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Blood Ties

Guest Red Ranger 1

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Thank you for all the comments.Hope everyone likes this.


Mink was holding tightly onto Brixx’s hand in the preparation room.“I’m scared, Mummy,”he admitted.

“There’s nothing to be scared about, okay?”Mink told him,“The doctors are going to put you asleep and when you wake up you’ll be all better.”


She smiled at him.“Promise.”

“And you’ll be here when I wake up?”

“I wouldn’t be anywhere else.”Mink kissed him on the forehead then stepped back and let the anesthetist apply the injection that rendered Brixx unconscious.

She walked out into the reception area where Xavier was waiting for her.“How is he?”Xavier asked.

“Being brave.”

“Just like his mum.”

Mink shook her head.“I’m not feeling particularly brave now.I’ve been waiting for this for ages but now it’s here…I’m just so scared that something’s going to go wrong.”

“Hey!”Xavier hugged her, letting her bury her tear-strained face in his shoulder.“Nothing’s going to go wrong, okay?Brixx and Romeo are both going to be all right.”He glanced towards the door.“Hi, Indi.”

Mink sprang away from him, rubbing the tears out of her eyes, looking at the new arrival.“What are you doing here?”

“Restaurant’s quiet so I thought I’d come down and support you,”Indi replied awkwardly,“Like my husband’s doing.”

Xavier nodded towards a set of chairs.“Let’s sit down.”

Ruby was sitting by Romeo’s side in his room.“Last chance for me to back out,”Romeo observed.

Ruby shook her head, managing to force a smile onto her face.“You couldn’t do that to Mink and Brixx and neither could I.”

“Thanks for being okay about all this.”

“Well…I know how complicated families can be sometimes.Couldn’t really do anything else.”She leaned over and kissed him lightly on the lips.“Love you.”

“Love you too,”he answered.

Sid came in and coughed awkwardly.“We need to get Romeo ready now.”

Ruby released Romeo’s hand.“I’ll see you soon,”he told her.

“Likewise,”she answered, hurrying out before he could see the tears in her eyes.

Xavier, Indi and Mink all stood up as she came rushing out of the room.“Is everything all right?” Xavier asked.

Ruby nodded.“I just need to get some fresh air.”

Ruby hurried out of the hospital, rounded a corner so she could find a secure spot away from the entrance, then sank to the ground, leaning against the wall, letting the tears drop.She didn’t even know why she was as upset as she was.The procedure was a routine one, the chances were Romeo would be fine.Yet she had an awful feeling that something bad was about to happen.

A shadow fell over her and she looked up to see who was standing over her.“Peter?What are you doing here?Are you all right?”She stopped as she saw the look in his eyes.Cold but with a crazed intensity about it.

“You’re coming with me,”he told her.

“What?Where to?”

He grabbed her roughly by the arm, hauling her to her feet.“You’re coming with me!”he repeated, more aggressively now, and dragged her, protesting, across the car park.

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Thank you for all the comments!Hope everyone likes this chapter.


“Isn’t this whole hospital vigil thing a bit morbid?”Sasha asked as she and Drew crossed the car park.

“We all said we’d be there for Romeo and we’re going to,”Drew answered,“Look, everything’s going to be fine.You know that, I know that.But Ruby’s worried so she’s gonna need some support.”

“Then why’s she going that way?”Sasha asked, nodding across the crowd of parked cars.

Drew glanced over to where a boy in his mid-teens seemed to be dragging Ruby across the car park. “I dunno, guess he’s one of her students.We’ll meet her inside.”

Peter pushed Ruby into a car, then climbed into the driver’s seat.“Peter, this is ridiculous, you can’t even drive!”Ruby protested,“You’re fifteen!”

“Borrowed my mum’s keys,”Peter answered.

“Look, my husband’s in there, I need to be with him.How about I just walk out of here and we forget all about this?”

“Shut up!”Peter shouted at her, sounding almost hysterical,“Just shut up.”

Ruby lapsed into silence as Peter slammed his foot down on the accelerator and sped out of the car park.

