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Forgotten Truths

Guest WYN100

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Story Title: Forgotten Truths

Type of story: Long fic

Main Characters: Belle, Leah Roman, Rachel and more.

BTTB rating: G

Genre: Romance, Drama, General.

Does story include spoilers: No,

Any warnings: No

Summary: Who is Rachrl's unwexome stalkrt, why is Belle back in the Bay ?

Her heart was poundieg with an inexorable, almost suffocating rhythm as the coach mounted the incline of the coach road and she was able to look down on the shimmering, sublimely sunlit ocean and warmly familiar extraction of land that was Summer Bay.

She knew the way she’d left was extreme, unfair to some, even cruel to others, but it had been one of those occasions in life where you and you alone knew what your best course of action was. If she’d ‘put it out there’ as the current saying went, she’d have had the usual welter of advice from left and right – all caring of course , but equally naturally all conflicting, and therein lay the problem. Once she’d seen the way forward for herself, that was just how it needed to be. Tunnel vision had been essential and that’s indeed what had motivated, generated and guided her to where she was now. Touching the wooden frame of the seat in front as she thought it, she KNEW twists and turns ahead were still possible, but compared to ‘day one’ of this stage in her life, she couldn’t have dreamed of getting where she now was. Why return to the Bay ? Well. Everyone had a ‘home’ to which their heart was drawn despite what their head may be whispering to the contrary, and she really knew no other.

The coach stopped at the small bus terminus a little way down the shallow hill which idled gently down towards the Bay and blinked gently to get used to the sunlight as the driver handed her the suitcase she’d just identified for him in the luggage holder he’d opened at the side of the vehicle. “ You just visiting, love ?”

She took a moment before answering then responded with a slowly forming smile “Oh, just a few people I need to catch up with…!”

And, giving a diffident wave, case in hand, she began the short walk down the hill towards her destination…….Belle Taylor was almost back in Summer Bay……

Roman was poring feverishly over the ledgers and cashbooks without being able to make the same column give the same answer on two consecutive occasions. He threw down the pen and rubbed his forehead to try and ward off the headache he fully suspected was heading his way at full throttle. He pushed the books away and not for the first time in recent days and weeks wondered – was it him ?? He’d known that life after prison would be no picnic – people weren’t exactly hurling jobs at ex-prisoners with convictions for killings, albeit in the particular circumstances of army life, but the presence of Nicole in the Bay had powered his thinking and instincts for where to make an ultimate first return.

However he’d had genuine misgivings about hooking up with Liam Murphy as many of the problems and issues had filtered back to him while in prison through letters, visits and the grapevine, but he had after all been the only one who’d shown an inclination to come forward with a job offer when the chips had truly been down. And so it was that he was fulfilling the role of General Manager here at ‘Liam’s Lounge’ the newest en vogue location for the youth of the Bay to come, dance, play X-Box games on big screens , order burgers or pizzas and even try their hand at some ‘jamming’ with a selection of musical instruments supplied in a wisely well-padded ‘Sound Studio’ just off the main area.

At that moment the man who’d given his name to establishment ambled in, holding a saxophone under one arm and sucking at a bottle of water held in his other hand. He didn’t immediately notice the distracted Roman, ledger book in front of him and eyes staring absently into the mid-distance.

As he did so, he gave a double-take and called over “G’day mate – you ok ? You look like you’ve gone twelve rounds with Colleen Smart’s table talk ! You know – the type you get when you’ve only gone in there to wash your hands !!”

Roman did manage a low-octane smile as Liam placed the saxophone on one of the plushly-lined sofas running the length of the wall and enquired “So what’s the beef, big guy,? – go on, spill !”

With a somewhat weary flick of the hand, he indicated the account books on the table in front of them and - after a deep sigh- said “Well – my high school maths teacher would have never told you I was the most awesome number-cruncher in the world – not even in my own family – but I’ve always got by. Even when I got here it was pretty straightforward – but this lot – not making sense !! and I’ve tried them in every shape and direction short of flamin’ soduku !”

Picking up the chewed biro that Roman had tossed away, he began tapping it up and down the 5 or so troublesome columns, uttering intermittent grunts and expressions of surprise to the point where Roman was about to enquire whether he’d had any flashes of inspiration –only for the quiet to be assailed by the strident ring of the telephone from the office area,

Displaying no great signs of reluctance at having to abandon his mathematical journey, Liam rose, saying “I’d better get that mate - I’ll get back to you on this !”

