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Veritas Vos Liberabit

Guest Taniya_K

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Yes, I was thinking that there was something in that chapter that explained why Aden killed Belle. It's why I thought it were the candy floss, or something happening on the way home. Although that didn't happen in that chapter. Maybe it's got to do with the teddies that she won? Do they have some kind of toxins in them? I'm still sticking to the theory that Aden only 'killed' Belle due to her wishes. I really hope I'm right, lol. Can not wait to see if I'm right or not.

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Thank you all for the comments. :D

I know that the fluffy chapter is kinda different, but there's something in there that I either really subtley or really badly mentioned to do with what happened... :unsure::P

Thanks again guys :)

is it that they were playing with a gun ?? maybe he shoots her ? i dont know. i dont really want to guess. i want to see how this masterpiece unfolds

the title of your story means: The Truth Will Make You Free ...

im intrigued.

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Ooh...there was a hint. I did wonder if it was do with her fear of heights but I'm probably wrong.

The fluff was different fluff (still good, though). Kind of like horror movie fluff when your just waiting for the bad stuff to happen.

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When I first read that chapter I was hoping for some hint about whats to come but apart from the obvious ones there didn't seem to be any. But since reading your comment, even something like the simple detail about her staring a bit to long at the lights on the Ferris Wheel is making me suspicious. :) I'm looking forward to the next chapter.

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Thank you all for the lovely comments, guys! The speculation is making me :D because no-one's got it spot on yet :P More hints in this chapter... And I'm glad you're liking the title too. It took me ages to think of something for this that fitted.

Chapter 2

Walking along the path, parallel to the sea, she checked her phone once again. Only 5 minutes had passed since she had left the beach house from where she had gotten changed. Now, she realised with a sigh, that she had nothing to do apart from waiting for Aden. She knew it was sad, but with her foster siblings at school, and practically every friend she had out of the Bay, there was no-one to pass the time with.

Of course, Belle remembered with a wry smile, there was always Irene. There was always Irene, and that was probably the one thing that stopped her from having any regrets about staying in the Bay when everyone had moved away. Her, and of course, Aden.

But, at just past lunch, she knew that Irene would be busy in the Diner. She, herself, had been there only 45 minutes earlier for her morning shift. It had given her something to do instead of having to wait around for Aden as he worked.

Now, as she carried on travelling the path towards the Surf Club, Belle let out a small sigh. Checking her phone once again for both the time and for any missed calls or texts, she shook her head in disappointment when there wasn’t any. Aden had called her earlier on, telling her that he had a surprise for her and to get ready for a swim for after work. He had worked the early morning shift on the boat, and would have finished about an hour before her. And should have met her 10 minutes ago, she realised.

Reaching a giant tree, Belle stopped in the cool shade of it, leaning against the wooden fence languidly. She tossed her phone around in her hands slowly, wondering whether it would be desperate and pestering to call him, or if it would be loving and considerate. After all, she was worried as to where he had gotten to, and what might happen to him if he made her wait for any longer.

The decision, thankfully, was soon taken out of her hands when she felt two strong arms wrap themselves around her slim waist and pull her into him.

“You’re late.”

“I know. I’m sorry.” Aden mumbled, tucking his face into her neck and peppering tender kisses along it. “How long have you been waiting?”

“10 whole minutes.” Belle replied dramatically.

"Whoa. I'm so sorry, babe." He played along, resting his chin on her shoulder to look at her. "I just got caught up in something."

"Yeah? What with?" She questioned him.

"Well, if I told you, then that would ruin the surprise, wouldn't it?" He told her smarmily. Belle shook off his tight grip around her to turn to face him.

"Please?" She tried, giving him her best puppy dog eyes and pout that simply made him laugh and avert his eyes away.

"Sweetheart, after a year or so, you don't think I'd still fall for that, would you?" Aden asked her rhetorically.

"Fine." Belle gave in, a smile tugging on her lips as he swooped in for a quick kiss.

"So, how are you feeling now?" Aden asked her while taking hold of her hand and leading her back the way that she had came from.

"I'm all good." She answered. "I'm telling you, it was just the mix of the night air and humidity, and the crowds, last night."

"Nothing to do with the sugar high you had been on, then?"

"Oh, Aden. You're so naïve!" Belle giggled teasingly. "That was not a sugar high. I'll gladly show you what a sugar high is like, but chances are you'd get sick before you reach it."

"Really? You think so?" Aden chortled, wondering just how much sugar she was actually talking about.

"I know so, honey. It's a boy thing. Don't worry." Belle informed him in a hushed voice to make it sound like a secret before she took in the direction that they were walking in. "Why are we heading back to my place?"

"I need something." He replied blankly.

"What kind of something?" She asked suspiciously.

