The Nanny Plan

By: Sarah M. Anderson

One

The auditorium was filling up, which was exactly what Trish wanted. Maybe four hundred people had crowded into the lower level and, in addition to the journalists from the college paper, some reporters from the San Francisco television stations were in attendance. Excellent. A good crowd would leverage some social pressure on her target. No billionaire would risk looking heartless by saying no to a charity in front of a big crowd.

Trish had been sitting in her spot—end of the third row, to the left of the podium on the stage—for over an hour. She’d gotten here early enough that no one had seen her smuggle in the check. She wished she could afford a cell phone—then she could at least play with that until the talk started instead of being the only person in the room who wasn’t connected.

She was as ready as she was ever going to be. She just had to wait for her moment. Timing an ambush of one of the wealthiest men on the planet required precision.

Trish had planned everything down to her shirt—a great find at Goodwill. It was a distressed blue T-shirt with a vintage-looking Wonder Woman logo emblazoned over her breasts. It was a half size too small, but she had on her black velvet suit jacket, so it looked fine. Polished, with a geeky air.

Exactly like her target, Nate Longmire.

People continued to filter in for another thirty minutes. Everyone was here to see Longmire, the newest billionaire to come out of Silicon Valley’s wealth generators. Trish had done her homework. Longmire was twenty-eight, which didn’t exactly make him the “Boy Billionaire” that the press made him out to be. As far as Trish could tell, there wasn’t anything particularly boyish about him.

He was six foot two, broadly built and according to her internet searches, single. But the plan wasn’t to hit on him. The plan was to make him feel like she was a kindred soul in all things nerd—and all things compassionate. The plan was to box him into a corner he could only donate himself out of.

Finally, the lights in the auditorium dimmed and the president of the Student Activities Board came out in a remarkably tight skirt. Trish snorted.

“Welcome to the Speaker Symposium at San Francisco State University. I am your host, Jennifer McElwain...”

Trish tuned the woman out as Jennifer went on about SFSU’s “long and proud” history of social programming, other “distinguished guests,” blah-blah. Instead of listening, Trish scanned the crowd. Over half of the mostly female crowd looked like they were hoping for a wild ride in a limo to happen within an hour.

The sight of so many young, beautiful women made Trish feel uneasy. This was not her world, this college full of young, beautiful people who could casually hook up and hang out without worrying about an unexpected pregnancy, much less how to feed that baby. Trish’s world was one of abject poverty, of never-ending babies that no one planned for and, therefore, no one cared for. No one except her.

Not for the first time, she felt like an interloper. Even though she was in her final year of getting a master’s degree in social work—even though she’d been on this campus for five years—she still knew this wasn’t her world.

Suck it up, she thought to herself as she counted the number of television cameras rolling. Five. The event was getting great press.

She was a woman with a large check and a secondhand Wonder Woman T-shirt waiting to ambush one of the richest men on the planet. That was her, Trish Hunter, in a nutshell.

“...And so,” Jennifer went on, “we are thrilled to have the creator of SnAppShot, Mr. Nate Longmire, here with us tonight to discuss social responsibility and the Giving Pledge!”

The crowd erupted into something that wasn’t quite a cheer but came damn close to a catcall as the Boy Billionaire himself walked on stage.

The audience surged to their feet and Trish surged with them. Longmire walked right past her. She had an excellent view of him.

Oh. Oh, wow. It’s not like she didn’t know what Nate Longmire looked like. She’d read up on his public persona—including that ridiculous article naming him one of the Top Ten Bachelors of Silicon Valley, complete with a photo spread.

But none of the pictures—not a single one of them—did the man justice. Attraction spiked through her as she studied him. In person, the tall frame and the broad shoulders weren’t just eye-catching, they moved with a rippled grace that left her feeling flushed. He had on hipster jeans and Fluevog boots, but he’d paired them with a white tailored shirt with French cuffs and a purple sweater. A striped purple tie was expertly tied around his neck. He wore a scruffy beard and thick horn-rimmed glasses. They were the nerdiest things about him.

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