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A Summer Bay Wedding

Guest TelephotoMarigold

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Story Title: A Summer Bay Wedding
Story Description: Geoff and Nicole prepare to get Married!
Type of story: Long Fic
Main Characters: Nicole Franklin and Geoff Campbell, Roman and Ella Harris, Aden and Belle Jefferies

Other Characters: Irene Roberts, Annie Campbell, Ruby Buckton,
Genre: Romance, Drama, Comedy,
BTTB Rating: G
Does story include spoilers: No
Is story being proof read: No
Any warnings: Will warn at the beginning of the chapter if necessary.

Summary: Having accepted Geoff's proposal, Nicole is now planning the wedding of her dreams. But things never go right with a Summer Bay wedding do they? Meanwhile, Roman and Ella are (slowly) adjusting to married life. How can Ella settle into the Bay when it seems that she might have married in haste?

This story follows on from 'The Beginning' and 'The Lost Letter'.

For Jdoddy!


Its a long walk to the gas station, she complains about the stones in her shoes and the heat and the dust.
Eventually he snaps at her.
"I can't believe that I want to marry someone like you!"
She stops dead in the road and stares at him. Her heart hammering in her chest. It's so loud she wonders if he can hear it.
"Was that a proposal?" she asks scared that he's going to take those words back.
He walks to the side of the road and picks a flower, a blue one with five petals and a yellow centre, she knows she is dreaming because everything is so clear. He looks at her and sinks slowly to one knee,Then she sees the Jewellry box he's pulled out of his pocket. She prays that the ring is lovely because she doesn't want that pinched look on her face when she sees something she doesn't like. She knows she's a princess and she can't help it. He opens the box and she sees the sapphire ring. She never wanted a sapphire ring but she looks at him and knows he chose it because it would go with her eyes. The ring sparkles in the beautiful sun and she falls in love with it and him all over again.
He looks deep into her sapphire eyes and hands her the blue flower with the five petals and holds out the box.
"No." he said. "This is.... Nicole will you please marry me and make me the happiest man ever?"
She looks at him. Just looks at him because she is so happy she actually can't speak. She holds out her left hand and watches as he slides the ring onto her finger. It fits, she thought, he bought it so it fits. She twirls her finger slightly so that the sun catches the ring and it sparkles.
"Yes please." she answered simply.
Nicole wakes from the dream again, the smell of that summer day still lingering around the room. She turns her head to look at Geoff, he is smiling, oh, he's not actually in the room with her, it's just a picture, but tucked inside the frame is the pressed blue flower. She doesn't know the name of it, for all she knows it could just be a weed but she's determined to have some in her bouquet.
It's not easy being a princess she thinks climbing out of bed and taking a shower before getting dressed but she makes it look like it is as she walks downstairs in riduclously high heels.
"Are you ready to go?" a voice asks. It is Ella her stepmum.
"Yes." she replies, taking just long enough to sip some coffee. No breakfast today she is too excited.
"And tell me again why I have to be there?" Her dad asks grumpily, taking back his cup from Nicole.
"Because I'm shopping for my dream wedding dress and I need to know how it looks when you are walking me down the aisle." Nicole answers.
"And why do I have to go?" Miles calls from the lounge.
"Because I need you to stop Roman trying to escape after Nicole's tried on a few dresses and he's bored." Ella explains.
They pile out of the house.
Roman sulked.
Ella smiled.
Nicole put her favourite designers in order in her head so she would know which dresses to try on first.
Miles went to sleep in the back of the car and hoped that there would be some more coffee later.

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Chapter One

Roman was driving, he'd insisted on it because it was the most Alpha Male thing he would be able to do today and well it was his car. Ella and Nic were talking about dresses and maybe even, and this caused a shudder to run down his spine, look at top hat and tails for the men. Even get him to try some on and see how they looked. Miles had escaped into sleep as soon as the car started and now Roman was envying him.

It wasn't that he was grumpy, well actually he was. They had got up really early for the drive into the city and Nicole had overslept and then spent an hour in the shower. Then she had stolen his coffee and now they were lost. Which was also Nicole's fault. She was supposed to be giving them the directions to the Bridal stores she had looked up online and instead had left the maps in her room. Ella had declared that it was not a problem, Roman continued with his thoughts, she had just used her mobile phone to connect to the Internet and look up the shops. But no it wasn't just that the directions had been left behind, he thought savagely, it was Nicole shouting out 'Stop!' and making them drive off down this road he was now trying to get off from. She had seen a shoe shop and made them park while she went in.

Thinking that maybe she had seen a pair of shoes for the wedding he didn't mind, following her in the store but oh no, it was a pair of high heeled black and silver Jimmy Choos...whatever they were! And he still didn't know just quite how his credit card had come out of his wallet to pay for them. And then he'd stood at the till with an over-excited Nicole, who couldn't seem to stop talking, to glance at Ella looking at designer baby shoes. Baby Shoes!! In PINK!! He had a vision of doing this father of the bride thing in 18 years (no make that at least 30 years because there was no way he was going to let another daughter marry young if at all!) and felt his heart start thumping hard in his chest. As in having a mini heart attack.

And El, well she just smiled that secret little smile of hers she had taken to using lately.

That last thought caught him up short. He slammed the brakes on and stopped the car in the middle of the road. Luckily there was no traffic immediately behind them.

"Hell no!" he exclaimed.

"Dad! What.....?!" Nic started to say.

Pulling himself together and making a mental note to speak to Ella later he put the car in gear and set them back in motion.

"Sorry!" he muttered. "I thought I saw something in the road." his eyes met with El's gaze in the rear view mirror.

'What's wrong?" she mouthed silently.

He shook his head to indicate nothing.

She smiled at him and damn if it wasn't that secretive smile all over again, he thought smiling back.

Miles opened one eye.

"Are we there yet?" he asked, having slept though the sojourn at the shoe shop.

"No!" came back a chorus of three voices!

The rest of the drive was silent apart from the occasional snore from Miles who had fallen back asleep. He pulled up the car in front of what he was told was an exclusive boutique. It had cream blinds in the windows and aside from the fancy gold lettering across the windows, there was nothing to say what the shop was, however from the excited girlish chatter it appeared that they were at a bridal boutique!

“We’re here. “ he said to Miles who immediately opened his eyes.

They climbed out of the car and Nicole smoothed down her hair and dress as if she was nervous. She and Ella went in first and he waited patiently for Miles, wondering if they could make a break for it while the girls were distracted. He looked up to see Ella holding out the door for him with a smile on her face. She shook her head at him, and like any good well trained solider he squared his shoulders and walked inside to meet his fate. Miles followed behind, dragging his feet.

