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When All Is Said And Done

Guest Eli

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I'm such a bad person. Whenever I say "Days or weeks" it means "I'm posting it later today", while when I say "Very soon" it can mean months :lol:

Anyway, the writing of this fic went a lot better than I thought it would, so I figured it was safe for me to start posting (I'm not very patient) as there doesn't seem to be any risk that I will suddenly get a writer's block. I have everything figured out, I just need to write it down. Oh, and not all the chapters are as long as the first one, don't worry :o

Title: When All Is Said And Done

Type of story: ShortMedium fic

Main Characters: It is a Belle/Aden fic, but Geoff and various other characters also play an important part.

Genre: Drama/Angst/Romance

BTTB Rating: A

Warnings: Possibly mild SC

Spoilers: No

Summary: Belle and Aden return to the Bay to settle down there, only to discover that memories and feelings sometimes are so strong they can challenge everything. Even wedding vows.

Author’s note on sources of inspiration: As some of you probably guessed one of my sources of inspiration for writing this fic was the ABBA song, ”When all is said and done”. However, my main source of inspiration, and what gave me the idea in the first place, was interviews and statements from The Diocese of New Hampshire bishop, Gene Robinson, about his own life, as told in the documentary “For the Bible tells me so”.

When all is said and done


It all seemed so surreal. Again he had to ask himself how they got here, standing together to pledge their love for each other and begin the next chapter of their lives.

“Aden, repeat after me,” Reverend Fuller said, “I Aden…

“I Aden…”

Take thee, Susan…

“Take thee, Susan…”

Belle smiled, tears streaming down her face. He had never loved her more.

To be my lawfully wedded wife…

“To be my lawfully wedded wife…”

To have and to hold, from this day forward…

“To have and to hold, from this day forward…”

For better, for worse…

“For better, for worse…”

For richer, for poorer…

“For richer, for poorer…”

In sickness and in health…

“In sickness and in health…”

He couldn’t hold the tears back anymore, he wasn’t even sure he deserved to be so happy.

I promise to be true to you…

“I promise to be true to you…”

To love, and to honor you…

“To love, and to honor you…”

All the days of my life, until death do us part.

“All the days of my life, until death do us part.”

Chapter 1

May 12th, 2012

Like so many times before he woke up with the feeling of being the luckiest man on earth. He had dreamt about their wedding day again; how beautiful Belle had been, and how it had been the happiest day of his life. Sometimes it was still hard to believe it was all real. How could he have been so lucky, to not only fall in love with someone like Belle, but to also have her fall in love with him?

He turned over to kiss her, and remind her again how much he loved her, but… She wasn’t there.

He was just about to get out of bed and see what she was doing so early in the morning, when Belle opened the door to the bed room, smiling.

“Where did you get to?” Aden whispered, his throat still dry and rusty from sleeping, “It’s 7 AM on a Saturday.”

“I got a call from the realtor,” Belle replied, and sat down on the bed in front of her husband, “We got the house.”

“We- We GOT it?! Oh my God!”

Aden could help smiling, and like a reflex he felt like kissing her. Days of wondering and worrying back and forth was over, they got the house.

“That’s great news,” he replied and kissed her again, “I can’t believe it, we got the house…!”

But while kissing her he also couldn’t believe the weird little feeling of fear and bitterness in his stomach.


The morning sun was shining bright, and despite it being winter it was pretty warm. Just a few more minutes, and somebody would take over Geoff’s shift and allow him to go down to the beach and enjoy the rest of the day.

“Irene, two chicken salads and a club sandwich for table 6, and table two sent their burgers back. Said they were burned.”

Irene sighed and mumbled something Geoff was glad she didn’t say in front of the customers.

“So, Carla will be here any minute,” she said, and put two burgers on the grill, “What are you doing for the rest of the day?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” Geoff replied, “Going down to the beach I guess… Maybe having a beer at Noah’s…”

“Oh, really?” Irene immediately became a lot more interested, like she always did as soon as Geoff suggested doing something that could mean interacting with people his own age, “With who?”

“I haven’t really made any plans,” Geoff muttered, “I was thinking just going by myself.”

Irene stopped chopping vegetables and turned around with a worried look on her face.

“You really should try to get some more friends, Geoff,” she said, “I don’t know if it’s good for you spending this much time alone. Especially not when you don’t even have a plan for your future. You can’t work in here forever, you know.”

“Why not?” he challenged her, “You still work here.”

“Listen to me, Geoff,” Irene said, looking very serious now, “I’m just gonna repeat what I just said; you can’t work here forever. You need to figure out what you’re gonna do with your life.”


June 4th, 2012

”And it’s a beautiful morning, for those of you who missed the weather forecast a couple of minutes ago, Jenny promised sunshine and some wind for most of Sydney, while Bondi and Newcastle might get some rain in the afternoon due to a…”

The radio made a static noise sound for a few seconds before Robert Plant’s voice filled the car with the sound of “Stairway to Heaven.”

“I think it’s safe to give up this whole radio project,” Belle smiled and reached over to turn off the radio, “In this area there seems to be more radio stations than people, and unless you want to hear another version of “Imagine everything I’m not” with John Lennon and The Veronicas, I suggest we talk instead.”

Aden smiled at her from the passenger seat.

“Talking definitely sounds better,” he said.

“I can’t believe we’re going to be in Summer Bay in just a few hours,” Belle sighed, “It’s so weird, we haven’t been there in almost two years!”

“Yeah, I know,” her husband replied, “I never thought I’d say this, but a part of me actually might have missed the place.”

Belle laughed.

“I just can’t wait to move in to the new house,” she said, “It’s going to be so amazing, finally owning a place of our own, instead of renting some small apartment next to a guy who likes to sing in the shower. I swear the walls were made of cardboard.”

“Are you sure it’s okay for Irene that we invade her house though?” Aden asked, “It’s not like we couldn’t have stayed in Brisbane two more months and then moved straight into the new house.”

“Oh come on,” Belle replied, “Irene practically begged us to take that spare room. Plus, if we had stayed in Brisbane, we never would have made it to the wedding. It would have been stupid to just go down there for the wedding, go back to Brisbane, and then come back six weeks later to live there.”

“I guess you have a point,” Aden said, “I just don’t want to be any trouble for Irene.”

“I’m sure we won’t,” Belle said, and then with a perky smile: “Plus, don’t I always have a point?”


December 22nd, 2010

The door to his room was closed, but behind it Aden could hear his father’s struggle to breathe. He was just about to change his mind and walk away, but then he remembered everything again; the fight; Belle crying and saying she couldn’t understand how he could do this; the wedding just a few months earlier. He had to do this. He wanted to be the best for Belle, he had promised her that, three months ago.

He didn’t do this for himself, or for Larry. The only reason why he had booked a flight down here, right before Christmas, to say goodbye to his father, was Belle. He was doing this for her.


June 4th, 2012

“It’s so good to have you back,” Irene said for the sixth time in two hours. Ever since they had walked in she hadn’t been able to stop fussing over them.

Aden smiled and gave her another hug.

“It’s good to be back,” he said, “Really good to be back.”

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Chapter 2

June 6th, 2012

“I never knew we had this much stuff,” Belle exclaimed and brushed her hair away from her face, “I guess it’s the sort of thing you only realize when you try to fit an apartment into one room.”

“Unless we wanna suffocate under our own spare mattresses, clothes and beauty products, - which I by the way, do not want any affiliation with -, I think we need to rent some storage space,” Aden replied, and sat down on a bunch of t-shirts piled on the bed.

“Good point,” Belle agreed, “And by the way, you can’t fool me. I know your hair doesn’t look like that in the morning, Mr. I-don’t-need-no-styling-products-macho-man.”

Aden grinned and threw a pillow at her.

“Well, as long as you don’t tell my fans,” he said, and got up, “I’ll go down to the marina and ask someone about the storage units they built when Alf closed the bait shop.”

With Aden out looking for a storage unit to rent, Belle decided to take a break as well. They had been unpacking and organizing their stuff since early yesterday morning, but the limited space of the one room they shared didn’t make any progress easy to spot, and the more they organized, the messier the room seemed to get.

