Chapter 18 – Home Sweet Home
I do not own SOA or anything youtube related. I claim all original characters.
The following morning:
Jax stretched his arms about as he came to then looked at the time.
“Fuck.” He grumbled as he hadn’t meant to sleep in.
They had half an hour until check out time. Jax jumped on out of bed then headed for the shower. He was quick to shampoo his hair and soap down.
The president was rinsing off when he heard a knock at the door.
“You awake yet, sleeping beauty?”
Jax rolled his eyes as he recognized that to be Bobby.
“Yeah, just give me a minute!” He hollered as he turned the water off.
“A minute? You’ve been sleeping for hours!”
Jax didn’t comment and grabbed a towel. He dried off, combed his hair, and hurriedly dressed. He exited the room to find each of the Sons waiting on him. Well, everyone aside from Happy who was in the room next door. Jax smiled then chuckled amongst himself. Happy was kissing a very attractive blonde haired girl goodbye. The Son gave her a firm smack on the ass, and she giggled as he joined the others.
“Sleep well?” Jax teased, and Happy smiled.
“Who needs sleep when you can motorboat?” Happy uttered and made a big breasts gesture before climbing onto his bike.
Jax had his Harley roaring to life but was quick to kill it. He shook his head then crawled off his bike. This had the Sons regarding him in question.
“What are you doing?” Jax questioned after approaching Opie.
“Heading home…” Opie murmured as if to say duh.
“Nah, man. I made myself perfectly clear. You’re not riding with us Sons. You find your own way home. That goes for hotels as well. I had better not see you anywhere we are.”
Opie rolled his eyes but nodded in agreement. Piney overheard this as he was in the truck with the prospect. He cut his son a shameful look but didn’t comment.
“So what do you suggest I do?”
“Head out in an hour or so. If you see our bikes anywhere keep on going.” Jax confirmed before making his way back.
Opie sighed amongst himself as the Sons headed on out. Opie thought it best to get another room and put a good day’s difference between them, to avoid any accidental run-ins.
They had been driving for a little over three hours when Bobby signaled them towards a gas station. They pulled on in, and each of them filled up their bikes. Jax headed inside and grabbed him something to drink and snack on. As he did this, he heard a boy asking his mother for some chocolate milk. This had the president thinking about his son. He wondered what Abel and Riona were doing now. It hadn’t been a full forty-eight hours yet, and he was already missing them. Jax hadn’t realized just how much he missed that. That sense of ‘family.’ That was something he and Abel had in common. They longed for a wife and mother figure, but Jax had sworn that kind of thing off, ever since Tara left. But with Riona in the picture; he was starting to see a whole other future. Like that of Chibs, Jax found himself ready to settle down. He didn’t think that possible, not after the way Tara ripped his and Abel’s heart out. He and the Scot were a lot alike in that sense. After getting their hearts ripped out, they’d pretty much sworn off any kind of future having to do with a wife. In fact, Jax thought he’d end up dying alone. At least that’s what he wanted if it came down to it. He wouldn’t put his son in that situation again. Jax put a lot of that blame on himself. If he had known Tara would drag his son into that heartache, he wouldn’t have given her the time of day. Jax hadn’t thought about Abel and how it would affect him, something he’d always regret. But Abel came first in everything now. Riona fit into that picture, so perfectly, Jax could see it clear as day. This had the man smiling. That smile was still there as he approached the cashier.
“That all sug?” The young woman questioned.
“And a pack Marlboro,” Jax said and pointed to the kind he wanted.
The young woman nodded and went on to flirt with him as she grabbed those cigarettes. Normally, Jax would’ve flirted back or given the cashier that usual smirk of his, but his mind was on Abel and Riona. He barely even noticed the pretty cashier. Tig shook his head as the cashier seemed somewhat insulted by Jax’s lack of interest. He headed on out, and the cashier let out a disappointed sigh.
“I got sometime…” Tig offered with a wide grin and the young woman curled her lip in disgust.
“Thanks but no thanks.”
Tig shook his head and grumbled under his breath as he grabbed his smokes, paid for his gas, and stormed out.
It was getting dark when Tig pulled into a gentleman’s club. The others turned into the lot as well and parked beside him. Tig wiggled his brows Jax’s direction.
“Pussy!” He excitably put, and Jax chuckled.
“I don’t know Tig. I’d like to keep trucking, to be honest.” Jax murmured as all he could think about was finding Galen and putting a end to this.
He wanted his son and Riona home, with him.
“Please? Come on brother. I’m blue balling here. I need some pussy.”
“I could use some myself.” Bobby murmured, and Happy nodded in agreement.
Jax sighed knowing he was outvoted on this.
“Alright but we’re heading out first thing tomorrow morning.”
Tig kissed Jax’s cheek and skipped on in. Kip waited until the others were inside. He nodded Jax’s direction.
“Riona would kill you. You know that right?”
“I’m not partaking Kip. Just letting the guys have their fun. Go on, who knows maybe you’ll get lucky.” Jax encouraged, and Kip looked to be in thought.
The president chuckled as the kid damn near ran inside. Jax, however, kicked back on his bike and lit up a smoke. He took his time smoking that cigarette before heading inside.
