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Rise & Rise Again

in the land of gods and monsters, i was an angel.

I stare at myself in the full length mirror, smoothing the skirt of my white sundress over my thighs. Through the reflection I look down at my arm and judge the bruise I caused from biting down on the skin from Austin's earlier torments to my body. The memory sends a warm sizzle down to my finger tips.

"You ready?"

Austin walks out of the bathroom, doing up the last button on his simple white shirt. He grabs his black blazer from the bed. While he slips it on, he watches me, smiling one of the best smiles I've seen him smile in a long time. I smile back, walking up to him and smoothing out the collar of his blazer and unbuttoning the top button he had done up. It didn't look right if he wasn't wearing a tie.

"There," I said softly to myself, staring at the slightly faded roman numerals just under his throat. He coughs slightly, catching my attention. I pull my hands away but he grabs my right one and puts it over his heart, keeping it covered with both of his. I want to stare at his hands and just focus on his heart beat underneath my finger tips but his gaze holds mine steady. Brown eyes meet brown eyes. His are so much bright than mine, and they fit his face well.

"I love you, Zoe, don't forget that."

I smile, feeling my eyes water just a bit, but swipe my finger under my eye to keep my makeup from running and kiss his cheek. His smiles stays bright as he takes my hand from his chest, intertwining my fingers with his, and grabs the simple black folder off the chest of draws. It holds what we need in order to be approved for a marriage license. To say the least, I'm excited this day has finally come, and like any other girl that grew up with the aspiration of her wedding day being the best day of her life, I knew I was going to enjoy it no matter what.

Echo perks up from her bed in the kitchen, watching as we walk through our small apartment. Austin keeps talking about getting something a bit bigger - he keeps begging for a house but I reassure him every time that a two-bedroom apartment is fine for us seeing as we're rarely there to begin with. But now, as we begin the walk from the apartment to Austin's dark blue SUV, I can see through the back window passenger seat where he has the car seat we had picked out for Julia still buckled in.

I freeze just a foot from the door, and even though Austin stands to my side, leaning over to open it for me, he follows where my eyes fall, and softly touches my shoulder.


At the sound of his voice I snap from the trance, from the lonely, sick feeling that's in my belly, and look up at him. I smile the best I can, even though I feel pained by every single reminder that I have of the child I lost, but there's still so much ahead of me.

"Let's go get married."

Austin opens the passenger side door for me, kissing my cheek just as I go to climb in. The rest is just a blur.

I have Austin at my side, clutching the simple black folder in my lap, as we take the twenty minute drive toward Downtown Huntington Beach, ready to apply for our marriage license. There seem to be no red lights, no jay walkers, and no cloud in the sky to stop us. My knee bounces when we get a block away, and I can see the marble steps of the building that will lead me to my future. The future that I will have with Austin.

It was a blur. A blur of white and black and ink and the itch that I had on the bottom of my foot. A blur of tangled hair and twitching fingers and the warmth of Austin's hand holding mine. A blur of the weight of the ring on my finger and the mixed thoughts of if we could really last the rest of our lives together and the woman's voice saying our papers had gone through.

It was a blur. I remember my hand shaking as I signed over the simple line that asked for my signature before handing the pen to Austin for him to do the same. The woman had a sweet face, with soft brown hair and a smile that could make any child stop crying. What if Austin changed his mind and fell in love with her instead?

What about the woman that was waiting to pay a speeding ticket? She had blonde hair, her eyes were a bright blue and she could have easily fit into a size 2 dress. She was gorgeous. She was breath-taking.

What about the woman that was getting into her car when we pulled into our parking spot? Her smile made her green eyes seem golden and she pulled off her cherry red hair better than anyone I'd ever seen before.


I look up from the counter top. I'm shaking like a leaf in a hurricane and I can't breath. The butterflies have turned into a dust storm. My vision begins to tunnel and all I see is black on the sides.

"By the power invested in me from the State of California I now pronounce you husband and wife."

They say that it's the calm before the storm that you should worry about. It is a facade of how bad the storm will really be. It gives no indication of how much damage can done and will be done. Except, this time, I fear the calm now, after the storm, more than anything. Just how much damage has been done?

"Mr. and Mrs. Carlile."

She stamps something. It clanks against the desk and I feel my toes begin to tingle because I've had my knees locked for too long.

"Congratulations, you two. I hope you have a wonderful marriage."

"Anything other than my last one will be wonderful," Austin jokes, his eyes shining the bright brown that I always loved.

That I will always love.

"C'mon, angel, let's go tell the guys," Austin says, taking my hand and our newly officiated marriage license. The blur is back.

I'm married. I'm officially Zoe Carlile now.

Being married feels so surreal. My last name has been changed in the blink of an eye. All it took was a piece of paper and three signatures. Mine, his and hers. My ring feels weightless now, like it's not even there and I have to look down or twist it around my finger to remind myself just how real everything is now. I'm married.

Not to mention, to my best friend.


I look over at Austin. We're half way to Phil's beach flat, where the guys have decided to have a barbecue to start off the beginning of yet another tour. In four days the guys set out for the South By So What?! tour as well as the North American Tour that they will accompany A Day to Remember on.

I had the plans on looking for another job, just something to kill time and get some spending money while Austin was away until they came back to the West Coast and we could figure out what we were going to do when they left tour to go work on the other album that they had been planning out while at Soundwave.