“So you finally gave in and decided to get more space, huh?” Irene asked from the kitchen as Belle came out of the room.

“Yeah,” Belle sighed and collapsed onto the couch, “I have no idea how we even managed to fit all that stuff into our car.”

“Well, I’m sorry I couldn’t offer you some more storage space, love,” Irene said, and gave Belle a cup of tea as she sat down in the chair next to her.

“Oh, we wouldn’t expect you to,” Belle quickly replied, “We’re just thankful you’re willing to let us stay here. Don’t hesitate to throw us out if you can’t take having two more people here, taking up your only spare room.”

Irene smiled and took a sip of her tea.

“Don’t you worry about that, girlie,” she said, “It’s not like you and Aden are the first young, married couple who have lived in that room. If I could take Robbie, Tasha, Kirsty and Kane, I don’t think you and Aden will be a problem.”

“Still though,” Belle said with a thankful smile, “You let us know if there’s a problem, and don’t hesitate to ask if you need help with anything.”

Irene just smiled back, thinking to herself that she had be getting old and senile, secretly thinking how good it would be to really spoil Aden and Belle while they lived there.

“Don’t you worry,” she finally repeated, “We’re just happy to have you here. I know Geoff hasn’t said hello yet, but he had to go to the City to help Miles with some materials for a new garage in the Caravan park. I’m sure he will be very happy to see you as well. And so will Annie, as soon as she gets back from uni.”

Belle sighed loudly and smiled.

“It’s so weird,” she said, “To me Annie’s still the confused, naive little 13 year old girl. I can’t believe she’s already at uni, studying to become a teacher. It makes me feel old.”

“Old?” Irene laughed, “For heaven’s sake, you’re only in your early twenties, girlie!”

“So Geoff’s been working a lot, huh?” Belle changed the subject, “I was so sure that by this time he’d be married and on his way to becoming a minister.”

“Well, to tell you the truth, darl, so did I,” Irene said, suddenly sounding a lot more serious, “To be honest with you I’m worried about Geoff.”


“I can’t quite point my finger at what’s wrong,” Irene replied, “But it’s like he changed after he finished school. It’s like he’s constantly scared and has just given up on everything. I think it might do him good to see some old friends back in the Bay, he doesn’t have any friends his own age.”


The seriousness from earlier was all gone, and the laughter was rolling frequently as they prepared the salad. Aden had managed to find a storage unit for rent, and Irene was over at Leah’s to help her with one of the bridesmaid dresses.

“I have a question,” Aden suddenly said, “You’ve known Leah longer than I have, so you’re probably less confused than I am.”

“Oh, I don’t know about that,” Belle giggled.

“First Leah was married to Vinnie, right?”


“But then Vinnie entered the witness protection program, and everyone thought he was dead, including Leah, who moved on and married Dan. Am I right so far?”

“Sounds about right, yeah,” Belle replied, and ate a piece of feta cheese as a snack.

“But then they arrested the last members of the gang that threatened to kill Vinnie, so he came back, and now him and Leah are getting married again.”

“And to think you didn’t even go to Uni,” Belle teased and kissed her husband.

“No wait, that wasn’t the question,” Aden said, “I mean, first she was Leah Poulos, then she was Leah Patterson, then she was Leah Patterson-Baker, right? What’s her name gonna be now that she’s marrying Vinnie again? Leah Patterson-Baker Patterson? Add her maiden name as well and the mail man will sue her!”

Belle couldn’t help laughing hysterically, sometimes she thought the reason why she and Aden had ended up together was simply because they shared the same, silly sense of humor.

“No, I think, I think,” she said, struggling not to burst out laughing again, “She will stick with Leah Patterson-Baker. You should suggest she reconsiders that though.”

“What are you two giggling about?” Irene asked as she walked in, but she didn’t give them time to answer the question, “Oh! You didn’t have to make anything, I was thinking we’d all go out to dinner!”

“Oh,” Belle replied, “Well, we could always eat the salad for lunch tomorrow.”

“Yeah, that would probably be the best,” Irene replied, “Geoff will be back any minute, and he’s probably hungry, so I figured we could all go down to the Diner and have Roman serve us something delicious. That way we get good food fast, and we don’t even have to make it ourselves!”


The atmosphere was a bit tense at first; it was obvious no one knew what to say to each other after all this time. As Roman served their food it got a bit better, but still the conversation was pretty shallow, and limited to weather, work and how old friends were doing.

It wasn’t as nice and comfortable as everyone could have hoped, but if nothing else, by the end of the meal, everyone knew who was and wasn’t coming to the wedding; how Annie was doing in Sydney; and how Aden and Belle were coping with married life.

“We try not to kill each other, and so far we have had success with that part of the marriage,” Aden joked with a fake serious tone and a diplomatic smile, “Obviously we have had our bad days, but my eyebrows grew back, and so did Belle’s hair, so we like to call our marriage another success story.”

Irene, Geoff and Belle all laughed. It wasn’t really that funny, and if it hadn’t been for the tension they probably wouldn’t have laughed this hard at all, but no one seemed to be able to break the ice tonight. Whether they liked to admit it or not, because of all their dreams about coming back to the Bay, there was no doubt. Some things were changed.

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Thank you so much for all the great reviews and nice comments. I don't think I've ever had this many readers before! :D

Here's another chapter :)

Chapter 3

June 6th, 2012

“Oh my God, I’m so glad that’s over,” Belle muttered as soon as they closed their bed room door behind them, “I never thought it’d end.”

“I know,” Aden agreed, “I thought it was just me.”

“Are you kidding?” Belle exclaimed, almost laughing, “That was a disaster! It’s been ages since the last time we just went to dinner with them for no reason! I mean, sure it was okay when it was just casually talking to Irene, but throw Geoff in and it’s just plain awkward!”

“I know Geoff and I weren’t really friends in the first place,” Aden added, “But it never was like that.”

Belle nodded.

“I know,” she muttered, “It’s like… We don’t know him anymore, and Irene said he’s not got any plans, or friends for that matter. I just don’t know what we’re allowed to talk about, you know?”

“Yeah, I know what you mean.”

“Well, thank you for making the night survivable,” Belle said, and slowly took off her jacket, “I wouldn’t have made it without you. How on earth will I ever thank you?”

Aden couldn’t help smiling, he knew where this was going.

“Oh, I have a few suggestions,” he whispered and pulled her down on the bed with him, “I’m sure we can think of something…”


June 15th, 2012

“Now, you blokes don’t tear down the house while we’re gone, is that understood?” Irene said in a strict voice, making it sound like Geoff and Aden were naughty six year old boys, just looking for an opportunity to blow up the kitchen with a chemistry set.

“Considering Colleen has invited 90 per cent of the female population of Summer Bay to Leah’s hen’s night,” Aden said with a grin, “Do you really think it’s your house you should be worried about, Irene?”

Irene couldn’t help laughing; the tension had faded a bit after Annie came back last night. If nothing else it seemed to make Geoff relax more, and that made everything easier.

“Good point, darl!” Irene laughed, “Who knows what she has planned for us. I’m telling you, Colleen might be getting older, but she’s just like she was ten years ago!”

While they all laughed, Belle quickly pulled Aden away from the others and in to their room.

“May I just have a quick word with you?” she said, and then called back to the living room “I’ll be right with you, Irene!”

“What’s up?” Aden asked, “If you’re worried about me and Geoff being alone, I don’t think you need to. We don’t have stuff to talk about, but I think we have beer. And I promise we won’t tear down the house.”

Belle smiled at him, she loved how he always made her smile.

“No, it’s not just that,” she said quietly, “I just wanted to talk to you about something… Right after we moved in here Irene mentioned that Geoff doesn’t have a lot of friends, and he just seems to have given up on everything… I know you have had your differences, but try to be nice to him okay? Maybe he just needs a friend, you know?”

“Oh Belle, come on,” Aden could hear how childish it sounded, but he couldn’t help it, “I don’t mind Geoff, but you’re so much better at this friend stuff!”

“Yeah, but you’re a guy,” Belle argued and kissed him, “Maybe he just needs to chill out with a bloke, you know? Talk about nailing chicks or something!”

