Jump to content

Life On The Inside

Guest Red Ranger 1

Recommended Posts

At one point, I'd decided I wasn't going to do this story.There were too many fictions dealing with similar themes(and that's just the ones I read), I had another idea waiting to be done.But sometimes you've got a story banging on the inside of your head demanding to be let out and you just have to go with it.Apologies for the indulgence.

Story Title: Life on the Inside

Type of story: Medium length fic

Main Characters: Aden with Belle, Nicole, Geoff and others

BTTB rating: T

Genre: Drama probably fits best, although it often veers more into Angst territory

Does story include spoilers: No

Any warnings: Sexual content: Mild references.Violence: Moderate to strong.Language: None.

Summary: With a rap sheet of kidnap and attempted murder, it shouldn't really have been a surprise that Aden got sent to jail but somehow it was.And while friends and acquaintances worried on the outside, he was left facing up to his problems alone.


“It is clear, from your testimony and that of others, that you have yourself been the victim of a most heinous crime and, were he alive today, every effort would be made to bring the perpetrator of that crime to justice.But this court was convened to decide your own guilt or innocence and in that case the facts are clear.You did knowingly and deliberately attempt to end a man’s life, a man who remains in a critical condition that might perhaps have been avoided if you had shown him basic human compassion. And when two young women, who had shown you every kindness, learnt of your intentions, you ruthlessly chose to deprive them of their liberty.On the charges of kidnap and attempted murder, I therefore find you guilty on all counts.The events leading up to your actions, your state of mind at the time and the fact that you have offered apologies to the two young women who came to this court today to support you all mitigate in your favour.But the seriousness of your crimes leaves me with no option but to impose a custodial sentence.I hereby sentence you to two years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of eighteen months.”

“No!”Aden was on his feet almost before the judge had finished speaking, despite all attempts to dissuade him.“This isn’t supposed to happen!I did what they said, I told you, I told you everything!You’re supposed to understand!”

Court officers had seized hold of him and were dragging him towards the exit.He glimpsed the faces of the handful of people that had come there to support him-Belle, Roman, Nicole, Morag-shock and horror etched on their features.Then the door to the court room blocked him off from them and he was being dragged down a corridor towards the exit.

He gave up struggling but his protests continued as he was led to the prison van.“I told them, I told them all, what was done to me, what he let happen to me.They know why I did it, they know I didn’t mean to get anyone else involved.Why are you doing this?”

“Save it for the appeal board, Jefferies,”one of the officers retorted before closing the door on him.

Roman and Nicole had driven home in silence, leaving Morag to finish off whatever business needed to be concluded at the court house.Nicole paused just inside the door and looked back at her father.“Did you know?I mean, what Aden told the court.About his father.About his grandfather.”


She shrugged.“Don’t worry, I wouldn’t have told me either.”

“It’s not that we didn’t trust you, it’s just Aden didn’t want anyone to know.I only found out by accident.”

“Belle knew as well.Guess I should be grateful he didn’t have to deal with it all alone.”She sighed. “Except now he does.How could they do that to him, just lock him away like some sort of criminal?”

“I don’t know.I suppose in their eyes he is a criminal.They don’t know him like we do.”

“But what he said…didn’t that mean anything to them?”

“Actually, from what the judge said, I think it did.It just didn’t mean enough.We all thought that if Aden told them the truth, if they knew the whole story, he’d escape jail.I guess we just didn’t want to see how much trouble he was really in.”

“But Aden doesn’t belong in jail!What’s going to happen to him now?”

Roman could only offer a shrug in reply.

“Prisoner Aden Jefferies, 01489126.”

It was all a blur to Aden, what was going on around him.He heard the guards giving the handover information, filled in all the necessary forms, handed in what few belongings he had on him, collected the prison issue clothing that he had been provided with.But it was like he was working on auto-pilot, not really paying attention to any of it.There was only one thing that stuck in his mind.

The sound of the prison gate slamming shut behind him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Optimus Prime??? :unsure: Megatron was far better and besides he crushed Prime with his bare hands.

Sorry, I grew up during the '80s so I remember the old comics and cartoons...I think this is the point where I realise a lot of BTTB members weren't born then and feel unspeakably old.

Anyway...thanks to everyone that's been reading and commenting.I'm aware I've upset a few Aden and Adelle fans in the past so I'm glad they're not all giving me a wide berth.


Belle had been in her room ever since she’d come back from the court.Irene stood in the doorway for a moment.Belle was lying with her back to her, unaware of her presence.She knocked gently on the open door, more to announce herself than anything.She smiled at Belle as she looked round.“You ready for a bite to eat, love?”

Belle didn’t return the smile.“Did you hear what happened?”

“Yeah, love, Roman rang and filled me in.”

“And…and you heard about what Aden told the court?”

“Mmm-hmm.I guess it explains a few things.”

“I thought I was doing the right thing, I thought I was helping him by getting him to speak up.I told him it was worth people knowing about him if it kept him out of jail.But I just made things worse.People know and he still ended up in jail.”

“I get the feeling that if he hadn’t said what he did, his sentence would have been a lot longer.”

Belle held her gaze for a moment.“Do you think he deserved to go to prison?”

Irene sighed.“Honestly, love?I don’t know.What happened to him was terrible, no-one should have to go through something like that.But he still broke the law.He must have known there were going to be consequences.”

“I know what he did was wrong.He knows it too.I just…can’t bear to think of him being in a place like that.I think I could even live with not seeing him again just as long as I knew he was all right.”

Irene sat down on the bed next to her, brushing a hair away from her face.“He really means a lot to you, doesn’t he?Even after everything.”

“Yeah.Yeah, he does.”

Governor Masterson was a well-built man in his fifties, with hair that was both grey and receding.He had long adopted an attitude that even his staunchest of critics conceeded was firm but fair.Aden sat opposite him in his office, doing his best to adopt a casual air, to make it seem as though he was completely unaffected by anything that anyone else said or did.

Masterson scanned the papers in front of him.“There’s a recommendation here that, in light of the events that led up to your offences, you should receive further counselling.We do have a counsellor that comes in here twice a week, I can make you an appointment if you like.”

“Yeah, counselling’s really done me a lot of good in the past, hasn’t it?It was supposed to keep me out of here.”

“Very well, the choice is yours.So have you given any thought as to how you will occupy your time?”

“Well, I thought I might go for a walk in the countryside first thing…Oh, hang on, that’s out, isn’t it?”

Masterson sighed.“Aden, you can spend your time playing pool or sitting around.You can stay in your cell and only come out for meals if you like.But one day you are going to walk out of here and simply doing nothing is not going to help you rebuild your life.”

Aden was quiet for a moment, remembering something he’d said to Roman a few days before.“I was retaking my last year at school.Meant to sit my exams next month.Is there any way..?”

“Of course, we’ll make the arrangements.Anything else?”Aden shook his head.“Then I’ll just get a guard to escort you to the wing.”

