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Cold Summer

Guest JosieTash

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MANY thanks for the IMPRESSIVE comments !!!!

CHAPTER 21 !!!!!!!

It’s the morning after Billy said a heartfelt, pained goodbye to Ruby, & Charlie consoled her daughter when she arrived home from work [taking over from Bianca]. Ruby cried herself to sleep last night, but she seems to have changed her tune this morning ........

Charlie [as Ruby comes into the main room in her nightdress] “How are you this morn, Rubes?”

Ruby [upbeat voice] “I feel like I’m gonna have a good day today. Something tells me that THIS is the day that we get a break through with Joey.”

Charlie [taken aback at her daughter’s attitude] “I heard you last night. Crying yourself to sleep.”

Ruby “I’ll ALWAYS love Billy, and maybe one day he’ll come back to me, but in the here & now, I want to find Joey so I can be FREE of this weather. Yeah, it’s ...... the snowball fights were fun for a while, but now, I just want to REALLY go to the beach. I mean I go there now, and even try to surf. The waves are nice enough, and I could go to a beach in a town near here, but yeah, I want our OWN beach back.”

Charlie [as Bianca enters the room form the kitchen, with a coffee for both Charlie & herself] “I HOPE you’re right bout Joey, but ...... I just hope that you're truly deal with your feelings. You bawled your eyes out in my arms last night ........:”

Bianca [cutting in] “And mine.”

Ruby “Well, I’m channelling my pain for something good. I’ve lost my Billy, HOPEFULLY not forever, and this way, I really hope that I can find Dex’s kids AND Joey REALLY soon.”

Charlie [still not sure if she can quite believe that Ruby’s attitude is real, but going with it anyway] “LOVE that you’re being sooo ...... BRAVE bout this.”

Ruby “Can’t live in the past. Not gonna get me anywhere is it? Although, having said that, I’ve got a few ......mementos of my time with the UNIVERSE’S most amazing b/f !!!”

April [smily voice, as she enters the house - having just arrived from the farmhouse] “SHOCK that Rubes is talking about Billy.“

Ruby, despite her positive attitude this morn, BURSTS into tears once more upon hearing April saying Billy’s name. Charlie comforts her daughter with a hug, whilst Bianca fills April in on what happened last night.

April [emotional voice] “Oh, Ruby. That’s soooo ......... “ [her voice trails off]

Ruby [still in her mum’s embrace] “SOOOOO not gonna disagree with you there.”

April [tentatively] “So ....... no, don’t worry about it, actually.”

Bianca “What is it, sis?”

Ruby [as her tears ease a little, and she removes herself slowly from Charlie’s hug] “You’re wondering IF we’re gonna be heading out on the road today? [April nods, as Ruby wipes the remaining tears from her eyes & checks] Well, Em & Rikki are getting ready right now, which I will be REALLY soon, and, speaking of which, where’s Dex?”

April “He’s sooooooooooo keen to get out on the road that he stayed in the car. Yeah, those kids ......... he’s gonna be the BEST dad when we have kids one day.”

Ruby walks over to the front window and looks out to see the ever present snowy conditions. The somewhat intrigued by Ruby's actions Charlie, Bianca & April follow suit ........

Ruby [intrigued voice] “This feels very ………Sunnydale. Don’t you think?”

Charlie “I hadn’t thought about it THAT way, Rubes, but you’re right. It’s weird.”

Bianca “It feels soooooo Europe, and that makes me think of my mum and other ANNOYING people.”

April [as Bianca softly kisses Charlie on the lips] “Good that you didn’t say the NAME of the creep you almost married ….or a certain musician.”

Ruby [sternly] “We’ve GOT to find Joey. She’s MUST be the one doing this !!!!”

Emma [as she & Rikki enter the room from their bedroom in the annexe] “Yep, I am SOOOOOOO over this snow. I know that have the power to do this – I’ve only briefly made it snow, but I could, if I REALLY concentrated do this kind of thing.”

Rikki “It’s weird, but I’m so used to it now that I’d be sad to see it go.”

Charlie “THAT’S cos you’ve got that whole internal heating thing going for you.”

Rikki [with a wry smile] “Not gonna deny it.”

Ruby “We should head off - as soon as I change. Can't go out there looking for Joey & the triplets in my nightdress."

Riikki "No, THAT would be MY kinda style, or Em's well she's a naughty, I want to get my backside SPANKED mood."

April [as Emma smiles at Rikki's comment] “I know we’ve tried phoning Joey countless times but ......how bout we try one more time?”

Rikki “I’m not liking our chances.”

Emma “I agree. Would be illogical for us to “score” THIS time.”

April “Things went bad for Ruby last night. She deserves some GOOD news.”

Ruby “I agree with April. SOMETHING has gotta go right for me.

Charlie [supportively/excitedly] “Go for it, Rubes.”

Ruby, whose mobile is in her hand despite the way she is attired, phones Joey’s number for the “millionth” time ......... and as she does so, Aden is doing some gardening at his house on the Gold Coast. He’s in the front yard, and is quite surprised to hear a phone that’s NOT his own [be it mobile or landline] ringing. Doesn’t sound like a neighbours’ phone either and there's no one else around whose mobile it could be. Aden quickly “locks on” to where the sound is coming from .... a mobile that's been discarded by someone in his yard. Aden picks up the phone and sees on screen that the call is from someone called Ruby. It’s not the most common of names, but surely it can’t be the only Ruby he personally knows. He thinks about answering when Joey’s answering machine message kicks in. Aden can’t believe it when he realises that it’s his FRIEND’S phone, and it gets better ......

Ruby [after hearing Joey’s message bank message once more] “Joey, I know you’ve ignored MILLIONS of our calls, but PLEASE pick up or ....... “

Aden [cutting in, having just answered the call] “Ruby, Ruby Buckton. Is that you?"

Ruby [shocked voice] “ADEN ?!?!?!?! [with curious looks on the faces of Charlie & the others] Why? Where are you? Where’s Joey?”

Aden “I’m ..... I’m near the Gold Coast. I just picked up this phone that musta have been ...........tossed into my garden. Couldn't believe it when I heard Joey’s voice on her answering machine message AND your voice.”

Ruby [excited voice] “This is soooo the BEST news. Joey’s phone. Do you know where she is?”

Aden [disappointed voice] “Sorry ...... I saw her a few weeks ago. I looked after her kids whilst she went somewhere for about 24 hours and ........ “ [his voice trails off]

Ruby “That’s when she went to Ireland and made it snow here in the Bay. How ARE the gorgeous kids? Dex is nearby. He’d LOVE to know. Missing them SOOOOOO badly, like the rest of us.”

Aden “The triplets. They were little angels when they were in my care. I almost couldn't believe it.”

Ruby “Dex’ll LOVE to hear that. [pause] You said you saw Joey a few weeks ago.”

Aden “Yeah. She wanted to STAY at my place with the kids, but I wanted her to STOP the mad weather she’d caused, so she took the triplets and bailed.”

Ruby “I remember Irene calling us after you phoned her. [pause, as she thinks of what to do next] Aden, I know that this is a long shot, but can you check out Joey’s phone. Maybe ........extremely maybe, she left a message for you, given that she ditched her phone in your yard.”

Aden “OK, I’ll go through ALL the messages left on here. You said that you’d left a ‘few’ ?”

Ruby “Me, Dex, Rikki, Em, Indi, Charlie. Basically EVERYONE at some point in time.”

Aden “Will do. Call you back soon.”

Ruby “Laters, and SOOOO good to hear from you again.”

Aden “Likewise. Later.”

Ruby ends the call and informs everyone at the house, including Dex – who is WAAAAAAAAY "over the moon” bout this glimmer of hope ...... which turns into MUCH more when Aden forwards on the two messages that Joey sent to her now old phone to Ruby's mobile. It’s GREAT for Ruby [who is now changed out of her nightdress] and the others to know that Joey & her kids are in Bathurst, and .......................

Ruby “Dex, you’re REALLY gonna want to see latest message.”

Dex “What could be bigger than knowing WHERE my kids are?”

Ruby “Seeing the MOST recent photo we have of them ....in their current abode.”

Dex [somewhat desperately] “Let me see.”

Dex eagerly looks at the photos of Adrian, Charlotte & Danica. There’s individual pics of his kids, a group shot and one of the triplets with their mum.....

Dex [adoringly] “They are sooooooooooooooo the MOST beautiful, adorable babies in the history of the universe."

Rikki “Not that you’re biased or anything.”

Dex [deadpan] “Why would I be biased?”

Ruby “Let’s head out on the road. Destination Bathurst.”

Ruby, Rikki, Emma, Dex & April head for Ruby’s car and begin the journey to the famous inland town, whilst, an hour or so later in the Bay, Xavier arrives at the caravan park house .......

Miles “Good to see you, Xave. After Romeo, I’m guessing?”

Xavier “He AND Billy actually. Thought we’d all go to the beach. Teach Billy how to surf maybe.”

Romeo [having just entered the main room] “I’m up for a surf, but Billy .........he’s not here.”

Xavier [cautiously salivating] “Where ......... where is he? Over at Ruby’s?”

Romeo “He ......he had to go home. I mean REALLY home. Something about his parents.”

Xavier [successfully hiding his secret glee] “Aw, that’s too bad.”

Miles “How’s Ruby taking it?”

Xavier “I don’t know. I THINK I saw her car out front of her place this morn when I left. She must be devastated. Romeo, mind if we postpone surfing. I know Rubes & I have a .........chequered history, but I want to know how she’s feeling.”

Romeo “The waves aren’t going anywhere. If it were anyone else I’d come with you, but .........” [his voice trails off]

Xavier “Yep. Know the deal tween you & Rubes & Indi. Catch you all later.“


Meanwhile, on the road to Bathurst [which is several hours west of Sydney], Ruby and her friends are being watched .........


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MANY thanks for the COOOOOOOOL comments !!!!

CHAPTER 22 !!!!!!!

In Bathurst, Leanne & her bub Scarlett are visiting next door neighbour Joey and her triplets. As they sit on the floor next to the play pen, Leanne & Joey have been chatting for a bit [whilst their babies play] when .........

Leanne [tentatively] “Joey ......... I ...... I KNOW that you said that you aren’t keen on talking bout your kids’ dad, but ..... I worry about you. You’re only too happy to show your bubs photos of him AND play them that blog of his, but....... it just .......he SEEMS like the nicest guy in the world. “

Joey “Dex & I .......complicated isn’t even CLOSE to being the right word for our sitch.”

Leanne “Unless he’s REALLY different to the way he is in his blogs, Dex doesn’t ....... look like someone who’d be violent to you and your kids. I mean, I know a person’s PUBLIC face is different to the one that only those VERY close to that person.”

