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You'll Never Be Alone

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Chapter 90

“But ... the main reason ...” said Lucas hesitantly, “is you.”

“Me,” said Becky, not quite believing what she was hearing.

“Yeah. You’re amazing Becky, I don’t think I’ve ever met someone quite like you. I can talk to you about anything even though we just met and I feel like you understand me. I’ve never felt this comfortable around a girl this fast before. Usually it takes me a while but with you, it’s like we just ... clicked.”

“Lucas,” replied Becky. Lucas was nervous about how she was going to react, especially as they were still on the ride and so couldn’t get off. “I feel the same way,” she finished. With that Lucas smiled and leaned in to kiss her. He pulled back after only a few seconds to check it was okay with her. She smiled at him and leaned in again. This time the kiss was more passionate.

Matilda was looking round at the view and through the corner of her eye saw Lucas and Becky. She turned round more in her seat and saw them kissing. She nudged Ric and he turned round too. As Matilda looked forward she saw everyone else had noticed. They were getting to the end if the ride and one by one they all got off and waited for the rest. Finally Lucas and Becky got off, both looking pretty happy.

“So guys, looks like you’ve finally realised you like each other,” Matilda said to them, smiling. Lucas and Becky both blushed.

“Well ... you know ... so you all ... so us?” asked Lucas.

“We certainly did. Guys pay up!” said Jack.

“What?” asked Matilda as both Scott and Ric got their wallets out and handed Jack some money.

“What’s going on?” asked Lucas.

“... nothing,” replied Jack.

“You bet on us!” said Lucas.

“Well ... maybe.”

“Yeah mate, you couldn’t have waited another couple of hours!” said Ric as Matilda hit him on the arm.

“Just ignore them,” Matilda told Lucas and Becky. They all set off to find another ride. Lucas and Becky were at the back of the group and Lucas tentatively reached out and took Becky’s. Matilda turned around to make sure they hadn’t lost them in the crowd and smiled as she saw them looking do happy together.

“Looks like we have a new couple,” she said to Ric.

“Yeah. But Luc is going back to Uni tomorrow morning. He’s going to be away for about 6 weeks. Even then he’s only home for the summer,” replied Ric.

That evening they all got back into the minibus ready for the drive home.

“So, did everyone have a good day?” asked Scott.



“What about the two lovebirds?” Jack asked, looking back at Lucas and Becky.

“We had a great day thank,” Lucas said to his brother.

Once they got back to Summer Bay everyone was dropped off at their houses. Hayley, Noah and Scott were first followed by Jack, Martha and Katie.

“Coming bro?” Jack asked Lucas as he got Katie’s car seat out.

“Actually, me and Becky are going to go for a walk along the beach, Ric you couldn’t drop us off at the Surf Club could you?”

“Sure, no problem.”

As they stopped in the Surf Club car park Matilda got out so that Lucas and Becky could get out. She hugged Becky.

“Call me later,” she whispered into Becky’s ear.

“I will.”

Ric dropped Matilda off at the Caravan Park before taking the minibus back. He arrived home not long after and Matilda was watching TV.

“I had a great day,” she said as Ric sat down next to her. Sally, Brad and Pippa were at Leah and Dan’s house.

“Me too,” sighed Ric.

“I can’t wait to move into our new house, it’s going to be great.”

“It sure will.”

After Matilda had a shower her phone started ringing, seeing who it was she answered.

“Hey Bec,” she said.

“Hi Mattie.”

“So, you and Lucas!” said Matilda.

“I know!” squealed Becky.

“You finally realised you both like each other then.”

“Yeah. We were on the sky ride and he started telling me about how he can’t wait for the summer and the main reason is me. Then he kissed me,” explained Becky.

“That’s so sweet!”

“I know.”

“So, what did you talk about on the beach?” asked Matilda.

“Just about how we’re going to be apart until the summer holidays. We’ve both said we want to be together and we’ll just have to cope with being apart. Once summer comes we can be a proper couple. Mattie, I have to say thank you to you. It’s you that introduced us and if you hadn’t then we wouldn’t have met.”

“You’re welcome!”

“Honestly Mattie, I owe so much to you.”

“I’m glad I can help.”

“Now I just have to get through the next 6 weeks,” sighed Becky.

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Hey guys, I would have updated yesterday but it was my birthday so was busy.

Chapter 91

Matilda walked into the Surf Club 5 weeks later to find Becky staring at her phone.

“Hey Bec, waiting for Lucas to text?” she asked.

“Yeah, it’s been 2 whole minutes since I send a reply,” sighed Becky, then she looked up. “Hey I thought you weren’t coming in today? What about moving house?”

Matilda and Ric were going to move into their beach side house later that day and they were both really excited. They had all the furniture from the Hunter house and it had been sitting in storage for months.

For the past 5 weeks since Lucas and Becky kissed while Lucas was visiting from University they had talked everyday on the phone, text all the time and e-mailed a lot. They had briefly met up when the girls had gone to the City to look at dresses for the wedding. It was Monday morning and Becky was waiting for Lucas to reply. Finally her phone beeped.

‘Last lecture is Thursday, then I’m free for the summer!. I’ll b with u Friday lunchtime’ the reply said. Matilda peered over Becky’s shoulder to read it.

“I bet you can’t wait,” said Matilda. “I thought I’d come in for an hour, I’m just in the way at home. Ric and Brad have everything all under control,” explained Matilda.

“So, when’s the house warming?” asked Becky.

“Friday evening, so Lucas can come. It gives us a chance to settle in.”

“Great! Can’t wait.”

“Then on Sunday we have a final fitting in Yabbie Creek for the wedding outfits.”

The next hour was spent with Matilda serving customers and Becky leaping for joy every time her phone beeped. Eventually she put it down.

“He’s gone into a lecture,” explained Becky.

At 11 o’clock Alf came into the Surf Club.

“Mattie you can go now, I’ll cover for you,” he said.

“Thanks Mr Stewart. The furniture should be arriving at the house. Will we be seeing you later?”

“Definitely. Sally said not to worry about picking Pippa up, Hayley going to.”

“Thanks, I’d better go. Off to the new house!” squealed Matilda.

Matilda practically ran to her and Ric’s new house and found the lorry just arriving from the storage centre.

“I can’t believe this is happening!” she said after she kissed Ric.

“Well come on, lets get everything inside.”

Matilda was little help at the heavy lifting, she left that to Ric and Brad. Brad had been able to take the morning off work as he didn’t have any lessons until the afternoon. By that time, Jack would have finished his shift and was going to come and help.

“Mattie! Do you want to come and sort out where you want things in the kitchen?” called Brad. Matilda walked in. “All the kitchen stuff is out of the lorry.”

“Thanks Brad.”

Hours later, as the sun was setting, their house actually looked like a home. The furniture had been arranged and most of the boxes were now empty.

“It’s perfect,” said Matilda as she cuddled up to Ric on the sofa.

“I know, we have our own place, somewhere quiet and where we won’t be interrupted.” Ric kissed Matilda, the kiss turned more passionate just as the doorbell went. Ric got up to answer it.

“Granddad! Come in,” said Ric.

“Hey Mr Stewart,” said Matilda.

“Hey guys, I won’t stay long, just wanted to see if you were all settled in. The place looks great, are you happy with it?”

“Over the moon,” said Matilda.

Half an hour later Alf left.

