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This is my first Ric/Maddy fan fiction so tell me what you think! This is the prologue and the first few chapters combined but the next will be shorter I just wanted to set everything up.


Matilda hadn’t been in Summer Bay for a year, it hadn’t seemed such a long time when she was busy trying to survive at uni but she knew to her mother it was an eternity and that she’d hear just how long that was as soon as she saw her again.

It made her laugh that she first came to the bay kicking and screaming and as a selfish spoilt brat. Her siblings would tease that little had changed since then but in reality she left the same place a different person and for the first few months she really missed it.

University was definitely a struggle, her and Cassie left together but once their different courses began and assignments piled up, they may as well have been in different countries for all the time they spent together. Matilda understood as she had new friends to try and see as well as Cassie but it was actual proof that things were different and that the past was really behind her.

Matilda was majoring in english and physcology, she had enjoyed both at high school but when they occupied her every thought for months she began to grow slightly bitter at having chosen them. She was a mess the first month, just trying to cope with the adjustment of leaving her family, not just the Hunters but the people of Summer Bay and enter into dorms with strangers, most of whom partied all night long.

Cassie gained instant popularity with her easy going attitude and charisma but to Matilda’s chagrin she had become a bit of a party girl and her latest boyfriend Greg, was not a great influence on her, but there was no telling Cassie that. It was one of the reasons Maddy stayed away, she didn’t want to cling on to Cassie and her limelight like she used to, she wanted to make it on her own.

“Hey are you going to be studying tonight Maddy?”

Meg, her roommate asked her this every night.

“Yeah for as long as my eyes stay open.”

And the answer was always the same.

It was only until she settled into a routine and found her feet that she began to loosen up.

She called Lucas often in the beginning, they had split up more out of convenience than discord but she still loved him even as a friend and missed his company. He was in Melbourne but they talked often, yet by the end of the year they were down to infrequent emails. Maddie had told herself it was inevitable but it didn’t make her feel any better.

It was a week after Cassie and her had had a fight that the nightmare began.

His name was Martin and he was a friend of Greg’s. Cassie had tried to play cupid and got Maddie to hang out with them when Martin was around, her eagerness to set them up was painfully obvious and the more it went on the more irritated it made her.

“Can you stop playing matchmaker please?”

“But Martin adores you!”

“I’ve spent like ten minutes in proper conversation with him how could he?”

“You’re a gorgeous, fun girl why wouldn’t he? He asks about you every time I see him I just thought you two would be perfect.”

“No, me and Lucas were perfect and even that finished so I don’t want perfect again too soon.”

“Fine just don’t say I didn’t try.”

Maddie rolled her eyes and walked off. Then Martin started texting her and out of politeness she replied, he was sweet and complimentary but she was in no mood for a fling let alone a relationship, but then he began calling.

After a while they did become friends but Maddie had warned him there would be no romance and Martin seemed fine with it.

Then at Greg’s birthday party he slipped something into her drink and the rest of the night was a blur.

She just remembered waking up and fumbling for her clothes in a house she had never been in before. She left alone and in tears and it had haunted her ever since.

Martin denied it all and she had no evidence to prove it was him so she stayed in desperate silence. She didn’t attend classes for a few days and simply stayed in her room and cried, she called her mum on the third day of her depression.


“Mum it’s me.”

“Oh sweetheart it’s good to hear your voice.”

When she heard her mum on the other end of the line she burst into sobs and was consoled by her. She didn’t tell her she was raped, she’d only worry and she had had enough drama for this lifetime so she lied and said it was about school. Her mum told her she should come home for the summer which was only in a few weeks and she didn’t want to refuse, she couldn’t.

“So how’s Summer Bay?”

“Oh you know how it is, hectic but good, me and Tony went out for dinner at a new seafood restaurant in Yabbie Creek and Lucas came down for a few days and told us to say hi to you if we talked to you.”

“That’s good.”

“Look don’t worry about the workload it’s always difficult the first year but once you’re on the gorgeous beach you can go over your notes in peace and quiet and you’ll fly through next year.”

It was unlikely but just hearing her mum reassuring her made it seem like it was the obvious solution. Maddie would go back to Summer bay and forget her problems, she wasn’t going to let what a horrible guy did to her ruin her life.

So once the semester ended she expertly fitted all her stuff into her little car and drove back home. Cassie was staying with Greg’s family in Tasmania for the summer so she’d have to have the radio for company.

She thought about all the people in Summer Bay she’d get to reunite with, and then Ric popped into her head. He was still in Summer Bay working as a mechanic, all of them had headed away to continue their education and he had got left behind.

She smiled when she thought of him, they hadn’t really kept in touch but she knew he wouldn’t mind. He was like the protective older brother she had never wanted, she already had two but he was her first best friend in the bay and still was.

She had changed so much in a year she hoped he’d still want to be friends with her, she felt stupid even questioning it but she knew she was hard to get on with in the past.


Chapter 1: The naked truth

She was ten minutes out of Summer bay now and her excitement was increasing at the thought of seeing her mum. She finally allowed herself to smile when the engine began to choke.

“No baby please don’t do this to me now!”

She pulled over to the side of the deserted country road just in time for it to finally give up. She slammed her hands on the dashboard in frustration.

“Why? Why now? I look after you don’t I?”

She was about to continue her rant when she realised the absurdity of lecturing an inanimate object. She sat back in her seat and put her palms over her eyes to shield herself from the sun.

She took off her top so that she just had a flimsy singlet on and rolled her skirt up into a mini skirt so she wouldn’t fry. Matilda knew the road wasn’t used that often, it was the more scenic way into the town but not the fastest. Matilda tried her cell phone but there was no reception so she put her hair in a messy ponytail and got out of the car.

She crouched down by the wheels and stroked the side of the car lovingly.

“I’m not angry at you really, you’re way overdue for a check up.”

Matilda wasn’t a doctor, hell she wasn’t even a mechanic but she knew the diagnosis wasn’t good for her vehicle and in desperation she had thought about walking the rest of the way but the heat alone would be too dangerous without any water.

Then suddenly an old car she didn’t recognise came speeding down the road, Maddy smiled at her good fortunate and hailed it down with her arms.

“What seems to be the problem?”

The older man called out from his ute.

“I don’t know she’s got a full tank of petrol but she just died.”

The man grinned creepily as if it was something to be pleased about.

“I’ll get out and give it a once over for ya.”

Matilda smiled self consciously.

If anything was getting the once over right then it was Maddy and her previous experience with men had made her even more paranoid than before.

“So are you a mechanic?”

She thought if she made polite conversation it would distract him from staring at her cleavage.

“I have a few skills with cars, more with women though ay.”

He gave her a wink and slapped her on the bum playfully. She cringed but didn’t say anything, he was offering to help and she was in no position to turn him down.

After a five second glance at the car he sighed.

“Ain’t no use, she’s a goner she’ll need a proper mechanic.”

Matilda groaned.

“Okay well I’ll walk a bit and find some service for my phone and deal with it, thanks for your ‘help’ though.”

“Anything for a beauty like you.”

She rolled her eyes.

He got back in his truck and whistled at her.

“What now?”

“Are you coming?”

“Coming where?”

“With me? I’ll give you a ride into town, I’m not from around here so you’ll have to give me a tour as payment.”

Somehow Maddy didn’t think his idea of a ‘tour’ was anything she was willing to give.

“No I’d rather wait.”

“Don’t be stupid.”

He got back out and walked up to her.

“I’m offering my services, nicely may I add, and I’d consider it pretty rude if you didn’t accept.”

“Well I am a rude person so live with it.”

“You have a smart mouth for a young thing like yourself.”

He leaned his hands on either side of the car behind her so she was effectively pinned.

“I may have to teach you a lesson.”

Maddy began to cry, she pushed him hard out in front of her and began to scream and cry. She wasn’t even sure what she was saying but the anxieties and suppression of the past few weeks suddenly came pouring out in tears and long streams of obscenities. She didn’t even think she could scare a full grown man into driving away but she did. She didn’t even hear the car that had pulled up earlier and the young man that was calling out to her.


She looked over in both horror and relief to see Ric pacing over to her with a concerned look on his face.

She finally let out a breath and slumped back on to her car. Ric was by her side quickly and laid a warm hand on her shoulder.

“Are you okay?”

Maddy laughed bitterly.

“Well I’m not completely insane so I guess so.”

Ric gave her a confused smile.

“Well it’s good to see you even if you are cursing and screaming at other drivers.”

Maddy smiled.

“He was a jerk, he deserved it.”

“It’s not like you to go crazy over a jerk.”

“He crossed a line and my car just broke down so I let him have it.”

Ric glanced at the car.

“I can’t believe that pile of crap lasted this long.”

Maddy slapped him playfully on the arm.

“She can hear you!”

Ric rolled his eyes but gave her a half smile.

“Lucky I’m a mechanic then right?”

Maddy gave him an impromptu hug.

“It’s just lucky you’re here, and for the record it’s great to see you too.”

Ric helped Maddy transfer her bags into his car and they set out towards Summer Bay together.

“How come you used this road anyway Ric?”

Ric shrugged his shoulders.

“I heard you’d be back today so I thought I might catch you on the off chance.”

Maddy smiled.

“Looks like you were right.”

“Your knight in shining armour then?”

“Something like that.”

She looked at him sideways, he was still handsome with a great body but she tried not to wonder about her best friend’s ex in such a way.

“So how’s Cassie?”

He looked at her cautiously and turned back to the look out the window.


She hadn’t talked to Cassie for weeks.

“She’s fine I think.”

“You don’t know?”

“We don’t talk too much anymore.”

“I never thought I’d see the day!”

Maddy laughed bitterly.

“Right because I can’t survive without her huh? Well I have my own friends now it’s not so unusual that people grow apart!”

“Hey sorry I just meant that you were best friends when you left-”

“Well so were we.”

“Hey don’t blame me for us not talking it’s a two way street!”

Maddy closed her eyes.

“Sorry I’m not blaming you I’ve just had a bad week.”

“You haven’t changed much Matilda, you’re still blaming everything on anyone but yourself.”

“That’s not fair you don’t know what’s been going on with me!”

“So tell me!”

“Stop the car!”

Ric grinded to a halt as Matilda bolted out of the car. Rick rolled his eyes, typical Maddy making a scene.

As she began to slowly walk she felt the air turn slightly colder and she realised despite the sun, that there were some dark clouds in the sky.

“Maddy get back in the car!”

Maddy spun around to face him.

“You can’t tell me what to do.”

“No one ever could!”

“I have changed Ric but you still see me as the silly, stuck up little girl.”

Ric didn’t contest this and Maddy’s eyes began to tear up.

“I thought so.”

Ric sighed.

“I don’t think that but you’re doing everything you can to change my mind.”

She was about to argue again when the sky opened up and began soaking her and Ric.

Ric ran to her to physically drag her to the car but she walked up to him first and punched him playfully on the chest.

“You’re an idiot you know that?”

She began laughing as her clothes were wet through and through and she could see Ric’s muscles tense and move through his now see-through wife beater.

“Yeah well you’re a brat!”

She smiled and walked back to the car suddenly wondering why she had got so worked up in the first place.

By the time they got to the Holden house the rain had eased but they were still dripping wet and shaking.

“I’ll run in say hi and get you some of Lucas’ clothes so you have something dry to wear.”

“Are you sure? I mean I don’t want to mess up your family reunion.”

“You’re practically family anyway so it’s not an issue.”

Ric smiled gratefully, she was still his Tilly on the inside but she had gotten much more beautiful in appearance if that was even possible. He wanted to be part of her family, he always had but now not so much as a brother but as something more.

Get a grip Ric, she’s your ex’s best friend and you’ve barely seen her ten minutes, get a hold of your hormones!

Matilda knocked on the door but no one was home. The rain, as if on cue began to beat down harder so Maddy ran around the house to find the pot plant that the key was under and let them in quickly. The large thunderclouds had made the sky almost black and thunder and lightning began to rage in the distance.

Matilda let out her hair and shook it like a wet dog, Ric who was in the firing line put his hands up weakly and groaned.

“Do you have to get me any wetter?”

Maddy scoffed.

“Is that even possible?”

“Watch it!”

He pointed at her and tried to look serious but Maddy put on her innocent face and Ric couldn’t feign annoyance any longer.

“Just get me some clothes woman!”

Maddy did as she was told and came out with a salmon polo neck and really short shorts.

Ric looked incredulous and Maddy just looked smug.

“There’s a reason he left these behind you know that right?”

Maddy nodded.

“They’ve been locked away for crimes against fashion but they should fit you.”

“I’m not wearing them.”

“Yes you are other wise you’ll get a chill.”


“So wear them.”


Maddy laughed and began attacking him trying to get his wife beater off so she could somehow put on the polo neck but Ric was quick on his feet. He dodged her advances and ran backwards away from her only he tripped over the side of the chair and fell flat on his back.

Ric opened his eyes but Maddy’s terrified calls made him close them and play dead. Revenge was sweet.

She moved over him and lent her head on his chest to check for a heart beat. Ric wanted to laugh or grab her and kiss her but he knew either option was suicide.

Maddy ran for the phone but she cursed when the lightning seemed to have cut off the phone line.

She ran back over to him almost in tears and tried to give him mouth to mouth. As soon as Maddy’s lips touched his he instinctively kissed her back and sat up so his hand could rest on the back of her head but she pulled away quickly.

Maddy let out and a few whimpers before composing herself and slapping him on the chest, hard.

Ric recoiled awkwardly.

“I thought you were seriously hurt you moron!”


Maddy knew avoiding the delightful kiss was the best action.

“I wonder where my mum is.”

Ric smiled cautiously.

“She’s probably sheltering at the dinner or somewhere.”

Maddy nodded.

“Want a coffee or tea?”

Ric nodded as if nothing was wrong, as if he wasn’t staring at a sexy, soaked Matilda.

“Coffee thanks, I’ll go have a shower and dry off if you don’t mind.”

“No problem.”

Matilda made his coffee and tried not to think of a naked Ric in the shower but the sound of running water in the bathroom didn’t do much to stop the distraction. She hummed to herself and began to dry her hair with her face to the wall.

Ric left the bathroom but he didn’t particularly want to wear shorts and a polo that didn’t fit him after he tried them, so he wrapped the towel around his lower half and returned to the kitchen.

Matilda didn’t hear him re-enter over the drone of the hair dryer so when he tapped her on the shoulder she freaked out and spun around.

“What the-?

Ric was half naked in front of her and any further speech seemed to die in her mouth.

Ric looked rather sheepish and scratched the back of his head.

“Yeah the clothes didn’t fit so I’ll just drive home in the towel and get changed and return it to you later?”

“Yeah that’s fine.”

“You will be sticking around then?”

Maddie subtly looked him up and down.

“I can think of a few reasons to stay in the bay.”

“I’m glad.”

“Well I should go in case your mum comes home and finds me.”

He quickly downed his coffee and walked towards the door. Maddy smiled to herself imagining if she tugged on his towel and it fell down but before she even realised, she was mischievously doing so. There was a click in the door as Beth and Tony returned home to find Maddy holding a towel looking shocked and Ric completely naked looking mortified which equalled her own emotion.

Ric, at lightning speed snatched the towel angrily off Matilda and ran into Lucas’ old room. Matilda ran and hugged her bewildered mother and told her she was happy to be home before Beth could even answer and then she dashed off in the direction Ric had fled.

She came back a few minutes later which an amused smile on her face.

Beth shook her head.

“So where’s Ric? Putting on some sort of clothing I hope!”

“He jumped out of the window.”

Beth laughed before giving Maddy a knowing look.

“You pulled his towel off that’s obvious, was it just a joke or what?”

“Of course it was a joke! I wasn’t trying to take advantage of him or anything.”

“And you’re just friends?”

Matilda hesitated.

“I’ve only been back a few hours.”

“Is that a yes?”

“It’s..a yes.”


Chapter 2: Sweet dreams

Matilda laid in her old bed, in her old bedroom that hadn’t changed a bit and the familiar smell of her stuffed toys and the familiar grooves in the bed where her and Lucas left made her ache. She ached for something that she felt she was missing, she was crying again even after such a lovely dinner with her family - things were exactly like they always were minus Lucas but it was fun and warm as always. She had convinced herself nothing had changed but then when she was alone again the denial she guarded herself with began to slip, it was an exhausting task lying to herself all the time but it was much harder with no distractions. The silence killed her and she knew she didn’t want to ever be alone again.

It wasn’t like she hadn’t slept with someone before, Lucas was her first and only up until that night but she still felt like she had been robbed, it was the fact she wasn’t given a choice that frustrated her and the thought of herself passed out while someone violated her disturbed her and made her feel sick. She had her low moments, especially at night but then she reasoned that maybe someone hadn’t raped her, maybe someone took her to their house and put her in bed and in her utter drunkenness she stripped off and left before they got back home from somewhere. It was highly unlikely but if there was even the slightest chance it could be true she clung on to it like it was the last bit of air she’d ever breath again. She needed to hope or she’d collapse.

She smiled when she thought of Ric’s naked backside though, she even giggled to herself at the idea of her mother seeing him in his birthday suit and she suddenly felt so grateful to have him. He would never hurt her deliberately, he’d always protect her and she felt a swell of adoration thinking what he’d try and do if she told him about her rape. He’d probably try and kill Martin whether he was truly guilty or not, he cared about her that much and she loved that he made her feel safe.

The room didn’t seem safe anymore though, she’d slept soundly in it for years but now it felt larger and barer than before and she couldn’t even close her eyes without thinking of the creeping shadows and the hedge outside rustling against the window.

She groaned in annoyance and slipped on her dressing gown and slippers. In a moment of impulse she opened the window and climbed out, landing ungracefully into the bushes before sprinting to Sally’s house.

It was crazy she knew, but the only way she was going to get a good sleep would be in Ric’s arms and she knew that everyone would thank her for it in the morning because a sleepless Maddy was a whole new breed of monster. At least Sally was away on holiday with Pippa for the weekend so she wouldn’t wake anyone but Ric.

