Double Take

Double Take

by Rhonda Kirk

Paperback

$14.50

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592799640
Publisher: Amber Quill Press, LLC
Publication date: 01/28/2003
Pages: 215
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.54(d)

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

"Don't be such a prude, Jane. If you show a little more cleavage, you'll bring a higher price."

The advice brought Jane Morgan up short and she stopped trying to stretch the thin, black fabric of her dress over her chest. Narrowing her gaze on her so-called best friend she replied, "I don't remember reading anything in the rules about baring my breasts for a higher bid."

Andrea West shrugged and applied a thick coat of mascara to her pale, spiky lashes. "You don't have to act so scandalized, I'm only trying to help." After smoothing long blonde hair into place, she shot Jane a look of pained tolerance.

"Help?" Jane bristled. "I can't possibly walk on stage wearing this material man trap, there's practically nothing left to the imagination."

"So the dress is a little snug." Andrea regarded Jane with a detached green stare. "There's only yourself to blame for that, I told you to buy something new."

"I didn't have time to buy something new." Jane released a groan as she viewed her image in the cracked, yellowed mirror of the tiny dressing room. Squinting against the inadequate lighting, she surmised that the old theater building hadn't been renovated in at least a hundred years. The air smelled aged and musty. "The lace on the bodice is so tight I can barely breathe."

"You're exaggerating," Andrea insisted.

"Am I?" Jane raised a brow. "May I remind you that Janice was the one who agreed to do this–not me. You should have known she'd do one of her disappearing acts at the last minute." Jane fastened a look of scorn on Andrea's reflection. "My sister is completely unreliable, she always hasbeen."

"Janice is adventurous, spontaneous, fun. You could learn a few lessons from her."

"Janice is also gone. And as usual, I'm left behind to mop up her mess." Another dressing room occupant bumped into Jane from behind and Jane nearly lost her balance in the high heels she'd borrowed from Andrea that morning.

"Sorry." The flustered woman wiggled into her panty hose. "A man must have invented these things. Nice to leer at, but a torture device to the woman who wears them."

"I know the feeling," Jane agreed, giving her own twisted nylons a tug and checking for runs. Jane inched into a corner, allowing the woman a little more space. "These shoes are too big."

Andrea released an irritated grunt, pulling Jane's gaze back to the mirror. "You've been grumpy since we got here," she chided. "So your shoes are too big and your dress is too small. Two tiny imperfections that will only serve to draw attention to your long, gorgeous legs. Be thankful you have something worth showing off."

Jane attempted to pull her dress up over her breasts a second time and only succeeded in showing yet more thigh. A moan of frustration escaped her. "How did you ever talk me into this?"

Andrea sighed. "Well, if you don't want to help, you can still back out. It is for a good cause…" Andrea's voice trailed off effectively.

"I know it's for a good cause. I just don't like the idea of being auctioned off to the highest bidder."

"You make it sound as if you're for sale."

"Well, aren't I?"

"No." Andrea rolled her eyes. "It's one evening, Jane, a few measly hours out of your life." Andrea shoved cosmetics back into her purse. "All you have to do is walk on stage, smile, and go out on one date with a man who's rich enough to pay for it and kind enough to contribute to charity. It's just one night and it won't kill you."

Copyright © 2002 by Rhonda Kirk

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