“Now, where were we?” asked Ric, walking slowly over to Matilda.

“Well, I do believe we were going to christen our new house,” replied Matilda. Ric put his hands behind Matilda and ran them through her hair.

“I do believe you’re right,” said Ric, in-between kisses. Matilda put her arms round Ric and kissed him more passionately. After a few minutes Ric lifted Matilda into his arms and carried her upstairs.

“Ric put me down!” she squealed.

He lay her gently down on the beach and before long clothes were being thrown onto the floor.

“It’s great to have our own house!” said Matilda.

The following morning Matilda woke up before Ric, got out of bed and opened the blinds. The sea was clear and still, summer was definitely approaching. The weather had been getting warmer and warmer. She got back into bed next to Ric. After a while Ric opened his eyes and looked up at Matilda.

“Morning,” he mumbled.

“How fantastic is it to wake up in out own home,” said Matilda. “I know we’ve lived together alone before but that was different. This is a house that we’ve picked out and brought together, not my old family home.”

“The best part, is that we can make as much noise as we like,” smiled Ric and he kissed Matilda.

“Just what are you thinking Mr Dalby?” laughed Matilda.

After showering, Matilda went down to make breakfast. They had put the dining table next to the windows with the fantastic views. Ric had just come down when Matilda finished cooking breakfast.

“Mm a full English,” he said, sitting down.

“Well I thought that as it’s out first morning in our new house we could treat ourselves.”

“Good thinking,” said Ric and he leaned across the table to kiss her. “So, you working this morning?”

“Yep, work as usual. Then back here to do some more sorting out, there’s still clothes in boxes, then picking up Pippa and bringing her back here because she’s dying to see the place. Then have to confirm everyone’s coming on Friday.”

“So, heard from Lucas?” asked Matilda five minutes into hers and Becky’s shift.

“Yeah, I text him this morning but he’s got a morning lecture. I can’t wait til Friday, it’s been so long! But then what’s it going to be like when he has to go back?”

“He’s back for 2 months. That’s plenty of time to sort that out. Just enjoy it.”

“I can’t wait. In fact I might go to Yabbie Creek to buy something new to wear on Friday. Want to come with me?”

“When?” asked Matilda.

“Umm either tomorrow or Thursday, after work.”

“I’ll see if Ric can pick up Pippa, I’ll have to get back to you.”

“Okay cool,” said Becky.

Matilda picked up Pippa from school and they went to their new house.

“Can I go on the play station?” asked Pippa, once she’d had a look around.

“Sure go on, the games are in that cupboard,” explained Matilda.

“Brad says he’s going to buy one for our house,” said Pippa.

When it got to 5 o’clock Matilda and Pippa walked back round to the Caravan Park and found Sally making dinner.

“Do you want to stay Mattie? We’ve got plenty,” asked Sally.

“Thanks but I said I’d meet Ric then get a takeaway.”

“Okay. Oh I was meaning to tell you, tomorrow you don’t have to pick up Pippa, she’s got a dentist appointment so I’ll pick her up.”

“Sure, that means I can go shopping with Becky. Anyway, I’d better go, see you soon.”

Matilda left the Caravan Park and walked round to Ric’s garage. On the way she phoned Becky to tell her she could go shopping. They also invited Martha and Hayley but Martha was going out for the afternoon with Jack and Katie whilst Hayley and Noah already had a play date.

“So, we’ll finish work, then go,” said Matilda.

“Sounds good!”

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Chapter 92

The next way was Wednesday and, once Matilda and Becky had finished work they went to the Diner for some late lunch.

“So, what sort of outfit do you want to get?” asked Matilda.

“Mm I don’t know. Something that will attract Lucas’ attention.”

“Well that won’t be hard seeing as though he’s crazy about you!” laughed Matilda.

“Yeah but he hasn’t seen me in ages, maybe he won’t like me,” replied Becky.

“That’s just not going to happen.”

They got into Matilda’s convertible with the top down and drove into Yabbie Creek to the small outlet centre. They parked and then headed towards the first shop.

“I might get a new bikini,” said Matilda.

“Yeah you could wear it on the honeymoon, where are you going?”

“I don’t know, Ric’s booked it and says it’s a surprise. I won’t find out until the wedding. How am I going to buy clothes if I don’t know where I’m going!” moaned Matilda.

“It’s sweet though, he likes surprising you,” said Becky.

“Yeah it is sweet.”

“Hey this pink bikini would look good on you,” said Becky as she held it up.

“Actually that is nice,” said Matilda.

“Try it on, the changing rooms are over there,” said Becky, pointing.

Matilda came back five minutes later and brought the bikini.

“On to the next shop,” said Becky and she linked arms with Matilda. In the next shop Becky found some sunglasses she liked and a necklace. A few shops later Becky was looking at skirts.

“How about this one?” asked Matilda as she held up a denim mini skirt.

“I can’t wear that! Look how short it is!” exclaimed Becky.

“Try it on! Show off a bit of leg, he won’t know what’s hit him.”

“Fine I’ll try it on. But you have to try something on too.”

“How about ...” she said, looking round for something, “this pink miniskirt,” finished Matilda and she grabbed it off the rack. They both headed towards the changing rooms. Becky came out first in the denim miniskirt and looked fabulous. Then Matilda came out in her miniskirt, which made her long legs look even longer.

“Mattie you look brilliant!” said Becky.

“And you, Lucas would love you in that.”

“You think? You don’t think it’s too short?”

“No, buy it!”

“Fine but you have to buy that one.”

“Deal,” said Matilda and they both went into their cubicles to change.

“Want to get a milkshake?” asked Matilda. They were in the shopping centre which had a big café on the second floor.

“Sure, sounds good.”

So they went up and ordered chocolate milkshakes and sat down.

“So, I have a skirt, I just need a top to wear,” said Becky.

“Okay, well that’s our mission.”

As they were leaving the café and going back downstairs Matilda froze. Becky realised Matilda was no longer beside her and looked back. Then she walked back up the stairs.

“Mattie? What’s wrong?” asked Becky. Matilda was focused on the entrance to a shop. “Mattie!”

“I don’t believe it,” whispered Matilda.

“What’s going on?” asked Becky.

“What is she doing here?”


“Umm never mind, lets ... lets go get you a top to go with the skirt,” and Matilda grabbed Becky’s arm and led her to a shop. She looked back at the person she had just seen.

“How about this top?” asked Becky. Matilda didn’t answer. “Mattie! What do you think?” asked Becky.

“What? ... oh umm yeah it’s nice.”

“Okay what’s going on?”

“... Nothing. Sorry I just spaced out. That top looks great, go try it on.”

“Okay, wanna try anything on yourself?” asked Becky.

“Umm no I’m going to wait out here.” Becky went towards the changing room and Matilda moved to nearer the door. She needed to see if she had imagined it.

“Mattie! I need your opinion,” called out Becky. Matilda tore her eyes away from the window and looked towards Becky.

“Wow that looks great,” she said.


“Totally, it shows off cleavage and is fitted in all the right places. Lucas will love it and it will look amazing with the skirt,” said Matilda.

“Thanks, hang on and I’ll get changed and buy it.”

Soon after Becky appeared at Matilda’s side with another bag in her hand.

“Ready?” asked Becky.

“Sure, you want to go anywhere else?”

“How about a cosmetic store, I’m nearly out of foundation,” suggested Becky.

