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Bound By Law

Guest Georgia

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Type of story: Short/Medium fic

Main characters: Charlie and Angelo (Ruby is mentioned as well)

BTTB rating: T

Genre: Romance, drama

Does this story include spoilers: No

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

Summary: He killed Jack, but he came back to the bay. A murder, denial, a rescue, hatred, the beginning of a relationship, a local hero and love all combine to make a love story to challenge all others. But what happens when one event happens, and Charlie is bound by law to report it? Will she abide by the rules and break her heart, or run away with the man she loves?

This is for Steph, because she was the one that requested a Changelo fic. And because it's her birthday today, I posted the first chapter :D So Happy Birthday Steph, and enjoy :D

Chapter One: He Came Back

Charlie put her head down and tried to concentrate on her work, but the presence of Constable Rosetta is distracting. He killed Jack, a close friend and another police officer, and he wasn’t supposed to be back in Summer Bay, but he was, and he was standing terrifyingly close to her.

So close that Charlie could smell his cologne that was lingering in the air, so close that she could feel his breath on the back of her neck.

“Are you planning on talking to me anytime soon Charlie?” Angelo questioned, shifting even closer to her chair, if that was even possible.

“No”, she said shortly, and tried to turn her attention back to her work

“You just spoke to me”, Angelo reminded her, a smile clear in his tone, “so you might as well have a conversation with me”

“What do you expect me to do Angelo? Yes, we were dating, but then you went and shot Jack, which I could have forgiven you for, but you left him for dead. And now, you’re back in Summer Bay, and you didn’t give me any warning. Am I supposed to fall back into your arms?” Charlie spat, her anger getting the better of her. Even though Angelo’s face fell into a frown, Charlie didn’t want to take back her words. In fact, she felt strangely satisfied.

“Charlie-“Angelo said calmly, pushing the hurt look out of his eyes

“It’s Constable Buckton to you”, she said snidely, before walking towards the main police desk to answer the phone that was ringing somewhat violently.

But Angelo was faster than her. He always had been. He jumped in front of Charlie, and grabbing onto her arm, pulled her into the interrogation room

“Look Charlie, I feel bad about Jack’s death, I really do-“he began, but was interrupted again

“You feel bad about Jack’s death? Are you kidding me? You shoot a police officer and then leave him to die, and you feel bad about it?” she yelled, her voice rising steadily

“Shhh Charlie just let me explain”

“Don’t Charlie me. I loved you Angelo and you didn’t even trust me enough to tell me what you had done”, she whispered, the tears she had been fighting back finally starting to surface

“If I had told you, would you have protected me, or turned me in?” Angelo questioned wisely, and the awkward silence answered the question for him

“You didn’t love me enough to help me Charlie”, Angelo told her, turning his back on her, and pacing the room

“I could have done”, she admitted, “You should have trusted me and given me time”

“What good what that have done? You would have turned me into the police, and we would have broken up...” Angelo trailed off

“I might have turned you in, but I would have been there for you, and helped you through it all, because it showed that you cared about me enough to tell me the secret, and if you had told me, Jack might not be dead right now” Charlie rambled, trying to convey all her feelings in one little bit of speech

Angelo turned back around, and walked towards Charlie again, gripping her arm tightly

“So is there no hope for us anymore Charlie? Did you turn off the feelings you felt for me?” he demanded, squeezing her arm slightly tighter, until she winced

“I don’t love you anymore Angelo. You killed another human being. You killed a husband, a son and a brother. You tore apart the Holden’s”, Charlie whispered

“Charlie, it was an accident”, he insisted

“You should have told me”, she said, for what felt like the one hundredth time that day

“We’ve had this discussion before”, Angelo said, running his hand through his hair, frustrated at the turn of events

“I know,” she said quietly, “I just don’t know if I can forgive you”

Angelo sighed, and walked out of the room. This is not how he expected his return to be taken. In the interrogation room, Charlie sighed as well. She would just have to deny her feelings until Angelo gave up chasing her.

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Thanks for the reviews guys :D Hope you like this chapter, it's an interaction between Charlie and Ruby. And just to set the time line of this fiction: Angelo killed Jack, and came back to Summer Bay after Ruby found out about her mother.

Chapter Two: Denial is Grand

“So I’m not sure what to do about it. Of course I still love Angelo but he killed Jack and didn’t tell me”, Charlie explained to Ruby, who was staring intently at her mobile phone.