“Nailing chicks?” Aden laughed, “Yeah, since I’m married and he doesn’t believe in premarital sex, I’m sure that will be a long and meaningful conversation!”

“Okay, okay, that was a joke,” Belle admitted, smiling, “But you know what I mean! Just… talk to him…”

“Belle, are you coming? You know what Colleen’s like, I don’t think it’s a good idea to be late,” Annie called from the living room.

“I’m coming,” Belle called back, then she turned to Aden again.

“Please, just…”

“Okay,” Aden sighed and kissed her again, “I’ll try to talk to him. I promise.”


“So… Anything good on TV tonight?” Aden asked nervously. They had been alone for twenty minutes, and no one had said a single word.

“I don’t know,” Geoff replied, without looking up, “I don’t think so.”

“Okay…” Aden quickly tried to come up with something else to get a conversation going, “Do you still play footy?”

“No, not really, I’m too busy working.”

“Working, huh? You work at the Diner, right?”




“So, Geoff, tell me, have you nailed any hot chicks lately?”

“I’m sorry, what?!”

“I don’t know,” Aden quickly replied, blushing, “Do you know if we have any beer?”

“Um, maybe if you check the refrigerator?” Geoff suggested, speaking slowly. His voice clearly suggested he was wondering if Aden was either drunk or insane.

Aden got up, but could feel Geoff’s confused and suspicious eyes following every step he took.

“So, how does it feel being back in the Bay?” Geoff asked when Aden came back with two beers.

“Well, it’s not like I thought it would be,” Aden said, he could help feeling relieved that the conversation was somewhat closer to what you could call normal now. At least it wasn’t about nailing chicks anymore.

“I guess I just never thought things would turn out this way, you know?”

“Hehe, well I agree with you on that one,” Geoff replied, but it sounded more like he was just trying to be polite.

“Yeah, I mean, I never thought I’d marry Belle,” Aden admitted, “I always figured you’d be the one who got married and got an education and a real job, while I would be the one-“

He realized what he was doing and went silent.

“It’s okay,” Geoff quickly replied, sensing Aden’s embarrassment, “I’m not married, I don’t even have a girlfriend, I never went to Uni, and I work in a Diner. It’s not like it’s a secret.”

Again Aden felt relieved, the tension was gone now, this felt like talking to an old friend.

“Yeah, I still can’t figure it out,” he said, “I mean, what happened to Melody and Ruby and Nicole? You’ve had way more girlfriends than I ever have, and still I end up marrying the woman of my dreams?”

“Hehe, I guess things don’t always turn out the way you expect them to,” Geoff said with a small laughter, and took a sip of his beer. There was a sadness in his laughter that made him sound a hundred years old.

“I don’t know, to be honest. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”

“But how come you never went to Uni?” Aden continued, wanting to keep the conversation alive, “I always thought you wanted to study theology or something? Weren’t you planning on becoming a minister?”

“Yeah, I was,” Geoff admitted, “But that was a long time ago.”

“You don’t want that anymore?”

“If I did I don’t think I’d still be here, would I?” Geoff replied, again with a sad smile, “It just didn’t feel right, you know?”

“Yeah,” Aden replied and drank some more beer, “I think I know what you mean.”

But deep inside he wasn’t really sure he did.

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Again, thank you sooo much for reading and commenting, it really makes my day! :D

Chapter 4

June 16th, 2012

“Sally! You made it!”

Leah Patterson-Baker greeted her friend with a hug that almost brought them both to the ground.

“Are you kidding? You and Vinnie getting married again? I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!”

Leah grinned as widely as only a happy bride on her wedding day can, and hugged Sally again.

“Cassie sends her best wishes,” Sally continued, “She wanted to be her, but she had to go to Seattle with her fiancé and Summer Rose. Her and Kyle have been testing a new HIV medicine for the past year, and now they’re going to Seattle again for the evaluation to see if the medicine has worked as well as the doctors hope it has.”

“Don’t worry, I completely understand, “ Leah replied, “I never thought so many people would show up here in the first place! Belle and Aden are back, so is Jack, Martha and baby Emily; Annie is in town for a few days, and Ric and Mattie-“

“Are in tha house,” said a voice right behind them, “Congratulations on your big day, Leah!”

Ric gave her a hug, and Mattie was next in line.

“It’s like a huge reunion,” Belle said, and adjusted her dress, “We should probably go join them instead of sitting here. How do I look?”

“You’re okay,” Aden said, with a fake serious expression, “I might even consider admitting to people we’re married.”

“You jerk,” Belle laughed and pushed him friendly in the shoulder, “Let’s go join the hug fest over there.”

“Seriously though,” Aden said, as they walked out of the car, “You look amazing. I’m actually kinda worried you might outshine the bride.”


The hugging took up most of the time before the ceremony, and it wasn’t until the reception people actually had time to catch up with each other.

In order to be nice, - and because Aden had told her that Irene did seem to have a point about Geoff being lonely and changed; Belle made sure to invite him with them everywhere, whether they were going to get more food or saying hello to old friends.

“…I wish we could have made it to your wedding,” Mattie said, “But I was so busy with exams at the time, and Ric couldn’t get off work.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Belle assured her, “We totally understand!”

Aden nodded to show how much he agreed, even though he had never been as close with Ric and Mattie as Belle had.

“We do hope that it won’t affect your decision though,” Ric said, and grabbed Mattie’s hand, “When we ask you if you want to come to our wedding?”

Belle choked on her champagne, and Aden had to take her glass before she spilt it all over everyone.

“Wedding?” she finally managed to cough, “You’re engaged, and you haven’t told us before now?!”

Mattie smiled.

“We’ve only been engaged for a couple of weeks,” she explained, “And we didn’t want to tell anyone other than our closest friends and family. We didn’t want to steal any thunder from Leah and Vinnie, so please don’t tell anyone. But please tell me you haven’t made any plans for December 12th?”

“Oh, a December wedding!” Belle exclaimed, sounding more girly than Aden had ever heard her, “That’s so romantic! I love summer weddings!”

“Well, you know,” Mattie said, “We’re not religious or anything, but we thought it would be nice to be married before the baby-“

“You’re pregnant?!” Belle practically shouted, not realizing how loud she was about something that apparently still was supposed to be a secret.

“Ssshh!” Ric laughed, “Yes, Mattie’s pregnant.”

“I’m only a couple of weeks pregnant though,” Mattie added, “And we haven’t told anyone except you three, Tony, Lucas and Sally. Not even Cassie, Kyle, Jack and Martha knows, so don’t tell them!”

Belle and Aden looked at each other.

“I can’t think of anything we’re doing on December 12th,” Aden said, and smiled at them.

“Count us in,” Belle added, “We’ll be there!”


“Was everything okay with Geoff earlier?” Mattie asked as she applied more lipstick in front of the mirror in the ladies’ bathroom, “He seemed a bit weird.”

“Weird?” Belle replied, “I didn’t notice.”

“It’s probably nothing,” Mattie continued, “I probably shouldn’t have admitted so openly that Ric and I are sinners, I know how he feels about premarital sex.”

“What on earth are you talking about?” Belle laughed, “You know you’re not supposed to drink when you’re pregnant, right?”

Mattie smiled.

“I’m just saying, while you and Aden were practically jumping up and down when we told you about the wedding and the baby, Geoff didn’t look pleased at all.”

“That’s weird,” Belle admitted, “I really didn’t notice. I guess I was too busy jumping up and down.”


During the toasts the alcohol seemed to disappear faster and faster by the minute, and the main reason for that was probably Geoff.

“Jeez, I know Geoff doesn’t say no to a beer every now and then, but this is a little bit extreme, don’t you think?” Aden whispered to Belle as they watched Geoff finish another glass of champagne.

“You know, Mattie said something weird earlier,” Belle whispered back, trying to make sure everyone was still focusing on Sally’s speech, “She said Geoff seemed weird when she talked about the pregnancy and the wedding earlier.”

“Do you think maybe he feels bad because he wishes he had a girlfriend and that things had turned out differently for him?” Aden asked.

“See, right there,” Belle replied, “That’s why I love you. You always get everything!”

