Allie sat in her office on Monday morning wondering why everything seemed so quiet, she had very little to do, no meetings, no piles of reports to look over and no one had knocked on her office door for the last two hours. She was just considering if she should call her dad and tell him about the invitation to spend Christmas with Beas family when there was a tap on the door before it opened and Franky's head appeared.
“Not busy I see?”
“Apparently not which is strange for a Monday morning, pull up a chair and tell me what's on your mind.”
Franky walked in closing the door silently behind her and sat down looking like her head might explode any second.
“Everything alright? You haven't had a fight with Bridget already have you, please tell me you haven't.”
“What?…no, no…everything's good, better than good…listen Al I got somethin to tell ya and I don't know how the fuck ya gonna take this, how either of ya are gonna take this.”
“Franky?” Allie suddenly became concerned, Franky didn't often come to Allies office, she could regularly be found in Beas office but she didn't venture to the finance department too often.
“Franky just tell me, it can't be that bad.”
“Fuck Al, ya know that favour I was doin for ya? Tryin to find out who bought the house? Well it was tough but I know who it is and it ain't good…shit Reds gonna blow a fuse or have a melt down, possibly both! I had to double check and then triple check, I even had Bridget take a look at what I had hopin I was wrong but na.” Franky slid a few sheets of paper across the desk and watched Allie as she picked them up.
Allie looked at the information and gasped in shock, this couldn't be right, there was no way this could be right, Franky had to have made a mistake but Franky didn't make mistakes and Allie knew that. “Is this who I think it is?” Allie asked more than a little panic in her tone.
Franky nodded, “Fraid so…he's a little older, obviously, but I'd know that fucker anywhere…this ain't no coincidence either, looks like your ex knew exactly who he was and knew ya were gonna sell.”
“But how, he's meant to be dead…and Jess…how the fuck did she even know who he was, she doesn't even know who Bea is…fuck…she knew her name, shit this is all my fault, she's not hard to find from the website.” Allie stood up and paced her office, “Beas going to fucking hate me for this…he can't be back…what if he comes after her, after Debbie?”
“Calm down Allie, Jesus…listen just keep this to yourself until after work, I'm gonna come over and I'll tell her…none of this is your fault and trust me that fucker won't get anywhere near any of ya, I'll explain more later on yeah, but he ain't gonna be around for long trust me on this I got my contacts, can't be a shit hot lawyer and not know all the best people to help sort out a little problem like Harry fucking Smith. Besides he's an idiot, must have forgotten that if he reappears and the cops get wind of that they'll be looking for him, it's quite easy to have an attempted murder case reopened when the only suspect suddenly makes a reappearance.”
“But Jess…how…Franky please?”
“Al I'll explain everything later, listen to me he ain't getting anywhere near any of ya, this is just just some fuckin sick game, as for Jess, it's complicated but I'll tell ya this she has no idea what she's got into, but stop worryin yeah?”
Allie didn't say a word all the way home and wouldn't tell Bea what was wrong, she didn't even say a word to Debbie causing Bea to worry even more. Deciding to leave her alone until after Debbie had gone to bed she'd gone straight to the kitchen to start dinner as soon as they got home. Bea knew there was something seriously worrying Allie when she sat at the table and hardly ate a thing, she watched on as she pushed her food round the plate never taking her eyes of the fork she had in her hand. Allie never acted like this, she'd always told Bea what was worrying her and the only thing she could think of that could possibly be worrying her was if she had heard more about Sonia and Joan but information like that usually filtered up to Beas office over the course of the day and she hadn't heard anything.
Bea thought it was strange when she heard someone knock on the door, answering it she found Franky and Bridget standing there, the look on Franky's face instantly told Bea that Allie wasn't the only one who was worried.
“Gidge thought she could take Deb out for ice cream while I talk to ya.” Franky announced as she sat down looking over at Allie she gave her a small smile.
“If Deb wants to go I don't see why not.”
Five minutes later and Debbie had eagerly left the house with Bridget.
“So is one of you going to tell me what's going on here?” Bea asked as she looked between the pair.
Franky stood up, “Think ya better sit down for this Bea.”
“Just fucking tell me Franky, Allie hasn't said a word since we left work and I'm presuming that you wanted Deb out of the way so she doesn't hear what you're going to say so just spit it out already.”
“Ok, ok…Al asked me if I could find out who it was who was buying the house, ya know that already…the fucker was a ghost, I mean I found nothin looking through all the usual channels.”
