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I haven't written one of these in what seems like forever but the pairing of Aden and Belle was just too good to pass up on! I hope you enjoy this story, I apologise in advance for sloppy uploading I'm working a lot of hours at the moment but I really will try to upload as much as I possibly can. All that's left to say is enjoy I guess!

Type of story: At the moment - undecided! Probably somewhere between a long and short fiction!

Rating: T - Teen Content

Main Characters: Aden Jeffries and Belle Taylor, some minor appearances by others!

Genre: Drama/Romance

Warnings: None to speak of really! Mild sexual content

Is Story being proof read: No

Summary: Follow Aden and Belle through the ups and downs of their turbulent relationship and how they cope with the problems life continues to throw at them. Is love really all you ever need?

Chapter One

Belle used the cool sides of the sink to keep herself steady. She lifted her gaze to look at the reflection staring back at her. Letting out a long, slow breath she closed her eyes and tipped her head backwards. Pushing her palms off the cool porcelain she stepped backwards to survey the scene. The well-worn lino covering the bathroom floor was littered in empty packaging, cellophane and paper instructions some flattened, others still neatly folded. Toilet roll had been rolled out across the floor, eight little white sticks spread out evenly along it. Crouching down to inspect the latest in the assembly line, the last fight seemed to leave her body as she dropped backwards to sit flat on the floor. Dropping her head onto her knees sobs began to wrack her body as the enormity of the scene playing out in front of her finally sunk in. Eight tests couldn’t be wrong, eight positive tests could only mean one thing, Belle was pregnant. Pregnant with Aden Jeffries baby and there was nothing she could do about it.

Aden leant back against the fence and let it take his weight. With the sunshine warming his body he felt himself shut his eyes and just for a moment lose himself in the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. This was just bliss, there was no other word for it. A loud crash from inside the diner followed by Irene’s yells brought him back down to earth with a bump. He sighed deeply, realising that his already short break was about to be over quicker than he’d wished for. At this moment in time the last thing he really felt like doing was entering the madness of the diner again with instructions being shouted over the often too-loud music and customers being nowhere near as friendly as they ought to be. Placing his hands on the wooden fence he pushed himself forward ready to face whatever catastrophe had just occurred inside. As he slowly made his way along the fence past the benches outside something caught his eye. There she was, as beautiful as ever. Belle Taylor was striding down the pathway to the diner, right towards him. Aden quickly glanced at the ground not sure if he could deal with her right now but when no further sound came he felt himself being unavoidably drawn to look at her again. She had stopped halfway down the path and was, with difficulty lifting the lid on one of the industrial bins they had placed there. With one hand holding the lid she used the other to fling a full-looking paper bag in, as she did so a few papers fluttered out and settled on the ground by her feet. Dropping the lid with a bang she quickly bent to pick up the wayward litter, putting it once again inside the huge bin. She glanced both up and down the walkway before patting both hands on top of the bin ensuring it was fully closed and set off back up the hill. She clearly hadn’t seen him. Aden was intrigued, what evidence was she getting rid of now? Before he could contemplate any further on the matter, his name was shrieked out for all to hear. Picking up an empty glass and can he hurried inside to face whatever disaster they were dealing with inside.

So there you have it! Is it worth carrying on with or not? As always I really appreciate feedback good or bad!

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  • 4 weeks later...
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Awwww, you are so kind, thankyou.

Right I have a little bit of blitz on this story and am hopefully going to upload a few more chapters, although I'm not sure how good they are! I really do want to do this story well I just wish time allowed! Anyway here goes! Enjoy!

Chapter Two

Belle flopped down onto the warm sand and let out a sigh of relief. It was done. All the evidence was now done away with and no one was any the wiser. She had made sure to look both up and down the walkway; nobody had been around to see her dispose of the eight positive pregnancy tests confirming the fact that she was pregnant with Aden Jeffries’ baby. How had she got herself into this mess? Where had she gone so wrong? Slipping her feet out of her ballet pumps she carefully dug her toes into the sand, savouring the feeling of it under her feet. Shutting her eyes she let out a long, slow breath as in her head she began to sort through the options she now had ahead of her. There was, realistically three ways in which she could go, abortion, adoption or raise their child herself. Her eyes flickered open again; right now she wasn’t sure she could do any of them. Shouldn’t this decision be easier? At seven weeks pregnant, she’d been burying her head in the sand too long already. As she weighed up the options in her head she realised almost immediately that adoption was out of the question. Having been raised in an adoptive family herself, after seeing the effect losing a child had had on her birth mother she knew that was something she could not entertain. Carrying a child for nine months and then handing them over to a family, a family that could turn out to be like her own. It was just something she could, never would willing do. Sure, adoptive families could be fantastic, at times a million times better than anything the biological parent could provide but in her case it was really a once bitten, twice shy scenario. At least that was what her heart was telling her. Abortion felt similar. It felt wrong to end the life of the unborn child she was now carrying. It was part of her, part of Aden, they had created the tiny being within her together and it felt wrong that their baby’s life should be so cruelly snatched away before it had even begun. After all what had their child ever done to deserve that?