Taking a detour behind the juice bar to the main office, Liam picked up the phone with a carefree “ G’day, it’s Liam….”

But on hearing and absorbing the voice at the other end there was an obvious and visible change in his demeanour. Shuffling across to put the door shut, he dropped his voice, and in a semi-hiss, said “Yes, yes they have and they are – but I TOLD you it wouldn’t be easy –he’s already asking questions – no of COURSE I haven’t told him anything – chill OUT will you…!”

H e swung himself into the leather-padded office chair and went on, “And anyway he’s a decent bloke , and I feel well grubby putting him in the firing line if all this goes pear -shaped – oh yes I know it suits YOU he ‘s just done jail time and that ‘s a great cover…” He paused, his voice becoming serious and reflective “Oh yes I DO most certainly want to see my little boy again, and if it wasn’t for you saying you could get Chelsea to agree to it, I wouldn’t have touched this with a long pole !! Right- well just make sure you do !! “

As he testily snapped at the ‘hang up’ button, outside Roman was again beginning to scratch his head over the accounts……

Rachel was feeling In buoyant and upbeat mood as she drove away from the hospital that morning. Things had gone so well that day –saving a young baby rushed in choking on a plastic toy and having been part of a successful operation on a heart patient with hardened arteries where the initial prognosis had not been good. And. To help the ‘feelgood factor bubbling up inside her it was a bright and sunny Bay afternoon caressed by an almost intoxicating light breeze that seemed to distil within it the beach, the waves and of course the soul-massing sunshine –such an icon of where they lived.

Hearing the mobile phone ring, propped in its little stand behind the gearstick, she immediately made the adjustment to hands- free and beginning “Leah !! How’s things ?”

“Oh great, yeah great – you got a min ?”

“Yep fine . car but hands-free –like a good little girl , hehe !”

“Well, just wanted to confirm girlie night for Wednesday ? – the thought’s the only thing that’s been keeping me going through Colleen’s good hair days, bad hair days, Madge Wilkins’ blue rinse days and the decline of youth today !! – the thought of chocolate , more chocolate and plenty of George Clooney !! Still, I guess I shouldn’t bag out Colleen TOO much – she is taking baby Harry for the night after all !!”

They shared a laugh of communal fun and friendship with Rachel confirming the Wednesday rendezvous before disengaging the ‘hands free’ setting and driving on. Even the music from Bay FM on her car radio seemed to fit the mood as the Black Eyed Peas merged into Robbie Williams then Mika as she slowed on the brake towards a large zebra crossing at an arterial point on the road heading back towards her house. Being at the front of the traffic queue she was able to stop and watch t hose going across – smiling indulgently first as a lollipop lady led over a chattering and noisy nursery-school children, then giving barely a glance as an elderly couple strolling over and a man in his mid 30s who’d joined the queue right as the lights were preparing to change back and w as moving at jogging speed in an attempt to keep up with the leading group. Suddenly her subconscious in tandem with the hidden but occasionally slow to develop camera in each of our minds belatedly put a near-certain name to the face. Her eyes widening in shock her brain sent a message saying that should this prove to be who she believed it was NOT good news – not good news AT ALL….

As the car behind her tooted sharply at her to move on and the s trains of “Don’t let the sun go down on me..” be gan to w aft from her car radio, Rachel’s ‘feelgood factor’ w as beginning to dilute rapidly……

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Great Start! It's really got me intrigued :D

So many questions. Wonder what's Liam up to and why Belle left the bay?

I liked how you should Roman's emotions post jail. That was really interesting.

Nice start, hope u update soon :)

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  • 5 months later...

*****PART 2

Rachel pushed open the door, heart pumping and brow moist with perspiration.….That face was already once again etched on her mind’s eye and the very real potential and significant life changes it was likely or certain to cause if it was allowed to develop. Still fretting quietly, she crossed the room, hung up her coa ans placed her put down. Then, as a baby sheep confronted by an unmuzzled rotweiler, her whole frame twisted back in shock, then only as breath slowly returned, blurting out “Alister, what in the HELL are you doing here – and more to the point how the HELL did you get IN here ?”

Leaning his head back from the leather chair set in the alcove by the sun window, the tanned but perhaps slightly over self-confident looking face replied “” Well THERE’S a welcome after all this time, isn’t it, Lucie ?”

Rachel’s brow darkened as she hissed back “DON’T call me that !!”

