Macy's Parade (The Morrison Family Book 6), p.1
The Morrison Family Series
Table of Contents
Other Works by D.R. Grady
About the Author
Bad Nerd Rising
Other works by D.R. Grady
The Morrison Family Series:
The Nerd and the Marine
The Corpsman and the Nerd
The Nerd and the SEAL
The Nerd’s Pocket Pets
Shadows and Spice
Bad Nerd Rising
The Me Series:
The Abroad Series:
Bearer of My Heart
Please visit my website for updates on all three series.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, and incidents are all products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Known locales are also used fictitiously.
If you enjoy this book, please buy a copy for someone else to enjoy. Please do not download or buy this from anywhere except where the story is offered legitimately. All rights reserved - including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.
Copyright 2012 by D.R. Grady
Please Note: While I had help with this story from several knowledgeable sources, there are still likely mistakes on my part. Authors also like to stretch and change things to make their story work. So this book does not necessarily reflect reality. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.
To Vicky Burkholder and Victoria Smith for offering great advice and suggestions, as usual.
To all of CPRW for offering advice, and sharing their knowledge. To be a part of the best RWA chapter ever is pretty amazing!
To my hubby, Roy, for never standing in the way of my dream.
To each of you who have read and enjoyed my books – especially those of you who contact me. I do this for you, so thank you so much for supporting this dream!
Macy Beckman stared through the open door, dismayed at the chaos. Nick Morrison, her potential new employer, ushered her into the house and Macy swallowed hard as she complied. Okay, so the house looked like several bombs had gone off before the entire disarray was sprayed with water and feathers. So she knew four kids and various wildlife lived here. So the man who might employ her had good looks like she’d never been excited by before.
Gorgeous only began to describe the man. With his dark hair, dark blue eyes, and square jaw, she wanted to stare to her heart’s content. She didn’t give in to the temptation because her mother had taught her that wasn’t polite, but oh, the man was fine.
After viewing the house, Macy concluded the sleepy bedroom eyes were likely a product of the fact that the man didn’t sleep. She knew he was a busy architect and had run through no less than fourteen nannies. Most had all ranged in duration from a week to two hours. When she answered his internet ad, she’d done so with the assurance that she could handle most anything. After viewing this mess and her potential employer her confidence waned. She’d end up overflowing the washing machine because of daydreams about her gorgeous, sleep-deprived boss.
“You’re familiar with kids?” He shoved various unidentified items from the sofas and Macy gingerly perched on the edge of hers. Nick flopped into the other and traced a weary hand over his face. Yes, he looked about ready to nod off. And she didn’t think it was because he found her boring. Then again she was far from scintillating... Macy yanked her thoughts back to the interview.
“I am. I’m the oldest of five kids.”
“How about animals?”
“I’ve applied to veterinary school every year for the last five years.”
He stared at her through his hand. “Veterinary school?”
Macy nodded. Not that any of the schools she applied to took her seriously. She’d never even been granted an interview yet, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t determined. Vet school was harder to get into than medical school. At least the schools she wanted to attend were.
She noticed he didn’t write anything on the tablet in his hand. Was that a good sign? Or was this going to prove as fruitless as her numerous veterinary applications?
A little boy raced into the room, bounded on to the back of the couch where Nick sat then conducted an all out sword fight with an imaginary foe before he bounced off the back. Nick didn’t so much as blink. “My son, Brandt. He’s eight.”
The boy waved before he took up another battle. He made all the appropriate sounds of battle, complete with growls and bangings.
Macy couldn’t contain her question. Darn her curiosity. “Who are you fighting?”
Brandt stared at her for a moment. “My orc army and I are going to defeat the Riders.” He said it so matter-of-factly Macy almost missed what he said. This kid liked orcs and even led an army of them? Weren’t orcs the bad guys? Confusion reigned before her eyes trailed back to his hottie of a father.
Nick sighed at the same time Brandt resumed his battle. “Brandt likes things with big teeth.” He glanced down at the pad in his hand. “And claws. So you can patch up animals if it comes down to that?”
She blinked before abruptly shifting gears with him. “Yes.”
“Maybe I should introduce you to our livestock.” He pursed his lips and let out a shrill whistle. She wanted to purse her own in appreciation. But she was a mature, responsible adult on a job interview. She knew how to behave. It was the doing that tended to get her. A wolverine burst through the door and skidded to a halt beside him. Nick patted him. “This is Riley.”
Macy noted Riley’s butt half sat on the floor, half sat on Nick’s foot. Interesting. Riley had all the markings of a wolf, including the golden eyes. He had to weigh in at somewhere over a hundred pounds. Like as much as her.
