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I’m a single father and my darling six-year-old is the epitome of handful.
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“I don’t want a new nanny.” Amelia stomps her foot and pouts up at me. My daughter may only be six years old, but she’s already mastered the art of manipulation. Even knowing that I still have a hard time saying no to her.
However, the nanny is non-negotiable. I may be an earl, and hold a seat on the Queen’s council, but I still have to work.
“Why can’t you stay home, Daddy?” She stares up at me with those big blue eyes, and I almost give in to her demand.
I know I’ve spoiled her, but after her mother passed away when she was a little over a year old, I’ve felt the need to make the loss up to her. Not that I could control Margaret’s passing. I only had three months with her after she was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma.
We’d married young, for convenience, but I did love her. And she gave me the most special gift of all – Amelia.
My daughter may have inherited my wife’s blonde hair and freckles, but the child has acquired my own stubbornness, which is the reason we’ve gone through over twenty nannies in the past five years. And after the unfortunate events that happened with the last one, I had to go through a new agency out of the US.
The woman’s qualifications are a far cry from the British nannies who’ve been in my employ, but I’ve run out of options.
“I’ve told you, darling,” I say, crouching to Amelia’s level. “If I don’t work, I can’t afford to buy you all the pretty little things you like.”
“I don’t care.” She wraps her arms around my neck and squeezes tight. “I don’t want you to go.”
I sigh, and stand, Amelia still wrapped around me like a spider monkey. “What am I going to do with you, hmm?”
She pulls back. “Take me to the lake, Daddy. We can build a sandcastle as tall as Big Ben.”
I chuckle. “That would be quite a feat.”
“Please, Daddy. We haven’t gone to the lake in so long.”
“I’ll look at my schedule and see if we can schedule a day.” Through the window, I see the car pull up to the front of the house, and my driver, Harold, get out. “I think she’s here.” I place Amelia’s feet back on the floor. “I’ll make a deal, you be on your best behavior and I’ll see about the beach day.”
She scrunches her nose at me. “You promise?”
With a sigh, she nods, then takes my hand and we walk to the front door to greet the new nanny. Before we get there, Amelia exclaims. “I have to use the potty, Daddy.”
I frown. I know this game. Amelia uses the bathroom as a way to avoid situations. For a six-year-old, she’s much too smart for her own good. “Alright, but be quick. And wash your hands.”
Amelia scurries upstairs to the second-floor bathroom and I turn to pull open the front door. I have no idea what to expect, and my hopes aren’t high. I love my little girl, but the last thing I need this summer is to struggle with finding childcare. There’s enough on my plate with work and being a single father.
The agency forwarded me the woman’s resume, so I know that her name is Dina Pacheco and that she’s from Seattle, and has a diploma from a culinary school. I’m not sure how that makes her qualified for this line of work, but the woman I’d spoken to at the agency had insisted she was the best choice.
Yet when Harold opens the back door of the town car, I wonder if he didn’t pick up the wrong woman at the airport. She isn’t in a white apron and black dress, like the rest of the nannies I’ve hired, that’s for sure.
Her outfit is more colorful than the peacocks that my aunt Martha keeps at her vineyard. She’s wearing a bright, floral kimono over distressed jeans – the kind you see people wearing and wonder did they actually buy them like that on purpose? Gaping holes at the knee and thighs … showing off a fair bit of skin. It’s the color of shimmering sand and it makes me wonder if Amelia’s idea of spending the day at the beach isn’t rather perfect after all.
She wears impractical wedge heels in pink and there’s a leopard print tote bag on her shoulder that’s nearly as big as she is. She’s petite, all curves and color, and my cock, which hasn’t shown interest in anyone in a long time, instantly hardens.
Her long, wavy dark hair has hidden her face from me, but when she brushes it back, I’m not prepared for the eyes that look back at me. They’re dark, a rich chocolate brown. But it’s not the color that gives me pause, it’s the way I swear I can see into the woman’s very soul. They’re filled with as much brightness, and life, as her outfit.