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Charlie walked down the corridor of the school, not quiet believing she’d been called in again. “What’s happened this time?” Charlie questioned as she walked down the corridor. She’s been called into the school, something obviously having happened with Maya.

“Jared is so mean.” Maya appeared from Mrs Clark’s office and walked over to her mother, cuddling into her, Charlie seeing her daughter had been crying.

“Maya pushed him into wall and he cracked his head open,” Mrs Clark exhaled. “His mother has had to take him to the hospital for stitches.”

“Maya,” Charlie gasped as she pulled her daughter back and bent down to her level. “You can’t -”

Charlie started to talk but Maya spoke over her. “It was him,” Maya argued. “He said stuff ‘bout Ben.”

“Well remember what mummy told you to do when someone says mean things?” Charlie questioned as she lightly rubbed her cheek. “You ignore them and think of all the nice things you know about your little brother.”

“I can’t.” Maya frowned, looking upset.

Charlie exhaled lightly before standing up and looking at Mrs Clark. Before she could talk, Mrs Clark spoke. “Jared has been spoken too,” Mrs Clark exhaled. “His mother isn’t happy though. She wished for Maya to be expelled.”

“Maya to be expelled?” Charlie was shocked. “Maya is not the problem here,” Charlie exhaled. “Jared is the one who is agitating her.”

“Jared is the one who has received a bloody nose and now stitches to the head.” Mrs Clark said.

“Because of his words,” Charlie said. “Maya may be going the wrong way about but she is only trying to stick up for her brother. Jared is being nasty and is clearly making her upset.”

“Even so,” Mrs Clark exhaled. “Maya needs to be punished. Now I am not going to expel her from the school but I believe she should take the rest of today off to calm down and maybe you can talk with her about how to deal with things without using violence,” Mrs Clark said. “I’ve also made the decision to remove Maya from the classroom. She’ll be in Mrs Ray’s class as of tomorrow.”

“No,” Maya screeched. “I want Miss Adams class. All my friends are there.” Maya looked to Charlie, like she was pleading with her mother to fix this.

“Is changing classes really necessary?” Charlie questioned. “After all these problems happen in the playground.”

“It won’t hurt to try.” Mrs Clark replied.

“Well why does Maya need to be the one to be moved?” Charlie wondered. “She is not the problem.”

“But she’s not not the problem either,” Mrs Clark said glancing down at Maya. “This is one way we can try to see if the situation with her and Jared gets better.”

Charlie pursed her lips, not really seeing why it had to Maya who was removed from the classroom, but she couldn’t argue with the Principles decision. “Well do what you need to do.” Charlie exhaled.

“You can bring Maya back to class tomorrow,” Mrs Clark said. “She’ll be placed in Mrs Ray’s class.”

“I won’t.” Maya frowned, clearly not wanting to be swapped classrooms.

“I’m afraid so, Maya.” Mrs Clark said.

Maya opened her mouth to talk again but Charlie put her hand over her daughter’s mouth, stopping her from talking. “We’ll see you tomorrow.” Charlie said before taking her daughters hand and leaving the school with her.


Bianca was walking home from work as she passed by the beach. She still saw them, out in the distance, clearly having spent the whole day at the beach. Dylan was burying Heath in the sand, a cheeky grin on his face, the boy clearly bonding with his father. She leaned against the fence as she watched them, it hurt to see Heath with Dylan - the product of his betrayal - but she couldn’t look away. She ran her wedding and engagement rings around her finger as her heart ached. “You okay?” Bianca was shocked to her April’s voice.

“April,” Bianca gasped as she gave her sister a hug. “What are you doing here?”

“I came to see you,” April told her. “Maybe you’ve forgotten but I am your sister. I didn’t appreciate having to hear about this from Ruby. Why didn’t you tell me?” April questioned, rubbing her sisters arm in a comforting manner.

Bianca gave a little shrug as she sniffed back, already feeling herself welling up. “I guess I was embarrassed,” Bianca exhaled. “We’d just got married and then....” Bianca glanced down at them before looking back to April. “And saying it out loud again just doesn’t seem possible right now.”

“Bee, I’m sorry,” April mumbled as she kept rubbing her arm. She glanced out at Heath, Jess and Dylan, feeling hate on behalf of her sister. “You don’t think you could ever forgive him?” April had to ask. She knew what they had was something special.

Bianca shrugged as she once again looked to him before looking back to April. “April, I hope you are no missing uni being here.” Bianca changed the subject from talking about her failed marriage.

“I thought you might like your little sister being here for a few days,” April said, Bianca giving an appreciative smile as she nodded. “And I can catch up with uni work. Easter is coming up so I’ve time to play catch up.” April said.

“Well don’t stay too long. I don’t want you missing out on uni because of me.” Bianca murmured.

“I won’t,” April shook her head. “But how about we get ice-cream, chocolate and a cheesy little romance flick?” April questioned.

“And a bottle of wine. Or two.” Bianca said, April giving a little laugh as she nodded, before linking arms with her sister as they started walking back in the direction of Bianca’s house.


Charlie had taken the kids to the diner. She was trying to cheer Maya up, who was still sad about having to change classrooms so thought it would be nice to treat the kids to a milkshake and a cake. Ben was digging into his chocolate cake, the fork discarded to the side of the table, clearly only slowing him down, Ben finding using his hand to be quicker. “Ben,” Charlie glanced at her son. “You are in a restaurant. You need to use your fork.” Charlie told him, hitting the table near Ben’s discarded fork. Ben furrowed his eyebrows before pulling his milkshake close to him and taking a drink.

“Hello,” Brax walked over to the table. Charlie smiled at him as he leaned down and kissed her cheek. “Alright bud?” Brax ruffled Ben’s hair before looking to Maya. “And don’t you look awfully sad?” Brax said as he glanced at Maya.

“I have to get a new class away from my friends because of stupid Jared.” Maya frowned as she banged her elbows on the table, her head resting against her hands.

“Oh,” Brax glanced at Charlie before sitting down on the spare seat, thinking she wouldn’t mind if he joined them. “Why’s that?”

“He says mean stuff about Ben.” Maya told him.

“So she is the one getting moved?” Brax looked to Charlie a little confused.

“Well she has giving him a bloody nose and cracked his head open.” Charlie said, Brax widening his eyes at what Maya had done. Of course she couldn’t be violent like that but Jared was also in the wrong.

“Oh well that’s not good, is it?” Brax said, Maya shaking her head as she looked down shyly. “But hey, you’ll make new friends in this class.”

“I don’t want new ones,” Maya sighed. “Autumn, Veej and Thomas are my friends.” Maya pouted sadly.

“You’ll still see them in the playground,” Charlie told her daughter. “Class isn’t the place you should be taking to your friends anyways.”

“Yeah,” Brax backed Charlie up. “You can work hard and become a doctor or lawyer or something smart like that, huh?”

“Darryl,” Maya sighed as she shook her head. “I will be a Princess when I grow up.”

“Oh I see,” Brax gave a little laugh. “Well you know, you can just pick a back-up. Just in case the whole Princess thing doesn’t work out.”

“Hmmm,” Maya scratched the side of her head. “A doctor for animals.” Maya grinned.

“Ah wow a vet?” Brax questioned. “That’s a good job.”

Maya smiled as she took a drink of her milkshake. “Darryl can you come for dinner tonight? And a sleepover?” Maya questioned, batting her eyelids sweetly at Brax. Brax rubbed the back of his head before looking to Charlie. “Please.” Maya clasped her hands together, Ben looking at her and copying, looking to Brax and grinning, chocolate cake all around his face.

“Well I’d love to kiddo but it’s up to your mummy.” Brax said, as he looked at Charlie.

“Uhm yeah you can if you’d like.” Charlie said as a grin broke on her face.

“Yey,” Maya cheered, her mood drastically brightening at the news Brax was coming for dinner. “We are having chicken dinosaurs, rice and veggies.” Maya told him.

“Chicken dinosaurs,” Brax gasped. “Well I am definitely coming then.” Brax said, Maya giggling as he looked to Charlie, the pair exchanging a smile as they linked hands under the table.

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“Hey. Maya let me in.” Brax said as he walked into the kitchen.

“Oh she did?” Charlie turned around as Brax walked up to her and placed a kiss on her lips. “She’s not supposed to answer the door.” Charlie said.

“Well it didn’t look like you were answering,” Brax mumbled, a cheeky grin on his face. “She asked who it was before she opened the door.” Brax said, Charlie giving a little smile before she kissed him again.

“So, I’m going to put the kids’ chicken dinosaurs in. I’m making salmon for myself so if you’d rather have that or you can have a normal chicken breast.” Charlie said, not expecting Brax to eat chicken dinosaurs.

“No,” Brax shook his head. “I want chicken dinosaurs,” Brax told her, Charlie giving a little laugh. “Just one question though,” Brax said. “What actually are chicken dinosaurs?”

Charlie laughed at Brax wanting them but not actually knowing what they were. “They’re chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs.” Charlie told him, surprised she actually had to point out the obvious.

“Awesome,” Brax answered. “Can I help you with anything?” Brax wondered, looking around the kitchen.

“No no,” Charlie shook her head. “I’m all fine. You can go keep the kids occupied if you’d like?” Charlie suggested. A part of her did feel it was too soon for Brax to be bonding with her kids, but another part of her felt like it was fine to happen. From the moment she met Brax she felt something special with him.

