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'For Ben'

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Story title: 'For Ben'

Type of story: Long fiction

Main characters: Belle, Aden, Nicole and Ben

BTTB rating: T just to be safe

Genre: general (contains a lot !)

Does this story include spoilers: No

Any warning: I’ll warn if necessary.

Summary: Just over four years ago, Aden made a terrible mistake which changed everyone's life forever. He left Summer Bay, unable to cope, and Belle did the same, leaving her only child, Ben Jefferies, with her best friend Nicole Franklin. Belle vowed that she'd never be a part of Ben's life, and she kept her promise, until one day, she gets a phone call from Nicole...

A/N: The amazing banner is by Bec :D

Belle sat down in the cafe by herself, and pulled the birthday card out of the brown paper bag it had been stored in. It was the 25th of August today, and Ben Jefferies birthday. He would be four years old today, and it had been just under four years since she had last seen her son.

She had stayed true to her word, and hadn’t contacted Nicole, and as far as she knew, Nicole hadn’t contacted her either. She had left the world of Summer Bay behind and no one from that world had ventured into her new one, not even Irene.

Once every few months, she’d receive a post card from Aden, which were always read and thrown in the bin before her new boyfriend came home. Jed knew nothing about her past and she wanted it to stay that way. If she told him that she had been raped by the person she thought was the love of her life, or given up the baby that would be her only one, she knew he would leave her.

Jed was different from anyone she had ever known, and that’s why she loved him. He wasn’t the town “bad boy”, and looking at him didn’t make her heart jump into her throat, but she loved him like a brother, and that was all she was capable of. The last person she had loved had claimed a huge portion of her heart, and she had only received a small part of it back.

Belle smiled down at the card, her eyes sorrowful as they took in the oversized, colourful four, and the teddy bears hugging each other. She pulled out a pen and wrote a cheerful message, wishing the birthday boy all the best, and signing it: Love from Aunty Belle, which was the same way she ended every card, no matter the occasion.

Although she thought of Ben alot, Belle knew she had made the right choice. When she thought of Ben, she had to remind herself that he was her son, as she couldn’t identify with him. He truly was more like a distant nephew that she contacted at special occasions. Nicole was his mother now, and she accepted that.

Belle had a new life now, with a boyfriend that truly loved her, and despite the lies that clouded almost every factor of that life, she was almost happy. Jed also treated her respectfully, and although she wasn’t madly in love with him, she trusted him with her life.

She trusted Nicole with Ben, and she trusted her heart to heal itself eventually. She still had faith that one day everything would finally right itself, and she wouldn’t love Aden Jefferies anymore. Despite the fact that he had hurt her more than anyone else and she had tried to convince herself that she didn’t actively love him anymore, he still had her heart with him.

They had a child together, after all, and many happy memories. She knew that they would never get back together, as she couldn’t trust him, but she still loved him. He was her first strong love, and she had never met anyone who replicated the feelings she had shared with Aden.

Belle sighed, the pain that always haunted her on August 25th coming back with a vengeance. Today was a day for regrets, and what ifs... what if Larry hadn’t died; what if Aden hadn’t got drunk... what if that night hadn’t happened?

The cell phone on the table wrung loudly, the theme song of Friends attracting a lot of attention. Belle picked up the phone and put it to her ear, answering with a cheerful hello, as she had a nagging feeling that it was Jed calling her.

“Hey babe”, he said softly, his voice alight with the passion that he had for her

“Hey”, Belle repeated, cringing inwardly at the casual greeting, but knowing that she’d never be able to ask him to stop calling her that, at least not without explaining things

“Where are you?” he asked, and Belle frowned. It looked like her time alone was over today. Jed was an accountant, a very rich one, and as soon as he finished work, he expected Belle to be at home. The evenings and most weekends were their time, and he hated interruptions or delays

“I just stopped to get a coffee at the cafe. I’ll be home in about ten minutes”, Belle explained, her voice quiet as she looked back down at the card

“I can come and meet you”, Jed offered, and she could hear him pick up his keys, and twist the doorknob

“That’s alright, I’m already on my way home”, Belle lied, and heard Jed throw his keys back onto the table by the front door

“Well, I rented a movie and bought a bottle of wine... we can have a nice relaxing evening in”, Jed said, and Belle’s body slumped over. She just wanted to go to bed early, to crawl into her bed and sleep, but that didn’t look like it was going to be possible

“That sounds perfect”, she whispered softly, and smiled slightly when Jed said that he loved her and hung up the phone

Belle stood up and threw some money on the table, paying for the coffee and the giant cookie she had consumed, before slinging her coat over her shoulders and picking up the card.

She walked out of the cafe, and once on the main street, she paused, and threw the birthday card in the bin, so it could join all the other Easter, Christmas and birthday cards she had written over the last four years.

Her phone rang again as a solitary tear rolled down her cheek, and she looked at the display. Unknown number flashed across the screen again and again, and Belle frowned, before pressing the deny button. She wasn’t in the mood for a telemarketer, not today.

Sighing once again, Belle turned and began the short walk home, attempting to put a smile on her face so that Jed wouldn’t want to know what was wrong.

Hundreds of kilometres away, a frantic Nicole Franklin hung up the phone, swearing when the call was rejected.

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Thank you so much for all your lovely comments, as well as the comments on the last chapter of One Mistake. Here is chapter two :D Hope you enjoy !

Chapter Two

Aden sat quietly on his bed, staring at the photo clutched tightly in his hand. Today was August the 25th, his son’s birthday, and he didn’t even know his name. Belle had told him all about the going into premature labour situation, and he had used maths to figure out the baby’s day of birth, but there was no way to work out the name.

He had no idea what was going on in the baby’s life. Belle had nothing to tell him... she never replied to his post cards or letters, and the one time he had managed to get her on the phone had been proved pointless. She had snapped at him that she had left the baby after he was born, and hadn’t been in touch since, and made him swear that he wouldn’t get in touch with anyone from Summer Bay.

He had promised, because even after four years, he felt like he owed her. He had shattered her life beyond repair, and even after all this time, he was still in love with her. She was the love of his life, and whenever he saw another woman, he tried to compare them to her. None of them lived up to his expectations.

The few relationships he had been in were all short-lived. He refused to talk to them about anything meaningful or important, as it all involved Belle, and he had a hard time trying to make the physical side of the relationship work.

So every year without fail, Aden would reserve August the 25th for moping around the house. Sure, he was remorseful, and depressing at other times, but on his son’s birthday, he unplugged the phones, took the batteries out of the doorbell, and locked himself in his room, surrounded by photos of Belle, and the one picture he had of his son.

It was a copy of the only photo Belle had... taken days after he was born... and after weeks of nagging, Belle had finally given in and sent him the photo.

It was creased and faded from being looked at so often, and from the tears that fell on it, smearing the colours, but Aden didn’t care.

The baby had Belle’s big brown eyes, and Aden’s blond hair. He was the most gorgeous baby Aden had ever seen, and tears filled his eyes just looking at the picture.

