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Safe Epilogue

Guest Ali_

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Topic Title Safe Epilogue

Topic Description Maddy/Ric/Belle/Lucas

Type of story: long fiction

Rating: A

Main Characters: Mutiple Character

Genre: Drama/Romance

Warnings: Coarse Language

Is Story being proof read: Yes

Summary:Hello again! So I had a new burst of creativity and didn't just write an epilogue but decided to write several that continue on from each other and are basically a new story only shorter. It introduces new characters and continues with the old ones so it doesn't just wrap up things it sort of begins things too. It was all because I wanted Lucas to be happy!


Epilogue 1: Belle versus Diana.

“Apparently Belle is coming.”

Cassie pursed her lips in disapproval.

“Well she wasn't invited.”

“I know, but it's not as if she couldn't crash a beach wedding!”

“Be reasonable though Cass, what could she possibly achieve when she hasn't even been in the country the last five years? She probably has forgotten Ric even exists, and when she finds out he's a father I'm sure she'll be okay.”

“You are very serene about it all considering it's your wedding she intends on ruining.”

“Well Irene told me that she has a boyfriend over in LA and has moved out of Amanda's so maybe she is making a proper life for herself and besides I heard she was only back to see Irene.”

“I guess I'm still a little sore about the way she treated me and Ric but you're right, I shouldn't assume anything.”

“So do you know if Henry agreed to be best man? It would mean a lot.”

“Well I'll keep on at him about it, but his pride was slightly wounded when he found out Lucas was the first choice.”

“Well he's backpacking around Europe with Diana and wont be back in time."

“As in the Diana he gave up in expectation of getting you back?”

“Yes but I think once he got over me he realised how ungrateful he had been and how much he missed her but she was dating someone else by then so they have been friends for the last year and then they finally got back together last month and are on vacation together.”

“It's a bummer he'll miss out being best man."

“Yeah it is but I'm glad he prioritised being with Diana over my wedding I mean it's not a big deal if he misses it he needs to put himself first for a change!"

“Henry is a little sour about coming in second though.”

“But it's not like he and Ric have had the solidest of friendships is it?”

“Well if we both butter him up I'm sure he'll give in.”

“Just bat your eyelids at him and he'll melt as usual.”

“I don't know, he's slowly becoming immune.”

“As if! I've seen the way he looks at you, he's putty.”

Cassie smiled.

“Okay I'll try.”

“Thank you.”

“So I have to say I never pictured your wedding.”

Maddy giggled as she flipped through wedding books trying to get an idea for table decorations.”

“I must admit there were times when I thought I'd end up a wrinkly old spinster too.”

“No I mean I knew you'd get married I just didn't expect a simple beach wedding.”


“Well I always assumed you'd want a big church weddings with heaps of flowers, four bridesmaids and a page boy and flower girl.”

“I still think that would be awesome but I mean we aren't exactly loaded with cash and I think the beach is a romantic place to declare our love in front of friends and family which is what I'm told its about.”

Cassie giggled.

“They lied. It's all about the dress.”

Maddy gave a devious smile.

“Totally, I knew it all along I just didn't want to sound shallow.”

“Come on it's the day everyone will be admiring you of course it's about the dress.”

“Besides I think Willow carrying the ring to Henry will be better than any puffed up flower girl.”

“Exactly. So three weeks away! You must going crazy with nerves.”

“Speak to me the night before when I'm a quivering mess! But at the moment I'm calm and collected, I'm stressing more about Willow's first day at kindegarten. I mean what if they all hate her?”

“How can they? She has wonderful manners from Alf, she's positive like your mum, she's quirky like Tony, smart like Lucas and full of energy like her dad plus she is gorgeous like you, she can't lose.”

Maddy smiled proudly.

“I'm glad you mentioned all that because I have a favour to ask.”

“What is it?”

“I want you to be godmother to Willow, we were going to get her christened next month we were really late getting around to it.”

Cassie squealed and hugged Maddy.

“Of course I'd want to! I love Willow like a daughter anyway it would be an honour. Who else you going to ask?”

“Lucas, since he's family and wont be at the wedding. He'd be a great role model too.”

“That's a good choice.”

“I actually already asked and he was over the moon as he was so down about missing the wedding he was glad he could make it back for the christening.”

“Sounds like you have everything sorted.”

“Yeah I just hope I don't jinx it!”

“What do you mean?”

“Well you know what they say about best laid plans and I mean the last wedding I went to do, the reception was blown up!”

“Yeah I haven't exactly forgotten either but I mean if we worried about everything that can happen in life we would never do anything!”

“I know I'm sure It'll be fine.”


“How are you feeling?”

Maddy stood in her cream wedding dress, her hair was up and curled with the veil put into her mess of curls so it hung down elegantly away from her face until she was ready for it.

“I'm trying not to mess up my make up but I'm looking at myself and feeling myself shaking and it's really hard.”

She laughed shakely.

Beth smiled.

“Don't worry it's just wedding jitters believe me, I've had them twice in my life so I know they are almost a rite of passage for every bride.”

“I know, I'm just still not to used to having 'this is your life' moments that seem to keep coming around. I'm so grateful but it almost doesn't seem real.”

“It's because after everything you've been through you probably don't think you'd ever have them! Don't think you don't deserve them because you do. You look so beautiful you're going to make me cry!”

Beth hugged her from behind.

“I've never been so proud of you and if your grandad and dad could see you now they'd be the same.”

“Mum I'm trying not to blubber remember.”

Beth wiped her eyes.

“Right sorry, well I'll be in the front pew, I'll see you after!”


“How you feeling?”

“I think I'm going to be sick.”

“That's normal.”

Alf patted Ric on the back as he did up his bow tie and straightened his suit jacket.

“It's normal to want to vomit on the supposedly best day of your life?”

Alf hesitantly passed Ric the bin.

“You should have seen me before I married Ailsa! I was practically climbing out the window of the dressing room but Don asked me if I loved Ailsa and when I thought of her I couldn't think of anywhere I'd want to run but to her.”

Ric thought of Maddy smiling a few nights ago when Willow had accidentally ran face first into the sofa and began laughing or the shy smile of the night before when she was dressed up for her hen's night and they wouldn't see each other until at the church. Ric felt a bit better but the idea of standing in front of everyone he knew to declare sappy feelings for Maddy wasn't his idea of fun. He had proposed after all and he had genuinely wanted to spend the rest of his life with her but he forgot the actual ceremony and all the people that would be there.

“Grandad I'm just worried I'll get up there and just shuffle my feet and mumble.”

“You mean you're scared of disappointing her?”

“Yeah I mean I want this to be the greatest day of her life and what if I let her down?”

