Falling for the Babysitter

By: Penny Wylder

My eyes open wide. Luckily she doesn’t notice.

That’s so horrible. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to leave Deacon to go party, or for any reason, actually. And who leaves their baby? Deacon and his child are better off without her as far as I’m concerned. While I do feel bad that Deacon had to go through all of that, I can’t say I’m too upset about him being single now. Maybe I actually stand a chance with him …

I shut that thought down again. Best not to get my hopes up.

“He has a job here in town,” my mom continues. “He’ll need a babysitter he can trust. I volunteered you for the job. I hope that’s okay.”

Clara glances at me, a playful twinkle in her eyes. It’s not hard to tell what’s on my mind, I’m sure.

My heart leaps into my throat. Me babysitting for Deacon? The man responsible for all my sexy teenage dreams, the only man I imagined giving my virginity to. I don’t think there’s a number high enough to count the amount of times I pictured myself in his house, on his bed, spread open for him. What it would feel like to kiss him, to have him inside of me. What do his sheets smell like? What does his skin feel like?

Could I really stop myself from acting on the feelings I’ve had for him since puberty?

I’m bombarded by so many questions that my mind starts spinning. I push my plate away, my appetite gone.

“That’s fine,” I say. “I could use the extra money.”

Clara leans over and whispers in my ear so my mom can’t hear her. “And a good lay.”

That night I hardly sleep. I wanted Clara to stay another night to keep me company, but she has to go to work in the morning. My stomach is in knots. I’m up at four in the morning, wide awake and excited. I shower, do my makeup, make sure everything is perfect, and think about all the things I might say to him. When seven o’clock finally rolls around, I go over to meet Deacon, even though, in my head, I already know him. I stand on his front porch, in front of the door, my entire body shaking. Though it’s fall, it’s still a warm morning. The sun is bright, birds chirping. Not exactly sweater weather, which normally I’d be bummed out about. I love colder weather. The scarves, boots, hats. But at least, when it’s warm, it’s easier to dress sexy.

Sexy but not too slutty because I still want Deacon to give me the babysitting job. It’s a fine line between the two. I decide on a loose tank top and a bra a size too small to give me more cleavage, and shorts. The more skin the better, but at the same time, it’s what any other girl my age would be wearing.

I knock on the door. Blood rushes in my ears when I hear the thump of footsteps on the other side. When it opens, I’m nearly knocked back by the rush seeing him up close gives me. He’s more handsome than I remember. Age has been kind to him.

When I was younger, he’d reminded me of someone, but I could never place the face with a name. Then one day Clara said he looked like Ian Somerhalder, and I was like YES, because that’s exactly who I’d been thinking about.

“Remy, wow, you’ve grown up into a beautiful young woman,” Deacon says, looking genuinely surprised to see me standing at his front door.

“Oh,” I say, taken aback. “I didn’t think you knew who I was.”

“Of course I know who you are. I was always admiring your garden.”

I bite my bottom lip. My head conjures a different meaning to that statement, but I think he’s actually talking about the garden I was always messing around in whenever he was outside in his yard.

“Thank you. Um, if you want, I could bring some vegetables by later. The garden is full and we can’t seem to get rid of them fast enough. They’re better for the baby rather than store bought, and cheaper than buying organic.” I’m rambling. Shut up, I tell myself.

His eyebrows are raised. “I would love that. That’s so thoughtful of you to think of my child that way.”

My face flushes. “I love kids.”

“Come in,” he says and motions for me to come inside.

The house doesn’t look how I imagined it. This is definitely his brother Sam’s style. Boring, basically. It’s crazy to think those two are even related. Deacon clearly got the looks in this family. Sam has a long, horse’s face and jutting chin. He wears the same style button down dress-shirts day in and day out even when he isn’t working, but in different colors to switch things up, and every day it’s khakis. He parts his hair to the side, slicked down with gel. And he drives a Prius for fuck sake. It seems like he actually puts time and effort into being bland. The house mirrors his style. Buttoned down. Muted colors. Basic.

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