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True Love

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Story Title: True Love
Type of story: Long fic
Main Characters: Charlie, Bianca, Brax, Heath
Other Characters: Ruby, Maya, Ben and others
BTTB rating: T/A
Genre: Drama/Romance
Does story include spoilers: No
Any Warnings: SC
Summary: Charlie is a single mother to her 3 children. She’s ruled out dating but what happens when she meets someone special? Can Heath and Bianca’s marriage survive when a secret from the past is revealed?


Charlie was at the train station, holding onto her oldest daughter tightly. “Promise you’ll call me every day.” Charlie said as she finally let go, Ruby rather pleased she could now breath properly again.

“Every day?” Ruby gasped.

“Yeah. When have we never talked every day?” Charlie said. “It’ll be weird.”

“But I’m going to uni,” Ruby told her mother. “So this will be the time when you don’t hear for me for months on end. I’ll call when I need money and come home when I’ve got dirty laundry for you.” Ruby joked.

Charlie gave a little laugh. “You’re not that kind of teenager.” Charlie said, tucking Ruby’s hair behind her ear. Charlie and Ruby had a very close relationship and Charlie wasn’t sure how well she’d cope with Ruby now off to uni.

“Ah well you never know,” Ruby joked with her mother. “Uni might change me.”

“No Ruby,” Ruby looked down to see her little sister staring back up at her. “Don’t change.” Maya frowned. Maya had her mother’s expressive blue eyes and long chocolate locks.

“I won’t Petal,” Ruby pinched Maya’s cheek. Petal was a nickname Ruby had had for Maya from before she was even born. “You look after mummy for me when I’m gone yeah?” Ruby said, bending down to her level and pulling her into a hug. Ruby looked around as her train approached the station.

“Yeah but you come home soon yeah?” Maya questioned.

“Of course I will,” Ruby ruffled her hair, Maya frowning, clearly not happy that Ruby had messed it up. “I’ll be home for Bee’s wedding. That’s only two weeks away.”

“Yeah.” Maya smiled, glad to hear her sister would be home soon.

“Right where’s my little cuddle bear?” Ruby questioned, looking around for her little brother. “You hiding from RuRu?” Ruby said, seeing him

peaking around from behind Charlie’s leg. “I see you.” Ruby cooed as Ben jumped out into view, giving Ruby a big grin.

“RuRu.” Ben held his hands out and Ruby pulled him into a hug.

Ruby kissed his neck a couple of times before pulling back, looking round to the train. “Okay I really need to go.” Ruby gave her mother another hug before putting her hand onto her suitcase and walking towards the train.

“Call me when you get to halls,” Charlie said, wanting Ruby to call her to let her know she’d arrived safely at her student accommodation. “Love you. Bye sweetie.”

“Bye.” Ruby waved to her family as she got onto the train. She put her suitcase up onto the bag holder and got a seat at the window, seeing Charlie lifting Ben up into her arms, as Maya hugged against her mother, the family waving Ruby off. She took a deep breath as she waved back, both excited and nervous for being away from home for uni.


“Hello,” Bianca knocked on the door before walking into the house. “Charlie.” Bianca said, walking down the hall, hearing voices in the kitchen.

“Bee.” Ben jumped out from the kitchen into the hallway. He was in his Buzz Light-year dress up outfit, the three year old very much a fan of him. He was holding his little red ball in his hand, this like the boys safety blanket, Ben hardly going anywhere without it.

“Hey dude,” Bianca ruffled his hair. Unlike his mother and sisters, Ben had blond hair, obviously inherited from his father. His eyes were blue though, which was about the only thing he got from his mother. Ben took Bianca’s hand and led her through to the kitchen where Charlie and Maya were baking cupcakes. “Hey,” Bianca greeted her friend. “Ruby get away okay?”

“Yeah,” Charlie answered, helping Maya get the last of the cupcake mixture into a paper case so they could cook them. “You heard from April yet?” April was going to the same uni in Sydney but she’d left the day before Ruby had, Ruby wanting that little extra day with her mother and siblings before going off to uni.

“She called when she got there yesterday,” Bianca answered. “For about 5 minutes,” Bianca laughed as she sat at the table, Ben climbing up onto her knee. “Went out to see the city with the girls in her flat,” Bianca said. Charlie gave a little nod as Maya jumped down from the chair that was up against the worktop and ran over to the oven that had been pre-heating and opened it up, walking back quickly as the heat that escaped it hit her. Charlie carried the tray over and put it into the oven.

“Can I watch cartoons till they is ready?” Maya asked, the 5 year old loving baking and watching cartoons.

“Sure.” Charlie said, Maya running over to the kitchen door.

“C’mon Ben.” Maya gestured for her brother to come with her, Ben looking to Charlie before jumping down and running out after his sister.

Charlie saw Bianca’s gaze on the papers that were on the table. “You two finally divorcing?” Bianca questioned as Charlie put the kettle on to make her guest a coffee, Bianca’s eyes still on the divorce papers.

“Well we’ve been separated over 3 years so it really would be the next step to take, right?” Charlie questioned, putting a spoonful of coffee into each mug.

“Yeah,” Bianca nodded. “I’m surprised it’s taken you this long to be honest.”

“I’ve been looking after Ben,” Charlie exhaled. “And obviously the girls too but Ben needs more attention.” Charlie said, opening the fridge and taking the milk out.

“Well you’ve done great with him,” Bianca said. “So, you need to see him again?” Bianca wondered, Charlie nodding as she stirred the coffees before walking over to the table and sitting down with her friends.

“Depends if he objects to my terms of divorce.” Charlie told her friend. She’d hardly seen Mark since he left. He lived in town for about 6 months after the separation, but then he took a job back in Sydney so had moved away. He left Charlie after their son was born with Down Syndrome. He expressed an interested in still seeing his daughter but Charlie made it clear that he couldn’t pick and choose which of his children to be a father too. She told him she wasn’t going to force him into being in Ben’s life but if he didn’t want his son then he didn’t get to have a relationship with his daughter either. Part of her thought this was selfish on her daughters part but she couldn’t bear the thought that one day Ben would know his daddy didn’t want him but still saw his sister.

“What are they?” Bianca wondered.

“Basically I want sole custody of the kids,” Charlie said. “I don’t even care about getting child support from him. I want nothing from him,” Charlie spoke with a sting in her voice. Bianca knew that Mark was a touchy subject. Charlie never spoke about him but she didn’t need to for Bianca to know that even though she hated him for leaving like he did, she still had some love for him. “But I don’t want to talk about my failed marriage,” Charlie exhaled, Charlie’s voice snapping Bianca out of her thoughts. “Let’s talk about you becoming Mrs Braxton.” Charlie said, changing the subject to Bianca’s wedding which was now only 2 weeks away.

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Thank you! :)


Charlie walked down the corridor, wondering how it was possible that she was called into the school on her daughter’s first day in Kindergarten. She saw her daughter sitting on the chair outside the Principles office, her legs swinging back and forth, Charlie thinking how cute she looked in her little blue checked school dress, her hair in pleated pigtails with little blue ribbons tied in bows at the bottom. “Maya Elsie Buckton,” Charlie stopped walking and bent down in front of her daughter. “You’ve only been in school half a day.” Charlie scolded. The kids’ surname was Buckton, Charlie changing her name back to Buckton soon after the separation and she’d changed the kids’ names as well, not feeling like Mark deserved to have them keep his surname of Oliver and of course because Charlie wanted her kids to have the surname as her.

“Ms Buckton,” Charlie looked up at Maya’s Principle walked out of her office with a little fair haired boy who’s nose was bloody and his angry looking mother. He woman never said anything to Charlie, she just took her sons hand and walked him back to his classroom. “Well Jared won’t tell us what happened expect from the fact Maya punched him,” Mrs Clark said. “Maya won’t say anything either. Has she said anything to you?”

Charlie shook her head before looking back to Maya. “You going to tell me why you are punching boys?” Maya looked down, her head shaking. “Maya,” Charlie tried to stay calm. “That’s no nice. You shouldn’t be punching people. Now tell mummy what happened. Why did you punch him.”

“It’ll make you sad.” Maya spoke in such a whisper that it was barely audible.

“I won’t get mad.” Charlie said, mistaking one of Maya’s words.

“Not mad,” Maya looked back up to her mother. “I said sad.”

“Well mummy still wants to know what happened. You can’t go around punching people.” Charlie said, surprised at her daughter. Maya wasn’t violent so she knew this Jared boy must have done something to her first but didn’t want to say that in front of Mrs Clark.

“He uhm,” Maya looked like she was about to cry. She glanced up at her Principle before looking back to her mother. “Well he was being mean.”

“How so?” Charlie rubbed Maya’s knee. “You can tell mummy.”

“He said that Ben was funny looking and ugly and was stupid.” Maya spoke quietly and Charlie took a deep breath as she composed herself. Sometimes people would say hurtful things about her son and there wasn’t ever anything she could do to stop that.

“Well,” Charlie glanced at Mrs Clark before looking back to Maya. “That was a very wrong thing for him to say but it is never okay to punch someone,” Charlie said. “You understand me?” Charlie questioned and Maya nodded shyly. “And if anyone ever says something mean about Ben again you just ignore it, okay?” Charlie said. “Because we know it’s not true. We know what Ben is really like, don’t we?”

Maya nodded. “He is funny,” Maya gave a little smile. “And he likes cuddles and Buzz and the swings and marshmallows.”

