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    Written by: Colin Tregenza   Executive Producer: Don Battye   Directed by: Mark Piper

Charlie smiles at Todd warmly, "I feel such a fool! I'm so sorry." Todd assures her, "It's no big deal." Looking at Alison, he adds, "I just wish you hadn't spoilt the surprise." Alison says tersely, "You must admit I had grounds for being suspicious; you've been acting as if you didn't have two cents to rub together." Todd just retorts, "Since when does a guy have to go around telling everyone he's got money?" Alison gives him a suspicious look as she mutters, "If you hadn't been so secretive, this situation would never have come up." Wayne, however, points out smugly, "Er... it wouldn't've 'come up' if you weren't so keen to see the back of Todd." Alison snaps, "I was simply trying to protect Charlie's interests; when I saw you two talking about profit-stripping, it set all the alarm bells off." Looking at Charlie, she adds, "And with Wayne's track record, you can't say I wasn't justified." Todd chips in, "Fair enough; I've got no hard feelings." Charlie smiles, "That's very generous of you, Todd." She then adds pointedly, "Isn't it, Alison..." Alison mutters, "Yes. Yes. I'm sorry I doubted you." Todd suggests, "Let's forget it. Now the cat's out of the bag, let's finish off the paperwork." He and Charlie turn to head back into the house. Wayne goes to follow them - but Alison grabs his arm furiously and hisses, "You set me up." Wayne, however, retorts, "You set yourself up by being so one-eyed about Todd." Alison glares at him and warns coldly, "Don't try and snow me. You wanted me to overhear that talk about profit-stripping, didn't you, because you knew I'd jump to the wrong conclusion and have egg all over my face." Wayne just grins, "And very nice it looks too!" He turns to walk away. Alison, however, snaps, "I haven't finished with you yet." Wayne turns back to her and says, "Don't try and offload the blame onto me. You brought this all on yourself; you're just too bloody-minded to admit it." With that, he walks off. Alison stands there looking furious.

A while later, Charlie is sitting on the couch in her lounge room asking Wayne - who's standing by the window - suspiciously, "Why are you being so generous to him? What do you get out of it?" Wayne suggests, "Peace of mind?" Charlie just chuckles and muses, "I think I must've missed something." Wayne goes and sits down next to her. As he does so, he tells her, "I've made a lot of mistakes in my time, Charlie. The biggest was putting money before people. The sad thing is I had to lose Susan before I realised that. Nothing will bring her back, but at least I can try and learn from my mistakes; that's why I sold Todd my share of the gym dirt-cheap." Charlie comments, "Conscience money, for ripping me off..." Wayne nods, "Yeah. It was a lousy thing to do. My only excuse was I thought I was dying of Huntington's disease and I was angry with the world. Unfortunately, you were an easy target." Charlie muses, "I'm an easy mark." Wayne, however, insists, "Not now Todd's around; he's nobody's fool. And he loves you as much as I love--; loved Susan." Charlie gives him a sympathetic look and murmurs, "Oh Wayne..." Wayne goes on, "I think he'll make you very happy - and from now on, you won't have to worry about me trying to cook the books." Charlie replies gently, "And you'll have your peace of mind." Wayne just murmurs, "I have a long way to go yet."

It's evening-time. Bill Sanders is sitting with Caroline, Gordon and Beryl at the dining table at Beryl's. As they eat dinner, he tells Caroline, "We reckon we'll have that jet flying a full payload in no time. Doug's done a great sales job for us; we'll have work coming out of our ears before we know where we are!" Caroline sits there, looking upset. Beryl looks at her and, indicating the dishes, says, "Would you like to give me a hand?" Caroline takes the hint and the two women head out to the kitchen. When they've gone, Gordon says to Bill quietly, "I wouldn't mention Doug if I were you." Bill gasps in horror, "Oh. Hell. Head like a sieve." Out in the kitchen, Beryl tells Caroline, "I'm sure Bill didn't mean to upset you." Caroline, however, insists, "No, it's my fault for being so thin-skinned." Beryl points out, "You've got a good excuse." Caroline muses, "Pregnancy's an all-purpose cop-out, isn't it?" Beryl shrugs, "Being pregnant does strange things to you. You and Doug just didn't recognise the sign." Caroline sighs, "It wouldn't have made any difference - the marriage was on the rocks anyway." Beryl tells her, "If Doug knew there was a child on the way, he'd take his responsibilities more seriously." Caroline, however, retorts, "I can't see it; he's a born gambler; loves living on the edge." Beryl insists, "He loves you more. Tell him about the baby. I guarantee he'll be on the first 'plane back home." Caroline sighs, "I don't want him coming back feeling he's got to do the right thing by me." Beryl, however, says, "I'm sure he'd jump at any chance to get here. Go on - call him." At that moment, Gordon and Bill walk in, Gordon telling Beryl, "Bill just volunteered to do the drying-up for you." Bill looks at Caroline and adds, "You should be putting your feet up." Caroline smiles, "It's nice to be spoilt!" Bill asks, "'Cos Doug's not here to do it?" There's a stony silence. Bill, looking sheepish, goes on, "I know it's none of my business, but I reckon Doug would be tickled pink to think he was going to be a dad." Caroline growls, "You don't know him very well, do you?" Bill just suggests, "Why don't you give him a buzz?" Caroline snaps, "Because I don't want him back. OK?"

