Caliente(Dina) – 7.2: Murder in Sunset Valley

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(Previous post: Scars)

Sara remembers the tragedy that recently hit their town and the impact it had on her fiancee.

Sara’s morning started in the best possible way, the four of them sitting in the kitchen, she and her mother had coffee while Justine and Jerod ate some leftover spaghetti from last night. Jerod was making all of them laugh, even her mother, who was notoriously hard to please. But that credit might not have been all Jerod’s but her new wife’s. Justine had one of those infectious laughs one just cannot resist joining in and Dina Caliente certainly didn’t seem to be immune to the charms of the younger woman.

They seemed so in love, Sara’s mother and her second wife, even after the charming fairy-tale wedding right here in the garden, and the romantic honeymoon in Champs Les Sims, just the other night Sara could see them in the garden, picking flowers for each other.

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She hoped that one day she could be like that, just give in and be happy but she doubted it could ever really happen, both she and Jerod had been through so much, happiness seemed like just a very distant dream, forever out of reach. But it was fine Sara guessed, life was more than just being happy and in love all the time, for now seeing the smiles of her loved ones would do.

All in all Sara came to work happy that day, she hummed a tune under her breath as she pushed her way to her office, not even stopping for coffee, she figured her mother’s brew was strong enough to hold her until lunch.

It was supposed to be a regular morning, police work in Sunset Valley was rarely more than ordinary and dull. But before Sara was halfway through her morning routine of reading and sending out long and tedious reports there was a very loud knock on her office door followed by an emergence of a tall, gray haired and bespectacled man.

“Mr. Hoves!” She exclaimed in surprise as she watched him enter her office.

“Good morning lieutenant.” He replied with a grave note in his voice closing the door behind him. It wasn’t the first time Sara had the older man in her office, he was the head of the forensics department and had worked for the SVPD his whole life, it was however the first time he was here since his recent retirement.

Sunset Valley was a small town and like everyone else Sara heard how he had developed a drinking problem once he was out of the force but today his look was not one of a drunk. His eyes were sharp and determined and if Sara was to be honest it scared her a little.

“There had been a murder.” He said as he took a seat opposite Sara.

“Murder sir?” She asked feeling her heart start to race. He nodded but she still couldn’t believe it. “Here in Sunset Valley?” He nodded again, even more impatiently. “And excuse me sir but how do you know about it?”

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“There was a distress call, a body was found in the dumpster behind the theater. I was fixing some stuff at home when I heard it on the police radio…” He said dismissively.

“How come I didn’t hear about it yet?” Sara asked.

“I caught the officer that was on his way to tell you on the stairs, I said I will do it.” He spoke with the efficiency of a man that used to be in charge and Sara couldn’t be the one to tell him he no longer was. It was an uncomfortable situation, she knew the man ever since she was nothing more than the receptionist down in the basement even though she now technically outranked him. And besides it seemed that someone was dead, murdered no less, she couldn’t waste any time.

“Tell me what happened.” She said putting everything aside. She was lieutenant Sara Caliente and this was her job.

“A patrol is on site now and they have confirmed that a dead body was found and foul play is suspected. You will have to go next, asses the situation, give orders. It were the new kids that were first on the scene, young Kerry and Vanessa Mayor. Kerry can take statements and Vanessa can do the forensics, I like how she treats evidence. And I will be downstairs in the lab.”

He rose from the chair leaving Sara to feel like a little child in her own office.

“But sir… You are retired…” She finally managed to mutter. He looked at her with a frown.

“There was a murder lieutenant. There hadn’t been a murder in this town since my uncle had been gunned down in that warehouse. We didn’t solve that one and I will be damned if I let that happen again.” With those words he left Sara’s office leaving her to quickly collect her bearings and go back to work. Her beautiful morning already seemed a lifetime away.


