Paris Was The Place I Met My Billionaire Lover (My Sweet Billionaire Love Story Series)

BOOK: Paris Was The Place I Met My Billionaire Lover (My Sweet Billionaire Love Story Series)
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Paris Was The Place Where I Met My Billionaire Lover

 

 

Kiera Zane

 

 

Read Kiera Zane’s other book,
Outfoxing Murder

 

 

COMING SOON: A Serial Killer in Amish Country

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2013 Copyright by Global Grafx Press, LLC

 

All Rights Reserved

 

The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author or Global Grafx Press, LLC.

 

Chapter One: Spring Break

Caitlyn Haliwell was daydreaming again.  A translucent reflection of her face hovered in the glass window pane just inches to her left.  Her soft features seemed lacking in emotion, even to her.  Her eyes and lips, which everyone raved about much more than Caitlyn herself thought was warranted, just seemed empty, hollow in that pallid reflection.  Her blonde hair dangled disinterested over her smooth forehead. 

She always chose that seat, because of the view it gave her of the world outside the little classroom; expansive, open, free.

Alive with possibilities.

She was drifting off more and more, and she knew it.  Her grades were slipping, her friends were starting to shoot weird looks at her, and then at each other, as if to ask,
What’s her problem?  Earth to Caitlyn; come in, Caitlyn!

But she was harder and harder to reach.  But she wasn’t on drugs, like her brother suggested and her parents worried.  And she wasn’t some idle dreamer lost in a fog that had never been Caitlyn and never would be.

Caitlyn knew what was wrong with her, she simply didn’t want to have to go through the bother of explaining it to everyone.  She was amazed more of her peers didn’t feel the same way.

Restless.

Caitlyn had been in Los Angeles her whole life, which she knew was a great place to be.  The beaches were a fun place to enjoy the summers, her young body blossoming in the vitamin-rich California sun.  She skied in the winter, going up with the family to their cabin in Big Bear or sometimes even going up just with a few friends, but always coming home with those rosy cheeks and the vague trace of the shape of her goggles over her eyes, a bandit’s mask in negative.

So Caitlyn knew she was lucky to be where she was.

But that didn’t stop the aching feeling of sameness, of inescapable repetition.  Same friends, same schools, same streets; great as Los Angeles was, it wasn’t the center of the universe, as many of its inhabitants seemed to believe. 

There has to be more out there,
Caitlyn knew, yearning to see it all first-hand.  She simply didn’t know where to begin.

The
how
wouldn’t be so difficult.  Her father, Harrison Haliwell, did very well as an attorney, wisely choosing entertainment law over criminal.  His clients weren’t the hugely successful rock stars and actors he’d hoped for, but he still wound up raising the family in a very comfortable lifestyle.

But that only brought up a stickier set of questions; not the
how
, but the
where
and the
what
.  She didn’t want to simply travel around like some spoiled little brat on a permanent vacation. That option really wasn’t available to her anyway.  Her father insisted that she get a good education.  And Caitlyn was fine with that; happy, in fact.  She wanted to do something with her life, and that meant getting not only a good education, but the proper education.

She’d put the question off for as long as she could, doing two years at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the heart of the city.  UCLA was a great place to get the first two years of General Education done, and a terrific jumping-off point to where ever she’d like to go from there.

“So Matisse was influenced by the structural essence of jazz, which was to erase the lines that confined the spaces.  In turn, his visual style came to characterize the entire jazz era, from the furniture and posters to the clothes, even wallpaper of the day owed something to Matisse.  It’s just another example of the various media of a given era influencing one another.”  Professor Daniel’s voice echoed somewhere in the back of her mind, but didn’t register until he added, “Do you agree, Miss Haliwell?” and the whole class fell silent.

Caitlyn looked over from the window, all eyes upon her.  Snickering and giggling leaked up from the awkward silence as Caitlyn tried to veil her surprise.  She said, “Um, do I agree?  Is there, um, is there really any question about it?”

All eyes shifted back to Prof. Daniels, smiling as he leaned against his desk.  He took a few casual steps across the front of the class, saying, “It was a rhetorical question, Miss Haliwell.”  Professor Daniels turned toward the clock on the wall on the side of the room; four o’clock.  “Okay, those essays are due on Thursday, two o’clock.”

