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Shopping for a Billionaire's Wife (Shopping for a Billionaire #8) Page 44
Author: Julia Kent

“I don’t give a crap about my gut in Vegas, Shannon. The next one of those better have some vodka in it,” she mutters. “Who offers you a shot in Vegas that doesn’t have alcohol in it? That should be illegal. Now, where is this mysterious Mr. Lüq?”

“Here,” says a sonorous voice from behind a thick, wide palm frond. “We are evaluating the stunning Ms. Amanda Warrick.” A familiar giggle bubbles up into the air, floating to the skylight.

I look around the giant green leaf to find Amanda in a small, steaming pool, naked except for bikini bottoms, and floating on her back. A thin piece of silk covers her breasts and she has a purple eye mask covering her lids.

Mom starts undressing, peeling off her shoes and socks, reaching up under her skirt to shove her hands, palms in, down her panties.

“What are you doing?”

“Getting out of my Spanx! Look at that natural spring! I hear it’s made up of amniotic fluid gathered from untouched populations in places where toxic chemicals aren’t found in the breast milk of mothers. Yet.”

“Amniotic what?”

“Yes,” little Elle says. “We only collect the amniotic fluid that the spirit gives naturally, and only from those mothers who give permission during their surges as the spirit bridges from the Motherworld to the Otherworld.”

I am never, ever getting pregnant.

“How?” I ask. “Do you use a vacuum cleaner, or a turkey baster?” Mom’s hanging on to my arm, balanced on one foot, her shaping underwear like an unbreaded calamari ring around her navel.

“The spirit’s rhythms decide when the sacrifice of the sacred wombworld is ready to be—” Elle takes a cleansing yoga breath—“left behind for the sake of the mother’s fulfillment.”

I look at the spa services menu. Wombwater Restorative Massage: $500 for fifty minutes.

“Do you pay the mothers for their amniotic fluid?”

“No, no. Of course not.” She seems scandalized by the idea and on the verge of tears. I feel as if I’ve hurt the feelings of a tiny child in a Pixar film. “It is technically the spirit-child’s possession. But we do pay for breast milk and placentas.”

What the hell is a spirit child? I’m about to ask, when Mom cuts in.

“What do you do in a spa with breast milk?” Mom clutches her bosom as if Elle and Lüq are planning to kidnap her and turn her into a human cow, even though she hasn’t lactated since TLC was chasing waterfalls.

Waterfalls not made of amniotic fluid.

Elle’s smile is so sweet. Her words, not so much.

“First, the chef takes the—”

“Marie? Shannon?” Amanda’s voice is soft and happy. Float in enough womb juice and drink some breast milk smoothies and maybe it infuses you with joy.

“Are they disturbing you, dear?” The same sonorous voice. “We can have them removed.” A bolt of gauzy fabric floats along my peripheral vision. A shaved head. Thin, long-fingered hands, the nails painted meticulously with Tibetan mandalas. Eyes with thick eyeliner on the top lid, curling up at the ends.

It’s like the Dalai Lama and Adele had a middle-aged hu.

This must be Lüq.

Mom freezes. “Is that a resort employee threatening to have you removed?” She purses her mouth and gives me a recriminating look. “See what I mean? You need to assert yourself here, Shannon. You are about to become the queen bee.”

“What?” Did she seriously just refer to her anaphylactic, highly-allergic daughter as a bee?

“You’re the First Lady of this resort.”

“You are making no sense.”

“These people work for your man’s company. That means, by extension, they work for you.”

“I’m a marketing director at that company!”

“Even better. Make them bow before you.”

“This isn’t a monarchy, Mom.”

“Monarchy is underrated,” she sniffs.

“I am Lüq,” the low, sing-songy voice informs us. “Welcome.”

“Amanda?” Pam appears from behind the bamboo forest, dressed in a black and white outfit that makes her look just enough like a panda bear to make me giggle nervously. Spritzy is nowhere to be seen.

A long, deflating sigh comes from Lüq, who gives Elle a sympathetic look and says, “Le schedule is fecked.”

That’s some Irish-French accent hu has going on there. I peer at hu. Hu’s lips twitch.

“Mom?” Amanda calls out to Pam. “You have to try this amniotic-ocean bath. I feel like I’m transported back to another lifetime. Lüq read my lives and says that I was a dog at court in King Louie XIII of France’s time, when he attached his little dogs to miniature carriages and had them act like horses.”

“What the hell are they putting in that water? Peyote?” Mom whispers to me. Pam’s head is cocked to one side as she tries to catch everything Amanda says, while Lüq rushes to Pam, arms outstretched, a beatific smile on hu’s face.

“Amanda’s mother! So wonderful to meet you,” hu says, kissing both of Pam’s cheeks with a flourish. When Lüq smiles, it’s as if all the suns in the universe have been power-washed, shining brighter than before.

I want Lüq to smile like that at me. Just once.

My new purpose in life is to be the focus of hu’s attention. Sometimes in life, you meet a person who has an inner radiance that is so compelling, just being in their presence—not talking, not moving, not doing anything but being—is so fulfilling that you’ll do anything to spend more time with them.

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)