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No Regrets

Guest Louise_2983

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Story Title: No Regrets

Type of story: One Shot

Main Characters: Belle Taylor, Nicole Franklin, Aden Jefferies, Geoff Campbell

Mentioned: Leah Patterson-Baker, Roman Harris, Annie Campbell, Jai

BTTB rating: A

Genre: Romance, Drama, Angst

Does story include spoilers: No. Fic is AU.

Any warnings: Sexual references

Summary: A wedding reunites some old friends.

"I got a letter today

An invitation

And the writing looked like you

Hello how are you

And by the way

Please RSVP I do"

"I do" - Jude

“Belle, I don’t really think that’s a good idea...” he sighed as she threw open the door to the mini bar, her chocolate brown eyes bulging at the sight of the treasures it contained.

“Oh come on! Don’t be such a party pooper!” she rolled her eyes towards the heavens as she delved into small refrigerator and returned clutching three mini bottles of vodka in one hand and an array of

mixers in the other.

“I’m not, but don’t you think you’ve had enough to drink already?” he questioned, trying to divert his gaze from the teasing flash of tanned, bare leg the slit on her green, silk dress revealed as she sat

askew before the mini bar.

“I’m only just getting started!” she protested, pulling her body up and slumping onto the edge of the king sized hotel bed.

“Don’t say you’re going to wimp out on me too? It’s bad enough that Annie and Jai went to bed already!”

“Belle, it’s 3am!” he objected with a chuckle as she bent forward to pour a drink into the crystal glass she clutched unsteadily and unintentionally gave him an unobstructed view down the front of her

drape fronted dress. He squirmed uncomfortably as the last trickle of vodka left the bottle she was shaking impatiently and filled the cold glass.

“They were tired, it’s a long flight from Perth you know”

“Tired? Ha!” she scoffed taking a satisfied gulp of straight vodka, having forgotten to add a mixer in her inebriated state.

“Geoff, you know they’re having sex don’t you?” she whispered the word as if letting him on a big secret.

“Belle!” he protested his cheeks flushing a familiar red hue.

“Well it’s true!” she slurred slightly.

“Tired my as-”

“Annie wouldn’t” he hurriedly interrupted.

“ She doesn’t believe in doing that before marriage!”

“Geoff” he rolled her eyes slightly as she patted his knee patronisingly with her hand.

“They’re been together for what? Four...five years now? They’re engaged, they live together. Trust me, they’re having sex. Right now probably”

“Eugh, Belle!” he groaned at the mental images she had just placed in his head.

“Thanks a lot”

“Here, this will help” she grinned pushing an alcoholic drink into his hands and pouring herself another having already made short work of the first.

He looked down dubiously at the ice cold glass resting against his palms.

“This isn’t a good idea, we’re here for a wedding. We have to be up really early and you’re already drunk!”

“Drunk?!” she laughed as she slid her fingertips under the drink he was grasping and pushed it upwards towards his pale, pink lips.

“Geoff, my ex boyfriend is getting married tomorrow. To your ex girlfriend. And we have to sit through it. I think that warrants...not just drunk but....legless...hammered...bladdered!” she giggled as she

listed the euphemisms, kicking off her silver heels and slurping down her drink like it was simply soda.

“It’s not exactly my ideal way to spend a Saturday I admit” he grimaced at the thought of the ceremony he would have to endure the next day.

“Then drink up Geoffrey!” she ordered with a cute giggle that he felt pinch his heart as he watched her inch further towards the centre of the bed before she flopped down onto the luxurious sheets, her

body splayed ungracefully over the soft mattress.

“You wanted to come remember?” he told her accusingly as he gave in and took a tiny sip of the drink nestled between his palms.

“You persuaded us all to come!”

“Well this is Nicole!” she protested as if that explained everything.

“She’s bound to put on some sort of fairytale, princess show that none of us would want to miss. And besides” she paused propping herself up on her elbows so that she could look directly into his bright

blue eyes.

“We don’t want them to think that we actually care do we?”

“Do you care?” he half whispered, scanning her pretty face for signs that she might.