The students all stood and gathered their books and bags, purses and pens; the room crackling with their rustling exit, humming with their murmured gossip and snickering commentaries.

But before Caitlyn could rise, Prof. Daniels held his hand out to her.  “A moment of your time please, Miss Haliwell.”

Caitlyn nodded and sat down, leaving her book bag at her feet.

Here it comes, Caitlyn said to herself.  The
Are you all right?  I’m concerned, that’s all
speech. 
Do I really have to hear from yet another parent or teacher or other so-called adult about the pressures of growing up, of sex and drugs and the perils of their pleasures?  Half these people go home to their own sex lives and drug use and then always come to us with how dangerous these things can be.

And from Prof. Daniels, no less!
 

Professor Lawrence Daniels had been Caitlyn’s favorite teacher.  And she loved his art history classes, both the 101 that covered art through the Renaissance, and that semester’s 102, which covered art history up to the present.  It was no reflection on him that she was taking a quiet moment to glance out the window.

“I know what you’re going to say, Professor,” she started, hoping to cut the speech short.  “I’m sorry if I was distracted earlier, but -- ”

“That’s all right, Caitlyn,” he said with a calm, friendly tone.  “I understand, don’t worry about it.”

Caitlyn turned her head, as if to hear him more clearly.  “You... understand?”

“Well, I know enough not to fault you for what you’re feeling; and I remember enough to sympathize.  I used to be the same way; still am, truth be told.  There’s always something else to think about, eh?  Hell, if I weren’t the one talking in this class, I’d be a million miles away every minute.”

Caitlyn felt the smile creep across her face.  It was times like these that reminded Caitlyn why she liked Prof. Daniels, why she found herself undeniably attracted to him; his handsome face just slightly weathered, his his black hair only beginning to go slightly gray. 

But it was an attraction she tried to deny, and continued to deny.  It was creepy to have an affair with a college professor, and even creepier for a college professor to have one with a student.  And Caitlyn got plenty of attention from her fellow students anyway; even if she knew she was more attracted to the older men than to the boys of her own age.  Especially after what happened with Patrick, Caitlyn just wasn’t interested in pursuing anything too romantically complicated.  And even as she imagined scenarios where she and Prof. Daniels could be together and were together, she never expected them to become reality.  She wasn’t even sure that’s what she wanted.

She didn’t know
what
she wanted.

“Anyway,” Prof. Daniels said, “I was wondering what you were planning on doing with the next two years of your education.  Have you chosen a major?”

Caitlyn could only shake her head.  She’d answered the question too frequently and too recently.  Everybody from her parents on down, and that included teachers, her physician, even her mailman.  And giving the only truthful answer she could, that she didn’t know, Caitlyn had gotten every conceivable response: 
Have you given any thought to: Law?  Medicine?  Teaching?  Design?  Advertising?  Real Estate?  Stenography?(!) 

So it was no real surprise to hear Prof. Daniels say, “Have you given any thought to art restoration, or curation?  I’ve seen your work, you’re really good.”

These words swelled in Caitlyn’s heart, the pride warm in her blood and body.  She’d worked hard to improve her technique, spending hundreds of hours of her childhood in front of the easel.  And she loved her time there, considering it an indulgence and not a sacrifice.  She’d experimented with different media and techniques, from spraying watercolor through a bottle to spreading oils with a pallet knife.  She’d worked with still life, landscapes, portraits.

And she’d come up with a lifetime’s worth of Christmas gifts for her relatives, even for a favored teacher or two.  She even had a showing at a small gallery in the NoHo arts district, selling three paintings over a month’s time.

“Well, I’ve been painting my whole life,” Caitlyn said.  “And that’s kind of you to say, but I know I’ll never have a career as a great artist.”

“Almost nobody does, Caitlyn.  You might wind up with one, but it’s no kind of career path, that’s for sure.  But you could get in on a restoration team, somewhere in New York maybe, almost all the major cities.  And as a curator, you could work in any one of the finest museums in the world.  That’s a career that brings travel, fascinating people, it’s very exotic and sophisticated.  And worthwhile,” he added, not really needing to.  “If you can’t be the one creating the masterpieces of tomorrow, you can at least help preserve and present the masterpieces of yesterday and today for the public of tomorrow.”

