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Right Number, Wrong Girl
Author: Emma Hart

 

 


CHAPTER ONE – SOPHIE


Fancy Nancy

 


“Stupid bloody thing! What kind of masochist created dresses with a zipper on the back? I bet it was a man. They just love to watch the world burn!” I twisted and turned in ways I was not ordinarily capable of flexing in.

No matter how hard I tried, this little bugger of a zipper was not going up without a fight.

I was in so much trouble.

This was the only dress in my wardrobe that would be remotely acceptable for a job interview, and since that was what I had in ninety minutes, I had to get my shit together and get this bloody zip done up.

The last thing I needed to do was flash my boobs at the person interviewing me.

I wasn’t interviewing for a position in a strip club, after all.

I doubted that putting my boobs on display would help me get a job as a manager of a nearby clothing store.

I doubted that anything would get me that job.

Given my track record over the past two weeks, I wasn’t sure I was ever going to get a job again.

What I really needed to do was fly to New Orleans, hunt down a voodoo queen, and have her work her mojo on my ex-boss.

She deserved it, all right?

So being in jail awaiting a trial for embezzlement was probably enough of a punishment, but I thought a voodoo doll would be fun.

I’d never owned one.

They weren’t readily available in England, despite my best efforts to source one, and I didn’t trust the Internet.

I was quite a vengeful person, okay? Ask my ex how his PlayStation was after I’d thrown it out of a fourth-floor window.

I’m sorry.

After it had slipped out of my grip.

Ahem.

I stepped out of the dress and walked half-naked across the flat I shared with my best friend. I knew there was ribbon somewhere in this place—Cam kept hold of everything, and everything had its place.

Living with a Type-A personality was not the organisational dream I’d hoped it would be.

I’d first met Camilla Hopkins on a rainy day in the park when we were seven. The moment we discovered that we shared a birthday, we decided there and then that we would be best friends. Twenty-one years later, that was still the case.

Not that any of that helped with my current predicament.

I had no idea why there was ribbon in my bathroom, but I wasn’t going to question it. Heck, I didn’t have the time to question it. I was on the verge of running late as it was, and there really was no room for error with London traffic.

I looped the ribbon through the hole in the zipper pull, loosely tied it, and was about to put the dress on once again when the phone rang.

Goddamn it.

That was Cam’s work line.

I had to answer it. I always felt guilty if I didn’t.

Hey, if this interview didn’t work out, I could always become her assistant. God only knew she needed one.

I hopped over to the phone with one foot in the dress and picked it up. “Hello, you’ve reached Events by Camilla, how can I help you?”

“Oh, good morning.” The voice on the other end of the phone was distinctly upper-class with the kind of pronunciation only usually heard in the Queen’s Speech on Christmas day.

All right.

Not that posh.

But posh enough. With a weird little southwest twinge.

Like a fancy farmer.

“Is Camilla Hopkins available please?”

“I’m terribly sorry,” I replied, cradling the phone between my ear and shoulder so I could get dressed while I spoke. “Camilla isn’t here right now, but I can take a message for you.”

“Will she be back soon?”

“Not until this evening.”

“Oh, very well. I’m calling on behalf of Anna, The Duchess of Devon.”

Look at that.

I was right.

Fancy farmer, indeed.

I scribbled that down. “And your name is?”

“Nancy Porter.”

Fancy Nancy, then.

“May I ask your reason for calling?”

“The Dowager Duchess of Devon is turning eighty next month, and Lady Devon would like to hire Miss Hopkins to arrange the party for her mother-in-law.”

Look at Camilla go.

Next month was a little tight, though.

Not that it mattered. She’d have to make it happen.

“Do you have a contact number she can call you back on?”

“Yes.” She reeled it off. “Please ask for me as I will be the point of contact for her ladyship’s household.”

This was feeling very Downton Abbey.

I felt as though I should curtsey or something.

“Absolutely. When should I tell her is the best time to return your call?”

“Her ladyship would like the planning to begin as soon as possible, so please ask Miss Hopkins to return the call at her earliest convenience.”

She clearly didn’t have working hours stated in her contract.

Poor woman.

“I will do that,” I replied, scribbling ‘call whenever’ on the notepad. “Is there anything else?”

“No, that will be all for now, thank you very much. I look forward to hearing from Miss Hopkins.”

“It was lovely to speak to you,” I lied. “Have a lovely day.”

“You, too. Goodbye.”

“Bye!” I hung up and put the phone down, huffing as I threw the pen on top of the notepad.

Now I was running late.

“Balls to it!” I said, yanking the dress up as quickly as I could. It took some manoeuvring, but with the help of the ribbon I’d threaded through the zipper, I was finally able to secure the dress so there would be no random escapes from my boobs.

Thank God for that.

Thanks to the phone call, I had no time to curl my hair like I’d planned, so I had to settle for running the brush through and doing some kind of random updo that was kind of neat.

Ugh. Maybe it wasn’t as neat as I’d like.

I was going to have to start charging Camilla for the time I spent answering the bloody phone.

I quickly grabbed all the things I’d laid out in preparation for the interview, shoving both a copy of my resume and my passport into my bag as I simultaneously slipped my feet into a pair of heels. I had everything I needed except a hefty dose of confidence, but I wasn’t sure this was an appropriate time to start drinking.

I could do that in misery after this interview was over.

Would.

I would do that in misery after this interview.

I rushed out of the flat, locking the door behind me, and down the two flights of stairs. There was no time to wait for the lift—not that my heels meant I was moving any faster than I would be if I were waiting, but it was nice to be proactive.

After making it out of the building, I took a left towards the nearest Tube station and rummaged around for my card so I could get on the next train. I only had a few minutes, and there were far too many people around for me to be able to make it.

I walked down the steps to the underground station, pushing past people in the bustling crowd, and only just managed to make it through to get on the train. I barely managed to get a seat and found myself sandwiched between an unfortunate-smelling gentleman and an old lady who occasionally gave off wafts of Blue Stilton as she snacked on cheese and crackers from a small Tupperware container.

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