"Your car."

"Um... Why? I thought we were going for a swim?" She enquired as Aden nodded.

"We are." He agreed.

"Ok, work with me here for a second." Belle said in confusion. "We need the car because..."

"... We're not going swimming here." He completed her sentence as they approached the rear entrance of the beach house.

"No, really, Aden? Would never have figured that out!" Belle said sarcastically as they entered the house, with him guiding her towards her room.

"Hey, you asked." Aden murmured, focusing on the search for her car keys with just one hand. He couldn’t help but to smile at the sight of the two teddies that they had gotten from the carnival the night before sitting at the top of the bed with their little legs tucked into the covers.

"I was hoping for a clue." She admitted, watching him try to find the keys without making a mess in her neat room. "They’re in my bag."

"Where-?" He began to ask before hearing the familiar jingle of keys from behind him. Turning towards her, he noticed the bag that was slung over her shoulder, the same colour as her tank top and shorts that it had camouflaged it. "Good. Thanks. So... Can I borrow it?"

"What kind of surprise is it?" She tried him carefully.

"It's..." Aden let out a breath as he tried to describe it without giving it away. "It's different, and uh... Fun, I guess. And a chance in a million!"

"Well, I guess I can't turn down a chance in a million, now can I?" Belle grinned, handing him the keys that he gladly accepted.

"Awesome. You won't regret it, Belle. I promise you."


"Where are we?" She asked him when he pulled into a parking spot and turned off the engine.

"C'mon, I'll show you." He told her instead. They both got out of the car simultaneously, slamming the doors shut before Aden when to the trunk to retrieve a few things.

"I know we're not still in the Bay, and we didn't travel long enough to get to the city." Belle mused aloud, waiting for Aden as he locked the car and joined her with four items in his hands.

"What?" He asked innocently, handing her bag and keys.

"Is this the surprise? The picnic?" She asked incredulously, making him laugh and steer her in the direction that he wanted to go in.

"No, this is for after the surprise and the swim." He informed her, bringing her to a stop by a corner fence. It was only then did Belle realise just how high up they were. The clean blue ocean shimmered like diamonds under the afternoon sun, with gentle waves just meeting the golden sandy shore each time below them. All in all, it was a beautiful place that was uncharacteristically secluded. "You like?"

"Definitely. It's so pretty!" Belle gushed, her hands unconsciously tightening around the fence that she gripped onto when Aden retracted his arm from her waist.

"Good. I was hoping for that kind of response." He smiled while coming to a stand next to her. Holding onto the barrier with both hands, he peered over the edge to the empty beach.

Belle watched him curiously as he picked up the picnic basket once again, only to see that it was no longer a basket, as such. Instead, it was covered in what seemed like a case, keeping it padded all the way around.

"What are you doing, Aden?" She questioned him as he lifted it over the edge. "That's at least a 50 feet drop, Aden! You can't throw it down!"

"Relax, babe." He smirked while dropping the case over the edge. They both watched, Belle a bit fearfully while Aden a bit intrigued, as the wrapped picnic basket landed. It threw sand to the sides, but, luckily, it didn't topple over. "Bullseye."

"What if something broke?"

"It won't have." Aden shrugged as Belle leant back and looked at him. "We use them on the boat. Just in case of bad weather or whatever, to wrap up the load and stuff to keep it protected. It works perfectly."

"I'll take your word for that for now." She insisted before running a hand through her hair and looking thoughtful. "So if the food and sea is down there, how are getting to it?"

"Ah, the surprise." Aden smiled widely, his blue eyes, beautiful enough to rival the sea, glinting with excitement in the sunlight. "Come with me."

"Well, where else am I meant to go?" She giggled as Aden took her hand once again to lead her along another path to the left.

They walked nearer to the road than the cliff’s edge until it curved up to the side. Only then did fear start to settle back into Belle when Aden had no intent on stopping. Not wanting to complain, she took in the sights around them, with a small bushy area providing the much needed green in the scenery.

“Aden-?” She finally began when, only a minute later, he guided her towards the sea. This time, however, the edge of the cliffs didn’t have a fence to stop any tourists from tumbling over to their deaths. “Aden…!”

“Hold on a second.” He simple told her, letting go of her hand to wrap his arm around her shoulders. “Right, so what do you think?”

“Nice view. Was better back there, though.” She informed him, pointing over at where the fence ended a little bit away.

“I know, but we can’t do this there.” Aden said, dropping his hands to her waist as he came to stand behind her and urged her forwards. They were only about 6 feet from the edge when Belle paused. “Alright?”

“No.” Belle laughed nervously. “It’s a 50 feet drop, Aden. It’s pretty scary.”

“I know.” He repeated, squeezing her waist lightly. “Ever been abseiling?”

