Her Bad Boy Billionaire Lover (Billionai - By Bretton, Barbara Page 0,1
watching you," Sandy said with a laugh. She gestured subtly toward a woman in a white jumpsuit who stood, talking seriously, with a man in his dotage. "Celia Briscoe."
"From Celia's Cuisine?"
"The competition is everywhere, Megan. You won't be able to peel a potato without having an audience."
"Maybe that's it," she said after a moment, although she didn't entirely believe her own words. Professional scrutiny was three parts competition and one part curiosity, more cerebral than visceral. This, however, was something else. Something more personal, more sexual, a sensation that made her acutely aware of the way the sultry breezes caressed her cheek and conjured up fantasies of remote tropical islands made for romance.
"I don't envy you having to cater meals for this crowd," Sandy went on, adjusting her straw hat to a more rakish angle. "The competition is pretty intense, although I can't figure out why the owners of the Sea Goddess don't just hire themselves some fancy French chef and be done with it."
"They have," said Megan, "but you can't expect a demi-god to work a sixteen hour shift. The artistes only handle the dinner crowd." Management--whoever they might be--intended to hire an independent firm to prepare breakfast, lunch, and high tea with both flair and attention to detail, American style. This knack for avoiding the obvious had the owners of Tropicale Cruises sitting on the biggest potential goldmine since the heyday of the Queen Mary.
Sandy gestured toward a silver-haired man near the door to Promenade Deck. "Do you think he's one of the owners?"
"Could be," said Megan. "He certainly looks like he could afford it."
Word had it that a group of enterprising businessmen had bought the Sea Goddess, a two hundred and eighty-two foot yacht, from a once-powerful tycoon who was down on his luck and the businessmen had transformed the private yacht into a commercial enterprise. No one knew exactly who the businessmen were, but their brilliant marketing was fast becoming the stuff of legend.
The Sea Goddess was positioned to provide the ultimate in affordable luxury for travelers who wanted the best but didn't want to go to the Riviera to find it. Yankee grandeur, the Miami newspapers had called it and it seemed to Megan they were right on target with that assessment.
"Over there," said Sandy, nudging Megan again. "The man in the dark blue polo shirt. Isn't that a Rolex watch he's wearing?"
"A knock-off," Megan said. "A good one, but not the real thing."
Sandy eyed her with curiosity. "You sound pretty sure of yourself."
"I am," said Megan. Once upon a time this had been her world. Gold watches, diamond tennis bracelets, dinner at the Club--they had all been as commonplace to her as Timex watches, costume jewelry, and lunch beneath the Golden Arches were to her now.
This time, however, she was there to work, not assess the scenery.
The Moveable Feast, the catering firm Megan and her partner Ingrid owned, had been summoned on this cruise, singled out of a hundred other catering firms in the area. Firms, Megan suspected, that were equally as good as theirs. Not that she was asking any questions. She wanted this contract badly, and she was determined to bring all of her culinary skills to the table in order to make the deal.
Megan's free-wheeling imagination coupled with her partner's keen business sense had made them a duo to be reckoned with. Five years ago she'd shown up on Ingrid's doorstep, with Jenny in her arms and hope in her heart, to apply for the job of Stace's nanny. Who would have imagined that she would end up with not only a best friend but a business partner?
They had earned this opportunity through talent and hard work and Megan knew in her bones that securing a place on the staff of the Sea Goddess would move them into the big time. Ingrid said they were doing fine without the Tropicale franchise, but Megan was determined to see it through to even greater success.
Strange how much she'd taken for granted when she was growing up. Ballet lessons. Horseback riding. Wednesday afternoon lunches at the Club where she'd learned the difference between eating and dining. Her closet had bulged with lacy party dresses and cashmere sweaters and tennis shoes coordinated to match her play suits. Once upon a time she'd believed that was the way life was for everybody...the way life always would be for her.
Well, she'd learned otherwise and, to her amazement, she'd survived. The very things she'd longed for during her