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Forever Yours

Guest Danni02

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Thank you CharlieandBraxFan, Spotd1, Sarah, Aden_Belle, JosieTash, Red Ranger 1, Zoe, Samantha1 and soph1303 for the comments. :wub: Not sure about this one, I hope it's okay.

Chapter 31

“Boo” Jacob shouted as he jumped out of the wardrobe in Charlie and Brax’s room. He and Ruby had been playing hide and seek and he was having lots of fun finding places in his house to hide.

“Oh, Jacob” Ruby gasped. “You scared me”

Jacob giggled as he jumped into Ruby’s arms, and she gave her little brother a hug. “Jacob miss Ruby”

“I know. I miss you too” Ruby said as Jacob sat down on her knee in the room.

“Ruby live at home now?” Jacob questioned.

“No sweetie I am just visiting” Ruby smiled softly at her brother.

“Jacob want Ruby to stay” Jacob said sadly. “And them babies do too”

“I can’t sweetie” Ruby shook her head. “Ruby lives in Sydney”


“Because of my job” Ruby answered.

“You get job here” Jacob smiled. “And you live here and we can play all the days”

“Aww Jakey” Ruby smiled before she hugged her brother once more before her thoughts went to where she was going to live once she went back to the city. Now that she and Xavier were over she didn’t see them living peacefully together in the apartment and knew that one of them needed to move out. She sighed lightly before she stood up, letting Jacob stand to the ground. “I’ll always come visit”

“No you no no more” Jacob said. “It been for ages” Ruby exhaled lightly. First Xavier, now little Jacob getting upset about the lack of time they had together. This new job, as much as she loved it, really did seem to rub people up the wrong way. “You find me again” Jacob smiled as he ran from the room to hide. Ruby smiled lightly as she stood up and went off to find her little brother.


“So, little Riley is absolutely perfect” The doctor smiled. “Do, you have any concerns you want to discuss?”

“Eh no” Charlie shook her head before looking to Brax, who also shook his head.

“Okay” The doctor smiled as he handed Riley back to Brax, before taking Paige from Charlie. “So now we’ll check this little one” The doctor said as she lay Paige down and began to take off her little dress, leaving her in her nappy. Paige looked up at the doctor, her big blue eyes focusing on the face before her. She kicked her legs as she let out a squeal of excitement. “Oh someone is happy today”

“She always is” Brax smiled. “She’s brilliant”

The doctor cooed once again as Paige let out a little squeal as she kicked her arms and legs. “Well she does seem more advanced than her sister” The doctor smiled.

“So Riley is behind?” Charlie questioned. “I thought you said she was perfect?”

“She is fine” The doctor said. “They were early so I expected their development to be more behind, like Riley’s level. This little one here is just a little ahead of where I thought she would be”

“Oh, so this is our little genius” Brax smiled. The doctor picked up her stethoscope, ready to listen to Paige’s heart. As she placed it down onto her chest, Paige began to scream.

“You made her cry” Brax said sound surprised. “She never cries”

“Aww I’m sorry baby, it won’t be for long” The doctor said as she continued to check Paige over, while all the while Paige screamed. “Aww I’m sorry, Paige” The doctor said, before she re-dressed her and handed her back to Charlie, where she immediately settled.

“Aww you didn’t like that did you sweetie” Charlie cooed. Paige looked up to Charlie with her big blue eyes and let out a little smile showing she was content.

“That’s the longest we’ve heard her cry since she was born” Brax said. “That’s not anything to worry about, is it?”

“Oh I’d just say you were lucky” The doctor smiled. “She’s a very healthy baby”

“So they are both fine?” Charlie questioned and the doctor nodded.

“Yes. Nothing that’s a concern to me at all”

“That’s good” Charlie smiled.

“Yes, so what about Mum?” The doctor asked. “How have you been feeling?”

“Tired” Charlie said. “But I guess that’s too be expected with a toddler and two little ones”

“Yes” The doctor nodded. “How are you feeding the girls, breast or bottle?”

“Both” Charlie answered. “That way Brax can help too. Although Riley is fussier and prefers the breast, but with Paige, as long as she is getting fed she’s happy to accept whatever she’s offered”

“Okay, so do you have any tenderness or pain?”

“No” Charlie shook her head.

“Good” The doctor smiled. “Well if you’d like to put this little one down and we can do the necessary examinations” The doctor said and Charlie put Paige back into the car seat, before she sat up on the bed, letting the doctor do the necessary checks, before she finally looked at Charlie’s scar. “Well everything seems to be healing nicely” The doctor smiled as Charlie sat back up and let her legs dangle over the side. “There’s no more pain from the scar?”

“Sometimes I feel it” Charlie said “But mostly, I’m fine”

“Good” The doctor smiled. “The pain should mostly be away by now, so that’s good to hear” The doctor paused briefly. “Well I would normally talk about contraceptives at this point, but unfortunately that’s not necessary for you anymore” Charlie gave a weak smile as she looked to Brax briefly before looking back to the doctor. “So, if there is anything you want ask?”

“No” Charlie shook her head.

“Eh...is it safe for her to resume sex again?” Brax asked and the doctor nodded.

“If she is feeling like it, then yes, I wouldn’t see why it was a problem”

“Well thank you” Charlie smiled as she stood up and walked back over to the seats, and picked up Riley’s, as Brax picked up Paige’s.

“That’s quiet alright” The doctor smiled. “And you have two gorgeous little girl there”

“Thank you” Charlie smiled once again before she and Brax left the hospital to go and get their lunch.


“Jacob” Ruby shouted, getting worried. It had been a while since Jacob went to hide and she was still to find him. “Jacob you come out now” Ruby shouted through the house. The house wasn’t big, there wasn’t that many places hide. “C’mon we are going to meet Mummy, Daddy and the babies for some lunch” Ruby said as her heard began to race faster and faster. “Jacob” Ruby yelled but silence then filled the room as she waited on the reply. She walked back down the hall, trying to think of more places where her little brother could be hiding. It was then when she noticed the back door was slightly open and she ran down the hall and outside, to find Jacob sitting down behind one of the big plant pots on the porch. “Jacob” Ruby yelled sternly. “Don’t you ever do that to me again”

“I’s hiding” Jacob sighed as Ruby picked him up into her arms. “It how you play”

“Ahhh” Ruby exhaled. “You don’t go outside alone”

“But we playing” Jacob said as he threw his hands out to the side. Not understanding why Ruby was in such distress.

“No” Ruby shook her head. “We only play hide and seek in the house”

“No’s” Jacob shook his head. “You can play outside too”

“You scared me baby” Ruby said. “I couldn’t find you”

“That’s how you play” Jacob sighed feeling frustrated that his sister didn’t seem to know the rules.

“Aww Jacob” Ruby smiled as she placed a kiss on his cheek. “C’mon, we are going to get lunch at the diner”

“With Mummy there?” Jacob questioned and Ruby nodded.

“Yeah, Mummy will be there” Ruby smiled as she walked through the house and out to her car, before driving them over to the diner.

“Mummy” Jacob shouted as he ran over to the table where Charlie, Brax and the girls were.

“Hey baby” Charlie smiled as Jacob climbed up onto her knee. “You have a good morning with Ruby?”

“We play hide n seek” Jacob grinned. “She no find me for ages”

“He went outside” Ruby sighed.

“Oh Jacob” Brax shook his head. “You don’t go outside on your own”

“But we playing”

“That doesn’t matter” Brax said sternly. “You don’t do it, okay”

“Okays” Jacob sighed. “I’s hungry”

“Yeah, we’ll get some lunch ordered now” Charlie smiled as Leah walked over to them, holding a magazine in her hand.

“Look, I’m sorry, but, I just thought....well have you guys seen this?” Leah questioned as she put the magazine down onto the table. Charlie and Ruby both looked down to the article and scanned it quickly.

“Who the hell would do this?” Ruby questioned as she looked back up at Leah. “Who would tell them such private stuff?”

“Well I have a guess” Leah said before they all looked in the direction of the kitchen.

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Thank you Sarah, JosieTash, CharlieAndBraxLover, Red Ranger 1, Zoe, Spotd1, Samantha1, Sazzle, Jen1205, RoRo90, Aden_Belle and Sabrina for commenting. :wub:

Chapter 32

“Now, we’re not sure it was Colleen, so don’t go shouting at her right away.” Brax said before looking to Ruby then Charlie, not sure which one of them were more angry looking.

“Of course it was Colleen.” Ruby said as anger built up inside her. “She’s the biggest gossip this side of Australia. I can’t believe this.” Ruby sighed as she hid her face with her hands. “Everyone is going to know now.” Ruby mumbled.

“Hey, Rubes it’s okay.” Charlie said as she leaned forward and rubbed her daughters back in comfort.

“No Mum it’s not.” Ruby sighed as she stood up and started to walk over to the kitchen.

“Rubes.” Charlie said as she placed Jacob down on the empty seat next to her before chasing after her daughter, grabbing her arm and stopping her from going into the kitchen and yelling at Colleen just in time. “Don’t, it’s only Colleen. No one cares what she thinks.”

“But she told a journo.” Ruby raised her voice. “I care what they write about me and more especially you. You don’t deserve to have your private life splashed all over the mags. At least it’s expected with my job.” Ruby said.

“Look, it’s happened now.” Charlie said. “You just need to ignore stories like these.”

“But she told them I was raped. She told them I was a product of rape, so not only does everyone know I was raped, but you too. She didn’t need to bring you into this.” Ruby sighed. “And how am I supposed to ignore it? I’m going to be questioned about it non-stop now.” Ruby said as she felt herself close to tears. “I don’t want to talk about it.” Ruby shook her head. “I just want to leave it in past.”

“I know you do.” Charlie exhaled as she tucked Ruby’s hair behind her ear. “And it will go away. Next week there will be some other story printed about someone else and that’s what people will talk about.”

“You think so?” Ruby questioned.

“I know so.” Charlie smiled. “Now look, let’s not bother with the satisfaction of giving Colleen a reaction, hmm.” Charlie said. “How about we just go back and sit down and get some lunch?”

“Sure.” Ruby nodded lightly as they linked arms and walked back over to the table.

“Alright.” Brax smiled as they sat back down at the table.

“Well no.” Ruby shook her head. “But, I’m trying not to let it bother me”

“That’s a good idea.” Leah smiled as she looked up from cooing over the babies who were sound asleep in their pram. “I mean, articles are going to crop up about you from time to time that aren’t going to be great.” Leah said. “It’s best to ignore them and not let them bother you.”

“You’re right, I know.” Ruby said as Colleen sheepishly made her way to the table.

“Now before any of you start I didn’t know he was a journo.” Colleen screeched.

“So it was you.” Brax said as he shook his head.

“In my defence I didn’t know he was a journo.”

