Susan Taylor (2006-2009)
Parents: Amanda Vale
Adoptive Parents: David & Judith Taylor
Step Parents: Dan Baker (former, deceased); Graham Walters (former, deceased); Peter Baker (stepfather)
Siblings: Ryan Baker (half)
Step Siblings: Beth Hunter (former, deceased); Drew Curtis
Marital Status: Aden Jefferies (2009)
Occupation: Student; Journalist
Belle Taylor first arrived in the Bay at sixteen years old having just found out she was adopted and on a mission to locate her birth mother.
Her adopted parents, the strictly religious David and Judith Taylor had bought her up in a very controlled and over-disciplined manner and as a teenager Belle had rebelled against their conservative lifestyle, getting in with the wrong crowd, busking on the streets and rejecting Susan, the name they gave her.
Belle was first seen in Summer Bay when Ric found her living rough in the bush and befriended her, bringing her food and even hiding her out in his bedroom. Her presence in the house was unearthed by Ric’s foster mother Sally who insisted that with her husband Flynn terminally ill they couldn’t let her stay with them at present. Belle continued to turn up though, much to the disgust of Ric’s girlfriend Cassie Turner. Things came to a head when Belle accidentally knocked Flynn down the stairs, weakening him and bringing forward his death and a horrified, Belle took off.
Caught breaking into Irene’s car on her return to the Bay and on realising that her natural parents really didn’t care for her, a sympathetic Irene offered her a room in her house. Belle was quick to pick up where she had left off with Ric, spending time with him and eventually planting a kiss on him in front of his girlfriend Cassie. Her scheming paid off with Ric and Cassie splitting and Ric and Belle getting together soon after.
A master manipulator, Belle quickly befriended Lucas, causing him to split from his girlfriend Matilda, Cassie’s best friend. However behind the scenes was an insecure girl desperate to track down her birth mother in the hope that she would finally get the love and attention she craved. Confiding in Ric they set about locating her birth mother and the trail led to Katherine (Kitty) Lansdowne, revealed to be Belle’s grandmother. Kitty devastated Belle with the revelation that her mother had died but the viewers knew differently however as Belle’s mother was revealed to be Amanda Vale.
A few weeks later Belle was surprised to see Kitty in the Bay and when it was revealed that Amanda was Kitty’s daughter, Belle finally came to the realisation that her mother was the woman she despised. The explosion at Jack and Martha’s wedding and the subsequent chopper crash that left Belle, amongst others, lost in the Bush led to Amanda miraculously ‘feeling’ Belle being bitten by a spider and leading the rescue teams to them.
With Belle devastated by Ric’s decision to get back with his ex-Cassie and desperate to win him back, Amanda came up with elaborate schemes to help and caught up on the idea of having a ‘cool’ mum relations thawed between the two and Belle moved in with Amanda.
Eventually realising that Ric was not going to be won round Belle got together with Drew Curtis until Drew suddenly dumped her, seemingly for another woman. Turning to Amanda for support Belle was devastated when Amanda confided that she was in fact the other woman and Belle ran straight back to Irene and her friend Lucas, eventually getting together with him.
Drew’s realisation that he still loved her threw a spanner in the works though, especially as Belle seemingly still had feelings for him. Denying how she feels, Belle accepted a lift home only to be kidnapped as part of her Aunt Kelli’s revenge plan against Amanda. Found safe and well by Peter Baker, relations between Belle and Amanda began to thaw once more and Belle continued to stand by Lucas, fighting her feelings for Drew. Pushing Drew into the arms of new girl Lisa, Belle was devastated to think that they’d slept together so slept with Lucas, only to realise that Drew and Lisa hadn’t slept together after all. With Lisa increasingly suspicious that Drew and Belle had feelings for each other and receiving confirmation from Drew, she announced the news to a devastated Lucas, breaking his heart but paving the way for what some of our forum members call a ‘Drelle’ reunion.
With Kelli still on the scene though things were not running smoothly at home and Belle became increasing suspicious of her Aunt as things kept on going wrong for Amanda. When Kelli’s falsified pictures of Amanda cheating were revealed on her wedding day, Drew, furious that Belle knew all along split up with her.
Belle continued to stand by her mother but with Kelli continually spiking her drinks and making it seem like Amanda was continually breaking her promises Belle eventually moved out, back in with Irene. The final act of Kelli’s revenge plan, to drug and leave Amanda for dead in a car crash was foiled when Amanda unwittingly gave Belle the spiked drink. Collapsing at the Diner Belle was rushed to hospital and quickly realised who was behind her poisoning, fortunately Peter had evidence to back her claims up and was just in time to save Amanda and arrest Kelli. Reunited with her mother Belle was then devastated when Amanda decided to leave town and the two had an emotional farewell.
