Authors: Holly Rayner
Maid To The Billionaire
The Tycoon’s Love
By Holly Rayner
Copyright 2015 by Holly Rayner
All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part by any means, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, is forbidden without the explicit written permission of the author.
All characters depicted in this fictional work are consenting adults, of at least eighteen years of age. Any resemblance to persons living or deceased, particular businesses, events, or exact locations are entirely coincidental.
Also by the author:
The Billionaire’s First Christmas -
The Billionaire’s Obsession – An Heir At Any Price Book One -
Baby Michael had to stay in the hospital for a few days after his birth. They wouldn’t let him leave until he was five pounds. They let me stay on a recliner in the NICU, partly I think, because they knew I wasn’t going to leave unless they physically removed me. I can hardly believe how much I love him still. It’s so overwhelming sometimes there’s hardly room in my chest for anything else. Sometimes I begin to wonder how people can have more than one child. How could you possibly open up your heart that wide more than once… and then Alex comes in to see us and I realize that the heart really knows no bounds. Mine stretches to accommodate him as well. I tell myself that I don’t have a right to feel that way about him. He’s Michael’s father but technically, he’s not even my boyfriend. My heart and brain are in a constant battle over it. He’s been here every day. He brings me food and makes sure that I’m eating it and he holds our son and tells him about all of the things they’re going to do together someday. It’s adorable to watch and once again, my heart swells.
I was sitting here today next to the crib watching my handsome boy sleep when the doctor came in and Alex snuck in right behind him. My heart, still not listening to my head, sped up at the sight of Alex and my breaths quickened.
“How is Sir Michael doing today?” the doctor asked. He’s called him “Sir Michael” since the day of his birth. He said it’s his eyes, they make him look regal.
I smiled at him and my eyes drifted over to Alex and I smiled at him too. He smiled back at me. I melted. Focusing back on the moment I said, “He’s perfect, Dr. Samuels, just perfect.”
The doctor grinned and looked at Alex and said, “We’ll see if she’s still saying that in a few years when he’s sliding down the banister backwards. Raising boys is not for the faint of heart, you know.”
“I’m sure my mother would agree,” Alex said.
“And I’m sure my boy will be the best banister slider there ever was,” I told them. Dr. Samuels laughed and unwrapped Michael’s blanket. He started poking around on his little belly. Michael started to fuss, annoyed at the intrusion.
“You don’t like that little man?” Alex asked him, stepping up to the other side of the crib. He put his hand down next to the baby and as the doctor pressed his cold stethoscope into the baby’s chest, Michael reached up and grabbed onto one of Alex’s fingers. Alex’s eyes widened and he looked at me with a look of pure awe on his face. “He’s so strong!”
Dr. Samuels pulled the stethoscope out of his ears and said, “He is a strong guy. Everything looks good and the nurse said he is up to five point one pounds today.”
A thrill shot through me. “That means we can take him home today?”
“That’s what it means,” he said. “If you’re ready.”
“We are so ready!” I told him. I looked at Alex again. The baby was still gripping his finger. If it had been dark in the room, Alex’s smile would have illuminated it.
“We’re ready,” he said.
“I’ll get the paperwork started,” Dr. Samuels said. “You’ve got a fine boy there.” We both thanked him and he left. I got up and stood on the opposite side of the crib from where Alex was.
“Hey there little man, did you hear that? We get to take you home today. Mama’s got a cozy little bed for you right next to mine…” I said.
“Please let him come to the mansion…” I looked up and Alex was imploring me with those intense hazel eyes.
“But… I’m breastfeeding him… Alex you promised that Michael and I wouldn’t be separated. He’s too little, he needs me.” I could actually feel my entire body going into fight or flight mode. I’d never experienced emotions the way I have since Michael was born. I guess that’s the maternal instinct in me.
“No Vicki, calm down. I’m not taking him from you. You can come too. Please, stay with him in my home. I know he doesn’t need me the way he does you… but I do need him.”
