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To Trust Again

Guest callyha

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Story Title: To Trust Again

Type of story: Long fic

Main Characters: Charlie, Leah, Rachel, Angelo, Miles, Tony. Other characters mentioned.

BTTB rating: A

Genre: Drama/Action/Romance

Does story include spoilers: None

Any warnings: Language, abuse,

Summary: Leah, Rachel and Charlie have a mistrust of men. Miles, Tony and Angelo help them to find the happiness they all crave.

Leah turned to face her guests, tears were streaming down her face, he eye make-up followed the path of the tears. She let out a cry of pain and dropped to her knees. Her guest all chatted amongst themselves, the women clutched at their chests as they saw Leah crumble the way she did. The men shook their heads as they looked on. Slowly they all made their way out of the church. Only Leah, the vicar and the organist were left.

Leah held herself and cried hard, rocking back and forth. Her head shaking side to side as she tried to comfort herself.

Leah stood up from where she was sitting. She walked along the beach until she found pieces of wood. She carried them to a pile in the middle of the beach. She looked all over for more wood and branches to burn. Leah then made her way back to where she was sitting before. There were boxes of things marked ’him’. on top of the boxes was a petrol can and some matches. Leah picked them up and walked over to where she had built the fire. Leah took the petrol cap of the can and poured the contents over the wood. She then struck a match and through it on the branches. Flames engulfed the wood and a funnel of flames headed towards the sky. Leah walked back to the boxes and opened them. In the box was a photo of herself and a tall man, a number of suits, ties, shoes. Next to Leah was the wedding dress she was wearing three days ago. She picked it up smiled and through it on the fire. The flames built up and a wall of heat smothered Leah. Leah looked deep into the fire. She stared at the photo and spat at it.

“Go to hell” She said to the photo. Leah walked away with a smile on her face.

‘What the hell are theses?” Rachel demanded, dangling a pink lacy thong form her finger

“A thong” Paul replied cockily

“I know what it is. I want to know whose it is and why it was in our bed!”

“They’re for you?” Paul said, realising he was caught.

“I would never wear one of these!. Besides, I eat!”

“O so what do you want me to say?”

“Whose ass they fell of!”

Paul walked out of the lounge and headed up the stairs.

“Don’t you walk away Paul. I deserve to know!”

“You deserve nothing. All I get from you is nag nag nag, complain complain complain. I’m sick of it! You never listen to anything I have to say, I don’t feel like your husband, I feel like a pet you have for fun. I needed, no wait I need more!” Paul shouted

“You bastard. I’ve given you five great years, I helped you through that take over bid, I listened to you go on about you ‘big idea’, I organised your mum’s funeral, I took care of everything whilst you served time. I have been by your side every step of the way” Rachel replied loudly.

“It wasn’t enough. I need more. You don’t give me more”

“Oh, so little miss thong gives you more does she? Well I hope she gives you more trouble and pain than you know possible.” Rachel threw the thong at Paul, he ducked out of the way. Rachel turned and walked down the stairs. She stopped and looked at Paul Oh and another thing. I hope she gives you the one thing I never gave you” Paul looked at Rachel, his expression changed “ I hope she gives you warts”

The door slammed and Rachel ran. Tears flooded down her face. She screamed out in pain as the realisation of what happened hit. Rachel slowly slumped to the floor. Curling herself up she comforted herself as she thought of her life now.

Rachel was stood in the lounge. All the boxes of her things were neatly stacked near the doors ready to be taken away. Rachel looked round the room and saw all the photo’s of her and Paul looking so happy. She walked over to the one on their wedding day. They were looking lovingly into one another’s eyes, smiles filling their whole faces. Rachel picked the picture up and took the photo out. She cut herself from the picture and put it back. Rachel then took her shoe off and smashed the glass. She did this to all of the pictures in the house and took the glass into the bedroom. Rachel smiled slyly to herself as she headed to answer the door.

“Rachel Tomlinson” A man asked

“Actually it’s Rachel Armstrong”

“Sorry. We’re here to move a few things?” The man quizzed

“Yes. Through here please.”

Rachel walked down the street. Smiling to herself.

“God sake! Can’t you do anything right! I asked you to meet me at three in the foyer! It’s not that difficult!” Shouted Warren.

Charlie flinched in terror as he walked close to her

“I’m sorry” She said her voice barely audible.

“Sorry? Is that all you can say! Charlie, this isn’t the first time this has happened. Your getting sloppy. When I ask you to do something, I expect it to be done. No mistakes. Understand!” He bellowed.

“Yes” Charlie said, now pressed against the wall. Warren was stood over her, his hands either side of Charlie, he looked fiercely into her eyes.

“Get me some dinner” he demanded

Charlie ducked under his arms and made her way into the kitchen. She stood at the counter. Her hand shakily made its way to her eyes, wiping away the tears that fell.

The next day

Warren came bursting through the doors. “Charlie! Get down here now!” He boomed

Charlie came down the stairs. “Yea?” Charlie said. Allowing three steps between her and Warren. “I found these” Warren held up a pair of underpant,

“There yours” Charlie said, now with four steps between them

“No they’re not” Warren replied taking a step up

“I bought you them today, you have three more pairs in your drawer” Charlie said, her voice filled with terror

“Don’t lie to me. You whore” Warren threw the underwear behind him. His eyes were now black, he glared at Charlie who had turned and ran up the stairs.

“Come here!” Warren shouted as he grabbed items from tables and through them against the walls.

The noise against the walls gained the neighbors attention.

“Warren no please, No!” Charlie screamed as Warren brought his giant fist crashing down on top of Charlie, she fell to the floor. “Get up. Whore” Warren demanded. But Charlie didn’t get up. “I said, get up!” Warren bent down and grabbed Charlie by her hair, he pulled her back until he could see her face. “Tell me his name”

“There’s no one” Charlie pleaded

“Don’t lie to me!” Warren slapped Charlie hard.

