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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8. Truth Will Out

“Someone wanted to wish their brother a happy birthday!” Brandi said, opening her sons bedroom door. Calvin crawled into Dustin and Beau’s bedroom.
“Happy, Happy...” Calvin paused and looked at Brandi.
“Birthday.” She reminded him.
“Happy Birthday, Beau!” Calvin said. Beau stretched, waking up and smiling at his baby brother.
“Aw, thanks Cal. I’ll be singing it to you soon too.” Beau said, reminding Brandi that yet another of her children would be growing up soon. “Do I look any different yet?” Beau asked Dustin, as the two sat down in the kitchen for breakfast.
“Hmm, have you gotten smaller?” Dustin joked.
“No! I’m just sat down funny. You’ll see, once I blow out my candles, I’ll be as big as you.”
“Dream on, shorty!” Dustin laughed.
“Is my party going to be fancy dress?” Beau asked his brother about his birthday party, which Dustin had organised with the help of some of his friends from work.
“You want your first teenage party to be fancy dress? Boy, do you have a lot to learn about being a teenager.”
“Will you teach me?” Beau asked. Brandi served up some breakfast and dreaded to think about the kinds of things Dustin would teach him. It’s not that she didn’t trust her son, it’s just that she didn’t trust the crowd he hung out with. She worried a lot less once he had started seeing Angela Pleasant, but she still had to worry about his work friends – and Dustin’s inscrutable boss, Gordon King.
“It’ll all come naturally, trust me.” Dustin said, as he and Beau started to eat breakfast. Brandi yawned, catching Dustin’s attention.
“Are you sure you’re ready for this party?” He asked.
“Of course. I’m not about to miss my son’s birthday party.” Brandi yawned again.
“Your body’s telling me otherwise. You were up all night with Calvin again, huh?”
“Not all of the night.” Brandi lied.
“Well then, he’ll be in no condition to come either.”
“Yeah, mum, I don’t want him crying all day.” Beau added.
“So what do you suggest, I don’t go to my sons own birthday party?!” Dustin and Beau smiled. Their plan to have an unsupervised party was working.
“You’re so good at bargaining with mum.” Beau laughed, walking into the bathroom with Dustin.
“You just have to know how to offer the right balance of stuff so you both get what you want without feeling short changed.” Dustin said, holding Calvin in his hands.
“Yeah, but all you had to do was give Calvin a bath and we get half an unsupervised party. How easy was that?!”
As Calvin kicked and screamed whilst Dustin tried to get him into the bath, he got his answer. “Not that easy!”
Later on, with Calvin clean, Brandi kept up her part of the deal. “You two have a good time - and don’t bring out the cake until I’m there. And no heavy metal music or alcohol, okay? Dustin, are you listening?” Brandi stopped Dustin, as Beau hugged his mother and went to rush out of the house.
“Yes, of course. He’s my little...” Beau looked back and shot Dustin a deathly look. “He’s my teenage brother, I’ll look after him. You just make sure you and Cal get as much rest as you need.” Dustin kissed his mum on the cheek and left.
“Oh, well, I won’t be resting for that long - just an hour or two...” As Brandi shut the door, she crashed down on the couch. “Or seven!” But it hadn’t been more than forty-five minutes until Calvin cried for some food. Brandi was sure if she just got through with this, he’d fall right back to sleep. But, as she opened the fridge-door, she realised why she was not throwing Beau’s party at home - there wasn’t any food left in the house. Everything at Beau’s party was bought cheap by Dustin’s shifty work friends. The party had been a welcome gift, as she knew she hadn’t got enough money to throw one herself, especially with Calvin growing up so quickly too. Brandi closed the door and realised Calvin had stopped crying, having begun to play with his toys. Quietly, she crept over to the couch and lay down. But the moment her head touched the soft pillow, Calvin screamed out loud and began smashing his xylophone with the stick for attention. Brandi’s head began pounding with the pain of a terrible headache, as Calvin continued to scream. She suddenly felt her insides boil, as the screaming got louder and louder. Brandi could take it no more. As if floating above her body, she watched down at herself, rushing over to Calvin and snatching the xylophone stick from his tiny hands. She saw Brandi had grabbed it with both hands and snapped it straight in half. The pieces fell to the floor, and Brandi returned to her body. There was nothing but silence now, until Calvin began to sob at the sight of his broken toy. But instead of getting angry again, Brandi swooped up her youngest in her arms and cuddled him. “I am so sorry.” Brandi cried, as she hugged Calvin. He began to smile, but it wasn’t enough to cheer her up. She was exhausted and ashamed. How could she give Nina advice on being a good mother when she herself wasn’t even a good one. “I promise I will never ever take out my anger on you again.” Brandi looked at her son, and he gently wiped the tears from her cheek with his finger. Brandi placed Calvin back down and his smile faded. Inside, Calvin felt different, it was as if everything the world had taught him had all of a sudden snapped into place. With all his might, he stood up and walked over to Brandi, who had sat back down on the couch. Brandi looked up, and realised what Calvin had just done... for her. Feeling more awake now than ever, Brandi soon forgot about sleeping and spent the next hour playing with her son.

