Jump to content

Beautiful Friendship

Guest Red Ranger 1

Recommended Posts

Don't worry if you're the one person reading Burning Bridges, I'm going to get back to that shortly.But I had to get this one started.

Probably as a result of upcoming events(well...they're upcoming to those of us here in the UK), I've been thinking a lot about these two recently.I chucked out most of my Gelle ideas on the grounds they were all the same but this is one story that needs to be told...

Story Title: Beautiful Friendship

Type of story: Short/Medium fic

Main Characters: Belle and Geoff with Annie, Lucas, Drew and others

BTTB rating: G

Genre: Friendship story

Does story include spoilers: No

Any warnings: Sexual content:None.Violence:None.Language:None.

Summary: Geoff has just moved into the beach house but he and Belle aren't comfortable living together.


Belle looked at the box of belongings on the living room table in annoyance.Looked like it was official, then.He was there to stay.

Belle had had what some people might call arguments and what she preferred to think of as heated discussions with Irene on the issue, asking why he had to stay with them, why he couldn’t live with Tony like he had before.Irene had pointed out with maddening logic that Geoff and Annie needed to be together at the moment and that she’d had more experience handling teenage boys than Tony had had handling teenage girls.And besides, they had more space.

Sometimes logic sucked.

At least he’d improved from when he first moved in, when he was going around getting people into trouble or telling them off for anything he thought they were doing wrong.She’d been determined to stop him staying at the house back then, doing her best to put him off.And that was before he’d walked in on her in the shower.She was aware that Lucas had forgiven him for spreading stories about his supposed wrongdoings, both real and imagined, and they were actually good friends now but still…she really didn’t get him and the idea of sharing a house with him was her idea of a nightmare.

She heard movement from Kim’s old room, where Geoff was no doubt sorting out whatever clutter he felt was appropriate for a good Christian lifestyle, and decided it would be a good time to get out of the house.

Geoff caught a fleeting glimpse of Belle’s back as he came out of his room and was relieved that he didn’t have to deal with her.Belle was…someone that he didn’t really understand.He was aware he hadn’t had much to do with girls:After he left primary school, the only ones he really had anything to do with were Annie and the other girls at church.They were all quiet and polite and obeyed their parents and knew God’s laws.

Belle wasn’t quiet and polite.More like loud and rude.And as for what she wore…Irene and Annie had assured him she didn’t normally wear a bikini around the house, that was just to wind him up, but all the same…Every little thing she did, the way she was with boys, the way she was with teachers and other adults, it just ran counter to everything he’d been taught about the right way to behave.

He knew that Annie liked her and the feeling seemed to be mutual.He wasn’t altogether certain Belle was the right sort of role model for his sister but he’d let Annie move in with her and Irene because he knew she needed a female influence, someone to explain to her the stuff that she needed to know now that she was, very slowly he hoped, turning into a woman.

But him and Belle together?He just hoped she stayed out of the house as long as possible.

“How did you put up with him?”Belle complained.

Lucas shrugged.“He’s not so bad once you get used to him.”

“He’s bad enough!I thought I knew boys, I mean, I’ve met enough of them in my time.But Geoff…it’s like he’s been beamed in from another time.Or another planet!”

“You weren’t too keen on Annie to start with,”Lucas reminded her.

“Yeah but…Annie’s kind of sweet when you get to know her.Would you describe Geoff as sweet?”

“No…But I think he mostly does what he does because he really cares about how people behave.I mean, he gets it wrong a lot of the time and it makes him come across as a jerk but deep down he’s a decent person.I mean, Annie likes him.”

“Yeah, well, Annie likes to see the good in people.”Belle sighed.“It’s just all these little things.I mean, that bible he brought back from the farm?”

“Doesn’t Irene own a bible?”

“Yeah but she keeps it in a drawer.He’s put it in the living room.On the shelf.Right opposite my room. Couldn’t he have at least put it opposite his room?”She noticed Lucas’ smirk.“What?”

“I’d just forgotten how high maintenance you can be.”

