A/N: For those of you reading "Backstory", don't freak- I haven't quit on it. Just wanted to write Jacob's and Grace's story minus the stalker bit, too. Hope someone enjoys this as much as I enjoy writing it.


Preparing for Priestly Promises

God, forgive me.

The harmony began softly, intensifying with the drums and then exploding into electrical fireworks, setting his fans ablaze. Cat calls combined with the waving of arms. Women swung their luscious hips, eyeing him as though he were a god. He felt pretty "bad", turning them on with his electrical charm, serenading them to bed. After the "gig", he was sure to have at least one of them.

His guitar shined under the artificial glory of the stage lights; the alcohol in his system allowed him to soar to whatever heights his music and his mind could take him; the worship of his "groupies" proved his manhood. Or his godhood.

I was so full of myself, Lord.

He drank. He danced. He played the guitar- both base and electrical- better than any rock star to ever make the spotlight. He knew because his fans told him so. He was sure to be "big" one day, not just because of his guitar playing skills, but because his voice was a "major turn on". He was hot, all right. And smart.

For someone so smart, I was incredibly stupid.

The lure of the stage was slowly pulling him away from his original intention of earning a degree in History. Tara wasn't one hundred percent fond of his ambition, but she was the first to admit that he could play the guitar more feverishly and more beautifully than any she'd ever heard. But she had seen more in him than just a delicious rock star. She had seen a man whose excellent brains were slowly being eaten away by the alcohol. She had reached out to him.

"Come on, Jacob, just try. Try to live a month without a drink. I know you can do it, because you're one hell of a tough guy. You see what you want and you go for it. Want it bad enough, and it'll be yours!"

I had potential in more ways than one. Tara saw that.

He could still see the seriousness in those deep brown eyes, feel the care she sent to him with the touch of her hand. Tara had known his inner man. She'd only known because she'd sought to know, while all the other women simply saw the fame that was sure to follow him.

Tara saw something good in me that I didn't think was there. I was a drinker, a womanizer, and a 'tough guy'. No one in the bars wanted to get in a fight with me, especially when I was drunk. How many knees did I dislocate? How many noses did I break?

He'd sat the drink aside, marveling at the clarity of his mind, the improvement in his grades, the realization that life had been passing him by while he played his guitar in a drunken stupor. The simplest things appeared more beautiful to him than ever. The pink and orange hues of the sunset, the sunrise. The chirping of birds outside his window, announcing that another day had come- another chance to live life to the fullest.

I felt so good and free, God. Why did I screw it all up? Why was I so easily swayed?

On top of that, his father had managed to kick the drink as well, and Jacob found himself connecting to him like never before. The anger still lingered deep in his gut, but was slowly being worn away by his father's continuously outstretched hand. Michael Davies had found God. He'd found peace. And Jacob wanted to know that peace, but stepped back for fear of what God might demand of him. Wasn't giving up the drink and the partying enough?

My father's death was just the beginning of my heartache.

Then one night it happened. The women cheered and clapped, hooting and whistling, welcoming their hero to the stage. He'd stepped up to sing a rocking hit while strumming his guitar, immediately feeling the rush of endorphins that came with knowing he was a god of sorts.

He saw Tara in the audience, of course, frowning through the blue haze. It was though she'd seen the transformation as soon as he'd stepped onto the platform. The old Jacob, the "bad" Jacob was back. And it showed in the way he strutted across the stage to the rowdy, upbeat music, breaking free from the binds that had held him back for the past month.

He was free to act as he pleased. Despite his fear of hurting Tara, he'd moved on to an after party, drinking away all of the effort he'd put into coming clean.

She saw him. She railed on him. She took his keys and stomped away.

Then the semi struck.

Lord, I can't say I'm sorry enough, because the guilt remains steady, pressing on my chest- I was stupid, and Tara died. All because I couldn't control my lusts.

I'll make things right, Lord, if you will help me to take these vows. Help to take them and to mean them.