If I could have one-tenth of the life that he’s had, I’d be happy.
And that’s the truth.
Two weeks into my job as the live-in nanny and sort of assistant to Fable and I’m freaking exhausted. Of course, I’ve never worked a job like this in my life ever (I’ve never worked a job ever, period), so that I’m still employed by the Callahans, especially after the last few days, is some sort of miracle.
Their children, while sweet and adorable and fun, are also a complete handful, just as Fable warned. Every single day, Autumn runs me ragged. She’s just so fast, zipping around the house, the yard, the park, the store, wherever we’re at. And she’s always getting into things. Jacob is kind of needy—but he’s a toddler, so I’m assuming all toddlers are needy. Plus, he really loves his mom. Like, he will full-on cry and demand to be with her the moment he spots her. When she’s not around, he’s content. But he catches sight of her and that’s it. He forgets all about me and cries for her.
He is definitely a mama’s boy.
But Fable steps in a lot and spends time with her children, just as I expected she would. She’s a good mom—gentle and patient and always willing to be with them as much as she can. Nothing like I remember my mom being when I was little. She wasn’t around much at all, and when she did spend time with my brother Gabe and me, it always felt like she treated us as if we were a burden, versus her actually wanting to be with us.
Even when I was a little kid, I could sense that.
I stopped acting star struck every time Drew came around pretty quickly. At first, I couldn’t help it. I’ve seen him on TV countless times, on the cover of Sports Illustrated—heck, both of them were on the cover of People magazine the year the Niners won the Super Bowl. It was hard at first to wrap my head around the fact that they’re real people who put their pants on one leg at a time, just like you and me. But they’re very real—and so nice.
Plus, Drew is just ridiculously good looking. The two of them together are such a striking couple. All I want to do is gawk whenever I see them. Their love for each other is so obvious. They kind of remind me of my brother and his girlfriend. Gabe and Lucy are totally in love and have no problem letting the world know it either. Thankfully I adore Lucy. Otherwise, the two of them would gross me out.
You know what doesn’t gross me out, though? How Drew always has his teammates over at the house when they’re not at practice. Big, hulking football players are constantly coming around, seeking advice on plays, about the coaches, how to handle the constant pressure to be the best. Most of them were looking for tips or just wanted to hang out. And Drew was always gracious. He never seemed to mind his teammates coming by.
Neither did I.
I had no idea I was drawn to big, beefy football players before. Those types of guys were never my thing. In high school, I didn’t pay attention to the jocks. I thought they were obnoxious jerks most of the time. But these guys who play on Drew’s team, they’re gorgeous. And they seem nice too, especially one in particular.
He’s at the house right now, sitting outside by the pool and chatting with Drew, their expressions deadly serious. I’m standing in front of the sink in the kitchen, rinsing out sippy cups before I set them in the dishwasher and staring out the window over the sink that faces the backyard.
Spying on them, I guess. I can’t help it. Wade is always around, yet I never really get a chance to talk to him. I only know a few facts, and these I’ve gleaned from Fable without being too obvious I’m digging for information. But I do know this:
He’s Fable’s brother’s best friend.
He’s twenty-two years old.
He’s a newly chosen wide receiver for the 49ers.
Fable thinks the world of him.
I let the warm water run over my hands as I stare out the window, my gaze locked on Wade. He’s tall and broad and muscular. His dark brown hair is overgrown, like he needs a haircut but doesn’t care enough to get one. But the look works for him, because his hair curls around his gorgeous face and the back of his neck, and it looks soft. Makes me want to touch it.
His eyes are brown and warm, and he has this intense way when he looks at me. Like he sees right through me, which is sort of intimidating and exhilarating, all at once. He’s big and broad, with shoulders as wide as a mountain and arms that look like they could crush me if he squeezed just a little too hard. His mouth is full but he doesn’t smile often enough, and he has a jawline that looks like it could cut glass, it’s so sharp.
“Hey, isn’t California currently in major drought conditions?”
Fable’s teasing voice breaks through my thoughts, and I hurriedly shut off the water, embarrassed that I got caught watching the guys outside. “Sorry. Got distracted,” I mumble as I open the dishwasher and set all of the sippy cups and their lids in the top rack.
“Understandable.” Fable leans against the kitchen counter, smiling at me. “Please tell me you were checking out Wade.”
“I wasn’t,” I automatically say. I don’t want her to think I’m only here to ogle all the guys that are constantly hanging around. It’s definitely an unexpected benefit, but I don’t want her to think poorly of me. “I was just…staring off into space. And thinking.” I shut the dishwasher door and grab a towel, quickly wiping down the sink before I throw the towel in the dish drain.
“Uh huh.” The knowing smirk on her face makes me feel guilty. “Wade is single, you know.”
“No, I didn’t know.” I’m sure girls throw themselves at Wade on a constant basis. He’s a newly minted professional football player. The world is his oyster or however that dumb saying goes. He could have anyone he wants—he’s that good looking. I’m a nobody. A dumb girl who’s made a lot of mistakes and is now paying for them by having to get a job and take care of herself rather than rely on her parents’ money.
Though supposedly that’s going to make me stronger—at least, according to my parents. But right now, I don’t feel stronger. I feel weak and useless and I worry most of the time I got this job only out of pity. The Callahans only interviewed me as a favor for a friend of a friend of my brother’s.
Sad but true.
“He’s such a good guy, though he’s never really had someone steady in his life—a girlfriend,” Fable continues. Both of her children are napping and that’s when we usually talk. Or we go to her office and try to organize her schedule, which is a big job considering she practically lives and dies by her schedule. She’s a planner, and I get it. With everything on her plate, she needs to be. But we’re easily distracted. Sometimes we get right down to business, and other times we gossip a little bit, though right now she seems to want to talk about…