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Vowing Forever

Guest Georgia

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Story Title: Vowing Forever

Type of story: Short/Medium fic

Main Characters: Aden and Belle

Characters Mentioned: Abigail (new character)

BTTB rating: A

Genre: Drama, Romance, Angst

Does story include spoilers: No

Any warnings: At the start of each chapter

Summary: Aden stands at his wedding day, vowing a lifetime to Abigail, but still in love with Belle, and missing her deeply. What has torn the two apart?

A note: Bold italics are flashbacks

“I do” he whispered sadly, in answer to the question the priest asked him.

It was Aden’s wedding day and he was supposed to be ecstatic, overcome with joy and happiness but he wasn’t. Instead, he was disappointed and heartbroken. This wasn’t how life was supposed to be. He was supposed to be standing up here with Belle Taylor, holding her hand and vowing to love her forever. She was gone, and he was left standing here, five years later, with some other woman, who loved him dearly, but he felt like he was cheating on Belle. They had been through so much together, but she had gone and left him to fend for himself. He hated her, yet he couldn’t stop loving her.

Death was a funny thing. It touched your life countless times, but it was the last time that really made the difference. Death had taken many people in Summer Bay, and all of them had hurt someone, but the last death had changed everything.

Five years earlier:

She was singing out of tune, to the song that had been on repeat for the last hour.

“Belle babe, do you think we could maybe turn this off?” he asked, taking one hand off the steering wheel and reaching for the volume dial.

“If you love me, you’ll leave it on!” she spoke, before resuming her singing

“That isn’t fair Belle.”

“I know but I win again!” she said, smiling triumphantly

“That’s right Belle, you win again. You always win. I’m just a pathetic loser who isn’t worth anything in life” he whispered, letting sadness seep into his tone.

Tears filled her eyes.

“Aw baby, if you want me to turn to the radio, I will. You are not pathetic or a loser” she comforted him, as she turned to his favourite radio station

“Ah ha”, he smirked, “a point to me. I got you to turn to the radio!”

“Aden Jeffries you are the biggest pain. I can’t believe you would trick me like that”

“I was sick of always losing baby”

The pair settled into a comfortable silence and Aden concentrated on the road. It was getting dark and this road had a lot of sharp turns.

“You know Aden... oh never mind” she said, trailing off

“What is it Belle?” he sighed, knowing that he was about to get paid back for tricking her

“Why don’t we pull over to the side of the road? It’s deserted and no one will ever come here this late on a Tuesday night”

Aden looked over at her.



That one second glance away from the road changed everything. They went spinning out of control around a corner and straight into another car, at over eighty kilometres per hour. Everything went dark.

The rest of the wedding went off without any objections, runaway brides (or grooms) or any other disasters.

Aden still missed Belle, and wished he was marrying her instead, but he had to move on. He shook a few hands, and accepted congratulations pleasantly before moving onto the person he most wanted to see.


“Hey yourself”

“I didn’t know if you would come today”

“It was touch and go but I’m a grown up. I wouldn’t miss this”, she smiled, but there was sadness in her eyes.

“Are you alright Belle?”

“I just miss you”

“I miss you too. I’ve told you that again and again for the last five years.”

“I know. I just couldn’t live with the guilt. We killed that family Aden. They were driving back from a friend’s place and we killed them.”

“I was the one that drove a car into them Belle”

“I was teasing you. I made you look away from the road”

“Belle- let’s not start this again”

“You’re right Aden. Congratulations are in order. You and Abigail will be very happy.” Belle whispered before walking away

“Not as happy as you and I could be”, Aden whispered back.

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Chapter Two:

Married life sucked. Aden should have listened to his friends, urging him not to settle down so soon, and not to marry a girl that obviously didn’t own his heart.

“ADEN!” Abigail’s piercing screams came from downstairs, “YOU’VE LEFT THE TOILET SEAT UP AGAIN!”

They had only just come back from their honey moon and she was already nagging at him. Belle had never been like this when they had lived together. Their life was relaxing. Aden would get up early and make breakfast, they would eat together and then Belle would walk Aden to work, before nipping off to the diner for her shift. Aden would finish work and come and pick up Belle, and they would walk home together, before cooking dinner... still together.

