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Chapter 31

Once Matilda had said goodbye to Kit and Kim she got a glass of wine and started looking around for Ric. Instead, she found Drew who was sat in a corner staring at her.

“Is there something wrong?” she asked as she went to sit next to him. he stood up.

“Wrong? Of course something’s wrong! Belle has been dead barely a month and you’re acting as though you don’t care, that you’ve just forgotten about her!” and he ran out of the Surf Club with people looking at him.

“Martha, can you hold my glass, I’ve got to go after him,” Matilda said as she looked towards the door. She ran out and looked around. She could just make out a figure standing near the sea, it must be him she thought. She slowly made her way over until she sat down next to him. he was sobbing and looking out to sea.

“Drew, listen to me please. Believe me, I haven’t forgotten Belle, I could never do that. I think about her all the time. But we can’t be sad forever, it’s not what she would have wanted. She wants us both to be happy, and Ric too. Just because I’m smiling and having a good time, it does not for one moment mean that I don’t care about her. She was my best friend, but she wanted me to be happy and so that’s what I’m doing.”

“I’m sorry for shouting at your engagement party,” he said quietly. “I never said congratulations.”

“Thank you. And don’t worry, Belle will always, always be remembered.” Matilda said as she fiddled with the ring on her finger.

“It’s a really nice ring,” Drew said, watching her.

“I know, Ric must have spent a fortune on it!”

“We’d better be going back,” said Drew, turning to face where the music was coming from at the top of the beach. “You don’t want to miss your party.”

“Are you sure you’re okay?” she asked worriedly.

“Yeah I’m fine. I really am sorry for shouting at you.” He stood up and helped Matilda up. They slowly made their way back to the Surf Club.

They found the back door locked and so had to walk round the front to the main door. When they got to the car park Matilda screamed.

“Scott! Hayley!” They were just getting out of a rented car with Noah. “Oh my God!” she squealed and ran over to them. Noah had gotten so big and was now 7, like Pippa. Matilda hugged Hayley and Scott for ages before someone behind them coughed.

“So, you found your next surprise early did you,” teased Ric who had come outside.

“I can’t believe you got them all the way over from France,” Matilda said hugging Ric.

“Well, we’re not just over here for the party. We are actually moving back to Summer Bay,” smiled Scott.

“You’re joking,” squealed Matilda.

“Nope. We’ve brought a house more or less on the beach so it will be perfect for Noah. We’re back home!” said Hayley excitedly.

“I can’t believe it!” shouted Matilda. She and Hayley had always gotten on really well and she couldn’t believe that her brother was moving back to the Bay. This was truly the best night ever, she thought.

Everyone was looking at the door when they walked inside and cheered when they entered. Hayley and Scott were very popular in the Bay and no one was more happy than Irene. She had been Hayley’s mother figure for years and loved her like a daughter.

“And that just leaves one more surprise,” shouted Ric.

“There’s more!” exclaimed Matilda, not believing it.

She looked round and saw Beth, her mother, and Tony standing in the doorway. She screamed and ran over to hug her mum. They hadn’t seen each other for months and both were in tears within minutes.

“I can’t believe my baby’s engaged,” said Beth, still hugging Matilda. They stopped hugging so that Matilda could show her the ring. Ric came over and kissed his fiancé.

“So, did you like all your surprises?” he whispered.

“Oh Ric, they were fantastic!” she said, hugging and kissing him.

“Well, I wanted you to have the best night ever.”

“Well it certainly has been.”

For the rest of the party she danced with just about everyone, caught up with her mum and Hayley and just generally had a fantastic time with Ric. She couldn’t believe that just a few hours ago she was sat on the beach, with Ric proposing, it all seemed so surreal. But it was real. It was like a fairytale come true for her. There was just one person she hadn’t heard from ... Henry.

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Chapter 32

The engagement party was now coming to an end and everyone was trying to find their coats and saying goodbye. Matilda and Ric were stood next to the door saying goodbye to people as they left and thanked them for coming. Lucas, Hayley, Scott, Beth and Tony were slumped in chairs trying to stay awake and Noah was quietly sleeping on one of the sofas. Hayley and Scott’s house wasn’t going to be ready until a couple of day’s time so they were staying at the Hunter house. Once everyone had gone Beth stood up and announced she had a present for the newly engaged couple.

“Well, I knew that it would be noisy round the house and that you probably wanted some alone time so I booked you into the Headland Hotel, that new 5 star one that’s only just opened between here and Yabbie Creek.” Matilda and Ric couldn’t believe it.

“That’s amazing Beth, thank you so much,” said Ric going over and hugging his future mother in law.

“Thanks mum!” and Matilda joined in the hug. “It’s going to be busy round the house when we get back isn’t it,” commented Matilda.

“Well, umm ...” said Beth, looking uncomfortable and glancing at Tony.

“What is it dad?” asked Lucas, standing up nervously.

“Well ... the thing is that we’re not staying, only for 3 days.”

“What do you mean?” asked Matilda.

“You see, we really loved France and so when Hayley and Scott sold their house, we brought it off them. We’re going back to France in a couple of days,” finished Beth.

“So... you’re going to live permanently in France, the other side of the world,” said Lucas quietly.


“And you choose now, my engagement party, to tell me this!” erupted Matilda. “The most special night of my life and you drop this bomb shell!” Ric tried to calm her down and he put his arm round her.

“Mattie, don’t be like this. We’ll come back for visits and I’ve even moved the house here into your name. You own it now. It’s your engagement present. I didn’t mean to upset you baby. I was going to wait, but I couldn’t lie to you.” Beth hugged Matilda but she moved away, towards Lucas and Ric.

“Beth, that’s amazing. Mattie just needs time to cool down, maybe we should get going to the hotel and talk about this in the morning,” suggested Ric.

“Yeah, you’re probably right. Oh and darling, Henry sends his congratulations. He’s sorry he couldn’t be here but he’s in a big play.”

“Oh that’s great. My mum who didn’t even come to my graduation has told me she’s moving to the other side of the world, but it’ll all alright cos you’ve given me the house. My twin brother, I haven’t seen in years and he can’t be bothered to visit.”

“Mattie ...” called Beth but it was too late. Matilda had slipped her hand into Ric’s and had pulled him out of the Surf Club towards the car.

They arrived at the hotel and found they were in a room overlooking the sea. Matilda was still trying to get over the shock of what her mum had said.