*

“Oh no, we’re both just not going to be able to make it on Monday.” Nina told the woman on the other end of the phone. She was trying to cancel her and Dina’s yoga class. Being pregnant, Dina was researching online what exercises they should and shouldn’t do. “I understand we have to attend a minimum of three classes per month to keep our membership, but surely the rules can allow for... health related absences?” Nina rolled her eyes. She was under strict orders from Dina not to tell anyone about their pregnancies. Needless to say, Nina failed to tell her she’d already told Brandi Broke before Dina had imposed the ruling. With a sigh, Nina hung up the phone.
“No luck?” Dina asked her sister, looking up from the computer screen.
“She says we have to make it up next month, although I doubt that’ll happen.”
“It’s okay, by that time we can tell her exactly why we can’t attend. Hey, do you think it’s too early to start lamaze classes?” Dina enquired with her sister.
“Are you kidding me?! There’s no way I’m going through labour without drugs, what if I have twins?” Nina laughed.
“It couldn’t hurt to try...”
In the study, Dina and her sister found the privacy to relax - and Dina was in desperate need of relaxation! It was only a few weeks ago when she found out she was pregnant by either her husband Mortimer Goth, or Ed Wilson – the man she’d had an affair with. Nina was also in two minds about whether her pregnancy was an accident or a blessing in disguise. Sometimes she felt like becoming a mother at such a young age meant she’d miss out on a lot of things, and other times she would scold herself for being so selfish. But it wasn’t just herself that she had to worry about, it was only three months ago that she found her boyfriend in bed with her sister... She knew things had blown over, but sometimes she couldn’t help but worry that raising a baby with Don might turn out to be a huge mistake.
A knock on the door awoke Dina and Nina from their meditation. “Can I come in?” Mortimer asked.
“Hold on!” Nina exhaled and stood up to let Mortimer in. “Do you need help getting up?” She asked Dina.
“Oh no,” Dina said, “my dear step-daughter is coming over. I need as much inner peace as I can possibly get!” Nina let Mortimer in and decided she’d had enough meditation for one day.
“You will be ready for this evening, won’t you?” Mortimer asked Dina.
“Stop worrying, you’re going to give yourself a heart attack. It’s not too late to call and cancel if you don’t feel up to it.” The phone rang, and Mortimer went to answer it.
Dina’s peaceful composure was disturbed once again when she heard who Mortimer was talking to, 
“I don’t know any ‘Clarence Wing Private Hospital.” Mortimer told the person on the other end of the phone. It was, in fact, where Dina found out she was pregnant. In one swift move, she yanked the phone cord out of the socket on the wall. A confused Mortimer looked down, as Dina smiled innocently.
“Oops!” She exclaimed, trying to appear as if she’d done it by accident! Mortimer couldn’t help but let his thoughts linger on Dina’s accidental removal of the phone cord, as he prepared the turkey for this evening’s dinner. In fact, Dina seemed to be doing a lot of strange things lately. Her constant trips to the top floor bathroom, where she would spend what seemed like hours. Sometimes, it felt as though Dina wanted to get away from him. Not only that, she was distant in bed too. And their relationship was not at all like it used to be. Although Mortimer secretly admitted he didn’t mind (not being as virile as he used to be), he still missed the closeness and love they once shared. Could it be that Dina was falling out of love with him? She had begun to get awfully moody when he asked her the most innocent of questions, sometimes making him feel more like a father than a husband. As if reading his mind, the object of Mortimer’s affections made her presence known, as she groaned and walked towards the back-door.
“Is something the matter, my dear?” Mortimer asked.

