Chapter 41 – Watchtower (day three)
“What are ya doin’?” Aislinn whispered as she dragged her sister into the bathroom and locked the door behind her.
Aislinn didn’t comment knowing she had to hurry. Happy had gone with Ethan to get some ice and drinks for the room. Aislinn wasn’t taking any chances and cut on the shower as well as the sink. Riona narrowed her eyes in wonder. Aislinn kept her voice down as she went over her plans.
“Linny love, I was hopin’ we would head out tonight.”
“I know ya were. But we have to play this smart Riona. We need the boys distracted, and we’re gonna need the van.”
“So we’re leavin’ them without a vehicle?”
“What choice do we have?! You know they’ll chase us down first chance they get. We gotta slow them down a bit.”
Riona sighed realizing her sister made a valid point.
“They’re gonna be livid!” Riona said.
“Aye. All the more reason we need to be far away when they find out.”
“Oh, Mary… if they don’t kill us, Jackson and Chibs will!”
“Trust me… I know. We’ll be facin’ their wrath for sure.”
“Jaysus,” Riona uttered looking ill.
“If you’re feelin’ that strong though…” Aislinn whispered,”We don’t have a choice.” Riona finished, and Aislinn nodded.
“Better to act first then ask for forgiveness.”
“And if there’s none to give?” Riona murmured in misery.
“Then we get on our knees and beg.”
“Ya never beg!” Riona scoffed with a grin, and Aislinn laughed.
“Neither do ya!”
“Guess this will make a first for the both of us.”
“Aye, but they’re worth it.”
“Ya got that right.”
Aislinn went to step out, and her sister took her by the hand stopping her.
“I’ll always believe in you Riona.” Aislinn wholeheartedly put before exiting the bathroom.
Riona used her hand to wipe the steam off the mirror. She nodded at her reflection and said a small prayer.
Aislinn entered the living area, just in time as Happy and Ethan entered the hotel. They nodded her direction and Ethan tossed a bottle of her favorite whiskey over.
“Figured we could let loose and hit the beach later,” Ethan suggested, and Aislinn nodded.
She opened the bottle of whiskey, and Happy snatched it out of her hand. He took a decent swig then acted as if he was going to hand it back. Aislinn frowned however as he held it out of reach. The young woman jumped up in attempts to take it out of his hold. Happy leaned into her ear as she did this.
“You play me, and I’ll make your life miserable.”
Aislinn froze on his words and her eyes locked with the Son’s. He kept his voice down and eyes glued to hers.
“I know how you are… Don’t even try me.” He warned, and Aislinn thickly swallowed.
“What are ya blabberin’ on about?!”
Happy didn’t comment on how much she sounded like Chibs Telford at that point, and the Scot was just as sneaky. The Son understood Chibs and Aislinn more than ever now. That’s why they worked. The Irishwoman and Scotsman got one another and were too much alike when it came to honor and mischief.
“You know damn well what I’m talking about. I got my eye on you and Riona. Get me in trouble and like I said… pure misery, sister.”
Aislinn yanked the bottle out of his hold, and the two had a bit of a stare down as she took a pull as well.
“What’s with you two?” Ethan asked, and Happy stuffed a cigarette into his mouth.
He kept quiet then plopped down on the couch.
“…okay…” Ethan muttered under his breath.
Aislinn kept to herself and nursed on that bottle. Ethan looked over and realized she’d gone through an entire pack of smokes. He wasn’t used to seeing her smoke that much. Riona went to bed, right after her shower. The three of them took turns showering as well, and it wasn’t long before they all called it a night. The beach became a no go. Ethan hadn’t a clue what was going on between Happy and his younger sister, but he was determined to find out.
Aislinn put her Halestorm shirt on hoping that would mislead Happy on his suspicions. But as she did this, there was slight disappointment knowing she wouldn’t get that VIP treatment after all. Not if they went by her plans. They’d miss out on half the concert at least. Aislinn thought back to how her song was supposed to be played today, meaning she would’ve missed it if they hadn’t played it yesterday instead. Things had a funny way of working out and Aislinn took that as a sign.
Riona stepped out in a Halestorm shirt as well and with the same purpose. She too hoped to throw the boys off if they showed some excitement on meeting the band tonight.
“Nice!” Aislinn said and gave her sister a high five.
“Last day,” Ethan said and pecked his sisters on the cheek.
He went on to make everyone a cup of coffee.
“Aye, sad to see it come to an end.” Riona softly murmured, and Happy glanced her direction.
“Thought you wanted to go home.” He rather challenged.
“Aye, and still do. But ya done made yourself clear and nothin’ we say matters.” Riona said deciding it best not to hold back any punches. She figured it best to sound bitter, rather than changing her mind all of a sudden. Like her sister said… They had to lead them astray and play this just right.
“That’s right. So no sneaky business.”
“Sneaky business?!” Riona scoffed acting offended.
Happy rolled his eyes then spiked the cup of coffee Ethan gave him.
“And just how do ya expect us to pull off somethin’ sneaky when ya got us by the short hairs!”
Happy didn’t comment and sipped at his coffee. Riona uttered a slew of Irish profanities under her breath then packed everything up knowing they’d be leaving tomorrow. Only she and Aislinn would be leaving much earlier and leaving all this behind. Riona only hoped the boys would grab it before chasing after them. She’d make certain Aislinn had her journal and guitar, however. But like that of Aislinn, Riona’s nerves were shot. They hadn’t even got out the door yet, and Happy was already onto them. It’s almost like he heard the two of them talking, even if that weren’t possible.
The four of them ate breakfast then headed on out.
Happy stopped halfway and filled the van up with gas. He headed inside and grabbed a few snacks as well. When he returned he tossed something Aislinn’s direction.
“What’s this?” She asked as it was a CD.
She frowned however once she turned it around and saw Britney Spears on the cover. It had the five dollar tag on it still. Happy observed her reaction through the rearview mirror and laughed.
“Ya fuckin’ arse!”
That wasn’t the worst part. Happy had taken the CD out of the case and put it on after he started the van.
“Are ya shite’n me?!” She scoffed, and Happy turned the volume up.
