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Kisser (2010)

Kisser (2010)

Titel: Kisser (2010)
Autoren: Stuart - Stone Barrington 00 Woods
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    “How are you going to get him to apologize?” Carrie asked.
    “Oh, he’s never going to apologize,” Goodwin said. “The best you can hope for is that he will deign to forget what he did in his office and what you did at the dinner party. If you can forget it, too, he might be willing to call it a draw. I’ve known him a long time, and I know how to handle him.”
    “Mr. Goodwin,” Carrie said, “I’m well aware of who you are and how good you are. Get me the part, and I’ll be your new client the same day.”
    “It won’t be that hard,” Goodwin said. “After all, you’ve already aced the audition. Come see me tomorrow afternoon at three.” He shook her hand, then Stone’s, and then wandered off into the crowd.
    “That sounds promising,” Stone said.
    “If I could have picked anybody for an agent, it would have been Mark Goodwin,” Carrie said. “The day before yesterday, I couldn’t have gotten in to see him.”
    “Your movie continues,” Stone said. “Next, we’ll have some shots of rehearsals, then a triumphant opening-night scene, then trouble of some sort—alcohol or drugs or an awful man, then recovery and . . . well, you know the rest.”
    “I’m not inclined toward addictions,” Carrie said, “and especially not to bad men. I’ve had one, and that was enough.”
    “I’m glad to hear it.”
    Carrie stood up. “Let’s get out of here. I want to show you something.”
    Stone followed her downstairs and into a cab, and she gave the driver an address in the West Fifties, between Fifth and Sixth avenues. Once there, they got out of the cab in front of an elegant building. Taking a key from her purse, she led him up the front steps, opened the front door, then another door.
    Stone found himself standing in the large room that had, apparently, been the living room when the building had been a single-family house. It was empty of furniture, but it had recently been painted and seemed in very good condition.
    “It’s a duplex,” Carrie said, pointing to a balcony at one end of the room. “The bedrooms are up there, and I signed the lease this afternoon.”
    “That was quite a leap of faith,” Stone said. “Maybe you’d better slow down a little.”
    “No need; I told you that I got a good divorce settlement and that my ex was a rich man then. I’ve been living downtown with a friend, and when I’ve furnished this place, it will be a good leading lady’s apartment. The lease is for two years, and after that I’ll buy something grander on the East Side.”
    “A woman with a plan,” Stone said.
    “I’ve learned to make my plans happen,” Carrie replied. “It’s something I’m really good at.”
    “What other plans do you have?” Stone asked.
    “If I had planned better, I would have had a bed delivered this afternoon,” she replied, standing on her tiptoes and kissing him. “I guess we’ll have to make do with one of your bedrooms.” She took his hand and trotted him out to the street and into another cab.
    Stone did not offer any resistance.

    STONE WOKE SLOWLY to the sound of Carrie on the phone, speaking quietly but urgently. She had been a transcendent lover the night before, and in the middle of the night, too, and he felt a little worn out.
    Carrie finished her conversation and hung up. “Oh, you’re awake. Good morning. Your housekeeper made me tea and toast.” She began pulling on clothes. “I’ve got a dance class in half an hour, then I’m meeting my designer at the apartment. I’d like you to attend my three o’clock meeting with Mark Goodwin, if you’re available.”
    Stone pressed the button on the remote control that raised his bed to a sitting position. “Good morning, Carrie,” he said. “I should tell you that I have no experience with theatrical work, so I’m not sure what use I’d be to you.”
    “I just want you to represent me in dealing with Goodwin. I’m told he has a boilerplate client contract that isn’t entirely client-favorable, and I think I need some help with my negotiations with him.”
    “Okay. What time?”
    She handed him a slip of paper with the address. “Three o’clock. Be five minutes early, will you?” She bent over and kissed him. “You were just great last night; now I’ve gotta run.”
    “You’re going to a dance class in an LBD?”
    “I’ve got dance clothes in my locker at the studio. Bye-bye.” Then, with a wave, she fled downstairs.
    Stone shaved and showered, got
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