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My Saving Grace

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Story Title: My Saving Grace
Type of Story: Long Fic
Main Characters: Brax,Charlie
BTTB rating: T
Genre:Romance Drama
Spoilers: No spoilers
Any warning: V/D, A, SC
Summary: In finding Love they helped each other find happiness. Will love be strong enough to overcome the past, or will the past prove to much for the both of them to bare

This is my first fanfic hope you guys enjoy, let me know what you think :)

Been trying to edit this chapter trying to space out the words but I cant seem to do it. if anyone knows how please let me know. its looks a bit cramped up.


At the age of seventeen, Brax was the bread winner of his household. Having to take care of his two brothers and mother who unfortunately for Brax had become a drunk since the day his father upped and left all four of them. Hard work wasnt something Brax was unfamiliar with, having to hold down two jobs as well as school; he soon became an independent individual. Brax sat on the couch day dreaming...

Bwax, Bwax.... Brax was pulled out of his day dream by Casey his younger brother who was tugging at his leg. Brax stared down at his 3 year old brother and instantly smiled.

Hy Casey, you ok brax asked as he picked Casey up and placed him on the couch next to him. Brax stared at his brother and couldnt help but hope that he never would have to face the difficulties he had.

Casey once again pulled brax out of his day dream..., Bwax Casey toughed at Braxs shirt....

Yh Case Brax answered ruffling Caseys hair.

Casey is hungry..... Brax laughed lightly as Casey looked up at him with his big brown eyes.

Come on then big guy, lets get you feed Brax said as he picked Casey up and headed to the kitchen.


Walking the halls of summer bay high school, brax never felt like he fitted in. Regardless of the friends he had made, Brax always felt out of place. Brax knew that the only reason he put any effort into school was based on his determination to make something of himself.

Sitting down at his desk in class, brax prepared himself for another long day...

Settle down everyone, take your seats.... we have a new comer today. Brax looked up to see Mr Jones standing at the front of the class. But what caught his attention was the girl standing next to him.

Class this is Charlotte

I prefer Charlie she said looking at him briefly

Right... this is Charlie, she just moved down from the city, now I am sure you will all do your best to make her feel welcome.

Brax carefully studied the tall slender girl that was standing there looking a little too nervous. He instantly noticed her tanned slim legs and her dark wavy hair.

But most of all he studied her eyes, her green eyes that harboured light shades of blue in the centre, he noted how beautiful they were but most of all he noticed how they told a different story to her face. Although she seemed to be smiling, her eyes seemed sad almost as if they were screaming for help. He watched on as Charlie took a seat at the desk in front of him. Subconsciously he carried on studying her....

Brax, BRAX... brax looked up to see Mr Jones standing in front of him...

Yh brax answered...

Do you know the answered Mr Jones asked...

Ermm nah nah, I dont brax replied, trying to mask the source of his distraction. Brax spent the rest of the hour trying to focus on the class, but failed miserably.

Glad that the school day had finally come to an end Brax walked down the school hallway eager to reach the gates.

Mr Braxton, Brax turned around to see their principle Mrs Smith standing behind him.

Yes Miss

Have you seen your brother heath today she asked

Not since we got to school this morning...why... has he done something wrong. Although Brax asked the question, he knew it was a stupid question to ask. Of course he had done something wrong, when had he ever done anything right.

Well he may have been at school this morning but he failed to make it to any of his classes. Beth Smith knew a little about Braxs living situation and felt for the boy. She couldnt begin to comprehend how he managed to cope with it all. She would have called their mother about heath not turning up to class but she knew all too well that it would have been a waste of time. Although brax and heath had only joined Summer Bay High School at the end of the previous school year, she could tell that Brax was a very bright kid, she saw determination in him and knew that if he continued to put the effort in he would not only leave school with good HSCs but he also had the ability to make something of himself, Heath on the other hand would need to put in a lot more work, she knew he was smart but unlike his brother he had trouble concentrating and lacked heavily in determination.

Brax looked over apologetically at his principle Im really sorry, I promise he will be in all his classes tomorrow.

Had it been any other pupil, Beth would have handed them some sort of punishment, but knowing that this would probably only be more of a burden to brax she decided to let it go... this time anyway.

Thats fine... but next time he will receive some form of punishment.

There wont be a next time, I promise Brax replied. He smiled lightly as Beth walked away.

Brax shook his head lightly as he walked out of the school gates rubbing the palm of his hand against the temple of his forehead. He knew that Heath only acted out to get attention, but he wished his younger brother would just for once stop making things ten times harder for him. His mind wondered to his father, the man whom had walked out on them a few weeks after Casey was born. He couldnt help but blame his dad for his current predicament. Instead of hanging out with his friends like a normal teenager he had become a father to two kids over night, and designated carer to his mother who had turned to alcohol and gambling as a way of numbing the pain his father had caused her. He only hoped that he would one day make something of himself and show his father that they didnt need him, and that the only person who had lost out from him leaving them was himself.


Are you kidding me, mum...? MUM Brax yelled as he saw the state of the house.

YH, what is it... God cant I get any peace in this house said Cheryl as she walked out of her room.

"Mum what happened, I cleared this place before school, and how have you got through so much beer already brax sighed as he looked up at his mum who was clearly drunk.

Who died and made you boss, its my money so I can do what I want with it spat Cheryl before settling down on the couch.


As Brax was in the middle of shouting at his mother Casey ran out of his room straight towards brax.

Bwax back, bwax back Casey sang has he looked up at brax. Brax bent over and picked his little brother up.

Yh case Im back, you ok? Brax asked looking at his brother. Casey rubbed on his stomach and looked at Brax and said Casey is hungry.... Brax found himself getting angry and frustrated.

Really mum, REALLY, you have time to drink yourself into a stoop but you cant feed your three year old son brax spat the words at his mother, anger clearly evident in his voice

LOOK, I done the hard yak giving him life, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT Cheryl slurred her words as she stood up and left the house.

Brax looked on at his mum in disgust as he walked off into the kitchen. Heath..... HEATH brax shouted for his fifteen year old brother from the kitchen.

Am coming... give me a sec heath replied.

A few seconds later heath came out of his room. Although heath was a lot more slender than his brother, he had the gob of a parrot and an attitude that required patience from the people around him.

Have you eaten?

Nah couldnt find anything edible, so figured I would wait for you Heath stated.

Brax rolled his eyes walking away from heath and searching all the cupboards for anything him and his brothers could eat... after going back and forth he concluded he would have to go get something with some of the money he had made from work that day.

Hy Casey how would you like some pizza said Brax as he placed Casey back on the floor.

Casey began nodding rapidly with great emphasis.

Right heath stay with Case while I go and buy something for us to eat, and dont just leave him and start goofing around, ya hear me

Heath just rolled his eyes...

I said did you hear me Brax asked again. Heath just simply looked at brax and nodded good, I wont be long Brax said walking out the front door.

Walking down his street Brax sighed heavily as he looked at all the houses around him before looking back at his own house. Although he lacked in faith, Brax prayed every day that he would one day be free of this place that so many called their home. For him it felt nothing like home, more like a prison cell and each passing day, he felt like it was going to consume him, but prayed he had the strength to overcome his present state and provide a better life for his brothers, and although she was hardly ever around and he wasnt sure if she deserved it, he also wanted to provide a better life for his mother, but most importantly... for himself.

Librarian Note: Edited first two chapters - I took the at the beginning and at the end of the chapter out as it was affecting the spacing.

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Reaching the takeaway shops outside Mangrove River, Brax was still lost in his own thought when he bumped into someone. “Oh crap... sorry, I didn’t see you there”

Brax immediately apologised. Looking up he noticed ha had seen the face before.

“It’s ok, no harm done” she replied, she smiled back at him ever so lightly, while dusting down her shorts of the little food that had fallen against them.

“Yh apart from your food” Brax brushed his hand through his hair as he looked down at the girl’s food which was now scattered all over the floor before him, before looking back up at her face.

“It’s no biggie... its only food” the girl replied as she began walking away.

Brax watched her for a few seconds before speaking... “Charlie... right?”

Charlie stopped and turned around at the boy that was staring expectantly at her, before speaking... “Erm yh... I didn’t think you would recognise me... you know seeing as I only just started school today”.

“Yh erm... I’m good with faces” brax replied sheepishly.

Charlie once again smiled at him lightly, “Well I have to get going before my parents start worrying...” Charlie once again began walking away.

“Bye” Brax’s voice was barely audible, and although Charlie had heard him, she continued to walk, somewhat desperate to be away from his sight.

After having stood there for several seconds watching her walk in the opposite direction from which he had just come in, Brax quickly walked into the take away shop, hoping she hadn’t realised he had been staring at her. Once brax had got some food for him and his brothers he began to make his way back home. Brax didn’t know why but for some reason he found his train of thought constantly leading him back to Charlie. He had stored a mental picture of her eyes and body language. Brax couldn't help but notice how vulnerable she looked, almost like the slightest thing could break her. He wondered why someone with her kind of beauty and judging by the clothes she wore; he could tell she was far from poor. So why did someone with her kind of life, have reason to be sad. Once reaching his street he reluctantly pushed Charlie to the back of his mind, telling himself that he was probably just reading too much into things. As he slowly approached his front door, Brax hung his head back has he heard the noise called his ‘mother’.


Charlie found herself walking slower than she had anticipated; as her mind wondered to the boy she had just bumped into. She found her thoughts focusing on his fierce green eyes that seemed to pierce right through her. She had remembered seeing him earlier that same day at school, in several of her classes but for some reason she couldn’t quite remember his name. She wondered how someone she didn’t even know could make her feel so exposed. The way he looked at her, almost as if in the short time she had been stood before him he could see all the pain she was trying to hide. She had only hoped he didn’t think she was being rude walking away the way she did, but for some reason she had felt uneasy around him, almost like his eyes were reading her like an open book. As she progressed towards her front door, she dismissed her current train of thought as she remembered the mess that was called her life that would once again continue once she entered her front door. She took a deep breath as she turned the handle, automatically readjusting her face with the smile that she had learned to falsely but perfectly wear for so long now.


“Heath will you hurry up, we’re running late as it is”. Brax yelled at his brother as he picked up his school bag. “Mum I’ve dropped Casey at Mrs Kennedys Place...

Could you please pick him up at four, I can’t today because am working, Mum did you hear me”. Brax turned to his mother who was sloughed down on the couch.

“Well last I checked I wasn’t deaf” she spat

“Just don’t forget mum ok... and could you do me a favour and try feeding him today, I brought some things this morning so you should be able to find something for him”. Brax stared on at his mother hoping she could do this one task right.

“I got it ok... pick him up at three and feed him, am not totally incapable of looking after my own son”. Brax just snorted at his mother’s comment has he walked out the front door. “Heath get out here NOW”. Brax shouted into the house as he saw his brother walk out of his room.

Heath looked over at his brother, “You go I will catch up”.

“Do I look like am stupid Heath, get your bag and get out here now” shouted Brax.

“What are you talking about?” asked Heath although he already had a fairly good idea what Brax meant.

“Don’t think because I didn’t say anything yesterday, that I don’t know you wasn’t at school” Brax looked over at Heath anger clearly evident in his face. “I have told you I don’t want you hanging around with those stupid guys you call your friends, they’re the reason you got expelled from Mangrove River in the first place. You go to school and go to all your classes, OK... try and put that brain of yours to work”.


“No Heath no buts, now get out here, and don’t even think of leaving once we get there, because I will find out”. Brax gave his brother a stern look.

“Fine”, Heath sulked as he grabbed his bag and walked out the front door. He could tell brax was already frustrated and angry and knew too well not to argue with him in his current state of mind. Although Brax wasn’t the violent type and he had never raised his hand on heath, he still had the ability to scare the crap out of him. Although he would never admit it, Heath did appreciate his older brother, and often cringed at the thought of him not being around. He knew Brax had it tough, and admired his brother for what he did for him, his mum and Casey. Heath felt bad having got expelled from Mangrove River, mainly because Brax had upped and left with him not wanting Heath to be at summer bay high school on his own. Although Heath made things difficult for Brax at times, he didn't do it intentionally, but with a drunk for a mum, and an older brother who was either working or looking after their younger brother Casey, Heath at times (mostly all the time) felt ignored. And although he knew his friends weren’t the best sort of people, they made him feel important, something he lacked at home.


Walking down the hall way of summer bay high school Brax turned to Heath “Remember if you dare skip I will find out”.

“Yh yh, I heard you the first time”. Heath walked away rapidly in the opposite direction.

Brax sighed heavily turning around and walking into class. As he walked towards the back of the classroom, He found himself immediately scanning the room with his eyes, but she was nowhere to be seen. Taking a seat at his usual desk he looked up and instantly froze his gaze as she walked into the classroom, sitting directly in front of him as she had done so the day before.

Charlie slowly sat down in her seat, avoiding eye contact with the guy that she had bumped into the night before. She noticed him staring at her and only hoped she didn’t have something on her face. She badly wanted to turn her head around, but she could feel his eyes on her and decided against it.

“Morning class” both Brax and Charlie were pulled out of their thought by the sound of Mr Jones’s voice.

“We are going to do something new today; I decided that your next assignment will be presentation based...” Mr Jones stopped for a second at the complaints coming from his students in protest against his idea.

“It’s not optional nor is it up for discussion, this assignment will be carried out in groups of twos, and wait for it... I will be picking your partners for you”. He smirked a little as the class once again started to complain looking around in hopes of not being paired with someone they didn’t like or worse someone who was just simply lacking in the intelligence department.

“Right stop your complaining and let’s get started” Mr Jones stared on at his students as he started pairing them up.

Charlie sat at her seat not to bothered about the aspect of working with someone else, seeing as this was only her second day she hadn’t really spent enough time with anyone, to figure out who was nice and who wasn’t or who was smart and who lacked behind. She sat patiently waiting to hear her name called. If she was being honest she was eager to move from her current seat, as she had noticed out of the corner of her eye that Brax had once again returned to watching her.

“Charlie” she looked up to see Mr Jones looked her way

“Yes Sir” she replied

“Seeing as it’s only your second day here, you will be working with Brax on this presentation, he has a knack for this subject, so he will be able to teach you a thing or two as you guys go along”.

Charlie just nodded wondering which one of the guys in the class was Brax.

“Brax you can take a seat next to Charlie”.

Charlie looked up waiting to see which one of the guys was about to start heading her way. That’s when she noticed from the corner of her eyes that the guy that she had been avoiding eye contact with was packing up his desk. She watched as he approached her desk and sat down beside her, his hands brushing past hers as he laid them on the desk in front of him, she felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand at the slight contact.

Neither one of them said anything for several minutes as Mr Jones finished off pairing the rest of the students. Feeling the awkwardness between them reach an unbearable level and no longer being able to stand the quick but noticeable glances he kept giving her Charlie decided to speak up... meanwhile at the same time, Brax couldn’t understand why he found it so difficult to talk to her, he had felt the slightest shiver when his hand had brushed against hers, but tried to cover it up. Clearly seeing how uncomfortable the silence was making Charlie, Brax decided to speak up...

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Thank you guys for the reviews :D Glad that you are enjoying the story. here the next chapter so enjoy :)


“So do you...”

“I didn’t realise...”

Brax and Charlie both looked down sheepishly at the desk as they had both managed to start talking at the same time. Great, Brax thought to himself, as if things couldn’t get any more awkward, he smiled lightly at Charlie who immediately looked back at the desk as he faced her. Brax paused and looked at her encouraging her to talk.

“I didn’t realise Mr Jones was talking about you... when he mentioned your name” she stated as she fiddled with her fingers

Brax laughed lightly “well I hope you’re not too disappointed” he said half joking and half serious.

“No, no it’s not that it’s just, I realised I never asked your name yesterday despite you knowing mine”. Charlie looked down at the table still trying to avoid making eye contact with him.

“That’s fine, it was obvious you were in a rush, and at least you know now right?” Charlie smiled over at Brax feeling a little guilty for walking away so quickly the night before, knowing that she was in no rush to be anywhere apart from away from him at that present time. It wasn’t that she didn’t like him, or was repulsed by him; it was more that she felt he could see right through the smile that she had spent so long perfecting. For the first time since he sat next to her, she slowly lifted her head, instantly catching his gaze. She felt her heart race pick up at a rapid pace, she could have sworn it had gotten so loud the whole class could hear it; she felt her cheeks heat up as she flushed as he continued to glare at her. Her mind was telling her to look away, but she felt paralysed, unable to break her gaze from him.

Brax took a deep breath in as he found himself almost hypnotised by her perfectly shaded eyes. He found himself wondering about her past, what her life was like, but most of all he wanted to know the cause of the apparent sadness he could see in her eyes.

Although they had only been looking at each other for no longer than a few seconds, they both felt like they had been lost in each other’s gaze for what felt like endless hours. Charlie snapped out of her thoughts at the sound of Mr Jones’s voice as it seemed to get closer, causing Brax to also look away from Charlie and to where Mr Jones now stood.

“In front of you are instructions of what the project is about, now I don’t want anyone slacking off ok so these marks will count for some of your final Grades”. Mr Jones smiled subtly as he knew he had now gotten the full attention of his students. “Right you can start brain storming, but I want to hear you talking about your projects nothing else, ok?”

“Yes sir” The class replied back to him hastily, eager to get back to their discussion.

Brax looked up at Charlie “So we should probably get started then”.

“Yh I guess so” replied brax

They sat quietly for a few minutes both pretending to read the notes that Mr Jones had left in front of them. Every so often they both dared to take a quick glaze at one another, both thankful that the other hadn’t noticed.

“So have you got any ideas, Mr Jones seems to think you have a knack for this”. Charlie looked over to Brax.

“Erm yh I don’t know about that” Brax smiled lightly, “I just find this subject a lot more interesting than others”.

“Why” Charlie asked as she looked up and once again caught his gaze. She quickly carried on as she noticed his hesitation “Ermm... you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to...I was just curious” the last part of her sentence barely audible, Brax Just about picked up what she had said.

“No its alright, it’s just people don’t usually ask me much about me... well apart from the teachers but I guess that’s part of their job in some way”. Brax looked down at Charlie’s hands and noticed her fiddling with her fingers before he slowly continued... “I would like to one day own my own business, so I guess, seeing as this IS business studies, I tend to pay just a little bit more attention”. He smiled back at Charlie who had now slightly turned her body so it was facing Brax’s direction.

“What type of business do you want to own” she asked not breaking eye contact with him.

“Erm am actually not too sure about that yet” Brax replied a little embarrassed.

Charlie smiled lightly at him as she observed his apparent embarrassment... “Well you still got some time to decide, we are still in high school”.

“Yh I guess so”.

“So have you got any ideas for what we could base this presentation on?” Charlie asked as she recognised how comfortable she was becoming around Brax.

“A few” Brax replied. “Why don’t we both brainstorm and put some ideas down?” Brax asked

“Yh sure” Charlie replied as she went to grab the marker that lay in the middle of the table unaware that Brax was also making his way to grabbing the marker.

As Brax’s hand settled softly on top of Charlie’s they both instantly looked down at where their hands lay, before looking back at each other. Brax flashed a quick smile before proceeding to break their contact.

“Sorry” he said still looking straight at her, his hand lingered on top of hers before he slowly moved his hand back to his side of the table. Brax didn’t understand how a girl he barely knew had the ability to make him feel so unsure of himself, the touch of her hand sent shockwaves down the back of his neck; it felt like it had taken all his strength to remove his hands from on top of hers. Studying her face more Brax could only identify one fact at that point in time, how beautiful she was.

