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"Papá!" I extend my arms up for him to lift me up.

He picks me up, twirling me around, his smile huge. "How was school, mariquita?"

My nose scrunches up. "You know I don't like it there. But my English teacher said my poem was very good and she liked my essay about the book we had to read."

"Really? That's cool! You're so smart. You have that from me, but you shouldn't tell your mother I said that."

He doesn't need to worry about that. My mother gets angry really quickly and she can be mean sometimes. She screams at papá a lot. I see him being sad sometimes. I don't like it. Papá is cool.

"Cassandra!" It's her voice. She has a high voice that can be annoying when she wants it to be. There's no papá anymore. It's really dark in here, but I can see her face. It's angry. As always. "You good for nothing child! Bastardo really had to leave me here with a whore like you."

Tears prickle my eyes. "Mamá, what did I ever do to you?" I ask, my voice small.

Her nose scrunches. "You look like him. And you act like him, too." She shakes her head in disgust. "No one will ever love you. Just like no one ever loved him. Not even me."

I know she's talking about my father. It hurts. It hurts to listen to this. I loved him, mamá.

I wake up, startled and disoriented. The covers are suffocating me and I try to kick them off me to free my body. I'm trying to catch my breath. I can't breathe. My lungs hurt, my throat is closed off.

I put my hand on my throat, coughing, still unable to breathe. Tears spill from my eyes.

I feel hands on my shoulders and I want to scream, but nothing comes out. I try to shake them off, but they hold me tighter. "Cassandra."

That voice. That familiar voice. He turns the bedside light on and I turn my head to look at him. Whatever he sees on my face makes him panic. "Breathe, baby," he says, brushing my hair back.

I shake my head, still coughing, tears falling from my eyes. "I can't," I choke out, taking small, fast breaths.

Adrian pulls me towards him, kissing my temple. "Shhh. A bad dream?" he asks.

I nod against his bare chest. It wasn't just a dream. They were memories.

"It's okay. Calm down, Cassandra. Breathe."

It takes me some minutes to calm down and breathe normally again. But the tears don't stop falling. They don't stop until I'm a crying mess in Adrian's arms that are tightly wrapped around me, trying to soothe me and calm me down.

"Te necesito," I tell him, sitting up. I need you.

"I'm here," he says softly.

"No. I need you," I say with need perfectly heard in my voice. I don't even try to hide it.

"You have me, Cassandra."

"Adrian, por favor," I plead. I don't even know for what. I just need him. Only him. I throw myself around his neck, kissing him. I feel it takes him by surprise, but he kisses me back. I'm desperate. I press my hand above his pyjama bottoms, trying to slide it in, but he stops me, a low noise coming from his throat.

"No. Not like this."

I whine. "Por favor. I need this. Make me forget."

I feel him shake his head against my temple, still holding me in place. "No, baby. Not like that," he says once more.

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