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Happy Ever After

Guest TelephotoMarigold

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Story Title: Happy Ever After (Sequel to After the Leaving)

Type of story: One Shot

Main Characters: Geoff and Aden, Nicole

BTTB rating: A (Slash Pairing, Strong Language)

Genre: Drama, Romance, Angst

Does story include spoilers: No

Warnings: Contains same sex pairing

Summary: After three years Aden Jefferies and Geoff Campbell left Summer Bay behind them to follow separate paths they reunited and gave into buried feelings. But what is the cost to others when their hidden love is revealed. Can there be a Happy Ever After?

Geoff rolled over and looked for the cup. He smelt coffee and wanted it.

“Here.” Aden called looking at him.

“Where?” Geoff asked.

“Open your eyes and look it’s right here.”

Geoff grinned and looked over at his boyfriend. He sat up and leaned forward pressing a kiss to Aden’s lips before accepting the cup from him.

“Morning.” Aden said softly.

“So.” Geoff began before taking a sip of the coffee.

“So.” Aden said back to him. “Our first night together.”

“Felt pretty good Jefferies.” Geoff grinned at the flush of pink colour on Aden’s cheeks.

Aden looked at him suddenly determined to make him blush too.

“You felt pretty good.” He told him.

Geoff laughed before he grew serious.

“No second thoughts?” he asked. He was forced to ask. This was too real and suddenly too important not to be honest with each other.

Aden reached out and placed his fingers under Geoff’s chin lifting his head so he could look into his intense eyes.

“Not about us.” Aden said. “And not about what we did last night. It felt good.”

“Really?” Geoff questioned quickly still sounding uncertain.

Aden nodded before he leaned forward and kissed Geoff. He tasted coffee at first and then he tasted Geoff. He inhaled his strong male scent and felt his nostrils flare as he sniffed the scent in deeper. It was as though he wanted the very molecules that made up the other man to be inside him, part of him.

Geoff eased back and looked into Aden’s eyes.

“I take it that its too soon to say I love you?” he asked him.

Aden flushed at the words. He stood from the bed and walked over to the small window the other side of the room seeing the pale yellow sun climbing in the blue sky. He felt his heart beating in his chest and he turned back to the bed feeling his movements were made in slow motion.

“I haven’t been able to say those words since Belle.” Aden said quietly.

Geoff sprang up from the bed uncaring that he was naked and moved over to Aden’s side.

“Then I don’t need to hear them.” he told him.

Aden nodded before looking into Geoff’s eyes once more seeing the earnest expression. He leaned forward and put his arms around the other man holding him close. Their lips met in a fierce kiss before Geoff led Aden back to bed.

Nic looked at Irene as she moved behind the counter.

“So where did Geoff go?” she asked again.

“To visit someone.” Irene mumbled as she fiddled with the coffee machine setting it up for another day.

“Someone who? Is it a girl?” Nic asked looking puzzled.

“No.” Irene said before she could stop herself. She glared at the coffee machine as though that was responsible for her slip of the tongue.

“Do we know them?” Nic asked after a moment.

“Nic why are you asking me all these questions?” Irene muttered. “You can ask him yourself you know.”

Nic looked down at her hands and sighed. She hadn’t had time to redo her nail polish and the pale pink colour was chipped. She’d only painted them when she’d heard that Geoff was coming for a visit. Not that she was expecting anything to start up with him, of course she wasn’t she assured herself hastily, just maybe have someone notice her again. Look at her as Nicole the woman and not Nicole the penniless mother of a two-year-old, who had baby goo on her four-year-old designer clothes. And tangles in her long hair that she hadn’t been able to have styled for so long she forgot what it was like to sit in a hair salon.

“You want a coffee Darl?” Irene asked.

Nic nodded before sighing and looking into her purse. It was made of red leather and had the entwined C’s on the front making it look like a Channel but she had bought it from a market stall that had other fakes on it. One day she promised herself that she would have designer labels again.

“On second thoughts.” Nic said closing her purse again.

“I’ve made it now Darl.” Irene said. “Might as well drink it otherwise I’d just have to tip it away.”

She added kindly.

“Then thank you.” Nic said slowly trying not to let her pride stop her from enjoying the coffee.

“How is the little one?” Irene asked.

“She’s a little madam.” Nic smiled as she thought of her daughter. “Can’t believe she’s at nursery already.”

“Time flies.” Irene commented. “Seems like only five minutes since you came into the Bay.”

Nic nodded.

“And here I still am.” She said feeling a sudden panic.