She was there quickly and pulled the spare key out from under the mat and let herself in quietly before locking up again. She tiptoed upstairs and entered Ric’s room.


She whispered harshly.

Ric was snoring cutely with his back to her.



Ric shot up in bed with a bleary eyes and was darting his heard around anxiously trying to locate the voice.

“It’s Matilda!”

Ric finally saw her and without a word she took off her dressing gown and got into bed next to him.

Ric moved over and tried to speak but she stopped him.

“It’s only for tonight I just, I don’t feel safe anywhere else.”

Ric nodded, astutely aware that she wasn’t in the mood to talk and Ric wasn’t really either so he went back to snoring with his arms around a peacefully sleeping Matilda.

Matilda woke up when the sun pierced through the blinds and soaked in her rays of light, Ric had turned over but was still slumbering on.

Matilda realised how intimate it was sleeping in Ric’s bed, it felt slightly awkward but last night it hadn’t seemed either, it just felt right.

She turned over to look at the clock which flashed 11.30 and Maddy almost had a heart attack.

“I have to go Ric I’ll come see you later!”

Ric moaned what she assumed was a goodbye but he was hugging his pillow so tight that it pushed up into his face, muffling his words.

Maddy dashed out of the caravan park at lightning speed but not so quick to escape Colleen’s eagle eyes.


Beth knocked impatiently on her bedroom door.

“Still no answer?”

Tony called from the kitchen.

“That girl is an Olympic sleeper.”

Beth poured herself a juice as Tony laughed to himself.

“I always knew she was an athlete somehow even though she never showed it.”

Beth glared at him playfully.

“Are you saying my daughter is unfit or just lazy?”

“I’m saying our darling Matilda luckily inherited your metabolism where she can eat whatever she wants without exercising and still have a model figure.”

He grinned at her as she hugged him from behind and whispered in his ear.

“Flattery will get you everywhere Mr Holden.”

“Thank you Mrs Holden I’ll have to keep that in mind."

Matilda slipped open her bedroom window and climbed into her room before walking straight out of the door into the kitchen putting on a tired expression.

"She finally rises!"

Matilda glared slightly at her mum, she wasn't angry but she knew it was the appropriate response if she really had just woken up.

"Yeah yeah I had a long day yesterday."

Beth laughed.

"De-towelling young men must be quite exhausting."

Matilda giggled despite herself.

"Will you ever let me live that down?"

Beth shuddered.

"I might let you off the hook but I can never look at Ric the same way again."

Maddy smiled distantly

Neither can I

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Thanks for the reviews it's much appreciated! I'll update as soon as I can but it may be a few days.

It's pretty angsty at the moment but it wont be forever! Oh and it's from Maddy POV except on rare occasions.


Chapter 3: Foreign Affairs

Maddy was at the beach reading over some of her English notes after breakfast when her cell phone rang.


“Hey, it’s me.”

Matilda pause for a moment.

“Hi Cassie.”

“So I went to your dorm room to ask you to coffee, just you and me, and they told me you had gone home early which is cool I just felt bad you didn’t tell me.”

“Sorry it was kind of rushed.”

“No it’s okay it just made me see how much we’ve grown apart and Martin told me you were having a tough time but he wouldn’t tell me why so now I feel like a complete idiot for not being supportive and listening to you when you were always there for me about Ric and Greg.”

“It’s okay we’ve both just been busy but once we get back from the holidays we’ll make the effort to hang out like we used to okay?”

“That sounds great, so are you okay?”

Matilda knew if she told Cassie about the rape she would believe her and be supportive as she had been through a similar experience although far more traumatic, but Maddy didn’t feel like talking about it yet and she didn’t want to remind Cassie of her own issues that probably still haunted her like this haunted Maddy.

“Yeah I was just stressing over finals but now they’re over.”

“Yeah me too I forgot how much there was to learn! How do you think you did?”

“I think I did okay you?”

“I will be lucky to do well but I know I passed.”

“Good for you.”

“Are you sure that’s all that’s bothering you?”

“Yeah. So have you seen Martin lately?”

Cassie giggled.

“See! I told you you’d like him.”

Matilda felt sick.

“No it’s nothing like that.”

“Sure. Well since you want to know he’s actually been pretty down since you left.”

Matilda laughed bitterly.

“Poor guy he must have it pretty tough.”

“Don’t be mean Maddy he’s like in love with you.”

“Well you can tell him from me that I’d rather gouge my eyes out than ever voluntarily even kiss him.”

“Seriously? What happened between you two?”

“Nothing I just, it doesn’t matter. I have to go but I’ll call you soon okay?”

“Okay hun take care.”

“You too Cas, bye!

Matilda at least felt better that her and Cassie were on good terms again.

She took off her top so she was in her bikini and lay on her towel to get back her tan that she lost while at uni, after all study wasn’t everything.

Suddenly a shadow fell over her.

“Good morning.”

Ric was standing over her with a towel over his shoulder.

“Hi Ric.”

He sat down next to her.

“So do you want to tell me what your late night visit was about?”

“Sorry I disturbed you -”

“That’s not the issue it’s why you were there in the first place.”

“I - I just I couldn’t sleep in my own bed it was weird.”

“So you decided to jump into mine?”

“Don’t say it like that!”

“Well come on Maddy you’ve never coming running to me for comfort before.”


Ric looked down.

“I know you had Lucas, I get that and I don’t mind sharing my bed with you if you’re upset but it would be nice to be let in on what the problem was.”

Maddy smiled cheekily.

“Who says I didn’t just want to be in your bed?”

Ric smiled slightly.

“I know you better than that, so what’s up?”

Maddy took in a deep breath, it was now or never.

“Something happened in the city and it sort of threw me and now I just have to get myself together again but nothing feels the same anymore, except you.”

“Oh really?”

She rested her head on his shoulder.

“Strangely enough yeah.”

“Do you want to tell me what happened in the city? You don’t have to but it might help.”

“I - Someone took advantage of me.”

She couldn’t believe she was actually voicing what she was going through but once the words were out she did feel somewhat relieved, it wasn’t a secret anymore. Ric looked at her disgustedly and Maddy felt her stomach drop.

“You’re the first person I’ve told.”

Ric looked out at the ocean with a distressed look on his face before getting up and walking away.


He turned back to her.

“I have got to go do something but I’ll cya later okay?”

Maddy nodded and felt the tears begin to form, Ric hated her, she wasn’t his innocent Maddy anymore and maybe he was disgusted he was the first person she told she didn’t know but the way he looked at her made her want to cry even more.

She lay back down and tried to think of happy thoughts: Robbie’s wedding..meeting Ric..but it didn’t work so she looked back at her notes, finally happy to have to think about something trivial.

It was an hour later before she saw Ric again pacing along the beach towards her, he looked pissed off and she feared he may have told someone but she doubted he’d be that mean no matter how much he didn’t like her.



“I’m sorry I left like that earlier.”

Maddy shook her head but wouldn’t meet his eyes, scared of what she might find.

“It’s okay it’s my fault.”

Ric laughed bitterly.

“If I’m sure of anything about any of this it’s that NONE of it is your fault so don’t ever say or think that again ok?”

He sounded so angry she wasn’t going to disagree with him but she couldn’t stand the tension so she finally asked what she was thinking and looked at him.

“You hate me now right? Because I didn’t go to the police? Or because I’m not the same anymore. I know things aren’t the same between us ever since I returned and now you know why.”

Ric sat beside her and put an arm around her.

“I could never be angry at you I am just livid that it happened to you at all, I mean I never wanted anything like this to happen to you I was always around to protect you before..I just had to go and have a round with the punch bag at the gym or I was going to explode and I knew with my track record it would mean everything I said would come out wrong and I’d take out my frustrations with you so I left to vent.”

Maddy smiled.

“Feel better?”

Ric didn’t smile.

“Not really I just, you must be going through hell.”

“Not so much since you’re around.”

Then he looked at her a way she had never seen him look at her before, the only thing she could associate it with was the way he looked at Cassie when they were first together - soft, admiring and it made her feel like she could get over anything and she forgot the foreign way he looked at her before that had made her so unhappy.

She looked away and blushed.

“Like I said I’m sorry things are different with us since it happened.”

Ric groaned.

“What have I said about apologizing?”



“I mean, okay I wont anymore.”

“Good and if it makes you feel any better I don’t think things are different between us because of what happened to you.”

“Really? Then what is it?”

Ric looked out at the ocean.

“I don’t know, I think it’s just us.”

“But we weren’t like this before.”

“Well people change, grow up and of course the relationship will change with it.”

Maddy sighed.

“Everything has changed so much in a year I didn’t want this to change along with it.”

“Well sometimes it can be for the better.”

Ric tried not to look hopeful, he knew starting an actual relationship with Maddy would be difficult even if she did feel the same way as he did so he wasn’t going to push his luck.

“Well at least I still feel safe with you and we’re together.”

Maddy gasped.

“I mean not together as in together together I just mean as in friends spending time together..as friends.”

Ric nodded.

“I understand.”

Maddy laughed nervously.

“So is there anything happening much in the bay I should know about?”

Ric grinned.

“Colleen’s having an engagement party but I thought you’d know that by now, it’s the talk of the town.”

Maddy smiled too.

“She must have forgotten, but seriously Colleen is getting married?”

Ric nodded.

“I know it’s pretty crazy, no one has met him yet either.”


“Well Colleen went back to Europe for a holiday months ago and fell in love with an old Greek painter in Athens apparently. She was still with him there up until this week, we got a letter a while back saying her and ‘Fillipo’ would be back to have an engagement party so he could meet everyone and they could buy a house in the bay and she’s been with us since Monday but it’s all a secret and she wont reveal him until tonight at Noah’s.”

Maddy giggled.


Ric grinned.

“Yeah granddad is sick hearing about him from Colleen but she loves the attention and she’s happy which is cool. Only granddad almost had a seizure when she happened to tell him that she nicknames him ‘her Adonis’ in bed because.. well I don’t even want to know!”

“That’s so cute and yet so disgusting.”

“I know, so yeah we have a town mystery that you are back just in time for.”

“Well I think I should definitely be there to welcome the soon-to-be bride. It just shows no matter how wrinkly you are, how saggy your ‘assets’ are and even if you’re colleen you can still find love.”

Ric laughed.

“That’s so inspiring of you Maddy.”

Maddy winked.

“I try.”

“So you’ll be there tonight then?”

“If you’re there to twirl me around the dance floor and buy me a drink I’ll definitely make an appearance.”

Ric looked at her funny again and Maddy felt butterflies in her stomach.

“Well I’ll see what I can do, well I have to go help granddad but I’ll see you at seven?”

“See you then Ric.”


Ric walked off and Maddyf felt a weight lifting off her shoulders, she actually felt happy again and it couldn’t have come sooner.

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Okay so this is chapter 4 and I made it extra long because I have so many assignments at the moment I doubt I will be able to post for about a week so this should hopefully make up for that!

Chapter 4: Miscommunication

Maddy was excited, which was a very good sign because it meant she was actually excited about something even if it was just going to Noah’s for drinks and she was actually looking forward to things.

She stood in front of the mirror trying to decide what to wear, it was times like these she really needed Cassie but she didn’t know what Cassie would say if she found out it was Ric that was making her an indecisive mess. She had never been so self conscious around Ric, after all he had seen her when she looked like she had just got out of bed (and literally sometimes too) and he had seen her when she was all dressed up but it had never mattered before what he thought of it all, now she felt she needed to impress him the way he effortlessly did her.

She put up her hair and cautiously did her make up, she choose a peasant skirt, boots and a pretty halter neck top.

She gave her reflection a confident nod before meeting her mum outside.

“Wow you look lovely sweetheart.”


“Who’s all the effort for?”

Maddy looked slightly nervous.

“No one.”

“Yeah right, that’s what you said when Lucas lived next door and you were mowing the lawn in high heels just in case he saw you.”

Maddy laughed.

“Actually I wore the heels because I knew he’d see me.”

Beth rolled her eyes, she had given up trying to understand the complexities and protocol of being a teenage girl.

“Well whoever it is he is a very lucky guy.”

Maddy nodded silently, her mother wasn’t a fool but Maddy didn’t really want to talk about a pathetic crush on a guy that probably didn’t see her as anything but a sister.

They got there a few minutes after seven and almost everyone she knew was there already with drinks buzzing about Colleen’s fiancé and waiting for her to waltz in with him.

Maddy spotted Ric sitting on the sofa at the back with Martha and Jack, she waved slightly and he grinned back but she didn’t reach him for a good ten minutes after she had caught up with other bay members and updated them on her life and vise versa.

“Hey stranger.”

Ric gave Maddy a drink already.

“Thank you kind sir.”

She took a sip and her face contorted.



“When I said buy me a drink I was thinking something mildly alcoholic.”

Ric smiled.

“Yeah well your mum has seen me naked today I am not going to be seen handing you alcohol or she’ll definitely hate me.”

“My mum’s not like that you know that.”

“Yeah well for today I’m playing it safe.”

He looked mildly scared as he glanced in Beth’s direction who was luckily deep in conversation with Leah.

Maddy sat down next to Ric and although she wasn’t looking at him she could feel his eyes on her. She turned to look at him and he looked forward quickly before looking at her again.

“What’s wrong with you?”

“Nothing, you just…you look…wow tonight.”

Ric coughed and turned away.

“Well thankyou you don’t look too bad yourself.”

“When’s all the suspense going to be over?”

Maddy sighed.

“You know Colleen, she’d like to be fashionably late.”

Ric nodded pretending to be serious.

“But I thought you said Colleen couldn’t find any fashion sense if it came up and bit her on the bum?”

Maddy gasped.

“You remember that? It was ages ago!”

“Yeah well I don’t tune out as much as you think I do.”

Maddy wanted to reach over and kiss him, somehow thank him for making her feel so special but she knew it wasn’t the time or the place. She was interrupted from her thoughts when Colleen finally graced them all with her presence.

“Hello Everybody! This is Fillipo!”

She was waving her arms around in excitement as an older, tall man entered behind her.

“Please everybody call me Fill.”

Everyone took their turn to congratulate Colleen and introduce themselves to Fill but Maddy and Ric hung back away from the fuss for a while.

Ric leaned over to her and whispered in her ear sending shivers down her spine.

“So what’s the verdict?”

“He’s more handsome than I thought he’d be and he’s well dressed so I’d give him a thumbs up.”

“Yeah he seems okay and his accent is cool.”

Fill finished greeting most people when Maddy caught his eye, he walked quickly over to her leaving Colleen standing at the bar happily ordering everyone cocktails.

“What is your name child?”

Maddy objected to being called a child but it was in such a warm and fatherly way she didn’t feel too insulted.

“I’m Matilda and this is my friend Ric.”

Ric nodded as a hello but Fill didn’t even look at him.

“I want you on my bed.”

Maddy raised an eyebrow and Ric leaned forward.

“Sorry what?”

“I want her on my bed soon I must capture her.”

Ric put his hand up.

“There will be no capturing of anyone and if you want her on your bed you’re dreaming.”

Fillipo looked confused.

“I will pay.”

“Excuse me?”

Maddy got up to leave.

“But you are beautiful.”

Maddy scoffed.

“That line isn’t going to work compadre.”

Ric moved his face close to Fillipo’s.

“Come near her again and you’ll pay.”

“Yes pay! Exactly!”

Ric shook his head and followed Maddy, unclenching his fists that had threatened to strike.

Fillipo paced over to Colleen and whispered in her ear while Maddy got a cocktail from the bar and downed it quickly before getting another.

“Woah do you want to be drinking so quickly?”

“Why not? God I’m so stupid I shouldn’t have worn a skirt I was practically asking for it.”

Ric held one of her hands.

“Don’t be insane you look gorgeous but that’s not your fault you’d look that way if you were wearing a sack, besides he’s Greek he’s probably just used to hitting on hot chicks.”

Maddy giggled.

"Like Colleen you mean?"

Ric smiled warmly and Maddy squeezed his hand and smiled back, Ric went to say something but Colleen interrupted.

“Ric Dalby!”


“How dare you threaten my future husband!”


Colleen sighed.

“He’s an artiste he just wants to paint Matilda lying on a bed like he does with all his models, I’ve done it too I have a wonderful portrait of me and my bikini above the fireplace actually. Anyway he didn’t mean any harm he just has to get used to phrasing things correctly.”

Ric laughed and tried not to form a mental image of Colleen in a bikini.

“He has a funny way of asking to paint someone.”

“He’s from Greece!”

Ric sighed.

“Okay I’m sorry, I’ll go tell him myself.”

Maddy giggled.

“Here’s your chance.”

Fillipo walked over to Ric.

“I am sorry to cause insult.”

“No it’s okay mate we just got our wires crossed.”

“Wires crossed?”

“I mean it doesn’t matter it’s just a misunderstanding.”

“Yes misunderstanding, but you must understand I must paint Matilda she is perfection and would so well flatter my canvas.”

Maybe it was the alcohol she wasn’t sure but everything that came out of his mouth seemed to have some sort of sexual innuendo to her.


“Call me Fill please my lovely.”

“Okay Fill well if you really want I’ll pose for you but I don’t want money.”

“You will for free?”

“That’s the idea!”

“How accommodating a young lady you are for an old fool like myself.”

Maddy shook his hand but he took it and kissed it instead which Maddy thought was a sweet gesture.

“Is this the boyfriend of my beauty?”

Fill gestured to Ric and they both looked suddenly awkward.

“No he’s my friend.”

Fillipo winked.

“Then he is also a fool.”

Ric rolled his eyes and looked slightly sour at Fillipo’s next request.

“Would you be so kind as to indulge me in a dance?”

Maddy nodded in amusement.

“Why not.”

Fillipo was a great dancer Maddy had to admit, and Colleen looked so happy as she watched them that Maddy was actually enjoying herself, Ric watched with a detached smile on his face and Beth was clapping along to the song before Tony pulled her up to dance too.

