From the homestead the audience watches as Alex, Marcus, Bryce and Stevie stand talking.
They hear voices raised in anger and watch as Marcus moves to push his Father.
"Hey hey! Enough of that! He's an old man Marcus!" Alex yells as he stands between Marcus and Bryce.
In the next thirty seconds Marcus will regret his next move.
Stevie reaches to take Marcus's arm and he forcefully shrugs her off.
Unbalanced she drops to the ground landing on her bottom and in one swift movement Alex swings and punches Marcus to the ground.
Inside Nick and the audience gasp at the scene outside.
By the time they reach the smaller group Stevie is on her feet and majorly pissed off.
"What in the hell do you think you're doing Alex?"She yells at him.
Shocked he glares at her and says "Me? It was bloody Marcus that knocked you over."
Alex is red in the face and he turns on Marcus and yells "If you ever lay a hand on my wife ever again I'll kill you Marcus brother or not. Do you understand?"
"Oh you are unbelievable Ryan!" Stevie yells at Alex.
Alex looks at her and says "Now what have I bloody done."
Marcus is grinning watching Stevie and Alex fight.
Bryce is mildly amused as well.
Stevie yells at him "What Marcus did was an accident Alex there was no need to punch him!"
Alex stands glaring down at her and offers. "I thought he'd hurt you!"
"Well most normal men would have checked to see if I was actually hurt!"She growls.
"Oh what so now I'm not normal? Geez this just gets better and better Stevie!"He snarls.
She stands with her arms folded trying not to grin.
He looks at her and notices she's biting her lip trying not to smile.
He quips "How's ya bum?"
She shrugs her shoulders and says "It's ok! A little bit dusty."
A smile spreads across his face and he states "Turn around and I'll give it a little dust off for ya."
She turns and he gentle dusts her off then with her butt cheek in his palm he squeezes.
He turns her too him , hugs her then reaches to kiss her.
"Are you ok?"He whispers.
"If you calm down I will be. New year ,new day , new start." She replies softly.
When Alex releases her Marcus moves forward and says "Stevie I'm really sorry I didn't know it was you. I would never intentionally hurt a women."
He holds out his hand to shake her hand but she moves forward and hugs him instead.
He glances at Alex and pokes his tongue out at him.
Alex laughs .
Stevie looks at Alex and says "What's so funny?
"Marcus just poked his tongue out at me!"Alex states.
Stevie shakes her head and says "Alex grow up."
"Me !"He laughs and adds. "He did Stevie!"
Marcus grins and shakes his head and replies "I think I'm a little bit old for that kind of behaviour Alex."
Stevie has her arm around Marcus's waist and says "Come on lets go back inside and you can all calm down and talk like adults."
"Sounds like a plan."Marcus says as he sticks his finger up at Alex who is behind them.
Softly Stevie says to Marcus. "What are you five Marcus? No poking out tongues and no rude gestures."
Grinning he looks down at her and says "What have you got eyes in the back of your head?"
"No the living room window!"She laughs.
He looks forward and watches their reflection as they move towards the house.
He decides she'll make a great sister-in -law.
Inside Alex, Marcus and Bryce sit in the kitchen and discuss several issues .
Alex is full of questions and Marcus is as well.
Both men are angry with their Father but at the same time curious about each other.
Marcus is angry when he learns about Erin and Sara the sisters he had never been told about.
Surprisingly Alex manages to calm Marcus.
Bryce appreciates that Alex is trying to smooth things for all of them so they can move forward.
Part of the way through Alex stops Bryce talking and says "If it's alright with you I'd like to bring Nick in on this conversation Bryce. Marcus is my brother and so is Nick and you and Mum are together I think we need to include Nick from now on."
Bryce agrees and Alex brings Nick into the kitchen and the four men continue talking.
Nick is amazed and amused by Alex's behaviour during the discussions.
Alex is normally a hot head and not one for listening and taking on other peoples point of view and yet Nick watches while Alex does both.
An hour passes and the discussions continue.
Regan, Kate , Jodie and Dave have left earlier and leave Stevie, Tess, Grace and Liz waiting for the men.
Grace feels very uncomfortable so Stevie takes her outside for a walk.
"Wow Stevie I'm really sorry about all of this !"Grace says.
Stevie grins and says "You have nothing to apologize for Grace how were you supposed to know Marcus was related to us."
Grace laughs and offers. "I'll have to hang onto him Stevie and we'll be sister-in-laws."
"He's seems like a nice guy Grace you could do a lot worse."Stevie advises.
They walk around the farm and chatter on about all sorts of things.
"How are you feeling Stevie?"Grace asks.
Stevie smiles at her friend and says "I'm getting there Grace. Physically I'm fine."
Grace nods and offers sadly. "You'll mark every milestone that should have been."
Stevie stops walking and studies her friend.
"When did it happen to you Grace?" Stevie asks.
Grace looks at her and replies . "Six years ago. I was nine weeks pregnant to my then boyfriend. We were so excited and when the baby died our relationship did too."
Stevie hugs her tightly ."I'm so sorry Grace."
"It's ok Stevie if that hadn't happen I wouldn't have won my rodeo titles and ended up here with Marcus. I am the happiest I've ever been in my entire life. Things happens for a reason and we don't always understand why at the time. Grieve for your baby Stevie but move on and look forward."Grace says smiling .
Stevie feels something lift inside her and she knows Grace's words have helped her and she's thankful for the friends in her life.
Walking back to the house the two women chatter on about days gone by and rodeo friends.
They laugh and their hearts are happy.
Late in the evening Tess, Nick , Grace and Marcus have returned to Drover's Run and Bryce and Liz have retired to bed.
Stevie and Alex are sitting having a glass of wine chatting about the day's events.
"Are you alright Alex?"Stevie asks.
"Yeah I am cowgirl. I've actually surprised myself that I'm not angrier."He muses.
"Maybe because of what we've been through you've changed a little Alex.'' She offers.
He sits deep in thought and she watches his face as he says "For each life that passes another begins."
She inhales and reaches up touching his face.
Looking down at her he wipes the single tear from her cheek and kisses her softly.
"Are you alright?"He whispers.
"Yes I am, things happen for a reason and we don't always know why. We'll grieve and move forward."She says softly.
He gives her a little smile and asks "Would you like to come to England with me?"
She grins and asks. "Are you going to find your sisters Alex?"
He nods and says "Well I'm going to try."
"What about Ashley?"Stevie asks,
Alex laughs and says "Marcus told me Ashley is a nasty bitch, manipulative and conniving and he reckons she'll do anything to please Bryce including turning on Marcus if she gains Bryce's approval."
Stevie pulls a funny face and says "Sounds like we'd best keep her at a safe distance."
Alex laughs and says "She actually sounds like she could be Harry's daughter."
Stevie laughs out loud and says "Alex ! That's a mean thing to say."
He stands up and taking her hands says "Come on lets go to bed I want to snuggle with you!"
She looks concerned and says. "Alex I still can't..."
He smiles and says "I am capable of just cuddling beautiful."
Sliding her arm around his waist they move forward.