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Shopping for a Billionaire's Wife (Shopping for a Billionaire #8) Page 43
Author: Julia Kent

The spa pixie crinkles her nose like Mom just farted and lit it on fire.

A string of angry French comes back. I hear an intense focus on the word monsieur. The pixie looks at Amanda, her eyes going wide.

Pointing a shaking finger, she says, “Le Faucon!”

Scrambling for her smartphone, which she must store inside her anus, because there is no way that outfit has pockets, she approaches Amanda with a deferential authority that has Mom’s nose out of joint.

“Le sauveur, mademoiselle. You are the animal rescuer! Evangi, come here! It is her! The woman who saved the petit dog from the hawk! Oh, Lüq will be so happy to meet you!”

And with that, they usher Amanda into a back room that requires the pixie to receive a retina scan, leaving me and Mom in the reception area, a giant bottle of cucumber water burbling in a fountain, a light display sending geysers every minute.

It is a replica of one of the fountains outside.

I hate Las Vegas.

Two minutes pass. I pretend to answer work emails on my phone, but really play a game called Hearthstone. Jeffrey is killing me. The app keeps shouting, “My magic will tear you apart” and it’s right. I switch to something easier, staring at red jelly beans and green-striped candy on my screen.

Five. Eight. By nine minutes, Mom looks like she’s going to fidget herself off the edge of the world.

“This is outrageous! We need to complain.”

I look up from my Candy Crush app. “Huh?” I am in no rush to get any of this spa stuff going. Give me five blue balls in a row and I’m happy.

“This Mr. Lüq can’t be allowed to treat you like this, Shannon. You’re about to be a billionaire’s wife! You need to learn to be a bitch!”

“A what?”

“A bitch! Cultivate your inner bitchiness.” Mom’s hands are waving all around her front space. I see the Italian. Her maiden name is Scarlotta, after all. She looks like Wolverine conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

I stiffen and bite my lips to hold back the stream of profanity that threatens to overflow like a volcanic eruption.

“You and Dad spent my entire childhood and adolescence telling me I needed to be nice,” I finally manage. “And kind. That kindness and being pleasant was the best moral choice.” I hold my palm out. Talk to the hand. You want me to be bitchier? How about I start practicing right now?

With you, Mom.

“Pfft. Boy, were we wrong!” she backpedals, her eyes rolling. “Those values are great when that kind of social glue is what you need to fit in, but around here it’s the opposite. Wealthy people take niceness to be a sign of weakness.”

She’s blathering on, but there’s a kernel of truth in there.

Damn it.

The private spa door flies open, slamming against the wall. A blast of scented air, bamboo and lemongrass and humidity fills the reception area.

“You may see Lüq now,” the pixie says. I look at her name tag.



Mom pretends she’s trying to decide whether to go through that open door. “I’m not sure we really should see him,” she sniffs. Gagai’s eyes go wide, one pupil dilating before my eyes. A thin chain appears to be caught in her long, fake eyelashes.

I can’t stop staring, because I’m wrong. It’s not a chain caught in her eyelashes.

It’s a chain hanging off her eye.

“Eeeee!” I squeak, shuddering in horror. “Your eye! We need to get you to a hospital. You’ve torn...something.”

Gagai gives me a look filled with more contempt than Chuckles. “It is the latest fashion.”

“Shredding your cornea with metal shavings is fashionable?”

“It is eye art. The eye is the mirror of the soul.”

“Your eye looks like a welding project, honey.”

Mom looks closely, pulling out a set of reading glasses she bought at Target for $9.99.

Excuse me. Tar-jey.

Once they’re on her head, she peers, then fishes in her purse and pulls out a second pair, which she puts over the first pair. A satisfied look covers her face as Gagai takes in the entire production.

“Is this a new look?” she asks me. “Two pairs of glasses?”

“Yes,” I lie. “In Boston, where we are from.”

“My God,” Mom hisses. “She’s wearing contact lens jewelry.” Without pausing, Mom reaches up and tugs on the end of the tiny, whisper-light chain dangling from Gagai’s eye.

A string of angry French pours out of the pixie, her heels poking at Mom’s shins. Mom looks at me, aghast.

And then sprints through the open spa door to find Lüq.

Chapter Thirteen

The actual spa is a rainforest.

No. Really.

Someone has taken great care to create a miniature version of the botanical gardens outside. It looks like those pictures of Thailand or Indonesian beaches, with the quaint open-air hut by the green waters, only bamboo rules the day inside this little spa haven. They must pipe in the scent of ocean air.

“A shot?” A different pixie, this one as blonde as the other is dark, offers us little two-ounce glasses filled with green juice, a sprig of lemon and mint on the edge. Her name tag says Elle.

“Thank you,” we say in unison. We tip back our drinks and while it’s not the best wheatgrass juice I’ve ever tasted, it will do.

“Urg!” Mom gags, drinking half of hers and setting it down emphatically in a thatch of greenery and dirt. “What the hell was that?”

“Wheatgrass juice,” I explain. “It’s healthy. Good for your gut.”

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)