Belle and Drew continued their on off romance, nearly getting together on a couple of occasions. At his birthday party it seemed like they would be getting back together but then Belle caught Drew kissing another girl and was unimpressed with his claims that he thought it was Belle. Furious that Drew had cheated on her Belle stole his assignment to get him into trouble but felt guilty when Drew used her action as a catalyst to quit school.
She agreed to Jules’s idea for a pool party in order to get back in Drew’s bad books and stole the key to her mother’s empty house. Her plan seemed to work until she caught sight of a text message from the girl he kissed and she furiously threw his phone into the pool before storming off. He managed to talk her round though and they reunited during a shift in the Diner with Belle convincing him not to cover for Jules anymore.
She and Drew were okay for a while but they clashed after he reacted furiously to news that Jules had tried it on with his mother, forcing Belle to remind him that he had had an affair with her mother. She was keen to give Jazz a chance despite Drew’s doubts but changed her mind when Jazz let it be known that she didn’t agree with Drew being ‘exclusive’ to Belle.
Determined to make amends Jazz managed to get Drew concert tickets for him and Belle but Drew sold them to Dom, Ric’s old colleague, in exchange for car parts. Drew finally managed to get replacement tickets but their night was ruined when Belle was mugged and unknown to them Dom pocketed Belle’s wallet and Jazz’s dead mother’s necklace, that Drew had stolen to loan to Belle. Belle was surprised when Dom returned her ‘lost’ necklace.
As Drew got more involved in drag racing and buying cheap parts to fix his car, Belle tried to talk him out of getting involved, pointing out that if Dom and his ex Lisa were involved, it was bound to be dodgy. Drew refused to listen though and Dom was able to cause trouble between them. He invited Belle round to his and got her drunk and stoned before refusing to let her go. She was rescued by Lisa and was later devastated when Lisa was killed as a result of a drag race.
Belle was furious to realise that Drew was covering the fact he had stolen car parts by refusing to tell the truth about what happened to Lisa but her convincing him to tell the truth caused trouble between them when he was charged. Jazz persuaded Belle to convince Dom to help Drew out and he agreed, if she kissed him. She did and Dom implicated himself to the police to get Drew off the hook.
Having got through her exams, Belle was informed, thanks to a mix up via Annie, that Drew was going to propose. His surprise turned out to be a car and they headed off on a short road trip. Their trip was interrupted by a phone call saying that Belle had got the cadetship at the local paper that she was working towards and she wanted to head home. Drew wasn’t keen though and they rowed. Belle stormed off and was later kidnapped by Dom. Holding her hostage Belle tried to convince him to let her leave, even going so far as to kiss him.
With Dom’s Uncle’s help, Drew managed to track Belle down and rescue her but as they tried to escape Dom ran out in front of them and Drew accidentally ran him over. He initially drove off but at Belle’s insistence they returned only to find blood on the ground but Dom missing. She confided in him about her kiss with Dom and after initial anger they made up and went to bed together where they were unknowingly watched by Dom.
She was shocked a few weeks later when Dom turned up at the Diner obviously in a bad way and told her he hadn’t had medical attention because he didn’t want to get her into trouble. She convinced him to go to hospital where Rachel was suspicious of his injuries and as he was rushed into theatre she told him she loved him, much to Drew’s disgust. Whilst visiting Dom in hospital she incurred Morag’s wrath by taking a picture of Reverend Hall which made him look like a monster and Drew’s wrath for visiting Dom in the first place.
She gave Dom a reference for a job in The Diner but was furious with him when he failed a test set by Irene which showed him to be a liar and a waste of space. Angrily she forced him to leave town. She was devastated when Drew’s Uncle Dan died but upset him by heading to the beach to cover a story from work rather than support him at the memorial. She put aside her morals to cover a story that painted Aden a a hero and another which painted Sally as a villain. Drew resigned on Belle’s behalf and she was furious with him, instantly retracting it and confronting him. An argument of magnificent proportions followed and Belle and Drew both said things that they could not take back. Drew decided to leave town but later returned and said an emotional goodbye to Belle.
With her job no more Belle was delighted to be offered a job helping Leah set up The Den. Things started badly though when Gavin, Belle’s ex boss attempted to sabotage them by printing negative articles in the paper. Belle furiously confronted him but later she and Leah got their own back when they managed to back Gavin into a corner and force him to print an apology. Unfortunately it was too little too late for The Den and Nicole’s indirect sabotage of the opening night meant the business soon folded and Leah and Belle were given jobs in The Diner. This new role bought Belle into close contact with Aden and it soon became clear there was a spark between them. Aden climbed in through her bedroom window while drunk and though Belle confined him to the floor, she was woken by Annie and Geoff to find an unembarrassed Aden in her bed.
