“No, no, no. I want you Wade. Please, please, please?” Autumn literally bats her eyelashes at him.
She’s good. And she’s only four.
“Let’s make a deal,” I say to Autumn after Wade shoots me a terrified look. “I’ll put Jacob to bed while you pick out a nightgown. Then I’ll start your bath and Wade can help us. Sounds good?”
Autumn nods, her smile big. She appears awfully pleased with herself. “Sounds great.” She glances up at Wade once more. “Will you help me pick out my nightgown?”
“Sure,” he says easily, though I get the distinct feeling he’s uncomfortable with the entire situation. I’d bet money he doesn’t interact with small children very often.
Autumn squirms in his arms and he sets her on his feet. She shoots off, giggling as she calls over her shoulder, “Come on, Uncle Wade, come on!”
His freaked out gaze meets mine and I shrug, unable to contain my amusement. “You heard her. Go on, Uncle Wade.”
He offers me a sheepish smile and then follows Autumn. I fall into step after them, my gaze snagging on Wade’s perfect butt. I mean seriously, the man has such a perfect body he probably makes angels weep with joy. My fingers literally itch to reach out and touch him.
But I don’t. Instead, I take a still-sleeping Jacob to his room, where I quickly change him and tuck him into bed. He never really wakes up and I’m thankful. He may get fussy when his mom isn’t around, but once he falls asleep, he’s usually out for the night.
Once I finish with Jacob, I go to the kids’ bathroom and start up the water in the tub, adding some bubble bath liquid. Autumn drags Wade into the room within minutes of my arrival, a pleased expression on her face. “I picked my Cinderella nightgown,” she says, waving it at me.
“Good choice.” I nod my approval and take the thin gown from her, placing it on the counter. “We should brush your hair first before you get into the bath, don’t you think?”
She frowns and props her elbows on the marble counter. Our gazes meet in the mirror’s reflection and she pouts. “Do I have to?”
“We need to get the stick out of your hair,” I remind her.
Autumn tugs it out of her baby fine hair with a grimace and then hands it up to me. “Ta da! I did it, Sydney! All by myself!”
The stick has strands of wispy brown hair stuck to it. I take it from her and deposit it in the tiny trashcan. “Good job.” I’m really glad she didn’t pull more hair out of her head.
She giggles. “It wasn’t hard. I just wanted to help.”
“And you’re a great helper, so thank you.” I smile at her, then offer one to Wade. He crosses his arms in front of his wide chest, his eyes sparkling with amusement as he studies me.
I wonder if he likes what he sees.
Wade continues watching us as he leans against the doorjamb while Autumn and I talk. She’s a decent conversationalist, with always something to say and I listen to her as I finish brushing her hair. She sheds her clothes and hops into the bathtub, giggling when the bubbles I poured in earlier puff up around her.
I just finish washing her hair when my phone rings. My hands are completely submersed in the water and my phone is in the back pocket of my jeans, so I can’t really answer it. I look over my shoulder, my gaze meeting Wade’s.
“Want me to get that?” he asks, his eyebrows rising.
“Um, my phone is in my back pocket.” My cheeks go hot just saying it, which is so stupid. But he flusters me. His nearness, the way he’s quietly observing us, I can’t help but wonder what he’s thinking.
“I’ll grab it for you.” He comes toward the tub, kneels down behind me and slowly slips my phone out of my jeans’ pocket, his fingers brushing against my backside, his fingers seeming to trail across my jeans.
Did he touch me extra slow on purpose? Am I imagining things, or did his fingers seem to linger? I’m suddenly hyper aware of his close proximity, how he just touched me so intimately…
Okay, I need to get over myself. He grabbed my phone for me, for the love of God. He’s trying to help me out. That’s it. I’m totally overreacting.
I turn away from him, focusing on Autumn as she wiggles her fingers in the water, making it ripple. I hear Wade as he rises to his feet, shifting so he’s standing right next to me and I glance over at him.
“It’s Drew,” Wade says when he spots the name flashing across the screen. “Want me to answer it?”
“Please,” I say just as Autumn screams, “Daddy!” and smacks the water with the palms of her hands, splashing it onto my chest. My T-shirt immediately clings to my breasts, making me look like a lame wet T-shirt contest entrant.
Wade answers my phone, quiet as he listens to whatever Drew’s telling him. He then pulls the phone away from his ear and points it toward me. “He wants to talk to you.”
I dry my hands on a towel and go to Wade. He hands me the phone, our fingers brushing, his gaze dropping to my wet chest for the briefest moment. I know he just checked out my chest. What did he think?
Ugh, I shouldn’t care what he thinks. Nothing is going to happen between us, right? I need to focus on my job and not the muscular, sexy football player who’s eating up all the space of this decent sized bathroom just with his mere presence.
Pushing all thoughts of Wade’s eyes on my boobs and his hands on my butt aside, I bring the phone to my ear and listen to Drew.