Summer 2011– Dina is 30, Steven Tappan is 27 and Gregory Wright is 32. Last update: Summer 2010

Soundtrack: John Mayer – Neon

Dina hates moving. She hates packing her things away. She mostly hates that her life can now fit into two measly, battered suitcases and carted from one hovel to another. She’d been born with presence – her Papa told her so – and it is downright criminal for her to be locked away in some boarding house where all she has claim to is a tiny room with a bed while sharing a bathroom and kitchen with four people who should always stand 10 feet behind her.

She doesn’t care that living in the boarding house makes her story more plausible. She doesn’t care that it will make her chance meeting with Nina’s husband seem more hesitant than planned; the whole mess almost makes her miss her little apartment in tenement hell. Dina taps her fingers in renewed anger, her thoughts returning to the morning her landlord showed up to throw her out. Who cares if she didn’t pay her rent all the time? She needs clothes. Is she suppose to do wear the same thing all the time? What about when she’s bored? No one actually reads anymore, did she expect Dina to entertain herself?

Dina jumps off the bed, frustration making her pull roughly at her clothes while she searched for her bathing suit. Everything is Nina’s fault! Nina knows she can’t pay the bills or remember to set aside money for the rent. Nina knows she can be frivolous and impetuous. Nina knows she can’t help herself sometimes. She’s suppose to be here to watch Dina. She’s suppose to be here to keep her out of trouble. Nina was suppose to tell her not to sleep around with Benjamin Long and Kennedy Cox because, of course, the two idiots would get jealous, have a fight and spill the beans to Mortimer. She wasn’t suppose to run off and have the perfect life without Dina.

She wasn’t suppose to have the clothes, the shoes, the jewelry, be in the newspaper and showing off her money without Dina. They’re twins; Papa made them share everything and even if Dina has to force her Nina’s going to share this too.

She stomps out of the room and lets the door slam behind her not caring that her behavior is similar to a petulant five year old. She’d never say it but she knows that her blonde hair and toned body excuses multiple flaws, not that she has any of those. The walk to the beach is quick and Dina carefully fluffs her hair and wets her lips in anticipation.

Her green eyes track a few handsome men playing Frisbee on the sand and she allows her hips to sway loosely when she walks pass them. The wolf whistle brings a smile to her face, previous anger at her sister forgotten, and she sends a flirtatious laugh over her shoulder at them. Steven’s nice and good fun but she’s sure that Nina’s husband will have some single friends, single rich friends who will want to spoil her.

She undresses carefully, aware of the hungry eyes watching her figure emerge and makes sure to toss her hair around to show off its bounciness. This is her favorite power to wield. It’s fun and easy and allowed her to shine brilliant like polished gold.

Laying on the beach towel Dina enjoys the sun warming her skin. This is one of the things that made moving to Heredon Cove so worth it. Not only would she benefit from access to Nina’s money and a treasure trove of eligible bachelors but also the beach. Her sigh is barely audible but it relaxes her whole body. Dina loves summer. It’s the season when she’s at the height of her beauty. The men flock to her, salivating over her golden skin and shiny blonde hair. She may be thirty, twice widowed and flat broke but she can still give the college girls a run for their money.

Dina turns her head slightly when the sand shifts and a shadow blocks out her sun. Her smile is mischievous as she looks the blonde up and down. He’s young, very young but his body is well toned and very tanned. His trunks are some cheap store brand but why complain when he’s just a bit of fun for the hour.

She shifts onto her side, watching his eyes stray to the valley of her breasts before turning on a megawatt smile. “Hi I’m Dina. What’s your name cutie?”

The boy at the beach quickly forgotten, Dina can’t help herself on the walk home later. Her mind isn’t on the dampness of her braids and the abrasive bite of sand in her shoes but the allure of something pretty. She has to go into the clothing store and she loves the thrill of pleasure she gets walking upstairs to the bridal section. She adores weddings, it’s the one fairy tale that always come true. She’d get married everyday if she could simply to live those moments of fantasy over and over again.

She stares intently at the fit and flare dress on the mannequin, imaging herself in the jeweled bodice. It would need a longer train and a veil to die for to fit her vision of her third wedding but those things were easily bought. Running her hand over the expensive material Dina allows herself to dream for a few moments before a bit of sparkle on another dress calls her attention away.

