The Caliente Affairs, Volume Two

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Together, they were a force to be reckoned with. Now they're apart, the Caliente sisters spiral drastically out of control, leaving a path of destruction in their wake. (approx. 42,000 words)

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5. Redress

"Alex!" Mortimer's voice bellowed throughout the Goth Hacienda. Alex was transfixed on his reflection in the mirror. He wanted everything about his appearance to be perfect. In a few minutes he would be seeing David and, if he was lucky, he'd be coming home later with aching lips!

That is if my hair ever behaves itself, Alex thought to himself, as he touched up his appearance one last time and wondered how much his own pair of straighteners would cost. "I'm off out now." Alex casually announced. He'd already told his dad he was meeting a friend for something to eat but he hadn't said whom and, as expected, his dad hadn't asked.

"Alex!" Dina called out, as she watched Alex about to leave.

"Yeah, it's all yours, Dina." He replied, thinking she wanted to know if the bathroom was free.

"No, come here." She asked, and Alex stopped in his tracks, rolling his eyes again.

"What is it?" He turned around and asked.

"What time did your dad tell you to be home by?" Dina enquired.

"Nine." Alex replied, a little unsure where his step-mother was going with this.

"How about we make it ten." Dina offered.

"Why?" Alex wondered where Dina's sudden generosity had come from.

"I just want you to have a nice time tonight, and I think you're old enough and responsible enough to stay out past nine 'o clock." Dina explained.

"Well, thanks." Alex offered, but before he could go, Dina stopped him again.

"Just," Dina stopped him again, "promise me you'll enjoy yourself and have fun on your date." Dina couldn't help blurt it out. She had been dying to bring up what she had seen taking place the other week in front of her house. Alex and his nameless friend holding hands outside when they thought nobody was looking. But she didn't really have anyone to gossip with - she could hardly talk about it with Mortimer. When she saw that Alex was taking so long to get ready to go out, she assumed it must be to meet this same boy, and that it must mean, not only Alex was gay, but that he had a boyfriend. Alex didn't know any of this. He was unaware Dina, or anyone from his family had seen him with David, and this sudden revelation came as quite a shock.

"It's not... I'm gonna be meeting a few people." Alex stuttered, as he tried to make up an excuse.

"Alright well, whatever you decide to do, it's okay with me." Dina cryptically offered, sending a chill down Alex's spine.

"Um... thanks?" Alex quickly made his way out of the house before Dina had another chance to stop him. "I'd better be off." He had planned on taking the bus, but after that awkward and very weird exchange, Alex felt like he could use a walk to cool off!

Alex was shocked but excited when David had said to meet him at a restaurant in the busy, metropolitan district of Sim City known as Bluewater Village. Alex would never have had the confidence to plan an actual date - even when he was with Meadow, the closest he came to going out on a proper date was at the town's Halloween party. He felt a sudden rush of blood elevate his heartbeat, the feeling he always got when he saw David. For a moment, he just stopped to admire him from afar, noticing he'd got a haircut.

Alex couldn't help but pinch himself sometimes, he really felt like the luckiest boy in Pleasantview. As he strode with confidence down the street, he almost felt like breaking into song. He was going out on his very first date - his very first date with a boy! And he wanted the whole world to know (as long as the whole world didn't include any of his family)! Thinking about that small detail dampened his cheery disposition, since he had promised David he was going to come out to his dad. It wasn't likely to come up in conversation, and if it did, he would simply avoid it and change the subject!

Alex finally made his presence known and greeted David. "Look at you! If I didn't know any better, I'd say someone looks as if they've finally gotten something off their chest."

So much for thinking that topic wouldn't come up, Alex thought to himself! "Uh, not my chest, but I did shave my chin." Alex joked, trying to hide his guilt.

"I take it that means you didn't come out to your dad?" David sighed, but with a forgiving smile on his face.

"I'm sorry." Alex mumbled, as he avoided eye contact with David.

"It's okay." David reasoned.

"No it isn't." Alex persisted, not wanting to be let off lightly for his failure.

