Read The Girl with my Heart (Summer Unplugged #8) Online
Authors: Amy Sparling
The Girl with my Heart
Part 8 of the Summer Unplugged Series
By Amy Sparling
Copyright © 2015 Amy Sparling
All rights reserved.
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author’s work.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Cover art from shutterstock.com
Cover design by Amy Sparling
First edition October, 2015
My cell phone vibrates like a psychopath from its place on my nightstand. My eyes flutter open and I’m wondering how the hell it’s already five in the morning. It can’t possibly be time to go to work. Feels like I just fell asleep.
I reach over, fumbling in the dark for the phone and I turn off the alarm before it wakes Bayleigh. I’ve learned to snap awake to the sound of the vibration instead of a loud alarm. It’s about the only thing I can do to ensure that she sleeps through the early morning hours and doesn’t try to get up with me. I love having her company, of course, but I like it even better knowing that she’s sound asleep, getting well-deserved rest instead of hanging out with me at ungodly hours of the morning.
Jett keeps her up enough with his three a.m. bottles and random bouts of crying from his crib. I crawl out of bed, careful to avoid Bay’s arm that lies sprawled out across my pillow. I venture to our closet, pull the door closed and flip on the light. The massive walk in closest is about ninety percent girly clothes, ten percent my stuff. It makes me smile. I grab a blue shirt with the Fox head logo on it and a pair of cargo shorts. It’s only April but it’ll be hot as hell in this Texas heat today. If only I could go around shirtless all day—that’d be the perfect life. Unfortunately, going shirtless is considered unprofessional.
I brush my teeth and throw on some shoes. That’s when I hear the beginnings of a baby freak out starting from down the hall. Carefully, I make my way through our bedroom in the dark and slip out of the door, closing it behind me. Then I run down the hall to the baby’s room.
I can’t help but smile when I see the situation in front of me. Baby Jett, my four month old son, lies in his crib sideways. He’s on his back, staring at the dirt bike mobile that hangs above his crib. His little feet stick out between two slats of the wooden crib while he whimpers and begins to cry.
“Hey there, little guy.”
I walk into the room, closing the door behind me. A nightlight shaped like a monkey makes the room glow enough so that I don’t need to turn on the overhead light.
Jett sees me and immediately bursts into tears, his little baby fists tightening into balls. I roll my eyes and walk up to the crib. “You know exactly how to get what you want, don’t you?” I say with a smile as I lean over and pick him up. The sobbing stops just as quickly as it began. I bring him to my shoulder and he rests his head against my chest, breathing calmly and happily once again. I pat his back. He smells like baby powder and lavender baby shampoo.
And then, ugh, he smells a whole lot worse.
“Oh my god…” My nose wrinkles and I hold back a gag. “No. No no no.. ugh, this is gross.”
Instantly I think about how great it would be if my wife were awake right now. She’d laugh and call me a child and then take Jett and change his diaper. She is a lifesaver in times like this. But I had made sure that she stayed asleep when I woke up and for that, I must pay.
“Okay,” I say carefully as I carry Jett over to the chest of drawers with a diaper changing station on top of it. “I can do this.” I take an overly dramatic deep breath to prepare myself. I’ve only changed a handful of diapers compared to Bay, but she’s a freaking whiz at it. Surely I can handle it this time.
Five minutes later, I have a freshly diapered baby. Only he’s naked. But that’s because I can’t seem to get his feet back into the outfit thing he was wearing. It unzips into a million pieces and I can’t shove his hands and legs into the arm and leg holes without feeling like I’m going to break him. I struggle for several minutes while Jett squirms and smiles and reaches for the pack of baby wipes.
“How does your mommy do this?” I ask, frustrated. If I don’t get him dressed soon, I’ll be late for work. Jett squirms and looks up at me. I stand straighter, my lips pressing together. “I give up,” I say in my light-hearted baby voice. “Your mommy is a genius. I am just a simpleton.”
I pick him up and lay him back in the crib, laughing at how his chubby hands immediately grab for his chubby feet. I don’t know a damn thing about raising a child, but I do know that this kid is the coolest thing to happen to me, after meeting Bayleigh.
I fumble through the drawers in Jett’s room, opening the top one to find a neatly arranged stack of socks and beanies. The second drawer has more of those insanely complicated pajama outfits that snap up his whole body and are impossible to use. I close the drawer and go for the third one. Bingo. T-shirts and shorts. I take the biggest shirt I can find and pull it over his head. His arms go through easily. Then I tug on some leggings that are also a little too big. But at least it doesn’t feel like I’m going to break him while getting him dressed.
