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The Line

Guest Georgia

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Thanks to Bec, for being the most amazing proof reader in the world, for reading every chapter, and being brilliant. God Bec, you are a miracle worker

Type of story: Short/medium fiction

Main characters: Belle, Aden and some others

BTTB rating: T

Genre: Romance, drama, angst

Does this story include spoilers: No

Any warning: Nope. If there is, I'll warn at the start of each chapter

Summary: They were the perfect couple, deeply in love. Nothing could come between Aden and Belle until certain events lead to them standing at the line between love and hate. Were the events enough to send them toppling over the line, or will they be able to fix things in time?

Chapter One: Marry Me

Aden was down on one knee in front of her, but she stood silent. For as long as Belle could remember, she had wanted Aden for eternity, to be hers, but now that he was offering, she didn’t know what to say.

“Belle”, Aden prompted, as she stood there, the clock ticking in the background, “this is the part when you answer”

Belle looked down at Aden, and the past came flashing back to her eyes. Her mother had always told her that there was a thin line between love and hate, and when you came to that line, you almost always toppled over.

Belle had laughed it off, not wanting to believe it. Aden and Belle were forever, there was only love between them, never hate.

But now, now the unthinkable had happened, and right then, in that moment when she was at that line, she was struggling to stay upright.

All the things that he had done to hurt her, all the pain that he had caused, it was pushing her closer and closer to the line.

“Belle”, he reminded again, impatience and anger starting to show on his face as he was still down on one knee, holding the ring out in front of her.

The old Aden would have never gotten angry at her; he would have never been impatient. He would wait for her, give her the space she needed, but the old Aden was gone.

She was left with this new Aden, someone who took everything he wanted, and didn’t care about the pain that he caused her along the way.

But then all the happy times came rushing back to her and a smile lit up her face but that didn’t last long as the unhappy, miserable times came, and clouded out the happy times. And that was what made her decision for her.

Belle looked at Aden before she finally spoke in nothing more than a whisper that he could only just hear.

“I can’t marry you, because I’ve reached that line Aden, and I’ve fallen over it” Belle whispered, before running out of the house, leaving Aden sitting there wondering what on earth Belle was talking about.


As Aden sat in his house thinking, Belle sat out on the jetty in the rain.

When her mother told her about the line, she had laughed in her face. But now she wished she had listened. It would have saved her a lot of pain.


Belle stood at the door of Roman’s house. The door was slightly open, and Belle had a perfect view of the living room.

That view included her boyfriend, who happened to be shirtless, kissing Nicole Franklin, who was supposed to be her best friend.

If anyone else had happened to see this, they would have left straight away, embarrassed to be part of the intimate moment.

But Belle wasn’t just anyone. She was different. She was the one who was supposed to be kissing Aden Jeffries, not her best friend.

And then, the words from her mother came flashing back into her head. It’s a thin line between love and hate...

If it was the first incident, Belle could have forgiven him, but it wasn’t. Aden had been pushing and pushing for a year, and she had refused to let go, because she had loved him.

But witnessing this... this was the final straw.

Belle had always promised herself to never stay with anyone who cheated on her

But Aden was the exception to many rules. Even though he had cheated on her, she had stayed. She had stayed for another three months, but tonight, seeing him on one knee, had made it clear to Belle. She couldn’t marry Aden Jeffries, because she had crossed the line. She hated Aden Jeffries, and it pained her to think that the only man she had ever truly loved was now the man that she hated most in the world.

Previews for next chapter:

- What other problems did the relationship have?

- Will Aden give up without a fight?

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Thank you for the reviews guys. Hope you enjoy this chapter :D

Chapter Two: Don’t Leave Me Hanging

Belle didn’t take any more time to grieve for the loss of Aden. Early the next morning, she was back at work, rushing around the diner. No one seemed to notice the tears that kept threatening to spill out of her eyes, or the frown that was constantly on her face.

“Belle”, someone addressed her, jolting her out of her trance. It was Aden of course. He had always had the annoying quality of sneaking up on her, and startling her. It used to be a good thing, but now it was terrible, something that she dreaded, and gave her a fright.

“What?” she snapped, the frustration and pain all pouring into her voice as she looked at the man she used to cherish so dearly.

“I came to talk to you about what you said last night”, Aden replied, matching his tone to hers, refusing to look away from her.

“I’m working Aden. I can’t talk to you right now”

Irene bustled into the kitchen and ruined Belle’s plan. “Actually darl, it’s time for your break now anyway”

Aden started smirking, and the tears that had been held back all morning finally fell out of Belle’s eyes. She turned her head away, not wanting anyone to see the sign of weakness affecting her whole body

“Thanks Irene”, she whispered, not wanting her mentor to realise that anything was wrong. Irene nodded and then left the kitchen.

“Aden, can we not do this now?” Belle begged, the tears still flowing, as Belle was powerless to stop them from falling down her delicate cheeks

“If we don’t do this now Belle, we never will”, Aden replied and grabbed onto her arm, before pulling her out of the kitchen and towards the beach, only letting go when they were both seated on the bench.

“Now explain what you meant last night Belle, and don’t speak in riddles this time. I want the truth”

“What do you want to know?” Belle choked back a couple of sobs

“What’s this line you were talking about?” he demanded, aggression clear in his voice and the way he was now gripping onto her knee made her feel uncomfortable.

“The line between love and hate”, Belle whispered

“And what’s that?” he demanded again, but Belle was lost to the world, stuck in more memories of the past


Aden stood in the bedroom, towering above Belle, who was curled up in a ball on the bed, shivering with fear.

