Franky knew she couldn't tell Allie or Bea what she knew, Harry was sitting in Sydney and no one but him knew what he had planned. Sitting in her office that morning she was on edge, she couldn't get the thought out of her head that things were about to turn ugly, even knowing that the police in Sydney were watching the house that he was currently occupying didn't make her feel any easier, he was slimy everyone who had ever known him knew that but he had the gift of the gab and always managed to talk his way out of things. This time had to be different he'd reappeared from where ever he'd been hiding and Franky wasn't about to let him fuck with her best friend again even if she was already doing a fantastic job of fucking up the best thing she'd ever found.
Harry was so convinced that no one would even know he was back as he strode out of the house to the waiting taxi, so convinced that he didn't even see the detectives watching him, and until this day he was always very alert always aware of his surroundings and the people around him, he had one thing on his mind and that was revenge for the perceived wrongs that Bea had done to him. She shouldn't even be alive he knew that, if Franky hadn't have found her she wouldn't be, this time Franky wouldn't get to her in time he thought, he had everything planned out and nothing was going to stop him. His life for the last ten years had been hell, doing all the dirty jobs that Ferguson has ordered him to do but she was in London now, she wouldn't mention him even if she did get caught because Harry knew too much, had seen too much and as his insurance policy had evidence to prove everything she had ever done wrong over the last ten years. He had a new identity waiting for him and once he did this one last thing he was taking Debbie and he would be a ghost again, no one would suspect him because he was a dead man, he didn't exist, Bea had got caught up in something that had caused this that's how it mapped out in his head so when they found her and Allie dead and Debbie missing the police would surly dig into her little sluts past putting two and two together they would come up with five and he'd be home free. The things he didn't know, things he couldn't know or imagine was that when he got there he wasn't going to find anyone but an empty house.
Arriving at the hotel Harry was still completely unaware that he had been followed even though the detectives had been sitting directly behind him on the plane, he was lost in a world of his own, one where Bea had crossed the line and he wouldn't rest until she was beaten again and his thoughts weren't just about beating her down again until she gave in and did exactly as she was told he wanted her dead. There was no place that she could hide where he wouldn't find her, he'd known precisely where she was for last nine years and he was going to destroy her. At first when he started planning he didn't care how it happened, he just wanted her to suffer before he saw the life drain from her eyes and she would be extinguished from the universe. There were no rules for him to play by because he was meant to be dead, he was going to get in and get out before anyone could have even guessed that it was him but then Bea had complicated things by asking Allie to move in with them and his plan had to be changed, only Harry wasn't as smart as he thought he was and he forgot that Franky would always fight Beas corner. Allie agreeing to sell the house at the first offer was what he had expected but he hadn't planned on her feeling uneasy about the sale and asking for help to find out who had purchased it, naturally Harry thought that nothing could go wrong and his assumption was of course completely wrong by the time he figured it out it would be too late.
Allie couldn't settle the moment she had stepped into her office, even though she thought Bea would be sitting in her office something didn't feel right and after an hour she had called Maxine only to be told that Bea had called in sick and was working from home. Leaving her office she had walked round the finance department until lunch time trying to find anything to do to take her mind off what was bothering her, Franky showing up and telling her they were going to lunch gave her an excuse to ask about what she must have heard by now.
“Beas called in sick?” Allie asked as they sat down in their usual spot in the diner, sighing a little when the realisation that Bea wasn't going to walk in anytime soon washed over her.
“Yeah she did…listen Al she's only trying to keep you safe…she doesn't think clearly when that prick is involved in anything, ya didn't see half of what he put her through.”
“I know, but how does her being alone and not knowing where he is or what he's going to do help? I shouldn't be sitting here while she's thinking god knows what.”
“Just hang in there, she loves ya everyone knows that…I've seen her like this before, she pushes everyone away because she doesn't know what else to do just cos she thinks she needs to handle all the crap alone.”
“She shouldn't be alone Franky…I need to be there.”
“Hey I know, she doesn't see things the same way we do, she's told ya what he did to her but you never saw it…I saw it first hand when she stopped pushing me away. Didn't give up on her then and I ain't givin up on her now, just don't give up, she'll realise, maybe when it's too late, what she's done.”