The guard assigned to Aden was known as Mr.McCall.Whatever first name he might have had, he wasn’t about to divulge it.Tall, with light brown hair, in his early thirties, he seemed to have followed Masterson’s lead in scrupulously sticking to the rules but being pleasant to those that obeyed them.Aden disliked him instantly.

McCall gestured into one of the cells.“This one’s yours, Jefferies.Make yourself comfortable.”He nodded to a short, unassuming and slightly rotund man in his forties who was hovering near one of the beds.“Your cell mate, Trevor.”

Aden nodded a polite greeting to the other man.“What did they get you for?”

“Oh, he’s a right computer whizz is our Trevor,”McCall remarked,“I’ll leave you to get acquainted.”

“What did he mean by that?”Aden asked once the guard was gone.

Trevor shrugged and gave an embarassed smile.“I kinda got into the bank’s computer system and added a few noughts on the end of my account balance.I was just catching a flight to Chile when they caught up with me.”

“Why Chile?”

“It’s on the same latitude as us.Figured the weather would be nice.”

Aden decided that, on balance, he could have wound up with a worse cellmate.“Okay.Just so long as you don’t snore, huh?”

“Well, well, well.”A burly bearded inmate had just appeared in the doorway.“Looks like there’s a new guest at the hotel.”The man stood toe to toe with Aden.They were the same height but the newcomer was a lot bulkier.Aden hoped it was mostly body fat.If it was muscle…“You gonna be friendly?”

Aden shrugged.“Not seeing anyone worth being friends with.”

The man laughed.“Ah!Tough one.Should be fun.”

“I’m sorry, I understand you don’t know me, but…”

“Sure I know you.Aden Jefferies.Got fiddled with by his grandfather so he locked two girls in a shed and tried to murder a cripple.Yeah, that’s gonna get me quaking in my boots.”He noticed the look of uncertainty on Aden’s face with some satisfaction.“See, I do my homework.”

What he’d just said was what Aden had always been afraid of;that someone would find out about his past and use it against him.But he was determined not to show any weakness.“So what are you in for?”He nodded towards what he was still hoping was body fat.“Stealing beer kegs?”

The man seemed just as unaffected as Aden did.He poked him in the chest.“Later, kid.”

Aden watched the man go before turning casually to Trevor.“So who’s the entertainment?”

“Frank Pierson.One of these people who thinks he owns the place.Best not to get on the wrong side of him.Although it’s probably a bit too late for that…”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Once again, thank you, everyone, for your comments.I can't remember the last time I had so many people commenting on one of my fictions.

You're all here for Aden, aren't you?

I thought the fact that I've been known to do horrible things to Aden in my fictions would deter people more than my personal opinions.

Anyway, I promised you a chapter today.It's a bit late but here it is.I'm gonna be falling asleep at work again tomorrow.Enjoy.


The bedroom was awash with sunlight but still Belle couldn’t face getting up.The events of the previous day had been so overwhelming she didn’t feel ready to face a world that seemed so changed.None of which stopped Irene from trying to coax her out of bed.“Come on, sleepy, the rest of us have been up over an hour.”

“I’m not sleepy,”Belle mumbled,“Just don’t feel like going anywhere.”

“Oh, what, so you’re going to spend the next, what, day, month, year, two years in bed, are you?Shall I push a tray under the door every once in a while or do you just intend to waste away?”

“What have I got to get up for?”

“Well, for a start, you’ve got a shift in the Diner later on.And for another thing, didn’t you agree to cook dinner for Angelo tonight?”

Belle groaned.She did vaguely remember making such a promise, when he was giving her a lift back from the court house.At the time, paying attention to their conversation hadn’t been top of her priorities.And at the moment, the idea of making polite chit-chat and trying to hide her real feelings didn’t really hold much of an attraction.

Geoff appeared in the doorway.“Er, morning, Belle, I was wondering…”

“Geoff!”Irene snapped,“Give the girl a bit of privacy, will you?”

“Sorry, the door was open.”Geoff seemed somewhat nervous.“I just…I mean, I thought…I wondered… No, you probably…”

“You want to finish one of those sentences?”Irene asked.

“I…I wondered if Belle wanted to see the morning paper.”

Irene gave him a look of thunder that suggested she didn’t think that was a good idea at all.But Belle held out her hand and took it from him.The front page headline was an unimaginative but informative “Local boy jailed”.Belle noticed with slight annoyance that a photo of herself adorned the page, along with shots of Aden and Larry.No doubt Gavin’s way of getting a small measure of revenge.

She read the opening lines:“Summer Bay High student Aden Jefferies, 19, today began a two year jail term after being found guilty…”She scanned the rest of the article and saw that it contained everything, a full account of all that had been revealed in court.Aden’s fears had come true.Everyone knew.

And the ironic thing was he wasn’t actually around to face them.

As Aden’s solicitor, Morag had an instant access to him, which she had been quick to take advantage of. They had met in a private room at the prison where she was doing her best to give him good news.“I’ve performed a thorough study of the court records and I’m confident we can successfully appeal for a lighter sentence.”

“What exactly do you think’s going to be different?”Aden asked without enthusiasm.

“Well, as you’re aware I had little preparation time and you only agreed to full disclosure of your reasons for acting in that manner very late in the day.With a bit more warning, I would have been able to call more experts and provide a better argument for your not being held fully accountable for your actions.”

“Morag, I spilled my guts out on that stand.That was supposed to be enough.”

“Yes and I’m disappointed that Judge Ditko took the hard line that he did.But if we can get you another hearing…”

“And what if we get another hanging judge?What if he decides I got the right sentence?Or if he decides to increase it?Way I see it, at the moment I’m in here for two years max and then it’s over.”

“Aden, don’t you want to get out of here?”

“Yeah.Can you guarantee that doing this will get me out?”

Morag lowered her gaze.“No, I can’t do that.”

“Then…what’s the point?”

Morag got to her feet and started gathering up her papers.“Very well.Then this would seem to bring our professional association to an end.”She paused and looked at him.“I trust you have no objection to my continuing to visit you in the capacity of a friend?”

He smiled in spite of everything.“Yeah, I reckon I can cope with that.”

Belle had found dinner a tortuous affair.It hadn’t been the food;her cooking wasn’t that bad.It hadn’t even been the company;Angelo had been as friendly and charming as ever.No, it was the situation.The longer the meal had gone on, the more uncomfortable she had felt and the more she had realised that she really didn’t want to be there.

She carried the finished plates into the kitchen, setting them down by the sink.Angelo followed her in and put his arms around her waist, kissing the back of her neck lightly.“Clearing up can wait for a bit, can’t it?”

Belle turned round slowly, removing his arms as gently as she could manage.“Angelo, I’m sorry but…I can’t do this any longer.”

He seemed genuinely puzzled.“Why not?”

She took a deep breath before admitting to him what she often had trouble admitting to herself.“Because I’m thinking about Aden.”

She saw something flash across his eyes.Hurt?Anger?Embarassment?Perhaps all three.“Not exactly what a guy wants to hear.”

“Not just when I’m with you.All the time.Ever since he came back from the clinic.Maybe even before that.”