“How dare you disrespect me like that?” he yelled at her, as Belle tried to curl further into herself, having no idea what Aden was talking about

“I don’t know what you’re talking about”, Belle whispered, but it only served to anger Aden further

“You were flirting with Geoff at the party tonight Belle”, he bellowed, and stepped a tiny bit closer to the bed, causing Belle to cower back

“I swear I didn’t. Geoff is with Nicole and they are happy. I was just talking to him Aden, he’s like my brother. We were just talking, I promise” Belle sobbed uncontrollably

“Don’t lie to me. The least you could do is give me the common courtesy of telling the truth. I’ve caught you Belle, so just admit it”

“I promise I wasn’t flirting Aden, I promise” Belle whimpered, sobs racking her delicate body

“I said don’t lie to me”, he yelled, the sound echoing off of each and every wall in the room, making it sound a million times worse

Aden took another step closer to the bed, and Belle recoiled in fear, which made Aden even madder. He drew back his hand, and sent it into her face, slapping her hard across the cheek

Belle’s sobs got even louder, and it obviously jolted Aden back to the real world. He looked down at his hyperventilating girlfriend and tears sprung into his eyes as well as he quickly rushed to his girlfriend’s side

“Oh god Belle, I’m sorry. I just got carried away. You know I love you, and I didn’t mean it. It’s just thinking about you flirting with Geoff makes me sick”

Belle didn’t even bother to remind Aden that she wasn’t flirting with Geoff. Instead she just let herself be held.

He said he was sorry, but this wasn’t the first time he had taken his anger out on her, and she knew it wouldn’t be the last.

“And what’s that?” Aden asked again, pulling Belle out of the painful memories

“What’s what?” Belle questioned, having lost track of the conversation she was still having with Aden

“What is this line between love and hate and who put this garbage in your head anyway?”

“Amanda told me, but I never believed her, not until last night. It’s the place that divides love and hate, and when you get there, it’s almost impossible to stay on the right side of the line. And last night, I fell”

“So you hate me now?”

Belle didn’t answer but stood up, turning to walk away before stopping and spinning back around to face him.

“Aden Jeffries, you are the only man I have ever truly loved. You were my first love and that will always remain imprinted in my heart, but you’ve hurt me so much. You changed Aden, changed from the man I loved into some man I have never met. And then you hit me, and cheated on me, and did so much more, and then I tried to forgive you... but last night, I reached that line. And I fell Aden, I fell really hard. There is a part of me that will always love you, but after everything...” Belle trailed off, leaving Aden to make his own assumptions.

“Goodbye Aden”, she whispered, pressing a kiss softly to his cheek and walking back to the diner to resume her shift, all the time pondering if she had made the right decision.

Was it possible to claw her way back to the other side of the line?

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Thank you for the reviews guys :D Hope you like this chapter, and thank you again to the amazing Bec :lol:

Chapter Three: Not Giving Up

The good thing about knowing Irene was that she understood when you had to take a personal day, Belle thought to herself as she lay in bed, the covers pulled up to her chin.

She just wasn’t up to facing the world today, to facing the smiling faces in the diner, and the very large chance that Aden would try and come to speak to her.

If I had just said yes to the proposal, she thought, then none of this would be happening. I could still be with Aden, and he might have been able to change.

A sound from the window startled Belle, and she grabbed the impulse spray from her bedside table, preparing to protect herself from a possible intruder. She watched as the window slid up and Belle quickly leaped forward, spraying her impulse can

“Ahh Belle, it’s me”, Aden called, clearly in pain, which made Belle drop the impulse and rush closer to the window

“What are you doing here?” she asked, confusion clear in her voice, in half a mind to slam the window shut and send Aden away for good.

“I’m here to talk to you, so just let me in before I fall to my death”, Aden yelled melodramatically, seeming as Belle’s window wasn’t actually that high off the ground. But some stupid part of Belle made her step back and allow Aden access to her safe haven.

“Make it quick Aden, it’s my day off”, Belle informed him, before climbing back into bed and hiding her face from the man who still occupied a large part of her heart

“I’m not giving up on you Belle. I’m going to help you climb back to the line”, he said confidently, obviously not taking defeat in his stride, somewhat reminding her of the Aden she used to know, the Aden Jefferies she fell in love with.

“What if I can’t?” Belle whispered, barely audibly, as the fear that she had been bottling up inside overflowed so quickly

“What do you mean?” Aden questioned. In his plans, he had just pictured Belle falling back into his arms, instead of hiding away from him

“Being with you... the old you anyway, was perfect, and magical, and I want that back. God I want it back. But I’m terrified Aden, because what if the old you is gone forever, and what if I can’t get back to the line”, Belle admitted, tears now backing up her point. It was clear that she was terrified, which took Aden back into the past, back to another time when Belle had cried herself to sleep, scared.


Belle sat on the couch, afraid to go upstairs without Aden. He had made her promise to not go to bed without him, and he wasn’t back from his night of partying yet.

She was exhausted, but she couldn’t disobey him. He had made her promise.

And that’s when the door swung open, and Aden strolled in, with his arm around one of his guy mates, and the other around some skinny blonde girl that Belle recognised from around Summer Bay. When the progression saw Belle, they stopped in their tracks

“Belle, what are you doing up?” Aden demanded, embarrassed to see his girlfriend waiting up for him

“You asked me to wait up for you”, Belle reminded him softly, while glaring at the blonde girl who clearly had her hand on Aden’s backside

“No I didn’t”, he insisted, “it’s time for you to go upstairs now Belle. I want to hang out with Garry and Vanessa here”

“Aden, you’re drunk. Maybe you should send your mates home and sleep it off” Belle advised, slowly walking towards Aden

Garry walked towards Belle and grabbed onto her, crushing her close to his chest and kissing her, ignoring the fact that Belle’s hands were slapping him across the face.

