Falling for the Babysitter

By: Penny Wylder

“There’s still some on your chest,” I say, fighting the urge to reach out and touch his smooth skin. His body is as perfect as I imagined it would be. Thick, corded muscle, but not all sinuous like a body builder. More like a man who stays busy and maybe goes to the gym a day or two a week. There’s a small patch of hair on his chest, and that stomach … I have a thing about men’s stomachs. His is a lovely washboard. I want to lick him from the trail of hair below his belly button up to his sexy full lips. Wait, who am I kidding? I want to lick everything. I want to taste everything about this man.

“It’s fine,” he says. “I’m always covered in some kind of mess. It’s just part of the territory when you’re a parent.”

I’d like to cover him in my own kind of mess. I can already feel myself getting wet with him standing here half naked in front of me.

I start to speak, but I’m interrupted by Sam as he comes up the stairs behind me. “What’s going on here?” he says.

I hadn’t heard him until he spoke. He’s a sneaky guy. Makes sense because he looks kind of sneaky. He just has that weasel appearance that I don’t like. Maybe it’s because he’s the one who bought Deacon’s house and ruined my most cherished childhood fantasies. I secretly blamed him for Deacon leaving, even though I know it wasn’t his fault.

“Oh, hey, Sam,” Deacon says, unperturbed by his brother’s sudden intrusion like I am. “Do you know Remy?”

“I do know Remy from next door. What I want to know is why she’s here and why you’re practically naked in front of her.”

Deacon’s face loses its good natured appearance and turns into a hard, sculpted mask of distaste. “She’s here because I need a babysitter for Bailey and I’ve been around this girl since she was a kid and I know her mom. I’m not going to trust my child with some stranger I’ve never met. A glass of juice was spilled and now I’m about to put my shirt in the washer. So that’s why I am currently shirtless. Any more accusations you’d like to make?” he says, voice flat and curt.

It’s nice of him not to throw me under the bus by telling Sam I was the one who spilled the juice in the first place. What I would like to do is step on the wet carpet and really set that stain. Sam seems like the kind of guy who would cry over a stain.

Sam looks at me, then at Deacon and says, “Can I talk to you for a minute.”

Deacon breathes long and slow, then turns to me, his expression lightening, but I can still see the shadow of anger haunting his eyes. “Could you give us a minute, Remy?” he says.

I chew the inside of my cheek to keep from saying something stupid to Sam. “Sure. I’ll go get a towel to clean up this mess,” I say.

“Do you know where the towels are?” Deacon asks me, his voice softer, nicer when he speaks to me.

I nod. “I saw some in the laundry room.” I also saw some of Sam’s clothes in the laundry room as well as a muddy pair of boots. Let’s see if I can get creative.

This doesn’t look good. Both of them are fuming. I don’t know what I did wrong or why Sam doesn’t like me. I suspect he’s just being a dick because I don’t remember ever having an actual conversation with him, and it’s not like I’ve ever thrown a raging party at my house that would’ve pissed him off. I’m so confused.

I rush downstairs while they argue at the top of the staircase. When I’m in the laundry room, I realize there’s a vent above my head and I can still hear everything they’re saying as clear as if we were standing in the same room. My plot to ruin his fresh pressed clothes is set aside for now.

“What’s going on here?” Sam says. There’s no denying the accusation in his voice.

“Nothing’s going on. It’s completely innocent.”

“Somehow I doubt that,” Sam says. “Did you not see the way that girl was looking at you? She was stripping the rest of you down with her eyes.”

Deacon laughs as if it’s the most ridiculous thing he’s ever heard. “She was not.”

I open my mouth, shocked. How long had Sam been standing there before he announced himself? I seriously need to figure out how to rearrange my face to not be so transparent about my feelings. I’m surprised Deacon didn’t pick up on it.

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