With Abigail, she would be leaving for work before Aden even got up. Aden would walk to work by himself, and afterwards, he always went to the diner, where Belle still worked. He sat there for hours, only ever having a chocolate milkshake and an ANZAC biscuit, just watching the love of his life rush around the diner. If it was really busy, he would abandon his drink and help her clean the tables, just so that he could get a bit closer to her. When the diner started to close down, he would pick up a takeaway and slowly trudge home, not wanting to spend any time with his wife.

“Abigail, I’m coming!” he screamed back to her. Why hadn’t he listened to his mates? He wouldn’t be in this mess now. He slowly dragged himself down the stairs.


Aden’s ears perked up.

“What was that?” he called, more cheerfully than normal.

“I’m meeting Belle at the beach. We’re going to Yabby Creek to watch a movie”

His wife got to spend more time with Belle than he did, but that was because they were best friends. Life couldn’t get any stranger.

4 years and six months earlier:

“Belle, honey, are you alright?”

“I’m fine. I’m just thinking.”

Ever since the accident, Belle had been thinking a lot. She felt responsible for the death of the family and it was extremely hard on her. They still had a loving relationship, but Belle felt incredibly guilty.

“Babe, it wasn’t your fault” Aden had told her a thousand times but she never listened, at least not properly

“I know Aden. I wasn’t actually thinking about that. Tomorrow is our three year anniversary and I want it to be really special! I want you to know how much you mean to me, and that I can never survive without you”

He was touched. No one had ever been that loving to him before.

“Belle Taylor, no one has ever cared for me as much as you have. What on earth have I done to deserve you?”

She giggled lightly. “You must have been really good in a past life”

Aden chuckled. “You must be right,” he said seriously

“Belle, as we’ve established that you are the best thing that’s ever happened to me, can you do me a favour?”

She looked at him, waiting for him to spit it out

“I drunk all the orange juice earlier today and I really, really, really want some. Do you think you can nip out and get some?”

“The things I do for you Aden Jeffries. I’ll pop round to the shop and then to Irene’s. I was supposed to go and see her today anyway. I’ll be back in about an hour”

As soon as Belle had walked out the door, Aden jumped up and ran upstairs. He flung open the cupboard door and grabbed a box of decorations, as well as pulling his cell phone out of his pocket. He hit number 3 on his phone and waited for the woman to pick up.

“Belle’s gone. It’s time for you to come over” he said, before he quickly hung up and ran back down the stairs.

He reached the kitchen and lined candles up, making the shape of a love heart. He quickly tidied up the dishes and shoved everything lining the sides out of sight. As soon as the door bell rang, he pulled open the door.

“Hey Nic. Thanks for bringing the roses. There’s a vase on the kitchen side, just put them in that and then leave it on the coffee table. After that, can you help me light the candles, drop the rose petals and hang up the sign?” Aden questioned, but without waiting for the answer, he sprinted off again. Tonight had to be perfect.

It was five to midnight when they finally finished, and Aden wasted no time in pushing Nicole out of the door. The house was bathed in candlelight, roses decorated the entire room, rose petals were scattered across the floor and up the stairs, and a beautiful sign hung over the bookshelf. Belle was expected back any minute.

Aden quickly sat himself on the couch and waited impatiently for Belle to come home. As soon as he heard the key in the lock, he knelt down by the door, the ring box open in the palm of his hand and waited for the door to open all the way.

“Marry me Belle Taylor”, he whispered, as soon as she entered the room.

Tears poured down her face. The whole room was beautiful and the man of her dreams was asking her to spend eternity with him.

“Yes”, she whispered simply, unable to say anymore

Aden pulled Belle into his arms and kissed her softly but passionately before looking at his watch.

“And that’s the perfect way to start out anniversary”, he informed her, before pulling her close and kissing her again.

By the time Aden got out of his trance and walked down the stairs, Abigail was gone, off to spend the evening with the love of his life, the beautiful, enticing, Belle Taylor.

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A note: Aden’s past was the same, e.g. he still tried to kill his father

Chapter Three

Belle Taylor was genuinely a happy person. She wasn’t one to hang quietly to the side, hoping that someone would come and ask her what was wrong. She would jump fully into everything, not bothering to think of the consequences until it was too late. Aden Jeffries had changed that though. They had been engaged, and happy, but she had spoilt it all, and now she thought about all the possible outcomes before she made any decision.