The guys were on their second round already. Happy and Tig were tossing some dough one of the women’s direction. Jax knew they needed some sort of release. He and Chibs had been getting laid (well sort of in the Scot’s case), but these guys hadn’t been in some time. That most certainly showed with how they were acting. The Sons were all over those strippers and getting plastered. Jax himself had a few drinks, but he turned down any lap dances and was sending them Kip’s direction. Jax chuckled as Kip ended up with three women hanging all over him. Kip mouthed the words thank you. Jax went on to hand one of the girls a couple of bills and was discreet in getting Kip some company for the night. The woman gave a mere nod, and it wasn’t long before she took Kip into the VIP area. Jax nodded amongst himself and ordered another beer.
One of the women that had been hanging on Kip made her way over. She was a very endowed woman, and like that of his old lady, she had curves in all the right places. She leaned over, and her breasts were pressed up against his shoulder and back as she propositioned him. She went as far as to mention it being on the house for a “cutie like him.” Jax smiled and politely refused the offer. It was a little more than obvious that these women were running some illegal services. Then again, a lot of these women were available if you had enough green. But Jax was never one to pay for sex. He found it rather insulting, but that was just his personal thing. He didn’t look down on his brothers for doing their thing. He hadn’t any reason to. But he didn’t see the point in paying when he could get it for free and quite easily. Those days, however, were long gone as he meant what he said. No amount of pussy was worth losing what he’d been building. All it would take was one little fuck up and word getting back to Riona. She’d leave his sorry ass then Aislinn would hunt him down and bury him next to Nicholas on that farm of theirs. The mere idea had the president shaking his head but with a bit of a chuckle. He rather admired that when it came to the sisters. It wasn’t every day you met someone that protective of their sibling. This wasn’t just about fucking up a good thing. It was about letting Riona down. He hadn’t in him to do that. He’d much rather die than to see that same look on her face… The look she had when she found out Nicholas was cheating on her. Jax couldn’t be the one to hurt her like that. He wouldn’t. So he sat back and let his brothers enjoy the entertainment. That’s how things would be from now on. He had to take his and Riona’s relationship seriously if he wanted that future he foresaw.
The following morning:
“Time’s up Bobby! Let’s go!” Jax hollered as he banged on Bobby’s hotel door.
This was payback for yesterday. Jax continued with the knocking until Bobby opened the door.
“What’s up?” Jax smoothly put and with a cocky grin.
“How you doing ladies?” Jax questioned as he peeked inside.
They giggled and waved in return.
“You son of a bitch… You couldn’t give me one more hour?”
Jax regarded the ladies in thought.
“I’ll give you fifteen…”
“Twenty.” Bobby bargained, and Jax sighed.
“Like you’ll make it to twenty…” The president cruelly put, and Bobby frowned.
“I got game, brother.”
“Sure you do. Just hurry it up.” Jax said as Bobby shut the door in his face.
Jax gave each of the Sons fifteen more minutes. He wasn’t sure how but every one of them managed to bring someone back to the hotel. Bobby was the lucky bastard that landed two. Jax watched as the Sons wrapped things up and sent the women about their way.
“Better?” He questioned afterward, and Tig was first to answer that.
“Much better. I think I unloaded at least five pounds.”
“Things I don’t need to know.” Jax made clear.
“Seriously, I feel lighter!” He said, and everyone laughed.
“Alright, no more stops from here. I mean it. We gas up, eat, and keep going.” Jax said, and the Sons nodded in agreement.
Jax looked to his phone, and once again he ignored another call from his mother. Now that he was getting service she’d been calling damn near nonstop. He knew part of that was wondering why Clay hadn’t checked in. That and she’d want to talk to Abel. Jax wasn’t ready to discuss all that mess over the phone. No, that was something he needed and wanted to do in person. Besides, he couldn’t very well discuss those matters on his personal cellphone. He wasn’t about to give his mother the number he was using for Chibs and the girls. Jax pocketed the phone and hit the road.
The Sons had been driving for a solid twenty hours, only breaking for gas, food, and bathroom breaks. They had another eight hours to go when Jax veered off the road. The president couldn’t keep his eyes open, no matter how hard he tried, and everyone else was in the same boat.
“You alright?!” Bobby hollered as he and the others pulled up behind him.
Jax checked Chibs’s bike over as he’d hit a small ditch. Thankfully, the bike was fine and so was Jax.
“Think we need to call it a night.” Happy uttered and Jax sighed but nodded in agreement.
“Think you’re right.”
“We’ll get some sleep and head out before noon. We’ll be home in no time.” Bobby added.
“Alright, I think there was a hotel a few miles back. We’ll loop back around and hit it.” Jax said as he hopped back on.
“Hey, baby.” Jax greeted after Riona picked up the phone.
“I was startin’ to wonder,” Riona said with concern.
“Sorry ran a little later than I thought.” Jax recoiled once he saw the time.
“Shit… Did I wake you?” He asked as it was two in the morning.
“Nah, couldn’t sleep.”
“He passed out a couple hours ago.”
“Go figure. Sorry, Riona. I lost track of time.”
“Are ya alright? You sound tired.”
“Then you should get some sleep. Call me after ya’ve slept!” She insisted.
“I will. Just wanted to hear your voice, that’s all.”
“That’s right.”Jax murmured with a weary smile.
“That beautiful voice of yours.”
“How far do ya like?”
“About eight hours.”
“So you’ll be home tomorrow.”
“That’s right.” But as he said this, his mother called yet again.
Jax shook his head and hit ignore.
“What was that?” Riona asked as she’d heard his other cellphone ring.
“Just my mother driving me crazy.”
“Isn’t that what mothers are for?”
“Well, she’s doing a fine job if that’s the case.” He uttered while sounding as if he’d nod off any given second.
