Disclaimer: Artemis Fowl Senior isn't mine.
A/N: Where did I pull this idea out of?
My ass, evidently.
Her name was Terese and she wasn't as famous as she had initially hoped. Four videos and eight magazine spreads, and still no movie deal. She posted blogs. She had a channel on YouTube. She had taken classes. Gotten a bikini wax and a bellybutton piercing. Movie deal? No.
And now, she hoped she would be getting her break.
It was only after the fourteenth girl had exited the room when Terese started to feel totally desperate. She clutched her résumé in her sweaty hands and checked the clock for the sixth time in two minutes. The other girls weren't looking so uncomfortable.
Booze, Terese thought desperately. I need booze.
The five girls remaining in the room with her were looking more relaxed than Terese was pretending to look. They were all on mobile phones, or flipping through magazines, or reapplying makeup. Terese was the only one who had nothing to do. She had reapplied her lipgloss, but now the build-up on her lips was coming close to half a centimetre thick, and she had returned the gloss to her bag.
And there was nothing else to do than look at the other girls, the clock, or the ceiling. Terese was choosing not to look at the other girls, in case they decided to inspect her back and give her a sneer. So she had resorted to staring at her knees.
Regardless, she had quickly scanned her rivals. They were all the same. Big hair, big lips, big boobs. Terese hadn't been able to afford implants.
They've turned up the heat in here, she thought, almost hysterical.
And it was true. It was a trick that some companies used for job interviews. Cram a room full of hopeful apprentices and turn the thermostat up a couple of degrees. Make sure the clock ticks really loud. Make them uncomfortable. Crack a few hard nuts.
Terese could hear every tick of the clock. Every time one of the other girls turned a page, the noise would be almost deafening. Though Terese's heartbeat was now drowning out all the other sounds. Her blood pounded painfully in her ears.
She was considering leaving when the door opened, and a woman with a clipboard emerged.
'Terese?' she said, sounding bored.
'Yes, that's me,' Terese said, sounding flustered and relieved, standing up eagerly. She promptly tripped over herself trying to get to the door. One of the girls snorted, but turned it into a cough.
'This way,' said the woman, presumably a secretary, gesturing with a pen. Terese followed her down a hallway. They stopped outside a door with a large number seven on it.
The woman opened the door and ushered Terese inside. The poor girl bit her lip and clutched her handbag to her chest, breathing hard. This was it.
There was a middle-aged man sitting in a large chair, across the desk from her, smoking a large cigar. He looked handsome, even in his years, and he studied her with deep blue eyes. Terese got the feeling that he was imagining her naked.
The man gestured at a bottle on the edge of his desk. 'May I offer you a drink?'
Terese breathed a sigh of relief. 'Yes, thank you.'
The man poured her a glass of honey-coloured liquid and handed it to her. Terese almost asked what it was, then changed her mind. It's alcohol, isn't it? Drink it.
She swallowed the contents of the glass in one. It burned her throat. She sighed and replaced the glass on the desk.
The man's glass remained untouched. He smiled slightly. 'Do you drink often?' he asked softly.
Terese shook her head. 'Not often. It soothes my nerves.'
'Are you nervous?'
She sucked in a breath. 'Yeah.'
He seemed satisfied. He held out his had. 'Master Fowl.'
Terese felt her heart beat speed up. The Master Fowl. She took the hand and shook it. 'Terese Knightley.'
Fowl now sipped at his drink. He drew his eyes to the envelope clutched in Terese's sweaty fist. 'What's that?'
'Oh this?' Terese felt sweat forming at her hairline. 'It's… uh, my résumé.'
He seemed amused. 'There will be no need for that.'
'Oh.' Terese quickly stowed the envelope in her bag.
'Miss Sage,' Fowl said, glancing at the secretary, who had taken a seat in the corner. 'Take her bag.'
The secretary obediently took her bag. Terese was unwilling to let it go. Miss Sage placed the bag on Fowl's desk and reclaimed her seat.
'Now,' Master Fowl caught Terese's gaze. 'Undress.'
Though she had been expecting this, Terese visibly hesitated.
Miss Sage coughed. 'Just down to underwear for now.'
Terese nodded. She stepped out of her heels and unbuttoned her jeans, sliding the denim down her legs. Then she pulled off her t-shirt, and stood there, clutching the clothes to her chest.
The secretary wordlessly took the clothing off her. Terese clenched her fists and dropped her head.
'Hmm…' Fowl said thoughtfully, and Terese heard leather squeak as the older man rose from his seat and approached her. 'Turn,' he said simply, and Terese did as instructed.
