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Shopping for a Billionaire's Wife (Shopping for a Billionaire #8) Page 52
Author: Julia Kent

Painted like a Minion from Despicable Me.

“Never saw that in the movie theater when I took Jeffrey and Tyler to see that flick,” Dad says.

“Please don’t say ‘flick,’” I beg.

“Wanna picture?” The woman is painted yellow from top(less) to bottom, breasts decorated like a Minion wearing goggles, and she’s dressed in a string bikini bottom that is supposed to mimic jeans, but just looks like a blue ribbon chafing device.

“No thanks,” Dad says, making eye contact with the woman and smiling.

No, Daddy. No....

Eye contact in environments like this is akin to a war cry. A challenge. A promise.

A dare.

She reaches for Dad, bending at the waist, which makes all the men (and two women) standing behind her give an ovation.

“C’mon. Twenty bucks for a sweet pic is all I need. I gotta buy my toddler some diapers,” the Minion says in a voice that is just earnest enough to crack wallets open.

Wallets like Dad’s.

“How old?” Dad asks.

“Twenty-one,” the woman says. “I’m legal.”

“I meant your child.” His weary smile makes something in me tear, just a tiny bit.

“She’s two. Wanna see a picture?”

And right then and there, in the middle of a land bridge on the strip in Las Vegas, Jason Jacoby oooohs and aaaahs over a half-naked woman’s pictures of her little daughter while prying a twenty out of his wallet and giving it to her.

“Can your wife take our pic?” she asks him, giving me a grateful smile.

“Wife? No, no. That’s my daughter,” he explains with a chuckle.

The woman winks. “Right. That’s what you all say.”

“EWWWWWWW!” I groan. Her face falls.

“Oh, hell, you’re not kidding!” She gives Dad a helpless look, grabbing him, her nipple brushing against his bare forearm. “I’m so sorry.”

Dad looks down at the stripe of yellow paint left on his skin.

And turns a furious red so fast I fear he’s having a heart attack.

“How about I take a picture of you two?” Daddy says in a low, thick voice.

She grabs me, throwing her arm around my shoulders, jutting her boobs out so the goggles look like a wide-eyed Minion.

“Say cheese, Shannon! Declan’s going to love this!” Dad calls out as he takes a series of pics.

Minion Chick grabs a phone from somewhere in her hair and asks Dad, “Could you snap one of us for me to keep?” Her eyes dart from me to Dad, and something feels off suddenly. “She’s so cute!”

And with that, Dad takes the pic.

She grabs the phone and looks me full in the face. “You’re the runaway bride, aren’t you?”

Oh, no.

She sprints, Minion eyes like googly-eyes on springs. By the time I can even think to run after her, the crowd has swallowed her up.

“What just happened?” Dad asks, confused and red, tracking her through the revolving doors, just staring. We’re in the middle of the land bridge and people begin walking around us, streaming out of the hotel mall.

“I think that picture is about to be all over the internet,” I say with a sigh. I look down at the lovely outfit Evie selected for me after she came to. The yellow paint on my side definitely does not go well with royal blue linen.

‘What? Why? You’re not a celebrity...oh, no.” Daddy gets it.


“Oh, no. Shannon, I’m sorry.”

“Declan’s going to be furious.”

“Nah. Men don’t care if their women are with other topless women. In fact, your mom kind of likes it when I—”

“STOP!” I shout. “It’s bad enough that Mom is inappropriate, but not you too, Dad.”

He winces, his nose wrinkling. It’s adorable.


“It’s okay.”

“No, it’s not, but I’ll explain it all to Declan,” Dad says, deftly changing the subject as we make our way quickly across the land bridge. Two Chewbaccas, one Wonder Woman, and a priest holding a “JESUS SAVES” sign stand at the edge of the bridge.

That’s not the opening line of a joke, but it should be.

All these characters in costume mingle with the crowd, hoping to get tourists to cough up a five or a ten (or even a twenty) for a picture. Declan warned me not to go outside—that I’d be “accosted” by unsavory creatures, and he was right.

It’s just that I didn’t suspect a topless Minion would be my downfall.

We get to a “down” escalator and wend our way through the Caesar’s Palace resort, which has an enormous open-air courtyard, like a replica of the Forum, only instead of philosophers applying the Socratic Method to help enlighten the masses, there’s a smoothie bar with vodka shots for sale.

Same thing, right?

Dad seems to know the way, leading me to a stoplight that mercifully involves a good old-fashioned crosswalk to get across six lanes of traffic. More cards are shoved our way, advertising strip clubs, nightclub performances, and shows from stars who peaked before I was born.

We make it across the way, a giant pelican on the side of a pirate ship in front of another resort, advertising a singer’s chain restaurant, and then—

It’s like we’ve found an oasis of peace in the middle of chaos.

This side street is designed to mimic a middle-America small town, with lampposts that look like gaslights, and old brick facades. The energy is different here, too, like we broke off from a raging river into a tiny trickle of a stream, the transition jarring but welcome.

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)