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Wedded Miss

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I wasn't planning on posting this just yet but then I realised it was in danger of becoming out of date so realised I'd better make a start:

Story Title: Wedded Miss
Type of story: Short/Medium Fic
Main Characters: Heath, April, Dexter, Bianca, Irene, Indigo, Sasha, Brax, Casey and a whole load of others
BTTB rating: T/A
Genre: Drama/Romance
Does story include spoilers: Possible spoilers for UK viewers
Any warnings: Likely to be some violence and sexual content
Summary: April and Dexter's wedding is interrupted by some shocking news and from then on things just keep getting more and more surprising.


Marilyn held up a mirror.“Well, what do you think?”
April turned her head in all directions, examining the way her normally long hair had been bunched up.Eventually, she smiled.“It’s great, Marilyn.”
Marilyn gave a delighted sigh.“You look like a fairytale princess.”
“Yes, very princesslike,”April answered, bemused.
Marilyn hovered, admiring her handiwork, until Tamara spoke up.“Ah, Marilyn, we have to get going.”
“What?Oh, yes.”Marilyn seemed to suddenly come to.She gave April a kiss on the top of the head and patted her shoulder.“See you there.”
April gave Tamara a grateful look.“Thanks.I just need a moment to myself.”
Tamara gestured to the door.“Do you want me to..?”
“No, no, you’re fine.”April let out a deep breath.“I just can’t believe I’m getting married.”
“Come on, you and Dex will be fine.”
“I know I will.Just as long as I can get through the day without feeling the sudden urge to straighten some pencils, I’ll be fine.”She took her friend’s arm.“Let’s do this.”

Bianca and Heath were sitting near the front of the chapel.“You know, being at my little sister’s wedding is kind of a strange feeling,”Bianca remarked.
“Why didn’t she ask you to be bridesmaid?”Heath asked.
Bianca shrugged.“I guess she wanted someone her own age.”
“Well, that’s daft.You’re still pretty hot.”
Dexter was standing at the front with Casey.“God, I’m so nervous,”he complained,“What if I forget my lines?”
“That’s okay,”Casey replied,“The vicar will prompt you.”He glanced behind them.“She’s here.”
Dexter took a deep breath and prepared for the happiest moment of his life.
The next few minutes passed in a blur, Dexter and April standing together at the front, the minister reading out the preamble.Then it was time for the vows.Dexter listened to the minister reading them out and began reciting them.“I, Dexter, take you, April…”
Everyone in the church turned round at the shout to see Sid hurrying up the aisle, clutching a piece of paper.
“Well, glad you could make it, Dad,”Dexter remarked,“But did you have to make such a dramatic entrance?”
Sid shook his head, struggling to get his breath back.“I’ve been in the city.I wanted to sign the farm over to you two as a wedding present.I went to the registry office to get all the paperwork on you both and they gave me this.”He held up a piece of paper.“It’s April’s wedding certificate.”
“What?”April looked confused.“How can we have a wedding certificate?We haven’t got married yet.”
Sid ignored her, continuing to address Dexter.“Son, you can’t get married because April is already married.To Heath.”
“No, no, you’ve got confused there, Dad,”Dexter answered,“Heath married Bianca.April’s sister.” He glanced at April.“Right?”
April didn’t answer.Instead, she bit her lip nervously.
And then Bianca stormed forward from the front pew and snatched the paper from Sid’s hand, taking in the names of the bride and groom and the date, eighteen months previous.She looked at Heath angrily.“Is this true?”
Heath looked shocked but he didn’t try and deny it.“I…I…”
Bianca turned and stormed off down the aisle, Heath hurrying after her.
April was looking at Dexter with eyes filled with fear.“Dex…”
She tried to take his hands but he took a step back away from her.“What is this?”
“I didn’t know,”April insisted.
“You didn’t know you were married to him?Are you married to him?”
April bit her lip and slowly nodded.“Yes.I guess I am.”
Dexter looked away from her and turned to Sid.“Take me home."

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Wow!A huge thank you for all the comments.I thought they might filter in slowly, I certainly wasn't expecting to get up this morning and find that many.Hope you like this.


Bianca was stuffing belongings into a bag haphazardly as Heath stood nearby trying to remonstrate. “Look, please stay, let me explain…”
“Explain what?”Bianca demanded,“How you managed to marry both me and my sister?”She gave a hollow laugh.“Except you didn’t marry me, did you?This marriage is bigamous.April’s your wife.”
“She told me it didn’t count!I just…I just wanted to marry someone, I didn’t think I’d ever get together with you and when I did, well, it didn’t seem that important…”
“Heath.”They both looked round at the voice to find April standing in the doorway of the flat.She nodded in the direction of the main house.“Can you let me do this?”
Heath hesitated for a moment, then nodded.“Guess I’d better explain a few things to the boys anyway,”he admitted.
Bianca stood looking at April stoneyfaced.“So?Do you want to explain to me how the hell you and Heath ended up married?”
April took a deep breath.“It was while you were on your honeymoon.I mean, after you married Liam.”
“Yes, I got which honeymoon you meant.”
“I guess Heath was a bit down about it so he suggested we get married.Straightaway.Like, the next day.”
“And you said yes?”Bianca asked frostily.
“Yes,”April said quietly,“I mean, I knew he’d never manage to arrange it and…I guess a part of me was a bit down as well and I kind of liked the fact that Heath wanted to marry me.So, next day he started ringing round registry offices and churches and they all said the same thing, that we needed a marriage license, that we’d have to wait days or weeks to get it all sorted.Heath hung up on them at that point.Then he came across some chapel that said it was fine to do it that afternoon, we should just come along.”
“So you did?”Bianca demanded.
“Well, yes.We didn’t get dressed up or anything, we just went down there as we were, said a few vows and that was it.It was like a game, a joke between us.When we split up a few weeks later, Heath got a bit worried that we were really married and I told him we weren’t.I really thought that was true.”
“April, you’ve got a wedding certificate!”
“I know!I just thought it was a mock-up.Sure, we signed it but I thought that was like signing a visitors’ book or something.”
Bianca pursed her lips.“April, none of this makes any difference.You and Heath are still married and you have still ruined my life.”She hefted her bag and stormed out.
April turned and found Heath standing at the door to the main house.“Do not say a word,”she snapped at him,“I’ve got my own mess to sort out.”