“I’m sure you two have a lot to talk about,” Colleen muttered and poked Belle in the arm with her spoon, “But let us not forget this is Leah and Vinnie’s big day!”

“Of course, sorry Colleen,” they both muttered back and straightened up to make it look like they were paying attention to the speech, and not Geoff, who was halfway through another glass of champagne.


“No, no, no,” Geoff babbled as Aden halfway dragged him across the driveway and over the lawn, “The champagne was good, but this is not, where are we going?!”

“Home,” Aden replied shortly, “You’re drunk.”

“Drunk?! Me?!” Geoff laughed a very drunken laughter, “No way! I’m happy, that’s all! Happy for the happy couple, and happy for all the other happy couples that are happy on this happy, happy day! Aren’t you happy, Aden?”

“Thrilled. Come on, I’m not going to carry you over the threshold.”

Somehow Geoff managed to stumble inside, although he did almost give Aden a black eye in the process of doing so.

“Jeez, how much did you drink?” Aden asked; annoyed that he had volunteered to do it when Belle had told him she thought someone should follow Geoff home before he actually started singing to the happy couple, like he was threatening to do.

“I drank exactly… Four.” Geoff announced.

“Four what?” Aden muttered, “Glasses? Bottles? Gallons?”

Geoff went silent for a second, like he was trying very hard to remember something.

“I have no idea man,” he said, and burst out in a hysterical laughter as Aden dragged him in to the living room, “But it was definitely four!”

“You should be thanking me, you know?” Aden muttered while trying to keep Geoff standing so he could get him over to the couch, “If I hadn’t been nice enough to follow you home, you probably would have made a fool of yourself at the reception. Not that it would have mattered to you, you probably won’t remember this wedding at all when you wake up tomorrow.”

“No, seriously,” Geoff said and literally fell down on the couch, “You’ve been great, man! And your wife, damn she was hot tonight! That is one hot chick you get to nail, dude!”

“Yeah, sure, Geoff,” Aden muttered. The fact that Geoff sounded like an American high school boy at a frat party, in some lame movie, had a surprisingly effective way of brushing away any jealous feelings a comment like that would normally trigger.

“And you know who else looked damn hot, Aden?” Geoff continued, almost whispering now, so this was obviously a secret the empty house wasn’t allowed to hear.

“No, Geoff, I don’t know,” Aden replied patiently, while grabbing some pillows for Geoff.

“You were,” Geoff said, “You’re so handsome in that suit!”

Before Aden had time to react Geoff had grabbed his arm, pulled him down on the couch with him, and given him a big kiss on the lips.

“Yeah, that’s nice, Geoff,” Aden muttered as he managed to get free, “Nighty-night, remind me never to let you drink again.”

“See, I have friends,” Geoff muttered, mostly to himself as Aden turned out the lights in the living room, “I even make out with some of them, because I have lots of great, hot friends.”

Silently Aden sat down on the bed in his own room, taking off his tie, and trying not to let the rush of things he suddenly felt get the best of him.

Not only did Geoff’s comment abut having friends make him feel unbelievably sorry for the poor, drunk guy in the living room; everything sadly also made much more sense, all of a sudden.

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Chapter 5

June 17th, 2012

There was a moan of pain and discomfort from the couch, as Annie turned on the bright lights in the living room.

“Good morning, Geoff,” she said, speaking unnecessarily loud, “Time to wake up! It’s a beautiful day with lots of nice, bright sunshine!”

On the couch Geoff muttered something that wasn’t as much words as grunting.

“Looks like someone should go a little easier on the champagne next time, or what do you think, big brother?”

Geoff didn’t reply, he just buried his face in a pillow.

“Annie, please turn off the lights,” he muttered, “It’s killing me!”

“Maybe that will learn you not to drink so much next time?”

Irene took a sip of her coffee.

“It’s almost noon, Geoff,” she said, “I assume you won’t be joining us in going over to Leah’s for leftover cakes?”

Again Geoff just mumbled something indistinguishable.

“I’ll take that as a no,” Irene muttered.

“Aden, Belle, are you coming?”

Belle came out of the bedroom.

“Aden says he’ll pass,” she said, “He’s still full from yesterday. Plus, it might be a good idea for one of us to stay here, Boozy over there doesn’t look like he’s in much of a shape to look after himself.”

“You’re probably right,” Irene replied, “We’ll bring back some cake for you. Bye, Aden! You should know better, Geoff.”

“Aden?” a small voice from the living room called out, a little louder than a whisper, when the house was empty, “Could you get me some water, please?”

Aden got up from his bed. He had been worried about facing Geoff alone, and the only reason why he had said he wanted to stay home was because he was hoping for a chance to find out if Geoff remembered anything, just to get it over with as soon as possible.

“Here you go,” he muttered, and handed Geoff a glass of water, “You want me to get the lights as well?”

“No, that’s fine,” Geoff muttered, and forced himself to sit up, “I’m used to them now. Thanks for getting me home last night.”

“No problem,” Aden replied, his heart racing faster now, “Do you… Do you remember anything from last night at all? I mean, you were pretty drunk…”

“Not much,” Geoff mumbled, “I remember you dragging me out of the wedding reception. I remember being mad because I wanted to do a speech or something…”

“Song actually,” Aden corrected, if Geoff remembered a lot, the best thing was probably to try to get him to see the humor in this.

“Oh no,” Geoff muttered, “That’s even worse.”

“Yeah, well, you never got that far,” Aden informed, “I got you out before you had made up your mind about whether to sing ‘When the stars go blue’ or ‘The winner takes it all’. Do you remember anything after that?”

“A little,” said Geoff, “I think the next thing I remember is throwing up, actually.”

“Yeah, that happened after I brought you back here,” Aden said, relaxing again, luckily it didn’t seem like Geoff remembered the kiss, and hopefully he never would if Aden didn’t say anything.

“I didn’t do anything really stupid, did I?” Geoff asked, obviously worried about his own behavior.

“No,” Aden lied, “You just said a lot of stuff. Typical drunk-talk, nothing major…”


July 13th, 2012

The door shut just as Geoff came down the stairs and in to the living room.

“Where did Irene go?” he asked, “I thought she was driving you to the bus station?”

“She is,” Annie replied, “She just wanted to go down to the Diner first. She made me a lasagna to take back and share with my roommate, only she forgot to bring it here after her morning shift.”

Geoff sat down on the couch and sighed.

“I can’t believe you’re leaving again,” he said.

“And I can’t believe you’re not,” Annie replied, “Seriously, Geoff, when you going to do something about your life? You never wanted to stay here, lonely and single, working as a waiter.”

“Plans change,” her brother tried to cut her off, but Annie wasn’t interested in ending the discussion just yet.

“I don’t get it, Geoff,” she continued, “You broke up with Melody, watched that guy, Adam take Nicole from you, and then you rejected Ruby?”

“You want me to call Ruby, is that what you want?”

“You know just as well as I, you missed your chance with all those three girls,” Annie replied coldly, not backing down, “I just want to know why. Why did you let three perfectly good relationships go to waste? Why won’t you even talk about studying to become a minister anymore?”

“It wasn’t right for me, okay?” Geoff got up, he was getting angry now, “I was stupid for thinking those things were right for me!”

“So then this is what’s right for you?” his sister confronted him, “Sitting around here all day, not doing a thing to get anywhere with your life?”

“It’s not always that easy,” Geoff replied; he had never used this tone with Annie before, “You have no idea what you’re talking about!”

“Then tell me what it is we’re talking about, Geoff, cause I sure as hell don’t understand what your problem is!”

They heard Irene’s car in the driveway again, and Geoff resisted the temptation to say something mean to his little sister.

“I’m not gonna watch you do this another time,” Annie said, determined, “By Christmas I want to see you at least coming up with a plan. This is ridiculous.”


August 11th, 2012

Even without furniture the house felt like a home immediately.

“I can’t believe how nice it looks,” Belle said, gazing at the bright living room, “Look at all this space!”

“It looks really nice,” Aden agreed, “For some reason I think it looks even better now than when we checked it out two months ago.”

“Probably the painting, it’s a lot brighter now,” Belle replied, “Plus, you know, the fact that it’s really our place now.”

