Starting From A Different Point

“Cleo de Vai in Lady Macbeth: Extra performances added by popular demand!”
Pamela’s kohl-rimmed eyes slid dreamily across the poster, replacing Cleo’s face with her own. Her confidence was ebbing away as the telephone continued shrilling. She tapped her nails on the gold topped counter, resisting a long-buried urge to bite them. “I’m afraid there’s no answer, madam.”

She lay down on the puffy eiderdown. Ridiculous to feel like crying. What had she ever cared for Kit Howard anyway? Sleeping with directors was just the way the business worked, if you were an actress with ambition. No doubt his wife had made some unexpected demand on him. He would telephone tomorrow, apologetic. Perhaps take her out to dine somewhere.

She sat up and tried to focus on the luxury of her surroundings. She wouldn’t go back to her horrible, pokey lodgings this evening. A night free from her landlady’s prying and sneering would be something, anyway. It was Kit’s own fault if he paid for something he didn’t get. She had kept to her side of the bargain.

Flexing her feet, she slid off her heels and sunk her stockings into the plush carpet. Fancy, some people could afford this in their houses these days. She padded to the dressing table and stared at her beautiful face. Was this new style of wave becoming? Did one have to go blonde to get the very best roles? She had heard on very good authority that Cleo de Vai’s colour came from a bottle. Red nails, red lips, red dress, against the dark brunette of her hair. She decided she looked very appealing. Thoughts of Kit Howard entertaining another actress this evening receded.

Even so, as pleasant as her surroundings were, she wasn’t going to stay in tonight. There was a party at Paul Johnson’s place. She would go there, get good and tight.

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