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Shopping for a Billionaire's Wife (Shopping for a Billionaire #8) Page 42
Author: Julia Kent

Declan catches my eye over Mom’s head. “I already warned Lüq. No worries.”

Mom gives him an impressed look. “Lüq? He sounds very sophisticated.” Leave it to Mom to confer status on someone based solely on how their name sounds.

“Hu is,” Declan answers.

“Who?” Mom asks.


“You already said that.”

“I know, but you asked.”

“I just asked who he is.”


“What are you talking about?” Mom screeches.

“Lüq is gender nonconforming,” Declan says with a sigh he reserves for my mother, and only my mother. “We don’t use gender-specific pronouns when talking about hu.”

“H-u, Marie,” Amanda says gently. “It’s a way of saying he or she.”

“Why not say it? Or they?” Mom asks.

“Try that,” Declan says coldly, “and Lüq will give you a makeover that reminds you of those 1990s photos from Glamour Shots.”

Mom’s eyes light up. “Promise?”

Amanda drags her away before both Declan and I shove her in the minibar fridge and tape it shut.

“Go,” he says. “Get whatever you need. But don’t let your mother alienate Lüq.”

“Can I get Mom a Brazilian where they wax her tongue out of her mouth? ’Cause that’s probably the only way she won’t offend him—er, hu.”

He pretends to consider it. “We could sell that as a popular service to an awful lot of disenchanted sons-in-law. But seriously, Shannon. Go to the spa. That’s what it’s there for.” He shudders. “Not the drug store. Drug stores are good for one thing.”

“What’s that?”

“Period errands.”

We laugh. It feels good. And he’s right.

“What about condoms?” I ask.

“What about condoms?” Declan’s demeanor changes, one eyebrow lifting. The topic of sex makes everything lighten up.

“Drug stores are good for those, too.”

“I am so glad we don’t need them anymore.” I’m on the pill now.

“And soon,” he adds softly, “we won’t need the pill, either.”

“Excuse me?”

“Eventually, I mean.” We’re sharing one of those looks that make you understand why you’re in a committed relationship. “Someday.”

“Someday,” I agree, my voice faint.

“Right now, though, you’re banned from drug stores.”

“That means you’re running all my period errands, then.”

He sighs. “Don’t I already?”

I cringe, because yeah. He does. Or his chauffeurs, Gerald and Lance, do.

“Just go to the spa,” he orders.

“Fine. But only because you designed it. And I’m coming back with hair.”

“I hope so. I don’t want you out of commission for a week.”

“If I am, it’s your fault.”

I shut the door on his contemplative face and follow Amanda and Mom down the long hallway. They’d better have good food down in the spa, because as I walk slowly, this is starting to feel like a Star Trek episode where they beam down to a new planet, and I’m wearing a red crew shirt. I need a good final meal.

The hotel is designed intentionally so that you have no choice but to walk through the casino to get to any given point. Architects must have a kind of chaotic evil in their hearts when they design casino-hotels like this. Need to pee? CASINO. Need a latte? CASINO. Need a toothbrush from the twenty-four-hour store? CASINO!

We walk past an awful lot of desperate cowboys who are bellied-up to the roulette tables, slot machines, blackjack tables and scantily-clad women.

Through the botanical gardens, past the world’s largest tequila fountain, and bam!—we’re in front of a set of greenhouse doors that reek of lavender and verbena.

Which is the universal scent of pampered women.

Steeling myself, I accept my clenched stomach and sweaty palms as trade-offs. By the time I walk out of here, not a stray eyebrow hair will be found, my skin will glow from the inside out, my hair will be layered and powdered and perfectly coiffed, and I’ll have smooth, silky legs I can use to run away from my mother.

See? Trade-offs.

Mom walks in there like a boss. A crazy Momzilla menopausal boss who has been at the center of manufactured drama for so long she thinks she’s the Maypole and the rest of us are ribbons whose sole purpose in life is to wrap around her.

I’m supposed to be avoiding her for these precious hours before our big dinner tonight. Declan shrewdly conjured up these shenanigans, and now I have to use every tool in my toolbox not to talk to her.

“Hello!” she tootles, smiling brightly. Her purse is new, a buttery beige leather contraption with brass circles in a chain along the front, the handles made of peach macramé that matches her sandals and her eye shadow. “Marie Jacoby here. I’m Mr. McCormick’s mother-in-law. Is Mr. Lüq here?”

The cute little pixie wearing six-inch lilac high heels and less cloth than a car shammy looks at Mom in horror. “Mister Lüq? Non non non.” The French accent makes me realize we’ve made a grave mistake.

“Oui, oui, oui!” Mom says back, pleased with herself. “Je m’appelle Marie! Monsieur Lüq, s’il vous plaît.”

Mom knows about as much French as she needs to cross the border into Quebec and find herself on the road to Montreal for her rare yoga conventions there. She can say “Downward facing dog,” “My IT band is too tight and causing pain in that position,” and “Please excuse me for passing gas,” in French, but that’s 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)