Chapter 1

Nelson was just finishing for the day when he knocked lightly on the office door, hearing Terri give her permission to come in. He opened the door, stepping inside to see her surrounded by paperwork.

"More budget reports?" He asked, a slight smile on his face.

"It never ends does it? What can I do for you Nelson?"

"I know you said Von wouldn't be in today but, well you never gave me a direct reason for her absence. Is she okay?"

"Mm-mm, she's fine."

"Terri?"

"She had a few viewings for her house today, the couldn't do any other day so she asked me if she could take her day off today instead."

"I see, how's she doing? Has she found anywhere else to stay yet?"

"Not that I know off, I said she could stay with me but…oh you know what Von's like by now."

"Yeah, bloody stubborn."

"Something like that."

Nelson was about to turn to walk out before turning back.

"Terri I know she'd probably kill you for this but, you couldn't give me her address could you?"

"Nelson." She warned.

"I just want to help."

"She won't thank you for it, believe me I've tried."

"Well she needs somewhere to stay, maybe you're too close to her."

Terri got a piece of paper and wrote down Von's address before passing it to Nelson.

"Thanks Terri."

"Good luck, I think you'll need it."

"I'll take the chance."

Nelson pulled up just after 6pm outside Von's, turning off the ignition before getting out. He made his way over the road and up the path to the door, knocking twice as he waited for her to answer, When Von opened the door, she had a look on her face that Nelson couldn't quite read before she spoke.

"What are you doing here Nelson?"

"I was just in the neighbourhood, can I come in?"

She wanted nothing more than to say no, to be left alone but she could see determination in Nelson's eyes, which told her he wasn't leaving without a fight. She gave an exasperated sigh before standing aside to allow him inside.

"Thanks." He said as he stepped inside.

He waited for her to close the door before following her through to the front room, packing boxes in the corner.

"So…"

"What do you want Nelson?"

He could hear a slight annoyance in her voice as she stood in front of him, her arms folded.

"Well, I wanna help."

"Help, with what?"

"With this Von, your situation."

"I'm handling it Nelson."

"Really, because it doesn't look like it to me."

"How dare you."

"Von, I just want to help."

Nelson stepped forward, knowing she couldn't move as the wall was behind her.

"It's time to admit to yourself that you're not coping with all this, and allow the people who care about you to help you?"

"Who said I wasn't coping?"

"You only have to look at you to see you're not, you look exhausted."

"Well of course I'm exhausted Nelson, I'm losing my home because I was stupid enough to stop and help someone who needed it. I should have just walked away, gone to my exam and then none of this would be bloody happening to me."

Nelson could hear her voice break a little as she tried to avoid his gaze.

"Go and sit down, I'll get us some coffee."

Before Von could say anything, Nelson had escaped to the kitchen. She sat down on the couch, hearing Nelson clattering around.

"Nelson.." She yelled through.

"I'm fine."

She rolled her eyes as she waited a little longer before he appeared with two mugs in his hands, passing one to Von before he sat down beside her.

"Thanks." She said quietly.

"Have you eaten?" He asked.

"No, I don't really have an appetite right now."

"You need to eat Von."

"Maybe later…did Terri send you?"

"No, no she didn't. I came here on my own volition."

"Why?"

"You know why, Von it's time for you t admit you need us. You can't keep dealing with all this on your own. You're losing your home."

"That will teach me."

"Don't say you should have walked away from the accident again, you wouldn't. It's not the kind of person you are. You're a nurse first and foremost, you did everything you could for that woman and her daughter."

"It wasn't enough though was it."

"She never should have sued you, it's ridiculous."

"It was her way of coping, dealing with what had happened to her mother. She needed someone to blame and it just happened to be me who bore the brunt of her anger and hurt. I can't believe I have to start all over again, at my age, god help me."

Von closed her eyes, a small tear escaping, before Nelson reached for her free hand.

"Von, I want you to consider something for a second."

"What?" She asked, looking up at him.

"Move in with me."

"Move in…with you?"

"It's not that crazy, is it?"

"We'd kill each other."

"I don't agree with that, sure it might take a little while to get used too one another's habits but, I think it could work."

"Why would you want me staying with you."

"Because you're my friend, and you're going through some pretty awful stuff right now and I'm in a position to help. I care about you Von, and I hate seeing you like this. Stay with me, it could be fun."

"Or it could be a disaster."

"Well there's only one way to find out, what do you say?"

Von sat for a few moments pondering Nelson's proposal before coming to her decision.

"I'm willing to give it a try, but I'm not making any promises."

"Great, that's all I ask. Why don't I help you move in tomorrow."

"Thanks, I mean that. I know I don't always appreciate the help."

"Small steps."

"Incidentally, how did you know where I lived."

"Oh…well I…"

"Terri?"

"Don't be angry, she's just worried about you, we all are."

"So tomorrow then?"

"I'll come by about 9am?"

"Sure."

To Be Continued…