The Billionaire's Ex Girlfriend (2015)
After watching some of the footage, which gave Serena very little to work with, she and Troy left. Once they’d made it back to the main building, Troy introduced Serena to one of the concierge girls and had the girl give Serena an official tour of The Palace. He’d then quickly left the two women alone. He’d need to get away from her. Serena.
She was driving him mad. Seeing her had transported him back in time to their first night. Sex with Serena had been like nothing he’d experienced before. She’d done something to him that first night. It was enough to get Troy to stay the entire week with her, something he never did.
He had to stay away from her. But even as he told himself this, he knew he wouldn’t. Couldn’t. She had some sort of domination over his mind. From the first time their lips touched, he’d been almost hypnotized by her.
When they’d reached the private staircase, Troy had made her purposefully walk in front of him, for safety, and because he’d wanted to watch her body move. Age had done nothing but enhance her. Hips, legs, the sound her heels made when they hit the ground, it instantly hardened him. Watching Serena had made him wish she wasn’t here on a job. Troy was grateful for help, but now he wanted her for something much more intimate.
In the security room, he’d seen Serena take down notes and ask questions as they watched the footage, making the guys rewind particular parts over and over again. Serena seemed like she knew what she was doing. Hopefully she would catch the troublemaker soon, and then he could discuss other things with her. Like if she would be interested in another affair. But honestly, Troy's libido was telling him that he wouldn’t be able to hang on too long. He needed her now.
Troy knew it wasn’t right. He had no business asking Serena for anything, not after what he’d done to her. He’d seen the way his words years ago had broken her heart. He’d used her. He hadn’t meant to, not that first time, but once their bodies had touched, his mind had become fogged, clouded by Serena’s sweetness. Just the scent of her, held enough power to make him lose all intelligence. The moment he’d tasted her, he’d become delirious. All consumed. A growing need to take everything Serena had to give took him over.
Troy wanted her again, but knew it was a bad idea. There was so much to do. He wasn’t secure yet. Anything could happen. He was a billionaire today, but tomorrow, he could be left without a dime. It was the way of the world. He had to protect himself.
He looked out over her balcony. Troy's Miami residence took up three floors in one of The Palace’s towers. He looked down on his domain. This was his. He’d fought long and hard for it. He’d be damned if he let anyone take it from him.
“Are you ready?”
Serena stood up from her seat in the lobby and smiled at Paris. The women hugged again. “I’m starving,” Serena told her. She’d skipped lunch. Instead, Serena had locked herself away in the file room, going over everyone’s previous work experience. Troy had left her after leaving security. He’d told her that he’d had other matters to attend to, but would check back in with her later.
Paris linked their arms together. “Then let’s eat.”
They started to walk towards the door that led to the main pool area.
Outside, the air was cooler. Cool enough for Miami in July. Serena had had time to change clothes, but she did pull her hair up into a ponytail. “I saw a restaurant in the third tower this morning. The smell coming from it was amazing.”
“Yeah, it’s one hundred and fifty dollars a plate amazing.”
Serena stopped in her tracks. “Are you kidding me?”
Paris winked. “But it doesn’t matter. It’s on Troy.”
The two locked elbows and headed in that direction. It was as though their connection had been never lost. Paris caught Serena up on how her parents and siblings were doing while Serena spoke about her sick grandmother. Serena hadn’t grown up with her parents. They’d both died when she was young. After their passing, Serena had moved into her grandmother’s home. It was located in the same neighbourhood that young Troy and Paris had lived. It was there that their friendship had formed. They’d all gone to the same public schools and then played together once they’d got home. They’d always thought that they’d be friends forever, but forever was something Serena knew nothing about.
A hostess directed them to their table. Paris knew her.
“So, you must know everyone here.” Serena said once their drinks arrived. If she was going to catch a villain by the weekend, she needed to work fast.
Paris quickly launched into little bios about everyone at the resort, but she had bad to say about the people on Serena’s list. For the most part, Paris only had great things to say about the employees that Serena was focusing on. Perhaps Serena was looking in the wrong area. They had just finished their meal when a shadow appeared.
“Mind if I interrupt?” It was Madrick. He was standing over the two women’s table, looking down at them. Actually, he was looking at Paris. He’d changed. He wore a suit. Still all black. Still giving him an air of mystery.
“We do,” Paris answered in mock annoyance. “How did you find me?”
He slid into the seat next to her, uninvited. Bold. His smile never leaving. He wrapped his arm around the back of Paris’ chair. “You know I’ll always find you, Frenchie.”
Paris looked him in the eyes. She was blushing. “This constitutes as stalking.”
So Paris is Frenchie? Serena guessed it made sense. She watched as Madrick leaned over to Paris and began to whisper in her ear. Serena had no idea what the man said, but she saw Paris’ entire face turn to flames. Then her friend melted, turning to putty, which was obviously what Madrick wanted.
He stood then and held out his hand. The music in the restaurant turned to something slow. Paris gave him her hand and they were off.
Serena watched them go, smiling. The two found themselves in the middle of the crowded dance floor. She was happy for Paris. She jumped when she saw someone sit in the seat opposite her.
Troy smiled. “Having a good time?”His voice was low and dominating. His sapphire iris’ danced.
Serena sighed. Why did everything this man said have to sound like sex? Maybe it was just wishful thinking on her part. She’d known this would happen. Before taking the job, Serena had known Troy would drive her crazy. “I’m just here to eat, then I‘m going back to work.”
Serena studied Troy in the candlelight. The table was rather large, putting a great distance between them, but there was something in Troy's eyes. It was as if she could feel him on her. His hooded eyes caressed her, touched her, and stroked her body into a fiery heat from across the table.
