Jump to content

The Happiest Day of Your Lives

Guest Red Ranger 1

Recommended Posts

Ah yes, sequels.They're the things that are never as good as the original and tarnish the memory of them.Hopefully I'll manage to avoid at least one of those.

As the subtitle said, this is a sequel to my earlier fiction Shattered.You are, of course, perfectly welcome to read this if you haven't read it, but if you want to know the background you'll find it here.

Story Title: The Happiest Day of Your Lives

Type of story: Short/Medium fic

Main Characters: Melody, Geoff, Axel, Aden, Nicole, Danielle, Annie and others

BTTB rating: A

Genre: Drama

Does story include spoilers: No

Any warnings: References to adult themes, including rape.Moderate violence and sexual content.

Summary: It's three years on from the end of Shattered and Geoff and Melody are on the verge of getting married.But the return of some old faces and a long-held secret coming to the surface sets in motion a chain of events that could derail all their plans.


Melody felt him next to her as soon as she woke up.She’d got so used to it, her day somehow felt incomplete if he wasn’t there first thing.She turned over slightly and saw Geoff already awake, leaning over her.“What are you looking at?”she asked, amused.

“I’m just looking.”

She smiled slightly.“I’d have thought after all this time you’d have got used to it.”She remembered when Irene had first found out they’d started sleeping together.She’d tried to discourage it but in the end she’d given up and let Geoff move into Melody’s room.

“I can’t believe it’s gonna be official soon,”he commented.

Melody glanced down at her hand and the engagement ring she insisted on wearing all the time, even to bed.“Neither can I.”

“Still, I haven’t minded doing things out of order.”It was the phrase she’d used that first night and it had become something of a running joke between them.He gently kissed her…just before fifteen pounds of energetic three-year-old came bursting through the door and landed on top of them.

“Mummy!Daddy!It’s light outside!”

Both Geoff and Melody were abruptly yanked into full wakefulness.They sat up and smiled indulgently at the newcomer.It was lucky they had got a spare room since he’d grown a bit big to be sleeping in with them.James.Their son.And as far as Geoff and Melody and anyone else who mattered was concerned, he was their son, whatever his DNA or his birth certificate might say.

“Can’t you go back to bed for a bit?”Geoff asked him.

“Boring in bed,”James replied.

“Okay.Let’s go back to your room and I’ll read you a story.”He kissed Melody on the side of the head. “Sorry.”

“No, it’s okay.We’ve had our orders.”

As Geoff took James’ hand and led him into the living area, he heard footsteps on the stairs.Moments later, Jai came into view.He looked like he’d got dressed in a hurry, giving his clothes a crumpled look.And he didn’t appear to be wearing any socks.Geoff blinked in surprise.“Jai?What are you doing here?”

It was then that Annie came hurrying down the stairs, clad in a dressing gown and carrying a pair of socks.“Jai, I found your…”She noticed Geoff standing there.“Oh.”

Geoff looked from one to the other before his gaze settled on Jai.“Please don’t tell me you’ve been here all night.”

“Okay.I won’t.”

“Geoff, we’re eighteen!”Annie protested.She turned to Jai.“You’d better go.”

“All right.I’ll see you later.”He kissed her for as long as he thought Geoff would let him get away with before heading out the door.

Geoff’s expression was growing extremely strained.“James?Why don’t you see if there any cartoons on?I just need to have a word with Auntie Annie for a minute.”He checked that James was settled comfortably on the sofa before drawing Annie away to a safe distance.“How long’s that been happening?”

“About a month.That’s the first time he’s stayed over though.”

“You’re too young,”he insisted.

“I’m only a couple of months younger than Melody,”she retorted.

“Well…he’s too young.”

“We’re the same age.”

“Well…I’m too young to have a little sister that’s doing that.”

Annie sighed.“Come on, Geoff, you’ve been sleeping with Melody since she was sixteen.”

“That’s different.”He doublechecked James wasn’t listening.“She had a child.”

Annie smiled playfully.“So if I had a baby…”

“Don’t even joke about it, Annie.”A thought occurred to him.“Does Irene know about this?”

The smile remained in place as Annie headed back upstairs.“No.But she will do in about half an hour when you tell her.”

Annie clutched James’ hand tightly as she led him into the Diner, quickly picking out the table where Aden and Danielle were sitting.“Hey there,”she greeted them.

“Hey,”Danielle responded before looking down at James,“And hello you, as well.”

“Hi, Auntie Danielle,”James replied.

“Are you sure you’re all right to look after him?”Annie asked,“It’s just Irene’s called this meeting to discuss the wedding and she’s worried he’ll get in the way.”

“No, it’s fine,”Danielle assured her,“You didn’t need to come and find me though.I could have come by the house.”

Annie shifted uncomfortably.“Well, I wanted an excuse to get out of there.I kinda got caught sneaking Jai out this morning.”

“Church Girl’s getting some?”asked Aden, astonished,“Good on ya!”He noticed the look Annie and Danielle were giving him.“Was that inappropriate?”

“Just a tad,”Danielle told him before they both turned away.

“Anyway, me or Melody will be around to pick him up later,”Annie continued.She knelt down by James. “’Bye, James.Be a good boy for Auntie Danielle.”

“’Bye, Auntie Annie,”he replied, waving at her as she left.

Danielle hoisted James up onto her lap before turning back to Aden.“The two of us are going to go to the park.You wanna come?”

“I’d love to but unfortunately I’ve got stuff to do for work so I’ll have to pass.See you this evening?”She nodded in response.He gave her a kiss goodbye then ruffled James’ hair.“See ya, little fella.”

Aden paused just inside the doorway of his flat, taking in Nicole sitting on the sofa.He checked the door he’d just walked through then looked back at her.“How did you get in?”

“Come on, Aden, everyone knows where you keep the spare key.”

He went and sat beside her.“I gotta get me some better security.”

“You see Danielle this morning?”

“Yeah, I just left her at the Diner.She’s got James for the day.”

“She didn’t want you to spend it with them?”

“She asked but I told her I had stuff to do for work.”

Nicole considered this.“You’re a kitchen hand in a restaurant, Aden.What work stuff would you have to do exactly?Clean your cutlery?”

“What did you expect me to tell her?That I was seeing my other girlfriend?”

“Yeah, okay, work stuff seems like the better option.”She kissed him before pulling back momentarily. “But after all this time, we really do need to get you a better stock of excuses.”She kissed him again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to everyone that's been reading this and thanks for the words of encouragement.So, having got you hooked(?), it's time for the insanely long infodump.


Aden was banging about in the kitchen, trying to get together all the ingredients he needed for their sandwiches.Nicole call through to him from the bedroom.“Aden?Are you nearly done yet?”