“Will do,” Brax said before he walked out of the kitchen, leaving Charlie to get the dinner ready. “Right kiddo,” Brax looked down to Maya who had gone back to playing with Ben from answering the door. “What we playing here?” Brax questioned as he sat down, watching Ben and Maya roll his red ball and forth.

“Just playing with Ben’s ball,” Maya answered. “He would do this all day,” Maya rolled the ball to Brax, much to Ben’s worry. Ben widened his eyes as he moaned, holding his hands out. Brax rolled the ball to Ben, Ben taking it in his hands for a moment, hugging it close to him before rolling it to Maya, his eyes never leaving Brax’s gaze. Maya rolled it back to Ben, who held onto it for a moment again before he rolled it to Brax, a grin forming on his face. Brax smiled back at Ben as he rolled the ball back to him. “Darryl,” Maya held the ball as she spoke. “Do you know I am going to see my daddy on Saturday?”

“Oh you are?” Brax was a little surprised that Charlie had made the decision to let Mark see the kids. He understood why she had and of course felt maybe he did deserve another chance but he still didn’t expect Charlie to go through with it.

“Yes,” Maya gave a curt nod as she leaned to the side, the ball rolling off course. She grabbed it in her hands before rolling it back to Ben. “I’m shy though.”

“You are not shy.” Brax laughed.

“But I don’t know who he is.” Maya retorted.

“Well you didn’t know me till a few weeks ago, did you?” Brax questioned. Maya thought about what he said for a moment before she shook her head. “And you talk fine with me, right?”

“Yeah but you are nice.” Maya replied.

“Well I am sure you’re daddy will be nice too,” Brax told her. “I mean your mummy obviously thought he was nice if she married him.”

“But I don’t think they are now,” Maya frowned. “And he’s never seen us so maybe he’s not nice.”

Brax didn’t want to start bad mouthing Mark. Of course he had his thoughts on him after hearing from Charlie how he’d left but he would never say them for Maya to hear. “Well mummy won’t let him be anything but nice to you so you don’t need to be worried.” Brax assured her as he leaned closer to her and rubbed her arm. Maya gave him a smile before rolling the ball to Ben, continuing with their game until dinner was ready.


Ruby had been at the library, doing some research after class. She walked into the flat, smiling as she saw Romeo. She hadn’t seen him all weekend with her of course being in the Bay and when she arrived home that morning, he was already in class and she of course had her own class to get to. “Ah she returns.” Romeo grinned as he got up from the couch and walked over to her.

“Hello.” Ruby smiled as Romeo pulled her into a hug. They’d never been on an official date but they’d hung out a lot and Ruby only hoped they’d start dating officially soon enough.

“How’s the family?” Romeo questioned.

“All good,” Ruby answered. “How was your weekend?” Ruby wondered. “You head home or do anything interesting?” Romeo had never really spoken about his family but Ruby expected he’d surely go and visit sometimes.

“Nah,” Romeo shook his head. “I just hung around here.” Romeo said as they walked over to the couch and took a seat, Ruby seeing he was playing bowling on the Wii.

“Been practising?” Ruby laughed as she pointed to the screen. Ruby usual won when they played so thought maybe he was doing some sneaky practising in hopes he’d beat her the next time they played.

“Yeah,” Romeo answered with a laugh. “But you are pretty ace so probably never will beat you eh.” Romeo said, giving her a smile as he looked into her gorgeous green eyes. She smiled back at him, her heart starting to beat a little faster, knowing he felt the same way about her than how she felt about him.

“Romeo,” Ruby spoke shyly. “Do you think maybe -” Ruby was cut off by his lips smacking against hers. She was a little surprised but went with it, having been wanting to kiss him ever since she met him. Romeo felt butterflies in his stomach at finally getting the courage to make a move. They both smiled into the kiss, the kiss deepening as Romeo wrapped his arms around her, pulling her closer to him on the couch. She rested one had on the back of his head as her other gently grazed over his chest. “Mmmm.” Ruby let out a little moan as the kiss only continued to intensify. Romeo stood up from the couch, pulling Ruby up with him, the kiss never breaking as they made their way down the hall and into Romeo’s bedroom.


April and Bianca were onto their second bottle of wine. They each had a tub of ice-cream in their hands which every so often they’d swap so they got a different flavour and there was a big block of chocolate on the couch in between them. They’d already watched ‘The Notebook’ and were about to chose a second film to watch. “I think we actually need to find something funny to watch,” Bianca sighed as she picked up her wine and took a long drink. “I’m just feeling more depressed after watching that.” Bianca broke off a piece of chocolate and popped it into her mouth.

“We can do comedy,” April said. “Or Disney,” April suggested. “Oh Disney is always awesome.”

“As long as you don’t suggest we watch Frozen,” Bianca sighed. “I’ve watched that way too many times with Maya recently.” Bianca muttered.

April gave a little laugh. “We don’t have to watch Frozen,” April said. They didn’t even have a copy of Frozen in the house so even if they wanted to watch it, they couldn’t. “How about Pinocchio?” April questioned, pulling the DVD from the pile. “I love Pinocchio.”

“Pinocchio is a fine choice,” Bianca smiled, liking the old classic. She took another drink of her wine before standing up from the couch, putting her ice-cream on the coffee table. “I’m going to top up my wine,” Bianca told her sister. “You need more?” Bianca glanced at April’s glass, seeing it was still pretty full before walking to the kitchen, obviously not needing to hear her answered.

“Maybe take it easy with this glass.” April raised her voice so Bianca could still hear her from the kitchen. Bianca had drunk more of the wine than she had and she didn’t want her sister to start relying on the drink to ease the pain of her problems.

“Yes mum,” Bianca rolled her eyes as she poured the wine into her glass before putting the bottle back into the fridge. “But right now I don’t think anyone can deny me a glass or two.”

“A glass or two is fine,” April told her. “You’re edging more towards a bottle or two.” April murmured.

“Well it’s not like I don’t have reason,” Bianca retorted. “I just found out the man I married is a cheating liar who reproduced with someone who wasn’t his girlfriend.” Bianca sounded angry as she walked back through to the living room.

“And of course you can be upset about that but I just...” April pursed her lips. “I love you and I care about you and I don’t want you getting a problem.” April pointed to the class of wine.

“I’m far from having an alcohol problem sweetie,” Bianca told her little sister as she sat back down on the couch. “Now,” Bianca exhaled, clearly wanting to stay away from the subject of Heath and his love child. “Let’s watch Pinocchio.” Bianca said, taking another large drink of her wine as April got the movie into the DVD player so they could watch it.

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Charlie and Brax were lying together in Charlie’s bed. Brax was brushing his fingertips gently through her hair as her head was resting against his chest, her hand tracing over his tattoo. “So Maya tells me she is seeing Mark at the weekend.” Brax murmured. He was unsure all night whether to bring it up or not. He thought about waiting to see if Charlie was going to tell him but clearly she wasn’t going to say anything that night.

“Yeah,” Charlie answered as she yawned, her hand still tracing his tattoo. “She said she wanted to meet him so I felt obliged to make it happen. But I told Mark not to get his hopes up. We’ll see how this first meeting goes.”

“Well just as long as it’s only the kids Mark wants to see.” Brax murmured. He and Charlie had just moved their relationship forward so he’d hate to lose her now, especially back to Mark who’d left her because their son had downs.

“Well he is going to see me,” Charlie told him. “I’m not leaving the kids alone with him the first time he meets them.”

“C’mon Charlie,” Brax exhaled. “You know what I mean.”

Charlie clicked her tongue as she sat up in the bed. “Brax,” Charlie paused. “I think that I’m always going to feel something for Mark. I mean, I married him. I had children with him. I thought we were going to be together forever and a part of me does still love him,” Charlie looked away from Brax as she admitted this. “But I don’t want to be with him. After what he did, I can’t forgive him. And even more so now I don’t want too because I want to be with you,” Charlie said, her hand touching his hand as it lingered close to her. “I want to see what can happen with us.” Charlie told him, a smile forming on her face.

“Good,” Brax smiled. “Because I think I...” Brax paused as he rubbed Charlie’s cheek with his hand. “I’m falling in love with you.” Brax said, Charlie widening her eyes as she opened her mouth but no words came out.

Charlie cleared her throat as she pulled back. “I’m just going to go to the bathroom.” Charlie said, getting out of her bed and walking down the hall, locking herself in the bathroom. She put her hand on her chest, feeling her heart beating at 10 to the dozen at Brax’s unexpected revelation.


Romeo walked down the hall, seeing Ruby in the kitchen, wearing his t-shirt. “Hey you,” Romeo smiled as he wrapped his arm around her from behind and placed a soft kiss in the crook of her neck. “I woke up and you were gone.”

“I wanted some water.” Ruby took a drink before putting the glass down on the worktop and turning around, Romeo keeping a grip of her.

“Re-energizing for round two?” Romeo gave a cheeky grin as he tucked her hair behind her ear.

“I don’t know,” Ruby answered. “You think you can go again?” Ruby wrapped her arms around his neck. She loved this moment right now. Being intimate with Romeo was great. She knew it was quick and maybe jumping into bed with him before they’d even been on a proper date may be the wrong thing to do, but they were also young, and even if it did only turn out to be a bit of fun, she’d had a great night. She hoped though, that this was going to be the start of something between them.