“Oh so you just talk to any Tom, Dick or Harry about Charlie and Ruby’s ra....past?” Brax said loudly, causing a few other customers to stare in their direction. Deciding not to say the word rape in front of Jacob, as he was at a stage where he would as a lot of questions if he didn’t know what they were talking about.

“Like I said...I...eh...I didn’t know....I was....” Colleen started to stutter as she saw a very angry looking Brax staring up at her.

“Brax, you’re scaring her.” Charlie said.

“I don’t care.” Brax said. “I don’t want her to get away with telling people what happened to you and to Ruby. It’s not right.” Brax said, keeping his voice raised.

“Daddy no shout at Colleen” Jacob shook his head.

“Sorry mate but she deserves this. She did something bad.”

“Oh. She go on the naughty spot?” Jacob said which caused all the adults to laugh, lightening the mood slightly.

“Nah, but maybe she should leave before I say something to her that I’ll regret.” Brax said. Colleen, not needing to be told twice turned around and scurried away back to the kitchen to hide from Brax.

“What you say?” Jacob asked.

“You don’t want to know mate.” Brax answered.

“I do’s.” Jacob nodded. “Why I asked.”

“Never you mind eh.” Brax said. “Let’s just order some lunch.”


“Ah you only just got here.” Charlie sighed as she gave Ruby a hug goodbye.

“I know, but I shouldn’t really have come down in the first place. I cancelled on a TV show today. I can’t do it again tomorrow.”

“Well you could.” Charlie said.

“No, Mum.” Ruby shook her head. “I can’t. And I need to go talk to Xavier and then find a place to stay.”

“You can stay here.” Charlie said.

“I can’t. Mum, I need to get a place in the city.”

“But until you’ve found a place.” Charlie said. “You’re more that welcome to and Jacob would love it if you stayed a little longer, and the girls too, they told me.” Charlie grinned.

“Mum.” Ruby laughed lightly. “I really would love too, but I don’t want to get the reputation as the canceller.” Ruby sighed.

“It would only be two shows, Rubes, and really, you’re going through a hard time right now, so maybe they wouldn’t blame you.”

Ruby exhaled lightly. “They don’t even know about my break-up with Xav yet.”

“Well they don’t need too yet.” Charlie sighed. “But that can explain why you weren’t there. You needed to go and see your Mother for support.”

Ruby bowed her head down as she felt herself welling up with tears. “I don’t....I don’t want to go back to the city.” Ruby cried.

“Aww sweetie you don’t have too” Charlie said softly as she pulled her into a hug. “You can stay here with me as long as you need. You don’t need to put this brave front on with me.” Ruby nodded lightly as she clung tightly onto her Mother. “So listen, tomorrow, we’ll go to the Spa like we talked about and have a nice day, just me and you, yeah?” Charlie questioned and Charlie heard a mumbled response of what she took as a yes coming from Ruby.


Charlie walked back through to the living room to find Brax sitting on the couch holding a bottle of beer in one hand and a glass of wine in his other. “Ohh and what’s this?” Charlie questioned as she sat down next to him.

“Just thought we could have a little snuggle with a drink.” Brax grinned suggestively as Charlie moved closer to him and took the glass from him.

“Oh right.” Charlie smiled. “Sounds....lovely, although I’m not sure I should drink while I’m feeding the girls.”

“Well you’re not exactly feeding them right this minute.” Brax said.

“No.” Charlie shook her head. “But I don’t want to risk harming them or anything. You know it can pass through in the milk.”

“Yeah but I’m not going to get you stupidly drunk.” Brax said. “I’m talking about one glass of wine.”

Charlie exhaled lightly as she looked to the glass before looking back up at Brax. “You know it’s been so long since I’ve drank, this will probably get me drunk.”

Brax laughed lightly. “Well while that’s not my intentions, I still don’t think one glass will hurt.”

Charlie smiled lightly before she took a drink. “Okay, but you’re getting up to feed the girls all night.”

“Of course, sweetie.” Brax agreed before he placed a soft kiss on Charlie’s lips.

“Mmm.” Charlie smiled as she pulled back and looked into Brax’s soft green eyes.

“Maybe after we’ve drank these we can go get an early night too.” Brax grinned before he once again placed a kiss on Charlie’s lips.

“Mmm, Brax.” Charlie said as she pulled back. “I don’t want too....I mean....I’m not....” Charlie shook her head as she trialled off, looking away from Brax. “I’m not ready for sex yet.”

“But the doctor said you could.”

“Yeah, if I was ready.” Charlie told him. “And I’m sorry but I don’t feel like it yet.”

“But babe it’s been so long.” Brax sighed.

“Yeah well I’m sorry I’ve been a bit pre-occupied with your daughters.” Charlie said. “And you’ve only got yourself to blame. You are the one who didn’t want to do it while I was pregnant. I was all for that, but you didn’t want it then.”

Brax exhaled lightly before he nodded his head. “Okay, you’re right, sorry.” Brax sighed softly.

“We can still kiss.” Charlie smiled before she leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on his lips. Brax smiled before the kiss deepened, becoming more passionate. “Mmmm.” Charlie reluctantly pulled away from Brax as Jacob could be heard shouting, before he appeared in front of them.

“What you doing up mate?” Brax questioned.

“I want Mummy.” Jacob said as he climbed up onto the couch and onto her knee.

“What’s wrong sweetie?” Charlie asked as she leaned forward and put her wine on the coffee table before taking a better grip of her son from her knee.

“I had a dream.” Jacob said. “I’s no like it.”

“What did you dream about?” Charlie questioned.

“Oh....all them things.” Jacob sighed. “Can we watch pirates on TV?”

“No, it’s past your bedtime” Charlie said as she stood up with Jacob in her arms and made her way back to his bedroom and laid him back into the bed.

“Mummy can we go to beach tomorrow and dig for treasures like pirates?”

“Pirates.” Charlie said. “You’re obsessed boy.”

“No’s.” Jacob shook his head. “I no obest.” Charlie laughed lightly.

“You go to sleep now sweetie.” Charlie said as she tucked Jacob back into bed.

“I all tucked in” Jacob smiled.

“Mmm hmm.” Charlie nodded. “You’re snug as a bug in a rug” Jacob giggled at his Mother as Charlie stood to her feet. “Night baby.”

“Nighty Mummy” Jacob said as he yawned. Charlie smiled before she walked out of the room, leaving the door slightly ajar so the glare from the hallway light sneaked into the room, just how Jacob liked it.

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Thank you CharlieAndBraxLover, Sarah, JosieTash, Spotd1, Red Ranger 1, Samantha1, RoRo90, Zoe, Lucii, Jen1205, Cally and Aden_Belle. :wub:

Chapter 33

“Mum are we going then?” Ruby asked as she stood in the living room ready to go.

“In a minute.” Charlie answered as she looked down to the moses baskets where her girls were lying as Jacob was pulling on her hand, also wanting her attention.

“Mummy Mummy come see.” Jacob screeched.

“Come and see what?” Charlie questioned as she averted her attention down to her son.

“Come an see.” Jacob said as he continued to pull on her hand. Charlie followed her son as he pulled her all the way to his bedroom before he jumped excitedly as he pointed to his bed. “I’s mades it nice.” Jacob smiled as he looked up to Charlie.

“Aww well done.” Charlie smiled enthusiastically as she looked down to her son before looking over at the bed which Jacob had attempted to make.

“Its good?” Jacob questioned and Charlie nodded.

“Yeah.” Charlie said.

“I’s do a good job?” Jacob looked up at his Mother with his big puppy dog eyes.

“You did, sweetie.” Charlie smiled lightly as she lifted Jacob into a hug, looking over his shoulder at the bed, the covers thrown not so neatly over the mattress, his two favourite teddy bears sitting on top of his pillow. She let out a small laugh before she walked back through to the living room, placing Jacob back down on the floor. Jacob put his hands on the side of one of the moses baskets and stood on his tiptoes as he looked in at his little sister. The baby greeted the face with a smile as she kicked her legs in excitement.

“I like Paige bestest.” Jacob grinned. “No’s Riley. She cry too much and no smile at me.”

“Aww Jacob.” Ruby said. “That’s not very nice. She’s your baby sister.”

“No.” Jacob shook his head. “Just Paige is.” Just then, Riley let out an ear piercing scream before she began to cry.

“Aww see you upset her.” Ruby said as she watched her Mother picking the baby up to comfort her.

“I no cares.” Jacob shrugged his shoulders as he stepped away from the moses baskets and ran over to his toy box, lifting out his pirate ship.

“Sorry.” Brax said as he walked back into the room. “That call took longer than expected. I thought Robert knew how run the place but today he seemed to have a hundred questions.”

“Everything sorted now though?” Charlie asked as she still held a crying Riley in her arms.

“Yeah.” Brax nodded. “So, if you two are ready you can leave.”

“Great. She needs her nappy changed.” Charlie smirked as she handed Brax Riley, before she took a deep breath.

“You know they’ll be fine, Charlie.” Brax exhaled lightly. “I know what I’m doing.”

“I know.” Charlie nodded before she took another deep breath, she was a little nervous leaving the babies alone with Brax for the first time. “Okay, let’s go.” Charlie smiled as she looked across the room to Jacob. “I’ll see you later sweetie.” Charlie said.

“No’s” Jacob shook his head. “I coming.”

“Aw you are going to stay with Daddy.” Charlie said as Jacob ran over to her and took a told of her leg.

“Why I no go?” Jacob asked sadly.

“Because we need someone here to help Daddy with the girls.” Charlie said. “He’s not been with them without Mummy yet, but you know what to do, don’t you?”

“Eh...yeah I knows.” Jacob nodded.

“So, you’ll stay and help Daddy?” Charlie questioned and Jacob nodded before he lifted his arms up, to give his Mother a hug. Charlie picked Jacob up and placed a kiss on his cheek before she hugged him.

“You no be long no Mummy?” Jacob shook his head as Charlie placed him back on the floor.

“No.” Charlie shook her head.

“Okays. I stay to help Daddy.” Jacob smiled as he ran over to Brax, who was holding Riley in his arms, yet to change her.

“Okay, well, I’ll see you later.” Charlie smiled before she and Ruby left the house to go to the day at the spa.


Brax had changed Riley’s nappy and gave the girls their 10am feed and had just settled them down for a nap, when there was a knock at the door. “I get it.” Jacob shouted as he ran towards the door, with Brax walking after him. Brax opened the door to find an unknown man standing at the other side. “Who that?” Jacob asked as he looked up at Brax.

“I don’t know mate.” Brax shook his head before he looked at the other man again. “Can I help you with something?”

“I’m Terrance Lewin.” The man said. “From OK magazine.”

“I have nothing to say to you.” Brax said before he tried to shut the door but Terrance put his hand out, stopping him. “Hey, Jakey, why don’t you go and put on your pirate outfit and we’ll play pirates yeah?”

“But who is he?” Jacob asked.

“He’s lost.” Brax said. “And I’m going to show him how to get back onto the road to the city.”

