Caring Christopher

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#2 Too old for this shit

Abigail

My back is hurting like a motherfucker. I may only be 27, but my back feels like I’m 80. Crashing on a friend’s couch may have been fine in college, but it surely doesn’t feel fine right now. Groaning, I sit up and wipe the drool off my face, wishing for the millionth time I would be one of those girls who looks like an innocent rose when she sleeps. I’m a pig. And not a cute little piggy, but a stinking, farting, drooling pile of crap.

“Morning, sleeping beauty,” Brittany’s high-pitched voice sounds from the kitchen. “So lovely waking up to you snoring so loud that I can hear it in my bedroom.”

I grunt and rub my eyes. “What time is it?”

“7 am,” Brittany tells me, walking over to hand me a steaming mug of coffee. “Drink up, you’re coming with me to work.”

“No, I’m not,” I protest. “I’m tired.”

She rolls her eyes. “You’ve been here for a week now, Abby. I get that it sucks to get fired from a job you didn’t even want in the first place, and to be broke again. And you know you can crash here whenever you want, but you need to get your ass off the couch and get a job. My boss’s secretary is out sick, so you can fill in for her, earn some money. We’ll find you something more permanent soon.”

I grumble in annoyance, but I know I should be grateful. Britt has been helping me back on my feet for years now. Every time a boyfriend dumps my sorry ass or yet another employer considers me unfit to watch their kids, I end up on Brittany’s couch and she doesn’t give up on me until I’m back on my feet. She’s the best friend I could ever wish for.

She’s also annoying as fuck, doesn’t take no for an answer, and makes horrible coffee. I wince when I take a sip and get up to make a decent cup. No way I’m drinking this shit.

“Morning.” Britt’s husband Jaxon walks into the kitchen in his boxershorts, grabbing a carton of milk from the fridge and putting it to his mouth, gulping down half of it before putting it back and slamming the door.

“Wear pants,” I tell him, rolling my eyes. “And use a glass.”

“This is my home,” he reminds me with a grunt. “I’ll wear what I want and drink the way I want.”

“Put on some clothes and never ever drink straight from the carton again,” Brittany tells him sternly. “You know how I feel about that, Jax.”

He pushes his long dark hair out of his face and rolls his eyes at his wife. “Yes, dear.” Even though he’s mocking her, it’s easy to see the love in his eyes. He loves Brittany dearly, as he should. He lucked out with her. Then again, he’s pretty nice as well, so I guess they both did good. “You smell,” Jaxon tells me, wrinkling his nose. “And you’ve got drool on your chin.”

I wipe it off and grumble a curse at him. He laughs and ruffles my hair before giving Brittany a kiss and rushing off to take a shower. I met Brittany when she moved into my dorm room, right before I decided to drop out of college altogether, and she and Jaxon started dating when Britt and I were already inseparable, so I’ve seen their relationship develop through the years. He and I are like brother and sister, always giving each other crap, but I’d take a bullet for him. Unless he hurts Brittany, of course. I will kill him if he does that.

“Come on,” Britt urges, already looking perfect for a glamorous day at the office in her tight black pencil skirt and pink button-up shirt. Her long blonde hair is braided and pulled into an elaborate updo that would be better suited for a wedding than a normal boring day.

I gulp down some coffee, brush my teeth in the kitchen and throw on some clothes, checking myself in the mirror in her bedroom to make sure I look alright. I’m nowhere near as beautiful as she is, but I’ve got big breasts and I like to flaunt them. That is about the only nice thing I’ve got to say about my body, though. My clothes are alright, a little tight maybe – which is, of course, why I always get attention from guys that only want one thing and one thing only.

“Looking hot,” Brittany says, winking at me when I walk back into the living room and grab my purse. “My boss is a bit of a sexist pig, so don’t be surprised if he stares at your tits all day. He’s pretty nice aside from the whole inappropriate staring.”

That’s Britty for you, telling you someone is sexist but nice. She likes pretty much everyone, convinced that there is good in every single person. I don’t agree with her on that. I think people are inherently selfish and mean. They’re only nice when they have to be, or when they want something from you. I should know, I learned that the hard way.

Brittany drives us to the large insurance company she works at. She’s one of the department head’s in customer service, and she trains new staff members who will be answering phones and updating the website. She’s great with people, but she can be tough as a nail when it comes to people lying about how their insured house or furniture got damaged. She’s lovely, but she doesn’t tolerate cheating. Not with her husband – not that Jax would ever dare to cheat on her – and not when it comes to her job.

“Here,” she says, pointing to a desk in the small reception area. “Just answer the phone all day.”

I’ve been here before – basically every single time I get knocked on my ass by life and my own stupid decisions, so I know the drill. Pretend to work hard even when you’re not doing anything, answer the phone on the first ring, don’t disturb the boss – he’s a different guy than last time, but every douchebag operates the same way – and when in doubt, just fake that you know what you’re doing.

After two hours of mindlessly transferring calls, updating Brittany’s schedule and making notes, I am so bored out of my mind that decide to look for another job. I dropped out of college, so I’m not really qualified for anything, and my high school diploma is worthless since the grades were shitty. All I’ve got are my smarts and beauty.