“No!” Dina huffed, as she reluctantly answered, “I just ache from all those stupid yoga positions and I want to go and relax in the hot-tub before she gets here, if that’s okay with you?” She added on the end, with a tone that let Mortimer know it was a question she did not want answering.
“It’s fine! You take care.” Mortimer said, puckering out his lips for a kiss. But Dina simply walked right by and out of the door. Sighing, Mortimer placed the turkey in the oven and began to find some onions to chop so no-one would suspect his eyes were welling up with tears.
Some time later, Don found himself absolutely starving. But before he made it to the table to wait for the food Mortimer was about to serve up, the phone grabbed his attention. He picked it up and talked to a formal sounding woman on the other end. “Private what?” Don asked, confused about who was calling. Looking over at Mortimer, who seemed to be having some trouble bending down to take the heavy turkey out of the oven, Don lowered his voice. “Maternity Clinic? But Dina’s not...” Don began, until he was reminded about Nina’s random attacks of sickness these past few days. In his mind, Don began to concoct a theory in which Nina would go to a private hospital to find out if she was pregnant, but lie and call herself Dina. Feeling somewhat annoyed at Nina, he claimed to the woman on the phone that she had the wrong number and slammed down the phone before she could argue. Before he sat down, Don removed the phone cord from the wall, just in case the hospital receptionist decided to call back.
“Was that Cassandra?” Mortimer asked, as he began to carve some of the turkey for himself.
“No, it was a wrong number.” Don lied. Watching Mortimer, he suddenly realised why the old man had stopped making the table. “Where do you suppose everyone should sit?” He asked, knowing that the next few hours were going to be very awkward for everyone. Placing the plates back in a stack on the side, Mortimer grabbed one, sat down, and began to eat.
“To be completely honest, I couldn’t give a damn.” He replied, making Don feel awkward already. Mortimer had apparently begun the dinner before anyone else had even arrived. What on earth is going on with everybody in this house, Don thought.

*

“Hey!” Dirk said, as he walked off the patio and into the basement den of the Caliente’s house.
Alex looked up from the TV and smiled, “Hi! Are you okay?”
“Fine, I guess. So, what are you watching?” Dirk asked, sitting down next to Alex. Alex could feel his own heart race, as Dirk sat next to him. He had known about the big Goth/Caliente/Lothario/Dreamer Dinner since last week, and was told by Mortimer that whilst the adults were having a civilised meal (or at least what Mortimer hoped would be civilised), he and Dirk could hang out in the den, if they so wished. Afterwards, all Alex could think about was being alone with Dirk. He’d never really spoken to him before - most of the time because he was too nervous. When Alex became a teenager, he couldn’t hang out with his friends because Dirk would hang out with them too. And whenever Dirk was around him, Alex felt... different. Alex tried to escape these new feelings by hanging out with other people, but it dawned on Alex why he felt the way he did whenever Dirk was around him... he was attracted to him! Despite thinking he’d fought off these feelings when he kissed his now-girlfriend Meadow at the Halloween party, Alex found himself back at square one when he was forced to share a backseat with Dirk on the way home from that party. And in the confined space of a car, Alex had no choice but to get to know Dirk... which he had to admit, only served to make his feelings grow stronger.
Dirk’s laughing distracted Alex from his thoughts. He joined in laughing, but it was too late, and Dirk glanced over at Alex looking confused. “I just got it!” Alex lied.
“Yeah, I’ve seen it before, but it’s still a funny joke... I’m bored, you got any video games?” Alex reached over to grab the only two games he owned.
“Sorry, it’s Don who plays it the most, and Nina made him get rid of most of his games. He let me have these two though.” Alex gave Dirk the cases.
“I’ve played these already.” Dirk said, handing back the games to Alex, who was feeling like a complete geek. There was an uncomfortable silence, making Alex feel like even more of a geek. Reassuring himself that there was nothing to worry about, Alex broke the silence.
“Is it true you were cheating on Lilith?” He blurted out. Dirk looked over at Alex and said nothing. “I mean, I’m sorry that you two broke up. Lilith’s nice.” Dirk was still silent and Alex wished the ground would open up and swallow him. But a smile found its way onto Dirk’s face.
“Yeah, she is. But she deserves someone better than me.” He admitted.
“Why do you think that?”