Joey “It’s soooooooo not THAT kinda complicated. I ............ [her voice trails off]

Leanne “We’re GOOD friends, aren’t we? You can tell me ANYTHING and it WON’T leave this room. “

Joey “Dex ....... well, I’m NOT in love with him. My heart belongs to someone else.”

Leanne “So, why ........did you sleep with him? He doesn’t LOOK like the forceful kind. [Joey smirks, given what happened THAT night tween her & Dex] What was THAT about?”

Joey “Let’s just say that it’s the messiest sitch EVER, and .......that my baby Charlotte was named after the woman who’s heart mine belongs to. [Leanne is taken aback, but tries to hide her look of surprise] Leanne, good friend, what are you thinking?”

Leanne “Well, at least I don’t THINK that I’ve got any worried about you “hitting on” my hubby Garth any more, but there are people in this town who ......aren’t so understanding. Suggest you don’t tell old Mabel at the newsagent that you’re “into” women. She’s .......old school, and the news would be ALL over the district before you know it.”

Joey “I know the type of person you mean.”

Leanne “So, if you’re ......gay, how did you end up sleeping with a guy? Did you want kids soooooooo badly that you ........ [there’s a knock on the door] Are you expecting anyone?”

Joey “Not at all. You’re the only friend I’ve made here. I don’t want to get too close, as eventually, I want to go back to my real home.”

Leanne [after another knock on the door] “Want me to be at your side when you open the door? The kids will be in our sight the whole time.”

Ruby [calls out, after knocking on the door once more] “Joey, are you there?”

Leanne [as she sees a knowing look on Joey’s face whilst the 2 women stand] “You know you it is, don’t you?”

Joey “Yeah, the girl who USED to call me Stepmom. Wonder who is with her?”

Ruby [softly] “Guys, I can hear people in there AND this sooooo looks like the place on the pics that Joey took, but ........

Rikki [cutting in loudly, as she bangs on the door several times] “Joey, we KNOW you’re in there. Just open the door and talk to us.”

Joey “Well, that answers ONE question. That’s Rikki. She’s ........not exactly subtle.”

Leanne “I gathered.”

Joey “Moment of truth. [Joey opens the door, whilst Leanne glances at the 4 babies nearby] Rubes, Dex, April, Rikki, Em. What ........what are you doing here?”

April “It would be quite polite right now to let as in AND intro us to your friend and ...... “

Ruby [sternly, cutting in] “AND for you to let Dex see his kids.”

Leanne “I don't know the full details of your sitch, Joey, but Dex especially should be able to see his kids. They deserve TWO parents.”

Joey [who, despite leaving those “breadcrumbs” on het old phone for Aden to find, is still quite shocked that Dex et al are here] “Come in, everyone.”

Dex, April, Ruby, Emma & Rikki indeed enter Joey’s one bedroom flat. The longue type room is quite crowded with 7 adults and 4 babies. Dex makes a speedy beeline to the play pen ........

Dex [perplexed] “Last time I saw my kids, there were only THREE of them. What ........... “[his voice trails off]

Joey “You’re not seeing things, Dex. [as she points to Leanne’s child] That’s Scarlett, my new friend Leanne’s kid. Actually, formal introductions time .......................”

Joey proceeds to introduce Leanne to the Baysiders and vice versa, but her comment that Emma & Rikki are like her sisters WAAAAAAAAAY doesn’t unnoticed ......

Rikki [as she sees that Emma is uncomfortable with that description] “Joey, how much does Leanne know? Surely you haven’t ............”

Joey [cutting in, sternly] “Rikki, I’m not THAT careless.”

Emma [upon seeing Leanne’s intrigued looks] “Sisters. Can’t live with ‘em OR without ‘em.”

Leanne [who, for the most part, “buys” Emma’s comment] “Hearing you. When I was growing up, my sisters and I were HOPELESS. If the term sibling rivalry hand’t already been invented, it would have been for us.”

Dex [as he holds Charlotte tenderly in his arms] “I’ve sooooooooooooooo missed this. [Adrian & Danica both giggle and look adoringly at their Dad] They are ALL sooooooo adorable and awesome. I NEVER want to let them go.”

Leanne “Joey, no matter what ELSE is going on in your life, you just CAN’T keep Dex from these gorgeous kids.”

Emma [as Dex puts Charlotte back in the play pen and picks up Adrian] “You should ALL come home. We CAN sort this out.“

Joey [worried voice] “I don’t know. What I did was pretty bad.”

Rikki [sternly] “WAS. Try IS.”

Leanne “What’s she talking about?”

Ruby [annoyed voice] “Rikki, you GOTTA cool it.”

Rikki [sarcastically] “Cool it. Isn’t that ......... “ [her voice trails off as Rikki realises that her big mouth could lead to Leanne finding out the secret]

Dex “We know what’s happening, and we don’t even mind THAT much ......as long as you come home.”

Emma “Joey, do you mind if we discuss this ...... amongst ourselves?”

Joey “No. Leanne’s my friend.”

April “Friend or not, Joey, we REALLY need to talk about this. “

Leanne [as Joey realises April et al are right] “Sounds like you are ALL ganging up on Joey.”

Rikki [sternly] “That’s cos we ARE ganging up on her, but this is a “FAMILY” matter. [looks at Joey] Don’t you agree?”

Dex [as he puts Adrian in the play pen, and then holds Danica in his arms] “Yeah, Joey, this chat is BOUND to get ......... ‘Angelic’.”

Joey [realising Dex et al have a point] “Leanne, do you mind? They’re right. This really is a family matter.”

Leanne [slightly worried voice] “OK .....BUT I’m just next door if you need me.”

Joey “Thanks, Leanne.”

Leanne picks up Scarlett out of the play pen and exits the flat. Joey’s been ....... there’s just something about the way she’s been behaving ever since they 1st became friends that worries Leanne.

Rikki “OK. Leanne’s in her yard. [sternly] Now, Joey, you’ve GOT to end this mandess. SNOW in Summer Bay !!! It’s just ..... I’ve done some silly things, but this is OFF THE PLANET.”

Joey “Charlie’s so “cold” that she DESERVES the icy weather.”

Ruby “Hey, that’s my mum you’re talking about.”

Joey “Doesn’t change a thing, Rubes. Charlie .....she just can’t act this way.”

April [as Dex continues to adoringly tend to the triplets] “Joey, you 2 were LONG over when my sis & Charlie got together.”

Joey [sternly] “I DON’T care. The snow STAYS ......and so do I.”

Joey’s comment, and especially how vehement it was, takes Ruby and her friends by surprise. There’s an eerie silence for short time before ........

Dex [with Charlotte in his arms] “How about a kind of truce.”

Rikki [annoyed voice] “A TRUCE? ......with HER??? You’ve GOT to be kidding.”

Emma “What are you suggesting?”

Dex [with everyone “hanging” with intrigue on the answer] “I want to stay HERE, with my bubs ........til ALL this is over.”

April “Me too. Wherever Dex goes, I go.”

Joey “It’s gonna get waaaaaaay crowded in here if you two stay.”

Ruby “So, come home then, Joey.”

Joey “THIS is my home now.”

Rikki “She’s more stubborn than me ......which is saying something.”

Emma “Dex & April’s plan DOES seem like the best compromise atm.”

Joey [after she sighs] “I don’t really like this idea ......but I’m not really in a position to bargain. HOWEVER, if you stay here, I don’t care so much bout April, but Dex, for the next few nights at LEAST, you’ll be the one getting up in the middle of the night to tend to the triplets. Will be GREAT to get a GOOD night’s sleep again.”

Dex ”This is all gonna be coooooool. I LOVE my little angels !!!!”

April “AND I’ll get up in the middle of the night, or at 3am or whenever, with you. Will be good prep for when we have kids, Dex.”

Dex “LOVE the sound of that. There was a time when I thought my .........quirkiness meant that I’d NEVER get together with a girl, but now .......... “

Rikki [cutting in, with a wry smile] “Too true. You ARE the Bay’s answer to Sheldon Cooper.”

Dex “I’m going to take that as a compliment.”

Emma “So you should. Sheldon’s AWESOME.”

Ruby “Well, I think the rest of us should head back to the Bay. Dex, April, sooooooo work your magic on my former stepmom. It’s kinda been GREAT seeing you again, Joey, AND it’s been ESPECIALLY great to see .......... [tears start to well in Ruby’s eyes] the triplets ..................“ [Ruby REALLY starts to cry]

April [heartfelt voice, as she hugs her friend] “Oh, Rubes.”

Joey looks perplexed, so Emma whispers in her ear about Billy .......

Joey [reassuring voice] “He’ll come back to you, Ruby. Be MAD not to.”

Emma “We better head off. [sternly] Joey, PLEASE do the right thing.”

Rikki “I second that to INFINITY.”

Ruby slowly eases her tears as she, Rikki & Emma say farewell to Dex, April, Joey & the triplets, before they contact Charlie AND make their way back to Summer Bay. As Ruby drives her car on the several hour journey, Rubes & the 2 mermaids she’s travelling with are unaware that a kookaburra is following them every “step” of the way.


The next day, the diner is close to full of locals & tourists – including a woman who’s been to the Bay before, so to avoid being recognised she’s incognito. Unlike the other tourists in the room, the woman’s soooooo not here for a holiday or the snow. She’s the ONLY person in the diner who is aware of, AND is looking forward to, the River Boys’ imminent attack. Her name is Graves.


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MANY thanks for the BRILLIANT comments !!!!

CHAPTER 23 !!!!!!!

It’s just after 1pm and Leah had just served a customer some cheesecake when several River Boys, including Gypsy, burst into the room with their guns locked & loaded and ready to meet ANY trouble with BRUTAL force ......

Brax [loudly, sternly] “EVERYONE, hand over ALL your valuables and NO ONE gets hurt.”

Heath “And that includes whatever’s in the til. [grinning, as he heads for the counter] Gyps, take care of relieving the ladies of ALL their goodies.”

A frightened Leah unlocks the til and Heath EAGERLY grabs the day’s takings so far. The place has been full to the brim for most of the day thus far, so it’s a VERY good yield. As Heath does that, Brax & Casey take all the valuables for the men who are in the eatery – roughing some of them up, with Pee Wee constantly having his shotgun aimed & ready to shoot anyone who’s ESPECAILLY troublesome. Also, Gypsy [who, like Pee Wee, also has gun in hand and poised to shoot] enjoys taking ALL the fine jewellery and the like from the girls. Indeed, Gypsy now only has one woman left to “take care off”.

Brax LOVES it that this is ALL going according to plan AND that Gypsy seems to be BORN to be a River Girl, but then .........

Gypsy “Hand over ALL your goodies, lady.”

Graves [with a slight accent, so Leah & other locals further don’t recognise her] “I DON’T think so, you little HUSSY.”