She had had the love of her life in her arms and she had lost him, countless times. She had lost him when their relationship blew up, from stress and criminal charges, and she had lost him in the two years before he had found Abigail. Fate had given her an extra opportunity to get Aden back but she had messed it up.

Five years earlier, they had been in a car accident. It was technically Aden’s fault, because he was driving, but she felt guilty. Her and Aden had been so happy and another family had died. It didn’t seem fair. They managed to survive that though, and six months later, they got engaged. It was a long engagement, lasting another six months, before everything imploded.

4 years earlier:

“Aden Jeffries, open up the door. It’s the police”

The knock on the door had interrupted their quite evening in. They had wanted to plan the wedding tonight, away from all the madness that had enveloped them in the last year.

Belle ran to the door and opened it.

“I’m his fiancée. What seems to be the problem?”

It was Angelo at the door, but at least he had the decency to act awkward.

“A year ago there was a car accident, in which three people died. We have information telling us that Aden was driving the car and I’m afraid, with his previous record, he’s facing a long jail sentence”

Belle’s world collapsed under her. They couldn’t take Aden away from her. It had been a mistake, just a glimpse away from the road. They couldn’t put him away for that long. He was her fiancée, her love, her rock. She could feel tears rolling down her cheeks.

“Angelo,” she begged, “you can’t take him away from me. The information you have is wrong, all wrong”

“So Aden wasn’t driving the car that hit the other family?”

How could she survive without Aden by her side? She had grown dependent on him, and wouldn’t be able to function without him there.

“No”, she whispered, “he wasn’t driving the car. I was.” Her heart broke a little more. She had just lied to the police, to save the man she loved.

“Well then Belle, I have no choice but to place you under arrest”

“Can I just say goodbye to Aden?” she questioned quietly. Angelo just nodded

Belle ran into the kitchen and threw herself into Aden’s arms.

“Shhh,” he soothed, “everything will be OK. I’m here for you Belle”

“Aden,” she sobbed, “the police are here, about the car accident”

Aden’s whole body went rigid. “I’ll find a way out Belle. It was an accident, everyone knows that.”

“With your record, you’ll be going away for a long time”

Aden sat there and just held his fiancée while she cried.

“That’s why I told them I was driving the car”, she whispered

“What? You lied to the police about a serious crime? You can’t do that Belle”

“I have no record Aden. I’ll say it was an accident, that I spun out of control on the turn.”

“I can’t let you do that Belle”

“You have to. I can’t live without you, and if you face charges, there is a huge chance you won’t come home”

Later that night, Belle Taylor was arrested and led to the police station, while Aden Jeffries sat alone and cried.

She had turned herself in for a crime she didn’t commit, to save him, but everything had gone downhill after that.

The love of her life was married to her best friend and she had truly lost him forever.

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Chapter Four

3 years and six months earlier:

“I’m here to visit Belle Taylor,” Aden told the woman at the door of the jail. She didn’t reply but just pointed him down the hallway.

Aden held a bunch of flowers in one hand and a jewellery box in the other.

“Belle”, he whispered, as he entered the visitor’s room. No one else was there.

“Aden,” she shouted, overjoyed that someone was here to visit her.

Belle had been in jail for six months. She was on a three year sentence for the car accident but that didn’t bother her. Aden would wait and then they would move on with their lives.

At the end of the day, it was better than spending fifteen years apart.

Aden chuckled lightly at the enthusiastic greeting.

“Hey babe”, he said quietly, not with the usual cheekiness.

A frown fluttered across Belle’s face

“How come Abigail isn’t here?”

“What?” Aden stuttered, “why would Abigail come and visit? Nothing happened!”

“Aden, chill. Abigail is my best friend, remember? She came to Summer Bay to help out while I’m in jail. I thought she would be coming with you today. I haven’t seen her in a few days”

A sigh escaped Aden’s mouth.

“What is wrong with you Aden?”

“I will tell you Belle, I just want to talk a little bit first.”

The frown on Belle’s face deepened, but she nodded.

“So, how’s the sentence going?”

“It’s been alright. I don’t really have any mates in here. You are all that keeps me going. The thought of getting out and spending more time with you, brightens up even the darkest days.”

“I’ve missed you Belle”

A smile crept onto Belle’s face. “I’ve missed you too”, she whispered, before leaning forward to kiss him.

Abruptly, Aden pulled back and Belle’s small smile was immediately replaced with a frown.