Aden turned around and wrapped his arms around his wife from behind.

“That makes sense,” he said, “I can’t wait to move in here. Think about it, a big, empty house; just you and me, all alone… What are we going to do?”

Belle turned around too, and wrapped her arms around his neck.

“Oh, I think I have a few ideas when it comes to ways to using all this space…” she whispered and kissed him.

“Tell me about them,” Aden whispered, he loved it when she talked like that, “What are we going to do with all this space?”

“How about I show you instead?” Belle suggested, and kissed his neck, “We’re all alone now, we better get used to that…”

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Thanks for all the comments & thanks for reading! I know last chapter wasn't the most interesting one, but I can promise that it was the last one before the drama really begins... Which brings me to this chapter :wink:

Chapter 6

January 29th, 2008

Once again Aden turned over in his bed. He couldn’t sleep, because if he did, he knew he would wake up and realize he had been crying in his sleep.

He couldn’t cry any more, he wasn’t just a stupid boy anymore; it was time to be a man. His grandfather wasn’t here anymore, and he should be allowed to rule over his life.

“But you are just a boy,” a voice that sounded a lot like his grandfather said in his head, “He was right. You’re just a stupid, weak boy who will never be a man. And this just proves it, doesn’t it?”

He turned again; tried to shake off the little voice bugging him, telling him things he already knew, but every day battled to prove wrong.

He wasn’t a man, and he never would be. Feelings like those he suddenly felt rushing through his body, coming from God knows where; they just proved that his grandfather had been right. No man would ever feel this way; not about himself, and definitely not about another man…


August 14th, 2012

“Okay, that’s it,” Belle exclaimed and sat down on the box she had just carried, “I’m officially a girl.”

“I could have told you that ages ago,” Aden grinned at her, “I hate to disappoint you, but I already knew that.”

“Yeah, so did I,” Belle smiled back, “But I did honestly think I was man enough to carry my own stuff in to my own house.”

She dried her forehead with her sleeve and sighed.

“But maybe it’s better I leave this for you strong gentlemen, after all a lady like me is not supposed to be working like this,” she joked, “I’ll be watching the kids and making you dinner, honey!”

“Actually… That’s not a bad idea,” Aden replied, Belle looked beyond surprised.

“Aden, we don’t have kids,” she said, “Neither do we have anything to make dinner from right now.”

“No, not the kids or the dinner part,” said Aden.

“Then… What part?” Belle asked, obviously very confused.

“It’s only the heavy stuff left,” Aden said, “But we need a lot of kitchen stuff and things like that. We threw away must of the stuff we used in Brisbane, and the rest was in the apartment when we first started renting it. You’re way better at picking out that stuff than I am, and if you take the car now you will have at least two hours before the kitchen supplies store in Yabbie Creek closes. Geoff and I can take care of all the heavy lifting.”

“Are you saying,” Belle replied, sounding like this was too good to be true, “That you want me to go shopping while you guys do all the hard work so I can come home to a furnished house? I LOVE you!”

Just to prove how much she meant that she threw herself in his arms and gave him a hug. Then she remembered Geoff, gave Aden a quick kiss and let go.

“Well, have fun moving heavy stuff,” she giggled, “I’ll be back in a few hours!”


February 7th, 2010

“You have got to be kidding me!”

“No, I’m serious, we’re getting married!”

“Oh, Belle, that’s great news! Congratulations,” Mattie exclaimed, “When’s the big day?”

“We haven’t set a date yet,” Belle explained, “But I want to get married in the spring, so I’m thinking September or October?”

“That sounds great,” Mattie replied, “You better invite me!”

“Are you kidding?” Belle asked, “Why do you think I called you? I want you to be a bridesmaid!”


September 1st, 2010

“Are you still sure you want to do this?” Aden said, and looked her in the eyes, “If you don’t want to marry me I will understand. Nothing would make me happier than marrying you tomorrow, but it’s not too late if you have changed your mind…”

“Why would I do that?” Belle asked, and wrapped her arms around his neck, “Why wouldn’t I want to marry you?”

“Because you’re too good for me?” he asked, and Belle knew a part of him really was worried about that, “Because I’m a bit messed up?”

“You know that’s not true,” she whispered and kissed him, “Plus, I can be a bit messed up myself, so we can be a bit messed up together.”

Finally Aden gave in to her kisses, and kissed her back without asking any more questions.

“I’ll see you tomorrow,” he said, and gave her one final kiss, “I can’t wait to call you my wife.”


August 14th, 2012

It was getting darker outside, but it didn’t matter; they only had two more things left to carry inside anyway.

Heavy lifting worked fine; it didn’t leave a lot of room for talk because it mostly involved focusing on getting the furniture inside without wrecking either the house or the furniture.

“Got it?” Geoff asked, as they lifted the couch.

“Yeah,” Aden replied, “I think so.”

They carefully lifted the couch in through the door and managed to maneuver it through the entrance. Everything went fine until they reached the two steps that lead up to the living room. Aden, carrying the couch with his back to the steps, facing Geoff missed the first step and fell, the couch hitting his shoulder pretty hard on the way down, and landing on top of him.

“Aden! Are you okay?” Geoff exclaimed, and tipped the couch over so Aden wouldn’t be trapped under it.

“Yeah, I think so,” Aden replied, rubbing his shoulder, “I missed a step, but I think I’m okay.”

He tried moving is left arm; lifted it and rolled his shoulder.

“Yeah, it’s fine,” he muttered, “It’s not broken or anything.”

“Let me have a look at it before we carry any more stuff,” said Geoff and reached out his arm, offering Aden help to get up. Aden grabbed his hand and felt Geoff pull him up from the floor, slowly.

It was like Geoff didn’t want to stop pulling Aden closer to him, but when their faces were just inches from each other, he seemed to realize he should let go.

“I’ll just…” he muttered, and placed a hand on Aden’s left shoulder. But instead of doing anything to check if it was okay, he just stared into Aden’s eyes, like he was suddenly forgetting everything around them.

Slowly he closed his eyes, leaned in and planted a kiss on Aden’s lips.

He wasn’t drunk this time, he was very sober, and very aware of the kiss; especially when he leaned in again to repeat it; enjoying every second of it when he felt Aden starting to kiss him back.

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Chapter 7

August 14th, 2012

The kissing lasted for several seconds, and probably would have lasted even longer if Aden hadn’t pulled away.

“Geoff… I… Can’t,” he muttered and broke free from Geoff’s arms. He hadn’t even noticed, but somehow, while kissing they had ended up holding each other.

“I just… I can’t…” Aden continued, not really knowing what he was trying to say; his brain felt extremely numb.

“Hi guys, how’s the moving going?”

“Belle!” Aden exclaimed, sounding unnaturally happy to see her, and trying not to think about how dangerously close she had been to walking in on them kissing. If he hadn’t pulled away when he did… It was too horrible to even think about.

He basically ran over to her and gave her a hug.

“Whoa, you’re happy to see me,” Belle exclaimed, “What’s going on?”

“Nothing, can’t I just be happy to see you?” Aden quickly replied and laughed nervously, “Plus, I can’t wait to see the stuff you’ve picked out for our new home!”

Belle examined him with her eyes for a few seconds, but finally decided to believe him.

“I’m going to have to go back there tomorrow. They closed an hour earlier, so I couldn’t get everything we need. I got these though…”

She started pulling plates and casseroles out of her bags, and Aden nodded and muttered things to make it seem like he paid attention.

“Well, that’s all,” Belle said, “Are you guys done carrying in the furniture?”

“Almost,” Geoff replied, “There’s just the coffee table left, we’ll go get it right now.”

“Yeah,” Aden added, without looking at Geoff, “Why don’t you take a look around and see if there’s anything we need to move around, and we’ll go get the coffee table.”

Neither of them said a single word to each other while getting the table; Aden didn’t even dare to look at Geoff.


“It looks amazing,” Belle said an hour later. They were alone in the house again, “I can’t believe we live here!”

She tried to wrap her arms around his neck, but saw Aden react as soon as she touched his shoulder.

“Are you okay?” she asked, “What happened to your shoulder?”

