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A Path Of Heartbreak

Guest LauraPhilly!!

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Story Title: A Path Of Heartbreak.

Type of story: Long Fic

Main Characters: Charlie, Brax, Tegan and few others

BTTB rating: Teen/Adult

Genre: General

Does story include spoilers: No.

Any warnings: Possible sexual content & language

Summary: Charlie is mad when Brax reveals all too soon to their friends and family that they are in a relationship. He storms out and bumps into Tegan. She appears to be a friend he can confide in and Brax tells her about his troubles with Charlie. One thing leads to another and Brax and Tegan sleep together. As the guilt eats away at him, Brax decides to tell Charlie knowing that it will break her heart. However what Brax has done will not be the only thing that will shock Charlie. Will they be able to get past it or will the consequences of that night haunt them forever?

-> There will be a considerable gap between each of these chapters as I want a certain length to the story. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. It is through your comments that my future fictions get better and better.

Thanks and enjoy.

Laura xx

Chapter 1

Leaning against a tree, Charlie silently observed the scene before her. She watched as Brax lifted a large black suitcase and loaded it onto the bus. Straightening up again, he managed to smile to the blonde girl in front of him. He held out his hand and she shook it.

"Call me if there are any problems," he said quietly.

Tegan nodded and wrapped her arm around her tummy. "I'm sorry for what happened Brax; that night and everything subsequently. I hadn't intended on it going that far."

Brax dismissed her apologies. "They do little now, Tegan. What happened, happened and we just have to deal with it."

Tegan nodded. "I'm still sorry."

Brax nodded and stepped back so she could board the bus.

"Take care," he said before the doors closed. "Call me when you get to your moms, just so that I know that you're…safe."

Tegan nodded and disappeared as the doors of the bus closed. She smiled at Brax before the bus drove away. He sighed and stayed where he stood for a moment, watching the bus drive away. Then he turned and spotted Charlie watching. They held each other's eyes for a moment before Charlie turned and walking away. Brax sighed and walked towards the direction of the beach, hoping a surf would clear his mind of all his worries.

Unbeknownst to Brax, Charlie stopped again and watched him as he walked down onto the sand. As he disappeared from sight, she sighed melancholic before walking away. She hated that things were the way they were but the damage was already done and Charlie knew nothing could be changed.

One month ago…

"Brax what the hell were you thinking?" exclaimed Charlie, as she shot daggers at him from her eyes.

He held that same casual pose that he always did and shrugged. "I guess I thought it wouldn't be a problem! So what if people know we're going out, Charlie? We have been going out for four months!"

"Yeah, but, I just didn't want people to know yet," she said, her voice high as her frustration with him grew. "This thing we have got going on…it could affect everything, Brax; my job, my family and friends, whether people in the community trust me or now! You should have consulted me first before telling people!"

"Charlie, why should any of that change?! You're still a fantastic cop, who has proved countless times that her job is important to her so why would people distrust you?"

Charlie shook her head at Brax in disbelief. "Have you completely forgotten everything that has happened the past few weeks?! That Heath was sent to prison for cultivating drugs, or has that just slipped your mind?"

Brax frowned back at Charlie angrily. "Seeing as my mother has not stopped crying since, I don't think it's possible for me to forget! I still don't see why that would change anything!"

"Ha!" exclaimed Charlie. "Well then you're just stupid. How is it going to look that I, Sergeant Buckton, am going out with Heath Braxton's brother?! Do you not realise how bad that will look?!"

"Charlie what does it matter what people think as long as we're happy together? Isn't that the most important thing?"

Charlie bit her lip.

Brax paused. "Oh my God, are you having second thoughts about us?"

Charlie looked up at him with an unsure look in her eyes.

"Oh my God you are, aren't you? Well I am going to make things easier for you! We're over!"

Before Charlie could respond, Brax stormed out of the house slamming the door behind him.

Walking out onto the road, Brax walked straight into Tegan.

"Ouch!" she cried, lifting her hand to her head. "What's the rush Brax?"

"Sorry Tegan, I didn't mean to bump into you," he said, looking to the red bump on her forehead anxiously. "I'm just frustrated!"

Tegan looked towards the house that Brax had just left. "Trouble in paradise?"

Brax nodded.

"Want to talk about it?" she asked.

Brax shrugged. "Sure…why not?

Meanwhile Charlie looked out of the curtain and saw where Brax was talking to Tegan. He saw them walking away, her smiling and him talking. She dipped her head and let the curtain fall. He was right; she was being ridiculous. What did it matter what people thought? She loved Brax at the end of the day and that was what was most important.


Jogging down to the beach, Brax dug his surfboard into the sand as he began to strip off. As he looked out to the crashing waves, feeling the warm sun on his back, he could not stop thinking about Charlie. Only a few months ago, they had been together on this beach, and Brax had been teaching her how to surf. How unfair was it that so much could change in so little time.

It was his fault, of course. Charlie was entirely faultless for the breakdown of their relationship. Brax could try to blame the male sex in general for his indiscretion but he would not dare try to pull such an excuse on Charlie. She was too smart for that.

As he ran into the water, and jumped upon his board, Brax tried to put Charlie out of his mind. But no matter how hard he tried, the heartbreak he caused, and would continue to cause, could not be forgotten. The consequences of his actions remained with him, and would continue to do so for the rest of his life.

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Thanks so much for all your comments!

They are really appeciated!

Enjoy! :)

Chapter 2

Brax had been right in thinking that the surf would help clear his mind, however only while he was surfing. Once he had dried off and changed into clean clothes, his mind returned to everything that had happened in the past few months and he shook his head at how stupid he had been.

Walking in the direction of the restaurant, he spotted Ruby and Casey sitting outside chatting and laughing exuberantly. As he passed them, Ruby suddenly went quiet and glared up at Brax. Casey smiled apologetically at his older brother but Brax couldn't deny Ruby's right to hate him. After all, he had broken her mother's heart and nothing could change that.

Climbing the stairs to the restaurant, he walked through the busy tables and ducked into the storage room. He ran his fingers through his hair and shook his head trying to concentrate on the day ahead of him but he just couldn't. He couldn't get that dreadful night out of his mind…

"So basically Charlie didn't want anyone to know about us yet and I jumped the gun by telling people. Then we got into a huge argument and I stormed out."

He looked up to Tegan for advice. She shifted in the sofa, making herself comfortable before replying. "Well it sounds to me like she's embarrassed to be seen with you?"

Brax shook his head. "No I don't think that's it…I know she hates hiding our relationship as much as I do. She's just worried about her job and whether people will trust her anymore. What happened with Heath last week hasn't helped things."

"Brax you can't keep making excuses for her. You said it yourself; you've been going out for four months. You made the right move by telling people about you two! Otherwise your relationship could have remained a secret for who knows how long!"

"But now Charlie will never want us to do anything together, in public, at least. I don't know what I was thinking? Why didn't I just respect her wishes?"

Subconsciously Tegan moved closer to Brax. "Don't do that to yourself Brax. Charlie has got you into this situation. If it was me, I wouldn't want to keep us a secret."

Brax lifted his head to laugh but then he realised how close their faces were. Smiling a little, Tegan leaned in and kissed him softly. Before he realised what he was doing, Brax was kissing her back. The kiss grew more passionate and suddenly they embraced each other. Tegan cried out loudly as Brax held her closely. But whereas the woman he held in his arms physically was Tegan, his mind was telling him that she was Charlie.


Charlie took a deep breath to steady herself as the sign for Angelo's appeared in the distance. She would not usually be going to the restaurant except that she was looking for Ruby. Brax would no doubt think it was merely an excuse; he would misconstrue the visit to think that she was merely looking to see him.

