Chapter 27 –Let Freedom Ring
I do not own SOA, Guns and Roses, The Chainsmokers, Coldplay, or youtube. I claim all original characters and give no one permission to use them.
“Hey, darlin’.” Jax greeted once he came to from his much-needed nap.
“Hey,” Riona said as she was lying beside him.
She reached over and brushed his hair out from his piercing blue eyes.
“Something wrong?” He murmured.
“Linny called while you were asleep.”
Jax sat up as the look on Riona’s face had him alarmed.
“Aye. You’re not goin’ to believe what she told me.”
“Do I even want to know?”
“So what is it?” He said while grabbing a pack of cigarettes off the nightstand.
“Tara came by Chibs’s place.”
Riona told Jax everything her sister said about that visit. Jax crushed that pack of cigarettes then threw it across the room.
“What in the FUCK was she thinking?! I swear to God! I told her to stay away from you and my son! Hell, I told her to get the FUCK out of Charming!”
Jax was sitting on the edge of the bed and getting his shoes on when Riona ran a comforting hand along his back. She went on to wrap her arms around him and kissed his cheek. Jax closed his eyes and took a moment to appreciate the way that felt. It was amazing the effect she had on him. He went from feeling downright murderous to having a moment of complete Zen. Riona was the only one ever to have that influence on him. This had the man twirling about so that he was facing her. He laid her down and kissed her. This led to a full-on make-out session. He wanted to fuck her but hadn’t any condoms on him, and she hadn’t the chance to get on birth control yet. Not that it mattered they were running short on time and needed to get to Chibs’s place before the barbeque started. Jax gave a little teaser of what to expect later, and Riona let out a moan. He chuckled as she clamped a hand over her mouth afterward. She knew Happy, and a few of the others were in the clubhouse.
“Hell, you moan all you want darlin’. No one gives a fuck.” He said then helped her up off the bed.
“Ugh. I have bed hair.”
“I love your bed hair. It’s incredibly sexy.” Jax murmured as Riona was fixing herself up in the mirror.
“Sure ya do!”
“I’m serious. Gives you that thoroughly fucked look.” He said before smacking her on the ass.
“I’ll be outside when you’re ready darlin’.”
“I’m just goin’ to freshen up a wee bit.”
Jax nodded then headed on out of the room.
“That’s a lot of fireworks!” Aislinn remarked as Tig and Happy were unloading them from the SAMCRO van.
“Nowhere near enough!” Tig expressed.
“Oh yeah, we need more!” Happy said with a wide grin, and Aislinn giggled.
“If ya get anymore Scotty’s place is sure to go up in flames.”
“Guess you’ll have to live with me then! You’ll enjoy it… I eat out a lot.” Bobby perversely hinted, and Chibs smacked him in the back of the head.
Bobby peered back in shock. He thought Chibs was in the house. He hadn’t a clue he was right there. The Scot shook his head in a reprimanding manner. He went on to help the others unload the van as they had the grills, food, and beverages in there as well. Happy pulled up with one of the Crow Eaters on his bike. A car parked right beside him and there was a blonde inside and a few other women. Aislinn wondered who these women were and why they were dressed like a bunch of strippers. She thought back to the SAMBEL entertainers, however, and it made perfect sense now. She figured this must’ve been the SAMCRO ones. She hadn’t met any of them yet. There was a pang of jealousy however as the pretty blonde driving the car pecked Chibs on the cheek and commented about how long it had been since she’d seen him. She went on to ask how things were.
“I saw that…” Bobby whispered then playfully nudged her.
“Saw what?” She whispered in return.
“That look… It’s not her you have to worry about.” Bobby pointed to a more voluptuous entertainer, and Aislinn frowned.
This girl had curves in all the right places and long blonde hair. She was the exact opposite of Aislinn.
“Are ya serious?!”
Bobby sighed realizing he struck a nerve. He meant it as a jest, but it was true… Chibs had slept with this particular woman before; she used to be a favorite of his. But Chibs never brought these women home. He kept all entertaining at the clubhouse or porn studio. Not that Aislinn knew that.
“Calm those tits of yours I’m fuckin’ with you!” Bobby said hoping to lighten the mood. If he had known it was going to upset her so much he wouldn’t have given her a hard time about it.
“My tits are plenty calm. I don’t see why ya felt the need to even say that shite! It wasn’t funny.” Her entire face was flushed over, and she felt incredibly foolish.
“Someone needs a beer.”