When Garry pulled away, Belle fell to the floor, and she cried out as her hand hit the floor at a funny angle

“Aden, make Garry leave”, Belle whimpered from the floor, her hand already swelling up

Aden showed Garry to the door and shut it gently in his face

“God Belle, way to embarrass me in front of my mates”, Aden spat and then kissed Vanessa passionately on the lips, before showing her out of the house as well

“Aden”, Belle sobbed, the tears searing down her cheeks, and controlling her whole body, “please help. I need to get to the hospital”, she begged of the man she loved, hoping he would break out of the drunken spell and find a way to help

“I’m going to bed now Belle. I’m too drunk to take you to the hospital and frankly, I’m still annoyed at your behaviour tonight”, Aden announced before walking up the stairs, leaving his girlfriend sobbing on the floor

“Aden”, the pitiful sounds followed him up the stairs, and he stopped for one second and looked down at the girl he loved crying on the floor, before continuing on his way to bed

“I hurt you a lot”, Aden whispered, attempting to pull down the covers that were pulled high over Belle’s head, but he was unsuccessful

“You did”, came the muffled reply, with no attempt to deny it

“I get what you mean now”, Aden told Belle, but her head didn’t emerge from under the covers. “I promise you I can change Belle. We can go back to the way we were”, Aden vowed confidently, sure that Belle would come back to him.

The covers were suddenly flung down, and Belle’s angry face greeted him. He leant forward to kiss her but received a slap across the face

“How dare you Aden, how dare you?” Belle screamed, “You can’t put me through all of that and then just expect everything to be ok”

Aden recoiled in shock. He had honestly thought that Belle would have taken him back, because they were Aden and Belle. Nothing came between them, or so he thought.

“You can’t mean that Belle. We’re forever, everything thinks that”

“Everyone except me”, Belle fumed, angry tears rolling down her cheeks. Her fragile body was shaking, and she was holding herself tightly so that she didn’t punch Aden in the face.

“You can get back to the line Belle”, Aden reassured her, and patted her hand comfortingly, but it was the wrong move. Belle jumped off the bed, and walked to the window, pulling up the frame with an almighty bang as the glass shuddered violently

“Get out of my room”, she shrieked at him, losing the last shreds of composure she had managed to grip onto

Aden stood up as well, and walked to the window, stopping to look at Belle one more time.

“Do you remember our first kiss?” he whispered seductively, trying to get Belle to think about the happy memories

“Yeah I do”, she told him quietly, her voice softening, which gave Aden hope.

“See, not everything about our past is bad” he reminded her

“I wasn’t finished. I remember our first kiss Aden, but the memories of you kissing Nicole and Vanessa are more vivid”, she hissed venomously, before helping Aden climb out the window, and then slamming the frame down, and locking it with the key that she rarely used.

It was getting harder and harder to remember the good times. Aden was going to have to do something amazing to help her back to the line, but so far he was making things worse for himself.

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And here is chapter four. God, I'm on a roll today. I've updated 3 of my stories already :D Hope you like this chapter, and thank you all for the reviews from the last chapter.

Chapter Four: Grand Gesture

Luckily the next day was Belle’s day off. After the “episode” with Aden last night, she didn’t feel like working, but Irene wouldn’t have let her take another day off, so things had worked out for the best.

Walking along the beach alone, the cool sand massaging her feet, Belle was reflecting on her life, which was starting to turn into a soap opera, and Belle had never liked soap operas.

“Belle”, the familiar voice that was haunting her even in her sleep broke her out of her trance. With a sigh, Belle looked round at Aden, who was holding a single yellow rose

“What Aden? I thought we talked about everything last night?” Belle poured aggression and discomfort into her tone, trying to persuade Aden to leave her alone, but he didn’t take the hint

“I just came to give you this”, Aden spoke softly, while handing over the rose, “and invite you to dinner tonight. Just a casual dinner on the beach, no strings attached”

“What time?” Belle asked, too tired to protest, but also a little curious

“About 6.30, if that fits in with your plans”, he told her, uncertainty obvious in his voice

Belle nodded her agreement and started to walk away from Aden, but he called her name out once again as she stopped, agitated and spun around.

“What did you think of the rose? There were always your favourite flowers” he said, the confidence coming back to his voice

“Yellow roses mean friendship Aden, not love or begging for forgiveness. And for the record, my favourite flowers are lilies”, she replied, sarcasm taking over the pain and tiredness that had previously been etched on her face.

Aden smiled slightly, despite the fact that Belle had trashed his small gesture. At least she hadn’t thrown the flower onto the ground, and stamped it into oblivion, that must have been a good thing.


That night, only ten minutes late for the casual dinner, Belle arrived at the beach, and her mouth dropped open in surprise.

Aden was sitting cross legged in the sand, under a gazebo styled tent. Scatter cushions were lying on the ground, and candles were lighting up the area. A small table was set up in the middle of the tent, but it was void of food and drinks.

“You came”, Aden exclaimed, joy clearly etched on his face, “I wasn’t sure if you would show up”

“I wasn’t sure if I would show up either”, Belle said honestly, still amazed at the effort that Aden had made, he clearly wasn’t giving up!

“Did you bring the food?” Aden asked cheekily, but it sent a scowl across Belle’s face.

“Aden Jeffries, you’ve got to be kidding me. You invite me to this dinner, and you haven’t even brought food”, she yelled, as Aden bit his lip to stop from crying with laughter. “Aden don’t you dare laugh at me. I knew I shouldn’t have come. I was right, you aren’t able to change”

“Relax Belle”, he chuckled lightly, “I was just joking with you”, he announced, pulling out a picnic basket that Belle hadn’t noticed, and lying out piles of food, including all of Belle’s favourites. “I also bought you these”, he whispered shyly, pulling out a large bunch of lilies from behind his back as her mouth gaped open in shock

“Oh Aden,” Belle muttered, tears filling up her eyes at the sight of Aden sitting on the ground with lilies in his hand. It had reminded her of all the times Aden had surprised her, back in the days when he had remembered her favourite flowers.

