That Second Chance Page 1

Author: Meghan Quinn

Series: Getting Lucky #1

Genres: Romance



“Arooooo woooo!” Brig howls, brandishing a Hand Grenade—New Orleans’s famous green tube drink. “Twenty-one. I am twenty”—he pauses and bends at the waist, bowing to my brothers and me—“one.” Breaking into the Running Man, my youngest brother shuffles along the grimy cobblestones, drunk off his ass, just like the rest of us.

“He’s twenty-one—buy this man a drink,” Reid, my second-youngest brother, shouts to no one in particular.

“Buy us all drinks.” Brig twirls in the middle of the narrow, deserted street, arms spread, face cast up to the dark sky. Neon signs advertising big boobs and beer illuminate the area around us, encouraging nothing but high-level debauchery on this densely humid summer night.

When we told our parents we were going to New Orleans to celebrate Brig, the last Knightly brother to turn twenty-one, they had their reservations. And now that I see Brig and Reid spinning in circles together while the usually uptight and silent Rogan takes video of them, I’m thinking they might have had a point.

Being the oldest brother, I was tasked with keeping everyone in line, but right about now, I’m seeing double, and all I can focus on is finding a giant soft pretzel with extra salt.

Corralling my brothers like a sheepdog, I say, “Let’s get pretzels.”

“But we weren’t done dancing. We were just finding our groove,” Brig complains.

“We need food. We haven’t eaten since the casino, and that was hours ago.”

Reid pats his stomach. “Best chicken fingers I’ve ever had, and that honey-mustard sauce, ooooeeee, that was good. What I wouldn’t give for a tub of that as a souvenir.”

“Mom really enjoyed hearing about all the money you lost on roulette,” Rogan says, squinting past the hair that has fallen over his face as he taps away on his phone. As he’s one of the taller brothers, it’s funny seeing him hunched over, typing on his phone . . . talking to Mom. “Said she owes you a wallop to the head when we get home.”

“Dude,” Reid complains. “What the hell, man? Why are you reporting things back to Mom?”

He shrugs, which throws his balance askew and sends him off the sidewalk. He catches himself before falling to the ground and chuckles, a sound I haven’t heard from Rogan in a long time. “She slipped me one hundred bucks to give her all the details about this weekend.”

“What?” I ask, insulted. I attempt walking in a straight line next to Reid but fail miserably thanks to the uneven cobblestones. “She didn’t give me any money for making sure everyone came back alive.”

“That’s because you’re already the oldest brother. It’s in the job description,” Rogan says, walking past me in his tight, form-fitting clothes, still texting. Of the four of us, he’s the only one with any sort of fashion sense. I tend to stick with regular jeans and a T-shirt. It’s how I’m most comfortable.

“It’s true,” Brig cuts in, strolling—or more accurately, stumbling—ahead of me. “Being the oldest means you’re our designated voice of reason.”

“What about Jen? Technically, she’s the oldest,” I answer, speaking of our older and only sister, who was too busy taking her kids to their nonstop activities to come on this trip. Though honestly, I think she wanted to stay as far away from this weekend as possible. I don’t blame her. We’ve been hell on wheels since we arrived. “Shouldn’t she hold any kind of responsibilities?”

All three of my brothers exchange looks and then shake their heads, laughing. Brig and Reid link their arms through Rogan’s, and the three waltz off like they’re skipping their way down a yellow brick road rather than a derelict, alcohol-encrusted street. I traipse slowly behind them, really focusing on each step I take.

Do not trip. Do not trip.

One step at a—

My phone buzzes in my pocket, breaking my focus. With one faulty step, I fall to the side and stumble against a parked car as I reach for my phone in my pocket. Chuckling, I accept the call, my eyes too unfocused to even make out the name flashing across the screen.

“Hello, this is Griffin Knightly,” I answer. “I’m drunk and am prone to saying stupid things. How may I help you?”

There’s a soft chuckle at the other end, and my heart starts to race immediately.


“Hey, you.”