“You still love him?”

She nodded slowly.“Yeah, I think I do.”

“You want to get back with him?”

“Bit hard, seeing as how he’s in prison and I’m not.”She realised she was avoiding the question.“I don’t know.So much has happened, there’s so much history, so much hurt on both sides.Maybe even if he was here it wouldn’t work out.But…even the fact that I’m considering it means I shouldn’t be with you.”

“I guess this is the point where I should thank you for being honest.”He didn’t though.He just gestured towards the door.“I’m gonna leave now.”

“Angelo!”she called after him.He turned to face her.“Another time and place, you know?”

It sounded hollow even to her and he didn’t even bother replying.

She breathed a sigh of relief once she was alone.It had been difficult but she knew it was the right choice. The only problem was that now, with Angelo gone as well, she didn’t have anything to distract her from missing Aden.

Aden was sitting idly at one of the tables in the recreation area when Frank stopped by him.“I wanted to sit there.”

Aden glanced up at him with disinterest.“Guess you’re out of luck then.”

“You know, if someone was being polite, they’d move.”

“Yeah, I’m not in a very polite mood at the moment.Feel free to go and find someone who is.”

Frank glanced across the wing at the guard on duty.Aden noticed that it wasn’t McCall but one of the younger officers, who’d been introduced to him as Mr.West.Frank leaned in close.“You just keep pushing me, boy.You just keep doing that.And when you’ve pushed me far enough, I’ll let you know.”

Trevor had been maintaining a careful distance while Frank was close by.It was only once he’d moved away and there was a large enough gap between him and the table that he approached Aden, gesturing to the seat opposite him.“He didn’t want to sit here, did he?”

“No, he only seemed to want my seat.”

“Oh, that’s good.”Trevor slid into the vacant seat nervously.“You really need to stop upsetting him.”

“Why?Did he bite a man’s ear off?”

Trevor looked genuinely puzzled.“Why would he do that?”

“I’m not gonna spend the next two years giving in to a jerk like that.Or take advice on prison behaviour from a guy who tried to board a plane to Chile with a case full of stolen banknotes.”

“Well, I could hardly leave the money in my account, could I?It would have looked suspicious.”

“And drawing out $500,000 in cash and booking a flight to South America didn’t?”

“Okay, I could have thought that bit through better.But you need to give more thought to how you treat Frank Pierson.If he does snap, then some of the guards around here might be looking the other way at the time.”

“I’m not scared of him.”

“You might change your mind.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyway, thank you for your comments, everyone, and on with the show.


One of the problems of having a limited social circle was that Aden hadn’t had many visitors.Roman tended to come in every week or two.Morag had visited to start with but, with Ross taking up more of her time, her visits had become less and less frequent.

All of which meant that a new face was very welcome.She wasn’t his first choice for new visitors but she came a close second.

Nicole greeted him with a broad grin that was completely inappropriate for the situation and completely appropriate for her.“Hey there, stranger.How are they looking after you?”

Despite the situation, he couldn’t help returning the smile.“Oh yeah, not bad.So well looked after I hardly ever step outside in fact.”

Her manner became serious.“I’m sorry it took me so long to come.It’s just after what happened in court and, you know, what you said…”

“It’s okay.I can understand you not wanting to see me.”

Nicole looked genuinely hurt.“You think I wouldn’t want to see you because of that?Come on, we’ve all got skeletons in the cupboard.There’s a few things I haven’t told you.Like what I did to my mum’s favourite dress on her twenty-fifth birthday.I thought…well, you didn’t want me to know so you might not want to see me now I did.”

“Nic, if I’d been told I had to tell someone else, then you’d have been pretty near the top of a very short list of people I’d choose to know.”He sighed.“We’re dumb, aren’t we?”

Her grin was back in place now.“Totally.”

Aden paused before asking the question he really wanted answered.“And…Belle?How’s she?Still happy with Constable Cheesefest?”

Nicole looked surprised.“Aden, Belle broke up with Constable Ch…with Angelo weeks ago.Didn’t you know?”

Aden was startled.He thought back on all the times he’d asked Roman about Belle and how his replies had always been brief and non-commital.With a trace of annoyance, he suspected Roman had kept quiet about Belle being single because he didn’t want him to start thinking about her again…as if he’d ever stopped. “No, I didn’t.”

“She hasn’t been in to see you?”

“No.I phoned her early on but I haven’t heard from her since.”

Nicole nodded decisively.“I’ll talk to her.”

Aden looked at her apprehensively.“I don’t really think she’s likely to listen to you.”

“Hey, I can be persuasive.Anyway, she’s already not visiting you.What more can happen?”

“She can say she’s never going to visit me and burn my photo in her garden.”

“So?That’s one less for the rest of us to get rid of.”

He sighed and smiled at her.“Thanks.”

“What for?”

“Being the first person to make me forget I’m in here.”

As Aden was heading from the visiting room to the exercise yard, Frank suddenly fell into step behind him. Any chance that this was a coincidence was dispelled by the two men walking behind them.Although they were so non-descript as to be practically indistinguishable from each other and most of the other inmates, the fact that they were with Frank told Aden that they were Bob and Dave, his two regular hangers-on.

“Like the blonde bit,”Frank commented,“She’s a step up from Mr.Muscles and the old bird.She your girlfriend or something?”

“No, she’s…”Aden stopped.For a start, he didn’t really know how to describe Nicole.Sister?Friend?Some strange combination of the two?And for another thing, he didn’t want to discuss it with Frank.“She’s someone I know,”he said finally.

“She feeling lonely with you in here?”As they entered the yard, Frank leaned in close to Aden, putting an arm around his shoulders and talking in an almost conspiratorial manner.“’Cos if she is, just give me her address and I can arrange for someone to keep her company.”

Aden swung round at that and grabbed Frank by the collar, shoving him up against the fence.“I swear if you go anywhere near someone I care about…”

Frank grasped hold of Aden’s wrists and used his not inconsiderable weight to swing them both round in an arc, so that now Aden was the one with his back pressed against the fence.“You need to learn some survival tips, Jefferies.Top of the list is never threaten me.”

Aden pushed back and the pair staggered into the centre of the yard, both holding the other tight and struggling fiercely.Neither of them had enough room to strike any sort of blow against the other.All they could do was scuffle clumsily, manhandling each other whilst not actually causing any damage.Bob and Dave hovered uncertainly, torn between helping out their mentor and not wanting to get involved with something so public.The other inmates in the yard hung back as well, making sure to give the pair a good deal of room.

McCall had entered the yard and gestured to West, who had been on duty, to follow him over to the pair, drawing his stick.“Right, you two, stop this now!”

Neither Aden nor Frank was in any mood to listen.McCall tried to prise them apart and was aided by the arrival of several other officers, apparently responding to a silent signal.Aden and Frank were dragged apart and held about a foot apart, calmer but still glaring at each other with undisguised hostility.