“I knew you’d love it”

“You are so full of yourself”, Belle replied with a half-hearted giggle, slapping him lightly on the arm but leaving her hand there for a second too long, which allowed Aden to pull her onto the sand

“So do you forgive me now? This is my grand gesture”, he whispered, as the candlelight lit up his face and made him look hauntingly beautiful

“It’s a start”, Belle replied softly, before reaching a hand out for a jalapeño pepper, the extra spicy kind

“I knew you liked hot stuff. I always knew there was a reason we went out”

Belle didn’t acknowledge his speech with a reply, but a small smile graced Belle’s face as she tried hard not to burst into laughter. It had been so long since Aden had acted like this, and it reminded her of the happy times, before Nicole and Vanessa and the violence...

She knew that she was a long way off forgiving Aden, but she loved the fact that he was making an effort again.

“So babe, what have you been up to today?” he asked, and the casual tone sent a shiver up Belle’s spine.

It sparked off an interesting debate. Aden seemed to think that Belle had been lazing around all day, doing nothing, whereas Belle was entertaining the idea that she had spent the whole day working on her photo album.

They talked, laughed, and enjoyed dinner, glancing at each other, Belle began to loosen up around him, it had been a while since Aden had made her laugh, and for the first time in a long time, it felt good.

“Belle, I think it’s time that I took you home”, Aden finally announced, albeit regretfully, when he looked at his watch and saw that it was after midnight

Together they walked back to Irene’s house, and it didn’t feel at all strange when Aden grabbed onto her hand.

Stopping at the door, Aden waited until Belle had found her keys, before leaving, a smile set permanently on his face

“Thank you Aden, for the great time”, Belle called after him, shutting the door, before leaning against the doorframe, a smile playing gently at her lips

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Thanks for the reviews guys. Please continue with the feedback, and feel free to let me know which parts of the story aren't working out :D

Chapter Five: End of the world as we know it

Belle walked slowly towards the diner, trying to delay the inevitable. As soon as she got to work, she would have to see Aden, who had the same shift as her. Although last night had been fun, she didn’t know how she felt about Aden yet. He had done so much to hurt her, and she wasn’t sure if she could cope with anymore pain.

“Belle”, the quiet voice disturbed her from her walk, and she turned gratefully towards the distraction

“Hey Rachel, how are you?” Belle said politely. She hadn’t seen Rachel in a while, so it was a bit weird to see her on the beach, especially without Tony or Harry

“I’m good, better now that I’ve seen you. You were the person that I was looking for”, Rachel admitted, which piked Belle’s curiosity levels.

“What did you need me for?”

“Someone got admitted to the hospital early this morning, and they’ve been asking to see you, but it’s the kind of thing I couldn’t tell you over the phone, so I’ve been looking for you for a while” Rachel explained

“What is it Rach?” Belle whispered, not wanting to know the answer. It could only be one person in the hospital, the one person that still had the ability to hurt her more than anyone else.

“It’s Aden”, the doctor told her, while checking for a reaction

“What’s wrong with him?” she whispered, even quieter than before, her hands suddenly feeling clammy, and her stomach was jumping into her mouth

“He has a brain tumour Belle”

“A brain tumour”, she repeated, suddenly feeling faint, “that’s pretty serious, isn’t it Rachel?”

“Yes, but it also explains his behaviour, and that’s why he wanted me to find you”

“What do you mean?”

Rachel hesitated for a minute, before answering Belle’s question. “He told me all about what happened, with the violence, and the things he put you through, and you may not want to hear this Belle, but those things only happened because of the tumour.”

“That doesn’t make sense Rachel. Aden’s a grown man, he can control himself. You can’t blame all this on a tumour” Belle exploded with anger, as everything she had believed in, came crashing down around her.

“Actually, it’s a pretty recent discovery. The tumour is pressing up against certain nerves in his brain, and it’s affecting his emotions, so he gets angry really easily, and he can’t control himself”, Rachel explained calmly, trying to reach out to the girl that was obviously falling apart

“But he really hurt me Rach”, Belle admitted, the tears finally falling out of her eyes, as she collapsed into the sand

Rachel sat down beside the sobbing girl, and pulled her into her arms. “Shhh Belle, I know, I know. It hurts”, she whispered, trying to sooth her

“He hurt me, and I hated him. And now you’re telling me it’s not his fault, and I feel awful for not catching the tumour sooner. And then I realize that the man I love might be dying”, she sobbed, the emotions overflowing, and the things she had been bottling up finally exploded.

“I think you need to go and see Aden”, Rachel told her, and Belle nodded, trying to stifle her tears, and wipe her nose.

“I think I need to go and see Aden too”

Rachel helped Belle to stand up, and together they walked towards the hospital, the younger girl leaning against the doctor for support.

When they got to the hospital, Rachel quickly told Belle the room number, and then left, unable to comfort the devastated girl any longer.

Belle walked slowly towards the room, anxious to see Aden, but holding back because she had no idea what to expect.

She was supposed to be a strong, independent, fiery person, but Aden had changed all that, and she could barely stand up anymore.

After a slow, mournful walk, Belle reached Aden’s room, and she slid in, desperately trying to not be noticed. Aden, however, had a keen eye, and he smiled at her as soon as she walked in

“Hey Belle,” he whispered, trying not to startle her. She already looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a car.

“Hey”, she spoke softly and slowly, trying to make it seem like she was still in control of her body and her emotions

“Thank you for coming”

“I had to come. I love you, and I just had to be here for you”, she explained, her voice choking up halfway through the speech

Aden smiled slightly, and then leant back against his pillow, his eyes slowly drifting shut. “I’m sorry for everything Belle”, he whispered, as he drifted into a peaceful sleep.

Belle gently sat down on a seat beside the bed, not wanting to wake up Aden, and rested her head on the side of the bed, allowing sleep to overcome her as well. It beat thinking about all the thoughts that were flying around her head.

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Thanks for the reviews guys. Here is chapter six.

Chapter Six: Relationship Talk

Belle lifted her head and winced at the pain that shot through her neck and her head. It was never a good idea to sleep at a strange angle, with your head on a hospital bed, and your body curled awkwardly in a chair, but for Aden, she would do much stranger things.