“Nearly!”he called back.

“When you said you were gonna get us a snack, I didn’t think you meant a three course meal!”

“These things take time!Call it professional pride.”

“Fine!Just don’t keep me waiting long.”

Aden still couldn’t believe that he and Nicole had been having an affair for two years and no-one had noticed.So much for the fabled Summer Bay grapevine.Maybe with Colleen having finally retired and moved nearer her son the gossip level had lowered.

He found himself thinking back to how it had all come about.It had all started about four years ago, when he’d finally had to face up to what had happened with his grandfather after all that time of repressing it. Nicole had been the first girl to show an interest in him but he hadn’t been able to handle it back then.So instead he’d started seeing Danielle, someone less experienced who wouldn’t mind him setting the pace. And it had worked, things had been fine and he’d got really close to her.And then Axel had been arrested and suddenly she’d needed him just as much as he’d needed her.

But then there was Nicole.After Axel had attacked her, she’d had a couple of boyfriends, but they hadn’t lasted very long, as if she was uncomfortable with them, like he had been.Instead, she’d started spending more time with him.Maybe it was because he was the one that had pulled Axel off her that night, maybe it was because they’d been friends, but she’d seemed more relaxed.And then one night, they’d taken things further.Neither of them had really said anything about it but suddenly that was what their relationship was.

But there were still times when he wondered if Nicole viewed him the same way he’d viewed Danielle.As the safe option.

Belle stuck her head round the doorway.“Anyone at home?”

Leah came through into the kitchen, a smile on her face.“Belle!Lucas!I thought you two were coming down tomorrow?”

“Yeah, but Irene’s called this summit meeting to discuss the wedding so we thought we’d better come early.”

“We haven’t put you out or anything, have we?”asked Lucas,“By coming down early?”

“No, everything’s ready,”Leah assured them,“Your old room’s still where you left it.”

“Thanks for putting us up,”Belle remarked,“It’s just Irene’s place is still packed to the rafters.”

“And Dad’s got Geoff staying over the night before the wedding,”added Lucas,“We thought he could do without the extra hassle.”

“Honestly, it’s fine,”Leah told them,“Actually I’m going to this gathering too if you want a lift.”

“Thanks,”Lucas replied,“But we’ve arranged to do a bit of catching up first.”

“Hey there, Mr and Mrs Dalby!”

Ric and Matilda both turned at Lucas’ boisterious greeting, as he and Belle came into Noah’s.“Haven’t you got tired of calling us that?”Matilda sighed.


“When did you get down from Perth?”Belle asked.

“Couple of days ago,”Ric replied,“Grandad’s putting us up.You?”


“So did you fly down by yourself?”asked Lucas.

Ric rolled his eyes.“No, Luc, we didn’t fly down by ourselves.We left the plane behind.”

“Never figured you’d end up running a charter pilot business.”

“Never figured you’d end up as a magazine editor.I hear your circulation’s up.”

Lucas put his arm round Belle.“All thanks to my top photographer here.”

“I’m sure your writing has a lot to do with it,”Belle complimented him.

“Don’t you think starting your own magazine is a pretty extreme way to get your stories published?” asked Matilda.

“Hey, it worked for Dickens,”Lucas protested.

“Well, at least you two get to work together.The only way I’ll get to see more of Ric is if a disgruntled client decides to sue him.”

“By the way,”Ric put in,“what exactly are Geoff and Melody up to these days?So we don’t embarrass ourselves by not knowing.”

Belle looked at him wryly.“What, Perth a bit too far away for regular information?”

“It’s okay for you two, you only live in the city.”

“Well, Melody’s just started a child care course at TAFE.”

“What about Geoff?”Matilda asked,“Is he studying to be a minister yet?”

“No, he’s deferred it again,”Lucas replied,“He’s got a job as a lay minister at the local church, though.”

Ric looked confused.“What’s a lay minister?”

“Sort of like a…part-time minister.”

Ric turned to Matilda, not looking any the wiser.“You can do that?”


“Did you bring Liam down with you?”asked Belle,“We were kinda looking forward to seeing him.”

Matilda shook her head.“We thought he was too young to travel.Sal’s flown over to keep an eye on him. She wanted to be here herself but…”

“Actually, we were expecting the next wedding to be you two,”Ric commented.

Belle pulled a face.“Ooh, touchy subject,”Lucas remarked.

“He keeps bringing it up,”Belle explained,“and I keep neatly sidestepping the issue.”

“I’ll pin you down one day, Isabel.”

“Isabel?”Matilda was surprised.“I didn’t think that was your name.”

“It’s not,”Belle replied,“But someone thinks it’s funny to keep calling me that anyway.”

“Mmm, he’s like that.”

Ric patted Lucas on the shoulder.“The missus and the ex in the same room.What have you let yourself in for?”

“Same thing as you,”Belle pointed out.

“Okay.”Ric pointed to the door.“Let’s move on to Irene’s before things get awkward.”

“Oh look, it’s Romeo and Juliet,”Irene commented as Annie and Jai arrived for the meeting.

“I didn’t mean to get Annie into trouble,”Jai apologised.

Irene sighed.“Okay.I guess you’re both big enough to make your own decisions.But if you’re going to be having sleepovers in the future, let me know, okay?If I’m gonna be running into your ugly mug on the landing, I want some warning.”She looked at their contrite faces and gestured to where everyone else was gathered.“Okay, take a pew.”She glanced at the others:Geoff, Melody, Leah, Tony, Rachel, Ric, Matilda, Lucas and Belle.“Right.Is that everyone now?”

“Nicole isn’t here,”Melody pointed out.

Irene rolled her eyes.“God save us.Why you wanted that girl as a bridesmaid is beyond me.All right, we can start without her.”She went to the table and picked up a sheet of paper.“Right.Leah and I are doing the catering.Tony, you’re arranging the cars.”

“Already booked,”he assured her.

Irene ran her eyes down the list.“Suits.Geoff, Ric and Lucas, you are picking them up from the shop on Wednesday.Pick up James’ outfit as well.”

“Do we have to get button holes?”asked Ric.

“You don’t get button holes from a suit hire,”Lucas protested.

“Well, where do we get them from?”

Irene checked her list.“Rachel.Flowers.Make sure they’ve got some button holes.”

“No sooner said than done,”Rachel replied, bemused.

Irene noticed the look Geoff and Melody were giving each other.“Something wrong, kids?”

“No, no,”Geoff replied, trying to keep a straight face,“You’re a great wedding planner.”

“Mmm.”Irene glanced back at the list again.“Melody, Annie and Belle, along with Missy if she ever shows up, are picking up the dresses on Tuesday.”

