Home > Shopping for a CEO (Shopping for a Billionaire #7)(4)

Shopping for a CEO (Shopping for a Billionaire #7)(4)
Author: Julia Kent

“Having your father step down and make you the official CEO of Anterdec would make anyone look forward to—”

“Shhhhhhh,” he says, holding one finger up to his grinning mouth. “That’s still embargoed information. You only know because the boat is a business purchase.” He rests one palm on her shoulder. Her head tilts to the left and she tosses her hair back over her back.

I narrow my eyes.

She gives him a conspirator’s smile. “Of course.”

I dart to the left, my head hidden by a bush. I can still turn and see him, though. Andrew shakes hands with Marcy the Secret Broker and she walks off. He jolts a little, reaching into his jacket breast pocket.

Phone call.

As he talks, he pulls at the knot in his tie, loosening it. With two practiced fingers, he undoes the top button of his dress shirt. The wind picks up and sweeps his hair into a mess from behind, sending locks across his forehead. He shivers.

I can’t stop staring.

CEO? Andrew’s officially the CEO of Anterdec Industries now? Has his father really stepped down? I know from Shannon that Declan’s been resentful that James McCormick has been grooming Andrew for the position. The two of them posture and jockey for head alpha wolf of the McCormick clan like drunk eighteenth century Highlanders with something to prove and nothing to lose.

Shannon is going to freak out when she hears this.

And I, unlike Marcy, am not sworn to secrecy. Hah.

Andrew walks, pacing on the dock, taking three long strides, turning, then repeating the motion. Deep in conversation, he’s talking with someone in confident tones. This isn’t a business negotiation. Whatever the topic, it’s not a source of stress. Yet his voice is commanding. Controlled.


Thick, muscled thighs carry him to and fro. I’ve seen those thighs in person, sweaty and tight, covered in Lycra. Bike shorts. Back in his office.

The day he kissed me.

The first day he kissed me.

I go loose as I watch him, then force myself to twist and sit with my back to him, molding to the bench. I look up at the sky. My eyes close slowly, lashes creating a venetian-blind effect as the stars poke in between layers of the night.

I breathe in the salty air, the waves lapping against the dock’s joists.

I breathe out frustration and regret and a kind of ennui that comes from being stuck in a life without...


I shouldn’t watch. I know I shouldn’t. But my lashes pry themselves open as if called by an unseen force and I give in to impulse.

His call ends and he stuffs the phone into the inner chest pocket of his suit jacket. His back is to me now, his face tipped up. Is he taking in the stars? Ocean waves miles away lead to tiny ripples that lap against the wooden posts of the docks. A fake Boston Tea Party ship sways in the distance, looking about as drunk as I am, except I’m on firm ground.

My phone rings. I lurch up, frantically digging through my purse for it. The sound makes Andrew startle. He turns around and catches my eye.

I freeze. My phone burbles, buried under all my receipts and notes and lip balms and tampons, jumbled into the disorganized mess of my life that I carry around in a three-pound weight on my shoulder.

He gives me a questioning look but doesn’t take a step. Then his eyes narrow and he asks, “How long have you been sitting there?”

Long enough to appreciate the hours you spend with your spin instructor, Mr. Sculpted Ass.

His eyebrows rise. Oh, God. Did I say any of that aloud?

I do what any self-respecting woman who has made out with the man twice in private, and who hasn’t said a word to her best friend about the second time, and who is coming off the utter humiliation of being ditched on a first date with a guy named Mr. Anal Gland Hands.

I run.

By the time I whip around the corner of the building, there’s a yellow Prius cab at the curb. Without even bothering to flag it down, I crash into the door, fling it open, and throw myself in the back seat.

I give the cabbie Shannon’s address, then dial frantically as he pulls away. That missed call was from Shannon, anyway. Might as well visit her now.

I look out the window.

No sign of Andrew.

Two thoughts live simultaneously in my floating brain:

Thank God


He didn’t follow.

Chapter Three

Shannon isn’t answering her phone, or her texts, but I have the cabbie drop me off at her building anyhow. Worst case, she’s not home.

Best case, she’s home and has a pallet of tiramisu on hand. The non-ring kind.

I buzz her door. A small video screen shows Marie’s face, sudden and invasive, like a cat that has discovered a hidden video camera. One covered in tuna sauce.

“Who’s there?” she asks pleasantly.

“MOM!” Shannon shouts. Her voice is tinny but a relief to hear. “We’ve told you not to answer for us at our apartment.”

“What? I’m being rude now because I want to help? When you lived with your sister you never cared if I answered the door for you.”

“No, Amy and I cared then, too,” Shannon says flatly.

“Then why didn’t you say something! I can’t read minds,” Marie retorts.

“We did say—”

“Give it up, honey,” says a man’s baritone. “Don’t engage the crazy.”

Marie’s voice sounds like a teakettle. “I am not crazy—”


The foyer for this apartment building looks like something the Greeks built in Athens millennia ago, except with air conditioning and wireless security. A concierge desk sits to the right, with a flank of similarly-dressed women, all with their hair in updos, speaking in dulcet tones on wireless headsets.

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