Status: Active

Dear God

Chapter 05

A few weeks after our FaceTime session, Matt and I had worked out a plan for him and the kids to come visit for a week. When he first told Carly that they'd come visit, I thought he was just joking to mess with me, but then I got a text from him asking what dates would work best for me. So after some back and forth with me and Melony, and making sure the band didn't have any obligations, we had a time frame set. That's when the panic started. I was going to have Matt in my my apartment for a week. I was a little mad at myself for being this panicky about him being here, but that meant that we were going to talk and I was really good at avoiding confrontation...the last six years were a testament to that. But what was really freaking me out was the feeling I got when I thought about Matt being here and spending time with him and the kids. The butterflies were going crazy in my stomach just thinking about it. But I was excited too. Nowhere near as excited as Carly and Lilly were though.

Leading up to their trip, we let the girls FaceTime with each other, so they could at least get to know each other. Their friendship was quick, and it was clear it was a strong bond. Matt and I couldn't help but smile at the interaction of the two toddlers and even Jesse was excited to meet Lilly and even me according to Matt. What I didn't know was that Brian told them about our times together when I lived in California and every time he told them a new story, they wanted to meet me. It was weird being a legend to two kids that I didn't even know existed until a month or so ago.

When the day finally arrived for the Sanders's visit, I was a mess. I had spent all my free time cleaning the apartment from top to bottom. Even Lilly was being a big help and cleaned her room and got it ready for the impending sleepover that the girls demanded they have. I knew Lilly was excited to play with someone her own age again since her daycare closed and Griff had been watching her and I knew Griff was happy to not have to babysit for a week.

"Sissy, when will they be here?" Lilly whined from the couch where I had to force her to sit and eat lunch because she was clued to the door.

"Soon. They were dropping their stuff off at the hotel, then they would be over." I chuckled. "You will get to spend plenty of time with Carly, don't worry." I assured my sister.

"But I want her here now." She slammed her tiny fist into the couch.

"Lilly Elizabeth, you need to cool it, or I'll tell Matt not to come over. I know you're excited, but you need to be patient and behave. I've taught you better than that."

Lilly huffed out an apology and went back to eating her snack and looking at the door longingly. It was cute how excited she was for Carly's visit. I just hoped that their friendship lasted the distance because that would be devastating to both of them if it didn't.

A knock at the door sent the little girl next to me flying to the door and reaching for the handle. "Lilly! What have I told you about opening the door without me?"

"But it's Matt!" She rebutted.

I shook my head and picked her up as I unlocked the door. "I don't care if it's Santa Claus, you don't open the door without me next to you. You got it?"

"Yes, Carrie."

I kissed the top of her head. "Thank you. I don't want anything to happen to you." I opened the door and smiled when I saw Carly bouncing in Matt's arms and Matt struggling to keep her still.



The girls screamed at the same time and reached for each other, causing Matt and I to laugh. Putting the girls down, they ran off to Lilly's room before Matt and Jesse were even in the door. I looked down at the six-year-old and smiled. He looked exactly like Matt it was almost scary. I kneeled to his level and smiled at him.

"It's nice to finally meet you Jesse. Your dad has told me so much about you. He told me you are starting to play baseball? Is Zacky helping you out?"

Jesse's eyes lit up and he grinned from ear to ear. "He gave me my first glove for my birthday! He promised to take me to an Angles game for my next birthday."

"That is so exciting. Did Zacky or your dad tell you that I played softball growing up and when we were friends? I even beat Zacky in a homerun derby one time."

Matt laughed. "He's still bitter about that." I grinned and stood up and hugged Matt. "Good to see you again, Care." He smiled, his dimples showing.

I blushed at the use of his nickname for me and suppressed the urge to standup on my top toes and kiss him like I would have six years ago. “You too, Matt. Did you guys have a good flight?”

“We did. Carly couldn’t sit still though, which is so unlike her. She loves plane rides and is usually pretty chill about it.”

“What about you Jesse? Do you like flying?”

Jesse shrugged. “I like the bus. You get to see more.”