“Wifeeeeeey!” I stop pursuing my brothers and lean back against the car. Honda Civics: very comfortable for drunk leaning.

My brothers’ obnoxiously loud laughter fades as my wife’s voice comes through the phone.

Soft and sweet, just like her skin.

“Mmm, you sound like you’re having a good time.”

I lean my head against the roof, not caring about who its owner might be. “I am. We had Huge Ass Beers—that’s what they call them—and then made our way through some Grenades, and I also had some white frozen drink at the casino that tickled my fancy.”

She chuckles. “Oh, you’re really drunk. I can always tell because you start adding a little bit of a British accent in your voice.”

“Is that so? Cheerio, mate, and good day to you.” I dip my head as a greeting even though she can’t see me.

“Oh, I miss you. Have you started calling people wankers yet?”

“No.” I sigh, the liquid mixing around in my stomach. Oh boy. “Not yet, but I can feel it coming on.”

“Are you going to remember to get on your flight home tomorrow?”

“Yeah, no problem. We’ve got this.” I yawn and shut my eyes briefly, the ground spinning beneath me. “The white drink was really good.”

“And how were the cocktail waitresses at the casino?”

“Not as pretty as you on a Saturday night with that old-lady turtleneck thing you like to wear.”

She laughs some more. “Good answer. I’ll let you go—I just wanted to make sure you’re still alive.”

“Yup, totally alive, and so are my brothers. Brig, though . . . not sure how much longer he’s going to last. He’s starting to really belt those Disney songs.”

“I can only imagine what he must sound like.”

“Not good, babe, not good.”

“Okay, well, maybe you guys call it a night soon. You don’t want to get into any trouble. New Orleans can be a shifty place if you’re not paying attention.”

“Don’t worry, babe; we got this under control. I love you.”

“I love you too, Griffin. Be careful.”

“Always.” I hang up the phone and put it back in my pocket before staggering after my brothers, who didn’t get very far.

While unsteadily jogging after them, I trip over a protruding cobblestone and accidentally hurtle myself onto Rogan’s back. He stumbles beneath my weight and tips into Reid, and just like a domino, he slams into Brig, who falls to the ground with a giant crack . . . of wood?

And sure enough, Brig is sprawled out on a rickety pile of broken wood. My foggy brain strains to comprehend the picture.

“Oh fuck, my back.” Brig rolls off the wood and clutches himself in pain. “What is that? There are splinters everywhere. I can feel them.”

“Dude, you broke a table,” Reid points out while I bend down in a clumsy attempt to check Brig’s vitals.

“Shit, did I?” He sits up, and a giant smile stretches across his face as he swats me away, his sandy-brown hair tousled from his fall, those blue eyes we all share wild with excitement. “Alcohol has given me Hulklike superpowers. Look at that thing—I smashed it to smithereens.”

We all take in what’s left of the table, and I have to admit he really did a number on it.

“That’s not from Hulklike superpowers,” Reid points out. “That’s straight up from your fat ass eating twelve beignets this morning.”

“Excuse me.” A thin voice breaks up our banter, and we turn to see an elderly woman step out from a shadowy alleyway. She’s draped in velvet robes, and her face is twisted in anger. “That was my table you smashed.” Her hands are covered with henna tattoos and shake slightly as she points to what’s left of the table.

Once again, we take in the damage, really trying to give it a good once-over, our alcohol-soaked brains attempting to comprehend what we just did. “Oh shit, that was your table?” Brig asks. “Was it important to you?”

“It was where I conducted my work.”

I feel a stab of guilt at her words. “Yeah, it’s where she conducts her work, dumbass.” Reid falls to the ground and tries to put the table back together but fails miserably. “Uh”—he glances over his shoulder, two table legs in his hand—“what do you do exactly?”

“I’m a palm reader.”

I groan inwardly as my guilt quickly dissipates. A palm reader? More like a professional con artist. I mean, how could they possibly be legitimate? Oh, look at that line; it means you will live a long, happy life. And this line right here—you’re going to be married. Oh, and right here, this says you’re going to have a pool.