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Gold

By:Terry Bolryder

“I’m going to go let the women in.”

Adrien looked at Dante. “What’s bothering him?”

“You,” Sever said.

“Shut up, both of you,” Dante said, straightening the crisp suit he wore. A light gray, it set off his tanned skin.

All they had to do was please women. That was easy. He would be the example for his team, show them how it was done. “Let’s all behave for the sake of our freedom.”

“Impossible,” Adrien muttered. “I can’t mate a human.”

Sever just shrugged his heavy shoulders and looked uncomfortable in his tailored suit. They’d had to go custom because designer suits just weren’t made for hulking men who stood between 6’3” and 6’6”.

Sever’s gray eyes went to the large double doors and then darted away.

Dante stood, squaring his shoulders. He’d always handled things admirably in his time, whether that was wooing women in the village, visiting merchants or dignitaries, or chasing off rogue dragons who threatened their territory.

He expected he would be just fine now.

Citrine was at the doors now, taking a deep breath. “Good luck to us,” Dante heard him mutter.

Dante grinned. They wouldn’t need luck. They were the noble metal dragons.

Ella Stanton set down her book, a particularly juicy romance novel, to look at the text that was dinging and lighting up her phone.

She reached over for it with a groan and sighed when she saw who it was from.

Her sister. Her perfect, beautiful, about-to-get-married sister.

And she still didn’t have a date for the wedding.

Ella flopped on her back, her unruly curls making a frizzy halo around her head. She didn’t want to go to this thing. All told, it’d be around a week with her family. Which she didn’t mind. She could almost look forward to that part.

But it was being back in her hometown that she dreaded. The last thing she wanted was to go home alone.

But all efforts at looking on dating websites were in vain. Ella just didn’t want to start a relationship to go to a wedding. That wasn’t fair to the other person, and besides, she had long ago given up on any hope of romance.

She didn’t need it. She had her job as a business consultant for struggling companies, and she was good at it. Whether it was helping with marketing or representation or product management, she’d always been able to make a positive difference.

And then she could come home to her bird and her books and have a quiet night alone. With some wine and good food.

Life was just fine, thanks, and she didn’t need some dude coming in to mess it up just because she needed company for a week.

She downed her glass of wine, feeling only slightly warm and not at all tipsy. She never drank to excess. She plopped herself on the spinny chair in front of her computer and opened Google.

Shouldn’t there just be someone she could pay for this? She giggled as she typed in “buy a date” and her city and hit enter. As results popped up, her eyes went to the first result.

Date-A-Dragon.

Weird name.

She clicked on the website and gasped at what she saw. The design was simple, amateur even, but they didn’t need any fancy marketing materials.

The men sold themselves.

Literally, she guessed.

There were three of them and they were beyond gorgeous. She’d never seen anyone as gorgeous as any of them in all her years on this earth, and seeing them all on one page in close proximity was enough to make a girl fall off her spinny chair.

She poured herself another glass of wine and downed it quickly, reading whatever details she could find. Apparently, there were open houses where you could meet the men, or you could set up an appointment. They had only just opened.

Would there be reviews?

One man in particular, with blond hair, had set her heart racing like an Arabian horse over the desert. No, calling him blond was like calling the sun warm.

His hair was a gorgeous mix of golden colors, almost looking as if it were made of metal itself. His face was too gorgeous for movies. Too gorgeous for modeling.

She snorted. He was probably short.

She clicked back to the search results and saw there were reviews already.

Interesting.

She clicked on the review summary and gasped when she saw the average. 3.2 stars. Not great.

She set her glass down and leaned in to read the top reviews. They were a mix of virulent hate and slobbering admiration. What exactly was going on with this place?

She clicked on the top review:

I’ve never met a more arrogant man in my life than Adrien. Who does he think he is! I’d give zero stars if I could.

Another one:

I went out with friends, hoping to get along with some hot guys and see if we wanted to hire them. Instead, multiple members of our party ended up in arguments with these jerks, and we had to go somewhere else for our bachelorette party.

She clicked another one, a three-star:

Not the worst. I met with Sever. He wasn’t really into talking, but he wasn’t a jerk like some mentioned in these reviews. He’s hot, but they all are. I guess he’s probably the best one to hire. Dante is super hot if you can stand him. Stay away from Adrien.

Ella went back to the page with the beautiful men on it to match them up with their names. Adrien was a frowning, classically handsome man with striking silver eyes like mirrors and dark, tousled hair going in all directions. There was almost something otherworldly about him.

Sever had dark-gray hair, and she couldn’t make out if his eyes were dark blue, gray, green, or some mixture. His hair seemed to be short on the sides and pulled back on top. He was handsome in almost a Viking warrior sort of way. Kind of an odd contrast to the others, but she supposed variety was key with this kind of service.

She giggled again as she scrolled to Dante, the one with gold hair.

So gorgeous.

She went back to reviews, this time checking the positive ones.

Oh my gosh. These men are so hot. Who cares if they are rude! I’d pay hundreds ju

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