A person who introduced himself as Maurice greeted them as they entered. Now he knew why Nicole had asked him to wear a suit today, although both he and Miles were dressed in the standard of smart casual; black trousers and white shirt. He’d actually been surprised that Miles owned anything without a pattern or some logo emblazoned upon it, and quite frankly, he’d never seen the other man look so smart.

They were offered a glass of champagne and he brightened until he saw Ella turn it down for a glass of Orange Juice instead and then remind him he was driving so he couldn’t have any either. He only just controlled his scowl when he shook Maurice’s hand as he was introduced as Father of the Bride. He smiled though when Miles caught hold of said Maurices hand and pumped it vigorously telling him he was just a friend of the father of the bride, and asking if there was anymore champagne.

They were shown to a set of French inspired furniture in white with gilt gold edging and invited to sit down. Miles chose the sofa, with Ella sitting next to him, which left him and Nicole on the spindly-legged chairs. His creaked alarmingly when he sat in it causing Maurice to glare at him.

“Dad!” Nicole hissed at him when Maurice was out of earshot. “We are very lucky to be here you normally have to wait months to get an appointment with this boutique.”

He rolled his eyes at her and was about to say something when a warning shake of Ella’s head stopped him.

Who in their right minds got an appointment to look at dresses? He thought grumpily, resting his elbow on the chair arm causing it to creak again.

Nicole glared at him.

Maurice walked back into the room with a clothes rail pushed behind him.

“This is Marianne.” He introduced that woman who had pushed the clothes rail. “She is going to help you with the dresses. I will be back shortly after you have had a chance to look at our first selection.”

Roman and Miles’ heads shot up at the first selection comment.

‘Please god!’ He thought, ‘Let her like the very first dress she tries on and I’ll start going to church, feed the poor and give up swearing!’ But he knew with a sinking heart that his daughter would be trying on all the dresses.

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Chapter Two

Geoff walked into the Diner to sit and wait for Irene to finish her shift. Colleen had brought him a coffee a while ago and it was cooling in front of him. She’d asked him about the wedding plans and how it was all coming along and he’d replied with a patient smile, that it was all going fine and he was sure Nicole would tell her all about it. He didn’t mention that he was fed up talking about the wedding and that it was ALL Nic could talk about it.

Last night they’d had a three-hour discussion on Cakes.

‘CAKES!’ he thought savagely in uppercase.

Oh it wasn’t that he wasn’t excited, he could think of nothing better than standing in front of all their friends and family and saying his vows before them and God, but it was still months away and they had other things to talk about.

Like where they were going to live for a start. Martha, because of her pregnancy and her need to be closer to the hospital, had offered him the use of the farm for the interim. But when Nic had learnt of the idea she got that pinched sour look on her face and he’d known that she’d immediately thought about how far it was from the shops. Not to mention it was where he and Claudia had stayed for a while.

‘Woah Boy!’ he thought to himself. ‘Don’t go there!’ he cautioned, avoiding thoughts of that time in his life.

He would love to start their married life on the farm, the place where he and Annie grew up and where memories of his parents and Pops were, but knew that it just wasn’t the solution. So here he was waiting for Irene so that he could talk it through with her.

Irene walked over to him and sat down at the table. She’d brought him a fresh cup of coffee and one for herself.

“Spill it!” she instructed, not meaning the coffee!

“The Wedding!” he said, careful of his tone of voice as Colleen was suspiciously taking her time wiping a table nearby. He indicated her presence with a movement of his eyes!

“For Gawds sake Colleen, that table is flipping well clean so take your flapping ears back to the kitchen!” Irene said to her.

She bustled away in a huff.

Irene and Geoff looked at each other and laughed.

“Well let’s get this out the way.” Irene said taking a sip of her coffee. “Are you having second thoughts?”

Geoff looked up startled.

“No, God no!” he exclaimed.

Irene laughed at Geoff using that particular phrase.

“I love her more than life itself Irene!” he finished, looking chagrined.

“Good love. I had a feeling that she would turn out to be the one all those years ago. And you’ve stuck together through some trying times.”

He laughed.

“Yeah!” he said, “it’s when it’s easy we seem to stuff up. But this feels right Irene. I don’t know how to explain it in words.”

He drained the last of his coffee, not realising how much he had drunk.

“Its ok” she said putting her hand on his. “I’ve got eyes me boy! And I ain’t that old.”

“I’m not going to like myself for saying this but I feel as though I’ll explode if I don’t.” Geoff looked down then up and met Irene’s gaze. “There is more to life than a wedding and dresses and cake!”

“Lord love, don’t let Belle hear you say there is more to life than cake, she’ll skin you alive.”

Geoff let out a long slow breath and then laughed. Laughed like he hadn’t laughed for ages. A great big belly laugh.

“Thank you Irene.” He said, wiping tears from his eyes.

“Feel better?” Irene asked.

“I do.” He confirmed.

They both burst out laughing at his choice of phrase.

“I’ll talk to her.” He said when they sobered, meaning Nic. But he knew that he wouldn’t do it tonight, she’d gone looking at dresses today and he didn’t want to bring her down from the excited buzz she’d no doubt have.

“So what was the other thing?” Irene asked, when Geoff had texted her earlier asking for this chat he’d mentioned having a couple of things he needed to talk to her about.

“Somewhere to live.” He confessed sheepishly.

“Strewgth!” Irene said. “No need to even ask, the beach house will always have a place for you. Not an ideal place to start married life I agree but its there if you want it. And no I won’t be offended if Princess Nic wants to look for something else!”

Geoff looked at the older woman and once again said a silent prayer for her coming into his life.

“Thank you Irene, you have no idea how much it means to me.”

“Well come here and give me a hug before you go.” She murmured, sensing that he needed it more than she did, although one could never have too many hugs!

He embraced her squeezing tight for the merest second before wishing her goodbye and walking back to the beach house. His phone beeped and he read the message from Roman.

“No choice of dress yet… Please rescue me…. Please…she’s making me try on suits!!”

Followed by a message from Nic,

“Ignore whatever he sent. Dresses ok but nothing Princess like. Did we talk about top hat and tails? TTFN Nic x”

“Hell no! “ he said to no one in particular. “Hell No!“ he repeated, “Over my dead body!”