Belle shook her head, giving up.“Just drink your milkshake so we can order another.It’s getting to the point where going to the surf club to watch Drew serve drinks and tell me he’s too busy to spend time with me is starting to seem a better prospect than going home.”

“Did you have another fight?”Annie asked as she sat down next to Geoff.

“We don’t have fights,”Geoff corrected her,“We have…uncomfortable silences.And this one wasn’t very long, she left almost as soon as she got here.”

“You need to get along with her, Geoff.”

Geoff looked at her in surprise.“You actually want me to talk to her?Weren’t you the one who didn’t want me spending time with Tam a few weeks back?”

Annie smarted slightly at the memory.She still hadn’t quite forgiven Tam for tricking her into trying to kiss Lucas.“Tam was stealing.Belle’s not like that.”

“She doesn’t believe in the same things we do.”

“Almost everyone at school doesn’t believe in the same things we do.You can’t not talk to all of them.”

“I know but…You can’t talk about anything important with her.She thinks God and being a Christian is a joke.”

“Well, maybe if she gets to know us better she’ll see it isn’t a joke.Maybe you could try talking to her about something unimportant.You never know, she might like rugby.”

Geoff shook his head.“She’s happy for us not to talk and so am I.Maybe that’s the best way to deal with it.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the encouragement.


“There they are!”

Geoff would have liked to have ignored Annie’s shout and found an excuse to be somewhere else, saying he needed to go to his locker or to meet one of the teachers.But the fact that she grabbed his hand and dragged him towards the school entrance precluded any of that.

Her shout had been prompted by the arrival of Belle, Lucas and Cassie, all of them laden down with the various books they needed for their latest exam.“Are you all ready for it?”Annie asked.

“Short answer, no,”Cassie sighed,“Guess we’ll just have to hope for the best.”

“Or at least that one of the questions is to do with what we studied last night,”Lucas added.

“So, do you want to wait with us?”Annie asked.

“Sorry, Ann, we need to get to the exam room,”Belle replied before anyone else had a chance to say anything,“You coming, Cass?”

“Er, sure,”Cassie agreed, her expression suggesting she wasn’t sure of the reason for the rush.

Geoff waited until they were out of sight before turning to Lucas.“I’d better be going too, I need to see one of the teachers before my next class.Good luck with the exam.”

“Um, yeah, thanks,”Lucas accepted, shaking Geoff’s hand and then watching him walk away.He looked quizzically at Annie, who nodded in the different directions Geoff and Belle had headed.“Still?”

Annie nodded.“I’m not sure when they were last in the same room for more than five seconds.”

“This is ridiculous, they can’t just go on avoiding each other.They live in the same house, for goodness sake.”

“I know.And the crazy thing is if they actually did talk, they’d probably like each other.”

Lucas thought for a moment.“Maybe that’s what we need to do then.Get them talking.”


“Do you think you could manage to be devious, just for once?”

“Annie, wait up!”Geoff complained as his sister bounded ahead of him into the Diner.

“We can’t be late,”Annie protested.

“Late for what?”

“Late for lunch!”Annie glanced around the Diner and picked out the table where Belle and Lucas were sitting.“Can we join you?”

Belle looked around the Diner, registered the fact that there were several empty tables Annie could have chosen, then glared at Lucas.“Please tell me you didn’t.”

Lucas shrugged.“I was getting tired of hearing you complain.”

Belle turned her attention to Annie.“And isn’t there something in your Bible about ‘Thou shalt not set people up’?”

“Belle, you don’t have to be rude to her,”Geoff chided.

Belle rolled her eyes.“Oh, come on, Geoff, can’t you see they’re trying to get us to talk to each other?That they think if we have lunch we’ll suddenly become best friends?”

Geoff looked at Annie, who was completely failing to hide the fact Belle was right.“Well, we thought it might work,”she admitted.

“Yeah, nice try, guys,”Belle sighed, getting to her feet.

“Come on, Belle,”Lucas protested,“You’d really rather go hungry than try this?Just sit down.”

