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Authors: Mila McClung

Tags: #Mystery, #sexy, #Contemporary Romance

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BOOK: A Billionaire for Breakfast
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“That’s what I asked. He said he
found out where she was a long time ago but everyone he talked to described her
as a bitter man-hater. He was afraid to look her square in the eye, and face
the wrath of a woman scorned.”

“God, she sounds like my mother!”

“You know, I thought the same thing.”

They looked at each other, puzzling.
Then Tess shook her head.

“Nah, it couldn’t be. That would make
him my dad. What are the odds of me finding him without even trying?”

“His family was wealthy, true?”

“Sure, but it couldn’t be him.”

“I suppose not. He would’ve
recognized your last name, at least.”

“No, he wouldn’t. Mom changed her
name to Carol Jenkins. She was a model for a time, if you can believe it, but
when she dropped that she went undercover, changed her name and wound up stuck
in a dress shop for the rest of her life. I’m not even sure what it was before.
She never told me.”

“Then maybe we should look into it,
Tess.”

“There must be millions of women like
my mom in the world.”

“Oh, I seriously doubt that! But
anyway, he and Jack are coming over tonight. They’re bringing some friends, to
help us get acquainted with the community. I’ve hired a caterer so there’s no
fuss involved. All you have to do is show up!”

“Ugh! I don’t think I could stand
being in a crowd of those people!”

“Just say hello then you can
disappear into your room, please?”

“Okay, I’ll do it. I owe you big time
for this trip, Kylie. It’s the least I could do.”

The party began before sunset. Kylie
made a great splash with the crowd, serving up the trendiest cuisine and
cocktails. And she looked stunning in her metallic red dress. She certainly was
in her element – every guy wanted to make love to her and every woman wanted to
be her.

Tess greeted everyone, even Jack
Leonardi, cordially, and tried to slip away but Patrick Mercer was fascinated
by her, kept asking her to stay.

“Kylie told me about your mother. Do
you think she could be my Margaret?”

“Margaret?” Tess was shocked. “That
was your girlfriend’s name?”

“Yes. Margaret Milan. Does that sound
familiar?”

“It’s odd, mom never told me what her
real name was, but once a lady who said she was my grandmother called to talk to
her, and she asked to speak to Meg. I told her no one by that name lived with
us.”

“Meg, yes, I remember people calling
my Margaret by that name.”

“I thought you had found her, and her
friends told you she was bitter?”

“Yes, but that was years ago. I
wanted to go back, to talk to her but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’m a
coward, I suppose.”

“You haven’t looked for her since?”

“No, not at all. I heard she changed
her name and moved, so I figured she got married, and I stopped looking. But
now as I get older I find I need closure. Tell me about your mother … she has
black eyes, like you?”

“No, her eyes are a very pale blue.”

“Margaret had very striking blue eyes
… the kind you can’t forget.”

“I have a picture of my mom. I took
it with my cell phone, without her knowing. She hates having her photo taken
but I wanted to have one of her. I’ll get it!”

She hurried to her room, found the
cell phone, brought it back. When Patrick looked at it he became speechless.

“Are you all right?”

“Yes, but … Tess … this is my
Margaret!”

“It’s impossible! If it’s true it
means that I am …”

“My daughter!” His eyes were filling
with tears. Tess almost swooned. Patrick caught her, helped her to a seat. “Is
it such a horrible prospect?”

“No, it’s just overwhelming! I never
imagined what my dad would be like. It didn’t occur to me. I guess I assumed he
was some rich jerk that wouldn’t give me the time of day!”

“And am I?”

“Oh no, you’re wonderful, really!
From the moment we met I felt a connection to you. Maybe Fate brought me down
here, to find you!”

She stood, leaped into his arms. The
feeling was magic – she’d never had a father to hug before. And he was perfect,
so handsome and smart, though a bit weak, maybe. She thought she must get that
from him.

They left the crowd without telling
them their secret though Tess did send Kylie a happy nod to which Kylie clapped
her hands like butterfly wings and smiled. She was wrapped up in Jack
Leonardi’s arms, listening to every word he uttered with infinite patience and
charm. Tess could see a bright, wealthy future for Kylie.

Patrick and Tess strolled the beach,
watching the sunset together, talking endlessly of love and pain and each
other’s pasts. They hatched a scheme to bring her mom down to the islands. Tess
hoped she wouldn’t regret it.

Once the party was over and the house
quiet again, Tess wandered about in the dark, thinking about life and its
mysteries. She poured herself a bit of wine and sipped it as the moon spread
its pallid light over the calm sea.

Her mind was on him – that man. She
didn’t even know his name. Now she was one of the rich he’d hate her for sure.
Patrick had sworn to introduce her to a new, exciting world where she could
have anything she wanted by merely asking for it. But all she wanted was him –
that man. More and more she knew he was the love she had longed for since she
was old enough to think about such things. All she could see when she closed
her eyes was him, his hot glances, his waiting lips, his muscled body. Nothing
seemed right without him. She had to find him again and make him hers.

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

“Well, do I feel lovely this
morning!” Kylie sang as she virtually floated about the kitchen, making coffee
and toast. “I think I’ll have a billionaire for breakfast!”

Tess frowned at her. “He’s going to
hear you.”

“No, Jack is still sound asleep!
After the party we had a few too many drinks and wound up in my bed all night!
Um, was he good!”