“So, how’s life on the outside?” Belle questioned

“Well... Irene is still working as hard as ever. Leah still works at the Den, Nicole is actually helping out as well. She needs a bit of money, and Summer Bay isn’t exactly overflowing with job opportunities. Annie and Jai are still going strong, and Geoff is saving up for an engagement ring. He wants to propose to Nic, and this time, I think he’ll get a positive answer”

“That’s great! I always knew Nicole and Geoff were perfect together!”

There was a brief silence, before Aden cleared his throat and changed the subject.

“Belle, I want to thank you.”

“For what?”

“You took a chance when no one else wanted to know me. You made me into a stronger person, and you understood when I told you about my Dad. You were the first person to ever love me. We’ve been through so much together. You’re even serving a three year jail sentence to cover for me.”

“Aden, I didn’t do those things because I felt obligated. I did them because I love you.”

“And that’s why I have to tell you this”

Belle’s forehead creased into worry lines.

“At first it was harmless flirting, but then we became really close. I opened up to her, about my feelings, and how much I was missing you. I had no one else to talk to. You were in here, and Nicole was busy.”

“What are you talking about Aden?”

“I slept with Abigail, and at first, it was a mistake, but now, I’m not so sure.”

“You slept with my best friend?”


“You slept with Abigail?”


“And you don’t think it was a mistake?”


“Just leave Aden. Just go. I don’t want to see your face anymore.”

He had lost his fiancée that day. If only he had said that sleeping with Abigail was a mistake, they could have still been together. At the time, he was missing Belle terribly, and he just needed to be closer to someone, but now he realised that he sleeping with Abigail was the worst mistake of his life. All he felt for her was lust, but that had burnt out, so all that was left was hatred.

He hated Belle, for letting him walk away

He hated Abigail, for ruining his relationship with Belle

But most of all, he hated himself, and that was something that would never go away.

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Chapter Five:

Two years and six months earlier:

She had been let off on good behaviour only one year and six months into her sentence. None of it mattered to her anymore. Aden Jeffries, the love of her life was gone, and she couldn’t tell anyone about it. He had moved on with her best friend, and she had no one left to talk to.

Belle didn’t even want to get out of bed in the mornings. She woke up and dreaded going to work, just in case Aden or Abigail came in. Their relationship still seemed to be going strong and she couldn’t deal with that. She had been hoping that Aden would come running back to her as soon as she got out of jail, and she would have forgiven him. It wasn’t his fault she had turned herself in for his crimes. She just couldn’t face 15 years without him.

This morning was no different to any other day. She got out of bed, after debating with herself for over an hour. She made her bed precisely, and lined the cushions up in the perfect row. It took her another hour to get ready, before reaching into her bottom draw and pulling out a box of pain killers, and sitting it beside her bottle of water.


On the other side of Summer Bay, the hospital was quiet. Only Rachel and a few other doctors were still at the hospital. The rest had gone home, waiting to be paged.

“INCOMING TRAUMA! OPEN UP A BAY STAT!” a loud call came from the corridor, and all hopes of a quiet morning evaporated.

“What’s the situation?” Rachel questioned, while running to keep up with the stretcher being rolled in.

“Female. 20 years of age. Found unconscious at the scene, a box of pain killers beside her. A suspected drug overdose” the paramedic rattled off.

Rachel sighed. “Another young one, not valuing her life. Do you have a name?”

“ID was found on top of her bedside table. A Miss. Belle Taylor”

Rachel’s world stopped. Everyone moved on around her, but she was stationary.

“Call Aden Jeffries. He’ll want to know”

One of the four paramedics nodded, before rushing off to the help desk.

“Belle,” Rachel whispered, “why would you do this to yourself? You just got out of jail, you have so much to live for.”

As they were starting the work up, a frantic Aden ran into the hospital.

“I’m looking for Belle Taylor”, he told the nurse at the front desk.

“She’s in there”

Aden sprinted to the room the nurse had pointed out. His precious Belle had an oxygen mask on and her eyes weren’t open.

“Rachel, you have to help her! Make her better. I can’t live without her”

It was then that Aden realised he had made a fatal mistake. He had traded the love of his life, the perfect, beautiful, wonderful Belle Taylor, for Abigail Smith, just for comfort.

