Post-coital Tristesse — Word Count: 13,854

Sweet Valley

Jessica had picked out the perfect bikini at the Sweet Valley Mall, a stunning turquoise two-piece that complemented her blue-green eyes and showed off her awesome rack. There’s no way Marshall the fifth can resist me in this little number, Jessica thought. He – and his bank account! – won’t know what hit him!

Jessica applied one last coat of mascara. She knew Marshall the fifth was waiting downstairs in his limo, but, as any woman knew, it was best to make a man wait. I make my living making men wait, Jessica thought, smiling wryly.

“Jessica!” Elizabeth called up the stairs. “Are you ready yet? It’s rude to keep your date waiting.”

“When was the last time I didn’t keep a date waiting?” Jessica shot back. She applied a thick layer of lipstick in a deep, vampy shade of red and pursed her lips.

Elizabeth pulled back the curtain and peeked out at the limo parked across the courtyard. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw curtains and blinds quickly snap shut in two of the other condos. Bizarre, Elizabeth thought, shaking her head.

“I’d better go out there and explain things to him,” she murmured.

Hurrying out to the highly polished stretch limousine, a cold chill crept over Elizabeth. She wasn’t sure if it was because she found the idea of talking to a 70-something-year-old pervert slightly creepy, or because she had the feeling that someone was watching her.

“Excuse me,” Elizabeth said, tapping on the window of the limousine. “Excuse me, Mr. Stanton?”

The window slowly rolled down, and Elizabeth found herself face to face with a small, wizened old man who had beady little eyes, a very prominent set of dentures, and less hair than Todd Wilkins.

“Jessica,” he said, looking her up and down appreciatively. “I was hoping you’d be wearing something a little more slutty.”

“Oh, I’m not Jessica,” Elizabeth said, tucking back a stray strand of hair that had come loose from her ponytail. She stuck her hand through the window. “I’m her twin, Elizabeth Wakefield. It’s nice to meet you.”

Stan’s eyes lit up. “Wait – you’re telling me there are two of you?”

Elizabeth nodded. “That’s right. Most people have a very hard time telling us apart: We both have eyes the color of the Pacific Ocean; beautiful, heart-shaped faces; and we both wear matching gold lavalieres, a gift from our parents for our 16th birthday. But that’s where the similarities end,” she explained.

“The similarities actually end?” Stan asked, raising his eyebrows. “You girls look like you’d be identical right down to the taint.”

“Oh, we are,” Elizabeth said quickly. “Physically, we’re exactly alike. Well, I do have a small mole on my right shoulder. Wait, maybe it’s my left — to be fair, I haven’t looked back there in a while.”

“I’d be happy to take a look,” Stan volunteered.

“I’d let you, but I’d probably start crying the minute I take off my shirt,” Elizabeth said. “It would just be awkward for all of us.”

Stan settled back into the leather seat of the limo. He poured a healthy serving of champagne and offered the flute to Elizabeth through the window.

“Oh, no thank you,” she said. “I don’t drink. Unless someone has spiked my drink with magical vodka. And then it will probably only take half a glass to get me rip-roaring drunk, get behind the wheel of our Jeep and kill someone — most likely one of Jessica’s boyfriends, which I guess in this case would be you, Mr. Stanton.”

Stan slowly backed the champagne flute away from the open window and downed it all himself.

“Meeting you has been such a pleasant surprise,” he said after he’d swallowed the last of the champagne. “Jessica didn’t tell me she had a twin.”

“Well, she doesn’t like to claim me,” Elizabeth explained. “We are completely different: I wear a watch and Jessica doesn’t, because she’s convinced things don’t really start happening until she gets there; I prefer writing for The Oracle — I mean, the Sweet Valley News — or at least I did until I got laid off on Monday, and Jessica loves modeling, cheerleading and selling her body on random street corners; I cheat on all of my boyfriends, including my longtime boyfriend Todd Wilkins, but Jessica at least has the decency to break up with her boyfriends before pursuing someone new — at least, most of the time she does.”

