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Shopping for a Billionaire's Wife (Shopping for a Billionaire #8) Page 67
Author: Julia Kent

“No. It can’t be,” she whispers.

“What?” I crane around to look.

“Don’t look!”

I twist back around and accidentally dump my latte into Mom’s lap.

Mom screams.

“You’re drawing attention to us!” Amanda hisses.

“Shannon just burned my cooch!” Mom shouts.

So much for being covert.

The cafe manager rushes over with a wet washcloth, a thousand apologies, and offers to clean everything up and bring us a new round of coffees.

In the meantime, a slim woman in a sleeveless dress the color of a sunflower click clacks her way across the floor, her features coming into focus as she nears.

Or, I should say, fokus.

“Kari Whitevelt?” I squeak. She’s Amanda’s equal at Greg’s main mystery-shopping business competitor, Fokused Shoprite.

That’s right.

She’s Foked.

“What are you doing in Las Vegas?” she grills Amanda, who stands her ground and gives Kari a Cheshire Cat grin.

“We’re here on business.”

Kari has long, wavy blonde hair and bright, whisky-colored eyes. She has a wide face but sharp bones that stretch nicely when she smiles. I would never in a million years admit this to Amanda, but...I like Kari.

I’ve worked with Kari.

Because Anterdec hires Fokused for some market testing we do.

Amanda has no idea, and somehow—I need to keep it that way.

With a broken heart and a hoo-haw-injured mother with a drama queen complex.

“My poor vulva,” Mom whines as the coffee manager delivers the new drinks, a tray of French macarons in a variety of flavors that are arranged like a double rainbow, and a gift card for $100 for Mom.

“You, too?” the employee, Jonah T. (according to his name tag), commiserates. “Mine breaks all the time.”

I look at Jonah speculatively.

“What model do you drive?” he asks Mom. “Mine’s an S60.”

“Mine is a pink Cadillac,” she croons. “Best ride you could ever imagine.”

Jonah’s perplexed suddenly, and I can’t blame the poor guy.

“I thought we were talking about Volvos,” he says, backing up and giving me a confused smile.

“One of you is.” I give him a head shake that is the universal gesture for Don’t even try to talk to the crazy lady. Las Vegas resort employees are fluent in Head Shake, and Jonah scampers off.

Meanwhile, Kari and Amanda’s prickly conversation has turned to outright suspicion and accusation.

“Are you trying to snipe the wedding chapel accounts?” I hear Kari snap at Amanda.

What wedding chapel account? I wonder. Greg doesn’t take too many accounts that require extensive travel.

Amanda is trying to freak Kari out, I see, because she replies in a smooth tone. “You know we can’t talk about it even if we are, Kari. Client confidentiality.”

Kari reddens, and then damn—she notices me.

“Shannon!” Kari is a hugger. By the time she rocks me left and right a few times, I have established that I was a metronome in a previous life. I keep ticking for ten beats or so after she lets go of me.

Amanda’s narrow gaze turns me into an injured mother lion with three cubs. I can see her imagining my pelt on her living room floor. “How do you two know each other? Kari didn’t start working for Foked until after you left for Anterdec.”

Kari reddens at the word Foked, but c’mon. They have to know we’re that juvenile.

“Good thing you left Constipated Value-flop, Shannon. Anterdec is such a great company. And congratulations on your weird wedding fiasco. I wish I had been there, but I was here on assignment and—”

Amanda does, in fact, look constipated right now. I have to give Kari that.

“How do you know each other?” Amanda asks again, drawing out each word.

“The wedding account!” I blurt out. “You know, the one we can’t talk about.” I over-enunciate those last words, sounding like a preschool teacher with nineteen shots of Novocain in her mouth, and wish this day would just end.

“Shannon?” Mom asks. “Can coffee infect a tattoo? Because last night your dad and I got a little drunk, and now—” She points to her nether regions.

Kari makes a face of disgust.

Saved by Mom.

“It’s been charming,” Kari says, looking at Mom the way one would watch a rabid raccoon, “but I have to go get married eleven more times in the next three days so I can do my job.” She smirks at Amanda. “Have fun!”

And with that, Kari is gone.

Amanda is about to kill me.

“You’re hiring Fokused Shoprite, aren’t you? You’re mystery-shopping-cheating on me.”

“Not you, too!” I throw my hands in the air. “I give up.” Between fighting with Declan an hour ago, my mother’s crotch emergency, and Kari’s sudden appearance, I blurt out something that is about as inopportune as you can get.

“Anterdec is buying Greg’s company anyhow, so you won’t be competing with Foked soon.”

See? I’m clearly half Marie.

“WHAT?” Amanda bellows. “Andrew never said a word!”

“It’s not like you two were even talking to each other before the wedding.” I snort. “And now that you’ve made up, I’ll bet talking about Greg’s company isn’t top of your list of Things To Do In Vegas.”

She gives me a patented Chuckles look.

“It’s not final,” I continue. “It’s why Greg’s been so busy. He has a ton of business details and his wife’s cancer and...”

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)