"It is, I never expected you to come out," David put his hand up as Alex was just about to speak, "and before you say anything, it wasn't even my idea. You were the one who told me you wanted to come out before we... I mean, I would have been perfectly happy just to let you leave with a kiss goodbye and a pat on the head for trying."

Alex looked off to the side and smiled bashfully, "I used to get a gold star for trying at school!"

David nodded his head and laughed, "I'm not sure I'll be able to afford gold after tonight!" He joked, confidently taking Alex by the hand and leading him inside. Unfortunately for Alex, he didn't share David's confidence, and wasn't quite ready to be so blatant in front of everyone in the restaurant. Thinking of an excuse, Alex let go of David's hand and held back before the entrance.

"I can pay for us both." He offered.

"It's fine, Alex, it was a joke."

"I just meant, if you wanted me to."

"How about we both pay for each other?" David suggested. "You're just having water, right?" David chuckled. To Alex, that just didn't feel like a proper date.

"What if we share a dessert or some dough balls for starters, let me at least pay for that!"

"Ooh, I know, we could get one big plate of spaghetti and recreate the iconic dining scene from Lady and the Tramp!" David said sarcastically.

Alex gave a serious pause of thought and raised his eyebrows, "I wouldn't say no to that!" David smiled contently and proceeded inside, this time without holding Alex's hand. Although, looking around at the half-empty restaurant, Alex scolded himself for being so stupidly self-conscious. He wanted to hold David's hand, he wanted to do so much more that that. How could he ever expect to come out when he couldn't even hold David's hand in public without turning as red as a beetroot. That's it, Alex thought to himself, no more. I'm going to march right up to him and grab one - no, BOTH of his hands, and hold them for everyone to see.

"What the heck is taking so long? I knew I should have just let my mum make a reservation - it was her idea we come here, after all." David scoffed, impatiently waiting to be seated.

"Your mum?" Alex repeated with shock, "your mum knows about our date?"

"Yeah, I wasn't going to say anything, but she kind of put two-and-two together and figured out why it was you were calling me all the time!" David replied with a coy grin on his face.

"Oh, I'm sorry." Alex sincerely apologised, feeling that familiar beetroot-red creeping over his face once again.

"Don't be sorry, she's actually relieved. She gets to gloat and repeatedly say to me, now can you imagine if we hadn't have moved?" David laughed. This is it, Alex thought, it's now or never, as he casually moved his arm out in front of him, taking David's hand and curling his fingers around it, making sure to squeeze it ever-so-slightly, just in case David didn't realise how much this small gesture meant to Alex.

"No, I can't imagine my life without you."

Alex gulped and stuttered. Had he really just said that? Why am I such a freak, Alex berated himself, it's not even two minutes into our first date and I'm already talking as if I've planned our wedding. He retracted his hand and griped tightly onto his arm, shielding his body. "I meant, I can't imagine... you having not moved here. I mean, you're a good friend... to have in this town." David stared at Alex, not saying a word. Great, Alex thought, table for one lonely-loser. But across David's face broke a wide grin, and he reached forward with both of his hands.

"I think moving us to Pleasantview was the best decision my mum ever made." He said, prying Alex's hand away from his chest and holding them both. For what felt like hours to Alex, he and David just stood in the middle of the busy restaurant holding each others hands. Alex didn't want to be the first to let go, but he got the feeling that David didn't either.

A short, sharp cough from behind the two lovebirds finally brought Alex back to reality, and he let go. David turned around and saw a man standing behind the service counter, his head tilted down. He realised the cough, the sort of disapproving cough that only know-it-all-elders could make, had come from him.

He turned and began to walk away, just as David was about to ask if they could be seated. "Excuse me!" David called. The restaurant clerk stopped in his tracks and grunted a little before turning his head to see whom it was that had called his attention. "We'd like a table for two." David said, feeling a little resistance from the man.

"Yes, yes, I'll go check." The man sighed, as he continued walking off and into the kitchen at the back of the restaurant.

"Well that was rude." David proclaimed, as he turned towards Alex and placed a hand on his hip.