Mink, Xavier, Indi, Ric and Cassie were all sat inside when Drew and Sasha joined them.“How are things going?”Drew asked.

“Romeo and Brixx are both in surgery,”Cassie answered.

“Have you heard anything?”

There was a series of shrugs from the group.“No news is good news though, right?”Ric asked with false joviality.

“Any idea where Ruby went?”Sasha asked.

“Said she needed to get some air,”Indi answered.

“Well, she must be getting quite a lot of it, because we saw her going off with some guy.”

“He wasn’t a guy,”Drew corrected,“He was just a kid.”

“Probably her brother,”Mink said distractedly.

The others looked at her.“Her what?”Cassie asked.

“Heard her and Romeo talking.Something about her brother being back in town.”

“Ruby hasn’t got a brother,”Xavier argued.

Mink shrugged.“Half-brother, then.Same diff.”

“No, she hasn’t even got a half-brother,”Xavier insisted,“Charlie hasn’t got any other children and…”He paused, as it clicked into place in his mind.“Grant’s son?!You saw her with Grant’s son?!”

“Grant?”Cassie repeated,“As in…”

“As in the guy that raped her mum and got killed by her grandfather, yeah.We need to call the police.”

“Woah, hold up,”Sasha cut in,“All I said was we saw her going off with some teenager.It’s a bit of a leap from there to her evil half-brother’s done something to her.”

“And you know what Charlie’s like,”Ric added,“We ring the police and tell her that Grant’s son has got Ruby and she’ll go in all guns blazing.”

Xavier hesitated.“Well, then we need to look for her.Make sure everything’s all right.Ric, Drew?”

“Yeah, sure,”Drew agreed,“We’ll check out the beach and the surf club and everywhere.”

“Right.And I’ll search places where he might have taken her.”

“I’ll go with you,”Mink announced, standing up.

The others looked at her.“Don’t you want to stay here?”Indi asked.

“What, so I can sit around worrying?This way I can take my mind off things.”

Xavier nodded.“Okay.”He gave Indi a quick kiss.“Let us know if anything changes.”

Peter parked the car near a wooden shack and dragged Ruby inside, shoving her to the floor.“Why are you doing this?”she asked, trying not to burst into tears.

“You really have to ask that?”Peter shouted,“You really don’t know?You ruined my life, don’t you realise that?!”

“Maybe I did,”Ruby answered, struggling to regain control,“But you don’t have to do this, okay?I know you, Peter, I’ve seen you in class, I know you’re a good person…”

“Stop talking, all right, miss?”Peter shouted.He paused and gave a follow laugh.“Or should I say, sis.I mean, that’s who you are, isn’t it?My sister.My big half-sister.”

“Yes.Yes, I am,”Ruby admitted,“And maybe I should have told you from the start but I was worried about how you’d react.Now, if you can prove me wrong by just letting me go back to the hospital…”

“I said, shut up!”Peter snapped.He crouched down next to her.“Because we’re going to have a talk. A really long talk.About what happened to our dad.”

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Thanks for all your comments!Hope everyone likes this.


Peter took a crumpled photo out of his pocket and shoved it in Ruby’s face.“Do you know who that is?That’s my family.Look happy, don’t we?”

Ruby examined the photo and saw Peter, looking no more than five or six, with his sister, who looked even younger, his mother, beaming for the camera…and Grant, looking every inch the loving father and husband.She remembered when she and Jai had first found his photo in an old yearbook, how she’d been shocked at how normal he looked.At how looks could be so deceiving.“Yes.Yes, you do,”she said quietly.

“We were,”Peter answered,“We were happy.And then you came along, came into our home, and everything fell apart.There was police officers turning up at our house and none of us knew what was going on and then…and then our dad was dead.Murdered.And Mum was crying and didn’t want to talk about it and none of us could understand why it happened.Why?”

Ruby took a deep breath.She could see Peter was angry but she’d seen a decent boy in him the last few weeks, she knew she could reach that if she tried.The trick was not to alienate him.“You know why,”she said quietly,“You might have been too young to understand that then but you must know the truth now.Why I went there, why…why my grandad did what he did.”

