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Shopping for a Billionaire's Wife (Shopping for a Billionaire #8) Page 19
Author: Julia Kent

I hate being the target of it.

Normally, though, I love watching it in action.

This is too raw. Too painful. Too hard. Unlike Dec, I can’t divorce how I feel about a situation from how I act on it. I wish I could. Oh, how much easier life would be if I could. Limitations abound in all of us, and in this exact moment my emotions are overriding my logic, and I start to cry.

And rush across the room into my mother’s arms.

She clings to me like I’m that broken door on the Titanic and she’s Rose.

“Shannon,” she gasps.

“Mom,” I sob.

“It’s okay, honey,” she says, her body shaking as she cries, my own tears making my chest hitch and heave. I look over her shoulder to find Declan standing next to the room service cart, absentmindedly picking berries out of the bowl and shoveling them into his mouth, eyes rolling but a smile twitching in one corner of his mouth.

“I know,” Mom says as I nudge my nose against her shoulder, the tears pouring off me. She’s rubbing my back the same way she used to when I was little and hurt myself. “Let it all out. I know you’re sorry.”

I freeze.

Declan shoots me a look that says, I had this. You blew it.

“I am not sorry,” I say in a voice that can only be heard by playing a vinyl record at half speed.

“Of course you are,” she says. “I raised you right. You, on the other hand,” she adds, pointing to Declan, who is currently eating smoked maple bacon like it’s an Olympic sport, “were raised by a sociopath who drinks the blood of virgin llamas for fun.”

“Am I supposed to be offended by that characterization of my dad? Because I’m not. It’s disturbingly close to the truth,” Declan replies.

Mom reddens. “I can’t believe that you stole my daughter from her own wedding!”

“He didn’t steal me—”

“It was my wedding, too—”

Palms with one-inch manicured tartan gel tips go up, facing us both. “I don’t care, frankly, what either of you has to say! You’re lucky I’m even speaking to you!” I look down at my own hands and see matching tartan.

My own anger goes up a notch.

Declan takes a slow, steady sip of his coffee and looks at Mom with eyes as calm as the Dalai Lama’s.

“Speaking to us?” I scream, my own nuclear detonation imminent, compounded by Declan’s infuriatingly non-reactive status. If he doesn’t show emotion, then I’m going to end up channeling everything I feel and everything I imagine he feels into one big reactivity laser that will blast us all into the next galaxy.

Tap tap tap.

“Perfect timing for the shoes,” Declan says with a smile, making Mom do a double take. Walking across the room with a pinpoint perfection in his slow gait, Dec answers the door to find my father standing there, holding a tray of lattes, wearing his kilt tuxedo from yesterday and a weary smile.

“Mocha latte, anyone?”

“I am not speaking to you!” I inform Mom, marching across the room to give Dad a peck on the cheek and grabbing a latte. “You turned into a wretched, pretentious, emotionally-manipulative, depraved version of my mother. You took over my wedding and turned it into some warped version of your own. You invited hundreds of people I’ve never met, bought five thousand dollars worth of ribbon, invited my nemesis and my ex-boyfriend, and worst of all—you rickrolled me on national television!”

Mom’s mouth is open and she’s ready to jump right in, but her eyebrows go down. “Rickroll?” She and Dad share a confused look.

“Never mind,” Declan says, taking the tray from Dad. “Jason, want some blueberries and cream? Fresh from Maine and New Zealand.”

Dad sits at the room service tray table and kicks off his shoes, a sigh escaping him like a slashed tire. “I don’t care if it comes from the corner Seven-Eleven here in Vegas. Just give me something to eat.”

The two men start spooning berries and cream into their mouths as Mom and I unite in our open evaluation of this turn of events.

“What are they doing?” Mom hisses through the side of her mouth.

“They’re Declanning.”


“Pretending to be calm so they rattle us.”

Mom snorts. “They always think that works.”

“I know.” Giving her the side-eye, I realize I’m being nice to her. How can this be? We’re re-aligned again, on the same side, and someone must pay for taking the wind out of my sails.

My stomach growls like it’s shifting into a bear. Just as Declan takes the last spoonful of berries, I realize they’ve managed to eat all the fruit.

“That was my breakfast!” I declare.

Declan looks at Dad and they share a smile. “I’ll call for more.”

Mom gives me a look. “You two need to stop it.”

“Stop what?” Dad and Declan say in unison.

“Not you!” Mom snaps, drinking half her mocha latte, then pointing the top of it at Dad. “These two!” She flails the drink in my and Declan’s general direction.

“Stop what?” Dec and I ask.

“Stop acting like you didn’t cause a major media circus and make poor Jessica Coffin have a nervous breakdown.”

“Jessica?” I screech. “Who cares about Jessica?”

“And James is furious! You’ve wasted all this Anterdec money on a selfish whim!” She gives Declan a condescending look that probably scares preschool boys but just makes Declan burst into braying laughter.

Julia Kent's Novels
» Shopping for an Heir (Shopping for a Billionaire #10)
» Shopping for a CEO's Fiancée (Shopping for a Billionaire #9)
» Shopping for a Billionaire's Wife (Shopping for a Billionaire #8)
» Shopping for a CEO (Shopping for a Billionaire #7)
» Shopping for a Billionaire's Fiancee (Shopping for a Billionaire #6)
» Christmas Shopping for a Billionaire (Shopping for a Billionaire #5)
» Complete Harmony (Her Billionaires #5.2)
» Complete Abandon (Her Billionaires #5.1)
» Shopping for a Billionaire 2
» Shopping for a Billionaire 1
» Complete Bliss (Her Billionaires #5.3)
» It's Complicated (Her Billionaires #5)
» Shopping for a Billionaire 4
» Shopping for a Billionaire 3
» Random Acts of Crazy (Random #1)
» Random Acts of Trust (Random #2)
» Her First Billionaire (BBW Menage #1)
» Her Second Billionaire (BBW Menage #2)
» Her Two Billionaires (BBW Menage #3)
» Her Two Billionaires and a Baby (BBW Menage #4)