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Story Title: Returns

Type of story: Long Fic
Main Characters: Jack/Martha and OC’s
BTTB rating: Teen
Genre: Drama

Does story include spoilers: No

Any warnings: Language

Summary: Jack and Martha left the bay after Jack recovered from being shot. They built a life abroad but now are back in the bay. Why? What happened?


‘This cannot happen again!’ Martha spat out at him through anger, frustration and ultimately confusion as to the scene playing out in front of her. She wasn’t sure how she was supposed to react. This situation had just spiraled out of control and she didn’t like it. She didn’t like it one little bit.

‘I told you not to come back here, he can’t know what is going on.’ She implored but the man just sneered at her.

‘Pay me what you owe and then I will leave you alone.’

‘I don’t have any money left; I have given you what I can. I can’t give you what I do not have!’

She paced around the room, she shouldn’t be here but she didn’t know what else to do. Jack could not find out what was going on. He couldn’t find out that she had done something stupid and fallen into a habit, a dangerous habit.

‘You owe me.’ He demanded ‘I want my money or I promise that your copper will find out. Your choice.’ He gave her the ultimatum but Martha was desperate. She was determined that Jack was not going to find out. He would never look at her the same again.

He backed Martha up against a wall. Her heart was beating so fast that she couldn’t think straight. Her body felt it had lost all her bones. She couldn’t find the strength to try and push him away. She closed her eyes but she could feel his breath all over her. She breathed in and out.

‘I can take payment of a different kind.’ He hinted making Martha cringe inwardly but she didn’t react outwardly.

‘I will give you the money tomorrow, I promise.’

‘You better do, otherwise I promise you wont like what I will do next. Do not underestimate me. That would be a foolish thing to do.’

‘Tomorrow.’ Martha said hoping that would appease him long enough for her to figure out what she was going to do next, she had nothing left to give him. If she started to sell some things in the house then Jack would be suspicious and she wouldn’t and couldn’t risk that happening.

She would do anything to prevent that from happening. She needed to find a way out of this but how?


The chapters will be longer, this is just a small introduction into the story, hope you all like :)

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Thanks everyone. :)

Chapter One

6 months later

Jack and Martha Holden stood on their balcony of their hotel in Portugal, they looked out onto the beach drinking a glass of wine whilst watching the sunset.

‘It is beautiful.’ Martha gushed, it was her first time in Portugal and she was determined to enjoy her every moment.

She loved her life in New York but seeing new places all over the world had become a new fascination for her.

She loved her yearly trip to a new place. So far she had visited Paris, Venice, Rome, Barcelona and Auckland. Portugal was the new place that they had decided on.

‘Not as beautiful as you.’ Jack replied setting his wine glass down.

‘Oh give over!’ Martha scoffed but Jack kissed her neck and spun her around so that their eyes met each other.

‘You are beautiful.’

Martha smiled and leant her head forward so that the foreheads were touching. She breathed in his cologne and sighed. Jack grinned and kissed her.

Their hands roved all over each other until the shrill beeping of a phone interrupted them. Jack moved away & sighed as he went in search of his phone.

‘No, don’t, this is our holiday.’ Martha complained.

‘Sorry, but it could be important.’

‘More important than what we were just doing.’

Jack looked contrite which made Martha feel slightly guilty but they only ever got this time to themselves half the time, their respective jobs meant they lived really busy lives. She treasured this time that they had.

‘Two minutes I swear.’ He said but Martha just rolled her eyes, two minutes always turned out to be half an hour.

Jack walked away from the balcony to answer the phone call. Martha decided to lie on the bed and wait for him to come back.

Although true to form, Jack didn’t return for about 40 minutes by which time Martha had fallen asleep. Jack smiled as he closed the balcony doors and got into the bed next to her succumbing to sleep.


‘I hate flying.’ Martha repeated for what seemed like the twentieth time that morning. They were flying back to Australia, it was going to be a long flight with a stop over and she wasn’t impressed.

She had never liked flying but if she wanted to be back home in Summer Bay, she was going to have to tolerate the plane journey.

Jack resisted the temptation to roll his eyes at her, she would cause him actual bodily harm if he did that to her.

Martha gripped his biceps causing Jack to wince but Martha had her eyes screwed firmly shut trying to imagine she was in her happy place and not on a long and big plane, which was in the air.

How was she supposed to stay calm if she was not in her happy place?

‘I know, just breathe, it will get better.’

Martha scoffed in disbelief; she was ready to hit him with the patronising tone that she assumed he was taking.

‘Right because you know how I feel.’

Jack gritted his teeth and said nothing at least that way she couldn’t bite his head off.

‘Oh so now you don’t want to say anything’

Jack took Martha’s hand in his, ‘I love you but you need to calm down. I get you don’t like flying, if I could take your fear away I would but I can’t.’

She softened slightly; deep down she knew that being snappy at Jack was not going to achieve anything.

‘As soon as we land, we can go to our hotel and relax, this is our fresh start’ Jack reminded her. She nodded and leant into his embrace.

She shuddered as the plane began to descend and as soon as the seatbelts sign was taken off, she relaxed but stayed in his embrace and fell asleep.