Despite the fact that Aden’s heart broke looking at his child, he knew he had done the right thing. He still had nightmares about Belle, what she had looked like that morning, and he would have never been able to put aside that memory to do what was best for his son.

Aden swore as his mobile phone rung, annoyed at himself for not taking the battery out of that as well. He looked at the display, which read Unknown Caller, so he quickly ended the call, and threw the phone onto the floor, after ripping the battery out of the back.

He wanted peace and quiet today, to brood over the mistake that had ruined everything. He felt like he was entitled to that much; after all, he had paid severely for his mistake.

However, a loud knock on the bedroom door made it clear that he wouldn’t get any more time to himself today.

“Who is it?” he called grumpily, shoving the picture of his son in his sock draw, and then rushed around the room hiding all the pictures of Belle. No one in his new life knew about Belle, and he wanted it to stay that way.

“It’s Alice”, a sweet voice called from the door, and Aden sighed in frustration. Alice was his newest girlfriend... if you could call her that. They had gone on two dates, and Aden had ended the relationship, but she just wouldn’t leave him alone.

“Go away”, he mumbled to himself, but before he could raise his voice and issue a polite ‘jog off’ the door was swinging open, and Alice was walking into his bedroom, his safe haven

“What do you want Alice?” he asked, his jaw clenched angrily. He was sick of Alice just barging into his house. He had made the mistake of telling her he had a spare key, and no matter how many times he moved it, she still managed to find it

Alice didn’t answer; her eyes were vacant, staring at the other side of the room. Aden was tempted to walk over to her and gently push her out of the room, but he couldn’t make himself move.

“What’s wrong Alice?” he asked softly, starting to get concerned about her mental sanity. She looked slightly crazy, just staring across the room

She pointed at a picture frame standing on the bookshelf by the wall, and Aden didn’t have to squint to know who was in it.

It was a picture of Belle, taken not long after they had moved in together. She was wearing one of his shirts, and a pair of denim shorts, her hair wild and tangled. Aden had never seen anything as beautiful, and looking at the picture took his breath away every time.

“Is that your sister?” Alice asked, and Aden had to bite back a laugh. Like he would have a picture of his sister looking like that in his bedroom

“No”, he said shortly, not wanting to explain to Alice of all people about his history with Belle

“Who is it then?”

“That’s Belle, the love of my life”, Aden said, his voice strong and proud, his eyes softening with a look of love.

Alice turned on her heel and ran out of the house, slamming several doors behind her. Aden didn’t go after her, but walked over to the picture of Belle, kissing the top of the frame, before moving to the other side of the room and picking up all the pieces of the mobile phone, and putting them on top of the bed side table, before pulling out the pictures of his son and Belle.

Hundreds of kilometers away, a frantic Nicole Franklin hung up the phone and swore, as her call was rejected. That made twice this morning.

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Thank you for the replies. I have to admit, I'm loving this story, but be prepared for a few twists along the way...

Chapter Three:

Belle rolled over and stretched, sighing with relief when she realized that Jed had gone to work. It was the 26th of August, and the day where she allowed herself to fall apart was over.

She looked around the colourless room, frowning as she saw that Jed had left his clothes on the floor again. That was his biggest flaw... he always forgot that leaving his clothes on the bedroom floor was a definite no-no

Belle quickly jumped out of bed, and grabbed all of his clothes, before walking to the laundry room and throwing them into the dirty laundry hamper, making sure that he hadn’t left anything in his pockets first.

She had no job, so she was basically a house wife... sometimes it bored her, but at other times, she was thankful. It gave her a lot of time to take photographs around the city, as it wasn’t too hard to clean the apartment that they lived in. Her photographs were an escape, and Jed approved of her artistic ability.

As Belle contemplated putting on a load of washing, she could hear the theme song of Friends coming from the bedroom, which meant that her phone was ringing, again.

She ran into the bedroom, thinking it was Jed, and picked the phone up, putting it straight to her ear, without checking the caller ID first

“Hey”, she said cheerfully, already planning on complaining to Jed about his sloppy habits, but the voice on the other end made her speechless

“Belle, is that really you?”

“Nicole?” she stammered, her hand flying straight to her throat, her eyes widening in shock

“Oh thank god. I’ve been trying to call you but your phone was either switched off or I was rejected”, Nicole explained, as Belle struggled to remember how to breathe

It had been four years, yet when she heard Nicole’s voice, it felt like it was yesterday, and all those feelings that she usually tried to avoid came rushing back

“What’s wrong Nicole? Are you ok?” Belle questioned, immediately jumping to the conclusion that Belle was sick

“It’s not me”

Belle’s heart stopped. If Nicole was calling, someone was sick... something was wrong, and if it wasn’t Nicole... Belle forced herself to think through the options; it was either Irene, Geoff, Annie... or Ben

“Who?” Belle choked out, her head spinning around. She had never expected to hear from anyone in Summer Bay ever again, and this was too much to take in

“Ben”, Nicole whispered, and Belle could hear Nicole’s voice break, a tell-tale sign that she was about to burst into tears

“What’s wrong with him?”

“He has leukemia, and he needs a bone marrow transplant, but no one in Summer Bay is a match, and by the time they find a donor on the registry list, it’ll be too late” Nicole explained, emotion clear in her voice

“Why do you need me?” Belle questioned, not clear on the treatments of leukemia, or the way bone marrow actually worked

“Family members are the best option for a match, but no one in Summer Bay is related to Ben. You and Aden have the highest chance of a match... you are a 50% match, which normally wouldn’t be good enough, but in this case, you are our only hope”, Nicole sobbed, and Belle could feel her own eyes well up with tears

“I’m sorry Nicole... I can’t help you. You’ll have to call Aden”, Belle said firmly, despite the fact that it was her son in desperate need of help

“What do you mean can’t?”

“I promised that I’d be out of Ben’s life forever Nicole, I can’t just waltz back in”

“He’s dying Belle, please... I’m begging you to come back”, Nicole pleaded, and Belle found herself agreeing.

“I’ll be there as soon as I can, but Nic... what if I’m not a match, or my bone marrow isn’t healthy?”

“Of course it’ll be healthy... everything will be fine Belle, stop worrying”, Nicole laughed lightly, full of hope once again

“I’d call Aden as well, just to be sure”, Belle demanded

“Sure, I’ll call Aden as well. Thank you Belle, so much”, Nicole trilled, and then the phone line went dead, so Belle was just listening to static

She prayed that Nicole would listen to her advice and call Aden, because there was only a very slim chance that she would be able to help Ben.

Belle was hiding a secret that only she and Jed knew about, which is why Jed was so protective over her...

Belle had secondary bone cancer, and she had been treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone therapy, as well as having a couple of surgeries to strengthen the bones that had been affected by the cancer.

She had been in remission for the last six months, but there was always a chance that the cancer could come back with a vengeance...

As Belle sat on the bed thinking about the disease that had almost killed her, she found herself praying for Ben... praying that she’d be able to help her little boy, and praying that Nicole had taken her advice and called Aden, because if Belle’s suspicions were right, she wouldn’t be able to donate bone marrow, as hers was unhealthy.

