I Kissed A Playboy Online - Sorell Oates

Chapter One

Faith sat, face buried in hands, around the circular table in the cramped space masquerading as a meeting room. The women and men seated at the table attempted to sound professional and formal, but Faith knew chaos was reigning supreme throughout the discussion. Charity auctions were an established, reliable and usually successful means to raise money for a good cause. However deciding what to auction had become cause for debate.

When the more glamorous wealthy women began offering themselves as ‘dates’ for the auction, Faith inhaled so sharply the water she’d been sipping flew down her windpipe causing a fit of coughing and spluttering. The booming on her back by an eager qualified first aider from the hospital administration had no effect easing her attack. Calming herself, she scanned the self-congratulatory women at the table for their allegedly inspired idea.

It was hardly original. Faith was inclined to admit. Given the wealthy attendants to the charity gala, the women ‘up for auction’ probably would attract healthy bids to help raise research funds for the hospital. It was only when someone suggested all women on the panel put themselves up for auction that Faith became distinctly uncomfortable.

‘Faiths’ were supposed to be petite and dainty, with wide brown, doe-like eyes complimenting an oval face. They were not, as she was, supposed to be tall, leggy and busty, with feline sea-green eyes set in a heart-shaped face framed by curly red hair.

The majority of women on the panel looked as if they’d stepped off the cover of Vogue. She didn’t doubt for a second they weren’t present at the meeting for the right reasons, but in truth the women had the luxury of a high disposable income, allowing them routine salon visits. Wealthy husbands afforded them a lifestyle where they didn’t have to work regular jobs for regular money.

In their positions, they could throw themselves into assisting charities to keep busy between their schedules of lavish luncheons, spectacular shopping sprees and international holidays and city breaks; enjoyed with or without their husbands.

The point was, Faith didn’t have that lifestyle. She was only twenty-three and sadly her job as a virtual assistant didn’t provide a similar opulent way of living. Her normal day consisted of spending a minimum of eight hours trapped behind a home computer, churning out a variety of secretarial and administrative tasks. Although anti-social and isolated, it did enable Faith to have an enormous amount of flexibility whereby she could contribute to the professional bodies that assisted managing her brother’s disorder, as well as permitting her to care for her brother in their shared house.

It had come as a monstrous blow to Faith when her twin brother, Gabriel, had been diagnosed with Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy. One day he had been fine, but as he reached his mid-teens his love of sports diminished rapidly with him falling frequently, constantly fatigued, experiencing muscle weakness with everyday activities and deformities in his heels and calves.

The entire family knew, before the doctor’s tests confirmed it, what affliction Gabriel had. Their father had Muscular Dystrophy and passed away as a result of the syndrome not long after the twins’ twenty-first birthday. Six months later their mother died. Both Faith and Gabriel were convinced she’d died of a broken heart after their father’s too-early departure from the world.

As their parents were only children, without grandparents the two siblings matured quickly to adapt to their new circumstances. Gabriel was all Faith had left now. Although his particular strand of Muscular Dystrophy was promising, with the right care he would have a comparatively long life expectancy, it was imperative resources were available to maximize his quality of life.

Hence when the hospital’s research funding grant for Muscular Dystrophy was cut and talk was rife further costs would be reduced from the department directly impacting on Gabriel’s care, Faith joined the team established to raise funds to compensate for the recent financial disaster. She didn’t, however, fancy twirling on stage, hoping someone would pay mega-money to take her on a date. The entire debacle would become competitive; a humiliation Faith could do without.

As the women became excited and screechy at the prospect of how much fun the auction could be, Faith decided to voice her own opinion.

‘I think,’ she said as she raised her hand to silence the table, ‘that we might be limiting our options by only offering ‘dates’ to bidders. I’m wondering if we should include a range of auction items. Perhaps contact celebrities who may donate signed memorabilia or whatever