It began to dawn on Belle that there was only one option, in all honesty there had only been one all along. She would raise her child; she would carry this tiny baby through the next months and then after the birth bring up the child with or without Aden’s input. Irene would undoubtedly help out and Amanda after such a traumatic pregnancy and birth with Belle would certainly support her daughter’s decision to raise her own child, not that it made a great deal of difference. Sure Belle spoke to her birth mother now and again, she kept up to date on their lives, how Ryan was getting on in school and Peter in his new job. In fact she could almost hear the conversation they would have. First, the inevitable argument that Belle was too young to be having a child, that she had a great life ahead of her that would now be curtailed. Then would come the apologies for the hypocrisy and then the pledges of support, albeit financially in all probability, although it would be Irene who would be there during the cravings and sickness, thorough the birth and the long, sleepless nights that would inevitably follow. If she could be just half of the motherly figure that Irene was to not only her but also Geoff, Annie and to the many before them then she’d be happy.

Completely lost in the planning of her future Belle’s peace was shattered by the ear-splitting siren of police car tearing up the road behind her. Angelo. How had she not factored in Angelo? She had been so busy planning her life over the next few months; whether Aden would or wouldn’t be involved she hadn’t even stopped to think of the present. Angelo was her present, he was here and now and it was only a matter of time before he too realised what they were facing. At just seven weeks along she had hidden her fears well, her body not yet betraying her but that could only last a short time longer. Angelo was a sweetheart, calm and supportive it was what had drawn her to him, a port in the chaotic storm of being with Aden. He was wonderful, gentle and charming but realistically would he stick around to raise a child that wasn’t his after just a few short weeks of dating, it was unlikely. And in all honesty was that what she wanted? Belle flopped her head back down onto her knees, how had it got to this, how had she let it get to this?

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Next one! Enjoy!

Chapter Three

Aden opened his eyes again and sighed. This was ridiculous he should be fast asleep by now. He hadn’t stopped all day for goodness sake. Not only had he worked a full-on shift at the diner he had come home to a stack of HSE work, it seemed never-ending. He kicked his duvet off and flipping himself over led flat on his stomach. Who was he kidding; he couldn’t sleep, not like this. What he needed wasn’t to be cooler, wasn’t a break from study or working at the diner, he needed Belle Taylor. He needed her here now; he needed to feel her next to him, to hear her gently breathing as she slept. He needed to wrap his arms around her, to hold her close and never let go. How had he let it get like this? Sure, he had every right to be angry with his father, to resent his lies and lack of protection but taking him and the others hostage, withholding that vital medical treatment, it had been wrong. It had been nothing short of crazy and he knew that now. He had scared her, he had hurt her and in turn he had destroyed himself. She was all he’d ever wanted, she had been everything and now all he felt was emptiness. His arms ached to hold her, his lips to kiss hers, yet all he felt was the crushing pain of loneliness pressing down on his chest. He just didn’t function without her, how had he ever lived before? He needed Belle like he needed oxygen to live, because without her he wasn’t living, he merely existed.

In her sleep Belle rolled over to the left side of her bed, the emptiness woke her. He wasn’t there and he hadn’t been there for too long. She longed to feel his body next to hers, to hear his even breathing, his aftershave filling her senses and her bed. Snuggling into her pillow a tear trickled its way down her face. He should have been here, if only he hadn’t tried to hurt his father, if only he hadn’t held her and Rachel captive there. There were too many ‘if onlys’. She’d meant it though, she’d meant it when she told him she loved him, she’d meant it more than she’d meant anything in her life. She loved him, totally, completely, hopelessly and now without him she felt empty and lifeless. Angelo was brilliant, he was kind and supportive, a genuinely good guy but as much as she’s tried she couldn’t love him. All she wanted right now was for Aden to be lying here next to her, for her arms to be laid across that chest and for her head to be tucked under his chin, safe and secure in his arms, because right now crying herself to sleep for the fourth night in a row she felt anything but.