“That you are.” Irene said. “Young Annie is the other side of the world and Geoff’s been to Africa and back. Even Aden has moved to the city.”

Nic nodded looking in the creamy foam of her coffee. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to comment it was more that if she did she’d make an idiot of herself and burst into tears. She pulled herself together and looked at the other woman with a frown on her face.

“Aden?” she said slowly, knowing that people usually didn’t mention his name to her on account of how he left her before leaving the Bay.

“Now isn’t that the time? I have to get busy love.” Irene said hastily the words tripping over in her speed to get them out. She turned and walked into the kitchen rattling pots and pans.

Nic drained her coffee and eased up off the stool. She walked out of the diner and over to her car climbing behind the wheel. Minutes later she parked up and walked into the house she shared with Miles running inside and up the stairs to the bedroom she shared with her daughter. She pulled out her old address book and dialled Aden’s number sighing when she got the disconnected tone. Of course there was no way he would have the same number as he had three years ago, despite the fact that she had the same phone and the same number.

Moving over to the wardrobe she took out some clothes and stuffed them in a bag before collecting the money she had put aside for rent and school fees and tucking it away carefully in her purse. Running back downstairs she left a note for Miles and ran out of the door.

She found herself climbing out of her car again outside the beach house Irene still called home and moved over to the door. As expected it was unlocked and she eased inside.

“Hello.” She called out listening for a response and smiling to herself when there wasn’t any. Moving carefully over to the cabinet she opened up the drawers looking for anything that would give her a clue where Aden lived. She opened cupboards groaning as she searched through them getting more desperate by the moment until she chanced across Irene’s laptop computer. Lifting it out she glanced around nervously before switching it on and connecting to her email. Within minutes she had an address.

Aden walked down the street feeling self conscious because he wasn’t holding hands with Geoff and that made him smile. He kept glancing at the other man liking the way he walked the way he held his head and the way he smiled. Despite the general happy feeling that were whizzing around him he was still wondering where their relationship was going. Not that he doubted Geoff’s sincerity in the things he’d said but well, the other man was slightly religious and apparently they had done a lone of sinning the previous night and some that morning. Just thinking about it made him want to go do some more sinning right then and he smiled at that too.

“I really don’t have to ask what you are thinking do I?” Geoff asked him dragging his attention back to the other man.

“Nope but it does involve the word missionary.” Aden said grinning as Geoff flushed.

“I knew you’d find some way of taunting me with that.” Geoff said rolling his eyes just like he used to do back when they were in school and he was teasing the other man about stuff.

Aden stopped and looked at him aware they were on a busy street in the middle of the day. He just about stopped himself from grabbing Geoff and kissing him stupid.

“Shall we get some lunch?” he asked instead of saying that he thought they should go back to bed.

“Lunch would be good. Then you can show me this beach of yours.” Geoff said raising his eyebrow as he looked at Aden.

“It is so not may fault that each time I’ve mentioned the beach we’ve been distracted.” Aden said managing to keep a straight face.

Geoff laughed and reached out taking hold of Aden’s hand. Just like that. Like it was natural. Aden looked down at their entwined fingers and sighed.

“Too soon?” Geoff asked.

Aden shook his head and lifted his eyes to meet Geoff’s intense honest gaze.

“No just memories.” Aden told him.

“You are thinking about Belle?” Geoff said loading his voice with understanding and trying not to be hurt. Although he knew that Aden loved Belle it was a different thing seeing it reflected in Aden’s eyes.

“No actually not Belle. Another ghost that haunts me.” Aden said.

Geoff gave a breathy sigh as understanding dawned on him.

“If you need time or anything we don’t have to do this.” He said quickly.

Aden shook his head.

“Geoff I’m pretty screwed up emotionally. You’d be an idiot to want to get involved with me. But a part of me doesn’t want to let go of this.” Aden stopped talking and looked at Geoff. He ignored the people on the street or the cars passing by. For him right at that moment there was Geoff. Geoff standing in front of him with his values and beliefs and his wonderful caring heart and if Geoff could take a chance on him then he could ignore all the hang ups he had. Stepping forward he leaned in close and met Geoff’s beautiful gaze once more before focusing on his lips, seeing the curve of them and loving the way that Geoff licked them nervously. He closed his eyes then before placing his lips on to Geoff’s and kissing him the way he’d been thinking about kissing him since they had started their walk. He pulled back and opened his eyes looking once more into Geoff’s.

“I want to be with you.” Geoff said with simplicity.