Aden woke up at the sound of the groan that had escaped Belle’s lips. “What’s wrong babe?” he asked, concern colouring his voice, taking over the pain that had been etched on his face just a moment before

“Just stiff from sleeping funny”, she whispered, unsure if talking loudly would hurt Aden’s head

“You didn’t have to stay”, he said gruffly, averting his eyes from Belle. He had been horrible to her, and she was still staying with him

“I wanted to stay”, she admitted, her eyes concentrating on Aden’s face, willing herself not to look away. She had been seeing black and white, wrong and right for so long, but now she realised that there was all this other stuff she hadn’t been seeing, and she was determined to take everything is

“But I’ve been so horrible to you”, Aden said quietly, turning his eyes to meet Belle’s, a deep frown set on his face, and water welling up in his eyes

“I know, but Rachel told me it wasn’t you. It was the tumour”, she said convincingly, trying to convince both Aden and herself of that fact

“God Belle, did you ever stop to think that maybe I was just trying to dump you?” Aden spat, causing Belle to recoil in his seat. The doctor who had slipped in unnoticed placed a reassuring hand on Belle’s shoulder. “Stay strong, that’s just the tumour talking”, she whispered, before leaving the room, shooting sympathetic glances at Belle on her way out.

“It’s just the tumour talking”, Belle whispered to herself, before looking at Aden and smiling gently.

“So Rachel told me you were going into surgery today”, she said conversationally, trying to move on from what Aden had just said

“Yeah, to remove this stupid tumour that’s taking up all this space in my head”, Aden said sarcastically, but Belle could detect the fear in his eyes

“You’ll be fine Aden, I promise”, she whispered lovingly, gently gripping onto Aden’s hand. They may have had problems, but Belle wasn’t going to leave him alone in this

“You can’t promise anything Belle! You’re not a doctor, you don’t have the brains for it”, Aden yelled, as Belle dropped his hand, and shifted uncomfortably in her chair.

“It’s just the tumour talking”, she whispered again, tears stinging her eyes. “Sorry Aden”, she said, raising her voice so that Aden could hear her.

“That’s all right Belle. It’s not your fault. It’s this stupid tumour”, Aden said remorsefully, obviously managing to curb his anger for the time being

“I love you Aden Jeffries”, Belle whispered, the fear she had bottling up exploding into her voice.

“I love you too Belle, even if I haven’t shown it”, Aden replied, grabbing onto her hand again, squeezing gently to reassure her

“I’m scared Aden,” she admitted, her eyes cast down towards the bed spread again. Aden gently lifted her chin so that he could see her eyes.

“I’m not going anywhere Miss. Taylor. There is so much for us to experience, so much for us to do, and I will not leave you. I promise”

“You can’t promise that”, Belle said quietly, ashamed that she was using Aden’s words against him

“God Belle, I’m trying to be nice! You don’t have to turn it against me!” he screamed, the anger obviously getting the better of him again. This time, Belle didn’t let go of his hand, but she blinked back the tears that were threatening to spill over

“It’s just the tumour talking”, she whispered, struggling to reassure herself.

The pair sat in silence, until another doctor bustled into the room

“Sorry to disturb you, but we need to take Mr. Jeffries into the operating theatre”, the doctor spoke quickly, and then started checking all the machines

Belle frantically wiped the tears that had finally fallen from her eyes. “Good luck Aden”, she whispered, the emotion choking up her voice

“I don’t need luck Belle. I have the incentive of coming back to you”, he said romantically, and Belle smiled through her tears

“I love you Aden. I’ll see you soon”, she said hopefully

“I love you too Belle, and I guarantee I will see you soon, and I bet it will be sooner than you think”, he whispered, squeezing her hand one more time, as the doctor rolled him out of the room

“Promise me you’ll come back”, Belle yelled after him, tears pouring heavily down her face, and her mascara smudging under her eyes

“God Belle, just leave me alone. I don’t want anything to do with you’, he screamed back, as he was rolled out of sight, and towards the operating theatre, leaving Belle standing there, choking back the sobs that were about to surface

“It’s just the tumour talking”, she whispered to herself, and sat back down in Aden’s room, waiting for him to come back from surgery.

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Well here is chapter seven.. and thank you for the reviews. And this chapter is for Bec, the strongest person I have ever known and a true friend. Enjoy :D

Chapter Seven: Pull Through?

Belle sat beside Aden’s bed, listening to the steady beeping of the machines that surrounded the hospital room. The doctors had said that the tumour had been taken out, and that Aden would be fine, all she had to do was wait.

But the wait was the worst part. The intoxicating clean smell was prickling at her nose, and making her eyes water, and when combined with the fear that was bubbling in her chest, it made an unbearable combination.

“Belle”, a small, croaky whisper drifted into existence, and Belle’s head snapped round

“Aden,” she half laughed, half sobbed, moving to grip onto his hand, careful not to squeeze too hard, and avoid the wires that seemed to be protruding from every available bit of skin

“Hey, why are you crying?” he asked, a frown settling on his face, as he struggled to wipe away the tears that had been rolling down Belle’s face

“You’ve just had surgery”, she reminded him, assuming that the drugs had merely taken over his body, making him drowsy and forgetful

A nurse bustled into the room, checking the machines, so Aden and Belle fell into silence. Belle sat there, tears still steaming down her face, and Aden lay in bed, confusion obviously reining over his body.

As the nurse walked out the door, Belle stood up as well, attempting to follow her

“Belle, where are you going?” Aden questioned, sounding more like a two year old than the man that had asked her to marry him just over a week ago.

“I just need to talk to the nurse”, she explained calmly, trying to reassure him and walk out of the door at the same time

“Will you come back?”

“I always come back”, she whispered, plastering a smile on her face, and running after the nurse, who in turn, pointed her towards Rachel, the doctor in charge of Aden’s care

“Hey Belle, what are you doing here?” Rachel asked, while trying to fill in some paperwork at the same time

“I was with Aden”, she said quietly, which made Rachel’s head look up from the forms

“Is something wrong?” she questioned, concern clear in her voice, and in the way she dropped the pen onto the desk, allowing it to roll to the floor

“He doesn’t remember what he’s doing here”, Belle said, her eyes roaming over Rachel’s face, to see the reaction.