“Yeah,” Charlie lightly rubbed Maya’s cheek. “So just think of that anytime anyone says something okay?” Charlie said and Maya once again nodded.

“Well now we know why she hit him I see the reasoning. What Jared said wasn’t right but I am glad you told her she still shouldn’t be hitting people.” Mrs Clark said as Charlie stood back up, looking to Mrs Clark.

“Of course,” Charlie said. “I’m never going to let her think it is okay to hit,” Charlie straightened up her police shirt. “But I hope you talk with that little boy,” Charlie said. “What he said about my son is not right.”

“It most certainly is not,” Mrs Clark said. “And we will talk with him.”

“So, does she get to go back to class?” Charlie questioned, not really wanting to say anymore on the subject.

“Yes.” Mrs Clark nodded and Charlie took Maya’s hand and led her down to the classroom.


“Mummy.” Ben beamed as he saw Charlie walking to the house.

“Hey baby,” Charlie lifted her son into a hug. “Did you have a fun day with Marilyn?” Charlie questioned as she put Ben down, Ben running back across to play with his beloved red ball.

“Oh I think he did,” Marilyn answered. “We went to the park and the played on the swings then we fed the ducks.” Marilyn smiled as Ben grinned up at her. Ben only had a select few people he’d talk too, Marilyn obviously being one of them.

“Quack quack.” Ben made a duck noise.

Charlie smiled at her son before looking to Maya who was sitting on the couch watching some cartoons as she drank from a juice box. “How was the rest of school missy?” Charlie questioned, walking over to her daughter. “You behave?”

“Uh-huh,” Maya nodded. “The teacher swapped Jared and Chris seats so I don’t sit at the table with him now and he can’t say mean things to me.” Maya answered before sucking on the straw.

“Right,” Charlie didn’t see how changing the boy’s seat would fix anything but was still hopefully that he’d be talked to. “Well get your bag and what do you say to Marilyn?” Charlie questioned. Marilyn looked after the kids when Charlie was working. She only worked 3 days a week, only wanting to work part-time so she could be there for the kids more, especially for Ben.

“Thank you and see you tomorrow.” Maya said, flinging her school bag over her shoulders as Ben stood up, lifting his little red ball into his hands and ran over to Charlie, crashing into her leg as he wrapped his arms round her leg tightly.

“Can Benny boy said thank you to Marilyn?” Charlie ran her hand through his hair as she spoke.

“Thank you.” Ben said, walking towards Marilyn. She bent down to his level and he kissed her cheek.

“Aww, thank you Ben,” Marilyn smiled. “You little sweetie.” Marilyn walked them to the door and waved them off as Charlie took the kids to her car to drive them home so they could get some dinner.


“Yeah mate,” Heath spoke through the phone. “See ya soon. Bye.” Heath hung up the phone before throwing it down on the coffee table. He looked up as Bianca handed him a beer as she sat down next to him on the couch a glass of wine in her hand.

“That Brax?” Bianca questioned, Heath nodding as he took a drink of his beer.

“Yeah,” Heath nodded. Brax lived up on the Gold Coast but was coming down to the Bay for the Bucks night then the wedding the following week. “He’ll be down on Friday,” Heath would be lying if he said he wasn’t excited for seeing his brother. He didn’t get to see him much anymore and they’d been close as they grew up. “You excited for meeting him?”

“A bit nervous to be honest if he’s like you,” Bianca said. “One Heath Braxton is enough in my life.”

Heath stifled a laugh. “I had to learn from someone, didn’t I?” Heath questioned and Bianca widened her eyes. “Nah,” Heath laughed. “He’s sound.”

“So are you saying I’m marrying the wrong Braxton?” Bianca questioned.

“Oh no no,” Heath shook his head. “I am definitely the best Braxton,” Heath said. “Maybe I’ll just need to remind you of that.” Heath said, his eyebrows raising as he leaned forward and softly kissed her lips.

“Mmm,” Bianca pulled back, knowing where Heath wanted to take this. “What happened to our no sex till the wedding night plan?” Bianca questioned. They’d made this decision a couple of weeks ago, the couple going to have gone a month without sex, hoping that would make their wedding night all the more special.

Heath sighed. “It’s hard.”

“I know,” Bianca agreed. “But think about the wedding night,” Bianca said, a grin etching on her face. They were going to be staying at the Sands in the honeymoon suite the night of their wedding before they would be heading to the Vanuatu for their 10 day honeymoon. “It’ll be worth the wait.”

“Oh I know it will.” Heath answered, once again placing a soft kiss on Bianca’s lips.

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Thank you


Charlie, Maya, VJ and Ben were walking to the diner after Charlie and Ben had picked them up from school. Maya had made it through the rest of her first week without any more incidents, much to Charlie’s relief. Charlie had also picked up VJ for Leah, Leah still working until 3, it was almost a quarter to 3 so Leah would be finished her shift and joining them at the diner for a drink and a cake, something they did every Friday. Leah’s son VJ was also 5 years old and was in Maya’s class at school, which pleased the kids as there were two Kindergarten glasses that year. “Charlie,” VJ said as he pulled on her arm, causing Charlie to look down to him. “Well Jared at school today pushed me in the playground.” VJ said, Charlie pursing her lips, seeing that it seemed Jared was going to be a problem child for the class.

“Well that’s not very nice, is it?” Charlie said.

“No,” VJ shook his head. “But Maya told me to ignore him and we ran away and played somewhere else.”

“Well that’s the right thing to do.” Charlie smiled, pleased her daughter had seemed to listen to her advice.

“Yeah but Autumn wanted to punch him,” Maya scrunched her face up as she looked at her mother. Autumn was Maya’s best friend. They started playing together when they were 2 and were in the same day care and along with VJ and his best friend Thomas, Charlie felt they’d become quiet the little foursome as they went through school. “But I told her no and we went to climb the trees instead.”

Charlie raised her eyebrows. “I don’t think you are supposed to climb trees in the playground Maya,” Charlie exhaled, already knowing Maya was going to give her trouble when she was older. “Can’t you kids just run around playing tag or something?” Charlie questioned, but she’d already lost the kids, Maya and VJ running into the diner and over to the counter to see Leah. “Oh Benji what’s that sister of yours like hmm?” Charlie looked down to her son who looked up to her and gave her a laugh.

“Thanks for getting VJ for me,” Leah smiled as Charlie walked up to the counter, Ben letting go of her hand as he walked closer to his sister so he could see the cakes. “You have a good day at school?”

“Yeah,” VJ answered. “We did some -”

“Mummy, Ben.” Maya screeched as Ben made a break for it, running from the diner. Charlie turned quickly on her feet and chased after her son, Ben having a habit of running off all of a sudden.

“Ben,” Charlie raised her voice as Ben was running along the grass. “Benjamin,” Charlie shouted, seeing Ben running down onto the sand towards the water. Ben loved the beach. He loved making sandcastles and loved going in the water. He ran down the beach, Charlie not quiet believing how fast her son could run. “Benjamin.” Charlie said again, seeing Ben trip over a surfboard that was lying across the sand. He broke into tears, the man who’s surf board it was going to help Ben get up.

“No,” Ben squealed as the man lifted him to his feet. “Mumm.,” Ben cried looking around to find Charlie.

“I’m here,” Charlie said, lifting Ben up into her arms. “Sorry about that.” Charlie looked up to the man, giving him an apologetic smile.

“No worries eh,” The man smiled. “Little kids can be adventurous.”

“He just wanders off a lot,” Charlie pursed her lips. “What’s mummy told you about running off?” Charlie questioned, Ben hiding his head against her chest. She looked to the man before looking off the beach towards the diner where she saw Maya and VJ standing at the doorway, watching them. “C’mon let’s get back to Maya.” Charlie pointed up towards the diner before walking away, looking back round to the man for a moment, the man catching her gaze. They exchanged a soft smile, before Charlie turn around and looked back to the diner as she walked off the beach, Ben cuddling into her tightly.


“Hey.” Brax walked into the house, greeting Bianca. Heath was still at work so would get to catch up with his brother later.

“How was your afternoon?” Bianca questioned. “Find anything interesting to do in this town?”

Brax gave a little laugh. “Not much eh,” Brax rubbed the back of his head. “Just went for a surf. Awesome beach.”

“That’s pretty much the town,” Bianca laughed. “Not like the Gold Coast. I bet you’re dying to get back already.”

“Nah,” Brax shook his head. “I mean, yeah my work is up there but I’m a bit bored of life up there hey,” Brax told her. “I need a new adventure.”

“Ah so you thinking of moving away then?” Bianca asked. She’d only met Brax that morning but already they were talking like they’d always known each other, which pleased Bianca as she didn’t want it to be awkward, Brax of course almost her brother in law.

“Might do,” Brax said. “We’ll just see what I can find,” Brax said. “Obviously I’d need a job.”

“You own a restaurant up there right?” Bianca questioned.

“Sure do.” Brax nodded.

“There’s a restaurant here up for sale,” Bianca told him. “Angelo has been trying to get rid of his place for months.” Bianca said.

“Now I never said I was going to move here,” Brax said. “I moved up to the Gold Coast to get away from Heath,” Brax joked and Bianca stifled a laugh. “Nah that’s good to know,” Brax rubbed the back of his head. “I know I’ve only been here half a day but it’s gorgeous,” Brax said. As he said the word gorgeous he got an image of the woman he’d briefly met on the beach in his head. “But enough about me. What about the real reason I am here,” Brax said. “The Bucks night.” Brax grinned, looking forward to a night out with Heath, something they hadn’t done in a long time.