Ethan and Riona died of laughter as Aislinn crawled into the front and the two were fighting over the CD player.
“HIT ME BABY ONE MORE TIME!” Happy sang on top of his lungs and horribly. He didn’t know the lyrics but knew it was getting under Aislinn’s skin.
Happy let out a painful grunt as she pegged him, hard, on the thigh, and on the way out of the van. The Son chuckled but limped towards towards the festival.
The girls took their seats, and Happy continued in his torture by humming Britney Spears songs.
“Happy Lowman, I swear to Jaysus and Mary above – I will go on a murderin’ rampage, right here, right now, if ya don’t put a fuckin’ lid on that!”
The Son wrapped his arm around Aislinn as she was sitting right between him and her sister. Ethan was on the other side of Riona.
“That’s just a teaser of what’s to come if ya play me.” He kissed her on the cheek then sent her a menacing wink directly after.
Aislinn’s jaw dropped, and Happy leaned back in his seat.
She hadn’t much time to think on it as Imagine Dragons stepped onto the stage and sang Believer.
Riona and Aislinn sang along while doing their best not to act any different from usual. They played Dancing in the Dark next and Aislinn could’ve sworn Dan was looking right at Riona as he sang.
Riona took notice of this as well and regarded her sister with a wide-eyed glare. Aislinn laughed so hard she snorted.
“…no way…” Riona whispered into her sister’s ear thinking it was just her imagination.
“Yes, way,” Aislinn whispered in return and Riona blushed.
“Jax would bury him alive,” Aislinn uttered.
“Aye, right beside James Hetfield if that Scot of yours had his way.”
The girls giggled in thought. Dan went straight into Whatever It Takes and was dancing all around that stage.
“If we could bottle up that energy and sell it…” Riona muttered in thought.
Fog filled the stage and Disturbed took Imagine Dragons’s place. Aislinn hollered out as they sang Land of Confusion.
This had the sisters looking to one another. Riona meant it when she said she didn’t want this to come to an end and Aislinn felt the same way. But they had to listen to Riona’s instincts. What they wouldn’t give to finish out the festivities and meet Halestorm tonight. But like that of Jax and Chibs, they too had responsibilities, and their family came first and foremost. That included all of SAMCRO.
Linkin Park joined Disturbed on stage, and Chester sang Crawling with David.
Happy told Ethan to keep an eye on the girls while he went and grabbed everyone a beer. Linkin Park announced there would be a small intermission after their next song. The girls took this as their cue as Chester sang In The End. They knew this was their only chance.
Riona popped the pill Aislinn had given her, and within a matter of minutes, Riona grew extremely nauseous. Aislinn remembered how sick her sister got when she took a vitamin and hoped that would do the trick. Riona bowed over and upchucked.
“OH SHIT!” Ethan said and people around them scattered about.
Riona covered her mouth then took off running.
“I got it!” Aislinn announced then chased after her.
Ethan did his best to keep everyone away from the vomit and apologized on his sister’s behalf. The prospect shook his head hoping to God Riona wasn’t knocked up. That was so out of the blue. Ethan thought. She was fine one moment and sick the next. It was a good forty minutes before Happy made his way back with the beer. Halestorm was on stage and performing Lazarus in honor of David Bowie. Happy handed one of the beers over but nodded in question.
“Where’d they run off to?”
Ethan pointed to the vomit and Happy wrinkled his nose. He put their beers down and was about to take a sip off his.
“I can’t believe they’re missing all this. They’ve been gone for almost an hour now!” Ethan said, and the Son froze.
“What?!” Ethan questioned taking notice.
Happy gritted his teeth then took off like a bat out of hell. Ethan sighed and chased after him.
“What’s going on?!” The prospect hollered as the Son checked each and every bathroom there was.
Ethan couldn’t believe the way Happy was acting. The Son didn’t knock or anything. He marched right on in and hollered out to both girls. When they didn’t answer he checked each of the stalls and would move on to the next bathroom. Happy stepped out of the last one then punched at one of the walls.
“I KNEW IT!” The Son growled, and the prospect recoiled as Happy had blood oozing out from his knuckles.
“Knew what?! What the fuck’s going on?!”
“OUR SISTERS ARE DEAD MEAT THAT’S WHAT! IF I DON’T KILL THEM MYSELF, JAX AND CHIBS WILL!”
This had the prospect rearing back in downright confusion. Happy grabbed Ethan by the collar of his shirt.
“I TOLD YOU TO KEEP AN EYE ON THEM! CONGRATS, YOU JUST FAILED YOUR FIRST MISSION AS A PROSPECT!” The Son snapped then stormed off.
Ethan ran in order to keep up with him. He followed Happy into the parking lot where the van was originally parked. Only it wasn’t there now. Happy patted himself down in search of the keys then let out a miserable laugh.
“Those little…” Happy thought back to when Aislinn pegged him on the leg. He trailed off then closed his eyes. He knew that must’ve been when she jacked the keys.
“Where’s the van?” Ethan innocently asked as it hadn’t dawned on him what his sisters had pulled.
“WHERE DO YOU THINK?!” Happy barked after opening his eyes.
“No way…” Ethan murmured in shock.
“That’s right… WE’RE FUCKING FUCKED!”
“I can’t believe ya stole Happy’s keys!” Riona exclaimed, and Aislinn shrugged.
“Hadn’t a choice. He wasn’t about to hand them over. So I fetched them out of his pocket.”
Riona stuffed a piece of gum into her mouth. She wrinkled her nose after catching a glimpse of herself in the mirror.
“Ya gotta keep to the left Linny! We’re not in Ireland anymore!” Riona reminded as to her sister’s driving.
“Sorry.” Aislinn nervously put then corrected herself.
Riona looked over and noticed how badly her sister’s hands were shaking.
“Are ya sure you can do this?” Riona asked with concern.
“Aye. Just feel like utter shite. Turnin’ on the boys like that, after everythin’ they’ve done for us.”
“That makes two of us. But what choice did we have? They weren’t about to listen!”
“I know,” Aislinn said with a sigh.
“Maybe I should drive. You’re all over the place and not exactly legal.” Riona reminded.