“Warren please, no!”

The neighbors called the police after hearing the cry of a woman in pain.

Charlie was sitting on the stairs looking at the picture of her and Ruby. Wishing Ruby was sitting next to her right now. Charlie put the picture down and made her way into the kitchen. she walked over to the kettle and put some water in it. Charlie turned around, looked at the clock then the door. after a few minutes she smiled. Warren was no longer going to be bursting through the doors. Charlie looked down at her hands, for the first time in three years, they didn't shake. Charlie brought them to her mouth and cupped them around. she looked up, her eyes were teary. She smiled a huge smile.

Through out the house there were a few reminders of Warren; pictures hung around, some of his favorite coats. Charlie took the photos out of the frame and ripped them in two. She kept the ones of herself and put his in a box. She then took all of his coats, and the box, into the back garden. She then poured his liquor on to the items and set them alight. Charlie spun around like a school girl as the weight of her past lifted of her shoulders. For the first time in three years, she was happy.

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Chapter 2.

“Back to work already darl?” Irene asked Leah as she hung her bag up and placed her apron over her head and tied it.

“Yea. Well I need to get on with my life. Aaron was a mistake.” Leah paused, “Ok, maybe at first he wasn’t a mistake, but what happened at the wedding was just the last part of our break-up. He wasn’t bale to commit and I need to accept that” Leah replied as she tied her long hair up.

“You really believe that do you?” Irene asked as she took the quiche out of the oven.

“I have to believe it. Otherwise I’ll go crazy trying to figure out what went wrong.”

“Well at least we can say it was nothing that you did. You were the best thing that ever happened to him” Colleen added from the store room.

“How long have you been in there?” Irene asked, slightly confused

“About 15 minutes. You asked me to put the dry store food away. Anyway, Leah, there are plenty of other fish in the sea. You’ll find someone” Colleen said, now in the kitchen near Irene and Leah.

“I guess, but I just..” Leah started to speak but was interrupted by Irene

“No buts. You said yourself you were going to move on”

“I know. I will. Starting now” Leah took hold of a couple of plates and took them out of the kitchen. Irene shook her head. She looked at Colleen and they both shared a concerned look.

Leah put the plates down for the customers and walked to the counter, she looked behind her when she heard feet shuffling on the floor.

“Hey Leah” Miles said as he walked to the counter

“Hey Miles. You ok?” Leah asked as she brushed her hands down her apron

“Yea, I guess” Miles replied. He sighed loudly and then dropped his head.

“What happened?” Leah asked, not really interested, but Miles did look unhappy

“I went out last night with a woman I met a couple of weeks ago”

“And you’re unhappy because…”

“We have absolutely nothing in common and she is one of the most boring people I have ever met” Miles took his hands out of pockets and ruffled his hair up.

“So you’ve got yourself like this?”

“I wasted two hours of my life and $150. I think that’s enough to make anyone sad.” Miles said. Causing Leah to smile.

“Was that a smile I saw?” Miles asked pointing at Leah’s mouth

“No.” Leah replied hitting Miles’ hand

Miles smiled back at Leah. “Anyway, Alf and I were going to have a barbeque at our place. You and V.J can come along”

“Yea, thanks I think we will” Leah smiled. Miles waved to Leah and walked out of the diner.

Leah walked back into the kitchen laughing

“What’s so funny girlie?” Irene asked, happy to see Leah with a smile on her face.


Four hours later.

“Get yourself gone Leah. I’ll finish off here” Irene said as she took the brush of Leah

“Are you sure?” Leah asked, hesitantly

“Yea, go on” Irene said “Bye love”


Miles came through the door not long after Leah left.

“Hey, you got those salads for me please Irene?” Miles asked

“Yea, there in the fridge love” Irene said, pointing at the fridge

“Thanks Irene”

“It’s alright. Erm, thanks for doing this for Leah. I know that she says she’s fine, but I just wanted to remind her that we are all here for her”

“We all do. I just hope it doesn’t blow up in our face” Miles laughed.

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Chapter 3

Rachel was sitting in Noah's bar, staring at the bottle in her hand. She lifted it to her mouth and finished it off.

"Can i have another one please Alf, when you're ready" Rachel asked as she waved the bottle.

"Are you sure you need another one? You don't normally drink beer" Alf said as he hesistated placing another bottle near Rachel

"Well i've never found a thong in my bed that didn't belong to me. So things change" Rachel answered, taking the bottle off Alf

Alf walked back behind the bar, shaking his head as he did so.

"Hey Alf, what's up mate?" Tony asked as he put his rucksack on the bar

"It's Rachel. Ever since she walked out on Paul she has been a completely different person. Even Julie Cooper at the hospital has said something to her about it"

"Yea, i noticed that too. It's almost as if Paul took everything of her away and left us with someone who looks like her, but is as bitter as anything. I'll go talk to her, see if i can get through" Tony replied

"Yea, good on ya mate" Alf smiled

"But first i think I'll have a beer" Tony said

"What are you looking at?" Tony and Alf turned around when they heard Rachel speak.

The two men she was talking to walked away shrugging their shoulders. "Yea, that's what i though. Just keep on walking" Rachel said, nearly falling of her chair

"Whoa, ok Rach, i think you've had too much" Tony said as he caught Rachel

"Where do you get off telling me how that i drank too much. You don't own me, you can't tell me what to do. I don't even know you" Rachel sternly said, then paused. Thinking for a moment "Ok, maybe i know you well enough and your a friend, but you can't tell me what to do" Rachel continued, now stood up but swaying back and forth.

"Alf, can i get some water please?" Tony asked, looking at Alf

"Yea, sure mate"

Tony eased Rachel into her seat again. Alf placed the water glass on the table near Rachel.

"Thanks Alf. Here drink some of this" Tony picked the glass up and helped Rachel.

"Sorry." Rachel said, her voice full of shame.

