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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4. Naked Truths

Still haunted by the other night. Dina went back to the den and started exercising until the early hours of the morning. I do love Mortimer, she said to herself as she tried to concentrate on forgetting about Ed. But if you love him, why can’t you just be happy for Don and Nina? She asked herself, climbing up onto the couch to rest. Because Don will just end up hurting Nina again. You saw what happened today, he can never do the right thing. No matter how hard he tries he’s always going to end up hurting someone. As Dina fell asleep, she thought about Don. She dreamed things were different, she was engaged to him and her sister was married to Mortimer. She was on the outside looking in and she saw herself flirting with Mortimer. She woke up suddenly and saw it was six AM. Dina thought about what she had just dreamt, whether or not it meant anything. As she carried herself up to the shower, she managed to forget about it, until... “Argh!” Dina cried, walking in on Don in the shower. Coupled with the dream, and a fully naked Don, all Dina could think about was...
“Do you mind?!” Don cried out.
“I have to go!” Dina yelled, as she ran out of the bathroom. In her bedroom she put on some fresh clothes whilst Mortimer was stirring.
“Are you going out?” He asked, confused.
“We need groceries for breakfast. Canpakes – um, pancakes and stuff, I’ll be right back.” Dina said, as she rushed out without saying goodbye. She didn’t know why, maybe if she had just stayed with Mortimer he would have calmed her down. But she was out now, walking further away from her house. She kept on thinking about Don, and didn’t realise where she was going until she found herself walking right towards Ed’s house. She didn’t plan on doing it, but he’d already seen her through the windows and was coming to greet her. As she got to the door, she turned around and was about to run off.
“Dina!” She stopped and sighed.
“Hey, Ed.” She said without turning to face him.
“What are you doing here? What if someone sees you?” Dina looked around, but it was still pretty early.
“I don’t suspect the papergirl is going to think we’re having an affair just ’cause I’m standing on your porch.” Ed laughed, but Dina wasn’t joking, saying the word affair made her realise how stupid she was for coming here.
“Did you want to..?” Dina put a hand up to stop Ed from finishing his sentence.
“I actually just...” She stopped when she could swear Ed was smelling her, then she realised. “I wanted to know if I could use your shower. The one at our house is broken!” Dina didn’t wait for an answer, and walked in. She knew where the bathroom was from her last visit, but stopped when she remembered why she knew.
“Do you wanna talk?” Ed asked, sensing a problem. Dina felt bad, Ed obviously had a little crush on her, which given their history was understandable. But she had to tell him that what she did was a mistake. Dina paused and looked around at Ed’s house. It was quite small but open-plan, and the focal point was a split level staircase suspended from the ceiling. Dina was shown into the living room (which appeared to her to have been added on as an extension) and sat down with Ed. Dina admired architecture, it was one of the reasons she loved her parents’ old house. Distracting Dina from her thoughts, Ed suddenly leaned in to get closer. “I can’t stop thinking about that night. You and I were like lust crazed animals or something! Just doing it right there in the bathroom after we’d met was...”
“Was what?” Dina asked, annoyed that Ed had brought up the night of Alex’s birthday. “Look, Ed, what we did was wrong. It was lust, that’s all it was. You need to forget that it ever happened.”
“Don’t get annoyed at me! I asked you if you were married and you said, so what.”
“I know,” Dina said, as she smacked herself in the head for saying it. “I was... emotionally unstable or something.” Dina reasoned.
“Unstable?”
“Yeah! I don’t know if you’re aware, but I seem to have a habit of doing these sorts of things.”
“You mean..?”
“I’m kind of a slut!” Dina brashly admitted, “And to be honest, it would be better for you if you just had nothing more to do with me.” A loud yell interrupted the conversation. Dina looked outside and panicked. “We’re not alone?”
“That’s just Shaun, he’s supposed to have left for work by now. I’ll go get rid of him.”
“Whatever. I’m just gonna have my shower and leave.” Dina said, as she went into the bathroom to hide. Ed sighed, realising he’d fallen hard for Dina. He'd gotten involved with a married woman - again. As Ed went out into the backyard, he saw Shaun playing with his Executive's Pro-Golf Putter toy, and was reminded of why he'd moved to Pleasantview - to forget his past and concentrate on his career, just as Shaun was doing. But unlike Shaun, Ed was still stuck in his first job as lowly Medical Technician at the local hospital.
“Shaun, aren’t you going to be late for work?” Ed asked his housemate.
“The little bugger tried to get away from me!” Shaun said, referring to the golf ball. He putted the ball and faced his friend. “I’m just heading off, but do you want me to stay?”
“No!”
“Are you sure? Can you manage to say ‘no this time?” Ed looked shocked, as Shaun sighed at his predictable friend.