She was last to arrive on the already cramped parking lot behind the grocery store. A mass of people had already gathered around the adjoining building but Sara noticed with a little bit of pride her officers had done a good job keeping the noisy citizens outside the yellow tape that marked the crime scene. She walked over making her way through the bystanders. The dumpster was moved and by happy circumstance shielded the body of the poor man from the invading looks. She didn’t go there immediately but to her officers Kerry and Mayor who were waiting for her to submit their initial report.

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“Morning lieutenant.” Mika’il spoke first. He was a thin young man with dark hair, dark eyes and a small goatee Sara didn’t like one bit. He was also engaged to her cousin, or so her mother had told her the other day.

“Morning.” Vanessa muttered after him. She seemed more visibly shaken by the scene in front of them than her partner. She was the same age as he was, also dark-haired, with softer brown eyes and a complexion that usually wasn’t as pale as it was now.

“Morning.” Sara said not feeling well herself, but doing her best to not let it show in front of the younger officers. “What do we have here?” She asked turning to the dead body on the street.

“Elderly male, dead from what appears to be a stab wound, or multiple stab wounds… I didn’t really want to touch the body before the M.E. comes….” Mika’il started.

“Good call.” Sara replied still looking at the man dead at the street. A terrible thing she thought. And definitely a murder. Her stomach clenched at the thought and she forced herself too look away from the body. “Any ID?”

“Well we didn’t really check… I mean, I assumed it was a robbery, why else would someone stab an old man?” Mikha’il answered.

“You mustn’t make assumptions.” Sara echoed the words of her old mentor. “Check his wallet.” She felt her phone vibrate and pulled it out of her pocket. Frédéric Jr. Hoves the caller ID read. She sighed loudly. The old man just wouldn’t let her run this case alone. She turned back to her officers. “Wait for the M.E here. Once he is done you run the scene Vanessa, collect all you find, take pictures and take it all to the lab. Mika’il, check the ID and come to me.” They both nodded and she left them to their job moving away to take the call.

The old man had nothing new to say. He gave instructions on things she already knew and ended the call saying he would call Vanessa next, just to be sure she does her job just right. In a way Sara was glad he was back, he was the top forensics specialist in the country and yet it was her case, she wanted to be left alone to run it. She sighed again planning to go back to the scene when she saw Mika’il standing close by with a satisfied smile on his face.

“I have the ID boss, you were right, it wasn’t a robbery after all! He had his wallet and I know his name. It is Clyde Belgen.” Sara’s head suddenly started to spin and she felt like she could throw up.

“Don’t share this information with anyone, and I mean it. Talk to the people from the theater, check if there are any cameras around, see if there are any eyewitness… Once you are done come straight to my office.”

Clyde Belgen. She couldn’t believe it. She turned around to where the body was still lying and with a strong feeling of guilt she couldn’t shake she turned around back to her patrol car and drove straight to the station.

/* Finally a start of an actual story 😀 I have all of Sara’s chapter’s written down so I hope all of it will be published without a large delay. I like the story, it kind of touches a lot of stories I set up earlier, I hope it won’t be hard to follow and that it will be interesting. Thank you all for reading!!! */

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Caliente(Dina) – 7.1: Scars

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Sara Caliente was recently promoted to lieutenant of the SVPD. She had just come in to work after months of extensive physical therapy after suffering a near fatal leg wound. Her mentor and partner officer Jesse Hoves was shot dead the same day. The perpetrator’s were never caught. Sara lives with her mother and her mother’s second wife. Recently her own fiancee moved in with them.

Sara loved watching Jerod sleep. There was something so peaceful in his face, the way his hair fell over it and the way the weak morning light made it shine. She still hand’t quite gotten used to sharing the big bed in her mother’s attic with her fiancee and waking up to him each morning so whenever she got the chance she marveled at the little things that made up her day.

It didn’t take long for the spell to break. The alarm rang and Jerod stirred before opening his eyes.

“Morning beautiful.” He murmured in his sleepy voice. Sara smiled.

“Morning to you too handsome.” She replied playfully. “A grand day for staying in bed.” Jerod smiled, his eyes still half closed.

