Trina's Tale, Part 1

(by SSTORYMAN, 22 April 2000)


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This fictional account contains adult language and themes.  If such language
and themes offend you, please do not read further.  The persons and events
described in this work are purely fictional, and any similarity to actual
persons or events is strictly coincidental.  Copyright 2000 by SSTORYMAN.
All rights reserved.  Permission is granted to reproduce this story in any
form and for any purpose as long as this notice is reproduced and no
financial remuneration is received, directly or indirectly, by the person
reproducing it.

TRINA'S TALE

1.	The First Round:  The Sting.

   It all began when my sister Kim approached me last fall with an idea.
I'll tell the whole story, though some of the discussions probably didn't
happen exactly the way I repeat them here.  But I remember enough of what was
said to tell the tale pretty much like it happened.  As for my first meeting
with Kim, I remember that discussion like it was yesterday.

   "Trina," Kim said.  "I'm worried about Kristin.  I'm sure she's started
smoking again."

   I'm Trina.  I have two sisters, Kristin and Kim.  Kristin's the oldest.
At the time, she was 24, Kim was 23, and I was 21, the baby of the family.
Kristin Kennedy, Kimberly Kennedy, and Katrina Kennedy.  You can tell Dad had
a thing about alliteration.  Three sisters, three triple K's.  You could also
guess Dad's first name is Kenneth, another "K" name.  He always wanted Mom to
change the spelling of her name from Catherine to Katherine.  But that's
another story.

   "No shit?" I replied.  "Are you sure?  Kristin swore to Dad she quit two
years ago."

   "Yeah, I'm sure, all right.  Kristin's smoking," she assured me a second
time.  "The smell of stale smoke is everywhere in our apartment."

   Kristin and Kim were rooming together while Kristin finished her masters
degree.  They had an apartment near the university.  Unlike Kristin and me,
Kim was no longer in school and was gainfully employed.  After getting her
undergrad degree, she got a job with a local PR firm.  So Kim had money and a
real social life.  As for me, I was living in the dorm, in my junior year in
college in the same town.

   "Yeah, but are you sure the smell of smoke isn't from that guy she's
dating?  What's his name?  Rob?  Doesn't he smoke?  Doesn't he hang out at
your place all the time?"

   "Yeah, Rob practically lives in Kristin's room," Kim nodded.  "And you're
right, Rob does smoke.  We finally let him smoke in the apartment 'cause he
whined and moped when we made him go outside.  But now I think Kristin's
started again, too.  She's using Rob's smoking as a cover for the fact that
she's resurrected her old habit."

   "So, what do you want me to do about it?  I'm not getting in the middle
this time!"

   I figured Kim was angling for me to squeal to Dad again.  Two years
earlier, Kristin was a senior and I was a freshman, and I learned she'd
started smoking.  I saw her with a cigarette at a kegger one Friday night in
my dorm.  I freaked out.  I asked around.  Sure enough, her friends told me
she'd been smoking for awhile.  Kristin conveniently never told Kim or me.
She was no fool.  She knew Dad would be pissed.  Stupidly playing the role of
Little Miss Self-Righteous, I ratted on Kristin.  I called Dad and told him
Kristin was smoking.  He hit the fuckin' roof!  He told Kristin unless she
quit, he'd stop paying her tuition.  She had no choice.  At first she was
royally pissed at me, but she did quit smoking.  It was weird, though.
Months later she thanked me.  She eventually changed into a real anti-smoker.
She even said my squealing on her was the biggest favor I'd ever done for
her.  But there was serious tension between us for awhile.  If Kristin was
smoking again, I had no appetite for getting involved a second time between
her and Dad.  I was older and wiser, so I thought.  But Kim wouldn't let up.

   "We _have_ to tell Dad.  Kristin thinks she has a perfect cover.  She
blames the smell on her clothes, her hair and in our apartment on Rob's
habit.  But I have an idea.  We can run a sting.  We'll trick her into
admitting that she's smoking again, and then we'll tell Dad."

   I sighed.  "What do you mean, a sting?"

   "You know," Kim smiled.  "A sting!  Like in that old Paul Newman and
Robert Redford movie?  We'll trick Kristin into telling the truth to us that
she's smoking, that Rob's not the only one smoking around here.  Then as soon
as we've got the goods on her, we turn her in to Dad."

   I rolled my eyes.  "And why in the hell would we want to do that?"

   "Smoking's bad," Kim answered earnestly.  "It's Rob's fault she's started
smoking again.  But Dad will make her quit.  She still needs him to pay for
her school.  She can't blow him off till she graduates.  However, after last
time's pyrotechnics, we need more than suspicion to go to Dad.  You know him.
He'll demand proof before pulling out the big guns.  So I propose we get him
some hard evidence."

   Kim seemed excited about her fiendish plan.  I was less sure.  "And how
will we do that, assuming I'm willing to play along?  Are you talking about
hidden cameras or some such shit?"

