The Billionaire and the Matchmake(6)

By: Lacy Andersen

Lydia’s eyebrows raised and she reached for the newspaper. She took a long moment to scan over the bold lettered headline, rolling her eyes as she finished. “All I see is another geek squad announcing the latest app they built while living in their mother’s dank basement. They release those all the time.”

“Yes, but this one is a matchmaking app. It’s said to be the best one yet.”

Emily’s gaze drifted over the expanse of their tiny office. What had once been a posh and polished environment had begun to crumble over the years. The cream wallpaper her mother had picked out was beginning to peel from the walls. The gold-plated light fixtures looked like they should’ve been abandoned after the seventies died. And the picture frames Emily had hung to brighten up the area never seemed to hang quite straight.

Her expression melted into one of despair. “I just don’t know if I can do this anymore, Lyd.”

“Emily.” Lydia covered her hand with her own. “We have this talk at least once a month and you always manage to pull through.”

She sniffed and blinked away the panicked tears. “I know, but this time feels different. It’s the end of an era.”

Matchmaking was an art that the Sevenson family had excelled in for over three-hundred years. At least, that was the story Emily’s mother used to tell clients who walked through the doors of her little office just on the outskirts of Silicon Valley.

She could still remember the way her mother’s cat-eyed glasses would slide down to the tip of her nose as she explained how her grandmother, great-grandmother and beyond had each been the official matchmaker of their village before picking up and moving to the ripe fields of America to continue their work. It was a good story. One that probably didn’t contain much historical accuracy, but still, it wowed the customers.

The last five years had been a roller coaster of ups and downs for the Sevenson Selective matchmaking company. Seeing the headlines announcing Linex Investment’s newest matchmaking app was the last straw.

“What feels different is that you have yet to down your daily recommended dose of caffeine.” Lydia pushed a steaming mug of black coffee toward her. “Drink up. You’ll feel better in no time. A woman has no business out in the world until she’s fully caffeinated. People could get hurt.”

She gratefully took the cup and willed her heart to return to a normal pace. Stressing over what she couldn’t help wouldn’t solve her problems. If she wanted to save her family’s legacy, she needed to come up with a solution. Plain and simple.

“Anyway, enough about that.” Lydia’s lips twitched in a devious smile. “We need to finish discussing one very important topic.”

Emily pushed a blonde curl out of her face and regarded her friend with suspicion. “Yes?”

Lydia clicked her nails on the countertop. “Your dating life.”

She groaned and pushed away from the counter, shaking her head as she went. “You’re beating a dead horse, lady. This girl is off the market.”

They’d already had this conversation a million times. Emily’s last few relationships had gone nowhere. She had a history of attracting liars and jerks. They seemed to be the only men interested in her. When her last boyfriend insisted that she quit working at her mom’s lame business and find a real job, that had been the last straw. She didn’t need someone controlling her.

“You broke up with Scott over a year ago,” Lydia said, clutching her mug and scrambling around the counter to cut her off. “You’re not off the market, you’re avoiding the market. There’s nothing wrong with falling in love, you know.”

She regarded her friend with a fake glare. “You can say that. You found your perfect match.”

Lydia tried to suppress a grin by taking a sip of her coffee. “Yes, yes I did. He asked me to marry him last night.”

Coffee splashed everywhere as Emily threw up her hands and her jaw opened wide. “But it’s only been two months! When? How? And why didn’t you call me right when it happened?”

“That’s a lot of questions.” Lydia gave her an amused grin. “It happened over a bottle of chilled Dom Perignon on Edward’s terrace last night. We were admiring the city lights. Romantic music drifted up to us from the park across the street. He just suddenly popped the question and I said yes. It was so late, I didn’t want to wake you.”

She grasped for Lydia’s left hand, frowning at the lack of jewelry. “Um, excuse me, but there’s no ring.”

“That’s because we’re going to go shopping for it together.” She pulled her hand away and flipped her straight hair over her shoulder. “I’m a modern woman with modern tastes. Edward knows that about me. He wants me to have exactly what I want.”