“So what do you think I should do?” Charlie prompted, causing Ruby to look up from her phone

“Sorry Charlie, I wasn’t really paying attention. Geoff said he would call me, and he hasn’t”, Ruby said sadly, and Charlie quickly put aside her own issues to help her daughter

“You like Geoff a lot, don’t you Rubes?” Charlie asked quietly, trying not to scare Ruby away. It was the first time in ages they had managed to put aside all the problems, and Charlie wasn’t going to ruin it

“I like him more than I’ve ever liked anyone else, even more than I liked Xavier”, Ruby admitted, looking back down at her phone

“Have you talked to Geoff about this?” Charlie questioned, putting her hand on Ruby’s head, and started gently stroking her hair

“Yes, I told him that he was the reason I broke up with Xavier and then he got all awkward and said he’d call me later, before running off”, Ruby whispered, resting her head against Charlie’s shoulder

“Well, if he doesn’t call, it’s his loss”, Charlie said, trying to get into the motherly headset

“That’s all you can say? I tell you that I like Geoff more than anyone else, and you say it’s his loss?” Ruby exclaimed angrily, which actually brought a smile to Charlie’s face, as it was taking her mind off of her own problems

“I was trying to be motherly”, Charlie explained softly, still stroking Ruby’s hair

“Well don’t be motherly. Be like my sister again”, Ruby whispered softly, tears filling up in her eyes, not noticing that Charlie was nodding

“Right well your sister says that boys are idiots, all boys. Angelo literally expected me to fall into his arms again, and Geoff is getting freaked out because you like him, even though everyone in Summer Bay can see that he likes you back”, Charlie ranted, which brought a smile to Ruby’s face, despite the tears in her eyes.

“That’s more like the Charlie I know and love”, she exclaimed, “now tell me all about your Angelo problems, and I promise to listen this time”

“He came back, and didn’t even give me a warning. He hung around me so that I couldn’t work, then dragged me into the interrogation room and started talking about our relationship. I told him that I didn’t love him anymore, and he accused me of turning off my feelings, but I haven’t, because I still love him”, Charlie admitted, staring

down at the floor, which was a nervous habit that Ruby had inherited from her

“I would say that he doesn’t know what he’s missing, but it doesn’t really fit this situation”, Ruby giggled, and Charlie slapped her lightly on the arm, before bursting into a fit of giggles herself.

“Isn’t this nice?” Ruby asked, her laughter dimming down a little bit

“Yeah, I’ve missed this Rubes”, Charlie admitted, “everything went a bit weird between us, which was completely my fault, but I really missed you”

“Charlie, is it wrong for me to want us to have our sister relationship back?” Ruby questioned, her tone completely serious

“No, it’s not, and I think that’s a good idea. Just because I’m your mum, it doesn’t mean we can’t be like sisters and friends as well”, Charlie said slowly, after choosing her words carefully.

“So, do you want to take me to a bar tonight?” Ruby smiled, trying to test Charlie’s words

“Ruby, even if I was just your sister, I wouldn’t take you to a bar. Plus, you need to wait here” Charlie laughed

“Why do I need to wait here?”

“In case Geoff calls. You wouldn’t want to be at a bar and miss the phone call”, Charlie explained, desperately trying to reaffirm Ruby’s confidence in herself

“You really think Geoff’s going to call me?” Ruby asked, her eyes meeting Charlie’s for the first time that night.

“I know that he’ll call you”, Charlie assured her, and at that moment, the phone rang, interrupting their conversation.

Ruby looked down at her mobile, and her face lit up. “It’s Geoff”, she trilled, and ran into the other room to answer it, leaving Charlie alone with her thoughts

Ruby was still young, and her life was already panning out perfectly. It was pathetic. Charlie Buckton was jealous of her own daughter’s love life.

If only her own life would sort itself out that smoothly

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Thanks for the reviews guys. It means a lot to me that you guys like this, because it's my first Charlie/Angelo fic. Hope you like this chapter.

Chapter Three: 000, what’s the emergency?

Charlie had gotten to work extremely early that morning, partly because she couldn’t sleep, and partly because she couldn’t bear to listen to Ruby on the phone to Geoff anymore.

And now, as Charlie drunk her third cup of coffee, she wondered what it would be like to run her fingers through Angelo’s hair one more time, or kiss him lightly on the lips. Then, she berated herself, because she didn’t want to want to kiss Angelo, and she had to remember that.

So, all in all, Charlie was thankful when the phone rang and distracted her from the thoughts that were spiralling in her head.

“This is Constable Buckton, how may I help you?” she spoke into the phone, fighting to keep her eyes open

“There’s a fire”, the unidentified woman screamed down the phone

“What?” Charlie was suddenly alert, and grabbed her notebook and a pen, prepared to write notes

“It’s Belle. Geoff was trying to cook a romantic breakfast for Ruby, and he managed to set fire to the house”, she yelled down the phone, as Charlie scratched down the details

“Is anyone inside the house Belle?” Charlie asked her tone obviously tense.

“Aden and I are stuck inside. Geoff managed to get everyone else out, but then the fire spread, and Aden and I can’t get out”, she sobbed, and Charlie’s heart jumped

into her mouth

“Belle, try not to inhale the smoke. I’ll get a team organised, and we’ll be there in less than ten minutes. Stay strong” she ordered, and as soon as Belle had agreed, Charlie hung up the phone, and started to make the necessary arrangements.

