Hope smiled at her sister in the passenger seat as she started the Jeep's engine. "This is going to be so much fun."
Faith groaned, glancing out the window. The sparkly insignia on her D&G sunglasses glinted in the morning light. She wasn't an early riser or a nature lover, so she didn't share Hope's enthusiasm.
"You can't bring those sunglasses on the raft," Hope said.
Faith removed them with an exaggerated sigh. Her eyes were brown, like Hope's. When they were younger, strangers used to ask if they were twins. They'd shared the same heart-shaped face and chocolate-colored curls. Although Hope kept her hair natural, Faith's was straight and blond, courtesy of the upscale salon where she worked.
Faith checked her appearance in the mirror. "I look hideous in your clothes."
"You look adorable."
Hope had let Faith borrow the shorts, tank top and hiking boots. None of her sister's chic L.A. outfits were appropriate for a whitewater adventure. Faith had spruced up the ensemble with pigtail braids, and she wore her own skimpy bikini underneath. She'd balked at the idea of donning one of Hope's demure swimsuits.
Faith flipped up the visor and stashed her sunglasses in the glove compartment. "Remind me why I agreed to this."
"Because you planned our vacation last year."
"And it was fabulous. There's nothing wrong with relaxing on the beach."
Hope drove down the bumpy dirt road toward the Kaweah River, humming along with the song on the radio. She spent a week with her sister every summer, and she always looked forward to it. Whether they were lounging in the sun or hiking through the Sierras, Hope enjoyed Faith's company.
"This weather is perfect for rafting," Hope said. The heat wave that had struck several days ago showed no signs of letting up.
"If there aren't any cute guys in our group, I'm jumping overboard."
Hope smirked at the threat. Faith had broken up with her boyfriend several months ago, and she'd seemed melancholy ever since. Her sister tended to treat men like passing fashions, easily discarded. But she'd been different with Tom, more committed. More upset when things didn't work out.
"I've met our guide, and he's gorgeous," she said. He was also gay, but that didn't matter. Faith would flirt with him anyway. "Three of the rafters are college guys, probably jocks. You have to be strong to handle a Class Five run."
Faith's eyes narrowed. "Class Five?"
"Don't worry. The rest of us are experienced paddlers."
"Hope! You know I hate exercise."
"You hate sweat."
"Not much chance of that, with water splashing you all day."
Faith made a noise of protest. "This reminds me of the time you made me hike up that huge mountain. I almost died."
"You did not," Hope said. "Physical activity is better for you than dieting. You'll get a tan and look great in your bikini."
"I don't like jocks."
"You liked Tom."
"College guys are immature."
"Not always. They could be...grad students."
Faith wrinkled her nose.
"You're not usually this choosy."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Are you calling me a slut?"
"No! You're just...free-spirited." If anything, Hope was jealous of Faith's casual attitude about sex. Her flashy self-confidence attracted men in droves. "I admire that."