“I thought you knew how to hold your
liquor.”

“Oh, I do, darling. Luckily, he
doesn’t!”

“God, Kylie, you never miss a trick!”

“Is that a compliment, or an insult?”

“I’m not sure.”

Kylie laughed, began to set a nice
meal on a breakfast tray. “What’s the plan concerning your mom? How on Earth
will you get those two together?”

“That’s not what I’m worried about.
What will Mom do when she sees him again? I just hope she can’t get her hands
on a knife!”

“Oh, Tess, really! I’m taking this
upstairs. There’ll be a Do Not Disturb sign on the door so … see you later!”

She danced out of the kitchen,
carrying the tray, and humming like a songbird.

Tess was happy for her but there was
a gnawing in her stomach. She couldn’t shake the feeling that there was
something not quite right about Jack Leonardi.

“I think I’ll get Patrick to
investigate him,” she whispered. “But then, what if Jack should investigate
us?”

She sighed, grabbed her purse and
headed down the beach. She was determined to find her mystery man.

“Good morning, Tess!” Patrick Mercer
called out from behind her as she walked across the
George Town
street that led to the motorbike
shop.

He ran up and hugged her as she
turned towards him. “I don’t think I can get used to that!”

“What, dear?”

“Hugging my dad.”

He laughed. “Just think how unusual
it is for me to suddenly have a daughter! In five marriages I managed to avoid
becoming a father then overnight … here you are!”

“Are you sorry? I’d understand
completely.”

“Oh no, I’m thrilled! I thought I
made you believe that last night!”

“I guess it’s still a bit like a
dream.”

“I hope to make it very real for you
today. My lawyer is in town. He wants to meet with you, to start the legal
process of claiming you as my child.”

“Oh, so soon? Shouldn’t we wait until
Mom gets here? I haven’t even called her yet. I honestly don’t know what I
could say that would bring her down here.”

“You’ll think of something. Come on,
let’s meet James at The Players’ Club.”

“Oh but I had an errand to run. Could
I meet you there in a few minutes?”

“Sure. We’ll have a morning cocktail
and discuss business while we wait. You go on ahead.”

She nodded and took off for the shop.
Inside, the usual beer guzzling crowd stood about laughing and joking. They all
pointed their gazes at Tess as she entered, gave her a creepy crawly feeling as
their glazed eyes caressed her figure.

A burly fellow with a blond Afro
stepped up, grinning. “Can I help you, Miss?”

“I’m looking for a man.”

“Well, there’s several here, sweetie,
take your pick!”

The men laughed; Tess lowered her
head. My God, why did she phrase it like that?

“I meant I was looking for a friend
of mine.”

“What’s his name?”

“I don’t know.”

Again, the laughter.

“Oh, never mind!” she huffed and
walked out. Then she changed her mind and returned.

“Back for more, eh?” the man smiled.

“I just need an answer, please? I met
a man on the beach yesterday. He has black hair and blue-green eyes, and rides
a black motorcycle. I know he frequents this place. I saw him here at
lunchtime. I need to find him. Can you help me?”

“You’d be talking of Angel.”

“Angel?”

“That’d be what we call him.”

“Is he here?”

“No, haven’t seen him today. He’s
probably out on his skiff.”

“His what?”

“His skiff, girl, ain’t you never
heard of that? It’s a boat. He takes it out beyond Cayman Brac to fish.”

“Oh, I see. Well, how would I get
there?’

“Hire yourself a boat.”

“Where would I do that?”

“You are a tourist! Look about the
shore, you’ll find somebody to take you, if you’ve got the dough!”

“Thanks, really, I mean it.”

“If you mean it, give us a tip.”

“Sure.” She pulled a twenty out of
her purse and handed it to him.

“Well, I was hoping for a kiss but
this’ll have to do. Get on with you!”

He nodded her towards the door, tried
to smack her behind as she left but she dodged his hand like a bullet.

“Some friends you keep, Mr. Angel!”
she grunted as she hurried to The Players’ Club.

The afternoon flew away as Tess was
bogged down in legalese. Patrick’s lawyer, an attractive eagle-eyed,
no-nonsense-tolerated sort of fellow named James Fielding, had had experts
working all night and morning to prove she was who she said she was. And that
Carol Jenkins was indeed Margaret Milan. Now that he was satisfied he made her
sign document after document. Her hand was tired, her nerves were frayed and
she was desperate to be done. Somehow she knew Angel wouldn’t be there if she
ever had the chance to go out to Cayman Brac on a boat. Once again, she’d
missed her chance.

She didn’t want to think about how
easy it would be for him to find her - if he had the notion which apparently he
hadn’t. Was she being a fool? Probably. But God she wanted to be near him, to
feel her fantasies come true in his arms. No one had ever brought out this kind
of desperation in her; this must-have-or-die exasperation. Her lips were hungry
for his kisses, her breasts aching to be touched by his wonderfully strong
hands, and the thought of him inside her sent her into a dizzying kind of
rapture. She needed him for release, and love and whatever else he was willing
to give. And she needed him now!

“Your mind is far away, Tess,”
Patrick noted quietly. “Are we overwhelming you?”

“A bit, yes. But could I ask you to
do something for me?”

“Of course.”

“Could you find out something about a
man I met here? His name is Angel.”

“Angel? That’s it?”

BOOK: A Billionaire for Breakfast
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