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I eye the tiny checked skirt with horror

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I eye the tiny checked skirt with horror. 'You can't wear that.'

'I'm having my Clueless moment, darling,' Lissie says, pulling a pair of white socks halfway up her slim thighs. 'You can be the Dionne to my Cher and go in Mummy's vintage Westwood kilt?' She roots through her suitcase and throws me a pleated miniskirt. Holding it up, it's clear it's even shorter than the one Lissie is wearing.

I sidestep a pile of dirty laundry, grab a hanger, and hang the skirt up in my wardrobe; one less piece of Lissie's clothing on the floor. Lord, I'd forgotten how unbelievably messy she is. It's something that I haven't missed. Brushing loose blusher from my desk, I gawp at her reflection.

'Liss, Dean Stanger will have a heart attack.' I rip away a sheer shirt that leaves nothing to the imagination. 'She's doing you a favour by letting you come to school for a few days. I'm sure Daddy had to donate something.'

I snatch away a second strappy silk top that looks like underwear. She rolls her eyes and mutters something that sounds like 'dictator'. Finally, she pulls a tight, cropped jumper from under my ottoman. Wriggling into it, she inspects the final image in my long mirror.

'Better?' she asks, twirling around.

I grit my teeth. 'Well, it isn't worse.'

Pouting in the mirror, she takes out a bottle of perfume, and envelopes me in a cloud of Chanel.

'Are you sure I can't tempt you to come in matching high socks?' she asks, picking at my pinafore dress and the frilly collared shirt below it. I shake my head, pulling on a pair of laced black tights and batting her away as she tries to hold up several waist-cinching belts against me.

'Well, you can't say I didn't try,' she says. 'Although now you've had your first delicious taste of boys, I suppose it's better if you don't steal attention from me.'

Shooting off a text to James, I pull Lissie away from the mirror and down the stairs. Oscar's the only one in the kitchen. His hair is still messy from sleep as he slumps over a plate of scrambled eggs. As soon as Lissie enters behind me - her jumper now tucked up underneath itself to reveal two inches of toned midriff - he sits bolt upright, smiling wide enough to dribbe coffee down his white sweatshirt. Cursing, he wipes his mouth with the back of his hand and races out all pink cheeks and apologies.

'He's such a cutie-pie,' Lissie says, braiding her hair into an elaborate twist around her head. 'Mats, you are lucky he isn't your older brother, or I would try to get in there.'

'Gross.' I pour out two mugs of tea and plate up two servings of breakfast. I add two fresh pieces of toast to mine, but I don't bother for Lissie. She made her feelings on carbohydrates clear when we were twelve.

She drops into a stool on the island, pushing away the plate of food. Taking the mug of tea, she wraps her long fingers around it. I know she's working out how many calories are in the full-skimmed milk, so I pass over the bottle. She wrinkles her nose before pouring it down the sink and choosing a camomile tea bag instead.

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