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“Ah, actually. Romance is not a top priority for me right now. I’ve been—”
“No romance? What?” Tanya laughed like the idea was absurd, then pretended to share a confidence with the camera. “And here she claims to be all about love. An expert. Hmm.”
This interview was going downhill fast. Meredith glanced at the shadowy side of the stage, searching for Joel or April or somebody for support, but there were only producers and even more cameras. She didn’t dare look back at the suits.
“Well, sure I make time for romance! Of course. But, in my case, I appreciate keeping things a little...private.”
“Private?” Tanya challenged, not backing down. “What does that mean?”
Meredith tried not to break a sweat, envisioning cool mountain streams and waterfalls. “All it means is...” She smiled sassily at the camera. “We haven’t yet made things public.”
Finally. That should work in throwing Tanya off, but nope. She persisted.
“So there is a special someone.” She tapped her chin. “What’s his name?”
Meredith bit her lip. She couldn’t—just couldn’t—admit her disastrous dating history. What would the viewing public think? And those network execs? Joel was right—Matched Up would never get that syndication deal then. Tanya would make sure of it with her little humiliation campaign. And she was so close.
Tanya’s face fell. “No. Way. You’re not matched up at all, are you?” She forced a fake frown. “How sad. ‘Matchmaker Meredith’ has no match of her own. I wonder...do you tell your clients that you’re single? I can’t imagine that instills a lot of confidence in your...abilities.”
Low blow. Meredith’s gut tightened. Tanya was known for skewering her guests, especially her accomplished female ones. You’d think a fellow woman would help a girl up. Not knock her down, then step on her. Especially in front of network people. Tanya acted like she was above getting fired, and maybe she was. Even though Talk Time was only local, the show attracted tons of viewers. A few more at the moment than Matched Up. But that was mostly on account of Tanya’s enormous advertising budget. “Sure I do. I have a match, my perfect match.”
“Then give us a hint. Occupation. Location. Anything?” Meredith could practically hear the knell of a countdown clock ticking off the seconds in her brain. Her short segment was nearly up.
Ten. Nine. Eight.
Think, think, think. Meredith worked hard to come up with somebody. Anybody. If he was super impressive that would be amazing. Gorgeous would be a plus, too.
Shockingly, only one gorgeous guy came to mind. One with piercing blue eyes.
And a smirk. How could she forget that part? Three. Two...
“Well, I guess we have our answer, folks. Thank you for joining us today on—”
“He’s a boatbuilder!” Meredith blurted out.
“Fascinating.” Tanya leaned forward. “Whereabouts?”
“Blue...Blue Hill,” Meredith stammered. Ooh, this is going to come back to bite me. She swallowed hard. “Blue Hill, Maine.”