Sizzling(Buchanans, Book 3)(52) by Susan Mallery
“That’s hideously sexist.”
Lori was tempted. She’d always stayed out of the game because it was easier than competing. But nothing had ever mattered to her as much as Reid. Madeline was right. Some things were worth the risk. And if she got crushed like a bug, then she would figure out a way to go on despite the pain. Plus, she could hold the whole thing over her sister’s head, and that was always fun.
“Okay,” she said as a tall, painfully thin man walked toward them.
“I am Ramon,” he said. “Who is Lori?”
“I am,” she said as she rose.
“Ah, yes. Gloria mentioned you had wild hair.” He smiled. “I like wild hair on a woman. It reflects her spirit, yes?”
Lori didn’t have the heart to tell him that her spirit was less “wild” and more “aging domestic tabby.”
“So, what are you looking for?” he asked.
She drew in a breath, then went with the truth. “A miracle.”
LORI WAS STARING at herself in the department store mirror so intently that she nearly ran into a pole. Madeline stopped and laughed.
“It’s you,” she said, sounding pleased. “Honestto-God you.”
“I can’t believe it,” Lori admitted.
Ramon had performed the requested miracle and it had been worth every penny of the hundred-and-twenty-dollar bill.
He’d started by chopping off about six inches of her hair, which had nearly given her a heart attack. Then he’d snipped and sliced and used a razor, thinning her hair and giving her layers. The whole time he’d raved about the various colors in her hair, how she would never need highlights and how beautiful the curls were.
Lori had protested, saying she had weird waves, not curls, but she’d been wrong. Apparently wearing her hair long her whole life had pulled the shape out of her curls. But now, with her hair just below her shoulders, there were curls. Lots of them.
Ramon had shown her how to use a couple of different products that both defined and separated the curls. He’d explained how she could blow dry her hair straight if she had the time and was interested in an upper body workout. Then he’d turned her to face her reflection and she’d nearly fainted.
Her hair was fabulous. Light and sexy and moving, and the color was incredible. Mostly auburn, but with hints of gold and blond.
Before Lori could bask in her newfound wonderfulness, Madeline had dragged her to the back of the salon where an evil woman had waxed her eyebrows. The pain had been intense, but brief. A total makeover had followed.
Desiree had promised a five-minute routine that would change everything. Lori had timed her. The makeup had taken seven minutes, but when she’d seen the results she decided not to complain about the extra time.
Her skin was luminous, her eyes huge. Lip gloss drew attention to her mouth that suddenly appeared full and really sexy.
Now, in the department store, Lori shook her head. “I can’t believe that’s me.”
“It is. Although, honestly, the glasses have to go.”
“I can’t wear contacts,” Lori said, tearing her gaze away from her reflection and following her sister into a department filled with really cute casual clothes.
“There are other solutions,” Madeline said. “Like Lasik surgery.”
“I’m not having a laser burn off my cornea just so I don’t have to wear glasses.”
“Beauty is pain. Besides, wouldn’t you like to see the digital clock in the morning?”
“I can see it just fine.”
“If you lean forward and drag it right to your face. Come on, Lori, it’s perfectly safe. Millions of people have had it done and they love the results.”
“You’re just flapping your lips. It’s easy for you to talk—no one is discussing burning off your cornea.”
“Fine. I’ll let the glasses thing go. Let’s find you some great jeans.”
Thirty minutes later Lori had three pairs of jeans that fit perfectly. She buttoned up the first of the blouses Madeline had brought her.
“It’s more fitted,” her sister said. “See how it follows the curves of your body. That’s a good thing. I brought in some sweaters, too. And look—no brown.”
But Lori wasn’t about to complain. She liked the dark green shirt her sister had picked out. It brought out the green in her hazel eyes.
Madeline forced her into colors she would never have tried on her own. Teals and dark purples, a fun sweater in a range of colors from dark orange to pale peach. The pile kept growing until Lori was sure she could feel her credit card trembling in fear.
“I don’t need all this,” she said, although she wasn’t sure how she would pick her favorites. Funny, but when she shopped on her own she hated the process. Nothing seemed right.
Her sister walked into the crowded dressing room with a simple black dress.
“I know what you’re going to say,” Madeline began. “‘Where would I wear it? It’s too expensive. It’s not my thing.’ Yada, yada. So you’re going to try it on and then we’ll talk.”
Lori took the dress, put it on a hook, then pulled her sister close.
“I love you,” she said as they hugged. “I want to make sure you know that.”
“I love you, too,” Madeline told her.
They smiled at each other, then Lori reached for the dress. “I really don’t have anywhere to wear this.”
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