The courtship of Zende Forrester Dominguez and Nicole Avant on CBS’s “The Bold and Beautiful” has withstood the kind of setbacks that would break any real life couple. Sadly, there’s one obstacle when it comes to daytime TV couples that can’t be beat: contract renewal.

As Soap Cities reports, Rome Flynn announced that he will not be returning to reprise his role of Zende Forrester Dominguez, a young ingenue poised to carry the torch for his family’s design empire and most notably for fans, Nicole Avant’s husband.

The news has broken the hearts of fans who have rooted for the couple ever since they watched them meet as interns and then pledge their love to another in a marriage ceremony in February 2017.

Flynn’s statement on his shocking departure reads, in part:

So many people to thank but I want to be specific in thanking my counter part through my time here on B&B. @reignedwards You’re such a joy to have worked with and an amazing talent! They don’t just give out nominations for best younger actress in a drama series 2X IN A ROW. But beyond that, you’re very special to me. You helped me grow as an artist and a person. We took on portraying this young black couple in love. We worked hard on keeping it authentic and true. So many hours of work on our own. We had to be vulnerable with each other for this to last, I wanna thank you for letting me in. We laughed together, we cried together, we went to war together & that’s what love is. Thank you Reigny #zencole

Edwards issued her own statement wishing her onscreen husband well as he moves on to new ventures:

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Two and a half years. We have put on this, at times crazy, but beautiful and strong love story. For two and a half years. It's hard to really even describe the love and respect I have for you. I don't know how many days off we came in to make sure that when the camera's started rolling these characters would touch people. Whether that was simply by capturing the sweet moments of young love or diving into the heart aching moments of heartbreak. We grew as our characters grew. As artists and as people. The responsibility of this young black couple we've never taken lightly. This was a crazy kickass journey that I never expected to go on. I am honored and so blessed to have worked with you and beyond that to know you and have you as a friend. You are extraordinarily talented! I'm so proud of you and I can't wait to see all that God has for you! Love you Roman!❤️ #Zencole

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And while no soap opera is immune to cast changes, it seems Zende and Nicole’s love story reeled many viewers in:

Amid heartbreak, fans have been reliving their favorite moments of the star-crossed lovers:

But one big question remains:

As Soap Cities reports, the couple had dreams of becoming parents — now how will that happen with Nicole’s husband out of the picture?

Perhaps this comment from Edwards’s post alludes to what the future has in store for Ms. Avant:

I’m sad bc I was so looking forward to what was in store for Zende and Nicole. I hope they leave the door open for him to return.

#Zencole fans will just have to wait and see. Where there’s love, there’s hope …

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