After a tender kiss, Bella and Nikau prepare to take the next step. But is it too soon?
Months have passed since Bella's online ordeal, when she was first groomed and then physically attacked by her unhinged stalker.
And while the teenager continues to claim she's perfectly fine and that nothing is wrong, her actions might suggest otherwise.
This week in Home And Away, Bella (Courtney Miller) will make a decision that will have serious consequences.
The youngster has become smitten with newcomer Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo).
Their friendship is blossoming, but so too are their bad habits.
With little money to take Bella on a real date, the pair head to the Surf Club and con locals out of their cash by posing as useless pool players.
After raking in a sizeable amount, they head to the movies. The date is successful and they share their first kiss.
"Bella and Nikau have very similar family dynamics in that they don't have the typical nuclear family," Courtney tells TV WEEK.
"Bella likes this about Nikau, as he accepts her for who she is. Nikau, like Bella, is someone who pushes the boundaries, which sparks the attraction even further."
The following day, Bella chats with gym owner Willow (Sarah Roberts) about her growing romance, quizzing her about taking the next step.
Willow is surprised, but tells Bella she'll know when the time is right – which Bella takes to mean she's ready! She calls Nikau immediately to come over.
Nikau arrives to find Bella dressed to the nines. She tells him she's ready. But in the heat of the moment, she panics. Suddenly, she screams at Nikau and demands he leave.
"When Nikau comes over, Bella is hesitant and embarrassed about the whole thing. However, she feels safe with Nikau and truly believed she was ready to go all the way with him," Courtney says.
"She didn't foresee how fearfully she would react when she felt the weight of Nikau on her. It brought back the trauma of Tommy."
It's clear something is wrong and Nikau races to find Ryder (Lukas Radovich). The pair return, but Bella has locked herself inside the house. They call Colby (Tim Franklin) for help. But Nikau, who has a bad history with the police, flees.
Colby arrives soon after and smashes open the door. To his horror, he finds his young sister has been self-harming.
"Bella is feeling so much shame and embarrassment that crying is simply not enough," Courtney says.
"She's mortified that the experiences of Tommy still have such an effect on her. She feels the need to release, so she believes the pain of self-harming will allow her to briefly forget about everything."
In a panic, Colby scoops up Bella and races her to the hospital. Will she be OK?
WATCH: Leah's kidnapping scandal. Story continues below.
Leah grapples with making a statement to police
While Bella handles her trauma, Leah continues to grapple with her own.
Despite making progress in her recovery since being held hostage by her stalker, Leah (Ada Nicodemou) remains shaken. Not to mention her relationship with Justin (James Stewart) is suffering and the police are pressing her to make a statement.
This week, she returns to the Diner for the first time, where Marilyn (Emily Symons) and Irene (Lynne McGranger) make her welcome. But just as she's finding her feet, a customer innocently calls her "sweetheart", a reminder of the traumatic time she endured with Douglas (Adam Booth).
Leah lashes out at the customer before fleeing the Diner. Justin gives chase and comforts her. To his surprise, Leah suggests the only way forward is to find closure by telling the truth.
Together, they go to the police station and Leah makes a statement. With the details of her ordeal out in the open, Justin realises how much she endured at the hands of this man. Poor Leah!
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