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“I wish.” He replied sadly. “Work awaits, saving lives and all that… One of my guys left and now we all have to share the load…” He sighed. “I hope your mother made something nice for breakfast, and coffee… I really hope for coffee…” He added stretching before getting out of bed.

He always slept without a shirt on, even now, so when he pulled back the covers Sara got a full view of his bare back and all the scars stretched over it. They were mostly healed by now but still it wasn’t easy to look at that constant reminder of what the man she loved went trough. She ached to touch him, to caress the wounded tissue, to make it heal, to make him heal but it didn’t work like that. Sara knew it all to well.

After all she had her own scars too, the one in her leg where she got shot being the most recent one, but she knew it often weren’t the visible scars that cause the biggest pain, but the ones hidden beneath. For her it hurt more to remember how her partner and mentor had been killed, the memory of the slow pool of blood spreading from his body as her own leg burned from the pain she could not recall anymore.

She knew it was the same for Jerod. It surely hurt more that he didn’t get to his mother in time than the memory of that flaming beam hitting his back. She tried to get him to talk about it, she knew he had mandatory counselling back when he he had just gotten back to work, when he lived at the fire station, but around most people he pretended as if he hadn’t lost his mother, an aunt and a cousin, and even his mother’s little dog that day. Not to mention landing himself in a hospital for months running into the flaming house the meteor had struck.

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It worked one night, right after he had moved in. They were lying here, in this very bed the lights were off and they talked in whispers.

He told her then, in a thin and soft voice of that day, the day that would probably hunt him until the end of his life.

“When I think of it I don’t think about mum, I guess because I never got to her then… What haunts me the most is what I saw when I first got there… The house was on fire, the home I grew up in… There was a huge rock, a monstrous meteor, the scariest damn thing one could ever see, I swear it Sara, right next to it and smaller pieces all around and I was lost, completely lost you know… I never saw anything like that and as I tried to compose myself, get into full firefighter mode I saw her and it didn’t break me then but it breaks a piece of me every time I think of it now…”

He took a deep painful breath and even though she couldn’t see him in the dark Sara knew he was crying, and in all their years together she had never seen him cry, it hurt to hear it but she knew she had to let him be. “She must have fallen out of the window on impact because she was just lying there on the street all covered in cuts and shards of broken glass. She was dead or close to it I could see it from where I was standing and there was nothing I could do anyway… The paramedics were behind me and that was their job and I still had mine… But I can’t get her out of my head… She had been so young the sweet girl. She used to come to the station often, to watch me work and just talk silly things. I knew her and her friends found me attractive, they were teenage girls after all but I didn’t mind it, they were so young and silly, so full of life… And now that life is over and I can’t… I can’t get it out of my head…”

The sobs took him over and Sara didn’t know what to do, she was crying herself. She took one of his hands in hers and kissed it softly as she listened to him weep.

He never spoke of it again although sometimes she tried to ask. But it haunted her now as well. The face of the young girl that had lost her life that day and the painful scar it left on her boyfriend’s heart. She wished she could just take it all back, move time backwards to when their biggest problem was planning their wedding, when none of them had really been hurt by life. A simple time.

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If only they could just go back….

/* Yet another post featuring the meteor tragedy, hope it doesn’t bore you guys too much, I thought it was necessary to touch on what happened to Jerod and how he and Sara ended up living together. The girl who died, mentioned here, is Lena Prentiss. In the very next post we dive into the actual story! */

Rosie’s Emails – 10

Hi mum,

Have I got a surprise for you… I am writing to you from… Shang Simla, Egypt! I know I should have told you earlier but it really was short notice, Lola had a concert there and she was ready to go so she called, asked if I would join and what could I say really? I just got that award and what better way to to treat myself?

Well anyway the concert is in a few hours, just wanted to check in and let you know I am fine. A more detailed report is coming tomorrow, for now here is a picture of me in front of the hotel.

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Looking at it now I am sure it would be by new SimBook profile picture! Send my love to Tricia and Bran!