The increasingly infuriating smile parted to enquire “ Why not, it’s your name, isn’t it? “

Through gritted teeth she responded “ For all it’s any of your business, I’ve been Rachel for years now, and…” Just as Alister was giving a mock expression of being impressed, the air was rent by a volley of knocking amidst which Tony’s voice could be heard calling “Rachel ! Rachel ! You there ? Forgot my key !! And this young fella’s ready for his dinner !! Rachel ?”

The unwelcome guest was in the process of mouthing “Oooh, a child no less !” when he was grabbed as near to roughly as Rachel could ever get to that word and bundled brusquely out of the French door into the garden with aggressive alacrity, spitting in his ear as she did “Now listen and listen good – you coming here was a one-time only deal and I mean ONE – you show up again and I will NOT be responsible for the consequences – right !!”

Looking admittedly less than terrified as he hurried out into the garden, Rachel took one of the deepest breaths in her living memory and with a currently shapeless but ominous black cloud hovering above her, she turned for the short trip to let Tony and baby Harry in at the front door….

Having arrived at Roman’s old house with heavier and more pensive tread than she could ever have imagined herself making when at her most bold and self-confident , Belle waited long and hesitantly before announcing her presence as she knew she surely must. Once, twice and three times she approached the door before retreating to the garden gate where she became aware of an elderly lady passing by and regarding her a little curiously. “You alright, my love ?” she asked, all the while attempting to force her mind to provide the solution of who exactly was the slight but vaguely familiar figure at the gate to whom she was talking actually was !

Giving a light and slightly nervous laugh Belle responded “ No don’t worry about me, I’m just wanting to see someone I haven’t seen in QUITE a while, you know…?” And it was only THEN that light dawned with Betty Allsop, stalwart of the Summer Bay ladies bowls team – the voice, the location – Belle Taylor !! Seized by a little confusion she stammered “Alright my dear, I’ll –ah- leave you to it then !!”

And Belle smiled as Betty’s legs accelerated into a scuttle towards her own flat further down the road. Smiling again to herself, Belle wondered what made her think that the phone lines would be humming to one Colleen Smart within the next fifteen minutes or so !!

Taking another deep breath Belle resolved to give it one final go for now, but as she strode forward and rang the doorbell, her ear was beset by sounds of organized chaos within – a Black Eyed Peas CD being cranked to high volume, a female squeal as if resisting being tickled – a wickedly uncompromising male laugh she recognized chillingly and immediately as Aiden’s !As she turned to hasten back up the path she could suddenly hear heavy tread descending the stairs, and- turning back involuntarily was in time to see the door fly open, Aiden trip over the front step and as her arms collected him in timely fashion from a potentially very nasty fall, looking down and up they exchanged glances truly echoing as if both had genuinely seen a ghost….

The phone bell cut shrilly through the downstairs main room of the Caravan park, seeming to get progressively louder as it rang..and rang..-and rang !

With it being a Saturday the chances of getting Miles up to answer the call were about as likely as a Colleen Smart “sworn to secrecy” promise reaching the ten minute mark, plus with Alf seemingly finishing his ablutions as a characteristically irritable “Hogan’s ghost is that flamin’ thing gonna ring off the flamin’ table or what ? Get it answered !!!! “ made its way from under the bathroom door. That only left Romeo, who with a sigh of resignation, pulled the pillow off the top of his head and padded slowly to the top of the stairs – all the while the phone continuing to ring relentlessly .

Fearing another verbal volley from the already truculent Alf, he took a deep breath before descending the stairs two at a time and snatching up the phone.

“Hello Summer Bay Caravan Park..?…yes this is him….”

His face then assumed a humorously sceptical smile as he listened further. .”Oh yeah right Xavier, good one, but I didn’t fall down with the last leaf”…he straightened as he listened on and said “You mean this ISN’T a wind-up…” moments later. The phone call over, the receiver hanging loose in his hand, his face wore the pleasantly bemused expression it had now displayed for several long


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...


“You done yet Jez ?” John Palmer called down the length of the newly-expanded Surf Club gym to the recently-recruited and highly enthusiastic staff member. Jez Harris was Summer Bay born and bred , had come up through the Nippers and other than a two-year spell working in a Yabbie Creek sports shop had been a 100 per cent visible Bay regular over the years. Deputy gym instructor at the Club had been his dream job and one he was determined to excel at. Mopping his brow slightly at the effort he finished stacking the final pile of chairs and lent briefly against it, savouring the brief outbreak of silence other than the scratching of Palmer’s pen on the day’s final set of documents at the far end of the L shaped room. After the day’s activities, chatting and working out, it seemed a thick, almost oppressive silence, but nonetheless welcome for that. Hearing Palmer‘s book snap shut, he dtood up to semi-attention as the older man ambled ponderously towards him, but was motioned back to sit by a flick of Palmer’s hand and as ambient a look as the majority gym owner’s craggy features ever got close to revealing. Looking around him contemplatively with a succession of small nods and putting his arm round the shoulder of the younger man, he said “You know Jez, you and I keep working hard as we have, we could make this place the premier Leisure complex in the state – you’d like to be part of that, wouldn’t you kid !”

