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Veritas Vos Liberabit

Guest Taniya_K

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Although when you have a story where you know that the character dies and then flashback atleast 3 months earlier and have a scene with her climbing down a cliff knowing she has a fear of heights, it's kinda hard to concentrate on the witty banter and other sweet moments when at the back of your mind you keep wondering if she's going to fall over and die at any second.

Hehe, sorry about that! But I guess it's good to know that the fic is working like that! :lol:

Yeah, it was nervewracking at times but that just made the chapter all the more exciting to read. Looking forward to the next chapter.

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Thank you all for the lovely comments once again. I hope it's living up to your expectations :)

Chapter 3

“Good morning, sunshine!" Aden's overly happy exclamation was greeted with only a groan as Belle emerged from her bedroom. "Ok. Not-so-good morning, then."

He entered the front room of the beach house from the kitchen, bringing along with him a glass of water while following Belle to the couch. She was still dressed in her pyjamas with her hair lightly tousled from the night. Taking a seat next to her and handing over the glass, Aden peered carefully at her, noticing the darker rings under eyes that contrasted hugely with her paler skin.

"You alright, Belle? You look tired." He told her as she leant forward to place the glass onto the coffee table before leaning into his side to rest her head on his shoulder comfortably. "Belle?"

"I didn't sleep too well." She admitted, closing her eyes and letting out a deep sigh. "I think I'm coming down with something."

"You do look paler..." Aden informed her, holding her tightly to him with both arms. Luckily for him, his shift had ended a while back so he had had the time to go back home to have a shower and get changed before heading over to see Belle. Ever since their adventurous climb down the cliff's side almost 3 days previously, he hadn't been allowed to stay over although he was pretty sure he could find his way around it now. "Belle? You still awake?"

"Uh huh." She murmured, lifting her right hand to cling onto his top as she laid her arm around his waist to keep herself close to him.

"If you're not feeling too well, maybe you ought to go back to bed." He suggested, pressing the back of his hand to her forehead as he coerced her face out of his neck for a moment. He was pleased to feel that her temperature hadn't seemed to have risen, but her skin was clammy to his touch. "Or perhaps call Rachel. Just to be on the safe side."

"No, I'll be fine." Belle insisted without moving so that her words her spoken directly into his neck. "It's probably a day thing or a headcold, or something like that."

"Well, it's been days since the picnic for you can't say it's food poisoning." Aden joked as Belle grumbled good naturedly.

"There was definitely something dodgy about that pasta though, Aden! I'm telling you; something moved in it!" She argued with him the same point she had been making ever since eating it.

"Yeah, probably this magnificent invention called a fork." He countered with a chuckle, stroking her bare right arm tenderly with the backs of his fingers.

"A what?" She joked, her words mockingly earnest. "What is this 'fork' that you speak of?"

"Well, if you'll come with me to the kitchen for something to eat, I'll gladly show you." He informed her, only for her to grumble something about being too comfortable as a reply. "If you're not going to come with me, then I'm going to go myself."

"No...! Don't leave me. I need you." Belle exclaimed suddenly with a pout as she pulled away a bit though still resting her head against his shoulder and keeping her arm around him tightly.

"Are you using me for my body again?" Aden asked her with a heavy sigh, not moving an inch from his position which he liked too.

"Of course not." She murmured before pausing for a prolonged moment. "Ok, yeah. But I only use you for your body."

"Oh? So it's true, huh? You don't even want to pretend that you find my other aspects great?" He replied with a growing saddened face.

"Huh?" Confused, she sat up straighter to look at him while mentally going through her previous words. Realization struck here the second time she thought about them, giggling lightly while hitting him gently on the chest. "That came out wrong. I meant, I only use you…"

"Yeah, sure."

"What? You don't believe me?" Belle questioned him sceptically, raising her eyebrows at him. "I did climb down a cliff for you."

"True. Nothing says 'I love you' like 'I'm going to murder you'." Aden quoted, biting back a smile as she did the same.