“Mattie, I know you’re angry and I sympathise with you, I really do. But you have to think about this from her point of view. She has wanted to get out of Australia for ages and she was given the perfect chance. Her and Tony are happy in France, isn’t that all you want for your mum? For her to be happy? You can speak to her all the time on the phone and we could even go and visit.”

“How come you always know what to say to make me feel better?” asked Matilda, moving slowly towards him.

“Well, that’s because I’m amazing, and I love you, and I know you really well.”

Before long Ric was picking Matilda up, she was giggling and he was putting her down on the bed.

Later that night they were both cuddled up in bed looking up at the ceiling. Matilda put her hand up to admire her ring.

“It’s fantastic,” she said, kissing him again.

As they fell asleep in each others arms Matilda was thinking about the day she had had. It had felt like ages ago that she had been surprised with breakfast in bed but it had only been that morning. It had been an eventful day and she was now going to marry the man of her dreams.

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Chapter 33

Three days later it was chaos in the Hunter house. Beth and Tony were getting ready to go to France and would be leaving that evening. Hayley, Scott and Noah were moving into their new house and so were getting all of their stuff ready. Lucas was going to go back to Uni that evening after saying goodbye to his dad. Matilda and Ric were cuddled up on the sofa kissing while everyone ran round frantically.

“Ok, ok you two, please can you help!” asked Beth.

When Matilda and Ric had returned from the hotel the day after the party, Matilda and Beth had sat down for a long chat and had sorted out all of their problems. Matilda understood why Beth wanted to move and knew that it’s for the best. By that evening Matilda and Ric would have the house to their selves again and now, it was Matilda’s.

The previous day had been the reading of Belle’s will. She had made it once she had found out she was sick. To Matilda’s surprise, Belle had left her a big sum of money. Amanda had set up a trust fund for Belle when she was little and Belle had access to that money once she was 21. Most of this money had now been left to Matilda, with some also going to Irene and Drew. Drew had received Belle’s car even though he was still too young to drive it.

“Fine, we’ll help,” said Matilda getting up from the sofa. “What do you want us to do?”

“Well, you could help Tony put all of our clothes in boxes,” suggested Beth. “And Ric, maybe you could help Scott move things over to their house.” Matilda and Ric kissed each other and went to help.

Matilda entered her mum’s room to find Tony surrounded by clothes.

“I’m under orders from mum to come and help you,” said Matilda.

“Great, thanks Mattie,” Tony replied looking relieved. “You’re mum has so many clothes!”

“That’s where I get it from. We could shop for Australia.”

They spent the next half an hour joking round and packing the clothes.

“Tony, you know, I’m sorry for what I said at the party. It was just ... a shock, that’s all.”

“Matilda I understand. Take my word for it, me and your mum will be visiting loads.”

“I know,” and Matilda walked round the bed and hugged Tony. Once they had finished they went downstairs to find Hayley trying to pack all of Noah’s toys which seemed to have spread all round the house in just 3 days.

“Mummy, I want to go and play with Pippa! She said I could,” moaned Noah. He and Pippa had gotten to know each other the day before when they were on the beach while Sally and Hayley caught up.

“Noah, please. You’ll see Pippa later when we meet them at the Surf Club,” replied Hayley.

“The Surf Club?” asked Matilda.

“Yeah, we’re all meeting Sally and Pippa later. They want to say goodbye to Beth and Tony and they also said they had a surprise.”

“What is it with all the surprises round here!” joked Matilda.

In the afternoon Matilda and Ric managed to escape for a walk on the beach. This gave Matilda the perfect opportunity to talk to Ric about something that had been bothering her.

“Ric ...” she said tentatively. He sensed something was wrong and panicked.

“You’re not having second thoughts about marrying me are you?” he asked.

“No, no of course not. I love you,” and she kissed him to reassure him.

“It’s actually something that’s been playing on my mind for a while now. Belle’s death has taught me every moment is precious and you can’t just assume you’ll be around forever. That’s why ... I’ve been thinking that ... I’m not sure going to college to learn to be a teacher now is the right thing for me,” she said nervously.

“What’s made you think this?”

“Well, I just ... I’m not in the right frame of mind. I’m still getting over Belle and now, we’re engaged and that changes things too. I just don’t think it’s the right thing for me, I’m sorry.”

“You have nothing to be sorry for. You never have to go to college if you don’t want to. I just want what’s best for you, and for you to be happy. The garage is doing really well, you don’t have to work at all if you don’t want to.”

“Thank you for being so supportive. I still want to get a job and I have one in mind, just maybe not a teacher.”

“What job do you have in mind?” asked Ric curiously.

“I’m not going to tell you, you’ll find out later.”

Ric put his arms round Matilda and kissed her softly on the lips.

“I love you, my wonderful fiancé,” he whispered.

“I love you too, and thanks for being so supportive,” she replied.

Once they had slowly walked back it was all calm and quiet at the house. Hayley, Scott and Noah were settling into their new house, Beth and Tony were labelling all the boxes they were getting shipped and Lucas had gone to the shop to get some chocolate for his drive back to Uni.

“We’ve meeting everyone at the Surf Club at 6 later,” called Beth once they walked into the lounge.

Just before 6 Ric was waiting in the lounge for Matilda and as usual she was running late.

“Mattie, come on. Your mum and Tony have already left, we’re going to be really late!” he called up the stairs. She came down quickly and looked stunning in a baby blue knee length dress.

They were the last to arrive at the Surf Club, which was closed to the public. Inside were Beth, Tony, Hayley, Scott, Noah, Lucas, Sally, Pippa, Jack, Martha and baby Katie who was asleep in her carry cot. Pippa and Noah were sat in the corner and every so often laughed uncontrollably.

“Okay,” called Sally, once everyone had got a drink. “Now, we all know that Ric and Matilda got engaged a couple of days ago, and so it’s only right that I have got a present for them. Now, when Flynn was alive we always said that we wanted to take the children to Disney World in Florida. We started saving and put a little aside whenever we could. Now, we would like Mattie and Ric to join me and Pippa at Disney World Florida in the spring.”

“Florida,” gasped Ric.

“Oh my God, I’ve always wanted to go to Disney World,” exclaimed Matilda. Pippa came and stood next to Sally beaming, she had known she was going but had no idea that Matilda and Ric may be joining them.

“So, is that a yes?” asked Sally.

“Of course,” they replied together.

“So, what do you think Pip, can be manage a holiday with the lovebirds?” Sally said to Pippa.