“I’m not going to scream and shout when they ask for objections if that’s what you mean” she giggled to herself as he continued to gaze at her.

“That’s not what I asked” he gulped as he starred back into her deep, brown eyes that never gave anything away.

He felt his breath tighten and his heart throb as she smiled coyly up at him. He loved her. He’d been completely in love with her for a long time now. There were times he thought she knew. That she

understood exactly how overwhelming and consuming his feelings for her were. But then there were times, exactly like the moment they currently shared, when he was convinced she was oblivious to

what he truly felt for her.

“Do you care?” he asked her again, waiting for an honest answer rather than a deflection of the question this time.

“A little” she admitted in a whisper that hit his heart like a hammer.

“It would be strange if I said I didn’t wouldn’t it?”

“How do you mean?” he asked slightly confused and still wounded by her admission.

“Well, Aden and I were together for two years Geoff. He was important to me, I loved him”

“Loved?” he questioned, her use of the past tense sending a slight glimmer of hope zipping through him.

“Loved” she confirmed with a nod, picking up the glass he had placed next to him and draining the last of it, even though she had originally poured it for him.

“Like I said, I’m not about to make a scene or try to stop the wedding going ahead. But there was a time when I imagined that I would be the one marrying Aden, so seeing him up there tomorrow,

slipping a gold ring onto Nicole’s finger and saying “I do” is going to be a little strange and the tiny part of me that still holds onto Aden a little is going to care”

“Part of you still holds on to Aden?” he asked, his eyes wide at her drunken confession as she stumbled across the room to raid the mini bar once more.

“Well yeah” she mumbled, without looking back at him, as if it should have been obvious.

“Doesn’t part of you still love Nicole?”

“No” he told her honestly.

If he was truly candid he would have professed the true intensity of his feelings right there and then. He would have admitted that he knew now that he had never loved Nicole. She’d been his first and

she’d been different and exciting but she’d been too different and whatever emotions he had felt for her, they had never fitted under the heading of love.

He hadn’t even known what love was back then, not really. But he knew now. He only had to look at Belle for his heart rate to increase and his knees to go weak. But the niggling doubt that she would

never really reciprocate haunted his every moment.

“Not even a little bit?” she pushed him again, certain he was being dishonest with her, as she made her way slowly back towards the bed, swaying from side to side a little.

“No” he told her adamantly.

“Whatever there was between me and Nicole, well it was a really long time ago now and I’m over it”

“Good for you!” she proclaimed raising her glass as if to toast his words before taking a long gulp.

“And besides” he laughed softly.

“I never imagined myself marrying Nicole”

“Of course I forgot” she grinned teasingly, pushing her wavy brown hair back behind her ear.

“The only person you wanted to marry back then was God!”

“So I was a little naive” he admitted defensively.

“No you weren’t” she smiled genuinely, her sincerity tugging at his heart.

“You believed in something and you were committed to it, that’s a good quality to have. An admirable one in fact Geoff”

“So you don’t admire me now I’ve turned my back on all that?”

“You didn’t turn your back on it!”

“I’m not a minister and I hardly ever go to church these days...”

“But you still believe. Just because you changed and found new ambitions and chose to follow them instead doesn’t make you a bad person Geoff and it definitely doesn’t make you any the less


“So you admire me?” he asked, her opinion being of more value to him than that of anyone.

“Of course I do” she grinned but her words didn’t soothe him as much as he had hoped, the thought that she would always admire Aden more nagging away at him constantly.

“I’ve been to your games remember? Those other players you have to square up to are built like brick walls! I admire anyone who can dare do that” she chuckled as she thought of the professional

rugby games she had watched him play in.

“I just wished you’d wear a helmet, because your face is way too pretty to be damaged!” she sighed dramatically, lifting a flat palm and tenderly caressing his, as yet unblemished, features .

“Well I promise to be careful, just for you” he teased softly as her fingertips made their way through his blonde curls.

“Good” she grinned happily.

“I love you Geoff” she told him, her words slurred slightly due to her inebriation.

