Turning her head, she looked across the bedroom to her walk-in closet where Gloria was rummaging through clothes and probably making a royal mess. The continual scrape of hangers and the opening and closing of shoe boxes didn’t sound encouraging, but what could she do? Talia and Gloria were the same size, and it was every sister’s solemn duty to share her clothes when emergencies arose.
“Hey, Glo?” she called.
Gloria, looking hassled, with a strand of hair hanging in her face and several of Talia’s expensive silk scarves draped across her neck, poked her head around the door.
“Thanks for coming with me this morning.”
They’d been through this drill a million times before, so Talia knew what to expect…and here it came.
Gloria lowered her brows, making the familiar frowny face. “Don’t thank me. That’s what I’m here for. Did you think I’d let you go to the doctor by yourself?”
Talia flipped over onto her side so she could see Gloria better, resting her head on her palm. “No. But I’m not sure you know how much it means to me.”
They didn’t normally do emotions, she and Gloria, so it was no surprise when Gloria tsked and waved a dismissive hand. “Oh, you’ll make it up to me, honey. When I turn up with breast cancer or Alzheimer’s, I plan to be a much bigger pain in the ass than you are now.”
That got a laugh out of Talia. “I look forward to it.”
Gloria’s gaze sharpened, running over Talia’s face in one of her critical assessments. “You doing okay? You look tired.”
“I’m fine.” Talia had a strict policy that had carried her through her treatments: never acknowledge or give in to the periodic physical weakness. Better to drop into a dead faint from exhaustion than to admit that her body wasn’t firing on all cylinders all the time, just like everyone else’s. “Stop asking.”
Talia caught a quick glance of narrowed eyes and pursed lips before Gloria ducked back inside the closet. “Stop being such a freaking martyr and take a nap,” she called. “I won’t tell anyone.”
Talia dropped her arm and sank her head into her favorite pillow, giving herself five minutes—no more!—to rest her eyes before she thought about dinner.
“I’m not a martyr. I prefer to think of myself as Wonder Woman. Or Buffy. I can handle anything.”
A muffled snort came from the closet. “I stand corrected, O invincible one. So…what’s going on with you and Tony? And please give me credit for putting my nosiness on the back burner all day. Are you impressed?”
“You know what would really impress me?” Talia called back. “If you went a whole day without being nosy. Why don’t you shoot for that?”
“You don’t want to talk about it? Is that what I’m getting?”
Talia hesitated. The thing was, she did want to talk about it. Sort of. The lead weight of her heartache was getting to be too much for her, and it might be time to share it.
Anyway, how could she feel any worse?
“I told Tony about the cancer.”
There was a long silence, and then Gloria reappeared, eyes wide. “Hold up. Go back to the beginning. Are you telling me there’s something going on with you and Tony? I was just fishing.”
Talia glared. Why did they have to waste time on every little detail before they got to the main point of the conversation? “Get real. You saw him, didn’t you? And he’s a great guy. How could I resist that combination? Of course there’s something going on.”
Gloria hissed with outrage. “Well, why’d you have to act like I was insane for asking?”
Feeling unaccountably irritable, Talia shrugged. “I’m not happy about it.”
“Because when I told him I’d been sick, he said he needed some time to—”
“Well, give the brother a minute, Talia. It’s a lot to take in.”
Astonishment made Talia hike herself up into a sitting position so she could see her sister better. Notwithstanding her policy of endless second chances for the bastard she was dating, Gloria wasn’t big on giving people the benefit of the doubt, especially men.