Charlie felt his hands linger on hers before he slowly removed them, the hairs on the back of her neck that had managed to lay back down where now stood static. Surveying her arms Charlie acknowledged the goose bumps that had formed. She studied his face having taken a mental picture of his smile and the way it was complimented by his dimples. She could have sworn that as he flashed a smile it had become somewhat of a challenge maybe even almost impossible for her to breathe.

Charlie quickly picked up the marker in an attempt to divert herself from the distraction of his face. Realising that they had both fallen silent again brax decided to lighten up the mood a little

“So it’s only fair that someone should do the brainstorming while another writes”.

Brax laughed as he looked down at the blank paper and the marker in Charlie’s hand, not wanting to get distracted by her again he quickly turned his attention back to the blank piece of paper.

“Oh, is that right and I guess you would rather write while I do the brainstorming” Charlie replied as she laughed lightly.

“Well if you insist” brax replied laughing back “who am I to argue”.

Charlie let out a small laugh before grabbing the blank piece of paper and holding the marker firmly in her hand.

“Actually I think I would rather write, and you can brain storm”... she turned to face Brax “And yes I insist”.

Both Brax and Charlie let out a little laugh both glad that any earlier awkwardness had now dissolved. “So I’m gonna be doing all the work ey” Brax asked as he flashed her one of his smile, making her flush ever so lightly.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about; having to write down all your wonderful ideas will be of great strain to my hand” Charlie beamed as she mocked Brax.

“Oh yh well now that you put it that way...I feel for you really I do” Brax joked. He looked at Charlie as she laughed; he noticed that the bleakness he had earlier witnessed in her eyes had now dissipated. Brax found himself hoping that he had in some way contributed to the content that were now evident in her eyes.

“Right let’s get started then... put those hands of yours to work”.

Charlie smiled “ok so... tell me your ideas or should I say our ideas” she smirked at him before looking back down at the blank piece of paper.

Brax smiled and began throwing ideas in the air as Charlie willingly jotted them down. Regardless of the fact that her first encounter with Brax had only occurred the day before she somehow felt more sheltered around him, than she did around people she had known all her life, she hadn’t felt this complacent even in her own house for so long, although she was so good at hiding her feeling you would never know. She was grateful to have him as her partner and somehow she knew if nothing else, she had found a good friend in Brax. If she was being honest with herself, she questioned whether she was ready to be anything more than anyone’s friend.

Brax stole subtle glances at Charlie, he couldn’t believe how attached he felt to the girl that sat next to him. He thought about how he had woken up the day before not ever having set eyes on her, but now sitting beside her, he felt like he had known her all his life and could only hope she would never leave. Her smile, her eyes, her face, everything about her seemed perfect to him, he only hoped that if she didn’t already, that she would one day see him as more than a class mate or a friend, as he remembered how he felt when he touched her. He sat there aspiring to the next he would be able to touch her again, even if for a split second.

Brax and Charlie spent the rest of the class throwing ideas at each other and laughing as they continued to joke around. They both hoped that time would slow down a little and allow them spent more time together. Before long they found that the hour had gone and it was time to make their way to their next class.

“Ok guys, I want you working on these presentations outside school hours.... OK?” Mr Jones tried to make himself heard over the herd of students who seemed to be sprinting out of the class.

Charlie and Brax slowly walked out of the class both disappointed that they would now have to go their separate ways.

“So I guess I will see you tomorrow” Charlie said to Brax but kept her glare forward, out of fear of catching his gaze, which she was sure would make it more impossible for her to concentrate in her next class than he had already possibly made it.

“Yh... I guess” replied Brax trying to hide the disappointment in his voice. As she had been in both his French and English classes the day before, he knew he would get to spend a bit more time with her the following day. Brax had never been so eager for a new school day to arrive as much as he did at that moment. As she noticed him looking at her, she reluctantly looked up at him, before walking down the hall into her next class.

Charlie silently cursed herself for looking up at him, knowing full well that keeping her mind from wondering back to him in her next class was an unrealistic goal. Brax watched on as Charlie walked away, he knew right there that being at school that day was a waste of time, there was nothing anyone could do to stop him from thinking about her, to be honest he didn’t want to stop thinking about her. Snapping out of his day dream, he looked around to find that he was the only one standing in the hall way of summer bay high school.

“****” he muttered as he ran to his next class.

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Hi guys thank you for the review. Love that you like the story here's another one for you guys (its slightly longer than the previous chapters) and will try to get one more up before the end of the week

enjoy :D


Charlie had found it impossible to get to sleep, as she lay in bed, her thought were consumed with that of Brax. Everything about him was on constant replay in her head, his smile, his sharp dimples and his beautiful green eyes. She shook her head once more in an attempt to escape her thoughts. She edged forwards to the side of her bed taking in the time...


She muttered quietly under her breath “crap”.

She turned around determined to get some much needed sleep, the last thing she wanted was to turn up to school looking tired.


Brax tossed and turned cursing a little as he caught a glimpse of the time which now read 2.30. All his effort at getting some sleep had proven impossible as he found his thoughts invaded by Charlie. He smiled to himself as his mind replayed images of her sweet but subtle smile, her perfectly shaded green eyes that embodied subtle shades of blue in the centre. He hoped the darkness of the morning would pass by quickly, as he found it almost impossible to compose his excitement at the thought of seeing her again.


Brax hastily dressed his little brother, feed him and rushed him over to Mrs Kennedys. Walking back into the house he picked up his school bag before turning on his heels once again towards the front door.

“HEATH... will you hurry up” brax shouted as he stood impatiently outside their front door.

Heath walked slowly out of his room picking up his bag and walking towards the front door. He took a quick glance at the clock that hung in front of the wall before him, and then proceeded to look back at brax, with a slight look of confusion and annoyance on his face.

“Why are you in such a rush....we have loads of time to spare”

“I erm... I have something to do at school before classes start” Brax answered as he started walking rapidly away from the house.

Heath knew that there was something Brax wasn’t telling him, he couldn’t quite tell if it was a good thing or a bad thing. He soon got distracted in his own though as he picked up his pace to catch up to brax, who was now close enough to sprinting.

Reaching the gates of summer bay high, Brax felt his cheeks flush a little as he came to a standstill. He attentively watched on as Charlie made her way towards the entrance of the school building. Brax was abruptly snapped out of his trance as he felt someone crash into him from behind. Regaining his balance he turned around only to come face to face with Heath, who was now lightly rubbing the palm of his hand against his chest.

“Do you wanna watch where you’re going” Brax addressed Heath as he turned back around, but to his disappointment Charlie was no longer in sight.

“Hy you’re the one that stopped dead in front of me” Heath barked back at Brax as he left Brax behind and started walking towards the entrance of the building.

“Got some serious issues” Heath muttered that last part under his breath.

Although he had heard it, Brax ignored Heaths last remark, as he seemed to regain a conscious state, he hastily made his way towards the entrance of the building.


Walking towards his English class, Brax tried to calm the nervous that had suddenly arisen, he looked towards the entrance of the class before walking in slowly instantly catching Charlie’s eyes as she sat at a desk by herself at the middle corner of the classroom. Charlie smiled lightly at Brax as he slowly made his way towards her. The closer he got the more unsure of himself he felt. He wondered whether he should say hi to her and keep walking, or whether to take the spare seat next to her. Looking straight at her as he walked over, he noticed her warm smile, he quickly composed himself as he settled on the latter option.

Charlie noticed Brax walk into the classroom and their eyes instantly locked against each others, causing her to blush ever so slightly, as he walked towards her. She noticed he was debating something with himself, but as he looked up again she flashed him a soft smile, hoping he would take the empty seat beside her.

“Hi” brax stood still in front of her not breaking the eye contact they had been holding.

“Hi” Charlie replied.

He stood in front of her for what felt like hours but in actual fact had been less than a few short seconds.

“Erm....” brax began as he rubbed the back of his head with his hand... “Is it ok if I take this seat... well not take it I mean erm... sit in it...here... that’s if it’s not already taken?”

Although there was a voice in Brax’s head that was pleading with him to stop talking, it took his mouth a while to catch up. He looked down sheepishly as he managed to stop rambling; he almost felt to kick himself.

Charlie’s smile grew ever so slightly as she noticed the flushed look on his face...

“No it’s not already taken and yes you can sit in it...here” she laughed slightly.

Brax immediately looked up, although he tried hiding his smile he was sure she had already caught a glimpse of it but he didn’t care. The thought of spending this hour and hopefully the next with her was deserving of his smile.

Both Brax and Charlie soon enough had forgotten the earlier awkwardness as they sat talking and joking quietly with one another, trying their best to get as much work done as possible. As they both walked to their next class together, they instantly sat at the same desk with a lot more ease than earlier that morning. They soon found themselves spending both their break and lunch together; using the excuse of working on the presentation to hide behind the real reason they wanted to spend time together.

Charlie looked over at brax as they ate their lunch and slowly worked on their pending presentation over their light conversation. She wondered if he had been sent to her by a higher force of some sort. Having found herself in a cycle of misery and loneliness over the last Four years, she looked on as the boy that sat in front of her had managed to make her smile. It wasn’t the fake smile that she had practiced in front of the mirror several times a day, this smile was genuine, her laugh was genuine and around him her problems seemed to somehow turn into a distant memory.

Brax watched Charlie as she laughed and smiled towards him. All his life Brax had only really ever prayed for one thing which was to get himself and his family out of Mangrove River, but as he sat looking at her he found himself praying, almost begging for something else. He prayed to never see the day when he wouldn’t be able to see Charlie’s face or be near her.


Racing out of Summer Bay High and avoiding all his friends advances, Brax quickly scanned his surrounding; anxiously hoping Charlie hadn’t gone too far yet. He raced towards the gates as he saw her making her way out of them.

“Hy Charlie” he called as he continued running in her direction.

Not having turned around yet, Charlie already recognised the voice that had shouted her name. As she turned around, she saw brax quickly making his way towards her.

She waited till he had caught up to her, as he reached her she flashed him a smile “Hy”

“Hy... I just thought we could walk down together, if you want”

“Yh sure” she smiled before turning on her heels as he followed suit.

“So do you live in summer bay?” Brax asked taking his eyes off the path ahead of him and refocusing it on Charlie.

“Yh I do, my house is actually not too far from the beach, how about you?”

Brax instantly turned his attention back to the road ahead of him

“Erm no I don’t live in summer bay, I actually live in Mangrove River”. He knew she was only new in town which meant she probably didn’t know how bad Mangrove River actually was, but nonetheless it didn’t stop him from getting slightly embarrassed. Lucky for him Charlie hadn’t noticed this and just carried on talking

“Oh ok, is it far from Summer Bay?” she looked up at him.

“Not really it’s about 20 minutes walk on foot”.

Charlie simply nodded; harbouring the same smile that had grown on her face since they had began walking together.

They held light conversation for the rest of their walk, in which Brax managed to tell Charlie he had two brothers, specifically describing heath as a bonehead, causing Charlie to chuckle a little. Although he noticed she had avoided giving out any real information about her family, he figured it was best to not bring it up, it wasn’t like he had told her everything either.

“Right this is me” brax stopped as he pointed to the patch on the right hand side of Charlie.

“Oh ok” Charlie said slightly disappointed... “See you tomorrow at school?” Charlie said almost like a question rather than a statement.

“Yh”... Brax paused... “If you want we could meet here and walk to school together” Brax looked expectantly at Charlie

“Yh I would like that” Charlie smiled back

“Ok, so we can meet here for 8.15?” brax asked

“Yh, sounds like a plan”. She smiled back at him

They both lingered for a few more second before saying their final goodbyes as they walked their separate ways. They both stole glances at each other several times hoping that the other had not noticed. Once Charlie was out of sight, Brax grin faded slightly as he began sprinting home to get changed; suddenly realising he was working that day and was due to resume in a little over 40minutes.


Brax sighs heavily has his shift at the convenience store in Summer Bay came to an end. He looked up at the time has he left the shop noting that it had just gone past seven. Brax walked through the beach as he headed out of Summer Bay making his way to Mangrove River. He walked as slow as physically possible in an attempt to have some time to himself before he return to what he was sure was to be a mad house. Ever since his first class he had found it impossible (literally) to get Charlie out of his mind. The mere thought of her brought a smile to his face. He wasn’t sure that was a good thing, as he was sure some of the customers that had come into the shop while he was working had thought he was crazy. He laughed lightly at his own thoughts before taking his eyes off the sand beneath his feet and refocusing his attention on the path ahead of him.

He came to a standstill as he saw a girl just a few meters ahead of him sitting by herself on the sand as she stared out into the crystal blue water before her. He didn’t have to see her face; he knew straight away it was Charlie merely by looking at slim tanned legs, which seemed to go at an endless length. He walked towards her placing his hand briefly on her shoulder, which caused Charlie to jump dramatically.

“It’s only me” Brax said stepping back a little as he noticed how freaked she had suddenly gotten. He waited for her to calm down before he spoke again...

“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to scare you”. Brax stared down at Charlie slightly worried. He noticed that the same pain and vulnerability he had noticed in her eyes the day before and earlier that day had returned.

“It’s ok, sorry I freaked out, just didn’t hear you walk up” Charlie refused to take her eyes off the ocean before her.

“That’s ok, I guess I can see why you freaked out” he smiled lightly before sitting down beside her.

“You don’t mind do you?” he asked has he lowered himself into the sand.

“No, of course not” she replied still not making eye contact with him.

Several minutes of silence fell upon them. Charlie knew he was looking at her, she wasn’t sure if she wanted him there at that moment. She didn’t want anyone seeing how lost and vulnerable she was, most especially not Brax. But there he was sat beside her, and although she hadn’t looked at him since he had sat beside her, the silence between them was loud enough, telling her he could see the side of her that she managed to hide from most people. Sat next to him she felt almost naked, like he could see every part of her, the good and the bad.

Brax looked at Charlie a little longer not sure if he should say anything as he looked back out into the ocean...

“So what’s your excuse for being out here alone” Charlie asked causing brax to turn his head surprisingly towards her. Brax noticed that she still hadn’t removed her gaze from the ocean.

“I erm... I work at the convenience store just up there, so I was on my way home” Brax continued looked at her hoping she would pry her gaze away from the ocean and look at him, just once.

“Oh... right”, Charlie’s voice was barely audible but Brax was sitting close enough to hear what she had said.

“So what about you, what’s your excuse” Brax asked

“No excuse... just needed some fresh air”.

Although Brax didn’t know what was causing Charlie so much pain, at the moment he would have given anything in order to make her pain disappear. Studying her face he noticed as a lone tear made its way down the opposite side of her face.

She couldn’t hold the tear back any longer; it had been lingering in her eye since she sat on the beach. She cursed herself as she felt the tear roll down her face as she found it impossible to continue holding it back. Why did he have to be there at that minute, she wanted him to leave, she cared what he thought about her and the last thing she wanted was for him to be looking at her with pity, it was a look she was too familiar with and had grown to hate. She felt brax hand graze her chin has he lifted her face in his direction. The immediate touch of his hand against hers sent goose bumps racing through the whole of her body. As she met his gaze she almost couldn’t remember why she had been so upset, and for the first time since he had been sat next to her she was grateful to have him there.

Brax stared at the lone tear unsure of what to do... unknowingly he raised his hands to her face placing it under her chin. His hand lingered under her chin for a few seconds in anticipation as he waited, making sure she wasn’t going to brush him off. He then proceeded in turning her head up slowly, until he could see clearly into her eyes. He noticed the colour of her eyes had changed from their normal shade into a light sky blue, he held her gaze as he brought his hand up against her face, stroking her tear stained cheek. Even as vulnerable as she looked Brax couldn’t stop thinking about her beauty, as his body tingled with electric waves at the touch of her face. He swallowed heavily before composing himself...

“Hy what’s the tear for” Brax asked has a continued stroking her face, “I know we haven’t known each other for long, but you can talk to me”. He paused as he waited for her to say something, anything.

Charlie nodded slightly “Nothing... just the wind”.

She tried to divert her gaze elsewhere but she felt his thumb slightest stroking her face, she found it impossible, once again she felt paralysed to the spot. How does he do it she thought to herself, is it really possible to feel this way about someone I have known less than 42 hours. At that moment Brax bright green eyes had brought Charlie more comfort than she had ever felt. Although she wanted more than anything to confide in him, she was afraid that once he knew he would look at her differently, right now his eyes were comforting but if he knew what had caused the tear she was scared it would change into a look of sympathy or even disgust.

Brax knew too well that Charlie was hiding something, but he felt it was wise not to push her on the issue. He slowly retracted his hand from the side of her face, moving closer to her, he put his hand lightly around her, and he felt her instantly move closer to him burying her head in his chest. Brax smiled lightly as he tightened his grip lowering his hand from around her shoulders to her waist. Brax inhaled heavily taking in the light vanilla smell of her hair. It scared Brax that someone he had only just met had such a hold on him. She had the ability to make him feel things that he had doubted existed before her. Despite this fear, he hoped for the feeling to never go away. Brax felt Charlie shiver ever so slightly against him. Looking down at her, he slowly pulled away for her; he smiled lightly as he noticed the slight disappoint in her face as he had pulled away, taking off his coat and wrapping it around her.

As Charlie felt him pull away, she looked up at him slightly disappointed at the wind hit hard against where he had initially been holding her. She immediately tried to hide her disappointment, but the smile that crept up on his face, made it known to her that he had noticed. She looked down sheepishly, only looking back up as she felt him wrap something around her. She turned her head slightly and seen that he had wrapped his coat around her. She closed her eyes for a split second taking in the sweet smell that she knew was Brax’s.

“Maybe we should get you home... we don’t want your folks worrying about you? Brax looked down at Charlie, who immediately looked back up at him.

It was starting to get late and although he felt like never leaving her side, he could tell the cold from the wind was starting to get to her, he also figured she had probably been out there a while before he saw her an wondered if her parents hadn’t started worrying about her.

“Yh I should get going shouldn’t I... It’s getting late”.

Brax nodded as he stood up dusting the sand off himself before reaching out his hand to Charlie. She grabbed onto it as he pulled he off the sand and onto her feet. She stumbled a little as brax place his hand on the small of her back trying to steady her. Gaining a steady balance both Brax and Charlie were now undoubtedly aware of how close they where stood, however neither moved from their position.

Charlie felt almost weak at the knees as she could feel his heart beating against her chest. She tried to concentrate on composing herself as she found that she was now struggling with the simple task of breathing.

Brax could feel his heart rate banging against his chest, almost as if trying to escape, he had only hoped she couldn’t feel the increase in his heart rate, but considering how close they where stood, he knew he was hoping for too much. Instinctively Brax lifted his hand toward her face, stroking it lightly, failing to remove his other hand where he had placed it on the small of her back. He watched her eyes close has his hand met her face.

Has his hand reached up to her face, Charlie slowly closed her eyes, wanting to savour every bit of his touch. She fixated on his hand as he lightly brushed it past her cheek, almost as if trying to take a mental note of how his touch felt. Charlie opened her eyes and was instant met by his big green eyes. Charlie realised he was starting to close the gap that was almost nonexistent between them, and instantly smiled at the thought of what was about to happen.

It’s now or never Brax thought to himself as he saw Charlie opening her eyes directly meeting his. He slowly leaned forward closes the small gap between both their faces, he saw her flash a smile, instantly giving him the go ahead. He lingered for a minute has their nose brushed past each other. Brax felt Charlie’s lips slightly brush past his, as he realised she most have moved her face forward, causing him to smile ever so lightly. He moved closer kissing her softly and slowly.

