This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
I have a mission for you, and I swear it’s not mission impossible, it’s actually almost mission too friggin easy, well, for you at least. It’s not going to clash with your job at the firm, but I should let you know, it’s during the period the firm is closed over the Christmas and New Year Break, so it will interfere with that. If this is an issue, I will ask someone else, but I really hope you’ll accept this offer, because you know I wouldn’t ask unless it was important.
Your (hopefully) new client’s name is Oliver Duncan, he’s a trainee surgeon, doing a rotation at Middlemore Hospital. You are required to get hold of him on this number, 0276543862, preferably via text message as there is still a chance he will be working at the time you receive this email and make your decision. There isn’t a lot of information about him available, apart from what comes up in the press, which as you know isn’t always positive, let alone correct. You know what the media is like. He comes up clean on a background check, but I know you’ll do your own one anyway, as per usual.
He was very vague when it came to personal information about himself on the application form, as you’ll see I have attached it for you, but he was VERY specific when it came to the requirements of his Build a Girl. You know normally I wouldn’t interrupt your holiday period because of how important it is for you to get home, but you’re the only girl I’ve got that actually fits his requirements and specifications. I know the girls can usually act a certain way to pull it off, but why get one of the girls to act like you when I’ve got the real deal?
Do your research, and background check, and you’ll understand why I’d prefer you to do this job than have Stacey or Cora act like you; Think of the money, after this job, and the bonus you get for going over the set number of jobs your contract requires of you during the year, you’ll have enough to put down the deposit on a house.
Please tell me you’ll say yes, Soph. Get back to me ASAP.
If I don’t hear from you in 12 hours, I will start blowing up your phone.
Love, as always,
Owner Operator at Build Me a Girl Limited
0800 Build Me a Girl
I shook my head as I read over the email sitting open on the screen in front of me; my immediate reaction was to pull out my Samsung Galaxy and call the office, knowing, even though it was early on a Saturday morning, and that the firm was officially closed on Saturday’s, one of my best friends, Connor, would be sitting in his cushy office, doing unnecessary overtime, as per usual. After three rings to Connor’s direct line, a voice came over the speaker, sounding extremely sarcastic, “Soph, babe, I just love when you call me at work when I’m pretending not to be here.” He groaned, the obvious eye roll evident in his tone of voice, causing a laugh to escape my lips as I shook my head in response to his usual level of sarcasm.
“Con, babe, I love when you’re at work when you should be at home with Sam. So how about you sort this background check for me, get the details sent to my email, AND GET THE FUCK OFF YOUR COMPUTER AND GO HOME TO YOUR BOYFRIEND!” I couldn’t help but smile when I heard a muffled ‘fuck you’ come through the speaker in response to my yelling. “Oliver Duncan,” I gave him the name before he had a chance to ask for it and waited patiently for him to tell me he would get it sorted.
A short, sharp laugh escaped his lips and that was when I knew something was up; Lily was right, there was an important reason she was interrupting my holiday, girl time with her and Lydia, and family time for his job. “What do you know?” I straightened up in my seat, my hands beginning to sweat as I moved once more,pushing my spine straight up against the back of the bar stool, glancing up at the clock on the other side of my modern, black and white themed kitchen, calculating just how long I had left to spend on work issues before I needed to shut everything down and organise coffee for Lyddie if I didn’t want her to rip my head off.
“What don’t I know? Honey, I’m as gay as they come. Oliver Duncan is the son of Valerie Duncan, the famous fashion designer, and his sister is Andrea Duncan.” He seemed to be gushing over this issue, and that immediately told me this was important. Connor didn’t just gush over anyone, or anything. Unless of course they were extremely good looking. “Girl, please tell me he is your latest date?” Connor knew that the only time I rang him on the weekend while he was at work, to get him to sort out a background check meant they were my latest date or client.
“You know me too well Con,” I laughed musically, “apparently I’m the perfect description for what he wants. This should be an easy gig.” I shrugged carelessly, not bothering to look at the attached application to figure out what the event he needed me for was, and instead took to scrolling through the personal information he supplied me with. I was sure he would tell me what the event was when we spoke, and if he didn’t, I had easy access to the information anyway.
Name: Oliver Duncan
Date of Birth: April 10th, 1988
Occupation: Trainee Surgeon, doing surgical rotation at Middlemore Hospital
Family background: My mother is a fashion designer (Valerie Duncan), my sister is a model for my mother’s designs as well as for Victoria Secret and a few other brands (Andrea Duncan), my father owns a vineyard in New Zealand, and produces some of New Zealand finest wines (Willow Haven).
Ideal age for your girl (note your girl can/will be a year plus/minus the age you have given): Preferably 27 or 28.
