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Nanny for the Neighbors: Chapter 6


Seb appears immediately, slamming out of his room and coming to look over my shoulder. I show him the nappy. “This is wrong, right?”

Cami’s poop is green. It was a normal colour this morning. I don’t understand. We’ve had the girl less than a day, and we’ve already made her sick. Is it something we fed her?

As we study her, Cami starts screaming even louder, her fists flying through the air.

Sebastian nods sharply. “I would say so, yes.” He straightens, reaching for his phone. “I’ll call a doctor.”

“It’s the middle of the night,” I remind him, grabbing the wipes and cleaning Cami up like Beth taught us. “Shh, shh. It’s okay, baby. I know you feel sick. You’ll feel better soon.” I try stroking her tiny foot. Her bottom lip trembles as she sobs. Fuck. How are we so bad at this?

“I’ll take her to A&E,” Seb declares.

I fix the tapes on Cami’s new nappy. “You can’t. What do you think they’ll do when they find out you’re not on her birth certificate? Or you don’t know her health history?”

He swears. I pick up Cami, trying to bounce her like Beth did. Her face is bright red as she roars. “Christ.” I touch her cheek. “She’s crying so much. Do you think she’s in pain?”

Seb goes white. “Get Bethany. Tell her to come back. She’s looked after infants before, she’ll know what to do.”

I nod. “Right. Yeah. On it.” I give Cami a kiss, and then set her down gently in her car seat, grabbing my keys and dashing out of the flat.

I feel like an absolute knob as I knock on Beth’s door. The hallway is dark and silent; all of the other tenants have obviously gone to bed.

“Beth?” I call quietly, knocking harder. “Are you in there? It’s me again.” I wince.

There’s some low shuffling sounds. “Ugh. Crap. Coming!” she calls, her voice croaky. I hear light footsteps as she gets out of bed, and then the click of the lock. My little prepared speech dies in my mouth as she pushes open the door.

God, she looks adorable. Her red curls are rumpled around her face, and she’s wearing cherry-print pajama pants and a white tank top. Without a bra. I force myself to keep my eyes fiercely locked on her face, but I can’t help noticing how the thin, stretchy fabric clings to the soft curve of her cleavage.

Normal people would be pissed to be woken up in the middle of the night, but Beth just smiles, leaning in the doorway. “Hi. Fancy seeing you here.” She smothers a yawn.

“Sorry we keep meeting like this,” I say. “But Cami is sick.”

She frowns, suddenly looking more alert. “Really? She seemed perfect when I left. What’s wrong with her?”

“Her poop is green. And she won’t stop crying.”

Her shoulders relax. “Oh, that’s just the formula, honey. You’ve switched brands, it’s digesting differently. That’s all.” She rubs her eyes. She’d been wearing makeup earlier, and now, with her face washed clean, I can see a faint sparkling of freckles across her nose. Her eyebrows and eyelashes are practically transparent, and her lips are a very pale pink.

She’s gorgeous.

There’s a muffled wail from upstairs, and we both look up at the ceiling. Beth smiles. “Sounds like she’s unhappy,” she says. “Might be time for another feed, if she’s crying so much.”

I groan, thinking of the bug report waiting for me upstairs. It’s too much. There’s no way I can get the errors fixed by tomorrow morning if I have to spend all night stressing over Cami.

“Look,” I say, feeling terrible. “What’s your overnight rate? I’ll triple it if you can just come upstairs and look after her tonight. We don’t have a guest room, but our sofa is super comfortable. I just…” I sigh. “I really need to work tonight.”

She smiles sweetly. “It’s fine. I’ll help. You don’t need to pay me.”

“Of course we’ll pay you—”

She shakes her head. “You’re clearly overwhelmed, and I’m your neighbor. I don’t mind helping you out. And I think I’d quite like to have a favour to call in with you guys.” She grabs her phone and toes on a pair of slippers. They have little bunny ears on them. They’re adorable. “Maybe when the next season of Love Island comes out, I can come up and watch it on your huge wide-screen telly, or something.”

“Beth, if you help us with this kid, you can use our TV whenever you like.”

Her eyes sparkle. “You know it’s on six nights a week, right? For two straight months?”

“Don’t care,” I say honestly.

She gives me a little smile, locking her door behind her. “Lead the way.”

When we make it back up to the room, Beth quickly warms up a bottle and starts feeding Cami. The baby goes quiet as soon as she gets the teat in her mouth, drinking happily, her big brown eyes looking around the room. She’s the picture of health, and I feel like a total idiot. I leave Beth cooing softly to her and head to the laundry room to find some clean bedding.


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