Now that he has a clean diaper, he’s a happy baby once again. I have an overly inflated ego at how great of a job I did changing that diaper. But I know it’s nothing compared to what my wife does on a daily basis. I kiss Jett on the forehead and sneak back into the hallway.
I’m just about to open the front door and head to work when a small voice clears their throat. I turn around and find Bayleigh standing in the doorway of our bedroom. She’s wearing one of my t-shirts and it swallows her up so much that I’m not sure if she even has shorts on underneath it.
“What’s wrong?” I ask, walking up to her. I slide my hands around her waist and kiss her. When I pull away she’s just smiling up at me.
“Nothing is wrong.”
“Then why are you up? I didn’t make too much noise, did I?”
She shakes her head. “You were very quiet. But you forgot one thing.”
She tosses a look over her shoulder. “The baby monitor is on.”
Thank God it’s dark in the apartment because I think I blush. “Shit.”
She laughs. “You sounded like you were having such a hard time. I almost went in there to rescue you.”
I pull her closer, feeling her boobs press against my chest. “And why didn’t you?”
She gives me an evil smile. “Because it was just
good to listen to you struggle.” Her hands slide up my chest and around my neck. “But it was also really cute. I think I fell even more in love with you just now.”
“Good.” I kiss her again, quickly because any more than that would make me ridiculously late to work.
“Get to work,” she says playfully, shoving me toward the door. “I’m going back to bed before that baby wakes up again.”
“I love you,” I say, grabbing my truck keys off the rack near the door.
“I love you more,” she says back, suppressing a yawn.
“Oh, and Bay?”
“Yeah?” She pokes her head back out of the door to our bedroom.
“I need a lesson on how to dress him in those full body outfit things.”
“It’s called a onesie, babe.”
“See? You’re teaching me already!”
Bayleigh rolls her eyes and disappears back into our room. I step out into the early morning air and prepare myself for another long day at work, missing my two loves at home.
Mixon Motocross Park comes into view and I drive down the dirt road along the side of the track, parking my truck at the far end of the land, near the offices. Mixon has three dirt bike tracks at the facility. The motocross track is long and wide, spanning around the entire thirty acres of land. The supercross track is tight, short, and known for its killer triple jump finish line.
And then there’s the kiddie track. I talked the owner, my boss, Mr. Fisher into fixing it up a few months ago. It’s a half-mile long track, barely four feet wide. It has its own little set of bleachers for parents to watch their kids ride. And there’s the “big” finish line jump—a three foot tall tabletop. I’m proud of the kiddie track. It looks a lot like the one I rode on back in California where I grew up.
One day my son will ride on it. I totally can’t wait for that day.
It’s the start of summer and it’s only seven in the morning—but it’s hot as hell outside. The Texas heat shows no mercy for people who work outside. Luckily, I’ll be indoors for a while today.
Mondays are typically office days for me. Scheduling new clients, settling the expense account—basically boring ass shit that I can’t stand but have to do in order to run a legit business. Although I work for Mr. Fisher at his motocross track, I’m more of a freelance employee who has to manage his own clients.
One of these days when Jett is older, Bayleigh plans on taking some college classes and coming to work here, helping me out. I always tell her to take her time and enjoy being home with Jett, but every time Monday rolls around, I wish she was here.
I hate doing office crap.
I’d rather be out on the track, sweating my balls off, speeding around berms and flying over jumps. But the job comes first when you have a wife and kid to support. And I’m cool with that, but Mondays still suck.
I slip into the office, which is a newish building at the back of the park. There’s a lobby in front with couches hardly anyone ever uses and a massive coffee bar. My boss is kind of addicted to the stuff. I can hear him arguing with our maintenance guy on the phone from his office down the hall.
I make some coffee, filling up the Styrofoam cup to the brim and then head to my office. Bay thinks the four walls that make up my incredibly tiny office is the coolest thing ever, but she’s completely wrong. This place is about the size of my closet at home, and although it’s quiet and more private than a cubicle, it’s my exact description of purgatory.
It’s the unbearable torture chamber of those who do business. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad. But it is definitely not as wonderful as the life of being a professional motocross racer. Of course, I have only myself to blame for screwing up that life goal.
I chug my coffee and slump into the rolling fake leather office chair, ready to start the day’s work. There’s a photo of Bay and me on my desk, one from back when we had first started dating. We’re sitting on the tailgate of my truck, eating snow cones in the summer heat here at Mixon Motocross Park. Her hair was lighter back then from spending so much time in the sun.
I really miss that truck. It was demolished in a wreck a few months back, just before Christmas. Now I drive a 2016 model Chevrolet with leather seats and every possible upgrade, and I don’t even like it much. That old truck had memories in the front seat—one of Bay’s hairpins in the cup holder and a dot of silver nail polish stuck to the seat where she accidentally spilled it while painting her nails on a trip to the mall.