“Oh.” Jacob said before he ran off to change, excited at the thought of playing pirates.

“Please, sir if you could just give me five minutes of your time.” Terrance said.

“What for?” Brax questioned.

“I’d like to hear your thoughts on the rapes of your partner and her daughter.”

“Well I am afraid you are not going to get anything.” Brax said. “Now leave, before I make you.” Brax took a step closer to the man in an intimidating manner.

“What about Charlie?” Terrance questioned. “Is she home?”

“No.” Brax shook his head. “And even if she was I wouldn’t get her for you. You are wasting your time and I do suggest that you leave.”

“C’mon mate, give me a little help here.” Terrance said. “I need to get a follow up.”

“No.” Brax shook his head.

“Could you tell me where Ruby is?” Terrance questioned. “I’d expect you would know. She cancelled on a show yesterday and today see. I don’t know where she is.”

“Shame that’s how it’s going to stay.” Brax said. “Now, you need to leave. I do suggest you get off my property or I shall call the police.” Terrance sighed lightly before he walked away unimpressed that he couldn’t get a story or find out where Ruby was. Brax shook his head as he closed the door and turned around just in time to see Jacob running back down the hallway, dressed as a pirate and ready to play.


“You know the girls will be fine with Brax.” Ruby said as they sat down at the table, ready for some lunch after a morning of retail therapy.

“I know.” Charlie said. “I didn’t say anything.”

“No, the look on your face is saying enough.” Ruby laughed.

“I’m just never away from them.” Charlie sighed. “It’s hard trying to get used to it. I just miss them is all.”

“Aww, it’ll get easier.” Ruby smiled.

“Oh yeah because you’d know.” Charlie said as she picked up the menu to see what was on offer.

“Well it’s just what you hear people say.” Ruby sighed just as a waitress walked over to take their drinks order.

“Oh my God....are you....your Ruby.” The girl smiled excitedly as she looked down at Ruby.

“Yeah. Hi.” Ruby said. She really wasn’t in the mood right now for adoring fans, giving her break-up with Xavier and the article.

“Eh, can we just have some water please.” Charlie said as she looked to the waitress. The waitress nodded as she continued to stare at Ruby briefly before she walked off, returning moments later with a jug of ice cold water and two glasses. She shakily put them down on the table before she went to pour Ruby a glass of water.

“Crap” The waitress muttered as she dropped the glass, letting the water spill over Ruby. “I’m so sorry....I just....I’m so nervous” The girl stopped talking as she pulled the cloth from being tucked over the side of her apron. She started to dab the table, trying to pick up as much of the water as she could. “I’m so sorry” The girl said again. “This is such a small coastal town and there’s never anyone famous here.....I just...I....oh God I am so sorry.”

“It’s fine.” Ruby laughed lightly. “At least it wasn’t red wine.” She said before she looked down to the white flowly top she was wearing.

“I’m so sorry.” The girl said again. “Can I get you a new top or -”

“No.” Ruby laughed once again. “Seriously, don’t worry about it.”

“I’m so sorry.” She said once again. “I’ll give you the meal on the house. I’m mean I’ll need to talk to my boss but I’m sure she’ll agree it’s what I should do.”

“You don’t need to do that.” Charlie shook her head. “It was just a mistake.”

“I eh....well...no, I will.” The girl nodded. “Now eh....are you ready to order?”

“No.” Ruby shook head. “Can you give us more time?”

“Sure.” The girl said before she quickly walked away to avoid making any more mistakes.

“What you doing telling her not to give us this on the house?” Ruby sighed.

“Well she doesn’t need too.” Charlie exhaled. “You told her not to worry about it.”

“I know, but still, c’mon a free meal.” Ruby grinned.

“What, like you can’t afford this.” Charlie laughed.

“Well yeah, but still.” Ruby laughed.

“Well it’s a good job I’m paying for today eh, so technically it is free for you anyways.”

“You don’t need to pay for everything.” Ruby sighed. “I’m making enough.”

“Doesn’t mean I can’t still spoil my daughter.” Charlie smiled. “And besides, I do work at the spa remember, so I do get a discount.” Charlie grinned cheekily.

“Oh so I’m only getting this day because you get a discount?” Ruby said, mocking offence.

“Mmm well as tempting as it would be to say yes, no.” Charlie laughed. “I’m pretty sure I’d still give you this day.”

“Because you feel sorry for me?” Ruby questioned. “I many well be a singer now, but I’ve just lost me fiancé and had my past spread over the magazines.”

“It wasn’t just your past.” Charlie snapped and Ruby bowed her head down. “No, I’m sorry I mean...I just want to spend some time with you, like we used too. I miss you.”

“Sorry. I know. I miss you too.” Ruby smiled sadly at her Mother.

“Well we have today.” Charlie smiled. “And we’re not talking about Xavier or the magazine.” Charlie said. “We’re going to make it a good one. Agreed?”

“Agreed.” Ruby smiled before she looked down to the menu to see what she wanted for her lunch.

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Thanks everyone :wub: So looks like I did manage to get something today, and I think I know where I am going. (For the time being at least). So, hope you like it.

Chapter 34

“Daddy we go to the beach?” Jacob asked as he ran around him in circles.

“Yeah.” Brax nodded. “I just need to change Paige’s nappy first.”

“I help.” Jacob grinned as he ran over to the changing table, and pulled out a clean nappy from the drawer. Brax smiled as he placed Paige down on the changing table and took off her dress, before opening the nappy.

“Oh Paige.” Brax held his breath. “You’re supposed to leave the stinky ones for Mummy.” Brax cooed as he looked down to his daughter, who was staring up at him, her eyes widening as he spoke.

“Pooey.” Jacob said as he held his nose. Brax laughed lightly as he wiped his daughter’s bum.

“Daddy can’t wait till you don’t need to be in nappies anymore.” Brax said.

“I’s not.” Jacob grinned. “Cos I a big boy. I 3 an a aff”

“Yeah, you are a big boy.” Brax smiled. “And you’re Daddy’s little helper today.” Brax smiled before he took the nappy from Jacob and put it on Paige and then put her back in her dress.

“Yup.” Jacob nodded. “I’s be good all day.”

“Right then.” Brax smiled as he lifted Paige back into his arms. “You ready for the beach?”

“Yeah.” Jacob jumped up and down before he ran from the room. Brax put Paige down in the pram, before lifting Riley from the moses basket to the pram also. “You got everything you want for the beach?” Brax asked as he looked down to Jacob.

“Yeah.” Jacob nodded. “Just my spade to dig for treasures.”

“Okay, let’s go mate.”

“No.” Jacob shook his head. “You need the bag.”

“The what?” Brax questioned.

“The bag.” Jacob exhaled lightly. “Like Mummy takes for them girls.”

“Oh yes.” Brax nodded. “The nappy bag.”

“And thems milk.” Jacob told Brax.

“Yes, of course.” Brax nodded as he walked over to the fridge and took out some milk bottles for the girls.

“You got it alls?” Jacob asked and Brax nodded as he hung the bag over the handles of the pram before they left the house, for their day at the beach.


“It here. It here.” Jacob jumped up and down excitedly as he made little fists in excitement with his hands. “It here Daddy.” Jacob said as he picked up his little plastic spade and started digging in the sand as fast as he could, his excitement bubbling inside him. Brax had drawn a simple treasure map for Jacob, and had quickly buried something when the boy wasn’t looking. “Ooos I sees a box.” Jacob grinned as he got down on his hands and knees as used his hands to remove the rest of the sand before picking up the small box in his hands, before opening it to reveal some sweeties. “Wows.” Jacob said with a huge grin on his face. “Thems really had treasures Daddy.”

“Wow mate that’s cool.” Brax smiled.

“Can I have a tee-tee now?” Jacob questioned as he held one in his hand.

“Sure mate.” Brax smiled as he looked down at his watch. “Time to feed the girls I think.” Brax said as he lifted Riley out of the pram before he took the bottle from the bag.

“You no feed Paige?” Jacob questioned.

“I’ll feed her next.” Brax said.

“I could do it.” Jacob smiled.

“Nah mate. Daddy will.” Brax said, just as Jacob looked up to see Bianca walking along the beach.

“Bee-Bee Bee-Bee.” Jacob smiled as he ran across to her. Bianca caught the boy and lifted him into her arms. “Look at my treasures.”

“Wow.” Bianca smiled. “I hope you’ll share.”

“Them are for Jacob.” Jacob shook his head as Bianca walked them back over to where Brax was sitting.

“Hey, Brax.” Bianca smiled as she put Jacob back down on the sand.

“Hey.” Brax smiled.

“Want a hand?” Bianca questioned. “I could feed Paige if you wanted?”

“Yeah, sure.” Brax smiled as Bianca lifted Paige into her arms, before taking the milk from the bag and sitting down.

“Daddy I go dig to find more treasures.” Jacob grinned as he ran down the beach.

“Oi, stop there mate.” Brax shouted. “That’s far enough.”

Bianca smiled as she watched Jacob digging, before she looked around to Brax. “So, where is Charlie today?”

“She took Ruby away for the day.” Brax said. “Spot of bonding time.”

“Ruby is here?” Bianca questioned.

Brax nodded. “Her and Xav broke up.”

“Aww no way.” Bianca said.

“Yeah.” Brax nodded. “So she wanted to try to cheer her up....keep her mind off it for a while. Especially with the news article too.”

“Oh yeah. I saw that.” Bianca said.

“Colleen.” Brax shook his head.

“She has no respect for anyone’s privacy.” Bianca sighed.

“You can say that again.” Brax exhaled.

“So, how are you getting on with this Daddy thing?” Bianca questioned.

“Well I did it with Jacob for a couple of years eh.”

“I know.” Bianca nodded. “But this is your first time with new-borns.”

“Eh Charlie’s been great.” Brax smiled. “She’s helped me a lot, but I think I am getting the hang of it.”

“Yeah?” Bianca questioned. “Did you dress Paige today?”

“Well after her nappy change I did, why?”

“Just that her dress is on back to front.” Bianca laughed.

“What, no it’s not.” Brax said.

“It is.” Bianca laughed. “Look at Riley’s, then look at Paige’s”

“Oh crap.....please don’t tell Charlie.” Brax said as Bianca laughed once more.

“I won’t if you can get me out of going to this party tonight.” Bianca sighed.

“What party is this?” Brax questioned.

“A hen party for one of the teachers at school.” Bianca exhaled. “I’m the only single one there too” Bianca sighed. “All the rest are married or in pretty serious relationships. Then there is sad pathetic single me.”

“You’re not pathetic.” Brax said. “You just haven’t found the right man yet.”

“My last serious relationship was with Liam and that ended like 4 years ago.”

“But you’ve been with people since Liam?” Brax questioned.

“Well there was a quick fling with your brother but he seems to find drug dealing and jail more appealing than me. I’ve not been with anyone since Heath and it’s been like 2 years since he went back to jail.”

