The Billionaire's Secret Babies

By: Penny Wylder



My throat is starting to close up. I can’t face the idea of not having this job. This steady paycheck. The whole reason I decided, after months and years of deliberating, that I could handle having a baby. I hadn’t planned on two – but they’re my miracle babies. My everything.

What the hell am I going to do now?





2





It’s been two weeks. Two weeks of panic, fear, worry. I crouch beside the crib watching Luca and Lucie sleep. Luca sleeps with his thumb in his mouth, and Lucie sleeps with her hand tangled in Luca’s hair. They’ve both already got half a head of jet-black hair, just like mine but wavier. It’s funny, they look so similar, but already in just five months they’re developing their own personalities. Lucie is the clingy one – she cries anytime Luca is out of her sight, and she won’t fall asleep unless I’m holding her. Luca is more independent, though he still relies on his sister to show him how to do everything, like pick up a rattle or pull my hair.

I didn’t expect these guys. When I finally decided, a little over a year ago, to go to the clinic on my own, I was expecting one baby. One perfect baby, from whomever my mystery donor was.

I didn’t want to pick the father of my children out of a photo book – that just felt too weird, like shopping for an internet bride. I asked the nurses to recommend somebody, and they told me they had the perfect donor in mind.

That donor turned out to be a little too perfect, at least in the fertility department. Next thing I knew, I was at my ultrasound appointment being told they’d detected not one, but two heartbeats.

Now, though? Now I couldn’t imagine my life without both Lucie and Luca. They are my world, my everything, and I’m so happy that everything turned out the way it did.

At least, everything except my stupid asshole ex-employer.

I sigh under my breath and lean in to brush Lucie’s hair out of her eyes. I need to get back to my applications. I’ve been applying to every job I can find, for anything I’m even vaguely qualified for. Secretary positions, office manager positions, personal assistant jobs, even some babysitting gigs. But even for babysitting, I’ve been asked for a résumé a mile long, plus dedicated free hours late in the evenings and on weekends. I can’t do that, not with the twins to look out for. It’ll cost me as much to babysit for someone else as I’d spend on hiring a nanny to watch my kids while I’m away – and by then, what’s the point?

I rub my temples. I have enough in savings to tide us over for a couple of months. I had 6 months expenses set aside for me and one baby – but I didn’t expect to be caring for two kids. I’m screwed if I don’t find a job in the next couple of weeks.

Regretfully, since I hate to leave them, I tiptoe out of the kids’ room. It’s a nice room, painted a cheery yellow, with two cribs (though they cry unless I let them sleep in the same single crib anyway). I won’t be able to afford a space like this soon. My landlord will evict me, I’ll have to move back in with my mother – and the very thought of her makes my skin crawl.

I refuse to let her around the kids without supervision. Not if she’s going to treat them the way she treated me. She used to leave me alone for hours at a time, hopping off to parties or disappearing for weeks to trail some new guy she just met and his band. I was taking care of myself by age six. I refuse to let that happen to my children. Not on my watch.

I boot up my ancient laptop and scroll once more through the local help-wanted ads. I’ve got at least seven different sites open on my browser, but each one offers less openings than the last. It’s all I can do not to tug my hair out or scream.

One of the sites links out to a new board, just for people who live in this area, on the outskirts of Austin. It’s a place to post positions that you want, so that anyone hiring can contact you.

Well. Worth a shot, I figure. I cast a glance over the screen at the children’s room, thinking for a second I hear them stirring.

Whatever will get me a job, I figure.

I fill out a post, advertising my availability for Personal assistant/secretary/jack-of-all-trades positions. I attach my résumé and add some details about myself. It asks for a photo too – must be recent, it says, for some reason. But I figure, no reason to hide who I am. Any position that will work for me right now needs to be flexible about my kids.

So I choose a picture from last month, just before I was fired. It’s me with Luca balanced on one arm and Lucie on the other, all three of us grinning at the camera. It’s the only photo I have where both of them looked at the right place at the right time, and my hair even looks decent in it, which is a miracle lately, given the whole I have twin babies thing.

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