Authors Note: Hey ya'll! I'm so sorry! My life suddenly got way outta control and unfortunately my fanfiction suffered. I can't stand it when people just disappear off the face off the earth and that's exactly what I did so my sincere apologies for that. This chapter is dedicated to funkyshaz57, I'm sorry it took so long! Without further ado…Chapter 14.


Chapter 14:

"Brett." Joey gasped.

"Hello Jo." Brett said softly.

He shuffled nervously in the doorway. Charlie looked at Joey nervously. She didn't like this. Brett was up to something.

"I heard about what happened with Robbo. I'm sorry Jo." He continued.

Joey said nothing but her grip on Charlie's hand was bordering on painful. He nails were starting to dig in. Charlie just tightened her own grip. Something was very wrong here.

"Umm… thanks Brett." Joey replied nervously.

Brett stepped further into the room.

"Why don't you come home Jo? You shouldn't be living off a strangers charity." He said.

Joey started to shake. Charlie wrapped her arm around her girlfriend tightly.

"We're not strangers. Not to Joey." She said.

Brett turned to sneer at Charlie.

"I'm her brother. This is a family matter. You've done enough damage so just stay out of it." Brett snarled.

"Brett! Don't talk to her that way!" Joey snapped.

Silence reined down on them. Brett looked furious.

"Did you just try to give me an order?" he asked dangerously.

Joey took a step back. She knew that tone.

"N…n…no B…b…Brett." She stuttered.

Charlie growled. She didn't like scared Joey. She liked happy Joey.

"Get out of here Brett. Before I arrest you for trespassing." She growled.

"Shut up!" Brett shot, furious.

He raised his fist and went to hit Charlie. Joey's eyes widened in horror as she shot forward.

Everyone could only watch in horror as Brett's fist collided with Joey's shoulder. She spun round and started to fall. There was a resounding crack as her head hit the table before she finally collapsed on the floor.

Everyone stared for a moment in shock. Suddenly, Brett ran out the door.

"JOEY!" Charlie screamed.

She ran to Joey's side, flipping her over and checking her head wound carefully if a little frantically.

"Joey? Joey? Can you hear me? Joey!" she cried.

Joey coughed harshly.

"Hey. It's okay. I'm fine. One killer migraine but otherwise fine." she murmured.

Joey grinned to prove she was okay but it looked strained.

"You shouldn't have done that Joey. I would have been fine. You didn't need to play hero." Charlie scolded but her relief was obvious.

After everything they'd been through she couldn't lose her soul-mate, her forever.

Joey cracked open an eye and shot her a look that clearly said 'don't-be-ridiculous'.

"Charlie. I'm not gonna let my brother hit you. I can deal with it, I'm used to it. I won't let him do it to you. You don't deserve it. Please, can we just forget it ever happened?" she pleaded.

Charlie sighed.

"Fine. But if he dare's to go anywhere near you again he'll be in a cell faster than you can say his name." she growled, not liking it at all.

Joey gave a slight jerk of her head in thanks.

"Oh, and by the way. I wasn't playing fucking hero. I'm not the one with a 'saving people' complex in this relationship." She smirked.

Charlie looked offended for a moment and then laughed.

"True." She agreed.

It was her 'saving people' complex that had caused them to meet in the first place. She'd wanted to save the upset girl working behind the bar from the evil man who had upset her. She smiled.

"You like my 'saving people' complex." She said.

Joey just grinned.

"Maybe. Don't suppose you can 'save' me now and get me some pain-killers for my killer migraine?" she asked.

Charlie was quick to leap to her feet, running to do as her love asked.

She returned to Joey's side and helped her to take the pain-killers.

"Easy, Jo. Easy." She whispered.

"What am I? A horse? I can take pain-killers Charlie. I'm dizzy, not disabled." Joey growled.

As soon as she said it she regretted it.

She sighed.

"I'm sorry Charlie. That was out of line. I appreciate the help; I'm just not used to it where Brett's concerned. I'm sorry that I snapped at you." She said softly.