When April arrived back at the Walker farm, she was greeted by a sight she’d hoped not to see:Her bags sitting by the door, sending out a clear message that she wasn’t welcome there.
Dexter came out of the living room.Sid, Indi and Sasha stood at the other end of the corridor, offering silent support.“I think I got everything,”he told her quietly,“If you find anything missing, give me a call and I’ll have a hunt around for it.”
“Dexter, please,”April begged.She went to take his hand but he pulled away.“I didn’t know I was married to him.I didn’t think that was even a real chapel.They were just so casual about everything: Turn up whenever you like and we’ll marry you.I couldn’t take it seriously.”
“Unfortunately, it turns out that chapel has a special license to perform immediate weddings,”Sid explained,“A bit like Hawaii.”
Indi shot daggers at him behind his back.
“But I didn’t know that,”April protested.
“But you stood there with Heath and you said vows,”Dexter pointed out,“You promised to love him and stay with him forever, just like you were supposed to be doing with me this afternoon.Didn’t you?”
April swallowed hard before nodding slowly.
“When I promise someone that, I’m going to mean it.I thought you would too.I didn’t think you’d do it on a whim or for a joke or whatever.Can you go now?”
April hung her head, picked up her bag and left.

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A big thank you for the reviews, even more than the first chapter.Hope you like this one.


April struggled with the bag as she walked up the back path to the beach house.She caught sight of Irene as she grappled her way in the door.“Hi, Irene, can I..?”
“Love, I don’t think this is a good time,”Irene interrupted.
April was puzzled, until she made it a bit further into the house and caught sight of Bianca sat at the table, halfway through the cup of tea that she and Irene had just been sharing.Bianca gave her an unfriendly look.“If you’re thinking about moving in here, think again.”
“I can’t stay at Dexter’s!”April protested.
“Why’s that, because he isn’t happy about finding out the person he wanted to marry is already married?I know how he feels.”
Irene led April towards the back door, out of earshot of Bianca.“I told your sister she could stay here for a bit,”she explained,“And at the moment, the two of you under one roof isn’t really a good idea.I’m sorry.”
“Do you hate me as well?”
“I don’t hate you and deep down I don’t think your sister does either.But you have been pretty darn stupid and it’s going to take a lot of effort to get past this and sort out this mess that you and Heath have got yourself into.And while you’re doing that, you’re gonna need to keep your distance from Bianca and Dexter.”
“Irene, I don’t have anywhere else to go!”
“Couldn’t one of your friends put you up?”
“Like who, Casey?Tamara?They’re both a bit too closely connected to Heath.”
“Well, you can’t hide away from him and this whole thing forever.”
April looked suddenly thoughtful.“You know what?You’re right.Thanks, Irene.I know just what I’m going to do.”

Sid was standing by the doorway of the farmhouse, his bags packed.“I really don’t want to leave you like that.”
Dexter raised his hand dismissively.“Hey, Broken Hill needs you.And when it comes to having my heart torn out of my body and stomped on, I’m a veteran.I’ll be okay.”
Sid glanced at Sasha and Indi, who were waiting in the kitchen.“Keep an eye on him, okay?”He gave Dexter a quick hug before heading out.
“Right,”Indi interceded,“now he’s gone…sit down and tell us how you really feel.”
Dexter sadly walked over to the table and sat down, his two sisters placing their hands on his shoulders.“Is there any ice cream in the fridge?”
“Yes,”Indi confirmed,“And our sister has lots of trashy movies that she uses to get over her heartbreaks.”
“Or we could watch Lord of the Rings,”Sasha offered,“All three of them.With the extras.”
“Including the commentaries?”Dexter asked, perking up a bit.
Sasha considered.“Sure.We weren’t doing anything else this week.”
Dexter slumped again.“What are you supposed to do when the girl you’re supposed to be marrying turns out to be married to her brother-in-law?”
“Ask for the ring back?”Indi suggested.She sighed and lent her head against his.“I’m sorry.We all thought you and April were a sure thing.”
“I even lent her some of my clothes,”Sasha confirmed,“Do you think there’s a chance for you two?”
Dexter shrugged.“I don’t know.I mean, we’ve been through a lot and come out the other side.I’ve thought it was over in the past when it wasn’t.It’s just…this time…I’m not sure I can really think of a way to work things out.Short of getting in a time machine, going back to last year and stopping her from marrying Heath.”He pondered for a moment.“Can we do that?”
Indi patted him on the shoulder.“If I see a police box anywhere, I’ll let you know.”

Heath was attempting to sit in the main Braxton house, watching telly, but was being put off by Casey and Kyle, who were standing staring at him, amused grins on their faces.“What?”he demanded.
“You’re married to April, man!”Casey pointed out.
“Yeah, so everyone keeps telling me.”
“How exactly did that happen?”Kyle asked,“Did you wander into a church thinking it was a bar and think they were asking who wanted a drink when you said ‘I do’?”
Heath got up.“I’m glad you two think my life going down the pan is so funny.”He headed towards the door.
Brax emerged from the kitchen and gestured to his two youngest brothers.“You two, scoot.”He turned to Heath.“Do you think Bianca will come back?”
“After this?Doubt it.I mean, she forgave me sleeping with someone else.Marrying someone else…”
“Well, hang in there, okay?”
Heath nodded.“I’ll be over in my place.”He headed over to the flat but as soon as he’d gone inside there was a knock on the door.He opened it and April walked past him.He registered the bags in her hands as she dumped them by the bed.“What’s going on?”
“I’m moving in,”April answered.She gestured to the drawers.“I guess with Bianca gone there’s room for my stuff in here.”
“Yeah,”Heath answered without thinking, then he checked himself,“But you can’t do this.Bianca’d kill me.Dexter’d kill me.Bianca’d kill you.”
April looked at him defiantly.“Am I your wife?”
“Well, technically.”
“And if I told the courts that my husband was keeping me out of the marital home, what do you think would happen?”
“This isn’t the marital home!”
“It’s your home, we’re married.Call it de facto.And thanks to what we did, Bianca and the Walkers don’t want me living with them which means, incredible as it sounds, the Braxtons are the only family I’ve got left.So I’m moving in.”

