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Plain Sailing

Guest bradyell

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Not sure if this chap is completly out of character but it's done now so.....

hope you enjoy it anyway!

Chapter 61

A few days after the meeting with her dad Belle and Beau were waiting in the diner for Aden to finish work.

“Hello gorgeous boy” Nicole called as she walked in and plonked herself down on the seat opposite Belle

“Hey Nic, take a seat” Belle grinned

“You know what Beau?” Nicole said reaching across the table to take his hand “I think you are the only boy around here worth bothering with!”

“trouble in paradise?” Belle asked

“I don’t know Belle!”

“Was the tattoo not enough for you Nicole?”

“that’s just it” Nicole sighed “he’ll do something like that but when I want to get close to him he wont let me”

“this is about sex right”

“a little bit louder Belle, my dad didn’t quite hear you!”

“Sorry, but I’m right, right?

Nicole nodded and Belle’s heart went out to her

“You wanna take a walk Nic” she asked “we’ve got time before Aden gets here”

“really? Me and you?”

“Yes you and me!” Belle replied rolling her eyes “It sounds like you could do with some advice and seeing as how I’m the closest thing you have to a sister…”

“Wow that’s weird you kind of are like my sister in law!”

“yep! So how about it? You can push” she gestured towards Beau’s pushchair

“Ok” Nicole agreed standing up “let’s go”

Belle settled Beau into his pushchair and followed Nicole out onto the pier handing the control of the pushchair over to her. They walked in silence for a few minutes until Belle decided she was going to have to push Nicole into opening up

“So Geoff still not putting out huh?” she asked

“don’t beat around the bush will you Belle!”

“Well is that the problem or not?”

“yes ok that’s the problem! I just don’t get it! I mean I know he has his reasons but if he loved me as much as he says he does….”

“I know this is kind of obvious Nic but you know it’s not all about sex right?”

“That’s easy to say when you’re getting some Belle!”

“Who’s getting some? We have a three week old baby! Aden and I are hardly at it all the time at the moment!”

“But at least he wants to… go there with you, how would you feel if he didn’t?”

Belle sighed. She wanted to offer advice to Nicole but didn’t want to betray Aden’s trust in the process

“When Aden and I first got together…well it was a while before anything happened, for obvious reasons and yeah initially, before I knew the reasons, I was….”

“frustrated?” Nicole suggested

Belle chuckled “That’s as good a word as any I suppose! But once I knew his reasons I was happy to wait until he was ready”

“yeah but Aden had good reason to not want to get intimate”

“Geoff has his reasons Nic - they might not seem as important to you but they are to him. The question is, do you love him enough to support his decision?”

“I don’t know Belle”

“I think that’s your answer Nicole”

“How so?”

“Because if your answer isn‘t yes now there‘s not much he can do to change it is there?”

“I guess not! So what do I do now?”

“that’s up to you, what I will say is don’t string him along, if it’s over make sure he knows it’s over. And why!”

“I think that’s easier said than done” Nicole replied with a sad sigh

“Hey Geoff” Aden had just arrived at the diner after work expecting to find Belle and Beau waiting for him


“Have you seen Belle?”


“You know Belle, my wife, your sister about this tall” he held up a hand “probably carrying a really really cute baby!”

“oh yeah erm no!”

Aden rolled his eyes “well that made sense!”

“Sorry” Geoff apologised “No I haven’t seen her”

He pulled his phone out of his pocket as he sat down and keyed in a message to Belle

“Hey gorgeous, so am I being stood up or what?”

“This is fun!” he said looking at Geoff who just stared straight through him “Yep fun fun fun!”

He was relieved when his phone bleeped a few minutes later offering a distraction from the uncomfortable silence

Sorry babe, got caught up with Nic, long story! We’ll be there soon x x x

He sent her a quick reply then pushed his phone back into his pocket

“looks like you’re stuck with just me for a bit”

“huh?” Geoff, realising Aden was talking to him snapped out of the trance he was in”

“you got something on your mind Geoff?” Aden was pretty sure that Geoff wouldn’t open up to him but thought it was worth a shot rather than sitting in silence


“Ah! Ok!” Aden hid his surprise at Geoff’s response and sat forward slightly resting his elbows on the table “So what’s the problem?”

“I don’t really think you…”

“Geoff come on I’m practically your brother in law, and you’ve hardly got a queue of guy mates hanging around to give advice!”

“Gee, thanks for pointing that out Aden!” Geoff huffed

Aden chuckled but stopped when he saw that Geoff really wasn’t amused.

“Look I’m sorry. But you can talk to me Geoff, I know Nicole probably better than anyone else! I might just be able to help”

“yeah I suppose” Geoff replied. He took a deep breath before continuing “She’s in a mood with me because she wants to…. You know?” he raised his eyebrows an Aden had to bite back a laugh

“yeah I’m with you! I take it you still don’t want to…?

“That’s the thing!” he looked around nervously to make sure nobody else was listening “it’s not that I don’t want to I mean I have urg…”

“Whoa Geoff! I don’t need that much info mate!”

“Sorry” colour flooded Geoff’s cheeks and once again Aden had to bite back the urge not to laugh

“So what’s stopping you then?” Aden asked trying to keep his face as straight as possible

“I don’t believe in sex before marriage Aden, you know that”

“that didn’t stop you on the island!”

“That was different!” Geoff defended himself “and a mistake!”

“but if you had a piece of paper with your names on and rings on your fingers it wouldn’t have been a mistake!”

“no because we would have made a commitment to each other”

“Is that seriously all that’s stopping you Geoff? Your belief that you need a piece of paper to commit yourself to her”

“You married belle didn’t you, you must believe in that commitment”

“Geoff, I was committed to belle way before we got married and way before we slept together for the first time!” He took a deep breath before continuing “you know it was a big deal for me, sleeping with someone. After everything that happened…”

“You don’t have to…” Geoff was shocked that Aden was talking to him like this about his past

“after my past it took a lot for me to get to the point where I was ready for that kind of relationship. I was just lucky that Belle was willing to wait and help me get there. And I wouldn’t give up that part of our relationship for anything and not just for the obvious reasons!”

“But I want to be a minister, if anything happened between Nicole and I then I couldn’t do that”

“Why not?”

“Because of the no sex before marriage thing”

“But you’ve already had sex before marriage Geoff! You can’t take that back!”

“I know I can’t but…”

“Look, Do you love Nicole, Really?” Aden asked

Geoff nodded

“future job prospects aside do you want to be with her?”

Geoff shrugged his shoulders

“Come on Geoff, it’s only me and you here, be honest with yourself”

“Yes! Yes I want to be with her” Geoff replied running his hands through his hair

“Then why not just go for it! You are clearly not happy not doing it so you might as well just do it!”

“But it’s wrong”

“When you love someone Geoff it’s never wrong”

Geoff was nodding his head and was just about to reply when Belle and Nicole walked through the door.

“Not interrupting are we?” Belle asked as she wrapped her arms around Aden’s shoulders and placed a kiss on the side of his neck

Nicole sat herself down next to Aden

“No” Geoff replied quickly

“nothing important” Aden added “Where’s Beau?”

“He’s outside with Colleen, I thought we could head off straight away” she looked pointedly at Nicole and Geoff hoping Aden got the hint that she wanted to leave them alone.

“Cool, let’s go then”

He stood up and to Belle’s surprise patted Geoff on the shoulder as he walked past

“See you later guys”

“Yeah bye” Nicole called

“Bye” Geoff muttered “and thanks”

“No worries, Bye” Aden replied before he led Belle outside

“What was all that about?” she asked once they were in the car

“it’s a long story babe but I think I may have just won you our bet!”

“Well that’s funny because I’m thinking I’ve just helped win it for you!”