Reluctantly, Belle did as she was told.Annie grinned happily and pulled up a chair.Geoff sat down as well, looking markedly less pleased about the fact.He glanced at Annie who gestured for him to try and make an effort.He sighed and turned to Belle.“So, do you like rugby?”

“Guys in shorts are okay but I’ve never really got the rules.”

Lucas and Annie had made a quick trip to the counter to order their meals, hoping Belle and Geoff would take advantage of the opportunity to talk.It hadn’t worked:They’d simply sat in silence, doing their best not to look at each other, until the others had returned with the food.

“So, what do you like doing, Belle?”Annie asked.

Belle chuckled slightly.“Sorry, you sound like Dan in one of his careers meetings.”She noticed Annie’s puzzled look.“Mr.Baker.”

Geoff looked at her reproachfully.“You call a teacher by his first name?”

“Yeah, I’ve been dating his nephew for over a year,”Belle reminded him testily,“Oddly enough, I’ve met him a few times.”

“So, um, interests?”Lucas prompted.

Belle sighed.“Photography, I guess.I like shopping but then most girls do…”

“You guys ever do any shopping?”Lucas asked hopefully.

Geoff shrugged.“Pop used to send us to Yabbee Creek to pick up stuff for the farm sometimes.”

“And what are your interests, Geoff?”Belle asked,“Aside from milking cows and going to church?”

“Oh, I suppose you’re one of these people who’ll go to church for weddings and funerals but laughs at anyone who goes there another time?”

“Belle grew up in a city,”offered Lucas.

“Which is so like a farm,”Belle noted sarcastically.

“No, what I mean is…neither of you’s really used to living somewhere like Summer Bay.”

“What did you think of it when you first got here?”Annie asked.

Belle smiled slightly at the memories.“Well, not many shops but…I like the people.They tend to be welcoming.And the bush and the beach round here, it’s great for photographing or just…looking at for the sake of it.”

Geoff nodded thoughtfully.“It reminds us of God’s creation.”

Belle looked as though she was going to make a comment but then she checked herself.“I don’t know the reason but…it’s nice to have something beautiful outside your window.”

She and Geoff looked at each other for a moment.Perhaps for the first time they were actually agreeing on something.Then Annie looked at her watch.“Um, we need to get back.”

“Oh, yeah,”Geoff agreed, struggling to his feet.

Belle got up too.“We can walk with you part of the way.”

Lucas and Annie let the other two go first before Annie spoke quietly.“Do you think it worked?”

Lucas smiled.“Let’s just say I think we’re ahead on points.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all your comments, hope you like this.


Belle’s exam was over long before the end of the school day so she was the first one home.She managed to spend a few hours with her feet up, thoughts of her next exam on hold until at least the next dau, before Geoff arrived.She smiled a greeting at him and was pleased when he smiled back.A couple of days previous, she’d probably have been looking for some excuse to leave the room or even the house about now.She still didn’t really understand the guy and would never have admitted to being friends with him, even at gunpoint…but at least they could manage to be in the same building without breaking out in hives.

“How was your exam?”he asked politely.

“I think it went okay,”she replied before adding,“Well, apart from Aden collapsing in the middle of it.”

“What?”Geoff gave her a look of shock.“Is he all right?”

“Yeah, the hospital gave him the all clear.”Belle was surprised at how worried both she and Cassie had been at the time.There must be something going round:She was being nice to Geoff, she was worrying about Aden…What was she going to do next, call that George guy that shot Jack and invite him round for tea?

Geoff gestured to her school bag, which had been adorning the living room table ever since she’d got home.“Er, Belle, I’ve got some homework to do so…”

“Oh, yeah, sure.”Belle picked the bag up from the table, slinging it over her shoulder.Unfortunately, she’d forgotten the new addition to the ornamentation.Her bag skirted over the shelf behind her, colliding with the bible stand that Geoff had set up there.Both book and stand clattered to the floor.

Geoff’s face was a picture of horror as he started forward and picked up the stand.It was broken in two, one of the hinges shattered by the impact with the floor under the weight of the book.He gave Belle an angry look.“Why can’t you be careful?”