“All I am telling you is no strippers.” Bianca said, this the only rule she had for Heath.

“No strippers?” Brax gasped. “You do realise it’s a Bucks night, right?” Brax teased.

“No strippers.” Bianca shook her head, staying firm on the no strippers’ request.


Charlie was ironing in the living room as the kids were doing a Buzz Lightyear jigsaw puzzle. “Put that piece there,” Maya was amazing with Ben. She was so sweet with him and very patient. “There Ben.” Maya pointed again and Ben put the puzzle piece down, clicking them together. Cody the Golden Retriever was lying close to Ben, his head resting on Ben’s leg. Cody and Ben had a special sort of bond, Cody protective of the toddler. Charlie smiled at her kids. She didn’t know if it was because she’d filed for divorce but she’d been thinking about Mark these last few days. She was brought out of her thoughts when the Skype calling sound came from the laptop.

“Ruby,” Maya shot up, clearly knowing what that sound meant. Charlie switched the iron off before walking over to the coffee table where the laptop was sitting and answered Ruby’s call as she sat on the floor, her back leaning against the couch as Maya sat next to her. “Ruby hi.” Maya waved.

“Hey Petal,” Ruby smiled at her little sister. “How’s it going?”

“Good,” Maya answered. “How is you?”

“I’m good too,” Ruby smiled. “You been good at school?” Ruby questioned. “No more fights with Jared this week?” Ruby knew what had happened with Maya and Jared and she was highly amused by her little sisters actions. Even though she knew what Maya did was wrong, she was extremely proud that Maya was defending Ben, even if she did go the wrong way about it.

“No.” Maya answered shyly as she looked down.

“Good,” Ruby said. “Where is my little cuddle bear?” Ruby questioned, unable to see Ben in the shot.

“Ben,” Charlie looked round to Ben who was having cuddles with Cody. She smiled lightly as she watched him patting Cody softly. “Benji you want to come see RuRu?”

“RuRu.” Ben sounded excited as he stood up and ran over to the laptop, Cody following after him, sticking his face right up at the screen.

“Hey Cody.” Ruby laughed as Charlie pulled Cody’s collar, moving the dog to the side. He lay down on the floor, his head resting on Charlie’s leg this time as Ben sat in front of them, grinning up at the laptop.

“RuRu.” Ben said pointing to his sister.

“Hey bud,” Ruby smiled as she waved. “You having a good day?”

Ben nodded before he looked to Charlie and climbed onto her knee and cuddled into her, Ben loving cuddles. “RuRu.” Ben was staring at Ruby, looking stunned at how she was on the computer screen.

“So,” Ruby looked to Charlie. “We got told about University counsellors being there in case we needed someone to talk with,” Charlie pursed her lips, pretty sure she knew where Ruby was taking this. “My counsellor just so happens to be a Mr Oliver.” Ruby said, her eyebrows raising. Mark was a lecturer of Engineering. He used to work at Northern Districts University but left for a job at a school in Sydney but Charlie never knew which uni, not really caring to know either but obviously now it happened to be the one Ruby chose to go to.

“Well I’m not sure how he can counsel others when he can’t even take responsibilities in his own life but whatever,” Charlie muttered. “You seen him around?”

“Nah,” Ruby shook her head. “He’s not in the music field so he’s in a different campus,” Ruby said. “I don’t actually understand how he is my counsellor.” Ruby exhaled. She’d had a good relationship with her stepfather but of course after he left Charlie because she refused to give up Ben for adoption like he’d wished, she despised the guy.

“Who is Mr Oliver?” Maya questioned.

“Eh, no one you need to know about sweetie,” Charlie ran her hand through Maya’s hair, thinking for now the subject should be changed. “How about you tell Ruby what you’ve learnt at school this first week?” Charlie said, Maya giving a little nod as she looked back to her sister to tell her all about her first week at school.

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Thank you :)


Charlie was in her bed, enjoying some time to herself. She was looking through a trashy gossip magazine as she was eating her way through a bar of chocolate. She looked up as she heard her door creak open and smiled as she saw Ben walking into the room, his blond curls bobbing up and down and he picked up his pace into a run. “Hey munchkin,” Charlie looked to Ben as he climbed up onto her bed. She looked slightly confused to see that he was only in his nappy. Charlie had started potty training him but right now he was mostly still always in nappies. “Where’s your jammies?” Ben looked up at Charlie with a grin as he cuddled next to her, his white rabbit teddy he’d gotten as a baby from Ruby in his grasp. Ben was a very smiley child, even when the strangers on the street would stare and point to him, he’d usually have a smile on his face, Ben of course not understanding why people were looking at him.

Ben didn’t answer his mother’s question. He was too interested in looking at the block of chocolate. “Eeeeh.” Ben gave a kind of moan as he pointed to the chocolate, indicating that he wanted some.

“One piece.” Charlie told him, Ben grinning as he broke a piece off and put it into his mouth. Charlie ran her hand over his hair as he cuddled into her even more. Ben was a very cuddly child, at least with the people he knew and trusted. She loved cuddle time with Ben. She loved cuddles with any of her kids but with Ben especially, the little boy would hug her all day every day if he could.

“Mummy,” Charlie looked up as Maya walked into the room, Lola the ragdoll in her arms. Lola ragdoll was Maya’s favourite of all her dollies and teddies. She was a little ragdoll with brown hair in bunches, tied with little red ribbons. She was wearing a white and red pinafore with little red shoes on.

“Oh a visit from both my babies tonight.” Charlie smiled at Maya as she got into the bed, cuddling in at her other side. She too spotted the chocolate, looking up to her mother with pleading eyes.

“Oh Ben will we share the chocolate with Maya?” Charlie questioned. Ben shook his head as he had a cheeky grin on his face.

“Benjamin,” Maya gasped. “You are supposed to share with your big sister,” Maya scolded him before helping herself to a piece of the chocolate anyways. “Mummy what will we do tomorrow?” Maya questioned as she bit down on the piece of chocolate.

“I don’t know,” Charlie answered. “What do you want to do?”

“Uhm,” Maya pursed her lips. “Go to Dreamworld.” Maya beamed.

“No we can’t go there,” Charlie laughed. “Dreamworld is far away.” Charlie said. Dreamworld being a theme park in Queensland, and of course Charlie and the kids lived in New South Wales.

Maya frowned. “But Autumn was there at the summer holidays.”

“Yes but Autumn’s grandparents live near there and they were visiting them for the holidays,” Charlie said. “Sweetheart it’s a very long way away from here.”

Maya furrowed her eyebrows. “Well I didn’t get a summer holiday.”

“Yes you did,” Charlie told her. “We went to the Whitsundays, remember?” Charlie questioned. “You had lots of fun at the beach and in the swimming pool and Ruby taught you how to dive.” Charlie said. Maya loved swimming as had been doing so without arm-bands since the age of 3.

“Oh yeah,” Maya smiled. “That was fun,” Maya moved her hair from in front of her face. “But I still want to go to Dreamworld.” Maya pouted. She’d never been to a theme park and after hearing all the stories about it from Autumn she was desperate to go.

“We’ll go one day.” Charlie promised her.

Maya frowned again, the promise of one day clearly not good enough for her, but knew right now she’d have to admit defeat. “Can you tell me a story?” Maya asked as she gave a yawn.

“I sure can.” Charlie said, cuddling in with her kids and starting to tell them a story.


Bianca had called Charlie to see if she’d had plans for the day and when she told her she didn’t, she’d asked her along to do some shopping with her, Bianca wanting to get a few last minute things for her honeymoon. Maya had been more than up for a trip to the mall, the little girl obviously hoping to sweet talk her mother into her getting something new. Maya was holding Bianca’s hand as she skipped alongside her, Lola in her grasp. Ben was in his buggy, being pushed by his mother. He would sometimes still use a buggy, Ben often getting tired after walking around and since they would be walking around the mall all day, Charlie thought it best to bring his buggy along. He was clutching onto his red ball, Charlie happy that be seemed to be amused for now. “Mummy is going to get me something from the Disney store.” Maya said, her big blue eyes all wide as she looked up to Bianca.

“I am?” Charlie spoke first, before Bianca could reply. “I don’t remember saying that.”

Maya furrowed her eyebrows. “You should get me something for not punching stupid Jared again all week.” Maya said, her head moving from side to side like she was giving her mother some attitude.

“You shouldn’t be punching people anyways so I am not going to reward you for doing as you should be,” Charlie said, Maya scowling at her mother as she mumbled something. “See what you’ve got to look forward too?” Charlie questioned as she looked to her friend, Bianca gave a little laugh.

“Still I can’t wait for a baby,” Bianca smiled. “Can you imagine Heath’s cute little face on a baby?” Bianca gushed, clearly already clucky.

“So are we going to have a honeymoon baby then?” Charlie questioned, seeing Maya had eyed up the Disney store. She let go of Bianca’s hand as ran across and into the shop.

“Oh no,” Bianca shook her head as the adults crossed over to the other side of the mall and went into the Disney store, Charlie looking around to see where Maya had gone. “We want kids but not so soon after we are married. Maybe in a year we’ll start trying.”

“Aww but I want to cuddle a cutie little new baby soon.” Charlie pouted.

“Well you go have a baby.” Bianca retorted.

“Bianca my love,” Charlie exhaled. “I may not have aced biology but I do know that you need a manfriend to be able to make a baby. Charlie said, Charlie very much single right now.