“Riley is a Malamute,” she guessed. Malamutes had long been mistaken for their wild cousins, wolves.
A girl, nearing her teens if she wasn’t already there, strolled into the room next. She looked like any normal blonde kid, except for the small boa constrictor wrapped around her waist like a living belt. “Ah, this is my oldest, Savannah. The snake is a gentle, aging soul called Philippe.”
“Who’s this?” The girl’s voice wasn’t sullen, just bordered there.
“This is Macy Beckman. She’s applied for the position of live-in nanny.” Nick was a bit clueless, obviously, but that’s probably why he’d gone through so many nannies. And he was unbelievably handsome – she could overlook the oblivious-to-his-daughter’s-needs for now. Plus he did seem beyond weary.
“I’m Macy. Will I have to take my turn at wearing the snake?”
“I can handle that.”
“You don’t mind snakes and stuff?”
“No,” Macy said, and although she could elaborate with the girl about her failed attempts at veterinary school, she decided she didn’t want to. Maybe someday she’d get her chance.
“So, do you, like, clean up puke and stuff?” Savannah sounded interested now, and Macy suppressed a sigh. Poor girl. No wonder Savannah was probably hard on the nannies. Obviously the duties of “Mom” fell to her when they were in-between help. This sounded like it happened more frequently than not.
“I do. I’ve never encountered a mess I couldn’t handle.” Macy glanced around the room. Although this one might kill her current perfect track record.
“Our housekeeper broke her foot a few days ago,” Nick muttered, and his cheeks went a little pink.
“Granna fell over Lexus,” Savannah supplied with an impish grin.
Macy interpreted Granna as being their grandmother. “Granna was your housekeeper?”
“Yeah, she came and helped a lot. But the doctor told her she couldn’t come for a while.”
Macy looked at Nick. This man definitely needed her. No doubt about it.
As though on cue, a cat the size of a bobcat sauntered into the room. She glanced around, located the Malamute and took the long circuit through the room. Once the cat located Nick she stretched before launching into his lap. Where she immediately put up signs of ownership.
“This is Lexus,” Nick said as his hand stroked down the sleek feline back.
Savannah leaned closer to Macy and whispered, “She thinks she owns Dad.”
“I see that.” Macy smiled as she stared at the cat. Her markings were gorgeous. Her coat was a dark gray with a silvery white in contrast, and some black, especially on the tips of her ears. “A Maine coon?”
“We’re not sure. She just showed up one day,” Nick said, and Macy admired how his hand stroked down the sinuous back. She could become accustomed to being petted like that.
You’re on a job interview, she reminded herself. Not that the little pep talk helped. She still wanted to feel Nick’s hands on her.
The man’s teenaged daughter was in the room with her. What she needed was a distraction. Fortunately, someone heard her, because another child appeared in the doorway.
She stopped in the archway and posed – there was no other word. Although she could only be about six, Macy had no trouble imagining a cheroot in her hand to accompany the beauty. The gliding saunter, when the girl chose to move, didn’t surprise her, either. This little package was Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, and Bridgette Bardo all wrapped in one.
Her blonde curls were artlessly arranged, and while the pink t-shirt and matching pants weren’t exactly femme fatale garb, they still worked in her favor. This little girl probably had more knowledge at age six on how to extract exactly what she wanted from the opposite sex than Macy had learned in her thirty years.
“This is my youngest, Starla.” Nick’s voice broke into her thoughts.
Yeah, I bet she is, Macy thought. She was perfectly named.
Starla strolled through the room with the same supple grace Lexus utilized and Macy wondered if they traded notes. Both of them could write a book – How to be Spectacular Without Trying. Macy figured Nick faced major trouble with this child when she hit her teens. Or at least with the boys who fell under her spell. Macy predicted legions.
She didn’t envy Nick.
Hopefully by that time, she’d be a graduate of veterinary school and have a thriving practice. Eight to ten years, yeah, she could do it. Dealing with a femme fatale in training wasn’t how she planned to spend the next decade.
She’d rather be bitten, scratched, and pooped on. That she could manage. Of course, glancing around the room again, she did see that as a present possibility. This room alone could provide surprises she didn’t want.
“Do you have other children or pets?” She’d better find this out now, before the shock of the mini-Marilyn wore off.
“Yes, I have another boy, he’s ten, and his name is Bryce.”
“Bryce doesn’t talk,” Savannah said. She stared at Macy, as though she expected the new nanny to refute her statement. Macy could see she had some work to do with this girl.
“I have a brother like that.” She kept her voice easy, her tone light, so Savannah wouldn’t feel threatened. How many women had the poor girl broken in? Only to have each leave all too soon. Oh yeah, somewhere in the vicinity of her age. Thirteen, fourteen.
