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I know I said Friday, but I've gotten two of my assignments [almost] done, so I finished this off and thought I'd post it.

So here it goes... my 3rd story! :D

Story Title: Unfamiliar

Type of story: Long Fic

Main Characters: Belle and Aden.

Characters Mentioned: Matilda, Irene, Nicole, Geoff, Annie, Drew, Amanda, Roman and many more.

BTTB rating: G/T

Genre: Humor, Suspense and Drama mainly.

Does story include spoilers: Maybe... out of Aus

Any warnings: Maybe some L, SC, V, but very mild.

Summary: Sequel to 'Untroubled'. Set 18 months after, Aden and Belle are no longer teenagers, and with being adults, there comes life.

Chapter 1:

“Aden?” She called out softly, turning around in his arms to face him. When she received no response, she tried again, this time a little bit louder. “Aden.”

“Hmm…?” A strangled reply was what she got as he pressed his face down into the pillow they shared and pulled her closer to him.

“Aden… wake up.” She lifted one hand from where it laid on his chest and began to slowly knead the muscles of his upper right arm, her nails digging in every once in a while.

“Belle, what’s wrong?” He murmured, pulling her hand down and just left their hands joined there.

“Nothing’s wrong.”

“Then why did you wake me?” Aden groaned, the hand that was around her shoulders now rubbing comforting circles in between her shoulder blades that, she knew, was a way for him to try and make her fall back asleep.

“Because I want to talk to you.” Belle replied, trailing her free hand up and down his bare chest to keep him awake.



“Is it important?” Aden still hadn’t opened his eyes, though all of his senses were coming back to him as her hand left paths of fire across his torso.

“Kind of…” Her tone was sweet and almost humorous that he couldn’t help but sigh.

“Is it leaning more towards ‘important’ or more towards ‘not so important’?” He asked her as she stopped with her hand and pinched him. “Ow! Fine,” He finally opened his eyes and looked past her shoulder to see what time it was. “What is it that you had to talk to me about at 3 in the morning?”

“I was just thinking…” Belle shyly bit her bottom lip, trailing off.

“Thinking what?”

“I was thinking that we should get married.” She finished off her sentence. There was silence as Aden looked at her like she had completely lost it. At so early in the morning, Belle wasn’t surprised to hear almost nothing from the main part of the beach house. All she could hear were her heartbeat and his breathing.

“Belle,” He started slowly, his words coloured with slight perplexity and a bit of amusement. “Do you remember that day in New York when I got down on one knee and put this ring on your finger? What were my words exactly…?”

“Don’t patronise me.” Belle gave him an unimpressed look as she felt him twirl her engagement ring around her finger, a subtle smile on his face. It was a simple, solitaire diamond ring, set in a spiral, white gold band that she fell in love with the second she saw it. It hadn’t ever came off her finger since that day Aden had slipped it on except for the 5 hours when he wanted to get it engraved with the time that he had proposed. Belle had been surprised when she had seen that on the inside of the ring, the date and the place had already been inscribed, and she it was obvious that Aden had been planning this for a while.

“I’m not. I’m just making sure that you haven’t gone crazy.” He said seriously, trying to sound convincing. “Or me, rather.”

“What I meant,” Belle spoke pointedly. “Was that I think we should get married soon.”

“What happened to waiting?” Aden unwound his arms from her body, propping himself up on an elbow, using that hand to keep his head up as she turned onto her back, still facing him.

“Well, it’s been a year and half already.” She pointed out. That was the first thing that she had told him, and everyone else, after saying ‘yes’. Just because she was saying that she would marry him didn’t mean it would happen soon. “And I’ve got my job sorted and your studies are going great…”

“You’ve had your job sorted for the past 6 months, sweetheart.” He countered, wrapping an arm around her waist protectively. “And my studies have always been going great. Why the sudden change of heart?”

“It’s not that sudden. I’ve been thinking about it for a few days now.”

“That doesn’t explain it, though.” Belle could see the little smirk that he was fighting to hold back, and she knew that he was playing her and had an inkling as to why she had changed her mind.

“No, it doesn’t.” She simple replied, turning her head away from him and looking straight up at the ceiling.

“Alright.” Aden sighed. “So how ‘soon’ are we talking? A year? Or by the end of the year?”

“Yeah, I guess you could say that.” She said awkwardly, avoiding his eyes as her fingers fiddled with his.

“Belle…” His tone was warning, “how soon were you thinking?”

“A couple of months.”

“As in, a couple of months from now?” Shock was clear in his voice. When she nodded, finally meeting his eyes with a sweet smile, he raised an eyebrow. “Let me get this straight. After waiting for 18 months, and insisting that you didn’t want to get married until we were both in the ‘right’ place in our lives, you now want to get married in… what? 2 months?”

“2 to 3 months.” Belle corrected him. “But basically, yeah.”

“Hmm…” He murmured as a frown came upon his face, his fingers tightening around hers to stop from playing around.

“Aden, just think about it.” She shuffled a bit so that her body was now more towards him than the ceiling. “This is the right time. We’ve got a steady future; me at the papers and you with your degree soon, we’ve got the money and we’re both happy right now. What else do we need?”

“I know, Belle.”


But, I can’t help but think that you’re only saying this because of the baby.” Aden chose his words carefully, not wanting to sound like he was judging or doubting her. Belle remained silent at his words, slight guilt in her eyes showing him that he was right. “Belle-”

“No, look.” She cut him off quickly. “Ok, so maybe that swayed my decision, but I mean it. This is the right time. If we wait longer, then we’ll have a kid to worry about too, and it’ll get too hectic. Right now, it’s easier to plan a wedding and work and all rather than later on. It just feels right, you know?”

“’Feels right’?” He questioned her as she turned to fully face him once again, propping her head up with a hand too.

“Getting married and then having a kid. Having a place for ourselves, setting it all up…” Belle grinned as her eyes sparkled at the thought of it all.

“Never thought you for traditional.” Aden joked, the frown lessening when he saw the excitement and joy on her face.

“I’m not!” She defended herself, swatting him on the arm. “It’s just logical. I mean, we’re going to have to get a place to ourselves, anyway, so why not so it properly?”

“Logical, yeah, alright.” He mocked, smiling.

“Aden! I’m being serious here.”

“Ok, ok.” He chuckled, pulling her closer with the arm that was still around her waist, pressing a kiss to her forehead. “If it’s what you really want…”

“It is. But you too, Aden.” Belle added hastily. “If you don’t want to, then that’s ok. We can wait.”

“Honey, 3 months or 3 years, I’ll marry you whenever you want. Hell, I’d marry you in 3 minutes if you were willing.” She laughed at his sweet remark, allowing him to pull her in for a brief, but deep, kiss. Even after 2 years, she cherished each kiss, never able to get enough and making her feel just like she had at their first kiss. “One thing though.”


“Why in a couple of months?” He questioned. “I mean, we’ve got another 8 months left.”

“Oh.” Belle giggled, a bit embarrassed. “Well, I want to look good on my wedding day. And I’ve kind of already got the dress picked out.”

“You have?” Aden recoiled in surprise. They had never really talked about anything in specific about the wedding. “Since when?”

“I dunno.” Se shrugged slowly. “Mattie had found her dress like a year ago and she was showing me, so we ended up in a bridal store and one thing led to another…”

“I see.” He laughed as she rolled her eyes and collapsed back down again, allowing him to pull her right up to his body. “Alright, but just so you know, you would look good no matter what.”

“What? Even 6 months along the line and as big as a house?” Belle asked him sceptically, eyebrows drawn together in slight disgust.

Especially then.” Aden grinned, leaning over her as he entwined a leg with hers while nuzzling her neck, caressing it with kisses before lifting his head up and meeting her lips with his, only parting when they needed the air. “I love you.”

“I love you, too.” She replied, her hands finding their way up to his shoulders to keep him close to her.

“You do realise,” He began as she tried to pull him into another kiss. “That we’re going to have to tell people now.”

“About the wedding, sure.” Belle said easily, trying to pull him down once again, sighing in frustration when he resisted her.

“I meant the pregnancy.”

“Why? It’s no-one’s business.” She replied, scoffing.

“Because they’ll ask questions why we’re getting married so suddenly after waiting for so long.” Aden reasoned with her. Ever since they had found out that she was pregnant 2 weeks ago, they had kept it quiet, wanting to relish in their newfound joy alone for a bit.

“So we’ll just tell them that the time is right. No need to go into details.” Belle retorted letting her arms go lax from around his shoulders as her mood lightened a bit. “Although, I think we should tell family the truth.”

“Such as…?” He prompted her to explain who she was thinking of.

“Irene, Roman… Mum.” She added, groaning. “They deserve to know.”

“Ok, but what about Nic and Geoff and Annie?” Aden asked her. “Or even Mattie?”

“Urgh…” Belle moaned, covering her face with her hands for a second before letting out a breath. “Ok, what about this? We tell Irene, Roman and Amanda first, and then we tell the others, yeah?”

“Sounds good to me.” He smiled gently, a hand skimming over her waist before leaving it to rest above her stomach. “When do you want to do that?”

“Well, I need to go to the city tomorrow, so I can pop around at Mum’s and tell her then.” She informed him. “And lucky you, getting the day off, can tell Roman. And I think that the both of us should tell Irene together.”


“Yeah, why not?” Belle gave him an excited grin. “May as well get it out of the way.”

“Alright, then. Now that’s sorted, can we go back to sleep?” He asked her politely, even with a cheeky look.

“God, you and your sleep! Anyone would think you’re the pregnant one.” She teased, placing a hand on to his cheek, affectionately.

“Hey, if you wanna stay up, then I’m not going to argue.” He defended himself. “I’m just thinking of you having to get up at 7 tomorrow morning.”

Belle groaned at his reminder. Although she only worked weekends once in a blue moon, her boss had requested that she go down to the city on the Saturday and meet with some people who she had assisted on doing an article with. They had wanted to meet the two people who had put their story across to thousands of people, and Belle couldn’t say ‘no’ to that.

“Fine, we should go to sleep then.” She sighed as Aden shuffled down the bed a bit and wrapping the arm that he had used to keep himself propped up around her shoulders, laying his head right next to hers, facing her even as she laid on her back. Smiling, she tilted her head in his direction, closing her eyes as both her hands came to rest upon the one that Aden hadn’t moved from above her abdomen. Even through the duvet, she could feel the warmth that it gave out. Or at least, she thought she could feel the warmth. It might just have been security she felt with him being so close, and the protection he gave her, and now their baby, even as he slept.

Opening her eyes momentarily, Belle wasn’t surprised to see the serenity on Aden’s face, with a ghost of a smile gracing his lips. It had been a long time, she thought, since he had had a nightmare, not that she was complaining at all. Closing her eyes again, she tried to drift off to sleep, even with the excitement that was swarming her body at the fact that her future was now becoming more and more clearer.

Sighing, she made herself relax, getting rid off all thoughts of the wedding or anything of the like from her head. It had worked, drifting off into a state of sleep, her mind taking her back to the day when they had found out that she was pregnant.



Aden had heard her car pull up only a minute before she came rushing into the room. He saw her visibly jump at the sight of him sitting on her bed, laptop and books open.

“I thought you had lectures all day today.” Belle asked him offhandedly, as she went straight to her dresser, clearly looking for something in particular.

“Got cancelled.” He simply replied. “How was the shoot?”

“Haven’t been yet.” She sighed, flipping through the many papers that were piled up on the side of her desk.

“Why not? I thought you’d be done by now.”

“Because they pushed it back until this arvo.” Belle muttered, crouching down to go through her drawers. “Dammit, where is it?!”

“What are you looking for?” Aden leaned forward in the bed, trying to see what she was doing.

“My memory card.”

“Which one?”

“The one I use for work!” She snapped.

“Alright, alright, no need to flip. I’m sure it’s here somewhere.” Aden replied carefully, watching as she stood up and ran a hand through her hair before tipping out the contents of one of her bags onto the bed, scattering the objects everywhere as she searched through it all.

“Sorry.” Mumbling, Belle placed everything back into her bag when she found no luck. “Where is it?!”

“Screaming for it won’t help.”

“Gee, thanks, Aden. A whole load of help you are.” She was getting annoyed at his soothing tone although she knew that he was only trying to help her out by calming her a bit. She knew that it wasn’t fair on him, but she was really tired and the last thing she needed were his quips.

“Belle, relax.” He put the laptop to a side, prepared to get up and physically get her to calm down when she rushed to his side, snatching her laptop up from where he had just laid it.

“Please be in here…” Belle whispered as she shut the lid to it and turned it onto the side, pressing where the slot for the card was.

“Hey! That’s my assignment!” Aden exclaimed when she had closed the lid.

“Well, did you save it?” She asked him distractedly as she fiddled with the small card, trying to see if it was the right one.


“Then why the Hell are you complaining!” Belle growled as she made her way over to where her camera laid, shoving it in with a gentle force to check it.

“Ok, what’s up with you?” Aden questioned her slowly while sitting back onto the bed and opening the laptop to make sure that his work was ok.

“Nothing.” She exhaled in relief when she saw that the card was the exact one that she had been looking for. “Thank you!” Belle practically squealed, a smile now coming onto her face. Aden watched on in confusion. Sure, he was used to her stressing out, but she never got this frantic, or moody.

“Are you sure you’re ok?”

“Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?” Her tone was now simple, as if the last few moments hadn’t happened, as she started to placed her camera back into it’s case.

“Because you kinda just flipped from being extremely anxious to carefree in a matter of seconds.”

“So?” Belle frowned at him via the mirror. “I was looking for something, and now I’ve found it. It’s called ‘relief’, Aden.”

“Seriously,” He laughed as she frowned once again, finding it almost entertaining. “I know it ain’t that time, so what? You like, pregnant or something?”

Aden had only meant it as a joke, his attention going back to his work as he spoke, missing Belle’s reaction to his words. It was only when she gasped that he looked up at her. She had stopped with what she had been doing, a hand coming up to cover her mouth as she turned to him with wide eyes. Shock was clear in her posture.

“Oh, God.”

“What?” He asked, perplexed and worried. “Belle, what’s wrong?”

“I’m pregnant.” She said, her voice hoarse as if she couldn’t believe it herself. It was obvious to Aden that she had just come to the conclusion right then at that instant.


“I- Ju-” She couldn’t form a proper sentence from everything that went around her head. She had no idea how she hadn’t thought of this before. Recently, she had been tired, achy, sore and, as Aden had pointed out, the mood swings had seemed to set in. She was late too, and although she had put that down to the stress of her job now that she had been promoted, when she put it all together, it made sense. “The signs all point to it, Aden.”

“What signs?” Belle listed everything that she had just thought off, saying them out loud just making it a more realistic possibility. “Ok, but that doesn’t mean that you’re pregnant.”

“What else is there?” She said softly, climbing onto the bed as Aden leant forwards, forgetting everything about his assignment. “I know my body, Aden. It has to be.”

“Ok.” Aden nodded slowly, trying to digest what she was telling him. Emotions were overwhelming him, everything from plain fear to pure elation. But he pushed that aside, deciding not to get way in over his head about something that might not be true. “Ok, so we’ll find out. Um… you have to go to work now?”

“Yeah.” She sighed, realising why she was there in the first place. Feeling Aden grasp her hand, she gave him a small smile as he pulled her over to him for a reassuring hug.

“It’ll be ok.” He told her, a hand gently coming down to press against her stomach where their child could be before letting it drop to her thigh. “You go to work and we’ll find out later. Do you want me to go to the pharmacy and-?”

“No, uh…” Belle had been too caught up in his actions to realise what he was saying. “Um, actually, would you call and make an appointment at the hospital?”

“Shouldn’t we find out if you’re really pregnant first?”

“They can do a test there.” She informed him while still looked unconvinced. “Look, if I am, and I do really think that I am, then I’m going to have to go and get a blood test anyway. This way it just saves time.”

“Alright, it’s up to you.” Aden replied, giving her hand leg a slight squeeze. “You need to get to work… unless you’re not up to it?”

“No, no, I’m good.” Belle shook her head, jumping off the bed. “I’ll see you later?”

“I’ll let you know what time’s the appointment.” He said, accepting the kiss she gave him just before she spun and left the room, leaving him with just his muddle of a mind.


“Belle, if you don’t stop that, you’re going to chew the whole nail off.” Aden reprimanded softly, watching as she pulled her thumb away from her mouth.

“Sorry.” She blushed a bit. “I’m just getting anxious. Why’s it taking so long?!”

After Aden had called the hospital and managed to get an appointment for the same day, she had came straight home after work and left together, both grateful for the empty house so there were no questions to her nervous state. Now, they sat in the doctor’s office waiting for the results of the test that they had done.

“It’s a busy place and it’s not like we’re dying or anything.”

“I know, but it’s like they’re purposely torturing us.” Aden rolled his eyes at her words, taking a hold of the hand that now drummed on the armrest of the chair.

“Patience is a virtue, sweetheart.”

“And so is chastity.” She retorted. Aden chuckled at her response, never have heard that one before, as the door to the office opened and the doctor walked in, apologizing for the wait and so forth. Neither one of them were mildly interested in what she said until she got to the results.

“… from the urine test that you are in fact pregnant. Congratulations.” The kind doctor informed them in a very joyful voice that made it so much more real for the two of them.

Belle felt Aden squeeze her hand that he had taken as soon as the doctor had walked in, her eyes tearing up with the confirmation of what she had been expecting to hear. Glancing over at Aden, she wasn’t surprised to see him grinning probably the same way she was, with the same relief on her face too.

While the doctor continued to speak, telling them how the blood test wouldn’t be in for a week and how, from the low levels of HCG in her test, she was approximately about 2 to 3 weeks along and that she would book Belle in for regular checkups, only the important stuff went into either one of their brains, both still processing the news that they were going to have a baby.


“I can’t believe it.“ Aden groaned as he collapsed onto Belle’s bed an hour later while she locked the door and sat down next to him. “This is so wrong.”

“What‘s so wrong?” She asked him.

“Us having a kid. I mean, who in their right mind would make us parents?”

“Oi!” Belle hit him playfully on his chest. “I resent that.”

“C’mon, you can’t say you weren’t thinking that.”

“No, I wasn’t.” Belle tried to keep a straight face, but it was rather hard with the news that they had received. “But seriously though, Aden, this is good, yeah? I mean, I know we’ve never really talked about it, and it’s a big surprise, but you’re happy, right?”

“Yeah, of course I am.” He pulled her to him, letting her lay next to him with her head resting on his shoulder as one of his hands came to take a place on her abdomen. “I agree, this was so not expected, but that’s life.”

“We’re going to have a baby.” She whispered, a hand coming upon his. Seeing her ring glitter in the light as she curled her fingers to hold onto his hand, Belle turned her face into his neck, laughing lightly while her tears from earlier finally split over.

“Hey, hey, what’s wrong?” Aden immediately tried to pull her away when he felt the coolness against his skin. “Belle?”

“Nothing.” Moving away, she wiped the tears away with her hand, a smile still on her face. “They’re happy tears.” Aden smiled at her words, brushing her hair away before leaning forwards for a kiss. She stopped with trying to hide her tears, instead taking his face into her hands as he delicately laid her down onto the bed, never breaking away.

As the evening passed, the two of them never left the room, choosing their little sanctuary over any other place as they talked about baby. Remembering how the doctor had told them that she was about 2 to 3 weeks along, they both tried to pinpoint the exact date, but with no avail. Nothing had changed in their routine, being as careful as ever. In the end, they gave up and realised that it was just something that was meant to be. So who were they to fight fate?

*End Flashback*


So... what do you think? I know there are a lot of fics out there with Belle being pregnant, but I'd like to think mine's a bit different. [i've had this idea in my head since I was writing 'Unlucky'.] :P

Oh, and monkeysmoke, you were wrong. It was in this chapter! :lol:


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Thank you all so much for the comments! If you guys could see the smile on my face each time I read them... :D

Anyway, here's chapter 2. Lol at all of your speculation. It's like you all want me to make them unhappy! :P


Chapter 2:

The first thing that Aden saw when he returned back home the next day was Nicole sitting on the sofa looking bored out of her mind even as she flipped through a magazine, damp hair curling around her shoulders.

“Ah… I was wondering when you were going to come back.” She said when she noticed his presence. At his raised eyebrow, she continued. “I haven’t seen you in, like, a week.”

“We had breakfast together yesterday.” Aden reminded her with a funny look.

“Oh, yeah…” Nicole tilted her head to the side for a moment as she recalled it before shaking her head as Aden came and sat on the other sofa. “What you been up to then?”

“Nothing much. Uni and stuff.”

“All week?”

“Yes, that is when lectures usually take place. I’d understand if you didn’t know that though-” He teased only to be cut off by a flying pillow that missed him by inches.

“Whatever.” She scoffed. “Thanks for asking about how my course is going, by the way.” After passing her HSCs on the first go, which was a mild surprise to everyone, Nicole had decided that she wanted to do the foundation business course at the local college before going to university. Although Roman had been supportive all the way, both him and Aden were fairly certain that she had no idea what she wanted to do and was using this as a way to pass the year.

“How’s your course going?” Aden sighed dramatically, a smirk on his face.

“Great. Actually, I’m top of my class.” She said proudly.

“Really?” He grinned at her. “How many people are in this class of yours then?”

“Ha ha.” Nicole rolled her eyes at his attempt to be funny. “Say what you want. Doesn’t change the fact that I’m still clever.”

“Alright, let’s not go too overboard.” He replied sarcastically.

“I’m not.” Nicole simply told him. “But, hey, I get it. No need to be jealous.”

“’Jealous’?” Aden jibed, incredulously. “I’m not jealous.”

