The Billionaire's Ex Girlfriend (2015)

Chapter Three


The two left Elliot’s office and went straight toward the security office. Serena’s Security was located in one of The Palace’s side towers. There were three and they all connected in a grand design that made The Palace look like a golden crown sitting beachfront. Troy opened a backdoor that led to one of the pool areas and a bar. People clad in the bare minimal ran to and fro. A popular pop song was playing. Children were laughing. Everyone was having a great time, all thanks to Troy.

Serena looked over at Troy. Just looking at her still gave her chills. His looks hadn’t changed much, just matured, and hardened. He looked rugged and ruthless. Definitely not someone Serena wanted to make her enemy. “How’d you do this?” She gestured around her, at the resort. “I didn’t know architects made this kind of money.”

“Well, I started to invest all my own money into real estate. There were many nights I slept on someone’s couch and ate microwavable food, just so I could put every dollar into an investment.” Troy turned his blue eyes towards her briefly, their clear water orbs drew her in. The connection lost once he turned his head back into the direction they were heading.  They made it to the second tower and began to walk down a long hallway, passing a restaurant, classical music flowed from its open doors. 

A young Troy passed before Serena’s eyes. She remembered him studying Architecture when they’d all gone off to college. Serena had studied Criminal Justice. The last time they’d seen one another had been spring break of their junior year. After that, Serena had avoided him and Paris like the plague. 

Troy's deep voice jolted Serena back. “In the end, I wanted to design something for my mother. So, this is her Palace.” Troy used a key card to open a door. It led to a cement stairwell. The door’s sign had read ‘employees only’. He motioned for her to go ahead of him. 

With Serena’s every step, she could feel his eyes on her, burning a hole through the back of her dress. “Do your parents live here at the Palace?” Serena didn’t look behind her. She kept looking forward, trying to seem natural. 

“No. They wanted to live somewhere away from all the city lights. I bought them some land not far from here, but they come to the resort every now and then.”

They reached the top of the stairs. Troy came to stand beside her. His clothed arm brushed her bare one. Serena took a breath. She needed to calm down, but couldn’t. Serena’s mind was stuck back in Elliot’s office. Troy had brought up their one week of passion. She’d told him that she didn’t remember it, but she did. After all these years, she still dreamt about it. To this day, none of Serena’s sexual partners had come close to making her feel the way Troy had. They said friends made the best lovers. They’d been right on that. 

Whatever Troy had done to her body, it had touched her soul. It was as if he’d known exactly what she needed. He had known when to be gentle and when she had wanted it rough. Remembering that week was like a sweet mixture of heaven and hell. Heaven until the end, when Troy had set her straight. He didn’t do commitment, not even with her. 

The small room was dark; the only light came from a few desk lamps and monitors. There were computers screens across one wall. The room was the eyes and ears of the whole show. She walked followed a little to get a better look. Troy followed closely. Two guys sat at the controls. They didn’t turn around when they entered, but they threw ‘hellos’ over their backs. They knew it was Troy. They’d seen them approach on the camera.   

“Well, well, well, who do we have here?” A masculine voice asked. Serena turned around and stared into a corner. A man stood in the shadows. He stepped into the computer’s light. The screens highlighted his features. He was handsome. He was very tall. Bald. Serena didn’t know many men who could pull the look off, but he did. He smiled. Showing a pair of perfect teeth. He was well built and wore a black shirt and black pants. Black boots covered his large feet.  

Serena felt Troy's hand wrap around her middle. She got the funny feeling that Troy was staking a claim to her. Serena laughed. No possible. He was probably just being protective. She looked up at him. His eyes were narrowed, focused on the other man in the room. “Serena, this is Madrick Grant. Madrick is the head of security for all The Palaces. He’d down here because of series of unfortunate events that have been happening here. Madrick, this is Serena, the hired private investigator.”

Madrick eyes went towards Troy's hold on Serena’s waist. His laughter, a strong sound. He crossed his arms. “She’s all yours, boss. You know I only want Frenchie.”

Troy smiled, releasing his hold on Serena. “You keep calling her that, and you’ll get nowhere.”

Serene looked between the two men. She shook her head. She had no idea what was going on, but she had a job to do. She stepped forward. “I’m trying to find out who’s sabotaging the resort. So, what have you found?”

Madrick’s dark brow lifted. “Not much. We’ve watch all the cameras from all the places that incidents happened. No one was there that shouldn’t have been. They were all interviewed about what they saw. We don’t have any real suspects yet.”

“Why haven’t you guys called the police?” Serena asked.

Troy answered. “It’s kind of hard to run a business what has most of its attractions in yellow tape.”

That was true. Serena went back over to the camera. “I’ll need to review every camera during the exact times of attacks. I’ll also need a list of the people who suspect. Those are the ones I’ll shadow tomorrow.” 

Troy leaned in behind her, his eyes looking up at the screen. His body pressed into her side. Only slightly. Not enough to be categorized as sexual harassment, but just enough to make Serena want to back up into him, feel his full body against hers. The smell of his cologne was all consuming, sending warmth to the pit of her stomach and down her legs. His eyes turned towards her then. “Do you think you could have it figured out by the fourth?”

The fourth? Serena closed her eyes to clear her mind. It came to her then. The Fourth of July. It was this weekend. “Not by myself. This is a big place.”

“I’ll help you,” Madrick said. 

Serena turned her head towards him, giving him a nod.