Home > The Make Out Artist (Accidentally in Love #3)

The Make Out Artist (Accidentally in Love #3)
Author: Sara Ney

 


one

 

 

molly

 

 

“I’m not a matchmaker.”

“I know that, Molly.” Claire—my roommate’s best friend—is leaning her hip against my dining room table, looking polished and glamorous as usual—basically the opposite of how I look. “I’m not asking you to play matchmaker, but…” Her voice trails off as she trails a finger along the silver platter on my dining room table.

“You’re not? That’s good because I’m into computers, not people.”

Claire doesn’t take the hint, looming longer than I prefer, graceful fingers now grazing the edge of the table.

She tries again. “You’re better with famous guys than I am.”

This time, my head rises. Better with famous guys?

What is she even talking about?

“Who on earth told you I was better with famous guys?” I stop picking at the vegetable tray and gape at her incredulously.

Famous guys? Who on earth is she talking about?

I don’t know any famous people, let alone famous guys, and why would there be any at this party?

“Posey told me your neighbor plays football.”

My neighbor? I rack my brain. Football player, football player, football play… Finally, it clicks.

“Ah.” She’s referring to my parents’ next-door neighbor, Tripp Wallace. “Was my neighbor. Past tense.”

Claire is impossible to ignore, breathing up my ass, invading my personal space with her questions and her perfume, and her froofy skirt keeps touching me, too.

“Still—you have experience with these sort of guys, yeah?”

Not in the real world.

“Claire, what on earth are you talking about? Why would you ask me that?” I laugh. This whole conversation is getting on my last nerve.

“I just need an introduction.” She snaps her fingers, gold bangles on her wrist clinking. “Easy!”

“An introduction with who? Cut to the chase.”

“With…” Her eyes scan the room, and she leans close so no one can overhear us. Not that anyone is trying. “Elias Cohen.”

Who the hell is Elias Cohen?

“I hate to be the one to break it to you, Claire, but you hardly seem like the type of woman who needs my help flirting. Or with an introduction to some random guy.”

“Some guy?” She snorts. “How long has it been since you’ve had a proper date?”

I snort back before popping an olive in my mouth. “That’s none of your business.”

She’s done lost her damn mind. Can’t she see that I’m busy filling a plate?

In sweatpants?

And when I say sweatpants, I don’t mean cute, sexy athleisurewear; I’m talking straight up sweatpants, the kind with the drawstring and elastic around the ankles. Stole them from my dad, actually, during my last visit home—along with a few candles from my mom’s secret candle cabinet.

Ha ha.

“Don’t you want your friends to be happy?”

I turn to face her dead on. “Are you gaslighting me, Claire?”

Her expression is blank, so I assume she doesn’t know what gaslighting means. But she’s still so close I can feel her breathing.

“I’m shy and awkward, and plus, I’ve never hit on anyone who was a sports agent before.”

A sports agent? Big deal.

“No offense to him, but just because the man has famous clients does not make him a celebrity himself.”

Very few agents are famous in their own right. Their job is to fade into the background, not hog the spotlight.

Right?

But Claire? She’s clearly seduced by any brush with fame, and I have to shimmy around her to steal a slice of red pepper off a tray, dip it in dill, pop it in my mouth, then chew.

“Just because my neighbor growing up was a famous football player,” I explain again, “doesn’t mean I’m better with famous people. That’s one person, that was ten years ago when I was a teenager—and I drove the man bonkers.”

Still drive Tripp Wallace batty, but that’s neither here nor there.

Constantly skirting around her to graze at my own dining room table, Claire is like a bad rash or a pet that’s underfoot, too small or too big to avoid. I change direction twice, moving to the opposite side of the table, uninterested in socializing at a party taking place within my own home.

This isn’t my shindig—it was the brainchild of my roommate, Posey, and I’m imprisoned here because this is my house. I love Posey to death, but I’m trapped amongst her yapping friends (like I typically am when she decides to throw a gathering), one of which has me cornered at a round table.

Game night.

Wine night.

Date night.

Christmas parties, Valentine's parties, Easter egg hunts.

POSEY LOVES IT ALL!

The woman is ridiculous—she even insists on decorating a tree for each holiday and displaying it in the front window, much to my chagrin. The last thing I need is our neighborhood thinking crazy cat ladies live here.

I can feel Claire creeping in. She won’t let the matter of Elias Cohen rest.

I should amend Posey’s rental agreement and tack on an addendum about midweek parties or any kind of midweek cheer that interrupts my inner peace because her friends are clingy.

Or at least add a stipulation giving me carte blanche to approve the guest list.

Guests who have it in their heads it’s my duty—as someone who lives here—to set her up with some guy I don’t even know—have never even spoken to—all because my parents’ next-door neighbor was the star of the Chicago Steam professional football team in his heyday.

Yeah.

Not happening.

Makes no sense that she wants me to make an introduction.

She must be high.

My goal here in the dining room—where all the food is laid out—was to grab some sustenance. Now, my goal is to get the hell out of here. I’m not a hermit, but I am exhausted, plus I have a video conference at five in the morning with a client who lives in London, England.

I’m going back upstairs to my office to prepare, snack, then sleep.

In that order.

“Claire, I appreciate your enthusiasm—I really do.” Not. “But all I want to do right now is make a plate for myself and hide in my office.” I don’t mention the part where I pop a sleeping pill so I can crash early.

My roommate decided Thursday was the perfect night of the week to host a wine and charcuterie get-together, not considering the fact that some of us have to work at the ass crack of dawn.

Sure, I work from home.

And yes, normally I don’t fire up my laptop until at least nine in the morning, which gives me plenty of time to sleep in—but still, I have that meeting at the ass crack of dawn because:

It’s Thursday.

We’re not in college anymore.

We’re full-fledged adults.

We’re also not teenagers in high school who make their friends approach their crushes on their behalf. So juvenile and immature.

“Will you at least go up to him and tell him I’m interested?”

Oh my god.

I stop piling cheese and sausage on my plate long enough to glance up at her. “Are you being serious right now? What is this, sixth grade?”

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