“Well... I was cheating on her.” Dirk said. Alex was unsure of what to say until Dirk said it for him. “I know what you’re thinking, but Lilith and I... we were just too young to be in a steady relationship. I mean, I want to try everything you know, not just stick with the first thing I like.”
“You want to try... everything?” Alex asked, feeling his heart race again.
“Yeah, I mean, I know I shouldn’t do it all at once. But once I began seeing other girls, I couldn’t stop!” Dirk laughed in what seemed like a disrespectful way, making Alex feel uneasy.
“How many girls have you seen?”
“Four, including Lilith. I know it’s not that many but there’s two girls I really like, and I just don’t want too see a repeat of what happened at the Halloween Ball. Anyway, what about you? Weren’t you getting a bit friendly with someone at the dance?” Dirk joked and made a kissy-face at Alex, causing him to blush and giggle.
“Ha, yeah! I... don’t know how serious that is.” Alex admitted, feeling shy once again.
“That’s the beauty about being a teenager, it doesn’t have to get serious!”
“But I’m afraid someone might get hurt.” Alex sighed.
“I wish I were more like you.” Dirk said.
Alex smiled, “How so?”
“Being considerate of other people’s feelings. It shows you’re a good person.”
“Really? I kind of wish I were more like you.” Alex said. Did I really just say that out loud? Alex thought, feeling himself go red in the cheeks.
“Well, I have been told I’ve got an addictive personality.” Dirk laughed.
“I think it might be true!” Alex grinned.

*

Dina came down the stairs and begrudgingly joined Don, Nina, Mortimer, and Cassandra at the dining table. She wasn’t happy about it! But she knew she had to show Mortimer that she could at least stand to be around Cassandra Goth for a few hours. So tonight, she was on her best behaviour. “I’m here! I hope you haven’t started...” Dina began, until she saw everyone had already started eating. “Oh, never mind.” She replied, sitting down next to Mortimer and noticing he’d almost finished his meal already. As she started to eat, Dina noticed the lack of conversation going on and thought if she could be the first one to speak, Mortimer might appreciate it. “So... does anyone have any words of praise?” Dina said, convinced she just saw Mortimer roll his eyes.
“I know it’s corny, but I’m thankful for family and friends.” Nina said. “This time last year I only had a sister and now I’ve got a brother-in-law, a fiancé, and soon a nephew or niece...” Nina said, grinning from ear to ear at the thought of Dina’s baby. Dina shot her sister a cold and unforgiving glance, causing Nina to realise her mistake. She quickly tried to cover it up. “I meant: MY nephew Alex, and my niece... Cassandra!” Nina said with a sigh of relief.
“We’re barely related at all.” Cassandra murmured, wondering glumly what was keeping her own fiancé from arriving.
“Cassandra.” Mortimer said in a nagging tone.
“I mean, sure! I’m thankful for that too.” She added with force. “What about you, daddy? I’m sure you’ve got a lot of things to choose from this year.” Cassandra added, in what Dina was sure was a sarcastic reference to her and Mortimer’s marriage.
“I am thankful for something: laws.” He said proudly.
“Laws?!” Dina said in a surprised tone.
“Yes! Rules and regulations, the fine law system which we abide by in our world today. I will go to bed tonight feeling safer knowing that there are laws protecting me and my... others.” Mortimer added, in a somewhat smug tone.
“Good call, Morty!” Don added in a cheerful tone. “I’m afraid my thanks are a little bit more selfish! I’m thankful that me and Nina have had a one-hundred percent, totally honest relationship whilst living here together. Aren’t you, Nina?” Don asked, thinking that in fact Nina had not been honest at all.
“Yeah! I think it’s great.” Nina replied, unaware of what Don was getting at.
“It is great. Especially considering the amount of lies that took place in order for us to be together.” He began, Don’s temper getting the better of him.
“Don, I really think it would be better if you didn’t bring that up right now. Besides, we still haven’t heard what Dina’s thankful for.” Nina glared at Don, wondering what possessed him to almost ruin what was turning out to be one of the most civilised meetings between them all.
“You know what I’m thankful for?” A familiar voice said, walking into the Caliente’s house through the back-door. “This! The fact that all six of us can sit here today, sharing a meal with each other!
“Ah, that was beautiful, Darren.” Cassandra kissed her fiancé, as he sat down at the table.