Gypsy “You REALLY want to take me on? This gun in my hand, I AIN’T afraid to use it.”

Gypsy manhandles Graves, removing the watch & bracelets from her arms ........but as she reaches for Graves’ diamond necklace, the incognito cop grabs the arm of Gypsy’s that is reaching towards her ..........

Gypsy "That’s it. You’ve soooooo been enough of a pain in the bum, lady.”

Gypsy puts both hands on the revolver she has .........and fires TWO bullets !!! at the woman she is trying to rob. Graves is hit in the stomach with both bullets and she CRASHES backwards to the ground!!!!!

Brax [smily voice, as he is VERY impressed with Gypsy] “Boys, let’s get outta here !!!!!”

Brax, Gypsy, Heath, Casey and Pee Wee exit the diner and enter their getaway vehicle – a four wheel drive dual cab Ute. Brodie is at the wheel, engine running, waiting for them ........

Brodie [as he “plants his foot” and speeds off] “How’d it go???”

Heath “EXCELLENT !!!! We got HEAPS of money and valuables and that wasn’t even the BEST part !!!!”

Brodie “What could be better than robbing those ANNOYING, snobby Summer Bay people?”

Brax “SHOOTING one of them who got all rowdy and in our way.”

Brodie “ACE work, Brax.”

Brax “Wasn’t me.”

Brodie “Heath. Shloulda been my FIRST guess.”

Brax “Let’s just say that the killer was the odd one out in this car. “

Brodie [surprised voice] “Gypsy !!!!! How AWESOME !!!!! You REALLY are one of us.”

Casey “You can say that again.”

Heath “Brodes, Gypsy has BEYOND proved herself, so head for our secret base. [Heath looks at Brax, expecting an argument] Come on, Brax. She sooooooooo deserves this. She is soooooooooooo one of US now.”

Brax “Not gonna disagree with you there, Heath. Yeah, Gypsy is .......... one of a kind. Yeah Brodie, head for our secret that-Buckton-cop-woman-will-NEVER-find-us-there base.”

Brodie [as he heads for their secret base] “Right on, boss.”


Ambulance officers wheel the unconscious Graves into the hospital, where Sid is waiting to treat her. Leah went with the non local in the ambulance, cos she felt responsible as the woman was a customer of her diner. Leah tells Sid exactly what happened, and just as Sid & Nurse Julie are taking Graves into a treatment room to totally ascertain her injuries, Charlie & Watson arrive ......

Charlie “Sid, We’d like to accompany you into the treatment room. This witness can give us further evidence so we can “NAIL” those River Boys.”

Sid “I don’t even know how bad her injuries are as yet.”

Watson “Trust me, Doctor, its best if we’re in there when you revive her.”

Sid “Ok, but don’t crowd me & Nurse Julie when we try to treat this patient. Gunshot wounds AND possible concussion from when she hit her head after being shot we are dealing with. Actually, the paramedics didn’t tell me ANYTHING bout her gunshot wounds. They just concentrated in her head wounds, and if she was shot, where’s the blood???“

Charlie “I can explain EVERYTHING.”

Nurse Julie “What do you mean, SGT Buckton?”

Charlie “Unbutton her jacket and blouse.”

Nurse Julie proceeds to do so, which reveals something quite unexpected .........

Sid [shocked voice] “A bullet proof VEST !!!!! [pause] Who .......who is this woman? and why was she wearing a bullet proof vest?”

Watson “It’s Detective Graves. She was in town for the investigation into Penn Graham’s murder.”

Sid “I know it’s been a while since she’s been in the Bay, but ......I don’t think I would have recognised her the way she is ‘done up’ right now. Who’s ........... “ [his voice trails off]

Charlie “Idea was this? That would be mine. It’s ALL part of my plan to BUST those River Boys. Yeah, now they’ll hopefully TOTALLY trust Gypsy and take her to their secret base !!!!”

Sid “That’s quite a plan, Charlie.”

Charlie “I have my moments. [short pause] So, how do you think Detective Graves will fare?”

Nurse Julie “Now that we know she’s only unconscious cos of the fall, and that she’s not been shot, shouldn’t be an issue.”

Charlie “Can you keep us posted on how she is?”

Sid “Most definitely. You’ll be informed as soon as she’s awake.”

Charlie “Thanks, Sid. We best be off now. I'm not expecting Gypsy to “blow her cover” straight away, but you never know.”

With that, the 2 police officers bail from the hospital. They’re off to the diner to get MORE evidence against the River Boys – for when they are eventually [hopefully soon] caught.


Meanwhile, just before Brax et al arrive at the River Boys’ secret base [deep in the bush at Mangrove River] ........

Brax “Gyps, you did GREAT today, but I want you to hand me your mobile. You’re 99% there to being TOTALLY trustworthy, but you weren’t born one of us.”

Gypsy [as she hands Brax her phone] “Totally understand. If I were a gang leader in your shoes, I’d be this way too. Of course, I wouldn’t be caught DEAD in shoes like yours. High heels ALL the way, babe, no matter WHAT I’m doing.”

Brax “You sure can pick ‘em, Heath.”

Heath has a BIG grin on his face – both at Brax’s comment AND that they’ve now arrived at their base. Everyone gets out of the Ute with their latest ill gotten gains, and after Brax and the others enter the BIG multi room shack - that was, long ago, a BIG bed & breakfast type guest house .....

Gypsy “This is pretty nice AND it’s good to be out of the snow ..... but .......... “ [her voice trails off]

Casey [annoyed voice] “Here we go. She’s about to complain. This was NEVER gonna be the Taj Mahal, Gyps.”

Heath “Oi, Case. That’s MY girl you’re talkin’ to. What is it, babe?”

Gypsy “What about my daughters? Now that you have my phone, Brax, what’s the deal?”

Brax “Easy solution. Bring ‘em here. Yeah, I mean, this isn’t usually exactly the best place to bring up a rug rat, but we can mange something, Gyps, you & Heath should head to your old place late tonight. Bring your kids here. You’ve got 2, haven’t you???”

Gypsy “Yep. Lily & Shannon. Lils ......can be a handful sometimes, but they’re mostly angels.”

Brax “Yeah, they sound like Case .....AND Heath.”

Heath “You can’t talk. Mum had a hell of a time with you.”

Casey “Aren’t you soooooo “glad” you joined our family, Gyps?”

Gypsy “I feel right at home already, Now, I know some of your gang, but formal intro’s would be nice.”

Brax “Yeah, Good idea. Will take you to the other rooms of the house. Let you meet everyone. Yours won’t be the only kids here AND you’re not the only girl either.”

Gypsy “Lead the way, boys.”

Brax & Heath introduce Gypsy to the MANY River Boys there – including several females AND the next generation. Gypsy seems to especially “hit it off” [in a platonic, non sexual way] with Fiona, who has a daughter named Ellie ......who's around the same age as Lils.


That evening, Ruby is moping in her room. She’s BADLY missing Billy still, and at a loss at what to do bout Joey. It’s like, they’ve found here, but now what? Ruby is deep in thought when Bianca arrives at her bedroom door ........

Bianca “Rubes, are you keen to talk to anyone or have company?”

Ruby “Not REALLY, but I don’t see this mood going anywhere soon, so ...... who’s keen to talk to a VERY “down in the dumps” me ???”

Bianca “It’s Xavier. I can tell him to go back home if you want?”


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MANY thanks for the EXCELLENT comments !!!!

CHAPTER 24 !!!!!!!

Soon after, Ruby & Xavier on the couch in the longue room. Charlie is home from work, so she & Bianca have bailed to their bedroom .......

Xavier “So ......I know I’ve been here a little while now, but ........not that I’m not VERY grateful, but why ......did you let me in .....given that you’re soooo not so keen on people lately?”

Ruby “That’s actually a very simple question. Well, the answer to it is. What can I say but .....misery LOVES company, Xave. You’ve got no-one and I’VE got no-one. I mean Mum and Bianca have got each other, so have Dex & April and Rikki & Em and Cleo & Bella and .......... “

Xavier [cutting in] “Yeah, I gave my mum and John this speech recently.”

Ruby “I bet you could get together with Sasha?”

Xavier “No way !!! We do NOTHING but verbally tear each other to shreads EVERY time we encounter each other. [Ruby grins] OK, what was THAT about?”

Ruby “REALLY sounds like you two like each other, but are just too ......I don’t know, maybe stubborn to admit it.“

Xavier “I am sooooo NOT stubborn. I just .......I don’t want to fall for just anyone AND you and me, we’ve sooooo got history.”

Ruby “Yeah. I cheated on you HOW many times?”

Xavier “But Rubes, I REALLY want a girlfriend. Or, more to the point, I want YOU as my g/f.”

Xavier leans closer to Ruby. Before she realises what’s going on, he kisses her on the lips. Ruby isn’t that keen, especially when Xavier tries to get on top of her!!!! Ruby, remembering EVERYTHING that her mum taught her about self defence, gains enough strength to PUSH Xavier off her!!!!

Ruby [REALLY annoyed] “Xave, I KNOW you're desperate to be with someone, but that was SOOOOOOO bad form.”

Xavier “Rubes, you’re amazing. Even though you’re “down in the dumps”, you didn’t even THINK bout kissing me back then, so .................................”

Ruby gets the SHOCK of her life when Xavier MORPHS into Billy!!!!!

Ruby [excited voice, as she hugs him] “Billy?!?!?! What ....... I thought you .......... “ [her voice trails off]

Billy “I had to lay low. Still do. The REAL Xave threatened to expose me AND the “Angels” if I didn’t go ..... so he could have a shot with you.”

Ruby [annoyed voice] “That sneaky little .........I’m sooooooooo gonna have words with him.”

Billy “Rubes, you can’t. If you ........... “

Ruby [cutting in] “Yep. If I do, he’ll know and my “sisters” will be on their way to dissection town.”

Billy “Agreed.”

Ruby “So, where’ve you been since human you left?”

Billy “Around. It’s like, it’s been REALLY funny when you’ve called out to the kookaburras to stop laughing, cos .... what did you say?”

Ruby [sternly] “Life’s NOT funny, so stop laughing. [shocked voice] That was YOU???”

Billy “Wasn’t only me. There were other kookaburras “laughing” too.”

Ruby “So, from now on, no more me being all smart arse towards kookaburras?”

Billy “Indeed.”

Ruby [tentatively] “Billy .......how long will you have to be away for? .....and can you, say, be a dolphin and swim with us in the mornings?”

Billy “I’d say i’ll be away as long as Xave is mad with the world. As for the dolphin idea, I LIKE it. Might even turn myself into a girl dolphin and try to “steal” Ronnie off Cleo.”

Ruby [smily voice] “OK, but you KNOW you’re in for a BIG fight with that.”