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Chapter Three

They were in the car on the way back from town. They had been to six different wedding boutiques and he lost count of the number of dresses Nicole had tried on. She was in the back seat next to Ella, they had picked up more wedding magazines than he thought existed and were looking at them marking the pages of the dresses they liked.

Miles sat in the front beside him, he was awake but cautioned not to speak to him. Every so often the other man chuckled.

“I warn you, shut up.” Roman muttered. “I want you never to mention it again!”

Miles burst out laughing, unable to control it anymore.

“It was funny!” he defended himself.

Roman shifted gears with an audible crunch sound coming from the engine. All he wanted to do was get home and put on different clothes and go for a long run along the beach. Ella had not drunk one drop of Champagne in all the shops they had been in and kept looking at little girls bridesmaid dresses every time he turned around. And for Gawd’s sake why did they come in Baby sizes? It wasn’t like a baby could actually be a bridesmaid. She kept lifting them off the racks and “cooing” over them. He felt his collar grow tighter with each time she did it.

Then Nicole seemed to be unable to stop talking. As in she hadn’t shut up the whole time. And it was things like which cake would go with this dress or that dress? What shoes she needed? How high the heels would be? How could she dance in it?

He asked himself again. ‘How could a cake influence a dress choice?’

When he’d said as much out loud they’d both looked at him like he was some sort of idiot and said that the cake should reflect the bridal outfits. For example if there were a ruffle in the icing on the cake but not in any outfits it would be a miss-match.

He’d shaken his head then and he shook it now.

And as for Miles being a friend. Where was he when he had to try on the suits? Why didn’t he back him up when he’d said that he wouldn’t wear top hat and tails? No, the other man had laughed. And then to add insult there was the incident.

Maurice had come sidling up to him and measured, MEASURED the bicep in his left arm, telling him that he didn't know if he had a suit in his size, and could he just flex a bit and see just how big it went. Followed by much humming and hawing before Maurice finally said “I suppose we could make a Jacket in his size.”

Oh yeah, today had been a laugh riot and if he didn’t get home and out for that run then he was liable to punch someone.

“You want to be careful changing gears like that, you’ll wear them out, perhaps you shouldn’t flex your muscles so much!” Miles said with a laugh.

Roman glanced at him with narrowed eyes which only made Miles laugh harder.

Turning his attention back to the road he increased his speed to get home quicker.

Geoff picked up the phone before he changed his mind and dialled the number that Nicole had given him. After three rings it was answered.

“Hwello” came a little girl’s voice from the other end, somewhere across the other side of the country.

Geoff nearly dropped the phone in shock before he heard coming form the background at the other end, “Give Daddy the phone sweetie!”

“Hello” Geoff said.

“Hey!” Aden said. “What can I do for you Bible boy?”

Geoff laughed.

“Well I have something to ask you!” Geoff started to explain.

He was interrupted by the little girl’s voice in the background shouting.

“I wanna talk Daddy!”

“Er… Geoff would you mind having a chat with my daughter, she’s got a thing about phones at the moment and if we don’t let her chat on them she…” he paused. “S C R E A M S” Aden spelled out.

“Er Sure!” Geoff said.

Then thought. ‘What the heck do I talk to a kid about?’

“Hwello.” He heard.

“Hello. How are you?” Geoff said formally.

“Ah, I is good.” The little girls lisped. “I is Amy-belle.”

“Amy-belle is a beautiful name for a princess.” Geoff thought mention of princesses should keep all little girls happy, It certainly worked when he called Nic a princess.

“Tell me story of Amy-Belle Princess!” he was suddenly ordered and his mind went completely blank.

“Er… she was blonde and she had blue eyes and she had a daddy who looked a bit like her.” He improvised. “And she liked to eat cheese.” He continued looking at the sandwich he’d made for his dinner.

“Nice like me,” he was told. ”Gotta go mummy has ‘ghetti now.” She hung up the phone and he was left with a disconnected buzz in his ear.

He pulled the phone away and was about to hit redial when it rang.

“Thanks for that Bible boy!” Aden said. “When she starts screaming it lasts for about an hour and the neighbours can hear it.” Aden chuckled. “And they live five miles away!”

“It’s alright.” Geoff said distractedly. A child could scream that loud? He thought.

“What can I do for you?” Aden asked. “And don’t worry I’m in my office, the kids aren’t allowed in here so I can talk without you have to finish the princess story.”

“You had it on speakerphone didn’t you?” Geoff groaned.

“Of course!” Aden said with a laugh.

Within moments Geoff saw the funny side and joined in with the laughter.

“I want to ask you a favour.” Geoff said.

“Sure.” Aden replied. “No problem. Anything.”

“You don’t know what it is yet!” Geoff protested.

“Doesn’t matter. What do you want?”

“I want you to be my best man.” Geoff blurted.

“Are you serious?” Aden said stunned.

“Of course. I’m always serious, you should know that by now.”

“Well you know that Nic and I…” Aden trailed off.

“Yes. And I know why. I’m not worried about that.” Geoff said softly.

“Wow!” Aden murmured. “Wow!” he said again.

“You are Belle’s husband and sort of my brother-in-law.” Geoff explained.

“Geoff,” Aden began using his name and not the Bible boy nickname. “Mate, I would be honoured to be your best man. And I know just the thing to say to liven up the best man speech.”

Geoff laughed.

“Alright Aden!” he murmured.

Just then his phone beeped indicating an incoming call.

“Look I’ll send you some details nearer the time I have to go I have call waiting.”

“And it’s probably Nic!” Aden said.

“Usually is!” Geoff confirmed.

They cut the connection and he answered the other call.

“Hey hun” Nicole dulcet tones came through.

“Hello Babe. You’re the second Princess I’ve spoken to tonight!”

“Well I better be the only Princess you’re thinking of Marrying!” Nicole huffed.

“Thinking off Princess?” Geoff asked. “I will be marrying you and I don’t want any argument about it!”

Nicole laughed.

“Well I won’t bore you with all my yak about the dresses I saw today,” she said. “But I will tell you a funny story about my Dad!”

Geoff picked up his sandwich and took it over to the sofa. He sat down and sank back amongst the pillows and took a bite.

Nicole told him all about Maurice at the first boutique and Geoff started laughing so much he thought his head was going to fall off. He sat gasping for breath on the sofa. His sandwich discarded on the table in front of him.

“We need to talk about this wedding stuff, Nic.” He said when they had both sobered.

“I know.” she sighed. “I keep telling myself to calm down but then I think about the veil or shoes or the cake and I’m a bridezilla again.”

He sighed.

“I love you Nic. “ he said softly.