His heart pounded against his chest at her unexpected declaration. He wanted so much for her words to be true, he wanted her to share the intensity of the feelings he harboured for her. He wanted to

love her and have her love him back, but deep down he knew that, no matter what happened, she would never love him like she did her ex.

“I love you too” he told her honestly as he tried to forget why there were in Sydney in the first place.

When they had all received their invitations, individually calligraphed on pink silk and personally addressed, five months earlier he would have gladly torn his up and thought no more about it. But it had

been Belle who had been determined that they all should attend and it had been her who had refused to let the subject drop until they had all agreed to let her book the flights and rooms in the luxurious

hotel where the ceremony was to take place. He couldn’t help but think that she had some interest in the wedding she was refusing to confess and that they wouldn’t make it through tomorrow’s

ceremony unscathed.

“No” she shook her head, rolling her big brown eyes slightly as if he were stupid.

“You don’t understand! I really love you Geoff”

“I really love you too” he laughed, brushing her hair tenderly away from her face as she gazed up at him. He wanted to believe her, so in that moment he chose to. Knowing that in the morning she

wouldn’t even remember having said those words to him anyway.

She pushed her body slowly towards him and allowed her gloss slicked lips to find his. Soft and gentle, she prised his full lips apart with her own and began to explore his mouth with her tongue. He let

out a low groan, a mixture of surprise and satisfaction, as he cupped her face gently between his palms but all too soon she broke away and rose to her feet unsteadily.

“I should go to bed” she sighed glancing at the clock.

“Early start tomorrow”

He didn’t move an inch from his position on the bed. He simply sat and watched her intently, his lips kicking up into a smirk at each end as he let his eyes flutter over her gorgeous body swathed in the

green silk of her figure enhancing dress.

“What?” she asked, her eyes narrowing as she looked at him in confusion.

“I was just wondering” he told her, a cheeky glint in his piercing blue eyes.

“Why, if Annie and Jai are having sex,” he winced at the thought as the words slipped over his lips.

“Why we’re not?”

“That” she replied with an amused smile.

“Geoffrey George Campbell, is a very good question!”

“And the answer?” he prompted as she moved forward towards him once more.

“I don’t know” she admitted as she stopped before him, looping her arms around his neck and pressing her lips to his.

“So perhaps we should just...” she let her sentence trail off and kissed him greedily once more.

“Yeah?” he smirked happily.

“Yeah” she nodded, mirroring his grin and pushing him backwards onto the bed beneath them.


“Hi” she mumbled as the lift doors pinged open and she found him alone inside.

“Belle” he nodded, his shock at seeing her clearly apparent in the piercing blue eyes she had once known so well.

“Nicole invited me...us” she explained as she took the opportunity to let her gaze wander over his appearance.

“Geoff, Annie, Jai and Ruby are all here too”

He was a little older then the last time she had seen him but he looked exactly the same. The grey suit and black dress shirt suited him perfectly and she felt a pang deep in her heart as she looked at him, the lift beginning its descent to the ground floor.

“I know” he told her in a whisper.

“But I never thought that you’d actually come”

“You’re about to make an honest woman of Nicole Franklin, not very often there’s an opportunity to use the words honest and Nicole in the same sentence, I thought I’d grab it while I could” she joked


“Belle” he sighed deeply clearly fighting to keep in many more words he longed to say to her.

“Sorry, that was mean” she groaned apologetically.

“You’re marrying her, I shouldn’t be so derogatory about her. Not in front of you anyway” she laughed softly to herself as they reached the ground floor and the doors slid open.

Neither moved as an uncomfortable tension lingered in the air between them. They simply stared out into the hotel lobby, not daring to look at one another.

“Well, good luck I guess” she smiled weakly and moved one silver heel forward in an attempt to exit the lift.

Before she could register what was happening he’d hit the button for the penthouse and the doors were closing, trapping her inside. As the lift began to rise once more, he covered his face with his

strong hands, the strong hands which had once expertly roamed over her body. Just the memory of their touch still sent shivers through her aching body.

“Aden! What are you doing?!”

“No Belle” he snapped as he lowered his hands to gaze intently at her.

“What are you doing?! What are you doing here?”