However, Belle pushed all those thoughts aside, and concentrated on Jed, and how she’d be able to tell him that she had to go to Summer Bay to attempt to donate bone marrow to her son, who she gave to her best friend four years ago, who now has leukaemia.

It was going to be tough to explain that to Jed...

A/N: Which pairing would you guys prefer in this fiction ? Aden and Belle, Belle and Jed, Aden and Alice.... ?

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Thank you so much for all the reviews. I love reading your responses, and thank you for your opinions on the pairings in this story. I'll keep them in mind as I continue writing


Chapter Four:

Aden packed his bags, throwing countless items into the three suitcases that lined the floor. He’d have to pay extra of course; there was no way he was under the weight restriction enforced on airplanes, but he had to pack enough things, and he didn’t know how long he was staying for.

All he could think about was his son, Ben, who was dying, and desperately needed him. Aden had been ecstatic to hear from Nicole, and overwhelmed to finally learn his sons name, but horrifying news had followed.

His son was dying of leukemia and he desperately needed a bone marrow transplant. Apparently no one in Summer Bay was a match, and by the time they had found someone on the registry list, it would be too late. Nicole had told him that he and Belle were the only options they had right now, and that Belle had demanded that he should be called.

Despite the terrible news, hearing Belle’s name in the conversation had made his heart start beating way too fast. She was going to be in Summer Bay... they were going to see each other for the first time in over four years.

Aden briefly stopped packing, and looked around the room. He didn’t feel at all sad, or regretful about leaving the apartment. He had never really settled in, and he was actually quite glad to be leaving. He felt like he was finally doing something with his life; finally beginning to make up for all the pain he had caused.

He looked down at the suitcases on the floor, and swore in frustration. All he had packed were socks, underwear, and shoes. He had completely forgotten about the rest of his clothes, or his most prized photographs.

He quickly rushed around the room, bearing a striking resemblance to a tornado, as he caused more damage in his aim to pack as fast as possible

He grabbed his favourite photo of Belle, and made sure he had the photo of Ben in his pocket, before throwing all his shirts, and shorts into the closest suitcase, before walking back over to the suitcases and zipping them all up, having to sit on one because it was so full.

After they were zipped, and Aden was satisfied that the room was empty of all his clothes and favourite possessions, he grabbed a suitcase and dragged it to the front door, before repeating the process twice more.

When his suitcases were at the door, he picked up his mobile and called a cab, waiting rather impatiently for the taxi to show up. While he waited, he was reminded of his phone call with Nicole...

“Is this the Aden Jefferies?” a soft whisper came down the face, and Aden had jumped in surprise. It had been a long time since he had heard that voice

“Is that you Princess?” he had questioned, unable to resist inserting that old nickname one last time

“Yes it is”, she laughed quickly and quietly, but then her voice was serious again. “Aden, I need you to come back to Summer Bay. Ben’s sick”

“Who’s Ben, your new boyfriend?” Aden had teased, not recognizing the name

“No, Ben is your son”, Nicole had hissed, not in the mood for Aden and his pranks, not today, not now

“Oh my god Nicole, I am so sorry. No one ever told me my sons name... I honestly had no idea who you were talking about”, Aden insisted after a brief hesitation

“I believe you, I’m just tired. Ben’s got leukemia, and he needs a bone marrow transplant, but no one in Summer Bay is a match, and by the time we find a donor off the registry list, it’ll be too late. You and Belle are his only hope”, Nicole said briskly, and a smile almost worked its way across Aden’s face. This was more like the Nicole he knew: quite harsh, and quick to get to the point

“Wait... Belle’s coming back to Summer Bay?” Aden asked, the words taking a while to be processed

“Yes, but it took a bit of convincing, and even when she had agreed, she made me promise to call you, in case her bone marrow was unhealthy or she wasn’t a match. Personally, I think she just wanted to see you”, Nicole spoke quickly, and Aden could tell that she was lying, but he didn’t care. The incentive of seeing Belle was enough to make him overlook the lie

“Nic, I’ll be on the first plane to Summer Bay”, he promised, and Nicole thanked him, before hanging up the phone.

Aden was brought back down to earth when he heard a loud beep in front of him. He looked up in surprise, slightly shocked that the taxi had arrived so fast.

The driver jumped out and helped Aden load his suitcases into the boot of the car, before opening the door for Aden, and then climbing back into the back seat.

“Where to sir?” the driver asked politely, and Aden looked up in confusion. He had never had a taxi driver that was this nice, and it was an amazing change

“The airport”

“Going somewhere nice?” the driver asked, and for some reason, Aden found himself telling the truth

“Summer Bay... my son is sick, and I might be the only one who can save him. What’s your story? What’s a man as nice as you doing driving a cab?” Aden spoke quickly, and then changed the topic away from himself

“Well, I was an accountant, but I was fired. I needed to find another job quickly so that I could support my girlfriend, but no firms were hiring, and I stumbled across this job... my girlfriend doesn’t even know I’m working for a cab company. She’d be horrified!” the driver explains, before chuckling lightly at the end of his story

“I’m Aden”

“Jed”, the driver said, and smiled at Aden in the rear view mirror.

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A huge thanks to Bec, Nicole, Danni, Scotcaz, Amz, RR1 and Sarah for the reviews :D

Chapter Five:

Jed walked in the door in a suit, having changed outside so that Belle wouldn’t realize that he was a cab driver. Luckily he had changed outside, as Belle was sitting waiting on the couch, with her talking face on

“Hey babe” he said softly, and he frowned to himself as he noticed her wince. She did that every time he called her babe, yet she had never asked him to stop

“Hey Jed”, she replied, “We need to talk”.

He smiled at her, his heart beating faster as he looked at her. He never realized just how beautiful or amazing she was, and he was so lucky to have her.

They had been together for two years now, and it had been touch and go for a while. After they had been together for about a year, Belle had been diagnosed with bone cancer, and for the six months when she had been under intense therapy, the doctors had been sure she would die.

However, she had pulled through, and the cancer had been in remission for the last six months. Jed now thought it was his job to protect her, to make sure that she didn’t have to fight that same battle again

“What do we need to talk about Belle?” he asked, walking over to the couch and sitting beside her. He wasn’t scared that this was the end of their relationship... they had been through so much, and he was sure that Belle would never leave him

“I need to go to Summer Bay”, she began, and Jed looked at her in confusion. He wanted to say that he had had a customer today who had to go to Summer Bay, but he couldn’t... not without telling her that he didn’t work as an accountant anymore.

“Why do you need to go there?”

“Well, you know how I told you that I lived in a small town by the ocean before I moved here? Well, that town was Summer Bay”, Belle explained, her eyes looking into his, trying to gauge his reaction

“I got that Belle”, he teased. It was a long running joke that he wasn’t as stupid as he looked. “I just wanted to know why you needed to go back all of a sudden”

Belle looked around uncomfortably, and Jed reached out and lifted her chin, so that their eyes met. “Spill”, he demanded

“I can’t”, she whispered, “it hurts too much, and you’ll never understand. You’ll leave me, you’ll hate me”, she finished, her eyes filling with tears. Jed was the most important thing in her life... he was the only one who had never hurt her, or left her, and she needed that.

