Dark Avenging Angel

Dark Avenging Angel by Catherine Cavendish Read Free Book Online

Book: Dark Avenging Angel by Catherine Cavendish Read Free Book Online
Authors: Catherine Cavendish
actress. Until I accused him of having an affair, he barely knew the woman. She had a small part, soon to be enhanced—along with her tits—in a popular TV soap. Graham was an assistant to the producer on the show.
    Poor Graham protested his innocence, but I railed at him until he stayed out all one night and then the next. He phoned me to say he had decided if he was going to be accused of sleeping with Melody anyway, he might as well do it. I bawled my eyes out and called him a bastard. He could have called me a bitch, but he didn’t. I heard they spilt up soon after, but I never heard from him again. Don’t blame him.
    I had a group of four close friends, all work colleagues, all single females. We became sales trainers—junior managers—at roughly the same time. Each of us managed a group of telephone-sales people. The department was highly target driven and provided around 85 percent of the newspaper’s revenue, so the work was pressurized, but we had fun too. None of the four of us was particularly in to nightclubs, but we enjoyed going to the pub together after work on Fridays and round to each other’s homes for meals, drinks and a chat.
    We were also all ambitious—even me, with my newfound yet still-fragile confidence—and egged each other on. Which is why, within a space of three weeks, each of us had found another job elsewhere. For all of us, it represented promotion.
    When the advertisement manager from the Baileyborough Evening Telegraph phoned to offer me the job as his deputy, I thought I’d misheard him. I accepted and squashed down my apprehension. I told myself I was just afraid of the unknown. I’d moved before. I’d changed jobs before. I could do it again. Start over. Strange town. Strange job. Quantum leap forward and embrace a different method of doing things. But I could do that now, couldn’t I?
    Then why did it feel so wrong? If only I’d listened to my inner voice, I’d never have left Leeds. I would have stayed where I knew happiness and job security because, there, I was good at my job. Senior managers thought well of me. I knew success and recognition for the first time in my life.
    So, naturally, I had to go and destroy it, didn’t I? Because I wasn’t worthy of it. I would have to tear everything down I had worked so hard to build. And all it took was a letter of resignation and an unscrupulous, dishonest advertising man called Stuart Campbell.
    Baileyborough is one of those new towns built in the 1960s. Roads and infrastructure were well planned and executed, but the housing consisted of massive estates which all looked the same. Like that song—“Little Boxes”. Most of them looked as if one strong gale would blow the roof off.
    At around five foot nine, Stuart Campbell was a little taller than me. He spoke with a slight Canadian twang, the result of a combination of a couple of years spent living there and an affectation. Stuart had a few affectations. One included wearing a monocle. I never saw him actually use it. It just hung around his neck on a long, gold chain and provided a focal point. I don’t think anyone actually commented on it, but you couldn’t fail to notice it and you could tell he liked that.
    Stuart also affected a beard, with a moustache that twirled upward. Whether he waxed it or it just naturally grew that way, I haven’t a clue, but the beard covered half his face, and a multitude of sins, no doubt.
    As for my new role. Total culture shock. I was used to a massive open-plan office with sixty telephone-sales people, plus administrators and classified advertisement field-sales representatives. Phones rang constantly, buzzing and flashing when the number of calls waiting hit twenty. Managers shouted over tannoys for people to take calls. Everyone rushed about. A real newspaper. Noisy. Busy. Busy. Busy.
    In contrast, the Baileyborough Evening Telegraph boasted just twelve telephone-sales people and four field-sales representatives who sold both

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