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Thea studied Veronica's face in the flare of a long drag. There was concern in her face tonight, along with what looked like raw weariness -- as if, this early on, she'd already been in some tight scrape. The resemblance to Emily was vivid: the same high cheekbones and long, stepped nose, the ash-blonde complexion a shade more delicate in the younger sister. Emily was the slender, elegant one driven crazy by endless comparisons to La Streep. Veronica's looks were less easily put down to type, a touch androgynous like a femme Lennon, especially in these granny glasses she'd taken to wearing.

She was somewhere in her early twenties: straight, tall, strong, wide in the hips but oddly girlish in her moves, given to compulsive awkwardness as if she were trying to keep her real grace under wraps.

Sometimes, Thea reflected, looking at Veronica was like watching a projection of herself reeled back from twenty-five years past.

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