Chapter 12 – Priceless
I do not own SOA. I claim all original characters and give no one permission to use them. I do not own youtube, for King & Country, or anything related.
“Have ya seen Scotty?” Aislinn asked, and Jax pointed to the room where the cots were.
Aislinn nodded then headed that way. She peeked into the room, and Chibs was kicked back on his cot, chugging on a bottle of whiskey. Aislinn walked on over and sat on the cot beside him. The Scot handed the bottle over, and she took a decent swig. Chibs gave her a cigarette and his zippo. He popped a cigarette into his mouth, and Aislinn handed his zippo back after lighting hers.
“Abel and I made ya somethin’.”
“Made me somethin’?” He questioned, and Aislinn opened the journal she was carrying.
She took out the pages they colored and handed them over. Chibs cocked a brow as he looked them over.
“I take it this one’s yers?” He teased while holding Abel’s Scottish terrier up.
“How’d ya guess?!”
The Scot chuckled but was looking the one she actually colored over.
“What kind of colorin’ book did that come from?” He curiously asked that didn’t look like a picture from any child’s coloring book.
“Not sure. Just one Abel had handy. I thought it was pretty savage.”
“Aye,” Chibs uttered in agreement.
“Ya gonna put it on the fridge?!” She playfully teased, and Chibs smiled.
“Ye know it, just as soon as we get to Charmin’!”
Chibs came to his feet and placed the pictures in one of his bags.
“So he’s gone…” Aislinn hintingly whispered, and Chibs pivoted around.
He gave a simple nod.
A frustrated sigh escaped him.
“Haven’t a clue love. No one knows where he is and his body was never found.”
Aislinn recoiled on this. That left Abel, Riona, and herself in danger. But she wasn’t about to voice that considering the man was already a mess. The Scot’s eyes were sunken in and bloodshot.
“So what’d ya do with the body?”
“Keith says they’ll handle it.”
“Think they’ll bury him?”
“Nah, we only bury brothers.”
“If ya don’t bury them… then what do ya do?”
Chibs adjusted the hat he was wearing and took a drag off his cigarette before answering that.
“When I say we only bury brothers, I mean as in a proper burial. Jimmy won’t be gettin’ that. There will be no grave to visit. Same goes for Liam, considerin’ his last actions were against the club.”
Chibs made his way over. He took the whiskey from her hold then took another hit.
“So what’s that?” Chibs questioned as to the instrument case she had next to her cot.
Aislinn smiled as she picked it up. Chibs exchanged the bottle of whiskey for the case and was blown away when he opened it.
“That’s Bobby’s fiddle.” He uttered.
“He gave it to me…” She coyly put, and Chibs couldn’t hide the stunned expression on his face.
“Bobby gave ye this?!”
“Ye must’ve left quite the impression.”
“Said he never used it…”
Now that was a downright lie. Chibs thought but wasn’t about to say anything. Bobby kept that fiddle here for a reason. Ireland was the only place he ever played that fiddle, and he played it often when he did visit. Chibs wasn’t joking about the impression she must’ve left. That wasn’t like Bobby at all. Then again, there was just something about these girls. Everyone aside from Clay seemed to be smitten. The Sons hadn’t a bad word against them.
Chibs shut the case then put it back by her cot. He set the dragon Abel had given her on top since it had fallen onto the floor. Aislinn finished her cigarette and Chibs put their buds in the ashtray by Bobby’s cot. The Scot had this desperate look in his eyes as he kissed her. The man found himself conflicted however as he usually turned to hard liquor and a good fucking when he was like this. He and Jax were a lot alike in that sense. They used drinking and sex as a way destress. Chibs lifted her up off the ground but let out a painful grunt as he did.
“Scotty!” Aislinn called with concern.
He shook his head, and half laughed as he sat her down on his cot.
“Forgot…” He hinted while tapping a finger along his wound.
“Are ya alright?” She asked and was fussing over him as she lowered his shirt and took a gander.
“Ali…” He scolded but with his hands along her thighs.
“Ya done popped a couple! I knew ya would!”
Just as she was to grab his medical bag, Chibs laid her down and nearly tipped the cot over as he joined her.
Aislinn laughed as he flung a hand out and broke their fall.
“You’re mad!” She said once he got the cot back on its legs.
“Aye,” he muttered and kissed her once again.
He had one hand planted along her ass and the other on the apple of her cheek as that kiss continued. A small moan escaped her and her back arched off the cot. This was followed by a whimper-like cry, however, and she became white as chalk.”
“Ali?!” Chibs whispered with concern.
The young woman had her eyes closed, and the Scot was quick to roll her onto the opposite side she was holding. He lifted her shirt and saw it to be the same bruise from yesterday; only it was twice as big today. Chibs tested the area with a couple of fingers, and she whimpered out once again.
“Ye’ve done cracked a rib. Why didn’t ye tell me about this?! Ye had to have seen this when you got dressed!” Chibs scolded, and Aislinn sighed.
“You’ve got enough to worry about.”
“I’m fine, Scotty. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to ruin the moment.”
“Ye didn’t ruin anythin’.” He said while unbuttoning her shirt.
Chibs removed the shirt then sat her up and examined her a little more thoroughly. He wanted to make certain there were no more surprises. He didn’t like the idea of hurting her.
“Guess we’re back to playin’ doc and nurse.”
“Who is who?” Aislinn teased, and Chibs chuckled.
“I don’t mind wearin’ a skirt.” He murmured with a shrug and grabbed his medical bag.
“Ya mean a kilt.” She corrected.
“Aye!” He said and went to take care of the area.
Aislinn held up a hand in protest.
“You first.” She said, and Chibs sighed.
“Ya wanna bleed out and have the others start poppin’ as well?”
“Fine.” He grumbled knowing she wouldn’t let it go until he caved in.
Chibs removed his shirt then sat beside her on the cot.
“Just don’t go and pass out on me. Ye look like ye might.”
Aislinn didn’t comment as she disinfected the area and redid his stitches.
“There!” She said once she finished.
Chibs looked to the area and nodded.
“That’s a lot better.” He said as the stitches were somewhat sloppy on her first go.
“Hey now, I’m still learnin’!” She pouted, and Chibs chuckled.
“Guess that means I have a lot ta teach you.” He uttered with a touch of sexual innuendo.
“Is that so?” She challenged as he got her set up and was looking her over.
“Let me get ye an ice pack and some ibuprofen.” Chibs put his shirt on then exited the room.
“Think I can have the room for a while?”
Aislinn cringed upon the familiar voice and was quick to cover herself. Clay cocked a brow on this and Aislinn rolled her eyes as he had one of the SAMBEL entertainers with him; the same one that was giving Liam head under the table yesterday. Aislinn curled her lip at this, and the other young woman sighed. Aislinn hopped up and grabbed her shirt.
“I played no part in that.” The other woman said.
Aislinn shrugged but with a grimace as she was in attempts to button her shirt.
“Help her out Cherry…” Clay ordered, and the entertainer started towards her.
Aislinn was quick to shoot out a hand.
“I got it. Thank you.”
Clay rolled his eyes.
“Just let her help. It’s clear you’re in no shape to be…” Clay trailed off as Aislinn’s eyes rolled into the back of her head.
The Son was quick to catch her. Bobby walked in seeing Aislinn in Clay’s possession and with her shirt open. Cherry didn’t help the scene as she was adjusting Aislinn’s bra strap. Bobby marched on over and snatched Aislinn out of Clay’s hold.
“What are you doin’?!” He questioned rather accusingly, taking Clay by complete surprise.
Clay reared back as Bobby was looking Aislinn over.
“What the hell was that?!” Clay grumbled, and Bobby sent him a mistrusting glance.
“What if Chibs had walked in on that?!” Bobby harshly whispered.
“Wait… you think…” Clay uttered, and Bobby let out a frustrated sigh as he laid Aislinn down.
Bobby went to button her shirt when Clay grabbed him by the arm and forced him over.
“I didn’t touch the little bitch. She fucking passed out!”
“Sure she did…” Bobby accused knowing how Clay worked.
Clay often enough used Bobby to set up a few of the old ladies from time to time. Clay wanted to test out their “faithfulness” when it came to their men. That was something Bobby always thought to be rather hypocritical considering how many of them, including that of Clay, cheated on their significant others. But that’s how the MC worked, and that’s what JT had been trying to fix before he died. After the way, he was burned… JT hadn’t a very high opinion of anyone that committed infidelity. He knew firsthand what it could do. JT loved Gemma, and it broke him the day he found out about his best friend and wife sneaking around as to why he beat the shit out of his son for cheating on Tara. JT didn’t say a word to any other MC member. But when his flesh and blood pulled it, Jax saw a side of his old man that he never wanted to see, but needed to all the same. Sadly, it wasn’t until Riona entered the picture that Jax finally got what his father had been trying to tell him all along.
“Are you accusing me of what I think you are?!” Clay snapped, and Bobby gritted his teeth.
“Wouldn’t put it past you. Just leave this one be, alright.” Bobby protectively put and went to check on her again, only to have Clay pull him back once more.
“Oh come on… You too?! Is she sucking your dick behind Chibs’s back or something?!” Clay indicted.
Chibs had entered the room at this point. The Scot narrowed his eyes at the scene before him and was shooting Clay a look of hell after hearing what he’d said.
Bobby had his back to Chibs and hadn’t a clue he was in the room.
“Wouldn’t matter if she was, not about to tell you about it.” Bobby witted in return.
“Why don’t you try telling him that?” Clay stated with a cocky grin Chibs’s direction.
Bobby spun around at this. He sighed once he saw Chibs at Aislinn’s side. The Scot gave a simple nod and placed an ice pack on the young woman’s ribs. He checked her vitals afterward.
“What happened?” Chibs calmly put but almost to the point of being too calm.
Bobby found it downright eerie. He knew how the Scot worked. If he was this focused and quiet. There would be hell to pay and a lot of it.
“Clay says she passed out.”
Chibs nodded as he focused on getting Aislinn to come to.
“Why were ye even in the room with her?” Chibs probed as he glanced Clay’s direction.
“I’m not doing this.” Clay said and took the Cherry by the hand.
He was about to head out when Bobby blocked his path.
“He asked you a question.”