"What you sorry for?" Tony asked as he put the glass on the table

"Talking to you the way i did. It's not your fault. I shouldn't take my anger out on you" Rachel said, placing her hand on Tony's.

"It's ok. I Just don't understand what happened?, You were so happy"

"I know. I don't know, maybe i did something or said something, and Paul didn't like it. So he had an affair. With someone who doesn't eat. Or have real boobs. I hope they pop." Rachel said, with a slight evil in her voice

Tony wiped his mouth, trying to hid a smile. "Look, he was an idiot to cheat on you" Tony said, as he stroked Rachel's face gently. Rachel didn't speak. "Rach?" Tony looked at Rachel, she was sleeping on his arm.

Alf had closed Noah's bar. Tony was the last customer, Rachel was still asleep on his arm.

"Do you want a hand mate?" Alf said as he pointed at Rachel

"Nah, I'll be alright. I just didn't want to walk out when everyone else was still here" Tony replied.

Tony stood up and scooped Rachel up in his arms.

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Chapter 4

Charlie stood looking out of the window at the police station. She had her arms wrapped round herself, comforting her as she thought about what had happened in the last few days. Charlie then moved to thinking about Ruby. She wished she was here to help, Ruby always knew what to say. It was only 3 months ago that Ruby went to the city to spend time with their aunt Michelle. Charlie missed her so much, she needed her daughter.

Charlie suddenly turned around, her heart sank. “God, don’t do that” Charlie aid as she placed her hand over her chest to calm herself down

“Sorry” Georgina said as she held her hand up

“It’s ok, just knock next time, please” Charlie said, slowly walking towards Georgina.

“I just need you to sign this for me. It’s a warrant.” Georgina said as she put the file on Charlie’s desk

“Yea, sure. Do you need any assistance?” Charlie asked whilst signing the paper

“No, it’s alright, I got Richards on with me. We should be able to handle it” Georgina picked the file up and smiled at Charlie, Charlie smiled awkwardly back at Georgina. Georgina closed the door behind her. Charlie turned back to the window and broke down into tears.

“Angelo. What time do you call this?” Georgina asked

“Five fifteen” Angelo replied, looking at his watch

“You were supposed to be here an hour ago!”

“I know, I was checking a lead out. Turns out Harland has skipped town”


“I got a call from someone anonymous, telling me that a man, who fits Harland’s description, checked out of his hotel three hours ago”

“That’s just great. What am I supposed to do know? He was the only person who could have or know where the gun is!” Georgian said, she turned and fell into her seat.

Charlie opened the door.

“What’s going on guys?” She asked, using the door as a shield

“Charlie” Angelo said softly. Charlie quickly looked at him, then looked back to Georgina. The door closed slightly. Angelo looked down, upset.

“Erm, Angelo got a lead on Harland. He’s skipped town.”

“What else did you find out?” Charlie asked, still not looking at Angelo

“Just the direction he went in. No one could tell me what car he was in. I didn’t pursue because I was at a dead end”

“Right. Get a team together and head back to his hotel. See if there are any signs of a struggle or anything suspicious. Even look outside for tyre marks. They might link him to a car” Charlie said. Now out of her office but stood behind Georgina.

Two hours later…

“Charlie Buckton…. When did this happen?…. Ok, can you let me know when he wakes up?… ok great, thank you” Charlie hung up “That was the hospital. Harland was hit by a car and was taken in thirty minutes ago. He’s stable at the minute, but he’s not awake. They’ll let us know when he wakes up”

“Well at least we know where he is” Angelo said. He went to move closer to Charlie but she moved away from him too quickly.

At the station

“Charlie, can you help me file these reports?” Angelo asked as he offered a seat

“Erm, sure” Charlie said. She cautiously walked over to Angelo’s desk and took a couple of files. Her hands shook and they got closer to Angelo’s.

“Charlie” Angelo said softly, his arm outstretched taking Charlie’s hand.

Charlie pulled her arm back quickly and retreated back to her office.

Angelo dropped his head in shame.

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Chapter 5

Flashbacks are present and are in italic

"Hey, Miles, how did last night go?" Irene asked as she put a plate of pasta in front of Miles

"It was alright, i guess" Miles replied, apprehensively

"What do you mean by that?" Irene asked, slightly confused.

Miles wiped his mouth and offered a seat to Irene. Irene sat and Miles cleared his throat.

Last night

Miles and Alf were stood near the fridge looking over at Leah. They smiled as they heard her laugh with people and talk to them. But when Miles looked again, he saw the way Leah was behaving. She was standing next to women. Laughing and deep in conversation with them. Miles then saw a man join the group. Leah's expression changed. SHe wasn't talking as much and she had moved herself slightly away from the group.

"What's the matter Miles" Alf asked as he saw Miles questioning what he was seeing

"Look" Miles pointed over to where Leah was stood

"Yea?" Alf said, now confused

"They're women"

"Well done. They are women" Alf replied

"Look at the way she is talking to the women. And then the way she is when a man joins in"

Alf stood and watched. He saw how Leah's whole attitude changed.


"Oh my gawd. Poor girl. He really did effect he in more ways than one" Irene said

"Yea. But how do we help her?" Miles asked, looking helplessly at Irene

"I don't know love. I really don't know" Irene shook her head. She then stood up and headed back to the kitchen.

"Nicole" Miles said as he saw Nicole walk in


"I need your help. You're not busy are you?" Miles asked

"No" Nicole replied.

"Good" Miles sat and explained everything to Nicole. "So, now i don't really know what I can do now"

"Well he treated her like dirt, and he completely embarrassed her infront of her friends. I think she is finding coping with it really difficult."

