Episode Two « The Caliente Affairs

Act 1: Love’s Got a Hold On My Art!

The day before Dina and Mortimer’s surprise engagement, Mortimer’s daughter Cassandra Goth was once again shopping for one. Her father was spending the night with his new ‘love‘ Dina, and her brother Alex was having a sleepover with one of his friends. It was times like these she couldn’t help thinking of picking up the phone and inviting Don over. But that wasn’t going to happen now their wedding was off and he was planning his next conquest, Nina Caliente.

She knew. A little part of her had always known. Not when, or where it had happened, for Cassandra neither cared about the whys or hows of her past anymore. She was sick of going backwards. It was time to move… onwards, she thought, spotting her close friend Darren Dreamer! “Hi, Darren! Shopping for one, also?” She said, seeing Darren place a microwave meal into his shopping basket.

The two had been friends since Darren moved to Pleasantview after the death of his wife. He didn’t talk much about her now, but Cassandra knew the basics. Darleen had grown up in Pleasantview but met Darren when she went to University. Darleen fell pregnant very early on in their relationship, so as soon as they could, the two got married and she moved in with Darren. Dirk was born (he was a teenager now and in the same classes at school as Cassandra’s brother), and the family were poor but happy, until… well, Cassandra didn’t felt comfortable asking too much about what had happened to Darleen, as she knew it was only recently she had died. It was apparent Darren had wanted to see Darleen lay to rest in her hometown, so he and Dirk moved to Pleasantview. Still, even with his son, she could see Darren was lonely… a trait they both shared now.

“Sure am, Dirk’s out with his new flavour of the week, so I’m alone until eleven!” Cassandra scowled inside at Dirk’s philandering, reminding her of young Don Lothario.
“Look, this is ridiculous, it costs more for two single meals than if you bought one double-meal. Why don’t I just get one of those for us both to share – at my place?” Cassandra propositioned.
“That’s a really nice idea!” Darren agreed with smile. And though not sure if he was simply reading into things, it felt to him like this could be the start of an extraordinary night.

After their double-meal, Cassandra showed Darren around the Goth’s extravagant mansion. Most parts had old, dated decor (much beloved by Mortimer), but Darren choked back a gasp when Cassandra brought him to the attic. “It sure is… different to the rest of your house!” Darren avoided insult, taking in the bright yellow room that surrounded them.
“I know what you’re thinking! Dad did it this weekend. I think there’s something he’s not telling me – he always redecorates when he has something on his mind.”
“Well then, I can see he has lived a very easy life!” Darren joked, referring to the out-dated decor of the other rooms. Cassandra laughed. She’d laughed a lot tonight. She really enjoyed Darren’s company, but didn’t dare hope for anything more than friends – what with Darren’s recent bereavement and her own abysmal love life. Yet, she couldn’t help but catch Darren’s gaze, and for a while they just stared into each other’s eyes until finally Darren broke the silence. “I was thinking whether or not I should lie to you.”
“Lie to me, about what?”
“I was going to say that I was sorry to hear you’d broken-up with Don. But, truth is I’m not sorry, I’m glad!” The two got closer.

“I’m kind of glad too.” Cassandra said, edging her lips closer to Darren.
“Why’s that?” Darren whispered.
“Because I wasn’t in love with him… I think I’m in love with someone else.” Cassandra smiled bashfully.
“Who?” Darren played along, but before she could answer…

Darren kissed her! And Cassandra felt an explosion inside, like an exploding firework in the middle of a fireworks factory, setting off all the other fireworks! She hadn’t felt like this in a long time, maybe even ever. Darren too began to excite. “I’ve always felt it, the connection between us. I want you to know, I’m not just in love with you, I truly love you! Almost more than anything else on this world.” The almost referring to his son, of course.
“That means so much to me, Darren.” Cassandra felt touched, knowing how hard it must have been for him to love again after losing the first love of his life. Wanting to hold her new lover closer, she moved herself into his body. Darren hesitated, but Cassandra smiled and reassured him, “I can certainly feel that connection between us now!” Cassandra winked as the two kept on kissing.

“I suspect you’ve always felt it?” Darren queried.
“I’ve felt it before, but never like this!” She giggled, as Darren kissed her some more. The kissing became more intense as Cassandra moved her hands underneath Darren’s shirt, touching his warm naked skin and exploring further down. But Darren suddenly pulled back and tensed up. Cassandra sighed, “You don’t have to be polite you know. We have the whole house to ourselves tonight.” Cassandra clearly suggested.
“I can’t leave Dirk alone all night.”
“He won’t be alone all night; that is if you get back to kissing me right…” Cassandra pulled Darren towards her, “…now!” For so long, Cassandra had ached to feel the passion of a man that actually loved her. And as the two quickly stumbled down from the attic, leaving a trail of clothes behind them, making it into Cassandra’s room and onto her bed, she finally felt everything she had been longing for.