   Kim smiled.  "No, stupid, it's simpler than that.  We just pretend we
smoke, too.  The three of us will get together.  You and I will casually take
cigarettes out of our purses and light up.  We'll convince Kris that we're
smokers, too.  Undoubtedly she'll let her guard down and light up with us.
Bingo!  We tell it's a scam, that you and I don't really smoke.  Unless she
agrees to quit, we threaten to go to Dad, 'cause he'll force her to quit
again if we tell him.  It's perfect!"

   I frowned.  "I don't like it," I confessed.  "Kristin was pissed last time
I meddled in her personal stuff.  I took a lot of shit for awhile.  I think
I'll pass this time.  Besides, she'll never believe that either of us smoke.
That's dumb.  She won't buy it."

   "Yes, she will," Kim enthusiastically disagreed.  "I tried smoking a few
times, just to see if I could do it.  It's not that hard.  And you've tried
it, too, I'm sure."

   I shook my head.  I had to tell the truth.  "Actually, Kim, I've never
tried smoking.  Not even once.  I've never had any interest in it, to be
honest.  It's a shitty, dirty, stupid habit."

   "Sure it is," she agreed.  "But you can learn.  With a little practice you
can convince Kristin that you _do_ smoke, and so can I.  Then we lower the
boom.  Pow!  She's toast."  Kim laughed fiendishly.  "Really, we'll be doing
her a favor, if you think about it."

   I remained skeptical.  "I don't know.  And anyway, how in the hell am I
going to learn how to smoke so I can join in this little sting operation of
yours?"

   "I've thought about that, too.  How about your friend, Ellie?  I know
Ellie smokes.  I ran into her at a party a couple weeks ago.  She was smoking
like a chimney.  It gave me the idea for this scheme.  You and Ellie used to
be close.  Get her to teach you, just enough so that you and I can trick
Kristin into lighting up when we pretend to smoke in front of her."

   Freshman year, Ellie Lang was one of my roommates.  At that time, Ellie
didn't smoke.  None of us did in our quad.  We were close that year.  But
summer between freshman and sophomore years, Ellie picked up the smoking
habit.  The first time I saw her fall term she had a cigarette in her hand.
It was a real shock!  Strangely, she seemed to relish the negative attention
her smoking attracted.  We were still friends, but it was never the same
after she started to smoke.  It seemed the only people Ellie wanted to hang
out with after that were smokers.  Her old roommates, Roz, Jan and I, didn't
fit into that category.

   I smiled.  "Yeah, Ellie would show me," I admitted.  "She'd think it was
real funny if I asked her.  But I'm not sure it's a good idea.  Let Kristin
live in peace this time.  To be honest, I don't give a flying fuck if she's
smoking.  I'm not the same crusader I was two years ago, when I turned her in
to Dad the first time.  I don't give a shit anymore.  It's her life."

   Kim was persistent.  "No, Trina.  You were right two years ago.  And I'm
right, too.  This will work.  It's not hard to learn to smoke.  Have Ellie
help you.  After a few sessions we'll get together for a dry run.  Then we'll
arrange to spring the trap on Kristin.  She'll light up and we'll tell her
she has to quit because, if she doesn't, we'll tell Dad, and he'll make her
quit, this time for good.  Please, Trina?  Think about it."

   I agreed to think about it.  And I did.  A lot.  I asked myself many
questions over the next few days.  The one question I didn't ask was, how did
Kim become so sure of her own ability to smoke?  I was too dumb to think of
that one.  However, I did talk to Ellie like Kim suggested.

   When we roomed together freshman year, people thought Ellie and I were
sisters.  Kristin, Kim and I look a lot alike.  But Ellie and I are
practically twins.  She's tall, like me, and skinny, too.  We both have long
blond hair and nice figures.  Okay, maybe Ellie's tits are a little bigger,
but mine aren't bad.  Not to brag or anything but, like me, Ellie's gorgeous.
She's always had tons of guys after her.  I've had my share, too.  Ellie is a
flirt, like me, and she's been known to sleep around, like me, too.  Freshman
year we had a contest once just to see who could sleep with more different
guys in a three day period.  Ellie won.  I fucked three guys in three days,
but she fucked five.  But that's another story.

   Anyway, when Ellie started smoking, I thought it'd hurt her social life.
It didn't.  It changed the crowd she hung out with, but that was all.  It
didn't seem to alter the attention she got one iota.  Even as a smoker, Ellie
had more guys than she could handle.  I was a little jealous at the time.  It
seemed Ellie could do no wrong when it came to boys.

   So I got together with Ellie at her apartment a few days after talking
with Kim.  As soon as I walked in, I was hit with the overwhelming odor of
stale tobacco smoke.  Ellie was a dyed-in-the-wool pack a day smoker, and
unapologetic about it, too.  I always thought smoking made her seem
worldly-wise and sophisticated.  Maybe that's why she still drew boys like
shit draws flies.  Anyway, that day Ellie looked fuckin' great, as usual.
She wore a tight, bright red tank top with no bra underneath and fitted blue
jeans.  Her long blond hair hung down over her shoulders.  As always, she
unashamedly smoked her Marlboro Lights 100's while we talked.