"So what should i do?" Miles asked, pleading with Nicole for an answer

"Help her cope with it"

"But she's reserved around any man"

"Can you blame her? I mean, she totally trusts a man, and is ready to spend the rest of her life with him, and then her breaks her heart" Nicole replied

"So...." Miles added

"So trusting another man is going to be difficult to do." Nicole looked at Miles, he looked completely lost "You need to somehow help her be able to trust a man again with her heart" Nicole said

Nicole stood up and walked to the counter. Miles looked at her and smiled.

Walking along the beach he found himself wondering how he could help Leah. His thoughts changed when he realized that an 18 year old girl had been able to help. Miles' head began to hurt.

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Chapter 6 Again Flashbacks are in Italic

Rachel woke up, placing her hand on her head she breathed in sharply as a pain went through her head. Sitting up-right in bed she noticed that her clothes from the previous night were over the bottom of her bed and she was in her pajamas. Problem was, she couldn't remember how.

Getting out of bed, she slowly made her way to the door. She was greeted by the smell of bacon and eggs.

"Morning Rach. How you feeling?" Tony asked as he tried to hide a smirk on his face

"Erm, i don't really remember much of last night. All i remember was trying to stand up, but i couldn't. Then i remember talking to you, something about boobs and pop. Next thing i know I'm in my bed. In my pajamas. And i have no idea how that happened"

"Come on, sit down. Eat some breakie, and i'll tell you what happened"

Last Night

"I told you I'm fine" Rachel said as she tried to walk away from Tony

"Rach, you're not" He replied as he was watching Rachel trying to walk in a straight line

"I haven't had drinks many. I'm fine. I can walk. You show me" Rachel said as she began to walk. She snaked along the footpath as she did. Tony looked at her, amused.

In the house

"Drink?" Rachel asked Tony, holding a bottle of whiskey

"No thanks. And i think you've had enough" Tony replied as he took the bottle off Rachel

"Killjoy. I'm going to ready bed. I mean get ready for bed." Rachel headed to the bedroom.

10 minutes later and Rachel hadn't come out of her room yet. Tony walked over to the door and knocked

"Rach?. You ok?" Tony opened the door slightly and peered in. He saw things thrown on the floor, Rachel's shoes on the dresser, clothes everywhere. He then looked over at the bed. All he could hear was snoring. Tony turned the light on and saw Rachel half on the bed and half off the bed asleep. Tony walked over to Rachel and put her legs on the bed. He then finished getting her dressed by putting her arms through the sleeves of her top. Rachel opened her eyes and looked at Tony and smiled at him. Her eyes not focusing on Tony. She then shut her eyes again and fell back into her sleep.

Tony moved the covers back and eased her into the bed. Putting the covers back over her he let out a small laugh. Tony walked back to the door, shut the light off and then walked out of the room.

"Oh my god. Sorry Tony" Rachel said, slightly embarrassed.

"Nah, don't worry about it"

"No Tony it's not alright. I completely embarrassed my self in front of you, how pathetic is that?"

"So you had one too many drinks. Everyone has done it"

"I'm not talking about the state i was in. Look Tony, thank you for all your help, I appreciate it. But I need you to go now"

"Rach" Tony's face dropped

"No, just go. Please" Rachel asked. Not looking at Tony.

Tony stood and walked out of Rachel's house. Rachel cried as she looked at the door. Tony held back his own tears.

"Tony" Gina shouted, she got no response. "Tony!" This time he turned around

"Hey Gina" Tony replied, unenthusiastically.

"What's wrong?"

"I have no idea. All i did was try and help"


"Rachel" Tony said, a tear fell down his cheek.

"Give her time. She's had a lot on her plate. Just be there for he when she needs you. She will need you at some point" Gina said, her arm on his shoulder, trying to comfort him.

"Thanks Gina. But i don't think she'll want my help" Tony said, looking down

"She will. Look it takes a long time to get over your husband cheating on you. You remember what it was like for me don't you" Gina said

"Yea. You wouldn't talk to anyone about it"

"Exactly. But i knew i had you and my friend's there to help me. That's always good to know" Gina smiled

"But it took you ages"

"Everyone is different. I had kids to think about, luckily for Rachel they didn't have kids"

"Yea, i suppose. But She can trust me, i'm her mate"

"She knows your her friend, and you know that she can trust you. But Rachel wont be ready to trust again, she'll be worried her heart will be broken again"


"Rachel trusted Paul. And he broke that trust. It'll be hard for Rachel to put her trust in anyone"

Gina and Tony carried on walking.

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Chapter 7.

(Flashbacks in Italic)

"Two coffee's and two double chocolate muffins please Irene" Angelo asked as he stood at the counter

"Yea, sure love. Erm, how’s Charlie doing?" Irene asked as she turned to get the muffins out of the display

"How do you mean?" Angelo asked

"Well, Ruby. She’s been away for what, three months. She'll be missing her like crazy" Irene replied, placing the muffins in front of Angelo

"Charlie will hopefully be a lot better when Ruby gets back. She's been really low recently. She wont talk to me. I don't understand" Angelo said, the latter with tears in his eyes.

"Aw, love, i didn't know things were like that for you" Irene said compassionately. Her hand outstretched squeezing Angelo's hand as comfort and assurance.

"She wont let me in. She wont let me help"

Irene looked at Angelo. He was a broken man. Irene smiled at Angelo as he left the diner.

"Hi Irene!" Ruby said, very energetically.

"Hi love. How was your trip?"

"Brilliant. It's just what i needed" Ruby said with a huge smile on her face

"Yea? Good. Maybe you can convince Charlie to go on one" Irene replied

"What do you mean?" Ruby quizzed

"Angelo was just in here. He's nearly in tears, poor guy. Charlie barely gives him the time of day. He doesn't know why"

Ruby turned and walked back out of the diner.

"I got you a coffee and a muffin" Angelo said as he placed them down on Charlie's desk.

“Thanks” Charlie replied. Keeping her distance from Angelo

“Charlie, talk to me” Angelo said as he walked towards Charlie

“No, erm, can you stay where you are please?” Charlie said, placing her arm full stretch in front of her.

