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Nanny for the Neighbors: Chapter 20


Cyrus leans in the doorway and looks between us, smirking. He’s obviously just been to the gym; his dark hair is damp, and he’s dressed in a light grey tank top soaked with sweat. I very pointedly don’t look at his hard, gleaming biceps.

“I thought you were home,” Jack comments, drawing a circle on my thigh. I try to scoot away from him, embarrassed, but he just tightens his grip on me, his eyes heating.

Cyrus kicks off his shoes. “Got called out for a party. I crashed at the girls’ place for a few hours.” He dumps his gym bag on the floor, stretches, then looks down at us both. “Room for one more?” He asks, eyes twinkling cheekily.

I blink. “Sorry, what?”

Jack sighs. “God. Don’t start. That’s what got us into this whole mess in the first place.”

“And we got the cutest baby alive out of it. I’d call that a win, personally.” He yawns, rubbing a hand through his hair.

I frown. “I’m sorry, did I miss something?”

Cyrus crosses the room and slumps down onto the sofa next to me. Jack huffs as he drops his head in my lap, stretching his legs across the sofa cushions. “Can you show me how to make that apple mush, sugar?” He mumbles into my thigh. Heat rolls through me, making my stomach flip.

Jack squeezes my shoulder and stands. “More tea?” He asks, taking my mug.

“Um. No, thanks.” I turn to Cyrus. He’s pressed his cheek into my bare thigh. “You don’t really need to do anything, you just boil apples and blend them up.”

Cyrus mumbles something I don’t even understand. His eyes flutter closed. I stare at him as he falls asleep, a few pieces of dark hair curling over his forehead.

“Uh,” I say. “You okay?”

No response. His breathing deepens and evens out. “Um. Cy is asleep on me,” I say to Jack.

“Technically, you’re in his spot. He loves sleeping on the sofa. Just roll him off you, if you don’t want him there.”

“I wouldn’t say that.” It’s quite nice having him draped across me. Like having a pet cat curled up in my lap. “Does he go out every night?”

Jack hesitates. “Most of them. Five or six nights a week, probably.”

Jesus. How does he have the energy?”

Cy shifts slightly, and I automatically start running a hand through his hair. It’s probably the nicest hair I’ve ever seen on a guy: thick and silky, so black it’s almost blue under the light. I brush some away from his forehead and notice him smirking up at me.

“You’re not even bloody sleeping, you knob.”

“I will if you keep petting me.” He stretches luxuriously, looking up at me through his long lashes. “You’re really comfy, sugar.”

I glance up at Jack, concerned. Oddly, he doesn’t seem annoyed or jealous at all, smiling as he roots around in the cupboards. That’s weird, right? I mean, I kissed him less than sixty seconds ago, but he’s okay with his roommate burrowing into my thigh like a sleepy kitten?

Then again, Cyrus is clearly very tactile. Maybe he’s like this with everybody. He might not even be flirting.

“Do you want to go on a date tonight?” Cy says lazily, reaching up to tug one of my curls.

Nevermind, then.

I stare at him. “I… with you?”

He snorts. “I’m not asking for Jack. Although he can come if he wants.”

Jack raises his mug. “Thanks, mate. I’ll take you up on that.”

“Never say I’m not generous.” Cyrus stretches in my lap, rolling out his shoulders with a small, pleased sound.

I sputter, looking between the two men. “I—are you serious?”

“As a heart attack.”

“You’re asking me on a double-date… but with only me?”

“I guess so.” He tosses me a sideways glance. “You can say no. I won’t be offended. Well, no, I will, but somehow I’ll persevere through the pain.”

“No!” I say, too suddenly. “I mean, yes!” Both guys crack up. “I mean. I don’t get it.”

“What’s there to get?” Jack asks, casually sipping his tea. “You’ve been on dates before. It’s the exact same thing, but with twice as many men.”


Cami whimpers a few feet away in her cot, and Cyrus finally sits up. “It’s okay, ladybug,” he calls, looking around. “Where’s your bunny?”

“She doesn’t want the bunny,” Jack argues. “She’s missing her lion.”

“Where’s Cami’s bunny, babe?” Cyrus asks, ignoring him.

I pass it to him and watch blankly as he leans over me, tickling Cami’s face with its fuzzy tail. I’m being so stupid. I totally forgot about Anisha. They all slept with her. ‘Simultaneously’, according to Cyrus. So I guess the guys are used to sharing.

Is that what they’re suggesting now?