“I love you too.” She told him back. “I did see the sexiest lace underwear today.” She teased him in an ultra sexy voice.

“uh huh!” he murmured.

“Would you like me to tell you more?” she asked, her voice going even huskier.

“Nic, are you trying to distract me form the Bridezilla thing?” he asked.

“Is it working?” she said with a chuckle.

“No.” he replied.

“Oh well!” she laughed again. “Just call me Bridezilla and I promise not to mention anything about the wedding for at least an hour. Now are you going to eat that sandwich or not because I’m starving.”

Geoff looked up in surprise at the door.

She clicked the phone shut.

“I was talking to you and I suddenly missed you.” She confessed.

“Oh Nic!” He stood and opened his arms. She ran into them and they kissed. His lips were warm and tender, but she knew he was passionate! She thought with a smile.

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Chapter Four

Nicole woke up as soon at the alarm went off. She was due to go for an interview at a boutique in Yabbie Creek later today for a job and she wanted to get an early start so she could plan out a few wedding details.

‘Hey!’ she thought, ‘if this wedding went ok maybe she could become a wedding planner!’. But the thought was only fleeting, she wanted to go into fashion and although working in a boutique was a little low key for her considering she wanted to be a designer, it was a fine place to work to earn some money for the wedding. Not that she was going to pay for much as Roman was picking up the bill.

And that plan that Ella had come up with, of looking at baby stuff all the time, so that he’d be so distracted he wouldn’t look at the prices of anything was working, she’d even scammed a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes out of him yesterday! Nicole looked at the shoes she’d placed on her bedside unit so she would be able to look at them first thing this morning!

She rolled over and stretched. Just then her phone beeped with an incoming message.

“Just a test to see if this works…. Bridezilla!… Love G xxx”

“Damn it!” she shouted, and then looked around the room, “I mean darn.” Despite the fact that Geoff wasn’t there to hear her. Now she couldn’t do any wedding prep for an hour. Oh well she’d just have to take a shower and do her hair.

She was sitting in the kitchen eating a late breakfast with her hair perfectly conditioned when her dad walked down the stairs. He looked in a bad mood.

“What’s the matter?” she asked.

“Nothing except I had to take a cold shower!” he grouched.

“Jeez’ Dad!” she exclaimed, “I don’t want to hear about your sex life! I’m going out!” she picked up her handbag and left the house before he could say anything.

“Because you used all the hot water.” He explained to no one.

He walked over to the coffee-pot and saw that it was empty.

“Great!” he muttered. He stomped over to the cupboard when he usually kept the coffee and found it wasn’t there. Since when did he keep the pickles in this cupboard and how come he had so many jars of them? It must have been moved again. Ella had started rearranging stuff in his kitchen. His Kitchen. He opened up all the cupboards until he found the coffee.

“Yuk!” he exclaimed. It was decaff. It was a good job she was off picking up Mike for the weekend or they would probably be having words.

He decided to go to the diner for a late breakfast and a coffee or maybe an expresso, he thought and went to grab his keys from the counter near the door and noticed a shopping bag by the door. He accidentally knocked it and out rolled a ball of pink yarn. He bent down to pick it up and opened the bag to put it back, when he found some knitting. He pulled it out and looked at it.

“It’s a bootie!” he said aloud.

He found it was suddenly hard to breathe, he thought loosening his collar. He dropped it back in the bag and looked around. Pickles, Decaff, Baby shoes and dresses, Knitting. All the clues were there. He swallowed. Pulling out his phone he gasped and dialled a number.

“Hi,” he said when the call connected. “Don’t talk I need to meet you for a coffee in the diner, now!” Was that his voice that sounded so strangled he wondered? He stormed out of the house and ran down to the diner.

Miles looked around his class.

“Class I have a bit of an emergency. Continue with your assignment and I’ll be back soon!” he told them standing up from his desk. He walked out of the classroom and into Barletts office.

“Emergency!” he gasped, “Back soon.” He told the headmaster, not even waiting for a response as he ran out and down to the diner.

“What’s happened?” he asked Roman as soon as he saw him.

Good Grief he thought, the other man looked pale.

“Knitting!” Roman exclaimed. “There’s knitting!”

“What?!” Miles looked thoroughly confused.

“There are pickles and knitting and decaff. And Nicole is getting married and Maurice wanted me to flex my biceps!” Roman shouted. He found himself gasping for breath and turning a strange shade of purple.

“Colleen bring me a glass of water and two coffees!” Miles shouted to the woman now blatantly eaves dropping. She hurried away looking flustered.

“Roman I want you to breath, in and out.” Miles told him.

He was relieved when Irene was the one to bring over the drinks.

“Shouldn’t you be in school?” Irene asked Miles.

“Er…” Miles muttered. “Free Period!” he lied as Roman’s head snapped up at the question, although the other man looked calmer now and a normal looking colour was returning to his face.

He made Roman sip the water and tell him again what was happening.

“So let me get this straight.” He began, “When you had Nicole you had no idea what you were doing, aside from the obvious bit of course, and now you do know what you are doing, again aside from the obvious bit, you’re having a panic attack?”

“Er… when you put it like that it does sound a bit silly. I mean how hard can a new kid be? Nicole will have moved out by then … Nicole is going to move out isn’t she?” Roman suddenly found something else to panic over. “Tell me she’s going to move out?” he begged Miles his voice rising.

“Lord! Are you sure you were in the Army?” Irene said to him.

The other woman had walked over to their table without them noticing.

Roman stood up.

He grabbed hold of Irene by her shoulders and shook her gently.

“They give you guns in the Army and point you at bad guys they don’t teach you how to deal with Nicole!” he said his voice raised “and weddings! Sure, give me Saddam’s imperial guard or Afghani terrorists and I’m fine but not ….” His voice rose in panic again. “Nicole and weddings!”

Miles hid a smile.

“Come on, I have to get back to the school.” He steered the other man out, winking at Irene behind Roman’s back.

“Well.” Said Colleen watching as the men leave. “I never did find out what was happening to his Bicepticles.”

“Lord!” said Irene. “Give me strength!”

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Chapter Five

Nicole walked dejectedly from the boutique. The owner had made her feel foolish during the interview and she knew she didn’t have a chance of getting the job. It was a shame as the boutique was very interested in pursuing talented designers with its own in house scheme. She hadn’t known it at the time unfortunately, even though she had researched the stores history after getting notification of the interview date.

