Three blind dates, p.1
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       Three Blind Dates, p.1

           Meghan Quinn
 
Three Blind Dates


  Table of Contents

  Prologue

  PART ONE

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  PART TWO

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  PART THREE

  Chapter Twenty-One

  Chapter Twenty-Two

  Chapter Twenty-Three

  Chapter Twenty-Four

  Chapter Twenty-Five

  Chapter Twenty-Six

  Chapter Twenty-Seven

  PART FOUR

  Chapter Twenty-Eight

  Chapter Twenty-Nine

  Chapter Thirty

  Chapter Thirty-One

  Chapter Thirty-Two

  Chapter Thirty-Three

  Chapter Thirty-Four

  Chapter Thirty-Five

  Chapter Thirty-Six

  Chapter Thirty-Seven

  Chapter Thirty-Eight

  Epilogue

  Table of Contents

  THREE BLIND DATES

  Copyright

  Prologue

  PART ONE

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  PART TWO

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  PART THREE

  Chapter Twenty-One

  Chapter Twenty-Two

  Chapter Twenty-Three

  Chapter Twenty-Four

  Chapter Twenty-Five

  Chapter Twenty-Six

  Chapter Twenty-Seven

  PART FOUR

  Chapter Twenty-Eight

  Chapter Twenty-Nine

  Chapter Thirty

  Chapter Thirty-One

  Chapter Thirty-Two

  Chapter Thirty-Three

  Chapter Thirty-Four

  Chapter Thirty-Five

  Chapter Thirty-Six

  Chapter Thirty-Seven

  Chapter Thirty-Eight

  Epilogue

  Published by Hot-Lanta Publishing

  Copyright 2018

  Cover design by Meghan Quinn

  Photo credit: Lauren Perry

  Formatting by CP Smith

  This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. To obtain permission to excerpt portions of the text, please contact the author at [email protected]

  This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.

  All characters in this book are fiction and figments of the author’s imagination.

  www.authormeghanquinn.com

  Copyright © 2018 Meghan Quinn

  All rights reserved.

  Three Blind Dates

  Meghan Quinn

  Prologue

  NOELY

  “Just state my name?”

  “Yeah. Gives us a quick rundown on who you are, what you do, your interests, and what you’re looking for in a man.”

  I nod and clear my throat. Sitting tall, my hands resting in my lap, I speak directly into the camera . . .

  “Hi, I’m Noely Clark, and I’m one of your Good Morning, Malibu hosts. As you know, I’m single and in the market for love. As a twenty-seven-year-old woman who has had her fair share of rotten relationships, hookups, and dates, I want to try something new. I want to be thrust into a program where my celebrity status isn’t the first thing someone knows about me, where I can be known for who I am as a person rather than how I’m represented on TV.”

  “And who is the person you want to be known for?”

  Tilting my head to the side, I purse my lips, thinking of my answer. “Just a regular girl who loves Tom Hanks, would do just about anything adventurous, and would rather be seen eating nachos at a hockey game than enjoying a chardonnay during a classic night at the opera.”

  “And what are you looking for in a man?”

  Taking a deep breath, I look straight into the camera. “Someone who will cuddle on my couch and watch a classic romcom with me. Someone who will challenge me. Someone who is respectful and courteous to others but also has no qualms about shouting at an official while pounding on the glass at a hockey game. We don’t have to be a perfect match, because when is that really the case? But I want our match to be close with a little bit of wiggle room for some give and take, because what’s love without a little bit of compromise, without being able to adapt to your partner and love what they love? It’s the people in our life who mold us, and I’m far from being molded completely.”

  PART ONE

  THE SUIT

  Chapter One

  NOELY

  “Noely, my office. Now.”

  The slam of my producer’s metal door echoes through the set, shaking the blaring lights hanging above me.

  “Yikes, that doesn’t sound good,” Dylan, my co-host, says with a slight crease in her brow. Looking behind her, she eyes the door Kevin, our producer, flew through on what seemed like a rampage. “I think you might have poked the bear.”

  “Seems that way.” I look at the door, nerves starting to shake my coffee hand.

  “What do you think it is this time?”

  This time . . . Yeah, this isn’t my first offense.

  I wrack my brain for what I’ve done in the last twenty-four hours that could land me in Kevin’s office.

  “It could be a plethora of things.”

  Like I said, not my first offense. If I wasn’t so loved by the viewers, I’m almost positive Kevin would have fired me three months in on the job. But two years later I’m still the youngest co-host for a morning show in the country. Maybe my youth is the thing getting me in trouble . . . I do tend to push the limits on what’s acceptable in Kevin’s eyes.

  Dylan looks me over and pokes my boob. “Maybe it’s your dress you wore today. It’s really low-cut.”

  I adjust the straps that continue to pull apart, giving my boobs their own personal morning show. “Carla in wardrobe said it was fine.”

