The Irish Prince (The Billionaire Dynasties)(4)

By: Virginia Nelson

Now to figure out how to go from the world’s most eligible bachelor to the world’s greatest dad in a single weekend.

Chapter Two


The little girl sitting in Chelsea’s office looked bored to tears. Then again, she was only about ten, so sitting in the black leather chair probably would bore a kid. Especially when she’d been waiting for two hours. What were Aiden and Margo talking about, anyway? And leaving the girl with Chelsea? She was a secretary, not a babysitter.

His daughter had the look of her father, though, especially right around the eyes—both in their shape and the hazel color, although her heavy, dark eyebrows weren’t as well-groomed as his. Her hair, though…that had to be from her model-slash-actress mother. The vivid red waves were the trademark of the adult woman—her halo of flame-colored curls graced a lot of magazine covers, after all, over the years—but on the child, it’d been tamed into two tight French braids.

The fact the kid was so disinterested and unoccupied and yet managed to only swing her skinny little legs at an even pace while keeping her fingers neatly folded in her lap—well, the self-possession and control were like a neon sign proclaiming the child a Kelley. She’d never met a bigger control freak than Aiden, so it would only make sense that he’d pass down that annoying trait when he spawned.

Chelsea could see it, making it likely that the girl was indeed the daughter of her boss, philanthropist and executive in charge of a global enterprise, the famed Aiden Kelley. That his ex, Margo Wells, famous in her own right, had managed to keep the kid a secret for a decade was the part that dinged alarm bells, in Chelsea’s opinion. Why would she hide their child from Aiden? More importantly, how had she kept the child hidden from the press?

But it wasn’t Chelsea’s place to verbalize these questions. After all, she was the executive assistant to Kelley, not an interviewer. Knowing she didn’t have the right and tamping down on her natural curiosity were two very different things, though, and she snuck peeks at the kid every few seconds.

The child was quiet, simply rocking her legs and waiting quite patiently for someone so young—then again, maybe that was normal for a ten-year-old. It wasn’t like Chelsea had spent much time around children. She spent most of her waking hours working or thinking about working, which left little time for socializing, and even if she had spare time…she didn’t really like kids for the most part. Too noisy. Too messy. Too something people had if they were in a relationship, which she distinctly was not.

And damn, wasn’t she broody today? Sipping her coffee, she cast another glance at the kid and noticed she was poking at the dish of rocks on the table near the chair. Ah, her Zen rock garden. She’d collected the stones on a whim. Chelsea used to like that sort of thing when she was younger, and the pretty colors made her smile—but the kid seemed really interested. She carefully picked them up, one after the other, inspecting them with rapt attention.

“Amethyst,” Chelsea finally said, gesturing to the purple rock in the kid’s hand. It wasn’t like Aiden told her not to talk to her when he arbitrarily dropped her off in Chelsea’s office, after all.

The child looked up—what had they said her name was? Waverley? Was that even a name?

“Yes,” the kid said. “This is a really nice piece of amethyst. There is a cartoon with a character named Amethyst, and she’s a crystal gem. Are these your rocks?”

Ah, well, that was a regular conversation starter. Couldn’t hurt to chat a bit. She stood and headed over. “Yes, they are, and thanks for the compliment. Did you see the quartz point?” She pointed at a creamy translucent rock, shaped like a crystal.

“I sure did!” Waverley picked up the rock in question and considered it closely. “This is a big one.”

“Do you like rocks?” Chelsea asked, sitting down at the chair opposite Waverley.

“I do. I’m going to be a geologist someday. I’m going to travel the world and see all the best rocks.” The child’s chin came up in an expression so like her father’s that it could’ve passed for a paternity test.

“That’s cool. I used to want to be one myself. What other rocks do you recognize?” The child picked through the bowl, lifting up various rocks and identifying them on sight. She knew jade, rose quartz, and pyrite right off.

She pulled out an orange rock and scrunched her brow. “I don’t recognize this one.”

“May I?” Chelsea held out her palm, and Waverley passed her the rock. “This is carnelian. It is a member of the quartz family. One of my favorites, actually. I like orange.”