“Just be honest with yourself and speak from your heart and there's no way she wont be pleased. She's your best friend just pretend it's you and her and forget about the rest. You can do this Ric, you're my grandson after all and you are capable of anything you've already proven that to me, now prove it to Maddy.”

“You make it sound so easy.”

“That's because it is.”


Ric sounded unsure but he paced out onto the beach from the surf club which had been transformed into a reception and dressing room with a confident smile on his face nonetheless, Maddy knew he was terrified but there was no need for anyone else to see that.

Then the music began to play and a glowing Maddy walked down the aisle of sand towards her future husband.


Ric was sweating and thrusting with his top off with a look of concentration as Maddy giggled to watch.

She held her cup of tea as she watched her husband run around throwing a ball with their daughter. It was often their plan during the week to wear their daughter out with fun outdoor activities until she got sleepy and went to lie down watching TV or went to sleep. That way, the adults had time together but it wasn't just tiring for Willow as Maddy was witnessing.

They had been married two days and didn't plan on going on their honeymoon until they had enough money to go somewhere memorable, they had decided on Las Vegas as Cassie and Henry were going in a few months and it was an exciting place to visit all together. The romantic part would be the plane flight to the grand canyon and watching the sun set over one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Alf was practically falling over himself from more time to dote on his granddaughter so they weren't troubled for a babysitter while they were gone.

They put Willow to bed around seven thirty and chilled out on the couch.

“Do you think we are idle?”

“No way! What made you think that?”

“Well all we do during the week is watch TV all night and go to bed.”

“Am I boring you already as a husband?”

“No of course not but I was just wondering if our brains will turn to mush.”

Ric laughed.

“I'm not sure there's much scientific evidence to suggest any mushing of brains. Besides what else would you want to do?”

“Nothing I enjoy it I just feel guilty being so lazy.”

“You're not lazy! I work all day at the garage and you are run off your feet with Willow during the day that's if you aren't cooking and cleaning for us and doing that teaching course at the college!”

“Yeah but the course is by correspondence.”

“So? That's because you are too busy to actually attend classes! The reason we crash on the couch every night is because we are exhausted and deserve the break.”

“That's true I just forget how much work I do, caring for Willow never seems like a chore.”

“Yeah I like her at this age, remember when she was teething and all the crying all night as a baby? I didn't know whether to kiss her or strangle her! Okay maybe not strangle but there's nothing worse than attending work with baby spew on your overalls and bags under your eyes.”

“That period of time is burned into my memory and I will mentally abuse her about it when she's old enough.”

Maddy laughed.

“-Still I was happy even if I was a walking zombie that seemed to only communicate in baby talk.”

They both chuckled nostalgically but a knock at the door interrupted them.

It was Belle.



“Am I interrupting dinner or anything?”

“Nah it's cool, with Willow we eat early anyway.”

“I just wanted to come around and say thanks for letting me crash the wedding.”

Maddy smiled.

“I wish all wedding crashers were so well behaved.”

Belle grinned.

“I know we aren't exactly friends and I am sure you have good reason I wasn't exactly Miss Popular when I lived here -”

“-We aren't friends because you live in America, the old stuff is forgotten.”

“I'm glad because I brought you a belated baby shower and wedding gift.”

She passed her a mega size bar of chocolate and Maddy laughed.

“Thank you.”

“It's not a devious plan to make you put on weight or anything but I figured with all your stuff going on you might need the lift up that only chocolate can bring.”

“The chocolate wont last long but I'll appreciate every minute of it.”

“Cool well I should split.”

“Do you want a coffee or anything?”

“No it's okay I might see you around though.”

“Okay bye!”

Maddy closed the door and was already ripping open the chocolate before she saw Ric.

“Who was that?”


“Belle Taylor?”

Maddy rolled her eyes but smiled.

“No Belle from beauty and the beast, of course Belle Taylor what other Belles do we know?”

Ric smiled cheesily.

“Well you are always the belle of my ball.”

Maddy lay down next to him but laughed.

“Give it a rest lover boy.”

“So what did she want?”

“To give me chocolate and mend some bridges I think.”

“I hope you told her where to go.”

“No way! She seems nice enough and she gave me chocolate! Chocolate! People who give me chocolate can do no wrong.”

Ric laughed.

“I'll have to remember that the next time I'm in the dog box. Well I'm at least glad you didn't invite her in.”

“I did actually but she declined, I think she feels a bit awkward around you.”

“Belle doesn't know the meaning of awkward she always did just as she pleased including ruining mine and Cassie's relationship numerous times.”

“Well that was so wrong but its been ages and she seems different, besides you're not one to hold a grudge.”

“I haven't really I just don't want to be in Cassie's bad books by being chummy with her.”

“You don't have to be best friends with her you just have to be civil and polite, Cassie will understand and I don't think Cassie's still mad she's just a little insecure.”

“About what?”

“Well Henry was talking to her at the reception and they flirted but it's just typical Henry he's not interested in her and I don't think Belle was stirring she was just happy to have someone to talk to that wasn't Irene or Colleen. Henry didn't know who she was to Cassie anyway and he promised to be on his best behaviour next time, but you know Cassie, the seeds of doubt have been planted.”

“Yeah I get it. So when does Lucas come back from Europe?”

“In a week, he'll be back a couple of days before the christening.”

“Cool I can't wait to see his pictures of beautiful Italian women and beautiful Italian sports cars and beautiful Italian food.”

Ric winked at her to show he was kidding and Maddy relaxed into him as she changed the channel.

“He's finally brining Diana I've heard so much about her I'm excited to meet her, Willow keeps asking when 'uncle luke' is going to take her to the swings again. He's a definite hit.”


Maddy didn't see Belle until the end of the week when she took Willow to the beach on the Friday as she always did. Belle was sitting on her own gazing out on to the horizon.

“Hey Belle.”

She seemed not to hear Maddy so Willow walked unsteadily over to her and fell beside her. Belle turned to her with a blank expression before smiling slightly.

“Hey kiddo you must be Willow, we haven't been formally introduced.”

She outstretched her hand but Willow was too preoccupied with running her hands through the sand. Belle smiled and ruffled up her blonde hair affectionately.

“Belle, you okay?”

“Oh yeah I'm just thinking.”

“I guessed so, do you want to be left alone?”

Belle smiled.

“No way I could do with the company, I'm either with Irene when she's not at work or with Colleen who constantly comes around for no particular reason, either that or I'm alone. I didn't exactly bond too well with many of the bay's regulars and Colleen is my punishment.”

She laughed lightly and motioned for Maddy to sit, Maddy put Willow between her outstretched legs and began to apply sun block to her reluctant daughter.