“It’s my nerves. I might throw up myself!” Aislinn said as she glanced into the rearview mirror.
“Let me,” Riona said then made her way over.
They switched places then put their seatbelts on.
“We are so dead,” Aislinn whispered, and Riona let out a panicked laugh.
“Aye, very dead. But I’ll take the blame, alright? I’ll tell them I forced ya into a corner.”
“But they’d know that was a lie. The boys already know I’m the troublemaker!”
“Aye, but they don’t know a wee bit of that comes from me and not pa!” Riona said with a mischievous grin, and Aislinn laughed.
“True. But whatever punishment the boys have in store for us– we’ll face it together.”
“Couldn’t ask for a better sister!” Riona said with pride and Aislinn smiled in response.
Aislinn dug into the glove compartment and handed Riona Ethan’s gun. Aislinn took Happy’s then nodded her sister’s direction.
“Just in case…” Aislinn hinted, and Riona nodded in agreement.
Aislinn jumped as her cellphone sounded. The young woman recoiled once she saw who it was.
The picture of him sleeping with the teddy bear and with his thumb in his mouth flickered off and on as the phone continued ringing.
“Might as well answer… But let them know we’re takin’ matters into our own hands.” Riona said with a shrug.
“Jaysus… Ya really want me to deal with Happy?!”
“Who would ya rather deal with? Him or your man?!”
Aislinn recoiled before accepting the call.
“YOU GOT THIRTY MINUTES TO TURN THAT GODDAMN VAN AROUND AND GET YOUR FUCKING ASSES BACK HERE!” Happy roared into the receiver, and the girls cringed in unison.
“Awe, I miss you too Happy.”
“Don’t you pull that shit. I warned you Aislinn. I told you! I knew you’d fucking…” Riona reached over then snatched the phone out of her sister’s hold.
“NO. I TOLD YOU!” She shouted in return.
“YELL AT HER ALL YOU WANT. BUT I TOLD YOU AND ETHAN I HAD A FEELIN’ AND YA CHOSE TO IGNORE IT! THIS IS ALL ON ME SO IF YOU WANNA YELL AT SOMEONE YA CAN YELL AT ME, YA FUCKIN’ ARSE!”
“Is that what you want?” Happy said in a softer tone.
Riona didn’t answer, and Happy let out a low growl.
“You leave me no choice. I gotta call the boss and let him know what you two pulled!”
“HE DOESN’T NEED THAT SHITE RIGHT NOW HAPPY. LET MY HUSBAND DO HIS THING AND LET US DO OURS! YOU TWO CAN BE RIGHT BEHIND US!”
“You mean after we hitch a fucking ride?!” Happy bitterly put.
“Aye, ya should’ve listened to what I had to say!”
“NAH, FUCK THAT AND FUCK YOU BOTH! YOU DON’T WANT ME TO GET AHOLD OF YOU FIRST. TRUST ME!” Happy hung up and the girls shared that same look of misery.
“He’ll cool off.” Riona did her best to reassure, and Aislinn wiped a stray tear off her cheek.
“I don’t know Riona. He’s pretty angry.”
“Hap wouldn’t hurt us. No matter how mad he is. He wouldn’t hurt us.”
“That’s not what I’m worried about…” Aislinn sadly murmured.
Riona glanced her sister’s direction.
“What if we lost his and everyone else’s trust?!”
“Then we’ll work on gainin’ it back. That’s all we can do!”
“Good thing he filled up the van already.”
“Aye, with any luck they’ll be a day or so behind us.”
“I don’t know about that Riona. If he hotwires a car…”
Riona recoiled in thought.
“As long as they don’t stop us from gettin’ to Charmin’ we’re good. I’m only brakin’ for lights and gas!” Riona warned, and Aislinn giggled in thought.
“I missed this side of ya!” Aislinn uttered in awe, and Riona smiled.
“Well, I have a feelin’ you’re goin’ to see a lot more of this side.”
“Does Jax know how much of a bad girl you can be?”
“I suppose he’s about to find out!”
“This I gotta see.”
“Aye, well not so sure he’ll be as acceptin’ as that Scot of yours. Chibs digs your bad girl side.”
“Somethin’ tells me Jax likes a bad girl from time to time.”
“Well, he’s gettin’ one whether he likes it or not.”
Jax was sitting at the hotel table and peering out the window when his cellphone rang. He narrowed his eyes seeing as how it was Happy.
“Hey!” Jax called the moment he answered.
There was no response at first, and Jax reared back on this.
“Hap?! You there?”
“Promise me you’ll make it quick.”
“Quick?! Make what quick?”
“When you kill me. Make it quick.”
Jax rather laughed.
“Now, why am I going to kill you?” Jax questioned as this didn’t sound like Happy Lowman at all.
“Because I lost your wife and her sister.”
Jax shot up at this.
Happy sighed then revealed what the girls had pulled.
“THEY WHAT?! AND WHERE’S ETHAN?!”
“He’s right here. He’s helping me find a car to lift. Security is fucking tight here.”
“Shit. I can’t believe this.”
“Well, believe it. That wife of yours is nowhere near as innocent as she seems.”
“I could’ve told you that much.”
There was a moment of silence, and Jax uttered the word fuck as he was trying to think on what to do. He couldn’t leave, not until he had proof that the Aryans had been arrested. But he couldn’t stay either, that would put his wife in harm’s way.
“Look, do whatever you can to get to Charming and fast. Let me call Chibs and see how far away they are.”
“Gotcha.” Happy said before hanging up.
Jax bitched up a storm then punched the hotel table as he called Chibs.
Chibs stepped out of the hotel office, and his phone rang. He tossed Bobby, Kip, and Tig their keys before answering.
“You’re not going to BELIEVE what our lovely ladies pulled.”
Chibs came to a halt and signaled for the others to go on to their rooms.
“And what would that be?”
“First off, how far are you from Charming?”
“A couple days at least… Why?”
“Dammit. I was afraid of that.”
“What’s goin’ on Jackie?”
The president told his VP what happened and Chibs pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Yer shite’n me.”