“Oh, it’s okay,” he replied, hoping she couldn’t sense how fast his heart was racing, “I just hurt it a little bit when we were carrying some stuff. It’s just bruised, I think.”

“Oh, still, that sounds painful,” Belle replied and wrapped her arms around his waist instead, “Are you sure we shouldn’t get a doctor to take a look at it?”

“Why would I need a doctor?” Aden asked, feeling worse with every word he said, “I got you.”

Belle kissed him, and Aden couldn’t help fearing she would somehow know he had just been kissing someone else.

“You’re so tense,” she muttered, “Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Aden replied and forced himself to relax; for the first time he felt like there was something he couldn’t talk to Belle about.


August 15th, 2012

The sound of the car leaving the driveway was like a lid closing on a box of sound. After that it was unbearably silent.

Aden hadn’t slept much; most of the night he had spent tossing and turning in bed, trying not to think about his past, and how kissing Geoff fit in to the jigsaw puzzle.

It just couldn’t be like that, it was that simple.

Only it wasn’t simple, because he knew he had to talk to Geoff about it.


April 2nd, 2008

Nothing made sense anymore. Except his own memories of his grandfather; all the times he had told him he was weak, and never would be a man, they all made more sense every day he thought about them. And these days it was all he could think about; that and Geoff Campbell… His naïve way of always giving people a chance… His way of being overprotective when it came to Annie… His blond hair and tan, muscular body…

No, he wasn’t allowed to think like that, he simply couldn’t allow those thoughts! It made no sense, and he couldn’t think about it, or let alone fantasize about something ever happening. That was just something so big and scary, he couldn’t even allow his mind to sacrifice it a single thought.

It was so confusing it made him want to do the one other thing he couldn’t allow himself to do.

No matter how frustrating this got, he couldn’t allow himself to cry a single tear.

After all he had been through with his grandfather… After what he had done to him… God, he could barely stand thinking about it, it was better just trying to forget about it; pretend it never happened. How could he feel like this after all that? Something was wrong with him, it just had to be.

There was only really one thing he could do if he wanted to be able to live with himself; only one thing he could hold onto to maybe, at least for a split second every now and then, convince himself he was a man.

Denial had helped him survive from the day his grandfather had moved in; it had helped him after his grandfather passed away, and it would help him now.


August 15th, 2012

He had to try three times before he could get any words to come out of his mouth.

“Aden? Are you there?”

Paralyzed with fear, shock, regret, relief and who knew what else, he managed to force himself to say something.

“Y-Yeah, I’m here.”



“Aden, I think we should… talk about what happened yesterday,” Geoff almost whispered on the phone, “You know, about the…”

He didn’t finish the sentence.

“Yeah,” Aden quickly replied, to make sure Geoff never finished that sentence, “Belle is out, I have the house to myself.”

“I’ll be right there.”

They hung up, and Aden waited for what seemed like three hours, but really was eight minutes.

Shaking, sweating and desperately trying to breathe calmly, he opened the door when Geoff finally rang the door bell.

“Hi, come on in,” he said, unable to look at Geoff’s face.

Geoff unzipped his jacket and quickly leaned towards Aden, who first tried to escape it, but then changed his mind and decided it was better to just freeze; standing there like a statue he allowed Geoff to give him a quick kiss, fighting the urge to kiss him back.

“How’s the shoulder?”

“Geoff…” Aden muttered, still not looking at him, “I… We can’t…”

“What do you mean?” Geoff asked, trying to get eye contact. He reached out to touch Aden, but this time Aden was prepared and took a few determined steps back, in to the living room.

“Geoff, I’m serious,” he said, trying to control his voice, “We can’t do this, I love Belle. I’m married to Belle.”

“You kissed me back,” Geoff almost whispered, “Yesterday, you kissed me back. I felt it, you can’t just deny that and pretend it doesn’t change anything.”

“Look,” Aden replied, trying to find words to describe what he meant, but it wasn’t easy, considering he wasn’t really sure what he meant, “I… I might have… Feelings… I might have had them for a long time, but… I just can’t…”

“Do you have the same feelings for Belle?” asked Geoff, not wasting any time talking around the subject, “Have you ever had those feelings for her?”

Aden didn’t say anything, he couldn’t just say yes or no to that question, it was far too complicated.

“I know what it’s like to try to fight a feeling just because you won’t allow yourself to feel it,” Geoff continued, “Feeling like this… Sometimes I think it’s the greatest thing that ever happened to me, but other times I think it’s the worst… I mean, my life can’t be like this, it just can’t.”

“But it is,” Aden replied silently, and looked at Geoff for a split second, before he turned his face down again, staring at the floor.

Slowly he sat down on the steps, trying to figure out if he should try to make sense of this; give Geoff the benefit of the doubt and hope that he would be able to help him make sense of his struggle with his own feelings; a struggle he had felt ever since he started to have feelings for Geoff, way back in high school?

“Would you believe me if I said I know exactly what you’re talking about?” Aden finally asked, shaking more than ever. This was probably the most difficult and terrifying thing he had ever done, “If I said I know what it’s like to be terrified of being who you are?”

“What do you mean?” Geoff asked, obviously not sure what Aden was trying to say, “Is there anything that keeps you from being who you are?”

“My grandfather,” Aden replied, and jumped into it. If he didn’t say it now, he never would.

“What was he, like a… Homophobe or something?” Geoff asked quietly, and sat down next to Aden on the steps.

“Not really,” Aden admitted, struggling to stay calm and not break down in front of Geoff.

“He… He did things to me,” he continued and swallowed, “Things that I…”

His voice broke, and he had to take a few seconds before he could continue, feeling Geoff’s concerned eyes trying to get eye contact.

“Things that I can barely stand to talk… Or even think about,” he said, forcing himself to stay strong and as calm as possible, “Things that I still, after all this time wish I could just forget because it controls my life every day…”

He couldn’t take it anymore, if he said another word he knew he would get physically ill. He took a deep breath, shaking uncontrollably and feeling his eyes burning as tears streamed down his face.

“Oh, Aden…” Geoff muttered, obviously deeply shocked, and not really sure what else to say, “I… I had no idea…”

He looked at Aden, who was still shaking like it was freezing cold.

“Is it…” He nervously laid a hand on Aden’s back, waiting for either approval or rejection. Aden just sat there shaking for a few more seconds, before he slowly leaned slightly towards Geoff, allowing him to hold him in his arms. Then he let go, and allowed himself to cry.

“It’s… It’s going to be okay,” Geoff whispered to the man crying in his arms, because after all, there was really nothing else he could say.

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Chapter 8

September 6th, 2012

No matter how he looked at it, the answer became clearer every day. Geoff had been right; you couldn’t just turn off feelings. Sooner or later they would come back, strong as ever, threatening to break you.

Slowly Aden dialed Geoff’s number, and when he picked up, he didn’t even bother to introduce himself.

“I need to talk to you,” he simply said, silently hoping Geoff would be able to meet him as soon as possible so he could get this over with, “Are you alone?”

“Irene’s here,” Geoff replied, “But she’s off to work in twenty minutes, and then I’ll have the house to myself.”

“I’ll be there in half an hour,” Aden said, “I just need to make up a story about where I’m going.”


August 16th, 2012

“It just doesn’t make any sense,” Aden repeated for the third time, and opened his beer, “I don’t understand how this…”

He didn’t know how to finish that.

“I know what you mean,” Geoff replied.

“No,” Aden said, Geoff didn’t understand this, “What I mean is, I love Belle. I don’t want to hurt her.”

“But in the long run you don’t know if you can say for sure you won’t end up hurting her,” Geoff said quietly, “Because you’re confused about which feelings are real, and which feelings aren’t.”

“I know my love for Belle is real,” Aden argued, “I just don’t know if it’s…”

He paused to think of a way to end the sentence.

“Enough?” Geoff suggested.

“Yeah, I guess.”

They had been talking for almost an hour, but Aden felt like they were just going in circles. All he knew was that these feeling things, whatever they were, were threatening to come in the way of his love for Belle, which was the only thing he was sure about at the moment. A part of him just wanted to bury those feelings again, and not let them interfere with his love for Belle. Only he wasn’t sure why that part of him was so desperate, or because of who; Belle, himself or both?