“I'll never give up on her…I won't let her push me away, I might have left her alone yesterday but I'm not walking away, I couldn't even if I tried…”
Bea felt uneasy, she was tired and angry, angry that for the last ten years no one, not even Franky, had believed that Harry was still alive and angry at herself for what she had said to Allie. Allie was the only one who had never said that she thought she was wrong but the more she thought about it maybe Allie just hadn't disagreed with her reasoning because she didn't want to hurt her feelings, Allie had said very little about what Bea thought and she wished she was here right now but she'd made her leave and now every second felt like an hour of harsh loneliness. When she first heard Harry's name come out of Franky's mouth the need for solitude, to escape everything and everyone was unbearable and right now she was regretting everything she had thought and said because being alone, especially being without Allie left her feeling cold and more afraid than anything Harry could possibly do. Being alone just left her full of anguish but she couldn't call Allie, how could she expect her to even want to talk to her after everything she had said to her? Sitting alone in the kitchen she couldn't rid herself of the feeling of emptiness that was slowly filling her with a howling storm of fear that she felt certain was never going to let up. She felt utterly alone in her mind, body and soul and she had no one to blame but herself.
Allie still couldn't rest after lunch, talking to Franky helped her understand why Bea did what she did a little better but it didn't make the whole situation feel any better and after an hour she decided she was going home. Telling Linda that she was going to work from home for the rest of the day was the easy part. Calling for a taxi she sat on the steps outside the building and waited trying to think of what she was going to say to Bea, she had to get her to understand that she wasn't going to let her push her away, not now, not ever.
Bea sat with her head in her hands, she hated this version of herself hated being filled with a bitterness that she couldn't control. She wanted to see Harry six feet under so she could turn and walk away without a single tear, she'd been consumed with hatred for him since she'd first been told that he was missing and it had taken root. Having Allie by her side it had lessened but right now hate burned so deep in her heart like a volcano just waiting to erupt.
Allie arrived outside the house, slipping her hand into her bag she retrieved her keys as she approached the front door before slipping them back into her bag, it didn't feel right walking back into the house. Knocking on the door she listened but heard no movement, Beas car was sitting in the drive and she was certain that she wouldn't have gone anywhere on foot, Franky had told her exactly how Bea acted every year on the anniversary of Harry's disappearance so she was convinced that she would be sitting in the house somewhere. Knocking again louder she heard footsteps on the other side of the door.
“Bugger off Franky I'm fine.” Bea shouted through the closed door.
“I'm not leaving this time…I'll sit out here on the step for the next month if I have to. You sent Debbie to stay with Liz and I understand why but I'm not going away.”
“Allie.” Bea whispered to herself as she tried to pull herself together, taking a deep breath she raised her voice, “I don't want you here.”
“That's crap and we both know it…you shouldn't be alone and I know you don't want this. I won't let him hurt you, I've stood up to tougher people than him before.”
“Don't you get it? You can't stand up to him, you can't stop him…I can't let him hurt you…I won't.” Bea couldn't hold back the sobs that escaped her anymore, just the thought of Harry getting within a mile of Allie scared the life out of her.
“And you appear to not be listening to me, I'm not leaving…you can tell me to leave but I'm not moving if you really want me to leave you're just going to have to come out here and make me, and if I have to call Franky to get your mum and dads number so help me I will…someone needs to talk some sense into you and if it's not going to be me then I'm quite willing to call your mum and have her do it.”
Bea rested her forehead against the cold wood of the door, she knew Allie was serious then she wondered why she hadn't just let herself in after all she had her keys with her that much she knew. It felt insane to smile but then she realised why she hadn't, Allie never pushed her into anything, she'd made her leave and even though she had and she hated herself for doing it here Allie was standing on the other side of that door telling her she wasn't leaving and she wouldn't she'd just wait until she was ready to let her in the same way she'd waited for Bea to work out how she was really feeling.
The worst thing Bea knew she could be was a coward, she wasn't, Harry was the coward he ran away and left her for dead and Allie certainly wasn't a coward, she was exactly like Franky and she could just picture both of them fronting up to Harry if it meant keeping him away from her. A coward will sacrifice anything to save themselves and that was what he had done and now he was probably even more of a monster than he had been. Pushing Allie away wasn't the right thing to do and she knew that she would call her mum or get Franky to do it and the second her dad found out that Harry was back he would hunt him down. At the time making Allie leave felt like the only logical thing to do but right now it felt stupid, if Harry were to turn up right that second it wouldn't be Bea he'd confront but Allie, right now that logic was rendered stupid in the worst possible way. Opening the door slowly Bea was confronted with the brightest smile, a smile she'd missed all day, a smile she loved so much.
“You better come in.” Bea said as she turned and walked back into the house.
Closing the door behind herself Allie followed her through to the living room. “I'm not going to argue with you so if you want to shout and scream at me then just get it over with because I'm not leaving, I won't let you shut me out again…”
Bea sat down and looked up at Allie, she was in no mood to argue with anyone especially Allie. “I'm not going to shout or scream…hasn't done me any good has it?” She shrugged, “I hate you not being here…I hate myself for making you leave.”
