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SETTING: The deck at DREW’s house, overlooking the harbor in Sydney.

FINN: It’s all confirmed. George arrives in a week. Thanks for sorting all that. I owe you, mate.

DREW: It was nothing. Sorry I’ve been so busy—whenever I’m in Sydney, William seems to schedule every minute of my day.

FINN: Who’s William. Aren’t you the boss? Why can’t you say no?

DREW: It’s not that simple. I’m barely twenty and William’s been doing his job since before I was born, so I’m learning from him.

FINN: Do you enjoy it—the business world?

DREW: More than I thought—I’d rather be drawing or working on my graphic design. But I promised my dad before he died…I owe him.

FINN: So you know how I feel about my promise to Brodes then…

DREW: It’s the only reason I’m supporting you on this. It’s a dangerous decision.

JAMISON: Sir. May I bring you some tea or coffee? Seems we’ve run out of beer.

FINN chuckles: Sorry Jamie. On a bit of a mission tonight.

DREW: We can get it, Jamison. You go to bed. It’s got to be after midnight.

JAMISON: Indeed it is, Sir. But you know my policy…

DREW: Okay. Okay. Finn—we gotta hit the sack. Jamison won’t until we do.

JAMISON: Are you settling in comfortably, Mr Love? You have everything you need?

FINN: Pretty much. Only one thing missing—a hot girl. Can you sort that Jamie?

JAMISON: Love isn’t something you find. Love is something that finds you, Mr Love.

FINN: I’m not after love, Jamie. I am, after all, Mister Love.

{DREW’S phone rings}

SHAE: You’re awake.

DREW: Only just. Your brother and I are about to hit the sack. You don’t sound good. Everything okay?

SHAE: It’s mom. She slashed her wrists.

DREW: Jeez Shae. Is she okay? Where are you now?

SHAE: At the hospital. She’s stable. It was horrible though. I got home and she was gone and there was blood everywhere. I thought Symbol—

DREW: I don’t know what to say. What can I do?

SHAE: You can’t always fix everything. Unless you know how to take the depression out of my mom’s body?

DREW swops the phone into his other hand: “…”

SHAE: Sorry. I’m still in shock. At least she changed her mind.

DREW: What do you mean?

SHAE: She said she saw how much blood there was and panicked and went next door for help.

FINN: Everything okay?

DREW: It’s your mom. She’s in the hospital, but she’s okay.

FINN: Jeez. What’s she done now?

DREW: It’s cool, Finn. You go to bed, mate. We’ll talk in the morning.

FINN: You sure? I’m pretty whacked—she is okay?

DREW nods and gives FINN a thumbs-up.

DREW: I hate this Shae. I don’t even know if I’m doing the right thing. If I come to LA I might be putting you in danger—

SHAE: I’m fine. Really.

DREW: And I’m worried about leaving Finn—but if I stay away— You’re all alone coping with this stuff. And then there’s work…

SHAE: I can hear you pacing. You never used to be such a stress head.

DREW: When we met the most I had to worry about was helping stray dogs and stray girls.

SHAE: You mean runaway girls.

DREW: Talking of stray girls. You’ll never guess who turned up in Sydney?

SHAE: George?

DREW: Ha ha. Not yet. Sienna. She’s giving England a wide berth after a painful break up, apparently. But don’t go thinking bad thoughts.

SHAE: She’s like a stray puppy. Always seems to find a way back to you, doesn’t she?

DREW: I’ve never given her any reason to think we’re any more than friends—not in Samoa, not when we were on Michael’s boat…

SHAE: Don’t remind me of Michael. Thank god he’s safely locked up.

DREW: That nightmare is over. Finn says Michael’s boat was stripped of parts to pay for his trial.

SHAE: So there’s nothing left of him.

DREW: Or his boat.

SHAE: So is Sienna staying with you?

DREW: ‘Course not. I’m not completely unaware of her crush. I’m not going to make it worse. She’s just hanging in Sydney—for a while.

SHAE: How does Finn feel about that?

DREW: I daren’t ask. She may not be girlfriend material for him, but he’s had a lean streak…

SHAE: Eew. Don’t. Too much information.

DREW laughs: He even commissioned Jamison to supply him with a girl.

SHAE: Jamison? I can just imagine his look of disapproval. Finn better behave himself or he’ll get turfed out of there.

DREW: I miss you.

SHAE: Don’t. You’ll make me cry. And I have to go. Mom’s psychiatrist has just arrived. He wants me to commit her—against her will.

DREW: He’s probably right though. It’s for her own safety. You can’t be there for her 24/7. And you know I’ll cover the costs…

SHAE: DREW, stop it.

DREW: Don’t get mad at me. How else will she pay? Just accept my help okay? Helping you is the only good thing about being a Vega.

SHAE: I gotta go. Sorry. I love you.

{After SHAE hangs up, DREW goes upstairs to his bedroom and sits on his balcony drawing another picture of SHAE.}

[When his phone pings, he hesitates before reading the text]

TEXT: Dinner. Friday with me and Colbie? I need cheering up. Bring Finn. Sienna.

DREW says aloud: Finn will be thrilled. Two ex-girlfriends in one night. Both newly single.

ANOTHER TEXT: It’ll be a reunion of Michael’s four kidnapping victims. Sienna xxx

DREW texts back: Is that something we want to remember? Will check with Finn and txt tom.

A THIRD TEXT: Tiger father begets tiger son. But is he brave enough to save his Mom? カルマ

DREW hears his heartbeat throbbing in his ears. Then there’s the sound of crashing & splintering glass below. DREW races downstairs.

JAMISON: I’m okay, Sir. Are you?

{JAMISON presses a button on a device in his hand, setting off the alarms}

DREW: What happened? Something came through the window?

JAMISON: Seems someone got past the guard, which is of concern.

{JAMISON bends to pick something up.}

DREW: A bowling ball?

JAMISON: With a rather badly drawn face on it, crossed out in red paint. Is that supposed to be you? And that symbol from the texts.

DREW reads the text from Symbol again: Brave enough? I accept the challenge Symbol.

JAMISON: Where the hell is security?


Payback is published here every Sunday and Thursday at 8pm EST. That's Monday and Friday morning for the Aussies. Subscribe so you never miss an episode and I'll email you a reminder link with each update. Share with a friend so you can comment and chat after each episode.

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