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Title: Twilight

Type of Fic: Medium/Long

Main Characters: Melody, Aden, Belle, Geoff, Christine, Larry

Genre: Drama

BTTB Rating: A

Spoilers: Maybe for non-Aus viewers

Warnings: Deals with themes of rape/sexual abuse, marital breakdown and there could be some scenes of a sexual nature but nothing graphic

Summary: I haven’t finished this fic yet so I’m not entirely sure how the story will go. It is months after Axel’s assault on Melody. Axel will not appear in the fic but I have decided that for the purposes of the fic he is not dead. Geoff and Melody are still together and Aden and his father have reconciled. This is my first attempt at writing so all recommendations and helpful comments are welcome.

Aden watches as Belle made her way up from the beach. Her camera, as ever, slung over her shoulder and a huge smile on her face. He smirks as she approaches.

“Been snapping people in their speedos again?”

“Yes. Because that’s what I spend my time doing.” Belle nods seriously.

Aden smiles and pulls her into a hug, kissing her on the forehead.

“Perv.” He mutters.

“And you love it!” Belle says huskily with a naughty grin.

Aden laughs, his arm slung over her shoulder as they begin to walk towards the Surf Club. He couldn’t explain it, but having Belle by his side made him feel whole. He gives her a little sqeeze. Belle gives him a lopsided look.

“What are you thinking?” she asks.

He stops walking and looks into her eyes seriously.

“I think I want a burger. We should go to the Diner.”

The trademark smirk slides onto his face again and Belle just rolls her eyes.


Geoff is slouched on the sofa impatiently flicking channels on the tv. Annie is sitting at the table with Jai having lunch.

“Why don’t you do something.” Annie suggests to Geoff.

“Like what?” he asks.

“I don’t know. Something.”

Geoff straightens up and looks at her.

“Thanks Annie, helpful as ever.” He switches off the tv and sighs loudly.

“Go around to Melody’s.” Annie says. She doesn’t understand why people spend so much time grumbling about not being able or having anything to do when half the time the truth is there avoiding doing something.

“I can’t.” Geoff mumbles quietly.

Annie turns to face him fully and eyes him beadily.

“Have you two broken up again?” she demands.

“No! It’s just...she has family stuff going on.” He stands up and walks over to the table, resting his hands on the back of a chair.

“What kind of family stuff?” Annie asks.

“Just stuff.” Geoff says. He snatches a piece of fruit off Annie’s plate. “I’m going for a walk.”

“Geoff! What’s going on with Melody?” Annie calls after him but he just waves and continues out the door.

Annie sighs in frustration. Jai sits there chewing quietly.

“I’m going to call Melody.” Annie says reaching for the phone.

“I don’t think you should.” Suggests Jai.

“Well if Geoff won’t tell me whats going on then I have to.”

“He did tell you – Melody has “family stuff going on.” What else do you need to know?”

Annie pouts a little.

“But maybe I can help her somehow.”

Jai raises his eyebrows sceptically.

“With her family?”

Annie sighs.

“Why do you always have to make sense?” she asks Jai.

He shrugs and takes another bite of his sandwich.


Geoff wanders into the Diner and sees Belle and Aden having lunch. Belle waves him over.

“Hey, you alright? You look a little down.” Belle says gently as he takes a seat.

“I’m fine.”

“Where’s Holy Mary? Haven’t seen her around for a while.” Aden asks.

Belle tries to kick him under the table but ends up kicking Geoff instead.

“Ouch!” Geoff yelps.

“Sorry!” Belle apologises quickly.

Aden laughs and Belle throws him a look.

“Is everything alright between you and Melody?” Belle asks Geoff gently.

“Yea, we’re fine, it’s just...” he stops. “She’s busy with stuff.”

“Stuff is always very time consuming.” Aden nods with his usual mocking tone.

Belle gives him another warning look and Geoff stands up.

“Geoff wait, hang with us for a while.” Says Belle.

This time Aden gives her a grumpy look. Geoff shakes his head.

“No, thanks, I think I’ll just go for a walk.”

Geoff makes his way out of the Diner just as Larry walks in.

“Hello you two.” He greets Aden and Belle.

“Hi Mr. Jeffries, want to join us?” asks Belle pleasantly.

Aden rolls his eyes. Things between him and his father were finally going well but he really just wanted to be with Belle right now.