Michael is pouring Alison a glass of port in his room at the mansion as she fiddles around absentmindedly with his medical bag. As he pours the drink, Alison asks, "Sure you can spare the time?" Michael nods, "My shift doesn't start 'til ten." Alison murmurs, "I'm glad I've got one friend left in the world." Michael sighs, "Stop being so defeatist." Alison, sitting down, says, "I'm sorry - I know I'm being a bore. I've been thinking about it all day: I know I've lost Charlie's trust now." Michael comments, "Over-reacting, isn't she? After all, you seemed to have good reason to be suspicious." Alison declares, "Exactly - but she can't see that. She's convinced I'm out to carve Todd up." Michael asks, "Is she right?" Alison just replies, "I don't want to see her hurt." Michael presses, "If he turns out to be on the level?" Alison mutters, "I'll start believing in Santa Claus!" Michael remarks, "You just won't give him the benefit of the doubt, will you?" He then asks, "Have you ever stopped to think you might be jealous of him?" Alison retorts, "I'm getting a bit sick of hearing that theory." She then admits, "I suppose I do feel a bit on the outer, these days." Michael tells her, "Then give Todd a go - or you'll drive Charlie even further away..."

In the lounge room at Charlie's, Todd and Charlie have finished a bottle of wine. As Charlie gives Todd a kiss, she smiles, "Let's get another bottle." Todd goes out to get it. The front door slams suddenly and Alison walks in. She says quickly, "I've learned my lesson, Charlie. You're obviously marrying the right man and I'm very happy for you." Charlie mutters, "Better late than never, I suppose." Alison goes on, "So - we friends again?" Charlie shrugs, "We'll get there." Alison sighs, "For God's sake, Charlie, what do I have to do: go down on my hands and knees?" Charlie snaps, "Just stop interfering, that's all. You try one more stunt like today and that is it." Todd walks back in, saying to Charlie, "You sure there's another bottle?" He stops in his tracks as he spots Alison standing there. Charlie glares at Alison and then tells Todd, "I'll get it." She marches out. Todd goes to follow her. Alison, however, says quickly, "Todd... I brought you a peace offering." She holds up a handkerchief and explains, "The white flag of surrender. I really have, as they say, seen the light." Todd asks suspiciously, "Have you?" Alison tells him, "Call it being over-protective - but now I realise it was unnecessary and I couldn't be happier to admit I was wrong about you." Todd nods, "Fair enough - but I still want you to move out." Alison asks, "Even if it's just down the road?" Todd replies, "I don't care if it's next door. I'm not trying to break up your friendship with Charlie; I just don't want any more hassles, OK?" Alison smiles as she nods, "OK."

The next morning, Todd is working behind the reception desk at the gym when Wayne walks up and smiles, "Morning. Got an enrolment form?!" He then asks, "How do you feel about being in business for yourself?" Todd tells him, "It's like a lot of hard work at the moment - I've got to stay back late tonight to do the accounts." Wayne remarks, "At least it'll keep you out of Alison's hair. I suppose she's being an even bigger pain in the neck since yesterday." Todd, however, explains, "No way! I got an unconditional surrender from her last night; she knows Charlie's had about as much as she can take." Wayne's face drops, and he says coolly, "Don't be fooled, Todd - that's a classic Alison technique; she'll lull you into a false sense of security and when you least expect it she'll hit you where it hurts most." Todd insists, "You worry too much!" Wayne murmurs, "Maybe you're right..." He then asks, "What does Charlie think about this born-again Alison?" Todd grins, "There's a bit of a chill in the air, but it's wearing off. They're working out together at the moment. Reckon they'll be back on their old footing in no time." A sly look crosses Wayne's face...