“Lies!”Peter snapped,“I knew him all my life, I know the sort of man he was.He wouldn’t have done what they said.”

“Peter…I don’t know what else I can tell you.”

“You can tell me the truth!”he shouted before his voice dropped to a menacing whisper,“I want the truth.”

Xavier was driving, Mink sat next to him.She’d lapsed into an unusually long silence once they’d got into the car, which had lasted until they were out of town and searching the country roads.“How’d you know about this dad of Ruby’s then?”she asked at last.

“We were dating back then, remember?”Xavier answered.When he thought back to those days, it seemed a lifetime ago.

“What happened?”

“Well, she found out Charlie was her mum.And then she found out how Charlie got pregnant.She was raped.”

Mink seemed to stiffen at the news.“So where’s this guy now?”

“Dead.Ruby’s grandad, Charlie’s dad, killed him.”

“Smart guy.”

Xavier agreed with her but he wasn’t going to say so.“Anyway, things is he had this family.Wife, two kids.Apparently they didn’t know what he was really like.”

“So you think Rapist Junior’s after doing something to Ruby?”

“Don’t know.Maybe.”Xavier sighed.“Mink, what are you doing here?Brixx and Romeo…”

“I can’t help them,”Mink answered,“Maybe I can help Ruby.Any idea where she might be?”

“Not really.I just figure they’d be somewhere quiet.”Xavier thought for a moment.“There is one place.A shack out on the road between Summer Bay and Yabbie Creek.If this guy lives out of town, it might be the closest place he knows.”

“Well, what are you waiting for?Let’s go there.”

Ruby spoke as slowly and calmly as she could manage.“Peter…maybe Grant was a good father to you.And if he was, then I’m glad, you deserve to have those memories of a good father.But he wasn’t a good person.”

Peter shook his head but he couldn’t look her in the eye, not anymore.“No, that’s not true.”

“I know you don’t want to believe it, I didn’t either.He was my dad too.I didn’t want him to be that person that Charlie told me he was, I didn’t want to come from that.But he hurt her.And if he hadn’t done, twisted as it is, I wouldn’t be here.I heard him admit it.He…he hurt lots of women, the police investigating his death spoke to them, they all confirmed it.What my grandad did to him was wrong but he was just trying to protect us.And…and I guess I was wrong for going to your home like I did.It was stupid and selfish but…Peter, I was barely older than you are now.I’d just found out this really big thing and I just wanted answers.Like you do.”

“I…I didn’t want it to be true,”Peter murmured and she heard his voice catch, as he tried to stop himself from crying,“I just wanted someone to blame.”

Ruby laid a hand on his shoulder but he pulled away, pushing her angrily and causing her to fall backwards and land painfully.

And then Xavier and Mink were there, rushing in through the door.Xavier took in the scene in a second and ran over to them, grabbing Peter by the collar and hauling him to his feet.“Get away from her, you creep!”he snarled, looking like he was going to hit the boy.

“Xavier, don’t hurt him!”Ruby shouted.Xavier looked surprise but released Peter anyway.The boy crouched down again and they heard sobs coming from him.

Ruby got to her feet and spoke to Xavier and Mink.“Romeo?And Brixx?What’s going on?”

“They’re in surgery,”Mink answered,“At least, they were last we heard…”

“We need to get back to them.”Ruby paused, looking back at Peter.She took a step back towards him and crouched down next to him.“Peter, my friends and I have to go now.I don’t want to leave you like this.How about we take you home, huh?Think that would be best?”

She held out her hand.He stared at it for a moment, then tentatively took it.She straightened up, hauling him to his feet, and put an arm round his waist as she led him to Xavier’s car.

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Thank you for your comments, Danni, Jarliefan, pembie and Romeo&IndiForever!This is the last chapter.I hope people like it.


Romeo slowly drifted back into consciousness.When he did, he felt someone gripping onto his hand. He opened his eyes, saw Ruby there and smiled.“Hey.”