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Don't think i've said it for a while but thanks so so much for the lovely comments - they really mean a lot and always put the biggest smile on my face :D

Chapter 62

After putting Beau down to sleep Aden walked back into the lounge and slumped down next to Belle

“Man, I’m beat!” he sighed as he leant his head onto the back of the couch

“Aw, poor baby! They working you too hard?” Belle giggled as she shuffled closer to him and rested her head against his shoulder

Aden shifted his position slightly so he could wrap his arm around her shoulder

“well you know, what with all the work on the boat, then the counselling session with Geoff, then getting the little guy ready for bed!”

“you love it!” she replied grinning up at him

“yeah I do” he answered dropping his head so he could place a kiss against her lips. It started off slowly but soon began to build in heat. It took Belle a few attempts to pull away as each time she did manage to prise her lips from Aden’s he caught them again with his own



His lips had moved from hers and were now travelling slowly along her jaw. When he began to nibble gently on her ear Belle let out an involuntary groan of pleasure. Realising that she had no good reason to stop him Belle decided to just go with the moment and turned her head so that she could kiss his lips once again. Her hands found there way under his t-shirt and began to slowly slide up his chest.

Within a few minutes his shirt was discarded onto the floor closely followed by Belle’s top.

An hour or so later they tiptoed into the bedroom so as not to wake Beau, Belle giggling as Aden peppered the back of her neck with kisses

“sshhhhh! You’ll wake him up” he told her with a chuckle

“it will be your fault if I do” she replied pulling out of his arms that were wrapped around her waist.

She sat down on the edge of the bed and peered into Beau’s moses basket

“Aren’t you a good boy sleeping through all that racket huh?” she whispered to her son as she stroked her finger gently down his cheek

She was wearing the t-shirt that Aden had taken off and as he sat down he placed his hand on her knee and ran it slowly up her thigh

“hey you!” she said stopping him “I think you’ve had enough of that for one night”

“oh I don’t know, I think I could manage a bit more” he replied bending his head to kiss her neck

“Aden! Not in front of Beau!” she giggled

“ok ok” he laughed moving back although his hand remained on her leg “bed then yeah?”

“To sleep?”

“I suppose” he said with a sigh although he followed it with a smile to let her know that he really was happy with agreement.

They had just settled into bed when Belle’s phone which was placed on the nightstand bleeped

“Who’s sending you messages this late?” Aden asked as Belle leant over to pick up her phone

“Geoff!” she was silent for a few moments whilst she read the message then let out a chuckle as she keyed in a reply “I’d get to sleep as quick as you can babe because you aren’t gonna be getting much next week!” she said as she placed her phone back down

“Why? what did he say?”

“he’s asked if he can borrow my car to take Nicole away for the weekend! What did you say to him earlier exactly?”

“I ‘m afraid that’s classified information sweetheart. Did you say yes?”

“yeah, I don’t need it, we can use yours, and there is no way they’ll break up whilst they are away and Sunday is 4 weeks which is pretty much a month sooooo”

“so it looks like Beau and I are gonna be spending a bit more quality time together!” Aden replied with a laugh “I suppose I can live with that! It’s hardly losing really”

“yeah but I’ll be like the winner” Belle giggled as she cuddled closer to him “and that makes you……”

Geoff came to collect the car on the Saturday morning.

“What’s going on here?” he asked when he walked into the apartment to find Belle pulling all of the cushions off the couch

“Belle’s dad is coming for dinner with his wife and daughter and Belle seems to think that he’s going to be peering under our cushions to check for dust!” Aden answered him

“Ah I see” Geoff replied “Irene mentioned something about that. I’m sure he wont be expecting you to go to all this trouble though”

“It wouldn’t be so much trouble if I had some help” Belle snapped

“I’m watching Beau” he replied gesturing down to the baby nestled against his chest

“He could go in his crib” Belle answered but when she looked up and saw Aden dropping kisses against Beau’s head her anger subsided as the usual rush of love flooded through her “when he’s asleep properly” she added softly

“Give us five babe” Aden grinned at her “He should be off by then, right son?”

“can I get the car keys then?” Geoff asked

“When you’ve told us where you are going” Belle replied

“just up the coast”

“gonna need a bit more than that Geoff” she ordered

“there is a really nice campsite about an hours drive away”

Aden coughed clearly using it to hide a laugh

“Camping huh? Cool” he said trying his hardest to keep a serious face

“Do you think Nicole will be ok with it?” he asked nervously

“She’ll be fine Geoff” Belle answered him although she wasn’t sure she was being entirely truthful with him

“Yeah she’ll love it” Aden grinned “here’s the keys” he picked up a set of keys from the table and threw them to Geoff


“No problem, just take care” Belle said “Of my car and yourselves

“Will do” Geoff replied “I better go”

“have fun” Belle called

“Yeah, and don’t do anything we wouldn’t do!” Aden grinned

As soon as he closed the door behind Geoff he turned around laughing “looks like you’re not such a dead cert winner after all babe”

“I know! Camping with Nicole! What is he thinking!”

“let’s just say I don’t think he’s thinking with his head at the moment!”

“Aden!! Eww! What advice did you give him? In fact, you know what? I don’t wanna know!”

“That’s good because I wouldn’t tell you anyway, like I said classified info!”

“Babe, will you stop fussing and sit down!”

Ben and his family were due to arrive at any moment and Belle was hovering around in the lounge messing around with cushions

“I just want…” she replied but Aden cut her off

“Sit down!” he reached out his arm and grabbed hold of her hand pulling her towards the couch “everything looks great and besides they are coming to see you not the apartment!”

“I just want it to look nice” she sighed as she finally sat down

“and it does, now relax yeah?”

“I’ll try” she said rolling her eyes

“how about I help with that” Aden grinned leaning over and placing a kiss against her lips.

Belle pulled away before things got too heated

“that better?” Aden asked

“much” she replied with a smile “we just need Beau to wake up now and we’ll be all ready”

Aden twisted around and looked into the moses basket that was placed next to the couch “doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen anytime soon, he’s still spark out”

Belle leant over him so she could peer at their son too, Aden wrapped his arm around her to prevent her from toppling over.

“He’s so gorgeous! Look at him!”

“I’m looking babe” he laughed “and yeah he is, just like his mommy”

“you are just too smooth mr Jefferies!” she laughed as she turned her head and kissed him again

They were disturbed this time by a knock at the door

“That’s them” Belle cried as she jumped up quickly

“hey” Aden said “take it easy! It’s gonna be fine ok?”

“ok” Belle nodded before heading over to the door, Aden following slowly behind

“Hi” she smiled shyly as she opened the door “come on in”

“Hi Belle, Aden” Ben said as he walked in

“Belle, it’s so lovely to meet you” The older of the two women that had followed Ben into the apartment pulled Belle into a quick embrace “You too Aden” she said glancing in his direction

“This is my wife Jess” Ben introduced her “and this…” he said placing his arm around the tall brunette who was hovering by the door “..is Abigail”

“dad!” she snapped

“Sorry, sorry! This is Abi” Ben corrected himself

“Nice to meet you both” Aden said “Come on in properly and sit down”

“Yeah” Belle smiled “it really is nice to meet you! Can I get anyone a drink?”

“I’ll do that babe, you introduce everyone to this little guy” Beau was wide awake as Aden lifted him out of the basket and dropped a kiss onto his head before handing him over to Belle

“Wow! Look at him!” Jess exclaimed as she walked closer to Belle “He is adorable!”

“We think so!” Belle giggled as she sat down on the couch. Jess sat down next to her and Ben followed Aden into the kitchen to help with the drinks

“Abi come sit down and have a look” Jess instructed her daughter who quietly did as she was told “isn’t he lovely?”

“Yeah he is” she had sat down on the other side of Belle to Jess and carefully reached out her hand to take hold of Beau’s “how old is he?”

“four weeks tomorrow” Belle answered

“So have you settled into a routine yet?” Jess asked

“pretty much, I think we are lucky though, he’s really good aren’t you baby?”

“he seems it”

“so Abi, you’re seventeen right?”

