Jodie, Kate, Regan, Nick and Tess sit for dinner.
Upstairs Alex has showered and quietly enters Stevie's room.
Night has fallen but a soft light still illuminates the room and he stands over her smiling.
She's curled up in the foetal position her beautiful auburn hair draped across her pillow.
Carefully he slides onto the bed behind her and gentle places his arm under her head.
In a sound sleep she snuggles in.
Inhaling, he drinks in the essence of her.
She'll still be angry at him when she wakes but he's going nowhere and for now he just needs to hold her.
"Is Alex coming down for dinner?"Kate asks.
"I don't think so, but we'll plate up two serves and leave them in the fridge in case they're hungry later."Tess replies.
Jodie tries asking questions but Tess changes the subject and draws conversations from the others.
Nick and Regan are discussing soils and Nick uses her knowledge to form a new project for the crops they're due to plant.
"Regan would you run a series of soil samples for me on Drover's and Wilgul?"Nick asks.
"Yes of course so you need the best soil types for which grains?"Regan asks.
"I'll give you a list in the morning if that's ok." Nick replies.
Dave arrives and talk turns to Africa.
"So when do you leave Dave?"Jodie asks.
He glances at Kate and replies. "As soon as we can get all of our needles."
Kate adds "We're booked into the Doctors on Monday and so long as everything goes well we'll leave here Monday week."
Jodie feels her eyes prick with tears and says "So soon?"
Kate smiles at her friend and rising walks over and hugs her saying. "Now you'll have a cool place to visit!"
Jodie nods her head as she wipes her eyes unable to speak.
Everyone looks up as a loud thump is heard from upstairs.
"Bloody hell Stevie what did you do that for?"Alex says sitting on the floor beside her bed.
Angrily but still half asleep she yells "What you speak to me like rubbish in the afternoon and then think you can just slither into my bed hours later!"
"You didn't have to push me out of the bloody bed!"He yells at her.
"Get out of my room Alex! Now!"She yells.
"No I won't Stevie I want to protect you, take care of you." He offers.
"I can take care of myself thanks very much." She yells.
"Tess told me what happened today Stevie." Alex growls
"I think it's safe to say Stevie's awake!"Nick quips.
Tess says "Jodes turn the cd player on. We don't need to hear this."
Jodie grins and says "Yes we do Tess."
Everyone laughs when Tess replies "Even with the music on you'll be able to hear them."
Jodie rises and turns the music up but as Tess suggested they can still hear the argument raging upstairs.
For over ten minutes they try to keep the conversation going but the yelling from upstairs is very distracting.
Stevie storms downstairs closely followed by Alex.
"Stevie wait up." Alex calls.
"Go to hell Alex and stop following me." She yells.
In the dining room everyone is quiet waiting for Stevie and Alex to arrive.
They don't have to wait long.
Stevie arrives and hands on her hips looks at Tess and says. "What I told you was confidential Tess! Why would you tell him?"
Tess stands and softly replies. "Harry could have hurt you today Stevie I told Alex because he should know what Harry is doing. You're my friend and I don't want to see put in danger.
Nick adds. "Tess is right Stevie what Harry did was dangerous and Alex has a right to know."
Stevie glares at the both of them, shakes her head turns and walks from the room.
"Stevie can you stand still and talk to me please?" Alex calls.
"Go away Alex and leave me alone!" She yells.
In the dining room they all chuckle quietly when Jodie quips "If looks could kill the two of you would be dead."
Jodie turns the music down and the group listens as Stevie stomps back upstairs.
A door slamming ends the noise briefly.
The group listens and hear Alex knock and yells. "Stevie open the bloody door, we need to talk."
"Go away Alex. I have nothing to say" She yells back.
"Well I do Stevie. I love you and I deserve better than this." He yells.
Downstairs Kate places her hand over her heart and says "Oh that's so sad him saying he loves her through a door."
There is a silence in the house while they wait for the next episode.
Stevie sits on the bed arms folded and a frown on her face.
Alex leans on the door jamb waiting for her to open the door.
Downstairs everyone holds their breath.
Either you open the bloody door Stevie or I'll kick it in! Don't you dare shut me out" He yells.
"You wouldn't dare Alex!" She yells back.
Downstairs they wait.
Everyone jumps when there is an almighty crashing sound from upstairs as Alex's foot kicks the door in and pieces of the door jamb splinters.
Stevie squeals in fright.
Alex walks into the room.
Stevie yells. "How bloody dare you Alex! Get out of my room!"
Downstairs you can hear a pin drop and they strain to hear.
"I'm not going anywhere Stevie this is my room too."He yells at her.
"Are you insane Alex your room is on Kilarney not here?"She growls.
"No Stevie I'm not going back there not after what Harry has done to you."He states.
She stops and stares at him and asks "What are you talking about?"
"Tess told me what Harry's been up to all these weeks. It should have been you telling me Stevie that's our business not Tess's. How can I protect you and take care of you if I don't know there is a problem?" Alex asks.
Her demeanour softens and she offers. "But he's your Father Alex."
His grins and quips "And you will be the Mother of my children."
She stands looking very uncomfortable; he notices her eyes full of tears.
She looks around the room everywhere but into his eyes and he waits.
Finally her eyes fall into his.
He smiles at her and says. "Stevie I love you please don't shut me out."
She tries to say I love you too Alex but the words get lost somewhere between her tears and the lump in her throat.
He steps forward and offers the comfort of his embrace.
Safely there, she cries.
He holds her tightly kissing the top of her head letting his lips touch the skin along her neck.
Her skin prickles at his touch.
Nick looks up and says "The yelling has stopped."
Regan asks. "Is that a good sign?"
Tess quips. "It means one of two things either she's killed him or she's kissing him and I'd place fifty bucks on the later."
Dave quips "I'll take that bet Tess."
Everyone laughs and continues chatting about Dave and Kate and their African adventure.
Alex holds her while she cries and then he grabs a tissue from the box on the dresser and handing it too her quips "I'd like to kiss you now if you'd like to clean yourself up first."
She blows her nose and then laughs and says "I must look dreadful."
"Its moonlight Stevie you look ok."He offers.
"Ok is good at this point."She says smiling at him.
Alex looks around the room and releasing her walks over and picks up a set of bedside draws and places them against the door as it no longer clips closed.
"What are you doing that for?" Stevie asks.
Grinning he replies. "Well just in case you want to make love to me. We don't want an audience do we?"
A smile sweeps across her face.