“Well maybe you’ll meet Mr Right soon.” Bianca said a cheeky grin forming on her face.

“What is that look for?” Charlie questioned, seeing Maya running over to her with about 6 different things she clearly wanted in her arms.

“Nothing.” Bianca gave a sly smile, thinking to herself that she’d just met someone who would be perfect for Charlie.


Heath and Brax were out at the beach, having been surfing. They were currently out passed the waves, sitting on their surfboards as they floated in the water. “So Bee tells me that you are thinking of moving down here?” Heath questioned.

“Maybe,” Brax answered, looking off the beach to Angelo’s restaurant. “I went up there and had a talk with Angelo this morning,” Brax told his brother. “He’s really keen to sell but I’d need to sell my place be able to afford it first.” Brax exhaled.

“Ah but I bet it’ll be easier to sell a place in a city than here in a little beachside town,” Heath said. “You can sell your place then come buy Angelo’s,” Heath suggested. “Or just get a loan to get Angelo’s. You’ll be able to pay it back quick once you’ve sold the other joint.” Heath said.

Brax mustered a laugh. “You really keen for me to move here or something?” Brax questioned.

“Well I...” Heath trailed off. The brothers never were ones to show much affection to each other or talk openly about their feelings. “I miss you being around is all.” Heath said. Heath had made the move to the bay about 4 years ago now with Brax staying up in the Gold Coast.

“Me too,” Brax told him, looking around him at the gorgeous views. “And it is gorgeous here. Apart from a big move being scary there’s nothing really keeping me up at home. Obviously I’ve got mates up there eh, but,” Brax trailed off his head shaking. “Not much more to keep me there.”

“What about Teeg?” Heath questioned. Tegan was Brax’s on-off girlfriend. Right now, Heath figured they were off again as she hadn’t accompanied him down for the wedding.

“Nah.” Brax shook his head.

“Nah?” Heath questioned. “That’s all you are saying?”

“That’s all,” Brax murmured. “Now, let go catch some more waves.” Brax said, paddling over to catch some more waves.

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Thank you CharlieAndBraxLover, Kristen, RoRo90, Sabrina and Sarah for the comments.


Charlie was out for a walk with Cody. Ruby was home for the wedding and had stayed at home with the kids, the kids too busy playing to want to come out for a walk with the dog. Normally they’d love walking with Cody but today since Ruby was back and they were half way through playing a game with her they’d both declined. Charlie picked up the ball Cody had left at her feet. She watched Cody for a moment, the dog bouncy around excitedly, his tongue sticking out of his mouth as he was waiting on her to throw it. Charlie flung her arm out, the ball flying across the grassland as Cody went bounding after it. “Cody,” Charlie shouted on the dog as he got distracted by a man out for a run. “Cody.” Charlie shouted again as he was jumping up on him, getting his dirty paws on the man’s clothes.

“He’s friendly.” The man smiled as he patted the dog.

“He’s a nuisance,” Charlie said, pulling Cody down from him. “Go get the ball,” Charlie pointed to the blue ball that was sitting on the grass. “Go on, good boy,” Charlie gave him some encouragement and Cody went bounding off to get his ball. “But I think my kids would disown me if I got rid of him.” Charlie said. Charlie was never really keen on the dog idea. Mark and Ruby had pushed it and she eventually caved, the family getting Cody when Maya was almost a year old. She would never admit it to anyone but deep down she did love Cody and wouldn’t be without him now.

“I bet,” The man smiled, remembering Charlie from the beach the week before. “You’re the lady from the beach, right?” He said. “With the little boy who likes to wander.”

“The one and only,” Charlie gave him a smile, knowing she’d seen him somewhere before. “You new to the area then?” Charlie questioned, having only seen him that one time.

“Just down for my brother’s wedding,” The man told her. “Get’s hitched tomorrow arvo.”

“You’re Brax.” Charlie said, waving her index finger out at him as she spoke.

“I am, yeah,” Brax looked a little confused at how she knew this. “Should I know who you are?” Brax questioned, rubbing the back of his head as he spoke.

“I’m Charlie,” Charlie said. “Bianca’s best friend.” Charlie told him.

“Ah, I see,” Brax smiled, glad he now had a name for the face he thought was so gorgeous. “So, we’ll both be at the wedding then,” Brax said. “You’ll have to give me a dance,” Brax gave her a little grin, Charlie feeling herself smiling as she saw the little dimples at the side of his face. “That is if your husband wouldn’t mind.” Brax added, trying to figure out her situation. Of course she mentioned she had kids so there was a very great chance that she was taken.

“I don’t have a....” Charlie trailed off. “Well I do have a husband technically but he’s....we’re not....” Charlie didn’t know why she was finding it so hard to talk with Brax. Brax glanced down to her left hand, seeing no rings. He gave a little nod, understanding that they were most probably separated.

“Okay so you can most definitely have a dance with me then?” Brax questioned. Charlie pursed her lips as she was drawn to Brax’s soft green eyes. She opened her mouth to reply but got distracted when Cody placed his ball down on her shoe. She looked down and picked the ball up, Cody jumping excitedly as she threw it away, Cody chasing off after it.

“I’ll see you tomorrow.” Charlie gave him a smile as she walked after Cody, leaving Brax without an answer.


Bianca locked the door before walking through to the bedroom. She ran her engagement ring around her finger, already getting butterflies in her stomach for the big day tomorrow. “Bianca Braxton.” Bianca said out loud, getting a smile on her face. She sat down on her bed and picked up the vows she’d written. She’d read it enough times to know them by heart but she read over it again anyways. She was startled as there was a knock at the door. She put her vows down and walked through the house to the front door, putting the light on and looking out the window to see Heath at the other side of the door. “What are you doing here?” Bianca questioned as she opened the door, Heath walking into the house. Heath was spending the night at the hotel, the idea being that they didn’t see each other on their wedding day until the moment Bianca walked down the aisle.

“I wanted to see you as Miss Scott one last time.” Heath said, staring lovingly into her gorgeous eyes as he tucked her hair behind her ear. He smiled at her before placing a soft kiss on her lips.

“Heath,” Bianca pulled back. “You’re not staying.”

Heath exhaled lightly. “I know,” Heath said. “God I just gave you a kiss babe,” Heath laughed, feeling slightly offended that Bianca automatically assumed he wanted sex. “I mean, this is our last kiss as boyfriend and girlfriend.” Heath murmured before placing another kiss on her lips.

“Yeah but just think that our next kiss will be when we are husband and wife.” Bianca smiled as she pulled back from him a little. She couldn’t wait to become Mrs Braxton. Tomorrow would mark exactly a year to the day that they got engaged, Bianca and Heath thinking it would be a perfect date for their wedding. They were getting married on the beach, of course, that being the place you’d most likely find Heath. It was going to be a small, intimate wedding with family and close friends only. In the absence of Bianca’s parents – both of them living overseas and not seeing a wedding as a good enough excuse to come to Australia – April was giving Bianca away, something April was very much looking forward too.

“Well maybe not exactly the next one,” Heath mumbled as he pulled Bianca closer to her and placed another kiss on her lips. “Mmmm I love you so much.” Heath said, his forehead leaning against hers as his hands caressed small of her back before inching down towards her bottom.

“I love you too,” Bianca said, once again pulling herself away from his grasp. “But go, now,” Bianca said. “The soon you leave and get to bed then quicker it’ll be tomorrow and we can marry.” Bianca gave him a smile before pushing him towards the door, her heart beating fast and faster in excitement for the next day.


Charlie and Ruby were in the living room, the younger kids already in bed. “So, you’ve not said much about uni,” Charlie said, looking to her eldest. “Everything going okay?”

“Yeah,” Ruby answered. “I’ve only been there a couple of weeks eh,” Ruby exhaled. “Just settling in and getting to know people and.....yeah.” Ruby told her.

“And how are your flatmates?”Charlie questioned. “They all nice?”

“Most of them,” Ruby nodded. “There’s this one guy, Gavin who seems a bit......” Ruby trailed off as she shrugged. “But the rest are cool. This guy Romeo, he is hot.” Ruby raised her eyebrows as she fanned herself with her hand.

“Is he now?” Charlie laughed as she saw the expression on her daughters face. Even though they were mother and daughter they were close and would talk to each other about relationships, without going into too much detail.

“Mmm,” Ruby smiled dreamily as she closed her eyes. “He actually asked if I wanted to go out to the cinema tomorrow but obviously I’m home for the wedding.” Ruby said, Charlie hearing that Ruby sounded a little disappointed that she couldn’t go out with Romeo.

“Well I am sure if he likes you he will ask you again,” Charlie said. “And while I am not about tell you that you can’t get a boyfriend when you are in uni, I will tell you that you are there to study and get a degree so please keep that a priority.” Charlie said, Ruby rolling her eyes at Charlie’s ‘mother speech.’

“Yes mother dearest,” Ruby exhaled. “Anyways, what about you?” Ruby questioned. “Like I know you are concentrating on raising Ben and Maya but do you think you’ll ever date again?” Ruby wondered. Charlie had had a boyfriend about a year ago now but it fizzled out before become anything serious. “Because you deserve to find someone to love you.” Ruby gave her mother a smile, hoping in the future she did find someone new.