McCall looked from one to the other.“You want to tell me what that was about?”He glanced around the yard.“Anyone?”He was met by a wall of silence.“All right.Take these two to solitary.They can cool off there.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know what? As there are a lot of hardcore Aden/Belle/Adelle fans coming here you could be really cruel and torture them with the story. But you wouldn’t do that, would you?

I would never torture Aden/Belle fans...unless the story required it.

Hope no-one feels particularly tortured by this one.


Belle couldn’t quite believe who she was about to have the conversation with.Not for the first time in recent weeks she wished that Mattie or Cassie was still around.Even Ric would have been better.

She took a deep breath and headed out of her room into the living area.“Geoff, can I talk to you about something?”

Geoff looked surprised but attentive.“Um, yeah, sure, okay.”

“It’s about Aden.What happened to him, I mean….what he did.I’ve…sort of been wondering if it was my fault.”

“Why would it be your fault?What did you do?”

“Well…I slept with him.”

Geoff reacted as though he’d been yanked so far out of his comfort zone he wasn’t even in the same state as it anymore.“Um…isn’t there anyone else you can talk to about this?”

“No, Geoff, there isn’t anyone else,”Belle snapped,“All my friends have moved away and I’m not gonna start discussing my sex life with Irene.You’re it.I listen to your problems, now you have to listen to mine. All right?”

Geoff held up his hands in mock surrender.“Okay, okay.I’m listening.So, what was the problem?Was it really bad or something?”

Belle was regretting starting the conversation more and more as it went on.“No, Geoff, it wasn’t…That’s not the point.”She sighed and sank into a chair.“I’m not even sure I should be telling you this.”If she’d hoped for some response to guide her, she was disappointed.She decided to carry on anyway.“You know what he told the court?About his grandfather?Well, when we first got together, it was like…sex scared him, like it reminded him of what had happened.He started going to counselling and we slept together.And it was almost straight after that that he had his breakdown, that he tried to kill his father.So what I’ve been thinking is…did it actually hurt his recovery?Had he built up all these defences and I tore them down and that’s why he reacted so badly?”She looked at him and shook his head.“And why am I expecting you to understand this?”

“Well…I might not understand what Aden went through but maybe I do know what it’s like to be afraid of sex.”

Belle looked at him, interested in spite of herself.“Go on.”

“Okay…I slept with Nicole, right?And, yeah, it was good, that’s probably part of the problem.Because I’m scared of letting it happen again.”

Belle shook her head, unable to see the relevance.“What, because you’re afraid of going to hell?”

“Well, not really…I mean, I don’t think you’re going to hell for having sex.”

There were times when Belle found it best to just assume Geoff wasn’t being deliberately insulting, otherwise she’d find herself seriously disliking him.“Thanks,”she replied through gritted teeth.

“It’s more like…Annie and I were raised with certain values.And I know that people think they’re unusual or old-fashioned but I think it’s a good way to live.And if I just ignored them because it’s inconvenient, then I wouldn’t be the same person.I think what I’m most scared of is not being me.”

Belle found herself surprised at where the conversation had gone.“So, do you think that Aden was afraid of not being himself anymore?”

“Well, maybe…maybe it’s the opposite.Maybe he slept with you because he wanted to change, to stop being the person that was afraid of his past and ruled by it and become someone that could be with you.But the problem was the old Aden was still in there, the one that hadn’t gotten over what happened to him, and what happened with his father brought him out again.”

“So…being with me just sort of…covered him up for a bit?”Belle thought about this.“That actually makes sense.”


“Did you take a double dose of brain pills this morning or something?”

Aden was sitting on the floor in his new solitary cell.After all, it wasn’t any less comfortable than the glorified shelf that apparently qualified as a bed.He heard the bolt being drawn back on the door, moments before it was swung open and Masterson walked in, looking down at him.Aden looked away.“Hope you’re not expecting me to stand up.”

“You want to sit on the floor, I’ve got no objections.I just thought I owed you a chance to tell me what happened.”

Aden shrugged.“The guy was bugging me.”

“That’s it?”

“That’s not enough?”

“No, Aden, it isn’t enough.Responding to everyone who annoys you with violence isn’t acceptable either in here or out there.If you don’t know that, you’re going to be spending quite a bit of time in this cell.”

“Look, you can spare me the lectures, okay?I’ve heard it all before, sometimes from people I actually like.”

“And as I believe I explained to you when we first met, it makes no difference to me what you do.The only person you will harm with your behaviour is yourself.”He turned away, his piece said.

“So when am I going to get out of here?”Aden demanded.

Masterson paused in the doorway.“Depends on your behaviour over the next couple of days.I’ll think about it then.”He closed the door firmly behind him.

Aden scrambled up and hurried over to the door, hammering on it.“At least get a message to someone for me!”

The flap on the door slid open and Masterson peered through at him.“We don’t run a secretarial service here, Jefferies.Your regular visitors will be informed you’re unavailable this week.Anyone else who enquires will be given the same information.”

Belle was on her way to work when she noticed Nicole sitting on a fence by the path.She pressed on, not wanting to get into a conversation, but that didn’t stop Nicole calling out to her.“If you were going to see Aden this week, don’t bother.He’s in solitary.But then, you haven’t been to see him any other week either.”

Belle stopped and reluctantly turned round.“What’s he doing in solitary?”

Nicole shrugged.“Got into a fight apparently.”

Belle was annoyed.“That’s typical of him.Even in jail he manages to get into trouble.”

“Pretending to care now, are you?”

“I’m not pretending.”

“You know, I don’t understand you.You’ve got a great guy who thinks the world of you and you’re just turning your back on him.”

After the conversation she’d had earlier, Belle didn’t feel like just giving in to that.“Well isn’t that what you’re doing?”

That seemed to stop Nicole in her tracks.“What do you mean?”

“I mean Geoff.He obviously likes you and you seem to like him yet you turned away from him.”

“We see relationships differently.”

“Yeah, you think it has to involve sex and he doesn’t.”

“It’s not as simple as that!”But at that moment, Nicole couldn’t really think what else it was.

“Look, how many guys have you slept with Nicole?”

Nicole bristled.“What’s that got to do with it?”

“Because as I’m sure anyone around here will tell you, I’ve had a few.And where are they now?Left town, left the state or in prison.And I’m starting to realise I’d rather have a decent guy that’s going to stand by me than one who just wants to sleep with me.I wish I did love a guy like that.And you do have feelings for one and you’re turning your back on those feelings because of something that isn’t important!”

“Okay.Nice deflection.I’m not perfect either.But that still doesn’t explain why you’re treating Aden the way you are.”

Belle sighed.“Because…because it’s too hard, okay?Not having Aden here is bad enough.Having him for an hour a week and then having him ripped away again…I can’t live like that.I wish I could but I can’t.”

“Maybe I understand that.But instead of pretending he doesn’t exist, maybe you should explain it to him.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad you all liked that chapter.The world needs more Geoff/Belle scenes.

Hope you like this one.