Billy [after he chuckles] “With Xave, I DO suggest you go with you earlier suggestion.”

Ruby “Him and Sasha?”

Billy “Yep .......and speaking of ‘ships, [deep breath] maybe, we should go to your room. I know that April’s at Joey's in Bathurst, AND that everyone else is totally asleep by now.”

Ruby “What ......are you .......Are you saying what I THINK you’re saying?”

Billy “I think I am. I mean I KNOW I’ve said no sex before we want to have kids ...... “

Ruby [cutting in, excitedly] “I sooooooo want to have your babies RIGHT NOW.”

Billy “REALLY???”

Ruby “Yeah. I mean, going on Xave’s track record with hook-ups with girls, I may NEVER see human you again ......so your offspring will be a GREAT ...............reward.”

Billy “I love you sooooooo much, Rubes.”

Ruby “Well then, [sexy voice] let's go to my room, space boy.”

Ruby & Billy indeed head to Ruby’s room ...... and make passionate love to each other !!!!! .......sooooooo without protection of course. They, whilst in the throws of passion, behave like it’s the last day of ALL mankind ......which it kinda is for Billy !!!!!

Before the sun rises the next morning, and LONG before Ruby & co are awake, Billy silently exits the house .....and turns into a kookaburra once more, before taking flight to a nearby tree.


A handful of hours later, Irene enters the police station .........

Irene [with Watson nearby] “Charlie, how are things this morn?”

Charlie “Better than expected. Ruby’s been moping about lately, but this morn, she was REALLY in a good mood. She wouldn’t say why, but I’m just glad she’s feeling GOOD. Now, what brings you to the station today?”

Irene “It’s Gypsy AND her kids. They’re gone !!!!”

Watson “What do you mean?”

Irene “I mean they’ve take ALL of their things and have bailed in the dead of night. I mean, I’m REALLY worried about Lilly & little Shannon. I heard bout how Gypsy was involved in that robbery at the diner AND how she SHOT that poor woman, but I’m more worried bout her kids. I mean, they're bound to be with her with the River Boys ......but that’s just NOT the way things should be. Gypsy is flighty sometimes, but getting her kids into this mess of a ‘ship she has with Heath Braxton. It’s just not ...........” [her exasperated voice trails off]

Watson [with Charlie trying to hide a smile, as things are going mostly according to plan] “How long have they been missing?”

Irene [as she thinks that it’s ”only” been 10 hours at most] “Not long enough for a missing persons report to be filed ...... BUT Gypsy’s “hanging out” with KNOWN criminals. Surely that holds some sway as to you guys launching an investigation??”

Charlie [hoping that Gypsy has somehow left them a clue] “Did .......did they leave ANYTHING behind at all?”

Irene “Not that I could see, BUT .......why do I get the feeling that something “might” be there? ”

Watson “Yeah, Sarge, spill.”

Charlie proceeds to tell Watson AND Irene her grand Gypsy plan to “bring down” the River Boys .........

Watson “That’s quite a plan, Charlie. Risky, but IF it works .......... “ [her voice trails off]

Charlie “Irene, head home to your place and look EVERYWHERE. Even in places like the rubbish bin. Gypsy might have left a message somehow.”

Irene [just before she bails] “OK. See what I can so.”


Meanwhile, at the “Hunter House”, Rikki & Bella, like Charlie, well and truly notice the turnabout in Ruby’s mood ........

Rikki “Rubes, you’ve been soooooo much worse than even ME on a bad day lately. What’s changed?”

Ruby [happy voice] “Why should I NOT be happy? The sun is shining, the kookaburras are singing. All is GREAT with the world.”

Bella “Come on, Ruby. It’s STILL snowing and you HATE those noisy kookaburras. [pause, as she comes up with a new strategy] We’ll ........... “

Ruby [cutting in] “I wouldn’t recommend using your ....you know .....on me.”

Bella “Well, I WAS only going to say that we’ll TICKLE it out of you, but ....... [bella chuckles] Rikki, should we go with EITHER solution .... tickle OR power this out of her???”

Bianca [as she enters the room] “What’s all this about?”

Rikki “We were just .........[Ruby jumps up off the couch and RUSHES into her room and locks the door] trying to work out why Rubes is sooooo happy AND secretive this morn?”

Bianca [as they head for Ruby’s room] “Well ....... [they get to the door and realise its locked] Looks like her shields are up, so I wouldn’t try anything for the time being.”

Rikki “We’re gonna have to tickle it out of her when she comes up for air, so to speak.”

Bella [as the 2 mermaids and Bianca head back to the longue room] “Yeah, tickling is sooo much more a ......non "Angel" way to go.”

In her room, Ruby is on her bed. She picks up her mobile from the bedside drawers and accesses a friend’s number from her contacts list and “dials” the number ........

Sasha [at home] “Hey Rubes, what’s up?”

Ruby “Just feel like “hanging out” with you today. Meet you at the surf club in an hour?”

Sasha “OK. Yeah, I’ve got no plans today. See you there.”

Ruby [after the call ends] “Awesome, phase 1 complete. Now, phase 2.”

She accesses another number in her contact list and “dials”.......

Xavier “Hi Ruby. How are you? ......and why are you calling me when I live next door?”

Ruby “Oh, um ...... you coulda been out ......and it’s snowing and I couldn’t be bothered going next door just to find out that you might not be there. [deep breath] Anyway, do you want to “hang out” today ..... at the beach ... but meet at the surf club first?”

Xavier “I’m ......not so keen on leaving my bedroom, or the house these days. Things .....aren’t great for me right now.”

Ruby “Xave, I know that .......Well, I know you’ve not had the best luck with girls lately, but unless you go all “Weird Science” on us and invent a g/f, OUT of your house is the place to be.”

Xavier “What if I say that I’ll THINK about it?”

Ruby “What if I say that there’s 2 “Angels” in my house in a tickling mood and I’ll “sick” them on you if you don’t meet me at the surf club???”

Xavier [worried voice] “ANYTHING but that, Rubes. You KNOW how ticklish I am.”

Ruby “So, meet there in an hour?”

Xavier “It’s a lesser evil than being tickled, so yeah, meet you there.”

Ruby “See ya, Xave. [excitedly, after she ends the call] YES !!!!! Phase 2 accomplished. Now, hopefully Sash & Xave will meet at the club, WON’T kill each other, WILL get together and live happily ever after. Then, I can get back together with a certain kookaburra and life with be GLORIOUS!!!! again.”


Irene arrives at her house; and immediately heads for the rubbish bin in the kitchen. There’s several screwed up bits of paper in it. Most of which she either recognises as ones that she has put there, or things that certainly don’t appear to be a cryptic note, but .............................

Irene [after she calls the police station] “I might have something.”

Charlie ”What is it?”

Irene “Think there’s a code on a note. Can’t “crack” it myself.”

Charlie “What does it say?”

Irene “I’ll spell this EXACTLY as it’s written. X J S S B X F F space C V T I space S F U S F B U [pause] That’s it. Any thoughts, Charlie?”


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MANY thanks for the TREMENDOUS comments !!!!

CHAPTER 25 !!!!!!!

Charlie “Irene, I know that Gypsy isn’t your actual daughter, but I HOPE you’re VERY proud of her.”

Irene “To be honest, even with your plan for her to infiltrate the River Boys, I still am quite concerned.”

Charlie “You shouldn’t be. She’s followed my instructions literally to the letter. Now, I just have to work out where exactly she is.”

Irene “What do you mean, Charlie?”

Charlie “The code I told her to use is the letter alphabetically after the real letters that she is trying to tell us, so, for example, X in this case equals W, J is I and S equels R.”

Irene “Sorry, my head is spinning. Where does the note say she is then?”

Charlie “Somewhere called ...........Wirrawee Bush Retreat.”

Irene “That ........doesn’t sound familiar to me at all.”

Charlie “Me neither ........ and [Charlie looks the name up on the Net on the computer on her desk] there’s NOTHING bout it on the Net AT ALL.”

Irene “That IS strange. I thought EVERYTHING was online these days.”

Charlie “Irene, I’ll have to get back to you on this one. The moment I know, you’ll know.“

Irene “Thanks, Charlie. Yeah, then we can bring all THREE of those Nash girls home.”

Charlie “Indeed. Later, Irene. [Charlie ends the call and heads out of her office into the main area of the station] Georgie, you’re coming with me. We’ve got to speak to Alf about a matter of life or death.”

Watson “Sounds intriguing.”

Charlie [as they both head out of the station] “Will tell you on the way to the caravan park.”


Meanwhile at the River Boys’ secret base, Gypsy is lying on a bed with her kids either side of her. They share the room with new friends Fiona & Ellie and a few other River Girls. Gypsy reflects on how, despite how big this old guest house is, that it’s still pretty crowded. After all, it has to be to accommodate ALL the River Boys and Girls.

Gypsy also reflects on last night .................the clandestine mission to get Lily and little Shannon from Irene’s place.

The latter wasn’t an issue, as little Shannon was asleep, but Lils was wary of having to pack up ALL her things and bailing on Irene in the dead of night. Gypsy, of course, had one more thing to think about that night – how to get the message to Charlie bout where the River Boys’ secret hideout is. Heath & Fiona were also on this mission to get Gypsy’s kids, so it wouldn't be easy to just drop a screwed up bit of paper in the bin, as surely Heath and Fiona would be watching her every move .......as, after all, Brax doesn’t TOTALLY trust her as yet, even after she shot the feisty customer in the diner.

Gypsy had put the sleeping little Shannon is Heath’s car, along with her kids’ and her own belongings, and Fiona had just headed out the back door with Lily. Gypsy realised THIS was the perfect chance for her to deliver her message to Charlie. With the piece of paper in her hand ..........

Gypsy “How about you & me celebrate me moving in with you guys with a kiss?”

Heath “Won’t EVER say no to that, babe.”

Gypsy eagerly, initially softy, kisses Heath on the lips. She’s kinda near the rubbish bin but not really, so as they steadily begun to PASH, Gypsy guides the duo towards the bin ......and delivers the message. Bonus is that Heath is a GREAT kisser. The PASH is interrupted by Fiona .........

Fiona [on the back patio, softly] “We better bail. You know that these snowy conditions make it VERY head to drive in the Bay at night.”

Heath [softy, after he adruptly ends the kiss] “Yep. Good plan.”

Fiona [quietly, after Gypsy & Heath exit the house] “Gyps, you’re sooooooo lucky to “hook up” with Heath.”

Gypsy [normal voice, as the trio get in the car] “You have NOOOOO idea how good it is.”

Gypsy, as she lay on the bed, thinks about her kids’ and their reactions. Lily is sceptical about the move to this place which in the middle of nowhere, whilst little Shannon seems to be taking it all in her stride ..... treating it like one big adventure.