“But it’s not just me, is it?” Charlie questioned. “Finding someone to take on 3 kids, one of them with Downs is a big ask,” Charlie said. “So I....” Charlie pursed her lips as she shook her head. “You three being happy is all I want in life,.” Charlie tried to sound convincing. Of course she’d like to meet someone but she knew it would be harder with Ben, one of the reasons her last relationship ended was because the guy didn’t think he’d be able to handle having a child with Down Syndrome, so after Mark and this guy, Charlie was left unsure about entering the dating game again.

“Yeah well you are my mother and one of my priorities in life is for you to be happy so I’m not going to let you give up hope.” Ruby told her, Ruby hoping that one day her mother would find someone to love her and her kids for who they were.

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Thank you Kristen, CharlieAndBraxLover, Sarah and RoRo90 for the comments. :)


Charlie was sitting on the chair, watching Maya as she danced with Angelo, her white flower girl dress with a blue bow tied around it spinning out as she span round and round. The ceremony had been beautiful and Ben the perfect little ring bearer. Ben had had a lot of fun but had fallen asleep about a half hour ago. Ruby had offered to take him home, letting Charlie and Maya stay a little longer. “They look so happy, don’t they?” Charlie looked up as she heard a voice. She smiled as Brax pointed to the chair next to her, Charlie nodding her head before he sat down. Brax looked out to Maya before looking back to Charlie.

“Yeah.” Charlie was trying to be happy for them and deep down she was, of course she was but giving right now she’d just filed for divorce, she had found this day a little difficult with memories of her wedding day coming back to her. She looked to them again, their arms wrapped around each other as they gazed lovingly into each other’s eyes and remember when her and Mark would look at each other in that way.

“So you going to give me this dance?” Brax wondered, seeing Charlie was being quiet so thought maybe if they had a little dance together, conversation would start up.

“I,” Charlie pursed her lips. “Ehm,” She looked round as she saw Maya running over, looking all hot and sweaty. “Hey sweetness,” Charlie smiled as she lifted Maya onto her knee. “You all danced out?”

“Uh-huh.” Maya nodded as she lifted her drink from the table and took a long drink.

“Daddy dancing you to hard?” Brax questioned.

Maya looked at Brax, her little nose curling. “He’s not my daddy,” Maya giggled at him. “That’s Angelo. Mummy’s friend. He’s my God-daddy.” Maya said, looking at Angelo who was getting himself a beer as he talked with Alf and Irene.

“Ah I see.” Brax said. He’d seen Maya around Angelo most of the day and he and Charlie had also talked a lot, Brax just assuming he was Charlie’s husband and the kids’ father.

“He’s a poofter.” Maya said, her eyes widening as she pointed to Angelo.

“Maya,” Charlie gasped. “That’s not a nice thing to say about Angelo. Where did you hear that?” Charlie questioned, not wanting her daughter to start saying mean things about him.

“I heard it in the street.” Maya answered, staring up at her mother, batting her eyes sweetly so she wouldn’t get in more trouble.

“Well that’s not a nice word to use. Don’t you say that again, okay?” Charlie said and Maya nodded understandingly.

“So he’s not gay?” Brax questioned, wondering if anything could happen between the two of them as they looked pretty close.

“He is,” Charlie nodded. “Why does that matter to you?” Charlie questioned.

“Well if I thought that there was anything going on with you two then it wouldn’t be as easy for me to be able to take you on a date.” Brax said, giving her a little smile, his dimples showing, making her heart skip.

“What makes you so sure I’d want to go on a date with you?” Charlie questioned. “I hardly know you.” Charlie felt her heart beating faster as she felt a little flushed.

“Well that’s why we could go on a date,” Brax answered. “To get to know each other,” Charlie gave him a little smile. She didn’t know what it was about him but she was drawn to him. She couldn’t help but think that the last time she felt like this about someone she married him and of course that didn’t end so well so she knew she needed to be cautious. “So, what about that dance?” Brax spoke again after Charlie was silent for a little too long.

“Oh I’ll dance,” Maya shot her hands up in the air. “Can we?” Maya said, looking round to her mother before looking to Brax.

“Uhm,” Brax rubbed the side of his head before looking to Charlie. “Sure we can dance,” Brax said. “And I must say you are the prettiest little flower girl I’ve ever seen.” Brax said as he stood up, taking Maya’s hand and walking her over to the dance floor, Charlie getting a smile on her face as she watched Brax dancing with her daughter.


“Mrs Braxton,” Heath loved saying it and Bianca loved hearing it. The wedding was over and they were at the Sands in the honeymoon suite. They were in bath together, drinking champagne as they fed each other chocolate covered strawberries. “Would you care for another?” Heath held a strawberry out.

“Why yes, that would be lovely,” Bianca said, Heath feeding her strawberry before placing a soft kiss on her lips. “Thank you Mr Braxton.” Bianca grinned as she swallowed the strawberry.

“Today’s been the best day of my life.” Heath said, taking a sip on the champagne and staring at his gorgeous wife, not quiet believing that he got someone as gorgeous as Bianca to even go out on one date with him, never mind marry him.

“So far,” Bianca raised her eyebrows. “It could still get better,” Bianca murmured as she put one hand in the water and played with him a little. Heath gave a grunt of enjoyment before they shared a kiss. “I love you so much.” Bianca mumbled between kisses.

“I love you more.” Heath told her, his hand going onto the small of her back and pulling her closer to him.

“Not possible.” Bianca whispered as her hand cupped him again.

“Mmm.” Heath moaned as they kissed more passionately, the couple clearly not wanting to wait a moment longer to consummate their marriage.


Brax walked up the stairs; Maya fast asleep in his arms. She’d taken quiet a shine to the man after having danced with him most of the night. Charlie opened the bedroom door and Brax walked in and lay her down in her bed, Charlie whispering she’d just leave her in her flower girl dress as she didn’t want to disturb her sleep. After laying Maya down on her bed Brax left the room, walking back down the stairs as Charlie followed after him. “Thanks for seeing us home.” Charlie said, giving him an appreciative smile.

“No worries.” Brax said. He was disappointed that Charlie didn’t dance with him but they had talked more over the course of the night and he still really hoped that she would go out on a date with him.

“I’ll let you get back home.” Charlie said, opening the front door of the house.

“If I remember my way back to Heath’s place.” Brax stifled a laugh.

“I’m sure you will.” Charlie murmured as she walked out onto the porch with him. There was a cool summer breeze and Charlie hugged her arms around herself.

“Yeah,” Brax nodded as he looked into her gorgeous blue eyes. He wanted to kiss her but didn’t want to seem too forceful and forward. He knew he liked her from that first moment he saw he on the beach but wasn’t about to come on too strong. He needed to play it cool, especially when Charlie was still a little stand offish. “So maybe sometime if you’d like we could eh,” Brax nervously rubbed the back of his head. “Maybe we could go for a drink or a bite to eat.” Brax spoke quietly as he moved his eyes from her gaze.

“Eh,” Charlie purse her lips. “I thought you lived up on the Gold Coast.” Charlie said, Brax sighing lightly, that question not looking hopeful for a yes answer.

“I could be moving.” Brax told her.

“I see,” Charlie nodded. She liked this guy. She felt a connection that first time they’d met on the beach so she wasn’t sure why she was finding it so hard to say yes. “Ehm.” Charlie pursed her lips before hearing a noise from behind her. She turned around to see Maya standing behind her.

“Mummy.” Maya rubbed her tired eyes.

Charlie looked back to Brax. “I’ll let you go.” Brax said before walking away from the house. Charlie watched him for a moment before walking back into the house and locking the door before lifting Maya up and taking her back up to her bed.

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Thank you Kristen, RoRo90 and Sarah for the comments.


“Sex on the Beach, Mrs Braxton?” Heath questioned, handing her down the cocktail.

“Wouldn’t you like that?” Bianca joked as she took the cocktail from him and took a drink.

“Well if you are about to offer it I wouldn’t say no,” Heath gave her a cheeky grin. “But we might have to find a quieter beach.” Heath said, looking around to the other beach goers.

“Not really sure agoraphilia is our thing,” Bianca murmured. “Besides, I thought you were dying to teach me how to surf,” Bianca said, looking around to her new husband. She promised him ages ago that she’d give surfing a go after they got married and felt it only fair that she kept that promise.

“Yeah,” Heath sounded really up for showing her how to surf. “We’ll have to see about hiring a board but I’m sure we will can,” Heath said, looking down the beach to the water sports kiosk before looking back to his gorgeous wife. “We can also snorkel and make get a kayak, go out for a little trip on the sea.” Heath suggested.

“So you do want to find that secluded beach?” Bianca joked before sucking on the straw of her cocktail.

“If we did happen to find one it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, would it?” Heath questioned, Bianca shaking her head before leaning in and placing a soft kiss on Heath’s lips. They’d only been in Vanuatu for half a morning and already she didn’t want to leave this paradise.


Charlie and the kids were out for a walk with Cody. “Oh mummy look its Darryl from the wedding.” Maya pointed to Brax as he walked up the beach towards the grass with his surfboard under his arm.

“Find your way home then?” Charlie questioned as they walked over to Brax, Cody walking a little further on before stopping close to the fence, sniffing at the grass, like he was investigating something.

“Yeah,” Brax smiled as he leaned his board down against the fence before looking down to the kids and smiling. He was a little shocked when he saw Ben, the look on his face not going unnoticed by Charlie. It was the first time he’d properly seen his face so of course wouldn’t know about the Downs. “Hey buddy, how are you going?” Brax leaned down to the boy’s level, Ben staring at him as he stepped back and hid against his mother’s leg.