“Oh wow. I’m sorry.” Brax said. “But hey, good things come to those who wait.” Brax smiled as he took the bottle from Riley’s mouth and began to wind her. “And you are too hot to be single forever. It’s just a case of being prepared to wait for the right person.”

“I feel like I’ve been waiting long enough.” Bianca sighed. “And it’s easy for you to say that. You’ve found Charlie and had the kids. You have the perfect relationship.”

“Well not entirely perfect at the moment.” Brax sighed. “It’s been almost seven months since we’ve...well you know...had sex.”

“Oh.” Bianca said. “But you know she’s been pregnant, then actually had twins and with her surgery too. It’s expected.”

“I know. But I’m really ready for it.” Brax said. “I know I’ll wait till Charlie is ready, but still.”

“Well looks like that’s a problem both me and you have right now.” Bianca said as she took the empty bottle from Paige’s mouth and winded her.


“Mummy, we went to the beach.” Jacob smiled as Charlie and Ruby returned to the house, with Ruby going right through to her bedroom. Jacob put his hands out to go to his Mother for a hug.

“Ah cool.” Charlie smiled. “Did you have fun?”

“Lot’s an lot’s.” Jacob grinned. “I be a pirate and I found treasures”

“Ah wow.” Charlie smiled as she looked down at her son who was still in his pirate outfit. “And how was your day?” Charlie asked as she looked up at Brax.

“Good.” Brax smiled. “Like Jakey said we went to the beach.”

Charlie smiled as she walked over to the moses baskets and looked down to her girls. “And how were the girls?” Charlie asked.

“Great.” Brax smiled as Charlie put Jacob back down and ran over to his toy box.

“Brax, what did you do to Paige?” Charlie questioned as she lifted her out of the moses basket. “You’ve put her dress on back to front.” Charlie laughed.

“Crap” Brax muttered. He remembered Bianca had told him this, but he’s still forgot to change her.

“How did that happen?” Charlie asked.

“I was changing her nappy so I must have done it then.” Brax explained.

“Why did you take her dress off anyways?”

“The last time I changed a dirty nappy I got some poop on her dress so I didn’t want to mess it again.” Brax explained.

“Oh.” Charlie laughed lightly. “Well we’ll just have to get you changed hmm.” Charlie cooed. “Oh God you didn’t take her to the beach like this, did you?”

“Eh....yeah.” Brax nodded shyly.

“Did anyone see?”

“Just Bianca.” Brax answered. “She helped me feed the girls. She told me but I forgot to change her before you saw.”

“How is Bianca?” Charlie asked. “I’ve been so busy with the girls; I haven’t had much time to see her lately.”

“I think she’s a bit down to be honest. Maybe you should go see her.”

“I’ll try to get there tomorrow.” Charlie said and Brax nodded.

“So, how was Ruby?” Brax asked.

“She was so-so.” Charlie sighed. “There’s just a lot going on right now.”

“Yeah. You know that journo came around this morning.” Brax sighed. “Wanting me to talk to him about what happened. Then asking for you and Rubes.”

“Did you say anything?” Charlie asked.

“All I did was tell him to get lost.” Brax said. “Hopefully he won’t bother us again.”

“Yeah, I hope so.” Charlie nodded just as there was a knock at the door. Brax exhaled lightly as he walked over and opened it to find two smartly dressed officers at the other side.

“Mr Braxton?” One of them spoke.

“Yeah?” Brax nodded.

“I’m afraid we have some news. Can we come in?”

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Chapter 35

Brax let the two men into the room and they took a seat on the couch. Brax sat down on the chair and looked to them, nervously. Charlie looked from the men to Brax before she lifted Riley from the moses basket so she was now holding both her girls. “C’mon Jacob, you come and help Mummy get Paige changed.” Jacob looked to the strange men before he looked to Brax. He furrowed his eyebrows before he did what his Mother asked.

“So eh.” Brax cleared his throat. “What’s eh...” Brax trailed off knowing this wasn’t going to be good news.

“Mr Braxton.” The officer exhaled lightly. There was never an easy way to say this so he knew he’d just need to come with it. “I’m afraid you’re brother Casey was involved in a scrap and he suffered from some quiet serious head injuries.”

“But he’s going to be okay, right?” Brax questioned.

“I’m afraid he didn’t make it.” The officer shook his head as he spoke softly.

“He’s dead?” Brax questioned as he immediately felt tears in his eyes. “I know I turned my back on him for what he did but.....dead? He’s really dead?” Brax said.

“We are sorry, Mr Braxton.” The man said before they stood up and walked back over to the door. “We’ve not been able to get in contact with your Mother yet. Do you know where she could be?”

“No.” Brax shook his head. “I eh...I don’t have the best relationship with my Mother.”

“Okay well we are sorry for your loss.” Both men said before the walked out of the house. Brax shut the door and rested his head against it, as Charlie walked back through to the room.

“Is everything okay Brax?” Charlie asked as she put her hand on his back in comfort. Brax shook his head lightly as he turned to face her.

“He’s dead.” Brax said as a lone tear rolled down his cheek. “I turned my back on him and now I’m never going to see him again.”

“Who’s dead?” Charlie questioned.

“Casey.” Brax said. “He eh....there was a fight and he...” Brax trailed off as Charlie pulled him into a hug. “He was my brother Charlie.” Brax cried. “And I.....he’s died thinking I hated him for what he did. And while it did disgust me I don’t believe he intended to do it. He’s not like that.”

“He knew you loved him.” Charlie said. “But he had to go and pay for what he did.”

“He didn’t deserve to be killed inside though.” Brax said as he pulled back from the hug.

“I know and I’m sorry.” Charlie said as she bit her lip.

“I need to go out.” Brax said as he turned around and went to open the door.

“Brax, no.” Charlie said. “I think you should stay here and we can talk.”

“No.” Brax shook his head. “Mum needs to know and I just.....I’m going out.” Brax said before he walked out of the house and slammed the door shut behind him.


With help from Ruby, Charlie fed, bathed and changed the girls and Jacob and settled them down to bed. Ruby reading her little a brother a story, and just spending some quality time with him, before she gave Paige a bottle as Charlie fed Riley. They put the girls down in their cots to sleep before they walked through to the living room and took a seat on the couch. “Is it bad that I don’t feel sorry for what happened to Casey?” Ruby asked shyly as she looked away from her Mother.

“No.” Charlie shook her head. “I know he is Brax’s brother but I can’t either. After what he did to you...” Charlie trailed off as she looked down and began pulling at a loose thread on the cushion. “I just can’t bring myself to feel all that sorry for him.”

“It’s not that I was wishing death on him or anything, I mean he went to jail and was paying for what he did, but when you told me what happened there was a part of me that felt relieved.” Ruby admitted. “He wasn’t ever going to be to free to hurt me again.”

“What he did to you....Rubes, it was horrible and you don’t need to feel bad for feeling like this, okay?”

Ruby nodded lightly as she leaned into her Mother, resting her head against her chest. “What about you? I mean, you’re going to need to support Brax through this.”

“And I will.” Charlie smiled. “Because no matter what I thought of Casey, I love Brax and he’ll be hurting.” Charlie said as she wrapped her arm around her daughter.

“Mum.” Ruby started. “I know you said we should just have a nice day and not talk about it, but...” Ruby trailed off as she looked back up at her Mother.

“You can talk about Xavier, Ruby.” Charlie said. “Maybe avoiding the subject wasn’t exactly the best idea.”

“Well maybe today it was.” Ruby smiled. “I mean I had a lovely time with you shopping and at lunch and at the spa.” Ruby said. “But I just...” Ruby once again trailed off as she looked down to her engagement ring and span it around her finger. “Do you think I’ve made the right choice?”

“I can’t answer that, Ruby.” Charlie shook her head. “It’s for you to decide.”

“Well if you were in my position?” Ruby questioned.

“I chose Brax.” Charlie said quietly. “Part of the reason I lost my job on the force was because of my relationship with him. So I have been in your position Rubes, and it was the hardest choice I’ve ever had to make. And while I don’t regret my decision because of what we have now, sometimes, during the start of our relationship when I didn’t have another job, I did feel like maybe I’d made the wrong choice, maybe I shouldn’t have thrown my career away for some guy who maybe I wouldn’t even have been with a few years down the road. But then when things started to fall into place us, you know, when I got the job at the spa and he moved back in, Jacob started calling him Daddy, I saw we’d become a proper little family and I loved that. I loved what I had, and any regrets that I did have about not choosing my career vanished.”

Ruby smiled lightly at her Mother. “So, you’re saying I should choose Xavier because no matter how great I think this career is right now, I can build a family and a life with Xavier, and that’s more important than any career?”

“What I am saying is...” Charlie exhaled lightly as she shook her head. “Look, maybe Xavier did this because he loves you and has set you free to have the career you want. I don’t know the answers Rubes, so I’m sorry I can’t give you anything. All I can say is you should talk to Xavier and sort out were you two stand.”

Ruby nodded lightly at what Charlie said. “I know. I just...he’s obviously going to say the same. Him or the career.”

“Maybe so.” Charlie nodded. “But if you don’t talk to him, you’ll never know.”


Brax knocked on the door of his old home as he took a deep breath. He hadn’t seen or spoke to his Mother since Casey got sentence almost two years ago now. He knocked one again before trying the handle to find the door was unlocked. He walked into the house cautiously as she shouted out. “Mum...Mum?” Brax shouted.

“Who’s there?” Cheryl shouted as she emerged from her bedroom. “When I don’t answer the door it means don’t come in.” Cheryl said.

“It’s me Mum.” Brax said. Cheryl looked up to Brax before she curled her nose up in disgust.

“I aint got nothing to say to you.” Cheryl said as she turned to walk back into her bedroom.

“Mum, I have something I need to tell you.”

“I said I don’t care. You’re dead to me. So run off back to your fancy house with your pig of a girlfriend and her little brat.”

“Mum.” Brax shouted. “It’s Casey.”

“What about him?” Cheryl questioned.

“He ehm....” Brax took a deep breath. “He’s dead, Mum.”

“What you doing making something like that up for?” Cheryl spat. “I just saw the boy this morning. He’s fine. Well as fine as you can be giving where he is.”

“Mum.” Brax exhaled. “There was a fight this avro. He had a bad head injury and didn’t make it.”

“Nah.” Cheryl shook her head. “I don’t believe it. You’re just trying to get me talking with ya again.”

“Look Mum.” Brax shook his head. “I wish this wasn’t true, but it is. Why would I lie about this?”

“I dunno who are since you left us for that woman.” Cheryl sighed. “Now get out, go on.”

“Mum, please.” Brax said as he felt tears in his eyes.

“Out, go on.” Cheryl yelled. Brax sighed lightly as he left house. He got into his car and drove back to the Bay, parking out the Surf club, and walked up the stairs to Angelo’s.

