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Back to the Future

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Again, thank you for all the comments. Here's another chapter for you, please enjoy.

Chapter 8

Saturday morning found Aden at the gym, rapidly discovering just how far out of shape he really was. Roman had been methodically putting him through is paces and the results were not good! With a sigh of frustration Aden sat down on a bench and looked up at Roman, his trainer or torturer depending on how you viewed matters.

“I knew I was out of shape - how could I be anything else - but this is ridiculous!”

Roman looked at the notes he'd been making, they were pretty much as he'd expected them to be.

“You've had a tough time mate, you'll take some time to get fully fit again. I'll work out a program for you and in a few weeks you'll be flying, I'd say you'll regain you're muscle tone pretty fast – your cardio will take a fair bit longer.”

“Thanks, Roman.”

The tone was so dry it made him laugh

“That makes me feel so much better!”

Roman smothered the second laugh and held out a hand to Aden to help him up.

“C'mon! Stretches, shower and food...in that order.”

Aden sketched a mock salute and started his cool down stretches, muttering under his breath about slave-driver training partners forgetting that they were no-longer in the army. Pretending not to hear the grumbling, Roman set about writing up a training program. Twenty minutes later, they were heading home.

“How do you feel?”

Aden shot the man next to him a sideways glance and took the question at face value.

“Fine at the moment, ask me again tomorrow and the answer'll probably change.”

“You seem a lot happier than you have been, is it just getting the ok from the hospital to resume normal life or is there more to it?”

The laugh escaped before Aden could stop it, he shook his head is disbelief.

“You suck at subtle, you know that? If you want to ask me about Belle, just ask all right? I'm not guaranteed to answer, but just ask!

“Am I that bad?”

The look Aden gave him was answer enough.

“I guess I am that bad! What I'm trying to say is that I'm still here if you need to talk to someone, whether that's about Belle or... well...any of the other stuff that's happened.”

“I know that Roman, thanks!”

Amused understanding tinged his voice, concealing a more emotional response. He'd been staying with Roman since his release from hospital, had lived with him on and off for several weeks before that. The former soldier had given him somewhere safe to recover - on two occasions now – something for which he'd always be grateful.

“So, does your more cheerful disposition have anything to do with Belle?”

Aden dropped his head in an attempt to hide the blush he knew was staining his cheekbones, Roman noticed it but let the silence linger. Eventually Aden answered him.

“Yeah, yeah it has. After...after she ran out of the diner I knew that she was hurting, we were both hurting and in a weird way that made me feel better. Then she wrote to me, that was the letter that I got. She doesn't hate me, even though she has the right to, she wouldn't have sent me the letter if she did.”

Aden stopped, he wasn't ready to go into he feelings but Roman had probably figured it out anyway.

“We talked as well, yesterday, just about...well...stuff I guess. It felt good to just talk again. We both know that we have to talk about what happened, that can wait a bit though.”

“You need to talk about more than the explosion Aden, you know that right?”

The look Aden gave him spoke volumes! So many emotions ran through his expressive eyes, conflicting emotions. Pain, fear, hope and confusion, all there together.

“I know.”

The answer was soft, but Roman heard it. He squeezed the younger man's shoulder, a gesture of reassurance.

“It'll be worth it in the end.”

Roman stopped walking and turned to face Aden and put both hands on his shoulders, a gentle restraint to prevent him running.

“It will be worth it in the end, you can only run for so long! At some point you have to face your demons!”

Aden nodded reluctantly and they continued their journey, as much as he hated it he had to acknowledge the truth. Sooner or later he would have to tell Belle everything, every sordid detail. Then where would he be? At least now she could stand to be in his company and they were starting to rebuild some sort of relationship, he didn't want to lose that – even though he wasn't sure what kind of relationship they were builing. Yet if he didn't tell her, he was going to lose her anyway because she couldn't understand him. Whatever he did, he stood a good chance of losing her for good. There was another matter to take into consideration, if ever criminal charges were brought in relation to the explosion she'd find out the truth in court! Really he only had one option, if he wanted any chance of a relationship with Belle he had to tell her himself. She'd never respect him again if she had to find out second hand, or because he was under oath in court.

At the den, Leah and Belle were catching up. They'd been busy enough earlier but there was a lull now and they were making the most of it. Belle realised just how much she'd isolated herself since coming home, her friends hadn't been able to try and help her because she hadn't let them. Saying as much to Leah, she tried to explain why but Leah cut her off.

“Hey, it's ok! I know what it's like to need time to yourself, sometimes you just have to work thing out your way. So don't worry about it, you got that?”

Belle nodded and smiled her thanks at her friend.


Leah slung her arm around Belle's shoulders and gave her a hard hug, it was good to have her friend back.

“Good afternoon ladies!”

Belle and Leah looked up as Aden wandered in, still fastening his apron.

“Someone's cheerful, Roman not worked you hard enough at the gym?”

“Let's not go there Belle, I'm gonna hurt tomorrow! Maybe you could swing by to...you know...give me a massage or something?

Catching the look on her face, he changed his mind.

“Or not! I'm going.”

Belle managed to hide the smile until he vanished back into the kitchen, shaking her head she looked at Leah.

“Some things never change, he's infuriating!”

“He sure can be, but you wouldn't change that would you?”

“You caught me there, no I wouldn't change him.”

Back in the kitchen, Nicole was the focus of Aden's attention. He hadn't seen her that morning, she'd still been crashed when he'd left to go work out. As soon as Roman left them alone for a minute he turned to Nicole.

“So, Princess! What's this I hear about you and bible boy? Secret assignations on the beach? I don't know what to say!”

Roman re-entered the kitchen at that point, saving Nicole the need to respond. However, the tone had been set for the afternoon and she was actually glad to see him leave. Just then, Senior Constable Donovan walked in. Roman went to see what he wanted.

“I need to speak to Aden and Belle, it's about the explosion!”

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Explosion?! So what's that about now? I'm guessing that's how they were almost killed but what's this secret that Aden has to tell Belle?

Btw, when is this FF set? Before or after the OC?

Update soon. An awesome cliffy... I hope we learn more!

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