“I’m a guest at your wedding, I thought that much was obvious!” she snapped back, suddenly defensive as his hungry blue eyes hovered over the azure blue dress which hugged her figure in all the

right place.

“And looking better than the bride? Where does that figure in your little plan huh?” he hissed, his gaze resting on the metallic silver belt which nipped her in just below her cleavage.

“I don’t have any plan Aden!” she objected.

“Big or little. And as for my appearance well you haven’t even seen Nicole yet and whether I look better than her or not isn’t that kind of subjective?”

“I don’t need this” he sighed, resting back against the silver panel, all the buttons illuminating behind him so suddenly they were stopping on every floor of the hotel. Thankfully no one joined them.

“Need what?”

“You...here. Why are you here Belle?” he looked at her expectantly.

“I guess, I just needed to see it for myself” she whispered hesitantly.

“Some sort of closure I guess, so I can finally move on. Really move on”

“Belle, you moved on a long time before I did” he scoffed, his eyes still gazing so intently at her that her heart thudded against her chest.

“I might have pretended to” she admitted with a gulp.

“But part of me still loved you”

“Loved?” he questioned her use of the past tense.

“What do you want me to say Aden?” she dodged his question.

“Don’t marry her, I love you, run away with me” he laughed to himself, knowing he shouldn’t want that. He didn’t want to hurt Nicole or the people Belle had in her life now.

“You know that’s not going to happen” she sighed, tears stinging the rims of her eyes.

Initially she had contemplated going there and begging him not to go through with it but as the big day had drawn closer she had realised that she was genuinely happy with her life now and closure was

what she really needed.

“Then why are you here?”

“I told you”

“Don’t give me that closure crap!” he half spat at her angrily.

“I love you Belle”

“Don’t say that!” she objected as tears began to fall down her make-up covered cheeks.

“It’s true”

“Then where were you eighteen months ago huh?” she scoffed in disbelief.

“I invited you and you didn’t even show up!”

“I couldn’t watch you do that” he whispered, pain flashing across his bright blue eyes.

“Nicole wouldn’t let you more like!”

He shrugged and she knew she was correct in her assumption. The blonde had been against them attending the event.

“I still love you Belle” he told her honestly, his eyes staring at her hopefully as her heart jumped into her mouth.

“You love Nicole, you’re marrying Nicole”

“I love her” he admitted with a curt nod.

“But she’s not you. I’m settling for her Belle and that’s not really fair is it? On her or us”

“Then don’t marry her” she told him and his lips instantly curved into a smile only for her to strip it away in a second.

“But don’t expect me to be waiting for you. I’m not an option in this scenario Aden, that ship sailed a long time ago!”

“Why did we even break up in the first place?” he sighed softly.

“I don’t know” she shrugged.

“We broke up quite a few times Aden remember? The details get hazy after a few years”

“Funny that” a little laugh escaped from him.

“I don’t remember why we broke up but I remember how good it felt to kiss you, to hold you, to make love to you”

“Aden, stop it!” she groaned, unable to bear the flood of memories that instantly came gushing back.

“You shouldn’t have come if you didn’t want to reminisce” he smirked almost nastily.

“Is it as good wit-“

“Shut up!” she ordered.

“Just shut up! That’s none of your business. However good things may or may not have between us once Aden they ended so it can’t have been that good can it?!”

“We could get it back in a second” he whispered softly and part of her, the tiny part of her that had clung to him for the past three and a half years since their break up, wanted to lean forward and kiss

him, to take him up on his offer , to leave with him there and then.

But a bigger part of her objected and she knew that his was what she had come here for, this was her closure. She just had to do it right.

“I’m sorry” she told him softly.

“But that’s not what I want. I didn’t even realise it until I was stood in front of you. This time last year, last month, yesterday even I might have taken you up on that offer but we’re over Aden and we’ve

been over for a long time. My life may not be what I expected it to be but I’m happy and I don’t need to revisit old emotions or relationships. I’m happy and I hope you will be too...with or without


“I don’t want to hurt her” he admitted with a sigh.

“I do love her”

“And until you saw me here you would have gone through with it without a second thought right?”

