Hey guys!

This is my first song-fic one shot.

It's about what might have happened to Irene in the Prequels as she struggles to bring Chloe and Rayford to faith. SHe and Rayford end up having a fight, and one things turns into another. :)

Thanks for reading.

And please reveiw. :)


Irene Steele yanked her car keys off of the kitchen counter, the brass metal clinking against the silver-flecked granite. She brushed a stray tear off of her cheek with the back of her hand, the small diamond on her wedding band scratching her skin as she dragged it across her flesh. She had sent Raymie to the car, and the soft-spoken eight-year-old huddled in the backseat, bundled up in three bright coats to keep out the biting cold of the Illinois winter. She felt like she lived on a battlefield, there was an everlasting war that tore her family in half. Her fifteen-year-old daughter Chloe, stubborn, opinionated, beautiful Chloe, always sided with her husband Rayford, who was so much like her.

Couldn't they see? Time before the Rapture was running out. She wanted to do everything in her power to bring them to God. She would trade her own salvation for theirs. Pain ripped through her heart as she replayed the loud argument she had with her husband and teenage daughter in the kitchen. They could not act like a family that truly loved one an other, even on Christmas Eve.

She was driving last Friday on her way to Cincinnati

On a snow white Christmas Eve

Going home to see her Mama and her Daddy

With the baby in the backseat

"I really need you to start coming to church with Raymie and me." Irene addressed Chloe cautiously, pouring herself a cup of coffee. Chloe looked up from her cereal.

"Mom, we went over this before, I'm not going." It scared Irene the way her daughter said it, as if she was sealing her fate.

Irene sucked in her breath."Chloe-"

Chloe sprang up her seat, her blonde hair catching the fluorescent light."Jesus Mom, you just don't quit."

Irene bit her tongue to keep from screaming in pain."Chloe don't use the Lord's name in vain."

"When are you gonna get it through your head, Mom?" Chloe shouted, earning a reprimanding frown from Rayford over his newspaper."There is no Lord! If there was a Jesus, he was probably some radical attention-seeker."

Irene wanted to cry."Chloe, please, listen to me-"

It was Rayford who cut her off this time."Irene, don't shovel it down her throat, she can choose what she wants to believe."

Chloe smirked at her mother.

Irene desperately searched her husband's face for something she did not find."I'm not shoveling. I care about you two, I don't want you to go to hell!"

Rayford let out a sigh full of disgust and annoyance."Leave it alone, Irene."

Fifty miles to go and she was running low

On faith and gasoline

It's been a long hard year

Irene drove on the icy interstate out of Mount Prospect, westbound to the coast of Oregon, where her widowed mother and step-dad lived. Tiny snowflakes hit the windshield from the silver sky. Tears blurred her vision, spilling and rolling down her cheeks like twin waterfalls. She had never felt so alone. "God, where are you? I need you." She cried softly over and over in pathetic little whispers.

"Mommy? What's wrong?" Raymie called, alarmed, his eyes widened in fear and concern for his mother. She managed a weak, tight-lipped smile. Raymie, relieved, grinned back."Nothing, baby, go to sleep." Irene managed, pleased with Raymie's slow, tired nod as his eyelids closed over his eyes, the color of the sky, just like Rayford's.

Rayford. Oh Lord, it hurt to think of his name. Back in the kitchen, adding insult to injury with Chloe watching, taunting and smirking at her throughout the entire argument, Irene replied to him,"I won't!" She responded defiantly. Rayford arched an eyebrow, folding his newspaper away and rising from his seat, preparing for battle."Why won't you come with me?" She murmured.

Rayford looked like he was trying to restrain himself from rolling his eyes."I don't have the time."

"You have the time to play golf every Sunday morning, but you don't have time to come to church with me?" She was ashamed with the tears that slid over her cheeks and down her neck.

Irene noted Rayford's eyes fill with alarm, but he cleared it away as quickly as it had come. Chloe stood with her arms crossed, unmoved."I spent the week flying to various points around the globe, and I'd like to have one day when I can relax can do what I love most."