Sorry I’m late. I tried calling to say I was running behind schedule, but I could not seem to get through.” Darren looked puzzled, but Don and Dina shiftily cast their guilty eyes away from Darren. Anyway, were all here now, let’s enjoy the moment, the day where everyone in this family can finally get along with each other!” Unfortunately, Darren was unaware that everyone was not, as he so confidently assumed, getting along with each other...
“You can’t say that about my sister!” Alex laughed, hitting Dirk with a pillow.
“I just meant, and you can see where I’m coming from with this...” Dirk defended his allegations against Cassandra Goth, “I think she manipulated my dad into proposing to her, just like she did with Don.” Dirk picked up a pillow to throw at Alex.
“Whoa, okay! Maybe her engagement to Don was one sided, but I’ve talked to her and I can tell she really loves your dad. And after my dad moved out, she and him kind of stopped talking to each other. Your dad helped them make up.” Regardless of his attempts to stall, Alex found the pillow sailing towards him.
“You make a good point. But I still feel uneasy about something.” Alex began to suggest what it was Dirk felt uneasy about but stopped himself, not wanting to say something that might upset Dirk. “It’s okay, I know what you’re going to say: I just feel this way because Cassandra’s the first woman my dad’s gotten close with since my mum...” Dirk stopped. Alex kicked himself for letting the conversation get this far.
“I’m sorry, we can change the subject if you want.”
“No, it’s okay. I don’t know what it is, but I feel really good talking to you about this. Lilith was the one who was good at advising me on all this crap about relationships. I guess now you can take over her job.” Dirk laughed. Alex smiled, feeling his heart begin to beat fast again.
“You want me to take over Lilith’s job?” Alex said, wondering if Dirk realised what he was saying.
“Yeah, you seem to know what you’re talking about.”
“Oh!” Alex was blushing. “I guess it’s just because I know what it’s like, you know?”
“Yeah. I’m sorry about your mum.” Dirk said.
“Thanks!” Alex stared at Dirk, and for the first time he saw the generous and caring Dirk that Lilith had fallen for... the one that he was falling for. Alex couldn’t say or do anything. He just stood there, falling for Dirk - literally.
“Yo, Earth to Alex? Come in, Alex!” Dirk whacked Alex over the head with his pillow a little too hard, knocking Alex off his feet. “Crap! Sorry man, you okay?” Dirk asked. Even from down on the floor, Alex could see Dirk’s generosity towards mankind shining through that tough and... hot exterior. “Let me help you up.” Dirk said, bending over and reaching out for both of Alex’s hands. If Alex had been stronger, he would have yanked Dirk down on top of him. But he was nowhere near as strong as Dirk. Now on his feet, Alex found himself lightheaded, and began to lose his balance. “Whoa!” Dirk said, seeing Alex begin to fall again. This time, Dirk grabbed onto Alex’s waist and pulled him upright. Alex knew it was only to stop him from falling over, but his brain wasn’t in control at this moment in time... his heart was. “I didn’t hit you that hard, did I?” Dirk asked, keeping Alex steady with his hands. The last bit of common sense Alex had was now gone, as he reached out to hold onto Dirk’s waist - in spite of the fact he was no longer falling over.
“You have no idea!” Alex felt himself leaning in towards Dirk, and he was sure Dirk was doing the same. This was it, there was no turning back... Alex was going to kiss Dirk Dreamer...
“Whoa! What the hell?” Dirk said in shock, as he pulled back from Alex and let go. With his brain in full control now, Alex tried to rationalise his sudden actions.
“Wha... what? What’s the matter?” Alex casually asked.
“Were you just about to kiss me?” Dirk asked in a demanding tone.
“...What? Are you insane, I lost my balance because you hit me so hard.”
“Oh? And I suppose you always have your lips puckered and your eyes closed when you lose your balance.” Dirk sarcastically shot back. “I’ve been with enough girls to know when someone’s leaning in for a kiss, and you were leaning in to kiss me!” Dirk said, still in shock.
“No! I don’t know what you think you felt...” Dirk interrupted Alex. He was now over his shock and furiously angry at what Alex was implying.
“Hey! I didn’t feel anything, fag.” Alex recoiled from the viciousness of Dirk’s words.
“I’m not...” Alex paused, and that was enough for Dirk to see the truth. He turned towards the stairs and hurriedly walked away. Alex knew the time for denial was gone, and it was time to do damage control - or risk being prematurely outed by Dirk. And Alex was certainly not ready to admit he was gay. Running up the stairs, his feet stomping, Dirk found himself the centre of everyone’s attention at the dining table. Ignoring their confused stares, he marched towards the door - with Alex quickly pursuing him. He reached out to stop Dirk from leaving, but Dirk dodged his hand.