“I heard. But I won’t stand here and listen to either of you accuse me of something you know nothing about. I should’ve let the bitch hit the floor. I’d be knee deep in pussy about now if I had.” Chibs mistook the context behind Clay’s words and leaped right over the cot Aislinn was on.
Clay let out a grunt as Chibs shoved him onto a couple other cots. The two ended up in a heated brawl as Clay was in attempts to explain that he meant Cherry (the entertainer) and not Aislinn. Chibs, however, didn’t give him that chance. Clay might’ve been bigger in comparison, and both were dealing with bullet wounds. But everyone knew Chibs was one hell of a brawler and once that temper of his hit there was no mercy, even for someone as big as Clay. Clay managed to get a few good punches in but all that did was add to the Scot’s fury.
“Shit,” Bobby muttered as Chibs had his blade to Clay’s throat and spat in his face.
“I done warned ye. I told ye not to come near me girl, didn’t I?”
“Chibs,” Bobby warned as the blade was cutting into Clay’s throat.
“Scotty?” Aislinn called as she came to and was sitting up on the cot now.
Chibs kept his eyes on Clay but lowered the knife.
“What happened Ali?” Chibs questioned.
Cherry went to answer this, and the VP was quick to shush her. The Scot didn’t want to hear what she had to say. Chances were Clay had already fed her the lines. Clay had his hand on his shoulder and was bleeding out. Chibs rolled his eyes. He wasn’t about to stitch that bastard up again. He had to refrain from killing him when he plucked the bullet out, to begin with. If he had to work on that shoulder again, he’d make certain Clay lost that arm.
Aislinn revealed the truth, and the Scot nodded. Clay might have been “somewhat” innocent this time around. But Chibs hadn’t forgiven him for walking in on Aislinn in the shower, much less the tasteless comment he made about her when showing off to Tig. Calling her a bitch then going on about letting her hit the floor didn’t help matters either. The Scot wanted nothing more than to slit this bastard’s throat and be done. If he managed to get him alone on that ship, he just might, before sending him overboard. If there were a plank to walk Chibs would have him do it. The Scot was done when it came to Clay Morrow, even more so knowing what they were coming home to. But like that of Happy, the VP respected his president’s wishes. Jax didn’t want Clay to know he was on to him just yet and was already making plans. Chibs wouldn’t interfere with that but on that same note; he wasn’t letting this motherfucker anywhere near his old lady, not a chance in hell.
“I don’t want ye anywhere near Ali again. I don’t care what the circumstances are. Ye haven’t any reason ta be near her anyhow.”
Chibs shot to his feet, and Clay bitterly rose to his.
“Point taken. Next time your old lady’s about to eat the floor, I’ll let her.”
Chibs went to deck the shit out of him, and Bobby stepped in between the two. He nudged Clay and Cherry on out of the room.
“Thank you.” Chibs sincerely put, and Bobby tilted his head on this.
“If ye hadn’t come around… There’s no tellin’ what he would’ve done.” Chibs whispered, and Bobby nodded in agreement. That felt strange for Bobby going against Clay like that. But there was something about the way Clay was holding Aislinn; it felt downright threatening. As for Chibs, he didn’t trust Clay, not for a second. He wouldn’t put it past him to take advantage of Aislinn while unconscious.
“About what I said…” Bobby whispered in return as to his witty comment about Aislinn.
“I already let it go. Might be best not to bring it up again.” Chibs made clear, and Bobby nodded in perfect understanding.
Aislinn came to her feet and finished buttoning her blouse.
“I told ye to keep that ice on.” Chibs reprimanded yet again.
“I have to hit the jacks…” Aislinn coyly put, and Bobby chuckled.
“You sound like an old married couple,” Bobby admitted even though that pained him to say.
The man couldn’t help it when it came to Aislinn; he was besotted.
“He’s the old one…” Aislinn taunted with a playful wink Chibs’s direction.
Chibs shook his head but with a grin.
“Take these before ye go.” Chibs handed her some pills and a bottle of water to go with that.
Aislinn took the pills then chugged the entire bottle down.
“Thirsty?” Chibs asked.
The young woman nodded.
“I’ll get ye some more water then. That might be why ye passed out.” Chibs uttered but took notice of the way her hands trembled and her color hadn’t fully come to yet.
“Might be best if I take ye,” Chibs said and went on to escort her into the ladies room.
Chibs was standing outside the stall when he heard Aislinn break into a fight of giggles.
“Does it tickle?” He teased as he could hear her peeing.
“Don’t ya think this a wee bit awkward?”
“Hearin’ me take a piss?”
“Would it make ye feel better if ye heard me go as well?”
“Well too bad cause I gotta go.”
Aislinn’s jaw dropped as he hit the stall next door.
“Great, Elvis is right, we’re officially married. And I didn’t get a ring or nothin’!”
“I got an old Cracker Jacks ring back home. Ye can have it.”
“Cracker Jacks?” Aislinn questioned.
“Right… Yer just a wee baby and they didn’t have those in Ireland.”
“What’s Cracker Jacks? Is that a game or somethin’?” Chibs heard her ask as she washed her hands.
He exited the other stall and went to wash up as well. Chibs had never felt older as he went on to describe what Cracker Jacks were and the prizes that came in them.
“So ya eat caramel corn and get a free toy?”
“Huh, you Americans are really spoiled.” Aislinn teased, and Chibs laughed.
“I never got caramel corn and a toy all in one day!”
“I’ll get ya a toy and caramel corn in the states.”
Aislinn snorted on this.
“Promise?!” She mockingly put, and Chibs nodded.
“Aye, whatever ye want but they don’t make Cracker Jacks anymore. I don’t think so anyhow.”
Aislinn made a pouty face and Chibs chuckled.
“I’ll throw some caramel corn into a bowl and hide a toy in there.”
“Alright…” She uttered with a disappointed sigh.
“How ye feelin’ now?” Chibs asked as he was checking her over.
“Ye just sayin’ that?”
“Come on Ali, it’s written all over yer face. Ye need ta hydrate and get some rest. Yer body’s been through a great deal. I didn’t mean ta hurt ye.”
“Ya didn’t hurt me, Scotty. It’s been like that since I showered this mornin’.” She admitted, and Chibs shook his head.
“Ye should’ve come ta me love. I would’ve helped ye out. I don’t want ye liftin’ anythin’, that includes Abel. I’ll let him know that way he understands.”
“You shouldn’t be liftin’ anythin’ either ya know!”
“Em, I’ll lift ye around anytime I want lass!”
“Aye, and pop your stitches again! Is that what ya want?!”
She let out a surprised gasp as he sat her up on the counter. The young woman went to scold him for having done so, only to find his lips on hers. The Scot wanted to laugh as she punched him on the arm at first but turned into instant putty in his arms.
“You were sayin’…?” He seductively whispered afterward, and Aislinn blushed.
“Aye, ya think you’re smooth, don’t ya?” She said while checking his stitches over.
“Ya lucked out…”
“I know…” Chibs uttered but with a different meaning entirely.
Riona peered back, and Jax smiled as he was leaning against the doorway.
“Hiding?” He teased, and Riona laughed.
“Should I?” She hinted as to killing Liam.
Jax shrugged before making his way over.
“How’s the leg?”
“Comes and goes…”
Jax didn’t comment and pulled up a chair. Riona narrowed her eyes as he propped her leg up in his lap.
“Chibs told you to keep it elevated…” He reminded while checking on the wound.
“How’s Abel’s pinkie?”
“Little man’s handling it a champ!”
“Seriously, he’s different than most kids. The way he handles things and just the way he looks at life in general.”
“Like his father.” Riona complimented, and Jax lifted his eyes on this.
“He’s a spittin’ image of ya, and he’s a little Jackson in the works.”
“Not so sure that’s a good thing babe…”
Jax cocked a brow however as he was massaging Riona’s foot and she let out a moan. Her entire face flushed over and Jax chuckled. “Well, I know not to let another man massage your foot. Damn.” He muttered and got back to it.
“Just sayin’, I’m the only one allowed to hear those sexy moans of yours.”
Riona placed a strand of hair behind her ear. When she did this her swollen eye was revealed. Jax shook his head in thought. The poor girl could barely open it, and he was concerned about that busted blood vessel. Chibs said it would heal within time, but it looked pretty gnarly. Jax could only imagine how much that had to hurt. But seeing that eye was a clear reminder of everything she had done for his son.
“You still carryin’?” Jax whispered as he caught wind of the gun Chibs had given her.
Riona had it hidden up her skirt and in a leg holster. Jax wondered where she got the leg holster. Riona was quick to adjust her skirt, and Jax sighed.
“You’re safe now Riona.”
“Given recent events, I prefer to keep it on me. No offense love, you know I trust ya. But after Clay and Liam… I’d feel safer if I kept this on me.”
“I’m sorry. It should’ve never come to this.”
“Not your fault. Ya haven’t any control over what they do.”
“You should feel safe with me…” Jax said with a certain gloom. The man couldn’t help it. He believed it was his responsibility keeping her, Aislinn, and Abel safe. He made that his mission from the moment he first learned the truth.
“I do. This is just my way of reassurin’ myself. Look at it like this Jackson; two heads are better than one. We can keep our loved ones safer this way and have each other’s back while doin’ so.”
This had Jax thinking back to what his father said when he first met Riona.
“What’s that look?”
“Just remembering something my father said.”
“He called you queen.”
Riona thought back to that night and laughed.
“Aye, he did.”
“Is that really what your name means?”
“Hm…” Jax hummed in amusement.
“And there ya go…”
“Ya got that look.”
“The I’m up to no good one!”
Jax died of laughter.
“Maybe I am…”
“Jackson…” Riona playfully scolded.
Jax came to his feet but kept her leg propped up on the chair he was in. He made his way over and cupped her chin.
“You’re the only queen I’d bow before.” He whispered and ran a hand up along her skirt.
He removed the gun from its holster and pocketed it.
He said nothing as he replaced it with one of his own instead.
“Might bring you better luck.” He showed her that it was fully loaded the gun was smaller making it easier to conceal, and it fit in the holster she was wearing perfectly.
“Better…” He murmured after testing it out.
“Where’d you get that holster anyhow?”
Riona gathered this sheepish look and Jax tilted his head in wonder.
“I sort of stole it…” She admitted.