Charlie looked carefully at Joey's face and saw the defeat there. She'd been abused so badly lately that there was nothing left of Joey but hurt and anger. The fun loving, joking, happy Joey was gone and in her place was a bitter clone. Somewhere in there, her Joey had to exist. Her happy, optimistic Joey who always saw the silver lining to every grey cloud. She just had to find her.

"It's okay Joey. I understand." She whispered.

Joey opened her eyes slowly.

"I love you Charlie." She breathed.

"I love you too Joey." Charlie replied happily.

That was all that mattered really. That they loved each other. The rest would fall into place eventually.

Leaning down she pressed her lips to Joey's in a searing kiss. Joey's arms came up to encircle her neck and hold her in place.

An awkward cough came from behind them.

"Umm… girls?" Leah awkwardly said.

"We're still in the room you know!" Ruby laughed.

The two pulled apart, blushing furiously.

"Right. Sorry." Charlie coughed.

Leah and Ruby laughed.

"We're just glad you're happy." Leah laughed.

"Oh, we've defiantly got that covered." Joey said with a smirk.

"Joey!" Charlie gasped, turning to look at her lover.

"What? It's not like they don't hear us. You're not exactly quiet." Joey snickered.

For some reason, she felt like teasing Charlie was a good idea. She was sure she'd regret it later but for now she wanted to see Charlie flustered.

"Fine. You can sleep on the couch tonight then since I'm so loud." Charlie shot.

Leah and Ruby laughed at the look of horror on Joey's face as Charlie smirked.

"Yeah. Now who's the loud one?" Charlie snickered.

Joey bowed her head in defeat.

"Well, at least I'm not the only one missing out." She sighed.

Charlie's smirk fell.

[Fuck! If she's in the couch I don't get any either!] She realized.

"I could always go find Hugo. I'm sure he wouldn't mind." She smirked.

[That'll get a rise out of her.] she thought, amused.

Joey's head shot up as she spluttered for a minute.

"HUGO! Are you nuts! The guys a nightmare! If that stupid jerk goes anywhere within 10 feet of you I'm gonna fucking rip his throat out! That or make sure he never reproduces!" she raged.

Charlie was startled. She hadn't known Joey hated Hugo that much.

"Whoa! Joey, I was just kidding. You're the only one for me." She quickly soothed.

Joey calmed down, but only marginally. After seeing the jerk hitting on her girlfriend almost constantly she was more than a little pissed off at him. Hugo could burn in hell and Joey would do a happy dance.

Charlie eyed her girlfriend cautiously. She'd never seen Joey so angry or possessive.

"Hey! I have an idea. Let's go out for lunch tomorrow." She said, excited.

"Out?" Joey asked, confused at the sudden change.

"Yeah. On a date. Let's go out on the water again. It was so much fun the last time. Please Joey?" Charlie pleaded.

Joey nodded slowly.

"Yeah. Why not." She decided, putting Hugo and Brett out of her mind.

Smiling, the two kissed briefly then stood up.

"How do you feel?" Charlie asked, gently running her fingers over a cut on Joey's forehead.

"Fine." Joey said easily.

"You're bleeding." Charlie whispered, concerned.

"It doesn't matter. All that matters is you." Joey breathed.

No matter what happened, to Joey Charlie would always come first. Surely, after rape, attempted murder and her brother, they could have some time off from drama.

[Yeah, right. This is Summer Bay. It's like a fucking soap opera!] She thought, amused.

Taking Charlie's hand she waved goodnight to Ruby and Leah, who were still in the room and finding Joey and Charlie's conversation hilarious, especially since the two had forgotten that they had company.

"Night! See you both in the morning!" she called happily, heading for their bedroom.

She was eager to lay down with Charlie and relax after the trauma of the day.

"Night!" Charlie called over her shoulder, laughing at Joey's enthusiasm as she was dragged out the door towards their bedroom.

Leah and Ruby looked at each other for a moment then cracked up laughing, the sound followed by a slamming bedroom door only making them laugh harder.