Her greatest secret might save his life.
*Dr. Kriloff's blond companion was a slender female fashion refugee so horrible looking that pity was Audubon's first reaction. She huddled in Kriloff's shadow, a notepad clutched in her pale hands, her eyes fastened firmly on the carpeted floor. Her hair was thick, straight, and raggedly chopped off at the shoulder. It was parted with all the straightness of a lightning bolt and hung in front of her glasses on one side, hiding one eye like a limp, half-shut curtain.
The glasses were large, with ugly, black frames and green-tinted lenses easily a quarter-inch thick. She wore a dingy, gray dress suit that belonged on a woman four sizes larger and several inches taller, though this woman was taller than average. Between the jacket's wide lapels, he could see a sliver of a round-necked, white blouse of some coarse material
She never moved and never looked up. Her skirt puffed out around her skinny calves as if she were standing over an air grate. And her shoes were matronly, black pumps with wide heels and straps across the insteps. The woman could go hiking in those shoes.
"Who is she?" Audubon put a hand on his hostess's arm and brought them to a stop a dozen feet from the Kriloff group. "The blonde."
"His secretary." The hostess covered her mouth and whispered sideways, "Isn't she awful looking? That gray bag makes her into a skinny-legged pigeon. Why in the world would Dr. Kriloff allow a member of his entourage to make such a terrible impression? People can barely keep from gawking at her. Thank goodness she doesn't speak English. At least she won't be hurt if she overhears a critical remark."
"Introduce me to her."*
Deborah Smith is the New York Times and Number One Kindle bestseller of A Place To Call Home, The Crossroads Café, and many other romance and women's fiction novels.