“Aye, it was in that truck ya brought to the clubhouse. I got one for my sister too…” She whispered as if hoping that was okay.
“You never cease to amaze me Riona. Just when I think I got you figured out, you steal from me!” Jax taunted.
“From you?” She mocked in return.
“Well, sort of…” Jax murmured in thought.
“What else did you take?”
“Couple bulletproof vests,” Riona said with a shrug.
“Aye.” The way she said this had Jax tilting his head again.
“Linny may or may not have taken a grenade launcher.”
Jax laughed like she was joking.
“I told her not to but she…” Jax interrupted before Riona could get to the part about the military grade knife she took.
“Wait… You’re for real?!”
“Riona babe, there’s a reason I took that truck to the cottage. The vests and holsters are fine, but your sister can’t have a freaking grenade launcher. What would she even do with one?!”
“You don’t know my sister very well…”
Jax gave a simple nod and pecked Riona on the forehead.
“Where you goin’?” She asked as he was headed on out of the room.
“To piss your sister off.”
“I was afraid of that.”
“Where is it?” Jax harshly whispered, and Chibs reared back as Aislinn was sitting in his lap, at the SAMBEL bar.
“Where’s what?” Chibs questioned thinking this was directed at him.
“Nah, that one…” Jax said and pointed towards Aislinn.
“Riona tells me you two had a bit of a shopping spree in the truck.”
“Annnd?” Aislinn boldly put, and Jax sighed.
“I’m gonna need that back and ASAP, so go get it.”
Aislinn frowned like that of a child.
“Aislinn darlin’ get the fucking grenade launcher, now.”
The young woman’s jaw dropped, and Chibs resisted the urge to laugh. She hopped on down in a huff and Jax shook his head as she strutted off.
“You’re gonna have your hands full with that one. I can’t believe she took a grenade launcher off the truck.”
Chibs chuckled as this didn’t come as a surprise to him.
“Did you know about this?”
“Nah. But leave it to our girls to break into the truck and have a go at whatever they want.”
Jax shook his head but managed to laugh as well.
“Linny!” Riona yelled.
“If I have to get rid of the launcher you have to hand over the knife Riona!” They heard Aislinn holler in return.
“Knife?” Jax questioned as Riona never mentioned a knife.
“It’s a knife Linny. You took a fuckin’ grenade launcher!”
“How many chances are we gonna get when it comes to this savage thing. I want to try it out.”
Chibs was laughing so hard he was choking and hitting at his chest.
“You’re as bad as she is! What are you going to do when she wants to take that thing out for a test drive?”
“Show her how?” Chibs said with a shrug.
“A gun sure, but a freaking grenade launcher?!”
“I want to fire one!” Tig said as he picked up on this conversation.
“Right?!” Aislinn said as she entered the room with the knife and grenade launcher.
Riona was limping along behind her.
“Give me the knife,” Riona ordered, and Aislinn shook her head no.
“If I can’t play you can’t play.”
“I wonder if they’re really sisters…” Jax witted under his breath as the two bickered back and forth.
“Can’t we just test it out one time?” Aislinn asked, and this had Tig looking to Jax with hope as well.
“Yeah, can we?!” Tig questioned, and Aislinn smiled.
“Just how old are ya Linny?!” Riona said.
“What does age have to do with it? I just want to see how it works.”
Jax looked at the knife then handed it back to Riona. Aislinn’s regarded the two in disbelief.
“NO FAIR! Why does she get to keep the knife?”
“Because…” Riona expressed with this snide grin.
“Oh, I see how it is now…” Aislinn looked to Chibs.
“Can I keep the grenade launcher?” She asked all cutesy-like.
Jax lost all composure and started laughing. Aislinn cut him a look but went back to looking at Chibs all sweetly.
“Sorry pet, but I’m afraid Jackie Boy’s right on this one.”
“Fine.” The young woman grumbled and shot her sister a dirty look.
“Aye, laugh it up. Just wait until your dreams are crushed!”
“Your dreams?!” Riona scoffed, and Aislinn broke into a smile.
“I can’t believe ya ratted me out to your man. What kind of sister are ya?! That’s fucked up Riona!”
Aislinn was walking away when Riona called to her.
Aislinn gave a simple nod as she flipped her sister off. Riona laughed, and Jax looked to her with raised brows.
“Holy shit you two…” He uttered, and Riona shrugged.
“Ya haven’t seen the half of it love. Just ya wait…”
“Now I’m worried…” Jax murmured with a nod Chibs’s direction.
SAMBEL AND SAMCRO MEETING:
Keith slammed the gavel down and thus begun the meeting. This made the first since taking on the IRA. They went over everything that took place from the war itself to the mansion and the hidden armory, to Liam’s betrayal and Galen getting away. Once they had everything out in the open, everyone sat in silence. Jax was standing beside Keith at the gavel and shaking his head as he thought back to everything.
“You say Galen shot you?” Jax randomly put, and Clay lifted his head on this.
He gave a mere nod, and Jax had this unusual air about him.
“So you were the last one to see Galen…”
“I guess,” Clay uttered with a shrug.
“Did he shoot you before or after the second bomb?”
“Hell if I remember. There was too much going on at the time.”
This had Jax looking to Happy in thought.
“Didn’t you say Galen was nowhere to be found when you went to detonate that bomb?”
Happy nodded, and Jax sighed.
“A little ironic don’t you think?” Jax hinted, and Clay sneered at this.
“Just where are you going with this boy?”
“Don’t you think it a bit odd that you two seemingly fell off the face of the earth for a couple minutes, while everyone else is dodging fucking bullets?”
“Watch yourself Jax; you’re crossing a thin line.”
“Am I? Weren’t you siding with Galen when shit went down with JT?!”
“That was a long time ago and a completely different situation!”
“Hell a few of us were siding with Galen around that time.” Clay stated with a glance Bobby’s direction.
Bobby pulled a certain face on this.
“I know… That was around the time you tossed your name in for prez.” Jax bitterly put. Clay damn near pulled it off and all because of the green behind it.
To think… Clay nearly succeeded when it came to overthrowing JT. But when it came to Jax, he managed to do that with flying colors, the moment his back was turned. There wasn’t much Jax could do behind bars.
“You really want to do this?” Clay challenged.
“No, but what choice do I got?”
Jax looked to both MC’s and nodded amongst himself.
“We’ll handle this back home.”
“You got something to say you can say it right here.”
“Trust me, Clay. You don’t want me to do that.” Jax warned as to everything he knew.
Clay narrowed his eyes on this and Jax sent him a bit of a smirk.
“Trust me. We’ll handle this just as soon as we get home.”
“Can’t wait.” Clay bitterly put.
“So about the truck.” Keith randomly threw out.
Jax sighed knowing where this was going. Only he hadn’t a clue what he was going to do with the truck or the supplies within, not with the timeframe they had. They were leaving first thing tomorrow morning. But he knew it wouldn’t be right of SAMCRO to leave SAMBEL responsible. Just as Jax was to come up with some sort of agreement, Keith and the rest of SAMBEL caught him off guard.
“We want the supplies.”
Every member of SAMCRO shared the same what the fuck expression. Jax couldn’t believe his ears as he lit up a smoke and took a long drag.
“Did I hear that right?”
“We’re willing to go half on the profits.” Keith offered.
“You make it sound as if you have someone in mind.” Jax hinted as to a client.
The SAMBEL president looked to his VP in thought.
“Actually we do.”
“Keith…” Jax muttered looking rather ill.
“It’s not what you think. Trust me. We want those gone just as much as you do. But I don’t see the harm in makin’ some bank off it. In fact, we wanted to give the Lawless girls some of the profit. This would help in gettin’ them on their feet.”
This had Jax and Chibs looking to one another.
“Okay, I gotta know… Just who the fuck are you dealin’ to?”
The room grew unnervingly quiet, and Jax laughed.
“That’s a joke right? Tell me you’re joking.”
Keith shook his head no.
“I thought the Irish hated the Italians.” Tig foolishly murmured, and Chibs cocked a brow at this.
“Aye, the mobsters, ye ignorant wanker.” The Scot corrected, and Tig rather pouted.
“Actually the wanker has a point…” Keith murmured, and Chibs reared on back on this.
Keith sort of chuckled.
“Think about it, Filip… What is the one thing we MC’s have common with the Italians…”
Chibs chuckled once he got the reference.
“The IRA…” He murmured, and Keith nodded.
“We got hit at the last minute as to why we’re bringin’ it up now. This is a one-time deal, and they know it.”
Jax leaned back in thought.
“Look, brother, do what you gotta do but don’t bring SAMCRO’s name into it, and you had better keep your word. I mean it Keith, I don’t want whatever this is to come knockin’ on my front door. I got my son and my club to think about.”
“Does this mean you don’t want your share?”
Jax closed his eyes as he could sense his brothers staring him down. It was tempting, so very tempting. The SAMCRO president balled one of his hands up into a fist. The very fist in which he swore an oath on.
“What share…?” Jax made clear, and Keith sighed.
Clay, however, let out a miserable laugh.
“Shouldn’t we vote on this?”
“Why? Chibs and I never got a vote.” Jax darkly prompted.
“I have to agree with Clay on this one…” Opie threw in, and Jax shot him a look.
“You’re kidding right?”
“Come on Jax, we could use the money, so could the girls. Undocumented… that won’t make it easy in the states. The only jobs they’re getting is off the grid, and that puts them in danger.”
“You say that like you actually give a damn.” Jax challenged, and Opie slammed his fist down on the table.
“WOULD YOU KNOCK THAT SHIT OFF ALREADY!”
“There’s nothing to vote on. SAMCRO is done with guns, that includes all ties.” Jax confirmed.
“So you’re going to take care of them? Is that what you’re saying? You and Scotty (Clay mocked in Aislinn’s voice) gonna put them in aprons and turn them into little housewives? Let me guess… you’ll knock them up while you’re at it?” Clay said, and Bobby sighed.
“Would that be such a bad thing…?” Jax bitterly put, and Clay shook his head in disbelief.
“Something tells me those two aren’t the kind to lay low and keep their pretty little heads at home.” Clay expressed.
“I agree,” Opie said, and Tig nodded on this as well.
“They got a point, Jax.”
“Come on Tig. Don’t do this man… Don’t make me pull a fucking vote, not on this. We promised.” Jax pleaded and Chibs pinched the bridge of his nose.
