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Start Again


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Story Title: Start Again 
Type of story: One Shot.
Main Characters: Cash Newman, Jasmine Delaney, and Eden Fowler.
BTTB rating: T
Genre: Romance, Drama
Does the story include spoilers:  Yes
Any warnings: Sexual content
Summary: After Stevie's death, Cash is struggling and gets in contact with Jasmine behind Eden's back knowing she would understand what he's going through, the two reconnect and she shows up in the bay again. When she does, will Cash stay in the bay with Eden or have a fresh start with Jasmine?

 

Ever since Stevie's death a week ago, Cash hadn't stopped blaming himself for it. He knew he was meant to save her; she wasn't supposed to die. He had never felt more guilty about anything in his life, except perhaps for not looking after Felicity enough after the assault.

He had endured endless days of questioning by the security firm, and tonight was the first night he had to himself in his hotel room since arriving in the city. He was meant to call Eden, but as he scrolled through his phone, another number caught his eye: Jasmine's. When they split up, he never got rid of her number; it was the one thing he couldn't bring himself to do. He hadn't thought much about it until now. He couldn't bring himself to scroll up to Eden's number; he didn't think she would understand in the way Jasmine would. Before he could back out, he pressed the call button on Jasmine's number.

As the phone began to ring, he wondered whether this was the right idea. For all he knew, she could have a boyfriend or a husband at this point. After all, it had been two years since he last saw her. However, before he had the chance to hang up, it stopped ringing.

"Cash," Jasmine spoke excitedly.

"Jas, hey, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have called." Cash's voice was full of guilt, not just for Stevie, but for interrupting Jasmine's new life.

"Cash, it's okay. I've been thinking about you. I would ask how you have been, but you sound like a mess. Is everything okay?" Jasmine's voice was full of concern and worry for her ex-boyfriend.

"No, it's not okay." Cash was almost crying at this point. "I'm sorry for calling. It's just I knew that you would understand." Cash felt so bad for bothering her.

"Don't ever apologize. The last time we spoke, I said I would always be here for you when you were ready for me to be there, and I meant that," Jasmine spoke honestly and truthfully.

"I remember. I suppose it's part of the reason I called, and because I knew you would get it." Cash finally admitted that out loud to his ex.

When Jasmine heard Cash say that, she was immediately worried and concerned for her ex. She knew that something really big must have happened, and she felt a sinking feeling in her stomach.

"What's going on, Cash?" she asked, wanting to hear the answer but not wanting to push him. "Take your time, you can tell me whenever you're ready."

Cash took a breath and a minute before speaking. "I quit the force and became a security guard for Stevie Marlow to protect her from a stalker. I wasn't informed about her stalker being out on bail, and I got to her just in time to see her shot. Maybe if I was there in the first place, this wouldn't have happened." Cash's voice was cracking at this point.

"Cash, this wasn't your fault. You didn't know a crazy person was out of prison, and if you did, perhaps things would have turned out differently. But you didn't, so you need to stop blaming yourself, okay? I understand why you do, but from everything you told me, you don't need to. You did everything you could to save her," Jasmine spoke the truth, her voice filled with sincerity.

"I'll try." Cash meant that because he knew Jasmine was right. He had done everything he could to save her. Sure, Eden had told him that, but she didn't know anything medical and would say anything to make Cash feel better. She didn't really understand his mental health like Jasmine did.

Cash changed the subject after that. "How are you? Did you find what you wanted?" He genuinely wanted Jasmine to be happy. After all, he loved her and always would.

Jasmine took a minute before speaking. "Want me to be honest?" She was nervous about confessing everything to Cash, but he had been honest with her about how he was feeling at the moment, and she knew she needed to do the same.

"Always, Jas. Whatever it is, I can take it." Cash thought she was going to say how much she loved her life there and how she was married to someone else now. His heart ached at the thought, but he braced himself for her response.

"I love it here, but I regret leaving you. You were the best thing to happen to me in such a long time, and I stupidly thought I was better off here without you. I know from Irene that you are with someone else now, and you are happy, which makes me happy." Jasmine paused, her voice cracking with emotion. "But I miss you, Cash."

"I miss you too, Jasmine. I never deleted your number from my phone for a reason," Cash finally admitted before taking a breath. "You know you can call me anytime if you want to talk, and I'll be here for you too, Jasmine." Cash smiled for the first time in a week, thinking about talking to Jasmine more frequently.

"That would be great. Can you tell Irene I said hi? I keep in touch with her, but it's been a bit." Cash smiled through the phone, and Jasmine immediately knew his answer. "Thank you, Cash. And call me anytime you need me, okay?" Jasmine smiled as she said the last part.

"I will. We will talk soon, Jas. Have a great night." Cash stopped before he confessed he was still in love with her.

"You too, Cash." They both hung up at the same time. Jasmine's heart ached at the thought of Cash. She loved tonight; it felt like old times when she first arrived and they talked every day. But after she decided to move, they split up, and she had missed him so much. Tonight made her realize how much she was still in love with him, even after all this time.