“He’s Ben and he’s very shy,” Maya told Brax. “He’s only 3.” Maya held three fingers out to strengthen her comment.

“I see,” Brax said. “And you’re not a very shy one, are you?” Brax questioned.

“No, not me.” Maya shook her head, the 5 year old a very confident little girl.

“She doesn’t get that confidence from me that’s for sure.” Charlie mumbled as she ran her hand over Ben’s blond curls.

Brax gave her a smile. “And he certainly doesn’t get that head of blond curls from you.” Brax gave a little laugh.

“No,” Maya answered on behalf of Charlie. “It must be from daddy,” Maya said. “But I’ve never met him,” Maya exhaled. “I don’t even know if mummy has met him.” Maya’s voice went all squeaky as she held her hands out to the side.

“Of course I’ve met him,” Charlie laughed, hearing Brax laughing too. “And you have....” Charlie trailed off, her lips pursing. “Go watch Cody,” Charlie said, looking over to their dog who was still investigating the fence. Maya ran off, doing as she was told. Brax opened his mouth to talk but Charlie spoke over him. “I’m sorry for yesterday.”

“What are you being sorry for exactly?” Brax questioned.

Charlie bit her lip. “You were being friendly and trying to talk to me and I..... I was being quiet and short with you but I....” Charlie let out a puff of air as she looked down to Ben who was still cuddling into her leg, hiding from Brax. “I’ve only recently filed for divorce,” Charlie said, looking back up to Brax. “And with the wedding yesterday, it’s was just...” Charlie trailed off.

“I get it,” Brax nodded. “Separations are hard.”

“We’ve been separated for three years,” Charlie exhaled. She didn’t know why she was saying all this to Brax but she just felt it pouring out. “I’ve had another relationship since then but I.....”

“It’s still going to be hard,” Brax answered. “You obviously loved the guy enough to marry him. You had children with him,” Brax looked over to Maya before glancing to Ben. “But I just asked you out on a date. Just one date,” Brax held one finger up. “It doesn’t have to be a big deal.”

“I know,” Charlie smiled as she looked into his gorgeous green eyes. “And I....I’d like to go out on a date with you.” Charlie spoke quietly, Brax getting a smile on his face, his dimples showing.

“Darryl,” Maya ran back across to them, Cody bouncing over with her. “Do you like Frozen?”

“Uh.....yeah,” Brax answered. Truth was, he’d never seen the movie but he didn’t want to disappoint the girl. “Of course I do.”

“Really?” Maya gasped as Charlie looked to him questioningly. “Who is your favourite Princess?” Maya wondered.

“Uhm,” Brax rubbed the back of his head. “The darker haired one.” Brax cleared his throat, hoping there was indeed a Princess with darker hair.

“Anna,” Maya beamed. “She’s my favourite too,” Maya looked pleased that they both liked the same one best. “Oh,” Maya slapped her hand against Brax’s arm, Charlie wincing at the sound. “You can come to my house tonight to watch Frozen and we can have Chinese for dinner. He can bring it, ay mummy?”

“Uhm, I don’t think so sweetheart,” Charlie said. “Brax is probably busy and if not I don’t think that he’ll want to spend his evening watching little kiddy films.”

“But he said he liked it,” Maya frowned. “He’s my friend mummy. Let Darryl come please.” Maya pouted as she batted her eyelashes sweetly at her mother.

“Do you want too?” Charlie questioned, looking to Brax.

“I can come around,” Brax smiled. Maybe it wasn’t what he had in mind for his first date with Charlie but at least he still got to spend time with her and the kids would go to bed at one point. “If you give me your number and I’ll call you later.” Brax said, exchanging a smile with Charlie, already feeling excited to be spending time with her.


Bianca was standing in the bathroom, having just dropped her towel. She went to reach for her panties but stopped when she felt Heath walk up behind her and wrap his arms around her stomach, and kiss the crook of her neck. “I love you,” Heath told her. “And I love your nakedness,” Heath’s hand started to travel a little southward. “But, I do believe we have dinner reservations to get too.” Heath told her as she turned around, wrapping her arms around his neck, pulling his head down so their facing were only millimetres apart.

“Well I was about to get dressed,” Bianca said. “You kinda stopped me.”

“Ahh I’m very sorry about that,” Heath murmured before he crashed his lips against hers. Bianca smiled into the kiss, letting it deepen as their bodies pressed together, the kiss intensifying. Heath lifted Bianca up and walked forward a little, sitting Bianca on countertop next to the sink, Bianca wrapping her legs around his waist as Heath’s hands gently ran over her back. “You are just so damn gorgeous that it’s hard not to kiss you every time I see you,” Heath murmured before placing another kiss on her lips. “Especially when you are all hot and naked.” Heath said, the newlyweds once again sharing a kiss.

“Mmmm,” Bianca moaned as their tongues found each other’s mouths. “You really need to let me get dressed,” Bianca whispered as she pulled back from the kissing. Before Heath had the chance to say anything Bianca kissed him again, moaning into the kiss as one hand played with his hair as her other slid down his back. “Heath, I’m being serious.” Bianca pulled back to talk before they started kissing again.

“Just say the word and I’ll stop.” Heath mumbled.

“Mmm don’t stop.” Bianca said, the couple once again meeting in a kiss as Bianca’s hands fumbled at Heath’s button and zipper.

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Thanks Kristen, Sarah, CharlieAndBraxLover, Laura and Zoe for the comments. Laura, it's been mentioned a couple of times that Bianca and Heath are in Vanuatu for their honeymoon.


Brax walked into the house, the Chinese takeaway he’d brought being put up onto the kitchen worktop. Charlie had bowls warming in the oven as Maya was busy setting the table. “Darryl you will sit there next to me, okay?” Maya told him, banging her hand over the mat.

“But its Chinese takeaway,” Brax rubbed the back of his head. “We sit in front of the TV with takeaways.”

“Oh no,” Maya gasped as Brax noticed Ben was hugging against Charlie’s leg, clearly not liking that there was a stranger in the house. “We never have dinner in front of the TV,” Maya told him, sounding most appalled that he could even suggest such a thing. “We sit at the table and talk about our day as a family.”

“I see,” Brax nodded before glancing to Charlie who was biting her lip to stop herself laughing at her daughter. “Well at the table we shall sit.” Brax said, helping Charlie dish out the food and take the bowls over to the table. They sat down and Brax looked for his cutlery before making a face, seeing he had chopsticks. “And I’m guessing you lot eat Chinese with chopsticks?” Brax picked them up as he looked to Maya.

“Yes,” Maya picked up a piece of chicken with her chopsticks before putting it into the mouth. “It’s easy, see.” Maya spoke with her mouth full which got her a glare from her mother. Brax then looked to Ben, who was holding one in each hand, stabbing each one into a different piece of chicken.

“I think I am going to have to copy Ben’s technique,” Brax laughed as Charlie glanced at him before she stood up and walked over to the drawer, pulling out a knife and fork and walking back over to the table, handing them to Brax. “Thanks.” Brax took them from her, their hands brushing against each others as they exchanged a smile, looking into each other’s eyes.

“Oh Darryl you didn’t even try.” Maya sighed, sounding disappointed before reaching for her juice and taking a drink.

Brax gave a little laugh as he swallowed his mouthful. “You know you don’t have to call me Darryl,” Brax told her. “You can call me Brax.”

“Why would I call you that?” Maya questioned. “It’s not your name.”

“No, but it’s his nickname,” Charlie told her daughter, before looking to Ben who was happily eating his dinner, clearly enjoying eating too much to be any part of the conversation. “You know like Ruby calls you Petal.” Charlie said, looking back to her daughter as she picked up her water and took a drink.

“Hmmm,” Maya scrunched her face up a little. “Petal is a nice name though. Brax sounds silly,” Maya said. “Huh Ben?” Maya looked to her brother, hoping he would back her up on this. Ben had sauce all over his mouth as he’d given up on the chopsticks as was ramming rice into his mouth with his hand.

“Buzz.” Ben pointed to himself. He was wearing a green t-shirt with Buzz Lightyear on the front.

“You like Buzz Lightyear buddy?” Brax questioned, Ben staring at him as he widened his eyes.

“Toy Story,” Ben spoke quietly, much to Charlie’s surprise. He’d never spoken to someone he’d hardly new before, Ben always taking a while to come out of his shell. “Buzz,” Ben said again, this time pointing the kitchen worktop. “My fishy.”

“Oh yes Darryl they are our fish,” Maya said, looking over to where Ben was pointing. “Mines is called Cleo like the fish in Pinocchio and Ben’s is Buzz.”

“Goldfish and a dog,” Brax gasped. “You kids are lucky. I didn’t get a pet when I was little. Just my little brother.” Brax joked and Charlie gave a little laugh.

“The fish are kinda boring,” Maya sighed. “But Cody is fun to play with.”

“I bet.” Brax smiled before he took a drink. He looked to Charlie and they shared a smiled, Brax actually enjoying sitting around the table, getting to know Charlie’s kids.


Heath and Bianca were walking down the sidewalk, hand in hand. They’d enjoyed a lovely meal at a nice seafood restaurant and were now going back to the hotel. They’d been down to the water sports kiosk late that afternoon and had found out, much to Heath’s excitement that you could rent surfboard. He was going to give Bianca her first surfing lesson the next day, something they were both looking forward too. “So,” Bianca exhaled. “Besides from giving me a surfing lesson what else do you want to do tomorrow?” Bianca questioned.