“Thanks.” Larry sits with a grateful smile.

Colleen arrives, notepad in hand and pen poised to take order.

“Hello, can I get you anything?” she asks.

“Yea, I’ll have a coffee thanks.” Says Larry.

“Will that be all?” Colleen asks.

He nods.

“Would either of you two like anything else?” she asks Belle and Aden.

“No we’re fine thanks Colleen.” Belle answers.

“Ok then.” But she hesitates for a moment.

“Would you like anything else?” Aden asks Colleen pointedly.

“Oh, no, I’m fine. Better than young Geoffrey looked anyway. Is he alright?” she asks with concern.

“He’s fine.” Belle says smiling at Colleen’s nosiness.

“And what about Melody, hows she?”

“She’s fine too.” Belle answers.

Aden is sits back in his chair, sighing loudly and impatiently. Colleen is oblivious.

“You see there has been talk...” Colleen continues, she glances around and then leans in conspiratorially, “now you know me, I’m not one to gossip but...”

Belle holds in a laugh.

“apparently Mr. Jones finally decided he’d had enough and left that awful woman!” Colleen whispers.

“What? When?” Belle asks interestedly.

Aden looks really bored, he doesn’t know why Belle seems to care.

“Well the last anyone saw of him was at church weeks ago. Mrs. Jones hasn’t said anything and no one has asked her, because well, no one wants to intrude on a private family matter...”

Aden scoffs.

“But she hasn’t been seen around much recently and he hasn’t been seen at all.”

“Maybe she nagged him to death and buried him in the back garden.” Suggests Aden.

“Aden!” Larry chides.

Belle gives him a disapproving look too.

“Oh no, I don’t think she’d go that far.” Colleen shakes her head, looking thoughtful.

“Umm any chance of that coffee?” asks Larry.

“Oh yes, of course.” Colleen hurries back to the kitchen.

“Poor Melody.” Says Belle.

“Poor Melody” should take a leaf from her dad’s book and leave that uptight cow to her own devices.” Aden says unsympathetically.

“Aden!” Larry looks at him crossly. “Mrs. Jones is going through enough at the moment without people wishing more problems on her.”

Aden gives his dad a puzzled look.

“What would you know about it?” he asks defensively.

“A marriage break-up is never easy.” Says Larry.

“Your dad is right. As big a pain as Mrs. Jones is this must be really difficult for her.” Belle adds.

“Whatever.” Says Aden losing interest.

Colleen arrives back with the coffee.

“Now Belle you’ll be sure to give Melody my best wishes when you see her won’t you?” she says. “And tell her if she ever needs anyone to talk to I am a sympathetic ear.”

“And a loud mouth.” Aden mumbles to himself.


Melody stands in her kitchen preparing lunch for her and her mum. The phone rings and she answers quickly half hoping its her dad.


“Mel hi.”

Melody’s heart falls a little when she hears Geoff’s voice.

“Geoff hi.”

“How are you?”

“Fine.” She says. She doesn’t know what else to say.

“Heard from your dad?”

“Yes. He’s still in the city. He’s not coming back.”

Geoff searches for a hint of sadness in her voice but there is none. It was like she had just said it was going to rain later.

“I’m sorry.” He says. “How’s your mum coping?”

Melody is quiet for a moment while she considers this question. How was her mother coping?

“She’s fine.”

There is a long silence. Geoff doesn’t know what to say and Melody knows there is nothing more to say.

“Ok, well, when will I see you?” asks Geoff eventually.

“This evening? I’ll message you.”

“Ok. Talk to you later.”

“Love you.” Melody says softly.

“I love you too.” Geoff still blushes, even over the phone, when he says that.

Melody smiles to herself as she hangs up. Her mother walks in and smiles brightly.

“I’ve made lunch.” Melody tells her.

“Oh good girl.” Christine puts an arm around Melody’s shoulders. “What would I do without you?”


Belle arrives home to Irene making dinner, Annie and Jai sitting on the sofa and Geoff sitting on the counter top watching his phone.

“Perfect timing,” says Irene, “you going to be here for dinner then?”

“Yea, sorry I meant to tell you earlier.” Says Belle.

“No worries.” Irene peeks around the corner towards Annie and Jai. “Jai won’t Miles be expecting you for dinner?”

Jai looks at his watch.

“Um yea, I guess.” He stands up.

