‹ Prequel: God Please
Status: If this story is up, it is active. NEW update coming week of 5/20/19!!!!

Second Chance

Tea Parties and Pancakes

Something about watching a grown man, a rockstar, no less, effecting an English accent while having a pretend tea party with two little girls was magical. Oh, it was hilarious. Emily laughed so hard at times, she cried, but it was special none the less. The fact that he had instantly gone into character, while simultaneously carrying on an intense game of twenty questions was just beyond brilliant. It was heartwarming, and dare she say, she may have fallen that much more in love with him in the process.

She wasn’t able to witness the entire session, of course. She spent the time entertaining Angel with books, puppets, and a rousing game of peek-a-boo before the youngest of the four woke from his slumber about thirty minutes in. It was second nature to let him carry on with the girls while she cared for little Mateo. For a moment there, she almost forgot this was their first evening with the family, because it just seemed so effortless. They were all so spirited, sweet, and well behaved.

By the time everyone had played til their hearts’ content, eaten a hearty snack, brushed their teeth, bathed, got into their pajamas, and get a bedtime story in, the Haners were pretty well spent. The trio just had so much energy, and Mateo was a pretty active baby when he was awake, and the couple had gotten distracted on the way over, so they didn’t have their evening Starbucks pick me up; but it was worth it. Completely safe to say everyone enjoyed the encounter.

A little sigh left delicately painted lips as she settled back onto the couch, with the infant in her arms. A strong tattooed arm came around her shoulders, and she was pulled to nestle against her husband. After a busy evening, it felt good to just relax together. Baby was still awake, but happy, and the lengthening gaps in his little sounds and movements told them that sleep was on the way.

“Did you see how Angel took to me?” she asked quietly, a soft smile on her face now. “She’s so precious.”

“She is a little cutie, and yes I did notice. Rosey seems to really have taken to you, too.”

“She and I think a lot alike, but you can’t discount the fact that she loved your 20 questions tea party. It was a good idea, Mr. Brunswick.”

“Hey, don’t poke fun. I had to pick a name that would appease the proper side of Rosey!”

“It was adorable watching you drink imaginary tea.”

“It was a little awkward at first, but I owned it.”

“Yes, you did.” She laughed quietly. “They’re good kids.”

“Hey, I have an idea.” He said suddenly with a flick of his fingers to her arm.

“What’s that?”

“The kids are in bed. Baby boy is almost asleep. What if we bless James and Nicoletta?”

“Bless them how?” an eyebrow arched up at his question.

“What if we get them a night where we just stayed?”

“When? Tonight?” the suggestion surprised her a bit, but she wasn’t opposed to it.

“Yes, tonight. It’s their anniversary. They deserve it, baby. When else are they going to be able to go? We’re already here, and the kids have been good?”

“You really want to pull an overnight with four kids?”

“Why not? Olivia’s homework is finished now. Rosey even insisted on them packing their lunches and backpacks, so everything is ready for morning.”

“When was that?”

“While you were bathing Angel.”

“That’s awesome. She’s such a good big sister.” Glancing down at the now-snoozing little boy in her arms, she shrugged. “Alright, baby. Do you want to call them, or do you want me to?”

“Let me call James. You have your hands full.” Leaning in, he pressed a kiss to her forehead before moving to go make the call.


When the door opened at 7:30 that morning, James and Nicoletta were not rushed by their children. With a glance to one another, they followed the sounds of happy chatter into the kitchen, where they were then greeted by the joyous shouts of three of the four. The Martinez wife’s already glowing face lit up even more at the sight of her girls finishing up what looked to be a delicious breakfast.

“Oh my goodness!” she exclaimed. “You didn’t have to do this!”

“This was Brian’s idea.” Emily told them. “We made extra for the two of you.”

“This is wonderful. You two have really done too much,” James replied, though the look of gratitude on his face said how much it was appreciated.

“We just wanted you to enjoy your anniversary, and come home to a nice meal before you get into your daily routine.” The guitarist assured. “It’s no trouble at all. Everyone was good and we had a lot of fun.”

“They really were good. You have such a beautiful family.”

“Thank you so much. This is beyond what I expected when I asked if you wouldn’t mind watching them. And the hotel! Oh my goodness!”

“Don’t cry, Nic. You guys deserved it!” Emily said and moved to hug the emotional mother. “We loved spending time with them. We will gladly do it any time we can. You guys need time together.”

