Madison Andrews can’t face her reflection in the mirror. All she sees is a big, fat nobody. Yet, deep inside she longs for something more, something that’s not skin deep. Along comes Zach, the new guy in school. He’s smoking hot and totally out of her league. She somehow catches his eye, and he makes her feel beautiful for once. But just as she gets close to Zach, her nerdy best friend, Chase, won’t let Madison doubt her true beauty, no matter how many meals she skips. Even as Madison begins to realize that she is more than what she thinks, darker forces are at work, darker than the lies and mocking from her peers, stopping her from amounting to her full potential. Can Madison find true happiness in her own skin?
Before We Say I Do:
Following the best-selling first book of the series, Entertaining Angels, comes Before We Say I Do, An Entertaining Angels Short Story. Chase Sanders and Madison Andrews are about to declare their love for one another in the most sacred of ways. Everything has been going perfectly, especially when an old friend returns to town to stand by Chase’s side on their big day. But is Zach there to see their union, or is he concealing the truth of why he’s actually back in town? Chase has lived perfectly fine without his father around, but now that his father is divorcing again, he is seeking forgiveness. Chase can’t look at his father, let alone forgive him. Before Chase and Mads can say “I Do,” Chase must first learn to let go of the past before the dark forces that haunt his nightmares come to life. *This is a short story and isn’t a prequel to Entertaining Angels. In order to understand it, you’ll need to read Entertaining Angels first.*
Here’s another look into Before We Say I Do:
Andy had just come back from the decoration crisis as I paced the room; Zach and Andy watched me. I knew they wanted to ask me what was on my mind, but honestly, I didn’t even want to think about it. I was just ready to see Mads walk down the aisle. But there was something else bothering me, and I didn’t want to bring it up. I couldn’t help it, though. My dad was lingering on my mind. Should I have invited him? No. I was right in not, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was about to blow up.
“Andy, do you think I could talk to Chase for a minute?” Zach asked.
“Yeah. Sure.” Andy stood and gave me a wary glance before he walked out and shut the door behind him. That didn’t help my feelings any.
“Something’s going to happen isn’t it?” I asked, running my hands through my hair. I remembered it wouldn’t be long before I was taking pictures. I looked in the mirror and fixed it; I couldn’t let my nervous habit get the best of me right now. I had to look my best for Mads.
“Chase, I – I wish I could say no.”
Zach looked away from me, and I knew it. Something bad was going to happen.
“Will Mads be alright? Please tell me this isn’t about her.”
“It’s not. This time it’s you.”
Zach’s green eyes bore into me, and I felt like I was two feet tall. This couldn’t be happening. This was supposed to be the happiest day of my life. And I knew that it was my dad who was going to ruin everything because I couldn’t get him off of my mind!
“So that’s why you’re really here?” I asked, pacing the room. I lifted my hands to run them through my hair but stopped short. I balled them into fists and kept pacing.
“Not exactly. I really did come here to witness your union, but it was also to help you deal with your problem.”
“What problem is that?”
“I think you know, Chase.”
Why did anything have to revolve around him today? This was mine and Mads’ day.
“Can you stop it? Please?” I stood in front of him, begging. I even prayed to God to let this stop before it started. I would do anything to keep my dad from ruining our day.
“Things are already in motion, Chase. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
My legs felt weak, and I took a seat in the chair across from Zach. This wasn’t happening. This couldn’t be happening. God, please. Stop this before it starts! Don’t let my dad show up. Please . . .
“What am I going to do?” I asked Zach. Maybe God had given him some kind of information that would be helpful to me.
“Be strong. Madison is going to need you at your best. You know how the enemy can be. Don’t let them ruin this for you two. That’s all they’re trying to do.”
“That’s it? That’s all the advice you can give me?” My voice rose in anger.
I stood and paced the room again, pushing my hands through my hair and then balled my hands into fists. I’d deal with my hair later. Right now, I was too angry. How could this happen to me? To us? This wasn’t right.
“I can’t believe it,” I mumbled.
“Chase, please. I told you so you could prepare. Not to cause you anger.”
“How can I not be angry, Zach? My dad is going to ruin my big day!”
“Not if you don’t let him, Chase. Maybe you can talk to him and mend fences.” He just stared at me like I was a caged animal and like he truly pitied me. Maybe that description wasn’t too far off.
About Emerald Barnes:
Emerald Barnes graduated with a B.A. in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women. She resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it.
She mainly writes suspense/thrillers in the YA genre, but she dabbles in other genres and her books are enjoyed by all ages! She’s constantly working on new novels and has more ideas than she knows what to do with. She blogs which takes up more of her time than she anticipates but loves it so very much! She’s also a volunteer at the World Literary Cafe which is amazing, and she is a crazy grammar nazi who proofreads novels!
She’s an auntie to three beautiful nieces and two handsome nephews who take up the other half of her time, but she couldn’t imagine spending her time in any other way!
She’s a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person. God is number One in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor.
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