Alison and Charlie are both riding exercise bikes in the main room, looking exhausted! Wayne walks in, having changed into his gym gear. Neither woman notices him, as they have their backs to him. He listens as Alison tells Charlie, "I had a call from my real estate agent today: he said he had a house I might be interested in. I thought you might like to check it out." Charlie says frostily, "When?" Alison replies, "Tonight. If Todd wants to come along, he's most welcome." Charlie says coolly, "He'll be working late tonight." Alison shrugs, "Well, why don't we go together? Then, after we've seen it, we could go and give Todd a nice surprise; turn up and take him out to supper." Charlie suggests, "It might be best to let the dust settle a bit first." Alison, however, sighs, "Charlie, I want him to see I'm making an effort." Charlie hesitates before musing, "I suppose it is a step in the right direction." Alison presses, "Alright - let's do it." Charlie smiles at her and says, "Why not!" Wayne looks at them both, before walking out again.

A few seconds later, Wayne is about to pick up the 'phone on the deserted reception desk when Todd joins him and grins, "Don't say the sight of the girls working-out put you off!" Looking wrong-footed momentarily, Wayne says quickly, "Oh, I just remembered a couple of urgent calls I had to make." Todd tells him, "Go for your life." As Wayne picks up the 'phone, he says, "I think there's a bit of one-upmanship going on in there." He indicates the main room, adding as he does so, "Neither of them wants to be the first to finish, but they're both looking the worse for wear." Todd grins, "I guess I'd better blow the whistle on them!" With that, he heads off to the main room. When he's gone, Wayne dials a number on the 'phone. When the call is answered, he says, "Mandy... I've got a job for you tonight."

Bill and Gordon are working in the office at Sanders Air Charter when Caroline and Beryl walk in and Beryl points out where the toilet is. Caroline dashes off there, leaving Bill to remark to Beryl, "She looks really crook." Beryl nods in concern, "Yes - I think she's in for a hard time with this baby." Gordon suggests, "All the more reason Doug should be here to see her through it." Beryl retorts, "I couldn't agree more, but that's up to Caroline, isn't it?" She then turns to Bill and tells him, "I'm ready whenever you are." Bill smiles, "Oh yes - of course: your lesson! I hadn't forgotten; I'll just check the wings are bolted on!" He heads outside. The 'phone begins to ring as Caroline rejoins them. Gordon picks up and says, "Sanders Air Charter... Doug! How are things?" He listens before going on, "Good. Sounds promising. Any luck with Goddard?... Right... Good." He listens again before saying warily, "News?... No, er, things are pretty much the same as before... Messages? Er, I'll check." He looks at Caroline and says quietly, "Want a word? Come on, Caroline, it's the perfect opportunity. At least say hello; you don't have to mention the pregnancy." Caroline, however, retorts, "I don't want to speak to him - and that's final." Gordon returns to the 'phone and says hesitantly, "No, Doug - no messages... Yes, same to you. Bye." Caroline stands there, looking worried.

It's evening-time. Todd is sitting at the reception desk at the gym, just a small light on as he works. He hears a sudden thumping noise, and he calls, "Someone there?" There's no response, so he gets up to investigate. He heads into the main room - and doesn't hear as footsteps approach the reception desk. A pair of hands breaks a small ampoule in half and some powder is tipped into a mug on the reception desk. The person then retreats and heads back out. Todd returns to the desk and sits down again. He stares at the figures in the books in front of him and then takes a couple of sips of his drink...

A while later, Todd sips his drink again. He's looking very sleepy. His eyes begin to close and, a few seconds later, his head drops onto the desk. Wayne walks in suddenly and, heading round behind the desk, shakes Todd's shoulder. He then smiles evilly, "Coffee a bit strong for you, mate?!" There's no answer. Wayne picks Todd up and starts dragging him into the main room. As he does so, he calls, "Mandy." A young woman emerges from the main room. She's wearing a red dress and has big, dark hair. She looks at Todd and muses, "This my date?... Well at least the conversation won't bore me!" Wayne growls, "Just make it look good." Mandy smiles back, "You know me: satisfaction guaranteed..."