Physical characteristics (to try and pair you with a girl of similar stature etc.): 6 foot (183cm) 110lbs (77kg), dark brown hair, and dark brown eyes.
Personality (to try and pair you with a girl similar to yourself, or someone who will bring out these qualities in you): I’m usually a pretty happy go-lucky guy, I can be pretty shy depending on the people, but I do have a reputation as being a bit of a ladies man, so it is going to be difficult for someone I’m paired with to make this believable. I’m extremely ambitious, and have a dream, and a plan to follow to get there. I would say I’m pretty generous, and I like to have fun.
Physical description of your ‘girl’: Approximately 5 foot or taller, but not taller than me, no preference on weight because I’m not a total moron. Preferably brunette, dark brown or black hair. Would prefer green eyes, but blue are okay too.
Personality description of your ‘girl’: Someone who is happy, bright and bubbly. Does well under pressure, and will help me in awkward situations. Someone who is confident, doesn’t have to be confident all the time, but is and can be confident and outgoing when she needs to be. I have no issues with tattoos or piercings, but would prefer nothing too dramatic as I’d like to impress my family, and have them think I am settling down with someone who is actually ready to settle. I’d prefer she be mature and responsible, and easy to talk to.
I’d like someone who has a steady and good job, say a lawyer or something, or at least someone that can pretend they’re a lawyer, or an accountant or something. Something that fits, and gels well with a trainee surgeon.
I’d like her to somewhat artsy, and have a little bit of a creative flair, like she loves to paint, or write, or sing or something. Someone who likes to go to the gym, or work out, or plays a sport would also be good. Someone who is interested in sports, like rugby, or cricket would also be a massive bonus.
Mostly I just want someone that is going to make this situation as simple, as easy as possible for me. Someone I’m going to be able to relax and feel comfortable around, and not feel as though this whole thing is a lie, even though that’s what it is.
I tabbed off the page of Oliver’s application, and switched back to the email from Lily, scanning over what she had originally said before Connor began speaking again, “All right Princess, you know the drill,” I couldn’t help but perk up at the smile present in his voice, “it’s time for you to get off the phone, and shut down the work talk, it’s ten to ten, and you know what Sleeping Beauty is like.” He laughed at the nickname he had supplied her with since we were kids, “If you don’t make my sister her coffee, she’s going to kill you for forcing her to tolerate the human race caffeine free.” A laugh escaped my lips at hearing his dramatic description of what it’s like dealing with his twin sister without some form of caffeine, or her usual coffee fix.
“You have ten minutes, to get that coffee maker of yours up and running. I’ll see you when I see you, and the deets for the check will be delivered to your inbox as soon as Dad gets them through to me; don’t miss me too much. Love, love, love you.” A verbal kiss sound tacked onto the end of his sentence.
“I love you too Con, now go home and see Sam. He’ll be getting up soon, and he’ll be pissed the other side of the bed is cold and empty, because you ditched him for work, again.” I couldn’t help but smirk into the mouth piece of the phone before hanging up, and making my way slowly around the other side of the breakfast bar, clad in booty shorts, a singlet and my favourite pair of Ugg boots. Connor was right, if I didn’t have his twin sister’s coffee ready by the time she got up, the same way I did every morning, unless she was staying at Dyl’s, then I would be a dead woman, and Lydia would be in need of a pretty good lawyer. Since the one promised to her, was be me, and I would be lying dead, on the floor at her feet.
As if like clock work, the sleepy strawberry blonde padded into our shared living area from her bedroom on the other side of the apartment, bang on ten o’clock, dressed in her pink pyjamas, and bunny slippers with her hair pulled into a messy bun. “Please, tell me that’s trim mocha with two sugars and pink marshmallows.” She asked, a pout coming over her full lips as she made the final steps towards me, where I stood on the other side of the breakfast bar, holding out her favourite black and white polka dot mug.
“Would I ever make you anything else?” I asked with a warm smile on my face as I handed over the mug before reaching back to grab my own, a pink mug filled with hot chocolate, with extra cream and three marshmallows.
“You, are honestly, my favourite person.” Lydia mumbled as she took a mouthful of her coffee, a satisfied groan escaping her lips, receiving the caffeine hit that would allow her to tolerate the human race for the rest of the day.
“But,” A frown spread across Dylan’s face as he caught the tail end of the conversation, coming out dressed in jeans, with a bare chest, “I thought I was your favourite person,” Dylan grumbled as he came across the living room to collect his own mug, filled with fresh black coffee, and two sugars.
“Do you make, and have coffee ready for me every morning when I get out of bed, even though you can’t stand the taste of coffee?” Lydia asked between sips, looking at Dylan, over the rim of her mug with a cheeky smirk taking over her full, and pouty lips as she raised her eyebrows, daring him to answer her question.