Heath looked down to her, his eyebrows raising suggestively. “We need to do more than just sex.” Bianca said, knowing that’s what Heath was getting at.

“Do we?” Heath laughed, their hands swinging ever so slightly. “I thought honeymoons were all about sex, sex and sex.” Heath grinned cheekily.

“Well of course people are going to have sex on their honeymoon but I would like to see some of the island,” Bianca exhaled. “We didn’t come to paradise just to have sex.”

“Maybe you didn’t,” Heath murmured. “But nah, uhm,” Heath rubbed the back of his head. “I guess we just do the usual touristy stuff,” Heath said. “Take a snorkel trip on a boat, we can go to the market, go see some waterfalls,” Heath listed some stuff they could do. “Anything you want to do baby.” Heath said, giving her a loving smile.

“What about hitting the hotel’s spa?” Bianca questioned. “We can get some massages,” Bianca told him. “And I guess I wouldn’t totally object to spending a day in bed with you,” Bianca grinned, of course right now Bianca and Heath being in the unable to keep their hands off each other stage. “On second thoughts by the look on your face you don’t look that keen on that idea.” Bianca joked.

“Oh I’m keen,” Heath answered. “Way way keen to spend a day in bed with my gorgeous wifey.” Heath told her, stopping walking and turning to face her. “I love you so much.” Heath said, leaning down and placing a soft kiss on her lips, Bianca smiling into the kiss as it deepened.


After watching Frozen, Charlie took the kids up to bed. Maya complained that she’d like to stay up later but she had school the next day so Charlie stayed firm on bedtime. She walked back down the stairs and gave Brax a smile as she re-joined him. “Sorry about that.”

“Don’t be sorry,” Brax said. “You have to put them to bed.”

“Yeah,” Charlie sat down on the couch. “So,” She pursed her lips, taking a deep breath. “Now you’ve met Ben I won’t be offended if you tell me you don’t want actually want that date with me after all.” Charlie spoke quietly, not making eye contact with Brax. She felt bad saying it but after her last boyfriend and Mark she needed to know right away if there was going to be an issue.

“What do you mean by that?” Brax rubbed the back of his head in confusion.

Charlie pursed her lips as she turned more on the couch, so her whole body was facing Brax’s gaze. “Carl, my ex,” Charlie exhaled. “We dated for about 5 months before I introduced him to the kids,” Charlie said. “Just a few weeks later he said things were fizzling out between us,” Charlie paused as she shook her head. “They weren’t though, at least, not in my eyes. I know he was uncomfortable with Ben,” Charlie sounded saddened but unfortunately that was just the way some people were, the world not educated enough on children born different. “Then there’s my ex-husband. Or my soon to be ex,” Charlie added. “A month after Ben was born he turned to me and said that he couldn’t do it,” Charlie exhaled. “That he thought Ben would be better off being adopted out,” Charlie sounded emotional. It had been a long time since she’d talked about this in great detail. “That he couldn’t cope with Ben not being ‘normal’,” Charlie used quotation marks as she spoke. “I told him there was no way I could adopt out my son and he said if Ben didn’t go then he would. I told him not to make me choose because he wouldn’t like the answer I gave him.” Charlie murmured as she finally made eye contact with Brax, seeing he looked shocked to find out the reason Charlie’s marriage broke down.

“You’re always going to choose your child.” Brax said.

“He left the next day,” Charlie played with her now bare wedding ring finger. “And Mark was never...” Charlie shook her head. “He was a lovely guy and he accepted Ruby when we got together and he was great with Maya. I....I don’t understand his thought process and I don’t think I ever will.” Charlie said, Brax tentatively rubbing her arm, seeing she looked like she needed a little comfort.

“Well I....” Brax paused for a moment. “I’ve had a great time with you and the kids tonight and I’d like to keep seeing you,” Brax said. “You don’t have to be worried about me not being interested because of Ben. He’s a sweet little boy and I’d love to get to know him.”

Charlie looked at Brax, giving him the littlest of smiles. “You really had a good time watching Frozen?”

Brax gave a little laugh. “It was good,” Brax said. “But the main thing was that Maya was happy and having a good time.” Brax told her, rubbing her arm again as Charlie’s smile grew larger. She could see Brax wasn’t going to be like Carl or Mark.

“Maybe next time we could go out for dinner,” Charlie suggested. “Just me and you.” Charlie spoke shyly as she broke her gaze with Brax.

“I’d like that very much.” Brax smiled as Charlie looked into his eyes. He leaned forward and placed a soft kiss onto her lips, Charlie smiling into the kiss, letting it deepen a little as she felt butterflies in the pit of her stomach.

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Ruby and her new friend Claire were sitting on the green at the school. They had a free spot in their timetable but where doing some work on an assignment they had for one of their classes. “So how was the wedding?” Claire questioned, taking a drink of her juice as she shut her laptop screen down, clearly wanting to take a break from school work.

“It was good,” Ruby answered. “I only wish I had longer at home. Never got the chance to see my mum and brother and sister for that long,” Ruby said. She missed Charlie and the kids greatly already. She knew she only had a couple of months until uni was off for Easter break but she hoped to get back down to the Bay for a weekend before then. “I miss them.”

“I don’t miss my brother let me tell you that,” Claire laughed. “But he’s just turned 13 and is in that gawky boy-man puberty stage,” Claire laughed again. “I guess your siblings are still young and cute and fun to play with.”

“Yeah.” Ruby smiled before she opened her juice and took a drink, watching as Claire looked distracted, like she was looking at someone in the distance.

“Oh there’s McDreamy,” Claire said, her hand resting on her chest as she used her other to point in the direction of the man. “Isn’t he fine.”

“McWho?” Ruby questioned.

“McDreamy,” Claire said again. “That guy there,” Claire pointed to the man who was walking their way. “He is soooo dreamy.” Claire gave a dreamy smile, clearly having a crush on him. “He’s a lecturer here but like half the girls I’ve spoken to find him -”

“Rubes,” Mark smiled down at her, cutting Claire off from what she was saying about him. “How are you doing?” Ruby glared up at him.

“How’s your mum?” Mark asked, seeing he wasn’t about to get a reply from his first question.

Ruby sniggered as Claire looked really confused as she looked from Ruby to Mark and back again. “Don’t call me Rubes,” Ruby told him. “Only my friends and family get to call me that.”

“Well last time I checked I was still your stepfather,” Mark answered. “At least legally.”

Ruby bit her lip as she shook her head. “No, you stopped being my stepfather the day you walked out on mum and us kids.” Ruby exhaled, trying not to let the anger burst out that was building up inside her.

Mark exhaled, a little saddened. “How’s my little Princess?” Mark asked. It broke his heart that he didn’t have a relationship with his daughter. He had thought about fighting for custody but wasn’t sure what judge would allow him access to his daughter once they knew he didn’t want to spent time with his son.

“Don’t want to ask how your son is?” Ruby spat back.

“Look, I....” Mark bowed his head. “Tell your mum I’ve agreed to her terms,” Mark said, of course having received the divorce petition. “I’ve signed the papers so the divorce will be processing.” Mark said. He waited a moment for a response but when saw he wasn’t about to get one he turned and walked off.

“Rubes,” Claire shrieked. “McDreamy is your stepdad?”

“You heard him,” Ruby said. “He and my mum are divorcing. The jerkface left her after Ben was born with Downs.” Ruby told her friend, Claire gasping as she looked in Mark’s direction as he was now talking to another lecturer.

“But he’s so dreamy.” Claire gushed. Mark was a good looking guy. He had soft hazel brown eyes and blond hair. He stood 6ft tall and had the nicest smile anyone had seen.

“Yeah well he’s still a jerkface,” Ruby muttered. “And if we are going to talk about him then I am leaving, so can we just get back to doing our work?” Ruby said and Claire nodded, opening her laptop again, making a mental note to herself not to mention McDreamy when Ruby was around again.


“Hello,” Charlie walked into the house to collect the kids. “Maya, Ben, Marilyn.” Charlie called out as she walked over to the back door, finding them playing in the garden with Ben’s red ball.

“Mummy.” Ben ran across to Charlie, Ben always happy to see his mother. She scooped him up into her arms as repeatedly kissed her cheek.

“Alright sweetness how was school today?” Charlie looked down to Maya seeing two Hello Kitty Band-aids on her daughter, one at the bottom of each knee. “What you been doing?” Charlie questioned as Maya ran over to her and gave her a hug.

“Autumn and me were playing tag with Veej and Thomas and Thomas tagged me and he touched me to hard cos I fell down and my knees were bleedy.” Maya said, looking down to her knees before looking back to her mother.

“Oh dear.” Charlie exhaled.

“Yeah but it was an accident and Thomas said sorry.” Maya told her mother.

“Well that’s good,” Charlie said. “And getting cuts, scrapes and bruises is all part of growing up huh?” Charlie ran her hand through Maya’s hair again. “How was Ben today?” Charlie questioned, putting Ben down before he and Maya ran off to play again, Marilyn and Charlie walking back into the house as Marilyn flicked the kettle on to make a coffee.

“He’s been great,” Marilyn said as she took two mugs from the shelf. “He told me about Bux having dinner with you last night,” Marilyn raised her eyebrows as she put coffee into the mugs. “I thought you and Darryl were looking chatty at the wedding.” Marilyn gave her a smile, glad to see Charlie was still going to try to find someone to spend her life with.

