Stevie wakes and instantly regrets drinking so much last night.
Her head is pounding and her mouth is dry.
She is sweaty and in serious trouble there's a man face down in her bed and his arm is draped across her.
She lies stock still trying to remember who in the hell he is.
She realizes it's not her room that she's in.
Where in the hell is she?
Panic rises in her.
At the pub all of her friends have warned her about drinking so much and so fast but she hasn't listened.
They've gathered to celebrate Australia Day at the pub and Stevie has had a huge fight with Harry Ryan, then Sandra had a go at her and finally Alex had words with her.
She coped with Harry and Sandra fighting with her but Alex yelling at her has dissolved her self esteem and sent her spiralling out of control.
"Get stuffed Alex. You're not my boss! I don't have to listen to you." She yells at him.
Angrily he replies. "You're being stupid Stevie and you need to shut the hell up."
Snarling at him she yells "Piss off back over to Fiona, Alex and leave me alone."
His face softens a little and he warns her softly. "I'm your friend Stevie and I'm trying to help you."
She glares at him and replies. "My friend! That's a joke Alex, your Fiancé, Father and step mother treat me like shit and you stand by and let them do it. I don't need a friend like you."
His face reddens and he spits his words at her "What's wrong with you? Why are you behaving like this? If us being friends is so bad why don't we end the friendship?"
Fiery eyes drill into him and she growls "Great Alex! It sounds good to me and you can tell that bitch you're going to marry that she can stick her bridemaid's dress up her ..."
"Watch your mouth Stevie!" He warns.
She turns and storms outside.
Stevie has managed to move a little and the man has moved slightly away from her.
Lifting the doona her heart sinks.
He's naked and she's only in her underwear.
Oh God she thinks to herself whoever it is she's slept with him.
She's never done this before, never been so drunk that she's picked up a stranger and not remembered.
Outside Stevie fumes.
How dare he tell her what to do?
He can stick his friendship if that's his attitude.
Sitting on the car park buffer rail she wishes she'd brought a cool drink out with her.
"Can I interest you in a beer?" A voice behind her asks.
Turning she smiles and says "Is it free?"
A tall good looking fellow grins at her and says "Ahhhh I wouldn't mind taking a kiss as payment!"
She's about to decline the offer when she spots Alex walking towards her.
Glancing at Alex and back to the stranger she replies "Ok I'm pretty thirsty."
Smiling he leans down to kiss her.
Alex stops, stands still and watches.
Stevie has wriggled further across the bed.
Beside her the stranger moans and rolls away from her.
Thank god she thinks to herself.
Rising she quickly searches for her clothes.
She dresses and leaves the room.
As she hurries down the hall she realises she's in the pub.
She chastises herself for not looking at his face.
Who in the hell was it?
She feels sick to her stomach at what she's done .
Stopping, she wonders if she should go back.
Find out who it was.
Deciding against it she moves out to her car and heads for Drover's Run.
Alex watches as the young Ag pilot Leo kisses Stevie and his heart sinks.
Waiting for the kiss to stop he thinks of what he's going to say to her.
As Leo lets go of her he grins and says "Wow I think I owe you a six pack for that."
She only gives a quick smile and searches for Alex.
He's still there.
Stevie tries to ignore Alex and whispers to Leo" My names Stevie.'
He grins and softly replies "Leo pleased to meet you Stevie."
"Stevie!" Alex calls.
She glances over at him and replies "I have nothing to say to you Alex. "
"Well I have something to say to you." He states.
Although she's very drunk she processes his request and looking at Leo offers. "Can you excuse me for a moment?"
He shrugs his shoulders and says" Yeah sure, drink up and I'll go and get us some fresh ones."
Stevie skulls the glass of beer and hands the empty to Leo and walks over to Alex.
Back at Drover's Stevie is relieved everyone is elsewhere.
Running upstairs she showers and changes.
Noticing her watch is missing she moves back to her room and searches for it.
After ten minutes she decides to look again later.
Moving through the kitchen she grabs some painkillers for her throbbing headache and a large bottle of water.
Jumping in her Ute she checks the glove box and consol for her watch.