“Yeah, last month” the teenager replied with a grin

“I have a brother a similar age” Belle told her to be met with a confused look

“I thought dad said you were an only child?”

“Well he’s not my actual brother but, well, it’s a long story! Jess would you hold Beau for a second”

“I’d love to” Jess replied opening her arms for Belle to place him into them

“here you go Abi” she stood up and gestured for Abi to follow leading her over to the wall where all of their photographs were displayed. “Right are you ready for this, it’s complicated!!”

Abi laughed and nodded her head “Shoot”

“Ok, first of all this…” she said pointing to a shot of Amanda with Peter and Ryan ..”is my mom. Except she didn’t raise me I was adopted when I was just a tiny baby, there are no pictures of my adopted parents because, well because we didn’t really get on all that well which leads me too…” she pointed to a picture of her with Irene taken not long after she moved in with her “…Irene. She took me in when I moved to the bay and is pretty much like a mother to me”

“She looks really nice” Abi said smiling at Belle

“Yeah she is. She also took in….” she pointed to a picture of Annie and Geoff “…these two! The brother I was talking about, Geoff and his sister Annie. And this gorgeous little lady here is Meg Annie’s daughter”

“Annie, this Annie?” Abi asked clearly shocked

“Yeah she was a bit of a surprise to say the least but we all absolutely adore her!”

“Geoff looks really cute”

“oh he’s that indeed!” Belle laughed “And Aden’s sister would certainly agree with you!”

“He’s dating Aden’s sister?”

“Yeah, well she’s not his actual sister” Belle giggled

“You were right this is complicated!”

“I told you didn’t I!” she glanced at the pictures and found one of Roman and Nicole “So this is her, Nicole and her dad Roman who took Aden in when he needed a place to stay”

“He doesn’t get on with his family either?”

“No, we don’t see them” Belle replied hoping that Abi wouldn’t question her further on Aden’s family. That was a conversation she certainly wasn’t ready to have.

“So Neither of you lived with your own family before you lived with each other but the people you lived with are like your family now?”

“Yeah that’s pretty much it!” Belle replied laughing “It works for us!”

“How about you and Aden, this is your wedding right?” Abi asked pointing to the wedding picture that took pride of place in the centre of the other pictures

“Yeah it is” Belle’s grin widened as she looked at the picture

“it looks really exotic” Abi observed

“it was in Fiji, we kind of eloped”

Belle laughed at the gasp Abi gave in response

“That is so romantic! I bet you guys fell in love at first sight” Abi sighed

Belle burst out laughing and called to Aden “Hey babe, Abi wants to know if we fell in love at first sight?”

Aden too laughed as he walked over to join them

“Erm I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight” he said

During dinner Aden and Belle filled the others in on how they had got together and Jess and Ben filled them in on the highlights of their relationship much to Abi’s embarrassment. The atmosphere was really light hearted and relaxed and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. They were interrupted during the story of Beau’s dramatic arrival when the phone rang. Belle jumped up to answer it leaving them all laughing over the fact that the boat had broken down.

“Hello” She smiled into the phone “Yes speaking” she answered the question from the other end

Aden’s eyes followed her and spotted the instant her smile faltered. When her hand rose to her mouth and she let out a gasp he jumped up from the table and rushed to her side

“how bad is it?” she asked reaching out for Aden’s hand

“What is it babe?” he asked but Belle didn’t answer him but spoke again to the person on the phone

“We’ll be there as soon as we can. Just tell them we’ll be there!”

Her eyes filled with tears as she hung up the phone

“Belle what‘s happened?” Aden asked instantly

“That was the police” she said her voice shaky “my car has been involved in a serious accident, they said” she had to stop to take a deep breath to control her emotions “they said the driver and the passenger are both in a critical condition!”

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Chapter 63

“Oh my god! Nic and Geoff!” Aden exclaimed as he pulled Belle into a tight embrace “they’ll be fine babe”

Ben hesitantly stood up from the table

“Belle is there anything…”

“I’m sorry we are going to have to go” Belle said pulling out of Aden’s arms “I’m really sorry”

“hey that’s ok, we understand”

Jess stood up from the table and came to join the group in the lounge

“Would you like us to watch Beau whilst you go to the hospital?” she asked

Belle looked over to Beau in his moses basket and then back to Ben and Jess

“Erm I don’t……” she looked to Aden and saw her own thoughts reflected back at her “ no. thank you anyway but we want him with us”

“yeah” Aden replied “besides Nic will go mad if we go to see her without him”

“That’s fine, just let us know if there is anything we can do” Jess replied

They said quick goodbyes, Ben insisting that they call and let them know how Geoff and Nicole were as soon as they got chance.

Aden gently lifted Beau from his moses basket and managed to get him wrapped up and into his car seat without waking him. They were in the car and headed to the hospital less than 10 minutes after Belle received the call.

“They must have been on the way home” Belle pointed out as they neared the hospital

“What?” Aden replied

“They must have been near home for them to have been brought to northern district” she explained

“oh right yeah” Aden answered “they probably had a fight or something”

“yeah probably. They’ll be ok wont they Aden?”

“I hope so babe” he sighed as he pulled the car into a parking space outside the hospital.

Aden unfastened Beau’s car seat and they rushed inside to find Roman, Irene and Annie waiting anxiously in the waiting area

“What’s going on?” Belle asked as soon as she spotted them “Are they ok?”

“We don’t know darl” Irene replied “the docs are with them now”

Belle settled into a seat and Aden rested Beau’s car seat on the table next to her before sitting down himself

“does anybody know what happened?” he asked after a few minutes of silence

“All we know is that Geoff was driving and somehow he lost control and…..” Irene was interrupted by the sight of Rachel heading towards them. All five of them jumped up and rushed towards her.

“Ok guys” she started “Sorry to keep you waiting so long…”

She began to fill them in on what was happening. Belle’s mind was totally unable to focus on all the medical terminology that Rachel was using, only focusing on a few key statements

“Nicole…stopped the bleeding….stable condition…expect her to wake up soon…”

“And Geoff” Irene asked

Again only a few key words seemed to make their way to Belle’s ears

“..complications…internal bleeding…..surgery….everything we can”

“Everything you can!” she exclaimed “Does that mean he might not make it?”

Rachel took a deep breath and looked back and forth between the people grouped around her

“Geoff is in an extremely critical condition at the moment and like I said we are doing everything we can but you might need to prepare yourself for the worst. I am so sorry”

“Oh god!” Irene’s hand came up to her mouth and she stumbled back in shock. Roman caught hold of her and gently led her to a chair followed by Annie

Belle remained frozen to the spot staring at Rachel

“I’m going to get back” Rachel told them “I’ll be back out as soon as we have some more news, Roman I’ll send somebody out to take you to Nicole ok”

“Thanks Rach” Roman called

Belle still didn’t move, she remained rooted to the spot until Aden reached out a hand and rested it gently against her neck. Instantly she melted into his embrace as tears began to fall freely down her cheeks.

“Shhh baby, it’s ok” he whispered into her ear

“it might not be though Aden, what if he…..”

“Hey let’s just wait and see yeah” he tightened his hold on her and they stood in each others embrace for a few moments until Beau began to stir.

Belle pulled out of Aden’s arms and walked over to Beau, lifting him gently from his seat

“Hey baby” she whispered “it’s ok isn’t it? Are you hungry already?”

She bounced him gently up and down in her arms and he quickly settled drifting back off to sleep

“Not hungry then” Aden whispered as he walked over to them brushing his hand gently over Beau’s head

“I guess not” Belle sighed as she sat down, Beau nestled against her chest.

Aden sat down next to them and wrapped his arm around Belle’s shoulder as they sat and waited for news.