Master Fowl placed a finger under her chin and lifted her face. Terese couldn't meet his eyes. He chuckled softly, 'Don't be bashful, Miss Knightley. It's nothing I haven't seen before.'
He continued to walk in circles around her, and Terese wrung her hands nervously. Miss Sage scribbled on her clipboard every time Fowl glanced at her.
'Did you eat breakfast this morning?' he asked abruptly.
Terese cringed and considered lying. Then she decided there wasn't any point. 'No,' she said truthfully.
Fowl nodded and stood in front of her. He studied her for a moment, his mouth in a thin, straight line.
'Is that your natural hair?' he asked.
Terese twirled a strand of her dark brown hair around a finger. 'Yes.'
He nodded again. 'And what bra size are you?'
Another nod. 'Now, would you be willing to take off your remaining garments?'
Terese nodded tersely. There would be no point in coming if she hadn't been willing. She first unclasped her bra and hooked it over her arm before stepping out of her panties. In the air-conditioned room, she erupted in goosebumps. She blushed in embarrassment when she realised that it wasn't only goosebumps that were sticking out.
Master Fowl smiled warmly. 'Very nice.'
Terese blinked. 'Really?'
'Yes. You seem very real. Opting for push-up bras and periodic starvation instead of implants and liposuction. And your hair isn't blonde, either. It's a nice change.'
He studied below her waist for a moment. 'Do you wax?'
Terese blushed. 'Yes.'
Fowl nodded approvingly. 'Good, good.'
'You brave girl,' Miss Sage said.
Terese sent her a weak smile.
Master Fowl returned to his desk. 'Return her clothes,' he instructed, and Miss Sage handed the items to Terese, who immediately started dressing again.
'Have you had any past experience?' Fowl asked Terese as she pulled her jeans back on.
'A couple of magazines and some short videos,' Terese said, excitement in her voice.
'Good. Are you willing to work with girls?'
'Good. Excellent,' Master Fowl smiled warmly at her. 'Return here on Monday. We'll issue you with a script and introduce you to your co-stars.' He turned to Miss Sage. 'Tell the others they may leave.'
'Yes sir,' Miss Sage nodded and left the room.
Terese felt excitement filling her chest. At last. This was her big chance. Fowl Play was the fourth largest company in the industry.
'Um, sir,' Terese stammered. 'I really hope you don't mind me asking, but, about my pay…'
'You want to be paid upfront and in advance, yes?' Master Fowl said cheerily. 'Yes, yes, that's fine. Most of our girls prefer it.'
'Yes, thank you,' Terese said, relieved. 'I wouldn't ask, but I just have to pay the rent by Friday and I need lunch money.'
'That's absolutely fine,' Fowl said. 'Let me write you a cheque.'
Terese stepped into her heels and pulled her shirt on while he scribbled in his chequebook. She pulled her handbag onto her shoulder as Fowl handed the cheque to her.
'Make sure you turn up on Monday,' he told her. 'Otherwise I'll make sure the cheque will bounce.'
'Yes, sir,' Terese said eagerly.
As she stowed the cheque in her bag, she spotted a framed photograph on Master Fowl's desk. She picked it up before she realised what she was doing.
'Is this your son?' she asked, studying the picture.
Fowl's face darkened. 'Yes. That's my son.'
'I don't suppose…' Terese trailed off.
'No,' Fowl's voice was firm. 'My family knows nothing of my work.'
'Ah,' Terese tactfully changed the subject. 'How old is he?'
'My son? He will be turning twelve in this September.'
Terese smiled. 'He looks a lot like you,' she said softly.
'I've heard that before,' Fowl said. 'The eyes?'
'Yes,' Terese said. 'The eyes…'
And it was the eyes. Deep blue, seemingly fathomless. But what she couldn't comprehend was that these eyes, displaying such intelligence, could be found on the face of an eleven-year-old. Looking up at Master Fowl's face, she could see his eyes reflecting many years of knowledge. But in this photograph, in his son's eyes, something else was there…
Terese felt a physical shiver go up and down her spine. She replaced the frame on the desk again and offered her hand to the middle-aged man, sitting before her.
'Thank you, so much. You have no idea how much this means to me.'
Fowl took her hand, raised it to his mouth, and kissed it. 'Thank you for coming along today, my dear. It was a pleasure.'
Terese turned and made for the door. 'Goodbye, Master Fowl. And thanks again.'
'Please,' he said. 'Do call me Artemis.'
'Artemis,' Terese repeated, pulling the door shut. 'Thank you!'
She happily skipped down the hall, leaving a middle-aged man behind her, staring into the accusing eyes of his only son.
A/N: I'd like to say I wrote this in fifteen minutes, but it was more like an hour and a half. Not bad for something I pulled out my ass, eh?