‹ Prequel: Our Song
Status: Update on this story March 30, 2013.

Second Chance

Being grown up isn't half as fun as growing up

Annabelle’s POV

I ran a hand through my hair as I waited for the front door to open. To say I was nervous is an understatement. It would be the first time I would face everyone since I’m back. & it’s not only that. It’s the fact the John is tagging along that makes me uncomfortable. He just met my parents. He absolutely won them over. Even my father. My brother haven’t met him, but he told me he was looking forward to it, to see what the ‘buzz’ was about. He didn’t sound excited about it. I wouldn’t be excited to meet the guy that’s gonna marry your baby sister either. Not this way. But I don’t have time to think about it. I’m about to face Brian, in his dad’s house, with my fiancé in toll. “ANNABELLE” McKenna screams, lunging toward me when she answer the door. I stumble back a bit, wrapping my arms around the slightly shorter teen. She has grown so much. Her strawberry blond hair just past her shoulders now. “You made it” She says, pulling me in by my hand. I step into the house I once called home. So many summers & days spent here. So many laughter & memories locked in a house.

“Hey, Kenna” I say, stopping her. I slightly turn to see if John is following me. He is. His sunglasses placed on the front of his shirt by now. “Slow down, missy, or you’re gonna rip my hand” I say. She stops & stares at me. She has grown so much in 3 years. I notice a young boy standing behind her.

“I’m so glad you’re here, Annie. I missed you so much” She says, embracing me again. I hug her tight cuz I missed her too. She has always been like my little sister. Brian & I have always been so over protective over her & that’s why I can’t help to keep my eyes away from the kid standing behind her, his hands in his pockets. He looks nervous, almost like he doesn’t know what to do.

“I’ve missed you too, kid” I say, tapping her nose with my finger, something I used to do all the time. She always claimed to hate it, but I know deep inside, she loves it.

“There’s someone I want you to meet” She says with a blush in her cheeks. “Annie, I want you to meet Alex. Alex, this is Annie” She says, introducing me to the teenager that has been staring at me. “He’s my boyfriend” She says, her blush deepening. I turn my gaze from her to the blond kid in front of me.

“Nice to meet you” I say politely, giving McKenna a look, letting her know that we would be discussing this new ‘relationship’ later. She just gives me a smile & nod, totally getting my stare. She’s 15. I wasn’t thinking about dating when I was her age. But times change. I wonder what Brian said about this. I mean… does he even know? Besides, how long has she been dating this kid? How old is he? What does Papa Gates feel about her baby daughter dating now? I’m sure he must not be thrilled about the idea. I’m not thrilled about the idea either. Kids these days… you have to be extremely careful with them. So many questions that needs so many answers. “Since we’re introducing, Kenna, I want you to meet-“

“John O’Callaghan” She says, with a sigh, a dreamy sigh. “Singer of The Maine. Known to the fans as John Oh for your good looks, amazing voice & all the hearts you steal from your fans. I’m a huge fan” She says, extending her hand to shake his. John turns to look at me, smirking, before saying it was his pleasure. “I didn’t know you were friends with Annie” She tells him.

“We’re actually getting married” He corrects her & I see McKenna’s mouth hang open.

“You’re marrying John Ohh?!?!? You’re so lucky” She says, her eyes still wide. I turn to glare at John. “I can’t believe it” She continues, shaking her head. Its one thing that he’s here & another entirely different for him to be announcing our engagement. Not that I’m ashamed. It’s just that I don’t want them to know. Not yet anyways.

“Well, well, well… if it isn’t little Ms. Annie Hurley” I turn my head to spot Papa Gates walking out of the living room. “Come here & give a hug, kiddo” He says, opening his arms. I smile as I walk to his warm embrace. He tightens his arms around me & kisses the side of my head. I’ve missed him so much. He’s like a 2nd father to me. Only he didn’t ground me as much as my dad did. But he used to scold Brian & I whenever we misbehaved… which was very often to his dismay. “How have you been? Look at you… you are a grow woman now” He says, holding me at arm’s length, looking at me from my head to toe. Not in a perverted way.

