Jump to content

A Summer Bay Wedding II

Guest TelephotoMarigold

Recommended Posts

Story Title: - A Summer Bay Wedding II

(Sequel to The Way Back)

Type of story: Long

Main Characters: Roman and Ella Nicole & Geoff, Aden and Belle, Mike and Danni, Gabby, Miles and Leona, The Children Christopher Smith

BTTB rating: A

Genre: Drama and Romance

Does story include spoilers: No

Any warnings: Will warn at beginning of chapter if any (Strong Imagery)

Summary: Roman and Ella are getting Married (Again) ….. What could go wrong?

Chapter 1

Ella lifted her hand and looked at her new engagement ring. She let the early morning light catch the diamonds and shine miniature rainbows around the room.

Roman rolled over and pressed a kiss to the back of her neck.

“If you’ve finished playing with that ring do you think we could make love before the children ambush us?” he mock growled nuzzling her neck.

“Speaking of children.” Ella told him after a moment.

“What?” he asked.

“Nic is coming round this morning with wedding magazines.” She murmured.

Roman sighed and climbed out of the bed.

“Roman?” she asked rolling over and propping herself up on her elbows to look at him.

“Sorry but well I shouldn’t be here when she turns up.”

“It’s 6am I don’t think even Nic would be this early.” She pointed out.

Roman turned and looked at her.

“So you not remember what she was like at her wedding?” he asked.

“Actually yes.” Ella told him with a grin. “I’m hoping she gets that cleaning bug again it will save me doing it.”

He chuckled before walking naked back to the bed.

“So.” He grinned.

“So.” She said smiling back at him.

“We’re getting married.” He told her.

Ella giggled.

He climbed in beside her and pulled her into his arms.

“I love you.” He whispered as he leaned over and kissed her.

She smiled before wrapping her arms around him and holding him to her.

“Love you.” She whispered.

He ran his hands down her body marvelling at the smooth skin and the way she moved underneath him. His lips followed, kissing first down her graceful arched neck to the hollow of her collarbone. He heard her sigh softly and smiled before groaning as the first cries from William sounded through the baby monitor.

Ella giggled.

“Should have hurried up.” She said to him easing away from him and out of the bed.

“Be quick.” He moaned rolling over and pouting.

Ella chuckled softly and leaned over to kiss him before reaching for her bathrobe. She moved easily out of the room and into the nursery. Roman heard her moving around the room and picking up their son before she settled into the rocking chair and feeding him courtesy of the same baby monitor. He stood and straightened the bed covers before heading to the bathroom. He moved under the hot stream of the shower. Minutes passed while he washed his hair and ran the shower gel covered sponge over his body. He sighed loudly before turning off the spray and rubbing a towel over his body. Walking back to the bedroom he dressed and moved out stopping in the nursery doorway.

“Oh, I was planning to come back to bed.” Ella told him grinning.

“Its about time the others started heading downstairs for breakfast.” He pointed out. “And we have the school run.”

Ella nodded.

“Wish we were back at the studio for another week?” she asked him grinning.

“No.” he told her walking over and pressing a kiss to her lips. “But tomorrow I’m setting the alarm early.” He murmured a light in his blue eyes.

Ella chuckled before handing his son to him. She stood placing her hand in the small of his back and felt his free arm go around her shoulders.

“He’s putting on weight.” He commented.

“I know that.” Ella grinned. “He’s a greedy little man.”

Roman smiled at her before glancing down.

“I really don’t blame him.” he said.

“Hey Mister.” Ella groaned pulling her robe tighter around herself.

“I’m sure they are supposed to go down.” He said taking William over to the changing table. He opened up his son’s sleepsuit and took it off before dealing with his nappy.

“Lucky thing you are holding him it saved you from a poke in the ribs.” She muttered folding her arms across herself.

Roman grinned.

“Mama.” Lily called out waking up.

“Hey little girl.” Ella said softly walking over the bed where Lily was sleeping, seeing Cookie curled up at her feet.

“Mama.” Lily said again lifting her arms up.

Ella lifted her out of the bed and hugged her.

“Did you have a good sleeps little girl?” she asked her.

“Liam.” She said quickly.

“Daddy has him see.” Ella told her.

“Instant babysitter.” Roman said putting a clean nappy on his son and reaching for fresh clothes for him.

“and look who is keeping an eye on your daughter.” Ella pointed out.

Roman turned and looked over at the tabby cat on the end of Lily’s bed.

“Uh huh.” He murmured and saw Cookie glare at him.

Ella smiled as she carried Lily over to him.

“Hey Lily girl.” He greeted his daughter.

“Liam.” Lily said.

“He’s here see.” Roman told her lifting William off the changing table.

Lily smiled at them.

“Breakfast.” She told them, the word coming out like ‘Brek-ast’”

“Come on then Lily.” Roman said. “Let your Mummy go for a shower while we get breakfast.” Ella leaned over and kissed him before handing over their daughter. He carried both children safely down the stairs navigating the stairgates at the top and bottom of the stairs. William was placed in the crib and he lowered Lily to her feet while he pulled the highchair over to the table. She stood looking at her brother before she reached for a blanket and placed it over him carefully. Roman smiled when he saw what she’d done.

“Looking after him Lily girl.” He said picking her up and lifting her into the highchair. “What do you want for breakfast.”

“Narna.” Lily said.

Roman smiled walking over to the fridge and looking inside. He took out the fruit and placed a bowl in front of Lily with chopped bananas in. She gave him a happy grin before staring to eat.

“Daddy.” Sammy murmured coming into the kitchen rubbing his eyes.

“Sounds as though someone needs some more sleep.” Roman greeted his son.

“Georgie was reading again.” He moaned sitting at the table.

“Maybe I need to have a word with him.” Roman said softly.

“It doesn’t matter.” Sammy said quickly not wanting to get his brother in trouble.

“Hey.” Ella greeted them coming into the kitchen.

Roman kissed her using one hand to stroke down her back.

“Hey.” He said softly.

She smiled at him before moving over to Sammy.

“How are you doing?” she said to him placing her hand on his head.

“I’m fine mummy. I’m tired.” He said softly.

“You have temperature young man.” She told him lifting him up and sitting him on her lap.

“My throat is scratchy.” He said quietly.

“Do you want a nice drink?” Roman asked.

“Water.” Sammy said.

Roman exchanged a look with Ella.

“do we need to keep you off school today?” Ella said to her son.

“No.” Sammy said quickly.

She smiled and pressed a kiss to his head,

“Here you go.” Roman told him handing over a glass of water. He watched as Sammy took a slow drink.

“Pass the medicine.” Ella said.

Roman nodded and reached in a top cupboard and took out the child medicine. He gave the box to Ella and watched as she gave Sammy a dose. He swallowed the syrup and grimaced as it hurt his throat.

“Do you want some breakfast?” Roman asked him softly.

Sammy shook his head.

“I think you should go have a little lay down on the sofa and watch your cartoons.” Ella suggested to him.

Sammy gave her a brief smile before climbing off her lap and moving to the big sofa. Ella lifted the throw down and placing it over her son and Roman was struck by how Lily had done the same for William earlier. She put the tv on for him and switched it to his favourite cartoon channel before joining Roman in the kitchen.

“Keeping him home.” He asked and saw her nod.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the others come down with it.”

“Especially Meggy.” Roman said knowing their daughter was partial to sore throats since her bought with tonsillitis.

Ella nodded moving to the coffee pot and pouring half a cup for herself.

She looked up as Sophie and Gabby walked in through the back door.

“Morning.” Ella said to them.

“Mummy.” Sophie said quickly.

“What’s the matter?” Ella asked her.

“We want to take the horses out on the road.” She told her.

“Is Princess ok on the road?” Roman asked the question.

Sophie nodded.

“Yes.” She said quickly.

“Well we’ll have a chat later and let you know.” Ella supplied. “Upstairs and get ready for school.”

Sophie nodded walking up the stairs leaving Gabby.

“Well?” Roman asked his elder daughter.

“I’ve taken Princess out and she’s fine and Arthur is used to the road.” She referenced her own horse.

“She can go if you are with her then.” Ella decided.

Gabby grinned.

“There is a gymykhana coming up in a month I think it would be good for her to go to.” Gabby murmured.

Roman and Ella shared a look.

“Is this going to mean we have to buy her more horses and horse stuff?” Roman asked grinning. “Because you should know we have a wedding to pay for.”

Gabby chuckled.

“Not yet anyway.” She pointed out. “But Sophie is a good rider.”

Ella smiled.

“Want me to do the school run this morning?” Gabby asked them. “I need to go into Yabbie creek and look for jobs again.”

“We’ve had a talk about that.” Ella said quickly.

“What the school run?” Gabby asked slightly puzzled.

“Nope your job. Seems like you look after the kids a lot.” Ella said with Roman nodding assent.

“Well I don’t have a lot of other things to do.” Gabby said with a shrug.

“How would you feel about doing it full time?” Ella asked her.

“Full time?” she asked going over to the breakfast bar and perching on a stool.

“As in taking up childcare. If you were qualified for example you could get a job anywhere including overseas so you could do some travelling.” Ella supplied. “Your Dad and I had looked into courses and whilst the next term doesn’t start for a while you could do things like basic first aid for example, to start you off.”

Gabby looked at them.

“Wow.” She said, “I’ve never even thought about that.”

Roman chuckled.

“See it’s your mother she’s good at this sort of thing.” He told his daughter handing her a cup of coffee he’d poured out for her.

Gabby shared a look with him.

“Is that why Leona has moved in with Miles?” she asked him.

“Yes, and also why Jacko hasn’t visited since she threatened to introduce him to Leah.” He murmured.

“Hey,” Ella grumbled. “Back to topic you two.”

Gabby looked over at her and grinned.

“I’ll think about it.” she said. “Nic has offered me some work in her shop too.”

Ella smiled.

“Speaking of Nic she should be here soon.” Ella reminded herself.

Roman gave her a look and was torn between a sarcastic remark and pointing out how much grief Nic had given them when she got married.

“Wedding planning already?” Gabby asked. “But you haven’t even chosen a date yet.”

“We know.” Roman told his elder daughter. “Maybe you don’t know what Nic is like with weddings.”

Gabby grinned.

“Really? She’s that bad? Remind me to elope, if I ever meet someone that is.” She said.

“You will.” Ella told her. “Maybe someone at college if you do this childcare course.”

Gabby rolled her eyes and grinned.

“I see a theme here.” She murmured. “I’m going to go get changed.” She stood and moved gracefully out of the kitchen and up the stairs. Ella followed to use the intercom to call Georgie and Meggy down for breakfast. She glanced over at Sammy and saw he had fallen asleep and smiled before joining Roman back in the kitchen.

“I want Sammy to stay home.” She told him.

Roman nodded and held out his hand to her. She walked over to him and saw him looking at the calendar.

“This is our anniversary.” He said pointing out a date.

She grinned.

“And?” she asked.

He wrapped his arms around her waist pulling her into his arms, her back pressed tight against his chest.

“We could get married again then.” He whispered.

“Doesn’t give Nic much time to panic.” She said to him feeling his hot breath fan the back of her neck.

“It’s up to you. Still gives us around six months to get things done.” He said quietly.

Ella smiled and turned in his arms.