“Brax.” Robert said. “I was just about to close up for the night seeing as we have no more customers.”

“Get off home eh. And you lot as well.” Brax said as he looked over to the bar, were the chef and kitchen staff, and his waiters and waitress were all standing talking. Not needing to be told twice they all left the building as Robert handed Brax the keys before he left. Brax exhaled lightly as he walked over to the bar and opened a new bottle of bourbon and poured himself a glass.

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Chapter 36

Charlie yawned as she placed Riley back down into the cot. She’d been up to feed the girls for a second time herself that night. She walked back down the hall and it was then when Brax walked back into the house. “Brax.” Charlie said. “Where the hell did you go?”

“I tried to tell Mum.” Brax said as he walked into the bedroom and sat down on the edge of the bed. “But she didn’t believe me.”

“Maybe she’s just in shock.” Charlie yawned as she sat down on the edge of the bed next to Brax. “This was pretty unexpected.”

“Tell me about it.” Brax exhaled. “My little bro. He’s gone.” Brax shook his head as his eyes stung with tears.

“Hey, c’mon.” Charlie said as she wrapped her arm around Brax. Brax turned his head as rested it against Charlie’s shoulder. Charlie placed a soft kiss on his temple. “I think you just need -”

“I know what I need.” Brax said as he looked up to Charlie. He smiled before he cupped her cheek with his hand. He leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on her lips.

“Brax.” Charlie shook her head.

“Mmm please, Charlie. I need this.” Brax said before he kissed her once more, pulling her closer to him. Charlie struggled in his grasp as he kissed her again.

“Don’t.” Charlie said as she managed to pull herself free. “I’m not going to sleep with you. You ‘ve just lost your brother and you smell like alcohol.”

“So I had a glass of bourbon.” Brax sighed. “I’ll still be able to work it.”

“Brax.” Charlie shook her head. “I don’t think you are in the right frame of mind to be doing this.”

“I just want to feel loved.” Brax sighed. “I just lost my brother. Please let me feel good for a while.”

Charlie shook her head. “I’m sorry I can’t. The timing is all wrong and I just....I don’t feel ready yet.”

“Damn it Charlie.” Brax yelled as he stood up. “It’s been seven months.”

“Who’s fault is that?” Charlie shouted. “It could have been a lot less if you would do it when I was pregnant. Don’t go blaming me because I am not ready six weeks after I pushed two babies from there then had to get lifesaving surgery.” Charlie spat. “And while I am at it, you have had much more than one drink.”

“Okay so I had two...three...I had four okay, four drinks, but my brother just died.” Brax yelled. “I think that entitles me to some drinks.”

“Whys you shouting?” Jacob asked as he ran into the room and rubbed his eyes as he came into the light.

“Sorry mate.” Brax said as he walked over to him. “Mummy is just in a bad mood.” Charlie quickly walked forward and pushed Brax to the side before she lifted her son up.

“You’re not going to go near him when you are drunk.” Charlie said.

“I’m not drunk yet.” Brax laughed. Charlie shook her head before she walked down the hall with her son and took him back to bed. Coming back out into the hall minutes later to see Brax walking back out the front door and slamming it shut.


Brax walked into the club and straight to the bar where he ordered himself another drink. He sighed lightly as he took a big gulp of the beer. He couldn’t believe his brother was gone, and he hated that hadn’t seen him for almost two years. “Hey Brax.” Bianca smiled as she appeared next to him at the bar. “What are you doing here?”

“Oh just drowning my sorrows.” Brax sighed. “What brings you here?” Brax asked as he looked around to Bianca.

“That hen party, remember?” Bianca sighed.

“Oh, not having fun then?” Brax asked.

“Seemed to be make fun of the single girl hour so I decided to get away for a bit.” Bianca sighed as she sat down on the stool next to Brax.

“Well I could do with some company if you’d like?” Brax questioned.

“Ah....if you buy me a wine I’ll stay.” Bianca grinned. Brax laughed lightly before he ordered the lady a wine. “So, what sorrows have you got to be drowning?” Bianca questioned. “You’ve got the gorgeous girlfriend, the adorable toddler son and the cutie twins.”

“My brother just died.” Brax sighed. “He got into a bit of a fight in jail. He didn’t make it.”

“Oh my....” Bianca put her hand over her mouth. “I’m so sorry. Heath or Casey?”

“Oh...Casey.” Brax said. “He was only just 21.” Brax shook his head. “Life’s just not fair sometimes”

“I’m so sorry Brax.” Bianca said as she put her hand on his arm in a comforting manner. “Despite his one wrong doing he was a good kid.”

“I know.” Brax nodded. “Mum doesn’t believe me and Charlie....well Charlie still won’t sleep with me. Not even pity sex. You know you’d think she’d feel sorry for me. I mean I have just lost my brother.”

“Well I don’t think it would be the best idea to make your first time in seven months be just pity sex.” Bianca said. “Don’t you think it should be a bit more special?”

“Maybe.” Brax shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know what’s wrong, Bianca.” Brax shook his head. “I just feel like she’s pulled herself away from me. She has her moments where it’s nice and we get a little ....close....but....” Brax shook his head. “Maybe you could talk to her. See if there is another reason other than she simply isn’t ready.”

“Look, Brax.” Bianca shook her head. “I don’t think I need to get in the middle off this. This is something between you and Charlie. I’m sure she’s just feeling a little insecure right now. She’s just had two babies, surgery....she’s been though a lot, Brax.”

“Yeah.” Brax nodded. “You’re probably right. But you gotta feel for me. It’s been seven months.”

“Weren’t you the one who didn’t want it while she was pregnant?” Bianca questioned. “So this is sort of your fault, in a way.”

“Oh right, that’s how it’s going to be?” Brax said as he looked to Bianca.

“I’m just saying it how I see it.” Bianca said. “And besides seven months is nothing on me. I’m a born-again virgin.” Bianca sighed as she rested her head against her hands.

Brax laughed lightly. “As I say, you’re gorgeous Bianca; you’ll find someone who will worship you one day.”

“Two compliments on my looks in one day.” Bianca grinned. “Any one would think you were hitting on me.”

“Ha you should be so lucky.” Brax grinned. “My heart still does belong to Charlie. Even if we do seem to be no more than housemates at the moment.”

“C’mon Brax, you are far more than housemates. You’re still in a loving committed relationship.”

“Just without the sex.” Brax sighed. “But I do here once you get married the sex wares off. Hey, maybe that’s why she wants go get married so bad. She’s bored of me. Well the sex.”

“Brax.” Bianca shook her head. “She wants to get married to you because she loves you and wants to spend the rest of her life with you.”

“I don’t know anymore, Bianca I just don’t know.” Brax sighed before he took another big gulp of his beer.


Charlie was sitting in the nursery feeding Riley when Ruby appeared in the room. “Hey, what you doing up?” Charlie questioned.

“Just couldn’t sleep.” Ruby sighed. “Has she been fed?” Ruby questioned as she pointed to Paige. Charlie nodded lightly as Ruby leaned herself against the changing table. “So, Brax not helping tonight?”

“I don’t know where he is.” Charlie exhaled. “He came home but he stormed back out again. He’d had some booze, so I’m guessing he went out to continue drinking.”

“Oh. I’m sorry.” Ruby said softly.

Charlie shrugged her shoulders as she looked back down to Riley and gently ran her hand over her forehead. So much of her resembled her father. “I don’t like it when he gets really drunk.” Charlie sighed as she kept her gaze down. “The last time he got really drunk he....he hurt me.”

“Oh my God Mum.” Ruby said in a concerned tone.

“I don’t think he meant too.” Charlie shook her head. “He was just trying to get me out of his way, and I don’t think it would have hurt so much if I hadn’t had the surgery -”

“Yeah but Mum, that still doesn’t excuse it.” Ruby shook her head. “I mean you’ve just had twins six weeks ago, and Jacob is in the house.”

“I know.” Charlie sighed. “And I told him that if anything happened like that again he lose me and the kids. I can’t risk staying with him if he is going to turn into a violent drunk.”

“Well it’s in his genes” Ruby said. “Wasn’t his Dad a violent drunk? And then there is his Mum. She’s pretty nasty even when she is sober. I wouldn’t want to imagine her completely out of it.”

“Well let’s just hope it was just a one off thing. Because as much as I wouldn’t hate to end this, it sure would be better than having a violent drunk for a partner.”

“Well hopefully you’ve nothing to worry about.” Ruby smiled. “I don’t see him as the type to be a wife beater. I know he’s been involved in criminal activity in the past, but I don’t think he’d ever hurt you intentionally. He loves you too much. But just be careful.”

“Yeah I will.” Charlie nodded. “I just hope he isn’t going to use alcohol to get over Casey’s death. That won’t help him at all.”

“No.” Ruby shook her head. “You’ll just have to keep trying to talk to him.”

“I know.” Charlie smiled lightly. “I just hope he’s willing to listen.”


Brax and Bianca were sitting at the bar still drinking together when the music stopped and the lights came on. “Ooo must be closing time.” Bianca laughed as she downed the last of her wine.

“Wow.” Brax said as he looked down to his watch and saw it was 3am. “Charlie is going to kill me.”

“Hey no.” Bianca shook her hand in front of Brax’s face. “You’re allowed to go out and have some fun.”

“With six week old twins at home I don’t think I picked the best time. Leaving her alone to get up with them.”

“You know she is my best friend in the whole world.” Bianca said as she jumped down from the bar stool and make a big circle motion with her hands. “But...I’ll tell you a secret.” Bianca said before she put her index finger over Brax’s mouth. “Sometimes I really think she needs to lighten up and have some fun.”

Brax laughed lightly as he moved Bianca’s finger from his lips. “You and me both, Bianca. You and me both.”

“Don’t get me wrong I love her to pieces but sometimes I wish she’d just stop being so...motherly all the time.”

“Well she does have four kids.” Brax laughed.

“Yeah but she’s just so serious most of the time. I know she is a mother and the kids are her main priority now, but still a bit of fun every now and then wouldn’t go a miss.”

“Yeah.” Brax nodded. “She’s very protective of the kids. I think that just gets in the way of her going out to have fun.”

“I’ll tell you what Braxy boy.” Bianca said as she looked up to him and once again stuck her finger out and pointed in his direction. “I will talk to her about the sex for you because by God one of us should be getting some.” Brax laughed lightly as he put his arm around her to steady her from falling. Thinking now he probably shouldn’t have kept buying her drinks, and she was pretty out of it. “Oh my look at that taxi line.” Bianca shook her head. “I will walk it’ll probably be quicker anyways.”

“Bianca, you can’t walk.” Brax shook his head. “It takes twenty minutes in a car to get back to the bay”

“It’ll be fine.” Bianca said. “Besides, I’m with you so I won’t get jumped on if a big strong muscly man is with me.”

“Oh and who said I would walk?” Brax questioned.