“You were the one who told me to move my bag.”It was a weak excuse and Belle knew it but she didn’t feel like giving in to Geoff’s accusations.

“Well, you should have moved it before.”

“If you’re going to leave your toys lying around, you shouldn’t be surprised when they get broken,”Belle snapped back at him,“There’s other people living here too, Geoff, and we’re not all bible bashers.”

She stormed out the back door, ignoring the horrified look he continued to give her.

“I cannot believe I was willing to give that guy a chance!”

Belle was lucky that Irene didn’t mind her going into the Diner kitchen just so she could complain about her latest mishap…although she had a worrying feeling that was because Irene had heard it all before. Certainly all she did was shoot her a knowing look and go “Uh-huh?”

“I mean, so I broke his little stand.It’s not even as though I broke his bible, that was perfectly fine.But oh no, Saint Geoff can’t have his saintly possessions damaged.”

“And how would you feel if he broke your…hair dryer or something?”

Belle sighed.“It’s not just this though, it’s everything.Every little thing that someone does wrong, he’s there, waiting to pounce, like some sort of self-appointed morals monitor.”

Irene gave her a slightly disapproving look.“Has it somehow slipped your mind, girl, that him and Annie have just lost their only family member and the place that has been their home for who knows how long? He’s probably having trouble adjusting.Give him a chance.”

“This was me giving him a chance,”Belle reminded her.

“And what, the first time he loses his temper with you you decide he’s used up his only chance?Have a bit of compassion, girlie!”

“If he’s ready with an apology when I get home, then maybe I’ll give him a chance.But I’m not going to hold my breath.”

When Belle got back home, it looked at first as though the place was deserted.But then she heard the low murmur of two familiar voices coming from Geoff’s room:Geoff and Annie.She knew she should probably leave them to it but the door was open slightly and she was curious.Surely it couldn’t hurt to listen in just a little..?

“She probably didn’t understand,”Annie was saying.

“I get that she doesn’t understand why God and the Bible are so important to us,”Geoff replied,“But she still broke something of mine.You should apologise for that, right?”

“I guess so.It’s not just about something of yours being broken though, is it?”

There was a silence and Belle could imagine Geoff looking uncomfortable.“Annie, I don’t think we should…”

“I miss it too, Geoff.”Belle could hear the slight quiver in Annie’s voice.“I love living in this town and I love living with Irene and Belle and going to school and having friends but…I miss our old life.And I miss Pop.”

She heard Geoff sigh.“I know I probably shouldn’t have put Pop’s old bible stand up in the front room without asking anyone but…that’s just where it’s always been.It made this feel a bit more like home.”

“Maybe you could buy a new stand?You’ve still got Pop’s bible…”

“It’s not the same, Annie.Our dad used to sit where we were and look up at that stand when he was a boy, it was a way of being close to him.I remember Pop reading it to us when we were little, the way his face used to light up when he saw how much we enjoyed it.”

“And then he’d ask you to recite it back,”Annie remembered.

“Well…I got it right sometimes.I don’t think he minded the odd word here and there, so long as we got the message.I dunno, I guess I always thought one day the farm would be ours and we’d have that bible there on its stand and read from it to our children.And now none of it’s there anymore.”

Belle moved away from the door, wishing she hadn’t listened in.Because what she’d heard hadn’t made her feel any better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for all your comments, hope you like this.


“Belle?What are you doing here?”Belle stopped in the school corridor, frozen like a rabbit caught in the headlights, as Sally walked over to her.“You don’t have an exam today, do you?”

“Ah, no, Miss Fletcher,”Belle admitted.

“So what’s with the visit?Most of Year 12 can’t wait to get away from the place.”

“I, er, I need to get something from my locker.I was just hoping to pop in and get it while no-one was looking.”

Sally nodded, seeming to accept the explanation.“Well, hurry up and get in then.You’re not really supposed to be here when you’re on exam leave.”