“Jackson, go to bed love. We can talk later.”
“Alright. Sorry, darlin’.”
“Nothin’ to be sorry about. Just want ya well and rested. No wrecks. I mean it, Jackson!”
“Yes, ma’am.” He said but with an annoyed sigh as his mother called again.
“Love you too Jackson.”
Jax hung up the phone but went on to answer the other and with sheer on annoyance.
“It’s two in the morning…”
“Well, it’s good to hear from you too!” His mother snipped, and Jax pinched his eyes shut.
“Mom, I’m really tired.”
“So that’s your excuse? You’re tired?! That’s why you haven’t returned my calls?! And what about Clay? What’s he doing?!”
“I could give a flying fuck about Clay and what he’s doing. I’ve been on the road for over twenty hours, and all I want to do is fucking sleep, so if you could stop blowing my phone up, I’d appreciate it.”
“So you’re not going to tell me what’s going on with my grandson or why my husband’s phone goes straight to voicemail?!”
“MOM! For the love of GOD! I will tell you everything I know once I get to Charming. But right now LET ME FUCKING SLEEP!” Jax said before slamming the phone down and hanging up on his mother.
That’s how things had been between them and had been ever since she left his father for Clay. Jax hadn’t seen his mother the same way since. Things were somewhat tense between the two as it was but that was the final nail in the coffin. Jax thought the world of his old man and never understood why his mother would leave him for someone like fucking Clay Morrow. To this very day, he could still see the look on his father’s face. That look of defeat and… Jax shot up from the bed once it truly hit. That look… That was the same look Riona had. He never even realized it until now. It took him five years to understand why it pained him so much seeing that woman like that! She had the same look his father had when he found out about Gemma.
“Jesus…” Jax whispered amongst himself.
This had him thinking back to the beating JT gave him when he caught his son cheating on Tara. Jax had never been so confused. JT hated Tara, and he’d let that known more than a handful of times. But he beat the living hell out of Jax and let him know that wasn’t how we treated women. There were three things about JT that you didn’t cross. One – you don’t hit women and children. Two – don’t let greed take you over. And three – if you’re calling a gal your old lady then treat her like it. Keep your pecker where it belongs.
Jax thought back to his father’s words that day…
“We don’t do that son. I don’t care what our brothers do. That’s their life, their choice. But I’ll be goddamned if my own flesh and blood goes and pulls some shit like that. I taught you better son. If you expect your old lady to keep her legs closed, then you best keep that pecker where it belongs.”
Jax recoiled on that particular memory. Jax had called his father every name in the book that day. He’d never been so pissed. He hated JT and wanted to kill him, that day anyhow. But now… Jax had his hands in a prayer-like fashion as he thought back to his father. JT didn’t want Jax to be like his mother or Clay for that matter. But Jax didn’t see the bigger picture, not at the time. All he could focus on was the beating he got. A well-deserved one, and from the one person Jax loved and respected most in this world. Jax remembered how shocked he was. He didn’t fight back. He just let it happen. JT could’ve killed him if he wanted to. Jax would’ve let him.
A few tears made their escape as he thought back to his father. What he wouldn’t give… To have his father and brother back. All the more reason he had to fight for what he had. The club, Abel, and Riona… that’s all that mattered.
“Goddammit!” Jax said as he woke the following morning, only to find the cellphone he was using for the girls and Abel was dead.
He was so tired; he forgot to plug it in. He wasn’t about to risk it, by using his personal cellphone. The president cursed under his breath as he got ready. He was pissed with himself. Not only did he lie to Riona, without meaning to but he knew he’d let his son down. Abel would be waiting for that call but wouldn’t get it now. Jax didn’t have time to let it charge as check out time was in ten minutes. In fact, Jax had to get dressed, grab his shit and go. Like he, the others were dragging and running behind. Jax shook his head knowing he’d pushed everyone too far. One of them could’ve been seriously hurt, and it would’ve been his fault for pushing them too hard. He couldn’t help it though. He was anxious to get home and get a jump on this Galen situation, something that should’ve been put to an end back in Ireland. Jax thought back to Clay and gritted his teeth. If it hadn’t been for him and whatever deal he had going with Galen, the bastard would’ve been dead. Jax could’ve brought his son and old lady home!
“You alright?” Piney asked as he passed by and was heading for the truck.
Jax gave a simple nod, and Piney patted him on the shoulder.
“Hope so.” He whispered but kept on walking.
“Home sweet home,” Bobby uttered once they saw the Charming city limits sign.
Jax and the others nodded as they drove into town. Jax gestured for Piney to drive on ahead. So he passed the boys in Jax’s truck and headed for the clubhouse.
“Looks like we got a new sheriff.” Tig murmured as they passed her on the street.
Wayne had mentioned something about retiring before they left. Jax nodded the sheriff’s direction as she was making her way to her car. The woman nodded in return but was giving the boys that eye of scrutiny.
“I wouldn’t mind playing cops and robbers with her…” Tig uttered in longing and was staring at her ass.
“I’m sure she wouldn’t mind putting a bullet in you either,” Jax added with a chuckle as they were at a red light.
“Kinky right?!” Tig murmured and winked the sheriff’s direction.
She ignored this and got into her squad car.
“The boys in blue have taken over…” Jax murmured as they were afraid of that.
Wayne had mentioned something about that, but the boys were hoping it’d be awhile before all that took place. They passed by a couple more cops on the way to the clubhouse. That felt so strange to Jackson. He just hoped they wouldn’t cause any trouble. He needed to focus on Galen and not local law enforcement.