“She’s just come over to use the shower then she’s gone for good. She said so.”
“Ed, why do you keep doing this to yourself?”
“I told you before, she came onto me.”
“But you knew she had a husband. I can’t believe that after what you went through last time, you’re gonna go and do it again.” Ed looked at Shaun, as around the front, a car beeped its horn. Shaun sighed and went to leave.
“You don’t have to worry.” Ed called out.
“Yes I do.” Shaun said. Ed promised himself he wouldn’t let his friend down. He went into the kitchen and knocked on the bathroom door.
“Is he gone?” Dina asked, as she opened the door.
“Yeah, you can start the shower now.”
“Actually, I need to use your phone if that’s okay. I was gonna get in - as you can tell,” Dina blushed at her undressed state, “but I got a page from my sister.”
“Sure, uh, it’s over there.” Ed said, as he pointed at the receiver. Dina inched out and picked it up, dialling home. Ed tried not to break his promise to Shaun.
“Nina, it’s me. Did you want me to come home?”
“No! Actually that’s why I was calling. Mortimer’s gone out to see Cassandra, and Alex is out with... who is it, Field?” Dina head a voice in the background - Don.
“Meadow!”
“Meadow, that’s it. Anyway, I just wanted to check you weren’t going to come back anytime soon because me and Don are going to be... spending some time together.” Nina added emphasis to the words.
“You’re gonna have sex.” Dina replied in a deadpan tone.
“Maybe.” Nina giggled.
“Well, why don’t you want me in the house? That hasn't stopped you before.”
“Well, it’s a special time we’re going to be spending together. We need to be alone so we can concentrate.”
“Concentrate! You’re not playing chess, it’s just sex.”
“But Dina, it’s not just that.” Nina tried not to give too much away.
“Wait... are you trying to say that during your ‘time together, you need to concentrate because... you’re trying to ‘make something.”
“Yes!” Nina giggled. Dina gripped the receiver with a tight fist, as she replied through gritted teeth. “Well, I’ll make sure I won’t be back. I guess I’ll just have to find something to pass the time with.”

*

Orlando’s plan to take Dirk out to forget about Cassandra worked. In fact, when he eventually came back, he’d forgotten a lot of things; mainly how to talk in complete sentences! It was well into the afternoon when Dirk surfaced on Saturday, ignoring his loved-up father, he went straight to the computer to play on his new game. Darren and Cassandra went over together to tell him their big news. “Dirk, do you think you could pause that for a second while me and Cassandra talk to you?” Darren asked.
“No. Just go ahead, I’m listening.” Dirk said, as he remained concentrated on the game.
“I really think you should listen to this.”
“And I am listening, see! Go ahead, what is it you want to tell me?” Darren breathed deeply, preparing himself for the worst.
“Well, it’s about me and Cassandra.”
“I’m no idiot! She’s stood right there, of course it’s about you two. Ninety-nine percent of the conversations we’ve had in the past week have been about you two.”
“Okay! Well, we’ve decided... that to make our relationship official... we’ve gotten engaged.” Dirk flinched and sent whatever he was controlling off the road. ‘Game Over flashed on the screen.
“You are? Like... married?” Dirk asked, not facing either of the two.
“Not married. But someday we will get married.” Cassandra said, as she played with the ring on her finger.
“But we wanted to stay engaged whilst you got used to the idea that Cassandra isn’t going anywhere. She’s sticking around.” Dirk looked at Cassandra, and she prepared herself for Dirk’s abuse.
“Is this true..? Do you love my dad?” Cassandra nodded. “And you’re not going to leave him?”
“I’m not going to leave your dad. And I’m not going to leave you. I’m here forever.” Dirk stood up and stared at Cassandra eye-to-eye. And then, it was all over. Dirk opened his arms and hugged Cassandra. He let go and said to Cassandra,
“Welcome to the family.” Dirk smiled, but Cassandra felt that it wasn’t because he was happy. The doorbell rang and Cassandra didn’t have much time to think about Dirk, Darren went to answer it and greeted Mortimer Goth. Cassandra had popped over to visit him this morning to tell him her exciting news, and now he was excited too!
“Darren, my glad-lad - ah, my glad-son!” Mortimer corrected as he gave a powerful hug despite his age.
“Good afternoon... Dad!” Darren giggled as he tried it out.
“I was so happy to hear Cassandra had finally gotten over her silly childhood crush and fallen in love with someone perfect for her.”
“So you’re not mad at Cassandra for getting engaged so soon after..?”
“Of course not! I never wanted that sham of a relationship to go ahead anyway. I just always assumed it was what my daughter wanted. I see now that all she ever really wanted was you.” Darren blushed, feeling accepted by Mortimer.