“Good idea, I can get some more mascara!” said Matilda cheerfully.

A few shops later they went back to Matilda’s car and she drove them back to Summer Bay.

“I’ll see you at work tomorrow,” said Becky as she got out of the car. Matilda carried on driving round to her house and let herself in, carrying her bags.

“Hey babe, did you have fun shopping?” asked Ric, who came over and kissed her.

“It was ... good,” said Matilda hesitantly.

“You don’t sound too sure,” replied Ric, looking at her. “You seem to have brought a lot.”

“Yeah I did, and Becky brought a great outfit for Friday,” she said. But Ric could sense something was up.

“Okay, but something must have happened I can see it in your eyes.”

“Well ... I saw someone,” said Matilda.

“... Okay, are you going to elaborate?”

“Well I only saw her for a second before she disappeared into a shop. It might not have even been her.”

“Who did you see?” said Ric.

“Well ... I think I saw ...”

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Chapter 93

“Who did you see?” said Ric.

“Well ... I think I saw ... Cassie,” finished Matilda and Ric froze.

“What! Are you sure?”

“Well like I said it was only for a second but yeah, I’m pretty sure it was her. Ric what if she comes here? I mean she was shopping in Yabbie Creek, she’s probably staying there or worse, she could have moved there.”

“We made it pretty clear in Florida we didn’t want to ever see her again,” said Ric.

“Yeah but that didn’t stop her kissing you. What if she’s come to get you back?”

“Well we won’t let her. We’re getting married and no one will stop that. You will be my wife, whether she wants it to happen or not.”

He then leaned down and kissed her.

“I thought everything was going perfectly,” said Matilda. “I mean, we have our own house, the wedding is in less than 2 months, and I’m going for the final fitting for my dress. But then this happens. Why can’t anything just go perfectly for once?”

“Well if everything was perfect then it would be boring,” replied Ric.

“Yeah well I wish it was.”

“Right come here, I’ve made dinner so come and eat it.”

He took her hand and led her over to the table. They ate and then settled down in front of the TV.

“What do you want to watch?” asked Ric.

“I don’t know. Why don’t you choose?”

“Okay,” and Ric got up and went over to the DVD cabinet. He wouldn’t let Matilda see what he had chosen. He settled back down with her as the Friends theme tune filled the room.

“It usually makes you feel better,” explained Ric, putting her arm around her.

“You know me so well,” smiled Matilda and she snuggled up to him.

Eventually after a couple of episodes, Ric looked down and saw Matilda asleep in his eyes. He turned the TV off and then wrapped Matilda in his arms. He carried her up to bed and lay her down, then he removed her shoes. He was looking for her nightie when she opened her eyes.

“Sorry, did I fall asleep?” she said.

“Don’t worry,” and Ric walked over to the bed. He lay down next to her and kissed her.

“I love you,” she whispered. “And I’m not going to let Cassie get in the way of that. She can try and split us up, but it won’t work, I won’t let it.”

“That’s the spirit,” smiled Ric.

When Matilda dropped Pippa off at the Caravan Park the next day, she stayed and had coffee with Sally. She told her all about seeing Cassie.

“Well, I guess at some point she’ll come back here then won’t she,” said Sally.

“Yeah that’s what I’m worried about. I mean look what happened last time. And with the wedding so close ...”

“Mattie, you and Ric love each other and that’s all that matters. She can’t get in-between that”

“Mummy is Cassie coming here?” asked Pippa from where she was sat watching the TV. “She’s not a nice person.”

“Well hopefully she’ll stay away,” said Sally.

“She made you cry and she made Mattie cry. Why is she back?” asked Pippa.

“We don’t know Pip,” replied Matilda. Pippa then left the room to get changed.

“Pippa can remember all the hurt Cassie causes when she left with Macca. I thought she’d be too young but apparently not,” explained Sally.

“Yeah well ... that did cause a lot of drama. I thought at that point we’d never see her again, then she turned up in Florida. She managed to cause hurt there too. Goodness knows what she’ll do if she comes here.”

“Just don’t worry about it. It might not happen.”

“Thanks Sal, I’d better be going.”

Sally got up and hugged Matilda.

Matilda met Ric at the garage and waited for him to lock up.

“So, have you had a good day?” asked Ric as they started walking home, hand in hand.

“Yeah it was okay. Had a long chat with Sally which was nice. Oh and Becky is so excited about Friday.”

“I’ll bet she is. I’d hate to be away from you.”

“Well you’ll never have to be away from me,” replied Matilda.

A couple of days later it was Friday, the day that Lucas was returning from University for a summer at home.

“So, is Luc staying at Jack’s?” asked Ric over breakfast.

“Umm I’m not sure. Jack offered, but they don’t have a lot of room. I was thinking of offering a room here as we have two spare but I didn’t know how you’d feel about that,” said Matilda.

“Sure Luc can stay here. We can play on the playstation all night! Seriously Mattie, it seems strange that they squash into Jack’s when there’s lots of room here.”

“You don’t mind?”

“Of course not! Ask him when he gets here, we’ll all have a great time,” said Ric.

“Okay. Well he gets to the Bay at about lunch time and then I’m guessing he and Becky will spend the afternoon together. Then everyone is coming back here tonight.”

“Sounds good. I’ve got to go babe, see you later,” and Ric kissed Matilda goodbye.

Matilda arrived at work to find Becky staring at the clock.

“You know, it won’t go faster just because your looking at it,” joked Matilda and Becky looked around.

“Hey Mattie, sorry but I just can’t wait! But I’m nervous too. I mean what if he’s changed his mind and doesn’t want to be with me?”

“I’m sure he hasn’t.”

“Yeah well anyway, this shift is going to go very long!”

Every five minutes Becky was looking at the clock. Matilda dealt with most of the customers. Just as their shift was about to finish Becky’s eyes lit up and a smile erupted on her face. Matilda looked towards the door and saw Lucas.

“Hey girls!” he called out and put came over. He went over to Becky first and pulled her into a hug. Then he moved over to Matilda and gave her a hug.

“So, did you miss me?” he asked.

“Well Becky certainly has,” smiled Matilda making Becky blush.

“Really? Well that’s good because I missed her,” smiled Lucas.

“Right Becky, I’ll finish off here and hand over to the next shift.”

“Thanks Mattie.”

“So, you have the afternoon free?” asked Lucas hopefully.


“Well, how about we take a walk? I want to see the Bay after being away for so long.”

“Oh before you go Luc, where are you staying?”

“Well at Jack’s but it might get a bit small.”

“Well I was thinking that. How would you like to stay with me and Ric. Our house had two free rooms so there’s plenty of space,” said Matilda.

“Are you sure? I don’t want to impose.”

“Definitely. Ric thinks it’s a great idea.”

“Well thanks Mattie, I’d love to.”

“So it’s settled. How about we all go round now, drop your stuff off and you haven’t seen our new house yet. Then you can leave the car there and go for your walk?” suggested Matilda as she saw the afternoon shift workers arrive.

So the three of them got into Lucas’ car and drove round to the house.

“Mattie it’s great!” said Lucas as he entered the house.

“Yeah and Ric’s been making full use of the closeness to the beach!”

Matilda showed Lucas his room and then left them to go for their walk. She drove round to the supermarket to get some drink for the party later.