That was like a slap in Irene's face. He loved golf more than spending time with his family."Well gee, Rayford, sitting for two hours on a pew doesn't require much energy." She snapped, silently regretting her impatience with him.

Rayford let out a loud groan, and glanced at the gloating Chloe."Chloe, go clean your room." He commanded.

Chloe pursed her lips in annoyance."I just cleaned it yesterday." She whined.

"Clean it again." Rayford ordered. Irene knew Chloe recognized that tone of authority.

The teenager let out a huff."Fine." She rolled her eyes, stomping back to her room.

Irene had a feeling that she wasn't too far away.

She had a lot on her mind and she didn't pay attention

She was going way too fast

Before she knew it she was spinning

On a thin black sheet of glass

The gasoline icon on the dashboard of her silver SUV Acura blinked red through a tiny pulsating light-bulb. The flashing indicated that she was dangerously low on gasoline. Irene sniffed back her teary-nose and pressed her sneaker down on the pedal, speeding up in hopes to make it to the next gas station. Her heart wrenched and she let out a barely audible moan of pain, her fingernails digging into the soft black leather covering of the steering wheel. What Rayford said to her in that kitchen hurt beyond anything she could imagine.

"Irene." Rayford, said, suspiciously closing the kitchen door to cut off Chloe's access of hearing."This isn't going to work."

Irene's bottom lip trembled."What do you mean?"

Rayford sighed and pinched much-abused bridge of his nose."This whole religious mumbo-jumbo. Do you ever stop and look at yourself from a different point of view? Did you ever wonder how crazy and ridiculous you sound? I'm afraid to bring my friends home for dinner because you might start talking to them about Jesus. You know you will."

He stabbed her with his words. A knife could not have done a better job. Her eyes burned with pain and it took every ounce of her self control not to double over in front of him. But she would never give up."Please." She begged, pathetically in a tiny whisper.

He didn't hear her. He seemed to be struggling for words."It's as if we've grown apart, like we're too different for each other."

Oh God! She mentally shouted up to the heavens. Irene was not as gullible as Rayford thought she was. Irene threw back her shoulders, lifting her tear soaked chin.

She knew about Hattie Durham.

She had met her at a Pan-Continental Christmas Party that Rayford took her to last year. Hattie was the kind of girl that made every other female in the room take a stab at their self-confidence for their own appearances. Hattie's bubble personality and exquisite beauty did nothing to help Irene. Irene owned a mirror, and she had been staring at that reflection everyday for the past thirty-five years. She had plain, dark brown hair, slightly wavy that barely reached past her shoulder blades. Nothing compared to Hattie's long, blonde, curly mane that swished almost to her waist, giving her the appearance of a Barbie doll.

Irene's round, dark brown eyes, radiating age-old wisdom and respect, were boring compared to Hattie's alluring, sparkling green ones, intoxicatng and full of life. Her slim, hour-glass figure, long legs and tall, five-foot-seven frame made Irene feel like a flea. The age difference did nothing to make Irene more attractive. Hattie was in her twenties, a little more than ten years her junior. Rayford, with his salt-and-pepper black hair and ocean deep eyes made any woman swoon. Irene couldn't blame him for welcoming Hattie, a man had to be insane to turn down a woman like that.

But it still hurt. It hurt that everytime she showed up at his work to deliver something into his flight mail box, the representatives and other pilots would give her long stares full of pity. She hated how Chris, Rayford's co-polite, could not look her in the eye whenever she greeted him. How Hattie spoke to her, gushing about how wonderful Rayford was, as if Irene was totally oblivious. But the most insulting and humiliating was from Rayford himself. The out-right lies he told her over the phone. When she called him after she was sure his flight landed in O'Hare, to make sure he was still planning on taking the kids to the movie theater, he picked up the phone and told her he was still at the airport waiting to cash his paycheck. She was hurt and embarrassed that he didn't think she could hear restaurant noises and Hattie's charming giggle in the background.

She looked at Rayford pleadingly, searching for a sign that her suspicions weren't accurate.

His guilty eyes avoiding her own, telling her more than she ever cared to know.