“Aden, breathe. Everything’s fine. Belle will just be out of it for a while”

All of the doctor’s piled out of the room, thankful that it hadn’t been as serious as they had expected.

Aden, on the other hand, was heartbroken. He couldn’t stand seeing Belle like this.

“Belle Susan Taylor, you just gave me the biggest scare of my life. You went to jail for me, and I threw it away for some girl, who was just there. I made a huge mistake, the worst one I could have ever made, because I love you Belle. Not in a small way, in a really, really, really big way. I could sit and stare at you all day, I would happily hold you when you cried, just so I could be near you. You are my soul mate and I don’t want to spend another day without you. It’s over between Abigail and I. You are it for me Belle.”

For some reason, he felt more comfortable talking to an unconscious Belle, than an awake one.

Right in that moment, everything seemed perfect.

But it wasn’t. He had got home that night, wanting to break up with Abigail, but he couldn’t. He was trapped, like Belle had been in jail.

He was trapped in a prison of his own making, and this time, he had no way to escape.

He had found his soul mate, and never wanted to spend another day without her, yet he was now married to another woman.

Something terrible had happened the night he had come home from the hospital.

any guesses what the horrible thing was ??

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  • 2 weeks later...

A note: Belle Taylor’s real name is Susan.

One year and nine months earlier:

Abigail had welcomed a baby girl into the world. He had gone home to break up with her because he was still in love with Belle Taylor. Before he had even opened his mouth, Abigail had excitedly announced that she was pregnant. He couldn’t leave a pregnant woman.

“Aden, the baby is beautiful. What should we call her?”

His girlfriend had just had a baby and he couldn’t even look at them without feeling nauseous. All he could think about was Belle and the look on her face when she had been rushed to the hospital.

“Aden” Abigail prompted, snapping him back to the real world. “What should we name our baby?”

Our baby... the phrase echoed through his brain painfully.

“Umm ...”he whispered, trying to buy himself more time. “How about Susan?” he asked

“No way Aden. She doesn’t look like a Susan. She looks more like a Vanessa”

“How about Vanessa Susan Jeffries then?”

“Aden, our baby is not going to have Susan anywhere in her name”

Before he even realised what he was doing, Aden sighed. He had wanted to tie this baby to his one true love, as the chances of getting back with her seemed pretty low.

“Aden Jeffries, how dare you! I just pushed your baby out and the only thing you can do is pick fault with me. You have the worst qualities I have ever seen. You’re impatient, selfish and disrespectful and I love you”

The speech took Aden’s breath away. They had never said I love you to each other, probably because Aden didn’t love Abigail.

“Abigail, I can’t do this right now!”

“How can you be afraid of commitment Aden? We’ve just had a baby together”

“How can you not see this Abigail? It’s been staring you right in the face this whole time. I can’t deal with this right now because I’m in love with Belle Taylor”

An awkward silence filled the room after Aden’s explosion, before Abigail broke it.

“Aden, you will not leave me. We just had a baby together. It was your choice to leave Belle for me, and you are going to deal with the consequences. I will wait while your feelings for Belle fade away, and trust me, they will.”

Aden nodded meekly. Abigail was right. It was his choice to leave Belle so he would deal with the results. The only thing she was wrong about was his feelings for Belle. They would never fade, if anything, they intensified with every passing day.

In the last year and nine months, his feelings for Abigail had decreased until they were basically not existent. His feelings for Belle had grown so strong that he could barely breathe when anyone mentioned her name.

Vanessa Jessica Jeffries was his daughter and Abigail Lucinda Hudson was his girlfriend, but he resented them both. It was no way for his daughter to grow up.

Every time he had tried to talk to Abigail about his feelings, she had shut him out, choosing to spend time with Belle instead of talking about her.

One thing was for sure, Aden Jeffries life was more like a soap opera than ever before.

I would just like to thank Amz89 for constantly reviewing and consistently making my day :D

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Present Day: Three weeks after Aden and Abigail’s wedding

Belle Taylor walked slowly down the beach. Three weeks ago, she had been the maid of honour at her best friend’s and the love of her life’s wedding. Today, the happy couple were coming back from their honeymoon. It had been a miracle that Aden and Abigail had made it up the aisle, especially as they had almost broken up after Abigail’s first pregnancy had ended in a miscarriage. Even though it was an awful thing to say, Belle had been hoping that Aden would leave Abigail. She wanted Aden back by her side, but fate had been against her yet again, and the only man she had ever loved was now married.