He had never given up hope that they would get back together, she knew that. But she knew that wouldn't happen. She wasn't even angry at him anymore. She wasn't really anything at him. She didn't even really like him anymore. Not that way, anyway.

Walking along the path, she frowned in confusion as she felt her heart begin to race. It fluttered like a little bird begin her rib cage, the speed of it increasing by the second. She tried to shake off the feeling but to little avail. All too often, Charlie had relied on her heart rather than her head but she would not make the same mistake this time.

The innocence and naivety of her heart had allowed her to be hurt before. The pain had been so severe; Charlie did not think she could bare it again so she would not make such foolish mistakes again. Walking through the Surf Club, Charlie smiled politely at Alf and John who were talking quietly behind the desk. Both their eyes followed her as she carefully climbed the stairs to Angelo's.

"I wonder what she's up to," said John, suspiciously. He knew only too well how manipulative Darryl Braxton could be.

Alf shook his head in disapproval. "Charlie Buckton is not stupid, John. All the locals know what happened between them, and it is no secret that Charlie does not take men who break her trust back easily. Don't you remember Angelo?"

"Yeah, well, of course I do!" snapped John. Glaring up the stairs as Charlie disappeared, John recalled with Alf the break-up of Charlie and Angelo's relationship. The revelation that Angelo had killed her best friend and lied about it for weeks had been too much for Charlie and she ended things with Angelo merely minutes after he was charged with Jack's manslaughter. The two later reformed their relationship and remained close friends however that was as far as it went for Charlie. She could not trust men who lied to her. There was no going back for them.

At least, that's what she believed in before she met Brax…


It was dark outside as Brax tidied up the restaurant before closing up. Everybody had left, including the staff, so it was just him alone.

He looked around, surprised, as he heard light footsteps coming up the stairs. His heart skipped a beat as he saw it was Charlie. Her voluptuous brown hair hung down past her shoulders, the tight top and skirt she was wearing hugged her body and highlighted her toned figure. Brax reserved her face for last and as he looked into her eyes, his heart melted.

But Charlie was not there to speak to Brax. "Have you seen Ruby? She hasn't come home yet...?"

Brax shook his head, his heart falling slightly. "No, sorry. I saw her today with Casey; maybe he invited back to our place for dinner?"

Charlie nodded. "Thanks," she said politely before turning away to walk back down the stairs.

"Charlie?" he called out to her.

Reluctantly Charlie turned to look at him. "Yes?"

Looking at her anxious face, his heart thudded. "I am sorry."

She smiled very slightly and nodded. "I know…it doesn't change anything though."

"I know."

Smiling lightly again, Charlie then turned and walked down the stairs. Brax waited, listening to the sound of her footsteps before they finally disappeared. Turning back to the counter, he lay back against it, running his fingers through his hair. How did he get himself into this mess?

He could only hope that Charlie would forgive him in the months to come. The times that he had spent with her had been some of the best in his life, and it pained him to think that they might never share that closeness or bond again.

However, Brax had learnt from mistakes made in the past, and knew that he could not pressure Charlie to get back together with him. He loved her, and he wanted whatever they could share to be natural. It would take time for her to trust him again but Brax was willing to wait. He would wait forever for Charlie.

Locking the doors of the restaurant behind him, Brax descended down the glass stairs, he mind switching to other matters which also needed his attention. The consequences of that night with Tegan lived on with him and would never be put to rest. They would soon consume his mind, leaving him little time to do anything else. He had time, thankfully, but the months would pass by quickly and before he would know it, he would have to act. Brax wanted to act carefully and appropriately. He did not want to mess this up. This could possibly his last hope of redemption. He could not mess it up.

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Thanks for all your comments! :)

Here's the next chapter!

Feedback would be much appreciated!

Chapter 3

Charlie looked up from the newspaper as she felt her phone buzzing on the table. Lifting it up, she smiled as she saw it was Jason texting her.

Can't wait to meet up later babe. You text me when and where and I'll be there. xx

Charlie quickly texted him back. She then folded up the newspaper and quickly left the Diner, planning to return home as soon as possible so she would have plenty of time to get ready. No doubt Ruby would want to help her decide what to wear.

As she walked down the path beside the beach, she spotted Brax walking towards her carrying a large crate of empty drinking bottles. He dipped his head in acknowledgement of her while Charlie smiled at him politely.

She looked back at him briefly when he walked by. It had been three months since they had broken up. Charlie was no longer angry with him. She still hadn't forgiven him for what he had done but she wasn't angry.

Instead, an air of awkwardness now existed between them whenever they came into each other's presence. Even when somebody else was with them, conversation would suddenly become scarce and everyone would resort to looking at their shoes or to finding something to look at in the distance.

Neither had really dated anybody in those four months, however tonight would be Charlie's first time going on a romantic date since their break-up. Charlie liked Jason; he brought her a coffee and blueberry muffin to the station every morning and he was one of the most polite men that Charlie had ever met in her entire life.

Having met him in a somewhat awkward situation (The station received a call from an elderly lady about a nude man running around her garden), Charlie was surprised that she found Jason attractive and even more surprised that she had agreed to go on a date with him. Having convinced her that the 'nudey' run was a once-off thing, they shared a couple of laughs and Charlie agreed to have dinner with him.

Arriving home, Charlie was enthusiastically greeted by Ruby who immediately grabbed her hand and pulled her into the bedroom. They spent the next hour trying to figure out what Charlie would wear, how she would wear it, what accessories she would use and what make-up would be appropriate for the date. Charlie loved this part of going out; she loved dressing up and making herself feel special by using her expensive make-up and perfume. She also loved this mother-daughter experience that Charlie and Ruby always shared when either of them was going out somewhere.

She left the house two and a half hours later glammed up and excited about the evening ahead. She was a little apprehensive as she arrived outside "Brax's". Charlie in the end couldn't decide where to go so Jason chose what he heard what apparently the best restaurant in the town.

"The food is meant to be delicious Charlie, we have to try it," he had said. Charlie agreed, knowing all too well how great the 'food' was. She hoped that perhaps tonight was Brax's night off but Charlie doubted she would be that lucky.


Jason waited patiently at the entrance to the Surf Club. The cold evening wind swept past him and he shivered. Rubbing his hands together, he tried to create some heat but to no avail. Every now and again, he would look to his watch and search the car park with his eyes narrowed. But she was not here yet.

He paced the porch, slightly impatiently, hoping that she would arrive soon. He hoped that she had not bailed on him. He had invested too much thought into this evening for her to just not show up. Although, Jason wouldn't have been surprised if she didn't turn up; he never had much luck with women, and he had almost died with shock when Charlie Buckton agreed to go on a date with him.

He cringed as he remembered the day they first met. She had been brave to put up with him in that state. Jason was not ashamed of his body so the fact that she had seen all of him hadn't perturbed him, it was just that he usually saved that reveal for a fifth date or something.

Like the old-fashioned man that he was, he tried to woe her, although not expecting anything to come of it. But she had said yes and here he was waiting for her to arrive. Once sobered up, he had been finally able to look at her properly, and couldn't deny that she was incredibly beautiful, evening in her police uniform.

He tried to imagine what she would look like when she would arrive, if she would even turn up at all. He could tell Charlie was your typically classy girl. He imagined her in a not too revealing dress that stopped maybe just above the knee. Then, like every girl, she would step out in the most outrageously high shoes and she would threaten to overshadow him, literally. He imagined her long brown hair would be straightened, gently hanging past her shoulders.

Thinking of her made Jason wish she was here even more, and as the minutes progressed, and there was still no Charlie, Jason began to really fear that she backed out of the date. But then, just as he began to lose hope, a car pulled into the car park and outstepped Charlie, in a beautiful yellow dress.