“WHOA!” Bobby hollered as someone pulled out, right in front of Jax and slammed on the brakes.
Jax gritted his teeth as he barely managed to stop Chibs’s bike in time.
“WHAT THE FUCK?!” He shouted as it was his mother.
Gemma hopped out of the car and had this apologetic look to her.
“We need to talk!” She said, and the Sons were looking to one another in disbelief.
“Not right now mom. We just got into town.”
“Actually, that’s what I need to talk to you about.”
Jax narrowed his eyes on the peculiar way his mother was acting.
“What’s going on mom?” He asked knowing that look all too well.
She was up to something.
“Think we can talk in private?” She whispered, and Jax shook his head.
“Mom, I haven’t even been home. Could you give me an hour or two at least?!”
“I’m afraid this can’t wait.”
“Yes, it can. I’ll come by the house later.” Jax started his bike again, and Gemma placed her hands along the front.
“Jax, Tara’s at the house.”
Jax laughed like it were one big joke.
“Sure, whatever you say.”
“No, I’m serious.”
“Which house?” Jax damn near growled.
“WHAT?!” Before his mother even had the chance to explain Jax took off like a bat out of hell.
Jax pulled up to the house and saw Tara’s car parked in the driveway. This had the man shaking his head in disbelief. He hopped off his bike and headed inside. The first thing he did was plug that cellphone in so he could check in on the girls and Abel.
“What in the…” Jax murmured as she’d redecorated the entire house.
From the looks of things, Tara had been living here and for some time. He wondered when the fuck she moved in. It must’ve been not long after he left for Belfast. Jax could hear someone humming, and he followed the sound. He stopped at the kitchen doorway and folded his arms about his chest as Tara was cooking. She had the radio on and was humming along. She hadn’t heard him come in. Jax narrowed his eyes as Tara went on to make her a plate. She grabbed a glass of wine and sat down at the dining room table. The man waited until she had a forkful of food and was about to chow down.
“You lost?” Jax uttered, and Tara let out a bit of a surprised yelp and shot up from the chair.
“Jax!” She exclaimed and with a hand over her heart.
“I’m guessing you weren’t expecting me?”
Tara shook her head and with this struck stupid expression.
“Your mother told me you were in Ireland.”
“So you just welcomed yourself inside?”
“You sure about that? Because it looks like you’ve made yourself right at home? Hell, you even went as far as to redecorate. Where’s my shit?”
“It’s in the garage, Jax.”
“You put my stuff in the garage?”
“I meant to put it back… If I had known you were on your way, I would’ve done that.”
Jax let out a miserable laugh. He couldn’t believe how chill she was being about this. This was his ex-wife. Someone he hadn’t seen in over a year now. A woman he divorced and on his own as she never showed up to court.
“That biker stuff just isn’t me.” She added pissing him off even more.
She spoke as if she had some say in how he decorated HIS house.
“Why are you here, Tara? And why are you living in MY HOUSE?!”
“It was your mother’s idea. She told me she was going to talk to you…”
“I thought you couldn’t stand one another! But now she has you living in my house?! Nothing about this makes sense.”
“I can explain.”
“You better and I’d make it snappy. My patience is pretty much nonexistent at this point, and you don’t want to see my bad side.” Jax said but the cell phone sounded, and the man recoiled.
“What’s that?” Tara questioned.
“None of your business that’s what that is.”
He was damn near tempted to ignore it and call them back later. But he’d never forgive himself if it was an actual emergency. So Jax darted into the living room and picked up the phone as it was plugged in still. Tara followed him into the living area, and Jax put a single finger to his lips and was eyeing her down.
“Hey, baby.” He answered while doing his best to sound chill.
“Hey… You never called.” Riona said.
“I know. Look, can you give me like ten minutes? I’ll call you right back.”
Jax recoiled as he could hear his son in the background. He was pretty upset and didn’t understand why his dad didn’t want to talk right now.
Tara must’ve heard him as well as she gasped out in shock.
“You found him!” She exclaimed, and Jax winced.
He covered the receiver and mouthed the words shut the fuck up.
“Who was that?” Riona questioned as he had the phone to his ear again.
“Nobody. Look, babe, I’ll call you right back. I promise.” Jax hung up the phone and pointed right at Tara.
“Nobody, huh?” She taunted.
“That’s right nobody. Now get out.”
“I can’t leave, Jax.”
“Sure you can! There’s the door right there!”
Tara shook her head, and Jax gritted his teeth.
“Here, I’ll help you pack.” He said and headed into the spare bedroom where he thought she’d been sleeping.
Only the room was still bare.
“You’ve got to be kidding…” Jax murmured in realization.
He headed into his room and saw that the bed was unmade, as in she’d been sleeping in his bed. The closet door was open, and he could see her clothes hanging beside his.
“What is this?” He demanded as the room started to spin.
All he could think about was Riona and how he could’ve brought her here, to this. She’d have a runaway, and he’d never see her ass again. The mere idea had him boiling. His mother and Tara could have ruined EVERYTHING!
Jax headed right for the closet and was yanking shit off the hangers and tossing everything into a pile.
“Jax!” Tara shouted, but Jax didn’t stop there.
He was taking things off the walls, the bed, and out of the drawers. He darted into the kitchen and grabbed a couple of trash bags. He forced them into her hands.
“You got five minutes. Take whatever you can and LEAVE!”
