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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2. In Secret

“Well guys, what do you think? Will it do?” Nina asked, with a big grin stretching across her face. The Caliente’s childhood home had remained in their possession after the death of their parents. It was a grand building, starting life out as an old sorority house in the sixties. There were four floors - not including the basement, with its own private entrance opening out to a hot-tub and outdoor swimming pool. Nina had always planned to move back there after her mother died, but things got serious with Don, and in order to keep their affair a secret, she needed to stay out of Pleasantview and away from his other life... but that wasn’t an issue now! She could finally be honest and open about her love.
“Will it do!? Are you kidding, this place is huge!” Dina laughed.
“It really was a great idea, Nina. After everything that’s happened,” Don quickly glanced at Dina. Nina interrupted him.
“Hey, I told you. That’s all in the past. Our lives together, our bright future, it begins here.” ‘Together,’ is all Don heard. All three of them, still together. After everything, Nina stuck by her sister, and still loved him. It wasn’t that Don didn’t return the love, it’s just that not all of it was for Nina.

*

With a basket in one hand, full of preserves and other such goodwill gestures, Mary-Sue reached out her other hand and knocked on the big wooden door of the Calientes new home. Mary-Sue Pleasant was married to Daniel, a descendent of one of the towns original founders. As such, she would always take it upon herself to make sure her town was running just the way she wanted. This meant greeting (approving) new neighbours, planning regular town-meetings, and also, as a friendly gesture to the town, hosting annual parties. All of her husbands family had stayed in Pleasantview since its origins, and being an orphan who was adopted and brought up by two wonderful parents in Pleasantview, Mary-Sue liked to think that nothing was more important than family. She adored her twin-daughters, Lilith and Angela, and loved her husband. But nowadays, the importance of family always seemed to come second to work. Knocking once more, she adjusted her stance, getting ready to great the towns new residents with a warm, welcoming smile.
Hello, I’m Mary-Sue Pleasent, from Pleasantview’s Welcome to the Neighbourhood Committee. I’m here to... welcome you to the neighbourhood!” Mary-Sue Pleasant introduced herself – though completely uncalled for, as Nina and Dina were already very familiar with the Pleasant Family and their hometown traditions. Mary Sue was elated to have original heritage back in her town, and could relax for the afternoon, listening to Nina and Dina recall their childhood years living in Pleasantview with their parents. Nina fired up the hot-tub and insisted that Mary-Sue join the sisters whilst Don cooked dinner. When Don called down, Nina and Mary-Sue left Dina, who had been joined by Mortimer.
“Where’s Dina?” Don asked.
“Mortimer came over and joined her in the hot-tub.” Nina gestured away Don’s panic of his ex-fianceé’s father being on the lot. “Oh, they won’t be joining us for a while. Dina said she was going to take Mortimer for a personal tour around the house. I assume her bedroom will be the grand finale, if you know what I mean!” Nina and Mary-Sue giggled, as Don smiled too, but inside his heart was hurting.
However, Dina simply wanted a romantic soak alone with her boyfriend. “Oh Dina, this house is wonderful. But not as wonderful as you!”
“Morty, my one-and-only.” Dina whispered.
“Forever?”
“Forever!” Dina replied. Mortimer felt his heart begin to race, as Dina cuddled up to him in the tub. He’d only ever asked this question once. In fact he thought he’d never have to ask it again. But now, everything was perfect - wasn’t it?
“Dina?”
“Yes?” Dina said, drifting off into a light sleep.
“I know that my love for you will never die, and I hope you feel the same. If you do... Dina, I’d like you to marry me.”
Dina shot up, “Marry you? Did I hear that right?” Dina looked at her beautiful boyfriend and realised she had not misheard his words. “I... I don’t know what to say.”
“If you think I’m just an old fool in love then you can say no. It won’t make me love you any less.” Dina held Mortimer’s hands.
“And why would I say no?” Mortimer smiled and so did Dina, “Yes, of course I’ll marry you!” And so, before the day had ended, Mortimer phoned up his daughter and asked her to bring over his son, Alexander. Nina was asked by Dina to open up some champagne, and all seven of them met in the kitchen - plus a friend Don had invited from work. Dina looked across the Caliente
s open-plan ground floor and scowled at the appearance of one of Dons rowdy work buddies.
“This wasn’t really the type of gathering for work friends.” Dina seethed.
“Oh, but it is the kind for ex-fianceé’s?” Don retorted.
“I couldn’t not invite her; this involves Mortimer and I, and she is his daughter. It’s your own fault if things are uncomfortable.”
“She doesn’t know about me and Nina.” Don said, through gritted teeth.
“What? You can’t control yourself for an hour-or-so?” Dina rolled her eyes.
“I think you know the answer to that one, Dina!” Don glared, but Dina snapped back.
“Oh grow-up, Don! Just shut up and listen. Things are about to change forever, and I couldn’t be happier!” Change, Don thought, what kind of changes? Was Dina going to move out with Mortimer? Don crossed his fingers behind his back.