Short one I know! Next one is longer though, promise!

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Last one for today! I'm on a bit of a roll! Just need to carry on with the rest of the story now! Glad you're enjoying it, you write such lovely comments! Here we go....

Chapter Four

This was beginning to get harder; there was no question about that. A month had gone by and hiding this pregnancy was proving to be a tougher challenge than she’d first thought. She was paranoid that the subtle thickening of her waistline would give her away, the ritualistic throwing up every morning a sure sign and the attempts to hide a severe gagging reflex anytime the smell of coffee entered her nostrils a certainty. How her secret had still gone undiscovered was beyond her. But it wasn’t just the physical strain this pregnancy was placing on her body that was getting her down it was the tangled mess of secrets and lies that her life had now become. It wasn’t right that the people she cared about should be kept in the dark about this. Irene should know, Angelo certainly should know and Aden, well Aden should have been included from the very start. The whole thing was a mess, a mess that right now seemed insurmountable, too massive to even begin sorting out, too huge to know where on earth to start.

Sitting up in bed Belle looked across to the mirror placed precariously on her dressing table, she looked awful. Her face was pale and uncharacteristically spotty, another wonderful side effect of the pregnancy. Dark circles beneath her eyes gave her an almost ghostly look and her hair hung limp and lank across her shoulders. She looked thin. While her waistline, she was sure was expanding noticeably her face seemed almost gaunt, her shoulders bony, her collarbones protruding uncomfortably out of the tight vest top she wore in bed. She was a state, no wonder Angelo didn’t seem to want to spend the night anymore, he was scared of waking up to this, although her continual rebuffs might also be a reason for his diminished visits. After dreaming too many times that the man she shared her bed with was in fact Aden she was scared that one day soon she would inevitably slip up and say his name out loud. As a result she had discouraged nighttime visits with a variety of equally unbelievable excuses. Apparently, as she glanced to the empty space beside her, he had taken the hint. Then it hit her, the all to familiar waves of nausea that hit her every morning without fail. She was tired, so tired of facing this alone, from keeping every part of this a secret, learning to vomit in the quietest ways, applying too much make-up to fake some sort of colour on her pallid face. She couldn’t hide this anymore she had to tell someone, she had to share this with someone, anyone, anyone meaning just one, Aden.

Her relationship with Aden had only improved over the last few weeks, making life both easier and more difficult. While working alongside him at the diner was no longer so awkward, seeing him everyday and keeping such a huge secret from him was at times too big a burden to bear. So many times she had almost given in, almost let him in but something stopped her each time, she had been lying for so long, how would she even begin to start a conversation that would ultimately change his whole life. How would he take the fact that he, who had struggled with a relationship with his own father, was about to embark on his on own journey, that in just a matter of months he too would be a father? She wasn’t sure he could take it, actually she wasn’t she could. It was selfish she knew, she knew every logical argument, every legitimate and not so legitimate reason for both telling him and keeping it a secret just that little bit longer but in reality she was running out of time.

Wearily she pushed the door of the diner open, the overwhelming smell of coffee making her gag before she had even set foot inside. And there he was, the father of the child she was at this very second carrying inside her. He was beautiful, she couldn’t deny that fact, and how many photographs had she taken of that man? She knew every inch of that body, she knew just how it felt, how he smelt, she knew the way hers fitted perfectly to his, his hand in hers, her lips on his, they were like two pieces of jigsaw, slotting together perfectly, nothing in between them. Except there was, not just the baby she was carrying but Angelo, the sweet man who deserved better than she was giving him right now. He was struggling to adapt to this new courteous relationship she and Aden were embarking on and despite all her protestations that friendship was all it was she wasn’t sure he was buying it. In all honesty she wasn’t buying it herself, was that truly all they were? She was carrying his baby for goodness sake. Just friends? She wasn’t sure they had ever been just friends.

