The Holiday Nanny

The Holiday Nanny by Lois Richer

Book: The Holiday Nanny by Lois Richer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lois Richer
family.”
    â€œWho is that?”
    â€œI don’t know—yet,” he admitted. “But I’ll find them.”
    â€œAnd how will they be her true family?” Connie asked, keeping her voice low enough that even if Silver awakened, she wouldn’t be able to hear. “Does she know any of them as she knows you, has known you all her life?”
    â€œShe’ll learn to know them, to love them.” His body shifted, his shoulders hunched forward in a defensive state, though he was probably unaware of it. “Children are adaptable.”
    â€œSilver has a great capacity for love, yes,” Connie agreed.
    â€œBut that also leaves her terribly vulnerable to being hurt by those she cares most about. You,” she added.
    â€œI won’t ever hurt her” was Wade’s fierce response. Then his voice altered, evidencing his frustration. “I’ll just tell her that I’m not really her father, that there was a mistake.”
    â€œIn what world would that make it better for Silver?” Disgust, frustration and anger spilled together and spurted inside Connie’s heart like a geyser of pure acid. “To Silver you are her father. To be rejected—”
    â€œI’m not rejecting her!” Wade spat out angrily.
    Connie grasped his arm and drew him to the far side of the yard, so they wouldn’t disturb the child. Wade followed her lead, but he clearly was not happy.
    â€œYou insist on attributing the worst possible motives to me. I don’t want to send her to someone else,” he insisted.
    â€œDon’t you?” Connie wasn’t ready to let him off the hook. “Wouldn’t that make it easier for you?”
    â€œNo!” He glared at her. “How could that be easier?”
    â€œBecause you wouldn’t have to risk losing her once you’d let yourself love her.”
    â€œI—” The words seemed to shock him into silence. Or else Wade was so furious that he couldn’t speak. Either way, he let his angry gaze do the talking.
    â€œI know you think it’s none of my business, but I care about her.”
    â€œIt is none of your business,” Wade gritted.
    â€œIt is because Silver trusts me. I don’t want to see her get hurt.” She studied him for a moment. “My former fiancé was a lot like you.”
    â€œReally? The lawyer?” He was deliberately goading her now.
    Connie ignored his tone.
    â€œYes.”
    â€œHow?” Wade challenged.
    â€œHe said all the right things, did all the right things. He seemed like he would be the perfect husband, just like you seem the perfect father. You give Silver lovely gifts, nice clothes, expensive schooling.”
    â€œWhat’s wrong with that?”
    â€œNothing.” She wouldn’t release his gaze from hers.
    â€œThen?” Wade sounded totally exasperated.
    â€œMy fiancé offered material things, too. A beautiful diamond ring, a lovely home, fancy places we were supposed to travel to.” She smiled at him. “Except the real man showed himself, and his pretend love was nothing but a sham. It became obvious that he never really loved me at all.”
    â€œI don’t think the comparison is valid, but do go on,” Wade ordered tersely.
    â€œHis concern that I not wear myself out caring for Billy?” She shook her head. “That was really concern that he wouldn’t get all my attention and that I wouldn’t be there, free to do whatever he wanted when he wanted.”
    â€œYou make him sound selfish.” Wade crossed his arms over his chest.
    â€œI don’t make him sound that way. He was.” Connie shrugged. “His loss, because what he couldn’t see was that Billy would have enriched his life far beyond the precious few moments he cost. He would have gained infinitely more if he’d stopped being afraid.”
    â€œSo I’m afraid?”
    Connie met his gaze and

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