The Caliente Affairs, Volume One

Meet Dina and Nina Caliente, twenty-something identical twin sisters who have moved back to their little hometown of Pleasantview. Not everyone in town is happy to see the twins back, and it's not long before the two are causing trouble and uprooting everybody's pleasant life.

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13. Fallen

Dina smiled and waved goodbye to Mortimer. Typically, he had left it until the very last day to buy Christmas presents. But Dina understood that he may have previously wondered if he was wasting money buying Dina a present. Luckily though, that wasn’t the case now. Together, they were going to have a baby, and to Dina, that was all that mattered - that Mortimer was going to be the father of her baby. Even if the reality of the situation was that he mightn’t be. Alex, her step-son, caught her attention as she went back inside the house. She noticed he was looking at her strangely. Sitting down on the living room sofa next to him, it wasn’t long before he cleared his throat and asked, “So, you and my dad. Are you like, getting divorced?”
“Why do you think that?” Dina laughed.
“Well, that’s basically what my dad said to me.” Alex replied.
“Your dad said that me and him were getting a divorce?” Dina asked.
“Well, not in those exact words. He just told me that he’d come to realise you both wanted different things out of the relationship and that it wasn’t going to work.” Dina sighed, as she began to realise just how close she came to losing everything. I mean, having an affair, what was I thinking, she asked herself. It seemed that when they were apart, Dina felt ashamed and confused about the things she had done with Ed. But when they were together, her doubts seemed to disappear and he made her feel like a completely different person. With Ed, she didn’t have to worry about constantly looking attractive or saying the right things. But with Mortimer, she always felt like she had something to prove. Whether it was to his daughter, or to Don, it seemed everyone was waiting for her to make a mistake.
“We just had an argument, that’s all. Trust me Alex, we are not getting a divorce. But I do have some news to tell you.” Dina started. “I’m pregnant.” She smiled, throwing up her hands as if to surprise Alex even more. But Dina saw from the look on his face that that wasn’t needed.
“Whoa!” Alex said slowly. A baby sibling had been the furthest thought from his mind just a few seconds ago. But to his own astonishment, he smiled and congratulated Dina. “Does my dad know?” He asked.
“He does now, I guess when he spoke to you it was before I told him.” Dina cleared things up.
“That’s lucky.” Alex remarked.
“How so?”
“Well, I got the impression from my dad that it was definitely over between you two. It’s lucky you got pregnant now otherwise it might have been the end of your relationship.” Dina laughed nervously. If only Alex knew how true he was, she thought. That even though she had known about her pregnancy for months, she had chosen today to tell Mortimer because of what he had written in his will. Her only worry now was the same worry that had stopped her from telling everyone she was pregnant in the first place - that her baby wasn’t Mortimer’s. Nina knew the truth about her affair, but she thought Dina had gone through with the abortion. Making up with Nina was going to be difficult. She wasn’t even sure if she could explain what had happened that day to herself. There were so many lies, Dina thought to herself, how could she bring up a child and teach it about honesty when she herself was being so dishonest. She couldn’t stand it anymore, she had to know the truth. Was the father of her baby Mortimer, or Ed?

*

Don had been thinking about his relationship with Nina for forty-minutes before he decided to come back to the house. He assumed that Nina was at work - that way he could think about it some more in the peace and solitude of his own house... or was it even my house anymore, he asked himself. Maybe he would also use the time to pack up some of his belongings and leave. Surely it wouldn’t come to that, he once again asked himself. He was so confused; one part of him wanted the same things Nina wanted - marriage, kids, and all the added extras. But then the other part had to question everything - will I be able to provide for my child? Am I throwing my life away? So many questions; luckily he had the time to rationally think things through. But before Don realised it, time was up, and he had to make a decision now, before Nina’s time ran out. Don didn’t know what had happened, he had just walked through the front door to be greeted by Nina lying awkwardly on the floor. Crying out her name, he ran over to her lifeless body and checked for signs of breathing. She was, but her breath was like a whisper of wind on a hot summer’s day. Quickly, Don rushed for the phone and demanded an ambulance. When Don came back to where Nina was laid, he began to sob - unable to physically do anything but wait for an ambulance.