“Thanks for the dance Fillipo but I promised Ric a dance too.”

Fillipo smiled and it wasn’t long before he had Colleen twirling around with him.

Maddy went to the bar to finish her third cocktail before waltzing over to Ric, the alcohol had made her bold which she appreciated when she constantly felt sick around him, but sick in a good way as the butterflies in her stomach made her slightly nauseas.

“So Dalby are you going to ask me to dance?”

Ric stood up.

“Only if papa Fill is finished sucking up to you.”

“He’s just old and enthusiastic.. Like Colleen actually.”

“So would you like to dance then?”

“That would be cool.”

Ric took Maddy’s hand and led her over to where people were dancing, it was the old fashioned sort which neither Ric or Maddy were that great at.

Ric took one of her hands in his and rested his other comfortably on her waist with Maddy’s free hand snaking around his neck and they began to co ordinate their feet with the music.

“So Ric I’ve been so occupied with my stuff I forgot to ask you how you’ve been going.”

Ric was still concentrating hard following Maddy around the dance floor.

“Are you supposed to be talking while we dance?”

Maddy giggled and moved closer to him.

“I don’t think there are actual rules Ric.”

“Well yeah things have been good I’m getting paid well at a job I enjoy which is great and me and this girl Jenny have been trying all the lastest restaurants.”

Maddy felt her stomach knot.

“So Jenny’s your girlfriend?”

She tried to make it sound casual but it was like trying to act a part on stage, the words sounded so fake and rehearsed as they came out of her mouth.

Ric looked hard at her, almost watching her reactions so Maddy hoped she didn’t look as disappointed as she felt.

“No she’s my boss’ daughter.”

“Oh ok so do you think she’ll be your girlfriend in the future?”

“Nah she’s great but she just moved back here from England where she lived with her mum so her dad asked if I didn’t mind showing her around and hanging out with her so now we’ve become quite good mates she’s a bit of a tom boy but her accent is wicked.”

Maddy didn’t think that was an actual no so she looked at her feet in dismay.

“Plus she’s only thirteen so I don’t think it’s ever going to happen.”

Maddy’s head shot up and she smiled.

“That’s a shame, I mean not that I think you should be dating someone unless you want to and like you said she’s thirteen.”

Ric held up his arm so Maddy could twirl under it but Maddy felt a little unbalanced with all the alcohol surging around her body.

“So there’s no real love life then?”

Ric shook his head.

“There hasn’t been for a long time but thanks for reminding me of it."

Maddy stroked the back of Ric's neck absentmindedly and he tried not to enjoy it too much that he'd embarass himself in front of everyone.

“Don’t sound so depressed I can’t believe any girl would turn you down.”

Ric smiled.

“Why do you say that?”

“Well you know you’re pretty good looking for a guy.”

Maddy mentally scolded herself at how young and stupid she sounded.

“Yeah well I haven’t asked anyone, I’ve been busy with my work and no one has really caught my eye until now.”

Maddy sighed.

“Who is that then?”

“Well she’s sweet and funny and really smart and tougher than she thinks, I reckon you’d really like her.”

Maddy tried to smile at the knowledge she was back a little bit too late to start things with Ric, he was already smitten with someone else.

“You’ll have to introduce us sometime.”

Ric couldn’t believe Maddy didn’t get who he was alluding to but she did look a bit tipsy and Ric hated that he felt slightly relieved that she didn’t know. Once things were said they couldn’t be taken back and he knew Maddy hated change so he didn’t want to ruin things.

“Maybe I will.”

The rest of the night they sat in avid conversation with Maddy slowly getting more intoxicated as the hours passed but no one minded, she was over eighteen and everyone (especially Colleen) were enjoying the cocktail’s effects. Maddy loved spending time just with Ric like this, they hadn't been this connected since right at the start of their friendship before Cassie came and everything shifted but it didn't feel the same as before. She tried to ignore the weight in her stomach that she had knowing Ric liked some other girl, it seemed so wrong.

Beth walked over to them around middnight.

“Well me and Tony are heading home but you’ve got your key just try to keep it down when you return okay?”

Maddy took in a breath.

“Actually can I stay at Ric’s tonight?”

Beth looked slightly taken aback and Ric looked at her like she was crazy.


Ric gulped.

“Yeah what?”

“Can I?”

Beth shrugged her shoulders.

“You’re an adult now you don’t need my permission.”


Beth nodded but didn’t look happy and waved goodbye before leaving.

Ric put his head in his hands.

“Did you think to maybe check with me about staying over?”

Maddy sidled up to him and put on her innocent face.

“Well I knew you wouldn’t mind once mum was okay with it and she is.”

“Your mum didn’t look okay with it.”

“Don’t be such a chicken.”

“I’m not scared of your mum I’m scared of -”

“Scared of what?”

Ric didn’t say that he was scared he would try and make out with her or more if he was left alone with her, those thoughts were better left unsaid. He needed to be a supportive friend and nothing else.


“Good, shall we go I’m kind of tired.”

Ric put up his hands in defeat.

“Whatever you say.”


They both walked along the beach for a bit, it was quiet but comfortable as Maddy enjoyed walking with Ric, she wanted to take his hand but it seemed too intimate when she knew she liked him even if he didn’t. The alcohol had drugged her senses and everything was telling her to either take off all her clothes and run into the water or kiss Ric properly and she knew the mood she was in that she’d do one or the other.

Unfortunately for Ric it was the former. Maddy stopped in her tracks and turned to face the dark water with Ric standing behind her.

“I’ll be right back.”

“Where are you -”

Maddy walked forward quickly stripping everything off so now it was Ric's turn to see Maddy’s backside and he felt his insides lurch up in fear and something else was lurching up but that was for an entirely different reason, Ric was just glad it was dark and Maddy couldn’t see. The Maddy he knew now was more or less the same but she had more passion and endearing recklessness that made him want to laugh and chide her at the same time. She reminded him a bit of Cassie actually but she had adapted into her completely own person.

Before he could act she was diving into the waves.

“I thought you wanted to sleep!”

Ric shouted feebly into the air.

He groaned as he took off his trousers and top so he was in his boxers and went in after her, he’d really be in trouble with Beth if Maddy in her drunkenness got pulled out to sea and drowned.


Ric was turning around and around trying to catch a glimpse of her and every moment he didn’t see her he began to get more and more worried.

“This isn’t funny!”

Maddy swam up behind him and jumped up causing Ric to tense up in surprise.

“It’s kind of funny.”

“What the hell do you think you're playing at!”

“I was hot!”

“That’s your answer?”

“Uh huh.”

She swam up close to him and bent slightly under the water and pulled down his boxers.

His eyes widened and he pulled them back up.

“What is up with you!”

“I told you you were chicken.”

“Just because I don’t want to skinny dip with you doesn’t make me a wuss.”

Maddy nodded sadly.

“Right you have your mystery girlfriend to think of, you obviously don’t want to be messing around with me.”

Ric laughed bitterly.

“You have no idea how wrong you are.”

Maddy moved her face close to his.

“Prove it.”

Ric couldn’t help himself, he kissed her forcefully and then moved back.


Maddy looked shocked then smiled.



Before Ric could finish Maddy was kissing him and Ric was in agony having a naked girl in front of him and being too scared to touch her. He really was a wuss.

“I can’t -”

“Why not?”

“You’re drunk.”

“Not much anymore the cold kind of sobered me up.”

It was obvious to Ric that it wasn’t true enough, she still looked half asleep already and she was struggling to stand in one spot.

“Look, if you still want to skinny dip tomorrow when you’re sober than we will and believe me I want to kiss you but like I said, if you still want to when you’re thinking clearly than I wont hesitate okay?”

Matilda smiled.

“You’re too good to me, I mean to not take advantage although I knew you wouldn’t.”

“We’re not all like the guy who abused you remember, besides friends look out for each other.”

Maddy didn’t answer, he still thought of them as friends and it made her feel worse although having the word abuse related to her in a sentence didn't fill her with happiness either.

“Okay lets go.”

She took Ric’s hand to walk out but he moved his hand away.

“How about I have a nice long gaze out at the ocean while you get and out and changed and then you can have a nice gaze at the fence while I change.”

Maddy sighed.

“Sounds like a plan.”

Maddy was true to her word even though she did want to peek at him while he dried off but he was a gentlemen to her and didn’t take advantage so she didn’t want to either.

They walked back to Ric’s in awkward silence, Maddy knew she had been out of line but he had hurt her pride even though he was doing the noble thing and she wasn’t in the mood to strike up conversation.

When they reached Sally’s, Ric finally spoke.

“So do you want anything to eat or drink, I’m just going to go to bed but you’re welcome to take Cassie’s old room.”

Maddy nodded mutely.

"Maybe you should have drink of water otherwise the hangover tomorrow won't be pleasant but I'll leave an aspirin by your bed when I wake up."

Maddy groaned.

"Ric you're not my father he died a long time ago and you're not my brother they have all moved away and as you've so often reminded me you are my friend and so I think you can stop treating me like a child, everyone else does but I don't want you to."

Ric moved over to her but she sat on the sofa so she didn't have to face him.

"I was just being considerate it doesn't mean I don't think you can do it all yourself."

"I know I'm sorry I'm just fed up of feeling like I'm still the same bratty kid that walked into this house for the first time and treated everyone and everything like crap. I keep telling myself I'm better, that I'm kinder and more grown up but the more I try to be 'new improved Maddie' the more tired and irritated I get with myself and I take it out on other people."

Ric sat down next to her.

"You are amazing and everyone knows that but you can't be perfect, you are who you are and once you accept that the happier you'll be and the easier it will be to relate to people. I mean sure you can be spoilt, manipulative and argumentative but I love you for that just as much as for your compassion and your wit and grace."


"Of course. I mean look how gracious you were to Fill tonight, the 'old' Maddie would have been rude and whiny but you weren't and I don't think you tried to hard to be nice did you? You've grown up Maddie you really have you just don't realise it because you put too much pressure on yourself."

"I love myself more when I'm with you, I'm kinder with you and I am happy with you around I just think I didn't realise how important you were to me until I came back here."

Ric put his arm around her and she lent into him.

"Can I stay in your bed tonight?"

Ric couldn't tell her no, even if it meant he'd be sleepless for a lot longer.

"Of course you can."


They went upstairs together as Maddy put on one of his tops and his boxers and got into bed with Ric beside her.

As she was drifting to sleep she whispered to him.

"I don't want you to be with your mystery girlfriend."

Ric turned over to face her but her eyes were closed.

"You are my mystery girlfriend."

Maddy nodded half asleep.

"I'm glad."

Ric stared at her sleeping form for a while before falling into a satisfied sleep.


I'll update as soon as I can.

Coming soon...

Colleen's wedding (a bridezilla is unleashed)

Lucas visits and has a surprise also Cassie calls and both events have consequences for Ric and Matilda.

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Yay so finally got this chapter done and it's huge (or maybe it just feels huge!) so the next one that will be up by about friday will be short as will the ones in the future more or less but I'll post on a more frequent basis and see how that goes.

Thanks for the reviews! :)


Chapter 5: Changing

Maddy woke up with a thumping headache as Ric had predicted and she rolled over to see he had already gone to work but she grinned to see he had left a glass of water and aspirin for her on the bedside table.

Maddy changed back into her own clothes and locked up the house before leaving.

She felt like she was missing something though, she checked under the bed to make sure she had collected all her jewellery, made the bed and double checked the locks but she still felt like she had forgotten something and it made her feel terrible and unnerved.

She had been pretty drunk the night before so she knew it was possible she could have done something or said something that she should remember like perhaps meeting Ric later but it seemed like it was something more important. She just hoped she hadn’t done something embarrassing like telling the story about a drunken night out where she ended up sleeping in a bush in her underwear on campus until noon while campus tours for perspective students had been milling around for hours. That was something she’d rather keep to herself and all of the next year’s freshmen.

She decided to go to the gym after breakfast and work off all the calories she had consumed through alcohol but once she had got to the diner all hell had broken loose.

She sat down at a table and waited to be served but she heard pots and pans being smashed about in the kitchen and shouting.

Finally Irene emerged putting on her apron and looking as though she had just escaped in time from something.

“Hi Irene.”

“Welcome home love what can I get you, try not to order anything too difficult or there may be blood shed.”

“What’s going on in the kitchen?”

Irene lent forward and hissed out of the side of her mouth.



“Or should I say the person that used to be Colleen but that now has turned into a horrible cross between Russell Crowe and Donald Trump.”

Maddy laughed.

“Donald Trump? You mean the bad hair?”

Irene laughed quietly as if scared Colleen would hear her enjoying herself.

“She keeps shouting ‘you’re fired!’ to Leah when she laughed at her hysterics to do with her wedding I mean she doesn’t even own the place! I’m scared she’s going to start throwing phones as well as lettuce if we don’t do something.”

“Do you want me to try and calm her?”

She wasn’t exactly best friends with Colleen but her arrival home and her painting she would do for Fill might distract her enough to ease her.

“If you’re willing to risk it darl than have a go just don’t look in her eyes there is something mad and dangerous in them.”

Maddy nodded.

“I’m not sure it’s worth my life.”

“Tell you what, get her to see reason and whatever you want to eat is on the house.”

“Deal. I’ll have a chocolate milkshake and pancakes please.”

Maddy moved slowly into the kitchen as if worried any sudden movements would cause her to attack. However Colleen was now sobbing melodramatically while stirring something and Leah had sensibly taken her break.

“Hi Colleen.”

Colleen looked at her and glared before returning to crying.

“What’s the problem?”

“What’s the problem? WHAT’S THE PROBLEM! You should know!! It’s six days until my wedding I have so much to plan and when I ask my future husband what he wants as decoration for the napkins all he can talk about is you and he’s stupid art! Six days Matilda! I’ll be surprised if he even makes it to the church with the portrait preparation he has to do.”

“I’m sorry I’ll just tell him we can do the portrait after the wedding.”

Matilda didn’t tell her it was a crazy idea to plan a wedding in a week anyway because she doubted it would improve the situation.

“No that’s useless! He’ll think I’m a petty old woman with nothing but icing patterns and monogrammed towels to live for!”

“I’m sure he wont think that.”

“How do you know? You’re not marrying him are you? I am! Or at least I hope I am!”

She burst into tears again and Irene stepped in.

“Oh pull it together Colleen, at least you have a man who loves you enough to put up with your craziness, just be happy you’ve found someone you want to marry at all!”

Colleen went red with fury.

“Crazy am I? CRAZY? Yes crazy Colleen that’s what you’re all thinking! Well you’re not invited! I only want people at my wedding who think I’m sane and sensible not ‘friends’ who look at me like I should be in the loony bin!”

She began throwing lettuce everywhere again.

Maddy mumbled under her breath to Irene that no one anywhere had ever thought Colleen to be sane and sensible but the whispering seemed to irritate her even more.

“What are you saying about me? You’re fired!”

Irene threw up her hands in exasperation.

“I own the joint if anyone is going to be fired it’ll be you if you’re not careful!”

Colleen’s eyes widened in surprise and she was whimpering now.

“Crazy unemployed Colleen what would an adonis like Fillipo want with me now?”

Maddy finally blurted out in desperation:

“Your complexion is excellent.”


“You have really good skin for your age if you haven’t got anyone to do your makeup for the wedding I’m happy to do it for you.”

Collen paused.

“Well, no I don’t as it happens.”

Maddy feigned astonishment.

“Well yeah I’m great with make up, I’ll make you look just like the Aphrodite you are for your adonis.”

Colleen gave Maddy a watery smile.

“Thank you pet, fancy you putting up with an old windbag like me!”

“Besides it doesn’t matter about monogrammed towels and icing patterns it’s what a wedding means which is that two people love each other and want to share it with the people they care about, I’m sure Fill knows it too and that’s why he doesn’t mind what decoration for napkins you pick.”

Colleen nodded and Irene smiled admiringly at Maddy, Maddy felt a swell of warmth within her, she had proven to them and herself she wasn’t such a selfish brat.

“Well I suppose the napkins could be plain.”

Irene nodded encouragingly.

“People are only going to wipe bits of food and wine on them anyway.”

Colleen grinned and went about as if she hadn’t just had a psychotic episode but no one was willing to mention it and rock the boat.


“Hi Irene.”

“Beth how are ya?”

Beth nodded.

“I’m great, especially now my baby is home.”

She gave Irene the money for her order.

“I hope you’re not talking about Matilda.”

Beth frowned and looked worried, she knew Matilda staying with Ric was a bad idea.

“Why? What has she done?”

“Only saved the day! Your lunch is on the house too, you can’t put a price on peace and quiet, especially where Colleen is concerned.”

Beth took her money back in confusion.

“What happened?”

Irene proceeded to retell the horrific story out of earshot of Colleen who was singing Barry White songs happily to herself in the store room.

“-So Matilda really took control of the situation, she has really grown up and made you proud Beth.”

Beth practically glowed with adoration.

“I always knew she’d come into her own one day, she’s always impressed me of course but I’m glad she showed her true colours.”

Irene nodded.

“Well she earned you a free burger and chips who wouldn’t want a daughter like that?”

Beth laughed before sitting down.


Matilda was running on the treadmill when her cell phone rang. She was puffed and red in the face but she didn’t stop running, she simply bent down and picked it up out of her bag while continuing her pace.



It was a male’s voice but it wasn’t Ric’s or Lucas’s.

“Who is this?”

“Wouldn’t you like to know.”

Maddy rolled her eyes.

“Well that’s why I asked but we can keep playing games if you want, it’s your phone bill.”

“I am someone who you betrayed and now you’re going to pay the price.”

Maddy turned off the tread mill and stood still, she felt her hands begin to shake.


“Is that your boyfriend?”

Maddy sighed in relief and turned the tread mill on again and began to run.

“No, now tell me who you are or I’m hanging up.”

“It just shows how little you know your twin brother the fact you don’t even recognise his voice.”


She squealed in excitement.

“Yeah it’s me don’t get all groupie on me.”