   Ellie was delighted when I told her about Kim's request.  "God, Trina, I'd
_love_ to teach you to smoke," she sighed with a mischievous grin.  "Ever
since I started smoking, I always hoped you and Roz would someday see the
light and join me."

   Roz was another of our roommates freshman year.  Roz and I still lived
together, though the fourth girl in our quad that year, Jan, transferred to
another school after sophomore year.  Like me, of course, Roz didn't smoke.

   I patiently explained Kim's plan.  "So, do you get it, Ellie?  I'm not
here to 'see the light,' as you call it.  But I need to learn enough about
smoking so that Kristin thinks I smoke.  You may not approve, but Kim and I
want to trick Kristin, to get the goods on her.  Kim's sure that Kristin's
smoking again.  We want to force her to quit a second time.  Kristin's being
careful, so, to get the goods on her, we'll sucker her into smoking with us.
Then we'll threaten to tell Dad.  If she won't quit, he'll lower the boom on
her again, just like he did two years ago."

   Ellie took a long, sumptuous drag on her cigarette.  It was funny, but
suddenly I couldn't help noticing how utterly alluring she looked smoking her
cigarette.  Of course, that girl would look sexy shoveling shit!  She's just
gorgeous.  Ellie smiled at me.  "I remember when you ratted on Kristin the
first time, freshman year," she admitted.  "I thought it was a shitty thing
to do then, and in those days I didn't even smoke."  She laughed, exhaling a
tight stream of smoke in the air.  "But what the hell?  Go ahead and fuck
your sister over.  I don't care.  Whatever.  I'll help you.  I can teach you
to smoke."

   And so my first lesson began.  Ellie explained how to hold a cigarette,
how to light up, and how to puff.  She seemed, like, totally at ease smoking
with me.  On the other hand, I was scared to death.  Smoking was a thoroughly
alien experience.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm no prude.  I'd experimented
with sex and alcohol, but that's typical of most college students.  Other
than that, though, I'd been a goody-two-shoes growing up.  In our house, the
assumption was that good girls don't smoke, and Dad made sure we knew it.
Till that fateful afternoon, I'd never even tried a cigarette.  But that day,
my perspective totally changed.

   I just mentioned that Ellie's smoking looked really sexy to me.  The truth
is, till then I'd never really noticed how smokers look when they smoke.  I
mean, I'd just never paid attention.  But that afternoon, carefully watching
Ellie, for the first time I saw how much she enjoys it.  I hate to say it,
but the sight of her smoking was fuckin' magnificent!  Ellie looked
delightfully spellbound each time she put that burning cigarette to her lips.
Her lovely eyes squinted ever so slightly each time she took a drag, and her
cheeks caved in while she applied suction to the cigarette.  Then Ellie
pulled the smoke way down inside her body, drawing the stuff deliberately and
deeply into her lungs.  Each time, a look of pure pleasure shrouded her
gorgeous face.  Ellie is damn good-looking anyway.  But smoking that way made
her look even lovelier, if that's possible, because she was obviously
enjoying her cigarette so much.  I couldn't help but stare every time she
dragged, inhaled and then exhaled the smoke out again.  It was attractive;
alluring, in fact, downright sexy, seeing her blissfully engrossed in that
supposedly evil activity.  While I watched her, smoking suddenly no longer
seemed evil to me.

   Anyway, all that was happening in my head while Ellie was telling me how
to smoke.  I soon learned that puffing on a cigarette wasn't hard.  But
inhaling was!  The first time I tried it was a fuckin' disaster.  I coughed
and coughed.  Ellie just laughed.  It didn't worry her.  It was as if she
knew a delicious secret about what was happening.  It was a secret I didn't
yet understand.  In spite of my initial awkwardness, Ellie made me inhale
over and over, till my urge to cough finally vanished.  Then I began feeling
lightheaded and giddy.  Nicotine was working its magic.  I should've known
what was happening.  But I didn't.  I just followed Ellie's lead, carefully
perfecting the art of handling a cigarette and sucking the smoke into my
body.

   I smoked two cigarettes with Ellie that afternoon.  After the second one,
I was buzzed.  But I felt amazingly good.  From the start Ellie insisted that
I learn to inhale the smoke deep into my lungs.  She said it was necessary to
convince Kristin that I was a real smoker.  I didn't know any better at the
time.  So I just did it.  It's hard to believe now that I didn't second-guess
her supposedly good advice.  But at the time, Ellie was the expert.  I was
the student.  So I inhaled the smoke deep inside with each puff.  It's
amazing how fast my body adjusted to it.  By the end of our session I was
tolerating the smoke real well.  Too well, in fact.

   Before I left that day, Ellie suggested we get together again the next day
to practice some more.  I agreed.  The truth was, I kind of liked it.  But I
hadn't yet admitted that; not to Ellie, and not even to myself.