Aden had done his best to look presentable when he’d heard she was there.But, despite making the effort, it wasn’t until he actually stepped through the door into the visiting room and saw her sat there that he was fully convinced that she’d come, that it hadn’t all been a mistake or some sort of cruel joke.Even then, there was something about her manner that checked the joy he felt at the sight of her and caused him to take his seat with a certain amount of trepidation.

“Aden,”she greeted him, sounding somewhat nervous,“I’m sorry I haven’t been before.”

He could feel himself starting to get defensive.“It’s taken you three months.It’s not as if I’m that hard to find these days.”

“I know, I’m sorry, you deserved better.”

“Don’t suppose I can blame you for not wanting to know me after what happened.”

“I don’t blame you for that.You…you were a different person.”

Aden remembered the comment from the court case.It had been part of Belle’s statement.Yet something about her manner suggested she was thinking about something else, some conversation he hadn’t been privy to.“So why?”

“Because I lost you once and…maybe it’s selfish of me but I didn’t want to have to keep going through it.”

He could understand that even if he didn’t exactly like it.“So why are you here now?”

“Because…I need to say goodbye.”

“I think not coming said it pretty well.”

“Not goodbye as in I’m not coming to see you.Goodbye as in…I’m leaving.”

That he hadn’t been expecting.“Leaving?Leaving where?”

“A paper in Melbourne heard about my work on the development process.They offered me a cadetship as an investigative photo-journalist.Looks like I’ll be working for a proper editor this time instead of a sleazebag.I’m driving down there in a couple of days.”

Three months had been enough to resign himself to the fact she wasn’t going to visit him.But for her to not even be around when he came out…“I thought…”

“You thought I was going to sit around waiting for you?”

He wasn’t sure if that was what he’d thought.But it was what he’d been hoping.

“Because I want you to know, I did think about it.A large part of me does want to just throw this opportunity away and do whatever it takes to be with you.I’m just not sure it’ll ever be enough, not in the long run.I love you, Aden, but I can’t make you happy.”

“We were happy,”he protested.

“What exactly was the highlight of our relationship, Aden?The three times we broke up or when you kidnapped me?”The sarcasm was cutting and it was only the fact that she immediately seemed to regret it that stopped him from giving a retort.“Yeah, we had some good times, some great times.I’ll always remember them and I think I’ll always love you.But I can’t put my life on hold for two years for a relationship that might not even work out.Please, I don’t want this to end with us hating each other.”

“I don’t want that either.”He breathed out heavily.“So this is it then?”

“Looks like it.Are we allowed to hug?”

Aden glanced across at the guard on duty.“Probably not but if you’re quick.”

He held her in his arms one last time, briefly feeling that comfort that he always got from her presence. Then he released her and let her walk out of his life.

When Geoff heard footsteps by the back door, he expected it to be Belle, back from her visit to Aden.He hadn’t expected to see Nicole standing there, nor how nervous she looked.“Nic,”he greeted her,“Were we meant to meet up?”

“No, I just…I need to say something I should have said before.I’ve been doing a lot of thinking these past couple of weeks, since your sister had a go at me.”

Geoff was surprised at that.“Annie?”

“Belle.She hides it pretty well but I think she’s actually quite fond of you.”She gestured towards the living area.“Can we sit down?”

“Yeah, sure.”Geoff took his seat on the couch, Nicole sitting next to him.

“I miss you,”she said at last.

“You don’t need to miss me, we’re still friends.”

“No, I mean…I miss being with you.Not just like how we were on the island, I miss…I miss feeling connected.I don’t think I’ve ever felt connected before, except maybe to Dad and Aden, and that’s gotta mean something.”

Geoff couldn’t quite believe what was happening.“Nic, are you saying..?”

“I’m saying that I want to be with you, Geoff.Still.And, yeah, there’s other things I want as well but maybe they’re not as important.”

“So you’re willing to do this without..?”

“Any more pre-marital?Well, it’s gonna be hard but I think I’m a more mature person these days.I mean, I heard some of the girls at school talking about Aden the other day and I didn’t throw my water bottle over them.That’s gotta be an improvement.”

Geoff took her hand, interlocking his fingers with hers.“I’ve missed you too.”

“Am I allowed you to kiss you now?”

“Well, there’s no rules against that,”Geoff began…and he didn’t get a chance to say anything else.

Aden opened up his drawer and took out the photo he kept there, the photo of Belle that Roman had reluctantly brought in for him.He’d never displayed it, feeling that the state their relationship was in made it inappropriate somehow.He’d thought that if she ever finished things completely he’d want to tear it up or burn it.But looking as it now, it reminded him that, whatever else had happened, she’d loved him and he’d loved her.She’d known everything about him and seen the ugliest parts of both his past and his present and it hadn’t made a difference to her.She’d still cared about him.And that was something worth clinging onto.

As he slid the drawer shut, he heard someone entering the cell behind him.“Hey, Trev, what are you..?”

He hadn’t even finished turning round when two pairs of arms grabbed hold of him, slamming him against the wall and holding him there, leaving him unable to move however much he struggled.It wasn’t Trevor. The fact that Frank was standing in the doorway told him that it was the ubiquitous Bob and Dave.There was a cold fury in Frank’s eyes.“I spent two weeks in solitary because of you.Did you really think I was going to forget about that?”

Aden remembered what Trevor had said to him, about how he might change his mind about being afraid of Frank.And at that moment, he was afraid, dark thoughts flashing through his head as he remembered the stories he’d heard of what sometimes happened to people in prison.He tried to keep up the bravado.“Look, okay, Frank, I’m sorry about that but I was in there too, remember?There’s no need to…to do this.”

Frank laughed scornfully.“What, you think we’re all like dear old Grandaddy?Dream on, pretty boy, you’re not my type.And by the time I’ve finished with that pretty face of yours, you won’t be anybody else’s type either.”

His fist connected with Aden’s face, again and again and again.Aden lost count of the blows at about five or six, screwing his eyes shut and resisting the urge to cry out, to let them know it was hurting.He realised that the pounding had stopped and risked opening his eyes.That was when he saw that Trevor had come in and was hovering nervously by the door.

Frank had seen him too, which was why he had stopped the assault.“Walk out of here, Banks.We’re busy at the moment.”

“Er, yeah, sure, Mr.Pierson, it’s just Mr.McCall’s heading this way on his rounds and if he found you here…”

Reluctantly, Frank gestured for Bob and Dave to release Aden and follow him out.“Don’t think this is over, Jefferies.”

Trevor came over to Aden, looking with a kind of resigned horror at the cuts and bruises that littered his face.“Christ, Aden, you look a mess.”

“Why’d you tell them that lie about McCall?”

“I wasn’t lying.”

As if to underline this, McCall appeared in the doorway.He gave Aden a look that suggested genuine concern.“What happened to him?”

“I, er, don’t know,”Trevor replied,“Just came in and found him like this.”

“I ran into a wall,”Aden explained, realising how ridiculous it sounded.“A lot,”he added lamely.