"I was having a nervous breakdown" Belle shrugged coolly. "I would have murdered anyone. But I wouldn't have climbed down, or dived, for anyone."

"Yeah, alright." He gave in, drawing her in closer to her again. "I'll give you that."

"Thanks, baby." Belle grinned, placing a chaste kiss to his cheek before tucking her face back into his neck once again. This time, as she shuffled closer to him, she lifted up her right leg to twine with his, though with the laziness overtaking her, she simply laid it on top of his as he stretched them out to the coffee table.

He watched her as she got comfortable, a ghost of a smile never leaving his face. It were the minor things such as this that he had missed over the past couple of nights that they had been apart. Of course, he had missed the other aspects of their nightly routine, but it were the simple pleasures in life that made it worth living.

With his mind taking him far away, Aden was snapped out of with when his hand, still travelling up and down Belle's arm, gradually reached her hand. A frown marred his features as he caught sight of an angry red tint to the skin around the area where a Band-Aid was stuck on. Considering that the wound had been in between the thumb and forefinger, the plaster had been placed in an awkward way so that when Aden reached for it, it wasn't too hard to peel back.

"Urgh..." Belle groaned, half-asleep, and began to retract to her hand away from his touch.

"Hold on, gorgeous." Aden grabbed onto her wrist with his other hand, causing her to tilt her face outwards to see what was going on. "Does this hurt?"

"Yeah, a bit. It's still healing, though, so it would." She answered. "Nothing worse than my foot."

"Hmm..." He merely said, using his free hand to peel back the bandage as he had attempted to before. This time, with her going along with him, he had no difficulty in pulling half of it off to reveal the cut.

"Oh. Ouch." Belle grimaced as a sudden bout of pain and aching spread down her hand as the pressure of the plaster was removed. "Aden, that doesn't look-"

"C'mon. We're going to the hospital." He cut her off, pushing her arm off of him and helping her sit up.

"What? No, it's alright-" Belle began to say, only to get cut off again.

"Belle, it's infected! And no doubt it has something to do with you feeling a bit iffy." He informed her as she began to stick the Band-Aid back on to hide it from sight. It wasn't something that she wanted to see first thing in the morning, even if it was her own body. The rawness of it, with a mix of shades of red and white, almost made her gag.

"We can sort it out here." She suggested. "We have some antiseptic and stuff..."

"Belle, we're going to the hospital. Or at least to see Rachel. You need to get that looked at and sorted out." He told her in a soft yet pressing voice.

"Fine. Can I at least have shower first?" Belle sighed, huffing a bit childishly.

"Sure, but be quick and re-dress the cut." Aden advised her while helping her up. "And this time, do it properly."

"I can dress a wound, Aden." She retorted, rolling her eyes at him even though it was him following her into her room.

"Really, Belle?" He asked her incredulously and picking up her hurt hand in his own to hold up. "Remind me again how this happened?"


“I’m afraid that Aden’s right, Belle. It’s infected.” Rachel tutted as she turned her hand gently with her own latex covered ones. “And pretty badly too. How did this happen?”

“I don’t know. It was fine yesterday when I changed the plaster.” She shrugged, glancing over at Aden who stood to the side, leaning casually yet attentively against the hospital cabinets. Having a doctor as a friend tended to help with getting a quick look at and a small, private room for an examination. “I didn’t even notice anything wrong with it until Aden pointed it out.”

“Well, it’s a good thing he did.” Rachel told her forcefully, missing the roll of the eyes that Belle threw at Aden’s proud grin. “How long have you had this cut for?”

“A few days. Since Sunday.” Belle informed her. “I was playing on that shooting game at the fair and my hand got caught in the pin thing of the gun. You know, that bit at the back that snaps when you shoot it?”

“Yeah, I’ve got you.” She insisted, nodding while dropping her hand softly onto the bed that Belle was perched on the edge of. “Alright, well, I’m going to need to take some blood, too, just be on the safe side."

“What about the hand?” Aden spoke up for the first time since they had arrived where he had taken it into his own hands to tell the doctor everything.

