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Follow Your Heart

Guest Danni02

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Title: Follow Your Heart

Type of Story: Long fic

Characters: Charlie, Brax, Ruby, April, Bianca, Heath, others.

BTTB Rating: T/A

Genre: Romance, Drama

Spoilers: No

Warnings: SC, L, V/D, Slash

Summary: Sequel to Trust in Me. We catch up with Charlie, Brax, Ruby, April, Bianca and Heath. How have their lives changed and what else is in store for them?


Charlie stood in the room of the Church, staring at her daughter. She took a deep breath, pushing back tears that wanted to fall. “Don’t cry.” Ruby told her.

“I’m sorry,” Charlie cleared her throat. “You just look so grown up,” Ruby smiled as she looked down to herself, her dress flowing down to the ground. “And besides it’s your wedding day, I’m allowed to be emotional. It’s a mothers right, you know.” Charlie said and Ruby gave a little laugh.

“Mummy do I look nice?” Ella twirled around in her flower girl dress, the yellow ribbon tied neatly around her waist forming a bow at the back flying around with her.

“Gorgeous,” Charlie answered as Ella leaned against her and Charlie ran her hand through her chocolaty brown locks that had been curled for the wedding. “Best looking flower girl I’ve ever seen,” Ella giggled as she twirled around again. “And here is our other gorgeous little flower girl,” Charlie smiled as the door opened and Bianca walked in with Katie, who was dressed in an identical dress to Ella’s.

Katie grinned as she moved her brown locks from her face, her hair too having been curled for the ceremony. “We going now?” Katie questioned.

Charlie looked to the clock on the back wall before looking back to Katie. “5 more minutes.” Charlie told her and Katie sighed before letting go of Bianca’s hand and running over to Ella, the pair of them twirling around together.

“Where did the boys go?” Bianca questioned, seeing as they were there when she’d taken Katie to the toilet only minutes beforehand.

“They went to see Brax,” Charlie told her. “Or Noah wanted to so Toby followed,” Charlie gave a little laugh. Toby was always wanting what his big brother had and always said he wanted to do whatever Noah was.

“How cute does Toby look in his little suit though?” Bianca gushed.

“I’m always going to think my son is cute,” Charlie gave a little laugh. “But maybe he does look extra cute today.” Charlie smiled as there was a knock at the door and Brax walked in, the boys running back in behind him.

“Thought you’d need the page boys back,” Brax said. “You look gorgeous Rubes.” Brax gave her a smile. Ruby smiled back at him before glancing at the clock.

“What about me daddy?” Ella twirled around as she made her way over to Brax.

“You looked gorgeous too petal,” Brax smiled down at his daughter before seeing Katie glancing in his direction. “You too Katie.” Brax smiled down at his niece.

“Thanks Uncle Brax.” Katie twirled around in her dress.

“Daddy,” Noah glanced at him. “Mummy looks gorgeous too,” Noah told him. “You didn’t tell her that.”

“Yes, mummy looks gorgeous too.” Brax said giving Charlie a smile which she returned.

“I corjuss?” Toby questioned as he leaned in against his mothers leg, Charlie running her hand over his curly brown locks.

Brax gave a little laugh as he looked down to his youngest son. “You look very handsome, Tobs,” Brax said as Toby gave a toothy grin. “Anyways, we’re all ready out here so just when you’re ready.” Brax told them.

“Yeah,” Ruby took a deep breath. “I’m ready.”

“You stay with Charlie and walk when she tells you okay?” Bianca looked down to Katie and she nodded in response before once again twirling around the room. Bianca laughed at her before she left with Brax, the both of them going to take a seat to see the wedding.

Ruby took a deep breath before she picked up her flowers as Charlie handed the baskets with flower petals in for them to throw on the aisle too Ella and Katie. Both girls did a little jump of excitement before Charlie looked to the boys. Noah was karate chopping an imaginary opponent while Toby was standing picking his nose. “Toby,” Charlie stepped closer to her son and pulled his finger from his nose. “We don’t do that.”

“I do.” Toby answered as he wiped his hand down his suit jacket. Charlie shook her head a little bemused at her just turned 3 year old. She couldn’t believe how quickly the time had gone since his birth and also, since Ruby’s transplant. Looking at her now, on her wedding day, she felt so proud of her daughter. Sure there had been some tough times for them all, but today, today was a day not to think about that.

“Do we go now then?” Noah questioned as he walked over to his mother. “Cos you said we’d get cake and it’s not here.” Noah held his hands out.

“You’ll get cake after the ceremony,” Ruby laughed at her little brother before looking back to her mother. “So, you ready to walk me down this aisle?” Ruby questioned. She knew normally fathers walked their daughters down the aisle and she had considered asking Brax but she wasn’t sure how Charlie would feel about it and she wanted Charlie to do it for her as well. Having one each side of her did cross her mind, but in the end, she decided it should just be her mother.

“I sure am.” Charlie answered, getting the kids into the correct order. “Let’s go.” Charlie smiled as the kids walked out the room first before Ruby and Charlie left. They walked along the corridor and the music started to play as the girls walked up the aisle, throwing down the flower petals along the way before Noah and Toby walked down behind them. Toby looked to the petals on the floor and bent down and started to pick them up.

“Toby no,” Noah tried to get his brother to stop. “Don’t.” Noah looked embarrassed at his brother as some light laugher could be heard from the guest. Noah looked back to Charlie who mouthed at him to get Toby up before going to step forward but stopping as she saw Brax standing up and walking quickly down to his son.

“I want em,” Toby answered as Brax stopped in front of him and lifted his son up. “Daddy no.” Toby screeched.

“Shh buddy.” Brax whispered in his ear as he walked him down the aisle, Noah walking next to his father.

“Oh dear.” Ruby gave a little laugh as she saw her future spouse laughing too. She took a deep breath before looking up to her mother and Charlie could see she looked scared.

“You ready?” Charlie questioned and Ruby bit her lip.

“Yes,” Ruby gave a smile as she looked back to her husband to be. “Let’s get me married.” Charlie gave a little smile as she linked arms with her daughter before they started their walk down the aisle.

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Charlie was leaning against the fence, looking up at the full moon that was shining bright. She felt a presence behind her and looked around to see Bianca coming to join her. “What you doing out here alone?” Bianca questioned.

“Just needed some fresh air.” Charlie told her, a tone of sadness in her voice.

“You sure that’s all it is?” Bianca asked.

“What else would it be?” Charlie questioned as she looked up to her friend, knowing Bianca knew her all too well and there was something bothering her.

“Maybe something to do with Brax being here?” Bianca answered as she ran her wedding rings around her finger.

“Ruby wanted him here,” Charlie exhaled. “I can’t stop that and....I’m fine with him being here,” Charlie said. “It’s just...” Charlie pursed her lips together as she paused.

“The woman he is with?” Bianca questioned and Charlie gave a little nod.

“I just wish the invitation didn’t say Brax and guest.” Charlie sighed.

“Guess it won’t be nice having it thrown in your face all the time.” Bianca spoke softly.

Charlie sniggered. “Well he seems happy so...” Charlie gave a little shrug. “Anyways it’s my daughter’s wedding day so I’m not going to get upset today.”

“I can’t believe she’s married.” Bianca exhaled.

“Me either,” Charlie replied. “She’s still so young.” Charlie ran her finger around her bare wedding ring finger.

“So you think this marriage was a mistake?” Bianca questioned.

“Well she’s only 21,” Charlie exhaled. “It’s young and....well....it’s young.”

“Could still work out.” Bianca answered.

“I know but it’s Romeo,” Charlie said. “She left him for a girl and....the happiest I’ve ever seen Ruby was when she was with April. It’s sad they broke up and....I’m not sure I see that she really loves Romeo enough to be with him for life.”

“Bit late saying this after the wedding,” Bianca said. “Don’t you think you should have talked to her sooner?”

“I tried,” Charlie sighed. “She told me she did love him and it wasn’t my business.”

“Well it might have taken a little time but I was a supporter of Ruby and April too,” Bianca exhaled. “I thought they were for keeps.”

“I guess they were young too though,” Charlie said. “But I dunno.....something seemed different with those two.”

“Yeah,” Bianca exhaled sadly. “I always thought they’d find their way back to each other, but then April moved away and Ruby got back with Romeo,” Bianca clicked her tongue. “April seems happy enough with Carly though, so...” Bianca gave a shrug.

“How long have they been together now?” Charlie questioned.

“Nearly a year,” Bianca answered. “They are coming down for Katie’s 4th Birthday in a couple of weeks so.” Bianca raised her eyebrows.

“The first time April’s been back in the bay since she left.” Charlie said. Bianca had been to visit April many times but April had never came back to the bay since leaving shortly after her and Ruby broke up.

“Yeah she’s excited to see Dex,” Bianca said. “Think she is a bit nervous for bumping into Ruby, but,” Bianca gave a little shrug. “Does Ruby know that she’s coming back?”

“Not that I am aware,” Charlie answered. “But it’s not for good, it’s just a visit?”

“Yeah just a few days.” Bianca answered, before all the kids came running outside and Charlie and Bianca looked down to them.

“Tell her mum,” Ella moaned. “She’s too little.”

“I’m not,” Katie stomped her foot on the ground. “I is nearly 4,” Katie held up 4 fingers. “That’s not little.”

“Is to play this game,” Noah said. “You need to be 6 like us.”