Jason observed her in awe as she approached him, a nervous smile on her face. She was really stunning. She even had a sort of glow, an extra touch of beauty that only very few girls had. As she slipped her hand into his, Jason held it tightly and smiled at her.

She was beautiful.


Stepping out of the car, she immediately saw Jason waiting at the door. He smiled and waved at her, and she gladly took his outstretched hand as they began the ascent up the stairs. Charlie immediately spotted Brax behind the counter as they walked through the doors however she also noted that the restaurant was extremely busy tonight so Brax would have no time to linger around her table, as she knew he would.

Brax looked up from the counter to observe the restaurant, making sure that no-one was calling out for water or sauces. He almost gasped as he saw Charlie sitting down towards the end of the restaurant and Jason pushing in her chair. She wore his favourite yellow dress that was tight around her bust but spread out at her waist. He remembered that day in Yabbie Creek when she bought it. He had gawked at every dress she had tried on, but Brax privately agreed that Charlie was the most beautiful and breath-taking in this dress.

As Jason went to sit down, Charlie stole a glance up at Brax and she immediately caught his eye. Charlie looked away again and remained determined to never look at Brax for the rest of the evening.

This plan failed stupendously; every time Brax would walk around the restaurant to serve his customers, or as Charlie would go to the bathroom, they would be stealing glances at each other. To make matters worse they were not discreet about it either; Jason noticed their exchanges more than once. In an attempt to bring her attention back to him, he tried to strike up interesting conversations with her and Charlie would nodd and agree with him, but Jason knew her mind was elsewhere. As the stares and exchanges continued, Jason finally realised he'd had enough and stood up from his chair.

"I'm sorry Charlie; this is just not working," he said, pushing in his chair.

"Wait, why not?" asked Charlie, turning her head back to him quickly.

Jason laughed a humourless laugh. "Charlie, I can see that you and that barman have got something going on. Please don't attempt to insult my intelligence."

"No, Jason, that's nothing," insisted Charlie, wishing the words to be the truth herself. "He and I are just good friends."

"With the looks you were exchanging, mere friends would be impossible," said Jason , taking his jacket and walking away.

"Jason, wait, please," begged Charlie, standing up and grabbing his arm. From behind the counter, Brax watched the entire scene, intently. "I swear to you that it is nothing."

"Well, then you are not only kidding me but also yourself," said Jason, angrily. He then briefly looked at Brax and back at Charlie and sighed, an empathetic look on his face. "Just be with him Charlie. In your heart you already are, so why do you keep fighting it?"

Charlie let go of his hand and watched awestruck as he walked away. She turned to look back at Brax who was still watching her. She sighed exasperatedly before picking up her bag and leaving the restaurant.

If only following her heart was so simple.

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Thank you so much again for all the comments!

I absolutely LOVE reading them all!

I hope you enjoy this chapter! :)

Chapter 4

"Charlie? Charlie, are you here?"

Charlie sighed exasperatedly, rose from the sofa and walked into the kitchen to find Ruby standing by the front door, Casey's arms wound around her waist.

"Hey guys, what's up?" she asked.

Ruby looked up to Casey. "Um…well, there's this new club opening in Yabbie Creek tonight and it's free for the first fifty people. Is it ok if I go with Casey?"

"Ruby, you can't," said Charlie, crossing her arms across her chest, determined to win this argument. "You have that meeting with your dietician in the morning? You can't be out late the night before?"

"Charlie, please, I promise not to stay out too late?"

"Ruby, I said no, and I meant it," said Charlie. "I'm not changing my mind."

"Well I'm going anyway," said Ruby, taking Casey's hand and leading him out the backdoor. "Casey's allowed go, so why shouldn't I be?"

"Ruby - "

"Whatever, Charlie," said Ruby, rolling her eyes at her mother, unimpressed.

Charlie attempted to protest further but at that stage Ruby and Casey had disappeared out the door and down the road. She sighed, regretting the action that she would now have to take as it would involve talking to the one person who she had been avoiding for the past few months.

Looking through her contacts, Charlie quickly arrived at his number and pressed the ring button lifting the phone to her ear, hoping that it would go straight to voicemail.

Her heart sank as she heard Brax's voice on the end of the line. "Hello?"

"Hey…it's Charlie."

There was a moment of silence.

"Hi Charlie," said Brax, his voice faltering. "Um…what can I do for you?"

"Well, Ruby and Casey are planning on going to this new club in Yabbie Creek…"

"Yeah, "Orlando's", why, is there a problem?" Charlie was surprised by the hint of concern in his voice.

"Well…Ruby had a diabetes meeting in the morning and she really should get a good night's sleep beforehand so I was just wondering –"

"If I would tell Casey he couldn't go?" finished Brax.

"Something like that, yeah," said Charlie, cringing at how awkward the conversation was.

"Yeah, I can have a word with him…not sure if it'll make much of a difference. Both he and Ruby are pretty stubborn."

"Don't I know…" said Charlie, thinking of all the times Ruby had disobeyed her. "I would appreciate it though if you could say it to Casey anyway. He's less likely to listen to me, but if you told him not to go…"

"I get where you coming from," said Brax.

"Thanks," said Charlie softly. "I really appreciate it, Brax."

There was a further moment of silence.

"I'm sorry your date didn't work out the other night," said Brax in a quiet voice.

Charlie sighed, remembering that night. Every time she had looked at Brax, her heart had started racing, screaming at her to go over to him. Jason had been right; Charlie's heart already belonged to someone else…

"I guess it just wasn't meant to work out," she replied, sighing heavily.

"I guess…" Brax repeated.

Charlie groaned as once again there was another silence. Would things always be this awkward between them?

"Well, I'll tell Casey that he's not allowed go to "Orlando's"," said Brax. "Let me know if it works."

"I will," said Charlie, smiling at his concern. "Thank you, Brax."

The line went dead and Charlie lay the phone down on the counter. She ran her fingers through her head. It made how sad at how much her relationship with Brax had deteriorated. They could barely even talk to each other. However, Charlie knew where his feelings for her stood…the way he had looked at her that night with Jason had confirmed that.

But Charlie didn't trust Brax, and that would always be the problem if they were to ever get back together. Could she trust him never to break her heart again? After everything that happened with Tegan and what would surely happen in a couple of months, would Charlie want to risk getting hurt again?

Charlie sighed and went to get ready for her shift at work. She just hoped that things would work out with Brax. She may not want to get back together with him but she cherished their friendship and she hated to think that they would always be as awkward as they were.


Charlie returned from work later that day, hoping to find Ruby studying or helping Leah. She had braced herself for an angry outburst however none came as Ruby was not there to greet Charlie when she came home.

She immediately suspected that Brax's warning had not deterred Casey or Ruby from going to "Orlando's" so she immediately picked up her phone and rang Ruby.

Typically it went straight to voicemail.

Charlie reluctantly called Brax who immediately promised that he would try looking for them. He told Charlie to stay where she was and wait for his call, so, to distract herself, Charlie set about cleaning the house.

She stared anxiously at her phone and the clock every few minutes. The hand edged closer and closer to the ten figure until finally, at 10:30, Charlie gave up and went to call Brax.

While dialling the number, a call from Brax immediately came through.

"Brax have you found them?"

"Charlie, I need to you to come to Yabbie Creek now. I found Casey and Ruby queuing up to at "Orlando's" but Ruby's just had a hypo! She was pretty bad at first but her fits appear to have ceased so we've brought her to McDonalds. She's pretty out of it though!"

"Ok, ok, hang on, I'm coming right now," said Charlie, grabbing her keys and running straight out the door.

