Chapter 20 – In The Mind of Ethan Lawless
I do not own SOA. I claim any original characters and give no one permission to use them.
Meanwhile in Charming:
Ethan let out a miserable groan as he hit the snooze button to his alarm. The man bitched under his breath as he’d forgotten he even had that set. It wasn’t like he had a fucking job to go to today. Thanks to that fucking prick Jackson Teller. Ethan hadn’t a clue how he was going to pay his rent, much less make the water payment which was past due.
“Fuck…” He grumbled into his pillow knowing he needed to get up and go job searching.
Ethan sat up then ripped the alarm clock from the wall socket and tossed it across the room. He’d nothing but bad luck since he arrived in Charming. It was one thing after another, and it all started when he couldn’t find his sisters. He’d made a home here, just for them. When they didn’t show, he feared the worst and thought he’d have to fly back to Ireland and kill his bastard of a father.
This had the biker shaking his head in thought. He stuffed a cigarette into his mouth and glanced at a framed picture he had of the girls. He had shown up at one of their gigs a few years ago. That’s how it all started… It became a habit, flying down every couple months or so, just to see how they were doing. He’d seen them on that stage plenty of times and it killed him, keeping his distance like that. There were so many times he wanted to break that rule of Alastar’s and talk to his sisters, even if it was just a simple hello. But he longed to be in their lives, more than anything. Ethan picked up the framed picture and ran his finger along their faces. He knew these girls inside out. But they hadn’t a clue he even existed. Ethan was fourteen when he learned the truth about his father. And he was fourteen when he snuck out of the house and planned a little trip to Ireland. His mother hadn’t a clue where he went and had the police looking for him.
Ethan wanted to know all about his father. What he didn’t count on was Riona and Aislinn. His mother made no mention of him having sisters. She had painted Alastar as some sort of worthless drunk that she had a one night stand with. Ethan hadn’t a clue his father lived in Ireland, not until he did some snooping around in his mother’s room and found the money orders addressed to her for child support. Granted they weren’t from Alastar’s actual address as he’d kept that part of his life hidden from his wife and daughters. It started out as hush money. But the money stopped coming and right around the time Ethan turned seventeen, so he was just about legal age anyhow. His mother had tried to warn him about Alastar Lawless, but Ethan didn’t want to hear it. His mother was known for exaggerating the truth, and he wanted to make his own assumptions when it came to his father. He’d changed his surname to Lawless a few years ago. But that hadn’t anything to do with Alastar, no. He did that so he could feel as though he had some sort of connection with his sisters. If sharing a name was all he could get then at least it was something.
But it wasn’t always like that…
The girls weren’t home the day he managed to pinpoint Alastar Lawless’s whereabouts. No. It was Alastar and Alastar only. Their mother (Teagan Lawless) was out of town that day, and the girls were at school. Ethan wished he could’ve met her but never got that chance. Alastar recognized Ethan, and from the moment he first opened the door. He did whatever he could to make his son leave, but Ethan wasn’t having it. He pleaded with his father. He wanted to stay, for just a month or so at least and get to know him. It was during this argument that Ethan saw a picture of Riona and Aislinn. He knew… he didn’t need Alastar’s confirmation on this. Ethan picked up the picture and Alastar was quick to snatch it out of his hand. He pointed towards the door directly after. Alastar told Ethan that he was nothing more than some bastard kid he never planned for. Told him that he needed to leave before his wife and kids got home. Ethan made the mistake of saying that he wanted to meet his little sisters. All that did was set Alastar off. He grabbed Ethan by the collar of his shirt, lifted him up off the ground, and let him know if he came anywhere near those girls, he’d kill him. If he showed up at the house again, he’d do the same. Ethan wasn’t to address Alastar, his wife, or his daughters ever. “We don’t exist, kid. Your mother and I were just one big mistake, and you’re the product of that mistake. It’s that simple. Just think of me as a sperm donor. I gave you life, nothing more.”
Ethan shook his head in memory.
