Page 23 of The Dating Proposal

I’ve just signed her on to be a part of my show when I want to get my hands on her.

Except that’s a limited assessment of the broad range of McKenna and the way I’m starting to feel for her. There’s more to it than wanting to touch her. I want to get to know her better too.

And I’ll have to resign myself to that and only that—talking. It’s smarter that way now that we’re working together.

If anything happened, I’d be rolling the dice on damaging what I’ve built with Geeking Out, and I can’t chance that.

We spend the rest of the meal discussing business.

After we finish, we walk down Union Street. I glance briefly at her hand, and in a flash of temptation, I want to take it, thread my fingers through hers, and experience that first touch.

I’m tempted to make that small start. A sweet little touch that’s innocent but could lead to so much more.

I squeeze my hand into a fist so I can resist reaching for her. “You know something about those fries?”

“What about those fries, Chris?”

“I will eat them in the rain. And in the dark. And on a train. And in a car. And in a tree.”

“They are so good, so good, you see.”

I should stop flirting with her, but evidently I like to play with fire.



That evening, I close the blinds in my bedroom and slip into bed with my laptop, settling under the covers. It’s been a few hours since my dinner with Chris, and I know one thing for certain: I didn’t want the evening to end.

Maybe it’s because he’s easy on the eyes.

But maybe it’s because he’s so easy to talk to.

I’ve only seen him three times, but each time we seem to fall into a fast and comfortable rhythm. Like we can talk about anything, and we do.

When I’m with him, innuendo seems to tumble from my lips. Orgasmic ketchup? Where did that come from? And I didn’t stop. I kept up the routine. But then, he seemed to run with it. He seemed to like it too when I took the fry from him.

Maybe that’s simply because he wants us to work together. Perhaps his flirty charm was because he had a proposition for me.

And it’s a downright appealing one.

Focus on work. Work is steady. Work is reliable.

I click open my business plan for the year ahead to center myself. Right there are my top goals: expand the reach, and reach more men. Chris is paving a potential path for me, and it’s best if I laser in on that, not on how much I want to trade words and tango with double entendres and get him to make that sexy, carnal groan again when he’s eating a French fry.

Oops. I went there.

Must not go there again.

Besides, even if there was a chance of a little something more, how would it fit into the plan we just detailed? It wouldn’t. So there’s no more need to noodle on it.




I resolve to focus on the new promotional partnership, and only that. I’ll even prove it to myself right now. I grab my phone, open the text thread, and write a message.

McKenna: I’m excited for our partnership! Thinking about it A LOT. I bet some of the women who watch my show might want to try a little Guitar Hero.

I hit send, proud of myself. Because that game rocks. Well, it did last time I played it.

I slide out of bed to brush my teeth, trying to remember when I was last slashing notes and pretending to be a guitar god. Once my choppers are scrubbed and buffed and clean as can be, I turn off the light in the bathroom then the bedroom, telling myself not to check my text messages. Instead, I pop over to the dashboard for my site, pleased to see the audience numbers are rising quickly for my dating segments. My first outing might have been a bust, but Kara from Redwood Ventures will enjoy these numbers.

She’s not the only one. I happen to be a big fan of audience growth too.

Ms. Pac-Man wanders in, bats her big brown eyes at me, and waits for my permission. “Oh, stop pretending. I know you get on the bed when I’m not here. I’ve seen your fur all over my comforter.”

I pat the bed and she jumps up, flopping down beside me.


When was the last time I played Guitar Hero? Was it in college? Oh shoot. Did I just commit a massive faux pas?

I grab my phone, stabbing at the message like there’s suddenly a recall button on my text app, wishing I could take it back.

Chris: Hate to break it to you, but that game isn’t even made anymore. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Tags: Lauren Blakely Romance