“Sounds perfect.” She said softly. “We have a date.”

He grinned and kissed her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 73
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Chapter 2

Nic looked over at Geoff and smiled.

“What are you thinking Princess?” he asked her stroking a finger down her spine as she lay next to him on the tartan blanket, a hamper of food nearby. She squirmed before rolling over and grinning some more.

“I was thinking about wedding dresses.” She admitted.

He chuckled before leaning forward and kissing her.

“I knew it.” he murmured.

“Let me guess, you and Aden have a bet of some sort.”

He nodded.

“Miles won the sweepstake you know.” Geoff said.

“He did? Well that is some consolation for that fact that he ended up with Leona and a baby.” Nic chuckled. “Ella does like to sort out other people.”

“She came to see me you know.”

Nic started and gave him a questioning look.

“When?” she asked unable to disguise the shock in her voice.

“After the anniversary party.” He admitted rolling over and placing his arm under his head.

She moved to lie with him placing her head on his shoulder as his free arm went around her.

“Is that why we are on a picnic?” she asked him looking over at his profile.

Geoff grinned and looked up at the sky. He watched a bird flying overhead and sighed.

“She told me to give you time and not be hasty.” He said finally.

Nic chuckled.

“Well you gave me time.” she admitted. “I presume she meant about ending out marriage.”

He made a non-committal sound.

“Told me she regretted ending hers.” Geoff leaned up and met Nic’s lips with his own kiss.

“Were you thinking that?” Nic found herself asking.

Geoff groaned.

“Sort off.” He confessed.

“Sort off?” she queried.

Moving quickly he rolled over until he was leaning and looking into her eyes.

“I couldn’t believe what you said that night.” He admitted. “It hurt and well Nic, we have fallen into a routine. I thought about what Ella and Roman were doing and it, well it made me think about dating you all over again and bringing some romance into our lives.”

“Oh Geoff.” She sighed aloud his name before they kissed. “I’m sorry I hurt you.” She told him stroking his face before putting her arms around him and stroking down his back.

“I know you are. I also know that you were, albeit in a really stupid way, protecting yourself. Roman left you once and then Ella left and worst of all she took away your brothers and sisters breaking up your family. You wanted to make sure that if it happened again it wouldn’t hurt.”

She gasped out loud before kissing him again.

“I totally hate that you know me so well.” She admitted after a minute.

“Uh huh, Princess.” He said and kissed her again.

“And don’t call me Princess.” She said quickly.

Geoff looked at her and laughed softly.

“So are you going to object if I take you out on some dates?” he asked her.

“Object?” she asked back.

He grinned.

“Was that a no?”

Nic lifted her hand and traced the outline of his lips with her finger before she leaned up and kissed him.

“I think I might just fall in love with you all over again.” She said with a sigh.

Geoff chuckled before kissing her again. He felt her hands stroking down his back and he sighed against her lips.

“You know.” He began in-between kisses. “If the pastor is caught making love in public I think he might end up being defrocked.”

“Might end up?” Nicole asked her handsome husband. “I plan on doing some defrocking.” She told him.

Geoff let out a laugh before his hands found their way under her skimpy vest top. He ran his fingers over her belly loving the slight curve that existed because she had carried and born his children. He found this roundness to her body exciting and couldn’t understand those men who left their wives or even girlfriends because their body changed after childbirth. He loved the way her hips curved and how her thighs had a fullness to them. He adored the strength in her calves and the delicate ankles. She was a beautiful woman. He looked now into her eyes and smiled before kissing her again.. She moaned against his lips and he sighed once more longing to make love to her.

“You know we shouldn’t.” she moaned her hands pushing up his top.

“There is no-one around.” He said to her.

She smiled.

Half sitting he pulled at his top and discarded it beside them before lifting up hers. He moved away the bikini top to kiss her nipples sucking them into his mouth and hearing her moan her pleasure.

“Oh god Geoff.” She said and suddenly they were convulsed by laughter.

He reached down and loosened the fastening on his trousers kissing her again before easing between her wonderful thighs. With a soft moan he eased his way into her body felling her sheath him in silken heat.

“I love you.” She gasped moving with him.

“Love you so much.” He hissed through gritted teeth as pleasure threatened to overwhelm him.

“Now.” She cried out after a time tilting her head back and moaning aloud.

He gave a final thrust before collapsing on top of her. She clutched him to her loving his weight and his strength.

“We should definitely do this dating thing again.” She murmured finally.

“I don’t know it’s pretty exhausting.” He said easing his weight off her.

She giggled and he was struck by how much he’d missed her laughter over the past few months. He turned and looked at her stroking the hair back from her face.

“I love you Princess.” He told her finally.

She smiled sleepily before turning to him and placing herself in his arms.

“I love you too.” She mumbled placing her head on his should and falling asleep.

He smiled as he put his arms around her and held her safe.

Across the Bay, Aden sat in his favourite chair and pulled out the book he’d been reading for the last month. He ignored the return date in the front of it and promised himself that he would pay the fine when he returned it to the library. Amy-Belle was out as was Brett, who was now dating Amy Johnson. He vaguely remembered her father being at Summer Bay high. Robbie was at an after school thing and that left his wife Belle. She was in her study doing something on the computer and he wasn’t allowed in under threat of death. He focused on the printed words in front of him before thinking of his wife. A Smile crossed his face and he put the book down before rushing outside. A quick trip down the garden with the scissors yielded a perfect rose and he placed it in one of their crystal vases before heading along the hallway to the study. He placed it on the floor before knocking on the door.

“Just a minute.” She called out grumpily.

He waited for a few heartbeats before knocking again louder and he heard her sigh through the door, the impatient huff made him smile.

“I said a minute.” She muttered.

He paused and waited once more before knocking again and this time moving away rapidly. This time he heard the door swinging open before hearing her laughter.

“Aden Jefferies.” She cried out.

He turned and wandered back stopping a little way away and leaning against the wall.

“Come here.” She instructed.

Aden smirked before walking over to her.

She placed the rose to one side before putting her arms around Aden and kissing him.

“Thank you.” She murmured.

“You’re welcome.” He said softly kissing her again.

She moaned against his lips and wrapped her arms around him.

“We have the house to ourselves.” He pointed out.

Belle eased back and looked him in the eyes giggling.

“Aden Jefferies.” She said again, trying to sound shocked.

He looked at her and laughed before lifting her up and carrying her to the bedroom. Kissing her again he lowered her to the bed and began peeling off her clothes.

“You are a very wicked man.” She told him laughing when her bra was thrown over the other side of the room and landed on the mirror of her dresser.

He smiled and joined her on the bed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chapter 3

“You can stay in bed Mister.” Ella murmured.

“I was planning too. “ Roman grinned at her. “Come here.”

“Oh no you don’t. I’m going shopping with Nic today so I need to be up and ready.”

“Ella we haven’t made love for nearly two weeks.” Roman said with a pout thinking of the past two weeks when all the children came down with colds and demanded their attention. Not that he minded so much it was just that now he had come down with the same cold.

“Uh huh.” She murmured. “And you think you’re in a fit state to make love?”

He grinned.

“I didn’t let a gunshot stop me did I?” he asked and spoiled it by coughing.

Ella laughed before going to get him a glass of water from the bathroom. She handed it to him placing her hand on his forehead.

“Do I have a temperature?” he asked at her frown.

She nodded.

“I’m afraid so.” She murmured softly.

He felt her lips touch his forehead briefly and he smiled before taking a sip of the cool water.

“I’ll go get some tablets for you.” She promised.

He reached out and caught hold of her hand.

“Yes?” she asked.

“Are you planning on looking at wedding dresses?” he asked her.

She blushed and nodded.

He grinned.

“Something girlie.” He instructed. “Romantic.”

“Hey, isn’t this supposed to be my dress?” she moaned.

He nodded his finger stroking the inside of her wrist.

“I know but I want to see you walking towards me in a beautiful dress that makes you look magical.” He paused, his eyes looking deep into hers. “I don’t want you to think that you don’t deserve to look like the angel I fell in love with so many times.”

“Oh my god Roman Harris.” She gasped out.

He tugged her towards him at the same time as placing the glass on the bedside cabinet and put his arms around her kissing her.

“Uh huh Mister.” She said after a few minutes puling away from him. “I have to get ready.” She stood and moved into the en suite. He heard the shower come on and leaned back against the pillows. He began to cough feeling his chest tighten. He was left breathless and exhausted and closed his eyes tiredly. He woke when Ella sat beside him on the bed her hand once more on his forehead.

“Hey!” he murmured feeling like his throat was on fire.

“Open wide.” She instructed.

He obeyed before thinking about it and felt the thermometer from the first aid kid placed in his mouth.

“Sneaky.” He moaned around it, the word slightly muffled.

She grinned and shushed him taking it out from his mouth after a couple of minutes and reading the digital display.

“Stay in bed.” She told him frowning. “And take these.” She handed him some tablets and watched as he took them. “You’ve got orange juice and water. I’ll have someone bring you some lunch.”

He smiled weakly before his eyes closed again and he felt her lips on his before she moved out of the room.

“Hey.” Nic called out. “Are you ready?”

Ella nodded collecting her handbag and moving out of the door. She climbed into the Nic’s car and did a double-take when she saw Miles in the back seat.

“Miles?” she asked.

“I know you are wondering why I am here.” He mumbled.

She nodded and gave both Nic and Miles a look.

“Apparently he is here because Dad texted him and told him to come.” Nic supplied.

Ella laughed.

“Just like old times.” She pointed out.

Nic looked at her and then grinned as she remembered.

“Yes Nic.” Miles told her. “I was there that day. It’s stuck in my memory for all time.”

His eyes met with Ella’s in the rear view mirror and they shared a grin.

“So what did he say?” She asked referring to the instructions from Roman.

“Girlie, Princess, Angel. Are you sure he’s ok?” Miles asked.

“Just a cold.” Ella murmured. “Although he does sound a little delirious.”

Miles chucked and folded his arms settling back in his seat. He closed his eyes and was soon asleep.

“So what are we looking for today?” Nic asked.

“A dress and bridesmaid dresses.” Ella said softly pulling out her organiser from her handbag. She flicked through it until she reached the section where she had written her notes.

“Who have you chosen for bridesmaids?” Nic asked her.

Ella giggled.

“I get to chose?” she asked in response. “I’m pretty certain that both Sophie and Angel have told me they are going to be bridesmaids.”

Nic laughed.

“My daughter is a little minx.” She commented.

Ella smiled.

“We’re nearly there.” she said after a time.

Nic nodded looking around for a parking place. She found one not too far away from the shop they were heading to and took her time pulling into the parking space.

“Are we there yet?” Miles woke up and asked.

“Yes.” Ella and Nic chorused climbing out of the car.

Miles followed suite and they moved up the street into the exclusive wedding boutique. He grinned as he looked around before sinking down on one of the white painted chairs.

“Get on with it.” he instructed.

Ella chuckled before walking over to the rail at the end of the room and looking through some of the dresses. She smiled before picking one out and looking at it more closely. She caught sight of Nic and Miles glancing at each other before they shook their heads and she sighed and put the dress back.

“Mrs Harris?” The shop assistant asked coming over to her holding out her hand. “I’m Sarah.”