“Oh Belle, don’t worry about it. The medication is probably making him drowsy”, the doctor reassured Belle, the concern gone from her voice, and a friendly smile appearing on her face.

“Please Rach, come and check on him”, the younger woman begged, tears welling up in her eyes just talking about Aden

Rachel kept the smile on her face, and nodded her head, setting off towards Aden’s room, Belle hot on her heels.


“Look Belle, he’s fine”, the doctor reassured her, after a brief check of all the machines

“Then why is he asleep again?” Belle demanded

“He’s just had brain surgery”, Rachel snapped, exasperated at Belle’s tone and constant questions.

“He didn’t remember the surgery, he didn’t know why I was crying”, Belle whispered, losing her previously aggressive tone, and allowing the fear she was suffering from to seep through into her tone.

“It’s the drugs Belle,” Rachel promised, and patted Belle’s hand gently, hating to see the pain she was going through

Belle nodded, and sat down in the chair beside the bed, her eyes blinking back tears, as they concentrated on Aden’s lifeless form.

Rachel stood there observing the situation, before slowly backing out of the room. She felt like an intruder on the scene, and didn’t want to stand there any longer

“Aden, wake up”, Belle whispered, again and again, her grip on Aden’s hand getting tighter with each passing minute.


Hours later, and Aden still hadn’t awoken. Belle was drifting to sleep on the hard, cold chair, unable to leave Aden when he needed her the most.

An annoying beeping sound filled the room, awakening Belle from her slumber.

“Help!” she screamed, having no idea what was going on

The nurses came rushing in, about six of them trying to fit into that small space, as well as the giant trolley they wheeled in between them

“It’s a code blue”, they yelled over the noise of the machines, frantically moving around the room, elbowing Belle out of the way, ignoring her tears, and pleas.

“Call Dr. Armstrong, we need to get him into surgery”, one nurse yelled to another, who nodded and ran out of the room

“What’s going on? Tell me what’s going on”, Belle yelled, again and again, alternating between screaming and pleading.

The nurses ignored her, and continued working on Aden, and then, as suddenly as the beeping had started, it stopped.

Belle stood as still as a statue, the only motionless person in the room. The nurses were still rushing around, still yelling out orders, still ignoring her.

“Get the crash cart in here; we need to re-start his heart.” The order echoed around the room, and Belle suddenly jolted back to life.

Crash carts... that meant his heart had stopped. Belle had learnt a few medical facts from watching shows like Grey’s Anatomy, and this situation wasn’t good.

Silent sobs racked her body, tears streaming down her face, as she slid down the wall, until she collapsed in a heap on the floor.

Aden was dying, his heart beat had disappeared, and there were no more beeping machines. What would she do without Aden, without the man she loved in her life?

“Please save him”, she sobbed, but the nurses showed no signs of hearing her. They carried on with their mission, trying to save Aden Jeffries life.

“Get him to the OR now. We’ve cleared him, and the surgical team is waiting”

“But his heart isn’t beating!” Belle screamed, desperate to make the nurses listen to her

The steady monotone of one machine suddenly came back to life, and the nurses let out a sigh of relief, before wheeling Aden out of the hospital room, towards the OR.

And the only thought that was in Belle’s head in that moment was that Aden Jefferies may have just been wheeled out of her life forever.

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Thank you for the reviews guys. I really love reading them. And Trudi, it's nice to see you commenting as well, I love having new readers :D

Chapter Eight: Déjà Vu

It was like déjà vu. Aden was out of surgery, and Belle was sitting by his side, gripping onto his hand, afraid to let go of him.

Rachel was the one to disturb the silence.

“Belle, I need to talk to you”, she whispered, trying to keep down the noise, despite the fact that Aden was out cold, and the rest of the hospital was bubbling with noise.

“Then say it now, because I’m not leaving Aden’s side”, Belle informed the doctor, not even raising her eyes off of Aden’s sleeping figure.

“The surgery was successful. Aden had a bleed in his brain, and we had to move fast to fix it,” Rachel explained, after hesitating slightly from Belle’s tone

“Will he remember everything now?” Belle asked, her body showing no sign of having heard the rest of the news, but Rachel could see a tiny tear roll out of her eye.

“We’ll have to wait and see”, Rachel said soothingly, not able to make any promises, because it all depended on the extent of the damage, something they could only judge when Aden woke up.

Rachel shuffled her feet awkwardly, unsure whether or not she was wanted in the hospital room.

“Rach, thanks for all your help, but you can go. I just want to sit with Aden for a while” Belle whispered, the solitary tear burning a path down her cheek

“Belle, I can’t leave. I have to tell you something”, Rachel told Belle, her eyes staring down at the floor, hating to be the bearer of bad news

“Then tell me”, Belle said quietly, but Rachel could detect a slight hint of annoyance in her tone

“Do you mind if we go outside?” Rachel asked politely. This wasn’t a conversation that Rachel wanted to have in Aden’s hospital room, because there was a high chance that Belle would break down. Belle nodded her head briskly, and followed Rachel out of the room, after she had kissed Aden softly on the cheek

“What is it Rachel?” Belle demanded answers as soon as she was out of the hospital room, her voice and demeanour changing instantly

“There were complications with Aden’s surgery”, the doctor said soothingly, trying to put distance between herself and Belle by pretending she was just any other patient

“What do you mean? He just had two surgeries, everything is fine!” Belle exclaimed angrily, but Rachel could see the fear that was lingering in Belle’s eyes

“The first surgery was to remove the tumour, and we thought we had got it all, but when we opened up his brain to remove the blood clot, we realised that all the tumour

wasn’t gone”, Rachel explained, ignoring the anger that Belle was directing at her

