Publish Novella 16 August 2023
EPISODE 1 – KISS GOODBYE
Elenor is young, attractive, and has a knack for making a man desire any woman. With many happy clients, this matchmaker grows to use her prowess for personal advantage.
⚠️ This miniseries includes emotional manipulation that may be inappropriate for immature audiences. Continue with discretion.
The First Kiss
In middle school, Elenor took an interest in boys. She perfected methods of getting them to hold hands and eventually kiss her. Then she moved on to the next willing suitor. Buster was smitten with her desire to kiss. So he went behind the building, closed his eyes, puckered up, and leaned forward, just like she said.
“You can’t use your hands and you must keep your eyes closed,” Elenor cautions Buster.
He felt the tender press of her luscious lips for all of five seconds. With eyes still closed, he grinned with satisfaction before extending his lips for more. Not making contact, his eyes opened, and Elenor was out of sight. She eventually reached her goal of kissing half the boys on campus—or all the cute ones—depending on how you count them.
As a freshman in high school, Elenor assists girls who yearn for a first kiss from boys. After queuing up a puckering hopeful, Elenor would trade places with an eager alternate. These encounters vary in outcome—some ignite immediate passions, while others foster more enduring connections.
By her sophomore year, Elenor has refined her approach, rendering subterfuge unnecessary. She transitions into a role of trusted advisor, coaching her peers on securing dates for school dances, of course, for a fee. Non-cheerleader girls seek her guidance on attracting athletic boyfriends, while cheerleaders look to her for insights on captivating the most popular jocks.
Out of concern over escalating promiscuity, Elenor’s father intervenes, proposing an unconventional solution for teenage girls. He suggests a summer procedure, ostensibly a labiaplasty. Little does Elenor realize, the procedure will result in a type-2 clitoridectomy.
Elenor’s most frequent customer is a Latina classmate named Roxanna. She endeavors to work her way through entire sports teams. By the time of graduation, with numerous successes, Elenor earns the distinction of being the best matchmaker.
After graduating, Elenor channels her passion into earning a degree in cosmetology. This enables her to orchestrate transformative makeovers for those less favored by natural beauty. Social media showers her with accolades, and Elenor seizes the opportunity to launch her full-time matchmaking venture. She gradually caters to more wealthy clientele.
Five years of unwavering dedication later, Elenor finds herself immersed in the upper echelons of society. Invitations to lavish galas, sophisticated soirées, and high-profile red-carpet events flood her mailbox.
Buoyed by her triumphs, Elenor sets her sights on the ultimate conquest—a connection with the most eligible bachelor, billionaire Austin Rothschild. Her aspirations stretch beyond clandestine encounters behind school buildings.
“Some people live by ulterior motives.”
Despite a swarm of women vying for Austin’s attention, Elenor exudes an air of refined allure. Draped in exquisite attire, she becomes a captivating enigma amidst the crowd. Intrigued by her mystique, Austin’s team delves into her history, eventually leading him to approach her at a lavish party. Their initial interaction unfolds over drinks, sparking a conversation marked by curiosity.
“Your reputation in prominent circles precedes you,” Austin observes.
“That notion seems to be circulating,” Elenor replies with an enigmatic smile. “I’ve noticed a throng of women seeking your favor. How is it that you remain unattached?” Elenor inquires.
“I could ask the same of you.”
“I could ask the same of you,” Austin responds. “For obvious reasons, I must tread with caution.”
“Indeed!” Elenor concurs, being cautious to keep him engaged in conversation while maintaining her aura of mystique.
“Can you deduce someone’s ideal match merely by appearance, or is your process more intricate?” Austin probes.
“My response hinges on whether you’re considering my services.”
“Ah, the allure of secrets comes at a price. What's the fee to engage your expertise?”
Without batting an eye, Elenor replies, “A customary monthly retainer of twenty thousand dollars until a ring graces the finger.”
Austin presents a seamless solution, “There’s a contactless black card on my phone.”
With her phone extended, Elenor states, “If you’re serious, I’m ready to accept payment.”