“Or I could give ya a good puck in the knickers!”
“Yeah… that just sounds like an invitation.” Bobby admitted with a smirk.
“ELVIS!” Aislinn scolded, and he chuckled.
Aislinn bummed a smoke off of Kip and observed as this woman Bobby had mentioned greeted Chibs the same as the other blonde. Only it was a little more intimate, but from her end. Chibs made no contact with the woman and kept it professional. Aislinn took notice of how disappointed the woman seemed. Chibs, however, waved Aislinn over and Kip laughed at the way she jumped like she’d been caught doing something wrong. The Scot himself regarded his old lady in question but didn’t comment on it. Aislinn made her way over, and Chibs placed his hand along the small of her back and introduced her to the other women and vice versa. So far she’d met Lyla, Morgan, Ella, and Scarlet (the one Bobby had pointed out). These women were in shock when Chibs introduced Aislinn as his fiancé. That put Aislinn a little more at ease, but she couldn’t help but notice the curvier blonde’s reaction. Scarlet looked as if she were about to cry. The other women, however, seemed truly happy for him and went on to congratulate them both.
Juice pulled up and with another blonde on the back of his motorcycle. They looked to be arguing about something. Juice shook his head in sheer annoyance but went on to greet everyone.
“Ya alright?” Aislinn whispered as he hugged her.
Juice put on a smile.
Juice looked around before answering that.
“I think I made a mistake bringing that one.” He hinted with a gesture towards the woman he’d brought with him.
Juice let out a miserable laugh as Jax and Riona pulled up on his bike. Aislinn’s jaw dropped once she saw what Juice was referring to. Like that of this Scarlet, she too had that wounded pup look about her.
“Oh, she has it bad.” Aislinn remarked.
“Exactly. This ought to be interesting.” Juice said but in misery.
Aislinn laughed and let Juice bummed a hit off her cigarette.
“I think I understand now.”
“Understand what?” Juice questioned as he handed her cigarette back.
“The whole bitch seat term ya lads use.”
Juice died of laughter.
Ethan exited the house and had Abel in his hold. The two had bonded within the last few hours over cartoons. Aislinn took notice of the stunned look on her sister’s face when she saw their brother with Abel. Aislinn gave a mere nod then smiled her sister’s direction.
Jax made his way over while Riona was talking to Ethan.
“Riona told me what happened. I’m sorry. She had no right coming here.” Jax sincerely put.
“Still, I never dreamed she’d be that bold.”
“I think you mean stupid.”
Jax wrapped his arm around her shoulders then headed Chibs’s direction. Jax apologized to him as well, and Chibs filled him in a little more on what all took place with Tara. It was during this the blonde that Juice was complaining about made her way over.
“So you must be the new old lady I’ve heard so much about.” She said, and Chibs, Jax, and Aislinn glanced that direction.
The blonde held her hand out in greeting, and Aislinn shook it but with confusion.
“Congrats! Jax… He’s a good catch.”
Chibs raised his brows on this and Jax chuckled.
“Actually, this is Chibs’s old lady. I’m just borrowing her…” Jax taunted with a playful wink and handed Aislinn off to Chibs.
Aislinn took notice of that devilish smirk when Jax waved her sister over.
“This is Riona… my old lady.” Jax wanted to get that point of his across.
The president wasn’t stupid. He knew damn well what Ima was pulling. So he decided to play along. He’d aim right where it hurt most.
“Riona this is Ima.” Jax went on to introduce the other girls as well, and Aislinn could see that same look in her sister’s eyes.
The what the hell is this shit look. Aislinn giggled amongst herself, and Chibs picked up on this.
“What are ye laughin’ aboot?”
“Nothin’.” She uttered with a grin.
“Is that so?”
She nodded, and Chibs spun her about so that she was facing him.
“Somethin’ tells me yer up ta no good pet.”
“Only if I have to be.”
“Don’t tell me yer jealous…”
“Aye…” Chibs uttered as if studying her.
“They’re entertainers, nothin’ more. No different from SAMBEL.”
“A wee bit of warnin’ would’ve been nice.” Aislinn shamelessly admitted, and Chibs sighed.
“What’s there ta warn ye aboot?” He said sounding slightly annoyed.
“Ya know what I mean Scotty.”
“Aye, I do. That’s what I’m tryin’ ta tell ye. They’re here for the boys, alright?”
“I’m a big girl Scotty. I can handle a few whores, yours especially.”