“Hang on…dresses?”Belle asked,“How can I have a dress?I’ve only just got here.”

“We gave them your measurements.”

“So…I just have to wear what I’m given?”

“That’s the way it works.”

“Shame Ruby couldn’t be here,”Annie commented.

“She couldn’t get away from police training,”Melody reminded her.

“Still can’t believe she signed up.She was always embarrassed about what her family did.”

“I think she wanted to show them how it was done,”Geoff put in.

“Can we please concentrate?”Irene bellowed,“These two are getting married in a little over a week and if anything or anyone gets in the way of the arrangements then they will have me to deal with!Is that clear?” She took the silence as agreement.“Right!Is there anyone here who hasn’t got anything to do?”She looked at them all in turn and picked out two faces.“Mattie and Jai.”

“Yes, Irene?”they asked worriedly.

“Congratulations, you’ve just been made ushers.Pick up the service sheets from the printers on Thursday.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Aden felt someone next to him when he woke up and had one of those awkward moments when he wasn’t sure who it was.He feigned sleep while he sought out memories of the previous night.He remembered that Danielle had stayed over and slowly opened his eyes to confirm it was her.

“You looked surprised to see me,”she commented.

“Well, if I am it’s a nice surprise.”

“Course, there is a way for it to happen more often.”

Aden could sense the conversation coming again.“Look, Dan, I need to get to work.”He got out of bed and started getting dressed.

“It makes sense, Aden,”Danielle pressed,“I’m rattling around in that big house on my own with Mum and Dad gone.You’re all on your own here.Moving in together would be good for us.”

At times like this, Aden always wished he could come up with a decent counter-argument.The real reason-the fact that if they were living together he wouldn’t have anywhere where he and Nicole could be alone-was out of the question of course.“We’re all right as we are, aren’t we?If we were living together, we’d probably get sick of each other.”

Danielle looked hurt at that.“I’d never get sick of you, Aden.And I didn’t think you’d be sick of me.”

Aden mentally kicked himself.He hadn’t meant to upset her.“I didn’t mean that, I meant…”He sighed and kissed her gently.“We’ll talk about it when I get home, okay?”

Danielle watched the door swing shut behind him.“Will we?”she asked bitterly.

Geoff pulled the cereal box out of the cupboard then went to the fridge.He looked inside before turning quizzically to Irene.“Milk?”

“Annie used the last of it.I sent her to get some more.”

“Have Mel and James eaten?”

“Yep.You’re the last one to surface.”

“Guess I’ll stick to toast.”

As he busied himself with the breakfast, Irene seemed to be debating whether to say something.“Geoff, did I come across as a bit full on yesterday?”

He smiled at her.“Well, some people might have seen it that way.”

“I know I go on a bit but I just want it to be a special day for the two of you.”

“I know you do.It’s nice you think so much of us.”

“When I think what Melody was like when she first came to stay here, what had happened to her…It’s amazing the way she’s grown up.And you had a lot to do with it.”

“I think you played a part too.”

“It’s just, after everything you went through back then, I think you deserve this moment in the spotlight.I couldn’t be prouder of you if you were my own kids.”

“Sometimes it feels as though we are.”

Irene patted him on the shoulder.“Thanks.Melody’s taken James into the front garden if you want to join them.”

“I’ll just have some breakfast first.”

Melody was crouched by James as he sat playing with the extensive toy car collection he’d built up over the past year.Geoff and Jai had both insisted it was what boys played with and, not having had any brothers, she’d been forced to take their word for it.She had to admit he seemed to enjoy them.

“Who’s winning the race?”she asked him.

“They’re not racing,”James replied, as if it was obvious,“They’re just driving around for fun.”

“Oh.Right.So are they having fun then?”

He nodded.“Yes.”

She patted his shoulder gently.“Well, that’s good then.”

“How many days is it until the wedding?”

She smiled at him.He was looking forward to it almost as much as she and Geoff were.“Eight.”

“How many’s that?”

She laid out eight of his cars in a row.“That many.”She heard the creak of someone opening the gate and looked up.“Annie, did you remember to get..?”

Then she froze.It wasn’t Annie.

It was Axel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Melody didn’t think her shock could have been more complete.She’d known Axel was out of jail of course, she’d been informed of his release nearly a year earlier.But from what she could gather, from her last contact with him and from what Danielle had told her, he’d vowed never to come back to Summer Bay. Having him turn up had been the last thing she had been expecting.

Axel crouched down until he was level with James.“Hey there.It’s James, isn’t it?It’s good to meet you.”

Melody tried to keep her voice level as she spoke to her son.“James.Go to your daddy.”

Axel looked up at her and for a moment there was hope in his eyes.Then he realised that Geoff had appeared in the doorway and James was running towards him.Geoff put a protective arm around the boy as both Melody and Axel straightened up.He regarded Axel for a moment, his expression unreadable, then turned to Melody.“Are you all right?”

“I’m fine, Geoff,”she told him,“Just take James inside.I’ll be with you in a minute.”

She looked back at Axel.She was surprised to find her old fears returning, that almost overwhelming urge to run whenever she saw him.She’d met with him several times since his arrest, but it had always been under controlled conditions, at the police station or the prison.Him being here, in her garden, that was something she hadn’t been prepared for.

“Axel…what are you doing back here?”she asked,“I heard you were living in Darwin.”

Axel nodded.“I took a car mechanics course inside.Applied for some jobs when I got out.Not many garages will take on someone with ‘convicted rapist’ on his CV but someone agreed to give me a chance eventually.The other guys still won’t let me anywhere near their girlfriends though.”

“But…but why are you here?Why now?”

“I wanted to see Danielle.And I was curious about James.And…I guess I wanted to make sure you’re all right.I heard you’re getting married.”

“Yes.Next week.”

“James…he’s a nice kid.You’ve obviously done a good job, you and Geoff.”

“Thank you.”Her tone was formal.

“Look, if me being back here is a problem for you, I can go.”

That was exactly what Melody wanted at that moment but demanding it didn’t feel right.“I’m not going to stop you seeing your sister.”

“Then…maybe I’ll see you around?”

“Maybe.Just…just give me some warning next time, okay?”

As soon as she got back into the house, Melody felt like collapsing.She grabbed hold of the back of the sofa, using it to support her.Geoff stepped up behind her, placing a comforting hand on her back.“Are you okay?”

“Where’s James?”

“Irene’s taken him into his room.It’s you I’m worried about.”

She shook her head in disbelief.“I didn’t think I’d feel this way.”

“I can understand it being a shock to you.”