“Ric says hi by the way.”

“Yeah right. He hates me.”

“No he doesn't.”

“Well he should.”

“What's with the self pity spiral? One of the things I always envied about you was how remorseless you were, not that that's a good thing but neither is having a self pity party, you need a healthy balance, trust me I should know.”

“Well give me a few days then I'll be back to my disturbingly ruthless self.”

She laughed bitterly to herself as if recalling all the horrible things she had done in the past.

“Anything you want to talk about?”

“Not particularly.”


“So can you apologize to Ric for me about everything? I plan to do the same with Cassie when she stops avoiding me like the plague.”

“You can tell Ric yourself I'll invite you around to dinner.”

“Thanks but no thanks, I'm not so pathetic and desperate that I need a sympathetic invite to dinner with my ex-boyfriend and his wife.”

“It's not a sympathetic invite at all, Lucas and his girlfriend are coming back from Europe tonight and I'm inviting them to dinner so you are welcome to join us.”

“I'd rather play bowls with Colleen than be fifth wheel to PDA party of the year.”

Maddy nodded, if nothing else, motherhood had made her a very patient and persistent woman.

“Look the Belle Taylor I knew wouldn't have turned down an invite to stir things up and if you are really worried about being the fifth wheel I can invite Cassie to even things out.”

She gave Belle a devious smile as a joke that lightened Belle's mood.

“Oh yeah and then I could tell her how nice and 'friendly' her boyfriend was when I met him and how I hope to get to know him much better.”

Maddy looked serious.

“That's my brother remember it's just gross and completely immoral to make a play for him. Well at least you're getting back to your old self.”

“Please, Henry's not my type, he's too much of any easy mark I like guys that actually hold my interest for more than five minutes. Intelligent, hot, delightfully moral and the complete opposite to me. That's when there's sparks.”

“Your expectations are pretty high!”

“That's because I know what I'm worth and I can afford to have an elite selection process.”

“What about your boyfriend in the USA?”

“Yeah that was over a while back I just neglected to inform Irene.”

“Oh okay, so was it amicable?”

“Aren't we the nosy one?”

“Sorry but I spend most of my day with a five year old, I crave a little adult conversation before dinner time.”

“Well I'm glad to know that the life of wife and mother is just as horrible as I imagined it to be.”

“No I -”

“I'm kidding! The guy? Well I guess there just wasn't that 'moment' and I tried to make it work as I was revamping my personality into being a nice girl but I gave up after a month and the sex sucked.”

Maddy laughed.

“A 'moment' and here I was thinking you weren't a romantic.”

“I'm not really I'm just learning from past experience I mean there was this guy before I came to the bay and when I saw him for the first time our eyes locked and there was moment where I knew I wanted him it was weird, but he moved away so we never got to do anything. Then the same thing happened with Ric and I knew he had a girlfriend but I couldn't let another potentially great relationship pass me by no matter what. I knew he was meant for me and then I fell in love with him but that all turned to hell and I was a bitch afterwards mainly because I was so diallusioned that it didn't work out. I had my 'moment' guy and there was no happy ending. That's when I stopped being a romantic and I hurt for a long time that I risked loving someone and had it thrown back in my face. I still believe in 'the moment' only each 'moment' guy is a learning curve so that one day I wont just have a moment guy I'll have a forever guy.”

Maddy frowned in confusion.

“That made a little bit of sense but you contradicted yourself.”


“The forever guy? The moment? You're in romantic addition denial!”


“Nevermind, you'll find out one day.”

“That's patronising!”

“No it's cryptic and mysterious which is far more exciting. Besides you are a nice person you just don't think you are.”

“Have you seen the amount of people I've pissed off in my life?”

“You just take a while for people to warm up to but you shut everyone out like you have something to prove or the world owes you something.”

“Yeah well life sucks and I don't feel I should be sweet and polite to people who have it great like you.”

“But you are nice to me!”

“Only because your stupid kid is making me mushy.”

“Hey! She didn't do anything to you.”

“She is making me mushy!”

Then something bizarre happened, Belle began to cry, really cry. Maddy put her arm around her in shock as Belle leaned into her and cried harder which made Willow begin to cry so they both put their arms around Willow.

“So what's really going on?”

“I can't talk about it, it just - I don't want to think about it yet.”

“Okay that's fine, I know how that feels and the last thing you want is someone prying.”


“The dinner invite still stands.”

“Don't hold your breath.”


Maddy was getting changed into cargo pants and a strapless red top. She pulled some of her hair back and applied a little light make up.

“I don't look too much like a daggy mum who usually wears baggy tops and shorts do I?”

Ric came up behind her and hugged her.

“No you look like an incredibly sexy women whose husband is going to show her just how much as soon as they get home.”

Maddy laughed shyly.

“You'll make me blush Mr Dalby.”

They paid the babysitter and left the house to go to the surf club where there was a karoke and disco night going on, the whole town was basically guaranteed to be there so it was a perfect time to see Lucas who had just arrived in town and had been staying at the caravan park.

Luke had called the day before and said they were busy getting over jet lag and would see them at the party and Maddy agreed, apparently Cassie and Diana were becoming fast friends but it was a little awkward for Lucas and Henry.


Maddy bounded up to Lucas and gave him a tight hug, he grinned and hugged her back.

“How are you?”

He waved to Ric while still being hugged by Maddy and Ric laughed. Willow joined in as she let go of Ric's hand and hugged Luke's legs.

Diana looked confused until Cassie whispered who they were and then she grinned.

“You must be the famous Maddy Hunter.”

“Yes that's me! It's great to meet you I've heard lots about you.”

“Same here.”

She finally stepped back.

“This is my husband Ric and my daughter Willow.”

Diana shook Ric's hand as he moved forward and smiled at Willow the same way all females did.

“Can I get you a drink? That way we can ditch the guys and get to know each other.”

Maddy smiled, surprised.

“Sure that sounds good. Willow stay with daddy.”

Willow was a daddy's girl anyway so it wasn't hard to convince her. She had never seen such a bond between two people as Ric had with Willow.

Cassie and Henry were busy snuggling and laughing on a couch over the other side of the room but they waved anyway.

“Aren't they adorable?”


“Henry and Cassie.”

“Oh yeah, I guess they are! You should of seen my brother a few years ago, it's like he's a new person but he kept some of his attitude thank god or I wouldn't recognise him.”

“Well love can do that to people.”

Maddy grinned.

“So I take it your speaking from experience? Maybe some Lucas experience?”

Diana laughed.

“Yep it's been hard getting here he was so closed off for a long time but I'm a persistent person and I wouldn't let him go that easily.”