"We didn't really make it easy for him, I think he got bored waiting for us to finish..." Alex trailed off with a slight laugh.

"You don't have to make excuses for people like him." David offered Alex.

"People like him..?" Alex asked, a little confused at what David was getting at.

"Oh, how should I put this? It's just, there are people in this world who think that people like you and me shouldn't be seen out together in public." David presumed, as he huffed and looked down at his shoes. Feeling a little more confident now, it took no time before Alex found himself guiding David's face upwards with his hand so they were staring at each other.

"Well, it must suck to be one of those people." Alex smiled, as David suddenly snapped out of his bad mood and figured he wouldn't let anything that snooty old man said bother him anymore.

Walking back over to the service counter, the restaurant clerk coughed once again to get David's attention. "I'm sorry, we're only accepting guests who've made reservations at this time." David opened his eyes wide in shock. Anything but that, he thought! That was just the icing on the cake for David.

"Well, can we make a reservation and come back later?"

"All of our tables have been booked for this evening." That was a blatant lie, David thought as he looked around at the half-empty restaurant.

"I'm sorry, but I don't believe that." David said, getting ready to tell the clerk what he really thought of the matter.

"David." Alex motioned, feeling the tension in the room quickly rising.

"It is the truth." He told David.

"If you don't mind, I'd like to take this matter up with the manager." David said sharply.

"You just did." The manager replied in a matter-of-fact tone, as he turned his back on David once again, signalling the end of their conversation.

Alex almost thought David was about to reach over the service counter and grab the manager back by his hair, but instead, David just turned around on one foot and walked off. Sensing his anger, Alex decided to approach David with caution.

"Are you okay?" Alex asked. David turned around and sighed.

"This is not how I planned tonight would go," was the first thing David said. "He can't do that... he's... he's just..." David stuttered.

"Just one of those people." Alex offered, seeing the hurt beneath David's eyes, something that he'd never seen before. He always thought David was so confident, he never realised that sometimes he probably got the exact same kind of ashamed, alienated feeling that Alex felt. And upon realising this, Alex felt something deep within come alive. He realised that no-one should ever be made to feel this way. Being carried by the momentum of this sudden empowerment, Alex grabbed David by his hand and rushed out of the restaurant, almost sweeping David off his feet.

"Whoa, where are we going?" David asked, as Alex stopped outside the restaurant window.

"Nowhere, absolutely nowhere!" Alex smiled, as he took David's hand and began to guide him. Now he grabbed his waist, and David was confused to feel himself being positioned like a mannequin.

"What are you doing?" David began to laugh.

"I'm showing that stupid restaurant owner that sometimes he can't always get what he wants." Alex suggested with an evil grin.

"And how exactly are you going to do that?" David asked.

"I bet he's still watching us, isn't he." Alex guessed, with his back towards the window.

"Like a hawk! Come on, we should just go, I can't stand to be around people like him." David sighed as he attempted to walk away, but Alex grabbed David by the waist with both hands.

"Whoa, Alex?" David asked, as he felt Alex's arms pull him in closer.

"You can't run away, we have to show him what he did was wrong."

"What's the point? Besides, I don't want to eat there anyway if he owns the place." David reasoned, but Alex wasn't giving up.

"He may own the building but he doesn't own the pavement!" Alex said with another devilishly evil grin.

"What are you up to?" David asked, a little concerned that Alex was about to do something either dangerous or stupid. Staring into David's eyes, Alex opened his mouth and tried to get his next sentence out with the same amount of confidence that had helped him along so far.

"I want to kiss you."

"What?" David asked, as he backed out of Alex's grip.

"I want to kiss you, right here. He thinks that by turning us away, it's another victory for closed-mindedness and that he's won. Well, I want to show that him that he hasn't won." Alex attempted to approach David, but he felt a hand blocking his path. It was David's.

"No, Alex. You can't kiss me." David simply said, as he found his gaze resting upon his ever-familiar shoes.

"But, you can't just give-up like that." Alex protested.