She jumped in the car and whizzed out the driveway, hoping against hope that Ruby would not end up in the hospital again.

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Thank you all again so much for your really lovely comments! :)

Here's the next chapter!


Chapter 5

Pulling into a parking space, Charlie quickly jumped out of the car and ran through the double doors of McDonald's. She looked around the restaurant desperately before finally spotting the three of them in the corner; Ruby sat in between Brax and Casey, with Casey's arms around her shoulders, supportively. Her face was ghostly white.

"Hey, baby, I'm here now, it's ok," said Charlie, running over to her, and offering Ruby her high energy drink. Brax shuffled along the chair allowing Charlie to sit beside her daughter. Charlie wrapped her arms around Ruby and hugged her tightly.

"Hey, you scared me," she said, watching as Ruby drained the bottle. Ruby let out a deep sigh, and snuggled further into her mother's arms. While Ruby's eyes drooped, sleepily, Charlie quickly tested her blood sugar level.

"It's still way too low," observed Charlie, looking from the glucometer to Ruby face, concernedly. "Casey, could you run to the counter and get Ruby a large portion of chips please?" she asked, offering Casey a five dollar note.

"No way, I'll pay," said Brax, jumping up and following Casey to the counter. Charlie smiled at him as she caught his eye. Turning back to Ruby, she wrapped her arms around her tightly, holding her daughter protectively in her arms.

Casey quickly returned with the chips, and despite Ruby's protests, Charlie manage to coax her into eating them. Reluctantly, Ruby ate the chips, while giving Charlie weak, unimpressed looks. She was still so shaky and fragile, Casey offered to feed them to her as he saw the chips slip between her fingers as she failed to grip them tight enough. After she had finished them, Ruby insisted that she felt well enough to walk back to the car.

"No, Charlie, we don't need to go to the hospital," she insisted, as together Casey and Brax supported her arms as she stood up. "I'll tell Dr. Lynch in the morning when I see her."

"Are you sure, Rubes?" asked Casey, looking into his girlfriend's still pale face anxiously. "You should get checked out…just to be on the safe side."

"What do you think, Charlie?" asked Brax, looking into the concerned face of his former girlfriend.

Charlie observed Ruby's beseeching face and sighed, relenting.

"Ok, fine, we'll leave it until the morning," she said. "C'mon, let's get you home and into bed." She said, picking up her keys.

Together, Casey and Brax helped Ruby walk out to the car, their arms around her back, with Charlie bringing up the rear. They both stood back after they lowered her into the back seat of the car.

"Can I ride home with you, Charlie?" asked Casey. "Just to make sure Ruby gets home safely."

Charlie looked to Brax who immediately nodded his head. "If it's ok with you, it's ok with me? I'll follow you behind and then drive Case home afterwards." Casey smiled appreciatively as Charlie nodded in agreement.

As Charlie sat into the driver's seat, Casey jumped in beside Ruby and put his arms around her comfortingly. As Charlie drove away, her eyes followed Brax as he walked away to his car. He looked in her direction and their eyes met briefly before Charlie was forced to return her eyes to the road.

Brax had been so amazing tonight, Charlie thought as she drove home. If he hadn't been there, who knows what could've happened to Ruby. She hoped that after tonight things would be different between them. They would be, surely.


While Casey brought Ruby to bed, Brax stood in the kitchen as Charlie made him a cup of coffee. She stood with her back turned to him. He allowed his eyes to travel from the bottom of her slim legs, up her toned back and to her luscious brown hair. He sighed, awestruck. She was so beautiful.

Charlie turned and stopped abruptly as she saw the loving look that still graced Brax's features. He quickly returned to the present and accepted the mug from Charlie's hand, trying to move swiftly past that stolen moment.

"Thank you so much for tonight," said Charlie, coming to stand in front of him, looking into his eyes. Brax listened intently as sincerity running through her every word. "You really don't know how grateful I am."

"It was nothing Charlie," said Brax, smiling at her. "I would do that and much more, for you, anytime."

Charlie raised her eyebrows in surprise but she held his eyes and, for a moment, they almost leaned in, towards each other, before Casey walked into the kitchen, interrupting their moment.

"Ruby's asleep," he said, not noticing what they had been about to do. "I'm so sorry for everything that happened tonight, Charlie. It was really my fault that Ruby didn't eat enough. I guess I kind of forgot about her diabetes."

Charlie sighed, disapprovingly. "Well, Ruby tries to not make a big deal of it, Casey, so it's ok that you forgot."

"Still, I should have listened to Brax. You guys wouldn't have warned us from going without a genuine reason."

Brax looked to Charlie and they exchanged a smile. "I guess that proves the theory that adults are always right, huh," he said with a chuckle. Casey nodded in defeat.

Charlie laughed too and then smiled at Brax widely. Casey noticed this and stared suspiciously from his girlfriend's mum to his older brother.

"Ok…well, I think we should go now," he said, pushing Brax, whose eyes still held Charlie's, out the door. "Can I come around tomorrow to see how Ruby is, Charlie?"

"Of course you can, Casey," said Charlie, smiling at him kindly. "I'm sure Ruby would love that."

Casey smiled and ducked out the door. Brax paused before leaving. He looked like he was about to say something but instead he just smiled.

"I'll see you around," he said, before walking through the backdoor and disappearing into the night.

Charlie looked at the place where he had stood thoughtfully. They had definitely just shared a moment, maybe even more than just a moment. Charlie was surprised at how right it felt. She thought that her heart would shy away from getting that close to Brax, that it would scream out to her, reminding her of how much he had hurt her.

But instead, the moment had felt right, it had felt natural, and she knew that Brax had felt the same. Turning off the lights around the house, Charlie poked her head around the door and saw that Ruby was fast asleep. She shook her head in worry; wondering what could have happened if Brax and Casey hadn't been there.

Brax. Charlie smiled as she thought of him. She remembered the feeling of him arms wrapped around her, and how he smelt to her; a smell that was warm and reassuring. She remembered how he would bury his face in her hair and breathe her in deeply. She loved that feeling; that feeling of being wanted by somebody.

As she slipped under the covers, Charlie wondered whether she would act on the feelings that had suddenly taken over her body. She knew that she still couldn't completely trust Brax but she didn't know how she longer she could control her longing for him.

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Thanks so much for the comments, guys!

They are SO appreciated! :D

Enjoy! :)

Chapter 6

As he promised, Casey dropped around early that next day to see Ruby. He maintained his perfect boyfriend status in Ruby's eyes as he pretty much did everything for her that day.

When Charlie returned when work in the afternoon, she smiled as she saw Ruby asleep on the sofa, her head in Casey's lap. Casey turned his head as she came in and they both shared a smile.

Charlie knew she had been wrong to judge Casey when he and Ruby first started dating. He had remained completely loyal to her from day one and here he was again showing that he had not fallen victim to the Braxton family curse.

Charlie then smiled as she saw how peaceful Ruby looked as she slept. She walked over to her daughter, knelt down and softly rubbed her cheek with the back of her hand. She caught Casey's eye and they smiled again.

"Casey, thank you so much once again for everything you did yesterday," she whispered, looking into his eyes sincerely. "Ruby could have been so much worse off if you hadn't been there."

Casey smiled but shook his head. "Nah, I didn't really do anything," he admitted to her. "Brax knows more about this kind of thing than me. He had a friend once who was diabetic."

"Really?" Charlie sat listening to him, surprised.

"Yeah…I suppose you could say she was his first girlfriend. I'm not sure whether Brax has ever forgiven himself for what happened that night."

"Why, what happened?"

"Well, Lucy, that was her name, had forgotten her insulin at home, and she and Brax were at the cinema. Only mid-way through the movie did she realise she was missing her insulin and she started to have a fit. Brax, and the other people in the movie theatre, had no real idea what to do and, unfortunately, Lucy later died in hospital."