Jez nodded eagerly as Palmer concluded “ Come on kid I’ll buy you a drink and a burger or something if you’re up for that ?”

As they left, dimming the final light and locking the main door, the thick, sultry silence prevailed for ten minutes or more until only the keenest ear would have perceived a faint exhaling of breath. It came from the narrow passageway housing the electricity junction boxes and fuses –from there a hand triumphantly pocketed the club back-door key copy its owner had recently acquired, then tapped the main electricity supply unit with equal satisfaction. That electronics course at the secure unit had been well worthwhile – now Trey Palmer now had some spectacular plans for his father’s beloved gym……….

Tony had noted with increasing certainty that Rachel was on edge that evening – and decidedly on edge at that. She’d snapped at him for passing her the wrong milk preparation for use before Harry was put down for the night, rather curtly declined any suggestion of her cooking and merely toyed with her Chinese takeaway during their rather desultory viewing of the ‘Titanic’ DVD and only when Tony broke his extended and frustrated silence to say “Rach, have I done something to upset you ? It’s just since I got back with Harry it’s all been, well, a little edgy…?” Her face just for a moment registered a vague distant aspect before she put her arms around his neck, saying “Oh Tony it’s really not you, it’s me, I guess I just had a really rough day at work….”

“Aw well I’m sorry about that- you fancy a wine top-up or shall we see how Leonardo’s getting on ?” Smilingly declining the wine, the DVD was re-activated and Rachel, her mind slightly mollified, gave Tony a hug and began to- drowse pleasantly as the ship moved fatally towards ifs ultimate demise Indeed Celine Dion was well into the diva musical finale to the world=famous tragedy when her mobile –set to silent – vibrated to reveal a message “Rachel – think u should head 2 the diner 4 a little chat –think you know it would be sensible !!


Her briefly re-assembled feelgood shredded in the food-mixer of her churning stomach, she got up, flashed her phone for about a second in Tony’s direction she blurted “ Oh would you BELIEVE it, I have to go back to WORK !!”

And with Tony’s “What-now !” having only just reached the tip of his tongue , she’d swept up her bag and coat and departed…

His face registered pure bewilderment….

Xavier was making his way back home in slow, ambling fashion, reflecting as he did on what had been a decidedly ‘bluesy’ day as the saying went. Firstly there’d been Romeo’s good news, and while he didn’t begrudge him it in any way , it had set him wondering on when his own last helping of good fortune has been, what with all the Ruby stuff, Hugo appearing fleetingly and disappearing just as fast, and now Palmer looming large over seemingly his every movement 24/7. At least there was April – though having said thay, he hadn’t seen her or been able to reach her via cellphone for the last two days – and he had to admit t here was something about her that had never quite fitted the exact conventional template of ‘girlfriend’ – if indeed that’s what she was..

Hearing his voice called, he did a half-turn to wave to Indy and Dex Walker, clearly heading to the hospital to grab a lift with their father rather than wait for the semi-prehistoric bus to get them out to the farm –and he couldn’t blame them a bit for that ! Returning to the area of far-off thought he had been inhabiting, he verged in and through Greenacre Woods – the short cut to his home he had no genuine desire to be using due to the Palmer Factor , but at least it would mean his dinner would be sorted, he could always go out again and look for April and “……OW !!!! what the……..!!” He’d tripped over something on the patch of ground below him , sending him bumping awkwardly into the trunk of an adjacent tree, tearing a piece of skin painfully on his arm and sending him down to investigate the cause of his trip. Brushing away some loosely-dug earth to discover a firm object, he explored some more until…..”Oh my God !!! “ As the earliest fingers of dusk began to start touching around him, the issue-laden evening on which he’d been reflecting earlier had suddenly taken on macabre additional baggage - - -lying beneath him was a dead body…

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  • 2 months later...