“I could go all night for you.” Romeo murmured as he kissed her hungrily.

“Mmm,” Ruby moaned as Romeo squeezed her bum cheeks before lifting her up into his arms, Ruby wrapping her legs around his waist as he walked forwards, resting Ruby against the kitchen wall as the kiss only intensified. Their tongues darted in and out each other’s mouths as Ruby’s hands caressed Romeo’s bare back, Ruby already feeling Romeo getting excited from his boxers. Keeping her up with one arm he moved his other and stepped back from her a little, his hand going under his t-shirt and removing her panties, discarding them to the kitchen floor. She wrapped her legs back around him as they continued to kiss. Romeo kissed along her jaw line before getting to her neck, nuzzling at it. “Romeo,” Ruby murmured. “Do you think we should move back to your bedroom?”

“Why move?” Romeo mumbled as he moved his hard self from his boxers, ready for round two.


Bianca dropped the tablet into the glass of water, rubbing her forehead as the tablet fizzed. “Feeling rough?” April joined her sister at the kitchen table.

Bianca groaned as she took a drink. “I could really do with not working today.”

“Then call in sick.” April retorted.

“Being hunger-over is no excuse to call in sick.” Bianca told her before taking another drink.

“Well what about your little sister visiting from the big city?” April questioned as she took a banana from the fruit bowl and peeled it open before cutting it over her bowl of muesli.

Bianca shook her head. “You should also be in school,” Bianca of course was grateful April came down to see her but she didn’t like that she was missing uni to be there for her. “Don’t get me wrong I’m grateful you’ve came down but I don’t want you missing too much work.”

“I won’t,” April shook her head. “I’m only here for a few days,” April promised. “Then I’ll be down for Easter holidays in April,” April told her. It was nearly March so it wouldn’t be long before the Easter holidays. “Maybe we could even head to the Spa for a few days.” April suggested, thinking some girly time away from her sister would be a good thing.

“Oh yeah, what Spa?” Bianca wondered.

“I dunno,” April murmured. “I’m sure there’s plenty nice Spa’s around.”

“Yeah there will be,” Bianca took another drink of water. She glanced at the tub of muesli before screwing her face up, even looking at the food turning her stomach, Bianca clearly not ready to eat. “And it’ll be nice,” Bianca pushed the muesli further away from herself. “It’s not been just the two of us in a long time.”

“Yeah,” April gave a little smile. She could see Bianca did sound interested in spending some quality time together but her eyes showed her true feelings in that moment. She was sad. April didn’t really know what to do. She though Bianca and Heath were going to be together forever, but right now, she could understand how hurt Bianca must feel and couldn’t imagine herself forgiving a cheating spouse, so knew she couldn’t tell Bianca to forgive him. “Hey,” April raised her voice a little. “How about after you are done with school we go to the gym?” April suggested. “You can get some anger out on a punching bag.”

“The gym?” Bianca raised her eyebrows. “Really, you want me to go to the gym? My cheating ex owns the gym.”

“Oh yeah,” April really didn’t really think that one through. “Well -”

“Look April,” Bianca spoke over her. “I know what you are trying to do here but I’m okay,” Bianca tried to sound convincing because inside her heart was broken and all she wanted to do was hideaway under her bed covers forever. “Let’s just do what we did last night,” Bianca suggested. “Chill out together.”

“Okay.” April gave a little nod. “We can do that.” April exhaled lightly as she took some more of her muesli onto the spoon.

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Charlie and Ben were walking through town, Charlie carrying a take-away coffee from the diner in her hand. “Charlie,” Charlie stopped walking as she heard his voice. “Hey.” Brax walked over, stopping just in front of them.

“Hi.” Charlie gave him a weak smile. She’d not seen him since Tuesday morning, Brax leaving before breakfast. Charlie had been quiet with him since his revelation so Brax wanted to get out the house as quickly as he could.

“Is everything okay?” Brax questioned. “Just haven’t heard from you in a couple of days.” Brax exhaled, it now being Thursday morning.

“Eh yeah.” Charlie nodded.

“Right,” Brax rubbed the back of his head, sensing otherwise. “Well maybe if you fancied, me, you and little Benj could head to the swings,” Brax suggested. “You love the swings, right?” Brax said, looking down to Ben who nodded in reply, his blond curls bobbing up and down.

“We can’t,” Charlie said. “We have places to be.”

“I see,” Brax exhaled sadly. “Are you busy all day or?” Brax wondered, hoping he’d not ruined things with Charlie by telling her his true feelings.

“For all of the morning into the afternoon.” Charlie told him.

“Right,” Brax rubbed the back of his head as he exhaled. “Charlie you know I....I was only telling you the truth. And I always think it’s nice to hear that someone loves you.”

“Of course it is,” Charlie replied. “But Brax,” Charlie pursed her lips. She took a deep breath before talking again. “You are lovely but we’ve only been on a handful of dates. I....I’m not near to be falling in love with you and I don’t want to upset you by not being able to say it back to you.”

“We don’t often get there at the same time,” Brax said. “And yeah it shocked me too when I came to realise I’m falling so fast for you but it feels right, Charlie. In here, I...” Brax stopped taking as he hit his chest. “I never felt like this about someone before so I know it must be real.”

Charlie sucked in her bottom lip before she looked to her watch. “I have to go. Ben’s got a check-up with his doctor then we have his speech therapy to get too,” Charlie said, talking a few steps towards her car. “See you.” Charlie fished her car keys out from her bag and opened the door, helping Ben into his seat before getting into the driver’s side and driving off, leaving Brax watching as her car went off into the distance.


Ruby and Claire took a seat in the cafe where they were getting some lunch. “So,” Claire hit her hand against the table. “Are you going to tell me who’s put that grin on your face?” Claire questioned.

“What makes you think this smile has got something to do with a guy?” Ruby questioned, the smile on her face only growing larger as she spoke.

“Because I l know,” Claire laughed. “We may not have been friends long but I know,” Claire said. “So, c’mon,” Claire was dying to know. “Do share.”

Ruby got a cheeky grin on her face. “Uhm, okay, so you know my flatmate?” Ruby questioned.

“Oh my god not Gavin.” Claire shrieked.

“No,” Ruby gasped not quiet believe that she would even suggest Ruby would go near him. It wasn’t as if he was hideous looking but he was just a little strange, always keeping to himself, not letting anyone near his stuff and he was way to obsessed with space for anyone’s liking. “Romeo.”

“Ah the dreamy surfer boy,” Claire said. “Way to go Rubes, he’s hot.”

“I haven’t told you what happened with us yet.” Ruby said, taking her drink of her smoothie as she waited on her toasted sandwich to be ready.

“It’s written all over your face,” Claire said, Ruby’s face reddening a little. “How was it?” Claire questioned, biting her lip in anticipation at the answer.

“Oh wow,” Ruby exhaled. “It was three times wow.”

“Three times?” Claire shrieked. “Jeez you two don’t wait around, do you?”

“Well it did take us a few weeks to get to this point,” Ruby joked. “We’re just making up for lost time.”

Claire chuckled. “So what, is he the romantic breakfast in bed kind of guy?” Claire questioned as she took a drink of her coke.

“Nah,” Ruby laughed. “He was already at class when I woke up,” Ruby said. “Then he was at the gym all of Tuesday night then at class then out playing soccer all Wednesday so I’ve not actually seen him since we had sex.”

“Wait wait wait,” Claire held her hands out. “You guys had a crazy night of passion then haven’t spoken since?”

Ruby shook her head. “Well, we’ve sent a couple of flirty texts but...” Ruby trailed off, shaking her head.

“Oh God Rubes,” Claire exhaled. “You don’t think....” Claire bit her lip, unsure if she should say it. “You don’t think he’s gotten what he wanted and more so won’t want a repeat?”

“No,” Ruby shrieked. “He’s not like that. He’s nice and there’s something there,” Ruby assured her. “He’s just been busy.”

“Okay, well I hope that’s the case.” Claire murmured.

“It is.” Ruby said, trying to sound like she was sure but Claire had already planted the seed of doubt in her mind. What if, Romeo had only wanted to use her that one time for sex?


April got up from the couch as she heard a knock at the door. She opened it, looking up to Heath who was standing at the other side. “April,” Heath sounded surprised to see her. “What are you doing here?”

“I just came down to see Bianca.” April murmured.

“Right,” Heath answered. “Eh, I just wanted to get more of my things.” Heath exhaled. Honestly, he didn’t want to move his stuff out but he knew things needed to be Bianca’s way for now.

“Come in.” April said, opening the door further to let him inside.

“Hey, was that the -” Bianca walked out from the bathroom. She was dressed in sweats and an old singlet, her wet hair that was yet to be brushed dangling down her back as she held the towel in her hand.

“Hey.” Heath spoke over her.

“I eh,” April cleared her throat as she looked from Bianca to Heath then back to Bianca. “I’m going to go for a walk.” April said, making a quick exit from the house, hoping Bianca and Heath could talk.

After a moment of silence, Heath spoke up. “So, how have you been?”

“Best days of my life.” Bianca spat, Heath exhaling as he nodded, knowing it was a silly questioned. He could see Bianca could hardly look at him but didn’t know if was because it too hard as she loved him too much or because of how much she hated him after his betrayal or most probably a mix of both.