“Who’s jealous?” Roman had only heard the last word as he came down the stairs, stopping to stand in between the two of them.

“Aden’s jealous of my cleverness.”

“Yeah, what she said.” Aden added dryly as Roman chuckled, leaving the two of them alone in the front room as she entered the kitchen to make himself some lunch.

“So what you up to today?” Nicole asked him carefully.

“Nothing much. Got some work to do. Why?” He shrugged casually, eyeing her over-cool actions of flipping through the magazine once again.

“Just wondering if you wanted to hang out or something…”

“Depends.” He replied with a small smirk as she looked up at him.

“On what?”

“On whether you’ll just end up moping around the house all day if I say no.” Aden’s smirk grew as she glared at him.

“Fine. I’ll just go and ask someone else to hang out then.”

“Please. If there was someone else, you would be out there right now.”

“God! You make me sound like such a loner! I do have friends you know.” She insisted, crossing her arms loosely in a defensive motion.

“If you say so…” He laughed at her exaggerated reply. “I’m guessing you and Geoff haven’t made up then?”

“Not yet.” Nicole told him, smoothly. “Give it a couple of days and then I’ll consider it.”

“Um… wasn’t it you who broke up with him? What makes you think he’s waiting around?”

“Oh, c’mon, Aden. It’s Geoff we’re talking about here! And it’s only been a couple of weeks. If he hadn’t moved on when we had split for 4 months, then he wouldn’t have now.” She pointed out to him as he nodded slowly.

“Yeah, but the reason why you broke up this time is just that little bit different, don’t you think? Maybe he’s given up on waiting and decided to move on because you won’t take him back.” Aden hadn’t meant to sound so mean, but when he saw her frown, he hastily added; “But I’m sure that he wouldn’t. Like you said, if he couldn’t move on in 4 months, he wouldn’t in 2 weeks.”

“Maybe…” She muttered, realising what Aden had said was true. They had broken up the first time because of stupid reasons, but this time it was much more serious. “Can we not talk about it, actually?”

“Sure.” He nodded before smiling. “You want to head down to the Surf Club? I haven’t had a good game of pool in a while.”

“Yeah, alright. Just don’t start sulking when I kick your butt.” Nicole said airily, her mood gradually improving.

“I wouldn’t hold my breath on that.”

“Whatever.” She replied, throwing her magazine onto the side as she stood up. “Give me 5 minutes to get changed.”

“Alright.” Aden rolled his eyes as she scampered up the stairs, listening as her door slammed shut and her stereo was turned on. He could just about hear the hair dryer too, and was able to guess that her ‘5 minutes’ actually meant ‘30 minutes’.

Letting out a breath, Aden slumped down lower into the sofa, propping his feet up on the stool in front of him. Nicole had been right; for the past 2 weeks, he had spent as much time as he could with Belle rather than at home. He had only returned a few of times when it had been necessary to pick up a couple of books or some notes that he would need for the day.

When he had had time to think about it on the walk home earlier, Aden realised just how glad he was that Belle had suggested getting married so soon. Now that she was pregnant, he didn’t want to be apart from her more than ever in fear of missing any little moment, no matter how early it was. He almost envied her; she was always with their child. But then when he thought about everything else that laid in wait for her, he figured that it was a fair compromise.

Aden snapped out of his thoughts when Roman re-entered the room, fixing him with a curious look when he hadn’t replied to his question.

“Sorry, what?” He minutely shook his head, trying to get back to reality.

“I asked if everything was ok. You seemed to be miles off there.” Roman repeated as he sat where Nicole had been sitting previously with a plate containing a sandwich for his lunch.

“Yeah, sorry, I was.”

“Everything ok?”

“Of course.” Aden said quickly, knowing that he wasn’t convincing anyone.

“Aden?” Roman gave him a look mixed with concern and a bit of humour. “You sure?”

“Yeah.” Scratching his forehead with a finger, Aden tried to think of how to tell Roman. He hadn’t planned it out or anything, figuring that just telling him would be easy. But he hadn’t told anyone yet, and just thinking the words in his head gave him feelings of ecstasy. “Actually, there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you.”

“Hmm?” He glanced over from where he had just turned the TV on, flicking through the channels to find a sports channel.

“Yeah, uh…” Throwing a quick look over his shoulder to make sure that there was no-one else around, namely Nicole, he pushed himself up a bit in the couch when he was happy with the fact he could still hear the hair dryer. “Belle and I… we kind of set a date. For the wedding.”

“Really?” Roman’s eyebrows shot up as a small smile came upon his face. “That’s great. When is it, then?”

“In about a couple of months.” Aden watched as the elder man’s eyes widened, obviously not expecting that, and he briefly wondered how he was going to handle the rest of the news.

“That soon?” At his nod, Roman just tilted him head to the side in a way of accepting it. “Can I ask why?”

“Officially, it’s cos the ‘time’s right’.” Aden chuckled while rolling his eyes, and Roman got the idea that this was Belle’s decision.

“And unofficially?”

“Belle’s pregnant.” He cracked into a huge smile and Roman couldn’t help but to reciprocate it.

“Whoa.” He merely said, trying to get his head around it. “I mean… wow, that’s awesome, mate.”

“Yeah, tell me about it.”

“But, uh…” Roman started slowly, not wanting to sound like he was judging them. “Getting married just because she’s pregnant. Isn’t that a bit…?” He didn’t need to finish off the sentence as he saw that Aden understood what he was saying.

“It’s not just because of that.” He assured him. “It’s probably the main reason, but we were going to get married one day, so we just thought it may as well be before everything gets hectic. You know, do it properly and all.” He knew that he was only quoting Belle in a way to defend her decision, but either way, Aden also knew that it didn’t matter. The more he thought about it, the more her justifying of her decision rang true, but as long as she wanted to get married that soon, he didn’t care for reasoning.

“Alright.” Roman took the explanation in with no other comments. “So, I’m guessing with the way you’ve been glancing over your shoulder that this isn’t going to be common knowledge anytime soon?”

“No.” Aden laughed. “At the moment, it’s just you, Amanda and Irene. We plan on telling Nicole and the others soon, but apart from that…”

“That’s cool. I’ll try to keep it on the low.” Roman complied. “Congrats, though. You guys excited?”

“Yup. I mean, at the moment, we’re just getting use to it. I don’t think either one of us have thought too deeply into it yet.”

“Hmm…” Roman replied non-verbally, and Aden knew that there was something that he was holding back. Raising an eyebrow at him, he watched him try to come up with the words to say what he was thinking, probably in the nicest way possible. “I was just thinking about Belle.”

“What about her?” Aden asked curiously.

“Well, you know how focused she is with her work and all. She’s more of a career driven woman and living her life first kind of girl, and I was just wondering how this is going to fit into it all. I don’t mean to say that she’s not happy with it-” Roman added quickly, only to be cut off by the other guy.

“No, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it too.” He sighed. “I really don’t know. We’re kind of like in a state of euphoria at the moment and I have no desire to ruin it, to be honest.”

“You can’t ignore it forever.”

“I won’t.” Aden nodded slightly. “Just give it a bit of time. It’s only been 2 weeks.”

“Huh. That explains why we’ve barely seen you for the past fortnight.” Roman laughed, changing the subject on purpose to lighten the mood just as they both heard the music switch off from upstairs. “I guess that means she’s done.”

“I think so.” The words had barely left his mouth before Nicole came bouncing down the stairs, wearing clothes that seemed for appropriate for the summer than the end of the winter.

“Ready to go?” She asked Aden breezily, ignoring the amused look at her father and best friend had just shared.

“Sure…” He smirked, jumping up from the couch, deciding not to comment on her dress code.

“What were you two talking about, anyway?” Nicole questioned as Aden ushered her out the door, knowing full well that if he didn’t, she wouldn’t leave until she knew. Although he had promised Belle that he wouldn’t, he didn’t know how long he was going to be able to keep this from her.

“Nothing, Princess.” He sighed as he pulled the door shut behind them. “Now let’s get going.”

They walked to the Surf Club with light conversation, Aden trying to get her mind off her last question, which was working pretty easily at that moment. He really hated lying to her, or keeping something this big from her, but he guessed that when he finally did tell her, he could slip in the fact that she was one of the first to know that he had been planning to propose in the first place.



“So, I’m intrigued.” Nicole began as she turned in her seat. She was sitting on the passengers side of her own car as Aden drove them to the city. Although she had vowed never to let him drive her car ever again, she figured that he could have the privilege today. “How, exactly, did you get Dad to agree to this?”

“Ah… wouldn’t you like to know?” He grinned, never taking his eyes off the road as they sped past the bush land on either side of them.

“Uh… yeah. That’s why I asked.”

“You’ll find out in time.” Aden simply replied, slowly down a bit as they approached a crossroad.

“Can you give me clue at least?” Turned to face her as he checked to see if any cars were coming, he raised an eyebrow at her. “I’m just curious. Who knows how long I’m going to be grounded for? I might need to know the trick.”

“Oh, trust me. You won’t be able to use this trick at all.” He laughed when she slumped against the back of the seat.

“Ok, so you said that you needed my help with something.” Nicole remembered. “Has it got something to do with Belle’s birthday? Cos if it has, then with only one week to go, you are a crap boyfriend.”

“Ouch.” He winced mockingly at her, and even though she couldn’t see behind his shades, she guess he had a teasing glint in them considering his playful mood. “Yes and no.”

“That makes sense.”

“Look, I’ll tell you soon enough.” Aden said calmly as they entered the busy city.

Nicole hadn’t been happy with that answer at all. Although she hadn’t prodded him anymore, there had been a pout on her face up until they reached the dress store that she had wanted to get her outfit from about 30 minutes later. From the minute they stepped inside, words sweet as honey dripped from her mouth.

It took the better part of 2 hours for her to be happy with what she wanted while he sat, bored out of his mind, texting Belle and mildly flirting with the assistants. It had been 2 hours of Aden’s life that he would never get back.

Once they had left, they headed to a nearby café for lunch, where Nicole gushed over her new dress. They only time she shut her mouth was when she was drinking or eating, and that didn’t last too long. And that was another hour that he would never get back.

By the time they left the café, Nicole was starting to get anxious about where it was that he was taking her. She had figured out that this was what he had wanted help with, and began annoying him by naming every store and boutique that they passed in hope of him breaking and just telling her. But Aden was use to it.

The walk to where he had wanted to go took about 20 minutes, which included Nicole’s mini tantrum about her feet hurting and not wanting to go any further unless he told her where it was they were heading. Aden had simply replied that he could just leave her there because he had the car keys, making her roll her eyes and carry on.

When they got to their destination, Aden had to pull Nicole to a stop in front of the store, seeing as she was too busy chattering away to notice anything. Her eyes had shifted from him to the shop’s window and back to him, completely mystified.

“A jewellery store?”

“Not just a jewellery store; the best in the state.” Aden commented, leading her inside where he took his sunglasses off. The first thing that he heard was Nicole’s gasp when she saw the load of diamonds and gold.

“Wow… look at all these shiny, pretty things!” She spoke in a low, excited voice. “Are you buying Belle another charm? Because if you are, then why am I here?”

“Not a charm.” Aden assured her, leading her over to where there were many glass showcases lined up, assistants standing right behind. “One of these.”

Oh, my God!” Nicole squealed once she saw the rings that were in front of her. Several people turned their heads towards them, but neither one of them were really bothered. “You’re going to propose?”

“That was the plan.” He quipped, scanning the items that were there so that it actually looked like they were there for a reason.

“Is this why Dad let me come?”

“Yup.” He spoke calmly and almost distantly.

“You’re letting me choose the ring?” Nicole asked him in an elated tone, making his head snap over to her.

“Oh, Hell no. You’re just here for a second opinion.” Aden told her. “I needed a girl’s view on it.”

“Fine.” She dismissed it easily. “So you got some picked out then?”

“Nope.” His tone had returned to casual once again.

“Ok…” Nicole gazed over at him funnily. “When did you decide that you wanted to propose?”

“Yesterday afternoon.” Aden informed her, his words still in the same tone as before.

“Seriously?” When he nodded, she let out a short bark of laughter. “Don’t you think you should leave it more than 24 hours before you actually buy a ring?”

“Why?” Aden finally looked at her, forehead creased in genuine confusion.

“Uh… in case you change your mind?” She said slowly.

“I won’t.” It was at that moment that an assistant had came up to them, making Nicole drop the subject as he explained what he was looking for.

It was 6 in the evening by the time they had gotten home, having spent about 3 hours in the jewellers. Choosing the ring had taken only half of that time. Although Nicole fought with every choice he made, telling him to choose a clear diamond so that it would go with every outfit, everyday, instead of a blue one like he had first thought would have been best, she had then started to lecture him on styles, and how it had to be something that suited Belle. Even though he had known all this, he let her go on, making agreeing sounds and throwing in a word here and there to seem like he cared.

Once Aden had found the perfect ring, knowing that it was ‘the one’ to moment he saw it, it took another good half an hour to get Nicole to shut up about how it was too simple. After that it was the matter of size, when it would be ready by, and how much it cost. It was only on the drive home when Nicole had asked about the ‘special requirement’ had wanted that he explained to her he had planned out exactly where and when he was going to propose.

After that, and swearing the blonde to secrecy, they rarely spoke about it. When he had gone to pick it up, he had showed it to her before packing it, carefully hidden in a place where Belle wouldn’t find it, the night before they left for their trip.

Nicole had taken the secrecy thing seriously, never once mentioning the ring or the proposal, or even hinting at it in code or anything like that, when she text or emailed Aden during the six weeks. The only times that she had said something was the day before him and Belle had left for New York, and this was over the phone.

He guessed that she had counted the time difference when she had called the morning after he had planned on proposing, but Aden had pointedly ignored the call. He knew that she was getting frustrated over the last 9 days when he would never pick up the phone, instead keeping in contact via email where he avoided the subject until she gave up.

The next time that Aden had any contact with her was when he walked through the door at home. Belle and he had decided that they would go home separately, neither one of them having told anyone about the engagement yet.

“Hello?” He called when he saw that the place was deserted, despite it being only 2 in the afternoon. Aden had just managed to close the door, dumping a bag onto the couch when he heard footsteps patter upstairs, getting closer until they came down the stairs.

“Aden!” Nicole practically leapt from the top to the bottom. “What did she say?”

“Hey, Nic. Good to see you too after 6 weeks…” He laughed as she waved a hand dismissively. Rolling his eyes, he dug into the bag he had thrown onto the sofa, pulling out the velvet box and tossing it to her. She fumbled with it for a moment before finally opening it; shrieking when she saw that it was empty.

“She said yes?”

“Looks like it, doesn’t it?” Aden remarked just as she threw her arms around him, pulling him into a hug, all the while still jumping. He couldn’t help but chuckle at her reaction, managing to pull her away only when Roman came down the stairs, wondering what all the commotion was about.

“Hey!” He greeted them although it was mainly aimed at Aden. “How-?”

“Belle said yes!” Nicole cut him off, showing him the empty ring box.

“Nicole!” Roman reprimanded her, “Don’t you think you should let Aden spread the good news?”

“Sorry?” She replied, the smile on her face betraying her attempt at trying to be earnest.

“Anyway, mate, congratulations. I would say this calls for a celebration, but you look dead on your feet.” He jokes, patting the younger man on the shoulder as he came to stand by them.

“Yeah, it’s amazing what over…” He glimpsed at his watch. “36 hours with no sleep can do to you. Not to mention the time difference.”

“Sounds like a joy.”

“Hmm…” Aden nodded in mock seriousness.

“So…” Nicole started sweetly, making the two of them look at her. “Where are my presents?”

*End Flashback*


Those of you that want to see, Belle's ring. What do you think?

Hope you all liked it.


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This chapter got longer than I originally wanted it to be, but oh well lol.


[btw, sorry for the late update... ended up eating oranges and my fingeres were sticky :P I was planning on getting it up at 7:15 on the dot!]

Chapter 3:

Laughing, Belle wished her work colleague a good day and goodbye as they both climbed into their own cars. After visiting the couple who had wanted to meet them, they were more than eager to get out of there, considering that not only was it a Saturday afternoon now, but because it was a very boring way to spend the morning.

Dumping her bag onto the seat next to her, she stuck the key into the ignition, turning it immediately. As she did so, her other hand instinctively came to rest on her stomach, gently rubbing it a couple of times before she pulled on the belt. Belle had realised that, ever since she had found out that she was now pregnant, her maternal instincts had overtaken her. She had an arm loosely wrapped around her waist whenever she was going somewhere alone, and the only reason why she didn’t keep it there when in someone else’s company was due to the fact that it might just look suspicious.

Caught up in her thoughts, Belle had made her way to Amanda’s place in the city within 20 minutes. Pulling up into the empty driveway, she began to regret her decision to come today.

Maybe I should have called first… Belle thought as she got out of the car, slinging her bag over her shoulder. Walking slowly up to the front door, she wasn’t sure whether she would be glad or not if someone answered the door.

Reaching out with her right hand to ring the door bell, a small smile came onto her face when she heard the charms on her bracelet lightly jingle. It was so quiet in this particular area that the noise was the only thing she could hear apart from the birds in the nearby tree.

When no-one answered the door, Belle knocked on the door using the knocker, wondering if it was turning out to be her lucky day. Just as she was about to turn around, the unmistakable sound of her mother’s voice reached her ears through the door. Stifling a groan, she dropped her left arm that had been hanging loosely around her waist, holding onto her bag to make it look more casual.

“Just hold on one mo-” Amanda had began to say as she unlocked the door, pulling it open with irritation on her face, ready to blow up at whoever it was that had interrupted her. However, when she saw who it actually was, surprise showed both on her face and in her voice. “Belle!”

“Hey, Mum.” She replied. “What’s going on?”

“Oh, nothing much.” She said airily, closing the door behind the two of them. “I don’t remember you saying that you were going to come visit.”

“Well, if you’d rather I go-”

“No!” Belle bit back a smile at her quick reaction, knowing that she hadn’t picked up on her teasing. “You know you’re always welcome here.”


“So what calls for the surprise visit?” Amanda asked her as she led the way into the kitchen. Inside, Belle was able to see what it was that she had interrupted. She mother was attempting at baking a cake.

“I was just passing by…” She told her, distractedly. “Why are you baking?”

“Because I’m trying to broaden my horizons.”

“By baking?” Belle questioned, incredulously as she leaned against the counter in the middle of the kitchen, facing the area where Amanda was busy with the ingredients.

“Yes. Why?”

“No reason.” Her tone was humorous, not that it was noticed. “So where is everybody else?”

“Pete’s taken the boys to a match somewhere.” Amanda informed her with a roll of the eyes. “Not my kind of thing.”

“I see.” Belle nodded, watching as she started to stir the mixture together. She knew that it was wrong, but it was entertaining to see her mother so domesticated, even after so long.

“What were you doing in the city on a Saturday then, darling?” Amanda threw the question over her shoulder as she wiped her hands on a napkin. “And alone, nonetheless.”

“Just something to do with work.” Belle dismissed easily. “No biggie. Annoying though.”

“Uh-huh.” She replied non-verbally as she scooped the mixture out into the baking tin. “How is work going?”

“Yeah, fine.”

“Just fine?”

“Ok, great.” Belle corrected herself, all the while trying to keep her laughter at bay as she mother realised that she should have opened the oven door before putting her gloves on an picking up the tin. Taking pity on her, Belle walked over and opened it for her. The surge of heat that escaped made her recoil away and go back to where she had originally been standing as quick as she could.

“So…” Amanda began as she shut the door, getting rid of her gloves and starting to clear up. “Is everything ok? How’s Aden?”

“Yeah, yeah, everything’s good.” Belle told her hastily, knowing that this was a good as time as any to tell her. “And Aden’s good too. It’s all good.”

“If you say ‘good’ once more, I might just think you’re lying.” She said in a joking as Belle plastered on a fake smile.

“Sorry.” She simply replied, swallowing. The smell from the now-baking cake was pleasant, but it was strong, making her feel slightly nauseous. Fighting the urge to throw up, she gently rubbed her stomach.

“Belle…?” Amanda questioned her cautiously when she saw her daughter’s eyes close and take in a deep breath before turning and rushing out of the room, murmuring an apology as she bounded up the stairs. “Belle!”

Hearing the upstairs bathroom door slam shut, Amanda fought with herself whether to follow or to let her be for a bit. Deciding on the latter, she began tidying up the kitchen as quickly as she could, loading most of it into the dishwasher before wiping down the counters. It took her approximately 10 minutes to get it all done, each minute passing slowly as she kept checking the clock. She had told herself that if after 15 minutes, Belle hadn’t returned, then she would go check up on her.

At 13 minutes, Amanda had cleared as much up as possible when she heard the bathroom door reopen and steady footsteps move upstairs. Heading to the fridge, she pulled out a carton of orange juice and poured out two glasses just as Belle re-entered the kitchen.

“Sorry.” She mumbled while sliding into a seat at the table.

“Don’t worry about it.” Amanda assured her, taking the seat to her right and placing a glass in front of her. “It’ll help.”

“Thanks.” Sipping the drink attentively, Belle could feel her mother’s eyes on her, wanting to ask questions but not pry. “Mum, there's a reason that I’m here…” Taking a deep breath, she let the small smile appear as she thought over the words in her head. “Well, Aden and I have decided to get married soon.”

“Really?” She perked up immediately. “When?”

“A couple of months.” Belle didn’t miss her eyes widening at the news.

“But, darling, that hardly leaves any time to plan a proper wedding!” Amanda almost wailed. Belle felt guilty, knowing just how excited she had been at wanting to plan her only daughter’s wedding from the moment she had found out about the engagement, but this was another upside of getting married so soon.