McCall looked at him with the resigned air of someone who knew he was being lied to but also knew he wasn’t going to get the truth.“You’d better get down to the medical wing.Get those cuts seen to.”He waited until Aden was halfway out the cell before calling after him.“Oh and, Jefferies?Might be an idea to stay away from walls in future.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Uh-oh.No-one's commenting.It's because I split up Aden and Belle, isn't it?People always hate it when I do that...

Warning: This chapter contains scenes of violence.


Aden had managed to put his visitors off for the last few weeks.In a way, it had been lucky that Frank’s attack had happened on the day of Belle’s visit, since he’d been able to use that as an excuse for not wanting to see anyone.However, he’d forgotten how tenacious she could be at times.He should have known she wouldn’t give up.

The cuts and bruises that had littered his face had largely healed but only one look at him would be enough to know that something had happened.As he entered the visitors’ room, the look of horror on Nicole’s face reminded him just how bad he still looked, a horror that only increased as he took his seat opposite her.“Aden, what the hell happened to you?”

“As far as the guards are concerned, I ran into a wall.”

“Right.And as far as I’m concerned?”

Aden made sure all the guards were out of earshot.“I ran into someone’s fists.Actually, I was standing still and they ran into me.”

She looked worried.“Is this to do with you being in solitary?”

“Yeah, turned out the guy that was in there with me didn’t like it any more than me.And he decided it was my fault.”

“Aden, if you’re in trouble…”

“Look, it’s fine.He’s paid me back, it’s over.I’ll just stay away from him from now on.”Aden had a feeling it wasn’t over but he didn’t want Nicole going hysterical on him.“So, did I hear right about you dating a boy whose favourite book is really old and really dull?”

It wasn’t the most subtle change of subject in the world but it was enough to get Nicole grinning.Aden realised that there were very few times when he’d seen her showing genuine pleasure.He felt pleased for her.“It’s not what I imagined but I guess life can surprise you.”

“And he’s still refusing to..?”

“Mmm.”Her grin became more rueful, yet somehow she didn’t look any less happy.

“And you agreed?”

“Well, if it’s a choice between not doing it and being on my own and not doing it and being with Geoff, I know which one I prefer.I suppose it’s kinda flattering that he wants to be with me without it.And…”She looked embarassed.

“Go on,”Aden insisted,“I could use some entertainment.”

“Well…I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else anyway.”

Aden laughed.“God, you’re really smitten, aren’t you?”

“Shut up!I had to put up with you and Belle being all lovey dovey!”She instantly caught herself, the mood evaporating.

“Have you heard how she’s doing?”Aden asked at last.

“She left town three weeks ago.Geoff and Irene have spoken to her on the phone a few times.I think she’s settled in okay.”

“No chance of her coming back then?”

“Doesn’t look like it.”

He sighed.“Do me a favour, Nic.If you ever find someone you really like, whether it’s Geoff or anyone else, don’t mess it up.”

“Okay.”She looked concerned again.“Are you gonna be all right in here?”

“Oh yeah.They’re keeping an eye on me.”

“Remember you’re on kitchen duty today, Jefferies,”McCall called out as he left the visiting room.

Kitchen duty was one of Aden’s least favourite jobs, if nothing else then because having to dish out the food to the other prisoners meant he was usually the last to eat.The kitchen was empty when he got there, the other inmates who were rostered on not having arrived, so he busied himself at one of the counters.He heard the double doors swing open and looked over his shoulder.“About time you got here.”

He stopped.Three men had just entered.Frank, Bob and Dave.“I told you I wasn’t finished with you,” Frank reminded him.

“Look, the rest of the guys will be here any minute…”

Frank shook his head.“Told them to take the day off.”

Aden knew what was about to happen and he wasn’t going to make it easy for them.He lunged forward, landing a punch on Frank’s shoulder that knocked him sideways.And then he seemed to have a clear path to the door.He made a run towards it but then he felt a heavy weight connect with his back, sending him crashing to the floor.

He looked up and saw that either Bob or Dave, he still had difficulty telling, had grabbed a rolling pin and struck him with it.Frank took the implement from his companion approvingly.“Oh yeah.That’s a beauty.”

He brought it down hard, across Aden’s legs.Aden couldn’t hold in the shout of pain as Frank carried on hitting him.He felt more blows to his chest and back as Bob and Dave joined in with their feet.

The double doors were pushed open and West appeared.“What’s all the noise..?”

Before he could fully take in the scene, Frank had lunged forward, pushing him back through the doors and slamming them shut.He used his weight to hold them closed, gesturing frantically to Bob and Dave. “The work bench, get the work bench!”

The others grabbed hold of one of the few surfaces not fixed to the floor and pushed it against the door. Then they began grabbing other items, forming a barricade.

Aden lay on the floor, forgotten for the moment.The upper half of his body ached.The lower half he could barely feel, let alone move.He didn’t want to look down but he was certain both his legs were broken. Having been hospitalised twice(or was it three times?)in a year, he’d begun to recognise the signs.He should have been glad the beating was over, except he wasn’t sure if what happened next was going to be any better.

“What are we going to do, Frank?”asked…Bob?

“Yeah, we’ll all end up in solitary for this,”Dave added.

Frank shook his head.“Don’t think of this as a problem, boys.Think of it as an opportunity.”He began searching in a drawer.“Know what else they keep in kitchens?Knives.”

Aden flinched away from the long blade Frank had produced.Were they actually going to kill him?“Look, Frank, I’m sorry I upset you, okay?Just don’t…”

Frank laughed.“Relax, Jefferies.A professional doesn’t kill a hostage unless it’s in his interests.You see, this just stopped being about you.This is about us getting out.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your comments.Something strange seems to be happening with this story:It doesn't want to end.I had it all plotted out, nine chapters and an epilogue, but then I suddenly started thinking that there were things that needed to be explored more and slotting in extra chapters, which is quite unprecedented.

Don't worry, I'm still in control of it.Just.


Aden kept looking at the three of them.It was all he could do to stop himself succumbing to blind panic.The worst thing in the world for him was feeling helpless, it reminded him of being that scared little boy, unable to prevent what was happening to him.All his life since then, he realised, had been about being in control, dogmatically pursuing what he wanted, punishing anyone that he felt had wronged him, either directly or by association.And it was that attitude, ironically, that had got him into this situation.

Frank hadn’t said a word since that last declaration.He was just sitting on the edge of the barricade, knife in hand, looking at him.

A voice came from the other side of the door, sounding as though it was augmented by a loudspeaker. “This is Governor Masterson.This display is pointless.You have nowhere to go.Surrender to the officers and you’ll be treated fairly.”

Frank shouted back through the door.“You hear me out there, Governor?You keep your boys well back or you’ll end up explaining to your bosses how you let a murder take place on your wing.”

There was a pause before Masterson answered.“What do you mean?”

“As I’m sure your boy pointed out, we’ve got Jefferies in here.And he’s not exactly in a good way.And he’ll end up in a lot worse way if you don’t do what I want.You’re all going to step out of the way and let us walk out of this room and out of this prison.You’re going to have a car waiting for us in the car park with the keys in the ignition and a full tank.And if we don’t get that, you’re gonna have a corpse on your hands.”

