The Billionaire and the Matchmake(2)

By: Lacy Andersen

“Welcome to Sevenson Selective. I don’t suppose you’re here for a date?”

“A date?” Confusion clouded his face and he dropped his arrogant pose.

“Yes...” Lydia leaned over the counter and arched an eyebrow at him. “We are a matchmaking company, after all.”

“Oh, yeah.” He walked over to her and quickly handed over the manila folder he’d stashed beneath his elbow. Emily couldn’t help but notice his shiny Italian leather shoes. Yet another factor pointing toward rich frat boy. “I was just dropping off my application.”

“Perfect.” Lydia snatched the folder from his hand and opened it. “Michael Knight. Thirty-three years old and works in investments?”

Michael buttoned his suit jacket and smirked. “That’s me.”

Lydia didn’t look up as she thumbed through the pages. “Hmmm...interesting. I see here you’ve got a younger sister. That could help. I’m not so certain about that dating history, though. Looks like your last serious relationship was five years ago?”

If she was going to keep their new client from running away, Emily had to do something quick. She leaned over the counter and swiped the folder from Lydia’s hands, holding it tight to her chest.

“Wonderful. Thank you for choosing us for your matchmaking needs,” she recited, a forced smile on her face.

“Of course.” He gave her a frown and ran a hand through his hair. “I’ve got to admit, I’ve never done anything like this before.”

“No worries.” She placed a hand on his arm to reassure him, but ended up marveling at the bulge of his biceps instead. He probably had a full-time trainer on staff to look like that. Dropping her hand, she gave him a tight-lipped smile. “We’ll enter you into our system and give you a call as soon as we have a potential match. No need to be nervous. We’ve done this a million times. You can count on us.”

“Thank you, that’s reassuring.” He smiled at her again, revealing a mouth full of perfectly straight, white teeth.

She tried her hardest not to look him over, searching for flaws. Lydia called it her quick reject scanner. Surely, a man like that had to have some serious ones if he was coming through her door, besides being rich. A commitment phobe? A secret hoarder? At that moment, she couldn’t care less. He was business that she desperately needed.

“Sorry about the heat,” she said, leaning casually on the counter. Her scanner was still working in the background, taking in his deceptively cool demeanor. Here she was, melting like a Popsicle on the sidewalk and he was in a full suit looking as suave as could be. The man had super powers. “I just had maintenance out, but they said nothing was wrong.”

With a deep chuckle, he pointed at the AC. “Mind if I take a look? I can’t promise results, but I used to take stuff like this apart when I was a kid.”

A smile quirked on Emily’s lips. She nodded her head and handed him the screwdriver, their fingers brushing for a moment. He didn’t mind getting his hands dirty. Maybe he wasn’t such a stuck-up snob after all.

“I like when I get the chance to work with old tech,” he said, prying a panel from the front of the AC with the screwdriver. “Nothing like them these days.”

“Yeah, nowadays you’ve got the fancy systems that you control with your phones.” She stood next to the AC and leaned against the wall in what she hoped was a totally professional and cool pose. The trickle of sweat that dropped from her nose killed that dream fast. “I prefer simpler times. No remote controlled AC systems, no smart phones, and definitely no dating apps.”

She laughed at her own joke while the mysterious man chuckled and kept his eyes glued to the inner components of the AC.

“I suppose dating apps are hard for business?” he asked, fiddling with a wire.

“Everyone wants to swipe right, swipe left today.” She leaned her head back against the wall and grimaced. “No one realizes the actual talent it takes to build a solid match. It’s not just about a photoshopped head-shot and a few quirky words on your profile. Those relationships are lucky to survive a one-night stand. My business has decades, if not hundreds of years of experience pairing up couples. It’s an art. Something those apps will never be able to bottle and manufacture.”

“Is that so?” He broke his concentration to look at her, amusement dancing in his brown eyes. “You really think your system is that good?”

“I guarantee it.”

“We used to be the spot for the rich and elite to find their match, too,” Lydia added loudly from across the room. “It’s hard to find someone to spend your life with if you can’t tell who’s after your money and who actually wants to be with you. Emily’s mother knew how to spot the fakes.”