“I’ll get someone to clean it out properly, and a nurse to give you some IV antibiotics.” Rachel answered, speaking more towards Belle though she spoke in reply to Aden.

“That’s it?” Belle asked, her tone hopeful and full of relief.

“No.” The doctor burst her bubble while writing a few more notes in a file that she then promptly closed. “You’re going to need to take some antibiotics that I’ll prescribe you for at least a week to make sure the infection stays away.”

“Right, of course.” She sighed. “I don’t need to stay the night, do I?”

“No, I think you’re safe enough to go home in a couple of hours or so.” Rachel replied before looking at her pointedly. “But next time, Belle, take care of it. That means keeping it cleaned and covered, and certainly no swimming in the sea with open wounds.”

“Will do.” Belle agreed, as Rachel nodded and began to leave. Once she had walked out of the door, Belle turned towards the only other person in the room and gave him a semi-smile. “Say it.”

“Say what?” Aden asked, offering her smile in return while coming to stand next to her.

“That you said so and I should have known better.”

“Well, seeing as you already know how right I was, I think we can leave it there.” He chuckled as she let out a small breath of relief whilst leaning slightly into him. “Everything ok?”

“Yeah, just still tired.”

"Rachel said that it'll go away with the infection, so you'll be back to normal soon." He reminded her softly. "Why don't you just go to sleep until then, anyway?"

"Nah, I'm alright for now." She replied while stifling a yawn, even though she had been up for just over 2 hours. "Maybe when they've sorted this out."

"Ok." Aden said tenderly. "Do you want me to call Irene or something to tell her you're here? You weren't working today, were you?"

"No, and no." Belle answered with a wry smile at his concern for her. "There's not need to worry her, and I can do without the lecture for now."

"Alright." He nodded with a small smile. "Do you want me to get you anything, then? You haven't had anything to eat yet."

"I had that toast, remember?" She reminded him, speaking about the piece that he had literally forced her to eat before allowing her to leave the house.

"That wasn't much." Aden replied with shake of the head. "Do you want anything else?"

“I'm fine, Aden." She laughed lightly at his insistent words, looking at him a bit worriedly as he let out a deep sigh. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing." He tried to give her a smile to convince her but all it did was to raise her suspicions.

"Don't lie to me, Aden."

"I just..." He began before pausing and reaching out for her unhurt hand with both of his to raise to his lips. "Sorry."

"What for, exactly?"

"I knew that going swimming with a fresh wound isn't a good idea, but I didn't stop you. I totally forgot." Aden explained as Belle squeezed his hand gently. "And now look at it."

"Aden, that's ridiculous." She quickly shushed him. "I'm the one who was stupid enough to do it, not you."

"Yeah, but-" He began, only for her to interrupt.

"But nothing." Belle told him. "It's done now, and I've learnt my lesson. End off."

"Yeah, b-"

"Nope!" Belle hurriedly stopped him before the rest of it left his mouth.

"Bel-" Aden tried again, only to get cut off again.



"Nope." She quickly said without thinking until she caught sight of his smirk. "I mean, good."

"Yeah, good." Aden repeated with a quiet sigh as another doctor walked in, followed by a nurse that they didn't know, who promptly got about with their jobs as Aden returned back to the side. He wasn't there long before Belle grimaced at the sight of the needle needed to draw blood. By her side in an instant to hold tightly to her free hand, Aden had to hide any sounds or sight of amusement from her as she gasped numerous times from both the thought of the pain and the actual pain.

By the end of it, Belle had jumped almost ten times more than the number of times that the needles had touched her. Now, with the IV hooked up to her hand and bandage holding it securely in place, it was just the two of them in the room. After convincing her to get some shut eye, Aden simply sat by her side, holding onto her free hand and watching her silently.

Not sure how long it had been exactly, Aden practically jumped in his seat when there was a knock on the half-opened door. Turning his head while sitting up straighter, he shared a smile with Rachel as she entered the room.

"Hey. Everything going ok?" She asked in a low voice when she got near to him.

