“Great!” Andy clapped his hands together, rubbing them in anticipation. “What now?”
Junming studied Andy’s attire. The guy looked good in a simple black tee and jeans. “Well, you look good. So I don’t need to do much about that. But I do need your phone.”
“Oh, sure.” Andy fished out his phone from his pocket. “Why do you need that?”
Junming sidled over to Andy’s side. “Could you open your RomCon app?”
“Yeah.” Andy flicked the screen to the app which loaded in a burst of heart icons.
“Can you tap that icon that looks like an eye?”
When Andy tapped it, a list of devices nearby appeared. Junming recognized his own phone’s name. “Oh, here. This one is me. When you tap this, it’ll sync your phone with mine through Bluetooth. Then, it can broadcast what’s happening out here to my phone so I can keep an eye on proceedings.”
“Oh.” Andy’s thumb hovered hesitantly over the name. “But what if- you know- me and her umm-”
Junming’s eyes widened before he chuckled in understanding. “That’s fine. If it goes well and you don’t need me there, you can discreetly take your phone, give me a secret signal like a wink, and turn off the broadcast feature. Don’t worry about data storage. All the live data is erased and not stored anywhere.”
Letting out a sigh of relief, Andy nodded and tapped the device name. “I’m glad to hear that.”
“Great,” Junming chirped. “Okay, now you can see the camera is on. Let’s place this somewhere that your girlfriend can’t see.”
Junming’s eyes roved around the apartment in search of a hiding spot. He spied a fake pot of vines on the shelf above the dining table. “This will do.”
Andy handed him the phone, which he then perched on top of the shelf, leaning against the pot. He arranged the vines carefully so that they partially hid the phone. When he was satisfied, he took a step back. “All done!”
“Okay, so now all we need to do is wait-”
The doorbell resounded like a mini siren in the small apartment. Andy startled. “She’s here!”
“Right!” Junming flashed Andy a comforting look. “Be cool. Everything will be fine.”
Andy forced a shaky smile and took a deep breath. As Andy called out to his girlfriend to enter, Junming ran into the bedroom that served as his observation point. He took out his phone and saw the Bluetooth notification. Clicking on it, the RomCon app expanded into focus with a live streaming of Andy’s living room.
Junming watched the front door open. A girl wearing a white blouse and yellow skirt entered. Her hands flew to her mouth as she took in the beautiful setting. Pride bloomed in Junming’s chest. He made this happen.
“Andy, did you do this for me?” he heard her say clearly through the feed. At the same time, the muffled voice filtered through the bedroom door.
“I wanted to let you know how much you mean to me, baby.”
Junming cupped his hand to his mouth. He resisted the urge to whimper at this sweet moment. Everything was playing out just like he imagined it would. So lovely, so perfect.
“Oh my god, Andy,” the girl cried. She rushed down the petals pathway, her stilettos clicking on the smooth floor.
Junming felt his heart race in expectation of the shared embrace between Andy and his girlfriend. Then, Andy would twirl her around-
A yelp was accompanied by a loud thump. Junming’s eyes widened in shock as he saw the girl trip and fall head down onto the floor! He watched Andy rush to her side, helping her up. Glued to the screen, he wished as hard as he could that she wouldn’t blame Andy for this. Maybe she would be assuaged when Andy tended to her wounds.
Then, a loud cough filtered through the door, the sharp sound even clearer from his phone. One cough turned into two. And then, the girl broke into a full-blown hacking fit. She wheezed between coughs, “Are these real fucking petals?? I’m allergic to pollen!”
Terror tore down Junming’s spine. She must have an Epipen somewhere-
“Oh my god,” Andy’s frightened voice drifted through the phone speaker. “Where’s your Epipen??”
“I don’t… have it… on me.”
Junming watched in horror as the girl’s condition worsened. Andy was freaking out, his hands clutching her shoulders and shaking her. Left with no choice, Junming switched his screen back. He dialed the emergency number with shaking fingers and rattled off the address of Andy’s apartment.
Then, he rushed out into the living room. The girl was semi-conscious and Andy was in tears. He laid a hand on Andy’s shoulders. “The ambulance will be here any minute now. Let’s get her away from these petals. You hold her legs and I’ll get her upper body.”
The two guys lifted the coughing girl and placed her gently down on the floor a safe distance away from the petal path. Junming made sure she was lying flat before grabbing a throw pillow from the sofa and placing it underneath her feet. He thanked his lucky stars that he had experience dealing with allergic reactions after what happened with ex-boyfriend number 3. That had been the last time he had seen the guy.
Grimacing at the thought, Junming crossed his fingers, hoping that this situation would turn out better. Almost as if on cue, the wail of the ambulance siren pierced the air. Junming hurried for the front door. When he opened it, the sound of clunking footsteps stomped up the stairwell. He peeked his head out, catching sight of the first paramedic. “Over here!”
The paramedics raced to him, a stretcher between them. They didn’t waste any time entering the apartment, securing the girl, and laying her on the stretcher.
Junming gestured to Andy. “Go with them. I’ll take care of things here.”
Andy nodded mutely, following the paramedics out of the apartment. As the door closed behind him, Junming crumpled to the floor, his head cradled in his hands.
This had been a total disaster. Not only was his client’s relationship jeopardized, but the life of his girlfriend had also been put on the line as well. What had he done?
I mean, it's not his fault, but trying to explain that to your boss is near impossible. XD The only lesson to be learned is to ask if the significant other has allergies next time. Reading the story about the fire would have helped him be prepared for this. LOL
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)