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Runa grinned. It was so nice to see how twinkly her boss’s eyes looked now, after a rather stressful day. ‘Have a wonderful evening,’ she said.
‘I will. Oh, and Runa – that writers’ room tomorrow . . .’
‘Bump it to Wednesday?’
Tina shook her head. ‘Move it to ten. No . . . eleven.’
‘You got it,’ Runa winked.
East 61st Street was pleasantly buzzy when Tina drew up outside the shimmering entrance to the Pierre, its vast downlit awning more like Broadway than a hotel. She thanked her driver and stepped out into the warm early evening air. Unlike some others in her industry, Tina had never let her work attire standards slip. Today she was wearing a black Stella McCartney skirt suit with an emerald silk Holland Cooper blouse and black Rafa sandals: perfectly suited to flashing the doorman an ‘I belong here’ smile as he welcomed her and opened the door.
The hotel, like the car, was air conditioned and caused a shiver to run up Tina’s arms. But then again, maybe it wasn’t the air-con. She put her hand against her jacket pocket, where she’d tucked that little card. Three words that promised an entire night of pleasure . . .
A quick scan of the beautifully proportioned space, with its gleaming black and white chequerboard floor, ivory walls with gold cornicing, fresh flowers, crystal chandelier. Half a dozen people sitting waiting or talking into phones. She checked hers. 5.58.
Tina strode across to a vacant sofa, enjoying the assertive click of her heels on the marble. More than one male head turned and appraised her, but Tina’s eyes were riveted to the door. A minute passed. And then there she was . . .
Bette Porter-Kennard entered the lobby of the Pierre Hotel as if to the manner born. Tall and sleek in a hip-hugging black Chanel pant suit and cream silk blouse. Her hair, which just that morning had been its usual riot of curls, had been scooped and wrestled and smoothed into a sophisticated and yet understated updo. On her feet, four-inch Louboutins that she’d had for easily five, maybe even ten years. Same with her suit, and Tina’s too. They hardly bought new designer clothes any more, but they truly enjoyed what they had.