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Shopping for a Billionaire's Wife (Shopping for a Billionaire #8) Page 37
Author: Julia Kent

“Why not hire them?” Declan pries.

“Because, because—they’re our competitor!”

“Greg’s competitor,” he reminds me. “And besides, we hire the best. Our loyalty is to the product or service that excels. Nothing less.”

I stare at my coffee and start to say something.

This is one of those moments, right? A juncture. A fork in the road. I can be right, or we can have harmony. I can speak up, or we can have peace. Whatever I do now doesn’t have to set the course for our entire relationship.

But if I point out Declan’s hypocrisy, I’m pretty sure it’ll trigger a fight I don’t really want to deal with right now.

Can I live without great coffee and a better resort experience? Sure.

Marriage involves sacrifice, right? Relationships are built on compromise. Negotiation. Agreement.

I can totally do this.

This will be a breeze.

* * *

I last twelve hours.

I would make the worst CIA agent in the world, because I crack easy. Two shots of espresso in steamed organic whole milk breaks me.

Damn you, Grind It Fresh! I wish I knew how to quit you.

After room service for dinner and a long, slow lovemaking session with Declan that distracts me, sates me, and still leaves me a bundle of jangling nerves about the wedding details left unresolved, I wake up with the sunrise and just stare out over the city, the mountains in the background snow-capped and serene.

Tap tap tap.

I stand up from the desk and tiptoe to the suite’s main door, glancing at Dec as I walk by. He’s so peaceful, his dark hair pressed against his slightly sweaty brow, eyes closed in slumber, his bare chest begging for a lick.

But best of all, he’s asleep.

And won’t see me coffee-cheat on him.

“I feel like a drug mule,” Amanda whispers as she knocks softly on our hotel suite door.

“You are a goddess,” I hiss, taking the Latte of Heaven out of the tray she holds with two more cups in it.

She giggles. “This just gave me an excuse to run out and get a breve. I need a break. Parts of me are chafing so badly I think I’ll need skin grafts.”

“Doesn’t Andrew mind?”

“We just add more lube.”

“TMI! I meant about your going to the resort next door and getting their coffee at Grind It Fresh!”

Amanda gives me a queer look. “Why would Andrew care where I drink my coffee?”

“Declan made me swear not to buy it from the competitor.”

“And you let him? Did you sign some kind of kinky contract letting him dictate your caffeine choices?” As she takes a sip of her short breve, a silver bracelet clinks on her wrist.

“What’s that?”

“My new charm bracelet from Tiffany! Isn’t it gorgeous?” I see rubies, sapphires, a silver Chihuahua, and, oddly enough, a wasp.

I grin on her behalf. “Yes.”

“Didn’t Declan get you a necklace?”

“How do you know?” Declan hasn’t said a word to me about it.

“The staff here is buzzing like bees about the giant emerald. Andrew told me.”

Oh, God.

“I sent it back.”

“You what?”

“I sent it back. I don’t need it.”

“Who cares about need? It’s Tiffany!” Sometimes I think Amanda and I were switched at birth and she’s really Mom’s daughter.

Amanda’s phone buzzes. “Oops! Gotta go!”

“Thanks for the coffee!” She tosses me a thumbs-up as she walks away. That is a bestie.

I close the door ever so softly and tiptoe back into the living room.

To find a naked, angry Declan staring right at me. I jump from anxiety, spilling a few drops of my latte on the thick, patterned rug.

“What’s that?” he asks, the question rhetorical. He knows damn well what I’m holding.

I slide the cup around in my palm, as if covering the Grind It Fresh! logo will somehow hide my transgression. “Nothing,” I answer.

“You’re coffee-cheating on me. You’re resort-cheating on me. I can’t believe this!” His voice cracks with incredulity. The cafe should rename itself Ashley Madison.

I’m supposed to feel shame, right? Self-loathing and disgust and guilt.

Instead, I drink a long, slow, delightful sip and savor my weak-willed moment, because once you sell your soul to the devil for a good latte, there ain’t no going back.

“I am choosing to spend my consumer dollars on a high-quality product, Mr. Let the Market Dictate Winners and Losers.” Sip.

Wrong answer.

I’ve seen Declan’s face turn red in anger. I’ve even seen his neck flush and the top of his chest turn a pinkish shade, as if he spent ten minutes too long in the sun.

But watching his, erm, you know, turn the same color as my old Hello Kitty outfit is quite the sight.

“Are you calling Litraeon a loser?”

“No! Of course not.” Sip.

“You just said that.”

“Did not!” Sip.

“And by extension, you just called me a loser.” He puffs out his chest and crosses his arms.

“Honey, I think we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.” Gulp. “We’re making more of this than it really is.”

“My almost-wife thinks the resort that I practically hand-built in my formative years with Anterdec is inferior to the resort next door.”

“You’re really getting hysterical, honey. I think we need to just calmly and rationally try to apply reason here.” Sip.

“Don’t you dare accuse me of not being reasonable!” he bellows. “I am perfectly reasonable!”

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)