He later broke in again and spotted pictures on her laptop that she had taken of him. Teasing her he returned later with a camera and tried to take a picture of her claiming that if he was to take a picture of her it would be ‘because of the person”. Though she initially rebuffed his attempts to kiss her they did share a kiss. Confiding only in Matilda, Belle wanted to keep things a secret but her denial to Nicole upset him so badly that she was forced to go public in order to win him back.
Things went downhill only a short time later when Belle wanted things to go further but Aden pushed her off and called her a skank. Gutted Belle accepted a date with new cop in town Angelo but seeing them together made Aden jealous and in an emotional episode he revealed to her that his grandfather had abused him which was why he was scared to be intimate. Belle agreed to support him and a few weeks later she was delighted when Aden, having been going to secret counselling, was able to finally sleep with her.
As she and Aden got closer she lent him her savings so he could pay the mortgage on the house but the money was stolen. In the Olympic cliffhanger Belle realized that Aden was not out of town as he had claimed but that he was actually hiding out in his house with Rachel and his father as hostages. Taking Belle hostage too she witnessed him undergo a complete break down and after a successful rescue mission led by Angelo, Aden was admitted to psychiatric care and Belle ended things with him.
She attempted to move on and began dating Angelo but with Mattie having left town she began to feel disheartened and uninspired until she was contacted by a guy named Murray and told that the council was in on a plan to build on a toxic waste dump site. Horrified, Belle attempted to help Murray uncover the truth but they were thwarted at the town meeting and the proposal was passed by the council. She was part of a protest against the site and ended up being arrested by Angelo who later managed to get the charges against her dropped. She declared to Aden at his trial that she was still in love with him but he rejected her so she slept with Angelo. Thanks to Annie’s science project Belle uncovered a possible link between the contaminated soil and local cancer cases. Enlisting Rachel’s help she managed to get consent from Dane to access his son Joe’s medical records.
The Developers though were onto her and when she received a phone call telling her Aden was injured at work she raced there only to find it was a hoax to get her out of the house while plans Aden had obtained for her, were stolen back. He received a phone call threatening her boyfriend and told Aden who forced her to admit she still loved him and they kissed but were interrupted by a bleeding Angelo who had been attacked. Unable to break up with him while he was in hospital, Belle continued cheating with Aden behind his back. She had problems of her own when her car was deliberately run off the roads and the medical consent forms stolen.
Soon after, Angelo found out and publicly humiliated Belle and intimidated her. After she reported his intimidation to the Police he lost his temper and threw furniture around the room. Later Aden found her badly beaten and she was taken to hospital and named Angelo as her attacker. The Police couldn’t find evidence to charge him though and Belle became very depressed and Rachel sent her for counselling, saying she was suffering from post traumatic depression.
Aden wanted to take her to his school formal but she refused. She later turned up to apologise to him but as she helped Leah out in the kitchen, Kane’s car, having swerved to avoid Melody, hit the building, leaving Belle trapped and fighting for her life. She came round in hospital and was diagnosed with a lumbar compression fracture but she became paranoid after hearing about Jack’s death and believed the Developers were out to get her. She didn’t want to leave the hospital but agreed to go to Aden ‘s.
She wrote an article on Jack and the development site, allowing her to bury her demons and the new editor offered her a job off the back of it. She was still struggling to cope though and turned to painkillers to help her get through but when Rachel refused to supply her she looked to other means. She was offered drugs by Freya and bought from her but when news spread of a supplier at school, Belle was forced to give Freya’s name to the Police. She managed to gloss over her own involvement by telling Charlie that she had been working undercover for the paper. Fortunately everyone believed her story.
She continued to cling to Aden and her pills and got high with rock star Liam Murphy while covering his concert. Her latest story was rejected by her editor as being a mess and Belle turned to more painkillers to get her through the stress. She walked in on her married boss with another reporter and he offered her the temporary editor’s job to keep her quiet. She was accepted but was left devastated when the bosses overlooked her in favour of a colleague who despised her.
Put onto weddings, Belle used an interview with two Doctors at the hospital to get pills from them, but her new boss at work was onto her and found pills in her desk drawer. Sacked Belle told everyone she had quit but Nicole knew better and after realising that Belle was still addicted, she told Aden . Furious, Aden confronted her and their conversation was overheard by Annie and quickly became the talk of the town. She refused to get help and instead went cold turkey on her own but struggled to cope without Aden ‘s support.