“Everyone! We’ve brought you all together because what we have to say involves you all in some way.” Mortimer smiled and turned to his fianceé. “Do you want to tell them?”
“Tell them’ what?” Cassandra demanded, noticing that Don kept guiltily looking at her. She didn’t care what he was doing here… or more likely, who he was doing here.
Dina turned to face the five people eagerly waiting for their news, “Me and Mortimer... we’re getting married!” Dina smiled and hugged her fiancé. She looked around the room and saw her sister grinning from ear-to-ear, Cassandra looked annoyed and wouldn’t stop staring at her father. Alexander looked a little sad, and Don... Don didn’t seem to be showing any emotion on his face.
“Congratulations!” Nina said with a look of pure happiness for her sister. Dina looked at the other three and waited.
“Congratulations.” They all forced out of their mouths. Don's workmate gave a rapturous applause and Mary-Sue seemed to shed a tear. Though Dina realised that her union may have caused more harm than good.
“Oh to heck with them!” Nina whispered to her sister, as the two talked quietly amongst themselves. “This is your day, don’t let them spoil it.” Nina said, referring to the gloomy looks on most of the guests faces.
“I really wish you could be there for the ceremony, but Mortimer was right in thinking that the sooner we’re married the better it will be for everybody. Hes got a limousine coming to take us to the airport tonight! I mean, on some part, I understand their worries. Maybe we are rushing things.” Dina sighed.
“Rushing things? I’ve seen aeroplanes that don’t go as fast as you two. Tell me right now what it is you intend to do with my father.” Cassandra said. Dina rolled her eyes.
“I plan to marry him and then hide the body under the porch!” Cassandra’s mouth fell open. 
“Hear me now, Dina,” Cassandra forced herself into Dina's personal space, making sure the next words out of her mouth were received loud and clear, you will never get a simoleon of my father’s money.”
“Why would I want his money when I can have his love for free.” Dina smiled and walked away, knowing she had won this round. Nina sighed and tried to catch up with Cassandra to offer a more dignified goodbye, as she was storming out of the house in an almighty huff.
“Dina. Could we talk alone for a second” Don sheepishly approached Dina. Alone, Dina thought. She sighed and wished that everyone could just leave her and Mortimer’s love alone. But there were things that needed to be said - but not without Nina present, Dina would make sure.
“Of course it’s okay with us if Mortimer and Alex move in. You are going to be the man’s wife soon!” Nina answered her sister’s question, all three of them now outside.
“Actually I’m not so sure it’s a good idea.” Don added quietly.
“Um, Don, remember how I didn’t exactly ask if you could live with the two of us - at least Dina is asking, and I would have thought you’d understand. It’s the least we can do.”
“Actually the least we can do is say no.”
“Don!” Dina demanded, “What is this really about?” Don looked at Nina.
“Don? Is there something you want to tell us?” Nina asked.
“Well, you know. I agree with Cassandra, I don’t think you love Mortimer. I just think you love his money.” Don made up on the spot.
Dina slapped her former boyfriend, as Nina rolled her eyes and walked away to let the two discuss things. “Is that what this is about?” Dina whispered so Nina couldn’t hear, “Or are you just realising that your perfect house of cards is crashing down around you?”
“Okay, I admit it. I’m just a little disgruntled that you’re choosing Mortimer over me.”
“There was no choosing involved, Don. It was never going to be you, and I don’t know where you got that idea from.”
“Oh I don’t know, maybe it was all those times when we were in bed and you whispered that I was the only one who made you feel... complete.” Don said softly but with anger.
“I seem to remember you always replied by saying that without me you were nothing.” Dina shot back.
“I am nothing. Without you, my life is empty.” Don confessed.
“And so you’re going to tell Nina all this?” Dina whispered, as Don looked to the floor. “Don, you haven’t changed a bit. I should just come clean to Nina about everything right now.” Dina said, but Don grabbed her.
“Wait.” Don said.
“I stopped waiting for you a long time ago, Don.” Dina said, as she pushed Don’s hand away from her. “You need to get a clue and figure out what it is you really want, because if I come back and you’re still trying it on with me, I won’t hesitate to tell Nina. Even if it means she never speaks to me again, at least it would mean you and her would be over.”
“You’re the one that needs to get a clue, Dina, before it’s too late and you’re stuck with a man you don’t love.” Don replied.
“No actually, what she needs to get is married.” Nina said, as she joined the conversation. But how much had she heard, Don thought?
As everyone waved goodbye to Dina and Mortimer a worried Don decided to pretend as if Dina was never coming back. For the next few days it would be only him and Nina, he could finally figure out who his heart wanted without any distractions. He just hoped Nina felt the same. “How much of that did you hear?” Don asked Nina, as she kept on waving to the back of a limo.
“Enough! Enough to know that just because you don’t want to live with Mortimer you think it’s okay to ruin Dina’s happiest day.”
“Don’t want to?” Don realised Nina still knew nothing. “Of course I don’t. His daughter’s my ex-fianceé. It won’t be long before he realises we’re more then just friends and tells Cassandra.”
“So? It’s over between you and her, why should you still care? She certainly doesn’t.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Don asked.
“Well, it’s just that she gave me the impression that she wasn’t going to end the night on a low.” Nina said with a sly grin. Don wondered whether Nina was right; had Cassandra moved on already?