“Me, now come on Braxy boy.” Bianca grinned as she took his hand in hers and they started to walk along the road.

“Bianca really, the line won’t take that long.” Brax said.

“Well I’m walking.” Bianca sang before she let go on Brax’s hand and ran off out of sight.

“Bianca.” Brax shouted. “Wait.” Brax ran till he caught up with Bianca and agreed to walk with her. There was no way he was going to leave her on her own when she was as drunk as she was. “I’ll walk with you.” Brax said and Bianca smiled as they began to walk down the road.

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Chapter 37

Brax rested his head against the couch before he sighed. “Please shut her up.” Brax exhaled lightly as he covered his face with his hands.

“I’m trying.” Charlie sighed. “You know she has colic.”

“Ah whatever just take her out or something. Anything too stop that racket.”

“Yeah well maybe you shouldn’t have gotten so drunk.” Charlie spat as she moved her daughter in her arms, trying to get her to stop the tears.

Wouldn’t stop her crying thought would it.” Brax sighed.

“Might have stopped your banging headache.” Charlie retorted.

“Give it a rest.” Brax said. “It’s not against the law to go out and get drunk you know.”

Charlie sighed lightly before biting her lip. “No. It’s not.” Charlie said. “But you know it’s not a healthy way of grieving.”

“I did it for one night Charlie, it’s not like I’ve been doing it weeks on end.” Brax sighed before he stood up and began walking out of the living room.

“Where are you going?” Charlie sighed.

“Away from her screaming. I can’t handle it.” Brax said as he walked into their bedroom and slammed the door shut. Charlie sighed lightly as she looked down to Riley and continued to rock her gently.

“Shhh baby, please.” Charlie said softly.

“Hey, Mum is everything okay?” Ruby questioned as she walked into the room.

“Yeah.” Charlie lied. “How’s Jacob?”

“He’s good.” Ruby smiled. “He has a pretty good kick for a 3 and a half year old.”

“Yeah, he has.” Charlie smiled lightly. Ruby and Jacob were outside playing soccer, Jacob loving all the time he was getting with his big sister.

“So, really are you okay?” Ruby questioned.

“Yes.” Charlie nodded lightly.

“Well you don’t sound too convincing but I’m not going to push it out of you.” Ruby smiled. “Now, where is Jacob’s special cup?” Ruby questioned as she walked over to the kitchen. “He wants some apple juice but only in his special cup.”

Charlie laughed lightly. “It’s the blue one with the green straw running around it.”

“Ah this one.” Ruby smiled as she pulled it out of the cupboard and poured some juice into it for him.

“Actually, do you think you could bring Jacob inside and do something in here so you can watch Paige as well?” Charlie questioned. “I’m going to take this one for a drive. Sometimes it’ll settle her.”

“Yeah sure.” Ruby smiled lightly. “Where’s Brax?”

“Nursing his hangover.” Charlie sighed as she placed a crying Riley into her car seat. “I’ll try and not be too long.”

“No it’s fine.” Ruby smiled. “Maybe you could go catch up with Bianca or something while you are out.”

“Well, if I get this one settled I might.” Charlie smiled before she picked up her car keys and left the house in the hope that the car ride would settle her crying daughter.


Charlie pulled up the car at the beach. She’d finally managed to get Riley to stop crying after almost an hour of driving around. She switched of the ignition before she got out of the car and walked around to the back door and opened it, lifting Riley out into her arms before walking down and talking a seat on the beach, resting her daughter against her legs. “Now Riley isn’t it better when you’re all happy and quiet like this.” Charlie cooed as she lightly rubbed her daughter’s cheek. Riley looked up to Charlie and her big blue eyes widened as she listened to her Mother. “It is.” Charlie nodded. Riley let out a gurgle of excitement as she kicked her legs excitedly before giving her mother a big gummy smile. “Aww baby.” Charlie grinned. “You got your first smile for Mummy. Aww it’s awfully nice.” Charlie said as once again Riley let out a gurgle.

“Hey, Charlie.” Bianca smiled lightly as she stood before her.

“Bianca. Long-time no see. How you doing?” Charlie asked.

“Mmm.” Bianca shook her head as she sat down next to her friend. “One too many chardonnays last night.” Bianca sighed. “Or maybe 2 or 3 too many.”

“Come to think of it you do look a bit ruff.”

“I feel it too.” Bianca sighed. “I thought maybe coming out and getting some fresh air would help, but if anything I think it’s making me feel worse.”

“So it was a big night last night then.” Charlie laughed.

“Mmmm.” Bianca exhaled as she moved the hair from in front of her face. “I don’t even remember any of it. I think I remember talking to Brax at one point, but -”

“You were with Brax?” Charlie questioned and Bianca shrugged her shoulders.

“As I say, it’s a bit hazy. But I’m pretty sure I ran into him at the bar.”

“Well he did go out last night. So you might have.” Charlie sighed.

“I kinda get this feeling I was told bad news.” Bianca said. “But I dunno. The whole night is one big haze, so I might just be remembering wrong.”

“Eh, well if you did run into Brax he probably would have told you that Casey died.”

“Oh God.” Bianca put her hand over her mouth. “I’m sorry.”

Charlie smiled lightly as she looked to her friend. “I don’t suppose you will remember if he spoke much about it then?” Charlie questioned and Bianca shook her head.

“Sorry. Is he refusing to talk about it?”

“So far all he has done is go out and get drunk.” Charlie sighed.

“He’ll get there eventually.” Bianca said. “All you have to do is be there for him.”

“I don’t know how.” Charlie shook her head. “Bianca, I hated Casey for what he did. How am I supposed to help Brax if the person he is grieving for was my daughter’s ra....” Charlie trailed off, still unable to say the word rape.

“Because no matter what he did, he was still Brax’s brother.” Bianca sighed. “Don’t think about what Casey did, but just of Casey the person, Casey Braxton. Brax’s little brother.”

Charlie exhaled lightly as she moved Riley on her knee, taking a better grip of her. “I know it only happened yesterday, but he’s not exactly talking right now.” Charlie sighed. “He just stormed off and got drunk.”

“Maybe he just wanted to numb the pain for a bit.”

Charlie shook her head. “Going out and getting drunk is never a good idea to cope with grief.” Charlie sighed. “I know it’s hard, but the best thing you can do is talk about it to someone.”

“He’ll talk when he is ready, Charlie.” Bianca smiled.

“Yeah, I’m sure he will.” Charlie smiled lightly before she once again looked down to her daughter, who was continuing to smile and gurgle up at her.


Charlie walked back into the house to find Ruby and Jacob sitting at the table eating their lunch. “Hey, sorry I was so long.” Charlie said “She took a while to settle and then I ran into Bianca and we -”

“It’s fine.” Ruby smiled. “We’ve had a great morning, eh Jacob.”

“Yeah.” Jacob nodded before he took a bite of his toastie. “Was bestest fun.”

“That’s good.” Charlie smiled as she placed a kiss on her son’s head. “How was Paige?”

“Great.” Ruby smiled. “Like you’ve been saying she is so easy. She’s had a feed and been changed and is down for a nap. I hope that’s right.”

“Perfect.” Charlie smiled. “I’m just going to go put Riley down too.” Charlie said before she disappeared from the room.

“Ruby why Xava no come visit?” Jacob questioned before he took a drink of his juice.

“He eh...he had school.” Ruby said.

“I no have school.” Jacob shook his head. “Thems are closed for us holiday.”

“Eh.” Ruby said forgetting the fact that the schools were off this week. “The schools in Sydney are different.”

“Oh.” Jacob nodded accepting his sister’s answer as Charlie walked back into the room.

“So has Brax showed his face or is he still in the bedroom?”

“As far as I know he is still in the bedroom.” Ruby answered and Charlie nodded lightly as she bit her lip.

“I should probably go talk to him.” Charlie sighed and Ruby nodded lightly.

“Yeah, I think that’s a good idea.”

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Thank you CharlieAndBrax4Ever, CharlieAndBraxLover, JosieTash, Aden_Belle, Spotd1, Chester-Sam, Sarah, Sazzle, Zoe, Red Ranger 1 and pembie for commenting. :wub:

Chapter 38

Charlie walked into the bedroom and saw Brax sitting down on the bed, looking down at a photo album. “Here.” Charlie said as she handed Brax a sports drink and a banana. Brax looked to Charlie questioningly. “They’re supposed to help.” Charlie said. “Replenish your potassium.” Brax let out a little laugh as he took them from Charlie and lay them down on the bed next to him.

“Think it’ll take more than a banana and a sports drink to get rid of this hangover.”

Charlie smiled weakly as she sat down on the bed next to Brax and looked down at the photo album. “That must have been a long time ago.” Charlie said as she looked at the picture of a little boy on a bike and Brax standing behind him looking really proud.

“Case was only just 5.” Brax smiled. “I was 17. I wanted to go surfing with the lads but Mum went out to go on the pokies and Heath was away in juvvie. Dad was long gone by then. So if I left no one would be home to watch Case. He wanted to learn how to ride a bike. He saw the neighbour’s kid out on it all the time and he didn’t understand how he couldn’t get one. So I spoke nice to the lady next door and she let us borrow it for the afternoon. He was a little natural.” Brax smiled as he felt his eyes welling up with tears. “He wanted pictures taken of him on the bike, but we didn’t even have a camera.” Brax shook his head. “So again, the lady next door took these for us.”

“Looks like he had a great time.” Charlie smiled as she looked down at the picture.

“I was more like a Dad to him as he grew up.” Brax said. “I just...I know I turned my back on him after what he did to Ruby but he was....he was a great kid.” Brax said as he let a tear escape him. “He just....he made one mistake and now I’m never going to get the chance to make things right with him. To let him know that I didn’t hate him and that he was a good kid.”

“Brax.” Charlie exhaled lightly as she placed her hand on his back and rubbed it gently. “You’ll have his funeral. You’ll have the chance to tell him exactly what you thought of him and how much you loved him.”

“But he’s not going to hear me, Charlie.” Brax cried. “He died thinking I hated him. Thinking I was disappointed in him.”

“Maybe writing out how you really feel about him, how much you loved him and such and reading it out at his funeral will help you.” Charlie said. “But I don’t doubt that Casey didn’t think you’d ever have hated him. You guys had a nice bond.” Charlie smiled.

“So nice I didn’t go visit him.” Brax sighed.

“Brax.” Charlie shook her head. “There’s no point dwelling in the past now. Okay, what’s happened, has happened and no matter how sad you feel that you did things wrong when Casey was alive, it’s not going to change anything. Casey is still going to be dead.” Charlie rubbed Brax’s back in comfort as she spoke. “Now how about instead of feeling sorry for what became of your relationship, you plan a lovely funeral for your brother and give him the send-off you feel he deserves.”

Brax nodded lightly as a tear fell down his cheek. “Do eh....do you think Heath will get let out for the funeral?”

