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Shopping for a Billionaire's Wife (Shopping for a Billionaire #8) Page 27
Author: Julia Kent



It hits me, though: the wedding. He overcame his deep-seated fear in order to rescue Amanda from drowning. I almost smack my own head in a Eureka! moment. Of course.

Of course that explains all this weirdness.

Months of wedding preparation made me miss out on so much of my normally layered life. While Amanda and Andrew’s developing relationship was on my radar, it wasn’t front and center.

Like now.

We’re in a new reality, where Declan and I are at the core of a media spectacle, the year-long planning for the thousand-person wedding just got thrown out the window, Andrew is the new CEO of Anterdec and their father is ill, and he threw himself (literally) headfirst into his relationship with Amanda just yesterday, at our wedding.

Good grief.

That was yesterday.

The wine’s gone to my head, because the orchid next to Amanda begins to dance.

“Yesterday,” I whisper.

“Does she routinely quote Beatles lyrics?” Andrew whispers to Amanda.

“Honey?” Declan doesn’t use many terms of endearment in public, so I know I must look a sight. “What’s wrong?”

“Yesterday. We fled the wedding yesterday.”


“It feels like a year. Mom found us this morning. We kicked her out of the room—”

“And us, too,” Andrew mutters.

“Because we needed privacy,” Declan clarifies, his voice so full of warning that Amanda and I frown at each other in worry.

I look at Amanda’s arms, which are covered in a lightweight cotton crewneck shirt, three-quarter sleeves the shade of the wide-open blue sky above us. Angry red welts, swollen and raised, peek out above her wrists.

She looks like Wolverine did a number on her. Surgical tape covers the skin along her other arm.

“Your arm!” I gasp. “Is that from yesterday? In the pool with Chuckles?”

“And Muffin and Spritzy, yeah,” Amanda says, wincing. Andrew slings his arm around her shoulders and gives her a side hug, the two of them closing their eyes and sighing together.

“Too much,” I whisper. “It’s all too much. We’ve been through a lifetime in twenty-four hours.”

Andrew opens his eyes, brown gemstones glittering with a strange mixture of mirth, anger, and protective outrage. “You and Declan sure do know how to make an exit.”

Amanda laughs, reaching for the wine and refilling her glass, her stretch making the bandages show even more. I do the math. Somehow, they managed to leave the wedding, get her proper medical attention, fly five and a half hours to Vegas, check into their hotel room, sleep, and find us this morning.

All while managing Momzilla.

It really is too much.

For everyone.

“I’m so sorry,” I say, reaching across the table for Amanda’s free hand, tears making my vision blur. “You’re the ones we should apologize to.”

Declan flinches, his chin pulling back and eyes troubled. He gives me a look of compassion tinged with skepticism. “Apologize? To Andrew?”

Ignoring the fact that he’s completely leaving Amanda out of this, I respond, “Yes. I know that apologizing in the McCormick family is a form of UN-prohibited torture, but normal people say they’re sorry when they’ve hurt someone, intentionally or unintentionally.”

Andrew gives me an appraising look. “She really does study us. Dad said he thought she did, but this proves it.”

“Is that true?” Amanda asks him.

“Is what true?”

“McCormicks don’t apologize to each other?”

The dual snorts from the men are her answer.

“Well,” I announce archly, “I am not a McCormick—yet—and I am going to apologize, deeply, to both Andrew and Amanda,” I announce, then chug the rest of my second glass of wine. “I am sorry that by escaping the wedding, we dumped so much of the responsibility off on you.”

“Oh,” Declan groans, the sound one of relief. “That.” He waves his hand toward Andrew. “Right. I’ll apologize for that, no problem.”

Andrew’s eyes narrow. “What did you think Shannon wanted you to apologize for?”

“Doesn’t matter.” Declan’s clipped tones make my antenna go up, too.

“It matters,” Andrew argues.


My eyes dart over to Amanda, who looks at me like, You’re the McCormick men expert. Explain this.

I shrug and cheer when the waiter interrupts us with salads. Andrew clearly ordered everyone’s meal ahead of time. Declan doesn’t seem to care about that.

“I’m not sorry for escaping,” I add, almost as an afterthought. Declan’s hand reaches under the table for mine, clasping it. Aha. That’s what he thought I was insisting we say, as if we should apologize for asserting ourselves and reclaiming our wedding.

Oh, no.

Hell, no.

“You shouldn’t be.” Andrew’s words come with a healthy dose of laughter as he digs into his salad. “Your mom is nuts.”

Declan’s grip relaxes and he smiles at his brother.

All is well in McCormick Man Land.

They have a common enemy. And for once, it isn’t their dad.

Emotion wells up in me, and not just because the waiter arrives with shrimp cocktail the size of lobster claws. Amanda can sense it, and she reaches for my shoulder, giving me a sisterly touch.

“It’s okay, Shannon. You can breathe now. Really. Sure, it’s a mess.” She chuckles. “When isn’t life a mess? But the mess is back there. In Boston. And, really, it’s Marie’s mess. She made it.”

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)