“Charlie. We’re partners. We need to be in close proximity and have to talk to each other”

“No. We don’t. Stay there!” Charlie said sternly, her arm still out

“Charlie, what happened?. You’ve changed” Angelo said. His voice showing concern

Charlie wiped tears from her eyes and looked down.

“I don’t have to tell you anything”

“I know. I just want to help. Can you let me do that? Please?” Angelo begged

“I can’t. I’m sorry” Charlie quickly walked out of the station. Angelo looked down at the floor and then looked at the door. He started heading towards the door.

“Charlie!” He shouted

Charlie kept running, never looking back. Angelo began to chase after her.

“Leave me alone!” Charlie screamed

“Charlie I want to help you! Let me help you!”

“Why? Is there something on me that says I need help? What is it? Poor Charlie, can’t cope on her own, fight her own battles?” Charlie paused for a moment. Looking up at the sky to stop herself from crying. “Angelo just leave!”

“No. You can shout at me all you want Charlie.”

Charlie glared at him. Eventually she gave up and broke down in tears. She fell to the floor and cried hard. Angelo slowly got on the floor behind her and brought her close to him. Angelo wrapped his arms around her and placed her head on his chest. He gently kissed her head.

“What happened?” He whispered softly.

Charlie remained quiet for a few more minutes.

Three weeks ago

“I asked you a question!” Bellowed Warren

Charlie shook in fear as Warren walked over to her. “I.. I don’t know”

“You don’t know. What sort of answer is that Charlie?” Warren yelled as he towered over Charlie

“Warren, please. I’m sorry” Charlie said, fear plaguing her face and voice

Warren glared at Charlie, his eyes glazed with anger. Charlie swallowed hard and shut her eyes, her bottom lip was trembling.

Warren breathed heavily over Charlie. She sank further down the wall. Warren grabbed her wrist and stood her up again

“Ow, Warren no, you’re hurting me. Please” Charlie begged, flinching in pain as he twisted his hand round Charlie’s wrist

“You hurt me a lot more than I’m hurting you” Warren boomed. He through Charlie’s hand down to the floor, the force cause Charlie to fall to the ground. Charlie grabbed her wrist and sobbed.

“Stop it.” Warren told Charlie.

Charlie didn’t stop.

“I told you to stop!” Warren through his hand down on Charlie, winding her as he did.

Charlie curled up tightly, protecting herself from Warren, trying to catch her breath.

“Get up.” Warren demanded

Charlie didn’t respond. She was frozen.

“I said get up!” Warren grabbed Charlie by her top and dragged her to her feet.

“Warren no, please, I’m begging you!” Charlie trembled as she was hovering above the ground.

Warren looked in to Charlie’s eyes. He walked over to the stairs. Charlie fell to the floor in a heap.

“Get upstairs now” He demanded.

Charlie slowly made her way up the stairs. He felt his breath on the nape of her neck all the way to the top of the stairs.

Angelo couldn’t believe what Charlie had just told him.

“That bastard” He murmured to himself.

Charlie’s grip on Angelo strengthened. “Charlie, it’s ok. He’s not going to get you”

“He will. He always finds away.” Charlie said as she slowly brought her head off Angelo’s chest. Charlie raised her hand to move some hair from her face when the sleeve of her jumper rolled down. Reviling a bruise in the shape of a handprint and a deep laceration.

“Did he do this to you?” Angelo asked as he pointed to her wrist.

Charlie quickly pulled her sleeve over the bruise. “It doesn’t matter”

“Charlie. It does matter. You need to come forward with this”

“And say what? A police officer who deals with these sorts of cases finds her self in the exact same situation? How do you think that makes me feel Angelo?” Charlie asked

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a police officer or not. You were hit, abused. End of” Angelo replied. Now stood up next to Charlie who had stood up as soon as she had hidden the bruise.

“It matters to me. I see women all the time who have been abused by their partners. And I’m thinking that if it was me, I wouldn’t let myself get into a situation like that. Well guess what. I did and look at me. I’m a mess and it’s my own fault”

“Charlie, you can’t blame yourself. You didn’t do anything to justify this been done to you” Angelo told Charlie. But Charlie shook her head in disagreement. Tears fell down her face. “Charlie” Angelo pleaded

“No. I’m done” Charlie threw her hands in the air and walked off.

“Charlie wait!” Angelo shouted, but Charlie had run off.

Angelo stood. Looking into the darkness where Charlie had headed.

Angelo headed to the diner when he bumped into Ruby.

“Ruby!. When did you get back?” Angelo asked

“About an hour ago. Hey, Irene told me that Charlie isn’t herself? What happened?”

“How much time do you have?” Angelo paused. Ruby looked at him in desperation. “What did you make of Warren?”

“I hated him. There was something about him I just didn’t like. Whenever Charlie and me were alone it was like, what it was when we were younger. We laughed, and talked, went shopping, you know the usual. But when Warren came in the room it was like Charlie had been replaced. Everything Warren had to say about something, Charlie agreed with him, even if she had just told me that she didn’t agree with it” Ruby told.

“Anything else? How did Charlie seem?”

“Why? What’s going on?” Ruby asked

“Ruby, please, just answer”

“Erm, well you know how she never wears jumpers- only if she is really cold?” Angelo nodded “Well she started wearing them. Even when it was red hot out side”

“Anything else along those lines?” Angelo asked

“Now that you mention it yea.” Ruby thought for a moment “ Charlie used to love going to the beach, to top up her tan, but all of a sudden she just stopped. Said she was too old for it. Angelo. Please. What’s happened?” Ruby asked.

“It’s Charlie. I think she’s been abused by Warren”

Ruby’s eyes widened. Tears fell down her face when she realised that this had all happened whilst she was away.

“Do you, I mean the police, know?”

“Neighbours called us complaining of loud noises and screaming. Warren was arrested following a driving offence. Charlie never said anything about him hitting her” Ruby turned around and set off running “Where are you going?”