For a moment, Belle was afraid Sally was going to stand over her while she collected the made-up item from her locker.But then she carried on up to the office.Belle waited until she was out of sight before calling back to the entrance,“Okay, it’s clear now.”

Drew poked his head cautiously round the door, the broken remains of Geoff’s bible stand and the other items they’d picked up along the way in his hands.“I still don’t get why you need me along.”

“As a lookout.Good job on that, by the way.”

“I mean, if you needed something practical done, you should have asked Ric.I’m more of your ideas man.”

“I’ve got the idea, Drew, and I’ve got the practical bit sorted as well.”

Drew shook his head.“Taylor, I remember you in woodwork.You came pretty close to gluing yourself to the desk.”

Belle shrugged.“Wood, wood glue…How hard can it be?”

Drew had stayed by the door of the woodworks lab as instructed while Belle carried out the difficult task of gluing two bits of wood together.“I still don’t get why you’re doing this,”he commented.

“Because I’m a horrible person and if I don’t then I’m going to go to hell,”Belle replied through gritted teeth as she pushed the broken hinge and the main part of the stand against each other with all her strength.

“Just seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to for someone you don’t like.”

Belle paused at the comment, wondering if that was actually how she felt.She didn’t really understand Geoff, didn’t really have a lot in common with him but as for liking him…A short time ago, she’d probably have agreed with Drew but after hearing him and Annie together the previous night she was beginning to think she’d got a lot of things wrong.“I just think I should make more of an effort to make him feel welcome,”she said at last.She carefully placed the glued together stand in a vice and tightened it, just enough to hold it together.

Drew came over to her.“So, what now?”

Belle checked the instructions on the tube of wood glue.“Now…we leave it for two hours.”

“What?”Drew took the tube from her and read the same thing.“Did you know this before?”

“Are you kidding?I read those instructions three times before even starting.”

“Taylor, we were lucky to find this place empty.What if someone’s got a lesson in here?”

“Well…I guess they’ll just think that a student had a project to do and left it here to dry.”

“Ahem?”They both turned round at the voice to find Sally standing in the doorway looking quizzically at them.

Belle glared at Drew.“Lookout?”she reminded him.

“Did you get lost on your way to your locker?”Sally asked.

Belle sighed.“Look, Sally, Miss Fletcher, I know it’s a big ask but this is Geoff’s and I broke it and it really upset him…I just wanted to mend it for him.”

Sally walked over to the bench and examined the results of Belle’s handiwork.“Did you use any school materials?”

“No,”Belle assured her.

“We brought our own,”Drew added, holding up the tube of wood glue.

Sally nodded.“All right, well, the lab isn’t in use for the rest of the day so as long as you keep quiet and tidy up the place when you’re done we won’t say anything more about it.”

Belle breathed a sigh of relief.“Thank you, Miss Fletcher.”

“Just try and remember the rules about former and departing students being on school premises in future, okay?”

It was Belle who was the last one home that evening, having taken a detour via Drew’s house on her way back.When she arrived, she found Geoff sat on the couch, pouring over what looked like one of his school textbooks.When he saw her, he got up without a word and started heading towards his room.

“Geoff!”she called after him and was relieved that he stopped and turned to her, even though his expression made it clear that he didn’t feel like talking to her.“I’m sorry about last night, you were right, I broke something of yours and I should have apologised.So…”She reached into her bag and removed the stand which, miraculously, had stayed intact.“I hope this makes up for it.”

Geoff took the stand from her and the surly expression on his face was transformed into a disbelieving smile.“Is this..?”

“Amazing what a bit of glue can do.It’s not exactly good as new but it should hold together.”

Geoff stared at her in delight for a moment and then grabbed her in a brief but tight bear hug which nevertheless threatened to squeeze the life out of her…as well as smash the recently repaired bible stand that was still in his hand.“Belle, thank you!This…I’m sorry I got cross with you yesterday, I know you didn’t mean to break it.”

“No, I didn’t.But I guess I have to get used to the fact this is your home too now and it’s going to have your things in it.”

