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Letting You In

Guest Cat123

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Story Title: Letting You In

Type of story: Short/Medium fic

Main Characters: Charlie and Brax

BTTB rating: G

Genre: Romance, Angst

Does story include spoilers: No

Any warnings: No

Summary: I've been wondering how much Brax knows about Charlie's past, so here's my take on it. I didn't watch for a few months when the Braxton's first arrived so I might have missed something, it may not fit completely with the show but go with it. ;) It's set just after Cheryl throws Casey out for wanting to return to school. I hope you enjoy! This part's just short. It's not going to be a very long fic, I just don't have the time to write it all now!

Letting You In

Chapter 1

Charlie and Brax lay entangled in each other’s arms, the clean, soft motel room sheets wrapped around them both. Charlie had her head on his chest, the soft rise and fall of his breathing soothed her and she closed her eyes contently and sighed. The rain was pounding the windows but it seemed a million miles away from the warmth of Brax’s body and the softness of the pillows beneath her.

Brax looked down at Charlie when he heard her sigh, running his fingers through her long flowing hair. “What are you thinking?”

Charlie smiled, but her eyes remained closed. “How pleased I am that work gave me a study day. Not that there’s much studying going on.” Charlie opened her eyes and ran her hand down Brax’s naked chest suggestively. “I should probably go home and get some work done at some point though.”

There was a loud clap of thunder and the sound of the wind and seemed to intensify. The corners of Brax’s mouth curled into a smirk. “I don’t think either of us are going anywhere for a while though do you?”

Charlie propped herself up and inched closer to Brax’s face. “Are you complaining?” she asked, before planting a hungry kiss on his lips to silence any answer he may have had. Brax instinctively snaked his arms around Charlie, pulling her on top of him, as their kisses deepened.

It felt so right when they were together. Like this, just the two of them, there seemed like no reason in the world they were keeping their relationship a secret, but they both knew the moment they opened that door reality would hit them hard in the face and all of those reasons would be apparent everywhere they turned.

As if on cue the shrill buzzing of a phone vibrating snapped them out of their moment and they looked at each other, breathing heavily. “Sorry” Brax said, but made no attempt to reach for the offending device. “Just ignore it.” Their lips met once again, but Brax seemed to have a change of heart.

He sighed, “I’m sorry, it’s probably Casey. Things were pretty bad between him and Mum when I left, I better check what’s going on.”

He twisted around to grab the phone from the night stand and Charlie rolled back over to her side of the bed. He turned to look at Charlie with his phone in his hand and grimaced. “I can’t just leave it, they’re my family…”

Charlie reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck. “You don’t have to explain. I love how much you look out for your brother. This sensitive, caring side… It’s hot.”

Charlie had that glint in her eye that Brax couldn’t resist. Out in the real world, when she was in the uniform, she was always so serious and business like. He lived for these glimpses of her wild side. It was like that cliche teenage fantasy about the sexy school teacher. It drove him wild.

“Hold that thought” he replied with a smirk, but when he sat up and looked at the display and saw that the message was indeed from Casey, and read its contents his face fell. He shouted out in frustration and through his phone across the room onto the pile of cushions on the floor. He covered his face with his hands and fell back on the pillow.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Charlie looked at him with concern.

“They’ve had another row.”

Charlie pulled his hand away from his face, trying to meet his eyes but he just stared straight at the ceiling. “I do not understand that woman sometimes. How can she just disown her son like that, just because he wants to stay in school? It’s crazy.”

Charlie didn’t say anything, she just studied Brax’s face, searching for some clue as to what would be the best thing to say. For all this time they were spending together and all the tiny little nuggets of information she’d learnt about him over these last few months, she still didn’t know him that well at all. If Charlie was honest with herself, it was part of the appeal, part of the danger, but in this moment she wanted to say something to help and had no idea what.

Brax sighed, calming down, and let his arms flop to his side. “I’m out of ideas.”

Charlie stroked his cheek with her fingertips. “You’ll work something out, you always do. But I tell you, I’ve had enough of your mother and I barely know her.”