“Belle, I could never leave you. I love you too much”, he whispered, and Belle found herself wanting to tell him everything

“About seven years ago, I met a man named Aden Jefferies, and we started dating. I fell in love with him; he was everything I ever wanted, and being young, and naive, I thought he was my happily ever after, the love of my life. We broke up a few times, but then we moved in together, and I thought we were going to get married, and have children. I needed him more than oxygen; he was my everything”, Belle explained, tears filling her eyes.

Jed swallowed loudly, not wanting to hear this. He didn’t want to think of Belle, his Belle, with other men.

“But then he got a letter saying that his dad had died, and he went out and got drunk. I waited up for him, and when he came home, he wanted to get intimate. I said no, because I didn’t want to... sex was supposed to be a big deal to Aden after the past he had, and I wanted it to stay special, but he kept going, and when he finished, he left me on the couch, bleeding and crying. I waited for him to come back, but he didn’t come back downstairs”

Tears filled Jed’s eyes and he went to comfort Belle, but she moved away from him. She was caught in memories of the past; her face looked haunted.

“He came down in the morning, and had no idea what happened. I had to remind him. I forced him to call Nicole, who was one of the only people our age in town. She came, and when she found out what happened, she turned against Aden, and started helping me. We went to the hospital, and the doctor examined me... she said that I’d never be able to have another baby, because of the severe damage, and it would be risky to have this one. Luckily, I was eight or so weeks pregnant at the time, and this would be my only baby”

“What happened? I mean, you don’t have a baby now...” Jed asked, needing to hear the answer, but at the same time, dreading it

“Well, every time I thought of the baby, I felt sick, because of the memories from what had happened with Aden. When the baby was born, I left a note, and ran away, leaving the baby with Nicole, and I haven’t been in touch since”

“Then why do you need to go back now?” Jed questioned. He felt like he was missing a vital part of the story, but he also got the feeling he already knew it somehow...

“Well, Nic called me, and told me that Ben had leukemia, and that he needed a bone marrow transplant. He needs me or Aden to save his life”

“Belle, why are you bothering to go? There’s almost no chance that your bone marrow will be healthy enough to save Ben” Jed reminded her, and winced as he saw Belle’s eyes fill with anger

“Nicole asked me to come back, and I tried to get out of it, but I couldn’t. The last time I saw Nicole was when I was pregnant, and then I left her with all the responsibility. She probably thinks I’m a coward, and I didn’t want to appear heartless as well”, she screamed, “but I made her call Aden as well, because I can look after myself! I know that I probably won’t be able to help, but I can’t sit here and do nothing”

The story suddenly made sense... that man in the taxi today was the man Belle had loved more than anything else, the man that had hurt her more than she had thought was possible.

“See, I knew you’d hate me for not telling you sooner... god, I’ve kept you in a relationship where it’s impossible for you to have kids!” she sobbed, her screams turning into wails.

Jed knew that Belle needed him, so he put aside the burning anger and hatred he was feeling for all her lies, and attempted to comfort her.

“Belle, I wasn’t trying to end things with you. I was just trying to figure out how I was going to get the time off of work. I’m coming with you”, he told her.

He wanted to meet this Aden Jefferies again, and make him pay for his mistake... the mistake that was made over four years ago, but was just now resurfacing to ruin Jed’s life.

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Thank you so much for the reviews guys. Hope you like this chapter :D

Chapter Six

Nicole paced the house nervously. She had received a text message from both Belle and Aden, who were on their way to Summer Bay now. Belle was bringing her boyfriend Jed, and Aden was bringing a huge pile of luggage, and an interesting story about an extremely friendly taxi driver

The house was ready. Everything was perfect. It was the house of her dreams, a combination of a show home and her father’s beach house. She had sold her dad’s house and moved into Irene’s while her perfect house was built.

But now she was nervous. Ben was lying down in his bedroom, and for the first time in a few days, Nicole was thinking about what was about to happen. Ben’s parents were about to show up, and Nicole was petrified. What if Belle or Aden fell in love with Ben and wanted to take him away? Nic loved Ben as her own son, but they weren’t blood related...

Nicole’s phone rung and she looked over to see it vibrating aggressively on the mahogany tabletop. She walked over and picked it up; smiling slightly when she saw that it said Cameron.

Cameron was Ben’s doctor, and he was an amazing man. Nicole wasn’t ashamed to admit that she had a huge crush on him... but she didn’t have time to straighten her hair in the morning anymore, let alone date an attractive man.

“Hey Dr. Welsh”, she said politely, waiting for him to sigh with frustration, and reprimand her for not calling him Cameron

“Nicole, for the last time, call me Cameron”, he reminded her, and Nicole bit back a smile. These conversations were often the highlights of her day, which showed just how little she did nowadays

“Sure thing Cameron, what are you calling for?” Nicole asked. Cameron never called her for a random chat; all of his calls had motives, but Nic didn’t care. That’s what made him such a good doctor... his work always came first.

“I wanted to see if you had managed to get in contact with Ben’s parents yet?” he asked cautiously, instinctively realizing that this was a sensitive topic for Nicole

“Yes I have. Aden and Belle are arriving tonight, and we will all be in to see you first thing in the morning”, Nicole said, her voice loud in an attempt to sound confident. Cameron was so used to her voice now though that he realized that she was falling apart

“Nicole, Belle isn’t going to take Ben away from you, and neither is Aden. They both walked away from him because they weren’t strong enough to stay. Belle left despite the fact that he was her only chance of ever having a child. They haven’t been in contact for four years; you had to call them and ask them to come back”, Cameron reassured her, and he bit down hard on his lip when he heard her burst into tears. He had wanted to comfort her, not hurt her even more.

“Sorry Nic, I didn’t mean to upset you”, he whispered, his voice sounding tortured at the thought of hurting Nicole

“No, you didn’t upset me. You said everything right; I’m just shocked that you managed to read me so well. I thought I was hiding my feelings”, Nicole sobbed

“Look Nic, I know you’re stressing about everything, so I’ll let you get on with it, just remember what I said. Bye Nicole”, he said softly, and gently put down the phone.

He could really identify with Nicole, and it was starting to scare him. At first, he had thought it was professional interest; after all, he was supposed to be looking after her son, but when he heard the full story, his heart went out to the woman who had sacrificed everything for her best friend’s son.

Before Nicole had even had a chance to wipe away her tears, the phone was ringing again. Aden’s name flashed across the screen, but Nicole quickly pressed the reject button. She wasn’t in the mood to talk to him right now; it would have to wait until he got to the house.

Nicole walked towards Ben’s room to check on him, but the phone was ringing again, this time showing Belle’s name. She picked up the phone, and answered it; after all, Belle would only call her in an emergency

“Hey Belle, what’s up?”

“It’s not Belle, it’s Aden”, a masculine voice drifted down the phone line, and Nicole looked down at her phone screen in confusion. No... It definitely said Belle.

