The Billionaire's Ex Girlfriend (2015)

Chapter 1

 

Looks like he did it. Serena Day walked out of the Miami heat and through the front doors of The Palace. Amazing. The resort was monumental and immediately took hold of Serena’s senses. The air was cool and had the soft cleansing scent of a rainforest. The floors were a pure white marble. Chandeliers hung from its vaulted ceilings.  The walls were a calming taupe color, yet the artwork was intrusive. One of them caught Serena’s eye. 

High on one wall, a large abstract mural of a woman was there. She wore a wrap in a dark red sangria shade. It twisted around her limbs and blew in the wind. Her destination was the, the clear blue waters of the Atlantic. The woman looked free. Serena pictured herself as the woman. She supposed that was the point. But Serena wasn’t here to partake in The Palace’s three pools, spas, saunas, restaurants, bars, the aquarium, nightclub, or beachfront access, at least, not as a guest.  Her assignment was to catch a criminal. 

The front desk was located all the way at the other end of lobby, forcing its patrons to engulf themselves in the Palace's surrounding. Serena made her way there. 

The woman who roamed behind the counter was an old friend. Paris Collins. Serena took off her shades and smiled. 

“Serena?” Paris asked as she stepped around the front desk clerk.

Serena thought her childhood friend looked great. Paris was wearing a white blouse and black slacks, and red pumps. The white made her bronze skin glow. The two hugged. “How are you, Paris?”

Paris was in awe. “Serena, I can’t believe it’s you. I’m great! You look amazing! Does Troy know you’re here?”

Serena looked down at her sleeveless black business dress and black pumps. She’d chosen to wear her long blond down and around her shoulders, faint curls in the ends. A light layer of makeup complimented her hazel eyes and olive skin. Serena had gone for a professional look, but the womanly side of her wanted to catch a certain someone’s attention. 

Troy Cage, a  billionaire, and now the owner of Miami’s newest and hottest resort. He was at one time Serena’s friend, but one week of passion had changed everything. Serena kept her smile in place, not allowing her determination to falter. “Not yet, but I would imagine he’s bound to find out sooner or later.” The three, Paris, Troy, and Serena had been inseparable as kids. Seeing Paris at Troy's resort let Serena know that the two had kept in touch. Paris informed Selena of such, informing her that she was The Palace’s General Manager. She would stay in Miami while Troy travelled for business.

Paris shook her head. “And I thought my summer would be boring. I’m so happy to see you. We have to hang out before you leave. Can I get you a room?”

“Actually, I’m here to see Elliot Higgins,” Serena replied.

“The Head of Human Resources? Are you applying for a job?” Paris’ brown eyes grew wild.  

“No, I’m his personal accountant,” Serena lied. The first of many. In order for Serena to find the miscreant who was sabotaging the Palace, she couldn’t tell anyone the truth. “He’s expecting me.”

“Oh, a personal accountant… Sounds fancy,” Paris picked up the phone and pushed a button. The other line picked up. “Hello, I have a Serena Day here to see Mr. Higgins.” There was a pause and then Paris hung up the phone. “The business offices are around the corner,” she pointed Serena in the right direction.  “They’ll buzz you in.” 

“Thank, Paris. Hey, let’s hang out tonight.” Serena hated to use her childhood friend, but she knew the best way to get information would be through casual conversation with The Palace’s employees. Since Paris was the manager, she’d probably know something that could help. 

“Sounds Great!” 

The two exchanged numbers, then with a farewell, Serena walked towards the glass doors that would lead to the executive offices. 

 

Troy Cage hung up his office phone and took a deep breath. That was his assistant informing him of another mishap on the premises. Troy couldn’t understand it. He’d travelled around the world, building and designing some of the world’s most lavish homes, structures, hotels, and resorts. He’d invested into these structures. He believed in them. His creations had all gone well; grand openings had gone off without a hitch. So, why, when he finally decided to build something in his hometown, did everything seem to go wrong? 

Mishaps were happening more often than not at  The Palace Miami. Things went missing from rooms. The washers in the laundry had malfunctioned. Room service kept running late. Troy couldn’t figure out the cause, but knew that if he continued to let the series of unfortunate events go on, it would only be a matter of time before he’d be out of business. His name and reputation ruined. 

Troy stood up and walked into the private bathroom that was connected to his office. He stood in the mirror and fixed his suit jacket. The ivory linen tailored suit was perfect for the summer. He looped a long finger around the silk material of his necktie, loosening it a bit. It’s sapphire color making Troy's own blue eyes pop. 

He turned on the sink and let the water run. Troy cupped his hands underneath the faucet and splashed his face with the cool liquid. He let it run down his face and into the sink. Troy quickly ran a hand through his short black hair. He looked in the mirror again.  He was thirty-two, but in the last two weeks since his latest grand opening, he’d aged. 

Who’s out to get me? A rival maybe? A scorned woman from his past? Troy knew there were plenty that could fill both of those categories. Troy had strategically built this resort next to some of the biggest hotels in the city, stealing the patrons from all his competitors. The Palace was bigger, better, and had so much more to offer. It had room that started at a reasonable price and then skyrocketed for those you wanted to live the lavish life. It would make sense that he’d pissed one of his competitors off enough to seek revenge… And then there were the women. 

Troy had told them all the deal from the beginning. There would be no commitment. There was too much going on in Troy's life for love. What he needed from a woman was animalistic. A sexual release. He always made sure that each of his partners was having as much fun as he was. They’d all enjoyed their time in his bed. What they hadn’t enjoyed was being dismissed afterwards. Hurt feelings were not Troy's problem.  Troy just wanted to focus on building his empire, nothing more. 

But now that he thought about it, he was overdue for a sexual release. 

Troy left the bathroom, grabbed his phone, and walked out of this office door. He was heading towards Elliot Higgin’s office. Elliot was supposed to find him a private investigator. He’d given the man the assignment yesterday. Enough time for a progress report.   Approaching Elliot’s office, Troy entered without knocking.