“Eh...yeah.” Charlie nodded lightly. “I’d expect he’d get day release.”

“Right.” Brax nodded. “So that’ll make 4 of us.”

“Four of us what?” Charlie questioned.

“At his funeral.” Brax sighed. “I don’t expect anyone from this town to go to his funeral after what he did. So it’ll only be Me, Heath, You and Mum, once she believes this is really happening.”

“Brax, look, I’ll support you all I can through this, but...” Charlie shook her head. “I can’t go to the funeral of the man who ra....who attacked my daughter. I’m sorry but it’ll be like saying that what he did was okay now because he died but it’ll never be okay and I can’t stand there and hear all the good thing about him when he hurt my baby so badly.”

“Right.” Brax nodded as he stood up from the bed, letting the photo album fall to the floor. “So all you said there was just a load of bull?”

“No.” Charlie shook her head as she stood up and took a step closer to Brax. “I am sorry for your loss and I feel for you, I really do, but asking me to go to the funeral...” Charlie shook her head. “I’m sorry Brax but that’s the one thing I can’t do. Anything else and I’ll be here for you, but I can’t do that.”

“But I need you Charlie, please do this for me.”

“I’m sorry.” Charlie said almost in a whisper. “I can’t.” Brax took a deep breath before he nodded his head and walked out of the bedroom, before he walked out of the house, slamming the front door shut behind him.


“Ruby stay longer.” Jacob pouted as he looked up at her with his big puppy dog eyes.

“Aww sweetie I can’t.” Ruby sighed as she bent down to his level and pulled him into a hug.

“You come next week again?”

“No.” Ruby shook her head. “I’m going to be busy sweet pea.”

“Too busy for me?” Jacob questioned with tears in his eyes.

“Hey, how about we talk over skype?” Ruby smiled. “That way I can talk to you and I can see you without having to be here.”

“What’s skype?” Jacob questioned.

“It’s on the computer. You tell Mummy she needs to download it and then we can talk more, okay.”

“Promise?” Jacob said.

“Yeah.” Ruby nodded.

“But you really promise?” Jacob asked.

“I really really do.” Ruby nodded as she ruffled Jacob’s hair.

“Okays.” Jacob smiled before he walked over to the pram and stood on his tiptoes, trying to see into his sisters.

“I wish you could say longer too.” Charlie said as she pulled her daughter into a hug.

“Honestly, me too.” Ruby sighed. “But I need to get back to reality. I’m not sure the guys will be too happy with me just up and leaving like that and then there’s Xav. I need to sort out things with us.”

“Well if you need to you’ll always have a place here, you know that, right?”

“Yeah. I know.” Ruby smiled. “Maybe I should have waited till Brax came back.”

“I don’t know when that is going to be.” Charlie sighed. “He’s not in the best frame of mind right now either, so it might just be best you get going without talking to him.”

“Maybe.” Ruby smiled lightly. “So, I best get off.”

Charlie smiled before she kissed Ruby’s cheek before she gave her another hug. “Hopefully it’s not too long before we see you again.”

“I’ll try to get back before we head over to America for this tour.”

“Well I hope you can.” Charlie smiled as Ruby took a step forward and looked into the pram at her two baby sisters who were sleeping soundly.

“I’ll be back to see you two again, won’t I?” Ruby cooed. She bent down and placed gentle kisses on their foreheads before once again giving her Mother a hug. “Brax will learn to cope with this.” Ruby whispered before she pulled back. Charlie smiled lightly at her daughter as she watched her get into her car and drive off back to the city.

“Okay.” Charlie exhaled. “Jacob” Charlie said and Jacob looked up to her curiously. “Do you want to go to the park or to the beach?”

“Ohh. Ehm...” Jacob said as he scratched the side of his head.

“The park. We go the park.” Jacob grinned. Charlie smiled as she put her hands on the pram and began the walk to the park with her kids.


“Brax.” Robert said. “I thought you took a few days off.”

“Change of plan.” Brax said. “I’m not opening today.”

“But we were just about to open for lunch.” Robert said.

“Nah.” Brax shook his head. “The lot of ya, out. Now” Brax shouted before all the staff quickly exited the building. Brax sighed lightly as he put the closed sign on the door before he walked over to the bar and opened the bottle of bourbon and poured himself a generous glass before downing it all in one. As he was pouring himself a second glass he heard footsteps in the restaurant. “We’re closed.” Brax said, but the steps just got louder, coming closer to him. “I said we’re closed.” Brax yelled as he looked up to see his Mother standing before him.

“So, I got a visit from the officers this morning.” Cheryl said. Brax looked up to his Mother. It was clear that she’d already been crying by the tears stains on her face, her redness of her eyes. Brax nodded lightly as he picked up a second glass and poured a drink for his Mother. Cheryl downed the glass in one before she placed it down on the bar. Brax filled it up for her before he put the bottle of bourbon down on the bar, and walked around the front and stood before his Mother. “He really is gone. My baby is gone.” Cheryl cried.

“I know Mum. I know.” Brax said as he welled up with tears before he pulled his Mother into a hug.

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Chapter 39

Ruby walked into the apartment she shared with Xavier and came face to face with him for the first time in 3 days. “Hey.” Xavier smiled lightly. “How was your Mum’s?

“It was good.” Ruby smiled. “Nice to see her and Jake and the babies.”

“Yeah I bet.” Xavier smiled lightly before an awkward silence hit them.

“So..” Ruby began. “We eh....we still saying it’s you or my career?”

“You chose Rubes.” Xavier sighed. “And I don’t want to hold you back.”

“There’s no way we can make this work with me having both?” Ruby asked.

Xavier shook his head. “I don’t think so, Rubes.” Xavier sighed. “We are just at such different stages of our lives at the moment. Maybe this is for the best.”

“How can it be if we aren’t going to be together?” Ruby said as a lone tear rolled down her cheek.

“I’m sorry.” Xavier exhaled as he stepped forward and wrapped his arms around Ruby. “I’ll always love you, Rubes.” Xavier smiled. “But I think we need this break. I’ll finish school and you go off and be the best artist you can be.”

“Then what’s happens?” Ruby questioned.

“We don’t know what the future is going to hold.” Xavier shook his head. “But right now, we need this break Ruby. We were drifting further and further apart, so maybe this was always going to happen.”

“So, you’re not ruling out us getting back together in the future?”

“Anything is possible.” Xavier smiled lightly. “Hey, I saw the article that was in the magazine, you okay?”

Ruby nodded lightly. “I think being home with Mum was a good thing.”

“Well you know if you wanted to talk...” Xavier trailed off as he looked down.

“Thanks.” Ruby smiled lightly.

“And you know it wasn’t me right?” Xavier questioned. “I would never tell a magazine anything about our relationship or our past or you, and now just because we’ve broken up, I still wouldn’t.” Xavier shook his head. “You don’t ever have to think I’d do that.”

“I know you wouldn’t.” Ruby smiled lightly. “It was Colleen.”

“Oh, not really surprised.” Xavier exhaled.

“No.” Ruby shook her head. “So eh....I’ll just pack my things and move out.” Xavier nodded lightly as he watched Ruby walking down the hall towards their bedroom and wondered if he was making the right choice.


Brax and Cheryl had spent most of the afternoon reminiscing about Casey when once again, Brax’s phone went off. He sighed lightly as he pulled it out of his pocket and saw Charlie’s name flashing across the screen. “She keeps you on a tight leash eh.” Cheryl said before she took a drink of the bourbon.

“What?” Brax screwed his face up as he cancelled the call and looked up at his Mother.

“Well I am assuming that’s Charlie....again.”

“Yeah.” Brax nodded. “She’s probably just wondering where I am.”

“Well you’re allowed to go out.” Cheryl said.

“I kinda stormed out after a fight eh.” Brax exhaled lightly.

“What she moaning at ya for?” Cheryl sighed.

“She didn’t like that I went out and got drunk last night.”

“Yer brother just died. The little inconsiderate bitc -”

“Mum.” Brax interrupted as he shook his head. “I think I deserved it. Going out and getting drunk isn’t the right thing to do. My problems are still going to be there no matter how drunk I got.”

“Nothing wrong with it if you ask me.” Cheryl said.

“Well I don’t think leaving her on her own with Jacob and -”

“He’s her problem.” Cheryl spat. “He’s not yours. You don’t need to do anything for him.”

“No, I don’t need too, but I want too. I love that little boy like he is my son.” Brax said. “And it’s not just Jacob.” Brax shook his head. “She just had my twins 6 and a half weeks ago.”

“I’m a Grandmother?” Cheryl smiled lightly as Brax nodded as he fished into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet and opened it to reveal a picture of his girls.

“They’re only about 4 weeks old here, but..” Brax smiled. “That’s Paige and that’s Riley.”

“They’re lovely.” Cheryl smiled lightly. “This one looks a lot like ya.”

“Riley.” Brax smiled. “She’s going to be a little terror.”

“So really like her Dad then?” Cheryl smiled.

“I guess so.” Brax laughed lightly just as Charlie walked into the restaurant.

“Cheryl.” Charlie smiled politely as she looked to the lady. Cheryl turned her nose up and looked away from Charlie back to her son.

“So, you going to let me meet the kids then?” Cheryl asked.

“Sure, where are they anyway? Why haven’t you brought them up with you?” Brax asked as he looked to Charlie.

“Because I couldn’t carry a double pram up the stairs.” Charlie spat.

“Sorry.” Brax looked away from Charlie and saw she had noticed the half empty bottle of bourbon and the two classes. “So eh...who’s watching them?”

“Marilyn is down there.” Charlie answered and Brax nodded lightly.

“So, I’m trying to talk to my son in private eh.” Cheryl scoffed as she looked to Charlie.

“Well I would like it if he come home and helped me with the kids and stopped drinking as much because it’s not going to help.” Charlie said as she looked from Cheryl to Brax.

“Don’t you tell him what to do.” Cheryl spat.

“Oh but it’s okay for you too?” Charlie questioned. “And where have you been the last 2 years of his life?”

“Well I made an error.” Cheryl admitted. “I should never have turned my back on him. I see now he was only trying to get away from the bad life the boys had and you know if he hadn’t all 3 of my boys would probably be in jail by now.”

“So you think he is going to run back to you and play happy families just like that after all you said to him?”

“He’s ma boy.” Cheryl announced. “He’s knows what’s right and he’ll always forgive a person for their mistakes.”

“Well it’s up to you what you want to do but I really would appreciate it if you came back home.” Charlie said as she looked to Brax.

“I’m eh....I’m gonna have a few more drinks and catch up with my Mum.”

“Okay.” Charlie nodded as she turned around and started to walk away.

“Leave the babies, eh.” Cheryl smiled. “I’d love to meet my Granddaughters.”

“No chance.” Charlie said as she turned back around. “If you think you are going anywhere near my girls when you’ve just sat and drank half a bottle of bourbon then you are hugely mistaken.” Charlie shook her head before she turned back around and walked out of the restaurant, just as Brax poured himself and his Mother another drink.


