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Shopping for a Billionaire's Wife (Shopping for a Billionaire #8) Page 71
Author: Julia Kent

“I’m here now,” he murmurs. “I’m not going anywhere. We can fight and you can slam doors and I can yell and you can make up a world in your head where you turn me into a big old jerk, but I’ll always come back to you and try to talk everything out. I can’t not do that, Shannon. Being with you has rewired me.”

“Me, too.”

“You can’t get rid of me. Even if you do resort-cheat on me.”

I sniffle-laugh. He grabs me and hugs me so hard. So beautifully hard.

The physical distance between us has been bridged.

Things fell apart.

And now the center does, in fact, hold.

Chapter Eighteen

A few hours later, after we go back to the suite and I fall asleep in his arms, I awaken to find Declan pacing in the other room, on the phone, murmuring a low, indecipherable string of words. He hangs up, calls Grace, and recites a bunch of numbers and the names of banks.

Must be some big account.

I stretch, my body sore from the unexpected nap, my calves screaming from all the high-heel wearing I’ve been doing. Rumpled and dazed, I stand in the middle of the suite like a little kid who has woken in the middle of the night and isn’t quite sure what to do to get back to bed.

“Hey, sleepy,” Dec says, tapping his phone’s screen and tucking it in his jacket pocket. He pulls me into his arms just as someone knocks on the door.

We put two feet between us and I give him a look that says, You didn’t.

After that fight, the last thing I need is a giant teddy bear, or jewelry, or a rare meerkat, or whatever Andrew’s lavishing on Amanda.

The door opens. It’s a staff member holding a tray with two coffees in it. That’s it.

And they’re from Grind It Fresh!

Declan tips the delivery person and hands it to me with a flourish.

“Not quite Tiffany, but...”

It’s the best apology I’ve ever received.

“You’re right,” he says as we take our respective drinks. “This is the best damn coffee I’ve ever had in a shop.”

“Too bad they don’t have any Grind It Fresh! stores back in Boston,” I say in a mournful tone.

“You’ve got a point.” He drinks and closes his eyes, savoring.

“See? Orgasm in a cup.”

His eyes drift to my breasts. “D cup? DD cup?” he speculates.

I punch him. “I’m serious. I would trade Chuckles for a Grind It Fresh! in the Seaport District.”

“That can be arranged,” he says with a wink.

As I laugh, he walks across the room, stops, then swings around.

“Here.” Declan hands me a piece of paper with his handwriting already on it. I’m surprised. I don’t think I’ve seen him physically write more than little domestic notes and birthday cards to me.

Grace writes everything for him.

“Your handwriting is so neat! Like an architect’s!” I gush. It literally looks like Frank Lloyd Wright himself filled out this...application for a marriage license?

“I know. I was bored in school and learned to write like that. It was a coping mechanism.” He smiles and points to the paper. “Can you finish that up so we can go to the license bureau?”

“The what?” I stare dumbly at the page. It’s a marriage license application for Nevada.

“We need to have a license if we’re going to get married, Shannon. The one from Massachusetts won’t transfer easily. This is a quick fix.”

So we’re really doing this. We’re getting married in Vegas. I sit down on the settee at the end of the giant California King bed in our suite and clench the end of the paper.

“I thought you wanted this?”

“I do, but...” We’ve been here for I-don’t-know-how-many days now, running into Mom and Dad, James, Pam and Amanda and Andrew at odd intervals, an uneasy equilibrium in place. Mom stopped asking when we were getting married as soon as she discovered the adult products trade show, and Dad keeps disappearing for long stretches of time, probably hiding in his hotel room and watching a twenty-four-hour sports channel between meals.

Amanda and Andrew are obviously grabbing every chance they can get to chafe parts of her I don’t need to know about, and James and Pam are a mystery. They’ve become buddies, and I’m starting to wonder if Amanda’s fears about becoming the woman in some stepbrother romance book aren’t real.

I distract myself by looping through all that because I can’t quite bring myself to look up and meet Declan’s eye. The hotel pen is right there, on the desk behind him. Telekinesis would be a great superpower to have right now, but lacking that, I stand, pick it up, and complete the form.

He smiles. Not nervous or worried, Declan’s removing an obstacle. I’m sure that in his mind, marrying in Vegas is just a checkbox. Not that he doesn’t love me. Of course he does. He wouldn’t put up with my mother if he didn’t. But the actual ceremony itself is just a transaction. A legal transfer of our relationship from one that is based on respect and love and mutual trust to a codified, licensed agreement that becomes part of the public record forever.

That’s how he views it.

I don’t know how I feel, but when it becomes hard to fight the tears that want to take over my throat, I know I have to say something.

“Um, is this really how we’re doing it?”

His back is to me, encased in a perfectly-tailored suit. Some staff member brought him an array of clothing and it’s all been here, the washables neatly washed and folded, crisply-pressed business shirts hanging in the armoire, suits in the closet, all his size and bespoke. As my words sink in, he straightens up, like an animal at a watering hole that hears something worth its attention.

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)