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kidnapping the billionaire’s daughter

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Jeremy
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Summary

PROLOGUE : Emma van der Bilt is clever, snarky, and spoiled rotten. William Knight is cocky, impatient, and slightly dimwitted. So how exactly did Will manage to kidnap Emma and her best friend twice and live to talk about it ? « What the hell-«  I screeched. « Good morning, sunshine. » I looked up in alarm and saw the smirking face of my kidnapper. His face would have made me a lot angrier had it not been terribly swollen, thanks to yours truly. « I’d say good morning, but judging by the boner on your face, I’d say you weren’t having such a good morning. » His self-satisfied smirk fell almost instantly, and his partner-in-crime laughed out loud from the driver’s seat. « Actually, » he said, « I’m having a pretty good morning. My luck’s about to change. You wanna know why ? » I didn’t answer. « I’ll tell you why. I’ve successfully kidnapped the daughter of one of the richest men in the country. » « Don’t start counting your lucky stars just yet. This isn’t over yet, » I snapped. « Isn’t it ? » he asked, raising the eyebrow above his good eye. His other one remained in a permanent squint, and it made it kind of hard to take him seriously. « I’m not the one who’s naked and tied up in a stranger’s back seat. » I glanced down at myself and noticed for the first time that I was in my bra and panties. Honestly, I was kind of relieved. When he’d said « naked, » I’d assumed he meant birthday-suit naked, not half-naked.

SuspenseEmotioncontemporarySad loveCheatDominant

01

You know how people in movies always seem to know when their lives are about to change ? Yeah, that doesn’t happen in real life. You don’t wake up one morning and think, “Oh, my God, I’m going to get kidnapped today.”

The day I got kidnapped, I didn’t wake up with some otherworldly premonition about what was about to happen. I woke up barking orders at the air, still stuck in party-planning mode even when I was half-asleep. I had no idea my life was about to change. If I had, I would’ve run for the hills. I would’ve even been willing to abandon my party-planning. But I didn’t have a premonition, and I didn’t run. I just kept obsessively planning my best friend’s birthday party.

“No, no, no ! I said gardenias. First Love gardenias. What is so impossible to understand about that ?” I snapped into the phone, cutting the man off every time he tried to speak. He was obviously just your average worker. He was too flustered to be anyone of power. “No ! I don’t want to hear talk of tulips ! Or lilies ! I said gardenias. We want First Love gardenias. No. No !”

People these days were so incompetent. Why would this man even think to suggest tulips or lilies when I was so clear about our desire for gardenias ? It was ridiculous.

“Ma’am, you must understand—”

“There’s nothing to understand,” I exclaimed. “My client said she wanted First Love gardenias, and that’s what I’m getting her. Not tulips. Not lilies. Gardenias.”

My client wasn’t just any client ; I wouldn’t have been doing this for any old person. My client just so happened to be my best friend, Taylor Williamson, and this wasn’t just any party. It was her eighteenth birthday party, and it had to be absolutely perfect. Taylor had entrusted me with this job, assuming I would do it to the best of my ability, and that was exactly what I was going to do. No imbecile was going to ruin this for me or for her.

“But we don’t—”

“I don’t care ! I’m not asking for some endangered flower from Africa. My request is so simple. Gardenias. We just want gardenias.”

Well, I was definitely never ordering flowers from this business ever again. This was absolutely ridiculous. Horrible service. Just horrible.

“But we don’t have—”

“You are living proof that evolution can go in reverse. Haven’t I made myself more than clear ? We. Want. First. Love. Gardenias.”

“Ma’am, I’m sure there are plenty of other very beautiful flowers—”

“No,” I snapped, shaking my head even though the man couldn’t see me. “I don’t want to hear talk of these other flowers ! You have two choices : either get the gardenias for this party, or count on losing our funding and patronization.”

He sounded much more nervous the next time he spoke. “There’s no need to take such drastic measures. Ma’am—”

“No, there is a need. I meant what I said. The choice is yours. Goodbye.”

I felt like that was a good moment to end the conversation, so I did exactly that. Something told me he’d find a way to get me those flowers. My dad gave his business a lot of money.

Glancing around the mostly empty ballroom, I heaved a loud sigh. This place was nowhere near ready, and I had less than a week to plan this party. The ballroom itself was gorgeous, but that wasn’t enough. It needed pizzazz, and pizzazz didn’t come from lilies or freaking tulips. That was for sure.

Aaron Gaff ran past me just then, distracting me from my contemplations. Aaron was pretty much my only guy friend. I tended to scare everyone else off, but that was fine with me. They were all idiots, anyway. “Aaron !” I barked, making him stop in his tracks. “What’s in that box ? Did you find the lights I told you about ?”

Aaron smiled, but it didn’t look natural. Something wasn’t right. “No—well, not exactly. I found these, and they’re just as good.”

I narrowed my eyes and peered inside the box, making a face at the contents and retching dramatically. “Are you kidding me ? These are not just as good ! The lights I told you about are lined with gold. These are lined with what, bronze ? Some other cheap knockoff ? No, this isn’t what I wanted. Go find the lights !”

“But—”

“Go !”

From the look he gave me, it was obvious he didn’t appreciate my tone, but it wasn’t like he was doing this for free. I was paying the guy ; he knew what he was getting into when he agreed.

As I watched Aaron run out the door, my phone vibrated in my hand, and a glance at the caller ID told me it was the catering company. I answered the call with a frown. With my luck, something else was going to go wrong. “This is Emma van der Bilt,” I said, adjusting my phone over my ear.

“Hi, Emma. I’m just calling to confirm your order,” a woman’s voice said over the phone.

“That’s fine. List it off for me.”

As she listed off the foods I had ordered for Taylor’s party, I stopped her abruptly. “Wait a second. Did you just say cream of mushroom ?”

“Yes. Is there a problem ?”

I huffed in disbelief. “Is there a problem ? Is there a problem ? Of course there’s a problem ! I said crème brûlée, not cream of mushroom ! How do you even mix the two up ?”

“I’m sorry for the mix up. I’ll fix this right away and have your order ready by Saturday.”

“Good. Call me when you have it right.” With that, I hung up.

This was stressing me out beyond belief, and it really shouldn’t have been stressing me out at all. It couldn’t be that hard to get a simple request down correctly. Nearly everyone had somehow screwed up my orders. This was getting way out of hand. I needed a nap.

“Emmy, you should really chill out,” Taylor said, walking towards me with a frown on her face. She placed a hand on her hip and shot me a look when she reached me. “You’re stressing out, and you know what happens when you stress out.”

I let out a sigh. “I know, I know. I break out.” Pimples were probably the thing I hated most, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if I woke up with a monster zit one of these days.

“Exactly. So just chill out. It’ll all be fine !”

“Right. Except I’m the one who has to make sure it turns out fine.”

“And it will,” she went on, but I ignored her and went on with my own tirade.

“This is important. This is going to be the biggest party of the year. No, it’s going to be the biggest party of the decade. I have a right to stress out.”

“I know,” Taylor replied, sounding much calmer than me for once, “and I’m super excited ! Seriously, I am, but even I’m not freaking out over this, and it’s my birthday party, so what does that tell you ?”

“That you have an unusual disinterest in parties and party planning ?”

She laughed and shook her head. “No, it tells you that you need to calm down.”

I sighed. “You’re right.” No, she wasn’t. “I’ll try to calm down, I guess.” Except that was a lie. There was no way I was going to calm down. Calmness wasn’t in my genes. Obsessive tracking and planning was in my genes.