Ella nodded and extended her own hand. They shook before Ella stepped back and glanced at the rails.

“I want something.” She paused. “Magical.” She said eventually avoiding looking at Nic, expecting the girl to be smiling at her.

“I have several dresses that fulfil that description. Have you seen anything you particularly like? Either here in the shop or maybe in a magazine?”

Ella smiled and reached for her organiser again. She opened it and showed that to the shop assistant.

“I think that would suit you very well.” She commented.

Ella grinned.

“Do you have something like that?” she asked.

Sarah nodded and led Ella through to a changing room. She came in after a moment and hung up two dresses for her to try on.

“Tell me how many dresses do brides normally try on before they chose one?” she asked her hand stroking down one of the dresses.

“Some try on dozens. I usually find they are the ones who have doubts about the marriage or are nervous but others, like you, know what you want immediately.” Sarah murmured.

“How did you know?” Ella gasped out the question.

“Because of the way you touched it.” Sarah smiled. “I’ll let you try it on in peace.” She added.

Ella lifted down the dress and smiled holding it in front of her and looking in the full length mirror. She eased out of her clothes and put it on adjusting her underwear before doing it up. She saw her bust seeming to take over and gave a groan.

“Ella.” Nic called.

“I’m coming.” Ella cried out and turned around. She tugged back the curtain and stepped out.

“Oh my god.!” Nic cried.

“Same as her.” Miles added.

“Really?” Ella asked.

“You look like an angel.” Miles murmured softly.

Ella nervously pressed her hands to her stomach and stroked down before spinning around and looking again in the mirror.

“You don’t think that well, it’s not fussy or anything. I mean I’ve had loads of kids so I feel that white.” She stopped her babbling and met their gazes.

“If you don’t get that dress I am so never talking to you again.” Nic threatened.

“Ella, Roman will kill me if I let you leave without buying that dress.” Miles told her.

“Now then have you decided?” Sarah asked them with a smile.

Ella nodded.

“I suppose wearing it home is out of the question.”

Nic nodded.

“Afraid so step-mama.” She told her.

Miles grinned and caught Sarah looking at him curiously.

“I’m adopted.” He explained and heard Ella and Nic laugh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chapter 4

Danni looked over at Mike watching as he moved on to the next weights machine. He set it up for himself and tested it before beginning reps.

“You want to tell me what’s wrong?” he asked her finally pausing to stop and wipe his face with a towel.

She looked at him and then around the gym seeing a couple of others on machines and she climbed off the exercise bike moving over to him.

“Why would you think something is wrong?” she asked him in a frantic whisper her eyes darting again around the room.

Mike stood slowly and moved through to Noah’s bar. He ordered them two drinks and carried them to the side of the room. Danni followed and looked at him before sitting and taking a drink. “Care to tell me now?” he asked her softly.

She looked at him again and sighed.

“Its nothing.” She muttered busying herself with the straw in her drink.

Mike smiled over at her and reached for her hand feeling her trembling. He gave her a puzzled look and sipped at his drink.

“Danni.” He said softly.

“Mike.” she sighed.

“Danni this is me, you can tell me anything.” He murmured.

She looked down at her drink and then around the burgundy-decorated room seeing the familiar decoration and feeling strangely unsettled.

“Mike.” she said his name again and took a deep breath. “Mike I’m pregnant.”

He gasped feeling a deep hurt and betrayal. He had to force himself not to let go of her hand knowing that any rejection right now would hurt her deeply.

“How?” he asked and groaned.

“I think you know the how.” Danni said keeping her tone light.

“Maybe I meant who?” he muttered.

“Mike please. This is hard for me.”

“Oh trust me Danni this isn’t exactly a piece of cake for me.” He ground out. “So tell me who you screwed whilst I was away.”

She flinched under his glare and dragged her hand away from him.

“It was while you were missing. I got drunk.” She confessed folding her arms across herself.

“And you screwed some random person?” he sneered.

He stood up and moved away from her going outside into the fresh air gulping breaths into his tortured lungs before climbing on to his bike and starting the engine. He dropped the helmet to the hot sand and revving the powerful engine he rode off. Danni rushed outside watching him ride away and flinched when she saw his crash helmet discarded on the sand. She picked it up carefully before heading over to her car and sitting in the front seat for a long time before she made her way home. She dragged herself out of her car and into the house meaning to go hide in her room for a while.

“Hey Danni.” Gabby greeted cheerfully before looking over at her sister. “What’s wrong?” she asked quickly.

“Nothing.” Danni said slowly heading for the stairs.

“Ok.” Gabby said equally slowly. “You should know Roman isn’t well and Ella has gone wedding dress shopping.”

“You in charge of the kids?” Danni asked and bit her lip as she thought of the babies.

“Yup. William is asleep and Lily is with Mira for a playdate.” Gabby said slowly. “Why don’t you go sit with William?” she suggested. “Nothing like a baby to make things clear.”

“You know.” Danni gasped out.

Gabby nodded.

“I’d hug you but I think you’d burst into tears.”

Danni turned around and moved to the lounge sinking on to one of the cream coloured sofas. She starred at the pictures over the mantelpiece of all the children.

“How does Ella do it?” she asked.

“Coping with us all?” Gabby murmured her response from the doorway before moving to sit next to Danni.

“Yes.” Danni said simply.

“With a lot of love.” Gabby said frowning. “And with Roman.”

Danni gasped folding her arms across herself as a wave of pain washed over her.

“I told Mike and he…” she stopped. “ran away.”

“I imagine it was shock and he was upset.” Gabby murmured playing devils advocate.

Danni nodded.

“I needed him and he ran away.” She grimaced wiping at the first tears to fall.

“Like Ella.” Gabby said wisely. “Gets hurt and disappears. Doesn’t mean that he won’t be there for you just that he needs some time.”

She leaned over and stroked Danni’s back feeling her beginning to cry in earnest and she pulled the girl resisting into her arms.

“It will be ok Danni.” Gabby told her sister.

“How will it be ok?” Danni pulled back and glared at her. “I’m pregnant and Mike doesn’t want to know.”

“Don’t be so sure of that.” Mike said from the doorway. His eyes met Gabby’s and he saw her grin her approval before he walked over to Danni. He knelt down on one knee and held out a small blue velvet ring box towards Danni.

“Danni Harris Will you marry me?” he asked softly.

“Why?” She replied.

Gabby gasped.

“Well that is one response I suppose.” She muttered looking at Mike and Danni.

“Because I love you.” He said to her. “And kids are a miracle however they come into your lives.”

“I’m not even certain I want this baby.” Danni said still not answering the question.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we have too. Now back to the question or do you want me to ask again.”

Danni looked at Gabby who nodded.

“Yes.” She said.

“To which one.” Mike murmured grinning.

“To the I’ll marry you one.” Danni said softly her eyes now shinning with happiness.

Mike grinned and opened the box showing her the ring he’d chosen for her. He slid it onto her finger and smiled before leaning forward and kissing her.

“Hey!” Gabby exclaimed. “Maybe you can make it a double wedding with Roman and Mum.”

Danni looked at her sister and then at Mike.

“No.” Mike said. “We’ll have our own special day.” He murmured. “I think we have some talking to do.” He told Danni.

She stood at the same time he did and followed him out of the door to his house by the swimming pool.

“Great, everybody has someone and I don’t.” Gabby muttered to herself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chapter 5

Ella walked into the bedroom and placed the dress holder in the wardrobe moving some of her things into Roman’s to make room for it.

“Hey.” He grouched from the bed.

“Well you don’t have as many clothes as me you can give up some space.”

“Ask first woman.” He muttered sitting up in the bed.

She grinned at him and moved over to the bed.

“How are you feeling?” she asked him.

“Like I was run over by a truck. “ he added in another mutter and backed it up by a violent coughing fit.

“Think you can get up while I change the bedding?” she asked.

“I think I preferred it when you tried to get me into bed.” He moaned before tossing back the covers and swinging his legs to the floor. She picked up his pyjama top, which he’d discarded at some point and took it through to the clothes hamper in the bathroom before collecting clean linen. And carrying that through to the bedroom.

Roman grinned at her from his seat on the bed.

“The answer is no.” he told her. “I seem to be unable to use my legs. Or stand up. And breathing seems to be beyond me too.”

“What a wuss.” She muttered moving over to him.

She put the linen to one side and moved to help him stand. In a quick movement he’d pulled her off her feet and on to the bed pinning her underneath him.

“Oh yeah,” he began. “I was lying.”

“Roman Harris.” She screeched. “I’ve got things to do.”

“Well you can start by giving your husband a kiss.” He told her.

Ella giggled as she shook her head.

“I don’t want your cold.” She murmured.

“I think you don’t have any choice you will catch a cold.” He told her. “And anyway what happened to us sharing stuff.”

“Not flu germs, thank you very much.” She moaned trying to avoid his lips.

He lifted one hand and placed it gently on her face stilling her movements.

“Did you get a magical dress?” he asked.

She nodded looking into his eyes.

“Why did you torture Miles by making him come with us?”

“Oh that would be for laughing at me when I had to go with you and Nic the first time round.” Roman said softly the light of amusement in his eyes.

“Really? But that was like 10 years ago.” Ella said laughing. “You hold a grudge that long?”

Roman grinned at her before pressing a kiss to the end of her nose.

“Of course not. I needed him there to make sure you got the dress you deserve and didn’t compromise or have Nic bully you into something you weren’t comfortable with.” He confessed.

“Hey stop this, I’m already in love with you I don’t need to go all soppy.”

He chuckled and eased slowly away from her before standing up. He held out his hand and helped her off the bed.

“I’m going for a shower. “ he told her. “You ok with the bed?”

She nodded and began pulling the crinkled sheets off the bed while he moved into the en suite. She heard him step into the shower and start singing and she grinned to herself. It took minutes to make the bed before she moved over to the window and opened it to let in some fresh air.

“Hey that’s cold.” He said coming out of the bathroom a towel slung around his hips.

She grinned at him.

“No it’s not. I think we might have a storm tonight though.” She mused looking out of the window watching the gathering clouds.

“That will be fun.” He groaned thinking of the kids coming into the bedroom saying they were afraid of the thunder.

“Stop being all grumpy you.” She told him. “Just because you have a cold.”

He walked over to the dresser and pulled out fresh underwear and pulled them on discarding the towel. He grabbed some trousers next before adding a top and pulling on a pair of shoes.

“Come on.” He told her reaching down and gathering his wet towel in with the washing. She smiled at him and moved out of the room and down the stairs. He dumped the laundry on top of the machine and moved into the kitchen to make drinks.

“I’ll do the laundry then.” She muttered.

“Yeah, you do that.” He agreed un-remorsefully. “Who’s got the school run this afternoon?”

“I told Gabby I would do it if I were back in time.” Ella called out from the utility room. She came out a moment later and grinned when he handed her a coffee.

“So what do we need to do for the wedding.” He asked moving to sit at the bench.

“Venue, guest list, invites, photographer, cake, food, reception, your suits, you need to choose a best man, bridesmaids, celebrant.” She rattled off a list.

“So pretty much everything.” He muttered with a cough.

Ella nodded sipping carefully at the hot brew.

“Miles.” He announced.

“Best man?” she asked.