He hated them… The Lawless sisters. He hated them so fucking much. He didn’t understand why his father picked them over him. He didn’t understand why this Teagan woman over that of his own mother?! Why were he and his mother brushed aside, like they were nothing?! What made those girls so fucking special?! He felt like that up until he was nineteen years old. He’d made another trip to Ireland and asked around about the Lawless family. Someone had mentioned something about the Lawless sisters having a gig at a local pub, and that’s how it all started. Ethan had plans of approaching them that night. He wanted to give those little bitches a piece of his mind. He even waited until their gig was over, and the pub was about to close, but couldn’t. It hadn’t anything to do with Alastar’s threat. No. It was guilt. He’d spent the last five years loathing these girls. But he was wrong. A few hours was all it took… The young man observed their every move and how they interacted with others. There wasn’t anything to hate on. If anything… they were in the same boat. Here he was… and they hadn’t a clue. Seeing them on stage… only made him realize they truly were his sisters. The youngest looked to be no older than thirteen, but she dressed a lot like him. The older one had his attitude and was very protective of Aislinn who she referred to as Linny. He thought that rather adorable. Ethan spent two to three days getting to know them but from a distance. He felt like a creep, stalking his own sisters like that. But it was the only way he knew at the time. It’d become a bit of a habit… looking after them and getting to know their daily routines. He knew all about their chores on the farm, where they went to school, where Riona worked, and where they did their usual gigs. Aislinn wasn’t always around for those, but that changed around the time she turned fifteen. He knew all about Brodie as well. Ethan would head on back to Texas. Then he’d work whatever hours he could at his stepfather’s shop. He would save up and fly back out every couple months or so.
It wasn’t long before he knew what their favorite colors were, what bands they liked, what friends they hung out with, and things of that nature. What got to him most? Was how inseparable they were. He could see it in their eyes. They enjoyed one another’s company. They often enough reminded him of best friends rather than sisters. Sure, he’d seen them argue, plenty of times. But they were quick to make up and would be laughing it off within a matter of minutes. He loved that. He wanted that. Ethan often enough found himself fantasizing about what that would be like. What if he were in the picture? What if he learned how to play guitar or drums even and joined them on stage?! The young man couldn’t sing for shit, but he wouldn’t mind giving that guitar a go.
Ethan wanted that connection so badly he could taste it but feared it all the same. He felt as if he wasn’t good enough to have that. They seemed so happy, and he’d be damned if he went and ruined that. He’d become very protective of them. Ethan often enough was like that of a silent guardian. If a man so much as looked at them crossways, he’d approach them in the bathroom or outside the pub. He’d threaten them with every inch of their life. But never let on who he was or why. Just let them know they best keep their hands to themselves and to get lost.
Ethan had done this more than a handful of times. He knew all about his youngest sister’s partying ways as well. This wasn’t long after the girls’ mother died. Ethan had damn near given himself away during those times. He snuck into one of the parties once and saw his sister doping up and damn near lost it. That was the day she passed out. She was all over that dance floor one moment and out the next. One of the guys started messing around while she was out and Ethan put a stop to it. He introduced himself as an out of town cousin. He scooped her up then carried her into one of the bedrooms. He locked the door behind him. He wasn’t letting any rapey ass motherfuckers near his little sister. He’d fucking kill them first. Ethan kept an eye on her but stayed within the shadows of that particular room. He had a window open just in case he needed to bolt. That was the day he sent Riona a fake text from “Aislinn”. Aislinn was so fucked up she truly believed she had sent it. Riona assumed she had partied a little too hard. She hadn’t a clue about the drugs. To Ethan’s relief that drug phase didn’t last. If it had… he would’ve had no choice but to intervene. He’d already made that decision. He didn’t care what his father said. He wasn’t letting his sister OD, or become a junkie for that matter.
Ethan thought that rather amazing… How quickly Aislinn dropped the habit. But he could see it on her face… that look of shame every time she took a hit of something. It wasn’t long before she stopped attending those parties altogether and Ethan finally went home. That had made his longest stay. But he hadn’t the heart to leave, not until he knew Aislinn was going to be okay.