“Yes.” She sighed, trying to tear her eyes away from the crystal water that swayed calmly at the bottom. Belle was fairly certain that there was no sand in between the water and rocks, though from where she stood, she couldn’t be sure. “I got stuck on the edge of the cliff. Didn’t really help with my fear of heights.” She decided to leave out that she had been stuck with Drew, or that she had failed to mention to anyone just how scared of heights she had been. “Now, I’m getting pretty worried…”

“Don’t worry.” Aden chuckled. “We’re not going abseiling.”

“Good.” Belle let out a breath of relief until he stepped away from her and closer to the edge, leaning dangerously over to look below. “Aden, be careful!”

“I will be, I will be.” He laughed, holding out a hand to beckon her closer. She simply raised an eyebrow at him, silently asking him if he was serious, before timidly taking steps towards him and taking hold of his hand. “Alright. Now you see this?”

“See what?” She asked him, gripping onto both his hand and top as she dared to look over.

“The steps.”

“All I see are rocks, Aden.” Belle informed him, leaning back again before she got vertigo.

“They’re not rocks. They’re slabs. Flat and stable.” He corrected her, turning to face her with his typical ‘badboy’ smile that always made her wonder what was going through his mind at that moment. “And we’re going to climb down them.”

“Wha- What?” She asked him, eyes wide in disbelief.

“We’re going to climb down them. It’s really easy. Like stepping stones, I guess.” Aden explained, his smile dying a tiny bit when Belle’s expression failed to change.

“Except these stepping stones lead to death?” She retorted dryly. If he didn’t look so excited or happy, she would have called his bluff. But something inside of her told her that this was what the surprise was meant to be.

“Belle, seriously!” He laughed, walking up to her and winding his arms around her waist once again. “Look, I’ve done this a hundred times. It’s really fun, and to be honest, it’s probably be the best way to get over your phobia.”

“I don’t think so.” Belle scoffed, taking a couple of steps back away from both him and the edge. "Look at that, Aden! I mean, did you take crazy pills this morning? Or are the 5am shifts finally getting to you?"

"It's not that bad! It's completely safe. I promise you. I've done it while I was drunk once." Aden told her, hoping to convince her of just how simple it was. However, all that he managed to do was earn himself a dark glare. "That was way before us."

"This isn't the 'one in a million chance' that you were talking about, Aden! This is a death wish!" Belle snapped at him, waving a hand in front of him to indicate that she was talking about the challenging course from the top to the bottom. "Which, I for one, do not have."

"It is a one in a million chance, babe." He argued, his voice so soft and loving that made it harder for her to decline his offer. "Who else would ask you to do this after what you said last night?"


"Exactly!" Aden grinned once again, thinking that she had given in.

"Though that probably because they all more sense than you." Belle added. Aden rolled his eyes and walked up to her again.

"Do you trust me, babe?" He asked her seriously, staring at her dead in the eyes.

"If I say no, will you not make me do this?" Belle replied. An exasperated look passed his face at her words.

"I want to help you, Belle. As well as have fun and spend some time with you." Aden answered, running a hand over her hair before leaving it to linger by her jaw. "I'm not going to make you do something you don't want to, alright? It's up to you."

"Really?" She made sure. Aden nodded, and she repeated the action while thinking. Chewing on her bottom lip, she came to her decision as soon as she caught Aden's eyes once again. No matter what he said, she could see that he wanted to use this opportunity to help her through a fear, just like she had done for him. Letting out a deep sigh, Belle fought with herself against coming up with a more viable excuses while swallowing away the burning dread inside of her. "Alright."

"Alright, what?" He asked carefully.

"Alright, let's do it." She clarified as the wide boy-like grin spread across his face once again. "You sure this is completely safe and everything?"

"100%." Aden replied. "People do it all the time. No equipment needed."

"Oh, boy." She muttered as Aden backed away and lifted his bag over his head to remove it. Opening it up, he threw his phone into it and she caught on to what he was doing. "Hold on. You can keep mine too."

"Put it in you bag." He said but doing as she asked nonetheless.

"God, no!" Belle scoffed, throwing her own phone and car keys into her bag and then placing that into his. "This is bad enough without having a bag that might just push me forwards towards death."

"You're not going to die." Aden insisted, putting on the backpack again over this head so that it went diagonally across his back. "I won't let anything happen to you. Promise."

"I know." She grumbled while taking his hand as he led her to the side a couple of feet away. ""I wouldn't agreed to this otherwise."

Aden gave her a quick smile and kiss when they approached the place that he had been looking for. It was where the first rock had been chiselled and smooth for the journey down.

"Here, sit down." Waiting until she was sat precariously on the edge with fingers digging into the sides, he joined her and nudged her lightly with a shoulder to make her squeal. "Sorry. Right, so ready to begin?"

