Melanie glanced around at the cash register, the scarves, the jewelry display, looking for something to hurl at her friend to end this embarrassment. Instead, she hurled her words. “Honestly, you can’t expect him… or me… or—”
“Hold on.” Taz cocked his head to the side and stared at Melanie. “If you’re serious, you’d be kind of perfect. My sister would hate you.”
“Hey,” Melanie cried, “you don’t have to be mean.”
He threw his hands up in defense. “I’m not. I mean it in the best possible way. It’s just your tattoos. She can’t stand them, especially on women. If I know her, she’ll back off the minute she sees you. I think it might work.”
“What about the coaching?” Abby piped up.
“I can’t promise you a spot or anything,” he said, “but I’ve seen what Garrett and his choreographers tend to like and not like.”
Abby’s face could hardly contain her grin. “What do you think, Melanie? You’ll do it, right?”
Was she serious? They both seemed to think this stupid scheme could work.
Taz turned to her with a big, goofy grin. “C’mon, Melanie,” he cooed. “Wanna be my pretend girlfriend?”
Why was her heart jumping inside her chest? Why did she feel like she was going to throw up? This was stupid. She shouldn’t even care.
Abby sidled up to her like a car salesman on the make. “You’re single now and you’re going to be spending your time preparing for the audition anyway, right? Just say you’ll do it. What do you have to lose?”
My integrity? My sanity?
She was not going to be Taz Roman’s pretend anything. Every ounce of her screamed against this ridiculous, terrible, awful idea. “No way,” she blurted. “Absolutely not.” She glanced at the wall clock and slammed down the scarf she was holding in a death grip. “I’ve got to go.”
She snatched up her purse and stormed out of the boutique, kicking aside the empty boxes in her way.
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