As Charlie and Alison arrive back at Charlie's and head into the lounge room, Charlie exclaims, "I couldn't believe that house! It was too kitsch for words!" Alison asks, "You don't think the rooms were a bit small?" Charlie shrugs, "I suppose they were a teensy bit smallish." Alison tells her, "They were like matchboxes, if you ask me. I'm sure I could find something a lot better if I kept on looking." She then asks, "You couldn't give me an extension of time to move out...?" Charlie smiles, "Far be it for me to force you to move into a dog-box, darling!" She then picks up a scarf from the couch and, staring at it, cries, "Someone must have sat on it. It's going to need a quick iron." Alison retorts, "We haven't got time - Todd'll be getting ready to leave the gym." Charlie tells her, "Ring him and tell him to wait." Alison says, "What - and spoil the surprise? Come on - I'm starving." With that, the two of them head out, Charlie crying as they do so, "Oh I wish I could've worn the scarf - it was a present from Todd."

The reception area at the gym is still in semi-darkness when Charlie and Alison walk in. They find the reception area empty, but Alison points out, "He has to be here somewhere - the doors aren't locked." Charlie suggests, "Maybe he's exercising?" Alison retorts, "What - at this late hour?" Charlie points out, "Those accounts must be awfully boring." She and Alison turn and head along the corridor to the main exercise room. They head into the room - to find Todd lying on the floor, nearly naked, with an also -nearly-naked woman lying on top of him, kissing him. Charlie stares at them in horror. She then runs off, looking devastated. The woman - Mandy - looks round at Alison and smiles at her...

A short time later, Alison is helping an upset-looking Charlie into her house. As they head into the lounge room, she says, "I wish to God I'd never suggested we go there tonight." As Charlie sits down, she says weakly, "Better I found out now... Aren't you going to say 'I told you so'?" Alison insists, "Charlie, this isn't giving me any joy; I never wanted to see you hurt." Charlie murmurs, "I should've listened to you... but I was so sure he was for real." Alison hands her a drink and says gently, "They say love makes fools of us all. I just wish you didn't have to join the club." Charlie asks quietly, "How long does it go on hurting?" Alison replies, "Depends... if it's the love of your life, it never stops hurting." Charlie cries, "I never really understood what it was like for you with David before - not really; but now I'm in the same boat... Todd was everything I've been looking for all these years... I loved him so much." Alison tells her gently, "Come on... he's not worth wasting any tears over." Charlie sobs, "I know... He's a louse. God knows how many other women he's had while we've been together. But I can't help myself - I still love him." Alison insists softly, "You'll get over it." Charlie sniffs, "You didn't." Alison murmurs, "Yes, well I'm a hopeless case. I'm sure you'll make a complete recovery." Charlie just sobs, "You're right - I will. I couldn't break my heart over him. He's worthless... he's the lowest form of life... I'm glad it's over." She then breaks down in Alison's arms as she cries, "Who am I kidding...?"

It's the next morning. Todd wakes up on the floor at the gym to find himself clutching a black, lacy bra and wearing just his underpants. He sits up and yawns. He tries to stand up, but almost collapses onto the ground again. He manages to stagger out of the room.

Wayne is sitting by the bar in the lounge room at Dural, apparently waiting for the 'phone to ring. It does so - and he yawns as he answers, "Wayne Hamilton." Todd comes on and says groggily, "Sorry to get you out of bed, but I need some help getting home. I feel really groggy." Wayne asks, "Been on the tiles, mate?!" Todd, however, explains, "No - I'm still at the gym. I worked back last night. I don't know what came over me... The room started spinning; I must've passed out." Wayne tells him, "You take it easy. I'll be right there." With that, he hangs up. A gleeful smile crosses his face...

A short time later, Wayne is at the gym, along with Michael. Wayne tells Todd, "I thought you might need a doctor." As Todd wipes himself down with a towel, he murmurs, "I feel like I need something." Michael asks him, "Are you on any kind of medication?" Todd replies, "No - only vitamins." Wayne picks up the bra and muses, "Somebody deliver a strippergram?!" Todd shrugs, "Don't know, mate - they were just here when I got to." He puts on a T-shirt as Michael asks him, "You sure you're not on any sleeping pills?" Todd sighs, "Why would I want to go to sleep on the job?" Michael explains, "There's dilation of the pupils; that usually means there are drugs in the system." Todd insists, "I'm not taking any drugs, OK?" Michael nods, "OK." He then goes on, "You got any nausea - or a headache?" Todd sighs, "Yeah - my head feels like a football." Michael tells him, "I'll give you something for it." Todd, however, retorts, "No, no, I just want to get home - Charlie will be worried."

