Babysitting Baby Lux

Avery's Pearson's eighteenth birthday is not going how she imagined it to be. The bills are increasing, while her mother's health is deteriorating, and to top it all off she is now officially homeless. With no where to go and no idea what to do, Avery packs up their sparse belongings and rents a room at a local motel, where she finds a baby wandering down the corridor, only this is no ordinary baby, it's Baby Lux, as in One Direction's Baby Lux, Baby Lux. When Avery's offered a deal she can't refuse, will she be willing to leave her mother behind, just so she can pay the medical bills and build a new life? Who knows? A lot can happen when you're babysitting Baby Lux...

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2. Chapter 1

Happy Birthday to Me

They say birthdays are supposed to be special; a celebration of your birth, and another year you’ve been living. I used to feel the same way, until recently. I always thought I would never forget my seventeenth birthday, but I guess my eighteenth birthday was pretty memorable too. After all, it's not every day you race home from your last day of schooling to see your landlord driving away, leaving behind nothing except for a scrap of paper taped to your door, stating you had 12 hours to pack up everything and move. It's not every day you step into your home to see your frail mother lying on the couch, her thin body covered by a flimsy sheet, too weak to pack her sparse belongings. It's not every day you feel completely and utterly helpless beyond belief.

Unless you're me, and then all of that and more happens on your eighteenth birthday.

I guess on some level I was expecting it; I was already working overtime as it was, but I knew it would barely cover the medical bills, let alone pay for food, water, clothing, and the mortgage. It was bound to happen; we couldn't go on skimming the surface forever, I just didn't expect it all to happen so quickly. I never expected to become so desperate.

"Avery," my mother's once soothing voice croaks out, before horrible coughs rack through her body.

"Don't worry, mum, I'll figure something out," I assure her, whilst swallowing down all my doubts and fears. I have to be strong for the both of us, now more than ever.

"I'll figure something out... I probably have enough scraped up to rent us a night or two at the motel down the block," I mutter to myself, scavenging through all our drawers for loose change, hidden bills; anything that will benefit us. If I gathered all the income from my multitude of various occupations, I should be able to afford a sheltered night, and still have a bit left over for my mum's medicine and other necessities.

My bedroom was nearly bare, my closet far from teeming with clothing, and the only frivolous objects my mother possessed were a couple of worn-down novels. We've never really had much in our home, excluding a few family photographs and other personal keepsakes, thus packing up all our belongings was fairly effortless. Actually getting to the motel, however, was proven another task entirely. I had to transport myself, my ill mum, and all our possessions— no matter how scarce— without any sort of automobile.

"I'll run down and book us a room, and then I'll come back for you, OK mum?"

Setting my box down by the door, I stuff a couple of crumpled notes into my pocket and sprint to the nearest motel, where the man at the front desk informs me they’re full. Frustrated, but not yet deterred, I decide to keep running until I reach a hotel. I have a gut feeling a room here would be more expensive than renting a room at the admittedly shabby motel, but my only other option was sleeping on the street.

"Hello dear, is everything quite alright? Can I help you?" the receptionist asks, eying my disheveled appearance with concern.

"I'd like to rent out one room, please."

"Oh, of course! Is there anything else?" the plump, middle-aged woman asks, sliding a key across the counter.

"Actually, I need help getting my mum here; she isn't faring well and I haven't a car," I admit, hoping she can assist me.

She calls for a man named John, who offers to drive me back to my home and gather my belongings, much to my delight.

"You can afford this?" my mother inquires quietly, once we drive up to the dainty little hotel.

"It's a bit of a stretch, but we'll make it."

* * *

Waiting at the pharmacy counter at Tesco, I can't help picturing my mum's uneven breathing and light snores filling the silence around our room. She's been so weak lately, so exhausted, that she's nearly always resting. I want her to get better, more than anything, but her medication is getting harder to pay for, and I don't know how much longer we can afford it.

I don't know what to do anymore.

"Oof," a little girl cries as she crashes into my legs, breaking my thoughts and causing me to gasp.

I immediately crouch down to her height and evaluate her for any bruising, wondering who this blonde little girl might be, let alone why she's wandering the store alone. Hesitantly, I lift her up and set her on my hip, not having a clue what to do next. How do I find her parents?