“I think I need to think things through by myself for a few days,” Aden said, “I just need to figure out what I feel.”

“Yeah, okay,” Geoff replied, “That sounds like a good idea.”

They both got up, and Aden walked Geoff to the door.

“It’s probably best if you don’t… If we don’t…”

“Don’t worry,” Geoff said, and smiled to show that he understood, “You need to figure this out for yourself.”

“Yeah… Thanks,” Aden muttered as Geoff opened the door.

“Can I give you one advice though?”

Geoff turned around again, standing on the outside of the house now.

“Whatever you find out you’re feeling… Just be true to yourself, okay?” He said, “Even if it’s not easy or expected or anything, just don’t let it crush your dreams. No matter what anyone has made you think earlier, what you feel doesn’t change who you are. No matter who you figure out you are, you’re still you. Don’t be so afraid to be proud of yourself; don’t deny your feelings if they are there.”

With a quick nod, Geoff turned around and walked away, leaving Aden alone with a tangled web of confused thoughts and feelings.


September 6th, 2012

Aden looked around him. He felt numb, and barely realized this was the first time he had ever been in Geoff’s room. The entire room was bright and tidy, with no pictures or evidence of any human being with a personality living there.

“Make yourself at home,” Geoff said and gestured towards the bed, suggesting Aden should sit down on it. Then he pulled a chair out from under the desk and sat down.

“I’ve been thinking,” Aden said. He was shaking, but knew he just had to get this over with, “And I don’t really know if what I’m going to say is even going to make sense, but I just have to try to see if I can make some sense of it myself.”

He paused and took a few deep breaths, trying to force himself to stop shaking so terribly.

“Ever since I was nine years old, I was told by someone who was supposed to look after me, that I was worth nothing. I was told that I weak and ridiculous, and that I would never be a man.”

“Aden, you know he was wrong,” Geoff said, but Aden cut him off.

“Please, Geoff,” he begged, “You have to let me finish, I have to say this, and I can’t put it off any longer or I’ll just change my mind.

When all you hear every day, coming from someone who’s supposed to love you, is that you’re not good enough; you will eventually start believing that it’s true.

So when you came to the Bay and decided to go back to school… I had felt some attraction to other guys earlier, but nothing like that. Until then I had been able to deny it to myself, just because I simply couldn’t feel that. It was just too difficult for me to go through something like that, I couldn’t deal with it.

The things my grandfather did to me… I can’t even think about them, Geoff… And feeling the things I have tried to deny feeling has just brought back all those bad memories. For years I’ve tried convincing myself he was wrong, waking up in the middle of the night because of nightmares about him-“

He had to pause again, otherwise he knew he would throw up; he could feel his stomach turning just thinking about all the things that had happened.

“But no matter how much I have tried to deny it, it always comes back,” he finally continued, almost whispering now, “I do love Belle, but there are other feelings… Feelings that I have never had for her, or any other woman.

I don’t want to hurt her, but like you said I don’t know if there is a way I can be who I am without hurting her, whether it happens now or ten years from now.”

There was a long silence before Geoff finally decided to speak.

“What are you going to do?” he asked, not at all knowing what he should expect.

“That’s the problem,” Aden replied, “Because this really has nothing to do with you, or my grandfather or anybody else. I love Belle, and I promised her to love her and honor her for the rest of my life. That still counts for something, and there’s nothing I’m more afraid of than hurting her.”

He paused and looked at Geoff. When he spoke again, he sounded more confident and determined.

“I really do love her, Geoff,” he said, “She’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I can’t make any promises to you, because right now I just need to think about Belle.

I love her, and I do intend to honor her for the rest of my life; and that’s why I have to tell her the truth.”

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Chapter 9

September 6th, 2012

He jumped at the sound of the toilet flushing, knowing that any minute now she would come through the door, and he would have to tell her everything. He had promised himself to do it, but when he had tried to plan what to say he hadn’t been able to come up with anything. This seemed like one of those things it was impossible to prepare for.

He jumped again, almost falling out of bed at the sound of Belle’s cell phone ringing in the kitchen. He heard her running over to get it and could hear the muted conversation from across the house, without being able to figure out who she was talking to, or what they were saying.

“Mattie called,” Belle said five minutes later, as she walked in to the bedroom. Then she saw the look on Aden’s face and added: “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” Aden he quickly replied, trying to look like he wasn’t feeling like an innocent man on death row, about to be executed, “What did Mattie want?”

“She just wanted to ask me about some ideas for the wedding,” Belle replied, still not looking convinced about Aden’s reply, “You know, dresses for the bridesmaids and such.”

“Oh,” Aden replied, desperately trying to make conversation, “And what did you decide?”

“Nothing really,” Belle said, “She said she’d e-mail me some pictures and we’d talk about it tomorrow.”

“Oh. Okay.”

“Oh, and she wanted to congratulate us with our two year wedding anniversary,” Belle added as she got in to bed with her husband, “She didn’t have time to call us until now, but she said she hadn’t forgotten about it.”

Aden swallowed, there was no way he would ever be able to tell her now.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Belle asked, “You don’t look like you’re okay?”

“It’s nothing,” Aden muttered, “I’m just tired from working late last night.”

“Oh, okay then,” she said and kissed him, “Goodnight.”

She turned over, and Aden closed his eyes, trying to breathe calmly and fight the nausea.

“Goodnight,” he muttered, “I love you.”


October 8th, 2010

“Aden, it was over a year ago! We were broken up!”

“And still you never thought I’d might like to know the truth, did you?” Aden shouted back, “You’re pathetic, you know that?”

“I thought we were over,” Belle replied angrily, “I was devastated, I was drunk and it just happened!”

“You should have told me!” Aden spat back, “Do you have any idea how humiliating it was, having to find out from your ex boyfriend that you two had slept together while we were together?”

“We were broken up!”

“Yeah, keep telling yourself that. We were having problems in our relationship and you bailed on us; that’s the truth.”

“Aden,” Belle whispered, and she had tears in her eyes now, “I never thought we’d get back together. When I ran into Drew… I never meant to hurt you, and that’s why I didn’t tell you!”

“Whatever,” Aden replied and walked out, “I need some air.”


He found her sitting on their bed when he came back, it was obvious she had been crying.

“Aden, I’m so sorry!” she exclaimed as soon as he walked in.

“I should have told you, but I assure you, it was just a one time thing!” She got up, “Please, don’t be mad at me, it was a mistake!”

“I’m the one who should be sorry,” Aden muttered, and gave her a hug, “I overreacted.”

“No, you had every right!” Belle replied, “I should have told you!”

“You were trying to protect me, I get that,” he said, “I just needed some time to think things through…”

“What were you thinking about?”

“About our wedding vows, and how I don’t want to let any of this stupid stuff get between us,” Aden replied and kissed his wife, “I promised to love you for better or for worse, this is just… Not one of the better days. But that’s not your fault, it’s Drew’s, and mine for overreacting.”

Belle kissed him back.

“I thought guys didn’t really care about that stuff,” she whispered, “But I guess you’re not like other guys, are you?”

“Of course I think about it,” Aden replied, “I made you a promise, and I don’t know if I could live with myself if I broke that promise to you.”

He kissed her again and felt all his anger let go. He loved her; he had made a promise to her, and that was all that mattered.

“I promise you I won’t talk to Drew again,” Belle whispered.

“I’m not going to ask you to stop talking to anyone,” Aden whispered back, “I would never ask you to do that.”

“Thank you,” she replied, still whispering, “I’m sorry I ruined today for us.”

“Doesn’t matter,” he whispered, “In the end we’re gonna be okay.”


September 7th, 2012

“Belle? Belle, wake up!”

He carefully shook her shoulder, but he didn’t really need to move much at all, he was shaking so badly it was enough to wake her up.

“What time is it?” Belle muttered without turning around, “It’s still dark…”

“It’s… It’s 3.30,” Aden whispered, “I just need to talk to you…”

“Can’t it wait until morning?” she whispered. She turned around and opened her eyes.

“Aden, what’s wrong?” she said and sat up when she realized he was crying, “What’s going on?”