“It was nice,” Charlie smiled shyly. “He’s great with the kids and the kids seem to like him,” Charlie smiled. “Even Ben spoke to him,” Charlie widened her eyes, as did Marilyn, of course knowing Ben wasn’t one to talk to people he didn’t know. “I eh....I actually wanted to ask you if you could watch the kids on Wednesday night because we are hoping to go out for dinner.” Charlie said as she took a seat on the stool at the island in the kitchen. Marilyn walked over with the coffees and sat down on the other stool.

“Of course I can.” Marilyn smiled, hoping that things went well for Charlie and Brax.


Bianca and Heath had been at the beach for most of the afternoon, Heath trying to teach Bianca the basic skills so she could give surfing a go. “I think you should just give it a go,” Heath sounded sure Bianca was ready to try in the ocean. They were really small waves so it was nothing too much for her. “You’ll be fine,” Bianca bit her bottom lip, looking unsure as she looked out to the water. “Honestly,” Heath assured her again. “You’ll be great. “And I’ll be right in there with you.” Heath said, lifting his surfboard up and holding it under his arm, like he was ready to go in the ocean.

Bianca glanced at the waves, which she had to admit, were rather small to be surfing on. “One try won’t hurt,” Bianca murmured as she picked up her board. She and Heath ran down to the water and started paddling on their boards as they went out towards a wave. “Turn now,” Heath shouted at her, not actually going like he said he would but watching her instead, paddling as the wave got closer to her. “On your feet,” Heath instructed, Bianca jumping up to her feet and riding the waves for a few seconds before she fell under. She coughed as she surfaced, moving her hair from in front of her face, Heath smacked the top of her arms enthusiastically, so pleased and proud that she’d managed not only to stand up but to ride a small part of the wave of her first try. “Way to go,” Heath beamed. “You did it.”

“Really?” Bianca couldn’t quite believe it. “I surfed.”

Heath nodded as he wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her close to him so their bodies pressed together. “Not the only one of us who can teach, are you?” Heath gave a cheeky grin.

“Well you are a personal trainer so technically you are kind of a teacher anyways,” Bianca said.Heath used to own the gym attached to the surf club but custom grew and the business expanded so he moved the gym out to Yabbie Creek, having a much bigger space for more machines and equipment and of course, even more customers. His gym also had a swimming pool and rooms for specialist classes such as spin classes, yoga, zumba and many more. “But I can’t believe I surfed.” Bianca looked genuinely pleased that she’d done it.

“Well believe it my hot surfer chick.” Heath grinned, placing a soft kiss on her lips.

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Maya and Ben were in the bath, Ben having taken a shine to Maya’s barbie. “But mummy it’s a girl’s toy.” Maya said, clearly not happy Ben was paying with her toy, Ben making the barbie swim around under the water. She took Ben’s rubber duck in her grasp, thinking it was only fair because he had her toy.

“He’s just playing with it for a little bit,” Charlie said. “You’ll get it back.” Charlie told her daughter, Maya frowning as she threw the duck across the tub, clearly not liking playing with that toy.

“Oh mummy,” Maya gasped. “Well will we see Darryl again?” Maya wondered, playing with the bubbles instead, taking a handful onto her hand and decided she’d give Ben a beard, much to his delight.

Charlie stifled a laugh at her kids, bath time with the two of them never dull. “Well I will see him on Wednesday,” Charlie exhaled. “We are going to have dinner.”

“We are,” Maya screeched. “Where will we go?”

“Not you,” Charlie ran her hand through Maya’s just washed hair. “Me and Brax are going out for dinner.”

“But mummy,” Maya scrunched her face, her little eyebrows furrowing. “Darryl is my friend,” Maya said, hitting her chest with her index finger. “I danced with him at the wedding and he came to have Chinese and watch Frozen with me.” Maya told her, smacking her hand down into the bathtube, sending water flying, it hitting Ben and some even coming out of the bath and slashing Charlie.

“He is you friend sweetness but him and mummy are going to out on a date,” Charlie said. “Mummy really likes him.” Charlie said, feeling butterflies in her stomach as she thought about him.

“Like you would like a daddy?” Maya questioned and Charlie gave a little nod, understanding what she was trying to say. She glanced at Ben for a moment who was too engrossed in playing with the barbie to want to be any part of the conversation. “Well where’s my daddy?” Maya questioned. “Don’t you like him anymore?” Maya wondered. Charlie bit her lip, knowing this day would come. Now Maya was at school she’d see the other kids’ dad’s dropping them off or picking them up and hear stories about them, so she knew one day soon she’d asked about him.

“Yeah, I still like your daddy. Of course I do. He gave me you and Ben.” Charlie ran over hand over each of the kids’ hair as she spoke.

“Well where is he?” Maya questioned. “Is he in heaven like VJ’s daddy?” VJ’s dad, Vinnie had died in a car crash when he was just a few months old.

“No,” Charlie shook her head as she glanced at Ben. She knew he probably wouldn’t understand what she was saying but she couldn’t bring herself to say it. “Sometimes mummies and daddies just split up,” Charlie said after a long pause. “Daddy lives and works in a different place from here.”

“Okay,” Maya exhaled sadly. “But you won’t go work at a new place and leave us, will you?” Maya questioned.

“Never.” Charlie shook her head.

“Good,” Maya smiled. “Because you are the best and most loveliest in this whole world.” Maya said, Charlie smiling at her daughter as she leaned down and kissed her.


Bianca and Heath were in their hotel room. A tropical storm had started late afternoon and it showed no signs of stopping anytime soon. They’d had plans to go out to eat at a new restaurant that had opened, part of the building being under the ocean, the large floor to ceiling windows looking out to the underwater of the ocean so you could see all the different fish swim by as you ate and if you were lucky maybe even turtles, but they’d decided they would just have to go there another night, not wanting to step foot outside in the torrential rain and knowing the view of the ocean wouldn’t be as clear because of the weather. They’d ordered room service, requesting for it to be delivered between 8 and 8.30. “So,” Heath walked out of the bathroom, tying the tie of one of the hotels bathrobes that he was wearing. “We have maybe an hour before dinner will arrive,” Heath said as he glanced at the clock before looking back to his new wife who was sitting at the table and chairs, looking sadly out to the rain, Bianca also dressed a bathrobe. “How are we ever going to kill the time?” Heath questioned, getting a cheeky grin on his face before leaning down and placing a soft kiss on Bianca’s lips.

“Mmmm,” Bianca pulled back. “We could turn the TV on. Watch the News.” Bianca suggested, trying to keep a straight face.

“Watch the News?” Heath gasped. “You want to watch the News when you’re hot husband is in nothing but a bathrobe in front of you?”

“He is?” Bianca questioned. “I don’t see my hot husband. You must be in the way.” Bianca joked as she tried to look passed him, Heath gasping in mock offence.

“Bianca Braxton,” Heath shrieked as he pulled her up to her feet. Bianca laughed cheekily before placing a soft kiss on Heath’s lips, of course knowing what Heath wanted to do to pass the time. “I would say you’re not getting lucky again today for that comment but then I am only punishing myself too.” Heath said, tucking her hair behind her ear. He smiled at her as he looked into her mesmerising eyes. Sometimes he wondered what he’d done to deserve someone like Bianca.

“Well that would be a silly thing to do, wouldn’t it?” Bianca questioned, Heath nodding in response before he kissed her again. “Now how much time did you say we had to kill?” Bianca murmured, pulling Heath closer to him as they kissed again, this time the kiss becoming more passionate.


Charlie was sitting at the kitchen table, doing some work on the laptop. She took a drink of her coffee before turning around as she heard her daughters little voice. Maya rubbing her eyes as they hit the light, Lola in one hand. “What you doing out of bed?” Charlie questioned as she lifted Maya up onto her knee.

Maya stared at the computer screen for a moment before looking back to Charlie. “What you doing?” Maya wondered.

“I’m paying bills.” Charlie answered.

“Is you remembering to pay Marilyn?” Maya questioned, sounding a little concerned for the woman who looked after them.

Charlie gave a little laugh. “Yes, I’ve remembered to pay Marilyn.”

“Did you give her more this time?” Maya wondered. “She’s the best ever so she should get more pay.” Maya declared as she turned her head to look up at her mother.

Charlie laughed again. “Well I think Marilyn gets paid nicely for looking after you two,” Charlie said. “But maybe we can get something nice for Easter huh?” Charlie questioned, Easter being only a few months away.

“Chocolate,” Maya widened her eyes. “The Easter bunny brings chocolate.”

“Well not to little girls who keep getting out of bed,” Charlie said as she ticked Maya’s sides, Maya giggling as she wriggled on her mother’s knee. “Go on,” Charlie kissed the top of her head before lifting her down to the kitchen floor. “Up you go.” Charlie gently hit Maya’s bum, Maya giggling again.

“Will you come up too?” Maya questioned. “Snuggle bug time.” Maya grinned, loving bed time cuddles with her mummy.

“I’ll be up soon,” Charlie said. “You go and get into bed,” Charlie said, Maya standing on her tip toes as Charlie leaned down, Maya kissing her mother’s cheek before she ran from the room. Charlie took another drink of coffee as she looked to her phone, hearing it ring. Her stomach churned at the number that was flashing on the screen. She’d deleted it from her phone long ago, but she knew it by heart anyways. She thought twice about answering before swiping her finger across the phone, answering the call, curiosity getting the better of her. She took a deep breath, before talking. “Hello Mark.”

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