*

It had now been over an hour since Angela Pleasant had witnessed her ex-boyfriend in the arms of her sister. She had ran up to her room and burst into tears, but after ten minutes, she composed herself and checked to see if Lilith was in her bedroom. She wasn’t, but Angela was most certainly not going to discuss this downstairs in front of her parents. So back in her bedroom she went; ten minutes later, she checked to see if Lilith was there, and she repeated this, almost like clockwork, until Lilith was finally in her room. “Can I come in?” She asked, though didn't wait for an answer. Lilith paused for a moment, and with a slight quiver, she answered.
“What do you want?” Angela could see past her facade, and she was sure Lilith knew this, so why should she pretend?
“I want to know why you were kissing my boyfriend?” Lilith turned away but glanced at Angela from the side.
“Ex-boyfriend.” She corrected her sister. Angela half-heartedly laughed in disbelief.
“You think that makes a goddamn bit of difference?” She yelled. Lilith threw her hands up in defence.
“Look, I don’t know what you think you saw, but me and Dustin did not kiss.”
“I can’t believe you’re denying it.” Angela said. Lilith’s eyes fell to the floor, as she confessed.
“I’m telling you the truth, Dustin went to kiss me, but I refused...” Angela put her hands up to stop Lilith.
“Whoa, whoa! Wait, Dustin tried to kiss you?” Angela asked. Lilith paused and tried not to anger her sister.
“This isn’t about blame...”
“The hell it isn’t! You know, I knew that after everything we’ve been through lately, you wouldn’t stoop this low.” Angela said, as she finally got the answers she had been waiting for. Lilith sighed and corrected her sister.
“That’s not technically true.” Lilith began, as Angela looked on in confusion. “I sort of am... in love with Dustin.” Lilith ashamedly admitted to her sister. Angela screamed through gritted teeth and punched her hand whilst shouting at Lilith.
“Five times, I asked you. I asked you if you liked him because I knew that you did and I knew that if I could just get you to admit this to me, we wouldn’t have to go through all of this.” Angela revealed to her sister.
“That’s not true, I wouldn’t have admitted this at all before today because I didn’t feel the way I do now.” Lilith told her sister in all honesty.
“Stop it! When I broke up with Dustin, he was ready to leave and never come back. But you chose that exact moment to make your move on him.” Angela theorised.
“That’s not true! I didn’t have to make any moves on him, he did it all by himself.” Lilith replied to her sisters accusations.
“So you admit that you had moves to make!” Angela trapped Lilith, as she let out an exasperated groan.
“That’s not what I meant, you’re only hearing what you want to hear and it’s not the truth.” Lilith told her sister in desperation.
“So what is the truth?!” Angela exasperatedly asked, but the room feel silent. Catching her breath, Lilith walked over to her bed and relaxed. Angela joined her and sat on the end. Finally, though very quiet, Lilith told her sister the truth.
“We’re in love.” she admitted. Angela looked at her sister confused. She couldn’t be angry. Angela knew how her sister felt long before Lilith had even realised. But to propose that they were in love, 
it’s just ridiculous.
“You’re not in love.” She told Lilith.
“You don’t know the way he looks at me. The way he looked at me today and practically professed his love for me.”
“Um, I think would know because I sure as hell have been seeing you looking at him like that for the past two months.” Angela shot back.
“He obviously had to hide it when you were around so you wouldn’t get hurt.”
“Stop it.” Angela asked her sister.
“If you could have just seen his face after you broke up with him, he couldn’t hide it any longer.”
“Stop it.” Angela asked once again.
“He looked into my eyes when I comforted him and we just knew...”
“Stop it!” Angela screamed. “He is not in love with you.” Angela told her sister.
“I know it’s messed up, but I can’t deny how I feel.” Lilith pleaded with her sister.
“And Dustin? You sit here and confidently assume what he’s feeling, but you don’t know that.” Angela reminded her sister.
“I know.” She claimed. “I also know that, despite all of this, I chose not to kiss him because you’re my sister and your feelings come first.” Angela rolled her eyes.
“Oh, so I should be thanking you for not sticking your tongue down my boyfriend’s throat.” Angela sarcastically replied.
“It’s not like that.” Lilith replied.
“Then what is it like? Because it sure as hell sounds like you want me to congratulate you for not kissing my boyfriend.” Angela explained to Lilith.
“He’s your ex, don’t forget what you did to him. He came to me because I was his friend and he needed comforting. I can’t help the way he feels about me.”
Angela groaned, as she felt herself going round in circles. 
“But that’s just it, you don’t know how he feels.”
“And you do?” Lilith challenged.
“I thought I did.” Angela slipped out, revealing more at this moment in time to her sister than she would have liked too.
The room fell silent again, until Lilith sighed. 
“So what do we do now?”