The rain was hammering against her back, and the clothes were sticking to her skin, but Belle was long past caring. The rain was washing away her pain, taking away all her feelings. She was numb; nothing could affect her anymore, except her love for Aden Jeffries. He was the only one that still had the power to get under her skin, to make her heart beat faster, to send the blood rushing to her cheeks.

Everyone else in Summer Bay had retreated inside, everyone except Belle. She was always outside; nothing could tempt her in. She loved the way the sand felt under her toes, the way the water filled up her footprints as soon as she lifted her foot. Nature was her only friend. She barely noticed pricks or cuts on her feet anymore, and that’s why, on that fateful day, three weeks after the worst wedding in the history of weddings, Belle Taylor collapsed on the beach, after her body had given way to an infection spread throughout her body, transmitted by a small cut on the heel of her foot.


Aden and Abigail drove back in silence. The plane ride had been long and boring, the honeymoon even more so. They had nothing more to talk about and the silence was uncomfortable and made Aden’s skin prickle. He couldn’t wait to see Belle. He had been thinking about her for the last three weeks. As soon as the car drove into Summer Bay, Aden asked Abigail to pull over. He wanted to walk home, even though it was raining. He chose the more scenic option, and began walking down the beach.

The sand was cool beneath his feet. Rain drops were dripping from his nose, and his shirt was sticking to his chest. Aden wasn’t watching where he was going. He was looking far out to sea, imagining what it would be like if he and Belle could sail away together, right into the sunset. He was suddenly jolted back to earth when he stumbled over something lying on the sand.

He picked himself up and looked down. His breath caught in his throat, when he saw the small, lifeless form of Belle Taylor lying on the cold, wet sand.

“Belle”, he screamed, barely hearing himself over the sound of the rain. He picked her up and looked around desperately. It was a long way to the hospital, but there was no one around to help him. He began the long walk to the hospital, hoping to see someone along the way, someone that could help him and woman he loved.


The rain pounded down harder and harder and Aden could barely see where he was walking. He was staggering around, struggling under the weight in his arms. Suddenly, a flash of headlights flickered into his eyes, and he looked around, managing to turn and see the small white car coming towards him. It was the last thing he saw before everything went black.


When he awoke, all he could hear was the beeping of machines and the quiet sound of breathing.

“Belle”, he croaked.

“It’s ok Aden,” a voice that wasn’t Belle soothed from beside the bed

“Abigail”, he whispered, “where is Belle?”

“Aden honey, you are a hero! You found Belle on the beach and carried her to the hospital, but you guys got hit by a car.”

“How did you get here so fast?” Aden questioned

“I’m so sorry Aden,” Abigail sobbed, “it was raining so hard and I spun around the corner and crashed into you guys.”

“You were the one driving the car?” Aden repeated, not believing what Abigail was telling him

Abigail just nodded her head

“How’s Belle?” he asked

“She’s in a bad condition Aden. Her body was already suffering from an infection and now she has to heal herself from a car accident too. The doctors say that if she doesn’t wake up in the next seventy two hours, she never will”.

Aden’s world came to a halt.

Preview for the next chapter:

- Aden and Abigail have a talk

- Aden bears his heart to an unconcious Belle

- The first twenty four hours pass

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“Abigail, we need to talk”, Aden said quietly

“Aden, I really am sorry about the car accident. I didn’t mean for it to happen. You’re my husband and she’s my best friend. I would never have done that to you.”

“It’s not about that.”

“What is it about then Aden?”

“Look Abigail, when I first slept with you, I was only looking for comfort. I tried to convince myself that it was something more, because I’m not the kind of guy that cheats on his fiancée. Then Belle overdosed, and I came back to break up with you but you were pregnant. Then the abortion happened, and you needed me. Then everything got carried away. We got married but it isn’t fair on you or me to keep this charade going. When I found Belle on the beach tonight, my heart stopped. I felt like a part of me was dying. So, Abigail, as soon as possible, I want us to get a divorce. I know I should have broken things off before the wedding but I was in a trance and it took this to wake me up. I want to be with Belle, I need to be with Belle”

Abigail was quiet for a while. “How do you know that she will take you back?”

“I don’t but she’s the love of my life and I need to try.”