She stepped out of his hold and Chibs sighed once he realized why. Scarlet was staring a hole in him, and she wasn’t going out of her way to hide it either. The Scot headed that direction then leaned into Scarlet’s ear.
“Don’t ye go makin’ trouble for me. I’ll ask ye ta leave if ye can’t behave.”
“I didn’t know you were even with someone and now you’re getting married?!” The woman exclaimed.
“Are ye mad?!” Chibs barked in response.
He never once led this woman to believe she was anything other than “entertainment”. Yet here she was acting as if they were an actual item. He hadn’t slept with this woman in nearly a year. The Scot hadn’t been with any Crow Eaters or entertainers of any kind since he and Jax were released from prison.
“That’s breakin’ the rules darlin’.” Chibs reminded, and the woman lowered her head in shame.
“Don’t get attached.” She bitterly put, and Chibs nodded.
“That’s right. If this is goin’ ta be a problem. Ye know yer way out. I don’t play these games love and ye know that.”
“There’s no problem. I was out of line. I’m sorry. You know I’m here for you, whenever you need.” She hinted.
“I won’t be needin’ yer services, Scarlet.”
“You’ll grow tired of her eventually. You boys always do. That’s what we’re here for sweetheart. To give you a little spice in life when the old ball in chain just isn’t doing it for you. The new is going to wear off. Trust me. It always does.”
“I’ll be happy to prove you wrong. Now I’m afraid I’m gonna have to ask you to leave.”
“Ye done went and disrespected me girl, and that’s not somethin’ I will tolerate.”
The woman regarded the VP in absolute shock as he waved one of the prospects over.
“Take her home,” Chibs ordered, and the prospect nodded.
“Chibs I…” Scarlet started to say, and one look was all it took.
The Crow Eater gave a simple nod as the VP stared her down. He watched as the prospect led her to his bike and hit the road. The Scot sighed amongst himself. He couldn’t believe he had to deal with some shit like that. He expected something like that out of Ima Tite when it came to Jax. But Scarlet? He never saw that coming. Scarlet never came across as the clingy type. That’s what he got for picking a favorite. He thought as he regarded Aislinn from afar. She was talking to her brother and sister and playing with Abel. Chibs found it a strange feeling just how much his taste in women had changed. The bigger the breasts, the better, at least that’s what got him aching below the belt before. But Scarlet’s breast were right in his face, and he felt nothing. But Aislinn’s tight little ass and perky tits had the man damn near ripping through his jeans.
The Scot cleared his throat. As much as he loved Fiona, even she didn’t have that kind of power over him. But he was faithful to her; at least until he found out, Fiona was enjoying Jimmy’s company. Once that came to light, Chibs didn’t care who he fucked. Chibs headed that direction, and he pulled Aislinn off to the side.
“Whore’s gone.” He said but in a playful manner.
“I noticed. Ya didn’t have to do that. She could’ve stayed.”
“I thought so too, but she proved otherwise.”
Aislinn regarded him in surprise.
“Ali, ye come first, always will. Don’t ever question that.” He made clear then pulled her into his arms.
“Ye should’ve told me what she was pullin’.” He whispered as to how Scarlet was acting.
“So she really was an entertainer of yours.”
Chibs sighed but nodded. He didn’t see the point in lying to her. She was bound to find out anyhow, might as well come from him. The old ladies always found out. As to why he thought it rather ignorant of the boys when they went out of their way to hide their affairs. Then again, thanks to Clay’s way of doing things. They never saw it as infidelity, especially if they were receiving something as simple as a blowjob. And if you fucked someone while on the road; that wasn’t considered any big deal either as long as they didn’t bring it back home to Charming. Those were the rules. But like that of JT, Chibs never agreed with that. It didn’t seem right seeing as how it were the other way around these boys would lose their fucking minds. If they came home and found their significant others with someone else; they’d kill the one responsible and the old lady too. Chibs most certainly would. Just the mere idea of Aislinn with another man made him feel downright murderous. But he wouldn’t kill her… The Scot didn’t have it in him. Not her. But he’d murder whoever ended up in their bed. Something told him if Aislinn ever pulled something like that, he earned it. Chibs couldn’t picture it otherwise. That wasn’t Aislinn. She didn’t have it in her to be like that.
“Do ya see why I wanted a warnin’ now? How would ya like it if the tables were turned?!” She said, and Chibs couldn’t help but laugh at the irony considering the thoughts he was having.
Aislinn shook her head however and started to wander off.