"I'm not giving up anything," David argued. "If we kissed, just to prove a point to him, it'd feel cheap and meaningless. And I don't want that." Alex paused for a second, processing David's words. As he sighed, Alex dropped his shoulders and let his head fall down.

"I'm not very good at this, am I? Dates; coming out; kissing - I can't seem to do anything right." Alex announced glumly.

"That's why you've got a friend like me to help you through it!" David reassured Alex, as he reached out and squeezed his arm.

"Come on, let's just go back into Pleasantview and get a coffee or something." David began walking off. Alex slowly followed, feeling like a complete idiot. A friend, David had said. Not his boyfriend, not his date, just a friend. It sounded like their romantic evening was over before it had even begun.

Who'd want a boyfriend as inexperienced as me, Alex thought to himself. Whilst, sure, it was great to have David as a friend, Alex's hopes of having a boyfriend seemed to be well and truly over.

Dustin Broke had arrived a little early at the Coffee Hutch for his not-a-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 sly 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, noticing the beautiful centrepiece on the table.

"Uh... what?" Dustin muttered.

"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 before I got here. I wanted to take it off, but they wouldn't let me." Dustin laughed, as Lilith's smile faded.

"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. 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." The last thing Lilith had wanted to do was bring up Angela, but maybe it's better to get it out of the way at the start of our date, she thought. "My dad insisted on seeing this place Angela's been gushing over - one of the many stops in her, let's just call it what it is, it's a gap-year! So him and Angela are taking a road-trip up there to check it out together. Meanwhile, who'll be looking after mum? Me, that's who! And I don't know if you know this about me, but I can barely take care of myself!" Lilith explained, "I figure this is really the only point at which they have time to take off. All they'd be doing after my mum gets out of hospital anyway is waiting on test results." Dustin's face was unable to hide his sadness at the realisation Angela was still dead-set on leaving Pleasantview.

"Do you think your dad is using this trip to try and get close to Angela and talk her out of leaving?" Dustin asked, not wanting to give up hope yet.

"He knows better than to do that. The more you tell Angela not to do something, the more she wants to do it. How do you think she ended up with you!" Lilith let slip before she even realised what she was saying.

Dustin looked off to side, perplexed, "um, how does your mum feel about Angela leaving? What about... well, what if your mum becomes ill?" Dustin asked gently, not wanting to accidentally upset Lilith.

"Well, I hardly see a future where she'd be so far away and so wrapped up in her own little, perfect bubble of a world that she wouldn't come back." Lilith understood now what Dustin had been getting at. "But she is leaving, Dustin. She's had her heart set on this for so long now. Who wouldn't want to see what the world had to offer?" Lilith asked out loud, breaking it to Dustin that Angela was going to leave them and Pleasantview far behind.

"I know you wouldn't." Lilith was sure he'd meant that as a compliment, but it only served to make her realise that Dustin didn't love her, he just loved the attention she gave him. The attention she would continue to give him once Angela was gone. Filling the void left by her. A relationship with Dustin would be a disaster waiting to happen, she finally admitted to herself. "You and your sister are so different, it's hard to believe you're twins sometimes," he exhaled with a deep sigh, looking into Lilith's eyes. Lilith glanced away.

"You're nothing like her." Dustin said, as he reached over and gently stroked Lilith's hand, placing his on top of hers. Her feelings were so hardwired by now they kicked in like a reflex the moment Dustin touched her.

She had to fight those feelings with every remaining fibre of her being, just to be able to get the words out that she needed to say, "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, looking for an upside to his breakup with Angela.

"We can't, we're not supposed to be together. You... you belong with Angela, and that's the way it should be. You're in love with her, you'll always be in love with her, and I might have her face, and her voice, but you were right when you said we're nothing alike - and that's the problem, I am 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 her true self.

"I don't believe this." Dustin suddenly stood up from his chair.

"I'm sorry." Lilith apologised.

"You're sorry? No, I'm sorry! I said that you two weren't alike, but I was wrong. You're just as cold-hearted as she is," Dustin fumed, "I'm sick of being messed around by you two - I don't want anything more to do with it."