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Thank you for the comments, Jarliefan, pembie and JosieTash!Hope everyone enjoys this one.


When April opened her eyes, it took her a few moments to remember where she was and the events of the preceding day.She’d expected to wake up married to Dexter.Instead, somehow, she’d managed to wake up married to Heath.She moved around slightly in the large bed that she’d somehow inherited from Bianca along with her husband before sitting up.A loud snoring from the direction of the sofa alerted her to the presence of her new husband-or rather her old husband.She’d insisted they both try and cover up as much as possible, making it probably the only time he’d ever slept wearing a shirt.She threw a pillow at him.“Heath, wake up.”
Heath started at the impact, shaking his head as he struggled to regain the same memories of the previous day that had initially eluded her.He struggled into a sitting position, wincing at the pain from his uncomfortable sleeping position, and glared at her.“How did I end up sleeping on the sofa?”
“You decided to be a gentleman.”
“Really?”Heath looked puzzled.“That doesn’t sound like me.”
“Plus this was all your fault since this marriage was your idea in the first place.”
“Well, if you hadn’t insisted it wasn’t a real wedding, we could be happily divorced by now.No-one would have known.”
April scowled.“Fine.So we both messed up.But I’m not sharing this bed with you.”
Heath pondered the issue.“Do you fancy the couch then?”She glared at him.“Just a thought.”
There was a knock on the door.“Are you decent?”called Ricky as she and Tamara came in.
Heath glanced down at himself.“Just about.”
Ricky nodded.“You, scram.Girl talk.”
Heath sighed, getting off the couch and grabbing a pair of trousers.“Fine.I’ll be having breakfast if you want me.”He headed over to the main house.
“So,”Tamara began, looking awkwardly at April,“guess you’re our new sister-in-law.”
April was equally awkward.“Trust me, it’s not something I planned.I know that you’d rather Bianca was here and frankly, so would I.”
“Well…having you around might make me feel a bit less outnumbered,”Tamara suggested.
April looked at Ricky.“I guess you’re on Bianca’s side.”
Ricky shrugged.“I’m not sure there’s really any sides to be on.”
“No.It’s all just a mess.”
“Well, that’s life with the Braxtons for you,”Tamara commented,“None of us really ended up here the normal way.Let’s just say that you’re welcome in the family for as long as you’re part of it.”

“You have got to help me get rid of her,”Heath begged.
Brax looked at him, bemused.“Well, yeah, it’s best to get rid of your first wife before getting a second one.Should have done it that way round in the first place.”
“I can’t even think about that right now,”Heath replied,“It’s April.She’s doing my head in.She’s got me sleeping on the couch.”He thought for a moment.“Could I move back in here?”
“No can do.Both Casey and Kyle are back living here, remember?Only thing I can offer you is the couch.”
“Couldn’t you give one of them the couch?”Brax’s only response was a glare.Heath sighed.“Yeah, that’s what April said.”
“Best way to get things back to normal…sort of…is to stop being married to her.”
“Can I do that?”
Brax shrugged.“Well, it shouldn’t be too hard to get a divorce.Might even be able to get it annulled since neither of you actually realised you were getting married.”He noticed the look on Heath’s face, reminiscent of a child who’d just been told he could have a puppy, and sighed.“Let me see if I can sort you an appointment with someone.”

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Big thank you for all the comments!Hope everyone enjoys.


Heath and April were sitting in an office with the solicitor Brax had arranged.Madison Granger was a pleasant looking but professional woman in her 30s, who was taking notes as they spoke.“So, as I understand it, you wish to file for an annulment.”She looked from one to the other.“On what grounds?”
“We didn’t know we were married,”Heath explained.
Madison looked bemused.“We didn’t know the wedding we had was a proper wedding,”April clarified.
“You were misled in some way?How did this happen?”
“I rang them up and told them we wanted to get married,”Heath replied.
Madison looked even more confused.“And you were surprised that that’s what happened?”
“Okay, it does sound a bit silly when you put it like that,”April admitted.
“I think we need better grounds for an annulment.Has the marriage been consummated?”
April shifted uncomfortably.“In the sense that we had sex after the wedding, yes.”
Heath gave a happy grin, apparently lost in the memories.April did her best to ignore him.
Madison tried again.“Were either of you in any way mentally incapable of consenting to being married?”
“Oh!Oh!”April gestured excitedly.“Yes!I was only seventeen at the time and I didn’t have permission.”
“Well, that’s certainly grounds.Would your parents be willing to sign the papers confirming that?”
April winced.“I haven’t actually spoken to either of my parents in about two years.I was living with my sister at the time but I’m not really speaking to her at the moment either.”
“She thought she was married to me,”Heath interjected helpfully.
April struggled on manfully.“And there’s Irene but I guess she was just a kind of landlady, she was never my official guardian.”
Madison sighed.“Given that you’re nineteen now and you were semi-emancipated at the time, it might be difficult to request an annulment on those grounds.I think we may have to go for a full divorce.”
“Would that be difficult?”April asked.
“If there’s no shared assets and if no-one contests it, it should be pretty simple.You’ve been separated for over a year?”
“Yes,”April confirmed,“Well…we’re living together now but we’re not together together, we split up over a year ago.”
“I’m on the couch,”Heath clarified.
“Then we should be able to file papers,”Madison confirmed,“Except…”
April and Heath both looked acceptance.“Except what?”
“Except you’ve been married for less than two years.In which case, in order to get the proper paperwork in place, you’d normally have to attend marriage guidance counselling.”
This time, they both winced.