Charlie sighed as she sat down on the couch in Bianca’s house. The girls were sound asleep in the pram, and Jacob was being kept occupied by April, in the other room. “You’re looking a bit better than this morning.” Charlie said as she took the cup of tea from Bianca.

“I feel it too.” Bianca smiled. “How’s Brax?”

“Out getting drunk again.” Charlie sighed.

“Oh. That’s not good.” Bianca said before she took a drink of her coffee. Charlie shrugged her shoulders as she lightly exhaled. “Did you get a chance to talk to him yet?”

“A bit.” Charlie smiled lightly. “It seemed to be going well until I told him I couldn’t go to the funeral.”

“Charlie.” Bianca gasped. “He’ll need your support.”

“I know and I can still give him that.” Charlie sighed. “But Bianca surely you can understand why I feel I can’t be there.”

“Well...yeah.” Bianca nodded. “But Brax needs you right now Charlie.”

“But how is Ruby going to feel if I go to the funeral of the man who....” Charlie trailed off.

“Look, you wouldn’t be going for Casey. You wouldn’t be going to cry for him or to say goodbye or anything like that.” Bianca shook her head. “All you’d be doing there would be supporting Brax. The man you love and want to spend the rest of your life with. He’ll need you there, Charlie. Just go for Brax.”

Charlie pursed her lips together as she shook her head. “I don’t know.”

“Well at least it’s better than an I can’t.” Bianca said. “Just think about it, Charlie, don’t make the decision too soon.”

Charlie exhaled lightly before she took a drink of her tea. “Well I will think about it, but I still can’t promise I will go.”

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Thank you all so much for commenting. Hope this one is okay....

Chapter 40

“Can I go play now Mummy?” Jacob questioned as he looked up to her.

“Yeah.” Charlie nodded she started to clear the table of her and Jacob’s dinner plates.

“You come play?” Jacob questioned.

“Once I’ve cleaned up in here.” Charlie smiled down at her son before he ran off to his bedroom. She put the leftover food into the garbage before she put the plates into the dishwasher, just as the door opened and Brax staggered into the house.

“Honey I’m home.” Brax laughed as he walked into the kitchen and wrapped his arms around Charlie, and placed a kiss on her neck.

“You stink.” Charlie said as she pulled away from Brax’s grasp.

“Aww c’mon I showered this morning.” Brax smirked.

“You smell like liquor.” Charlie scrunched her face up as she looked up at Brax unimpressed.

“Yeah.” Brax laughed. “I had a good catch up with Mum though. Hey, if you think I’m bad you should see her. I took her home, so was away...” Brax said. “She wanted to come and see the girls but she was a bit drunk eh”

“Not the only one.” Charlie exhaled lightly as she shook her head.

“You know.” Brax said as he held his finger out and pointed to Charlie. “My brother just died for goodness sake. I can....if I want too...I can drink all I want.” Brax slurred.

“It’s not healthy Brax.” Charlie shook her head. “Please just talk to someone about this, without turning to drink.”

“Someone like you, you mean?” Brax laughed. “You, who hated my brother and isn’t going to come to the funeral.”

“You know a few days ago you hated him too.” Charlie spat. “And now just because he died everything is forgotten? Well I’m sorry Brax but I will never forget what he did and neither will Ruby. She has to live with what he did for the rest of her life.”

“Yeah and what do you think Casey felt?” Brax shouted. “He wasn’t a bad person, Charlie.” Brax yelled. “He read the signals wrong and he made a mistake. Now, because of you he is dead.”

“Me?” Charlie questioned. “How is this my fault?”

“You were the one who bullied the confession out of him. If it wasn’t for you he wouldn’t have been in jail and he wouldn’t have been killed.” Brax yelled.

“Look I know you are angry and hurt right now, but Casey’s death was not my fault.” Charlie said on the verge of tears.

“Well I think a lot differently.” Brax spat. “You were the reason he was in jail. It’s all your fault Charlie and I’ll never forgive you for this.”

“Right well I guess I should be glad you’ve told me how you really feel.” Charlie said as she sniffed back a tear. “I eh....here.” Charlie said as she took the promise ring from her finger and handed it out for Brax to take.

“I gave that to you.” Brax said.

“I don’t want to wear it anymore.” Charlie shook her head as she lay it down on the table as Brax refused to take it. “You gave me this as a promise....a commitment....to symbolise the love we had for one another but I don’t....I don’t know where that is anymore.” Brax sighed lightly as he walked towards the fridge and opened it, pulling out a bottle of beer and unscrewing the cap. “Brax, please...” Charlie said. “Don’t you think you’ve drank enough already?” Brax walked away from the kitchen as he took a drink of the beer, ignoring Charlie. Charlie wiped the tears from her face, just as Jacob ran back through into the kitchen.

“You no come to play.” Jacob said sadly.

“Sorry baby.” Charlie smiled lightly as she bent down to her son’s level.

“You an Daddy shout again.” Jacob frowned.

“I’m sorry. There won’t be any more shouting, I promise you that.”

“Really promise?” Jacob questioned.

“Yeah.” Charlie choked back more tears as she pulled her son into a hug.

“You come play now?” Jacob questioned. Charlie exhaled lightly as she looked down to her watch.

“Mummy has to give the girls a bath.” Charlie said. “How about you be my big helper?”

“Yeah.” Jacob smiled. “I’s come help you.” Jacob said and Charlie smiled as she walked through to the nursery with her son.


Ruby knocked on the door, hoping that she was going to have a place to stay, if only for a few days. “Rubes, hey you’re back.” Matt smiled as he opened the door.

“Hi.” Ruby smiled shyly. “Can eh....I stay here for a few days?”

“Of course.” Matt nodded as he helped Ruby bring her bags into the apartment. “So, hows you’re Mum? Is she feeling better?”

“What?” Ruby questioned.

“You told me your Mum was sick so you went home to help her boyfriend with the kids?”

“Oh...eh well that wasn’t exactly the truth.” Ruby shook her head. “My Mum is fine. I went home because Xavier and I broke up.” Ruby said sadly as she looked down.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” Matt said as he pulled Ruby into a hug. “What....what happened?”

“He said we were drifting apart.” Ruby sighed. “I think this career....I got busy and it was hard to find time...maybe it is for the best...I mean we’re heading off to America soon and he’s busy with uni....”

“Well I’m still sorry. I know how much you love him.” Matt smiled lightly as Ruby pulled back from the hug.

“Can we just not talk about it?” Ruby questioned and Matt nodded lightly.

“Sure.” Matt said. “So...eh....I saw the magazine article....is it true?” Ruby bit her lip as she looked away. “Ruby, I’m so sorry.”

“It’s fine.” Ruby smiled weakly.

“It said it was your ex?” Matt questioned.

Ruby nodded lightly. “I ran into him on a night out and eh it was fine at first but then...well you read the article, you know how it goes.”

“Well at least he is in prison now.” Matt shook his head, disgusted. “I hate how guys can do that.”

“Well he’s actually just been killed.” Ruby said. “My Mum’s boyfriend.....it was his brother.....now Brax is taking it hard and he keeps drinking. They’ve got almost 7 week old twins and.....their relationship right now, it’s far from great.” Ruby sighed.

“You’re Mum is dating your rapist’s brother?” Matt questioned.

“Yeah.” Ruby nodded. “They were dating and in love way before Casey did it.” Ruby said. “Mum is happy and in love and that’s the most important thing and Brax is great, so I don’t mind at all.”

“Well as long as you are okay with it, I guess.” Matt smiled lightly.

“Yeah.” Ruby nodded feeling slightly uncomfortable.

“So, eh....I’ll show you to your room.” Matt smiled as he wheeled Ruby’s case down the hallway and she followed him into the guest room. “Sorry, I would have neatened things up if I knew you were coming.”

“It’s clean enough.” Ruby laughed lightly.

“Well I’ll let you settle in.” Matt smiled. “Have you had any dinner yet?”

“No.” Ruby shook her head.

“Well I was going to order in some Chinese food.” Matt said. “If you fancy anything.”

“Yeah sounds good.” Ruby smiled.

“Well I’ll let you get unpacked then we can order.” Matt smiled before he left Ruby to unpack.


“She’s all happy and clean.” Jacob smiled as he looked adoringly at Paige who was sitting in the bouncy chair gurgling away and she looked up at her big brother.

“Yeah she is.” Charlie smiled.

“Paige happy all them days.” Jacob smiled as he leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on his sisters forehead.

“Yeah, not like Riley though.” Charlie said as she lifted her daughter from the cot and began to undress her for her bath.

“No.” Jacob giggled. “Riley sometime so angry.”

“Because she is like Daddy.” Charlie sighed and once again Jacob giggled, before he got a rather serious look on his face.

“Daddy angry at Mummy?”

“Daddy is just upset right now.” Charlie said. “Someone close to him went up to heaven. He doesn’t mean to shout.” Charlie explained.

“I no like when Daddy shouts.” Jacob shook his head. “He look scary.”

“Mummy doesn’t like it either.” Charlie shook her head. “But remember I promised there would be no more shouting?”

“Yeah.” Jacob nodded as he stood up and climbed up so he was standing on the chair that was next to the changing table, where the girls were getting bathed. “I’s do it.” Jacob said as he took the sponge from Charlie and very gently wiped it over his sister’s stomach.

“Riley likes the water.” Jacob grinned as he looked down to his sister who had a big gummy smile on her face as she kicked her legs.

“Yeah, looks like she is trying to swim.” Charlie laughed.

“I’s will show her how.” Jacob announced as he smiled up at his Mother. “When she is bigger.”

“Yeah that’ll be really nice of you.” Charlie smiled.

“I’s be a nice big brother.” Jacob smiled. “She no need the sham-oo” Jacob shook his head. “She got nones hair. But Paige needs it.”

“Yeah.” Charlie smiled. “You know when you were a baby you had sticky up hair like Paige has.”

Jacob giggled as he looked down to Paige before looking back up at Charlie. “It no sticky up now ay no?”

“No.” Charlie shook her head. “It’s lovely now.”

“Yes.” Jacob smiled. “Is Riley have no hair forever and evers?”

“No.” Charlie laughed. “It will grow when she gets bigger.”

“Would be funny.” Jacob giggled. “With no hair.”

“Yeah.” Charlie laughed at her son before she lifted Riley out of the little bath tub and wrapped her up in her towel.

“Can me hold her?” Jacob asked as he sat down in the chair nicely.

“Yeah.” Charlie smiled as she gently put Riley into Jacob’s arms, and helped him get a good grip of her. When she was convinced she would be safe she moved her hands away and watched as Jacob looked lovingly down at his baby sister. She exhaled lightly as she ran her finger around her now bare wedding ring ringer. She knew things with her and Brax were less that great right now, and only hoped that they would be able to get through it.

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