The Caliente Affairs - Valentine's Day

This story previews events from Volume Two, focusing on what happens during Valentine's Day when Alexander Goth prepares for his first public date with the new boy in town, David Asher. Meanwhile, Lilith Pleasant arrives for a date with her twin sister's ex-boyfriend, Dustin Broke. Awkward? You could say that!

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3. Redress

Dustin Broke had arrived a little early at the Coffee Hutch for his non-date with Lilith Pleasant, hoping he could somehow use the alone time to work out how he really felt. He still had feelings for his ex-girlfriend Angela Pleasant, but didn't want to turn away the affections from her twin sister - especially if he had no chance of ever getting back together again with Angela. Because, as much as it scared him to admit it, he enjoyed Lilith's company as more than a friend, and the thought of seeing her tonight on their... date - it excited him! At almost six 'o clock precisely, Lilith showed up and rushed over to where Dustin was sitting. "Hi." She said, as she walked over to her seat opposite Dustin, purposefully not sitting down immediately, just so Dustin could admire her new outfit. A knee-length, deep red sleeveless dress, paired with long matching gloves and a matching choker. It had worked, and Dustin was speechless at the sight of Lilith. Even the teenager serving coffee behind the counter stopped working to admire Lilith - letting out a wolf-whistle that brought Dustin out of his trance.
"Um, hey. You look..." Words failed Dustin. He knew how hot Lilith looked, but he couldn't tell her that. "Nice dress."
"You look nice too. Although I have to admit it, I had gotten used to your chin-buddy!" Lilith laughed, referring to his facial hair.
"Oh, I..." Dustin stuttered and blushed, rubbing his face in embarrassment. Lilith's appearance really had made him come over all shy.
"Did you do this?" Lilith sat down and asked, noticing the beautiful centrepiece on the table.
"Er, what?" Dustin muttered.
"You! Did you get me a rose?" Lilith got her hopes up, even though he probably didn't. But maybe he might say he did, she thought to herself.
"Aw, heck no! They put this crap out on all the tables cuz it's Valentine's Day. I wanted to take it off, but they wouldn't let me." Dustin laughed, as Lilith's smile hid her disappointment.
"Oh, never mind, I like it." She said, suddenly reaching the spot where there was nothing else left to talk about, unless she mentioned the weather. But there's no way I'll let myself become that desperate so early on in the date, Lilith thought. It's Dustin's turn to think up something to say now.
"How's your mum?" Dustin asked, working towards a way of finding out how Angela was coping since their break-up.
"Oh! She's alright, not saying much as usual. I sometimes get worried about the amount of work she's taken up so close to going into hospital, but I guess that's..." Lilith trailed off, not wanting to say what she thought out loud.
"She probably just wants to make sure that when she comes home she can relax and take it easy." Dustin filled in, sensing Lilith's worry about her mother.
"Hardly. My stupid airhead of a sister has planned her road-trip for the day after she comes home. I swear sometimes she..." Lilith started but was interrupted.
"Road-trip?" Dustin was confused.
"Oh, that's right, you don't know. I keep forgetting you two don't talk anymore. My dad insisted on seeing this place Angela's been talking about non-stop for the past two months, the one she's travelling to after she leaves school. So anyway, this weekend she and him are going up there to check it out. Leaving me to stay home and look after mum - and I don't know if you know this, but I can barely take care of myself! Mum's insisting she'll be fine - you know, when she actually does acknowledge what she's about to go through." Lilith explained, as Dustin's face was unable to hide his sadness at the realisation Angela was still dead-set on leaving Pleasantview.
"How does your mum feel about Angela leaving?" Dustin asked, not wanting to give up hope yet.
"Strangely she's as ecstatic as dad is. I've been practically none-existent in that house lately, I could have let off a bunch of fireworks and set myself on fire without anyone noticing." Lilith exaggerated to Dustin's amusement.
"But what about... well, what if your mum becomes ill?" Dustin asked gently, not wanting to upset Lilith too much.
"In the future? Well, I hardly doubt she'd be so far away and so wrapped up in her own little, perfect world that she wouldn't come back." Lilith explained, finally understanding what Dustin was getting at. "But she is leaving, Dustin. She's had her heart set on it for so long now - finally being old enough to see the world and everything it has to offer. Who'd give up an opportunity like that?" Lilith asked, breaking it to Dustin that Angela was going to leave him and Pleasantview far behind when the time came. Exhaling in a deep sigh, Dustin looked into Lilith's eyes and found the upside of this news. "You and your sister are so different. It's hard to believe you're twins sometimes." Dustin said, finally deciding to let go of Angela and move on to someone who actually wanted him - Lilith.
"Isn't that why we're friends? Because I'm just the spitting image of her." Lilith glanced away, finally admitting to herself that a relationship with Dustin would be a disaster waiting to happen.
"You're nothing like her." Dustin said, as he reached over and gently stroked Lilith's hand, placing his on top of hers. And just like that, everything Lilith had ever wanted from Dustin was finally hers... but it had come too late. Lilith realised now that even though she felt deeply for Dustin, it seemed all he felt for her was residual feelings from his long-term relationship with Angela.
"Dustin, I..." Lilith tried to explain, sliding out her hand from underneath his. "I can't."
"What? I don't understand, I thought this was what you wanted. You and me, we can finally be together." Dustin said, admitting his feelings.
"But that's just it, we can't. We're not supposed to be together, you belong with Angela and that's the way it should be. You're in love with her, and I might have her face but you were right when you said we're nothing alike - and that's the problem: I'm not Angela. I can't pretend to be Angela. This is not me." Lilith confessed, realising that dates and dresses were a far cry from what she really enjoyed doing.
"I don't believe this." Dustin said, as he suddenly stood up from his chair.
"I'm sorry." Lilith apologised.
"You're sorry? I'm sorry! I said that you and Angela weren't alike, but I was wrong. You're just as cold-hearted as she is. I'm sick of being messed around by you two - I don't want anything more to do with it." Dustin fumed, as he left Lilith and set off home.
As she watched Dustin leave, Lilith fought back her tears and looked down at the table, noticing the beautiful centrepiece again. With an aching heart, she reached over and blew out the candle which the rose was wrapped around. The teen serving coffee behind the counter saw this an opportunity and cleared his throat, as if preparing to say something heartfelt and poignant. But the cough caught Lilith's attention before he even had the chance to utter a thing. "What the hell are you staring at? You wanna do your job and get me some freakin' coffee?!" She snapped, as he gulped and hastily got back to work.

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