*

“What’s taking so long?” Don yelled, as he impatiently waited in the hospital corridor. When Don arrived, the paramedics took Nina straight into a room and he was told to wait until Nina’s doctor spoke to him, but that was nearly two hours ago. Every possible scenario had ran through Don’s mind during that time, including the realisation that Nina could die. Luckily, before he went crazy with worry, a doctor finally came out to speak with Don.
“Do you mind keeping your voice down, sir.” The doctor ordered.

“What’s happening? Is Nina okay?” Don demanded to know.
“Don Lothario? You brought Nina in, didn’t you?” Don nodded, as the doctor brought Don to one side. “My name’s Doctor Crane, can you tell me what happened?”
“I can’t, I don’t know. I just came back and she was on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. She must have fallen.” Don replied, his voice slightly quivering with worry.
“So you were out when the incident occurred?”
“Yes. Please tell me if she’s alright.” Don pleaded.
“Nina didn’t sustain too much damage from the fall. There’s two possibilities of why this is - she was already unconscious before the fall, or most of the impact from the fall was cushioned by...” The doctor trailed off, as he looked away from Don’s eyes.
“What is it? You said she was okay and... the baby?” Don said, only now remembering that not only could Nina’s life be in danger, but also that of her unborn child’s.
“Don, I’m afraid that Nina suffered a miscarriage. The probable cause was the fall, and it’s likely that if Nina hadn’t have been pregnant, she would have suffered far more serious injuries.” Doctor Crane gently broke the news to Don. “I know that won’t be of any relief to you, but trust me, Nina is lucky to be walking away from this relatively unhurt.” Don simply stared into thin air, as he thought about Nina’s child. Their child. Dead.
“What happens next?” Don stammered out.
“When she regains consciousness, she will understandably be confused and very emotional. We have a councillor waiting by her bedside who’s trained to help Nina cope with her loss.”
Don began to well up, as he realised that Nina didn’t even know she had lost her baby. For a moment, he wished she wouldn’t wake up, so she didn’t have to experience the pain. If he felt bad, he couldn’t imagine how Nina would feel when she realised. Although Don suddenly began to process some of the doctor’s comments and realised that being pregnant had possibly saved Nina from death.
“When can I see her?” Don asked.
“When she wakes up, the councillor will speak with her - and I’m afraid to tell you, she may not want to see you. And if she doesn’t I’m going to have to respect her wishes. It’s entirely up to her.” Don realised that the last time they spoke, Nina had practically told him to never come back.
“I’m going to wait here anyway.” Don persisted.
“That’s alright. If you want to grab anything to eat or drink there’s a canteen downstairs in the lobby.” Doctor Crane informed Don.
“I’m just going to sit here if that’s alright?” Doctor Crane nodded and cleared his throat.
“Don, you say you were out when Nina fell. Was anyone else in the house?” He asked.
“Not that I know of, I left and came back assuming Nina would have already gone to work. Oh god, I should call work and tell them. Oh god, I need to call Dina.” Don realised.
“There’s a pay-phone down the hall.” Don nodded but stood there, unable to even contemplate the words he would use to tell Dina her twin had lost her baby.

