Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chapter 9

 Candice sat across from her date at the restaurant table. She was fuming.  If anyone had told her earlier today that she would hate Jack Garrett before the night was over she would have declared them crazy, but it was true.  She couldn’t wait for dinner to be over and to bid Jack Garrett goodbye. 
Staring into the flame of the candle in the middle of the table, Candice remembered how only a few hours ago she had looked forward to tonight.  She had a date with the Jack Garrett, maker of major recording stars.  She was so excited she had called her friends to tell them about it.  They had laughed at her, told her she was pulling their leg.  In the end she had invited her two best friends to her apartment – she needed their advice on what to wear anyway – and she allowed them to hang around so they could actually meet the handsome Jack when he picked her up at eight o’clock.  She and her friends had been so excited about this date.  They had swooned over Jack’s good looks when he punctually arrived at eight; declared he looked even better in person than in photographs; and absolutely drooled over his shiny red Ferrari.  They had envied her and she had to promise them, three times, that she would share every detail of the evening with them.  Now a twisted smile sat on Candice’s lips.  She wasn’t sure if she wanted to tell her friends about tonight, it would be rather humiliating.  Then again, they were her friends and she was sure they would sympathize with her.  Be just as outraged as she was now.
At first being with Jack had been wonderful.  The ride to the restaurant in his car; the way the valet had jumped to serve them; and they were immediately shown to the best table in the room.  But then, within minutes the whole date had turned sour.  With the sweetest smile Jack had turned to her and said, “I’m sure you’re wondering why I asked you out tonight.”
She had assumed she had been asked on this date because Jack Garrett liked her.  He must have been attracted to her and he wanted to spend some time with her to get to know her.  But that wasn’t the case.  She quickly learned that Jack Garrett had alternative motives for asking her out.  He was using her, using her to learn the name and telephone number of a customer.  The customer in question, the lovely Jessie Green.  He didn’t know her name of course, he described her only as the woman with dark hair, in her early twenties, who’d left the salon with her blond friend around two o’clock and who had been a client of Francois.
“Why didn’t you just ask me when you were at the salon?” Candice demanded.
“I didn’t want to get you into trouble,” Jack explained.  “Thought it better if I asked you where Francois and the others couldn’t hear you.”
“So you do know that what you’re asking is against the rules.”
“Look at it this way,” Jack smiled charmingly.  “If you give me the customer’s name and number and she becomes a star, then you would be instrumental in her success.”
“I don’t remember her number,” Candice said truthfully.
“I hardly thought you would,” said Jack, “so I’ll give you my card.  When you get to the salon tomorrow, you can phone me, or copy the number down on a piece of paper and call me from your home.  Whatever you prefer.”
“As long as you get it,” Candice concluded sarcastically.
“As you know I’m in the business of discovering new talent,” Jack turned serious.  “Sometimes one finds talent in unusual places.”
Candice shook her head.  “I’m sorry Jack but I can’t help you.  Jessie was a walk in.  She didn’t leave a number.  What’s your interest in her anyway?  As far as I know you’re running a talent agency for singers not models.  I didn’t hear her belch out a tune.”
“I have a friend who’s always looking for new faces,” Jack said.  “He sometimes refers people to me; I refer people to him; that’s how it works.  I’m sure he would have been thrilled to meet … Jessie you said her name is?”
“Sorry,” Candice said with a shrug.  “I can’t help.”

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