“We need the money man…” Tig said with a touch of guilt.
“Do we really?” Jax challenged.
“I do,” Opie said and this set Jax off.
“REALLY?! FOR WHAT EXACTLY? IT’S NOT LIKE YOU HAVE SOMEONE WAITING FOR YOU BACK HOME!”
Chibs recoiled on Jax’s cruel words while Bobby and Clay held Opie back.
“Jackie boy…” Chibs whispered and was doing his best to calm him down.
“Look, give yourselves some more time. This deal won’t be going through for another month or so anyhow.” Keith said, and Jax’s hands were shaking as he looked upon his brothers.
“It’s a clean deal, Jax.” Keith reiterated.
“That’s what Clay said about Galen and look where we are. My father’s dead and so is my brother. I’m sorry, but no amount of money is worth that shit!” Jax said as he stormed on out of the chapel.
Chibs nodded in agreement and looked to the rest of SAMCRO.
“Ye best think long and hard aboot this. If this backfires… we’re all done for. We’re makin’ too many enemies as it is.” The Scot looked to the SAMBEL president after.
“If ye were wise ye’d rid of that truck and everythin’ in it. Don’t bring that shite ta Charmin’ we don’t need it.”
“You and Jax are making this a way bigger deal then what it is,” Keith stated.
“Nah, we’ve been there McGee. Ye got that same look in yer eyes. I can see it. Yer already in, all of ye. That’s how they reel ye in. Ye’ll be like a newborn on his mum’s teat; ye won’t be able to pull away.”
“Ya know Jax is kind of smokin’ when he’s all pissy but when that anger is directed at you… he’s downright scary.” Aislinn said as she thought back to how Jax snapped at her.
This had Riona dying of laughter.
“It’s true. Have ya seen Scotty when he’s like that?” Aislinn fanned herself, and Riona shook her head.
“You truly are mad.”
“Come on Riona admit it. It gets ya all hot and bothered when Jax goes into alpha mode.”
Riona pulled a certain face on this, and her sister gathered this wide grin.
“SEE?! I’m right, aren’t I?!”
“Ya maybe onto somethin’,” Riona admitted.
“Maybe?! Ya should’ve seen him chasin’ after you and Abel on that Harley. And don’t even get me started on Scotty… It’s like the man hopped out of a Bond film.”
Riona tried to warn her sister, but Aislinn was playing with Abel and hadn’t taken notice of Chibs entering the room.
“No, I take that back he could hand Bond his arse. He’s more like John Wick after they killed his dog. Have ya seen that movie?”
“Aye…” Riona uttered while trying not to laugh at Chibs’s expression.
“Nobody would get the chance to kill my dog.” Chibs declared, and Aislinn’s mouth flew open.
She sent her sister a ‘look,’ and Riona grimaced.
“…sorry…” She whispered.
“Scotty…” Aislinn murmured with rosy cheeks.
“So how long were ya standin’ there?”
“Long enough… Who the hell is John Wick?”
“Are ya shite’n me?” Aislinn said, and Chibs shook his head.
“I can’t be with someone that doesn’t know who John Wick is. We have to fix this!”
Chibs cocked a brow on this.
“A movie night is in order.”
“So what yer sayin’ is if I don’t watch this movie and learn all aboot this John Wick we’re over?”
Riona snorted on this.
“Oh, quit givin’ that man hell.”
“Ya stay out of this Riona!”
Chibs made his way over then leaned into Aislinn’s ear.
“We’re not over until I say we’re over, pet. I’d kick this John Wick’s arse and then some.” He smacked her on the ass, and Aislinn let out a surprised yelp.
The Scot took Abel by the hand and was escorting him out of the room.
“Why’s you spank Linny?!”
The girls covered their mouth in laughter.
“Because she’s rotten.”
“Aye, you’ll learn soon enough.”
“Rotten is right,” Riona muttered once they left the room and Aislinn threw one of the pillows at her sister.
“Tomorrow?!” Abel excitably squealed.
“That’s right little man.”
Chibs smiled the boy’s direction.
“But it’ll take us a couple weeks ta get home.” The Scot made clear, and Abel nodded.
“But Riona and Linny go with us right?”
“That’s right,” Jax said.
“Okay, daddy. I can’t wait. I want Riona and Linny to meet grandma and allll my friends! We’s gonna have so much fun!”
Jax picked his son up and sat him down at the table. Maureen (Keith’s wife) was setting the table when Keith pecked her on the lips and thanked her for cooking for both MC’s. Jax and Chibs thanked her as well.
“I want two rolls daddy!” Abel said as Jax had just the one on his plate.
Jax raised his brows. He wasn’t used to Abel’s big appetite.
“Growin’ boy,” Chibs uttered with a shrug.
Jax added the second roll then handed the plate over. Keith called everyone to dinner as the prospects gathered all the tables and were putting them together. Chibs and Padraic helped in collecting whatever chairs they could find. The girls entered the room and went on to help Maureen with whatever she needed. Once they got everything on the table, everyone took their seats. Riona couldn’t believe how many people there were – SAMCRO, SAMBEL and their families, and Abel. This had Riona looking to her sister in thought. If they committed themselves to Jax and Chibs, this is what their lives would be like, aside from SAMBEL that is.
Padraic stole a roll off Aislinn’s plate, and she slugged him on the arm. Chibs shook his head and reached over as he was sitting on the other side of her. He stole the roll back and put it on her plate. Everyone passed the food around and filled their plates. Maureen had everyone stop what they were doing and asked Chibs to lead them in a prayer before they ate. Chibs humbly agreed, and everyone joined hands. The Scot kept it short and sweet, yet heartfelt all the same. He asked that everyone under this roof be blessed and for their journey back home to be a safe one. He went as far as to mention Abel and the sisters’ healing from everything they had suffered. Chibs gave Aislinn’s hand a comforting squeeze as she grew somewhat emotional afterward. To her surprise, Padraic patted her on the leg and gave her an encouraging nod. She smiled in response and used her napkin to wipe any trace of tears.
Jax went on to thank the Lawless sisters and SAMBEL for the safe return of his son. He held a toast in their honor while expressing his gratitude.
“We’s all family! Right daddy?” Abel said afterward, and Jax nodded his son’s direction.
“That’s right son, even if we don’t always agree, even if we aren’t blood. It’s like dad said… blood doesn’t make you family, loyalty does.” Over half of SAMCRO recoiled knowing they hadn’t been very loyal to Jax.
“Amen,” Keith uttered as he and everyone else drank to that.
For the first time since Jax and Chibs’s arrival, everyone let that anger and resentment go. They ate, talked, and laughed as one.
“You alright there, son?” Jax questioned as Abel looked as though he were about to nod off.
“Yeah but I needs to get laid,” Abel said, and the room grew eerily quiet.
Everyone looked to one another as if wondering if what they heard him right.
“What’d you say?” Jax questioned, and Aislinn was using Chibs’s arm to hide.
“I is tired and need to get laid.”
Jax cut Aislinn a ‘look’ remembering that particular conversation now.
“See what you did?” Jax accused.
“Sounds just like someone I know…” Chibs taunted with a grin Jax’s direction, and Jax shook his head but laughed.
“I was thinking the same thing.” Opie chimed in with a chuckle.
This had everyone busting out in laughter and Abel had never looked so confused.
“Why’s everyone laugh?” Abel asked his father.
“They grow up so fast these days…” Tig proudly put, and this had everyone looking his direction.
“I was twelve when I lost my virginity.” He added with a shrug.
“That’s gross,” Aislinn said with a disgusted look on her face.
“How do you know? You weren’t there! I don’t even think you were born yet!” Tig defended, and Aislinn snorted.
“You were twelve…”
“Awesome, right?” Tig said with pride.
“Not even a little.”
“Five knuckle shuffle doesn’t count, Trager.” Chibs taunted, and Tig frowned.
“So am I.”
“She was my babysitter, and she had this nursing fetish…”
Opie nudged Tig and gestured towards Abel hintingly.
“Right… My bad.” Tig murmured.
Jax cleared his throat and came to his feet. He nodded Aislinn’s direction as he helped Abel down.
“You’re coming with me.” He made clear, and Aislinn recoiled.
“Do I have to?”
“Oh yeah, you’re explaining this one…”
Riona was having a giggle fit as she watched her sister follow Jax and Abel.
Jax put his son down for the night then nodded Aislinn’s direction.
“Well go on… tell him.”
“Jax…” Aislinn whispered with a flushed face.
“Tell me what daddy?”
Aislinn drew back a hesitant breath and sat beside Abel on his cot. She handed “Thomas” over and brushed Abel’s hair back with her fingers.
“…aye…” She whispered, and Jax merely observed as she handled the situation.
“He your dragon,” Abel said and went to hand him back.
“Aye, but thought ya’d like to visit from time to time. Thomas can fight all the monsters this way.”
“That a good idea.”
“I thought so,” Aislinn said with a wink.
“Abel, what I said about gettin’ laid…”
Aislinn locked eyes with Jax, and he gave a simple nod.
“It doesn’t mean what I said it did.”
Abel had this bewildered look about him.
“Let’s just say that’s more of a grown-up word, at least in the context you used.”
“You mean a bad word?”
“In a way… Look, next time just say I need a nap or want to go night night.”
“Okay… So I no get laid, right?”
“Not for some time.” Aislinn witted, and Jax shook his head as he was trying not to laugh.
“Just bein’ honest…” Aislinn said with a shrug.
“You’re terrible.” He said.
“You’re like the bad influence aunt!”
“Really?!” Aislinn said with a certain beam.
“That wasn’t a compliment.” Jax made clear, and Aislinn frowned.
“Never been an aunt before…”
Jax swallowed back on this. Aislinn had this peculiar look about her, one that had Jax somewhat concerned.
“Alright lad, so next time you need to sleep you say…”
“I need a nap!” Abel said with a smile and Aislinn nodded.
“There ya go! Ya got it.”
Aislinn held her hand up for a high five and Abel slapped his tiny hand against it.
“I says a bad word once, and no can go to daycare now,” Abel admitted, and Jax cringed.
“Is that so?” Aislinn said with an accusing glance the president’s direction.
Jax cleared his throat on this.
“Light’s out Abel.”
“Now hold on… I want to know all about this.”