“To mum. She needs me!” Ruby shouted.

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Chapter 8

Tony, Miles and Angelo sat in Noah’s bar. All of them had a bottle of beer in their hand and seven empty bottles in front of them.

“I don’t get. She just threw me out” Tony said as he took another drink

“She wont even talk to a man if she can get away with it” Miles said as he brought his bottle to his mouth.

“She wont let me in. she wont let me help her” Angelo said as he ate a peanut.

“Strewth, you three got women’s trouble or something?” Alf asked as he lifted the empty bottles from the bar.

“Or something” The men murmured together.

Alf frowned in confusion.

“Rachel” Tony said

“Leah” Miles added

“Charlie” Angelo said.

“Oh. It wouldn’t have anything to do with her marriage would it Tony?” Alf asked as he looked at Tony

“Yea. It does” Tony said as he looked up at Alf. “She gives this man, the best years of his life. And then he goes and cheats on her. Rachel deserves so much better then that. But she can’t see it” Tony added, drinking some more of his beer.

“Give her time mate. That’s all she needs”

“Do you have any advice for me while you’re at it?” Miles said as he looked up at Alf. Desperate for more help. “She was left at the altar. I can’t believe he did that to her. Jerk. Maybe he doesn’t know a good thing when he sees one”

“Show her that not all men are like that. Some of us know what is precious to us” Angelo answered. Not looking up at anyone. Just gazing at a picture of him and Charlie from four years ago.

“What you looking at Angelo?” Miles asked as he tried to lean over to Angelo

“It’s Charlie and me when we were dating. I got transferred to another district and we had to break up. Worse year of my life”

“It’s a nice picture. You were happy” Miles said

“Thanks. We were happy.” Angelo smiled at the picture

“So what’s the trouble?” Tony asked. Alf nodded in agreement

“You’ve noticed a huge change in Charlie haven’t you?” Angelo paused and looked at Alf, Miles and Tony. They all nodded. “Well, it was Warren” Angelo said

“Warren? The guy whose built like a machine?” Miles asked, eyes widen with the effect of alcohol


“God he’s huge! Wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of him. He has a major temper. He came to the gym a while back and broke the punch bag. Ripped it right of the roof. Cost me $300 to get it fixed” Tony added

Angelo sat and waited. He didn’t really want to say what the problem was. He was hoping they would be able to piece the puzzle together themselves.

“$300 worth of damage? Those fists pack some fury” Miles took another drink from his bottle. Swallowing hard when the penny dropped.

“He didn’t” Miles said

Angelo nodded.

“Poor Charlie” Tony added

“That mongrel. Hope you’ve put him away where he belongs!” Alf said

“That’s the problem. Charlie hasn’t come forward. She wont even talk about it” Angelo said with tears in his eyes.

“How do you know?” Tony asked

“From the bruise I saw. She was acting really weirdly at work, standing far away from all the males at work. Using doors, tables, chairs and female officers as a barrier between us and herself. I asked her what was wrong but she wouldn’t tell me. Eventually she broke down and told me everything. That’s when I saw the bruise” Angelo wiped the tears from his eyes and finished off his bottle. Miles, Tony and Alf stood. Frozen.

“God. No wonder these women hate our company. We remind them of those bastards” Miles said, breaking the silence

“I don’t think they mean it” Tony said. “Well, I hope they don’t”

“No. they’re just women, been treated horribly by men and don’t want to trust us again in case they get hurt again” Angelo added.

“So what do we do? Back off and give them space?” Miles asked

“Well you could do that, but that would take longer” Alf said

“So what do you suggest?” Angelo asked

The three men sat in silence. All staring in front of them.

Pain was written all over their faces.

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Chapter 9.

It's a little longer than the other ones. And flashbacks are again in italic

Laying awake in bed, Leah thought of the day she met Ian.

“I’ll be with you in a minute” Leah said as she rushed into the kitchen

“That’s ok. Take your time” Replied a man who was dressed in a suit, carrying a briefcase.

The man reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet, made of the finest black leather. He opened his wallet to reveal credit cards and a wade of cash.

“Sorry. What can I get you?” Leah asked as she brushed her hands down her apron.

“Can I get a large black coffee, chicken salad, a blueberry muffin and a phone number please?” The man looked up at Leah and flashed her a smile. Leah smiled back at him awkwardly.

“Yea, sure. I wont be a moment” Leah turned around and went back into the kitchen.

“What’s the matter with you girlie?” Irene asked as she put the finishing touches to a salad

“There’s a guy out there.” Irene went to look “Don’t look!” Irene stopped dead in her tracks. “He asked me for a phone number, then smiled at me”

“So? Give him your number!” Irene said

“I don’t know. I don’t think I will. I mean I don’t know him.” Leah said as she got a salad box ready

“Just try it. Come one love, weren’t you the one who was saying only yesterday that you were tired of been single?”

“Well, yea but..”

“No buts, give it a try and it doesn’t work out you can back out”

Leah nodded and finished the salad box. She then took out a blueberry muffin and took it to the man.

“That’ll be $10 please” Leah told the man

“Here you go. My name is Ian by the way” Ian said as he handed the money over.

“Leah” she replied as she took the money from Ian.

Two weeks later..

“This was really nice. Thank you Ian” Leah said not able to wipe the smile of her face

“Yea, it was.” Ian replied smiling at Leah as he gazed at her

And awkward silence fell between the two.

“Erm, do you want to come in for a coffee?” Leah said pointing to the door.

“I’d love to” Ian said

In the house they caved into their passion. Ian took Leah’s jacket off and through it over the chair. Leah took Ian’s shirt off as she kissed his neck….

In the bedroom ……

Giggles came from under the covers…….

Clothes were flung around the room…….