“I’m supposed to be over this, I’m supposed to have forgiven him.That was what visiting him in prison was all about.I don’t want to feel like this anymore, I don’t want to be frightened all the time.”

“Well, look, he’s gone now.With any luck you won’t have to see him again.”

“I…I told him I didn’t mind him staying around to see Danielle.”

“What?”Geoff was astonished.“Why would you do that?If being around him does this to you…”

“I can’t get over this by sending him away, Geoff.I’m not going to let it beat me.”

Jai had just checked his watch again when Annie arrived at the Diner.“I thought you weren’t coming.”

“I’m sorry,”Annie replied,“It’s just we had all this stuff happening at home.”She glanced around to make sure no-one was in earshot then lowered her voice just to make sure.“Axel turned up.”

“What?You mean, he just appeared without warning?”

“According to Mel.I wasn’t there.She was in the garden and he just came in.”

“Well, how is she?”

“She’s putting a brave face on but she’s really cut up.I think it’s brought a lot of stuff back for her.”

“Why did it have to be now?Her and Geoff are supposed to be getting married, they should be happy.”

Annie nodded.“I know.The last thing they need is Axel hanging around.”

“What?!”They both turned at the voice and realised that Aden had wandered close to their table during the conversation.“Axel’s back in town?”

Aden hammered repeatedly at the door until Danielle opened it.“Aden, what’s wrong?”

“I just heard at the Diner.Axel’s back.”

Danielle seemed to be having difficulty looking him in the eye.There was an almost embarrassed air about her.“Yes, Aden, I…I know.”

“Do you know where he is?”

“He’s…he’s upstairs.”

Aden froze at that as he realised what she was telling him.“He’s staying here?”

“I didn’t know he was coming, Aden, he just turned up.I couldn’t turn him away.”

“Why not?It’s what anyone else would have done.”

“Aden, he’s my brother.You know I’ve always been in contact with him, I’ve never pretended otherwise.”

“There’s a bit of difference between the occasional phone call and letting him move in with you, within walking distance of the two girls he attacked.”

“He’s had counselling, he’s all right now.Come on, Aden, he used to be your friend.”

“Yeah.Used to be.That was before I found out what he was really like.”

“Look, Aden, I’ve told you, he’s not like that anymore, he’s not going to hurt anyone.”

Aden shook his head.“Dan, I’ve never blamed you for what Axel did, you know that.But as long as he’s living here, I’m not setting foot in the place.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites


“So are you feeling more relaxed now?”Geoff asked as they arrived back home.

Melody nodded.“Yes, thanks.The trip did me good.”

“Well, I had to go to the jeweller’s some time.We couldn’t really do without these.”He took out the box containing their wedding rings.

Melody looked at it, feeling pleased.“I can’t wait until I’m allowed to wear it.”

Geoff looked around.“Looks like Annie and Jai are still out with James.”He smiled at her.“Maybe we should work out what we’re going to do on the wedding night.”The wedding had taken up most of their funds so they hadn’t been able to afford a proper honeymoon but they’d booked a night at a motel.

“Geoff Campbell, are you trying to corrupt me?”

“I think we’ve probably corrupted each other by now.”He kissed her softly.They headed into their room and sat down on the bed.

Melody could feel butterflies in her stomach.It was amazing that sometimes, when he looked at her, he could still make her feel like that shy schoolgirl she’d been when they’d first known each other.“What are you thinking?”she asked him.

“Just admiring the hotness of you.”

She smiled, both pleased and slightly embarrassed.“And just think, when we first met you wouldn’t go out with me because you said I wasn’t pretty enough.”

“Yeah.I was an idiot then.”

“Well, saying I’d never forgive you for it wasn’t really my finest moment either.”

“Who’d have thought back then you were the girl I was going to marry?”

Hearing it still made her catch her breath.“Say that again.”

“You’re the girl I’m going to marry.”He kissed her and lowered her onto the bed…then they sprang up again as the door was flung open by a small figure.“James, mate!”Geoff blurted out,“Have you been home long?”

“Just arrived.Auntie Annie told me to go and see if I could interrupt you.”

Melody couldn’t help smiling.“That was kind of her.”

“What does interrupt me?”

Geoff floundered.“Well, it’s when two people are doing something…”

Jai appeared in the doorway and took James’ hand.“Come on, JJ.They’ll explain later.When you’re sixteen or something.”

“James Jones,”Melody mused as the pair left,“We really should have given that more thought.”

“Well, it’ll be James Campbell after the wedding.”

She smiled again.“I guess so.”

“So long as I don’t get sent to jail for killing my sister first.”

Nicole had had a coffee with Annie and Jai earlier and was on her way home along the coastal path.She saw someone coming the other way and was just about to stand aside for him when she recognised him and stopped dead.No, not here…

Axel stopped too.“Nic.How…how have you been?”

Nicole just stared at him for a second, the memories of that night, the memories she’d tried to bury, flooding back.Of being pinned down and helpless, knowing he could do whatever he liked to her.Of what would have happened if Aden and Roman hadn’t turned up.She took a step backwards.“Just…just stay away from me.”

Axel held up his hands placatingly.“It’s okay, Nic, I don’t want to hurt you.”

“Don’t call me that!”It seemed a stupid thing to pick up on but it was all she could think of to say.“You don’t have the right to call me that.”

“Nicole, I just wanted to say sor…”

“I don’t want to hear it!I don’t want to hear anything from you!”She turned and ran.And even when she realised Axel wasn’t following her, she kept running.

Nicole clambered up the exterior stairs to the flat, almost out of breath, and hammered on the door.Aden pulled it open and she almost fell into his arms.He caught her, concerned at her condition.“Nicole, what happened?”

“I…I saw Axel.He’s back here.”

“Yeah, I’ve been trying to get hold of you.He’s staying with Danielle.”

“What?What’s she doing?”

Aden shrugged.“She just said that he was her brother.Are you okay?He didn’t hurt you?”

“No, I…I just ran.”She sighed.She seemed calmer now.“I must have looked way uncool.”

“Not to me.”He checked that no-one was around then kissed her gently.“Come on, let’s get you sorted.” He put an arm round here and led her inside.

Aden should have checked more carefully.What neither he nor Nicole had realised was that Axel had followed her, from a distance, wanting to try and talk to her again when there were people around and she didn’t feel so scared.He was standing at the edge of the trees, with a clear view of the flat.And he had seen everything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haven't said it for a while:thanks to everyone for the words of encouragement.Hope you like this one.


Aden sat next to Nicole, a consoling hand on her shoulder.“How are you feeling now?”

“Embarassed.Since when did I act like that?Running for my life, like some pathetic scared whelp?”

He grinned.“Nice to see you’re back to your old self.”

