‹ Prequel: God Please
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Second Chance

Rendezvous for Advice

It was over. The balloons had been released, the food had been eaten, the leftovers had been dispersed and taken home or put away, and the last of their guests had eventually gone home. The couple was alone now. Their hearts felt raw with emotion, but without a word being exchanged, they both knew that it had served its purpose. Something was different. The weight that they had been carrying around with them for these last four weeks was gone. It finally felt like they could start their new chapter, just differently than they had imagined they would. The day had been a day of healing, and it brought a knowledge and understanding that it was okay to move on. It was the pinnacle point they had been working towards for what seemed like forever, and it was here at last. It brought peace, and it was a kind the couple hadn’t had in their marriage in a while. Long before they lost their precious angel, truth be told.

The quiet that evening was a comfortable one. It held no traces of anything other than a knowledge that this truly was a new beginning. Brian left his bride briefly to go gather a bottle of wine and a couple of glasses. When he returned, a simple raise of his eyebrows served as a question as to whether she was interested or not. A faint smile was the answer that drew him to proceed back to his place to the left of her on the large comfy couch. He uncorked the beverage swiftly, and poured them each a healthy portion. It was something they did on occasion before she had become pregnant, and they had come to miss for the eight months she carried Grey. They had shared a glass or two a couple of times since everything happened, but tonight was different. It was special. It was part of their healing chapter, and it felt good. Dare it be said that it felt almost, well, normal.

Neither felt restless. Unlike before, they didn’t feel the need to make forced small talk in order to keep up the façade that they were okay. They simply sat curled up against one another on the soft cushioned sofa and relished in just being. It was quite a beautiful evening, and much needed. The next thing the blue-eyed woman knew, long lashes lifted from her cheeks and she realized they had fallen asleep that way. A small smile graced her lips and she pulled herself from the guitarist’s arms. Gently pulling the empty glass from his left hand, she set it on the coffee table before him. A quite word of encouragement to rouse from his sleep was whispered in his ear, and it drew him awake just enough to follow her to bed. They didn’t even bother slipping out of their clothes in favor of something more comfortable before molding themselves into one another under the covers. It wasn’t two full minutes before the room was filled with rhythmic breathing, and the pair fell into the most relaxed sleep they had in many months.


The next few weeks stood as a testimony of the healing that took place on the one-month anniversary. The two hadn’t suddenly shut off their emotions and feelings on their little boy, but it now held a different meaning to them. He was where he was supposed to be, watching over their beloved brother and drummer, and they were beginning to live their lives together in a forward motion once again. In fact, Emily had become inspired to begin writing again, which had been a great passion of hers once upon a time. Brian found himself on the up and up again as well, and had spent the better part of two weeks holed up in his studio laying down pieces that began to flow. That hadn’t happened in quite a long time, and it felt good.

Presently, the Haner wife sat fidgeting in her seat at the stop light just five blocks from the out of the way bistro she and her husband frequented on occasion. Only this time, she was not on the way to meet her other half. It was actually Val she was rushing to see, and excitement was buzzing through her veins. She felt like she was going to burst if she didn’t unleash what she was holding onto. It was all she could do not to call the singer’s wife and gush everything to her like a teenie bopper with a crush on the boy next door. When she arrived at the little eatery, she quickly parked, leapt out of the Lexus and practically threw herself in the other woman’s arms with a huge hug.

“Whoa, hey! Watch it there,” the blonde giggled.

“HI VAL! I am SO happy to see you!!”

“What in the world has gotten into you?” she piped, but gave her friend a tight squeeze anyway.

“I have to tell you this! I haven’t even told my husband yet! Come on!” without warning, she grabbed her friend’s wrist and all but sprinted around the corner into the outdoor seating area.

“Alright, cowgirl. Slow down. I pulled a muscle chasing the kids around the park the other day, and it hurts!”

“Sorry, sorry, sorry. I’m just so stoked!”

“I can tell.” The older woman smiled brightly now, regardless of the twinge of pain radiating through her hip and leg as they took a seat on the patio to both have more privacy, and to enjoy the gorgeous day. She waved at the waiter to tell him to relax and noted, “We’ll have water with lemon. I want the grilled chicken salad, oil and balsamic vinegar dressing on the side.”

“Same for me, just with light Italian dressing.”

“Okay, now tell me what has you so giddy.”

“I have been up practically all night for about a week straight and I have an idea for a business I’d like to start and I want you to come in on it with me!” she blurted in true teenager with a crush style (much to her dismay), simply unable to control herself any longer.

“Okay. I’m interested. If it’s not related to music or kids, I’m not sure how helpful I can be being that’s all that’s been my life for so long, but I’ll give it a shot. What’cha got?”


While two of Avenged’s leading ladies were discussing building a new business, Brian was focusing on a proposal of a different kind; and it was one that made him incredibly nervous. Sweat beaded up along his brow as well as in the palms of his hands and he couldn’t remember a time he had been this on edge, despite the fact that it seemed like a silly thing to be anxious about. The newest addition to the Avenged Wives’ Club, as the trio affectionately referred to it as, was carefully looking over the options the guitarist had brought her attention to.