He looked up as he heard the door click and smiled when he realised it was her. Although as she scrutinised his face she wasn’t sure it reached his eyes. Lately he seemed to look at her with a little pity, a little concern and she wasn’t sure she liked it. She had never been good at being vulnerable and being vulnerable in front of Aden Jeffries was not a position she appreciated being in. She smiled back, trying in vain to make it brighter than she felt, she wasn’t sure it was successful. He ducked his head down and pulled out the coffee jug, placing it onto the machine, the hot liquid pouring into the jug. That was it; it was more than she could stand. The smell overwhelmed her senses and in a kind of delirium she stumbled back against the door, wanting to get out as quickly as possible. Once outside she again emptied the contents of her stomach over the railings, not sure what else there was to possibly bring up. It was then she felt a warm, caring hand on her back steadying her the other gently bringing her hair away from her face. Unable to cope with the feeling of his skin on her own she pulled away, too quickly apparently. Her poor body working overtime on so very little screamed in outrage at the fast movement. Spots swam in front of her eyes as she grasped his body for support, gracefully crumpling to the floor as her world turned to black.

Hope you like it!

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Awwww, you are all sweethearts! I am so glad that you are enjoying the story, albeit 'dialogue-less'! Here's the next chapter, apologies for the shortness of it, just thought you were owed something, even if it's a little something! The next one will be longer I promise! Enjoy!

Chapter Five

Belle was vaguely aware of her weak, frail body being taken into the arms of a strong one, her head flopping uncomfortably against Aden’s chest. Everything in her wanted to pull away, to leap out of his arms before she did something she regretted but right now it was taking every ounce of her strength to stay in this strange, semi-conscious state. She felt the change of atmosphere as he carried her gently back inside, careful not to knock her head or indeed her legs on the doorframe. She could feel his heart banging in his chest, faster even than her own. She’d frightened him she knew. She wanted to alleviate his fears, to tell him she was fine but her head couldn’t make sense of the words she needed to say. He came to a stop as he reached the sofas lined up against the back wall; gently he lowered her down onto the cushions, smoothing her hair away from her face. At his touch she stirred, her eyelids flickering as she slowly began her journey back to consciousness. Squatting down beside her he again stroked her face, whispering under his breath something unintelligible. It was too much, she couldn’t do this, she couldn’t have him care for her like this. She’d get a taste for it she knew and then it would become even more complicated than it was already.

‘Stop Aden, I need you to stop. Please stop’

He looked like she had slapped him hard across the face. His hand that had so gently caressed her cheek snapped back as if her skin burnt him. His face told of his hurt, his anger and yet still concern for the broken body of the girl led in front of him. She knew all he wanted was to take care of her, that he was genuinely worried about her, that he loved her and wanted her to be ok but right now it was more than she could deal with. Closing her eyes in a vain attempt to quell the nausea building up inside her again she half expected a response but none came. As she drifted back into unconsciousness she was vaguely aware of his voice across the room, his words jumbled and mixed up, too confusing for her brain to translate.

Sorry it's short guys! Just the way the chapters worked out! Hope you liked it anyway! Although I know it's not what we want for them!

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And here's chapter six! I wanted to separate them as I wasn't sure they made a great deal of sense together! Thankyou again for your beautiful comments, you're all lovely! Here we go!

Chapter Six

Belle couldn’t say for certain how she had made it back to her own bed but she was pretty sure it had involved once again being carried by the strong arms of a man she loved more than she could ever admit. A man that she knew loved her too and had only been concerned for her today and yet she had treated him terribly, heartlessly. She had been cruel. She couldn’t be sure but she imagined that he had rung Irene after her collapse at the diner this morning, carried her to the car no doubt and probably to her bed the other end. Irene hadn’t said as much but she knew him and that’s what he would have done. No questions asked, nothing expected in return. He’d have been careful, gentle, holding her like fragile glass, as if the slightest bump, the slightest rough handling might break her into a thousand pieces. The harsh reality of it was that when he touched her he did break her. Not literally, not her skin or bones but she felt it all the same. Her heart broke every time she saw him. It broke for him, for everything he had been forced to deal with, it broke for her, her loneliness and her own emptiness since she lost him. But more than anything else it broke for their unborn child. The thought that her child might not know its father, that Aden might not want to acknowledge that they had together created a child, it was more than she could bear. In all honesty she wasn’t sure how many more times her heart could break, she couldn’t keep picking up the pieces, papering over the numerous cracks. With great effort Belle lifted her weary head off her damp pillow to glance at the clock stationed beside her bed. 3:17pm, how quickly this day had flown by. It seemed almost a decade ago she had strode into the diner only to be brutally assaulted by the stench of early morning coffee. Having said that, when she and Irene had discussed the reasons behind her collapse earlier that afternoon, Belle was certain time had never moved more slowly.

