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Book: B00CAXBD9C EBOK by Jackie Collins Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jackie Collins
soothingly. ‘She is a bit much.’
    ‘A bit much? That’s an understatement if ever I heard one. Who is she, anyway?’
    A smile played softly around Claudia’s mouth. ‘When I first came to London, I worked in a club. Miss Fancy Pants worked there too.’
    ‘What were you doing in a club?’ asked David, surprised.
    ‘I had to earn some money, and this actor I arrived with never seemed to work, so I took a job in a club.’
    ‘Doing what?’
    ‘The dance of the seven veils!’ she laughed.
    ‘What! You must be joking.’
    Her smile faded slightly. ‘I’m not joking. Look, I had no talent for doing anything else. It was either that or being a hostess and getting pawed about by a lot of dirty old men. I would sooner take my clothes off any day. They could look, but they couldn’t touch.’
    ‘I don’t know anything about you, really, do I?’
    Her large eyes turned suddenly remote. ‘You’ve never bothered to listen. Like all men, your prime concern is to get me in the sack as fast as possible.’
    There was a short silence, then she gave a quick, brittle laugh. ‘I’m sorry, my past is a big drag anyway. Why
you want to hear about it?’
    David was about to reply when Shirley and Jeremy returned.
    ‘Jeremy’s made the most divine suggestion,’ said Shirley. ‘There is a simply dinky little nightclub opened down at Windsor, and he says why don’t we all pop down there.’
    David looked at her sourly. ‘At the Castle, naturally.’
    For a moment Shirley’s pale blue eyes glinted angrily, then she grimaced and laughed quickly, replying, ‘No, sweetie,
at the Castle.’
    ‘Count us out, then,’ snapped David.
    ‘I say, old chap, are you sure?’ stammered Jeremy.
    Claudia broke hurriedly into the conversation. ‘David’s tired. You two run along, and if we change our minds we’ll join you later.’
    ‘All right,’ said Shirley, ‘but
try and make it.’ She grabbed Jeremy by the arm. ‘Come along, sweetie, we’ll leave these two lovebirds on their own.’
    She shot a dark glance at David, waved gaily at Claudia, and towing Jeremy along behind her, they made their exit.
    Claudia started to laugh.
    ‘I don’t happen to think it’s so funny,’ said David grimly. ‘I suppose I’m stuck with the check as well. Many thanks for a delightful evening.’
    Her laughter increased. ‘I’m sorry. But honestly, it
funny. If you had known Shirley a few years ago – well, I mean, you just wouldn’t believe it. She was anybody’s and everybody’s!’
    His tone was cold. ‘And you?’
    Abruptly she stopped laughing. She stared at him for a few seconds and then said slowly and deliberately, ‘I think we have just about reached the end of our relationship, if you could ever call it that.’ Before he had a chance to reply, she got up from the table, and threading her way through the restaurant, vanished out of sight. Quickly he called for the check.
    ‘It’s David Cooper, isn’t it?’ The voice was loud and American.
    David looked startled. There stood Jay Grossman. ‘Well, hello,’ he said uneasily.
    ‘Where’s Linda?’ Jay stared pointedly at the recently occupied place across the table.
    David wondered if he had seen Claudia leave, then decided he hadn’t. Otherwise, as he was only a casual acquaintance, he would never have made such an obvious remark. ‘She’s at home,’ said David, then indicating the rest of the table he continued, ‘I had a business meeting and they all had to rush off.’
    At that moment the waiter presented the check.
    David threw down some money and quickly got up.
    ‘Nice seeing you, Jay.’
    Jay was not to be dismissed. ‘Come and say hello to Lori. She’d be most upset if I told her I’d seen you and hadn’t brought you over for a drink.’
    ‘Only for a minute,’ said David reluctantly. ‘Linda’s expecting me home.’
    The Grossmans were sitting at a table across the other side of the room. David was pleased to note that they

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