Dexter had had a hard time convincing people that he was okay going back to college and didn’t need to mope around in his room any longer.He had an even harder time convincing Indi that he didn’t need her following him around while they were there, making sure he got to the right rooms, buying him coffees and telling his lecturers to go easy on him because he’d had a hard time recently.But finally he’d been cut loose, allowed to wander the courtyards and hallways as free as a bird.
So naturally, he collided with the first girl he came across, scattering both their papers and folders everywhere.
“Sorry,”he said awkwardly, crouching down and helping her pick up her papers as well as gathering up his own.Making sure he hadn’t got them mixed up, he handed her pile of papers back to her.And it was only at that moment, as they looked each other in the face for the first time, that he realised she was the last person he’d expected to see there.
“Ruby?”he asked.
Ruby snatched the pile of papers from his hand and straightened up, a scared look on her face.She held her folders close to her and hurried across the courtyard, lost in the sea of students before Dexter could make any attempt to follow her.

Bianca nursed a mug of tea at the table, aware of the pair of eyes focusing hard on her from the kitchen.“Stop looking at me like that, Irene.”
Having successfully got her attention, Irene ventured into the room.“I’m just wondering how long you can keep this up.”
“I’m not going back to Heath.Not now and probably not ever.Life with him is just one big stuff up, I never know what’s going to happen next.I don’t think I can live like that.”
“Okay.I can understand that but you can’t go around pretending he doesn’t exist.And then there’s April.”
Bianca sighed.“Not exactly my favourite subject at the moment, Irene.”
“Love, she’s your sister.It’s not like she set out to hurt you, it’s not like either of them did.They just did something stupid and now they’re having to live with the consequences, just like you are.”
“I know.But between them they managed to take my life and rip it into pieces.I’m not ready to deal with that yet.”

Ruby was eating in the canteen, looking around furtively to see who else was in the room.Yet she somehow managed to miss the one person she was looking out for until another tray was placed on her small table and the seat opposite her was occupied.
Ruby looked at Dexter and sighed.“I had hoped to avoid seeing anyone from Summer Bay.”
“Small world.”Dexter eyed her carefully.“Leah filled us in on what happened to you.How was it?”
“Six months in jail?Not something I’d ever like to repeat.Guess it’s nothing compared to what you’ve been through though.”
Dexter waved a hand dismissively and changed the subject.“So you’re back living with Morag?”
“I was but I’ve moved into a room here now.Kind of fancied my own space.So how’s everyone back in Summer Bay?”
“Good,”Dexter answered automatically, then paused,“Ah, you heard about Romeo?”
Ruby nodded.“You’re not the only one Leah’s kept filled in.Kind of makes it all seem rather pointless.You and April are married now though?”
“Ah, I see you’ve missed out on the latest update.No, April’s married to Heath.”
Ruby’s eyes widened in shock.“How did that happen?”
“Turns out it happened even before you left.So hey, car wrecks didn’t make any difference.”
Ruby looked down, the surge of guilt she felt at that moment almost overwhelming.“How are you?I mean, you look better than you did when I last saw you.And you seem pretty Dex-like.Are you… better?”
Dexter shrugged.“Well, I’ve gone from a straight A student to barely qualifying as a straight B.But weirdly I can still quote all the dialogue from Alien, so the important stuff’s still there.”
“I’m sorry,”Ruby said quietly.
Dexter shrugged.“So, walk you to your next lecture?”
Ruby looked at him, bewildered.“Why are you being so nice to me?”
Dexter helped her to her feet and put an arm around her.“Hey, what’s a bit of brain damage between friends?”

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Huge apologies, I kept meaning to post this and forgetting.And huge thanks to everyone that's commented, hope everyone enjoys this.


“Not too much pepper,”Indi insisted as Sasha added ingredients to the meal they were preparing.
Sasha rolled her eyes.“Oh, I’m sorry, who made you the boss of this kitchen?”
“Well, someone has to be.”
“April never complained how much pepper I put in.”
Indigo waved a finger in her direction.“Ah-ah.Rules of the house.We do not mention the A word.”
Sasha nodded slowly.“Feels weird not having her around.Do you think she’ll come back?”
“In the crazy world of April and Dexter?Who knows.But I think we have to be ready to accept that she might not.”
They heard the sound of the door, followed by Dexter appearing in the living room doorway. “Greetings, females of the household!Mmm, smells nice.Ah, do you have enough for one extra?”
Sasha clapped her hands together excitedly.“I knew it!You’re back with April.”
Dexter shot her a bewildered look.“No.”
Sasha sagged slightly.“Oh.”
“I ran into an old friend at college and invited her back.”Dexter stepped aside to reveal a nervous Ruby standing behind him.She raised a hand in an awkward greeting.
The temperature in the room instantly plummetted.“ You cannot be serious,”Sasha said coldly.
Dexter seemed oblivious to the tension in the room.“What?We’re all friends here, aren’t we?”
“After what she’s done?She could have killed you, Dex!It’s her fault that you spent weeks in hospital, that you became all weird and moody, that you keep forgetting how to tie your shoelaces or you go to the shops and can’t remember what you’re there for!”
“And now she’s my guest and as a member of this family I hope you will respect that.”
“I, um, am here,”Ruby ventured.
Sasha glared at her.“As if we could forget that.You know what?You can have my share.I’m going to eat at the Diner.This place has gone downhill.”She swept out of the house.
Indi coughed.“So, er, dinner will be ten minutes so, why don’t you take a seat, Ruby?”
Ruby was even more thrown than she had been by Sasha’s hostility.“Er, thanks.”She sat down at the table, in Sasha’s usual seat.
“Okay, wasn’t expecting that,”Dexter commented.
“So, Ruby, you’re at college now?”Indi attempted.
Ruby took a deep breath.“I’m sorry.For, you know, trying to kill you.I did try and stop it, not that that really makes up for anything.”
Indi sighed.“You know, I’ve been too busy blaming myself for everything that happened to worry about blaming you.We were both pretty messed up where Romeo was concerned and I’m kind of tired of hating you.”She held up a bottle.“Wine?”