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.

Alex and David sat there in silence - although there was a quiet accompaniment of music playing in the background, so at least it wasn't an uncomfortable silence. They had each purchased their drinks separately and used them as a sort of shield to stop them from talking to one another, but now their cups were empty, and Alex felt a bit silly sitting next to David and not talking. He had to be the first to break the silence, it was getting dark and he needed to be home in a few minutes. He took a deep breath in, stretching his neck upward, and took another few moments to think before telling David exactly what he was feeling.

"Do you believe in fate?" Alex asked, catching David's attention. "I was just looking up at the stars and realising, all of those lights have already burnt out. And what we're seeing now has already happened. Everything that lead up to this moment has already happened and was inevitable." David glanced up at the night sky, "and there are probably aliens looking at Earth right now, watching us, but we've already gone."

David looked at Alex and paused for a moment before reaching over his lap and taking the used paper cup from his hand. David lifted it towards his face and stopped to take a sniff of the empty contents.

"I just wanted to check you were just drinking coffee tonight." David flashed a sly grin and discarded the cup.

"I'm sorry, you probably think I'm a complete... airhead, or something." Alex rubbed the back of his neck in embarrassment.

"It's okay, you were being sweet."

"It's just, back at the restaurant, I felt ashamed... and then I felt embarrassed, and sorry for how I acted."

"I'm sorry if I made you feel like that." David sighed an apology.

"No, it wasn't you, you didn't make me feel any of that, it was all him." Alex shuffled in his seat, preparing to tell David how he felt, "sometimes, I catch myself staring at you, thinking, wow... he has it all figured out. And then I try to build myself up to act how you do. Look, I'm doing it right now!"

"Alex, despite what you think, I am not an expert on this," David scoffed, as Alex felt a little embarrassed for putting him on a pedestal. "You don't need to feel like you have to prove yourself. You can come out whenever you want, or not at all, but please just don't use me as some sort of template or experiment." David halfheartedly laughed.

"I don't think of you as that. I like you - I... really like you." Alex admitted, feeling his heart racing with a mixture of excitement and nerves. The Coffee Hutch had turned peacefully quiet - so quiet, he could hear David's breathing as he moved in closer. Just as Alex was about to do the same, he heard something else, a voice that sounded very familiar.

Taking his concentration away from David for the first time since he had sat down, he looked over the veranda and was shocked to see Lilith Pleasant sitting alone almost right beneath him. Had she been spying on meNo, something's different about her. For one, she's all dressed up. And, as he listened closely, he could hear her sobbing. Has she been on a date tonight? Alex couldn't think if Lilith had ever mentioned anyone to him, especially someone whom she liked enough to get all dressed up for and go out on a date with.

By this time, David's attention had also been drawn to the lonely looking girl in the red dress. "Isn't that your friend?" He asked.

"Yeah, yeah it is." Alex replied, feeling the desperate need to go down and comfort her.

"It's okay, you go, I need to get home anyway." David offered, sensing Alex's needs.

"But, what about... I thought for a moment just then you were going to kiss me." Alex felt torn between his two friends.

David placed a friendly arm around Alex's shoulder, and Alex felt his heart melting, the corners of his mouth rising up somewhere past his ears! "Maybe I already have," David pointed towards the sky.

As Lilith finally decided she should be getting home, she wiped her cheeks with her glove and tried not to cry again, thinking about how her lovely new dress would never see the light of day again. "Alex!" She cried out in surprise, a little embarrassed at her appearance.

"Hey, what are you up to?" Alex casually asked.

"Just... getting a little caffeine boost!" Lilith lied. "What about you, what are you doing out this late?"

"Caffeine boost... and possibly true love." Alex hinted with a coy smiled.

"Oh, that's right, your date with David was tonight. How did that go?" Lilith asked, trying to move the subject away from why she was there.

"Not so fast, first you have to tell me the real reason you're here and why you look..." Alex trailed off, not sure what to say.

"Like an idiot?" Lilith offered. That was how she thought she looked.