Abigail nodded, then stood up and kissed him on the cheek, before leaving the room, pausing just before she left.

“What will you do if she won’t take you back?”

“Then I can try and move on with my life.”

“What if she dies Aden?”

“Then there is really no life for me to go back to”

Abigail didn’t show any sign of acknowledgement. Instead, she walked out of the room, leaving Aden alone. He sat quietly for a second or two, before lifting up his arm and pressing the nurse button. Within minutes, a nurse came running in.

“What is it Mr. Jeffries?” she asked

“Can you please take me to Belle Taylor’s room? I need to see her right away”

“Sir, it’s only intermediate family at the moment”

“I’m her fiancée”, Aden announced, not feeling slightly guilty about the lie

“But wasn’t that your wife that was in here a second ago?” the nurse questioned, confused about the relationship status

“That’s my ex-wife actually. Can you just take me to see Belle?”

The nurse nodded and helped to get Aden into a wheelchair. The ride to Belle’s room was short, but quiet. Aden had a million different thoughts running through his head, and each one was worse than the other. All of them involved Belle refusing to take him back, or dying. As soon as they reached the room, the nurse left Aden.

He sat in silence for a few minutes before reaching forwards and grabbing Belle’s hand.

“Belle Taylor, this is the second time I have sat beside you in a hospital bed and it better be the last. The last time I was here, I was going to go home and break up with Abigail but then stuff happened, and I could never do it. But over that time, my feelings for you have grown so much stronger, and today, when I saw you on the beach, I realised that I had to be with you. I understand if you don’t want to take me back, but I’ve asked Abigail for a divorce. Belle, all I ask is that you wake up. I can life with the rest. Just wake up Belle.” Aden whispered, before breaking into tears.

The love of his life was laying in a hospital bed, connected to hundreds of machines. If she didn’t wake up within the next seventy two hours, she would be lost forever.

Aden lay quietly, having no more words to say. It was hours before the nurse came in again.

“Mr. Jeffries, I didn’t realise you were still in here.”

Aden gave the nurse a half hearted smile.

“How long has she been like that?” he asked the nurse, not wanting to hear the answer

“Twenty four hours” the nurse replied. She hated this part of her work. There was nothing she could say to comfort the families.

She wheeled Aden back to his room in silence, and helped get back him get back into bed, before leaving him.

Aden sat completely still, only moving to pinch himself, checking to make sure it wasn’t a dream. After eleven pinches, he had to believe he was actually awake.

He had spent years without Belle Taylor, and when he finally got his act together and realised he couldn’t live any longer without her, she was dying in the next room.

Aden wanted to stay positive, and believe she would wake up but life had never turned out that way for him. Every time anything good happened, it was

always followed by something extremely awful.

He sat quietly in his bed, praying all night that Belle Taylor would wake up.

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The next day dawned bright and early and Aden was completely grateful. He hadn’t gotten a wink of sleep all night, and he had promised himself that as soon as he woke up, he would go and see Belle. Thirty hours had passed and Belle still hadn’t woken up. Aden could tell that the nurses were worried. Whenever they came into his room, they stopped talking and avoided eye contact.

After ten failed attempts, Aden managed to get himself into his wheel chair, and rolled himself into Belle’s room. There had been no change, even someone as unqualified as Aden could see that. The machines were still beeping, and if anything, there were more of them today that yesterday. The beautiful girl in the bed was covered in so many needles and wires he could barely see her anymore. He reached carefully for her hand, trying not to jolt any of the wires.

“Belle, it’s me. You really are terrifying me, you know that? I couldn’t sleep at all last night. I wanted to be awake in case there was any change. You’re scaring the nurses as well Belle. They stop talking when they see me and avoid looking at me. Belle, I know that where you are right now is probably peaceful, and there is no pain and no betrayal. And if you wake up Belle, I can’t promise you that there will be no pain or betrayal, but I can promise that there will be friendship and love. It may have taken me way too long to realise this but Belle Taylor, you are my soul mate, my true other half. And if you leave me now, I don’t know if I can come back from it. So Belle, don’t just wake up for you, wake up for me too, wake up so we can get our happily ever after, just like we’ve always deserved.” Tears rolled down Aden’s cheeks and he unconsciously squeezed her hand tighter.

A tiny groan came from the bed and Aden’s head snapped up.