Caitlyn hadn’t given the idea of being a museum curator any thought, but this did make some sense to her; even beyond the fact that it was coming from her favorite professor, and the most handsome one on the faculty. 

She began to imagine scenes from the movies she’d seen: Romantic thrillers set in European locations, shady characters and dapper art thieves, visiting dignitaries; touring presidents and kings through the halls of the world’s most exclusive art collections.

But when Prof. Daniels said, “What are your plans for spring break?” Caitlyn’s heart sank. 
Uh-oh
, she said to herself,
here it comes; all this was just a set-up to get me to come to his cabin for the week, take a look at his lithographs.  I’ve got a real future in art restoration and curation.  That’s an exotic and adventurous profession.

Yeah, right.

But he said, “You should think about going to Paris,” and her suspicious mind retreated in shame.  “Go to the
Louvre
, really see these masterpieces from up close, see if it isn’t a world you might enjoy making a career in.  If nothing else, you’ll see Paris, one of the most beautiful cities in the world.”

Paris
, Caitlyn said to herself, berating herself twice; once for not thinking of it herself, and once for assuming the worst about this kind and attentive teacher.

“Maybe you could get a few friends together,” Prof. Daniels said.  “I’m sure one of them would prefer it to Cancun or where ever.”

“I dunno,” Caitlyn shrugged, rolling her eyes, “all they want to do is get laid.  And that’s great, but I don’t want to spend a week in Paris watching them chase boys.”

Professor Daniels chuckled.  “Nothing wrong with that, and I’m not sure I’d recommend any young woman traveling abroad alone; especially not one as pretty as you.  Find a friend and let her chase boys while you tour the
Louvre
.  Agreed?”  Before giving Caitlyn a chance to lie or placate him, he nodded and said, “Agreed.  I better let you get on to your next class then.”

She didn’t have one, but Caitlyn nodded anyway and collected her books.  “Thanks for the advice, Professor,” she said, repeating, “Paris,” under her breath as she stepped out of the room.

* * *

“Paris,” Harrison Haliwell said, setting his fork down to clink against the plate.  “I think that is a wonderful idea.  You’ll need at least two solid days for the
Louvre
alone.  And Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomph, Versailles; wow, now that’s a spring break worth taking.  Maybe we’ll go with you, make it a family thing.”

Caitlyn rolled her eyes, Robbie doing the same thing; offended by the idea in the same way but for different reasons.  Robbie was still in the thick of his teen years, body sprouting awkwardly, bent in the throes of his long and difficult transition.  Caitlyn was a young woman whose physical transformation was already complete, even if her true spiritual and personal development was still to come.  But from either one’s perspective, the idea of a family vacation was a nauseating one.  For Robbie, the idea of spending any time in Paris was just as much as a turn-off as it was for Caitlyn to imagine being their shackled to her parents and snotty teenaged kid brother.

“Your father’s just kidding, kids,” Sabrina Haliwell said, waving them off.  “He’s taking me to Cancun this year.”  She turned back to Harrison with a little smile.  “Aren’t you, dear?”

“That’s right,” Harrison said, a sip of chardonnay helping to wash down the knot in his throat.  “Two weeks, but not during spring break, no chance.”

“Well of course not,” Sabrina said, taking a mouthful of mashed potatoes and rolling her shoulder at the absurdity of his suggestion.

“Paris,” Robbie said, “sounds lame.”

“I don’t know why you’d object,” Caitlyn said.  “They’ve got Disneyland there.”

Sabrina said, “Kids,” and didn’t need to say more.

“I like this professor of yours,” Harrison said.  “He’s got a lot of good ideas, especially about you not traveling alone.”

But what can I do?
Caitlyn wanted to say, always hoping to speak the truth to her family, and anyone else, for that matter. 
None of my friends will go, if I can even still call them my friends.

BOOK: Paris Was The Place I Met My Billionaire Lover (My Sweet Billionaire Love Story Series)
11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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