“Can you think of any other?” he murmured. “Which means you should have Leona as one of the bridesmaids.”

“Hey!” Ella muttered. “I think I’m supposed to choose them.”

“I know but well weddings inspire romance and with Miles as Best man he should have someone he can escort in the wedding party.” Roman pointed out.

Ella narrowed her eyes as she looked at him.

“Have you been reading one of those wedding magazines?” she asked carefully.

He nodded.

“I thought you wanted me too it was in the pile you left by the bed.”

Ella groaned.

“They are getting everywhere. I’m going to hate this wedding by the time we…” she stopped talking when she caught the expression on his face. “Sorry.” She said quickly.

“Ella I know you agreed to this wedding for me but seriously you deserve this day too.” He told her the hurt expression still on his face.

“I know it’s just I hate being centre of attention. Much better in the background.” She muttered still feeling guilty.

He gave her a quick grin and held out his hand.

She looked at his outstretched hand and waited before putting hers in it.

“This is our day Ella. When we stand up before our family and friends and declare our vows to each other.” he smiled and tugged on her hand. “And just maybe if you weren’t so stubborn and hadn’t divorced me in the first place we wouldn’t have to get married again.”

She looked at him and sighed.

“You signed the papers too.” She pointed out.

Roman looked at her and shook his head.

“No I didn’t.” he told her. “My solicitor sent them back to you unsigned.”

Ella gave a little gasp and frowned at him.

“If you didn’t sign them.” she began.

She pulled her hand out of his grip and moved quickly into the study taking out her organiser and looking up the number. Within minutes she’d dialled and was on hold to her solicitor.

“Mrs Harris.” He murmured coming on to the line.

“Hello there, Mr Griffith. Can you tell me what is the status with my divorce?” she asked politely.

“Certainly, let me just get the file out. Now then let me see.” He began and she heard the rustling of papers in the background of the call. “Mr Harris returned the papers without his signature. His solicitor claimed there was some dispute regarding custodial agreement.” He added and Ella sighed urging him to hurry up with the explanation. “We filled the petition for divorce anyway, on the grounds of irreconcilable differences and it seems that not even a decree nisi was granted and oh dear.” He muttered.

“Oh dear?” she asked.

“It seems that you also forgot to sign some paperwork Mrs Harris. You are still legally married. We would need to re-file the petition, as it has been some months since the original. “ He muttered defensively.

“What are you telling me?” she asked.

“Well you and Mr Harris are still legally married.” He said. “I’m sure we can figure this out.”

“Don’t bother.” She told him pacing the room before hanging up. She caught sight of Roman in the doorway looking at her with a puzzled expression on his face.

“We’re married.” Ella told him.

“As in?” he asked for clarification.

“As in the divorce never went ahead. It never went past the original petition.” She muttered folding her arms across herself.

He let out a bark of surprised laughter before subsiding into a coughing fit.

“So you are telling me Miss Efficiency didn’t actually check to see the divorce had gone through.” He muttered.

She glared at him.

“No I didn’t check.” She screeched reaching for something to throw at him. “I was too busy throwing up because you made me pregnant again.”

Roman ducked as a book sailed past his head and landed in the hallway.

“Some excuse.” He told her. “You should have checked that I signed the papers at least.”

“Why? What you did was no concern of mine.” She snarled out.

“Oh, and there I was thinking that you would have been slightly miffed that I refused to co-operate in your little scheme.” He told her wondering why he was arguing with her.

She looked at him before reaching for another book and throwing that. When that missed him she picked up another one and threw that.

“Enough.” He snapped out walking towards her. He grabbed hold of her hands and pinned them against his chest. “Why are we arguing about this?”

“Because it was so hard for me to do that and some incompetent solicitor couldn’t even do his job.” She shouted. “What if..”

He stopped her talking by the simple and effective method of placing his lips on hers.

“Ella.” He whispered her name. “Why are you mad?” he asked softly.

“Because it was for nothing. All that pain. Hurting the kids. It was for nothing.” She said tears springing into her eyes.

“Not for nothing. We got here didn’t we? “ he asked her softly kissing her again.

She shook her head unable to speak to put into words what she was feeling.

“It’s ok.” he told her.

“No it’s not. I thought I was doing the right thing.” She gasped. “I had to go away so he couldn’t hurt us anymore.”

“Elliot?” Roman asked in a menacing growl. “What has he got to do with it …wait, you left me because of him?”

She nodded.

“Ella Harris I ought to spank you.” He ground out.

“What would you have me do? We were hurting each other and he was driving us apart.” She muttered with a shake of her head.

Roman let her go and took a step back.

“So you left and took my kids with you. And then what?” he asked. “You came back when he was no longer a threat.”

She nodded.

“How could you do that to me and still say you love me? I had a right to have a say in where my kids are.” He shouted losing his temper finally. “What if something happened to you would I even have been told where they were? God knows we couldn’t depend on your solicitor to get things right.”

She flinched at his tone before walking past him and out the door.

“Oh that’s right.” She heard him shout. “Walk away. Throw stuff and walk away.”

She looked over at Mike’s motorbike and before she knew it she was sitting on it and starting the engine. She spun the back around in the gravel before pulling away and moving down the drive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chapter 6

“You are going to have to speak to him at some point.” Miles told her when she refused to come to the phone.

“I don’t want to talk to him.” Ella said folding her arms.

“And you want to explain this argument to me again?” he muttered rubbing a tired hand over his face. “I would have thought not being divorced a good thing.”

Ella sighed and rested her tired head on her folded arms.

“Oh the general lapse into standard behaviour. Shouting, screaming, throwing stuff and me running away."

“Ella.” Leona called coming over to where they were seated out the back of the house. “Roman is here.”

“So?” she asked.

“Well I would have thought you’d want to run away again or speak to him.”

“I don’t have the energy to do either.” Ella muttered lowering her head again.

“Hey.” Miles greeted Roman as he stood in the doorway.


“What?” she asked him not even raising her head.

“Danni and Mike want to announce something.” He said softly.

“They are making a mistake.” She told him without lifting her head.

“What?” he asked her folding his arms.

“They are getting married. No-one should ever get married.” She muttered.

Roman met Miles concerned gaze before speaking again.

“Well maybe they can learn from our mistakes.” He pointed out ignoring Leona’s gasp at his cruel words.

“S’funny. We never learn from our mistakes.” Ella said finally lifting up her head and looking at him.

“No we don’t.” he agreed. “Still your son wants us to wish him well so stop feeling sorry for yourself and get your but home.”

Ella’s blue eyes flashed anger at him and she reluctantly stood up moving past him and through the house. She went out of the door and they heard the motorbike start up.

“Mate, you are in for an argument tonight.” Miles predicted.

“You are not wrong.” Roman agreed. “I’ll give you a call tomorrow. Oh and one more thing,” he paused and looked at his beast friend. “Will you be my best man?” he asked.

Miles chuckled.

“Seriously? You still want to marry it?” he asked looking over at the door Ella had gone through. He was unprepared for Leona reaching out and prodding him in the ribs.

“Hey.” He muttered looking at her.

“That is not the only thing Ella told me about.” She threatened.

Roman chuckled.

“I would be honoured.” Miles confirmed reaching out and shaking his hand.

“Great you can start thinking about my bucks night.” Roman said spinning around and heading for the door.

“I think we can top Geoff’s.” Miles grinned and rubbed his hands together.

“What happened at Geoff’s?” Leona asked innocently.

“We never tell.” Roman murmured. “Never. It’s a pact. Sworn oath.”

“Pain of death.” Miles added.

Leona glared at the both of them before smiling sweetly.

“No.” Roman said. “Just because Ella taught you that one too doesn’t mean you’ll get it out of us. Well me, you’ll probably get it out of him.” he added the last with a gesture at Miles.

“Hey!” Miles protested.

“Remember the oath.” Roman said walking out of the door and over to his car. He set off by way of the school to pick up the kids listening to them chatter all the way back to the house.

“Mummy.” Sammy called running in.

“Hey babes.” Ella said softly.

“Have you been crying?” he asked looking at her.

“No.” she denied her eyes drawn to Roman’s.

“You sound funny.” Sammy said.

“I’m fine. What did you want to tell me?” she asked him trying to change the subject.

“I got all my spellings correct and Meggy.” He stopped and looked over at his sister.

“Meggy?” Ella prompted.

“I got mine right too.” Meggy said in a softer voice.

“Well done to both of you. Come here for a hug.” Ella said to them.

Both Sammy and Meggy went over to her.

“What’s up Megs?” Ella whispered to her daughter.

“Nothing.” She murmured easing back. “I want to be a bridesmaid. Sophie spent all day talking about it at school and now everyone thinks I’m lame for not wanting to wear a dress and be a bridesmaid too.”

Ella smiled and stood lifting her up.

“I don’t want to wear a dress either.” She told her ignoring the frown on Roman’s face. “But they made me.” She carried Meggy up the stairs and into the bedroom carefully closing the door and locking it. With a grin she stood Meggy on the bed and moved over to the wardrobe and took out her wedding dress. Unzipping the dress bag protecting it she took it out and moved into the bathroom putting it on before coming out and showing Meggy.

“Wow Mummy you look like a princess.” Meggy gasped out clapping her hands.

Ella smiled.

“And you see this bit?” she asked.

Meggy peered at a little embroidered flower on the waist band.

“It’s a Daisy.” She gasped out.

“That’s right because my bridesmaids are going to wear yellow.” Ella told her. “And the usher’s are going to have yellow waistcoats to match.”

Meggy smiled at her.

“I like yellow.” She murmured.

Ella nodded and went back into the bathroom to change. She hung her wedding dress back up and put it in the wardrobe before unlocking the door and collecting Meggy to take her downstairs again. She saw Roman looking at her and she gave him a quick smile before letting Meggy go down.

“I know what Mummy is wearing.” Meggy called out.

“No fair. I want to see the dress.” Sophie pouted.

“You will do in good time Missy, if you stop teasing Meggy about wearing a dress. Oh and I haven’t picked out bridesmaids yet.”

Sophie pouted even more until Meggy leaned over and whispered in her ear.

Roman chuckled before coming over to her and leaning close.

“So we are still getting married then.” He murmured softly.

Ella groaned and pushed at his arm before she burst out laughing and moved into his embrace.

“I hate you.” She told him still grinning.

“Not as much as I hate you.” He predicted and kissed her again.

The front door opened and Gabby lifted William in with Lily walking beside her.

“Hey Lily my girl have you had a good day?” Ella asked her youngest.

“I think Geoff was happy to hand her over and we should consider ourselves lucky that we didn’t end up with Mira too.” Gabby told them.

Roman leaned over and picked up William out of his capsule walking over to the sofa and sitting next to Georgie. Lily toddled after him keeping an eye on her brother.

“That is so sweet.” Meggy said looking at her sister.

Ella grinned and moved to sit next to Roman feeling his arm go around her immediately and gave him a look.

“You used to do the same for Sammy.” she pointed out to Meggy.

“I remember Sophie abandoning me for Angel.” Georgie said.

“Oi.” Sophie moaned.

Ella chuckled and felt Roman kiss the top of her head. She lifted up her legs curling them around her and she snuggled closer.

“Better tell Mike to get a move on Gabby.” Roman said. “Ella’s about to fall asleep.”

