Will’s a widower with three little girls, including six month old twins, to look after. Most days it’s all Will can do just to get home from his advertizing job in time for goodnight kisses, but now his mother-in-law is leaving the country with her new boyfriend and Will needs the help of a professional nanny.
Benji loves being a nanny; looking after other people’s kids is the next best thing to having his own, and as a gay man, he figures it’s as close as he’s going to get. He’s between jobs and is thrilled when he gets the call from Mannies Incorporated to interview with Will's family.
He falls in love with the girls right away, but also finds himself attracted to their father. Benji knows he shouldn’t moon over his boss, especially when Will desperately really needs his services as a nanny, but he can’t help but wonder what it would be like to have a family of his own.
Benji sat at the kitchen table, laptop open to a job finder website. He'd been looking for a job for three months and if he didn't get something soon, he'd have to start searching for something as a stopgap. He'd have to look at his budget again. He was careful with his money because he knew being a nanny wasn't necessarily consistent work. He loved it though. He loved looking after kids, being a part of a family.
His first job had ended when Anna had lost her job, the second when the man Sylvia married didn't want a male nanny looking after his half of the blended family.
He drank his coffee and moved on to the next website. God, years of schooling, of training in first aid, in education, in psychology, and it was the fact that he had a dick that kept him from working as much as Jane or Megan. Sylvia's kids had been cool little dudes, too. He missed them. Hell, he missed having any little ones in his life, missed working. Missed having a purpose.
His cell phone started ringing, vibrating and buzzing on the table, rattling loud. He grabbed it, glancing at the call display.
Shit. Shit, he'd signed up with them just over a week ago. That was fast.
Clearing his throat, he hit answer. "Hello?"
"Hi, there!" A chipper voice sounded. "Can I speak to Benji, please?"
"Speaking." Oh, please. Oh, please, let this be a job. Even if it was something temporary.
"Hey there, Benji. This is Slayde, from Mannies, Inc. You signed with us a while ago?"
"Yeah, I did. Good to hear from you, sir."
"Well, I hope it's good. I have a family in need of help immediately and I'm trying to locate the perfect person for them. You've worked with multiple children at once?"
"Yes, sir. I had three kids with my first family and twins with my last family." Immediately. Oh, God, he was so ready to be back at work. He got up and started to pace around his little apartment.
"Excellent. I have a family with six-month-old twins, a nearly three-year-old, a widowed father, and a grandmother about to leave the country."
Six-month-old twins, which meant recently widowed. That sucked. "They sound like they need some help. I'm willing and able."
"I don't suppose you're in a position to interview this afternoon?"
For a half second he considered saying he had to check his schedule or some such bullshit, but then he dismissed the thought. This family needed someone, and soon, so there was no need to play coy; he was either the right nanny for the job or he wasn't. "I am."
"Excellent. I'll email you the information to contact the Cavanaughs."
"Thank you very much, sir. Hopefully I'll be a good match."
"I hope so. We've sent a couple of people, but Mr. Cavanaugh has experienced a lot of life changes recently and needs someone who can handle a high-stress situation."
"I'll do my best, sir." High stress parents didn't bother him -- Anne and her husband had been high-powered execs. Stress hadn't begun to cover it. At least until Anne lost her job -- that had been a whole different kind of stress.
He hung up the phone and hit refresh on his email until the file came through.
Three little girls and a grieving father. The grandmother had been with them since the death of Mr. Cavanaugh's partner. It sounded like a handful, a challenge, but it wasn't anything he couldn't handle.
He called up the phone number so he could arrange an interview. The phone rang and rang, then a woman's voice answered. "Hello?"
"Good morning. My name is Benjamin Rafter. Slayde from Mannies, Inc. gave me your number to arrange an interview." The company would have forwarded his details to the family when they'd sent him the contact info for the Cavanaughs. Right?
"Oh, excellent. Yes, he said he'd found someone who understood twins?"
"Yes, I've worked with twins before. They're a wonderful challenge."
"They are. Can you stop by this afternoon? My son-in-law says he can stop by to meet you."
"That would work for me, ma'am. What time?"
"I'll be there."
He said his good-byes and hung up. He had to figure out what would be best to wear. God. He might have a job. He couldn't wait for it to be three thirty.
Sean Michael wrote a beautiful story of love and loss, and finding friendship where you least expect it.
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