New York City’s Most Eligible Bachelor was in a piss-poor mood.
Not that anyone would ever guess it from the way Oliver Preston smiled down at the dark-haired girl dancing seductively in front of him. At least, he thought she was going for seductive. She dipped down low, then rose with a twisting hip swivel, which could very well be an attempt to dislodge a wedgie. Her name had vanished along with his last three drinks, and it was fast approaching the point in their acquaintance when it would be rude to ask. With a discreet glance at his watch, he realized they’d been dancing and talking for an hour, although he couldn’t recall a single word. Something about Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog?
He’d been doing this more and more lately, forgetting the social dictates that had been drilled into him his entire life. Discarding names the moment they were uttered, neglecting to respond with a laugh at the appropriate moment. He’d once been the king of grinning and bullshitting. Maybe he still was, but he’d gone on autopilot. No enjoyment came from it any more.
Oliver could pinpoint the exact day it happened. When that damn magazine had determined him a catch, under the headline, “Manhattan’s Mesmerizing Magazine Guru”. The article had been the equivalent of a meal bell being rung over his unsuspecting head. Women had stopped wanting to have fun with him. They’d stopped being satisfied with a single night or even a week-long affair.
Now they wanted to land him. They wanted the elegant wedding announcement in the New York Times. They wanted to weld a gold band onto his finger while cackling with merriment. They wanted to…Jesus…they wanted to introduce him to their mothers.
Matrimony. If it was possible to have a phobia of saying I do, he had a giant case of it. Matrimonaphobia. There, he’d diagnosed himself.
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