"You look like you've been on a date," Alex guessed, "unless you got dressed up just to impress Kearney the coffee-guy!"

"Oh yeah, you caught me!" Lilith halfheartedly joked, as she realised Alex wasn't letting her go until he got the truth.

"I was here with Dustin." Lilith admitted, knowing that that was all she really needed to say for Alex to understand.

"I had wondered." Alex admitted, knowing for some time that Lilith had feelings for her sister's ex-boyfriend. "Are you and him..?"

"No! And we never will after tonight." Lilith announced.

"Why not?" Alex asked.

"Because, everything he thought he liked about me was just a superficial lie." Lilith explained, once again fighting back her tears.

"I'm not sure I understand." Alex said, confused at what she meant.

"I wanted him so much, Alex. I've always wanted him. And I did all this just to get him to like me - and when he finally did, I crushed him. What kind of a coldhearted bee-yotch am I?" Lilith said, asking herself that question.

"You are not!" Alex told her.

"I am. I led him on and promised him things I couldn't give him. All he wants is Angela, I should have realised that." Lilith admitted with defeat.

"If he doesn't want you, screw him, it's his loss!" Alex proclaimed.

"But what about Angela, I've messed things up completely."

"Hey, you are not the reason the two of them broke up." Alex comforted his friend. Not knowing for sure if, in some small way, she really had contributed to Dustin and Angela breaking up.

"Aren't I? The second he broke up with her, I practically jumped on him - right in front of my sister's eyes." Lilith recalled Christmas Eve at her house; how Angela had told Dustin she was leaving Pleasantview, and afterwards Lilith found herself comforting him. He'd wanted to kiss her, but Lilith had stopped him. Not that Angela found that any less comforting to witness. "I may not be the reason they broke up, but I'm the reason they'll never get back together." Lilith confessed to Alex.

"You can't make excuses for your heart. It wants what it wants." Alex reasoned.

"Trust me, I should know." He added, referring to his own past troubles with Lilith's ex-boyfriend Dirk Dreamer, whom Alex had tried to kiss before anyone even knew he was gay.

"I just want to forget this whole thing ever happened. Get out of these stupid clothes and wash out this disgusting dye." Lilith exclaimed, as she pulled at her dress and hair.

"What's wrong with the blondeness?" Alex asked.

"It was his favourite hair colour. When I asked him what his perfect woman looked like, he told me, like Angela, but preferably a blonde. So I dyed my hair. Now you tell me that doesn't sound like the work of a boyfriend-stealing, coldhearted bee-yotch." Lilith insulted herself without remorse.

"It sounds to me like the work of someone who's in love." Alex admitted, as Lilith looked away.

"You love him, don't you?" Alex asked. Feeling the lump in her throat rise, Lilith had no energy left inside to hold back the tears this time, and found herself falling into Alex's arms, letting them out. As she cried, like the true friend he was, Alex held Lilith and comforted her.

"I think I'm over it." Lilith broke out of the hug. "I guess this date turned out to be a good thing after all - it just showed me how completely incompatible the two of us were." Lilith reasoned, as she composed herself.

"You should have told me you were going out with him tonight, I could have been on stand-by in case..." Alex couldn't think of anything else to say.

"In case it went even more horribly than it did?!" Lilith filled in the blank with amusement, as she wiped her eyes once again and quickly changed the subject to stop herself from tearing up again. "Besides, you couldn't have, cuz you were on your date. Now, from the top, don't leave anything out!" Lilith demanded, wanting to hear about Alex's first date with David.

"Nah, I'll just give you the T-L-D-R version: he tried to order us a table, I held his hand, the manager got mad and asked us to leave, I tried to kiss him, and..."

"You tried to kiss the manager?!" Lilith asked. Alex rolled his eyes.

"I don't think that would have gone down very well! No! I thought it'd be such a statement if we had our first kiss there and then, but David said no and he was right to say no. So we came back here, I told him I really liked him, he hugged me, and then..."

"And then!?" Lilith asked with excitement in her voice.

"And then I saw you and that was it."

"What, you ended your date because of me?" Lilith asked.