“I see,” Stan said slowly. “That will certainly make this threesome more interesting.”

Elizabeth wasn’t sure she had heard him quite right. A threesome? I thought that was something special between me, Jessica and Mr. Collins, she thought.

Just then, her twin came sashaying across the courtyard in a turquoise bikini that left little to the imagination. In her hand, she carried a beach bag loaded down with suntanning oil, the latest issues of Flair and Ingenue and a giant tub of lube. “Why, Elizabeth, are you trying to steal my precious little Marshall the fifth?” she called, trying to put on a playful tone for Stan’s sake. But Elizabeth could tell it masked a very real hint of annoyance.

“I was just explaining to him that you were running a little bit behind schedule,” Elizabeth said. “It was very nice to meet you, Mr. Stanton.”

“Oh, no, you’re coming with us,” he said. “I’m not going on a date with just Jessica when there are two Jessicas I can awkwardly fondle on the beach.”

“But I’m not a … Jessica,” Elizabeth explained.

“No, she’s definitely not a Jessica,” Jessica explained, yanking her twin away from the limo and giving Stan a tight smile. “There’s only one Jessica Wakefield, you know!”

Stan gave her a curious look. “I don’t think you understand how this works, Jessica,” he said, an evil glint in his eye. “I always get what I want.”

“Oh, I understand that perfectly well,” Jessica said. “Because I always get what I want. And I don’t want to share you with anybody — especially not my twin.”

Elizabeth stood, paralyzed by her sister’s ever-tightening grip on her arm. “Yes, Mr. Stanton, I’d rather not intrude on your date with Jessica,” she said politely.

Stan fixed the twins with a steely gaze. “I know what you’re after, Jessica,” he said. “And I might — might — let you have what you want. … But only if you bring Elizabeth with you.”

Jessica took a deep breath and closed her eyes. I don’t see any way to get around this one, she admitted. It looks like I’ve been outschemed by an elderly man. Just remember, he’s worth a fortune. You can do whatever you need to do to get your hands on his money. It’s just like dancing, only this is, like, real life and you might actually have to blow him. But you can do this.

She smiled. “Well, now what kind of sister would I be if I didn’t share?” she asked. “Lizzie just needs to change into her bathing suit, don’t you, Liz?” She tightened her grip on Elizabeth’s upper arm.

“Ouch, Jess, you’re hurting me,” Elizabeth whispered. Jessica’s response was to squeeze tighter. “Yes, I was just going to —”

“Go put on the silver maillot,” Jessica ordered under her breath, releasing her hold on Elizabeth and roughly shoving her back toward their condo.

“The silver maillot?” Elizabeth whispered back, horrified. “Why can’t I just wear one of my own bathing suits?”

Jessica snorted. “Those matronly things? Honestly, Eizabeth, you’re the only woman in Sweet Valley who owns one of those modesty bathing suits with the leggings and the sleeves. Ugh. It’s so fugly!”

“I like to protect my skin from the sun and my vagina from roving peen,” Elizabeth answered.

“Just wear the fucking silver maillot,” Jessica growled. “Now.”

“Jessica, I don’t feel comfortable sharing a bathing suit with you,” Elizabeth complained. “I’ve been herpes-free for 26 years now, and I’d like to keep it that way.”

* * *

Lila crouched behind a sand dune, Marshall close by. Pushing his chair over the sand had been nothing short of actual labor.

“Ugh,” she said out loud, brushing sand off her arms and adjusting the angle of the red, wide-brimmed hat perched on top of her head. She lost her balance and reached for Marshall’s chair to steady herself.

Instead, she accidentally knocked over the chair, tipping Marshall face-first into the scorching sand.