*

Darren Dreamer was lying in bed - though wide awake, as he was fondly remembering the events of yesterday. What started out as a normal day had ended in his life being flipped upside down, as his beautiful, dear friend Cassandra Goth became his lover. Their bodies remained intertwined long after their passionate night of love making, but at one AM, Darren roused and suddenly didn’t feel so relaxed. He wanted to wake Cassandra, but felt like he should let her sleep, even though he didn’t feel so comfortable just leaving unannounced. But Darren couldn’t leave his son home alone, despite having got the girl of his dreams. So he got dressed and left his true love a note next to her sleeping body. Though when he was driving back, he caught his son arriving home at the same time! Luckily, Darren was in too good a mood to stay mad at his son for breaking his curfew. Dirk had been sneaking out a lot recently with a new girlfriend - even though he already had a girlfriend. Dirk was quite the ladies man - nothing like Darren, who had only ever fallen in love with two women his entire life. A part of Darren even blamed himself for Dirk’s elevated hormones, since he too had secretly been harbouring desires for Cassandra throughout her engagement to Don Lothario. The new lovebirds wanted to keep their blossoming relationship a secret, as they both knew it would initially be seen as something of a scandal by the whole neighbourhood - what with Darleen’s recent death and Cassandra’s broken engagement. But Darren wanted to proclaim his love for Cassandra from the rooftops! With all this excitement, Darren couldnt stay in bed. He got up and went into his studio, hoping to be inspired to paint something as beautiful as his muse. And, as if summoning her, he was suddenly shocked to see Cassandra outside the Dreamer house. Peering out of the upstairs window, he could tell something was wrong. She looked close to tears. With Dirk asleep in his bedroom on the ground floor, Darren quietly brought Cassandra inside and upstairs so they could talk in private. When they got behind closed doors, Cassandra poured her heart out to Darren about how her father had left town to marry Dina in a private ceremony. “When he comes back on Thursday he’s moving out and living with her, he’s even taking Alex to live there too. There, in that house, with my ex-fiancé. I feel like he’s disowned me, I really don’t know who he is anymore. And it’s all because of that-bitch-Dina, he thinks that what they have is love. But it isn’t, it’s just some sick imitation.” She said, as she buried her face into her lover’s chest and cried.
“That’s really... I’m so sorry, Cass. I suppose people do crazy things when they’re in love.” Darren tried to comfort Cassandra.
“As crazy as dropping off their kid brother with a sitter so they can come over to their secret boyfriend’s house at midnight just for a talk?” Cassandra half-heartedly laughed.
“That’s not crazy! Coming over at midnight for a talk with their boyfriend and then going back to their house all alone - now that’s crazy!” Darren said, as he passionately kissed Cassandra.
A while later, emerging from underneath the covers, Cassandra rolled over and smiled with satisfaction. “Thank you. You really know how to calm a woman down!”
“Really? I wonder if that would work with the Repo-Lady too!” Darren joked, as Cassandra playfully hit him. She snuggled into Darren’s body and quickly fell asleep. Darren still couldn’t sleep though, he was too excited. He’d never experienced such an intense relationship. He couldn’t hide it anymore, he wanted to shout out to the world that he and Cassandra were in love. He especially wanted to tell his son; of all the people, he should not be keeping secrets from Dirk. Cassandra was his first girlfriend since Darleen’s death and he wanted to break it to Dirk gently, after all, he didn’t want to him to find out secondhand. Early next morning, as he quietly opened the door, Cassandra kissed Darren goodbye. “You’ll come over when Dirk gets home?” Darren asked.
“Definitely. I want him to be the first to know.” Cassandra whispered. But what she didn’t know was that Dirk wasn’t going to be the first to know of her and Darren’s relationship. Feeling on top of the world, Darren went around the house making sure everything was perfect for this afternoon. Darren quietly giggled to himself when Dirk sat down in front of the TV and began working out before he left for school. He suspected it was for a girl. After all, it was barely the start of spring, so there wasn’t any logical reason for Dirk to be toning his body, unless he was planning on using his allowance to go on holiday. But Darren knew that even if he did lose his mind and agree to let Dirk travel unchaperoned, he would not have enough money. Dirk’s time at school went by quickly, and Darren looked at the clock, tapping his fingers on the phone receiver impatiently. “Hello!” Cassandra finally answered.
“Hi, it’s me! Why aren’t you here yet?” Darren asked, as he heard the school bus pull up to the house.
“I got into a heated discussion with the sitter about last night, so I’m running a bit behind, but I’m on my way right now!”
“Well okay then,” Darren said, a little depressed, “See you soon.” Darren hung-up and resumed cooking the meal he was serving for the three of them. It looked like he was going to have to handle the hard part alone. 
Dirk quietly came into the kitchen and watched Darren cook.
“Who’s the meal for?” He asked.

