His Virgin Babysitter(2)

By: Lila Younger

“Don’t worry about it,” I say. “Look, my drink isn’t even spilled.”

Satisfied that she did her part, the girl turns away from me to point at the special carts for kids.

“That one daddy,” she says imperiously.

She’s clearly comfortable with being a princess, and it makes me grin. What can I say? I love children.

“Hold on one second honey,” he says, cocking his head to the side. “Do I... know you from somewhere?”

“Know me?” I echo foolishly. I’m not sure I can look up at those eyes again. I flick my eyes up, and yep, they’re capturing me again. I blush like I’ve never blushed before, but the guy just rolls on, mercifully unaware, or just being kind.

“Yeah. You’re Louis and Diane’s kid aren’t you? Jade?” He holds out his hand. “I’m Carter Sedgwick. I used to live on the other side of the duplex.”

I have a vague recollection of a guy with glasses, but we lived in the duplex when I was eleven or twelve. I definitely did not remember my neighbor being this hot, but then again, I was pretty obsessed with the Jonas Brothers at the time.

“Oh, wow. That was a long time ago.”

“Yes it was,” he says, fixing me with a thoughtful gaze. “You’ve grown up a lot since then.”

I try to resist the urge to duck my head down again. What exactly did he mean by that? Well, I know what he means, but did he... did he notice me too?

Before I could say anything else, we’re interrupted by his little girl, who has decided she’s not going to wait for us to finish talking, but runs off for the carts.

“Don’t go,” he says to me before running off after her. I watch as she hops into one of the carts and he starts to strap her in. I really have no reason to stay. It’s not like we knew each other really. Mr. Sedgwick, as I used to call him, was much chattier with my parents. I vaguely recall that he seemed much older to me at the time, but honestly he couldn’t have been much more than thirty-five. He looked really, really good. I wonder what lucky woman he married, because as far as I knew, he hadn’t. Then again, my information is outdated by almost a decade now.

Once Luna’s strapped into the cart, he wheels it over to me.

“So Jade,” he says. “I could use your help if you have some time. The situation is... complicated with Luna, but essentially she’s going to be staying with me for a while. I don’t have anything for a little girl at all, so it would be great if you could point out what I’d need.”

“Uh, sure,” I say, which takes me by surprise too. Spend more time in the presence of a man who can literally turn me on with a smile? In the middle of Target of all places? I really shouldn’t. “I don’t know if I’ll be any help to you.”

“Of course you will. You were a girl once, and you’ve got all those little siblings of yours don’t you? Either way, I think between you and me, you’re the more knowledgeable one. I can do this myself, but it would go much easier if you could join me.”

“Come,” little Luna adds.

I bite my lip, unsure, but what the hell. It’s not like I have anything planned, and I’m sort of curious about just what’s going on. And yeah, a little part of me wouldn’t mind seeing Mr. Sedgwick a little while longer. A man like him is so far out of my league that I can almost relax because I know there’s no chance in hell he’s interested in me.

“Okay,” I say at last. “Let’s go.”

The first thing we do is head towards the children’s section, where luckily there’s a toddler bed/ crib combo that would work just fine for Luna. We also pick up some bedding (’Pink!’ Luna commands.) and a pillow, and then we get a night light just in case. Next is the clothing section, because apparently, she has none.

“You can pick whatever you want,” Mr. Sedgwick says.

Luna happily begins to point things out on the racks. Since we aren’t completely sure on sizes, we have to grab a quite a few things. Then it’s into the changing room where Luna declares she can do it herself. Since most of the things we got were leggings, skirts, and t-shirts, she should be fine. I help her unzip the back of her Belle gown, and she heads in. We stand together by the changing room and wait.

“Do you mind if I ask what’s going on?” I venture. “A bed I can understand, but no clothes? Did she not have any when she came to you?”

“To be honest, I didn’t think I would be raising her at all,” he says. “But now I have to. I only just met Luna a few months ago, to be honest. Her mother hadn’t bothered to let me know that I had a kid. So it’s newfound territory for me too. I appreciate you coming to help out.”