Gypsy realises that she should really be setting an example for her kids and should be getting up, so after the Nash trio have breakfast with their new extended family, Lily is keen to explore their surrounds ......so Gypsy, Fiona and their kids head off for a bush walk.


Sasha arrives at the surf club, fresh off the bus. She’s glad that there’s a stop close to the surf club as even with all the warm gear she's got on, including thermal underwear, life in supposedly SUMMER Bay still isn’t that fun at the moment.

As soon as Sasha enters the building, she looks for Ruby .......who is nowhere in sight. Strange, Sasha thinks .... as Rubes lives WAAAAAAAAY closer to the surf club than she does. It’s like, given the time, Ruby even on foot should have made in here. Sasha decides to wait, as maybe something has come up. She checks her phone. Nothing yet ........but then, whilst still in her hand, the mobile beeps .....which slightly freaks Sasha out. It’s a text from Rubes, saying she is running late and will be there soon. Kinda good Sasha thinks, as she heads for the bathroom.

Moments later, Xavier enters the surf club. A quick scan of the area reveals no Ruby. He, like Sasha, gets a text from Ruby .....saying that she’ll be there soon. Despite it being VERY cold outside, to the point where [like Sasha and EVERYONE in town] Xavier has thermal underwear on, here IN the surf club itself is quite warm .....so Xavier orders a refreshing juice from the gelato bar whilst he waits for Ruby.


Charlie & Watson arrive at the caravan park house. After they knock on the door closest to the dining table .......

Nicole “Come in, both of you. Why .......why are you here?”

Charlie [as the two officers enter] “Before I get to that, how’s little Tessa?”

Nicole “Missing Billy like CRAZY. I mean, I KNOW that Rubes is missing him badly, but there are times when Tessa just cries and cries. I mean, we put new cuddly toys in with her OR some of her old faves, but it’s like she KNOWS that it’s not Billy there with her. Even though we put cuddly toys that move, mechanically of course, but yeah, I hope whatever it going on in his life ends soon .......so he can come back to Ruby AND Tessa. [pause] Sorry about that little rant.”

Charlie “Hey, don’t apologise. Sounds like that was good stress relief for you. Telling someone how you feel.”

Nicole “Was, kinda ........but better would be if Billy came back.”

Charlie “Not gonnna disagree with you there, but at least Rubes was upbeat this morn.”

Nicole “Really, Why???”

Charlie “I don’t know. You should call her. She was sounding secretive and since you’re her bestie, she might tell YOU something that she won’t tell me or Bianca or the ‘Angels’. ”

Nicole “I’ll do that. Now, why are you two actually here?”

Watson “Is Mr. Stewart about?”

Charlie [as Alf enters the room, from upstairs] “Speak of the devil.”

Alf “Charlie, Georgie. What’s up?”

Charlie “Have you ever heard of Wirrawee Bush Retreat?”

Alf [after giving it some thought] “Now that’s a name I haven't heard in a long time...a long time.”


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MANY thanks for the TERRIFIC comments !!!!

CHAPTER 26 !!!!!!!

Watson “That’s a start, but it doesn’t REALLY tell us anything.”

Charlie “We couldn't find anything bout it online.”

Alf “Not surprised. The place has been closed for goodness knows how long.”

Charlie “What do you mean?”

Alf “The place was a country retreat type guest house. Was VERY big in its day, in terms of people staying there. Yeah, was one of the most popular places in the destrict.”

Charlie “Could you tell us EXACTLY where it is .....or get us, at the very least, 'in the ball park’. “

Alf “Give me a map and I’ll point out where it is to you right now.”

Nicole “I’ll go onto Google Earth if you want?”

Alf “Yeah, that ......might work. If not, we’ll go the old fashioned way.”

Nicole access Google Earth on the nearby computer .........

Nicole “Where am I looking for?”

Alf “Mangrove River ....... [he sees an intrigued look from Charlie] You want more specific? [Charlie nods] The bushland on the outskirts of the town.”

Nicole works her magic on the controls on the computer ......but then, upstairs, Tessa starts BAWLING .......

Nicole [as she gets up to go to her daughter] “Sorry.”

Charlie “I’ll take over. You tend to Tessa, and please DO call Rubes when you get the chance.”

Nicole “I will.”

Charlie [as Nicole heads upstairs, and after Charlie sits in the chair in front of the computer] “Now, here goes ....... [she scrolls the screen from the main street type area of Mangrove River to the bushland] I know it’s in bushland, Alf, but is any of this looking familiar???”

Alf “It’s beginning to. Been a LONG time since I was out that way. Mangrove River, the town's REALLY lost its way these days. I wouldn’t set foot in there at all.”

Charlie [as she scrolls slowly across the screen] “Any better now? [Alf has a BIG smile on his face] That looks encouraging !!!”

Alf “Well, let’s just say that my friends and I got up to things when we were young ........... “ [his voice trails off]

Charlie “Yeah, what Rubes doesn’t know about my past that won’t hurt her. [short pause] Was the smile about the place we’re after?”

Alf “Close. [Charlie uses the mouse to scroll across the Google Earth screen once more] THERE !!!!!!”

Watson [after Alf points to the large building deep in the bush] “Are you sure?”

Alf “There are places in the world that you NEVER forget about, and that’s one of them. Let’s just say that a girl and I went there together .....and I “might” have lost something very important.”

Charlie [surprised voice] “Wasn’t expecting to hear THAT !!!!!!.”

Alf “Shame that those VILE River Boys are using it as their base now.”

Watson “Not for much longer.”

Charlie “Yeah. Let’s get LOTSA back up and totally RAID the place !!!!”

Charlie & Georgie bail, leaving Alf with his happy teen memories, whilst upstairs........

Nicole [as she gentles rocks the FINALLY quiet Tessa in her arms] “There you go. I know you’re missing him like crazy but [really happy voice] things might be picking up. [she puts Tessa in her cot, and picks up her phone] Hey Rubes, how’s it going?”

Ruby [at home] “You sound ......like you’re trying to be all happy, but are still mostly stressed.”

Nicole “Yours isn’t the only heart who got broken when Billy went home.”

Ruby “How IS Tessa?”

Nicole “Looks like she’s gotten back to sleep after a SERIOUS cry about Billy. Speaking of whom, Charlie tells me that you’re, well .........upbeat this morn. I know how bad you’ve been lately, so ‘spill’. [Ruby contemplates telling her bestie that Billy didn’t go home after all] Rubes, obviously SOMETHING is going on.”

Ruby “Can .........can you keep a secret?”

Nicole”I HOPE that’s a rhetorical question .....cos I’ve got TWO words for you if it wasn’t, ‘Angels’ and ‘Jazz”. “

Ruby “It mostly was. Anyway, ................................. “

Rubes whispers all the BIG news about Billy, including that the literally out of this world couple got all “hot and heavy” last night .........

Nicole [shocked, excited voice] “Oh WOW!!!!! You and ......... [whispers] you know who.”

Ruby [soft, happy voice] “Yep. I’ve ,,,,,,you know, with other guys but he’s just [with a beaming smile on her face] AMAZING !!!”

Nicole “That’s great, but ........[tentatively] can he be ......not amazing, but ............”[her voice trails off]

Ruby “Can he visit Tessa soon? I’ll see what I can do, beyond what I am already.”

Nicole “What do you mean?”

Ruby “Well .................”


At the surf club, Sasha & Xavier are, at seperate tables, waiting for Ruby. Sasha is seriously thinking about bailing. Indeed, it’s quite handy that she is near the door, but a 27 year old tourist named Kyle had spotted her there, and likes what he sees. Kyle approaches and sits down at Sasha’s table .......

Kyle [to the quite surprised Sasha] “You’ve been waiting all your life for this moment, haven’t you?”

Sasha [perplexed voice] “What ?!?!?!?”

Kyle [smooth voice] “To meet the man of your dreams.”

Sasha “Ah ....I don’t think so. I’m here to meet up with a girl friend.”

Kyle “Oh, so you’re wired THAT way. I don’t mind. It’s cos you haven’t met the right guy yet, isn’t it?”

Sasha [kinda loudly, which Xavier picks up on] “I soooooo didn’t mean that I’m gay, but even if I was, there’s NO WAY I’d turn for you. I’m bailing. Ruby can "go jump" if she's gonna make me wait with this long without another phone call.”

Sasha exits the surf club, back into the snow & the cold. Before she gets a chance to think about whether there’ll be a bus back home soon, the sternly built Kyle rushes past her and stops right in front of her. He then, cave man style, grabs Sasha and throws her over his shoulder. She SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEAMS at the top of her lungs ........which Xavier, who had also given up on Ruby, easily hears ........

Xavier [loudly, as Sasha contines to kick & scream] “Let her go !!!!”

Kyle [after quickly turning around to face Xavier] “Or what???”

Xavier “Or this!!!!”

Xave, gaining all the traction he can from his show shoes, runs towards his enemy. Kyle, thinking that besting Xavier will proof to Sasha that she’s the one for him, puts Sasha on the ground and EAGERLY meets Xavier’s challenge with his fists swinging. Xave tries to use his nimbleness to his advantage, but the weather is sooooooo against him ....it’s not so easy to quickly change direction in snow shoes, and Sasha SCREAMS as Kyle starts to really lay into Xave. She seriously thinks about bailing to get help or, at the very least, phoning the police but she’s VERY frozen in fear ....... AND is quite admiring Xavier courage, trying to defeat the beast that captured her.

Xavier is quite badly battered when Angelo, John, Miles and several other locals arrive from out of the surf club .......

John [sternly, with Xavier bloodied at Kyle’s feet] “Suggest you pick on someone your OWN size, mate."

The foreigner isn’t so keen on dealing with a local lynch mob, considering how he man handled Sasha AND battered Xavier, so he EAGERLY flees the scene !!!!!

Angelo [calls out] “ Yeah, go away and DON’T come back.”

Sasha, now that the violence is over, rushes to Xavier’s side. As she does so, she thinks of how Xavier has just risked his life for her ........which seems weird, given the animosity tween them...........

Sasha [as she oh so gently hugs him] “Oh Xave, thank you soooooo much.”

Xavier “Looks like I’ve realised I can’t live without you.”

Sasha [taken aback] “Are you SURE this isn’t your injuries talking?”

Xavier “You ..... [he winces in pain as a combo of his injuries the hug gets to be a bit too much] Ouch !!!!!”

Sasha [apologetically, after she pulls back on the hug] “Sorry. [she sighs] Think we should take you to a hospital.”

Xavier “Will you be there by my side?”

Sasha “Every step of the way.”

Xavier “Well then, could you call an ambulance, cos I’m WAAAAAAAAAY in pain here.”

John [who is now standing close to Xavier & Sasha] “Already on its way AND I’ve called Gina.”