"No." Belle laughed nervously as he gave her a sympathetic smile. "The things I do for you, Jeffries."

"And I greatly appreciate it." He remarked before pushing himself off the edge and onto the rock below his feet. "Now it's your turn."

"At least I understand the sneakers part of the attire, now." She mumbled, shuffling to the end as much as she could without falling. Aden wasn't too far below her. In fact, he could probably push himself back up again. Inhaling the clean, salty air to gain some strength, she took comfort in the face that most of the surfaces were pretty big and spacious as she joined him on the first one. "Oh, crap."

"You alright? That wasn't too bad, was it?" Aden smirked as he came to her side, watching her finally take in the drop that went straight down from where they stood.

"No, I'm not alright! How did you convince me to do this, Aden? Look at that! Geez, I'm going to fall." Belle began to babble, to the amusement of her boyfriend.

"You're not going to fall." He assured her and guiding her to where the next step down was. He made sure to stay close to the cliff so that they could use their hands to steady them against the wall.

"You don't know that!" She yelled at him. Aden had already jumped down to the next step, while Belle had no intention in hopping down like he had. "I'm going to be a statistic, aren't I? One of those many people who are stupid enough to do something as idiotic like this without any experience or equipment. I'm going to be that person in the local newspaper who's death is debated and debated about-"

"Belle!" Aden cut her off when she joined him. "You're talking nonsense."

"You want me talk sense as we climb down this death-trap?" She asked him overly sweetly, gripping into the back of his tank top to keep her balance.

"Yes. At least about something remotely true." He laughed, reaching behind him to uncurled her hand so that he could step down easily to the next rock. Turing around to Belle, shock flooded him when he saw her follow his exact footsteps and join him less than 20 seconds later.

"What?" She asked him worriedly.

"Nothing. You're just doing really good."

"I know. Why do you think I'm talking so much?" Belle said arrogantly. "It takes my mind off of this."

"Yeah, but still, it's impressive." He told her while carrying on. "Look how far we've come already."

"I'd rather not." Belle swallowed, trying to push aside reality from her mind as she continued to convince herself that she was walking on a straight and level path along Summer Bay. It helped her keep steady and keep her head clear, but her stomach still churned and she was fairly sure that her eyesight had become worse since starting the trek 5 minutes earlier.

"How long does this whole thing take?"

"About 20 minutes or so." Aden called back to her as he prepared to take another step down. "Everything ok?"

"Uh huh." She said noncommittally while preparing herself to slide down to where Aden was. It was the biggest drop yet, and she could see the ocean slamming against the rocks a little far off from where she stood. None of it was helping her. "Aden...!"

"Yeah, babe?" Worry filled him as her distressed tone. He knew that this whole trek was an ordeal for her, but, as of yet, she hadn't shown it so raw as then.

"Help?" She giggled the word with the same amount of fear as there had been with her previous words.

Deciding not to say anything, Aden smiled and neared where she sat at the edge. She looked at him expectantly, obviously not sure what he was asking of her.

"Slide down. I'll catch you." He explained.

"You will?" Belle questioned sceptically.

"I will." Aden grinned, stepping closer. "Trust me?"

Nodding without a word, she did as she had been planning. The drop was so big that her feet couldn't touch the ground when the time came to let go of the other one. Instead, Aden held onto her waist to ease her down. Still wary, Belle tried to hold onto the rocks as much as she could, only for it to snag on the band aid that she had put on in the morning and peel it off.

She watched as it fluttered in the air, the tiniest of breezes keeping it going until it sunk into the water. But, unfortunately for Belle, it took enough time to reach there to bring forth her phobia at top speed.

"I need a break. Can we take a break?" She asked Aden, who still had his arms around her waist.

"Yeah, sure. C'mere." He led her towards the wall of the cliff and made her sit down before taking his bag off and sitting besides her. "You ok?"

"Just give me a minute." Belle chuckled dryly, tilting her head upwards while pushing her hair out of her face. "I'm just not really use to these kind of altitudes."

"Anyone would think you're climbing Everest." Aden joked as he rummaged around in the bag to find something.

"It might as well be." She retorted, opening her eyes when she felt cool plastic touch she arm. It was a bottle of water, but what brought a smile to her face was the other item in his hands. Holding it against the bottle, the pink and purple hairband stood out tremendously, and she couldn't have been more glad. "Thank you."

"No probs." He winked as she accepted both. Waiting as she sipped the water before handing it back to him for him to drink. By the time he had replaced it into the bag, Belle had tied up her hair too.

Silently, as she hung her arms off her drawn up legs, Aden reached out for the hand closest to him. It was the hand that he had noticed the plaster had came off of, and seeing the wound between her right thumb and forefinger, he raised an eyebrow in intrigue.


