Home > Three Blind Dates (Dating by Numbers #1)

Three Blind Dates (Dating by Numbers #1)
Author: 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.

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