 

After he hung up, he realized that he missed six calls and about the same number of texts from Eden. He knew it was because he bailed on their call, and as much as he did love and care for her, it wasn't on the same level as his love for Jasmine and never would be. He had always known that; he had just used Eden to move on from Jasmine. Until tonight, he was doing a good job at it, but knowing Jasmine couldn't move on from him either made him realize that she was the one he would always love more.

He didn't want to talk to Eden tonight, so he quickly typed out a text: "I'll be back in the bay tomorrow, we shall talk then." He then placed his phone on the charger before heading to bed.

 

The next morning was the first time since Stevie's death that Cash's head felt clear and that he didn't feel guilty which he knew had a lot to do with the discussion he had with Jasmine the previous night. 

He texted Eden and Felicity to inform them he was driving back before getting in the car and doing that. 

 

About twenty minutes into his drive, he heard his phone ring through the speaker and quickly answered it. "Jas." Cash was smiling ear to ear; he was so happy to hear from her again.

"I hope this wasn't too soon," Jasmine said. Cash laughed at her response.

"It's not too soon at all. I'm glad you called." Cash meant that. He hoped Jasmine could stay on the phone for the whole drive, but he wasn't about to ask her to do that.

"So, do you feel better this morning?" Jasmine asked, genuinely curious.

"I do, and that's thanks to you. You talked sense into me last night, and now my head feels clear again." Cash was very grateful for what Jasmine had said the previous night.

"I was happy to help. I called to see how you were and, if I'm being honest, I just wanted to hear your voice again." Jasmine was seriously regretting ending things and wished she could have Cash back, but she wasn't about to ruin his relationship or his life all over again.

"Well, I wanted to hear yours too. You make me feel so much better. Just talking to you is a good distraction." The only times Cash hadn't thought about Stevie's death since it happened were when he was talking to Jasmine or thinking about her.

"That goes both ways, Cash. I'm about to go on shift, but I miss you." Jasmine knew she said it last night, but the truth was she would say it anytime she talked to Cash from now on.

"I miss you too. Keep safe, and make sure no crazy country patients hurt you." The last thing Cash needed right now was to find out Jasmine got hurt too.

"I promise I will be safe. Talk later, Cash." Jasmine stopped herself from saying "I love you" and hung up the phone before she could.

 

It was an hour later when Cash pulled into his driveway and saw Eden waiting for him. If he was honest, he didn't want to see her, but he knew he had to, so he got out of his ute.

"Of course, you're waiting here." Cash didn't mean to sound harsh; he just didn't want to see Eden right now.

"Well, I'm worried about you, Cash. I have been. You should have never left; you should have stayed here where I could look after you." Eden looked concerned, particularly when Cash stepped back from her.

"You don't need to worry because I'm fine. I know Stevie's death wasn't my fault. I don't blame myself." Cash wasn't about to mention that it was Jasmine who had made him see sense.

"Good, because it wasn't," Eden made that clear. "How about we hang out?" Eden was eager to spend some time with her boyfriend after all.

Cash, however, was quick to shake his head. "No, I haven't been for a run in ages, so I'm going to do that." Cash then left for his run without saying a word to Eden. He had a lot to think about.

 

Back at the farm, Jasmine was getting ready for work when she heard a knock on her bedroom door. Wendy walked in, smiling.

"You know, since you came here, I've never seen you as happy as you have been since you spoke to Cash last night." Wendy knew Jasmine loved Robbo and always would, but she also knew Jasmine loved Cash and that it wasn't going away.

"Because I haven't been. I realized how much I missed after we talked last night and then again today." Jasmine was always honest, especially with Wendy and Ian, who were like parents to her.

"You know you deserve to be happy, Jas. You could always invite him to come and live with us." Jasmine smiled at the idea, but she knew he was already spoken for.

"He's with someone else. I missed my chance." Jasmine felt heartbroken as she said that.

"You haven't. He loves you. I could see that the day he was here, and you love him. So what if he's in a relationship? Go to the bay, fight for him, and bring him back here."

Jasmine knew Wendy was right. She quickly grabbed her keys and ran out of the house. She needed to get to the bay as fast as possible. She had already wasted so much time with Cash and wasn't about to waste anymore.

 

Cash was running near the surf club, the rhythmic sound of his feet hitting the pavement steady in his ears. Lost in thought, he almost missed the sound of a car pulling up nearby.

Jasmine's car came to a halt, and she jumped out, spotting him immediately. "Cash!" she called out, her voice clear and urgent. She began running towards him, her heart pounding with anticipation.

Cash's head snapped up at the sound of her voice. He stopped running, a wide smile spreading across his face as he saw Jasmine running toward him.

As Jasmine reached Cash, their eyes locked in a moment of surprise and joy. Cash hadn't expected to see Jasmine here, but he was undeniably glad nonetheless. His heart raced with a mix of emotions, ranging from excitement to apprehension.