“I miss you a lot too.” Heath said, knowing Bianca missed him. He took a few steps closer to her, and brushed his hand gently over hers. Bianca let his hand linger for a moment before she pulled away from him.

“Why did...” Bianca already felt tears in her eyes. She dropped the towel to the floor as she wiped over her eyes. “How did it happen?” Bianca questioned.

Heath looked down as he rolled his wedding ring around her finger. “It was getting late on in the night. We were leaving a club and she was there with some friends. Dec started talking to one of them and they seemed to walk with us to the next club. She started talking to me and it was nice to just...” Heath paused. “She listened to what I had to say. All you seemed to do around that time was nag at me and shoot down everything I said,” Heath exhaled. “Then we hadn’t actually spoken in over a week and I....” Heath bowed his head.

“So she gave you a little attention and you couldn’t resist.” Bianca muttered as she folded her arms across her chest.

“I guess so,” Heath mumbled. “But sleeping with her made me realise how much I love you and when I came home we had that really good chat and sorted things,” Heath said. “I wanted to tell you then Bianca, I did but Dec told me it would ruin us and we’d just made up. I didn’t want to lose you again.”

“But the problem you were probably too stupid to think of is that stuff like that always gets out and you have lost me after all.” Bianca sniffed back. Her heart was telling her she wanted Heath but her head was telling her that she couldn’t forgive him. That if he’d betrayed her like that once, he could just as easily do it again.

Heath felt his Heath break a little. He knew Bianca had every right to be angry and hurt but he couldn’t just accept that they were over. “Jess is going home next week,” Heath told her. “She’s getting weaker and she wants to be with her parents when she....” Heath cleared his throat. “Dylan’s going to be here with me,” Heath rolled his wedding ring around his finger again. “We got results this morning and -”

“I don’t need to hear this,” Bianca felt her heart breaking even more. She knew by looking at Dylan he was Heath’s child but she had this slightly crazy thought in the back of her mind that if he wasn’t the father, maybe it would be easier for her to think about forgiving him. “Heath, you need to be a father to your son,” Bianca felt a tear roll down her cheek as she spoke. “And you’ll be a damn good one,” Bianca said. “You’re going to muck up a lot at first because you’re an idiot but you’ll be great for that little boy.”

“We could be great for that little boy,” Heath told her. There was just no way he could give up hope. “I know I’m asking a lot. I’m asking for forgiveness for cheating on you, for creating a love child, for the lying and deceit but I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t think what we had wasn’t worth fighting for.” Heath said, stepping closer to her and rubbing her arm.

“I’m sorry,” Bianca shook her head. “Just get more of your things then leave.” Bianca picked the towel back and walked off to the bathroom, leaning back against the door as tears rolled down her cheeks.

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Brax was sitting on the couch, rubbing one hand nervously over the other as he waited on Charlie’s return. They’d just started talking when Ben had come down but Charlie had taken him straight back to bed. “Sorry.” Charlie apologized as she walked back into the room.

“No worries,” Brax said as Charlie sat down next to him. “So, listen Charlie, I -” Brax started to talk but Charlie spoke over him.

“Look Brax I do like you a lot,” Charlie told him. “Obviously I do because I’ve been sleeping with you but...” Charlie trailed off as she shook her head. “Love?” Charlie questioned. “It’s quick. Really quick and I....I wasn’t expecting to hear that.”

“So am I just not supposed to tell you how I feel?” Brax questioned. “I thought being honest and open was the right way to communicate in a relationship.”

“Are we even in a relationship?” Charlie questioned. “I know it’s going that way but we’ve not had that talk yet and haven’t been using the ‘boyfriend’ label.” Charlie made quotation marks with her hands as she spoke.

“Well I want to be but judging by your reaction maybe you don’t,” Brax sighed. “Am I just wasting my time here?” Brax wondered but before Charlie had the chance to reply, he spoke again. “I mean, I thought you really liked me. I thought we got along great and me and the kids are already bonding, I -”

“I know,” Charlie said. “I do like you a lot and I love how well you get on with the kids but I was intending on taking this slowly. Especially because I’ve got the kids but it just....” Charlie felt bad for thinking this but she couldn’t help it. “We’ve been on a handful of dates and you’ve already told me you are falling in love with me,” Charlie said. “It just makes me wonder if you could say it so quickly and easily to me how many other women have you said that too,” Charlie murmured. “I don’t want to be just any woman.”

“You’re not, believe me you are not,” Brax said. “I’ve only told one other woman that I loved her and meant it.”

“Yeah?” Charlie questioned.

“Yes,” Brax nodded. “Charlie I’m not going to hurt you in any way,” Brax told her, moving a little closer to her. “I know you’ve had a rough past,” Brax said. He didn’t know the details of Charlie’s relationship with Ruby’s father but the way she closed up when he brought the subject up was enough for him to know it wasn’t the best story. And then of course there was how Mark had left her and more recently, Carl. “But I just want to give you and the kids the best possible future,” Brax gave her a little smile as he rubbed her cheek. She smiled a little at him, seeing the sincerity in his eyes. “You can trust me.”

“I know I can,” Charlie murmured before Brax’s lips pressed against hers. “I’m sorry,” Charlie said as she pulled back. “My divorce just came through and I’m worried about Bianca and Maya is having trouble at school and then you tell me something lovely and sweet and I freak out and...” Charlie trailed off.

“It’s okay,” Brax rubbed her arm. “And for now, we can forget I said it if you’d like.”

“I don’t think you ever forget hearing that from someone,” Charlie said. “And I don’t want to forget,” Charlie told him, a smile forming on her face. “Just know that....that one day, I’ll be saying it back.”

“I don’t doubt it.” Brax smiled before they once again shared a kiss.


Ruby looked up as she heard a knock at her bedroom door. “Yeah?” Ruby said as the door opened as Romeo peaked his head around the door. “Hey, come in,” Ruby paused her laptop for a moment. “How was cricket?” Ruby questioned. Romeo had been out playing cricket with his friends. It seemed like every night he was out playing a different sport.

“Yeah good,” Romeo smiled at her as he walked over to her bed. “What you doing?” Romeo wondered as he sat down next to her in the bed.

“Watching Forrest Gump.” Ruby said.

“What’s that about?” Romeo questioned.

Ruby widened her eyes in shock at his question. “You’ve never seen Forrest Gump?”

“No,” Romeo shook his head. “Should I have?” Romeo looked a little puzzled.

“It’s like one of the best movies ever,” Ruby shrieked. “You need to stay and watch it with me,” Ruby said. “Of course, if you want too. I’ve not really seen you since we....” Ruby trailed off.

“Hey, I came in to see you now, didn’t I?” Romeo questioned. “But I do intend on taking you out on a proper date,” Romeo told her. “I was thinking bowling then dinner,” Romeo said. “On Friday if you’d like to go out with me.”

Ruby felt a grin etching on her face. “I’d love too.” Ruby answered, Romeo smiling back at her as he leaned down and placed a soft kiss on her lips.

“Well then it’s a date.” Romeo murmured as he pulled back from the kiss.

“Looking forward to it already.” Ruby smiled as she gently caressed his cheek with her finger.

“Me too,” Romeo replied as he tucked her hair behind her ear. “But right now I am looking forward to seeing this movie,” Romeo said. “Forrest Gump, you said?”

“Yeah,” Ruby answered. “I can’t believe you’ve never seen it.” Ruby said, putting the movie back to the beginning so he could watch it all.

“Well I was more the outdoorsy kinda kid growing up,” Romeo said. “Being outside playing was far better than being in the house with my....” Romeo trailed off. Ruby could see he was pinching at his wrist. She pursed her lips, knowing Romeo was ready to share just yet so wasn’t going to push it, after all, she didn’t exactly want to tell him about her father yet or wasn’t going to make him talk about his family. “Let’s watch this film. It better be good or you are in trouble.” Romeo said, giving Ruby a cheeky grin before they snuggled together in her bed to watch the film.


Bianca met Charlie in the diner. April had taken Maya and Ben down to the nearby park so they could play while the adults had a little catch-up. “Nice of April to come down.” Charlie said as she put some sugar into her coffee before she stirred it.

“Yeah,” Bianca agreed. “It’s been nice to see her,” Bianca smiled as she stirred her coffee. “I don’t like that she’s missed uni to be here though so she’s going back on Sunday. One week to miss is enough.”

Charlie nodded as she swallowed her mouthful of coffee. “So, how are you?” Charlie asked. They’d not really had a proper chance to talk since the revelation.

“I’m fine.” Bianca murmured.

“C’mon Bee this is me you are talking too.” Charlie spoke softly as she smiled empathetically at her friend.

“If I think about it or talk about it I break down,” Bianca said. “Right now, I need the distractions,” Bianca told her. “So how about instead, we talk about your love life? How are things with Brax?” Charlie pursed her lips before answering and this was enough for Bianca to know something had happened. “I didn’t think he’d seen you for a few days,” Bianca said before Charlie even had the chance to say anything. “He was in a right mood too.” Bianca muttered.

“We are fine now,” Charlie told her friend. “At least as far as I am concerned we are.” Charlie added.

“So what happened?” Bianca wondered.

“Just a little hiccup,” Charlie told her. “He...he told me that he was falling in love with me and I freaked out a little.” Charlie said, looking to Bianca to see she looked shocked.

