Billionaire's Purchased Baby(3)

By: Sophia Lynn


Joel, her favorite barista, was behind the counter that day, but there was something unusually gloomy about him.

"You usually like working the morning shift," she said as she dumped milk and honey into her small coffee. It was so early that there was actually some time to chat. "What's up?"

"I'm gonna be looking for a job before the end of next month," he said with a grimace. "Word came down that the sale went through, and this whole block is going down."

Her hands tightened on her coffee cup, nearly spilling the contents before she steadied herself.

"No, wait, really?"

"Yeah, the buyers finally made an offer that Sellinger's couldn't refuse, I guess. And now all of us here need to make tracks, I . Hey, don't you live just around the block?"

"Yeah, yeah, I do," Luna said in a small voice, and she found that she couldn't speak at all. Instead, she hustled back out of the shop and into the cool morning air.

The idea of having the area bought had been floating around ever since she moved in two years ago. At first Luna had been apprehensive about having her living space sold out from underneath her, but after a while, it had become one more background worry, something that might be an issue in the future but that surely wouldn't affect her anytime soon.

Anytime soon had apparently become now, and she tried to keep herself from panicking. However, Luna had been doing the math for a long time, and she knew that one of the bottom lines was her living space. She had an apartment with the space and energy needed for her jewelry work, and she had it at a ridiculously good price because her neighborhood was historically quite unpopular.

However, things had changed, and she knew that sooner rather than later, she and the other artists, anarchists, punks, and nomads were going to be on the hunt again.

Okay, time to figure out what to do next. You've done this before...

She had. She was only twenty-two, but the truth was that she had had plenty of experience in dealing with figuring out where to live and how to support herself when the going got tough.

Even when she was in her snug little studio apartment again, however, there was a part of her that simply didn't want to. This life was exhausting sometimes, piecemealing commission after commission and hoping that there would be enough to make rent and to buy supplies for the project.

If only there was a way to get the cash together for a shop, a place where I could work on my own designs and put them on sale...

Because God, did she have designs. Sometimes when she went to lie down in bed, they would dance in her head, demanding to be drawn or sketched out. There were elegant serpentine necklaces, sleekly modern rings and bracelets, so many designs in gold and silver, using her favorite gems, or new gems that she would love to see made more popular.

Luna shook her head because she couldn't get distracted with design now, not when she might be on the street in three months without any place to put her brazing torch or even her jewelry welding rig.

The Internet had been a godsend for people who wanted to job hunt or apartment hunt in their pajamas, but to her eye, pickings were pretty slim. Most of the apartments she could afford were incredibly unsuited to her needs, and the ones that met her needs were ridiculously expensive. She either needed to give up her art or get another job, and there was no way she was giving up her art.

With a determined scowl, Luna went looking for new work as well and found the pickings worse than slim. Even waitress jobs seemed difficult to come by. Then she came across an ad that made her blink.

Independent? In good health? Ready to make a lot of money in less than a year?

She frowned, wondering if it was a scam. It seemed too detailed to be a scam, and it lacked the salaciousness that ads for stripping and webcamming always seemed to have. The truth was that no matter which way she turned it, she couldn't figure out what the deal was. However, the lines at the bottom clinched it for her.

After initial screening, you will be expected to undergo a battery of tests to determine suitability. These tests will last for around three days, and regardless of whether you are accepted for the position, you will be paid no less than 1000 dollars.

She blinked at that and blinked again. Luna was clever enough to know that a thousand dollars wouldn't necessarily take her that far, but it could be the difference between getting an apartment and crashing on a long run of couches for months on end.

Well, what's the harm? If I don't get in, I don't get in, and if I do, there's a thousand dollars, win or lose. It'll all be all right, won't it?





Chapter Two

Two weeks later, Luna wasn't sure if she should really be as sanguine as she had been when she called up the agency. It flew under the banner of Forward Edge Solutions, and no matter what she looked up, she couldn't be certain of who they were or what they did.

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