"Jasmine," Cash exclaimed, a hint of disbelief in his voice as he took in her presence.

Jasmine's eyes sparkled with determination as she met Cash's gaze. She hadn't planned on this encounter either, but seeing him brought a rush of emotions flooding back. Her heart fluttered with nervous anticipation.

"What are you doing here?" Cash asked, his voice filled with curiosity and a touch of confusion.

"I'm here because of you," Jasmine replied, her tone soft yet resolute. "Can we talk somewhere more private?"

Cash nodded, his expression serious yet tinged with a hint of hope. "Of course," he agreed, gesturing towards a nearby bench where they could sit and talk.

 

Jasmine and Cash sat side by side on the bench, the weight of their conversation heavy in the air. Jasmine took a deep breath, her heart racing with nerves. "Cash, I need to tell you something," she began, her voice tinged with regret.

Cash turned to look at her, his eyes reflecting a mixture of sadness and longing. "What is it, Jas?" he asked softly, his voice barely above a whisper.

"I realized I made a mistake ending things between us," Jasmine confessed, her words hanging between them like a heavy fog.

Cash's breath caught in his throat as he absorbed her words. He felt a surge of emotion wash over him, a mixture of pain and hope. "I'll always remain heartbroken about how things ended," he admitted, his voice thick with emotion.

Jasmine nodded, tears glistening in her eyes. "I am too," she whispered, her voice trembling with sorrow.

The silence between them was heavy with unspoken emotions, the weight of their shared regret hanging heavily over them.

The tension between them was palpable as Jasmine gathered her courage, her heart pounding in her chest. "Cash," she said, her voice barely above a whisper. "I know you're with someone else now, and I have no right to ask, but... I want you back. I still love you, and I need to know if there's any chance for us."

Cash felt like the breath had been knocked out of him as he heard Jasmine's words. His mind was racing, torn between his feelings for her and his commitment to Eden. He reached out, gently taking her hand in his own. "Jas, I..." he began, his voice faltering.

But Jasmine silenced him with a pleading look. "I know it's not fair to Eden," she said softly, tears brimming in her eyes. "But I need to know, Cash. Please."

In that moment, Cash felt a surge of conflicting emotions. He closed his eyes briefly, trying to gather his thoughts. Memories of his time with Jasmine flooded his mind, and he realized just how much he still cared for her. But he also knew the pain it would cause Eden, and he couldn't ignore that.

After a moment of silence, Cash opened his eyes and looked into Jasmine's tear-filled gaze. Without a word, he leaned in, pressing his lips to hers in a tender, bittersweet kiss. It was a silent confession of his own conflicted heart.

When they finally pulled apart, he looked into her eyes, his own filled with conflicted emotions. "There isn't a choice, Jas," he said quietly. "I would always choose you. Every single time. Because I've always loved you."

As they sat snuggled up on the bench, the world seemed to fade away around them. Jasmine gazed up at Cash, her heart fluttering with a mixture of hope and uncertainty. "What happens now?" she whispered, her voice barely audible over the gentle rustle of the wind.

Cash wrapped his arm around her, pulling her close to him. "I'll come to the country to be with you," he said softly, his voice filled with determination. "If you'll have me."

Jasmine's eyes filled with tears of joy as she looked at him, her heart overflowing with love. "I will always have you," she replied, her voice trembling with emotion. "I realized that a place isn't my home. You are."

Tears welled up in Cash's eyes as he listened to her words. "You're my home too," he confessed, his voice thick with emotion. "And I never want to be anywhere else."

 

Unknown to Cash, Eden had been looking for him and spotted him on the bench, snuggled up to Jasmine. Her heart sank as she watched them, a mixture of confusion and hurt clouding her thoughts. Unable to contain her emotions, she charged over to them, her footsteps heavy with determination.

"What's going on?" Eden demanded, her voice trembling with emotion as she approached them.

Cash held Jasmine close, a sense of guilt gnawing at him as he faced Eden. "We're over," he said firmly, his voice tinged with sadness.

Eden's eyes widened in disbelief, her heart shattering into a million pieces. With tears streaming down her face, she stormed off, her emotions in turmoil.

 

Jasmine looked at Cash with concern, her heart aching at the pain in his eyes. "Are you okay?" she asked softly, her voice filled with worry.

Cash met her gaze, a small smile playing on his lips. "I am now," he replied, his voice steady. "And I love you, Jasmine. Only you. I was stupid to be with Eden anyway."

Tears welled up in Jasmine's eyes as she listened to his words, her heart overflowing with love for him. "Are you ready to leave?" she asked, her voice barely above a whisper.

Cash nodded, his heart pounding with excitement at the thought of starting anew with Jasmine. "Yes," he said, his voice filled with determination. "I'll go anywhere as long as you're beside me."

A sense of joy washed over Jasmine as she realized they were finally getting their second chance. "I feel the same about you," she whispered, her voice trembling with emotion.

Without another word, Cash leaned in, pressing his lips to hers in a tender, passionate kiss.

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