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Chapter 94

Just before 5 in the evening, Lucas arrived back at the house to find Matilda sat watching the TV.

“Hey Mattie,” he called as he entered through the back door from the beach.

“Did you have a good walk?”

“It was ... great!” gushed Lucas.

“I’ll bet it was. So, what did you two talk about?”

“That’s my business,” teased Lucas as he sat down next to her on the sofa.

“Fine, Becky will tell me later,” smiled Matilda.

“Goodness knows why she needed two hours to get ready for tonight,” wondered Lucas.

“Well she wants to look nice for you.”

“She always looks nice,” said Lucas.

“Yeah well she hasn’t seen you for ages, she wants to make sure you still like her.”

“Of course I do. My phone bills have been through the roof!”

“Yeah well you can see why she’s nervous.”

“Yeah I do.”

“So, why don’t you come and help me set up for this evening?” asked Matilda.

“Sure, what time is Ric coming back?”

“Um in about half an hour.”

Ric came home from work and he and Lucas caught up while playing on the play station. At five to 7 there was a knock on the door and Matilda answered it to find Becky.

“Sorry I’m early, but I was ready and sat at home so ...”

“Don’t worry, you can help Lucas with the wine,” said Matilda. Ten minutes later Matilda, Ric, Lucas, Becky, Martha, Jack, Scott and Hayley were all in the open plan downstairs. Luckily it was big and spacious so they fitted comfortably. They were all trying to decide what take out they should get.

“How about Indian?” asked Jack.

“No, we had that last time. Fish and chips?” replied Scott.

“What about Chinese? Get a little bit of loads of things and then put it all in the middle?” suggested Hayley, looking through the menu.

“That’s a good idea,” replied Becky.

“Luc what do you think? You’re the one who’s just come back from Uni,” said Matilda.

“Chinese sounds good,” Lucas said. They all decided what to get, which took a while and then Ric phoned in the order. He then left to go and pick it up in Yabbie Creek. Martha and Hayley were talking about their bridesmaid dresses and Jack, Lucas and Scott were talking about the footie. Becky came over to where Matilda was sorting plates out.

“So, have a nice walk with Luc?” asked Matilda.

“Yeah thanks,” smiled Becky who was beaming,

“So, what did you discuss?”

“Well, he was just saying that he really missed me and that he was happy to be back here. He wants to start seeing me properly. We mentioned the end of the summer but agreed that we’ll cross that hurdle when we come to it.”

“That sounds like a good plan,” agreed Matilda.

“Yeah, in the mean time, we have Christmas, the wedding and New Year. It’s going to be the best summer ever!”

“Yeah well I hope so,” said Matilda, thinking of Cassie and whether she’d show her face.

Ric came back with the food and they laid it all out on the table and everyone helped themselves. Matilda filled up everyone’s wine glasses and then proposed a toast before they started eating.

“To Lucas who has completed another year of Uni and is home for the summer!” she said.

“And to Matilda and Ric who have got a perfect home of their own and are getting married in a month and a half,” added Lucas, not wanting it all to be about him.

“And to Lucas and Becky who can finally be together like a proper couple,” added Jack.

“Anyone got anything else to add?” asked Ric. Everyone shook their heads and they all drank. Then they all started eating While the girls had just one helping, the guys kept going back for more and more.

“How much have you eaten?” Hayley asked Scott, patting his stomach.

“I’ve had the same as Jack,” replied Scott.

“Yeah well he’s had a lot,” said Martha.

“Hey! I’m a busy man. I have spent the morning at work and then the afternoon playing with Katie. It’s very tiring business!”

“Yeah sitting there while your daughter crawls around the floor is tiring,” joked Lucas.

“Watch it Luc, you’ve had a lot as well.”

“It doesn’t matter, it would only get thrown away,” said Matilda.

“See, I’m just helping,” smiled Scott.

“Sure you are, that’s why you eat so much,” joked Hayley.

“So Luc, happy to be home?” asked Ric.

“Very. It’s great to be back in Summer Bay. Being with all of you, especially Becky,” at this point Becky covered her face with her hands as she blushed. Lucas pulled her closer to him and she buried her face in his chest. “I can’t wait to spend the summer here and at the end of it we will have to wait and see what happens.”

“What does that mean?” asked Martha.

“You’re not dropping out?” asked a shocked Jack.

“No, no of course not, that’s not what I mean.”

“Then what?” asked Ric.

“I’m going to see how things pan out,” said Lucas secretively.

“Right, who’s up for play station?” asked Ric after the plates had been cleared.

“Sounds good. How about the racing game, we can have couples against each other now that we are all couples,” suggested Jack. Lucas put his arm round Becky, pleased to be with her.

For the next hour they played on the play station. Finally the tournament finished. Lucas and Becky won with Matilda and Ric close behind. Jack and Martha came last.

“It’s not my fault, I have no hand eye co-ordination. I hate the stupid game control,” moaned Martha.

“Don’t worry babe. How about we get a play station and practice at home?” he suggested hopefully.

“We don’t need a play station!”

“But we do!” moaned Jack.

“Okay so girls, I’ll see you Sunday morning for the dress fittings if I don’t see you before,” said Matilda as everyone was leaving. Martha, Jack, Scott and Hayley all left. Becky stayed a little while longer to say goodbye to Lucas. Matilda and Ric went upstairs while Lucas put his arms round Becky and kissed her. Once she had gone, he shouted up to Matilda and Ric. Ric was in the shower and Matilda had got changed into her night clothes. She went back downstairs to talk to Lucas.

“Sorry if I made you feel you had to leave the room,” he said.

“Don’t worry. I needed to get changed anyway. We just thought we’d give you some privacy.”

“I just don’t want to impose.”

“Look we offered you a room. We knew what we were getting into.”

“Thanks Mattie, for everything,” Lucas said.

“Don’t mention it. We are like step siblings after all.”

“And if they hadn’t have died then I’m sure that one day it would have become official.”

“I’m sure too. Your dad would have been so proud of you, becoming a lawyer.”

“Beth would have been proud of you too. Being back here, one of the many reasons I love this place is that I feel close to him. I can remember all the mornings before school when we would go for a surf then come home and you and Beth would have breakfast ready.”


“I don’t blame you for moving out though. It was the only way that you were going to recover from their deaths.”

“You know, I don’t think I’m ever going to be properly over it. I still dream of her, and Tony. I think about what she would do in situations.”

“I don’t think that you ever get over something like that. We can just deal with it.”

“You’re so wise Luc,” she smiled.

“Well I should hope so, or else I’m heading for the wrong career,” joked Lucas.

“Trust me, you’re going to make a great lawyer.”

“I know I’ve said it before, but I’m sorry for last summer, how I acted.”

“It’s forgotten.”

Ric came down the stairs. “What are you guys talking about?” he asked.

“Oh just how Lucas is going to make a great lawyer,” said Matilda.

“Listen to my fiancé, she’s very knowledgeable,” nodded Ric.

“Ah you’re embarrassing me.”

“It’s going to be a great summer,” said Lucas as he and Ric started teasing Matilda.

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Chapter 95

Two days later, on Sunday morning, Ric and Lucas got up early to go for a surf. Once Matilda had woken up properly, she phoned Becky and got her to come round for brunch. Becky arrived just as Ric and Lucas entered through the back door and Matilda started serving the cooked breakfast.