"Um... Yeah. She was just tired." He replied, watching the doctor carefully as she filled in some paperwork in the file at the end of the bed. Before he could question her about anything, Belle began stir. Clenching his hand first as she woke up, Aden waited until her nose twitched slowly in a tell-tale sign just before her eyes fluttered open, to speak. "Hey, sleepyhead."

"Hmm...?" She replied noncommittally as she continued to wake up again. Still in a half-asleep state, she hissed in pain when she tried to reach up to rub her eyes with the hand that was attached to the IV. "Ow!"

"Here, let me remove that." Rachel insisted softly, already pulling on some gloves and making her way over.

"Can I go home now?" Belle asked, accepting her boyfriend's help to sit up in the bed.

"You sure can." Rachel answered, a smile forming on her face at the younger woman's obvious relief and happiness.

"Thank you…!" She would have sang the words had she not been so tired.

"Just doing my job, Belle." Rachel replied as she finished with removing the IV tube and sticking on a cotton ball on top of it to halt any bleeding. "Here's the prescription for your meds. Instructions are pretty simple. Two of them every 6 hours for the next week or so, alright? Take them with food, no alcohol or drugs-"

"Damn, no drugs?" Belle interrupted her with a mock upset tone. "And I really needed my fix."

"That includes caffeine, too, Belle." She informed her with a light chuckle that Aden also let out. “At least, in excessive amounts.”

"Oh. Well, I really do need that fix." Belle admitted somewhat bashfully.

"I'm sure you'll be able to go a week without." Rachel commented lightly before handing over the script to her. "But other than that, as soon as you sign this, you're free to go."

"I'll do it right now." Belle told her hurriedly, reaching for the papers and the pen with both hands. It was only as she gripped onto the pen with her right hand that she realised how painful that hand had become, and how difficult it was to actually write.

"Hold it in between your thumb and forefinger lightly." Aden advised her in a patronizing tone.

"I know how to hold a pen, you dimwit!" Belle grumbled at him, throwing him a glare as she finally managed to quickly sign the forms.

"Right, well, seeing as you're in capable hands, I'll let you get on your way, then." Rachel smiled as Aden helped Belle up and slide on her thin cardigan. Backing away to leave the room, the older lady paused when Belle politely called her back.

"With these antibiotics... Can I still take painkillers?" She asked her casually even as a suspicious look passed the doctor's face.

"If you need to, then it should be fine." Rachel answered while stepping closer to her. "Is your hand hurting you that much?"

"No, no." Belle quickly dismissed. "Well, it does a bit, but I was talking about my foot. I kind of tripped over something and it's a bit achy now."

"I think it's sprained, but she refuses to get it looked at or put it up for a day or two to let it heal." Aden added, earning himself a glare that he pointedly ignore.

"Well, if it's that bad, do you want me to have a look at it?" Rachel questioned her, slipping back into her doctor mode.

“Nah, it's fine."

"No, no. Come on. It won't take more than a couple of minutes." She tried to coerce her. "And there's no needles involved, whatsoever."

"When you put it like that..." Belle mumbled as she hopped back onto the side of the bed and kicked off the shoe of her injured foot. "It doesn't look any different or anything."

"No, it doesn't." Rachel murmured while she checked it out, twisting the foot this way and that to try and gauge how badly injured it was. "It seems fine from here, too."

"Told you." Belle said to Aden, who merely shrugged in reply. "So there's nothing to do with it?"

"Nope." Rachel agreed, allowing Belle to get back onto her feet again. "Just be wary of it until it completely heals."

"Will do." She replied with a nod before averting her eyes from the doctor to Aden, and back again. "So, can I finally go home now?"


The fussing had begun when Irene returned home from her shift at the Diner. Although Geoff and Annie had accepted her watered-down version of what happened, the red headed lady was definitely not fooled by her explanation that it was a mere scratch, especially when Aden announced that she should take her medication just when Belle thought she had gotten Irene off her case.