“Yeah in your dreams brother. So how are you? Mum said you were doing well with your sports medicine.”

“Well mum is right, I’m good I was just calling to let you know I’m still alive. We used to share an egg you and me and now we don’t even share a phone call every couple of months.”

“I know I’m sorry, I miss you though.”

“Yeah right, save the water works for someone who believes you.”

“I do miss you! I was remembering the time we egged that dean’s car at boarding school and he gave us detention for the next day so you let the air out of his tyres so he couldn’t get to the class to supervise us!”

“Yeah that was classic. So hows things little sis? Still trying to marry Ric Dalby? I heard you and Lucas split so I assumed you’d go back to what you know.”

“Hey don’t be such an ass!”

“What about Dalby?”

“Yes and about me.”

She hated how right he sort of was, not the marriage thing but liking Ric again.

“Look Maddy I know you, you’ll go out with Ric then find some rich idiot who likes you and dump Ric for greener, wealthier pastures. It’s not like I mind, as long as you share the cash.”

“I wouldn’t do that! Ever! You haven’t seen me in how long?”

“A long time admittedly.”

“And are you still the equally arrogant, selfish and manipulative child I was? I mean we shared an egg like you say we obviously have other things in common.”

“No way I’m a whole new guy, I’m hotter too and taller!”

“Exactly, we’ve all changed but the only difference between you and me is that you’re still an ass and I’m not.”

“That’s a bit harsh, you are pissed at me for judging you and then you just judged me.”

“Well who is the one that’s been nasty and tactless about his sister?”

“Well I’m guessing it’s not you unless mum popped out a girl with Tony.”

“Get a life.”

She hung up the phone and moved over the punch bag where she proceeded to beat the hell out of it. The phone rang again.

Maddy stormed over to it and picked it up.

“Sorry about before.”

Maddy sighed.

“You should be.”

“You’re pretty impressive when you’re angry, that hasn’t changed at least.”

“I’m hotter and taller too.”

She giggled and Henry chuckled himself.

“I’m just annoyed that I seemed to have lost touch with all my family and siblings, I mean I’ve only met Lucas once and I’ve never even seen Jack the copper before and it just gets on my nerves.”

“Why don’t you call or visit?”

“Visit who? The only people I really ever cared about in Summer bay was my family and no one is still there but mum permanently.”

“Call then.”

“I don’t know Robbie’s number or Scott’s and besides they don’t try to hang out with me.”

“That’s because they have babies to take of and wives and adult responsibilities you can’t blame them for forgetting to call you, besides they don’t call me either.”

“It was always you and me against the world, I guess I miss that when the world turns out to be a pretty ****ty place.”

“You’re not wrong there and I miss that too, you always made me laugh and I guess it wasn’t a good thing in the end but you always accepted me for the bitch I was.”

“Yeah well we shared an egg.”

Maddie laughed.

“That used to always be our excuse for everything.”

“I wonder if it still works.”

“Not likely.”

“Yeah well don’t be a stranger Tilly.”

“Definitely not, why don’t you come visit me while I’m in the bay?”

“I’ll see what I can do and let you know.”

“Cool, keep out of trouble twin.”

“Yeah you too twin.”

Maddy hung up and smiled to herself.


Maddy found it funny and slightly disconcerting how much she missed Ric while he was at Ric, they had only been hanging out for about a day and yet she felt like she couldn’t live properly another day without seeing or talking to him.

At first she thought it was just an obsession like she had with shoes and other guys in the past where she thought about them constantly but in the end it was shallow and replaceable and then she thought it might have been dependence because he knew about her rape and would protect her but then she imagined him dying and she felt the air escape her lungs and her eyes watered and she was desolate at even the thought of it. Maddy knew from her own judgements that it meant she loved him but she had always loved him as a friend it was whether she was in love him that was difficult to judge.

She had been in love with Lucas and he was her first love, she knew no matter how many people she dated or how much time had passed a small part of her would always be in love with him, she couldn’t escape that but it sucked because she knew she’d compare her next love to what she had with him. Her love for Lucas was born out of innocence, curiosity and admiration but with Ric it had come from friendship and turned to lust but under the lust was a lasting feeling that was unlike anything she had experienced. It confused her because if that validated true love to her it seemed to make her love for Lucas fake.

She sat in the diner with a coffee that she was too distracted to drink until Martha came in and spotted her.

“Hey Maddy!”

“Hey Martha.”

“Can I join you or is it a ponder party for one?”

Maddy looked up.

“Oh sorry I was in a world of my own, yeah you’re welcome to sit.”

Martha gave her order to Irene and plopped down to next to her.

“Hows things?”

“Okay yeah.”

“Don’t sound too enthuastic.”

Maddy smiled.

“Well if I was getting married to the handsome Jack Holden I’d have something to be enthuastic about!”

Martha beamed.

“Don’t go getting ideas there’s only one handsome cop to go around and he’s mine.”

Maddy smiled wistfully and Martha gave her a knowing look.

“Somehow I don’t think it’s Jack that you’re thinking about.”

Maddy shook her head in exasperation.


“Lucas and Ric but I don’t know if I should talk about it since he’s your cousin.”

“Don’t worry I wont tell him anything and I want to try and help, guy troubles shouldn’t definitely be shared.”


“Okay I’ll start then: Jack is a slob! He can’t seem to do the easiest things like putting his dishes in the sink or his towel on the rail and even after months he still forgets to put the toilet seat down!”

“No way!”

“I know it’s like I’m living with an ape! Yet when it comes to showering he takes forever like a woman! And he leaves the newspaper in the toilet and when I ask how it gets there he says he was doing a little light reading on the loo! I mean seriously! How long could it possibly take that he’d need an entire newspaper and now I’m concerned I’m not feeding him enough roughage in his diet.”

Maddy almost choked on her coffee she was laughing so hard.

“That is pretty annoying I thought the hard part was getting into a relationship not all the trivial things that you don’t think about but I guess they can become more important than you realise.”

“Yeah that’s true but then you weigh all the annoying little things against how much you love them and how it makes you feel when they smile at you and you can put up with anything.”

“You really are head over heels in love aren’t you?”

“Yep there’s no going back now.”

“So how do you know when you’re in love.”

Martha slurped on the milkshake Irene had just passed her while thinking.

“I don’t know, it’s different for everyone, for me it was definitely not love at first sight and one thing or one moment can define love for a person but for others it’s not as clear cut and you fall in love slowly without realising, it just depends.”

“Oh okay.”

“I know that’s not much help but for me anyway I just looked inside myself and knew in my gut that this was it and that Jack was ‘the one’ I think you know deep down inside after a while whether you’re in love it’s just embracing it and acknowledging it that takes longer.”


“So want to fill me in on Ric?”

“Well I was in love with Lucas, it was pure and innocent and whole but then when broke up and of course it hurt but I moved on and there hadn’t been anyone else until I came back here and saw Ric again I felt more for him than just friendship, I wanted him too but now I don’t know whether it’s just long overdue rebound feelings or just hormones or whether I am falling in love with him and it’s the vagueness of it that stops me acting on what I feel. It feels so different to Lucas it can’t be love right?”

“Wow that is a dilemma, the thing is all love is different no one love is the same I mean what you feel for your mum is different from what you felt for Lucas which is different again for how you feel about Robbie or Scott or Kit. They are all types of love but just like everyone is unique so is every relationship and therefore all the feelings like love that go with it are going to be unique too. Just because what you feel for Ric isn’t what you had with Lucas doesn’t make either wrong or false.”

“Wow you should really be a therapist.”

Martha laughed.

“I’m not giving up my day job as an electrician but I could do it as a hobby.”

“Well start making business cards then I think I’ll could use one.”

Martha smiled sympathetically at her.

“Don’t worry too much just go with the flow, the more you try to think it out the more you’ll get confused just go with your instinct or heart when the time comes.”

By six o’clock Maddy had had dinner and was itching to go and see Ric so she went around a bit later.

Ric opened the door and smiled when he saw her.

“Had a good day?”

Maddy sidled past him.

“I guess so although I’m doing Bridezilla's makeup for the wedding so I may have to take a muzzle with me."

Ric cracked up laughing.

"You agreed to do Colleen's makeup? You certainly are a glutton for punishment."

"Well it's me giving back to the community! I talked to Henry today."

"No way! How is he?"

"He's pretty good he may come visit which would be awesome."

"So do you want to hang out maybe get a movie?"

Maddy nodded so they drove down to the movie store, Maddy saw pride and prejudice on the shelves and persuaded Ric to watch it with her.

"Maddy it's four hours! It's like the chick flick from hell."

"Aw c'mon we'll rent whatever you want next week as long as it isn't porn."

Ric rolled his eyes.

"Whatever just get it."

Maddy impulsively kissed him on the cheek and Ric knew it was worth it.

It was into the second hour of the mini-series when Ric made an observation.

"Wow Elizabeth is so annoying."

"How come?"

"Well she let her pride get in the way of everything I mean even if she didn't love Darcy he was rich enough to help her entire family it's pretty selfish to turn him down."

Maddy screwed up her face.

"Sure she was proud but she'd rather wait for happiness than setttle for someone she didn't know she loved."

"But waiting is overrated when you love someone or see a good thing you go for it, life is too short to hold out for something that might never happen."

"Ric you are pretty deep."

"Don't start or I'll talk about cars and hot chicks for the rest of your holiday."

"Okay subject dropped."

He smiled and turned back to the screen.

"Will you go on a date with me?"

Ric choked on his own saliva.

"What? Are you serious?"

He was half laughing which made her sheepish and unsure of herself.

"Well only if you want to."

Ric sat in dumfounded silence for a moment or two while Maddy played with her hair nervously.

"Well of course I want to you just took me by surprise. I mean this is a big step."

"I know but I've been thinking about it and I'm sick of worrying and debating it and your speech about going for things you want and love prompted me. It's your fault!"

"Wait...you love me?"

Ric looked deep into her eyes and in that moment she knew she was positively, completely smitten and in love with him.

"Well sort of."

Only she wasn't quite ready to tell him.

"Sort of?"

Ric wasn't offended he was curious, he hadn't felt this happy in forever he wasn't going to let it drop.

"Well I'm testing the water before I get in the pool."

Metaphors? Seriously? You are such an idiot! the guy you love asked you an important question and you start talking about swimming. Stupid english 101

Ric just grinned, he didn't care that she was cautious and had zany ways of describing her feelings the point was that she had asked him out and possibly loved him and that's more than he could ever have dreamed of.

Then Maddy gasped.

"Oh god sorry I forgot about your mystery girlfriend I understand if you don't want -"

"The mystery girl I was alluding to was you Maddy, I thought as an english major you may have got the irony or whatever and I was too spineless to tell you the truth."

Maddy gave Ric a mega watt smile that made her look the most radiant he had ever seen her.

"Did you mention that to me last night? I dreamt something along those lines."

"Yeah that was me."

"I'm glad."

Ric chuckled.

"I'm getting deja vu."

Maddy gave him a confused look but he just smiled and pulled her back down on to the couch with him so that her head was on his chest and she nuzzled in close to him as he kissed her hair.

Pride and Prejudice was the best rental Ric had ever got out.


First date coming up! Will it all be smooth sailing?

Lucas and Cassie will come later as will Henry if I can find a place for him (any ideas are welcome!)

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Let me know what you think of this chapter! I got sick of dragging out the angst so now it's more fluff for a bit until the return of the exs!


Chapter 6: The morning after

Maddy extracted herself from Ric’s embrace as he slept soundly beneath her with a contented smile on his face. Maddy knew her mum would worry that she hadn’t come home but that was the least of her worries.

She had slept with Ric Dalby her best friend and now lover. She hadn’t just slept in his bed with him like before (in fact there was very little sleeping done) she had actually been intimate with him and let him see and touch places in her soul she had only ever let one other person experience before.

She mentally slapped herself, she had waited for so long with Lucas for it to be perfect and it wasn’t that it wasn’t great with Ric, in fact it was better than anything she could have imagined but it was so spontaneous and she wasn’t thinking with her head anymore that she didn’t know if she had made the best decision.

She picked up her clothes and slipped them quickly on before going downstairs to get a coffee. Sally was returning in the afternoon luckily so at least there wouldn’t be the awkwardness of greeting her on her own.

She heard heavy footsteps upstairs, surprised to hear Ric awake she contemplating leaving before he got downstairs but it was pretty immature and she didn’t want him to think he had done something wrong.

Ric came downstairs in a wife beater and boxers scratching his head but he smiled brightly when he saw her.


Maddy couldn’t help but smile coyly.

“You have cute morning hair.”

Ric laughed.

“You even look hot with messed up hair.”

“And who’s fault was that?”

Ric looked almost shy.

“Yeah about that-”

“It’s okay I can use a brush.”

“No I was thinking more broadly, I mean we had sex.”

Maddy would have cringed if it had been anyone else but she was confident with Ric and they were still friends even if they were dating so she wasn’t scandalised by his bluntness, in fact it amused her so much she was blunt right back.

“Yes we did have sex.”

“Incredible sex.”

Maddy moved over to him and hugged his waist while he ran a hand through her knotty hair and kissed on her the lips.

“Yes the sex was incredible. We make quite the team.”

Ric laughed.

“Team? I don’t think I’ll be able to watch sports the same way again.”

Maddy took a sip of her coffee and Ric gave her a cautious stare.


“Do you have any regrets?”

“About us or about the incredible sex?”


“I mean I would have liked to plan the ‘team effort’ a bit better but I’ve realised love can’t be tracked on a calendar or fitted in somewhere it just happens and you can’t control it I mean that’s why they calling it 'falling' in love it’s clumsy and yet exciting..I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love you.”

It all kind of came out at once, she had planned to tell Ric she loved him later on but Maddy realised what she planned and what actually took place were rarely similar.

"I love you too.”

His voice was so soft and adoring Maddy wanted to dance around but she restrained herself.

Maddy wasn’t a prude but she wasn’t the most experienced person either so when Ric went to tickle her as she handed him cereal and he happened to kiss her which somehow ended up on the couch she wondered whether it was wrong to be ‘practising’ with Ric on Sally’s furniture but when he touched her her brain seemed to shut down and her carnal impulses took over.


Chapter 7: The time before the morning after.

Maddie had left Ric’s after pride and prejudice ended and went home to her bed as she knew her mother would be missing her and she felt happy enough to sleep in her own room.

He tried to walk her home but she refused to let him, he had sat through four or so hours of old English romance she wasn’t going to make him leave the comfort of his house to walk her anywhere.

He was adamant in doing so though so she told him if he didn’t let her be independent she would go insane and he didn’t want to have to have a first date in a mental asylum so he reluctantly conceded.

The next day when she saw him was at the gym.

“Hey you.”

He dropped his weights and moved closer to her, not sure whether to try and kiss her or not but she leaned in first so he took it as a go ahead and they exchanged tender kisses before she pulled away and smiled enthusiastically.

“So tonight Ric Dalby I want you looking really hot and outside my house at seven sharp okay?”

“Is this for our date?”

Maddy rolled her eyes.

“Well duh! I’m all about instant gratification which means I want stuff fast and you sir happen to be the object of my affection so I want you ready and waiting.”

Ric tried not to let Maddy’s weird army sergeant type speech turn him on but the fact they could officially be together in a romantic capacity had meant any hope of self restraint had gone out of the window.

“Well I better do as I am told.”

“Good well I’ll see you then.”

“But it’s my day off I was hoping to spend time with you!”

Maddy stroked his face.

“Aw well that’s sweet but I have things to prepare for tonight and I want to give you time to miss me, if I hang out with you 24/7 you’ll get bored of me.”

“Don’t even think that, it’s not possible.”

He kissed her one more to emphasis the point.

“Still I kind of need some mother-daughter bonding time as she complained last night I’d been in town two days and spent twenty with minutes with her! She’s a bit jealous of you I think and I know you want to keep in her good books -”

“Of course spend time with your mum.”

Maddy laughed to herself that Ric seemed eager to appease her mum but she couldn't blame him after the 'lack-of-bathrobe incident'

So at seven, after hours of time spent shopping with her mum for the perfect outfit Maddy opened the door wearing her black boots and a sophisticated red dress that (to her mum’s disapproval) emphasised all the right places and Ric was wearing a black shirt and pants that made Maddy shiver.

“Hello handsome.”

Ric passed her over a rose.

“Don’t worry I didn’t pick it out of the garden.”

Maddy smiled before picking up the picnic basket from behind the sofa.

“You look stunning by the way.”

Maddy blushed.

“Thanks, well I thought a picnic would be a good first date - traditional, quiet and cheap.”

“Sounds good to me.”

So they walked hand in hand down to the beach and once they sat down Maddy grinned.

“I brought champagne but I promise there will be no repeat skinning dipping.”

Ric put on a sad face.

“But skinny dipping sounds more tempting this time around. So whats for dinner?”

Maddy opened the picnic basket to reveal takeaway pizza and Ric laughed.

“A girl after my own heart.”

“Well that’s why I wanted you around mine at seven sharp, it will still be hot by now.”

So they sipped champagne and ate pizza talking about uni, the past and the future that they both hoped they could share together.

It was soon pretty dark but it was still warm out and before Maddy was going to comment on the peaceful weather a strong wind began to blow and out of nowhere it began to pour with rain.

Okay so it was dark enuf that Maddy couldn’t tell if there had been dark clouds in the sky or not but it seemed to be a weird coincidence that wherever Ric and Maddy went, showers followed.

Maddy quickly got up, annoyed that her new dress, her hair and her carefully applied makeup were being ruined but the look on Ric’s face that was a combination of disbelief and amusement calmed her down.

Maddy shoved all the leftovers and glasses in the picnic basket and sprinted hand in hand with Ric off the beach.

“My house is closer lets go there!”

Maddy nodded in agreement and before long they were entering the caravan park and leaving a river in their wake on the way upstairs.

Maddy quickly peeled off her boots and stripped off her dress so that she could stick it on the radiator, she was only in her underwear but she didn’t think it mattered as Ric had seen her in her bikini before and she wasn’t about to get hypothermia for the sake of being ladylike.