Has they both backed away slightly looking in each other’s eyes for reassurance, they soon found themselves longing for each other again. As they both flashed a smile at each other they leaned in once again, desperate to relive their tender kiss. Removing his hand from the small of her back, Brax cupped Charlie’s face softly in both his hands, as she wrapped her arms around his waist closing any space left between them. Leaning into one another they shared another kiss however this time much deeper.

Charlie felt a rush of electricity swim down her spine, as she held him tightly against her. Although she didn’t think it was possible, she tightened her grasp around him, wanting to remain in that moment forever, but knowing they would both have to come up for air eventually.

As their lips parted they lingered around each other for a few minutes before parting completely, both refusing to release each other from the crowded embrace they were in. They stared back at each other for a while smiling, reassuring each other about how they felt about what at just happened.

“I should really get you home, it’s getting really late” Brax said as he looked down Charlie refusing to discontinue their gaze.

Charlie smiled lightly “You don’t worry you don’t have to walk me home it’s literally two minutes away”.

“I want to” brax replied

“Seriously I will be fine”... Charlie quickly continued as she could saw that brax was about to protest... “I promise I will be fine, like I said it’s a two minute walk, and you have a longer journey than I do”. She remembered him having told her its was a 20 minute walk from Mangrove River to Summer Bay.

Brax pondered on it for a few seconds... “Fine, but under one condition”

“What‘s the condition?” Charlie asked

“Have you got your phone on you” brax asked

Charlie just simply nodded a bit confused as to what he was talking about.

“Pass it here” brax said as her pulled away ever so slightly in order to allow her get her phone.

She looked at him questioningly but did has he asked. She watched as Brax typed in a number into her phone and started calling it. Hearing his phone ring she realised what he was doing and smiled to herself.

“You have to text me as soon as you get home, so I no that you got back ok”. He looked down at Charlie who now wore a big smile across her face.

“What?” asked Brax

“Well am just wondering if you just used this as an excuse to get my number” Charlie instantly started laughing at the mock hurt look on Brax’s face, before he flashed her a cheeky smile.

“I figured I may as well kill two birds with one stone”. He said as he laughed lightly.

Charlie smiled “well I guess I will see you tomorrow ”.

“Yh... tomorrow”. Brax looked at her before giving her one last kiss, before releasing her from his grip.

He watched on as Charlie made her way up the beach, he turned making his way towards Mangrove River, unable to wipe the smile off his face. He thought back to their kiss, he could still taste her on his lips, his smiled only widened at the thought of seeing her the next day, Brax walked home slowly praying for tomorrow to come already.

Charlie reached her front door, starting to feel the sting in her jaw from having held her smile all the way home. For the first time in three years, the prospect of being in her house no longer scared Charlie as she found herself consumed with happiness at the simple thought of Brax. Charlie took her phone out and texted Brax before entering her house.

Hy Brax thought it was only fair to you to stick to our condition and let you know am home. I had a good time tonite, cya tomoro :) x .

Brax took his phone out of his pocket, smiling dramatically as he saw Charlie name on the screen. Reading the message he immediately replied...

Had a good time too, cya tomoro, nyt x


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Thank you so much to those of you who have been reviewing and keep reviewing. Hope you guys enjoy this next chapter



Brax waited anxiously for Charlie as he stood at the path they had agreed to meet at the previous day. Although he had tried to walk slowly, realising he had left the house a little too early, he still arrived at the spot with five minutes to spare.

Heath looked up at his brother fidgeting next to him like a five year old kid. Although Brax had told Heath to get walking without him, Heath knew too well that Brax was just trying to get rid of him. Wanting to know what was making his brother so anxious; Heath had repeatedly refused to leave until Brax had seemingly given up on trying to get rid of him. Heath watched as his brothers face suddenly lit up, he slowly followed Brax gaze until he noticed the girl that had began walking towards them. Heath immediately recognised the goofy smile on her face as it matched the one Brax was baring. Suddenly it all made sense to Heath, the blinding smile his older had on when he had returned from work the previous night, and the almost unconscious state he had repeatedly found his brother in the past few day as he stared into space. Heath smirked to himself glad he had stuck to his guns and not left when Brax had told him to.

"Hi", Heath was snapped out of his thoughts by the sound of Charlie's voice as she was now standing in front of both him and Brax.

"Hi" Brax replied as they both stood silently in front of each other.

Heath looked from Brax to Charlie before letting out a loud cough alerting both of them of his presence. Both Charlie and Brax turned towards Heath...

"Sorry for Brax's bad manners, I have no idea where he gets it from, I'm Heath"

Charlie chuckled lightly at Brax, who was now staring at Heath with a look of stern warning, before looking back at Heath

"Heath... Brax's Brother?" Heath nodded dramatically

"Yep that the one" he replied

"Hi, I'm Charlie".

"So Brax as been talking about me eh" heath said still holding his smirk, "what as he told you, apart from my excellent charm and my undeniable good looks", Heaths smirk only grow wider as he noticed the frustration on Brax's face.

"Pretty much what you just mentioned" Charlie replied him as she laughed.

"Well as you can see, he clearly wasn't exaggerating"

"Yh you're right, everything he said was definitely right", Charlie looked at Brax as he laughed lightly realising she was referring to the comments he had made about Heath the day before.

"Well are we gonna get moving, or do you guys need a few more minutes to stare silently at each other" Heath let out a small laugh as Brax lightly hit him across the head indicating for him to shut up. Charlie looked at the ground for a few seconds trying to hide her blushing cheeks.

"We should probably get going... don't wanna be late" Brax looked up at Charlie who just simply nodded as both her and Brax began making their way down the path towards summer bay high school, with Heath following closely beside them not wanting to miss anything.

As Charlie and Brax talked between each other laughing every once in a while, Heath had started to feel like the third wheel, wanting to direct some attention to himself, while creating some amusement for himself, he turned to both Charlie and Brax...

"So are you two together", both Charlie and Brax instantly turned to face him. Brax was now looking at heath with a look that could kill, and Charlie cheeks turned bright red, Heath smirked as he had gotten the reaction he was looking for before he continued...

"You Know... together as in boyfriend and girlfriend"... he paused once again letting himself savour the expression on both their faces as they continued to stare at him silently. Although Heath Knew Brax was probably going to make him pay for it later he didn't care; he couldn't bring himself to stop... "Cause Charlie if you are his girlfriend I must say I am disappointed in your choice", Heath let out a little laugh as he stopped talking, enjoying the reaction he was getting from Brax.

As Heath continued talking, telling Charlie how she could do so much better than Brax, Brax wanted nothing more than for the ground to open up and swallow him whole, but not before beating the life out of his idiot of a brother.

Letting out a sigh of relief, Brax was thankful as they reached the entrance of summer bay high.

"I guess I will see you love birds later, don't do anything I wouldn't do", Heath laughed out loud as he walked away from Brax and Charlie.

Entering the building Charlie had kept her gaze on the floor since Heath had left, she felt a burning sensation in both her cheeks as they remained bright red.

"Sorry about Heath, he can be a real idiot sometimes... actually no make that all the time".

Charlie released her gaze form the ground below her and looked up at brax smiling...

"It's ok, he's not that bad, and at least he as a sense of humour", she laughed at the last part of her sentence.

Brax chuckled "Yh that he does have". Even if it is at the expense of others Brax thought.

Brax looked up as the bell rang, "That's our queue to get to class... I guess I'll see you at break and lunch maybe", Brax smiled lightly at Charlie as he rubbed the back of his head with his hand.

"Yh... ok" Charlie replied



They both turned and headed towards their individual classes both disappointed as they had no classes together but at the same time excited at the prospect of seeing each other again in a few hours.

Taking a seat at his desk, Brax thought back to Heath's comment, although he felt like kicking Heath's backside, he desperately hoped that after the previous night that Charlie did want to be his girlfriend. He spent the rest of the morning debating whether to bring it up or not.

Trying to focus on her work...Charlie smiled as she thought back to Heath addressing her as Brax's girlfriend. The thought of being able to call him her boyfriend only made her smile wider. She couldn't believe how in the last four years being anything more than a guy friend had scared her, while at this moment in time the thought of being nothing more than Brax's friend scared her more.


Brax sat on the bench that he and Charlie had spent their lunch together the previous day. After the slight awkward silence that had fallen upon them during the break earlier that day, he had decided to brave it and bring up the kiss they had shared last night, hoping that it wouldn't be the last time he felt her soft lips against his.

Charlie walked towards Brax as she spotted him on the bench, feeling a little uneasy about the obvious elephant that they had both ignored earlier during their break, she had decided to bring up their kiss, in hopes that he wanted to more than just her friend.

"Hy Brax", Charlie sat down on the bench beside him.

"Hy... how were your classes?" Brax figured that it would be best to make light conversation, before jumping into anything deep.

"Yh they were ok" Charlie answered quickly as she felt her nervous starting to get the better of her. She took a deep breath and knew if she didn't do it right at that moment she would lose her nerve completely.



They looked at each other laughing lightly as they had spoken at the same time.

"You go first" Charlie said

"Erm... well I just...erm" Brax felt his mouth go dry as he tried to form a normal sentence. Taking a deep breath he slowly turned until his whole body was now facing Charlie.

"I was just wondering if last night... you know the kiss and...Yh... I just wanted to know how you felt about it, I mean if you wanna forget it happened, I totally understand if you do". Brax kicked himself mentally. What was he saying, of cause he didn't want her to forget it happened, and he most definitely wouldn't understand.

Unsure of what he was trying to say, but hoping he felt the same way that she did, Charlie spoke up

"Do you want to forget about it" the words came out with a little more emotion than she had intended.

"Well no I don't" Brax paused "Do you?"

Charlie instantly smiled as she quickly shook her head

"No, neither do I".

A smile crept up on Brax face, as they both blushed ever so slightly

"So" Brax laughed lightly

"So" Charlie stared at him attentively, "Does this mean we're more than friends?"

Brax face lit up as he replied "Well I was hoping it would make you my girlfriend"

Charlie prayed that she wouldn't wake to find that what was happening at that moment was nothing more than a dream before replying...

"Yh I think that's a fair assumption", she found it hard to believe that the oh so beautiful boy that was sitting before her was now hers, she felt her jaw line sting a little, as she was unable to get rid of the smile that had now taken over half her face. Her eyes lit up even more as she noticed brax leaning into her slowly, she tried to compose herself as her whole body shivered at the thought of having her lips against his. As their lips slowly linked with one another she felt numb neck downwards, as his kiss sent tingles rushing down her body.

Leaning in to kiss Charlie, Brax felt his stomach doing back flips at the thought of once again having her lips against his. Kissing her slowly, he found himself completely lost in the moment.

Moving his whole body closer to Charlie's their kiss somewhat deepened as they soon forgot that there were other people around them.

"So she IS your girlfriend", quickly parting both Brax and Charlie peered their faces up, only to find Heath standing in front of them, with an almost blinding smirk on his face.

Charlie laughed as she noticed the look brax was now giving heath... "Hi heath"

"Seriously Charlie why have you chosen to lower your standards to such a level" Charlie couldn't help but laugh out loud at heaths words.

"Heath shut up and get lost... before I make you eh" Brax glared at heath, making a mental note of the moment, so he could make heath pay for it later

"You still haven't answered my question...is she your girlfriend, or do you guys just like to tongue wrestle" heath could help but laugh at his own joke, as Charlie looked towards the floor blushing.

"Yes Heath, she is my girlfriend" Charlie blushed even more "So now get lost... NOW", brax looked around for an object that he could throw at heath as he wasn't standing close enough for his hands to reach his idiot of a brother.

"What's this about a girlfriend", Brax gaze shifted to the direction of the new comers voice, he smiled as he saw Jack and Miles standing in front him, with Leah, Martha and Bianca in tow.

Charlie looked up at the five of them as they stood in front of her; she smiled briefly at them but had no idea who they were. Although she recognised them from some of her classes she had never spoken to any one of them.

"I was wondering where you had been hiding these past few days... I should have guessed it had something to do with a girl"

Brax laughed "Nah just got tired of looking at your face, spending time with Charlie is just a added bonus".

Jack put his hand on his chest pretending to be hurt, "Ouch, crush a guys confidence why don't you".

Brax noticed Heath walking away as something caught his attention, he then looked over at Charlie who was now looking at her feet whilst twiddling her fingers against each other and he smirked as he noticed her concentrating on them almost as if they were the most amazing things she had ever set eyes on.

"Erm guys this is Charlie, my girlfriend", he looked at Charlie grinning as he noticed her smile as he referred to her as his girlfriend.

"And Charlie", Charlie looked up at the mention of her name "These are my friends, Jack and Miles. That's Leah, Martha and Bianca".

Charlie smiled politely saying hi to them all, as they all greeted her.

"I can see why she's got you so distracted" Jack said looking at Brax, making Charlie's cheeks go noticeably red, as Brax pulled her closer to him.

"Hy", Martha piped up as she hit Jack across the chest.

As both Brax and Jack let out a laugh Jack pulled Martha close to him "You know you're the only one I want distracting me, he gave her a cheeky grin before briefly kissing her.

"Ok guys do you wanna tone it down a bit on the PDA" Brax and jacked looked over at Miles as he spoke before looking at each other as they burst out laughing. They both knew that Miles was only bagging on them because he had liked Leah for a while now but hadn't been able to find the courage to tell her.

Composing himself Jack looked over at brax "SO is it ok if we join you guys or are you looking to spend some time alone" he winked as he stopped talking.

Brax looked over at Charlie who nodded to let him know it was ok

"Yh sure" Brax replied

"Well we best move to one of them tables" Jack said as he looked at the bench brax and Charlie was seated on... "I don't think there is enough room for the seven of us on that bench".

"We can make room" Brax smirked as he lifted Charlie onto his lap causing her to giggle loudly.

Miles snorted under his breath as he walked away to one of the tables clearly displaying how annoyed he was. This sent Brax and Jack back into fits of laughter as they followed behind him with the girls staring at them wondering what was so funny, apart from Martha who knew why Miles was so grumpy.

As they settled down on either sides of the table, Charlie had soon relaxed once she and the girls had started talking. She couldn't believe how nice they all were and was glad that they seemed to like her too. She quickly realised that Leah was the quite one out of the three girls, while Martha was very chatty; Charlie could easily see that Bianca was the more outspoken one out of all three, in a witty but almost uptight way. Every now and again she would steal subtle glances at Brax as him, Jack and Miles took the **** out of each other, blushing if ever their eyes collided. She sat there as she spoke to her new found friends. As she recalled the last time she had been as happy as she was at that moment, she felt shivers of disgust rush through her as she remembered how that happy day had ended on a disastrous note for her, she only hoped nothing would damage her new found happiness.

Brax sat there with his friends and Charlie and couldn't believe how happy he was. As he found himself self-consciously looking at Charlie, he couldn't help but thank whatever force had brought her to Summer Bay. The beautiful girl sat next to him was all his, and he wouldn't trade her for anything or anyone.


Walking out of her last class with Leah, Martha and Bianca in tow as they had all been in the same class, Charlie spotted Brax, Jack and Miles waiting by the entrance of the main doors. Martha walked up to Jack wrapping her arms around her waist, as Brax walked towards her kissing her briefly before throwing his arm around her shoulders, as they made their way out of the school. Brax and Charlie walked closely with Jack and Martha and Charlie's arm was now around brax waist, while the other three followed closely behind deep in conversation.

"Do you guys wanna go down to the surf club, am craving frozen yogurt", Martha said as she looked up at the burning sun.

"Am game... that's if you don't have to get going home" Brax looked towards Charlie, hoping she didn't have to go home just yet.

She smiled up at him before linking her free hand with his hand that hung around her shoulders "Yh sure I wouldn't mind a frozen yogurt myself".

Jack turned around as he spoke "Hy guys we're going to the surf club, you coming?"

"Yep", said Leah and miles simultaneously

"No I can't come, mums going out so I am stuck looking after April for the rest of the afternoon" Bianca frowned, although she adored her little sister, spending her afternoon with her friends was a much more appealing offer than spending it with her three year old little sister.

As they got to the beach Bianca said her goodbyes to her friends before heading home, the rest made their way towards the surf club, taking a seat at one of the tables, they all talked and joked around for a while before the guys got up to set up the pool tabled as they teased each other about how skilled they were, but not before Jack and Brax had gone to get both Charlie and Martha their frozen yogurt. Although Charlie had wanted to pay for her yogurt, Brax had insisted and after a while Charlie had given in sensing that regardless of how much she objected she would eventual lose the debate. Charlie couldn't help but smile as Brax had also brought one for Leah, seeing as no one had offered to buy her one.

As the girls watched on, they found themselves laughing at the expense of the guys as they had now committed to outdoing themselves at their game of pool. From the way they interacted Charlie could tell that Miles was a lot more quiet and reserved than Jack and Brax, she could also tell that brax and Jack were very close. After a few games the guys had rejoined the girls and they found themselves lost in conversation, most of which came from Brax and Jack mocking each other, sending the whole group into stitches of laughter.

After what seemed like ten minutes Charlie took her phone out of her bag, taking note of the time and realising they had been there for a couple of hours she decided it was probably time for her to head home. She had usual always gone straight home after school ended so she didn't want her parents worrying or to come looking for her.

"Hy guys I think am gonna get going home now; don't want the parents to start worrying".

"Actually I should get going too, I already missed a call from granddad", Martha said as she stood up from her seat. "You coming?" she asked as she looked at Jack.

"Yep" he stood up and grabbed his school bag.

Jack directed his gaze at Brax and Charlie who were already set to leave, "How about we meet up tomorrow, we can chill on the beach or something".

"Yh... maybe" brax responded as he wrapped his arms around Charlie's waist from behind pulling her into him as he rested his chin on her shoulder. Martha and Jack said their goodbyes to Brax and Charlie along with Leah and miles.

"Ok well call me and let me know yh" Jack shouted back to brax as both he and Martha left the surf club.

Brax turned to Charlie "Right let's get you home", He released her from his waist as he swung his arm over her shoulders, subconsciously wrapping her arms around his waist instantly Charlie looked up at him...

"You don't have to"

"I know I don't but I want to, plus it will give me an excuse to spend a bit more time with my beautiful girlfriend" Brax smirked

"Oh yh, so where is she" Charlie responded trying to keep a straight face, but failing miserably

"Haha funny" brax said as he leaned down brushing his lips against hers.

They walked out of the surf club has Charlie lead the way towards her house.


Reaching her front door Brax was a little disappointed that it had taken nothing more than 5 minutes to get there.

"I told you last night that it wasn't far from the beach" Charlie turned to face brax her hand still entwined in his.

"Yh, and there was me thinking you may have been exaggerating about the distance"... So am I gonna see you tomorrow".

"Yh I can meet you on the beach for about 12"

"Couldn't you meet me earlier... maybe 9.00" brax asked

"9.00 as in AM?" Charlie looked a brax a little mortified

Noticing the look on her face brax laughed a little sensing what she was thinking "yh 9.00 as in am why, is that a little too early for you?"

"A LITTLE" Charlie laughed lightly "no Brax not a little, that's a LOT early for me... how does the thought of not just getting up at 9.00 but being out of the house by 9.00 not scare you"

Brax chuckled "I don't know I guess I just happen to be a morning person"

"Well I am the complete opposite, 12.00 is my last offer, I was originally going to say 1.00..."

Brax quickly interrupted Charlie...

"No it's ok... I'll take 12.00" he smirked as Charlie giggled.

He pulled her in closer before lowering his head and kissing her for several minutes.

Pulling apart Charlie waved at brax has he walked away from the house, she turned to open the door, but someone else had beaten her to it...

"Charlie" Charlie looked up at her mum, wondering why she looked so worried.

"Mum what's wrong?"