   Leaving her place that afternoon, I drove downtown to run some errands.  I
was at a stop light listening to the radio when another car pulled up beside
me in the left turn lane.  For no specific reason, I glanced over.  The
driver was a gorgeous brunette about my age.  She was just starting to raise
a long, white, cigarette up to her stunningly pretty mouth.  I didn't mean
to, but I found myself staring at her.  At first, she didn't notice.  She was
lost in her world, paying no attention to me or anything else.  As she put
the long white cylinder between her lips, she sucked, hard.  Her drag lasted,
like, forever.  Finally she removed the cigarette from her mouth.  At that
moment, she noticed me gaping at her.  But instead of looking away, she
looked right at me, while holding the smoke in her lungs.  She didn't seem at
all embarrassed to be caught smoking a cigarette.  Instead she gave me a
pleasant smile, tipped her head back, and with a serene look on her lovely
face, slowly released a never-ending stream of smoke from that magnificent
mouth of hers.  Bits of smoke wafted from her nostrils, too.  The girl's eyes
never left mine while she exhaled.  Her sweet face had that same look of pure
pleasure I'd seen on Ellie's.  Till that day I'd never noticed that look of
complete satisfaction associated with smoking.  But there it was again, twice
in one day!  I don't know why, but for some reason that gorgeous woman looked
so fuckin' sexy smoking like that.  It took my breath away to see the lovely
spectacle of smoke escaping from her pretty mouth!  She looked hot, and I
could tell she was experiencing something great.  She wasn't just hooked on
cigarettes.  No, I knew it was more than that.  She'd totally bonded with the
smoking experience.  That eye-catching vixen in the next car was noticeably
and inextricably wed to the pleasure she tasted in that cigarette.  That
realization forever changed how I looked at smokers.  Something was happening
to her.  It was something I didn't yet fully understand.  But now I wanted
to!  Oh, God, did I want to!  I wanted to feel the way she was feeling, and
do what she was doing.  It seemed cool as hell to me!  And it looked so
fuckin' sexy!

   Well, the next day Ellie and I got together again.  I didn't mention the
episode at the stoplight.  There was no reason to, and I myself still didn't
understand why the sight of that girl smoking fascinated me so.  But
regardless, Ellie and I smoked again.  I never thought to buy her another
pack to replace the cigarettes I smoked.  I borrowed Ellie's Marlboro Lights
100's without even thinking about it.  She shared them selflessly, too, and
now I know why.  She loved the opportunity to pass along her beloved habit to
an unsuspecting neophyte.  I know Ellie sensed what was happening to me.  She
watched with perverse pleasure as I fell innocently but irreversibly into
nicotine's demanding clutches.  She got off seeing me become enmeshed in the
same web of temptation that'd already ensnared her.  I still wasn't
consciously aware of it.  But slowly, surely I was becoming captivated by the
whole smoking experience.  Ellie intuitively sensed it, long before I
recognized it myself.  I was so dense; she was so wise.  But I'm getting
ahead of my story.

   Okay, I have to admit something here.  I suppose you'd guess from what I
already said.  But right from the start, I liked smoking.  I mean, I _really_
liked it.  It isn't p.c. to say, but what the hell!  It was true.  Even the
first day, as soon as I got over that damn coughing fit, I loved inhaling
smoke into my lungs.  I understood why Ellie seemed so contented smoking,
because I did, too.  I totally adored the satisfying buzz in my head and the
pleasant, full feeling in my chest when my lungs were chock full of thick,
rich, creamy cigarette smoke.  Mmmm.  It was heavenly!  I loved it!  But you
know what?  It was more than just nice feelings.  I also loved seeing smoke
coming out of my mouth.  I don't know why, but watching its tendrils flow out
from deep inside my body really excited me.  I got an almost sexual rush
seeing Ellie smoke so alluringly.  Smoking myself made those feelings even
more intense.  To be frank, it made me wet!  I wanted to play with myself.
It was fuckin' great!  For all those reasons, I wanted to keep on
'practicing' with Ellie.  I'd never experienced anything like it.  In the
past I hated being around smoke.  But now that it was flowing into and out of
my lungs and mouth, I felt totally different.  Suddenly cigarette smoke
smelled damn good; in fact, better than good.  The smell was fuckin'
wonderful.  And sucking smoke into my lungs now seemed perfectly logical.
Each time I smelled its marvelous, intoxicating aroma, God, I wanted it
inside me.  It was yummy!

   Ellie immediately noticed my enthusiasm.  "Trina," she laughed as I took a
third or fourth puff that second day.  "It looks like you're having way too
much fun smoking, girlfriend.  You're inhaling the smoke much deeper than I
expected, babe."

   I smiled back.  "Well, it's not hard to get used to, you know," I admitted
hesitantly.  "I'm beginning to understand why you enjoy it so much."

   Ellie grinned and pushed her long blond hair off her pretty face.  "I
_love_ to smoke, Trina," she sighed happily.  "I'm glad you finally get the
picture."