“Do you get to go on the bus often?”

“When mommy lets us.” He rolled his eyes.

I looked at Matt who rolled his eyes angrily and I decided not to press the issue because it was clear it was a sore subject for both boys. So i decided to change the topic and offered Jesse free reign of my gaming system and Netflix which I quickly assured Matt that i had child friendly games and locks on Netflix. I went to check on the girls as Matt helped Jesse. The girls were happily playing with Lilly’s massive Barbie collection and chatting away about whatever five-year olds talk about.

Once the kids were settled and doing their own things, Matt and I sat down at the table with some coffee.

“So I wasn’t going to bring it up, but the maternal instincts in me can’t leave it alone. What was with the comment about Melony letting them do things? Does she not let the kids see you, Matt?”

Matt sighed. “Not while we’re on tour. Which I can understand to a point, but I want the kids with me. I want them to get to experience the road and shows. I want them in my life.”

“How often do you get to see them when you’re home?”

“They pretty much live with me when I’m not on tour. Melony keeps them but more often than not she leaves them with me.”

“That’s not right, Matt. From what I understand you’re not actually together, correct?” Matt nodded but didn’t say anything. “Then you need to have some kind of custody agreement or something. Obviously they stay with her when you’re on tour and doing other Avenged things and it’s only fair your get them for some time when you get back, but for her to just assume you’ll keep them is selfish.” I huffed.

“I know I already asked you this, but how much did Brian tell you about my relationship with Mel?”

I took a sip of coffee to steel myself for the conversation that we were about to have. Glancing over at the couch where Jesse was engrossed in Finding Nemo, I lowered m voice. “He told me that she was a groupie that just kept appearing at shows and eventually you latched on to her. Then she got pregnant and you two got together.”

Matt sighed. “That’s the gist of it. The nitty gritty details go like this. I was mad at you, that much you know and she was a constant in the sea of women and booze. Pretty soon after sleeping with her so many times, I finally just invited her on the bus. The guys hated it and fought me on it but I wasn’t listening to them.”

Matt took a sip of his coffee and I watched his arm flex as he did so. Then he rolled his shoulders and suddenly I wanted to be behind his chair with my hands on his broad shoulders kneading the tension away. As if he could read my mind, he flashed me a grin before continuing on about his relationship with Melony.

"I never expected it to go on for as long as it did and I certainly did not expect it to end up with me being a father."

"Exactly how did that happen?" Matt raised an eyebrow and smirked at me.

"If I have to explain it to you, Caroline, then we did not do a good job at corrupting you all those years ago." He laughed.

I laughed and flipped him off before continuing. "That is not what I meant and you know it. What I want to know is how you ended up a father...which suits you very well by the way." I winked.Matt blushed. "To this day, I'm not sure. I just know one day Mel is calmly telling me she's pregnant."

"Brian said she trapped you. My guess it was the classic earing to the foil deal?" Matt shrugged and looked away embarrassed. "I'm not judging you Matt. I am just telling you what I think happened."

"I may have been trapped, but that doesn't mean I don't love those two with all my heart. They're my pride and joy."

Oh. My. God. Could he be any hotter right now?! I thought to myself as I stared at the man sitting across from me. Part of me didn't want to be feeling what I was right now and the other part of me loved seeing him get defensive of his kids. But there was also a not so small part of me that was jealous. That I wasn't the one having kids with him and raising them.

"What are you thinking about right now?" Matt asked, reaching across the table to grab my hand, sending electricity through my body.

"How I wish I was in Mel's shoes." I whispered. Surprised I admitted it so quickly.

Matt shook his head. "No you don't. I barely talk to her when it doesn't pertain to the kids. I only interact with her when I have to."

"So you're saying you'd actually talk to me if I was the mother of your kids? That's all it would have taken to get you to talk to me? To tell you I was pregnant?"

Matt pulled his hand away and I tried not to show my disappointment. "That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that if the roles were reversed and you and I had had kids together, we'd be married and living together. I would be talking to you all the time." Leaning forward, Matt lowered his voice even more than we already had them. "I wanted this life with you, Care, not Mel. It was supposed to be you, Caroline."