“It just sickens me whenever I think back to then.I actually liked him, I let him kiss me, I even wanted to sleep with him.And all the time he was the guy that had raped Melody.And then, because I didn’t like the way he was touching me, he tried to…to…”

Aden noticed she was beginning to shake.He put his arm round her shoulder, letting her rest her head against him.“It’s okay.”He looked angry.“What on earth have they let him back here for?”

Nicole disentangled herself from him, looking sheepish.“Actually, that’s kinda my fault.”

He looked at her, surprised.“You?”

“Well, when he was up for parole they sent letters to me and Mel saying if we wanted him to stay away from the Bay we had to fill in this form.And I kind of…didn’t fill it in.”She notice his look.“Well, what was I going to do?Go on record as saying I didn’t want him to come within a couple of miles of me? Danielle said he didn’t want to come back to the Bay anyway.I guess I just…didn’t think it through.”

“Do you wish you’d filled it in now?”

She shrugged.“I wish he wasn’t here.”

“Hey.”He angled her face towards him, stroking her hair.“It’s okay.I won’t let him hurt you.”He kissed her gently.“I won’t let him hurt anyone.”

Tony looked at the nearly full bottle in Geoff’s hand.“Come on, get that down you.If you don’t get a move on, we won’t have time for another.”

Geoff regarded the bottle without much enthusiasm.“It’s a bit early, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, but the boys are planning to take you out this evening so I thought I’d better get in early.”

Geoff’s shoulders sank.“I think I’m going to use up my annual alcohol consumption in one day.Do we have to go through all this?”

“Geoff, it’s tradition.When a mate’s getting married, you take them out, show them a good time, give them one last big party.”

“So, you’re saying when I’m married to Melody I won’t be having a good time?”

“No, Geoff, I’m not saying…”Tony sighed.There were times when he wasn’t entirely sure whether Geoff was joking with him or whether he really didn’t get the point.“Look, think of it as a rite of passage, okay?A boy becoming a man.A celebration.That sound better?”

“I guess so…”

“Now drink up.”

Aden was just outside when someone came striding out of the bushes towards him.“Hey, Aden, wait up.”

Aden turned slowly, giving Axel a cold look.“I have nothing to say to you.”

“Well, I’ve got something to say to you.Nicole?”

Aden jabbed him in the chest lightly.“You stay away from her.”

“Shouldn’t I be the one telling you that?I saw you, Aden.Yesterday.You and Nicole, at your flat.I saw you kissing her.”

For a moment, Aden faltered at that.“What Nicole and I get up to is none of your business.”

“Danielle’s my business.Remember her?Your girlfriend?How can you treat her like that?”

There was a cold anger building up inside Aden.“You are judging me?”He struck out with a blow that knocked Axel to the ground.Crouched there, Axel raised his head and Aden hit him again.And again.And again, as the red mist descended, until Axel’s head didn’t come up anymore.It was only then that he realised he wasn’t alone.Geoff and Tony had come out of the surf club in time to witness the final few blows.

“Good timing,”he told them as he started to walk away,“You can call the ambulance.”

Nicole went over to Aden’s table and sat down opposite him.“You’re looking remarkably pleased with yourself.”

“I ran into Axel.”

Her smile faltered.“That doesn’t seem like something to be pleased about.”

“Well, let’s just say I showed him that no-one wants him around here.”

“Aden, you haven’t done something stupid, have you?”

“If you mean giving him the hiding that he deserves…”

“Well, yeah, that’s kinda what I do mean.”

He waved a hand dismissively.“Relax.He’s hardly likely to make a fuss, is he?”

“I guess not…”But then Nicole noticed who had just entered the Diner.Jack Holden and Charlie Buckton. Two of the local police force.

Jack stopped by their table.“Aden Jefferies, I’m arresting you for the assault on Axel Hay.You do not have to say anything but anything you do say may be taken down and used in evidence.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Geoff was out in the garden when he saw Aden come through the gate and head towards the house.“Woah, Aden, where do you think you’re going?”

Aden had the look of someone on a mission.“I need to talk to Melody.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea right now.”

“Geoff, I’ve been arrested.”

“Yeah, I know.”

Aden glared at him.“Oh, right.Gave them the whole story, did you?Witness for the prosecution?”

“I…Look, they asked me for a statement, okay?I couldn’t lie.”

“You know as well as I do Axel deserved what he got.”

“I wouldn’t say that…”

“Dammit!”Aden was angry now.“It’s always the same with you, all that Christian forgiveness stuff. You’re the one that’s supposed to be in love with Melody, you’re the one that should be making Axel pay for what he did to her, but instead you just hang around all high and mighty.You let him rape her once and you’d be quite happy to let him do it again!”

Geoff swung a punch at him, catching him a glancing blow across the face.Aden retaliated with a blow to the side of his skull that left his head ringing, following it with a painful jab to the ribs.

“Stop it!”Melody had come out of the house.“Stop it, both of you!”

Aden turned to her.Geoff looked as though he wanted to stop him but Melody motioned for him to stand down.“Mel, you’ve got to help me.”

“I…I don’t think I can, Aden.”

“But you’ve got to talk to the police, they’ve got to know what he did.”

“Aden…they already know.He’s been to court, he’s been to jail.I don’t think it makes a difference.Axel’s still got the same rights as everyone else.”

Aden shook his head.“No, no, you’ve got to make them understand.”

Melody looked at him sympathetically.“I’m sorry, Aden, but I don’t think I can help you.”

Aden had worked out everything he was going to say before the door opened but when it did it was Danielle that got in first.“Aden,”she greeted him coldly,“I thought you said you weren’t going to come back here.Or is it because Axel doesn’t get discharged from hospital until later today?”

Aden had a feeling the conversation wasn’t going to go the way he expected.“Danielle, I…”

“He’s my brother, Aden!Do you not understand that?How could you do that to him?”

“He…Danielle, you’ve got to talk to him.The police came after me.Dan, I’ve been charged with causing actual bodily harm.”

“I know.I was the one that persuaded Axel to press charges.”

All hope drained away from Aden at that.“What?”

“What did you think was going to happen, Aden?I was going to just pat you on the back and tell you you did the right thing?You might not think much of Axel but he’s my family and I am not going to let you get away with treating him like that.”

“But, I…”

“You know, maybe you ought to take a look at your own family before you start criticising mine.Not seeing a lot to be proud of there.Maybe you’re the one with the defective genes.”

And before he could think of anything to say, anything to persuade her otherwise, the door had closed in his face.

