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Never The Same

Chapter One

Never The Same Chapter One

Nine Months Before The Apocalypse-3:04 PM

Avery Grimes chewed her lip nervously as she sat in the church's back room. In a matter of minutes now she'd be walking down the aisle and pledging her life to the man she loved. She'd be marrying Shane Walsh, the guy she had known since she was a kid. The man who was practically already family thanks to his friendship with her older brother Rick.

Hearing the door open, Avery turned her head as she watched her sister-in-law Lori walk in. Lori looked stunning in the dress Avery had chosen as her maid of honor dress.

"You look good," Avery voiced her thoughts out loud. She hoped her nervousness didn't come through in her tone. She hated to admit that she was nervous to be marrying Shane but she was. She was still so young as her mother liked to remind her every day leading up to the wedding. Telling her she was twenty-four and she had all the time in the world to wait.

Lori offered Avery a smile, "Thanks," she said before going over to Avery and sitting down beside her on the couch. "You look good too or might I say stunning," she laughed before locking eyes with Avery. "Like every bride should on their wedding day."

Looking away from Lori, Avery felt her cheeks blush and she shook her head, "I think stunning is the wrong word for me," she muttered correcting Lori. It wasn't that Avery didn't think she looked stunning but compared to other women she was just a plain average jane. Especially compared to Lori who would also be up at the alter with her.

Lori reached over and turned Avery's head so Avery could look at her. "You need to be more confident in your looks honey," she whispered her words soothing Avery more than Avery liked to admit right now. "I'm sure Shane will think you are drop dead gorgeous, hell he probably already thinks that anyway or he wouldn't have even proposed marriage."

"You saying he only married me for my looks?" Avery asked Lori, trying to sound offended though she wasn't. It wasn't any secret that Shane had an appetite for women, especially women who tended to be prettier than others, not that every woman wasn't pretty. "To be honest I'm surprised he even asked me to marry him. I mean I just figured I'd end up being another notch in his bedpost eventually like every other woman he has dated."

Lori nodded, "I had reservations about you dating him at first two," she confessed which caused Avery to laugh. "I told Rick when he finally admitted that you two were dating he better keep a gun at home so that I could kill Shane Walsh myself when Shane broke your heart."

Avery couldn't help but laugh again at Lori's words. She was really glad that Lori was the woman Rick had ended up marrying, she was the best thing that had happened to him, well her and Carl were.

Before Avery could say anything else she heard the door open and she looked up seeing her best friend since pre-school enter the room.

"Can I have some alone time with Jessica?" Avery asked Lori before raising an eyebrow.

Lori simply nodded before standing from the couch and exiting the room. After she had Avery watched as Jessica took her place on the couch.

"Your soon to be husband is about to go to the alter," Jessica whispered as she reached her hand over and adjusted Avery's viel some. "Which means Rick will be here to walk you down the aisle soon."

Avery listened to Jessica's words and she felt the knot her stomach grow. "Am I doing the right thing Jessica?" she asked her friend. She knew if anyone could understand her now beginnings of cold feet it would be Jessica. Jessica was after all like her sister. That's how they had stayed friends for so long.

"Do you not think marrying Shane is the right thing?" Jessica asked, her blue eyes locking with Avery's brown which sent a shiver down Avery's spine. "Because if so then I say don't do it."

Avery shook her head, "I'm not saying I don't think it's right," Avery started then paused, "okay maybe I am but maybe my mom is right. I'm twenty-four and I'm in nursing school still. If I marry Shane I may have to give up on my dreams of becoming a nurse. I may have to quit nursing if I ever become pregnant with a baby. Shane has made it known he'd like me to be a stay at home mom if we ever have kids."

"And you don't want the stay at home life," Jessica mused and Avery nodded. It wasn't that she didn't like the thought of staying home whenever she and Shane had kids but she couldn't see that being something that would make her happy in the end.