“So not.” She mumbled wriggling closer to him.

Roman and the kids chuckled knowing that she was lying.

She opened her eyes next when Mike walked in through the french doors.

“Ok.” she said quickly sitting up trying to hide a yawn.

“Mum, Dad.” Mike began. “I’ve asked Danni to marry me and she said yes.” He announced.

Georgie vaulted up off the sofa and looked at him.

“What do you want to get married for?” he asked.

“Because they love each other stupid.” Sophie said and then clasped a hand over her mouth.

“Uh huh Sophie Nicole.” Ella said swinging her legs to the floor and standing. She moved over to Mike and kissed him on the cheek before doing the same to Danni.

“Congratulations.” She told them both. “We should open some champagne to celebrate.” Roman nodded and stood placing William in his crib before heading into the kitchen. He took out a non-alcoholic champagne they kept so the children could join in and then the adult version undoing both. He smiled when he felt Ella’s hand on his back before she poured out drinks and took them through to the other room. She handed one to Danni and met her gaze.

“It’s ok.” she whispered to the girl before looking pointedly at the glass.

Danni caught her meaning and took a sip of the non-alcoholic version.

Once glasses had been handed around Roman took hold of Ella’s hand and smiled.

“I wish you all the happiness we’ve had and more.” He toasted.

Ella grinned up at him.

“See I knew you couldn’t resist moving into the pool house with him.” Ella murmured to Danni.

She looked over and saw Georgie frowning and waited until everyone was talking before she went over to her son.

“She and Brett are only good friends you know.” She said quietly to him. “She loves Mike.”

Georgie nodded.

“But she kept going out with Brett, even when Mike was missing.”

“I know.” Ella said softly. “So does Mike. I think it will upset him if you aren’t happy for him.” she added putting her hand on his shoulder.

“I am happy. If he knows.” He muttered.

“What’s up little bruv?” Mike came over to them.

“He’s a bit worried because Danni spent a lot of time with Brett.” Ella said softly keeping her tone light.

“I know. It will be good for me to catch up with him. I haven’t had much chance now that he’s dating Amy Johnson.” Mikes told his brother letting him know he understood when he was worried about.

Ella gave Mike a quick nod.

“Anyway, I was wondering, we haven’t chosen a date yet but we want it to be soon and anyway, would you be my best man?” Mikes asked him.

Georgie looked up in surprise.

“Me?” he asked quickly.

Mike nodded.

“You’re my brother who else would I have?” he said softly.

“Well Dad?” Georgie said quickly.

“I could do but well he’s a bit old don’t you think.”

“I heard that.” Roman said quickly from his place over the other side of the room.

Ella giggled and looked at him smiling some more when he held out his hand. She moved over to him and snuggled into his arms.

“Happy?” he whispered in her ear.

She nodded.

“But I need a nap.” She told him.

He grinned and took his time to steer them out of the room and up the stairs into their bedroom.

“I said a nap.” She pouted when she saw him lock the door.

He grinned.

“Two weeks I have to make up for.” He pouted.

She giggled and began stripping off her clothes watching as he did the same.

Danni moved over to Mike and Georgie.

“Where did Ella and Roman go to?” she asked him.

Mike grinned and leaned over to whisper in her ear before leaning back and seeing the blush cross her face.

“Who’s ordering the pizza then?” she asked.

Mike chuckled as Sammy went over to the phone and dialled the number from memory.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chapter 7

“Planning to talk to me any time soon?” Ella asked Danni as she headed to the door.

Danni spun around and looked at her.

“No.” she said feeling slightly uneasy.

“Ok.” Ella murmured and turned back to feeding Lily.

Danni opened the door and moved through it before turning around and walking over to sit with Ella.

“How much do you know?” she asked bluntly.

“You’re pregnant. It isn’t Mike’s baby. But he doesn’t care because he loves you.” Ella said softly.

Danni looked down at her hands clasped loosely on the table in front of her and sighed.

“I was drunk.” She began.

“Danni I don’t need an explanation. I’m not upset here. I just want you to stop worrying about it and think about what you want to do.” Ella told her gently.

Danni reached out and stroked William’s head loving the way Ella was with them.

“I don’t want to be a mum.” She said at length. “Not yet anyway. Mike is ..” she stopped and looked at her. “Well Mike.” she muttered.

Ella nodded.

“You need to see a doctor and maybe a counsellor.” She pointed out. “Get the pregnancy confirmed and make sure you are ok.”

“Do you think if I decide that I want to end the pregnancy Mike will..” she stopped and wiped tears from her face.

“Sweetheart.” Ella murmured. “It’s your body and you are young. Mike loves you and if he can’t accept your choice now maybe you two aren’t meant to be now. Doesn’t mean that it will always be that way.”

Danni looked at her and sighed.

“And what about what you went through with Francesca.” She added in a quiet voice.

Ella shrugged.

“That’s me not you. I’m not in the same situation as you.”

“No because only I can get this screwed up.” Danni said her tone harsh.

“Ok Missy, you stay there.”

Ella stood and moved to the crib over the other side of the room and lay William in there before heading for the stairs.

“Roman.” She called out.

After a few minutes he stood at the top of the stairs.

“I’m going out for a drive. You’ve got Lily and William. “ she told him and ignored his muttering about being left to get some sleep because he was ill. She moved into the study and collected her organiser and handbag before moving to the dining room and pulling Danni up from her chair.

“Come on.” She told her.

“Ella.” Danni protested.

“What happened to calling me mum?” she asked with a grin ushering her out of the door and to the car.

“Well I don’t know. You seem too bossy to be mum right now.”

“I’m practising to be your mother-in-law.” Ella said and they burst out laughing.

She got behind the wheel and drove off heading in the direction of Yabbie Creek and the shopping centre.

“Why are we here?” Danni asked with a pout.

“Retail therapy of course. But don’t’ tell Nic she’ll be jealous.” Ella said leading Danni into one of the shops. She moved through the racks selecting a couple of items and looking at them.

“Ella.” Danni said after a moment.

“Yes?” Ella turned and looked at the other woman.

“I was drunk. I don’t know what happened until Brett brought me home.” She said softly.

Ella nodded.

“I’m sorry Danni, I wasn’t much use to you then.” She told her meaning it. “I’ll try and do better now.”

“I understood. Really.” Danni said stepping over to her. “You were missing Mike and with William and everything.”

Ella nodded.

“Doesn’t really excuse the fact that I let my depression overwhelm me so that I wasn’t there for you.” Ella said softly. “That’s exactly what my mother did to me. I’m here now so I hope that makes it a bit better.”

Danni nodded and moved over to her feeling Ella’s arms go around her.

“Mum.” She gasped out beginning crying.

“It’s going to all be ok Danni, whatever happens.” Ella promised her.

Danni nodded easing away and wiping at her eyes.

“Are you seriously buying that?” she asked Ella looking at the hideous green dress she was holding.

“No, oh god no, I was waiting for you to pay attention to what I was doing. Now then come and help me look at bridesmaid dresses.” Ella said watching as Danni laughed. She put back the clothes and ushered Danni out.

They moved out of the store and along to one of the bridal wear shops.

“What colour are we going for?” Danni asked.

“Yellow.” Ella murmured.

“Interesting – er choice.” Danni muttered.

“I’ve had a little detail added to my dress and I want the bridesmaid dresses to match in.” she murmured walking over to a rack of clothes. She picked up a dress and looked at it.

“Lily would look so cute in that.” Danni murmured.

Ella grinned.

“I know. I’m almost tempted to get it.” Ella murmured looking at the price tag.

Danni chuckled and moved over to one side of the room. She picked up a wedding dress and looked at it stroking down the material.

“Try it on.” Ella whispered to her.

“I couldn’t.” Danni protested her eyes lighting up at the suggestion.

Ella gave her a gentle push and she moved into the changing room.

“Hello.” She said moving over to the counter. “I’d like to buy this dress and also can you tell me if they come in yellow?” she asked pointing at a display of dresses.

“It’s not a normal colour we get asked for so I’ll have to phone through and ask.” The shop assistant said quickly. She pulled out a catalogue from under the counter and turned to the correct page pointing at the dresses.

“Yes those ones.” Ella said quickly.

She turned away looking over at the changing room waiting for Danni to come out while the assistant made the call. Moving to the door she knocked on it.

“Hurry up, Donnatella.” She called out.

The door swung open.

“Don’t ever use my name like that.” Danni hissed looking around nervously. She reached down and tugged at the bustier of the dress before coming out of the room.

“That is beautiful.” Ella said grinning. “And I hate to break it to you that they use your real name in the marriage ceremony.”

“Ahh” Danni cried out. “Maybe Mike will settle for a long engagement.”

Ella laughed and moved over to the veils selecting one and bringing it over to her.

“Here.” She said softly taking it off the hanger and fixing it to the top of her head. “I think we have a dress.”

Danni looked at her and then back to her reflection in the mirror.

“Really?” she asked nervously before looking at the price tag. “No freaking way.” She muttered.

Ella grinned.

“S’cuse me Miss.” The assistant said coming over to them. “About the bridesmaid dresses. They don’t’ come in yellow as standard as that is a seasonal colour but the company will be sending me some swatches of the material they have in stock and will be happy to run them up for a small fee.”

Ella nodded.

“Ok yes. And I think we will be taking this dress too.” She said indicating the one Danni was wearing,

“No Ella I can’t.” she protested.

“Are you sure about that Dona…”

“Shush.” Danni hissed urgently. “Fine, I’ll take the dress and the veil and those shoes over there in a size 6.” She muttered.

Ella laughed and held the door open so she could go back into the changing room and get changed again.

“Your daughter?” the assistant asked.

“Yes and my future daughter-in-law.” She murmured and grinned at the assistant’s shock. “Although technically I’m about to become her aunt.”

“I’m sorry you lost me about 5 minutes ago.” The assistant muttered still looking confused.

“My son is adopted. He’s really my nephew. And Danni is adopted and is actually no relation to me.” Ella explained.

“Wait, so she’s marrying your son who is your nephew.” The assistant worked out.

“Yes.” Ella said simply.

“How cute.”

“Are you done explaining our tangled lives yet Mommy dearest?” Danni asked coming over to them and placing the dress on the counter.

“I had too, she thought she’d stepped into an episode of Home and Away.” Ella said with a grin.

Eventually, they moved out of the shop with their purchases and Ella had an appointment to go back in a week’s time to look at the material for the other dresses.

“Where to now?” Danni asked.

“Back to the car. I’m broke.”

“Ella.” Danni groaned thinking about how much the dress cost.

“I’m teasing you.” Ella said quietly. “We’re off to the clinic to get you checked out.”

“I can’t.” Danni gasped.

“You going to make me get grumpy today?” Ella asked her. “It’s not healthy to be in denial.”

“You should know.” Danni snapped out.

“Exactly young lady.” Ella said still grinning.

“That wasn’t ever going to work was it?” Danni asked with a sigh.

“Come on daughter.” Ella said moving to the car. She climbed in putting the bags on the back seat next to Danni’s and waited whilst the other girl got in before setting off.

It took minutes to get them to the hospital and booked in to see Rachel. They had a coffee in the canteen while they waited before heading back to the appointment.

“Come in Ella.” Rachel called out. “What can I do for you today?” she asked.