“It’ll take time.”

“Fine.Just don’t take too much time or I might decide to amuse myself.”

“You really think that’ll work?”Aden asked him,“I’m just a prisoner like you.They don’t care what happens to me.”

“Maybe, maybe not.Either way, I’m gonna make sure I get something out of this.”

On the other side of the door, there was a group of officers clustered around Masterson, with McCall and West among them.“So what are we going to do, Victor?”McCall asked.

“I want to resolve this without anyone getting killed,”Masterson replied,“But I’m not letting three dangerous criminals out of here.”

“Are you sure it is only three?”

“What do you mean?”

“Jefferies.They say he’s a hostage but how do we know he isn’t in on it?”

“Aden Jefferies is an angry young man with a large chip on his shoulder and an unhealthy disregard for any form of authority.But he’s not the type to get involved with someone like Frank Pierson.I don’t think he’s in there willingly.”He glanced at West.“Ray, get down to the office and call Aden Jefferies’ emergency contact.And you’d better send a message to C Wing as well.”He turned back to McCall.“Steve, get some men kitted out.”

Roman saw Nicole and Geoff coming in through the door and gestured for them to be quiet before turning his attention back to the phone call.“Yes, but how is he?I understand that but…Look, I’m on my way down there, okay?Call the mobile number if anything else happens.”

Nicole had listened to the tail end of the conversation with concern.“What was that?”

“The prison.There’s been some sort of incident.”

“What, you mean like a riot?”

“Not exactly.A group of prisoners have barricaded themselves in the kitchen.”

“Is Aden all right?”

Roman realised the irony of what he was about to say.“Apparently…Aden’s been taken hostage.”

“Look, this isn’t gonna work, Frank.”Aden was still trying to get a response out of his captor.

Frank left his place and crouched on the floor next to Aden, holding the knife in his face.“Then perhaps you should tell me what you think I should do.”

“Well, open up the door and give yourself up.”

“And what?They’ll pat me on the back and let me wander back onto the wing?This has gone too far now and I’m not gonna leave with nothing.Either I get out of here…”-he moved the knife till it touched Aden’s throat-“or I get the satisfaction of knowing you never will.”

“So they give you a car and you drive out of here.You’ll have the cops after you straightaway.”

“Oh, don’t worry about me.I’m pretty good at hiding.”

Then there was a thumping behind him.The barricade was beginning to shake, as though a battering ram was being applied to the other side of the doors.Frank was so shocked that he made what was probably a mistake.He turned away from Aden and stood facing the doors, Bob and Dave either side of him.The doors were forced open to reveal half a dozen officers led by McCall, dressed in protective gear and helmets. Frank waved the knife at them, warding them off.

Aden found himself forgotten in the confusion.The pain in his chest had been increasing over the past few minutes, making breathing difficult, and he was beginning to fear his injuries were more severe than he’d thought.Slowly, painfully, he dragged himself round, getting into the best position.And then he used whatever strength he had left to lunge forward, grabbing hold of Frank’s legs and using his weight to pull him down.

The officers saw what was happening and made their move, leaping on Frank and pinioning him to the ground, while other officers grabbed hold of Bob and Dave.Aden just had time to take it all in before he finally slipped into unconsciousness.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am genuinely stunned at the response this one is getting.Hello to anyone that's joined recently, welcome aboard and hope you like the rest of it.


It felt like an eternity before Aden opened his eyes again.He could feel the mattress of a reasonably comfortable bed beneath him.He tried to move his body but very little seemed to be working.Two relieved faces were looking at him.Roman and Nicole.

“Welcome back,”Roman said with a smile.

“How long was I out?”

“Two days.They had to keep you sedated while your body healed.”

Aden looked around him, recognising his surroundings.The medical wing.“I thought I’d done enough to get out of here.”

“You might have done but they were worried you wouldn’t stand up to a trip to hospital.Had to get the specialists to come here.You had some internal bleeding so they had to operate.You had multiple breaks to both your legs.At first, they weren’t sure if you’d walk again.But they managed to pin the bones back together and they’re healing nicely.It’ll be a few weeks before you’re back on your feet but it’s going to happen.”

“And the important thing is you’re awake,”Nicole added, hugging him tight.He gave a yelp of pain and she released him hastily.“Sorry.”

“You also have some cracked ribs,”Roman concluded.

Aden knew he had to ask the question but he was worried about the answer.“And…Belle?Does she know I’m here?”

There was an uncomfortable pause.“Irene called her when we first found out you were in trouble,”Nicole began.

“But, well, by the time she could have got down here, it was all over,”Roman continued,“so…”He left the sentence unfinished.

“But Geoff says she sounded really worried,”Nicole added helpfully.

“There is someone else here to see you,”Roman told him,“And, Aden, he has been very worried about you.”He got up and, together with Nicole, stood to one side.And as they did so, Aden saw that they’d been blocking his view of someone else, someone who was sitting in a chair against the far wall.Larry.

It was the first time Aden had clapped eyes on his father since they’d both been arrested.He knew that he was being held in a different wing from him but he hadn’t really tried to find out more, whether through anger or something else.Larry looked nervous and uncomfortable, unsure of the reception he was going to receive.

“We’ll just be outside if you need us,”Roman said after a moment.He took Nicole’s arm and virtually dragged her out of the room, ignoring her noises of protest.

Larry got to his feet unsteadily and came to sit on the empty bed next to Aden’s.Even after so many months, he was walking with a limp.Aden felt a pang of guilt, remembering what the judge had said at his trial.Would his father have been in that bad a condition if he’d taken him to the hospital when he asked?Or was the damage he’d inflicted on his body already so bad that Aden’s actions had had no real impact?

“You’re looking a lot better now, son,”he said at last,“The state you were in when I first got here… Believe me, seeing you like that was the worst moment of my life.And there’ve been a lot of candidates for that.”

“Someone decided to lock me up instead of getting me to a doctor.There’s got to be a cosmic joke in there somewhere.”Aden sighed.“I’m surprised they let you in here.”

Larry nodded towards the guard standing in the corner.“Got me my own minder.Can’t remember the last time I was so well looked after.”

Aden couldn’t ignore it any longer, that unresolved matter that still lingered between them.“Dad, what I did to you.I’m sor…”

“You don’t ever have to apologise to me, son,”Larry interrupted,“I’ve let you down your whole life.I didn’t realise how much until we were at the house and I saw what I’d done to you, that I’d failed you so badly that you’d do something like that.I’m just sorry that you ended up in here because of someone worthless like me.”

He wasn’t saying anything that Aden hadn’t thought himself, many times over.But he got no pleasure from hearing it.“You’re here now,”he said at last,“so maybe you’re not completely worthless.”

Their attention was drawn by the entrance of another visitor.Masterson.“I heard you’d woken up.Thought I should pop in.”

Aden gave him the most polite nod he could manage.“Sir.”