“There’ll be more than enough time, Mum. We just want something small and simple.” Belle told her.

“Belle, this is your wedding. Something that, hopefully, will only happen once. Don’t you want to make it special?” She tried to reason but Belle just shook her head.

“It will be special.” She said gently before reaching out to grab her hand. “There’s something else too.”

“You’re not eloping, are you?” Amanda asked her fearfully, making her burst out laughing.

“No, Mum, I wouldn’t do that to you.” She rolled her eyes before smiling softly. “I’m pregnant.”

“Oh.” Shock was clear on her face as she took in the news before a wide grin appeared on her face. “Oh, my! That’s so wonderful! Wow…”

“Yeah…” Belle nodded slowly, waiting for her mother to catch up with her. She was still looking off into the distance, probably trying to comprehend it all, although she didn’t know what there was really to try and comprehend.

“I guess that explains the…” Trailing off, Amanda pointed upwards, finally turning to look at her.


“Oh, darling, I’m so happy for you!”

“Are those tears, Mum?” Belle enquired playfully when she saw her eyes glisten a slight bit.

“No.” But Amanda’s laugh proved otherwise, especially as she sniffed.

“Aw, Mum, don‘t. You‘ll get me started soon.”

“Sorry!” Even though she knew her daughter was just joking, she did as she said. “How far along are you?”

“About 5 weeks.” Belle informed her. Her left hand had already found its way to her stomach, hovering over it protectively now that it was no longer a secret.

“Which means in 2 or 3 months, you’ll barely be showing.” Amanda had made the connection easily. “I hope that’s why you’ve decided to push the wedding forwards.”

“Of course. Why else?”

“Ok. I just want to make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons.” She squeezed her daughter’s hand before releasing it. “I mean, you have all that time after the baby’s born too. Much more time to plan a wedding.”

“Yes, I know, but,” Belle started, her words slightly clipped as she made sure that she remained calm. “There’ll be too much to handle then. And it’s the right time now. Not because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s the right time. There‘s nothing more to it.”

“You don’t have to tell me twice, Belle.” Amanda replied in a defensive manner. “As long as you’re sure and you’re happy-”

“I am.”

“Good.” She smiled at her while taking a sip of her drink. “How’s Aden handling it? I’m assuming you’ve told him, right?”

“Yes, Mum, I’ve told him.” Belle sighed, slightly angry at her assumptions. “He’s happy. He’s way more than happy. It’s kinda cute.”

“That’s good then. It’s always good to have someone there. Trust me, it’ll get harder. Especially if you don’t calm down a bit.” Amanda’s words had a heavy line of suggestion that she picked up on very easily.

“I will, I will. Don’t worry, Aden’s becoming overprotective now, like he wasn’t bad enough before. I’ll let work know soon. But at the moment, there’s not much difference.” She informed her before thinking a bit and adding. “Except for the tiredness and aches. And the not-so-morning sickness.”

“Oh, yeah. I remember that.” She laughed. “It was easier with you than Ryan. Didn’t even know I was pregnant until over a month in when I started throwing up just before lunch. Luckily, that only lasted for about a month.”

“’Luckily’?” Belle scoffed, realising just what she was now in for. “Anything else I should be wary of?”

“Um… not really.” Amanda replied in an apologetic tone. “Although with you, I didn’t show much. It made it so much easier to hide from my mother.”

“Speaking of hiding things,” Sitting up straighter, she carried on. “We don’t want many people to know about the baby. At the moment, we’re only telling you, Roman and Irene.”

“Why not?”

“Because it’s none of their business.” Belle answered snappily and Amanda backed off, realising that the real reason was the first thing that had came to her mind. People were going to assume that they were getting married just because of the baby.

“I see the mood swings have settled in.” She murmured as Belle just threw her a sarcastic look. “Alright, but don’t you think the others deserve to know?”

“You can tell Peter. And we’re going to tell Geoff, Annie, Nicole and Mattie too.”

“What about your brothers?” Amanda asked pointedly.

“I know and I feel bad for saying this, but I don’t want to tell Drew. I don’t think I’d be able to handle his comments right now. So if I don’t tell him, I don’t want to tell Ryan and make it like he’s the only one who doesn’t know.” She confessed.

“Belle,” Amanda began warningly yet gently when she saw the guilt on her face. “Give Drew a bit of credit. I’m sure that he wouldn’t be that bad.”

“C’mon, Mum. You can’t seriously think that!” Belle replied. “He won’t listen when I tell him my reasonings, and he’ll probably think that Aden’s forcing me to marry him or something stupid like that. And then he’ll probably just say really annoying things, and then I won’t be held responsible for any action I take against him. All in all, it’ll be better if he doesn’t know. Yet.”

“Hmph, fine.” She complied. “I can’t say I approve, but it’s up to you. I’ll try to keep it a secret. I’m guessing that I can speak freely about the wedding?”

“Sure, go crazy.” Belle said casually before realising what she had just told her mother and adding, “I mean about telling people. Not about the organizing or the planning. Nice and simple, remember.”

“Well, with only a couple of months, its going to have to be simple. Although, I’m sure that we could pull some strings-”

“But you’re not going to.” She cut her off pointedly.

“We have to get started on some things though, Belle.” Amanda gently reprimanded her. “Have you got anything sorted for the wedding?”

“The bride and the groom?” She answered smartly, a small smirk appearing on her face as her mother scowled. “I’ve kind of picked out a dress.”

Really? Since when?” Her tone was filled with pure surprise that made Belle frown.

“Like, a year ago.”

“A year?!” Amanda exclaimed. “I doubt they’ll still have it now.”

“Oh, well. I can remember what it looked it. Wasn’t much. Kinda-”

“Simple?” Amanda supplied for her in a dry tone. Belle was saved from having to reply to her cynical remark by the front door opening, claiming both of their attentions. They both remained quiet, watching the kitchen door as the footsteps neared and Drew entered. Instantly, Belle’s hand that had been resting on her stomach dropped to her lap.

“Hey, didn’t know you were coming around.” He greeted them as he walked straight over to the fridge, pulling out the orange juice carton that Amanda had just replaced.

“I wasn’t. Thought I’d stop over seeing as I was in the city.” Belle replied while giving her mother a cautious look behind his back, warning her not to say anything.

“A pleasant surprise, as always.” She commented while pursing her lips before turning to look at Drew, who was attempting at trying to get away with drinking from the carton. “Glass!”

Sighing, he slammed the door shut and walked over to the cupboards as Belle smiled at herself at his typical behaviour. It was nice to know that some things didn’t change. Forcing down a little bubble of anxiety that rose inside of her at that thought, her mind was taken off of it by Drew’s sudden exclamation.

“Um… something’s burning!”

“Oh!” Amanda scrambled from the table over to where Drew stood, peering into the oven’s little window. “My cake!”

“’Cake‘?” He questioned as he came to sit down opposite Belle at the table, not bothering to help Amanda out at all. She simply shook her head before the two of them yelled out ‘gloves!’ to her as she tried, in a rush to get it out, to use her bare hands.

“Mum’s ‘broadening her horizons‘.”

“By baking?” Drew’s tone was incredulous that Belle just shrugged. “Alright then…”

“It doesn’t look too bad.” Amanda mumbled from where she stood, looking at it from the top.

“You might want to see it when it’s out of the tin.”

“It smells really burnt too.” Belle said pointedly, scrunching up her nose. The smell of it baking had been strong, yet nice. This, however, was strong and not so nice, making her stomach churn once again. “You should throw it out. I don’t think it’s going to be edible.”

“Thanks for the vote of confidence, Belle.” She replied sarcastically while opening up a couple more windows to get rid of the smell. “Better?”

“Yeah, thanks.” Belle smiled at her gratefully before turning back to Drew as she took a sip of her drink to get rid of the sickening feeling. “How come you’re home? Where’re Peter and Ryan?”

“I’ve got to get to work.”

“On a Saturday?”

“Yup.” Drew simply nodded. Even though he had finally passed his HSCs, he had decided to take a year off to see what he wanted to do. During that time, he had found himself a job at major mechanic shop nearby in the city, and realised that he was sick of education. Belle had wondered how long it would before he either got bored of this job or fired, but even after a year and a bit, he was still there. “Actually, there’s something I was gonna ask you.”

“About…?” Belle said carefully, not liking his light tone.

“Well, a couple of days ago, some guy brought in a VW Beetle and, naturally, I thought of yours-”

“Is this going anywhere?” She interrupted dryly, not liking the direction this was going in. As expected, Drew hadn’t been really happy to learn that the car he had given her had been destroyed, and replaced by Aden. Not to mention that it was a slightly better car too. So ever since he had first laid eyes on it, she hadn‘t been able to get away from him slagging it off. Belle was pretty sure that this was because he wasn’t allowed to say anything bad about Aden, so he was just transferring his dislike to the car, which she found just as offensive.

“As I was saying, that guy’s car needed a full replacement cos he had crashed it or something, and in the end, it’s going to cost him about $5000.” Drew explained. “So I was thinking, seeing as your car’s like brand new, we could get way more than that if we sold it!”

“’We’?” Belle blinked a couple of time before speaking.

“Yeah, you know, you and me. ‘We’. Seeing as it’s your car and all.” He replied slowly.

“And why, exactly, would I want to do that for?” She asked him in a menacing voice while leaning forwards in her seat to place her elbow on the table and rest her chin on her hand, her left hand still on her lap.

“Because we could get a whole load of money out of it, and then you could buy yourself a decent car.” Belle rolled her eyes at his forthright answer.

“Hmm… I think I’ll stick with my car for the time being, thanks.” She replied as Amanda came back to the table and took her seat once again.

“So, Belle, why don’t you share the good news with Drew?” Amanda tried to sound casual, but there was an emphasis on the words that showed otherwise.

“’Good news‘?” He perked up immediately. “What? You moving to the city? Broken off your engagement? Left him?” He listed, his tone overly hopeful as she just glared at him, too far away to hit him.

“No, actually, we’ve decided to get married in a couple of months.” Belle informed him sharply.

“Oh.” Drew slumped back against his seat. “Thought you said good news.”

“Drew!” Amanda told him off. “Don’t be so rude.”

“Sorry.” He apologized, although all three of them knew that it was only for sounding harsh and not for taking back his words. “Why in a couple of months?”

“Just.” Belle shrugged. “We thought that it would be the best time.”

“Alright.” He easily dismissed as he downed the rest of his juice and got up. “Look, I’ve really got to get to work soon, so I’ll catch up with you later, yeah?”

“Sure.” Watching as Drew left the room, Belle caught her mother’s eyes, who was giving her a disapproving look. “What?”

“He won’t like it if he finds out that you’re keeping it from him.” She commented.

“I’m not ‘keeping it from him’. It’s up to me who I tell and, frankly, it’s none of his business, Mum.” Belle stated, anger bubbling up inside of her. “You can’t tell him, either.”

“I know that, Belle, but he is family and I think he has the right to know.” Amanda countered as Belle just shook her head.

“Not yet.”

“I think he would be happy for you. He’s starting to accept Aden-”

“Mum, he thinks ’good news’ is me breaking up with him!” She exclaimed, running a hand through her hair. “I don’t want to tell him.”

“Fine.” Amanda sighed, knowing there was a lot more to it than Belle was saying. She didn’t know what it was exactly, but her insistence on the fact that it would annoy Drew, when she knew that Belle honestly didn’t care about what he thought, unnerved her. “It’s up to you.”

“Thank you.” Belle’s tone was almost in relief as she glanced at the time on the clock opposite her, seeing that it was already past 4 o‘clock. “I should get going.”

“Won’t you stay for dinner? It won’t be long… a couple of hours or so?” Amanda tried to tempt her but Belle just smiled softly.

“No, sorry. I’ve got to get home and get some work done.” She said as she stood up, before adding light-heartedly. “Not to mention that it’ll be dark by the time I leave, which will not go down well with Aden.”

“Sounds like he’s got a good hold on you, too.” Amanda joked while Belle picked up her bag, slinging it over her shoulder before letting her hand come to rest on her stomach momentarily.

“Only because it’s not just me anymore.” She claimed, letting her hand glide over her stomach gently before grasping her bag that hung on her right side, her arm now wrapped around her waist loosely yet protectively. “But, no, it’s understandable, I guess.”

“You know you can always stay here for the night.”

“Yeah, but I do have a deadline to meet for Monday. And we’ve still got to tell Irene.” A smile appeared on her mother’s face when she said that, and Belle assumed that it was because she knew before Irene. A pang of guilt ran through her at the thought of it, but she figured that Irene would understand.

“Ok. Another time then.” She replied as her eyes lit up. “We need to get cracking on those wedding plans too.”

“Yeah…” Belle laughed nervously as they both headed towards the door, not wanting to burst her bubble. “I’ll let you know… stuff.”

“Alright then, darling.” Amanda reluctantly agreed, pulling her daughter into a hug. “Drive safe.”

“Will do.” Rolling her eyes, she held her tongue as she mother’s hand skimmed over her arm where it was still resting over her stomach. This was another reason why Belle didn’t want so many people to know about her being pregnant. She didn’t think she would be able to handle people thinking that it was ok to do that.

Saying their goodbyes, Belle was finally allowed to leave the house, hearing the door shut just as she got to her car. She had just turned on the engine when she spotted Drew leaving the house, stopping in his tracks for a second before heading over to her.

“Leaving so soon?” He asked her as she lowered her window, allowing him to lean against her door to speak to her.

“Yeah, got things to do, people to see.” Belle replied, casually. “You know how it is.”

“Sure, sure.” He laughed along. “Getting away from Amanda, more like it.” At her raised eyebrow, Drew carried on, a small smirk appearing on his face. “You think I didn’t hear that fake laugh when she mentioned planning the wedding?”

“Oh, right.” Her laughed was once again nervous, although not forced. “Don’t tell her.”

“Whatever.” Drew answered airily. “So you’re really getting married then?”

“Yup.” Belle nodded, eyeing him carefully. “Just say it, Drew.”

“Say what?”

“Whatever it is that you wanna say that you couldn’t in front of Amanda.” Belle told him pointedly.

“Don’t know what you’re talking about.” He said innocently, adding a small grin to make it look like he meant it.

“Fine. All the better for me.” She claimed as she belted up, a clear sign to tell him that their conversation was over, not that he took the hint. “Don’t you have work to get to?”


“Shouldn’t you go?” Belle asked exasperatedly, knowing that closing the window on him would probably cause more harm than good, although the harm would be for him. “Drew?”



“Why? I thought that we could talk.” Drew replied earnestly, even with a dangerous glint in his eyes. “About the car.”

“Bye, Drew.” Her tone was overly sweet, knowing that he only teased to get a rise from her. “I’m going now.”

“Really?” He drew out the two syllables.

“Yes.” Belle simply said as she removed the hand brake. “I’ll ignore you another time.” She said cheekily before driving away slowly, making him back off quickly before he lost his balance.

“Your words cut me deep, sis!” She could hear his words, just over the normal speaking volume, as she got to the end of the driveway. Chuckling to herself, she gave him a brief wave while turning onto the main road, wondering if they would still have had that little conversation, if it could be called that, if she had told him about the baby.

Shaking her head, she pushed that thought aside. Belle knew that by telling Drew, it would make it all so much more real, because Drew wasn’t the type of person to gush over it and her, but rather to point out the obvious facts that she didn’t want to think about so early on. Right now, she wanted to enjoy her pregnancy without the constant questions of ‘what if…?’ that were sure to follow weighing her down.


I wanted to have her telling Irene in this chapter too, but that didn't happen... next one hopefully :)

Anyway, hope you all liked!


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Thanks for all the great comments! It seems like you guys either love or hate Drew... Hmm... I like him. :P

Anyway, here's the next chappie.


Chapter 4:

It was past 10 o’clock on that Saturday when Aden had finally gotten the time to go over to the beach house. Although his plans for the day had been pretty straightforward with just getting his work done, it had ended up hectic after heading home.

“Hey.” Belle greeted him as he walked through the kitchen door where she stood drying some plates. “I was starting to wonder if you were gonna show up at all tonight.”

“Sorry.” He replied, dropping a brief kiss onto her lips and skimming a hand over her stomach instinctively. “Ended up spending most of the day with Nic.”

“I see.” She nodded before spotting a grocery bag in his hands. “What’s that?”

“Ice cream.” Aden smiled as her eyes lit up when he placed the item onto the counter behind them. “I thought you might like some.”

“Always.” Her tone was a mix of gratitude and seriousness as she turned back to the washing up that remained on the rack.

“Hey, let me do that.” Aden reached out for the cloth in her hands, only to get his own hand batted away.

“I’m perfectly capable of drying up, Aden!”

“I know, Belle.” He rolled his eyes at her assumption that he was only doing this because she was pregnant. If he was honest with himself, it was the truth, but she didn’t need to know that. “But there’s ice cream over there that’s going to melt pretty soon.”

“I’m sure it can wait 10 minutes or so.”

“Why are you arguing with me?” Aden asked her amusingly. “Would you rather dry up than eat ice cream?”

“Fine.” She sighed mockingly, handing over the towel. “You’ve got a point there.”

“I always have a point, gorgeous.” Giving her a cheeky smile, Belle shook her head while fishing out a long, ice cream spoon from the drawer.

“Yum, triple chocolate.” She read as she pulled the share size tub of ice cream out of the bag. “I knew there was a reason why I love you.”

“Just a reason?” Aden questioned in mock hurt, turning from where he stood to face her as she sat on one of the stools, already digging into her treat.

“Hmm…” Belle didn’t bother correcting herself as she took the first bite of the desert, loving the luxurious taste of the chocolate. As was predicted, the first thing that she had been turned off was coffee, and not just because of its smell. It was mainly due to the fact that she was no longer allowed to drink it that made her hate it even more. And, even so a month into her pregnancy, her craving for chocolate, or anything sweet, had increased tenfold.

“How was the city?” Aden snapped her out of her thoughts.

“Yeah, it was ok.” She answered vaguely, scooping another spoonful into her mouth.

“Don’t get too excited.” He told her dryly, making her laugh, as he started to put away the cutlery.

“No, it was good.” She paused, realising just how many times she had used the word ‘good’ today. “Mum’s going crazy with wedding plans. Almost cried when I told her about the baby.”

“Huh, I would’ve paid to see that.” Aden murmured while Belle shot him a glare to the back of his head before carrying on with her ice cream.

“Anyway, she agreed to keep it quiet as long as she could still help with the wedding stuff. Not that I could stop her even if I wanted to.”

“Sounds good. As long as she doesn’t try to hijack the whole thing and turn it into some massive affair.” He told her, shutting the cupboard doors as he finished the job at hand.

“Don’t worry, she won’t.” Belle said easily, smiling slyly. “And if she does, then we can always elope.” Aden laughed, knowing that it would probably break Amanda’s heart if they ever did that. “How did it go with Roman?”

“Yeah, good.” A shrug accompanied his words as Belle got up and headed towards the couch. “He’s was happy. Agreed to keep it quiet too.”

“That it?” She asked from her position on the sofa, leg tucked under her. Her eyes followed him as he came to stop behind the couch, resting his arms on the back and leaning over slightly.

“Well, I don’t think planning weddings are his thing. I could always ask him if you want though…” He joked.

“I meant,” Belle began pointedly, “did he ask why?”

“Sure. Just told him what you said.” Aden simply replied, shaking his head when she offered some of her ice cream to him. “When are we telling the others?”

“Uh… I don’t know. We’ve got to tell Irene first.” She informed him. “I was thinking maybe give it a week or so.”

“A week?” He repeated, slightly in shock.

“Yeah, it’s not that long.” Belle scoffed. “Or maybe after the scan? That’s only a couple of weeks away.”

“Alright,” Aden nodded, a soft smile on his face at the mention of the scan. He couldn’t wait to get the first glimpse of their baby, no matter how tiny it would be. “I guess I can avoid Nicole until then.”

“’Avoid’? Why do you need to avoid her?”

“Because it’s Nicole.” He just said as an explanation.

“Aw. Can’t you keep this from her without feeling guilty?” Belle asked in a teasing voice. Aden shook his head, looking downwards to stop her from seeing the slight shy smile on his face. “So cute.”

“Shut up.” He murmured, pushing away her hand as it came up to his face, not sure what she was intending to do, but knew that it wasn’t something he would like.

“Sorry.” She tried to look like she meant it, but the kind of happy tone to it didn’t help. When he rolled his eyes at her, she leaned forwards a bit, pushing herself up to meet his lips in a sweet kiss. One of his hands automatically came up to her face, holding her close as she deepened it. Caught up entirely with each other, the two of them were forced to part when they heard another voice.

“Ahem!” Irene stood, looking slightly amused even with the hint of annoyance on her face, as they pulled apart guiltily.

“Sorry.” They both said sheepishly at the same time, Belle biting onto her bottom lip to stop herself from laughing, especially as Irene shifted her eyes up heavenwards before huffing and placing her bag down on the table.

“Hmm… it’s alright.“ She sighed, knowing that telling them to not let her catch them again would just be a waste of breath, seeing as she had done so many a times before. “Where’re the other two?”

“They went to see some movie in Yabbie Creek.” Belle informed her. “Should be back in about 30 minutes or so.”

“Ok. Well, I’m going to head off to bed. It’s been one hectic day and got an early start tomorrow.” Irene said tiredly, making her way over to the stairs, missing the quick glances that the other two gave each other.

“Actually, Irene,” Belle called out, twisting in her seat, as she was stepping onto the second stair. “Can we talk to you? It won’t take long.” She hurriedly added, remembering how tired she said she was.

