His One and Only

By: Theodora Taylor

“Okay,” she said, firmly pushing her pride to the wayside. “When do I start? Also, is it okay if I move in sooner than later—and by sooner, I mean like tonight?”


JOSIE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT she expected when she went outside to wait for what she’d begun referring to in her head as the “Beau Prescott delivery.” But when the stretch limo pulled into the house’s circular driveway, the nervous energy that had been dogging her all morning spiked and she had to struggle to keep herself still while standing in front of the oversized Tudor’s front door.

Calm down, Josie, she thought, reminding herself that Beau and she were adults now.

Sure, she had flashed back to their high school years with a terrible inward cringe more times than she cared to admit, considering she was now a grown woman and not a love-struck seventeen-year old. But Beau’s life in Los Angeles was so beyond their relatively mundane shared past. He probably didn’t even remember what had happened between them back in high school.

Plus, he’d been badly injured. She still wasn’t clear on all the details, since the Suns had yet to release a statement, other than Beau was suffering from the side effects of a game-related concussion and would be out for the rest of the season. But she guessed he’d most likely be more concerned with recovering from his concussion than reliving his high school memories. Their new servant-employer relationship would be based on the grown-up versions of themselves, she assured herself, and at the very least, civil.

So then why did her heart start beating at what felt like one hundred miles per hour when the limo came to a stop right in front of her? And why did her breath actually catch when Beau Prescott stepped out, without waiting for the driver to come around to open his door?

From the way Mrs. Prescott had made it sound, she’d thought Beau would be a frail and sickly version of the football god she’d last seen at her mother’s funeral, more than a year ago. But no, that wasn’t the case at all. Sure he was dressed in slouchy jeans, Topsiders, and a dark green hoodie, instead of the sharp suits he usually wore when he was off the field. But somehow his leisure outfit still looked like it cost more than her best dress. And even though his thick black hair hung down messy and uncombed almost to his chin, and he was sporting a beard that didn’t look like it had ever seen a pair of trimming scissors, it still wasn’t enough to hide the classic good looks lurking underneath all that unchecked hair.

To Josie’s disappointment Beau still exuded almost hyper-masculinity, he still looked like a football god, and he was still completely mesmerizing. Worst of all, he still put her in mind of a superhero straight out of the comic books she used to read when she was kid, back when she was still silly enough to nurse a secret crush on him.

If anything, he was even more ruggedly, ridiculously handsome—almost too handsome. And the only thing indicating there might be something wrong with him were the designer sunglasses covering his eyes, even though it was overcast outside.

“Why am I still standing here?” Beau asked, his voice cut across the blustery day like a bullhorn. “I thought my mother hired somebody to make sure I wasn’t left standing in the goddamn driveway.”

These words snapped Josie right out of her staring spell. She rushed toward him, getting there just as the driver, a slightly older man with a thick grey mustache, did.

“That’s all right, I’ve got this,” Josie said, taking Beau’s arm before the driver could.

The words were barely out of her mouth before Beau was turning toward her voice, and at the same time, yanking his arm away like he’d just been touched by someone with a contagious disease.

She must have startled him, she realized, kicking herself inwardly. She’d been reading up on tending to the newly blind and more than one source had warned against not announcing yourself before touching a blind person.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Prescott,” she said. “I should have told you I was going to touch you before I did. I didn’t mean to come at you out of the blue like that.”

But he continued to stand there, breathing hard and rough, like a bear who’d been surprised in his cave.

Maybe, Josie thought with another mental kick, he didn’t recognize her voice. It had been years since they’d last seen each other, and they’d only exchanged a few terse words at her mother’s funeral. “It’s all right, Mr. Prescott,” she assured him. “It’s me, Josie Witherspoon.”

“I know who you are,” he answered, like she was nothing less than an idiot for reintroducing herself. “What the hell are you doing here?”

Josie’s eyes widened. “Your mama didn’t tell you?”

“Tell me what?” he asked, between gritted teeth.

He looked so furious Josie actually took a step back before saying, “She hired me to take care of you.”

“She did what?” he yelled.

“She hired me to take care of you…?” Josie repeated slowly. She’d thought the nervous energy from before was bad, but now her heart was beating with the thunder of a million horses in her chest.

This was not good. She hadn’t expected Beau to be this angry about her being here. And now he was yelling at her, which made her as skittish as a foal in fog.