Xavier “Thanks, John.”

Sasha, after thinking bout ALL that has happened today AND her recent verbal sparring with Xave, kisses him softly on the lips .......

Xavier [somewhat surprised] “What .....what has THAT for?”

Sasha [sarcastic but happy voice] “Obviously cos I hate you.”

Xavier [going with Sasha’s comment] “Could you “hate” me some more then?”

Sasha [smily voice] “Maybe.”

She kisses him softly once more, just as the ambulance arrives ..........

Miles “Sasha, I’ll take you to the hospital if you like.”

Sasha [as the paramedics put Xavier on the mobile bed] “Thanks, Mr Copeland.”

John [as Xavier is put into the ambulance] “I’ll meet you both there.”

John then hops in the back of the ambulance beside Xavier, whilst Miles & Sasha head for Miles’ car.


Meanwhile, Charlie & her fellow police officers AND Brax & the EVIL River Boys are set to launch their next moves .............


Kyle is loosely based on NASCAR driver

Kyle Busch, who I’m soooo NOT a fan of !!!!!!!!


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CHAPTER 27 !!!!!!!

Bianca is sitting at the computer in the longue room of her home. She’s thinking of/typing out various ideas for a novel. A sweeping, multi country saga featuring mystical creatures when Charlie arrived home from work. Charlie looks ......wary .......

Bianca [after she gets up & hugs & softly kisses Charlie on the lips] “What’s up, Charlie Brown?”

Charlie “Tomorrow. It’s gonna be a biiiiiiiig day. [she sees Bianca’s curious look] I’ll whisper it to you. [uBER soft voice] We’re gonnna “hit“ the River Boys secret base VERY early tomorrow. Maybe, quite literally, catch ‘em with their pants down.”

Bianca [upbeat voice] “It’s gonna be ace WHEN you succeed.”

Charlie “I .......I wish I had AS much confidence as you.”

Bianca “What do you mean?”

Charlie “My officers and I. I know we’ve been through soooo much ......like the people smugglers a few years ago, but this whole River Boys thing ....a raid on a compound THAT big. It isn’t gonna be easy, even with the element of surprise.”

Bianca “How ........how do you know where they are? They’ve eluded you for AGES.”

Charlie “Ironically, there’s a mole in their ranks .......and I mean spelt with an e, not a double L.”

Bianca “You’re smart, Charlie Brown. You know that?”

Charlie “How can I NOT be smart. I’m going out with a school teacher. Yeah, I’m talking bout you, Sexy Miss Scott.”

Bianca [after they kiss] “Waaaaaaaaaaay like the sound of that.”

Charlie [kinda serious voice] “There are days when I wish that you’d put me on detention for ALL tomorrow.”

Bianca “Ooooh, you’re sounding like Em right now - with the whole ADORING getting her butt SPANKED thing. [Charlie breaks away from their hug] You’re being serious.”

Charlie [kinda stressed voice] “Yeah, this is big. I’m in charge, and lives are soooooo on the line. My officers, the people of this town. It’s up to me to keep ‘em safe.”

Bianca [tender voice, after Charlie sits on the couch and Bianca follows her lead] “Charlie Brown, you’ve done ALL you can. You’ve got a spy in their ranks, and you’re soooooo gonna to get ALL of them tomorrow. I’ve heard of, and seen on the news, what VILE creatures those River Boys are. I think people are gonna remember tomorrow for a LONG time.”

Charlie [trying to sound upbeat] “Yeah, by the end of tomorrow, the River Boys will no longer be the bane of our existence. [she sighs] So, after that GREAT pep talk you just gave me, [Charlie kisses Bianca softly on the lips] where’s everyone else?”

Bianca ”The “Angels” are on a double date at the movies at Yabby Creek, and Ruby’s at the hospital.”

Charlie [VERY stressed voice] “Ruby’s at the hospital!!! What’s up? Why didn’t someone tell me? Is her diabetes playing up? I better get there now.”

Bianca [sternly, as Charlie starts to get up] “Charlie, stop. [Charlie does] Ruby wasn’t ADMITTED to the hospital. Xave is in there, and asked to speak to her.”

Charlie [after she sighs as she sits back down] “Sorry for hitting the panic button like that. [short pause] This is all cos Xavier got assaulted today isn’t it? 2 of my officers informed me of the sitch after they spoke to him in hospital, but I don’t get why Rubes is there.”

Bianca “Guess we’ll wait up to hear from her when she gets home.”

Charlie “Any idea how long she’ll be?”

Bianca “I asked her to text me as she is leaving the hospital.”

Charlie “Ok, what will we do til then?”

Bianca “I’ve got an idea.”

Charlie [after Bianca kisses her on the lips and runs her hand up Charlie’s leg] “Good plan.”

Bianca “I LOOOOOOOOOOVE a woman in uniform”

Charlie and her gal pal gleefully kiss & caress each other, shedding clothes as they go .........but a half hour later, Chanca are rushing about the longue room .......

Charlie [stressed voice] “Hurry up, Bianca. We've got to put on ALL our clothes before Ruby gets home. Not that keen to get a lecture of ANY kind from her.”

Bianca “Come on. She’ll probably LOVE that we’ve be soooooo spontaneous.””

Charlie [as she ties the bow that secures her silver nightgown] “With Billy not around, I’m not so sure on that. [worried voice, they hear a car pull up outside] Bout to find out.”

Bianca “I think we’ll be TOTALLY fine.”

Ruby [as she enters the room] “Hey, you two. Just wan ............[she starts giggling] Is there .....anything that I should know about?”

Charlie [coy voice] “I don’t .....think so.”

Bianca [confident voice] “Nothing at all. Why do you ask?”

Ruby [smily voice] “I don’t know. Maybe cos I can see Mum’s bra protruding out from underneath the couch. [happy voice, after Charlie looks a little ashamed] How coooooooool that you two REALLY used this time that you’ve had to yourselves. After all, this place can be a madhouse at the best of times, with soooooooooo many people living here.”

Charlie “So .........[as she grabs the aforementioned bra] you’re not worried that me & Bianca are being this way while you’re ......while Billy’s not around?”

Ruby “We will be soon !!!!!”

Bianca “What do you mean?”

Ruby “When I went to the hospital, Xave AND his new g/f Sasha were there to greet me, and Xave told me how he persuaded Billy to go away, so Xave & I could get together.”

Charlie “That’s great ....but it doesn’t bring Billy back, so .....why ARE you so happy? Not that I mind. In fact, I LOOVE that you are sooooooo upbeat.”

Ruby “It’s cos he NEVER went anywhere.”

Bianca [perplexed voice] “Sorry. Run that one by me again.”

Ruby “I couldn’t tell anyone BUT, Bianca, when Xave came over last night, it wasn’t actually him .... it was Billy. He’s been around the whole time, MOSTLY as a kookaburra. [Charlie & Bianca both smile] Yeah, I totally get the irony of me shouting at those birds. Yeah so, life is sooooooooooooooo good again.”

Bianca “Yeah, and your mum’s going to, tomorrow, ensure that those pesky River Boys are out of our hair.”

Ruby “Mum, I just KNOW that the Force is with us. Yeah, the River Boys will be gone AND Billy will be by my side again.”

Charlie “Darryl Braxton and his mob, they’re dangerous, but I’m sooooooo glad that you guys have got confident in me.”

Bianca “How can we not be, ESPECIALLY if you’re anywhere NEAR a good a cop as you are in the bedroom.”

Charlie [cheeky voice, as Ruby smiles] “Sexy Miss Scott, I might just have to ARREST you for making bad puns like that.”

Bianca [as she & Charlie get up off the couch, heading for their room] “I’m sure we’ve got some handcuffs we got from Sexy Tales in our room somewhere.”

Ruby [as Charlie laughs] “TOO MUCH INFO. [as Chanca head out of her view] Night.”


Next day, it’s pretty early and whilst the MANY, many police [led by Charlie] are making their way to the River Boys not so secret base, the Brax led mob are launching their OWN offensive. Last night, Brax ordered Heath, Brodie & Fiona to “hit” the “Hunter House” today whilst Casey, Pee Wee & Gypsy eagerly agree to rob Sexy Tales .......as local top cop Chalie has a BIG connection to both places and Brax wants to REALLY send a signal to the local authorities.


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MANY thanks for the AWESOME comments !!!!

Not far to go now. Only a few chapters at best !!!

CHAPTER 28 !!!!!!!

Ruby is on the couch of her home, with Cleo beside her. They’ve not long finished eating breakfast and ...........

Cleo “So Rubes, looking forward to going to uni soon?”

Ruby “Should be good, but ...........” [her voice trails off]

Cleo “Sounds .....like you’re not so sure.”

Ruby “I like music but I still don’t know if it’s the love of my life. I REALLY wish I was like Nicole. She’s wanted to be a fashion designer since .....FOREVER.”

Cleo “Well, if nothing else “hits” you, could join us at Sexy Tales?”

Ruby [surprised voice] “ME !!!! Working there. Feels ............ “ [searches for the right words]

Cleo “Trying not to sound to disrespectful, but you KNOW the terrain ....with all the guys you’ve been with.”

Ruby [a little surprised] “You actually hit the nail on the head bout what I was gonna say. Yeah, think I’d be like a kid in a candy store there. [she sees a kinda curious expression on Cleo’s face] What’s that look about?”

Cleo “Um ................ “ [her voice trails off]

Ruby “Spit it out, sister.”

Cleo “Didn’t want to HAVE to say this, but ..........you DO realise the FATAL flaw in this plan of you working at Sexy Tales?”

Ruby “No. Actually, it’s SEEMING more perfect every time I think about it. Actually, maybe I could do a management like course at uni, and we could have, like, franchises EVERYWHERE of Sexy Tales. Will talk to Em about it when she gets out of the bath.”

Cleo “OK. [deep breath] What if your MUM comes into the store to buy “toys”, and YOU’RE the one who serves her.”

Ruby [annoyed voice, as she kinda lightly punches her friend’s upper arm] “Cleo, why rui......... “

Ruby is BEYOND interrupted when the front door is SMASHED down !!!!! Heath Braxton, with rifle in hand, bursts into the room .........

Heath “Bonus. The copper’s kid. There’s a ransom note with your name on it.”

Ruby & Cleo quickly get up off the couch and head for to back door, but Brodie & Fiona are in the kitchen to greet them. Ruby SCREEEEEEEEEAMS as Brodie grabs her, and Cleo also yells out for HEEEEEELP !!!! when Fiona manhandles her. It’s only AFTER Fiona has Cleo in her grasp that Cleo thinks about using her powers, but she now can’t – Fiona has TOO tight a grip on her!!!!! All the while, Ruby & Cleo continue to yell out for help ......hoping that next door OR, more importantly, the OTHER mermaid in the house, will hear them.