“Sure.” She replied, coming back over where she had been standing by the table, looking at the two of them expectantly. “What is it?”


We.” Aden corrected her with a slight smirk. She smiled and nodded.

We wanted to tell you something.” Belle said as she leaned forward to place her ice cream tub onto the coffee table before standing up. “Um… Aden and I have decided to get married in a couple of months.”

“That soon?” They both nodded as Irene accepted the statement. “Well, I can’t say I’m surprised. Neither one of you have the patience to wait.”

“I think a year and a half counts as being patient.” Aden pointed out as both women turned to look at him with a grin.

“That’s true.” Irene commented. “So I’m guessing that this means something small and simple?”

“Yup, although holding Mum off on the planning is going to be hard.” Belle laughed as Irene let out a small chuckle.

“Well, I’m happy for you, darl. Both of you.” She said seriously, moving closer to her foster daughter. “Maybe now I won’t have to walk in to see… that.” Waving her hand in the general direction of the couch, they all understood what she was hinting at.

“Yeah…” Belle’s tone was distracted as she looked over at Aden, who nodded at her encouragingly.

“Is there something else, Belle?” Irene questioned, not missing this movement.

She didn’t know why she was nervous, but she was. Telling Amanda had been easy, and seeing as Aden had been there when she had figured it out, she hadn’t need to tell him. But to tell Irene, who had given her so much and had been more than a mother to her than anyone else, to tell her that she was going to be a mother herself, it got her nervous. Swallowing, Belle nodded before laying both of her hands on her abdomen slowly.

“I’m pregnant.” She finally spoke, getting right to it. The silence that followed it made her hold her breath, even as Irene raised a hand to her mouth, probably in shock.

“Oh, love, that’s…” Irene trailed off, digesting the news.

“A surprise?” Aden supplied for her as she looked over at him, noticing the grin on his face. It was a contagious one, making her smile back as her eyes flitted over to where Belle still stood, anxiousness written all over her features.

“It’s great.” She finished off softly, seeing Belle visibly relax as she pulled her into a hug. Hearing her laugh as she rested her head on the older woman’s shoulder, Irene let out a short laugh too. “I should have known something was different when there was always coffee left over in the mornings.”

“Funny.” Belle murmured as she backed away, letting her arms wrap themselves around her waist loosely.

“So who else knows?”

“Just Roman and Amanda at the moment. We don’t want everyone to know about the baby yet.” She told her as Irene nodded minutely.

“Alright, it’s up to you, darl.” Her tone was causal as she kept on smiling. “I’m so happy for you. Both of you.”

“So are we.” Belle replied, glancing over at Aden. Seeing the loving look that the two of them shared, Irene figured that it was a good as time as ever to make herself scarce and leave her questions until the morning.

“Well, I’m going to leave the two of you to it and hit the hay.” She gave Belle’s hand a bit of a squeeze before patting Aden on the shoulder as she passed him. “Night.”

“Night.” They both called back as she made her way up the stairs.

Once they were alone again, Belle turned to fully face Aden. She knew that he could see the tears that welled up in her eyes as he walked around the sofa, gently wrapping his arms around her shoulders to pull her into his embrace.

Belle gripped on to the front of his t-shirt, pressing her face into his shoulder. She had managed to keep the tears away, blinking rapidly at first before just shutting her eyes as she took in his warmth and his scent.

Feeling one of Aden’s hands move up to stroke her hair, Belle turned her head inwards into his neck, pressing a delicate kiss to the part that she could reach. They stayed like that for a moment before she pulled back a bit, looking up at him. As he gently brushed the hair away from her face and her eyes, Belle leaned forwards, taking his lips with hers for a tender kiss that he gladly reciprocated. Parting only when in need of air, she immediately pushed herself up onto her toes, lacing her arms around his neck and letting him pull her flush against him.

It was only when Belle felt him drop kisses along her jaw that she moved slightly away, falling back onto her feet and gliding her hands down his torso.

“Everything ok?” Aden asked her quietly, searching her eyes for any hints.

“Yeah…” Her voice was just as low as his. “It seems so much more real now. You know, telling Irene and everyone.”

“Well, it doesn’t get any more real than this, Belle.” Aden told her teasingly as his hands rubbed comforting circles on her back.

“I guess not.” She sighed, eyes lowering as she thought about just how real it all was. A twisting feeling in her stomach made her breathing a bit heavier while she tried to push it back deep down before Aden started to get suspicious.


“Hmm…?” She looked back up at him, putting on a smile.

“I asked what you were thinking about.” His brows furrowed with concern.

“Nothing.” Belle replied cheerfully, backing out of his arms entirely. “I was just generally thinking.”

“Alright.” Aden accepted her answer, taking a seat on the couch where Belle had been sitting. She remained standing for a minute longer as he switched the TV on, snapping her out of her thoughts once again. Carefully, she calmed herself down before spotting the ice cream tub on the coffee table. Picking it up, she saw Aden’s questioning look as she climbed onto his lap. His arms came around her instantly, one hand already finding its way to her stomach. “You sure everything’s ok?”

“Yup.” Belle nodded determinedly as she scooped out a spoonful of the softened ice cream. “Except for the fact that this is going to all melt if you don’t help me eat it.”


“Morning.” Irene greeted her as she stepped out of her room, still yawning.

“Morning.” Belle mumbled as she slid into one of the stools. “I thought you had work today.”

“It’s only 8 o’clock, love. Got another 30 minutes.” She informed her from her place in the kitchen.

“8?” Looking up at the clock, she realised that she was right. “Why the Hell was Aden up for so early on a Sunday morning?”

Irene let out a small chuckle while buttering a couple of pieces of toast that she had made for her when she had heard the rustling in her room. Putting it onto a plate, she placed it in front of Belle, along with a glass of orange juice.

“He mentioned something about an assignment.“ She simply said. “Now eat up.”

“Urgh… it’s only 8 in the morning.” Belle groaned. “I can’t eat this early.”

“Belle, you need to start eating proper meals.” Irene said strictly, standing directly opposite her. “And that includes breakie when you get up.”

“Fine.” She grumbled, taking a bite of the dry food. “Happy?” When Irene rolled her eyes at her, she took another bite, coughing slightly before having a sip of her drink. “You could have given me something that wouldn’t choke me.”

“Toast is good for morning sickness, girly. And if you took some time, you wouldn’t be choking!”

“I don’t get morning sickness.” Belle stated, a small smile appearing on her face that let Irene know that her mood swings had already settled in. “It’s more like in the afternoon. But at least the baby lets me sleep in.”

“That’s good, I guess.” Irene commented before moving back to lean against the counter by the sink. “So, a couple of months?”

“What about it?”

“It’s not that far off, for starters.”

“Which means there’s less time for Mum to try and mess it up.” Belle said light-heartedly as Irene rolled her eyes.

“Don’t you think it’s a bit soon, though, Belle?” The younger woman’s eyebrow raised at her.

“Not really. If we wait any longer, there’ll just be more things to juggle around.” She replied slowly, sipping her drink.

“Ok, but you can work around that. Not to mention that Aden would be out of uni and your job-”

“Might be even more demanding.” She interrupted before a mixed look of hurt and fear crossed her face. “Irene, don’t you approve?”

“No, of course I do, Belle.” She hurriedly told her, moving to stand back in front of her. “I just want to make sure that you’re making the right choice for the right reasons.”

“I am!” Belle’s tone was insistent. “Sure, it’s a bit earlier than I was planning, but so is the baby. And it’s not like we can change it now, so we’ve just got to do with what we have.”

“This isn’t the only option, love. You don’t have to get married just because you’re pregnant.”

“I wish everybody would stop saying that!” Belle snapped. “I know that. And it’s not just because I’m pregnant. In case you’ve all forgotten, we’ve been engaged for 18 months now, and I wasn’t pregnant back then when I said yes! We’re doing this because we want to, not because we need to.”

“Belle,” Irene sighed, not wanting to comment on how defensive she was being. “I only ask because I want to know that you’re sure about it.”

“Of course I am.” She replied immediately. “I wouldn’t be doing it if I wasn’t.”

“Alright.” Irene gave in, seeing how worked up it was making Belle. “Look, I’ve got to get to work. You going to be at home all day?”

“Yeah.” Belle murmured, noticing the sudden change in the topic as a way to put an end to her yelling. Silently, she wondered just how loud she had been speaking, hoping that it wasn’t loud enough for Annie or Geoff to hear. “I’ve got things to do.”

“Ok, I’ll see you later then.” Giving her a warm smile, she headed out of the kitchen door, leaving Belle alone as guilt began to wash over her.

She knew that Irene was just trying to look out for her, giving her the unbiased advice that a mother would. But as she pointed out the facts that she already knew, they somehow sounded different coming from Irene. They began to dug up all of the things she had pushed away last night, making her think about it, doubt her choice, ruin her happiness.

Sighing, Belle finished off her toast and the juice before placing it all into the sink and retreating back to her room. There was a lot of work for her to do in there that would take her mind of things, at least until the next time someone brought it up again.


Hope you all liked it! Thought I'd add some fluff seeing as it's been about 2 chapters since there was any.


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Thank you all for you're comments. Like I said, I love reading every one of them, including anything that may be annoying you/not liking/think I could improve about the fic. Criticism just makes me better, right?

Oh, and Adelle2008, I am 19 going 20 in December. And no, I do not act my age at all :P

Chapter 5:

“What did Roman say exactly when you told him about the wedding?” The question had been playing on her mind all day since her disagreement with Irene.

“Nothing really. Just asked why it was so soon.” Aden replied casually, continuing to play with her hair as she rested her head on his bare chest.

“Did you say it was because of the baby?” Belle asked, keeping her eyes on her fingers as they skimmed over the smooth skin of his torso.

“I said it was partially because of the baby.” He admitted.

“And the other reason?” She looked up at him, forcing him to stop with her hair.

“That it was the right time.” Aden stated, looking at her in confusion. “Why?”

“No reason.” She sighed, snuggling further into him and tilting her head back down. After Irene had left, she had spent most of the day in her room, occasionally coming out to seem sociable and that there was nothing wrong. Aden had came around at about 9 and the two of them had been in her room ever since.

Aden watched Belle as she got comfortable, pulling the duvet up to her shoulders for her as her arms wrapped themselves around his body. He carried on with twisting locks of her hair around his index finger while his other hand came to rest on her waist, keeping her close to him.

“Irene thinks we’re only getting married because I‘m pregnant.” Belle blurted out. “And so does Amanda. Roman probably thinks so too. And you.”

“No, I don’t.”

“You did.” She sighed, not moving from her position even as he gently tugged on her hair; a sign she knew to make her look up. “It was the first thing you said.”

“But we’re not getting married just because of the baby.” Aden countered. “It’s because of all those other things, like how it’s the right time, and that everything’s going great right now, and that even if we don’t get married, we’re going to have to find our own place anyway.” He listed everything that he could remember her telling him only a couple of nights ago.

“Do you really believe that?”

“Yeah, of course.” He told her as she finally shifted, using a hand on his chest to push herself up and look at him.

“Honestly? Or are you just saying it because it’s what I said?” Belle’s tone was serious and he could see the hint of fear in her eyes.

“Are you having doubts?” Aden asked her instead of answering her question. “Don’t you want to get married that soon?”

“No, it’s not that.” She said quickly.

“Then what is it?” He questioned, waiting for her to speak as she looked away. “Belle?”

“I do want to marry you.” Belle assured him as she met his eyes briefly.


“But nothing.” She put on a smile before lowering herself back down again.

“Belle,” Aden began softly, brushing some hair away from her face as she fingered the silver chain that he always wore since she had given it to him for his 21st birthday. “If you don’t want to get married in a couple of months, we can wait.”

“I want to get married then.” Belle earnestly told him as she stroked the smooth, cool links. “I really do. I just don‘t want people to think that it‘s for the wrong reasons.”

“Since when do you care about what other people think?” He replied, half-joking, bringing a small smile to her face. “We know the real reasons and that’s what counts, right?”

“Yeah…” She paused in her actions as his words sunk in. “Yeah, that’s true.”

“But seriously, Belle. If you want to wait, we can. It won’t change much. We’ll still have a kid in 8 months and we’ll still have to find a place of our own. We just won’t have a stupid piece of paper that binds us legally.” Aden told her as she giggled at his last sentence.

“I want that stupid piece of paper.” Belle insisted, looking up at him.

“Yeah?” When she nodded, he pressed a kiss to her forehead, smiling. “Good, cos so do I.”


The swirls in the hot chocolate captivated her attention as she tried to argue everything she had been thinking about. Taking another sip of the now-lukewarm drink, Belle pulled her legs up tighter to her chest as she sat on the sofa in the living room of the beach house.

Considering that it was half 1 on a Monday afternoon, Belle was all alone in the house. She should be at work, but after having a dizzy spell that morning, Aden had forced her to take the day off. He had even called in to work for her so that she didn’t try to go against him. She knew that he was just trying to look after her, assuring him that it was just a bout of light-headedness that as bound to accompany the pregnancy. But, as predicted, he hadn’t budged from his decision and she silently wondered what he would have said or done if he had known she had only gotten about 3 hours of sleep that night.

Sighing, she gulped down the last of the hot chocolate as she thought about it all once again. Even after the little talk with Aden, nothing in her mind had been put to rest. The only thing that had changed was the fact that she knew she wanted to get married in 2 months. But even as she thought about that, the ultimate question kept coming back to her: would they be getting married in 2 months if it wasn’t for the baby? The answer was obviously clear to her as her stomach twisted every time that she thought about it.

She was being a hypocrite. The realisation had come to her several days ago. She had always prided herself on being someone who could live their own life the way they wanted, not the way people had expected. And, even as she insisted that being pregnant was just a small factor in bringing the wedding date forwards, she knew that it was the final factor that made her give in. Because that was what she was doing; she was giving in and giving up.

Belle could almost imagine it now, what the rest of her life was going to be like. The career that she fought to get going into the background of her life, working mainly from home as she would have to towards the end of her pregnancy and then after the baby was born. She wouldn’t be able to spend a bit of time away from home, like she had the year before when her and a colleague had travelled up the coast for a particular story. They had ended up staying there for a week, and in the end it had been all worth it when she had been put up for a promotion. However, none of that would be possible from now on. Although she had Aden, who she knew would support her with every decision she made, she knew that it would probably never happen again.

“Belle?” Her head snapped up to see Irene standing in the kitchen, looking over at her worriedly. “You ok, love?”

“Yeah.” She managed to murmur, swallowing the lump that had been created in her throat by her thoughts. Leaning over to put the mug onto the coffee table, she let her fingers skim over her laptop that she had been working on before slumping back into the sofa, leaving it on there. “How come you’re home?”

“Aden said you were taking the day off so I though I would pop over on my break and see how you were. You feeling any better?” She told her straight out, coming to lean against the counter.

Aden made me take the day off.” Belle corrected. “And I’m feeling just fine.”

“He’s only worried about you, darl. And he has every right to be if you’re going to keep on acting like everything’s the same as before.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” She snapped back, picking up on the heavily hinting tone.

“It means that you should let the papers know that you’re pregnant. They’ll need to know, anyway.” Irene replied, brushing aside her sharp words.

“Yes, I know, Irene. Amanda’s already said the same thing.” Belle informed her before running a hand through her hair. “And I will. Just not yet. It’s too soon.”

“With a job like yours, Belle, don’t you think it’s better that they know sooner? Otherwise you’ll be run off your feet everyday.” Irene informed her.

“It won’t be too bad for now. I can cope with it.” She shrugged casually as she heard Irene sigh.

“You shouldn’t have to cope with it.”

“If I tell them, then they’ll probably just give me the stuff that I can do at home, or the easy stuff. I don’t want that, Irene. I’ve worked so hard to get to where I am, I don’t want to risk losing it if I don’t have to.” Her tone was calm as she averted her eyes to the side, focusing more on the words that she as saying rather than the emotions that she was feeling.

“Belle,” Irene began softly. “You’re having a baby. You’re going to have to make some sacrifices.”

“I can’t, Irene.” The emotions began to override her body, bringing tears to her eyes as she spoke about her fears for the first time. “I can’t do it. I’m not ready.”

“Not ready for what?” She questioned as she took as seat on the opposite end of the couch, turning her body to face her. “Belle?”

“This whole thing. I’m not ready to have a kid, Irene.” Belle confessed, blinking a couple of times as she looked up to keep the tears at bay. “I don’t know what to do. I’m so scared that by having this baby, I’m giving everything else up. That everything that I’ve been dreaming of is going to vanish. I know it sounds really selfish, but I don’t know if I can do it. And I feel so bad for saying that, because this is my baby and I should be happy- I am happy,” She corrected herself with a small shake of the head, “But then there’s those little things that just keep coming back to me, telling me that if we waited, I could have both.”

“Have you spoken to Aden about this?” Irene asked her carefully after taking a moment to let her words sink in.

“No, how can I? You’ve seen how happy he is. I can’t bring this down on him.” She said slowly, the tears now just rimming her eyes. “It wouldn’t be fair.”

“Oh, love.” Irene murmured as she reached out for her eldest foster daughter, pulling her gently into an embrace. “You need to tell him, Belle.”

“How do I tell him that I’m more worried about my job then having a baby?” Belle said in a tone of self-disgust as she wiped away the tears that now cascaded down her cheeks. “It sounds so wrong. God, I’m such a terrible person. A terrible mother. I shouldn‘t be think these things.”

“Hey, you’re not a terrible anything, you hear me?” Irene told her forcefully, squeezing her shoulder where her arm laid to emphasize it. “I can’t tell you what to do or feel, darl, but you have to tell Aden.”


“How do you know that he’s not thinking the same?” Irene cut her off before she got a chance to add another word. “You’re both young and have so much ahead of you. He must be just as scared as you are.”

“It doesn’t seem like it.” She mumbled. “He’s ready to tell the world, to marry me in a minute, to do whatever to keep me happy.”

“More the reason to talk to him.“ Irene insisted. “Belle, do you want to get married that soon?”

“Yes.” She backed away a bit while nodding to show just how much she meant it. “That’s the only thing right now that I’m certain about.”

“But are you doing it for the right reasons?” Her words were soft this time to let her know that she wasn’t doubting her entirely.

“I love him and I want to be with him.” Belle said as she rested her head on Irene’s shoulder, both of her arms coming to wrap around her stomach. “There’s no better reason than that.”

Irene was about to open her mouth and contradict her, to tell her that sometimes love wasn’t enough, but she shut her mouth when she saw the tears still leak from behind Belle’s closed eyes. Placing her arm around her shoulders, she held her to her, gently rocking her as the tears started to subside.

Looking down at the young woman in her arms, Irene wasn’t surprised to see that she had fallen asleep. She could tell just how much it broke her heart to admit those things to her.

Sighing deeply, Irene rested her chin on top of her head, thinking it all over. Deep inside, she knew that this was bound to happen. Belle was a fiercely independent girl, who had only recently learnt to depend on someone else. An unplanned pregnancy was hard enough to get to terms with, but for someone like Belle, it must put her into a huge dilemma. To try and go on like always, and just take this in her stride, or to totally rearrange her future plans?

There was a glint that caught her eye as they wander down, seeing Belle’s ring shining in the sun light that streamed into the room. She hadn’t missed how her arms were already protectively around her child, but as she spotted the ring, something inside of Irene was laid to rest. The worry about whether Belle felt backed into a corner about getting married was fading away as she recalled both her words from minutes ago and the day that she had returned from her trip.



The first thing that Irene heard as she got closer to the kitchen door were more than the two voices that she was used to at 5 in the evening on a Sunday. Frowning as she entered the house, she momentarily froze all three of her foster kids sitting in the living room, laughing and talking.

“Irene!” Annie greeted, the first to spot her. “Look who’s here.”

“Yeah, I see that, love.” She replied in slight shock as Belle got up from her place on the sofa, walking over to her.

“Surprise?” Belle said sheepishly, tucking her hands into her pocked while grinning at her.

“You could say that!” Irene finally snapped out of it, placing her bag onto the table before folding her arms. “I thought you said you were returning tomorrow morning?”

“We lied.” She simply said, laughing slightly at the unimpressed look on Irene’s face. “What? It wouldn’t have been a surprise then! C’mon, you can’t say you’re not happy to see me…”

“Of course I’m happy to see you, Belle.” She rolled her eyes before smiling. “How are you then?”

“I’m good.” Belle nodded as Irene eyed her carefully. “I’m really good.”

“Uh-huh…” Irene’s tone was suspicious. “And where’s Aden?”

“He went home. We thought we’d just go straight home separately. He was knackered too.” She informed her, the grin on her face still there.

“Ok, what’s going on, girly? You can’t be this happy to return back home after spending 6 weeks galloping around the world.” She questioned her, to the point like always.

“She’s got another surprise.” Irene could hear the mix of amusement and excitement under Annie’s words, and she saw Geoff just shaking his head at her. Watching Belle expectantly, who had turned around to give her younger sister of sorts a look, she raised an eyebrow.


Slowly, Belle pulled her hands out of her pockets, holding up her left hand so that it was obvious what it was that she was trying to show. They both saw the hand shake a little before Irene raised her hands to her mouth as a gasp left her. It was then that Belle dropped her hand, the silence in the room annoying her.

“Oh, Belle!” Irene finally spoke, reaching out to pull the hand back up before taking her into a hug that she went into freely. “Is this why you’ve been ignoring all calls from every one of us for the past week?”

Belle laughed, confirming it with an apologetic ‘yes’. Both her and Aden had decided that they wanted to keep it a secret until they got home. When she realised that it was going to be impossible to not blurt it out of excitement, and just to share her news, when she spoke to someone, they made a pact to keep communication through text, which meant e-mails and text messages.