“Why are you telling me this? You should have just removed the tumour when you were in his brain, Aden wouldn’t have minded”

“It’s not as simple as that”, Rachel said slowly, and watched as Belle’s face drained of colour

“What do you mean Rach?” she whispered, all the fight leaving her body, as her shoulders slumped and her head dropped down

“If we remove the rest of the tumour, then Aden will have no more symptoms-“Rachel began, but was interrupted

“Then do that, and stop making everything sound so hard” Belle told her, the will to fight coming back to her

“If we remove the tumour, Aden will have no more symptoms, but because of the fuzzy edges of the tumour, we will have to cut around it, and we will remove a large portion of his brain”

“Speak english Rachel” Belle begged, not understanding what the doctor was trying to tell her

“If we remove the tumour, we will remove a large part of Aden’s brain, more specifically the part that houses the memories”, Rachel whispered, not wanting to explain anymore to the girl that she thought of as a close friend

“So he won’t remember me?” Belle choked out, her voice breaking halfway through the sentence

“He will only remember his childhood”, Rachel told her, staring over Belle’s shoulder instead of looking her in the eye

“What if you don’t remove the tumour?”

“Then Aden will die”

“Will he die soon?” Belle whispered, a growing wave of nausea sweeping through her body

“He’ll die within the next month”, Rachel said quietly, reaching out to hug Belle, but Belle didn’t want to be touched, and took a quick step backwards

“Then you have to remove the tumour”, Belle told her, ignoring the tears that were rolling down her cheeks

“But he won’t remember you Belle”, the doctor tried to make Belle see all the sides of the decision

“But at least he won’t be dead”, Belle exploded, all her emotions pouring out, “at least I’ll be able to see him, and smile at him, and meet his eyes across the room. And I get that he won’t remember me, but I’ll remember him, and everything that we had, and I won’t give up without a fight. I’ll start all over again with Aden, right from the beginning, so that he can make new memories”

“Belle, it isn’t as simple as that”, Rachel whispered quietly, not wanting to make Belle even more upset

“What else could possibly go wrong?”

“Even if we remove the tumour, Aden won’t have enough time to make new memories with you”

“What do you mean? Aden and I can share a lifetime of love, and happiness, as soon as you get this tumour out”, Belle sobbed, the pain controlling her whole body

“The tumour has been in his head for so long that it has affected his brain. It took a while for the symptoms to show, but this tumour has been attacking his brain, and even if we remove it, the damage is already done”

“So he’s going to die? Is that what you’re trying to tell me?” Belle whispered, her dreams of the future coming crashing down around her

“Even if you remove the tumour, he won’t survive past April next year”, Rachel informed Belle, regaining the professional distance

“But that’s less than six months away”


“So you either leave the last bit of Aden’s tumour in, and he’ll die before the end of the month, or you remove it and he’ll die in six months?” Belle recapped, desperately trying to find a loophole, a way to save the man she loved

“I’m sorry Belle”, Rachel said quietly, this time managing to successfully hug Belle

“We were supposed to be together forever”, Belle cried, her tears soaking Rachel’s shirt

“I know”

“And now I have to tell him he’s going to die?”

“I’m sorry Belle”, Rachel repeated, before untangling herself, and walking away, leaving Belle to grieve for the death sentence Aden had just been given.

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Thanks for the reviews guys :D I'm really pleased you guys are enjoying this, and I hope you like this chapter as well, as it is the second last one.

Chapter Nine: Aden’s Decision

Belle’s tears started running again as she finished telling Aden the news that had shattered their lives. Aden didn’t even have the strength to reach out and wipe her tears away. He had just been told that the end of his life would be here in less than six months.

“What do you want to do?” she whispered, trying to seem calm and in control, but her tears betrayed how she was really feeling

“I don’t know Belle. How am I supposed to make this decision? I’m twenty years old... this shouldn’t be happening”

“I know this may sound stupid, but we could write a list... pros and cons”, Belle said softly, fully expecting Aden to say no

“It’s a good idea Belle”, Aden said, smiling for the first time since he had heard the news

“If they take the tumour out, I’ll get an extra five months to spend with you. That’s a pro,” Belle said quietly, glad that Aden hadn’t yelled at her

“But I won’t remember you. That’s a con,” Aden reminded her, the smile fading and a frown taking its place

“Six months is still better than one. I can remember enough for the both of us”, Belle whispered, reaching for Aden’s hand and grasping it tightly

“What good is six months if I wake up in the morning and have no idea who you are? What’s the point of living if I don’t remember the pain I caused you, and remember how much I owe you?” Aden hissed angrily, but Belle knew it was at the news, not her words

“I can’t lose you Aden. I need these six months”, Belle said so softly that Aden barely caught her words. Her eyes were looking guiltily at the bed, as if she hated bringing up her opinion in this matter

“Don’t be afraid to tell me what you want Belle”, he told her, rubbing his thumb across her hand lovingly, “but you have to understand that you are going to lose me, no matter what”

“Why does it have to be you?” she whispered, unable to speak any louder as the tears started spilling down her cheeks and making it harder and harder for her to talk

“I don’t know Belle, I really don’t know”

“Please Aden, don’t leave me”, she begged, trying to convince him to have the tumour removed

“Belle, I need to say something and you can’t interrupt me”, he stated, anxious to get his opinion out there. As soon as the options has sunk in, Aden had taken two minutes to make his final decision, and Belle wouldn’t be able to change his mind

“I know you want me to get the tumour out, so that we can have time, but if I do, I won’t be me. I won’t be able to wake up in the morning, and remember the woman I’m in love with. I won’t be able to pick who you are out of a crowded room. I won’t even remember who I am... I’ll only remember the younger me, who wasn’t exactly a bundle of fun. And that’s not how I want to live Belle. I want to be able to pick you out of a crowd from a mile away. I want to be able to kiss you, because I remember that I love you. I want to be me for the little time I have left” he said, breathless when he had finished his little speech