“I admire that.”

“Thanks. You are so nice!”

“Um thankyou.”

“It's just the way Lucas talked about you and how he basically left me for you once, it made you sound so intimidating and beautiful and actually a bit of a bitch but you're none of those things.”

Maddy frowned in confusion not sure whether to be insulted or flattered but let it go.

“Well I'm glad.”

“Cassie is adorable isn't she?”

“Yeah sure.”

“She is so so nice and so is Henry we've just been having the best time together the last day it's like we've known each other forever.”

“That's good.”

“Yeah and poor her having to face that horrible cow Belle.”


“She told me all about Belle Taylor I practically feel like she stole my boyfriend. I know I wont be being civil to her tonight!”

“That was a long time ago though.”

“But it still hurts Cassie I can tell, and you must be worried I mean it was your husband she got her claws into!”

“Yeah but he wasn't my husband then, like I say things change.”

Maddy thought Diana was nice if a little overbearing but she didn't know what Lucas saw in her. She was nice looking but way too perky and air-headed for Luke. Maddy knew it was judgemental but it was accurate.

“Yeah but once a relationship-destroying wretch always a relationship-destroying wretch.”

Diana looked so intense Maddy wasn't sure if she was just talking about Belle anymore and quickly changed the subject.

“So how was Europe?”

“Wonderful! I went to all the best shopping places, the big shopping street near the arc de triomphe was heaven!”

“Did you like the Louvre? I've been dying to go! Apparently it takes 9 months to see it all properly. What about the Eiffel tower?”

“Oh, well actually I'm not that interested in that kind of stuff I mainly just went shopping and checked out restaurants.”

“Oh okay so neither of you saw all the touristy things?”

“Oh no I did, I saw Gucci Paris! That is a once in a lifetime experience but the prices are a little off-putting. Oh and Lucas did all the architecture and the louvre etc without me.”

Maddy couldn't contain her laughter.

“Sounds romantic.”

Diana missed the sarcasm.

“Oh it really was!”

“Well that's good you're lucky you got to experience such great..things.”

“I'm lucky to have Luke, he's all that matters.”

“Than I'm sure he's the lucky one.”

Diana shrieked with laughter.

“Oh you!”

Maddy quickly moved away to give her drink to Ric and mouthed 'save me' to him when no one else was looking. Ric sacrificed himself by taking Diana to sit down and chat with Willow close behind so Maddy could talk with Lucas.

“So what do you think of her?”

He looked nervous.

“She's -”

Maddy didn't want to lie.


Lucas laughed.

“That's as bad as saying she's 'nice'.”

“Well she is nice.”

“You think she's annoying and way too perky don't you?”

“Well I'm sure she's wonderful in small doses, our personalities just clash a little that's all but she is great.”

“That's what everyone says, everyone thinks she's vulgar and outspoken.”

“Well there's nothing wrong with being outspoken. What do you think?”

“I'm beginning to agree with people.”

“If you love her don't worry what others think! As long as you are happy!”

“Well I'm not sure I do, I mean I'm really fond of her and she's so supportive but it's not love. I went back to school after seeing you determined to make a fresh start with someone and she was just always there being nice and accommodating I just sort of became dependent on her and we both had fun. Then she began to get irritating she was pretty clingy and insecure and complained about friends that were girls but I ignored it because I was focussed on not being a flake, then I thought going to Europe would be a perfect bonding experience. She could get out her usual environment and may reveal a different side of her, but we got there and she only wanted to shop. I suppose it was a blessing I didn't want to see the Mona Lisa with her whining in my ear. I do really care about her I know I sound like I don't -”

“-Luke you sound like you gave her lots of really great chances and tried to make it work but if you know it's not right you have to tell her, she's in love with you!”

“I feel like such a jerk but I thought being the opposite of runaway guy would be better but I suck no matter what I do.”

“Just try and relax and enjoy the weekend then see what happens. Lucas it's not always you that is the fault in every relationship remember, if she was maybe a little more self aware I'm sure it may have lasted longer. That 'moment' person is out there somewhere.”

“What? 'Moment person?'”

Maddy thought about how to try and explain it when Belle arrived in a very sexy dress.

Ric was trying to put up with Diana's screeching laughter but Willow was beginning to resent the assault on her hearing so she began to cry. Diana automatically tried to play peacemaker.

“What's the problem little one?”

“I'm not little!”

“Your indignantion is very cute as long as you grow out of it! Do you want a hug? Maybe a drink of milk?”

Always the diplomat, Willow poked out her tongue and ran to Maddy.

“What's up sweetie?”

Maddy tugged on her mother's skirt.

“That woman with daddy is too loud.”

Lucas cringed in embarrassment and Maddy felt genuinely sorry for both him and Diana.

Belle sauntered over.

“Hey Maddy.”


As if almost sensing the disdain it would cause Diana, Willow had automatically made Belle her new best friend.

Belle smiled cautiously.

“What's up Will? You're looking very grown up tonight.”

Wilow grinned gratefully and tried to make herself look taller.

Belle looked up at Lucas as if she didn't recognise him and he stared right back at her. He looked down shyly but accidently ended up looking down her cleavege. Belle smiled.

“Yes Lucas they happened to be a pair of breasts but my face is up here.”

Lucas blushed.

“I didn't mean - I agree but that wasn't -”

Belle rolled her eyes.

“Cool it, I really don't care. So I haven't seen you in a while.”

“Yeah me neither but it wasn't like we were that close.”

“Are you saying you're not happy to see me?”

“No I am.”

“Why are you happy to see me? Are you trying to get lucky? I mean it's not like we were best friends.”

Lucas just looked resentful.

“What's the point in having a conversation with you?”

Belle smiled in amusement.

“Well according to you it's to get laid.”

Lucas looked incredulous and Maddy just smiled slightly and picked up Willow.

“Belle and me are princesses. Lucas can be the prince.”

Diana had spotted potential competition and walked over in her calmest manner.

“So whose the new member?”

Belle turned to her.

“Member of what?”

“Well our party group of course.”

Belle scoffed.

“No offence but karaoke doesn't exactly constitute a party and having never met you before I don't think we are part of a group. But I'm Belle if that's what you were trying to ask.”

Diana pursed her lips and Belle turned away from her to talk to Lucas who realising the upcoming confrontation tried to move Diana away.

“Shall we dance Di?”

“No I want to get to know Belle, is that a crime?”

“Well no -”

“Then let's all sit down then.”

Everyone surprisingly did as they were told but Belle only did so because her heels were killing her. Cassie was at the bar ordering a coke when Diana called her over.

“Cassie wont you join us?”