“Daddy say no say what he say. So no say shit for brains anymore.”
Jax pinched his eyes shut, and Aislinn died of laughter.
“Oh, you…” She chastised, and Jax sighed.
“Yeah, yeah…” He murmured.
“That’s way worse than anythin’ I said!” She smugly added.
Aislinn said an Irish blessing and followed that with a prayer before Jax called it a night. They exited the room, and Jax pulled the door to.
“You know I was just giving you hell, right?”
“Then what is it?”`
“Just realizing how much Riona and I have missed out on. We let our fears take over and never moved on. The pubs are all we know, outside the farm life. I won’t lie, leavin’… it scares the hell out of me. What if Scotty doesn’t see me the same once we’re in the states? Or what if I can’t find a job?”
“Not happening. You and your sister are far too talented. Think of this as a new beginning darlin’. You and Riona, you got this. I haven’t any doubt about that, and you know you can turn to me if you ever need anything. As for Chibs, he loves you, and nothing’s changing that.”
“Thank you, Jax.”
Maureen and Riona were clearing off the table when Chibs’s cell phone rang.
“Filip.” The Scot cringed on the all too familiar voice.
“What do ye want Fi?”
Just as he asked this, Keri entered the clubhouse. Chibs froze and locked eyes with Keri. He could hear Fiona rambling on about Keri finding out the truth. The look on Keri’s face, however, had him lowering the phone.
“Keri…” The Scot softly called before hanging up on Fiona.
Jax and Aislinn had entered the room, and Keri looked to Aislinn.
“Ma… She was wrong, and I said nothin’. I’m sorry.”
“Keri love, ya haven’t anythin’ to be sorry for,” Aislinn said.
“Aye, but I do,” Keri said with tears in her eyes.
She glanced Chibs’s direction once again.
“I wish ya were my pa. I should’ve taken ya up on your offer.”
“Ye still can darlin’.” Chibs wholeheartedly put and started towards her.
“It’s too late for me. I just wanted ya to know this hadn’t anythin’ ta do with you or Aislinn. Ma and Jimmy… they ruined me.” She said before shooting herself in the head.
Chibs let out a cry of absolute horror and Jax was quick to grab Aislinn as she was screaming. Chibs dropped to his knees and grabbed ahold of Keri. The man was beside himself as he rocked her lifeless body.
“Shhh…” Jax shushed as he pulled Aislinn into his chest and was hiding her face.
He didn’t want her seeing that and knew Chibs would feel the same. Aislinn, however, struggled in Jax’s hold as she was desperate to get to Chibs. This had Jax dragging the young woman outside the clubhouse.
“HE NEEDS ME!” She shouted and shoved him back.
“You’re right he does but not right now. He wouldn’t want you to see that.”
“Jax, please! He needs someone. Don’t make him face this alone!”
The young woman was going into hysterics.
Jax shook his head as he had to block her path.
“STOP IT!” She yelled.
The way she said this had Jax embracing her once again. He hugged her then brought her to the ground in attempts to keep her from going inside. Jax was doing whatever he could to console her, knowing she needed it just as much as Chibs. The president knew how Chibs worked. This was something he’d want to deal with alone, until he was ready to face everyone else. That and the look on Aislinn’s face is what had Jax reaching out to her. She was just as broken by what had taken place.
A good twenty minutes passed before Chibs exited the clubhouse. Jax nodded his direction as he had Aislinn in his hold and was rocking her like Chibs had rocked Keri.
“Didn’t think you’d want her to see…” Jax explained and Chibs gave a simple nod.
Jax came to his feet and brought Aislinn to hers. Aislinn started to say something but couldn’t muster the words. The Scot was utterly destroyed. She darted on over and hugged him. Jax flinched as he just knew Chibs was about to yell at her or push her out of the way even. That’s how he normally dealt with situations like this. But to Jax’s sheer amazement the Scot hugged her in return. Chibs lost all composure and fell apart in her arms. The young woman said nothing and held him just as she did that day in the van. Jax had a newfound respect for Aislinn after seeing this. There was no denying how much she loved this man and Chibs’s pain was hers.
“Filip, let someone else…” Jax hinted as Chibs had Keri set up and was about to get her cleaned up and ready for Fiona.
“I got it, Jackie.”
“No brother, I can do it.” Jax offered, and Chibs shook his head no.
Aislinn peeked into the room, and Jax nodded her direction. She entered the room and placed hand along Jax’s shoulder. The young woman led him on out of the room and the two locked eyes for a moment.
“Keep an eye on him…” Jax whispered.
“I will.” She vowed in return then shut the door.
Chibs lifted his eyes as he was putting on a pair of latex gloves.
“What are ye doin’ Ali?”
She didn’t answer and slipped on a pair of gloves as well. Chibs found himself taken back as she went on to help in getting Keri prepared. There were no words between the two as they cleaned her up.
“She needs a dress…” Aislinn said once they finished.
Chibs nodded but got choked up all over again. It would be a closed casket ceremony, but he agreed that she needed something nice to be buried in. It was the least he could do.
“I’ll pick her somethin’ up. I have to get Fiona and bring her here.”
Aislinn recoiled in thought. Chibs hadn’t told Fiona yet. He hung up once he lowered the phone. Still, the Scot felt this was something he needed to do in person. Chibs took off his gloves then tossed them into a nearby bin. Aislinn threw hers in there as well, and they washed up afterward. Chibs cleared his throat as he used one of the paper towels to wipe his eyes.
He pulled up a chair and sat beside Keri’s body. He took her hand into his own. A knot formed within the back of Aislinn’s throat as the Scot took that hand and kissed it. The man crossed himself and said a silent prayer on Keri’s behalf. Aislinn kissed the top of his head before giving Chibs that much-needed time with Keri.
Riona shot to her feet once her sister exited the room.
“How is he?”
Aislinn shook her head, and Riona rushed on over. Aislinn cried into her sister’s shoulder as Riona hugged her.
“I’m so sorry, Linny.”
“Ye didn’t deserve this… Whether ye were mine or not, I should’ve been there. I should’ve found a way. I’m sorry, kid. I failed ye.” A few tears trickled on down the man’s face and onto Keri’s hand.
He wiped them off then shook his head.
“Ye haven’t any idea how badly I wanted ye to be mine. When yer mother told me she was pregnant… I was over the moon. I loved ye before I even saw ye.” Chibs placed a hand over his heart where Keri’s tattoo was.
“When Jimmy took ye away from me… a part of me died. All I could think about was everythin’ I was gonna miss out on.” Chibs thought back to that particular day and what all Jimmy admitted to recently.
“Dammit Keri love…” His voice cracked as he came to his feet and paced the room.
“Ye say it hadn’t anythin’ ta do with me and Ali… but ye wanted me to see that all the same. WHY?! WHY ME?!”
“Brodie…” The young woman was in sobs over the phone and Brodie was beside himself wondering what was wrong.
“Are ye alright, love?”
“I’m fine; it’s Scotty. Please. He needs you.”
“What happened sweetheart?”
Aislinn told him about all about Keri and what she said before taking her own life.
“Jaysus…” Brodie softly uttered.
“Please. Please come.” Aislinn could barely talk she was so upset.
“On my way.”
Aislinn was waiting for Brodie outside the clubhouse when he arrived.
“Where is he?” Brodie asked after parking his car.
“Inside. He won’t eat or anythin’, just drinks. He’s scuttered and gonna drink himself to death! He hasn’t even told Fiona yet. He was on his way to do so when he snapped.”
Brodie knew it was serious when this came from Aislinn’s mouth. She was known for hitting it pretty heavy when pushed too far. Brodie placed a hand along her cheek and kissed her forehead.
“I got it, love.”
“Brodie…”Aislinn called as he was to enter the clubhouse.
“Leave the shenanigans at the door; he needs his best friend.” She pleaded.
Brodie made the cross his heart motion.
When Brodie entered the clubhouse, Chibs was at the bar, drunk off his ass. Jax was doing whatever he could to talk the Scot down. In fact, he had taken the whiskey out of Chibs’s hold, and the two were arguing. Brodie nodded amongst himself and plopped down beside Chibs.
“Give him one more shot, and he’s done for the night,” Brodie said, and Jax looked somewhat hesitant as he poured Chibs that last shot.
Chibs downed it then slammed the empty glass back on the table.
“What do ye want Brodie?” Chibs drunkenly uttered, and Brodie smiled.
“Ye already have what I want, but nice try.” He hinted as to Aislinn.
Chibs sent Brodie a look of hell, and Brodie smiled.
“Aye now, think of it this way ye got braggin’ rights now. Never seen a woman so broken up aboot ye. Damn sure never saw Fiona like that! Aislinn loves ye, and that’s why I’m here.”
Chibs narrowed his eyes in confusion and Jax gave Brodie a respectful nod before leaving them to it.
“The lil darlin’ called me. Tells me yer a drunken mess and won’t eat. She’s outside freezin’ her arse off, worried sick about you. Ye know that girl prays more than anyone I know. I guarantee that’s what she’s doin’ right now. Prayin’ for you and Keri, even Fi, cause that’s how she is. It doesn’t matter that Fiona wronged her. She’ll still pray for her. Now, Jimmy, that’s a different story, there won’t be any prayers for him. That’s where me girl crosses the line. She doesn’t pray for her enemies like the good Lord says to. If anythin’ she’s gonna be the one holdin’ the shovel and prayin’ for her arse ta be forgivin’ once she’s done.” Brodie leaned back and chuckled in thought.
“Man, I love that girl, and I know ye love her. So do yerself a favor. Get off your arse and take care of business. I won’t let ye break that girl’s heart by goin’ and drinkin’ yerself ta death. I’ll dig ye up and piss on yer remains if ye go and pull some shite like that.”
Brodie came to his feet and helped Chibs off the stool he was on. Brodie grabbed Chibs’s jacket on the way out.
“Where we goin’?!” Chibs questioned.
“Ta sober ye up and pay Fiona a wee visit.”
The boys stepped out of the clubhouse and Aislinn was quick to dry her eyes with the back of her hand. Brodie had his arm wrapped around Chibs and nodded her direction.
“I’ll take care of him.” He swore, and Aislinn looked relieved.
“Thank you.” She said and was tearing up all over again.
“None of that now love. He’s gonna be just fine.”