Jack and Martha were tired and worn out by the time they had landed in Sydney but due to some weather issues, it was seemingly impossible for them to make the journey back to Summer Bay.

‘I booked a hotel.’ Jack told her as they walked out of the airport and into the carpark. The hotel was only a few minutes walk away so they wouldn’t be out in the cold for too long.

‘I didn’t realise.’

‘I thought we could have one night to ourselves before we embrace Summer Bay.’ Jack smiled at her and she wrapped her arms around his waist. They carried on walking until they reached the hotel reception.’

‘How can I help?’

‘Reservation for 2, under Holden.’

‘Of course sir, one moment’

‘What room is it?’ Martha asked only wanting a shower and a warm bed.

‘Sir, your suite will be ready in just a moment, a concierge will pick up your bags, Is there anything else you need?’

‘No, thank you.’ He acknowledged the concierge as he took the bags, he accepted the keycard from the receptionist and walked towards the lift.

‘Was that expensive?’

‘Does it matter?’


‘Sort of but it’s worth it.’

Martha narrowed her eyes at him but he grinned. ‘You can thank me.’

‘Erm... how do you suppose I do that?’

Jack grinned as he pulled her to him in the lift and kissed her placing a hand under her blouse making her shiver with anticipation.

‘Oh..’ Martha started but couldn’t continue. They got off at their floor and wandered into their room. As soon as they did, the concierge dropped their bags off.

Tips were given and then they were finally alone. Clothes were strung across the suite as Martha started to thank Jack for the suite…


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  • 3 weeks later...

Chapter Two

Martha stretched as the light from the window caused her to wake up, she looked at the alarm clock and saw it was 6am, still too early to get out of bed but she smiled as she looked at her husband. He was fast asleep, his hair mussed up from the night before.

She knew she was so lucky to have him in her life. She closed her eyes yet again and snuggled up to him as his arms tightened around her, she fell asleep again with a big grin on her face.

She woke up a while later to find that the bed was empty, she put her hand on the indentation that Jack’s head had left in the pillow and was surprised to see that it was cold.

She sat up but couldn’t see any sign of Jack.

‘Jack?’ she called out as she slid out of the bed and pulled her robe on.

She padded out of the room and into the living area of the hotel suite but there was still no sign of her. She grabbed her phone to see if there were any texts but she couldn’t see any. She frowned in confusion but started to devise a text to see what had happened.

Just before she was going to press send, she heard the door open. She spun around to see Jack walk in with some coffee and a brown bag which smelt nice.

Jack spotted her worried expression and walked up to her. ‘What is it?’

‘I was worried when I woke up and you weren’t there.’

‘I went to get coffee, we have a long day ahead.’

‘You should have left me a note or sent a text.’

‘I am sorry, are you okay?’

‘I’m fine..’


‘Yes’ she smiled and walked away from him grabbing the coffee from the table near the door. She took a few sips and sighed

‘That is good coffee.’

He smiled and walked to the bedroom and then to the ensuite. Martha followed him into the bedroom. Jack called out ‘Join me in the shower?’

Martha giggled and walked in shedding her robe at the same time. Jack grinned and pulled her towards him.


Martha and Jack were ready to check out, no one in the bay knew that they were coming back.

The estate agent had rang them to confirm that everything was ready. The furniture had been set up.

Their clothes had arrived so there were only a few things that they had to sort out themselves. Everything else was ready.

‘Ready?’ Jack asked as they hailed a taxi to take them to their new place. Martha smiled and nodded.

‘A new start.’

They were pretty quiet on the way to the house as they took in their surroundings; they loved the area, the people and their families.

Summer Bay had always been their home and they were so glad they had the opportunity to return, the whole of their life had changed when they moved away all 6 years ago but now they were back and happy to be back.

‘What are we doing first? Seeing your granddad, diner?’

‘I was thinking of christening a few rooms first.’ Martha smiled at him as he paid the driver and then walked swiftly after her as she walked towards the house where the estate agent had the keys.

‘I like the way you think.’ He commented as he wrapped his arm around her waist and picked her up so he was cradling her in his arms. She smiled as she held onto his biceps as he carried her over the threshold.

‘What was the point?’

‘I wanted to. Now come here, we have some rooms to christen..’


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Authors note: Credit to Tele for helping me with this chapter, thank you :D

Chapter Three

‘Strike the flaming crows!’ Alf exclaimed.

Martha crossed over the doorway and entered Summer Bay house, although the décor had changed it was still very much the same as when she’d lived there herself and she felt the tugs of nostalgia hit her as she moved inside. She spotted her Granddad who had just walked into the room from the hallway.

‘Hi Granddad!’ she beamed as she enveloped him in a big bear hug.

‘When did you get back?’ His first question, although she knew there would be many more.

‘We landed last night, but it was a nightmare trying to get out of the airport to the hotel never mind getting to here.’

She grinned again at him as he guided her further into the house and got her seated at the long table that was set for breakfast for obviously the other occupants of the house she noticed seeing the used cups. One had a bright pink lipstick stain she noticed and raised her eyebrows in query giving her Granddad an enquiring look.