“Don’t touch me!” Dirk yelled. This time, the staring eyes of the adults were enough to catch his attention, and Dirk realised the best thing to do was not make a scene.
“Just... calm down. It wasn’t a big deal.” Alex admitted, knowing that Dirk probably wasn’t going to buy any excuses he made up.
“Go on, aren’t you gonna lie to me?” Dirk sneered.
“I’m sorry, okay?” Alex offered.
“No, it’s not okay! You think you can just do that and act like it’s no big deal? Well, you’re wrong. What you did... it’s not natural.” Dirk felt himself shudder at the thought of it.
“I didn’t do anything.”
“You wanted to, and that’s just as bad.”
“Can’t we just forget it? I know I will.” Alex said, turning his head round to look at the adults, who had so far just looked on in silence.
“I am not ever going to forget this.” Mortimer and Darren got up from their seats, getting ready to interrupt their sons’ argument. Dirk wasn’t about to let them persuade him to stay. Opening the front door, he didn’t even give Alex time to move out of the way, as Dirk shoved passed him and left. As he got outside, Dirk stopped and breathed deeply, closing his eyes, trying to calm himself down. But all he could see when he closed his eyes was Alex’s face coming towards him. Feeling defeated, he sat down on the porch steps, not wanting to leave without his father. He wondered what he was going to tell his dad. One thing’s for sure, he thought, there’s no way I’m telling him I was almost kissed by Alexander Goth. Because, he admitted to himself, it wasn’t so much the attempted kiss that angered Dirk... it was the fact that somehow Alex got the impression that Dirk was into him. Trying to think rationally about the night, Dirk could see now all the signs Alex was giving him. The final straw was when Dirk grabbed onto Alex. Why on Earth did I grab hold of Alex’s waist, he asked himself. Dirk was beginning to panic, and suddenly thought, what if I had been unintentionally flirting with Alex? He stopped getting ahead of himself, realising what he had just suggested. Could he, Dirk Dreamer, be confused about his sexuality?
With Dirk outside and Alex upstairs, it looked like Mortimer’s dream get-together was over all too soon. “I’m really sorry, Mortimer. I’m going to have to go find out what it is that upset Dirk so much.” Darren said.
“I’m sure Alex didn’t mean to say or do anything to upset Dirk. I can get him to apologise, if you want?” Mortimer offered.
“No, I should have Dirk apologise for interrupting your dinner party. Thanks for tonight, you just make sure Alex is okay, and phone Cassandra later... that is, assuming Cassandra’s going to be welcome at mine tonight.” Darren sighed, knowing how Dirk could sometimes make Cassandra feel unwelcome at his home.
After saying goodbye to his daughter, Mortimer travelled upstairs and found Alex hiding in the study. “What did you say, to have that poor boy storming out of here?” Mortimer asked in a concerned tone. Alex hoped the adults might think this just had something to do with Dirk also having a grudge against Cassandra.
“I don’t know what I said.” Alex answered, trying to dodge the truth.
“Promise me you didn’t do anything on purpose.”
“God no, I would never... I didn’t want to... I just thought...” Alex tried to find the words, knowing that if his dad was someone like Don, he could just pour out his heart – like he so desperately wanted to. But his dad wasn’t Don, his dad was a traditional elder. A man’s man, Alex thought, who undoubtedly frowned upon same-sex relationships.
“I know you wouldn’t intentionally do anything to upset Dirk. I just hope all this blows over.” Mortimer sighed and placed an affectionate hand on Alex’s shoulder. But Alex knew this was something that would drive a wedge between the Goths and Dreamers - permanently.

*

Nina was surprised when Brandi Broke showed up later that night. Brandi explained that she hadn’t heard from Nina, and couldn’t wait any longer – having Dustin and Beau keep an eye on Calvin just whilst she popped over. Nina showed Brandi down into the den, hoping the two could be alone... but they weren't. Outside on the patio, Don was secretly listening in on their conversation. “I don’t know what to tell you.”
“What did the test say, don’t you know?” Nina avoided looking at Brandi, but she could already tell. “You do know! Ooh, what is it? Is it a girl? Please! I won’t tell anybody else, I swear.” Brandi giggled.