“Ali,” Chibs called then reached out.
He grabbed her wrist then pulled her back towards him.
“I wasn’t laughin’ at ye but the situation. Yer right. I should’ve said somethin’. We have a different way of thinkin’ around here. I don’t see these girls as anythin’ but Crow Eaters. So I didn’t feel the need ta warn ya aboot somethin’ like that but I can see what yer sayin’ and agree. I should’ve brought it to yer attention. Hell, I’m sure Jackie’s gettin’ an earful aboot now as well.”
“Well, I’m not marryin’ Jax. I’m marryin’ you, Scotty. Whatever he and Riona got goin’ that’s their business. She has her own way of handlin’ things, and I have mine. All I wanted was a wee bit of respect, but ya acted like it was one big gas!”
Chibs recoiled as she wiped a stray tear off her cheek.
“I don’t care if ya were just usin’ her. I don’t like picturin’ ya with someone else. I get that I wasn’t in yer life at that point and that’s why ya didn’t see the harm in it. But ya fucked her… and she was right here like it was no big deal! That’s all I could focus on!”
“How’d ye know I fucked her?” Chibs curiously asked.
“Bobby made some sort of gas about it. But I realized it wasn’t quite a joke by the way she reacted to our engagement. It’s like ya picked up a gun and shot her. Ya might’ve been usin’ her to get your rocks off, but that wasn’t how she saw it. That’s a dangerous game love. That’s how ya end up with some fatal attraction shite! I get this is how your MC does things, and I can respect that. All I ask is when it comes to you and me… think about where I come from and how this is all new to me. If some woman ya’ve shagged is comin’ over, I’d like ta know. I get that we’re not married and ya probably feel like ya don’t owe me any explanation. But I’ve committed myself ta ya, and I’d like the heads up, at least.”
“I can do that,” Chibs uttered apologetically. But kept in mind to deck the shit out of Bobby for breaking brother code. The son of a bitch knew better. What in the fuck was Bobby thinking?!
“I trust you, Scotty. That isn’t an issue. I want to make that clear now. That wasn’t what this was about.”
“I know.” He sincerely put then kissed her.
“I’m not losin’ that trust, Ali.” He vowed, and Aislinn hugged him.
“So no knife to my junk tonight?” The Scot teased, and Aislinn laughed.
“Aye, I hafta ask. I’m not dealin’ with no amateur.” He hinted as to her past.
“You’re damn right you’re not.” She said, and Chibs chuckled.
“I’ll take me own balls before I give ya reason ta.”
“I’m holdin’ ya to that.”
“Smells good,” Riona said as Jax was helping the boys with the barbeque.
“Right?” He said then handed his son a handful of chips.
Abel dashed off with the chips then went back to playing with Ethan.
“Them two sure hit it off.” Jax murmured with a nod Ethan and Abel’s direction.
Jax was taking a decent plunge off his beer when Riona caught him off guard.
“So you fucked the wee blonde over there, huh?”
Jax hit at his chest as he started choking and glanced the direction Riona was pointing. The president recoiled as it was Ima.
“Come on babe…” He uttered, and Riona shook her head.
“I’m not startin’ anythin’, Jackson. I just can’t believe ya invited them here… Abel’s right there!”
“They know to keep it PG when he’s around.” Jax defended.
“Lack of clothes says otherwise.” She uttered as a few of them were practically naked.
“Are we really going to do this?”
“I know all about your history. I just didn’t expect to have it shoved in my face tonight. Ya said there would be barbeque and fireworks. Ya never mentioned anythin’ about these women.”
“Never thought I’d see this side of you,” Jax said with a smirk.
“Side of me?”
“Oh, ya think this is jealousy?”
“Why would I be jealous over some cheap five minute lay of yours? Don’t insult me Jackson. I could give a flyin’ fuck about the collection of revolvin’ doors ya got around here. What ya used to do with your cock isn’t any of my business. I was talkin’ about OUR son. But please do go on about my jealousy. I’m curious as to what all ya have to say!”
Jax cocked a brow as Riona strutted off.
“You too, huh?” He heard then peered back.
Chibs handed another beer over, and Jax regarded him in question.
“I just got an earful from me old lady too,” Chibs whispered, and Jax chuckled.
“Oh yeah. Why don’t I take over?” Chibs took the tongs from Jax’s hold.
“Ya might wanna talk to her before she goes and runs a stake through Ima’s heart.”