The thought sends heat flushing up to my cheeks. Images flash through my mind. Me sitting in Cyrus’s lap, kissing Jack. Me sprawled across my bed, wedged between them both. Me kneeling on the floor, one man in my mouth, and one with his face between my legs.


Cyrus shifts next to me. I’m suddenly aware of how close we are. His muscled arm is pressed against mine. “Don’t overthink it,” he says quietly. “Do you want to go out with us both?”

“Yes,” I say immediately.

“Great.” He leans forward and brushes his hot lips lightly over my cheek. “That’s settled, then. We’ll pick you up at eight, yeah? Seb will be home by then, he can babysit.”

“You can’t babysit your own child,” I point out. “He’s her dad. He should be looking after her.”

“God, you’re cute.” He presses another kiss to my cheek, then stands, heading over to Cami’s crib. “Come on, ladybug,” he says, heaving her up into his arms. “I need help picking out my outfit for tonight. I bet you’ve got a great fashion sense, huh?”

She wraps her arms around his neck, kicking her legs. I watch him leave, my heart pounding. Anticipation curls in my stomach.

I am very much looking forward to tonight.

Unfortunately, the rest of the day doesn’t exactly go to plan.

I first notice something’s wrong when I get Cami up for dinner. She wakes up teary-eyed and fuzzy, and immediately starts crying. When I pick her up and press my lips to her cheek, I frown. Her skin feels too hot. I touch her cheek, then her forehead, then carry her into the hallway and knock on Jack’s bedroom door. “Jack?”

“Yeah?” He calls, his voice muffled by the wood.

“Do you guys have a thermometer?”

There’s some clattery sounds from inside his bedroom, and then his head pops out. “What?” He runs his eyes over my face. “Are you not feeling well?”

I’m fine. But Cami’s feeling a bit warm to me. I think she might have a little fever.”

His eyes widen. He falls out of his bedroom door and practically sprints over to the bathroom, pulling open the cupboard over the sink. He stirs around inside, then hands me an infrared thermometer laser gun.

“Fancy.” I hold it over her forehead and press the button. When it vibrates, I check the reading. 38. “Yeah, she’s got a fever. But not a really bad one.” I kiss her head. “Poor baby. You don’t feel too good, huh?”

Fuck,” he swears, then shoots me an apologetic look. “Shit. Sorry.” He takes Cami from me and pulls her into a tight hug, rubbing his cheek against hers. She mewls. “What’s wrong with her?” He demands.

“She doesn’t have any other symptoms, and she’s eating fine. She’s just fussy and a bit tired.” I kiss her cheek. “It’s probably just a cold. She might have picked it up at the paediatrician’s.”

“Can you stay tonight?” He pretty much begs. “Please? I know we planned to go out, but—”

I’m already nodding. “Of course. We can reschedule for some other time.”

I’m sure Cami will be fine; between babysitting my foster siblings and nannying, I’ve looked after countless babies with fevers, and only one ever needed medical treatment. But I have a strong feeling that if I leave the boys with Cami, they’ll be calling an ambulance before the hour is up. Not that I can blame them. All new parents panic when their kids get sick.

Still clutching at Cami, Jack pulls out his phone and starts typing frantically on the screen.

I rub my eyes. “Please tell me you’re not googling it—”

“It says if they have a fever and they’re under six months you should call a doctor!”

“And she’s not under six months,” I point out patiently.

“Only by a few weeks! What difference will that make?” He keeps scrolling, and his mouth drops open. “It says fevers can cause seizures in babies—”

“Febrile seizures, yeah. They don’t tend to be dangerous, honey.”

“But they can be, right?”

I take his phone off him. “Don’t look at that. It’s very unlikely that will happen to her, and even if it does, I’m trained in infant first aid, remember? If she needs to go to the hospital, I will tell you. But it is incredibly likely that she just has a cold. There’s no point subjecting her to a hospital waiting room, and a bunch of strangers and jabs, if she doesn’t need all of that.”

He nods, rubbing the back of his neck. “Yeah. Yeah. Okay.”

He still looks unconvinced. I slide my arms around his waist and hug him tight, feeling his heart pound against my cheek. “She’ll be okay,” I murmur into his shirt.

He hugs me back. Cami wriggles between us, snuffling, and he kisses her cheek.

“I’ll call Cyrus,” he says. “He’s going to be disappointed. He was really looking forward to tonight.”

“Me, too,” I tell him honestly. “But we can postpone.” We pull apart, and I tickle Cami’s cheek. “Now let’s get this little ladybug some medicine, huh?”


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