Hey all. I apologise about my severe slackness with updating this... very sorry. Been busy, been sick, been and done it all really!
I'm back at school and really feeling the pressure in some subjects. Others however, like S&E, are a walk in the park. My teacher has sung (yes as in singing!) to us multiple times, given us recipes (in Society & Environment!) and talked about everything and anything ranging from squishing eyeballs, to iPod apps. Have we done any work or learnt anything 'purposeful' so far you may ask. No! 5 bloody weeks of school and nothing! I'd rather stay home than listen to him rabbit on for an hour. I learn more at home too!

Anywho, enough about me. Thank you to my beautiful reviewers from the last chapter. Love you guys! This

I know I haven't had any Clewis, nor Cleo or Lewis singularly for a while, hence this chapter where their 'major' storyline begins to unfold.

Anyway, love reviews my friends... hint, hint!
Make my day... please! xo

Chapter 22 –Burst Your Bubble– by Lior

No-ones POV

"Do you have to go?" Cleo pleaded as she pulled on her boyfriend's hands and heartstrings.

"Yes Cleo. I'm sorry, but it was one of the conditions of me being able to do the course here" he sympathized & reasoned, kissing her on the cheek as a make-up.

"It still sucks" Cleo frowned.

"I know, but Canberra's a heck of a lot closer than The States" Lewis reasoned.

"Yeah, but it's the worst possible time for you to leave."

"I'm sorry Cleo, I really wish I didn't have to go right now too, but it's only for 5 nights."

"I know… I'm so selfish. You've got this awesome course – I should be happy for you and encouraging you, not making it harder for you to go."

"You are not selfish! I can understand why you'd want me all to yourself!" Lewis said smiling cheekily, receiving an expectant hit on the shoulder from Cleo.

"Very funny Lewis" Cleo said sarcastically, pouting at her boyfriend.

"QANTAS flight 6789 Gold Coast to Canberra passengers please proceed to make your way to the boarding gates" an unfamiliar voice said through the airport speakers.

"That's me" Lewis said, checking his ticket.

Taking a deep breath, Cleo wrapped Lewis into a hug, turned kiss, not wanting to lose her support that she desperately needed right now.

Whispering into Cleo's brunette locks, Lewis said "Call me anytime if you need to talk. We can Skype each other too. I'll be back before you know it."

"I know, but what if we get bad news about Bella in that time?"

"She probably just needed to clear her head and she'll be back any day now."

"That's so not Bella though. She would've talked to Will or us girls if something was going on, so why would she just disappear one day and tell no-one why or where she was going. What if she's not alright?"

Gulping, Lewis had to admit Cleo had a valid point. Even in the short time he'd known her, it was clear to him that Bella wasn't the type to just up and leave without letting anyone know, let alone knowing the amount of questions her best friends, boyfriend & parents are left with. Also, to be gone for so long, 2 weeks to be precise, was making it look unlikely that there'd be a happy ending, regardless of the answers to our questions.

Not knowing what else to say, Lewis simply said "You need to stay positive Cleo. Anyway, I gotta go."

Exchanging one last kiss, the boarding announcement for Lewis' plane was played once again.

"Love you""Love you more" the young lovebirds said to each other as Lewis slowly pulled away, leaving Cleo standing there, blowing a kiss to him as he walked towards the boarding gates.

With Cleo watching from afar, Lewis had his ticket scanned, waving once more to her before he walked down the temporary corridor, leading into the plane.

Cleo continued watching him until the plane left, taking her boyfriend out of sight.

Sighing, Cleo thought about what to do next. Considering there was about a million cafés in the airport, it was early in the morning and she was in desperate need of caffeine, Cleo decided to head to one and grab a coffee.

Ordering a skinny latte & grabbing a gossip magazine, Cleo waited at a table for her drink.