"Lux? Lux! Oh my god, Lou is going to kill me."

I follow the worried voice and round a corner, spotting a blonde boy looking around frantically.

"Excuse me, sir? Is this who you're looking for?" I ask, stepping forward and tapping him on the shoulder.

He turns around sharply and glares at me, before noticing the toddler in my arms.

"Lux! You found her, thank you so much!" he cries, grabbing the young girl from me. "I literally cannot thank you enough, thank you, thank you, thank you!" Suddenly he pulls me into a tight hug, stunning me.

"Uh, no problem," I reply awkwardly, tense and standing stiff in the strangers arms. I cough and he pulls away, his cheeks tinged red.

"Right, sorry. I'm Niall," he introduces, offering his hand.

I grasp his warm hand in my own freezing one, "Avery."

He nods and opens his mouth to say something, but I quickly cut him off.

"I really should get going..."

"Oh, OK. Thanks again, for finding Lux."

"It was nothing, really," I rush out, eager to get back and give my mum her medication.

The blonde boy suddenly looks down, rubbing his neck. "Would you mind... D-Do you think I could get your number?"

He looks so bashful, so shy, that I'm tempted to wrap him in my arms, as awkward and creepy as that sounds. He slightly resembles a timid young child, and I love children. Unfortunately I cannot afford a high-tech mobile, or any mobile at all, to be honest, therefore I do not have a number to give him.

"I-"

Suddenly Niall's eyes widen and he bends down to swoop Lux into his arms before grabbing onto my hand and pulling me outside of the store.

I stand stunned as he leads me to a black Range Rover and buckles Lux into the back, before holding the passenger door open for me.

"I-I can't get in a car with you! I just met you!"

"Listen, I would love to explain, but right now we just really have to go."

"There is no we; I don't even know you." I point out, crossing my arms over my chest and refusing to get into the car. I might be temporarily homeless, but I'm not stupid. Everyone knows never to get into a car with strangers, despite their Irish accents and adorable babies.

"I don't have time to play around, just get in, please. I'll drive you to wherever you have to go."

I think it over in my head, and in a moment of weakness I nod, eager to escape the hour walk back to the hotel. I climb in and shut the door shut, just as Niall starts the car. I immediately snap my seat-belt in place and it's then that I regain my common sense. What am I doing in here with a stranger I just met at Tesco?

"So, where can I drop you off?"

"The LeBlue Hotel on fifth," I inform him, hoping he knows what I'm talking about.

"Why are you staying at the Hotel? Are you a tourist?"

"That's beside the point, right now I want to focus on why I'm in your car."

"Well-"

Suddenly a phone goes off, causing Lux to begin crying, and Niall reaches into his trousers pocket to pull out a shiny iPhone. It's then that I fully take him in, and notice how he's dressed in clothing I could only wish to afford, add in the fact that I’m sitting in a brand new Range Rover, and he’s obviously way out of my league.

"I'm sorry, but would you mind watching her for a moment while I take this?" he asks in his Irish accent, tilting his head towards Lux.

I nod reluctantly, seeing the plead in his eyes, and climb into the backseat, prepared to charm this little girl in front of me.

 

*Niall's P.O.V.*

"Mate, we need you to get to the studio now. There's been a meeting called," Liam, my band mate, informs me from the phone.

I glance in the rear-view mirror towards the girl I just met, Avery, and watch as she plays with Lux, a smile on both of their faces.

"But we're off today, and I'm watching Lux for Lou right now," I protest, frowning. Why must a meeting be called on our rare day off?

"Find someone to watch her, bring her along, I don't know, but get here quick; it's important."

"I'm on my way," I sigh, quickly ending the phone call in irritation.

What am I going to do with the two girls in my backseat?

"What's going on?" Avery breaks through my thoughts as she notices we're no longer moving, a trace of panic in her voice. I can only imagine what she's thinking at the moment.

"There's been a change of plans," I mutter, as I turn the car around and towards the studio.

"What do you mean? Where are you taking me?"

"An emergency has come up, and I have to be somewhere, urgently."

