CYNTHIA HUNSAKER Power stood shivering in her kitchen, a silk robe wrapped around her sylphlike body, and wondered whom she'd have to fuck or fire to get a diet Red Bull. Her doe eyes, accentuated by last night's false eyelashes, blinked at the challenge. She flicked her traight black ponytail faded only slightly by age, and smirked. Cynthia's delicate mouth was stained, her beloved Chanel Red No. 5 intensifying her pale skin. Reality check, Cynthia, she thought, when was the last time you did either?

The chef wouldn't arrive until daybreak, the French butler was still asleep, and the housekeepers and drivers and trainers hadn't even tasted their first sip of coffee before hopping the train into Manhattan. Cynthia was alone in the kitchen, something she hadn't been since Vivienne was a baby. Had it really been almost twenty-five years?

She'd been jostled awake by a recurring dream.

"Snakes," Cynthia said out loud. "Even my nightmares are clich├ęs." She imagined her therapist Dr. Gold's reaction: "Don't waste my time, bubule. I'm a very busy man. I've got a full day of undersexed neurotics."

Now. Find that Red Bull. The industrial-size refrigerator revealed nothing. There were no other clues. Her designer had prohibited appliances, declaring them aesthetically offensive. The kitchen looked like a morgue.

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