A confirming beep seals the arrangement. Austin then delves further. “As a client, I now expect less vague answers. Should I anticipate a parade of potential matches?”
“I can conjure such a display at this very moment. Here’s a trio from which to choose.” Elenor offers, presenting a photo selection.
“That approach hasn’t yielded results for you, has it, Austin?”
“No, regrettably not. Let’s set aside images of charming ladies. Enlighten me with a superior strategy.”
“There’s no no one-size-fits-all method. Over time, I discern a client’s aspirations and chemistry,” Elenor explains. “From there, I sift through the prospects to uncover the most fitting match.”
“Does this entail several dinners, or do you possess a preset questionnaire?”
“In your case, Mr. Rothschild, several dinners are certainly in order,” she assures.
“In that case, allow me to invite you to Ramsay’s restaurant tomorrow evening for the first of many meals.”
“I’ll be ready at 6 o’clock,” Elenor affirms.
Amid the romantic ambiance of a candlelit haven, Austin orders a succession of chef-inspired dishes, each accompanied by lavish wine.
Under the flickering glow, Elenor embarks on a barrage of questions. “Among intelligence, humor, and prominent lineage, which trait holds paramount importance for your ideal mate? Should she be smart, have a sense of humor, or come from a prominent family?”
“Of the three, I would say—a smart sense of humor is most important. I have offices full of stodgy associates. A partner who brings levity would be a sanctuary.”
“A sensible choice. When weighing beauty against wealth, which would you prioritize?”
“Wealth is at my disposal, making beauty the more compelling selection.”
“In terms of hobbies or interests, what do you consider pivotal?”
“An individual’s circumstances often confine interests. I intend to introduce my partner to uncharted realms—breakfast in one country, slumbering in another. Equestrian events, skiing, courtside seats at basketball games, and front-row views of Wimbledon are all on the horizon. Hence, an openness to novel experiences is paramount.”
“Your insights are invaluable,” Elenor remarks, diligently committing his responses to memory. “Without passing judgment, do you harbor preferences concerning race or nationality?”
“Some may anticipate my adherence to a German lineage, even though I grew up in Whales, but I’m disinclined to be excessively restrictive.”
“I hope you’re ready for more important questions,” building mystery in her next words. “Tats or no tats?”
“It’s easier to add desirable tattoos than remove unwanted ones. I prefer a clean slate, but will consider what’s tastefully presented.” Austin shifts the inquiry. “Do you bear any tattoos?”
“A true lady preserves an element of surprise. Shall we address the topic of children?”
“In my view, marriage’s purpose lies in the continuation of lineage—a means for progeny to inherit my legacy.”
“I concur. Most crucially, if the perfect woman were to materialize during dinner, how would you express your interest?”
““Amid this very candlelight, I might tenderly clasp her hand, like so. My gaze would meet hers, as it does now. If the connection resonates, I’d simply ask, ‘Would you consider becoming Mrs. Rothschild?’”
“What if I—or she—responds favorably?”
“Such an encounter would not mark our final rendezvous,” Austin confirms.
“When can I anticipate our next dinner?” Elenor’s voice drips with playful intrigue.
“Next week I’ll be away in Europe. Until then, I suppose you eat meals every evening.”
“Your presumption is accurate. I eagerly await tomorrow’s meal.”
Across successive nights of haute cuisine, their mutual inquiries deepen, yet Austin maintains a chivalrous demeanor. It’s during one of these evenings that he poses a transformative proposition, “Why endure a week apart? Join me in Europe.”
“Your offer is exceedingly generous. But what awaits us across the ocean? I refer to accommodations—shall you forgo your chivalry?”
“Every action of mine is potential tabloid fodder. We dare not share a room, or even a hotel. However, if you accompany me to Paris, you can become an honest woman there.”
“Is that a proposal of marriage—so soon?” Elenor asks.
“You are, after all, the matchmaker,” he responds with a subtle smile.
“Are you normally this impetuous?”
“Never. What do you say?” he implores.
“I say, of course, Austin!” Nothing would bring me greater joy.