It had involved talking to a few more contacts but finally Heath and April had found themselves in a room even more uncomfortable than the solicitor’s.The counsellor was a balding, grey-haired man in his 50s with round glasses, whose name, if they ever needed to use it, was David Webber.
“So…you want to get a divorce,”he noted.
April nodded assertively.“That’s right.”Heath nodded in agreement.
“We never wanted to be married in the first place.”
“And yet you are?”
April winced, sensing another difficult conversation ahead.“Technically.”
April took a deep breath.“We went out for a bit.If you can call it going out.It was mostly staying in.”
“I did take her out for a coffee a few times,”Heath explained quickly,“And pizza once.And sometimes we’d go out in my ute…”
“Yes, he doesn’t need to know that bit,”April interrupted even more quickly.
“So how did that lead to you getting married?”David asked.
April glanced over at Heath.“Can you answer the question for once?”
“I asked her to marry me,”Heath said.
“Bit more detail,”April pressed.
“Her sister had just got married.There was a time when I thought she might marry me.Actually, there was a time when she did marry me, except it turns out she didn’t, because…”Heath noticed April glaring at him and coughed awkwardly.“But that wasn’t until later.So she married this other guy, Murphy, and I was with April and I told her we should get married too.”
“But it never felt like we were married,”April insisted,“We had this ceremony but it meant nothing. We didn’t even live together until just now and we’ve definitely never lived together as a married couple.”
“And now we want to marry other people,”Heath concluded,“If they’ll have us.And we definitely don’t want to be married to each other.So, can you just sign your form and say we can get divorced?”
“I want to take you back to before all that,”David pressed,“April, when Heath asked you to marry him, you said yes?”
“Why was that?”
“I don’t know.Because I was trying to keep him happy, because I never thought that it would actually happen…”She hesitated, sensing David was wanting her to say something.“Because I thought I loved him,”she admitted,“Because there was a time there that I was delusional enough to think that we might actually be good together and have a future.But I know now that I was wrong.”
David turned to Heath.“You asked April to marry you.”
“So, even if you were just doing it to get back at her sister, you presumably intended the outcome to be you and April married.”
“I…guess…for a split second, I thought…she’s a cool chick, she’s hot, she puts up with me when most people don’t…if I was gonna spend the rest of my life with someone, she wasn’t a bad choice.”
David sat back, considering.“You both made the decision to get married.Your reasons might seem unconventional to you but actually they’re not that dissimilar to the reason many people get married. You’ve never lived together as a married couple, never given this marriage a chance.You’ve chosen to forget about it rather than explore it.For that reason, I don’t think I can, at this time, agree that this marriage is beyond salvaging.”

April and Heath sat in his ute outside the counsellor’s office, both of them slightly stunned by how the meeting had gone.“What just happened?”Heath asked.
“I think we got told we have to have a go at being married for a bit.”
“So what does that mean?”
April looked at him suspiciously.“You’re not getting off the couch.”
Heath shrugged.“Just wondered.”
“It means we carry on living together, seeing each other every day, like two people who are married would do, then in a few months we go back to him, tell him it’s impossible for us to live together and get signed off.”
Heath looked at her and grinned.“Right.”
April smiled back at him, both of them sharing the moment for just long enough for them to realise they probably shouldn’t be looking at each other like that.They hastily broke eye contact and April cleared her throat.“So.Home then.”

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A big thank you for all the comments.Sorry for the wait, finding it hard to find time to write at the moment, but I didn't want to keep you hanging too long so hammered out another one.


Ruby paused at the entrance to the Diner.“I’m not sure this is a good idea.”
“Course it’s a good idea,”Dexter replied,“You’ve faced up to the Wrath of Sash, how bad can this be?”
“As bad as the entire town turning round to stare at the person who’s walked into the bar?”
“Well, that’s not so bad.None of them are packing sixshooters.”Dexter guided her inside and led her to a table.“Sit here and I will be back in a minute.”He headed over to the counter.“Two coffees, please, Irene.”
Irene began filling the cups but let her eyes wander over to the table where Ruby sat as she did so. “There’s a face I haven’t seen in a while.”
“What, you don’t serve ex-convicts these days?”
“Not saying that.Just saying her being here might not be welcomed by everyone.”
Dexter sighed.“Come on, Irene, Ruby used to live with you.”He glanced at Roo, who had joined them at the counter.“And you.”He turned to Leah, who was also at the counter.“And…you.”He paused for a moment, looking puzzled, then went on.“You know she’s not a bad person, just give her a fair go.”
“She’s not going to get any trouble from us,”Irene agreed,“Just don’t be surprised if…”
“What the hell are you doing here?”a female voice demanded behind him.Dexter turned round to find April standing in front of Ruby’s table.Ruby trembled slightly under her gaze.“It’s bad enough they even let you out but for you to have the nerve to show your face here after everything you’ve done…”
“April,”Dexter interrupted and she turned round, shocked to see him there.Dexter suddenly realised he hadn’t spoken to her since she’d moved out of the farm and felt suddenly awkward but went on. “She’s with me.”
April grabbed Dexter by the arm and pulled him into the comparative privacy of the doorway. “Seriously?You won’t give me the time of day but you’ll hang out with the person who put you in a coma?”
“She needs a friend,”Dexter insisted.
“Well, lucky old Ruby.I could use a few friends given how many people seem to have decided they’re more your friends than mine but hey, so long as she’s okay.”April gave a hollow laugh.“You know something?You go ahead and do your care in the community thing, rehabilitating the town psycho.I’m through with begging for forgiveness.”She stormed out.
“So, you still want these coffees?”Irene asked.
Dexter looked at Ruby, who managed a shrug and a rueful half-smile.He smiled back.“Thanks, Irene.”

