I love New Year’s Eve, there’s something about saying goodbye to the old and ringing in the new. It’s no surprise that I have scenes that take place during this time of the year. This is one of my favorites, one from Running on Empty. Enjoy!
New Year’s Eve
Grace and Gabe walked into Snapper’s. Carly’s eyes lit up as she saw the two come in. She hurried from behind the bar to envelop them in hugs.
Joey came in the bar through the swinging wooden doors that separated the bar from the kitchen area. “Grace!” He, too, came around from behind the bar to shake Gabe’s hand, then he hugged Grace close. He left his hands on her arms so he could take a good look at her. Seeing her happy, the anger in her face gone, he smiled and hugged her close again.
“Austin’s been good to you,” Carly said.
Grace smiled and looked at Gabe. “Yes, yes, it has.”
“Did you text Ryder? What about Em and Noah?”
“They’re all coming,” Grace said.
Emily and Noah were the first to arrive. Then Ryder. Soon they were all gathered around the corner of the bar. The guys were playing pool, and Carly, who had ended her day shift, had taken charge of playing the jukebox. It was all like old times.
Cheech, as they all called him, approached the girls who sat in the corner, surrounded by whichever guys weren’t playing pool at the moment. Always the protective barrier.
“Hey, ladies,” he said. “Wanna hear some music?”
“Would love to,” Carly said, “but I have an idea. Why don’t we get Gabe and Grace to play a few? Would you guys do that? We’d love to hear y’all play.”
Gabe glanced at Grace, who nodded. “I’ll go get the guitars,” said Gabe.
“I’ll hook up the sound system,” said Grace.
Gabe stepped out to get the guitars and gear. Ryder set down his pool cue and came over to her.
“You look good, Grace,” he said.
“I feel good,” she said.
He leaned down and kissed her on the cheek. He took his black cowboy hat off and shoved it on her head. “Good.”
She leaned in and rested her head on his chest for a moment. Then looked up at him. “Thank you,” she said.
“No thanks necessary. Now, get that ass up there and sing. We’ve missed that voice.”
Grace and Gabe made quick work of the equipment and soon were sitting on the makeshift stage of Snapper’s.
“First up, we’re going to play an original song that Gabe and I have been working on. You guys are going to be the first to hear it,” Grace said into the mic. She motioned to Gabe, and he began to play.
After a few chords from Gabe’s guitar, Grace began to sing, “Deepest are the wounds without a scar at all.”
It was a slow song. Emily grabbed Noah and they headed to the area in front of the band that was used as a dance floor. Carly grabbed Joey. And Ryder, not to be left out, found Allison.
Grace’s eyes met Gabe’s, and she smiled.
Want to read more of Grace and Gabe’s story? Buy Running on Empty on Amazon.com.