“Okay, I feel pretentious as hell saying this, but let me explain exactly what the job description is,” the pretty blonde woman says with a wince, then rolls her green eyes, a little smile teasing the corners of her mouth.
It’s kind of weird, sitting across from her after I’ve only ever seen her on TV, the Web, or in the occasional magazine. She’s much prettier in real life, and much smaller too. I just thought her husband was a total giant, but no. She’s really short and thin, though kind of top heavy, if you know what I mean.
I nod but remain silent, curling my hands together in my lap. She can’t see them beneath the table, and I’m glad. My fingers twist around each other, I’m so nervous. I need this job. Desperately. Trying to play it cool is becoming increasingly hard the longer I sit in front of her.
She’s famous. She’s beautiful. And do I really believe I have a chance to work for her and her family? Come on. I’m not that lucky.
“I’ve never hired a full-time live-in nanny in my life and truthfully, I don’t think I need one. It goes against everything I believe in, because I actually like spending time with my kids. I’m trying my best to be a good mother and I don’t think that involves letting other people raise my children,” she explains, her gaze fixed on the piece of paper in front of her. It’s a list of some sort, possibly what the job she’s interviewing me for entails, yet I still say nothing. “So having you work with me is not always going to be about the children.”
Um, then why are they looking for a full-time nanny?
“How old are your children?” I ask, my voice even, my expression hopefully pleasant. I have to show interest. And really, I am interested, even though the nanny part terrifies me. I have no experience with children. None.
She lifts her head and smiles, her green eyes sparkling. “My daughter is four and my son is almost two. I can’t lie, they’re a total handful. Not that they misbehave all the time or anything, it’s just that at their age, they’re busy. All the time.”
Nerves make my stomach clench and my mouth goes dry. Yeah, taking care of two children under the age of five is freaking scary. I can barely take care of myself, especially lately. I’ve cried a lot. Spent a lot of nights on friends’ couches because I had nowhere to live. Didn’t want to be a burden on my older brother, even though eventually I went and stayed with him and his girlfriend for a while. Gabe has done what he can, but he’s busy. He has his own life to live.
I can’t expect him to stop living his life just because I screwed up mine.
Everything has changed these last few months. Before I was used to doing whatever I wanted—spa treatments, going out to dinner, shopping. Paying for it all with Daddy’s credit card, all without a care in the world. Then my parents found out I was lying about college. As in, I told them I was going, when I wasn’t. My dad got so mad, he cut me off completely—and kicked me out of their house.
Now I’m so desperate for a job I’ll try to be a freaking nanny. This is laughable. A joke. That my brother is the one who got me this interview is unbelievable. Does Gabe really think I’m capable of doing something like this? I’ll probably drop the toddler on his head and his mama will fire me on the spot, then call the police and have me arrested for child abuse.
I part my lips, ready to tell her I’m totally not qualified and she should probably consider someone else for the position, when she starts speaking again.
“This is slightly embarrassing, but more than anything, I need someone to—help me.” She tips her head toward me, her expression serious. “Not just with the kids, but with life. The kids keep me so busy, and so does my husband, and I can’t stay focused half the time. I just need someone to help me stay organized.”
“I could probably do that,” I murmur, clutching my hands together. I can feel sweat start to form on the back of my neck, my entire body stiff with nerves and…anticipation? Maybe I can help her if I don’t need to chase after children all the time.
“Oh, that is exactly what I needed to hear. I’m a frantic mess most of the time lately, and it stresses me out. And when I’m stressed out, my kids get stressed out, and then no one’s happy.” She takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. “I’d need you to be discreet, though. Our private life is exactly that. Private. I’d need you to sign a non-disclosure agreement and everything. I hope that’s okay with you.”
She’s talking like I already have the job. I can’t be that lucky. “I don’t mind. I’m here for you if you hire me. Whatever you need me to do, I’ll do it. I just—I really need this job.”
“Well, I really need someone to help me, so it looks like you and I could help each other.” Her smile is gentle. “Trust me, most of the time I feel like I’m a total sham. So whatever you can do to make my life easier, I’m all for it.”
My mouth drops open. She really believes she’s a total sham? She’s so poised, so calm and self-possessed. “Women all over the country admire you. You have it all. A handsome, successful husband, two beautiful children, a gorgeous house.”
I look around, taking in the room we’re sitting in. I assume it’s her office, and it’s immaculate. White and airy, it’s my dream office come to life, not that I even realized I wanted a home office, considering I’m only nineteen. There are photos on every available flat surface featuring her children and husband, not that I can blame her. If I were married to that man, I wouldn’t want him out of my sight. Ever. He’s painfully handsome.