“We need to get a team organised. Call the fire brigade, and everyone in this room who isn’t busy, get ready. We have an emergency, and we need to get to Irene’s. We have two local residents trapped in a burning building”, she yelled, and everyone rushed into action.

Charlie turned her back on her fellow police officers, and succumbed to the panic that had been threatening her body since she had gotten the phone call.

“Charlie, are you ok?” the all too familiar voice asked, and Charlie lifted her head, finding herself looking into Angelo’s eyes.

“Yeah I’m fine”, she insisted, but a solitary tear rolling down her cheek gave her away

“Charlie, I won’t bite. You can tell me what’s wrong”, Angelo persisted, obviously not wanting to give up

“It’s just... Ruby could have been the one trapped in the burning house, and I wouldn’t have known what to do. I have to get Aden and Belle out, I just have too, otherwise...”she trailed off, averting her eyes back to the ground

“Charlie, just relax. Ruby isn’t in the house, but I understand what you mean. It would have been awful for you if you had lost your sister”, Angelo said calmly, trying to reassure her that everything would be ok

“She’s my daughter”, she whispered in response. For some bizarre reason she had a sudden urge to tell Angelo everything.

Luckily, he didn’t make a comment, but patted her lightly on the back, and moved on to the more pressing issue: the fire that was threatening the life of two local residents.

“Charlie, everyone is ready to go, so we’re going to get moving now”, Angelo told her, before walking out the door first, every other office rushing behind him.

Charlie wiped the remnants of the tears off her face, and followed them, hoping that Ruby hadn’t tried to be a hero and gotten herself hurt.

It didn’t take long to get to the beach house, as the sirens were cutting through the little traffic that was on the road.

The fire engines were already there, but Ruby was nowhere to be seen, and neither was Geoff.

Nicole was standing just behind the boundaries that had been put up; her face contorted into a mask of panic and fear, so Charlie handed control over to Angelo, and ran over to Nicole

“Nic, where’s Ruby and Geoff?” she asked frantically, struggling to breathe from the brief sprint

“The fire got worse, and Geoff could hear Belle screaming, so he ran in, and Ruby isn’t the most patient person in the world... so she ran in as well”, Nicole explained, her eyes starting to well up, but Charlie didn’t have the time to comfort her.

“Angelo”, Charlie screamed, forgetting all about the problems they were supposed to be suffering from, “Ruby’s gone inside. I have to get in there”

“Charlie, you can’t do that. The firemen are going to put out the fire, and then we are going to get everyone out”, Angelo said quietly, trying to calm the almost hyperventilating woman

“I have to wait until the fire has been put out? You have got to be kidding me! Aden and Belle could be dying or already dead in there, and you want me to wait? Geoff could be trapped, and Ruby... Ruby could be struggling to take in her next breath, and you want me to wait?” she exploded, and Angelo took a step backwards.

He had never seen Charlie so out of control before, more like an animal than a human being.

“Calm down Charlie”, he whispered, and his words seemed to have some effect

“You’re right. I’m being stupid, they will all be fine. They’re fighters”, Charlie replied, and Angelo smiled, before turning and walking away.

“God, he’s so stupid. He should never underestimate a mother’s love for her daughter”, Charlie whispered to herself, before running towards the back of the burning house.

The back door had been discarded, burnt basically to the ground, as the flames had eaten away at it, layer by layer.

“Ruby”, Charlie screamed, raising her voice to carry over the ferocious sound of the flames. In response, a weak murmur came from the living room area, and Charlie ran towards the sound.

An almost lifeless Geoff was lying on the floor, and Charlie quickly grabbed onto his legs. Ruby was nowhere to be seen, but she wasn’t going to leave Geoff to die on the floor. He was a person as well, and he deserved a chance to live.

She struggled to pull him towards the door, bumping his head lightly on the kitchen floor, which seemed to revive him.

“Charlie?” he mumbled, thinking he was hallucinating

“It’s me. Where’s Ruby?”

“She went upstairs to search”, Geoff whispered, struggling to breathe because of the severe smoke inhalation

“Thank you Geoff. Now, can you get yourself out of the house, and towards the fire trucks and ambulances?”

Geoff just nodded his head, and raised himself onto his elbows, crawling out of the house. “Charlie, please save Ruby”, he begged, before pulling himself outside.

Charlie left him to his own accord, and ran towards the stairs, but he didn’t have to go far. Ruby was lying about three stairs up, her chest rising slowly, as she took in each breath.

“Ruby”, Charlie screamed, tears beginning to roll down her cheeks but quickly evaporating because of the heat.

“Charlie?” the faint voice replied, and Charlie sighed with relief, before beginning the process of getting Ruby out of the house, but because Ruby didn’t weigh as much, she could lift her into her arms.

Charlie managed to get her out of the door, and placed her next to Geoff, who was now stumbling towards the ambulances.

