating me off with a  stick is unusual."

"Hmm, should I be worried?" she asked, though her tone remained flirtatious.

"Not at all. I'm a pretty decent guy. Just not looking for anything serious."

"Why do I feel like you're trying to make a good impression in a job interview?"

Brooks gave her his best aw-shucks-you-caught-me grin. "Well, it's not a  job interview, but I am trying to make a good impression."

"Really?"

"Really. How am I doing?"

Leah took a sip of her water and shrugged. "The jury's still out. I'll let you know."

That surprised a laugh out of him. "I guess I'll have to try harder."

"Or you could be yourself and we'll go from there."

Brooks lifted his glass in a small salute. "A novel approach."

"Sometimes the simplest line of attack is the most efficient."

"Wouldn't it have been even more efficient to gather intel on me from Kiersten?"

"You're assuming I didn't already do that."

Another surprise. She was full of them. "And she didn't tell you to run screaming in the other direction as fast as possible."       

   





Leah laughed, a throaty, rippling sound that was both infectious and  sexy. "No, she didn't. But even if she had, I can make my own  decisions."

He leaned in a little closer. "Then I guess I should be thankful both  for your impeccable decision-making capabilities and for Kiersten not  throwing me under the bus."

Leah shrugged. "Maybe she thought we should get to know each other since  I'm Piper's godmother. The godparents should know each other, I  suppose."

"True."

"Or, maybe she thought I was a big girl and could handle you," Leah  said. At his raised brow, she grinned. "Or at least handle myself."

"Is that right?"

Leah stopped and leaned an elbow against the railing. He followed suit,  standing much closer than necessary. She didn't move away.

"I get it. I know what I look like. Sweet little inexperienced Catholic  girl. Naive, innocent." His gaze raked over her and she shrugged. "See,  men assume because I'm quiet, dress a little conservatively, and go to  church most Sundays that I'm an innocent child who needs to be guided  and protected. It's infuriating, and a little creepy."

"For the record, the thought never crossed my mind that you were a child."

She gave him an eye-rolling grin.

"So, what are you then, assuming most men's assumptions are wrong?"

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