   I released a thick stream of smoke through pursed lips.  I was surprised
and frankly amused by how _much_ I was already into it.  "Ellie, it's totally
different from what I thought," I confessed.  "Of course, I won't keep
smoking or anything," I quickly added.  "But I do see why you like it so
much."

   Ellie exhaled noisily and stretched.  As she did, she held her cigarette
high over her head.  "I've dreamed about this day, Trina," she admitted.
"When I learned to smoke two summers ago, I wanted you and Roz and Jan to
understand why I was smoking, and how wonderful smoking is.  But you guys
were all such bitches about it."

   Suddenly my interest had been piqued.  "I've never heard your story,
Ellie, why you started smoking.  What happened?  Can you tell me?"

   "Sure," Ellie smiled.  "I'd love to."  She paused for a hit on her
cigarette.  "Most people I know started smoking because a friend talked them
into it.  That didn't happen to me."  She turned her head to release a cloud
of smoke.  "Basically, I was curious.  My whole life I'd heard how bad
smoking is.  The negativity made me wonder.  There had to be another side to
the story.  I started talking to people who smoke.  I began with some girls I
worked with that summer.  I asked 'em why they smoked, and why they liked it.
It was real interesting.  Some said it was because it gave them something to
do on breaks.  Others said it was relaxing.  Still others said smoking helped
'em not eat so much.  But there was one constant.  Not a single girl wanted
to quit.  They all liked to smoke.  Well, that did it.  I knew I had to try
it.  So I did.  One weekend, my parents were away and I bought a pack of
cigarettes.  I decided to smoke the entire pack, to see what it was all
about."  She smiled.  "By the time I was halfway through my first pack, I
knew I'd never go back.  I loved it!"

   "Wow," I said.  "That's interesting.  So you didn't get badgered into it?
You just tried it and liked it?"

   Ellie took a last drag and crushed her cigarette in the ashtray.  "That's
right.  I started smoking with my eyes wide open.  I still feel the same way.
I smoke because I like it.  It's simple.  And it's the only reason I need to
keep smoking, too.  I've taken a lot of shit about it, but none of that
matters.  I'm not doing it because of what people think.  I'm doing it
exclusively for me, because I love how it makes me feel.  Trina, I love to
smoke!"

   Ellie's words reverberated in my brain.  She just loved to smoke.  It was
simple.  Nothing more, nothing less.  She smoked because she liked to.  It
didn't matter what others thought.  The only thing that mattered was she
loved it.  For some reason, that impressed me.  I couldn't stop thinking
about Ellie's statement.  I finally decided that if smoking delivers a person
that much pleasure, then sure as hell she _ought_ to keep right on doing it.

   The next afternoon I visited Kim.  We agreed to try a dry run together.
On the phone Kim told me beforehand she had a pack of cigarettes for us to
use.  We'd practice together at her place, she explained, to make sure we
could pull it off.  Kristin wouldn't be there, she assured me.  The plan was
to smoke a few cigarettes together, to reassure ourselves that we could smoke
convincingly for our planned 'sting' rendezvous with Kristin.

   When I arrived Kim seemed strangely preoccupied.  She wasn't herself.  I
attributed it to her being nervous about smoking.  It was going to be weird
and probably stressful for both of us.

   At that point I still wasn't sure how I felt about it.  In two days I'd
smoked four cigarettes, obviously not enough to get hooked.  But for some
reason, I was obsessed by what Ellie said.  It was so seductively simple.  My
old roommate loved to smoke.  She'd taken tons of shit from non-smoking
friends, like me, but it didn't matter.  Ellie kept smoking anyway, because
she liked it so much.  The funny thing was, I now understood why she felt
that way.  My brief experience with smoking left me strangely ambivalent.
Though I felt I shouldn't, I liked how I felt when I smoked, too.  And for
some weird reason, there was that whole sexual connection thing.  At least to
me, Ellie looked utterly stunning with a cigarette.  It was a combination of
things: the way the smoke lazily curled and drifted into the air from her
cigarette; the rapturous look on her pretty face whenever she took a long
drag; and the way the smoke burst from her lips and nostrils while flowing
from deep inside her lovely chest.  Instinctively I knew that I, too, looked
sexy when I smoked, and I liked that a lot.  It excited me.  In other words,
I'd become more and more charmed by the whole experience.  Of course, I said
nothing about that to Kim.  But it was beginning to mess with my mind,
big-time!

   Kim took an almost full pack of cigarettes from a drawer.  The pale green
pack said Benson & Hedges Menthol Lights 100's.  It looked different from
Ellie's gold and white Marlboro Lights 100's.  But as a novice, I knew
nothing about different brands.  So I accepted the cigarette Kim handed me
without comment or question.

   Kim looked embarrassed.  "Okay," she muttered almost too casually, holding
her unlit cigarette between her second and third fingers.  "Let's show each
other what we can do, Trina.  I hope you've been practicing."