“I would be too,” Bianca said. “It’s quick.”

“I know,” Charlie said. “And you know my divorce just came through and Maya having troubles at school, Mark wants to see the kids and you’re....” Charlie trailed off as she looked to her friend. “I’ve just got a lot my mind and it threw me.”

“You don’t need to worry about me. I’m fine.” Bianca assured her. “Or at least, I’ll get there.”

Charlie gave her friend a weak smile. “I guess I just couldn’t believe something good to happen to me at the same time as all this other not good stuff.” Charlie exhaled.

“So divorcing Mark isn’t a good thing?” Bianca questioned.

“Well yeah it’s what I want but at the same time it’s not. Like, I don’t want to be a statistic. I’m one of those marriages that ended in divorce.” Charlie was a little saddened that her marriage had failed. She of course was looking forward to her future which would most likely include Brax but she couldn’t help but wonder what could have happened if she was able to forgive Mark.

“Well I might be joining you in that club soon.” Bianca murmured, knowing deep down divorce was the last thing she wanted. She wanted to be with Heath of course she did, but right now, she needed more time to try to heal from the hurt and betrayal she felt.

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Ruby watched as Romeo’s ball rolled into the gutter lane. She laughed as he walked over to her, looking like he was in the huff. “Just as good at the real thing as you are at playing it on the Wii I see.”

“I got distracted by your beauty.” Romeo said.

“Shut up,” Ruby laughed as she slapped his arm, Romeo grinning as he leaned in and placed a kiss on her lips. “You just need to try and handle you keep getting beat by a girl,” Ruby spoke with a cheeky grin on her face. “And I thought you were supposed be good at sports.”

“Bowling is not a sport.” Romeo mumbled as he kept his arms around Ruby, his hand lightly caressing over her bum, Ruby seeing Romeo was clearly not scared of a little PDA.

“Others will argue with you,” Ruby said. “Maybe next time you could show me something you can actually do,” Ruby teased. “You say you love surfing but I surf too I’ll probably just kick your ass at that too.” Ruby grinned cheekily.

“You surf?” Romeo questioned and Ruby nodded. “Well then I know what our next date is then.” Romeo said.

“Thinking about the next date when this one isn’t even over?” Ruby questioned.

“That’s how much of a good time I am having on this one,” Romeo said. “Why wouldn’t I want to have another date with you?” Romeo questioned, before placing a kiss on her lips.

“Might change your mind because I am whipping your ass as this,” Ruby laughed as she pulled herself from his grasp and walked over to the ball machine and picked up a bowling ball and took her shot, the ball rolling down and knocking over 8 of the 10 pins. “And that’s what you are supposed to do.” Ruby smirked as she turned around.

“Well I’m sure you can teach me your technique.” Romeo said, walking over to her and once again wrapping his arms around her and placing another kiss on her lips.


Charlie stood still at gate that led to the park. Maya was holding onto one of her hands as Ben was holding onto her other. They all watched as the tall blond haired man walked towards them. Maya squeezed Charlie’s hand a little tighter as she shyly leaned her head into her mother’s side. “Hey Charlie,” Mark smiled as he stopped in front of them. He looked down to the kids and smiled before setting his eyes on Maya. “God Maya,” Mark put his hand on his chest. “You’ve gotten so big,” Maya furrowed her eyebrows as she hid her face against Charlie. “Shy little one?” Mark questioned. He couldn’t remember her being a shy child but of course he last saw her 3 years ago and kids do change.

“She’s not shy,” Charlie shook her head as she ran her hand over Maya’s ponytail. “Maya sweetness say hello to daddy.”

Maya took a moment but she eventually looked up to him. “Hi.”

“Hello darling,” Mark smiled before glancing to Ben. He took a deep breath, looking to the reason he left Charlie and ruined his family, wishing so much he could turn back time. He knew now if he just had some time that he’d get used to having a son who people would class as different. But of course he was too late. He and Charlie were divorced and she’d told him that she wasn’t interested in getting back together with him. “Hi buddy.” Mark looked nervous which didn’t go unnoticed by Charlie.

“He no Bux.” Ben looked confused as he looked up to his mother, hiding his body behind her.

“No sweetheart this is Mark,” Charlie said, bending down as she moved Ben from behind her. “Mark is -”

Charlie went to explain again to him, of course already telling him he was going to meet his daddy, but clearly the boy didn’t understand. “He is our daddy,” Maya spoke over Charlie as she couldn’t take her eyes off Mark. “You look like Ben.”

“I do, don’t I?” Mark saw a lot of himself in Ben.

“Yeah,” Maya nodded. “Except you don’t have Downs.” Maya told him, like he didn’t already know that.

“No.” Mark answered.

“He no Bux.” Ben shook his head, stepping further away from the man, clearly not trusting being to near him.

“Who’s Bux?” Mark questioned, looking to Charlie.

“Darryl,” Maya once again spoke over her mother. “He sometimes has dinner with us and sleeps in mummy’s bed.”

Charlie could feel her face redden. “He’s my....” Charlie cleared her throat. “We are seeing each other.”

Mark stared at her for a moment before choosing not to respond to this news. “Well I bet you two are keen to go play on the playground huh?” Mark said. Today was about meeting the kids not about him and Charlie.

“Yeah,” Maya answered. “Can I go mummy?”

“Of course you can,” Charlie said, Maya cheering before running off to the monkey bars, her favourite thing at the playground. “And I bet you want to swing, right?” Charlie looked down to her son who was still hiding from Mark behind her. He nodded as a grin appeared of his face before they walked over to the swings.


April was now back in Sydney. She lived in the student accommodation close to Ruby’s so had popped around for a catch up with her best friend. They hadn’t seen each other much so far, of course being in different classes and making other friends. “So, does this Romeo guy have a nice hot single friend?” April wondered. She’d been in a relationship with Xavier since she was 15 but they broke up just before they finished high school, 3 years after they started dating. It was a mutual decision, the pair of them feeling like it had just ran its course and they’d stayed good friends, but of course with April being in Sydney and Xavier in Melbourne, they’d not really seen each other much lately, but did occasionally text or Facebook.

“I’ve only met one of his friends,” Ruby said, Romeo having a friend over the day before to do an assignment. “He was hot but I think he likes the boys.” Ruby said, April giving a little groan, of course thinking it would be nice to find a boyfriend, and even better, one that was friends with Romeo so they could double date.

“Well when you do meet more of them, you know what kinda guy I like.” April said.

“I thought you were getting close to that Dexter dude from your class,” Ruby questioned. “You always seemed to be saying your hanging with him whenever I text you.”

“Dex?” April laughed. “I dunno,” April gave a little shrug. “He’s turned into a really good friend already but more?” April bit her lip.

“Oh my God you like him,” Ruby pointed to her friend. “You’ve gone all red. Ahh April and Dex.” Ruby made kissing noises.

“Shut up,” April threw a pillow at her friend. “He’s a good friend. Maybe I don’t want to ruin that.”

“Ah c’mon you’ve been friends for a like a month,” Ruby said. “If you like him then you should do something about it. If not you will always wonder.” Ruby told her friend.

“Okay thanks for the advice,” April mumbled. “So anyways you need to tell me more about this Romeo fellow. Where did he take you on this date last night?” April wondered.

“We went bowling,” Ruby told her. “Then went out for dinner. It was nice,” Ruby got a big grin on her face. “He’s so sweet.” Ruby said.

“Aww it’s nice to see you happy.” April smiled. Ruby had had a couple of boyfriends but she was extremely hurt when her last boyfriend was sleeping with someone else behind her back and she’d sworn of ever dating guys again, but of course then she was a seventeen year old with a lot of teenage angst going on.

“I am,” Ruby grinned. “I mean, I know it’s really early days but I am really happy.” Ruby smiled, hoping things would only keep getting better with Romeo.

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Bianca was doing some shopping at the grocery store when she saw him, looking like he was arguing with the checkout girl. She walked a little closer and heard what they were saying. “C’mon I’ll come right back,” Heath said. Dylan was sitting in the trolley, screaming in a tantrum, clearly not enjoying being in the seat. “Please its stuff I need for the kid.” Heath pointed to Dylan before looking back to the girl.

“I’m sorry but rules are rules,” The girl said. “I can’t let you leave with the items if you don’t pay for them.” The girl glanced behind Heath, seeing Bianca was getting closer and closer to him.

“Is everything okay?” Bianca questioned.

“I just need nappies and medicine for Dylan,” Heath said. He’s got a bad cough and runny nose,” Heath explained. “I forgot my wallet,” Heath told her before looking back to the girl. “C’mon it’s a small town, I’m in here all the time. I’m not going to steal nappies and some kiddie medicine.”

“Even so.” The girl shook head. She couldn’t change the rules just for Heath.

“I can pay,” Bianca said, taking her purse from her bag and pulling out her debit card. “He needs nappies and I guess some medicine right now.”

“Thank you,” Heath gave his wife a loving smile but she looked away as she paid for his items. “I’ll bring the money to you later today.”

“No need,” Bianca put her card back in her purse. “This comes out of the joint account anyways,” Bianca murmured as they moved away from the checkout. “Probably should sort that.” Bianca mumbled.