“Oh, sweetheart. Are you OK,” Lila asked in a monotone voice. When Marshall didn’t answer, she shrugged and went back to studying the beach. It was fairly deserted, but Lila could make out Enid Rollins stumbling into the water, two terrified-looking little girls in tow; Heather Mallone berating a very anorexic-looking little girl for eating ice cream from the concession stand; and Ken Matthews oiling up Todd Wilkins’ hairy back.

“My god,” Lila gasped. “He’s got more hair on his back than on his head!”

She had come up with the perfect plan for disrupting Jessica’s date with Stan. It had taken her nearly an entire week to think of it, but as a second-rate schemer, Lila was confident she could pull it off.

Just you wait, Jessica Wakefield, Lila thought with a smirk. Your date is so over!

* * *

Enid had hurried the girls out the door as soon as she’d seen Jessica and Elizabeth strutting around the courtyard in their bathing suits, which could only mean one thing — they were going to the beach. She’d moved so quickly, she hadn’t even bothered to get any of them a bathing suit.

“Come on in the water, girls,” she called to Brandi and Nevaeh, who were clinging to each other at the edge of the ocean.

“Mommy, the water’s cold,” Brandi said, shivering.

“And we aren’t even wearing bathing suits,” Nevaeh complained.

“Girls, you will get in this water right now, and you will like it,” Enid snapped. “Do you think Elizabeth Wakefield would complain about swimming in jeans?”

Brandi shook her head. “No,” Nevaeh said softly, looking down.

“Well, get in here, then,” Enid said. Sobbing, the girls obeyed, wading into the water. They moved slowly, their waterlogged clothes dragging them down.
Turning her back on the kids, Enid scanned the beach for any sign of Elizabeth or Jessica. Maybe the mystery date in the limo is the same mystery date who picked up Elizabeth the other day, she thought. I’m going to finally find out whose ass I need to kick.

* * *

Elizabeth could tell her face was bright red. It was bad enough being pawed by Stan in the limousine, but to make matters worse, she was expected to let him do it on a public beach. The things I do for my twin, Elizabeth thought, shaking her head. Jessica owes me big time for this one.

Jessica, on the other hand, appeared to be having the time of her life. Elizabeth wasn’t sure how her twin was able to contain her revulsion as Stan’s wrinkled hand crept closer and closer to her snatch. I love to give people the benefit of the doubt, Elizabeth thought, but this is a bit much, even for me. Still, I’m sure that deep down, Stan is a nice person. Maybe he’s just having some trouble at home that I can help him with. I’d better ask.

“So, Stan, how is your father doing these days? I’ve met him once or twice at Lila Crest,” Elizabeth said smoothly. “He seems really nice. You two must have a great relationship.”

Stan just stared at her, then turned to Jessica. “Is your sister always such a boner kill?” he asked.

Jessica nodded. “Total boner kill.”

“I do not kill boners,” Elizabeth said, more than a little annoyed at her sister. “My post-orgasmic tears kill boners.”

“That’s right, she’s a crier,” Jessica confirmed, popping the cork on another bottle of champagne. “So we’ve all got that to look forward to.”

Elizabeth turned and stared out the window as Stan reached around to grab a handful of side-boob. She could already feel the now-familiar tears welling up in her eyes. Suddenly, Elizabeth realized they weren’t headed toward the beach.

“Where are we going?” she asked, trying to catch Jessica’s eye.

“I have a beach house a few miles up the coast,” Stan said, grabbing Jessica’s hand and moving it toward his crotch.

“Your own beach house?” Jessica breathed, clearly impressed.

“With my own private beach, of course,” he said. “Unless you’re into exhibitionism? If you are, we can certainly turn around and go back to the public beach.”

“Exhibitionism?” Jessica repeated breathily. “Oh, Lizzie, please, can we?”

“Absolutely not,” Elizabeth said, a tear streaming down her face.

Jessica exhaled loudly in exasperation at her sister’s tears. “Already? But we haven’t actually gotten laid yet.”

* * *

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11 2010

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