I See You

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7

Dawn

*David's POV*

"Mommy!" Dawn squealed, shooting into her mother's arms.

"Ah, my baby!" As soon as they collided, Dani stood up and twirled her giggling daughter around before planting a loud kiss on her cheek. "Mwah!"

We had all waited outside as the bus dropped off the children. Royce's little feet weren't carrying him as fast as his big sister, but he still ran straight to us. Both Casper and I stooped to his level to welcome him home from school then I carried him in my arms.

Almost instantly, Royce buried his face in the crook of my neck, attempting to nap there. I smiled, holding my boy closer and stroking the hair on his small head. "Someone's tired, I can see. Okay, let's get you two inside."

"How was school, baby girl?" Casper asked Dawn while we all walked back through the tall gates surrounding our house. "Did you find out who they cast in the play?"

"Oh, right! You auditioned last week!" Dani remembered. "Did my fierce butterfly get Dorothy?"

Dawn pouted. "No, I didn't." Her eyes grew sad. "I thought I did really good."

"That's okay. Did you get another part at least?"

She was quiet as she shook her head no, and her mother proceeded to comfort her. "You'll be fine, baby. There will be lots more plays."

"Want some ice cream to cheer you up? We bought the cookie dough flavor," I offered which made her light up.

"You need a meal and a nap," my husband said. "You can have ice cream later."

"I'm sleepy; can I eat later?"

"Yeah, let's get you guys to sleep." I led the way, heading up the stairs and into Royce's room. I sat his drowsy form on the bed so I could take off his little backpack and jacket. He crawled into the blanket and I kissed his cheek. "I love you, baby." I stood up, leaving the door open before venturing to his sister's adjoining room.

Dani was getting her into some comfortable, soft clothes. "Casper said he'll finish making food," she told me, helping Dawn into bed. "Alright. Sleep, and then we'll talk about your day, hm?"

"Okay."

"Good." Dani sat down beside her, stroking her hair until she relaxed and eventually dozed off. "I swear, they make it look like magic," my sister whispered to me. "I could never hit the bed and sleep within three minutes."

I smiled, watching the steady rise and fall of Dawn's chest.

"So. You gonna tell me what happened between you and Cas?"

I folded my arms and sighed. "We should talk somewhere else."

"It's okay, David. She's asleep. Just... out with it. You're killing me here. It can't be that bad, right?"

"Well... I hope not. I'm still trying to gather all the details but Casper may or may not have been unfaithful." I could barely say it out loud to her. I felt my throat closing up.

My sister's lips pressed together until she couldn't hold herself together, and she snickered. "I'm sorry," she laughed. "Casper? Cheated on you? You?"

"This amuses you," I observed.

"We're talking about the same man—yeah, there's no way." She shook her head. "He didn't do it. I know him."

"And I don't? I'm his husband," I sadly stated.

"Exactly, which makes you prone to jealousy and clouded judgment."

I swallowed, sitting down on the window bed. "This isn't about jealousy."

"Yeah it is. Look, you share your your life, your family, your secrets, thoughts, and your body with that gentle, sweet soul of a man. Of course you'd get jealous if the next person batted their eyelashes at him. As you should."

"Dani... it's more than that for me, okay? We made vows, pledged our lives to each other. We promised no secrets—next thing I know, he's suspended from his job."

She sighed. "Vows are important, yes, but they're still just words. His actions speak much louder. And his love for you blares like a siren."

I considered her perspective, taking it to heart. I honestly wished I could think the same way. Her thought process was blunt and logical, and I admired that.

"I wish I was in your head sometimes," she admitted. I was a bit surprised, considering I wished the same thing about her.

"Why is that?"

"I don't know. You've always been the calm and collected brother of mine. Darren's more of a case, but you... you're levelheaded. Down to earth, understanding. Incredibly patient. But I can't help but wonder... is your mind a chaotic mess of emotions that you manage to perfectly hide from people?"

"You're saying I come across unemotional?"

"Yes and no. All I mean is that you're so calm and sweet on the outside. I wish I knew what happens on the inside." She shrugged. "Right now you don't know for sure if the love of your life cheated. You're hurt, but the only person you're transparent with is the one person you can't bear to look at right now. I can see you telling yourself to hold it together, not to lose your cool. But it's okay to be torn; it's okay to be angry or sad. It's okay to show it."

I nodded, looking down at my intertwined fingers before gazing back at her. "He's the love of my life," I quietly said.

"He is."

"I'm scared. I don't want any of this to be true. I want..." I felt my eyes growing wet so I closed them and exhaled. "I want to be everything he needs. People cheat and have affairs when they need something their partners fail to provide. I want to know where I failed." My eyebrows furrowed in despair and I opened my eyes to see Dani's attentive, concerned expression.

"Oh, David... I don't believe he cheated. I definitely don't think you failed. Sometimes things just... they happen. Find out more. Just find out more, okay?"

***

~Casper's POV~

I walked into the master bedroom after kissing the children goodnight. I didn't know what to expect after the day I'd had. David was a very warm, approachable man but I'd never been in a position where I hurt him.

"I told my sister," he informed as I entered. I quietly shut the door then nodded. I wondered how Dani took the news, but I didn't have to ask. "She doesn't think you did it."

I took a breath before moving to the bed where he sat. I positioned myself near him, keeping a respectable distance.

"She said it's because she knows who you are," he continued, finally looking at me. His eyes were dark in the dim light. "I know you too. I know you wouldn't do this, so why am I hurt?"

My shoulders fell sadly as I swallowed. "You don't believe me when I say I was never unfaithful to you."

"It seems like... you're trying to convince yourself that you didn't do anything."

"But I didn't. I never talked to him the way I talk to you, never touched him the way I touch you. We never kissed or... or anything. I don't need to convince myself that. I know it to be true."

It took a few seconds for him to say something, and he ended up nodding his head. "Okay. Could you finish telling me what happened?"

"Yes, whatever you want," I agreed.

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