As she realized that she'd read that magazine before, her latte arrived, so she grabbed the current newspaper that was lying on the table. Flicking past the politics and a few other boring articles, Cleo was startled when she noticed Bella's picture in the paper, along with an article about her disappearance.

The article mostly explained when she disappeared and gave a few theories as to where or why she might have gone, but at the end it requested anyone who thought they had seen her or had any information on where she was to go to the police.

The article sent shivers down her spine.

Looking at Bella's picture for a few more seconds, she suddenly stood up and walked away from the table and paid, leaving her unfinished coffee and the newspaper with the haunting article on the table.

Racing out of the airport, Cleo started running, but she didn't know where to.

Emma would push her away, Bella was god-knows where, Will was distraught, Lewis was in the air and Rikki had a 'family-thing' with Zane.

Driving out of the car-park, she drove home and raced inside to her room, nearly knocking over Kim and walking into Sam on the way.

Diving onto her bed, Cleo laid down, thinking everything through.

Seconds later there was a knock at the door and a "Cleo?" that's volume was drowned out slightly from the wood of the door.

"Come in" Cleo said, sniffling and sitting up.

"Hey, are you alright?" Sam asked as she walked in and sat at the end of her eldest step-daughters bed.

"I dunno."

"Do you want to talk about it?" Sam gently asked.

Cleo shrugged, before nodding.

"My life just feels like a mess. One of my best friends isn't talking to me, one has disappeared completely, the other has her own problems and Lewis isn't here either."

"Oh Cleo, I'm sorry."

"It's not your fault and I'm sorry for making a fuss about it, but I just feel so overwhelmed with it all."

"I bet."

Having a sudden surge of courage & confidence, Cleo took a deep breath and said "Thanks Sam, but I'll be alright."

Giving her one last reassuring look and smile, Sam realized she was alright, so she silently left Cleo's room.

Checking the clock every 2 minutes, Cleo lay on her bed contemplating her lives many current problems and wished the day away.

Over the day she'd fallen asleep for a little over an hour which helped speed time up until she got the text from Lewis.

'Hey, just landed. Cold compared to Gold Coast. Talk later. Xx Love u'

Was all that the message said, yet it was enough to bring a smile to Cleo's face.

Feeling a burst of enthusiasm and energy, Cleo jumped off her bed and sat at her desk, turning her laptop on and signing into MSN to check whether Lewis was perhaps on.




Are online!

'So much for a 'family thing'' Cleo mentally grumbled seeing that Rikki & Zane were on, but even still, Lewis wasn't on. At least Rikki was, but she was probably talking to Zane, who was probably talking to Nate, she predicted as she pulled up a chat with Rikki.

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: Hi

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Heyyyy

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: How are ya?

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Ok. U?

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: Lonely. Lewis is in Canberra for like nearly a week :((((((

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Yessss! XD

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: RIKKI!

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Ooops … shouldn't say that in front of u

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: No u shouldn't :(

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: I said sorry!

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: Uh no u didn't!

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: ;)

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: You're evil!

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: So Zane tells me…

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: Sigh. So what's up?

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Da sky

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: I'm just starting to remember how annoying u r to cyber-talk to :(

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: U luv it! ;)

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: Wateva...

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: OH! OH! Guess wat!

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: Wat?

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Ur meant 2 guess!

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: Ummm, u realized ur annoying 2 talk 2 on here?

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Haha, close. Denman's back.

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: WHAT! Denman as in close-to-ruining-our-life Doctor Denman?

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Bingo

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: OMG! Why? How do u kno?

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Long, messed up & awful story. Main things r, not only is Denman back, but her & Zane's Dad r engaged and Barry (evil fish guy) is her brother

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: *Cyber faints*

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Cleo...

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: Trying to process all this and it's not working

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Tell me about it…

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: So Denman is evil fish guys sister and Denman's marrying Harrison?

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Yup

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: OMG

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: I kno

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: Wait a minute… why the heck r they getting married?