"Look what the cat dragged in," Alan teases as Austin and I walk around back, carrying a six-pack and a bottle of Jack that I know will be gone before the meal can be finished.

"Shut it, Ashby. Just because I took my meds doesn't mean I can't kick your ass again."

The ginger shuts up quickly and curls back up in the lawn chair he has taken over, still nursing the slightly sore jaw from my right hook. Austin gives me a look, which tells me I need to grow up because I am a married woman now and-

Oh fuck, I'm married.

"Hey, what's that?" Jen asks, standing from Tino's side and walking over to give me a greeting hug. Austin grins and holds up the certificate.

"We're married!"

The backyard is dead silent, and for a few seconds I'm frightened because did I make the right decision of coming back?

"Oh my god, that's amazing!"

Maddie and Jen and Anouk are all at my side, gushing over the ring that they had seen me wear almost all last year as well as how well my complexion looked in the simple white sundress I had picked out to wear. I felt... relieved.

Phil and Aaron slapped Austin on the back, giving their congrats and handing him a bottle of beer. Tino smiled and hollered from the grill that we better start working on giving him another niece sometime soon. The feeling that washed over me was bittersweet. Austin and I looked at each other, his own smile not quite reaching his eyes.

"We're going to hold off on the baby-making for awhile, Toto," I say, grabbing my own bottle of beer. "Now hurry up with that steak before Ashby brings out his claws."

Alan glares at me, but I walk over and hug him tight, patting his back. "I'm sorry for punching you back in Australia. Next time I go by the grocery store I'll get some supplies to make you a cake."

"Damn, if only Austin hadn't gotten to you first. I would marry you in a heartbeat."

I laugh and shake my head. Austin gives a glare and wraps his arms around my waist. "Back off, Ashby," he says, kissing my cheek and holding my back to his chest. I felt his warm skin through the thin fabric of my dress and it felt like last summer all over again, but back then he had his hands holding my belly and not simply clasped together with mine.


"Austin, stop!" I run around the kitchen table, still holding a half clean plate in my hands as Austin chases me with a handful of soap suds. Echo stands off to the side, barking and playfully bouncing on the balls of her paws. He almost gets me but I fake to the left and slip past him, putting the plate on the kitchen table and taking off for the living room. I jump over the couch and hide behind it, staying as close to the ground as I can. Echo finds me easily, panting and licking my face.

I try to hold in my giggles and hush her at the same time, but she gave my position away and I'm suddenly soaked in dirty dish water. Austin laughs loudly from above me on the couch while he holds the bowl in his hands over me.

"Austin Robert!" I squeal, feeling annoyed because I had just gotten out of the shower and I can feel soggy cereal in my hair.

"Zoe Andrea!"

I stand with a glare, a serious one, and shake my hair out in his direction. He sputters and falls back off the couch, landing with his long, lanky legs tangled and the bowl laying upside down out of his reach. I looked down at Echo and then back up at him before jumping over the couch.


I am cautious of where my elbows and knees land, but when I straddle his waist, my fingers tickle his sides and pin down his legs as he tries to throw me off.

"Stop, Zoe! Stop!" He cries as he laughs, but I don't give in because it's been a long time since we've had a tickle battle and I miss the look on his face that he usually has when we give up. After a good few minutes, Austin grabs my wrists and pulls my fingers away. I stick out my tongue, not quite ready to finish my half of the battle, but give him room and time to catch his breath.

"Stop, Zoe. Stop," I mock him in a high pitched voice, and Austin just laughs softly at me. His hands let go of my wrist, and my hands just simply fall to my rest between my legs on his stomach. I watch him. His chest evens out as it rises with each breath. His eyes are closed, but I see them move behind the eye lids. He's thinking, and I can't quite figure out what.

I glance up at Echo, who is walking back to her doggy bed in the kitchen, before back down at Austin. The expression he wears takes my breath away. It's so pure and chaste and loving.

"Mrs. Carlile."

It's only been two days since we got married. I went to get my driver's license and passport changed earlier and I sent out resumes to all companies I could find that were possibly accepting applications. Things were slowly looking up for us. Austin would leave and go on tour for the next few months, but I would see him when they stopped by the West Coast. Maybe I could fly out when they had a few days off or there was a split between tours.

I missed touring and working at the same time. I needed to find something that would give me that chance, but so far nothing was really popping up. Austin pulled me to lay on his chest, and we just took in the nice moment of being together. There was the rise of his chest and the smell of his soap was soothing to make my heartbeat slow to its normal resting rate.

"I leave soon," he says softly, his fingers running over the small of my back from where my shirt has ridden up. My hair is still a sticky, wet cereal covered mess, but the smell of watered down old milk doesn't phase me. I've only got two more nights left with my new husband before he's off on another tour. We just got back together after such a long, stressful six months, but now we need to get our lives back together and in one piece.

"I know."

I kiss a spot right under the rose tattoo on his neck, knowing I'm going to miss him far too much over the next few months.


A much needed update.
College is crazy. Don't go to college, kids, you'll die from the stress.


this is perfect. <3

christinaannxo christinaannxo

Just read the whole story in 2 hours cx its 12:30 in the morning and totally worth it xp

Aw! The nusery scene was sad :( but I can't wait for the marriage scene next!

amazing update! your writing is crazy! specially in this chapter! ;) ;)

taxigerm taxigerm

Oh hot damn. This chapter is fabulous Dahling. :3

WhiskeyPrincess WhiskeyPrincess