“Why are you on Belle’s phone?” Nicole asked, confusion clear in her voice

“Well, I met Belle at the airport, funny coincidence that and we travelled down here together...” he started to explain but Nicole cut him off

“What about Belle’s boyfriend?”

“Oh, he’s coming down on a later flight, he had to get out of work first”, Aden said softly, and if Nicole didn’t know better, she’d say Aden was jealous

“So why are you on Belle’s phone?”

“Well, you didn’t answer my call, so I had to try on Belle’s phone!” he defended himself, and Nicole could hear a woman chuckle in the background

“Where are you two? Don’t tell me you two got lost, just like that time when you were trying to get to Yabby Creek, and you ended up stuck in the bush, sleeping in the car?” Nicole asked, biting back her own laughter. Aden and Belle had managed to get into a lot of tough situations, and she had always enjoyed teasing them about it

“For the last time, that was Belle’s fault!” Aden exclaimed, which was followed by: “Ouch Belle, don’t hit me, I was just kidding”

There was a brief scuffle, and when it stopped, Belle began talking. “Please excuse the idiot. All he’s trying to say is that we’re at the front door”

Nicole didn’t say anything but ended the call, and rushed to the door, ripping it open, and throwing herself at the first person she could see, which happened to be Belle. She sent Belle staggering backwards, and Aden burst into laughter.

“Thank you for coming”, Nicole whispered in Belle’s ear, and Belle patted Nicole awkwardly on the back. This wasn’t the welcome she had been expecting. She thought it would be a hard conversation, and that Nic would be holding a grudge for everything they had done.

“You’re welcome”, Belle finally replied when Nic had let go of her and moved onto Aden. Aden’s laughter had long since as he found himself on the receiving one of Nicole’s extremely strong hugs.

Eventually, Nicole let go of them both, and invited them inside, still thanking them for showing up.

“Nic, relax. I wasn’t going to leave my son in his time of need”, Aden reassured her, and Belle shot Aden a glare of disbelief

Nicole’s face instantly paled, and she looked like she was about to throw up, instantly turning on her heel and rushing upstairs to her bedroom

Belle looked at Aden in shock. “You idiot”, she hissed

“What?” Aden asked, having no idea what he had done

“Ben isn’t your son, or our son, he’s Nicole’s, so keep that in mind”, she glared at him once more before following Nicole upstairs

Aden stood shell shocked in the middle of the room.

“Well, I can certainly clear a room can’t I?” he whispered to himself, before beginning to cart all of the luggage inside and upstairs.

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*whines* Now update Demon Hunting and BB

Steph, I honestly tried, but when I opened Microsoft Word to be a good girl and write those updates, there were these annoying symbols everywhere, and dots between every word. I ended up deleting everything in the Big Brother document, and tried to start fresh, but it was still messed up :angry: Hopefully I can write an update before I go away !

Chapter Seven:

Nicole refused to leave her room that night, and Belle retreated to one of the spare rooms less than an hour later, so Aden was left sitting up, watching a weird movie on the TV.

The sound of footsteps alerted him to the fact that he wasn’t alone, and Aden muted the TV, expecting Nicole or Belle to come and sit beside him, and he practiced his apology under his breath

“Who are you?” a small voice asked, and Aden looked around in shock. Standing just next to the couch was a boy he would have recognised anywhere.

He had the same big brown eyes as in the photograph, and the same blonde hair, just slightly longer. If Aden didn’t know better, he would have thought the boy was Nicole’s son, and he was sure that most of Summer Bay was under that impression.

“I’m Aden and I’m a friend of your mummy. You must be Ben”, Aden said softly, trying to conceal the fact that his voice was shaking, and he felt like standing up and shaking Ben, forcing him to remember that Nicole wasn’t really his mum.

“Yes, but she never talks about you”, Ben said stubbornly, and Aden’s eyes filled with tears. He had the same stubborn personality streak as him real mum: Belle.

“That’s because I knew her a long time ago, before you were even born”, Aden informed the young boy, who nodded his head, as if this made perfect sense

“Then you must be old”, Ben said, and Aden bit back a laugh.

“Older than you anyway”, Aden smiled at the young boy, who quickly came to sit next to him on the couch

“I’m sick”, Ben said honestly, “that’s why your here. My Mummy is terrified that I’m going to die, so she’s calling everyone she knows, and begging them to come back to Summer Bay”

“How do you know all that?” Aden asked, shocked at how much Ben knew about what was happening

“Mummy cries at night, and I can hear her begging God to let me live. Then I can hear her on the phone, when she thinks I’m sleeping, asking people to come home to help me”

A sniffle from the stairs alerted Aden to the presence of someone else, and he turned around, expecting to see Nicole, but gasped slightly when he saw Belle.

Her hair was down, flowing down her back, and she was wearing a white nightdress. She looked like an angel, and Aden struggled to breathe. He missed her so much, and he wanted nothing more to go back to the day when he had got the letter from his father, and change everything that happened after that.

Belle walked slowly down the stairs, and joined Aden on the couch, grabbing onto his hand, and squeezing tightly, silent tears pouring down her face.

“Are you two in love?” Ben asked, and Aden looked at Belle, who smiled through her tears

“I loved Aden a lot a long time ago, and it was the kind of love that never truly dies, no matter how hard you try and convince yourself that it’s over”, Belle explained, and Aden nodded his head in agreement

“My Mummy says that about my Daddy... I’ve never met him, but she used to tell me stories about him, and how much she loved him”, Ben explained, and Belle smiled softly at him

“What was your daddy’s name?” Aden asked, wanting to know what Nicole had told Ben

“Geoff... he used to live in Summer Bay with his sister, and his mum, and another girl that lived with them, but one day, that other girl moved away, and his mum went really sad. She was never the same, and she died before I was born... then Geoff and his sister moved away”, Ben told Aden and Belle

“You sound much older than 4 years old”, Aden said, continuing the conversation, while comforting Belle, who had just found out that Irene had died, and her family had moved away.

“I’m my mummy’s best friend... she tells me everything”

“This is Belle”, Aden whispered softly, as Belle was still unable to speak

“You’re the lady in the story”, Ben put together the pieces, and moved over to Belle, gripping onto her other hand

“I am, it’s a pleasure to meet you” Belle whispered, and looked at her son for the first time in four years.

He had her brown eyes, and Aden’s blond hair, but there were dark rings under his eyes, and he was too skinny. Neither of them had noticed it at first, but on closer inspection, they saw how obviously sick he was.

“My mummy talks about you a lot”, Ben informed Belle, and leaned toward her and gave her a hug. “She loves you a lot, she misses you. She says that you were her best friend, the only person that understood her and you left”

Belle stared at Ben in shock. When she had left Ben with Nicole, she was only thinking about herself. She was trying to do what was best by herself and Ben, but she didn’t think about Nicole. Nic had been her best friend, and she still thought about her daily, so imagine the pain Nicole must have gone through.

At least Belle had had a chance to say her goodbye to Nicole, even if it was only through a letter, but Belle had never given Nicole the chance to say her goodbyes.

