It’s the day of Nikau’s bravery award ceremony, and John is pumped. Nikau is trying to swallow his nerves, but the hype is getting to him. Nikau fears that he’ll embarrass John or the surf club by saying the wrong thing. Alf, as the president of the surf club, has made the trip up from Merimbula for the award ceremony.

Naomi shows up on Nikau’s doorstep, dressed to impress. Remarking on how handsome Nikau looks in his suit, there’s an awkward moment of intimacy between them… but they’re saved by John’s punctual horn tooting outside. Time to go! But looking at John & Naomi’s expectant faces sends Nikau running back inside – he can’t do this. John’s pleas can’t get through to a stubborn Nikau. John disappointedly concedes that he’ll accept on Nikau’s behalf. At home, a lovesick Nikau flicks through photos of he & Bella, clearly at a loss without her. An outraged Alf confronts Nikau about his rudeness. Not only did he let the club & John down, but he let himself down too. Nikau wears this criticism with shame.

Outside her house, Chloe is watched by a sinister leather-clad figure on a motorbike. Unseen by her, the helmet flap is lifted to reveal – Tex. Are the Parata family under bikie surveillance? Unnoticed by Chloe, Tex is training at night in the gym, keeping a watchful eye on her. A concerned Chloe realises that the photo of Mia & Ari from the gym is missing. Meanwhile, a prying Tex discovers that Chloe is Ari’s stepdaughter.

Theo is over the moon now that Ziggy is supervising his apprenticeship. Leah calls an impromptu celebratory dinner for the occasion, but Theo feels only one thing is missing – Chloe. Between her two jobs she barely has time for him. Since Chloe can’t come to dinner, a thoughtful Theo brings dinner to Chloe at work.

Chloe’s juggling act is becoming exhausting as she runs between the Diner and the gym, barely eating or sleeping. Marilyn & Irene are worried for her – she’s clearly not coping. An exhausted Chloe sleeps in late, missing her opening shift at the Diner. An accommodating Leah offers to drive her to work, but Chloe is crushed that she let everyone down.

Worried that Rose may be overinvesting in a dead-end relationship, Xander presses her about Tex. Are they serious? Rose writes off Xander’s concern as protective brothering. But Xander might be onto Tex. They barely know this guy. A hamstrung Rose keeps checking her phone for messages from a distant Tex and Xander feels for her. Pleased, Rose runs into Tex unexpectedly – she thought he was away visiting his brother? He could have sent her a message. Tex disarms Rose with charm & affection – he’s back now and all hers.

Witnessing Alf’s tirade, Naomi checks in with a despondent Nikau. Trying to bolster his spirits, Naomi outlines all the reasons why Nikau is amazing. Overcome with emotion, Naomi kisses a shocked Nikau. Seeing his stupefied reaction, Naomi runs off in humiliation.

Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.45pm on Channel 5

By Eastieoaks

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