“Geoff, I need you to take Ruby over there”, Charlie begged

“Come with us”, Ruby replied, suddenly re-entering the conversation

“I have to save Aden and Belle. They’ve been in there for ages, and the fire is getting bigger” Charlie told the pair, who nodded, understanding Charlie’s need to save everyone.

As Ruby and Geoff walked towards the ambulances, albeit very slowly, Charlie sprinted back into the house, and towards Belle’s bedroom.

The door pushed open with the aid of one well placed kick, and Charlie saw that the room contained both Aden and Belle.

Aden was sitting beside Belle, trying desperately to resuscitate her.

“Aden, you need to get out of the house now”, Charlie screamed, but he was too wrapped up in trying to save his fiancée.

“I need to revive Belle. She needs to wake up”, Aden told her, desperation clear in his voice, and in the tears that were rolling down his face.

“Pick her up and carry her out of the house Aden. There are ambulances and people that can help out there”, Charlie insisted, which snapped Aden out of his trance-like state.

“They can help her? She’ll be ok?” Aden questioned, needing reassurance that he wouldn’t lose Belle.

“Yes, you just need to get her to an ambulance”, Charlie said, her voice dropping in decibels

Aden swiftly stood up and pulled Belle into his arms, promptly walking towards the door, stopping just before he left.

“Charlie, what about you?” he asked, concern clear in his voice

“I’m following you out”, Charlie insisted, and Aden nodded, before continuing his walk out of the door

Charlie looked around the room, her eyesight starting to blur, before stumbling towards the exit.

Outside, Ruby and Geoff had gotten to the ambulances, and Aden and Belle were catching up quickly. Angelo was the first one to talk to them.

“How did you guys get out?” he asked

“Charlie”, Ruby and Geoff said in unison, sending a look of confusion onto Angelo’s face. He turned to the other police officers.

“Has anyone seen Charlie?” he yelled, but he only received one word answers: no

Inside the house, Charlie was still trying to find her way out of the house, but the smoke was getting thicker, and breathing was becoming harder.

Right in front of her, a ring of fire started forming, and she tried to get out before the circle completed, but she was too slow. She was trapped, in a house that was ablaze, and the only people that knew she was there, were in a bad medical condition, and probably wouldn’t be able to let anyone know.

Her head started to spin, and her eyes started to close shot, everything going black. The last thing Charlie Buckton felt was the feel of the hard floor against her cheek, and the gentle caress of the fire against her body.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for the reviews, and I'm sorry this chapter is so short. I was being lazy, (I went to the beach etc etc. :D) and then I had a mental blank. But enjoy :D

Chapter Four: Where’s Charlie

Ruby had discarded the oxygen mask that the paramedics had been trying to force on her. All she could think about was her mother, who had run into the burning building, but not out of it.

Angelo was the only other person that seemed to be worried. All the teenagers had remembered Charlie dragging them out of the house, but none of them remembered her coming out. And Angelo knew that it was a bad sign, because Charlie was a fighter, and if she hadn’t managed to get out... Angelo didn’t even want to contemplate what could be happening.

So sneaking away from the crowds that had gathered and the paramedics that were fussing over everyone, Angelo walked around to the back of the house, but took the liberty of stealing a face mask, to stop smoke inhalation.

The door was burnt to the ground, and the smoke was curling up towards the ceiling, the flames growing fiercer with each passing minute.

Angelo took a second to look around, and his heart jumped into his throat.

She looked so vulnerable, surrounded by the flames, which seemed to be getting closer and closer to her.

Sparing no thought for himself, Angelo rushed in, battling his way through the flames. All he could think about was saving Charlie. They hadn’t sorted things out yet, so he couldn’t just leave her there to die. This wasn’t the end of their story, merely the beginning.

Angelo scooped Charlie into his arms, not stopping to check her pulse, instead concentrating on getting out of the building that seemed ready to collapse around them.

“Angelo”, the small, breathy whisper was like music to Angelo’s ears, and he let out a sigh of relief

“Thank god your ok Charlie, you really scared me. Don’t ever do it again”, he scolded, tightening his grip around the precious cargo in his arms

“You sound like my boyfriend”, she giggled quietly, trying to regain her breath

“I wish”, Angelo replied, pain clear in his tone. In that moment, it became obvious to Charlie that she couldn’t deny her feelings any longer

“I love you Angelo”

“Don’t say that now”

“Why?” Charlie questioned, her voice breaking in the middle of the word, and her brow scrunching up in confusion

“I want you to mean it, not say it because I just saved your life”, Angelo explained, the pain in his voice becoming even more obvious, and reflecting onto his face

“I’m not just saying it Angelo, I mean it. And I hate to pressure you, but you haven’t actually saved my life yet. We’re still in a burning building”

Angelo blinked and regained his focus. He had to get Charlie out of this building, as the flames were starting to get larger, and the danger was growing with every passing second.

Although his legs were starting to get weary, and his little face mask wasn’t helping anymore, Angelo forced himself to keep moving towards the door, towards the tiny ray of sunlight that was penetrating into the house.