“Oh well.” she said, continuing to walk down the street and looking in the shop windows. She was struck by a dress in a charity shop window. It was long and white and styled in a Grecian manner with long fitted sleeves and a criss-cross of ribbon across the bodice. She pulled out her mobile phone and took a quick picture of it, just moments before the store dummy was lifted out of the window. It looked a stunning dress she suddenly thought. She wondered if she could find a designer version.

She sent the picture to Ella, with the message ‘Did we see any like this?? Nic’

She started walking toward her car and her phone beeped again.

‘Bridezilla’ she read.

She stopped in the street and swore, startling a passer by.

“Sorry” she muttered a quick apology. She was going to have to have words with Geoff, every hour he had sent her the ‘Bridezilla’ text and she had kept to her word and not discussed the wedding.

Did he not realise how it would look in an interview when she’d said that although she liked the store she needed the job because she was saving up for a thingy?

“Talk about it!” she muttered. “It doesn’t count if I think about it, that’s not talking about it is it?”

“Talking about what dearie?” a passing stranger, asked curiously.

“My wed…..” she trailed off. “Ah ha… you nearly got me there but I didn’t say it… I did not say wedding!” She looked up startled. “Dammit you made me say wedding!” she accused the passer by.

She tossed her hair over her shoulder and stomped to her car. She drove home in a foul mood. She was at her front door less than an hour later; pushing the speeding ticket into the bottom of her bag she pulled out her keys and opened the door. She decided to take a long soak and get rid of her bad mood before heading over to Geoff’s for dinner.

Roman came back from the beach alone, he'd had a game of footie with Ollie and Mike. The two boys were now at the Caravan Park catching up. He could see it was only a matter of time before Mike no longer wanted to attend boarding school and live in the bay full time now he had Ollie as a best friend.

He’d also taken a long run along the beach to get rid of some of the negative feelings he’d been having lately and now he needed a long drink of water and a quick shower before he had to head to the diner to do his shift.

He grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and headed upstairs drinking from the bottle in frantic gulps. He placed his hand on the handle of the bathroom door and turned it. Seconds before he was going to push it open he heard Nicole say.

“Its busy! I’m taking a bath!”

“Well how long are you going to be?” he asked, taking another drink.

“I don’t know I’ve only just got in!” she told him.

Roman sighed and turned round went into his bedroom pulling off his sweaty running gear and grabbing a bathrobe. He headed back downstairs with a sardonic grin on his face.

“How hard can it be?” he thought, “I used to wash in cold water.”

He headed outside to the back garden and hooked up the hosepipe, turning it on. Stripping off the bathrobe he stepped underneath the cold water and gasped in shock.

“Ok, I really need …” he said his teeth chattering. “To get another bathroom installed.” He continued washing under the cold water until he heard a scream. He looked up to see Colleen standing there with a cake box.

“For Gawds sake woman!” he muttered, grabbing his bathrobe and dropping the pipe. “Can’t you knock?”

She stood with her eyes closed and said. “I had no idea you would be washing your bicepticles and other bits in the open.”

“I’m in my garden Colleen and Nicole is hogging the bathroom again!” he explained. “You can open your eyes now. I’ve put on my bathrobe.”

She looked at him and said. “Don’t worry I won’t tell Ella that I saw your pecticles and other things.”

Roman sighed and then he reached for the belt of his robe he opened it and flashed her.

“Oh my word!” Colleen exclaimed, looking like she was going to faint.

“See I’m wearing swim shorts!” he said. “What did you come round for anyway?” He turned off the hose and led her into the house.

“I made young Mike a cake and Ella said it was ok to bring it round. She said that if no one answered the door to leave it round the back. I didn’t mean to interrupt you with your absolutions.” Colleen paused in the ramble. “Is this what they teach you in the army?” she asked.

“Yeah something like that.” He said. “Are you heading back to the diner?” he asked changing the subject.

“Yes,” she said. “Yes I am. “ She confirmed.

“Well I’ll get dressed and walk you there. I have a shift starting in twenty minutes.” Roman said heading for the stairs and began climbing them.

“Ok.” Colleen said following him, distracted.

“Colleen are you planning on following me all the way to my bedroom?” he turned and asked the other woman.

She flushed.

“No.” she said stopping and walking back downstairs flustered.

“I’ll be down in a bit.” He promised.

Roman said goodbye to the last customer and began closing up the diner. He was going to head over to Noah’s and have a drink as soon as the place was locked up, he decided. Finally turning out the lights and turning the key in the door he headed over to the bar, fleetingly wondering if Miles would be there.

He walked over to the surf club and paused to look out at the ocean before walking into the bar. He really loved living in the bay.

“He’s here!” Tony called to Alf, who pressed the button on the CD player. Strains of Bobby Darin’s song Splish splash, I was taking a bath filled the bar.

Roman stopped dead and glared at Alf, Tony and Miles in turn.

“I see you’ve been talking Colleen.” He said in his best army tough guy voice to them.

“Don’t take it to heart.” Alf said.

“Yeah,” Miles agreed. “Just have a drink.” He sniggered.

Alf picked up a bottle and placed it in front of Roman. It had a tape measure tied round it. He turned round to Miles and looked at him.

“You promised you wouldn’t say anything?” he sneered.

“Yes, but you forgot to tell Nicole not to tell Geoff who told Irene who…” Miles began.

“That’s enough.” Roman said burying his head in his hands.

Tony patted Roman on the back.

“It’s alright.” He told him. “You’re amongst friends. I got you this” Tony handed him an envelope.

Roman looked at him with narrowed eyes as he opened it.

“A years membership to the gym? But I’m already a member!” he said slightly puzzled.

“Well according to Colleen you could use some toning up.” Alf said, unable to keep a straight face.

The three men couldn’t resist laughing at the look on Roman’s face.

“And you are supposed to be my friends?” He muttered, before he too burst out laughing.

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Chapter Six

Nicole walked into the Beach house and stopped dead. The whole house was filled with lit candles. She inhaled fragrances of rose and vanilla and something sweet but sensual. She looked at the table and in the centre was a vase with the very same blue flowers that he had picked for her when he proposed. The table was set for two people, a bottle of champagne chilling in an ice bucket, she noticed that it was her favourite pink champagne too! A large gift-wrapped box was on the coffee table. She gasped at how lovely it all was and how much effort Geoff had taken.

“Hello Princess” he murmured as he walked downstairs.

He was wearing a tuxedo with the bow tie at a rakish angle, his wonderful blond hair slicked back like a 1930’s Hollywood movie star. A lock had escaped and was curling on his forehead she noticed, and it made him look even more adorable.