He eventually returned to her side but she endured a torrid few weeks before insisting she was clean. Rachel though was unconvinced and when she was upset at Rachel and Tony’s wedding, Belle took some more pills and collapsed. Rushed to hospital and with her stomach pumped, Rachel insisted she go to rehab and had her committed against her will. In rehab she managed to get clean with the help and support of Liam, who was also a resident at the clinic.
Aden though refused to have anything to do with her and ashamed, she refused to let Annie and Geoff visit her until Pippa talked her round. She was offered money by her editor to take pictures of Liam but refused. She later did take pictures of him with his son and asked Annie to get them developed but the next day they ended up in the paper with a story that she was seeing Liam in rehab. Devastated she asked for day release and tried to find out who had sold the photographs only to walk in on Aden with Nicole. She later returned to confront him and the conversation was overheard by Roman and Charlie. Back at the clinic Liam told her the boy at the photo shop had confessed to selling her photographs and they made friends again.
She was told she could go home from rehab but a chat with Liam and a visit from Aden, who told her her dealer was off the streets and that he was sorry for sleeping with Nicole, saw her ready to head home. Back in the Bay she and Aden admitted they still wanted each other and she warmed towards him after he defended her against a photographer trying to take pictures. Liam’s arrival in the Bay stirred things up for them though as Belle let him move in and refused to turn her back on him, despite Aden’s disapproval. Liam later announced that he wanted a relationship with Belle but within days he had fallen off the wagon and ended up on a roof. Aden managed to talk him down and Belle insisted he had to go back to rehab.
Belle soon turned her attention to Irene, who was in jail. Belle was concerned Irene was drinking again so she confronted her and Irene finally broke down and confessed all. Belle then told her that she had to stay off the booze for the good of her loved ones. However, the pressure of Irene’s situations, looking after Geoff and Annie and Claudia’s pregnancy began to take its toll on Belle and she turned to Aden for support. Aden was worried he was distracting Belle from her own recovery but she reassured him she needed his friendship at the moment. Later, Belle was devastated to hear that despite some new forensic evidence the Police were still going to charge Irene with murder.
When Aden discovered Belle was missing her NA meetings they got into an argument. Later, Belle was tempted by Claudia’s sleeping pills but asked Aden to take them away so she would not be tempted and they forgot their earlier fight. Belle was then delighted that the murder charge against Irene was dropped and her happiness was increased further when she and Aden got back together.
When Irene was released from jail, Belle was worried about the effect her drinking would have on everyone and encouraged Irene to tell Annie and Geoff about it. After Annie discovered Irene drinking, Belle tried unsuccessfully to confiscate Irene’s booze which later resulted in Irene hitting Annie. Belle tried her best to help the family overcome their problems and was on hand to support Irene in her first AA meeting and when she missed Lou’s funeral.
Soon after, Aden asked Belle to move in with him, she was reluctant at first because of Irene but eventually accepted his offer. Despite a few teething problems, they were soon blissfully happy. Aden decided he was so crazy about Belle he wanted to propose so borrowed money from a loan shark to pay for it. Meanwhile, Belle’s health was beginning to cause some concern when she collapsed in pain in the Diner. She dismissed Colleen’s concerns but quickly made an appointment with Rachel and had some tests done. It was then clear there was something seriously wrong with her. She tried to keep her hospital visit a secret but Aden found out so Belle covered by saying it was just a pregnancy scare.
When Aden was beaten up by the loan shark he had to confess everything about the engagement ring to Belle. He told her that he knew she wouldn’t say yes to his proposal so Belle, realising life was too short, surprised him by asking Aden to marry her instead. Aden immediately accepted the proposal and started thinking about a big white wedding. However, Belle wanted to get married as soon possible and asked Rachel to help her apply to get married within 2 weeks, instead of the usual month. Meanwhile, Belle decided she wanted to find her father in time for the wedding but her loved ones didn’t think it was a good idea. She was soon cheered up when Aden managed to get the engagement ring back from the loan shark and proposed to her properly, despite the fact that she was keeping her grave medical condition a secret from him.
During an appointment at the hospital, Rachel told her that she has organised for Aden and Belle to get married within a fortnight. She also encouraged Belle to tell Aden the truth but Belle couldn’t bring herself to tell the man she loved that she was dying. She tried on a few occasions to tell him the terrible truth but each time she couldn’t find the words. She was also upset that she had to give up on finding her father as she had reached a dead end, despite Amanda’s help. After an emotional discussion with Rachel, Belle decided to spend her time leading up to the wedding being happy and resolved to tell Aden the truth after they were married.