"Where have you been? I was just about coming to look for you"

"I just decided to hang out with some friends after school, if you was so worried you should have just called" she said walking past her mum and into the house

"We did but you didn't pick up"

Positive that her parents had not called Charlie took her phone out of her bag, only to find she had four missed calls. She figured they must have called her as she was leaving the surf club. Although the calls where only from about 10 minutes ago, Charlie wasn't surprised by the way her mother was reacting. She had been like this (over protective) for a couple of years now. Charlie turned to her mum

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you I was gonna be home late, it was a last minute decision, I promise to call you and let you know where I am next time".

Elise just simply walked over to Charlie and gave her a hug, although she knew Charlie hated how over protective she had become, she couldn't help it. She felt she had failed Charlie once and was determined to stop anyone from ever hurting her again.

"I am glad that you've made some friends" said Elise still hugging Charlie tightly.

Hugging her mum back, Charlie felt someone tugging at her legs, releasing her grasp from her mother Charlie turned coming face to face with the beautiful girl that stood before her with a huge smile on her face.

"Lottie, Lottie", Charlie smiled as she looked down Ruby who had her arms out signalling that she wanted Charlie to pick her up.

After several attempt of trying to get Ruby to say either Charlotte or Charlie, she had settled on calling Charlie Lottie.

Charlie bent over picking ruby up...

"Hy ruby, you ok"

Ruby nodded her head vigorously as she swung her arms around Charlie's neck planting a kiss on her cheek.

"Ruby missed Lottie"... Charlie tightened her hold on Ruby

"Well Lottie missed Ruby too".

Charlie lightly stroked ruby face, taking in how beautiful the girl in her hands was. She brushed her hands through her brown curly hair before planting a kiss on her cheek, causing Ruby to squirm as she giggled. Placing Ruby back on the floor Charlie walked into her room wanting to get changed out of her school uniform and into something more comfortable.

The evening came by pretty quickly and soon Charlie's dad Ross had returned from work, as they all sat in the lounge watching TV. Looking up at the time Elise turned to Ruby who was sitting in between her and Ross in her pyjamas...

"Come on Ruby, time for bed"

Ruby frowned her face and turned away from Elise

"It's ok I'll take her" Ross said

"Come on sweetie, bed time and we can read your book if you want", Ross knew offering to read to her would work in his favour, as Ruby's face lit up, she jumped up into his arms...

"Night Lottie" Charlie smiled at Ruby

"Good night ruby"

"Night mummy", Ruby squirmed out of her Ross's arms as she went over to give Elise a kiss good night, Charlie watched on as her mum and Ruby embraced each other.

"Good night sweetie" Elise said before turning back to the TV screen.

"I'm gonna go to bed too" Charlie stood up from her seat as she walked rather quickly towards her room.

"Charlie are you ok? I mean it's a Friday and its only just gone 9.00", Elise looked over at her daughter noticing her odd behaviour.

"Yh am fine... it's just I'm meeting my friends tomorrow so I wanna get a good night's sleep", Charlie replied not turning around to look at her mother.

"Oh ok... good night sweetie", Elise felt there was something else bugging Charlie, although she was pretty sure she knew what it was, she had learned from past experience not to bring the subject up.

"Yh...Night", Charlie walked into her room closing the door firmly behind her as she took a deep breath, trying tot shake the felling had had risen within her. Although she didn't quiet know what the feeling was she had felt it several times, she was sure it felt like jealous. But why would she be jealous, why should she be, she should be happy, Right? As she stood there thinking to herself it felt more like she was trying to convince herself more than anything else. Less than a few seconds of settling on her bed she felt her phone vibrate against her bedside table. Looking at the screen, she immediately let out a smile as she saw brax name, she knew if anyone could get her in a gratifying mood and make her forget even if just for a little while it was brax. She rapidly accepted the call...

"Hy... you missing me already"

"No but I figured you would be missing me so I thought I would put you out of your misery" Brax smirked

Charlie giggled "oh well aren't you just the perfect gentleman... so nice of you to consider my feelings"

"Well what can I say, I'm just too nice"Brax chuckled... "I just wanted to hear your voice, and to let you know I told Jack we would meet tomorrow for 1.30.

"I thought we agreed to 12.00" Charlie asked a little confused

"Yh we did but I figured this way me and you could spend some time alone before the others arrived"

Charlie smiled heavily "You know what, if I could see you right now I would kiss you"

Brax chuckled "well you can make it up to me tomorrow"

"And I will" replied Charlie

Hearing the front door open Brax saw his mmu staggering in, looking at the time he shook his head as he saw that it was only a little after 9.00.

"Hy Charlie sorry but I have to go, see you tomorrow"

"Its fine, see you tomorrow, nite"


As the line went dead Charlie placed the phone back on her bed side table, basking in the joy of getting to spend some time with brax tomorrow. She instantly closed her eyes in a bid to get to sleep, desperately trying to avoid her mind wondering back to the issue which always seemed to bring tears to her eyes.


Brax got off from the couch walking over to his mum, trying to guide her towards her bedroom as he knew she probably didn't have the stamina to make it there without guidance. Reaching her door Cheryl curled over as she proceeded to throw up all over the carpet below her feet. Brax jumped back quickly before grabbing his mother's hair pulling all the lose strands from her face.

Walking out of his room heath caught sight of what was going on...

"That is just disgusting", Heath was thankful to not be the oldest, he knew he would never be able to put up with most of the crap that Brax did. As Brax shot him a look of anger, heath walked back into his room closing the door behind him, Heath knew Brax didn't need his crap, not right now that he had to deal with their mother.

After she had stop throwing up, Brax directed his mother towards her bed, as she flopped against it he took off her shoes before placing her duvet over her. He then left to clear up the mess she had made on the carpet, after which he took a bucket and placed it by her bed side just in case she woke up feeling sick. He placed a glass of water and some aspirins knowing she would need it in the morning.

After sorting his mother out brax went and cheeked on Casey making sure he was still asleep, he then proceeded into his room before flopping onto his bed exhausted, falling asleep, he smiled as he remembered he was going to be spending the day with Charlie the next day. He had successful arranged for Casey to stay at Miss Callaghan's place, and heath was going over to his friends for the day. He had no idea what his mum was going to be doing but he knew whatever it was, he would have to clean up after her once again, as he sighed he shut his eyes and fell asleep.


Ross walked back into the lounge after having finally gotten ruby to sleep.

"Where's Charlie?" he asked looking at Elise

"She went to bed... she said she's going out with her friends tomorrow so she wanted to get an early night".

"Right..." Ross seemed unconvinced by Charlie's excuse

Elise looked at Ross as he sat next to her "You don't believe her do you"... "I didn't either. I am really worried about her Ross"

"Yh so am I, we're just going to have to take it one day at a time", he pulled Elise in close to him, planting a kiss on her forehead.

Elise wrapped her arms around Ross before looked up at him "Do you think we did the right thing... you know?"

Ross paused for a few seconds thinking about the question his wife had just asked him. If he was being honest he didn't know if they were doing the right thing or not...

"Yes I do, it's the best thing for both of them", Ross didn't want to have to lie to his wife but he knew that what was done was done and there was no turning back, telling her he had his own doubts about the decision they had taken would do more harm than good. He only hoped that one day the old Charlie would return back to them, but deep down he knew that was unlikely even impossible but still he prayed for a miracle...

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Thank you guys so much for your reviews :) glad to know you are enjoying the story. Will try and get one or two more up before new years. Merry Xmas :D


Walking around the house frantically Charlie was getting ready to go and meet Brax, however the fact that her mum and dad had been watching her had not gone unnoticed. Although she tried to hide her excitement, the way her parents watching her and taking subtle glances at each other was a clear indication to Charlie that she was doing a bad job at playing it cool. Wanting to get out of the house as quick as possible before either one of her parents questioned her on her upbeat mood; Charlie quickly grabbed her phone and her bag and walked hastily towards the front door.

"Right am off" she went to turn the door handle.

"Charlie... are you not going to have anything to eat before you go?" she turned to face her mum before looking up at the time.

Charlie had not been joking when she had told Brax that she wasn't a morning person, and having slept in longer than she had intended it was now 11:55, there was definitely no time for eating.

"Erm no that's fine I'll get something to eat later", she turned in an attempt to leave.

"Charlie..." this time it was her dad who had called after her

"Yh" she reluctantly turned once again, hoping he would be quick, she didn't want to keep Brax waiting, but most especially she wanted to spend as much time alone with Brax as possible before the others turned up.

"So these friends of yours that you are going to meet, they must be really nice" Ross paused looking at Charlie, who just simply nodded in agreement.

"So when are we going to get to meet them?"

Ross looked over at Charlie; he was far from convinced that she was going to meet her friends. Although he knew it was going to happen eventually, the thought of Charlie being involved with any guy scared the life out of Ross, the last thing he wanted was her getting hurt... again.

Charlie looked at her father, sometimes having a cop as a father really annoyed Charlie, for as long as she could remember he had always had the tendency to go into cop mode when he found himself in a situation that did not sit well with him. However Charlie knew that this time there was more reasoning behind his concern, she looked up at him and noticed the worried look that had settled on his face. Charlie smiled before replying her dad...

"Well I've only been here a week so they won't be coming over today, but I promise to bring them round to the house sometime soon". Charlie knew telling her parents about Brax would do more harm than good at this stage. It would send her dad into instant cop mode, she honestly wouldn't put it past him to do a background check on Brax, and her mum, well... she would probably go into overdrive protective parent mode.

Ross nodded "Ok then, don't stay out too late"

"I won't"

As Charlie opened her front door a voice stopped her in her tracks causing her to turn around one last time...

"Bye Lottie", Ruby looked up from the TV screen for the first time all morning, moving her attention from Dora the explorer to Charlie. Unlike Charlie, Ruby was definitely a morning person, and was usual up and out of bed by 7 most mornings. Charlie smiled at ruby...

"Bye Ruby", she turned around shutting the door behind her before proceeding to sprint towards the beach as it was now just a little past 12:00.


Brax sat on the beach waiting for Charlie; although he had only been waiting for up to five minutes he felt like he had been there for hours as he looked down at his phone once more. He had sent her a text earlier that morning telling her to come in her swimwear, but refused to tell her what he had planned. Looking up his face instantly lit up when he saw Charlie walking towards him with a smile that just about matched his own. Noticing that she was dressed in denim shorts and a yellow vest top, he swallowed heavily as he took in the sight of her tall slender tanned legs, her perfect shape and her beautiful brown hair that cascaded down her shoulders in light waves.

Walking towards the beach Charlie slowed down trying to catch her breath as she spotted Brax sitting a little further down looking at his phone. Taking in the sight of his upper body Charlie noticed that Brax's shirt did very little at hiding his well built body, Charlie instantly felt herself blushing. Tearing her eyes away from his chest Charlie realised Brax was now looking at her, causing her to smile.

"Hy you" Brax jumped to his feet instantly wrapping his arm around Charlie's waist. "I was beginning to think I had been stood up". He looked into Charlie's eyes as a smirk grew on his face.

Flashing him a smirk of her own Charlie replied "Well I was considering it... but being the nice person that I am I decided against it.

"Well... how about I repay you for your generosity" Brax winked.

Leaning in closer he kissed her softly before Charlie gently grabbed the back his neck, causing the kiss to deepen. Parting as they felt the need for air, Charlie smiled cheekily at brax...

"Well if that's the way you always show gratitude please remind me to be nice to you more often". Charlie leaned in to kiss Brax once more.

"Will do" brax smiled, his arms still around her waist.

Having been too preoccupied with all her attention focused on Brax, Charlie had failed to notice the surf board that was dug into the sand next to him. As the surf board finally caught Charlie's attention, she looked back at Brax...

"Is that yours?" she nudged her head towards the board, Charlie recalled Brax telling her how much he loved surfing the first day they had walked home from school together, but she was curious as to why he had brought his surf board with him. She wanted to spend time with him not watch him surf.

"Oh yh... that's kinda the surprise I had planned for you today".

Charlie looked at brax a little confused... "You want me to watch you surf"

Brax laughed lightly before replying "Nope", he looked up noticing the growing look of confusion on Charlie's face.

Looking over at the board then back at Brax who now displayed a big grin across his face, Charlie suddenly grasped what Brax was hinting at. She realised that him telling her to come in her swimwear wasn't because he just wanted them to go for a swim like she had thought.

The grin on Brax's face only grow wider as he noticed that Charlie had figured out what he had planned for them. Struggling to fight the urge to laugh at the change of expression on Charlie's face, he chuckled under his breath before speaking...


"No way, NO, I don't surf", Charlie looked at brax with a slightly horrified by the idea.

There was no way she was going to get on that board she thought to herself, first of all she had never surfed 'Ever', and secondly she was sure she was going to fail big time. Right now the last thing she wanted to do was embarrass herself in front of Brax a couple of days into their relationship, actual scratched that she would never want to embarrass herself in front of Brax regardless of how long they had been together for.

"Come on, I promise you will have fun", Brax tried to convince Charlie, if he was being honest teaching Charlie to surf was more of an excuse to be closer to Charlie and what better way to do that than come to her rescue as she fell of the board, which he was hoping would be a regular occurrence.

"No Brax, I can't" Charlie pouted... "I'm just gonna keep falling off the board, I don't have very good balance on solid ground as it is".

Brax chuckled "It doesn't matter, you might fall off a few times but I promise with me as your teacher you will soon get the hang of it", Brax gave Charlie a cheeky grin.

Charlie bit her both lip nervously "Yh but... it's gonna be so embarrassing, as am pretty sure am gonna fall flat on my face a number of times".

Brax released one of his arms from Charlie's waist as he raised his hand towards her face, cupping the side of her face in his hand, he suddenly realised why Charlie was being so hesitant about surfing.

"Charlie trust me, there is no embarrassing thing you could do that would make me like you or wanna be with you any less. If anything it would probably make me like you more if that's at all possible, plus I'm a sucker for a cluts". He smiled before leaning forward and planting a slow kiss on her lips.

"So what do you say... should we teach you how to surf?"

Charlie smiled at Brax before nodding her head. How could she possibly say no to him after that kiss, she was sure he knew what he was doing kissing her like that. Charlie loved how Brax could make her feel so good about herself, but hoped she could avoid making a complete fool of herself out there.

After practicing her balance on dry land for a few minutes, Brax decided it was time to put it into practice in the water.

"Are you sure I'm ready" Charlie looked at Brax as her nervous started to get the better of her.

"Yh... now come on, let's get out there so we can see how much of an excellent teacher I am". Brax had already taken of his shirt before making his way towards the water. Charlie watched on getting lost as she traced all the corners of his toned abs with her eyes, she felt herself flush a little before snapping herself out of her daydream. Charlie took of her shorts and vest top revealing the dark blue bikini she was wearing before making her way over to Brax.

Brax felt his heart rate pick up pace as he took in the sight of Charlie, he couldn't believe how beautiful his girlfriend was. He examined all parts of her body finding it a little hard to breathe as she got closer. As she closed in on him he noticed the faded scar just below her stomach, he quickly dismissed it as he got distracted by the rest of her body.

"Are you gonna keep staring at me, or teach me how to surf?" Charlie teased Brax as she noticed him looking at her with immense concentration.

"Both" Brax replied with a smirk.

Taking her hand in his Brax led Charlie into the water anxious to get the lesson started. Although she had managed to actually stay on the board a few times, Charlie didn't mind the other hundred times that she had fallen off as it usually resulted in some sort of bodily contact with Brax. Finally giving up on the surfing Charlie and Brax decided to do a bit of swimming, after Brax had taken his board back to where Charlie had left her things. They swam around for a while splashing each other with the water, but before long they where bobbing around in the water holding each other, as they indulged in several passionate kisses.

After about 20 minutes Charlie and Brax emerged out of the water walking to where they had left their things drying themselves off with their towels before settling down on the sand. Leaning into him, Charlie sat in between Brax's legs who now had his hands wrapped tightly around her waist pulling her closer to him. After talking and flirting for a short while they both sat in a comforting silence as they looked out into the beautiful water.

"You know you guys really should just get a room", Brax and Charlie both turned around simultaneously both letting out a quiet laugh as they saw Jack and Martha walking towards them Hand in hand, Jack held his surf board under his other arm with Bianca and Leah in tow.

Brax looked at Jack "Says you, are you and Martha ever not touching each other", he nodded towards their hands, causing all four of them to laugh.

After they all greeted each other, Brax asked after Miles, he was apparently busy doing something but failed to disclose what it was. Both Brax and Jack knew it was probably more to do with Leah being there than anything else. Miles had tried to spend as little time around Leah outside of school hours as possible hoping it would help him get over her. The guys all flopped down on the sand beside Brax and Charlie, noticing Charlie and Brax's wet hair Bianca turned to the both of them...

"You guys didn't just get here did you?"

Brax smirked slightly "What makes you say that?"

"Erm I don't know, maybe because you are both rocking wet hair".

Charlie giggled looking up at brax before facing Bianca... "No we actual got here a while ago, Brax wanted to teach me how to surf", she smiled softly as she remembered the time they had spent together before the others arrived.

Leah giggled "Well going by the smile on your face Charlie, you guys either got up to a little bit more than surfing, or you just happen to be a really good surfer".

Leah and the rest began laughing as brax smiled sheepishly and Charlie bowed her head trying to hide the fact that a heavy amount of blood had now rushed to her cheeks causing her to blush.

"I should have known when you told me we where meeting up at 1:30, I figured it was a little late in the day" said Jack as he had just about stopped laughing.

"So as Charlie worn you out or have you still got enough energy to go in for another surf", Jack looked at Brax.

"I am really tired; I mean TRYING to teach Charlie to surf really took it out of me, really hard work", he grinned as he looked down at Charlie who was still sat between his legs with her head resting on his chest.

"Hy"... Charlie hit Brax lightly on the arm as she flashed a mock hurt face, "I wasn't that bad, I think I was pretty good if I must say so myself".

Brax chuckled "I'm only joking and of cause you wasn't bad, you had me as your teacher after all", Charlie let out a small laugh.

He quickly kissed Charlie's head before getting up and grabbing his surf board, along with Jack as they headed towards the water. After a little while the girls decided they would all go in for a swim, Charlie was surprised that they all had their swimwear with them. Bianca took it upon herself to tell her that if ever they were gonna be anywhere near the beach they always wore their swimwear just in case. The girls got in the water as they all began splashing themselves playfully. Soon enough all four girls had directed all their attention towards Jack and Brax who were clearly competing against each other. However Charlie was paying very little attention if any at all to the surfing. She found herself too preoccupied with how hot brax looked on a board.

Catching Charlie's eyes on him, brax gave her a quick wink before directing his attention back on the surf. Once back on dry land the girls went over to the outdoor showers trying to wash the sand and salt water off them, before putting their cloths on and settling on the blanket that thankfully Leah and Martha had brought with them.

Bobbing up and down in the water as they sat on their boards, Jack looked over at his best friend who had been staring over at Charlie for a while...

"You really like her don't you?", Brax turned his attention to Jack


Nodding in Charlie direction Jack repeated his question, "Charlie you really like her don't you?"

Brax smiled as he looked over at Charlie who was in fits of giggles with the other girls, he had never liked any girl the way he liked Charlie, actual he had never shown any real interest in any girl before, but with Charlie it didn't matter that he had only known her a week, he felt like he had known her all his life. He couldn't believe how happy she made him, he couldn't believed how attached to her he had gotten in just a matter of days.

Refusing to look away from Charlie he replied "Yh I do, I like her a lot"

"Well I think she's good for you, don't think I've ever seen you this relaxed or happy before".