After a while a nurse came and told them that Nicole was ready for visitors. Roman jumped up and Aden followed him into the room that the nurse had indicated. Belle remained with Beau, Irene and Annie waiting for news on Geoff

“hey Nic, this is a bit of an over the top way to get attention even for you!” Aden said as he walked towards Nicole’s bed

She was awake but only just. He let out a gasp as he reached her side, his eyes taking in the full extent of her injuries. Her pretty face was covered in cuts and bruises were already starting to form. There was a large bandaged taped to the side of her head and more wrapped around her arms. A tube carried a clear liquid from a bag at her side into her hand and various other tubes and wires disappeared underneath the hospital gown she was wearing

“always the drama queen huh” Roman grinned as he took her hand in his and ran his other gently over her head “you scared us for a while there sweetheart”

“Geoff?” Nicole whispered

Aden glanced at Roman who looked up at him. Neither were sure what to tell Nicole for the best. They were saved from having to answer when Rachel entered

“Hey how’s it going in here?” she asked

Nicole manage a slight nod

“What’s the damage Rach?” Roman asked

Rachel listed Nicole’s injury’s which included a number of fractures to her leg that she thought would need surgery to fix properly.

Once she was finished filling Roman in Rachel went to leave the room but Aden pulled her over to one side

“Rach, how’s Geoff doing?”

“They’ve just managed to get him stable enough to take to surgery, we’ll just have to wait now and let the surgeons do their job”

“is he gonna make it?”

“I don’t know Aden, I really don’t. His injuries were very extensive. But he’s in good hands ok” she placed a hand on his arm and gave it a reassuring squeeze

“thanks Rachel”

“No problem” As she walked out of the room Aden went back to Nicole’s bedside to find her eyes closed

“I think she’s nodded off again” Roman said “Probably for the best”

“Yeah” Aden agreed “I don’t think I could bring myself to lie to her but I don’t think the truth would be best for her right now”

“Any news on Geoff?” Roman asked

“it’s not looking great” Aden told him ”Actually, now we know Nic’s ok I’m going to go and be with Belle and the others, you gonna be alright here?”

“Yeah, sure mate. Belle needs you, you go.”

Aden leant over the bed and gently placed a kiss against Nicole’s forehead “Sweet dreams princess, try and stay out of trouble” he whispered before standing up straight and leaving the room

“How is she?” Belle asked as she spotted Aden walking towards her

“Fractured legs, loads of cuts and bruises but I think she’s gonna be ok”

Relief flooded Belle’s face for an instant only to be replaced by worry again when she remembered about Geoff

“Did Rach tell you Geoff has gone to surgery” she asked as he sat down

“Yeah, he’s going to be fine Belle, these guys know what they are doing” he wrapped his arm around her once again as she leant into him

“I hope so Aden, I hope so!”

He placed a kiss against her hair and wished with all his heart that he could promise her that everything was going to be ok

Beau began to stir once again in her arms

“Hey son, what’s up?” Aden asked as Beau’s big blue eyes settled on him

“He’s going to need feeding soon” Belle said “Why don’t you take him home babe”

“no way, you need me here!”

“I’ll be fine here Aden honestly, it could be hours before we hear anything and I’d feel better knowing Beau was settled


“Really really” Belle insisted

“You’ll call me if…”

“As soon as there’s news I’ll call” Belle told him “There’s milk for him in the fridge” she said as she lowered Beau into his car seat

“ok babe” Aden stood up and waited until Belle had finished fastening Beau into his seat before offering his hand to pull her up

“Are you sure Belle? I could just go and drop Beau with Leah or Kirsty and then come back”

“I’m sure Aden, I’d just worry about him if he wasn’t with one of us”

“ok, I love you” he pulled her into a hug and dropped a kiss onto her head

“I love you too” she replied “And you baby boy” she said turning to Beau “You be a good boy for daddy munchkin”

“he always is” Aden said picking up the car seat “call me yeah?”

“I promise” Belle replied

Belle’s hands shook as she tried to get the key into the lock. It was over five hours since Aden had left the hospital and she was just returning home.

Tears clouded her eyes as once again her key missed it’s target.

Aden was sitting on the sofa in silence waiting for a phone call from Belle. Beau was fast asleep in his own room so that the phone wouldn’t disturb him.

He jumped up when he heard the sound of the key hitting the lock. He was at the door in seconds and pulled it open to find Belle standing on the other side key raised in an attempt to unlock the door herself

He didn’t have time to register the tears running down her face as she flung herself into his arms the instant the door opened

“Belle! Sweetheart it’s ok I’m here” he said as he manoeuvred them fully inside so he could close the door.

Belle was sobbing and a lump rose in Aden’s throat as he assumed the worst had happened with Geoff

“I’m so sorry baby, shhh” he whispered as he held her head gently against his chest his other hand rubbing circles on her back

Belle took a deep breath and pulled away from Aden’s chest

He raised his hands and took hold of her face gently using his thumbs to brush the tears from her cheeks “How’s Annie and Irene?” he asked quietly

Belle shook her head and Aden took that to mean that she couldn’t talk about it yet

“that’s ok babe, whenever you are ready” he soothed leaning forward to kiss her forehead

“Aden” she said her voice choked “you don’t understand”

“What is it sweetheart?” he asked confusion lining his face

“It’s not Geoff, it’s Nicole” a sob broke over her lips before she could continue “she’s gone Aden”

“What?” he exclaimed

“babe I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. Nic….Nicole’s dead”

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Sorry in advance folks - this is quite a sad chap :( hope you can enjoy it anyway

Chapter 64

“No you’re wrong, she can’t be” Aden cried pulling away from Belle and storming across the lounge “I was talking to her, she was awake”

Belle ran her fingers through her hair. Ever since Rachel had broken the news to them she had been dreading this moment. Her worry about Aden’s reaction was even overshadowing her own grief at the loss of Nicole.

“Aden I’m so sorry” she cried as she followed him reaching out her hand and placing it on his arm only for him to shrug it off

“Stop apologising Belle” he snapped “You have nothing to apologise for Nicole is fine”

“babe she’s not” Belle reached out for him again and was relieved when this time he let her hand remain on his arm “she had a pulmonary embolism.” When confusion flashed in Aden eyes she continued “ a blood clot from the fracture in her leg travelled to her lungs, there was nothing anybody could do”

She watched with her heart in her mouth as realisation that she was telling the truth flooded Aden’s face. Raw pain filled his eyes and she could feel him start to shake beneath her touch

“She’s really ….” he whispered unable to finish the sentence

Belle nodded as she stepped closer to him. Tears were still flowing down her cheeks and as Aden stumbled into her embrace they began to fall down his

“she was…she was talking” he sobbed into her shoulder “asking about Geoff”

“I know babe” Belle whispered back through her own tears

"Why Belle?" he asked through his tears "Why Nicole?"

"I don't know honey" she whispered

they stayed like that for a few minutes the only sound the occasional sob from both of them. Suddenly Aden pulled away from Belle


Belle didn't need any further elaboration

"He's there, he was with her when....at the end"

"I need to go and see him" He walked across the room heading for the door

"Babe, wait. I've called Martha to come over and watch Beau so we can go together. she should be here any minute"

He stood where he was and ran his fingers through his hair

“I don’t……..what…..what should I do Belle?”

She shook her head as she walked over to him “I don’t know baby, I don’t know” her arms snaked around his neck as his slid around her waist and they once again cried into each others shoulders.

They remained frozen in each others arms until they were disturbed by a knock at the door. Aden hurriedly wiped the tears from his eyes and walked into Beau’s room as Belle went to let Martha in.

She too was obviously shocked and upset at the news and hugged Belle as soon as she opened the door “I’m so sorry guys, I can’t believe this”

“I know” Belle agreed rubbing her cheeks to clear them of tears “are you sure you don’t mind watching Beau? I know you’ll want to see Roman too”

“No it’s fine, he’ll need Aden there” Martha said “and Aden will need you, where is he?”

