Early the next morning, a cab slowly pulled up outside the Desert Breeze Hotel. Clementine Phillips paid the fare and headed on into the hotel lobby. She didn’t know what room her dad was staying in and she figured it would be a waste of time asking the desk clerk because her dad more than likely wasn’t registered under his real name anyway. If he was even registered here at all!

She had forgotten to ask him, last night, where the business he said he “had to take care of” was at and at what time. ‘As if he would of told me anyway!’ Clementine supposed.

So she just wandered around the lobby, hoping to get a glance of her father somewhere there, sometime today. She noticed a table off to the side with coffee and cinnamon rolls. Since she hadn’t had breakfast yet, she helped herself.

A woman, wearing a blazer and slacks, with a Desert Breeze Hotel pin on her lapel, walked by the table.

“Excuse, me!” she said, “those are for guests only!”

Clementine couldn’t reply, as she still had a bite of roll in her mouth! She slowly swallowed the cinnamon, then smiled a most charming smile!

“I am a guest!” she replied.

“Who are you with,” the woman sternly asked, “what is your room number?”

“Uh, room 23!” Clementine replied, saying the first number that came to her mind, “and I’m with…”

Clementine glanced over the shoulder of the woman, at a board that listed the various companies that were holding meetings that day in the conference rooms. She picked the first name listed.

“…the Widmore Fashion Fiesta!”

The woman gave her a doubtful look!

“You look awfully young to be an executive with them,” the woman suspiciously said, “you a model, then?”

“That’s exactly what I am, a model!” Clementine quickly replied.

The woman nodded.

“Then you’d better get over to conference room eight right now!” she said, “most of the models from the agency haven’t arrived yet! And the show is about to begin!”

The woman took the roll out of Clementine’s hand and led her down the hall to conference room eight and right over to another woman who, Clementine figured, was some kind of head honcho.

“Here’s one of your models I found out in the lobby!” the hotel woman said.

The fashion director was in near panic!

“Listen,” she acidly said to Clementine, “quickly go in back of the curtains behind that stage. The assistants will prep you!”

“Uh, I think there’s been a misunderstanding!” Clementine replied. But the fashion director didn’t answer, as she dragged Clementine by the hand backstage.

“Fix her up!” the woman commanded, to some clothing and make-up artists standing backstage.

But before Clementine could utter another word, her hair was brushed and sprayed. Makeup was applied, her sneakers were taken off and replaced with some very high heeled pumps and a long sequin dress was thrown over her blouse and jeans! Then the show began!

Recorded music began to play, as the announcer began the introductions.

“And now we have the lovely Tara, modeling the latest evening wear for the discriminate lady!”

A stick skinny brunette, wearing a black silk formal wear dress, who was standing next to Clementine backstage, walked through the curtains and out onto the runway to rounds of applause.

“What’s your name, honey?” one of the backstage managers asked Clementine.

“Uh, Miley!” Clementine quickly answered. The woman made a note, then ran out and gave it to the announcer.

“And next,” the announcer continued, “we have the beautiful Miley, wearing the latest sequin wear for the lady who can combine work with pleasure!”

Clementine froze at the entrance.

“Go on!” one of the stagehands said to Clementine, “its your cue!”

Clementine pushed through the curtains, out onto the runway! She tried to balance herself in the high heels, as she slowly walked to the end of the stage. She heard applause.

She then smiled, as she looked out over the crowd. But sitting in the corner, just off stage, she noticed a man with an incredulous look on his face. James Ford just shook his head in total amazement and utter embarrassment!!

Next: Chap. 5 “Stage Father”

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