I’m not very smart.

And not beautiful at all.

Basically, I’m unemployable.

I do adore kids though, so I’ve been working as a nanny for years now. I’m not the best nanny ever, not even by a long shot, but I love playing with kids and helping them with their homework, and since I usually get a job as a live-in nanny, I don’t have to worry about housing until I get fired again. If I manage to land a whale – a wealthy family or maybe even a divorced guy with a stellar job – I’m usually golden for a few months, until eventually someone tries to sleep with me and I get fired for it. I don’t know why that always happens, because I’m not a supermodel or anything, and I don’t actually land a whole lot of second dates when I go on dating apps, but somehow divorced fathers, visiting uncles, unfaithful husbands, older kids visiting during their break form college… they always make their way into my bedroom at some point and when their parent or spouse or whoever finds out, they blame me and call me a slut. A seductress. A vile, dangerous temptress.

Still, I love kids. Maybe this time will be different. Maybe I’ll find a nice family to live with and I won’t get kicked out of their house within a few months.

There are a lot of jobs I could apply for, but most are far away from here and I like to stay close to my mother in case she falls again or tries to escape from her group home, so I don’t even consider going further than an hour away. There aren’t many people in this city looking for nannies and none of the positions are for a live-in nanny anyway. I don’t have money for rent, and I can’t stay on Britty’s couch forever, so a position with housing would be perfect.

A text lights up on my phone and I see it’s from Brittany. I’ve got a job for you, it says, with a million little heart emoticons and unicorns after it. Britty loves her emoticons.

Is it another job as a waitress that turns out to be a stripper gig? I text back, looking at her through the glass wall that separates her office from my desk in the reception area. I will never let her live that down. It was the weirdest night of my life. I made great tips though, even though I refused to take off more than my socks.

No, she shoots back. You’d be a live-in nanny, just like you want.

Hmm. Interesting. She motions me over and I get up to walk into her office, closing the door behind me. The woman she shares an office with isn’t in today, so it’s just us.

“He is Jaxon’s brother’s wife’s ex-boyfriend,” she says, making my head spin. “A hot single doctor in his forties with two foster kids.”

“Wow, okay,” I say, a little taken-aback. “Where does he live?”

“Close.” She smiles. “We’d be able to hang out all the time. And he’s really nice. I’ve met him a few times, he’s good friends with my sister-in-law.”

“Didn’t you just say that he’s her ex?” I ask, trying to figure out just how Britty knows him. “And what’s wrong with him? Why doesn’t he have a wife? And what’s with the foster kids?” I’m always skeptical. I’ve seen too much shit to trust anything or anyone.

“Nothing!” she insists, beaming at me. “Christopher is great, I swear. Like I said, he used to date my sister-in-law Annabel before she settled down with Aston, and they stayed friends. He dated her sister for a little bit, but she got back together with her cheating husband, so Chris ended up single again. He tried to get with this nurse my brother-in-law Aston is friends with, but she went for a college guy named Joshua and got knocked up, so that didn’t work out either, and then Christopher decided that he was done with women and that he wants kids, even if they’re not his own, like… DNA-wise, so he applied to be foster dad, and he got approved, and now he has two boys to take care of while working his ass off in the local hospital as a pediatrician, so he needs a nanny. Stat.” She laughs at her own medical joke. “Hah!” She giggles, her voice sounding ever higher than it usually does. “Stat! See what I did there?”

I roll my eyes. “Really funny. This guy sounds a little messed up, Britty. He’s been dating this string of women, one being the sister of the woman he used to date, and now he’s jumping into parenthood? I’m not sure I’m up for that. I’ve been through so much sh-”

“Shit,” Britty finishes for me, sighing. “I know, I know. You need a job, though. And I may not be doing a very good job of selling Christopher to you, but trust me, he isn’t going to creep into your room at night to grab a boob or anything. He’s one of those rare true gentlemen. Jaxon’s brother Aston says he’d trust Christopher with his life, and with his daughter’s Steffi as well, so that’s high praise, especially since Christopher used to date Aston’s wife.”

Hmm. Okay… maybe this could work. I’ve met Aston a few times and he seems like a straight shooter. I like him. Plus, he’s hot, which always is a plus in my book.

“Okay, when can I see this Christopher guy for a job interview?” I ask.

Brittany squeals. “Really? You want to do it?”

I shrug. “Like you said, I need the money. And I need to get my ass of your uncomfortable couch. Plus, my eyes bleed every single morning when I see Jaxon walking around half-naked, so for the sake of preserving my vision I should probably meet this dude and see if he’s not too creepy.”

“You won’t regret it!” Britty jumps up and does a cute little dance that makes her look like a 5-year-old. “Oh, I’ve got to text Annabel and Aston! They’ll be so happy I found a nanny for Christopher. They’ve been trying to get him to pick someone, but he’s turned down ten perfectly good ones already.”

Well shit. If he’s picky, he’s never going to go for me. I’ve never been anywhere longer than six months and my references are shit, since I usually get fired for being a jezebel – yeah, I’ve been called that once or twice.

Whatever. An interview won’t hurt. It’s not like I’ve got anything better to do anyway.

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