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The Unravelling of Summer Bay

Guest Georgia

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Story Title: The Unravelling of Summer Bay

Type of story: Long shot

Main Characters: Aden, Belle, Geoff, Ruby, Nicole, Indi, Mattie, Lucas, Liam, Martha, Charlie, Angelo, Annie and Romeo.

BTTB rating: T

Genre: General - a bit of everything, in particular: romance, friendship and betrayal.

Spoilers: No... unless this is a major storyline H&A is working on ...

Proof Read: No

Warnings: At the start of each chapter... might be a few swear words

Summary: They had become the pillars of Summer Bay. They ran the businesses, the church, the police station... without them, the town would fall apart. But everything changes in 2010... absolutely everything... and Summer Bay is no longer the same.

A/N: Yeah, I'm back. I was going to take a break but I can't stay away. I was trying to write the Gaden fic I advertised, but this idea popped into my head, so I wrote it.

The last year in Summer Bay had been eventual, to say the least, and not always in a good way. There had been a wedding, a funeral, a fire, an engagement, a surprise pregnancy, a couple who moved in together, another couple who broke up, a third couple who finally admitted they loved each other, an affair that had been made public and a birth. The town was still reeling over everything that had happened. To tell the story, however, we have to go back to the beginning, to the times were Aden, Belle, Geoff, Ruby, Nicole, Liam, Martha, Romeo, Annie, Charlie, Angelo, Mattie, Lucas and Indi basically ran the town.

Charlie and Angelo had risen through the ranks of the police force. Angelo actually ran the small police force of Summer Bay, while Charlie, for lack of better terms, was his “assistant manager”.

Belle had inherited half of the diner when Irene passed away, and Leah gave her the other half of the ownership when she moved out of town. Aden had opened a small travel agent, right next to the diner, so that he could see Belle during his lunch break, and vice versus.

Geoff had returned to Summer Bay and resumed his relationship with Ruby as soon as he heard about an opening in the local church. Geoff was now the minister, as the last one had left to travel with Leah.

Nicole and Indi had bought a house together, as well as starting up a fashion company. They worked from their house, and supplied all of their latest products to all of the hottest stores. Indi was settling into life at the bay quite well, although she was disappointed at the lack of available men. Nicole, on the other hand, had sworn off men forever, after many, many disastrous experiences.

Liam had given up on the whole rock star life. It had caused too many problems. Instead, he was concentrating on writing music for other stars, so that he could still do the thing he loved, but at the same time, he was able to spend time with Martha. They had recently bought a block of land about ten minutes away from the farm, and were in the middle of designing plans for an entertainment centre. If everything worked out, it would attract crowds of people from Summer Bay and Yabbie Creek.

Romeo and Annie had opened a surf shop on the beach. Geoff had flipped out at first, but when he saw how happy Annie was, and how Romeo perfectly suited her, he calmed down. It seemed that life with Romeo on the beach suited his sister immensely, and he was happy that she was happy.

Matilda and Lucas, on the other hand, were a completely different story. Mattie had fallen back into her easy friendship with Belle, and the two were two peas in a pod; their relationship stronger than Aden and Belle’s and Mattie and Lucas’s put together. These days, Mattie spent most of her time with Belle at the diner, and was in the middle of buying half on the business. She and Lucas, however, were a different story. Lucas worked at the travel agent with Aden, and was going away on business trips more and more frequently, a fact that made Mattie more than a little worried. When she had confided in Belle, her best friend had hugged her tightly and said nothing... Aden never went away on business... all his business was in the bay.

And that leads us to the start of our story... the 1st of January 2010. It was just an ordinary day...

“Mattie, I really think that we should add more exotic pastries to the diner’s menu”, Belle stated as she unlocked the door to the diner.

“Exotic pastries in Summer Bay... seriously Belle? That’s such a waste of time and money. Everyone’s happy with the range we already have. Just because it’s a new year, it doesn’t mean everyone’s life’s have changed drastically”, Matilda brushed off Belle’s idea with a laugh.

“True true... so how was your New Years Eve anyway?”

“Well, let’s see... I went to the annual New Year’s Eve party at the surf club, just like I’ve done for the last three years. The bay isn’t too big on change Belle”

“Yeah I know. Did Lucas show up?”

“No, he’s on another business trip”, Mattie answered glumly, her smile fading and her eyes starting to water.

“Mattie, I’m sure he’s not cheating on you. He loves you too much”, Belle said positively, her eyes sad. She hated seeing her best friend so upset, and loathed the fact that it was Lucas making her feel this way.