“Wish I was. Happy said they’ve been on the road for a good hour at least. Oh, and get this… They took the fucking van.”
Chibs looked to the time and shook his head in thought.
“There’s no way in hell I can get there in time,” Jax uttered in misery.
“Aye. Alright, the boys and I got a couple rooms, but I’ll just head on home.”
“Filip… you gotta get some sleep.”
“Aye, I’ll sleep when I’m dead. Someone has to be there when the girls arrive. There’s no tellin’ what they’re up to and what they’re gettin’ themselves inta.”
“I’m hopin’ Happy will get there before they do anything stupid.”
“Aye well, one of us is bound ta get there in time. I hope.”
“Me too. Be safe. I mean it. If you get too tired pullover.”
“I will. Oh, and Jackie?”
“Don’t let it on that I’m headed that way… Alright? Me girl’s gettin’ an earful and I don’t want her knowin’ I’m aboot ta be home!”
Jax chuckled in thought.
“That might be for the best. I won’t let Riona in on this either. In fact, I’m going to call Happy and let him on this as well. They won’t know that we know…”
Chibs hung up then shook his head in frustration. Truth of the matter? Chibs was wired and had been before Jax even called. He couldn’t sleep if he tried. His only reason for pulling over was for the other’s sake. This would give him a good excuse to head on home. But he was beyond livid when it came to the girls and what they pulled. Granted he understood their reasoning, but wished they would’ve called him or Jax before bailing on Happy and Ethan like they did. Chibs could only imagine how PISSED Happy Lowman was about now.
Chibs let the others know that he was headed on out and why. But he let them know that a word of this was not to get out. So if the girls called… they were to play dumb.
Aislinn rolled the window down after lighting a cigarette.
“I’m surprised we haven’t got a call from the boys…” Riona hinted as they’d been on the road for a couple of hours now.
“I was thinkin’ the same thing. Wonder if they even know…”
“Oh trust me, we would’ve gotten an earful by now if they did. I bet Happy’s tryin’ to get to us before Jax finds out.”
“You’re probably right.” Riona took notice of the regrettable look on her sister’s face, however.
“Scotty and I vowed to never keep things from one another…” She sadly murmured, and Riona nodded in understanding.
“We’ll tell them as soon as we get home.”
Aislinn looked to her engagement ring in thought.
“I’m sorry about Lzzy,” Riona said, and Aislinn lifted her eyes on this.
“Ya know… about meetin’ her tonight and all.”
“Riona, our family comes first, always will. Besides, I got to meet Lzzy and in the most memorable way! If anythin’, I’m sorry your meet with Imagine Dragons didn’t go as planned.” Aislinn said but giggled in memory.
“That Dan fella was crushin’ on ya, hardcore!”
“Now you’re talkin’ rubbish.”
“I’m serious! He didn’t take his eyes off you, and he was flirtin’ up a storm.”
Riona reared back on this.
“Come on Riona… Ya know that song was meant for ya. That Dance in the Dark one. Why do ya think he was lookin’ right at ya?! Jax would’ve gunned him down right then and there if he’d seen that!”
Riona blushed and thought back to what her sister said.
“So that’s what ya meant by that Catholic comment!”
Riona gathered this stunned presence, and Aislinn giggled.
“Are ya goin’ to leave the biker for the singer?!” She teased, and Riona laughed.
“I’m afraid Jackson’s got my heart and soul.”
“And certificate in marriage. That’s not a receipt Riona. You can’t take him back!” Aislinn teased as to what Chibs said at their wedding.
“Too bad…” Riona said, and Aislinn tilted her head in wonder.
“I could’ve traded the ex for Jackson!” Riona said, and Aislinn died of laughter.
“Could ya imagine?! Nick, it just isn’t workin’ out. I’m gonna take you back and get an upgrade!”
This had Riona laughing as well.
“If only it were that easy.”
Aislinn flicked her cigarette bud out the window then rolled it back up. She cut on the radio but frowned when Britney Spears blew up in her face. She ejected the CD, rolled the window back down, then chucked the CD outside. Riona laughed after she rolled the window up. The girls laughed at the song playing on the radio. It was Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead or Alive.
“That’s Happy’s thoughts when it comes to us about now!” Riona said, and Aislinn nodded in agreement.
They sang along, and Riona sped things up a bit since there weren’t any cops around.
“Keep an eye out.” Happy said as he was hotwiring one of the cars in the parking lot.
Happy wasn’t kidding when he said security was tight. They had to pick a vehicle in the far back so they could avoid security cameras. But even at that, guards were policing the area.
“You might wanna hurry.” Ethan murmured as there were a couple officers a few cars down.
Happy let out a sigh of annoyance and kept trying.
“Come on…” Ethan harshly whispered.
“Got it!” Happy announced once the car roared to life.
The prospect was quick to hop inside, and Happy played it cool as they drove on out of the lot. Ethan rolled his eyes however as Happy waved at one of the guards. The guard waved in return.
“Fuck you; you show off,” Ethan muttered, and Happy chuckled.
“Let me drive,” Aislinn said as Riona was starting to nod off.
Riona wanted to argue this but knew she couldn’t keep going. So she pulled over and let her sister drive.
“Don’t ya go and get us pulled over. This isn’t Ireland so keep to the right lane!” Riona warned.
Aislinn mocked her sister under her breath. Riona cut her a ‘look,’ and Aislinn ignored it.
“What time you think we’ll get there?”
Riona looked to the time in thought.
“One? Maybe two?”
“That’s awfully late…”
“Are we goin’ to Piney’s or pickin’ Abel up first?”
“I have a feelin’ we need to hit Piney’s first. I don’t want Abel around for that.”
Aislinn locked eyes with her sister for a brief moment.
“Let’s just say it’s like that dream of yours…” Riona did her best to hint, and Aislinn recoiled in thought.
“Maybe we should we try callin’ Piney first…” Aislinn suggested.
“I’ve tried… and no answer.”
“So ya have his number and address?!”
“Aye, Jax put all the boys’ information in my phone.”
“So why don’t ya have Juice go and check…”
“Aislinn, if my intuition’s right… We don’t want SAMCRO arrivin’ before us. It’d break their wee hearts.”