“I miss her too”, Belle whispered, her voice cracking with emotion

“You look like a princess”, Ben said calmly, and Aden smiled at the description, while Belle’s eyes filled with even more tears

“Can you tuck me into bed?” Ben asked, and Belle nodded, and stood up. “Can you come too Aden, it’s not very often that I make new friends”

Aden stood up as well, and waited while Ben grabbed onto Belle’s hand, before grabbing onto his other hand. The trio walked through to Ben’s room, and Ben jumped into bed, waiting for them to tuck him in.

Belle and Aden looked at each other in confusion; neither of them had ever tucked a child into bed before. Aden moved slowly, and pulled the covers over Ben’s small body, and grabbed him a teddy bear that had fallen to the floor, while Belle kissed him on the head.

Ben smiled up at them, and Aden and Belle left the room. Four years after their son was born, they had tucked him in for the first time.

Together, they walked up the stairs, and Aden stopped outside Belle’s bedroom door.

“Goodnight Belle”, he whispered, and before Belle knew what had come over her, she had flitted forward and kissed Aden lightly on the cheek, before turning and walked into her room.

Tonight she was finally beginning to forgive Aden Jefferies for what he had done to her.

EDIT: I forgot to thank you for your reviews :o Thank you, thank you, thank you :D

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Thank you so much for your reviews. It means a lot to me that you are all enjoying it. This will be the last chapter for a couple of weeks, because I'm going on holiday, so enjoy and I hope you still read it when I come back ! :D

Chapter Eight:

Nicole rushed around the kitchen, attempting to make Ben’s special breakfast as well as cook scrambled eggs for Aden and Belle. She wanted them to have a decent breakfast before they went to see Cameron Welsh.

Suddenly, the house was a hive of activity, as Ben walked slowly out of his bedroom, Belle came out of the downstairs bathroom, and Aden thundered down the stairs, sounding more like a herd of elephants than one man.

“Morning everyone”, Nicole called, pushing her hair out of her face, and dishing the food onto four different plates. “Eat up, because we’re going to see Dr. Welsh this morning”

Aden and Belle nodded, while a huge smile lit up Ben’s face. He loved Dr. Welsh, and the visits to the hospital were often the highlights of his day.

“Mummy”, Ben called, and Nicole looked over at Ben, smiling when she saw that the rings under his eyes were no darker than yesterday

“What is it pumpkin?”

“I met Belle and Aden last night, and it’s the same Belle from the stories”, he told Nicole, his voice alive with an excitement Nicole hadn’t heard in a long time

Nicole looked around at Belle in embarrassment, immediately understanding what Ben had told her old friend. “Sorry Belle, Ben doesn’t think before sharing all these stories”, she said quietly, so that Ben wouldn’t hear her and think he was getting in trouble

“That’s fine Nic; he told me some interesting things, and I feel terrible”, she began, but Nicole cut her off, knowing that his conversation would make Ben ask millions of questions

“Don’t worry about it Belle, it was a long time ago”, Nicole interrupted, and Belle nodded, understanding what Nicole meant.

“So, this Dr. Welsh... what’s he like?” Aden asked, trying to lighten the tense atmosphere that had seemed to settle on the group

“He’s awesome”, Ben exclaimed, “He says I’m his favourite patient, and he always gives me a lollipop and a sticker, plus Mummy has a crush on him”

Nicole’s face reddened, and Aden spat orange juice across the table, unable to hold back his laughter. Belle looked over at Aden, and seeing the orange juice that was starting to drip from his nostrils, she burst into laughter as well.

Ben’s smile widened, excited about the happiness that seemed to be filling the house now that Aden and Belle were here. For as long as he could remember, his mummy had been sad, and it made a nice change to see her laughing and joking with her friends.

“Ben, why don’t you go and get ready to see Cameron?” Nicole asked, and Ben slowly walked off, too tired to run. The cancer was really taking a lot out of him.

As soon as Ben had left the room, Aden started talking, and Belle leaned forward to catch what was being said.

“What’s the plan for today?” Aden asked, and Nicole immediately started explaining what would happen

“Well, we have an appointment with Cameron, and he’ll talk to all of us, while Ben plays in the day care. Then you and Belle will have a bit of your bone marrow extracted, and they’ll test it to see if you are a good enough match, and if it’s healthy enough. If that’s the case, then Cameron will book you an appointment so they can extract more bone marrow”, Nicole explained, and looked over at Aden and Belle to see if they understood what was happening.

“Does Cameron know the whole story?” Belle asked, and Nicole nodded her head.

“Mummy, I can’t find my shirt”, Ben called from the next room, and Nicole quickly got up and left the room to help her son.

As soon as Nicole had left the room, Belle winced in pain. She had been trying to ignore the pain that had been haunting her for a couple of weeks, but every now and then, she couldn’t hide it. It hurt too much.

“What’s wrong Belle?” Aden asked, concern clear in his voice

“Just an old sporting injury” she lied, forcing a smile onto her face. Aden nodded, despite the fact that the Belle he had known didn’t play sport.

Nicole and Ben soon emerged from the bedroom, hand in hand, and Belle smiled at them, while Aden laughed as he saw the message on Ben’s shirt.

“Let’s go guys”, Nicole called, and Aden and Belle stood up, ready to walk to the car. Belle winced again as she stood up, but this time no one noticed. She lagged behind as Aden piggy backed Ben to the car, and Nicole laughed softly.

Belle hated being weak, so she gritted her teeth and ignored the pain, speeding up and sliding into the front seat of the car. Nicole got in the driver’s seat, while Aden slid into the back with Ben.

It was a short drive to the hospital. Aden was telling Ben funny stories in the back seat, while Nicole concentrated on the road and the sound of Ben laughing. Belle just stared out the window, taking in the beauty of Summer Bay.

Once they got to the hospital, it was a flurry of action. Nicole jumped out of the car, and unplugged Ben, before Belle and Aden had even managed to get out of the car.

“Hurry up”, Nicole called, already walking towards the hospital. Aden smiled at Belle, and the pair struggled to catch up to Nicole and Ben.

When they got into the hospital, Nicole rushed to the elevators, and managed to hold open the door on the one that was attempting to close. She pressed the correct buttons, and less than five minutes later, she had dropped Ben off at the day care, and was walking to Dr. Welsh’s office with Belle and Aden.

Cameron was sitting behind his desk waiting for them, and he stood up and shook hands with all three of them, before motioning for them to take a seat. He looked at Belle in concern as she shuddered in pain, attempting to take a seat, but didn’t make a comment.

“As you probably know, I’m Dr. Welsh, but you can call me Cameron. Today we’re going to take...” Cameron began to explain, but Nicole interrupted

“They already know what’s going to happen. Please just start”, Nicole begged.

Cameron nodded his head briskly, before talking again. “Nicole you can wait outside, Aden, a nurse is waiting to take you to the room... Belle, can you stay here for a second?”

Everyone nodded, and stood up, except Belle. Nicole quickly walked outside and down the corridor, sitting in one of the hard-backed, uncomfortable chairs.