“Ugh! You better not!” Nina coyly smiled.
“Does that mean..?” Brandi looked on the verge of exploding if Nina didn’t tell her.
“Yes, I’m pregnant!”
“Ah!” Brandi squeaked, as she threw her arms around her best friend. “You’re gonna have a family of your very own!” Don overheard Brandi say, finally confirming what he had already suspected. Knowing that Alex was okay, Nina felt no hesitation in firing up the hot-tub (Brandi suggested they should celebrate). She bravely took her sister to one side and told her that Brandi knew - only about her pregnancy. Even though she was sure it was too soon to start enjoying herself, Dina joined in their secret celebration. But their happy faces were soon wiped clean, when Don wouldn’t take no for an answer and plunged himself into the hot-tub too. With talks of colour schemes and baby names still on her mind, Brandi foolishly blurted out with glee, “I got it - Gina!” She realised how strange that would sound to Don... had he not already known about the baby. “Sorry!” Brandi whispered. Nina hesitated to explain Brandi’s outburst, which would have been a whole lot better if she hadn’t followed it with ‘Sorry, Nina thought. But Don had finally had enough and admitted that he knew what they were all so happy about.
“I know, okay! I know you’re pregnant, Nina. Or, should I say Dina?” He shouted. Dina suddenly turned white, as she and her sister looked at each other. “Did you know that’s what she called herself when she went to the private hospital? Of course, what am I saying? It was probably your idea to switch identities so I wouldn’t find out.” Dina now understood he must have answered another call from the hospital, but assumed that Nina had used Dina’s name in order to keep her pregnancy private. Like her sister, Nina knew why Don would assume it was Nina who had lied. Ever since Halloween, Nina had been the one struck down with morning sickness that she couldn’t hide from a suspicious Don. Nina suddenly realised she had no reason to feel guilty.
“Why are you mad? Just last month you said you wanted a family.” Nina enquired, disappointed by her fiancé’s anger at what she thought was going to be a much happier subject of discussion.
“I said I wanted one, I didn’t mean as soon as we were engaged. For god’s sake, Nina, we’re not even married! We don’t even own our own house. I mean, I’m living with the father of my ex-fiancée! Did you really expect me to raise a baby in these conditions? And what about my job? I was doing great, and now I’ll have to cut down on my hours to help you out.” Don shouted. He hadn’t meant for it all to come out at once, but now it had, all Don was left with was emptiness. He thought when Nina told him she was pregnant (a very, very long time away from now), he’d be overcome with joy. But he wasn’t. Void of any words, he stood up and left the hot-tub before Nina could talk to him.
Brandi felt like an idiot, “I am so sorry, Nina.”
“No, it’s okay. It’s better I find out now what a selfish and arrogant jerk Don is, before I started to get excited about this... thing.” Nina said coldly, as she and Brandi got out of the hot-tub. Now Dina was alone and confused. She was sure out of the two of them, it was Nina who would have had her pregnancy revelation greeted with happiness. After all, she couldn’t even tell Mortimer he was fathering a child without feeling dishonest. Later in bed, she felt that same dishonesty nagging away inside. Feeling the need to numb her senses, and with the option of turning to alcohol out of the question, she leaned over to seduce Mortimer.
“No.” Mortimer said, as he stopped his wife from kissing his lips. Dina looked shocked. “I just... need you to tell me you love me.”
Dina was confused but proceeded to grant his request, 
“I love you, with all my heart and soul! I want us to be together forever and live without a care in the world. You make me feel safe - you make me feel!” Dina said, and she kissed her husband. Mortimer smiled and thought long about her words. He had been feeling disconnected with Dina for a while now, and although what he had been planning to do was dishonest, he knew it would give him the sense of security that he was lacking.
“I make you feel safe?” He asked himself. Dina nodded and he replied, “I’m sure you do feel that, with me, you are safe forever.” Mortimer got under the covers and rested his head down on the pillow. Dina felt disturbed by Mortimer’s precise words. What did he know that he wasn’t telling her? Maybe, Dina thought, I
’m just worried that Mortimer will find out about my affair with Ed. And she knew that worrying would only cause more trouble. So, as if a great weight had been lifted from her conscience, Dina placed her head down too, and fell gently to sleep. Knowing that she could never risk Mortimer finding out about her affair and possibly illegitimate child, Dina came to the only solution that was left... she would not give birth to this baby.

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