“Yes mummy, it’s going to be great. Mattie, we’re going to see Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse and Cinderella ...” Matilda laughed as Pippa went on and on naming Disney characters.

“Sally, thank you so much,” said Matilda who was over the moon. “I can pay some of the money if you want, I know it won’t be cheap taking the four of us.”

“Don’t be silly, it’s your engagement present. I know you’ve always wanted to go.”

“If you’re sure.”

“I was just worried about it interrupting your college studies...”

“Well, actually I wanted to talk to everyone about that,” said Matilda, hugging Ric. “I’m actually not going to college, not for at least another year anyway. I didn’t feel it was right for me at this point in time.”

“What!” ...

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Hey everyone! Thanks for all your support. Here's the next chapter:

Chapter 34

“What do you mean you’re not going to college? I thought you wanted to be a teacher?” asked Lucas.

“Lucas, don’t be like that. I’ve made my mind up and Ric supports my decision. I thought that college was what I wanted but now, with everything that has gone on, I just don’t feel that it’s what I want. I may go next year, but for now, I’m not going,” explained Matilda, hugging Ric.

“Well love if that’s what you want, then you know that me and Tony will support you,” said Beth hugging her daughter. Lucas however walked out of the Surf Club towards the beach.

“Sally, actually I need to talk to you. The other day you said that you were having trouble finding someone to look after Pippa after school and so I was wondering if I could.”

“You want to be her babysitter?” asked Sally.

“Mum I’m not a baby!” shouted Pippa from the other side of the room.

“Of course you can. That would be perfect!” and Sally hugged Matilda. “And I’ll pay you the going rate.”

“Thanks so much Sally.”

“Pippa, how would you like Mattie to pick you up after school and look after you until I get home?” called Sally.

“Really! That would be really good,” beamed Pippa.

“Well I think it’s a brilliant idea,” said Beth. “Pippa seems to really like Mattie, and I know she really likes Pippa.”

Half an hour later it was time for Lucas, Beth and Tony to leave. Lucas was going to drive them to the airport on his way back to Uni.

“Well, this is it. Off to live in France,” said Beth.

“Dad, don’t wait too long before coming back for a visit, Katie needs her granddad,” said Jack, who was trying to be all macho.

“So, is that the only reason you want me to come back?”

“Well I suppose I’ll miss you too,” he replied sadly.

“What he means is that have a great time, but visit lots because everyone will miss you,” said Martha. Tony turned to Martha and took Katie from her arms. He kissed the baby on the head and gave her a massive hug before handing her back to Martha. Then he turned to Matilda.

“Have lots of fun in Florida and make sure you include us in your wedding plans. You’re like a daughter to me and I’ll miss you lots.”

“I love you Tony, you’re the best second dad anyone could have.” Tony hugged her and then got into the car, waving to everyone. Now it was Beth’s turn.

“Mattie, promise me you’ll call lots and I do want to help plan the wedding.”

“Mum, we’ve been engaged like 2 minutes, what’s the rush.”

“Well, just when the time comes, I want to help.”

“I promise mum. I’m going to miss you so much, but I want you to be happy.” By this point Matilda was crying.

“Don’t cry, you’ll set me off. I’m going to miss you so so much. But I promise we’ll come and visit soon. I love you baby.” Beth kissed and hugged her daughter and got into the car. They drove off and Matilda turned to Ric and he put his arms round her. She stood facing his chest with tears running down her face.

“Mattie, it’ll be okay. You’ll see them really soon,” he reassured her.

“I know, but it’s still hard ...”

“I know baby, I know.”

Soon after, they walked home and opened the door to an empty house.

“It’s weird it being so quiet after the last couple of days,” commented Matilda.

“Yeah but at least we have it all to ourselves now,” smiled Ric. “Having everyone stay here was great, but now we can have privacy.”

“I can’t believe Sally is taking us to Florida!” said Matilda excitedly.

“I’ve never been on a plane before,” murmured Ric.

“Well I can’t say that I’m particularly happy about being on planes, but I suppose they’re okay.”

“I’ve never fancied the thought of being that high up in a little plane. But, I really want to go to Florida so it’ll be alright.”

“And I can hold your hand if you get scared,” said Matilda, kissing him gently on the lips.

“Hey I’m not going to get scared!”

“Oh yeah I forgot, you’re a macho guy aren’t you,” teased Matilda.

“Yes I am, and don’t you forget it!”

Lucas rang just as Ric and Matilda were about to go upstairs to say that the plane took off on time and that he was now back at Uni.

“Thanks Lucas, speak to you soon,” finished Matilda.

“So, they got off alright then?” asked Ric.

“Yep and now they are flying to the other side of the world.”

“Hey, I thought we were going to be happy for them, not sad,” said Ric.

“I know, I know and I am happy. Now, where were we before Luc rang?” she asked, walking seductively over to where Ric was stood. She stood on tip toes and kissed him passionately.

“Mmm I like having the house to ourselves,” whispered Ric.

“Means we can make as much noise as we want,” replied Matilda. Ric kissed her passionately back and then whisked her off her feet. He carried her up to their room and gently put her on the bed.

“I love you Ric Dalby,” said Matilda.

“I love you to, Matilda soon to be Dalby.”

“What makes you think I’m taking your name,” teased Matilda. Ric joined her on the bed and started tickling her. She started giggling and only stopped when Ric leaned over and kissed her.

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Chapter 35

A month later it was mid March and Matilda was standing outside Pippa’s school waiting to walk her home and look after her until Sally got home. Matilda loved playing with Pippa in the afternoons and thought that she had made the best decision in not going to college. Lucas still wasn’t convinced but Ric supported her 100% and that was what was important for her. Ric worked every week day at the garage which was making lots of profit. Beth and Tony were having a fantastic time in France and rang almost everyday.

“Hey Mattie, you look a million miles away.” Hayley came up behind her, waiting for Noah to come out of school. Noah had been put in Pippa’s class, something they were pleased about.

“Sorry, I was just thinking that it’s only March and yet so much has happened,” explained Matilda. Every morning she would go down to the beach to see Belle. She would jog along the edge of the sea for some exercise and often saw Drew looking out to sea.

“Who would have thought that Scott, Noah and I would come back here,” commented Hayley. “There are so many memories, I didn’t know how I would cope. But, I guess this place has some kind of magic power. It feels right being back here, raising little Noah here.”

“I feel the same way. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I really missed this place when I was at Uni.” Children started coming out of the school and one of the first two were Pippa and Noah.

“Mattie, can I play with Noah on the beach?” asked Pippa, smiling.

