Daddy Issues: A single dad romance

A single billionaire, a young nanny, and a surprise baby.

My life was ordered. Smooth and neat like my scotch. I had arranged relationships with a beginning and end. No romantic attachments was my motto.
Then I met Maggie. A beautiful, young woman trying to find her place in the gritty world of Manhattan. She deserved more than a jaded man like me, so I let her walk away.
But fate stepped in and an ex-lover surprised me with a baby she claimed was mine. Desperate I hired a well-recommended nanny sight unseen. When she knocked at the door of my penthouse, I opened it to find Maggie standing on the other side.
I watched Maggie lovingly care for my child and wanted to learn to be a father to my daughter. But having Maggie so close was dangerous. She was a terrifying ray of sunshine that threatened to thaw my frozen heart.
I needed her for my child.
At least that’s what I told myself.



After finishing my workout, I grabbed a towel and wiped away the sweat of yesterday’s sins, even as they were still laying asleep in my bed. I walked toward my gym’s wall of windows and caught the first rays of sun lighting up the eastern horizon, awakening Manhattan from its slumber.

People would call me lucky to start my morning with such a spectacular view. But all I saw before me was another day I had to plaster on my perfected game face—conquer my demons until time recycled into another sunrise and the masquerade started all over again.

I closed my eyes, trying to delete the sad philosophical track stuck on repeat. I needed to focus, unleash the power inside me, and all the other crap, self-help mantras I’d heard on late night infomercials. Those shows worked for one thing only: helping insomniacs fall asleep.

“Excuse me, sir.” A perfect distraction from my thoughts presented itself. It appeared my workday was starting early.

I spun toward the door where my personal assistant stood in a black suit and politician red tie, his trusty tablet in hand. It was like looking at a snapshot from a Brooks Brother ad campaign—minus the megawatt smile.

He graduated from Penn’s prestigious Wharton School of Business. I selected him because his middle name was Ambition. I also paid him more than his classmates, who were still slugging it out at underperforming hedge funds, hoping to save the day and catch the owner’s eye. My assistant’s one page non-disclosure agreement summed up our relationship—if he fucked with me, it would be the last time he got his jollies off in this town.

“Yes, Jared.” My response was curt and to the point.

I didn’t like being caught off guard, or when he entered my domain without notice. I reigned as king of this castle in the sky. My feet shuffled toward him as he swiped away on his tablet, his brows knitted in concentration.

“Your father called an emergency meeting this morning.”

Jared glanced up at me. I thought he was smarter than tossing a bomb in my direction when I was close enough to land a punch on his smooth jaw. His eyes scanned over my face for a fracture or tiny fissure, but I’d learned to hide the simmering anger behind my eyes at the mention of dear old dad. Though I couldn’t stop my shoulders from tightening, or my hand from forming a fist.

I exhaled a deep breath laced with years of resentment, choosing to change the narrative and focus on how Jared ended up standing here in my gym without my assistance.

“I suppose that would explain you entering the penthouse without even knocking.” Sarcasm concealed the concern stirring up inside me.

“I did knock.”

I lifted a brow, waiting for him to continue. A slight tip of his lips cracked through his usual concrete, stick-up-his-ass demeanor.

“Barbie answered the door.”

“Did she?” I scoffed thinking of Barbie greeting Jared fresh out of my bed.

I breezed past him and headed down the hallway to my soulless granite and stainless steel kitchen. The heels of his Italian shoes clicked against the marble floors behind me.

“Yes. She was on her way out I believe.”

“Well, at least she was fully dressed.” Not that he would care. He would be more interested in her brother, if she had one.

“Find out what he wants. I don’t plan on walking into the meeting unprepared. And make me my usual protein shake. I’ll be ready in fifteen.”

“Yes, sir.” The bedroom door shut as his words made it to my ear.

The sheets on the empty bed twisted and turned like a river running through a canyon. My daily maid would change the bedding, removing all remnants of last night. It gave her something to do besides search the penthouse for a speck of dust.

I entered my bathroom and walked toward the reason I’d purchased this apartment—the million-dollar shower.

The shower’s wall was floor to ceiling glass with an unobstructed view of the outside world. My building stood on the south end of Central Park, filling my sight with trees and green grass for over fifty blocks.

If I believed in a God, this would be my church, water running over me like a baptism, washing away my sins, and the heavens almost within reach. I’d never shared this sacred haven with anyone.

Twenty minutes later, I was dressed in a dark blue suit and coordinating tie, downing my protein drink in the backseat of my personal sedan. My driver sailed down the lanes of West Side Highway toward my office on Wall Street, the world’s money mecca.

My family’s business paid homage by keeping the gears of capitalism turning. It’s made generations of our family filthy rich. But our souls were as worthless as the buy-and-sell cards trampled underfoot on the exchange floor.

My sister, Chloe, was the one exception to the Shaw family madness. Her heart wasn’t stained with betrayal and lies, and I promised myself daily to keep her innocent of our family’s deceit.

Jared sat on the opposite end of the luxury leather backseat. He barked into his phone as he tried to find out the reason for the meeting. Sweat formed above his brow as answers eluded him. Even my father’s personal assistant, Doreen, who’s been with him for twenty-five years, claimed to have no clue.

I tapped my forefinger in a slow, rhythmic pattern on the armrest. Sometimes I won at the games my father played, but today felt like a loss before I even heard a word out of his mouth. Whatever he wanted to dish out wasn’t just close to the vest, it was buried beneath his skin.

My phone vibrated with an incoming text. I removed it from my suit pocket and unlocked the screen. A message from Barbie popped up, along with a photo of her blowing me a kiss with her pouty lips. Long, golden hair framed her model-perfect oval face. Though, most important to me were the emotions reflected in her blue eyes. They hinted of mischief, without a trace of rejection or sadness. I selected her from the agency knowing, when I ended our relationship, she’d walk away richer and wouldn’t try to dream up a fairytale.

I enjoyed our time together and hope you find what you’re looking for in life. You’re a good man. xo Barbie. <3

What utter bullshit. I blocked her number and removed every trace of her from my phone. Would a good man do that?

©Liv Morris 2019

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