“It was so nice of you to invite me over,†Becky said to Matilda.

“You’re welcome here any time, I know Lucas will be happy to see you,†smiled Matilda as everyone sat down.

“So, you girls excited for the last dress fitting?†asked Ric.

“Yep!†squealed Matilda.

“Sure are,†added Becky.

“So, Mattie, what’s your dress like?†asked Ric, hoping for an answer.

“I can’t tell you that, it’s bad luck!â€

“Since when have you been superstitious?†asked Lucas.

“Since always. I want everything to go perfectly and so we are doing everything right. That means you not knowing about my dress and the night before the wedding you will have to go and stay somewhere else, because you can’t see me.â€

“Okay, okay.â€

“But you might want to tell me about the honeymoon,†smiled Matilda.

“Not going to happen. It’s a surprise,†replied Ric.

“But how am I meant to buy clothes!â€

“Yeah, a girl needs to know where she is going so she can be prepared,†joined in Becky.

“Don’t worry, it will all be taken care of,†said Ric.

“Meaning?†asked Matilda.

“Meaning, you don’t have to worry.â€

An hour later Ric was playing on the playstation, Matilda was finishing her hair and Lucas and Becky were in the garden, making out. Matilda took a final look in the mirror, grabbed her bag and ran downstairs.

“Becky! We have to go!†she called.

“Okay, coming,†came the reply. Becky gave Lucas a last kiss and came inside.

“So, are we picking the others up?†asked Becky.

“Yeah, bye Ric, see you later.â€

Ric paused the game and got up, he walked over and kissed Matilda goodbye.

An hour later Matilda, Becky, Hayley and Martha all walked into the wedding shop.

“Hi, we’re here for our fitting,†said Matilda to the woman. “My name’s Matilda Hunter.â€

Soon after, Matilda was slipping on her dress. It was strapless and flowed behind her. The white made her look beautifully tanned and it was low at the front, showing cleavage. It was fitted so that it showed off how slim she was and the curves on her hips.

“Mattie, you look wonderful,†said Becky whilst the others agreed.

“Thanks guys. And now it fits perfectly.â€

“Can we try ours on now please!†cried out Martha, who loved her lilac strappy dress. So while Matilda tried to decide how she wanted her hair, the bridesmaids put their dresses on. Pippa’s dress was all sorted, Tasha and Kit wouldn’t arrive until just before Christmas.

The door of the shop opened and the bell above it rang. Matilda looked around out of interest and froze.

“I thought my eyes were deceiving me. So Mattie it is you.â€

“What are you doing here?â€

“Can’t a girl just look around?â€

Hayley walked out of the changing room in her dress.

“Oh my gosh,†she cried out and went to Matilda’s side.

Martha came out of hers and did the same thing. Becky finally finished getting dressed and came out. She saw her three friends having a stare down with a brown haired woman about their age and was puzzled. She tapped Martha on the shoulder.

“Who’s that?†she whispered.

“Cassie,†Martha whispered in reply. Becky looked up and then frowned. She had been told about this girl.

“So Mattie, who’s the unlucky man?†asked Cassie.

“You know who it is. We told you in Florida, Ric,†replied Matilda.

“Still together then.â€

“Yeah and we couldn’t be better. In fact this week’s our one year anniversary since we started going out.â€

“And then they are getting married!†said Hayley.

“Mm sure that’s going to happen,†said Cassie.

“What is that meant to mean?â€

“Well that only in your own little dream world will you be getting married.â€

“Well I’ve got news for you, we are getting married, whether you like it or not!â€

“We’ll see. How about I go round and have a little talk to Ric. Tell him what he will be missing out on if he marries you.â€

“Cassie why can’t you leave us alone, get out of our lives.â€

“Because that would be no fun.†With that Cassie turned around and walked out of the door.

“I’ve got to call Ric,†Matilda cried. Hayley put her arm round Matilda to comfort her.

“She won’t mess this up Mattie. I won’t let her.â€

After their dresses had been altered ever so slightly, they were able to leave the shop. They would pick up the dresses nearer the wedding. They walked back to Mattie’s car and all got in.

“Don’t worry about Cassie, she can’t split you and Ric up.â€

They drove past the ‘Welcome to Summer Bay’ sign and towards the beach. They were along the coastal road and suddenly a car appeared behind them.

“They’re driving a bit quick aren’t they?†asked Martha from the back seat.

“Hang on, I’ll let them overtake,†replied Matilda and she pulled over a bit. The car pulled up along side and suddenly the four girls could see who was behind the wheel. The red car swerved into Matilda’s but she managed to avoid it, and then tried to slow down to avoid it happening again. But it didn’t work. The car was still by their side. Panic built up in Matilda’s chest as she realised there was no escape. She couldn’t slow down as the car would just do the same, as it would if she sped up. The other side of the car was trees that lined the coast. The four girls screamed as the red car hit them harder with alarming force. It sent Matilda’s car spinning round and eventually stopped by hitting a tree. The red car stopped and watched before it sped away.

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Chapter 96

The car had skidded round and hit a tree. Martha was the first to call out and she managed to get out of the car. She had a cut on her arm but that was it. She helped Becky get out of the front passenger seat. Becky seemed to be shocked but otherwise okay. They moved round to find Hayley trying to get out. They helped her open the door and got her out. She too seemed fine. But then they saw Matilda. Her side of the car had taken the full force and Matilda had her head on the wheel, eyes closed.

“We need an ambulance!” called out Martha. Hayley got straight on the phone and Becky tried to get Matilda’s door open. All three girls tried and eventually got it open as sirens could be heard in the distance. Within minutes ambulance workers were working on getting Matilda out and clearing Martha’s cut.

“I don’t care about me, just help Mattie!” cried Martha. Becky and Hayley were both in tears, supporting each other as they watched the men try to free Matilda.

“Her leg’s stuck!” called out on of the men.

“What’s going to happen?” cried Becky. Martha’s arm had been bandaged and she joined the other two. One of the ambulance workers came over.

“What’s your friend’s name?” he asked.

“Matilda, Matilda Hunter.”

The man wrote down the information.

“How old is she?”


“Do you know who would be her next of kin?”

“Well her mum and dad are dead so I suppose it would be Scott, her eldest brother. Oh my gosh we have to call Ric,” said Martha.

“Who’s Ric?”

“Her fiancé. They’re getting married in just over a month. She is going to be okay isn’t she?” they were all desperate for answers.

“She’s in a stable condition at the moment. Once her leg is free, we’ll get her off to hospital. Could one of you possibly inform her brother and fiancé about what’s happened?”

“I’ll ... I’ll do it ...” said Martha and she moved away.

Ten minutes later they managed to get Matilda out of the car and into the ambulance.

“Can we go with her?” asked Becky.

“There’s only room for one I’m afraid. The other two can follow us in the other ambulance,” explained the man.

“Hayley you go, you’re her sister in law.”

“Are you guys sure?” asked Hayley, tears rolling down her face.

“We’ll see you at the hospital.”

Hayley held Matilda’s hand as they travelled and half way there, Matilda squeezed her hand.

“Mattie! Mattie wake up!” cried Hayley. Matilda tried to open her eyes but found that she couldn’t. She was vaguely aware that there was a siren coming from somewhere and a rocking motion. But then she fell back into unconsciousness. “Please Mattie, you have to wake up. We need you, Ric needs you. You have to stay strong!” Hayley sobbed.