Aden followed the nurse down another hallway, waving goodbye to Belle as he left the office. Cameron stood up and shut the door, ensuring complete privacy.

“How long have you been in remission?” he asked, as soon as he was settled behind his desk again

“What do you mean?”

“You must have forgotten that I’m an oncologist... I know cancer. How long have you been in remission?” he repeated

“6 months”, Belle whispered

“What type of cancer?”

“Secondary bone cancer”, Belle said softly, looking into Cameron’s eyes for the first time since she had entered the office

“There is no way you’re going to be able to donate bone marrow”, he said bluntly, not wanting to show any sympathy for the girl that had dumped her baby on her best friend and ran away

“Test me anyway”, Belle demanded, her eyes shooting sparks at him

“Why?” Cameron asked, “It’s pointless”

“That’s what my boyfriend said, and I’ll tell you the same thing I told him. Nicole already thinks I’m self-absorbed and a coward for leaving Ben with her, despite the fact that I had very, very good reasons, and I don’t want her to think that I’m heartless and cold... a woman that won’t raise a finger to save a child’s life”, Belle hissed, and Cameron looked at her in shock

“She doesn’t think you’re a coward”, Cameron said, after a brief pause to re-evaluate the situation. “She understands why you left”

“No one else does”

“For the record, I do. I was wrong to judge you before I met you. Now I know that you were thinking of Ben as well as yourself”, Cameron said sympathetically

“I don’t want your pity, I just want to be tested”, Belle informed him, and Cameron nodded his head. He had thought that Nicole was incredibly strong and brave, but now he realized that Belle was the same, but in a different way. His heart went out to Belle, and he wanted nothing more than to reassure her that everything would be ok.

“Ask the nurse at the reception desk, and she’ll point you in the right direction”, Cameron said softly, and Belle stood up, wincing at the pain.

When she got to the door, she stopped, her hand gripping the handle. “Last night, I tucked my son in for the first time ever... he told me I looked like a princess... I still couldn’t hug him and tell him that I loved him. Remember that whenever you think that I’m a selfless, strong person”, Belle whispered, and then slid out of the door, leaving Cameron to think about what had just happened.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you all so much for your reviews... I just hope you are still reading this ! If you do still read this, then thanks again :D

Chapter Nine

Belle squeezed her eyes shut, trying to ignore the pain of the needle that was being pierced through her skin. Aden had already had his turn in the operating room, and now it was her go. She wanted nothing more than to leave the room, but she couldn’t. It was like a team sport... if she left, then she would be letting the team down.

After a few more seconds of pain, Belle could feel the needle withdrawing, and she sighed in relief. She had always tried to be brave and deal with her problems head on, but when pain was a factor, she turned into the biggest coward.

“All done,” a doctor informed her, “you just have to sit here for about twenty minutes, and then we’ll get you a wheelchair, so you can go back to Dr. Welsh’s office. The results should only take half an hour... you are a top priority”

Belle frowned. She had always hated having to stay in one place, as she was one of those people who got bored extremely quickly. “What am I supposed to do for twenty minutes?” she questioned, her tone unintentionally sharp

“Your boyfriend is waiting outside”, the doctor said softly, “he seems very worried about you”

“Jed’s here?”

“Is that the young man who was in here before you? I can’t remember his name”, the doctor laughed at her own antics, and Belle forced herself to chuckle.

She really needed Jed right now, not Aden. Jed would understand the pain she was going through, how it hurt to stand up, or sit down, or even move... how her bones and joints were swollen... the symptoms from her bone cancer still there.

Aden couldn’t help her, not now. He had no idea what had happened in her life for the last four years, and if she explained it to him, he wouldn’t look at her the same way. That look of a deep rooted emotion would disappear, and he’d see her as a cancer patient... he’d feel sorry for her, and that was the last thing she wanted right now.

“Belle?” Aden’s voice cut through her thoughts and she looked up in surprise. She hadn’t heard Aden come in.

“Hey, did it hurt?” she asked him, trying to cover the fact that she had been completely zoned out just a second ago.

“Nah, I’m tough”, Aden said, lifting up his arms and showing off his impressive muscles. Belle laughed lightly at him; he looked strange sitting in a wheelchair.

“Sure sure”, she teased him, and he smiled at her. Belle could feel her nostrils flare, a sure sign that tears were on the way, so she tried to concentrate on the comical side of the situation.

“I heard you screaming from outside”, Aden said in a serious voice, and Belle looked at him in disbelief. She hadn’t screamed; she was sure that she had been completely brave.

“I did not scream”, she denied, her nostrils flaring again, but this time from anger

“Whatever Belle, you screamed like a little girl”

“I did not!”

“Sorry to interrupt the argument, but it’s been twenty minutes... if you’re ready, we can take you back to Dr. Welsh’s office”, a soft voice interrupted them, and Belle looked up to see the same nice that had been so nice this afternoon.

“Sure”, Belle whispered softly, and a nurse walked in, pushing a wheelchair. Aden watched helplessly while two nurses lifted Belle into the wheelchair, before one of them pushed it back out of the door, and the other took control of Aden’s chair.

The ride back through the hospital seemed endless. Belle could feel all eyes on her, and she was sure that everyone was wondering why she was in a wheelchair. Aden was pretending to enjoy the attention, but deep down, he was scared. Belle had been acting strangely, and he was really worried about her.

Eventually, they arrived back at Dr. Welsh’s office. Nicole and Ben were already sitting inside, and the nurses pushed the wheelchairs in, before turning and leaving the office, shutting the door behind them.

“Well guys, the labs have analysed the bone marrow and we have a match!” Cameron said enthusiastically, his voice filled with joy.

Nicole’s mouth dropped open in surprise. She hadn’t been expecting a match; she had made herself believe that it would fail so that she couldn’t be disappointed.

Belle and Aden both sat there, trying to read Cameron’s face, but it was a perfect mask. They both needed to know who was able to help Ben, but Cameron was giving away no clues.

“Aden, you are a match for Ben. If you give us your permission, we’ll schedule an appointment for tomorrow so that we can take more bone marrow”

Aden quickly reached for the permission form, and signed his name on all the dotted lines. He was more than ready to do anything possible to help Ben. He had only known his son for a couple of days, but he already knew that Ben was an amazing person.

“Well, you can go and celebrate. If you go down to the end of the hallway, the nurses have bought a celebratory cake. Go and enjoy” Cameron informed them, and Nicole wasted no time. She quickly threw her arms around Aden’s neck, and kissed his cheek gratefully, before giving Ben a soft hug.

“Aden, Belle, are you both coming to celebrate?” Nic asked, looking years younger now that a giant weight had been lifted of her shoulders

“I need to talk to Belle”, Cameron interjected casually, and Nicole nodded, not needing to ask questions. She trusted Cameron 110%.

“Aden, you can’t get out of it!” she said happily, pushing Aden out of the door, making sure that Ben was right next to her at all times.

Ben shut the door behind him, and Belle could hear the happy trio celebrating all the way down the corridor.