Then there was Riona…
They were so much alike. Like he, she had been working two jobs just to keep things afloat. Only she was raising their sister on top of that. That was a true struggle… watching this train wreck unfold. If he had the means… he’d have helped out. All he could do for now was add to their tip jar during their gigs. He was discreet in putting a couple of bills in whenever he could. He loved seeing the stunned look on their faces when they went to count their earnings on those particular nights. Ethan, however, was dealing with his own drama around the time the girls were struggling most. That’s what led to those visits becoming few and far between. He hadn’t a clue as to recent events. He hadn’t been to Ireland in months. He was out of the loop when it came to “Pepper’s” gambling and drunken ways. Ethan had no desire to learn anything about his father and knew to steer clear when it came to him. All he ever cared about was his sisters. But he hadn’t a clue about Pepper’s debt or the danger the girls were in. If he had known… He’d have put a stop to it, right away. If it took the girls learning the truth, then so be it. He wouldn’t have let those men take his girls.
To Ethan, those girls were HIS and always would be. He loved them more than life itself, and he wanted to be in Pepper’s place. He wanted to be the one taking care of them. He wanted to look after the ranch, while the girls went back to school and did their usual gigs. He wanted to take that burden off their shoulders. Ethan wanted to be in their lives, and he didn’t care how at the time. He just wanted to be there. It should be him juggling two jobs, not Riona. He was the older sibling. It was HIS job to look after them, and he hated himself for that. The man felt as though he were watching a horror film and his sisters were the stars. Ethan was beginning to wonder if it was the Lawless curse. Maybe changing his name wasn’t such a good idea after all.
That was the year Ethan lost his son…
That was the only reason he hadn’t been around to check on the girls. Ethan’s hand balled up into a fist as he thought about that wreck and how it could’ve been avoided. If Liam’s mother hadn’t been doped up on whatever she was on, his son would be right here with him. They were in the middle of a custody battle, and Ethan was just a week shy of getting that hearing when that wreck took place. His son had been in ICU for a little over three months before he passed away. He would’ve been five this coming weekend. Ethan placed a hand along his arm where he had his son’s name tattooed. He had his date of birth and date of departure beneath it. That name was Liam Lawless. He was buried in Corpus Christi, Texas, where Liam and Ethan lived. It had been a few months since Liam passed away. Still, it felt like it was yesterday. That image burned through his mind. His son… in that hospital bed with all those tubes and monitors. It haunted Ethan, to this very day.
He was done. He wouldn’t hold back anymore. The man lost his son, and he wasn’t about to lose the only family he had left. But this Jackson fucker wouldn’t tell him anything. Ethan hadn’t a clue where they were. All this douchebag would say is that they were safe. But Ethan didn’t trust that and he wouldn’t until he saw them for himself. He had to know they were alright. It was killing him.
Ethan put the picture of his sisters back on the nightstand. He grabbed the picture of his son and pecked him on the forehead. This had become a morning ritual of his. He put it back then headed for the shower.
“Little white aren’t you?”
“Off-white last time I checked.” Ethan witted as he handed his application over.
The man ripped the application in half then tossed it into a nearby trash bin. He waved towards his employees afterward. Every one of them was Mexican.
“Don’t see any honkys working here…”
“Wasn’t aware I was one…”
“Got ourselves a jokester…”
“Come on man. I just need a job. I’m more than qualified. I’ll stay out of yours and everyone else’s way.”
“So you’re a charity case?” The man taunted, and Ethan gritted his teeth in response.
“What’s your problem, man?”
“You are. Now get out.”
“My grandpa’s Mexican.” Ethan lied but was desperate.
“Then tell your grandfather we’re hiring.”
Ethan rolled his eyes and headed on out of the office. He wasn’t in the mood, not to mention he was outnumbered and getting dirty looks as it was. He thought that racist bullshit was a thing of the past, but he was apparently wrong. He climbed onto his bike and tried a few more shops around town. But none of them were hiring. Mechanics was all he knew. And he wasn’t about to settle for some fast food shit either. He’d worked too hard to get where he was now for that bullshit.