“’Medication‘?” She asked the two of them with an edge to her voice, eyes jumping between them. Aden turned back to where he was replacing the dishes back into the cupboards, whereas Belle had nothing to do but face Irene.

“It’s nothing big. Just some antibiotics.” Belle explained for her, going to pour herself a glass of water from the tap while shooting her boyfriend a deathly glare.

“Aren’t they used to fight off infections?” Irene questioned her sharply as Belle shook out two little pills into her hand.

“Yeah, kind of.”

“Are you going to tell me what’s going on, then?” She probed further when Belle refused to carry on. “Or am I going to have to assume the worst?”

“It’s nothing, Irene.” She finally told her. “I had a cut and it got infected. Nothing more, nothing less.”

“And the reason why you look so pale…?”

“That’s because of the infection too. I’ll be fine in a day or two.” Belle brushed off while taking a seat on one of the stools lined by the small breakfast bar.

“Hmm…” Irene eyed her carefully before turning to look at Aden, who had finished up with the chores. “Is that true?”

What?!” Belle quickly exclaimed as Aden opened his mouth to reply. “Since when have you taken his word over mine?”

“Since I knew that he wouldn’t lie about something like this.” She replied smartly causing the person in question to smile proudly to himself. “Aden?

“Yeah, it’s true.” He confirmed. Irene took a moment to simply look at him as if to work out if he was telling the truth or not before nodding and letting out a deep sigh.

“So now what?”

“Nothing. Just keep it clean and take meds.” Belle shrugged, running a slow hand through her hair. “Actually, I’m really tired so I think I’m going to head off to bed now.”

"Now? It's only just passed 9 o'clock!" Irene exclaimed a bit worriedly. "Maybe you should take a couple of days off work?"

"No, I'll be fine in the morning." Belle insisted, hoping her words were more convincing to the elder woman than it were to herself. "A night's sleep can do miracles sometimes."

"Don't I know it!" She agreed with a huff that made her smile lightly. "Right, well, I won't keep you two kids, then. I'll see you in the morning."

“Night, Irene." Belle replied, sharing a hug and a kiss on the cheek with her quickly.

"Night, love." She smiled back softly while rubbing her arm gently before backing away. "Night, Aden."

"Night." He called back just as Irene began making her own way to her room upstairs. Throwing the towel that he wiped his hands on to the side, his typical 'bad-boy' smirk made it's way to his face as he leant against the sink counter to face Belle.

"What?" She asked him warily.

“Nothing.” He answered, the smirk dying down though not by much. "You want to watch a movie before we go to bed?"

"'We'?" Belle repeated sceptically. "Who said anything about you staying over?"

"It's been days, Belle. C'mon, I know you want me to, too." He teased, making her bite back her own smile while pushing herself off the stool. "You'll get a good night's sleep. Guaranteed!"

"Really? That sure?" She questioned him with a raised eyebrow, not moving even as he neared her.

"That sure." Aden emphasized, a mischievous look twinkling in his eyes that she could now see from close.

"I'm still tired." Belle reminded him, eyeing him carefully with crossed arms as he stopped just inside her personal space.

"Fine, no movie." Aden readily nodded.

"Or anything else." She added, to which he shrugged with just one shoulder. "I dunno. I'm still mad at you for making me do that. And you purposely mentioned the meds in front of Irene to get me into trouble."

"She would have found out one way or another." He pointed out to her. "Look, you need to get up at 3 to take them again, and you know that you don't have the ability do that yourself."

"Excuse me?" Belle asked him in outrage. "I'm perfectly capable of looking after myself."

"Oh, yeah. Cos getting up at 7.30 in the morning isn't a mission itself for you." Aden commented sarcastically. Silence fell upon them as Belle contemplated her options and which one would be the best for her. She knew that what he was saying, about both the waking up and wanting him to stay, was true, but she wasn't one to give in easily.

"What time are you working tomorrow?" She finally asked.

"Late morning." Aden informed her, a smile growing in his face as she let out a sigh and relaxed her posture.

"Fine, but only because sending you home now is mean." She informed him.