“Get to the point Fran…”
“I'm getting to it…I know a guy who did a little diggin through not so legal channels and I found out who it is…Bea…” The words seemed to get stuck in Franky's throat for a few seconds, never in a million years had she thought she'd be saying this name again to her best friend. “It's him…it's Harry…the fucker hid himself well and the people who helped him, well, let's just say they can't help him anymore so I'd say he's screwed.”
Bea collapsed back onto the sofa her head in her hands. “I told you…I always told you he wasn't dead, no one would ever believe me…you all thought it was in my head but I knew and what now?” Bea looked at Allie feeling the tears well up in her eyes, “He’ll come after me…after us…I…I can't…”
“Bea…” Allie whimpered, “I'm sorry, this is my fault.”
Bea shook her head as she stood up without a word walking to the kitchen.
“Franky…she blames me…I told you she would.”
“Hey she doesn't, trust me she would never do that, she love ya remember that, give her some time to get her head round it yeah?”
Allie nodded but she was convinced that this was all her fault, she should never have agreed to the sale so quickly, should have known that there was something wrong but all she wanted was to be rid of something that kept that connection to Jess alive.
Franky went to the kitchen ten minutes later finding Bea staring out of the window.
“He won't touch you…any of you, I got people working on this and the police have already been informed that he's reappeared…don't you dare push her away, I know what you're thinkin ya know that.”
“And you can be sure of that can you? Bea answered sarcastically, “I know him better than anyone, I lived with him, I know how his mind works…I knew he was still out there, that eventually he'd come back to finish what he started. Allie doesn't need to be caught up I'm my mess.”
“She loves ya, she'd do absolutely anything for ya, for both of ya…ya can get this through this together, don't ya dare do what you always do.”
“I can't Franky…I need you do something for me.”
“Anythin, all ya gotta do is ask.”
“I need you to take Debbie to Liz’s, he doesn't know Liz, doesn't know where she lives…I can't have her here while he's out there, she doesn't need to see this.”
Franky already knew there was little point in arguing about it, Bea called Liz who agreed to have Debbie stay over, Bea didn't go into all the details but Liz knew that it had to be bad for Bea to be apart from Debbie without a reasonable explanation. When Debbie and Bridget returned to the house Debbie tried to argue as soon as Bea told her she was going to stay with Liz, Bridget stepped in to calm the situation down when things started to get heated between mother and daughter as Franky and Allie just looked on. The whole situation was a mess and Franky knew that Beas reaction wasn't good, not that she'd expected her to react any differently. No matter how much everyone had tried to convince her that Harry was gone she'd never believed it, but Franky had hoped that having Allie by her side would make things a little easier to deal with, seeing her blow up at Debbie she knew what was going to happen, knew that Bea was about to throw the best thing that had happened to her since the day Debbie was born away and she was certain that this just may break Allie, break both of them. Franky knew that together they were so much stronger than Harry ever could be but she also knew how stubborn Bea was and nothing would change her mind once it was made up.
Bridget took Debbie over to Liz’s after having a quiet word with Franky who still wanted to have one last chance at convincing her friend that together they would get through anything that was about to be thrown at them. Franky pleaded with Bea to see it from a different perspective but nothing she could say was going to stop what she was about to witness.
Bea walked out of the kitchen her head bowed, she just couldn't look at Allie, she didn't want this but didn't want Allie to get anymore caught up in whatever Harry was about to do. Knowing that Jess was involved just made the whole thing worse, no one was sure at this moment in time how Jess even knew him and Franky was determined to get to the bottom of it but that wasn't enough to change Beas mind because keeping Debbie and Allie safe was all she cared about, in her mind it didn't matter to her what Harry did to her, she'd deal with it but she couldn't have either of them witness it.
Bea lifted her head slowly and looked at Allie, feeling the tears threaten to fall again she blinked them away, Allie was the best thing to ever come into her life for so long and the thought of losing her for good broke her heart but she had to keep her safe, she'd done nothing wrong, this was going to be between Harry and Bea whatever happened.
“Bea…talk to me…please.” Allie could see the tears in her eyes that she was trying hard not to let fall and it was becoming a losing battle.
“What like you tried so hard to talk to me after work? You knew about this all day didn't you and you said nothing.”
“Bea…Franky wanted to tell you herself, she was the one who found out.” Allie took a few steps forward and reached out for Bea who took a step back.
“I want you out of here.” Bea suddenly said looking away so she didn't have to see the pain she knew she would find in Allies eyes.
“You…you don't mean that, you don't want me to leave I know it, you're just scared.”