They arrived at the hospital and Matilda was whisked away by doctors. Hayley moved over to where Becky and Martha were standing. The three of them pulled each other into a hug and comforted each other.

“She’s strong,” said Martha. “She’ll be okay.” They only broke away from their hug when they heard Ric and Scott running their way, both frantic.

“Where is she?” cried Ric. “I have to see her!” he broke down and Becky guided him to a chair. She left Martha telling Ric about the car crash and went to phone Lucas and Jack. Then she phoned Sally.

Half an hour later there was still no news but now Ric, Becky, Hayley, Scott, Martha, Jack, Lucas, Sally and Brad were all gathered in the waiting room. Ric was being comforted by Sally and was in tears. Scott was very quiet and Hayley had her arm round him. The others were all sat in silence, praying that Matilda would be okay. Suddenly the door opened and a doctor came in.

“Is she okay?” asked Ric, standing up.

“Who is her next of kin?” asked the doctor.

“Umm well ... that would be me,” answered Scott. “But all these guys are like family, they can all hear.”

“Okay, well Matilda is currently in a stable state. She suffered damage to the ligament in her leg because it was crushed by the car. Because of this we are about to take her into theatre. We are also going to do some scans to check for head injuries.”

“Can I see her?” asked Ric,

“I’m afraid you won’t be able to until she’s out of theatre. She’s being prepped at the moment.”

Ric slumped back in his chair and put his hands over his face.

“I can’t believe this is happening. This morning everything was perfect. I could kill Cassie.”

“She purposely ran us off the road,” cried Becky.

“She could have killed us all!”

“Ric, the police have taken statements from the girls, they will find her,” said Brad.

“They had better!”

Two hours later the doctor reappeared.

“How is she?” asked Scott.

“Well, we managed to repair some of the damaged tissue in her leg. She will have to wear a cast and have physio but there will be no long lasting damage.”

“What about the head injuries, you said you were doing scans?” asked Sally.

“Well, the scans show that she has concussion.”

“Oh my gosh, please tell me she’s going to be alright,” said Ric.

“The early signs are good. We now have to wait for her to wake up which could take some time because of the concussion.”

“Can I see her?”

“Only one at a time for the moment,” replied the doctor.

“Ric you go,” said Scott.

“Are you sure?”


“Thanks mate.”

Ric followed the doctor out of the room and down the corridor. The doctor led him to the hospital room and then left him to it. Ric slowly opened the door and gasped. Matilda was lay down in the bed surrounded by machines. Her leg was propped up in a cast and she had cuts all over her face. He walked over to the bed and sat on the chair.

“Mattie, my beautiful Mattie,” he sobbed and he took her hand. “You have to get better. I need you. Please! Just open your eyes. My life is nothing without you.” Tears rolled fast down his cheeks and onto the sheets.

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Chapter 97

A couple of days later Matilda was still unconscious and Ric had not left her side. Everyone else had been in and out visiting and they had brought in some of Matilda’s things. The door opened and Hayley followed by Scott entered. Ric, who was dozing, woke up.

“Mate why don’t you get some kip?” asked Scott.

“No, I can’t leave her.”

“You’re no good to her in this state. Go to the relatives room, you’ll only be down the corridor and we’ll get you if anything changes.”

“I don’t think ... I should ... I have to stay ... just in case.”

“Go Ric. We’re here. We’ll wake you in a couple of hours.”

Reluctantly Ric kissed Matilda’s forehead and left the room. Scott and Hayley sat in the chairs and each held Matilda’s hand.

“Why isn’t she waking up?” asked Scott.

“The doctor said it isn’t anything physical. It’s a mental thing now. She’ll wake when she’s ready.”

“Why doesn’t she want to wake up?” cried Scott. “She has to wake up!”

A couple of hours later, Scott and Hayley had gone to pick up Noah and take him home. Lucas and Becky had been in for a bit but now it was just Ric.

“Baby please. You don’t know how much it hurts me to see you like this. I want to help but I don’t know what to do. I love you, more than words can describe. It’s meant to be our one year anniversary today. One year since we sat on the beach and you told me that you wanted to take things slow. So much for that, eh. A couple of months later we were engaged. But when you’re with the one you want to spend the rest of your life with then you know it. But in order to be with each other for the rest of our lives, you need to wake up.” Ric held Matilda’s hand and lay his head on her stomach. “I can’t live without you Mattie,” he said. “How about I make you a deal? Then will you wake up? If you wake up then I’ll tell you where we’re going on our honeymoon. I know you want to know. Come on Mattie, I don’t think I can stand much more of this.” Ric brought his hands up to his face and wiped his eyes. While doing this he was unable to see Matilda open her eyes.

“Where ... where ... are ... we going?” she whispered, her throat dry. Ric turned and looked at her.

“Mattie! Oh my darling Matilda, I’ve been so worried! I can’t tell you how I’ve felt these last few days. I love you so much!” He leaned over and hugged her.

“What happened? What do you mean days?”

“Mattie you were in a car crash. Cassie ran you, Becky, Martha and Hayley off the road.”

“Are they okay?” asked Matilda, worriedly.

“They’re fine. They weren’t hurt. I was so worried about you, you wouldn’t wake up.”

“How long ...?”

“Two days,” replied Ric and Matilda looked surprised.

“What’s wrong with me?” asked Matilda, looking at her leg.

“Well your leg got damaged and stuck. They operated and you have to wear the cast for a while and then get physio. But there shouldn’t be long lasting damage. But you also hit your head on the steering wheel so you got concussion. They think that’s why you were unconscious for so long.”

“Ric, I love you,” said Matilda and she took his hand.

“I love you too.”

“You said ... something about ... telling me ... where we’re going ... for the honeymoon ... if I woke up,” said Matilda, taking deep breaths because she was weak.

“So, you did hear me,” said Ric.

“Yeah, I ... kept hearing ... things ... but couldn’t ...open my eyes.”

“So it is true when the nurses say talk to people.”

“Guess so. Where ... are we ... going?” asked Matilda.

Ric sat down on the bed beside her and put his arm round her. She nestled her head on his chest.

“Well, I thought we’d start with a week trip to Iceland. I know you’ve always wanted to go there.”

“Ric, that’s amazing!”

“Wait, there’s more. Then we have a couple of days in England. Then finally, a week in the Caribbean in a luxury hotel. Is that okay?”

“It’d amazing. But Ric, we can’t afford that. Iceland, England and the Caribbean ...”

“We can. I’ve been putting money aside. The garage has been doing rather well and Sal insisted on helping.”

“You said ... ages ago ... you’d take me to Iceland,” said Matilda.

“I did indeed. We were sat in the Diner and you said that’s where you’ve always wanted to go. That conversation stuck in my head and I vowed to make it happen.”

“I love you,” replied Matilda.

“Now, I’d better go ring everyone, tell them you’re awake. They’ve all been very worried about you.”

An hour later Matilda’s hospital room was full of people. The whole gang, plus Sally and Brad were there. Pippa was at a friends house.

“You know, Ric never left your side while you were unconscious,” said Scott, glad his sister was going to be okay.

“Yeah we had to bully him just to get an hours rest,” added Lucas.

“That’s so sweet,” smiled Matilda. She was weak but was enjoying having everyone around her.

“Does your leg hurt?” asked Martha.