“Homework is all done. Backpacks and lunches are all packed. They just need to brush their teeth and get dressed when they finish breakfast.” Brian noted as he turned to wash his hands after finishing the last of the dishes. “Rosey made sure everyone’s clothes were laid out, so it won’t take long.”

“Thank you, Brian. Both of you. This is really more than we could have asked for,” the now beaming husband said. “Please, let us give you something for—”

“No.” both refused at the same time.

“No, no. This was our gift to you. We don’t want to be paid for it.”

“Thank you so, so much. Is our little boy sleeping?” a shaky hand came up to wipe at her eyes which threatened to allow a few tears to escape.

“Yes. He was fed about thirty minutes ago or so. He spit up on himself as I was changing him, so he has also been bathed. Clean diaper and dry clothes now, and he fell asleep just a few minutes before you walked in.”

“Do you guys have to work today?”

“I do. James is off today.”

“I’m sorry. That’s a shame,” Emily frowned.

“No, it’s fine. Last night and this morning, coming home to see my kids happy…I’ll be going to work happier than I have in a long time. Thank you both again, really. I can’t stop saying it, it’s just so wonderful.”

“Our pleasure. I think we are going to head home now. We will see you guys again soon, okay?”

“Girls, tell Mr. Brian and Mrs. Emily bye.”


“Hope to see you again soon. It was fun.”

“It was fun. Have a good day at school, girls. Bye-bye.”


Going from all the hustle and bustle of four children and their high energy to a home with none was a bit extreme, but the Haners couldn’t say they weren’t ready to relax. It had been a long fourteen and a half hours. Yes, they wanted a family. That didn’t detract from that in the slightest, but they were looking forward to easing into it one baby at a time. Since they had eaten on the way home, there wasn’t much else to do besides shower and slip into something comfortable.

For Brian, that was a pair of pj pants, and coming out of the bathroom to see the guitarist nestled in the corner of the couch without a shirt was a nice site for tired eyes, for sure. Emily went in the opposite direction, and opted for a loose fitting t shirt, panties, and no pants, which was also a delectable sight for her husband. However, romance outside of a few flirty comments was no where in either of their minds. It was time to snuggle up with a good movie and a soft blanket or two.

They probably saw all of the opening lines before a soft snore wisped out of the taller Haner’s mouth. The more petite of the two, who was curled into his side, snickered at him. It was not even ten am, and already he was napping. She had her fun for not more than five minutes before she, too, was sleeping away with her head on his chest. The flick ran its course, and the couple continued their slumber far past the screen faded to black, then blue, and the blue ray player eventually shut off from inactivity. It wasn’t until a phone rang in the other room hours later, that they roused.

“It’s probably Val.” Brian mumbled as he sat up to rub at the crink in his neck.

“How do you know it’s Val?” she mused while proceeding to look for her device.

“I have heard that ringtone so much in the last few weeks, that if it isn’t Val, I want to know who it is. Affairs don’t call that much.” He chuckled lazily.

“Wouldn’t know about those, stud, but you’re actually wrong. It’s Matt. They have the same tone—Hey Matt.”

Pulling his own phone from his pocket, he decided to bring up a text to his sister to see what she was up to. The picture he received in response showed him that she was in Yoga class, and he had to laugh at the view from downward dog. Their conversation continued despite her current location. He wouldn’t text during a class he was paying for, but to each their own.

“I just can’t get away from kids today!” his wife snorted from the kitchen. “I’m sure that’s fine. Let me check with Brian, though.”

“Yes, dear?”

“Matt wanted to know if I could come over and help him and the kids with something for Val’s birthday?”

“Uh. I mean, I don’t have any issues with that. Kinda confused as to why, when her birthday isn’t until April, but whatever.”

“I don’t know. I’m just being asked. Sure you’re cool with it?”

“Yeah. I think I’m gonna meet McKenna for a late breakfast. She hasn’t eaten yet.”

“Okay, baby. Let me get back to Matt. Tell Kenna I said hi.”
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I know I have been quiet a lot. Working a lot, healing a lot. Good news, though! I have the next chapter of the story already written up. A little unorthodox, perhaps, but we also learn a thing or two from it! I know it is moving a bit slowly, and I apologize for that. It will begin to speed up soon. Also, just know that once we get a little further along, I am likely going to have to start doing time jumps. Not sure if it will just be one, or if it will be several here and there!

Please let me know if you're still with me. Everyone's been so quiet! :D