Brax and Heath were relaxing in front of the television with a beer when April came storming into the house.“I do not believe Dexter!I can take him cutting me out at uni and getting the cold shoulder from his family but hanging out with Ruby instead of me?”
Brax shot her a surprised look.“Ruby’s back?How is she?”
“Oh, she’s great.”April began pacing up and down the room behind them.“She’s the prodigal daughter.I mean, I go and accidentally marry someone when we weren’t even together-because he cheated on me with Dallas, which he seems to have forgotten-and that’s it, no second chances.Ruby tries to kill his sister and puts him in a coma for weeks, I’m the one that has to help him through rehab, and when she turns up it’s ‘Hi, Ruby, let’s go grab a coffee.’”She abandoned her pacing and plonked herself on the sofa between the two brothers, staring hard at the game in progress on the television.“What are we watching?”
“Swans and Carlton,”Brax answered.
April looked at him, none the wiser.“What’s that, badminton or something?”
“AFL,”Heath answered curtly.
April glanced at the can of beer in Brax’s hand.“You got any more of those?”
With a sigh, Brax got up and went to the fridge, returning with a can for April.She accepted it from him, opened it and took a long swig.Brax raised his eyebrows in Heath’s direction.
“April, what are you doing?”Heath asked.
“I’m being a Braxton,”April answered,“That’s what I am now, right?This is what Braxtons do, sit in front of the AFL with a beer.Right?”
“Pretty much sums it up,”Brax agreed.
“We normally call it footie,”Heath attempted.
April shushed him with a gesture in his direction.“Quiet.I’m trying to concentrate.”

It was late in the evening when April and Heath headed back to the annexe.“See you in the morning,” Heath noted, making to collapse on the couch.
April grabbed his arm and pulled him back, causing him to sit down on the end of the bed.Then she kissed him hard on the lips.
Heath looked at her in bemusement.“How much have you had to drink?”
“Just the one can,”April protested,“Maybe two.Not enough that I don’t know what I’m doing.”
“And you think this is a good idea?”
“Well, Dex is off making new friends so why shouldn’t we be friends as well?”
Heath mulled this over.“Fair point.”
April kissed him again and this time he put his arms around her and pulled her down on top of him.

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Thank you for the comments, Jarliefan, Zetti, pembie and JosieTash!Hope everyone likes this.


April slowly made her way back into wakefulness and as she did so, the memories of the previous night came back to mind.She glanced over to check, saw Heath lying alongside her, his back to her, and sat up sharply.“Oh god.”
“That’s what you said before,”Heath muttered sleepily.
“Oh god,”April repeated,“What have we done?”
“Nothing we haven’t done before.”
“Don’t you get it?This isn’t about whether the earth moved or not.This could affect the divorce!”
That seemed to jerk Heath back into attentiveness.He turned and looked back over his shoulder at her.“Really?”
“We have to be apart for a year to get divorced, remember?”April looked pointedly at Heath, who looked blankly back at her.She sighed.“We’ve just been…together.Which means we might have to wait a year from now.”
Heath considered this.“Can we just not tell anyone?”
April nodded.“I think that’s best.”She looked around the flat in the morning sunlight.“Do you know where our clothes went?”
Heath snuggled back down in the sheets.“I promise to keep my eyes closed while you look.”

“Do we have to come in here every morning?”Ruby asked.
Dexter put his arm round her.“It’s part of my early morning ritual.Get up, argue with sisters, have breakfast, have coffee at the Diner with Ruby.Hi, Leah, is our usual table available?”
“Right over there,”Leah confirmed with a bemused look,“Your usual order too?”
“Like a well-oiled machine.”Dexter guided Ruby to the table.“You should not interfere with rituals.”
“Can’t we just, once, for a change, have coffee at uni?”
“Because that’s where I live.”
“Oh yeah.”Dexter mulled this over.“Kind of still haven’t got used to you not living in Summer Bay. Tell you what, you must have me over for dinner one night.”
“To my own little palace?”Ruby asked,“Emphasis on the little.”
“No roommates?”
“No much of everything.Two rooms.A bathroom that doesn’t contain a bath and is about the size of this table and a bedroom-cum-living room-cum-dining room-cum-study.”
“Sounds cosy.”
Ruby shrugged.“Yeah, I guess it is.Tell you what, next week I’ll entertain my first house guest. You’ve got yourself a date.”

Heath and April emerged from the flat to find Ricky coming out of the main house.“You’re up late,” she commented.
“Anything wrong with that?”Heath asked slightly nervously.
“No.It’s just you’ve got a guest.”Ricky allowed the door to swing open to reveal Bianca sitting at the table.“I’ll leave you to it.”
Heath and April nervously entered the house.“Bianca, hi!”April gabbled,“Didn’t expect to see you! Do you want some tea?Course you do, we’ll get it, don’t get up.”She pushed Heath towards the kitchen where they made a show of busying themselves with cups and kettles.
“Do you think she knows?”Heath asked in hushed tones,“That we slept together?Again?”
“How can she know?”April whispered back,“No-one knows, it’s only just happened.”
“She could have us under surveillance or something.”
“She’s a high school principal, not ASIO!What’s she doing here?I thought we were still persona non grata with her.”
Heath looked confused.“We’re not allowed ice cream?”
“It’s Latin.It means persons not welcome.”
“Well, why not just say that?”
“I’m pregnant,”Bianca said loudly.
Heath and April stopped and turned round.Heath grinned.“You are?That’s great!”
Bianca didn’t smile back.“Oh yes, it’s great.Once again, thanks to you two, I’m looking at life as a single parent.”
“What?Hang on!”April protested,“You two love each other, you need to get back together and raise this child.”
“As simple as that?”Bianca sighed.“I’m sorry, Heath, but I’m afraid I just don’t love you anymore.I won’t stop you being a part of this baby’s life but that’s all there’s ever going to be between us.”She got up and walked out.
April tentatively attempted to put a consoling hand on Heath’s arm but he shrugged it off.“Don’t,”he said quietly.

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Big thank you for all the comments!Hope you like this.