‘I still can’t believe you’re here,’ Alf was saying to her, ‘Look at you.’


‘Definitely a sight for sore eyes,’ he continued as if she wasn’t embarrassed enough. Glancing behind her she saw the owner of the bright pink lipstick and gave a small smile to her.

“Look who’s decided to come and visit,” Alf was saying emotionally.

“I can see that Mr. Stewart, It’s Martha. So where is that husband of yours?’ Marilyn piped up.

‘He’s down at the beach, surfing.’

‘Of course he is,’ Marilyn smiled. ‘Have you missed the Bay much?’

‘A lot, I am glad to be back,’ Martha murmured. ‘We’re glad to be back,’ she emphasized.

‘Have you got somewhere to stay?’ Marilyn asked taking over the conversation.

‘Yes, remember Roman’s old house? Well we bought it a few weeks ago and finalised everything in the last week or so.’

‘So you wont be far. What about work?’

‘Actually, I retrained as a teacher so I’ve applied for jobs at both Summer Bay and Mangrove River Highschools, haven’t heard back though.’

‘Mangrove River?’ Marilyn asked

‘Yes, I need a job and well it’s a school. The students need teaching.’

‘Each to their own.’

‘Dad? I need some help.’

Martha looked up as her biological mother entered the room and then stopped. Time seemed to freeze as they looked at each other compounded by the silence as no-one spoke until Harvey broke the silence when he walked in.

‘Roo, I need…’ he broke off with a puzzled expression on his face seeming to look from her to and back to Roo.

Martha wasn’t sure who looked to be the most shocked out of them; certainly Roo had a startled expression on her face that she suspected was repeated on her own, let alone the other occupants of the room.

‘I have to go,’ Martha cried out springing up from the table and vaulting out of the house. Snatches of conversation followed her.

‘Martha don’t,’ She heard Roo cry out.

‘What just happened?’ Harvey’s question

‘Not now, I need to talk to her.’ Again from Roo before the slamming of the screen door indicating that her Mother was following her, and she began to run uncaring of how it looked anymore.

‘Who was she?’ Harvey asked.

Granddad’s voice, ‘I think Roo is the best person to tell you that.’

‘Let Roo tell you when she is ready.’ Marilyn put in.


Running from the house Martha found herself scrambling down on to the beach searching out for her husband. She hadn’t seen her mother in 12 years; and there were so many things were running through her mind.

Why did she leave me?

What was it that I did that meant I was not worth it?

Did I do something to cause this?

Were all those years of pain and misery because of my own actions?

Is this my own entire fault?

‘Martha?’ she heard someone call out and turning around she saw Roo approaching her. Her anger increased and she knew that she couldn’t even talk to her without losing her temper.

‘Stay away.’

‘Look please just let me explain.’ Roo tried to advance towards her but she was not having any of it. ‘

‘No!’ Martha shot out again with enough venom in her voice to signal to Roo that she adamantly not in the mood to talk to her.

‘Please?’ Not even the appeal in the single worded question seemed to soften Martha’s anger. She just couldn’t take a mother daughter chat. There were too many unanswered questions and just too many years of silence between them. How did her own mother, even in her own mind she couldn’t think of her mother without more anger seeping into her body.

Looking up she spotted Jack heading towards her and she burst into tears of relief. As he hurried to her side Martha turned and sobbed into his chest.


‘What is going on?’ he asked quickly as he wrapped his arms around her.

‘Look I just wanted to talk to her.’ Roo hurried to reassure him so that she could have the opportunity to talk to Martha.

‘Who are you?’ Jack asked as he tried to make sense of the situation.

He had no idea what was going on. He looked at Martha’s tear streaked face and then looked up at the woman in front of him. He wiped the tears still on Martha’s face as she tightened her grip on him and although he could feel Martha’s tension but he was no closer to figuring out just what was going on.


‘Doesn’t ring a bell,’ He replied as he rubbed his hand up and down Martha’s back as she calmed down although she was struggling to get her breathing back to normal.

‘She’s my ‘biological’ mother.’ Martha spat out causing Jack to look up at Roo again seeing the resemblance.

Martha had told him that it had been a long time since Martha had even seen or even heard from her mother and of course that went some way to explaining why she was so upset and emotional over this. If he put himself in Martha’s position he would be the same, having lost his mother when he was a child. If their positions were reversed, he would be as angry and hurt as Martha was at that moment in time.

‘I just want a chance to explain.’

‘I don’t think today is the time.’ Jack entered before Martha had the chance to make another reply although he acknowledged that he would have given anything to have his mother around and in his life.

He needed to get her away from Roo so that he could talk to her and see how she felt however a huge part of him did want her to talk to Roo, not if she was this upset. He didn’t know the full history of what happened between them apart from when they did meet twelve years ago for the first time but obviously something had to have happened for them both to be so upset at seeing each other again.

‘Soon, please?’

Jack went to nod but Martha stiffened as she looked Roo in the eyes.

‘Stay away from me. I don’t want you anywhere near me.’