He walked over to her and took her in his arms for a passionate kiss, sweeping her backwards draping her over his muscled arm as he ravished her mouth. She gasped and swooned and actually noted that her knees really did go weak. Wow.

He set her upright, one arm around her waist and holding out a small package in the other.

“This is for you.” He declared.

She took the gift from and read the note attached.

“For the cutest Bridezilla in the world with all my love – Your future Husband” she read aloud. “Oh no!” She gasped “that means I can’t talk about it!”

He smiled wickedly and deep inside her she felt her heart thud.

“There is a P.S.” he whispered in her ear. His warm breath tickled sensitive spots on her neck she didn’t know she had and she felt a sudden need to sit down.

She turned over the label and read.

“PS the ‘Bridezilla’ rule is rescinded for tonight!”

Tears sprang into her eyes. Ridiculous, she thought, but she felt as though her heart were about to burst with happiness and love.

“Oh Geoff!” was all she could say.

He kissed his way down her neck and onto her delicate shoulder. She shuddered and moaned softly, much to his amusement.

“You can open it you know!” he murmured, and his tongue slipped out to draw a delicate circle on the interesting hollow in her collarbone.

She moaned and almost dropped the box as she turned around and wrapped her arms around him and pulled his head to hers so she could kiss him. He resisted and pulled away.

“We have until Midnight Princess, then your pumpkin awaits to take you home!” he whispered his lips within kissing distance of hers.

He smiled down on her and she looked at him with wonderment but he half shook his head. She could only collapse in the chair he had pulled out for her. He opened the champagne and poured out two glasses. She sipped at hers before turning her attention back to the small gift. She took her time to open the gift, noting with a wry amusement that normally it would have been ripped open by now. The ribbon came off and she made a note to save it as it was the exact blue as what she now called her special flowers. With small movements she opened the wrapping and peeled it back to reveal a blue jeweller’s box. She gasped before she even opened it and then again when she did. It was a small flower pendant on a silver chain in blue stones, with yellow crystals at the centre.

“Only crystals I’m afraid!” Geoff said, “But one day maybe I’ll drape you in real jewels.”

“I don’t care. It’s my flower and it’s beautiful. “She gasped blinking back tears of happiness that were threatening her mascara. “Please…” she whispered.

He lifted it out of the jewel box and placed it around her neck, taking the time to ensure that it was properly kissed at the same time. They were interrupted by a knock on the door. Geoff went over and answered it, taking delivery of the pizza box, and paying for it.

Nicole sat sipping her champagne and laughed, she looked at the crystal glasses and the expensive dinner service and had to admit she was a bit puzzled by what they would be eating but pizza was somehow perfect!

“Now come on Nic, you know I can’t cook!” Geoff said wryly.

“Neither can I!” she confessed. “What the heck are we going to live on?”

Geoff served up the pizza and smiled.

“I’m sure we’ll learn in time!” he said, refilling her glass.

She saw that they ate the pizza and the ice cream he had collected from the freezer without her opening the other package. Gosh, she wondered, had she changed that much. Then gasped for a different reason as Geoff removed the tuxedo Jacket and loosened the bow tie so that the ends trailed down on to his shirt. He undid a couple of the shirt buttons and went over to the stereo.

“Now I’ve been giving this some thought and we need to pick a song to have a first dance to. I’ve put together a CD of all our favourite songs and I think we should test them out.” Strains of a soft romantic melody oozed around the room. She gasped again as she recognised it as the one song they had first danced to together.

“Would you care to dance Princess?” he asked, holding out his hand to her.

She stood and moved into his arms marvelling at how well they fit together. They began to move as one and if she didn’t know better she would have sworn that he had taken dance lessons.

“No sweetheart, “ he said, “This is how we fit together, no lessons, just you in my arms!” he whispered as if she had somehow spoken the words aloud. Although she knew she hadn’t!

They danced until an alarm went off somewhere in the room.

She looked up puzzled.

“It’s midnight and you need to go Princess, your pumpkin is here!” Geoff said.

“But…” she protested.

He helped her gather everything together to take with her, noting with amusement that she tucked the gift ribbon and gift label into her purse so that she could save them. He picked up the other package that she hadn’t even opened and carried it outside for her.

She gasped when she saw the coach and horses waiting to take her home, then tears fell from her eyes unchecked.

“I love you, I’m so in love with you.” She gasped to him.

He placed the gift in the back of the carriage and then turned to her and swept her into his arms for another passionate romantic wonderful Hollywood kiss. She blinked up at him trying to stem the tears.

“If I’m a Princess” she said at last, “You are most definitely my Prince Charming.”

She hated turning away from him but she climbed into the carriage and it set off taking her home, with her longing to go to sleep so she could dream about tonight.

Her phone beeped and she took it out of her purse to look at the message.

“I love you too! I always have and I always will!” she read.

Tears ran unheeded down her cheeks as she arrived home and walked inside. The coach driver carried her gift package inside for her. And she sank onto the floor beside the box. She opened it and inside was a beautiful scrapbook with bits and pieces already inside, photos from when were at school. A scrap of material from a dress she had made once that he said he liked. Calligraphy written poem, which she could see, he had written out for her. She looked through it and saw bits from their past and pages and pages for their future. She stood up and climbed on to the sofa hugging the scrapbook to her, ignoring the pointed corners digging into her arms. She pulled a throw over herself and fell asleep almost immediately, dreaming of her Prince Charming.

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Chapter Seven

Ella took a cup of coffee to Nicole and gently woke her. The young girl yawned and then stretched and suddenly let out a gasp when she thought she’d lost the scrapbook but it had been placed on the table nearby. She went to push the throw down so she could stand up and noted that a quilt had replaced it.

“Huh!” she said confusedly.

“Your Dad came down at about half one and found you fast asleep. So he put the quilt on you.” Ella explained. “He was going to lift you up to bed but you were so fast asleep.”

Nicole smiled.

“What was he doing awake at that time of night?” Nicole asked then blushed. “Oh.” She added.

Ella laughed.

“Nothing like that Missy, he just couldn’t sleep last night. Sometimes he has bad dreams.” Ella glossed over what could be classed as night terrors. “He likes to know you are home safe too.”

Nicole laughed.

“Is that coffee for me?” she asked, avoiding confessing that she liked the fact that her dad cared so much.

“Yes!” Ella handed her the cup and took a deep breath. She had to admit that she wasn’t feeling the best today but they had an awful amount to get through. Checking out the venues, confirming the date getting the guest lists worked out for the invitations to be printed. And Nicole still hadn’t finalised her choice of invites.