Brax smiled at Jack, he knew his best friend was right, he usually had very little to smile about considering how things were at home, but since Charlie he found himself worrying less and smiling more. Although he still worried a lot, mainly about his brothers, around Charlie he could put his problems to the back off his mind and just kick back.

"Well come on lover boy, we best get back, before Martha starts complaining about not being paid enough attention", Jack rolled his eyes before paddling to shore. Brax followed Jack as he laughed at his friends comment.

Reaching the girls both Brax and Jack bent down kissing their girlfriends, causing Bianca to roll her eyes dramatically.

"Do you guys wanna go get something to eat" Brax asked not taking his eyes off Charlie

"Wow brax anybody who couldn't see you would think you were talking to all of us and not just your girlfriend" said Bianca with a rather sarcastic look on her face.

They all laughed before Brax asked "So is that a yes or a no?" this time looking at Bianca

"That's better" said Bianca as she noticed he was looking at her as he spoke "and it's a yes, I am starving".

As the rest of the girls all agreed they were all hungry, Brax and Jack went to rinse off.

"Ok I am officially depressed, I need a boyfriend ASAP", Bianca moaned as the rest of the girls burst out into fits of laughter

"No I am being deadly serious, do you know how depressing it is watching everybody else, I mean Charlie you have been here a week... 'A WEEK' and you already have a boyfriend. What does a girl have to do to get a guys attention round here". This sent the girls into deeper fits off laughter as Bianca proceeded to pout.

Bianca looked over at Leah "I don't know why you're laughing; you're in the same boat as me".

"Bianca I may be single but unlike you I'm not complaining"

"Well you should be, you've been single since"... Bianca paused as she tried to thing back to the last time Leah had a boyfriend... "Wow I can't even remember the last time you had a boyfriend".

Leah looked sheepishly at the sand slightly embarrassed as the attention was now focused on her love life or to be more precise lack of it.

Noticing Leah's blushing cheeks, Charlie spoke up "I'm sure Leah is just waiting for the right person".

"Yh yh easy for you to say, you already found your right person", Bianca continued to pout.

Looking up at brax who was now making his way over back to them with Jack, she smiled...

"Yh I have found my right person haven't I"

Looking up Charlie noticed all the girls looking at her before they all giggled to one another.

Putting on their tops and grabbing their boards, Brax and Jack walked behind the girls, who were lost in conversation. Reaching the diner they sat in a table in the corner looking over the menu as they drooling over the extensive amount of choice in food. An hour and a half later they had all eaten and were now sat talking.

"Right we're gonna get going... Martha here wants us to go watch a nice movie back at hers", Jacks voice was less than enthusiastic, knowing too well she was about to force another one of her chick flicks on him.

Looking at Brax Jack rolled his eyes causing Brax to chuckle under his breath. "See you guys later", both Jack and Martha left the diner, shortly followed by Bianca and Leah. Although neither of them had anywhere urgent to be, Bianca had pointed out that three was a crowd and four was just plain invasion, unless it was two couples.

Charlie and Brax sat side by side talking for a while...

"So what do you wanna do... you don't have to get home yet do you" Brax looked at Charlie

"No I don't have to go home yet", Charlie didn't want to leave him just yet.

"I don't know... we can go to yours if you want?" Charlie looked at brax waiting for a response.

Having seen Charlie's house, although he hadn't seen the inside Brax knew that Charlie lived a very different life to his, he felt slightly embarrassment at the thought of taking her to his house, but with no excuse to give her he figured she had to see it at some point, so now was as good a time as any.

"Brax", Charlie pulled Brax out of his thought... "We don't have to go to yours if you don't want, we can do something else", Charlie looked at brax a little disappointed that he seemed hesitant to take her to his house, she wondered if he was too embarrassed of her and didn't want her to meet his mum.

Brax saw the look on Charlie face and quickly replied "No it's not that it's just... I don't live in the best looking area so..."

"Well this may come as a shock to you but I'm not going out with you because of where you live", Charlie let out a little giggle.

Brax smirked slightly "Ok... let's get going then". He reached out his hand pulling Charlie up from her seat onto her feet before they left the diner. Put one arm around Brax, Charlie entwined her hands in Brax's as he swung his arm over she shoulders.

Walking towards his house, Brax only hoped everything was still the same as he had left it that morning, but even more he hoped that his mother wasn't at home, the last thing he needed was her making a fool out of herself or embarrassing him in front of Charlie.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi guys thank you all for your comments, honestly love reading them. Really glad you guys are enjoying this story. Enjoy :)


Reaching Mangrove River, Charlie immediately noticed how different it was to Summer Bay. Scanning her surrounding Charlie instantly knew what Brax had meant when he said he didn't live in the best area. Although they had gone past a few descent streets, most of them looked un kept and worn out. However Charlie didn't care much for materialistic things. Looking up at Brax who had his eyes firmly focus on the path ahead of them she noticed the uneasy look on his face. Charlie only hoped that he didn't think any of this made a difference to her. In all honesty she adored him and there was very little if anything at all that could change that.

"Well here we are", Brax nodded to the house that stood in front of him and Charlie.

Charlie quickly scanned the outside of the house; she didn't understand why Brax had been so hesitant to bringing her here. Compared to the other houses they had passed, Brax's looked more than decent. Looking up at him once more, she could see that the uneasiness that he harboured all the way to the house was still there. She smiled lightly...

"So are you going to invite me in... you know it's rude to leave a girl out in the cold".

Looking down at Charlie for the first time since they entered Mangrove River, Brax stood there wondering how he had gotten so lucky. Despite the obvious rough street they had passed by (not much different from his), she still looked at him the same way she did this morning. Chuckling brax replied...

"It's not even cold"

"You know what I mean", Charlie hit him lightly on the arm before pulling him along making her way towards the front door.

Turning the key in the lock Brax felt his stomach drop at the sight of the house, he soon felt a flush of embarrassment wash throw him at the sight of his mum flopped down asleep on the couch surrounded by numerous empty beer bottles. Cursing under his breath as he went to turn around to Charlie who had yet said anything since they entered the house, his attention was immediately turned to the room down the hall as his little brothers cries filled the house. Rushing into Casey's room Brax quickly picked his brother out of his play pen, noticing the tears streaming down his face. Holding him close to his chest, Brax tried to calm Casey down.

"Hy Casey, it's ok it's ok, Brax is here...shhhh it's ok", Brax gripped Casey tighter to his chest as he began to calm down, soon the tears had ceased.

"You ok now?" Brax looked down as Casey heavy breathing had stop, and his head was now nested in Brax's shoulders. Refusing to realise his grip on his younger brother Brax turned around in an effort to make his way back into the lounge only to find Charlie standing behind him by the door.

Watching Brax sprint down the hall into the room where the cries had started crying from, Charlie briefly took in the scene in front of her. She realised that Brax hesitation to bring her to his house was more to do with his family rather than where he lived. Hearing Brax's voice, Charlie walked down the hall stopping at the room that he had entered. Leaning her head against the room's doorway, Charlie watched on as Brax held onto his younger brother trying to calm him down. Charlie couldn't help but smiled to herself as she saw how good Brax was with Casey. If it was at all possible she found herself falling deeper for him. Watching as he turned around she smiled up at him...

"Hy You Ok?"

"Yh, look I'm so sorry about this, you should probably get going, I'm gonna be a little busy for a while", Brax was beyond embarrassed that Charlie had seen his mum like that. Without saying anything Charlie walked over to Brax, "I have a better idea, how about I stick around and help you out a little..."

Brax quickly interrupted Charlie, "No Charlie, you don't have to do that, I can sort this out... it's my problem". Barely able to look at Charlie, Brax diverted his attention back to Casey.

"Brax I know I don't have to, but I want to", Charlie's attention was turned to Casey who was now staring at her as he tugged on Brax Shirt.


"Yh Case"

"Is that your fwiend", Casey pointed at Charlie.

"Yh Case, this is Charlie my friend".

"Hi Casey", Charlie looked at Casey who proceeded to hide his face in Brax's neck. Charlie looked up at Brax giving him a light smile... "So should we get started?", before Brax had the chance to reply her in an attempt to protest against her presence in the house at that present time, Charlie had already turned on her heels making her way back into the lounge.

Releasing his grip on Casey, Brax wiped the tears from Casey's eyes away with the back of his hand. "Hy Case, I'll be right back ok". Brax placed Casey back in his play pen placing his toys next to him, before leaving the room making his way into the lounge.

Looking up at Brax as he walked into the lounge, Charlie put the empty beer bottle down on the kitchen counter with the rest that bottles she had picked off the floor. "I was hoping you would help me", said Charlie sarcastically, smiling over at him.

Brax didn't respond instead he walked over to where she was stood; cupping her face in both his hands he leaned forward placing a light kiss on her lips.

"What was that for... not that I'm complaining"

Brax chuckled faintly "It's just my way of saying thank you"

Stroking the side of his face Charlie replied "There nothing to thank me for... but if you feel like thanking me regularly I promise I won't stop you".

Brax let out a small grin before kissing her again.

"Right let's get Cracking", Charlie pulled away from Brax as she returned to retrieving the beer bottles that were scattered round the lounge.

Before grabbing an empty bin bag, Brax watched Charlie attentively as she worked her way up and down the lounge. He thanked whatever force had brought her to him. For the first time in a long time he didn't have to deal with his problems on his own, he had someone there to help him out; he had someone he could count on. He had never been as thankful as he was in that moment to have someone, especially her in his life.

45 minutes later and the house was spotless, they had cleared out all the rubbish, Charlie had hovered but not before much objection from brax, who eventually gave in. Brax had managed to get his mother into her room but not before she throw up all over the bathroom floor, although she had woken for a brief moment she was still drunk and failed to notice Charlie's Presence. Brax and Charlie were now settled down on the settee with Casey sitting between them, Casey giggled basking in the joy of being the centre of attention.

"Wow you most really like her if you're introducing her to the family already", Heath walked through the front door heading straight for the kitchen.

"Hi Heath", Charlie looked over to him, before refocusing her attention back on Casey who was already pouting at the lack of attention he was now receiving.

Walking out of the kitchen with a bottle of juice, Heath looked around noticing for the first time how clean the house was. Although Brax usually cleared up it had never looked this clean before.

"Bro you putting her to work already? cause I know the state of this house is not your doing"

"Shut up Heath", Brax turned giving his brother a warning look.

Charlie just chuckled under her breathe, she was getting used to the banter that transpired between the two brothers, to be honest she found it very amusing. Looking at her phone, Charlie noticed it was 6.30 and decided it was probably best to get going, given that she had a 25 minute walk back to her house she figured if she left now she could get home before it got dark.

"Brax I should probably get going" said Charlie as she stood up from the settee

"Ok, Heath wait here with Casey", Brax stood up grabbing his shoes.

Charlie looked at Brax "What you doing?"

"You didn't think I was going to let you walk home by yourself did you?" Brax made his way towards the door... "Come on then"

"You don't have to walk me; I pretty much remember how we got here"

"I want to now come on", Brax stretched his hand out as Charlie grabbed hold of it. Turning to face Heath and Casey who where both sat on the settee, Charlie said her goodbyes.

"Bye Casey"

"Bye Chawie", Casey turned his attention to Charlie before making his way over to his toys

"Cya Heath"

"Yh cya, and next time you come over I wouldnt mind a nice cooked meal too", Heath smirked at Charlie ignoring the warning Brax was shooting him with his eyes

Walking towards the front door charlie responded "Unless you wanna end up in intensive care you wouldnt want me cooking for you", Heath let out a small laughter

Brax turned to Charlie "well in that case please please cook for him", Brax grinned as Charlie hit him lightly against the chest as they both walked out the front door

"I know I said it before but thanks for today", Brax tighten his grip on Charlie as they walked down the street of Mangrove River

"And like I said before you don't have to thank me, plus when you come over to mine you will probably end up helping me clear up Ruby's mess".

"Who's Ruby?" Brax looked over at Charlie

Cursing silently, Charlie kicked herself mentally as she had forgotten that she had not yet mentioned Ruby to Brax. Keeping her gaze firmly ahead of her she replied...

"She's my erm... sister"

"Sister", Bra repeated a little surprised that she hadn't mentioned Ruby Before

"Yh sister"

"Sorry it's just I didn't know you had a sister", Brax suddenly noticed how little he actually knew about Charlie and her family.

"So is it just you and Ruby or..."

"Yh, it's just me and ruby and my mum and dad of course". Charlie silently hoped that Brax would leave the subject there, if only she was so lucky

"How old is she" asked Brax

"She's three"

"Oh ok same age as Case"

"Yh" Charlie forced a brief smile as she looked up at Brax.

Thanking her stars, Charlie noticed they had reached summer bay and they were now only a couple of minutes away from here house.

"Brax you should probably be getting back to Casey and Heath, I promise I'm ok to walk the rest of the way alone".

"Are you sure?" asked Brax

"Yh I am, its only two minutes"

"Ok, I'll call you when I get back... yh", Brax leaned in placing a lingering kiss on Charlie's lips

"Ok... bye", Charlie looked back once more as she walked towards her house catching brax eye as he winked at her before turning around and leaving.

Although he had picked up on her odd behaviour when they had been talking about her family most especially about Ruby, Brax knew that it was best to not bring it up. He knew what it felt like to not want to discuss family. However he couldn't help but feel it had something to do with why she had been crying on the beach a few days earlier and why her eyes had been so dull the first time he saw her. Picking up his pace he figured he would let it be. she would let him in when she was ready.



Charlie was now truly settled in Summer Bay, She had found incredible friends and most of all an incredible boyfriend. Charlie felt like her life was never more perfect as it was now. She had found something good in Brax; even though she could see it was hard for him he had told her about his dad. Charlie found herself looking at her boyfriend in adoration. Regardless of the crap that life had dealt him at times, she never once saw any weakness in him. Thinking of her own situation, both her past and present she felt guilty that she didn't have the courage to do what Brax had done for her and let him in completely. Surely not telling him was for the best, for Charlie the lie was far better than the truth. This lie was now her reality, telling Brax would only complicate that. For the first time in what felt like forever she was part of something good, Summer Bay had given her a second chance at happiness and she refused to let her past take that away from her. Even if she wanted to tell Brax, there was no way she could do that now or ever, not after he had told her about his dad and how he had just upped and left. Charlie was sure that Brax would hate her if he ever found out, she couldn't let that happen he was the one thing keeping her going. Although she thought about how selfish she was being she didn't care, she couldn't risk ever losing him.

"Mum, Dad, we're here", Charlie opened her front door walking into the house hand in hand with Brax. Although she would never admit it Charlie was a little nervous. Having told her mum and dad about Brax a few weeks ago, she had sensed her father's uneasiness. Although her mum had also been worried she had meet Brax a few times since then, and seemed to like him. However Charlie knew that given her history her dad would not be so easily won over. Both Charlie and Elise had done their best to convince her dad that Brax was a good guy before having him come to dinner in hopes that Ross didn't turn what was meant to be a nice relaxed dinner into an interrogation session.

"We're in here", Charlie started following the direction her mother's voice had come from, before Ruby came running out of the kitchen. Although brax and Ruby had only met a couple of times she seemed to really like him.

"Bwax", Charlie looked down at Ruby who was now stood in front of Brax with her arms held up waiting for him to pick her up.

"Hi Ruby", Brax picked Ruby up proceeding to tickling her as she let out fits of giggle. Brax was still amazed at how similar Ruby was to Charlie. He swore he had never seen such close resembles between siblings before. Her smile, her eyes, even the way she laughed they were literally carbon copies of Charlie's.

"Well I guess I'm just not important enough to get any attention", Charlie feigned a hurt face as she lightly tugged at Ruby's dress.

"Hi Lottie", Ruby instantly directed her attention back to Brax, causing him to laugh lightly.

"What can I say it must be my undeniable charm", Brax grinned over at Charlie as he gave her a quick wink.

Hitting Brax on the arm Charlie looked up at him...

Yh well if you don't tone that charm of yours down, my dad is going to realise you have already been here before". Charlie and Elise had decided it was best not to tell Ross that Brax had been round to visit a number of times before that day. Being a cop both Charlie and Elise knew he had the ability to use the slightest bit of information against anyone.

"Hi mum, hi dad", Charlie walked into the kitchen followed by Brax who had now placed Ruby on the floor.

Although acknowledging Charlie's presence Ross had his eye firmly fixed on Brax. Noticing how intensively her dad was looking at Brax, Charlie quickly spoke up...

"Dad this is Brax".

"Hi Mr and Mrs Buckton"

"Hi Brax, how are you?" Elise looked over at Brax

"I'm fine thanks" Brax flashed a small smile.

Both Charlie and Elise looked over at Ross who was yet to say anything, looking back at each other Elise and Charlie thought the same thing; this was going to be a long night.

"Why don't you guys go and take a seat in the lounge the food will be ready in a minute" said Elise.

Before her mum had even finished talking Charlie had already started making her way out of the kitchen dragging Brax along with her.

"Sorry about my dad, he just gets a little over protective"

"That's fine, I get it". If Brax was being honest with himself, he didn't get it. Neither of his parents had ever cared enough to protect him, he admired Charlie's dad however it didn't mean the man didn't make him a little nervous. He had been taken home to meet any girl's parents before never mind a girl's parent that also happened to be a cop.

Looking over at Bra x, Charlie giggled to herself she noticed the distance he had created between them as they sat on the settee. She knew him to well to know that even though he was trying to play it cool, in actual fact he was probably more nervous than she was.

"Do I smell or something?" Charlie couldn't help but tease him a little.

"What", Brax looked over at Charlie

Nodding her head to where he was sat "You sitting so far away, anyone would think I was giving off some sort of bad odour".

Chuckling nervously Brax rubbed the back of his head with the palm of his hand.

"Dinner is ready guys", Elise smiled over at the two of them as she placed the food in the dining table followed by Ross.

Sitting down at the dining table, they had been eating for about 20 minutes still Ross had not said a word. The only constant voice was that of Elise who was doing her best to make up for Ross's silence. After a few more minutes the awkward silence returned and the only voice was that of Ruby sat in her high chair playing with the rest of her food.

"So Daryl", everyone's head shot up at the sound of Ross's voice.

Brax stuttered for a few seconds before regaining the art of speech, no one apart from his mum ever called him Daryl.

"Yes Mr Buckton", Brax looked over at the man who was now burning a hole through him with his eyes.

"Tell me a little about yourself... what you like doing... any criminal records..."

Elise glared up at Ross as Charlie choked on her drink and began coughing dramatically. Never did she think her dad would ask him that. She instantly looked over at Brax apologetically, thinking at least he hadn't already done a background check on him.

A little caught off guard by Ross question Brax looked at him...

"Well, I live with my mum and two brothers in Mangrove River, I get decent grades at school, and I have two part time Jobs and no sir... I don't have a criminal record". Brax smiled as Charlie squeezed his hand lightly.

"Two Jobs", Ross raised one eyebrow

"Yes sir two jobs"

"Doesn't that interfere with your studies?" Ross ignored Charlie's glare determined to continue with his inquires.

"I manage ok... it's only a few times a week so usually use my other free days to get some study done".

"Right..." Ross paused; he wondered why a seventeen year old boy would possibly need two jobs

"How about your mum and dad don't they work?", Ross noticed the uneasy look on Charlie's face when he had answered that question, and by the look on Brax face he knew there was something more to the situation, but it was too late to take the question back, to be honest he was curious and wanted to know.

"Ermmm... my dad isn't around anymore, and my mum, she ermmm... doesn't make enough for us all to live on", Brax kept his eye fixed on the almost empty plate in front of him.

"Oh ok"... Ross noticed the sudden change in the atmosphere... "well am sorry to hear about your dad, must have been difficult for you losing your dad". Ross had made the assumption that Brax had meant that his dad had passed away, picking up on this Brax figured it was best to clear the confusion...