   "I sure have," I said with a self-assured smile.  I held the cigarette to
my lips while she readied a small disposable lighter.  "Ellie and I had two
smoking lessons.  I know _I_ can do this.  We'll see if _you_ can, Kim."

   In truth, I was damn proud of how well and fast I'd managed to simulate
the smoking style of a real smoker.  I wanted to show off for my older
sister.  Sibling rivalry is a funny thing.  So Kim clicked the lighter and
held out the flame.  It was weird, but without hesitation I leaned in and
confidently caught the light.  The cigarette crackled as I took my first
puff.

   Ellie told me you should always take a nice, long, first drag from a
cigarette, and I did, for Kim's benefit.  Like Ellie's, my cheeks caved in as
I sucked, and I purposely smiled while drawing on it.  The look of surprise
on Kim's face was priceless.  She presumably expected much less of me!

   After a few seconds I removed the cigarette from my lips and sucked the
smoke down my windpipe and into my lungs.  Still smiling, I cocked my head
and forcefully released a long, thin stream of concentrated smoke through
pursed lips.  "How's that?" I asked rhetorically.

   Kim gasped.  "My God!  You've got it down, girl!"  She appeared quite
pleased.  With no more comment, she lit her own cigarette.  I was impressed
by Kim's performance, too.  She lit up with the practiced look of a real
veteran smoker.  Kim looked almost as good as Ellie with a cigarette in her
mouth!

   Kim's cigarettes were menthols.  I'd never smoked those before, and the
different taste surprised me a little.  But it didn't taste bad, just
different, and I was determined not to appear caught off guard.  I wanted to
seem like a confident, accomplished smoker.  After all, that was the role I
was supposed to play, wasn't it?  So instead, I turned my attention to my
sister.

   She'd finished her initial hit and was directing a stream of exhaled smoke
toward the ceiling.  My immediate reaction?  Kim had obviously been
practicing, too!  She wasn't Ellie's equal, of course, but she did look good
smoking.  Like I said, my whole view of smokers and smoking had changed in
the last two days.  I always knew Kim was damn good looking.  She has a
gorgeous face and a great figure.  But now, to my surprise, she looked
fuckin' stunning with that long, lit cigarette in her hand and thick, creamy
smoke flowing out of her pretty little mouth.  I couldn't help but grin.

   "Wow, Kim!  You've evidently been practicing, too," I whistled.  "You look
damn good smoking!"  Shit!  I winced.  I hadn't meant to say that.  It
sounded too enthusiastic.  But it was true.  She looked great!

   "Thanks," Kim smiled.  Suddenly, her nervousness returned.  She fumbled
for something to say.  "Well, I guess we should keep smoking, shouldn't we?.
I mean, we need to show Kristin we can really do this.  Right?"

   I was way ahead of her.  I just nodded my head and put the cigarette back
between my lips.  I began a second, even longer drag, just the way Ellie
showed me.  This drag lasted several seconds, and this time the coolness of
the menthol felt good in my mouth.  It felt even better in my chest after the
smoke had passed through my windpipe and into my lungs.  God, it felt good!
I held the smoke inside my chest awhile, smiling, just like Ellie always did.

   Finally I turned my head to direct an exhale in Kim's direction.  A wave
of well-being swept over my body.  It felt so good to smoke!  Kim was
likewise puffing on her cigarette again.  But this time there was a faint
smile on her lips.  After an adept inhale, she, too, exhaled a tight stream
of smoke through her mouth.  Once again, I thought she looked awfully sexy
doing it.

   Kim had none of the mannerisms of a hesitant or inexperienced smoker.
Like I said, she looked more like Ellie than a novice.  Then suddenly, it hit
me!  Perhaps something else was going on, something Kim hadn't been
completely up front about.

   "Hey, Kim," I began innocently.  "You sure smoke like a pro.  How many
times have you done this before?  What I mean is, how many cigarettes have
you smoked in your life?  Total?"

   Kim's uneasiness visibly increased.  "Oh, I don't know," she muttered
nonchalantly, tapping ashes in the glass ashtray she'd put on the table.
"I've done it a few times.  I don't know.  It'd be hard to say exactly."
With some hesitation, she quickly put the cigarette back in her mouth for
another long drag.

   I knew I was onto something.  But I followed Kim's lead and took another
drag myself.  Having more of that mentholated smoke deep in my lungs felt
marvelous!  God, no wonder Ellie never wanted to quit doing this.  And at
that moment, I realized, neither did I!

   I pursed my lips and slowly breathed out.  My exhale collided with the
stream of smoke pouring from Kim's pert little mouth.  "C'mon, Kim," I chided
teasingly.  "Give me a number.  How many cigarettes do you think you've
smoked, in total, in your life?  Five?  Ten?  More than ten?  What do you
think?"

   "It's not very many, really," she answered evasively as she manicured her
cigarette in the ashtray again.  Her reply was too quick, too pat.  She was
hiding something.  I've known her my whole life.  I can tell when my sister's
lying, and Kim was never good at keeping secrets.