“Aww c’mon guys can’t you play something you can all do together?” Charlie questioned as Toby wiped his hands against Charlie’s dress.

“No you need to be 6.” Ella answered before she and Noah ran away, continuing to play their game.

Katie pouted sadly as she bowed her head down. “Aww sweetie why don’t you go find daddy and see if he’ll dance with you?” Bianca questioned as she bent down to her level and ruffled her hair.

Katie furrowed her eyebrows. “He drink too much beer.” Katie announced.

Bianca gave a little laugh. “Well how about I dance with you?” Bianca said and Katie cheered as she jumped a little.

“Yeah mummy, let’s go.” Katie pulled on Bianca’s hand and dragged her back into the hall.

“Up mummy.” Toby pulled on her dress. Charlie looked down to him and lifted him up and he wrapped his arms tightly around her neck as he knocked his head right against her.

“Toby what you doing?” Charlie questioned. Toby was very much a mummy’s boy and at times rather rough with his affection.

“Cuddling you silly.” Toby answered.

“You want to come dance with mummy?” Charlie questioned.

“Yeah,” Toby squeezed his hands around her neck even tighter as she walked back into the hall, stopping as she saw Noah dancing with Ruby and Ella dancing with Brax, obviously having had enough of their you have to be 6 years old to play it game. She pursued her lips together as she saw Natalie taking one of Brax’s hands as she took Ella’s in her other, the 3 of them dancing together. She hated seeing Natalie with her children. She had to put up with the fact that Natalie would now be part of their life, but it didn’t mean she liked it. She took a deep breath as she watched Ella, a look of delight on her face as she was spinning around and around. Ella, still very much a daddy’s girl, took being apart from him the hardest and was always the most excited for going to spend every second weekend at Brax’s place and every Wednesday night. Although they’d been separated for almost 10 months now and Natalie had been with Brax for 6 months, Charlie still hated it when she was alone in the house and longed to have all her family back with her. There was no doubt in her mind that she was still in love with Brax, but, unfortunately it seemed that he had well and truly moved on. “Dance then mummy.” Toby hit his hand against her head a few times.

“Sorry baby.” Charlie stepped forward and walked onto the dance floor and started dancing with her youngest son.


Romeo collapsed down onto the bed next to his new wife. “Whoa,” Romeo tried to get his breath back. “Mrs Smith.” Romeo looked around to her.

Ruby smiled a little. “Yes, Mr Smith?” Ruby questioned as she propped herself up in the bed with her elbow, leaning her head against her hand.

“You’re amazing,” Romeo cupped her cheek with his hand. “Today was the best day of my life and I’m so happy you chose to become Mrs Smith.”

Ruby felt a funny feeling in her stomach whenever Romeo called her Mrs Smith. “I’m happy you asked me.” Ruby smiled as she ran her hand over his bare chest, his heart still beating faster from their recent activity.

“Think this time tomorrow we will be in Fiji,” Romeo smiled dreamily. “A whole week of me and you and gorgeous beaches and cocktails.” Romeo exhaled, excited for going on their honeymoon.

“Yeah,” Ruby smiled. “Aww it’s going to be great.”

“I’m so glad we found our way back to each other,” Romeo tucked Ruby’s hair behind her ear. “I couldn’t believe my luck when we got back together.”

Ruby exhaled as she looked down slightly. “I didn’t think you’d give me another chance, to be honest.”

“You’re too special for me not to have,” Romeo lightly caressed her shoulder. “I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you,” Romeo smiled as he leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on her lips. “I love you so much.”

“I love you too.” Ruby said, bringing her hand up and clutching the little elephant pendant of her necklace in her hand.

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Thank you Freakie42, Red Ranger 1, homeandaway13 and Spodt1 for the comments. :wub:


“April,” Katie screeched as she ran across the room jumping up into April’s arms. “Wow I see you.” Katie held onto her tightly.

“Hey pumpkin,” April hugged the girl. “You’ve grown up so much.” April put Katie down on the floor and she looked her up and down. Alice had brought her to stay with Heath and Bianca just after her first birthday, saying she was going to America to start a new life and they’d never heard from her since. Although Bianca struggled at first she soon developed a really close bond with the child and would now be heartbroken if Alice ever did return. Bianca was also the only mother Katie had ever know so it wouldn’t only be hard on Bianca and Heath if Alice were to make an appearance but they believed she was gone for good. She’d never tried to make contact in the near 3 years that she’d be gone for.

“I 4 soon,” Katie held up 4 fingers. “That a big number.”

“Yeah,” April ruffled her hair. “You’re getting to big, Katie.”

“Uh-huh.” Katie nodded.

“Hey.” April smiled at her sister as she stood back up and Bianca pulled her into a hug.

“You’re here earlier than expected.” Bianca said as they pulled back from the hug.

“Oh jeeze lovely to see you too.” April sighed.

“Of course it’s lovely to see you,” Bianca exhaled looking to April’s bags and thinking she had an awful lot for a few days visit. “You should have let me know you arrived. I could have picked you up from the airport.”

“I was fine on the bus.” April tucked her hair behind her ear.

“So where’s Carly?” Bianca questioned.

“Uhm she’s still in Cairns.” April answered.

“So she’s not coming?” Bianca looked down to see Katie was trying to get into April’s bag.

“No,” April replied. “We broke up so would be a bit weird if she did, right?” April pursed her lips together as she looked down, saddened.

“Aww April I’m sorry,” Bianca stepped forward and rubbed April’s arm comfortingly. “What happened?”

“Just came to the end,” April sighed. “It was a mutual decision so,” April gave a little shrug. “But I uhm....” April pursed her lips together. “I was wondering if it was okay with you that I uhm....” April trailed off.

“Sure you can stay as long as you want,” Bianca gave her sister a smile, knowing that’s what she was wanting to ask. “What about uni though?”

“I’ve already transferred to Northern Districts,” April said before looking down to see Katie pulling all of April’s clothes out of one of her bags. “What are you doing?” April said leaning down and lifting Katie out of the way.

“I see if my present there,” Katie pointed to the bag. “I no find it.” Katie pouted as she held her hands out to the side.

“It’s not your birthday till next week, missus. You won’t get any presents before then, okay?” Bianca said as she gave her a stern glance and Katie gave a little nod. “So have you eaten anything today?”

“Not since breakfast.” April answered.

“Well how about we go out for a celebratory lunch?” Bianca questioned. “We can go to Charlie’s.”

“Yeah,” Katie jumped excitedly on the spot. “Daddy’s work.”

“Sure,” April smiled. “I just want to freshen up first,” April said as she picked up one of her bags. “I’ll be like 10 minutes.” April said before she walked over to her room. She walked in to see nothing had changed since she left. She walked over to the bed and threw her bag down before taking a seat and opening the bedside drawer. She went right to the bottom, pulling out a photo frame and running her hand over the picture of her and Ruby, smiling fondly as she remembered what they had. She sighed lightly, throwing the picture down on her bed before walking through to the bathroom to freshen up.


“Knock knock.” Brax said before walking into the house he used to call home.

“Daddy.” Ella screeched as she bolted it across the room and crashed into him, wrapping her arms around him.

“Hey petal,” Brax smiled. “Is mummy around?”

“Toby pooped his undies,” Ella screwed her face up as Noah ran into the kitchen. “It’s stinky.”

“Eugh,” Brax screwed his face up as Charlie and Toby came walking into the room. “Hey, buddy what you doing still popping your undies?”

“I not.” Toby shook his head before running over to the table and climbing up on the seat.

“And we thought Noah was bad,” Charlie rolled her eyes. “He’s 3 and still doing it,” Charlie exhaled as she leaned against the worktop. “So, what can I do for you?”

Brax looked to the kids before looking back to Charlie. “Can you 3 let mummy and me talk in private?” Brax questioned.

“But I want to see you.” Ella frowned.

“I’ll come see you before I leave,” Brax told her. “Go on, good girl.” Ella sighed as she ran out of the room.

“C’mon Toby we’ll go play trains.” Noah said and Toby grinned as he jumped down from the chair and ran out of the room after his brother.

“What’s up?” Charlie folded her arms across her chest as she looked up at Brax.

“Eh, I want to talk to you about the restaurant.” Brax cleared his throat before walking further into the house and talking a seat at the table. Charlie walked across and sat down opposite him and stared at him waiting for him to talk.

“Well go on then.” Charlie said.

“Uhm...” Brax rubbed the back of his head. “You uhm...how are you finding working there?”

Charlie screwed her face up. She’d worked at the restaurant for over 3 years now, nearly 4, so was a bit confused by this questioned. “I love it. It’s great, why?”

“So, it’s not awkward working with me?” Brax questioned.

“Well,” Charlie rubbed her forehead, confused. “I guess the first few months weren’t great but, it’s fine. We’re both adults and it’s both our restaurant so...” Charlie shrugged a little.

“Right ehm,” Brax ran his hand over the edge of the table. “You see Nat thinks that -”

“I don’t care what Natalie thinks, Brax.” Charlie cut Brax off. She pursed her lips together as she stared at him.

“Please just....hear me out,” Brax ran his hand over his chin. “Eh, she wants me to pay you out of the business,” Brax spoke tentatively. “She doesn’t like that we still work together.”

“And that’s my problem because?” Charlie questioned. “There’s not much we can do about that, is there?”

“Well,” Brax paused. He didn’t want this and knew what Charlie’s response would be but he’d promised Natalie he’d at least talk to Charlie about it and felt he needed to follow through with that. “Like I said, I could buy your half from you.”

