B00CAXBD9C EBOK

Free B00CAXBD9C EBOK by Jackie Collins

Book: B00CAXBD9C EBOK by Jackie Collins Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jackie Collins
very attractive, isn’t she?’
    ‘She used to be. I suppose she still is, really.’
    ‘How old is she?’ asked Claudia, a typical woman’s question.
    He wasn’t interested in discussing Linda. ‘Thirty something. I don’t know.’
    ‘I wonder what
I’ll
look like when I’m thirty.’
    He was saved from answering by the phone.
    Claudia reluctantly lifted the receiver.
    ‘Oh, hello,’ she said softly. She glanced quickly over at David. He immediately wondered who it was. ‘I’d like that,’ she was saying. ‘About what time?’ She balanced the receiver under her chin and fumbled for a cigarette from the table. ‘All right, see you tomorrow. Look forward to it.’ She hung up. ‘I’m starving!’ she exclaimed. ‘I feel like going out for a fabulous exciting dinner.’
    ‘Who was that?’ he asked, trying to keep his voice casual.
    ‘Who was what?’ she asked, knowing perfectly well what he meant.
    ‘On the phone.’
    She hesitated for just a second too long before saying, ‘It was my agent. He wants me to have dinner with him and his wife tomorrow night.’
    ‘Friendly of him, just like that he starts asking you to dinner.’
    ‘Yes, just like that,’ she said patiently. ‘As a matter of fact, I called him earlier and told him I wanted to see him about this Conrad thing. I’m going to take a long bath. Can we go out later? Or have you got to rush home?’
    He thought she was lying, but what was the point in arguing? ‘Do you
want
me to be free?’
    ‘Of course I do, otherwise I wouldn’t have asked you.’
    ‘I’ll phone home. Where do you want to go? I’ll book a table.’
    ‘Let’s go somewhere great for a change. We always have to hide out in some old dive. What does it matter if we’re seen? After all, I
am
Miss Beauty Maid, so I’m business, really. Let’s go to Carlo’s.’
    Carlo’s was a very expensive, very fashionable Italian restaurant. It was
the
place to go,
the
place to be seen. David knew he was taking a ridiculous risk going there with Claudia. He was sure to see people he knew. However, on the other hand, he
wanted
to be seen with Claudia. He
wanted
people to know that she was his.
    ‘OK, you go and make yourself pretty, and I’ll book a table for eight o’clock.’
    She kissed him lightly. ‘Divine, darling.’
    He gave her a playful tap on the bottom. ‘Put some clothes on, or we’ll never get out!’
    Giggling, she retired to the bathroom.
    He read the evening papers, booked a table at the restaurant. He felt guilty about phoning Linda, but eventually he did, and then snapped at her when she asked what he had to do. He produced some suitable lies, felt badly about the whole thing, inquired after the children in a fit of conscience, and then hung up.
    Claudia reappeared after a time, transformed. Her glossy ash-blond hair was piled on top of her head in studied confusion, her makeup was smooth and perfect. She wore a slinky black dress and rows and rows of jet beads. She looked stunning.
    David told her so, and she smiled and preened and showed off her dress to him, flitting around the room like some beautiful exotic bird. ‘Isn’t it
exciting
going out somewhere
decent
together!’ she exclaimed. ‘I do wish we could do it more often.’
    In the car on the way to the restaurant he had second thoughts. It was a stupid thing to do. Linda was bound to find out, and then what? Especially as she seemed to be so sensitive about their marriage lately. He glanced quickly over at Claudia. She was fiddling with the radio, trying to find music.
    ‘Why don’t we drive out somewhere nice in the country instead?’
    She stared at him, her big eyes frosty. ‘I knew you’d get cold feet.
You
go to the country. Let me out. I’m sick of hiding all over the place.’
    ‘All right, we’ll go to Carlo’s.’ To hell with it. Linda probably wouldn’t find out. They said wives were always the last to know.
    The restaurant was very crowded. The headwaiter said their

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