Aislinn nodded and hugged them both before they headed off.
“Ye lucky bastard…” Brodie murmured as he could see Aislinn in his rearview mirror crying a river over Chibs Telford.
Brodie hadn’t seen this girl cry over a man before. Riona sure, when it came to that dreadful husband of hers, but not Aislinn. And even with that envy, it broke the man’s heart seeing Chibs like this. Brodie wasn’t the only one to take notice of Aislinn bawling her eyes out.
“See what ye did?!” Brodie teased, and Chibs shook his head.
“Aye now, I hafta give you a wee bit of hell. Ye know I love ye, Filip. I’m sorry about the girl. I can’t even imagine. Fuckin’ Jimmy…” Brodie shook his head in thought.
“I hope he suffered.”
“He did,” Chibs uttered as they turned the corner and Aislinn was out of view now.
“Did ye let our girl have a go?”
Brodie smiled in thought.
“Wish I could’ve been there for that. I bet she fucked him up real good!”
“That she did.”
Chibs spilled out everything they had done to Jimmy. Brodie died of laughter afterward.
“Couldn’t have happened to a better person and kudos on the lass breakin’ Jimmy’s wee jimmy!”
Brodie shook his head in thought.
“That’s the one thing I can honestly say I DON’T envy. That temper of hers! Careful with that one Filip, she’ll set ye on fire and dance circles around ye if you’re not careful.”
“Somethin’ tells me I deserve it if I go and push her that far.” Chibs’s eyes batted about as he fought to keep awake and Brodie chuckled.
“I haven’t seen ye this wasted since we picked up those twins back in Glasgow. Now those were some rides! I doubt ye don’t even remember. Ye could’ve put yer pecker in a flock of sheep and wouldn’t have any recollection.”
“Is that what ye did?” Chibs fired back.
Brodie cocked a brow as he rolled the windows down. It was freezing out, but that’s just what he needed if he was going to sober Chibs up before they arrived at Fiona’s. Chibs cut him a go to hell look as Brodie had the radio on full blast as well. Brodie sent him a playful wink and sang along to Love You Till the End by The Pogues.
“Tell ye what if ye go and marry Aislinn, I’ll sing this at yer weddin’.”
Chibs started to roll his eyes but refrained seeing as how his cousin was serious.
“Aye now, I said I’d sing for ye. Never said anythin’ about givin’ the bride away. You don’t have my blessin’. But I suppose whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye (what’s meant to happen will happen).” Brodie taunted, and Chibs let out a sigh of sheer annoyance.
“What makes ye think yer gonna be invited?”
Brodie raised his brows on this.
“So ye are marryin’ me, girl…”
Chibs shrugged, and Brodie sighed.
“Bastard… I know ye! Ye’ll do it just to spite me. I fuckin’ hate you!”
“I know,” Chibs uttered but started to tear up all over again.
Brodie reached over and patted him on the leg.
“Yer gonna be just fine, alright? I’m here.” Brodie drew back a breath on this.
“I should’ve been there for ye sooner. I’m sorry, Filip.”
Brodie pulled into the drive and killed the engine. He leaned back and looked at his cousin.
“You ready for all this?” Brodie asked knowing damn well Fiona would put the blame on Chibs.
“No, but what choice do I got?”
“Right…” Brodie murmured with a sigh.
Chibs opened the door and stepped on out of the car. Brodie followed suit and they headed for the front door. Fiona must’ve heard them pull up as she was already there. Her face was stitched up from the last time Chibs dealt with her. Fiona looked at Brodie as if questioning why he was there. Brodie ignored this. Fiona stepped aside allowing them in.
“Have ya heard from her?” Fiona desperately asked, and the VP gestured for his ex-wife to have a seat.
“Filip, just answer the question, will ya?!”
Chibs flinched on this.
“Aye, I have…”
“Then where is she?!” Fiona asked.
“Fi, she came by the clubhouse after she found out the truth about Jimmy.”
“Then why didn’t ya bring her with ya!” Fiona scolded.
“Cause I need ta bring you ta her.”
Fiona narrowed her eyes on this.
“It would’ve been easier if ya’d just brought her home, Filip!”
“DAMMIT FIONA, THERE’S NOTHIN’ TA BRING BACK!” Chibs snapped, and Fiona froze on his words.
“What do ya mean?!”
“Just what he said. She’s gone.” Brodie softly put and placed a comforting hand along Chibs’s shoulder.
“Aye, ye could say that.” Brodie drew back a hesitant breath and told Fiona the truth.
And just as Brodie assumed, Fiona pointed the finger Chibs’s direction. She went on to call him every name in the book. She told him how worthless he was and how she should’ve never married him. Chibs didn’t defend himself and just stood there. The man was broken and took whatever abuse she dished out, as for Brodie. He’d had enough…
Brodie grabbed her then forced Fiona into a chair. He placed his hands along the armrests and got right in her face.
“Say one more thing about my cousin. I dare you. Ye know he was always there for ye and Keri, even when ye didn’t want him ta be. He reached out; across a whole other country and what did he get in return?! A guilt trip and over some bastard child that wasn’t his, to begin with. Don’t ye go and put that on him. Ye did this, and ye know it. Ye just need someone else ta pass the blame on. Ye couldn’t keep yer knickers on, and ye were married ta Filip and karmas done caught up with ye. I’m sorry, Fiona. I truly am. But don’t ye go and put this on him. He loved you and Keri. Ye have NO idea. Filip gave ye and Keri a way out, and ye didn’t take it. That’s twice, TWICE he’s offered his protection, and ye went and pissed it away. So ye got yer daughter raped and by her own flesh and blood. Ye knew what Jimmy was capable of and still, ye chose him.”
Fiona went to slap him, and Brodie grabbed her hand stopping her. He squeezed the hell out of it and forced it back by her side.
“YE KNEW JIMMY WAS RAPIN’ THOSE GIRLS! THAT’S WHY YE HAD OUR GIRL SET UP, LIKE SOME SORT OF OFFERIN’. SO WHAT WAS IT FIONA?! I WANT TO KNOW WHY?!” Brodie demanded.
“The road rules…” Chibs stated looking downright ill.
This had Brodie craning his neck that direction.
“Whatever Jimmy did wasn’t any of Fiona’s business, as long as he didn’t bring it home,” Chibs said as these were the same rules for his MC, and he never agreed with that.
The old ladies didn’t know any different. It was expected if you married into SAMCRO. Jimmy wasn’t SAMCRO, but Chibs knew Jimmy and Fiona had those same rules as it had been mentioned before in passing. Fiona was fine with whatever Jimmy did, and that largely had to do with how much money he was bringing in. Fiona liked a man with bread and power and towards the end, Jimmy made certain Chibs had neither. Chibs worked his ass off sending whatever he could when he could. He did this even with the knowledge that Jimmy could take care of them financially. He did this because he thought Keri was his and Chibs wanted to take care of his own. That’s just the man he was and still is. He’d always take care of his own. The Scot loved with all his heart, and that’s what hurt him in the end. Fiona and Jimmy took advantage of that, Fiona more than anyone. She wouldn’t let Keri read those letters, but she sent Chibs pictures of that kid, every few months. Fiona knew that would keep the money coming.
Chibs’s hands balled up into fists as he looked at Fiona.
“Yer the only one that knew… Ye hid the truth about Keri from me and Jimmy. Ye even had her believin’ she was mine. Fiona, ye played us all and Keri suffered the most. Everythin’ about our lives was fake -The marriage, the kid, and you. Hell, ye were the fakest of them all. Ye used me. Then ye went and blamed ME for Jimmy fuckin’ up yer daughter’s life. You would’ve been safe with me, Fiona, you and Keri. I would’ve never touched that girl, and I would’ve gone on believin’ she was mine! I never questioned ye on the matter because I wanted that kid! I wanted a family!”
Brodie recoiled on his cousin’s words.
“I wanted it all Fiona. I loved ye and Keri, so fuckin’ much but ye never loved me. All ye saw were the dollar signs, ye never saw me.”
Fiona went to argue this and Chibs leaped on over. He snatched Fiona out of that chair and had her by the collar of her shirt.
“I’m movin’ on. I got me a great girl, and I’m givin’ myself another shot. I don’t wanna hear from you ever again. I don’t care if ye live or die. I just don’t care anymore. I’m done. I’ve been done. So here’s the deal… Come inta my life again, and I’ll kill ye. Any remorse I had went ta Keri, but I haven’t any for you. Ye knew this day would come. Ye had a daughter and raised her with a known rapist. So don’t ye go and blame me. I did my part; ye should’ve done yers. Ye didn’t love her enough Fi, but I loved her too much, that’s what got me into this mess. Only she was never mine ta love.”
Chibs dropped his hold and headed into Keri’s room. Brodie kept an eye on Fiona. The woman was a sobbing mess, and her stitches were coming undone.
“Ah, haud yer wheesht! (be quiet).Ye should’ve taken heed to my warnin’ and left town.” Brodie cruelly reminded.
Chibs dug through Keri’s bedroom in attempts to find her a nice dress and shoes, when he stumbled across the letter written to her mother on her nightstand. This had the Scot shaking his head in disbelief. That woman blew up his phone calling about her daughter, but Fiona didn’t think to check Keri’s bedroom?! Chibs glanced towards the bedroom door and apologized to Keri under his breath as he opened that letter and read it.
In the end, the decision was mine and mine alone to make. Do not blame Filip or Aislinn. They had no part in it. Let them live their lives. I’m begging you. Filip, he seems happy, and I know you hate her, but I like Aislinn and think she’s good for him. What Jimmy (or should I say my father?) did… Aislinn didn’t deserve that. And it hurt knowing you sympathized with someone like Jimmy, even after she told you the truth. You see, I’ve been there ma. It started when I was thirteen… Jimmy welcomed himself into the shower.
Chibs lowered the letter for a moment and shook his head. He thought back to Jimmy’s threat about Keri, and he had already raped her by that point. Chibs leaned against the wall for support and forced himself to read the rest.
