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Mother Faker: Chapter 4

Liv

Friday morning, I’m late getting to the plane for my trip to Las Vegas with the Boston Revs because Shayla made us all join her for a morning stretch and then Dylan forced us to chant our thanks to the universe. She says it will help with the vegetables. I don’t have the bandwidth to even attempt to work out the connection there.

Delia made up for it, though, with a double espresso that could knock the pants off the Pope.

Though I’ve been in a mad scramble all morning, I can’t help but feel just a little lighter than usual because I’m getting a weekend away without the kids.

Even if Beckett is more of a pain in my ass than all seven kids.

“Welcome, Liv. How are you today?” Lindsay, the regular flight attendant, asks as I step onto the private plane.

Smiling at her, I search the plane to see whether Beckett has already arrived. When I catch sight of him, my smile quickly turns into a frown. He’s glaring as he slips his suit jacket off his broad shoulders.

I jump and swallow a gasp when Lindsay slaps my back. Apparently, we’re hugging friends now. I lean in, because why not.

With an awkward chuckle, she says, “There’s a dryer sheet stuck to your back.”

When she pulls it off and holds it up, I swipe it from her hands and slide it into my pocket with a groan. “I swear, I haven’t always been this much of a hot mess.”

Lindsay gives me a genuine smile. “Momming is hard.”

“Amen,” I mutter under my breath.

“Can I bring you a coffee?”

Closing my eyes, I nod. “Bless you.”

“Want me to add a shot of whiskey?”

I side-eye my boss and consider it. “No, but if you put some in his, then maybe he’ll tone his glare down a notch.”

She gives me a knowing smirk and sashays into the galley while I head toward Beckett, hiding what a hot mess I really am. Squaring my shoulders, I lift my chin and channel the Liv who has it all together. The one who puts him in his place daily. It’s the only way the two of us work.

“Morning, sir,” I say as I set my purse on the seat opposite him.

“You’re late,” he grumps. No good morning. No hi, how are you?

We’re off to a roaring start.

When I don’t respond, Beckett takes me in from head to toe. When he gets to my feet, his eyes narrow. “And your shoes don’t match.”

Dropping my chin, I examine them, and sure enough, one of my black pumps has a pointed toe and the other is rounded.

Shit. This divorce is killing me.

Living with twenty-five kids is killing me.

Okay, seven, but Dylan can sometimes make it feel like there are far more. Her free spirit and easy-going demeanor are a breath of fresh air, but there is absolutely no semblance of order in our house. At all.

“Shit,” I mutter. What else can I say? I’m standing across from one of the most eligible bachelors in Boston after delaying our flight to Las Vegas, and I’m not even wearing matching shoes. “I’ll get a matching pair out of my luggage when we land, Mr. Langfield.” I close my eyes so I don’t have to witness his exasperated expression. It’ll only amplify my humiliation.

Day in and day out, I maintain the façade of a woman who is completely put together—hair always in a bun and heels sky-high to give me a little height. Always dressed in my signature black to cover my curves. Basically, I’m a walking fraud when I enter the building. Outside the office, I’m nowhere near that put together, but my goal for the last decade has been to never let the man in front of me know that.

I slide into the seat next to him, ignoring the smell that assaults me. Fresh leather and a hint of spearmint. He always smells clean, and it takes every ounce of my willpower not to inhale deeply every time we’re in close proximity.

Beckett cranes his neck and glares. “We’ve worked together for over ten years. Why do you still call me that?”

I peer up at him as I buckle myself in. “Huh?”

“You call Gavin by his first name. You even call my father Preston.” He frowns at me for a long moment, as if he’s diving deep into his memories.

“You don’t pay attention to half the things I say to you, yet you’ve picked up on my conversations with other people?” The words slip out before I can stop them.

Beckett’s lips twitch as if he wants to smile, but his eyes remain hard.

“Sorry, sir. That was rude. Can we start over? I’ve had a bad morning.”

If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear Beckett’s face softens, and he nods. “Yeah, neither of us has had a great day, it seems.”

Beside us, Lindsay appears with a cup of coffee. “Can I get you anything else?”