Once she had been well enough to hold eye contact and a coherent conversation Irene had perched herself on the side of the bed, uninvited, and began a gentle onslaught of concerned questioning. They had started off fairly general, had she eaten this morning, was she feeling unwell or rundown, had she ever fainted before? This line of questioning culminated in whether or not the incident had been brought on by a certain Mr Jeffries, had he said something, done anything to upset her in anyway? It was then that Belle’s resolve had broken; he had done something after all. He had participated in the act that had created the situation she was currently in whether he knew it or not. Although Belle had begun her well-rehearsed, already well-used web of lies her eyes must have betrayed her. Irene knew her too well, knew all her kids too well to be fooled by a blatant, barefaced lie. It had been at this point that amidst many tears, apologies and broken sobs the carefully constructed story of the past few months came crumbling down as, at last, Belle told all.

Again, not especially long, sorry! Hope you like it though!

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You are all so good at commenting I thought you deserved another update! Thankyou so much for all the lovely comments truly, I'm not the story really deserves them! Here's the next chapter anyway, hope you like!

Chapter Seven

Irene’s reaction had, at first been a little difficult to gauge. She had been the model of support, gently stroking the hair off her tearstained face as she’d cried into her now wet pillow. She had whispered reassurances, pledges of support, promises that the child would always be loved, wanted and cared for. Belle would have her support without question but first she needed to know a few things. Who was the father and did they know? How far along was she and had she truly considered every possible option? It was between the sobs that still wracked her body that she somehow got out that it was Aden that was the father of her child and at this moment in time she was nearly twelve weeks pregnant, her first scan due within the next week or so. Irene had tried in vain to hide her surprise, her hurt at being kept out of the loop for so long. Her expression had mirrored Aden’s earlier that morning, hurt and betrayal written all over face. Belle had then tried justifying herself, legitimising her actions but there was nothing to really say. She had no real reason for keeping her in the dark. She had hurt the people she loved most in the world and somehow it had hurt her even more.

Aden’s day had dragged. Time had never passed so slowly, at least that’s what it felt like. He hadn’t been able to get the image of Belle crumpling to the floor in front of him out of his head. Her face had been so very white, he wasn’t sure he’d ever seen anyone look that sick. Her dark hair had been such a contrast and the way it had fallen across her had made it look like dark blood running down her face. She was seriously ill, she had to be, he had never seen her look like that before. Sure, she’d come in a few times in the last week or so looking a little under-the-weather, like she’d been up most of the night but nothing like today. She had scared him in all honesty, that’s what it was. Belle Taylor was strong and capable, she didn’t get sick, she didn’t get scared, she was invincible, at least that was the persona she gave out. Of course he knew different, he had seen the other side. He had seen her afraid and upset, he had seen her cry. He had seen all of that because he had been the cause. He had made it happen. After that fateful day he had sworn to himself that he would never do that again, that never again would he have to see that beautiful girl broken and yet that was what he had witnessed today and after the way she had treated him he couldn’t help but wonder if once again it was he who was the cause.

As he absent-mindedly pushed the damp cloth he held in his hand across the counter for what must have been at least the sixth time his mind went over the morning’s events once again. He was thankful he had been able to catch her before she fell, scooping her into his arms and carefully manoeuvring his way thorough the outside tables and chairs. It had felt so good to have her in his arms again, albeit through awful circumstances. Her head had been tucked just beneath his chin, the way it had whenever she had held him close. The familiar smell of her perfume and shampoo had been intoxicating and it was only out of necessity he had reluctantly led her carefully onto the sofas inside. He would have held her like that until his arms gave way, her nearness too precious to be hurriedly given up. He had stroked her face and her hair, lost in her once again. How did she ever get the power to do that to him? He guessed he’d given it to her, along with every other part of himself. She owned it all, even if she didn’t realise it. He supposed that was why her words had stung him so badly. It was as if everything he had given was being thrown straight back at him and that hurt. He couldn’t pretend it didn’t, not anymore.