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Oh that's the other thing. She knos about me again. Harrison used the proposal as a tactic 2 try and stop her, but I'm worried she's gunna get his money and her fame

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: OMG - I'm honestly speechless

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: So it takes an evil scientist, a dodgy engagement and an added threat to get u 2 shut up! Wish I knew earlier! :(

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: RIKKI! Our lives are like a living drama movie right now and you're JOKING!

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Pretty muchhhh!

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: *Sigh*

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: I luv that word! I luv any word with g and h. Don't ask y…

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: RIKKI!

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Soz

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: Any news about Bella?

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: No…

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: I'm really worried.

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Im sure she's fine Cleo

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: She's left out of the blue & didn't tell us, her family or Will? That's not Bella!

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Still….

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: Okay I really need to talk to Lewis :/

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Calm down Cleo! What's the worst that could happen?

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: That Bella's dead and we end up either in labs or shows for the rest of our lives!

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: That's positive and Bella's not going anywhere!

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: Oh really? Well where is she now?

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Beside da point…

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: No it's not!

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Wateva. Anyway g2g. Byeee

Cleo_Loves_Lewis_Ronnie_and_Hector: Don't leave! I need 2 panic about it to u!

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain: Bye!

Rikki_Luvs_Zane_the_Pain is now offline!

Cleo's POV

Sighing and stressed, I logged off and checked the clock on my desk.

8:13pm. 8:13pm. 8:13pm.

Taking one last look at the clock, I smiled as I realized Lewis had probably finished unpacking and all that by now.

I grabbed my phone from next to my bed and started texting:

'R u free 2 talk now?'

Seconds later, my phone went off with a reply saying 'Yeh, go on Skype.'

Again logging onto my laptop again, I waited as I fixed my hair and made sure I looked even half alright, just for my own piece of mind, not that Lewis would care.

Lewis had already beat me on and as soon as I logged in, he sent me a request. Accepting it, I adjusted the position of my laptop screen.

"Hey you!" Lewis greeted me.

"Hi, how's Canberra?" I said smiling, although my mind was racing a hundred miles an hour with negativity.

"Freezing cold! Living on the Gold Coast your whole life does not help you adapt to rain very well!" Lewis joked.

"Hey are you alright?" Lewis added concerned when I didn't respond.

"Sort of… a lot's going on. Did you know Denman's back?"

"WHAT! No I didn't! How do you know?"

"I was talking to Rikki, and Denman & Zane's Dad are engaged now."

"Oh whoa! As in Harrison Bennett?"

"Yeah… how many other dads has Zane got?"

"Right, well, wow!"

"Tell me about it… guess who else is back too?"

Lewis eyes widened in panic "Charlotte!"

I shook my head, thankful he was wrong. That was the last thing we'd need at the moment. "No, evil fish guy who Rikki wanted to kill."

"Hell! What was his name again? Barry Rollins or something?"

"Was. He's real name is Leo Denman."


"Yeah he's her little brother."

"Wow. Um, this is not processing. I'm not gonna be able to concentrate on anything scientific with all that going on back there!"

"Yeah. How is it going there by the way?"

"Yeah good, we just had a bit of an introduction today, met the people we're rooming with and got settled in the cabins. The real stuff starts tomorrow."

"Oh cool. How many guys are you sharing with? Hopefully they don't snore!" I joked, feeling a bit better having vented about my nervousness in Lewis.

"Just the one guy. He seems nice enough."

"That's good!"

"Yeah, I can't chat long, he's gonna be back soon but I'll call you tomorrow. Alright?"

"That's fine. I work from 1 to 5 tomorrow."

"Okay. Anyway, I might hit the sack. I'm still sort of drowsy from the flight, so I might have an early night ready for tomorrow."

"Alright. Have a good sleep, love you" I said, blowing a kiss in the direction of my webcam.

"Love you too!" Lewis said, mirroring my action.

"Okay bye!" I said, turning Skype off.