Leah got out of bed and headed to the kitchen. She opened the fridge and saw a picture of her and Ian. They looked so happy. Leah took it off the fridge and through it in the bin. Crying, she at down at the table. Looking around the kitchen for something, anything to take her mind of the pain she was feeling she saw a picture of her, Charlie, Rachel, Miles Tony and Angelo. They all looked so happy. She then thought back to the time when that photo was taken.

Sitting on the couch alone, Rachel thought of when she first met Paul.

“Hi. I’m Paul Newton. I’m filling in for Dr. McDonald whilst she is on maternity” Said a tall, handsome man with his arm stretched out.

“Rachel Armstrong. I’m the resident nurse” Rachel replied as she shook Paul’s hand.

“I understand that Helen was partnered with you?” Paul asked

“Not really. We would help each other where necessary, but we were in charge of our own fields” Rachel explained

“So for now I’m?” Paul asked

“For now, your rhesus”

“Ok. Perfect. Erm, where shall I put my things?”

“This way. Follow me” Rachel showed Paul to the nurse room.

Rachel walked away but turned around when she felt a smiled rise on her face. Paul looked up and smiled back at her. Embarrassed, she turned quickly and walked faster.

One week later…

“I know you’ve been watching me” Paul teased

“What? No. I haven’t” Rachel replied sternly

“Ok. You haven’t. So if I asked you out on a date. You’d say no?” Paul asked, looking slyly at Rachel

Rachel bit her lip to stop herself from answering quickly.

“Come on. You know you want to say yes” Paul teased.


“Come on”


“Come on”


“That didn’t take long” Paul said with a wide smile on his face.

Rachel smiled at him awkwardly.

The date went well and Rachel was pleased with herself. She really liked Paul, he was smart, funny, caring and not too bad looking on the eyes.

They found themselves on the veranda at Paul’s house.

“Do you want to come in?” Paul asked

“Yea. I’d like to” Rachel said, smiling at Paul.

In the house.

Paul looked at Rachel. She looked so beautiful. He stood near her and pulled her in close. He gently ran his hand down her arm, the strap of her top fell of her shoulder. Kissing passionately they headed for his bedroom.

In the bedroom ……

Giggles came from under the covers…….

Clothes were flung around the room…….

Rachel got of the couch and headed to the kitchen. She opened the fridge and saw a picture of her and Paul. They looked so happy. Rachel took it off the fridge and through it in the bin. Crying, she at down at the table. Looking around the kitchen for something, anything to take her mind of the pain she was feeling she saw a picture of her, Charlie, Leah, Miles Tony and Angelo. They all looked so happy. She then thought back to the time when that photo was taken.

At the station Charlie sat at her desk. Wondering how she had ended up like she did. Never thinking that the man she fell in love with could beat her like he did. Charlie stood up from her seat and walked to the door.

“I’m finishing for the night. I don’t feel so good. I’ll call you in the morning” Charlie told Georgina.

Charlie grabbed her keys and walked to her car. Driving home she thought about how she met Warren.

“I said break it up!” Charlie shouted as she grabbed a man by the arm, twisting it up his back

“Hey cool it!” Shouted the man in the grasp of Charlie

Charlie took her handcuff out of her pouch and placed the man under arrest. Georgina came over and took the man to the car.

In the distance Charlie saw a man running, he looked as if he had the merchandise.

“Police freeze!” Charlie shouted as she gave chase.

At the police station..

“Can I speak to Senior Constable Charlie Buckton” Said a man

“Charlie!” Shouted Georgina

“Yea?” Charlie answered as she walked out of her office

“This man wants to speak to you”

“Can I help you?” Charlie asked

“You’re kidding right?. You’re a woman!” Said the man as he looked Charlie up and down

“Yes I am. Well done. Can I help you?” Charlie asked

“That’s hot!” the man said

“IS there something I can help you with sir?” Charlie asked. Not amused.

“Oh right. Those men you arrested. I wanted to know if my gear was recovered”

“It has, but we need your name and address before we can release them to you” Charlie said, getting some papers out of the drawer

“Why can’t you just give me my things? Is it because you want my number? Are you too scared to ask me for it properly?” The man said,

“It’s standard protocol. No name no gear. Simple” Charlie answered

“Warren Young. 16 Dower Street. Yabbie Creek”

“Thank-you” Charlie said as she jotted his details down.

“So. Do you want to go on a date with me?” Warren asked his eyes gazing at Charlie

“No.” Charlie said. Not looking at Warren

Three days later…

“This is fate” Warren said as he walked up to Charlie

“What is?” Charlie asked

“This. Meeting you on the beach. Nice bod by the way” Warren said as he looked at Charlie in her bikini.

“It’s a small town. You were bound to find me sooner or later” Charlie said. Not looking at Warren

“So you here with anyone?”

“My daughter” Charlie replied

“Hot, a cop and a mum. Wow. I really have to get you to go out with me”

“Why do you want to go out with me?” Charlie asked as she sat up.

“Because I want to thank you for getting my gear back”

“It’s my job”

“I know, but I thought it would be nice to thank you anyway” Warren said

“You’re not going to give up on this are you?” Charlie asked

“Nope” Warren replied “So is that a yes?”

Charlie sighed “Yes. it’s a yes”

Five dates later…..

Warren ran his fingers through Charlie’s long brown hair. Kissing her chest as she ran her fingers down his back……

Kissing passionately, Warren removed Charlie’s top……..

Falling on to the bed, Charlie removed Warrens trousers….

Opening the front door to her house, Charlie put the keys in the bowl next to the picture of her and Warren. She shuddered as she stared at it. Angrily she picked it up and through it against the wall.

Picking up the glass she saw a box under Warrens favorite chair. Carefully she opened the box. In it were all of Charlie’s pictures that Warren took from her.