Ric whipped off his skirt and ran a towel down his chest before turning to lend it to Maddy. He hadn’t realised she was de-clothed but he stood speechless when he did.

Maddy twisted the towel around her head so that her hair was out of the way and smiled shyly at Ric.

“What? You’ve seen me in my bikini before!”

Ric nodded.

“I have but not completely wet, with a towel around your head, alone in my house with your make up all smudged in a way only you could make sexy.”

Maddy giggled.

“Flattery will get you everywhere.”

“Everywhere you say?”

He moved over to her and they began to kiss passionately, he grabbed Maddy’s bum and she instinctively jumped up slightly so that he was carrying her to the bedroom as Maddy kissed any skin she could find.

At first in Maddy’s head she thought it might have been weird making out with her best friend in her underwear but it really wasn’t, so much had altered within her and between them in the past few days that they weren’t how they used to be anyway.

Then they were on the bed and Maddy was moaning which drove Ric crazy as he unclasped her bra effortlessly and flung it aside. She fumbled with the belt of his jeans which made him smile but she got it undone eventually and undid his jeans pushing them down.

Ric knew he’d hate himself for it if she refused him but he had to ask if she did actually want to continue.

“Maddy are you-”

Maddy grinned.

“-Shut up.”

“Yes Ma’am.”

There was no further discussion.


So what do you think? I wont be writing any graphic sex scenes or anything because I'm not good at them and I'm not confident with it, but I'll try make what I do write as intense as I can to make up for it.

Next one will probably be up tuesday :)

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Okay so my supposedly not so long chapters aren't exactly very short but never mind! This one is extra long because I have an art history internal that will take up 99% of my time the rest of the week so I doubt the next chapter will be up until monday!

Enjoy and keep reviewing it makes my day :)


“I’m in love with him mum."

Beth rolled her eyes.

“Darling remember the time you said you were in love with those red ballet type slippers so I bought them for you then once you had them you lost interest?”

“Mum I was six!”

“I know and I’m not saying you don’t believe your in love with Ric but you’ve been back two days!”

“I know it sounds impossible but people who fall in love over months get to know each other first but me and Ric already know everything about each other so we kind of skipped that part and fell in love effortlessly with what we knew but had forgotten you know?”

“I am trying to understand.”

Beth thought she was a rather modern woman considering her traditional, rural upbringing, after all she had been divorced twice and accepted teen pregnancies and scandals but from her own experiences she didn't think people could fall in love in a matter of 48 hours it seems impossible to her but she was trying to see where her daughter was coming from nonetheless.

“I sometimes think I was in love with him all along I just wasn’t old enough to process what that meant and was too innocent to know the implications and then Lucas came along and my feelings for Ric sort of faded but they never disappeared and now they are -”



“Well if he makes you happy, I’m happy I just don’t want you to get your hopes up, after all have you thought about what you are going to do when the summer ends and you jet back to uni?”

Maddy felt her stomach drop.

“I don’t know, I mean it’s only a four hour trip there.”

“So do you want to be driving four hours there and another four back to see him on the weekend with all the study you have to do? Does Ric want to do that sort of travelling?”

“I don’t know mum stop hassling me!”

“Hun I’m just trying to make you realise when you are talking such an adult commitment as love that you have to make adult decisions about your future which means thinking long term. I'm not saying you're going to marry him but if it’s just a fling than tell him so before anyone gets hurt but whether or not you like to hear it, you’ll be out of Summer Bay quicker than you realise and you have to at least discuss what will happen then because you've been friends too long to give it any less attention."

“I know you’re right but the thing is I have no answers, I’m not going to drop out of uni but Ric shouldn’t have to give up his job here in Summer Bay either.”

“Well I was thinking more practically by working out together whether you have a long distance relationship or you go back to being friends until you finish uni maybe, neither one of you should have to give up your dream.”

Maddy felt herself beginning to cry at the helplessness of it all.

“I can’t break up with him, I mean I can’t be without him when I’m not with him it’s like I’m floating about recording things in my head that happen in the day just so that when I’m with him again I can tell him everything and anything I see I think of Ric whether he’d like it or what he’d say etc how could I spend weeks or months away from him?”

Beth gave her daughter a sympathetic hug, since Maddy had returned to Summer Bay she could see she wasn’t the same but this sudden relationship worried her the most.

“What’s been going on with you sweetheart?”

“What d’ya mean?”

“I know my daughter and I know when she’s unhappy, when you first came back here you were miserable I could see it in your eyes and now you’re like a completely different person again.”

Maddy looked down.

“Something happened to me at uni that really upset me but since I’ve been with Ric I’m fine.”

“You’re not using Ric as a distraction are you? I just don’t want you to put all your expectations on to him and think he’ll make everything okay.”

Maddy hesitated, was she just using Ric and fooling herself into thinking she loved him as a way to get over her rape? She dismissed the idea quickly as she was so unsure of everything (especially herself) these days that she was going to second guess things no matter how far fetched they were.

“Of course not.”

“I’m just checking. Do you want a coffee?”

“Yes please.”


Maddy’s mum was right, a week passed easily when Maddy and Ric were wrapped up in each other, it was like they went around in a protective bubble, blinding them from anything that wasn’t each other.

They went dancing (Ric was rubbish but Maddy had a few laughs as well as sore toes)

They just hung out at the beach or at home watching Pippa or helping Sally with dinner.

Every night she was at Ric’s or he was at hers as they got so used to sleeping next to each other it felt odd not waking up to see the other person. Ric and Beth had bonded when the lawn mower and washing machine had died on her in the same day so Ric came to the rescue and free of charge and hassle worked his magic and got them running again.

They even all went out to dinner - Maddy, Ric, Sally, Tony and Beth it was really fun but Maddy couldn’t help thinking about Henry and what he was missing. She felt so bad she hadn’t really given him a second thought since he had left, there was always so much drama and gossip going on around the town that there was barely any time for reflection or reminiscing.

“So today is the big day.”

Maddy ate her pancakes appreciatively with Ric doing the same next to her while Tony and Beth washed up their plates from breakfast.

“Yeah, I have to be at Colleen’s insanely early to do her make up and I’m a little nervous I mean if I mess it up she’ll crucify me.”

“Don’t worry you’ve spent enough time doing your own make up I’m sure you will do fine.”

Maddy smiled at her mum.

“And if not I can always flee the country.”

Ric looked up.

“Don’t do that, I’ll just hide you in a wood shed somehow and feed you until Colleen eventually dies and then you can be free to live your life again.”

Maddy laughed and Tony made the bright idea:

“Why don’t you practice on your boyfriend first?”

Ric looked mildly alarmed at the idea of being assaulted with lipstick and massacre but Maddy was more alarmed at him being called her boyfriend. They had been ‘dating’ but she had never really told anyone much and she wasn’t sure what to 'label’ him as if anyone asked but now it had been said she quite liked it.

“Well he wouldn’t be my boyfriend for much longer if I tried.”

Ric looked at her and she knew he was thinking exactly what she had been only moments ago but when he smiled to himself slightly she knew they were on the same page.

Maddy quickly looked at her watched and cursed under her breath.

“I should get going, I’ll be back for lunch to change for the ceremony do you want to meet me then and we can go together?”

Ric got up and nodded.

“Yeah I have a car I want to get finished but I’ll see you then.”

They gave each other a quick kiss goodbye and walked out of the door before Maddy retreated and stuck her head around the door to thank her mum for the pancakes.

Beth smiled and Tony looked awestruck.

“They’re like a power couple.”

Beth laughed at husband’s face.


Maddy sat patiently on a couch at Colleen’s house while Colleen fussed with her hair that had just been styled.

“Oh I look like a poodle! Fill isn’t engaged to a canine I need it changed!”

Maddy walked inside and Colleen’s hair was quite big but it suited her and it didn’t look as atrocious as she made it out to be.

“It suits your personality though Colleen, and at least try it with the dress on before you take it down.”

Colleen took Maddy’s advice and shooed her back to the living room where Leah was now waiting.

“You’re doing the make up right?”

“If I ever get a chance.”

“How long have you been waiting?”

“Fourty or so minutes but it feels like forever.”

“Well I’m the bridesmaid and I haven’t even seen what Colleen’s picked out for me yet.”

Maddy stifled a giggle.

“I’m sure it will be lovely.”

Leah scoffed.

“When I agreed to the position of bridesmaid I had resigned myself to a long day of crying, embarassment and ruffles and then of course there’s the wedding.”

Maddy laughed out loud which forced Colleen to emerge in her wedding dress.


Leah was speechless and Maddy prayed to herself not to even think about giggling.

Colleen was grinning from ear to ear but when she saw them sitting in shocked silence her face dropped into a glare.

“What is it? I thought it was very exotic.”

Leah finally choked out a reply:

“I thought you would have gone for white.”

“Well that’s for blushing brides and I’m certainly not a virgin so I didn’t think it was appropriate.”

Maddy tried to ignore the virgin comment.

“But it’s leopard skin.”


Maddy didn’t know if she had ever heard of any brides in the history of the universe that had worn a leopard skin wedding dress that fitted them like a glove one size too small and even managed to have ruffles at the bottom and the arms.

“I’m amazed I mean it’s so..unique I’m surprised anyone thought to make it as a wedding dress.”

“Well I made it myself do you like it?”

Leah looked conflicted on whether to tell the truth or not but for Colleen’s sake Maddy knew she had to bite the bullet.

“Colleen it looks like something a drag queen would wear and I’m sure as a summer dress it may look..okay but to have this dress immortalised in photos of the most important day of your life is just..criminal.”

She waited for the angry outburst but Colleen was silent.

“You said quite enough Matilda thank you.”

She walked calmly back into her room but slammed the door behind her amd Maddy felt instantly guilty.

Leah just looked at her.

“Well I'm right aren’t I?”

“Of course you are but what good is it going to do telling her that the day of her wedding!”

“Well maybe we could quickly buy her a different one or something because I can’t bare to see her walk down the aisle with everyone laughing at her.”

Leah nodded.

“You’re right but what if my dress is just as bad?”

“You should wear you’re best evening dress no one will notice.”

Leah stood up.

“Okay I’ll go home and get my dress and some shoes you try and convince Colleen to call up a bridal shop and buy a proper dress and I’ll pick it up for her.”


Maddy knocked softly on Colleen’s door.

“Can I come in?”

“If you must.”

Coleen was sitting in her bathrobe on the bed looking desolate.

“I knew you were right but Fillipo fell in love with me because he said I was spunky and outgoing I just wanted to make a dress to make him remember that after all the drama I’ve given him this week.”

“How about we compromise?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well we’ll get you a normal, plain wedding dress and then we’ll cut some of the leopard skin material and make a head band to hold your hair down a bit and make a sort belt in the middle with some of it as it will pull in your waist and look great. We can even make you a material choker out of it to wear instead of the boring old pearls what do you think?”

She knew it would still look like a bit of a fashion disaster but it was a good compromise and it was still bold enough to be attractive to Fill but not so outrageous as to shock everyone.


Ric knocked on the door and Beth answered.

“Hey Ric, Maddy told me to tell you there’s been an emergency with the wedding plans I’m running over now to do some sowing so she said to save her a seat at the church and she’ll be there when she can.”

Ric nodded.

“Okay that’s fine I’ll see you both there.”

Ric walked off to go have lunch at home wondering who had spilled what or who had ripped something.


Beth came in with a sowing kit just as Leah was returning from Yabbie Creek with a wedding dress, they both looked exhausted.

“What do I need to do?”

Leah took in a breath.

“Take this wedding dress, Maddy is cutting up fabric to be sown on to it and I’m going to do the make up while you both fix the gown if you don’t mind. Then once I’ve done the make up I’ll fix us lunch while Colleen tries it on.”

She exhaled and Beth moved into the living room to help her daughter.

Two hours of sweat and toil later and the dress was finished but the ceremony was going to start any minute and Colleen was looking fairly resigned to the fact it wasn’t going to happen.

“It’s no use girls, thanks for your help but I guess I’m just not meant to be a bride.”

Maddy groaned and stood in up frustration.

“You listen to me! We have slaved over this dress for hours and everyone is waiting for you to get married so don’t you dare feel sorry for yourself and start being a team player!”

Beth smiled at her daughter.

“Maddy’s right the dress is minutes away from completion just give Alf a call and tell them you’re running a little late.”

Colleen did as she was told (Alf had agreed to be Fill’s best man as he knew very few people in the town) and the more she realised she’d be married within a few hours the more excited she got.

Finally they got on the dress and bundled Colleen, her flowers, and Leah into one car and Maddy and Beth went in the other. Maddy was wearing a brown dress with gold straps and looked rather stunning.

Beth drove perilously behind Leah as they sped to get to the church, suddenly Maddy’s cell phone rung.


“It’s me pet.”

“Uh hi Colleen, how you feeling?”

“Happy as can be thanks to you, so I want you to be my other bridesmaid, will you?”

Maddy hesitated.

“I’m flattered but I’m only wearing my formal dress.”

“So is Leah don’t worry and I had extra flowers just in case I misplaced the first bunch so you can use those and just follow Leah down the aisle.”

“Well then thank you I’d be honoured.”

She squealed to her mum that she was going to be bridesmaid and Beth congratulated her for saving the day.

When they got there people were sitting patiently in their seats with Fill in a tuxedo down the front. The music played as Leah entered smiling at Dan and giving a small wave to VJ and Ryan. Maddy quickly patted her hair down that had blown up in the wind and walked confidently behind her as Beth found a seat next to Tony.

Ric turned with all the other congregation and looked confused to see Maddy with the flowers walking down the aisle. Maddy mouthed to him ‘don’t ask’ and smiled so he grinned admiringly back.

She is so beautiful, I want to keep her with me forever and make sure no one ever hurts her again. It’s so clichéd but for once at least you actually mean it, when was the last time your future looked so good?

Ric laughed to himself at his good fortune and then stifled a further laugh when he saw Colleen’s dress, luckily everyone else seemed to take it in their stride and smiled with Colleen as she beamed at Fill.

The wedding was beautiful but as Maddy stood listening to the vowels or smiling at Ric she couldn’t help but feel sick. She hadn’t eaten any lunch so she assumed it was because of that.

It wasn’t until she woke up on the church floor that she realised she had fainted, luckily it was as everyone was leaving but Beth and Ric were by her side in seconds.

“You okay Maddy?”

“Uh yeah I think so.”

Beth got her some water as Ric helped her up and put his arm around her waist to steady her and walk her out.

“I didn’t have lunch.”

Ric smiled.

“We’ll get some tucker into you at the reception, Noah’s has some peanuts and chips that’ll keep you going until dinner.”

Maddy nodded in agreement but still felt so nauseas, her body felt so weird but she assumed it was because she was overdue for her period and was probably her body’s way of warning her it was on the way.

The reception was great but Maddy felt so tired she basically slept on Ric’s shoulder the whole night while he stroked her hair protectively and talked to Jack about his wedding plans.

The last hour was when things got interesting.


Cassie skipped over to Colleen and gave her a hug.

“Sorry I missed the ceremony I broke god knows how many road laws to try and make it but at least I made the reception!”

She handed Colleen some flowers as a wedding gift before she spotted a shocked Ric.

Ric automatically moved his hands away from Maddy as if he had done something wrong, seeing Cassie again was like time warping back one year and a lot had changed since then.

Cassie waved enthusiastically so Ric left Maddy on the couch to go and greet her. The movement however stirred her awake in time to see Ric give Cassie a hug.

“I thought you were in Tasmania with your boyfriend?”

Cassie’s face dropped.

“Yeah well he’s my ex boyfriend now it’s a long story but good news is I’m spending the summer here! Isn’t that great?”

Ric forced a smile.

“That’s awesome Cass, Sally will be stoked to see you.”

Cassie smiled shyly at him as she stroked one of Maddy’s hairs off his shoulder.

“And what about you?”

“Of course I’m glad to see you.”

“Good. You look good by the way.”

Ric smiled.

“You do too, uni lifestyle obviously agrees with you.”

“Yeah it’s great but I missed you more than I thought I would.”



She grinned.

“So are you going to buy me a drink?”


He ordered what he already knew she’d ask for which made her giggle and Maddy just sat there watching them like they had never been apart and felt sick, mainly from fainting earlier but also because she was worried about what this meant.

Cassie finally turned her attention to Maddy who smiled wearily and stood up. Cassie squealed and ran over to hug her.

Ric walked over awkwardly to the pair and handed Cassie a drink.

“Do you want anything Maddy?”

I want you to tell her we’re dating.

but instead replied:

“No thanks I’m fine.”


“So how have you been girl? Martin has been asking about you, Greg and me are over but I still keep in contact with Marty he’s adorable.”

Maddy felt herself wanting to vomit again.

“Who’s Martin Maddy?”

Ric was curious that he hadn’t heard about him but Cassie answered for her.

“He’s this cute guy that is so into Maddy but she is playing hard to get.”

“I think you should stay clear of Martin Cassie.”

Maddy gave Ric a look that spoke a thousand words and suddenly everything fitted into place.

Maddy quickly changed the conversation.

“So why did you and Greg break up?”

“Turns out he had a girlfriend in Tasmania that he thought was away in Singapore or something but she changed her plans when she heard he was coming back only she didn’t know about me or me about her.”

“That sucks I’m sorry Cass.”

Ric lay a reassuring hand on Cassie’s shoulder and she smiled adoringly at him and rested her hand on top.

Maddy tried to ignore it and Ric looked at her pleadingly not to say anything.

“Yeah sorry Cass.”

“It’s okay I’m down a boyfriend but up a mate, his old girlfriend and me totally joined forces and keyed his car.”

Maddy nodded.


“Yeah well I’m home now, so what have you two been getting up to?”

Ric and Maddy looked at their feet.




Cassie looked confusedly between the pair.

“What is there something I should know?”

Ric jumped in.

“Nah we’re just trying to remember we’ve been doing some much lately.”