Aden held the phone in his hand for a long time.Melody wouldn’t help him.Danielle wouldn’t help him. There was only one person left for him to turn to, even though there was little she could do to get him out of the mess he was in.It was breaking the rules, the unwritten rules between them, calling her for help.He supported her but, when he needed something, he had his own girlfriend to turn to.But right now, she was the one person he wanted with him.

He dialled the number and waited until he heard her voice at the other end.“Nic?It’s me.Please.I need you here.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Warning: This chapter includes something I meant to include a warning about at the start, except I kind of forgot.I'm too much of a spoiler phobe to go into specifics here, so I'll just say prepare yourselves for a shock.And, er, I apologise in advance to anyone that gets upset.


Geoff noticed Melody stirring next to him and wrapped his arms tighter around her.She smiled.“Was there something you wanted?”

“Just wondering if there’s any reason why we can’t stay here all day.”

“Well, apart from the fact that on past experience we’ve got about thirty seconds before James comes in to tell us he’s awake, it’s the wedding rehearsal this morning.”

Geoff winced.“Oh.Yeah.Do we have to go?I mean, I already know I’m going to say yes and I’m hoping you are as well.”

Melody gave him a look of mock admonishment.“Geoff, when we get married, I am expecting both of us to know exactly what we’re going to do and where we’re going to stand.No hitches, okay?”

He grinned and gave her a mock salute.“Yes, ma’am.”

She gave him a playful dig in the chest and was concerned to notice him wince in pain.“Your ribs still hurting?”

“Yeah, Aden can pack quite a punch when he wants to.”

“How did you end up fighting anyway?”

Geoff’s expression made it clear he didn’t want to talk about it.“I…guess he just said something I found difficult to hear.”

Roman was surprised to find Nicole already having her breakfast when he came down.“You’re not usually up this early.”

“Wedding rehearsal, remember?I didn’t make it to Irene’s meeting.If I don’t turn up for the rehearsal, she’ll probably have me declared as unfit to be a bridesmaid.”

“Oh, yeah, course.”He remember something.“Where did you go last night anyway?You headed up to your room pretty quickly after you got back.”

“I was round at Aden’s.He was taking his arrest pretty hard.”

Roman sighed.“Yeah, I guess he would.”

“Have you any idea what’s going to happen to him?”

“If it goes to court and he’s found guilty, he could get a fine and community service or he could end up in jail.”

Nicole shook her head.“I really don’t like to think of Aden in jail.”

“Neither do I but…he needs to learn to rein his temper in.I told him, back when Melody was raped, that if he went after the person that did it, broke the law, he could end up in trouble himself.I thought I’d got through to him.”

“That night you found Axel attacking me…you stopped him laying into him then, didn’t you?”

“Yeah.Trust me, I’d have gladly done it myself but I didn’t think seeing that would do you much good.” He placed a hand on her shoulder.“You’re all right, aren’t you?I mean, it can’t be easy having Axel back.”

She gave a smile that wasn’t remotely convincing.“I’m fine, Dad.”She got to her feet.“I need to get to this rehearsal.”

Both Geoff and Melody had accompanied the other to their respective churches at various points, but in the end it had been the Protestant church where Geoff worked as a lay minister that had been the most receptive to marrying them.Melody’s priest had arranged the necessary paperwork so that the marriage would be recognised by her church as well and the day had been booked.

The Reverend Watkins cast an appreciative eye over the wedding tableau laid out in front of him.“Right, so we have bride and groom, groomsmen, bridesmaids…Who will be giving you away, my dear?”

“My dad,”Melody explained,“But he couldn’t make it today so Irene’s standing in for him.”

The reverend nodded, taking this in his stride.“Well then, your father will march you down the aisle to the strains of the bridal march and you will stand here.There’s room for your bridesmaids and the charming page boy in the front aisle on the left hand side.That’s your left, not my left, you understand.”

“Yeah, we got that, Reverend,”Geoff confirmed.

“Then I’ll do the welcome spiel, ‘We are gathered here today’ and so forth, I will ask if anyone objects to you marrying and with luck be met with silence, then we will have the declaration and the vows and then you, young man, will pass me the rings.”

Lucas looked confused at this last comment.“I’m meant to have the rings?”

“You mean you haven’t got the rings?”

“Here.”Irene passed him a box.“You left them on the kitchen table.Lose them again and I’ll feed you to the sharks.”She looked at the reverend.“Er, that wasn’t a confession, vicar.”

“We don’t do confession, Mrs.Roberts.That’s the other lot.”He turned back to Geoff and Melody.“Then, I shall bless the rings and you shall exchange them.Then we will have the prayers and the dismissal and you will process out to the wedding march.Is that everything clear?”

“Crystal, vicar,”confirmed Tony.

“Excellent!And a good twenty minutes before my next couple is due.Good luck, both of you!”

“Was that it?”asked Nicole as they all headed back down the aisle.

“Hardly worth getting out of bed for,”Ric agreed.

“I was hoping for a rehearsal of the reception,”Lucas noted.He glanced at Belle.“Isn’t the best man supposed to have an intimate dance with the chief bridesmaid?”

“Yes, but…I’m not the chief bridesmaid.”

“You’re not?”Lucas looked confused.“Then who is?”

Sheepishly, Annie raised her hand.

“Your first crush, Annie,”Belle teased,“Could be your lucky day.”

The group stopped short as they realised Jack and Charlie had just arrived in the doorway.“Jack, mate!” Tony greeted him surprised,“You’re a bit late for the rehearsal.”

“I’m afraid, Dad, we’re here on official business.”Jack looked at them all and sighed.“I’m sorry to have to tell you that the body of Aden Jefferies was found at the bottom of a cliff early this morning.We haven’t ruled out foul play.I’m going to have to ask you to come to the station to make some statements.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your comments, people.When I posted that chapter, I thought "People will either think that's a shocking twist or want to kill me or just stop reading in disgust.Or all three."Nice to know a few people are still reading.

I would say your the only person who had ever killed Aden in a fic XD

Gosh, I hope so.I like writing things before anyone else.Brace yourselves, this chapter's a long one.


Nicole hadn’t said a word since she’d come out of the interview room.She’d just sat silently in the reception area.Irene, Annie and Belle were huddled at the other end of the room, shooting her concerned looks.“Do you think one of us should talk to her?”Annie asked.

“Leave her be, love,”Irene advised,“I think she just needs some time on her own.”

“We weren’t even that close to Aden and we’re shocked,”Belle pointed out,“He was practically like a brother to her.”

Irene nodded in agreement.“Her dad’ll be here in a minute, let him…”She turned as the door opened. “Roman, good timing.”

Roman glanced past them at Nicole.“How is she?”

“Quiet.That’s about all we’ve been able to work out.”

Roman gave Irene a grateful pat on the shoulder then went and sat by his daughter.“Nic?You want to talk?”