“I guess congratulations are in order then.” Irene said cheerfully, as the other three all laughed. “If you had let me known, then I would have brought some of the chocolate cake!” She added teasingly as Belle bit her bottom lip.

“Ah, but then it wouldn’t have been a surprise!”


Knocking gently on the bedroom door, Irene turned the handle and opened it when she heard Belle’s muffled reply. Stepping in to the room, she was surprised to see the teen still awake, slumping back against the pillows even as she was slipped inside the bed. Her eyes were on her hands, and it didn’t take a genius to figure out why.

“I thought you would have been long gone by now.” She joked, perching on the side of her bed.

“Yeah, I was just thinking.” Belle replied, the soft smile still lingering on her face. “Trying to get back into routine.”

“Time difference getting to you?”

“That, and the fact that I practically slept the whole flight over.” They both laughed at her words.

“That would do it.” Irene replied before sighing. “Alright, so let me get a good look at the ring.”

Shifting slightly in the bed so that she could reach over, Belle obediently held her left hand out to her, allowing her to grasp it loosely in her own hands. She couldn’t keep the bubble of giggles that erupted from inside of her as Irene turned it around on her finger, letting the light bounce of the solitaire diamond sitting in the middle.

“It’s a beautiful ring.” She stated.

“I know.” Belle said easily. “Nicole helped him pick it out. Sort of.”

“I guess she does come in use at times.” Irene teased.

“Yes, she does.”

“So…” They had fallen into a small bout of silence as Irene continued to twist the ring around her finger. “This was a huge surprise, huh?”

“The biggest!” Belle confessed, laughing before starting to describe to her the proposal . She could remember every single detail as if it had happened a millions times over that Irene felt as if she had been there. There was no doubt that Belle had probably been over it a million times in her head. “… and I couldn’t say ‘no’. I mean, I know that it probably sounds so cliché, but there was no choice.”

“I’ve got to admit; I am still in shock. I honestly didn’t see this coming, so soon at least.” Irene told her when she had finished her story. She saw a faint blush raise to Belle’s cheeks as she looked down. Throughout her re-telling of the event, she had pushed herself upright, curling her legs under her as she sat at the top of her bed, any fatigue forgotten.

“I know what you’re thinking, Irene. That we’re both too young, but like I told Aden, I don’t want to get married for at least another couple of years or so.” She informed her as she nodded. “It’s just…”

“Just what?” She prompted as Belle’s finger’s started to fiddle with the pillow that now rested on her lap.

“It seems so right. Don’t get me wrong; never in a million years did I ever predict this, but I know it’s what I want to do.” She sighed, the smile still there. “He’s the one. I want to marry him.”

“Well, love, I guess there’s nothing more to it than that, is there?” Irene said happily. “I’m so proud of you, Belle. You’ve changed so much since that day I caught you trying to break into my car.” Belle held back a smile at that memory. “I’m glad that you’ve finally found someone who you believe in like this and who, evidently, treats you like you deserve to be.”

“Yeah? Even if it‘s Aden?” Belle’s smile had turned into a cheeky one as Irene huffed.

“I think we can all put with that if he makes you this happy.” She played along.

“That he does.” Belle agreed, nodding earnestly.

“And from the looks of it,” Irene began, squeezing her hand gently. “It seems like he’s going to keep on doing so.”

*End Flashback*


Hehe, bet you all thought I'd reveal the proposal there for a second.

Hope you all liked it!


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Thank you all for your comments.

BeforeItsTooLate, it's alright. That happens to me practically everytime I post an update for some reason. And Adelle2008, I dunno if I should take that as a compliment or not! :P Hmm... How I miss actually being 15 or 16! Those were the days!

Anyways, moving on swiftly before I spam my own thread, here's the next chapter.

Chapter 6:

Irene dried off her hands on the towel before turning around to check on Belle. She had stayed with her for half an hour before realising that Roman and Leah would probably worry about her if she didn’t ring in to work. So she had been forced to gently lay her down onto the sofa, using the cushions as pillows before finding a quilt to throw over her. That was about an hour ago, and Irene was glad to see that Belle had neither moved nor woken up.

Turning back around, she started to replace all of the cutlery that she had just washed as she spotted a figure nearing the house. Sighing, Irene knew that forcing Belle to talk to Aden wouldn’t go down well at all, but the least she could do was to make the opportunity.

“Irene, Roman said you wanted to see me?” He asked as soon as he had crossed the threshold of the house. She simply nodded towards the figure in the living room. Watching his eyes follow her instruction, she could tell the exact moment that he realised who it was. “Is there something wrong?”

“She’s ok, love.” Irene reassured him, putting away the last of the plates. “Just tired. She cried herself to sleep.”

“Cried herse-?” Aden began to repeat in disbelief, worry immediately filling his system. “Why? What happened?”

“Look, it’s not my place to tell.” Irene replied awkwardly. “You should let her tell you.”

“Has it got something to do with the wedding?”

“Why would you say that?” She asked, truly intrigued by his question.

“Last night, she seemed…” Aden shrugged, crossing his arms. “I dunno. Like she was starting to regret suggesting getting married so soon.”

“I think that one thing that you won’t have to worry about, Aden.” Irene told him seriously as she picked up her purse. “I need to head back to the Diner. Are you ok to stay here?”

“Yeah, of course.” He hurriedly said, his tone distracted as he continued to watch Belle from afar.

“Don’t worry yourself into a state, darl.” Irene advised as she passed him while heading out of the door. “Just take care of her and let her open up when she wants to.” Aden nodded at her words as she patted him on the arm before leaving, knowing that Belle was in safe hands.

He stood watching her for about 10 more minutes, leaning against the counter. As she laid with her head towards him, it wasn’t possible to see whether she was now awake or not, whether she was peaceful or not, or whether she was comfortable or not.

Pushing himself away from the counter, Aden slowly made his way over to the couch, rounding the back of it to see her first. Glad to see that she was still asleep, almost peacefully, he came to the front, crouching down by her shoulders. He could clearly see the dried tear tracks on her face, the rim of her eyes tinted red and he guessed that if she opened them, they would be even redder.

Letting his eyes travel down her body and noticing her left arm protectively draped around her waist above the quilt, Aden smiled ruefully. Looking back at her face once again, he brushed back the hair that fell over her cheek. He saw her nose twitch slightly as he did so, moving the hair away from near there too, hoping that she wouldn’t wake up.

Aden held his breath for a moment before she went back into her sleep. Exhaling, he stood up, tucking the quilt around her comfortably before slowly placing an arm under her knees and the other around her shoulders, picking both her and the cover up. She was so light that it was hard to believe she was carrying his child right then.

Just as Belle turned her face into his neck, Aden placed her back down onto her bed, smoothly removing his arm from under her legs first before resting her head down onto the pillows that were already lined up at the head of the bed. He stroked her hair away from her face once again, gently shushing her as she started to fidget, eyes finally fluttering open.

“Aden…” Belle murmured sleepily, blinking slowly, not being able to keep them open yet not wanting to close them. He sat next to her, caressing her cheek as to coerce her back into sleep.

“I’m right here, babe.” Aden spoke softly, watching as she blinked once more before letting her eyes fall shut. “I’m right here. Go back to sleep.” This time her eyes stayed closed, and he stopped with his tender touch. He knew that she had fallen back into sleep, even as she shuffled and turned onto her side, facing him.

Sighing, Aden got up, heading towards her dresser which he then leant against, scanning the items that were neatly scattered around it. Most of it was just junk like pieces of paper or stationary. There was a small section where the box for her bracelet laid, and as he opened it, he couldn’t help but to smile at the empty content. Even today, when she was restricted to spending the day at home, she wore it.

Looking over his shoulder at her, he couldn’t help but to wonder what it was that was playing on her mind. His initial thought had been about the wedding, but with Irene’s words taken into consideration, that seemed like the most unlikely probability right then. Realising that he wasn’t going to get to the bottom of it until he spoke to Belle herself, Aden put it to one side and instead took her laptop into the dining room, leaving the door open so that he could hear and just about see her in case she woke up.


“Belle?” Aden gently said, running his fingers through her hair as she started to react to his actions. “Sweetheart, you’ve got to wake up and eat something.” He heard her moan as the words registered in her mind. “Come on, Belle.”

She could feel him sitting behind her, a hand resting on her abdomen just below where her own hand laid. Opening her eyes slowly, she squinted as the harsh light made it’s way to her, rapidly blinking to get herself use to it. Slowly, just as the light had penetrated her mind, Belle moved her hand on to the top of his, clutching it for a moment before pulling it off her body while using the other hand to push herself up.

“I’m not hungry.” She mumbled as Aden tucked her hair behind her ear.

“You have to eat something. You didn’t have lunch and it’s close to dinner now.” Belle glanced over at the clock, surprised to see that it was past 6 in the evening. That made it 4 hours since she fell asleep, and over 5 since she last ate anything.

“Ok.” Belle gave in, only as the guilt came upon her, remembering Irene’s words from the previous day about having to eat her 3 meals a day now that she was pregnant. So far she had a total of 1, and it didn’t really count seeing as it had been just a single piece of toast.

“Good.” Aden smiled at her, taking her hand and pulling her off of the bed and out of her room. “What do you want to eat?”

“Um… anything simple.” She replied before realising how hungry she actually was. “And quick.”

“Alright.” He laughed as he left her by the stools and went to raid the kitchen, looking through the fridge and then the cupboards. “How does pasta sound? Or is that not quick enough?”

“No, pasta will do fine.” Belle assured him before yawning. “I’m just going to wake myself up a bit.” She barely saw his nod as she entered the bathroom, locking the door behind her and staring at her reflection in the mirror. Her hair was tousled and her eyes were red. She could still feel the stickiness of her tears on her cheeks and she knew that Aden must have figured out about her little breakdown by now.

Turning on the taps, she watching the water gush out before cupping her hands under the hot water and splashing it onto her face. Just as quickly, she dampened her hands in the cold water, cleansing her face with that too, the sudden contrast fully waking her up. Belle ran her wet fingers through her hair to calm it down a bit, picking up a neglected scrunchie that either she or Annie must have left lying around and messily tying her hair up.

Her eyes, Belle realised, were a challenge. There was nothing she could do to hide the tiredness that still clung to them or the remains of her tears that stained them red. Pressing cold fingers to her eyes, she hoped that they would revive them at least a bit.

Emerging out of the bathroom ten minutes later, she could smell dinner almost immediately, making her stomach ache for it. She stood silently by the counter, watching as Aden gently stirred the sauce into the pasta.

“Feeling better?” He asked her casually, taking a quick look over at her.

“Yeah, just what I needed.” Belle smiled, making it look as real as she could, but there were too many things that stopped it. Just by the look on his face, the way he simply nodded to her answer and pursed his lips for moment, showed her that there was more that he wanted to say, but was holding it back. It caused a tension between them that she hadn’t felt in months that was only broken as he handed her a plate with her dinner on it, ushering her to the dining table as he poured her a glass of water. Belle didn’t even try to object, scared that if she spoke she would either snap at him or spill everything.

“Here.” Aden placed the glass in front of her before taking the seat to her right, watching as she slowly speared a couple of shells onto the fork.

“Aren’t you going to eat?” She asked, noticing no other plate that was prepared for him before blowing on the pasta to cool it down and eating it.

“Later. I only had lunch a little while ago.” He informed her and she reluctantly accepted it. She continued to eat in the silence, never averting her eyes away from her plate. It was only when she started to move the last of the food around the plate carelessly that Aden spoke again.

“Is everything ok?”

“Yeah, I’m just full.” She smiled at him once again, finally looking up to see him hesitate before speaking again.

“I meant about… earlier. You’re being really quiet and Irene said-”

“I’m fine.” Belle didn’t let him finish off the sentence. She didn’t want to know what it was that Irene had told him in fear of what else it might dig up from that afternoon. “I’m just a little tired, that’s all.”

“Belle-” Aden tried again, exasperatedly, only to be cut off once again.

“Listen, I’ve got some work to finish off for tomorrow, so I’m just going to go get that done, yeah?” She didn’t wait for his reply, pushing back her chair and taking her plate and glass into the kitchen before heading straight to her room, picking up the laptop where it laid shut on the table without a second glance at her boyfriend who still sat there, watching every move she made until she disappeared out of his view.


He knocked on her door lightly before opening it and letting himself in without waiting for a reply. Belle didn’t look surprised as she looked over at him. She had climbed into bed already, the laptop open on top of the duvet.

“I thought you would have gone to bed already.” Aden commented as he came to stand at the end of her bed. The clock on the bedside table showed that it was half 9 at night, and after reading the same two pages as many times as he could for the past 3 hours, Aden had given up, deciding to face his problems head on.

“No, this took longer than I thought it would.” Her words were carefully chosen.

“Is it done now?” Belle contemplated what the right answer would be. The honest one and saying that it was done or the dishonest one that would get her out of what was about to come. Coming to the conclusion that if she lied, Aden would only bring up the subject another time, she sighed.

“Yeah, it’s done.” She started to log off her computer, taking her time as Aden came to sit opposite her.

“What’s going on, Belle?” He asked her as soon as she shut the computer and laid it to one side. When she stayed silent, Aden carried on. “Irene said that you cried yourself to sleep this afternoon, but she didn‘t tell me why. I’ve been trying to think of plausible reasons why, but none of them make sense because I figured that if there was something bothering you, you would tell me. Like we always do. Right?”

“Are you scared?” Belle questioned him, his words hitting her hard. She let her eyes drop down to her she fiddled with the duvet cover, trailing the patterns around and around.

“Scared of what?”

“Becoming a parent.” She clarified.

“Yeah, of course.” Aden scoffed. “I’m terrified.”

“You don’t act like it.” Belle told him, realising that her words probably sounded like she was punishing him for being happy. “I mean-”

“No, I get what you mean.” He stopped her. “I just try not to think about it yet. I’d rather look at the positives than the negatives right now.”

“But don’t you worry about the future? Like, how it’s going to affect you and your plans?” She tilted her head to one side as she looked at him, watching as he bit his lip in thought.

“Not really. I mean, I never really had plans for my future. Anything that I wanted to do were kind of ruined by one thing or another. The only things that I can see now are you, the baby, and my degree.” Aden explained.

“Ok, but when the baby is born, you’re still going to be studying for at least another year. It’s going to be hard, don’t you think?”

“Maybe.” He shrugged casually. “I dunno. I guess I could just work around it.”

“Have you honestly not thought that far ahead, Aden? To when our baby is born?” Belle asked him incredulously.

“Sure, I’ve thought about it, but I’m not stressing out about it.” He said defensively. “We’ve got a whole 8 months to go before that.”

“No, Aden, you’ve got a whole 8 months to go. I’m already there! I’m already dealing with it all, thinking about everything whereas you don’t even seem to care!” She snapped. Aden was taken aback by the ferocity of her words.

“I do care, Belle!” He told her pointedly. “Where’s all this coming from, anyway?”

“It’s coming from the fact that in 8 months, we’ll have a child that will be the centre of everything that we do and you haven’t seemed to have thought about that!” Belle took in a deep breath to calm herself down. “You might not have had your future planned, but I did. I have a job, Aden. Something that I’ve worked to get for years.”

“Yeah, and I’ve got my studies and then, hopefully, a job too.” He argued. “Ok, so you’ve known what you wanted to do since you were like, what? 16? 17?”

“That’s not that point!” She said in frustration, gripping the duvet gently to get rid of her anger. “Do you know how much my job means to me? How much I‘ll be giving up to have this baby?”

“Of course I know what it means to you, Belle.” Aden sighed, running a hand through his hair as he tried to decipher her underlying message. He knew there was something he was missing, but he couldn’t find it. “But we’ll both be giving certain things up.”

“Really? Because I don’t see you giving anything up! I seems to me that you plan on carrying on with your education and onto your job while I give mine up to raise our child.”

“That’s not true. We’re in this together.” He assured her, reaching out for her hand that he felt stiffen slightly in his. “I’m not asking you to give anything up. You can work as well as have a kid. Loads of people do it nowadays. And being a photojournalist, you can do it from home too-”

“That’s the thing, Aden! I don’t know if I want to do it from home. The whole point of being a photojournalist is to be out there and see everything for yourself. And I’m just beginning my career too.”

“Alright, so maybe the timing isn’t perfect, but I thought we agreed that it was just something that was meant to be?” He reminded her of the day when they had first found out about her being pregnant, and how they couldn’t pinpoint the date of conception.

“It is. I know it is. It’s just…”

“Just what?” Aden pushed her gently as she trailed off, looking back down again. He tugged on her hand, meeting his eyes after a moment.

“I’m scared that I’m not going to be able to handle it. That in the end, something’s going to slip. Either being a mother or my career. And I don‘t want to lose either.” Her eyes welled up with tears once again as Aden swallowed, taking in her words. He knew that she probably wasn’t suggesting it, but it was the only thing that came to his mind.

“Belle, do you not want to have this baby?” He asked her slowly. Aden could see the exact moment that his words made sense to her, feeling her hand freeze up in his and her eyes glaze over.

“What? No!” She immediately spat. “How can you say that?”

“I dunno. You’re talking about how you want to be focused on one thing and-” Aden tried to explain as she ripped her hand out of his.

“And, what? You thought that I meant that?” The tears now began to roll down, but she barely noticed. Her arms had once again wrapped themselves around her stomach, protecting it from it‘s parents‘ harsh words. “How could you even think that? This is our baby, Aden! Our child!”

“I know that, Belle! But you’re not making any sense otherwise!” His voice was quickly rising to meet hers, although his tone still remained calming and almost apologetic, not that she heard.

“Other than to have an a-?” The word felt thick in her mouth. She couldn’t even bring herself to say it, yet alone think about it. “What kind of person do you think I am? That I would- I would take the easy way out? Get rid of it like it’s trash?”

“Belle, you’re not listening to what I’m saying!” Aden’s words begged her to reason, to hear him out, but she was far beyond that. “This is my child as well. Do you really think that I would want you-?”

“You’re the one who you suggested it!” She yelled, not wanting to hear the rest of his words.

“I didn’t mean it! I don’t want that!”

“You think I do?!” Aden opened his mouth to say more, but he was cut off by the door opening with a very worried Irene standing there.

“What’s going on here?” She questioned the two of them as soon as she saw an almost hysterical Belle sitting with her legs pulled up and her arms around herself like she had that afternoon.

“Belle-” Aden ignored Irene’s intrusion, reaching out for her only for her to flinch away from him.

“Don’t touch me.” She whispered, not missing the hurt and guilt that shone on his face and in his eyes. Somewhere inside of her, there was a rational side that was fighting to get out, telling her that Aden hadn’t meant what he had said, that it had been an innocent mistake of his interpretation of her words. But through her tears and the anger, she couldn’t hold onto that voice long enough to calm herself down.

“Aden?” Irene asked him, her voice emotionless as she neared the bed. Shaking his head, he took one last look at Belle, seeing how upset he was making her, before getting up.

“I should- I’ll just go.” He faltered, moving past Irene slowly, hoping with every step that he took that Belle would call him back, tell him that they never left an argument unresolved before going to bed.

But the only thing that he could hear was Irene’s voice hushing her, trying to comfort her as her sobs died down, her words still vibrating around his head as he left the house. However, the one thing that got Aden the most was the way she had curled herself away from him. Protecting both herself and their child as if he was some kind of threat, some kind of danger. And each time he blinked, that was all he could see, and it broke his heart.


I wasn't too sure about this chapter. Everytime I keep going over it, it just seems to me that the end is too rushed and doesn't fit in properly?

Anyway, I hope you all found it at least half-way decent lol.


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Thank you guys, once again! Your comments mean so much to me! :D

I've been writing this chapter all day [which is why it's so long] and I think I'm finally happy with it. Let me know what you think. Once again, I hope it doesn't seem rushed or anything.

Chapter 7:

After leaving the Beach House, Aden had walked around the bay for an hour or so, not wanting to go home. He had ended up walking in a full circle, reaching back to the house where he stood staring at it for several minutes before approaching. He wanted to know that she was ok, that she didn’t really think he was some kind of monster who would want her to get rid of their child.

The light in the kitchen and the living room was still on, and as he got to the kitchen door, Aden saw Irene cleaning up the final things before going to bed. He stood silently by the door, hands tucked deep into his pockets as Irene turned around, not that surprise to see him.

“She’s sleeping.” Her words were low and soft, answering his unasked question.

“I didn’t mean it.” Aden told her, eyes shifting to the ground as he felt the elder woman move towards him into the kitchen. “I didn’t know what she meant and that was the only thing-”

“I know, Aden.” Irene assured him, leaning against the counter opposite him.

“She probably hates me.” He slumped heavily against the doorframe, tears pricking his eyes as he thought back to it all.

“I’m sure she doesn’t.” Irene said gently. “Belle’s been tired all day, and she reacted with her maternal instincts instead of reason.”

“Yeah, to protect our baby against me.”

“Look, darl, it’s been a tough day for the both of you. I’m sure that after a good night’s sleep, you’ll both be thinking more clearly in the morning and all this will be sorted.” Irene’s tone was comforting and optimistic, but the feeling barely transferred over to him.

“Did she say anything? Before she fell asleep?” Aden asked, curious for any hints that may suggest that she wasn’t disgusted in him. When Irene reluctantly shook her head, Aden sighed, eyes reverting to the floor once more.

“Just let her sleep it off for now.” She simply said as he nodded slowly, looking up in the general direction of where her bedroom door was. He knew going in there would be a bad idea, and he was pretty sure that Irene would stop him anyway. The window, however, still remained their little secret entrance and exit, but he figured that if she hadn’t wanted him to even touch her back then, she wouldn’t want to see him either.

