Counterfeit Cupid (Mt. Olympus Employment Agency: Cupid #2)

Counterfeit Cupid (Mt. Olympus Employment Agency: Cupid #2)

R.L. Naquin

1. Josh

I did not sleep with that girl last night. I’ve been guilty of a lot of things, but I’ve never been a cheater.

My girlfriend, Jen, wasn’t convinced. Or rather, she was convinced that I had slept with the chick from the night before. A chick I’d said maybe five sentences to.

“I saw you buy her a drink with my own eyes!” Jen’s voice was shrill as she threw an armful of clothes into a suitcase.

“She just got dumped. I was trying to cheer her up. You’d think you’d be happy your boyfriend is a nice guy.” I should have been upset, but I wasn’t. I was a little irritated that her temper tantrum was going to make me late for work. Mostly, I was tired. The relationship had gone on far longer than it should have.

They usually did.

Jen swung around and glared at me. “Ex boyfriend.” Her face—usually perfectly made up and wearing a pouty expression I could never say no to—was stretched into an ugly snarl. “It’s not about the drink, Josh. It’s about where you went with her for an hour.”

I took a deep breath and let out a long sigh. I refused to get angry or yell. It wasn’t worth the effort or energy. “Look, we’ve been over it. It was not an hour. It was twenty minutes. I told you I was going. You were just too busy gossiping with your girlfriends to hear me. John had a flat tire, and I was out in the parking lot helping him change it.” I held up my phone. “Call him. He’ll tell you.”

She snorted and yanked her hair dryer from the wall, then dropped it on top of her clothes in the suitcase. “I’m sure he’d tell me whatever you wanted him to tell me.”

I stood in the middle of the room in my pajama bottoms, unsure what to do next. She kept disappearing into the bathroom, grumbling the whole time, then reappearing with armfuls of toiletries and whatever else she had in there.

The bathroom was about to feel so roomy.

“Don’t forget your eye cream or whatever it is. That stuff you keep in the fridge.” I tucked my hands under my arms and shifted my weight to the other leg. I could be helpful. Sure.

She whipped her head around, and her honey-colored ponytail nearly flicked her in the face. “I’ll get it in a minute.” Her teeth were clenched, like I’d said something enormously stupid and was trying to distract her with it.

I just wanted to take a shower. And I needed to pee. But I didn’t dare leave her to pack unsupervised. I’d taken that risk with the last girlfriend. By the time I’d showered and come out of the bathroom, Steph was gone. And she’d taken my TV with her.

So, forgive me, but I wasn’t leaving Jen to make the same poor life choices.

Once she’d packed up all her stuff, she dragged it to the door and looked at me as if she expected me to offer to carry it to her car. After a moment of hopeful staring, she must have realized I wasn’t going to budge from my spot.

Jen cleared her throat. “So, this is it. I’m really leaving.”

I nodded. “Good luck. Have a good life.”

Her eyebrows drew together. “You’re really not going to try to stop me?”

I shrugged. “Would it make a difference?”

Her eyes filled with tears, and I realized I felt nothing for her. “Nope.”

She opened the door and dragged her suitcases and two boxes into the hallway. “Okay, then. I guess I’m going.”

I strode toward her, and her face brightened. “Aren’t you forgetting something?”

She stepped toward me, chin tilted up as if expecting me to kiss her goodbye.

I held my hand out, ignoring her full, tempting lips. “I need my keys back.”

Her cheeks turned pink, and she rummaged in her purse to retrieve them. “You’re such a bastard.” She threw them at me, then huffed out, slamming the door.

I bolted the door behind her. “Yeah, but I’m a bastard who still has his TV and stereo.”

The time on the wall clock had bad news for me. I was going to be late for work.



Mondays at the Mt. Olympus Employment Agency were always busy. That was the day the newbies came in with no clue what was going on, then were shuffled into orientation. I was late, thanks to Jen’s theatrics, but not so late I didn’t get to see the terrified looks on the faces of the folks in reception.

The receptionist was a gorgon. She was grumpy as hell every time I saw her, and the snakes on her head weren’t too friendly either. I suspected they might have put her there because she was scary, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to ask.

I waded through the shell-shocked crowd and hopped on the elevator with about ten other people. It was a tight squeeze, and I was in the back corner.

“Can somebody hit eight for me, please?” I folded myself as small as I could against the wall, but at six foot two, I was a good head taller than everyone else in the elevator, and my body took up a lot of room, too.

“Yup.” A minotaur in an expensive-looking suit stepped forward and clicked the button for me. He took up even more room than I did. “Have a good weekend, Josh?”

I nodded. “Could’ve gone better, Gar. How was yours?”

He snorted, and everyone around him took a step back from his wet bull nose. “I had a three-day weekend, so I tried to do a little relaxing. The wife wasn’t having it. She had a lot of projects.” He snorted again and flicked his ear. “I hate projects.” The elevator dinged. “Welp. That’s me. I guess I’ll see you around, buddy.”

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