She sat back on the other sofa and took a couple of deep calming breaths but the feeling of queasiness still wouldn’t go away.

“Are you ok?” Roman called from the kitchen doorway.

“To be honest no. I think I might go back to bed for a bit. I think I’m coming down with a bug.” Ella gave them a weak smile.

Roman took a step forward but before he could help Ella stand up Nicole was there. She placed her hand on Ella’s forehead checking for temperature.

“You know what this means don’t you?” Nicole said with a half smile. “I get to drag Dad around all the wedding places we were going to today.”

Ella gave a weak smile and tried to stand.

“Come on” Roman began. “I’ll take you upstairs.” He swept her up into his arms and carried her up the steep staircase leaving Nicole to sit and drink her coffee. She had a worried look on her face. She tried to tell herself that it wasn’t just about missing El’s company on the shopping trips and her help with the wedding but she suspected that she had become such a Bridezilla that that really was the only reason and that made her feel really selfish. She hoped that she wasn’t turning into the old Nicole.

Geoff picked up his phone and made the most difficult phone call he had ever had to make. Telling Nicole that the church was already booked the Saturday they wanted it for the wedding. He looked around and glanced at the view letting it calm him. With any luck she would be busy and the all would go through to voice mail he hoped. But his hopes were dashed when she answered on the first ring. He gulped.

“Hey!” she said. “I was just thinking of you Prince Charming.”

He felt his heart give a little flutter and laughed at the way she could affect him, even on the other end of a phone call.

“Hey!” he replied. “I hope you still think of me like that when I tell you the bad news.”

She gasped.


“The church is booked solid for that Saturday. There is no way we will be able to have it.” He told her and heard an audible groan from the other end of the connection.

“Well you work there!” she said aggressively. “Do something. Bump somebody’s wedding.”

“Nic, it doesn’t work like that. I told you it was a popular time and we’d be lucky.”

She took a deep breath, pinching the bridge of her nose and frowning. Luckily he couldn’t see her right now as she suspected that it wasn’t a pleasant look on her face.

“Geoff do something.” She said her tone very unpleasant then she said. “I’m sorry. What are our options?”

“That’s the other thing, Nic. They only have one space available in the diary. Its in 6 weeks.” He took a breath and lifted the phone away from his ear in preparation for the response he was sure he would get.

“6 weeks?” she cried.

“How the hell can we possibly do everything in six weeks. I don’t even have Ella today because she chose today to go get sick on me and I’m stuck with my dad who is driving me up the wall because he doesn’t have a clue about what makes a decent wedding. Of course if he had married my mother or Ella properly then it might have been different but oh no and now you are telling me that I have to put everything together in 6 weeks. It simply won’t do!” She paused at last before finishing with. ”Geoffrey Campbell sort out the church or I am not going to marry you.” And hung up the phone with an audible snap.

Geoff smiled and turned to his pastor and also his boss.

“She’s thrilled, we’ll take the slot. And also you won’t be meeting her until the day!”

The pastor, Frank, smiled.

“She took it that well?” he asked.

“No she took it better than I expected actually!” Geoff confessed.

“Com’on son. Let’s go discuss some details.” Frank steered him into the church and through to the office.

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Chapter 8

“Nic, do you think you could calm down for a second and I don’t know, like breath?” Roman asked her leading her over to a bench in the Shopping centre they were in.

She sank down to the bench and dropped the shopping bags around her feet.

“Dad its been moved up its in 6 weeks!” She muttered.

“Nic, I still need you to take a deep breath. Yes, just like that. Now another one!” he instructed.

She gasped, realising that she had in fact stopped breathing, and her heart was hammering in her chest. So this is what a panic attack feels like, she thought.

“Now tell me what Geoff said” Roman instructed.

“He said that the Church was fully booked and we only have one chance and that’s in six weeks.”

Roman sighed.

“Right then. In priority lets think about venue and as soon as that is sorted then we can get the invites out. Come on!” He instructed picking up her bags and turning around and walking back where they came from into the stationery store.

Nicole had to mach to keep pace with him. Oh boy, she thought, she really did miss Ella as she stumbled in her high heels.

“Ok, I want you to pick your top three invites.” He instructed her and she found herself looking more closely at them than before. She made her choice and showed him.

He took them over to the counter and showed them to the assistant.

“I need to know the costs for these invites to be printed up?” he asked in a tone of voice that Nicole had never heard before. The store assistant gave the prices.

“Ok, Now we’ve just been told that our date has moved up. I want to know when you can get the printing done.” He asked again in the same tone of voice and waited for the store assistant to answer.

“What quantity of stock do you have for these?” he asked and Nicole went completely into shock as he indicated the one that she really really liked!

Now the store assistant was completely flustered and stammered her answer.

Roman turned round to Nic and smiled.

“We are going to take 100 of these ones. We will confirm the details for the printing by the end of the week and we will need the matching name cards for the table and the order of service.” He confirmed pulling out his credit card.

The assistant pulled out her order book and started processing the order.

“We’ll also like to take a sample of the stationery with us today, will that be a problem?” he asked giving the assistant his most devastating smile.

“No sir, will you and your fiancée want anything else?” she asked.

“Sorry to disappoint you but this is my daughter.” Romans said. “Yes I know, I don’t look old enough!” he said flirting with the store assistant.

She took another look at him and without taking a breath asked for his phone number.

”Perhaps you should have mine instead?” Nicole said finally, reciting her mobile number.

The assistant scowled at her as she completed the order and handed him back his card. She collected the various samples of stationery and placed them in a bag that they could take away with them.

They walked out of the shop and he steered them to a coffee bar and ordered drinks and a piece of chocolate cake. She was sitting opposite him and looking thoughtful.

“You’re not a normal dad!” she said at length.

He just raised his eyebrows and waited for her to finish the sentence.

“I mean you just took that totally in your stride and nearly ended up with a date!” she said sipping her coffee. He just smiled and pushed the cake toward her. She took a forkful and sighed blissfully. “It’s your training isn’t it?” she asked after a significant pause in which half the cake disappeared.

“Nic,” he began, “I’ve not been that good at all this dad stuff over the years. And I’m not going to like wearing a top hat and tails to your wedding but I will do everything in my power to give you the wedding you deserve. “ He paused and smiled at her. “Aden wasn’t the first one to call you Princess. I used to when you were a little girl. You had the curliest blonde hair when you were born and the bluest eyes. Everyone said that your eyes would change colour but they didn’t. Every night, when I put you in your bed to go to sleep I called you my Princess and I had to read you the same fairytale book. But somehow, in one of those times I went away you decided that you didn’t like to be called a Princess anymore and that was it.”