“I only ever wanted her too, deep down!” Darren admitted.
“Now, don’t say that! You’ve had to go through a lot this past year: losing your wife and raising a son by yourself. You don’t have to make up excuses to humour me. I know that all you want now is to settle back down into a familiar routine...” Mortimer continued, “And it certainly helps when that ‘routine is in the form of an able-Grable like my daughter!” Mortimer said, as Darren laughed at his joke.  He certainly wasn’t like the typical oldies around Pleasentview. Mortimer had an inner youth that Darren couldn’t quite understand. But I guess that’s what happens when an Elder marries a twenty-something goddess like Dina, Darren thought. 
“So, would you like to join us for lunch?”
“No thank you. I only stopped by because I wanted to congratulate you. I’m meeting a friend in the park. Make sure you give my daughter a kiss from me - but not too passionate, now, we don’t her getting the wrong idea!” Mortimer said, as Darren swore he saw him skipping down the road. Darren was over the moon. His dream of a new family had all come together without so much as a tremor; Dirk had obviously just needed some extra attention. Darren figured his son finally understood that the three of them were going to be together forever, and that no-one was leaving him again. Most of all, whatever happened, Darren finally felt safe knowing that if anything were to ever happen to him, Dirk wouldn’t be without his family, now that him and Cassandra were engaged.
“So, where are you going to be living?” Dirk asked Cassandra.
“Oh! Well, we hadn’t really discussed it, but I don’t think either of us will be moving in with each other yet.” Cassandra replied.
“Why not? You are in love, aren’t you?” Dirk asked, as he rolled his eyes when all Cassandra could do was look at Darren. “Then what’s stopping you?” Darren looked at Dirk.
“Well, we just wanted to wait.”
“Cuz of me? Please, you don’t need to think about me.” Cassandra reached for Dirk’s hand.
“Of course we’re thinking about you, we’re always thinking about you.” Dirk felt weird, as Cassandra winked at him then affectionately squeezed his hand.
“Well, we hadn’t discussed it. But Cassandra, how about when Dirk goes off to college..?”
“Ha, if Dirk gets into college.” Dirk joked.
When Dirk gets into college, we can move in together.” Cassandra smiled, as Darren delivered his decision.
“That long..? No, that’s great. I think it’s just the pace we need to go at.” Cassandra put on a smile, but inside she felt like once again Dirk had come between her and Darren.
“Let me clean these for you, dad... Cassandra.” Dirk said, smiling at Cassandra. Darren grinned from ear-to-ear, kissing Cassandra and whispering ‘welcome to the family. As Dirk faced the kitchen window cleaning the plates, he could no longer hide his anger. In a sudden burst of emotion, Dirk pushed the plates off the counter and let them smash on the floor. Darren and Cassandra stared at him. “Sorry, I guess they just slipped.” Darren half-heartedly laughed. “Are you mad?”
“No! It was just an accident, you’re okay right?” Darren asked Dirk.
“Okay..?” Of course Dirk wasn’t okay. His dad had just gotten engaged. But rather than continue to fight Cassandra, Orlando had given him a good idea. Treat her like she’s one of the family, lure her into a false sense of security, let her tuck you in on a night, then BAM! She’s in your arm’s kissing you goodnight, and possibly good morning. Well, that was Orlando’s twisted version, but Dirk was going to go out of his way to make Cassandra feel welcome, even if it did mean giving her the occasional kiss on the cheek. He knew that if he were to ever expose the true Cassandra to his dad, he could only do it when the true Cassandra had finally shown herself. Taking a deep breath, Dirk smiled and looked at Cassandra, “I’m okay!”

*

Dina found herself unable to move. She just stared up at the ceiling of Ed's bedroom and tried to process the events that had led her to be with him again. With an annoyed grunt, she pushed herself out of the bed and cringed as her view of the blank ceiling was replaced by Ed's room - her underwear; his discarded clothes; crumpled sheets; and beside her in bed, the exhausted and content body of her illicit lover. But rather than be happy, he sighed when he finally saw Dina face him, “I suppose you’re gonna leave now?” Ed asked.
“No, I’m gonna stick around and say hi to Shaun!” Dina replied in a sarcastic tone. Ed smiled, but Dina could tell he was hurt. “Look, Ed, this is never gonna happen again. I shouldn’t have even visited you today.”
“Then why did you?”
“I don’t know! One second I was walking away from my house and the next I was in front of yours, my feet just brought me here.”
“And did your feet tell you to come inside for sex too?” Now Ed was the one being sarcastic.
“I don’t know who told me to do that.”