Tears burned the back of my eyes and I suddenly found it hard to speak. Knowing that Matt felt the same way I did, made me feel a little better but at the same time it made it hurt that much more to know that it didn't happen that way. "She has the life I wanted....that I want, Matt. That was supposed to be me." I whispered, tears now threatening to spill. "I didn't think I wanted that with you anymore, but you being here with the kids, even for a little bit, made me realized that I was wrong. I thought I was happy with raising Lilly on my own, but now I don't know."

"Caroline, you're doing a wonderful job at raising her. There was never any doubt that you wouldn't have been a great mother, so there shouldn't be any now. You've been doing this for five years now. Why the sudden uncertainty?” He asked softly, his hazel eyes searching my face for an answer.

I looked down at my coffee cup and shrugged. “It’s been so hard. I know you guys aren’t together, but you have Melony to help you out. I have…had no one. Sure Corey and Allison help when they can, but they’ve got their own lives to deal with. They don’t need to be babysitting for me all the time when I’m at work.”

“You know they don’t mind it. They’re your family, Caroline. I also know that Brian and Michelle have been out here a few times and have help you out, Zack and April too. You’re not alone nor were you ever alone.”

I knew Matt was right, but sometimes the insecurities get the best of me and I need the reassurance that I was doing a good job at this whole mom thing. Hearing how Melony treated Jesse and Carly made me feel better about myself but broke my heart when I thought about the two young children.

“Matt, when was the last time Carly had one on one time with Melony?”

“Oh boy.” He blew out a breath. “It’s been a while. I don’t want to say she neglects them, but she doesn’t do things with them like I do. I try and take them over one of the guys/ houses so they can play with their uncles and every once in a while my parents or Amy will watch one of them while I spend some quality time with the other. I try to be both mom and dad for them, but sometimes its hard. It’s frustrating too epseically because they have a mother, she’s just not attentive. God bless the girls in our group because they’ve come in clutch a few times when Melony has flaked.”

Anger boiled inside of me. How could someone be so selfish? She made the decision to have kids and she needs to step up and be a mother to those kids. No matter what the motive behind getting pregnant was, she was still their mother.

I was about to say something but closed my mouth because I didn’t want to insult her in front of Jesse more than I already have. Matt seemed to have an idea of what I was going to say and smirked at me. I rolled my eyes and grinned at him as I stood up.

“Jesse, do you want something to drink, bud?”

Jesse turned on the couch and looked over at me. “May I have some milk please?”

“Of course you can.” I smiled. “Can you go ask you sister and Lilly if they’d like anything?” With a nod, the little boy was off the couch and jogging down the hallway to do as I asked. I turned to Matt who was beaming. “He has such good manners. You’re not doing half bad yourself, Sanders.” I winked.

Once I got the kids something to drink, Matt and I settled on the couch to finish Finding Nemo with Jesse. Just as the movie was ending, the girls came out of the room and joined us, asking if we could watch Tangled next. Jesse threw a small fit, but soon relented stating that he loved Pasqual. Matt got the movie pulled up and the five of us settled in for a movie.

As the movie started, I looked over the living room. Matt and I were on the ends of the couch and Jesse was next to me with Lilly next to him and Carly next to Lilly and Matt. I smiled at the sight and wondered for the hundredth time since they stepped foot in my apartment, if this is what my life with Matt would have been like had things worked out for us. Matt looked over at me and smiled before placing a kiss on top of Carly’s head as she watched the movie, making my heart squeeze.
I sent him a smile and turned my attention back to the movie, enjoying the quiet time between all of us.
♠ ♠ ♠
Hope everyone had a great weekend! I work on weekends, so mine was pretty busy.

I hope you all are enjoying the story of Matt and Caroline! I have so much in store for this couple. Please continue to be patient with me with updates. I am working on this story.

HUGE thank you goes to Ms. VioletShade for being my sounding board as well as editor for my chapters.