“No,” Dylan frowned, sitting himself down at our large oak dining table, shuffling slightly so he could still see the two of us where we stood near the breakfast bar, but could still easily read the newspaper.
“Then you’re not my favourite.” Lydia smirked, sticking her tongue out at Dylan childishly, only pulling her tongue back in to take another mouthful of her coffee.
“It doesn’t matter,” Dylan shook his head, taking a mouthful of his own coffee, sighing happily once he had swallowed the warm, black liquid, “you’re not my favourite either.” He stuck his tongue out at her, “Sophie on the other hand.” He nodded happily, “Best coffee maker, ever.” He grinned, lifting the mug to his lips to drink some more.
“Okay children,” I rolled my eyes at their antics, knowing that if I didn’t step in soon they would begin acting ever sillier, “I have a new client.” I couldn’t help but laugh momentarily when I took note of how easy it was to get them to turn their attention towards me with just a few simple words.
“Which job is this for?” They both asked at the same time, shaking their head, and laughing lightly when they realised they had both spoken the same words at the same time, something the pair managed to do quite often, since they had been together for almost ten years, it was inevitable.
“Build Me a Girl.” I sighed, rolling my eyes as though it was the most obvious thing in the world, since it was against my legal code of conduct to talk about my legal clients and the responsibilities that came with them, and after it took me such a long time, and too many obstacles to get to where I am today, there was no way in hell I was going to compromise that for anything.
“Anyway,” I took a breath, preparing myself for explaining the situation that came with this current job, and hoping that LC wouldn’t get mad about it, “apparently I’m a ‘perfect match’” I used finger quotes as I said the words, “for the description this guy supplied Lily with, and she’s practically begging me to take the job,” i sighed, still trying to come to terms with whether or not I really was going to take this job, mentally weighing up the pro’s and con’s, “it cuts into my Christmas and New Year break, so I pretty much have to start this job as soon as possible.” I explained, “But I will be getting paid quite handsomely for this one; if I finish this job, I’ll get my bonus, and,” I paused, trying to add some suspense to the situation, and to take a breath to prepare myself for Lydia’s reaction.
“And what?” She asked, staring directly at me, waiting impatiently for me to answer her question.
“And I’ll have enough for a deposit on the house.” I grinned, thinking about how nice it would be for us to actually live in a house, instead of in an apartment. As much as I love our Central-Auckland apartment, with the gym, sauna, balcony, and easy access to town, we were both looking for something, different, and the house I wanted, was just what I was after.
“Are you fucking serious?” Lydia asked, her hazel-green eyes widening at the end of my sentence. I nodded eagerly, pressing my lips into a fine line, knowing that this was a big thing for me. I was terrible at saving money, but somehow I had managed to open two savings accounts, over for the deposit on my dream house, and one just for the sake of having one, and I was finally doing pretty well at it.
“I’m so proud of you!” Lydia grinned, putting her coffee cup down in a hurry, a slight clunk resonating as the mug made contact with the breakfast bar, some of the milky liquid sloshing over the side of the mug on impact before she jumped up and down, and rushed towards me, pulling me into a tight, celebratory hug. Money wasn’t something we usually discussed openly, due to the fact that Lydia’s family were very well off, and as much as LC hated it, her parents gave her anything, and I had to work for everything I had, which was usually the cause of my small savings. As much as Lydia hated having things handed to her, there wasn’t much she could do about it.
“Sorry girls,” Dylan cleared his throat, “I hate to break up this,” He shook his head, “touching moment, but Fee, you need to reply to that email from Lily if you want this gig. We all know what Lil is like, and she doesn’t like to be kept waiting, and lets me honest, she probably already has an email ready and waiting for one of the other girls, alongside a hundred different text messages to send to you if you don’t get back to her.” Dylan joked, knowing his words would appeal to my workaholic side, and not the one that was currently girling out over the fact that Lydia and I could be living in a house rather than an apartment in as little as a few weeks.
I pulled apart from Lydia, and moved her mug, wiping up the mess she created on the countertop before reaching for my laptop, “Time to reply to Lil, and send this guy a message.” I nodded eagerly, an excited grin still spread across my face as the idea of living in a house, turning my laptop around so it was facing where I stood at the end of the breakfast bar, leaning on the countertop as I waited for it to boot up again.