Charlie sniggered. “And what am I supposed to do for work?” Charlie questioned. “How will I support the kids and keep a roof over their heads with no job?”

“Well she reckons you could rejoin the police force or there’s -”

“Look, Brax, we don’t need to discuss this,” Charlie exhaled. “I own half of that place and that’s the way it’s staying,” Charlie told him. “Do you have a problem working with me?” Charlie questioned, really hoping this wasn’t the case. She liked her time at the restaurant with Brax, it may be at work, but at least she got to spend some time with him.

“Nah,” Brax shook his head. “But you have to see how Nat see’s it eh,” Brax questioned. “You are my ex-wife and -”

“Technically I am still your wife,” Charlie reminded him. “We are not divorced.”

“No,” Brax ran his hand around the finger where his wedding ring used to sit. “Look I just....I said I would talk to you about it, okay.” Brax sighed.

“Fair enough,” Charlie exhaled. “But let me ask you this. Is it what you want?” Charlie questioned. “Would you rather I didn’t work with you anymore?”

“Not really,” Brax shook his head as he answered quietly. “I like working with you,” Brax gave her a little smile. “It’s like.....like I’m always going to be a part of your life.”

“We’re always going to be a part of each other’s life, Brax,” Charlie told him. “We have the kids, don’t we? We’ll always be linked because of them.” Charlie was thankful for that. She couldn’t bear not to be in Brax’s life. As much as it hurt her that she was no longer the one to make him happy, she was still glad that he was happy, even if it was with Natalie.

“Yeah, I guess we will,” Brax exhaled. “Sometimes I....” Brax trailed off, wanting to tell her that sometimes he wished they were still together. He wished he never left and they worked harder at getting through their problems.

“Ouch,” Charlie and Brax looked through the house as they heard Ella squealing. “Toby stop it.” They heard the sounds of a slap before Toby’s cries could be heard. They both stood up from the table and walked through to the living room.

“What’s going on?” Charlie questioned and Toby ran over to her for comfort as Ella ran to Brax.

“Toby was biting Ella so she hit him.” Noah explained. Charlie sighed lightly. Ella and Toby’s spats were becoming more frequent in the last few months, most probably caused by the stress of learning to cope with the routine of living with separated parents.

“Toby we don’t bit.” Charlie spoke sternly.

“I no.” Toby shook his head.

“Yeah yeah see,” Ella lifted her arm out, showing two visible bite marks. “It was sore.”

“Aww Toby look what you’ve done to your sister,” Charlie lightly rubbed Ella’s arm over the bite marks. “What do you say?”

“I not.” Toby shook his head as he looked to his mother with puppy dog eyes.

“You did,” Noah said. “He did.” He looked to Charlie as he nodded.

“You say sorry to Ella.” Charlie said and Toby frowned before he stepped forward, giving his sister a hug.

“I sorry.” Toby said as he patted her back.

“You don’t do it again, okay,” Ella pointed her finger down at Toby and he shyly stepped back, hugging into Charlie. “Daddy.” Ella held her arm up and Brax knew exactly what she wanted him to do.

“Aww petal,” Brax rubbed her arm before leaning down and placing kisses over the bite marks. “That’ll make them better.”

“Yeah,” Ella moved her hair from in front of her face. “Daddy can you take me for ice-cream?”

“Eh.” Brax looked to Charlie, wanting her permission. It wasn’t his day to have the kids and he knew Charlie liked keeping them in a routine.

“It’s fine,” Charlie sighed. “You can take them out for ice-cream,” Charlie said and Toby cheered before he made a run for the door, Ella following closely behind.

“You coming buddy?” Brax questioned as he looked to Noah. Noah looked to his mother before he shook his head.

“I’ll stay with mummy.” Noah said. Noah always seemed to want to be with Charlie more these days. He still went to Brax’s place and looked forward to spending time with him but he still very much liked when it was time to go home.

“Okay, see you,” Brax ruffled his hair before looking to Charlie. “Eh, I’ll bring them home straight after. We’ll be like an hour or something.”

“It’s fine, be as long as you want,” Charlie told him. “Melanie is coming around soon anyways because I am going to work.” Charlie said as she tucked her hair behind her ear.

“Right well still, I won’t keep them long.” Brax said before he left the house to take Ella and Toby out for ice-cream.

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Thanks Chax, JosieTash, Sabrina, Spotd1, Red Ranger 1, RoRo90, Sarah, homeandaway13 and emmamurphy8 for the comments. :wub:


Charlie lifted carried the drinks over to the table. “Orange juice for Katie,” Charlie gave the girl her drink before opening the bottle of water and pouring a glass for April and Bianca. “Hey, how you doing, April?” Charlie questioned as she put the bottle of water down on the table.

“I’m good thanks, how are you?” April asked.

“Fine,” Charlie gave her a smile. “Weird seeing you back in here after all this time.”

“It’s a little weird being here,” April replied. “But, I’m sure I’ll get used to it again,” April smiled. “Can’t wait to hang with Dex,” April told her. “So, how’s Rubes?” Charlie looked a little shocked April had asked about her.

“She’s good,” Charlie nodded. “She’s uhm...she’s....”

“On her honeymoon,” April exhaled. “I’m glad she’s happy.” April gave a weak smile before taking a drink of her water.

“So uhm, how about you?” Charlie questioned. “Isn’t Carly visiting with you?”

“We broke up,” April answered. “And uhm....I’m back here for good, not just a visit.”

“Oh, sorry to hear about you and Carly,” Charlie gave her a sympathetic smile. “But it’s nice you are back for good,” Charlie smiled. “I know Bianca’s really missed you and little Katie has, haven’t you?”

“Yeah,” Katie nodded her head. “This much.” Katie held her hands out as wide as she could.

“Well I’m not going anywhere again,” April smiled down at her niece. “We can have lots of fun huh?”

“Yeah.” Katie grinned.

“So, Brax has the kids this weekend, right?” Bianca questioned as she pushed Katie’s seat closer into the table.

“Yeah,” Charlie nodded her head. “Why?”

“Thought me, you and Leah could go out,” Bianca told her. “It’s been ages since we’ve had a girls night.” Charlie pursed her lips together. She didn’t really feel like having a girls night.

“Uh, I’ll pass.” Charlie said and Bianca sighed.

“Aww c’mon we haven’t been out in ages,” Bianca clasped her hands together, like pleading with her friend. “Please. Just a few drinks. Saves you spending the night all on your lonesome.” Bianca gave a pout as she batted her eyelashes.

“Okay okay,” Charlie sighed. She didn’t really want to go out but she didn’t like being alone in the house.“A couple of drinks.” Bianca gave a squeal of delight before clapping her hands together.

“Charlie you know what?” Katie asked.

“What?” Charlie looked down to the girl who was staring up at her, her big brown eyes all wide.

“I nearly 4,” Katie held 4 fingers up. “That’s big.”

“Yeah,” Charlie widened her eyes. “You are growing up to fast,” Charlie said. “So, what do you want for your birthday?”

“Uhm,” Katie scratched the side of her head. “A baby sister.”

Bianca choked on her water and Charlie patted her back before handing her a napkin. “You okay?” Charlie questioned and Bianca gave a little nod as she hit her chest a few times before looking down to Katie. Even now, 5 years after the death of her son, Bianca was still struggling with the thought of having another baby, although she didn’t feel as freaked out by the thought as much as she used to. She loved Katie more than anything anyways and the need to have a child of her own wasn’t that high up on her list of things to do. “Since when did you want that?” Bianca questioned as she ran her hand through Katie’s hair.

“Always.” Katie answered although it was the first Bianca had heard of it.

“Well I don’t think you are going to get that pumpkin,” Bianca said. “You might want to wish for something else,” Katie furrowed her eyebrows before pulling her glass closer to her and putting the straw in her mouth, taking a drink of her juice. “A dolly with a pram then.” Katie answered and Bianca gave a little smile.

“Ah well that sounds cool huh?” April questioned and Katie gave a nod before taking another drink of her juice.

“You be at party?” Katie asked as she looked up to Charlie.

“Sure I will,” Charlie nodded. “And Toby, Ella and Noah too.” Charlie said as she glanced at some customers who had just walked in.

“And Uncle Brax?” Katie questioned.

“Yeah he’ll be there too sweetie.” Bianca said.

“And Nattie?” Katie asked and Bianca pursed her lips together as she glanced at Charlie.

“It’s fine,” Charlie sounded sad as she spoke. “I eh, I need to go.” Charlie said before she walked away to seat the people who’d just walked into the restaurant.


“So tell me again where you got this?” Ruby and Romeo were in the swimming pool at their hotel, Ruby leaning against the edge as Romeo was standing in front of her, one hand resting on her bum cheek as his other was holding the little elephant pendant in his hand.

“I’ve told you a million times,” Ruby sighed. “I don’t remember. I found it a while back and I loved it so have been wearing it ever since.” Ruby lied. Truth was she’d never really taken it off since April gave it to her that day at the hospital. Even after they split up she kept wearing it. It made her feel like she still had a part of April. A part of the woman she loved.