As Heath’s accomplices bring Ruby & Cleo back in to the longue room .........

Heath “Bound their hands. GAG ‘em both too. Their screams are doin' my head in. [brodie & Fiona gladly comply with Heath’s instruction, and then push the captured duo back onto the couch] Now, you 2 grab EVERYTHING you can from this place. Start in the bedrooms. Should be PLENTY of jewellery here at LEAST, while I keep these 2 company.”

Fiona & Brodie head out of the longue room and whilst Cleo resents that her hands are bound too much for her to use her mer-powers, Heath grabs Ruby's right arm near the elbow and swiftly gets her to her feet. Heath takes advantage of Ruby's hands being bound behind her back. He grabs her tank top and, starting from near the neck, eagerly rips it open .......revealing her red bra. Ruby winced in horror as she thought of ALL the stories she's heard bout Heath ....and Cleo, like Rubes, just wished that her feet weren’t bound as well, so maybe she could attack Heath’s groin with her feet.

Heath, with a vile glare on his face, eagerly sees that Ruby is wearing a front clip bra, so he GLEEFULLY undoes the clip .......

Heath [leeringly] “Nice work, Buckton. You’re making this VERY easy. Hope your panties are just as easy to remove !!!!”

Ruby is HORRIFIED that Heath can now see her breasts, and who knows WHAT he plans to do with her. She tries in vain to SCREEEEAAM her way through the gag in her mouth, but Heath just leers at her as he reaches towards Ruby’s naked boobs. She’s REVILED as Heath laughs as he eagerly fondles her breasts & nipples. Heath is WAAAAAY enjoying himself, and he ads to his pleasure when he reaches down with his right hand and pulls Ruby’s knee length skirt down to her bound ankles. Heath’s left hand remains VERY firmly on her left breast, with its nipple tween two of his fingers, whilst his other hand is moments away from being INSIDE the front of her mostly white briefs when Heath suddenly becomes an ice statue !!!!!!!!!!!!

Ruby almost can’t believe the precision that’s just occurred. Heath is frozen solid, with his icy hand is still on her naked breast, and yet Ruby hasn’t AT ALL been affected. The only thing stopping her from moving are the binds the River Boys put on her .........

Emma [as she enters the room, “wearing” only a towel like a strapless dress] “Well, that’s him taken care of. [Cleo & Ruby REALLY try to tell Emma bout the other 2 in the house] Are you two OK? [Emma sees the gags over their mouths] Better get these off you.”

Cleo [after Emma removes the gag in her mouth] “Thanks sooooo much, but .................”

Brodie [cutting in, as he enters the room with a pistol in hand – having heard female voices that weren’t Fiona’s] “OK, you ............ “

Brodie sees that Heath is FROZEN solid, which renders Brodie speechless !!!!

Emma [ice cold voice] “I think you should join your friend.”

Emma quickly raises her right arm, with her hand in a stop sign like motion, and uses her powers to freeze Brodie as well !!!!! [see pic below]

Cleo [worried voice] “Em, there’s another. A girl.”

Emma “No, there’s not. Well, not active anyway. She’s all popsicle in the wall way. Encountered her just after I got out of the bathroom. Saw that she was a River Girl, and then heard male voices. Now, better free both as you. Then call the police.”


In the bush about 2 kilometres away from the River Boys’ secret base, Lily & little Shannon are out bushwalking with Ellie [Fiona’s 10 year old daughter] when the latter sees a disturbing sight out of the corner of her eye .......

Ellie [shocked voice] “Oh My God !!!!!”

Lily “What is it?”

Ellie “I just ......hang on. Tell you soon. Gotta tell Brax bout this. [Ellie grabs her mobile out of her pocket and dials] Brax, RED ALERT !!!!! POLICE heading your way.”

Brax [calm voice, despite his surprise - at their base] “Where & how many? [Ellie give him as accurate response as she can to both enquiries] Thanks for the heads up. The three of you, stay where you are. Thanks SOOOOOOO much, Ellie. You’re a lifesaver.”

Brax ends the call and alerts the ALL River Boys and Girls at their base to the imminent attack !!!!


Meanwhile at Yabby Creek, Angelo is in his car .......in the car park of Sexy Tales. His love life has been nonexistent for AGES and hiring call girls quite often, like he has been lately, is getting expensive. It’s like, even though he owns Angelo’s, no one really in town wants to know him ever since he shot Jack Holden .......even though he’s, though his work as a police officer before he quit the force, redeemed himself in many ways. The feeling that no one wants to know him seems to apply to the women of Summer Bay especially.

Angelo’s still not so sure about what he’s thinking about doing, but, given his sitch, maybe a sex doll IS the answer .......at least for the time being. Angelo, for the “millionth” time, weighs up the pros and cons of doing this before he decides to GO for it.

Angelo enters Sexy Tales. He sees Bella at the counter. She smiles at him as he heads for the section of the shop that he is after. Moments later, with Angelo in the sex dolls aisle, Bella is worried when she sees 3 of the River Boys, including Gypsy, entering her store with weapons in hand !!!!!


Emma using her mermaid powers


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MANY thanks for the BRILLIANT comments !!!!

Red Ranger 1, must admit that I wasn’t sure if I should push the envelope as much as I did with Heath’s attack on Ruby, but I was just sooooooooo in the mood for it the night I posted that chapter!!!

CHAPTER 29 !!!!!!!

Pee Wee [sternly, with a sawn-off shotgun pointed at Bella] “You behind the counter, get your hands in the air. DON’T try ANYTHING funny.”

Casey [as the stunned Bella nods & does as Pee Wee says] “Gyps, grab some of those sexy handcuffs they have here. Everyone who works at this place is friends with the copper Buckton.”

Gypsy [as she begins to look for the cuffs in the store] “I’m on it.”

Pee Wee “Case, grab whatever’s in the till. [Casey heads for the counter, whilst Pee Wee directs his comments at Bella] Hey, aren’t there meant to be two peop………”

Gypsy [loudly cutting in, as she is out of Casey & Pee Wee’s sight] “Get up, you scum. Hands on your hand. Now, MOVE !!!!!”

Moments later, Angelo – with Gypsy holding a hand gun close to his back – exits the aisle they were in !!!!!

Pee Wee “Bonus. An EX cop as well as the current top cop’s housemate.”

Casey [at the till, to Bella] “Get it open, bitch. [the still scared Bella complies] Damn !!! Looks like it mostly ONLY hostages we’re taking from this place.”

Gypsy “I’ll find those cuffs if Case keeps an eye on this one.” [as she pushes Angelo in his direction]

Casey [as he points his handgun in Angelo’s direction, and Gypsy heads back into the aisles etc to look for the sexy cuffs] “No problems. Don’t try anything, or I’ll make bacon out of you.”

Pee Wee [with his shotgun still firmly pointing at Bella] “Like I was sayin’ earlier, aren't there supposed to be TWO people working at this joint? [bella looks worried] ANSWER ME …..or maybe we’ll just have the ex cop as our hostage !!!!”

Bella is between a rock and a hard place. Rikki IS here, but she’s in the back room doing up an order that they got via the Net. Worse still, Rikki 110% of the time that she is in the back room has head phones on ……listening to Ruby’s, and NOW Rikki’s, fave band, The Pierces !!! …..as the American sister act are “left of centre”, just like Rikki !!!

Bella “Um …….. [muttered softy to herself] think, Bella, think. [normal voice, after Pee Wee puts his finger RIGHT next to the trigger, so Bella says 1st thing that comes into her head] RIKKI’s supposed to be here, but she & Em were ALL OVER each there this morning. There was nakedness EVERYWHERE at my place.”

Bella HOPES that Rikki heard some of that. That was the reason for raised her voice a little when she said her fellow mermaid’s name. Bella sees Pee Wee move his finger away from the trigger, but keep his shotgun pointed at her …….and moments later, she sees two things - Gypsy arrive back into her sight with 2 sets of sexy cuffs in hand ……..and then Gypsy, Pee Wee & Casey ALL cry out in pain. Bella sees the evil trio’s skin looking VERY red & overheated, as they drop their weapons as the River Boys' fall to the floor !!!!

Rikki emerges from the back room with her right arm outstretched AND her hand balled in a fist. Rikki seems to be focusing especially on Gypsy, who seems to hurting the most, given her cries for help!!!!

Angelo [sternly] “Rikki, cool it.”

Rikki [as Bella grabs the sexy cuffs and then uses a set of them to restrain Pee Wee] “No way. [she sees the querying look on Angelo’s face, as all 3 River “Boys” still writhe in pain] Gypsy’s the WORST of them all. She was one of US, but she turned to the DARK SIDE.”

Angelo [sternly, as Bella cuffs the muchly in pain Casey] “But YOU’RE the one going all Darth Vader right now.”

Rikki isn’t so keen to relent, especially cos she continues to feel that Gypsy has WRONGED the rest of the town …..becoming a River ”Boy”, shooting the woman at the diner, but …….

Angelo [as Bella ‘cuffs Gypsy] “Come ON, Rikki. This …..it’s just WRONG.”

Rikki FINALLY relents and DEACTIVATES her powers. Pee Wee, Casey & especially Gypsy breathe a sigh of relief. The evil trio is breathless & lying on the floor, in NO shape to launch ANY kind of counter attack ….

Gypsy [after a few VERY deep breaths] “Thank ….. you ……Angelo. [VERY deep breath] I owe you my life.”

Angelo “Tell it to the judge, girl.”

Gypsy “But you don’t understand. The ..……..”

Rikki [cutting in] “We understand perfectly. You’re EVIL now.”

Gypsy “NO, I’m not. Let me explai……..”

Bella [cutting in] “How on EARTH are you gonna explain this?”

Gypsy “Well ……………”

Bella, Rikki & Angelo [with the totally “out of it” Pee Wee & Casey nearby] can’t believe it when Gypsy tells them Charlie’s plan !!!!!! ........

Angelo “Why …..are you telling us this? Yes, we’ve captured your associates today, but that won’t end the war.”

Gypsy “No, but something I saw in my dream last night might. I dreamt of the police raiding the River Boys’ base …..[softly] after I tipped off Charlie bout where the hideout is.”

Rikki “Charlie didn’t SAY anything last night, but she WAS out of the house bright and early this morn.”

Bella “HOPE your dream is right, Gyps.”

Gypsy “DEFINITELY. After all, I want to see where the future goes …..especially with the man who just saved me.”

Angelo [shocked voice] WHAT ?!?!?!?”

Gypsy “You heard me, AND since I’m sooooooooooo not into flitting from man to man these days, I doubt you’ll need ANY of the sex dolls that you were looking at, if you get my drift.”