“She does her best” Brax said, hugging Charlie tighter against his side. “However warped it looks to us, in her mind she’s doing the right thing. It wasn’t easy being left alone with three boys to raise by herself.”

“That’s no excuse for the way she’s been acting. I’m sorry, I’m out of sympathy for her.”

“What?” Brax said, but there was no anger in his voice, only surprise. “I thought you’d be more understanding.”

“How do you mean?” Charlie knew where this was leading and a wave of nausea washed over her, but she feigned nonchalance.

Brax’s brow furrowed and their eyes met. “You’re telling me it was all sunshine and roses bringing Ruby up by yourself?”

Charlie’s body tensed and Brax released his hold on her. She lay still for a moment in silence, her breathing shallow and her head swimming with thoughts. She got up without saying a word and bolted into the bathroom, leaving Brax staring at the closed door in confusion.

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I may write more, I've not decided, but for now, this is it. Hope this part is as satisfying for you to read as it was for me to write!! Enjoy :)

Chapter 2

Brax pulled on his jeans and sat on the edge of the bed. Every now and then she stole a glance at the closed bathroom door and contemplated what to do. Charlie’s reaction surprised him at first, but the more he thought about it, the more he realised how little he knew about her.

He would have been a fool to pretend that their relationship wasn’t based on physical attraction, but in these last few months it had progressed. Although neither of them had said it explicitly, they had grown to care for each other, and between the sly kisses and stolen afternoons, they did talk.

They talked, but about the present, and the immediate future, usually with worry and always a tone of regret. They talked about Casey and Ruby, about Brax’s Mum, Heath… But rarely about themselves and how they were feeling. And never about their pasts.

Brax had know several girls at High School who had got pregnant and ended up having kids young, there was a mould most of them fitted into, over confident to hide insecurities, defining their self worth by dating the most popular guys in the class. He’d lazily lumped Charlie into this group without giving it too much thought but he knew deep down she wasn’t the type. There had to be more to it than that.

He stood up and walked slowly across the room. He listened at the door for a moment and heard the sound of running water and gentle, shallow sobs. He lifted his hand to the door but paused before knocking. Should he just leave her too it and let her come out in her own time? HE wasn’t used to this, he’d never had much patience when it came to comforting women but there was something about Charlie that brought out his softer side and he wanted nothing more than to make sure she was ok.

“Charlie?” He finally knocked, barely touching the wood, but he heard the water stop and a moment later, the handle turned. Brax stepped back to allow the door to open and Charlie emerged wearing the oversized bathrobe the motel provided and offered him a weak smile. Her eyes were read from crying.

Brax offered Charlie his hand which she took and he led her over to the bed. They sat down side by side still holding hands, but neither of them spoke, each waiting for the other to say something.

It was Brax who spoke first. “I’m sorry for opening my big mouth, I didn’t mean to upset you.”

Charlie turned her head to look at him and saw him studying her face with a deep concern in his eyes that she’d never seen before. “It’s not your fault. Talking of your Mum, it just brought things up, things you couldn’t possibly know.”

“Do you want to tell me?” Charlie said nothing, just shifted awkwardly and let go of Brax’s hand. “I didn’t mean to pry” he continued, “I know we don’t know very much about each other, not really. But if you want to let me in, I’ll listen.”

Chalie met his gaze. “You said before it wasn’t easy for your Mum bringing up kids by herself. The truth is, I wouldn’t know.” Brax’s face twisted into a look of confusion but he didn’t say anything. Charlie’s head dropped and she looked into her lap and fidgeted with her hands. “I didn’t raise Ruby. It was Mum and Dad.” Charlie didn’t turn to look at Brax then, but he saw tears begin to slide down her cheeks.

She was scared to look up, scared to see his reaction, but when he placed his hand on the small of her back she was at once comforted and anxious. She squeezed her eays tight shut and took a deep breath. “Until last year she thought I was her sister.”

Brax pulled Charlie into a hug and at first she tried to resist, but it didn’t take long for her to give in and he wrapped both arms around her. It made sense, he thought. Why Ruby never called her ‘Mum’, why Charlie was sometime so tentative when it came to parental situations, as if she was unsure of the proper way to react. From the outside Charlie and Ruby had a lovely relationship, unlike anything he could ever hope to have with his own mother, and growing up as sisters must be why.