Little beads of sweat were forming on Angelo’s forehead, and rolling down his nose, before dripping onto his arm. Charlie’s head had fallen back, hanging over Angelo’s arm, and her breathing was becoming less regular. The battle for life was getting tougher and tougher.

Angelo blinked again, his eyelids getting heavier, and taking longer to re-open after every motion. The door suddenly seemed much closer, and with a sudden burst of energy, Angelo surged forwards.

Charlie shuffled slightly in his arms, and Angelo stumbled slightly. Luckily, he fell forwards, and the pair landed just outside the door.

A paramedic came rushing, hearing some of the commotion and quickly called for backup. Charlie had fallen out of Angelo’s grip, and was lying about three metres away.

Angelo propped himself on his elbows and tried to move towards her, but the paramedics quickly lifted her up onto a stretcher, and half walked, half ran to the nearest ambulance.

“Charlie!” Angelo screamed after her, but the noise wasn’t very loud. His throat was filled with smoke, and he could barely breathe.

Another small group of paramedics ran towards Angelo and put him on a stretcher, reassuring him that he’d be ok.

As Angelo was taken off in the opposite direction, he reflected on what had just happened. Charlie had told him that she loved him, and now he didn’t even know if she was ok. They were being pulled apart... yet again.

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Thanks for the reviews guys, it's great to read them, and I'm thrilled to see that I have some new readers. Welcome :D

Chapter Five: Out of the Hospital

Sorry, I decided to jump forward in time for this story. I didn’t want to have Charlie in hospital, as I’ve just written about four chapters set in a hospital for another story, and because I really wanted to have this talk on Charlie’s first day out of hospital... Charlie’s condition is stable, she has severe burns on her back though. All of the other characters that were in the fire have also been released, and all of them are ok. If you are strongly against this time jump, let me know, and I’ll attempt to write a chapter in the hospital...

Charlie sat quietly on the beach, trying to escape the reminders of the fire, but to no avail. Everyone was fine, Charlie and Angelo had been donned the local heroes, but the scars from the fire were haunting her... both mentally and physically.

The burns on her back had ruined the creamy white complexion that Charlie had been proud of, and the memories of the flames were still imprinted on her brain. Even just sitting on the beach, Charlie could still feel the heat eating away at her body, even though the weather was cool, and the wind was blowing through her hair.

And Angelo had been avoiding her, not visiting her in the hospital, or sending flowers or chocolates, or even a small card, a sign that he was thinking of her.

She had told him she loved him, and now he was avoiding her. She had shared her feelings, and now Angelo was running away, leaving her behind... pushing her out of the picture, yet again.

“Charlie”, Angelo’s voice broke into her trance like state, and Charlie’s head snapped up, all her thoughts suddenly not making sense

“Are you ok?” he whispered, sitting down beside her, careful not to touch her at all

“No, I’m driving myself insane”, Charlie admitted, anxious to get her feelings off her chest, “I told you I loved you, and you just dropped off the radar. I’ve never felt like this about anyone else before, and this is the reward I get?”

“I was just trying to give you space Charlie”, Angelo reassured her, reaching out to pat her back gently, but Charlie reacted fiercely, pushing herself away from him

“Please don’t touch me”, she begged, her words soft and an obvious contradiction to her actions

“What’s wrong Charlie?” he questioned, confusion etched into his brow, and his eyes filled with sympathy and pain

“I’m going to be alone for the rest of my life”, Charlie whispered, tears filling up her eyes, and rolling down her cheeks, the pain finally becoming too much

“That’s rubbish. What would make you say that?” he demanded, furious at her words

Charlie said nothing, but turned her back on Angelo, and slowly raised her shirt, her breath catching in her throat. She was prepared for Angelo to run away as soon as he saw her back, but it still wouldn’t hurt any less.

“Oh Charlie”, he whispered, and moved closer to her back, running his fingers gently over the burns that were littered all over her back.

Charlie flinched away at first, but Angelo kept his fingers on her back, and she soon relaxed. Angelo pulled his fingers away, and put his mouth gently on Charlie’s back, kissing the burns softly. The kisses were filled with love and promises, and Charlie’s tears grew stronger.

“Charlie Buckton, you are the most beautiful woman I have ever met, and these burns don’t do anything to diminish that”, Angelo whispered, and Charlie turned around to

face him again

“Really?” she questioned, trying to squish the giant bubble of hope that was building up in her chest

“Don’t every doubt yourself. I’ll be here for as long as you want me. I love you Charlie. I think I always have, and I know I always will”, he replied passionately, before leaning forward and kissing Charlie softly on the lips

“I never took you as a romantic”, Charlie laughed, desperately trying to lighten the mood. She had never been the kind of person who shared her feelings and let people in, and she didn’t want to start now

“I’ll be anything you want me to be”

“You don’t have to change for me. You’re perfect just the way you are”, Charlie replied, letting the love she felt for Angelo pour into her voice.