Angelo slapped the document down on the desk, emitting a frustrated sigh as he did – it was very late, he was very tired, and the discovery of a dead body in the local woods was an unwelcome spoke in the wheel of the evening he’d mentally had planned with Charlie.. Indeed he was also feeling more than a little testy at the news that newly promoted Inspector Peter Baker would be coming down from

‘the city” the next day to oversee the handling and running of the investigation. Why did what he described as ‘ The Glory Boys’ always have to descend from above to pick over any ‘ out of the ordinary ‘ crimes that took place in the Bay . quickly dismissing images of Hugo Austin and the wretched people smuggling ship that leapt into his mind he heard an equally tired=looking Charlie ask ”So what exactly do we have then ?”

Thumbing the sheaf of documents one more time, Angelo intoned “Name Alastair Ross, age 27 graduate pf Kingholm uiversity and Medical School…very little else known..”

“Apart from…”added Charlie “the ever-reliable Colleen Smart tells us that Rachel Armstrong and what appeared to be him shared a table at the diner just pre-closing – and also – it didn’t seem to be let’s just say – the friendliest of conversations !”

”Ah curiouser and curiouser !” said Angelo, appearing to catch his second wind at the revelation and the possible new lead.

As if to show police officer intuition could work however late the hour, they began as one

“Don’t you think…”

“Well I reckon…”

Laughing at the duplication, Angelo executed a mock stately bow saying as he did “ Ladies first – please !”

Smiling back, Charlie finished the thought “It may be late, but I think we need to pay Doctor Armstrong a visit….”

It had been a truly surreal day at the house shared by Aiden and Nicole. From the affectionately ebullient early-evening horseplay between the two, the arrival of Belle had injected an invisible yet unarguable glue into the dynamic between the three.

Nicole had originally and pragmatically taken it upon herself to make three cups of coffee but after ten minutes of desultory small talk during which the trio of drinks remained largely untouched she announced diplomatically she was heading out to see Indy Walker. Whether Indy knew this or not was debatable, but Nicole at least felt it would permit some clear blue water between the other two.

After a short silence, as is inevitable in such situations, the two spoke at once

“Look Belle…”

“Aiden I..”

both laughing nervously, it was Belle who gathered her courage in her hands first saying “Aiden –I HAD to go – I woke one morning and those very early symptoms were back…” –raising her palm to head off his imminent interruption she continued..” I spent hour after hour after hour on the internet because I KNEW while you’d stand by me I wasn’t about to put you through all that AGAIN , and I just COULDN’T bear all that sympathy and pity stuff from the likes of Colleen, Irene, Gina and the rest and the “I’ve been there before” routine from Liam, so I found this place about 90 minutes drive north of Yabbie Creek which combines natural remedies, food and such with food and drink remedies and while I KNOW it’s not a hospital as such, their consultant –who’s also worked with Rachel – has placed me in full remission…. –“

A gasp and “So….” from Aiden,,

Placing her forefinger on his lips she went on - ”So – there was only one thing on my mind from the time I had that news - - to come back here, get you back, and start again – so ..?”

Releasing her finger from his lips she observed a face bright and alert with amazedly renewed love and optimism – but behind which lay the gnawing concern and mental image of Nicole who after a year or so with Aiden would be far less than likely to welcome the returnee with open arms – and still less likely to be enchanted by her stated plans for the future….

Roman had spent a troubled and largely sleepless night, his mind travelling around the problem of the illogical ledger and to a certain extent Liam’s almost casual attitude to the ill-fitting figures. So it was then that as dawn’s first fingers crept through and under his curtains he was dressed and downstairs with a new biro between his teeth and all the relevant documents tucked under his arm and hoping for a decent uninterrupted hour or two before opening time. However-as he reached the bottom of the stairs he stopped – his attention taken by a raised voice from the direction of Liam’s office. As he paused to listen, it was clearly that of Liam himself – but it was what he was actually what he heard that caught the attention… “ Yes I KNOW it’s got to go through the books this week – and it WILL !! Yes that’s exactly why he

‘s here and though I want the outcome we’ve discussed, a) you’d BETTER not dream of going back on that and b) while you’re happy to see him as some easily expendable fall-guy, I actually LIKE the guy and for me it’s a regrettable means to an end. Yes, yes, I SAID we’d speak in a few days…”

As the phone receiver was thumped irritably into its cradle, Roman backed quickly away, thinking all the time. So THAT was why he was here then. Well - -if that’s the way it was, he may just have a few surprises in store for Roman - and more especially his disembodied phone colleague – for whom he was beginning to form QUITE a dislike…

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