“He’s just gone to check on Beau”

“how’s he taking it? I mean Nicole was like his sister”

“he’s pretty cut up, we all are”

Martha nodded as Aden walked back into the lounge “Hey Aden, I’m so sor…”

Aden cut her off before she could finish offering her condolences “He’s still fast asleep. I fed him about an hour ago so he should be ok until we get back. If not there’s another bottle in the fridge, you’ll need to heat it up though but not too warm, he doesn’t like it if you heat it up too much.”

“ok got it” Martha said offering him a small smile “We’ll be fine, you guys go on”

“Thanks Martha” Aden replied and he managed to return her smile although Martha noted that it didn’t reach his eyes as his smiles usually did.

They drove to the hospital in silence Belle’s hand resting on Aden’s leg as he drove. She was desperate to offer him any comfort she could and realised that just having her there was helping him more at that moment than words could.

They walked inside hand in hand to find Rachel talking quietly to Leah in the waiting area

“Hey you two” Rachel said sadly

Leah silently opened her arms out to Belle who dropped Aden’s hand and hugged her

“where’s Roman?” Aden asked

“He’s still in with Nicole, Tony has just gone in to see him. You can go in if you like Aden” he shook his head as he sat down resting his elbows on his knees and burying his head in his hands

Belle walked away from Leah and stood in front of him running a hand through his hair

“Rach, how’s Geoff?” she asked quietly

“He’s stable” Rachel replied “Irene and Annie are with him. He’s still sedated after the surgery but he should be ok”

“That’s what you said about Nic” Aden said so quietly that if Rachel hadn’t been standing right next to him she wouldn’t have heard

“Aden I’m so sorry, there was no way we could have known it was going to happen” she said her voice filled with emotion

His hands clenched around the side of the chair and Belle could see him trying to reign in his anger.

He was stopped from replying when the door to the room opposite them opened and Tony emerged followed by Roman.

Tony walked over to Rachel who embraced him but Roman stopped in the middle of the corridor.

Broken was the only word that Belle could think of that summed up how Roman looked. Completely and totally broken.

Aden stood up and walked towards him and made it to his side just as the elder mans legs began to crumble from beneath him.

Aden threw his arms around Roman and grabbed the back of his t-shirt holding him up as he let out a wail of grief at the loss of his daughter

“My little girl Aden” Roman sobbed “my baby girl”

Aden just held him tightly as he too began to sob

The rest of the assembled group stood by helplessly watching the two men cling to each other lost in their grief.

Leah held onto Belle who was shaking as sobs overtook her body

“I don’t know what to do” Belle cried “how do I help him”

Leah took a deep breath to stop her own tears from falling

“Just be there for him Belle, like I’ll be there for Roman. It’s all we can do”

Belle nodded as she stood and watched Aden gently lead Roman to a chair and sit him down. Tony sat down next to him and as Aden moved away Rachel crouched down in front of him and began to talk although Belle couldn’t tell what she was saying as her attention was focused on Aden who was headed in the direction of Nicole’s room.

When he reached the door he turned to look at Belle

She knew without him saying that he needed her to go with him so she quickly made her way over to him and took his hand in both of hers before they walked together into the room.

Nicole lay on the bed her blonde hair fanning out behind her on the pillow.

Aden slowly made his way over to the bed stopping level with Nicole’s waist

He pulled his hand from Belle’s grip and moved it slowly towards the bed hovering over Nicole’s hand before dropping back to his side

“She looks like she did when I left, like she’s just asleep” he whispered

Belle nodded as she placed a hand comfortingly on his shoulder

“She’d freak if she saw the gown they’d put on her” he said gesturing to the garment she was wearing “She hates that colour”

“yeah she would” Belle said as she gently ran her free hand over Nicole’s hair “she’d kick up a right stink”

“You never listen do you princess” Aden said reaching out his hand again and this time he found the courage to take hold of Nicole’s. “Didn’t I tell you to stay out of trouble” he sighed as he perched himself on the bed he brought his free hand up to Nicole’s face and traced a light path down her cheek “God Nic, I’m going to miss you so much” he said as a tear dripped from his nose and landed on the hand he had clutched in his “I never missed having a sister growing up, I mean why would I? you don’t miss what you don’t have right? But then Roman took me in and you came along and now I can’t imagine ever having lived without a sister - without you. You might not know it but you helped me so much Nic, when things got tough you were always there for me without question. You never doubted me, you had faith in me when I didn’t even have faith in me. I will always be grateful to you for that.”

He took a deep breath to try to calm his emotions but it was a pointless task as the tears continued to fall unchecked from his eyes

“I can’t believe my son is going to grow up without his auntie Nic! That’s killing me Nicole, I promise I will always talk to him about you and tell him how great you are and how much you loved him. Yeah you are spoilt and a complete pain most of the time but I love you so much, I hope you know that.” he lifted her hand to his mouth and placed a kiss against the back of it before lowering it back to the bed keeping it wrapped in his own “I hope you knew that”

“She knew” Belle whispered as she wound her arm around his shoulder and pulled him into a hug “Of course she knew”

“We should go” he whispered as he ran his hand over Nicole’s hair

“If you’re ready” Belle told him

“I am” he replied

He took another deep breath as he leant forward and placed a kiss on Nicole’s forehead before whispering into her ear “sweet dreams sleeping beauty”

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Sorry about the :( ness - it will get better after this chap i promise!

Chapter 65

When I think back on these times

And the dreams we left behind

I’ll be glad ‘cause I was blessed to get

To have you in my life

When I look back on these days

I’ll look and see your face

You were right there for me

Standing outside the small church listening to the words of the song Roman had chosen to play Belle’s thoughts skipped over the events of the past week


They arrived home from the hospital at 7 am. Martha left after filling them in on how Beau had been. He was fast asleep in the moses basket in their room so Belle insisted that she and Aden should both try and get some sleep too. Aden pulled off his clothes and climbed into bed in complete silence and lay on his back with his arms behind his head. When Belle followed him a few minutes later he seemed completely oblivious to her presence next to him. She lay herself as close to him as possible and rested her head on his chest. He instinctively lowered one of his arms to wrap around her.

“I love you” he whispered into her hair

“I love you too” she replied

He didn’t speak again for a while and Belle assumed he had drifted off to sleep.

“this is my fault”

His sudden exclamation caused Belle to jump

“what babe?”

“This is my fault” he repeated

Belle sat up in shock and turned so that she could face him. He was staring up at the ceiling his free arm still behind his head.

“how on earth can this be your fault Aden?”

“If I hadn’t talked Geoff into changing his mind about…..about their relationship, they would never have gone away together. This wouldn‘t have happened. Nic would still be alive!”

“Aden, no! don’t do this to yourself! Nobody is to blame here”

“I am Belle, I should have kept my mouth shut”

“You weren’t to know this was going to happen! You didn’t even know he was going to take her away! For all we know Nic could have broken up with Geoff because of the advice I gave her and that’s why they were coming home in the first place!”

“But if they’d never gone……”

“Aden stop” Belle raised her voice slightly causing Beau to shift in his sleep “stop” she whispered this time “What’s happened was a terrible, terrible accident! Nobody is to blame ok. It was just one of those things. You are hurting enough baby, please don’t add to it by blaming yourself”

“It’s just so…I don’t know…..I keep trying to make sense of it and I can’t Belle. It‘s so unfair!”

“I know it is. And I don’t think it will make sense for a while, If at all.”

“I don’t know what to do” he whispered

“We just need to take things one step at a time. Right now….” she lay herself back down against his chest “…you need to sleep, we’ll deal with the rest later”

End flashback

In my dreams I’ll always see you soar above the sky

In my heart there’ll always be a place for you

For all my life

I’ll keep a part of you with me

And everywhere I am there you’ll be

“Hi Belle”

Ben and Jess approached Belle outside of the church

She was rocking Beau back and forth in his pushchair, listening to the lyrics of the song float over her as people made there way inside and found their seats.