Charlie gasped and lifted her hand to her move. Casey nodded in agreement. "Yeah…it shocked me too. The thought that anything like that could ever happen to Ruby," he said, stroking her hair, fondly. "Anyway, I think Brax blames himself because he has said, subsequently, that had he listened to his science teacher when they were studying diabetes, that he might have been able to save her."

"Oh no, poor Brax," said Charlie, sadly.

"Yeah…so it was a good thing that he was there because when Ruby started shaking, I completely froze up. I panicked. I had no idea what to do. But Brax…he just swooped in and saved the day; stuffed a couple of jellies in her mouth. She could be dead if it wasn't for him."

Charlie's heart rose and then fell again as she realised how much she owed Brax, and how much she didn't know him. With this new revelation, she would have to go and see him, to thank him for what he did.

She smiled once more at Casey before leaning over and kissing Ruby on the cheek. She changed quickly and left, heading in the direction of Mangrove River, hoping that it would be just Brax at home.

Pulling into the drive, she cut the ignition and inhaled deeply, trying to gather her confidence. She had to do this, it was only right, but did she have the control for this…?


Charlie stepped back a little as she saw Brax approaching the door. He slid it open and smiled at her. "Hey," he said, his smile already lessening Charlie's will power. "This is a pleasant surprise."

"I'm not interrupting anything, am I?" she asked, a part of her hoping that he would say yes.

"No, of course not," said Brax, standing back and inviting her in. "Um…what can I do for you?"

Charlie stepped into the living room before turning around and facing him again. She took a deep breath and looked sincerely into his eyes. "Casey told me about what happened last night…" tears welled up in Charlie's eyes as she spoke. "I will never be able to thank you enough for saving my child's life. I wish there was something I could do to show you how grateful I am – "

"Hey, Charlie, don't cry," said Brax softly, taking her hand with one hand and wiping her tears away with another.

"No, but seriously Brax, thank you," she said, taking his other hand and squeezing them both tightly. "Thank you."

He smiled and Charlie watched as he raised his hand to hold a piece of her hair that had strayed away. He gently put it before her ear before returning his eyes to hers.

"I would do anything for you, Charlie."

She smiled as she looked into his eyes. She could feel all the love that he felt for her. Slowly, very slowly, Charlie leaned in towards Brax. He saw this and lifted his hand to her face so his palm was resting against her cheek.

"I've missed you," he whispered, quietly.

Charlie smiled and leant in further until finally their noses touched. Brax smiled and leaned in to claim her lips.

At first, their kiss was gentle and tender but then as Charlie gripped Brax's shirt with her fingers, it grew more passionate.

Pulling him down the hall towards his bedroom, Charlie slammed the door behind her as Brax grabbed her and pressed her back up against the wall. His kisses moved to her neck, soft but passionate. In one quick movement, Charlie pulled his shirt off over his head and traced his chest with her fingers as he continued to kiss her neck.

Pulling apart from a moment, they looked into each other's eyes. Brax laid his hand on Charlie's cheek and they smiled happily as she leaned in to claim his lips again. Brax pulled Charlie towards him so that her body pressed up against him. His fingers were on her hips as he held her close. They fitted perfectly in with each bodies as they connected in this passionate embrace.

In Charlie's mind she had already forgotten the reasons as to why they broke up in the first place. All she could think about was how she was reliving the memory which she had played time and time again in her mind; Brax's lips pressed against her and the feel of his body as it pressed up to hers.

But then suddenly Tegan's face came into Charlie's mind and she remembered what he had done. And then Brax's skin began to feel like dirt under Charlie's fingers. As his arms held her tightly, she began to struggle before finally breaking free.

His face was shocked as she backed up against the wall of the bedroom. Her whole body was shaking and her hands were raised to her mouth.

"I'm sorry, I can't do it."

Charlie watched as Brax searched her face, looking for an answer. He found it and his face drained of emotion and instead became cold and hard.

"You know if I could change things I would…?"

Charlie nodded, tears running down her cheeks. "I know. But you can't."

Charlie fled the room as she wiped away the tears from her eyes. Brax followed her into the living room, watching her as she slipped on her shoes and grabbed her car keys and bag.

"Things don't have to be this way, Charlie," he said, as she opened the front door. Charlie paused to look back at him.

"I love you," he said, looking sincerely into her eyes and taking a step forward.

Charlie looked sadly into his eyes, as tears streamed down her cheeks.

"I love you too, Brax."

He paused, gasping quietly to himself.

"That's the problem," she said, before walking out the door and closing it behind her.

Brax watched her as she jumped into her car and drove out onto the road, his heart stabbing itself for what he had done, for what was still hurting her. They had been so close, they were touching. As Brax went to bed that, he could still smell Charlie's perfume on his shirt, and he could remember the feel her soft, smooth skin under his fingers.

He sighed. They had been so close…

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Thank you for your comments Angel90, ~JarlieFanEver~, Dingo x, Arielxo and Samantha28.

I hope you enjoy this chaper! :)

Chapter 7

In the days following Charlie and Brax's almost reunion, Charlie tried very hard to stay away from him, so that things could settle down again. However in a small town like Summer Bay, Charlie found that this was impossible. Eventually she just gave up trying to avoid him; in fact she and Brax purposely tried to find ways of meeting up.

Charlie would drop by the restaurant for lunch and Brax would always offer to drive Casey to see Ruby so he would bump into Charlie. Slowly and surely the two became friends again and the awkwardness that once existed between them was gone. Charlie knew that Brax wanted more but she wasn't ready to give it yet.

On one particularly boring day, Charlie decided to have lunch at the restaurant. As she climbed the stairs, she saw Brax serving customers and happily bounded over to him.

"What are today's specials?" asked Charlie as she walked up to where Brax stood behind the counter. "I'm starving!"

"Well, can I recommend the chicken and bacon pizza? It's delicious, if I do say so myself!" said Brax, grinning, cheekily, and leaning in towards her.

Charlie stepped back slightly, frowning at him, reproachfully. "Brax…"

"I know, I know," he said, shaking his head in disappointment.

Charlie laughed, lightly. "The chicken and bacon pizza sounds perfect."

"Great, it'll be about twenty minutes," said Brax, handing one of the waiters the order. "So, what have you been up to?"

"Not much…trying to get Ruby focused for the exams," said Charlie, watching as Brax served drinks to the couple beside her. "How's Casey going?"

"Well, like most guys, he's not really into the studying. He's trying though; he wants to prove to himself that he can do well."

"I'm sure he'll do great," said Charlie, smiling up at Brax.

When the waiter arrived with Charlie's pizza, she sat up on one of the high chairs near to Brax and happily began eating. They stole glances at each other every few minutes and once caught each other's eyes but Charlie looked away quickly. She still wasn't ready to get involved with Brax again.

"So…how is Tegan?"

Brax looked up, surprised at the topic Charlie had chosen. This was the first time Tegan came up in a conversation since that dreadful day when he revealed the truth to Charlie. Quite a few months had passed since that day but still Brax was surprised that she would enquire about Tegan. He shifted his feet awkwardly but nonetheless carried through with the chosen conversation.

"Um, she's good thanks," he said, trying not to be too elaborate with the details. "She's keeps me up to date with regular reports and everything seems to be going fine so far."

"Have you guys organised what will happen after the…?"

Brax was amazed at Charlie's curiosity. "Well, we agreed that she would come to the Bay for the last month so that I'm around if…well, if anything happens. She wants me to be as involved as possible too."

"That's…good," said Charlie, struggling for the word. "It's important that you have things organised. For the stability, you know."