Belle piped in.

“Yeah Cassie come have a drink with us.”

She didn't mean it in a malicious way she actually wanted to say sorry in some form or another but both Cassie and Diana looked at her like she had shouted an obscenity.

Maddy laughed loudly and everyone turned to her.

“What's so funny?”

“Oh just this one time Willow walked passed this girl and said she had big boobies right to her face it was hilarious, wasn't it Willow?”

Maddy knew she sounded like a lunatic but the tension was becoming uncomfortable. Willow was busy playing with a barbie she bought but replied anyway.

“But she did have big boobies!”

Everyone laughed politely and Maddy wanted to slap herself. Ric had unfortunately gone to talk to Henry so she was screwed. She knew if she asked Willow to leave she'd want to stay with 'princess Belle'.

“So Belle I hear you have quite a colourful reputation in Summer Bay.”

“Colourful doesn't really do it justice.”

“You almost sound proud.”

“Well I had fun in Summer Bay and I did some things I shouldn't have but I don't believe in holding on to regrets they only eat away at you.”

“Yours would be like corrosive acid I would think.”

Cassie looked awkward.

Belle smiled coldly.

“Oh yes? And who is your source on that?”

“It could be anybody on this town couldn't it?”

“You act like you know the place when you've been here like five minutes, that's ambitious of you. Besides it's obviously Cassie.”

“So what if it is?”

Cassie went to say something but just looked down.

“Cassie it's okay if you hate me I don't blame you.”

“I don't hate you but I don't like you either.”

“Fair enough.”

“Why don't we talk about Lucas' and Diana's trip abroad?”

Lucas agreed with Maddy.

“Yeah it was brilliant. Shall we start with Rome?”

“No let Diana here finish, she obviously has a lot to get off her chest and I'm very intrigued considering I only met her a minute ago so I have outdone myself if I have caused her personal grievance so early on.”

Lucas couldn't stop staring at Belle, she was feisty but diplomatic and passionate but not coarse she had so much energy and was so much more classy since he had last seen her that he was almost hoping Belle would win the argument.

“You haven't hurt me but you've hurt Cassie and numerous others who are too good to speak up so I'm doing it for them! Besides your immoral attitude is insulting.”

“Well it doesn't seem like these victims asked you to be their spokesperson I mean Cassie looks mortified.”

Diana turned to her and smiled.

“It's only because you're around!”

“I need something stronger than soda.”

Cassie moved numbly to the bar.

“So Diana are you quite finished with your self righteous tirade? I mean I'd start disecting your moral character but I know nothing about you. I have no idea what someone like Lucas sees in you!”

Diana was so angry she couldn't even speak.

“What do you mean someone like me?”

All the angry vibes around had made even Lucas defensive and resentful.

“Well you are smart, clean and pretty good looking I thought you could have picked better for yourself.”

Lucas half smiled.

“You think I'm good looking?”

Belle rolled her eyes but smiled.

“I said pretty good looking don't go thinking it means I'll sleep with you.”

Lucas rolled his eyes but was obviously flirting.

“Who says I want to?”

Belle was about to make a retort when Diana stood up in fury. Willow had hastily made an exit to Ric and Henry who looked too scared to come over. Maddy felt it was her duty to Lucas to stay.

“How dare you flirt with my boyfriend and assume he has the slightest interest in a slutty, rude cow like you!”

Belle cracked up laughing at how angry she had made Diana but politely tried to quash her hysterics.

“Don't mince words Diana.”

She kept laughing and winked and Lucas before getting up to get a drink and talk with Cassie. Lucas just looked at his shoes to avoid Diana's death glare but couldn't hide his amused smile. Diana stood still for a moment and Maddy could almost see the cogs in motion in her head.

“Well I shouldn't have expected much with someone like the infamous tart Amanda as their mother.”

Belle turned around with a blank expression on her face.

“What did you just say?”

Diana looked smug at finally getting a rise out of Belle.

“You heard me.”

Belle moved closer to her.

“If I hear you say another bad word about Amanda -”

“-Well I'm sure it doesn't come as a surprise to you I mean she did help you try and seduce Ric when he was with Cassie! What kind of sick person does that? I hope she's getting therapy over in the US-”

Belle slapped Diana so hard that it resounded around the room despite the music but none of the adults seemed to have noticed.

Diana grabbed her cheek in shock. Lucas stood up.

“What was that for? You had no right to slap her!”

“I have every right!”

“You know you actually made me admire you for a while with your courage and articulation but once you resorted to violence I lost all respect.”

“Like I care! Don't you ever get sick of being Mr goody two shoes that everyone wants you to be?”

To his surprise she began tearing up.

“-I mean it's obvious to everyone but your anti-christ girlfriend there that you don't want to be with her so stop being a coward and do what you want for a change! Life is too short!”

Everyone was silent, including Lucas, Diana began whimpering.

Belle gave her an evil glare and stormed off just as Irene had entered the commotion.

“What the hell is going on here?”

“Belle Taylor attacked me!”

“Why on earth would she do that?”

“Because she's a psycho obviously!”

Maddy began to speak.

“They were having an argument and she starting talking about Amanda's past -”

“-Why would you do that?”

Diana looked stunned, she hoped the adults of the bay would support her not put her on trial.

“Well Amanda is horrible isn't she?”

Irene sighed.

“Amanda was killed a month ago, Belle came back here because I'm all she has left. So next time you mouth off about people you don't know I suggest you think first.”

“But she never said.”

“Why would she? She doesn't even know you!”

Diana and everyone else sitting there felt terrible. Diana sat down.

“I'm a horrible person. I just wanted her to pay for her past offences because I was bullied when I was younger and I guess I was channelling past misery but if I had known I wouldn't have said anything. I'm evil.”

Lucas sighed.

“You're not a bad person you just let your mouth run away with you. You'll have to apologize though, we all will.”

Diana looked like she'd rather walk across hot coals but she agreed.

No one was looking forward to seeing Belle again and for the rest of the night the party didn't seem very fun.


So what do you think? If Lucas can't be with Maddy I think he should be with Belle because I like her character she's complex and someone people can relate to her. Lucas and Belle are complete opposites but that works! This story will basically be Maddy/ Ric and Lucas/Belle.

Next: Lucas Versus Belle

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Okay so I couldn't stop writing and had to give you a little more to keep you going while I'm away. Thanks again to all my gracious reviewers :)


Belle Vs Lucas

Maddy and Ric walked home with Willow holding each hand and trying to swing between them.

“It was like watching a car crash it was horrible but I couldn’t move or look away.”

“It was a catfight, it happens.”

Willow looked up at her dad.

