About And Manny Makes Seven
Author: Sean Michael
Word Count: 54200
Page Count (pdf): 205
Date Published: January 2016
Publisher: Sean Michael
Series name and number: Mannies Incorporated, Book #3
When Adam’s parents died three years ago, he kept his five younger siblings together, playing parent as best a twenty-one year old could under the circumstances. Now his academic mentor Helena has passed away from cancer, and Adam doesn’t know what to do. He’s shocked, but grateful when a reading of the will determines that he’s not only inherited her beloved shi tzus , but also the house, a generous trust for everyone’s education, plus three million dollars, some of it earmarked for hiring a nanny.
Hutch has worked as a nanny since he was nineteen, when he took over the care of his neighbors children when both parents were killed in separate missions overseas. He’s worked with several families since and feels confident he can handle five children aged four through seventeen.
Hutch’s arrival is just what Adam needs and as Hutch begins to turn the big house from Helena’s place into their home, Adam and his siblings begin to see Hutch as more than just the nanny.
Can a path of tragedy and sorrow turn the corner to happiness and love?
Originally published by Torquere Press.
Hutch pulled up to the curb at 347 Willow Lane and whistled. That was some house. Historical and sprawling over a large front yard that boasted not one but three willow trees, it spoke of old money.
Fairly close to the university, this was an old neighborhood where people had taken care of the houses. There was a lot of room between them and almost all of them had at least one willow on the front yard. It made him wonder if the name had come first, or the trees.
He checked his notes from Mannies Incorporated. He was looking for Adam Conklin. There were five kids. No parents, just the older brother who’d been keeping them together for over three years. Hutch knew how much that sucked. The kids were lucky, actually, to have a brother old enough to look out for them so they weren’t split up and spread like so many seeds in the wind.
There was an old minivan in the driveway, as well as a rash of bicycles stacked against the wall in the garage. Plenty of boxes at the back of the garage, too. Like someone was moving.
He climbed the front steps, noting that the lawn was in need of a mow, and that the beds scattered throughout the yard could do with a weeding, too, and rang the doorbell.
“I get it!”
“It’s my turn, Lizzie!”
“Little kids can’t open the doors!”
“I’m not little!”
“Oh, shut up, you freaks!”
A teenaged girl with too much makeup and her phone in one hand yanked the door open, knocking one of the little ones down on her butt. “What do you want? Adam’s busy.”
The little one who’d fallen started to cry, and from somewhere inside the house dogs started barking.
“I’m Hutchison Sparks. Adam is expecting me.” He went back over the ages and names he’d been given in his head. “You must be Briony.” Teenage girls were the same the world over in his experience.
“My brother is waiting for Mary Poppins and… Hey! How did you know who I was?” Her dark hair was streaked with green and blue, her clothes artfully torn.
“Because I’m Mary Poppins. I left my umbrella in the car.” He could tell that Briony wasn’t sure whether to be mad or laugh.
“Darla, go get Adam, ‘kay? Elizabeth, shut up!” She bent down, picked the little girl up.
“You are not.”
The other little one, a perfect match to the crying one, started giggling. Oh God, this gang was going to be a handful. A challenge. It was a good thing Hutch liked challenges.
“Addie-Lou! Addie-Lou, we need you!” Darla shouted as she ran down the hall.
Leaning against the door jam, Hutch couldn’t help but chuckle. Addie-Lou. Someone had been reading the Grinch.
“I guess you can come in. My brother is a badass, though, and I take Tae Kwon Do, so don’t try hurting anyone.”
The smiling little girl gasped. “Is he a murder man?”
“No, sweetheart, I am most certainly not a murder man.” He went in, giving them all his best not a murder man smile.
“Bri?” asked the little one, clearly not taking his word for it.
“He’s fine. It’s okay. Lizzie, stop crying.”
He’d have offered to take Lizzie from Briony, but figured Adam would want to vet him and introduce him to everyone officially before he started being their nanny.
“Hey. Hey, sorry. I was working.” A tall, lanky guy with the spikiest blond hair and biggest blue eyes he’d ever seen came down the hallway, holding out his hand. “Adam. Adam Conklin. You’re from the service?”
“Nice to meet you, Adam. I’m Hutchison Sparks.” He shook Adam’s hand, then pulled his letter from Mannies Incorporated out of his bag and handed it over. It worked as an introduction and reference at the same time.