“Alright.” He swallowed while pushing himself off of the doorframe. “Could you tell her that I’m sorry? And let me know if anything…?” Aden didn’t finish off the sentence as they both knew what he meant.

“Of course.” Irene told him as he glanced towards the bedroom door once again before mumbling a ‘goodnight’ and leaving, the lump in his throat growing with every step away he took away from his fiancée and child.


The clock read 5:58am as Belle tossed once again, this time taking her phone with her so that she didn’t need to turn over every time she wondered how long it had been since she had woken up. At the moment, it was just over 2 hours and 25 minutes and counting.

After crying herself to sleep for the second time that day, she had only woken up when she had subconsciously rolled over wondering why she felt so cold. It was only as she shuffled down the bed slightly that she realised that she was alone. A shiver that had nothing to do with the temperature had travelled up her spine at the memories that came back to her from the previous night. Guilt had swarmed her immediately, still being able to visualise that final look on Aden’s face, alas a bit blurry from when she watched him through her tears, the emotions were still clear. But it had been so obvious that he regretted even mentioning it the second after it had left his mouth, yet Belle had done nothing to make him feel better about it.

Curling up as she pulled the covers tighter around herself, she tried to replicate the warmth that she would normally get from snuggling up to Aden’s body. Wrapping her arms around her waist like she had done so many times that day, she tried to convince herself that she was ok, that the two of them, her and her baby, were safe. But even to herself, she knew that she couldn’t ever create the protection that Aden gave them just by being there, within reach where she could always depend on him. Always, until she pushed him away.

Belle could feel the tears well up in her eyes once again. It was amazing that her body was still able to produce any tears after all the crying she had done that day. Opening her eyes, she stared straight ahead at the bedside table on the opposite side, seeing an antique photo frame that she had bought from Rome, which contained a picture of them sitting on the Spanish Steps. She had been forced to take at least 10 shots before it turned out to be ok seeing as neither one of them could stop laughing at the fact that they both had wanted a gelato in the freezing cold, only to end up with frozen fingers and unable to hold the camera still.

Unfortunately, this memory only brought the tears to an edge, spilling out of the corner of her eyes and into her pillow. How could she have been so cruel? So narrow-minded? She should have just told him outright what it was that was worrying her, what she wanted, the reassurance that she sought. But instead she had been vague, trying to turn it onto him as the one who was in the wrong so that she didn’t seem like she couldn’t handle it. All for it to come crashing down around her when he had jumped to the wrong conclusions.

What made it worse though, was the fact that now Belle had the time to mull over it, she could see exactly where Aden had been coming from. How could she not? To make things worse, Belle knew exactly where her over-reaction had came from too. Aden had, inadvertently, dug up a thought that she had long buried away. When she had first realised the true responsibilities that having a baby was going to mean, Belle was ashamed to admit that the thought of having an abortion had flitted through her mind, although it for the slightest second. Ever since that day, she hadn’t even considered it as an option, no matter what it meant for her future.

Apologizing profusely and silently to her baby for letting that thought to have passed her mind in the first place, Belle picked up her mobile to check the time. 6.29am. Any other time that she woke up at this time, where falling back asleep was pointless and getting up was too much of a chore, she would just remain where she was, most probably pressed right up to Aden in every way possible with his strong arms holding her there, making her forget about everything else that they would have to do that day and just wish they could stay like that forever.

Sighing, Belle pushed herself up in her bed, letting the covers fall and the cold air in her room hit her at full impact. Languidly, she climbed out of bed, walking straight over to where Aden’s clothes were kept and took out one of his hoodies. She pulled it on easily, the cotton feeling extremely soft against her skin. Although it was freshly washed, Belle was convinced that his scent still lingered on it when she rubbed her face with her fabric covered hands to get rid of the fatigue.

She headed straight to the bathroom to wake herself up before heading into the kitchen. Walking over to the kettle, Belle was surprised to see a steaming mug of hot chocolate already there, with another empty one already in the sink. Frowning, she wondered who it was that had left it for her. Irene would have given it to her personally, and she really doubted that Aden would have returned that early in the morning only to leave again. Hearing shuffling coming from the other downstairs bedroom, Belle let out a small smile. Geoff. He must have heard that she was up and decided to make her the drink while he made his own before he started the day. Not sure where to go in life, Geoff had decided to take the year off, doing simple charitable things on behalf of the church and other organizations.

Making a mental note to thank him, Belle didn’t miss the fact that he had made hot chocolate instead of the usual coffee. To tired to worry about the fact that if Irene had heard her and Aden’s argument last night, then Geoff and Annie most certainly might have, Belle retreated back to her room to get ready for the day. Glad that no-one else apart from Geoff was up, who she didn’t see at all, she was able to shower, eat a little something and leave the house for work without speaking to one person.

As she got into the car, Belle sat still for a moment, deciding what she was going to do to settle her mind. After work, she planned, she would go see Aden. There was no way that she was going to spend another night like that. Rubbing her stomach lightly, she silently apologized once again to her unborn child for all the grief that she was causing, wishing that, for a moment, she could start over with the whole pregnancy.


Nicole look up at the front door expectantly when she heard Aden’s car pull up. It was past 5 in the afternoon, and after her full day at the local college, she was enjoying a relaxing time in front of the TV until he got home.

“Hey.” She greeted him as he dumped his bag by the stairs and walked straight into the kitchen, only a nod to acknowledge her presence. Sitting quietly, she waited as she heard tap fridge door close before Aden re-entered the room, water bottle in hand. “Belle’s upstairs.”

“What?” He froze dead in his tracks, looking over at her. “Why?”

“I don’t know.” Nicole shrugged as well as she could as she switched the TV off. “But she did look just as bad as you.”

“How long has she been here for?” Aden sighed, leaning against the sofa, wondering just how bad Belle really felt. He had learnt that she could get about 3 hours sleep and still look immaculate in the morning, so if she looked like he had, it wasn’t a good sign.

“About 2 hours or so. I asked her what was wrong and she just said she was tired.” She carried on. “Not like I couldn’t see that myself.”

“Did she say anything else?”

“Nope.” Nicole replied, standing up. “Why? Is she ok?”

“Yeah, yeah, she’s ok.” Aden hurriedly told her, not wanting to break his promise and tell her everything. He had spoken to Roman last night and this morning, which had helped ease his mind enough to go to uni, but it hadn’t meant that he had been able to focus. After last night’s events and not getting a minute of sleep, he was amazed that he could still drive, not that Roman had needed to know that.

“Alright, then.” Nicole’s tone showed him that she didn’t believe him at all, but left it alone anyway. “I’m going to head down to the Diner.”

“Ok, see ya.” He managed to call out after her as she closed the door just as he got his mind working once again. Looking up towards the ceiling, he wondered what it was that Belle was doing here. Well, it was obvious why she was there, but he didn’t think that she would want to see him or come to him to speak. He figured that he was going to have to be the one to try and coerce her into talking to him again that night.

Slowly, Aden started up the stairs, not wanting to make too much of a sound. Once he got to his bedroom, he automatically raised his hand and knock very lightly on the door. Getting no response, Aden pushed on the handle and opened the door. Not sure what to expect, he was certainly surprise to see Belle curled up in his bed and, from the looks of it, dressed in one of his shirts.

Shutting the door behind him, he walked up to the side of the bed that she faced, watching her for a moment. Seeing his iPod laying next to her head with the earphones plugged into her ears, he reached over and pressed ‘pause’, startled when her eyes snapped open as soon as the music stopped.

“Sorry. Didn’t mean to wake you.” Aden said sheepishly, perching on the edge of his bed as Belle pushed herself up, pulling the music player out of her ears.

“I wasn’t asleep.” She murmured as she wrapped the earphones around the iPod and then placing it on his bedside table. “Sorry, I couldn’t sleep-”

“It’s ok. I mean, it is technically yours.” He commented, referring to that fact that Belle had bought him this particular iPod about 6 months ago after accidentally throwing his old one over the edge of the pier and into the sea while the two of them had been playfully arguing about it. She had felt so bad about it, vowing that she would replace it whereas Aden had just laughed, finding something else to tease her about and call her a klutz.

They fell into a silence after that as Belle smiled a little bit at the fond memory. Neither one of them knew what to say after that, and she guessed that, seeing as she had started this whole debacle and came over, she should start.

“I told work today.”

“What?” Aden snapped out of his thoughts at the sound of her voice.

“I told them I was pregnant. I know I said that I want to wait, but I figured that with a job like mine, they should know.” She explained slowly as he nodded.

“That’s good.” He replied. “What did they say?”

“Nothing much.” She shrugged casually, eyes falling down to her fingers. “I can work up until I start to feel uncomfortable. They go they’ll go over it properly nearer the time, but I’ll probably have no field work during the third trimester.”

“Well, I guess that’s something, right?” This time, Belle was the one who nodded at his words. “Belle…” He took a deep breath, scared whether their talk this time might go the same way as last night, before speaking. “I’m sorry about what I said last night. I honestly didn’t mean it.”

“I know.” She whispered. “I knew it then too, but I just reacted.” Looking up at him, she was able to see relief sweep his body, even as hurt and confusion, along with the obvious tiredness, still remained. “What you said… I was acting on instinct, Aden. When I heard those words, all I could think of was our baby. Not that it was you saying it, but just someone. And I was so frustrated already that it just kind of all mounted up and you ended up being the one I lashed out at.”

“I wish,” Aden began, blinking back the tears that threatened to rise up as he played the words over from the previous night in his head. “I wish that I could take it back. You have to understand, Belle, that I never want that to happen.” He automatically reached out for her hand before pausing midway, remembering her recoiling away from him.

Belle saw his actions, and she couldn’t stop the lump in her throat from forming when she thought about how she had treated him last night. It must have been so much more worse from his point of view if he feared touching her. Lifting up her own hand, she placed it on top of his, praying that he didn’t pull away.

“Last night, when you moved away from me,” Aden spoke in a low, controlled voice, eyes always remaining on their hands. “It hurt so much, Belle. Seeing you protect our baby from me and flinching away from me, like I was something that you wanted to keep away from. Like I was a danger-”

“I didn’t-” Belle cut him off, not being able to stand hearing anymore as the tears trickled down her face. “I’m so, so, so, sorry, Aden. I am. I-”

“Shh…” Instinct overtook anything else that Aden was feeling as he moved along the bed and put his arms around her, letting her cry into his shoulder. He knew that Belle usually had a great control of her emotions so he reckoned that most of it was probably done to hormones. “Calm down. It‘s ok.” He mumbled into her hair while rubbing her back soothingly. After a moment, she pushed away from him, wiping at her eyes to get rid of anything that clung to it.


“Don’t.” Aden stopped her, his voice soft. “I think we’ve both done our fair share of apologizing.”

“Ok.” Belle sniffed, using the long sleeves of the shirt to dab at her eye. “What now?”

“Now you tell me what it was that you were trying to tell me yesterday.” Aden saw her abruptly stop for a moment before carrying on. “Plain and simple, Belle. Just tell me what it was that you wanted me to get last night.”

She contemplated telling him that it was just that she was scared of becoming a mother lie she has last night but she knew that he wouldn’t believe it. If he had, then the living room downstairs wouldn’t have been a mess. There had been plenty of books skewered around on one of the sofas and the coffee table that she recognised as Aden’s course books. Knowing that he had had a full day of lectures today, it would have been unlikely that he had read them in the morning before leaving, so she was able to conclude that this was what he had been doing all night, not being able to sleep either.

“I’m not ready, Aden.” Belle stated, deciding to go with the truth; plain and simple. When he opened his mouth to speak, she carried on quickly. “Let me speak. Get it all out.” Aden nodded, squeezing one of her hands. “Before anything else, know that I want to have this baby, and I want to marry you. But becoming a parent is something that is so unknown to me and it’s scary. I mean, my adoptive parents were cruel, my mother and I hated each other when we first met and her mother sold me when I was born. We’re nowhere close to being prepared, and I don’t know if I can do it. If I can actually look after another human being and bring it up properly. Aden, I can barely look after myself! How am I supposed to raise a child?”

“Belle, I’m not-”

“Wait, let me finish.” She continued, her eyes bouncing all over the room, willing the tears to stay back, before coming back to his. “This was so unplanned, so out of my control, and that’s what’s thrown me off. I don’t like losing control of anything, least of all my own life. And now suddenly, I’ve got rearrange everything that I’ve planned for the future in the space of 8 months. Not even that. Everything’s changing so quickly that I’m losing focus, Aden. My job, which I absolutely love, will probably remain the same for the next 3 years or so and I’m scared that in the end, I will just give up on it when I get bored of the repetition and become one of those mothers who stay at home and do nothing.”

“Are you done?” Aden asked her attentively after a long pause. As she nodded, he began to speak. “Firstly, Belle, I’m scared too. My observations on good parenting only come from Roman, and he’s only being a Dad to a 19 year old, which is easier, even if it is Nic. But, like I said, I’m determined to look at the positives rather than the negatives. At least we know what kind of parents not to be, right?”

“Yeah, I guess.” Thinking about how Irene had raised the three of them, despite that they were all teenagers when they moved in. And Amanda didn’t do a bad job in giving her some life lessons.

“Secondly, I know that this is all a massive shock and a surprise, but that’s life. And nothing else had to change unless you want it to. If you want to take it one thing at a time, we will. But the fact remains that in 8 months, we will have a kid and there’s nothing that we can do to change that.” He told her in a tone that was forceful yet passionate. “As for your job… Belle, I’m not going to make you give it up. Somehow I doubt that you’ll end up being one of those mothers, because I can’t see you staying still for so long.”

Belle let out a small laugh at his words and Aden felt a pang of joy knowing that they were finally getting back on track and he was making up for what he had put her through last night.

“Look, you’re not the only one who has to make sacrifices, ok? So maybe I hadn’t thought it through before, but I have now, and I’ve decided that if you seriously want to keep going at your job, then I would be more than prepared to do my last year as a part-time student from home. If you wanted to get back into the field as soon as you could, then I’ll be the one who stays at home.”

“No, I couldn’t ask you to do that-”

“You wouldn’t be asking.” Aden corrected her. “We’re in this together and it’s not fair that you have to put your life on hold while I carry on. After my degree, I’ll need to look for a job. But you already have one, so what’s the point of you staying at home if I’m there?”

“You would actually do that? Be one of those stay-at-home fathers while I work?” Belle questioned him incredulously.

“Of course. If it means that you can have the best of both worlds, then why not?” She continued to look at him as if he had either told her the most incredible thing in the world, or the most stupidest thing, so he moved on. “And finally, no-one knows how to raise a child. But that’s why we have 9 months beforehand to learn. There are plenty of things that we can do to get prepared so that we at least seem like we know what we’re doing when the time comes.”

His words all sunk into Belle, connecting with other things. She finally realised why Aden was so determined to look at the good rather than the bad side of the pregnancy. It was because this was all new to the both of them. For the first time, the two of them were on the same page, and it was going to remain like that from now on. They were both going to have to learn and depend on each other. The thought of going into the unknown unnerved her, but knowing that Aden was going to be there every stop of the way gave her a calming feeling that began to transform into excitement. The two of them were going to have this bond for the rest of their lives, something that she didn’t, and probably wouldn’t, ever have with anyone else.

“And if we still don’t know what we’re doing?” Belle asked him, her tone now inquisitive and a tad fearful.

“Well, all we can do is our best and learn from our mistakes.” He said sincerely. “If we really mess this kid up, we can always have another one and make that our favourite.”

“Aden!” Belle laughed, watching as he smirked slowly.

“We won’t though.” Aden added, serious once again as a soft smile appeared on is face.

“How do you know that?”

“Because,” He replied slowly, bringing her hand up to his lips, “I believe in us.”


Hmm... so they've made up. You guys must've known by now that I can't keep them apart for too long. :P

Anyway, hope you enjoyed it!


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I would like myself an Aden too... I think we all would! Thanks for the comments you guys. Just a quick question- do you think that I'm making Aden OOC? Or anyone for that matter? I wanna try and stick to their extablished characters, but also move forwards a bit, if you get me?

Anyway, here's the next chappie. Enjoy!

Chapter 8:

“Where’re you going?” Aden’s slurred and groggy voice came from behind her. She had thought that she had been able to slip out of his embrace without waking him. Clearly, she had been wrong.

“I’ve got to get to work soon.” Belle whispered back, shifting to turned around on the bed and pecking him on the cheek. “Go back to sleep.”

Aden’s eyes flickered open, a smile appearing on his face when the first thing he saw was her before looking over at the time.

“It’s only 7! You’ve got 2 hours before work.” He pointed out, tugging on her hand to make her lay down again.

“Yes, but I’ve got to get back home and get my car, otherwise I’m not going to go anywhere.” She simply said with a smirk, trying to wriggle away from him as his arms came around her. “Aden…”

“I’ve got the morning off. I’ll drop you off at work.” He told her dismissively, letting his lips graze her neck even as she pushed him away, laughing.

“And how am I supposed to get home in the afternoon then?” Belle asked him. “Considering that you finish at 6 today, and I’m off at 5?”

“Fine. I’ll drop you off at home.” Aden corrected himself, pushing himself up as she rolled onto her back so he could lean over her. “How does that sound?”

“It sounds good, but,” She added as he lowered himself to kiss her, “I’ve got to get up anyway.”

“Why?” Aden whined, burying his face into her neck as her hand came up to stroke his hair. Just 24 hours ago, the two of them had been by themselves after a night lacking of sleep, worrying about what the other was going through and thinking. Now, after the talk the previous evening, it seemed like it was all getting back on track, that they were getting back on track.

“Because I need to!” Belle laughed, pressing a kiss to the top of his head before pushing him off of her. “Even if you drop me off home, it’ll only take like 10 minutes off.”

“So spend that 10 minutes here.” He suggested, propping himself up on an elbow while she climbed out of his bed to stop herself from giving in.


“But I’m gonna get bored on my own…” A pout threatened to form on his face as Belle rolled her eyes, gathering some clothes to wear. Placing them onto the side, she went back over to the bed and held out a hand for him.

“I’m sure I can give you something to do.” She said in a sultry voice. His mood immediately picked up, grasping her hand and getting out of bed.

“Yeah? Such as?” Aden questioned her in a low voice, smoothing down her tousled hair and skimming his knuckles over her cheek.

“Well, seeing as there’s time” Belle wrapped her arms around his neck slowly, “Maybe, you could… you know. Go and make me some breakfast?”

“Seriously?” He asked her in dry tone as she giggled, knowing that it was really unfair to tease him so early.

Please?” She said sweetly, pressing her lips to his briefly. “You know you want to.”

“I don’t really have a choice, now, do I?”

“Of course you have a choice.” Belle informed him seriously. “But are you really going to say no?”

“Alright, what do you want?” He sighed mockingly, silently glad that Belle was now getting into the routine of having breakfast. Maybe soon enough, she would learn the meaning of having a proper lunch and dinner too.


“Should have guessed.” Aden muttered as she swatted him on his chest while walking away. “Ow!”


As promised, Aden had had her breakfast ready by the time she came down the stairs. There was a mixed stack of chocolate chip and plain pancakes sitting on the middle of the dining table as he fixed her a mug of hot chocolate. Although she knew that in taking this much chocolate could not be good, she ignored it as she tucked into her yummy treat.

The two of them were able to enjoy breakfast alone, seeing as Roman had already left for the gym first thing in the morning, and Nicole was still in bed. They joked around like always, light conversation passing the time until Belle had eaten more than enough. Noticing the time, she had decided to leave, telling Aden that if she waited for him to get ready, she would definitely be late. Assuring him that the fresh air would do her good, she left the house feeling brighter and happier than she could ever remember.

“Morning.” Belle greeted Irene as she walked through the kitchen door, not missing the look of surprise on the older women’s face as she sat reading the paper at the table. Even the smell of the coffee didn’t dampen her mood.

“Good morning.” She replied cautiously. “You seem happy.”

“That’s because I am.” Belle told her, leaning against the chair opposite her.

“Hmm… I’m guessing that you and Aden have sorted out your differences.”

“Yup.” She nodded. “I mean, it’s not going to be perfect or anything any time soon, but we both know where we stand now. And I‘ve told work too, so that‘s one less thing to worry about.”

“What did they say?” Irene asked her. Belle repeated what she had told Aden, putting her own spin on it to make it sound more positive. Like him, she had came to the conclusion that dwelling on the negatives would just depress her more, especially when there were so many positives to look at. “That sounds great, love.”

“I know.”

“Speaking of telling people,” The red headed woman began as Belle gave her a curious look. “Geoff and Annie have been bombarding me with questions ever since.”

“Do they know?” Belle asked nervously.

“Well, seeing as their first question was ‘Is Belle pregnant?’, I’d say yes.” She told her in a wry tone.

“What did you say?”

“That it wasn’t my place to tell them.” Belle nodded, knowing that Irene would have respected her privacy, seeing as they had told her that they had wanted to wait a bit until telling the others.

“Right, so I guess I should tell them then.” She said her thoughts out loud.

“I think that would be the best.” Irene agreed.

“Alright, well, I’ve got to head off to work,” Glancing at her watch, her eyes widened at the time. “Oh, I’m going to be late if I don’t leave now.”

Belle could hear Irene chuckling behind her as she entered her room, quickly picking up the things that she would need that day. For the first time, she was glad that she had left her stuff dumped on her bed the day before when she had came home after work and then left to go see Aden. This way, it was all there, and the only things that she needed to grab were the important items like her phone and keys from the other bag.