The hurt made it even more difficult to understand, if that was possible. He was still so confused. What was wrong with her? Irene had rung later in the day to thank him for carrying her both to the car and into the house but when he had inquired as to how she was she had stumbled over the words, simply saying that she was now fine, just a little under-the-weather. Aden had started to say that it was certainly more than that only to be abruptly cut off, a hurried thankyou and goodbye before the phone line went dead. What was going on with her? He wandered back into the kitchen, throwing the dishcloth half-heartedly into a bowl of now luke-warm water. As he began to slowly take off his apron he heard the front door open and close in quick succession. In the time it took to step backwards and peer through the doorway an apparently angry Angelo was striding across the room. A barrage of abuse filled Aden’s ears as the left side of his face took the full force of Angelo’s first hit.

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Awww, you really are all so kind! I'm worried you're all going to get fed up with this story though, it does move slow! I promise I will get to the good stuff, I just feel that there is so much to work through first! Thankyou again for all your beautiful comments, they are very much appreciated and a great encouragement! Here we go...

Chapter Eight

Belle was drained; there wasn’t really another word for it. As she flopped back onto the sofa, a steaming cup of tea cradled in her hands she let out a long sigh. How had it got to this? She had just spent the past few hours with Angelo and things had gone from bad to worse. He had turned up in a right state, demanding to know what on earth had happened at the diner this morning having heard events about tenth hand, embellished by an excitable Colleen. After she had finished relaying the news of Belle’s collapse poor Angelo had had every possible worse case scenario running through his head. After actually seeing her for himself and buying the 'rundown, not enough breakfast reason/lie' for her fainting episode he had started the next stage of his questioning involving the seemingly ever-present Aden Jeffries. Who, according to Angelo was always around when she needed him, when what she really should have done was to call him, Angelo straight away. In vain Belle had tried to explain that at that point it had taken every effort to stay conscious let alone make a coherent phone call to him for help, she hadn’t even thought of it. As soon as she’d said it she realised the mistake she had made. He had launched into an embittered speech that was exactly the problem, she hadn’t thought of him. She never thought of him, even though she was supposed to be with him, supposed to love him, he hardly ever even entered her head. She might physically be in his arms, she might physically lie next to him at night but in reality she was somewhere else, with someone else. She was with him, with Aden and always had been

At first Belle had tried to argue with him, tried to persuade him that he was wrong but as the words left her mouth even she didn’t believe them. What he was saying was true; she might well be with Angelo physically but in spirit she was with Aden. Although common sense had told her to leave him after the incident with his father she had never fully relayed that message to her heart because that part of her was still very much with a certain Aden Jeffries. Poor Angelo had never really stood a chance. Perhaps if she and Aden had had a clean break, no contact, nothing linking them to their shared past she and Angelo could have made a better go of it but the baby she was carrying, belonging to both her and Aden alone was certainly a very real, almost visible link to the past now. It wasn’t even just a link to the past it was something that was destined to link their futures too. Whatever happened she and Aden would always have this child in common, it would be something they would always share and no matter how much sense it seemed to make or how nice a guy Angelo may be he simply couldn’t compete.

It was at this point that Belle had given up. She couldn’t lie to him anymore; she couldn’t lie to herself anymore. Finally she’d agreed with him, that yes, she had unfinished business with Aden. For goodness sake she was having his baby, not that Angelo needed to know that right now. He had been angry and she understood that. She had broken her promises to him by keeping him in the dark. She hadn’t been ready for another relationship when he came into her life and she should have told him as such instead of getting caught up in him and the way he’d treated her. Not telling him had been wrong, she had led him on and let herself believe everything was fine when it wasn’t, when it was probably as far from ok as it could possibly be. She’d tried to explain that she had truly tried her hardest to love him, to be wholly his but as she’d said the words she knew it had come out wrong. After all who wants to be told that loving you is difficult? She’d tried to justify herself, tried to explain herself better but she saw in his face she’d already lost him. In truth she wasn’t sure she’d ever really had him, not on her part anyway. He’d smiled half-heartedly at her, told her he had expected this from day one although it didn’t make it any easier to understand or accept right now. He’d told her he could have loved her if she’d let him and that he hoped she found someone who could make her happy. He had then pulled her into a hug, hampered by the cushion she had used to cover her bent-up knees, a reminder of a bigger but unseen barrier now between them, picked up his hat and left. As he’d walked away she had tried to again explain that she wished she could have loved him, how much easier it all would have been but he didn’t stop. He hadn’t acknowledged her again, hadn’t responded, just kept on walking, a resigned air to him as he’d disappeared out of sight.