“You know,” Lydia lifted her mug from the bar, and moved to take a seat on Dylan’s lap, “this is the first time I’m going to let you do work at the weekend; regardless of which job it is.” Lydia smiled, picking out one of her marshmallows from her mug, “When I’m awake at least.” She shrugged, popping the pink marshmallow into her mouth. I shot her a confused look, acting as though I had no idea what she was on about. “Oh please, don’t act like you don’t do work before I get up.” Lydia laughed at my facial expression and shook her head simultaneously, her fringe settling back into its usual place as she did so.
I couldn’t help but smirk, shaking my head as I looked down at the keyboard on my laptop, hearing Lydia mutter something unintelligible under her breath; it wasn’t as though I was keeping it a secret, it was just somethingI didn’t do during the weekend when Lydia was about, to avoid being told off for my workaholic tendencies, and for cutting into our girl time, something we didn’t get much off due to both of us having hectic work schedules.
I hope this is soon enough for you; I’ll take the job, and message this guy right now.
Love, love, love,
As per usual I kept the email short, and sweet, the same way I did when I was accepting another job from Lily, and then I began typing out a text message I intended to send to my new ‘boyfriend’, in hopes of organising a meet up to sort out the details of the situation, knowing that this application had come in with extreme short notice and I was expected to get involved, as soon as humanly possible.
Me: Hi Oliver, my name is Sophie, I work for Build Me a Girl, when is a good time for us to meet up and chat?
Oliver: Hey Sophie, I’m just finishing up my shift at the hospital, I’ve been working since 12am. I was going to head home and get some sleep, any chance you feel like catching up for dinner and sorting the details of this out then?
I nodded slowly as I glanced over the message I had just received from my new ‘boyfriend’, Oliver, and looked back over at Lydia, and Dylan as they both began reading through the paper, arguing when one began to change the page before the other was finished. “Looks like I won’t be joining you guys, Sam and Con for dinner tonight; the new ‘boyf’ wants to meet up to sort stuff out over dinner. He’s just finished work.” I sighed, feeling disappointed, since I had really been looking forward to our weekly dinner date, since I had had to back out last week. Work always seemed to get in the way, and this time was definitely no exception.
Me: Sure Oliver, that sounds great. Just text me the time and place and I’ll meet you there.
“What? No.” Lydia frowned, scrunching up her face in response to me having to skip out on our weekly dinner date. “Boo you whore.” I frowned at the expression on her face, and couldn’t help but feel guilty for missing our dinner date the second week in a row, due to some sort of work interference.
“I’m sorry LC, I’ll make it up to you, I swear.” I smiled, holding up my pinky to show just how serious I was about making it up to my best friend. A smile immediately spread across her face, replacing the frown, and scrunched up expression that had previously held a place on my best friends face before she began nodding eagerly. “We can have a girl date, go and see the new Nicholas Sparks movie or something.” I suggested with a shrug, knowing just how much we both wanted to see the movie, having already both read the novel. I finished the last mouthful of my hot chocolate just as my mobile phone vibrated on the kitchen counter, alerting me to a new message from who I assumed was either Connor or Oliver.
Oliver: The Grand, tonight, 7pm good for you?
“Oh God. Thank fuck for Fee.” Dylan grinned, holding his hands together as though he were praying; his actions earned him a slight glare from Lydia as she moved her elbow back and jabbed him playfully in the ribs, causing a grunt in mock pain to escape his lips last the contact. “You’re so violent.” He whined, using his free hand to rub the spot on his ribs she had elbowed.
Sophie: Sounds great, I’ll see you there.
“What?” I raised an eyebrow, “Why thank fuck for me?” I asked after sending my reply to Oliver; an amused look approached on my face as I took in the scowl that was plastered across Lydia’s face.
“Thank fuck for you,” Dylan grinned happily, “because if you take her to see the newest Nicholas Sparks movie,” He paused, “that is the guy that wrote the fucking Notebook right?” He asked, clearly unsure if his assumption was correct. Lydia and I both nodded in response before he continued speaking again. “Well, if you take her, then I don’t have to go and sit through the torture of it.” He grinned much wider, placing a kiss on Lydia’s cheek in hopes that it would get him back in her good graces.
“Oooh,” I shook my head, “watch yourself D, she might make you come with us.” I giggled, snapping my laptop shut and pushing it back off the edge of the breakfast bar so it wouldn’t fall and get damaged.
“Hah,” Dylan shook his head, “like fuck.” He muttered, finishing up his coffee before glancing at me strangely as I put my mug in the sink and began making my way towards my bedroom to get myself ready for the day. “Where are you going?” He asked, lowering his mug onto the table top.
“It’s 10.30 on a Saturday morning, Alexander. I’m going to the gym.” I laughed, calling him by his last name, something I often did. “And stick a coaster under that shit head!” I yelled again, kicking my bedroom door closed with my foot, preparing to get myself ready for rigorous workout in the building’s gym.
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