Brax nodded. "You seem to have thought about this a bit."

Charlie laughed embarrassed. "All the time. I can't get it off my mind…even after she left, I couldn't get rid of the thought of it all."

Brax nodded, understanding the feeling. "I was the same."

He looked into her eyes and smiled at her sadly. She held his gaze, her heart yearning for his touch. "I am sorry Charlie. I know it will never make up for what I did but I just want you to know that - ."

"I know, I know," said Charlie, and she reached out automatically and touched his hand. They both freezed at the action, staring down at her hand on his. Then he gently laid his other hand on hers.

They looked up at each other again. Brax looked lovingly into her eyes but Charlie shook her head. "I'm sorry Brax, I just can't…."

Brax sighed and lifted his hand from hers. "There'll never be anyone else for me, Charlie. Just tell me when you are ready and I'll be there."

Charlie smiled back at him; she couldn't help be touched by his sincere understanding. Removing her hand from where it still laid on his, she returned to eating her pizza. Brax stepped away also, trying to find something to distract him. They still exchanged glances with each other but they were all that Charlie could deal with at that moment. Her heart was still healing and she didn't know whether she wanted to risk it being broken again.


Returning home, Charlie frowned, unimpressed, as she saw Ruby through the window, her laptop on the kitchen table in front of her.

"Rubes, I thought you were supposed to be studying?"

"I am studying!" insisted Ruby, although Charlie could see a slightly guilty look on her face. "See, look, I'm looking up the biography of poets for English."

"Oh really," said Charlie, sitting down opposite Ruby and pulling the laptop in front of her. "So if I look through your history, I won't find Facebook listed there somewhere."

Charlie saw Ruby's eyes widen a little. "Um…no."

"Ok then, you shouldn't have any problem with me just checking," said Charlie, moving the cursor and then clicking on the history button. As she expected, Facebook was there. But not just once, hundreds of times.

"Ruby, you've clearly been on Facebook for hours!"

"Charlie, please don't take it off of me! I need it for – "

"What, for talking to Casey?" asked Charlie, frowning at her daughter, unimpressed. "You can go on Facebook after your HSC," said Charlie, closing the lid of the laptop and walking away with it in her arms.

"Charlie, you can't do that!" protested Ruby, following her into the living room.

"Yes, I can!" said Charlie, turning swiftly to face her daughter again, her eyes livid. "And, you're grounded!"

"What for?" screeched Ruby, in fake-disbelief.

"For disobeying me the other night!" cried Charlie. "Do you realise what could have happened if I had not called Brax to check on you! You could be dead right now, Ruby!"

"Charlie – "

"Just go to your room!" said Charlie, pointing her arm towards Ruby's bedroom. "Now, Ruby!" she said, as her daughter remained where she was.

After flashing an angry look at her mother, Ruby trudged down to her room. Charlie frowned as she heard the door slam behind her. Ruby would have to learn somehow. On hearing the doorbell ring, Charlie put the laptop down on the table and went to open the kitchen door. On the porch was Casey, a happy smile on his face.

"Hi Charlie, is Ruby here?"

"Yes, she is, Casey, but I'm afraid she's grounded," said Charlie, giving Casey a reproaching look.

"Oh," said Casey, in surprise. "Do you mind me asking why?"

"Well, because she disobeyed me the other night, something which you also did," she said, folding her arms. "I meant what I said the other day, Casey; that I was grateful that you were there when it happened. But, ultimately, you and Ruby shouldn't have been there in the first place. I know I am not your mother, so you don't necessarily have to listen to what I say, but you should have listened to my reasons for saying no. If you really care about Ruby, you would've insisted that she get a night sleep before meeting her dietician. She is more likely to listen to you than me."

"Charlie – "

"Did you try to convince her not to go to the party? Did you listen to Brax when he told you that you couldn't go?"

Casey sighed heavily, and looked a Charlie, a stone, cold look on his face. "No."

Charlie shook her head. "I expected better of you, Casey," she said, before closing the door, leaving a bewildered Casey on the doorstep.

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Thanks again for all your comments, everyone!

They really are very much appreciated! :wink:

Here's the next chapter...

Chapter 8

Seeing Brax on the beach, Charlie ran over to him. Not caring that people around were watching her, she flung herself into his arms and hugged him tightly. He could not return the same embrace; the memory of what he had done was all too vivid.

"Brax, I'm sorry for the way I was earlier!" she said, pulling out the hug, and taking his hands, looking into his eyes sincerely. "You were right. I was just being ridiculous. Who cares what people think? I love you and that's the most important thing."

Brax could not respond, the gravity of what he had done was finally hitting him as Charlie poured out her heart to him.

"Brax, what's wrong?" she asked anxiously. "You still love me, don't you? I'm not too late?"

Brax shook his head. "Charlie, can we go somewhere else, please? I need to talk to you."

Charlie's heart thudded at this strange request but she, without question, granted it and they returned to Leah's house together where Brax took Charlie's hands and lead her to the sofa.

"I did something terrible, Charlie, and I'm going to tell you because you deserve to know the truth. I don't expect you to forgive me, and you can shout and scream at me as much you want. I will leave myself or if you order me to. But, for what I am about to tell you, I am sorry and…I love you with all my heart."

Before he had even told what happened, tears were running down Charlie's cheeks as she knew it must have been something bad. She had her suspicions but she did not dare dwell on them. But, as Brax conveyed to her the whole and honest truth, those very suspicions were becoming true and Charlie broke down in tears. She bashed her fists against his chest and ordered him to leave. He left, with tears in his eyes too. Later that evening, Ruby came home to find Charlie still weeping. Her mother relayed to her the entire story whilst Ruby sat there in shock. She cradled her mother in her arms as Charlie's heart broke and tears were like a river from her eyes. In one afternoon, Charlie's whole world had come to an end. The man she loved had betrayed her trust with the woman he had promised he didn't love anymore.


Brax kept his head down from then on as word of his betrayal spread around the town. Naturally he was concerned for Charlie and, through Casey, he heard whispers of her condition.

"Ruby keeps telling me that she won't leave her room. That's she hardly eaten. You really did it, Brax, you really broke her heart."

At those points, Brax would walk away unable to bear listening to his brother lecture him. He knew what he had done to Charlie and he couldn't listen to people telling him again. He carefully avoided Tegan too. It had been his fault, he knew that. He wouldn't blame her. He could have stopped at any stage but he didn't and know he was paying the consequences. However he still attempted to avoid her, not sure he would be able to control himself if he saw her. He was therefore surprised when she walked into the restaurant a mere two weeks after things had ended between him and Charlie.

"Tegan, you're not welcome here," he said, trying to control himself.

"I know," she said, still walking closer to him. "But there's something important I have to tell you."

"What is it?" asked Brax, his patience waning.

Tegan took a deep breath, and laid her hand on her tummy as she spoke to him. "I'm pregnant."

Those two words still rang through Brax's ears. It was punishment for what he had done to Charlie. It was that night coming back to haunt him. Out of respect, Brax had gone straight to Charlie's to tell her. Ruby had been reluctant to let him in at first but Charlie had appeared at the door behind her and asked her daughter to leave Brax in. Charlie had led Brax into the living room where he broke the news to her.

She did not cry but Brax could see that the small strength she had gathered since they had broken up was close to crumbling. She had thanked him for telling her and politely asked him to leave. He had done so willing, not wanting to cause her any more pain by just the sight of him.

His heart had skipped a beat at the sight of her. True she was a ghost of her true self; her face was drained of colour and, from the fact that she hadn't been eating, she looked thin and seemed to be wasting away. But Brax loved her despite that. He had then met up with Tegan again to discuss what they should do. It had seemed natural for both of them to keep the baby. After all, it was not the baby's fault for any of this so why should it be punished.