Nic looked at him and blinked. She could just about remember the man who would tuck her in at night and read her stories. She’d thought it was her first Stepfather and when she’d asked her mother, Natalie, had said she was imagining things.

She gasped.

“It was you. I remember.” She said finally, her voice soft, then. “But Dad I don’t know a 100 people to ask to my wedding!” she eventually said the thing that was on the tip of her tongue.

“Bigger discount than if I’d ordered 50.” He explained. “You can spend even more on the dress! Now if you’ve finished I need you to drive us home while I use my phone.” He said.

She looked down to her cup and then his words sinking in exclaimed, “But you never let me drive your car.”

Roman smiled.

“First time for everything!” was his only answer. He steered them through the crowds and to the parking garage where his care had been housed and handed over the car keys.

She started the car and headed towards home whilst he used his phone.

“Ok, “ he said finally. “We have the Sands but they have a conference on that weekend so we’ll have to use outside caterers or we can have the marina club.” He said.

She took a quick look at him, before concentrating back on traffic and said the first one that came into her head.

“The Sands.” Even though she knew that it would cost extra.

He rang them back and booked the Sands for the reception and then asked about the use of the honeymoon suite for the night. Nicole tried not to blush as she heard him booking them both on his credit card.

“Dad, Geoff and I haven’t even discussed the honeymoon yet!” she gasped, still blushing.

“I’m sorry Nic, but who says that room is for you?” he grinned wickedly. “That shop assistant put her phone number on my copy of the order form!”

She reached over and hit him as she laughed.

“Ow” he cried.

“And that is nothing to what Ella will do to you when we get home!” she said still laughing.

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Chapter Nine

Nic was sitting on the corner of the bed telling Ella an abridged version of the shopping trip. Not that El wouldn’t have found it funny but she still looked a bit pale.

Ella laughed and reached for her water glass but saw that it was empty.

“I’ll go get you some water.” Nic said quickly.

Ella smiled grimly and then tried to stand.

“Hey! Where do you think you are going?” Roman asked from the doorway.

“To the bathroom.” She muttered. Roman hurried over to her and helped her out of the bed; he carried her to the bathroom and waited patiently outside. She came out a few minutes later looking even paler than when she had gone in.

He lifted her up in his arms and carried her back to the bed, noting with surprise that Nicole had brought back a jug of water and a fresh glass. She was also straightening the bed covers, tucking Ella in after he laid her on the bed.

“So you’ve sorted a venue and the invites. Now you have to draw up your guest list.” Ella said before collapsing back on the pillows.

“Ok, no more wedding talk. You need to rest Step-mama!” Nicole said, she lent forward and placed a kiss on Ella’s cheek before leaving the two of them alone.

Roman sat beside her on the bed.

“You know what I’m going to say don’t you?” He said to her taking hold of her hands.

“I’ve got an appointment with the doctor for tomorrow.” Ella said cheekily sticking her tongue out at him.

“Good!” he said.

“Perhaps you should tell me what you and this shop assistant really got up to?” she said changing the subject.

“Nice try!” he said.

“I’m alright, I’ve just picked up a bug.” She said.

“And it had nothing to do with the baby stuff you’ve been looking at lately?” he asked.

She smiled that secret smile again.

“No. Honestly. It’s a bug. “ She confirmed.

He moved so that he could sit next to her, his back against the headboard and then he placed his arm around her.

“We’ve been trying a while.” He said softly.

She lent into him and placed her head on his shoulder.

“Are we having this conversation?” she asked him.

“I know I’ve chosen my moment!” he laughed and bent his head to place a soft kiss on her hair.

She leant against him weakly without talking. He sighed and picked up his book from the bedside table and started reading. Within minutes he felt her relax and snuggle against him and knew she had fallen asleep.

Nic peered in at from the doorway. She smiled.

“I’m going over to Geoff.” She said quietly.

He nodded at her and felt Ella snuggle against him again.

“Aw! Nicole said softly. “And you’d swap that for a shop assistant!”

“Get out of here!” he grouched and threw a cushion at her and heard her chuckle as she made her way downstairs and then the click of the door as she left.

“You going to tell me about this other woman then?” Ella muttered, turning over and snuggling under the covers.

He put the book to one side and bent to kiss the top of her head.

“As if I’d have the energy for another woman!” he denied.

She said something but it was muffled.

“I’m sorry I didn’t quite catch that!” he said.

She pushed the covers down and turned her head and looked at him.

“I said that I haven’t seen any demonstrations lately!” much to his surprise. He burst out laughing.

“And you mocked my timing earlier!” he said, in-between laughter.

She poked him in the ribs.

“Ow!” he said. “What is it about the women in my life and doing me violence.”

She glared at him.

“Women plural?” she questioned jealously.

“Yes, you and Nicole.” He confirmed. Smiling down at her.

“Uh huh!” she muttered.

He bent his head and kissed her on her nose.

“You’re cute when you are jealous!” he said softly.

In response she wound her arms around his neck and pulled him towards her. He resisted and said softly. “I thought that you weren’t feeling well.”

“I’m feeling a bit better and we do have the house to ourselves. No Nic and no Mike.” She pointed out.

He chuckled and then kissed her.

“A bit better?” he asked. “Perhaps you should try and eat something then?”

She pushed him away and grimaced.

“You are a sadist!” she muttered accusingly, jumping up out of bed and racing for the bathroom.

When she opened the door he was standing there with a glass of water which he handed to her. She sipped it slowly and made her way back to bed glaring at him. He tucked her in the bed, smoothing the covers over her.

“I love you I don’t need anything else.” He told her.

She continued to glare at him.

“Maybe I do.” She muttered.

“Don’t be silly. You aren’t in any fit state to do anything…er.. Strenuous!” he said with a grin.

She laughed loudly.

“Strenuous?” she questioned. “Since when?”

He laughed again and sat beside her on the bed.

“Is that some sort of challenge?” he said a glint in his blue eyes. “Because it’s not me who says stop.”

She glared at him again and he only smirked.

“Now I’m going to call the diner and tell them I can’t do my shift because if it is a bug I can’t risk taking it into work and I’ll be back with a nice cup of Ginger tea that will settle your stomach.” He told her.

“Don’t bother!” she muttered grumpily and upon hearing his chuckle as he turned to go downstairs she threw a pillow at his departing back.

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