“I need a pregnancy test.” Ella began.

“Ella for god’s sake how many times are you planning…” Rachel muttered unprofessionally.

“Er.. it’s for me.” Danni said softly.

Rachel looked at Ella who was grinning.

“Don’t worry about me Doctor, if Roman were any more paranoid about me getting pregnant again he’d wear two condoms.” Ella said with a grin before chuckling at Danni’s blushing.

“Hop on the exam bed.” Rachel told her.

“I’ll wait outside.” Ella began.

“Please don’t.” Danni burst out with.

“Danni it’s ok.” Ella said softly coming over to her.

“I need you here.” She told her.

“Ok then first off I need some dates from you.” Rachel began.

Danni nodded and answered Rachel’s questions before submitting for a blood test.

“There that wasn’t so bad was it.”

“When will we get the results?” Danni asked.

“I’ve put a rush on the labs so you should know tomorrow.” Rachel said softly. “Now then is there anything else you want to tell me?” she asked softly.

Danni looked at Ella before nodding and looking at the tiled floor.

“I think I should be tested for stuff. “ she said in a small voice.

Rachel nodded and reached out to hand Danni a gown. She stepped back and pulled the curtain shut.

“Danni.” Ella said softly. “It’s going to be ok.”

“But what if it’s serious?” she asked quickly.

“What if?” Ella murmured. “I don’t have any easy answers here Danni, I’ve had to have an HIV test and I got through it ok. It will not be the end of the world. There are so many things that can be done now.”

Danni shuddered before changing into the gown and lying back on the examination bed.

“Are you ready?” Rachel asked.

“Yes.” Ella said smiling at Danni. She took hold of her hand and met her gaze. “Don’t look so worried.”

“I can’t help it if I’d know this was going to be today I would have paid more attention to my bikini line.”

Rachel chuckled.

“Ok I’m just going to do a little exam and then take a swab for testing.” She told her. There all done.” She added after a minute.

“That’s it?” Danni muttered.

Ella grinned.

“See easy wasn’t it.” She murmured and followed Rachel to the other side of the curtain leaving Danni some privacy.

“So how are you doing?” Rachel asked softly.

“I’m flipping worn out.” Ella muttered.

“Maybe you should have invested in better birth control.” Rachel suggested tongue in cheek.

“Maybe I should have gotten a better doctor.” Ella shot back. “Anyway when are we going to do lunch?”

“Sunday? I think there is less traffic at the diner on Sundays.” She replied.

“Rachel its always a pleasure to come here." Ella said sweetly.

Rachel grinned and the two women hugged.

“Ok I’m ready.” Danni muttered coming out from behind the curtain.

“Results for the pregnancy test will be tomorrow. For STD’s it takes a couple of days and for HIV it takes ten days.” Rachel said softly watching as Ella nodded as she remembered.

“Thanks Rachel.” Ella murmured before leading Danni out.

“Can we go home now?” Danni asked.

“Yes of course we can.” Ella told her leading her to the car and taking her home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chapter 8

“So where did you and Danni disappear to today?” Roman asked sliding into bed next to her. He pulled up the crisp cool sheets and sighed happily.

Ella rolled on to her back and looked at his profile.

“That sigh better be because you just got in bed with me and not because I ironed these sheets before I put them on the bed earlier.” She mumbled grumpily.

“Ella I love you for so many reasons and one of them is that when you have time you iron the sheets on our bed knowing that I adore the feel of the cotton when they have been ironed.” He said softly. “I don’t what it is, maybe it’s the fact that I taught myself to sleep anywhere with any cover available that makes me appreciate our lovely bed or just maybe its that fact that sooner or later I’ll turn to you and crinkle them all up.”

She huffed.

“That is not the least bit romantic.” She moaned.

“And it hasn’t gone un-noticed that you changed the bedding twice in a short space of time on top of all the other stuff you do. Have you thought maybe about hiring a cleaner?” he asked her.

Ella bolted upright and looked at him.

“So my house isn’t clean enough for you.” She muttered.

“Hey Miss Grumpy,” he said softly patting the bed. “I suggested it because that would free up more time for you. Correct me if I’m wrong, we have five bedrooms and two bathrooms on this floor and upstairs you have the boys room and the girls room with another bathroom and their sitting room. Then downstairs we have the study, lounge, dining room and kitchen. A front veranda and a back veranda and associated furniture. Then we have the garden, the kids bit, the stables which have their own shower and toilet to keep clean and finally the pool house and the swimming pool.”

She looked at him.

“You forgot the orchard.” She pointed out folding her arms.

“Yes exactly. A lot for us to do together, not that I do much as by the time I remember you’ve already done it.” he muttered.

“Is this about you asserting your manhood again?” she asked him narrowing her eyes at him.

“Maybe later.” He said grinning. “Back to the discussion. Now then where were we? Oh yes, In the course of a week you generally tidy each room a couple of dozen times, dust and hoover along with clean windows. Then in the bedrooms you change the sheets and covers on top of the tidying cleaning and general hoovering. The bathrooms you scrub out and replace the towels twice weekly.” He rattled off the list. “And you do all the laundry.”

“And?” she muttered her arms still folded. “Where is this going?”

“And you are a mum to two babies.” He paused and waved his hand. ”Along with all the others.”

She nodded still glaring at him.

“So when exactly are you supposed to find time to get to the studio and do your photography?” he asked her.

Ella made a strangled tone.

“That is what this is about?” she muttered.

“In part. Ella, my Ella is not a cleaning goddess. And I never thought I would say this but I miss the wet towels left on the floor and the rooms being untidy. We are a family. I haven’t seen the kids do their chores lately and the pool house is Mike’s domain he should be cleaning it. As for Gabby and Sophie they should be in charge of the stables. Speaking of Gabby and even Danni, they are ready to babysit so you can have some time to yourself.”

“So wait, you spent the first few years of our marriage nagging me about cleaning and the wet towels and now that you’ve trained me you want the old Ella back?” she ground out.

He nodded.

“I love you Ella but seriously, if this is something I did to you then I am deeply sorry. I don’t need the house spotless.”

She muttered something under her breath and climbed out of bed.

“Ella?” he said softly.

“I’m going to go watch television. Do not follow me.” She hissed.

“Ok, but you should know I was planning on following this discussion with a back massage and an hour of making love.”

Ella spun around trying to get her free arm into her dressing gown.

“How deluded are you?” she muttered still struggling with the material of the robe. “You’ve just spent half hour telling me I’m some kind of cleaning freak and you expect me to want you after that?”

She took off the dressing gown and threw it on the bed storming to the door in just her nightdress. One try of the door handle told her that he had been sneakier than she expected.

“Open the door.” She muttered.

“This conversion was going to go two ways, one you would say sweetly, yes Roman perhaps I’ll think about a cleaner or the other way.” He murmured holding up the door key.

“Unlock the door.” She hissed at him.

“Come and get the key.” He told her.

She folded her arms and began tapping her foot.

“Yes, I can understand that you would get mad at me for being high-handed here but seriously Ella you are not superwoman and I don’t expect you to be ok. Leona needs some work where she can take Millie and she’s done cleaning before. And there is Gabby. She’s crying out for a job. You’ve already pointed out childcare why not make it official and have her be a part time nanny for us. You are worn out and I love you to bits darling but I don’t need a perfect house or an immaculate garden, what I need is my wife to be happy and getting some time back for herself.”

She continued to glare at him contemplating escaping through the window when she heard William start crying.

“Stop.” Roman said to her. “He’s ready to start sleeping through the night. Leave him a minute.”

“Roman open the door.” She gasped.

He looked at her and moved out of the bed and over to the door putting the key in the lock.

“Promise me you’ll think about what I said at least?” he asked her.

She gave him another look before heading out to the nursery. She took one look at William and let out a deafening scream.

“Ella what..” Roman asked running beside her.

She moved to her son and scooped him up out of the cot away from the large spider crawling on the bars of the cot.

Roman raced to the bathroom and picked up the tumbler before coming back and grabbing the spider. He put it in the glass covering the top with one of Lily’s books and placing it on the side.

“Did it bite him?” he asked quickly.

“No I don’t think so.” She moaned.

Roman nodded and took William from her grasp undressing him and laying him on the changing table. He looked carefully at his arms and legs before turning him on his front and checking all over.

“He’s fine.” Roman murmured lifting up the crying baby.

“Is he?” Ella asked crying. “no marks on him at all?”

“Ella he’s ok. You just watched me check him all over. He’s fine.” Roman promised.

He reached out and moved the rocking chair away form the window where the spider was and indicated she should sit down. She collapsed into it her legs no longer supporting her. He handed the baby to her before going over to Lily.

“Hey baby girl.” He murmured.

Lily looked at him and lifted up one arm.

“What’s the matter?” he asked.

“Ouchy.” She murmured.

“Roman?” Ella said quickly leaning forward.

“Come here lets have a look at you.” He told his daughter with a smile.

Lily sat up and held out her arm.

“Ella get the baby dressed.” He told her calmly.

“Has she been bitten?” Ella said her voice rising hysterically.

“Yes.” Roman murmured. “Do we have any jars in the laundry room?” he asked her.

She nodded and moved over to the changing mat putting clothes on William before taking him through to the bedroom with her. He was placed in the middle of the bed whilst she grabbed clothes for herself, pulling on shorts and t shirt. She put her feet into shoes and grabbed her phone and car keys before picking him up and moving to the hall.

Roman gave her a look and carried both Lily and the spider, now safely in the jar. They put the children in car seats before Ella handed over the keys so he could drive.

“Hold the jar.” He said softly.

She nodded and gingerly accepted it a shiver of revulsion ran down her spine.

“Ella.” He murmured.

“It’s ok just drive.” She told him quickly.

He flashed her a brief smile before setting off and speeding nearly all the way to the hospital. Ella pulled out her phone and dialled Mike’s number, un-surprised when Danni answered his phone.

“’Lo.” Danni murmured sleepily.

“Go over to the house and check on the kids.” Ella said quickly.

“Wait, what?” Danni muttered before the phone was passed.

“Mum?” Mike said quickly.

“We’re taking Lily to the hospital she’s been bitten.” Ella muttered.

“Do you know what by?” Mike asked quickly.

Ella lifted up the jar and looked at the spider.

“It’s a female brown spider.” She said quickly. “Oh my poor baby.” She moaned unaware of Roman looking at her before focusing on the road. “Mike go over to the house and check there aren’t anymore in the nursery, ok. And then do the kids rooms.” She instructed.

“It’ll be ok Mum. I’m on my way now.” He said.

Ella closed her eyes.

“Thank you and I’ll just forget that you didn’t answer your own phone shall I?” she murmured and caught a flash of Roman’s grin out the corner of her eye.

“Hanging up now Mother.” Mike said with a chuckle.

He turned and swotted Danni and her round curvy behind.

“We’re on Spider patrol come on.”

“Huh?” she asked sleepily.

He leaned over and kissed her before explaining.

“Poor Lily.” Danni muttered pulling on her bathrobe.

Roman sat with Ella in the waiting room as the doctors were looking at Lily and checking William once more.

“How did you know what spider it was?” he asked her taking hold of her hand.

“Studied them.” she muttered with a shudder. “Wanted to know about them so I would be less scared.”

