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Title: This Baby Business
Author: Heatherly Bell
Genre: Contemporary Romance
About This Baby Business:
Air force pilot Levi Lambert has seen plenty of danger—but his infant daughter might be the death of him. Fortunately, Levi’s found the answer to his sleep-deprived prayers: his next-door neighbor! Carly Gilmore is willing to be his nanny…until a small white lie turns their arrangement from business to very personal. The fake engagement was intended to keep Levi from losing custody of his baby girl, but is causing all sorts of new problems. Not only does Carly attract trouble like bees to honey, but there’s the little matter of Levi’s smokin’-hot attraction to her. The last thing he needs is to fall in love…
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Carly sat on a chair in Stone’s office, streaks of mud on her chin, cheeks and nose. Blond hair wild and unruly. Short dress muddy. Even her sandals had been through the wringer. She looked like she’d been in a fight with a…well, a pig. Which told him two new things about this woman: she did not give up easily, or mind getting a little dirty in the process.
Good to know.
He wiped mud off her chin with the wet towel Emily had given her and bit his lower lip. “There’s an old saying. If you wrestle with a pig, you’ll get dirty. And the pig will only—”
She held up her index finger. “Don’t finish that sentence.”
“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” She grabbed his hand from where it was busy cleaning off her nose and brought it down.
He took control back, and went back to wiping at her cheeks. “Enjoy is probably not a strong enough word.”
“This is so embarrassing. Petunia was supposed to be trained, like a dog. That’s what her owner said.”
“You can take the pig off the ranch, but you can’t… I forgot how that one goes.”
“You’re pretty sexy when you’re mud wrestling, you know?”
“How can you laugh about this? I looked like a fool in front of the Lanes. That can’t be good.”
“Nah, you just looked like someone who takes her responsibilities seriously.”
“That’s what I was going for.”
“I’d say you got it done.”
She brought his hand down again, and this time he allowed it. “Thanks for taking care of me like a good fiancé might do.”
“No worries, though I don’t think they noticed me bring you inside. They’re with Cassie and Grace now.”
“So no one saw us come in here?”
“Don’t think so. Matt’s washing twice the number of pets right now, which is fine with me.”
“If I haven’t said it enough, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make life harder for you, pretending to be my fiancé. I should have considered you might be interested in, or dating someone else. It was shortsighted of me, I know. I just…reacted. I’m really sorry.”
“Being your fake fiancé is not the worst thing to ever happen to me.” Not even the second or third, but he wasn’t going there.
“Were you dating anyone here?”
Seemed like a crisis of conscience had overcome Cute Stuck-Up Girl. Cute Sexy, now. “A coffee date with Lily Hamilton. I was supposed to call and follow up for dinner.”
She closed her eyes, then opened them again. “Lily. She’s so nice. I’m so sorry, Levi.”
“It wasn’t a thing. And you should know, anyway, after you and I kissed, I had no intention of calling her. I haven’t had time to…date. Or anything.” And it had been far too long without the or anything. Also not going there.
“Me, too. I think I forgot how to act around someone of the opposite sex.”
His gaze heated. “You did fine the other night on the couch.”
She coughed. “Yeah. Thanks.”
“What’s wrong? You don’t normally wrestle a pig in front of a guy? Because that can be a mating call in some countries.” He managed to keep a straight face.
She rolled her eyes at him. “No. I don’t have the most stellar history with men.”
“Get out. My fiancée? How did you catch me, then?”
She didn’t laugh. “I wouldn’t normally go out with a guy like you, anyway. Guys like you don’t go for girls like me.”
“Guys like me?”
“I know I’m not sexy, or anything.”
“Yeah, you are,” he said. “Otherwise, I don’t think we’d be engaged.”
“That isn’t funny.”
“It’s a little funny.
About Heatherly Bell:
Heatherly Bell drinks large amounts of coffee, craves cupcakes, and occasionally wears real pants. She lives in northern California with her family.
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