“Boy, do I hope you’re wrong!” Aislinn said with a look of absolute horror.
“Me too. But you and I have this thing… always have. We know to listen to our instincts.”
“Unfortunately…” Aislinn muttered.
“Get some sleep. I’ll wake ya once we’re there.”
“I can’t believe they took off like that. I mean I shouldn’t be surprised. They are MY sisters but still…” Ethan uttered breaking the silence.
Happy didn’t comment. Ethan glanced over and raised his brows as Happy was going forty-five over the seventy- five speeding limit.
“Aren’t you worried about getting pulled over, in a stolen vehicle?” Ethan questioned, and Happy shrugged.
“Okay, you might not be… but I am. We get pulled over, and I’m fucked.” Ethan reminded.
“Either we risk getting pulled over or risk getting to Charming too little too late. Your choice.”
“Point taken.” He murmured and Happy nodded.
“They wouldn’t have done this without a good reason. I hope you know that.” Ethan defended.
“Says the one that hadn’t a clue they were up to something!” Happy ridiculed in response.
Ethan thought back to Aislinn and Happy’s strange behavior and exchange last night.
“So that’s what that was…” Ethan murmured in thought.
Happy glanced that direction.
“You and Aislinn… You’ve been at each other’s throats!”
Happy didn’t deny this and Ethan sighed.
“We should’ve listened and compromised…”
“No, they should’ve listened, and there is no compromising under SAMCRO protection, and they knew that. They’ve been with us long enough to know better and so have you!” Happy interrupted.
“Yeah, well being under SAMCRO protection isn’t the easiest thing, you know.”
“No excuse. And we both know Aislinn’s behind all this.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure about that.”
“This had the Son glancing the prospect’s direction.”
“Riona can be just as devious when pushed too far. I’ve seen it myself. Trust me; no one crosses Riona.”
“Yeah well, Aislinn acts whereas Riona plans everything out!”
“Aislinn’s cursed with our father’s temper. That’s why she’s so impulsive.”
“That impulsiveness is going to get her killed one day.” Happy bitterly put, and Ethan sighed.
“Don’t be so hard on her. Aislinn means well. If she is the mastermind behind this, it’s only because she wants to help. But I’m telling you… this isn’t Aislinn. It’s both of ‘em. THEY are the mastermind behind all this. That’s how they are when they work together, and they’ve always been like that. Like I said… Aislinn means well. So cut her some slack when you see her again. Trust me when I say this is crushing her.”
“Sure.” Happy mocked.
“I’m serious. Aislinn is kicking her own ass right now. She’s harder on herself than anyone else. She tries so hard not to be Pepper.”
Happy understood that feeling more than anyone. Otto was his curse when it came to deadbeat fathers, and Happy went out his way to be anything but him.
“And what about you?” Happy curiously questioned.
“Where do you fall in?”
“I guess you could say I’m a mutt…” Ethan uttered, and Happy cocked a brow.
“I’m a little of everything. Pepper, Riona, Aislinn, my step-father, and mother – I’m just a watered down blend of them all.”
Happy nodded in thought.
“But which one has that pull?”
“Brother to brother – I think you know what I’m talking about. Is it Aislinn or Riona? Cause we know, it’s not the old man.”
“You can’t ask me that! I love BOTH my sisters.”
“I didn’t ask you if you loved them… I’m asking which one do you have more of a connection with.”
“Hell if I know!”
“Fine. Who do you have more of a connection with, asshole?”
“Riona. Aislinn gets on my fucking nerves.”
“But she adores you and saved your goddamn life!” Ethan reminded.
“Didn’t say I didn’t love her. I said she got on my fucking nerves.”
Ethan shook his head in thought.
“Now, you going to answer the question or not?”
“Hell no. That’s a dickheaded question Hap, and you know it!”
Happy chuckled but nodded.
“I know who it is…”
“Yep. I know which one you have a deeper connection with.”
“Oh yeah?!” Ethan challenged.
“Aislinn, that’s why you get so fucking defensive.”
“I don’t have a deeper connection with Aislinn. Alright?! So knock that shit off.”
“So Riona?!” Happy challenged.
“So you don’t have a connection with either sister? That’s a bummer.”
“Fuck you Hap.”
“Riona…” Aislinn called once they hit the Charming City limits sign.
Riona didn’t budge. Aislinn reached over and gave her sister a little shake.
“We’re here. Ya gotta tell me where to go. I don’t know where Piney lives.”
Riona nodded then looked to the address on her phone. She googled the map of Charming and told her sister where to go, step by step.
“You passed it!” Riona scolded.
“Sorry,” Aislinn uttered then backed up and pulled into the driveway behind Piney’s trike.
“We’ll call the boys and let them know we’re in town,” Riona said with a touch of nerves.
“Maybe we should do that after we check on Piney?” Aislinn suggested, and Riona looked to be in thought.
“That way we know what to tell them exactly…” Aislinn added.
“Alright,” Riona agreed then checked the bullets in her brother’s gun.
Aislinn checked Happy’s as well and nodded as it too was fully loaded.
“You ready?” Aislinn asked with her hand along the handle.
“No,” Riona admitted but opened her door.
Aislinn drew back a hesitant breath then crossed herself before opening hers as well. The sisters regarded each other at the door then nodded amongst one another before Aislinn rang the doorbell. She rang it a couple more times before Riona tried knocking. When that didn’t work, she tried turning the doorknob, but it was locked.
“So now what?” Aislinn asked.
“We break in…”
“I was afraid ya’d say that.” Aislinn looked around the area.
“Good thing it’s dark.” The younger sister muttered before hopping the fence and making her way into the backyard.
Riona kept an eye out but tried all the windows in the front. When that didn’t work, she tried the garage. To her great surprise, the door rose with no issue. She glanced around the area once again and was extra cautious as she approached the door leading into the house. She opened the door but was quick to bring her gun out as she saw someone standing in the living room.
“Jaysus.” She heard realizing it was her sister and she too had her gun aimed Riona’s direction.
They lowered their guns and sent one another apologetic looks.
“I was about to let ya in,” Aislinn whispered while covering her nose.