“I said I want you to leave…tonight, I don't want you here.”
“You don't mean that…I know you don't.”
“I do, I want you gone, this was a mistake I should never have asked you to live with us. What ever this was.” She gestured between the two of them, “This…you and me, it's over…done.”
“You know exactly what this is…I love you.”
“That's a shame.” Bea turned to walk away, she hated herself for doing this, she'd already felt her heart crumble and she just couldn't be in the same room anymore.
“I love you and you love me, you don't have to do this…you don't really want this, please don't do this to us.”
“There is no us, I should have know you'd be trouble, you've always been trouble, everyone knows that.”
“I knew you'd blame me, I told Franky that…you have to believe that I love you, I always have and I always will, nothing will ever change that…nothing!”
“I told you to leave, now pack your things and get out.”
Allie was sure Bea didn't really mean a word she was saying but that didn't make it hurt any less.
“If you don't love me why did you want to meet my dad? Why did you want me to spend the weekend with you at your parents? I know you Bea and this isn't you, I know you better than anyone else ever has because you've never let anyone else really know who you are. You think I can't handle Harry or Jess? I can and I will.”
“Yeah really, you keep telling yourself that princess, you don't know a damn thing about Harry, and Jess!” Bea shook her head, “Look how that turned out, she beat you the same way he beat me…yeah sure you can handle them.”
“And you took care of me after that, you would have told me to leave then if you didn't want us to be together.”
“I felt sorry for you nothing else…for fucks sake will you just leave or I will?” Bea couldn't look at her, she couldn't take back what she was saying and she was sure that after this no matter what happened Allie would never have her back. She wanted so much to turn around, to wrap her up up in her arms and admit that no she didn't mean it, that she'd never felt sorry for her, all she'd ever wanted to do was protect her and she knew she was throwing everything away but she couldn't think of any other way to keep Harry away from her, if she could she wouldn't be doing this.
Franky had heard everything from the kitchen and couldn't listen to anymore.
“That's enough!” She growled as she walked out of the kitchen, “Al just get some things together and you can come home with me.”
Allie knew deep down that trying to talk to Bea anymore tonight wasn't going to achieve anything and went upstairs to pack a bag, throwing a few things together for a couple of days she found Bridget and Franky waiting for her at the bottom of the stairs. Leaving the house she looked back one last time seeing Bea close the door her heart in pieces she followed Franky to the car, how could everything have turned to shit so quickly?
Neither Bea nor Allie slept at all that night, Franky spent most of the night trying to calm Allie down after she said she was going to go back to Sydney and sort Harry out herself.
“Al honestly Beas right you have no idea what that fuckers capable of, let the cops deal with him, the guys a fucking idiot if he thinks he'll get away from them this time.”
“I can't sit here and do nothing, I…I can't…I can't lose her Franky, I'd rather die than let him get anywhere near her ever again…”
Allie couldn't sit still, couldn't stop crying and Franky was sure that she could feel her pain as greatly as if she had an open wound herself. She would pace the room then stop to grasp hold of something and her whole body would shake as she tried to stifle the sobs in an attempt to try and hide her pain. When another wave of emotions would wash over her and she would break down again entirely. When she finally faced Franky again her face was a picture of loss and devastation, Franky had seen that look before, the day she had been told that she had to go home to her parents and Franky had known then that it wasn't just the thought of going home that caused it it had been the thought of never seeing Bea again that had made it so much worse. Franky tried to talk to her, tried to make her see that everything she was threatening to do was senseless, just when she thought she was finally making a breakthrough, that Allie was beginning to see that she was right, she built up a wall between then stronger than before and refused to listen anymore. She had felt her whole world crumble to nothing around her feet but she needed to get herself together. Stomping off to the spare room she knew she had to try and sleep, but how she would manage it she had no idea without Bea.
Bea didn't fair any better, she paced almost every room in the house, cried so hard in the shower that she couldn't move. When she finally fell into bed, her eyes puffy and red, unable to speak even if she tried, struggling to breath the world around her was just a blur melting into grey. She was scared to death of what Harry might do, what he might already have planned but being completely alone, not being able to reach out and hold Allie in her arms caused her greater physical pain than anything he had ever inflicted on her. The weight in her chest, the pain in her head were just constant reminders of what she had done, the things she had said that she didn't mean, words she couldn't take back, that she had just thrown away the one thing that meant more to her than anything. Her tears turned to quite sobs for a while, reaching out for the pillow where Allie laid her head every night she bit her tongue trying to hold back the fresh flood of tears that threatened to fall, that she couldn't hold back. She wanted to shout and scream, to run all the way over to Franky's and beg Allie to forgive her but she couldn't. She held Allies pillow tighter as her eyes once more flooded with tears like a heavy rainfall, there was nothing she could do to stop them and she didn't want to.