“But she’s not jealous.” Jax scoffed but found himself a little turned on by Riona’s reaction to all this.
He wasn’t used to a woman that wasn’t fuming with jealousy, and she meant it too. If anything, she sounded downright repulsed by these women. That certainly explained why she acted the way she did five years ago when the boys more or less ratted Jax out on his playboy ways. She thought it repulsive then, and he could tell that hadn’t changed. Something about that brought on that old desire for the chase. He’d never met anyone like Riona. Jax could tell she was into him at the time, but his history alone is what kept her at arm’s length. Well, that and the fact that she was married. Riona wasn’t the running around sort. She made that clear even then. But that didn’t stop him from stealing a kiss or two that night. The first one earned him a slap. The second one… she almost gave in, but she just stood there as if frozen in time.
“Then it’s yer heart ye best worry about.”
Chibs gestured for Jax to go on. Jax chuckled but headed that way.
Bobby made his way over and went to grab a beer from one of the coolers.
“WHAT THE FUCK?!” He snapped after Chibs decked the living shit out of him.
Bobby went to slug him back, and Chibs blocked the attempt.
“Ye broke the code brother!” Chibs barked, and Bobby reared back in question.
“Ye went and told me girl about Scarlet?!”
Bobby sighed and rubbed his jaw where Chibs had struck him.
“It was a joke man.”
“Nah, ye knew what ye were doin’. I get that ye have the hots for me girl but that wasn’t cool, and ye know it. All ye did was cause trouble.”
“Come on brother. I meant nothing by it. I was poking a little fun. I didn’t realize she’d take it like that. She’s normally cool about those sorts of things.”
“Cool aboot hearin’ who I’ve fucked?” Chibs uttered with a curled lip and Bobby recoiled in thought.
“Shit… I wasn’t thinkin’ man. I’m sorry.”
“Ye keep that trap of yers shut when it comes ta things like that. These girls don’t wanna hear aboot those things, and I don’t appreciate the hell it brings. I got enough ta worry aboot! I don’t need ye addin’ to it.”
Bobby nodded in understanding.
“You want me to get a tat on my dick?!” Jax randomly put gathering Riona’s attention as she was off on her own.
“What?!” She exclaimed, and Jax nodded.
“Yeah, something like property of Riona or…”
“Riona’s bitch?” She teased, and Jax shook his head.
“Not cool babe.”
Riona shrugged then took a swig off her beer.
“So that’s your means of an apology? Askin’ if I want to mark my territory.”
“Well do you?”
“And what if I said so? Would ya actually go through with it?
Jax grabbed his junk and with this painful expression.
“Oh, hell no!”
Riona managed to laugh, and Jax smiled.
“I should’ve given you and Aislinn the heads up. I wasn’t thinking.” He admitted while pulling her into his arms.
“A lot of these events involve the SAMCRO family. That includes these ladies, darlin’.”
“A bunch of whores?”
“I know it looks that way, but they’re not all like that. You’ll see. Give it time. Take Lyla for example. I think you’d like her once you get to know her.”
“Another whore of yours?”
“No. She’s a friend. I haven’t slept with Lyla.”
“But she is a Crow Eater as you call it.”
“Yeah…” Jax uttered as he wasn’t about to get into the porn biz conversation, not right now. He’d get to that later on. Now just wasn’t the time.
“This is a lot to take in. I get that we should be used to it considerin’ how long we stayed with SAMBEL. Still, I didn’t realize you celebrated these sorts of events with women you and your MC fucked.”
“It’s all of us as a whole babe. We take care of each other.”
“Not like that,” Jax uttered through frustration.
“It’s just one big family. And just like any family, you got your questionable members.”
“So ya keep it in the family too!” Riona smarted, and Jax chuckled.
“You love giving me hell. Don’t you?!”
“Ya know it. When ya deserve it especially! I can make that whip a reality Jackson!”
“Will you?!” Jax uttered while wiggling his brows.
“Ya really are the worst!”
Jax combed her hair back with his fingers.
“Just watch what ya do in front of our boy. He takes in everythin’ you say and do, as well as these other lads. Ya don’t get just how impressionable a child his age is. He wants to be just like his father. Just keep that in mind.”
“I will. But I think this had to do with us just as much as it did Abel. Not so much jealousy… I get that now. But you can trust me. I need you to realize that. Those days are long since over and done. You’re my future, and I take that shit seriously. I’m not fucking this up Riona.”