"I saw you looking really bummed out, so I figured you needed me more than David. And he had to go home anyway." Alex explained, but Lilith wasn't buying it.

"So that's two dates I've ruined tonight." She said, feeling guilty for herself.

"Not even! I can see David again whenever I want, you needed me more tonight." Alex assured her.

"But if it hadn't have been for me then you two might have had your first kiss." Lilith theorised.

"I doubt it, I was caught up in the moment last time. Truth be told, thinking back that I was actually going to kiss a boy outside in front of everyone like that kinda makes me feel a little queasy." Alex said, as he felt his face drain of colour and his legs turn to jelly. Lilith laughed and held him up. Alex shook off his concerns. "But it was kind of exciting." Alex admitted, feeling warm again at the thought of that boy being David.

"I think somebody's in love!" Lilith teased.

"Could be... or I could've just had way too much coffee!" Alex joked, as he secretly wished it wasn't the coffee that was making him feel this way.

Angela Pleasant was in her sister's bedroom and staring at the red dress hanging from the wardrobe. She turned around as Lilith appeared from bathroom, now sporting a dyed hair colour the same as her's - their natural red hair. Shocked to see Angela, Lilith let out a high-pitched yelp and jumped back. Angela's composure remained that of someone who knew more than she was letting on. "Did you forget where your bedroom was?" Lilith sarcastically remarked.

"No, I wanted to find out where you'd been tonight... but I think I already know the answer." Angela glanced at the dress, and back at her sister. "It seems hair colour isn't the only thing we're now sharing."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean." Lilith deflected Angela's sarcasm, clearly not in the mood for it.

"It means you were on a date with Dustin tonight. And, judging by the smeared make-up on your gloves, it ended badly." Angela deduced. "Not to mention your sudden urge to dye your hair back to how it used to look."

"You know, you really should consider a degree in criminology if this whole travelling schtick doesn't pan out for ya!" Lilith sneered as she walked over to her wardrobe, intent on hiding the dress deep inside her closet.

"I could see it coming from a mile off. You and Dustin... it was inevitable." Angela admitted in defeat. Lilith turned around to face her sister, shocked at her admission.

"You're not mad?"

"I'm not mad at Dustin. Despite any feelings I still have, I made it quite clear to him we're no longer together." Angela said, referring to the fact they hadn't spoke since Christmas Eve. "I want to be mad at you... but I can't. I want Dustin to be happy when I'm gone. And if being with you makes him happy, then who am I to come between you both?"

"You're ME! You look like me, don't you get it!?" Lilith blurted out loud. "He only wants me because I remind him of you. He used tonight as a way of finding out how you were, and what you were doing. He's not over you - I don't think he ever will be." Lilith spoke her thoughts out loud with an emotion in her voice that let Angela know just how Lilith felt about Dustin.

Knowing this, Angela let her sister hear what she needed to hear - despite her own residual feelings for Dustin. "Give him time. He'll learn to see you for the individual you are, and if he doesn't fall in love with you then... then he's an idiot!"

"I don't... understand..." Angela interrupted Lilith.

"I'm giving you my blessing!" Angela announced with a smile. Lilith was hesitant, but couldn't hold back her emotions any longer. She pounced on her sister with arms out wide and grabbed her tightly, hugging her like she'd never hugged anyone in her life before. Angela felt comforted, but saw Lilith's face was still holding pent up frustration when they parted.

"You're not just... using me to keep him busy whilst you're away?"

Angela sighed at Lilith's accusation, and used their twin-telepathy to reassure her sister that those weren't here intentions. "I had wanted to part on good terms with Dustin, in the hopes that we could pick up where we left off when I come back... but if I hadn't already wrecked any chance of that, I think I would have changed my mind." Lilith nodded and understood where her sister was coming from. "I can't say for certain if, when I come back, I'll still be that same teenage girl who fell head-over-heels in love with the town's bad-boy-with-a-heart-of-gold!" Angela spoke as if reading the back on a teen fiction novel, a novel she had now closed the chapter on - for good.

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