Barefoot Bay: The Billionaire's Convenient Secret (Kindle Worlds Novella)

Barefoot Bay: The Billionaire's Convenient Secret (Kindle Worlds Novella) by Leigh Duncan

Book: Barefoot Bay: The Billionaire's Convenient Secret (Kindle Worlds Novella) by Leigh Duncan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Leigh Duncan
those exceptions. The age and general condition of the building make it expensive to bring old wiring and plumbing up to new codes. Favor Oil has taken another look at those figures and slated the Mimosa Key store for demo.”
    “When?” The boiled peanuts she’d eaten earlier must have upset her stomach, because she suddenly felt nauseated. She swallowed dryly. “And how long will it take to rebuild?”
    “Once construction actually starts, maybe twelve to fifteen months. The biggest problem will be getting the local government on board. I’ve heard people in Mimosa Key can be pretty resistant to change.”
    You think?
    Based on her experience with Josh, she’d say that was a definite. She collapsed against the sofa cushions.
    “Not a word of this can leak, Charlie. I’m only telling you because Favor wants to turn the Mimosa Key store into a flagship, of sorts. An example, if you will, of how to do things right. So a lot of eyes are focused on you right now. If you pull this off, it’ll be a definite feather in your cap at W&B.”
    And if she didn’t?
    With her eyes closed, she mouthed the words David expected to hear—that she was excited about this new opportunity, that she wouldn’t let him down. Blah. Blah. Blah. But as they said their good-byes, her thoughts raced.
    Possibly more than a year without the Super Min? The ripple effect would spread throughout the community.
    She felt a little more sick to her stomach when she considered the changes Favor would make to the store. The new owners would never agree to sell the boiled peanuts that had become her new favorite treat. The oil company would certainly put an end to free delivery service. While she couldn’t fathom the island’s white-haired senior citizens hobbling along sidewalks beneath a sweltering sun, as long as the Super Min existed, they’d still be able to get milk for their morning coffee. Destroying the store, though, would rip a huge hole in the very fabric of life on Mimosa Key.
    Her head swam. This new plan was all well and good for Favor Oil, but what would happen to the people who depended on the Super Min? The tourists who crossed the bridge from Naples, intending to stock up at their favorite mom-and-pop would have to circle back and buy their snacks from a store on the other side of the bay. Josh, and others like him, would lose their jobs. Without the income he earned from the Super Min, his dream of starting his own vineyard would die on the vine before the first grape leaves unfurled.
    How could she let that happen, much less be a part of it?
    She squeezed her eyes shut. This wasn’t her problem. She didn’t live on Mimosa Key. She’d barely met any of its residents. She didn’t have to care. It wasn’t too late. She could still do her job and walk away.
    Yeah, right.
    If it was really nothing to her, why were her hands shaking? Why did her heart hurt for all the people whose lives would be affected by the store’s closure? Worse, why did her heart hurt so much she could barely breathe when she thought of Josh giving up his dream, losing his life savings, when she could prevent it?
    Not if she loved him, she couldn’t.
    She stopped, her heart hammering.
    Did she love Josh? Had she, despite all her warnings to the contrary, despite her firm insistence that she wouldn’t, fallen head over heels in love with a man whose goals and dreams were at the opposite end of the spectrum from her own?
    Twin rivers of tears ran down her cheeks. Heaven help her, she had.
    She drew in a thready breath. Putting her new resolve into motion was the hardest thing she’d ever done, but she retrieved the phone from the coffee table where she’d abandoned it. After hitting the speed dial, she counted the rings until someone picked up. By the time she’d disconnected a few minutes later, she’d scheduled an appointment with David for Monday morning.
    Which gave her roughly forty-eight hours to come up with a plan to save the Super Min. She

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