  “Carla also thinks conservative dressing is wearing a bra over a T-shirt, so you can’t take her word for it.” Dylan thinks for a second. “Maybe it’s because you said penis on air this morning.”

  “I can say penis.” Ehh . . . can’t I? I make a mental note to look over the list of words I can’t say on air again. “It’s not like I said cock or throbbing man sword. I used the medical term. Penis. That’s legit.”

  “Yeah, about a guy who was jogging by you this morning. You said his penis was swaying like the wrecking ball in Miley Cyrus’s music video and he needed to wear man panties rather than free-ballin’ it.”

/>   I chuckle and shake my head. “I mean . . . women in Malibu have to be warned. I’m lucky I was able to swerve away from such an attack. I could have been bruised if that thing caught me in the arm. Bruised, Dylan. BRUISED!”

  Dylan rolls her eyes just as Kevin pops out of his office and grips the doorway, his bald brow spitting fire in my direction. “Noely, what the hell do you not understand about the word now? That doesn’t mean when you feel like it, it means right fucking now.”

  Oh. Crap.

  “Yep, sorry.” I scramble to stand in my ridiculously tall heels and cringe at Dylan, who is covering her mouth and chuckling at my less than graceful attempt to stand. “Be right there, bossman. Just . . . one . . . second,” I grunt, righting my shoes. Brushing my skirt over my legs and with my head held high, I walk into his office where I quietly shut the door, not wanting to make more of a scene than necessary.

  “Sit.” Kevin points to a chair in front of his desk with the pencil in his hand. “And if you know what’s good for you, keep your mouth shut.”

  Okay, this could be about the penis or the dress, but then again, I’ve said vagina on air before and that didn’t seem to get the same reaction. And I’ve worn worse on the show. This has to be something else. Something I’m not thinking of. Something that—

  “Explain this.” A white CD case is tossed onto Kevin’s desk in front of me. He leans back in his chair and bites on his pencil, waiting for an answer.

  I eye the CD and start to panic. What the hell is on that? In a digital world, where anyone could record anything, I’m actually quite terrified.

  It could be as innocent as me scratching my boob while going for a walk, or it could be . . . oh, hell.

  Please don’t let it be a sex tape. Please don’t let it be a sex tape.

  And before you start judging me for even considering that CD to be a sex tape, let me tell you, there are creeps out in this world who will do things like hide cameras in teddy bears kept on their bedroom chair. I could have been filmed without my knowledge. That’s the only way it could be a sex tape, as I’m not stupid enough to do one on my own. I was a journalism major, after all, but I did date some questionable men.

  Very questionable . . .

  There was Roofus the Doofus with the coifed bouffant and gold tooth. Charlie Three Nips with the penchant to say supposedly in every sentence. And Ryan Big Beard who asked me to condition and braid his wiry man hair every night we were together. The first time was endearing; the second, third, and fourth were just plain creepy.

  Clearly not winners, clearly the kind of creeps who could pull a stunt like this. Especially Charlie. You can NEVER trust a man with three nipples. Write that down, ladies: three nipples is a no-go, even if they are fun to touch. Love tweaking that nubbin.

  My hands fidget on my lap, my nerves kicking up a wave of “oh, Gods” in my head and not the good kind. I bite my bottom lip and look at the tape, trying to telepathically read what’s been burned on it. “Eh . . . is it my audition tape?” I ask cutely with a smile.

  “No,” Kevin deadpans, not falling for my charms.

  At least I know I can say penis and not get in trouble, so that’s one thing to celebrate. And hooray, this dress is A-okay. Gives self a mental thumbs up.

  Clearing my throat, I sit back in my seat and steady my shoulders. “Well then, I’m afraid I’m just as lost as you are.”

  “I’m not lost, I know exactly what’s on that CD.”

  Gulp. Oh God, I’m being blackmailed. I just know it.

  Swallowing hard, I politely ask while daintily running my finger along his desk, “Care to share?”

  “Does this ring a bell?” Talking in a small girl voice—I think he’s trying to impersonate me and it’s horrendous—he says, “Hi, my name is Noely Clark, I’m a spicy yet mature twenty-seven-year-old who enjoys a good burger and milkshake combination, and I’m a morning show host on Good Morning, Malibu, and I’m looking for love.”

  Oh.

  Shit.

  “Ha, ha.” I nervously laugh, my eyes looking everywhere but at Kevin.

  How the hell did he find that tape? The only people who knew about it were Carlton, Dylan, and the girl who helped make it. I swear to the freckle on my right breast if Dylan left that lying around her office last night I’m going to kill her. Like Jason with a chainsaw kind of murder.

  “Can you please tell me why you’re using company resources to ‘find love’?”