“Are you going to hear me out or not?”
“ABOUT WHAT EXACTLY?! WHAT IN GOD’S NAME DROVE YOU INTO THINKING THAT THIS WAS OKAY? DID THE THOUGHT EVEN OCCUR TO YOU THAT I MIGHT BE MARRIED NOW?”
“You’re married…? But your mother said you weren’t seeing anyone.”
“It doesn’t matter if I am or not. You’re not welcome here Tara, and I’m not just talking about the house. I don’t want you in Charming.”
“You don’t have a say in that.”
Jax pointed towards his president patch.
“Same ole Jax… Thinks he can rule one city with a simple patch. I was hoping you would’ve grown up by now. Guess I was wrong.”
Jax shut his eyes for a brief moment and laughed.
“Same ole Tara… Thinks she can up and call it quits whenever she wants then reappear and expect everything to go back to normal. Fuck you Tara and the horse you rode in on.”
“Don’t you see…?”
“See what?!” He growled.
“I’m here for you, Jax. Your mother told me what happened.”
“Yeah, she told me about Abel’s kidnapping and how you were in Ireland trying to get him back. She’s the one that suggested I move back in. In fact, she helped… Said we could use one another’s company.” Tara sadly put, and Jax reared back.
“Why would you need or want my company? You left remember?! We were married, and you left.”
“I made a mistake.”
“You’re goddamn right you did. You know what that mistake was? Huh?”
When Tara wouldn’t answer Jax, let out another miserable laugh.
“Bringing my son into it. You told him you were going to be his mother. You filled his head with all these lies.”
Tara started to say something and Jax backed her up against the wall and clamped a hand over her mouth. He looked her dead in the eyes.
“I had to watch as he fell apart. He would stand at that window day after day waiting for his MOTHER to come home. He did that for a solid TWO MONTHS! And when you didn’t show… He went into a depression.”
Tara pried his hand away.
“That’s not even possible. He wasn’t old enough to understand.”
“You’re wrong. You weren’t here to see it, so what would you know about my son and what he’s capable of. He understood more than you realized. You’re the one that fed him all that mother nonsense. You did that, on the day of our wedding. Hell, you fed me a lot of bs too. But I should’ve known… You’re incapable of change. Once things get a little too uncomfortable, you’re running for the hills. So what is it this time Tara? You need me to kill another stalker boyfriend of yours, do you need me to hide a body, or do you need me to dust those cobwebs of yours?”
Tara’s jaw dropped, and she slapped Jax across the face. Jax let out this low and threatening growl.
“Hit me again, and I’ll hit you back.”
“You’d never,” Tara said as he’d never laid a hand on her before.
“Oh, I would… Don’t test me on that.”
“You don’t hit women Jax. That’s not who you are.”
“You’re right. I don’t. But you’re not a woman. You’re a cold-hearted bitch, and I’ll slap a bitch any day of the week darlin’. So what will it be? You need a good slap, or you gonna play it smart and get the fuck out of here?!”
“Jax!” He heard and this had the man craning his neck towards the front door.
His mother had welcomed herself inside.
“Back off!” She snapped, and Jax sneered at this.
“Trust me if you had any inkling of what she’s been through… You wouldn’t be doing that.”
“Been through?” He uttered with a curled lip.
“Jax…” His mother said and placed a hand along his shoulder.
She had him take a few steps back. Gemma went on to tell him about Tara’s boyfriend and how he beat the shit out of her. So bad it caused her to miscarriage. She was a little over five months along.
Jax took them by surprise when he nodded Tara’s direction.
“How’d you earn that one?” He cruelly put.
“Did you even hear what I said?!” His mother questioned in shock.
“Oh, I heard everything, and I knew it. You need me to play the white knight to your damsel again, and I’m not down for that shit. You got yourself into this mess; you can get yourself out!”
“Jax!” His mother scolded, and Jax snapped a look his mother’s direction.
“THIS WOMAN LEFT ME FOR THE MAN SHE SPEAKS ILL OF. SHE RIPPED YOUR GRANDSON’S HEART OUT, ALONG WITH MINE. NOT TO MENTION SHE ABORTED ONE OF MY CHILDREN, WITHOUT MY SAY, OR KNOWLEDGE. I DIDN’T FIND OUT UNTIL SHE FUCKING LEFT. I’m sorry Tara, but you came to the wrong man if you’re looking for some sort of sympathy. I haven’t anything left to give. I’ll go as far as to see about finding you some sort of woman’s shelter, outside of Charming. But that’s about it. I won’t clean up after you anymore. I’ve got my own shit to sort out. I don’t have time for yours.”
Jax looked to his mother once he said his peace.
“Where is my grandson anyhow?”
“He isn’t here…” Jax said.
“Then tell me where he is. I haven’t seen him in forever!”
“Somewhere safe. That’s all you need to know.”
Jax cut Tara a go to hell look then glanced towards his mother once again.
“You helped her move in. You can help her move out. I want her gone, tonight.” Jax said as he grabbed that cellphone with the charger and was about to leave.
“I haven’t a clue, no one does,” Jax said.
“Let me see my grandson!” Gemma pleaded, but Jax kept on walking.
“Hey…” Jax said after Riona picked up the phone.
The president had shut himself up in the clubhouse office.
“You there?” He asked as Riona hadn’t said anything past hello.
“Aye, I’m here.” She said sounding pissed.
“Abel’s been waitin’.” She said, and before Jax could even explain the situation from earlier, she handed the phone to Abel.