“Yeah,” Heath cleared his throat as he rubbed the back of his head. “Don’t know how to soothe a crying toddler, do you?” Heath looked at Dylan who was still screaming the place down.

Bianca shook her head as she glanced at the boy. “Where’s Jess?”

“She left,” Heath said. “She went back home this morning.”

“A little earlier than planned, no?” Bianca questioned.

“She felt really bad so felt she had to leave,” Heath said. “Little guy is probably just missing his mummy too, hmmm?” Heath ran his hand over Dylan’s hair, Dylan staring at him for a moment before his cries broke out again.

“Right,” Bianca glanced at Dylan before looking back to Heath. “Well I’ll let you get away. Try and settle him.” Bianca said before turning and walking away, not giving Heath the chance to say anything more.


“Darryl,” Maya climbed up onto the chair next to him at the restaurant where they’d met Brax for some dinner. Charlie leaned down and kissed him before walking around the table and taking her seat, Ben climbing up and sitting next to her. “I saw my daddy today.”

“Did you?” Brax questioned. “How was that?”

“Uh,” Maya scratched the side of her head. “He was nice but I think he was scared of us.”

“Well I’m sure he’d be nervous for seeing you again,” Brax said, looking over to Ben. “You like seeing daddy buddy?”

“He no Bux.” Ben said before he took a crayon from the glass on the table and started to colour on the paper table cloth, the crayons being left there so kids could entertain themselves as they waited on their dinner.

“He didn’t seem to try to get to know them,” Charlie told Brax as she ran her hand over Ben’s curly locks. “He wanted to see them so you know, you’d think he’d try.”

Brax gave a little shrug. “Like I said, he’s was probably nervous. He’s not been a father to them in a long time,” Brax said. “Maybe he needs a few meetings to get into the daddy thing.”

“Maybe,” Charlie shrugged. “But you seemed to know how to act with the kids from the first meeting.”

“Well we can’t all be as awesome as me,” Brax gave her a cheeky grin before looking to Maya who was repeatedly hitting his arm. “Yes kiddo?”

“Play tic tac toe.” Maya pointed to the table cloth where she’d drawn a tic tac toe box and drew an ‘X’ in one of the spaces. Brax reached forward and lifted out a blue crayon and put an ‘O’ into one of the spaces.

“Mummy,” Ben tapped her arm. “I pee pee.”

“C’mon then, we’ll get your nappy changed.” Charlie said, standing up from the table and picking up her bag as she held her hand out for Ben to talk.

“No. I pee pee potty.” Ben said as he jumped down from the chair.

“Oh you want to use the big boy toilet?” Charlie sounded excited as she spoke. It was very rare that Ben asked to use to the toilet, normally the boy just peeing in his nappy although Charlie had started to try to potty train him but so far it was proving a difficult task. Ben nodded as he ran off, going in completely the wrong direction. “This way Ben.” Charlie shouted out to her son, Ben running over to her and taking her hand, walking down to the toilets with her.

“Do you want to come the next time we see my daddy?” Maya questioned, taking her shot at the same time as she spoke.

“Uhm nah,” Brax shook his head. “Think I’ll leave that for you, mummy and Benj,” Brax said, Maya giving a sad pout. “But it’s nice you’d like to see him again.”

“Just sometimes,” Maya answered. “Not a lot. I don’t want to see him a lot.” Maya said, sounding very sure of herself.

“Well you don’t need to right now.” Brax assured her, but there was no need, Maya clearly already sure of how she wanted the situation to go.

“No,” Maya shook her head. “He’s not seen me since I was so little,” Maya sighed sadly. “Why did he go away?”

“Uhm,” Brax cleared his throat, not sure what to answer. “You should talk to mummy about this.” Brax said, putting an ‘O’ in a space, the game still going on.

“I did,” Maya frowned. “She said he was working.” Maya scrunched her face up, clearly not believing her mother’s answer, the 5 year old showing she was a little smarter than her years.

“Well he has been working,” Brax said, Charlie not exactly lying to her daughter. “Haha I win.” Brax said putting another ‘O’ in the space, Maya frowning as she threw the crayon down.

“Darryl you are supposed to let me win.” Maya frowned, Brax giving a little laugh as Maya drew another tic tac toe board, clearly wanting to play another game.


“Mmm,” Ruby rested her hand on Romeo’s chest, pushing in back from her. “We are supposed to be there in 10 minutes.”

“So we’ll be a little late.” Romeo mumbled, snacking his lips against hers again as his hands wandered down her back and squeezed her bum cheek.

“Romeo,” Ruby breathed on his neck. “We have reservations. We can’t be late. And it’s your friend’s birthday it would be rude to be late.”

Romeo groaned, knowing Ruby was right and they needed to leave now to get there on time. I just want to get into bed with you.” Romeo said, brushing his hand softly over her cheek.

“So is that all you want from me?” Ruby questioned. “Like do you just see me as someone to have sex with?”

“No,” Romeo shrieked. “You are sweet and funny and awesome,” Romeo told her. “The great sex is just a bonus,” Romeo gave a little grin before they kissed again, the kiss becoming more intense as they pressed their bodies against each other. “You sure I can’t call and say we’re not coming?” Romeo said. “Could say you’ve taken ill.”

“No way,” Ruby gasped. “It’s way too late to cancel and we are not going to not be social just so we can have sex,” Ruby said. “We can have sex later,” Ruby told him. “We can have a day in tomorrow and we don’t need to leave the bedroom,” Ruby gave a suggestive grin as she raised her eyebrows. “But right now, we are going to see your friends. I want to meet them.” Ruby said, taking his hand and dragging him out of her bedroom.

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One month later.

Ruby was sitting in her bedroom, staring down at the tests sitting on the bedside table, all three of them telling her she was pregnant. “Sh*t,” Ruby mumbled. “Oh sh*t, sh*t, sh*t.” Ruby put her hand onto her stomach.

“Lazy bones, you up yet?” Romeo knocked on her door before he walked in. He’d been out for a morning run, something Ruby usually did with him but today she lied and told him she was too tired to get up early. True was she was feeling awful and had done from the best part of the week. She knew she couldn’t put off taking the tests any longer.

“Yeah.” Ruby murmured as he walked over to the bed, immediately noticing Ruby’s gaze on the tests.

“Okay,” Romeo sat back on the bed, leaning against the wall as he put his hand on his chest, feeling his heart beating through it. “Uhm....do you....” Romeo cleared his throat. “I don’t understand how this happened.”

“C’mon Romeo,” Ruby exhaled. “We hardly ensured you always suited up.”

“I guess not,” Romeo pursed his lips. “I figured you were on the pill.”

Ruby shook her head. “I can’t take one kind because of my diabetes,” Ruby told him. “Another one they tried gave me really bad migraines. They’re still looking at an option for me,” Ruby said. “Ah I can’t believe we’ve been so irresponsible. My mum is going to kill me.” Ruby glanced to the picture on her bedside table; Charlie, Maya and Ben all smiling back at her.

“Maybe she’ll understand,” Romeo took Ruby’s hand in his, squeezing it lightly, trying to show her comfort and support. “She was young when you were born.” Romeo said.

“Yeah but she was....my father.....my mum didn’t want to get pregnant.” Ruby told him.

“Neither did we.” Romeo muttered.

“No I mean,” Ruby took a deep breath. “The man who is my biological father forced himself on my mum.” Ruby spoke quietly, not making eye contact with Romeo.

“Oh God, sorry,” Romeo squeezed her hand. “Do you feel okay? Can I get you anything? Can I do anything?” Romeo questioned.

“Bit late to say wear a condom,” Ruby mumbled. “God Romeo, we....I.....a baby, I mean we are so young and are in uni, I mean we have no money for a baby.” Ruby sounded shocked.

“I know,” Romeo took a deep breath, not quiet believing he’d got himself into this situation. “Do you want to keep it?”

“I couldn’t get rid of it,” Ruby told him. “So....yeah I guess we are going to be parents.”

They looked at each other, both of them looking terrified and nervous. “Jeez,” Romeo felt his heart again. It was like it was beating out of his chest. “I don’t know what kind of father I’m going to be, Rubes,” Romeo felt it was time to tell her about his family. “My dad, he....” Romeo paused for a moment. “He left before the umbilical cord probably even fell off me,” Romeo muttered. “Then my stepdad,” Romeo shook his head. “He’s nasty piece of work. He uh....he....” Romeo cleared his throat as he rubbed one had nervously over the other. “He liked to use his fists. On my mum mostly but then,” Romeo shook his head, Ruby seeing he was tearing up. “Sometimes my sister and I bared the brunt of his drunken rages.”

“Romeo, I’m sorry,” Ruby put her hand onto his shoulder, rubbing it gently. “But you’re not your father or your stepfather.”

“I’ll try my best not to be.” Romeo mumbled.

“Is this why you don’t drink?” Ruby questioned.

Romeo nodded. “My mum is also now an alcoholic,” Romeo exhaled. “My uh....my sister is a professional surfer so she’s always in some other country,” Romeo said. “So going home to my mum and stepdad isn’t really appealing.”

“Well maybe it’s a good thing that we are starting our own family,” Ruby said. “And my mum is going to love you when you get to meet her.”

“I’m not so sure she will now,” Romeo mumbled. “Oh hey, I’m the guy who knocked up your daughter. Nice to meet you.” Romeo said, Ruby giving a little laugh, his humour taking away from her nerves.


