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Bad Blood


justjash
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Story Title: Bad Blood
Type of story: Medium/Long Fic 
Main Characters: Jasmine Delaney, Cash Newman, Bella Nixon, Ryder Jackson, Nikau Parata, Tane Parata, Ari Parata, Mia Anderson, Dean Thompson, Tori Morgan (in no particular order)
BTTB rating: T
Genre: Mystery, Romance
Does story include spoilers: Potentially for UK viewers, but it is set 2 years in the future so unlikely.

Any warnings: Death mentions throughout, other warnings will be put on every chapter.

Summary: What happens when one of Summer Bay's much-loved residents is found dead? Three suspects claim they killed him, but who is telling the truth?

Notes: Please note I am British so Australian references don't come naturally so if something doesn't make sense I apologise! 

Warnings for first chapter: Death, panic attack, blood

 

CHAPTER ONE

It had been a big day and Jasmine had never felt so exhausted in her life, but that didn't stop her from enjoying the sensation of Cash's soft lips crashing into her own. The queen-sized bed didn't even fill up half of the room and fairy lights were their only source of light other than a lone candle that Cash had lit on the bedside table. Most of the rose petals had fallen to the floor by now along with Cash's shirt.

Cash traced Jasmine's lips with his tongue, a bright smile somehow still showing on his lips. He'd won the jackpot with her and there had never been anybody else, nobody in the world had made him feel the way she did. 

It may have usually the job of the woman to dream of her perfect wedding night, but Cash had wanted this all of his life. He couldn't be happier.

But whilst he was lost in joy, the blonde's was fading rapidly.

Jasmine's breaths were growing faster. Her chest felt like it was getting tighter, like it was about to explode. Her hand pushed Cash away, it was a soft shove that barely moved him but he knew to back away.

Various gasps could be heard from her mouth. She didn't have time to stop and gather her thoughts before her legs started running. They ran fast, faster than she ran when she went for her morning run along the beach.

She ran out of the honeymoon suite and down the corridors. Jas searched for the stairs but her mind couldn't recall their positioning. Her eyes wandered quickly, urgently, until she saw the green light of the fire escape. That was the quickest way out. As she ran for the stairs, she struggled for air, she needed to find a way to breathe again. 

Robbo. Cash. Robbo. Cash. Robbo. Cash. Her mind started alternating between the two names. She felt like she was about to be sick.

Halfway down the third flight of stairs, unable to run any further, she pushed her back against the wall and dropped to the floor. 

Robbo Cash Robbo Cash Robbo Cash. 

What if it happened again? She wouldn't be able to lose another husband. Why did she agree to this? Why did she get married again? The world didn't allow her any luck the first time, so why should it be any different now? What if what happened to Robbo happened to Cash as well?

She pushed her back to the wall and focused her body to take a deep breath. It wasn't the first time she'd had a panic attack and it wouldn't be the last. By now she had some idea as to how to deal with them, but the last thing she wanted was for Cash to see her in such a state. 

Cash and Jasmine had been together for two years now. He was the biggest gentleman she'd ever met and she had jumped at the chance to marry him. Jasmine had got caught up in the excitement of it all and her mind had only remembered to switch the negative thoughts on now. Now that it was too late.

After a minute of slow breathing, she'd remembered how to control her mind and her body and could not breathe at a normal pace. She still craved the air of the outdoors, that part hadn't gone away. 

The now-married couple had chosen a gorgeous wedding venue with endless green grass and lakes that ran through the gardens. They were staying in the honeymoon suite of the venue, with various other guests in other rooms. It had been expensive, but both had described it as worth it whenever anybody questioned their decision.  

Jasmine pushed herself up from the ground and steadied herself.

"One step at a time, Jazzy," she breathed out to herself.

Step 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Step 13.

Her feet stopped. It was liked they'd been frozen to the ground. Her eyes stared downwards, but not just the floor. There was a person, a body, an awful lot of blood. It was her natural instinct to bend down, to feel their pulse, to gasp when there wasn't one. 

Jasmine's eyes hovered over their head and the blood that surrounded it. It had spread down their white shirt and onto their black suit.

He must have fallen down the stairs and knocked his head. She lifted her eyes higher, up the stairs that she'd just walked down. 

The blood was down them too, little drips and splatters of red over the expensive-looking, cream carpet. She'd been too focused on her own mind to notice it earlier. 

Then there were footsteps coming. 

Jasmine couldn't remember when she'd first started hearing them, but they were definitely getting louder and faster at the same time. They came closer. Was she in danger? Cash would come looking, she knew that. It was probably just him.

Finding her face looking at his, she breathed out in relief, "I'm glad it's you." Her eyes looked from him and then to the body, tears only just springing up in them.

"Who is it..?" Cash breathed out in disbelief.

"It's Nikau Parata."

"Is he..." Cash didn't have to say the word before Jas took a deep breath and nodded. Her eyes glazed over with tears, yearning to run to him and have him take her in his arms. But she was interrupted.  