Avery looked away from Jessica, "I'm horrible aren't I, having doubts about marrying a man who changed his whole mindset on marriage just for me. Who stopped being a womanizer the day he got with me," she sighed as she leaned against the couch. Even if Jessica said she wasn't a horrible person she'd still think it.

Jessica shook her head no. "You aren't horrible Avie. You are just like every other woman who experiences wedding jitters. Hell I bet right now your soon to be husband is also having these same jitters."

"You think he is?" Avery asked as she turned to face Jessica again.

"I know he is," Jessica laughed. "I mean he is probably realizing that he now has to give up being able to sleep with anymore women but you for the rest of his life."

Avery laighed as well at that, "It's not like he hasn't been with just me for a year now," she shrugged. "I'm sure forever won't be that bad. If he can handle just me for a year sexually, I'm sure he can also handle it being just me forever."

Jessica shook her head, "Avery Laurel Grimes, forever is a mighty long time you know," she said trying to sound serious though a smile was playing on her lips. "I am betting Shane is now realizing that and wishing he could run out that door right now, though he probably knows if he does that your brother will have a gun pointed him much faster than he can escape."

"Rick wouldn't shoot Shane," Avery shook her head, "Even if Shane hurt me. Rick and Shane are like brothers and you don't ever hurt your family. That was something our dad taught us and Rick fully believes that still to this day."

"Trust me Avie," Jessica said using the nickname she had given Avery. "If Rick knew Shane hurt his baby sister he would hurt the man in a heart beat."

Avery just went silent and stood up still unsure if she was making the right decision. "You better go," she told Jessica. "Rick will be here at any moment and you need to get with Lori so you both can walk down the aisle before me," she laughed.

Jessica smiled and stood up, "You are making the right decision Avery," she finally said which made Avery smile some. "I don't think I have seen you at your happiest except for when you are with Shane Walsh," she teased before leaving the room.

After she left, Avery walked over to the mirror, looking over herself. Maybe Lori was right when she called her stunning. Maybe she was stunning today and just maybe she was making the right decision in marrying Shane.

"You look wonderful little sister," a voice spoke from behind Avery.

Avery turned, a grin playing on her lips as she walked over to Rick, "You think so?" she asked as she looked up at her older brother. Rick had always been her rock and she cherished his opinion on things.

Rick nodded, "I know so," he whispered before leaning down and kissing her cheek. "It's hard to believe mom and dad's little surprise grew into such a beautiful woman."

Avery shook her head when Rick called her their mom and dad's little surprise. He hadn't used that nickname in years though she knew it was a nickname she deserved. She had been a surprise, coming along when Rick was twelve. To say she hadn't been a planned baby was an understatement.

"What can I say?" Avery asked teasing him. "I'm the sibling who got the best of both of their looks," she shrugged as she looked down. "You're here to walk me down the aisle?" she asked though she knew he was. He was here to give his baby sister away to his best friend.

"I am," Rick confirmed as he looked down at Avery. "Though we could just both leave. I mean you don't have to marry Shane if you don't want too."

Hearing her brother's offer Avery looked up at him and raised an eyebrow almost contemplating his words. Did she want to leave this place with Rick or did she want him to walk her down the aisle so that she could become Mrs. Shane Walsh.?

"No," Avery shook her head no. "Walk me down the aisle big brother," she smiled before looping her arm into Rick's, letting him lead the way out of the room of the church. As they made it to the doors she took a deep breath right as she heard the music start. She really was going to become Shane's wife.

Laying in the bed at the hotel, Avery looked at her husband, "I love you," she whispered before kissing him on the lips softly.

"I love you too Mrs. Walsh," Shane muttered into the kiss as he held Avery closer to him. "You looked wonderful today," he told her after he pulled away from the kiss. "Better than any other woman in that church."

Blushing Avery looked at him, her hand resting on his bare chest, "You looked better than any other man in that building," she told him honestly. Now that they were married she was glad she had went through with it. That she hadn't backed out. She was now going to be his wife forever. What could go wrong with that?



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