Charlie and the kids had met Mark at the park once again. Charlie was pushing Ben on the swing, watching as Mark chased after Maya. She smiled as Mark caught Maya, lifting her up over his shoulders so she was dangling down his back. Charlie’s smiled grew larger at hearing her infectious little laugh. She was happy Mark was now in the kids’ life, knowing it was the right thing for Maya and Ben and know their father. Maya was bonding well with him already but Ben was more cautious, but Charlie knew, just like with Brax, Ben would start bonding too. “Mummy,” Maya giggled as Mark put her down and she ran over to her. “Did you see?”

“Yeah,” Charlie ran her hand over her hair. “You’re having fun, huh?”

“Uh-huh,” Maya answered before she ran off to the monkey bars, shouting on Mark to watching. “In a minute sweetie.” Mark said before looking to Ben then to Charlie, gesturing for her to follow him. They walked away from the swings, walking over to a bench and taking a seat.

“Mum?” Ben shouted.

“I’ll be right back bud,” Charlie said, Ben trying to move the swing himself but having some difficulty. “Aww thank you Maya,” Charlie smiled as Maya jumped down from the monkey bars and ran over to her little brother, pushing him on the swing. “Hard work huh?” Charlie said as she saw Mark was a little out of breath from his running around with Maya.

“I don’t know how you’ve coped alone all this time.” Mark murmured.

“Sometimes I feel like I don’t.” Charlie told him.

“You’re amazing with them,” Mark said. “Especially Ben. They way you look at him,” Mark exhaled. “He’s lucked out getting you as a mum.” Charlie smiled at the compliment.

“You still have time to be a great dad to him.” Charlie told him.

“No,” Mark took a deep breath, his head shaking. Charlie looked a little puzzled as she cocked her head to the side a little. “I uhm....” Mark rubbed the back of his head. “I’ve loved meeting them Charlie, especially Maya. She is a fantastic little girl,” Mark told her, he paused, needing a moment before he spoke again. “But I’m moving to England.”

“What?” Charlie gasped, shocked at what he’d just told her.

“I just got offered this amazing opportunity. I’d be stupid to turn it down.” Mark told her, looking out at the kids before looking back to her.

“But what about the kids?” Charlie questioned. “Maya especially. She’s bonding. She likes you. I...I would never have agreed to letting you seen them if I knew you were going to do this.”

“I didn’t know I was,” Mark retorted. “It just happened.”

“But I.....” Charlie looked to her kids, Ben grinning as Maya continued to push him on the swing, before looking back to Mark. “How can you just leave?” Charlie questioned. “You wanted this. You wanted to see them.”

“I know,” Mark said. “And I’m glad I have seem then again but the fact that I don’t know them so well makes me leaving easier,” Mark told her. “Maybe if there was a chance for us it would be different, I could stay but I’ve lost you and I....” Mark trailed off as he shook his head, looking away from her gaze.

“Don’t you dare blame me,” Charlie spat. “They are your kids. You should still want them even if you can’t have me.” Charlie felt herself welling up. She was sad for Maya, the girl clearly bonding with her father already and would be upset at the news.

“Look I.....” Mark took a deep breath to stay composed, this obviously not being an easy choice for him. “Tell Maya I’m sorry and I love her.”

“What?” Charlie’s voice squeaked as Mark stood up. “You are making me tell her?”

“It’s be easier coming from you.” Mark said before he glanced over at the kids again before he walked away, Charlie shocked that he didn’t even have the heart to say goodbye to Maya.

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Thanks for the comments. :)


Bianca was sitting on the sand dunes, reading her book as the cool autumn breeze swept through her. “Hi hi hi.” Bianca looked up as she heard the little voice. She saw Dylan standing in front of her, grinning at her.

“Hey,” Bianca smiled at him. “Where is your daddy?” Bianca questioned as she stood to her feet, brushing the sand from her bottom as she looked around but couldn’t see Heath anywhere. She put her book into her bag and flung it over her shoulder before taking Dylan’s hand and walking off the beach with him.

“Daddy no ‘ere.” Dylan said, skipping by Bianca’s side.

“Dylan,” Bianca heard Heath’s worried voice before she saw him. “Dylan,” Heath appeared from the surf club doors. “Mate you can’t run away from daddy,” Heath bent down to his level and pulled him into hug. It wasn’t even a minute he was gone for but Heath was clearly scared. “Thank you for finding him.”

“I didn’t really,” Bianca said. “He found me.”

“Well still, thanks for keeping him with you and coming to find me,” Heath said, the estranged pair exchanging a smile. “I was just about to take him to the diner for a cake.” Heath told her.

“Well don’t let me stop you,” Bianca glanced in the direction of the diner before looking down to Dylan who was now running around them in circles. “Although I’m not sure he needs any more sugar.” Bianca gave a little laugh, Dylan showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

“Maybe not,” Heath laughed. “But on Sundays he gets a treat.”

Bianca smiled a little. “Well I’ll let you get him to his treat.” Bianca murmured. Her heart still longer for Heath each time she saw him. She wished they were still together, that they could be a family.

“You could join us,” Heath cleared his throat. “We’d like to say thank you to Bee for keeping you safe, huh?” Heath grabbed onto Dylan, keeping him still.

“Thank you Bee.” Dylan gave a little jump. Bianca smiled at him, Dylan’s little grin looking up at her, his soft brown hair spiked up in a little mohawk.

“I uhm....” Bianca trailed off as she shook her head.

“We can try and be friends, can’t we?” Heath questioned. Of course friends wasn’t what he wanted. He wanted to be her husband. He wanted to move back into their house and be a family. He knew she’d grow to love Dylan soon enough and what’s more, that Dylan would love her and be able to have a mummy.

“Okay,” Bianca spoke in a whisper as she nodded. “I’ll come.” Bianca said, Heath trying not to show her just how pleased he was that she’d agreed to come to the diner with them.


Charlie thought it would be best to take the kids home before explaining to Maya that she wouldn’t be able to see her daddy again. She felt awful. She was the one who said if Maya wanted to see him she could and now after only seeing him a few times she’d have to tell her that she wouldn’t see him again. But she knew it was a good thing this happened now, after only a few meetings and not a year down the line. “Mummy.” Maya frowned, annoyed that her mother wasn’t answering her questions of why they were going home and where daddy had went.

Charlie took a deep breath as she watched Ben running over to the toy box, Ben clearly not bothered as to where Mark had gone. She took Maya’s hands in her and led her over to the couch, where they sat down, Charlie keeping a hold of her daughter’s hands. “Sweetness,” Charlie exhaled. “You’re daddy has got a new job.”

“Oh,” Maya answered. “So he had to go work?”

“No,” Charlie shook her head. “His new job is in England. That’s really far away from Australia.” Charlie said, Maya scrunching her face up.

“Why does he go there?” Maya asked.

“I’m not sure why sweetie,” Charlie rubbed her cheek. “But daddy taking this job means you won’t get to see anymore. He’ll be too far away.”

“Did he not like me?” Maya sounded like she was about to burst into tears as she bowed her head down.

“Of course he liked you,” Charlie rubbed her daughter’s cheek as she lightly pushed her face up so she was looking at her again. “How could anyone not like a little sweetheart like you?” Charlie said. She wished she had something more to say to her but she didn’t know much more herself.

“But he won’t see me again.” Maya burst into tears. Charlie felt her heart breaking as she pulled her daughter into a hug. Ben looked around from playing with his ball and ran over to his sister, his little hand going onto her arm. He patted it as he said ‘shh, shh’ over and over, like he was trying to comfort her.

“It’ll be okay,” Charlie assured her. “We did fine without daddy up till now huh?” Charlie said, rubbing her back soothingly. She felt Maya nodding her head against her chest.

“But it was nice to have a daddy.” Maya looked up to her mother, Charlie moving a loose strand of hair that that had fallen out of her ponytail, tucking it behind her ear, looking into her eyes, seeing she looked devastated.

“I know it was,” Charlie said. “But you’ve got -”

“Can Darryl come to play?” Maya questioned, wiping her hand over her eyes, getting rid of some tears. “I like him.”

Charlie gave a little smile, glad Maya wanted to see Brax. Even though it was still early days, things were going great with them so it was important Brax and the kids got on well. “Bux.” Ben shrieked excitedly from where he was still standing in front of the couch next to Maya.

Charlie shook her head. “Brax is back home sweetness.” Charlie wiped another tear from Maya’s cheek.

“Well call him and he will come.” Maya sniffed back, thinking it was pretty simple.

“Not his home here,” Charlie said. “He’s back in the Gold Coast, in Queensland.” Charlie told her, Brax being home to sort things with his restaurant and find someone else to take his apartment.

“Forever?” Maya sounded like she was going to cry again. “Did I do something wrong?”

“No no,” Charlie shook her head. “He’s just going to sell his home and restaurant and come work and live here.” Charlie explained.

“In this house?” Maya’s little face lit up.

“No, he’ll get his own house,” Charlie said, it way too soon for Brax to be moving in. “But he’ll still come here a lot.” Charlie assured her.

“Good,” Maya grinned. “Oh mummy,” Maya shrieked, an idea clearly hitting her. “We could go visit Darryl,” Maya suggested. “And then we can see Dreamworld.”