  I want it to be known, I don’t like the way he condescendingly used air quotes when he said find love, but I’m smart enough to realize that’s not something I should bring up at this moment in time.

  “And don’t lie to me, Noely. You’re already on thin ice with me.”

  Crap.

  I bite the inside of my cheek, not wanting to get into this with Kevin since he’s the last man who would understand where I’m coming from, but I can’t think of any other reason other than the truth, something apparently he wants to hear.

  Let it be known, when he rolls his eyes at me, I really don’t want to tell him.

  Adjusting myself in my chair, I slip my hands under my thighs and lean slightly forward. “Have you heard of Going in Blind, the new restaurant in town?”

  Squinting at me in observation, Kevin shakes his head. His face isn’t purple yet, so I’m going to assume he’s more curious than angry right now. I better deliver.

  “Well, I was approached by their public relations consultant a few days ago. It’s a restaurant where the sole focus is blind dates. They have an app where you create a profile and they match you with other individuals of your likeness. You then attend a blind date with them in the restaurant. You’re required to put together a dating video for your profile so the matchmakers can get a feel for your personality, and to also see if you’re taking the program seriously. They didn’t want it to be a hookup app. Since I’m notoriously single, they thought I might want to give it a try.”

  With the eraser of the pencil pushed against his chin now, Kevin nods and then sits forward. “And you used company resources to create the video.”

  “Well . . . I wanted good lighting.”

  Kevin rolls his eyes.

  See, told you he would.

  “Was that not okay?”

  “Depends.” There is a glint in his eyes. I don’t think I’m going to like what comes out of his mouth next. “Company materials and resources were used to make this video, which means, that video is company property.”

  How many “oh God” moments can one person have in the matter of five minutes? I’m guessing I’m over my limit.

  “Are you going to say what I think you’re going to say?”

  You know that smile the Grinch gets when he gets an idea, an awful idea, a wonderfully awful idea? Yeah, that’s the kind of grin Kevin is sporting right about now.

  He tosses the pencil on his desk and places both his hands behind his head, striking a very casual and confident pose. “Looks like we’re going to have a new segment for the show.”

  Yep, exactly what I thought he was going to say.

  “Going in Blind with Noely Clark. I think it has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?”

  Mentally I turn my nose up at the title. I think it’s a horseshit segment title. Entirely too long and nothing rhymes.

  Needing to try to nip this in the bud before it turns into an on-screen dating session with yours truly, I lift my chin and say, “You know, Kevin, I respect your idea to spice things up on the show. If you’re not coming up with new ideas then the show goes stale, so kudos to you.” I give him a small clap with just the tips of my fingers. “But I’m going to have to suggest you nix the dating segment. Don’t you think it reads a little desperate? Kind of, you know, trying too hard?”

  “Not even a little. With sweeps coming up, I think it’s the perfect idea.”

  I move my hands up and down as if I’m weighing two objects and scrunch my lips to my nose. “Or . . . how about running that dog in the
bellhop costume segment again? I mean, that was a real winner.” I chuckle and shake my head. “How do you tip a dog bellhop? With dog-lar bills.” I slap my knee. “Oh, that is just pure comedy right there.”

  “Or we do the dating segment, and you listen to what I’m saying.”

  Wanting to reason with him, I fold my hands on my lap and use my most sincere begging voice. “Kevin, I really don’t feel comfortable putting my dating life out there. It’s been rough as it is, trying to find someone to settle down with. That’s why I wanted to try this program, so I could be matched with someone, through a trusted system, without all the nonsense of dealing with my celebrity and hectic schedule. I truly want to find someone, and I’d rather not splash it all over television.”

  Rocking ever so slightly in his chair, Kevin rubs his jaw, studying me before he puts one hand on his desk. “Let me know what the company says about your video and what the next steps are. I look forward to hearing about your progress with this program. Also, put me in touch with the publicist you worked with. I want to see if they want to pay for some marketing. Let’s reconvene next Friday.” He demonically winks at me. “Happy dating.”

  And with that I’m dismissed. Looks like my sincere begging got me nowhere. I stand from my chair and head for Kevin’s office door when he stops me. “And don’t play the woe is me card, Noely. You’re getting away with murder on this one, and you know it. Company property and resources are not to be messed around with for personal gain. Consider your dating segment paying your penance.” He clears his throat and says, “See you tomorrow morning.”

  Squeezing my eyes shut, knowing he’s right even though I hate him for it, I see myself out of his office and head to where I left Dylan, in our director’s chairs.

  I slump down in my chair, kick off my heels, and place my arms on the armrests.

  “Were you fired?” Dylan asks, sounding very concerned.

  I sigh heavily. “No. If I was fired, I doubt I would be hanging out in my chair.”

  “Some people handle termination differently.” She looks around and asks, “So what happened? Was it the dress or because you said penis?”

 
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