Beep. Beep Beep.

Jasmine reached into the pocket of her jacket and took out her phone. It would probably be another 'congratulations, sorry I couldn't be there' message just like the other ten that she'd received in the last hour.

She opened it and gazed down, narrowing her eyes. 

I knows you'll be busy right now but I need you to come to my room. As soooon as you can. 

Jasmine looked to Cash, holding her phone to her chest. "Um...Can you call this in? I need to go."

She didn't give him time to question why. 

 

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Warnings for chapter: Blood, injury 

CHAPTER TWO

 

Her walk was slow as she ambled into his room. Eyes glazed over like she'd seen a ghost and feet moving at a speed that was a complete contrast to her panicked run. 

"Sorry to interrupt your wedding night," the slurred voice spoke out. Jasmine remained silent. "I hurt my head. I don't want it to get infected."

She walked closer to see the bleeding scratch on Dean's forehead. 

After a breath to compose herself, Jasmine finally spoke. "You could have called Tori. She's here. The hotel will have medics as well."

"You're right. You know what?" he slurred. "I can call them, you go back to Cash."

Jasmine shook her head and rubbed her eyes. Dean was too drunk to notice the state that she was in. "I'm here now. What happened to you?" Her voice was soft; concerned. You wouldn't think she'd have just seen a dead body, but then her voice was always soft when she was around Dean. She couldn't help herself. 

"I think I had a fight."

"Well I can see that," Jasmine breathed out, fingers to Dean's head to get a better look at his cut. "I'm going to get some antiseptic wipes and a plaster to put over it, okay? I'll be right back."

She exited the room taking another deep breath, forcing her mind to hollow out any thoughts. She knew Cash would be too busy with the police and ambulances - whatever was needed - to be back in their room so at least she didn't have that to worry about. 

It was only minutes later when she returned, a little out of breath but nothing compared to what she had been earlier. Earlier felt silly now. Having a panic attack over getting married whilst somebody else in the same venue was lying dead. If only mental health made more sense.

She walked back over to Dean and pressed the antiseptic against his cut. He winched at the pain of it but seemed too drunk to show much of any emotion.

"Do you know who you had a fight with?" Jasmine asked keeping her voice as deadpan as possible. Her heart was thumping. Had Dean been the one to... No, she couldn't even think about her best friend being the kind of person who could do that, even whilst drunk.

Dean shook his head. "No idea." Whilst his words had started to come out less slurred now, his eyes were narrowed in an expression that only somebody ridiculously drunk would be able to muster up.

Jasmine's stomach was doing more flips by the second, legs trembling so much that Dean would definitely have noticed if he was sober. Luckily he wasn't.

"I'm going to stay with you," Jasmine said softly, still lacking any emotion in her tone of voice. She lifted the plaster to Dean's head and stuck it on. "You'll be okay, it's just a small cut."

Dean still had a white shirt on, just like the one that Nikau had been wearing too. Jasmine and Cash had wanted something very traditional for their wedding and everybody had dressed up smart. It was a bit weird to see Dean making an effort.

She rolled up Dean's shirt and pressed her hand on his upper arm. "Does that hurt?" Jas asked, pressing softly on a red area of his upper arm. 

"Nope," he replied shaking his head. "Guessing it will in the morning?" His voice was starting to sound sleepy. "Is Bella okay?"

Jasmine narrowed her eyes and brushed her hand over his head. "Why wouldn't she be okay?"

"Oh. I don't know."

"Go to sleep, Dean."

She sat with him on his double bed until he had fallen asleep, which had taken less than five minutes. Her hands had been trembling the whole time, the mention of Bella only making things worse.

Jasmine got off the bed and tiptoed away, walking out of the bedroom door to make a call to Cash. 

She was barely able to say hello before Cash started talking on the other end of the call. "I find you standing over a dead body and then you run away? What is going on, Jasmine? Where are you? Are you safe?"

"I'm sorry," she breathed out. "Dean's drunk too much, he needed my help." It wasn't abnormal for Jasmine to run off when one of her friends needed her help.

Once she'd run off during a meal with Cash to travel all the way to see Willow when Willow had the smallest of arguments with Alex. And it wasn't unusual for her to run off to Dean either, Cash had got used to that now. Since Colby had gone to prison over two years ago, she and Dean had slowly found comfort in one another.

"I'm safe. I'm upset. I'm upset this has happened on our wedding night, I'm upset I ran off because I was terrified that I might lose you one day. I'm upset because Ari and Tane have just actually lost their..."

"Jasmine. Deep breaths."

"Should I call Ari? I don't have his number. I'll call Tori." Tori and Ari were a couple now. It had seemingly come out of nowhere, but Jasmine was happy for them. They'd built quite a life together.

"The police will tell him. It's almost midnight, we'll need to get everybody out in the morning promptly so the investigators can do what they need to do. Until then try not to tell anybody, we'll be the ones to do that."