“I’ve done something horrible,” Aden whispered, trying to control his voice, “And I can’t keep it from you…”

“What are you talking about?” Belle frowned, “What do you mean, you did something horrible?”

“Belle, you know I love you so much,” Aden whispered, still crying, “I love you more than anything, and I wish I hadn’t done it… Our wedding vows… I did something, and I can’t take it back, but I don’t want to break any more of the promises I made you, because I really meant those things I said on our wedding day, and I just wish I could change it, but I can’t, so I have to tell you…”

“Aden, you’re not making any sense,” Belle replied, her expression wasn’t hard to read; she was confused and scared of what he was about to tell her, “What did you do?”

He took a deep breath, shaking uncontrollably. Even if it had been hard talking to Geoff, it was nothing compared to this.

“I kissed someone,” he whispered, “I kissed someone else, Belle…”

Her reaction was nothing like he had expected. She didn’t yell, she didn’t cry… She didn’t even look surprised.

“You kissed someone else,” she repeated slowly, “Did anything else happen?”

“Belle, I swear, that was all! It was just kissing!”

“Aden,” Belle said and raised a hand, before he got the chance to say anything more, “I’m not going to pretend I’m not angry and disappointed, but I think you’re forgetting we’ve built a marriage on a lot of trust here! You telling me that just proves it one more time, it’s going to take more to ruin our marriage than a kiss. I’m not saying it’s okay, because it’s not; but even if I’m angry with you now, this isn’t something we can’t work through! From the way you’re reacting I was expecting something a lot worse than that!”

Her speech only made him cry harder, and when he opened his mouth again he felt like he was speaking to the mourners at his own funeral.

“It is worse,” he whispered, “There’s more… There’s something else…”

“But… You said nothing else happened, it was just a kiss?” Belle asked, looking very confused. Then she realized what he was saying.

“You’re falling in love with this person, aren’t you?” she whispered, and for the first time she looked hurt and shocked, “You have feelings for her?”

“I don’t know,” Aden replied, “It could be I do, but it doesn’t matter, because it still changes everything!”

Belle just stared at him, she didn’t understand this at all.

“Why?” she asked, confused, “Why does it change everything?”

“Because,” Aden whispered, crying harder than ever, “The person I kissed was Geoff…”

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Wow, I go without internet for one day, and when I come back there's like seven new comments waiting for me! Thanks guys! :D

Chapter 10

September 7th, 2012

For five, long seconds all she did was stare at him; stare at him with an open mouth. This she had not expected.

“What?” Belle finally said, still staring at Aden with great confusion, “Geoff?! But… You’re… You’re…”

She just gazed at him for another two seconds.

“Lying,” she finished, “You’re lying!”

Her expression went from confused to angry in seconds, and she got up from the bed.

“You’re waking me up in the middle of the night, and you’re lying to me?!” she exclaimed, getting louder by every word, “What did you think? That it would be funny or something?”

Aden got up as well.

“Belle, please,” he begged, “Don’t do this, I’m not lying to you, I’m telling you the truth, just please-“

“You are such a liar!” Belle shouted at him, “How dare you?!”

“Belle, I’m not-“


Instinctively Aden grabbed her into a hug, but she didn’t hug him back. She just stood there, stiff as a pole, shaking from head to toe.

“I’m not lying to you,” Aden whispered, “Please…”

“I know,” Belle replied, way too calmly and balanced.

“I just didn’t know what else to do, Belle,” Aden cried silently, “I just don’t want to lie to you…”

He let her go, and she took a step back, looking at the floor.

“Aden, I just need to know one thing,” she replied calmly, and looked at him, “Are you gay?”

“I- I don’t know,” Aden admitted, still crying, “I think- I think I might be.”

Belle looked at him, but it was impossible to read anything from her expression. She gave him a quick, cold nod.

“Okay,” she said, still scarily calm, “We can talk about this tomorrow. I’ll sleep on the couch.”

“No,” Aden quickly replied, desperate to pick up as many pieces as possible of their broken relationship, “Take the bed! This is my fault, I’ll take the couch, you don’t have to go-“

“No thank you, I’ll sleep on the couch,” Belle said sharply, and grabbed her pillow and a blanket from a chair “I don’t want to sleep in our bed right now.”


Around 6.30 Aden gave up trying to sleep. He had been tossing and turning for hours; drifting off to sleep only to wake up seconds later, crying and shaking. Never had he felt more weak and pathetic.

He finally decided to get up, even though he didn’t have to go to work for hours.

Maybe he should call in sick and forget about work until he had sorted things out here? He wouldn’t be able to focus anyway…

Slowly he snuck through the hallway, trying not to wake Belle. He soon discovered he wouldn’t have had to be silent at all; Belle was no longer on the couch.

“The editor called, something urgent came up, I’ll be at work most of the day. –B”

Aden grabbed the note from the kitchen table, reading it over and over. Then, after reading it ten times or so, he finally put it down; and with a feeling Belle had left him forever, he turned around and decided to go to work, three hours early.


Had he forgotten to lock the door when he left? It seemed possible, after all he had left for work hours before his shift started, forgotten to shave, and he was pretty sure he wouldn’t be able to remember anything if someone asked him about his day at work.

Aden had never felt so numb; it was the kind of feeling he imagined a tranquilizer given at a mental institution would create.

Without thinking he put down the keys on the table, opened the refrigerator and took out a bottle of water. Then he heard a sound; there was definitely someone there.

“Hello?” he called out to the house.


Belle was suddenly standing by the kitchen door.


Aden didn’t know what to say. He looked at her bags, but he was pretty sure he shouldn’t just ask.

“Err… How was work?” he finally said.

“Fine,” Belle replied calmly, “I told them I’m going to take some time off.”


Aden nodded, he wasn’t sure if he was allowed to ask any more questions at all, but figured he had to point out the obvious.

“You’ve got bags… Are you… Going somewhere?”

“Yeah,” Belle said, still calm, “I’m going away for a while.”

“To Irene’s?”

Belle laughed, bit it was a cold, bitter laugh.

“Are you serious?” she said, obviously unable to believe that he could be so stupid.

“Oh… Oh…!” Aden realized, “I forgot… Geoff…”

“Yeah, correct,” Belle replied, “Geoff.”

“Where are you going then?” Aden asked, figuring he couldn’t make things any worse anyway.

Belle held up a piece of paper; a plane ticket.

“Queensland,” she explained, “I’m going up to Brisbane. Staying with Bonnie until I’ve figured out some things.”

He nodded again.

“Okay,” he said, “Do you know for how long you’ll be gone?”

“No, I don’t know,” Belle shook her head, “I just need to get away for a while.”

Aden gave up, this situation was too awkward.

“Belle, I’m so sorry,” he said, forgetting everything about staying strong, “I’m willing to just forget all about that stuff I said, I was probably wrong anyway! We can just forget about this and go back to normal, just you and me in our house!”

Belle shook her head again.

“No, Aden,” she said, “You weren’t wrong. What you told me last night… It was so hard for you to tell me that, and there’s no way you would have told me anything that difficult for you to say, if you weren’t sure it was the truth.”

She paused and grabbed her bag from the floor.

“We built our marriage on trust in the first place, and to me that still counts for something. Don’t lie to me, and don’t lie to yourself, Aden. We have a problem, and if you really love me, like you say you do, you will let me go so we can have a chance to think things through.”

“Just… Just ca- text me or something when you get to Brisbane, okay?” Aden whispered, crying again, “Just so I know you got there alright.”

“Okay,” Belle nodded, “I’ll do that.”

She turned around, and Aden couldn't hold back the big question any longer.

“Where does this leave us?”

Belle froze for a second; then she turned around and looked at him again.

“For now I think we’re married, but broken up,” she said.

“Like I said, Aden… Don’t lie to me, and don’t lie to yourself. We both need to figure out what’s right for us.”

He nodded, and could sense that she was about to turn around again.

“Belle… Will I ever see you again?”

He asked, tears streaming down his face, as she started to walk away from him again. She stopped for a moment, not turning back this time.

“Yeah,” she said, “You’ll see me again. I just don’t know exactly when yet.”

Then she walked out of the door, got into the cab that had just parked in the driveway, and left Summer Bay.

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