Bad Nanny (The Bad Nanny Trilogy #1)(7)

By: C.M. Stunich

I programmed my digits into your phone when you were in the bathroom. You're a fucking asshole, Zayden.

I scroll down to the next message.

I'll be back in town next weekend. Want to meet up?

I feel my lips curl back in a grin and then cringe when the baby lets out a piercing wail. What is it with kids and yelling all the time? I feel like I'm gonna go deaf here.

“Okay, Google,” I tell my phone. “How do you hold a baby?”

I tap my foot and play with my lip rings while I scroll through some idiotproof pics. Huh. Okay. Looks easy enough; I can do this.

“Alright, kid,” I say as I tuck my messy inked fingers under the baby's warm body. “Let's do this thing.” I heft the screeching bundle up to my chest and cradle it under my chin, glancing down at the phone screen and breezing through the rest of the instructions. “Stay confident and calm, huh? Well, I got that shit in spades.”

“You said the S-word,” Kinzie chortles from behind me. “You have to put a dollar in the curse jar.” I glance down at the little monster with its brown curls in pigtails and its face all scrunched up. Some people might think it's cute, but to me, it looks like a pink-overall-wearing demon.

“Like hell I am,” I say as I sneak my phone back into my pocket and make my way toward the stairs. “Listen, kid, but I'm here as favor to your mom, alright? I'm not putting money in any curse jar. What are you guys trying for, the ultimate TV family cliché? Lemme guess … you've got a chore chart and a soccer team, huh?”

“You'll put money in the curse jar or I'll scream and I won't stop.”

I turn back at the landing, already trying to puzzle out if this baby in my arms is supposed to drink from a bottle or if I can order in takeout and give it a piece of cut up pizza or something.

“Be my guest, cupcake,” I say with a smug smirk. What I've gotta do right now is establish boundaries with these kids, let 'em know who's boss. I'm a twenty-nine year old man, and let's be honest: I've never had any trouble with women before. The kid might be, like, seven or whatever, but I can still charm the heck outta her.

But then I notice the smile curling across her lips and the hair on the back of my neck stands straight up.

“Challenge. Accepted.”

By the end of the day, I've already dropped twenty bucks into the jar.

This is gonna be a long ass two weeks.

By the middle of day two, I am so over all of this. Being trapped in this nine hundred square foot duplex with the pot growing neighbors that live next door is beyond the point of torture. How any sane human being—particularly one as smart and cool as Mercedes—could live through this is just … well, it's a fuckin' mystery, man.

“We don't like this song,” Kinzie says, speaking for her brothers as they scream and flail against their booster seats in the back of the minivan. I've taken the liberty of removing Mercedes' iPod and replacing it with my own. I'll die before admitting this, but I want the kids to think I'm cool, so I put on some metal-rock-screaming-loud-whatever music instead of my usual pop tracks. The band that's on right now, Indecency or whatever they're called, has some really angry dude yelling about pain and heartache.

“Don't care,” I say as I follow what few memories I have left of this place and head towards Sequoia Park. It's next to the zoo and a duck pond and all that other kid shit. I figure I can let the little bastards run around here, burn some energy, and then go home and spend a hot, sweaty night sexting with Kitty. There is, like, no privacy with this many kids around. I have no idea when I'm gonna find a private moment to, you know, spank it if I don't get them to fall asleep in their own beds. “I'm the grown-up, and I don't want to listen to the Barney soundtrack.”

“Ugh. You are so old,” Kinzie spits, and I swear to Christ, she sounds like she's sixteen, not seven. “Nobody watches Barney anymore. I like Monster High.”

“Great. Well, too bad. This is what we're listening to. Get over it.”

I breathe a sigh of relief when I see the swing sets and the redwood trees come into view. I cannot wait to get some space to myself. Do babies play at parks? Do I hold it? Leave it in its stroller?

At least I can spend a few hours away from those damn chihuahuas.

“Alright, guys,” I say, trying to be cheerful as I switch off the screaming man on the stereo. At least his yelling sounds melodic. The twins are like, well, like devils or something. I try to pretend that they don't kind of look like I did at that age. “You are going to go play on the slide or whatever, and Uncle Zay is going to play on his phone for a little while. Won't this be fun?”

I let myself out and then start trying to unload brats.

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