He nodded feeling her tremble beside him.

“Doesn’t seemed to have worked.” He commented with a slow grin his eyes focused on the door of the room where their children were.

She glared at him folding her arms across herself.

“I don’t mock you about your phobias.” She muttered.

He put his arm around her.

“I wasn’t El, I just know what you are like with them and ..” he stopped when the door opened.

“Ella.” Aden said rubbing a hand across his face. “Roman.” He added stepping out to them before pulling up a chair and sitting in front of them.

“What is it?” Ella asked.

“Lily was bitten and we are administering anti-venom. William is fine.” Aden told her. “Well done for getting the spider to us so we knew which one to administer.”

Ella flinched.

“S’cuse me I need to go make a phone call.” She told them and stood moving away and down the corridor.

“Roman?” Aden asked puzzled.

“Your guess is as good as mine mate.” Roman muttered looking at his wife’s departing back. “Can we see Lily?”

Aden nodded.

“We’re going to take her up to the ward soon you’ll be able to see her then.” He told him.

Ella walked back towards them putting her phone back in her pocket.

“We can see Lily soon.” Roman said to her.

She nodded.

“Can we take William home?” she asked Aden not meeting Roman’s eyes.

“Of course. The nurse will bring him out in a bit.” Aden answered before standing and moving away leaving them together.

Ella looked at Roman before she knelt in front of him.

“I think that there is something I need to talk about.” She said.

“Ok. I have to say I’m a little worried right now.”

She nodded.

“I don’t know what it is. I’ve called my Dad.”

“Ella now I’m even more worried.” He murmured reaching out for her hand.

She nodded once more and sat next to him one hand clutched in his own and the other she used to stroke down his back.

“At least I’m talking to you.” She pointed out.

“Oh I know that, why do you think I’m so worried.” He said with a quick grin.

“Hey you.” She muttered pulling her hand away.

“Don’t.” he said simply. “We did well tonight.” He began.

“Because?” She asked him.

“We looked after the kids, you didn’t moan when I drove really fast with them in the car. And even though you are dying to go quiet on me you’ve come and told me there is something worrying you.” He pointed out.

She gave him a look and snuggled closer to him feeling his arm go around her.

“in case I haven’t said it yet, I love you El.” He murmured kissing the top of her head.

“I know you do but we still haven’t had that discussion about how you locked me in the bedroom tonight.” She muttered and felt his chest rise and fall as he laughed and groaned closing her eyes. “It’s Aden isn’t it?” She asked her eyes still closed.

“Much as I love to hear embarrassing stories I can use against you here is your son.” Aden said quietly handing over the sleeping baby.

Roman stood and took hold of William holding him carefully.

“Lily is ok? There has been no reaction to the bite or anti-venom?” Ella asked quickly standing up also.

“No she’s fine. We’ve sedated her so that she’s not in any pain. It means she’ll be sleepy when you see her.” Aden told her placing a comforting hand on Ella’s arm. He caught sight of Roman standing next to her and comically dropped his arm back to his side.

Ella nodded moving closer to Roman and looking at William.

“It shouldn’t be too much longer before we move her to a room and you can sit with her.” Aden told them.

“Thanks.” Roman said putting his free arm around Ella.

Aden moved away down the corridor leaving them together.

“I don’t know how I…” Roman began and then stopped when he felt a shudder go through Ella.

“Hey it’s ok.” he murmured.

“I know it’s just that each of these babies is a miracle.” Ella said softly. “Especially Lily and William. Lily because, well you know all the reasons and William because I thought I’d lost him before he was even born.”

He led them over to a chair feeling himself well up with tears at her words thinking about what he had nearly lost. He felt Ella stroking his back and he looked down at his son.

“You are all miracles to me.” He found himself saying. “Sophie and Georgie, Gabby, Danni.” His voice broke as he named them. “Meggy, Sammy. Mike. William and that little girl in there who adores him.” He turned and looked at her. “You.” He said softly. “You most of all.”

Ella gave him a smile before leaning in and kissing him.

“Love you.” She said softly stroking his face.

He gave her a brief smile before looking up and seeing Lily being wheeled out of the room. He stood up and held his hand out to Ella. She stood up and they walked together following their daughter to her hospital room.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chapter 9

“How is she?” Mike asked looking at Ella and Roman walking through the door with William, having just come home from the hospital.

“She’s ok. She woke up and had some breakfast.” Roman said guiding Ella inside.

Sammy rushed up to them and held out his hands to be picked up.

“Not now eh, Sammy Daddy needs to shower and get dressed.” Ella said with a yawn. She moved over to the crib in the lounge and pulled the covers out and shook them before laying William down. She shook out his blanket again before laying it carefully on top of him unaware all eyes were on her. Turning around she moved back over to Sammy and bent and gave him a kiss. “Let us get dressed properly and we’ll come and give you a cuddle.” She told him gently softening her earlier words.

He nodded and raised his hand to put him thumb in his mouth pausing partway and lowering it again.

“Love you Sammy Babes.” Ella told him with a tired smile.

“I’ve checked the house all over.” Mike told her.

She nodded.

“Thanks.” She murmured and caught Roman looking at her.

“Are we keeping them off school?” he asked after a minute.

Ella looked at them.

“I think so.” She said. “Take them to see Lily later.” She added the suggestion heading for the stairs.

“Mum.” Mike said quickly.

She paused and looked at him.

Mike sighed and moved over to her to whisper in her ear unprepared for her immediate collapse backwards on to the steps.

“What is it?” Roman asked bending down to her.

Mike leaned forward and told him.

“God no.” he moaned looking at his wife.

Ella pushed Roman’s hands away from her and pulled herself up turning away from everyone she moved to the laundry and picked up the box that contained the body of Cookie. She carried it outside to the Apple tree she had always slept in and began moving away the earth underneath it with her bear hands. Tears fell down her face and splashed on to her hands as she worked.

“What happened Mike?” Sammy asked in a quiet voice.

Mike turned to his younger brother and moved quickly over to him.

“Cookie was very brave. She tried to stop the spider biting your sister.” He murmured kneeling down to his level.

“Is she dead like Francesca?” he asked picking up on Mike using past tense to refer to their pet cat and looking out at his mum moving down the garden.

“I’m afraid so. “ Mike told him.

“I don’t want her deaded.” Sammy muttered crying.

“I know little buddy.” Mike murmured picking him up and holding him.

Roman watched them before going out to Ella and kneeling next to her.

“I know you need to do this El, but the children will need to say goodbye to her too.” He said softly putting his hands on hers to still her movements.

She looked at him then before bursting into noisy sobs. He cradled her in his arms feeling her shaking as he held her.

“Sorry.” She gasped out after a moment.

“It’s ok. I know that you loved her. She was so brave just like you El.” He told her.

“I’m reversing my no squishing policy.” She muttered with feeling.

He knew he shouldn’t but he laughed anyway.

“I love you.” He told her as he stood up and helped her to her feet.

She turned and looked in the doorway seeing her Dad standing there.

“Daddy?” she mouthed looking at him.

He staggered out to her.

“Ella.” He gasped.

“Daddy sit down please.” She said rushing over to him. She forgot the dirt on her hands and reached out to him clutching at the jacket of his uniform.

“I got your message and I had to come. I didn’t know what you remembered.” He moaned.

She nodded and guided him to a chair.

“Roman can you get him some water.” She instructed.

He nodded moving past them into the kitchen. He saw Irene coming in through the door her face pale.

“You ok?” he asked her quickly.

She nodded.

“I’m worried about George.” She confessed. “I picked him up at the airport in the middle of the night and he was a complete mess.”

Roman nodded at her and looked over at the sofa where Mike was with Sammy and now Meggy. He spun around and took the drink to George surprised to see the other man’s hand shaking as he accepted the glass.

“Thank you.” Ella told Roman and he took that as his cue to leave them alone even though every instinct told him to stay there. He moved into the kitchen and put the jug on to make a drink for Irene and went over to the sofa.

“Daddy.” Meggy said with a sob and moved into his arms.

“It will be ok.” he told his daughter. “Where are the others?” he asked Mike.

“In the study with the other cats. They wanted to be with them. Gabby is at the stables doing a check of them. Danni had an appointment.” He told him.

Roman nodded and eased back form Meggy.

“Let me just get Nanny Rene a drink ok?” he told her.

She nodded and moved over to sit with Irene reaching out to hold her hand and Roman hid a grin at how much of Ella was in their children. He went through to the kitchen.

“Ok Daddy.” Ella told him. “You can tell me now.” She added softly. She was holding on to his hand wondering what could be so bad to have him shaking.

“You lost a sister.” He burst out. “She was bitten and went into shock. We thought you were too young to remember her and we never told you or Michael.”

Ella gasped looking at him in shock.

“That’s why I’m scared of spiders?” she asked.

He nodded.

“And why we moved to the UK. Ella, she was your twin sister. Born twenty minutes after you.” He added.

He reached into his pocket and took out a photograph and handed it to her.

“That’s the only picture I have of her.” he murmured.

She looked at him and took the picture from his shaking hand looking for the first time at a picture of her sister. She had so many questions.

“Were you there at the time?” she asked him.

He nodded and she sighed with relief.

“Oh god no Ella. She wouldn’t have done that.” He moaned once more.

“Daddy please. You’re making yourself unwell. Lily is ok and so is William. We’re all fine here. “ She said softly putting her arms around him.

He gave a little sob and clung to her.

“You are never going to lose me ok Daddy.” She whispered. “I love you so much. You are my hero.”

He eased back and looked at her some of the colour returning to his pale face.

“I love you Ella. I’m so proud of you.”

She smiled and stood up.

“Come see your grandson.” She instructed leading him into the house. “We’ll talk later about my sister ok.”

He gave a nod and followed her inside moving to sit next to Irene.. Ella paused at the sink placing the photograph she held carefully on the side whilst she washed her hands and dried them on a towel. She collected the photograph and moved back to the lounge picking up William and placing him in her father’s arms.

“We need to go get dressed.” She announced giving Roman a look.

Roman returned the look before following her up the stairs to their bedroom.

“El?” he asked when she shut the door behind them.

She handed him the photograph.

“Oh god no.” he moaned and reached for her.

“Hey, I’m ok. She was my twin apparently. Explains Sophie and Georgie.” She added the last with a shrug. “When my dad is stronger I’d like to find out where she is buried.”

He nodded.

“A spider bite?” he confirmed.

Ella nodded and gave him a slow smile before sitting on the bed. He sank down next to her.

“She had a reaction to it.” Ella told him what she knew.

He nodded once more before giving her a slow grin.

“Which one are you? The good twin or the bad?” he found himself asking.

“Roman Harris.” She moaned before looking at him.

He leaned forward and kissed her feeling her hands on him.

“Please.” He said softly.

She nodded laying back on the bed kissing him back and caressing him. She tugged up the pyjama top he was wearing and he moved to pull it over his head grinning as he saw her wriggle out of her shorts. He smiled as he saw her lack of underwear before a serious expression crossed his face.

“We could have lost so much today.” He said with a shudder. “And worse than that, I might never have known you.”

She looked at him frowning until she realised he was referring to fate which dictated that her twin died and not her.

“Make love to me.” She murmured.