“Um, I invited someone over. I figured the three of us could eat and talk about...”
“About what? How you’re a cheating bastard?” Dirk said calmly, as he sat down at the kitchen table and let his school-bag drop to the floor. Darren also dropped what he was holding and turned to face his son with a shocked look on his face.
“I’m sorry, did you just call me..?”
“Well that’s what you are right, a cheater? Looks like your secret’s out.” Dirk said, as he avoided eye contact with his dad. Darren brought his hands up to his face... Dirk had found out already.
“How did..?”
“You should know better than anyone that secrets don’t stay secret for very long in this neighbourhood.”
“I was going to tell you this afternoon, I really didn’t want you to find out from anyone else.”
“Oh well, it’s a bit late for that!” Dirk began to shout. “Maybe you should have made sure your girlfriend kept her trap shut before you started making plans.”
“We were going to tell you together.”
“Is she here?” Dirk asked with a look of fire in his eyes. “Has she been here, with you?” Darren could only look at the floor, which was as good as an answer. But he stopped and faced his son, he didn’t see why he should be made to feel ashamed about something so natural. He wasn’t cheating, despite what Dirk thought. Before Darren could honestly answer his son the doorbell rang. The Dreamers both turned to look at who was at the door, but Darren knew it was Cassandra. He gave Dirk a ‘please just give me a second alone look, but Dirk shot back a look that could have burned a hole through Darren’s head. Leaving Dirk in the kitchen, Darren went outside to greet Cassandra.
“Hey, you!” Cassandra greeted him with a kiss, but Darren only kissed her for a second before pulling back.
“He found out.” Darren told her.
“How?” Cassandra said in disbelief.
“I don’t know, I guess someone knew. He seemed to think you’d told someone.”
“Not a soul... unless,” Cassandra turned away to avoid Darren’s ashamed look. “I may have mentioned something to Nina when I was leaving the engagement party about how I didn’t plan on going home. But I swear, that’s all I said. I suppose the rest she figured out on her own.” This time Cassandra looked at her shoes, feeling terrible for causing a fight between Darren and Dirk. But Darren touched her chin and gently kissed her.
“It’s okay! You should not feel bad about people finding out about us. It’s just going to make things with Dirk a little tough is all. But trust me, once you get on his good side he’s a really loving person.” Darren said, just as Dirk came out onto the porch.
“Can you give me and Cassandra a second, dad.” Dirk said, not really asking, so much as telling Darren to leave. Darren looked at Cassandra, who nodded.
“I’ll be in the kitchen.” Darren said, as he left his son alone with Cassandra.
“So, who told you?” Cassandra said, eager to find out if it really was Nina who had been spreading the news about her and Darren.
“Oh, I think you know him. Goes by the name of Don Lothario!” Dirk joked, knowing full well about her past with Don.
“Don knows!?” Cassandra said alarmed, until she realised that Don would of course know. He was involved with Nina, after all.
“Yeah, he came out onto the field this afternoon at practice. He’s usually only there to offer first aid if anybody needs it, but was very insistent I give you a message.” Cassandra rolled her eyes, this was typical Don, she thought, always disregarding other people’s feelings.
“What’s the message?” Dirk put his finger to his head.