She saw both their lives flash before her eyes

She didn't even have time to cry

She was so scared

She threw her hands up in the air

A loud, violent sob shook her body, and the steering wheel was ripped out of her hands, as the car swerved over the slippery, deserted interstate. The accelerating speed spinning it out of control. Irene was frozen with panic. Her brain and instincts sent signals to her hands willing them to clutch the wheel. Her foot jerked to the brake and she stomped on it as hard as she could. The car screamed and the tires squeaked on the black glass of road. It swerved and ripped violently. Black smoke backfiring from the Acura's engine.

The only thing she cared about was Raymie. If she was to die right now, she would be with God in heaven. She was more than fine with that. But God, not Raymie, please, I beg you, spare Raymie. She prayed mentally, her teeth clenched together so tightly they might have shattered. She wished she had told Rayford and Chloe how much she loved them. How much they meaned to her. When she thought about their names, she did not want to go. She begged God loudly not to take her, she had a mission here on earth, as impossible as it seemed to save her husband's and daughter's souls.

The car slammed violently against the short, concrete wall of the shoulder. Irene was too terrified to scream as the impact shook the Acura destructively, tearing the paint clean off the side and ripping at the metal. Irene's head was thrown back into her seat and she cried out in pain as her body was slammed into her car door, her arms cracking the glass window, the window on her passenger's side completely shattered. Irene jerked back in her seat, the seat-belt rubbing her neck raw. She closed her eyes.

This was it.

Jesus, take the wheel

Take it from my hands

Cause I can't do this on my own

Everything stopped. Irene was no longer moving. There was just a dead silence. She knew that she wasn't killed in the car accident. Death should feel better. Like a release. This was nothing like she imagined. It felt more like Tylenol, temporarily killing the pain. Irene's brain dared her to open her eyelids. She lifted the heavy curtain of her eyelids and peered out at the quiet, snowy landscape of the frozen world around her. She felt something warm and sticky at her elbow and the corner of her mouth. She ran her tongue over it. The salt and rust taste made her spit it out. It was blood. She ran her fingers gingerly over her aching elbow, sure enough, they came back drenched in her own red fluid.

She could feel more cuts and scrapes, and ugly purple bruises forming all over her body. But she hardly took notice. All she cared about was Raymie. She twisted her body around, grimacing over the pain, and lurched forward to the back seat.

I'm letting go

So give me one more chance

To save me from this road I'm on

Jesus, take the wheel

At that moment, Irene knew that there was no task too big for God. No prayer was too difficult for God. Jehovah was the God of the impossible. Fresh tears of joy and gratitude swelled in her expressive brown eyes. Her hand flew up to cover her mouth. Raymie was leaning against the car door, a chubby round bundle in a bright red jacket. His cherubic face was calm and soft, as if he was absent when this terrifying, life-threatening ordeal happened.

Irene's tears glittered like the white snow outside. She reached for Raymie. Her fingers gently running over his entire body, checking for any sign of distress. She was not surprised that there were none. She had cried out and begged God, and through her simple words, he delivered. Irene sat back in her seat, raising her glossy eyes towards the vast heavens above.

It was still getting colder when she made it to the shoulder

And the car came to a stop

She cried when she saw that baby in the backseat

Sleeping like a rock

"My God is Jehovah." She repeated over and over, countless times that she lost track."Glory Hallelujah, God" She whispered in a voice so quiet that no human could hear.

But God did.

"Thank you." She murmured. She sobbed as her tears splattered on the steering wheel."Thank you."

And for the first time in a long time

She bowed her head to pray

She said I'm sorry for the way

I've been living my life

She leaned on the steering wheel. Realizing that this accident was not just a careless miscalculation of speed and ice on her part, but also a test of faith. She was ashamed to admit to herself that when she left the house, she had more faith in her four-by-four than by her Savior. God does deliver. She knew why she could not get Rayford to see what she saw in God. Why he so persistently refused God's Great Gift of Salvation.

Irene was trying to rescue the other half of her family on her own.

She realized, that that, and everything else, was impossible without God.