‘Please?’ Roo begged an unhappy look on her face.

Jack felt himself being pulled away from Roo and together they walked in the opposite direction to get away from the woman.

Just before they were out of sight of the lone woman on the beach Jack turned around knowing he had a sad expression on his face communicating his pity and sadness for the situation and for her. With a sigh he turned his attention back to Martha, her arms were still wrapped tight around him and he felt the force of her pulling at him like she was trying her best to drag him away from Roo and the whole situation.


Roo watched as they both walked away from her, she was close to tears herself, she wanted to explain why she had to make the decision when she was younger, and she didn’t have a choice. She knew Martha would have a better life away from her. She wasn’t ready to be a mother and she would have messed it up. She needed to fix this; she needed to make this okay again. She walked home to find Harvey waiting for her. She sighed and looked at him knowing he needed answers.

‘I know I should have told you I had a daughter.’

Roo watched as Harvey shook his head in despair ‘You think? Why hide something like that from me? You’re my wife, we don’t hide things from each other. That is the one thing we promised each other.’

‘I know.’ Roo told him as she sat at the table near him. ‘I never intended to lie to you or not tell you, it just never felt like the right time.’ She started to fiddle with her fingers in a bid to articulate her thoughts. Her mind felt jumbled and it was confusing her even more. Thoughts began to run through her mind, things that she couldn’t seem to stop thinking.

Who am I kidding?

I abandoned her as a child, so now she will never trust me or listen to my explanation.

Who can blame her? I wouldn’t listen to me if I was in her shoes.

I need to find a way to fix this.

There just has to be a way where I can make her listen to me. This cannot be the way it ends.

Roo saw the features on Harvey’s soften but she could sense that he wasn’t happy that she had hidden this from him.


Harvey’s POV

There are parts of her life that I know nothing about, I am not surprised there are things that I don’t know but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine she had a daughter I never knew anything about. It doesn’t feel like a betrayal but I don’t like how much secrecy that shrouds this. It makes me feel uneasy.There is more to this than I know, that is obvious, I need to get Roo to talk to me about this, to open up so that I am aware of what is exactly going on.


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Credit to Tele for helping me with this chapter :)

Chapter Four

Jack sighed as Martha tossed and turned yet again feeling the stirrings of frustration start within him. Obviously she was reeling from seeing her biological mother but for the third night in a row she’d had a disturbed sleep and by association so had he.

Looking out across the room and through the window he watched the stars illuminating the sky before looking back at his fretful wife.

We bought a king-size bed but Martha’s tossing about and taking all the covers is just irritating me now. I know I shouldn’t be so annoyed, she’s clearly dealing with the revelation that her mother is back but I need my sleep too.

Martha slung herself across the bed yet again which pulled off the last small part of the blanket that Jack had. Jack had long past given up trying to pull the blanket back over him.

It had been so many years and undoubtedly that will have built up countless questions that she would want and even need answers to.

Regardless of that he needed some sleep and Martha constantly tossing and turning was not going to make that happen anytime soon.

He sat up and stared at the clock, it was 3.32am and the fact that the covers were halfway across the bed cemented his decision to get up and do something.

He looked over at Martha who despite the fact that she was tossing and turning yet again, was still asleep.

Jack pulled himself out of the bed and padded across the room, onto the landing and then down into the kitchen. He moved over to the worktop, and lifted the kettle. He placed some water in the kettle before switching it on. Hopefully some caffeine would improve his mood and help him get through the sleep deprivation.

He walked across to the cabinet on the opposite side of the kitchen and got his laptop out. He sat at the table whilst turning the laptop on. He might as well do something productive in lieu of sleep.

His job was due to start in a few days, but till then he needed to find something to pass the time, he did need a new car so he decided to look for a decent car. Their time abroad with both of their jobs had allowed them to amass a lot of savings and also for them to buy the house outright upon their return to Summer Bay.

Right now money was not a big issue for either of them but money didn’t last forever. They had both decided that working was not something either of them would be prepared to give up. It gave them a routine and something to do, it didn’t hurt that they both enjoyed their jobs.

He trawled through various websites but he couldn’t seem to find the car that he wanted. The right car would call out to him when he spotted it so he was in no rush to locate it, it would happen when it was the right time for it to happen. It would stand out and literally call his name to him.

He couldn’t go too crazy on a car because Martha needed one as well but he didn’t have scrimp or get a subpar car. He shuddered at the thought of it, it just couldn’t happen.

‘Jack?’ he heard Martha call out from the lounge. He saw the shadow pass the bottom of the stairs and move towards the sofa.

‘In the kitchen.’ He called out.

He looked up to see Martha rubbing her eyes across her face and gestured for her to sit on his lap. He could see a faint smile on her face as she realised what he wanted.

‘What you doing here?’

‘Just looking on the internet for a car.’

‘It’s the middle of night’ she pointed out but there was not chastising in her tone of voice, just tiredness and Jack was sure that she was a bit fed up too. She hadn’t exactly had the easiest reintroduction into the Bay.

‘I know but I couldn’t sleep.’ He looked at her as she sat on his lap and put her head on his shoulder. He tightened his arms around her and let her just be silent for a few moments. He sensed that she needed it.