Geoff nodded.“Maybe I’ll keep it in my room from now on though.”

“Good idea.I mean, less chance of breakage in there.”

Geoff headed towards his room but he kept looking at her all the time, as if wondering if he should say something.She wasn’t sure she’d seen him smile like that before.It suited him.“Thanks, Belle,”he said at last.

She smiled back at him.“My pleasure, Geoff.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your comments.


A few days had passed and Geoff and Belle had managed not to exchange any more cross words.Even more extraordinarily, they’d even managed to exchange a few pleasant ones.There were still a lot of subjects they disagreed on but they managed to either sidestep them or agree to disagree.

“You heading out somewhere?”he asked as she wandered through the living area, a bag over her shoulder.

She nodded.“Just thought I’d head down to the beach for a bit before getting back to the revising.”

He looked her up and down curiously.It wasn’t exactly an outfit he wanted Annie wearing but compared to her normal beach wear…“You’re going to be on the beach dressed like that?”

Belle looked as though it wasn’t a conversation she’d normally want to be having, especially not with a guy who wasn’t her boyfriend.“I’ve got my bikini on underneath, okay?I don’t actually walk through the streets in it.”

“Sorry.”The last thing he wanted was to make things awkward between them again.“I’m kind of used to in on the beach these days, I’ve been down there a few times and I’m managing not to panic when I see a girl dressed like that.”

“Well, maybe you fancy coming with me then?”

Geoff looked at her, not sure if it was a serious offer or not.“Are you sure you wouldn’t mind?”

“Well, going to the beach isn’t as much fun on your own so…why not?”

He smiled.The two of them spending time together on the beach might get rid of some of the awkwardness.“Okay, I’ll just get my towel.”

Despite his promises, Belle hadn’t been entirely convinced that Geoff wouldn’t be uncomfortable with her stripping down to her bikini in front of him.But to her surprise, he’d got into the spirit of it, stripping down to his shorts and laying his towel down next to hers to enjoy the sun.

“Do you fancy going for a swim?”she asked after they’d been lying in silence for a while.

Geoff seemed to take an inordinate amount of time considering it.“The two of us, together?”

“You can swim, can’t you?”

He nodded.“Yeah, there was a lake down on the farm, Pop made sure he taught me and Annie.”

“Well then?”

He nodded uncertainly.“Okay…”

She led the way out into the sea, noticing him following her.She felt the waves beneath her body, the water just deep enough for them to lift her off her feet.She saw Geoff floating alongside her and, unable to resist the temptation, she sent a great splash of water hurtling in his direction, cascading over his head.

He looked shocked for a moment then he smiled, seeming to realise she hadn’t meant any malice.Then, with a cautious air about him, as though he wasn’t sure he should be doing, he sent a splash of water back at her.

“What are you looking at?”

Annie turned round with a start at Lucas’ question, feeling as though she’d been caught doing something she shouldn’t.She nodded down towards the beach.

Lucas looked in the direction she’d indicated and smiled at the sight of Belle and Geoff’s innocent fun. “Mission accomplished, right?”

Annie shrugged, giving a slight grin.“Well, it’ll make breakfast seem a bit less tense.”

“Did Drew get off, okay?”Geoff asked when Belle came back into the house.Drew had been over for most of the evening, helping Belle revise for her last exam.

Belle nodded.“Now all I need to do is get a good night’s sleep.”She noticed her school bag on the floor and lifted it onto the table, beginning to search through it.

“You lost something?”

“Just making sure I’ve got everything packed for tomorrow.”Belle’s tone seemed casual but Geoff could see her becoming more and more frantic as she sifted through her bag’s contents.“Where is it?”


“One of the texts for my English exam.I need it.”

“Surely you’ve read the book by now…”

Belle shook her head.“No, you don’t understand, the questions are based on the text, you need the text to look up the passage they’re talking about or you won’t be able to answer the question.”

“Doesn’t the school have spares?”

“No, they handed out every last one.”Her tone was becoming more and more panicked.“I know I had it this morning and then I…Oh no.”