“Hi, daddy,” Abel answered, and Jax recoiled.
Riona was rightfully pissed, and Jax could hear the disappointment in his son’s voice.
“Hey, little man.”
“You’s say you call but no call.”
“I know. I’m sorry Abel.”
“It okay daddy.” He said but sounded incredibly down.
“You know I would’ve called if I could have.”
“I know. Is you home now?”
“Yeah, we’re back in Charming.”
“Did you see grandma?”
Jax wasn’t about to get into all that, but he let his son know that his grandmother was doing just fine and that she was anxious to see him. He made no mention of their argument or about Tara. Jax went as far as to read Abel a bedtime story then told him goodnight. He asked to speak with Riona afterward.
“Did ya need anythin’ else?” She asked but in that sassy tone of hers and Jax sighed.
“Riona… It’s not what you’re thinking.” He said.
“Ya sure about that? Because I could’ve sworn, I heard another woman’s voice, but ya said it was nobody.”
“Yeah, because that’s what she is! Nobody!”
“Jackson, that had better not mean what I think it means because I swear to…”
“It was Tara.” Jax interrupted knowing where that was going.
“You mean as in your ex-wife?”
“That’s the one.”
“I thought ya said she left over a year ago.”
“She did, but she came back…”
Jax went on to tell Riona everything. Everything, from his mother stopping him in mid-traffic, to her telling him about Tara, to going home and finding Tara there. He told her what his mother had said about Tara’s situation.
“How do ya know she isn’t lyin’?” Riona questioned.
“That’s just it. I don’t. I don’t know anything when it comes to Tara Knowles. I thought I did, but I don’t. I just need you to understand that she doesn’t pose any sort of threat. I’m getting her out of the house tonight, and I’m running her out of Charming, first chance I get.”
“I know she doesn’t. I’m sorry, Jackson. I thought she was…” Riona trailed off, and Jax sighed.
He knew this was coming. He just didn’t expect it so soon. But he couldn’t blame her. He hadn’t thought about how it sounded when he said, nobody. It most certainly sounded as if he were trying to cover something up and rush her off the phone. This had the man recoiling in thought. He’d have rethought his words if he had realized how that came across.
“I know. Trust me. That’s not happening. Alright? I need you to trust that. I love and lust for you Riona. Nothing’s changing that.”
“Ya lust for me, huh?”
“Every fucking day. Hell, multiple times a day.” He hinted with a soft chuckle.
Riona managed to laugh, and Jax let out a breath of relief.
“That’s my girl.”
“Aye, but I feel a wee bit foolish now. I had no right accusin’ ya…”
“Don’t. I would’ve thought the same thing. I didn’t think about how it sounded.”
“Still, I’m sorry Jackson. You’ve got enough goin’ on. Ya don’t need me addin’ to it.”
“Goes to figure…”
“We just had our first argument, and I wasn’t there to see you take your shirt off!”
Riona laughed so hard she snorted.
“Only you Jackson.”
“I wish you and Abel were here.”
“Wish we were too.”
“Think you can send me another picture?”
“Well yeah!” He said as if to say ‘duh.’
“Maybe something a little more risqué this time…” He implied, and Riona laughed.
“I highly doubt my sister and your VP wanna share a phone with those kind of pictures.”
“You can always delete them after you send them…”
“You’re serious aren’t ya?!”
“Hell, I’d ask for a video if we had the means!”
“And what is it ya want me to send exactly?”
“Anything… tease me darlin’.”
“Is this your way of saying send nudes?” She taunted in return.
“Absolutely, lots of them!”
The mere idea had him a little stiff.
“Hm, we’ll see. I gotta get your wee one to bed first.”
“I’m up all night…” He hinted in longing.
“Now I never said I was sendin’ them.”
“Alright, I better let you go. I’ll check in later. Goodnight.”
Jax was writing in his journal when he felt the cell phone vibrating in his pocket. He was half out of it as he looked to the phone.
“Hello…” He uttered as Riona had sent those pictures, after all, some very provocative ones at that.
He hadn’t expected that at all. She seemed a tad uncomfortable with the idea. So he figured she’d send something like a cleavage shot, but no she went all out. Jax sent those pictures to his personal cellphone. He saved them then erased the number from which they came from. He set up an individual file for those particular pictures and a password. That way no one else could see them. Those were for his personal entertainment, and he planned on using them quite a bit.
“Goddamn, babe.” The man softly howled as she went as far as to send him a kitty shot as well.
The man was having a hard time deciding which one. So he took his time looking at each of them, only to end up back at the kitty shot. The man gritted his teeth as he was leaned back in that chair and giving into that much-needed release. All he could think about was being inside her as to why he chose that specific picture.
“Fuck,” Jax uttered as he shot his load.
He couldn’t believe how hard he came. That made a first as he never had a woman send him pictures like that before. He never thought about it. Riona was the only one that ever hit him like that. He meant it when he said he couldn’t get enough. He wanted her in whatever way he could have her. So if pictures were all he got for now, then so be it. He’d more than make it up to her when she got to Charming. Jax couldn’t wait to show her off. Part of him wished Riona had been with him, just to shove it in Tara’s face. But there was another side that was relieved she wasn’t. That could’ve been very bad. There’s no telling how either woman would’ve reacted to the other.
Jax wiped himself down then sent her a simple ‘thank you.’ He wasn’t sure if she still had the phone. He just hoped she remembered to delete those.
You’re welcome, love.