I shake my head and Beckett does the same.

“We should be airborne in a few minutes. If you need anything, just let me know.” She disappears, leaving me with my coffee and swirling thoughts about what could be so bad about Beckett’s day.

But when I turn back to ask him, his attention is already fixed on his computer screen, so I let it go.

Hours later, the man is still wearing the same damn scowl, only I have no idea why. We made the trade he was shooting for, and the Revs won their first game of the series. The team didn’t just win, they killed it—nine to one. We missed a no-hitter by one run. It was an incredible game, so the man’s attitude is unwarranted.

“Liv,” Beckett says, studying me as I approach him. His voice raises an octave, as if he’s actually happy to see me. Or maybe surprised, like he conjured me himself.

Oh God, he must need something.

“Mr. Langfield.” I tip my chin and settle on the stool next to him at the bar. “Great game.”

The bartender places a napkin in front of me, and I order a glass of pinot noir. I don’t drink much, but I’m hoping the alcohol will help me relax so I can get a good night’s rest. We have another game tomorrow, then a late flight home, where I’ll be back on child duty—otherwise known as motherhood.

Tonight’s my one night of freedom. Only I can’t help the giggle that sneaks out, because I’ve traded in babysitting one set of kids for another. This one just happens to be a needy grown man.

As the bartender sets the wine in front of me, I turn to Beckett, feeling his steely gaze on me. I can only ignore his death stare for so long. “Cheers,” I offer, holding up my glass.

His eyes narrow when I tap my glass against his, which is dangling rather precariously from his fingers.

Bloodshot eyes meet mine. It’s obvious he’s had quite a bit more than that one whiskey.

“What are we toasting?” he slurs.

Is he drunk?

I twist my lips. “A great game?” When his expression remains sour, I add, “Are you okay, Mr. Langfield?” I motion to the bartender and request a water.

Beckett drops his head and groans. “It’s gotten worse, Liv.”

While I still call him Mr. Langfield, he’s always used my nickname.

“What happened now?”

“Sabrina spoke to the press.”

“Your ex?” I arrange my expression into one of neutrality, but I’ve never liked the woman. For some reason, he puts up with her pretty regularly. Their mothers are friends, and they grew up together—there’s always a reason for why awful people spend time with one another.

“Who else would I be talking about?” he grumps.

“Okay, how did she make it worse?”

He blinks at me and drags a hand down his face. “She said she doesn’t know why it’s news that I don’t like kids. I’ve never liked kids. It’s why we broke up.”

I suck in a breath. “That bitch.”

His eyes widen at my response, and he straightens on his barstool. I don’t normally curse in front of the people I work for, but honestly, I’m too tired after last night’s book club, and I’m frustrated after the shit show that was my morning. I don’t have it in me to censor myself.

Delia made us talk about the autobiography until eleven p.m. Full discussions about the woman and whether we thought her childhood affected how she lived her life. It took every ounce of restraint I possessed not to scream that I had no idea why she did what she did, because I hadn’t read the damn book. Throw in the long day with travel and the game and add in this glass of wine and my drunk boss, and basically, my filter is slipping big time.

“She didn’t mean to throw me under the bus,” he explains, bringing me back to our present problem.

I arch a brow and huff under my breath. He’s far too trusting if he truly believes that.

“But none of it matters. The point is, we’ve entered DEFCON 1. I didn’t want to do this, but I’m going to have to do what my father suggested.”

“Which is?”

“Marry a woman with kids.”

I eke out a sound that resembles a laugh and shrug. “As much as I appreciate that you thought to ask me first, I’m not interested, Mr. Langfield.”

Beckett’s only response is a narrowing of his eyes.

“I’m joking,” I say, pasting on a smile. “I know you aren’t asking me. But seriously, this is a bit of a stretch. Tomorrow I’ll get to work on a way to spin everything.”

“Why would you think I wasn’t asking you?”

A breathy laugh escapes my lips. “Please. I’m so not your type.” He frowns, but it’s not his usual asshole frown. This one is more confusion than anything else, so I quickly add, “Not that you’re mine.”