“What are you talking about, Brian? She already was a grown woman when she left” I hear Suzy’s voice & I immediately run to her, hugging her. “Hello, darling” She says, rubbing my back. “I made your favorite dessert as a welcome treat” She whispers in my ear. I let out a small laugh. Everything I know about cooking is thanks to Suzy. “It’s so good to have you back” She says & I see her eyes glistening with tears. “You look amazing. I always knew that long hair suited you better” She says, winking at me, before placing a lock of my hair behind my ear.

“Well, I don’t care. I still think you’re that bratty hyper little girl that used to drive me crazy. In a good way though” Papa Gates says, approaching us. “& I think that skirt is too short, that top too tight & those shoes too high” He says, lifting his eyebrows.

“What? NO” I say.

“It’s perfect. Don’t listen to this old man” Suzy says, rolling her eyes. Then I see her gaze fixated behind me. I turn & see John standing there, a small smile on his face. “I see you brought home a friend” Suzy says walking towards him. “I’m Suzy. Nice to meet you” She says, shaking hands with John. “& this handsome old man in my husband Brian” She says, pulling Papa Gates to her side. He was still mumbling about my skirt.

“Nice to meet you both. I’m John” He says, shaking Papa Gates hand. He eyes him up & down, their handshake lasting a bit too long. I know he’s scrutinizing him. I’m just praying John doesn’t open his mouth. At least not until I get the chance to tell them myself.

“So, John… how did you & Annie met?” He questions. I knew that was gonna be his first question. Whenever I brought home an outsider to the ‘family’ the interrogatory began with this specific question.

“Through a friend” John answers honestly.

“I see” Papa Gates says, getting nudge on the ribs by a smiling Suzy. “Well… any friend of Annie is welcome to my house” He says, smiling.

“Thank you, Sir” John answers politely. I let out a big breath. First test approved.

“So, Anna… do you have a wedding date yet?” McKenna asks me, loud enough for the 2 older adults in the foyer to hear & for them to turn around to look at me with wide eyes.

“W-what?” Papa Gates mutters. I’m left speechless. It’s kinda surprising Brian hasn’t told them. “Y-y-y-you’re getting married? To who?” He raises his voice a bit. I see Suzy nod in agreement.

“That would be me, sir” John says. They turn to stare at him. I see John stand there uncomfortable from the stares I’m sure Papa Gates is giving him.

“Well… John…” He starts, saying his name in a very weird way, making me dread for the worst. “You & I need to have a long uncomfortable talk” He walks to John & drags him to a secluded part of the house. Maybe his studio. Who knows.

“You’re getting married, Annabelle? Why didn’t you tell us?” Suzy says with a hurt voice. I stand there & lower my gaze in shame. I see her shake he head & walk away towards the kitchen. I let out a big breath. This dinner is gonna be longer than what I expected.

Lacey’s POV

You could feel the tension on the air. You could almost cut it with a knife. Brian shooting dirty glances to John. John being all clingy to Anna, almost to let Brian know that she’s his. Like if the big rock on her finger didn’t show that already. They make a really cute couple. But I never really saw Annabelle setting for a guy like him. I mean, she has always been surrounded by tattooed, buff guys. & to see her with someone almost as delicate as her, it’s kinda weird. But not as weird as seeing John standing at her parent’s house entry. That was something none of us expected. I mean… what the hell was John doing here? I thought Annabelle was here on her own. Even her wasn’t expecting him here. I hear someone clear their throat & the whole party stare at John who is now standing on his same spot, his beer in hand. “Well, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for making me feel so comfortable with all the people that means the world to the only girl that means the whole world to me” He says, looking down at Annabelle who is sitting with Baby Wren on her lap. She looks up at him, a tint of blush on her cheek. “I know that some of you think I’m stealing this amazing girl from you” He says & I notice his eyes switch rapidly to Brian, before fixing his eyes on Annabelle again. What the hell was that? I know Brian has always been so overprotective with Annabelle, but that didn’t sound like something that was said just to be said. Oh no… that had a hidden meaning. What it is, I have no idea. But I’m sure as hell gonna find out. Because something in my gut, deep inside of me, tells me that this isn’t a random visit from John, just so he could meet Annabelle’s parents. He’s here to keep tabs on her. & somehow, I think those tabs have something to do with Brian.