“I’ll walk you out.” Says Annie and the two go outside.

Belle smiles.

“Those two are so sweet.”

“Well, there is no drama with them I’ll give them that.” Says Irene.

Geoff’s phone vibrates on the counter top and he snatches it up eagerly.

“Melody?” Irene guesses.

“Yea, is it ok if she comes over for dinner?” asks Geoff, with pleading puppy dog eyes.

“Won’t Christine want her home for dinner?” asks Irene.

“Not tonight.” Geoff shakes his head.

“Ok then.” Irene shrugs.

Geoff messages Melody back. Belle stands beside him.

“Is there something going on with Melody’s parents?” she asks.

“Going on?” Geoff repeats.

“Colleen heard that Mr. Jones has left.”

Irene turns around.

“Left? You mean walked out?” she asks.

Belle nods and they both look at Geoff for confirmation.

“It’s true.” He says.

“Well!” Irene is surprised to say the least. “Christine must be a right bundle of laughs these days then!”

“Melody said she was a mess for the first few days after Mr. Jones left. She was really worried about her. But today she said she is fine.” Says Geoff, beginning to help Irene with some veg.

“What about Melody? How is she taking it?” asks Belle.

“Poor mite, must be tough on her. Coping with Christine all alone now.” Irene says, half to herself.

“She’s ok. She seems...to have accepted it.”

Geoff is a little confused by Melody’s reaction. Not that he is an expert on the matter but he thought she should be more upset about the break-up of her parent’s marriage.

Christine and Melody walk along the beach linking arms.

“Are you sure you don’t mind me going to Geoff’s for dinner?” asks Melody.

“Of course not sweetheart. It’ll be good for you to see your friends. Get your mind off....things.”

They pause and Melody checks her watch.

“Ok, well I better get going then.” Says Melody.

Christine smiles as Melody gives her a peck on the cheek.

“Have a good time. Give me a call if you want me to come pick you up.”

Melody nods and makes her way up off the beach. Christine stands and faces the ocean. She takes a deep breath and closes her eyes. Melody stops and looks back towards her mum for a moment before continuing on her way.


Everyone is seated at the dinner table at Irene’s. Annie is talking about some super amazing thing Jai did on the computer. The others smile indulgently at her. Geoff and Melody are holding hands under the table. Suddenly there is a knock on the door and before anyone can respond Aden walks in.

“You know its customary to wait for a reply after knocking.” Irene tells him.

“Oh I never stand on custom.” Aden replies lightly. “You want to go out?” he asks Belle.

Belle looks pointedly at the plate in front of her.

“We’ve just started dinner.”

“I’ll wait.” Aden takes a seat and langurously leans back grinning.

Belle smiles while everyone else looks disapproving. Aden looks around the table.

“So Melody...I hear your parents have split.”

Irene glares at him, Geoff resists the urge the throw his dinner at him and Belle covers her face with her hands. Why? Why does he always have to do this, she wonders.

“Ignore him.” Geoff tells Melody.

“No its ok. Yes Aden, they have.” Melody replies measuredly.

“So what was it? Your dad have another woman?” he asks.

“Aden – shut up!” Belle hisses.

Aden makes a face, not seeing what the big deal is, he was just asking what they all wanted to know. Melody looks at her plate in embarrassment.

It’s twilight and Larry is walking along the beach. He seems to spend most of his time walking on the beach lately, it was better than sitting at home alone. Aden was always busy and thanks to the mess he had made of things he had no friends. It was ok during the day, he had his counselling sessions and the voluntary odd jobs he did. It was his counsellor who suggested he did some volunteer work, he had hated it at first and couldn’t see how it was meant to help. Now though he was grateful for having something to do, for feeling like he was making a contribution to the community. But in the evenings and at night, when there was no one around and nothing to do...that was the hardest. He sees a figure up ahead sitting on the sand. As he gets closer he sees it is Christine Jones staring out at the sea, she doesn’t even hear him approach.

“Hi.” He says and she jumps slightly startled. “Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you.”

“No, its ok. I was miles away.”

There is an awkward silence as both try to think of something to say.

“So how have you been doing?” Christine asks.

She hadn’t seen him in ages, she’d been avoiding all the community and charity events since...

“Good,” he nods, “yea, I’m uh looking for work and uh...well, you know just keeping busy.”