Nicole looked at him, her usual spark completely absent.“Aden’s…gone, Dad.”

“Yeah, hon, I know.”

“Do you…do you know where he is?”

“At the hospital, I guess.”

“Can we…go and see him?”

Roman looked at her, concerned.“I’m not sure that’s a good idea.”

“Roman, I need to see him.”

It was rare these days for her to use his first name and, when she did, it was usually her way of reminding him she was an adult now, his equal.He held her gaze for a moment before picking out a familiar figure coming out of the office.“Charlie!”

Charlie stopped by them.“Roman, I’m sorry about what’s happened.”

“What’s been done with Aden’s body?”

“It’s been taken to the hospital mortuary.”

“Can we go see him?”Nicole asked.

“I’m not sure if that would be…”

“Charlie, we’re practically family,”Roman pointed out.

Charlie nodded.“All right, I’ll see what I can arrange.But later.We need to finish taking these statements first.By the way, do you remember what time Nicole got home last night?”

“About 10.40, I guess.Why?”

“Just something we needed to confirm.”

Geoff had been taken into the interview room by Jack and his superior, Sergeant Lara Fitzgerald.“We understand you had an altercation with Aden Jefferies yesterday,”Jack told him.

Geoff looked embarrassed.“Stuff happened, yeah.”

“Can you tell us exactly what happened?”

“It was after you’d arrested him for beating Axel.He came round the house to see Melody.I tried to stop him going in, he said something I didn’t like and…I hit him.He hit me back a couple of times then Melody came out and said she’d talk to him.They chatted for a bit then he left.”

“What did he say to you?”Lara asked,“Must have been something pretty bad if you lost your temper with him like that.”

“I…He said that I’d let Axel rape Melody and that I was going to do it again.”

Lara glanced down at his hand.“That’s an unusual cygnet ring.”

“Melody bought it for me for my eighteenth.”

“You wear it often?”


“You wear it yesterday?”


“It’s just there was a bruise on Aden’s cheek that exactly matches that ring.In fact, it was the only injury he had that wasn’t caused by the fall.”

“That was when I hit him outside the house.”

“Can anyone confirm that?”Jack asked.

“Melody might have seen it.”He looked from one to the other.“Look, am I a suspect or something here? Are you saying Aden was murdered?”

“It’s a possibility we haven’t dismissed.”

“It’s just…Aden seemed pretty desperate when he left us.Do you think he could have done it to himself?”

“That’s something else we haven’t dismissed,”Lara replied,“But it doesn’t really fit with the evidence.He didn’t leave a note.Nicole was with him most of the night and she says he seemed more positive when she left him.”She got to her feet.“Wait here, please, Geoff.There’s someone else I need to talk to.”

Lara took her seat next to Charlie in the other interview room, the one where Melody had been waiting. “Tell us what happened when Aden came to your house yesterday.”

“I was inside.I could hear raised voices from the garden.I realised it was Geoff and Aden so I went out there.I saw Aden punch Geoff in the ribs.”

“You saw Aden punch Geoff?”Lara clarified,“You didn’t see Geoff punch Aden?”

“Geoff told me he had, before I got there, but no, I didn’t see it.”

“What happened then?”Charlie asked.

“I told them to stop.Aden asked me, pleaded with me, to go to you, to tell you about what Axel did to me.I told him that you already knew, that there was no point.When he left, he just looked so scared.”

“What you told him was right,”Lara assured her.

“But…but now he’s dead.What if I’d done something different?”

“Melody, that’s something we may never know,”Lara told her gently,“Now, can you tell us about that night?”

“Melody didn’t see you hit Aden.”

Geoff looked at Lara nervously.“I did.”

“I’m not doubting that.The question is whether you did it in your garden or whether you did it on the cliff path, right before he went over the edge.”

“I…I was nowhere near the cliff path!”

“Nicole says she left Aden about 10.30, her father confirms she got home not long after.Preliminary pathology report and other evidence indicate Aden died no more than an hour later.Can you account for your whereabouts between ten and twelve?”

“I went for a drink at Noah’s with Ric and Luc.I left first, about half ten, I walked home along the beach, I got there about fifteen, twenty minutes later.”

“Did anyone see you arrive back?”Jack asked.

“No, Melody was asleep, everyone else had gone to bed.”

“So you could have taken a detour up the coastal path?”

“I didn’t!”

“I want to believe you, Geoff,”Lara sighed,“But I’ve got a dead man at the bottom of a cliff, less than twenty-four hours after the two of you fought, with injuries that you’ve admitted you gave him.And you’ve got no alibi.”She closed her folder.“I’m releasing you on police bail pending further enquiries.You’ll be required to report her every day and to refrain from influencing anyone who might be potentially called as a witness against you.I’ll get you some forms to sign.”

Irene had gone to collect James from Tony and Rachel’s, Annie had gone straight upstairs.That left Geoff and Melody alone in the living room.“Are you okay?”Geoff asked.

“Aden’s dead, Geoff.”The news upset Melody more than she’d expected.She hadn’t realised how fond she’d been of him.

“Yeah, I know.”

“But…what can have happened?”

“Axel.”Geoff’s jaw was set.

Melody looked at him confused.“What?”

“It’s obvious, isn’t it?Axel turns up back here, Aden beats him up, then the minute he’s out of hospital Aden ends up at the bottom of a cliff.Doesn’t take a genius.”

“Geoff, you don’t know that.”

But Geoff had already started walking towards the door.“I’m not gonna let him get away with it again.”

Annie came down the stairs in time to see the door close.“Where’s Geoff going?”

Melody looked at her, concerned.“I think he’s going to do something stupid.”

Geoff pushed past Danielle as soon as the door was open.“Where is he?”

“Geoff, what are you..?”

Geoff stormed into the living room to see Axel struggling to his feet.“Geoff, I just heard about Aden.I can’t believe…”

Geoff grabbed him by the collar and slammed him against the wall.“You’re going to tell them what happened.”

“What?Geoff, I don’t know anything.”

“Let go of him!”Danielle shouted desperately,“He’s just come out of hospital, you’ll kill him!”

“What, like he killed Aden?”Geoff turned Axel round, pushing his face against the wall.“Tell the truth!”

“Geoff, I swear I had nothing to do with this!”

Geoff pulled Axel’s head back before slamming it against the wall with force.“I’m not going to let you do it again!”

“Geoff, he was with me all night!”Danielle insisted,“Now let him go!”

Then Jack and Charlie came rushing into the room.Jack pulled Geoff off Axel and held him against the wall.“Geoff Campbell, I’m arresting you for assault.You have the right to remain silence, anything you say may be used as evidence.”Quietly, so no-one else in the room could hear, he added,“I’m sorry, mate.”