After a minute, Charlie stopped crying and got up, turning to face the window. The storm was still raging outside and a steady stream of raindrops slid down the glass. The leaves on the trees outside rustled violently but neither one of them paid much attention to the weather.

Charlie tugged at the sleeve of the bathrobe, her head clouded with thoughts. It was like that first admission had opened the flood gates and she wanted to share every detail. But she was scared of what Brax would think if he knew the truth, would he think less of her? All she knew was that being with him physically wasn’t enough any more. She wanted to know him, and for him to know her. Every sorded detail.

She turned around. “Are you sure you want to hear this?”

Brax walked over to her. “Yes” he said simply, and lead her back to the bed, pulling her onto his lap.

When Charlie spoke, she didn’t recognise her voice. IT was quiet and detached, she didn’t want to cry again. “I was only 14 when I got pregnant. I was raped by my boyfriend.”

Brax was not expecting to hear that. “Oh, Charlie…” he said, embracing her tighter and resting his chin on her shoulder. “I had no idea.”

“That whole 9 months is just a blur, my labour was long and difficult, I was traumatised.”

“Your scar… You had a c-section didn’t you?”

Charlie nodded, and smiled despite herself. The tone of Brax’s voice reassured her that he wasn’t going to run a mile if she kept on talking, and she wondered why she’d been so scared to tell him all this only a few minutes earlier.

“After Ruby was born I couldn’t look at her. It felt like a nightmare.” Charlie stopped, realising how she was sounding. “I didn’t regret keeping her for one second, but the pain was still so raw, I couldn’t handle it. I ran away to my Auntie Michelle’s for a whole year, when I came back Ruby had no idea who I was. My Mum was her mother as far as she was concerned, in the end it was just easier to keep it that way.”

Brax watched Charlie pour her heart out to him with awe. How could she think he’d think less of her? Learning what she had gone through only increased his admiration for her. “It must have been so hard for you” he ventured, “all those years hiding the truth.”

“It was” she admitted, a stray smile brushing her lips, “but I lied to everyone so much that in the end I ended up believing it myself.”

“And what happened to the guy?”

“He’s dead” Charlie answered matther of factly. “He got what he deserved. After I told Ruby she was my daughter, she went looking for him. She found out the truth herself and that was the last we heard from him. We never mention it, I barely think of him.”

“I can’t imagine Ruby took all this very well…”

Charlie shook her head. “That’s an understatement. She was angry at me for so long, and she had every right to be. But I think we’ve rebuild our relationship, we’re in a good place now. But I think of all those years I wasted and regret so much not being strong enough to be her mother from the start.”

Brax listened as she spoke, taking everything in, but it was only now that she stopped, said everything she had to say that he was able to properly process it. Another tear rolled down Charlie’s cheek, and he wiped it away with his thumb. He brushed her hair over hear shoulder and cupped her face in his hands.

“I think you’re incredibly strong” he said, looking into her beautiful brown eyes. He saw she was embarassed but wouldn’t let her tell him he was lying. Whe she shook her head, he cut her off. “No, I mean it Charlie. You’re a great mother, even after everything you’ve been through. Ruby’s lucky to have you.”

“I love her more than anything. I cannot understand how your Mum could just throw Casey out like she did, I would never do that, no matter what.”

“I know. I’m done defending her. If she doesn’t want to look after Casey, I will.”

Charie relaxed into Brax’s strong muscular arms and felt all the tension flood out of her body. “You’re pretty great, you know that?”

Brax grinned “So I’ve been told.”

Charlie hit him playfully on the arm and smiled back. “I mean it, I think I’m falling for you.”

Brax gently slid Charlie off his lap and lowered her down onto the covers so they were laying side by side with their faces inches apart. He kissed her tenderly, hoping that the simple gesture would convey everything he felt for this beautiful, incredible woman that he couldn’t believe had given him the time of day.

“I’ve already fallen.”


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