Hi All, just to let you know all the contests are now closed. I'll be reading through and taking all the names so I can do the prize draws - expect the winners lists shortly. Thanks to everyone who stopped by this week and all of you who commented. Huge thanks to all the Little Black dress authors who've been so fabulous and supportive. And here's one more excerpt from Animal Instincts to keep you all busy while I work out who's won what.
THIS SCENE IS CLODAGH'S FUTILE VISIT TO THE BANK TO EXTEND HER LOAN
I managed to park fairly close to the bank and sprinted down the high street as fast as I could in a pencil skirt and high heels. The elderly cashier on the information desk gave me a suitably frosty look and stared pointedly at the clock on the wall when I gasped out details of my appointment.
After being informed that Mr Curzon was a very busy man I was shown to the seat of shame in full view of a line of customers, where I had to wait for the great man to deign to see me. It was another ten minutes before he emerged from a little cubicle which bore the legend ‘Customer Service Suite’ on the frosted glass.
I followed him into the room and did my best to look as tall as I possibly could. I’d read this article that said tall people were more successful, and that at any formal interview a woman should wear heels to gain an advantage over the interviewer. Since Mr Curzon wasn’t particularly blessed in the height department I’d thought I’d give it a shot. The customer service suite proved to be as miserable and uncomfortable as the meeting.
Mr Curzon installed me on an old-fashioned wooden straight-backed chair on one side of the desk while he took the plush comfy leather-faced swivel throne on the other side. He adjusted his half-moon spectacles to maximum advantage for intimidation and began.
The interview – if you could call it that – didn’t last very long. The word ‘interview’ implies some kind of two-way communication, but this was more of a statement. Mr Curzon was the one making the statement. It went something along the lines of ‘you need a large cash injection in the next three months or the bank will call in your mortgage’. I don’t recall saying very much at all. Mr Curzon wasn’t interested in listening when I tried to speak and I’m sure I heard him snort when I mentioned my business plan. His only suggestion was that I ‘liquidise some of my assets’, in other words sell some land.
It didn’t help when I emerged from the cubicle to find that the bank was deserted except for Jack, who was leaning across the customer information counter and positively flirting with the old dragon behind the glass.
“Hi gorgeous. Bit of a change from this morning?” His eyes crinkled at the corners as he looked me up and down. My heart gave a funny little squeeze of pleasure when his gaze lingered on my legs.
Mr Curzon slithered out from behind me to shake Jack’s hand. “Mr Thatcher, delighted you could call in. Please come through to my office.”
Much to my annoyance, Jack had the cheek to wink at me as he strolled past to join Mr Curzon. “Love that eighties vibe,” he murmured in my ear.
It was a good job Mr Curzon was between us or I would have slugged Jack with my business folder. Jack got the invite to the office, I got the customer service suite, that said everything about the difference in our status with the bank.
(C) Nell Dixon 2009