*

After an extremely eventful morning, Alex was regretting his pre-New Year’s resolution that he had decided to make last night. As he stood on the old front porch of his childhood home and greeted his sister, Alexs promise to ‘come out of the closet’ had previously seemed like such a good idea. But now he knew Dina was pregnant, and his dad was arguing with her, something didnt feel right. Sure, Dina had reassured him that their quarrelling was over, but he knew his father better than Dina did, and Alex was sure that when Mortimer had told him that he and Dina were breaking-up, he had meant it. Now all Alex wanted was a peaceful and uneventful Christmas, with no focus on himself whatsoever. “Are you excited for Christmas?” Cassandra asked.
“Yeah, a little.” Alex hesitated.
“A little? Why, what’s wrong?” Cassandra wondered.
“Oh, it’s just being in a new house I guess - it’ll be my first Christmas away from here.”
“How do you think I feel? I’ve got this whole house to myself. Please say you’ll come over to spend the night!” Cassandra hoped.
“Oh, well, I was just going to stop by to give you some presents.” Alex started.
“Please stay!” Cassandra pleaded.
“Well, I guess, I mean... Can we go inside and talk?” Alex proposed.
“Of course! Wait until you see what I’ve done with the place.” Cassandra told Alex, as she showed him indoors. The old and dated decor that adorned the walls for as long as Alex could remember was still intact, but Alex could spot Cassandra’s little touches to detail. For one, she’d flipped the dining and living rooms around. Three stockings hung above the fireplace in what used to be the living room. Alex could still remember when there were four, but now even his wasn’t present. “I moved the dining room into here after I realised that the same floorboards were underneath the carpet. Isn’t it wonderful?” Cassandra asked, as Alex was momentarily hypnotised by the polished parquet floor.
“It’s so... different. But in a good way.” Alex reassured his sister.
“Well, I didn’t want to go crazy and redecorate the whole house right before Christmas, but just a few changes here and there ended up working a treat. And then of course ,with the house different, I couldn’t just celebrate Christmas in my old, boring clothes - so I got myself an early present!” Cassandra smiled, as she posed to show off her short wavy bob of dark hair, paired with new glasses and what Alex assumed was a new dress. He recognised it as a cheongsam - a mandarin gown Alex remembered seeing pictures of in the Chinese history books he’d borrowed from the library when he was a young, inquisitive child.
“Wait... you changed your hair?!” Alex played dumb, and received a playful punch on the shoulder in response. Hearing Cassandra laugh made him feel at ease, he knew that it would just be stupid to put it off any longer. “I guess everyone’s feeling the need for a change. Even me!” Alex started.
“I noticed.” Cassandra replied.
“You did?” Alex asked, in a surprised manner.
“Sure! It’s obvious someone’s trying to impress the girls by growing a goatee!” Cassandra laughed, as she pulled on Alex’s cheeks. Alex smiled but felt himself turning a bright shade of red. He told Cassandra to knock it off, and he went to look at her Christmas display.
“We don’t usually have the tree here.” Alex noted, walking back out into the entrance hall.
“Well, like I said, it was time for a change.” Cassandra reiterated her previous statement.
“Yeah.” Alex agreed, as he procrastinated even more. “Are all these presents yours?”
“No! Some are mine, and some are Darren’s, but most are Dirk’s. Darren’s been going crazy this year; I told you he started making some serious simoleons from his art? Well, he wanted to treat Dirk. I call it spoiling him, but you know what fathers are like, they never want to hear the truth.” Cassandra stated. Alex picked up on the slight resentment she still had against their father, Mortimer. Alex didn’t know whether it was because of his relationship with Dina Caliente, a women who was barely older than Cassandra. Or due to the fact that he still denied his first wife - their mother, Bella, walked out on the family. But having brought it up, Alex began to think about it. With his own mother abandoning