"Of course. Totally agree." He let out a bubble of laughter that he quickly contained as she turned on her heel to head to her room, hiding a ghost of a smile herself.

"And no funny business, alright?" She told him while going over to her drawers to pull out her night wear. "My foot still hurts, so you kick it and I kick you out, got it?"

"Well, we don't really need feet for any 'funny business', if you get me?" Aden chuckled slyly as he perched at the end of the bed. Without shutting the drawer, Belle glared at him hard over her shoulder. In the harsh light of her room, he finally saw just how tired she really looked, but pushed it to one side. "Obviously, the two points weren't related."

"No, they weren't." She muttered, quickly getting changed into her pyjamas while simultaneously throwing her clothes back into the wardrobe.

Deciding not to comment on her last words, Aden too got ready for bed, even if it was a bit early for his liking. In less than two minutes, however, both were climbing into their respective sides of her bed. Once she had switched off the lamp from next to her, Belle rolled over to face him and snuggled up closer to his side.

"So, what consist of 'funny business', exactly?" Aden spoke up into the darkness, a hand stroking the arm that she had laid across his chest. He could feel her tense up at his words before suddenly pulling away and shoving him in the side.

"Get out." She moaned while rolling onto her other side on the other end of the bed.

"Wait, wait." The laughter was clear in his voice as he also turned onto his side and reached out an arm to loop around her waist.

"Go to sleep, Aden. Please?" Belle almost begged her, the tiredness evident in her voice as she pressed her face into her pillow and refused to move back to him even as she clasped onto his hand.

“Alright, I'm sorry, sweetheart." He breathed gently while shuffling along the bed until he was able to pull her flush against him. "I'll try and sleep now. No funny business whatsoever."

"Good." Belle sighed, finally content. "Night, Aden."

"Night, babe." He murmured into her hair. Feeling the grip that she had on his hand loosen soon after, Aden wasn't too surprised when, 25 minutes later, he slowly moved back a bit and she copied the action unconsciously. Now on her back with her face turned towards him, he propped his head up with one hand and figured that watching her was a much better way to eventually lull him to sleep than watching any kind of movie.


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Awwwwwwwwwwww!! I'd cut myself and infect it some how if i had an Aden to look after me :lol:

I'm thinking (even though i said i wouldn't) that Belle's death has nothing directly to do with the infection or her foot as it's gotta be something he'd be arrested for :unsure:

My theory is that the blood tests she's just had done show up something sinister and Belle maybe kills herself somehow but rather than have her memory tarnished Aden says he's done it?!?!?!?!

Anyway i'm sure we'll find out soon enough.

LOVED it as always and can't wait for more!

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Awwww! Aden! :wub: I love him! He's a sweetheart! And I loved the banter and bickering between the two of them. It's so them, and you write it fantastically in character. So she has an infection on the cut? I forgot about the cut in the last chapter when it was mentioned, but like the poster above, I think it's a red herring too, as well as the foot. I didn't think anything about the blood test, but now that it's been mentioned, it does sound plausible. I really hope Aden doesn't take the blame for something he didn't do. I couldn't stand that :( I'm really intrigued, as always. Something tells me that everything is going to be obvious but we have just glossed over it because we're thinking too deep. Unless you've already thought of that and made it like that. I think I'll stop speculating now and just think about it a while longer.

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That was great. I loved that chapter. The banter between them was cute. Her hand sounds sore. I don't have any idea what's going on, anymore (not that I ever did). Can't wait for more!

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*sigh* how i would love an Aden to look after me...

still have nooooooooo clue about how he ends up killing her :unsure: but you know i'm slow lol

Loved how Irene had to ask Aden.. :lol: briliant

cant wait for more! x

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I just read the last three chapters again, and I've got an idea. Belle felt ill while looking at the lights (though she put it down to the candy floss), she felt dizzy while on the cliffs (thought she put it down to the climbing), and she's now ill and looking pale (though she put that down to the infection). Maybe they're all related and the other reasons are just there so to put us off the right direction? Am I close?

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