Including each other. Maddy thought dryly.

“Oh okay so where is Sal?”

“She’s at home, Pippa was kicking up a fuss so she left.”

Cassie nodded.

“So Ric you want to walk me and my bags to our house I wanna have a chat with you. You don’t mind us ditching you do you hun?”

If Maddy was just Ric’s friend she wouldn’t have minded but right then she felt like clawing Cassie’s eyes out, but Ric looked so anxious she didn’t want to betray him so she smiled patiently.

“No it’s fine, you two have fun I’ll hang with Martha. I’ll see you both tomorrow.”

Cassie gave her a hug goodbye and Ric motioned that he’d call her.


Maddy sat down vaguely listening to her mother’s conversation with Irene but mainly trying to dissolve the thousand and one thoughts whizzing around her brain.

What did she want to chat about? Weren’t they just chatting before? Can’t she carry her own goddamn bags? Sure she has like 1% body fat but she wasn’t an invalid!

She felt bad more criticising her best friend after all she was ignorant about her relationship with Ric but she wasn’t thinking logically anymore she was worried and jealous and wasn’t feeling herself.

She said goodnight to Colleen who thanked her for being bridesmaid and Fill said he’d call the next day to schedule ‘painting time’. It wasn’t that the wedding reception was dull it’s that she wasn’t feeling up to celebrating anymore and sitting around looking sour was tainting the atmosphere as her mother and Martha kept giving her worried glances.

When she got back to the empty house she went over the answer machine hopefully but sighed when no one had left her a message.

She hugged herself in her Pjs as she crawled into her bed in the dark room and stared at her lifeless cell phone that was on her bedside table.

She willed it to ring. Ric knew she wouldn’t be sleeping so why hadn’t he called?

She debated calling Sally’s but she didn’t want to seem desperate and she wasn’t sure they’d appreciate a call after midnight.

Then she picked up the phone and dialled another number under the covers.



“Yeah it’s me.”

The male voice on the other end sounded groggy.

“It’s kinda late.”

“I don’t believe you were in bed this time on a Saturday night.”

“Well you are!”

“How can you tell?”

“I’m your twin I just know.”

“Sorry to wake you.”

“It’s okay I was out all night last night partying hard and then went to work in the day so I got an early night tonight. What’s up?”

“Nothing I just wanted to chat.”

“I thought you’d be out with Ric.”

“I was but now I’m home.”

“That doesn’t sound too positive.”

Maddy laughed.

“Not everyone calls a bad night going home alone.”

“Then why are you calling?”

Maddy rolled her eyes.

“First of all you berate me because I don’t call then you berate me when I do!”

“Sorry, you’re right... so shoot.”

So she told her brother everything about her and Ric and now Cassie.

“Well if he chooses her over you he’s more of an idiot than I thought.”

The fact he said there would even be choosing worried her.

“Yeah but Cassie’s is his first love.”

If anyone knew about the potency of first loves it was Maddy.

“Well I mean she’s like a prune with all that tanning she does, if Ric is thinking long term he’d pick you, you’ll age better after all, Cassie is wrinkle city and crows feet just waiting to happen. She’ll age like vinegar and you’ll age like wine.”

“Hey this is my other best friend you’re hounding remember! But thanks for the comfort nonetheless.”

“Yeah well thanks for confiding in me for once, I’ve gotten pretty good at this agony uncle crap since I’ve got a steady relationship. It’s amazing the amount of things a girl can perceive from something simple like slapping a girl’s ass that isn’t hers.”

“Wait..you have a girlfriend?”

“Oh yeah I forgot about that, I mean to tell you, I didn’t forget about her obviously.”

“Why did you slap someone else’s butt? Of course she’s going to react badly.”

“It’s was her mum’s!”

Maddy almost choked.

“And that’s an excuse?! That’s worse!”

“I was drunk and it was humorous it didn’t mean anything, even her mum found it amusing, although I’m not on such good terms with the dad..”

“You are an enigma Henry but I love you all the same.”

“Yeah well you worry too much which is going to put you right on par with Cassie wrinkle-wise so cut it out and get some sleep.”

“I love you.”

“Yeah okay.”

Maddy giggled, she loved making him uncomfortable so she crooned it again.

“I loooove yoooou big brother.”

“Yeah alright I think you’re okay too.”

“Say you love me or I’ll keep repeating myself.”

“You’re my twin, we shared an egg that’s enough isn’t it?”

“Nope I’m emotionally fragile right now and vulnerable you have to say it.”

“I’ve never said it to anyone I don’t intend to start now.”

“I love you my egg-sharing enigma of a sibling.”

“I love you too my manipulative, sappy, idiot of a sister. Happy?”

“You made my night.”

“Yeah well I want to continue mine with sleep not weird bordering on incestuous conversations.”

Maddy laughed.

“You really have intimacy issues if you thinking saying I love you is incestuous.”

“Yeah well you’re the one that let your boyfriend take a moonlit walk with his obviously smitten first love.”

“Not helping!”

“Fine just go to sleep.”

Maddy sighed.

“Okay, night.”

There was a reluctant pause.

“He’ll choose you.”

Maddy smiled.


“Because you’re you.”


“Don’t mention it. Night.”


At the last sound of her brother’s voice Maddy pretended they were kids again back on their farm playing around, life as a grown up was far too serious and complex so she blocked out her present and fell asleep with her past.


Yay more henry! I made him a little guyish i guess because I don't remember his character that well but I love sibling-bonding-love (I'm an only child :P) so there will be more to come!

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Maddy woke up in the morning and automatically glanced at her phone. It had no new messages.

Maddy wasn’t going to wait around for Ric to make up his mind, she was an independent person and didn’t need him if he didn’t want to be with her.

Maddy picked up her cell phone and dialled a number.


“Hey it’s me, Maddy.”

Lucas laughed.

“I think I know your voice by now. How are you?”

“Yeah I’m okay how about you?”

“Yeah I’m good I’m just staying with Diana in the city trying to get some extra study done.”

“Yeah well law is a tough course! So who’s Diana?”

She sort of already knew the answer from Tony but she had to ask.

“She’s my girlfriend.”

He sounded so awkward Maddy giggled.

“Lucas it’s okay to have a love life I’m not going to break into pieces over it.”

Truthfully it stung pretty bad that he had moved on and she was a little jealous although she guessed it was more she was jealous that he had a relationship and her’s was hanging by a thread.

“Yeah I know especially now you’re with Ric.”

“Oh you know?”

“You know my dad, he can’t keep his mouth shut. I’m happy for you though Tilly, I couldn’t have lost you to a better guy.”

Maddy scoffed.

“You didn’t lose me to Ric you lost me to your university and circumstance, if things had been -”

She sighed and Luke laughed.

“I know I’m just kidding but you never know what’s in the future.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Well I mean me and Diana aren’t that serious and when we finish our degrees we’ll still be in contact via our parents no matter what so I guess I’m just saying don’t declare us over for good.”

“Lucas you can’t just say that and make me wait around for you on the off chance you'll want me back.”

“I’ll always want you back Maddy it’s just a question of timing, I mean I didn’t fall out of love with you I just moved away and I know we haven’t spoken in ages but that doesn’t change anything.”

Maddy hated that she felt slight hope in what he was saying but she wasn’t really in love with him anymore although she’d always love him as a friend and be slightly attracted to him but the idea of romance and a future with Lucas romantically had lost it’s appeal and she hated even more that the only guy she did see that with was the guy that didn’t bother to call her.

“Lucas you haven’t seen me in a year I think you’ll always love me as a friend like I will you but real love and true love is where you can’t be away from that person no matter what and the fact we haven’t spoken in ages proves that we aren’t in love anymore.”

“Did you ever think it was too hard to talk to you and not see you? I thought about you for so many months but calling you would have made everything more difficult.”

Maddy smiled.

“You’ll always be there for me wont you?”

“Of course I will.”


“So does that mean maybe in the future we could get together if stuff doesn’t work out.”

“Lucas if it wasn’t Ric it’d be you so that’s a definite maybe.”

“Great, well good luck with Ric Maddy you deserve it.”

“Good luck with Diana.”


“I’ll call you again soon if you want.”

“Look forward to it.”

“Bye Luke.”

“Take care Maddy.”

Maddy felt slightly guilty talking to Luke about a future relationship when she was still with Ric (at least she hoped she was) but it was only a back up plan if things didn't work out with Ric so it wasn't like she was cheating on him

Maddy looked at a picture of her and Lucas a few years back that was framed on her side table and then a recent photo of her and Ric framed next to it, she sighed loudly and pushed them both down.

Maddy had decided she would give Ric a chance, after all he deserved that much. So she planned to stay home all day and study and that if he called her by the end of the day everything would be okay and if he didn’t she’d give up because unless he was hospitalised there was no reason why he couldn’t call before then, he knew how important it was after all.

So she sat patiently waiting and waiting and waiting until it got to around eleven o’clock and close to tears she called him.


“Maddy hi!”

“Where are you?”

“At home.”

“With Cassie?”

“Well yeah and Sally and Pippa.”

There was a silence, she was waiting for an explanation but nothing came.

“Fine bye.”

She hung up and burst into tears before scolding herself for being so weak. She was about to turn to go to bed when there was a knock at the door. Maddy quickly ran to the door because her parents were asleep and she was hoping Ric had somehow super speeded over to apologize.

“Hey lil’ sis!”


She clapped her hands and bounced on her tiptoes as he dropped his bags and closed the door. She ran up and hugged him tightly."

“Woah it’s okay I’m here in your time of need.”

“No you’re not you’re here to have mum fawn over you and and go surfing but that’s okay she’ll love having her twins together again and I will too.”

“So I’ll take the couch shall I?”

“No you can have Lucas’ old room.”


He put his stuff in the room while Maddy berated him to keep the noise down.

“So do I get a beer or what?”

“It’s eleven at night.”

“It’s never too early for drinking.”

Maddy smiled and threw him a cold one.

“You look like you could do with one too.”

“You’re not wrong there.”

She pulled one out for herself and sat on the couch with her feet on the coffee table and turned the TV on low as Henry joined her.

“So when can I meet your girlfriend?”

“She’s on holiday with her folks so not anytime soon and I want her to like me enough to tolerate my crazy sister.”

“She’s the crazy one going out with you!”

“So speaking of love lives, how’s yours panning out?”

“It’s circling the drain at the moment if you must know.”

“How come? Did he pick Cassie?”

“I wouldn’t know because the idiot didn’t call me and then when I called him he acted as if nothing had happened.”

“He’s a guy Maddy you have to beat us over the head with stuff before we get the point. Growing up with three brothers I thought you would have known that by now."

“I didn’t have to with Lucas though, he knew what I was thinking and when to back off or step up and I mean I know Ric just as well so I thought he’d know me as much.”

“You and Ric know each other but you are complete opposites otherwise and you havent been together long, give him a chance.”

You want me to give Ric a chance?”

“I just know you want to be with him and it seems obvious to do what you want it’s not rocket science, I’m just cutting the mountain back down to the molehill for you.”

Maddy burped and giggled.

“I think we should drink the harder stuff.”

Henry raised an eyebrow.

“Mum keeps vodka?”

“Nope but you’re 'crazy' sister does.”

Maddy disappeared into her room and re-entered with two shot glasses and a new bottle of vodka.

“Now I definitely know you weren’t switched at birth.”


They both skulled a shot before pouring another.

“What are we drinking to?”

Maddy wrinkled her nose.


“Yeah my friend Larry at uni said you can drink as much as you want and not be an alocholic as long as you drink to something - like world peace or a better sex life or whatever.”


“Yeah, although he ended up in rehab a few months later so I don’t know how sound the advice is, but we may as well carry on the tradition.”

“Of alocholism?”

“No you idiot of toasting.”

“Okay fine I think we should drink to the stupidity of love.”

Henry sighed.

“Whatever you say.”

So they downed the second shot and Maddy was drunk.

“You are such a lightweight Tilly.”

Maddy hiccuped.

“I am not! My mouth is really dry though I think I need some more liquor.”

She moved her hand to the bottle but Henry moved it out of her grasp.

“I think water would be better for quenching your thirst.”

Maddy looked sad.

“I miss Ric.”

Henry smiled.

“I know you do.”

“And I miss Lucas too but only because I miss talking to him.”

“You sound a little torn.”

“I’m intact I promise, no tearing although my heart, that’s a little broken.”

Henry rolled his eyes.

“You always were a drama queen! If you miss him do something about it don’t sit here whining to me and depressing me!”

Maddy slapped her hand down on the coffee table.

“You’re right I’m going to go around and see him now and give him a piece of -”

Maddy swayed on the spot with her brow furrowed in concentration.

“-Of your mind?”

Maddy grinned.

“Of my mind..right, good! Cya later!”

Maddy swung open the door so Henry got up after her.

“Maddy it’s almost midnight I don’t think they’d welcome you in like this.”

“Well I’ll climb the trellis to his bedroom its easy when you know how.”

Henry shuddered.

“I don’t want to even think about the implications of that sentence.”

“So do you want to come and be my wing man?”

Henry knew that if he let his drunk sister try to navigate to Ric’s let alone up a trellis alone that she’d either get lost or have an accident and he knew his mum would blame him so he gave up.

“Fine whatever but you get ten minutes with him then we are going back okay?”

Maddy nodded and they left. Maddy was overly talkative but Henry didn’t mind he hadn’t talk to his sister or any sibling for that matter on such good terms for a long time.

When they got there Maddy attempted to climb the trellis but she didn’t have good footholds and combined with her drunkness she wasn’t making any safe progress so Henry pulled his sister off, grabbed a few stones and started throwing them at the window.

“Henry you’ll break it!”

Henry sighed.

“I’ve done this enough times to know what I’m doing okay?”


Within minutes Ric slowly moved to the window in PJs and opened it.

“Is that you Maddy?”

She was still angry at him and she wanted him to know it.

“No it’s father Christmas, of course it’s me!”

“What are you doing here now?”

Maddy huffed indignantly.

“Come down and I’ll explain.”

Ric squinted hard.

“Who’s the dude next to you?”

“That’s Henry.”

“Uh hi Henry welcome back.”

“Yeah um evening pyjama boy.”

Ric groaned before climbing easily down the trellis and Henry sensibly made himself scarce.




“You’re such an idiot.”

“Are you drunk?”

“It doesn’t matter if I am.”

“I take that as a yes, Henry’s influence no doubt.”

“Hey don’t you dare belittle my egg friend.”

“Your what?”

“I mean the guy I spent time in an egg with.”

There was an ominous silence.

“Well it’s funnier when me and Henry talk about it.”


“Look you didn’t call me, were you so ill you couldn’t possibly get out of bed to use the phone?”

“Oh sorry Maddy I was at work, some guy was off sick and a car needed fixing ASAP so I did overtime.”

“And you couldn’t have called on your break or when you got home?”

“Well I just thought I’d talk to you tomorrow and explain it.”

“But when you say to your ‘girlfriend’ you’re going to call her on a certain day you do it.”

Ric scoffed.

“Is that in some sort of relationship handbook? You’re never this anal about stuff like that so I didn’t think it mattered.”

“No you didn’t think I mattered enough you mean and I’m ‘anal’ because you waltz off into the night with your ex-girlfriend and I don’t hear from you!”

“Of course you matter don’t be stupid-”

“Oh so I’m stupid and anal am I?”

“Look it’s late, I’m exhausted and I can’t reason with you when you’re like this so can we just talk tomorrow?”

Maddy became quiet. She didn't want to beg.

“I just want answers.”

“Okay then, ask away.”

“Are we still together?”


“Does Cassie know?”

“No not yet.”

“Why not? You had ages!”

“Well it’s just she was really upset about Dean and I comforted her and we caught up on old times and then when she asked if I was seeing anyone I hesitated and changed the subject to give me more time.”

Maddy sighed.

“More time for what? All you had to say was yes or no.”

“I know I just -”

“Look telling her shouldn’t be this hard if you were over her and I just want to know as you’re friend not as your girlfriend - do you still want to be with her?”

Ric hesitated.

“I’ll be honest with you because you don’t deserve anything less, some of me is still in love with her but I love you too you know that. I love you both for different reason and I just need time to adjust to Cassie being around again and then everything will be fine.”

Maddy felt the tears pricking her eyes but thankfully it was dark so Ric couldn’t see.

“Everything wont be fine if you’re still in love with her and her with you which is obvious. I don’t want to be with you unless you are a 100% sure I’m what you want!”

“You're right I just -”

Ric laughed bitterly.

“-If only polygamy was legal in Australia I’d be the luckiest man alive.”

“Look you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You have to choose.”

“I know that but there is no choice okay? I want to make this work with you, you’re what I want.”

Maddy smiled but she wasn't completely satisfied.

“Okay but you have to tell her tomorrow or she’ll resent you for keeping it a secret the longer you wait.”

“You’re right, I’m sorry to make you worry but you look cute when you’re angry.”

Maddy laughed.

“That wont be the last time!”

“You see Cassie is what I know, I associate her with home so its automatic that I’m drawn to her even though I’m with you but it doesn’t mean we would work as a couple again because we broke up last time for a reason and the reason hasn’t changed. I love Cassie as a friend I really do but I’m hopelessly in love with her best friend.”

Maddy leaned in and kissed him as he pulled her closer, to which Henry made a puking noise as he returned.

“Get a room.”

Ric smiled.

“It’s good to see you around.”

“Yeah well you take care of my sister I don’t want to have a repeat of this night ever again.”

Ric nodded and gave Maddy a quick hug goodbye before they departed and Ric climbed back up the trellis to go to bed.

"So how long you sticking around for O brother of mine?"

"Long enough to make sure I get a tan and make sure you stay in one piece."

"See you just want to say you love me again don't you?"

"I'd rather climb up into bed with Ric."

"Oh really?"

"Okay no but I'm not saying it!"


"No I'm not going to satisfy your need to have people constsantly voice their affection for you just because you're insecure."

"That's harsh."

"Someone has to speak the truth."