“Isn’t it great that Aden was a match? Thank god Ben is going to be ok! It’s a miracle”, Belle rambled, trying to fill up the silence that was pressing down on her.

“Belle, calm down. Stop talking... it’s my turn to talk”, Cameron said forcefully, and Belle clamped her jaw shut.

“You were also a match for Ben, slightly better than Aden in fact, but your bone marrow wasn’t healthy enough to transplant”, he began, pausing at the end of his sentence to select his next words

“So if I hadn’t had cancer, I would have been able to save Ben?” Belle asked, her voice breaking in the middle of her sentence.

“You would have been the best match, yes”

Belle stayed silent, taking in all the information. Once again, she felt like she had let Nicole down.

“Belle, while they were testing your bone marrow, I asked them to do something else... they took a biopsy as well, and I’m sorry I didn’t ask your permission, but I was worried about you”

“That’s fine Dr. Welsh, I’m used to being poked and prodded”, Belle joked, trying to lighten up the matter, but Cameron didn’t even crack a smile.

“It’s back, isn’t it?” she whispered, tears forming in her eyes just thinking about it as she watched the doctor nod his head.

“They believe it started in your lungs this time, spread around a bit, then moved to the bone”, Cameron said softly. There was this amazing woman sitting in front of him, less than 30 years old, and he had to break this news to her.

“Is there anything they can do?”

“We’ll try chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and hormone therapy of course...” Cameron trailed off, not wanting to say anything definite.

“But we’ve caught it too late to do much else”, Belle filled in, used to the way that the nice doctors tried to avoid the problem

“Yes, I’m afraid so”

“How long do I have left to live?”

“If all the treatments fail, you’re looking at nine months, as a best case scenario” Cameron whispered, his eyes filling with tears. He had only ever gotten this emotional over a patient once before, and that was with Ben and Nicole. There seemed to be something about this dysfunctional family that tore him up inside.

“Nine months”, she repeated, the tears beginning to flow freely down her face once again. She had just been handed a death sentence.

“Belle, you aren’t the best case scenario”

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Thank you for the reviews guys. Did you have a good Christmas? Hope you got everything you wished for :D

Chapter Ten

Belle waited at the airport for Jed to arrive. He had called her about an hour after she had received the life-altering news, and announced that he would be there early the next morning, and that he wanted her to pick him up.

Belle felt like she owed him. After all, she had lied to him for two years, and then left the state as soon as possible after confessing the truth. She was still shocked that Jed hadn’t ended things, and walked away with whatever was left of his pride.

“Belle”, a loud male voice called out, and Belle looked up to see Jed walking through the gates. He was dragging a small suitcase, which couldn’t contain more than a week’s worth of clothes.

“Jed!” she yelled, and rushed into his arms, ignoring the pain that was shooting through her body. Jed sighed, and let go of his suitcase, holding out his arms, and enveloping Belle in a bear hug.

“Jed, loosen your grip. It’s hurting me”, Belle winced, and Jed stepped back in shock. Hugging Belle had never hurt her before... except for the months when she had had cancer.

“It’s back isn’t it?” he whispered, and Belle looked up at him in surprise. She had been worried about telling Jed since she had gotten the news, and it was weird how he already knew.

“Yeah”, she whispered back, conscious that it was a busy airport, and that people might over hear the conversation and start asking questions.

“What did the doctor say?” he asked, and Belle immediately understood that he was asking for the treatment program and the time frame she had been given.

“Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone therapy... nine months is the best case scenario if the treatment fails... but apparently I’m not the best case scenario”, Belle said softly, and Jed’s mouth dropped open in horror.

When Jed had recovered his senses, he started to talk, to reassure Belle that everything would be ok, but she cut him off before he had a chance to say anything important.

“Let’s go back to Nicole’s house. They’re in celebration mode... Aden was a match for Ben, so there’s a cake, and muffins, and lollies. It’ll be a blast”, Belle rambled, and Jed looked at her in disappointment. She had always rambled when she wanted to avoid the topic.

“Sure, it sounds fun”, Jed said unenthusiastically, and grabbed hold of his suitcase, before walking out of the airport ahead of Belle.

Belle stared after him, and after a minute or two, she attempted to go after him, but she couldn’t move. The cancer made her bones and joints swell up, and when it got particularly bad, she found it impossible to move.

“Jed”, Belle yelled after him, trying to hide the fear that was filling her body. He didn’t turn around, and Belle started to freak out. She looked around desperately for someone to help her, but she couldn’t attract anyone’s attention.

She could feel herself start to sweat, and she frantically put her hand to her forehead, wincing when she felt the heat. Whenever she had a fever, and started sweating excessively, it usually meant that she needed to get to the hospital, or lie down, but she couldn’t move.

“Jed”, Belle screamed, but he was long gone by now, waiting outside for a taxi. He probably assumed she was inside sulking, or gone to the bathroom.

“Jed”, Belle called one more time, her eyes rolling back in her head as the room went black, and she fell to the floor.

Suddenly, everyone in the airport noticed her, and at least ten people rushed to her side. A couple of them attempted to check her pulse, while one was slapping Belle’s face in an attempt to bring her around.

“Call an ambulance”, one woman screamed as she raced over to an unconscious Belle, and another lady quickly grabbed her cell phone, and pressed 0 three times, breathing heavily as she waited for the operator to pick up.

“We need an ambulance”, the lady said frantically down the phone, but a groan from Belle made her look down in shock, forgetting to talk to the person on the other side of the phone.

“Hang up the phone”, Belle whispered, and the lady quickly obliged, before moving to Belle’s side, and breathing a sigh of relief.

“Are you alright sweetie?” the older lady asked Belle, but sat back in horror when Belle burst into tears. This woman reminded her so much of Irene, and it was painful to think about what had happened.

“Yeah, thank you for helping me”, Belle whispered, after gaining control of her emotions again.

“I think you should go to a hospital love, to get yourself checked over”, the lady insisted, but Belle frantically shook her head.

“I know what’s wrong with me. I have a doctor’s appointment in a couple of days to start treatment”, Belle informed the lady, who nodded her head slowly, understanding what Belle meant.

“Can you at least let me give you a lift?”

“Why would you want to do that?” Belle asked, questioning the women’s motives.

“Because I remember being young and I want to help you”

“I’m going to Summer Bay”, Belle whispered, and the lady nodded.

“That’s perfect, that’s where I’m going as well. I’m going to see my son”, the lady laughed, shocked at the coincidence.

“Who’s your son? I might know him”, Belle asked, trying to continue the conversation. She really liked this lady, even though she didn’t know her name yet.

“Cameron Welsh... he’s a doctor at the hospital”

Belle sat in silence for a minute, trying to take in the fact that this lovely lady was the mother of the man who had given her the worst news ever.

“I’m Belle”, she whispered after a second, when her thoughts were in order again.

“Jasmine”, the lady introduced herself, and held out her hand, which Belle shook after a brief hesitation. “Well, let’s go to Summer Bay, Belle”

“Thank you”, she whispered softly, and smiled as Jasmine helped her stand up and walk out of the airport, with no sign of Jed anywhere.

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