“You don’t even know if Hayley and Noah are going to the beach?”

“Please mum, I want to play with Pippa,” begged Noah, looking up at Hayley. Matilda and Hayley looked at each other and smiled.

“Well I guess we’re off to the beach then,” said Matilda while Pippa and Noah cheered. They all went home first to get changed and agreed to meet down on the beach.

“Mattie, come on. They’re going to be waiting for us,” said Pippa impatiently.

“Someone’s keen to see Noah aren’t they,” teased Matilda while looking for Pippa’s sun hat.

“Come on!”

Finally they walked down to the beach and met up with Hayley and Noah. Pippa and Noah immediately went a little away from the adults and started digging in the sand.

“I’m so glad the two of them get on so well. I was really worried that Noah wouldn’t make any friends.”

“Well, Pippa is hard not to get along with,” laughed Matilda.

“So, are you looking forward to Florida?” smiled Hayley, knowing the answer already.

“Yes! I’m so excited, so’s Ric. We’re like a couple of kids again. He’s been on the internet and looked at the different parks, you know Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom,” said Matilda. “It looks absolutely amazing! Did you know that at Animal Kingdom you can go on safari to see all different kinds of animals. It’s apparently as if you’re really in Africa, just with Mickey Mouse as well. And at Epcot there is this massive lake and all around it are different places. There’s England, Canada, France, Morocco, China, Japan and loads more. You can buy stuff from each of the countries. Sorry I’m rambling aren’t I?” she finished, looking over at Hayley.

“No, don’t worry. It’s nice that you’re so excited.”

Meanwhile Pippa and Noah were building a sandcastle.

“Pippa, how come Mattie looks after you after school?” he wondered.

“Because mum’s got to work,” replied Pippa.

“But where’s your daddy?” he had been wondering this for a long time but had never plucked up the courage to ask.

“He’s in heaven,” replied Pippa simply. “He died when I was a baby and I don’t remember him, but I have pictures,” and she showed him the locket that she always wore. It had been a present from Flynn so she would always remember him.

“Oh,” said Noah, not really knowing what to say. “Do you miss him?”

“Sometimes, but mum says that he’s always with me in my heart.”

“That’s nice,” and they got back to making their sandcastle, looking up only when Matilda’s phone went off.

“Matilda? It’s Yabbie Creek General hospital. It’s not serious but we have Ric here. He’s ...” Matilda hung up and stood up really quickly.

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Hi guys. Thanks for all your comments. I only have one exam left now on Monday so I'll be able to update more regularly. Here's the next chapter:

Chapter 36

“Oh my god I have to go, Ric’s in the hospital,” she said to Hayley.

“What’s happened?”

“I don’t know but I have to get to him. You couldn’t look after Pippa could you?”

“Of course.”

Matilda quickly explained to Pippa that she had to go and then ran down the beach to get her car. She was trying not to think about what could be wrong with Ric. She arrived at the hospital a quarter of an hour later and ran to the desk.

“I’m Matilda Hunter, I got a call about my fiancé, Ric,” she said quickly.

“Ah yes I was the one who phoned you,” smiled the nurse. “Ric cut himself at work and needed stitches but it’s fine now, all sorted. Honestly there’s nothing to worry about,” said the nurse reassuringly. Matilda sighed with relief.

“Can I see him?”

The nurse led Matilda into a room where Ric was sat up in bed looking frustrated.

“Ric, I was so worried,” said Matilda as she dashed over to him. She kissed him gently and then stood back. “What happened?”

“There’s no need to worry. I just cut myself and the guys thought it would be best to come here and then I had to have stitches. I’m fine, it doesn’t hurt.”

“Well, don’t worry me like that again.”

“I’m sorry. I told the nurse to stress it wasn’t serious but she said you hung up before she got the chance,” said Ric, putting his good arm round Matilda’s waist. “I just have to wait for the doctor and then I can go home.”

“And don’t forget, you can’t go back to work for a while,” said the nurse. “It may not hurt now but that’s because of the strong painkillers.”

“Don’t worry, he won’t be going anywhere,” said Matilda.

“Look I don’t know what the fuss is.”

“You are not going back to work until the doctor says you can and I’m going to make sure of it,” ordered Matilda.

Just then Rachel walked in who was doing a shift in the accident and emergency department.

“Hey guys,” she smiled as she looked at the notes. “Now Ric, the cut was quite extended and deep so it’s important you rest your arm and don’t do anything strenuous with it. Because of the painkillers it won’t feel like much but your arm needs time to heal. I know you’re a mechanic and so I don’t want you to go to work for at least a month. I’ll book you an appointment then and we’ll see from there.”

“Don’t worry, he won’t be working,” said Matilda. “It’s a month until we go to Florida,” thought Matilda out loud.

“Well, if we book an appointment just before you go then that should be fine and maybe you could start work again after.”

Rachel signed the discharge papers and then Matilda and Ric walked out to the car, with Matilda fussing over Ric.

When they got home Matilda sent Ric up to bed while she phoned Hayley to let her know what was going on. Then she phoned Sally as she thought she should know. Matilda walked upstairs to find Ric sat up in bed looking bored.

“How’s the patient?” asked Matilda.

“I’m fine, honestly.” Matilda lay on the bed next to him and cuddled up to him.

“I was so worried when I found out you were in the hospital,” said Matilda quietly. “I thought something really bad had happened,” tears started rolling down her cheeks.

“Hey, there’s no need to cry,” said Ric and he cuddled her with the arm that wasn’t in a sling. “I’m sorry you had to go through that.”

“I really love you, you know,” Matilda smiled and kissed him softly on the lips.

“I love you too,” he replied.

They stayed cuddled up until the doorbell rang. Matilda left Ric in bed to go and answer it.

“Hey Sally, hi Pippa,” Matilda said, once she had opened the door.

“Mummy says that Ric has hurt his arm,” said Pippa worriedly.

“Yes I have, but it doesn’t hurt,” said Ric as he came down the stairs.

“Ric I told you to stay in bed.”

“It’s boring up there on my own. How about I sit on the sofa instead. I’m still resting,” he quickly added.

They spent the next half an hour talking to Sally about what happened while Pippa watched cartoons on TV.

“Well you won’t want to be cooking this evening Matilda so how about I go get us all some fish and chips and then we can discuss Florida, it’s not long until we go,” Sally said excitedly.

“Sounds like a fantastic idea,” smiled Matilda.