“How…how did you know he was here?”Danielle asked as Jack led Geoff out.

“We didn’t,”Charlie replied,“We were coming to ask you both to come in and make statements.Guess you’ll need to make statements about that too now.”

“What’s going to happen to him?”Axel asked.

Charlie looked over at where Jack was putting Geoff in the police car.“Let’s just say he’s in a lot of trouble.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Irene stormed into the police station, Melody just behind her, and picked out Jack at the desk.“What have you done with Geoff?”

“He’s in the cells,”Jack explained,“He’ll be kept in custody here until they make a decision on whether to proceed with any charges relating to Aden’s death.It’s the best we can do for him.”

“The best you can..?”Irene was flabbergasted.“You’ve got him locked in a cell!”

“Irene, leaving aside any charges he may face over the assault on Axel, he’s broken his bail conditions.He interfered with a potential witness in a pretty major way.Either we keep him here or he gets transferred to jail to wait it out.”

Irene faltered at that.“Okay, yeah, I see your point.”

“Look, there’s been no decision made and we’re still investigating the case.Something could turn up that puts him in the clear or the prosecution might decide there isn’t enough evidence to charge him.”

“Can I see him?”Melody asked.

“I can take you through…”

“No, I mean alone.”

“No way, that’s completely against regulations.An officer has to be present for all visits.”

“You’ve bent the rules once for him,”Irene pointed out,“Once more won’t make a difference.”

Jack sighed.“Okay but if anyone asks I was with you the whole time.”

Geoff looked round in surprise as Melody came into the cell.“Mel!What are you doing here?”

“What does it look like?Visiting you.”She kissed him gently then sat down beside him, as close as possible.

Geoff stroked her hair softly and put an arm round her shoulder.“I’m so sorry, Mel.I’ve messed everything up.”

“You haven’t.This wasn’t your fault.”

“I shouldn’t have lost my temper with Aden and I shouldn’t have lost my temper with Axel.If I hadn’t, none of this would be happening.The police would be concentrating on finding out what really happened to Aden and we wouldn’t be in here.”

“Why…why did you lose your temper?It’s not like you.”

“Because Aden was right about me.It was my fault, what happened to you, leaving you alone with Axel at the party.”

“I don’t blame you.You know the ironic thing is I think Aden always blamed himself a bit too, for being there and not doing anything.”

“And he was right about me and Axel too.I don’t want to but…whenever I think about what he did to you, I just want to hurt him so much.I know it’s wrong, I know it’s not what you’d want, not what God would want, but I just can’t seem to get rid of all this anger towards him.How did you forgive him?”

Melody sighed.“I spent all those months hating Axel, being afraid of him.I didn’t enjoy it much.When I spoke to him after his arrest and found out he was really sorry, I felt so relieved that I didn’t have to feel like that anymore.We have to let go, Geoff.Otherwise we’re just hurting ourselves.”

Geoff kissed her gently.“I’m sorry, Mel.”

“Hey.”She held his hand tightly.“We’ll get through this, Geoff.Somehow.”

Danielle looked at where Axel was sitting, brooding.“What are you thinking about?”

“About Aden.About Geoff.I came back here to try and make things right with everyone.All I seem to have done is mess up their lives even more.”

She came into the room and sat down beside him.“What happened to Aden wasn’t your fault.And Geoff… he brought it on himself, storming round here like that.You were right to charge him.”

“I haven’t.I gave the police a statement but I haven’t taken it any further.The guy’s up on a murder charge, accusing him of assault isn’t going to make much difference.”

“You can’t let him get away with what he did to you!”

“Look, I agreed with you about pressing charges against Aden, he went too far, but Geoff didn’t really hurt me, he was just letting off steam.”

“Only because the police were here to pull him off you.It’s just, I hate the way everyone in this town treats you.I don’t think I can handle losing someone else I love.”

He caught the implication of her comment.“Aden?”

She nodded.“I just…I can’t believe it happened.He’s been the one person I could rely on for so long.And now, now I’ve got no-one.”She grasped his hand.“Except you.”

He gently pulled her towards him, so her head rested on his shoulder.“It’s okay, Dan.I’m not going anywhere.”

Nicole sat on a bench, staring out over the sea.After coming back from the hospital, she’d just needed some fresh air.Seeing Aden had been hard.He’d always been so full of life and there he was, just lying there, an empty shell.Everything that made him Aden, had made him special, had gone, she could tell that.

She thought about the previous night, when she’d answered his call.She’d been shocked at the state of him.She didn’t think she’d ever seen him scared before.She’d sat with him, while he poured everything out.They’d talked and made love and talked some more.And then they’d just lain there.And as he held her, she’d heard him whisper to her,“You’re the one I want to be with, Nic.”She’d smiled at him and kissed him and settled down in his arms.

Why hadn’t she said anything back?

“Nicky?”The voice came softly, cautiously, from behind her.She didn’t need to turn to know who it was; after all, even if she hadn’t recognised the voice, there was only one person that called her that.

“Have a seat, Annie,”she called back.

Annie sat beside her, her features etched with concern.“Are…are you feeling okay?”

“I was just…just thinking about Aden.About the last time I saw him.Is it true they’ve arrested Geoff?”


“That’s ridiculous.He’d never have harmed Aden.”

“Well, he kind of did.I mean, they had a fight yesterday.And then he sort of…battered Axel.”Annie tried to draw the conversation back on topic.“Nicky, if you need to talk to someone…I mean, I know how I’d feel if something happened to Geoff…”

“Me and Aden weren’t like you and Geoff.”Nicole couldn’t quite believe she was saying it at last.Perhaps with Aden gone, she was just desperate for someone to talk to.

“Well, I know he wasn’t really your brother but Belle and Melody aren’t really my sisters…”

“No, we weren’t like you and Geoff, we…we were like you and Jai.”

“Oh!You mean you were..?Oh!”Annie swallowed hard.“Does Danielle know?”She seemed to realise the stupidity of her question straightaway.“I guess not.Are you going to tell her?”

“How can I?She’s grieving for Aden.I can’t just turn up and tell her he was seeing me too.”

“But you’re grieving as well and if no-one knows about it…”

“I can’t just muscle in.She was his girlfriend, I was his…his secret.”

“Well, who else knows?”

Nicole laughed ironically.“Actually…you’re the first person I’ve ever told.”

“Wow.”Annie looked at her seriously.“Nicky, you’ve got to tell your dad.”

Nicole shook her head.“I can’t, Ann.He’d be so disappointed in me.”

“Nicky, you need someone.You need to tell him.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.