She smiled back.“Hey yourself.”The smile vanished quickly, to be replaced with concern.“Are you all right?”

“Bit sore,”he admitted,“How’s Brixx?”

“Yeah, he’s doing well.Doctors are hopeful.Looks like all this was worth it.”

“Good.”He looked closely at her, sensing there was something he wasn’t being told.“You are all right, aren’t you?”

Ruby lowered her eyes briefly as she thought about the events of the last few hours.They’d taken Peter home after the incident at the shack.His mother had recognised Ruby instantly and flown into a rage, hurling all the accusations that Peter had made and worse at her.Xavier had got heated and started shouting back and it had taken a few soft reassuring words from Peter to make Tracey drop the matter and go back inside.

“I’ll tell you all about it when you’re feeling better,”she said at last.

Xavier stood in the doorway of the hospital room.Brixx was sitting up in bed, Mink propped up next to him with her arm round his shoulder, reading him a story.“You can join them if you want,”Indi said quietly behind him.

Xavier turned round.“No, they need their alone time.”

“Aren’t you a part of that now?”

Xavier looked at her in confusion.“What do you mean?”

“I get it, okay?Brixx needs a father and Pammy needs a mother who’s not constantly messing up or going to work to get away from her.Just…just don’t let her forget who her real mother is, okay?And you can buy me out of the restaurant…”

“Hey!”Xavier cut in, putting his arms round her,“What’s all this?”

“I know you two are going to end up together, so there’s no point prolonging this.”

“What?Mink’s just a mate.It’s you I love, have done for a long time.I couldn’t ask for anyone better and neither could Pammy.”

Indi gazed at him in astonishment.“I just thought, with all the time you two were spending together…”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know you felt this way.Indi, it’s you and me and Pammy forever, okay? Nothing’s gonna change that.”

Indi nodded slowly.“I just made a complete idiot of myself, didn’t I?”

“Yeah.Fortunately, that’s one of the things I love about you.”

In a corridor nearby, Ric glanced over at Cassie sat next to him.“What are you thinking about?”

“Just how things change.”Cassie lifted up Ric’s hand, which was encircled with her own.“A few months ago, I didn’t think I’d be sat here with you, holding hands like this.It’s nice.Makes me feel like I’ve found a part of myself I thought I’d lost.”

“Are you serious?”Sasha demanded from where she and Drew were sat nearby,“You’re getting all soppy about holding hands?”

“We’re being romantic,”Ric told her,“Not our fault you don’t recognise it.”

“Hey, we’re romantic!”Sasha protested.She looked at Drew.“Tell her about all the romantic things you do for me.”

Drew thought for a moment.“I picked some flowers from next door’s garden for her once.”

Sasha looked at him in shock.“You told me you found them growing wild!”

“Well, I’m glad to see you’re still making sensible relationship choices,”Indi remarked as she and Xavier appeared, their arms round each other.

“Talking of which, you’re looking happier than you have done for a while,”Sasha commented.

“Let’s just say we talked over some things we should have sorted a long time ago,”Xavier answered.

Ruby came out of Romeo’s room.“How’s he doing?”Ric asked.

“Well, he’s started complaining about how long he has to stay off surfing so he can’t be too bad.” Ruby coughed.“By the way, thanks for all your help today, everyone.Nice to know I can count on you.”

“What’s going to happen with Peter now?”Cassie asked.

“Well, I think he finally understands what happened back then.I’m happy to keep teaching him, it’s up to his mum whether she’s willing to let him stay at Summer Bay now she knows I’m teaching there.”

Mink appeared at that point.“Hey, you’re all still here!Thanks for waiting.Brixx is doing fine, by the way.”

There was an awkward pause.“Well, that’s good,”Ruby said at last,“I guess you’ll be wanting to head off again as soon as possible.”

“Nope.Everyone’s been so kind and Brixx has bonded with his cousins so I thought we might stay here for a while.”

Ruby glanced at Indi, who seemed to be grimacing as much as she was.“That’s great,”she attempted.

Mink grinned.“Well, that’s family.Can’t get rid of them.No matter how hard you try.”


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