“Okay,” Romeo exhaled. “It’s nice, that’s all I was getting at,” Romeo let it fall back against her skin and Ruby brought her hand up and held it for a moment. She pursed her lips together as she looked deep into his eyes. She leaned up and placed a kiss on his lips, letting the necklace slip from her hand as she ran them through his hair. “As was that,” Romeo smiled as he pulled back. “In fact.” Romeo placed a soft kiss on her lips, before sticking his tongue into her mouth resulting in the kiss deepening.

“Mmm,” Ruby pulled back. “So, are we going to go into town today?” Ruby questioned. “We’ve been here 5 days,” Ruby told him. “There’s not much time left.” Ruby said as she ran her fingertips over his chest. Although they’d done a couple of trips they spent the rest of the time they had on the beach, by the pool or in the hotel room.

“Why do you want to shop?” Romeo questioned.

“Because I want to see the town where we stayed,” Ruby sighed. “And also, you know what my siblings are like,” Ruby said. “If I go back with no present for them they’ll kill me.” Ruby gave a little laugh and Romeo joined in.

“Okay, we’ll go in later,” Romeo told her. “I was enjoying what we were doing right now.” Romeo raised his eyebrows before leaning down and placing a soft kiss on her lips, Ruby wrapping her arms around his neck as the kiss deepened.

“Mmm, babe,” Ruby pulled back. “How about we go for a cocktail or something?”

“Uhm,” Romeo rubbed the back of his head. “Sure, okay then.” Romeo stepped to the side before getting out of the pool. He held his hand out and helped Ruby out before they made their way over to the beach bar. “How about we have a sex on the beach?”Romeo grinned suggestively as he nudged her side.

“No.” Ruby shook her head.

“You do know I wasn’t actually talking about the cocktail there, right?” Romeo questioned.

“I knew exactly what you were thinking,” Ruby told him. “But the answer is still no.” Ruby picked up her pace walking slightly ahead of Romeo. He exhaled lightly before he picked up his pace so he could catch up with his new wife.

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It was now the weekend and the kids were at Brax and Natalie’s place. Brax was putting Toby to bed as the twins were still downstairs picking a movie to watch. “I want this one.” Ella said, holding Brave in her hand.

“No,” Noah banged his hand off the ground. “I don’t like it.”

“Yeah you do,” Ella raised her voice. “It’s the one with the lady that gets wished into a bear by her girl,” Ella said as she looked at the box. “You like it Noah.”

“No I don’t,” Noah shouted. “Wreck-It-Ralph is what I want to watch.”

“Well we can only watch one,” Natalie said. “So, you’ll need to decide, okay?”

Noah scowled at her before looking back down to the DVD in his hand. “Wreck-It-Ralph.” Noah said before crawling over to the DVD player and opening the box.

“No, Noah.” Ella squealed as she moved closer to her brother and tried to take the DVD from him resulting a squabble as hands went flying out, hitting out at each other.

“I know karate,” Noah warned his sister. “So I wouldn’t.” Noah batted her hand away.

“Right you two,” Natalie pulled them apart. “If you can’t decide you’ll get sent straight to bed.”

“Uh-uh,” Noah shook his head. “We want this one.” Noah held Wreck-It-Ralph up.

“No,” Ella screeched. “Brave.” Ella held it up and Natalie sighed as she ran her hand over her forehead, not knowing how to settle the dispute. She looked down to the collection of DVD’s and picked one up.

“Right, we’ll watch this then.” Natalie said, deciding it was the easiest way to settle things.

“No, that’s Toby’s. It’s for babies.” Noah grabbed the DVD from her hand as threw it across the room.

“Noah,” Natalie was surprised by his behaviour. He was usually always so quiet and polite and this was really a surprise to her. “Go and pick that up.”

“No,” Noah shook his head as he folded his arm across his chest. “You can’t tell me what to do.”

“Noah,” Natalie spoke softly as she glanced at Ella who was sitting silently staring at her brother. “Please go and pick that DVD up.”

“You are not my mum, you can’t tell me what to do.” Noah shouted as Brax’s footsteps could be heard on the stairs.

“What’s going on here?” Brax questioned, hearing his son yelling.

“I want to go home,” Noah started to cry as Brax walked over to him. “I want mummy.” Brax glanced at Natalie and Ella before looking down to Noah.

“Buddy,” Brax spoke softly as he crouched down. “You’re staying here for the weekend.”

“No, I don’t want too,” Noah cried. “I want mummy now.” Noah shrugged away as Brax tried to pull him into a comforting him. It had taken him longer to get used to the split and Natalie being around, but, the last month or two he seemed to be coming round and talking with Natalie more, so he was a little surprised by this.

“Buddy mummy is at home relaxing,” Brax said. “You get to stay here and hang out with daddy.”

“No,” Noah stood up. “I want my mum.” Noah hit his foot on the ground before making a run for the door.

“Hey hey, okay,” Brax ran across the room and grabbed Noah before he reached the door. “We’ll phone mummy okay?”

“No,” Noah cried. “I will go home now,” Noah said. “Please daddy. I want to be with mummy.”

Brax sighed, feeling a little saddened. He ran his hand over his son’s tear stained cheeks before he nodded his head lightly. “Okay, I’ll phone mummy and tell her I am bringing you home.”

“Thank you.” Noah hugged his dad before he ran up the stairs, getting his teddy from his bed that he liked to sleep with before running back down the stairs.


Bianca walked back into the living room from putting Katie to bed. “You fancy a bottle of wine?” Bianca leaned over the couch and looked to April.

“Sure,” April answered and Bianca disappeared into the kitchen, returning moment later with a two glasses of white wine “So,” Bianca pursed her lips together as she handed April a glass. “Do you want to talk about what happened with Carly?”

April exhaled lightly before taking a drink of the wine. “There’s not really anything to tell,” April answered. “Like I told you, it had just run its course.”

“Hmm,” Bianca clicked her tongue. “Just you always seemed so positive about her when we talked.”

“Yeah, I think,” April bit her lip as she ran her hand up and down the stem of her glass. “I guess I was just trying to kid myself,” April exhaled. “But we’re going to say mates.”

Bianca gave a little smile. “If there was anything else you’d tell me, right?” Bianca questioned and April gave a little nod. “You know, it’s just you’ve transferred uni’s and moved back here so -”

“I just missed being here,” April exhaled. “Honestly everything is fine.” April told her sister.

“Good,” Bianca smiled lightly. “You fancy coming out tomorrow night with Charlie, Leah and me?” Bianca questioned before taking a drink of her wine.

“Uhm,” April pursed her lips together. “And the others won’t mind?”

“Of course not,” Bianca answered. “Heath is working so I’d need to find a sitter for Katie but I’m sure that’ll be doable.”

“So who was going to look after her before like?” April questioned.

“I was kinda thinking you would,” Bianca answered and April raised her eyebrows.

“Oh really?” April questioned. “Awfully presumptuous of you, no?”

“Maybe a little,” Bianca gave a little laugh. “But I’m sure you would have done it for me.”

“Yeah,” April gave a little laugh. “And if you can find a sitter then I’ll come,” April gave a smile. “Will be good actually, haven’t been out in so long.” April said.

“Really?” Bianca questioned. “And I believed students had a mad party life.”

“I’m a medical student,” April sighed. “I have way to much work to be out partying every weekend.”

“Well you can let your hair down this weekend,” Bianca told her. “But then come Monday its back to the books.” Bianca said and April gave a little laugh.

“Uhm...” April pursed her lips together. “Ruby goes to Northern Districts, right?”

“Yeah,” Bianca clicked her tongue. “She’s in her last year though. You don’t want to run into her?”

“Think it’s pretty inevitable that we are going to,” April murmured. “Although maybe not at uni,” April added. “Pretty sure the medical and music classes will be in different areas.”

“Yes, probably.” Bianca answered.

“And it’s not like we had a bad break-up,” April said. “So, you know...” April pursed her lips together. “And we did say we’d stay friends so maybe we could actually do that,” April exhaled. Although they said they’d be friends they hadn’t been in touch since April left town two years earlier. “It’d be nice to hang with her again.”

“So you wouldn’t feel awkward?” Bianca questioned. “Especially now she is married to a guy.”

“She’s in love and I am happy for her,” April answered. “Just because she’s married a guy, it doesn’t take away what we had. She loved me and we had 2 amazing years together but we broke up and she moved on, we both did.”

“Yeah I guess you did,” Bianca took a drink of her wine. “So, you single and ready to mingle?” Bianca nudged her sister’s arm as she raised her eyebrows as few times.

“I’ve only been single for like a week,” April exhaled. “So unless Mila Kunis comes knocking.....” April trailed off as she shook her head.

“Mila Kunis, really you are still on that crush?” Bianca questioned.

“Always will be,” April answered. “But seriously, I’m just going to enjoy being single for a while. Concentrate on my schooling.”

“Right,” Bianca answered. “So, I’ll expect you to be in a relationship by this time next month then.”

“No,” April shook her head. “I’m won’t be.”

Bianca gave a little laugh. “You know when people say they are happy being single and not looking that’s exactly when they find someone.” Bianca said.

“Well we’ll just have to wait and see then eh?” April said before taking a drink of her wine. There was one person she’d date in a heartbeat but she was pretty sure she wouldn’t stand a chance consider she was a newly married woman.

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Brax was still at Charlie’s place, having dropped Noah home and he was telling Charlie what had happened. “It just doesn’t sound like Noah,” Charlie exhaled. “Did she say anything to get him upset?” Charlie questioned.

“Of course she wouldn’t have,” Brax answered. “C’mon Charlie she’s not a bad person.”