Tegan had agreed that it would be better if she left, for Charlie's sake. Her apologies had been endless but they meant little to Brax. She had agreed to update him regularly; send him ultrasound images and she would inform him of the baby's sex if he wished. He had also promised to provide her with financial support throughout and after the pregnancy.

And finally, they had both agreed that Tegan would return to the Bay in the final month of her pregnancy and that, for the first few weeks, she and Brax would take care of the baby.The latter still troubled Brax a little but more for Charlie's sake. She knew that seeing Tegan walking around, carrying his child would hardly be easy for her but he hoped that Charlie would understand.


Walking through the door, Casey slammed the door behind him, unhappily. Brax looked up from where he sat on the sofa, watching tv, in surprise.

"What's up, mate?"

"Charlie's grounded Ruby, and she gave out to me for not trying to stop her the other night!"

"She did what?" said Brax, standing up to face his younger brother.

"She said that she was grateful for me being there, but she was ultimately blaming me for Ruby's hypo, and for the fact that she almost died! She said I should have tried harder to convince Ruby not to go."

"Did you try to convince Ruby after I rang you?" asked Brax.

Casey shifted his feet, uncomfortably. "I guess not, no, but I wanted to go to the concert too, Brax. Ruby's diabetes had never been a problem, she always handled it, how was I supposed to know that she would have a hypo-thing?!"

"By the sounds of it, Case, she's not angry with you, she's more angry with Ruby. I think you just might have been there at the wrong place and the wrong time, that's all."

Casey sighed, throwing his schoolbag on the floor. "I guess."

Brax sighed, and picked up his car keys. "I'm just going out. Get started on your homework, ok?"

"Yeah, I'll do it now," said Casey, disappearing him room, dragging his bag on the floor behind him.


Charlie growled lightly as she heard a knock on the backdoor. She was really not in the mood for visitors today. Surprisingly, it was Brax at the door.

"What do you want?" she said, not really up to a long speech from Brax.

"Why did you give Casey such a hard time today?"

"Excuse me?" said Charlie, slightly affronted by this accusation.

"That kid seriously thought he was going to lose Ruby that night. He kept saying to me over and over again 'I don't want her to die, Brax.'"

"I don't see what that has to do with anything," said Charlie, raising her eyebrow, unimpressed.

"Well, could you maybe lay off him a bit?"

"No! I'm the one in the right, Brax. If Casey hadn't taken Ruby to "Orlando's", none of this would have happened!"

"How can you say that, Charlie?" said Brax, dumbstruck by her accusation. "Ruby could have had a hypo at home, for all you know! It didn't just happen just because she was out with Casey!"

"I don't care, Brax. Casey should have tried harder! If he had just done the right thing, the moral thing, nobody would have got hurt and nothing would be ruined!" cried Charlie, as tears came to the brim of her eyes. "If he had just remained loyal and true and - "

Brax watched her as she shouted at him, and eventually he could hear her anger turn into a moan, at pain that she could feel in her heart, and he realised that what Charlie was truly complaining about. "We're not talking about Casey and Ruby anymore, are we?" interrupted Brax

Charlie shook her head, sighing heavily as she buried her face in her hands.

"Charlie, how many times do I have to sorry I'm sorry for you to believe me!" exclaimed Brax, reaching out and grabbing her hands, holding them close to his chest tightly. "I love you, Charlie. I do, I really love you! Can you please just give us another chance?"

As tears trailed down her cheeks, Charlie put both her hands on Brax's chest and gently pushed him out the door until he stood on the doormat.

"Goodnight, Brax," she said, quietly, as she closed the door in his face. Laying her head against the pane of class, she waited until she heard him walk away before bursting into tears. She had not been angry at Casey, she had not been blaming Casey; she had been blaming Brax, blaming him for all that he had done to hurt her. The episode with Ruby had just triggered all these feelings all over again.

In her heart, Charlie was still bleeding. The wound was in no way closed. But, Charlie knew her body and it wasn't looking for time to heal her broken-heart. She would need the man who broke it in the first place and come back and repair her soul.

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Finally the chapter which I think you've all been waiting for!



Chapter 9

The restaurant no longer looked like a restaurant. The tables and chairs had been cleared and a disco ball had been rigged to the ceiling. The DJ was arranged to arrive at 9pm whilst the guests would arrive at 8pm.Bianca had hired the entire restaurant, upstairs and downstairs for her birthday and had paid Brax extra if he was willing to turn it into a disco.

Bianca had told Brax that they would be arriving at around 8pm, so Brax, with the help of Heath and Casey, made sure that the restaurant was ready for 7pm. As Brax watched Heath and Casey stacking the chairs in the corner, he grumbled unimpressed.

"I can't believe I had to pay you guys to help me," he interrupted, as he bent down to plug the MP3 player into the wall. "I thought we were family?"

"Since when was there a rule about not paying family when they help?" said Heath, grinning smugly at his older brother. Casey laughed, and she his head in slight disapproval of Heath. He was not all that bad, Heath. But, being strapped for cash, he would demand it every chance he got.

"That's the last of the chairs," said Casey, as he stacked the last few up against the wall. "Is there anything else you want to do, Brax?!

Brax shook his head, and mokingly pushed his brother's head down with his hand. Casey groaned and attempted to get back at Brax but he could not catch up with his brother.

"Ok, you better get out of here," said Brax, looking out the window as the sky grew darker.

Casey jumped up willingly but Heath looked unimpressed. Throwing his brother a look, he quickly down his glass of bourbon and followed Casey out the door. When they had left, Brax made sure that Bianca's requests had been followed to the minute by checking over the entire restaurant. He doubted that he had forgotten anything and eventually poured himself a glass of bourbon, resorting to the fact that at this stage, there was not much more that he could do, and that if he had forgotten something, Bianca was hardly going to make a scene in front of all her guests.


Night time soon arrived; the disco ball twirled on the ceiling, shooting light around the room. The music blared loudly throughout the place and a hundred bodies were dancing exuberantly on the dance floor.

The birthday girl and her entourage had arrived fashionably late as usual. Bianca's friends had already taken to the dance for with their partners so when the birthday girl did in fact arrrive, the music was playing too loudly for them to even hear her come in.

Bianca merely blended in with the dancing, extended her arms out to people as they saw her and hugging them tightly. As traditions go, all the men planted her a happy birthday kiss on her cheek and Bianca grinned triumphantly.

From Bianca's arrival, Brax had been searching the restaurant for Charlie. He knew that if she had not arrived yet, that she would arrive soon. As a shadow appeared on the stairs, Brax craned his neck over the crowds of people to see who was at the doorstep. Brax let out a quiet gasp as he saw Charlie step into the restaurant.

She was beautiful.

She wore a tight, short, electric pink dress. She had let her hair hang on her shoulders and she had lashed on the mascara and eyeliner so her eyes were smoky and sexy. Brax mouthed watered as he saw her join Bianca on the dancefloor. As the crowd of bodies surrounded her, Brax lost her but, in desperation, stepped out from behind the counter to look for her once more.

Finally Brax spotted her in the middle of the dance floor. Her body moved to the rhythm of the music, she raised her arms up into the air and sang the words aloud with Bianca beside her. As the evening went on, the music got louder and louder, and the amount of alcohol consumption didn't stop at one glass. Several times did Brax see Charlie downing a straight shot of vodka in a booth with Bianca and then willingly jumped up onto the dancefloor again.