Sally left to go and get the food while Pippa helped Matilda set the table. Ric tried to help but was sent to sit down as soon as he walked into the kitchen.

“You heard the doctor, you have to rest!”

“Okay nurse,” he teased.

Once Sally had come back they all sat at the table and started eating. Ric had a bit of trouble with his fish as he couldn’t use a knife and fork with his arm in a sling. In the end he just picked it up and ate it with his fingers.

“So, have you had a look at all the different Disney Parks?” asked Sally.

“Yeah and it all looks amazing,” exclaimed Matilda.

“Definitely, I don’t know how we’re going to fit it all into 2 weeks,” joked Ric.

“I can’t wait to see Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse!” said Pippa, bouncing up and down on her chair.

“We’re staying in one of the Disney Resort Hotels. It’s called the Disney Contemporary Resort and has the monorail actually going right through the hotel.”

They spent the next hour or so talking about all the different things they wanted to do, until finally Pippa started to get tired.

“I think I’d better get you home,” said Sally. “You have school in the morning. Mattie will you be alright picking her up tomorrow?”

“Yeah I’ll just leave Ric in bed resting.”

Sally and Pippa left and Matilda sent Ric to bed while she put the plates in the dishwasher. When she got upstairs Ric was lay on the bed trying to get comfy without lying on his arm.

“I can’t wait until Florida,” smiled Matilda as she got changed.

“Yeah and my arm will be better by then so that’ll be good. I’m a little nervous about the flight though,” he said, getting embarrassed.

“Well I’ll be there so you can hold my hand if you get scared. Anyway, you love fast rides so why are you scared?”

“Well on a ride there’s a track and you’re harnessed in. In a plane it’s just there, in the middle of the sky with nothing.”

They talked for while before finally cuddling up and falling asleep. Ric found it difficult to sleep because of his arm and spent a lot of the night lying next to Matilda watching her sleep. She really was the love of his life, he thought. When he was in the hospital earlier all he wanted was for her to be by his side.

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Chapter 37

The next day was Friday and Matilda brought Ric breakfast in bed.

“Are you going to join me?” he asked.

Matilda sat on the bed next to him and started to eat her toast.

“You know, I find it hard to eat with only one hand,” he joked. Matilda picked up his toast and fed it too him. Once he had swallowed he sat back.

“This is the life. Lying in bed til late, having a beautiful girl feed me,” he said.

“Don’t get used to it!” teased Matilda as she playfully hit him on his good arm.

They spent the rest of the day with Matilda playing nurse to Ric who was only allowed to get out of bed to go to the toilet. Matilda had to leave at 3 in order to pick Pippa up from school but didn’t want to leave Ric.

“Now you won’t get up will you?” she said strictly.

“No nurse, I’ll stay right here in bed,” he obeyed.

“Now I’m leaving the phone here next to you so you don’t get up and if the doorbell rings don’t answer it! I’ll be back soon with Pippa,” and she kissed him on the cheek before leaving.

Hayley was already waiting at school when Matilda got there.

“Hey Mattie,” called out Hayely when she saw who was approaching. They hugged before Hayley asked,

“How’s Ric?”

“He’s fine. He’s meant to completely rest for a couple of days so I’m not letting him out of bed.”

“I was thinking, why don’t I get Scott to go round tonight and him and Ric could watch the football or something. Then Noah could go round to Leah’s while you and me have a girl’s night in,” suggested Hayley.

“Sounds like a great idea!” exclaimed Matilda. “I’ll bring a bottle of wine.”

As soon as Pippa came out of school they walked back to Matilda’s house.

“Ric, we’re back!” Matilda called out once she and Pippa had got home.

“Okay! Can I have a glass of water please? I would get it but I’m not allowed out of bed!”

“Okay! Let me just get Pippa a snack and I’ll be right up!” called Matilda.

Later that night, after Sally had come and picked up Pippa. Matilda was getting ready to go round to Hayley’s. Ric was sat on the sofa in the lounge getting ready to watch the football with Scott. The doorbell rang and Ric answered, knowing it would be Scott.

“Hey man, how you feeling?” asked Scott.

“Not too bad. I’m on painkillers so it doesn’t hurt. More annoying than anything else,” Ric explained. Matilda came down the stairs and went to the kitchen to get a bottle of wine.

“Right I’m off then,” she said. “Scott, don’t let Ric move! And don’t let him have any beer, he’s on painkillers.”

“Mattie, we’ll be fine! Just go and have a good time with Hayley. I’ll see you when you get back,” and Ric kissed her gently on the top of her head.

“Hey! Come in,” Hayley greeted Matilda 5 minutes later.

“I brought the wine,” said Matilda holding it up.

“Great! And hey I invited Martha round too, thought we’d make it a real girls night.”

“Sounds great,” said Matilda as Martha walked in from the kitchen with wine glasses.

“Irene’s looking after Katie so Jack’s gone round to watch the footie with Ric and Scott,” explained Martha.

It wasn’t long before they were all a bit giggly from the wine.

“I’m so glad that me and Scott moved back here,” said Hayley.

“And we’re glad you moved back! It’s really nice hanging out the three of us,” replied Martha. “You know, this is why I miss Tash. I miss the girly chats we used to have. The only things I seem to talk about now are nappies and whether Katie’s been fed. Jack’s at work so much earning extra money it feels like I have no one to talk to apart from Katie. She’s lovely, but you can’t have a conversation with her.”

“Mac, I didn’t know you felt this way,” replied Matilda. “Anytime you want me to take Katie off you’re hands for a couple of hours so you and Jack can have some alone time, or if you want to go shopping or anything, just call me,” offered Matilda.

“Aw thanks Mat. So, how are things going with you and Ric?”

“Really good. I was so worried yesterday when I got the phone call saying he was in hospital. After all I went through with Belle... Anyway, it made me stop and realise how much I care about him. Ever since we got together I’ve know he was the man for me, but I never thought I could care so much about someone!”

“Yeah it takes you by surprise doesn’t it. I really love Scott, I really do, just not as much as I loved Noah. I thought we’d spend the rest of our lives together and have children and grow old together. I loved him more than anything else in the world. Scott’s a great guy, I really do love him. But he knows that I loved Noah and he understands. He was the one who suggested calling our baby Noah if it was a boy. He’s so understanding, it’s unbelievable,” explained Hayley.

“How typical is this,” exclaimed Martha. “A girls night in and we’re talking about our guys!”

“Well I guess they’re very important to us,” replied Matilda.

