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Page 6


"Absolutely not."
I laugh. "I shouldn't tell you about the hot guy then, if you don't want to hear about our old friend Edna."
"Who's Edna?" She looks confused.
"The old family friend I just made up that you had no interest in?"
"And you felt the need to give her a name?"
"Maybe I love dear old Edna a whole lot and she's special to me."
"Then call your mother and tell her about Edna."
"Maybe I'll call my mother and tell her about Cooper too then."
"Cooper, huh?" Her eyes widen in an ooh. "How tall was he?"
I can't help but smile. "I didn't measure him … but tall … maybe six foot one or two."
"Nice." Sadie wiggles her eyebrows. "Tall is good. What else you got?"
"Square jaw, chiseled nose, inky dark hair and matching thick lashes that set off incredible light eyes. Green with sunflowers in them."
"Ridiculously sexy kissable lips. Oh … and he licked me."
"He licked you?"
"He did it discretely, kissed the top of my hand, but I felt his tongue. Made my skin heat. Like throwing water into a heated frying pan."
"Mmmmm … the kind of sexy that makes your temperature rise. I need more. How's his ass?" Sadie closes her eyes as if she's imagining the man I'm describing.
"Like you could bounce a quarter off of it."
"He was wearing a dress shirt, so I only got to see his forearms."
Her eyes are still closed. "Okay … tell me about those."
"Strong, incredibly sexy."
"Chest?" Her voice is lower.
"Broad. Thick wide shoulders. Narrow waist."
Sadie's eyes fly open.
"What?" I say, wondering what part of my description could possibly have derailed her fantasy.
"Why are you home, if he's out there?"
I laugh, but then I remember the reason. Leaning back with a sigh, I admit, "He asked me out too."
"And … ?"
"I said no."
"You know why! The contract."
"Screw the contract."
"Screw the contract? You're the one that made me sign it!"
"I made you sign it. I didn't tell you that you have to follow it to a tee!"
"But that's the way it works. I promise them something and they promise me something. Isn't that how you explained it to me?"
"Pffftt … No one ever pays attention to those things," my best friend, who also happens to be my attorney, says.
"I need to focus on the show. I don't need a distraction right now."
"You haven't gotten distracted in a long time. How long has it been?"
Too long. "I've been busy."
"I know. You've been running yourself ragged since the accident."
"Someone has to take care of things."
"Yes. And you will. But there's no reason you can't take care of other things too. Have you checked for cobwebs down there?" She teases, then her face turns serious. "Look, I know you have a lot on your plate. But sometimes I worry it's less about you being busy, and more about you denying yourself happiness from misplaced guilt."
"I'm fine. Stop worrying about me. Plus, who knows, I could win a lot of money on this show and get my cobwebs dusted."
I'm up early, nervous as hell about going back to the Throb set. Today is the first day of bachelor's choice, meaning Flynn gets to pick which girl he wants to spend twenty-four hours alone with on a deserted island. Sure, the island is only a few miles off the coast of California, and the deserted couples get delivered a gourmet food basket-Survivor, it's not. But still, who knows what can happen when two people who are attracted to each other are alone for twenty-four hours in that setting?
I hastily park my car and jog to the door of the studio a few minutes late. The other contestants are sitting around waiting still, so I stop by Frank's office and say good morning.
"You know, missy, normally I'd have to be married to let a woman take that much money from me." Frank smiles warmly as he jokes.
"And normally I wouldn't let a man off so easily the first time I play with him," I say joking-but there's truth in my words. One of the cardinal rules my dad taught me: you only get the element of surprise once, so win big the first time.
Frank chuckles. "What's Mr. Montgomery got planned for today?"
"We're all going over to the beach house in Malibu. We spend a few hours with Flynn and then he gets to pick his choice for his next date."
Frank sighs. "Whatever happened to meeting women the old-fashioned way … picking them up in a bar? I don't get the whole reality TV thing. Why would a beautiful girl like you have to go on national TV to maybe get a date?"
"Seemed like a good idea at the time I signed up." I shrug, trying to come off casual. The terms of our contract are confidential, so I can't share with him the real reason I decided to go on the show … the $250,000 grand prize.
Behind me, I hear the director calling everyone together. "I better go. Have a good day, Frank."




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