Charlie gave a little laugh, Maya clearly not about to give up on the idea of going to Dreamworld anytime soon. “Not right now. You’ve got school.”

“It’s Easter holidays soon.” Maya told her mother. It was true she only had 2 weeks left before Easter break.

“I know,” Charlie said. She was planning on taking the kids away for a few days in the holidays and Maya wanted to go there so badly. “We can go then.” Charlie told her, Maya squealing as she jumped off the couch and jumped around the room. Ben looked to her sister and giggled before copying her excitement, Charlie smiling at her kids as she leaned back in the couch.


Ruby was in her bedroom, doing some coursework. She took a sip of her tea before looking around from her desk as she heard a knock at her door. “Hey hun,” Romeo smiled as he walked over to her and placed a soft kiss on her forehead. “You doing okay?”

“I’m fine,” Ruby told him. “Just like I was when you came in 10 minutes ago with this tea.” Ruby mumbled. Romeo had brought her a peppermint tea, having read it was good for easing sickness while pregnant.

“Sorry,” Romeo sat down on the edge of her bed. “I’ve just been reading up on pregnancy ever since you told me.” Romeo said.

“I only told you a few hours ago.” Ruby gave a little laugh.

“I know but...” Romeo exhaled. “I know nothing about being pregnant and my girlfriend is pregnant so I need to know what you are going through.” Romeo told her.

“Well I’m in the same boat as you because I know nothing about being pregnant either,” Ruby told him. “I...” Ruby exhaled and Romeo could see she looked scared.

“Hey hun it’ll be okay,” Romeo got up from the bed and walked over to her, bending down in front of her and rubbing her cheek. “I’ll be by your side every step of the way,” Romeo told her. Ruby gave him a little smile, trusting that he’d not leave her to deal with this on her own. “I mean we’ve created a little love bug,” Romeo smiled as he put his hand on her stomach. “I love you Rubes.” Romeo felt it appropriate to tell her this for the first time in this moment.

“I love you too.” Ruby replied, a grin etching on her face. Romeo smiled as he pulled her closer to him, placing a soft kiss on her lips.

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Charlie smiled as she saw his name flashing on her screen. She swiped her finger to answer the call. “Hey,” Charlie smiled as she sat down on her bed. “How are you?

“I’m good,” Brax answered. “How about you? The kids?”

“I’m good too,” Charlie answered. “The kids have just gone to bed.” Charlie told him, pulling at a loose thread on her bed covers.

“Ah so I’ve interrupted Charlie time?” Brax laughed.

“Well I was just about to run a nice hot bubble bath,” Charlie told him. “But I’m sure I can put that on hold for you.” Charlie gave a cheeky grin, even though Brax couldn’t see her, she knew that he’d know she had a grin on her face.

“That’s awfully nice of you love,” Brax murmured. “So, how did it go with Mark today?” Brax questioned. He trusted Charlie 100 per cent and knew she didn’t want to go back there so wasn’t worried about anything happening with the two of them, he just hoped he’d get on well with the kids, knowing it was important that they knew their father.

“Uhm,” Charlie bit her lip, Brax sensing it didn’t go well before she even said anymore. “He’s moving to England.”

“What?” Brax gasped down the phone. “England? Why? What about him wanting to see the kids?” Brax questioned. “Kiddo will be upset. She’s was really bonding with him.” Brax felt angry for Maya.

“She was upset,” Charlie answered. “But I promised her I’d take her up to Dreamworld in the holidays and that seemed to cheer her up quickly.”

“Still not letting go of that eh?” Brax laughed.

“No,” Charlie shook her head as she spoke. “She wanted to see you today too.” Charlie told him.

“Jeez way to make me feel bad,” Brax murmured, Charlie giving a little laugh. “I would say I’d talk to her now but she’s in bed eh,” Brax said. “Maybe I can call again tomorrow.”

“I’m sure she’d love that,” Charlie answered. “So, how’s it going up there?” Charlie questioned. He’d been home for nearly a week now, trying to get everything sorted so when he went back to the Bay he was there for good.

“Things are going a bit slower than I hoped,” Brax answered. “Might still be here when you come up for the holidays.” Brax gave a little laugh, half joking but a part of him thought that it might be possible he was still there.

“Really?” Charlie gasped. “I miss you.” Charlie said.

“I miss you too,” Brax told her. “But at least you’ve got your kids at home with you. I come home to an empty apartment.” Brax mumbled.

“Yeah and they are both in bed by 7.30,” Charlie said. “You know it would be great if I could come keep you company for a few days,” Charlie exhaled. “Not sure the kids are quiet old enough to be left alone though.” Charlie gave a little laugh.

Brax liked the sound of Charlie coming up for a few days. It was rare when they did get time without her kids being there too. “Could always leave them with Marilyn for a couple of days. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind. Or see if Rubes could get down for the weekend.” Brax suggested.

“I’ve never left them overnight before.” Charlie was sure the kids would be fine. She was the one who had trouble with the idea, of course being protective of her little ones.

“Well you can think about it,” Brax said. “Anyways, I’ll let you go enjoy your bath,” Brax told. “Bye babe, I love you.” Brax spoke softly, Charlie hearing the love in his voice.

“Goodbye.” Charlie said, feeling her heart swell as she got a funny feeling in her stomach. She loved him. She loved him and she knew she did but she wasn’t about to have the first time she told him be over the phone. She knew that needed to be face to face.


Ruby was across the hall at her friend Claire’s, April also joining them for a bit of a girly night. They’d already done face masks and painted each other’s nails, and now, Claire was suggesting wine and the topic of ‘boys’ as their conversation piece, of course no girly night in complete without a discussion on the opposite sex. “Uh,” Ruby scrunched her face up as Claire brought 3 wine glasses to the living room, putting them down on the table along with the bottle of white. “Not for me.” Ruby shook her head; of course being pregnant she knew she shouldn’t be drinking.

“Aw c’mon Rubes,” Claire sighed. “One class.”

“No,” Ruby snapped a little. “I just....I don’t want a drink,” Ruby exhaled. “I’m not going to stop you two drinking though.” Ruby told her friends, Claire exhaled lightly as she poured a class for herself and April.

“Oh did you here,” Claire said as she sat down on the armchair. “McDreamy is leaving.” Ruby shot Claire a glance. “Sorry I know I’m not supposed to talk about him but -”

“What do you mean he is leaving?” Ruby questioned. “Like, leaving the university?”

“The country,” Claire answered. “He’s moving to London.”

“England?” Ruby shrieked. “What the....” Ruby was shocked. “But he’s just started getting to know my siblings. Maya will be crushed,” Ruby put her hand on her chest. “She was just Skyping with me the other day and telling me all about the last time she spent time with him.”

“Poor kid,” April exhaled. “But you know if he is going to flake like that already then it’s probably better she doesn’t know him,” April said. “And things with your mum and Brax seem pretty solid so she’ll always have him I’d imagine.” April tried to find something positive in Mark leaving.

“Yeah I guess,” Ruby murmured. She felt her hand rub unintentionally over her stomach and couldn’t help but wonder if Romeo would be there for their child’s life. He’d already explained his father has left and how his stepfather was so clearly had it in his mind that he could turn out the same. She didn’t want to think that of him, but really, they’d only been together 5 weeks and she didn’t know him that well, if she was going to be honest. “Anyways,” Ruby snapped herself out of her thoughts. “You want to talk boys, so does that mean you’ve got something to share, Miss Claire?” Ruby said, looking to her friend who shook her head as she swallowed her wine.

“No,” Claire said. “I just thought you could keep us single gals up to date on your relationship,” Claire gave her friend a cheeky grin. “You know, we’re not in relationships so we can live through yours.”

Ruby gave a nervous sort of laugh. “There’s not really much to tell,” Ruby pursed her lips, of course knowing there was something very big she could tell her friends. “We’re together, we’re having fun, it’s good.” Ruby said, Claire pouting a little, obviously hoping for more.

“Well that’s boring, isn’t it?” Claire questioned as she glanced to April. April nodded her head as she looked to Ruby, knowing her friend all too well and knowing she was hiding something.


Bianca pulled Heath’s old t-shirt over herself, getting dressed for bed. She often slept in one of Heath’s old shirts and had been unable to part with it when she’d made him leave. Although nothing but Heath being home would bring him home, she felt like she still had that little bit of the man she loved with her. She looked down to her bedside table as she heard her phone beep. She picked it up, seeing she had a message from Heath.

‘Dil loved having cake with you today. Asked to do it again tomorrow. For the record, I loved it too.’ Bianca read over the message before hitting reply.

‘I had a nice afternoon. Dylan is a lovely little boy. You are doing a great job with him.’ Bianca felt a smile forming on her face as she sent the message.

‘Thanks, I try my best. So, you won’t rule out having cake with us again?’ Bianca read over his reply. She took a deep breath before she once again hit the reply button.

‘Maybe we could go get coffee. Just me and you?’ Bianca’s finger hovered over the send button. Heath had been more than punished for his betrayal, of course them having been broken up for over a month now. She’d tried to get over him but she couldn’t even begin to start and she knew deep down it was because she didn’t want too. She didn’t want to get over Heath, or for them to be broken up. She wanted to be Mrs Braxton. She wanted to start a family with the man she loved and spend the rest of her life with him. Exhaling nervously, she hit the send button.

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