Mia swiped a hand across the steamy mirror, heaving a sigh. She grabbed the brush off the counter and ran it through her long brown hair. She opened the tiny window in the bathroom to let out some of the steam so she could do her make-up.
“Are you done yet?” Amanda, Mia’s roommate, called from outside the room.
“Give me a minute.”
The door opened. Amanda crossed her arms, leaning against the door pane.
“You don’t even need make-up,” Amanda complained.
Mia swiped her eyelashes with some mascara, highlighting her baby blues. “I look better with it. I look twelve without it.” She covered up her freckles with some powder.
“But guys like that.” Amanda walked around her to the toilet, taking it upon herself to lift her skirt and sit.
“Maybe creepy ones.” She tossed her make-up into her make-up bag. “You have no shame, by the way.”
Mia shook her head. She walked out of the bathroom, into the bedroom they shared. Their apartment was fairly small, in New Jersey, just across the Hudson River. The commute into the city sucked, but living here was cheaper than trying to find a place in New York.
“You’re just bitter because you don’t have a boyfriend,” Amanda stated as she walked into the bedroom, straightening her hair with her fingers.
Mia was searching through her closet, pulling out some clothes. “I don’t need a boyfriend. I wouldn’t mind getting laid now and then, though. A year is a long dry spell.”
“I can’t believe you haven’t had sex in a year. That’s just horrible.”
“It’s not awful,” she said. “But it would be nice to have someone else to do all the work.”
Amanda picked up a magazine next to Mia’s bed, holding it up. “So instead you spend your time masturbating to Richie Rich.”
Mia snatched the magazine out of her hands. Her eyes fell upon the handsome face grinning back at her from the cover of Forbes magazine. Jack Hamilton was one of New York’s freshest faces and he’d made quite a name for himself in the five years he’d been on the scene. He had also become one of the most eligible bachelors in the city with the fattest wallet. Mia had a massive crush on him. Those deep blue eyes and that dashing smile made her weak in the knees.
“You know he’s in the market for a girlfriend, right?” Amanda asked.
“He’s the most eligible bachelor in New York City at the moment. Of course he is.”
“No, I mean, the actual market,” she said. “As in mine.”
Amanda worked at a matchmaking service that catered specifically to rich clientele.
“Really?” Mia asked, trying not to sound as intrigued as she was.
“Mm-hmm,” she said. “Supposedly they’re having an invite-only, special audition for him somewhere away from my office.”
Mia chewed on her lower lip. “But you don’t know for sure?”
“Well, not one-hundred percent, no. But I do know that there are auditions being held for someone at an address tomorrow, and I’d almost bet my life that it’s for him.”
“What if it isn’t?” Mia asked. “I don’t want to get paired up with some nasty old dude who smells like death.”
“Why not? Hey, marry him! If he’s rich and old, you’ll get his money when he dies.”
“Amanda! That’s horrible.”
“You’re a starving graduate student! You need the money.”
She rolled her eyes. “No need to be crass.”
“Do you want an invite or not?”
She took a deep breath and slowly let it out as she considered it. The idea of Jack being the one she was auditioning for made her heart flutter – not to mention other parts of her body. But what if it was somebody else?
“Be a risk-taker, Mia,” Amanda said.
Sighing deeply, Mia conceded, “Okay.” Hopefully she didn’t regret it.
The next day, Mia pulled her Honda up alongside the road, throwing it into park. Her eyes fell upon the numbers scrawled on the large, dark warehouse building, then dropped down to the post-it note her roommate had scribbled the address on. Furrowing her brow, she looked back at the warehouse. This had to be the wrong place. Had Amanda given her the wrong address? Was she on the right street? If this was an audition for someone rich – especially Jack Hamilton – there was just no way it would be in a place like this. She had been expecting some ritzy hotel.
Shaking her head, she grabbed her purse. Walking up to the warehouse, she noticed the sign on the door that said, ‘auditions inside.’ This looked more like some place she would go to get raped, not a date. Reminding herself that this was a legitimate matchmaking business that her friend worked for, she took a deep breath and stepped inside. There were arrows leading down a dark corridor, which she quickly followed, her high heels clicking against the concrete. There was a door at the end of the hall that said ‘AUDITIONS INSIDE.’ She opened it and stepped inside.
The room was much different than the rest of the warehouse. While it still had a slightly scary feeling to it, it had been furnished with a desk and a chair, and lighting made it softer. Behind the desk sat a beautiful blonde woman with enough diamonds dripping from her she must have been worth at least a million dollars. The woman raised her eyes to her.
“Are you here for the audition?” she asked Mia.
“Yes.” She fished through her purse for her wallet. “Do you need to see my ID or anything?”
“No,” she said. Standing, she said, “Follow me.” She turned and headed toward the back.
Mia shouldered her bag and quickly followed. The lady led her down a dark hallway into another room. She opened the door and motioned Mia in. “You’ll be notified when it’s your time,” she said.
“Thank you.” Walking into the room, Mia paused. There were rows of chairs set up along the wall, with six other women waiting. They all looked impeccably dressed, and much older and mature than herself. She slowly slinked over to the far corner of the room and sat down, smoothing her knee-length black skirt out. Her eyes fell down to her white blouse and skirt and then up at the other women. Their hair looked like they had just gotten back from the salon. Their nails were perfectly manicured, their make-up was flawless, and their clothes looked expensive and their jewelry even more expensive. She chewed on her lip. She had on ten-dollar boots with her clearance skirt and blouse, and Target bracelet, necklace, and earrings. She wondered if she looked as ridiculous as she felt. Who did she think she was – auditioning for someone as prestigious as Jack? Or anyone of his caliber, for that matter.
Just as she was considering bolting, the door opened, and a gentleman walked in. He was well dressed, with a thick black mustache, black-rimmed glasses, and what had to be a toupee because there was no way that mop-top was his real hair.
“Ladies,” the man spoke. He had a deep, rich voice with a sweet southern drawl that made a shiver go through Mia’s pussy. “My name is Jones. I’m your interviewer. I’ll be conducting the interviews, and then I will narrow you ladies down to three, upon then you’ll be introduced to your date, who will make the final decision as to which one of you to take out. Think of it as the Bachelor, with a middleman. As for this part of the interview, I’ll be evaluating each of you individually. You’ll sign a non-disclosure agreement upon entering, we’ll talk about you and your life a little, and then we’ll talk about what sort of things you’re expecting from this whole process. You’ll be expected to act like yourselves, so I can properly judge you, but don’t be over the top or dramatic. I can tell if you’re trying to play me, and I will mark that heavily against you. Are there any questions?”
None of the women raised their hands, so he took the first woman back. Mia timed how long the interview took. She hated interviews. It had made her stomach squishy just thinking about it. The longer the clock ticked on, the more nervous she got. As it creeped toward the half-hour mark, the woman came out of the room, looking flustered and annoyed. She didn’t say a word as she walked past the others, letting the door slam behind her. Two more women went in, each varying about the same time, although one came out after fifteen minutes, with a look of disgust on her face. Mia couldn’t help but wonder what Jones was asking them? Was he being mean? Were they just bitches and he told them so? Was he critical or not critical enough? Why did she find herself so drawn to him?