“Hey guys”

“How are you?” Jess asked placing a hand gently over Belle’s on the pushchair handle

“”I’ve been better” Belle answered “Look are you guys sure you don’t mind watching Beau whilst we are inside”

“Not at all, we’ll just take him for a walk around here” Ben answered


“How’s Aden handling it?”

Belle glanced inside the church to where Aden was standing with Roman and Natalie

“He’s ok….getting there at least”

“How about Geoff? It must be tough for him being stuck in hospital”


Walking through the hospital doors Belle felt Aden squeeze her hand in support.

They were coming to see Geoff and to be there when Irene broke the news to him about Nicole.

“How is he?” she whispered as they entered his room

“groggy” Irene replied “he’s just nodded back off” she said glancing over to the bed

“Does he know yet?” Aden asked

“Not yet I….”

“Know what” came a husky voice from the bed

“Love, you’re awake” Irene exclaimed walking over to the bed and perching on the edge “how are you feeling?”

“ok” Geoff said although the flash of pain that crossed his face as he tried to sit up contradicted his words

“darl, hang on a tic” Irene leant over Geoff and manoeuvred his pillows so that he was slightly propped up on the bed “Better?”

“Yeah, thanks” Geoff replied “what do you need to tell me?”

The three people crowded round his bed all looked at each other, non of them sure what to say

“What is it?” Geoff asked anxiously “It’s Nic isn’t it? Is it bad? Is she really hurt?”

“Darl” Irene grasped hold of his hand “I’m so sorry”

Geoff’s eyes flicked from Irene’s to Belle’s to Aden’s and then back again as he began to shake his head

“Nicole died yesterday Geoff”

He continued to shake his head but he didn’t utter a word and his eyes remained dry as they moved from person to person

“Geoff, are you ok?” Belle asked

He didn’t answer instead he slumped back down in the bed

“Mate, did you hear what Irene said” Aden asked

“Can you guys leave please” Geoff asked “I want to sleep”

“Geoff” Belle exclaimed

“Please leave” Geoff repeated as he turned his head away from them and closed his eyes

End flashback

Well you showed me how it feels

To feel the sky within my reach

And I always will remember

All the strength you gave to me

Your love made me make it through

Oh I owe so much to you

You were right there for me

Irene was one of the last people to arrive at the church having just left Geoff at the hospital

“How is he today?”

“Still the same” Irene replied her face full of worry


“Not a peep” Irene said sadly

Since they had broken the news to Geoff almost a week earlier he hadn’t spoken a word. Not to them or the doctors and nurses at the hospital. They had let it go for the first day or two thinking it was just the shock but they were now all extremely worried about him and Rachel had organised somebody to come and see him.

“I’m sure he’ll come round soon”

“I hope so darl” Irene replied “We should go in”

Belle glanced over to where Ben and Jess were pushing Beau around the churchyard

“Yeah, let’s go in” she whispered

‘cause I always saw in you

my light my strength

And I wanna thank you now

for all the ways

You were right there for me

You were right there for me

For always

Belle took her seat next to Aden and placed her hand into his as the music faded and the minister took his place.

Her gaze moved from him and fell onto the coffin lying in front of him a spray of white lillies gracing the top alongside a picture of Nicole.

She barely heard a word he spoke until he said a familiar name and she felt Aden’s hand slide out of hers as he stood up and made his way to the front of the church.

His hand slid over the coffin as he walked past and his eyes lingered on the photo for a few seconds before he turned to face the packed church.

Running a hand through his hair he took a deep breath before starting

“wow! I can’t believe how many of you are here, it makes us so proud of Nic to realise that she had so many people who cared about her” he took another deep breath before continuing “When Roman asked if I’d give the eulogy I started to think of all the things I could say about Nicole. To be honest the first thing that came to mind was spoilt” the corner of his mouth rose in a slight smile “yeah, when she first arrived Nic was this spoilt little Gucci clad princess” his eyes found Morag’s in the crowd and she returned his grin “but that was just a front, once you got behind the designer handbags and the sarcastic comments there was a heart of gold. Really. Nicole cared so much about the people she was close to and I consider myself privileged to have been one of those people. I might not have always realised that! I can’t tell you the amount of fights the two of us had because of her meddling, Roman’s kitchen has never recovered from the last big blow out we had! But now I realise that she only meddled because of how much she cared. She always wanted what was best for the people she loved. Even if that meant putting herself on the line, she’d do it. Deep down she was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.”

He paused and looked down to Belle. She had tears running down her face but gave him a reassuring smile, giving him the strength to continue.

“so we’ve had spoilt, loving, kind, beautiful…. I guess next would be funny! Honestly, She had this amazing ability to come up with these smart one liners like that” he snapped his fingers “granted they were generally quite cutting and sarcastic and you wouldn’t always want to be on the receiving end of them but man were they funny. She always knew how to make me laugh, even when I didn’t really want to. I think….” his voice cracked and he paused again to try and compose himself “….I think that is what I’m going to miss the most, laughing with her. Seeing those big blue eyes light up with mischief” he smiled even as a tear rolled down his cheek “I’ll miss that…..wherever you are Nic, I hope you’re laughing.”

He raised his fingers to his lips and kissed them then placed them gently against the coffin for a moment. He was joined after a short while by Roman Tony and Miles. Together the four of them lifted the coffin onto their shoulders and walked slowly out of the church as the song that had been playing earlier continued

In my dreams I’ll always see you soar above the sky

In my heart there’ll always be a place for you

For all my life

I’ll keep a part of you with me

And everywhere I am there you’ll be

And everywhere I am there you’ll be

There you’ll be

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amz89 - the song was there you'll be by faith hill

The chapter after this will be the last one so enjoy!

Chapter 66

In the week following Nicole’s funeral Belle and Aden were trying their hardest to get life back to normal.

“Any developments with Geoff?” Aden asked as he pulled on his shoes ready for work

“nothing” Belle replied sadly

“I thought getting home might snap him out of it”

“We all did” Belle said as she carried Beau into the lounge Aden following close behind “do you think maybe you could try talking to him”

“babe, a qualified psychiatrist isn’t having any luck! What can I do?”

“I d’know, I just think he’ll listen to you. Please say you will. For me?”

Aden sighed “meet you there after work?”

“Thanks babe”

“no problem. Come here” he reached out his hand and pulled her towards him being careful of Beau who was nestled against her chest. He wrapped one arm around her waist as his other hand smoothed gently over Beau’s hair and then began to rub gentle circles on his back “I’m gonna miss you two”

“we’ll miss you too wont we baby.” Belle paused for a second “he said yes” she whispered as Aden’s lips found hers.

“I love you so much” she said as they parted

“I love you too”

“Be careful and call me yeah?”

“will do sweetheart” he dipped his head to place a kiss on Beau’s cheek “love you little man, be good for mommy”

Belle walked him to the door and stretched onto her tiptoes to give him another kiss

“Bye babe” she called as he walked down the path turning to blow her a final kiss

After spending the morning doing jobs around the apartment Belle headed to the diner. When she arrived she was surprised to see Roman heading back into the kitchen

“Hi darl” Irene came over to the table as soon as Belle had sat down

“Hi, is Roman back at work?” she asked worriedly

Irene sat down and glanced at the kitchen before returning her attention back to Belle “yeah, he’s insisting. I’m not sure it’s the best idea but who’s gonna argue with the poor bloke”

“how does he seem?”

“he’s quiet but that’s to be expected I suppose. How’s Aden holding up?”

“He’s doing much better, he’s going to come over to your place after work to chat to Geoff”

“Really? That’s great! I hope he manages to get through to him. I’m just about at my wits end”

Belle reached over and took hold of Irene’s hand “Things will be back to normal soon, I’m sure of it. Even if Aden doesn’t manage it today somebody will.”

“I hope so darl I really do. Maybe by Megs birthday eh?”