“What is that smell?!” Riona asked after pulling the garage door down and locking everything up.
“Death…” Aislinn whispered, and Riona recoiled in thought.
Riona went on to search the house. Aislinn kept an eye on her, and they had their guns ready to go, just in case.
“Oh Mary, do I hate bein’ right!” Aislinn heard her sister whisper.
Aislinn made her way into the room Riona was in then gasped.
“Is that…” She uttered as to the carcass on the bed.
“A crow…” Riona finished.
“That poor soul,” Aislinn whispered as it had been there for a few days.
The bird was covered in flies and maggots.
“Riona…” Aislinn called after her sister cut the lights on and was getting a better look at the crow.
Riona lifted her eyes that direction then followed the horrified gaze on her sister’s face.
“OH MY GOD!” Riona shouted, and Aislinn backed away in shock.
They found Piney in the closet. He’d a belt wrapped around his neck, and was hanging from a pole in his closet.
“HELP ME!” Riona cried as she went to lower the man down.
Aislinn snapped out of it and went to help her sister.
“RIONA!” Aislinn hollered as the man was bloated and parts of his body were decomposing; he too was covered in maggots.
The girls turned their heads and puked in unison. Aislinn gasped back then fell as one of his arms hit the floor.
“HOW LONG HAS HE BEEN DEAD?!” Aislinn questioned in horror.
Riona held up a hand and threw up once again.
“I got this. Call Juice. Tell him to come and get you. Then ya go and get our boy!” Aislinn said.
“Linny, I can’t leave you!”
“Riona, it’s what the boys would do. I’ll take care of Piney. Just make certain Juice stays with you. I mean it. Besides, Abel can’t be around all this shite!”
“And what about you?!”
“I’ll be fine. No one even knows I’m here. I’ll clean this up and call Scotty. I’ll meet you at the clubhouse when I’m done.”
“You can’t rid of this all by yourself!”
“Wanna bet?” Aislinn murmured as to when she and Pepper handled Nicholas.
“And if you’re caught?”
“Riona, the poor lad’s been here forever. No one’s comin’ or they would’ve found him by now. NOW GO BEFORE SOMETHIN’ HAPPENS TO JUICE OR ABEL!”
Riona hugged her sister then called Juice. Aislinn looked to the mess before her and cringed.
“I’ll send a prospect to help,” Riona said, and Aislinn nodded.
This was like something from a horror movie. Aislinn had never seen so many maggots, and she couldn’t believe how quickly this man was decomposing. She knew a lot of that had to do with the insects eating on him.
“I’m sorry love. What a dreadful way to die.” Aislinn whispered before saying a prayer on Piney’s behalf.
Aislinn snapped a few pictures with her phone knowing the boys would need this for evidence. She loathed the idea of putting them through this. It would kill them.
“Maybe we should’ve called the police,” Aislinn uttered and her sister overheard this.
“Ya know it’d fall back on the boys. That’s the last thing they need!”
Aislinn gave a sad nod as Riona called Juice. Riona helped her sister until he arrived. They wore face masks, gloves, and used whatever the boys had in the van. The Lawless sisters would gag every now and then as they placed decomposed parts of the retired Son into trash bags. Both had tears streaming down their face the entire time.
“Hey…” They heard and were quick to draw their guns.
The girls let out simultaneous sighs when they saw Juice peeking into the room.
“What are you two doing?!”
Riona shook her head as she tied one of the bags. She told Juice about her intuition and what they found when they arrived. Juice flinched then looked to the bed and closet in thought.
“Do you really think he hung himself?!”
He asked, and Riona shook her head in thought. Aislinn, however, snapped a look Juice’s direction.
“What?!” He questioned taking notice.
“Riona love, Juice and I got this. Why don’t ya go on and get Abel? You’ll have to use the van anyhow cause ya can’t take the wee one on the bike.”
“But I thought Juice was comin’ with me?!”
“Aye, but the more I think about it… you’re right. I can’t do all this shite on my own. I need muscle, and we all know Rat can’t lift a fly!”
Riona wasn’t thinking clearly. All she could focus on was getting to her son. It didn’t help that she was extremely nauseous and to top everything off… She had a migraine from hell. Aislinn could tell her sister wasn’t feeling very well.
“You’ll have to send that prospect for sure since you’re taking the van. Just make sure he brings the other one.”
“Riona…” Aislinn called before her sister went to exit the house.
“I will. But ya best be careful as well. I mean it!”
“I love ya,” Aislinn said then forced a smile.
“Aye, I love ya too Linny,” Riona said while wiping a tear from her eye and rushing on out the door.
Juice grabbed another bag and some more gloves. Aislinn kept quiet while he helped.
Riona rang the doorbell and waited for Neeta. When she didn’t answer Riona tried once again thinking Neeta might not have heard it if she was asleep. Riona tilted her head however as she heard something coming from the back of the house. Riona inched her way there and saw Neeta standing beside a blue truck.
“DON’T YOU TAKE THAT SWEET BOY!” Neeta screamed, and Riona’s heart hit the pit of her stomach.
A truck took off and with Abel leaning out the passenger side window. He was reaching for Neeta and crying.
“Nooo…” Riona gasped but was quick to duck into the shadows as the truck drove right past her.
Her jaw dropped when she saw Gemma in the passenger seat. The woman was hugging her grandson and yelling at the driver. She was telling him to hurry it up. Riona stayed within the shadows and took off towards the van. She hopped inside then chased after the truck.
“We got a tail.” The driver uttered, and Gemma regarded the other vehicle through the rearview mirror.
“Speed up!” Gemma ordered, and the man rolled his eyes as he shifted gears.
“No wanna go with you, grandma!” Abel cried.
“Shhh. You’re okay baby.”
“No, I not! Daddy say no go near you! Why you take me from Neeta and Rat?!” The boy cried.
“Abel baby, I know you’re upset, but it’s for the best. Trust me. You’re going to look back on this and thank me. Grandma knows what’s best and takes care of her own. I’m going to take care of you.”
“But mommy and daddy take care of me! I no want you to take care of me! You is mean like grandpa. You no use to be, but you is now!”