He chuckled as he pressed kisses down her neck before he tugged her top off and then pushed at his pyjama shorts. He kicked his legs free before lifting her further across the bed and moving between her thighs.

“Wait.” He said.

She shook her head and their eyes met.

“No I have to protect you.” He whispered.

“It’s ok.” she murmured. “Please.”

He couldn’t resisted the note in her voice as he joined his body to hers feeling her hands on him before she wrapped her arms tight round him.

“I love you.” She told him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chapter 10

Ella looked up at the sky and sighed before taking out her headphones and plugged them into her phone.

“Hey, what happened to conversation?” Roman muttered leaning down and kissing her.

“I’m enjoying the sun in this lovely park and I want to listen to some music. You said weekends at the studio were me time.” She murmured moving on the picnic blanket to lay her head on his shoulder. “My kids are over there playing. Gabby has the babies back at the studio.”

“You didn’t mention us.” Mike murmured from the blanket next to them.

“I would have got round to it.” Ella said softly with a laugh.

Mike grinned and leaned over to kiss Danni.

“When we lived here Mum used to keep fit by running round this park and have me ride on my bike after her.” Mike told them.

“When are we going to get you running again?” Roman asked her.

Ella laughed.

“Thanks Mike.”

Roman grinned and kissed her again.

She put the headphones in her ears and hit play settling back down and closing her eyes.

“What other embarrassing things do you want to tell us about your mother.” Roman asked tucking one arm behind his head and the other he kept around Ella.

Mike laughed.

“Well there is a stretch of this park where she did a somersault and a back flip before walking on her hands.”

Roman laughed looking over at Mike.

“She was taking some photos whilst perched on a seven foot high wall and I jokingly asked what other tricks she did and she turned around, did a handstand in front of me right on top of that wall.” Roman told them. “I tell you my heart leapt into my throat.”

Mike grinned and sighed happily at the look on Danni’s face.

“Bet she can’t do it now.” Danni said with a grin.

Mike and Roman looked at each other.

“Probably best not to let her hear you say that.” Mike told his fiancée.

Danni giggled and reached over and kissed him.

“Perhaps not.” She murmured looking at Ella lying next to Roman.

Sammy caught their attention, running over to them and crying.

“Hey Sammy.” Roman called out.

“Hey babes.” She said sitting up and taking out her headphones.

“Meggy is gone.” He said quickly. “I can’t find her.”

“It’s ok Sammy see.” Ella murmured pointing out her daughter now standing next to Sophie at the play area.

“Want to tell me what happened Babes?” she asked him taking him into her arms.

“I’m having a flashback.” Mike murmured softly and felt Danni laughing at him.

“We was playing hide and seek and I couldn’t find her.” Sammy murmured quickly sniffing.

“Ah Babes, “ Ella said softly and hugged him a little tighter. “It’s not easy being a brother is it?”

Sammy shook his head.

“I thought someone had taken her like me.” He murmured. “When I was little.”

“Well you don’t have to worry babes, cuz you is only a little brother. You have someone who has to do all the worrying and taking care of everyone for you.”

Sammy looked up and then over at Mike.

“That’s right Samson, I’m the big brother it’s up to me to worry about you.” Mike told him with a grin.

Sammy wiped at his eyes.

“Why don’t we go over and you tell Meggy why you was worried about her?” Ella said.

Roman looked at his son and gave him a quick hug and a kiss before he saw Ella kick off her shoes and walk barefoot on the grass taking Sammy back to the play area, where Sophie and Georgie along with Meggy were waiting for them. He watched as she walked about halfway there and then bent down to say something to Sammy. His son burst out into giggles and moved away from her. Roman looked puzzled and watched as Ella turned and shot them a look before she started a run along the grass. She seemed to pause before springing over on to her hands and doing a handspring followed by a somersault and then a cartwheel before landing back on her feet.

Mike shot up and clapped his hands.

“Way to go Mum.” He shouted out followed by a wolf whistle.

She turned to them and bowed before she was almost knocked over by Sophie and Meggy. Georgie stood next to Sammy.

“Mum do it again.” Sophie begged.

“Nope.” Ella said. “Your Mum is worn out.”

“Please. Show me how to do it.” Meggy begged excitedly.

Roman looked over at Danni sitting up and watching from the neighbouring blanket.

“See what did we say.” He murmured.

“I can’t believe she just did that.” Danni said a note of awe in her voice.

“Mum used to be an award winning gymnast at school.” Mike told her.

Roman grinned at the note of pride in Mike’s voice and then chuckled as he saw Ella walking on her hands in front of the kids. She dropped back to her feet and spoke to them before turning and walking back towards him.

“Hey Missy.” Roman said holding up his hand to her.

She reached out and held his hand before dropping next to him on the blanket grinning.

“That was good.” She murmured. “Mike you need to go play with them.” she instructed her elder son.

“Seems to be my duty as big brother.” He murmured and held out his hand to Danni. She accepted and stood up moving over to the kids with him.

“El.” Roman said softly kissing a spot behind her ear.

“Yup?” she answered.

“Are you ok?” he asked her. “With your Dad and everything?”

She nodded feeling his arms go around her.

“He worried himself sick that it was one more thing to come out and he would lose me and them.” she gestured to the children. “But I think I knew anyway. We’re going to go find her grave next time he is home.”

Roman sighed leaning his chin on her shoulder as he watched Mike and Danni playing chase with the children.

“So what is the plan for tonight?” he asked her quietly.

“We are having dinner followed by going to Papa Joe’s. I have a sitting service coming to look after the children.”

“Ouh, my brave Ella.” He murmured.

“Hey!” she muttered. “I used them in the UK.”

“Uh huh. In all the years we have been together you have only let Friends or Family sit for them.” he pointed out.

She nodded.

“I know. Probably a hang up from Sammy, but we are getting time for ourselves aren’t we? I mean that is why you did up the studio, including make the extra bedrooms in the space the other side of Mike’s old room.”

He chuckled.

“Well I figured that with all of our children we should have more room. That’s why it took so long to do.” He told her kissing down her neck.

“Are you trying to seduce me?” she asked him.

He grinned.

“I might be.” He whispered against her neck.

“Well stop.” She giggled and pushed him back on the blanket.

He pulled her with him laughing as she eased up and looked at him.

“You do not play fair.” She murmured.

“No I don’t.” he agreed and suddenly felt a wave of guilt go through him.

“Hey, what is it?” she asked at his expression.

“I used sex once before.” He muttered.

“Huh?” she asked puzzled.

“A long time ago, before I found out Nate was your brother I was stupid jealous.” He confessed.

She continued to look puzzled before easing back and glaring at him.

“That night? One of the most romantic nights ever and you were using sex to keep me.”

He nodded.

“You remember it?” he asked.

Ella folded her arms across herself and continued to look at him.

“Let’s see you made love to me all night, left me flowers and love notes. Told me to meet you at the diner for breakfast, pancakes and strawberries, before you whisked me away to the sand dunes.” She murmured quietly watching him nod.

He reached out and pulled her down to the blanket and lay next to her, leaning on one arm.

“I’ve always hated being jealous.” He began his eyes meeting with hers. “I thought I was losing you so I wanted to let you know I was the only one for you.”

Ella leaned over and whispered something in his ear before standing up and going over to the kids. He waited a moment before he stood and walked over to them.

“Daddy did you see Mummy?” Sophie asked him.

“I did.” He told her gently, looking at her flushed pink cheeks and the way her eyes were glowing.

“Wasn’t she great?” Sophie said awe still in her voice. “I so want to learn to do that.”

Ella chuckled before she looked at her watch.

“Time we should get going.” She murmured to everyone.

“Are you sure we don’t have time for one last game of chase?” Roman asked her a teasing light in his eyes.

“Please Mummy.” Georgie said to her.

“One game.” She conceded smiling sweetly she turned around and tagged Meggy. “Your it.” she told her.

“No fair Mummy.” Meggy said with a squeal and ran after Sammy.

He moved out of the way and she caught Sophie who wasn’t fast enough to escape. Roman grinned and waited for her to run in his direction and he let her tag him before chasing after Ella. He heard the excited cries of the kids while he focused on Ella.

“Back off.” She muttered to him, zigzagging through the park to escape him. She ran through the children giving him other targets to tag but he continued after her. He pushed his hand out to touch her his fingers millimetres away from her.

Roman swore as she continued to run away from him before he managed to use his longer stride and pace to finally catch her and put his arms around her waist lifting her off her feet.

“Tag.” He said grinning at her.

“Put me down.” She murmured deceptively softly.

Roman chuckled and placed her on her feet.

“You’re it.” he said to her watching as she bent double breathing heavily.

She gave him a nod before standing up and looking in Mike’s direction. She saw him laughing and smiled herself before she ran in his direction. His delayed run away left him close enough for her to touch his arm.

“Tag.” She cried.

“Mother.” He moaned.

“Good job I’m not Taliban.” She murmured.

Mike groaned before spinning around and chasing Georgie. He missed getting him but managed to touch Sophie who squealed with delight and ran towards Roman.

“Oh no you don’t Missy.” Ella said to her daughter and intercepted her.

“No fair Mummy I wanted him to chase you again.” Sophie pouted.

Ella laughed and turned looking at Roman. He started running unprepared for Ella’s sudden burst of speed. She sprinted after him and before he knew it she had swept his legs out form under him and he lay on his back looking up at the clouds.

“Tag.” She told him grinning.

“Yey!” Sophie said jumping up and down.

“Ella Harris.” Roman muttered.

Danni walked over to Mike smiling.

“She do this too when you were a kid?” she asked him.

He nodded.

“She would round up any kids in the park and get us all playing because she knew with me being in boarding school most of my friends would be home for the holidays.” Mike said to her. Roman grinned up at Ella before slowly sitting up.

“Time to go kids.” He called out.

“Oh!” Sammy groaned. “Can’t we have five more minutes please?”

“Nope. Come on.” Ella said moving over to the blankets.

“That was the best.” Sophie said with a grin slowly following.

Mike chuckled and walked over to Roman holding out his hand and helping him up.

“I didn’t know she could still run like that.” Mike told him.

Roman nodded.

“I didn’t know she could still drop me on my…”

“Children.” Ella called out reminding him of their presence.

“Backside.” He amended seeing her grin at him as she packed up the things into the food hampers. She collected her phone and tucked it in her pocket, the headphones wrapped around it.

“Mummy.” Sammy said, moving to stand next to her.

“What’s up Samson?” she asked him.

“If Lily is ok why didn’t we bring her today. She would have played tag with us.” He asked her.

“Lily is fine and she was too little for today and anyway we thought that it would be nice to spend some time with you guys.” She told him softly.

He nodded and moved to help her with the picnic things.

“Got everything?” Roman asked when they were all packed.

Ella nodded slipping her feet back into her shoes.

He picked up one of the baskets and carried it to the car with Mike bringing the other one.

“We’ll meet you at the studio later.” Mike said with a grin. “I’m going to take Danni and show her around a bit.”

Ella grinned and reached over to hug him before watching him lead Danni away.

“See you later.” Roman called before ushering the children into the car. He did a double check to make sure they had everyone and grinned as he noticed Ella doing the same.

“You driving?” he asked.

She nodded getting behind the wheel and taking them back to the studio.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.