“And I feel exactly the same way about you”

Charlie leaned forward, and kissed Angelo softly. “Don’t ever leave me”, she mumbled against his lips.

Angelo didn’t reply, but put his hand on Charlie’s back, just underneath her shirt, running his fingers over her burns again

“These are a part of you now Charlie, the part of you that shows just how brave and truly amazing you are. They are a constant reminder of the day when you saved four people from burning to death. Don’t ever regret them”, Angelo said seriously, causing Charlie’s eyes to fill up with tears again

“What did I do to deserve you?” she whispered, not trusting herself to speak any louder.

“You must have been extremely perfect in a past life”, Angelo joked lightening the mood considerably, and then whispered into Charlie’s ear “I’ll even let you call me your boyfriend”

“Well thank you. I’d love to call you my boyfriend”, Charlie replied, choking back the giggles that were threatening to burst to the surface

“That’s great, because I’d love to call you my girlfriend”, Angelo retorted quietly, before kissing Charlie again.

Charlie and Angelo sat on the beach, laughing and joking for the next few hours, making the perfect picture.

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A/N: This story will only have a few more chapters.... like two more....

Chapter Six: First Date

Charlie leaned over her desk, furiously writing away at the stack of paperwork that had amounted in her absence. A silly smile was set firmly on her face, as she tried desperately to ignore Angelo, who was standing less than a metre away from her.

The cologne was drifting around Charlie’s face, making it painfully obvious just how close Angelo was.

If it was anyone else, Charlie would have turned around and let loose, telling them to leave her personal space bubble, and bother someone else.

But it was Angelo, and he was different from everyone else. He made her heart beat ten times faster and put a smile on her face just by looking in her direction.

So instead of turning around and yelling, she turned her head and smiled.

“What are you smiling at?” Angelo questioned, trying to keep the smile off his face, but not succeeding

“Well, I saw this really cute guy in the police station, and I was going to ask him on a date”, Charlie giggled, her face dropping in surprise at the sound. She had never been the type of girl that giggled!

“What would your boyfriend say about that?” Angelo frowned, his voice deeper than usual, and a hint of water was beginning to fill up his eyes

“Relax Angelo, I was just joking”

“I knew that!” he insisted, frantically wiping at his eyes

“Anyway, that cute guy is wearing a police uniform and standing right behind me”, Charlie continued, as if there had been no interruption

“You kind of beat me to it. I came over here to ask you on a date” Angelo whispered, bending down so his mouth was directly next to Charlie’s ear

“The diner at 7pm?”


The Diner: 7pm

Angelo’s breath caught as Charlie walked into the diner, her long hair swinging with each step that she took. Charlie was wearing a figure hugging electric blue dress, which came down to her knees. Angelo’s eyes watered slightly when he saw the thick cardigan that Charlie was wearing, obviously covering her burns.

He waited patiently in his seat, not wanting to rush her by standing up and rushing to her side. Charlie smiled gratefully at him, and slid into the seat opposite

“You look beautiful Charlie”, he whispered sincerely

“Thanks, you don’t look too bad yourself”, she replied, the smile that Angelo had fallen in love with lighting up her face.

“You can take your jacket off, it isn’t cold in here, I promise”, he said quietly, trying to give her the confidence to take of her cardigan

“All my dresses are backless”, Charlie explained, unconsciously clutching her cardigan closer around her

Angelo didn’t say anything else about her burns, but carefully turned the conversation to a happier subject, causing Charlie to smile to herself, thankful that she had someone as amazing as Angelo.

Colleen soon came bustling over, interrupting their flowing conversation without a second thought.

“Constable Rosetta,” she squawked, completely ignoring Charlie, “how do you feel about being a hero?”

“I’m not the hero,” Angelo laughed it off lightly, “Charlie is”

Colleen barely shot a look in the direction of Charlie, who bit back a chuckle and concentrated on her menu.

“You’re so modest Constable Rosetta, you are the exact definition of a hero”, Colleen insisted, but she was interrupted by a fuming Martha.

“Have you forgotten that this man killed my husband, that he left him to die in a construction site, lying in the dirt, with no one to help him? Angelo is not a hero... he

doesn’t deserve that title”, Martha screamed, and Colleen stepped back in shock.

Charlie’s eyes filled with tears, and Angelo’s face dropped into a mask of horror and pain.

Martha forced herself to turn around and walk out of the diner, leaving behind a very shocked crowd. Colleen quietly took their orders, and practically ran out into the kitchen.