“Belle?” he questioned, unsure if he was just imaging the voice

“Aden, where am I?” she asked

“Oh God Belle! You’re in the hospital. I found you unconscious on the beach and carried you here, but we got hit by a car on the way. They said you had seventy two hours to wake up and if you didn’t...” Aden trailed off, not wanting to relive the pain of the last thirty hours.

“Aden, I need to tell you something.”

“Sure Belle, anything you want. I’m listening”

“These last few years have been awful Aden. I went to jail for you and then you ended up with my best friend. I tried to kill myself because I couldn’t live without you. And now you’re married and I understand that but I have to ask you not to come back and see me anymore because it’s just too hard. Either you and Abigail need to leave the bay, or I will. I just can’t go through daily life, seeing your face as I drink my morning coffee, walk on the beach or just nipping to my car to grab the magazine I left in the back seat. I love you Aden Jeffries, and I understand that you have moved on with your life, and now you owe me the same courtesy.”

“Belle, Abigail will be leaving the bay”

“Ok Aden, I hope you enjoy the rest of your life. You and Abigail will be really happy together. Can you explain to Abigail that I won’t be able to see her anymore?”

“Belle, you don’t have to explain everything. Abigail is leaving the bay, by herself. I asked her for a divorce as soon as I woke up. I can’t live a lie anymore Belle Taylor.”

“So, you left me for Abigail, and you are now leaving Abigail because you love someone else? You have to leave the bay too Aden. I don’t want to see you with your newest conquest either”

“Belle, this accident must have addled your brains. I asked Abigail for a divorce because I’m in love with the most beautiful, perfect woman in the world. Five years ago, I was with my soul mate and I let her slip away. I’m not going to let it happen again. Belle Taylor, will you marry me?”

Tears streamed down Belle’s face.

“Of course I’ll marry you Aden Jeffries. When I was with you, I was the happiest girl in the world, and without you, life sucked.”

“Oh Belle, we can’t get married straight away. I have to wait for my divorce to come through”, he announced cheekily

She lightly slapped his face, before leaning forward and kissing him lightly.

“For you, I would wait a lifetime”

The epilogue will be up later tonight, or tomorrow, depending on the reviews.

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Two years later:

The wedding march commenced, and the bride began her slow, graceful walk down the red velvet aisle. Aden’s face lit up, with joy and excitement, and he knew that this time, he was marrying the right woman.

Belle’s steps were measured. This was the wedding of her dreams and she didn’t want to ruin it by tripping over her own feet. It was hard to walk down the aisle. She was fighting not to run up there and jump into Aden’s arms. It had taken over seven years, but they were finally getting their happy ending, and nothing would ruin it.

Belle smiled at the small one year old, who was sitting on Irene’s lap. Little Jessica May was the highlight of Aden and Belle’s time together. They had finally had a child, and Aden affectionately called her Adelle, a combination of her parent’s names.

The walk flew by, and Belle was soon standing by Aden, her hand slipped inside his.

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today...”

Neither Aden or Belle were listening to the words. Geoff was conducting their marriage service, but all they could see was each other. They gazed at each other, until it was time for the vows. Aden went first

“When I first met Belle Taylor, she hated me and I had a giant crush on her. Even Nicole, who had previously only been interested in herself, noticed it. I eventually got her to go out with me, and as always, the road to happiness never runs smoothly. There were many obstacles in the way, but then I saw her, lying on the beach, and I knew I would never be truly happy without her. So today, I am here to say that I will always love this beautiful woman, and the wonderful child we have together. I, Aden Jeffries, will protect her until the day I die. Nothing will ever stand between us ever again”

Belle had tears rolling down her cheeks, and cleared her throat before she read her vows.

“The first time I saw Aden Jeffries, I immediately thought he was a jerk, but then he grew on me. We have been through so much together. It has been so hard to remain positive, to be strong, and to have faith but we have been through everything that could have possibly been thrown at us. And now, here we are, getting married, with our own little “Adelle” watching on. I never thought I could have been this happy, but Aden has changed me, for the better. Today marks the start of the rest of our lives, and I know for a fact that it will be amazing, because every day with Aden Jeffries is a miracle and a blessing”

It was soon time for the kiss, and with a large round of applause and wolf whistles from the crowd, Aden and Belle kissed for the first time as husband and wife.

For those who are interested:

Belle's engagement ring: something special and unique, just like her


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