“I’m not saying she is,” Charlie raised her voice a little. “All I’m saying is that doesn’t sound like Noah. Normally he is happy to do whatever.” Charlie said.

“I know,” Brax answered. “I guess he’s still trying to get used to this,” Brax sighed as he ran his fingers around his bare wedding ring finger. “We didn’t want it to come to this.”

“Says the guy who left,” Charlie spoke quietly also playing with her bare wedding ring finger. “Well anyways, he’s going to have to stay with you tomorrow night because I am going out.”

“Right,” Brax gave a little nod. “Out anywhere nice?”

“Just some drinks with the girls.” Charlie told him.

“Ah okay,” Brax gave her a little smile. “Natalie never mentioned it.”

“Probably because she’s not invited.” Charlie retorted.

“Oh.” Brax stood open mouthed for a while.

“Have you told her I’m not leaving the restaurant either?” Charlie questioned. It had been a few days since their talk about that and she’d half expected Natalie to say something to her.

“Not yet,” Brax replied. “Guess I will tonight once Ella is in bed or maybe tomorrow, we’ll see,” Brax gave a little laugh. “Anyways, I’ll get home,” Brax stepped to the side a little, looking down to the living room where Noah was sitting on the couch. “Bye buddy. I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”

“Okay.” Noah replied. Brax exhaled as he turned to face Charlie again.

“Well I’ll see you tomorrow then,” Brax exhaled. “What time you want me to come for him at?”

“I’ll call you tomorrow,” Charlie said and Brax gave a little nod before he walked over to the door. “See you.”

“Bye.” Brax said before he left the house. Charlie closed the door as she sighed, hitting her head against it. She took a moment to compose herself before walking through to the living room, taking a seat next to her son.

“Right buddy, you going to tell mummy what’s wrong?” Charlie questioned as she wrapped her arm around him and he cuddled into her, keeping a hold of his teddy.

“I didn’t want to see Brave.” Noah sighed.

“Hmmm,” Charlie ran her hand through his hair. “You sure there’s nothing else?”

Noah sighed as he bowed his head down. “I want daddy to come home.” Noah spoke quietly and sounded like he was going to cry.

“Aww sweetheart,” Charlie felt herself welling up already. “Daddy is with Natalie now and he’s happy with her,” It hurt Charlie to say this. That Brax was happy with someone else. She wished it was still her that made him happy, but, the last few months before Brax left was far from happy. “Don’t you want him to be happy?”

“With you,” Noah nodded. “You will be happy then too.”

“Hey, mummy’s okay,” Charlie held her son closer to her. “I’ve got Rubes, Ella and Toby and of course you,” Charlie tickled his side, resulting in a little laugh escaping his lips. “You guys are all I need.”

“Not really,” Noah exhaled. “You cry for daddy.”

Charlie pursed her lips together. There’d been the odd occasion when Charlie would cry, but it would be when she thought the kids were in bed and unaware of this. “Yeah I know I have, but, sweetie we need to get used to daddy being with Natalie, okay?” Charlie rubbed his arm. “It doesn’t mean he loves you any less and you’ll always have him in your life.” Charlie said.

“I don’t like Natalie,” Noah exhaled. “She’s not as nice as you.”

“Aww sweetheart you’re never going to think anyone is as nice as your mother,” Charlie told him. “But I’m sure Natalie is very good to you when you are with her.”

Noah shrugged his shoulders. “She likes Toby best.”

“Does she?” Charlie questioned and Noah nodded.

“But he don’t like her,” Noah told his mother. “He nipped her,” Noah gave a little giggle. “But daddy gave him a row.”

“Yes well nipping isn’t nice,” Charlie exhaled. “But buddy it’s important you go to daddy’s and spend some time with him, okay?” Charlie told him. “I’ll be fine here and get to look forward to you coming home.”

Noah gave her a little smile. “Can’t you try with daddy at home?” Noah questioned.

Charlie sighed lightly. She’d be more than willing to let Brax come home but she couldn’t tell her son that. She didn’t want Brax to seem like the bad guy in his son’s eyes. “He’s with Natalie.” Charlie said. Noah pouted sadly.

“I don’t like it.” Noah told her.

“I know but you need you try, okay? For daddy,” Charlie hugged him close as she placed a kiss on his temple. “Now how about we watch a DVD?” Charlie questioned. “Get some popcorn and a juice?”

“Yeah,” Noah smiled. “Wreck-It-Ralph.” Noah answered.

“That’s at daddy’s,” Charlie told her son and Noah pouted a little. “You’ll have to pick something else for tonight.”

Noah sighed as he jumped down the couch. “I’ll look.” Noah said as he pointed to the DVD collection.

“Okay,” Charlie stood up from the couch. “I’ll go get the popcorn and juice.” Charlie said, but before she could walk through to the kitchen Noah’s arms wrapped tightly around her.

“I love you most in this whole world mummy.” Noah mumbled as his head was squashed against her stomach.

“I love you too buddy.” Charlie smiled as she rubbed her sons back as she they stayed in the embrace for a little longer.


Romeo led Ruby along the moonlit beach. It was their last night in Fiji and they’d had a romantic meal at a restaurant overlooking the ocean and now they were out for a night stroll along the beach. “How fast did this week go?” Romeo questioned.

“I know,” Ruby sighed. “But in a way, I have missed the bay,” Ruby said. “As much as I’ve enjoyed my time with you here I’m actually looking forward to being back.”

“Oh yeah?” Romeo questioned. “I could live here,” Romeo told her. “Get a nice little house a stone’s throw from the beach and teach people how to surf. Paradise.”

“I’m sorry but isn’t that exactly what you do at home?” Ruby questioned.

“Well yeah,” Romeo answered. “But c’mon, how much nice is this beach to our beach?” Romeo questioned. “The water is so crystal clear and the sand is white.”

“I guess,” Ruby smiled. “But it’s nice you only have that a week or two at a time I reckon,” Ruby said. “Makes it seem more special, don’t you think?”

“Well maybe,” Romeo shrugged. “Still maybe this could be a dream of ours,” Romeo smiled. “Go home and save up the funds and come out here have a few kiddies and they can run free on the beach while I teach people how to surf and you can teach the locals music,” Romeo said. “I reckon we could do that.”

“Oh yeah?” Ruby questioned. “I think I’m good in Summer Bay.”

Romeo gave her a little smile as they sat down on the sand, Romeo wrapping his arm around Ruby. “I guess it’s always nice to dream though, right?”

“Of course,” Ruby nodded. “And maybe one day it’ll happen.”

“As long as I’m with you I don’t actually care were we are,” Romeo placed a soft kiss on her head. “Being with you has made me happy enough so whether we live in Australia, Fiji or even Antarctica, I’ll be happy because I’m with you.”

“Sweet,” Ruby laughed. “Antarctica has always been where I want t settle,” Romeo laughed lightly before Ruby looked up to him and into his eyes. She gave him a smile as he leaned in and placed a soft kiss on her lips. “I eh....I could really do with that sex on the beach now.” Ruby whispered and Romeo smiled as he kissed her once again, Ruby smiling into the kiss, letting it get more passionate.

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Charlie, Leah and Bianca were sitting around the table, waiting on April returning with the next round of drinks. “Where has she got too?” Bianca questioned. “She’s taking her sweet time.”

“I think she’s more into sticking her tongue down that girl’s throat than getting us drinks.” Charlie said as she spotted April at the end of the bar with the other woman.

“That the woman she was talking to before?” Leah questioned.

“I think so,” Charlie answered. “April’s head is sort of in the way for me to see properly though.” Charlie said.

“Ahh lovely April,” Bianca exhaled. “Right, looks like it’s my round,” Bianca jumped down from the seat. “I’ll be right back.” Bianca picked up her bag and made her way over to the bar.

“So, Ruby get back from Fiji alright?” Leah questioned.

“Yeah,” Charlie nodded. “She seemed to have a great time,” Charlie answered. “And the kids apparently loved their presents but she went to see them at Brax’s place so I haven’t seen them yet.” Charlie said and Leah gave a little smile.

“Would have loved a honeymoon in Fiji,” Leah exhaled. “But no Miles takes me two hours drive away,” Leah sighed. “We didn’t even leave New South Wales.”

Charlie gave a little laugh. “Least you got a few days away though,” Charlie said. “And if you are with your love it shouldn’t matter where you are.”

“No, that’s true.” Leah said as Bianca appeared back at the table.

“What’s true?” Bianca questioned as she took a seat as each of the ladies grabbed a wine glass.

“We’re talking about honeymoon destinations,” Leah told her. “I was saying Ruby get’s taken to Fiji and I don’t leave the state.”

Bianca gave a little laugh. “At least you got a honeymoon,” Bianca exhaled. “Heath and I didn’t go anywhere.”

“Well no but you’d just gotten Katie not long before the wedding,” Charlie said. “You had more important things to worry about.”

“Yeah,” Bianca exhaled. Although she wanted nothing to do with Katie when she first found out about her, now, she couldn’t imagine a life without her. “So, Charlie,” Bianca raised her eyebrows. “We looking to set you up tonight?”

Charlie groaned. She had a feeling in the back of her mind that this may have been on the agenda for the evening. “No, we most certainly are not.”

“You don’t even want to have a little bit of fun?” Leah questioned.

“Sure I want to have fun,” Charlie answered. “But I can do that without hooking up with some random.”