“That’s good.” He looks much better than he used to, she thinks.

Larry looks around a little uncomfortably.

“Do you mind if I ...” he indicates sitting next to her.

“Oh...no.” she says surprised.

Larry sits and gathers his thoughts.

“I’ve uh, well I’ve been meaning to get in touch with you.” He says.

“You have?” she asks curiously.

“Yes. You were very good to me. At a time when I was really struggling to pull myself together...”

“I didn’t do much.” She protests.

“Yes you did. You gave me the time of day. Which is more than some would have done. So....thank you.”

Larry is clearly uncomfortable making such an acknowledgement and stares down at the sand.

“It was the Christian thing to do.” Christine says simply.

Larry looks sideways at her.

“How have you been?” he asks, trying to sound casual but Christine gives him a knowing look.

“I’m sure the gossip mill has filled you in.”

He nods.

“I did hear you and your husband have separated from each other.”

“Separated? That implies some kind of mutual agreement. My husband walked out on me Mr. Jeffries. You’re probably wondering why he didn’t do it years ago.” She says bitterly.

“Of course I’m not.”

“Everyone else is. How did he put up with such an awful fishwife for so long? Apparently, it was for Melody’s sake that he stayed so long, nothing to do with ever having loved me. I was the cross he had to bare for Melody’s sake but now that she’s practically grown up - ” she laughs harshly, “at 15 he thinks his daughter is raised – he can leave. Never mind the vows he took, never mind the humiliation...never mind...”

She sobs loudly and Larry looks almost frightened as he watches her breakdown.

“...never mind that I love him.”

Larry puts his arm around her helplessly as she sobs and shakes. He wishes he were the type of person who could handle these kind of situations but he wasn’t. This was the kind of scene he had avoided all his life. As he racks his brain to come up with something to say Christine suddenly straightens herself up. She wipes away her tears and pulls away from him, embarrassed.

“I’m sorry. I’ve made a fool of myself.” She stands up.

“No, no...its ok. You’re upset.” Larry stands too.

“I’d appreciate it if this...wasn’t to become public news.” Says Christine, back to her fully in control self again.

“Of course, I won’t tell a soul.” Larry promises. “Would you like me to walk you home?”

“No!” Christine’s tone is like whiplash. She realises how harsh she sounded and softens. “No, thank you. I’ve put you out enough as it is.”

“You haven’t, I don’t mind.” Larry tells her.

“Goodnight Mr. Jeffries.”

“Night.” He says as he watches her walk away.

Geoff is saying goodbye to Melody at her front door when Christine arrives home.

“Mum where have you been?” Melody asks.

“Oh I just went to visit a friend.” Says Christine, she smiles at Geoff. “Hello. Did you have a nice evening?”

“Hello Mrs. Jones. Sorry Melody is late getting back...” Geoff stands with his hands behind his back, shoulders straight as if standing to attention. He always feels like he is under inspection when he is in Mrs. Jones’ company even though she had been much friendlier lately.

“That’s ok, its not like its a school night.” She smiles.

The smile makes Geoff more nervous than when she used to threaten him. Christine steps inside.

“Goodnight Geoff. Oh and thank Mrs. Roberts for letting Melody come over for dinner.” She says.

“Goodnight Mrs. Jones, I will.”

Melody and Geoff are quiet for a few seconds until they are sure Christine isn’t within hearing.

“She seems...” Geoff begins.

“Fine?” suggests Melody.

“Yes.” Geoff nods. “Is she?”

Melody shrugs.

“This is better than sobbing and not getting dressed or eating for two days.”

“Yea but...its normal to be upset, her husband has left her. Pretending everything is ok can’t be good for her.” Says Geoff, he worries that this is what Melody is doing too. Burying it all inside.

“Mum doesn’t do emotion.” Melody doesn’t see a problem with the way her mother is handling the situation, its the way she has always handled things, with level-headed control. “I better go inside. I’ll see you tomorrow?”

“Yea.” Geoff nods.

He glances inside the house quickly to make sure Mrs. Jones isn’t lurking and the kisses Melody gently on the lips.

“Night.” He smiles sheepishly.

“Goodnight.” Melody smiles back.



Aden is standing outside saying goodnight to Belle. Irene is pottering about the kitchen noisely and keeping an eye out through the window.