“There were cats fighting? Were they okay? Can we take one home?”

Ric laughed and stroked her hair.

“They were fine, but no sweetie you know if we got a cat it would eat the goldfish.”

“But goldie is boring! Why cant we get a kitty? Or a puppy? Or a pony?”

“Honey when you are a little older and we don’t have so much going on and goldie is safely in goldfish heaven then we will think about it okay?”

Willow sighed.

“Fine but when I get a kitty I’m going to call it Belle because Belle is the prettiest name of all.”

“Nice thinking. Speaking of Belle should I go over and talk to her?”

“Maddy if I know Belle she’ll want her space.”

“You’re right. It’s just so tragic about Amanda, sure she was the B-I-T-C-H from hell for a long time but she redeemed herself and was a good person after the helicopter crash and that’s what matters.”

“What did you spell mum?”

“A type of fruit honey, why don’t you think about what you want for breakfast tomorrow?”

Ric smiled slightly but replied.

“I know but I think Belle kept it a secret because stuff like that spreads like wildfire in our town and she wouldn’t want constant sympathy cards and ‘you’ll be okay’ comments. Besides deep down she was probably dreading Amanda being criticized I mean her life was full of mistakes and cruelty as well as love and compassion.”

“That’s a good point, it’s just she’s so alone now.”

“Well she has us and she knows that now.”

“Us? Are you saying the hatchet is firmly buried?”

Ric laughed.

“Of course and I don’t think Cassie or anyone in the bay would hold anything against Belle now, not after what she’s gone through and is going through.”

“I hope so, she’s deserves some peace of mind after all.”

“Did you see Lucas and Belle?”

“Yeah they were at each other’s throats.”


Ric looked silently smug.

“What you disagree?”

“No but there were definite undertones there, I mean I wasn’t even sitting with you and I could see the fireworks between them!”

“Really? I mean they flirted but Belle’s like that with everyone although I must admit it’s not really Lucas’ style. They are completely wrong for each other though.”

“So wrong it’s right!”

“You think?”

“Belle can be a stubborn, self absorbed skank but she is also caring, funny, loving and compassionate once she trusts someone enough to show them. Most of the toughness and nastiness is just a smoke screen that keeps her from getting hurt.”

“I agree and Lucas needs someone to rub him up the wrong way and get him out of himself! Lucas can be spineless, clueless and reserved but he is also passionate, outgoing and witty once he is provoked or knows someone enough. It could be a match made in heaven.”

Willow giggled.

“Princess Belle and Prince Lucas are going to get married aren’t they?”

Maddy laughed.

“You never know Willow.”

“Can I be bridesmaid? I’m a princess and I should be bridesmaid.”

“Don’t get ahead of yourself love she’s just back in town after all.”

“I’ll make Lucas propose and they can have a pretty wedding like yours and daddy’s!”

Ric smiled.

“Willow you have to keep this conversation and your ideas top secret okay? Because if you told certain people they could get hurt or confused and you don’t want that do you?”

“But weddings are fun! They can have a big cake and play the macarena I’m good at that dance aren’t I dad?”

“You are a pro at it but you have to promise to keep it between us for now okay?”

Willow pouted.


“Pa promise okay?”

When Willow first learnt to talk she used the word ‘pa’ the most to talk about Ric and he treated her like she was so special that anytime he might miss a ballet recital or a dinner he ‘pa promised’ to make it and always did so it became a solid promise that had never been broken and Willow put such faith in it when it came to her father he was now reversing the situation on her.

Willow beamed.

“Okay I pa promise! I wont break it! Never ever!”

“Good and neither will I.”

She hugged her dad and he grinned like a cheshire cat.

“My parenting is awesome.”

Maddy scoffed.

Our parenting.”

“Right of course, but I invented the pa promise.”

Maddy frowned.

“Yeah well I invented successful potty training and general vocabulary.”

“Good point, but let me keep the pa promise.”

“It’ll last until she’s about 12 you know.”

“That’s cool I still have 8 good years to cherish it and then I’ll use it to embarrass her when she’s a teenager and in her forties.”

Maddy laughed.

“I bet she wont think you’re such an awesome parent then but you can’t be superman all the time I guess.”

Ric leaned over and kissed her and Willow made an ‘ew’ noise and ran slightly ahead.


Maddy was terrified, she tried to calm herself and kept telling herself she was being stupid and overprotective but she couldn’t help it. Willow on the other hand was taking it all in her stride and looking forward to kindergarten. Maddy had to do the worrying for both of them having the most bitter life experience. She was worried about bullying, social alienation, potential paedophiles and all the other stuff that she felt paranoid about. It was Summer Bay and she knew most of the kids at the kindergarten already but this was her only daughter and she wasn’t going to just act like it wasn’t a big deal.

“Your hand is slimy mum.”

“It’s just nerves.”

Willow nodded.

“Are you feeling okay to do this? Well adjusted?”

“Mum I’ll be fine.”

“If you feel sick or feel like you don’t fit in or anything big or small you can always tell me at any time and I’ll come pick you up or talk to your teachers it’s not a problem okay?”


Maddy squeezed Willow’s hand as they crossed the road into the kindergarten.

“Hi I’m Mrs Wheeler I’ll be your daughter’s teacher, we talked over the phone.”

“Oh yes hi.”

“Is your mind put at rest after our chat?”

“More or less.”

“It’s okay to be anxious you’re not alone, lots of mothers feel worried for their children after all it’s the first time they are in a social situation with kids their own age for a long period of time but it is all beneficial, the good and the bad.”

“The bad?”

“Not bad as such but change can come as unwelcome surprise to some children.”

“I’ll be fine, I’m a princess.”

Mrs Wheeler smiled at her.

“Of course you are, what a pretty young maiden you are.”

“Thank you Mrs Wheeler.”

Mrs Wheeler laughed.

“She already seems outgoing, sociable and articulate for her age you have nothing to worry about.”

“Thank you.”

“Would you like to go and meet your new friends?”

“Are they princesses to?”

“Princesses and princes.”

“I might get married!”

Maddy coughed nervously.

“Willow I think you should concentrate on growing up before you start getting engaged, I mean love at five may not be all itself cracked up to be although I personally wouldn’t know.”

Willow nodded.

“Okay, can you let me go now?”

Maddy smiled.

“Of course.”

She reluctantly let go of her daughter’s hand and hugged and kissed her until she wiggled out of her grasp and ran inside and waved goodbye to her mum.

“You’ll get a few hours for yourself now.”

“Yeah I’m just worried she seems too obsessed with marriage.”

Mrs Wheeler nodded.