The cup of tea she held in her hands was cold now, she had been sat here too long, lost in her own world, lost in her own thoughts. She had done as Irene suggested, she and Angelo were finished, that small chapter of her life over. It hadn’t been easy but it was necessary, she couldn’t have asked him to stay with her while pregnant with another man’s child, it wouldn’t have been fair to him. He deserved better than that. Yes, that chapter was over, that task complete. Now it was time to start the next phase, tackle the next problem and to do that she had to do what she had been avoiding for the past few months, she had to tell him. She had to tell Aden now.

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Doing my usual I'm afraid, a couple of chapters at once! Not sure why it works out that way but it does! Glad you're glad Angelo and Belle are over, so am I! Not sure you're going to love this next chapter quite so much though! Enjoy!

Chapter Nine

Aden adjusted the packet of frozen peas over his bruised left cheek, wincing as he did so. Angelo's first hit had been a good one, he had to give him that. He looked again at his face in the shining surface, his reflection blurry and distant, like he wasn't quite there, not quite real. How true that was, it was exactly how he felt without her, and it made him all the more angry. What the hell had he done to cause that stupid jerk she called a boyfriend to come marching around here, insults and fists flying? He had done nothing but help her this morning, been the perfect gentleman, at least he thought he had. That's what he'd been going for anyway. He hadn't deserved a black eye that was for sure; he deserved a medal for putting up with all the craziness that undoubtedly came with that girl.

Again the door of the diner opened and then shut. Screwing his face up in frustration and with difficulty on his left side now, he braced himself, turned around and readied himself for round two. He'd let that idiot have the first punch and he sure as hell wasn't going to let him get away with it again. He thought he was prepared but what came through the doorway threw him off guard even more than that punch, because standing in front of him wasn't 'Loser Cop' at all, it was her.

What she was doing there was beyond him. Suddenly she seemed to notice his eye, she rushed forward, taking his face into her hands, carefully tilting his face away from her so his bruised side caught the light. She ran gentle fingers over the cool, swollen skin, feeling her way around his eye socket and cheekbone; and before he knew it he'd closed his eyes. Powerless again, lost in her touch. He hadn't realised how long it had been since she'd touched him like that, how good it felt to be cared for. She had picked up the frozen peas now and was carefully pressing them against his face, moulding the packet to his cheek. The cold brought him to his senses, the shock of the icy touch causing him to step swiftly away from her. What was he thinking? She wasn't his; she belonged to that idiot who less than half an hour ago had come in guns blazing, causing the wound she was now attempting to heal. She came forward again but he knew he couldn't let her touch him again; he'd melt like the cold packet in his hand and that would get him nowhere. As she tried to take his hand he pulled sharply away, echoing her own words of this morning,

'Stop, Belle. Just stop. I want you to stop'’

She recoiled, stung by his words. He supposed that was how he had looked this morning but it gave him no satisfaction. She tried again to initiate a conversation but today, today he was having none of it. He wasn’t going to fall for her games now. She played him hot and cold and he’d let her, well that was going to stop, right here, right now. He, Aden Jeffries was taking a stand, this was the last time she would treat him this way. He turned, his back now to her as he busied himself with wiping the counter in front of him. Less than a minute later he heard the door open and shut as once as again she walked out of his life. Just like last time he knew he only had himself to blame.

I know, I know, he should have listened! Hope you liked it anyway!

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I know, I know, Aden is very stupid! Thankyou again for all your wonderful comments! Here's the next chapter guys, hope you like it!

Chapter Ten

Belle hated these places with a passion. What was it about hospitals? No matter which one you went to they all had that same smell, they all had worn lino floors in need of a good clean and the most uncomfortable chairs they could apparently find. It didn’t help that she was here alone, no one to take her mind off the endless waiting that you also seemed to have to do in a hospital. There was a pile of well-read magazines on the table next to her but with their headlines showing the gossip of at least three years ago they were not in the least enticing. She searched again for a distraction, anything to keep herself from her thoughts, the silence that filled her own head if not the busy hospital corridor she was sitting in. Why hadn’t she taken Irene up on her offer of company? Although she hadn’t known Belle was heading in today she would have certainly have dropped the commitments she had to keep her company but Belle hadn’t even allowed her the choice. She knew why she hadn’t asked Irene, it was simply because she wasn’t him. When she had headed to the diner just a matter of days ago to tell Aden that she was pregnant with his child she had envisaged him being here with her now, waiting together excitedly to see the first ever snapshot of their unborn child. But all it had ever been was fantasy, a beautiful dream she had simply created in her own head. She should have stayed there that night, should have made him listen to her but he had been so cold and all she’d done was leave. She’d been weak and she had been beating herself up ever since.