Ethan laughed as he passed by the clubhouse and the Teller/Morrow shop.
“I should ask that dickhead for a job. He’s the one that got me fired in the first place.” Ethan jokingly uttered but found himself looping back around.
He cursed under his breath as he turned into the parking lot.
“I can’t believe I’m doing this shit.” He bitched as he parked his bike and headed for the garage.
“You got a manager here or somethin’?” He called, and a few of the Sons looked over.
“Yeah, is there a problem?” Juice questioned.
“Not yet…” Ethan murmured.
Jax peered over as he was working on a Chevy.
“I run the shop.”
“Where’s the Morrow?” Ethan uttered with a frown.
“Not here. In fact, we’re dropping the Morrow. If you want a manager, you gotta talk to the Teller.” Jax pointed to himself and Ethan shook his head.
“So what is it? Your already tuned bike need some more work? Or you gonna pull another gun on me?”
“I’m contemplating the second one.”
Ethan cleared his throat.
“Got any job openings…” He muttered so softly Jax could barely hear him.
“You heard me… You got me fired. Least you could do is give me a fucking job.”
“I got you fired?!”
“Nah, that’s all on you. I don’t owe you shit.”
“Just give me a job, asshole.”
“Well, that’s sure to change my mind.”
“Looks like you could use the extra hand.” Ethan murmured as they were swamped.
They’d been like this ever since they’d come back from Ireland. Jax had been pulling some all-nighters in attempts to play a little catch-up.
“Ask me again.” Jax taunted with that smirk of his.
“Just forget it, man…” Ethan said and started to walk away.
“Alright. I’ll give you a job.”
Ethan spun back around, and Jax nodded in his direction.
“Are you being a smartass or serious?”
“Oh, I’m serious.” Jax made his way to one of the lockers.
He opened it then tossed a Teller-Morrow shirt over.
“You can start now.”
“Like right now?!”
“Well yeah, you wanna get paid, right?”
Ethan looked to the shirt then back to Jax.
“Welcome aboard, guess this means I own you now. Tig, you can train him.”
“The fuck you do, and I don’t need training!”
“Could’ve fooled me. You didn’t even know your bike was tuned or that the oil had been changed recently. Sounds like an amateur to me.” Jax uttered and went back to work on the Chevy.
“Asshole,” Ethan uttered as he took off his jacket and put the work shirt on over his.
“Jax is fine actually.” The president called letting Ethan know he’d overheard this.
Ethan ignored Tig’s attempt at training him and went on to do his own thing. He’d been doing this throughout the day. He was working on a Honda when Jax had everyone wrap it up for the day. The Sons went on home, everyone aside from Jax. He continued working.
“I said go home.” Ethan heard the president holler.
“I’ll get your paperwork sorted out in the morning.” He added thinking that was the reason behind Ethan sticking around.
“Pay me, and I’ll stay. You’re in over your head, admit it.”
Jax wheeled himself out from under the car he was working on.
“I work late.” He warned, and Ethan shrugged.
“Don’t care as long as I earn my cut.”
“Alright. Grab you something to eat then get back to it.”
Truth of the matter? Ethan was starving. What he wouldn’t give for a decent meal. But he hadn’t a dime to his name.
“You’ve been here over nine hours and haven’t taken a break. Go.”
“I said I’m good.”
“So that’s where she gets it from…” Ethan heard the president mutter as he came to his feet.
“And what’s that?” Ethan asked.
“Riona… she’s just as stubborn as you are and don’t even get me started on Aislinn.” Jax murmured as he wiped the oil off his hands.
“I’m ordering a pizza. Any specific toppings you want?”
“Pineapple and anchovies.” Ethan smarted, and Jax nodded.
This wasn’t just about the money. Ethan figured this was the best way of gathering that information he needed when it came to his sisters. Keep your friends close. Keep your enemies closer. Ethan thought as he went back to work.
