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Shopping for a Billionaire's Wife (Shopping for a Billionaire #8) Page 35
Author: Julia Kent

How can someone change so much in just twenty-four hours?

Five minutes later, I’m done, and come into the main suite ready to—


Sleep, apparently.

Because Declan is snoring like crazy, out cold.

A part of me wants to curl up with him. I kick off my heels and start to relax when my phone buzzes.

It’s Amanda.

Coffee? she texts.

You two are done already? I reply.

She just types back “...”

I answer with a question mark.

Andrew got called away on a ton of wedding media business. You guys have really dumped a lot of work on him, she replies.

Sorry :(, I answer. Yes to coffee.

Her answer is a smiley face and an address next door.

My phone buzzes again. It’s Mom.

I ignore it.

Tap tap tap.

“Can’t I get some peace?” I murmur, opening the door to find a uniformed hotel staff member carrying a familiar blue bag from a famous jewelry store.

He hands it to me.

Tiffany & Co.

“What’s this?”

The staff person bows and gives me a mysterious smile. “A gift from Mr. McCormick.” And with that, the quiet man with the Mediterranean accent disappears, melting into the hallway decor as if he were a Marvel comic superhero.

I open the bag, then the box. I slump against the threshold.

It’s a gorgeous silver necklace with an emerald the exact shade of Declan’s eyes.

And it’s the size of my youngest nephew’s fist.

Declan knows I don’t like lavish jewelry. The three-carat engagement ring from his mother is hard enough for me to wear. Big rocks snag on everything.

I know why he’s doing this. What do I do? He saw Amanda’s earrings at lunch and assumed he needed to do some grand gesture to—what? Prove his love to me? Show up his brother?

On impulse, I grab my purse and the bag, and sprint down the hallway. The man who delivered the gift jumps slightly when I tap his shoulder, but he’s the consummate professional.

“Yes, Mrs. McCormick?”

I shiver.

“Could you kindly return this to Tiffany?” I ask, shoving the box in the bag.

His eyes flicker with deep concern.

“Was there a problem with the item? Should I contact Mr. McCormick and let him take care of the issue?”

“No! No. He’s sleeping right now. We’ve had a rather, um, eventful day and a half.”

The man, whose name tag reads Luis, chuckles. He’s too well trained and cultivated to say more than that, but the truth is written all over his face.

Of course he knows what the past day and a half has been like for us.

So do two billion other people on earth who’ve been watching television. Hell, we’re a trending story on that stupid right-hand scroll on Facebook. Once you’re mentioned there, that’s it. You’re screwed.

“I just...please. Return it.” I give Luis a cultured smile, one I’ve learned to dish out when I become uncomfortable in Declan’s world. Grace suggested this as a strategy a few months ago, and damned if it doesn’t work. My usual tactic of using an avalanche of ingratiating, self-effacing words works well in my social world, but not Declan’s.

Coolness. Being aloof. Using as few words as possible. Not over-explaining.

That’s what works here.

And it is very effective.

“I most certainly will, Mrs. McCormick. I am so sorry it wasn’t to your liking.” He retreats down a different hallway and I stand before the bank of elevators, wondering if I did the right thing.

That’s not really true. I know I did the right thing. I also know that when Declan finds out I returned his gift, we’re going to have a fight.

If my goal is to make everyone I love angry with me, then I’m succeeding.


You coming? Amanda asks in a text.

I push the down button and an elevator opens immediately. It’s a sign.

A latte can’t hate me.

And can’t be returned.

Chapter Eleven

“What did you do while I was asleep?” Declan asks as I return to our suite. We have a perfect view of the massive fountain downstairs, and the choreographed water show just ended. I’m a bit dazed by it, the jets skyrocketing hundreds of feet into the air, colored lights and opera music piped outside, passersby gathering on walkways and bridges to watch.

“I went next door to the resort over there!” I say, grabbing my amazing coffee and holding it out to him. “It’s so awesome! The decor is all sleek lines, with textured walls and ceilings. The variety is spellbinding.”

He grunts. It’s a sound that says, I heard you.

“And the coffee is so much better than the coffee here!” I chirp.

Now I have his attention.

“Their casino is spread out in a different formation, so you have to walk past all the patisseries, the baked goods and chocolates on display,” I add. “And they have a bunch of sunken tables and really cozy circular couches, all with a great view of the wide-open atmosphere and in welcoming, but trendy, fabrics.”

He walks over to me and picks up my latte, taking a sip. His eyebrow goes up.

“Go on,” he says, the words slow and deliberate. It’s the most focus I’ve gotten from him all day, and it’s exciting to have a real conversation with him. Everything in Vegas is so fake, so ostentatious and over the top that conversations fall into two camps: how to do something wasteful and how to do something even more wasteful.

“I got this mind-blowing coffee at this shop called Grind It Fresh! and a chocolate French macaron that I would marry, if it were legal to wed an almond-flour confection,” I joke.

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)