Home > Shopping for an Heir (Shopping for a Billionaire #10)(4)

Shopping for an Heir (Shopping for a Billionaire #10)(4)
Author: Julia Kent

More sighs and a few uncomfortable looks.

“You will learn about shadow and curve, form and realism, and how to find the deeper eye within you that guides the body toward what it knows it can recreate from memory, from stored touch—”

A sound of appreciation between two black women who had been chattering in whispers almost made Gerald smile. They gave him their rapt attention.

“You are artists,” he repeated. “Not office workers or retirees or stay-at-home parents or college students. In this class, ninety minutes a week, you are creators. You are visioneers. You are sensual and grounded in the core essence of what it means to be human. Your hands and arms will take what you know, what you see, and give it life through the clay.”

Now he had them eating out of his hand. He paced in the space between Declan and the first row, eyes on the students as he walked back and forth, slowly, but with deliberation.

“Let’s see what you find within yourselves, ladies and gentlemen. That’s what art is—self-exploration through expression. Connection by touching others through the visual, the tactile. Welcome to the world of art. And our arts center thanks you—your tuition money helps fund arts programs for kids and seniors, so the enthusiastic attendance is a welcome sight.”

He stopped and looked at all the faces.

“Let’s begin.”

As if on cue, Declan dropped the robe.

The class gasped.

Gerald grinned.

Chapter 2

“I can do this,” Suzanne Dayton muttered under her breath, standing outside the decrepit arts center, pacing back and forth, trying desperately to find her old military voice. More than ten years out of the Navy after a two-year stint, and that world was like a different lifetime. Three years of law school and seven years as a practicing attorney—now a full partner at one of Boston’s best firms—and here she was, trembling with anxiety at the thought of walking into a nude sculpting class.

The nude part? No problem.

The class part? No problem.

The instructor? Big problem.

And what she needed to deliver to him?

“Oh, God,” she groaned. “How did my life come to this?”

The paperwork had come through to her early last week, a simple bequest. Suzanne worked in estate law, and this kind of inheritance wasn’t uncommon. A non-relative inheriting an object with meaning. Clear. Easy. A transaction that happened all the time.

But the combination of this artifact, the billionaire who left it to an heir, and the heir himself left Suzanne shaking and nervous, acting like a first-year law student before final exams.

When she’d opened the paperwork and seen the name Gerald Wright, she’d closed the papers quickly, shoved them into the envelope, and asked Letitia to get her a rescue latte. Life was too confusing to do it without proper caffeine levels in her bloodstream.

“Cool!” Letitia had said, grabbing her purse. “Now I have an excuse to try that new coffee shop. Mind if I go to Congress Street?”

That meant a walk across the big bridge.

“Why so far?” Suzanne had been distracted by the sound of Gerald’s absence echoing in her head. Silence does, in fact, make a sound, she’d learned. It sounds a bit like your heart breaking, over and over, endlessly.

“Great new coffee shop. Hear it’s totally worth it. And they sell macarons,” Letitia added. She was such a closer.

“Sold. Get me my usual and a half dozen of the chocolate kind.”

Letitia was off in a flash, all bright primary colors and big grins.

Suzanne had stared at the paperwork until it blurred.

No amount of coffee had helped, not even the orgasmic latte from Grind It Fresh! Stupid name for a coffee chain, but they could get away with it.

She would never drink any other chain’s brew again.

“Letitia, can I ask you to serve these papers?” she’d asked, knowing the truth was buried on page five.

Letitia had pointed out the clause, eagle-eyed paralegal that she was. “Look, Suzanne. Right here. Says Suzanne Dayton must serve the papers.” Letitia’s brow had furrowed. “Why you?” Great at speed reading, she’d skimmed the document.

Suzanne had waited for it.

“The object in question is a what?” Letitia’s eyes bugged out of her head. “A gold religious artifact worth how much?”

“Nearly nine figures. Less if melted down and sold for gold and jewels. The cultural implications of what’s inside the figurine are what make it so valuable.”

Letitia had let out a low whistle. “Mr. Gerald Wright is about to have one damn fine afternoon.”

Suzanne let out a laughing groan.

Oh, Letitia.

If only you knew.

“I can’t deliver it, though.” She’d shook her head. “Not that I wouldn’t like to. This would be like delivering the news that you won the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. Mr. Gerald Wright is going to love you forever, Suzanne.”

Love you forever.


He’d said that before. So many times.

When Suzanne didn’t answer, Letitia touched her arm. “Suz? You okay? Is something wrong with this case?”

How could she answer that?

He hadn’t loved her forever, after all.

Giving Letitia a weak smile and grabbing her paperwork to bring home, brief bag stuffed to the gills, Suzanne had spent the better part of a week figuring out the simplest way to deliver the papers to Gerald, her ex-fiancé, without having any contact with him.

When the head of your firm says you need to deliver legal documents personally, you do it.

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