A solid thirty minutes had passed when Ethan saw a delivery car pull up to the garage. Jax stopped what he was doing and grabbed the pizzas. He paid the delivery guy and left a decent tip as well. Jax made his way into the garage and handed one of the boxes over.
Ethan reared back after opening the box.
“Are you fucking serious?” He questioned as it was indeed pineapple and anchovies.
The smell alone was enough to make him nauseous.
“It’s what you wanted.”
Jax chuckled then headed into the office with his pizza. Ethan shook his head and followed. He sat in the chair across from him. The president was sitting at his mother’s desk.
“There’s some beer in that fridge over there. You’re welcome to em.” Jax murmured as he popped the lid to his.
Ethan gave a simple nod and grabbed himself a beer. He went to grab one of the slices to Jax’s meat-lovers pizza, and Jax smacked his hand away.
“This one’s mine. You got your own.” Jax uttered, and Ethan reared back in disbelief.
“Whatever man…” He said and tried yet again.
The president yanked the box out of Ethan’s reach and shut it. He kept a protective hold on that box.
“What are you twelve?” Ethan said, and Jax did a double take as that sounded just like Riona when she picked on her sister.
“That’s right, and with the biggest Doc Johnson you’ve ever seen.” Jax witted as to their first exchange.
“You got a fake dick?” Ethan smarted in return.
“You’d have to ask your sister about that.”
Ethan sneered at this and acted as if he was about to pop him one. Jax had his hand along his gun, just in case.
“Sit down,” Jax warned.
Ethan took a seat, and the two sipped on their beers while eyeing one another down. They sat in silence as Jax scarfed down half that pizza.
“Gonna eat yours?”
Jax raised his brows as Ethan’s stomach growled.
“Don’t sound like it. Who is Liam by the way?”
Ethan looked to his tat.
“None of your business.”
“Just strikin’ up a conversation, bro.”
“I’m not your bro. I’m not even your friend.”
“Glad we got that cleared up. I was a little confused on how this was going.” Jax witted.
“You think you’re funny, don’t you?”
“Sometimes. Guess I’m having an off day.”
“I’m pretty sure that’s every day.”
Jax shoved his box of pizza Ethan’s direction.
“Eat. Your stomach’s annoying the hell out of me.”
Ethan’s stomach had been growling nonstop. He couldn’t remember the last time he had a decent meal. Ethan grabbed a couple of slices and was about to bite into one of them.
“You got a wife? Kids?” Jax questioned.
“Thought you weren’t interested.” Ethan taunted.
Jax smiled as Ethan took a bite out of that slice.
“So you are gay…”
“About as gay as you, asshole.”
“Can you say anything other than asshole?”
“When it comes to you?”
The president nodded.
Ethan finished those slices then polished off his beer.
“Have you talked to them?”
“You know damn well who I’m talking about!” Ethan snapped.
“Not today.” Jax surprisingly admitted.
“You gonna tell me where they are?”
Both men sighed as this was going nowhere, fast.
“I’m their brother.”
“Don’t care. I don’t know shit about you, neither do they. I’m not putting their lives at risk, and if you’re really their brother, then you’d understand that.”
“What kind of trouble did you get them into?”
“I heard those guys were taken care of…” Ethan hinted as to his sisters’ abductors.
“From who?” Jax curiously questioned.
“Doesn’t matter. They should be here. Why aren’t they?”
“You hard of hearing or fucking retarded? I already said why!”
Both men let out a frustrated sigh.
“Look, this isn’t going anywhere. I want information and so do you. So here’s how we go about it. I’m gonna ask you some questions, and for every question you answer, I’ll let you ask one. That’s not to say I will answer them.” Jax bargained.
“Then what’s the point?”
“Just try it and see what happens. Let’s start with something simple.” Jax pointed towards Ethan’s tat again.
“Who is Liam?”
“He was my son…”
Jax recoiled as he hadn’t expected that. He did the math and shook his head realizing he was the same age as Abel.