“I suppose you can,” Bianca answered. “But it could be even more fun if you did meet a guy,” Bianca said before taking a drink of her wine. “Lot’s more fun.” Bianca raised her eyebrows.

Charlie shook her head. “I’m fine on my own,” Charlie answered. “I don’t want to move on...I want...I...” Charlie pursed her lips together. “Excuse me; I’m going to the toilet.” Charlie left the table and made her way down to the toilets. She locked herself in a cubical and ran her hand over her eyes. She knew her friends were only trying to help her to possibly move on from Brax, but she was pretty sure that that was the last thing she wanted. She stood for a few minutes, before she took a few deep breaths to compose herself before she left the toilets, bumping into someone on the way back to the bar. “Sorry.” Charlie said as she looked up and thought the face looked familiar.

“Charlie Buckton?” The man questioned.

Charlie stared at him for a moment, then it hit her. “Roman,” Charlie said. “Oh my goodness, how are you doing?” Charlie and Roman hugged before pulling back.

“I’m good, how are you?” Roman asked his voice raised a little from the music in the pub.

“Good.” Charlie answered.

“Can I get you drink?” Roman asked. “Maybe we could have a catch up?”

“Uhm....yeah,” Charlie looked over to the table to see Bianca and Leah were deep in discussion. “Sure, a drink would be good thanks.” They gave each other a smile before walking over to the bar.

“So, what do you want?” Roman questioned.

“White wine please,” Charlie answered and Roman ordered her wine and a beer for himself before they walked over to a free table. “Thanks,” Charlie smiled as she took the drink for him before sitting down at the table. “So, it’s been a while.”

“Yeah it sure has,” Roman smiled. “You’ve hardly aged a day.” Roman said as he took a drink of his beer.

“Oh,” Charlie gave a little laugh. “I’ve had three more children so I am sure I’ve aged plenty.”

“Ah you have a family,” Roman smiled. “10 year plan happen then?” Roman questioned and Charlie gave a little laugh, remembering her 10 year life plan she’d told Roman about when they were together.

“Sort of,” Charlie answered. “I got married, worked my way up to Sergeant and had the kids,” Charlie said. “But now I am no longer a police officer and am separated so...” Charlie gave a little shrug.

“Sorry to hear,” Roman exhaled, but also liked hearing she was single. “What made you leave the force? As far as I remembered you loved your job.”

“I did,” Charlie nodded. “But I went into business with my husb....” Charlie cut off. “Brax....I used to be with him and we have a restaurant together.”

“Ah I see,” Roman nodded his head. “And you still work together?”

“Yeah,” Charlie nodded. “We tend to not have as much shifts together nowadays, but, it’s fine working with him.” Charlie pursed her lips together before taking a drink of her wine.

“So you still get on,” Roman said. “That’s good for the kids.”

“Yeah,” Charlie nodded. “They’re still young so I’m not really sure they fully understand.”

“Ah how old are they?” Roman questioned.

“The twins are 6 and then Toby is 3,” Charlie told him. “But I won’t bore you with stories on them,” Charlie said and Roman gave a little laugh. “How about you? You ever settle with someone?”

“Nah,” Roman shook his head. “I’ve had girlfriends but nothing ever got that serious,” Roman exhaled. “You know what it was like. I’m the SAS always coming and going,” Roman shrugged. “But, I’m on a month’s leave right now and have been staying with Nicole and Angelo and the babies,” Roman smiled. “Well they really babies anymore. They’re 5 and 6 but, yeah it’s been nice seeing them.”

“Yeah I bet,” Charlie smiled. “Hard to believe you are a grandfather though, still so young.”

“Yeah,” Roman laughed. “Had them in the supermarket the other day and the checkout lady thought I was their father. Nearly had a fit when Freddie called me granddad.”

“I can imagine.” Charlie gave a little laugh.

“So how’s Ruby?” Roman questioned.

“She’s good,” Charlie smiled. “She’s just back from her honeymoon actually,” Charlie told him. “Not my little Ruby anymore. Lives with Romeo and....yeah, she’s all grown up.”

“Aww well tell her congratulations from me.” Roman said before taking a drink of his beer.

“I will,” Charlie gave him a smile. “So Nicole lives in Sydney, what’s brought you down here to be for a night out?” Charlie questioned. “I’d say you’d have had a better time in Sydney.”

“Yeah,” Roman gave a little laugh. “It’s a mates bucks night eh,” Roman took a drink of his beer. “We were paintballing just up the road there so out here for the night and staying at the Hilton.” Roman said.

“Ahh I see,” Charlie gave a little nod. “Big night then,” Charlie said. “If you want to get back to your friends that’s fine.” Charlie said as she tucked her hair behind her ear.

“I’m actually enjoying talking with you,” Roman told her. “But if you wanted me to leave I will.”

“No no,” Charlie shook her head. “Its fine, I eh...I’m enjoying talking with you too,” Charlie gave him a little smile. “How much longer do you have before you head off again?”

“Two weeks,” Roman told her. “I’ll be out in Iraq for 6 months then come back for 2 weeks and be back out for another 6 months.”

“Can’t imagine being out there,” Charlie said. “Do you ever feel scared?”

Roman gave a little laugh. “You know, there are sometimes I do,” Roman said. “But it’s a job I love, so...” Roman gave a little shrug before taking a drink of his beer. “Anyways, would you like another drink here or we could go elsewhere?” Roman questioned, his eyebrows raising a little.

“Uhm,” Charlie pursed her lips together as she glanced in the direction of Bianca and Leah’s table. She exhaled lightly thinking that if Brax had moved on maybe it was time she tried to as well. “Sure, just let me go tell my friends I’m leaving.” Charlie said as she stood up from the table, drinking the last of her wine as she did so.

“Great,” Roman smiled. “I’ll see you at door then.” Roman glugged down the last of his beer as he watched Charlie walking over to tell Leah and Bianca she was leaving.

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Charlie and Roman were in his hotel room, empty beer bottles sitting on the table. Charlie wasn’t sure how it happened, but, before she knew it, they were kissing and it was only getting more and more passionate. Her dress had already been removed, leaving her in only her underwear and Roman was down to his boxers. Roman was straddling over Charlie on the bed, Charlie with her legs wrapped around his waist as their tongues explored each other’s mouths. She heard Roman grunt hungrily as she felt him hard against her as the kiss intensified. Charlie ran her hand through his hair as he started to kiss down her jawline to her neck. “Mmm Roman, wait.” Charlie pushed him back a little.

“What is it?” Roman whispered.

“I’m sorry,” Charlie pushed on his chest again, resulting in Roman getting up and sitting over the edge of the bed. Roman sighed lightly as he looked around to her as she sat up too. “I’m still in love with him,” Charlie played with her bare wedding ring finger. “It wouldn’t be right,” Charlie shook her head. “I don’t want to be with anyone but him.”

Roman exhaled lightly as he tentatively put his arm around her, rubbing her lower back. “You should tell him,” Roman told her. “Maybe he feels the same and you guys just need to talk it out.”

“I wouldn’t count on it,” Charlie shook her head. “He has a girlfriend.”

“Oh,” Roman rubbed the back of his head. “They real serious?”

Charlie gave a little shrug. “She’s just moved in with him,” Charlie answered. “So, I guess so.” Charlie ran her finger around her wedding finger again.

“Well maybe he’s only trying to make it work with her because he doesn’t think reconciliation with you is an option,” Roman suggested. “If you love him, you need to tell him. You might get everything you want.”

Charlie pursed her lips, thinking about what he’d said. “Or I might get my heart broken even more,” Charlie exhaled. “And I have the kids to think about. I can’t start confusing them with the possibility that we might be getting back together.”

“So keep it quiet until you both know what you both really want,” Roman said. “You need to take the chance, Charlie,” Roman exhaled as he continued to rub her back. “You’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t.”

Charlie sucked in her bottom lip. “Sorry for dumping this on you,” Charlie looked back up to Roman. “You were about to get lucky then....” Charlie shook her head giving a little laugh. “Probably not how you planned your night to go, right?”

“No,” Roman laughed. “But some people have said I’m a good shoulder to cry on,” Roman gave her a smile. “So, if you want to spill your guts.”

“I don’t know,” Charlie gave a little shrug. “I just....I wish he never left. I wish we could have worked harder to fix things. I know things were far from great and maybe, looking back, us taking time apart was for the best, but...” Charlie trailed off.

“You didn’t think it would be permanent?” Roman questioned and Charlie shook her head.

“I always thought there was hope,” Charlie spoke quietly. “But then he started seeing Natalie and it obviously slipped away,” Charlie sighed lightly. “I just want him to be happy, so....” Charlie gave a little shrug.

“Wouldn’t you rather it was with you?” Roman questioned.

“Goes without saying,” Charlie replied. “But maybe it’s just not going to be me who does that anymore.”

Roman exhaled as he rubbed his forehead. “Why did you break up?” Roman questioned. “If you don’t mind telling me. You don’t need too.”

Charlie cleared her throat. “There were a few reasons,” Charlie bowed her head down a little. “But uhm....we just seemed to hit a rough patch,” Charlie said. “We argued all the time. We couldn’t seem to say one nice word to each other. Things got better for a while but then he....” Charlie pursed her lips together. “He did something very deceitful and then it seemed to tip us over the edge,” Charlie exhaled. “The arguing seemed to get even worse and.....well the kids were starting to suffer and I said something had to be done. That the arguing needed to stop,” Charlie paused for a moment. “I wanted to talk it through, work it out but Brax left. He said it was probably best for the kids if we were apart and I did agree to an extent but...well I always thought we would still work it out, that he would come home.”