"Oh no, he isn't dead... he just isn't around"... noticing the confused look on Ross face he continued... "He erm, he... left us a few years ago, and just never came back".

Feeling the death stares that not only Charlie but also Elise was now passing him, for the first time since he had started talking Ross wished he had just kept his mouth shut. Looking over at Brax he felt bad as he noticed that the young boy was now beyond uncomfortable, he felt he had to try and rectify the awkward atmosphere he had single handedly created...

"Well I must say you seem like a really nice young man, I'm sure your father would be proud of you wherever he his".

Looking up brax smiled before answering "Thank you".

Needing to change the mood that her husband had perfectly managed to create Elise spoke up...

"So who would like some dessert? I made some lemon tart"

"Ruby want some, ruby want some", turning around everyone laughed as they noticed Ruby for what was probably the first time during that awkward dinner, who was now clapping her hands together excitedly at the thought of getting some dessert. The three year old girl had managed to distract everyone causing them all to relax a little.

The rest of the evening was a lot more relaxed than it had started, Ross had seemed to warm up to Brax, and Brax's nervous seemed to have disappeared. Ross had also noticed how good he was with Ruby putting it down to the fact that he had previously mentioned that he had two brothers of his own. After a while Brax decided it was time for him to leave, telling Ross and Elise that he didn't want his mum to start worrying. However he knew that Charlie knew better, he had to get home as he was soon due to pick Casey up from Mrs Kennedy's house, and heath was alone and he knew his brother couldn't handle his mother as well as he could.

"Bye brax, hope you come around again soon", Elise turned on her seat looking at him

"Thanks Mrs Buckton and Thank you for having me"

"Anytime", Ross smiled over at Brax as he spoke

Brax nodded "Bye Mr Buckton"

Walking towards the front door, with Charlie in tow, Brax looks down at Ruby

"Bye Ruby"

Smiling up at him Ruby waved her hands aggressively "Bye Bwax"

Walking past her he ruffled her hair before opening the door stepping outside before turning to Charlie...

"I'll see you tomorrow" he leans in and gives her a quick kiss

"Are you sure you don't want me to walk you"

"No its fine, I wanna get home as quick as possible and you would only distract me", he looked at Charlie flashing a cheeky grin.

"Ok see you tomorrow, and hy am sorry about earlier... you know my dad"

"It's ok; he's just looking out for you..." he leans in and kisses her again



Charlie watches him for a while before closing the door behind her. She was more than thankful that the night hadn't been a complete disaster. Although her dad had but his royal foot in it she couldn't be angry at him, the last time he had trusted someone with her it had blown up in all their faces. But knowing her dad Charlie knew if she didn't make her way to her room now, he would begin to interrogate her on the questions she knew he still had.


Having gotten a call about a drunk and disorderly Ross had been sent down to dissolve the situation. On reaching the pub in Mangrove River it wasn't hard for Ross to identify who the call had been made out for. Sitting on the pavement was a thin looking women sloughed down on her side as she poured abuse to ever passing person. Looking at the man that was trying to peel her off the pavement Ross figured it was best to talk to him instead.

"I'm guessing this is who the call was made out for", Ross looked up at the man

"Yh it is, been trying to get her to leave or even get her home but she wont budge and customers are starting to complain".

"Ok... what's her name", asked the other officer that had accompanied Ross down.

"Cheryl, Cheryl Braxton... she lives just a few blocks down from here", the man nodded his head down the street.

Ross immediately recognised the woman's surname. He remembered Elise addressing Brax as Daryl Braxton when Charlie had just told them about him. He momentarily shrugged it off telling himself there must be dozens of people in Mangrove River baring the same surname.

Ross looked up at the man "Well could you please give us her address so we can get her back to her house".

As the man proceeded to giving the other police officer her address, Ross moved closer to Cheryl in an attempt to pick her up. She may have been slim but she certainly did not lack in strength. After several tries of trying to get her on her feet Ross and the other officer held her up at either end before putting Cheryl in the police car, as she put up a struggle.

Reaching the address that the man had given them Ross and the police officer carried Cheryl out of the car as they made their way towards the front door. Ross stood in shock for a while at seeing that Brax had been the one to open the front door, holding a little boy who he guessed was one if his younger brothers in his hand.

In that moment Brax couldn't think of anything better than to have the ground open up and swallow him whole. Seeing Ross standing in front of him with his mother who was clearly wasted was enough to make him start drinking.

"Do you know this woman", Brax turned to look at the other officer who had spoke.

"Ermmm... yh she's my mum".

"Well we got a complaint of a drunk and disorderly, and thought it best if we brought her back home".

"Yh thank"... Brax placed Casey on the floor as he directed them towards the couch. Turning back to Casey Brax picked him up and took him to his room

"Hy Case can you play in your room for a while, Brax just has to sort something out ok". Casey just simply nodded as Brax entered the room and placed him in him play pen.

Ross still hadn't said a word, he couldn't believe that with no father around this is the kind of person Brax had as a mum. It all became clear to him why Brax had two jobs, and looking at the way he was with his brother, he also knew why he had been so good with Ruby the other day at dinner.

Walking back into the lounge Brax looked over at his mum then back at Ross and the officer...

"Thank you again for bringing her home and I'm really sorry for your wasted time"

"It's no trouble", Ross smiled over at Brax who just simply nodded.

"Well we'll leave you to it" said the other officer as he made his way towards the door, with Ross following behind him.

Walking out the door Ross stopped and turned around to brax, as the other officer entered the car...

"You're a really good Kid you know... and if you ever want to talk, I've been known to be a really good listener".

"Thank you Mr Buckton", Brax gave him a light smile, as Ross nodded and made his way back to the car.

For the rest for that day Ross found that he had replayed what had happened with Brax and Cheryl earlier that day a million times over in his head. He didn't understand how a boy of Brax age could have all that responsibility and still be as kept together as he was. He replayed the dinner that had happened a week ago in his head, now feeling guilty for having brought up the subject of his mum and dad, he could only imagine how Brax must have felt. He was now in admiration of the young boy, and he hoped that Charlie having someone like that in her life could not possibly hurt her but make her stronger.

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"Do you think she'll like it?" Brax looked over at Jack as they walked back from Yabby Creak

"Erm sure", Jack didn't know anything about jewellery, ask him about a car and you would get a detailed response.

"She will love it Brax trust me", Martha had tagged along knowing full well how hopeless Jack was at this stuff and guessed Brax was the same.

"Right best get going, seeing as I'm only taking her to the beach; don't want to be late as well". Saying goodbye to Martha and Jack, Brax turned in the direction of Charlie's house.


Hi Mr Buckton, I Just came to pick Charlie up"

"Hy Brax come in". Ross nodded towards the living room shutting the door behind him.

"Hy Brax you ok", Elise turned around to face Brax

"Hi Mrs Buckton, Yh I'm fine thanks just picking up the Birthday girl"

Charlie walked out of her room Ruby in tow "Lottie birthday", Charlie laughed as she walked towards Brax, "She has been saying that all morning".

"Hi Bwax", Ruby waved over at him as she took her regular seat next to her toys

"Hi Ruby", Brax crouched down to tickle her causes her to giggle dramatically.

Standing back to his feet he turned to face Charlie, "So you ready to go?"

"Yep, guys we'll see you later", Charlie lead Brax towards the front door

"Brax you still coming for dinner tonight?" asked Elise

"Yes I am", responded Brax as Charlie pulled him out the front door

"You guys have fun", Elise shouted out but they were already gone.

Grabbing his board from outside the house where he had left it Brax and Charlie walked hand in hand towards the beach.

"Hy are you sure you don't mind that we're just hanging out today, I mean it is your Birthday so..."

"As long as I'm with you I don't mind what we do", Charlie smiled over at Brax as she tightened her grip on his hand.


"Ok I give up", Charlie waddled towards dry land before Brax wrapped his arms around her from behind as he tried to control his laughter

"Aww babe you're not that bad", Brax tried desperately to resume a serious face but failed miserably as he fought hard to hold back the laughter

"Yh not that bad, that why you're in fits of laughter", Charlie turned to look at Brax who had now managed to contain his laughter

"I'm sorry it's just that last fall was something hey", thinking back to how Charlie had almost caught the wave but feel down bum first as she let her excitement get the best of her, Brax couldn't help but begin to laugh again.

Charlie looked on as her boyfriend laughed on at her expense, before swimming back towards the board determined more than ever to catch a wave if not for anything to stop Brax's hysterical laughter. Brax watched as she waddled towards the board knowing exactly what she was going to go and do. He knew her to well to know that she wasn't going to give up, especially since she now wanted to prove to him that she actually could do it. Watching her as she stop up on the board as the wave caught up with her, Brax looked on in amazement as she actually managed to stay on the board for longer than she had ever done before. Wolf whistling as she waddled towards him, Brax could see the big grin that was now plastered on Charlie's face,

"See I told you, you could do it"

"Yh no thanks to you", Charlie splashed a bit of water in his direction.

"I beg to differ, it's obvious that my teaching skills have improved", Brax flashed a smirk as he pulled her closer by her waist. "Seeing as I'm obviously such a good teacher I think I should probably start charging" Brax pulled her in even closer closing the little distance that was once between them.

"And how much would you want paying?" Charlie flashed him her own smirk as she played along knowing full well what he was indicating

"Well because I'm nice I won't ask for your money"

"No? so how can I possibly pay you", Charlie knew exactly what she was doing, and instead of giving her a response, Brax simply leaned in pressing his lips against her.

Charlie pulled back "oh that's how you want paying", Brax just simply nodded moving his lips back towards hers but before they could meet Charlie ran her hands through the water splashing him in the face before swimming off as fast as she could.

"Oh you are going to pay for that", Brax swam after her with speed and was soon on her tail.

Stopping as she bobbed up and down in the water, Charlie knew she wasn't fast enough for Brax and waved her hands up indicating that she was surrendering. Swimming up to her Brax once again pulled her in close trying to catch his breath as Charlie was in fits of laughter. Tightening his grip around her waist Brax looked at Charlie,

"Try and escape now"

"Why would I want to escape", Charlie wrapped her hands subtly around his neck pulling him gently into a passionate kiss. Breaking away for air Brax looked at Charlie, as she held the grin on her face

"This is your way of distracting me isn't, so I don't get you back", Brax knew Charlie more than she thought

"Is it working?" Charlie smirked cheekily, however instead of greeting her with a verbal response Brax simply pulled her back into the kiss, welcoming the warm grip of her lips against his

Finally out of the water Charlie and Brax where now sat on the sand,

"Hy I got you something, it's nothing flashy but..." Brax pulled out a black box from the pocket in his shorts handing it over to Charlie. Readjusting her position between Brax legs Charlie sat up taking the small box from his hand. Looking up at him she couldn't help but smile, she knew money wasn't something that came Brax's way with ease, that fact only made the present all that more special.

"Brax you didn't have to..." As if knowing what she was going to say before her lips parted way, Brax discontinued her train of speech with his own voice

"I wanted to... go on open it"

Charlie opened the black box and there, inside was a silver bracelet with a heart pendant dangling down the middle. "Brax it Beautiful", Charlie eagerly took the bracelet out of the box; she gasped as she read the engraving on the inside of the pendant 'I love you. Brax x'

Charlie looked up at Brax slightly shocked; she looked down at the pendant again reading the words slower just to make sure she hadn't read it wrong the first time. Catching the shocked look on her face, Brax leaned forward placing his hand under her chin as he brought her head up till their eyes were parallel

"I mean it, I love you", Brax looked down at Charlie who still harboured the same shocked expression. Soon enough a smile crept up onto her face as she slowly turned her whole body around now facing Brax. A single tear fell from her eye as she tenderly placed a light but ever so powerful kiss on his lips.

"What's wrong...I", Brax felt a rush of confusion wash over him as he lightly brushed his thumb over Charlie's cheek taking her tear with him.

"Nothing's wrong I just...I love you too", Charlie smiled up at him before she leaned up and kissed him again. Pulling away from the Kiss Charlie smiled against Brax's lips as he pulled her in closer prolonging the kiss.

"Will you help me put it on?" Charlie held the bracelet towards Brax.

Now sat back between Brax legs Charlie rested her head against his chest as she admired the bracelet that now hung around her wrist. For the first time in her life she was in love and this wonderful person loved her back, surely it couldn't get any better than this.


That was really good Mrs Buckton, and thanks again for letting me bring Casey and Heath over", Brax smiled over at Elise before looking at Casey who was now happily playing in the corner of the room with Ruby

"That's fine... plus him and Ruby get along well"... looking over at Ross and Heath who where now in some sort of debate, Elise leaned into Brax before whispering, "and I think Ross as taken to Heath, finally found someone to challenge him", Elise smiled over at Brax before getting up as she proceeded to clear the table.

"I can help with that", Brax got up from the dining table as he went to help clear up the plates

"No Brax that's ok plus Ross was just about to help... wasn't he" Elise looked over at Ross with a raised eyebrow

"I was?" Ross questioned as he looked up at Elise, "Err... yh I was", he quickly got up helping her clear the plates as Charlie and Brax walked over to the settee.

Charlie got up from the dining table pulling Brax along with her as she settled onto the couch in front of the TV.

Diverting his glance quickly in the direction of Elise and Ross, Brax looked over at Ruby and Casey and then at his brother who was now sat in the smaller couch, he looked down at Charlie as she nested her head into his chest. Brax couldn't help but smile. He had always wondered what it would be like to have a 'normal' family, one where the dad was around, the mum wasn't a drunk and they all got along and ate together but he had long given up on that fantasy. But now here he was living it, they may not have been his direct family but they had let him in and now treated him with more respect and care than his own mother had ever done. He was grateful to both Ross and Elise but most of all grateful to Charlie. She had not only given him her love but also a chance to be part of something that had once been a mere dream. They had not only accepted him but also his brothers, Elise had taken care of Casey a number of times since him and Charlie started dating, and Brax was happy that Elise had shown Casey some of the love and care that their mother had never shown him, and Heath well every time him and Ross were in the same room that always seemed to get lost in some sort of debate. Brax knew that although Heath never spoke of their father he missed him, but he could tell that Ross's presence in his life was definitely having a positive impact on his brother. Looking over at Heath, Brax couldn't remember the last time Heath had been in trouble. He looked down at Charlie before placing a kiss on her head and pulling her closer to him.

"So glad that's over", Heath sighed as the film came to an end, while Ross and Brax nodded fiercely in agreement. Charlie and Elise both let out small giggles at the expression on the guys faces.

"Did you guys not like the film?", Charlie laughed a little louder knowing full well that both her Dad and Brax hated chick flicks and it was now evident that so did Heath although she never doubted it.

Heath scoffed under his breath as Brax let out a slight chuckle knowing full well that she was mocking them. Ross looked over at his daughter shaking his head at her mocking tone.

Looking over at Casey and Ruby before looking up at the time Brax figured it was probably time to get going home, plus he needed to make sure his mum was ok.

Noticing Brax glance at the clock hanging against the wall and the worried look that was now slightly expressed on his face, Ross knew that Brax would be worried about his mother. Having gotten several complaints about her at the station over the past month, he had had the pleasure of taking her home more than once each time she had managed to drink herself to a stoop. Having gotten to know Brax a lot better he knew that he probably didn't allow his younger brother deal with their mothers mess which meant he was left to do it all by himself. Ross couldn't help but respect the young boy that sat before him. But more than anything else Ross saw that Brax had managed to do what everyone had failed at over the last four years and that was to make Charlie happy. Ross looked at his daughter and smiled, he couldn't believe how alike she was to her old self, the happy funny and adorable girl she was before that night, and for that reason alone he had more than enough reason to be grateful to Brax, he had return his little girl back to him.

"We should probably get going home, get him over there to bed", Brax nodded towards Casey who was now sat next to ruby on the couch.

Elise nudged Ross in the elbow as she looked up at Brax snapping Ross out of his trance. Ross followed Brax's suit and stood up from his seat "Ok let's go", Ross walked over to the side table. Noticing the confused look on Brax face he continued... "You didn't think I was going to let you guys walk home at this time of the night".

"It's really not a problem it's only a few minute's walk", Brax walked over to a sleepy Casey as he picked him up in his arms.

"Casey going?" Ruby looked up at brax with her tired eyes

"Yh Ruby Casey going", Brax replied as he ruffled ruby hair softly.

"Bye Casey", Ruby lightly waved at Casey as he looked down at her

"Bye Wuby", Casey nested his head against Brax shoulders

"Well I would feel better if I dropped you guys off, and plus Elise would probably lynch me in my sleep if I let you guys walk home never mind letting Casey out into the nights cold. Trust me this is as much about my safety as it is yours".

Brax laughed lightly before nodding "thank you".

Heath got up from his seat following behind Brax and Ross as they made their way towards the front door.

"Thank you Mrs Buckton for tonight", Brax turned around looking at Elise

"It was nothing and please I have told you before call me Elsie", Elise smiled over at Brax before turning to Heath. "Hope you had a good time too Heath".

Heath nodded "Yes I did thanks... well apart from the chick flick" Charlie and Elise instantly looked at each other laughing.

"How about next time you pick the movie", asked Elise

Heath smiled over at Elise Glad that there would be a next time... "Deal" he replied walking out the door towards the car.

Brax chuckled at the conversation before turning to Charlie and placing a kiss on her head "See you tomorrow"

Leaning into to kiss Charlie smiled before pulling away... "See you tomorrow".

Brax sent a smile Elise's way before making his way over to the car to Heath and Ross.

Closing the door Elise looked over at Charlie as she made her way back in to the lounge. She stop in her tracks as she saw Charlie bent down in front of a now sleeping Ruby as she stroked the side of her face. Elise felt a tear roll down her face as she saw the love that her daughter clearly had for Ruby. Watching Charlie as she picked Ruby up guiding her towards her room, Elise knew in that moment that whatever choice her and Ross had taken all those years ago was the wrong one. But even with the realisation that Charlie still felt pain, she had also seen her daughter really laughing and truly happy over the past few weeks. Knowing it had a lot to do with Brax's presence, she thanked the force that moved them to Summer Bay and brought back the daughter she lost all four years ago.


"Thanks Mr Buckton", Brax got out of the car picking up a new sleeping Casey

"That's fine and its Ross... ok", Ross smiled over at Brax

Brax nodded as he walked towards his front door

"Thanks" Heath looked over at Ross before following Brax towards the house Ross nodded in recognition of Heaths gratitude as he watched the boys enter the house before driving away. He hoped that Cheryl wouldn't have the boy's end what had been a great day on a sour note.


Heath walked straight into the kitchen swinging open the fridge. Brax looked over at him as he walked into Casey's room placing him down on the bed before walking back into the lounge. Looking at Heath again as he scoffed down some pasta that was in the fridge Brax shock his head

"Seriously how can you possibly still eat anything after everything you put away at Charlie's", Brax walked past Heath as his eye caught glimpse of a note that sat on the kitchen counter.

"Whatever", Heath scoffed at Brax with a full mouth... "You can't talk did you see how much you had back there, you would think if you wanted to keep Charlie as your girlfriend you would have shown a bit more class". Heath continued to ramble on but soon realised that he no longer had Brax's attention. Looking down at what Brax was holding in his hand, heath looked back up at his brother's face and knew instantly that whatever it was that had Brax so undoubtedly shaken up was not going to be good for any of them.

"Brax what is it", Heath put down the bowl of pasta walking over to Brax. Every time something bad happened it somehow always lead back to their mother, Heath wasn't sure he wanted to know what was wrong but knew he couldn't avoid it forever.