“Not at the moment, but they have me on strong painkillers.”

“That’s good then,” said Jack.

“Yeah they’re wonderful,” smiled Matilda.

“Well sis, we’ve got to go get Noah from Leah’s. I’m so glad you’re awake and I’ll come see you tomorrow,” said Scott and he hugged Matilda.

“Thanks Scotty. Can you phone Robbie and everyone and tell them I’m going to be fine.”

“Sure thing.”

“We’d better go to,” said Sally to Brad and they both hugged Matilda goodbye. Not long after Lucas and Becky, then Jack and Martha also left. That left Matilda and Ric in the room.

“I’m sorry we couldn’t celebrate our anniversary properly,” said Matilda.

“Don’t worry about it. We’ll do something when you get out.”

“Have they found Cassie?” asked Matilda.

“No, they’re looking but it’s hard because they haven’t got a number plate to go on.”

Matilda sighed and leaned back on her pillows. Her eyes felt heavy and she was exhausted but she didn’t want Ric to leave.

“You should get some sleep,” said Ric.

“Can you stay? Just for a bit?” asked Matilda.

“Of course. You just try and get to sleep. I’ll see you in the morning.”

Ric stayed by her side and watched her finally close her eyes and go to sleep. He quietly kissed her on the forehead and left the room. That night he went to sleep as soon as his head hit the pillow, safe in the knowledge that Matilda would be okay.

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Chapter 98

As soon as Ric woke up the next morning he got dressed and ready to go to the hospital. He found Lucas and Becky both downstairs.

“Hey guys,” he said.

“Hey Ric, Becky came round to bring us breakfast from the Diner,” explained Lucas.

“Yeah, I just thought that you probably haven’t eaten much the last few days so...” said Becky.

“Thanks. What’s that?” asked Ric, pointing to behind Lucas’ back.

“Oh it’s ... nothing,” said Lucas, trying to hide it.

“Luc what is it?”

Reluctantly Lucas handed Ric the card. It had roses on the front and in loopy writing on the inside it said,

“My dearest Ric, with Matilda out of the way we can finally have the life we deserve. All my dearest love, your Cassie. RIP Princess Matilda Jane Hunter.”

“What does she think she’s doing?” yelled Ric. “She’s acting as if Mattie’s dead and that’s what she wanted. She tried to kill her. I have to tell Jack.”

“I’ll tell Ric, why don’t you go to the hospital and see Mattie?” suggested Lucas.


Ric drove round to the hospital and walked past the desk. Rachel, Brad’s sister was working and called out to Ric.

“There isn’t anything wrong is there? Mattie’s okay isn’t she?” asked Ric worriedly.

“Physically she’s fine, apart from her leg. But mentally she’s been affected by all of this. She had a very restless night and kept screaming out in her sleep. I’m a qualified counsellor and she’s agreed to come to sessions with me to try and get over the accident.”

“Can I see her?” asked Ric.

Ric walked into Matilda’s room to find her facing the other way. He could hear her crying. He moved round to the other side of the bed and she looked up. He sat next to her and hugged her.

“Ric, I kept seeing her face,” Matilda cried. “I tried to sleep but I couldn’t. She was in the car ... before the accident ... and I looked across ... and she was laughing ... and ... all I could ... hear was ... her ... laughing,” cried Matilda into Ric’s shoulder.

“Mattie, we can get through this. I know we can.”

“Ric I don’t think I can. This is one thing too many.”

“Mattie don’t talk like that. Listen, how about tonight I stay here with you? Then you’ll know nothing can happen to you because I won’t let it.”

“Thanks Ric.”

“I’m going to go and see Rachel as well.”

“I know, she said before I came in here.”

“Has Cassie been found let?”

“... no.”

“What is it? What are you not telling me?” asked Matilda, knowing that he was hiding something.

“Nothing,” lied Ric.

“Tell me!”

“Cassie sent this,” said Ric quietly, handing over the card. He watched as Matilda read it and her eyes filled with tears. She put her hand over her mouth.

“Ric, what are we going to do?” she cried.

“We’ve told Jack, that’s all we can do for a while. The police are watching the house in case she comes back. If she does, then they have enough evidence to lock her up.”

“What if they don’t find her?” asked Matilda, fear in her eyes.

“They will Mattie, we have to stay positive.”

“They might not though, she’s out there! She wants me dead so that she can be with you. We thought what happened in Florida was bad, but that was nothing.”

At that point Rachel walked in.

“Hi guys. Matilda I’m just going to check how your doing.”

“I’d be doing better if Cassie was caught,” replied Matilda.

“I know, but I’m sure the police are doing their best. They have people outside your room just in case. Oh and someone will be along later to teach you how to walk on your crutches.”

“I can’t wait,” said Matilda sarcastically.

“Rachel, would it be possible for me to sleep here tonight, on a blow up bed or something?” asked Ric as Rachel checked Matilda’s blood pressure.

“Well we don’t normally allow that, but I suppose if it’s going to keep Matidla calm.”

“Please Rachel. I can’t sleep without him. I keep having visions of her.”

“I’m sure we can work something out,” smiled Rachel.

“When can I go home?” asked Matilda.

“Well seeing as though you were unconscious for so long I’d like to keep you in for another couple of days to be on the safe side,” said Rachel.

At that point Lucas walked into the room.

“Becky would have come too but she’s at work,” explained Lucas.

“What’s going on with the police?” asked Ric, eager for answers.

“Well, they are stationed outside the house in case she comes back but for the moment that’s all they can do.”

“Lets just hope she comes back then,” said Ric.

While Ric and Lucas left to get some lunch, Rachel brought in a hospital lap top for Matilda to use.

“Thanks,” replied Matilda as Rachel left the room.

She logged into her hotmail email and started typing.

‘Henry, well I’m okay. I know I gave everyone a scare being asleep for so long but now I wish I was still asleep. I’m not bothered about my leg, the painkillers are working wonders, it’s the thought that someone wanted to kill me. I keep thinking of the times where me you, Ric and Cassie would all hang out. How could my former best friend want to do this to me? I’m scared Henry. Ric is too, I can see it in his eyes. I just want this all to be over and for Cassie to be behind bars. Why does all this drama happen to me? So much has happened this year and I have spent way too much time in hospitals. Hopefully next year will be completely uneventful, but I can’t see that happening. Well I’d better go, I’m on a hospital computer. Love you always Henry, my lovely twin. See you at the wedding, where hopefully everything will be back to normal.

Mattie xxx’

Just after lunch Matilda could hear familiar voices outside her room. The door opened and in walked Robbie, Tasha and Ella.

“Rob? What are you doing here?”

“Came to see you of course,” said Robbie and he walked over and hugged his sister. “How are you?”

“Weak, happy to be okay, hurt, scared,” replied Matilda.

“We were so worried,” said Tasha.

“There was no need for you guys to come all the way out here,” said Matilda.

“Well, after we heard what had happened we didn’t want to just stay in America. Ella has broken up from school and we were going to come for the wedding anyway. So we thought we’d come early and spend more time back home in Oz,” explained Robbie.

“It’s great to see you Rob. And Ella, you’ve grown.”

“I’m the tallest girl in my class,” said Ella proudly. “Does your leg hurt?” she asked, eyeing up the cast.

“A little, but they’re giving me medicine to stop it hurting.”

“That’s good then,” smiled Ella, happy to know her aunt wasn’t in pain.