“But then he started dating Natalie?” Roman questioned and Charlie gave a little nod.

“Yeah he did,” Charlie sighed before looking around the room. “Sorry, I eh....I think I should get home.” Charlie said and Roman gave a little nod as they stood up from the bed and Charlie put her dress back on before slipping on her shoes and getting ready to leave the hotel.


Charlie was walking through town, heading back to her house. She was walking past the surf club as she noticed the lights to the restaurant were on. She screwed her face up before walking through the surf club door and up the stairs towards the restaurant. She saw Brax sitting over the bar, a bottle of bourbon by his side as there was a glass in his hand. “We’re closed,” Brax said as he heard her footsteps behind him before he turned around. “Oh, it’s you,” Brax gave a little smile. “Good night?”

“Yeah it was okay,” Charlie gave a weak smile as she sat next to Brax. Brax jumped down from the stool and walked around the bar grabbing another glass and pouring Charlie a drink of the bourbon, before walking back around to the stool. “What you doing drinking here?”

“Nat and I had a fight,” Brax sighed before taking a drink, glugging down the whole glass before pouring himself some more. “Had to get out for a bit.”

“Oh,” Charlie pursed her lips together. She wasn’t really sorry to hear that. “This anything to do with the restaurant stuff?” Charlie questioned before taking a drink of the bourbon, screwing her face up a little at the taste.

“Got it in one,” Brax said. “When I said you wouldn’t sell she suggested I did,” Brax gave a little laugh. “She seems determined on us not working together.” Brax shook his head before taking a drink.

“Nice way of letting you know she doesn’t trust you,” Charlie raised her eyebrows as she watched Brax pouring himself yet another bourbon. She exhaled as she reached forward, taking the bottle from his hand and pushing it down the bar and out of his reach. “I think you’ve had enough to drink.”

Brax sniggered. “I guess I have,” Brax rubbed his forehead. “Nice to see you still look out for me.”

Charlie gave him a smile as they looked into each other’s eyes. “So,” Charlie cleared her throat as she broke contact. “I hope that this argument happened out the kids’ earshot.” Charlie said.

“They were in bed,” Brax answered. “You know when I said we weren’t selling, she suggested that she comes and works at the restaurant.”

“Oh because that wouldn’t be awkward,” Charlie rolled her eyes. “I hope you didn’t agree to that.”

“No,” Brax shook his head. “I said I didn’t think it would work. Me, my girlfriend and my estranged wife all working together.” Brax raised his eyebrows.

“She has a job anyways,” Charlie looked a little confused. “Why would she leave the school to work in a restaurant?”

“She’s only on a temp contract eh,” Brax told her. “Covering maternity leave so she’s only got a month left.” Brax said.

“Oh,” Charlie moved the glass around, the bourbon spinning round inside it. “So what’s she going to do?”

“Well I guess that’s why she asked for a job in the restaurant,” Brax sighed. “But she has been looking online at jobs. I think she applied for a job at Yabbie Creek high school.”

“Ahh.” Charlie gave a little nod.

“Yeah but there’s not really much in this area,” Brax exhaled. “I’m not really sure what she’ll do.”

“You think she’ll head off elsewhere?” Charlie questioned. A little glimmer of hope raising inside her that Natalie may soon be out of the equation.

“She wants to stay here,” Brax told her. “So, I guess if she doesn’t get the job at Yabbie Creek she’ll look for something other than counselling.”

“Does it have to be in a school?” Charlie questioned. “Can’t she work at a normal counselling place?”

Brax gave a little shrug. “As far as I am aware she’s always been a school counsellor so....” Brax trailed off. “But hopefully she gets the job at Yabbie Creek.”

“Yeah,” Charlie murmured before taking a drink, her conversation with Roman running through her mind, wondering if she should say something. It probably wasn’t the best time. On the back of an argument and when they’d both been drinking, but, the drink had given her some more courage to actually feel brave enough to say something and if it all went wrong, she could blame it on the drink. “Brax I...” Charlie bit her lip. “I...do you ever wish that we....” Charlie paused.

“That we could work it out?” Brax questioned and Charlie gave a little nod as she sucked in her bottom lip. “Of course,” Brax answered. “But just because I wish it doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do, right?”

“Oh,” Charlie bowed her head down, saddened. “I guess not.” Charlie sniffed back, finding herself becoming emotional.

“Of course I’d rather we could have stayed together,” Brax said. “But....it was....it wasn’t good in the end, was it?”

Charlie shook her head. “No, but every couple argues. I’m sure we could have worked it out. We were going through a rough patch....I think....if we tried hard enough and it was what we both wanted then it would have worked itself out in the end.”

“Even after what I did?” Brax questioned and Charlie gave a little nod. “Ahh I...” Brax rubbed his forehead. “I have a girlfriend, Charlie, I...” Brax pursed his lips together. “It’s too late.”

Charlie pursed her lips together. “I’m going to head home,” Charlie stood up, wiping her hand over her eyes. “You should probably get back in case one of the kids get up. They’re not Natalie’s responsibility.” Charlie said before she turned and walked out of the restaurant as a tear rolled down her cheek.

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Thanks beebee, Red Ranger 1, emmamurphy8, Sabrina and Sarah for the comments.


Brax walked up the driveway and took a deep breath before bringing his hand up to knock on the door. He shook his head thinking this was a bad idea before turning and walking back down the driveway. As he got halfway down he stopped and ran his hand over his forehead before walking back up and rapping hard on the door. “Charlie it’s me.” Brax shouted as he rang the doorbell. After a few minutes waiting he saw the light coming on through the side window before the door opened.

“What are you doing?” Charlie questioned, glancing to the clock on the wall and seeing it was almost 2am. “Is it the kids?” Charlie put her hand onto her chest, suddenly worried something bad had happened.

“No the kids are fine,” Brax said. “I eh.....I.....” Brax paused as he stared at her. He could see her eyes looked a little red and puffy and thought she may had cried after how they left it at the restaurant. He put his hand out and gently rubbed her cheek before leaning forward, placing a soft kiss on her lips.

“Brax, what- ” Charlie tried to talk.

“Shhh.” Brax silenced her by once again placing his lips on hers as he walked into the house, kicking the door shut with his foot. He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her against him as they made their way to the bedroom, the kiss never breaking, only intensifying.


April knocked on the door of the apartment, excitement bubbling inside her at seeing him again. He’d visited her once, when she’d first moved away, but they’d both been too busy with uni to ever have the time to travel to see each other. “April,” Dex grinned when the door opened. April let out a girly squeal as she jumped forward and into his arms, Dex wrapping his arms around her in a hug. “How are you doing?” Dex questioned as they walked into the apartment and over to the kitchen area.

“Good yeah,” April tucked her hair behind her ear. “How are you?”

“Can’t complain,” Dex said as he pulled two mugs from the mug tree. “Coffee?” April nodded as she took a seat at the breakfast bar.

“How long have you lived here for then?” April questioned. “It’s a nice place.”

“Yeah it’s not bad,” Dex flicked the kettle on. “Uhm, moved in about 6 months ago now,” Dex told her. “It’s been pretty sweet.”

“I bet,” April smiled as she jumped down from the stool and walked over to the fridge to grab the milk for him. She put the milk down on the worktop before looking back to the fridge, looking at the picture of Dex with a girl. “Ohhh who’s this stunner?”

“That’s Adrian,” Dex smiled as he poured the milk into the mugs. “And please don’t steal her from me. I love her very much.”

April gave a little laugh. “Don’t worry I won’t try anything with your straight girlfriend,” April said and Dex gave a little smile. “How long have you been together?”

“Almost 18 months,” Dexter answered. “Was thinking of asking her to move in actually, you think I should?” Dex handed April her coffee and she gave a little shrug as he put the milk back into the fridge.

“If you think you are ready for that then go for it,” April said as they walked over to the living room, taking a seat on the couch. “So, tell me more about her,” April cross her legs on the couch, leaning back against the cushion. “Where did you meet?”

Dex took a drink of his coffee before leaning back on the couch. “Well as I said she’d called Adrian, she’s 20, we met at the pet shop, she’s -”

“You met at the pet shop?” April gave a sort of laugh.

“Yeah,” Dex answered. “I was buying Bait.”

“Bait?” April screwed her face up. “Since when do you fish?”

“No not fish bait, Bait is a fish,” Dex said as he pointed to the fish bowl in the kitchen. “That’s Bait.”

“Ahh I see,” April said taking a drink of her coffee. “Great name for a fish,” April laughed. “So,” April raised her eyebrows. “If you are wanting her to move in it must be getting serious,” April smiled. “Aww my little Dex,” April grinned. “I’m so excited for you.”

“She’ll need to say yes first,” Dex answered nervously. “But what about you? How’s your love life?”

April pursed her lips together. “Uhm, I’ve just broken up with my girlfriend,” April sounded saddened. “It wasn’t a bad break-up, you know it was a mutual thing, but...” April trailed off as she gave a shrug.

“Still, break-ups are never easy,” Dex rubbed her arm. “How long were you together?”

“Two weeks shy of a year.” April answered.

“I’m sorry. But hey, she obviously wasn’t the girl you were supposed to end up with,” Dex said. “And it’s kind of exciting that you still need to meet her, right?”