Brian’s POV

When his words left his mouth & he looked at me, I wanted to punch him. To mess that perfect little face of his for even thinking he can talk to me like that & for him to call Belle his. She’ll never be his. Not in the way that she was mine anyways. “& to see Annabelle surrounded by all the people that she loves, well… I’ve never been seen her so happy. & I’ve come to realize why she loves everyone so much & why she loves this place. That’s why, Annabelle… I want to ask you if you would gracefully accept walking down the aisle here… in Huntington Beach?” He says & I feel rage. Of all the places this little piece of shit could have his wedding, he has to do it here? HERE? Annabelle’s & I hometown. He must be fucking kidding me. One more thing he wants to steal from me. I see Belle’s mouth hang open in shock. “Nothing would make me happier than seeing you walk down the aisle, surrounded by your family & friends in your favorite place on the face of the earth. I don’t want to take that away from you. & this would give you more time to spend with your family & friends” He says, pulling Annabelle up. “What do you say, beautiful?” He whispers enough to lets us hear. She nods her head, a big smile spreading through her face. He kisses her softly & that’s when I turn & walk out of the room, going to the backyard. How could she? I mean, I know she’s not mine & that I’m trying to move on, but still… how can she just be like that? So… cold? So… heartless? Did she even love me at all?

Annabelle’s POV

From the corner of my eye, I see Brian walk towards the backyard. Silently, I escape myself from an almost stuck-to-my-hip John. & once again… I’m chasing after Brian. I step out & see him, sipping from his beer by the pool. I sigh, leaning on the now close glass door, just staring at him. I know it must be killing him to have me so near, but not being able to touch me, or even look at me. I know, because it’s killing me too. I don’t know how to deal with all these feeling I have inside. One day I’m all lovey-dovey with him, next day I want to kill him, next day I can’t stand look at him. & some days, I just want him to hold him & tell him that I love him… & today I feel is one of those days. I push myself off the door & start walking down to him. He slightly turns & rolls his eyes when he sees it’s me. I’m not gonna lie. It hurts me to see him treat me so indifferent, but it makes me mad that he’s not at least trying to work some sort of friendship with me. It almost makes me want to smack his head because he’s being so… so… Synyster Gates right now. “What are you doing here, Annabelle?” He asks when I’m standing next to him. I just shrug, not wanting to answer him. “You know… of all the thing you could’ve done to hurt me & push me away… this is the worst” He says, stepping closer to the pool. “First, you bring him to my dad’s house, knowing I’ll be here. That everyone was gonna be here. & then you accept to marry him here… at our hometown. What are playing at, huh?” He asks, turning to look at me.

“Last time I checked, you weren’t the lord of Huntington” I reply. He lets out a scoff, before sipping from his beer. “& what did you want me to do? To leave John at his hotel room while I came to spend time with my friends?” I say. He just shakes his head. You can see that he’s tired of fighting. We’ve been fighting over everything. “I didn’t know he would follow me here” I say after a couple of minutes of awkward silence. “He just showed up at my parent’s house, totally unexpected” I finish.

“You don’t need to explain anything to me, Annabelle” He mutters. “I don’t care” He says, turning around & starting to walk away.

“Don’t you dare walk away from me, Brian Haner” I say through clench teeth. “You know, this pity party is getting kinda tiring. Yes, I’m getting married, & yes, I’m getting married here, so deal with it” I say, throwing my arms up dramatically. “God, you can be such a child sometimes” I mutter. That last part made him stop. He turns, glaring at me.

