Chapter 1 - Beau
The door opens and my breath catches.
I have never, ever in my life seen a man sexier than him. Silver grey hair that stands naturally to attention, piercing blue eyes, snowy stubble, and the most kissable lips one could ever possess.
Rein it in, Beau. You’re here for a job interview for crying out loud!
“Hi!” the man says.
Gordon. His name is Gordon Davis.
We’d spoken on the phone, and yes, I’d found the raspy, scratchy voice sexy even then, but fuck me if I’d known what a sight the real man would be.
“Please tell me you’re Beaumont,” he adds, the despair clear in his voice.
“The one and only. But call me Beau. Only my mother calls me Beaumont, and she doesn’t even know why,” I say, stretching out my hand to shake his.
His fingers wrap around my palm, the skin soft but the grip firm. A businessman for sure.
“Come on in.” He ushers me inside, and as I pass by him, I get a whiff of his cologne.
Woodsy, strong, and intricate. It makes my nose tingle and my groin take notice.
Jesus, Beau. How well is the interview really going to go if you brandish a boner from the get-go?
Gordon leads me through the hallway, small but decent and minimalistic with only a coat stand and a shoe rack that doubles as a bench, and into the open-plan living room, dining room, and kitchen.
Fuck me, this guy is loaded.
The living room looks like it’s the size of my entire house back home in Salem Springs and has two long black couches, leather if I’m not mistaken, with a dark oak coffee table in the middle. There’s an electric fireplace at the end and a TV hangs over the chimney. The entire floor is marbled with only a small patch covered in a rug underneath the sitting area.
The dining room carries on the theme of the living room with the same dark tones on a six-seater table, and the kitchen is a beast of its own. The kitchen island has a marble top—the same marble as on the floor—an induction cooktop, and a faucet and sink. The cupboards are all lined up on one side, while on the other side there's a floor-to-ceiling window with a backyard view.
It calls to me. The entire house wants me here. The kitchen especially. I can already picture myself making enchiladas and carrying them over to the backyard, which also looks exploration-worthy, and enjoying them with some fresh lemonade.
A little moan escapes me at the mere thought. As if I’m gonna get this job.
“Did you say something?” Gordon asks me, and I quickly shake my distracted mind back to focus.
“Umm, no. I just said, ‘Nice house,’” I reply, and take a seat on one of the dining room chairs while Gordon sits at the other end.
Jeez. This is like a proper interview.
A file folder—black, of course—is already laying in front of him, and he opens it to pull out my resume. He slips a pair of glasses out of his shirt pocket and puts them on, and thank fuck for the table hiding my lower parts because they are having a party down there.
The glasses frame his eyes perfectly and make them pop even more, if that’s even possible. He’s gone from plain, sexy silver fox to sophisticated, sexy silver fox, and I’m so here for it. I love nothing more than a sexy nerd. Bonus points for being older and more experienced.
“So,” he rasps, and his face changes from friendly but distressed man to serious businessman. “It says here you’ve been babysitting since you were thirteen. Is that right?”
His head stays bent over the piece of paper, but his eyes look up at me over the rim of the glasses like blue diamonds calling out to me.
It should be illegal for anyone to have such gorgeous eyes. Just saying.
“Umm, yes. Our neighbors had a baby and they were desperate for some alone time, so I volunteered, and we never looked back.”
“What does that mean?” he asks, burning me with his gaze.
“I babysat Gemima until I moved out of Salem Springs. I’ve even gone on vacation with the family so I could look after her,” I say.
“I see.” His eyes are drawn back to the paper.
What is that supposed to mean? I hope he’s not doubting my experience. I’m super qualified for this job, and he’d be a fool if he doesn’t see it. Although, what are the chances I’ll get a job and a room at this fancy, suburban house?
“So what can you tell me about the challenges you experienced looking after a toddler?” he asks.
I smile at him and lean back on the chair.
“Challenges? Not many. Toddlers like to explore the world and test their limits. And ours by extension. As long as you make their environment safe and have some ground rules that no one breaks, neither parent nor caregiver, there shouldn’t be any challenges.”
