“So you still believe your boyfriend is innocent of all wrongdoing?”
“Of course.” Kay lifted her chin. “The truth is very simple. Vivian tried playing with fire, but when she got caught and stood to lose billions in the divorce courts, she decided to act like Donald was about to rape her when she’s had the hots for him from the very start.”
“Why do you believe Vivian came on to your boyfriend? She’s married to Luca Valencia—-”
“Money isn’t everything,” Kay countered breezily. “Her husband’s really old, you know?”
“He’s thirty-one,” another reporter pointed out.
“And your point is?” Kay’s eyes bored through him. “That’s so old, and Vivian must have compared her husband to Donald, and I don’t know…I guess she got tired being with a man who’s so old. She sees Donald and me make out all the time. But you know most times I see them on TV or online, her husband only kisses her on the cheek or something. Maybe his tongue is too tired to French kiss?”
Everyone laughed, and encouraged by the sound, Kay continued brazenly, “Let’s be all honest here. They’re just one f—-”
The crowd gasped in a mixture of shock and amusement.
“—-away from the nursing home, you know what you mean?”
The interview lasted for over thirty minutes, but Kay and her friends would have gladly spent the entire day talking if not for hearing the boarding announcement on their flight.
“Do you think we’ll show up on TMZ?” one of Kay’s friends asked eagerly as they headed down the hallway connecting the terminal to their plane.
“Abso-effing-lutely,” Kay affirmed. “We’re today’s It girls, you know? People can’t just stop talking about us, and that’s why we have these for free.” She waved their air tickets and hotel vouchers for emphasis. She and her friends had received their travel packets this morning, which included an invitation to a Caribbean resort.
Aboard the airplane, Kay and her friends were further surprised to meet other students in their school. Every face was familiar, too familiar, and amidst the excited screams and roars coming from the jocks—-
It was almost like the entire cast at the party that night had been reassembled, Kay thought with a frisson of unease.
But that wasn’t a bad thing, was it?
“Welcome on board, passengers,” the captain greeted them over the PA system. “Thank you for flying with us. Our cabin crew is at your beck and call, and we’d like you to know that we’ve prepared food and free-flowing beverages on board for your enjoyment. We will be taking off shortly.”
More cheers erupted as the captain sounded off.
“Yeah, baby! This is the life! We’re being paid to party!”
“We’re going to be the next Jersey Shore!”
A champagne bottle was popped, and everyone burst into wild applause.
By the time the plane finally took off, Kay and everyone else were more than a little sloshed, and when the headrest monitors in front of them suddenly showed an extraordinarily handsome man on the screen.
Yummy, Kay thought distractedly. The guy looked familiar, but she couldn’t quite place him. Although she made it seem like she was well connected and moved in the highest social circles in her interviews, the truth was that the only famous people she knew were from Hollywood’s who’s who list.
Names like Astor and Vanderbilt didn’t even mean anything to Kay—-
“Good afternoon. I’m Nic de Konigh, and this is a pre-recorded message.”
—-and European families with billion-dollar fortunes meant even less than nothing to her.
Kay frowned on the monitor. “Are we supposed to know who he is?”
Jenny, the girl seated beside her, gaped at Kay. “You of all people should know him, Kay.”
“He’s close friends with Luca Valencia. He’s a billionaire, too.”
Jenny rolled her eyes. “Jeez, Kay. You seriously don’t know him?”
Kay couldn’t answer. Her stomach had started having cramps, and all she could think was that this wasn’t a good thing. She couldn’t exactly say why, but she knew things would only go downhill from here.
And it did.
“I hope you are enjoying your flight so far,” the Dutch billionaire on the screen continued, “and if you’d like to know whose generosity you owe this to then it’s none other than my good friend Luca Valencia.”
Silence abruptly fell, and Kay had a sudden urge to throw up. When she looked at the people around her, she knew their tense expressions mirrored her own.
“Speaking of Luca, my friend and I have been relatively entertained watching all of you go around town acting like you’re, err, popular. We found it amusing to let all of you act like fools, but…that ends now.”
The billionaire disappeared from the screen, and Kay fell back in her seat in utter shock when she saw her father appear on the monitor, red-faced and furious.
Her father started blustering, but she had a hard time paying attention. Gasps had echoed throughout the plane, and when Kay looked at everyone else’s monitors, everyone seemed to be receiving a personal message from their own parents.