“Angelo, I really need to ask you something, and I want you to tell me the truth”, Charlie whispered, her face ashen about the outcome of their first date

“You can ask me anything and everything Charlie”

“How come you aren’t in jail? You killed someone, as Martha so eloquently reminded us...” Charlie drifted off, her eyes firmly fixed on the table cloth

“My trial has been put on hold, while the police collect more evidence. I’m set to go back on trial in a few weeks time”

Charlie’s head snapped up from the table. “When were you going to tell me?” she hissed, her eyes shooting daggers across the table

“When our relationship was stable”, Angelo retorted, his hand stretching across the table and grabbing onto hers

“So I’ve only just found you again, and you have to go on trial in a couple of weeks?” Charlie recapped, her eyes filling up with tears at the thought of losing Angelo

“You will not lose me. I’m here to stay, through the good times and the bad... I promise” Angelo vowed passionately

Charlie smiled brightly through her tears. Angelo always kept his promises...

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As much as I want Charlie and Angelo to be happy, he doesn't know what the future holds. Only Georgia knows that. :P

That comment made me smile :D Thanks for the reviews guys, and here is chapter 7, the second last chapter... the build up to the finale... and I'm ramling, as usual :P Oh well, you should be used to it by now :lol:

Chapter Seven: Trial

The suit jacket and pencil skirt clung to Charlie’s body, and she fidgeted uncomfortably in the cold room. She had never felt so out of place in a court room, never been there for a friend’s trial, let alone the trial for the man she loved.

Angelo was sitting rigidly, staring straight ahead, and not taking anything in. He looked so out of place. He should have been presenting evidence, not awaiting the trial.

The judge took his place on the bench, and the jury filed in as well. The whole courtroom took their seats, and the trial began.

“Angelo Rosetta, you are here on the charge of murder, second degree. Although you didn’t go to the site intending to kill Jack Holden, that was the outcome”, the judge stated. The words Jack Holden were interrupted by a loud sob from Martha, who had snuck in without anyone seeing her.

Charlie swallowed loudly, and gripped tightly to the chair arms, her eyes firmly set on Angelo’s face. She could see the fear written in his eyes, and the tight set of his jaw.

She could see the pain that had been etched on his face for the last few weeks.

The words buzzed all around the court room, stinging Charlie’s ears, as tears pricked at her eyes. How could all these people think that Angelo was a murderer? He was the most amazing person she had ever met... the love of her life, her other half, her soul mate, not a cold blooded killer. Jack had been an accident, one he had payed dearly for.

The arguments were flying back and forth, and the jury were listening intently. The words were jumbled up, and were making no sense to Charlie.

Her eyes were focused purely on Angelo’s, but he couldn’t see her. His eyes were staring intently at the floor, and Charlie was concentrating, desperately trying to get him to look up. He looked guilty in that moment, and she was sure that the jury could see that as well.

“Is there any more evidence to be presented?” the judge questioned, his deep voice resounding over the court room

No one stood up, and the judge dismissed the jury, allowing them to go and back the decision that could end Angelo’s life...

Charlie finally took her eyes off of Angelo’s face, looking at the ground, unable to cope with the pain that Angelo had been displaying for the last hour.

Martha came and stood beside her, placing a reassuring hand on her shoulder

“I don’t hate you Charlie”, Martha whispered quietly, and Charlie grasped onto her hand, desperate for the life line she had just been given

“I would understand if you did”, Charlie whispered, her tears rolling down her cheeks, and dropping onto Martha’s hand

“You weren’t the one who killed my husband”, Martha replied, trying to keep the pain from her voice. Charlie needed her right now.

“He didn’t mean too”, Charlie defended Angelo, trying to make Martha see her point of view

“It doesn’t change what happened. He could have saved Jack, but he didn’t, because he was afraid of the consequences. Now he has to face up to the reality of that decision Charlie” Martha said softly, needing Charlie to understand her side of the argument as well

“I get it”, Charlie whispered, and let go of Martha’s hand, fully expecting the other woman to walk away, but Martha surprised her by sitting down next to her.

Martha grabbed onto Charlie’s hand, as the jury filed back into the room. Angelo’s eyes were firmly set on the jury, as were Charlie’s and Martha’s.

The jury sat back in their seat, and the judge began talking.

“Jury, have you come to your decision?” he questioned, his deep voice commanded all the attention

“We have your honour”, the representative said solemnly. It was a very serious moment, and the representative was careful not to stumble over his words

“And what is that decision?”

Charlie squeezed tightly on Martha’s hand, forgetting to breathe and blink, and concentrating completely on the mouth of the representative.

The mouth of the representative opened, and a tumble of words fell out. The judge banged his gavel, and the case was closed.

One of the women sighed with relief, and the other collapsed, the support of the chair the only thing allowing her to sit up properly.

The words of the representative played over and over again, in both Martha and Charlie’s head.

“In the case of the government against Angelo Rosetta, the jury find him guilty of the murder of Jack Holden”

The judge banged his gavel, and announced the sentencing. “Angelo Rosetta, you will spend the next ten years in a maximum security prison, effective immediately”

The guards led Angelo out of the court room, away from the woman that he loved...

Charlie sat in her chair; her entire body slumped over, the sobs taking control of her petite frame. She hadn’t even had a chance to say goodbye to Angelo...