“The library in Yabbee Creek!I went down there to check some of the old exam questions and I took the book with me.I must have left it there!They’ll be closed by now!”She looked as close to tears as Geoff had ever seen her.“I’m going to fail this test for sure!”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comments, hope you like this.


“No, it’s okay, I understand…Don’t worry, it’s not your fault, I should have…No, I guess I’ll just have to cope without it.Okay, see you.”Belle put the phone down before turning to Irene, who had come in halfway through the conversation.“I was just wondering if Matilda still had her copy, seeing as how she’s not doing the exam now.”

“No luck?”Irene asked.

“She’s already handed it back in.”

“Well…doesn’t that mean the school have got a spare?”

Belle shook her head.“Apparently it’s already been given to another student.They were lucky enough to lose their copy before I did.”

Irene gave her a sympathetic smile.“I wish I could help you, love, really, but…”

“It’s okay, Irene, I know you’ve got to get off to the Diner.I’ll be all right.”

Irene patted her on the shoulder.“Good girl.And you know that whatever happens, no-one’s going to think badly of you, don’t you?”Belle nodded, unable to think of anything to say.“Just make sure Geoff and Annie get a wriggle on, will you?Don’t want you all to be late.”

“Ah, I think Geoff left early, he was out of the house when I got up.”

“Gosh, he’s eager.Okay, well, I guess I’ll see you all later.”

Belle waited until Irene had left before allowing herself to sag.She was doing her best to put a brave face on, to make out to Irene and the others that the exam wasn’t a total loss, but she knew if she didn’t have her text with her she might as well not show up.And nothing short of a miracle…

Geoff suddenly burst through the front door, breathing heavily, as though he’d just been for a long run.He wasn’t exactly dressed for a run, he was in his school uniform.He thrust something into her hands before doubling over, hands on his knees, waiting to get his breath back.

Belle looked at what he’d handed her and saw to her astonishment that it was a copy of the book she’d lost.No, she corrected herself, as she opened up the book and saw both the Summer Bay High stamp and the copy number, it was the book she’d lost.“Geoff…where did you get this?”

He gave a few more deep breaths before managing to answer.“Library, like you said.I was on the first bus to Yabbee Creek.They found it, noticed it wasn’t one of theirs and kept it back.”

“But…but the library doesn’t open until nine.”

Geoff nodded.“It was about seven when I got there.I just hammered on the door until the librarian answered it.”

“How on earth did you get her to do that?”

He shrugged.“Actually it didn’t take all that long.She said I had an honest face.”

It was one of the rare occasions in her life that Belle found herself lost for words.“Geoff, thank you, I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t…”She grabbed hold of him and kissed him full on the lips.“Seriously, you have just saved my life.”She checked her watch.“Look, I’m meant to be meeting Cassie and Luc before the exam but I will thank you properly later, okay?”

She dashed out the back door, failing to notice Geoff staring after her, a look of shock frozen on his face.

Geoff still hadn’t moved a few minutes later when Annie came bounding down the stairs.“Geoff, come on, we’re going to be late,”she told him,“Has Belle gone?”

Geoff shook himself out of his reverie.“Ah, yeah, yeah, she’s gone.”

“Did she find that book she was looking for, she seemed really worried about it?”

“Um, I got it for her.”

Annie smiled, pleased that her the two of them seemed to be getting on better.“I expect she was happy about that.”

“Yeah, yeah, you could say that.”

Annie suddenly noticed the change in her brother’s behaviour.She wasn’t sure she’d ever seen him look that flustered.“Geoff, are you all right?”

Geoff swallowed hard.“I…I think Belle’s in love with me!”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for all your comments.This is the last chapter, hope you like it.


Geoff was probably lucky that it was Annie he was speaking to.Anyone else would have just laughed at him.Annie, however, stood there giving him a puzzled look.“Why do you think that?”

“Because…she just kissed me.I mean, a real kiss, like a girlfriend would give you.”

“She snogged you?”Annie seemed to notice Geoff’s shocked expression because she gave an apologetic shrug.“One of the girls at school said it.”