Puzzled she tries to remember where she had it last.
Stevie does the fence run and checks the troughs in the south paddock.
Its late afternoon by the time she drives back to the homestead.
"What do you want Alex?' Stevie questions.
She watches his face trying to read him.
Looking into his eyes, his beautiful eyes her resolve softens.
"Stevie I just wanted to say I'm sorry." He offers.
"For what Alex?" She asks.
Leo is returning with two beers and Alex glances up at him then back at Stevie and says "Can we talk Stevie? Can you get rid of him and we can just sit and talk."
She feels irritated and replies. "Alex you're engaged and you're Fiancé's inside, I don't think we need to sit and talk because you should be talking to her. I have to move on with my life. Whatever we had or might have had has to stop. I can't be your friend any more. I'm sorry."
Turning back to Leo she smiles.
Alex grabs her arm and leaning down whispers something to her.
Glancing up at him she studies his face but then moves over to Leo.
Alex moves back inside.
Stevie glances after him with a frown on her face.
Tess, Nick, Jodie, Kate and Alex are sitting having a beer on the veranda when Stevie walks around the corner.
"About time you turned up!" Alex quips.
Stevie looks at him and then back at Jodie as she asks "Stevie do you want a beer?'
"No thanks I think I had enough last night." Stevie replies.
Everyone except Stevie laughs.
"What's so funny?" She snarls.
Tess offers. "Not remebering a lot Stevie?"
Stevie searches their faces and quickly realizes they know something.
Oh dear god who did she sleep with? They know! She's sure they do.
Trying to bluff she replies "I know all I need to know. I'm going for a shower, I'll catch you later."
Before anyone can speak she's gone.
By the time she moves downstairs Tess, Nick and the girls have dished up dinner.
Stevie's annoyed that Alex is here.
Why isn't he home with Fiona?
He's probably here to make fun of her picking up that bloke.
What was his name? Larry? Lenny? Leo!
She's had a light bulb moment.
That's who it was Leo!
That's bad she decides but it could have been worse.
At least she knows his first name.
Chatter rises and laughter fills the Drover's dining room.
Stevie relaxes as no one has said anything to her.
Her relief is short lived when Alex offers. "So you had a big night Stevie?."
Stevie looks at him with a puzzled expression on her face.
"I saw you kissing that young Ag pilot! Bit young for you wasn't he?"He muses.
Feeling annoyed she replies. "Haven't you got a home to go too Alex?"
He smiles at her.
She feels even more annoyed than before.
Sitting outside on the wooden garden seat Stevie gazes up at the sky.
"Want a beer? Alex asks as he holds out a beer to her.
She feels angry but taking it she replies. "Ta"
He sits beside her and neither speaks.
Stevie thinks about Leo and how she's going to have to face him in the morning.
Alex and the others will give her grief over this for weeks.
Half way through her beer Stevie asks "Why are you here Alex? Shouldn't you be at home with Fiona?"
Without looking at her he replies. "Tess invited me for dinner. Fiona had to go somewhere else don't you rememeber?."
"Oh" Stevie says deciding not to ask anymore as she has no idea what he's on about.
Taking a swig of his beer Alex asks" You don't remember much about last night do you?"
"Can we forget about last night Alex? I don't want to talk about it!" She growls.
Sitting beside her he grins but doesn't say anymore.
Together they sit until they finish their beer.
Alex stands and says "I might get going. I'll see you in the morning."
Stevie grumbles "Why will I see you in the morning?"
Alex says "The Ag pilot and the crop dusting?"
"Oh "She replies.
"Night Stevie" He says.
"Yes goodnight." She replies and begins to walk inside.
"Oi Stevie! I forgot to give you this."Alex calls.
She turns back and he passes the watch to her.
"Oh thanks." She says softly then adds. "I couldn't remember where I left it."
Leaning over he whispers close to her ear
His breath warm on her neck. "You left it on the bedside table at the pub."
Goosebumps rise across her skin.
Quickly he walks away.
She stands speechless trying to process what he just said she has no recollection of last night.
Looking down at the watch in her hand she feels sick.