him, naturally he feared rejection and abandonment again. Cassandra was not only his sister and best friend, but a part of him felt as though she was his mother. This was the woman that had practically raised him as her own child when Bella left. It was this that was keeping Alex from opening up to Cassandra. “Anyway, is this what you wanted to talk about?” Cassandra remembered why Alex had agreed to come inside. Alex hesitated and tried to find the words, but his confidence was waning. He thought back to when he had come out to Lilith Pleasant. Rather than being hard, he found that easy. Alex wouldn’t have been bothered if Lilith had rejected him. After Dirk and Meadow, he was actually expecting to be judged. But Lilith had surprised him by not only accepting his secret, but by also becoming a close friend. It was that event that had given him the confidence to come to a decision to tell Cassandra he was gay. Alex wanted so desperately to confess all of his thoughts and fears to his sister, in the hopes that she could cleanse his soul and shine some light onto what it was he was going through. Throughout most of his life, it was Cassandra he had looked up to; he had turned to for guidance. But at that one moment when he needed her the most, the words just would not come. Fear clouded his judgement, and so silent he remained, as Cassandra looked on clueless. Just like everyone else around me, Alex pitifully thought to himself. Though fortunate it would turn out, as Alex realised, when Darren Dreamer merrily wandered down from the first floor of the Goth mansion. Alex turned towards Darren, and received a half-hearted greeting before Darren continued into the kitchen. Surprised, but not shocked, Alex looked at Cassandra for answers. “I’d be really happy if you’d join me and the guys for Christmas dinner tomorrow.” Cassandra wondered out loud.
“Guys?” Alex was confused.
“Dirk and Darren! I know Dad invited us over, but after last time...” Alex shuddered, as Cassandra made him think back to his own actions that day. Pausing in mid-sentence, Cassandra reassured Alex, “I’m sure everything’s okay now, Alex. Dirk’s mood has really changed a lot recently. If you want, you can go upstairs and talk to him.”
“Upstairs?!” Alex asked, with a slight high-pitched squeak to his voice. Cassandra’s living arrangements began to confuse Alex even more.
“Oh, he’s staying in your old room over Christmas.” And on that note, Alex quickly excused himself and went to leave. Unfortunately for him though, Cassandra came out alongside him. “Alex!” She said, stopping him from leaving, “it’s not a problem is it?” She asked. It wasn’t really a problem, just... the thought of Dirk sleeping in what used to be Alex’s room sent him all funny inside! He really did not need those feelings again.
“It’s not a problem for me, was he okay with it?” Alex queried, under the assumption Dirk had and would forever more hate anything and everything ‘Goth.
“Dirk was fine. I mean, Alex, it hasn’t been your bedroom for a while. But if it’s a problem...”
“No, it’s just.” Alex paused, again on the brink of wanting to confess everything, yet cowardly falling in on himself with pity.
“You wanted to tell me something?” Cassandra asked.
“You know, I was just unclear of the whole Dreamer situation and was embarrassed to admit it because, well, you’re my sister and I should know things like that.” Alex half confessed. Cassandra reached out for Alex and smiled.
“We really haven’t been keeping in touch have we? Sometimes I feel like this family’s divided into two halves with you right in-between.”
“That’s me. Confused; in the middle of two halves, not quite sure which one is right.” Alex confessed, although it was secretly how he was feeling about himself rather than his family.
“You’ll always have a room here. I don’t care what Darren says, if you want to come back, Dirk can just take the sofa. Don’t ever feel like you’re not welcome.” Alex hugged Cassandra and smiled, filling him with the confidence he so desperately wanted. He understood, now wasn’t the right time to come out. All of what Alex had needed to hear was for peace of mind. And Cassandra had given him just that. For the first time since he had felt this way inside, Alex was happy.