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
Ethan gave a simple nod.
“My turn. Where are my sisters?”
“Nice try. But not happening. Try another question.”
“Why didn’t you tell Riona you were married?”
Jax cocked a brow on this.
“Why do you think I’m married?”
Ethan had grown desperate in his attempts to find his sisters. So he found out all he could about SAMCRO and Jackson Teller. That wasn’t hard to do in this town. There were mixed feelings amongst the residents of Charming when it came to SAMCRO. Some of them thought the MC a godsend, others not so much. They thought they were nothing but trouble and should be locked away. That’s what led to Ethan stalking the house. Someone had mentioned something about this Tara coming back to town, and they were convinced that she and Jax were still married. Ethan confirmed that assumption once he saw her at Jax’s place of residence. She seemed a little too comfy for a simple houseguest.
“I’ve seen your old lady. So you can cut that phony act of yours. I’m not buying it.”
“Wait… Have you been stalking my house?!”
Ethan shrugged, and Jax sprang to his feet.
“Answer the question! Have you been to my house and I’m not talking about the time I saw you. I want to know if you’ve been there before that day?!”
When Ethan didn’t answer Jax slammed his fist down on the desk.
“ANSWER THE QUESTION!”
“You’re awfully defensive for someone that isn’t married.”
“GODDAMMIT! I don’t want you anywhere near my house. I mean it. This hasn’t anything to do with being defensive. There are boundaries, and you’re crossing every one of them. I don’t care who you say you are. That gives you no right!”
“The fuck it doesn’t. I was told to come here! I was told the girls would be with YOU, safe and sound, because they were under YOUR club’s protection. But you roll on in empty-handed. Now I want to know why! Tell me what the fuck is going on! How are they in danger?!”
“How much do you know?” Jax curiously questioned.
“Just tell me.”
“I know that Pepper had some sort of debt he failed to pay off and it was because of that they were sold off to some sort of human trafficking ring. Names like Jimmy and Galen were tossed around. Some kid was involved too. I think his name was Abel or something.” Ethan closed his eyes for a brief moment.
“Is it true?”
“Is what true?” Jax questioned.
“Was my little sister raped?”
Jax gave a simple nod, and Ethan winced. He thought back on the irony. He’d prevented this from happening back at that party years ago.
“How bad?” Ethan hinted.
“It was pretty bad,” Jax admitted.
Ethan pinched his eyes shut. The president didn’t comment as Ethan shed a few tears on his sister’s behalf. He’d heard some of these things from Pepper, but he was nowhere near as forthcoming as Brodie. It took some convincing… getting Brodie to open up. Like that of Jax, he didn’t trust Ethan at first. Ethan found him just outside Edinburgh. Brodie was doing a gig at one of the pubs and Ethan approached him afterward.
“You heard all this from Pepper?”
“Some of it.”
“And the rest?”
Jax nodded as that made more sense.
“If Pepper and Brodie know about you then why don’t the girls?”
“I’m their half-brother. A bastard child of Pepper’s.”
“And the girls never knew…” Jax reiterated, and Ethan nodded.
“I think it’s time you and I had a drink. We’ll worry about the shop tomorrow.”
The president came to his feet and dug a set of keys out from his pocket.
“I’m broke.” Ethan reminded.
Jax said nothing as he took his wallet out and tossed a bill and a couple twenties over.”
“Today’s pay and drinks are on me. Let’s go.”
“So that wasn’t your wife?”
“Hell no, that’s my ex!”
“Damn… So she just moved into your house like it was no big deal?”
“She still living there?”
“No man, I sent her packing. That shit doesn’t fly, and if I catch her in town, I’ll run her ass off.”
Ethan chuckled in thought.
“And I thought my ex was insane…”
Ethan finished off one of his beers and Jax ordered them another round of shots.
“That kid they mentioned. That was your son wasn’t it?” Ethan questioned after piecing it all together.
“Yeah. Abel’s my son.”