"Gun." She corrected him, making him laugh.

"Not so manly after all." Aden commented tauntingly as she punching him lightly on the arm.

"Hey! I still won!” Belle reminded him. He put up his hands in surrender and kept a straight face, even as his eyes laughed at her. “Shut up.”

“I’m not saying anything!” He insisted, letting out a small bubble of laughter with his words. “Right, shall we carry on?”

“Do we have to?” She moaned, leaning into him. “This is nice. Let’s just stay here.”

“You won’t be saying that when you’re hungry, or when it turns to nightfall.” Aden informed her, laying an arm around her shoulders and rubbing her bare arm soothingly. “And this would be somewhat harder during the dark, too.”

“What happens if we get stuck on the side somewhere?” Belle asked him curiously, feeling his shrug next to her.

“Dunno. I guess you’d have to call for someone to rescue you.” He replied slowly.

“Ok, that’s my plan gone.” She sighed, sitting up straighter to cause Aden to retract his arm back again. “So we’re going to move?”

“Yup, when you’re ready.”

“That’ll be never, then.” Belle remarked, allowing him to pull her up once he had brushed off any dust off his board shorts. “This isn’t helping, Aden.”

“It will.” He assured her. “If not this, then the swim.”

“I go swimming all the time. It’s never worked before.”

“Not like this.” Aden simply said, his tone mysterious and mischievous at the same time as he put his bag back on and began on the journey once more.

“Aden, what are you planning?” She asked him slowly and cautiously.

With her attention all focused on his shake of the head and peel of laughter that drifted over to her, Belle sighed and daringly jumped lightly down to the next level. The drop between the two was only a couple of feet, but she was still amazed as to how easily she had managed it. So amazed, in fact, that she missed the rock ahead of her that soon caught her foot, causing her to tumble slightly. Reaching out a hand on instinct towards the cliff’s wall, Belle managed to reclaim her balance after letting out a gasp of surprise.

“Belle, you alright?” Aden called out, hurrying back to her from only a tiny distance ahead of her. “Belle?”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine.” She grumbled, gingerly testing her foot that didn’t seem to pain her at all, thankfully, before kicking the rock that had almost tripped her over. “Stupid piece of… Whatever the hell you are! Can’t you see I’m walking here?!”

“I’m sure it’s sorry, sweetheart.” He smirked, fingers kneading lightly into her side as his hand rested on her waist delicately. “You sure you’re ok?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. Luckily, I fell this way and not that.” Belle nearly shuddered at the thought of maybe having caught her other foot on the rock, and therefore perhaps going over the edge. “Didn’t I tell you this was a bad idea? Especially without any equipment.”

“You wouldn’t have fallen. These paths are wide.” Aden reassured her, pressing his lips to her forehead and holding on her hand to urge her to walk forwards slowly just in case of any injury that she couldn’t feel at that moment. He had no doubt that she was probably on an adrenaline high right then, though not out of excitement. “Let’s carry on. Just take it slowly and watch where you’re going, alright?”

“If I fall and die, Aden, I am going to murder you.” She said through gritted teeth, following him without much of a choice. “I will come back as a ghost and haunt your every living moment. You got that?”

“I thought you were going to murder me?” He replied cheekily, throwing her a grin over his shoulder that simply made her scowl.

“You’re not funny.” Belle told him. “But yes, I’ll do both.”

“Right, I’ll keep that in mind.” Aden laughed, letting go of her hand as he came to the next drop. This one wasn’t too deep either, and it didn’t take long for the two of them to continue walking. Belle’s eyes kept on averting to the floor ahead of her to make sure there were no unwanted obstructions, while keeping her free hand gliding along the rocky wall for extra reassurance.

They walked in silence for a little while longer. Most of her attention was still on trying not to get herself killed, while Aden tried to choose the simplest route that he could, although most of it was pretty much literally set out in stone. It was only when they neared the bottom, and therefore the path became a tad bit narrower and quicker, that Belle spoke up again.

“Have you ever slipped or fallen?”

“Nope.” He easily answered.

“Are you sure?” Her tone was full of scepticism that made him pause and turn to face her.

“I dunno, Belle. Now that you mention it, there was that one time when I was climbing down in the middle of the night with the light from the fairy queen’s mast leading the way.” Aden said, sounding so earnest that she would have believed him if he hadn’t included the fairy. “I guess falling from the side of a cliff is easy forgettable.”

“Well, it would include a lot of bumps to the head. And if you were seeing fairies, I’m guessing you were either drunk or high to start with.” She added, a smirk curling her mouth as Aden shook his head and laughed.