The dress is perfection, ivory silk chiffon floating around her to highlight her tall, slim body. Everyone around her seems to disappear as she twirls in the wedding dress. This is the dress she’s going to get married in. She ignores the fact that she doesn’t have a groom or even a boyfriend she considers a real prospect for marriage. Dina ignores the saleswoman and the other shoppers smiling indulgently at her antics while for searching for their own special dress. She just enjoys the fact that this $7,000 dress is going to be the next one she walks down the aisle in.

Nina will take care of her after the shock wears off. She has to. She’ll set Dina up with some young bachelor looking for a pretty wife to decorate his arm with. The husband has a best friend, a widower, who’s disgustingly rich. They could bond over their loss while he indulges her in diamonds. She always wanted something to be named after her, why not a thriving island town?

“Is this the dress?” The saleswoman’s question pulls Dina back to reality quickly and she tells a quick lie.

“I’m not really sure yet, this is my first time shopping for a wedding dress.”

“Oh, but it’s just per-”

Dina cuts her off quickly, knowing the woman would just keep pushing for a sale. “ I think so too but you only get married once and I want to get it just right. Can you unzip me please?”

It’s late when Dina arrives back at home and she’s shocked to see Steven waiting for her outside. She often loses track of time when she indulges her obsession with shopping but never to the point where she loses track of a date. She feels a mess and almost wants to cancel but they’re going to the jazz lounge over in the Warehouse District and she can’t afford to go there on her own.

“Hey, pretty girl.” Steven moves from his perch, running arough hand through his red hair. He pulls her into his arms and places a sweet kiss on the sensitive spot below her left ear. Dina couldn’t stop her knees from buckling if she wanted to and his answering chuckle is knowing. “You smell like the sun and sea. I like it. The cab should be here any minute if you need to put anything inside.”

She shakes her head and indulges herself in a kiss. She likes this boy even if his presence in her life is just for now. “Hey there cutie pie, you enjoying your day off?”

“More like half day. I did lunch service and helped the boss man prep for dinner. The ice princess decided to grace the restaurant with her presence two days in a row so he got to cook.”

Dina nods and makes the appropriate sounds as the cab pulls up and Steven continues to tell the story of his boss and his wife. She knows about John Heredon. Every woman on the island over 16 seemed to know about him too and it was one of the first bits of gossip she was told at the law office. They told her about his mistresses and how he showers them in jewelry and fine clothing while keeping up the family front with a wife and two sons at home. She’s too special to be in a long line of mistresses but she could see why women would fall all over him.

“Tomorrow’s the big day, you think you’re ready?”

Dina really regrets at time telling Steven the real – as real as he knows – reason she moved to Heredon Cove. It had made sense at the time but from the moment she did he’d bug her about when she’s going to finally see Nina and her family. He would never understand the sweet torture of time. She knows Nina’s heard about some blonde woman who looks like her roaming around, probably even from her husband. She can just imagine the anxiety and constant looks around for her. It’s simply too perfect to not draw out and make the moment she actually does appear sweeter.

Instead of answering she looks down at the menu, the cherry pie instantly grabbing her attention. The jazz club is nice, well furnished and intimate. The music is bouncy and a few people were already on the dance floor enjoying themselves. Dina could see the line outside and preened a bit at actually being inside sitting at a table. This will be her always once she got her hands on some money.

“Dina?”

Dina smiles, “I think so. I’m just nervous, she has so much money now. She might think she’s better than me.”

Steven shakes his head, reaching to take hold of her hand. “Don’t think like that. You’re her sister, she loves you plus she owes you right? I mean, you did help her out when you were married and she didn’t have any money so she’ll do the same for you. It’s only right plus her husband is this big philanthropist, always donating to some charity or helping to set up a new foundation. He’ll make sure to help you out while you get back on your feet and I’ll still be here.”

Her laugh is light, flirtatious and she looks at him from under her lashes. “You say the sweetest things.”

“And never anything I don’t mean. I can appreciate a good woman, now come dance with me.”

Dina likes being held by him, it reminds her of the first night he stayed at her apartment and made her dreams come true. She misses the early months of their relationship, those are always her favorite part. She could ignore the shabby way he dressed, the way he harps on what she eats but now it was all starting to wear on her. She’s too used to his kisses, his touches, even his scent. Once she moves up socially he’ll have to go, oh well.