The youngest of the women may have led a humble life until meeting Johnny, and though they maintained a low-key lifestyle even now, she still knew quite a bit about the finer things in life. She was excellent at things like this. Reading people and matching their personalities to tastes in certain things, regardless of whether it was ever spoken about openly or not, was her specialty. That was why she was standing next to the lead now. He definitely valued her option, and next to himself and Val, he regarded her as someone who knew his wife as close to a T as it could get.

“I’ve got to be honest Lace,” he breathed a bit shakily after what had probably been a good five minutes of silence. “You’re freaking me out a little.”

“Just give me a second here. Calm down.”

“I’m sorry. I just want everything to be so perfect, you know?”

“You do know that Em loves you more than life itself, right?” she almost laughed, but thought better of it and just flashed a smile his direction.

“And I love her more than that. She’s my rock.”

“I know. Which is why you have nothing to be nervous about.” With a momentary pause, the bassist’s wife righted herself and thrust a confident point at her choice. “That one.”

“That one? Are you sure?”

“Yep. That’s gonna be the one.”

“That’s not what I would have guessed.”

“Trust me. She’ll love it.”

“Oh, I do. That’s why you’re here. I just…. I….”

“You want it to be perfect.”

“I do.”

“And it will be because it’s coming from you.”

“You think so?” his expression flattened at the quiet laugh he got in response.

“Dude, you’re acting like it’s prom night and you’re wondering if she likes you enough to go to the hotel later.” Her hand came to her nose and mouth to stifle a snort she was trying (and failing) so hard to hold in. “I’m sorry. It’s not funny. It’s sweet. Yes, she’s going to love it. Yes, it’s perfect. And this is all going to go down just fine. I promise.”

“I’m sorry, I just…. we’ve been through so much and I just…. you’re right. She’s going to love it. If you say that’s the one, I know it is.”

“Breathe. In, and out. Good, now I’m going to go. You take care of this, and I will talk to you later.” Lifting a hand, she bumped her knuckles to his and turned on her heels to leave.




“Well?! What do you think?”

“Do you want the truth, Em?” Val sighed and sat back into her seat now.

The younger of the two had poured her heart out to her over the course of their meal, and it was finally over. Everything was out in the open, every last detail had been addressed. The question, and that lengthy breath that followed made her nervous. She knew she was sleep deprived, but it couldn’t have been that horrible, right?

“Yeah. Give it to me straight,” her voice was slightly deflated and she couldn’t hide it. A handful of seconds ticked by, and she just couldn’t take it anymore. “Val, please. I need to know. Good or bad.”

“I absolutely LOVE IT!” baby pink painted belted loudly now, and let out an airy laugh as her friend groaned out a sigh of relief.


“Absolutely! It’s awesome! Hell yeah I want to be a part of it!!!”

“I don’t know where to get started! It all came to me so fast, I don’t even have it fully written down yet! And by the way, you’re a jerk for screwing with me like that!”

“Well, I can tell you how to start. Go home, get some sleep. You need it. We can’t start a business solely on caffeine. And by the way, I know you love me anyway.”

“Sleep?! But I don’t want to forget everything! There’s too much to do!”

“Baby girl, slow down. Look, if you don’t get sleep, you’re not going to be good for much. I know you, and I know you won’t forget this. I certainly won’t. I hung onto every detail, it’s golden.” She pulled a fifty-dollar bill from her wallet and placed it under her empty water glass. Standing, she encouraged the enthusiastic woman across from her to do the same. “Get some sleep. We will reconvene in a few days and get started. In the meantime, I’ll work on coming up with a tentative business plan that I think we can both live with for now, and I’ll share it with you then. We can go from there.”

“I will write a rough draft of a few things I’d like included in it and—”

“Honey, honey, hey.” The blonde stopped her now and a gentle hand came to her wrist. “The sleep thing is non-negotiable. You probably don’t realize this, but you’re trying to walk off with your water glass instead of your cell phone.”

“Apparently I am more tired than I thought,” the brunette giggled. “Sorry. I’m okay to drive though, I swear.”

“I would stay and argue with you, but I’ve got to pick up the boys from their playgroup and get to the store. I promised Matt I’d have dinner ready a little early night because his mom is coming over to watch the kids so we can have date night.”

“Sounds like fun. Brian’s been dating his guitar for the past few weeks.”

“I’m sure we will all hear his love child soon,” Val snickered. “Matt’s been writing a lot lately, too. Looks like it’s album season again.”

“Yep. Drive safe.”

“Funny, coming from the woman who was setting herself up to try to make a call from stemware.”

“I will be fine. I was mainly excitement. I will grab some coffee on the way home and be ok. Later V!”
♠ ♠ ♠
I am sorry it has been a while since my last update. I have been dealing with a few health issues and it has drained my willpower to do much other than sleep. But, that is slowly ending and to make it up to you I have written two chapters tonight! Extra long!

My shift at work is about to end, and I wanted this first one up before I go home so I don't have to use my mobile hotspot (we live out in the boonies and don't have wi-fi yet). So if you see some typos or grammatical errors, please forgive me. I will read it over and re-edit it soon. Hopefully tonight. As far as the second chapter goes, I will give you all a little bit to read this one and reflect on it before I post. I don't like double posting and causing some of you to miss a chapter. I won't wait long though, so double check that you're not missing one! :)