Returning back into the living room, Belle froze when she saw her two foster siblings there. Annie was on the sofa, stuffing her work into her school bag while Geoff sat at the table with Irene.

“Uh…” Belle began sheepishly as she shifted the strap of her bag onto her shoulder, aware of their eyes all on her. “Hey.”

“Hey.” Annie replied, cheerful as always while Geoff merely nodded as his mouth was full.

“Ok, I’m going to go now. See you all later.” She attempted to walk out of the door as calmly as she could, still able to feel the eyes burn into her back. Just as she reached within two footsteps of the threshold between the house and the outdoors, Annie’s voice made her stop.

“Belle?” Her voice was small and innocent, and as Belle turned around to face her, she wasn’t surprised to see the almost 17 year old standing by the counter, looking at her inquisitively.


“We were just wondering,” Annie began before biting her bottom lip and glancing over at her brother who just shrugged before looking back over at her big sister. Irene was doing her best to pretend as if she wasn’t there, but ready to jump in just in case. “Is there something that you want to tell us?”

A ghost of a smile played on Belle’s lips as she shifted her gaze downwards to hide it from her. She found it adorable how Annie was trying her best to not seem nosey or make her do something she didn’t want to do, but at the same time showed that she was really eager to know.

“Um… no, I don’t think so.” She said, her tone serious even as a smile threatened to break out.

“Oh.” Belle couldn’t hold back her smile any longer when she saw Annie’s face fall and a hint of a blush start to appear on her cheeks.

“Annie, I’m kidding.” She laughed, walking forwards and holding onto the younger girl’s wrist over the counter as she began to walk away. “There is something that I need to tell both you and Geoff, but I guess you guys already know by now.”

“So you really are pregnant?” Geoff piped up from where he was sitting, both of their eyes wide as she confirmed it. “Wow, that’s uh… congratulations.”

“Yeah, that’s great.” Annie added, coming around to hug her.

“Thanks.” Belle replied, hugging her back before pulling away. “We wanted to tell you guys, but we thought we’d wait a bit first. Obviously, we forgot about that.”

“Are you and Aden ok? That argument-”

“No, no, we’re ok.” She cut her off, not wanting to go back to that. “It’s all sorted. Oh, and we’ve decided to bring the wedding forward to about a couple of months.”

“A couple of months?!” Geoff’s tone was in astonishment whereas Annie’s was much more excited.

“Belle, don’t you need to get to work, love?” Irene’s voice called out to her.

“Oh, crap.” She glanced at the time again, wincing. “Yeah, I do. We’ll talk later, ok?”

“Can we tell people?” Annie called out after her as she hurriedly walked out.


Annie sighed, turning around and re-entered the house once again. The look on her face told both Geoff and Irene that she was planning something.

“Whatever it is, girly, don’t even think about it without talking to Belle.”

“What?” She asked, snapping out of her thoughts as she picked up her bag from the sofa.

“Annie, Belle and Aden don’t want anyone else to know. I think we should respect that.” Geoff told her, turning around in his seat to look at her.

“I know that, Geoff. I was just thinking about how cool it’s going to be!” She informed him, her words rising in pitch with her delight.

“Ok, ok.” Irene interrupted them, smiling at her reaction. “You’re going to be late for school if you don’t get a move on, missy.”

“Yeah, ok.” Annie sighed. “I dunno how I’m going to be able to keep it to myself all day.”

“Just think about how badly Belle would hurt you if you didn’t.” Geoff suggested. “That should work.”


Belle grinned when there was a knock on her window that night. Not tearing her attention away from her laptop, she feigned disinterest as Aden climbed in.

“You know, I don’t think I like the idea of you keeping your window unlocked all the time.” He commented while slipping off his shoes.

“But then how would you get in?” She asked in mock horror.

“By this invention that you keep pointing out to me called ‘the door’.” Aden said slowly, locking the window behind him as her eyes finally came up to him.

“No-one’s going to climb in through my window, Aden.” Belle told him exasperatedly. “Only idiots do that.”

“Gee, thanks. I think I‘ll just leave now before you keep on harassing me.” He sulked, turning around again. Belle reached out for his hand, rolling her eyes at his over dramatic actions and words. As she did so, leaning over the bed slightly, she caught sight of a pretty large gift bag in this other hand.

“What you got there?”

“What, this?” Aden replied coolly. “Just some stuff.”

“What kind of ‘stuff’?” Belle shut her computer, placing it on one side while Aden came and laid across the bottom of the bed. She raised an eyebrow as him as he smiled cheekily at her, placing the bag in the middle of the two of them. “Can I look?”

“No.” He scoffed as she kicked him on the thigh. “Fine.” Pushing the bag so that it fell towards her, Aden tipped out the contents onto the bed before throwing the bag onto the floor.


“Yup.” Aden nodded. “After that talk last night, I got thinking and figured that, seeing as we have about 8 months left, we should really start getting prepared.”

“So you went out and raided a bookstore?” Belle questioned in disbelief. Although touched by his thoughtfulness, she couldn‘t stop the amusement from showing as she looked at the several different books on the bed.

“I didn’t ‘raid’ it.” He said in defence. “I just got what I thought we could do with.”

“Uh-huh.” She smirked at his insistent tone. “So what did you get then?”

“Well, there’s this one,” Aden picked the up the one on the top of the pile. “Which is the basic hand book to pregnancy. Then there’s this one, the typical ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’ book.” Belle giggled as he threw the books onto the pillow next to her, admiring the way he was being so serious about it all. “There’s the mother’s guide to pregnancy. And the father’s guide.” Two more books were added to the pile next to her as she glimpsed at the covers of them, finding the vague pictures on front of them rather comforting. “This is just an index of ultrasound scans so we can know what it shows exactly.” He threw the thin spiral bound book towards her, the pile now collapsing and sliding in his direction.

“How many did you get exactly?” Belle’s tone was in awe, considering that she hadn’t even known some of these things existed.

“Just a few more.” He assured her. “This pretty much covers every question you may have.” The book’s title, ‘How to prepare for your first child’, caught her eye as it came to land next to her. “Now this I think will probably be the most useful.”

“’Coping with the grandparents and other overbearing family.’” Belle read out loud before giving him an unimpressed look. “That’s cruel, Aden.”

“I mean it in a good way.” He laughed as she shook her head good-naturedly. “Oh, my favourite book.” This time, instead of throwing it, he handed it over to her. She could see what it was instantly by the small square shape and the cardboard pages.

“’My first ABC’.” Belle whispered as she flicked through it, seeing the traditional ‘A is for Apple, B is for Ball’.

“Yeah, I figured it’s never too early to teach a kid to read.”

“Even from the womb?” She countered smartly.

“Ok, so maybe there is a time where it’s too early. But,” Sitting up, he reached over for the father’s guide, going to the index to find the page he was looking for. “The baby can hear our voices at 25 weeks and start to recognise it at 27.”

“Really?” Belle asked with a smile as he threw the book back down again. “Amazing.”

“Tell me about it.” Aden laughed, missing the loving look she gave him as he picked up the two remaining items in front of him. “This is a name book because we really haven’t thought of that at all.”

“That’s because we’ve only had like 3 weeks.” She said softly before averting her eyes down to the single item in front of him. It was a white plastic bag. “What’s in there?”

“Oh, just some treats.” Aden laughed, passing it to her as she peeked inside, joining in with the laughter when she saw several bars of chocolates. “In case you run out. Because knowing you, you will.”


“So, what do you think?” He asked her, crawling over to where the book laid messily to place them back into the bag.

“I think…” Belle paused, biting her bottom lip as she watched him clear up. “That you’re absolutely incredible and I don’t know what I would do without you.”

A shy smile came upon Aden’s face as he finished with the books, getting up to place the bag next to the bedside table so that it didn’t get in any of their ways before taking his place facing her once again.

“Well, for starters, you wouldn’t be pregnant without me.” He pointed out.

“Hmm, that’s true.” Belle said with a straight face before smiling. “But seriously, Aden. Thank you. For everything. All this and last night… It’s not that scary anymore.”



“Anything I can do to help.” Aden told her as she pulled him closer and claimed his lips with hers.

“Anything?” She asked suggestively.



Hope you liked it. Fluff's so much fun to write at times!


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Thank you all for the lovely comments! Like always, they're what keeps me going on!

This chapter's mainly just a filler. It's neither here nor there, to be honest. Hope you like it anyway!

Chapter 9:

Balancing a cake box in one hand, Aden pushed open the front door to Roman’s place. He had been glad to see Nicole’s car outside, making his job easier to do, or so he thought. He had brought the mud cake as a type of peace offering, or more like a bribe, so that she wouldn’t hurt him.

Going into the kitchen, he placed it onto the counter before getting out two bowls and a knife. Slicing into the desert, Aden cut it unevenly so that there was a bigger piece to offer to the blonde, which he knew she would appreciate, and a smaller piece for him. Over the recent months he had slowly been put off eating so much chocolate. He figured it was because ever since he had first gotten with Belle, he must have eaten more of the sweet treat than he had ever in his life.

When Aden heard the music blast from upstairs, he was able to conclude that Nicole was in a good mood, something that he certainly needed on his side. Belle had told him that morning that Annie and Geoff both knew about her being pregnant, so he was allowed to tell Nicole. Although it should have been a relief to him, there was now the fact that he had lied to her a couple of days back when Belle had been over, looking worse for wear, and he had told her that there was nothing going on.

Aden sighed as he closed the lid to the box before going to dig out two forks that they preferred to use rather than the typical spoons and left to head upstairs with the two bowls held steadily in one hand. It was the outcome of working at the Diner for so long, although he hadn’t worked there since starting his second year at university apart from the odd days when help was needed.

The music quietened as Aden knocked for the second time before opening the door a little bit to see if there were going to be any protests. When Nicole shouted out an invitation to come in, he fully opened her bedroom door, surprised to see her sitting on her bed with an actual book open in front of her.


“Hey.” He greeted, shifting one of the bowls into his other hand and offering it to her.

“Thanks.” Nicole said brightly, taking it from him without any objections as he flopped down at the bottom of her bed. “Watch it! And I swear, Aden, if you get any chocolate on my bed, I’ll make you wash it out by hand!”

“Relax, Princess, I do know how to eat.”

“Really?” She asked innocently. “I didn’t know your species had evolved to do so.”

“Same goes to you.” Aden retorted, not sure what else to make of her not-so-witty quip. A well aimed kick to his knee made him jump, accidentally knocking the bowl. “Oh, watch it, Nicole! Wouldn’t want you to end up washing your own linen by hand, now would we?”

Rolling her eyes, she mimicked his words in a high-pitch voice, making Aden snort with laughter at her childish behaviour.

“So what’s up with the cake?” She finally asked him to get him to stop laughing.

“What d’you mean?”

“Well, seeing as it’s only past 7, and neither one of us have had dinner, this is a very good way to ruin an appetite.” Nicole pointed out even as she shovelled a pretty huge piece into her mouth.

“If you’re going to complain…” Aden reached out for the bowl that was in her hand, only to get jabbed on the wrist with the fork. “Ew! That’s been in your mouth.”

“Keep away from my food then.”

“Alright, alright.” He leant back once again to his original position, forking a miniscule piece of the cake and eating it slowly. “How’s the studying going?” He pointed towards the book that she had been reading from with the fork.

“Yeah, it’s great.”

“I guess that’s what happens when you’re top of your class, right?” Aden replied in a teasing tone.

“Ha ha.” Nicole said dryly. “How about you tell me why you’re really up here and stop annoying me?”

“Hey, be grateful! I brought you cake.” He exclaimed. “And what makes you think I have a reason for being here? Can’t I come and see you when I want?”

“So you’d rather hang out with me than Belle?” She asked rhetorically. “Yeah, right.” At his raised eyebrow, she carried on. “Oh, c’mon. Even you’ve got to have noticed that over the last two weeks, we’ve hung out the total number of once!”

“Ok, so maybe there is a reason why I’m here.” Aden gave in as her eyebrows shot up while she pulled the fork out of her mouth slowly.

“Go on.”

“Well, Belle and I decided to move the wedding forward by a bit.” He told her.

“How much by ‘a bit’?” Her tone was suspicious, eyes narrowing at him while he shuffled a bit, sitting up straighter, ready for her next question.

“In a couple of months.”

“Seriously?” Nicole fixed him with her best ‘don’t lie to me’ look as he nodded. “Huh! Wondered how long it was going to take for her to give in.”

“Give in to what?” Aden asked, confused.

“Getting married.” She said in a ‘duh’ voice. “I mean, that whole ‘I want to wait until the time is right’ routine was so transparent. How could you not want to get married as soon as possible?”

“Um… 2 years back, Geoff, proposal. Any of that coming back to you?” He reminded her, watching as she grimaced at the thought of it.

“What I meant, was with the right person. And for the right reasons.” She grumbled, stuffing another big piece of the cake into her mouth.

“Hmm… it’s a good thing we’re getting married for the right reasons then.” Aden said casually, fiddling with his own piece of cake to hide his smile.

“But a couple of months though?” Nicole questioned. “Isn’t that really soon? Unless, Belle’s already planned the whole thing and this is a way to make sure that you don’t ruin it. Clever plan. It’s what I would do.”

“Not everyone’s untrusting like you, Nic.” Aden laughed. “No, we just want to get married first so we can get settled and sort things out before life gets all hectic with the baby and all.”

“’Baby’?” She had frozen in her actions, picking up on the key word that he had thrown in. Gauging her reaction for a moment, Aden saw her jaw drop as well as the, thankfully clean, fork before she lunged at him over the bed.

“Whoa! Nic, mind the food!” He chuckled as she tried to hug him, only to end up pushing the two of them flat onto the bed. “I’m not taking the blame for the mess.”

“Will you shut up about the cake for a moment?” Nicole snapped irritably as she sat up, kneeling in the centre of the bed while letting him sit at the edge. “Belle’s pregnant?”


“Since when?” Her tone had returned to being light and excitable, the feeling transferring over to Aden, glad to have it all in the open finally.

“We found out about 3 weeks ago, but she’s about 6 weeks pregnant.” Aden informed her as her smile deflated a look of anger passed over her face. Before he knew it, there was a pillow being thrown in his direction, with another in her hands, ready to be sent his way at any second.

3 weeks?!” She exclaimed. “3-freaking-weeks and you only tell me now!”

“Just be glad I’ve told you at all, Nicole!” Aden countered, picking the pillow up from he floor and using it as a defence as she tried to hit him with the other one. “Oi!”

“I’m your best friend. You supposed to tell me this stuff ASAP!”

“I told you about proposing first, didn’t I?” He argued, recalling the list of things that he had made in his mind earlier on to use against her, knowing she was going to react this way about being kept in the dark.

“You told Dad first!” She reminded him.

“Well, if it helps, Belle hasn’t told Mattie yet.” Aden said cautiously. “And that’s her best friend.”

“Hmm…” The frown on her face lightened up a bit as she thought about it. “I guess that’s kind of good. Why doesn’t she know, anyway?”

“Because we don’t want people to know about the pregnancy yet. Just family and close friends.” Aden explained to her, glad that she was being a bit understanding.

“And who’s that exactly?”

“At the moment, Irene, Amanda, Roman, Geoff and Annie.” He listed.

“You told Dad but you didn’t tell me?!” She screeched, the pillow coming flying his way, although luckily for him, it missed by inches.

“Sheesh, just chill for a moment, would you?” Aden rolled his eyes, slumping back onto the bed, staring at the ceiling. “At least you’re one of the ones who know.”

“Yeah, I guess.” Nicole mumbled, taking back her pillows and fluffing them up behind her before sitting back. “So you’re gonna be a dad. How’s that feel?”

“Honestly?” He replied, turning his head to face her, a grin on his face. “Brilliant.”

“You’re not scared? I mean, you’re only like 21, and Belle’s 20...” She trailed off, knowing that she got her point as his brow furrowed.

“Yeah, I’m scared. Terrified.” His tilted his head back to stare at the ceiling, contemplating it all.

“But…?” Nicole prodded him.

“But, nothing. Can’t I be both at the same time?” Aden asked in his typical cheeky tone.

“Sure, I guess.” She easily dismissed. They sat in silence for a moment before Nicole bolted upright. “Oh, my God! I’m going to be an aunt!”


“Don’t!” Belle warned, grabbing onto Nicole’s wrist as her hand hovered an inch away from her stomach. She had been in the house less than a minute before the teen had came hurtling down the stairs, throwing her arms around her to pull her into a hug. Startled, Belle had only reacted to push her away, fearing for her own life, and sanity, as Nicole’s tight embrace.

“What?” She asked her innocently.

“Just because I’m pregnant, doesn’t mean you can touch me whenever you want.” Belle informed her with a slight scowl.

“Geez, fine.” Nicole pulled her hand out of the tight grip, murmuring as she walked around her and into the kitchen. “Someone’s grouchy.”

Settling for a dark look aimed to the back of the blonde’s head, Belle sighed as she heard another pair of footsteps come down the stairs. Aden had his trademark smirk on his face as he approached her.

“You told her.” She stated dryly, crossing her arms.

“You told Geoff and Annie. That was the deal.” He replied, his smirk transforming into a smile as he stood in front of her.

“I didn’t think you were going to do it today!”

“Why did you think I told you to come over here tonight?” He questioned her funnily as she frowned.

“Yeah, well, as long as she doesn’t go telling anyone-” Belle began, her voice low.

“She won’t, Belle. Come on, she’s not entirely dim, you know?” Aden joked as a small smile appeared on her face at that. “Anyway, she was able to keep the proposal a secret, wasn’t she?”

“Alright, I guess you have a point.” She sighed, her posture relaxing a bit. “But I swear, Aden, one mention of baby shopping or parties or anything of the like, I will hurt her. And if she tries to touch my stomach again, I’ll kill her!”

“I think she got the message.” He told her pointedly.

“She better have.” Aden simple nodded to her clipped words, not wanting to comment on her sudden feisty mood. He had to admit, this side of Belle that was more controlled now she had matured a bit was a side that he found extremely sexy. He knew that either telling her that, or asking why she was getting irritated easily wouldn’t end well, so he left it be, biting back another smirk while he turned and took her into the kitchen with him.

“Have you had dinner?” He asked her casually as she rolled her eyes behind his back.

“Yes. Why? Do you want to know what I had too?” Belle said sarcastically, going over to the counter where she spotted the cake box. It hadn’t gotten past them how the kitchen was empty, even though Nicole gone into there just minutes before them. It was only as they heard some shuffling outside that they realised that she was probably tidying up the patio before Roman got home.

“Just a general question.” Aden laughed, retrieving a bottle of water out of the fridge. The sweetness of the cake had left his body seeking for water. He saw her opening the cake box and handing her a bowl and spoon that he took out of the cupboards after placing his own into the sink. “Would you like some?”

“Do you even have to ask?” Belle replied, taking the cutlery from him and taking one of the small slices. She had already had her fair share of chocolate that day. “Why is there cake here, anyway?”

“Because,” He moved towards the table and sitting at the furthest chair, leaning backwards slightly to watch Nicole try and close the parasol with a bit of difficulty. A flitting thought passed his mind that he should go and help her, but the sadistic side of him repressed that as he turned back to face Belle, who took the seat to his left, back towards the patio doors. “I knew you would love the treat.”

“Hmm…” She said, fiddling with the dessert a bit and giving him a subtle smile to match his charming one. “More like cos you needed something to entice Nicole.” Belle watched as his smile changed into one that showed he had been caught out. “Yeah, I know you better than you think, Aden.”

“It worked, didn’t it?”

“What worked?” Nicole had re-entered the kitchen just in time to catch his words.

“Nothing.” Aden quickly told her, obvious that she didn’t believe him as she just huffed. He could see Belle smirking as she continued to eat silently while Nicole went over to the freezer.

“You know what goes great with this cake?” She asked them, carrying on before either one of them got to answer. “Ice-cream.”

“That’s true.” Belle agreed.

“Oh yeah, what’s better than chocolate cake with chocolate ice-cream?” Aden said dryly, watching as Nicole walked over with the cake box; the ice-cream tub, a spoon and her bowl and fork balanced on top.

“Actually, it’s vanilla ice-cream.” Nicole retorted. “And you’re right; there’s nothing better.”

Belle giggled at the look of disgust on Aden’s face, knowing full well that he despised chocolate ice-cream, or any variation and mixture of it, since she made him eat half a tub full the weekend before. She allowed Nicole to scoop out a couple of spoonful’s of the frozen stuff into her bowl before stopping her.

“C’mon, you’re eating for two now!” Belle gave her a glare as she shrugged. “It’s true. And it’s not like you couldn’t do with the extra weight.”

“She’s got a point there, Belle.” Aden informed her, chuckling, which died down at the fixed look she gave him. “Never mind.”

“Anyway, speaking of,” Nicole began as she shut the lid of the ice-cream tub, “Is it too early to go baby shopping?”

“Yes.” Belle answered abruptly, not looking away from her food.

“What about maternity stuff?” She tried.

“Are you calling me fat?” Her tone was one of mock-hurt and slight amusement as she turned to look at the younger girl.

“Not yet.”

“Well, until then…”

“Fine.” Nicole slumped back against her chair for a moment whilst thinking of other things that she could exercise her credit card on. “What about the wedding stuff?”

“Uh…Amanda’s taking care of all that, so you’ll have to ask her.” Belle admitted, not missing the interesting look that Aden shot her, seeing it from the corner of her eyes. She hadn’t told him that she had given her mother full reign of the wedding, as along as the final decisions were up to her. It took some of the pressure off her, and the stress that she did not need right then.

“Is there anything I can do?” Nicole asked in an annoyance.

“You can keep all this to yourself.” She replied sweetly.