‘Why not?’ Martha asked breaking the silence of her own accord.

‘Well…’ he didn’t know if he should say anything or just keep quiet. There was no point making her even more upset.


‘You were tossing and turning, it just got to a point where I couldn’t sleep.’ He admitted but rubbed his hand up and down her arm to show that he wasn’t annoyed about it.

‘I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to keep you awake.’

‘That’s okay, you clearly had something on your mind, want to talk about it?’ he offered continuing to rub his hand up and down her back.

‘No. I just want to go back to bed, join me?’ he smiled as she nuzzled his neck making him laugh and kiss her on her forehead.

Jack sighed as he closed the laptop and allowed Martha to get off his lap and pull him out of the kitchen. He grasped her hand and pulled her to him placing a gentle kiss on her lips. He allowed her to drag him up the stairs in a haste to get back to their room.

She’s deflecting from me; she doesn’t want to talk about it. She thinks I am not aware that she is being defensive but I know her better than anyone. She’s made that very that clear but she has to know I won’t let this go, I just wont.


Morning came and Roo found herself in a small corner of the beach where it was pretty much secluded and quiet. She had time to think and to try to devise a way to get Martha to talk to her.

It had been a long 12 years of pain, Roo was aware of the fact that Martha still didn’t fully comprehend the reasons for Roo putting Martha up for adoption.

It was not just as clear cut as Roo not being ready to be a mother, there was another major factor that played into it but only her father knew about that, she had never spoken about it to anyone since it happened.

As I look back on it now it seems like a stupid reason but at the time it was the only option that I felt was right.

If things had been different then of course I wouldn’t have given Martha away.

I would have loved her, I do love her despite the fact that I know I don’t deserve to but once you become a mother, it is not that easy.

The childbirth was painful, but it was so hard to look into her eyes when I was never going to be able to hold onto her or to keep her in my life.

I was a child myself; I just couldn’t give her what she needed.

How am I supposed to communicate this to her? She hates me, like really hates me. I can’t blame her, I in her eyes gave her away, tossed her away without a second thought but if she knew how much I thought about her every single day.

Maybe she would see just how difficult it was for me to walk her and give her to another family.

A family that could provide for her love her and give her all the things that every child should be able to have without question. A love that knows no bounds. She deserved that and more.

The pain of not having her in my life has caused some deep wounds for me & more so for her. I only hope that one day she will allow me to explain.

Roo looked up at the beach, she spotted Jack and pulled herself up to walk up to him. She approached him and as soon as he turned around he saw her.

‘Hi, I’m..’

‘I know who you are, what do you want?’

‘How is she?’

‘Angry and upset.’

‘Can you please tell her that I just want to talk and explain?’

Roo looked at his face trying to gauge what his reaction would be but his expression seemed to be unreadable. She didn’t want to give up hope of getting a chance to make things right or at least go someway towards doing that.

‘I can’t promise she will listen.’

‘You can ask her though?’

‘I will talk to her, I make no promises.’

‘Thank you.’ She clasped her hands together feeling like she had a bit more hope that she might just have a rare opportunity to be able to explain to Martha everything that had happened.

She needed Martha to listen to her, just so that she could get everything off her chest. Roo walked away from him and headed in the general vicinity of the diner, she needed breakfast but she was hopeful that she would get the chance to talk to Martha soon.

She wasn’t going to give up until she got the chance to talk to her.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry its taken me longer than I expected to get this chapter done but I hope you enjoy! :)

Chapter Five

Roo walked into the diner, pulling her purse out of her handbag so that she had the right change in order to make her purchase. She approached the counter tapping her fingers against it until Irene came out of the kitchen.

‘What can I get you darl?’

‘A skinny latte please.’

‘Coming up. Takeaway?’

‘No, I will have it here.’ Roo smiled at her as she watched Irene tinker away with the coffee machine in front of her. She poured the coffee into the cup and accepted the change that Roo had.

‘Anything else?’

‘No, thanks.’ Roo walked to the table in the corner, picking up a newspaper on a neighbouring table so that she had something to read whilst enjoying her coffee. She spotted a young man enter the diner. She couldn’t make out what he was saying, she was too far to be able to eavesdrop but she was curious. Her phone beeped.

Want breakfast? My morning cruise is finished. Harvey x

‘Excuse me?’

Roo looked up and saw a young man looking down at her.


‘Have you finished with the paper? Mind if I have a look?’


Roo closed the paper and handed it to him. She noticed him walk away and take a seat near the door whilst sipping at his cup. He looked like he was in 30’s, his hair looked scruffy but he actually looked attractive.

Oh stop it, you’re married. You shouldn’t be noticing things like that.

‘Want anything else?’ Irene asked as she cleaned a nearby table.

‘No thanks.’

She fired off a quick text to Harvey to confirm that she just had breakfast, well a liquid breakfast.

Just had breakfast. See you later x

Roo walked towards the counter and waved to Irene and Marilyn who returned her wave with a smile before going back to their tasks. Roo didn’t notice the man who walked in as she walked out; if she had noticed then she would have seen his secret sly smile.


