The Billionaire's Ex Girlfriend (2015)
The hotel was a buzz. The sun was setting. The Palace had officially hosted its first Fourth of July extravaganza. A large party had been held on the beach. The music had set a lively mood. The food had been amazing, and everyone had had a great time. Nothing had gone wrong, but the night wasn’t over. As soon as it got dark, the real show would start. Fireworks would light the sky, making The Palace the coastlines glittering attraction.
Serena crossed her fingers hoping all would go well.
She wore a white off shoulder dress. The fabric flowed around her, stopping at her ankles. The lacy fabric had blocked most of the sun, but the material had allowed Serena to still feel the wind. Sandals in hand, she left the beach area, passing by the outdoor hand floor, pools, and bars, heading straight for the indoors. There was a room that held the fireworks. She wanted to make sure nothing went wrong.
Once inside, she breathed in the air conditioning. The indoors were practically bare. Everyone was outside. Walking down an empty hall, she heard voices she recognized. Elliot Higgins stepped out of a room. When he spotted her, he hesitated, but just for a moment. Serena wasn’t too sure she saw it. It’s been so quick if it indeed had happened, but now his face wore a bright smile.
When she reached him, she glanced at the door. The number read ‘101’.
“Just checking on a guest is all,” he began. “Are you ready for the big show?” His eyebrows wiggled. He was referring to the fireworks.
Serena returned his smile. “Almost. I’m just checking to make sure everything is alright for the night.”
“I’m sure it is,” he said. Elliot then headed towards the direction Serena had come from. “See you outside.” He threw over his shoulder.
Then he was gone.
Serena rounded a corner that brought her to the entrance to the office corridor. Paris stood there, a tablet in her hand. She was not dressed for the beach at all. A man was with her. A construction worker. He was fixing the door. It had been broken into. “What happened?”
Paris shrugged, but panic was in her eyes. “No idea, but someone obviously needed to get into the office space, but didn’t have a key.”
Serena narrowed her eyes. She didn’t want to believe that Paris was involved, but she had to be on the safe side. “Why do you look so nervous?”
Paris stepped away from the construction guy. He hadn’t looked away from his work on the door. When Paris was only a few inches away, she whispered. “I didn’t want to tell you earlier, but bad things have been happening around here. Before you came, things went missing and machines broke down at random.” She looked worried. “I just don’t want anything to happen on Troy’s big day.”
Serena read her eyes. Paris was nervous because she cared. So did Serena. “I’m not an accountant.”
Paris stared blankly at Serena. “I know.”
Serena looked surprised. “You do? How?”
Paris’ look switched to one that was more condescending. “Serena, you hate maths.” Paris rolled her eyes. “You think I forgot? I just assumed you didn’t want to tell me what you really did, because you were embarrassed.” She ended her statement with an eye roll and a smile.
Serena smiled too. “I’m not embarrassed. I’m a P.I. and I’ve been hired to find out what’s been going on in the hotel.”
A sharp brow lifted on Paris’ face. “Now that, I believe.”
The two friends smiled.
“All done here,” the construction worker said. “I even put one of those new fancy locks on it. We didn’t put those in the original construction, but I figured it out.”
Serena looked at the man. She guessed him to be in his late forties.
Paris introduced him. “This is Sam. He was one of the men on site while The Palace was being built.”
Serena shook his hand. “So, you know your way around electric, I guess?” Serena didn’t think he was the culprit, but at the moment, she was desperate.
Sam laughed. “You guys should know. You call our company every few days with a question.”
Paris looked puzzled. “We’ve never called you.”
Sam nodded his head. “Well not you, but that Elliot guy. He’s asked about washers and door locks, and all sorts of things. The guy seems dedicated. Even when The Palace had been nothing but concrete and metal, he was there, asking questions, wanting to learn everything about the hotel.”
Paris found that odd, but Serena didn’t. She turned to Paris. “Who’s staying in room 101?”
Paris looked down at her tablet. “Carl Fletcher.”
Elliot was her guy. He must have been working for Mr. Fletcher all along. Before Serena could voice her findings, a voice came up behind her.
“What’s going on here?” It was Troy.
Serena turned around. She smiled. He didn’t return it. She didn’t care. She hadn’t seen him in days, but none of that mattered at the moment, because she knew that in the next few minutes, Troy would be doing a lot more than just smiling. He’d feel relieved.