“Oh come on, I can just sneak round the house and you can let me in.” Aden whispers pleadingly, trying to convince Belle to let him stay the night.


He gives a puppy dog look but Belle won’t give in.

“You’re not as cute as you think you are.” She tells him.

“Actually I have on good authority that I’m the cutest guy in Summer Bay!” he retorts.

“Oh really? And whose authority would that be?”

“Jennifer Ridley, year 11. She wrote it on Sarah Porters notebook last week!” Aden informs her cockily.

Belle puts her hands on her hips.

“And how do you know whats written on Sarah Porters notebook?”

“Well...” Aden sways a little and grins, “me and Sarah are tight!”

He smiles lazily as watches the slightly stony expression appearing on Belle’s face.

“She takes the best history notes. So why should I bother taking notes when she’ll lend me hers?” he grins.

Belle looks only mildly amused.

“So...can I stay over?” he asks.

“No!” Belle says firmly and heads inside.

“Oh come on!” he pleads.

“Go ask Jennifer Ridley to let you stay over!” Belle says over her shoulder.

“You know you’d be devastated if I did!” he says but Belle is already gone.

He grins. He loved that she wasn’t a push over.



Melody arrives at the Diner and sees Annie and Jai sitting at a table.

“Hi guys.”

Jai says hello, Annie has a mouth full of food. She chews really fast and swallows.

“Melody! Hey! Geoff is running late, he said he won’t be long. Want to wait with us? Sit down.”

Melody takes a seat and they start chatting.



Geoff is walking to the Diner with Belle and discussing Melody and the situation with her parents.

“I’m just afraid she is bottling it all up.” He says.

“Well, all you can really do is let her know that if and when she wants to talk about it she can with you. She is probably just trying to put a brave face on it at the moment and she didn’t exactly grow up with model examples of how to deal with emotional issues so she’s probably just finding it hard to open up. Just let her know you’re there for her.” Belle suggests.

Geoff nods thoughtfully.


Belle and Geoff look ahead and see Nicole standing by the Diner entrance. Fashionably, if over dressed for the Diner, as usual.

“Hey Nicole.” Geoff greets her. Belle doesn’t.

They walk inside together.

“So I hear Melody’s dad has done a runner!” Nicole says gleefully and loudly. “I wonder if he has a mistress stashed somewhere?” she laughs. “Wouldn’t blame him, being married to that dried up old bat.”

Half of the Diner’s occupants, including Melody, stare openmouthed at Nicole for a second. Then Melody gets up and runs out.

“Melody!” Annie calls.

“Mel!” Geoff hurries after her.

“Oops.” Nicole sniggers.

Belle glares angrily at her.

“You are unbelievable.” She hisses at Nicole.

“Whatever.” Nicole says dismissively and goes to order a coffee from Aden.

He stares at her for a second.

“Always have to make an entrance don’t you?” he asks.

“Some of us were just born to be centre stage!” she says.

Aden shakes his head and grins. Nicole smiles. Aden was the only person in this place she felt understood her.



Geoff chases Melody towards the beach where she falls onto her knees and cries. He kneels beside her and puts his arms around her and lets her cry without saying a word.

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Thanks guys, here is the second chapter :wink:

Larry is looking at the menu in the Diner when he sees Christine walk in. She looks around for a table and notices him. He smiles.

“Want to sit?” he asks gesturing to a chair at his table, then thinks that might sound presumptious. “You don’t have to.”

“If you don’t mind the company...” she joins him.

“The only company I usually have is my own so...” he smiles weakly. Great, he thinks, make yourself sound really pathetic. “You having lunch?” he asks.


He offers her the menu.

“Thank you.”

Aden is eyeing them from the opposite side of the room.

“What do you think that is about?” he asks Belle who is clearing a table.

She follows his gaze towards Mrs. Jones reading the menu.

“Food. Menus tend to make predictable reading.” She says flatly.

“Funny.” Aden says dryly. “What is she doing sitting with my dad?”

“Its not a crime!” Belle is completely uninterested. “Why do some people make such a mess when they are eating?” she grumbles as she wipes the table.

Aden continues to watch his father and Christine. Irene goes to take their order.

“Oh and thank you for having Melody over for dinner last night.” Says Christine after they have ordered.

“She’s welcome any time.” Irene replies and goes to fetch their order.

Larry makes a small face and Christine looks at him questioningly.

