Home > Shopaholic to the Stars (Shopaholic #7)(9)

Shopaholic to the Stars (Shopaholic #7)(9)
Author: Sophie Kinsella

“There!” I say proudly. “You look fabulous. Now, stand with some attitude. Look at yourself. Don’t you just rock?”

Once she’s got a pair of heels on, she’ll look a million dollars. I sigh happily as I watch her shoulders relax and a sparkle come to her eye. God, I love dressing people up.

“So I found the shoes in your size …” comes a trilling voice behind me, and I turn to see a woman in her sixties approaching Anita. I met her when I came for the interview before, and her name’s … Rhoda? No, Rhona. It’s on her name badge.

“Dear!” She gives a shocked laugh as she sees the teenage girl. “What happened to the gown?”

The girl’s eyes slide uneasily to me, and I step in quickly.

“Hi, Rhona!” I say. “I’m Becky; we met before—I’m starting work here soon. I was just helping Anita with her look. Doesn’t that slip look great worn as a dress?”

“Well, goodness!” Rhona’s rigid smile doesn’t move an inch, but her eyes fix me with daggers. “How imaginative. Anita, sweetheart, I’d love to see you in the green full-length.”

“No,” says Anita stubbornly. “I’m wearing this one. I like it.”

She disappears behind the curtain and I step toward Rhona, lowering my voice.

“It’s OK,” I say. “You don’t need to see her in the green. It didn’t work. Too big. Too old. But then I suddenly thought of the slips and—bingo!”

“That’s hardly the point,” says Rhona, bristling. “You know what the commission on that green gown is? You know what the commission on a slip is?”

“Well, who cares?” I say indignantly. “The point is, she looks lovely!”

“I’m sure she looked far lovelier in the green gown. I mean, a slip.” Rhona looks disapproving. “To a prom. A slip.”

I bite my lip. I can’t say what I really think.

“Look, we’re going to be working together, so … shall we agree to disagree?” I hold out my hand placatingly, but before Rhona can take it, there’s an exclamation from behind me and two arms twine themselves round my neck.


“Danny!” I wheel round to see his pale-blue eyes shining at me through heavy eyeliner. “Wow! You look very … um … New Romantic.”

Danny never puts on any weight or looks a day older despite leading the least healthy lifestyle on the planet. Today his hair is dyed black and gelled into a kind of droopy quiff; he’s wearing a single dangly earring and tight jeans tucked into winklepicker boots.

“I’m ready,” he announces. “I have my reference. I learned it on the plane. Who do I say it to? You?” He turns to Rhona and makes a small bow. “My name is Danny Kovitz—yes, the Danny Kovitz—thank you—and I am here today to recommend Rebecca Brandon as a personal shopper without parallel.”

“Stop!” I say, pink with embarrassment. “This isn’t the right place. We need to find Gayle, my new boss.”

“Oh,” says Danny, unfazed. “OK.”

Meanwhile, Anita has reappeared from the dressing room and heads over to Rhona. “OK, I’d like to get the black lace dress. And the pink clutch and the sash.”

“Well, dear,” says Rhona, her face still pinched with annoyance. “If you’re sure. Now, what about this fabulous pink stole? It would set off the black lace wonderfully.” She reaches for a length of pink tulle adorned with oversize white sequins and spreads it out on the counter.

Anita glances at me and I surreptitiously shake my head.

“No, thanks,” she says confidently. Rhona whips round in suspicion, but I give her an innocent smile.

“We’d better find Gayle,” I say. “See you later, Rhona! Have fun at the prom, Anita!”

As I head away with Danny, I can’t help wrapping an arm round him. “Thank you for coming. You’re such a star to do this.”

“I know,” he says complacently.

“I’m going to miss you when you go to Greenland! Couldn’t you have chosen somewhere nearer?”

“What, some hike in the mountains?” says Danny dismissively. “Some little day trek?”

“Why not? We would still have sponsored you—”

“Becky, you don’t get it.” Danny gives me a serious look. “This is something I have to do. I want to push myself to the limit. I have this great trainer, Diederik, and he’s done the Greenland expedition. He says it’s a mystical experience. Mystical.”

“Oh well. Mystical.” I shrug.

“Who buys these clothes?” Danny seems to have noticed the racks for the first time.

“Er … lots of people. Lots of very fashionable, stylish, um … chic people.”

“Chic?” He looks at me with a comically appalled face. “Chic?”

“Shhh! There’s my boss!”

We’ve reached the entrance to the personal-shopping area, where I’ve agreed to meet Gayle, and there she is, looking around anxiously. Maybe she thought I wasn’t going to turn up. She’s a really lovely woman, in her forties—very pretty except her hair’s too long, in my opinion—and I’m looking forward to working with her.

“Hi!” I wave to attract her attention.

“Rebecca.” She exhales. “I was about to call you. This is very awkward. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry …”

She’s about to tell me that Danny still hasn’t come through with his reference, isn’t she?

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