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Thanks for the reviews... here is the last chapter... I'm sorry if it sucks...

Chapter Eight: The End

Charlie straightened the throw cushion for the thirteenth time that morning. She was expecting a phone call, one that could alter her life, or send it crashing down around her shoulders.

The phone trilled in the background, and Charlie dove across the couch to grab it before it went to the answer phone.

“Charlie Buckton speaking”, she whispered, her confidence suddenly turning into fear and leaving Charlie as a bundle of nerves

“It’s Judge Smith here, the judge that presided over Angelo’s case”

“I was expecting your call”

“I don’t have long, but the police officer told me that you have information that could be used to obtain Angelo a deal”

“No, I don’t. That was just a lie to get you on the phone. It’s the only way I knew you would talk to me”

“You told the police a lie to talk to me?”

“Angelo didn’t kill Jack”

“Look Charlie, I understand that the man you love is in jail, but I can’t sit here and listen to these lies. Angelo is paying for his crime”

“I know who killed Jack, and it wasn’t Angelo”

“How do you know this?”

“I was doing an investigation at the time, as were the rest of the force. Angelo and Jack were investigating the development site, and I noticed someone doggy hanging around. And one of the force checked for an alibi on the night of Jack’s murder, but he didn’t have an alibi. Angelo had the murder pinned on him, but it really wasn’t...”

And who is this person?”

“My father”, Charlie whispered, pain seeping through her voice. It was either her father or Angelo, and in that moment, she had chosen that she had needed Angelo more....

“I’ll make sure this information is processed, but if you are right... Angelo should be freed by the end of the month”, the judge told Charlie briskly, before hanging up the phone

Charlie threw the phone at the wall, her tears finally falling as the phone smashed into a hundred pieces.

Three weeks later:

Charlie waited impatiently in the front garden, waiting for the taxi to pull up. Angelo was supposed to be released today... the evidence against him had fallen apart when another suspect had been thrown into the mix.

The sound of a car door slamming pulled Charlie back down to earth and she ran to the taxi, throwing herself into Angelo’s arms before he was even completely out.

“You came back!” she screamed, again and again, tears pouring out of her eyes and onto his shirt, completely ruining his shirt

“I knew it wouldn’t be the end”, he whispered in her ear, gently rubbing her hair, and kissing her cheek over and over again

Eventually, the reunited pair stumbled into the house. Angelo sighed with relief when he took in the familiar surroundings, and immediately pulled Charlie onto the couch.

“How did you do it?” he asked, the happiness in his voice obvious

“I blamed it on my dad”, she whispered, the pain in her voice a huge contrast from Angelo’s tone

“What do you mean?”

“Well, Dad had been helping with the investigation, so everyone had seen him hanging around the development site, but no one knew what he was doing. They all thought he was dodgy, and it was a good idea if Dad stayed undercover. Then, on the night Jack was murdered, Dad didn’t have an alibi, and a lot of the officers thought it was him”

“Well, how come I was the one arrested then?” Angelo asked, his hand grasping Charlie’s arm tightly

“I suppose there was more evidence against you”, she whispered, her eyes set firmly on the ground

“Charlie, I know there’s something you’re not telling me”

“I called the judge and told him that my Dad was the murderer... he did some investigating, the evidence against you wasn’t that reliable, and the judge made sure you were set free”

“Charlie...” Angelo said it again, in the tone that made it obvious that he knew some important part of the story was being left out

“My father is dead. I blamed Jack’s murder on my dead father, so that I could get you out of jail”

“Explain”, Angelo whispered, having no idea what was going on

“Shortly after Jack was killed, and you left Summer Bay, my dad suffered a heart attack and passed away. You and Ruby were all I had left, and I couldn’t lose you. So I called the judge, and told him that my dad was the murderer... and I told him that he confessed right before he died. The judge couldn’t argue with that, so you were released”

“You freed me by blaming the murder on your dead father?” Angelo asked, full of doubt at the story Charlie had just told him

“Yes. It was the only way I could free you”

“Charlie Buckton, you are the most amazing person I have ever met. You’ve done something I would never have expected... I was all set to spend ten years in prison, but you saved me”

Charlie blushed at the unexpected compliment. She had expected Angelo to get upset at the news... after all, she had lied to the police and blamed a murder on her father, the one person who couldn’t defend himself.

Angelo leaned forward and kissed her passionately, his hand in his pocket, grasped around the ring box he had picked up on the way home.

The engagement ring was nestled inside, and he hoped that he and Charlie would live a long and happy life... together.

Yeah, I know, it sucks, but I really wanted you guys to get the happy ending, and I had no idea how to do it... Maybe I'll come back later and edit it. So thank you, to everyone who has read this fiction, and commented. And I'd like to say something to the people that read fictions, but don't comment. Thank you for reading, as I love knowing people are reading this story, but don't hesitate to comment, even if it's just: That was good.


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