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Claiming Her as a Daddy
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Ava’s hired to be a hostess at an exclusive club on a private island, far from the rest of the world. She thinks she’s there to serve a group of handsome, demanding billionaires, but what happens when playboy Carver Temple catches her in an extremely compromising situation?
Carver’s got everything at his fingertips, from fast cars and beautiful women, to boatloads of money and a life filled with utter hedonism. He’s bored out of his mind, but a visit to Billionaires Island changes all that when he meets the sassy, feisty Ava. Because Carver and his friends have set up a contest, and he’s going to make sure he wins by any means necessary… even if it means putting a baby in Ava’s belly!
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Oh my god, I can’t believe I’m finally here, at Maruba. It seemed a little weird when Charity handed me the plane ticket yesterday. She’d interviewed me just the week before for a hostess position at a private club, so I’d assumed I’d be staying local in New York.
“What is this?” I asked yesterday, staring dumbly at the white piece of paper.
“It’s a plane ticket, what else?” she said, rolling her eyes. “Haven’t you been on a plane before?”
I stare at the ticket in my hand.
“Yes, but I’ve never heard of Elite Air. Is that a branch of United Airlines, or American? I know they sometimes brand their puddle-jumpers differently. Or is this a budget airline that’s new?”
Charity snorted, wrinkling her nose.
“Hardly. Sweetheart, get a clue. This is the opposite of a budget airline – it’s a private flight that caters to the wealthy and powerful.”
I was still confused.
“I’m sorry? Private how? In what way?”
Now the middle-aged woman had had it. She rolled her eyes and blew her bangs out of her face with an exasperated puff of air.
“It’s private in that it’s not commercial, silly. When you were interviewing for this job, did you really think your bosses were going to fly commercial? Please, Ava. Get some common sense. I thought you were better than that.”
My mouth snapped shut at her admonishment. Of course, Charity was right. During the job interview, she’d told me that I’d be catering to rich people in a secluded setting, but I figured it meant I’d be working at an exclusive bar or club somewhere in New York City. By contrast, now I was being handed a plane ticket for a destination called Maruba.
“But where is Maruba?” I asked, still squinting at the paper. “It sounds like a tropical island.”
“Because it is a tropical island, dummy. Maruba is a paradise owned by your employers because they don’t want to associate with “regular” people. You think the Four Seasons or the W is going to cut it for these folks? Or the British Virgin Islands or St. Bart’s? Hell no, sweetheart. These people are fabulously wealthy, and everything with them is shih-shih and totally exclusive. And you’re the one who’s going to make sure their every need is catered to.”
I nodded. That wasn’t a surprise to me. I was hired to be a hostess after all.
“Okay, no problem. So I should to be at the airport tomorrow morning, 6 a.m. sharp, right? I guess I should pack khaki shorts and polos? Sandals? Flip flops? Sunscreen?”
Charity rolled her eyes again.
“No, Ava. You really are clueless sometimes, you know that? You’re not a guest, so you won’t need to bring that stuff. Your employers will provide all the clothing needed. Just bring some undergarments, and that’ll be fine.”
I made a face.
“Not even a swimsuit?” I asked, feeling disappointed. If we were going to be on a tropical island, I was hoping that I’d at least have some time to myself for a dip in the ocean. Of course, I’d be working, but everyone gets days off, right?
Charity rolled her eyes again.
“Fine, bring a swimsuit,” she sniffed. “But remember, your employers can be very particular, so don’t be surprised by their requests.”
I could live with that. I’ve learned over the years that rich people can be eccentric, if not downright strange. But no matter. I just wanted some time off to enjoy the balmy island setting and hot tropical sun. After all, all work and no play makes Ava a very boring girl, and I wanted to spice up my life a bit.
But now I’m at the airport, or more accurately, the private airplane hangar at the Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, and my jaw drops almost to the floor.
“So this is it,” I say to myself, marveling at the sleek white plane waiting on the cement surface. It was smaller than your usual commercial jetliner and much thinner too, kind of like a white tube that flies through the skies. The words “Elite Air” were emblazoned on the side in elegant script and my eyes grew wide at the red carpet leading up the stairs.
“Is this really for me?” I asked.
A cheery voice sounded from behind me.
“Nope, it’s for us,” it said. I whirled around to see a curvy girl with long brown ringlets and rosy-red cheeks. “Hi, I’m Amelia,” she greeted, sticking her hand out. “Are you here for the trip to a private island?”
“Yeah, I just got hired.”
“Me too,” said Amelia. “And I can’t wait to par-tay now!”
I giggled despite myself.
“But wait, I thought we were going to work,” I said, confused. “I was hired to be a hostess. How about you?”
“Same,” she nodded with a grin. “Did you interview with Charity?”
“Yep,” I said. “But honestly, Charity didn’t tell me much. She said that our employer is quote-unquote ‘very private’ and that he would require quote-unquote ‘the utmost discretion.” Do you know what any of that means?”