The wedding came around in no time at all. Despite her initial reluctance, Aden convinced Belle to have a Hens night with the girls. However, her happiness at being about to be married was dealt a blow when she attended an appointment at the hospital with Rachel and her specialist. It seemed the cancer was spreading quickly and Belle was running out of time. She managed to put on a brave face at her Hens night and had a good time with her friends until Rachel going into labour ended the party prematurely. After driving Rachel to the hospital, Belle returned home to find Aden drunk on the sofa. He spoke a few words to Belle which caused the pain of her predicament to show through as she started to cry as she tucked him in. Later, Nicole came around to bring a gift and letter from Roman. Belle and Nicole talked through their previous problems and it gave Belle the idea that Nicole should be Aden ‘s best ‘man’. Aden and Nicole weren’t sure on the idea but when Nicole came around to the house to accept she caught Belle taking pills. Thinking that Belle was using drugs again, Nicole said she was going to tell Aden . Belle was then forced to tell Nicole that she was taking the medication because she was dying.
Nicole was distressed that Belle had no intention of telling Aden about her condition until after the wedding and pulled out of her role as best ‘man’. Nicole wanted to tell Aden but Belle convinced her to keep quiet for the time being. The stress of the situation on top of the wedding preparations and her mother, Amanda’s, arrival eventually took its toll on Belle and she collapsed. Nicole found her and rushed her to hospital. When she was stable Nicole pleaded with her to tell Aden the truth but Belle again refused. However, Nicole couldn’t keep the secret from Aden any longer and confessed the truth about Belle’s illness. A devastated Aden rushed to the hospital but was heartbroken when he saw her. Belle tried to explain why she kept the truth from him but he didn’t want to know and left. Belle was desperate to talk to him so she discharged herself from hospital. However, when she arrived at his house he refused to answer the door, despite her desperate pleas.
The next day everyone prepared for the wedding as normal, including Belle, despite not knowing if Aden would turn up or not. Aden struggled with the situation but a letter from Roman made him realise that he belonged with Belle. Belle joined the wedding guests at Stewarts Point for the ceremony and waited and hoped that Aden would arrive. Just as she was about to give up on him, he arrived and told her that he loved her and wanted to be her husband. The pair exchanged vows and rings and were pronounced man and wife. After the ceremony, Aden told her that even if he only has a short amount of time with her, then he’ll still be the luckiest man alive.
A week later Belle and Aden arrived back in the Bay, having cut their honeymoon short. They came back so they could break the news to everyone about her illness. Annie and Geoff were devastated and couldn’t hide their upset but Irene shut down and went straight back to work. Later after Irene had time to process the news she went to see Belle and they both broke down.
The next day Belle persuaded Aden to go to work, despite feeling very ill. Aden asked Nicole to look after Belle while he was at work and Nicole and Belle spent the day together, eventually going for a swim in the sea. However, the experience took its toll on Belle and she confessed to Nicole that she didn’t think she had much time left. Belle asked her not to tell Aden how sick she was but asked her to call Irene to get everyone to come over the next day. She also asked Aden to call Amanda as well so she could tell her what was going on. Aden spent the night watching over her, terrified that the end was approaching. The next morning Liam Murphy arrived to apologise for his behaviour when he was on drugs. Oblivious to her condition, Liam wouldn’t leave so Aden chucked him out. Later, Amanda and Ryan arrived to hear the bad news. Amanda refused to believe she was dying and, against Belle and Aden ‘s wishes, arranged for her to be taken to hospital for a second opinion. With the help of Sid and Rachel, Belle got her wish and was discharged.
On her release from hospital, Belle said she wanted to walk along the beach. The walk was too much for Belle and Aden had to carry her back to Irene’s house. She said her goodbyes to everyone and reconciled with Amanda before dying peacefully in Aden’s arms during the night.
On the day of Belle’s funeral, Irene gave a moving Eulogy and Aden shared his thoughts that Belle being dead “sucks, big time”. When the mourners went outside they were given coloured balloons by a delivery man. Belle ordered them, and Annie said it was Belle’s way of telling them all to smile through their tears.
In a series of flashbacks, we saw Belle say her goodbyes to her loved ones. She gave Amanda forgiveness, she thanked Irene and told her how much she loved her and she gave Annie her camera and told her she had a great future ahead of her. She also asked Geoff to look after Annie and Irene and gave him the keys to her car and she gave Nicole the necklace that Aden bought for her, with Nicole’s help.