April watched Heath as he picked away at his meal.The rest of the family were at Angelo’s, leaving just the two of them in the house.For the past week, since Bianca’s announcement, he’d been decidedly quiet, which for Heath was extremely unusual.“If you need to talk about anything,”she offered awkwardly.
“What would I need to talk about?”Heath asked curtly.
“You know…impending fatherhood?”
Heath put his fork down.“It sucks, okay?”He noticed April’s worried look.“Not the becoming a father bit.The other stuff.I missed out on all those years with Darce because Tegan didn’t tell me she was my kid.I wasn’t with Bianca when she was having Rocco, so I missed out on all that.And now it’s going to happen again!I’m not gonna be there during the pregnancy and I’m gonna end up as a part-time dad.”
“Well, we’ll talk to Bianca, make sure you’re involved as much as possible, that that doesn’t happen.”
“We?”Heath asked, puzzled.
“Of course,”April confirmed,“I’m…”She paused, not entirely sure what she was.“I’m involved too,”she said at last.
Heath nodded.“Thanks.”

Dexter scraped the last remains of his takeaway out of the foil carton with his fork and consumed them before looking at Ruby with a raised eyebrow.“When you invited me around for dinner, I was expecting more than takeaway.”
“What, like a three course banquet?”Ruby gestured around the small room.“This place might double up as a living room, dining room and bedroom…”
“And study,”Dexter added, gesturing to the desk which now served as a dining table.
“And study, but not a kitchen.”
“So you order takeaway every night?”
“There’s a kitchen down the hall but I have to share it with the three other people on this landing.”
Dexter gave her an amused look.“And what, you’re ashamed of me?”
“More like didn’t want to explain ‘Hey there, this is the guy I nearly killed.’”
Dexter nodded understandingly.He got up from the hard chair and sat down on the bed.“Well, it’s cosy.”
Ruby sat down next to him.“Cosier than your room at home?”
“Nah, I got Indi to give me the big room there cos I was sharing with April.”He paused.“Hopefully she won’t want it back now.”
Ruby took his hand.“If it helps, I think she was lucky to have you.”
“Thanks.”Dexter took a deep breath.“Well, you and me on a bed together.That brings back memories.”
Ruby thought for a moment and then winced.“You mean the time I offered to take your virginity?”
“That’s the one.”
“Not exactly my smartest move.”
Dexter gave her a mock offended look.“Thanks very much.”
“I don’t mean like that!In fact sometimes…”Ruby trailed off.
“What?”Dexter prompted.
“Sometimes…I wish we’d gone through with it.”
Dexter looked her in the eye, wondering if she was serious.He had a feeling she was.He brushed a loose hair away from her face then leaned forward and kissed her.She responded to the touch, moving closer to him, and he put his arms around her, gently caressing her.Slowly, they lay back on the bed.

Irene looked at Bianca across the dinner table.“So, have you heard anything from whatsisname and her that we don’t mention since you dropped your bombshell on them?”
Bianca sighed.“Their names are Heath and April, Irene.”
“I know that, love.I’m just not sure that you do.Given that one of them’s your sister and the other one’s your baby’s father, they don’t seem to get many mentions around here.”
“They know where I am,”Bianca replied defensively,“They can come and see me if they want to talk.”
Irene glanced over Bianca’s shoulder.“I’m glad you said that.”
Bianca looked round to see Heath and April awkwardly venturing in through the kitchen door.
Irene got to her feet.“I’ll leave you to it,”she decided, heading into the kitchen.
Heath and April entered the living area.“How are you?”April asked cautiously.
“I’m fine, thanks,”Bianca replied in a slightly stilted manner.
“And what about the baby?”Heath asked,“Is everything going okay?”
“It is.”
April took a deep breath.“Look, Bianca, this isn’t just about us anymore.We’ve got to think about the baby.And you know Heath’s a great dad, he should be involved.”
“And so should April,”Heath added,“She’s part of this too.”
Bianca sighed.“I know that both of you love this baby.And you’re right, I wouldn’t want to keep him or her away from their father.Or their aunt.I promise I’ll tell you about every test and scan and piece of equipment we need and…when the baby’s born, we’ll work something out.Okay?”
Heath and April were both floored by the easy concession.“Okay,”Heath agreed before they turned and walked back into the kitchen.
“That went as well as could be expected,”Irene remarked to the pair.
“It did,”April agreed.
“In fact, if you wanted to move back in here now, I think Bianca wouldn’t need much persuading.”
April was thrown by the offer.If she was honest, even though it had only been intended as a stop gap, the Braxtons’ was starting to feel like home.“I’ll stay where I am for the moment.Better not push it.”She looked at Heath, suddenly aware she was presuming.“If you don’t mind sticking with the couch for a bit longer?”
Heath grinned.“Not gonna kick my wife out on the street, am I?”

Dexter and Ruby lay next to each other in bed, staring upwards.“So, do you think that went okay?” Dexter asked.
“I think you’ve had more experience lately than I have,”Ruby pointed out.
Ruby sighed.“I used to think about what would happen if I saw you again, when I was inside.I thought maybe you’d hate me.Maybe you’d hit me or let one of your sisters hit me or April.Every now and then I hoped that maybe you’d forgive me.I never thought that you’d make love to me.”She looked sideways at him.“That is what that was, right?”
Dexter nodded slowly.“Felt like it, yeah.”
She pushed herself up on one elbow, looking nervous.“Because…I think I like you, Dex.And that scares me because when I like someone, bad things tend to happen.”
Dexter looked her in the eye.“Would it help if I said that I think I like you too?”
Ruby leaned forward and kissed him and he pulled her towards him.

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Big thank you for all the comments!Hope you like this one.