“Let me get this right. His exact words were, ‘Tell that bitch...’ Bitch? Was that it? Um, bitch... what was the rest of it?” Dirk thought to himself. But he had done what he intended, seeing the anger on Cassandra’s face. “What’s wrong, you aren’t mad at me, are you? I’m simply passing along a message. Is there anything you want me to tell him?” Cassandra bit her tongue. “No? Alright! Well, since we’re done with him, I’ll leave you with what I wanted to tell you. You’re a dog, you’re whole family are dogs! The only thing that makes you happy is stealing people’s leftovers. Your dad stole Dina, You stole Don, and now you’re stealing Darren.” Dirk said, disgusted.
“I stole Don!” Cassandra laughed at the thought. “What has that idiot been filling your head with? I’ll tell you, Dirk, it’s lies. It’s all lies from him, even when he was with me he was constantly lying. But me, Dirk, I am telling you the truth when I say that I love your father and I apologise if you think I’m stealing him from Darleen.”
“Shut up! You don’t get to say her name. Don’t you ever say her name.” Dirk yelled, as his eyes welled up with tears. Before she could see him cry, Dirk bolted through the house and out of the back door, passing by a clueless-faced Darren in the kitchen. And he was clueless, Dirk thought, he didn’t have a clue who the real Cassandra Goth was. Dirk ran far away from his house, he kept on running until he was out of breath. He gushed in the air and bent over in pain, all the working out he’d done had made his muscles ache. As he stretched, he realised where he had unknowingly stopped. He immediately saw her amongst all the other ones and went straight over to be with her. He felt like he wanted to pour his heart out, but the words wouldn’t come out. Instead, he silently prayed in his head, hoping that somehow his mother could hear his thoughts.
“This is my fault.” Cassandra admitted, back at the Dreamer's house.
“Don’t blame yourself. You weren’t to know how he’d react.” Darren said, as he held his lover’s hands.
“Are you just going to leave him?” Cassandra wondered.
“I don’t know where he’s going.” Darren confessed.
“You don’t? Well where would you go if you found out your dad was ‘cheating on your mum?”
“Dad always used to take me to the toy store when he felt guilty about his mistress!” Darren smiled, as he joked a little about his past.
“Your dad cheated on your mum?” Cassandra said, a little shocked that Darren would just bring this up as a joke.
“He cheated, but they stayed together. In fact, I’ve never known such a devoted couple. I’ve always dreamed of having what they have... minus the affairs of course!” Darren told Cassandra. “Do you mind if I leave? I figure if I leave him alone for too long he won’t talk to me again, ever!”
“I thought you said you didn’t know where he was?” Cassandra queried.
“I didn’t. But you did.” He said, as he kissed her goodbye. Cassandra thought that sometimes people in close relationships didn’t always need words to communicate. She decided to head back home and put some effort in with Alexander before she had to say goodbye to him on Thursday. Darren hadnt been driving for long until he pulled up to the cemetery where his late wife rested. He could already see Dirk, sitting by his mother’s grave. He was too lost in thought to notice Darren walk up beside him. “What’s she saying?” Darren asked.
“I don’t know. Can’t hear her, my heads too full of my own selfish thoughts.” Dirk admitted.
“Do you mind if I listen?” Dirk shrugged, as Darren sat down next to his son.
“How did you know I’d be here? I didn’t even know this was where I was headed until I finally stopped running.”

