Chapter Seventeen: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
I pretty much gave Celiene my life story. Some she may have heard, some maybe not so much, but I gave it to her anyway. I wanted her to understand me. I told her a childhood story where my father refused to play with his ten-year-old son.
I told her about the time that Josie caught me and Jeffrey smoking, and the insane crush that Jeffrey had on Josephine at that time. I confessed that I knew my father was sleeping with Josephine. That was a bit painful.
I spoke of Lucy, Charlie, and my trial. I told her how happy I was that I graduated college. I told her about how much I cried at the death of both of my parents. I reminded her of the first day I met Kay.
“…I have known this woman for a very long time. Almost as long as I have known you. I was about the party and Kay was not. Kay was looking for commitment and I wasn’t. But I’ve changed. Hell, I got married. I have two children now. One was an accident, and the other was on purpose.” Fuck. I didn’t mean to say that, but it was too late to pull it back.
Celiene didn’t look at me. “Honey, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to drag you down.”
“Are you apologizing for getting pregnant?”
She shrugged. “Well yeah.”
Dude was an ass, but Darren wasn’t. “Don’t ever apologize for that. You gave me a beautiful son, and I love him.”
She didn’t look at me. “But you just don’t love me anymore.” I’m not sure if I really loved her like I should have in the first place. I opened my mouth to answer, and she said, “Wait! Don’t say it. It has been well over a year, and I can’t compete with Kay.” She was conceding. “I just wanted to say thank you, for giving me the chance to be a wife. Your wife. I now have more than I could ever wanted in my life because of you. So, if Kay is who you want, go to her.”
I felt both bad and free at the same time. “Baby, don’t do this. I still want to be your friend. We have a son together.”
“I know that, and I’m going to miss seeing him every day.”
If we were to ever break up, Tevin would not leave with her. I was not going to allow another man to raise my son. “You do understand why I want him to stay with me don’t you?”
She shook her head. “Not actually no.”
I had to explain. What better way to do that, than over a good meal. I was hungry. “Are you hungry?”
“What does food have to do with what we’re talking about?”
“Come on let’s go eat.”
Tevin was definitely going to stay with me. I didn’t want another man to raise my son. He might turn out all fucked up…Like me.
Celiene realized she didn’t have a chance to win her son. He was mine, and well, a bit of her, but I was not going to destroy my kid’s future. Kay had no clue that Carl was subject to the same fate.
Two weeks later, the paperwork was filed, and I had to hire some more help. There was no way Josephine could take care of the house, cook for me, and take care of my son. I needed a nanny. I really, really, really hated interviews. However, this one was important.
I stood in my formal sitting room waiting for my first appointment. As I waited, Josie walked in.
“Yes, Josie. What is it?”
“The applicants are here.”
“Great. Send them in one at a time, please, and thank you.” I put on my game face and waited for the first one to come in. when she did, I gave her a quick once over. Hmm. Cute. Well dressed. Don’t like the pink though. Let’s see how smart she is. “Good afternoon Miss...”
She smiled and shook my hand. “Harbor sir. Chelsea Harbor.”
“Welcome to Smith Manor, Miss Harbor. Please have a seat.”
She sat in one of the beautiful yet uncomfortable 18th century chairs my mother had put in this room. I immediately started with the questions. “So why don’t you tell me how you got to work today, Miss Harbor?”
“I drove sir.”
I wanted to know if my nanny could drive. Hard to believe, but there were many people in this city that could not drive. So, the fact that she could, made me happy. “That’s fantastic. Were you aware that this was a live-in position?”
“No sir I was not.”
Oh, something wasn’t right. I was certain that I told the agency my nanny had to be a live in. I’m sure they did as I asked, but since I was offering twelve hundred dollars a week, perhaps that’s all Chelsea was interested in. “Are you willing to move in, Miss Harbor?”
She shook her head. “I’m sorry sir. I can’t. I take care of my mother.”
I rolled my eyes. Seriously? “Thank you for your time, Miss Harbor. Josephine will show you out.”
She stood up. “Thank you, sir.”
I took a deep breath. She takes care of her mother? What the hell? How did she expect to take care of my son? I again rolled my eyes, and Josie entered the sitting room.
“Are you ready for the next applicant, sir?”
“Yes, yes. Send them in.”
Josie left, and a tall dark-haired man appeared in her place. I was surprised. This is different. Never seen a male nanny before, I thought. Then I smelled smoke. He’s a smoker. Did I forget to tell the agency that I didn’t want a smoker? Perhaps I did.
He was very happy, and I could feel the confidence coming right off him. “Good morning, Mr. Smith. My name is Fredrick Griffin.”
He was not going to get the job, but I had to at least talk to him for a few minutes. “Good morning, Mr. Griffin. Please have a seat.”
“I’m ready to get started, Mr. Smith. I love children.”
Oh yeah, he was pretty cocky. He obviously didn’t know me. “That’s very good that you love children. Do you smoke, Mr. Griffin?”
“Yes sir, I do. But not around the children.”
I shook my head. “I do not smoke, Mr. Griffin. No one in my house does.”
“Does that mean I can’t have the position?”