He rears back and grunts. “I’m everyone’s type. Now tell me why I’m not yours.”

“Everyone’s type?” I laugh. I mean, he is. If you like that whole tall, dark, handsome, and broody thing. And also, he has nice eyes. Even if he spends most of his time glaring. The contrast between his green irises and his dark hair takes me by surprise every time I look at him. Like I somehow expect them to be brown, and then he goes and surprises me when he blinks.

He doesn’t answer my question. No, he just continues assessing me.

I sigh. “I’ve seen the women you date.”

Beckett’s eyes grow wide, making my heart lodge itself in my throat.

“I mean… Forget it. What are we going on about, anyway? We have to come up with a plan.”

He smiles at that, and now my stupid heart is tripping over itself. “I have.”

Pressing a palm to my chest, I blow out a relieved breath. Finally, we’re getting somewhere. “Excellent. So what’s the plan?”

“We’re getting married.”

Eyes going wide, I cough out a loud, unladylike laugh at the absurd suggestion.

Beckett merely keeps that damn smile fixed on me. Has he lost his mind?

“You’re drunk.”

On the bar in front of me, my phone buzzes. I squeeze the side twice so it goes to the lock screen. It’s a picture of the kids and me. A rare one, where the kids’ faces are clean, no one’s hair is too out of control, and their clothes aren’t covered in food or dirt.

Beckett peeks over at the image, and his face softens. He picks up the device and holds it next to his face. “Don’t you think we’d make a great-looking family?”

Is this guy delusional?

“Mr. Langfield⁠—”

“You really should call me Beckett now that we’re engaged.”

“We aren’t engaged,” I huff.

“You want a ring?” he asks, his brows raised. “Of course you do. Do you prefer gold or platinum? You never wear anything but those diamond studs.” He angles in until he’s so close to my face I can’t breathe.

Is he going to kiss me? The thought sends a shiver down my spine. Whether it’s a good shiver or a bad one is yet to be determined.

“Gold it is,” he murmurs, and then I swear to God, he sniffs me.

Do I smell?

Possibly like the pancakes I fed Addie this morning. Or maybe coffee. God, I hope I put on deodorant. Being a mom means constantly asking yourself these questions and never truly knowing the answer.

He backs up, but only slightly, and looms over me. “What do you say? I’ll give you a healthy raise.” He tilts his head and looks off to one side like he’s formulating a plan. “We’ll attend events together, which we already do, share some meals, which we already do, and make sure we’re photographed together, which we already are. The only thing that will change is that you’ll have to bring the kids around a bit more. But I swear I’ll be good to them.”

“Mr. Langfield—” I stop myself when he glowers. “Er, Beckett, while I appreciate the offer, and I’m sure you would be fine with my kids, you must have better options. Maybe you can hire actors to pretend to be your wife and kids?” Granted, the idea is just as ridiculous, but it doesn’t involve me or my kids, and that’s all that really matters.

“My father will find out,” he mutters.

“So?”

“He doesn’t want me to fake marry someone. He wants me to grow up. He wants me to real marry someone.”

I blanch. “But we wouldn’t be getting real married.”

He shrugs like this is everyday conversation. “Why not, though? I can sell a real relationship between us. We spend 90 percent of our time together as it is, Liv. No one will find it hard to believe that after your divorce, I asked you out and we became something more. We went to Vegas, and I couldn’t help myself. I had to make you mine immediately.”

“Hard to believe?” I rear back. “It’s impossible to believe, Beckett. Until this second, I was pretty sure you didn’t even know about my divorce.”

He throws back the last of his whiskey and motions to the bartender for another. “Gavin told me.” He lowers his voice an octave, and it comes out smoother, kinder, almost. “How come you didn’t tell me? I would have helped you find a divorce attorney.”

What is happening? Did I bump my head on my way in to work? Maybe our plane crashed and I’m trapped in an alternate reality. Beckett Langfield has never cared about the personal lives of his employees, let alone wanted to sit down and discuss them.

I fold my hands on the bar top and pull in a calming breath. It’s time to take control of this conversation. “I don’t need your help. I’ve handled my divorce just fine on my own.”

