0215543001348293036 vaughn piper oshea m.j.

0215543001348293036 vaughn piper oshea m.j. by one small thing Read Free Book Online

Book: 0215543001348293036 vaughn piper oshea m.j. by one small thing Read Free Book Online
Authors: one small thing
looked like a total lunatic, or maybe Richard Simmons on speed. Luckily there was no one there to see me. I was hoping it was Dust at the door. Save me, Dust. Please….
    The doorbell rang again, and Alice’s screams intensified. I made a quick decision, sprinted to the door and opened it, only to turn without even looking to see who it was and run back into Alice’s nursery for her before she screamed her little lungs the rest of the way out.
    When I returned to the living room with Alice, she was crying, her face was hot pink (nearly matched one of the stripes in the headband I had on), and I probably looked about as frazzled as I could without simply exploding. Standing there, clearly about to bolt, was my neighbor. He’d dressed in cargo shorts (oh, darling, really? ) and an old Beatles T-shirt. I was afraid to look south of his knees. I had a bad feeling I’d find Birkenstocks or something equally wholesome and horrendous.
    I was a little bit annoyed just by his face as he stood there looking awkward. Kinda cute in a rumpled, needs-to-be-taken-care-of way, but still annoying. He’d put me in this horrible bind, after all—okay, that wasn’t fair, but still. A boy has a right to get pissy when things don’t go his way.
    “Hi… Erik.” That took me a second to spit out. I’d nearly called him Gatorade again. Plus I had to try to sound like I didn’t want to growl.
    “Hi, Ruf—I mean Rue.” I’d given him the stink eye. Really. No one called me that. “Um, I’d like to reconsider your offer if it still stands.”
    Ohmygodreally? I tried to stay cool. It was hard not to hug him. I had a feeling that wouldn’t be received very well. “What do you mean, exactly?”
    His face turned red. The whole thing was clearly painful for him.
    “I’d like to watch the baby—I mean, Alice. If that’s still okay.”
    [33]

    Piper Vaughn & M.J. O’Shea

    “And you can handle her every day from eight until four thirty?” I raised my eyebrow. I was trying really hard not to fall to my knees and kiss his feet. I was so damn relieved. He’d taken the bait. Seven fifty was a lot of damn money, but I’d shell it out with a smile if I didn’t have to send Alice back to that pit of hell.
    Erik shuffled his feet on the wood floor. “That’s fine. I work from home.”
    I nodded. “Yeah, you’re a writer. I know.” My brain was so mushy from the fallout of all that stressing that I was barely listening to the guy—well, honestly, that was a bad habit of mine anyway. “What is it you write again?” I knew it was something nerdy, but I’d kinda tuned him out the last time we talked. Like I said. Bad habit.
    “Science fiction, remember?”
    Oh, yeah. Yawn. Like I care about aliens. “That’s really cool.” I hoped I sounded sincere. Wouldn’t want to piss the neighbor off and make him change his mind about watching Alice.
    “So you’d bring her over at….”
    “Is quarter to eight okay? I can make it to class on time, then.” I was practically crossing my fingers. I needed this to work out so desperately.
    “Yeah, that’s fine. I’m usually up by then. Will you make her breakfast first?”
    I nodded, ready to agree to almost anything. “Of course. And I’ll pack all the stuff she needs and give you lots of instructions. And my phone number, and my best friend’s number, and the doctor’s too, of course. Oh, you’ll be totally set up.”
    Gatora—Erik just blinked at me, owlish and confused. “Um, okay, so seven forty-five?”
    I realized I’d lost him after “of course.” Guess I wasn’t the only one who tuned other people out. It was hard not to smile at his overwhelmed face. “Yeah, seven forty-five.”
    [34]

    one small thing

    “O-okay.” Erik backed toward the door, looking suspiciously at my headband, toenails, and the black sleep shorts smattered with rainbow-colored hearts that I love, love, loved . I almost had to laugh.
    “I’ll see you tomorrow,” Erik mumbled before he turned

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