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Home > Complete Bliss (Her Billionaires #5.3)

Complete Bliss (Her Billionaires #5.3)
Author: Julia Kent

Darla

The phone rang. Darla let it go for two rings as she cleared her throat, let the flush of surprise die down a bit, and picked up the receiver. “Good Things Come in Threes,” she said, smiling, hoping to inject that perfect balance between friendliness and discretion into her not-quite-smooth voice. “How may I help you?”

A nervous, twitchy silence almost always greeted her. Of course it would. Who picks up the phone, calls a number they read on the internet, and says, “I'm looking for a threesome and I heard you do that for people”?

Okay, so one person already had, and now Darla had to engage her. But that was a rarity. Generally the potential clients were nervous as all get out and stumbled over their words, and about half the time the call dropped off midway, whatever ovarian fortitude the caller had assembled splintering into thousands of tiny pieces.

And yes, they were always women. The men seemed more comfortable, by far, with reaching out and asking for what they wanted.

Wasn't that how it all too often worked?

But Darla, Josie, and Laura had agreed that this service needed to be different.

And if Darla could do anything right, it was different. Different was her middle name. (Not really. Josephine was, but you get the drift.)

“Um, I, uh…is this the dating service?” A young woman with a high, scared voice was on the line. “The one I heard about on Mike Mayhearn's podcast?”

God bless Mike Mayhearn, whoever he was. This was the third call in so many days that referred to him by name. Darla jotted the name on her To Do list. The ways word had spread online had been so intriguing. Podcasts seemed to be the crazy new thing that brought people to Good Things Come in Threes.

“Yes, ma'am,” Darla said as brightly as possible.

The woman laughed. “I'm not a ma'am! I'm only twenty-five years old.”

“Well, I'm twenty-three, so sorry about that.” Darla chuckled, trying to make a connection. “It's just a formality.”

“I don't think we need formalities for, um, something like this,” the caller answered.

Darla’s smile widened and she gripped her pen. So far, so good. “I assume you're calling to get more information about our dating service?” she replied, keeping her voice neutral.

“Yes.”

“What do you know about us?” Asking that question was dicey. Over the past few weeks a slew of hate calls had come in, which prompted Darla to record them all. Turned out to be from one guy who had been rejected as a client by Josie after he said he wanted sex only, and not a long-term emotional relationship. A hate campaign followed on social media and via phone. A public relations firm had been brought in. Damage control hadn't been easy.

Hell, it was ongoing. No one wanted to see this place tank before it ever got off the ground, least of all Darla. She knew how f**king awesome being with two men could be. Parts of her soul had been out there, and instead of killing one with her car on that turnpike road one night in Ohio, she’d picked it up by the side of the road, na**d and high as a kite. Trevor’s sudden appearance in her life had preceded Joe’s, but having them both was like learning she’d been missing something she didn’t ache for until she had it.

Other women must feel the same way. Men, too. Helping them made sense to her.

Plus, this was the best damn paycheck she’d ever had in her life. Long live threesome dating services, even if Good Things Come in Threes was the only one…

“I've heard you were founded by that woman who is with the firefighter billionaire. And the other one. The ones in the news.”

Darla’s eyebrows shot up. Very few people knew anything about Laura, Mike, and Dylan's ties to the agency. She needed to tread super-carefully now, because Josie was ultra-protective of her best friend, and by extension, so was Darla. You didn’t f**k with her peeps. Loyalty was her middle name.

Okay, so Josephine was. Apparently, she had a lot of middle names.

“Can I ask how you learned that?”

“Is there a problem?” The caller’s voice shook.

Oh, shit. This was the part where people drifted off. Or hung up.

“No, it's just that I'm in a permanent threesome and I'm surprised to hear what you said.” Deflect. If Darla could get her off topic, she could keep her on the line.

“You are?” the woman squeaked. “Are you a client?”

“Not quite,” Darla replied. “But I was hired because of my background.”

“What's it like?” the caller asked, breathless. This time her voice shook from excitement.

Hold on there, sister. Before I tell you about getting licked and dicked at the same time, I'd like to know your name.

“Before I tell you all about my love life, we might want to be on a first-name basis,” Darla said cheerfully. See? She was learning tact. “I'm Darla. What's your name, hon?”

“Callie,” the woman said quietly.

“Callie, it's nice to meet you.” Tact. Darla was practically Miss Menage Manners.

“I didn't mean to offend you!” Callie said, clearly horrified. Way to scare off the potential clients with her smart mouth, Darla thought. Such job security. At this rate Darla’d be back home living with her mama and clicking on pictures of donkeys at a hotel website trying to win a free $5 Subway card.

And that would be on date night.

“No offense taken. I understand your curiosity. It's not like you can just go on the internet and find articles about women who are in loving relationships with two men,” Darla replied in the most soothing voice she could muster. No one taught you these kinds of customer service skills in…um…anywhere.

A long sigh poured out of the phone. “Don't I wish! It's all about swingers and one-time hookups and…you know.” The conspirator's tone Callie used set Darla’s teeth a bit on edge. Actually, Darla didn't know. It was not as if she went out searching for a permanent threesome. It fell into her lap. And that was the major difference between her and their female clients: Darla never sought out what she had.

It occurred to her, suddenly, that the same was true for her boss, Laura. Hmmm.

Her cell phone buzzed. A text. Ignoring it, Darla kept Callie on the line. While Laura and Josie had told her the business could lose money in the first year—it wasn’t like Dylan and Mike didn’t have enough cash to buy her hometown ten times over—it was a matter of principle for Darla. She wanted to succeed. Clients meant success.

And Callie wanted what Good Things Come in Threes sought to succeed in: nonjudgmental love that happened to use a relationship math that society didn’t necessarily understand. Like being metric in an imperial world. Or being Darla at a Pilates instructor convention.

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