“He thinks I’m stupid Belle... he didn’t even take his passport with him this time, so the woman he’s sleeping with obviously lives around here”

Belle had no answer to this, so instead changed the topic. “Why don’t you go and set up for the day, and I’ll turn on the coffee machine, and fix the tables up?” she stated,

not really needing an answer. It was the same routine they did every day, and both of them relished the fact that at least one thing in their lives could be simple.

Matilda nodded and walked out the back, while Belle made quick work of flipping the chairs down from the top of the tables and arranging flowers in the thin vases on the table tops. Before she had a chance to do the last table, Annie and Romeo walked in, holding hands as usual. If Belle wasn’t twenty five years old, she’d squeal and tell them that they made an adorable couple.

“Belle!” Annie squealed, and Belle winced. Obviously, Annie hadn’t received the memo about no squealing after your 20th birthday.

“Hey sis”, she replied, once her ears had stopped ringing, “how are you and Romeo this morning? I haven’t seen you two for a while”

“Oh... Romeo was sick... he’s still not quite over it, but he’s well enough to go back to work. We were just stopping to invite you two over for dinner tonight”

“Me and Mattie?”

“You and Aden silly”, Annie frowned, while Romeo chuckled, his laugh sounding slightly raspy.

“Oh right! That sounds nice. I’ll tell Aden when he pops by at lunch. Did you two want a coffee before you went to work?” Belle asked, frowning slightly. She wasn’t sure why she had asked if Mattie was invited to dinner... of course Annie meant her and her boyfriend, not her and her best friend.

“No, we don’t have time. I have a surf lesson to teach in about ten minutes, and Annie needs to update the books. Running your own business can be hard!” Romeo laughed, and Belle bit back a smile as she saw her sister looking lovingly up at him.

“You don’t have to tell me”, Matilda called, as she walked into the room, carrying a bag of pastries, and two large coffees. “I made these while you were gossiping”, she finished, handing over the bag and the cups. “Enjoy your day”, Matilda spoke softly as Romeo and Annie left after saying their thanks, and see you laters.

“What would I do without you Mattie?” Belle asked as soon as Romeo and Annie had gone.

“Oh, you’d crash and burn honey, crash and burn”, she retorted, with a dodgy accent, before walking back into the kitchen.

For the first time ever, Belle realized that she was nothing without her best friend, and for the first time ever, she was scared about how much she relied on her friend, instead of her boyfriend.

This story starts off a bit slow, so please bear with me. Comments ?

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Thanks for the comments. Hope this chapter lives up to any expectations any of you guys had!

Chapter Two:

“Look Charlie, it’s not a big deal. We take two weeks of our vacation time and book a trip through Aden. He’ll probably give us a special discount as well”, Angelo said, running his fingers through his hair in frustration.

“Why don’t you get a group of your friends together and go with them? I can’t just use my holiday Angelo... Ruby needs me. I can’t exactly trust her with the house when she is so caught up with Geoff and every little thing that he does”

“Get someone to house sit then Char... it’s not that hard”, Angelo grumbled. Anyone else would be jumping at the chance of a holiday, but not Charlie. He had to pick the most confusing woman in the world to love.

“Don’t use that tone with me Angelo”, she yelled, her eyes flashing dangerously. Angelo gulped nervously, and tried to back track. An angry Charlie wasn’t the kind of person you wanted to work with.

“I just wanted some time away with you babe. We hardly see each other anymore and I miss you”, he said softly, his eyes boring in on hers to see if she had calmed down.

“I miss you too... I’ll see what I can do. I have the vacation time saved up after all, and I might as well use it!” Charlie quickly changed her mind when she heard what Angelo had to say.

“Do you want to go and see Aden in our lunch break today to pick up some pamphlets or something?” Angelo asked, trying to cash in all of his brownie points while Charlie was in a happy mood.

“Sounds good... I’m about to start my break now, so I’ll meet you at the diner ok? I’m desperately craving a coffee”, Charlie asked after she had quickly checked her watch.

Angelo nodded. “I’m not sure how long I’ll be but while you’re at the diner, you could ask Belle to housesit for you”

Charlie quickly agreed, and walked out of the police station, sighing as the cool breeze hit her face. It was actually a fairly good idea to ask Belle to housesit. After all, she and Aden were two of the most respected people in Summer Bay, and they both ran their own businesses. It was obvious that they were trust worthy and honest.

On top of all that, Belle had become Charlie’s close friend over the last couple of years. Martha had refused to speak to Charlie until she dumped Angelo, and Liam had quickly sided with his girlfriend. That didn’t leave many other people to talk to, and although Belle was younger, she was still a great person, and a pretty amazing listener.