“I can be a child sometimes? ME? Well, let me tell you, honey, that the door swings both ways. I tried to look past everything & man up, be the better man & walk away from you, so you could be happy, like you always keep repeating me that you want. I FLIED ACROSS COUNTRY TO DISTANCE MYSELF FROM YOU” He screams at me, standing in front of me. Yes, he’s screaming at my face. “But you had to get here to stir some more shit, because you always have to have the last word” He says. “Just like the little brat you’ve always been” He finishes.

“No, I don’t” I say, crossing my arms over my chest. Talk about a comeback.

“I didn’t ask to fall in love with you, Annabelle. Trust me, if I could, I would change my feelings in a heartbeat. But I can’t. & the best I can do is to stay away from you, because whenever I’m near you, all I want to do is kiss you” He say, looking at my lips hungrily. I feel my heart skipping a beat when he locks his eyes with mine.

“Then do it” I mumble, not thinking about the words that are coming out of my mouth. I see his shock face. He lowers his gaze, before stepping back.

“I can’t keep doing this” He mutters. He turns around but before I know what the hell just happened, or is happening, I spun him around & crash my lips on his, my hands resting on each side of his face, keeping him there. I thought he started responding to the kiss when suddenly I was being pushed away with such a force that made me lose my footing & ended up crashing into the cold water of the swimming pool, coming to the surface a couple of seconds later, spitting water.

“BRIAN” I shriek. I open my eyes to see him with a stifle laugh & guilt all over his face. “What the fuck, you asshole?” I say. I swim to the edge, pissed. Brian offers me his hand & I just pull him, him landing soundly on the water. I start laughing as he comes to the surface shaking his head.

“You little bitch” He says, splashing me with water.

“Well, you did it first” I say, shrugging & splashing him with some water.

“It was an ACCIDENT. You did it purposely” He says splashing me with more water, some getting inside my eye & it started to sting horribly. I started whining, when I felt a pair of hands grabbing my face. “Are you ok?” He says, gently opening my eye so he could blow in it. His tenderness makes me crumble all over again. “I’m sorry” He mutters, wiping the strands of hair that are sticking on my face.

“Don’t worry about it” I say, closing my eyes again, feeling the stinging sensation slowly subsiding. His hands start caressing my cheek & I lean into his touch, loving the way he’s been so careful & flimsy around me. I feel his breath getting closer to my lips until we hear a voice booming through the patio.

“WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING? WE HAVEN’T CLEANED THAT POOL IN GOD KNOWS HOW LONG. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA THE AMOUNT OF GERMS & DISEASES THAT MAY BE LIVING THERE? GET OUT NOW BEFORE YOU CATCH SOMETHING” He yells from the door. “Fucking kids these days” We hear Papa Gates mutter before walking back inside. Our moment… lost again. Brian looks at me, before smiling & getting out. He helps me out & the cold air of the night makes me shiver. He wraps an arm around me, rubbing my arm up & down rapidly, trying to create some kind of friction to keep me warm. I cuddle closer to him, feeling goose bumps on my arms & legs. We walk inside the house, taking the kitchen stairs to go up & find some towels to dry ourselves. I walk into Brian’s room. Well… what used to be his room. He closes the door & locks it… & before I knew it, his lips were on mine & we were inching towards the bathroom. But I’m not complaining…
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So... I'm back. I'm sorry for the lack of updates but I'm still trying to overcome a death in the family. A really hard time for my family, but thanks for still sticking with this story.

So... I just want to move things a bit foward right now. This story is getting stuck & I feel it's almost repetitive w/ Anna & Brian fighting. So the next chapter will be a very decisive chapter for their relationship. You'll have to wait & see.

Thanks to:

Dezi Demise
xo.Shadows Synner.xo
avenging angel
Vixyn Of Syn

Expect an updated later this week. I'm also starting a new Matt story. It's called You're My Perfect Lie. I'm in the first chapter still. Check it out!