It was only when there was a huge clap of thunder that they realised that it was chucking it down with rain outside. They all jumped when the huge crash rumbled round the bay.

“We’re going to get wet when we walk back later,” commented Martha looking at Matilda.

They continued talking and Hayley began to tell them about the life her, Scott and Noah had had in France.

“In the end we decided that we would never call it home, that would always be here. We wanted Noah to grow up here, so decided to come back. Then Beth and Tony saw it as the perfect opportunity to move out there. They really loved the French life.”

“They seem to be loving it,” said Matilda.

Then they heard the front door open and Scott, Ric and Jack all walked into the lounge, dripping wet.

“Ric, what are you doing here?” asked Matilda worriedly.

“Stop fussing, I’m fine. Look I’ll sit on the sofa and rest.”

“Girls we’re actually here for a reason. I guess you haven’t had a TV or radio on?” said Scott.

“No, why?” asked Martha curiously.

“Well, this storms been upgraded. There’s a cyclone heading towards land not far from here.”

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Thank you for all the wonderful comments. I really appreciate them.

Chapter 38

“Oh my God!” cried out the girls. Matilda went over and hugged Ric who was struggling to get his coat off.

“We thought we’d come here to make sure you’re okay and to board up the house just in case. Mattie, we’ve already done yours, it should be okay.”

“Thanks Scott, that’s so thoughtful.”

“What about Katie?” asked Martha, “She’s still at Irene’s!”

“And Noah is at Leah’s,” said Hayley, starting to panic.

“Don’t panic. We’ve already called. Martha, Irene and Drew are going to look after Katie until this has blown over. Drew’s boarding up the house. Leah’s looking after Noah, he’s playing with VJ and Ryan. Dan’s boarding up their house. It’s too dangerous to really go out now anyway. You should have seen us trying to get here.”

“What about Sally and Pippa?” asked Matilda, worried about them being alone.

“Don’t worry,” said Ric. “I phoned them before we came here. Alf’s there and so’s Brad , you know, assistant head at the school. He had just arrived when I called and was going to board up the house and look after them.”

“That’s nice. Is he the one who lives above the Diner?” asked Matilda.

Ric nodded. “He seems nice, always says hello when I see him.”

Suddenly the lights went out. Matilda and Hayley screamed.

“Hang on, we’ve got some torches somewhere,” said Scott, trying to feel around for them. Eventually he found them and they had a small amount of light again. Matilda was getting really scared.

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

“We’ve just got to stay here. Scott and Jack will board up the windows quickly and then we’ll make a little den in here where we’ll be safe. Why don’t you girls try and bring the mattresses down from upstairs.” The girls took two of the torches and set to work.

Before long all the windows were boarded up (Scott and Jack were now drenched from being outside) and in the living room was a den that they could all go in once the winds got bad.

“Well, this isn’t exactly the girls night in I had planned,” smiled Hayley.

“Just think of it as a sleepover,” said Martha who was busy making sure there was food in the den.

“I’d prefer it without the cyclone,” said Matilda from where she was sat cuddled up to Ric on the sofa.

“Look we’re going to be fine! We’re safe here and we’ve all got each other,” said Ric, trying to comfort her.

The winds got more and more ferocious and the 6 of them decided that they would be safer in the den. It was just big enough for them all if they squashed together.

“Is your arm getting squashed?” worried Matilda.

“No it’s fine. Honestly,” he added when she looked as though she didn’t believe him.

“Sis, stop worrying about him. And don’t worry, we won’t let anything happen to you,” said Scott.

“I hope Katie’s okay,” murmured Martha. “She’s never spent the night away from us.” Jack pulled her into a hug, kissing her on the top of her head.

“She’ll be fine,” replied Jack. “Irene’ll look after her.” Martha cuddled up close to Jack.

Suddenly there was a huge clap of thunder, the loudest yet.

“Ric, I’m really scared,” whispered Matilda. She had never gone through a cyclone before. Ric tried to comfort her the best he could but she was crying.

“Mattie, look who’s here. You’ve got you’re fiancé, your older brother and a copper, we’re not going to let anything happen to you, I promise.”

“Hey Mattie, there’s nothing to be scared of,” said Scott, who was sat cuddling Hayley. “Just think of nice happy things. Like your wedding.”

“Okay ...” replied Matilda, not sure.

“So, where do you want to get married?” asked Hayley, trying to get Matilda’s mind off the storm. She was also scared so thought it might help her too.

“Well,” started Matilda, looking at Ric, “I was thinking about on the beach. It’s my favourite place in the world and it’s where we first got together and where Ric proposed.”

“That’s a great idea,” said Martha. Another clap of thunder sounded.

“And where will you have the reception?” said Jack, trying to drown out the rain and thunder.

“Umm I don’t know,” she said quietly.

“How about at the hotel we stayed at the night of our engagement. They do receptions there and it’s not too far away for everyone,” suggested Ric.

“Yeah that would be perfect,” smiled Matilda, kissing him on the lips.

The wind suddenly picked up and the windows were rattling at their hinges. They could hear things being blown into the side of the house.

“Ric ...” mumbled Matilda.

“Ssh, baby I’m here, don’t worry.”

“Jack, I know we have our moments, but being here like this, I just want you to know, even though I don’t say it very often ... I love you,” said Martha.

“I love you too. And from now on I’m going to cut down my hours and spend more time with you and Katie. This has made me realise that you two are the most important things in my life.”

“This makes you put things into perspective doesn’t it,” said Hayley.

“Certainly does,” replies Scott.

“I love you,” whispered Hayley, kissing him on the cheek.

“This has brought us all closer together hasn’t it,” said Martha.

Ric and Matilda, Hayley and Scott, and Martha and Jack were all cuddled up to each other, comforting each other.

Gradually the winds began to die down and they knew that the worst had gone.

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Thanks once again for all the amazing comments. They are really appreciated.

Chapter 39

The next morning they all woke up one by one, not remembering going to sleep. The wind gone and now everything was quiet and still. Coming out of the den they had built they all looked outside to survey the damage. Noah’s toys that had been outside were now all over the place. Branches had blown off trees and were now all over the garden. The house seemed to be okay but they could see that some other people had not been as lucky. Matilda, Ric, Martha and Jack all left after having some breakfast and walked back through Summer Bay. Branches were everywhere and some houses had tiles missing off the roofs. Martha and Jack said goodbye and headed off towards Irene’s house. Matilda and Ric got home, pleased to discover that their house seemed to all be in one piece.

