Flying Blind

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Over the years Olivia has become very good at ignoring Bea's escapades, but this one seems to be beating all possible records of intrusiveness and craftiness. Oh, intrusive, good word. Olivia hasn't used it for awhile. Intrusion, intrude...

'He intruded into her private space, his eyes dark and...' And what? What were his eyes like?

"Olive, are you even listening to me?"

Bea's voice is irritated. She can't stand being ignored.

"Yes, yes, I'm here," Olivia mumbles obediently.

She's wiping her keyboard with a sanitizing wipe, phone pressed to her ear with her shoulder.

"So, are you up for it? The date?" Bea demands.

Bea's a barrister. She's a human equivalent of a steamroller.

"Bea, it's ridiculous! Of course I'm not up for a blind date with a spotty teenage son of a strange lady neither you, nor I know very well."

"First of all he's forty and an architect." Bea sounds almost offended, probably by Olivia's lack of enthusiasm and confidence in Bea's matchmaking inclinations. "Second of all, Mrs. Dowling is anything but strange. She goes to the same spa as me."

Oh, pardon me! How could anyone doubt the Diego's Zen Spa and Salon stamp of approval?

"Bea, it's a completely mad idea."

Olivia's still fighting, but she has little hope to escape.

"We discussed it with Mabel, and she said that you sound perfect for John."

Oh, she's 'Mabel' now?

"No one can 'sound perfect,' Bea. People aren't cereal brands that can be classified by the amount of fiber in them. Perfect blind dates only happen in daft cheap romance novels."

Olivia should know; she produces five a year.

"Olive..." Bea's voice drops. "I'm calling in my favour now."

"Bea, no!"

Olivia expected a low blow, but that's too much even for Bea!

"Olive, you owe me one. Big time." Bea's voice is now a predatory purr. She knows she's as much as won. "You left me in the same house as your Grandmother for the whole Christmas weekend, and you weren't there."

It's true. Olivia did. And her Grandmother is a monster. But that's not even the problem. Bea is technically Olivia's stepmother. And they were in uni together.

"Bea..." Olivia's whining now.

"Olive, I have chosen my sacrifice. And I'm coming to your place tomorrow. I'm bringing you a dress and shoes, and then you're going to dinner with Mr. John Thomas Dowling."

"I'm busy tomorrow," Olivia squeaks.

Damn, that was too fast to sound at all convincing.

"Doing what?" Bea as much as laughing at her. "None of your 'dashing, lopsidedly smirking, and astonishingly well-endowed' men are going to run away from you. And you know why, Olive?"

Olivia sighs. She's been defeated.

"Because they aren't real?"

"Because they aren't real, Olive. Now get your head out of your... laptop and get out into the world."

That's exactly what Olivia's been trying to avoid for the past seven years.

***

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