Love you all,

Rosie


 

Hi mum,

There are downsides to Egypt I might confess. But first the good things, Lola concert was really good, I wouldn’t bore you with pictures, check my SimBook, as usual I went overboard…. I woke up early in the morning with a blasting hangover so I decided to go for a run, clear my head a bit… Yes, yes I know what you would say, running in such a hot place is not good for anyone, let alone someone with my condition, but it was just so early, the sun wasn’t up high yet and I brought along a book so once it got to hot I could take it out to read in the shade.

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I ran all the way to the market, it is in the center of the town. I felt so energized, I look around a bit, wondered if I should by a snake charming basket (I didn’t). And then I ran further, I ran up a hill where a graveyard was. I stood there a bit and looked in the distance, it was so beautiful, I could see the Sphinx from there. Immediately I made a mental note to visit it as soon as I get the time. And by then it was really hot already so I hurried to go back to the hotel and I ran and ran and there was no shade, just the dessert, it was scary, I was so thirsty, I was dying for a plasma juice. Of course I didn’t bring any and so I ran through the dessert with my throat parched and then I fainted.

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I don’t know how long I was lying there but some explorers found me and brought me to their small camp which was close by. There was plasma packs in their camps so I got energized quickly, and if that wasn’t enough they let me use the shower in the camp as well. The water was so cold and I am freezing right now, I am not kidding, it was the coldest water I ever showered with! 

And that is the story of my day… I will stay the night in this camp and go back to the hotel in the morning. I will sleep in a tent here, I hope I will have it all by myself till the morning, there are so many people here… That is it, talk to you tomorrow!

Love Rosie

Rosie’s Emails – 9

Dear brother,

Our mother tells me a lot about you, she brags about your promotions and your success at school, she is very proud and so am I!! Why didn’t you tell me any of it yourself?? I must admit I am a little mad at you right now 😛 I didn’t even know you have a girlfriend! I bet you told Tricia that but not me, so unfair! And there I am living in the big city, one long ride away… You can always come and visit bring Nan over if you want. It is going to be an adventure, I promise! There are clubs here, and bars, and partying… the big city is buzzing with life, perfect for young couples such as you two…

As for me… I have big news as well, ones I am going to share with you first! Like the sound of that? I was at home the other night, just minding my own business when out of the blue I get a call!

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And what do you know, I got some reward from the city of Bridgeport. It is called an “Investigator’s Trophy of Honor”. There would be a short ceremony at City Hall where they would put some pin on me or something like that. It isn’t as big of a deal as it seems otherwise I would have flown you all over but hey it is still something and you my dear Bran are the first to know! Now it is your turn, share something with your oldest sister!

Lots of love,

Rosie


 

Hi Bran,

So you are learning to cook? That is not exciting news I was hoping for. As someone who digs up dirt for a living I think I am qualified to determine what is juicy and what is not and that my friend is not… So try harder next time! Impress me 😛

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As for me I did pick up that reward, like I said it was nothing special, a day time ceremony in the public offices downtown. I dressed super private investigator like, in a my beige trench coat, with a hat and stylish sunglasses to top it. The mayor gave me the award, we chatted a bit and that is it. The city needs me, they urge me to continue the good work. I feel like a super hero already!

Rosie Caliente, Superhero

Caliente – 7.2: Mother and son

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(Previous post: Lunch with Dina)

Nina has lunch with her sister where they talk about love, their lives and trade in rumor and gossip. Nina is unhappy because of her daughter’s engagement. Dina offers to help when she hears rumors her sister might be without money.