“It’s probably just a phase like barbies but having been witness to your own wedding between the two people she loves most is quite an influence, she sees your happiness and of course wants to emulate her mother."

“I guess I’m still learning.”

“Don’t worry you always are, I have two grown up sons and have been teaching for twenty years and I’m still being surprised.”

“That’s a relief. I just worry for her all the time it’s exhausting. I worry about her crossing the road, meeting new people, growing up, having boyfriends and I know I shouldn’t panic now but I grew up with four older siblings and between us we dealt with alcoholism, bulimia, bullying, infidelity, explosions, deaths and everything else that could be a parent’s worst nightmare so my views on growing up are jaded. Besides I read parent books about how everything you do early on especially, affects the development and future life of not only your child but how they bring up their children! It’s just I don’t get a trial run at this if I make mistakes Willow will suffer.”

Maddy took in a deep breath.

“Sorry rant over.”

Mrs Wheeler laughed lightly.

“Beware of what you read, children are resilient they aren’t china dolls that are going to shatter if you mess up. Besides you can’t protect your daughter from everything she’ll realise how dark life can be no matter what you do and the more sheltered you keep her the worse it could be. After all, your family dealt with overwhelming circumstances time and again and yet here you are a well adjusted mother with sound intentions and a good heart so it goes to show a few bumps in the road wont scar your daughter for life.”

“Thank you you have definitely squashed any doubts.”

Maddy was still unsure but she didn't want to sound ungrateful for the advice.

“That’s part of my job. I better go do the other part now.”

“Okay see you later!”



Belle sat on the beach and looked out at the rough ocean. She didn’t want to be at Irene’s in case anyone called around and at least at the beach only people not working would stroll by and most people did on a Monday morning. Besides, Amanda always said no matter how much trouble she was in or how bad she felt she could look out at the ocean and her problems seemed small in comparison. She was right and when Belle looked at the ocean she felt closer to her mum.

“Uh Hi.”

Belle could tell from the awkward male voice that it was Lucas so she didn’t bother turning her head.

“I’m sure there are some other people you can bother your own age around here, Diana arisen from her coffin yet?”

“She really regrets everything she said and so do I.”

“You never said anything offensive, you haven’t got it in you.”

“Well that’s usually a good thing but for someone so against being judged you are quick to sum up my personality. I haven’t seen you in years and suddenly you know me?”

“I didn’t say I wasn’t a hypocrite but c’mon on it’s not like your devious enough to have many skeletons in your closet and your choice of girlfriend tells me you are bored being the way you are."


“She causes drama and isn’t afraid to speak her mind which I admire even if the stuff that comes out is garbage. Therefore you can have the drama and tension she causes which is more exciting than being by yourself. You dislike the way she is but you dislike yourself even more.”

“You’re crazy.”


“How dare you assume and dissect my character when you’ve barely even had a conversation with me!”

“Be honest with me and you can join me in self-loathing. Am I completely off the mark?”

Lucas sighed.

“Not completely.”

“Good. You want to sit?”

“I’ll probably regret it but okay.”

He down next to her.

“So tell me all about Europe.”


“Yeah why not? I need a distraction and it’s either that or make out with you.”

Lucas looked unsure.

“I’m kidding don’t worry I know you are totally committed to the she-devil.”

“Okay well we went to Italy, France and Spain.”

“Not England?”

“Nah it’s too much like Australia, besides I love the history and grandeur of Italy and France plus Spain has brilliant beaches. England is cold and wet most of the time anyway.”

“True, I would love to go to Europe and see Vatican city, Michelango and Notre Dame they remind me of the richness and culture of the world that Summer Bay doesn’t exactly have. Walking in the footsteps of greats and admiring landmarks must be pretty humbling.”

Lucas smiled at how intelligent she was, he always knew she was smart but people tended to forget that when she was being a bitch or making dumb life mistakes. Although academics tended to be that way but Belle was naturally talented she didn’t bother to work for it, it just came to her.

“Yeah it was awesome it makes Summer Bay seem more of a fish bowl than before.”

“I bet, we’re all too big for it but it got a hold of us somehow and once you put down roots that are hard to take out no matter how much you want to.”

“I agree although all my family are here and I wouldn’t care if they lived in the middle of nowhere it would still be home because of them.”

“Irene’s my only family now and we aren’t even related, what can I say, I’m a modern girl.”

“I think you have more, family aren't just flesh and blood but also who you share your life with and care about, friends are family too.”

“Yeah well I don’t have many of them either, I like it that way though.”


“I don’t have to tell you.”

“Fine be like that.”

They sat in silence for a moment before Lucas talked.

“So how was Amanda killed if you don’t mind my asking?”

“I do.”

“Maybe I should go.”

He went to get up but Belle sighed and pulled him back down.

“Fine I’ll tell you if you kept it to yourself.”

“Of course.”

“She was mugged coming home from a shoot and being Amanda she chased them to get it back so they pulled a gun on her and -”

Belle inhaled sharply.

“-that’s that.”

“Has she had her funeral?”

“It was in LA last week I came back with her ashes though, she always said she wanted them scattered out in the bay.”

“Do you want company for it?”

Belle smiled slightly.

“Wont that rub Diana up the wrong way?”

“Why should you care?”

“But you do.”

“Maybe but it’s important to you and you’re my friend whether you like it or not so I’m coming with you okay?”

Belle grinned.

“I like this commanding side of Lucas Holden.”

Lucas grinned back.

“Oh yeah?”

“Don’t get a big head, I don’t sleep with abnormally shaped men.”

Lucas wanted to question quite what she meant but she got up before he could form the words.

“Be here at six tonight and we’ll get it over and done with.”

“What the ashes or the sleeping together thing?”

He sounded so confused and innocent Belle couldn’t help but laugh.

“Maybe both if you play your cards right.”

Lucas laughed uncertainly, not sure whether she was serious and whether he should be so excited about the prospect if she was.


Ric arrived home for an early lunch and found Maddy brushing Willow’s hair on the sofa.

“How are my girls?”

Willow ran to him.

“I missed you.”

“Me too Will.”

Willow ran to play in her room.

“Did kindergarten finish early or something?”


“But it doesn’t finish for another two hours!”

“I know but she was missing home and one of the boys called her names so I picked her up.”


“I just told you why!”

“So what if he called her names?”

“You want your daughter being called obscenities?”

“Of course not but you can’t pull her out of playschool just because she was feeling uncomfortable, we talked about this.”

“Of course I can, I’m her mother.”

“Look you have understand that she has to stick it out even if she may not like it at first she has to learn to adapt and not be so spoilt, everything is tough at first but you get over it, you have to let her fend for herself.”

“She’s spoilt is she?”