Alison is packing suitcases into her car, outside Charlie's. Charlie is standing with her, holding Isabella. Alison is saying, "A couple of days in the country, you'll be feeling as good as new." Charlie cries, "I think I'll stay up there; I'll never be able to show my face again."

Wayne and Michael are supporting Todd as they help him up the driveway towards Charlie's. Michael is saying, "When you're feeling a bit better, get your doctor to give you a thorough check-up." Todd asks, "Do you think it could be serious?" Michael shrugs, "Probably just a virus." They stop in their tracks as they see the two women packing the car. Todd smiles at Charlie, "Coming to search for me?" Alison turns to him and growls, "We found you - last night - with your girlfriend." Todd stares at her and gasps, "What?" Charlie cries at him, "Don't play the innocent. You and she were..." Alison explains, "We found the pair of you at the gym." Todd protests, "I don't know what you're talking about; there's no girlfriend." Alison sighs, "You can't talk your way out of this one, Todd." Todd insists, "I don't know what you saw, but all I can tell you is one minute I was working, the next I'd passed out." Wayne chips in, "That's right, Charlie: when he came-to, he called me to get him home. He's as sick as a dog." Alison muses coldly, "Too much partying, by the sound of it. Still, top marks for the cover story - if we hadn't caught you out, you might've just got away with it." Todd insists, "I'm telling you the truth." Alison just closes the boot of her car and retorts, "Don't be here when we come back." With that, she and Charlie climb into the car and Alison starts the engine. Todd staggers over to the car and cries, "Charlie! Wait! There's no one else. I love you." Alison just drives off, leaving Todd standing there, looking upset.

A short time later, Wayne helps Todd sits down in the lounge room at Dural. He asks Michael, "Think you should give him something?" Michael suggests to Todd, "How about a couple of painkillers?" Todd nods wearily, "OK." He then murmurs, "I just wish I could figure out what's going on." Wayne tells him, "Charlie wouldn't lie about what she saw." Todd replies, "I know - I just don't remember any of it - honest." Michael opens his medical bag - and then says suddenly, "That's funny." He's holding some blue sachets, and he goes on, "These ampoules: last time I looked there were half a dozen; now there's only four. They must have been stolen." Wayne remarks, "Seems a bit strange just to steal two." Michael nods, "I know - unless... no, she wouldn't..." Wayne queries, "She?" Michael tells him, "Alison was with me last night, just before I went to the hospital. She was looking at the things in my bag." Todd says in surprise, "You think she drugged me; set me up?" Michael shrugs, "I don't know." Wayne comments, "It figures, doesn't it? Todd was a threat: with him around, she could see her friendship with Charlie going down the drain." Todd agrees, "Wayne's right. We've had lots of run-ins and I was the one who told her I wanted her to move out. There's only one way round that: have me move out instead." Wayne looks at Michael and remarks, "It does make sense." Todd then tells Michael, "I reckon you should front Alison and see how she jumps when you ask her if she took that stuff out of your bag." Michael, however, retorts, "I can't accuse anyone without proof." Todd asks, "What if I get proof?" Michael nods, "Yeah, certainly. It might be an idea if you run a urine test first, just to make sure you were drugged." Todd nods, "OK." He goes to stand up - but almost collapses again. Michael and Wayne catch him and Michael says, "Take it easy, mate - there's no hurry." Wayne tells Todd, "There's a downstairs bathroom - and I can make a bed up down here, so you can rest. You can stay here until we sort things out." Todd sits there, rubbing his temple as he sighs, "I can't understand Alison doing this. How could anyone do anything so low to their best friend? She knew Charlie loved me; she must've known what it would do to Charlie, thinking that I was on with someone else." Wayne tells him, "Selfish people don't think like that, mate; all they care about is number one." Todd growls, "Well she's not going to get away with it; somehow I'm going to prove she set me up." Wayne replies, "Sure you will - and we'll help. Between us, we'll nail her hide to the wall..."


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