The new truck gets me to and from work and that’s about it. There’s not much adventure to be had for a married guy with a baby at home.
I fire up my computer and get a notification for a dozen new emails. Most of them are from clients. One is from my mom, begging to come down and visit us again despite the fact that she was down here just four months ago. I down the rest of my coffee and hit reply.
There’s a knock on my door, light and subtle, nothing at all like Mr. Fisher’s grand entrances. I think I’m imagining it at first, so I keep typing the email to my mom, telling her that Bay would probably be happy to have her come down and visit whenever she wants.
The knock is a little louder now. Followed by a soft voice, “Mr. Adams?”
I look up. “Yeah?”
The door opens inward and a hand with bright pink fake nails wraps around the side of the door. “Good morning, Mr. Adams!”
A girl I’ve never seen before smiles at me as if we’re old friends. She has bright blonde hair that falls in waves around her shoulders. Her eyelashes are ungodly long and it looks like she’s wearing enough makeup to be a stage performer—at least that’s what my non-makeup wearing wife would say. She would also have something to say about the girl’s short ass white skirt and black tank top that shows off a ton of cleavage.
“Can I help you?” I ask.
“Nope, just the opposite actually!” God, this girl is cheerful. She steps into my office, closing the door behind her.
I sit up straighter, raising an eyebrow. “What exactly does that mean?”
She giggles and part of me thinks it’s fake. I mean, it has to be fake. Who laughs at a question like that?
“Hello?” She points to her massive boobs. “I’m your assistant!” She steps closer to me, extending her hand. A thin silver charm bracelet slides down her wrist. “I’m Natalie. My friends call me Nat.”
I shake her hand. “Jace…uh, nice to meet you. But I don’t have an assistant.”
There’s that weird fake laugh again. “You do now. Didn’t Mr. Fisher tell you?”
I shake my head. “Nope. Not a word. I actually don’t need an assistant so I’m not sure why he’d tell you that…” I reach for my coffee cup but it’s empty. Natalie takes the cup from my hands and heads back toward my office door, pulling it back open.
She points to the cup with her charm bracelet hand. “Clearly you do need an assistant! Okay, so what do you like in your coffee? Cream and sugar or just black?”
“Just black,” I say, somehow feeling like the world has turned on its end. Why do I have an assistant that I don’t even know about?
She gives me a wink. “Be right back, boss!”
My god, does she have to say every single sentence like it’s a proclamation of awesomeness?
The moment she’s out of the door I get up and walk down to Mr. Fisher’s office. I knock on the open doorframe, catching his attention away from his computer. “What’s up?” He says it all casual as if he didn’t just hire some pop-star drop out girl to wait on me.
I lower my voice to not be overheard. “Who the hell is Natalie and why is she getting me coffee?”
Mr. Fisher leans back in his chair, interlacing his fingers across his stomach. He looks entirely too pleased with himself. “Well, I hired you an assistant. She does much more than getting coffee, Jace.” He points at me. “Actually, you should have her do a lot more than coffee runs…she’s getting paid pretty well.”
“But I don’t understand. I don’t need an assistant.”
“Sure you do. You’ve tripled your client list in the last six months and you’ve been saying that as soon as Jett is old enough, you’ll hire Bayleigh to be your assistant.”
“Yeah but that’s…different,” I say.
Mr. Fisher shakes his head. “Son, I agree with your choice of letting Bayleigh take as long as she wants to come to work. After all, Jett’s wellbeing is the most important thing here, but you’ve been driving yourself crazy with all this work. You simply can’t wait any longer for an assistant and the last thing I want is for Bayleigh to feel pressured to come to work before she’s ready. So I solved the problem.”
I pinch the bridge of my nose. “But why did you hire her? If anything, I should have done the interviewing myself.”
“Ah, well, that’s where things get murky. You see, she’s the daughter of John Willock and I owe him big for loaning us his tractors while ours were being repaired during the Nationals.” He shrugs his shoulders as if there’s nothing he can do about the situation. “The girl needed a job and I promised I’d find her one.”
There’s a tap on my shoulder and I turn around, finding Natalie just inches away from me, holding up a fresh cup of coffee. “Here’s your coffee, Mr. Adams.” She smiles sweetly. “Can I get you anything, Mr. Fisher?”
“No, no, I’m good,” he says, waving a hand at her. “You just make sure Jace has the easiest work day possible.”
“Actually I don’t—” I begin, only to get cut off by a soft hand on my arm.
“Don’t worry at all, Mr. Fisher.” Natalie gives me a coy wink. “I’ll take really good care of Mr. Adams.”