“I can’t believe she’s one next week” Belle exclaimed

“time flies!” Irene said with a grin “this little one here will be all grown up before we know it!” she added moving her hand into the pushchair and tickling Beau under the chin

“don’t!” Belle cried “he’s always going to be my baby boy aren’t you sweetheart”

“Course he is” Irene replied with a smile “right, I better get back to work! So what can I get you?”

“just a coffee please”

“Just coffee? No cake?”

Belle grinned as Irene stood up from the table “Ok you twisted my arm! I’ll have a slice of cake too, but just a small one”

Whilst she was waiting for her order Belle lifted Beau from his pushchair

“hey baby boy, you weren’t listening to nana Irene were you? You don’t want to be in any rush to grow up munchkin, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be”

“tell me about it” Roman said as he placed a slice of cake down on the table and sat down in the seat that Irene had vacated “you gonna come to granddad buddy” he held his arms out and Belle gladly handed Beau over “you know what? You get bigger and more handsome every time I see you”

Belle’s heart melted at the sight of the smile on Roman’s face. It was the first time she’d seen it since before the accident

“so, how are you?” she asked

Roman kept his eyes on Beau as he answered “up and down. I keep thinking I’ve got a hold on things and then….”

“Roman it hasn’t been 2 weeks yet. It’s going to take time”

“so people keep telling me” he looked up at her as the smile slipped from his face

“sorry I…”

“Sorry Belle, ignore me.”

“don’t apologise Roman, you have every right to be…”

“Grumpy, snappy, rude” roman interrupted

“Well yeah” Belle replied offering him a small smile “but like I said you’re entitled to be all those things”

“thanks Belle. It really helps having you guys around”

“Well we are here whenever you need us aren’t we Beau?”

“This little guy could cheer anyone up couldn’t you mate?” Roman’s smile returned as he looked down to the baby cradled in his arms.

A few hours later Belle and Annie were waiting in the lounge of the beach house for Aden to arrive. Beau was asleep and Meg was playing on the floor with Belle who was sitting with her back rested against the sofa.

“Hello” Aden called as he entered through the kitchen

“Hey” Belle replied “Wait there”

Aden stopped at the dining table a look of confusion crossing his face “What?”

“We have something to show you” Annie said scooping Meg up from the floor and then crouching down placed her on her feet “Bend down”

Aden grinned cottoning on to what he was about to be shown. He crouched and opened out his arms in front of him “Come on then baby girl you gonna come to uncle Aden”

A beaming smile lit up Meg’s face as she shakily stepped away from Annie’s grasp. Her Chubby arms waved in the air as she slowly toddled towards Aden. She was over half way to him when the excitement became too much for her and the top of her body seemed to move faster than her legs could carry her. Before she could fall Aden reached forwards and caught her. He stood up and held her up above his head

“Who’s uncle Aden’s clever girl! Way to go nutmeg!” He lowered her into his chest and covered her face with kisses causing her to giggle with delight as she grabbed at his face “but lets not run before we can walk eh”

“She just can’t wait to get to you” Annie giggled “you really are her favourite person”

“You think?” Aden asked

“I think!” Annie replied

“We can’t blame her though can we” Belle said as she walked over to him “I happen to know a couple of other people who share that opinion” she reached up and placed a gentle kiss on his lips which he gladly reciprocated until Megs hand began to beat at the side of his face “Sorry sweetie, he’s all yours” Belle laughed as she pulled away

“Where’s my little man?” Aden asked as he walked into the lounge

“Asleep in my old room” Belle answered him “he should be up soon though”

“And Geoff?”

“the same place he’s been since he came home from hospital” Annie told him

“in his room?”

Annie nodded

“Ok. Right missy, you go back to mommy whilst I go and see uncle Geoff” he gave Meg a final kiss before handing her over to Annie. As soon as she was out of his arms Meg’s bottom lip began to tremble “Hey baby girl I’ll be back soon” he ran his hand over her hair before turning away and heading up the stairs to Geoff’s room

He knocked gently on the door even though he wasn’t expecting an answer. After a suitable pause he slowly turned the handle and pushed the door open slowly peeping his head round

“Mind if I come in?”

Geoff was lying in bed on his back staring blankly at the ceiling. He didn’t even flicker his eyes in response to Aden’s question

“I’ll take that as a no come right in shall I?” he entered the room properly and shut the door behind him.

He looked around the room for a place to sit. Geoff’s bed or the floor were the only options. He quickly settled on the floor and slid down were he stood resting his back against the door

“soooo” he dragged the word out as he thought of how best to start the conversation. “I guess there’s no point in asking how you are because you’re not gonna answer right?” he paused for a moment “yeah thought not! You know Belle, Irene and Annie are worried sick about you?” When there was still no sign of life from the bed he took a deep breath “the softly softly approach isn’t working then? Right ok! Nicole’s gone Geoff and nothing is going to bring her back, you are not the only one that is hurting here!”

“But I’m the only one to blame” the voice was husky from lack of use and Aden had to strain to hear it

“Is that what this is about?”

Geoff slowly sat up leaning back against the headboard for support “It‘s my fault she‘s dead” he whispered

Aden sighed “The police have said there was nothing else you could have done Geoff, if you hadn’t swerved th….”

“That’s not what I meant” Geoff replied his voice getting stronger

“You wanna enlighten me then? Cause I’m really not with you”

“It’s my punishment. I committed a sin and god punished me!”

“A sin? Ah you and Nicole….before….” he nodded his head in understanding “Geoff mate that is not why this happened! Plenty of people have sex before marriage and they don’t end up in fatal car accidents”

“Yeah but….”

“ok if you wanna go down that road then I’ll join you shall I? cause I was the one who you came to for advice, it was me who told you to go for it so technically it’s my fault right? Or how about Belle? She gave Nicole a fair bit of advice maybe that had something to do with you guys coming home early” Aden didn’t miss the flicker of shock in Geoff’s eyes and realised he must have come close to the truth behind the reason for their return “So shall we tell her to go ahead and start blaming herself?”

“No” Geoff cried “it’s not the same”

“It’s exactly the same Geoff! We can all beat ourselves up over this, we all have, but at the end of the day it was just a tragic accident”

“I didn’t get the chance to tell her goodbye”

“None of us did, it was really sudden”

“Yeah but you got to see her….afterwards”

“That wasn’t Nic. Yeah it was her body but there was nothing of her there. To be honest Geoff I kind of envy you. Your last memory of her was…”

“Her being mad at me!” Geoff interrupted

Aden couldn’t keep a hint of a smile from his face “exactly her being mad at you, being stroppy and loud and passionate and Nicole! All I could see when I thought about her for days afterwards was this…..broken shell of a person that looked like Nic but didn’t….didn’t feel like her you know?”

“I think so” Geoff nodded

“it’s getting better now” Aden continued “the funeral helped, made me think about the real her and that’s who I said goodbye to that day, that was my real goodbye!”

“I couldn’t even do that could I, go to her funeral”

“You weren’t well enough Geoff but there’s nothing stopping you from going to the cemetery, one of us will drive you over as soon as you are ready. You can say your goodbyes then I’m sure it will help you feel better”

“I don’t know” Geoff replied looking uncertain

“Just think about it yeah?”

He was relieved when Geoff nodded in reply

“You want me to leave you alone now?” Aden asked as he stood up

“Actually could you send Annie up? I want to tell her she can stop worrying”


“Aden” he turned as he opened the door


“Thanks. Again!”

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This is it the last chapter!!

Sorry if it's a bit rubbish but i'm going to see take that on Monday and i can't really think of anything else :lol: so much so that i had to squeeze their name into this chap :lol:

anyway thank you sooooooo much to everone who's read this fic - it really is so lovely to read the comments and i'm really happy that you have all enjoyed it :D

so here you go.....

Chapter 67

“Hey, where’s the birthday girl?” Aden asked as he and Belle walked into the beach house.

“She’s upstairs getting into her party frock” Irene answered

“this place looks great” Belle said as she placed Beau’s car seat onto the couch and began to un-strap him.