“True say.” He agreed. Letting their amusement die down, he looked around at where they were before glancing down the side of the cliff. A slow grin appeared on his face that soon turned into apprehension as he faced her again. “Want to take a shortcut?”

“No.” Belle replied without a second thought.

“It’s not that much of a shortcut.” Aden tried to convince her. “But if we take this one, then there’s just another one before we can go swimming.”

“Really?” There was a mix of excitement and relief in her words as she took in his words, before remembering the words that had come just before that. “How much of a shortcut is this?”

“Well, basically, it’s from here to there.” Aden pointed down to the flat slab of rock that was almost directly below them. “Not much, right?”

“Not much?!” Belle repeated in disbelief. “That must be about 7 feet!”

“7 or 8.” He shrugged, indifferently. “It’s not bad, Belle. Look at how far you’ve come already. This is just one more little thing.”

“I think the whole point of this is that it’s not that ‘little’!”

“It could be worse.” Aden told her. “I’ll go down first, ok? That way you know you’ll be alright.”

“Do I not get a say in this?” Belle asked him frantically as he sat down on the edge of it, ready to jump down.

“Yeah, but you know you’re going to agree in the end, so I thought I’d cut to the chase.” He replied, not waiting for her glare or huff about making presumptions about her as he pushed himself off and landed smoothly and effortlessly onto the surface he had been aiming for.

“I cannot believe I’m doing this.” She muttered to herself as she got into the same position that Aden had been in only seconds beforehand. “Don’t let me fall. Or break anything.”

“I won’t.” Aden assured her, squinting slightly in the bright afternoon sun while watching Belle prepare herself over and over again. “Anytime today, babe.”

“Hold on…” She swallowed, closing her eyes to gather some strength. She hated looking so weak and vulnerable, especially in public with everyone and anyone to see.

“Look, just think about it this way.” He called up to her for support. “If you do happen to fall to your death, at least you know it’ll be the last pain you’ll ever have to feel.”

“Aden!” Belle yelled in anger, clearly not amused by his teasing. “I’m going to kick your ass for that!”

“Yeah? Well, get down here first, otherwise you have no chance.” He chuckled. There was a moment’s pause where Belle seemed to do nothing until, without any notice, she jumped down. Unprepared, Aden was glad that she landed on her feet too, totally unscathed except for her emotions.

“You are such a jerk!” She growled at him, hitting his repeatedly on his arm until her own arms began to ache.

“I know.” Aden teased, hurriedly grabbing onto her hand and dragging her to the side to the next drop down. This one was almost half the depth, but the surface that awaited them was the largest in surface area so far since the very top. “Here. Careful.”

“I thought you said just one more before we go swimming…?” Belle questioned him while peering over the edge when she reached where he stood at the end of the rock. There was nothing but water below, and even though there was a path going lower on the right-hand side that eventually led to the beach, she could see, she knew that this was the end of the trek for them. “No way.”

“I didn’t say anything.” Aden replied, already lifting his bag off of him and dropping it lightly to the ground.

“I am not jumping off of this!” She exclaimed, crossing her arms stubbornly and taking a couple of steps back. “I’ve done enough already. I don’t have the energy to do this!”

“It’s just one tiny thing-” He began only to be cut off with a scoff.

“They’re all just ‘one tiny thing’! Which, in fact, ends up being one big thing.” Belle pointed out to him. “And none of this has helped my fear of heights, Aden.”

“How do you know? You think you’re scared. But you’ve just climbed down this cliff without any experience or equipment just cos you said you trusted me.” Aden shrugged before adding. “I think you’re over your fear.”

“If I’m over it, then I don’t need to do this.” She countered smartly, raising an eyebrow at him with a satisfied smirk.

"But you don't know if you are until you test it out.” He argued, watching as her smile died down. His own grew, turning slightly sly as he reached for the bottom of his top and started to pull it up. "Besides, swimming's fun."

"Not when you have to jump more than 10 feet to do so." Belle scowled, narrowing her eyes as Aden dropped his tank top next to his bag. "Don't even try it."

"Try what?" He asked her innocently. "You know, the water would be very nice and cool and wet. Especially on a day like this. A perfect way to end the whole journey."

"Aren't there rocks down there?" She questioned him instead, skirting her eyes away from his slightly sweat-sleeked toned chest.

"Not unless you jump inwards." He replied, crossing his arms as she let hers dangle by her sides while debating with herself. A part of her was still on an adrenaline rush, urging her to take the risk and forget about everything but her and Aden and the crystal blue water. But the more rational part of her that seemed to in control of her for most of the time told her that it would be the most stupidest thing to do, second to actually agreeing on climbing down 50 feet earlier on.