“But let me guess, it wasn’t you?” Dina couldn't stand Ed's puppy-dog eyes, and ran back into the bathroom without answering him. She couldn’t answer him. For some reason, when she found out Nina was back at home trying for a baby with Don, something inside of her snapped. Like it did when she found out the two were engaged. She felt affection from Ed and took it too far; and now she felt guilty for cheating on Mortimer and leading Ed on. Picking up where she had left off, Dina showered, got dressed, but didn't see Ed again until she was walking away from his house, when she looked back over her shoulder and saw him through the large windows of the house, dejectedly walking up the staircase. Elsewhere in Pleasantview, Dina's sister had also been busy in bed. Nina saw Don about to climb out, as the noise of a phone ringing echoed around the near-empty house, but she stopped her fiancé.
“It’s probably the stork asking when you want the baby delivered!” Don joked.
“Then maybe I should talk to it, you can rest here. Don’t think we’re finished yet!” Nina winked, as she slipped on her nightgown and went downstairs to answer the phone. “Hello!”
There was a pause, before a man with a British accent asked, 
“Dina?”
“Hey, Ed! It's Nina, do you want to talk to Don?” Nina replied, instantly recognising Don’s work friend.
“No, I was...” There was another pause on the other end, as Ed thought of what to say. “I wanted to ask Don something, but it doesn’t matter.”
“I can go get him if you...”
“No, don’t tell him I’ve phoned. I’ll see him at work tomorrow - bye.” Before she could reply, Ed hung up. Nina felt confused, and saw Dina walking through the door. She paused, clearly seeing Nina, and avoided talking by bolting up the staircase.
“Dina, wait!” Nina cried, as she went upstairs to ask her sister something.
“Sorry! What is it?”
“Where did you go this morning?”
“I went shopping.” Dina said, sticking to her story. But Nina looked around and realised she had no bags.
“You’re not very good at it!”
“Well, I intended to shop, but I...”
“You’re clean!” Nina said.
“What?” Dina replied, confused.
“This morning, Don told me how you walked in on him in the shower and then left.”
Dina paused, thinking of an excuse. “I went swimming! And I used the showers there.” As she was about to go to her room, Nina stopped her sister once again.
“Is there something you want to tell me, Dina? You know you can trust me, I’d never betray you.” Nina said, as Dina was reminded all too well how she had betrayed Nina once.
“There’s nothing to tell.”
“Dina, if you were swimming, you couldn’t have had your pager on you.” Dina paused and looked at her sister.
“Alright, I used a shower somewhere else.”
“Where?”
“At a friend’s house.”
“Which friend?”
“God, don’t you trust me?” Dina yelled.
“No, as a matter of fact, I have a big problem trusting you. That’s why I want you to tell me the truth.”
“Why do you think I haven’t already?”
“Because I can tell you’re lying... and there’s something I know.” Dina paused, trying to decipher whether or not her sister was bluffing. “Are you gonna confess, or do you want me to do it for you? Don’s right on the other side of that door and I can’t be held responsible for the volume of my voice.” Dina kept trying to tell if Nina was bluffing. After a few seconds, Dina stood strong. “Alright, I’ll say it. Even if Don does hear, I’m sure it won’t affect him... will it?” Dina's mouth dropped.
“You know!”
“I told you I did.”
“How?”
“He just phoned up asking for you. At first, I thought he’d mistaken me for you. But when he left without leaving a message, I knew something was up.”
“And... that’s it?”
“That’s all I know, unless you want to tell me more - so I don’t get the wrong idea or anything.” Dina breathed and prepared to confess to Nina.
“I used the shower at Ed’s. It wasn’t intentional, but his house was the first one I came to. I got your page whilst I was there and used his phone.”
“And then?” Nina paused, waiting for a reply.
“I had to talk to him. Something happened the night of Alex’s birthday when I took him home. He got the wrong idea and kissed me. I needed to set the record straight.” Nina looked at her sister.
“He kissed you?” Dina sighed.
“Yeah! Do you believe me?”
“I believe you, but only cuz I've seen Ed and I know you would never kiss him!” Nina laughed before receiving a jab from Dina.
“Don’t make fun! He’s really sweet, and it was hard letting him down.” Dina relaxed, knowing she was safe. Her affair was still a secret.
“Okay, well I’m glad you told me. I hate it when people keep stuff from me, Don’s doing it too, but I don’t know what he’s hiding.” Nina admitted.
“Oh! Don’t worry, it’s nothing.” Dina said, as she wondered whether she should have even mentioned anything about Alex.
You know?”
“I kind of guessed. He’s keeping a secret for someone.”
“Who!?” Nina asked, excited.
“I can’t tell you! But you know Don, he’ll slip up eventually...” As Nina walked into her bedroom, Dina finished, “...he always does.”

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