“He got lucky.”
“Trust me. I know.”
“My ex killed my son.”
Jax regarded Ethan in absolute shock and Ethan gave a simple nod.
“We were in the middle of an ugly divorce, and I was fighting for custody. I was at work when I got that phone call. They told me Tracy and Liam were in a horrible car wreck and they were on their way to the hospital.” Ethan shook his head on that particular memory.
“I knew… before I even got to the hospital. I knew that bitch killed my son. She couldn’t lay off the fucking drugs, no matter what and I told the judge that! He’d seen the history himself. Still, he made it clear that she had just as much rights when it came to Liam. Said there wasn’t anything I could do until the hearing. He mentioned something about needing proof that she was neglectful and an unfit mother. He wouldn’t consider taking Liam away from his mother otherwise. That bitch had more rights than I ever had when it came to Liam. Tracy had a record a mile long. Didn’t matter. Court will always side with the fucking mother!”
Jax couldn’t believe the uncanniness when it came to Ethan’s history. Ethan’s damn near mirrored his.
“Abel’s mother OD’d on heroin when she was pregnant with him. I don’t know how he made it, but he did. Believe me when I say there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t want to put a bullet in that bitch. I can’t even look at her. All I see is my son in that NICU room fighting for his life. That’s all I’ll ever see.”
“Well, we know how to pick em. Don’t we?” Ethan uttered, and Jax laughed.
“Ain’t that the damn truth?”
“Riona… she’s one of the good ones, and I’m not just saying that because she’s my sister.”
“I know. Trust me. I’ve known that for years.”
“Let’s just say Riona, and I go back a ways. More than you realize.”
Ethan dug into his wallet and showed Jax a picture of his son.
“He was,” Ethan said in agreement.
“He looked like you,” Jax uttered as the boy had the same eyes and hair.
They spent the rest of the night going back and forth. Jax told Ethan all about his cracked situation with his parents, and in return, Ethan told him about his mother and stepfather and what little he knew about Pepper. Both had shared the same loathing experiences and considered Pepper to be one of the most selfish people that ever walked this earth.
“You’re kidding?” Ethan spat after Jax told him about Pepper showing up to the SAMBEL clubhouse and asking the girls for money.
“Wish I was.”
“That son of a bitch is the reason they were put in that situation, to begin with!”
“Fucking Pepper… I swear to God I’m gonna rip his throat out.”
“You’ll have to get in line.”
The bar was just about to close when the girls came up, yet again. Ethan was three sheets to the wind when he went on about how he looked after them and had been for years. Ethan blamed himself. Said he should’ve done more. That he shouldn’t have listened to Pepper and made himself known. All of this could’ve been avoided if he’d just been in their lives and not from a mere shadow’s perspective. No. He needed to physically be there. Ethan had been holding all this in and for some time.
The president helped Ethan to his feet and escorted him outside the bar. Still, the man went on and on about his sisters and how much they endured over the years. He mentioned Aislinn’s rape a couple more times and broke down. Jax thought it best to call them a cab. They could get their bikes in the morning. But while they waited for that cab, Ethan had another drunken meltdown. Only this time it was about his son. He mentioned how his birthday would’ve been this Saturday. Liam wanted a Harley-Davidson birthday. He wanted to ride just like his father. Jax himself got a little choked up. Ethan loved that kid just as much as Jax loved his son. It broke Jax’s heart knowing that could’ve been him.
Jax wasn’t sure what to say, so he listened. He figured it best to let Ethan vent. Once the cab arrived Jax wrapped his arm around Ethan and led him inside.
“I need my bike.” Ethan’s words slurred as he glanced out the window.
“You can get it tomorrow.”
“Where we going?”
“I done told you. I’m not gay.” Ethan uttered, and Jax chuckled.
Ethan rubbed the sleep from his eyes and went to look at the time. The man cursed under his breath as he fell to the floor.
“What the…” he grumbled as he hadn’t a clue where the fuck he was.