Sat there in those hard, plastic chairs her hands moved unconsciously, protectively across her stomach. It was just the two of them and while she was anxious, sat there apparently alone she didn’t feel it. She was here with her baby and today would be the first time she would see her child. No matter the goings on of the past week, no matter how strained the relationship between her and Aden was nothing could take away the quiet excitement she felt. It was really happening, she was really pregnant and in a matter of months she would never be alone again, she would have a beautiful baby of her very own in her arms. Her bump was getting harder to disguise now loose fitting tops a must. After telling Irene she had felt some relief, no longer so worried that she would pick up on the pregnancy before she had a chance to tell her. Geoff and Annie appeared to be too wrapped up in their respective lives to notice whether Belle’s waistline was expanding or not and Angelo, well Angelo hadn’t even seen her since he walked away. Unsurprisingly the one person she felt most self-conscious in front of was Aden. Whenever she had seen him, which was admittedly not a great deal after last week she felt he had kept looking at her hardened, slightly protruding stomach. She knew she was being ridiculous that he didn’t know about the pregnancy, that there was no way he could know but she couldn’t shake the feeling.

With that the door opposite her opened, a young couple clutching a white envelope containing the first picture of their child. They thanked the sonographer for the scan and turned excitedly to each other to gaze at the picture again. They smiled politely at Belle as they continued up the corridor, the man’s hand placed protectively on the small of the woman’s back, guiding her gently, holding her close. She remembered what that felt like, to have an arm protectively placed around you and almost lost herself in a sea of memories, being held by him in those strong arms, cradled close to that chest, lost simply in him. She was brought back to earth by the smiling sonographer calling her name and gesturing her to follow into the small, darkened room across the hallway.

Belle led gingerly back on the hard, plastic covered couch, the protective paper sheeting wrinkling uncomfortably beneath her. As excited as she was she couldn’t help but feel a little alone now. The chair still placed next to the bed from the last couple conspicuously empty. He should’ve been here; she should have tried harder to tell him the truth. The sonographer after initiating small talk asked kindly for her to lift her top up a little in order for the gel to be applied. She obliged, gently tugging at her clothes to reveal the neat baby bump beneath them. She shuddered as the cool gel was liberally applied and focused solely on the screen to her right, waiting in anticipation for the very first look at the child she was carrying. Unconsciously she reached out her left hand wanting to grasp hold of someone who wasn’t there. Her fingers fumbled, clutching pathetically at the paper sheeting cover she was led on instead. It was cool, flimsy in her hand, a poor substitute for the hand that fit hers so perfectly. He was missing it and it was all her fault.

Suddenly her loneliness was forgotten when a blurry image appeared on the screen in front of her, a heartbeat that was racing like a train filled her ears and she was lost, lost in her baby. It was just incredible, so amazing to be able to take a glance inside and see clearly the head, body, arms and legs. A proper little person being knit carefully together inside. As the sonographer pointed out the baby’s arms the baby obliging raised its hands in a wave. Belle was stunned, this was real, this was truly happening. The baby appeared to be lying on its back, turning to face away from the screen later apparently fed up of all the extra attention. Belle chuckled quietly to herself; it appeared their baby was already showing signs of the stubborn nature its parents shared. To see the baby so active and responsive was all that Belle could have wished for. To hear that the baby was a healthy size and everything appeared to be normal and progressing nicely it was all she could do to blink away the tears threatening to obscure her view. This was her baby, their baby. It was real, living inside her. It had arms and legs, fingers and toes, a strong, healthy heartbeat. It was a tiny person already and she couldn’t help but dream what the child would become. As the scan came to a close, the chosen images frozen and printed out to keep, handed to her as she left. There was only one place she needed to go, one person she needed to see. Armed with the pictures inside a small, white plastic sleeve she carefully closed the door behind her, smiling politely at the anxious couple waiting to go in. It was time to tell Aden, it was time to show him their child.

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