“Cassandra knew you’d be here actually.” Darren said, trying to get his son to open up to his new love.
“So what? Just because your girlfriend guessed I’d be at my dead mum’s grave we share some special connection now!” Dirk mocked sarcastically.
“No, but I just wanted you to know that she gets where your anger’s coming from. She knows how it feels to lose a mother.” Darren said, reminding Dirk about Cassandra’s mum, Bella.
“Her mum just disappeared; I can assure you, in the back of her mind, she hopes and believes that her mother’s going to come back one day. That isn’t something we share.” Darren stayed silent for a moment, void of any words to convince his son other wise. “Do you think about her?” Dirk broke the silence when he was eager to find out if his dad still thought of Darleen.
“All the time.” Darren told his son.
Dirk looked at his dad for a second before looking back up at the clouds, “You’re lying.”
“I am not. Every time I think of you I think of her, what we made together, what our love made. And I’ve never not thought about you for even a second.” Dirk couldn’t help but look at his dad.
“And when you fell in love with Cassandra, were you thinking about me then?” Dirk asked, still hurting from the shock revelation.
“I was. I knew that this was going to be so hard for you to understand. That even though she’s gone and I still love her everyday, I’ve managed to fall in love all over again. Surely you can understand just a little what it’s like to love two people at once?” Darren said, referring to Dirk’s girlfriends.
“Yeah, but I cheat because I’ve never felt ready to settle for just one girl.”
“So you can understand that there’s a difference between the two?” Dirk looked at his dad and finally caved in. He was actually happy that his dad had fallen in love again. But he couldn’t admit it straight away. And he secretly promised he would never admit it out loud. Because of who his dad had chosen to fall in love with.
“I’m sorry I called you a bastard,” Dirk said, as his dad winced from hearing such a vulgar word from his son’s mouth. “And I’m sorry for my language!” Dirk said, as the father and son hugged underneath the watch of Darleen.
When the two got home they finally sat down to the meal Darren had cooked, which had gone cold by this time, so Darren phoned for a pizza instead. After he placed his order he kept the receiver to his mouth and discreetly dialled out again, just in case Dirk was watching. He was calling Cassandra, just to inform her about what had happened. As she answered, Darren only spoke in one-worded sentences. Cassandra quickly figured that he was doing it so Dirk wasn’t hurt his dad couldn’t go five minutes without talking to her. She didn’t keep him on the phone for too long, but when it came to saying goodbye she wasn’t going to let him leave without hearing those three little words, even if Dirk overheard. “Tell me you love me!”

Darren giggled but said in a emotionless voice, “No.”
“Do you love me?”
“Yes!” Darren answered.
“Then tell me!” Cassandra sweetly demanded.
Looking around, and not seeing Dirk close-by, Darren cupped his hand around his mouth and the receiver, “I love you.” He whispered, as Dirk quietly listened in on the call from upstairs. Dirk waited for both ends to hang up until he calmly put the receiver to his mouth.

“I hate you.” Dirk uttered, thinking of Cassandra.

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