Aden nodded.

“Let’s get some lunch.” He said mundanely.

Geoff nodded before he smiled.

“Guess we’ve just come out of the closet.” He added with a grin looking round where they were.

“Nah, if we really want to be out of the closet we should ring Colleen and tell her.” Aden said with a smirk.

Geoff chuckled before they moved off heading to a nearby restaurant.

Nic glared at her fuel gauge as it moved towards the red. She looked at the warning light as it flashed on and off and she knew that she couldn’t put it off for much longer. Indicating she pulled into the outside lane and slowed her speed chanting under her breath that it would last until the petrol station. She saw a sign for it and breathed out slowly lowering her speed even more. Ignoring the beep from the car behind her before pulling off and easing up to the pump. Her car gave a warning choke before the engine stuttered startling her in the process. She climbed out and undid the fuel cap grabbing the hose and filling up her thirsty car. The cost of filling the tank sucked precious money out of her purse and she had to stop herself flinching as she paid for it. Turning to go back to her car she spotted an A-Z map.

“How much is this?” she asked the guy behind the counter.

She could see him look over at her and flushed tugging on her top checking herself for smears of baby goo.

“It’s 5 bucks.” He said to her.

“I’ll take it.” she murmured. “And some gum.” She said adding a pack of spearmint chewing gum to the pile.

“Looking for anywhere in particular?” he asked her as he ran up the purchases.

“Yeah.” Nic said paying him.

She took out the piece of paper and showed him the address she had written down at Irene’s place.

The kid picked up her map book and turned to the index scanning down the list of street names before he stopped and turned to a page in the book.

“Here.” He murmured pointing.

Nic peered at where he was pointing and listened as he told her which roads she needed to follow to get there.

“Thanks.” She said giving him a broad smile.

She collected the book and the gum before heading out of the store and back to her car. Within minutes she had set off again.

Geoff looked over at Aden before he rolled over and let the sun warm his back.

“I’m going in.” Aden said softly as he stood up and walked down to the sea. Geoff glanced over at him before easing up and following him.

“Do you still go running?” Geoff asked when he caught up with Aden.

“No.” Aden said quickly.

“Really?” Geoff murmured his gaze going down Aden’s body.

Aden walked through the surf and feeling the warm foamy water splashing against his legs. He turned and looked back at Geoff.

“Fine ok I still go for a run.” He said to him.

“And you didn’t want to admit that to me because?” Geoff asked stepping closer to Aden.

Aden picked up on the note in the other man’s voice and sighed.

“Because Bible Boy you’d make us go for a run.” He admitted.

Geoff smiled.

“What did you just call me?” Geoff asked.

Aden paled and looked at him.

“I didn’t mean it.” he said quickly.

Geoff roared and surged forward bending at the last minute as he tackled Aden tipping him backward off his feet. Aden gasped his arms cartwheeling as he went off balance. He fell backwards into the sea his head going under as a wave came in before he pulled himself up and managed to look at the other man.

“Now that it the Aden I know. You are looking way too serious.”

Aden sat in the sea wiping his face before he gave Geoff a glare.

“You know just like telling me to lighten up would have worked just as well.” Aden muttered.

“Yeah but it wouldn’t have been so much fun.” Geoff said reaching out a hand to him.

Aden smiled and took Geoff’s hand letting himself be helped up. He grinned and gave Geoff a mock push before striding out into deeper water knowing that Geoff was right behind him.

“We’re going for a run tomorrow.” Geoff warned him.

“Well if you think you can keep up with me Bible boy.” Aden murmured beginning to run through the waves. As soon as he reached deeper water he dived into it and began to swim. It felt good knowing that Geoff was right beside him.

Nic pulled up next to a café and parked the car. She eased out and locked up the car before stepping inside the café. Sitting down at a table she ordered a coffee and sandwich deciding to blow the budget. She was hungry and she needed to calm her nerves. She took out her phone and saw missed calls from Miles and a bunch of messages from people back home. She typed out a message for Miles and hit send before putting her phone away. Looking up she saw her food and drink arrive and she smiled at the waitress as she placed it in front of her.

Aden and Geoff walked from the beach over to Aden’s apartment. It was just a short walk but they moved quickly inside and over to the fridge.

“Beer?” Aden asked looking at Geoff.

“Juice.” Geoff told him.

“Thought you were going to start living a bit dangerously.”

Geoff grinned at him.

“I’ll save that for another time.”

Aden handed Geoff the juice carton as he reached for a beer for himself. He twisted the cap off and took a long drink.