Is he asking me to move in? I looked back down at the baby. I thought about the difference between my room in Liz’s apartment and the nursery that Alex had so painstakingly designed for our son. At his home, Michael would not only have everything… he would have both of his parents as well.
“Okay, we’ll stay… for a while,” I said. Alex came over on my side of the crib and wrapped his arms around me. He pulled me into his chest and held me there. I couldn’t believe how good it felt. We stood there like that for a long time until Michael started fussing again.
Alex kissed me on top of the head and then with his mouth close to my ear he whispered, “Thank you.”
I shivered and then reached down and scooped the baby up into my arms. “Thank you… for him,” I said, kissing little Michael on the cheek. I sat down with him in the rocking chair and nursed him. By the time I finished, the nurse came in with our discharge instructions and half an hour later, we were in the back of the Bentley, taking our son home.
When we got to the house, Alex and I got little Michael all settled into the nursery. We both stood there staring at him and I wondered if all new parents had such a hard time tearing themselves away from their children. As we walked out of the room with the baby monitor in tow Alex said, “Would you like to begin interviewing nannies this week?”
“No. I don’t want a nanny. I can take care of my own child.”
“Vicki, you’ll need help… you’ll need a break at least every once in a while…”
“I’m not turning over the care of my child to a stranger.”
“I had a nanny growing up, I turned out okay.”
“That’s not the point. I want to be the one there when he takes his first steps and says his first word and rides his first bike…” I felt tears brimming in my eyes. This was one of those moments when I let myself remember what different worlds Alex and I came from. It wasn’t that my mother was there for me… she wasn’t, but I grew up knowing that she should be. I’ve been away from my son for ten minutes now and I ache for him already. Alex was smiling at me and he had a look that I didn’t recognize in his eyes.
“What?” He reached over and wiped a tear that had escaped off my cheek. His touch was searing hot.
“Vicki, I need you to trust me. I need you to believe me when I say that I don’t want to take one minute of that boy’s life away from you. I’d like to hire a nanny to be here to help, that’s all. We can hire her part time and you can send her home any time you like. I just don’t want you to be so exhausted that you can’t enjoy your time with him. I will help as much as I can, but you know that business takes me away a lot. Please trust that from now on everything I suggest or do is not just for Michael, but for you as well, okay?”
I felt another tear roll down my face. I nodded. “I’m sorry,” I said. “Post-pregnancy hormones I think.” He smiled and once again he pulled me into his chest.
When he did that, all of my worries and angst faded away. After several seconds he pulled back and said, “Are you hungry?”
He laughed. “Good, let’s go downstairs and see what we can find.” I automatically looked back at the nursery. He laughed again. “You have the monitor. He’ll be fine.”
“Okay,” I said, reluctantly. Alex was right, I knew that rationally… it was just so hard. I followed him down to the kitchen and when we got there, I stopped dead in my tracks in the doorway.
“Oh my God, Alex! When did you do all of this?”
He grinned. “I’d love to take all the credit, but before we left the hospital I called Cook and asked him to do this for us. Karen helped him and then she dismissed the rest of the staff so we could have an evening alone with our son.”
“It’s incredible!” There was a hand-written banner welcoming Michael and me home, a huge bouquet of red roses, sparkling apple cider chilling for me and champagne for Alex. I can’t drink while I’m breastfeeding so it was so nice of them to remember that and leave me the cider. There were silver trays filled with finger sandwiches and one with a big pile of boiled crab legs, a huge bowl of
Caesar salad and another area with cheesecake and chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate cupcakes… It was amazing. “Thank you!”
He grinned. “You’re welcome. You deserve it and as soon as I can tear you away from the other man in your life, I’d like to take you out on a real date.”
Alex tried to no avail while Michael was in the hospital to get me to go out to dinner with him. I couldn’t do it. I knew that it was pointless and I wouldn’t enjoy a bite, knowing that I’d left my baby alone with strangers. I don’t think Alex has any idea how badly I want to spend time with him… but as badly as I do want that, I want to be a good mother even more. Hopefully, he can help me find a balance, so that I will be able to do both. For now, I avoided the subject by looking at the food.