   Instead of immediately asking again, I too tapped some ashes in the
ashtray and puffed again.  I made sure it was an extra long drag.  It felt
every bit as good in my lungs as its predecessors; in fact, maybe better.  I
spoke while holding the smoke inside.  "So, Kim, what do you think?
Definitely less than ten?"  I followed with a strong, forceful mouth exhale.
God, I was so proud of myself!  I'd timed that exhale perfectly.

   Kim didn't seem to know what to say.  Finally, she answered in a subdued
tone.  "Well, it's been more than ten, I guess."  She said it with
resignation.  I was pretty sure I understood what her evasive answer meant.
And it didn't upset me in the slightest.

   I took another drag and sucked more smoke into my chest.  With each puff,
I became ever more certain of how I wanted this to turn out.  But it was time
to cut through the crap.  I released another thick stream of smoke from my
lips and smiled naively.  "Tell the truth, Kim.  It's a _lot_ more than ten,
isn't it?"  No answer.  "This isn't about Kristin, is it?  This whole 'sting'
idea was to get me smoking, wasn't it?  Because you're a smoker, too, aren't
you?  And you wanted to co-opt me, to get me hooked on these things, like you
are.  Am I right?"

   Kim said nothing.  But her non-reply told me everything I needed to know.
So I went on.  "Tonight you planned to tell me I still need work on my
smoking style.  Didn't you?  You were going to send me back to Ellie for
another lesson.  Weren't you?  You were going to force me to keep smoking
till I got it 'right.'  But there'd never be a time I got it right, because
you want me to keep smoking till I'm hooked.  Like you.  Tell me, Kim.  Am I
on the right track or not?"

   Without a word Kim paused for another hit on her cigarette.  This time she
began talking as soon as she'd pulled the smoke in her lungs, letting her
exhale happen naturally as she spoke.  She looked for all the world like a
seasoned smoker.  "God damn, Trina!  You've always been too smart.  I thought
sure this little 'sting' would work."  She paused long enough to finish her
exhale in earnest.  "No, you're right.  I've been smoking for a couple months
now.  I was terrified you'd find out and turn me in to Dad, like you did
Kristin two years ago.  So I wanted to get you to try smoking, some how, some
way.  I figured I'd have a shot at turning you into a smoker before you knew
what hit you, because that's what happened to me."  She looked at the ground.
"I'm sorry, Trina."

   I don't know what she expected at that moment.  But I smiled for a split
second.  "Don't be sorry, Kim.  It's okay," I replied reassuringly.  I
purposefully put my cigarette up to my lips for another in a sequence of
long, hard drags.  I pulled the smoke deep inside.  "It worked," I said
simply, keeping the scrumptious smoke in the deepest parts of my lungs for as
long as possible.  "It worked, Kim," I repeated.  "You did it.  You win."

   "What do you mean?"  She looked shocked and a little confused.

   I exhaled through my nostrils.  "I mean, you win.  You got me.  I do like
smoking.  God, do I ever!  I've loved it since my very first cigarette with
Ellie.  And I think I want to smoke now, too.  Like you."  I paused to let my
words sink in.

   Kim stared for several seconds, and then began laughing in joy and
disbelief.  "Trina!  You're not shitting me?" she gasped.  "Really?"

   "Really," I replied happily.  I bounced over and gave Kim a gigantic hug.
The sincerity of what I said next surprised even me.  "Kim, I really want to
be a smoker.  I mean it.  I want to smoke.  I think it's the best.  Kristin
and Ellie were right on two years ago; I was the asshole."  I smiled as I
glanced at the rapidly shrinking cigarette in my hand.  "Now that I've tried
smoking, there's no way I want to stop!  As far as I'm concerned, all three
of us sisters should smoke."

   Astonished, Kim instinctively took a lengthy drag.  Her former pretense of
not being a serious smoker fell by the wayside.  With a monstrous inhale she
welcomed the thick, creamy substance deep into her lungs.  "Oh, God, Trina,"
she moaned gratefully.  Tears of joy formed in her eyes.  "This is wonderful.
It's better than I ever imagined when I talked to Ellie."  Smoke burst from
her mouth and nostrils while tears of thankfulness began dripping down her
cheeks.

   "Hey, wait a minute," I interrupted.  "You talked with my old roommate
about this?"

   "Yeah, sure," Kim smiled, suddenly embarrassed.  "I ran into Ellie at a
party a couple weeks ago.  She recognized me, and we started to chat.  We
were both smoking that night, of course, and we began to talk about you.  I
casually mentioned that I'd love to figure out some way to get you smoking,
like us.  Ellie confided that ever since your sophomore year she'd dreamed
about getting you to smoke.  One thing led to another, and pretty soon she
and I concocted this little scheme.  I hope you're not mad."

   I could only smile.  "Mad?  No, I'm not mad.  I've seen the fuckin' light!
Ellie told me that ever since she started, she's wished she could convince me
to try it, too.  I'll give her some shit about this, but I'm not upset.  You
guys were right; I do love doing this."  To prove my point, I took a last
drag and then crushed my cigarette in the ashtray.  The smoke in my lungs
still felt wonderful.  Somehow I knew it wouldn't be the last cigarette Kim
and I shared that afternoon.  And that pleased me no end.  I liked smoking
with her.