*

Dina was leaving - frustrated her attempts to resolve her guilty conscience would probably go unresolved. She had made the spontaneous decision to take a paternity test - only to find out from the hospital that the list of things she needed to take the test were confusing. And the risk of her infidelity being discovered far outweighed her need to know who the father of her unborn child was. After all, Ed worked at Sim City General Hospital, as well as... “Don?” Dina cried, as she turned the corner of the hospital corridor and was faced with a solemn looking Don Lothario. He stood up and Dina was greeted with an emotional hug. Before Dina could ask what was going on, he looked into her eyes and sighed.
“When did you get the message?” He asked. Dina struggled to find an answer, hoping that she could fake an understanding so as not to be caught out.
“About... I came as soon as I heard. What’s the news?” Dina thought fast, as she replied.
“I think she’s awake, but I haven’t been able to see her yet.” Don informed Dina.
“Nina?! What... I mean, how?” Dina panicked, as she tried to find out what had happened without Don realising she didn’t already know.
“Like I said on the phone, Nina had an accident and...” Don trailed off and sat down. Dina joined him and tried to keep the frantic worry from showing.
“And?! You know, your message wasn’t all that clear. I think it...” Dina began to make up an excuse but Don interrupted her again.
“She’s lost the baby. The doctor said that if she hadn’t have been pregnant, her injuries would have been much more serious.” Dina’s mouth formed an ‘O shape, as she sat there in open-mouthed silence, unable to reply. “I don’t know how I’m supposed to take that diagnosis. God, I wish didn’t even know.” Don cried out.
“How did she fall?” Dina asked.
“The stairs. Didn’t I say that? Of course I didn’t, I probably left the shortest, most-cryptic message ever. I’ve just been so consumed with worry and guilt.”
“Guilt?” Dina asked.
“We had a stupid argument, she told me to leave and I did. I was gonna turn straight around and apologise, but I thought if I gave her time to cool down and think about things, she’d be more accepting. I was a complete jerk.” Don regrettably thought back.
“So... how do you know she fell down the stairs?” Dina asked once more.
“She was at the... well, I guess I don’t. Why, what are you implying?” Don sharply replied.
“Nothing! Nothing... that won’t have already gone through the mind of her doctor.” Dina tried to break it to Don gently that Nina’s accident could be considered as suspicious.
“Youre saying you think someone attacked her?” Don replied.
“I’m saying that we don’t know what happened, until Nina tells us.” Dina replied, hoping to end the conversation.
“And what if she doesn’t know? She could have blacked out, the doctor said she could have been unconscious before she fell.” Don said in a panic.
“I’m sorry, Don, I shouldn’t have said anything. It’s obvious this is just a tragic accident and I’m spinning this into something completely different.” Don stopped breathing so quickly and tried to calm down.
“You’re right, she’ll remember, she just needs to be around familiar faces.” Don said, as he went to hold Dina’s hand for comfort. Don’s touch reminded her that last time she and her sister had spoken, it was on bad terms. Nina knew of Dina’s dilemma regarding the father of her child. To walk into Nina’s room on the pretence of comforting her would be inconsiderate.
“I can’t, Don.” Dina announced, and stood up.
“What do you mean you can’t? You have to be there, you’re her sister.” Don raised his voice.
“How am I supposed to..? I just can’t.” Dina looked away.
“You know, this is so typical of you! What am I supposed to tell her when she asks for her sister?” Don yelled.
“She’ll understand.” Dina reasoned, and left the hospital. Outside, Dina shook her head and began to cry. How will she ever understand, Dina thought, desperately trying to push her emotions to the back of her mind. The last thing she needed right now was to get over-emotional and confess everything. Things had to carry on as they were - even if that meant being away from her sister’s side. 
Before Don could put serious thought into why Dina left all of a sudden, Doctor Crane walked out into the waiting room. He was smiling, and Don stood up - hoping to hear good news. 
“Nina’s doing just fine. Medically speaking that is. She was understandably distraught over losing her baby, but she told me she wishes to see you.” Doctor Crane told Don.
“What did you find out about her accident?” Don asked, Dina’s wild thoughts ringing in the back of his mind.
“I held back from asking any details, at this moment in time. I felt she may become even more emotional retelling her story. However, I believe she may open up to you if you’re that desperate to know.” He replied.
“No, it can wait. I just want to see her.”
Doctor Crane showed Don into Nina’s room. “I’ve got a visitor.” He announced to Nina.
“Don.” Nina showed subdued glee.
“Is there anything I can get you two?”
“No, Eddie, we’ll be fine thanks.” Nina replied to Doctor Crane. He smiled and left the room. Eddie? Don thought, getting the impression Nina had gotten to know ‘Eddie Crane rather well in a short space of time. Scolding himself, he realised that this was no time to be jealous, and walked over to Nina’s bed.
“Will we be fine?” He said, unable to come up with a conversation starter of his own. Nina looked so drained in front of Don, he couldn’t hold back his tears like he wanted to.
“Please don’t cry, you’ll just get me going again and I don’t think I have the energy.” Nina honestly told Don.
“I’m sorry, I’m just... so sorry.” Don apologised for everything.
“Don’t be sorry, Don.” Nina let out a depressed sigh.
Shuffling off the bed, Don was amazed to see Nina try to stand up. “Don’t get up, you need to rest.” Don told her.
“I need to face you.” Nina said, as Don held her hands. “I know you’re just going to put this down to the shock, but I can tell you with certainty I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I realised.” Nina started.
“Realised what?” Don asked confused.
“That we’re just so wrong for each other.” Nina forced out, as she looked into Don’s confused and hurt eyes. “I stick by what I said this morning. And given the events...” Nina trailed off, as she stammered and clearly held back her tears that were eagerly waiting to fall. “I’m calling off the engagement.” Nina said firmly. Don stood back in shock.
“I’m sorry I put you through this, but please don’t shut me out.” Don pleaded.
“I’m not saying it’s for definite, but I don’t want to have the drama that is you and me hanging over my head whilst I try and grieve. Just... please say you’ll wait?” Nina asked.
“I’ll wait forever.” Don promised, as he paused and embraced Nina. “As long as it means we’ll eventually be together again.” Nina felt Don’s breath against her cheek when he spoke, and she thought about the life they’d created together that was now over. Finally, she let her tears fall.

END OF VOLUME ONE

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