Waking up, Darren stretched but suddenly didn’t feel so relaxed; he looked at the clock beside the bed and saw it was just coming up to one AM! Darren tried to wake Cassandra but felt like he should let her sleep, even though he didn’t feel so comfortable just leaving unannounced. After their amazing night together, what kind of message would he be sending to her if he wasn’t there when she woke up?! But Darren couldn’t leave his son, despite having got the girl of his dreams. So he got dressed and left his true love a note next to her sleeping body.

As he was getting closer to his house, he was furious to spy his son stepping out of a cab. Before Dirk could get inside Darren sped down the street and made his son perfectly aware that he was home. “What part of eleven PM curfew don’t you understand?”
“Hold on, dad, I did come home at ten! But I assumed you’d be happier if I go out and have some fun instead of waiting up for you.” Dirk jokingly reasoned.
“Listen, there’s time to argue in the morning, you’re lucky I’m in a good mood!”

Dirk’s fun, as Darren found out, was his way of breaking it to his dad that he was secretly dating yet another girl. Dirk had been sneaking out a lot recently with a new girlfriend – even though he already had a girlfriend. Dirk was quite the ladies man – nothing like Darren, who had only ever fallen in love with two women his entire life. A part of Darren even blamed himself for Dirk’s elevated hormones, since he too had secretly been harbouring desires for Cassandra throughout her engagement to Don Lothario. The next morning when Dirk left for school, Darren rushed over to spend time with Cassandra before she had to work. He came home in time to meet Dirk, continuing the day as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. The new lovebirds wanted to keep their blossoming relationship a secret, as they both knew it would initially be seen as something of a scandal by the whole neighbourhood – what with Darleen’s recent death, and Cassandra’s broken engagement. But Darren wanted to proclaim his love for Cassandra from the rooftops! With all this excitement, Darren found himself unable to sleep. He got up and went into his studio, hoping to be inspired to paint something as beautiful as his muse. And, as if summoning her, he was suddenly shocked to see Cassandra outside the Dreamer house. Peering out of the upstairs window, he could tell something was wrong. She looked close to tears. With Dirk asleep in his bedroom on the ground floor, Darren quietly brought Cassandra inside and upstairs so they could talk in private.

When they got behind closed doors Cassandra poured her heart out to Darren about how her father had left town to marry Dina in a private ceremony. “When he comes back on Thursday he’s moving out and living with her, he’s even taking Alex to live there too. There, in that house with my ex-fiancé. I feel like he’s disowned me, I really don’t know who he is anymore. And it’s all because of that-bitch-Dina, he thinks that what they have is love. But it isn’t, it’s just some sick imitation.” She said, as she cried and buried her face into her lover’s chest.
“That’s really… I’m so sorry, Cass. I suppose people do crazy things when they’re in love.” Darren tried to comfort Cassandra.
“As crazy as dropping off their kid brother with a sitter so they can come over to their secret boyfriend’s house at midnight just for a talk?”
“That’s not crazy! Coming over at midnight for a talk with their boyfriend and then going back to their house alone, now that’s crazy!” Darren said, passionately kissing Cassandra.

A while later, emerging from underneath the covers, Cassandra rolled over and smiled with satisfaction. “Thank you. You really know how to calm a woman down!”
“Really? I wonder if it would calm down the Repo-Lady too!” Darren joked, and Cassandra playfully hit him. She snuggled into Darren’s body and quickly fell asleep. Darren still couldn’t sleep though, he was too excited. He’d never experienced such an intense relationship. He couldn’t hide it anymore, he wanted to shout out to the world that he and Cassandra were in love. He especially wanted to tell his son; of all the people, he should not be keeping secrets from Dirk. Cassandra was his first girlfriend since Darleen’s death and he wanted to break it to Dirk gently, after all, he didn’t want to him to find out secondhand.

Early next morning, as he quietly opened the door, Cassandra kissed Darren goodbye. “You’ll come over when Dirk gets home?” Darren asked.
“Definitely. I want him to be the first to know.” Cassandra whispered. But what she didn’t know was that he wasn’t going to be the first to know of her and Darren’s relationship.