His Virgin Babysitter(4)

By: Lila Younger

“I should be thanking you,” he says. “And call me Carter.”

He holds out a hand, and hesitatingly, I reach out. A spark of electricity passes as we touch. His hand is large and warm and calloused, a real man’s hand. My breath catches as he shakes my hand, holding it for just a moment longer before letting go. For a moment I almost think that he feels something too, but surely that can’t be true?


“Morning Gina,” I call out as I head past my secretary’s desk. “Full day today, isn’t it?”

“It is,” she says, standing up. Her snow white hair is carefully swept up, and her matching sweater set has nary a wrinkle. That sort of neatness and carefulness extends to her work, making her irreplaceable to me. “Also, Stacie called again.”

I open the door to my office. It’s not a corner suite, but that should change within the next year or two. There have been rumblings of senior partner Hiczewski retiring soon, opening up a potential spot for me. After years of dedicated 80 hours weeks, I am finally going to get what I worked for. The call from Stacie is rather strange though. I accept the coffee mug Gina hands to me with a frown.

“Did she say what it was about?”

“No, only that it was important. She called five times already,” she replies.

“Sounds serious. Thank you,” I say. “Can you let me know as soon as the new client arrives?”

“Sure thing Mr. Sedgwick,” she says as she closes the office door behind her.

I take a fortifying sip of the strong black coffee and pull up Stacie’s number on my cell phone. My ex, if you could even call her that, is a lot to take in on the best of days. We met a few years ago during at a friend’s wedding. The whole encounter was a cliché: she was the bridesmaid, I was a groomsman. She had mile long legs, and modeled as a part time gig. I was a newly minted lawyer from Columbia. There was an open bar that night, and we ended up fucking in the hotel bathroom. Classy it was not, but I didn’t care. I chased tail whenever, wherever. The next morning, I went home with a hangover and a need to wear collared shirts for a week, and thought that that was it.

Six months ago, I got a call, asking us to meet. I saw absolutely no need to rekindle the one night stand, but something in her voice stopped me from hanging up. She wasn’t being flirty or desperate. So I agreed to meet her at the Starbucks on the corner. When I got there, she had a little girl with her, with dark hair and big baby blues that I would recognize anywhere. Turns out that the condom that night hadn’t done its job (or let’s face it, I was so smashed out drunk I didn’t put it on right), and she’d had a kid. Luna.

After I got over the shock, I started to look forward to the meetings. Stacie would call, every other week or so, and we’d all get dinner together, or watch a movie, or go to the park. Low key things. It was the perfect way to get to know Luna. I never thought I wanted kids. Hell I never even thought about the idea of it. But when it’s your own... there’s something different about it. Luna brought something I didn’t know I was missing from my life as a lawyer.

But it’s been almost a month since Stacie called me, and the last time we met, she seemed on edge the whole time. I’ve even tried to call her to schedule a meeting, but until now she hasn’t responded. Granted, the holidays are hectic for everyone, but Stacie doesn’t have family to go to, and was it really so wrong of me to want to see my kid at Christmas? And now after all that silence, she’s badgering me at my office? What is going on?

“Carter,” Stacie says, picking up on the first ring. “Can we meet today?”

“Today? You know that I work right?”

“Well you’re the one who’s been blowing up my phone trying to meet Luna. And now I’m letting you. So can you do it?”

I detect a definite edge in Stacie’s voice. Something is going on, but I can’t figure out what it could be. If it meant I could see Luna though, I wasn’t going to pass up the chance. I turn on my computer monitor and check through the meetings I have today. Some things can be moved around or put off in the afternoon luckily. Having worked here for so long, I do have a little leeway with my schedule, and I’m ready to make up the hours tonight so I can see my daughter.

“I can do noon,” I say. “Would that work?”

“Fine,” she says tersely. “Don’t be late.”

“When have I ever been late? Stacie, is something going on?”

“There’s nothing. I’ll see you at IHOP then.”