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Billionaire Daddy and Nanny 2

By:Mia Ford



Frisco's Bar was still the same place I remembered it being all those years ago. The faces were no longer familiar to me, but the atmosphere was still the same. A live band played some cover music from the eighties – really badly – while twenty-somethings got drunk and danced the night away. A wave of nostalgia washed over me as I took it all in.

We were out on the patio – it was pretty sparsely populated since the San Francisco air was a tad bit chilly. It felt nice to me though. It reminded me that I was home. The Bay Area had always been my home. It was where I felt comfortable. At peace. And leaving it had been the hardest thing I'd ever done. That had been back when I was young and naive and thought serving my country was what I was born to do. Not that I regret serving my country. Not in the least.

“Damn, it feels good to be home,” I said, taking a long sip of my beer.

“The city missed you, Drew,” Nick said.

“The city may have missed me, but I doubt many others did, I'm afraid.”

Nick and Bryan were my buddies. Guys I knew from way back in high school. When I'd gone away to serve, they'd stayed here, started families and had gone about the traditional path to creating a normal life. Nick's wife – Elizabeth – was currently pregnant with baby number two. Bryan was engaged to be married.

It was hard to convince either of them to join me tonight, but I had no family left, no friends, no one. I was pretty much alone in this world. I kind of felt like I'd pressured them to come out and they'd been a little bit reluctant, but eventually, they'd agreed. I think they just felt sorry for me.

“Ahh, we're all just busy, you know? Work, family, all that –”

I really didn't know because I had none of that at the moment. My mom and dad had both died while I was away – I hadn't even gotten to say goodbye to them. I had no siblings. I'd returned to San Francisco because it was familiar and comfortable. Not because I was returning to anyone in particular. There really wasn't very much for me in the Bay Area. And some days I wondered why I 'd done that to myself.

“Did you hear back about the job?” Bryan asked. “The one you interviewed for last week?”

I tried not to cringe, focusing my attention on the napkin I was folding and unfolding on the table in front of me. I nodded and gave them a rueful grin.

“Yeah, I heard back,” I said. “A form letter. They went with another candidate.”

“I'm sorry, man,” Nick said. “If I hear of any openings at my company, I'll let you know.”

I nodded my thanks and then chugged the rest of my beer, hoping the alcohol would hit me sooner, rather than later. This was supposed to be a night of celebration and fun – not a bunch of moping around feeling sorry for myself, depressing shit.

Nick's phone buzzed and he excused himself to go outside to talk to his wife, leaving just Bryan and me at the table.

“So how did you meet? You and your girl?” I asked, hoping to take the attention off of me.

“Oh, umm, well Melissa and I went to college together,” Bryan said, adjusting his glasses.

He looked around, a strange expression on his face, almost like he was hoping Nick would be back to alleviate the awkwardness of the conversation and atmosphere hovering over the table. We had never really been all that close back in the day. And it seemed that the years between our last visit had only pushed us further apart.

And a few moments later, Bryan got his wish. At least for a moment.

“Hey guys, that was Beth,” he said, a sheepish grin on his face. “She's not feeling well and our youngest is acting up, so she needs me at home. I'm really sorry, Drew. I was hoping to get a chance to hang out a bit longer.”

“Nah, no problem,” I said.

We said our goodbyes and Nick departed, leaving just Bryan and me. As if things at the table couldn't be any more tense and awkward.

“I don't envy that guy one fucking bit,” I said, watching Nick leave. “Tied down like that, you know?”

Bryan didn't say anything.

“Oh right, you're getting married,” I said. “Well, just don't be like that guy. Live a little, have some fun –”

Bryan was already standing up and putting on his coat, before Nick had even walked out the door. “You know, Drew? I have to be going too. I have an early meeting at work tomorrow –”

“Oh, yeah, right. Okay.” I said, rolling my eyes as I finished off my beer – and then downed the rest of Nick's beer for good measure.

“Happy birthday, man. I'm sorry we couldn't stay out longer. Responsibilities, you know? Life really sucks sometimes”

As if I didn't know a thing or two about responsibilities. I may not have the house with the white picket fence and the mortgage to go along with it, but that didn't mean I didn't know a thing or two about responsibilities. I didn't even thank Bryan, just let him walk off, leaving me alone on the patio.