I know I've got to change

So from now on tonight

She bowed her head again."I'm sorry." She whispered."I need your help God, now more than ever. I cannot complete this mission of faith alone. I need you like I need air. I need you even more than air." She choked down a sob."I know I don't deserve it, but please help me make them see your light." It was probably the most selfless thing she ever asked for."I trust you with all my heart, Lord, I need you. Amen."

Jesus, take the wheel

Take it from my hands

Cause I can't do this on my own

Irene ignored the trickling blood from her minor wounds. She closed her eyes and leaned back in her seat, listening to the world around her. She felt exhausted. But she was calm, relaxed, and loved by God. What more could she possibly ask for? Out of her hurry to get out of the house, she had forgotten to grab her cellphone. She couldn't call Rayford. She couldn't dial the three simple digits for nine-one-one. She couldn't call a tow truck. She sat silently, waiting for an S.O.S. to be sent out. That would only happen when someone drove by the empty, snowy interstate-road and saw the nasty wreckage.

The seats had never felt so soft. She leaned in deeper, their leathery smell filling her nostrils. She inhaled deeply, and even that took effort, as her chest heaved with pain.

It didn't take long for her to slip into a blissful, peaceful slumber.

She had nothing to worry about. Jesus had the wheel, he had her back.

I'm letting go

So give me one more chance

To save me from this road I'm on

Irene was vaguely aware of headlights flashing behind her, the sound of voices urging her to open her eyes. But Irene did not want to wake up. The sleep felt too good. She forced her eyes open, only for the sake of her son, realizing that it had grown darker and colder, and the snow was heavier as the flakes whirled in the wind.

She heard the sound of frantic, running footsteps, and despite the pain and aches, she forced herself to sit up. It was a male voice, and she tensed, afraid in case his intentions were not honorable ones.

"Irene! Oh God, Irene!" She would recognize that voice anywhere.

Relief flooded every fiber of her being."Rayford!" She croaked.

The car door was pulled open and the bright rays from the flashlight flooded the car. Rayford leaned in to her, Chloe biting her lip, worried, behind him. Rayford's eyes widened at the sight of her. Dried blood, minor cuts, glaring red scrapes, and black and blue bruises decorated her body like leapord spots. Rayford looked like he was about to cry. He bit his lip. His eyes leaving her for a moment as he shined the light at Raymie, who was just waking up."Dad?" He asked groggily.

Rayford gave him a smile that did not touch his eyes."I'm here, son." He called to Chloe over his shoulder."Take him to the car."

With another anxious glance at Irene's bruised body, Chloe nodded, and opened Raymie's door."C'mon Ray." She murmured.

When they left, Rayford cradled the flashlight between his neck and shoulder."Oh God, Irene." He said in a shaky whisper."I'm sorry."

Irene's heart soared to heaven where it flooded with a fountain of gratitude to God."I love you." Was all she could say.

Rayford looked away."I don't deserve you." He murmured quietly.

Irene reached out, wincing, and grabbed him gently by the chin, turning his face back to look at her."I'm sorry for upsetting you. But I'm not sorry for preaching to you."

Oh Jesus, take the wheel

Oh, I'm letting go

Rayford reached out and lifted her small frame gently out of the battered up Acura, wincing whenever she did. Irene huddled deeper into his chest. She could feel his heart beating and it felt so good. Rayford wrapped his arms tighter around her aching body, shielding her with his own from the flurry of snow.

Rayford kissed her matted hair, alarmed by the stiff, dried blood on her elbow."I love you, sweetheart. I'm sorry." He whispered over and over into her hair.

So give me one more chance

Save me from this road I'm on

From this road I'm on

Jesus, take the wheel

Oh, take it, take it from me

Oh, why, ooh

Despite her pain, Irene managed to force out her words."You're a stubborn atheist pilot." She teased with a smile."But I love you."

She felt his chest rumble pleasantly as he chuckled."And you're a door-to-door Bile-thumpin' Evangelist." He grinned at her."And I love you."

She snuggled in; safe, secure, and warm in his arms.

As he carried her back to his car, the kids waiting in the back seat, Irene knew that life was going to better with this family.

With God.

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God Bless You!