“I suppose I should thank you.My officers could have been hurt if you hadn’t tackled Pierson when you did.It’ll look good at your parole hearing.”

“And only another fourteen months till I’m eligible.”

“Pierson and his friends are in solitary until the police decide what to do with them.They’ll almost certainly have extra time added on to their sentences.They may well be transferred to a higher security prison.”

“How exactly do you add time to a life sentence?”

“Those three aren’t lifers.None of them was supposed to be serving more than five years.”

Aden was surprised.“The way they were acting…”

“There’s two types of people that come in here, Aden.There’s the ones that look around and say ‘Never again’, that work to build a better life for themselves.And there’s the ones that just carry on the same as ever, whether they’re in prison or out of it.Have you decided which one you’re going to be?”He let the question hang in the air for a moment before holding out an envelope.“Maybe this’ll help you make up your mind.”

Aden opened the envelope up and scanned the contents.So much had happened in the last two months, he’d forgotten about the exams he’d taken, with a prison officer as invigilator.He turned to Larry.“It’s my HSC, Dad.I passed.”

He wasn’t sure what surprised him most:the look of pride on his father’s face or the fact he was pleased to see it there.

Since it came under the banner of victim counselling, they’d been allocated a private room.The medical staff hadn’t been keen on letting Aden out of bed but eventually they’d agreed to let one of the officers take him down in a wheelchair.When he got there, she was already seated, fidgeting nervously, probably uncertain about why he’d asked to see her.“Hey, Rachel,”he greeted her.

She looked at him with what seemed like instinctive concern.“Are you all right?”

“Ask the medical officer if you want a full answer but I’m told I’ll be back on my feet eventually.”There was an uncomfortable silence.“I never got a chance to thank you for what you said in court.I don’t know if I’d have done that if it was the other way round.”

“I just told the truth.”

“What the prosecutor said.About how it was frightening and traumatic…”

“Aden, everything was still very raw when I made that statement…”

“It was true though, wasn’t it?”

Rachel sighed and nodded.“Yes.Yes, it was.”

“Until I heard that, I’d been trying not to think about what it was like for you.Did I really scare you?”

“I think I knew that you didn’t really want to hurt me, but you were so out of control, I did wonder if, when your father was dead, you might have decided to…silence me or something.But the worst thing…” She tailed off.

“I need to know.”

“The worst thing was what was happening to your father.I’m a doctor, Aden, when I see someone in pain I have a professional instinct to try and help.And you had me tied up next to someone who was so ill, in so much suffering, and I couldn’t do anything to help him.It was just tearing me up.”

Aden nodded slowly.“I know what I did to you and Belle was wrong.I even know what I did to Dad was wrong.What I don’t know…what I don’t know is that I wouldn’t do something like that again.Because at the time, it just felt so right.It’s like I’d closed off every part of me that would want to stop and think again. I…I think I need help.”

Rachel smiled at him.“As any doctor will tell you, that’s the first step.”

“They have a counsellor who comes in here, a Doctor Brown.”

“Yes, I know him.”

“Is he the best person to help me?Can you…Do you know anyone?”

“I know a few people who might be able to help you.I can ring around, see if one of them would be willing to visit you.”

Aden nodded gratefully.“I don’t want to be the sort of person that belongs in here.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now if this had happened on the show, I think it would have been much better than him just getting 100 hours community service :)

I like this Aden...if only he went to prison on the show, then they could have hired you to write his lines! :D

Comments like that are guaranteed to get me grinning like a loon.Thanks once again to everyone who's been commenting on this fic.Sorry it's taken me a while to update, my nice relaxing afternoon off turned into a hectic rushing-around-the-city afternoon off.It's always the way...Hope you enjoy this one.


Aden never thought he’d be glad to see his cell again.But after weeks lying on his back in the medical wing, he was just grateful to be able to walk there.He still hadn’t quite regained the full use of his legs, although he was assured it was only a matter of time, and he still had a dull ache in his ribs when he moved too quickly.But he was back on his feet and that felt good.Everything else would follow in time.

Trevor appeared in the doorway and, much to Aden’s surprise and mild discomfort, rushed over and hugged him.It hurt a bit less than when Nicole had done it although he wasn’t sure which he’d preferred. “Aden!I heard a rumour you were dead.”

“You did?”

“Yeah but mainly because I started it.I wanted to know how people would react.”

“So, um, what are they saying about me?Are they mad at me for helping them catch Frank?”

“Nah, none of them actually liked him.They’re actually a bit grateful to you for a few weeks peace and quiet, at least until we get another one like him in here.”

Aden sighed.“I suppose there’ll always be another one sooner or later.”

“Do you think you can manage not to, you know, become the sworn enemy of the next one?”

Aden smiled.“I’ll try.”He paused, wanting to ask a question he’d been thinking about ever since he spoke to Masterson and got his exam results.“Trev, have you any idea what you’re going to do when you get out of here?”

“Try and get a job with computers again, I guess.I’m actually quite good with them.Just need to resist temptation this time.”

“I’m not sure what I’m gonna do.Haven’t been for a long while.Thought it’d be footie once but after being in a car crash, having a building fall on me and getting my legs broken by a guy with a baseball bat, I think my playing days are pretty much over.”

“I thought he used a rolling pin?”

“Yeah but baseball bat sounds less embarrassing.”

Trevor looked at him thoughtfully.“Well, what else are you good at?”

“I dunno.Washing dishes?”

“Aden, there’s probably a job out there that you’d be perfect for.You just need to find it.One thing about being in here, you get a lot of time to think.”

Belle scrambled through the papers and photos littering her desk to find the ringing phone, eventually managing to grab the receiver and put it to her ear.“Hello, Belle Taylor’s desk.”

“Hi, Belle,”came a familiar voice.

Belle smiled.“Geoff!What are you doing phoning me at work?”

“Aden got let out of the hospital wing this morning.I just thought you’d want to know as soon as possible.”

Some of the spark went out of Belle at the mention of Aden, as she found herself reflecting once more on what could have been.She checked herself.She’d made her peace with that decision a long time ago.“That’s good.”

“Do you want me to get Nic to pass on a message?”

“Tell him I’m thinking of him…no, tell him I’m glad he’s all right…no…”Belle sighed.“No.No message.I think he already knows anything I could tell him.”She glanced over at the office where her editor sat, fixing her with a suspicious look.“I’ve got to go now, okay?Talk to you at the weekend.Love to Irene and Annie. Bye.”

“She still loves him, doesn’t she?”Nicole asked as Geoff ended the call.They were both sitting on a fence, looking out over the sea.

“Yeah, I think so.I suppose sometimes it’s not enough.”He felt her rest her head on his shoulder and sat there for a moment, staring out at the waves, plucking up the courage to say what he wanted to.“I love you.”

It took him a few seconds longer to work up the courage to turn and look at her and see the expression that was both happy and concerned at the same time.“I love you too,”she said at last,“Do you think it’ll be enough?”

He gave her a smile that he hoped conveyed optismism.“I hope so.I guess we’ll see.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites


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

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

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

Important Information

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