Gemma recoiled on the boy’s words.
“I thought you said you two were tight.” The man stated while looking the boy over.
“We are. It’s just a misunderstanding.”
“No, it not! Take me back to Neeta, grandma. RIGHT NOW!”
The man cocked a brow on this and Gemma continued in her rocking even as the boy writhed about in her arms. Gemma had tears trickling down her face.
“See what they did to him?! They brainwashed my baby boy!” Gemma cried.
“I no brainwashed. I want my mommy!” Abel shouted, and Gemma let out a painful yelp as the boy bit down on her arm and hard enough to penetrate the skin.
“ABEL!” Gemma reprimanded.
The boy pried himself free then took off into the back seat.
“I WANNA GO HOME!” He cried, and Gemma sighed.
The man narrowed his eyes as the van behind them was tailing them at a red light. He had no choice but to stop as there was traffic ahead of them.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! GO!” Gemma ordered, but the man had this offbeat look about him.
“What in the hell have you gotten me into?!”
Gemma unfastened her seatbelt and was headed into the back with Abel. The driver stopped her and with his hand wrapped around Gemma’s arm.
“Why is my daughter chasing us?!”
Gemma peered back and saw Riona Lawless in the van, gun in hand. Riona stepped out and was making her way over. Gemma was at a loss for words as she hadn’t expected this at all.
“You have got to be kiddin’.” Riona scoffed once she saw her father sitting in the driver’s side.
Pepper looked to his daughter then to the boy sitting in the back.
“What are the goddamn odds?” Pepper uttered in disbelief.
“And what kind of crazy shit have you gotten me into, woman?!” Pepper reproached, and Gemma let out a miserable laugh.
“Talk about a small world.” Gemma bitterly muttered.
“Oh, ya have no idea,” Riona said but with her gun aimed Gemma’s direction.
“MOMMY!” Abel squealed then went to let himself out.
“IT NO OPEN!” Abel hollered, and Riona gritted her teeth.
“Let my son out of the truck, Gemma!” She ordered, and Pepper sighed as he unlocked Abel’s door.
“STAR!” Gemma scolded, and the man shook his head.
“You had me believing the mother was unfit and completely psycho. I can assure you my daughter is none of those things.”
Abel opened the door, hopped out then sprinted towards his mother. Riona put her gun away then scooped him up. She kept her eyes on Gemma however as she did this.
“You’re not his mother! Tara is!”
“Tara?!” Riona couldn’t believe her ears.
Did Gemma Morrow really say that shit? Riona thought she hated Tara, at least from the stories Jax always told of his ex-wife and mother.
“That’s right. I’m fixing this. I’m getting my family back, and I don’t care how I have to go about it.”
“NO TAWA!” Abel shouted.
“Abel baby, Tara’s been more of a mother to you than anyone!” Gemma defended, and Riona had a good laugh at this.
“Ya’ve lost your ever-lovin’ mind, haven’t ya?! Tara, a good mother?! She was never there! She was only around when she needed somethin’. That sound a wee bit familiar?!” Riona fired back.
“Don’t pretend to know me. You don’t know shit, you fucking Irish cunt.”
A few cars were honking at them as they were blocking traffic. Riona locked eyes with her father.
“And you… I can’t believe ya! What in the hell are ya doin’ here?!”
“Long story. Think you can follow me to the hotel on 3rd?”
“Nah,” Riona said and started towards the van.
“RIONA!” Pepper desperately shouted.
“I’m sober! Have been for MONTHS! Please, this is important.”
Riona rolled her eyes then started towards the van, yet again.
“GET DOWN!” Her father shouted as someone drove past and with a gun in hand.
Riona took cover, just as they started shooting. She used her body to shield Abel. Pepper leaped out of the truck and was quick to get his daughter and Abel inside. The man let out a bit of a grunt as a bullet struck him in the back. He slammed the door shut then rushed back inside. Riona kept Abel in that protective hold of hers as Pepper hit the gas and took off.
“MOMMY!” Abel screamed as bullets pierced through the seat cushions and windows of the truck.
Riona kept her voice down and held him as she uttered an Irish blessing. Abel cried but quoted the familiar blessing as well, and Gemma shook her head as she watched the two.
“HOLD ON!” Pepper warned as he slammed on the brakes.
Riona gritted her teeth as she and Abel rolled onto the floorboard. She stayed put thinking that was the safest area to be at this point. Gemma’s head hit the window, and she braced herself against the seat in front of her.
“IT SO LOUD!” Abel cried as the bullets pierced through various areas.
“FUCK!” Pepper yelled as he backed the truck up and hit the loop.
“I think we’re good now,” Pepper said once they were a good fifteen minutes out of town.
“Whoever that was… They’re long gone now.”
“You alright?” Pepper asked while regarding Gemma through the rearview mirror.
She checked herself over then nodded.
“Good.” Pepper said then pulled over.
“Then you’re okay to walk.”
Gemma’s jaw dropped, and Pepper shook his head in fury.
“You think I don’t know when a woman’s using me? That fucking sob story of yours! You fucked with the wrong man! NOW GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY TRUCK!”
“Come on Star baby you…”
“OUT!” Pepper demanded.
“NO, NOT WITHOUT MY BABY!” Gemma argued while looking at her grandson.
Pepper gritted his teeth then aimed his gun Gemma’s direction.
“GET OUT OF MY TRUCK OR I’LL PUT A PRETTY HOLE IN THAT PRETTY HEAD OF YOURS.”
Gemma recoiled and sulked as she stepped out of the truck.
“Keep that crazy away from my daughter!” Pepper warned.
Pepper hit the road and didn’t look back.
“I’m sorry,” Juice said, and Aislinn lifted her eyes.
“This… This should be me and the prospects, not you, Aislinn. Chibs would kill me if he knew what you were doing right now!”
Aislinn laughed on irony of his words, but still, she kept quiet.
“We got it,” Juice said once the prospect arrived with the van.
Aislinn ignored this and helped get everything cleaned up. She did her best to rid of the smell as well. They were in the garage, and the prospect was in the driver’s seat of the van. Juice went to shut the van doors but heard a click and turned his head the direction in which it came from.
