Sylva set down her hairbrush, casting her reflection in the mirror a glance. "Well, Annie? Do I look enough like you?"
"Silly question." Anna sat down on the bed next to her, casting her a grin. "You always look like me. And yes, you look fine. Thanks again for doing this, Sylvie. I owe you big time."
"No you don't." Sylva shook her head. "You should be worrying about packing your case, by the way, not panicking over whether or not your supervisor will figure out it isn't you submitting your project this morning. I didn't expect you to come back from the hotel so soon, to be honest. Didn't you trust me to doll myself up like you on my own?"
"Yes, I did, but I wanted to be sure you knew what was what with the paperwork." Anna patted the folder carefully. "It's got to go to Redford on the fourth floor, and you'll have to sign it in. Can you still imitate my signature?"
"Of course I can." Sylva snorted. "I was a champion forger in school. How many times did I do Dad's signature on a sick note or Mom's on a release form? And if you'd forgotten, I signed you up for the swim club to get you close to that guy you liked...they never questioned the signature then, did they?"
"No, they didn't." A slight smile touched Anna's lips. "I'd forgotten you did that. You used to sign me up for all kinds of things when we were in High School."
"Well, you'd not have done anything if I hadn't." Sylva shrugged her shoulders. "So don't fret it. I can pass myself off as you scarily well, even if we've lived a few years apart. Twins have a psychic bond, remember? I know you better than anyone."
"Likewise." Anna paused, then slipped an arm around her twin. "Speaking of which, something is bugging you this morning. Do you want to tell me what it is?"
"Huh?" Sylva looked startled.
"You're trying to be bouncy and cheerful and your usual self, but it's like you said." Anna shrugged. "Twins have a psychic bond. And I know something's up. Did something happen at the party last night, after John and I left? You and Sammi didn't come to blows, did you?"
"No." Sylva sighed, casting her sister a troubled look. "No, I didn't see or speak to Sammi after you left, and that's the truth. At least, I don't remember seeing her. I don't remember everything from last night yet."
"So you're hungover?"
"A little." Sylva rubbed her temples, squinting again at her reflection. "And you don't wear enough make-up to fully cover it, but it's cool. You had your reception last night - noone will be surprised if I look a bit ragged round the edges."
"That wasn't why I was asking." Anna scolded. "You seem upset - even a bit on edge. Plus..."
She ran her hand over the bedcover. "This bed hasn't been slept in. Did you lose my key?"
Sylva flushed red to the roots of her hair, shaking her head.
"No. It's in my purse." She responded. "And just because the bed is made doesn't mean it wasn't slept in. I mean, I can make beds, you know."
"Yeah, and I'm real familiar with how you do it, too." Anna looked rueful. "Before the wedding yesterday I was so nervous I went round the whole place tidying and making beds and doing anything to kill nervous energy - remember? Before the car came to take us to the church. This is still as I left it. You didn't spend the night here."
Sylva sighed, closing her eyes briefly. Then,
"No, I didn't." She admitted, her voice shaking slightly. "Annie, I got drunk and I spent the night at the hotel with Logan."
"Logan?" Anna stared. "Didn't you tell me you were just friends?"
"We are. Were. I don't know." Sylva bit her lip. "I didn't mean to do it, I swear. I just...I woke up there this morning and freaked out. I couldn't remember...but he said I came on to him, and since I got back here I've started to remember more."
"Three showers and four coffees will do that to you." She added. "He's right - I did. I kissed him, and I suggested we kicked out of the party and went back to his room. I had a major stress-out when I woke up. I don't know what got into me, apart from way too much vodka and coke."
"Maybe you're not as platonic with Logan as you thought." Anna suggested gently. "I mean, drinking only loosens you up to something you want to do anyway. Maybe you've been sitting on this as friendship when it's actually something else."
"I don't know." Sylva admitted. "But whatever it is, Ann, I totally blew it by last night. Followed, of course, by this morning. I pretty much treated him like he'd raped me or something, which wasn't fair, I know. I just...I didn't know how to take it."
She swallowed hard.
"Annie, you gotta understand that this was a big deal thing." She said brokenly. "I've been drunk around guys before - even guys I thought were cute - and I've never slept with any of them. I don't understand why this was different."
"I guess you let your guard down because he was someone you trusted." Annie pursed her lips. "Was he drunk too?"
"Yes." Sylva sighed. "I guess I'm mixed up."
"Did you use protection?"
"No." Sylva shook her head. "Don't look at me like that!" As Anna raised an eyebrow. "I wasn't planning to sleep with anyone in New York and besides, I've never needed to be on the pill! Usually I have some self control and it's not like I'm in a serious relationship or anything! I'll go to the drugstore and get something to cover me on my way back from your office, don't worry. I'm not gonna have a baby out of this. But what the hell was I thinking? The only thing I can think is that I wasn't thinking at all!"
"You're getting less and less coherent." Anna hugged her sister tightly. "And I don't like you upset, Sylvie. Listen to me. Logan is your friend. When you've both calmed down you'll probably be able to talk it out. Even laugh at it. And maybe it's telling you something else about your friendship that both of you had been blocking out. It seems to me that he cares about you a lot, and you do him. Perhaps that's the real reason. Maybe you need to talk about that."
