“Excuse me, Mr. Cambridge?” My secretary, Liz, popped her head through the door of the conference room.
I glared at her. The same glare that frightened everyone who worked for me.
“Didn’t I tell you that under no circumstances am I to be interrupted?” I snapped at her.
“You received a delivery,” she spoke with an irritated tone in her voice.
“A delivery? Seriously? Why the hell are you interrupting me for a delivery?” My voice raised and echoed throughout the conference room.
She hastily pushed open the door and walked in carrying what looked like a baby car seat and a large bag over her shoulder.
“Here’s your delivery,” she said as she shoved the car seat into me and hooked the bag over my shoulder. “There’s a letter inside.” She turned on her heels and headed towards the door. “By the way, I quit.” She turned her head and looked at me before walking out of the room.
I stood there in shock as everyone in the conference room stared at me with a look of horror on their faces. Looking down, I swallowed hard when I saw a tiny child sleeping. My heart began to race, and I started to sweat. Was this some kind of fucking joke?
“Mr. Cambridge?” One of my associates cautiously spoke.
“We will continue this meeting another time. Go back to your offices until I get this mess straightened out.”
Everyone gathered their files and quickly left the conference room. I set the car seat on the table and stared at the child who was bundled up in a light pink blanket with white daisies all over it. Liz said there was a letter inside, so I carefully removed the blanket and found a white envelope with my name on it tucked next to the child. Opening it, I pulled out the letter that sat inside.
I’m sure you don’t remember me, or maybe you do. It doesn’t really matter, anyway. I want you to meet Ella Rae Cambridge, your daughter. She’s six months old. You’ll find her birth certificate inside her diaper bag. I found out I was pregnant two months after our weekend together in Montauk. I didn’t bother telling you because I knew you wouldn’t believe me, and we didn’t exactly end on good terms. When I found out I was pregnant, I was scared and considered giving her up. But the more she grew inside me, the more I grew to love her. But now, it’s too much and I can’t do it. I can’t be a mother to her. I tried. I really did. This was the hardest decision I ever had to make, but I know in my heart it’s the right one. You have the right to know you have a daughter, and I’m trusting you to take care of her and raise her right. Please tell our daughter I love her and I’m doing what’s best for her.
The sweat that engulfed me heightened. I loosened my tie and unbuttoned the top button of my shirt. I had no words for what I’d just read, and I didn’t believe one word of it.
“Hey, Julian.” The door opened and my partner and best friend, Kevin, walked in. “What the hell is going on? Everyone is buzz—Oh, what the hell is that?” He pointed to the car seat.
“What do you think it is?” I snapped as I rubbed the back of my neck.
He walked over to the table and looked inside.
“Um..there’s a baby in there. Whose baby is that?” he asked in shock.
“Read for yourself.” I handed him the letter and paced around the room.
“Your kid?” He laughed. “This is your kid?”
“No. That is not my kid!” I pointed to the car seat.
“Rebecca says it is. Wait. Who the hell is Rebecca?”
“She’s the one I spent the weekend in Montauk with last year. Remember?” I pointed to the scar on my forehead.
“Oh shit. She’s this baby’s mother?”
“And you’re her father?”
“I’m not that baby’s father. It could be one of a million guys Rebecca slept with before and after me, and she’s just pinning it on me.” I rubbed my forehead.
“Well, Rebecca says you are, and she left her in your care. Do you even know how to take care of a kid?”
“What the fuck do you think?” I snapped.
“Don’t yell at me, Julian. Until you get a paternity test, you really have no choice. Besides, you have nothing to worry about, Roz can take care of her until you get this straightened out.”
“Roz is off for the next three weeks. She went home to take care of her sick father.”
“Shit. That’s right.”
Suddenly, the baby let out a soft cry. Then a louder cry emerged.
“Do something!” I shouted at Kevin.
“What the hell do you want me to do. She’s your kid.”
I pushed the button on the intercom and summoned Kevin’s secretary, Claire.
“Claire. Conference room two, NOW!” I shouted.
Within seconds, she came running in.
“Do something about this.” I pointed to the baby.
“Aw.” She walked over to the car seat, unbuckled it and picked the baby up. “What’s her name?”
“Ella,” I spoke as the baby’s cries softened.
“Whose baby is she?” she asked.
“According to this letter, she’s Julian’s kid,” Kevin spoke.
“For the last time, she’s not my kid! This is just some kind of scam.”
“She feels wet,” Claire said as she reached in the diaper bag and pulled out a diaper. “Spread her blanket out so I can change her.”
“You’re going to change her on my conference room table?!” I snapped.
“Yes. I’m not putting her on the floor. You best come over here, Mr. Cambridge, and watch if you’re going to be taking her home.”
“I’m not taking that baby home with me. Are you crazy?”
“Then what are you going to do with her?”
“You take her home. I’ll—I’ll give you a raise to compensate for your time.”
“Sorry, Mr. Cambridge. I’m not taking her home with me. I already have three kids at home.”
“And what’s one more, really?”
After changing Ella’s diaper, Claire picked her up and tried to hand her over to me. I quickly backed away as I put my hands up.
“I don’t do kids or babies.”
Claire set Ella back in her car seat and dug through the diaper bag.
“There’s formula, bottles, diapers, some clothes and instructions,” Claire spoke. “You’re a smart man, Mr. Cambridge. You can figure this out.”
“I want you to call child services or whatever and get them down here now,” I spoke. “Until then, she’s your problem, Claire. I’ll be in my office.”
I walked out of the conference room as I straightened my tie and headed to my office. Not only did I have to deal with this kid situation, I had to figure out what to do now that Liz quit. Shaking my head, I slammed my office door shut and took a seat behind my desk. Leaning back in my chair, I sighed as I rubbed my face with my hands.
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt of The Billionaire’s Christmas Baby. You can preorder your copy by clicking the links below!
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