Junming had been so happy when he got the call from Valerie saying that he had been hired. It was the perfect job for him and he had quit his retail job instantly. Eager to get started on his first assignment, he leaned forward in his seat.
Valerie was still talking through the slogan as she reached over to grab a dark fuchsia book from the shelves lining one side of the glass wall. She flipped her long hair over her shoulder and opened the book to check something. Satisfied, she closed it and held it up for Junming to see.
“As a ConCoct agent and someone who scored quite high on the romantic inclination scale, you’ll receive a copy of this book.” She handed the book over to him and patted its cover. “Treat this as training for scenarios that may play out in real life. It’ll give tips and suggestions on how to handle each scenario.”
“Thank you,” Junming effused as his gaze fell on the book cover. His index finger traced the title spelled out in thin, bold letters.
He opened the hardcover to the first page. The CEO and CTO’s signatures graced the bottom of the page, along with today’s date. Warmth bloomed in his heart. Had two of the company's highest-ranking executives really done something that sweet for his first day? This was really an awesome place to work!
“So,” Valerie continued, “you’ll be utilizing the RomCon platform to create your Con-cocted romance scenarios. There are three types of scenarios that clients will ask you to orchestrate for them.”
The slide changed to show a bulleted list.
“We normally get you started with the third type of scenario - events. This covers things like confession ceremonies, huge-blown apologies, and the like.”
Nodding profusely, Junming could not suppress the enthusiastic smile cutting across his cheeks. “This sounds awesome. I love planning big events!”
Valerie chuckled. “Hold your horses. I haven’t finished.”
“Sorry.” Junming grimaced, his fingers fidgeting in his lap. “It’s just all very exciting.”
“I’m sure it is. Okay, now there’s also the classic meet. This could be a meet-cute, a meet-angst, or whatever kooky scenario the client likes. And finally, dates. So a date at an amusement park, fancy yacht… anything goes.”
Valerie inhaled a deep breath and glanced at her thin smartwatch. “Right, so that video you saw earlier is an example of what a client may ask for under the dates category. Your job would be to create that atmosphere to facilitate the desired interaction. For example, you could provide the client with the cute apron, short skirt… the soup.”
Stifling a laugh at the mention of the soup, Junming nodded. “Okay, I get the gist of it.”
“Great!” Valerie cracked a smile. “I won’t bore you with the details at this point. I’ll send the slides to your company email and you can go through them. Let me know if there’s anything you’re unsure of.”
“Sure,” Junming chirped.
He watched as Valerie closed the fullscreen viewer, noticing that there were quite a few more slides left in the deck. They would make great reading material today for him to get oriented with the job.
“Now, let’s get you acquainted with your other colleagues, shall we?” Valerie said as she stood up.
Junming followed suit, grabbing his satchel bag from under the table. “Okay, sure.”
As he slung his bag over his shoulder, he paused. He ventured timidly, “How are they like?”
Valerie picked up her laptop and shrugged. “They’re interesting people. Very nice and ah- friendly.”
Her last word carried a hint of humor in it that made Junming’s brows curve up in a questioning manner. Noticing his perceptiveness, she laughed and waved it off. “Don’t worry, Junming. It’s nothing.”
His features relaxed until he saw her lips curve into a smirk. She winked at him. “I should give you fair warning though that our ConCoct agent, Jamal, is… well, he’s quite something.”
Something? Junming bit his lips. His hyperactive imagination kicked into overdrive with multiple romantic scenarios playing out between him and this Jamal. A flutter of anxiety mixed with dancing butterflies in his stomach. His eyes twinkled at the prospect of… well, anything.
Author's Notes: Check out my other available ebooks (pdf, epub) on Gumroad, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Gumroad, and a few other stores.
Links to the store are given in the description below.
Hopeless romantic Yu Junming is over the moon when he lands a job at the RomCon startup as a ConCoct agent. From meet-cutes to ultimate airport runs, he must re-enact surreal romantic scenes to fit a client’s dreams. Sadly, he botches his assignments and learns the hard way that romance needs a dash of practicality.
Despite his track record, he’s soon tasked to help his boss, Grayson Black - a die-hard cynic who dislikes him at first sight - to find love. Through disastrous dates, the two men grow closer and realize there’s more to each other than meets the eye.
Junming fantasizes of seeing even more of Grayson but he also finds himself drawn to Fernanda Morales, a spunky and eccentric undercover reporter who masquerades as a RomCon client. When Fernanda unexpectedly ends up heartbroken after an awful date, she falls for Junming. Pitiably ignorant of her mission to dig up dirt on RomCon, Junming is stuck between two people and a hard place called reality.
(Book cover done by Joanne Kwan: https://tapas.io/dashalutris
Banner done by Frappe7: https://www.instagram.com/frappitto/?hl=en)