   Tears continued to trickle down Kim's cheeks.  That silly girl's always
been prone to cry.  She, too, enjoyed a final puff on her spent cigarette
before likewise crushing it in the ashtray.  "God, Trina, I don't know what
to say," she blubbered happily.  "But I'm _so_ glad.  You're one of us now.
That's so cool.  My own experience, when I started smoking, was that I real
fast changed from merely tolerating smoke to absolutely loving it.  But I
didn't know for sure if you'd react the same way.  I'm so glad you did."

   "Me, too," I replied.  "God, wait till we tell Kristin.  I can't wait to
see the look on her face.  It'll be great fun to all three smoke together!"

   Darkness descended on Kim's face.  "Oh, no," she sighed.  "You don't
understand, do you?  That stuff about Kristin smoking was part of the
deception to get you to try it.  In fact, I don't think she is smoking."
Seeing my dismay, she went on.  "I wanted to get you committed first before
worrying about what to do with Kristin.  After all, you were the one most
likely to squeal to Dad about my habit."

   "You mean Kristin _isn't_ smoking?" I muttered.  "Shit!  I was looking
forward to smoking all the time around campus after today.  But I can't do it
with Kristin on the loose.  She'd love nothing more than to do to me what I
did to her two years ago.  And like Kristin, I need Dad to keep paying my
tuition.  If he finds out I'm smoking, I'm dead.  At least you're
self-supporting now.  You can thumb your nose at Dad's disapproval.  I
can't."

   Kim nodded.  "I know.  But I don't want to deal with Dad's displeasure any
more than you, even if he can't put economic pressure on me now that I'm
working."  She furrowed her brow.  Then she smiled.  "The two of us will have
to come up with a second 'sting' to re-convert Kristin.  She was a smoker
once.  We ought to be able to hook her again.  Don't you think?"

   "Maybe," I nodded absent-mindedly.  "But Kristin's turned into a real
anti-smoking bitch since her days as a nicotine addict.  Remember what she
did to her roommate Paula shortly after she quit?"  Kim nodded.  She
remembered, too.  After she quit smoking, Kristin took an entire carton of
Paula's cigarettes and dropped them into a full bathtub of water.  Ruined the
entire carton, 200 fuckin' cigarettes!  I shook my head.  "I don't know, Kim.
We've got to be real careful dealing with Kristin.  I'm not sure it'd be easy
getting her to put a cigarette between those lips again."

   Kim looked at the floor.  She knew I was right.  Kristin wouldn't be
sympathetic to a request from us to smoke again.  If we were going to do it,
it'd have to be done completely differently.  Slowly a devious plan began to
take shape inside my brain.  "I take it Kristin isn't due back this
afternoon?"

   Kim nodded, indicating agreement.  "That's why we could smoke this
afternoon and not worry about her barging in on us.  Kristin's on a trip out
of town, doing research for her thesis.  She won't be back till late
tonight."

   "Great," I smiled treacherously.  "Then let's do some planning.  I've
already got some ideas.  Between us, we should be able to devise a scheme to
get Kristin to start smoking again, whether or not she wants to."  I glanced
at the open pack of B&H Menthol Lights 100's on the table.  "But what do you
say we have another cigarette or two while we talk about it?"

   Kim beamed at me.  "God, yes!  Wow, Trina, I can't believe you're already
asking to smoke.  This is so great!  You'll make a great smoker!"

   I accepted another long, white menthol cigarette from my older sibling.
Yes, it was true.  I did want another cigarette right then.  In fact, I
wanted one big time.  "Thanks a bunch," I said gratefully, acknowledging the
little gift.  Kim clicked the lighter for me as I raised it toward my eager
lips.  Puffing out a small exhale with the first puff, I locked my lips
around the filter and took a monstrous second drag.  "Ah, yes," I sighed as I
pulled the smoke deep inside my hungry lungs.  "You got me, Kim.  I want to
be a smoker now.  I really do.  And if I want to be a smoker, and if you're
already a smoker, hell, we may as well both smoke together while we can!"

   "You got that right, sister," Kim grinned, lighting up herself.  She
laughed happily.  "God, this is too great.  We have to figure out how to get
Kristin back in the fold, too.

   I smiled back.  "Don't worry.  We will.  That's a promise."

   And we did.  But that's another story.  Meanwhile, let the image of us two
girls sitting in Kim's living room, happily smoking away, fix itself in your
mind's eye.  It's certainly fixed in mine.  It was one of the happiest
moments of my whole life.  Kim and I shared a delicious secret now.  I'd made
the choice to be a smoker.  But it wouldn't remain a secret long.  First,
though, we had to figure how to co-opt Kristin, and I had to deal with my
non-smoking roommate.  For those stories, I'll need more chapters.

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