“She is when her mother will bend over backwards to make her happy.”

“That’s a good thing!”

“Yes but sometimes she can’t always be happy and get what she wants, you’ll hurt her in the long run if you keep pandering to her.”

Maddy got up in silence and began making lunch. Ric sighed and sat down at the table.

“Are you mad?”


“Yes you are.”

“I’m not I’m just frustrated.”


“Because you’re probably right. It’s just so hard to watch her cry and have difficulties.”

“I know I find it tough too but we have to be strong for her and do what’s best.”

“I know.”

“Just let her go the whole week at playschool full time no matter what and I bet by the end she’ll love it and not want to come home.”

“Care to make a wager?”

“Like what?”

“You win if she loves it by Friday.”

“And you win if she doesn’t? That’s not very nice.”

“No I win if my instincts were right.”

“Fine. So what do I win?”

“Whoever wins gets to have the other one as their slave for a whole week.”

“Sex Slave?”

Maddy laughed.

“If that’s what you want if you win and if I win you are going to be my chore and gardening slave.”

Ric groaned.

“Good job I’m right then isn’t it?”

Maddy ignored him.


Belle hugged her mother’s ashes to her chest as she waited on the beach for Lucas.

She was scouring the beach line for him when she saw Diana meandering towards her. She thought about leaving because she didn’t want her to ruin this day of all days but she realised from watching her that she wasn’t deliberately coming to confront Belle she simply happened to be walking in her direction.

Diana finally looked away from the ocean and saw Belle a short distance away from her and stopped in surprise, she looked at the sand for a minute before continuing to walk towards her.

“Hi. Before you say anything I just want to apologize for what I said last night.”

“Why? You obviously meant it. The only reason you are saying sorry is because you feel guilty saying it all when my mum’s dead isn’t it? How does it feel to be the bitch now?”

Diana nodded.

“I deserved that I guess.”

“You did but don’t apologize for speaking your mind, some of it was distasteful and wrong considering Amanda is gone. Otherwise you can say what you want and don’t have to answer to anyone about it, only your own conscience which is what you are doing now but soothe it yourself. You don’t need my forgiveness and you’re not going to get it.”

Diana swallowed.

“Okay. So have you seen Lucas? He hasn’t been home all day.”

“Nope can’t say I have.”

“Not that I’d believe what you say anyway, you have no reason to be truthful.”

“I guess you’ll just have to trust me.”

They both laughed at the absurdity of such a scenario.

“Well I should go.”

Diana walked off quickly just as Lucas walked down on to the beach from the street.

“Hey Belle I uh got you these.”

Lucas gave her the flowers he had brought and she laughed.

“I’m mourning my mother not going on a date.”

“No I know that you idiot!”

He sounds so frustrated and unintentionally immature that Belle took them off him in amusement.

“So what are they for?”

“It’s called a nice gesture Belle, for you and for your mum I guess, you can throw them out to sea with her I don’t care.”

“That’s actually a good idea, a nice way to end it.”

“Good, glad I could be of some help when I’m not obviously trying to date you and get in your pants.”

He rolled his eyes and Belle linked arms with him as they walked along the beach.

“I know you are an upstanding gentlemen Lucas Holden don’t worry, I only tease you because I know nothing will come off it and I’m glad we can be friends.”

“So now your nice to me?”

“What can I say? The world is a weird place.”

It took twenty minutes for them to walk up to the spot on the cliff Belle wanted but they were deep in political argument that they didn’t notice the time. Belle took the underdog opinion and Lucas wasn’t even sure she believed what she was arguing for but he didn’t mind it was stimulating none the less.

“Here we are.”

“Thank god now we can put an end to the argument.”

“There is no end to the argument if there was I’m pretty sure there would be peace in the middle east by now.”

“I mean the end to our argument.”

Belle smiled and she was silent for a minute as she remembered her mother, she moved closer to the edge and opened the urn.

“Well Amanda what a life you led! You were a bitch in heels for a lot of your time in Summer Bay but no one likes a goody two shoes all the time. You were ambitious, passionate and you spoke your mind and you loved me like no one else ever has and for that I admire your persistence and thank you for making me the person I am. You were courageous even to the end. So here’s to you.”

She felt tears coming but she resisted them as she let her mother’s ashes be carried off into the wind or go straight into the crashing waves below.

Then she got the flowers and picked up each one, kissed it and dropped it out to sea. Lucas had never seen the disconnected Belle be so emotionally open and he felt privileged for being allowed to see it.

She stood for several minutes and finally turned around.

“We should get back, its getting dark.”

“We can stay longer if you need to.”

“I don’t need to.”


They walked in silence and Lucas felt the protective walls go up around Belle.

“Are you okay?”

“Just peachy.”

“No need to be sarcastic it was a simple question.”

“It’s the least simple question I think you could have asked.”

“Well I’m just trying to be supportive it’s what friends do.”

“You’re not my friend Lucas!”

“Yes I am.”

“What are you bored with all your other ones? You felt you needed a challenge or a change of scene? I’m not going to be your little experiment or indulge your hero complex okay! We’re not friends Lucas the sooner you realise that the less of a headache I’ll have.”

She stormed ahead but Lucas followed her.

“I don’t believe you!”

“I don’t care.”

“I think you do.”

Belle turned around to face him.

“I think your ego is bigger than your brains and that’s saying something.”

“It’s not ego it’s the truth.”

“How’d you figure that nerd boy?”

“You wouldn’t have invited me to come with you if you didn’t like me.”

“I just didn’t want to do it alone that’s selfishness not affection.”

“Why not ask Irene then?”

“You were around and I knew you’d do whatever I ask, you’re so predictable, all men are, they see ass and boobs and if you click your figures they jump.”

“You are so wrong that I feel sorry for you. Your views are so screwed up. I don’t want to sleep with you and if you take everyone’s nice gestures and turn them around with your cynicism than you are going to have a very lonely life.”

“Yeah well it’s better to be lonely than be a coward in a relationship you don’t even want.”

“I hate you! I hate the way you always think you’re right when you’re the most immature, conceited, blinded person I have ever met! I don’t know what I was thinking trying to help you.”

He walked past her but she caught his hand and kissed him. He kissed her back even though he was still fuming.

She pulled away and smiled bitterly.

“See, if you were thinking with your head and not your penis you would have pushed me away and stuck with hating me.”

“Maybe I was thinking with my heart but my heart is definitely crazy to feel for a manipulative, lost little girl like you.”

He looked so disappointed in her as he walked away that it made Belle want to cry, if he had shouted she would have ignored him but the idea that she had destroyed the faith he had in her made her hate herself for sabotaging her happiness again.

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