It wasn’t until he heard a familiar yet muffled voice coming from another room. Ethan snuck his way through the living area and towards the door to that particular room.
“I miss you too babe.”
“Everything’s just fine here.”
“I haven’t. I’m sorry Riona. You know I’ll find him.”
“You can’t think like that. I made you a promise, and I’m keeping that promise. You don’t know Galen the way I do. He’s gonna turn up. Chances are he’s already in town. He’s just waiting… That’s how he does things.”
“Well, he’s not getting that chance. I’m gonna beat this. You and Abel are coming home.”
Jax let out a frustrated sigh.
“This isn’t like you. Did something happen?”
“Just sounds like you’re losing your faith in all this.”
“I know baby. I’m right there with you. I never meant for it to be like this.”
“Alright, I’ll talk to you later.”
“Love you too.”
Ethan grimaced as he heard the shuffling of feet. He darted back into the living room and plopped down on the couch. A picture fell off the wall as he did this and it hit him in the head. He was quick to hide that picture behind a pillow just as Jax entered the living room.
The Son gave a simple nod as he sat in the recliner.
“I’m surprised you’re up,” Jax admitted.
“What time is it?” Ethan asked.
“Ten something last I checked…”
“Shit. Guess I’m late to work.” Ethan muttered, and Jax chuckled.
“Think we both are. You hungry?”
“More like hungover.”
“Tylenol and coffee it is,” Jax said as he finished tying his shoes.
“Seriously, what’s with the shoes?” Ethan questioned, and Jax narrowed his eyes on this.
“Come on man… You’re a biker, like me and you run your own MC. Those are some pussy-ass shoes.”
“They’re comfortable,” Jax uttered with a shrug and stuffed a cigarette into his mouth.
“So are boots…”
“Trust me these are…” Ethan showed his off, and Jax gave another shrug.
The president came to his feet then headed into the kitchen.
“Cream and sugar?” He hollered.
“Yeah, lots of sugar.”
“Drown it. Got it!” Jax called in return.
Ethan came to his feet and looked at the pictures Jax had around the house. He had quite a few of Abel. Ethan didn’t know the others but figured those must’ve been his parents. There were a couple of group shots of Jax’s MC as well. Ethan picked one of them up and was looking it over when Jax entered the room with the coffee.
“I know him…” Ethan murmured, and Jax made his way over.
“Him.” He said while pointing.
“That’s Happy Lowman, right?”
Ethan shook his head and chuckled.
“I wondered where that crazy son of a bitch went. I didn’t see him at the shop yesterday.”
“Yeah, it was his day off. How do you know him?”
“Met him in El Paso a long time ago. I doubt he even remembers me. He was working one of the exhibits at a tattoo convention.
Ethan put the picture up and lifted the back of his shirt.
“Oh shit…That is tight!” Jax exclaimed.
“Right?! Happy did that shit!”
“How long ago was this?
“Hell… seven maybe eight years ago.”
“And it still looks like that?” Jax uttered as it hardly even faded.
“Everyone knows Lowman is the man when it comes to ink. I’d waited in line for hours. Was first to get signed up and people were pissed because my ink took up the entire two weeks he was down. I’m the only one that got ink from him during that convention.”
Jax chuckled in thought. Ethan lowered his shirt back down, and Jax handed a cup of coffee over.
“Thanks,” Ethan uttered taking Jax by surprise.
Jax gave a mere nod.
“Those are crow wings aren’t they?”
Ethan didn’t comment on the irony. He wasn’t about to give Jax that satisfaction.
“Hm…” Jax hummed in mere amusement.
“You gonna give me a ride to my bike so I can shower and get to the shop?”
“When I’m good and ready, Tex,” Jax uttered with a smirk, and Ethan shook his head.
“You really are an asshole.” He muttered under his breath.
“Could you point me towards a bathroom at least? I don’t see any potted plants to piss in.”
“You always got mother nature.”
“You want me to take a piss in your yard?”
“Neighbor’s yard is fine.”
Ethan grumbled under his breath and went to find a bathroom.
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