Sasha entered the kitchen to find Indi in the process of making breakfast.“You know Dexter wasn’t alone in his room last night?”
“I heard,”Indi confirmed, her tone strained,“We really need thicker walls in this place.”
“And you know who he had in there with him?”
Indi nodded.“Guess it explains where he’s been spending half his nights for the last few weeks.”
“So what are we going to do about it?”
Indi thought for a moment.“We’re going to find ourselves some pitchforks, drive her off the nearest cliff then tie Dexter up in his room until he comes to his senses.”
Sasha looked at her curiously.“Really?”
Indi gave her an eloquent glare.“No.For a start, Dexter’s been a lot happier this past few weeks. Right?”
Sasha tried to come up with a counter argument, then just sighed.“Right.”
They heard the bang of the bedroom door and looked round expectantly.Dexter appeared on cue, guiding an awkward looking Ruby in front of him.“Hi!”he greeted his sisters,“One more for breakfast this morning.”
Sasha seemed to be struggling to stay calm.“Dexter, can I talk to you?”She gestured out on the veranda.
Dexter gave Ruby a reassuring look then followed Sasha outside.
Indi gestured to the rack in the middle of the breakfast table.“Toast is for everyone.”The pair took their seats.“I like your hair,”Indi attempted.
Ruby nodded.“Thanks.I get it done at a place in town.”They fell into awkward silence for a moment.“Nice shoes.”
“I can lend you the catalogue if you like.”
“Thank you.”
“Of all the people you could use as your rebound girl, why did you pick Ruby?”Sasha was demanding just out of earshot of the pair.
“She’s not my rebound girl!”Dexter protested,“Or…maybe she is.But I didn’t pick her, I met her and…I like her.Actually, I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t like her.I mean, not like her in the sense of liking her but…”
“I get that you’re friends,”Sasha interrupted,“But do I have to be friends with her too?”
“No.But I’d like you to.”
Sasha tried and failed to avoid his puppy dog look and sighed.“Okay, just for you.”
Dexter put his arm around her and led her back inside.

April smoothed down her dress for about the fifth time in the last hour, wondering if she had time to dash to the closet and pick out another outfit.“Are you sure I look okay?”she asked.
Heath rolled his eyes.“Seriously, you’re acting like you’ve never met Darce before.”
“Yeah but not as the stepmum, even if it is just in a technical sense.Are you sure you wouldn’t rather just spend time with her on your own?”
“We’ve been through this.You live here now, Darcy has to get used to you being here, we have to spend the day together.”He was interrupted by a knock at the door.“Stay cool, okay?”He answered the door to reveal a smiling Darcy.
“Gran said to tell you I’m to be home by eight,”she announced.
“Thanks for that, kiddo,”Heath sighed, ushering her in.
April greeted her technical stepdaughter with a broad smile.“Hi there, Darce!”
Darcy looked at her uncertainly.“So are you my mum now instead of Bianca?”
April floundered slightly and looked at Heath for help.
“I explained all that to you,”Heath reminded his daughter,“You’re still going to see Bianca and she’s still going to give you a new little brother or sister but April’s living here now.”
Darcy still seemed to be suspicious.“Okay,”she said slowly.
“So how about we all go down the beach and then to Uncle Brax’s restaurant afterwards?”Heath suggested.Darcy nodded.“Okay, hold Auntie April’s hand.”
April offered her hand to the girl and was relieved when she took it.

It was about half an hour later that the three of them were crouched in the sand, Darcy engrossed in making a sandcastle while the adults added little touches here and there.“Your lines are really straight, April,”Darcy remarked as April added some decoration to one of the castle’s turrets with the edge of a spade.
April smiled at her.“Thanks, Darce.”
“Nice to know we’ve got another genius in the family, huh?”Heath asked.
Darcy nodded.“I think I’m going to like having you here.You can help me with my homework.”
April’s smile faltered slightly.She got up and walked a few feet away.Heath patted Darcy on the arm.“You going to be okay for a minute?”he asked.Darcy nodded.
April was brushing sand off her dress as Heath joined her.“I’m a bit overdressed for the beach,”she remarked.
“What’s up?”Heath asked without any preamble.
April sighed.“Is it really fair acting like I’m going to be around permanently?”
“Well, are you planning on going anywhere?”
“Not exactly but…we both just kind of fell into this.We haven’t really thought about where it’s going.And now I’m meeting your daughter and it’s getting kind of serious and we’re not even together and…Oh my god!”
Heath was a bit puzzled by the apparently random exclamation until he followed April’s gaze. Dexter and Ruby were standing in the water, him in nothing but a pair of knee-length white shorts and her in a light blue bikini, indulging in a lot of splashing and kissing.
“Him and her?”April exclaimed in disbelief,“She gives him brain damage and he takes up with her? He even goes swimming with her!He never used to do that with me.What’s next, is she going to teach him to surf?”
“I could teach you to surf,”Heath suggested.
“Not the point.”
Heath shrugged.“She looks hot in a bikini.”April punched him on the arm.“Not as hot as you.”
“Also not the point, Heath!”April snapped, puncturing her speech with light punches to his chest.
“Fine, fine!”Heath protested,“She’s hideous, she’s a terrible surfer and he must need his head read to choose her over you, which isn’t me complimenting your looks because apparently you don’t like that.”He paused.“That any better?”
April let out a deep breath.“Thanks.”

Heath and April collapsed onto the couch when they got home that evening.April rested her head against Heath and he put his arm around her.“Did I do okay?”
“You did great,”he assured her.
She moved her head so she could look him in the eye.“Honestly?”
Their faces were only centimetres apart.April closed the gap and kissed him lightly on the lips.When he didn’t resist, she deepened the kiss, letting it grow more passionate as she clambered onto his lap.
Heath pulled back slightly.“Hey, what are you doing?”
“Thought we might grab an early night,”April suggested, continuing to kiss him lightly.She could see he wasn’t entirely convinced.“Hey, we’re married, aren’t we?We have conjugal rights.”
“No idea what that means but it sounds fun.”Heath began to respond to the kiss, then pulled back again.“I am not going back to the couch.”April went to kiss him but he held her a few inches away. “I’m serious.You want to use me, married or not, then you don’t get to kick me back onto the couch next day.”
April mulled the point over then smiled seductively.“I think we can work something out.”
They kissed again and he lifted her up and carried her over to the bed.

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