However, Belle realised that her rational side seemed to have been suppressed since the moment that Aden smiled at her right at the beginning of their relationship. Even as a dull thump of pain passed through the foot that she had caught on the rock, her heart began to race at the thought of simply letting go and going for the dive. Her stomach churned with tension as she pushed aside the scenes of the worst case scenario in her mind and convinced her that it would never happen. Finally, Belle swallowed as she realised what she had to do. Having a fear meant having a weakness, and that was something she do without and change right then.

"How- How do we do this?" She finally spoke up, causing Aden's head to snap up at her in surprise.

"You want to do this?" Shock was more than clear in his words.

"Uh huh." Belle nodded, not trusting her voice to not let her down. Even though she was agreeing, she was still terrified out of her brain.



"Ok, then." Aden grinned widely. "Wow, I wasn't expecting you to give in."

"Then why did you ask?" She asked him incredulously.

"Just to see how far I could convince you to go." He admitted, proudly, albeit sheepishly. "But, great!"

“Yeah, great." Belle repeated nervously. "So the plan...?"

"No plan. Just jump." He told her, carrying on when he saw her anxious look. "We can go together if you want."

"No, no." Belle hurriedly said, clearing her throat and nearing him and the edge once again. "I've got to do this sooner or later. Just... You go first?"

"Yeah, sure." Aden chuckled before skimming the tips of his fingers along her jaw tenderly. "I'll wait near for you. Just clear your mind and jump."

"I'll try my best." Belle giggled with a roll of the eyes. Looking around as Aden slipped off his shoes and socks, she toed the pile of his bag, shoes and clothes gently, knowing hers would join them soon. "What about this stuff?"

"Just leave it here. We'll come back for it later." He informed her, now ready for a dip in the sea with just his board shorts on. At her frown, he carried on with a teasing tone. "Unless you want to go swimming with it all?"

"That's not what I mean." She sighed. "Our stuff's in here. My keys are in here, Aden! We're going to need them to get back home."

“Oh yeah, cos someone's actually going to steal that great car of yours." He replied sarcastically, chuckling as she glared at him. "Relax, no-one's going to take it. Now stop stalling."

"I wasn't-" She began to say, only to be cut off when Aden turned away and leaped off into the water below without another word.

Eyes wide in shock, Belle neared the edge as much as she dared to without anyone or anything to keep her from toppling over. There was a white, frothy circle radiating from where, no doubt, Aden had entered the water. She stood as still as she could, waiting and keeping the pessimistic thoughts in her head away, until he reappeared in her sight. Letting out the breath she had no idea she had been holding, Belle smiled involuntarily as Aden ran a hand over his face and shook his head to get rid of the water before looking up at her.

"Your turn, sweetheart!" He yelled over to her, making her cower back a bit as fear took her again in full force. Nothing had passed her, such as how long Aden had been under for, and how deep the water seemed to be. "Belle? I'm waiting..."

"I think-" She started, only to realise that her words weren't loud enough for him to hear. Clearing her throat, she tried again with a tiny bit more confidence. "I think I prefer it up here."

"Oh, no you don't!" Aden shouted back, mock annoyance in both his voice and face. "You're not standing me up, Belle Taylor."

"I'll make it up to you..."

"You can start now by stripping." He remarked, smirking as Belle tried to hide her laughter with little success. "I wasn't kidding, babe! If you loved me, you would."

"Oh, for God's sake." Belle muttered to herself. Somehow she had known that would came back to haunt her. "Fine!"

"Fine, what?" He asked her, though it was soon answered when Belle lifted her sleeveless top over her head to reveal her bikini top. He wolf whistled at her as loud as he could so that she would hear. Her head looked up at him from where she had been untying her shoes to tell him she had indeed heard. Once she had gotten her shoes off, and her shorts, Belle stood near to the edge of the rock in just her bikini, trying to get as close to the end as she could.

"C'mon! I'm getting lonely here!" Belle stuck out her tongue at him childishly when she saw him yawn dramatically at her.

"I dunno if I can do this, Aden." Belle told him honestly, watching the waves come in and out rhythmically.

"You know, doing one thing a day that scares you keeps the heart healthy!"

"Yeah, you tell that to all those people who die of heart attacks from shock!" She retorted with incredulity. "Besides, if that's true, then my heart's going to fine for another year!"

“Belle, c’mon!” He practically growled. “If you’re not down here in the next minute, then I’m swimming off with the mermaid.”

“You have fun with her. You do know that she has no legs, right?”

“Yeah, so wh-?” Aden began to reply before the suggestive meaning behind her words hit him. Chortling deep in his throat to himself, he brought up a handful of water to wash over his face before his mind took him too far away.

“You ready?” Belle called out to break him out of his thoughts. Looking up at her, he could see that she had probably rounded up every bit of her courage and confidence so that she could to stand up straight and right at the edge in preparation to jump. “Here goes nothing.”