You were staying the night at friend’s house when Jimmy raped me for the first time. He made me promise not to tell anyone and apologized for what he did. Said he’d never do it again and told me I was like a daughter to him and that he never meant to scare me or make me cry. He would make excuses about the way I dressed and how I shouldn’t show too much skin around him. That’s when I started wearing jeans and shirts twice my size. I went to bed fully clothed, but none of that mattered. Jimmy didn’t keep his word, granted he didn’t know I was his daughter. Still, I don’t believe that would’ve changed anything. I think he would’ve done it anyhow. I think the idea would’ve turned him on more.
The more I cried and begged him to stop; the more turned on he became. Jimmy was raping me at least two to three times a week, if not more. Only at the time, I didn’t believe it to be rape. Jimmy had me believing I had done something to deserve it. Such as that first time in the shower, he told me it was because of the pack of smokes he found in my room. Said he came in there to belt me one. I believed his story as he even gave me a couple good pops. But it ended with me on the bathroom floor and Jimmy taking my virginity. Every time he raped me he said he wouldn’t do it again and would go on about how much I meant to him. Jimmy was constantly buying me things and telling me not to tell you. Everything he ever gave me is in the shoebox in my closet. He told me what we were doing was wrong, that you would leave us, and stop loving me because I took your husband away from you. I was scared and believed every word he said. You were all I had ma.
You kept Filip a stranger, even when you told me he was my pa. I found the unopened letters ma, and I read them. That’s why I’m telling you not to blame him. I love you, but I hate you all the same because you knew what Filip could’ve done for us, yet you chose Jimmy, and you had me believing that my “father” was a violent man because he was part of an MC. You had me believing that’s what went down between Jimmy and Filip. That Jimmy was out to protect us. But I read those letters ma, and he’s nothing like what you said. It broke my heart when he asked why I hadn’t replied. Still, that man wrote me every month, and you never told me. You didn’t tell me because you knew he wasn’t my real father.
You didn’t want me to know the truth, for reasons I’ll never understand. But just how naïve did you think I was? Did you truly believe I would stay a child forever ma?
I hope Filip forgives me for what I’m about to do. But I need that man to know he is FREE, and as long as I’m around he isn’t, neither am I. I’ll never be the same. I won’t find love, have children, or have any kind of future. You and Jimmy ruined that for me. I’m telling you right now ma, don’t you go and ruin that for Aislinn. Leave her be. She’s the one person that can sympathize. It’s because of her that I almost went with Filip when he offered. You see, Aislinn and I had a little one on one time in the ladies room.
It’s like she knew… Before the truth even came out. She knew what to say, without being pushy, and in my face about it. Aislinn never said the words, but she knew all the same. For the first time, I knew what it was like… Having someone around, that’s been in my shoes. Someone that knew what Jimmy was truly capable of. I only wish I could’ve gotten to know her and Filip more.
So here I am…
I have two options…
- Shoot myself in front of you and make you suffer, by seeing the error of your ways.
- Shoot myself in front of Filip and let him know that he’s finally free. I can only pray for his forgiveness in the end, because it isn’t what he deserves. That image, I know what it’ll do to him. But I’ve made my decision, and I choose freedom, for myself, for you, and Filip. It’s over ma. I’m done. So please respect my decision and do not hold the blame on anyone other than myself. If you do… It had better be Jimmy.
Chibs couldn’t help but to think of the irony in Keri’s letter. He held that letter against his tattoo and gave himself a few moments before gathering what he needed and exiting the room.
“I’m sending her to the funeral home,” Chibs said as SAMBEL had some ties with a local one that handled whatever they needed, but at a price. Chibs would be the one to handle that. He figured it was the least and the last thing he could do.
“Ye can decide what to do from here. We’re headin’ ta the states come morn. Don’t call. Don’t write. We’re done, Fiona. I’d kill you, but you’ll suffer more this way.” And on this note, Chibs handed Fiona the letter, and he and Brodie went about their way.
“Riona?” Jax called with concern.
Riona was lost in thought and hadn’t heard him.
“Hey…” He called once again only gave her a bit of a shake this time.
Riona let out a bit of a surprised yelp, and Jax recoiled.
“Sorry babe, didn’t mean to scare you.”
The young woman nodded but had a hand along the area of her heart. Jax followed her gaze and nodded amongst himself.
“I’ve haven’t seen her like this since ma died.”
Aislinn was off in a corner, by herself. Riona thought it strange that she wasn’t having one of her usual drinks. Normally, her sister would’ve been shitfaced about now.
“Good thing ya put Abel to bed when ya did!”
“Trust me. I thought the same thing. He’s seen enough as it is.”
“Too much Jackson.”
“Abel… he’s seen TOO much.”
Jax sighed but nodded in agreement. He sat beside her on the couch and seemed to be in thought.
“You think I meant that as a knock towards ya, didn’t ya?”
“Wouldn’t blame you if it was.”
“You’re a good father with rotten luck.”
“Luck hasn’t anything to do with it. I shot their little brother Riona, and I did it without thinking about the consequences.”
“Ya were defendin’ your club and lettin’ the IRA know you weren’t down for bein’ their bitch.”
Jax reared back and looked to Riona in surprise.
“What? Isn’t that how you Americans say it?” She witted, and Jax laughed.
“I’m pretty sure that’s how they say things around here as well.”
“C’mere.” He whispered and pulled her into his lap.
“It isn’t always like this. I need you to understand that. I know things are pretty heated and crazy, but I’m fixing it.”
“I know ya are.”
“I hope so. Not ready to run you off.”
“So what you’re saying is you might one day.” She teased.
“Riona, I think it’s safe to say that I’d chase you to the ends of this earth if something like that ever happened. I already lost you once. I can’t lose you again.”
“Don’t say things you don’t mean Jackson.”
The way she said this had Jax tilting his head. Riona climbed out of his lap and paced the area before him.
“Ya know I feel like a hypocrite… I keep tellin’ my sister not to worry, and that everythin’s gonna be just fine once we get to the states. But how can I promise somethin’ like that when I’m not even sure?”
“Don’t start doubting yourself or us for that matter. I’m gonna be there every step of the way. You know I got your back.”
Jax looked to his old lady as if piecing a puzzle together.
“What brought this on anyhow?” He curiously asked, and Riona got a little choked up.
“Just so much at once… With the girl…” She hinted as to Keri committing suicide.
“And everythin’ Abel’s been through… They’re just kids… And Galen’s still out there love. I guess what I’m sayin’ is, are ya sure ya want us taggin’ along, knowing ya’d be in danger all over again? Ya know he isn’t goin’ to stop.”
“Riona baby, my war with Galen started way before you even came into the picture and it won’t come to an end until I bury him myself. I need you to understand that. It doesn’t matter if you and Aislinn stay behind or not. Galen will find me if I don’t find him first. This has been a long time coming, and it hasn’t anything to do with you or your sister. You two just happened to get caught up in the middle of it all. But I will say this… He will suffer. I haven’t forgotten what all he did and I’m not just talking about my son. I know you think I was full of shit but I meant every word I said that night five years ago, and nothing about that has changed. I love you.”
“Do ya now?” Riona challenged, and Jax sighed.
He started to say something, and Riona put a single finger to his lips.
“I love you too. But don’t you hurt me, Jackson. Ya’ve seen my sister’s wrath, but ya’ve yet to see mine. Trust me, love. I’d hurt you right back and then some. Ya know my feelin’s on yer old playboy ways… I made myself perfectly clear then, and nothin’ about that has changed. I don’t have time for childish games.”
Jax had this peculiar grin about him, and Riona sent him a mistrusting glare.
“What are ya…” She started to say, and Jax cleared his throat.
“You finally said it…” He softly implied as to her saying she loved him.
Riona backtracked and nodded.
“Aye, I did.” Riona murmured.
She hadn’t said those words since she was married to Nicholas, at least not in that context.
“Childish games, huh?” He questioned as he came to his feet.
“No games darlin’. All of that shit’s in the past, where it belongs.”
“Guess we’ll find out soon enough…” She hinted, and Jax nodded.
“That you will. I’ve nothing to hide.”
“Again, we’ll find out soon enough.”
“You know… I think you get off on giving me hell.”
“You’re right. Gets me knickers (panties/underwear) all wet.”
“Fuck… then you keep dishing it!”
Riona snorted but with a touch of guilt considering recent events.
“Hey, we could use some relief…” Jax said as if reading her mind.
“Aye… but still.”
“Trust me I know. I haven’t a clue what to say or do. He’s going to enter this clubhouse any moment now, and I have no words.”
“Sometimes less is more,” Riona said.
“You’re right. This may be one of those times.”
“Where is she?” Chibs asked Riona once he and Brodie got to the clubhouse.
“Not sure…” Riona admitted as she and Jax had fallen asleep on the couch.
Chibs nodded as he and Brodie went on to look for Aislinn. It was late, and everyone was sleeping. Aislinn, however, was nowhere to be found. Her cot was empty and looked as if it hadn’t been touched. Chibs looked in the last place he would’ve expected to find her. He and Brodie exchanged glances on this. She was in the room where Keri’s body was. She had fallen asleep in the chair beside her. Chibs was taken aback and hadn’t the words. Brodie shook his head thinking that was a very Aislinn thing to do. She would be the one girl keeping the dead company. The fiddle Bobby had given her was propped up against the wall beside her. Chibs knew she must’ve been playing for Keri.
“She’s a good one,” Brodie whispered.
“Aye,” Chibs uttered in response.
Both men were in awe and weren’t quite sure what else to say on that.
“Get her to bed, and I’ll help you with Keri.”
Chibs scooped Aislinn into his arms. He carried her into the room with the cots and laid her down. The Scot took off her shoes then slid them under the cot. He grabbed a couple blankets and got her tucked away. He kissed her forehead then hurried on back.
Brodie looked to Chibs after the undertaker gathered Keri’s body. Chibs handled the funeral arrangements as he wouldn’t be there. He went as far as to pick out the casket and her tombstone. He would let Fiona handle everything else. Chibs figured she owed him that much. Keri might not have been his, but he felt if he was going to say his goodbyes, he should do so the proper way.
“Yer gonna be alright Filip. Aislinn… She’ll get ye through this. She’ll getcha through anythin’.”
Chibs followed his cousin into the parking lot. Brodie got in his car and looked to Chibs once more.
“Safe travels cuz. Love ye!”
The VP gave a simple nod and watched as Brodie hit the road.
“Did you find her?” Riona questioned as she and Jax rose from the couch.
Jax gave the Scot a mere nod as he stuffed a cigarette into his mouth.
