The Matchmaker Meets Her Match

The Matchmaker Meets Her Match by Jenny Jacobs Page A

Book: The Matchmaker Meets Her Match by Jenny Jacobs Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jenny Jacobs
Tags: Romance, Contemporary
before photo.”
    He didn’t say anything. She understood: it was trivial and it was enormous. She still didn’t know what the fuck to say. “It probably doesn’t mean he liked you better that way. It probably means he just wishes — ” Okay, that wasn’t helping. She regrouped. “See that purple vase over there? You can throw it if you want. I think it’s hideous but a client gave it to me and I feel obligated. You’d be doing me a favor.”
    Jeremy gave a snort. “Throwing things is the last habit I want to acquire. Nothing would be safe.”
    “You sure? It really is hideous.”
    “I’m sure.”
    Rilka put a tentative hand on his shoulder. After his first flinch, he accepted the touch, then covered her hand with his.
    “Just tell me what you need me to do,” she said. “I’ll try not to be stupid but I make no guarantees.”
    He looked over at her. “You want to open the wine or should I?”
    “If you can get the cork out rather than in, which is what I usually manage, it’s all yours.”
    “I can get the cork out,” he said.
    She handed the bottle over and turned toward the red sauce simmering on the stove. She gave it a stir, saw the pasta water had started to boil, and dumped the gnocchi in. She heard the pop of a cork that meant Jeremy had successfully opened the bottle. She’d already set the wine glasses on the table, which was good because he wouldn’t have been able to reach them from the top shelf and that would have made her feel like a jerk, even though it really shouldn’t; she was able-boded and lived here, so why shouldn’t the wine glasses be on the top shelf? But life was weird.
    “This wine is delicious,” he said.
    She opened her mouth to make a sarcastic remark:
Oh, I must have accidentally gotten the good bottle out
, and then shut her mouth. It was easy to get into that bantering with Jeremy, and it kept him at arms’-length, which meant there was a reason she was keeping him at arms’-length. Which was what? He was a client, so, yeah, she wasn’t going to stick her tongue down his throat. But why was she so wary of letting him be a friend?
    She drained the gnocchi, brought it and the sauce over to the table, and sat down. She took a sip of wine.
    “It is good,” she said, and refrained from saying
I have excellent taste
and let him say it instead.
    “You’ve got a good wine buyer at the liquor store,” he said.
    “Maybe I picked it out on my own.”
    “Did you?”
    He nodded and took a breadstick from the basket. “Leave it to the experts.”
    What happens when the expert doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing?
That seemed dispiriting, so she said, “Tell me about your brother.”
    “Sure,” she said. “I saw him at the shop when I brought my car in. I assume that’s your brother.”
    “Yes,” he said and sounded cautious. “Why are you asking?”
    She couldn’t help herself. “Not because I noticed he has such a nice ass,” she said. “Though he does. I also noticed he has a wedding ring. So I must be asking because I’m curious about you.”
    Jeremy blinked. “Yeah, okay, get exasperated because I can’t read your mind.”
    She bit into a breadstick. Delicious, even if she did say so herself. “I didn’t expect you to read my mind.”
    “Yeah, I think you did.”
    “I asked you a totally innocuous question.”
    “How was I to know it was totally innocuous? Maybe you were going to ask for his phone number. And that would have been awkward.”
    “Whereas this is not.”
    “No, this is us being normal,” he said.
    “You forget that I’m not in the market,” she said. “So I wouldn’t be asking for men’s phone numbers from you.”
    He heaped some gnocchi on his plate. “I think you’re in the market,” he said. “You’re just put off because you’re too close to the inner workings of love relationships.”
    “It’s like being a sausage maker. You wouldn’t eat sausage if you knew how

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