"I have to be somewhere too; I left my mother alone!" she cries out, confusing me. What's wrong with her mother being alone?

"Trust me, we'll go in and then come right back out, OK?"

"Okay," she agrees, calming down a bit and going back to playing with Lux, although I can still see her glancing at me uncertainly from the corner of her eye every so often.

I finally pull up to the studio and park my car, running to open the back doors.

I smile when Avery instinctively grabs Lux out from her baby seat and sets her on her hip, stepping out of the car and landing gracefully in front of me. Leading her into the building, I walk towards the meeting room and watch as she studies her surroundings, turning around to squint at me.

"What are we doing at a recording studio?"

"I have to take care of some matters real quickly," I say in disbelief, surprised that she honestly doesn't know who I am.

"Well what do I do?"

“I need you to sit in the back of the room and keep Lux occupied for me, OK?"

I could have sworn I heard her mutter, "Do I look like a nanny to you?" but decide to ignore it and pull open the meeting room doors, where all the lads except Harry are seated. I situate myself next to Liam, who nudges me in the side and motions towards Avery with his head.

“I’ll explain later,” I whisper, just as the doors open and Harry stumbles in.

“Harry, how nice of you to join us,” Paul says sarcastically.

“Good morning to you too, Paul.” Harry mumbles, rolling his eyes.

“Anyways, now that we are all present,” Paul gives Harry a pointed look. “We can discuss details about the upcoming Take Me Home Tour.”

“What details are we talking about? I thought everything was set?” Louis asks, quirking an eyebrow.

“That is partially true, but I’m reluctant to admit that Lou Teasdale will not be joining us on tour as your stylist.”

“What, why?” Harry cries out, suddenly sitting up straight and paying attention to the meeting, as the other lads cry out their protests as well. I spare a glance at Avery, who’s ignoring us all completely and playing with Lux on her lap.

“I’m sorry lads, but she admitted she couldn’t handle Lux and go on the tour simultaneously. It wasn’t mine or anyone else’s decision but hers. As much as she loves working you all, she has a commitment to her family first, and I respect that, same as how I hope you will too.”

“But we can’t go on tour without them! I’ll watch Lux!”

“I’m afraid that’s not possible, Harry. You are in a world-famous boy-band; you have shows to complete and fans to please. You’ll have even less time than Lou, and I doubt you’d want to spend you’re limited spare time caring for a child.”

“Well you’re wrong!” Harry shouts, defiantly.

“What if we find a sitter for her; someone who can go on tour with us and watch Lux at the same time, like a nanny of sorts?” Liam asks quietly.

“Well I don’t know where you’ll find someone like that who can be approved by Lou in time for the tour.” Paul says, scratching the back of his neck.

“I think I have an idea.”

 

*Avery’s P.O.V.*

“What do you mean you want me to go on tour with you?” I ask, calmly, yet on the inside my emotions are in turmoil and my brain is in overdrive.

“Listen, Lux is our stylists’ baby and she needs someone to watch over her while we’re on tour. We have a limited amount of time and you’ve clicked with Lux. We just need a background check and for Lou and Tom to approve and you’re in.” Niall rushes, throwing more and more information at me, in an effort to persuade me.

“I’m sorry, but I barely know you. I met you at Tesco barely an hour ago, how do I know this isn’t just a ploy to kidnap me?”

“Are you kidding me? I’m not trying to kidnap you! I need your help, and you’ll get paid too. It’s a sweet job to me; travel the world for free, actually get paid while you’re doing it, and you get to spend all day with me,” he replies cheekily, a teasing grin on his face.

“Don’t get too full of yourself, boy. But I have nothing better to do, so I guess I’m in,” I agree reluctantly, but honestly, how could I refuse? I would never tell Niall this, but I need the money, and at this point, I would do almost anything to get it. Besides, babysitting a little girl for a few months doesn’t seem too bad to me, compared to my other options.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ll go tell Paul and he’ll sort everything out.”

“No problem,” I say meekly, forcing a smile as Niall envelopes me in his warm embrace once again. Seconds later, he leaves to go back to the conference room, and I'm left in the hallway, alone, except for the child on my hip.

"Happy Birthday," I whisper quietly, wondering what I just got myself into.

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