Allie sat next to Bea and took her hand in hers, “I didn't want to leave you, if Franky hadn't have been here I wouldn't have left you no matter how hard you tried to make me leave. I know I don't know him like you do but I've come face to face with plenty of people like him. What Jess did to me…I shouldn't have let it get that far but I'm not like her…or like him, I couldn't have ever laid a finger on her but that doesn't mean that I don't know how to take care of myself because I do…you can't live out on the streets and not figure it out.”
“I know.” Bea whispered, “He's an animal…if he hurt you I don't know what I'd do, I…I…can't lose you, he took enough from me years ago I won't let him take you away from me.”
“He won't, I can't leave you here alone so don't try and make me leave because I won't, not this time.”
Harry sat in his hotel room still oblivious to the fact that the place was under surveillance, he wouldn't be able to make a move outside the hotel without being followed. Standing by the window he checked the time, an hour to go before he had to leave for his meeting, his mobile ringing quickly caught his attention.
“Thought I told you not to call me.”
“And I wouldn't have but I got a message from auntie Joan, she needs your help…she's being flown back to Melbourne in the next couple of days…you have to get her out of this.”
“And why would I do that? I've got enough on her to put her away for the rest of her life, she might think she's untouchable but trust me sweetheart she ain't. You might have done me a little favour letting me know what my wife's been up to but I don't owe you anything.”
“Auntie Joan has enough evidence to put you away too so you need to help her, you know she'll make it worth your while.”
“Not this time Jess…not gonna happen, I've got things to take care of and I thought you wanted your ex out of the way for good…I'll take care of my business then I'll disappear, no one will find me, me or my daughter.”
He ended the call and turned his phone off, he should have known Jess would be trouble but since she was Joan's niece he'd figured that it was better to stay on the right side of Joan. But Joan got herself arrested and she hadn't covered her tracks as well as she thought she had. Harry laughed to himself, ‘wasn't hard to uncover what she tried to keep hidden,’ he thought to himself. He was sick of her telling him what to do, Jess telling him that Bea was with her ex had angered him more than anything ever had, it was simple let Joan finally get caught for her crimes and take down his wife and her little blonde no one would or could ever suspect a dead man. Knowing Allies history had made his planning all the easier, he'd take Debbie and run.
Checking the time once more he decided to leave a little earlier, he would usually do his deals at night in a smokey bar but this time it was different, he'd never dealt with this guy before but he'd come highly recommend by one of his contacts and since he'd never actually needed the use of a weapon before, his fists had always served him well in the past but this was different he needed to make sure that this complication in his life was taken care of for good. Making his way over to an old warehouse near the Bolte Bridge the detectives following him couldn't believe quite how stupid he was, maybe he was just used to feeling safe, ten years without being sighted once by anyone who recognised him was obviously responsible for his confidence. Staying out of sight the detectives watched as an beaten up van pulled up ten minutes later and a guy they recognised jumped out, walked round to the back doors he opened them showing Harry everything he had for sale. Thirty minutes later Harry handed over a roll of notes before stuffing the gun in his inside jacket pocket. The van took off quickly, no amount of money was worth getting caught for and Harry had paid twice what the gun was worth. Harry adjusted his jacket and cricked his neck before walking away, his plan was coming together, he knew where Bea lived he had plenty of minions willing to do the dirty work for him after dark he would leave the hotel for the last time, no need to check out he had a flight booked for him and Debbie, all their new identity documents were ready he was confident that no one would ever find them.
Franky was less than impressed when she received a phone call just as she was about to leave the office, Detective Morelli sounded rather excited as he filled her in.
“Ya gotta be fuckin kiddin me, you let him buy a fuckin gun…he's gonna kill both of em.”
“Franky I can assure you he won't, there's an unmarked car waiting for you in the car park, you need to follow the detectives over to Beas and make them leave with you is her daughter at home with them?”
“What?…No…no she's with Liz and the fucker doesn't know where she lives, shit how do you know where Allie is?”
“I've had people watching them both all day calm down for now their safe but we have to get them out of that house.”
Franky wasn't convinced that he knew what he was doing but she wasn't going to give Harry a chance to get anywhere near Bea or Allie for that matter. After running out of the building she spotted the detectives giving them a thumbs up before jumping in her car. She worried all the way over to Beas assuming that she was going to walk into a war zone, she knew how Bea would get when Harry's name was even mentioned sometimes and Allie going back over to the house was likely to have caused another argument. To her surprise when she approached the front door she didn't hear any raised voices, choosing not to knock she let herself in surprised to find them cuddled up on the sofa fast asleep. Any other day she would have simply turned around and left them alone but she couldn't, gently shaking Allie she laughed when she got told to piss off.
“Al come on ya both gotta wake up.”