He nods. “I’m here if you need help, Liv.”

The tone of his voice warms me, and though I try to fight it, a soft smile spreads across my face. I bring my wineglass to my lips to hide it. “Thank you, Mr.—” I take a deep breath. “Thank you, Beckett. I appreciate it. We’ll figure out your situation. You’re a good person. You don’t need to get married to save your reputation.” I laugh slightly. “And definitely not to a single mom whose life is a disaster.”

Dropping one elbow to the bar, he turns so he’s facing me full-on. “Your life is a disaster?”

With a scoff, I shake my head. “I don’t really want to talk about it.” Ready to move on from this conversation, I bring my glass to my lips again, only to discover it’s empty.

Beckett waves at the bartender again, and when he refills my glass, Beckett instructs him to leave the bottle and bring over a second glass. Then he pours himself one and clinks it against mine. “To not talking about it,” he says with a lift of his lips that could almost be considered a smile.

He takes a slow sip, and as he places his glass down and licks across his bottom lip, a flush creeps up my chest.

Beckett Langfield has a nice tongue.

A long one too.

Do people normally have nice tongues? Probably not. But of course he does. Beckett has a nice everything. Like those damn hands. When he flexes the one resting on his thigh, a whimper escapes my throat.

Shit. I peek up, hoping like hell he didn’t hear me, but naturally, his eyes are locked on my mouth, as if he’s studying where the sound came from. His gaze alone ignites a flame inside me. And suddenly, it’s an inferno in here. I pull on my top, hoping the movement will cool me, but all it does is garner his attention. And now those eyes flash with fire as he stares at my breasts.

Oh shit, I’m pretty sure I’m drunk now too.

And if there’s one thing you shouldn’t do, it’s get drunk with your hot boss in Vegas. You never know what’ll happen next…


A warm palm slides up my back, and I groan. “Not now, Winnie.”

She’s always sneaking into my bed, and her body temperature at night rivals the fires of hell.

Tossing off the sheet, I relish the hit of cool air, then peek one eye open. That’s all I can handle, because my head feels like a thousand-pound elephant is sitting on top of it. My stomach rolls as the sun blares in my face, and I smack my eyes shut.

“Why?” I whine. Why is it so bright in here? We have the tiniest windows in this house. How is light that bright even getting in? “Turn off the light.” Winnie must have turned it on in the middle of the night when she snuck in.

At the deep growl near my ear, I snap my eyes open and scurry to the edge of the mattress, heart pounding and fight-or-flight mode activated…and that’s when I see it.

Beside me, in all its naked glory, is an ass. Okay, not just an ass. There’s a body attached to the ass, obviously, but all I can see is the very plump, very round, very naked ass. My eyes can’t actually look at anything else.

It’s also surprisingly shiny for an ass. No hair to speak of. It must be an expensive ass.

Stop looking at this stranger’s ass, I instruct my eyes, which fail to follow commands.

I grab for the sheet and wrap it around my also very naked body, and then I count.

Deep breath in, two, three, four. Out, two, three, four.

In, two… Holy fuck, I’m naked in bed with a stranger.

In, two, three

He groans and shifts, squeezing the pillow beneath his head, and that’s when I discover precisely who that ass belongs to.

Beckett Langfield.

As in Beckett Langfield is lying in bed next to me naked.

And I’m naked.

We’re both naked. In bed.

Oh my God.

Still wrapped in the bedsheet, I leap off the mattress, my stomach rolling. Scanning the floor for clothes, I snag the first thing I find, then dart to the bathroom.

Shutting the door as quietly as possible, I collapse against it, panting, “Oh my God. I think I had sex with my boss.”

I slump to the floor, squeezing my eyes shut and slap a hand to my face. Dammit. What happened last night? How did I end up in his hotel room? And naked?

Why are we both naked?

“Think, Liv!” I hiss.

I scrape my hands down my face, startling when cool metal runs across my cheek. What the…? Holding my left hand out, I stare down at the largest diamond I’ve ever seen. My lungs constrict violently, making it almost impossible to breathe as horror fills me.

“Oh my God. I think I married my boss.”


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