Franky wasn't convinced that Allie was in the right frame of mind to go to work the next morning but she refused to call in sick and Franky gave in trying to convince her that in her current emotional state there was no way she would be able to concentrate. After walking Allie to her office she decided not to wait for the elevator and ran up the stairs to Beas office being greeted by Maxine who was wearing a concerned look.
“Red not in yet?”
Maxine shook her head, “She called in sick and she's never done that ever, I don't suppose you have any idea why?”
Franky sighed and shook her head, “Guess you're going to find out soon enough so I may as well tell ya.”
Franky explained everything to Maxine that had happened the previous day.
“You think I should go over and check on her?”
“I don't know Maxi, I'm waitin on a call, not even sure if he's moved into Allies old place yet…this is such a fuckin mess, the fucker should be dead, the thing I don't get is where he's been hidin, more to the point how he's been hidin…there's more going on here than him playin fuckin mind games.”
Franky's mobile started ringing a familiar name flashing up on the screen, “I gotta take this.”
“Detective, what we got?”
Franky spent five minutes on the phone before she hung up and turned back to Maxine.
“This is worse than I thought, the director in yet?”
Maxine glanced a the time, “He should be.” Franky turned on her heels ready to march right up to the 6th floor, something told her that he knew a whole lot more than maybe he had let on and this was no time to be keeping things to himself. “Wait Franky, I'm coming with you!”
Janet tried her best to stop Franky and Maxine from walking straight into the directors office but her attempts were futile and they did as they pleased anyway, Franky wanted to, needed to know just how much he knew, getting fired was a risk she was prepared to take and apparently a risk Maxine was also willing to take.
Detective Morelli was already on the phone with the director when they marched into his office slamming the door behind them. Standing behind the chairs in front of his desk they both glared at him, he wasn't part of this that much was evident but he had to know about this even if he hadn't put the pieces together in his own head yet, Jess was after all Joan Ferguson's niece. Finishing up his call the director asked them to sit, he shifted uncomfortably in his seat as Franky's eyes met his, she meant business he knew her well enough to know that.
“I didn't know there was this connection, your detective friend just filled me in.”
“Yeah?” Franky kept her eyes on him, “Well now ya do, question is what do we do that the police can't do to keep him from getting to Bea again…the three of us in this room are almost the only people in this building who know the entire truth.”
“I had no idea you have to believe me, you have to…I'd heard the name that her ex was using, I was aware that he was connected to Ferguson but I had no idea that Martin King was in fact Harry Smith…Ferguson had her hands in many things the scams and frauds seem to have just been a side line.”
“Not telling me what I don't already know!” Franky frowned. “The fucker has been gone for over ten years and finding out how he's kept such a low profile came as a shock, he could still run again, I'm guessing right now he thinks he's safe, his new name appears to have kept him under the radar all this time.”
“They are putting it all together, I'm assured he's going to be arrested within the next 48 to 72 hours.”
“Again I'm aware of that…this doesn't help Bea or Allie, you have no fuckin idea what this has done.”
Harry sat in the house quite satisfied that by the time the next 24 hours had passed he would have what he wanted, his wife and her little slut dead and his daughter back where she belonged with him. Ten years ago when he'd fallen off that boat he'd thought he was done for right until the second he was hauled out of the water by Joan Ferguson. She was a nasty piece of work he'd seen that as soon as he'd sobered up, her cold, hard unfeeling eyes had bore into him and at the time even he'd felt a little intimidated by her but that was as they say history and she'd helped him get a new identity, given him an unofficial job and paid him well, he was an master manipulator and con man and could easily get what he wanted and now the only thing he wanted was his wife dead. How dare she do this to him, get on with her life as if he had never been part of it, she didn't have to live hidden in the shadows and to add an extra insult to his already bruised ego she moved that little slut in to live under the same roof as his daughter. His flight over to Melbourne was in a few hours and when he arrived she wasn't going to be alive long enough to put up a fight. He'd thought this through, planned this meticulously she'd brought everything on herself, it was her own fault, if she'd have just done as she were told from the start it would never have been this way, he wouldn't have had to live like this he'd have been happy at home with a wife and daughter that belonged to him. That bitch had had him declared dead but here he was very much alive and ready to make her suffer the way he had suffered.