When Charlie walked into the diner, she saw Belle and Mattie bustling around, trying to serve everyone. The diner was filled with locals on their lunch break, and Charlie waved and smiled at quite a few of them.

Nicole and Indi were sitting opposite each other, digging into salads. They had obviously taken a break from work, and Charlie took a quick detour so she could talk to them.

“Hey Charlie”, Nicole said softly as soon as she had finished her mouthful. “Indi and I finished your order; the dresses look gorgeous, and I’m sure you’ll look breathtaking in them”. As well as supplying clothes to major fashion companies, Nicole and Indi also designed clothes for the residents of Summer Bay. Charlie, Belle, Mattie and Martha were some of their biggest customers.

“Can I come round tonight to pick them up? I don’t have long before Angelo is supposed to get here, and then we’re going to the see Aden and Lucas”

“Ooh, a holiday! Anywhere exciting?” Indi chimed in, her eyes widening with the possibility with getting out of the bay for a few days.

“I’m not sure yet. Angelo only just brought it up”, Charlie explained before waving goodbye and heading over to the counter. Aden was sitting on one of the bar stools, just watching Belle, whereas Lucas was nowhere to be seen.

Charlie could feel someone’s eyes on her, and it was making the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. She spun around, and saw that Martha was glaring at her, while Liam had his eyes on his dinner. Charlie forced a smile in their direction, and then turned back to the counter, where Belle was standing there, deep in conversation with Aden.

“Babe... Charlie needs to place her order, and I need to go back to work, so I’ll see you soon”, Aden said quietly as he kissed Belle on the cheek and jumped off the stool. “I’ll see you soon Charlie”, he added as he left the diner.

“Hey Char, how are you?” Belle asked, her smile widening as she saw her friend leaning against the counter. She hadn’t seen her for a couple of days, as she hadn’t been able to make it to the annual New Year’s Eve party, and Charlie had had work.

“I’m ok, just stopping in to grab some things before Angelo and I go and speak to Aden... we’re booking a holiday!” Charlie announced, getting more and more excited about the prospect as the day wore on.

“That’s amazing! You’ll have to come to the beach with me tomorrow afternoon. I don’t have to work, and we can talk about all your plans then. God, I’m so jealous”, Belle rambled, as she absentmindedly clicked the pen so the nib kept appearing then disappearing rapidly.

“Sounds good. I’ll come round and pick you up as soon as I’ve finished work. Bring Mattie as well, and we’ll make it a girl’s afternoon”, Charlie agreed quickly. It was always fun to relax on the beach with Belle and Mattie. When Belle flipped open her order book, Charlie quickly remembered why she had come to the diner in the first place. “Can I grab two large chocolate milkshakes to go, a chicken and mayo wrap and a meat pie?”

Belle nodded, and quickly disappeared out the back to make Charlie’s order. When she came back out, her hands filled with cups and sandwich bags, Charlie had sat down on one of the stools to wait for Angelo.

“Thanks Belle”, she said, handing over a crisp $50 note, and shutting her wallet as soon as she had received her change. “Oh and when we go on holiday, I was wondering if you two would mind moving in to my house?”

“You want us to housesit for you?” Belle clarified, her smile widening, if that was even possible.

“Of course! Who else would I ask?”

“Well, I’ll have to check with Mattie”, Belle said, “but I’m sure it will be ok”

“This may seem stupid, but why do you need to ask Mattie?” Charlie questioned, her eyebrows slanting downwards in confusion, an expression that usually crossed Charlie’s face when she was in the middle of a police investigation.

“Well, believe it or not, Mattie actually gets a say about whether or not she wants to house sit for you!” Belle smiled at her friend, although she didn’t understand why Charlie was making it so difficult. It wasn’t rocket science!

“Belle, I was actually asking if you and Aden wanted to housesit for me, but if you want to ask Mattie, that’s fine with me. It could be a girl’s week for you two! It might be a nice treat actually”, Charlie amended her disbelief at Belle’s answer, as she could tell Belle would be embarrassed.

Belle blushed, and quickly averted her eyes away from Charlie. That was the second time today that Belle had made the same mistake, and she was starting to get frustrated with herself.

“Well, it’s fine with me. I’ll check with Mattie later and call you”, Belle promised. Charlie smiled, and walked out of the diner, leaving Belle with her thoughts.

The next chapter will be Martha/Liam, as well as some Mattie/Lucas (I think! You guys know that I change my mind a lot :lol:)

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