As Jamal took his hand, giving it a firm squeeze, Junming felt an electric surge through his skin. His eyes twinkled with the possibility of something more and as he gazed deep into Jamal’s soul, he wondered whether this man in front of him felt the same way too.
“This is the new guy?” Jamal tilted his head toward Junming. “I like him.”
Jamal winked, his pearly white teeth contrasting against his dark skin. Biting down on his tongue, Junming almost felt his heart leap out and flop on the ground.
“Of course you do,” Valerie deadpanned. “Behave yourself, Jamal.”
Pouting, Jamal whined, “How can I when such a handsome specimen is in front of me?”
Valerie gritted her teeth and huffed. “Careful of this idiot, Junming. He flirts with every living thing in sight.”
“I do not!” Jamal protested. As he let go of Junming’s hand, Junming felt an aching loss deep inside his soul.
Jamal skipped over to Kyler’s other side and leaned in close to her. “Right, Kyler?”
The lady turned a dark shade of pink and giggled. Junming felt a stab of envy but kept his composure. The two of them seemed close but then again, they must have worked together for quite a while to build up a good rapport.
Valerie spun Kyler away and thrust herself between the two of them. She wagged a finger at the grinning Jamal. “If I catch you with my sister-”
“No worries, Val.” Jamal smirked. “I never get caught.”
Kyler tugged at her sister’s arm. “Val, you’re over-worrying. Jamal leans more the other way.”
A thrill ran down Junming’s spine. He couldn’t stop himself from discreetly checking out Jamal’s delicious neck bones framed by that collared beige shirt.
“You don’t understand him.” Valerie’s eyes narrowed at the irresistible Jamal. “He leans everywhere!”
Jamal clicked his tongue three times. “You’re so wrong. I only lean towards attractive people like dear Ky and our new Jun.”
Junming’s eyes widened at the affectionate abbreviation of his name. He loved how his name rolled off Jamal’s tongue. Evidently, so did Kyler.
Not everyone did, of course. Valerie’s head looked like a boiling pot of soup emitting steam. Huffing, she crossed her arms over her chest. “Whatever. Please show Junming to his desk and get him settled in, Jamal. Then, get back to work.”
She gave Junming a tight smile. “I’ll send you those slides to look at. Let me know if you need anything.”
“Sure, thank you, Valerie,” he chirped.
As she stormed off back to her office, Kyler tapped Junming on his shoulder. “I’m sorry about my sister. She’s just very over-protective of me.”
Her embarrassed smile caused Junming’s heart to melt. Chuckling, he darted a gaze to Valerie’s receding back before saying, “That’s okay. I think that’s cute of her.”
Brightening up, Kyler laughed. Jamal leaned in and whispered, “That’s because you haven’t seen her get real mad. Believe me, she can be the Hulk.”
The three of them burst into soft laughter, careful not to let the Hulk down the hall hear them. Kyler poked Jamal’s arm. “You’d better get going with Junming before Val comes back down.”
Coloring at the potential double meaning, Junming looked away before the other two saw his red cheeks.
“Yeah, I guess I should.” Jamal patted Kyler on her head and winked. “I’ll see you later.”
Kyler bit down a smile and nodded. She turned, heading back into her cubicle, leaving the two men standing there. Jamal tilted his head towards the back of the office space. “Come on, new guy. You’re with me now.”
“Great,” Junming said a little too cheerily for his liking.
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)