“Thank you for helping me get through last night,” said Matilda, putting her arms round Ric. “Your arm isn’t hurting is it?”

“No it’s fine. Honestly.”

“I was thinking that we should probably go and see Sally and check that the Caravan Park is okay. That’s if your not in pain,” said Matilda.

“Sounds like a great idea.” They put their jackets back on and headed out. They past many people who seemed to be just walking round looking at the damage.

“Drew!” called out Matilda, seeing him in the distance. He started walking towards them.

“Hey you two. Are you both okay?” he asked.

“Yes thanks. How about you, Irene and baby Katie?”

“We’ve fine. Katie seemed to sleep through it all. Irene was pretty freaked out though.”

“What about you?” asked Matilda.

“I was fine. It wasn’t my first cyclone, I’ve seen worse. Ric, I heard about your arm, how is it?”

“It’s fine. I just can’t work for about a month. I was meaning to talk to you actually. Do you still want to help out after school?”

“Yes!” said Drew eagerly.

“Well go to the garage on Monday and I’ll tell my assistant to expect you.”

“Thank you so much! I’d better get back to Irene, I was just checking everything was alright at the Diner.”

“Okay, see you soon Drew,” Matilda called out as he walked away.

They slowly made their way to the Caravan Park, saying hello to lots of Summer Bay residents as they went. Just before they got to the Caravan Park they bumped into Colleen.

“Hey young Matilda nice to see you, and you too Ric,” she said. “Awful weather isn’t it. I hope your house wasn’t too damaged.”

“No it’s fine thanks,” replied Ric.

“How’s your caravan?” added Matilda.

“Well it’s okay. Alfred came and boarded up the windows for me. Isn’t he sweet!”

“Yeah, well we’d better be getting going, see you soon Colleen,” said Ric.

“Yes, yes well I’m off to see Madge Wilkins, see if her house is okay, see you soon you two,” and she walked off.

When they walked up the drive they saw that there were trees that had been blown over but that was about it. They knocked on the door and were greeted by Sally.

“Oh thank god you’re both safe, I was so worried. What about everyone else?”

“Well we were with Hayley, Scott, Martha and Jack all night and we saw Drew and Colleen on the way over here. So far no one’s been hurt. The cyclone was west of the Bay and doesn’t seem to have actually come through it,” said Ric, hugging Sally.

“It was still scary though,” said Matilda who also hugged Sally.

“Mattie! Ric! I’m being chased!” yelled Pippa who came running into the room followed by a man who could only be Brad. Pippa ran up to Matilda who picked her up.

“You’re getting heavy Pippa!” teased Matilda.

“Guys, this is Brad Armstrong, I don’t think you’ve been properly introduced. Brad this is my foster son Ric and his fiancé Matilda.”

“Hey guys, nice to meet you,” said Brad.

“Same to you. I’ve seen you around a couple of times, you live above the diner don’t you?” said Matilda who still had Pippa in her arms.

“Yeah, I didn’t really want to be alone there last night and thought I’d come and see Sal and make sure her house was all safe.”

“And a good thing too,” said Alf, coming from upstairs. “I’d have never managed it all on my own. Hey Ric, Matilda. Hope you don’t have much damage.”

“Hi granddad, no just some broken off tree branches.”

Matilda put Pippa down and went to help Sally who was making drinks for everyone.

“Brad seems like a nice man, and very good with Pippa,” said Matilda, turning to see Brad and Pippa engrossed in their own make believe game.

“Yeah, he is. He was such a help last night. I was scared and he managed to keep both me and Pippa entertained. He really helped take my mind off it.”

“Yeah I was the same. Luckily I had lots of people around me. So, how long have you been friends?”

“Well he moved to the Bay after Christmas because he got the assistant principle job. We spend a lot of time together at school and occasionally go to the Diner for lunch but that’s about it. His sister is Rachel, you know the doctor.”

“Yeah she looked after Belle and then treated Ric the other day. How come he didn’t go to her house last night then?”

“She’s on a course in the city,” replied Sally.

“Well it was nice of him to come here. So will the school be open on Monday?” asked Matilda.

“Well apparently the High School is fine but the elementary school has been damaged. I got an e-mail saying it would be closed until further notice. Are you okay to look after Pippa in the day until it’s open?”

“That’s fine. Ric’s off work too because of his arm so we’ll have a great time.”

“Thanks so much, you’ve really saved us looking after Pippa everyday.”

“No problem, I love it.”

They returned to the lounge where Brad, Alf and Ric were talking about the footie and Pippa was playing with her Barbie’s.

“So Pip, looks like you’ve got some time off school,” said Matilda.

“Yeah! Are you going to look after me?” asked Pippa.

“I sure am and Ric is too.”

“Yay!” cried out Pippa.

“She adores you Mattie,” said Brad, watching the interaction between her and Pippa.

“Thanks, I adore her too. I love looking after her in the afternoons.”

“It’s good that Sally has family like you that she can depend on.”

“Well I’m not exactly family yet,” smiled Matilda.

“Yeah but you will be,” piped up Ric, pulling her into a one handed hug.

“So Ric, how’s the resting coming along?” asked Alf.

“It’s so boring. And Mattie here won’t let me do anything! I just have to sit and there’s nothing to do.”

“Well you have to do what the doctor said!” said Matilda. “Only another month and then you can go back to work,” she teased.

The next hour was spent with everyone helping to clear up the garden. Even Pippa went round picking up the smaller branches. Ric however was under instructions to sit on one of the garden chairs and not to help.

“It’s for your own good,” said Sally as he had moaned.

Soon Pippa got bored and so went to sit on Ric’s lap.

“Am I hurting your arm?” she asked worriedly as she sat back leaning into him.

“No, don’t worry you’re fine.”

“Ric, how come Brad came to our house last night?” asked Pippa.

“Well, because he’s friends with mummy and he didn’t want to be on his own. The wind was pretty scary last night.”

“Oh okay. He played with me and told me stories about Barbie’s so I wouldn’t be scared. Mummy was scared though but Mr Stewart and Brad said that they would protect us.”

“Well that’s nice of them isn’t it,” said Ric.

“Yes, I like Brad, he’s funny. And I like Mr Stewart, he tells me stories too.”

“What are his stories about?”

“My daddy. He tells me about all the brave things he did saving people’s lives. And he tells about how daddy and mummy fell in love.”

“Does he, that’s nice of him.”

“He said that when daddy went to heaven he told Mr Stewart to look after me and mummy and that’s why he lives with us.”