“You’ve already decided”, Belle whispered, the tears beginning to roll down her cheeks again

“I’ve already decided. I’m being discharged in an hour”

“And I can’t make you change your mind?” she asked wistfully, hoping that everything could really be that easy

“Not this time”, he replied, a smile lighting up his face, as he leaned forward and kissed her lightly on the lips

“I would swap places with you if I could”, she said quietly, mumbling rather than talking. The smile quickly evaporated, and Aden’s face turned stormy

“I’m going to die in about a month Belle, and I don’t want to die worrying that you’ll try and hurt yourself, so that you won’t be alive anymore. I want to die knowing that you’ll be able to move forward with your life, and do all the things you wanted to do. I want you to life for me Belle”, he said angrily, upset and horrified at what Belle had just said

“I’ll always love you Aden”, she whispered in his ear, trying to calm him down, and reassure them both that their love was stronger than death

“I’ll always love you, but this isn’t goodbye Belle. One day we’ll meet again, in some other place, and nothing will get between us,” he whispered fiercely, all his love and strength being poured into those two sentences

“Someday”, she vowed, and kissed him lightly on the lips, never wanting to let him go, but eventually pulling away, only to have Aden pull her up onto the bed next to him.

“Sleep”, he whispered, and started playing with her hair, something that always lulled her into a deep, dreamless sleep.

Long after Belle’s snores had filled the room, Aden was still awake, his fingers absentmindedly playing with Belle’s hair, while his ears were straining to hear the sound of the clock.

Each tick was bringing him closer to his death, closer to the end of everything he cherished. Belle shifted slightly in his arms, brining a smile to his face.

The woman in his arms was the centre of his universe, and the one person he loved above all else. He was petrified of dying, not for himself, but for Belle, because he didn’t know how she would survive.

So he reached over, and pulled out the notepad and pen the hospital had conveniently left in the top draw, and began writing, the scratching of the pen helping to drone

out the noise of the clock.

And that was Aden's decision, one month instead of the six with no memory. Would you have done the same thing in his place ?

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Here's the last chapter... thank you guys for reading this story. Oh, and keep an eye out for Dying For You To Notice Me...

It'll be out soon... like after Bound By Law is finished (which will only have ten or so chapters)

Chapter Ten: A Month Later

Belle stood alone at the cemetery, as the rain hammered down, hitting all available parts of her skin, but she didn’t notice.

All her attention was showered upon the gravestone in front of her, set slightly apart from all the others, providing a little more privacy for Belle to mourn for her loss

He had chosen one month over six, all because he had wanted to remember her, and now he was gone, taken before his time... snatched.

But the last month hadn’t been the best time of her life, no matter how she looked at it. There was an outcome that neither of them had predicted. As some of the tumour was still in Aden’s head, there were times when Aden suffered symptoms... like the overwhelming anger, and violence.

Belle had had to understand that he still loved her, that the Aden Jeffries she loved was still in there somewhere, no matter how hard it was. Part of her wanted to make the most of the time they had left, but the other part of her was recoiling in shock at the way he was treating her. But she had stayed, out of love and the memory of what they had shared.

Irene had always told her that the good were taken young, and this seemed the perfect example. Aden had been twenty years old, and ready to live, and now he was gone. One minute he was there, the next he had disappeared. It was like she had blinked and she had missed him.

Belle placed a small rose on the ground next to Aden’s grave, knowing that it wouldn’t last long in this weather, but not caring. The rose was a sign of her everlasting love for him, and no rain could wash that away.

After staring at the grave for a few more minutes, Belle hunched her shoulders up, and turned to walk back towards the shelter, her tears blending in with the water droplets that were gathering on the rest of her body.

In the shelter, Belle picked up her handbag, which she had luckily left lying undercover. Delving through the bag, she picked up the piece of paper, the object that she had been looking for, and carefully unfolded it.

The paper was well worn, many folds decorating what should have been crease-free white paper. And so Belle began to read the words that had been etched in her brain after the twentieth time she had read the letter.

Dear Belle,

I’ve never really thought about death. I’ve thought about the future, but not death, because I always thought it wouldn’t happen to me. I know I’m not invincible, but I never pictured it happening to me. I pictured me and you together forever, and death wasn’t in that picture. Now my picture has been torn up, death ripping it in half, and then shredding it again, and then again for good measure. But although one picture is about to end, that doesn’t mean you can’t make another picture Belle, one without me. I have faith in you, and your abilities, and you will be able to do so much with your extremely long life. You’ll travel, and study, and take amazing photographs. You’ll go on first dates, fall in love, have your heart broken, fall in love again, get engaged, get married, and then have children... You don’t know how much it hurts me to think about you with someone else, but you are twenty years old Belle, and you have your whole life ahead of you. It isn’t fair for me to ask you to never open your heart to someone again, because if we had switched spots, you wouldn’t have asked me that. All I ask you have fun, and live the most amazing life you can, because I love you Belle Taylor, more than anything. And when you finally get to see me again, I want to hear all these fantastic stories.

Forever yours,

Aden Jefferies

The letter was simple, and Belle smiled through her tears, as she did every time she opened the letter, and read the words.

Belle folded the letter back up and put it in her handbag.

She would always love Aden Jefferies, and he would always own a large part of her heart. He was her first meaningful love, the one that she would always remember as her first love.

And she knew, that wherever Aden was, he was watching over her, like a guardian angel, protecting her from harm.

Right then, the rain stopped, and the sun burst out from behind the clouds, and a rainbow appeared in the sky. A rainbow... it seemed like a sign, a sign that things were going to get better.

Belle Taylor grabbed onto her handbag and walked out of the cemetery, her eyes wet with tears, and her head full of memories.

Her mother had once told her about this line... the line between love and hate.

Belle had fallen over that line, but she had managed to climb back over, with the help of the man she loved.

And the one thing Belle had learnt was that the view from the love side was so much better than the one from that hate.


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