Angelo [after the still handcuffed Gypsy gives him a kiss on the cheek] “What a day this's been.”

Bella “I’ll call the police. Tell then bout our citizen’s arrest.”

Angelo “What if ……[points at Casey & Pee Wee] they tell the police or a judge what REALLY happened.”

Rikki “NO ONE will believe ‘em. Can easily say we bested them with self defense moves.””

Gypsy “I’ll TOTALLY vouch for you.”

Bella “Thanks, Gyps. Now, I wonder how Charlie and the police are going.”


In the bush at Mangrove River, the Brax-led River Boys and the Charlie-led police are DEEPLY in combat. Shots ring out throughout the forest. The police have the River Boys’ base surrounded, but not before Brax’s mob went all sniper and killed or wounded some of the police as they made their way to the River Boys’ compound.

Charlie is using a tree for cover. Watson is doing likewise nearby. Charlie isn’t sure exactly how many River Boys are in the guest house, including young ‘uns like Gypsy’s kids. There’s a ring of police surrounding the building. Shots continue to ring out on both sides – with numbers of BOTH sides steadily dwindling, as they are either wounded or DEAD. The police have shot out all the windows of the old guest house, and Watson is pleased when her latest blast wounds one the River Boys who is firing in her direction from the window closest to the left of the front door. What Georgie doesn’t know is that it’s Robyn, who is Fiona's bestie, that she’s just wounded. Robyn who has Ellie, Lily & little Shannon near her …..as the River Boys numbers are thinning, cos there’s MANY wounded within the house ………

Ellie [as she takes the shotgun from her mum's wounded friend] “Please, do what you can for my mum's bestie. The police who did this, they’re gonna pay. I hope my mum and the others who are our raiding today are successful.”

Gypsy’s kids do what they can for Robyn….all the while being astonished, AND quite scared, that that are amidst this mess. Not too far away, Brax is getting VERY edgy. There’s wounded or dead all round him AND, it occurs to him, there’s a rat in his ranks. The River Boys’ secret base is the one thing that had totally kept that police from even getting CLOSE to Brax’s mob, but now they are right on his doorstep. Brax IS pleased that there’s more than a few police who’ve been wounded or killed in this skirmish, which seems to even out the losses the River Boys have suffered.

Brax fires a few more shots at the police, but he notes that the only other shots he can hear are coming from the police. Brax is also annoyed that it’s a woman leading the offensive against him. Ellie enters the room Brax is in. She sees a number of wounded/dead near Brax - either from where the police have shot her “brothers” or shrapnel from the window being “hit” ……..

Ellie [with Robyn's weapon in hand] “Brax, what are we gonna do? There’s not many of us left. Robyn just got ‘hit’.”

Brax “What are you doing here, Ellie? Thought I told you to stay out in the bush.”

Ellie “Heard all the gun shots. Was worried bout everyone.”

Brax [as he looks Ellie in the eye] “Ellie, I love you like you are my OWN daughter.”

Ellie [worried voice] “What …….. “ [her voice trails off, not really wanting to know what he’s going to say]

Brax “Cover for me as best you can.”

Ellie [VERY worried voice] “Brax !?!?!?”

Brax “Head for the front door. Open it gently. Draw their fire. See you …….soon.”

Ellie heads out of the room, and as she hears Brax fire a shot or two as she heads for the door. Although what Brax has just thought of won’t end this war, he’ll enjoy doing it …..shooting his nemesis, Charlie Buckton.

Despite in reality outnumbering the River Boys, Charlie & the police are cautious, as they are unaware of the casualties that the River Boys have sustained. Charlie & Watson see the door slowly open. Charlie also sees Brax at the window out of the corner of her eye.

Both Brax & Charlie fire their guns at each other. BOTH shots hit the intended target !!!!!!


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MANY thanks for the COOOOOOOOL comments !!!!

Not quite done yet ….at least 1 more chapter after this one !!!!!

CHAPTER 30 !!!!!!!

Charlie cries out in waaaaaaaaaaaay pain before she falls to the ground. Brax’s bullet hit below her left shoulder, close to her heart. Watson hears Charlie’s cry of pain. She looks in Charlie’s direction and sees that Charlie has been hit. Watson is now torn tween the battle versus the River Boys and saving the life of a VERY good friend. She knows that other officers that she knows have bneen wounded or been killed in this encounter, but there’s been no time to deal with any of that so far …it’s been ALL about destroying the River Boys and ending their crime spree. Watson, upon hearing another blood curdling cry from Charlie, makes her move …..towards Charlie.

There’s a LOT of blood coming from Charlie’s gunshot wound, and Watson eagerly calls for ambulances to deal with the wounded officers. Watson thinks about taking Charlie to the hospital herself, but she isn’t keen on leaving the other wounded police here alone ……so she is VERY pleased to see partially wounded fellow officer Penny Novak [the pony tailed blonde we always see but never hear] approach ……

Watson “Is there any of us left?”

Penny “The rest that aren’t dead are …..not AS bad as Charlie, but they’re getting there.”

Watson “I’ve called for an ambulance or three. Made them aware of the probable casualties in the house as well.”

Penny “They musta sustained just as many casualties as us. Thank God that no one is firing at us any more.”

Watson “We’ve gotta get Charlie to a vehicle so I can get her to hospital. I know that I maybe shouldn’t get TOO attached to a work colleague, but Charlie’s my friend. A VERY good friend.”

Penny “No need to explain. I’ll help you carry her to a car.”

As the 2 police officers WAAAAAAAAAY gently carry Charlie to the nearest police vehicle. Watson is pleased that it’s a 4 wheel drive, which will be able to MUCHLY handle the Bay’s icy roads – which Watson will have to drive on as that’s the quickest way to get to Northern District Hospital. Watson & Penny do what they can to stop the bleeding, bandaging the wound and the like, before they lie Charlie in the back seat of the vehicle …………..

Watson “Do what you can here, Penny. Hopefully that fleet of ambulances will be here soon. Oh, and ring Ruby....AND Bianca.”

Penny “Will do.”

With that, Watson gets behind the wheel and starts the hopefully quick enough journey to the hospital.


Meanwhile, inside what was once the revered Wirrawee Bush Retreat, Lily & little Shannon can hear their friend Ellie WAAAAAAAAAAAY crying. They look at the nearby Robyn, who they can do no more for ….as she has now LOST her battle to stay alive ………

Little Shannon “How …….how did we get ……get into this mess?”

Lily “Probably cos although our mum is a girl like us, she has a VERY male way of thinking when it comes to the opposite sex.”

Little Shannon [perplexed] “What ?!?!?”

Lily “You’ll understand what I said soon enough. We should go and see what’s .......[deep breath] what’s making Ellie cry.”

Little Shannon “Since her mum’s not here, bet it’s to do with Brax.”

Lily [as Ellie starts howling in tears] “Think you’re right.”

Lily & little Shannon make their way past more severely wounded or dead River Boys. Both are pleased that there’s been no gun shots for a while, and when they enter the room that Ellie is in, they see their friend deeply in tears beside the lifeless Brax. Ellie is holding his hand but all THREE girls know, from the large pool of blood, that Brax is DEAD!!!!!

Lily is torn as to what to do next. She’s good friends now with Ellie, but the River Boys aren’t really Lily & little Shannon’s family ……

Lily “What will we do now? Looks like we’re it.”

Little Shannon “Glad there’s no more gun shots. I’ve sooooooo seen enough [she starts to tear up] people hurt or …….[deep breath] dead.”

Lily & her sister both look straight at Ellie, hoping that she’s not going to continue this battle, especially since Gypsy’s kids have heard the wounded cries of many of the police as well. Lily & little Shannon also wonder about their mum …….away from all this mess, but a River “Boy” all the same.

Lily “Ellie, I …………. “ [her voice trails off, as she doesn't exactly want to SAY to her friend that she thinks they should give up]

Ellie “Think there’s only one thing we CAN do. There’s none of us left, bar us, who are in any shape to fight. HOPE my mum AND yours are OK. [she looks around them] Oh good, a white flag. That’ll tell the cops that we surrender.”

Little Shannon hands Ellie just about the only non blood stained white cloth from nearby, and Ellie gets close to the window and waves the cloth. Penny, who is keeping an eye on the house along with doing what she can for her wounded fellow officers, see the gesture of surrender. Despite there being no gunshots in quite a while …..the last were the shot that wounded Charlie, Penny is cautious ……….

Penny [loud, authoritive voice] “Come out with your hands up.”

Moments later, the front door of the old guest house opens, and Penny almost can’t believe what she is seeing. 3 kids exiting the building. She is pleased that Gypsy’s kids have physically at least survived this battle, given all Gypsy has done to help the police. Penny IS worried about them emotionally though, as little Shannon in particular is in tears. Lily is being a little more stoic than her little sis, whilst all Ellie wants to know about is her mother, Fiona ……

Penny “I’ll see what I can find out.”

The 3 kids take heart that their mums, whilst in police custody, are not wounded.


Meanwhile, Watson arrives at the hospital and carries her good friend into the building. Sid, Nurse Julie and the other med staff eagerly start to treat Charlie. Ruby, who is already at the hospital in anticipation of Watson & Charlie’s arrival, is pleased to have a distraction from what happened to her ……Heath BEYOND touching her breasts AND almost doing soooooo much more then that!!!!

Ruby “Doc, what’s up with Mum?”

Bianca “Yeah, what’s up?”

Sid “Will tell you as soon as we know, but looks like she’s copped a gunshot wound close to her heart. Watson did a GREAT job getting Charlie here as fast as she did. Now, we’re gonna get her into theatre and operate. I’m not going to lie to you, this is going to be tough, but your mum, she’s a fighter.”

Ruby [as Bianca hugs her] “Thanks, Doc. I KNOW you’ll do all you can. [Ruby slowly releases herself form the hug] Thanks, Georgie. You must be the BEST driver to get her here so quick.”

Watson “I KNOW that Charlie would do the same for me.”

Ruby [realises something] “Hey!!!! Just thoughta something. We’ve GOTTA contact Joey.”

Bianca [perplexed] “What ?!?!?”

Ruby “Mum wouldn’t BE in this mess if it wasn’t snowing. The River Boys only started their UBER crime spree after we had to unofficially rename the town Winter Bay.”

Bianca [excited voice, after she hugs Ruby & kisses her on the cheek] “That’s a GREAT idea. You’re a lifesaver, Rubes.”

Ruby “No, THAT’S Sid’s job. Mum, she’s ……[as tears steadily well in her eyes] she’s GOTTA make it.”

Bianca [reassuringly] “She will, Rubes. Your mum, she’s like NO ONE I’ve EVER met before. I never thought I COULD be as loved by someone as much as she loves me.”

Ruby [still quite teary] “Hope you’re right. [deep breath] Time to call Joey.“


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