“Have they found Cassie?” asked Tasha.

“No, they’re looking though,” explained Matilda. “Where are you staying?”

“Irene’s, she’s over the moon!” laughed Robbie.

“Yeah and Drew’s great with Ella.”

“Does Ric know you’re here?”

“Yeah we saw him in the corridor, he said he’d leave us to catch up.”

Early evening, Robbie and family had gone to Irene’s as they were jet lagged and Matilda had sent Ric home to get some of her things. She had been learning to walk on the crutches and was pleased to know she’d have the cast off in 4 weeks.

“So I can walk down the aisle without crutches.”

“Well depending on how the physio goes, you might still need them.”

The physio had left and Matilda was resting when there was a knock at the door. A head appeared round the door.

“Is it alright if I come in?”

“Drew! Of course, come in,” said Matilda, propping herself up on the pillows.

Drew slowly walked into the room and sat down.

“Umm how are you?” he asked.

“I’m better. I’m still weak and have a cast on my leg but I’m okay.”

“I thought ... I though it was ... going to be like ... Belle all over again,” said Drew quietly. “I heard about the accident ... and then how you ... wouldn’t wake up.”

“Drew, it’s okay. I’m fine.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. Nothing that won’t heal.”

“Good, I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“You’d manage.”

“Barely. You’re the only one who understands me.”

“Well you don’t need to worry. So, what’s been going on in your life?”

“I love working at the garage! Ric’s a great boss and teacher. It’s amazing.”

“Glad to hear it.”

At that moment footsteps could be heard running down the corridor. Ric burst through the door.

“They’ve got her!” he called out.

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Chapter 99

Ric burst into the room, “They’ve got Cassie!”

Matilda sat up and looked at him. Her eyes met his and light up.

“Seriously?” she asked.

“Yep. I went home and she must have followed me, well when I arrived home the police were there and they caught her. She tried to make a run for it, but failed. At the moment she’s being taken to Yabbie Creek Police Station.”

Matilda smiled and fell back onto the pillows.

“I can’t believe they’ve got her.”

“That’s great news Mattie, I’m going to go,” said Drew, standing up.

“Thanks for visiting Drew,” said Matilda and she pulled him into a hug.

“Maybe I can come and visit once you’re at home?” he asked.

“I’d like that.”

On the way out Ric patted Drew on the back.

Then Ric moved over to Matilda.

“It’s all over,” he said, hugging then kissing her.

“I can stop worrying,” she replied.

“We can put it all behind us and concentrate on the wedding.”

“Sounds good.”

“We can focus on you getting better now.”

“It’ll be a lot easier with her behind bars.”

Later on, Jack came to visit.

“Well Cassie is behind bars and she’s admitted to running you off the road on purpose,” he explained.

“Good,” smiled Matilda.

“At the moment she’s at Yabbie Creek Station and tomorrow she is being assessed by mental health professionals. We get the impression she isn’t mentally stable.”

“That wouldn’t surprise me!” said Ric.

“Anyway, I’d just thought I’d come and tell you. I’ve got to be getting back, Martha’s cooking dinner.”

“See you Jack,” said Matilda and he hugged her before leaving.

Rachel walked into the room.

“I have a delivery of flowers here from a Kit and Kim,” she said, putting the vase next to the bed.

Matilda reached over and read the card.

“Sis, glad you’re on the mend. We’re all looking forward to the wedding. We’ll come down as soon as we can, I know we have to get the dress sorted. Keep smiling.”

“Ah that’s sweet of them,” said Ric.

“Yeah. Tasha and Kit need to get their bridesmaids dresses sorted,” said Matilda.

“Do you still need a blow up bed for Ric tonight?” asked Rachel.

“Yes please,” replied Matilda. “I know she’s locked up now but the memories keep flooding back.”

That night Ric lay on Matilda’s bed beside her and cuddled her while she tried to get to sleep.

“Every time I close my eyes I see her face,” moaned Matilda.

“I know it’s hard now, but it’ll get better,” said Ric, wanting to take Matilda’s pain away. “It’ll be good when you’ve started counselling with Rachel.

“Yeah, I just hope she can help. Why us Ric? Why does everything happen to us?”

“It seems unfair doesn’t it,” agreed Ric.

“Like we haven’t gone through enough.”

Eventually Matilda feel asleep and Ric moved off the bed onto the blow-up bed on the floor.

Matilda managed to sleep through the night so she was well rested when she woke in the morning. Ric however, couldn’t get comfortable on the blow up bed and had a restless night. When the nurse came in with Matilda’s breakfast, Matilda insisted that Ric go home for a proper sleep.

“Ric I’m feeling much better. Now that they have Cassie I can stop worrying.” Ric eventually complied and left Matilda eating her toast.

The nurse then brought the lap top back in for Matilda to use. The first thing she did was check her e-mail.

“Mattie, it’s great to hear from you. I have been so worried but am glad you are safe. Ric phoned and left a message saying they’ve caught Cassie which means that you can relax a lot! I can’t believe she did that. I’m really sorry that I can’t be there with you, I’d like to see you try and walk on the crutches (tell Robbie to video it for me, I’m always up for a laugh). But I’ll be seeing you soon when I come for the wedding. Keep it real sis.

Henry, your wonderful twin.”

In the middle of the morning Hayley and Martha visited. Katie was being babysat by Alf. They brought Matilda lots of gossip magazines which she was very grateful for.

“It’s so boring in here!” she moaned.

“When can you go home?” asked Martha.

“Tomorrow. Later I have another session learning to walk on the crutches. I would be home by now if it wasn’t for the concussion. They want to keep me under observation.”

“Well I suppose that’s a good thing,” said Hayley.

“Yeah, and all the nurses are really nice. Rachel, the doctor, is lovely. It’s a bit weird though because she looked after Belle.”

“But wasn’t Belle on a whole other ward?”

“Yeah but Rachel was just filling in there. This is her proper ward.”

“It’s great having Robbie, Tasha and Ella back,” smiled Martha.

The following day Matilda was getting ready to go home.

“Dr Armstrong will be along in a minute to discharge you,” said the nurse who had come to give Matilda her crutches.

“So, are you happy to be coming home?” asked Ric.

“You mean am I happy to be spending more time with you,” replied Matilda.

“Well I have taken time off work to look after you,” smiled Ric.

“Hi guys,” said Rachel as she walked into the room.

“So, am I good to go?” asked Matilda.

“Yep. The only thing wrong with you is your leg and that will heal quickly. I’d like to see you in a couple of days for a check up and of course you’ll come to the counselling sessions.”

“Definitely. Even though I’ve only had a couple, I’m sleeping better.”

“Well a lot has happened over the past year or so, counselling is always a good idea in these circumstances. Now, hospital policy, ride in the wheelchair until the car. Then your good to go on your crutches.”

Ric moved round to the back of the wheelchair ready to push Matilda. Rachel helped her to manoeuvre into the chair.

“Thanks for everything Rachel,” said Ric as he pushed Matilda out of the room. Once they had gotten down the corridor Ric picked up the speed.

“Hey!” called out Matilda.

Once at the car Ric got Matilda settled into the back seat of the car. Seeing as though she couldn’t bend her knee, this was hard.”

“Are you sure you’re okay?” asked a worried Ric.

“For the thousandth time I’m fine Ric.”

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