“Want to shower first?” Aden asked him.

“First?” Geoff murmured his eyes meeting Aden’s. “You know in Africa they like to do what they can to save water.”

“Really?” Aden asked. “And did you bring back any water saving techniques?”

Geoff smiled.

“I did.” He murmured leaning close. “You should shower with a friend.”

Aden chuckled and put his beer to one side before heading into the bathroom. Laughing as Geoff followed him.

Nic walked from the café to the apartment block. She looked at the piece of paper and did a double check before going over to the security door and pressing the buzzer. She waited anxiously fluffing her hair before smoothing down her top. She inspected her nails next giving a groan as she saw the chipped polish once more.

“Going in Dearie?” A woman’s voice asked from behind her.

“Oh er yeah.” She murmured stepping back as the newcomer put their key in the lock and undid the door. “I forgot my keys” she lied.

Nicole followed slowly her inside slowly her heels clicking on the tiled floor. She saw the woman head for the elevator and she raised her hand in thanks before looking at the doors checking the address against the paper. Stuffing it back in her handbag she lifted her hand and knocked on the door. Her heart leapt as she waited for the door to open. Groaning when there was no response she knocked again louder.

Aden eased out of the shower when the knock at the door sounded the second time. He wrapped a towel around his hips and walked out of the bathroom shutting the door behind him. Running a hand through his wet hair he pushing it back and padded over to the door opening it.

“Nic.” He said with a gasp.

“Surprise.” Nic said. “Did I come at a bad time?” she asked indicating his towel.

“Who is it?” Geoff asked stepping out of the bathroom and into the lounge. He stopped his mouth falling open as he looked at Nic standing there.

“Obviously I did.” She gasped out. “My god you’re sick.” She shouted at Aden. “The two of you? When? How?”

“Nicole.” Geoff called out paling at her attack.

“No get away from me. Perverts.” She said angrily. “And to think that …. No wait, how long has it been going on? No wonder you were so messed up back in the Bay. I thought it was something to do with me but it was because Geoff left.”

Aden took a step back at her words, his gaze drawn against his will over to the other man.

“It isn’t what you think.” Aden said quickly unaware that he’d just hurt Geoff with that simple statement.

“I thought it was me. God, don’t I know how to pick them. You turn out to be gay and my other boyfriends turn out to be psycho killers.” Nic groaned out.

Suddenly the anger left her and she moved over to the sofa sinking down in shock. Tears flashed into her eyes and the deep unhappiness that had been with her for so long made them overflow.

Aden looked at Geoff before he moved over to sit with Nic.

“First off we’re not gay. Nothing you did made us this way.” He began ignoring the puppy dog expression on Geoff’s face. “This is just something that has grown over time. I didn’t intend for this to happen. Neither of us did.”

Nic looked up wiping tears from her face. She thought back to all the times they were together. All the little looks Aden and Geoff had shared. Hidden glances across the schoolyard, the protective way that Aden had looked after Annie that time.

Aden sighed looking over at Nic before he spoke once more.

“I didn’t intend to fall in love again after Belle died but I did. I could never say the words not to you Nic and not to you either.” Aden murmured lifting his eyes to look at Geoff. He stood up and moved to the other mans side. “You told me this morning and I know that I must have hurt you when I didn’t say them back just like I hurt you Nic but I buried my heart once with my wife and I never wanted to go through that again. I’m ready now. Loving you Nic gave me the strength to start again.”

“Did you just say you loved me?” Geoff asked.

“In amongst some other crap.” Nic told Geoff a slow grin on her face.

“My first romantic declaration for years and you mock me.” Aden groaned.

“Maybe it would be more romantic if your ex girlfriend wasn’t in the room and we weren’t both dripping wet and wearing towels.” Geoff pointed out.

“I was so not complaining about that.” Nic said grinning.

Geoff moved over to her.

“Nic.” He said as he knelt down in front of her.

“I’m sorry I said that stuff. You aren’t a pervert and I think it’s kinda cool.” She told him. “You two make a strange kind of sense now.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t spend more time with you. It’s obvious now that you needed a friend.” He told her.

“I did.” Nic said quietly. She looked at the two of them. “But its good to know that I’ve got two good friends.” She gave them a grin.

Aden looked at Geoff smiling as he walked over to him.

“I love you.” Aden said again. “In case you didn’t decipher my gibberish from earlier.”

Geoff beamed happily.

“Love you too.” He said kissing him.

After a minute Nic coughed reminding them she was there.


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