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Beth Hamilton is an aspiring actor with dreams of starring on Broadway. After failing to be cast at her town’s only professional theater, she finds herself taking on another kind of character play, working at a business where clients rent fake friends and personas.
Beth scanned the empty alleyway, looking for a sign of movement. She tried to forget about her dog phobia as she struggled to control the frenzied Rottweiler yapping beside her.
She glanced at her watch again. Where could the client be? Leave it to her rotten luck to be placed with dogs and a client who wanted to meet in a dark alley her first day on the job.
She studied the crumbling brick wall in front of her, contemplating how her life had fallen into similar ruins in a matter of days. Beth had always planned on starring on a Broadway stage by twenty-five. Here she was, twenty-seven with an extra ten pounds on her, and still stuck in the Midwest. Losing the role of Maria in The Sound of Music at the only professional theater in town to her arch nemesis, Sandra Chorviskosky, last week was the ultimate blow.
In an act of desperation, Beth decided to take on acting of another sort, working at a business called Loan Some, where clients could rent fake friends or personas. Her first assignment was to be Betsy Porter and yell “Objection!” at a dog wedding.
“What do you think you’re doing?!”
Beth whirled around to find a stout woman clad in a matching Hawaiian print top and pants wagging her finger impatiently. “I specifically said a docile, small dog,” she raged.
Beth felt her cheeks grow hot. She recognized the fifty-something woman right away as, Eliza Eldridge, legendary animal activist, and her first client.
“Are you a dummy?” Eliza scowled. “No one’s going to believe a dog as big as a Rottweiler would fall in love with a Yorkie and object at his wedding.”
No one actually believes that dogs fall in love, Beth thought. The whole idea of a dog wedding was absolutely ludicrous to her.
“There was a mix up at the store,” she tried to announce with authority. “This was the only dog they had.”
Eliza placed two balled up fists on her ample hips and huffed. “You better have a good speech prepared then.” She held up a wedding invitation with a portrait of two Yorkies kissing nose-to-nose. “Pepper and Millie can’t get married.”
Beth was about to ask why when Eliza stepped directly in front of her. She fluffed her large red hair and pursed her fat orange lips. “We need a dog, who can actually be competition for Millie. I said to bring a Shih Tzu.”
At that moment, as though heaven had heard Eliza’s cry, a white Shih Tzu bounded down the alleyway. It was followed by a tall man dressed like he had jumped out of GQ magazine. He had wavy dark hair and a firm jawline that made Beth weak in the knees. Her heart skipped a beat as his green eyes met hers.
He opened his mouth to say something when she felt the tugging leash slip through her fingers. The Rottweiler was instantly on top of him. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading by email click view poll.