The Billionaire and the Matchmake(5)

By: Lacy Andersen

His thoughts trailed back to the young woman from the matchmaking company. A crown of golden curls had cascaded around her oval face so that even the retched heat hadn’t been able to hide her natural beauty. She had baby blue eyes, pink full lips, and a genuine smile that seemed to contain an undertone of teasing. There was an intelligent spark in her eyes, one that assured him that she was a woman who knew her own mind.

He hadn’t expected to find someone like her running the business. If anything, he expected an older woman with glasses, a sullen stare, and an extensive interrogation of his financial status. Emily Sevenson had not only been down-to-earth, but she seemed to really care about her company.

“Right...” Smithy said, drawing out the word. He narrowed his eyes at him and pinched his lips together. “And you’re going to be the guinea pig who goes through the matchmaking process?”

Michael was determined to see Smithy’s project succeed. And if his father had taught him anything, it was that if you wanted to get something done, you had to do it yourself. He’d sacrifice his dating life on the altar of success if that meant an ace in the hole for his friend.

“Yes, unless you’d like to volunteer.” Michael smirked at him. “But I figured you had enough on your plate with running things back here.”

Smithy waved a dismissive hand and leaned down to knock on each of his legs. A metal thud sounded when he hit his prosthetics. “I’m not so sure they’d take a bionic man, Yale graduate or not. Not a lot of women looking to date men with a history of attracting land mines.”

Michael’s face dropped as he regarded his longtime buddy. That could’ve been him sitting in that chair. They’d agreed to sign up for the military together. It was a pact they’d made their senior year, the night before graduation.

When Michael’s parents found out, they’d threatened to have their military contacts ground him in a tiny military base off the coast of Long Island with nothing more than stacks of paperwork to keep him company. Needless to say, Michael had to back out of the pact. Smithy had gone on to honor his pledge and did a tour of Iraq, where a caravan across the desert and an IED had nearly taken his life.

If investing in Smithy’s brilliant work was one tiny way to make it up to him, Michael would do it a million times over. He owed it to him.

“I’m too busy, anyway,” Smithy said, leaning an elbow on his desk, a dimple flashing on the left side of his face. “Got ladies lining up the block to get a ride in my new van. Have you seen that thing? Hottest thing on four wheels there is.”

Michael threw his head back and laughed. Smithy’s van amounted to not much more than a soccer mom’s minivan. Of course, that was until he painted neon orange flames on the side and added bass speakers in the back that could wake the dead.

“No worries, I’ve got this one,” Michael said, rising to his feet. He had at least five other meetings scheduled that day with various departments in the firm. Despite the fact that he loved this particular office, he couldn’t spend all day there. “I’ll report back on what I learn.”

“Beautiful.” Smithy wheeled toward the door and met him there. He had an ornery grin on his face. “And send me pictures of your date. If you get paired with Aphrodite, I’ll know this was all worth it. Even if the app sinks to oblivion.”

“Don’t count on it.” Michael walked backwards down the hall, flashing him a toothy grin. “You know the only women who sign up for these things are fifty percent plastic and one hundred percent desperate. A couple dates and I’ll be out of there.”

“Sounds like my kind of woman,” Smithy called. “Give her my number. My shoulder is the perfect height to cry on.”

Michael hopped on the elevator with a smile on his face. He unbuttoned his suit jacket and chuckled to himself, once again thinking about Emily Sevenson and her intense blue eyes.

It really was too bad women like her didn’t enter those dating services. But he highly doubted someone like her had any problems finding a date. And besides, that would be like dating the enemy.

A particularly enchanting and attractive enemy.

Chapter Three

Emily marched through the office door that morning and slammed The Mercury News in front of Lydia, her face scrunched up in rage. “Have you seen this morning’s front page?”

Lydia leaned back and calmly lifted her coffee mug to her red-painted lips to take a sip. “Good morning to you, too.”

“Have you seen it?” Emily stabbed at the paper with her finger. “Look. This is happening right in our backyard. They’re out to get us, I tell you.”