She’d be a little defensive too if she had to do all that work with little to no benefit. Macy hated when she landed into situations like this where she knew they needed her. Now she’d have to go in and fix this Morrison home. Great.
Her eyes slid to Nick Morrison. Of course, the benefits of this job might far outweigh the hassles.
Nick hated to raise his hopes, but he really wanted this woman to stay. He made a mental note to tell Janine, his cousin, that he’d actually interviewed a woman named Macy. They had discussed how much he liked the name earlier at a family get-together. [Shadows and Spice – The Morrison Family Series – Book 5] Back when he had despaired over ever finding someone suitable to take care of his kids and house.
“Are you sure you’re okay with us asking Macy to come live with us?” He asked the table in general, knowing he’d probably only hear a suitable response from Savannah. Although ever since she hit the teenage years, a suitable answer was questionable.
“Yes, Dad, it’s fine.” She sounded disgusted, but that seemed to be normal for her lately.
He glanced around the table. Bryce’s plate was nearly empty, but his nose was planted firmly in a book. Nick saw the cover held mythical looking warriors and maidens, all with long flowing hair, body armor, and swords.
Bryce probably had no idea he’d even interviewed someone for the nanny position. For that matter, he might not be aware they had a nanny vacancy. Wondering if there was anything they could do for his older son, Nick decided to pass over him for the moment. His diagnosis was too new for them to know what to do with Bryce.
His eyes settled on his next son. “So, Brandt, what do you think of Macy?”
“Think she has a tiger, Dad?”
“I doubt it.”
Savannah snorted and threw her younger brother a disgusted look. “Of course she doesn’t have a tiger. People aren’t allowed to have tigers.”
Brandt stared back at her with pre-teen disdain. He had a few years before he hit the same age, but Savannah didn’t appear to daunt him. “People are allowed to have tigers,” he corrected, not without some loftiness. “But you have to have a permit. You’re so stupid, Savannah.”
“I am not!” And Savannah launched a fist, which Nick managed to intercept.
“Savannah, what did I say about hitting your brothers?” Nick maintained his calm only because he didn’t have the energy to get worked up. Every morning when he awoke reminded him that he wasn’t getting enough sleep so any reserves must have fled long ago. At this point, just the fact he could still wake up was reassuring.
“He called me stupid.” Savannah’s eyes flashed with hot indignation and matched her voice. She eyed Brandt like he was an insect she wanted to stomp on. Nick decided not to put the idea in her head.
“Brandt, what did I tell you about calling your sister stupid?”
“Dad, she didn’t even know you can have a tiger with a permit.” Obviously that was something everyone should know. Unfortunately, he doubted many people did. Why couldn’t his children have the same interests?
Nick sucked in a deep breath before answering. “Now she does. But you know it’s okay if other people don’t know much about tigers.”
“Just because a nerd like you would know that, doesn’t mean cool people like me do.” Savannah ended her statement with a haughty sniff an
“I’m sure Brandt doesn’t know anything about your favorite pair of shoes,” Nick said and made a looping gesture with his hand. Maybe he fumbled a bit, but he thought he managed well enough. Savannah turned away, apparently deciding to ignore them. That worked for him.
“Daddy, you didn’t ask me what I thought of Macy,” Starla inserted. She stared at him through her lashes, which were far longer than any little girl should sport. Mother Nature had been kind to Savannah, but unfortunately, she’d been overly generous with Starla. Nick had never related to Greta Garbo’s father before Starla, but in recent days, he’d begun having kind thoughts about the man.
“I’m sorry, baby. What do you think of Macy?”
“I think she’s going to be our mom.”
Everyone at the table, even Bryce, stopped and turned to stare at her.
Savannah managed to say what no one else managed to force through stunned lips. “What?” Disbelief liberally laced her voice. That was pretty much how he felt, too.
Starla didn’t appear fazed in the least. She blinked her startling blue eyes at them, which fortunately were not laced with lots of makeup, and stared back at them with utter conviction. Nick didn’t doubt she was confident in the ball she just artfully pounded into their court.
What he doubted was whether the family could withstand another heartache. Their mother’s leaving had hit all of them, but especially Savannah, hard. Another woman to blow into their lives and then blow out would devastate them.
And he couldn’t deny that he found Macy Beckman attractive to the extreme. Mother Nature had also been generous to her. He liked her curly honey blonde hair and bright blue eyes. Her smooth, pale skin reminded him of his daughters. Actually, most people would probably mistake his daughters for hers. Like their mother, both girls sported blonde curls similar to Macy’s.