He was clearly anxious as he watched her time and time again rejoin her party of girlfriends, with every time her legs growing unsteadier and unsteadier. He could not stop admiring her beauty though. As the music blared and the adrenaline soared, Charlie's body curved to the music and Brax quietly gasped as she let rip some killer dance moves that would have made him fall to the fall in awe had he been standing next to her.

And then, suddenly, Charlie disappeared from view, falling to the ground. As the music carried on and the people danced, oblivious to Charlie lying on the floor, Brax jumped from behind the counter and ran into the middle of the dance floor where he found Bianca and Leah trying to lift Charlie to her feet.

"I just got dizzy, I'm alright," insisted Charlie, despite her knees wobbling underneath her.

"No you're not, you have to sit down," said Leah adamantly.

"I'll take care of her Leah," said Brax, reaching out to Charlie. Leah hesitated but she saw the way Brax looked at Charlie and relented.

"C'mon, I'll get you a glass of water," said Brax, wrapping his arms around Charlie securely and leading her to behind the bar. He lifted her onto a seat and quickly poured her a drink.

Charlie drowned it in one gulp and smacked the glass down on the counter. Brax observed her carefully wondering whether he should take her home.

Charlie saw this and rolled her eyes at him. "Brax, stop it, I'm fine! I just didn't eat anything before I came here, that's all."

"Still Charlie, I think I should take you home," said Brax, anxiously.

Charlie groaned and jumped off the chair. Her legs collapsed under her and she fell into Brax's arms. As he lifted her to her feet, she inadvertently leaned her face towards his.

They both looked up into each other's eyes. As the music blared in the background, Brax wound his arms gently around Charlie's back. She edged her face closer to her, softly and slowly. She slowly wound her arms around his neck until their bodies were touching. And then, ever so gentle, they kissed. As the music grew louder and the seconds went by, their kiss grew more passionate until finally Brax lifted Charlie into his arms.

Trying not to attract anyone's attention, he led them into the storage room. Planting her on her feet, his kissed her quickly before turning and locking the door.

He turned back to her and a smile suddenly lit up her face. They grabbed each other passionately. As Charlie ripped off Brax's black shirt, he pulled off the tight dress she was wearing. Pushing her up against the wall, they embraced passionately.

They kissed with all the love that they felt for each other and in that moment Charlie realised how much she missed Brax. As he held her close to his body, she fitted in perfectly with him and they knew that they were meant for each other.


Stepping away from the dance floor momentarily, Bianca approached the bar looking for a drink. But Brax was nowhere to be seen. She was about to walk away when she saw the storage room door open and out walked Charlie and Brax, his hand holding hers tightly. Bianca grinned as she saw the wide smile on Charlie's face and the sparkle in her eyes.

Charlie remained behind the counter with Brax for the rest of the evening. She sat on the chair that he had previously lifted her upon and pulled him close to her, kissing him softly.

She didn't care about what he had done all those months ago. She was passed that now. She didn't care that in a few more months he would be a father. They would work through it together. She wanted to be with Brax no matter what and she was going to let nothing get in the way of that.

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Thank you to you all! <3

Chapter 10

Ruby woke abruptly and lifted her head from her history book as she heard the front door open. The lights were out around the house except in the living room where Ruby was studying. She was surprised and shocked to see Charlie leading Brax in by the hand. Charlie gawked as she saw Ruby still studying.

"Rubes it's 2am, what are you still doing up?" she exclaimed, as behind her, Brax wrapped his arms around her.

Ruby gawked at this slightly. "What?...oh I was studying." Standing up from her chair, she backed up a little towards the kitchen, indicating to her Mother to follow her. "Um Charlie, can I talk to you in the kitchen for a moment?" she asked, still staring incredulously at Brax.

Brax reluctantly unwound his arms from around Charlie's waist. She chuckled as he pouted his lips and kissed him softly, before letting go of his arm and following Ruby into the kitchen.

"Charlie, what the hell are you doing?" hissed Ruby, once they were alone. "Have you forgotten that he cheated on you and knocked up that Tegan girl?!"

"No Rubes I haven't forgotten, I just realised that there is no point dwelling on things that happened in the past," said Charlie. "I love Brax and there's no point denying my feelings for him. I would drive myself crazy!"

"But Charlie, do you really want to risk him breaking your heart again?" asked Ruby, unsure whether her mother was truly making the right decision.

"Can I just say something?" asked Brax, peaking his head through the door.

Ruby crossed her arms and frowned. "Private conversation here!"

"Ruby," said Charlie, as she took Brax's hand. "Please just hear him out."

Ruby sighed, reluctantly. "Fine."

Brax came stepped into the kitchen fully and wrapped his arms around Charlie's waist, allowing her to relax against his chest. "Ruby, I know I messed up. I really, really messed up and ever since I have regretted it. But I love your...your Mother"

Ruby briefly cringed at the word, "- with all my heart, and if I could change what I did I would. I really love Charlie and I swear I will never hurt her again. Do you trust me?"

Ruby looked from Brax's face to Charlie's beseeching face and sighed. "Fine."

Charlie grinned happily, bounded forward and hugged Ruby tightly. "Thank you, thank you!" she cried.

Ruby laughed at her mother's overwhelming happiness, but then she looked up sternly at Brax. "Just promise me you won't hurt her again."

Brax nodded. "I promise."

Ruby smiled and laughed lightly as Brax stretched out his arms to hug her.

"Ok well, I'm just going to clear away my books and go to bed," she said, walking back into the living room. "I guess I'll see you guys in the morning."

Brax waited until Ruby as gone before pulling Charlie into his arms again and kissing her softly. "So, do you want to…?"

Charlie laughed. "What, again?"

Brax grinned and kissed her again. "Do you want to?"

Charlie kissed him softly and pulled him towards the bedroom. She closed the door behind them and they embraced once more as they collapsed onto the bed.


The bus stopped near the Surf Club and the doors opened. The bus driver stepped out first and took the lady's suitcase out for her. He reached out and took her hand so as to make sure she wouldn't fall.

"Your partner is not here to collect you?" he asked, as she stepped out of the bus.

Tegan shook her head, one hand on her large tummy and the other holding the handle on her suitcase. "No I don't have a partner but the father is going to pick me up shortly."

"Would you like me to wait with you?" he asked kindly. Tegan smiled back at him and shook her head. "You're very kind but that is not necessary."

The driver smiled and boarded the bus. Carefully Tegan walked over to the bench nearby and sat down, waiting for Brax.

She did not have to wait long. Minutes later Tegan watched as Brax's jeep pulled up in the bus stop. She smiled lightly as she saw Brax step out of the driver's seat but she was then surprised to see Charlie step out too. She saw Charlie hesitate but then Brax took her hand in his and together they walked over to where Tegan sat.

"Hey," said Brax, smiling at her lightly.

"Hey," she said, standing up. "Thanks for coming to pick me up."

Brax smiled, nodding his head. Tegan turned to look at Charlie and smiled apologetically. "Hi Charlie," she said.

Charlie smiled. "Hey."

Tegan bit her lip before speaking. "Can I just say I'm really sorry for what happened. I really never meant for any of it. Can you accept my apology?"

Charlie nodded. "I can't promise we're going to be friends or anything but I'm going to try to put what happened behind us."

Tegan smiled appreciatively, while Brax watched his girlfriend in awe, amazed at her composed form.

"So," said Charlie, looking to Brax and then Tegan again. "We should probably get you settled."

So as Brax carried Tegan's suitcase to the car, Charlie allowed her to take her arm as she crossed the road. Sitting into the car, Brax took Charlie's hand and smiled at her. Charlie smiled back and squeezed his hand. They drove off down the road towards Tegan's hotel. Brax kept Charlie's hand is his the entire journey while in the backseat Tegan murmered to her baby softly as it kicked in her tummy, aware of its new surroundings.

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