“This looks so yummy! I’m so hungry!” We fixed our plates and sat down together to eat.
As we ate he said, “Tell me more about you, Vicki. I know that you grew up in Glendale, are your parents still there?”
I felt the color rise to my cheeks. I didn’t like talking about my parents with my friends. Talking about them to someone like Alex who I assume led a charmed life… that was even more difficult. “Well, I guess since we’re linked at least for the next eighteen years you have a right to know, but please don’t judge me by my relatives.”
He flashed his dimples at me. “I would never,” he said.
“When I was five, my father decided that being married, and especially married with a kid was not what he wanted to be. My mother probably didn’t help the situation any by refusing to give up her gig as a professional pole dancer.” He was still looking at me and the look on his face hadn’t changed at all. “Do you wish you would have asked me this before we made a baby together?”
He grinned again and said, “We can’t help who we’re born to. Have you ever seen your father since?”
I shook my head. “My mother always said that was a good thing. She said he was an alcoholic and basically an all-around bum. I vaguely remember him… I mostly remember being afraid of him and feeling almost relieved when he left.”
“Did he hurt you?”
“No, at least not that I recall. He just had this kind of menacing way about him and he was huge, so to a five year old, he looked like an angry giant.”
“I’m sorry, Vicki. Little girls should have a father they can look up to and be proud of.”
I nodded. “It wasn’t fun growing up without a father, especially since my mother paraded a lot of ‘Uncles’ through the house every month… or sometimes every week.”
“Do you still see her?”
I felt guilty… I’m not sure why. I expected him to think poorly of me for saying yes, but I wasn’t going to lie to him. “I do. I know that it’s silly, but I still keep hoping at nearly twenty-four years old that she’s suddenly going to change and want to be my mother.”
“It’s not silly. It’s what we all want. I can actually identify with your pain.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Was your mother a pole dancer too?” I asked, jokingly.
He smiled. “No, but she wasn’t motherly at all. She was a stereotypical Orange County housewife. My father was a successful businessman and he worked a lot of hours. My mother spent time playing tennis and heading up charities and lunching with her friends; she didn’t have the time or the patience for a rambunctious toddler. I had a nanny until I was old enough for boarding school and then that’s where I went until I headed for college. It’s funny when you’re grown and they want to have a relationship with you then… I don’t feel like any of us really know each other.”
“I’m sorry. Every little boy should have a mother that kisses his boo boo’s and reads stories to him at night.”
“I have a good feeling that our son won’t have to worry about a mother who is not motherly, although he may have to slip under her radar to breathe.”
I laughed. “I’ll get better… more relaxed… I think.”
He reached out and touched the side of my face. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. The slightest touch of his hand caused my every sense to be heightened.
“Our son is very lucky to have you.”
I opened my eyes and smiled at him. “Maybe we could get that part time nanny and have a date every once in a while… Michael might appreciate the break.”
Alex laughed. “I doubt that, but his Daddy would more than appreciate the time to get to know his mother.”
After we finished our dinner and dessert, we went up and checked on Michael. He was still sleeping like the angel that he is. Alex took my hands and said, “You need to get some rest before he’s waking up to eat again.”
I nodded. “Where am I sleeping?” I hate to admit it, but I was hoping that he’d say he wanted me to sleep with him.
“The guest room right next door will be close for you, will that be fine?”
I forced a smile. “Perfect,” I said. I know that we agreed to take this all slow… so he was right, we shouldn’t sleep together so soon, but my hopes were still dashed, right up to the point where his arms encircled me and his hazel eyes hooded as he looked down at my mouth. I automatically reached up and slid my fingers into his hair. I love his thick, dark hair. I raked my fingers through it and he moaned as his mouth came down to meet mine. He kissed me then, letting his tongue dance against mine and then he pulled back slightly, letting those exquisite full lips graze across mine a few times before pulling back. I was breathless and my knees were weak.
“I wanted to do that for two weeks. Since you won’t go out with me, I suppose outside of the nursery is as good of a place as any.”
“A nanny,” I said, breathlessly. “That’s what we need.”