She held a picture of her mum and dad, tears fell down her face. The next picture was of Ruby as a baby. She held it close to her heart. She looked at the box again and saw another couple of pictures. Charlie took them out of the box. Crying hard as she looked at them. One of them was of her, Leah, Rachel, Tony, Miles and Angelo. The other was of her and Angelo, looking deep into one another’s eyes. Just by looking you could see how in love they were.

Charlie cried hard as she though back to when those pictures were taken.

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Chapter 10

Hope you enjoy! Thanks for comments amitbae and danni02 :)

Tony woke up feeling like he had been hit by a bus. He sat up in bed and grabbed his head as it began to pound. “Oh god” he said to himself as he moved the covers from him. He stumbled across to the door and opened it.

Walking through into the front room he saw Angelo and Miles curled up next to each other on the couch. He looked on the floor and saw an empty crate of beer bottles sprawled out over the floor.

Tony very carefully bent down to pick the bottles up. Rubbing his head every time he felt a pound. After he had picked up all the bottles he went to the kitchen and made a start on breakfast.

“Anyone home?” Asked Alf as he came to the door.

Tony walked through the front room and opened the door. Alf laughed as he saw Miles and Angelo on the couch. Having now moved to nearly cuddling.

“Had too much fun last night?” Alf asked as he pointed to the crate

“Yea. You could say that” Tony said as he got the bacon out of the fridge

“So did you think of anything?” Alf asked

“No. when we got back here the guys saw that picture” Tony pointed at the one of himself with Rachel, Leah, Charlie, Miles and Angelo. “And we got talking about it. Got depressed and then called a mate for some beer”

“Where is this mate?” Alf asked as he looked round the room

“Last time I checked he was in the bath tub. I think he thought it was the bed”

Alf turned to look at Miles and Angelo. They were still asleep on each other.

“Hey, erm, might want to cover your ears” Alf said to Tony as he grabbed a couple of pans.

Alf banged the pans together causing Angelo and Miles to wake up quickly. Alf began laughing as the two men looked round and saw that they were cuddling. Jumping up off the couch they both stood at either end of the room. Using Alf as a wall.

“Morning” Alf said cheerily

Tony stood laughing at Angelo and Miles, who were even rougher than he was.

“That was uncalled for” Miles said as he rubbed his temple

“Nah. I think it was just what the doctor ordered!” Alf said, still smiling

“How much did we have?” Angelo asked as he rubbed his eyes

“Eight in the bar” Alf said

“And 24 here” Tony added.

“No wonder my head isn’t agreeing with me” Miles said.

Three hours later…

“So what are we going to do?” Tony asked

“Well, last nigh wasn’t helpful. At all.” Miles added “What did we actually talk about?”

“How we screwed up.” Angelo added

“We didn’t screw up. We just made an error” Tony said

“Yea. An error which made Charlie, Leah and Rachel loose their trust in men” Angelo said

“How were we to know that this would happen?” Miles said

“Come on mate. You can’t blame yourself” Tony said

“Can’t I? I mean if I hadn’t taken that job over seas, Charlie and I would still be together, still happy and maybe be married with a kid or two” Angelo said

“You really believe that?” Tony asked Angelo


“Look. If that were true, then what the hell happened with me? Leah and I were in a great place, we were happy” Miles added

“Guys we don’t know if it were over decisions that caused this. Ok yea maybe if I didn’t have to go to Sydney for a family thing, or if you didn’t go overseas or if you didn’t have the exchange programme then maybe we would still be with the woman we love. But you know what? I am not going to blame myself. I wont.” Tony broke down into tears.

“I’m just annoyed that we couldn’t prevent things from happening” Tony said after he composed himself

“You couldn’t do anything. That Paul guy didn’t deserve Rachel. He couldn’t treat her right” Miles said

“I want to be there for her. But she wont let me in” Tony said

“Just keep trying. She’s bound to let you in sometime” Angelo said.

“What about you? I mean you come back to the station to find Charlie battered and bruised” Tony said

“Yea. That had to be hard” Miles added

“It was agony. Charlie and I went through so much together. She is the strongest person I know. And to see her like this. Terrified of a man walking near her or her hearing a bang. It just kills me” Angelo said. His voice filled with anguish. Angelo lifted his head. “But what about Leah. And you? You were all set for the next step with her.”

“Yea. Although I doubt she would want to head back up the altar now” Miles said

“You never know” Tony said

Angelo looked over to the window. His eyes drifted to the fridge and he saw a picture that he also had. “Tony? What’s that?” He asked, pointing.

“It’s the picture of us when we were on the beach five summers ago” Tony answered as he looked where Angelo was pointing

“That was a good day” Miles said remembering

“Yea, you got buried in the sand if I remember correctly” Angelo smirked

“Only cos you tricked me!” Miles answered

“No. I remember it clearly. You sat down on your towel and fell through” Tony added

The three men sat and reminisced over that summer until…

“Hey. Maybe we could have another one of those days?. The girls really enjoyed themselves” Miles said

Tony and Angelo nodded in agreement.

“Hang on. How are we going to get the girls to come? Leah and Rachel will be touch and go but Charlie? She is going to be nearly impossible to get to go” Tony pointed out.

The three men sat back in their chairs, thinking of a way to get all three on side.

“Hi Rach. How are you doing?” Leah asked as she gave Rachel a hug

“I’m ok. Better thanks. And you?”

“Better than I thought. I mean, I can’t watch a wedding on TV anymore but, I’m good.” Leah replied.

“So I was wondering if you want to have a girlie night in?” Rachel asked

“Yea. That sounds good. Just say when and I’ll be there” Leah smiled

“I was thinking of asking Charlie as well” Rachel said cautiously

“Yea. That will be really good for her. It’ll show her she still has her friends”

“Well I’m glad you’ve said that. I could do with your help. It may take both of us to convince her to come” Rachel told Leah.

“I can meet you after I finish here. We’ll go round then. That sound good?” Leah said

“Yea. Give me a ring when you finish and I’ll meet you outside”.

“Ok. See you later”


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