"I suppose we do." Sylva rested her head on her sister's shoulder. "It's just such a mess. I didn't imagine..."
She bit her lip.
"I didn't expect to be drunk for my first time." She said at length. "I mean, Mom always said you shouldn't give any guy that unless you knew you loved him and stuff...else you'd be wasting a part of you and you couldn't get it back. And Jack was the first guy I fell in love with...but there never was that between us. I've waited this long and now..."
She shrugged her shoulders.
"Now I don't know." She concluded.
"Oh, Sylvie." Anna squeezed her twin's hand. "I hadn't realised it was that big a thing. I mean, I knew you didn't sleep with any of those jerks in High School but I guess I didn't think about it beyond that."
"Not much I can do about it now, anyhow." Sylva sighed. "It's done."
"Well, I really think you should stop and think about why it was done." Anna said decidedly. "Because I know you, Syl, and you're impulsive and mad but you're not the kind of person who'd jump into bed with some guy she didn't like just on a whim and a few glasses of drink."
"And talk to Logan. He probably deserves an explanation for why you took it so hard, don't you think?"
"Perhaps." Sylva acknowledged. "Right now, though, I'm going to your office and I'm going to take my strange mood out on Colin. Do you have a photo or something, so I know who he is?"
Anna got to her feet, scanning the bookshelf and then pulling a photo album down off the top, flicking through the pages. "Here. This is our office party last Christmas. And that," she pointed, "Is Colin."
"Nice beard." Sylva wrinkled up her nose. "Not. His eyes are really squinty, too."
She got to her feet, straightening her skirt and glancing again at her reflection.
"Right, well, I'm off to tell this guy that Martescu girls are way out of his league." She said firmly. "You said the project goes to...Redwood?"
"Redford. Floor 4." Anna responded. "Okay. Take my car - and don't crash it! My parking space is third by the railings, opposite the annexe. You know where you're going?"
"Yes." Sylva nodded. She picked up the project, glancing at it, then smiling. "I know."
"And I guess you'll need this."
Anna glanced at her wedding ring, then slid it off her finger. "He'll notice if you're not wearing it. He knows I got married yesterday - he kept making jokes about it, since it was ringed on my calendar. And my engagement ring too...if you promise you won't lose them."
"You can trust me." Sylva took the rings as if they were made of glass, carefully pushing them onto the correct finger. "Gee, I really hope it isn't bad luck, doing this."
"No, it's not bad luck." Anna shook her head. "Not when you're doing the bride a big favour. They make exceptions for identical twins bailing their sisters out."
"Well, if you say so." Sylva looked rueful. "All right. Then I'm all set. Feels so weird, having these on my finger. I'll be glad to give you them back."
"I'll be glad to get them back." Anna admitted. "Especially the wedding ring. I've not had it so long yet and well, I like seeing it there."
"I'll look after them." Sylva promised. "Don't fret. They'll be fine with me."
"All right." Anna paused, then, "Sylvie, about the other thing?"
"Talk to Logan." Anna said softly. "I mean it. The other day, when we fought, he wouldn't let me in to see you till I promised him I wasn't going to make you cry again. He cares about you a whole lot - even if it is a just friends kind of caring, you will work it out with him. I promise. It will be okay."
Sylva managed a slight smile.
"Well, I guess we'll see, won't we." She said with a shrug. "Right now, I've another guy on my mind. Colin, here I come!"
As her sister left the property, Anna moved to the window, a pensive look touching her face as she reasoned things out with herself. At length she shrugged, watching absently as Sylva put her car in gear, driving out of the forecourt. In an instant, she made up her mind.
"I owe Sylvie for what she's doing for me this morning." She decided. "That has to count for something. It wouldn't hurt, then, if I took a time out from getting my stuff together, and dropped by to see Logan. In a few days they'll both be gone and I want them to be gone as friends, at least. I can't have my sister feeling messed up because of something that happened on my wedding night, after all. It just wouldn't be right."
She headed into the hall, slipping on her sandals and grabbing her jacket from the newel post, slipping it over her shoulders. Scooping up the keys to John's car, she left the house, hoping against hope that Logan had not decided to go far from his hotel room.
"Because I need to speak to him about my sister." She said firmly. "So I'm not the only Martescu twin ending this week on a happy note!"
Prologue: April 1st,
Chapter One: Sylva's Request
Chapter Two: Samantha...and Jesta
Chapter Three: Flashback - Junior High
Chapter Four: In The Big Apple
Chapter Five: Flashback - Sammi's Eighth Birthday
Chapter Six: Flight
Chapter Seven: Anna
Chapter Eight: Flashback - The Martescu Home
Chapter Nine: Old Wounds
Chapter Ten: Jesta's Clue
Chapter Eleven: In Translation
Chapter Twelve: Flashback - Thick As Blood
Chapter Thirteen: A Friend In Need
Chapter Fourteen: Anna's Secret
Chapter Fifteen: Wedding Day
Chapter Sixteen: Flashback - First Kiss
Chapter Seventeen: Crossing The Line
Chapter Eighteen: Colin
Chapter Nineteen: Settling Up