Aden could see her mouth move as he neared the cliffs, but he couldn't hear the words she said. Considering that it was Belle, he doubted that she was sending up a little prayer so publicly. Sighing, he tilted his head back to dip into the water gently and closed his eyes while counting down from a hundred in his head. He was fairly certain he could reach 'one' and open his eyes to see Belle still on the cliff. However, to his surprise, Aden had only managed it to 67 when there was a loud splash and water sprayed over him.

"Belle?" He managed to splutter out while relaxing back into an upright position. Looking up at the rocky cliffs, he followed the fall down to where the splash had occurred to his right.

Spinning around to see where she had gotten to, worry began to settle in when he couldn't spot her. He hadn't missed the fact that there hadn't been a sound nor word from her when she had jumped in, and it didn't do much to calm his thoughts.

"Belle? Where are you?" He called out, trying his best to sound as casual as he could. Turning to face the shore again, Aden gasped in shock as two warm hands pushed down on his shoulders.

“Boo!” She greeted him, laughing loudly while swimming away a bit to let him face her without the worry of him hurting her.

“What the-?” Aden began before a frown formed on his face. “Don’t do that, Belle!”

“Aw, did I scare you?” She asked him in an overly sweet voice while sauntering closer to him and resting her arms on his shoulders. “Sorry. But you did say one scary thing a day keeps the heart healthy.”

“Ha ha.” He commented dryly letting the frown die down into softer smile. “So, how was it? You don’t seem too immobilised by the fear anymore.”

"Yeah, it was alright.” Belle told him with a sigh, fingers playing with the nape of his hair. “But next time I have a fear, I'm going to shrink."

“Alright.” Aden nodded, chuckling at her sudden look of horror. “What?”

“I can’t believe I just did that.” She informed him in awe. “And with minimum injury too.”

“Didn’t I tell you it would help?” He questioned her arrogantly, wrapping his arms around her waist to pull her to him.

“I dunno. I’m never doing it again, so I think I’m still scared.” Belle said sheepishly.

“Well, I do have tomorrow afternoon free again-”

“Do I look crazy to you?” She hurriedly cut him off, her words hinting heavily that it would be a one-time thing.

“Well, I wouldn’t say crazy as such.” Aden replied slowly, earning himself a light slap to the back of his head. “But I love you anyway.”

“You better. I just risked my life for you.” Belle reminded him. Nodding, he leant in further to claim her lips with his in a deep kiss. It was long and passionate, with all the pent up adrenalin and energy that they had acquired on the climb down finally being released in the only way that they could in such a public area. They only parted when Belle suddenly let out a gasp and pulled away. “What was that?”

“What was what?” Aden questioned her with slight boredom, dipping his head to nuzzle her neck before she pushed him away carefully to look down into the water around them.

“Did you just touch my leg?” She asked him cautiously, even as she reached out with her own foot to touch his.

“Nope.” He shook his head. “My feet are both with me. Why?”

“Something brushed against it!”

“Your other leg?” Aden suggested, causing Belle to shoot him an unimpressed look. “Relax. It was probably just a fish or some seaweed.”

“Yeah, probably.” She agreed, though she didn’t look so certain.

“Or a shark. I think they lurk around here sometimes.” He told her, pretending to look around to search for them as she hit him gently in the chest. “You’re a constant worrier sometimes, do you know that?”

“I’m just wary. You don’t get to climb down 50 feet of rocks with no equipment or experience with no injury or anything.” Belle explained to him, making him raise his eyebrows at her incredulously.

“Well, until then, do you think you can just relax and have a swim?” Aden asked her softly, looking straight at her as she did as he said and nodded. “Good. Then we can go eat.”

“Should I pray that we don’t get food poisoning?” She asked him in mock worry.

“I think there’s a better chance of you getting eaten by a shark.”


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I'm loving this - and had to read it fast so i missed all the clues but i'll totally come back and read it properly later!!

I'm so intrigued as to where it's all leading to!

And totally jealous of your natural talent for writing too!

Please update soon?! :D

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Oooh, brilliant update as always! But it's got me so curious about what the clue was! I'm thinking it's got something to do with her foot, but I'm also thinking that that might just be too obvious. Could it be that thing that brushed against her leg? Or her being under the water for longer than nornal? Because this way it would kind of be Aden's fault, at least in his eyes, as he made her face her fears. Anyway, the chapter, though, was fantastic! Loved how Aden's trying to help her, and I love how he did it! I've been offered the opportunity to do something like at, only at 65feet, but I turned it down because it was scary. So, go Belle! I loved all of their bickering and banter, especially the babbling from Belle as she was climbing down. Classic! The whole thing was classic and so, so original! Hope you update again soon! I need to know more!

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