“Keep what to myself?” She questioned. “The wedding? Or the pregnancy?”

Fed up with all her questions, Belle gave Aden an exasperated look, a clear sign to him to jump into the conversation before she did something to Nicole that would probably ensure his kid being born inside of a prison.

“You can talk about the wedding if you want, but keep the news about the baby to yourself. I told you who knows, didn’t I?” He explained to her as she frowned.

“Fine, whatever.” Nicole sighed, getting up. “I’ll try my best, but I’m not making any promises.”

“Nicole-” Aden said warningly as Belle cut in.

“You tell a soul, and I will make sure it’ll be the last thing you ever say.”

“Please!” Nicole countered after a beat, heading out of the room with her bowl. “Like I’m scared of a pregnant woman.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Belle said, not speaking to anyone in particular, even thought it was just her and Aden remaining there. “Just because I’m pregnant, doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do it.”

“Of course not.” He simply replied. He had sounded genuine, until she looked at him and saw that he was trying to hide a smile.

“I would!”

“Ok.” Aden said calmly, licking his lips as the smile threatened to break through.

“Shut up!”

“Not saying a word.”

“I hate you.” She mumbled, loud enough for him to hear though.

“Love you, too.”


Hehe, I hope you enjoyed it!


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Once again, thank you all for the positive comments! I love hearing what you think. Even if it's just one word or a mini essay! It really does motivate me to keep going.

This is another filler. Just to keep going until I get to where I want to... hehe.

Chapter 10:

Belle sat on her bed, legs curled up to the side as she read one of the books that Aden had gotten. It was early evening, but the chill from the early spring nights was starting to settle in so she opted out of going over to see Mattie. After Aden had let Nicole in on their secret the day before, she wanted to tell her own best friend as soon as possible. Seeing as it was Saturday the following day, Belle reckoned that it would be better to go then.

Returning her attention back at the book open in her lap, she smiled subtly as she read about what the first scan would be about. With her own coming up in a less than a week, excitement bubbled inside of her when she glimpsed at the small, printed one in the book, only seeing tiny white dots on a black background. Belle knew that if she wanted to look at it properly, she could just get the spiral bound book that Aden had brought which contained ultrasound scans for practically every week of the pregnancy. But she couldn’t bring herself to look at it. As foolish as it may sound, Belle wanted the first ultrasound picture that she saw properly to be that of her own baby.

Not wanting to read a whole page about ectopic pregnancies right then, she flipped the page slowly. Grimacing at the computerized image of what an ectopic pregnancy looked like, Belle began to turn the pages until she found something that wouldn’t start to freak her out. Determined to remained positive, yet informed, she stopped at the page about the typical second scan, where they could find out if she was carrying just the one baby, or more. Eyes widening at the thought of having to cope with more than one kid, Belle shut the book with a sigh. It was obvious that neither one of them had put much thought into the whole ‘having a baby’ concept, and even though Belle knew it was the perfect time as ever to start thinking about the ‘what if’s…?’, she preferred to remained ignorant for just a little while longer. At least until the first scan. Or when Aden was there. There was no way that she was going to start freaking out again without him. If she was going to start panicking, then she either needed him to keep her calm, or to join in.

Her stomach constricted with hunger, snapping her out of her thoughts. Belle glanced over at the time. She had had dinner about an hour ago, if it could be called that. Dinner that night had consisted of an apple and then a slice of toast with some warm milk because they had run out of hot chocolate. That, ultimately, put her in a bad mood after a crappy day of feeling nauseous and throwing up quite a bit. Not to mention the strong smell of fried fish that lingered in the kitchen which began to turn her stomach even at the thought of it.

Trying to push that thought out of her mind before she had to start to fight the nauseousness that would surely follow, Belle reached over for the gift bag that she had left at the bottom of her bed, pulling it to her. Inside, there were still the chocolate bars that Aden had brought her. Taking out the plastic bag, she placed the other one back onto the floor, more interested in the food than the books right then. She was convinced that the sudden addiction to chocolate was due to the baby, not that she was complaining.

Randomly, Belle picked out a bar, glad when it ended up being just plain Cadbury’s chocolate. She got up from her place on the bed and hid the rest of the chocolate bars in a drawer opposite her. If Irene were to find out about this secret stash, she knew that it would be confiscated, so she wasn’t going to take any risks. The amount of chocolate that Irene let her have a day was not even close to enough to satisfy her.

As she went to close the drawer, a pull on her right wrist made her stop. Looking down, she saw that one of her charms had snagged onto the plastic bag. Belle unhooked it from the bracelet first before carefully pulling it out of the hole it had created. Sighing, she returned to the bed once the drawer had been usefully shut. The charm that had gotten caught was the newest one that Aden had bought her; a multi-coloured gemmed horseshoe. He had given it to her when she had been put up for promotion at work to give her that ‘added good luck’, his words had been. She wasn’t sure if it was just a coincidence or the actual powers of the lucky charm, but the next day she had been offered the new position.

Smiling at the memory, she hooked it back onto her bracelet after a couple of tries, shaking her wrist gently to make sure that it wasn’t going to fall off anytime soon. The thirteen charms all tickled and jingled as they clashed with each other, making her giggle a bit. Aden had been adamant to buy her another charm to make it 14 rather than the ‘unlucky’ 13, but she had told him there was no need seeing as it had only brought her good luck so far.

Her fingers worked their way around each charm. The 5 original ones; the ‘A’ and the ‘B’ on either end of the bracelet so that they were next to each other when it was clasped shut, but apart when not. The camera, a small wave shaped charm and the heart were all dotted around the links. The crescent shaped moon charm and the red rose tinkled quite frequently as they hit each other, while the dove and his mother’s star pendent hardly ever made a sound. Then there was the pearly white snowflake charm from England that represented the snow that they had experienced in both London and New York. A purple and blue fairy charm took it’s place next to it, this one from Spain that he had only given her a couple of months after they had returned, when Belle had been offered a job at the newspapers after doing an internship there. This charm didn’t really have a meaning behind it; just that it looked pretty and she loved fairies, although he had made a joke about how her name was an abbreviation of the fairy Tinkerbelle. And then there was the silver plane that was a constant pleasant reminder of the trip, and her overcoming her fear.

Another constant, but not-so-pleasant, reminder that she could also see when she glimpsed at her bracelet was the scar on her forearm, running from near her wrist to halfway up. It was really thin and pale, but the stitches had made it stick out a bit so it was a smooth, raised line that people could only tell either when she got tanned or if they touched it.

Belle shook her head, wanting to get rid of the negative memories and the uneasy feeling as she thought of the events that had happened almost 2 years ago in that very room. She rarely ever went back to that day, and neither her or Aden spoke about it. The only times that they had brought it up was on the anniversary of Larry’s death and a few times before that when Aden had suffered a recurring nightmare. Although he never told her what the nightmare was about, exactly, she was able to take a pretty good guess.

Thankfully, Belle was cut short of her going too deep into her thoughts by a knock on her bedroom door, followed by a shout of her name. She recognised the voice immediately as that of her best mate. Telling her she could enter, Belle hurriedly placed the pregnancy book she had been reading under the pillow that laid beside her.

“Hey!” She greeted in her normal, cheerful manner, eating the first piece of her chocolate bar.

“Hey.” Mattie sighed, shutting the door behind her and coming to sit at the edge of the bed.

“What’s wrong?” Instead of replying verbally, she held out an envelope to her. Belle took it with cautiousness, eyeing Mattie’s face. “What is it?”

“A letter. From that university in Perth.” She explained as Belle nodded, taking the piece of paper out and skim reading it through.


“I know.” Mattie mumbled. “Now, I don’t know what to do. I mean, on the one hand, Ric and I did agree that after I get my degree, we would talk about maybe moving to Perth or another city. But…”

“This is before you get your degree. Obviously.” Belle added, realising how obvious her statement was. The letter was an offer for Mattie to come over and do her final two years of her education over in Perth. “It’s a good opportunity.”

“It sucks!”

“Ok, then. Not a good opportunity.” She corrected herself, replacing the letter back into the envelope.

“No, it is. It’s a great one, but now it’s just thrown everything into chaos. I mean, before this morning, I knew that for the next two years, I would be here, doing the same thing that I’d been doing for the past half and a bit. And now I don’t know what to do! I want to go, but then again, I’d rather follow the plan and wait until after my degree.” Mattie told her, shuffling on the bed so that she was leaning back on her hands, laying across the bed and staring at her feet.

“I’m taking a wild guess here and saying that Ric doesn’t know?” The glare that the other girl gave her told Belle what the answer is. “Right, so what do you want to do?”

“I don’t know!” Mattie collapsed back onto the bed. “It’s too much too fast!”

Belle had to hold back her snort of laughter at her words. A week ago, she felt the same. Hell, she still felt the same, except that she had now learnt to accept that some things that cannot be changed. Recalling all the advice that she had been given by people, she repeated it to Mattie as good as she could.

“Well, you can’t change that now, so there’s no point dwelling on it. What you’ve got to do is think of the future.”

“But that’s the thing, Belle. I don’t know what my future is right now! The only thing that’s certain is that I’m going to get a law degree in the end.” She informed her, averting her eyes once to look at her best mate before going back to look at the ceiling.

“Then focus on that. If there’s that one thing that you want, and you’re going for it anyway, then nothing else has to change. I mean, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go to Perth, because it’s a really good opportunity, but if you’re having doubts about it now, then doesn’t that show you that you really don’t wanna be there? That, just maybe, staying here is what you actually want.” Belle pointed out.

“Yeah, maybe.” Mattie exhaled loudly, holding out a hand when she saw Belle break off a piece of chocolate for her herself. With a roll of the eyes, she gave her a piece too. “But this is the second time I’m going to be turning them down. Isn’t that a sign, or something?”

“It’s whatever you want it to be, Mattie.”

“I’m so confused! This is a chance that I never thought I’d get after I turned them down the first time. I just feel like if I turn them down again, I’m going to regret it somewhere down the line.” She explained.

“Mattie, do you want to go to Perth?” Belle asked her straight out.


“Well, you’ve made up reasons and excuses about why going would be a good thing, yet you’re acting like you’re on the fence. So is there something else keeping you here?” She said without even trying to sugar-coat it.

“Summer Bay’s my home, Belle. I don’t want to leave. Not to mention that everything’s really great right now, and I don’t want it to change.”

“Things are going to change whether you like it or not. It’s life.” Belle told her brutally.

“Yeah, I know that!” Mattie sat up a bit, looking over at her best friend in confusion. “What’s up with you today?”

“Nothing.” She sighed. “Just been a long day.”

“Oh. Do you want me to go?”

“No!” Belle replied quickly. “That’s ok. So, uh… how long until you have to let them know?”

“They’ve given me until the beginning of the summer break.”

“Mattie! That’s ages away!” She exclaimed. “By the way your acting, I thought it would be sometime within the upcoming month!”

“I know, I know! But I just had to vent it all out to someone. And, hopefully, make a decision by the end of the night. Which was a stupid theory.” Mattie said quickly as she saw Belle open her mouth to say something.

“Really?” She replied sarcastically. “Look, the only thing that I can say is to do what’s right by you. Maybe there’s a reason why you’ve got this opportunity twice, and maybe there’s a reason why you’re fighting going over to the other side of the country.”

“Yeah, you’re right.” Mattie fell back onto the bed. “How did you get so wise?”

“I’ve always been wise!”

“Sure, sure.” She laughed.

“Hey! You came to me for a reason, remember?” When Mattie chortled at her words, Belle rolled her eyes. “Fine. There was something that I wanted to tell you that might just have made you feel better-”

“Oh, tell me!” Mattie was sitting up straight in a matter or seconds.

“No, I don’t want to now.” Her tone was childish with a hint of amusement as a ghost of a smile showed on her face.

“Belle! C’mon, I’m your best mate! It’s your job to make me feel better and forget about that stuff!” She argued.

“And I have! See? Were you thinking about Perth right then?” Belle countered as the other girl scowled at her.

“That’s not funny!” She grumbled. “Tell me?”



“Nope. Sorry.” Belle grinned, eating the last of her chocolate, pretending to not pay her any attention.

“Alright.” Mattie sighed heavily. “I didn’t want to do this, but I guess desperate times call for desperate measures.”

“Do wh-?” Her sentence was cut short by a flying pillow coming her way, instinctively using her arms to protect both herself and her bay by grabbing it as it came towards her. “Mattie! Give me some warn-”

“Oh, my God!” Mattie cut her off once again, although this time was due to her shrill exclamation. Belle froze for a moment at her voice before realising what had happened. The pillow that she now held in her hands was the same one that she had used earlier to hastily hide her book under. “Oh, my God.”

“Uh… yeah.” She feebly replied as Mattie picked up the book.

“Are you pregnant?” She questioned her in shock.


“As in, you’re going to have a baby?”

“That is the general outcome of being pregnant, Mattie.” Belle said with seriousness, although her tone was teasing. “Mattie? You ok?”

“Just give me a second to think about it.”

“Ok.” She did as she asked before getting a bit bored. Reaching out, she plucked the book out of her hands and rolled her eyes. “You’re taking this worse than Aden.”

Her words seemed to break Mattie out of her state of shock, who smiled slowly at what she had just said. Before she knew it, there were a handful of questions being thrown at her. How long had she known? How far along was she? What did Aden say? Who else knew? Was she excited? Now what?

Belle answered each question as calmly as she could, but the excitement that vibrated off of Mattie was contagious and it did catch on to her. When she told her about how her and Aden planned on getting married within the next couple of months, her excitement elevated.

“There’s so much to do!” Mattie stated. “Shopping comes first! We need a dress. We need that dress. And bridesmaid’s dresses and then there’s mine-” She cut herself off, fixing Belle with narrowed eyes from where she sat, kneeling opposite her. “I hope you were planning on making my your maid of honour.”

“Well, I dunno… I was thinking of maybe asking Nicole…” Belle started, biting on her bottom lip to stop her smile from breaking out.

“What?” Mattie replied, deadpanned. “Please tell me you’re joking.”

“Are you crazy? Do you really think I would let her be my maid of honour? I wouldn‘t even turn up to my own wedding!”

“Good! I mean about her not being the maid of honour. Not you not turning up for the wedding, because that‘s not good…” Mattie trailed off when she realised that she was babbling. “So I am your maid of honour, right?”

“Wouldn’t have it any other way.”


Mattie didn’t leave for another two hours. Belle couldn’t remember the last time that they had spent so much time together and then with the plans to head out soon too. As her maid of honour, Mattie had taken upon herself to make a list of things that were going to be necessary to do. Ignoring Belle’s protests that Amanda was in charge of organising the wedding, she kept on adding to the list. In the end, it had been a pretty long list that Belle had gaped at.

By the time that she left, Mattie had outlined a rough guide as to what they were going to go do the following weekend. She even took it upon herself to remember to call Amanda the following day so that she could tell her that she was helping with the wedding. Once again, Mattie had ignore Belle’s words. The only thing that she listened to were the threats that she threw out at her, telling her that if she turned the wedding into something out of a movie or something, she would certainly not turn up.

Exhausted, Belle decided to call it a night and try to go to sleep, if she could. Even if she couldn’t, she knew that Aden would be climbing in through her window within the next hour to join her, and that would probably help her fall asleep.

As she got changed and tidied up her bed, an envelope hidden under one of her pillows caught her eye. It was Mattie’s letter from Perth. Sighing, she put it on her desk, keeping it safe before sending her a message so she wouldn’t stress out about it. Getting into her bed, Belle thought about that letter and wondered whether Mattie actually would go. She knew that, as her best mate, she should support any decision she made, especially when it was for a better future, but she couldn’t imagine Summer Bay without her. And if she went, Belle was sure that Ric would too, which would mean that she would be the only one left in the Bay out of them all, with Cassie, Lucas and Drew already gone.

Taking in a deep breath, she tried to push it out of her mind. This was just another thing that would play on her mind and probably end up worrying her, and that was something that she didn’t need right then. Being pregnant and having a mother and best friend who were dying to turn her wedding into a massive ball was enough for her.

Switching off her lights, her room was still illuminated by her phone which had just buzzed. Picking it up, Belle read Mattie’s grateful text with a small smile before replacing the mobile back behind her. Her mind was now back to the letter and how in a year, everything could be so different. She would be married, with a kid, and possibly with her best friend on the other side of the country. At least she knew that she was still going to be in Summer Bay.

For a reason unknown to her, Belle recalled the time when her and Aden had thought about perhaps moving away. Personally, she was glad that he had decided against it; she couldn’t imagine living anywhere else right then. Although it was more of Aden moving so that he could go to a different uni, Belle knew that if he had gone, she would have followed some time down the line. They hadn’t spoken about it ever since that one day. It had been a suggestion that was quickly dismissed, not wanting to dampen the joyous day.



“So…?” Belle asked him, excitedly as he made his way over to her to where she sat on the beach. She had missed this. After 6 weeks of travelling around in the Northern hemisphere, she had missed the sun and the heat of the summer.

“Yeah, I’m a genius.” Aden replied in his usual manner, holding out a hand for her to take before pulling her up.

“Let’s see then.” She smiled at him as he handed over his HSC results to her. She unfolded the paper quickly, her eyes raking the words and taking in only the necessary information. “Aden!” She finally squealed, wrapping her arms around his neck suddenly.

“I know, I know.” He laughed as she pulled away.

“This is brilliant. You did brilliant!” Belle told him, re-reading the results. “Are you sure they’re yours?”

“Ouch!” Aden dramatically placed a hand on top of his heart as she chuckled. “If you look here,” He tapped the top of the paper with a finger. “You’ll see my name.”

“’Aden Jefferies.’” She read. “Well, I guess it’s true then.”

“What? That I’m a genius? We all knew that!” He scoffed as she playfully shoved him before starting to walk with him along the beach.

“I can’t believe it, Aden. You’ve done so good.”

“I even beat you.” He added cheekily, his arm coming around her shoulders.

“Yeah, yeah.” Belle laughed before looking up at him. “I’m really proud of you, Aden. Seriously. I am.”

“Thanks.” He said, albeit shyly. She grinned at his typical behaviour when she ever told him that she was proud of him or of the like. Grabbing a hold of the hand that hung over her shoulders, she could see her 10 day old engagement ring shine in the sun as she pressed a small kiss to the back of his hand.

“How about we head up to the Diner?” She suggested.

“Sure. Roman would want to know anyway.”


“Ah, you see, mate. I told you that breakfast I fixed you would do you good.” Roman told him earnestly as he stood in the kitchen with the young couple and Nicole, who had been forced to help out in the kitchen that day.

“Right, of course.” He chuckled.

“And don’t forget all those times I helped you revise.” Belle added. “And I let you use some of my notes too.”

“Hold on. You two are taking credit for me passing my HSC?”

“Looks like it, doesn’t it?”

“We’re only claiming what’s rightfully ours, Aden.” Roman told him, a smirk shining on his face.

“Hey, what about me?” Nicole finally piped up. “I deserve some credit too.”

“Uh… and what did you do, exactly?” Aden asked her.

“Well, I took you out shopping, and everyone knows that retail therapy works wonders.” She informed them in her usual way.

“Oh, yeah, right. Forgot about that.” He said in a fake-enthusiastic voice while rolling his eyes at her.

“Wasn’t that after the exams, though?” Belle countered.

“Yeah, so…?” Nicole struggled to find an explanation for her words. “The anticipation of it helps relax too.”

“The anticipation of hanging out with you all day does not help relax anyone, Nic.” Aden joked, only to be on the receiving end of one of her punches on his arm.

“Alright, alright, calm it down a bit, Nicole.” Roman reprimanded her gently. “So now what?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, these scores are amazing. You could go do anything you want.” Both Belle and Aden knew that by these words he was hinting towards the fact that Aden’s initial choice of course to study at university was going to be medicine so that he could become a psychiatrist. But when he realised just how much hard work it would be, and how hard getting into it would be, he decided against it, going into counselling by doing psychology instead.

“Yeah, Aden. You pretty much smashed it.” Nicole supplied casually.

“True, but nah…” He said, shrugging. “I think I’ll stick to the plan.”


“Roman was right, you know. You could do anything you want… anywhere you want.” Belle informed him as they sat on his bed that evening.

“I know, but I don’t want to.” Aden replied. “I don’t know, but I just know where I’m going with this, with doing psychology in the city.” He slumped back against the head board of the bed. “Anyway, the uni in the city doesn’t do medicine.”

“So you could so somewhere else. A bit further.” She prodded.

“Then I would have to move.”

“I know, but if it’s what you want to do, then I don’t want you to think that there’s something keeping you back here.” Belle explained, knowing the most possible reasoning of his for not wanting to think about going elsewhere.

“But there is something keeping me back here,” He told her, smiling his smile at her.

“And I’ll be right here. I just don’t want you to regret any decision you make and then start to resent it.”

“I won’t.” Aden said softly. “I know what I want now. I couldn’t handle being a psychiatrist, anyway, I don’t think.”

“Ok, as long as you know that if you change your mind, I’ll support you 100 percent.” Belle said pointedly.

“Belle, I won’t. Trust me, I don’t want to change my mind.” He pulled her towards him by her arm. “Anyway, how would you cope without me here?”

“Oh, please. You’re the one who would suffer the most.” Belle scoffed, allowing him to shuffle around so that she was laying on her back with him hovering above her.

“Hmm… maybe that’s true. Maybe it’s not.” Aden replied, pressing his lips to hers delicately. “Let’s never find out.”

*End Flashback*


I hope you liked it. Sorry, I didn't notice how long it was until just now when I saw it!

I promise there'll be more Adelle in the next chapter! :D


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