Everywhere you looked in the lounge there was a pink balloon or a happy birthday banner.

“nothing to do with me darl” Irene said “Geoff did it whilst we were in bed last night”

“Well I’m impressed” Belle replied “how is he?”

“Geoff? He’s much better and we have you to thank for that” Irene placed her hand on Aden’s arm causing him to blush slightly

“it was nothing” he insisted

“It wasn’t nothing” Irene continued “I don’t know if I’ve ever said this before Aden but I am so proud to have you as part of this family”

“Wow erm…” Aden was clearly embarrassed and struggling to find a reply “thanks I guess. I love being part of your family Irene and I should be thanking you for letting me be a part of it.”

“is this an exclusive mutual appreciation society or can anyone join in?” Belle asked with a laugh

“I think it’s pretty clear to all of us how much you appreciate Aden love” Irene laughed

“and you too Irene” Belle smiled as she wrapped the arm that wasn’t supporting Beau around Irene and placed a kiss on her cheek

“right that’s enough soppiness!” Irene exclaimed pulling away from Belle “we have a party to organise”

“And here comes the birthday girl” Annie said as she walked down the stairs carrying Meg. As soon as she reached the bottom she placed meg on the floor holding onto her for a second so that she could get her balance. She was wearing a pretty pink sun dress and the hearts of the people watching melted as she toddled unsteadily towards them

Aden crouched down and opened his arms out wide

“come on then baby girl” this time she managed to make it all the way into his arms without stumbling. As he scooped her into his arms he covered her cheeks with kisses causing her to giggle “Happy birthday beautiful, you want a pressie huh? Yeah I bet you do! You go to auntie Belle and I’ll go and get it for you” he handed her over to Belle who now had her hands free as Annie had taken Beau.

“happy birthday sweetie” Belle cooed “Hey he’s coming back” she laughed as Meg’s lip began to tremble as her eyes followed Aden out of the door “he’s just gone to get your present from the car.” she cuddled the little girl to her as she began to cry “Shhh Meg it’s ok, he’s coming back, look here’s uncle Geoff”

“What’s up?” Geoff asked coming over to were Belle was standing and taking hold of Megs hand

“Aden left the building” Belle explained with a smile

“Ah I see, he’ll be back in a minute Meg, right?” he added to Belle

“he’s just gone to the car” Belle laughed “Here he is baby” she said as Aden came back into sight carrying a large box wrapped with pink paper

“here I’ll take that” Geoff said “I think somebody needs you”

Meg was leaning towards him with her arms held out tears running down her chubby cheeks

“What’s all this about Nutmeg? Come here” he lifted her from Belle and cuddled her against his chest. She stopped crying almost instantly “that’s better baby girl, you can’t be sad on your birthday! Lets go open your present”

Geoff had placed the box on the floor in the lounge. Belle and Annie sat down on the couch and Aden took Meg to sit on the floor next to the box. Irene came in from the kitchen and rested against the back of the couch as Aden and Geoff began to help Meg rip the paper from the box

“wait” Belle cried jumping up and rushing to the table “Camera” she explained as they all looked at her.

“Hurry up!” Geoff complained as he held Meg back from pulling at the paper

“ok go” Belle said holding up the camera and snapping shots as they finished opening the present. They had bought a pink tricycle that came with a sun canopy and a handle to push it with.

“Wow!” Annie exclaimed when she saw what the present was “Thanks guys that’s great, it’s a bike Meg look!”

“You’re more than welcome” Belle replied “Aden will set it all up later”

“Thank you” Annie repeated leaning over to kiss Belle on the cheek

“I reckon we could have saved ourselves some money and just given her the paper” Aden laughed gesturing to meg who was playing happily with the pile of paper that had been torn from the present.

A few hours later the party was in full swing. The house was filled with what seemed to be half of the population of summer bay. Belle was in the kitchen holding Beau who was asleep in her arms and chatting to Rachel

“How’s it going with this little one?” Rachel asked running a finger down Beau’s cheek

“it’s so great Rach” Belle beamed “we are so so happy”

“you can tell” Rachel smiled back “how’s Aden coping with what happened to Nicole?”

“He took it really hard and blamed himself at the beginning but he’s doing ok now. It was him that brought Geoff around”

“yeah I heard about that, who’d have thought it eh?”

“who’d have thought what?” Aden asked as he joined them wrapping his arm around Belle’s shoulder

“That you and Geoff would end up becoming so close” Rachel clarified for him

“I wouldn’t say close” Aden said

“I would” Belle giggled nudging him in the ribs with her free arm “in fact I think you are sort of a hero to..”

“Stop!” Aden cried causing both Belle and Rachel to laugh

“aww babe you’re blushing” Belle teased

“I’m not blushing I’m just hot!” Aden defended himself

“why don’t you two go for a walk or something, I’ll watch Beau” Rachel offered

Belle looked to Aden who nodded in agreement “sounds good, I could do with some air” he laughed

“He should sleep for another hour at least so we’ll be back before he wakes up” Belle told Rachel as she carefully handed Beau over to her giving him a kiss before she let go.

Aden placed a kiss on Beau’s head and whispered goodbye to him before Belle led him outside

“Beach?” she asked

“Where else” Aden replied as he dropped her hand and wrapped his arm around her shoulder again. They walked in silence for a few minutes until they reached the waters edge. They both kicked off their shoes and Aden picked up both pairs with his free hand.

“Such a gentleman” Belle teased as she squeezed him tight around his waist

“Only for my gorgeous wife” he replied bending his head to kiss her. She pulled away before things got too heated and encouraged him to keep walking.

“I was thinking earlier that it was a year today that you asked me to move in with you” Belle said grinning up at him

“yeah, what a year it’s been huh?”

“You can say that again” Belle replied “So much has happened , even that day! It was so scary finding Annie like that”

“I was so freaked out” Aden laughed remembering the moment he realised he was going to have to help Annie whilst she gave birth “but look at how well it all turned out”

“You got your very own groupie out of it” Belle giggled “I’ve never seen adoration like it!”

“What can I say, Meg just has great taste. So what’s been your highlight?”

“god I don’t know! There’s been so many. Beau obviously”

Aden stopped her for another kiss “I’ll never ever be able to thank you enough for him” he told her as she slid her arms up around his neck

“he’s just as much you as me babe so thank you too” Belle replied kissing him again “I reckon your proposal would make it pretty close to the top of the list” she said as their lips parted

“really? Even though it was in an airport corridor and I’d just freaked you out!”

Belle nodded “it was the most romantic moment of my life”

“more romantic than the wedding?”

“yep” she nodded “not that that wasn’t completely amazing it was just that I really wasn’t expecting you to propose!”

“you had no idea?”


“I was so nervous, I mean I was pretty confident that you’d say yes but I just didn’t know what to say or…”

“well it was perfect” Belle said reaching up to place her lips against his

“after Beau the wedding has got to be top of my list” Aden said as he brushed a strand of hair from belle’s face “seeing you walking down the aisle towards me, knowing that you were about to promise to spend the rest of your life with me…I can’t tell you how amazing that made me feel”

“you don’t need to cause I felt the same”

Once again their lips found each others and they remained like that for a while before parting.

“you know” Belle said “this year hasn’t been all good but the bad stuff would have been so much worse if I didn’t have you by my side”

“There is nowhere else I’d rather be sweetheart”

“all that stuff at work, my mom, Nicole, it’s been so hard. And meeting my dad”

“but that was a good thing right? Meeting Ben?”

“yeah I guess so now but it was a hard decision to make”

“for what it’s worth I think you made the right decision”

“it’s worth a lot” Belle replied burying her face in his neck and hugging him as close as she could “I love you so much Aden”

“I love you too baby” he replied

“I just hope the rest of our years are just as good as this one”

“as long as we’re together babe, they’ll be plain sailing”

The end!

for those of you interested i have started work on a sequel :D gonna try and get the first chap up tomorrow :D


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