Geoff considered this.“Well, not a snog exactly.But it was definitely lip to lip.”

Annie was still mulling the evidence over in her mind.“But a week ago she didn’t even seem to like you.”

“Maybe she liked me but she didn’t want to admit it and that’s why she always seemed so irritatable.”It was all falling into place in Geoff’s mind.“And the clothes she always wore, maybe she was just trying to get my attention.”

“But…she’s going out with Drew.”

Geoff had thought of that too.“Yeah but she used to go out with Lucas, remember?Maybe she’s planning to break up with him.”

“Drew’s going to be devastated if she does, he’s planning to propose to her.”

That was one thing Geoff hadn’t thought of.“You’re sure?”

Annie nodded.“He told Belle he had a surprise to celebrate her finishing her exams and then I heard him talking to someone on the phone about it.”

Geoff shook his head wearily.“This is getting so messed up.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I’ve got to be straight with her.Tell her that I’m sorry but I just don’t feel that way.”

Annie could see the slight flaw in that strategy.“But…what if you’re wrong?”

Geoff patted her on the shoulder, giving her the kind of confident smile that only a big brother could give. “Annie, I think I know if a girl’s in love with me or not.”

Geoff hurried back from school, hoping that Belle would still be home after her exam finished.He was a bit puzzled when he found her in the living room, halfway through packing a bag.She smiled at him.“Geoff, I’m glad I caught you before you left.I just wanted to say thank you again for getting my book back.I aced the test because of you.And I didn’t have to answer any awkward questions from Miss Fletcher about what I’d done with it.”

“That’s great, Belle.”Geoff looked at the bag in confusion.“Where are you going?”

She grinned even wider.“You’re never gonna believe this.Drew bought me a car!We’re going on a road trip to test it out, to celebrate finishing my exams.”

“That was his surprise?”Geoff was pleased.That proved Annie had been wrong.Then he realised Belle was walking past him towards the back door, apparently thinking the conversation was over.He grabbed hold of her arm, turning her round.“Belle, you can’t go.”

She looked at him, puzzled.“What?Why?”

“It’s not fair on Drew.You can’t go away with him if you’re planning to leave him for me.”

To his surprise, Belle didn’t look any less puzzled.“What?!”

“I mean, it’s never going to happen.I like you, I think you’re a great person and I guess you’re fairly pretty as well, but you and me together, that’d just be completely wrong.So I’m sorry but I can’t go out with you. But if it’s me that you’ve got feelings for, it’s not fair to keep stringing Drew along…”

“Geoff, what the hell makes you think I want to go out with you?!”

Geoff was surprised by the force of her reaction.“Well, the kiss this morning…”

“For goodness sake, Geoff, what..?”She paused, her features softening.Softening perhaps a bit too much. She seemed to be smirking, an expression halfway between amusement and embarassment.“You’ve never been kissed by a girl like that before, have you?”


“Well…I kissed you because I was grateful, that’s all.And while I’m flattered that you think I’m a great person and fairly pretty, I agree, you and me, no-no.And I’m not planning on breaking up with Drew… again…any time soon.”She hugged him and he put his arms around her for a moment before she gave him a big sisterly glare.“And don’t go reading anything into that.”

“No, no, I won’t.”He watched as she resumed her journey to the door.“Have a good time!”

Belle paused just as she was out of sight, a slight smile playing across her lips.She had to admit that Geoff was nice to look at.And more than that, she could see that he was kind and decent and would never deliberately hurt anyone.If he could manage to rein in that narrow-minded streak of his, he’d probably make someone a decent boyfriend one day.

But her?Not in that lifetime.

Geoff breathed a sigh of relief, an emotion that managed to overwhelm the embarrassment he was feeling. He was glad he didn’t have to worry about Belle being in love with him.He’d realised now that she was a good person and that she was loyal to the people she cared about.But she was still loud and aggressive and wore inappropriate clothing.He couldn’t ever see himself going out with someone like that.

But he was glad to have her as a friend.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.