Serena averted her gaze as she reached or her water. She was happy when she heard him speak. “Remember that time we went to Paris’ house for her fifteenth birthday and her parents cooked that huge dinner?”
Serena moaned. “That food was so good. And they wouldn’t tell anyone the recipes.”
The moan caught Troy off guard. He’d been looking for a safe topic, but damn, he wanted to make her moan again. He shook his head, trying to stir his mind away from his growing member. “You know, I tried to buy the recipes last year.”
Serena leaned in. “You didn’t.” Her rosy lips lifted into a smiled.
Troy nodded his head, returning her smile. “I did. I offered them crazy amounts of money, but they turned me down. They said the secret recipes were only for family.”
Serena leaned back. She mindlessly tapped her finds on the table. “Sorry, but your billions can’t get you everything.” A wicked glee in her copper eyes.
No, Troy couldn’t have everything, but he could have something.
“Is that little Serena?”
Serena looked up into a pair of eyes that matched Troy's. His mother and father stood over their table. Troy stood to greet his parents. Serena did the same. Mr. and Mrs. Cage looked great for their age. They’d dressed to impress. Mrs. Eliza Cage wore a dress that showed off her slim form and Mr. Francis Cage in a suit. His jet black hair now had a streak of white. If not for his black eyes, Troy would look just like him. Both men were deadly handsome.
Troy took the available seat next to Serena while his parents sat across. A party of waiters appeared instantly. In seconds, the table looked as though no one had eaten there. Used dishes and silverware was quickly replaced by clean china.
“We don’t want to take up your evening,” Eliza began. “But we just had to come over and say hello. It’s been so long. We use to see you almost every day. Why haven’t seen you?” She fixed Serena with an intense look. Mrs. Cage seemed both confused and probably hurt. Had she missed her?
Serena looked away. She didn’t meet Troy's eyes either. It was clear his parents didn’t know what had happened between them. No one knew. It was their secret. An embarrassing story Serena would take to her grave. “Oh, I just got really busy with school. I barely had time for friends.”
“I don’t know what’s with you young people, “Mr. Cage began. “I’m surprised Troy was able to hang on to Paris for so long. You all just seemed to get so busy, letting work consume all of your time. If you’re not careful, old age will sneak up on you.”
Mrs. Cage patted her husband's arm. “Don’t mind him. He’s just hitting his midlife crisis.”
“But it’s true,” Francis continued. “You have to take time for yourselves.” His eyes met Troy's then.
Troy sighed. “I promise to take a break real soon, dad.”
“Troy, you’ve done enough for your mother and I-”
“We don’t have to get into all of that,” Mrs. Cage rushed in, trying to prevent and argument before it began.
Serena saw a vein in Troy’s jaw leap. There was a flash of annoyance before his smile slide into place. “What kind of son doesn’t provide for his family when they are in need?”
Mr. Cage’s voice was low. “We don’t need any more money. You don’t need any more money.”
“But we could use some grandchildren,” Mrs. Cage chimed in. She was trying to lighten the mood. Serena didn’t think it was working.
The two Cage men stared down one another. Serena was lost. She hadn’t known Troy's parents had faced a financial hard time. It seemed Serena wasn’t the only one with monetary issues.
“Serena,” Mrs. Cage called. “How’s your grandmother?”
The question caught her off guard. “Uh, she’s alright. She was diagnosed with cancer three years ago-”
“She’s sick?” Eliza asked, cutting off Serena’s words. Her husband shared in her look of bewilderment.
Serena left Troy turn towards her. She looked at him. He looked at her in confusion, as though she’d been purposefully holding out on him. “Why didn’t you say anything?” He asked.
Serena looked around at the people who’d been like a second family to her. Their concern touched her. Over the years, Mr. and Mrs. Cage had tried to reach out to her, inviting her to birthday parties and get togethers, but Serena had never gone. After her affair with Troy, Serena had basically pulled away from everyone she knew. She’d been ashamed to talk to anyone close to Troy again. She’d fallen in love with Troy and he’d never returned it. Yet, now he looked at her as if she’d done something to purposefully hurt him.
Serena sighed, getting a hold of her nerves. “It’s alright. She’s doing a lot better now. Chemo and surgery got rid of it. She’s recovering nicely. I put her in an assisted care facility. She’s getting around the clock monitoring”
“That’s expensive.” Francis’ comment had been a statement.
Serena felt Troy's hand slide next to herself. He grabbed it, locking his long fingers with slender ones. A warm spread through her. She didn’t look at him as she spoke. “We manage.”
“Well, you won’t have to just manage anymore,” Troy said. This time, Serena was looking up into his eyes, drowning in them. Their hue changed, as though an inner storm was calming.
Serena tried to look away, but couldn’t. “I can’t let you do that.”
You can’t stop me,” he said, a hidden smile lit his eyes. The rough pad of his thumb began to rub across the back of her hand, sending shots of warmth between her legs. Serena cross her knees and looked away. Troy was right. She couldn’t stop him. She didn’t think she could stop this growing need for him either.
Moment later, Troy's parents went to their own table, making Serena promise that she’d stop by their home in the country. She told them they she would. Serena glanced out on the dance floor. Paris and Madrick were gone. Serena could only imagine where the two had ended up.
“Have you been to your room yet?” He watched Serena’s eyes widen in shock. He’d caught her off guard. No doubt, her mind was going to the same place his had been since seeing her hours ago. Her manicured nails stopped moving. She tilted her head at him. “No, I’ve been too busy.”
Troy stood up. “Let me show you.”
Their eyes held. Serena didn’t move. Not one hundred percent sure if she could or should trust him, she was being cautious. Good. He wanted her to think. He wanted her to know what he was thinking.
Serena stood, still holding his gaze. “Okay.”