Jax smiled once he realized she still had it.
I’ll get plenty use out of those… There was so much more he wanted to say. But couldn’t run the risk of Chibs or Aislinn reading those particular messages.
I bet ya will… enjoy!
Jax died of laughter then put the phone away.
A couple days later…
Jax let out a sigh of disappointment after talking to Keith on the phone.
“Nothing?” Bobby asked, and Jax nodded.
“There’s no telling where he went.” The president said in misery.
“But it’s Galen… He’ll turn up. He won’t be able to help himself.” Happy uttered and the Sons nodded in agreement.
Another customer pulled into the lot, and Jax grabbed his clipboard. He started that way but froze.
“What?” Happy asked taking notice.
“Didn’t we just see that guy at the café earlier today?”
Happy peered over and nodded.
“Oh yeah, he was there.”
Jax shrugged and headed on over.
“Could use a tune-up and an oil change.”
This had the president raising his brows. This guy looked perfectly capable of doing those things himself. There was just something about him.
“Alright… I got the Dodge and Mazda ahead of you. Mind waiting?”
“Half an hour maybe less.”
“I can do that.”
“Doc.” Jax cocked a brow on this.
“Got the key?”
The biker handed his keys over, and Jax nodded.
“We’ll call you when we’re done.”
“Cool.” He said then stuffed a cigarette into his mouth before heading into the waiting area.
Jax had taken it upon himself to work on the man’s bike.
“That’s what I figured…” He muttered once he finished.
The bike had been tuned, recently, as well as the oil change. Something about that didn’t set right with Jax. He headed into the waiting area and nodded “Doc’s” direction.
“Bike’s all tuned up and ready to go.”
“No prob…” Jax uttered and had the man follow him towards the register.
“What’d you say your last name was?” Jax questioned, and the man lifted his eyes.
“Didn’t. You never asked.”
“Well, I’m asking now.”
Jax gathered this cocky-like grin.
“You’re named after a dildo?”
“What can I say my parents were assholes.”
Jax nodded then handed his change over.
“Wouldn’t that mean their surname is Johnson too?” Jax witted in return.
“You wanna hand me those keys now?”
Jax looked to be in thought but handed them over.
“So where you from Doc Johnson?”
“Texas. Would you like a blood or sperm sample with that?”
“I think we’re good, Tex,” Jax uttered with a chuckle.
The man started towards the door but pivoted back around.
“You’re married aren’t you?”
Jax reared back wondering what that had to do with anything.
“And you’re asking me that because?”
“Maybe I’m into pretty boys like you…” The man said with a wink.
“Not my type sorry.”
“You sure about that, Jackson?”
Jax narrowed his eyes as this was laced with sarcasm, and a hint of an accent, much like Riona’s.
“…okay…” The president muttered as the man headed on out.
Nothing about that man struck him as gay. Same with the bike… That bike was in better shape than Jax’s, well before he crashed it.
Jax checked in with the girls and Abel once again before closing up for the day.
Jax gave his mother a simple nod, and she stepped aside allowing him in.
“I was starting to wonder…” She said but looked behind him in hopes that Abel was tagging along.
Gemma let out a disappointed sigh then pulled the door to.
“Are you going to tell me what’s going on? I haven’t heard from Clay, and you tell me Abel’s somewhere safe?! What’s going on? Is Clay with him?”
“Slow down mom…” Jax said as he welcomed himself to the couch.
“Slow down? No one’s telling me a damn thing!”
“Sit down, and we’ll get to that.”
Gemma pulled a face on this but sat down. It was then she took notice of the president patch her son was wearing.
“Wait… Why are you wearing that?”
“Let’s just say Clay’s presidency was temporary and he knew that the day he got himself voted in. This patch belongs to me.”
“What’d you do Jax?”
“What had to be done…”
His mother shot up at this and Jax rolled his eyes.
“You didn’t. Jax baby, tell me you didn’t.”
“I said sit down,” Jax warned and his mother shook her head in disbelief.
Gemma seated herself back down, and Jax nodded amongst himself. He lit up a smoke and grabbed one of his mother’s ashtrays. He set it beside him and thought on how to go about this exactly.
“We had no choice… He was a threat to the club, to Abel, and to others we cared about.”
Gemma closed her eyes and broke into uncontrollable sobs.
“Why do you cry for him?” Jax sincerely questioned.
He didn’t understand it. Clay was a dick and a half, always had been. Yet here she was… crying up a storm.
“Seriously, why?! You didn’t shed a tear over my father.”
“You wouldn’t understand.”
“Try me. Why him?!”
“Like I said you don’t understand.”
“You’re right. I don’t and never will. I just told you he was a threat to the club and your grandson and still you have the nerve to sit there and cry over that SON OF A BITCH!” Jax said as he punched at his mother’s coffee table.
“You didn’t even ask what he did or how he was a threat!” Jax came to his feet and put his cigarette out.
“Jax wait!” His mother called as he was headed for the door.
Gemma darted after him and placed her hands on his chest, stopping him.
“I’m sorry. It was the shock of it. I didn’t expect…”
“He let him go, mom… He let my son’s kidnapper go. He had him right there. Clay could’ve taken him out easily but didn’t, and now he’s back out there! Just waiting… I can’t be with my son because of your beloved piece of shit husband!” Jax said with the beginnings of tears.
“I just got him back after being set up by Clay.”
Gemma tilted her head looking lost.
“That’s right. He set us up, mom! He put the drugs in my truck. Him and Op!”
