First Page: More Than Meets the Eye
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Thea’s mouth dropped open as the bank of monitors in front of her sent out pictures, his dazzling face filling the room. She knew who he was; anyone who had glanced at a newspaper or turned on a television would have recognised Justin Anderson. Being this close to a mega-star had a strange effect on her. He was attractive, yes, but her interest wasn’t concerned with that. Ideas buzzed around her head as she went through possible scenarios for an interview with him had she been the one who had been asked to do it. Ha! What an impossible thought that was. She’d only been working here for a short time and was very much a junior. Through the headphones, she listened intently, recognising the voice of the interviewer. They weren’t the sort of questions Thea would have asked.
Long after his image disappeared, Thea’s gaze remained on the monitors as she thought about Justin Anderson. Then she became aware of an acid tone enquiring, “What kept you? I’ve been waiting for those.”
Bringing herself back from her dream world to the present, Thea stammered, “I’m sorry, Hermione,” before slipping the armful of papers onto the interviewer’s desk.
“Get a grip,” commanded Hermione Clutterbuck. “He’s a here today, gone tomorrow sort. I should know, I’ve seen enough of them.”
“Of course you have, Hermione, you’ve been here since the year dot.” The director approached them, pausing to drop a wink in Thea’s direction. “As Hermione appears to have a deskful of work, I’d like your help please, Thea.” He strode to his office with Thea trailing behind him, anxious to make up for her lack of attention.
She’d been ecstatic when she landed this job as a gopher on a new pilot TV channel. It would give her experience, a good reference and the ability to move onwards and upwards after her apprenticeship. The good reference could be put on hold though, judging by the look on Hermione’s frosty face. She wasn’t usually interested in office tittle-tattle, but had heard various whisperings about why Hermione was such a hard case. At first Thea had made attempts at being friendly even inviting Hermione to join her for lunch, but there were only so many rebuffs she could take. She’d had to accept that her line manager was aloof. As they entered the director’s office, she was determined to do her best. Thea would throw herself willingly into anything Chas Filbert, asked of her.
“Sit down,” invited Chas. “Let me get you a juice or something. What’s it to be?”
Flustered, Thea started up out of her chair. “No, it’s my job to get you what you’d like.”
“Heck, I’m not so bone idle or helpless that I can’t pour a glass of juice.” He opened the fridge, extracted a carton and tore at the top rather too viciously and orange liquid flowed onto the pale carpet. Chas pulled a face. “Perhaps I am that helpless, eh?”
Thea laughed as she pulled a wad of tissues from a box on his desk and mopped up the stain, leaving no trace of the accident. She re-seated herself, waiting to find out what Chas had to ask her.
“You’re a very resourceful girl, young lady, woman or whatever it is I should call you nowadays,” said Chas, “and I’d like to see you having more responsibility. Do you think you could handle it?”