“What are you thinking about, princess? You like this place? Should we visit again?” Dina stares into his eyes trying to capture the magic of the moment. If he had more money and owned the restaurant instead of cooking in it, this date would be perfect.

“I’m thinking that tomorrow everything’s going to change. I’m excited.”

Dina pulls him close, a soft smile on her face. She hums in appreciation when he squeezes her tightly to him. She may miss him when it’s all over and she’s on the other side again. She might even keep him a few weeks after and then break it to him gently. Steven can’t stay permanently of course because once she’s back with Nina there really isn’t a need for him. He’d been her lifeline though, keeping her vibrant and smiling despite living in her version of hell but there’s a new pearl necklace at the jewelry store calling her name and the fall Guillaume Langelier shoes are starting to show up in stores. Some things are just more important than him.

She’s careful with her appearance. Her skirt hem touches her knees and her collar is high, leaving Dina with an air of respectability. Her hair practically gleams and her makeup is perfectly understated. She’s the total package, the perfect long lost twin who’s desperate to find her sister and make amends. Her body vibrates with anticipation and nothing could wipe the grin off her face at that moment. She’d charmed her boss into taking her with him to the courthouse despite there being no need for her presence and a stack accounts waiting to be reviewed and billed.

She glances at the clock ticking away in the corner. She’s pretended long enough that this job actually means something to her, now it’s her chance to gain back the life her Papa always told her to aim for.

Dina’s surprised to see him leaving his office. It’s 1:15 and he’s suppose to be drinking coffee in his office like he does everyday. The man is painfully predictable. Dina watches his walk away, feeling the same sense of shock she had when she first saw him. He’s nothing like Nina usually goes for. Nina likes her men flashy and full of charming smiles. This guy is understated to the core, American tailored suits instead of custom Italian ones and a Rolex that looks inherited. He has class and God knows they weren’t raised to chase class. They went for the flashy type who’re content with a pretty face and curves in the right place, the classy ones always want the proper background.

She continues toward his office, hoping that something will call him back so that she can get this charade over with. Dina hesitates before actually entering, not quite sure what she’ll say if anyone catches her in there. She is only a legal biller or some bullshit like that. In truth, Jayden Demos likes the looks of her legs and enjoys having an excuse to spend time with her. She looks around, cataloging the diploma from a prestigious university, awards, and pictures of him – Gregory – shaking hands with some very important looking people.

It’s the silver picture frame on the desk that really catches Dina’s attention and she can’t stop herself from getting a closer look. The picture of the children almost startles her. She knows Nina has children, she’s heard about them but she’s never seen picture of them before. It’s a sharp reminder of the time that has passed without the two of them seeing each other. Dina searches for something of her sister in the faces of this little boy and girl who are her niece and nephew.

They don’t have their mother’s vibrant red hair and she feels tears sting her eyes at the loss of connection to her own mother. She wonders if Nina had hoped for one of the children to come screaming into the world with the hair she was known for,  that had attracted their Papa to their long dead mother and hid the disappointment quietly when brunette after brunette appeared.

They still carried the roundness of babyhood so none of Nina’s features were too apparent although their eyes are the same clear green Dina saw every time she glances in the mirror. They look cute, sweet even, maybe they will like her.

The door opening startles her and Dina straightens quickly, her skin flushing when she finds herself staring into the shocked eyes of Gregory Wright. She notes absently that his eyes are green too and her mind wanders for a brief second onto whether they inherited Nina’s shade of green or his. She can see the question coming before he even opens his mouth and Dina decides to head him off. She finds she doesn’t have to fake the emotion that makes her stumble over her words and her eyes to dart away from him.

She clears her throat once before trying to speak again. “Hi, I’m sorry for barging into your office but my name is Dina and I think you’re married to my sister.”

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A.N: So finally posted what I’ve been teasing for about three months, sorry about all that but I’m hoping that this will start regular posting again. This is a update has two parts to it so I won’t leave you guys with the cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers. I’ve been looking forward to the sisters meeting so I hope you guys are happy with what I’ve done. I’m worried this meanders a bit but I wanted to present more of Dina since her last update was so short and so long ago.

A little note: Steven Tappan works Dining on the Cove as a head chef, you heard a little from him in the last Heredon update. Also, does anyone recognize the woman standing behind Dina in the bridal shop? It’s only the back of her head. I wonder why she was in that particular section…

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