I chuckled internally. Yeah, he got it. “You are correct, Mr. Griffin. Have a nice day. Josephine will show you out.”
He got up and walked out closing the door behind him. No smoking around my kids. He probably smoked weed too. Hell no.
Not long after the smoker left, Josie came in to announce the next. “Miss Monica Childs is the next applicant.”
I nodded. “Very well, send her in.”
The next woman was pretty young, but that didn’t matter. I glared at her for a second or two, and lots of things went through my noodle. Pretty, but what the hell is she wearing? She walked into my house clad in tight leather from head to toe. Interview clothes? I think not. “Good Morning, Miss Childs.”
She shook my hand and replied, “Good Morning.”
“Please have a seat and we will get started.” She sat in the same chair as the other applicants had, and I got on with the questions. “So why don’t you tell me a little about yourself, Miss Childs.”
“Well sir, I am twenty-eight years old and I have always wanted to be a nanny.”
“You have never been a nanny before?” Why did she come to my house again? Must have been the insane pay.
“No sir I have not.”
“So how do you qualify to take care of my child?”
“I am the oldest of six children, Mr. Smith. I helped raise my younger siblings.”
That was impressive. I liked that she came from a large family. Lots of love, and teamwork in the house she grew up in. Finally, a viable candidate. “Do you have any children yourself, Miss Childs?”
She shook her head. “No sir, I do not.”
I liked that too. She was my choice if my next applicant turned out to be a dud. “I have one other applicant to see Miss Childs. I will let you know something soon.”
She nodded, got up, and shook my hand. “Thank you, sir.”
I watched her apple shaped ass leave the room. I will definitely have to put her in a uniform. Josie came in and interrupted my thoughts.
“Your last applicant is waiting for you.”
I nodded. “Josie, I want you to check on Tevin and then start on lunch. Send in the last applicant.”
She nodded and left the room. Moments later, the next applicant walked into my sitting room and I almost lost my shit. She was beautiful. Celiene was gone, and really, I should have been pursuing Kay, but hell, Dude showed up, and all of that went out of the window. Holy shit! I will train this one to be my nanny.
She came in and immediately sat down after shaking my hand. This one was even more confident than my last applicant. Shit, she was even more confident than me. She presented a challenge that I had to take her up on.
Good Morning sir. My name is Jessica Cooper, but you may call me Jessie.”
I nodded. “Darren Smith.” She took over the interview after that.
“I understand you only have one child, Mr. Smith?” She had done some research.
“Actually, I have two. Only one lives here with me.”
“Might I ask how old your son is again, Mr. Smith?”
“He’s four months old.”
She nodded, taking notes as we spoke. “Aw they are so sweet when they are that age.”
I nodded. “Yes, indeed they are. Jessie, are you able to move in?”
She smiled and nodded. “As a matter of fact, Mr. Smith, I have already packed.”
Besides her being beautiful, her confidence was also attractive. No other applicant had a chance when Jessie walked into my door.
Two weeks later, I had my new nanny. I was glad for two reasons. First, she was great with Tevin. Second...
I went to her room to ensure she had everything she needed. The next thing I knew, she was all over me.
The club scene was calling me once again. I had someone to take care of my son. I had some ass at home if I wanted it. I missed the party.
Voltage hadn’t lost its vibe. I hadn’t been in here in quite some time and it was still the same. It wasn’t Saturday night, so Jeffrey wouldn’t be there. It would be just me and my long locked away demons.
I stood at the end of the bar bobbing my head enjoying the music. There she was. The only other woman I slept with while I was with Celiene. Shelly.
She walked up to me with a huge smile on her face. It was then when I remembered her. She was one of the women in the video so long ago. Holy shit. I hardly ever came across the same woman twice, let alone three times.
Happy to see her, but not really. “Shelly!”
She smiled. “How have you been?”
“I’ve been great! You are still fine as ever I see.” Dude was very much in control at that moment.
“Thank you! So where have you been? I haven’t seen you in a while.”
I shrugged. “I know. I’ve been busy. Would you like to dance?”
She nodded and followed me onto the dance floor. We danced but only for a song or two. I wanted to talk to her some more. The music was great, but the view was better. We left the dance floor and went back to the bar. I ordered another drink, and one for Shelly. “So pretty Shelly, how come you didn’t call me?”
She shrugged. “Um, you didn’t give me your number?”
Of course, I didn’t give her my number. I didn’t give my number out, but she didn’t have to know that. I feigned innocence. “Are you sure? I was for certain I did.”
She shook her head. “Nope you didn’t.”
I smiled and asked, “So, how is that piece of shit boyfriend of yours? You still with him?”
She raised her eyebrow and snapped her fingers, “Hell no! That asshole can’t hold a stick to you.”
Holy shit did she fall in love? I didn’t want to know. I laughed and smiled. “Nope, not at all. Not many can.”
She glared at me. Are you married?”
“I’m working on a divorce at the moment.”
I managed to get her back to my house. Mind you, I had already slept with Jessie. Little known to me, Jessie stood outside my bedroom door as I was with Shelly. I’m sure that didn’t make her happy.