The One - Kristin Vayden Page 0,1

she turned on the whole evil genius, it was scary. And that expression? It was the evil genius — I’m going to turn your world upside down and make it crazy — type look.

“Every week will be a different ideal guy. You’ll write a post about the sex appeal of the guy — basically what it was like to date him—”

“Say what?” I stopped breathing. Did she just say who I would date?

“It’s brilliant! I mean, I’ve already had ABC contact me about the idea, and they might run a special on the end results if we get enough of a wave going through social media. It’s brilliant. Basically, we’re going to be publicizing every woman’s dream.”

“I don’t remember agreeing to this!” As I pushed to my feet, my hand brushed my coffee cup. With a clatter, the cup toppled sideways, and the dark brown liquid washed across the table and spilled over the side like a black waterfall.

“Please?” Roxi asked, giving me the wounded puppy eyes.

“Those don’t work on me,” I ground out, wiping up the coffee spill with the recycled paper napkins.

“I’ll pay you, of course.” She smiled widely, exposing far too many teeth to appear friendly.

“Not enough!” I picked up my almost empty cup, frowning as I looked at the few drops of coffee remaining.

“I’m your boss…” she sing-songed.

“Low.”

“You’ll thank me later.” She winked and left for a moment. I glared at her back, swearing she’ll someday rue the day she made me the CPA for her business.

I leaned forward and rested my forehead on the cool table, inhaling the remaining scent of my spilled coffee, trying to ignore the headache coming on. What sucked was that she was right. This would be huge for the blog, pull in other followers and even create some huge media exposure. She had hit a gold mine. And I wasn’t just the CPA of the business, I’d also invested heavily in the startup making me a partner, so any returns would be huge for me in paying off my last student loan.

“I hate this,” I mumbled against the tabletop.

“You’ll thank me later,” Roxi spoke softly, and I heard her set a cup on the table beside my head. “Don’t spill this one. It’s hotter than Hades.”

“Thanks.” I lifted my head and stared into the black liquid.

“Seriously, Meredith, you’ll be fine. It will be fun. It’s not anything serious. All the guys will know it’s for research purposes ahead of time.”

“Promise?” I asked, knowing that honesty would be my lifeline if I were to actually try this.

“Yeah. Promise.” She leaned forward. “Is that a yes?” Her manicured fingers were practically clawing at the table.

“Yes,” I whispered, promising myself that it would be better than it sounded.

It had to be.

“YAY! Thank you! You will have so much fun, and everything will be company expensed.” She clapped with excitement as she beamed at me.

“I know. It better be.”

“Your first guy is named Jackson Meyer. He’s a second string NFL fullback. Nice guy. Single, of course, and pretty laid back. You’ll like him.” She leaned down and pulled out a head shot from her huge Coach Bag, along with a file.

“What if I had said no?” I asked, pulling the folder toward me and scanning it.

“Mere, you are too smart to say no. You see the potential as much as I do.” She leaned cross the table, her red fingernails tapping the wood. She was in hyper business mode, yet as quick as she flipped the switch, her expression softened and she reached out to touch my hand. “You’re brilliant, beautiful, and just as invested in this business as I am. You might like to hide behind your glasses and ponytail, but I know you’re just waiting for the right moment to dazzle everyone who’s missed that inner beauty, your inner magic. You might fool them, but I’m not in the least. So I push you.” She shrugged.

“You drag me, kicking and screaming,” I corrected her with a wry smile. “But thanks… for all the other stuff you said. You’re a great friend and an even better liar.” She grinned as she removed her hand and relaxed in her chair.

“Ha, ha. It’s the truth and you know it. Now, check out the guy. He’s hot. Pretty intelligent as well. Athletic in the extreme, the guy has a 36-inch vertical jump and can dead lift 450. He’s an animal. The ladies are going to salivate once his picture hits the blog.” She grinned and crossed