Martha looked around the living room, moving around and seeing what the room looked like from different angles.

‘What if I move the sofa back a bit and then buy a bigger coffee table?’ she mused to herself.

‘No more buying things!’ she heard Jack shout out from the kitchen.

‘Oh shush! I want to!’ she pouted.

‘Stop pouting!’ he called out causing Martha to grin at him. He knew her too well. She always pouted when he attempted to tell her off.

She put her hands on her hips and stared at the sofa. She moved forward and pulled the coffee table to the right. As she began to reposition the sofa and the table, her phone rang.

Jack popped his head in from the kitchen and frowned but she put her hand up as she looked at the phone.

‘It’s the Department.’ She put her hand on her face as Jack stood next to her and smiled.

‘Hello Martha Holden speaking.’

Martha listened intently to the phone touching Jack’s arm for unspoken support. She kept her face neutral as she answered the questions posed to her and then finally said ‘Thank you for ringing.’

‘What did they say?’

‘Both schools want me to teach there?’

‘So where do you want teach?’

‘I don’t know, what do you think?’

Martha caught his pointed look and she sighed wrapping her arms around him. She looked up at him.

‘My heart is with Summer Bay High, but my head says I can do something at Mangrove River. I can make a difference.’

‘Classic head and heart dilemma.’

‘Yeah.’ Martha was no closer to deciding what she should do. She pulled herself away from Jack and walked to one end of the room and back again several times trying to decide what the best thing was for her to do.

‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?’

‘Married to you if you haven’t caused to kill you.’

She giggled as she caught him rolling his eyes at her.

‘Honestly I think Summer Bay High is the right choice.’ She told him.

‘Are you sure?’

She nodded as she walked into the kitchen and opened the fridge. She then moved to the worktop and pulled a glass from the cupboard and poured the orange juice.

‘Want one?’

‘No, so you going to ring the department?’

‘Yes, but I think I need to sleep on it and see how I feel in the morning.’



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  • 2 weeks later...

Chapter Six

Martha woke up early the next morning; upon checking the clock she saw it was 7am. Today was Jack’s first day back as a Detective so she was going to have to amuse herself until he got home that evening.

She looked over at the window where despite the curtain being shut had slivers of light streaming through. She lay back down for a while until the incessant banging caused Martha to sit upright in her bed; she rubbed her palms over her eyes. She looked over the other half of the bed only to find it empty.

She glanced at the calendar and saw the red marker pen signifying that Jack started back at work today.

The banging started yet again, Martha was tempted to get some earplugs and drift back to sleep but as the banging carried on, it was obvious that she wasn’t going to get any more sleep that morning.

She pulled the covers off and made her way around the bed to pick up her dressing gown from the foot of the bed blushing as she saw her panties in shreds from the previous night.

Before she had a chance to reminisce, the banging started again from the front door.

‘Alright, alright!’ she shouted out ‘Coming!’ She made it to the landing and then walked down the stairs. She got to the door and opened it.

‘Took you long enough.’

‘Leah, come in.’

‘Oh sorry were you asleep?’

‘It’s fine don’t worry, just going to put the kettle on, fancy a cup of tea?’

‘Wouldn’t say no.’

Martha smiled as she closed the door and walked into the kitchen. She pulled the kettle off its stand and filled it with water. She really needed caffeine.

‘So what’s new with you?’ Martha asked as she turned the kettle on and spun around to see Leah sat at the kitchen table.

‘I am doing a TAFE course in counselling.’

‘That’s great, you’re working at the school right?’

‘Yes, its work experience but it is very good experience for me.’

‘Sounds like you’re enjoying it.’

Martha smiled as the kettle boiled. She busied herself making the tea, adding in milk and 2 sugars for herself and milk but with no sugars for Leah.

Once she settled at the table and took a sip of her tea, she spotted a look on Leah’s face that she was sure was going to lead to something she didn’t want to talk about.

‘We need to talk.’

Martha noticed that Leah was beginning to play with her hair, which confirmed that she felt nervous.

‘Roo came to talk to me.’

Martha scowled as she stood up. She hadn’t thought about her ‘mother’ in days and she was calmer because of it, she had no intention of dragging that up again.

‘I don’t want to talk about her or even to her. She’s dead to me.’

‘You can’t mean that.’

‘I do. I do.’ Martha repeated it to try and persuade herself but she was fighting a battle that she was sure to lose.

‘You don’t have to become best friends, but hear her out. Just hear her out please?’

‘I think you better leave.’

‘Martha just think about it, hear her out. You don’t have to accept it but let her do this for you, please.’

‘Go!’ Martha screamed making Leah jump and causing tea to splatter over the table.

‘Sorry I will.’

Martha put her head on the table and heard footsteps walking away from her, she heard the door open and then close. As soon as the door closed, the tears fell and she didn’t have a hope in hell of stopping it.


Martha found herself on the beach later that day. She needed to clear her head.

She reached into the pocket of her jeans and pulled out her phone. She swiped the front screen and clicked on the phone app to make her decision about the job.