"Well fine I wont ever try to be loving to you again."

"God Maddy you can be so immature when you're drunk! The fact I came out in the middle of the night to play third wheel and make sure you didn't fall down a hole somewhere says a lot more than I ever could and if you don't realise that the little gestures mean just as much as the big ones than you are never going to be content."

Maddy grinned.

"I love you too."

"I'm never drinking with you again."


So yay i couldn't help add more Henry I was thinking of pairing him with Cassie but what do people think? It's your story as much as mine so let me know what you wanna see happen :)

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Yay it's finally the school holidays! So there should be more regular updates or longer chapters when I do so keep your eyes peeled :)


“When I said I didn’t have a girlfriend I lied.”

Cassie sat in the living room feeling shocked and hurt.

“But when I talked about moving on and embracing the past you must have known I was talking about us.”

“I sort of did but I was too surprised at your return to process it all.”

“You mean you were too much of a coward not to tell me.”

“Yeah that too.”

“So does this change things with us? I still want us to try again.”

“Cass I just told you I have a girlfriend!”

“Well it can’t mean that much if you didn’t bother to tell me about it.”

“There were good reasons for that believe me, but it's serious.”

Cassie began to tear up.

“Do you love her?”

Ric paused thoughtfully and smiled slightly.


“Enough to give up on all our history and all our chemistry for good?”

“Yes but just because we aren’t dating doesn’t mean I’ve turned my back on you.”

“So who is she?”

Ric hesitated, it was time to bite the bullet.

“It’s Maddy.”

Cassie laughed out loud and then stopped.

“I’m surprised but then I’m kind of not. I always knew you’d eventually try dating each other you’ve been friends forever after all.”

“But it’s not like it’s this little experiment we’re trying out because we’re bored, we’re in love.”

“Ric you’ve become a complete sap you know that?”

“It’s sad but true.”

“So you’re wildly in love after she’s been back only a few weeks?"

“Weird I know but it’s not a lie this time.”

“So when we flirted yesterday that was just harmless fun?”

“Isn’t all flirting? I can’t help it with you it’s just how we are. Besides the reasons we broke up haven’t changed. You live somewhere else and have ambitions I don’t.”

“So does Maddy, you think she’s going to relish the idea of being a mechanic’s wife?”

“Harsh! Besides no one is talking marriage!”

“I’m just trying to make a point.”

“Anyway we grew apart and my love for you changed just like I think yours has for me.”

“You’re wrong.”

“Am I? If you were in love with me you would have kept in contact and I think I’m a safe bet for you but that’s not what you need, it’s never been what you needed.”

“I can’t believe you are both doing this to me. I’m going to be playing third wheel all summer and have been rejected twice in one week.”

“Cassie you’re amazing you wont be single for long.”

Cassie smiled slightly.

“Flattering me doesn’t mean I’ll just get over this and forgive you.”

“I know but we’ll definitely make sure you have fun this summer plus Henry is back so you can both be third wheels together.”

Ric grinned nervously and Cassie rolled her eyes.

“Well if I had any money I’d skip town but since I spent all my money on a flight to Tasmania I’ll have to stay and work here.”

“That’s the spirit.”

“Shut up.”

Ric laughed.

“Not another word on the subject but just so you know Maddy wanted to tell you about us straight away it was my fault we didn’t.”

Sally entered the room to a tense silence.

“What’s going on?”

Cassie smiled falsely.

“Oh not much Ric’s just been dating Matilda Hunter for the last week or so without telling us.”

Sally looked between the two cautiously and finally decided to crack a joke.

“Well that explains the skirt I found under Ric’s bed while I was vacuuming, I’m actually quite relieved I thought you may have -”

Cassie laughed.

“-been cross-dressing?”

Sally looked a bit flustered.

“Well I-”

“Sally you really think I’d be a cross-dressing mechanic?”

“It was a supposed to be a humorous intervention, the air is thick enough to cut with a knife around here.”

“And whose fault is that?”

Ric sighed but didn’t argue so Sally intervened.

“Well it would have been nice if he had told us but Ric is a grown man and can keep his private life private from us if he wants to.”

“How can he when he’s shacking up with my best friend?”

“Look I know it’s a difficult situation but you two have gotten over bigger obstacles than this in the past and part of being an adult is being the bigger person and I know you are both capable of it.”

Cassie sighed.

“If you think Maddy will really make you happy then what can I do? Just keep it down with the PDA or I might puke.”

Sally frowned in confusion.


“Public displays of affection.”

Sally laughed.

“That’s also my request.”

Ric rolled his eyes.

“You both act like I can’t restrain myself.”

They both gave him a knowing look.

“I can! I mean with Maddy I can now, it was hard at first but I’ve trained myself.”

Cassie laughed pretending it didn’t hurt to hear him talk about it.

“What a good dog you are.”

Sally frowned.

“Bigger person..”

Cassie groaned.

“Yeah I know but I guess I’ll have to train myself with that.”


Matilda had made pancakes for her family as Henry groggily entered with a hangover and was assaulted with kisses by his mum.

The morning went well but Maddy was dying to go and see Cassie and sort things out.

Beth was grinning from ear to ear.

“Both my babies staying together here I never thought I’d see the day!”

“Mum we’re 19 not three.”

Henry tried to be petulant but he had missed his family and even he couldn’t pretend otherwise.

“So what are your plans for the day? Both Tony and me are working all day but why don’t we go out for a family meal tonight? We can invite Jack too.”

Henry nodded.

“I’ll finally be able to meet the allusive Jack Holden.”

Beth quickly picked up her bag and gave all three family members a big kiss of the cheek before leaving and Tony departed not long after his wife leaving Maddy and Henry at the table.

“So what are your plans for today?”

Henry shook his shoulders.

“Beach seems as good a place as any.”

“I’ll join you I’ve no doubt I’ll run into Cassie there.”

“Do you really want to have a fight in public?”

“We wont fight, I mean I hope we wont.”

“I’m just pulling your leg. Shall we go?”

“I must be really sad and bored to spend the day with you.”

“You said it not me.”

So Henry and Matilda baked in the sun enjoying the fact they didn’t have to think about lectures or tutorials or homework or going to work to pay for the whole thing.

“If you could be the main character in any movie what would it be?”

Matilda laughed at the question but thought about it. It was pleasant distract from brooding thoughts.

“I’d be Lizzie in Pride and Prejudice.”

Henry scoffed.

“Why? That means you’d have to live in olden day England in a boring village having to read all day and wear dresses all the time never getting to surf or sleep around.”

Matilda laughed.

“But she got the rich, amazing hottie and didn’t compromise her beliefs and values.”

“Did I mention there would be no TV or proper make up?”

“I made my choice, now you go.”

“Okay well I’d be Van from the movie Van Wilder."

“Why doesn’t that surprise me?”

“He’s handsome, his dad’s rich and he gets more ass than a toilet seat he would be any guy’s dream man.”

Maddy laughed and Henry sighed.

“Yes it didn’t escape my attention how unintentionally gay that sounded.”

“I reckon you say you’d be Van Wilder but I think deep down inside you want to be some woman’s Mr Darcy.”

“If trying to justify my comments with some sort of deeper meaning helps you convince yourself I’m not a shallow jerk than good luck but I’m a bit more self aware.”

“Whatever! You forget I knew you when you baked for mum and brought her in flowers from the field that you took hours trying to find and the night you cried she didn’t come to your dance recital.”

“I was younger, it takes years to harden emotionally and make a shell for yourself.”

“You’re as much as a drama queen as I am.”

Henry smirked against the sun.

“Maybe I am.”

Matilda searched down the beach but saw no sign of her long legged best friend.

“I hope Cassie turns up.”

“Stop worrying Cassie is just a -”

There was movement behind him.

“Cassie is a what? Henry?”

Henry turned and looked up to see Cassie looking souring with her hands on her hips behind him.

Maybe it was the sun shining behind her and her make up but Henry couldn’t help feeling blown away by how gorgeous she was. He knew she was attractive and not much had changed but he had forgot how feisty she was and how Diana lacked any passionate need to berate him.

He grinned cheekily.

“A little flat-chested?”

Both Maddy and Cassie made a noise of disgust before Cassie turned to Maddy.

“Can we talk?”

“Yeah of course, I’ve been wanting to for ages.”

Maddy got up and walked along the beach with Cassie in silence.

“I’m really sorry if I hurt you Cassie and believe me this is the last thing I expected to happen when I came back I was definitely not looking for romance after -”

Maddy felt herself hesitate and Cassie looked concerned.

“After what?”

So Maddy told Cassie about her rape, it wasn’t easy and she wasn’t sure if it was the best idea but she desperately wanted to be close to her again and she knew girl talk was always a good mending device.

Cassie was silent for a long time and when she finally spoke she was so quiet it was almost a whisper.

“I’m sorry if I had known I wouldn’t have talked about him -”

“Don’t be sorry I should have told you -”

“-No you don’t have to divulge stuff like that-”

“-but you trusted me with your trauma and yours was ten times worse -”

“-no you can’t play the ‘your rape was worse than my rape’ game okay you can‘t compare stuff like that-”

“-God I missed you.”

They were so eager to make up and console each other they tripped over each other’s sentences and ended in a relieved hug.

Cassie whispered in her ear:

“There’s no way a guy can ever come between us even if it is Ric!”

Maddy nodded.

“I’m so glad you’re okay.”

“I’m glad you are too, after everything I mean.”

“With friends like mine how could I not be?”

Cassie was deep in thought again and Matilda smiled.

“What are you thinking about?”

“Did you uh, did you do a test?”

Cassie looked glum and Maddy just looked confused.

“For what?”

When Cassie didn’t answer Matilda realised what it was in relation to.

“You mean an STD test? I didn’t think about it actually stupid I know but I will -”

“-No I mean a pregnancy test.”

The word pregnancy hit her like a ton of bricks and she gasped in shock. Cassie stood still and looked at her before Matilda laughed nervously.

“Well I didn’t really even entertain the idea of having a-”

Maddy sat down on the sand quickly.

“Oh god.”

“What Maddy?”

“I fainted at Colleen’s wedding and I’ve felt sick for days and -”

Maddy felt herself hyperventilating.

“It can’t be -”

Cassie sat down next to her and rubbed her back.

“Look there could be a number of reasons for that and unless you get a test you wont know.”

“I don’t think I can, I’m too scared. Quickly tell me any good news!”

“Well good news could be um well if you don’t remember the rape your attacker could have used protection and um could it be Ric’s?”

Maddy tried to calm herself, Cassie was right it could have been protected and as Henry would say she had to cut the mountain back down to the molehill.

Ric’s..could it be? Yes was the answer but how likely was it? we have been unsafe once in the heat of passion but we'd only been together a few weeks but every pregnancy is different I could have the morning sickness early on..

She had to stop acting like she was pregnant it wasn’t even certain she could have had food poisoning or a tummy bug.

Cassie pushed some hair out of Maddy’s eyes.

“What’s going on in that big brain of your’s tilly?”

“Lets go get a test now before I change my mind.”


Cassie sat twiddling her thumbs at the caravan park while Matilda was in the toilet taking the test. Maddy was too scared to do it at her house in the unlikely event her mum or Tony came home.


Maddy finally appeared looking sick.

“It’s positive.”

“Oh Maddy.”

“It isn’t fair.”

She burst out crying and Cassie embraced her. She had tried to put her rape behind her and now she had to face it all over again.

“I’ll make us some lunch shall I?”

“I don’t feel like eating.”

“I know but do try, you’ll feel better even only if it’s a milkshake.”

Maddy lay on the couch and hugged her knees.

“I can’t keep it Cassie I’m in uni I can’t parent a helpless kid I’m only just an adult myself! And mum will freak out she’s already had to deal with Kirsty’s pregnancy and then Tasha’s I don’t want to put her through that again.”

“What the joy of being a grandmother again?”

“No just the worry for my future and financially it’s impossible too and I don’t want to burden mum with that. Even if it is Ric’s it will destroy our relationship it’s still so new!”

“Look you’re still processing all this just don’t make any decisions until you’ve thought about all the options.”

“I want to make my mum proud I want to be the Hunter that actually graduates university and gets a great job and can support mum in her old age after everything her children have put her through.”

“Stop thinking about what everyone else wants okay? It’s about you and your baby and nothing else, you have to do what’s best.”

“My baby? It’s not my baby it’s not a baby yet it’s just a fertilized egg it makes it sound like I want it. I doubt it’s even Ric’s and there is no way I’m keeping the child of my rapist!”

“Well there’s always adoption as an alternative.”

“Look what happened with Belle though and the mess that was! I don’t want some person out there walking around with my DNA wondering why I abandoned them.”

“Okay just don’t talk okay? You’ll talk yourself crazy with all your analysing just sit and relax for a moment, no matter what happens you’ll be supported and loved remember that.”

Matilda began to cry again just as Ric entered.

“What’s going on?”

Maddy quickly wiped her eyes and smiled falsely.

“What are you doing here?”

“I’m home for lunch, what’s wrong?”

He sat down next to her and put his arm around her and kissed her forehead, Cassie couldn’t help feeling envious but she wasn’t angry anymore she just felt sorry for herself.

“I’m fine, how was work?”

“You’re not fine don’t pretend like I don’t know you.”

“It’s nothing really, why don’t you wash up and we’ll have lunch?”

Ric frowned.

“Fine but this conversation isn't over."

He went into the bathroom to wash his oily hands and happened to look down at the pregnancy kit in the bathroom...


So Maddy is indeed pregnant! What do you think should happen to the baby?

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  • 2 weeks later...

okay so I found where my story went lol and even tho i have this up somewhere else I'll post it again here and then continue with this topic to post further chapters :) sorry for confusion.

[Warning angst ahead] :P reviews are my oxygen!

Ric wasn’t quite sure how to handle what he was seeing, he didn’t assume it was Matilda’s pregnancy test right away because it was Sally’s house so he first thought of Cassie but then he remembered Maddy crying and dodging the topic of why.

Ric wasn’t a panicker by nature and this definitely wasn’t a life or death situation..okay well it kind of was but not his life or death it was a potential baby's he had never met.

Matilda tried to clear her head but she knew deep down she wanted an abortion already. She decided to be fair to herself and go the doctor about it, she wanted to know how likely it was to be Ric’s.

Ric came back from the bathroom looking pale.

“What’s wrong?”

“Oh nothing I just think I’m coming down with something.”

Maddy put her hand to his head.

“You’re not running a temperature but maybe you should lie down and I’ll bring you up your lunch.”


Ric wanted time to think and he knew Cassie and Maddy would boss him around until he agreed so he saved himself the verbal abuse and marched himself upstairs.

Maddy let out a breath of relief.

“That was close.”

Cassie nodded.

“So I’ll run you to the doctors now if you like.”

“Thanks but I’d rather you take care of Ric, I’ll feel better going alone I think.”

“Are you sure?”

It wasn’t that Cassie didn’t want time alone with the man she loved but she cared more about the well being of her best friend. Cassie felt guilty in the fact she felt slightly hopeful when she heard Maddy was pregnant because she knew it would shake up Maddy’s relationship with Ric. It was a terrible thought but she wasn’t going to interfere she was simply going to hope and wait for when they broke up prematurely and then would be Ric’s shoulder to cry on. It definitely wasn’t being the bigger person but she had finally realised Ric was ‘the one’, the time away had made it clear to her that Ric was what she wanted every day and forever and she didn’t want to give up someone she loved and was committed to with such conviction.

It wasn’t that Maddy didn’t deserve Ric it was that she deserved someone different.


Maddy sat in the waiting room of the health clinic and bit her nails, finally she was called in by a nice looking female doctor she had never met. That was one of the good things about being out of town for a year is that she didn’t know recent additions to the bay such as Dr. Harlent and they didn't know her.

“Good afternoon take a seat, I’m Dr. Harlent.”


“So what can I do you for today?”

Maddy looked at her shoes and swallowed, she knew this would be hard but the decisions she had in front of her would be worse, in fact probably the hardest she’d ever have to face.

“I’m pregnant.”

“Are you sure? I mean you’ve taken a pregnancy test?”

“Of course.”

“Okay, how far along are you?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well by the look of you you are obviously in your first trimester. Do you have morning sickness?”

“Unfortunately yes.”

“That’s okay it only occurs in your first trimester.”

“It’s not just that though.”

“You have pain?”

“No I was raped about a month ago and since I’ve been sexually active with one other guy so I don’t know who the father is.”

“When you were at the hospital did they give you the morning after pill?”

Maddy sighed.

“I didn’t report anything or go to the hospital.”

She expected a lecture or a stern look but Dr Harlent just nodded thoughtfully.

“Do you know the identity of your rapist?”

Maddy shook her head.

“I really can’t be sure, that’s why I didn’t accuse anyone.”

"To take a paternity test which means you need DNA from both maa.”

“Okay well the thing is to determine who the father is you have to take a paternity test which requires DNA from one or both males."

Maddy nodded suddenly aware of what she wanted to do.

“I don’t want to keep it.”

“Wouldn’t you rather know whose it is first?”

Maddy felt herself tearing up.

“No it makes it easier if I don’t know but my answer will be the same. I’m sorry.”

Dr. Harlent smiled warmly and handed her a tissue.

“You have nothing to apologize for, it’s your body and life and you can only do what you see fit.”

“Thankyou but I don’t think anyone else will see it that way!”

“Well whether you choose adoption or abortion nobody should pass judgement on you as you only have to answer to your own happiness and nobody elses.”

“You’re right I just feel so guilty.”

“Are you thinking adoption, abortion or are you not sure yet?”

“Definitely abortion.”

“Are you positive? I know I sound like a broken record but I have to make sure this is your absolute resolve because it’s a big decision.”

“It’s definitely what I want.”

“Okay well you first have to go to a few counselling sessions before you have the abortion just to re-highlight the pros and cons of what you are doing for example you’ll be less fertile for future conception but once those are over we’ll book you in for the procedure.”


“Sounds pretty scary right?”

