What’s a vampire to do when he accidentally makes a baby? Hire a sexy nanny, of course.
A vampire for centuries, Frederick is tired of living in shadows. To that end, he hires the best and brightest scientists to find a way to help him tolerate the sun without losing the benefits that come from being a master of the night.
One of them succeeds. Frederick gets to feel the sun’s rays on his skin without barbecuing. Is reminded of how it feels to be human.
Only later, nine months to be exact, does he find out about the side effects. Now he’s on the hunt for a nanny.
And finds much more than help with diapers.
This vampire is about to discover how it feels to fall in love—if his enemies don’t eliminate him first.
Click on the baby carriage for a list of stores you can order from.
As Frederick neared his office, his secretary—a male with reddish hair in a cockscomb, a snazzy vest paired with a bowtie, and plaid trousers—glanced up from his computer.
Julian held up a finger and said in his microphone headset, “Could you hold for just a moment while I check and see if Mr. Thibodeaux is in?”
Frederick frowned. “Who is that?” Because usually those calling his main office line had a message taken by Julian, who knew which ones to pass along.
The oddest expression tugged at Julian’s face. “Sir, it’s St. Mary’s Hospital.”
“Did one of our employees get into trouble?” Frederick asked. Hiring hot-headed Lycans meant you came to expect brawls and other incidents.
“Not exactly. It’s…um…probably a hoax?” Julian dodged a real answer, and his voice lifted an octave. Strange, as the man was usually quite composed.READ MORE
“What’s a hoax? You’re going to have to explain a bit better.” What had Julian so flustered?
“You should hear for yourself, sir.” Julian clicked to activate the speaker for his phone and said, “Ma’am, I’m going to pass the phone now to Mr. Thibodeaux.”
What? He took the proffered handset and said, “Hello. Thibodeaux here. How can I help you?”
“Hello, sir. I’m Jane Henderson. I work in the offices for St. Mary Hospital.”
He cut to the chase. “Why are you calling?”
“To congratulate you on the birth of your daughter.”
Had he been human, Frederick might have hit the floor in a faint, but vampires couldn’t have babies. Utterly preposterous. Someone was screwing with him by making the assertion. “Whoever claimed I was the father lied to you.”
“Perhaps. A DNA test will clear that up quickly if that’s the case. But in the meantime, we have to go with the assumption the female-presenting child, born two hours ago, is yours.”
“You’d be wasting a test. It can’t be mine.” He’d long ago resigned himself to the fact he’d never have a traditional heir.
“I assure you, Mr. Thibodeaux, that I would never have called if there was another choice. But I have to follow rules. Are you sure you don’t remember the mother? She mentioned something about the beach and piña coladas.”
The words froze him. He never drank umbrella drinks. Except for once. The first time he’d used Anthony’s serum.
“Is the child full term?” he suddenly asked. Human gestation was just under ten months. And it had been over nine months ago since the first time he took the cure.
He still remembered that day. Heart in his throat, for the first time in forever, Frederick had walked into the sun, terrified he’d made a mistake. Expecting to burst into flames and hit the ground in a steaming pile of goo.
Step after step, he cringed until he realized the heat on his skin wasn’t flames. Once he realized he wouldn’t die, he’d run, skipping in the sunlight, giddy with joy.
Not one of his finer moments, and he was happy he never came across any footage of him acting so out of character. His staff would have never let him live it down.
That entire day he’d behaved the opposite of his usually staid self. He’d frolicked in the sun. And he wasn’t alone.
“She’s full term by all indications. A big, healthy girl at ten pounds, three ounces,” said Jane Henderson.
He had no idea what that signified but began to get a fluttery feeling in his gut. Could it be possible?
After all, it was after that one time that he found out his cure came with one major caveat. While daylight touched him, Frederick was, for all intents and purposes, human. A fragile, easily broken human. He could be run over by a car. Shot. Knifed. Beheaded. The last, he should add, would kill him no matter what.
However, his susceptibility to injury wasn’t the only issue when under certain UV circumstances. Forget controlling minds. No one could hear him demanding obedience. He didn’t enjoy super strength or vision.
He was weak.
On the flip side, he could eat and drink. Get wasted, as a matter of fact.
That first day of sunlight freedom, he’d gone to the beach and run into the waves. Drank all the margaritas he could find.
Oh, how he flirted, and in the sun, on the sand, behind an outcrop of rock, he’d fucked. Fucked a woman who’d smiled coyly at him as she sipped something frothy. He’d made fun of it and she’d dared him to have a sip of her piña colada.
They hit it off and did what men and women do.
Before night fell, they parted ways. Him smiling all the way home. Only to curse and yell when he found out the truth.
The serum that let him daywalk made him human in all ways, including viable sperm. Surely that one time in the sand wouldn’t cause a problem.
“Did she mention how she knew my name?” Because that night, they’d jokingly called themselves Piña for her and Colada for him. They never exchanged true names, addresses, or even a phone number.
Had they, Frederick would have probably lied. His name was too well known. The Frederick Thibodeaux the world knew about had many faces: crime kingpin, a founding family of the city, and master vampire who hid from the humans in plain sight, not someone you fucked with.
“If you really don’t want to be tested, we can’t make you,” Jane Henderson stated.
“It’s possible. I’m just having a hard time placing her name. But I keep seeing her bouncy blonde curls.”
“Coralline Blenny Starfish.”
Now there was a mouthful that didn’t rhyme well together. He’d also never heard the name before. “Do you have a picture?”
“No. Ms. Starfish didn’t come in with any identification.”
Meaning she might have used Frederick’s name in the hopes of getting a free ride when it came to costs. It might not be the same woman at all.
But what if…? “We could clear this up quickly if you sent me a picture.” Then he could put this strange fantasy of him being a father to rest.
“I can’t. I’m sorry to say Ms. Starfish died delivering your daughter.”
“How?” Back in his day, women died often in childbirth, but not in this century with modern medicine.
“Gunshot wound. She arrived in the ER injured and in labor. It proved too much for her body. She told us you were the father before she died.” The woman hesitated before adding, “She also demanded you not be told. However, state law dictates that, as you’re the child’s next closest relative, you must be notified.”
“What happens if the child isn’t mine?” he asked.
“Social services will take over and contact family to see if there are other candidates.”
‘She’ll go into an orphanage?” The idea left a sour taste.
“More like a foster home until we can be sure no one is coming forth to claim her. Then she’ll be placed for adoption.”
She couldn’t be his. Even if she was, he didn’t want a child. He’d come to that decision a long time ago.
He’d spent three hundred years—more or less—alone, with only occasional female companionship. None lasted. None could have given him a family. Nor did he want one. If Frederick needed family, he bit someone.
But according to this hospital worker on the phone, he’d possibly created an heir the old-fashioned way.
Could he actually have a daughter? “How soon can I do the DNA test?”
“If you come to the hospital, we can handle it. After all, we’ll want to ensure only a true family member gets custody.”
“You’d give the child to me?” The very idea flabbergasted. A vampire couldn’t raise a human baby.
Then again, what if the girl child wasn’t human?
What if the baby is mine and takes after me?COLLAPSE