‘Hello?’ a voice spoke making Martha jump until she realised it was coming from the phone.

‘Hello, this is Martha Holden calling to speak to Mr Grady.’

‘One moment, please hold.’

The on hold music started which Martha remembered as being irritating.

‘Mrs Holden, have you made a decision?’

‘Yes, I want to work at Summer Bay High.’

‘Excellent, I will email you with the details you need. Welcome to the team.’

‘Thank you.’

She hung the phone up and looked out over the beach, it was mid afternoon so people were drifting in and out. The beach looked busy and bustling.

For the first time in a long time I can smile and look forward to the future.


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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for being patient with me!

Credit to Tele for helping me with the chapter.

Chapter 7

‘Are you going to tell her the truth?’ her voice spoke out quietly but loud enough for the sound waves to reach his ears.

Looking at them together, sitting there and having this quiet conversation anyone might assume that it was just normal. everyday occurrence. Instead the reality was that Roo knew he had been following her. She had a sense of doom float over her for a few days and decided that she needed to face it.

She sat at the bench and waited for him to sit next to her. She rubbed her hands on her thighs and wafted the dress down across her knees. Roo could feel the sweat on her hands.

Roo could feel her heart beating faster and she tried to regulate her breathing so that it didn’t cause her discomfort

‘She deserves to know.’

The wind bustled across the beach, the waves got harsher as they lapped against the sand leaving debris on the beach and washing it away.

As they both sat there in silence for a few moments as unspoken words carried across the beach and floated away until the silence was broken.

Finally she put her handbag on her lap and then peered inside it as though to find some tissues that she knew wasn’t there but he didn’t know that.

‘Let me tell her.’

Roo heard him scoff and knew that he had no reason to believe her. She had hurt him and caused so much pain in his life.

‘I don’t think so.’

‘You can be there as well but please let me tell her.’

Roo put her handbag back onto her lap and twirled a piece of string that had come off the hem of the handle. She didn’t now what else to say to him apart from ‘please.’

‘Pleading with me isn’t going to change anything.’

Roo closed her eyes, she could feel her head throbbing and throbbing. It was hard enough for her to face up to what she did.

She rubbed her hands against her thighs as she looked up at him. He was tall and had sandy blonde hair.

‘Okay.’ She said resigned to the fact that he was going to tell her.


‘If you feel you need to this, then do it. Nothing I say is going to change it and to be honest I am tired of running from this, I need to face up to what I did. So do what you need to do.’

Roo stood up and looked at him yet again to see a bewildered look on his face but she had no more words. She was too tired and drained out. She had to go and mentally prepare herself for one of the worst conversation she was likely to ever have in her life.

She turned around and spoke her last words to him before everything changed. ‘For what it is worth, if I could change anything I would.’

‘Too little. Too late.’ She heard as she walked away from him.


‘Martha.’ She heard her name being called out and as she turned around and faced a person she never thought she would face again.

The man that haunted her. The man who demanded money from her and blackmailed her after she made a mistake. He made her life unbearable, constantly looking over her shoulder in a state of perpetual fear.

She put her hands on her chest struggling to breathe properly and found herself crouched down as she huddled herself away from him. As she was slowly moving backward, he touched her shoulder causing her to wince. She jumped away as if she had been electrocuted and distanced herself further.

‘Hold on, let me explain, just please let me explain.’

Martha started to hyperventilate. Her vision went blurry and she tried to find something solid to lean herself against but her quest wasn’t fruitful.

She slipped and fell into the sand, which despite the fact that it was soft caused her some pain. She winced as she tried to move.

The male figure in front of her tried to help but she dodged his every attempt. He ended up crouching down and looking her in the eyes. His eyes were hazel and full of sorrow.

He has known pain. His eyes give it away.

‘You cant be here, I gave you everything I had. I have nothing left to give.’

‘I don’t want anything, in fact, here.’

She saw the envelope that he had in his hand.

‘What is it?’ she croaked out still unsure as to what his true motives were.

‘Open it.’

Her hands were trembling as she opened it. Her eyes widened as she pulled the slip of paper out.

‘I am sorry; I never meant to hurt you or to make you give me that. I had no choice.’

Martha couldn’t speak, she was just in shock, the situation just overwhelmed her to the point where she had no clue what was going on.

‘Why are you giving me this?’

‘It’s yours.’

Martha winced as she lifted herself up off the beach. The pain wasn’t as bad as it was now.

‘Stay away!’ she shrieked at him as she edged away until she was sure he was far enough away from him.

‘I only wanted to let you know I was wrong, threatening you for money was not something I am proud of. I had no choice.’

Martha saw the sorrow in his eyes, she watched him put his hand through her hair and she felt a pang of sympathy for him. He didn’t ask for this.


‘I needed the money and you were literally my only option.’

‘I don’t understand.’ She shook her head.

‘We have a connection, and I don’t mean that in a creepy way but we do.’

Martha felt and looked baffled. She didn’t know how to articulate the words.


She watched as he internally debated whether he should tell her but then he swallowed a lump in his throat and said ‘I’m your twin.’