“Well that’s right. You need a man around the place to protect you.”

“Do you miss daddy?” Pippa asked Ric.

“Of course I do. But we will never forget him will we, he’ll always be with us,” said Ric, quietly.

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Chapter 40

Not long after, the garden had been cleared. Brad left to go back to his flat and Alf had gone to inspect the Surf Club.

Matilda’s cell phone rang, it was Beth.

“Hey mum,” said Matilda.

“Oh Mattie, thank god you’re alright. We were watching the world news and it said there had been a cyclone.”

“Yeah it was pretty bad but we just missed it. I was at Scott’s house actually. Me, Hayley and Martha were having a girls night in then the boys came and we all spent the night there.”

“So he’s alright? And Hayley and Noah?”

“Yep everyone’s fine. Noah was at Leah’s house and had a great time with VJ and Ryan. And Katie was at Irene’s house and is also fine.”

“Oh thank god.”

They continued speaking for a while before they said good bye as it was late in France.

“Who was that?” asked Ric as Matilda walked back into the lounge.

“Mum, she heard about the cyclone. Oh and she says that she hopes your arm gets better soon.”

“So do I. I’m going out of my mind not being able to do anything.”

They left Sally’s mid afternoon and walked back through Summer Bay. Most of the damage had already been sorted and a couple of people could be seen clearing their gardens.

“We got off lucky,” said Matilda walking hand in hand with Ric.

“Yeah, it could have been a lot worse.”

They arrived home and found a note on the door.

Mattie and Ric,

We’d cleared both of our gardens and so thought we’d come and do yours. We know Ric couldn’t so thought we’d save you the job. See what a wonderful brother you have. Come next door later at about 6 for a drink.

From Scott and Jack.

“That’s so sweet,” said Matilda. “I really do have a wonderful brother.”

Ric coughed. “And a wonderful fiancé who I love very much,” she said sweetly and kissing him.

“That’s better,” replied Ric. “Hey I was wondering, maybe we should start discussing the wedding. I mean I know we talked about it last night but maybe we should start really planning it. What do you think?”

“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” and Matilda leaned in and kissed Ric again, this time for longer.

“So have you got any thoughts about when you want to get married?” asked Ric as they sat down.

“Well I’ve always wanted a summer wedding, like December and like I said last night having it on the beach would be amazing.”

“Well, how about sometime around December? That gives us 9 months to plan it and you can have your summer wedding.”

“Are you serious, that would be amazing. Just think, this time next year I’ll be Mrs Matilda Dalby.”

“I thought you wanted to be Matilda Hunter Dalby?” asked Ric.

“Well, I have 9 months to decide,” replied Matilda.

“So, we want the wedding on the beach and the reception at the Headland Hotel. That had amazing views over the ocean from the dining room.”

“And it means that all the people coming from overseas can stay there,” said Matilda getting excited. Just then the phone rang.

“Hey Mattie, it’s Lucas.” Matilda and Lucas hadn’t been on the best of terms since she decided not to go to college. He thought she was wasting her life.

“Lucas, sorry I haven’t spoken to you in ages.”

“Yeah I’m sorry too. I should have called more. Anyway I heard about the cyclone and I talked to Jack earlier and he said how you had all been together and how you were really scared.”

“Yeah, but I had everyone to protect me,” Matilda replied.

“Well I’m glad you’re okay. Is there much damage?”

“No everyone seems to have got off lightly. Trees have been blown over and branches are everywhere, a few broken windows in places that weren’t boarded up but that’s about it.”

“That’s good. I’m sorry about saying you were wasting your life. Jack told me about how happy you seem recently. You deserve some happiness after everything that has gone on.”

“Thanks, I know you think college is what’s best but, maybe it isn’t for me.”

“I understand. Anyway, you’ll probably see me soon, I’ll be coming back to the Bay for a weekend soon.”

“Great, it’ll be good to see you again. Anyway I’d better go, we’re having drinks over at Jack’s and Ric will be very annoyed if we’re late because of me getting changed. Speak to you soon.”

“Bye Mattie.”

At 5 minutes to 6 Matilda was ready and Ric wasn’t, which was something Matilda found very amusing.

“It’s hard getting changed when you can hardly move one arm,” he moaned. Matilda walked across the room to help. He had said he could manage on his own but seemed to be having trouble with the buttons on his shirt.

“Let me,” said Matilda, moving closer. Ric could smell her perfume.

“Mmm you smell nice,” he whispered, letting Matilda do up his buttons.

“Yes well, we’d better go,” she smiled.

When they arrived at Jack and Martha’s, which was only next door, they found Hayley, Scott and Noah already there. Noah was moaning about being the only child apart from Katie who hardly counted as she was fast asleep in the corner. Luckily Martha saved the day by taking him into her bedroom and setting up Jack’s play station for him to play.

“Thank you so much for doing our garden guys,” said Matilda hugging her brother then hugging Jack. “We’d spent all morning clearing Sally’s so I’m so grateful.”

“Yeah a morning spent watching other people doing things I can’t,” moaned Ric.

Once everyone had got a glass of wine Martha and Jack stood up.

“Everyone, we have a little announcement,” said Jack and then put his arm round Martha.

“We are getting Katie christened,” announced Martha. “We arranged it this morning and the only time they had that wasn’t months away was next week. So Katie’s getting christened next Saturday.”

“Oh how wonderful!” cried Hayley.

“And that’s not all,” said Jack.

“We would like the four of you to be Godparents. I know most only have 2 but we want Katie to have all of you.”

“Oh my god, thank you!” said Matilda and she went and hugged Martha. Hayley joined in the hug while Ric and Scott went over and awkwardly hugged Jack.

“Now, I also thought that as our girls night in got interrupted, we could leave Katie and Noah with the guys and we could spend the day shopping in the city.

“That’s a fantastic idea!” agreed Matilda and Hayley.

“And do us guys get a say in this?” teased Scott.

“Umm no!” said the three girls.

A couple of hours later Matilda and Ric walked back to their house. Matilda was going to pick up the other girls early the next morning while Ric was meeting Jack, Scott Noah and Katie and going to the beach.

“Now, where were we before we left,” said Ric, leaning in and smelling Matilda’s neck, then kissing it. He led Matilda upstairs.

“You’re meant to be resting,” said Matilda.

“I’ve done nothing but rest, you know you want to,” smiled Ric, in-between kissing Matilda.

“Okay then, you deserve a treat for being such a good patient,” smiled Matilda.

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