Which, of course, is far from the truth. Raising a kid is hard, and I’m no fool. I’d seen how Gemima’s parents struggled and reached their peaks. And I knew there were days when it was tantrum-central for no apparent reason.
But am I going to say that to my potential employer? Hell no!
“Talk to me about ground rules. What kind of rules did you set for Gemima?” he asks, leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms.
Uh-oh. Is he going on defense mode? We do not want that!
“Well, some were set out by her parents, like her bedtime or bath times, but others were agreed to by both parties. They included things like mealtimes, allowed snacks and treats, grounds for time-outs and such.”
“And was Gemima able to adhere to them?” he asks, his face not betraying any emotion, which is starting to intimidate me if not further arouse me.
“The question is were her parents?” I chuckle. “Definitely not. We all tried our best, but parental guilt is a big thing, so a lot of things were relaxed despite trying to establish a routine.”
Gordon relaxes at my last word and raises an eyebrow.
“I hate that. You try and set a schedule and then someone else comes in and changes it all up,” he says, the first sign of a friendly dad he’s shown since I arrived.
“Is that your experience from your previous au pair?” I ask.
Gordon shakes his head.
“I’ve never had an au pair before. Just babysitters. But work is getting busier, and Elsie’s mom has a crazy schedule, so I thought this would be the best option,” he says.
I look around and nod. “Will Mrs. Davis be joining us?”
Gordon’s laughter booms across the bare walls of his house, and it sends tingles up my spine. I have no idea what I said that was so hilarious, but I could keep on going if only to hear him laugh like that.
“Dolly is definitely not a Mrs. Davis. We’re not married,” he says. I nod in understanding, but Gordon continues. “In fact, our situation is rather… unique, shall I say? Dolly and I had Elsie, but we’re not a couple. We’re both gay and best friends, so we decided to have a child together.”
Oh, yeah! Just what I need. Another excuse to lust over my employer. He’s gay!
“Which brings me to the job requirements. Since our situation is so unique, we, umm, take turns looking after her. Which means you’d have two weeks on and two weeks off. However, the pay is for full time. I understand finding another job with such a unique pattern would be tricky, so I wouldn’t want to be taking advantage of you.”
Oh, but please do!
Stop it, Beau.
If he’s gonna be my boss, I need to behave.
“And one of the reasons of course why I’ve decided to have someone as an au pair rather than a regular babysitter is because I tend to work late sometimes, so I need someone available around the clock. Or short notice, if you may. I don’t expect you to work 24/7, obviously. Is that going to be a problem for you?”
“Well, that depends. I’m in college part-time, so would it be a problem if I had classes on some days? I can try and take all my classes on the same day, so it puts less stress on you. And I can pay for the daycare on those days from my salary. I don’t mind—”
Gordon chuckles and shakes his head.
“Don’t be silly. Of course you can have a life. Like I said, it would only be two weeks a month and we can work around each other’s schedules. Are you going to Harlow University? They’ve also got a daycare program, so I’m happy to place Elsie there if we can’t make it work otherwise,” Gordon says.
Phew. At least he is understanding about this.
“You have no idea how many families I’ve spoken to who were weirded out by my suggestion,” I say.
“Hey, I’d be a pretty bad professor if I was offended that my au pair wants to educate himself.”
“You’re a professor at Harlow U?” I ask.
Well, that I didn’t expect. Although I could see it in him now that he’d mentioned it. In fact, his tone and posture make sense now. And how he keeps changing from serious businessman to exasperated father.
Before he has the chance to answer my question, the monitor at the end of the table blasts with crying, and Gordon reaches for it.
“What do you say? Ready to meet a grumpy two-year-old?” He smirks, and I have to take a deep breath and will my boner away.
This man is sin, and taking this job would be a temptation I don’t need.
But then again, I need somewhere cheap to stay and a decent job if I’m going to make it in New Harlow, Virginia.
It was a miracle Harlow U accepted me, so I’m not giving up now that I’m in. A degree from Harlow U means more open doors and more connections than any other college in most of the surrounding states.
My mama didn’t raise no quitters.
So if I have to live with temptation, so be it.
Besides, some temptation never hurt anyone. Especially when it looks like a silver fox and talks like a firm daddy.
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