“Franky…” Allie wined, “Who even let you in?”
“Got a spare key don't I? Come on wake Red up we gotta go, I'll explain on the way over to Liz’s”
Bea wasn't happy about being woken up, the previous nights lack of sleep had really caught up with her and finding Franky standing over them took her mood down a notch or two especially when Franky said they had to leave. Getting in Franky's car Bea demanded to know the whole truth the second Franky took off.
“Are they sure he has no idea where Liz lives?”
“I'm told he doesn't, shit Red let's just get there yeah? I'll call Gidge get her to come over as soon as she finishes work, then I'll call Booms, no way he's gettin in even if he does.”
Harry walked out of the hotel for the second time that day with a bag slung over his shoulder, everything he was going to need for his new life was in that bag, he'd had far less that day Joan had found him so he knew everything was going to work out just fine, at least in his mind it was. He was thinner than he used to be, his skin in the dying light looked as pale as a glass of milk. He lurked in the shadows as much as he could as he prepared to walk the five miles to Beas address, he thought he would be like a cobra seeking its prey, his eyes wide and as black as inky pools, dark shadows under his sunken eyes. He was ready to finish what he started years ago, checking his pocket one last time he felt the cold metal of the gun and smiled to himself, a bright false smile that to anyone passing by would make him seem friendly. Harry was a good thief, he'd proved that time and time again but murder had always been something he'd left to other people, not this time though, this was personal. After all his months of preparations he felt like he'd earned this, to see the fear in Beas eyes for one last time when she knew it was really the end, he was going to enjoy this, enjoy it even more when he made her watch Allie die first.
Bea felt her anger rising even more the more she heard and when she finally spoke she spoke with a coldness that even Franky had never heard before.
“I'm gonna kill the fucker if no one else does, I want to dig a fucking hole and throw him in it, throw shovels full of earth on top of him until he's fucking drowning in it. I'll stand there and watch the bastard suffocate, I want to be there the second he doesn't exist in the world anymore. He took everything from me before and now he wants to take Debbie and Allie away from me?”
Detective Morelli had never intended for Bea to be told everything but after Franky had called him telling him that if he didn't get over there soon Bea was ready to go looking for him. Boomer had tried to calm her down, Liz and Allie had tried everything they could think of but she wanted to hear the truth from the detective on the case.
“He's under close surveillance, if he can't be arrested for any reason he won't walk away.”
“And you can guarantee that?”
“I can, we have a specialist response team in place surrounding your house, you also have some very accommodating neighbours, he won't walk away, he won't go missing again…he has an attempted murder charge hanging over his head and we are perusing other lines of enquiry, we know he was working for Joan Ferguson and she had her hands into some real dodgy dealings.”
Be wasn't convinced but the second Allie wrapped her arms around her this time she started to relax.
A member of the special response team had positioned himself in a bush, mother nature he said always provided the best camouflage, nothing else ever came close. He watched as Harry approached the house, his senses sharpened with adrenaline, he held his breath as he watched him bang on the door, once, twice then a third time.
“I know you're in there bitch, just open the fucking door, let's end this so I can take what belongs to me.” Harry shouted at the top of his voice.
He shifted a little getting comfortable in the prone position looking through the scope on his high powered rifle as he heard a helicopter whizz past overhead before all hell seemed to break loose around him, officers darted around from their hiding positions yelling at Harry as he reached into his jacket pocket, retrieving the gun he pointed it at an officer and squeezed the trigger.
“Back off before you all get a bullet, I'm here for my wife and that bitch!”
“Not gonna happen Harry, they aren't here.” Another officer yelled back.
Harry turned the gun on another officer, “You fucking get them here now or you all die.”
Looking down the scope he had a clear shot, one officer was already down as he waited for permission to take the shot. The second he heard what he had been waiting for he checked the wind speed and distance once more, no one heard the thud as he took the safety off and pulled the trigger, the bullet spat out, red in the darkness hitting Harry square in the chest and propelling him backwards before he fell to the ground. Officers raced over to him one kicking the gun from his hand, the bullet wound in his chest just a dark red hole as he fought for every breath. As he lay on the ground slowly slipping into unconsciousness his shame and insecurities transformed into a greater hatred for Bea, he always said he hated her for trapping him but he knew it was all of his own making and sometimes even he hated what he had done to her but he'd never had the courage to face up to what he did, it was far easier for him to lose himself in the theatrics that played out in his head casting himself as the victim than to ever admit every ounce of the truth. He knew what he'd done, everyone did, he'd beaten the person he claimed to love, the person who'd taken more than any other person could take several times over. Now he was the one begging for help with the last breaths in his body, no one had any real concern for him as he lay on the ground bleeding.