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Nina Caliente rode everywhere in her recognizable pink limo. People would follow it and once she got out take out their phones or cameras and snap pictures, Nina pretended she didn’t see it, or didn’t care. Truth was she was enjoying her fame, every bit of it, she did so ever since her first single came out and topped the charts and she assumed she would continue to do so up until the day she died. She regretted only that she wouldn’t be present to see her own funeral, all those people she knew and didn’t know celebrating her life, shedding tears for the world’s great loss…

Yet Nina didn’t waste too much time thinking about death. Life was short but that made it only more valuable. That is why Nina was rarely still, there were always interesting projects to be realized, interesting people to be met, good songs to dance too, new cocktails to try out, good-looking men with lips to be kissed…

But then again there were nights when even Nina stopped and took a break. Tonight was such a night. She had gotten back from a meeting at a local school were she was helping a young teacher with a musical, changed into her sweatpants and was in her kitchen making dinner.

Not many people knew Nina Caliente was an excellent cook and how she loved cooking shows and making meals for her family. Everyone knew she loved expensive food, and good dining in famous restaurants all over the world but they figured she was a busy woman with no time to spend in the kitchen. In that they were all wrong.

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Tonight she had decided to make it simple with some spaghetti and vegetarian sauce to go with them. She had been experimenting with no-meat cooking lately. Nina’s life philosophy was give everything a try at least once so why not try being a vegetarian…

She had put on the sauce on the stove and was gently mixing it looking out to see where her son was. She knew he had gotten outside to telephone which might ring alarm bells to most mothers whose imagination could probably go much wilder than their teenage boys ever could but Nina didn’t worry. She knew what phone call would lure her Bran outside, the one to his sister.

Bran and Latrica had always been inseparable. Nina and her own sister were close growing up  but even they would fight, she couldn’t remember her two children ever getting in a fight. She thought their relationship might strain and probably change as they grew, Bran entered the awkward teenage years and Latricia moved out going first to college and then into a home of her own but seemingly nothing changed. They talked over the phone every day and they remained as close if not closer.

As to why Bran didn’t want her to hear the conversation it must have meant they are talking about the wedding. Nina really wanted to be the kind of mother that helps her daughter plan the big day, picks out the dress and all that bullshit but she just couldn’t bring herself to do it. Nina never believed in marriage and she especially didn’t approve of her daughter marrying, so young and naive and inexperienced with life…. It made her so angry but she knew there was nothing she could to, even though she tried….

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Bran came inside just in  time to set the table. Nina opened a bottle of wine and offered a glass to her son but he refused instead eating quietly, his mind elsewhere.

“How is Tricia doing?” She asked breaking the silence.

“Fine.” He wanted to say something more than stopped himself and just took another bite. Nina sighed.

“You guys can talk to me about it you know… About the wedding.” Bran just looked at her.

“Latricia says you keep urging her to postpone it as much as possible.”

“Well if she won’t cancel it….” Noticing Bran’s expression Nina stopped. “You know I want what is best for both you and your sisters. I just think this wedding is not the best idea in the world….”

“They really love each other…”

“That is exactly what I am saying! You both are so young, still believing in fairy-tales…” Nina was about to launch in a rant when she saw her son’s tired face and realized this was the hundredth time they were having this conversation. “I am sorry Branden, we don’t have to talk about this, again. How are you? You look tired.”

“I am fine.” Bran replied. “School is good, work too.” Nina knew that it was more than that. Bran got on a honor roll in the winter semester, he got as far as he possibly could at his job at the supermarket. Those weren’t things she would mention to her sister at one of their weekly lunches because there were no words to express how proud she was of her youngest son, of all her children who were growing in such good people. And imagine I did it all alone, without ever getting married…. She thought with a smirk.

“You have been working extra hard Bran, what do you say we go relax a bit after dinner, out in the tub. I didn’t see any paparazzi tonight.”

“I am too tired mum, I’ll load up the dishwasher and head straight to bed.” Nina sighed.

“Oh come on Bran. Please. I promise I will even wear a swimsuit.” This got a little smile from her son and he finally agreed to her proposal.


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She did as she promised and wore a one-piece striped bathing suit when she came outside and seated herself in the warm water of the hot tub. As she noted earlier there were no paparazzi outside tonight. She debated playing some music but she decided to wait for Bran and let him pick something. When he came out he was wearing long shorts and a dark blue T-shirt.