“Opie Winston?!” Gemma questioned in absolute shock.
“That’s right. Clay talked my best friend into setting me up and all because they needed me out of the picture, just long enough to make a deal with the Aryans. They couldn’t get the green they wanted, not with me or Chibs in the picture. So Clay fed Opie and the club everything they wanted to hear. They voted his sorry ass in. If it hadn’t been for Bobby getting us that lawyer, Chibs and I would still be in there and my son…” Jax recoiled in thought.
“He’d be dead, mom. So I don’t want to see you cry over that bastard again. He isn’t worth it. My son and two women we care about are in danger. So they’re hiding out with Chibs at this very moment.”
“I can’t tell you that. But they’re safe, that’s all you need to know.”
“So it’s a club thing.” Gemma bitterly put, and Jax shook his head no.
“No mom. The club doesn’t even know where they are. All they know is they’re in hiding. That’s all anyone needs to know. I can’t take that risk. I need you and everyone else to understand that.”
“You left my grandson with two women I don’t even know…”
Jax gave his mother a miserable laugh.
“You don’t know the half of it. We’ve been gone for three months. A lot has happened since then.”
“Then tell me!”
“Why? Why should I tell you anything? You played a part in this too! If anythin’ you were the biggest liar of them all. You lied to me about those doctor visits and how Abel was so sick he’d lost his voice and couldn’t be seen. You said Anita was watching after him every time you visited! But he was kidnapped and sold off to some human trafficking ring. Those women you mentioned… they saved him. They were victims of this ring as well. If it hadn’t been for them… there’s no telling what would’ve happened. Abel is alive and untouched because of them. I owe them my life, my soul, everything! So like that of Abel, they’re under my protection.”
“Are you sleeping with them?” Gemma casually asked, and Jax reared back in disbelief.
“What does that have to do with anything?!”
“You are. Aren’t you?”
“That’s none of your business.”
“That explains everything…” Gemma murmured, and Jax reared back on this.
“Why you reacted to Tara the way you did. I’ve never seen you like that. Granted she had it coming, but now wasn’t the best time.”
“I don’t want to talk about Tara. This hasn’t anything to do with her.”
“It has everything to do with her, and you know it. Ever since she left you’ve…”
“I’ve what?!” Jax challenged with a growl.
“You’re different… that’s all I meant.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment.”
“It wasn’t one.”
“I’m taking it anyhow. I’m not going back to that. I’m content with the way things are now. And I can’t believe your siding with Tara of all people. You never liked her…” Jax said, and this had him thinking back to Opie and how he was working with Wendy.
“Is there something in the water here or what?! Everyone’s losing their motherfucking minds!”
Jax exited his mother’s house and climbed onto his Harley. This strange feeling came over him, and it was heavy. The president felt as if someone was watching his every move. This had him snapping his head back, and sure enough, he saw someone pass by and that someone was awfully familiar. Jax shook his head as he backed out of his mother’s driveway and followed that bike. The man would look back every now and then, and Jax gave him a mere nod. The familiar man picked up the pace once the light was green but so did Jax. He took a few sudden turns in hopes of losing Jax, but Jax was able to keep up. This went on for a good eight minutes until the man pulled into another mechanics shop.
“Why are you following me?!” The man shouted after hopping off his bike.
“Why you stalking me?!”
The man half laughed but started to walk away.
“No man, I want to know who you are and I want to know now!”
“How bout you kiss my fucking ass!” The guy hollered in response and kept walking.
Jax gritted his teeth and rushed on over. He grabbed the man by the shoulder, and the man responded by taking a swing at him.
“Really?!” Jax snapped as he barely dodged that blow.
“You’re quick. I’ll give you that.” The man uttered but caught Jax off guard when he stomped on his white shoe.
Jax let out a painful grunt as the man was wearing boots.
“What kind of pussy wears tennis shoes when riding anyhow, Nike’s at that?!” The man questioned, and this was followed by a swift punch to the gut.
Jax returned that blow, and the two ended up in a heated brawl right there in front of this mechanics shop. They were rolling about on the asphalt and taking swings at one another. The mysterious man managed to get Jax pinned down and headbutted him.
“Riona and Aislinn Lawless… where are they?” The man demanded, and Jax’s eyes went wild.
The president reversed that hold and decked the man across the face.
“How do you know those names?!” Jax demanded.
“Tell me where they are! What did you and your club do with my girls!” The man said with a touch of protectiveness.
“That’s right asshole! MY GIRLS! Where are they?!” The man shouted and was hovering over the president, yet again.
“SHIT!” Jax hollered as the man was holding a gun to him now.
Jax gathered this baffled expression as the man had tears streaming down his face.
“Did you hurt them?! TELL ME!” He barked and was shaking all over as he held that gun to Jax’s throat.
The crew to this particular shop was quick to pry the man off of Jax.
“What’s come over you, Ethan?!” One of the men shouted.
The man didn’t answer and continued in eyeing Jax down.
“You did! Didn’t you?! That’s why they weren’t with you. She would’ve found out you were married! You were playing her the entire time, you sick son of a bitch! After everything, they’ve been through… You couldn’t tell her you were married, so you ditched them! WHERE?!”
Jax was struck stupid by all this. He hadn’t a clue what to say or do. What in the fuck was this guy talking about?
“Are you going to tell me who you are?”
“I’M ETHAN LAWLESS, BITCH! I’M RIONA AND AISLINN’S FUCKING BROTHER!”
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