"Brax", He called more strongly this time.

As Brax looked up from the note, Heath couldn't recognise the look in his eye, it wasn't a look he was familiar with and that only scared him the more. Giving Brax a pressing look urging him to speak Brax shifted his attention back down to the note...

"She... she's gone", Brax dropped the note on the counter

Heath looked at Brax not sure what he meant, "What do you mean she's gone, gone where?"

"SHES'S GONE HEATH", Brax spat the words at his brother before placing his head in both his hands, he continued trying his best to calm himself down "She's gone and she's not coming back".

"What do you mean not coming back", Heath picked up the note and read it before looking up at Brax finally grasping what his brother had been telling him. "She's gone" said Heath trying to take in what his mother had just done. He knew she wasn't the best mother out there, he wasn't even sure if she qualified as a mother but this, how could she just leave them, how could she just leave him, did she really not care.

Looking up at his brother Brax could clearly see the hurt and confusion on his face, readjusting his face in an attempt to be strong and support his brother Brax put his hand on Heaths shoulder.

"Its gonna be fine, us boys on our own we'll have a top time", Brax smiled weakly at Heath hoping he had provided him some sort of comfort.

Heath looked up at his brother "Yh yh we will", he knew what Brax was trying to do and appreciated it.

Brax nodded as he walked off to his room, watching him Heath's smile disappeared he knew his mum going may affect all three of them but he knew that the person who would be hit the most would be Brax. Brax taking care of them was hard enough when their mother was there to help in the slightest bit but now it was just the three of them. He worried that this would be too much for his brother to handle. Brax had always been the Glue that held them all together, Heath didn't Know what he would do if Brax Broke down now. He needed him Casey needed him. Heath walked off into his room unable to stop thinking about how their mother's selfishness was going to change everything.


Sat on the edge of his bed Brax held his head in his hands. How could she do this, what was she thinking. How was he supposed to this by himself? She may not have been there all the time but he needed her, the boys needed her. How was he gonna explain to Casey why his mum was no longer around. Brax sat there wondering how such a great day had ended so badly. Even though she didn't deserve it Brax couldn't help but worry about his mother hoping she was ok. Then he thought of Heath and how this would affect him hoping that he wouldn't go back to his trouble making ways. He sighed heavily as his mind approached overload. Getting undressed and into his bed Brax lay his head down, eyes wide open as he now found himself age eighteen and sole carer of a three year old and a nearly sixteen year old boy. His life just went from challenging to plain and simply difficult and frustrating in a matter of minutes.

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thank you guys for the lovely comments so glad you are enjoying this story and thanks to those who take time out to read it. here is the next chapter. enjoy :)


"Hy Brax it's me again, hope you're ok... Call me", Charlie had now left another message on Brax's phone making it her fifth. She was starting to get worried, not only was he not picking his phone but he had also been a no show in school that day. Charlie knew something wasn't quite right, and Heath doing his best to avoid her at school the whole day only made her more anxious...

"Charlie stop worrying I'm sure he's fine... probably just not feeling too good" Martha tried to calm Charlie as she could see the worry growing significantly on her face.

"If he's fine why is he not picking up his phone", Charlie looked up at Martha then at Jack only now realising by the expression on Jacks face that he knew what was going on. "Jack what are you not telling me I just wanna know what's going on?"

"Charlie I don't know..."

Not letting Jack finish his sentence Charlie stopped turning to face him, "Please I just wanna know why he is avoiding me, did I do something wrong". Charlie couldn't understand how just yesterday everything seemed perfect and now it felt as if he was going out of his way to avoid her. "If I've done something wrong..."

"No I promise its nothing about you, I can't tell you wants wrong but he's fine I'm sure he will call you back soon", Jack was doing his best to keep Charlie's mind at rest but he knew it also wasn't his place to tell her. Thinking about what Cheryl had done Jack couldn't help but feel sorry for his best friend and even a scent of bitterness towards Cheryl. He had gone round that morning to help Brax with a few things before he headed off to school, although he was going to see Brax he wasn't sure if he should tell Charlie not knowing whether Brax would want Charlie there or not.

Looking at Jack Charlie Knew she wasn't going to get anything more out of him. If there was one thing she had learnt about the guys since she arrived in summer bay it was that they were always loyal to one another, it was a trait that she admired about them, up until this very point. She didn't need Jack to be the loyal friend, she needed to know what was going on before she completely lost it. A part of her urged her to keep pleading with Jack in hopes of getting more useful information out of him but she knew it would be a pointless effort. Looking up Charlie realised they had reached the beach,

"I'm gonna head off home", Charlie whispered as she turned on her heels and began walking away from her friends. Charlie heard her friends calling after her but didn't make the effort to respond to them. She wasn't trying to rude but the only thing she wanted in that moment was Brax. Walking up the path to her house Charlie had gone form a little frantic to plain hysterical. In the space of Five minutes she had came up with a dozen worrying theories as to what was going on with Brax.

"Charlie...CHARLIE", Charlie looked up to see her mother and Ruby standing in front of her

"Oh hy mum, hi Ruby"

"Hi Lottie... we going to the beach, is Lottie coming?" Ruby looked up at Charlie clearly excited.

"Err no, not today Ruby maybe another time", Charlie smiled at ruby before walking towards the front door.

"Charlie", Elise looked at her daughter knowing that something was wrong.

"Yh", Charlie turned to her mother knowing full well what she was going to ask her next

"Are you ok, you seem a bit down", as Charlie turned around to face her, Elsie could see that her eyes were now glazed over.

As she turned around to her mother Charlie tried her best to hold back the tears that had been building up ever since she left her friends on the beach,

"Yh mum I'm fine just tired, might just go and take a quick nap", Charlie rushed into the house before her mother had a chance to ask her anymore questions but mainly due to the fact that she knew she no longer had power to hold back the tears.

As she was about to rush after Charlie, Elise felt a tug at her hand, looking down at Ruby who held up her plastic spade and bucket. Elise looked over at the door that Charlie had just raced through then back at Ruby. She decided it was best to leave Charlie for a while. If there was one thing she had learnt about her daughter it was that she was just as stubborn as her father and wouldn't tell her anything unless she wanted to.

"Mummy lets go" Ruby tugged at Elise's hand once more before they both walked down the path towards the beach

Sitting on her bed Charlie managed to compose herself as she picked up her phone hoping to get through to Brax. Waiting till it went to voice mail she sighed to herself contemplating whether or not to leave another voice mail...

"Hy Brax it's me again, I don't know if I did something but please could you just call me, even if it's just to let me know you're ok... bye".

Dropping her phone by her side Charlie sat still for a while before deciding what to do. Getting changed quickly she throw on her sandals before making her way to the front door. Charlie figured he couldn't avoid her if she went over to his house. He would have to tell her what was going on. Reaching for the handle of her front door Charlie paused in her steps. What if it's something really personal that he didn't want her knowing about? Jack had said that it had nothing to do with her so what if her going over when he clearly was avoiding her wasn't the best idea. Sighing Charlie slowly turned around kicked off her sandals and made her way over to the settee. She wasn't going to force herself on him if he wanted her to know what was wrong he would have just told her, she just hoped whatever it was he was ok.

"Charlie", Ross walked into the house as Charlie looked up from the TV

"Hi dad", Charlie looked up from her dad at the clock on the wall noticing that he was back from work earlier than normal.

Noticing her observation of the time Ross quickly added...

"Your mum called me", Charlie just simply nodded knowing what he was referring to. She was far from surprised that her mum had called her dad after she left. Elise would usually call Ross in whenever she was worried about Charlie knowing that he had a better chance of getting her to talk.

"So you going to tell me what's bothering you... you seemed ok when you left for school this morning. Did something happen at school?"

Walking closer to his daughter Ross could see why Elise had been worried; the smile that had resurfaced on her face over the past few weeks had now disappeared.

"It's nothing I'm j..." Charlie started replying her father before he cut her off

"You know as well as I do that is a lie, so why don't you try again but this time tell me the truth", Ross sat down beside his daughter pulling her close to him

"You're gonna think I'm being stupid", Charlie looked down at her fingers as she fiddled with them

"I could never think you are stupid, and you never know I might be able to help you with whatever it is that's bothering you", Ross hoped Charlie would open up to him.

"Its Brax", Charlie looked up at her dad before she continued... "He didn't turn up to School today and he hasn't been picking my calls".

Ross nodded before he replied "did you guys have a fight?"

"No when he left here last night we were fine and then today nothing, Jack says it's nothing to do with me but honestly... that just worries me more, what if there is something really wrong with his brother or his mum or even him?" Charlie found herself getting more worked up as she spoke the words and this didn't go un noticed by her father.

"Hy I'm sure he's fine and if Jack says it's nothing to do with you then you should believe him", Ross tried to calm his daughter down as he to found himself thinking what could possibly be going on with Brax

"Yh I do believe him and that's the problem, dad you've seen the way his mum his and he struggles to keep everything on track, what if he's really struggling and he doesn't feel like he can tell me".

Ross knew the Charlie had a point, having taken a drunken Cheryl back home a number of times, Ross knew that Brax struggled, even more with working two jobs. Not sure how to put his daughter mind at rest Ross spoke, suggesting the only thing that came to mind

"Ok what if I go over and make sure everything is ok", Ross instantly knew he had made the right suggestion as his daughter's face lit up

"Would you? Just to check that he's ok and Heath and Casey, actually can I come?" Charlie face was now beaming

"Yeah of course I will, But I think you should stay here, just in case you're right and there is something wrong.", Ross stood up from the settee after placing a kiss on Charlie head as he headed for the front door.

"Dad", Charlie called as she looked up

"Yh" replied Ross

"Thank you", Charlie smiled towards her dad who just simply nodded and left the house making his way to the Braxton's


Reaching the Braxton's house Ross stood on their porch as he knocked on the front door being sure to listen attentively to the noise coming from inside the house

"Heath will you get that, you can see I'm still feeding Casey", Brax shouted over to his younger brother who was sloughed down on the couch

"No need to shout", Heath stood up with annoyance making his way to the front door before swinging it open

"Oh hy Mr B" Heath looked over at Ross awkwardly before looking over at Brax who had now placed Casey down making his way to the front door.

"Hy Heath", Ross gave a warm smile as he saw Brax emerging

"Hy Mr Buckton", Brax instantly thought it had something to do with their mum and as if Heath had been reading his mind he asked

"Have you found mum?" both Heath and Brax looked at Ross but their question was answered by the confused look that had grow upon Ross face

"What do you mean found her is she missing?" Ross now knew for sure that something wasn't quite right as he studied both Heath and Brax body language

"Oh nothing ", Brax tried to cover up their previous slip up but knew it wouldn't b so easy

"Ok, so where is your mum?" Ross looked from Heath to Brax determined to get to the bottom of what was going on

"We don't know probably out drinking herself stupid", Heath replied as he walked back into the house, his anger now evidently getting the better of him.

Looking back at Brax, Ross suddenly remembered Charlie and figured maybe mentioning her would prone Brax to open up to him

"Charlie is worried about you... said you haven't been picking her calls and you was a no show at school", Ross paused taking in the reaction on Brax face. Seeing that the mention of Charlie name had indeed triggered something he decided to continue

"You should probably call her she has spent all day worried about you; actually she made me come down here, wanted me to check on you guys and make sure everything was ok".

"I'm really sorry for not replying her calls its just.." Brax paused unsure of whether to carry on. Deciding against it he proceeded "I've just been busy but I promise I will call her later today".

Taking a quick glance into the part of the house he could see, Ross couldn't help but noticed that it looked a bit different. Although it looked cleaner it also looked a lot emptier than usual. He instantly knew something wasn't right but he also knew that he couldn't force Brax to talk to him, looking back at Brax Ross sighed

"Ok if you're sure everything's fine then I should probably get going, but like I said before I'm here whenever you want to talk, and don't forget to call Charlie she is really worried, just let her know you're ok". Ross turned as he walked back towards his car

Brax looked on as Ross made his way back down the porch. He wasn't used to this, someone taking interest in the well being of him and his brothers so he wasn't sure how to respond. He knew Ross just wanted to help but Brax just didn't know how to let him. Looking back at Casey and Heath, Brax knew there was no way he could do this on his own, he instantly turned back to Ross before biting the bullet as he spoke

"Would you like to come in" Brax desperately hoped he was doing the right thing

Ross stopped instantly turning around; he nodded enthusiastically rushing towards the front door before Brax had a chance to change his mind. Looking around the lounge that was now in his full view, Ross concerns grow rapidly as he saw that near enough everything including the TV was gone the only thing that lay there was the three seater settee and the middle table, he spun round to Brax saying the first thing that came to mind

"Have you guys been robbed?"

Brax shook his head, he wished that was all it was. Being robbed he could deal with but this, he felt like he was in way over his head.

"No we haven't we erm... we had to sell some of our things, that's why I wasn't at school today", Brax spoke refusing to look up from the ground that lay beneath him

Now more confused than he initially was Ross responded

"Why did you have to sell all your stuff, you already work two jobs and your mum still brings home a little something ... right?" Ross instantly noticed the hesitant look on Brax face

"She's gone", Brax looked up at Ross

"Who your mum?"

Brax just simply nodded in response

"Ok where did she go and what does that have to do with you selling your stuff". Ross still hadn't caught on to what Brax had meant by gone

"No I mean she's gone... She's left us and gone, apparently she needed a fresh start so she's gone with some guys and she's not coming back", Brax held back the tears that were threatening to fall from his eyes. His mother may not have been his favourite person but she was his mum he needed her surely she knew that and Heath and Casey how was he supposed to look after them properly now. There was no way he could go to school, work two jobs and take care of them properly.

Ross stood unable to properly grasp what Brax had just told him, how could a mother just leave her kids, abandoning them? He looked over at Casey who was sat his high chair and Heath who sat next to Casey but was now looking over at him and Brax.

"When?" Ross turned back to Brax, only now understanding why the boy had been keeping his distance from his daughter. Having gotten to know Brax over the past month he could see he had a strong head on him just like Charlie. He knew that letting people think he was vulnerable or weak wasn't in Brax's nature.

"Yesterday when we got back, she was already gone, she left a note", Brax nodded towards the note that still sat on the kitchen counter.

"A note", Ross couldn't grasp the concept of what Brax was saying. Not only did Cheryl leave him by himself with a three year old and a fifteen year old but she did it through a note. Was she that self centred and selfish that she would do such a heartless thing to her own kids. Ross stood for a few more second not sure of what to say or do, how could he help in this moment? Ross was gratefully brought out of his ever growing thoughts by the sound of Casey's voice

"Is Wuby coming to play?" he was now looking over at Ross before glancing at the door

"No not today but soon", Ross smiled over to the little boy as he turned his attention back to the toys that were resting on his high chair. His attention was once again stolen by Brax's input

"It's not as bad as it seems, I was pretty much doing everything before so I'm sure things won't be that different. Just have to manage my time more carefully and you know..." Brax trailed off knowing that he wasn't sounding very convincing. In actually fact he was scared and he knew this fear was evident in his voice.

"Brax you're in your last year of high school, you can't do that, work and take care of these boys all on your own"

"Well I don't have much of a choice and I'm not letting social come and take Casey or Heath away", Brax greatest fear was having his brothers taken away and separated from each other and from him. He didn't know how but he was determined to care for them even if he had to drop out of school

"I can get a full time job and", Brax was interrupted by Ross before he could say anything more

"You want to drop out of school", Ross was shocked, and he knew how much Brax wanted to get his HSC and his plans about one day having his own business

"If that's what it takes to take care of the both of them then I guess I'm going to have to", Brax looked over at his brothers avoiding eye contact with Ross

Ross stood for a few minutes not sure what to do, he knew letting Brax drop out of school was something he couldn't do

"You're not dropping out of school?" Ross had thought of a way to help and only hoped that brax would let him

"Don't have a choice", Brax responded as he walked over to the open kitchen and sat in one of the stools beside his brothers

"Bwax looks sad", Casey looked up at his brother as his bottom lip began to tremble at the sight of his brothers saddened face.

"Hy no Case don't cry it's alright Brax isn't sad I'm just tired", Brax leaned over ruffling his little brothers hair as he forced a smile on his face in hopes of calming his younger brother down

"Maybe Bwax should go sleep so he no tired"

"Yh Case I will ok", Brax relaxed as Casey's lip stopped trembling and he slowly returned his attention to his toys

Ross watched on in awe at the relationship the boys shared, he knew that neither Brax nor the other two would cope if they got split up and he knew if he didn't try to help his daughter wouldn't forgive him. Looking over at Brax he decided to voice his idea

"Casey can come stay with me and Elise", Both Brax and Heath head shot up at what Ross had just suggested. Ross quickly continued before they had time to protest

"He can stay with Ruby in her room, you guys can bring him back here whenever you want but if he stays with us, you know he is in safe hands and you already know you guys are welcome to come and go whenever you want. Brax this will give you more time to study". Ross paused looking from Brax to heath he could tell that they were starting to consider it. So he continued

"Elise can come round a few times a week and stock up the house for you guys with food and all other necessities" Ross stopped talking waiting for a response from Brax

"Why?" asked Brax. He didn't understand why Ross was going out of his way to help them.

Understanding what Brax was asking Ross responded "Because you're all good kids and there is no reason why you shouldn't have the same opportunities as everyone else. Plus if Charlie and Ruby were ever in need of help I would like to think there would be someone there to give them a helping hand".

Brax just simply nodded not sure what to say. He looked over at Heath wondering how he felt about Ross's offer. Heath just gave him a faint smile and nodded. Brax looked over at Casey as he innocently played with his toys before looking up at Ross. He knew with Ross and Elise Casey would never lack anything and maybe this would give him a chance at getting his HSC and giving his brothers and himself the life they deserved. Looking at Ross he nodded before adding

"The social won't be involved and he can come back here whenever?"

"Yh whenever you guys want to see him you can come round and if he wants to see you guys we will bring him straight over". Ross was glad that Brax had agreed he felt good that he could do something to help.

Brax turned to Casey lifting him out of his high chair and placing him on his lap

"Hy Case", Brax looked down at his brother

"Uh", Casey dropped the toy he had been playing with and turned his attention to Brax.

"Would you like to go over to Ruby's house and have sleep over's for a while, you get to play with her whenever you want and you can even watch some TV".

Casey nodded his head enthusiastically "YH... is you and Heath coming? Casey asked

"No but me and heath will come and visit you whenever you want and if you want to come and sleep over here you can", Brax looked down at his brothers as he pondered on what Brax had said

"Okay", Casey nodded "but can I go tomowow?"

Relived that he had managed to convince Casey Brax responded "Yh of course you can". Brax looked up at Ross and smiled as Ross returned the same gesture.

"Ok so I and Elise will come and pick him up tomorrow before you guys go to school... is that ok?"

"Yeah that's Fine thank you for this, we really appreciate it", Brax was more than grateful for Ross and for the first time since he read the note the day before he felt like the water that he was drowning in had began to subside.

"Okay are guys ok for tonight or...?"

"Yeah we're ok", Brax answered him still bearing the same smile that had formed on his face minutes before

"Thank you Mr Buckton", Ross turned to heath as he heard his voice

"It's alright", He smiled over at the boy whose early anger had now seemed to have departed

"Okay so I guess I will see you guys tomorrow", Ross turned as he reached the front door

"Yh and thank you once again this really does mean a lot to all of us"

Ross nodded acknowledging Brax's appreciation as he walked towards his car ready to make his way home,

"Oh and don't forget to call Charlie, don't worry I won't tell her anything"

"I will thank you", Brax gently closed the door behind him as Ross drove off. He looked over at Heath who he guessed was just as relieved that they weren't alone as he was. Heath may not have shown it very often but Brax Knew how much he cared for Casey and knowing he would for once have something stable in his life gave both of them great peace. After Brax had put Casey to bed and cleared up the kitchen he made his way to his room walking straight over to his bed side table and picking up his phone. He dialled her number as he exhaled anticipating hearing her voice in hopes that she wasn't too angry at him. Almost as soon as the phone rang, he smiled as he heard her voice...