“Why didn’t you take the shirt off?” She asked him when he submerged himself in the water only his head sticking out of the bubbles.

“I forgot!” He replied looking down at himself miserably. “It is wet now…”

“It doesn’t matter.” Nina said. She was used to her son forgetting things. He was like that ever since he was small. “Maybe you can play us some music? And we can talk, about you. Tell me all about school, and your friends!” Bran took a deep breath and then started talking.

“Well Kerry and Persephone are officially dating now. I already suspected something was going on back when we were on that camping trip last summer… When I told Tricia she laughed she said if even I noticed it than it must really be something there. And now Waylon is seeing Nan’s sister Maja so she is now in our gang. She is cool, she plays the guitar too. I hope we will be good friends, I like her a lot. Nan is freaking out about it, she always speaks ill of her sisters you know and know she is about to get another one, her father’s new girlfriend is carrying a girl apparently…” Bran talked and Nina listened thinking once again how happy she was she had her children. Turns out there were things more important than fame.

Rosie’s Emails – 8

Hi Sara,

Dearest friend it had truly been a while. I hope you are all fine, both you and aunt Dina and her new wife I have yet to meet. Should I call her aunt Justine? I am a bit confused I must admit, I hope you are feeling better about it. Well then again you must haha.

I know you are very busy these days with the big promotion and all but I hoped you could drop me a line, check in so to speak, I miss you. And I miss talking to you and there are a few things I don’t think I could share with anyone but you, my oldest and dearest friend…

So my little sister is engaged… Isn’t that weird? I mean I am happy for her, I really am, you know that, you know me but it is weird don’t you think? My little sister getting married before I am even remotely close to that…. I mean you understand what I mean don’t you? Summer got married before you as well, she has a big kid doesn’t she? It must have been weird to you too, at least at some point….

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It got me thinking about many things like my own life and the path I am heading…. And that is how I ended up reading pregnancy books. (I can hear you laughing right now :P) I think I am loosing my mind but I feel like I am stuck and something needs to change… I don’t know… I just wanted to share it with you. Sorry for all the rambling. Let me know what you think and what is new in your life. I miss you. Send my love to your mother and AUNT JUSTINE. You all should come and visit some time.

Love Rosie


 Dear Sara,

Thanks for writing back. I am glad you comforted me. You are right, there is nothing to worry about, I still am young and life has different paths for all of us. It is terrible to hear all of that happening to your Jared. His home getting destroyed, his mother dying and he himself being hurt… I can’t imagine what you both had to go trough…  I wish you both a speedy recovery! 

It feels stupid to write about my life now, and I feel stupid for even complaining… But you know me, I am always like that…. Selfish to the bone…

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Well what is new… My friend Big Hartley had a birthday party last night, it was a big bash, a lot of celebrities were there, and me of course. He liked my present and I think at last we can be friends again after that failed attempt at dating… 

As for finding Mr. Right, he might be just around the corner 😉 ;)… But more on that some other time!

Love Rosie


/* You can read all about Rosie’s cousin Sara here. The tragedy that befall her fiancee Jared is the same meteor hit that killed Rita Pretniss and her daughter.  */

 

Calinte – 7.1: Lunch with Dina

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Nina Caliente is a retired musician, living alone with her youngest son Brandon Caliente. She has two daughters, the oldest Rosie lives in Bridgeport while Latrica had just moved out. Nina bough her a house and plans for her to have a music career just like she did but recently Latricia had taken her future in her own hands doing something her mother did not expect…

“Latricia is engaged.” Nina Caliente said watching one of her older sister’s perfectly trimmed eyebrows shoot upwards. The two of them were seated at the bistro downtown on of their weekly lunches. It was a tradition for them ever since they both retired and settled down a bit from their previous busy schedules.

“Engaged to whom?” Her sister asked.

“That Kerry boy, the one she had been dating in school.” Nina answered taking a sip of wine.