“Where was she?” Riona curiously asked.
Riona couldn’t help but smile.
“Should’ve known…” She uttered as that was a very Aislinn thing to do.
Chibs raised his brows as Riona pecked him on the cheek then gave his hand a comforting squeeze.
“If ya need anythin’ you let me know.” She sincerely put.
Jax leaned to her ear, “let Chibs have the couch.” He said while gesturing towards one of the unoccupied rooms. Riona grabbed a couple pillows and blankets on the way. Jax waited until it was just the two of them. The president cleared his throat and put his cigarette out in a nearby ashtray.
“Get some sleep.” He said, and Chibs nodded.
Jax started to walk away but pivoted back around. There were no words as the two hugged it out. Jax gave the Scot a firm pat on the before joining Riona.
Aislinn’s eyes batted about as he came to.
“What is it, lad?” She questioned seeing as how it was Abel, and he was standing beside her cot.
“I no know where Riona and daddy are and I is thirsty.”
Aislinn looked at the time seeing as how it was five in the morning. She smiled amongst herself figuring Jax and Riona were off having a little fun. Aislinn came to her feet and took Abel by the hand. That’s when she took notice of Chibs’s empty cot. She led Abel towards the bar and sat him down.
“So what will it be?!” She said pretending to be a bartender.
“Chocolate milk!” He demanded.
“You got it!”
Aislinn lifted her eyes however when she spotted Chibs on the couch. The Scot had a bottle of whiskey and a pack of smokes on the table beside him.
“Uncle Chibs sleeping,” Abel whispered with a finger to his lips.
“Aye, he sure is. We gotta be very quiet, so we don’t wake him.”
“Okay, I be quiet.”
Aislinn made Abel his chocolate milk and slid it on over.
“You can has some too,” Abel said, and Aislinn smiled.
“Ya know what? I think I will.”
Abel laughed as Aislinn went on to make another chocolate milk and was showing off her bar skills. She hadn’t a clue that Chibs was wide awake and could hear and see everything they were doing.
“You is good! Fast like Uncle Chibs and Kip.”
“Is that so?”
“Yeah but Uncle Chibs put a cherry and whip cream. You no do that.”
Aislinn let out a gasp like she was offended and Abel giggled.
“Well… I’ll just have to top that off now, won’t I?!”
Abel couldn’t stop laughing as she dug through the fridge. She pulled out a container of whip cream, a jar of cherries, some fresh strawberries, and a pickle. She put everything in and just as she went to tease Abel with the pickle, he stopped her.
“Ewww no do that. Dat gross!”
“Noooo,” Abel said behind another giggle.
“You’re breakin’ my heart lad.”
“I no break it. You is silly.”
“I am not!”
“Yes, you is. Riona says so too. You is always silly.”
Aislinn smiled and made her way around. She sat beside Abel, and they sipped at their chocolate milk.
“Does you have bad dreams?”
Aislinn glanced the boy’s direction.
“Cause you is crying when you go night night. You is sad.”
“Did I keep ya up?”
“No. I has bad dreams too. The monsters get me. They hurt my daddy and my friends.”
Aislinn spun about in the chair and was facing Abel.
“Look at me love.”
The boy’s eyes locked with hers.
“Those monsters are long gone. No one’s goin’ to hurt you, your daddy, or your friends.”
Abel nodded but that bottom lip of his quivered.
“I no like going night night. It scary.”
Aislinn thought back to Juice’s story and how he and Half-Sack tried to save him.
“Abel, did the monsters take you at night?” She already knew the answer but wanted to see what all the boy remembered.
“Yes. They is mean and tell me they kill grandma and grandpa if I make a sound. I no want them to die, so I no make a sound. I go far away and no see daddy. Did the monsters get you at night too Linny?”
Aislinn shot up as the boy started to cry. She scooped him up but with a grimace as it hurt to do so. But she pushed past the pain and was doing her best to console him. She hummed her Irish lullaby and rocked him. She did this for a good twenty minutes until Abel fell asleep. She carried the boy back to his cot and tucked him in.
Aislinn grabbed her jacket, and a pack of smokes on the way out then rushed on out of the clubhouse.
Aislinn lifted her head as she was kicked back against the clubhouse. The young woman was quick to wipe her eyes with the sleeve of her jacket. Chibs sat beside her and took a drag off the cigarette she had.
“Need another pack?” He offered knowing that came out of the one he gave her.
“I’m good.” She said, but he stuffed another into her jacket.
“Those are bad for me you know.” She teased but wiped another tear from her cheek.
“So am I…” Chibs muttered, and Aislinn gave a tearful laugh as he wrapped his arm around her.
“If you’re bad for me then I don’t want to know what’s good for me,” Aislinn said before laying her head on his lap.
Chibs combed his fingers through her hair and closed his eyes as he leaned back.
“What are ya goin’ to do Scotty?” She whispered, and Chibs opened his eyes momentarily.
“Ali love, can we not talk about that right now? I just wanna hold you and forget about all that other shite. Am pure done in (feeling very tired) and ma heid’s mince (my head’s a bit mixed up).
Chibs hadn’t realized he’d fallen asleep. He woke to find Aislinn curled up in his lap and with her jacket over her body. The Scot leaned back and shield his eyes from the sun.
“Damn, you two slept out here?” Jax questioned as he kicked at Chibs’s boot.
“Guess so.” Chibs murmured once he gathered his bearings.
“You gotta be freezing.”
Jax hunkered down and shook Aislinn awake. She opened her eyes, and Jax gave a simple nod.
“Rise and shine darlin’. Head inside before you get sick, both of you. We head out in an hour.”
Jax helped Aislinn to her feet then Chibs to his. The prez shook his head as they headed inside.
Chibs exited the men’s room, just as Aislinn left the women’s. They were showered and ready to go.
“Should’ve invited ye inta my shower,” Chibs uttered with a wink and Aislinn smiled.
“Aye, missed opportunity.” She taunted in return and Chibs watched as she walked away.
The man found it a struggle… Getting back into that groove. He knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. Everything was too raw. He hoped the fourteen-day trip back to Charming would help clear that head of his. It’d be interesting… seeing how Abel and the girls dealt with that trip. Chibs only hoped that Keith knew what he was doing when he said he had everything covered and the girls hadn’t anything to worry about. Chibs hadn’t a clue on how Keith achieved this, but the SAMBEL president was pretty confident on getting them out of Ireland, without any issues. Jax figured someone owed Keith a favor or some green was involved. SAMCRO took the man at his word considering he hadn’t let them down before, aside from Liam’s betrayal, which was something no one expected. If Keith said they were in good hands, they were.
Chibs was heading towards the room with the cots when Abel ran past him giggling. Riona was limping after him, and Abel hid behind the bar. Riona smiled as she could hear him giggling.
“I think he ran outside,” Chibs uttered as he was playing along.
They heard Abel giggle once again.
“I no outside Uncle Chibs. I is here!”
Abel shot up and waved.
“Aye, yer so fast I thought it was the Flash!”
“No. I Spider-Man, daddy Wolverine, and Uncle Chibs is…” Abel paused as he was thinking on this one and Chibs took it upon himself to answer that one.
“The Joker.” He pointed to the scars on his face and Abel nodded.
Happy was sitting at one of the tables with Tig when he reared back. “Joker isn’t Marvel.” Happy randomly put surprising them all.
“Oh yesss! You is Joker. But you no bad like him Uncle Chibs. You is a good Joker.” Abel said then pretended to shoot webbing out from his wrist. He took off once again, and Riona went back to hobbling after him.
Chibs chuckled and went on to pack his things.
“The Joker, huh?” Aislinn said as she was packing up as well.
Chibs lifted his eyes on this and Aislinn smiled.
“You know someone once told me that the bad things that happen in life don’t have to define us. Maybe that someone should take his own advice.”
She said and went on to put her things in the van.
At the docks:
“What’s this?” The girls chorused as Chibs and Jax handed the girls a bag each.
“Just open them,” Jax uttered with a smirk.
The girls looked to one another before opening the Belfast gift bags. Riona died of laughter once she saw what it was. Aislinn narrowed her eyes in wonder as she was unfolding hers. She smiled and looked to Chibs as if to scold him. He shrugged and followed this with a wink.
“You have to put them on, before and after we get off the ship.”Jax made clear, and the girls laughed.
“Do we now?!” Riona challenged, and Jax nodded.
The guys took their girls jackets off, and placed the shirts over the ones they were wearing. The shirts were white and read My Sassy Irish Lassie in clover green. Jax wiggled his brows Riona’s direction.
“Ya two are somethin’ else!” She scoffed.
“Yeah, yeah get on the damn ship, my sassy Irish lassie!” Jax taunted then smacked her on the rear.
Aislinn giggled at Jax and Riona’s exchange.
“Ye ready?” Chibs asked as Aislinn looked to the ship.
“Aye, are you?”
“Oh yeah. Let’s put this shite behind us Ali darlin’.”
Aislinn was just about to get on the ship when she caught wind of someone. He was kicked back against his car.
He lowered his shades and smiled.
“Brodie…” Chibs heard her whisper, and she took off that direction.
“Ye didn’t think I’d let ye leave without sayin’ goodbye now, did ye?!” Brodie said as he hugged her.
Aislinn hugged him in return. Brodie waved his cousin’s direction, and Chibs nodded in response.
“That shirt… Now if that doesn’t suit ye, I don’t know what does!” Aislinn punched him on the chest, and Brodie laughed.
“Alright get on that ship and don’t look back,” Brodie whispered.
He pulled back and looked Aislinn in the eyes.
“I’m gonna miss ya and Quinn, everyone.” She said.
“Not as much as we’re goin’ to miss you and Riona, love. Ye know I’ll visit. Besides, someone’s gotta keep that one in check.” He nodded towards Chibs and Aislinn laughed.
“I’ll see you around Aislinn.”
“Aye, take care, Brodie. Love ya.”
“Love ye too darlin’.”
Brodie watched as she made her way back to Chibs. He nodded amongst himself, hopped into his car, and sped off.
(Be a good sport by leaving your comment/review or a simple ‘like’ if you dug the chapter. Thank you!)
Author note: I would appreciate if readers of this particular story would read my Priceless blog aka A Serious Moment by Harley below if you haven’t done so already.