Only 5 days until Boy Meets Nerd – a contemp new adult – releases!!! To entice you to get ready to buy it, I have the first chapter here for you to read! Check it out and I hope you’ll buy it on Monday!
“Your boyfriend is cheating on you.”
Silence. She waited for the tears, the cursing, the drama that came with telling her clients her digging turned up a truckload of dirt.
“That fucking coward!”
There we go.
Emerson flinched and held the phone away from her ear as Lauren let out a string of curse words. It wasn’t often someone promised to rip someone’s dick off and shove it up his ass.
“Are you sure, Em?” Lauren asked, after she finally settled down.
If only she could pass it off as a joke. Clients weren’t usually friends but they did pay her to find the truth. And the truth was staring her right in the face. Private messages between Lauren’s boyfriend and a girl named Gypsy Peach filled her computer screen.
“I could send you proof but…” She winced. “I don’t think you want to read this.” The girl needed therapy, not a detailed account of what Gypsy was going to do to his genitals the next time they saw each other. And it wasn’t to shove it up his ass.
“No. I definitely don’t. I already want to kill the motherfucker.” She sighed. “Well, thanks, Emerson.”
How should she respond to that? You’re welcome for ruining your life? And at the low cost of only twenty dollars an hour! Some days she felt like a soul-sucking demon. Not only did she deliver bad news – and it was almost always bad news – but then she billed them for it. Maybe she should do it in person so they could at least use the bill to dry their tears.
Quiet sniffles sounded from the other end of the phone.
“Um, you’re welcome,” she said, then ended the call.
After minimizing the screen with the incriminating evidence, she stared at her desktop background. All black with white words across the middle that read, Stop staring at my screen.
Maybe it was a little off-putting but sharing an apartment with a nosy roommate had made it necessary. The Gmail alert dinged and with a sigh, she opened the window, expecting another boring job offer. She was collecting those. They always started the same – dear Mrs. True, you were at the top of the list for placement recommendation in our company from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, blah blah blah… As if it were any hacker’s dream to work for a corporation. Bosses, cubicles, rules and limitations… She shuddered.
Instead of a job offer, the email was from a Levi Morrison, subject line Help me find my dream girl.
Was she a matchmaker now? Why weren’t her spam filters working? Just before she clicked delete, the sender’s name registered. She’d heard it before.
Lauren’s friend. She’d mentioned giving her email address to a prospective client named Levi. He sounded desperate already. She clicked open the email. She didn’t often have men asking for help. What was his sad story?
Hi. I heard you’re a professional spy.
Spy? She snorted. Why did everyone think hacking was exactly how it appeared in movies? High stakes government secrets set to a soundtrack of suspenseful music. If her life was set to music, it’d be more like monk chanting. Boring and uneventful.
I need help finding out if I’m being catfished. Can we meet up and go over the details? I live on the south side of the city. I’m willing to pay whatever it costs to find out if I’m falling for a real person or not. Look forward to hearing from you.
Catfished. So this guy was in love with a girl he’d never met in person and now wanted to know if she was who she said she was. With social media gaining so much popularity, it was easy to steal someone’s identity, or start a fake account with a made up name. But there were also ways to find the truth. This was too easy. She hit reply then began typing a response.
If you want to talk, meet me at Starbucks on Memorial Drive in Cambridge. I charge twenty dollars an hour and before you ask, no, I can’t predict how long it will take me to find out who this girl is. But I’ll update you as I go and you can stop services at any time. I’ll be there at 9am on Saturday. Let me know if you can’t make it.
Maybe this job would help pay her half of the rent this month. Her two closest friends from school had moved away months ago. One went to work at Google in California and the other got a government job in D.C. Emerson loved the atmosphere, the weather, and the culture in Boston. Even still, she couldn’t help but feel a little felt behind.
Her grandmother lived nearby at least. They’d grown close since she’d started school. When it came to her traditional Midwestern family, she felt disconnected. Growing up in Ohio had been as boring as most job offers, and she’d been ostracized starting in middle school. Never interested in being popular, she stuck to videogames and computer coding instead. Her mother had no idea what to do with her pierced up, introverted tomboy of a daughter.
Boston was full of her kind of people. Misfits. At MIT, she’d blended in so well. She’d graduated with a degree in Computer Science with a specialty in Information Analysis. A professional hacker. Now she bided her time doing freelance work, waiting until she could land the perfect job. Or maybe she’d discover a new prime number and finally be recognized for her mind. That was the best outcome she could hope for.
Another email came back almost straight away. Levi confirmed he’d be there on Saturday and asked what she looked like so he could find her.
Now how should she answer that? She clicked her short nails on the keys while she thought.
The apartment door opened then slammed shut, making her jump in her seat. “Jess?”
Her roommate turned the corner into Em’s bedroom. “What?”
She pushed away from her laptop and looked Jess over. Her roommate was easy to point out. Pixie cut dyed bright red, olive skin, lip ring, and athletic build. She dressed funky but stylish and was always trying to give Em a makeover.
“How would you describe the way I look?”
Jess smirked. “Like a corruptible little sex kitten.”
She rolled her eyes. “I’m being serious.”
Jess bit down on her lip and narrowed her eyes as she looked her over. “Hmm. No. You’re more like a naughty librarian.”
She turned away and faced her computer with a sigh. “Why did I bother asking you?”
Jess left the room, her chuckles echoing behind her. “You just let me know when you’re ready to try girls,” she said from down the hallway.
She stared at the computer. Naughty sex kitten librarian, according to my roommate, didn’t seem appropriate. Finally, she typed her answer.
Short black hair. Glasses. Nose ring.
She tapped the keys again, biting the inside of her cheek. Small breasts, messy hair, and pale skin from lack of sun? She watched the cursor blink a few times then typed again.
Short black hair, Glasses, Nose ring. Two eyes, a nose and a mouth.
Ugh! Delete. This wasn’t a Mr. Potato Head game. Why was this so difficult?
Short black hair. Glasses. Nose ring.
She clicked send before she could change her mind. Shit. Had she just signed with her nickname? Getting personal with clients was a no-no. This guy didn’t seem stable. Only idiots and idealistic romantics got catfished. If Levi was contacting her to investigate a potential online relationship then there were already red flags, and that didn’t bode well.
Another broken heart would be left in her wake. If only it was because she was so hot and cool that she rejected romantic declarations of love left and right. Like that would ever happen. What guy wanted a scrawny girl with unruly hair, big geek glasses, and no boobs? Her tattoos would’ve given her some cool points, except the few she had looked like random numbers to the average person. Unlike most people, tattoos didn’t make her look cool. She made tattoos look uncool.
Did it matter anyway? She wasn’t interested in starting a relationship. Love made people act like idiots. She didn’t have time for that shit. There were prime numbers to find.
She pushed away from the laptop in her bedroom then headed to the main living area, where her real office was. She looked at her four monitors. Two were still running code. With a sigh, she grabbed a Coke from the fridge then plopped down at her desk.
She avoided looking at the clock. At the twelve hour mark on one project, she tended to feel a little guilty. And hungry. But there’d be time to eat later. The world needed her mind and the RSA needed her prime numbers.