Hot Single Dad(7)

By: Mia Madison

But other than that, I have time to let my thoughts wander to this morning, to how it felt much less pressured with the kids there. I almost managed to flirt with Reid without blushing. It’s funny how he loved my stupid PJs. I couldn’t think about trying to be sexy around him with the kids there. I can’t ever compete with Mercia and the women he’s been linked with in any case. It’s better if I play the kooky babysitter. Yes, safer like that. I can do that.


After the zoo, we find Reid waiting for us at McDonald’s, and he goes up to the counter to get our food.

“Here you go, I know how to show a girl a good time.” He laughs as he puts my Big Mac in front of me and shares a tray with Jack and Katie.

I wondered if I’d feel awkward with him this afternoon, but the kids make it easy, filling in every space in the conversation, chattering on about their adventure at the zoo and the things we bought. I can definitely do this. I just have to ignore the initial ache that hits me whenever I see him and I’ll be fine.

“And did you get anything for yourself?” Reid asks me.

“There wasn’t time, and poor Jack was getting bored. I’ll just get some things from home.”

After we all eat our fill of calories at McDonald’s, Reid has his driver drop us off at home and waves us off. “I’m sorry, kids, I have to work tonight. Have fun with Holly, and go to bed when she tells you.”

I’m disappointed. I thought we were getting along better, and I’d have him to myself tonight. I wanted to prove to myself I could cope without going gaga over him. But never mind, I’m still feeling better about surviving two months with my dignity intact.

I miss him again at breakfast, when he has left for work so early that he’s away even before the kids wake me.

He’s thought of me, though, and during the day the doorbell goes off constantly with all kinds of packages. At first, I think it’s the kids’ clothes being delivered, but there are countless parcels with my name on them, full of vacation clothes for me too.

I have to call him to tell him to stop in case he keeps ordering. “Reid, thank you but that’s far too much. I’ll have to send them back.”

“Don’t you like them? I had the girls in the office pick out what they’d like to wear on vacation if they could have anything they liked, but if they are not your taste we can exchange them and you can choose your own.”

“I like them all, but we’re only going for two weeks, not a year.”

“There you go, you can have a choice, change six times a day if you like. Or keep your favorites. Whatever. You can model them for me when I get back.”

“Very funny. You know I’m not a model.” The man has been pictured with a couple of household names in the celebrity magazines, and he knows I’m not anything like them.

“No, you’re far nicer,” he says, and I feel all warm inside at the compliment. And then it’s back to serving milk and cookies, and mopping up spills and crumbs.



I want her to have everything, to be happy, to feel good about herself, so maybe I went over the top with all the clothes. I vetoed anything too over-the-top sexy, not wanting to scare her off, but the truth is she could wear a sack and look good to me.

Maybe it was a mistake letting others select everything for a girl who wants to be a designer, though. Fuck, schoolboy error. I just didn’t think.

“Sorry about the clothes,” I say, when I go in, kissing the kids but not her. I don’t want to worry her again. “You probably want to choose your own things. I should have just insisted you go shopping again without the twins, but I wanted to treat you as a thank you for helping me out this summer. We can send them all back, and you can pick what you’d really like.”

“You really shouldn’t have, but I love them all. Thank you. The girls made great choices. In any case, it’s as much about how you wear clothes as the things themselves.”

“I love Holly’s new red dress,” Katie says. “She looks pretty in it. I want a dress like that when I grow up and get some boobies.”

We all laugh at that, but I immediately want to see that dress. “Maybe you can all wear your new clothes now, because we are going out to dinner.”

Jack groans.

“I started to make pasta,” Holly says. “I make a mean chicken alfredo.”

“Tempting.” And I don’t mean pasta. She is temptation on two legs. I can’t help how I feel about her. “Kids, Holly’s pasta or out to dinner?”

I drag them out to places I like too often when Iris has a day off, so it’s not much of a treat for them to eat out in a proper restaurant.

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