Sighing, I turned my laptop off and flopped onto my bed. Not even boring to change into my pyjamas, I laid on my bed, tossing and turning with worries.

'5 more nights and then Lewis'll be back' I kept telling myself over and over again in my mind.

5 nights.

6 days later

As I ran down the stairs to have breakfast, I bounced around with a spring in my step.

"What's up with you?" Kim frowned as I passed her.

"Lewis comes home today!" I said excitedly, momentarily forgetting my hatred for my younger sister.

"Oh great! I enjoyed not having Tweedle-Dumb around" Kim groaned, walking up the stairs that I'd just come down from.

Frowning slightly at my sisters insult towards my boyfriend, I left it be, continuing to walk into the kitchen where my Dad and Sam were eating breakfast and drinking coffee.

"Good morning!" I said chirpily, grabbing a slice of bread and sticking it into the toaster swiftly.

"Morning sweetheart" Dad said in-between a sip of coffee.

"Morning Cleo" Sam smiled as she spread Vegemite on her toast with a knife.

"Doesn't Lewis get back today?" Dad asked me.

"Yep! I survived 5 whole days without him! I'm very proud of myself" I gloated.

"I noticed you were much happier" Dad commented.

"What do you mean? I'm always happy!" I debated.

"Not for the last 5 days you haven't been."

I hit Dad's shoulder playfully before returning to the toaster.

"I'm gonna pretend you didn't just say that!"

"But it's the truth! You hardly moved from your home and you were so somber and quiet! It was like someone died."

"Thanks Dad…" I said sarcastically.

"Do you want a lift to the airport to pick up Lewis? Or are his parents going?"

"Neither. A guy from the thing lives around this area and said he'd drop him off and Lewis wanted us to meet each other anyway, so it kills two birds with one stone."

"That's good he made a friend. When did his flight get in?"

"20 minutes ago, so he should be here soon, but it just depends on traffic and how long it took getting off the plane and getting luggage" I said smiling as I took a bite into my jam-spread toast, leaning against the kitchen counter.

I was so excited that even my toast tasted better than normal.

"Want a coffee Cleo?" Sam asked, but before I had time to respond, there was a knock at the door, triggering me to jump up, drop my toast on the nearest plate and race off to answer the door.

Opening it to see Lewis, I beamed as we immediately wrapped our arms around each other in the doorway.

"I missed you" I said into Lewis's neck where my head was resting.

"I missed you too. It's good to be back" he replied as his face turned to mine, where we exchanged a kiss.

Pulling away from the embrace, Lewis walked out the door as he said "Oh I better get my bags from the car."

Following him onto my driveway where an unfamiliar car was parked, I saw the boot where Lewis was headed was open, with a familiar head popping out a few seconds later.

I stood still in shock seeing the face.

"Oh right! Cleo, this is Ryan Andrews. Ryan this is my girlfriend, Cleo Sertori" Lewis said stepping into the space between the Ryan & I, pointing to each of us.

I opened my mouth to start asking questions, but Ryan bet me to it, holding his hand saying "Hi Cleo, good to put a name to the face that Lewis spent a week talking about."

In shock, I shook his hand. I was too stunned to do or say anything else.

Why did Ryan just act like we've never met before?

One man's heart should be another man's problem
I'm sure you agree
All this aint gonna just go away
I don't mean to burst your bubble but seriously!

Ooooh! So Ryan's back in the mix now too! Why is he acting so clueless? What trouble is that going to bring between Cleo & Lewis if he finds out his new friend and girlfriend lied to him?

Next chapter we dig deeper into Bella's disappearance and Will is interviewed by the police. Also, some new-found evidence in the case is going to just create more confusion and questions about Bella's disappearance, and more specifically, whereabouts.

Anyway, until next time, please, please review! I love them so much and I really appreciate you guys taking the time out to R & R my stories... means a lot to an aspiring writer.