“I was just thinking...” he explains, “I have no idea where Aden had dinner last night, or even if had dinner.”

“We normally have family dinners but I thought it would do Mel good to get out.” Says Christine.

Larry looks thoughtful.

“I can’t remember the last time we had a “family dinner”. Not since the boys were little.”

“I think its important for families to spend time together, especially meals times. There is much rushing around these days. Parents and kids hurrying out in the morning and then eating at different times in the evening. We always make sure to have a proper breakfast together and then a good dinner in the evening when we can discuss our day.” Christine tells him.

Larry nods.

“Yea...its a good thing.”

Irene arrives with their food. They thank her and start eating. Larry suddenly looks up.

“Would you like to come for dinner?” he asks.

“Me? With you?” she asks surprised.

“Yes, well, you and Melody. Aden and I could cook, he’s got quite good at it since working here and...it’d be nice to have a proper meal. If I ask Aden to have dinner with me at home he won’t see the point but if we have guests...maybe...” he shrugs.

“Oh well...if you think it would help you and Aden get into a routine...then...yes, ok.” Christine says though in her head she is thinking this is a big mistake.

Larry gives a big smile.

Geoff is still cradling Melody on the beach. Her tears have dried and she is quiet.

“I’m sorry.” She says.

“What have you got to be sorry about?” he asks. “Its Nicole who should be apologising.”

“Nicole doesn’t matter.” Says Melody. “I’m the one to blame for all of this.”

Geoff turns to look her in the face.

“How can you possibly be to blame?”

“Everything that I’ve put my parents through this year...mum...she’s always been high strung and always been about having pet projects. Dad would always just let her get on with it...” she smiles remembering how she and her dad would joke sometimes about her mother’s need for perfection, “sometimes when mum was ranting on about her latest crusade he’d wink at me secretly and we’d laugh.”

Melody’s face changes.

“But...the thing with the play and Mr. Copeland...and you...and then Axel...” Melody bites her lip to keep from crying again. “It was different. It was too much.”

“You don’t know that had anything to do with your father’s decision to leave.” Geoff says gently.

“I do. I heard him. The night he left, he and mum were yelling at each other. He said she was too much hard work. That he couldn’t live like that anymore. That she had alienated us from the whole community and he was sick of it.” A tear falls down Melody’s cheek. It had been very difficult to hear some of the things her parents had said to each other.

Geoff hugs her tightly.

“But Melody...it was your mother’s behaviour that your father couldn’t deal with anymore, you can’t be repsonsible for how she acts.” Geoff reasons with her.

Melody shakes her head.

“I put her under too much pressure. I was the cause. I read that play, I’m the reason she tried to get Mr. Copeland fired. I didn’t tell her about you. I disobeyed her over and over. I went to that party and...” Melody pauses. “I’m the reason she did the things she did. I made it all happen.”

Geoff doesn’t know what to say.

Christine leaves the Diner and Larry goes into the kitchen to speak to Aden.

“Your little lunch date over?” Aden asks.

“I am allowed to have lunch with people.” Larry replies.

Aden rolls his eyes and takes his apron off, throwing it onto a nearby cupboard.

“You finished?” Larry asks.

“On a break.” Answers Aden, walking out of the kitchen.

Larry follows.

“So...what could you and Mrs. Jones possibly have to talk about?” asks Aden.

“She...was helpful when I started doing volunteer work.” Larry explains.

“Helpful?” Aden sounds sceptical.

“Yes, you know I think people get the wrong impression of her.” Larry says defensively.

“Oh yea, burning books, unprovoked rambling tirades against anyone who doesn’t see the world according to her rules...oh hang on!” Aden turns and looks nastily at his dad. “Failure to support her child after a sexual assault – is that what you were chatting about? ‘Cause you’d have plenty of pointers to share with her on that topic wouldn’t you?”

Larry takes a deep breath. He will never stop regretting and being ashamed of how he failed to protect his sons but he thinks its time to move on.

“Look Aden, I thought we were doing good yea? That we were moving on? What more is there left for us to say about all that?”

Aden turns away. He hadn’t meant to drag all that up again.

“If we can’t move on....” Larry stops, his eyes watering. It breaks his heart everytime they do this.

Aden turns around. He is tearful too.

“We are doing good. I didn’t mean to have a go...I just...you know...” Aden gestures helplessly with his hands. “But thats the last of it.” He says with determination. “Moving on!”