"Hy You ok, I've been calling all day you had me worried and dad won't even tell me what's going on", Charlie paused trying to catch her breath

Using this as an opportunity to get a few words in Brax quickly spoke

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to get you worried I just... I just didn't know what to do or..."

"What do you mean what to do, Brax what's going on?"

"Mum left, she left a note last night, she's not coming back", Brax gave her a quick recap of what had happened.

After a few seconds of silence Brax spoke up...

"Charlie you there?"

"Yh I am sorry I just... are you guys ok?" Charlie was lost for words. She couldn't believe she would just leave them like that

"Yh we are now" answered Brax thinking back to what Ross and Elise were doing for them

"Now?" Charlie asked a little confused

"Yh Ross offered to let Casey stay with you guys for now, so I still have time for school plus it takes more stress of me money wise

"Dad offered to do that?" Charlie's smile grew, not only had he accepted Brax as her boyfriend but he was now helping him out.

"Yh he did... And Charlie I am sorry for ignoring you today"

"It's ok I understand I do... I just want you to be able to talk to me, not just when things are going good but even about the hard stuff too"

"Yh I know and I will, promise. I love you, you know that?" Brax smiled as he said the last part of his sentence

"Yh I love you too", Charlie smile overwhelmed her face hearing him tell her he loved her again

After talking to Brax for a while longer Charlie made her way into the lounge where her mum and dad were sat. Sitting between her parents Charlie leaned towards her father giving him a hug

"Thank you so much dad"

"I see you have spoken to Brax" Ross held on to his daughter as he spoke. Charlie nodded resting her head against his chest

"He really is grateful you know and so am I"

"I know. I think Ruby will like having Casey around and this is just an excuse for your mother to mother someone else apart from us three", Ross chuckled as he looked over at Elise

"Yh she's gonna love that just not sure the guys will feel the same way, I hope they survive it", Charlie laughed as she looked over at her mum

"Hy I'm not that bad", she said laughing as she nudged Charlie


It had now been a month since Cheryl left and Casey started staying with the Buckton's. Brax and Heath were still living in their house but Ross and Elise had insisted on paying the rent as Ross instructed Brax to quite one of his jobs and to save the money from the one he choose to stay at. Sat on the beach with Charlie as they watched Casey and Ruby playing in the sand Brax couldn't believe how much his life had changed in the past 3 months. He couldn't remember the last time his life was this stable. He no longer struggled to put food on the table, he was doing really well at school, even Heath had improved at school, and he actually had savings. He tightened his grip on the girl that sat between his legs. He had her to thank for everything he had in his life, both his parents may have left him and his brothers but they found a family in Charlie, Ross, Elise and Ruby.

"Lottie Ruby want to swim", Brax looked down as Ruby tugged on Charlie's arm causing her to release herself from Brax grasp as she turned around to face him

"You coming?" Charlie asked Brax as she undressed to just her swimmers and followed Ruby towards the water

"Yh sure", Brax stood up as he pulled his top over his head, he watched on for a minute as Charlie chased Ruby and Casey around as they splashed each other at the edge of the water. He turned his focus to Charlie silently thanking her, she was more than the girl he loved she had turned out to be his saving grace.

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Thank you guys so much for the comments :D honestly love reading them and they make writing worth while. Sorry if there are loads of mistakes in this update didn't have time to prove read, next update will probably not be till next weekend so I thought I would post one more before then. Enjoy (:


6 months later

"Look just stop worrying, we've all been studying none stop, so today just for a few hours we're all gonna take a break", Charlie looked up at Brax who was now dragging her towards the beach


"No buts ok, look at them down there having fun", Brax nodded towards their friends whose heads bobbed back and forth in the crystal blue water, as the sound of their laughter charged through the air.

"We can have fun after..."

Ahead of Charlie's response in which he knew she was sure to keep protesting, Brax quickly swung her over his shoulder placing his arm under her bum as he walked towards the beach.

"Brax put me down", now in fits of laughter Charlie strived to realise herself from his embrace. Brax walked slowly towards the beach as he blocked out her constant demand to be put down. Reaching the point where the others had placed their things Brax came to a standstill making sure his grasp on Charlie never loosened.

"Either you agree to stay for a little while and I'll put you down or you keep protesting and we go for a swim... fully clothed". Brax slowly began walking towards their friends

Knowing her constant protest was futile she decided it was best to wave the white flag...

"Fine, but only for a little while and then we get back to studying".

"Deal", Brax placed her down slowly on the sand before taking his shirt off and sprinting towards the water...

Come on then", Brax shouted back at Charlie.

"Yh I'm coming".

Stripping down to her swimmers, Charlie looked over at all her friends goofing around in the water and then at Brax sending a sudden but expected beam of happiness rushing through her body . How did she get so lucky? She had grown to love all these people that brought so much to her life. She had found herself best friends in the girls and close friends in the guys and a home in Summer Bay. These guys weren't just her friends they had become her family, Brax most especially. He had become a very big part of her family. Both her parents had really taken to him, most especially her father. She could see him and Brax had somewhat grown close and was grateful to her father that he could offer Brax the support and relationship his own father had failed to give him. Smirking to herself she thought of the friendship that she had also developed with Heath and the friendship that had also formed between Ruby and Casey. This was it she thought, this was her life and nothing was going to ruin that. Snapping out of her thoughts at the sound of her friends as they beckoned her over, Charlie dropped her top with the rest of her stuff and ran towards the water to join her friends.

"Does he know yet?" Bianca whispered ove to Charlie making sure the others couldn't pick up on what she had said

"No he doesn't, I want it to be a surprise", replied Charlie

"Ok so when is it going down?" Bianca was eager to get some information on what Charlie had planned

"Going down? Really...you make it seem like I'm planning a drive by", Charlie and Bianca laughed under their breath not wanting to attract the attention of their friends, Charlie continued

"I think I might do it today", Charlie looked over at Bianca as her eyes widened

"Today?" Bianca's smile grew wider

"Yh why not, I love him and I just know this is right", Charlie face beamed with happiness as she spoke to her friend but before Bianca could respond they were interrupted

"Are you guy's syked, about our last HSC exam?" miles smiled as he bobbed around the water.

Looking at each other all six friends burst out laughing...

"Err Miles why exactly would we be Syked about having to sit an exam", Jack looked over at him

"Because it's our last one, never again will we have to sit another Exam...well at least not another HSC exam"

"When you put it that way then yh definitely ", Bianca smiled at the thought of being exam free.

"Given that no one fails" Leah hit Miles lightly on the arm

"Ow what... I didn't say anyone was gonna fail I was just saying..."

"Well don't... we don't need to be freaking out anymore than we already have been", Leah gave him a stern look as she splashed some water in his direction

Sensing the direction the conversation was taking and trying his best to keep Charlie's mind off their upcoming exam Brax quickly interjected

"Right well I don't know about you guys but I didn't take a study break to come and talk about the exam", Brax waddled up to Charlie wrapping his arms around her waist... "I could think of a number of better and much more entertaining things to be doing". He flashed Charlie a grin matching the one she had produced on her face.

"Will you two just get a room instead of rubbing it in all our faces", Bianca snorted over at Brax and Charlie.

The group started laughing before Jack spoke up

"Don't worry Bianca I'm sure your prince charming is just round the corner", Jack and Brax chuckled under their breath.


Miles and Leah had gotten together a few months back, Jack and Martha were still together as were Charlie and Brax, so Bianca was always the third wheel, well in this case the seventh, and she never failed to show how annoyed this made her.


After a while the guys had finished up at the beach and Charlie and Brax where now back at Brax's place.

"Right back to this again", Brax groaned as he looked down at the pile of text books that were scattered across the table.

"Actually I have a better Idea, how about we watch a film and relax for a little bit longer", Charlie looked over at Brax knowing that he would love this idea

"Serious..." Brax looked at her with one eyebrow raised.

"Yh seriously unless you want me to change my mind"

"Nope nope, but I get to pick the film, there is only so much Ryan Reynolds a guy can take".

Charlie giggled as she walked over to the kitchen, leaving Brax to set up in the lounge. Looking up at him she was now sure that this was what she wanted. Although she had been thinking about it for a while she had initially decided that she was going to wait till the night of the formal but right there in that moment she had decided that she didn't want to wait any longer. As she stood in there fiercely observing him, she didn't feel the need to wait any longer. Trying to shake the memory from her head Charlie instantly recalled the first time her and Brax had tried to take things further and how it had all turned out so wrong, she kept replying that awful afternoon in her head and how she had found herself in fits of tears that she till this day had been unable to explain to Brax. That was now over 2 months ago...



"Seriously Charlie, how many times have we watched this movie", Brax moaned as Charlie put the movie into the DVD player.

"Err twice maybe", Charlie giggled knowing full well it exceeded that amount by a long stretch

"No Charlie not twice try six or seven" Brax complained aimlessly. He knew that although he objected to her choice of film it was pointless voicing this seeing as she somehow always got her own way.

"Well we don't have to watch it you know", Charlie bit her lip as she knew exactly what she was doing

"We don't?" Brax let out a small smile, at the thought of having escaped out of watching the movie again

"No of course we don't, instead of me cuddling up to you and watching this particular movie we could easily scratch that and study for a while, sat on separate ends of the table of course".

Brax smile immediately faded "Oh wow Charlie so many appealing choices... but I think I'll go with the first one"

"Good". Charlie jumped onto the settee giving Brax a quick Kiss before sitting comfortably against his chest as he automatically wrapped his arms around her waist.

"Aww Brax isn't that so cute", Charlie looked up at Brax as she spoke only to find he was fast asleep. Stopping the movie she looked up at him stroking his face lightly with the back of her hand. She may have only been with him for a little over 5 months but she was sure she had fallen in love with him, and every day they were together he did something to make her fall even harder. Edging up slowly Charlie placed a kiss on his lips causing his eyes to flutter open.

"Hm... is the film finished?

"No but I don't want to want to watch the film anymore"

"Really, what could be more interesting than watching Ryan Reynolds get the girl", Brax tone filled with sarcasm ... "And please PLEASE don't say studying".

Charlie laughed lightly at Brax before leaning in and kissing him again, pressing her mouth firmly against his Charlie deepened the kiss before pulling away much to Brax's reluctance "I can think of one thing that is way better".

Brax looked down at Charlie Curiously wondering what she had in mind, "Ok so what is it?"

Instead of giving him a response Charlie stood up and stretched her hand out, indicating that she wanted Brax to take hold of it. Brax curiously placed his hand in Charlie's as he stood up onto his feet, not sure if he was going to like whatever she had planned. Charlie turned around not releasing Brax's hand from hers as she walked down the hall into his room. Entering the room Charlie turned around moving her body closer to Brax, who had now realised what she was referring to.

"What, you want to..." Brax was surprised to say the least.

"Err yh... unless you don't want to?" Charlie looked down a little disappointed and embarrassed.

"No no it's not that", Brax swiftly put his hand under Charlie chin lifting her face up until their eyes were parallel, "I just didn't think you wanted to yet, I don't mind waiting till you are, we're in no rush". He placed a kiss on her forehead.

"I know but I'm ready", She leaned in and kissed him before pulling him towards the bed as he shut the door with his free hand. Pulling away from their kiss, Brax looked up at Charlie who was now lying beneath him.

"Are you sure", Brax asked again he wanted to make sure this was what she wanted and she wasn't doing it because she felt she had to. In that moment Brax felt overwhelmed as he thought about his love for Charlie he instantly knew that he would wait for her forever if he had to. Charlie just simply nodded as she reached for the back of his neck pulling him back into the kiss. Everything was going fine till brax slowly slid his hands up her top. All the memories of that night came racing through her mind causing her to panic and as if she was no longer in control of her actions or her body Charlie jumped up from under Brax as she sprinted out of the room tears cascading down her face.

"Charlie, Charlie", Brax ran after her grabbing her hand just as she reached the front door. Carefully and slowly turning her around Brax was immediately taken aback by the speed at which her tears were cascading down her face.

"Charlie what's wrong...What are these for?" Brax brushed his hand over her face wiping her tears away in the process.

"Did I do something wrong?" Brax moved closer as he took her hand in his unsure of what had just transpired. Unable to speak through her tears Charlie shock her head lightly as she unsuccessfully tried to regain a steady breathing pattern.

"You're not ready it's ok, it's nothing to be upset about", Brax gave her a smile in hopes of reassuring her, although he had his doubts that that was all it was that had caused her to freak out to such extensive state, he pushed his thoughts to one side.

"I'm so sorry, I honestly thought I was ready", Charlie had now completely broken down in Brax's arms. The flashback kept replying in her mind as she desperately tried to shake it off to no avail. She buried her head in the croak of Brax's neck shutting her eyes tightly in hopes of making the image that had brought her so many sleepless nights go away. She felt Brax arms crawl up her back has he wrapped them around her tightly.

Not saying anything Brax slowly directed her towards the settee before sitting down and placing Charlie on his lap.

"Charlie look at me, hy hy look at me please", he spoke softly as he cupped Charlie's face in both his hands in an attempt to get her gaze in line with his. "You have nothing to be sorry about ok".

Charlie had now stopped crying "I just wanted to show you how much I love you and..."

"Charlie I already know you love me, you being here with me is enough for me"


"No buts ok, Charlie I love you and nothing is ever going to change that. Sex isn't important; we'll get there when we get there. Don't go telling anyone this but I really like just sitting here cuddling up with you". Brax gave her one his famous grins.

Still looking at him Charlie just simply nodded before placing her head against his chest. Brax and Charlie stayed in that same position for a few minutes...

"So how about we finish watching the film... We don't want Ryan Reynolds thinking you've abandoned him do we", Brax gave Charlie a grin before placing a kiss on her head as he readjusted his position on the settee placing his arm around Charlie pulling her close as he pressed the play button on the remote. Charlie cuddled up close to him and she was sure she had never felt as save or loved as she did in that moment, she held on tight to him never wanting to let him go.

End of Flashback


"Hy Brax there's no more popcorn", Charlie hid the box of popcorn in the back of the kitchen draw as Brax came over.

"Are you sure, I could have sworn I saw some in there just this morning", Brax searched through the cupboard but there was no sign of any popcorn. "I guess we'll just have to do without it", Brax walked back into the living room

"No Brax I really want some popcorn...please", Charlie gave him her puppy dog eyes in hopes of him going to go get some while she got everything ready.

"That's not fair, how do I say no to that", Brax grinned as he pointed to her face

"Thank you", Charlie watched him as he walked out the front door waiting till he was out of sight before rushing over to his room and getting everything set up.


"Charlie where you at, I got the popcorn", Brax called after Charlie as he walked into the kitchen with the popcorn box in hand.

"Oh hy ...no don't make it yet", Charlie walked towards Brax who had started opening the popcorn Box. Brax who was now a little confused looked over at Charlie...

"Erm why, don't tell me you don't want it anymore"

"No but we can have it later, I have something else planned first". Charlie laughed lightly as she saw the confusing expression plastered on Brax's face.

"OK" Brax focused on Charlie's face for clues but she refused to give anything away.

"Follow me I have something to show you", Charlie took Brax's hand in hers pulling him down the hall, noticing that they were heading towards his room, Brax spoke up...

"Err Charlie what did you do to my room", Brax didn't know if this was something he wanted to see. He had heard of girls decorating their boyfriends room, although Charlie didn't seem like the type of girl to do that it didn't stop him from worrying.

Charlie laughed lightly as she could sense the worried tone in Brax's voice, "Don't worry this is a good surprise, I promise".

Charlie slowly opened the door as her and Brax entered the room. Seeing as only Brax and Heath now lived at the house there wasn't much for her to work with so she had lit a few candles that she had found in the bathroom on Brax's bed side table and closed the curtains allowing the candle light to glow lightly in the room, she had even changed from her swimmers into a nice black lingerie set that Bianca had helped her pick out. She wanted to keep it simple but at the same time romantic. She turned around to see the expression on his face before speaking,

"I know that the first time we tried it didn't go so well" she smiled nervously "But this time it's different, I know I'm ready, I just want to be with you and I want this I really do" Charlie kept her gaze on Brax waiting for a response... "Brax say something".

"Are you sure I mean I honestly don't care that..."

"Brax I'm ready, I promise", Charlie leaned in giving him a slow lingering kiss before moving towards the bed still facing him. She gave him a smile lifting her top over her head and dropping it on the ground, before taking off her shorts and placing them with her top. Bearing a cheeky grin she nodded over at Brax "I think it's a little unfair me standing here in next to nothing while you've got all them layers on."

Brax slowly approached her stroking her face with one of his hands. "Are you sure, like really sure". Brax looked into her eyes and couldn't help but think how beautiful they were. He recollected the last time they had tried and how it had turned out. Noticing the worried look on his face Charlie leaned in closer wrapping her hands around his neck

"Yes I'm sure, I promise", Charlie placed a kiss on his lips "but I think it's time to level the playing field", Charlie placed her hands under his shirt before proceeding to pull it over his head and dropping it with her things. Looking down at his toned chest Charlie smiled to herself as she traced her hands over them.

Watching her as she did so brax wore his ever so famous smirk "Are you sure this isn't just your way of getting to see me topless".

Charlie hit him lightly on the chest causing him to feigned a hurt expression "No it just happens to be a benefit". Charlie guides her hands from his chest up his arms till she once again reached the back of his neck pulling him into another kiss. She felt Brax arms wrap around her waist slowly, almost cautiously as the kiss deepens. Pulling back as they both felt the need for air, Charlie brought her hand down from around his neck till they reach the waistband of his shorts illustrating that she wanted him to take it off, doing so gently, Brax was now stood in nothing but his boxers.

Moving closer towards the bed refusing to break their kiss, Charlie lowered herself onto the bed know sitting on its edge as Brax stood before her. She grinned up at him as he studied her closely before she pulled him down with her. She snaked her hands down his back closing any distance that once existed between them. Breaking away from her lips Brax kissed down her neck as his hands made his way to the clasp of her Bra. Pulling away from Charlie ever so slightly he looked up at her as she wondered why he had stopped.

"If you wanna stop just say the word, I honestly don't mind", If Brax was being honest he hoped she was ready as she lay underneath him he couldn't imagine anything more beautiful, but he also didn't want her doing anything she wasn't ready for.

Lifting herself up onto her elbow, she placed several kisses along his jaw line before replying "I'm ready". She glided her right hand up her back to where Brax's was as she unclasped her bra sliding it slowly down her arms as she dropped it to the floor.

Brax watched on as her bra slowly slid down her arms till she let them hit the floor. He stared at how beautiful she was before looking up noticing that she was now blushing. Unable to contain the grin that threatened to take over his face he leant down slowly taking in the sweet taste of her lips, moving closer to her ears he whispered

"You are absolutely perfect", he diverted his gaze directly meeting Charlie's

Charlie felt a warm shiver of electricity travel down her spine as she felt his breath against her neck; smiling up at him as he stared at her with what she was sure were the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen, she knew nothing was going to change her mind. Although she was nervous they were nerves of excitement at the prospect of what was about to transpire between the two of them. This time it was going to be different for her, it was going to be done under the act of love, the love she had for Brax. She matched the smile on his face before placing a strong wistful kiss on his lips, she replied...

"So are you".

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