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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for the short chapter, the next one will be longer, enjoy!

Chapter Eight

The fact that she was shaking as she entered her house caused her bag to jiggle as she pulled it off her shoulder and placed it on the side table nearest to the door.

She watched the clock on the wall above the fireplace and the television. Every second she was stood there, was an inevitable wait till the truth was revealed.

Suddenly she felt tired, her body was failing to utilise the 5 cups of coffee she had already consumed in a bid to keep herself going. She was running on empty and she knew it.

She walked to the kitchen area and peered into the fridge. She tapped her fingers on the door of the fridge.

Roo didn’t actually know what she was looking for, she just needed to do something with herself.

She closed the fridge and turned around. Roo placed her hands on the worktop in front of her and took a deep breath in and out.

She felt a gust of wind as the door swung open, she moved in the direction of the door but found nothing.

Her eyes scrunched up in confusion, she then straightened up her features and headed upstairs.

Perhaps a lie down would help calm her fraught nerves.

A knock on the door put paid to that idea as she sighed and did a 360 on the stairs towards the door however when she reached the door there was no one there.

She walked onto the porch and looked around but apart from the usual residents of the caravan park, she couldn’t spot anyone walking away from the house.

‘What you doing?’ she heard a rumbling voice from behind her. She spun around to find her Dad looking at her questionably with a frown on her face.

‘Someone knocked on the door but when I came down, there was no one there.’ She explained as she closed the door and made her way back to the hallway leading to the stairs.

‘Probably kids messing around.’

Roo nodded her head and went up the stairs, gripping the bannister on the way up and trying not to break down until she was in the safety of her own room.

She laid her head on one pillow and pulled the other into her arms and hugged it to her body.

Roo could feel her body shaking as she let the dam she had erected against her emotions open and flood the room with tears. Tears to exhibit just how much she had been bottling up.

Roo wiped off some of her tears that fell but more replaced it so in the end it became futile to even bother wiping them. Everything was falling apart and there was nothing she could do about it.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Chapter Eight

Martha stood over the sink rubbing at a plate that had long since been clean but nevertheless still needed to be scrubbed. She could feel the coldness upon her hands but it didn’t bother her in some ways. She had too many questions running through her head. She placed her hand in the bowl lining the sink allowing the hot water to cascade over her hands. The slight movement of her hand brought a slight stinging feeling so she picked up a glass in the cabinet above her head and proceeded to the wine rack on the other edge of the worktop. The sound of metal filled the kitchen as the circular motion of Martha’s hands turned the screwtop around until she felt it loosen and consequently clatter to the floor.

She closed her eyes as she took her first sip of the wine from the bottle. Her feet carried her from one edge of the kitchen to the other.

Once he had told her that she was a twin, he left her stood there wondering if what she had heard was actually real or whether she was imagining it, she wasn’t quite sure either way.

Her first reaction was to laugh just at the absurdity of his statement. She didn’t quite know how to articulate the fact that he was her twin.

Why did he demand all that money?

He made my life hell for so long and he’s my twin? Something about this doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever.

The glass went into the sink, the bottle remained on the worktop as she resumed the mindnumbing task of washing up. She put the plate to one side to allow it to dry and proceeded to carry on washing the plates. The repetitive motion of scrubbing the plates and allowing the hot water to rinse away the leftover lasagna on the plate numbed her brain.

Once she had scrubbed the ceramic of the plate away, she stopped. Martha turned the waster off, and then watched as the water drop dripped and dripped. All she could hear was the water.

After a few long moments, the drops stopped causing Martha to stare out of the window into the garden where the rain was pouring signaling that a storm was approaching.

A storm is here, ironically just a similar way to how my whole life has been turned inside and out.

I need answers; I need to know what the hell is going on.

‘Martha?’ she heard a voice coming from the vicinity of the lounge and smiled at how her heart jumped when she heard her husbands voice.

‘In the kitchen.’

‘What you doing here?’

‘Just waiting for the rain to stop so I can hang the clothes out. Finished the dishes.’

‘Are you okay?’ she saw the confusion in his eyes as he noticed her somber expression. Martha was sure that he was used to it especially since her mother had come back into her life.

Martha smiled at him but her eyes glazed over as tears threatened to break through her exterior. She needed a hug at that point and she was immensely grateful when Jack pulled her into his arms.

The moment her head was in contact with Jack’s chest, the emotions that she had kept in bubbled out into tears.

What happened to her? Martha never breaks down like this before. Something must have happened. It just is not like her.

Martha could feel Jack’s arms gripping her tightly, slowly maneuvering them to the kitchen table where he sat down and briefly broke contact with her so he could place her on his lap. She snuggled into him yet again as the tears fell silently against Jack’s chest causing his grey shirt to have a sizeable black patch right in the middle of his chest.

Should I ask her what happened or wait till she’s ready to talk to me? I hate seeing her so upset and in tears.

‘I need to tell you something.’


‘You have to promise me something.’

She saw him frown in confusion but he nodded his head and beckoned her to tell him.

‘You can’t interrupt me, and you have to listen to everything I say.’

‘I will do.’


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