Larry looks grateful and puts his arm out as if to hug Aden but then faulters and pats hims on the shoulder instead. Aden pats him back on the shoulder and clears his throat. He hates all this emotional crap.

“So...” Aden clears his throat again, he needs to change the subject. “You have the hots for Mrs. Jones.”

Larry looks appalled.

“No! Its not like that.” He protests.

Aden looks at him with raised eyebrows.

“Its not.” Larry insists. “I just...feel grateful to her. It was a tough time for me and she was one of the few people who didn’t treat me like a leper. And now she’s having a tough time. I feel sorry for her. Thats why I invited her and her daughter to dinner.”

“What?” Aden looks stunned.

“Well...” Larry looks sheepish

Adens starts to laugh.

“Well have fun!”

“You’re coming too.” Says Larry.

“Pardon?” Aden puts his hand to ear indicating he misheard.

“I can’t invite them to dinner with just me.” Says Larry. “That’d be weird. Plus...I need you to help me cook.”

Aden is absolutely stunned. His father has lost the plot.

“You can bring Belle too if you want.” Larry suggests in an effort to make it more appealing.

Aden doesn’t know what to say for once.

“Please.” Larry looks at him pleadingly.

“You do realise you haven’t got a chance with her. You’re not even Catholic.” Says Aden.

“I’m not NOT Catholic.” Replies Larry with a slight smile.

“What does that mean?” ask Aden.

“Are you agreeing to come?” Larry asks him.

Aden rolls his eyes and sighs. Larry grins.

Geoff is standing in the Jones’ kitchen trying to get his head around why he is waiting to go to dinner at Aden Jeffries house with Melody and her mum.

“So...Mr. Jeffries invited your mum, you and me to have dinner with him...and Aden...and Belle?”

Melody nods.

“But...wha..huh?” Geoff scrunches up his face in confusion.

It doesn’t make sense to Melody either. Her mum said they were helping Mr. Jeffries and Aden in some sort of family bonding exercise...or something. Her mum had waffled a lot.

“I didn’t know Mr. Jeffries and your mum even spoke.” Says Geoff.

“Neither did I.” Says Melody. “Its all very strange. She’s changed outfits twice.”

At that precise moment Christine enters the kitchen.

“Make that three times.” Says Melody. She had never seen her mother act like this just to attend dinner with people she barely knows.

“Hello Geoff.” Christine smiles.

“Hi Mrs. Jones. You look nice.” Geoff responds dutifully.

Christine looks at him as if trying to decide if he is making fun of her.

“Thank you.” She says eventually. “Shall we go? Don’t want to be late.”

She grabs her car keys and makes her way to the door. Melody gives Geoff a look of dread.

“It’s like something out of some sort of parallel universe!” she mumbles.

Geoff smiles encouragingly. It would be really funny if it wasn’t kind of scary, he thinks.

At the Jeffries’ house later on Larry is making small talk with Christine, Melody and Geoff. Aden is standing by the window checking his watch every two seconds. Belle was late. There was no way he was going to sit through this circus without her. Finally he sees her walking up the drive and rushes to open the door.

“You’re late.” He barks.

Belle pauses, slightly startled, her hand still raised to ring the doorbell. She blinks.

“Hi honey, no don’t worry about the last minute invitation. It was no problem rearranging all my plans.” She says, her voice heavy with sarcasm.

“I thought you weren’t coming.” He says.

“Well, now that I am here...do you think maybe you could let me in?” Belle asks.

“Aren’t you going to let her in?” Larry calls out at the same time.

Aden steps aside and Belle walks in. She exchanges hellos with the others.

“You have now entered the twilight zone!” Aden whispers in her ear in a deep, dramatic voice. Belle laughs but as she looks around at her dinner companions she has to admit, not in a million years would she have predicted this combination.


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I love this story.

Aden is such a jerk in this story but a hilarious one. Almost everyone of his lines has made me want to laugh. We don't get much of this Aden in fic, and as much as I LOVE nice Aden, I'm loving this one too.

I'm glad you added some seriousness to him with the scene with his dad.

I can't for the dinner scene. When Larry came up with the idea of inviting Melody and Christine I was as stunned as Aden. It's going to be one great scene. Poor Belle stuck in the middle of all that crazyness.

Update soon. Please.

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