Thursday's ChildBy: Sandra Brown
Allison Leamon had never thought she wanted this kind of romance. There wasn’t room in her life for it. It was superficial and fleeting and only fools believed in its authenticity.
Didn’t she know better than anyone that sex was mechanical? It was purely biological and physical and had little or nothing to do with the emotions. Any two creatures of the same species could mate. It required nothing of them but properly working reproductive organs.
But here she was, no longer a pragmatic scientist but a woman, being held in this man’s embrace, with adrenaline rushing through her veins and her heart hammering against her ribs. Her body was aching to get closer, to have more. Her senses were clamoring to soak up every thrilling stimulus he telegraphed.
It gave her a heady feeling of power to know that she wasn’t the only one aroused. His lips were hungry. His tongue was rapacious. His body was hard with desire for her.
He wasn’t kissing her. He was kissing Ann.
“Have you lost your mind?”
“It’s a great idea.”
“It’s a dumb idea. We haven’t done that since we were children.”
“And we always got away with it.”
Allison Leamon eyed her sister in exasperation. Except for the expression – Ann’s was expectant – Allison could have been looking at her own reflection.
Ann was sitting Indian-fashion in the center of her sister’s bed. Allison turned her back on Ann and began taking the hairpins from the bun on the back of her head. She shook out a mane of deep auburn hair that fell to her shoulders in thick waves that matched her sister’s.
“Bette Davis has played twins who swapped places in a couple of her movies. Something terrible always happened.”
“That’s the movies; this is real life.”
“Doesn’t art imitate life?”
Ann sighed in vexation. “Come on, Allison. Will or won’t you?”
“I won’t. I can’t believe you’re serious about having this operation in the first place,” she said, pulling a hairbrush through her hair.
“I don’t want to go through the rest of my life flat-chested.”
“We’re not flat-chested,” Allison argued, assessing her own figure in the mirror.
“We’re not overly endowed either.”
“Who wants you to be? They’ll just sag in a few years, then you’ll wish you didn’t have them.” Laying the brush on the vanity, she turned to Ann. “Please reconsider, Annie. Don’t do this.”
Ann laughed. “You’re always so damn cautious and practical. Don’t you ever have one frivolous thought? Just look at yourself now that you’ve let your hair down. You’re gorgeous. Don’t you want to be?”
“I’m not gorgeous. And no, I don’t particularly want to be. Looks aren’t important.”
Ann pressed a hand over her heart and addressed the ceiling. “I know,” She said theatrically, “it’s what a person is like on the inside that counts.”
“Make fun of me all you want, but that’s the way I feel. I’d much rather be considered intelligent than a knockout.”
Ann frowned in aggravation. Her sister was hopeless.. All Allison cared about was her laboratory – her electron microscope, her Bunsen burner, any old organisms that could be cultivated in a Petri dish! “Are you going to do me this favor or not?”
“No. I don’t want any part of it. Why can’t Davis know beforehand?”
“Because I want it to be a surprise.”
“he likes you the way you are. Why else would he be marrying you?”
“Do you know one man who wouldn’t like his woman to have large breasts?” The moment the question left her lips, Ann began shaking her head. “Forget it. I withdraw the question. You don’t know any men.”
“I know quite a few men,” Allison said loftily.
“And they’re all brainy and weird!” Ann shot back.
“As I said, brainy and weird,” Ann mumbled as she plucked at a loose thread on Allison’s bedspread. The sulking lasted only a few moments before she lost her patience. “I want a breast enlargement. It’s for my self-esteem. Davis will go absolutely bananas when he sees the improvement. I’m asking my twin sister to help me out a little and she’s making a big deal out of it.”