“Yeah” he nodded with a soft smile as he thought of his bride to be.

“She makes me smile, she makes me laugh, she makes me happy”

“Well then” she smiled sincerely as the lift stopped on yet another of the thirty floors and she moved to get out.

“Belle” he reached out and took her hand in his, leaning his body against the button controlling the doors so that they remained open.

He pulled her closer towards his body and ran his free hand through her hair. He tilted his head slowly towards her, genuinely intending the kiss he planned to press to her lips to be nothing more than

goodbye but she wouldn’t even let him get that far as she pulled away all flustered.

“Don’t Aden” she sighed softly as she exited the lift without looking back.

“I won’t do anything that would ever hurt him”

Time rolls on

And dreams they die

And I've thrown out the pictures I had of you and I

And if you're ever wondering if love can be true

Well think of me, remember baby, like I

Like I do

Old friendships fade away, love falls apart

And you've not spent a single day outside my heart

But there's just one more dream that I have left for you

I hope you're smiling when she turns around and says I do,

I do

"I do" - Jude


“Congratulations” Geoff told the beautiful bride as he reached her and pressed a kiss to her soft cheek.

“You look...great” he finished his sentence slightly lack lustre, fully aware that Belle was in hearing distance as she tried to locate their names on the seating plan.

“Thanks” Nicole smiled, her blonde hair styled in perfect curls around her beautiful face. Her eyes sparkled with a happiness he’d never seen before as he reached out to shake Aden’s hand.

“Congratulations Aden”

“Thanks man” Aden nodded before his attention was diverted to Annie who had rushed up to hug him, not having seen him for years.

“I didn’t really expect you to come” Nicole admitted in a whisper as Geoff continued to stand before her looking dapper in his navy blue suit.

“Belle wanted to for some reason” he shrugged softly glad that they’d made it through the ceremony without any unscheduled interruptions.

Aden and Nicole had both said I do and Belle had been quiet throughout. He wasn’t even sure she remembered her drunken ramblings about still loving Aden a little and it wasn’t something he was ever

going to bring up himself.

“But I’m glad we did come” he told her genuinely.

“It’s nice to see you so happy Nic”

“You look happy too, really happy” she smiled back sincerely before reaching forward to hug him and press a kiss to his cheek.

“I am” he told her honestly before Belle’s soft voice called out to him.

“Geoff! Annie! We’re over here” she called out, waving the designer place card bearing her name, in the air.

“You better go” Nicole smiled.

“Enjoy the reception”

“Yeah, you too and...”

“The rest of my life?” Nicole filled in the gap for him knowing they would probably never meet again after this.

“You too Geoff”

“See ya Nic” he grinned before heading towards Belle who was talking to Nicole’s step mother.

“I can’t believe you didn’t bring Nate and Emmie, I was dying to see them!” Leah was sighing as Geoff sidled up beside Belle and slipped a hand around her waist.

“They’re way too little to travel all this way” Belle smiled her hand gripping the one Geoff had rested on her hip.

“And my Mum is enjoying having them to herself for the weekend!”

“Oh I bet she is!” Leah laughed at the thought of Amanda playing the doting grandmother.

“Excuse me guys, I think I’m wanted” Leah apologised before heading off towards Roman.

Geoff spun Belle around and gazed at her intently.

“What?” she questioned suspiciously but he didn’t respond.

He simply smiled at her in sheer satisfaction. He’d been so scared when they’d boarded the flight the day before that by coming here he would lose her but she’d proven him wrong and for that he felt

she needed rewarding.

Pulling her forward until her body pressed firmly against his, he tilted his head and tipped hers back slightly, taking her lips passionately with his own.

Pleasantly startled she responded, looping her arms around his neck and kissing him back hungrily as the elegant place card bearing the name “Isabelle Campbell” in delicate script fluttered

unnoticed to the marble floor.

No regrets

Because somebody new looks good to you

No regrets

Sweetheart no matter what you say or do

I know our love will linger

When the other love forgets

So I say goodbye with no regrets

"No Regrets" - Bille Holiday


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