Jasmine nodded, forgetting that Cash couldn't see her. 

"I love you," she breathed through the phone. "Please be safe."

"I love you too. And I need you to stay safe as well. We don't think this was an accident."

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Warnings for chapter: None other than the general death theme

CHAPTER THREE

Dean woke up the following morning with no recollection of the night before. His head was pounding, but it was nothing compared to what Jasmine was feeling. The images in her mind from the night before. The blood, the body, running away from Cash. She should have been used to seeing dead people by now, but it felt harder this time. She hadn't slept all night, she hadn't expected to.

Dean looked across to see the ghost-of-a-woman sitting on his hotel room bed next to him.

"Did I...miss something?" he questioned in his usual low, moody voice. "Why is the bride in my bed?"

"You had too much to drink, you cut yourself, we don't know how. I offered to stay with you to make sure you were okay." Jasmine didn't look at him, instead, she stared ahead of herself like she was lost in another world. Her voice was as dim and energy-less as it had been the night before.

Dean ran his hand down his forehead feeling the plaster stuck to his head. "I don't remember anything."

Jasmine ran her own fingers along the bottom of her eyes, trying to catch any stranded tears that had just made their way there.

"Hey, what's wrong? What's happened? Has Cash done something?"

"No." Slowly her face turned to look at Dean. "I found Nikau Parata down the steps of the fire escape last night. He wasn't breathing." 

"What? Is he okay?"

"No. I'm sorry. He was dead when I found him." Dean fell completely silent. "But who would do this to him? I know the Paratas have had their fair share of family dramas lately, but nobody would want to kill him." 

Only a small mumble came out of Dean's lips. "That's terrible."

"Yeah. Are you sure you don't know anything? It's just... when you were drunk you mentioned getting in a fight and you asked if Bella was okay."

"I don't remember much, to be honest. But Bella was just being Bella last night, I guess that's what I meant. You know what she's like when the attention isn't on her."

Jasmine sighed. "Well, it's going to be on her now. Poor girl. I wonder if she's found out yet."

***

"What do you mean Nikau's been found dead?!" Bella was too shocked to even shed a tear. Was this a nightmare?

"Yes, Miss Nixon. He was found dead within the venue last night. I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you."

Her head shook, anger spreading in her eyes. "No. No, you're wrong."

"You didn't notice that he didn't come back to your room last night?"

"No. I...I fell asleep early. I only woke up when you knocked." She was still dressed in her pyjamas. At least that made the nightmare idea more realistic.

Ryder was already fully dressed and had come to the door to see what all of the commotion was about. 

Worry spread across his features as soon as he saw the officer in the room. "What's going on?"

Bella's eyes filled with fluid the moment she saw him. She rushed past the police officer and into his arms. "Nikau's been found dead."

"What?" Ryder shook his head. "No. Are you sure?" He looked to the officer who nodded his head.

"I'm going to need both of you to come down to the station later and give us statements."

"What? You think one of us did this?"

"Mr Jackson..."

"You know my name?

"Mr Jackson, everybody inside of this building is a suspect right now. That doesn't mean to say that the killer is within these walls, but it's where the detectives will start. I'll leave you both to get ready and check out." 

The officer left the room and Bella couldn't help but wish that Cash had been the one to tell them instead of a stranger she'd never seen before. At least that way it would have felt real. 

With tears rolling down her face, Bella threw herself down on the bed and sobbed. Ryder slowly walked over to her, pressing his hand on her shoulder for some comfort.

They stayed like that for minutes before Bella could fight through her tears to speak.

"It was me!" the brunette exclaimed. She hadn't noticed the wideness of Ryder's eyes or the fact he had been walking like he'd taken something. 

"What?" he shouted, pushing his hand quickly over his mouth after realising how loud he'd said it. "Of course it wasn't."

"How would you know, Ryder? Where were you last night? I searched everywhere for you and you were...you were no where!!!!"

"Look, calm down."

Bella narrowed her eyes angrily. "Don't tell me to calm down. I've just...I've just killed my own boyfriend."

"No."

"YES, Ryder! Where were you? You could have stopped me."

"I can't...I can't." He shut his eyes, pushed them together as tightly as he possibly could. "I can't remember. I only had one drink but my head's so fuzzy. But if you think I'm going to believe that you killed him, then you're wrong."

Bella ground her tear together and snapped through her tears. "GET OUT."

"What?"

"Get out, Ryder! If you're not going to believe me then why are you here? Why are we friends? Why do I love you?! Why did I spend the evening yelling at Nik, why did I shove him?"

"You...didn't?"

"I did. And now I have to act like I'm upset that my boyfriend's dead when I'm the one who did it. I'm going to end up in prison like Colby and all because I stupidly wanted to be with you instead of Nik."

Ryder wasn't moving, he was motionless. So Bella walked out instead, slamming the door as loudly as possible behind her. She'd just have to borrow some clothes from Mackenzie.

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