Maddy laughed lightly, she was so relieved she didn't have to argue for what she wanted.

“Yeah just a bit.”

“Well you’ll be fully informed of how the whole thing will work beforehand so that will take away some of the fear hopefully. Do you want to schedule it all in now?”

“Yeah I don’t want to draw it out any longer than I have to.”


“She’s pregnant Ric.”

Ric spat out his coffee that he was drinking at the kitchen bench.

Cassie sighed.

“I know I shouldn’t have broken her confidence and she may hate me for it later but I had to let you know that it could possibly be your child she is having sucked out of her.”

Ric knew that meant she was having an abortion but his mind was reeling trying to procees the idea that all he could think of was how disgusting it was to say ‘sucked out of her’ sure that was what happened but guys like Ric were happy in their ignorance about the actual procedure.

“I guess I sort of knew.”

“You knew she was going to abort it?”

“Well no but I had a feeling she was pregnant ever since I saw the test.”

“Why didn’t you say something! It’s been a week and she’s getting rid of it in a few days!”

“I thought she’d tell me when she’s ready I can’t believe she’s not going to!”

He was so angry and he wanted to hate Maddy but he couldn’t which made him even more annoyed. She had preached about trust and communication between them but then when something huge happened in her life she doesn’t even tell the man she claims to love. It could be his! Didn’t he have a right to know?

He felt so helpless and yet slightly relieved, a child definitely wasn’t in any five year plan or any priority list he had and Maddy had made the decision for them both which sort of took off some of the pressure but it didn’t make him feel any better.


Maddy came home and made herself a cup of tea. She felt exhausted - mentally and physically. She was throwing up most of the morning (luckily after everyone had left) and then had her last counselling session before her abortion where she had to tell the counsellor again for the hundredth time she was comfortable with her decision. That was a slight lie because she felt overcome with guilt for not telling Ric but when should giving up a baby ever be a comfortable decision anyway? She knew she’d have to tell Ric after she had the abortion because she couldn’t be with him when she had kept something so big from him but that was a hurdle she could deal with once she was in the clear.

Her ankles hurt and she felt lightheaded which after the day she’d had didn’t equal a very good mood so when Ric came storming in ready for a fight she sat down straight away.

“We’ve over, you me, over!”

Maddy inhaled slowly.


She knew Cassie would have interfered and told Ric the truth which would explain the anger but she needed a moment to process the coming argument that she hadn’t expected for at least a week.

She laughed inwardly that coming back to summer bay was supposed to have been a relaxing break.

“You’re pregnant for one thing and then I hear you’re going to abort it without telling me any of it?!”

“Cassie had no right to tell you any of that.”

“No that should have been you!”

“I was going to!”

“When? When it’s too late for me to have any say?”

“Have your say then! It doesn’t make a difference you can’t change my mind!”

“Well you’ve shown just how little you respect me Maddy, good job I’m finding out sooner rather than later.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I think you know.”

“Looks like Cassie got what she wanted.”


“I think you know!”

“This isn’t about her it’s about us!”

“No it’s about me and my body. I respect your opinion but in the end it’s my body and my life we’re dealing with I mean who knows what the future holds and I have to do what I think is right! I didn’t tell you because it would just make it harder and hurt more to come to the same conclusion!”

“Turn the tables and put yourself in my shoes how do you think I feel?”

Maddy screamed at him at the top of her lungs surprising them both.

“It’s not about you! How do you think I feel? I’m sick and tired and I have to terminate my baby! It’s not an ideal situation for either of us but you wont have the lasting damage will you? I want to be a mother I really do but not like this and it hurts so much not to have my fairytale baby and family like I wanted for myself because it’s tainted now knowing in a year or in ten years from now that I could have had a son or daughter walking around in the world and it was my decision to stop them having a chance.”

She burst into tears and Ric instinctively walked over and embraced her.

“I’m sorry I lost my temper but it didn’t just have to be your decision we could have talked about this! I would have supported you no matter what, but not telling me was wrong.”

Maddy sighed.

“Everything about this is wrong, I’ll have yet another secret from my family and yet another horrible memory and I have to live with the guilt of my actions but I don’t want to have to deal with us fighting through it either so just go.”


“You’ve said we are over and I understand why, maybe it is for the best and I don’t want to try and make it work like I’ve seen family members do before and only end up fighting constantly and making each other miserable. Please just leave me to work this out alone.”

“I’m not leaving you I love you and you’re not going to push me away because you are hurt.”

“Please go.”

She whispered tearfully and moved away from him.

“No way I’m here for you whether you like it or not.”

“Just go away! Don’t you understand every time I look at you I think of what could have been and I’ll feel like I’ve disappointed you every time too I don’t want to be near you right now unless that suddenly changes.”

Ric felt like she had ripped out his heart put it through the grater.

“Maddy you make it so hard to be with you.”

“So don’t.”


And he was gone, that night Maddy had never cried so hard in her life.


Ric couldn’t concentrate on his work the next couple of days, he felt sick with worry about Maddy knowing what was happening to her but he was also angry because he knew he couldn’t support her when she was so confused about him. Cassie had been around to apologize and gave him updates after the abortion but it wasn’t the same.

He was walking along the beach staring out at the sea moodily so he didn’t see Henry storming over to him until it was too late and he was punched square in the jaw.


His automatic reaction was to push him backwards which Henry recovered from and immediately pushed Ric over until they were rolling around in the sand.

“Oi! Break it up you two whats got into you?”

Alf put his arms in between them until they eventually split apart.

“What’s this all about?”

Ric frowned.

“Yeah I’d also like to know what I’ve done to deserve being punched in the face!”

Henry was staring daggers at him.

“You know exactly what you’ve done you jerk!”

Alf shook his head.

“Both of you go cool off and if I see you fighting like this again they’ll be hell to pay understand?”

They both nodded reluctantly and Alf walked away.

“Whats up with you? Didn’t take your meds this morning?”

Henry laughed in disgust.

“How can you make a joke about it after what you’ve done?”

“And what’s that exactly?”

“My sister has been crying her body weight in tears over you, she got pregnant and you dumped her!”

“I did not! Is that what she said?”

“She hasn’t said anything and neither have I, I’m not stupid but I wanted to have it out with you. She’s been sick in the mornings and a counsellor person called about confirming an appointment and I knew then what was wrong and then suddenly you disappear and I don’t see you around coincidentally around the same time? It’s not that hard to see what you did.”

“Do your parents know?”

“As if! They wouldn’t expect anything like this in a million years plus I told them it was about school to throw them off any potential scent but you have to fix your mess!”

“I didn’t dump her okay? I told her I’d support her whatever she did but she pushed me away and practically broke up with me!”


“You really did go crazy.”

“So what if she pushes you away! It’s just an act so that she can become a recluse and hide away with her problems like she always does. Ever since we were little whenever she’d hurt herself on the farm instead of running to mum for help like I did she’d run into the forest and cry on her own. Mum would have to go out and search for her but when she finally found her Maddy let her in. You just have to be persistent and you have a responsibility for being so dumb as to knock her up.”

“Wow you’re a regular Dr Phil.”

“No one hurts my sister least of all someone like you who didn’t deserve her in the first place. Make things right or else.”

He walked away and Ric was left with a bruised jaw as well as a bruised heart.


So yeah I guess it's not the conventional route to take having Maddy abort it but everyone in Summer Bay seems to keep their babies no matter how bad the circumstances are and I wanted to have someone who had a different perspective on it which isn't neccessarily the wrong thing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally it's up! It took a while after much debate to the plot.

Next one wont be up for a while sorry!


“I wasn’t sure how to begin these vowels because I mean how can I tell you how much you mean and how much I love you in a few sentences? I asked Alf two days after you proposed because I woke up panicking that I’d get up here and be a loss for words, well the thing is words pale in comparison to actions and I think being up here with you after years together says a lot. Alf told me falling in love is easy it’s the staying friends and making it work that’s the hard part. Well it’s been a bumpy road but I wouldn’t want to have taken it with anyone else. You have given me so much and you are the best person I know and I will be proud to be your wife.”

Ric looked as if he was about to cry but he was grinning from ear to ear before he coughed and looked nervously over the wedding congregation.

“Damn I wish I had spoken first, I don’t know how I can top what you said. I was never that great with words but with us we don’t even have to talk to communicate anymore we have something so much deeper. I still remember vividly the nightmare my life was before I met you and how lost I was, you were my first friend in the bay and you believed in me. I didn’t know how I had got so lucky and I still don’t know how but I wont tempt fate by questioning it. I knew when I got your brother’s blessing and he agreed to be my best man that this was destiny so I’ll shut up now and tell you I love you already.”

Maddy half laughed half cried and Cassie was doing the same, Henry winked at her and she blushed. He had told her if he agreed to be best man (he probably would have anyway) that she had to promise to have sex with him somewhere sleazy at the wedding reception. Cassie agreed nobly but the fact they had been going out for three years meant she wasn’t very surprised.

The priest said that Ric could kiss his bride and Ric eagerly accepted as Tony and Beth and Alf looked on proudly. Tony got to walk Maddy down the aisle which was his an ultimate honour as he had never had a daughter so he didn’t think he’d ever get to.

Then Maddy woke up to find herself alone and in her old bed. She rolled over and groaned. A dream that real, was it really just a dream?

It was probably just her conscience urging her to apologize to Ric and make things work but it wasn’t the right time. Besides from the chipper tone in Cassie’s voice it sounded like she and Ric were on very good terms which irritated Maddy but she was too tired to do anything about it. She wasn’t really angry at Cassie because if she put herself in Cassie’s shoes and it was Lucas she would be happy to have him around again too.

Maddy looked at the clock, it was ten o’ clock. She got up and entered the kitchen where her mother was washing up dishes.

“Hello sweet, have a good sleep? I feel like I don’t see you anymore Henry told me you were sick because every time I come home from work you are asleep or shut up in your room!”

“Yeah I’ve been under the weather but I’m fine.”

Maddy officially hated the word fine now, she had used it so many times recently, it was just a word people used to lie with and cover up a whole other spectrum of emotive words more accurate to the situation like desperate, despairing and depressed. Maddy also really hated the letter D.

“Well good because me and Tony thought we could do with a nice family trip with the weather being so lovely. We thought we could drive up the coast and have a picnic and swim and then have dinner at the vineyard on the way home what do you think?”

Maddy was about to refuse when Henry came up behind her.

“We’ll definitely be up for it right Maddy? Why wouldn’t we?”

Maddy groaned.

“Okay whatever.”

Beth smiled.

“Good I’ll go wake Tony and we’ll get some things together.”

Maddy turned to hassle her brother about answering for her when she saw his hand.

“What happened to you?”

Henry stared in surprise at his hand too.

“Wow no wonder it’s been hurting.”

Maddy looked concerned and got frozen peas from the freezer.

“Here put this on it.”


“How did it happen?”

“Stop worrying I already have a mother for that.”

“Be straight with me!”

“Why when you aren’t honest with me!”

“What do you mean?”

She prayed to god Henry hadn’t somehow found out about everything but although Henry had there was no way he was going to bring it up he knew it wouldn’t help her move on.

“You and Ric obviously broke up all the tissues have mysteriously disappeared from the house and you keep playing Love Actually and Alanis Morisette. That equals a break up to me but you don’t say anything! I came back to Summer Bay to actually to get to know the stranger that was my sister and if you don’t talk to me how is it supposed to work?”

Maddy sighed.


“It’s okay just remember how much of an attention seeker I am in the future.”

Maddy smiled.

“So don’t think I’ve forgotten that I asked you where the bruising came from.”

“Don’t think I’m going to tell you.”

“Then I’m leaving you to be third wheel for a romantic trip up the coast with mum and Tony.”

Ric looked conflicted then groaned.

“Fine I hit Ric.”


“See that’s why I didn’t want to tell you!”

“Why did you hit him?”

“I thought he dumped you and I was defending your honour.”

Maddy laughed slightly despite her frustration.

“Henry I know you’re new to the whole gentlemen thing but you only defend my honour if Ric is publically gossiping about me or insulting me! That’s not something he’d do so I want you to say sorry to him.”

“Hell no.”


“Look just accept that there is no way I’m saying sorry to him when he has made you a sulking zombie okay?”

Matilda sighed.


“Be honest, is he the reason you’re like this?”

“Partly but it’s not his fault.”

“Don’t explain it to me I don’t want to know but I’m not saying sorry so don’t keep going on about it.”

Maddy threw up her hands in exasperation and went to change. By the time Maddy had showered and changed her family were already packing the car.

“I have to go do something quickly I’ll be back in like ten minutes.”

Beth smiled.

“Okay well be back soon or we’ll leave without you.”

Henry looked stricken.

“No we wont!”

Beth gave him an amused look and went over to Tony and gave him a passionate kiss on the lips that surprised everyone. Henry rolled his eyes and walked inside and Tony just looked smug.

Cassie was on her way out to start her temporary job working in the diner when she spotted Maddy coming up the drive.

“Hey Maddy.”


“How are you? I was going to bring you around a cake from the diner after work. Will you be home?”

“Nah we are going up the coast for the day but come over in the evening if you want.”

“Cool. Look I know what I did was unforgivable but I really did think it was the right thing to do.”

Maddy nodded.

“You’re right it is unforgivable but that fact you’re sorry means something.”

“Does this mean we’re never going to be best friends again?”

“I don’t know, we’re friends at the moment just leave it at that, I can’t forgive you for what you did but I can definitely move on from it so it’s not the end of anything.”

“Good I’m glad. So chocolate okay?”

“If it has sprinkles you may be back in my good books.”


Cassie gave her an impromptu hug and left.

Matilda’s stomach was in her throat as she knocked on the door, she irrationally hoped he wasn’t in but the fact Sally was at school and Cassie hadn’t locked the door would imply he was. It was like they were strangers again.


Ric looked flustered.

“Hey Ric I just wanted to apologize -”

“Oh me too.”

“-No I mean for my brother for punching you it looks nasty.”

Ric looked disappointed.

“It looks worse than it is.”

“I know it doesn’t mean much but what he did came from a good place he just acted badly on it.”

“It means something if it means something to you.”

Maddy smiled.

“It does. I forget what it’s like to have an actual blood sibling around -”

She stopped herself, she was slipping into easy conversation and it wasn’t going to do anyone any good.

“-Anyway I just wanted to apologize and say thank you for not divulging anything to Henry I know you don’t owe me anything.”

“It’s not a problem.”

Maddie smiled despite her resolve to be emotionless.

“So how are you Ric?”

“Not great?”

“Why? I knew you felt ill last week but -”

“I’m not with the woman I love so I’m not exactly on top of the world. Do you want to come in? Just for a drink? We can talk about anything it doesn’t have to be about us. I think you want to be near me as much as I do you.”

He sounded so desperate that Maddy felt even more evil but she knew it wouldn’t last long.

“Of course I miss you but I can’t help how I feel -”

She realised it was now or never.

“-But one drink couldn’t hurt.”


So they sat and talked about topics such as Sally’s new hair cut to Colleen’s adoption dreams but it felt like a waste of time because nothing of real substance was said and Maddy knew sooner or later the truth would come out.

Ric began.

“So um did the abortion go okay?”

He sounded like a fifteen year old asking for comdons over the counter.

Maddy smiled falsely

“I thought we were keeping it light.”

“Don’t I deserve a little information? I care too much about you to keep quiet.”

Maddy closed her eyes and braced herself for the implications of what she was about to say.

“I didn’t have it.”


“I didn’t have it. I went to all the conselling sessions and I was due to but then I saw you and we fought and you were so supportive that you planted the seeds of doubt. I didn’t think I could deprieve a child of a great father who would love them so much.”

“It’s mine?”

Ric was trying so hard to process everything that he began to shake, he didn’t even realise it until he saw his drink sloshing around in the cup. He hastily put it down.

“Well after that I decided to go in and check so I could make an informed decision and when I found out it was I was even more confused. I didn’t go to the scheduled abortion and instead wandered around town for hours in a daze. I told Maddie to lie to you to buy me some more thinking time. That's why Henry found me crying so much it was just because of the fear of being a mother."

Ric linked his sweaty fingers around Maddy’s.


Maddy began to cry not out of happiness or sadness exactly but out of relief that she was telling him and because of the overwhelming enormity of the decision she had been carrying around alone.

“I want to keep it. See when I was walking around the only thing that made sense to me was you. I knew no matter what, I wanted to be with you and that you’d be there and then I couldn’t think of any reason not to keep it.”

Maddy laughed.

“-Okay so I thought of several reasons not to such as money, uni, my family but they all seemed so trivial compared to giving life and making a family of my own. All the university stuff is fulfilling but I have always felt my whole life was geared towards finding ‘the one’ and having a family and I didn’t realise I basically had all that already.”

Ric hugged her.

“I am so shocked and happy! I’m going to be a dad! If it’s a boy I want to call him Dominic and if it’s a girl I want to call her Lydia!”

Maddy giggled. The warmth of future excitement filled her.

“Don’t get ahead of yourself until I pass the first trimester I’m not out of the woods and by the way you are doing nappy duty and holding my hand the whole way it’s not like they have ‘raising babies 101’ at uni so I am in the dark.”

“But we have your mum and the whole bay to help us out this baby will have more doting relatives than anyone.”

“True and just for the record it’s going to be Sebastian or Anna.”

Ric smiled.

“We can negotiate.”

Maddy slapped him playfully and pointed to herself dramatically.

“I’m the life giver here I think my word trumps yours.”

Ric rolled his eyes.

“I’ll put that egotistical rant down to hormones.”

Maddy was dreading telling everyone else but she had Ric by her side and they spend the rest of the day happily stressing over finances and where they would live all of which came to no conclusive answer other than that it would be hard but that is what life is about.


Okay so I caved to the stereotypical formula of keeping the baby! It's just I was thinking back on my story and I kind of think it makes sense because it's all about change and what bigger change is there? Of course Lucas will come back and add some angst but for now the baby is safe :P Plus I love Maddy and Ric together too much not to add a little baby.

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