“I think I’ve met her already,” April mumbled before taking a drink of her coffee. “But yeah,” April spoke louder so Dex could hear her. “I guess I’ve got that to look forward too.”

“You ran into Ruby yet?” Dex spoke tentatively.

“No,” April shook her head. “But she’s only just back from her honeymoon,” April sighed. “I’m glad she’s happy though.” April forced a smile and Dex studied her face, sensing she still had some sort of feelings for Ruby.


If you don’t do it there will be trouble. Heath looked over the message for about the hundredth time. Since he’d gotten back with Bianca 4 years ago now, he hadn’t done anything remotely dodgy. He’d become a reformed man with thanks to Bianca. She made him want to stay on the straight. He sighed lightly as his phone beeped again. Oh and you better get Brax to help. Heath ran his hand over his head, not knowing what to do. Of course he didn’t want to do anything dodgy, but he was worried about this man would do if he didn’t. But he couldn’t risk losing both Katie and Bianca if he did. A life without them was a life not worth living.

“Hey, you alright?” Bianca walked into the room. Heath jumped in fright as he put his phone away in his pocket.

“Yeah, you?” Heath smiled up at his wife.

“Yeah,” Bianca answered as she wrapped her arms around him and placed a kiss on his lips. “You’re not working today, right?”

“Nah,” Heath answered. “The whole day for just me, you and Katie,” Heath smiled as he tucked her hair behind her ear before they kissed again. Heath smiled into the kiss letting it deepen as his hands gently cupped her bottom. “Or maybe April could take Katie out for the day and we can...” Heath raised his eyebrows suggestively. “Have a day in bed.”

“April’s already gone out,” Bianca told him. “And I think Katie has already planned our day,” Bianca gave a little laugh. “She wants a picnic on the beach and you’ve to take her out on the boogie board,” Bianca told him. “I can’t believe your turning my lovely little girl into a tomboy.”

Heath gave a little laugh. “She’s hardly a tomboy because she wants to surf,” Heath said. “And anyways, you are letting her surf.”

“Well have you seen her cute little face?” Bianca questioned. “How can I say no to that?” Bianca cocked her head to the side as she kept her eyes on Heaths.

Heath laughed. “I don’t know, I can’t either.”

“Oh I know she has you wrapped right around her little finger.” Bianca gave a little laugh just as Katie ran into the room.

“Let’s go beach,” Katie said pulling on her parents’ clothes. “Come come.” Heath smiled before lifting Katie up, tickling her sides resulting in her giggling as they left to get ready for the beach.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for the lack of updates, life is a bit busy right now and I probably won’t be able to update again for a few weeks. Thanks for all the lovely comments so far. :)


Charlie walked into the diner, not able to remove the smile from her face. Leah noticed this and also the spring in her step. “Someone is happy today,” Leah grinned as she watched Charlie sitting down. “You had a good night last night then?”

Charlie tried to sound casual. “It was good, yes.” Leah could see how hard she was trying not to smile, but Charlie was unable to wipe it off her face.

“You and Roman though, bit of a blast from the past is he not?” Leah questioned.

“Yeah was nice to catch up with him though.” Charlie told her friend.

“Think you did more than catch up,” Leah laughed. “You totally had sex.” Leah quietened her voice as Colleen was lurking nearby.

“Leah,” Charlie gasped. “I did not have sex with Roman.”

“Ah c’mon it’s written all over your face. You totally had sex last night,” Leah said. “It’s a good thing,” Leah gave her friend a smile. “You should get back out there.”

“I did not have sex with Roman.” Charlie said again.

Leah furrowed her eyebrows. “You meet someone else then?” Leah questioned. “You seem so much brighter today.”

“And you think that’s because I got some last night?” Charlie questioned with a little laugh. Leah opened her mouth to reply but Charlie spoke over her. Truth was she was dying to tell someone and talk about what it might mean for her and Brax’s future. “It was Brax.” Charlie said in a whisper and Leah let out a loud gasp before slapping her hand her mouth, silencing herself.

“Brax?” Leah mouthed, making sure she heard right and Charlie gave a little nod, the smile on her face only growing larger. “How did this happen?”

Charlie gave a little shrug. “I’m a bit surprised myself to be honest,” Charlie exhaled. “We ran into each other when I was walking home and we talked and it didn’t really go well,” Charlie told her. “But then later there’s a knock on my door and it’s Brax and he kisses me and....yeah.” Charlie raised her eyebrows.

“So what.... did you talk any afterwards or...” Leah trailed off.

“Nah,” Charlie shook her head. “He had to get home or Natalie would wonder where he’d got to and the kids are at his place and they’re not Natalie’s responsibility,” Charlie answered. “So he left pretty quickly after the sex but...” Charlie bit her lip. “He had sex with me so it has to mean something, right?”

“I’d think so,” Leah answered. She wasn’t really sure and didn’t want to start dishing out the wrong advice and play a part in her friend being even more hurt. “But you really would just need to talk to Brax.”

“I know,” Charlie sucked in her bottom lip. “I guess we’ll talk when he brings the kids home.”

“Aww,” Leah couldn’t help but give a little squeal of excitement. “I really hope you two do end up back together.”

“Me too,” Charlie ran her hand over her bare wedding ring finger. “I never really wanted to separate,” Charlie sighed. “But I don’t want to be mucked around so I just hope Brax knows what he really wants,” Charlie exhaled. “And for the kids too,” Charlie added. “He needs to know what he wants and be fully committed.”

“Yeah,” Leah agreed. “Well I hope it goes well.”

“Me too.” Charlie took a deep breath.

“Right well it looks like I’ll need to do a bit work on my day off and go gets these coffee’s myself as Colleen doesn’t look like she is going to serve me any time soon,” Leah gave a little laugh as she stood up. “I’ll be right back then we can talk some more.” Leah gave her friend a smile before walking over to the counter to get a coffee for her and Charlie, leaving Charlie thinking about what she wanted to say when Brax came around with the kids later that day.


“Heath,” Bianca waved her hand in front of his face but he was just staring blankly out towards the ocean. “Heath.” Bianca spoke louder.

“Daddy.” Katie squealed as she slapped his thigh with her hand.

“Ouch, what?” Heath looked around to Bianca and Katie.

“Are you okay?” Bianca questioned.

“Fine,” Heath answered. “You want to go in the water pumpkin?” Heath smiled down at Katie, pushing the texts from his mind.

“Yeah.” Katie cheered as she jumped up and grabbed her boogie board and started running down to the water’s edge.

“Stop there,” Bianca shouted and Katie stopped and jumped around excitedly, waiting on Heath to join her. “Heath,” Bianca spoke softly as she put her hand onto his arm. “Something is clearly bothering you. You’ve hardly said a word since you’ve got here.”

“Ah it’s just.....work,” Heath lied. “You know Charlie is still pining for Brax and....” Heath gave a little shrug. “It’s awkward to work when both of them are on.”

Bianca screwed her face up. “You’re all adults,” Bianca sighed. “And I’m pretty sure Charlie and Brax work fine together,” Bianca exhaled not sure she believed Heath’s answer. “You know you can talk to me about anything, right. I am your wife.”

“I know,” Heath gave her a smile as he tucked her hair behind her ear. “But I promise you, there’s nothing. As I said, I’m just finding work a bit....meh....at the moment.” Heath exhaled.

Bianca raised her eyebrows, not believing him, but knowing not to push it. “Okay,” Bianca sighed as she looked down to the ocean, seeing Katie still jumping around on the sand, excited to go in. “You should go in with Katie now.” Bianca said and Heath smiled as he stood up and brushed the sand from his bottom before walking down to Katie to take her out on her boogie board.


“Thanks for lunch.” April smiled as Dex put down some money down on the table of the restaurant.

“Next time it’s on you,” Dex said as they walked out of the restaurant. After coffee at Dex’s place they went into Yabbie Creek for some lunch. “So just tell me when to suit up and you can take me to that posh place in Refton Lakes.”

“Yeah right,” April laughed. “I’m a poor medical student. I’m afraid diner food will be my limit.”

“That’s fine too,” Dex answered. “So, you looking for a part time job then?”

“Ideally I’d like to do work experience at the hospital but I think it would probably be better if I did get a job,” April sighed. “Heath and Bianca might want help with rent and food bills and stuff.”

“I’m sure Bianca will let you stay for free,” Dex said. “She’s never expected you to pay before.”

“No, but I am older now and...” April trailed off giving a little shrug. “You know.”

“Well offer to babysit Katie a lot,” Dex said. “But anyways, if you were looking for a job I’m pretty sure that they are short staffed in the diner right now,” Dex told her. “Pretty sure with Irene being part-owner you won’t even need to be interviewed.” Dex laughed.

“It’s worth a go,” April said. “I’ll head in and ask when we get back.”

“Free coffee’s coming my way.” Dex gave a cheeky grin as he rubbed his hands together.

“Yeah because giving away free coffees won’t get me fired.” April rolled her eyes.

“Not if you are giving the coffees to me,” Dex said. “Irene, Leah and Colleen happen to love my charm and wit.” Dex grinned.

“Yeah, sure,” April once again rolled her eyes as he hit his arm. “C’mon, let’s do some shopping,” April grabbed Dexter’s hand, pulling him around the corner and she made an involuntary noise as she bumped into someone. “Sorry.” April said as she looked up to see a rather shocked looking Ruby staring back at her.

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