Accidental Baby

By: Lara Swann

A Billionaire Secret Baby Romance

Chapter One


I raise myself out of the bath with a contented sigh, water and bubbles sliding down my legs as I reach for a towel and blow out the candles on the side.

God, I missed baths.

See, Ava? A bubble bath, a good book and some candles are better than a man any day.

Or maybe just one man in particular.

I shrug off the thought of Jackson before he manages to kill the nice warm buzz the bath has left me with, wrapping the towel around my body and tying my hair up with another.

I’m still trying to give myself similar messages of self-encouragement as I step out of the bathroom - and straight into Mom’s path as she appears in the stairway with a basket of folded laundry.

“Ah, sweetheart.” Mom starts talking immediately, her voice that familiar mix of warmth and concern I’ve come to know all too well over the last few months. “I know you said you weren’t hungry but I thought I’d set aside a plate in the fridge for you - just in case you change your mind. It’s waiting for you downstairs, and—”

“Do you want some help?” I say, hiding a smile at Mom’s never-ending attempts to feed me. I reach for the basket of laundry while also trying to hold the towel tight against myself, but she pulls back with a small smile and a shake of her head, eyes crinkling as she looks up at me.

“No, don’t worry about this, sweetie - this is just mine and your Dad’s. Your things are waiting for you on the bed - I wasn’t sure where you wanted them, so—”

“Oh, Mom.” I shake my head, feeling immediately guilty. “You didn’t have to—I was going to—”

“Nonsense, it’s no trouble. I’m just glad to have you back here with us for a bit.”

She says that as if I’m here for some other reason than the total break down of my life as I know it.

Dramatic, maybe, but also true.

“Thanks.” I say softly, trying not to sigh. It’s the least I can do for how nice they’re being about everything.

“Hey.” She says, blue eyes sparkling as she looks up at me. “You know, I was thinking maybe we should have a girls’ day out tomorrow - find a nice nail place, do a bit of shopping…that sort of thing.”

“Um, thanks Mom, but…well, I should really be doing some work, I think.”

And I’m not sure I can face another day of all that concern and pity. Or the idea that just because I don’t have a ‘real job’, I’m not working. Even if I guess it’s been pretty light recently…

Either way, this is starting to get too much. All the days out and distractions and attention were okay at first, but it’s been three months now and I don’t like the idea that she thinks I still need all of that - or the voice in the back of my mind that secretly wants to agree with her.

It’s not that I’m not over Jackson - really, I am. He had his reasons. They were kind of understandable, even though I still maintain he didn’t need to be a dick about it. But either way - it’s done.

Maybe I think about him a bit - maybe every day - but damn it, who wouldn’t after nine years together?

That doesn’t mean I want anything to do with him anymore.

No, I’m over Jackson.

I’m just not quite over…where it leaves the rest of my life.

I feel a little bit guilty as I turn Mom down, but she nods easily.

“Ah, yes, of course. Well, if you change your mind or need a break, just let me know - I’m not doing anything tomorrow.”

“Thanks, Mom.” I say again.

“I’ve got a few things to get done tonight.” She continues, her eyes sweeping over me with something too close to sympathy for my liking. “But your Dad is downstairs if you want him. He’s buried deep in all those papers about the civil war - but if you’re looking for something to do, I’m sure he could be swayed by a few games of scrabble.”

She grins at me and I try to smile back, something flip-flopping inside me as I do.

“Actually, um, that’s okay…I think I already had plans with Vicki.”

I squirm a little over the semi-lie but I’m pretty sure that within ten minutes I can turn it into the truth.