“Oh? He works for Sarah you know.” Her sister said in reply and Nina just nodded. The truth was both Dina’s oldest daughter and Nina’s daughter’s fiancee worked for the SVPD. They were both public servants but she didn’t want to make that distinction at the moment. She knew her sister wouldn’t appreciate being reminded of the fact. When she said nothing more her sister asked: “And how do you feel about it?”

Before replying Nina took another sip of wine, a more generous one this time. Truth was she didn’t approve. And not because the boy was a policeman or anything like that. Nina didn’t approve of marriage in general, and her daughter was so young… What did she really know about life? Nina planned for her to have a music career, she was talented and pretty. Marriage and kids could ruin all that… Nina herself had never been married and she had a great life. She came close once, with her oldest daughter’s father Dave, they even lived together for a time, big mistake. Yet back then she was young and stupid too… And she could not share any of this with her older sister who had just tied the knot, for the second time with a young waitress or whatever it was Justine did….

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“I wish her all the best.” She said once she had lowered her glass. Dina smiled in amusement. Her older sister could always read people well, you learn that in politics Nina guessed.

“Engagements don’t have to mean anything….” She said dismissively. “You were engaged yourself once…. And my Sara and that boy of hers haven’t gotten married yet and you know how long it had been since he proposed….”

“I guess marriage is not for everyone.” Nina said hoping to switch the ball in her sister’s court. “How is your lovely bride doing?” Dina smiled a bright smile people usually do when they talk about the ones they love, or at the very least enjoy sharing a bed with. Nina herself wasn’t sure if she even believed in what people passed on as love….

“Justine is fine. I bought her a bar to keep her busy once we got from honeymoon… She had been very grateful. What about you sister, are you seeing anyone?”

“Just two guys.” Nina replied. “Abdul is young, he used to be my maid before I sacked him for not doing any cleaning on account of spending all day in my bed. Aegon is close to sealing the deal with wife number two so it is just a fling between us… I call him up whenever I am feeling bored or in want of a deeper conversation…”

“That doesn’t get boring? Even in your life stage?” Dina asked couriously.

“Why would it?” Nina asked defensivily. “They are both fun, easy on the eyes, and the sex is good.”

“Well surely you want something more, at times at least?” Nina snorted.

“What more is there? Life is too short to chase after imagined things… ” She didn’t want to say it. She didn’t want to offend her recently married, love-sick sister… Yet she couldn’t help it. “You would sooner see a unicorn then find ‘true love’.” When her sister said nothing Nina just went on. “You just married for the second time. Your first marriage fell apart because you slept with someone else. Please don’t tell me you believe in ‘the one’…” Her sister just looked away and when she turned back there was something in her eyes, something Nina didn’t see there ever before, a kind of sorrow and vulnerability so disconnected from how she perceived her older sister.

“I am not sure what I believe in. ” She said quietly. “Feeling are tricky I guess… And as we grow old our memories play tricks on us… ” She sighed looking out in the distance again. Once she turned back her face had resumed its usual coldness.

“Enough on that, there is something I wanted to ask you. How is money? If you are having any troubles surely you know you can always ask for a loan…”

“A loan? Where is that coming from?” Nina asked surprised.

“I hear rumors that you are in debt… You are working on something with the school and I also saw your nudes in a magazine….” At this Nina actually laughed.

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“Come on sister, you actually believe in rumors in this city? I am working with the school, I am helping the Simlish teacher with a musical, she wrote a story adaptation and I am helping with the music, it is called giving back to the community… As for the nudes anyone could get a hold of those, they don’t even have to try very hard. Once I stop stripping it would mean my body had gone too saggy, now that would be a disaster.”

“Well I needed to check.” Dina replied in defense. “What kind of a sister would I be if I didn’t?”

“Not a fine older sister I suppose.” Nina said gladly accenting the ‘older’. “The royalty check still keep coming, I did spend a lot on Latricia’s new house but  I’ll have it covered in less than a year.”

“Fine then, I guess you wouldn’t mind taking the check?” Dina said pushing it towards her sister. Their eyes met and they both smiled.