“I’ve a feelin’ Scotty’s gonna kill ya alright, but for a whole different reason.” Aislinn severely put.
“What are you doing?!” Juice exclaimed as Aislinn had Happy’s gun in hand and aimed Juice’s direction.
“Riona and I never mentioned anythin’ about a hangin’. We only said that we found him in the closet.”
“You can’t be serious,” Juice uttered with a nervous chuckle.
“Oh, I’m dead serious love. I’m surprised my sister didn’t catch on.”
“What are you suggesting?!”
“I think we both know.”
“YOU THINK I KILLED PINEY?!”
“Well, if ya didn’t kill him, ya certainly had a hand in it.”
“You’re reading way too much into this! Stop playing games and lower the gun!”
“This is no game, Juan. Now get in the van.” Aislinn retrieved her phone.
“What are you doing?!”
“Callin’ your VP!”
“Shhhh…” Aislinn whispered as the phone rang and rang, but she got no answer.
“What’s the holdup?!” The prospect questioned.
He exited the van then made his way over. The prospect was startled to see an old lady aiming her gun at a Son. The prospect went to withdraw his, and Aislinn sent him a look of absolute hell.
“Ya do that, and I’ll have to shoot ya!” She warned, and the prospect thickly swallowed.
“Sorry lad. This hasn’t anythin’ to do with ya. So get into the van and…”
“Aislinn, please.” Juice pleadingly interrupted.
“What is this?” The prospect questioned looking lost.
“I found the fake.”
“The what?!” Juice asked in bewilderment.
“Where’s your sister?” Pepper asked once Riona and Abel were situated.
Riona started to answer but thought back to something Juice had said. This had Riona replaying everything her sister did and said afterward. Oh, Linny… She thought with fear residing in her heart.
“Pa! Linny’s in trouble!” Riona said, and Pepper tilted his head wondering if his daughter even realized she referred to him as ‘pa’.
The man wasn’t about to curse himself by bringing it to his daughter’s attention. Pepper turned the truck around then headed back to Charming. Riona gave her father directions to the house Juice, and Aislinn was at.
“Aislinn, I haven’t a clue what this is about, I hadn’t anything to do with this!”
“Then how’d ya know about the hangin’, huh?”
Juice sighed then looked to the prospect.
“Give us a minute.”
The prospect was awfully confused as he looked to Aislinn then back to Juice.
“GO!” Juice ordered, and Aislinn rolled her eyes.
The prospect headed back to the van and Juice paced the area. Aislinn kept that gun on him and waited for an explanation.
“Look, I came by the house a couple days ago and found him…”
A shot was fired, and Juice leaped back against the van. The bullet barely missed his right foot.
“Try again, only the truth this time.” Aislinn advised, and Juice reared back on this.
“Jesus fucking Christ!” The Son hollered.
“Cry all ya want. He’s not about to save ya!”
Juice laughed in disbelief.
“You don’t understand. If you only knew…”
“Aislinn, I really need you to lower that gun and hear me out.”
“I can hear ya just fine.”
Juice rolled his eyes.
“Jesus, I can see why he chose you!”
“Chibs…” Juice uttered behind another wretched laugh.
“How can ya laugh at a time like this? One of your brothers is dead! Do ya feel nothin’?!”
“Of course I do! But like I said… you don’t understand. This is bigger than you and I, bigger than what you assume! I’m trying to tell you I didn’t do this! Please, you gotta believe me! I loved Piney! I love all my brothers!”
“If ya didn’t do it then who did?”
“I can’t tell you that.”
Aislinn fired another shot only this time it went through Juice’s shoe.
“GODDAMN IT AISLINN! YOU FUCKING SHOT ME?!” Juice hollered as he limped around.
“Would ya like another to match?!”
“Holy shit! You are nuts!”
“I may be nuts. But I would never betray family whether they are blood or not. You were family Juice. Why would ya…”
The two of them jumped as another gunshot sounded. They glanced the direction in which it came from. Juice recoiled once he saw the prospect had been shot, in the head.
“GO!” Juice hollered then reached out in attempts to get Aislinn back into the house.
The young woman recoiled from his touch.
“AISLINN, PLEASE BABE YOU HAVE TO GO! HE WILL KILL YOU!”
Aislinn let out a painful yelp as something grazed her ear, there was a loud “POP” before her ear started ringing and she went deaf. The young woman kept her gun aimed but blinked a couple times as she was lost as to what was happening. Her eyes met the familiar shadow from Happy’s place that one night.
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS! LEAVE HER ALONE!” Juice pleaded that direction.
“THE GIRLS AND ABEL… THEY’RE INNOCENT!” The Son added with tears in his eyes.
That familiar click sounded once again, and Aislinn fired on impulse. Juice looked to the man then back to Aislinn. The man had a hand along his chest where Aislinn had shot him.
“OH SHIT! GO! JUST GO!” Juice shouted as he shoved her into the house.
“RUN AND DON’T LOOK BACK! WHATEVER YOU HEAR KEEP RUNNING!” The Son shouted after slamming the door shut behind her.
Aislinn regarded the door wide-eyed as a couple more gunshots sounded. The young woman heard someone approaching the door, and she darted into the backyard. Aislinn tucked Happy’s gun away, jumped the fence, and kept running as she could hear the strange man pursuing her.
“GET IN!” Aislinn heard and turned her head as she was still running.
“COME ON AISLINN BABY, GET IN THE FUCKING TRUCK!” Someone shouted from the window of a blue truck.
“PA?!” She called after getting a better look.
Aislinn peered into the truck and saw her sister and Abel inside as well.
“What’s…” She started to say but was struck in the leg.
“AISLINN! LINNY!” Pepper and Riona simultaneously shouted.
“NOOO!” Pepper howled as the man was just a few feet away now.
Pepper sprang out of the truck. He had his gun in hand and was dodging bullets while taking shots at the man shooting at his youngest daughter. Pepper wrapped his arm around Aislinn’s shoulder then rushed her into the truck.
“Hold on love. Just hold on.” Pepper whispered before slamming her door shut.