“I hope not because it’s not just my feelings at stake.” Riona signaled towards Abel as he was playing with Ethan still.
Jax nodded in perfect understanding.
“I wouldn’t do anything to hurt either of you,” Jax vowed before kissing her forehead.
“I love you.” He softly put.
“I love ya too, ya big oaf.”
“Hmm, but I’m your big oaf.”
“Ya got that right!”
“So… about that whip…” Jax teased, and Riona was the one to smack him on the ass.
Everyone hollered out in approval when Chibs brought one of his stereos out and turned it on. Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N’ Roses started playing and the girls laughed thinking that a little too fitting. Abel ran over to Linny just as soon as the music began.
“Yous gots to bang your head like this!” Abel squealed, and Riona laughed as Aislinn banged her head along with Abel.
Abel giggled when Aislinn scooped him up and got more into it. Ethan was laughing as well but was hit with all kinds of emotions. He couldn’t believe he was even here and witnessing all this. He wasn’t just a bystander anymore. Ethan truly was a part of his sisters’ lives now. Aislinn belted out the lyrics, and Riona joined in.
Jax and Bobby watched as they finished barbequing. The Crow Eaters and prospects were handing out beers and bottles of water.
“You alright?” Riona asked as Ethan looked to be in pain.
“Yeah, just the arm…”
She nodded then sat beside him. Chibs was gathering more lawn chairs and spacing them about the area. Aislinn sat Abel down then helped Chibs with the rest of the chairs. He had them in a shed off to the back of the house. She was carrying a couple of chairs out when she almost ran into him.
“Easy darlin’.” He uttered.
“Sorry. Didn’t see ya.”
Chibs nodded and took the chairs from her hold.
“I got it. I think we have enough now.”
“Ya sure? There’s a couple more in there.”
“Guess ya can grab them just in case.”
Aislinn went to grab the other chairs but paused when something caught her eye. It was a handmade crib, and it had Kerrianne’s name engraved on it. The young woman’s heart sank as she reached over and wiped the dust off it. It was a beautiful crib. She couldn’t believe he hung on to it after all these years, much less brought it back to the states.
“Oh Scotty…” she whispered with a heavy heart when she thought back to everything.
She grabbed the other two chairs then headed on out. Everyone was eating and mingling. It felt strange seeing her sister talking to the Crow Eaters. Then again, Riona was the president’s old lady now. That put a lot of weight on her sister’s shoulders, and Aislinn could only imagine how nerve-wracking that must be. But she was in the same boat in a way… Aislinn was the VP’s old lady meaning she had to have Jax’s and Riona’s back as well. It never truly dawned on her until now.
“What are ye thinkin’ aboot?” Chibs murmured as he pulled her into his lap.
“Stuff and things!” She witted.
“Is that so?”
“Have ye eaten?”
Chibs shook his head no.
“Guess we better make us a plate before it gets dark,” Aislinn uttered.
The Scot nodded but was kissing along her neck and shoulder. It was during this that Aislinn could hear Kip going on about his glass ball while a Crow Eater sat in his lap.
“Really Kip?!” Aislinn harshly whispered as he was using this as a pickup line. Half-Sack mentioned something about using that glass ball to see the future and how he was getting laid tonight.
Chibs chuckled at Aislinn’s reaction.
“I can’t believe that worked!” Aislinn said as the woman was all over Kip.
“Entertainers darlin’…” Chibs whispered in reminder.
“Right…” She uttered as if saying duh amongst herself.
Aislinn took notice of the two women in Happy’s lap and the one sitting beside Bobby. She’d seen it with SAMBEL, but it felt strange with SAMCRO. Not that the boys didn’t partake of any SAMBEL’s entertainers while they were there. She knew Bobby, Happy, and Tig had for sure. But it wasn’t as obvious as it was now. These boys were undoubtedly “more at home”. The whole vibe was completely different.
Chibs had Aislinn rise to her feet, and they went to make them a plate.
Jax was sitting on one of the picnic benches, and Riona had her head in his lap. Abel was showing off as Tig had lit one of the sparklers for him.
“Look mommy and daddy! There is sooo many colors! I like the blue one!”
“Hold it further away from you Abel,” Jax called, and Abel nodded as he held his hand further out.
Tig himself was playing with a couple, and Abel giggled as he was acting silly.
“No do that Tig. You burn yourself!” Abel scolded.
Jax took Riona’s hand and kissed it.
“What was that for?”
“Just glad you’re here.” Jax sincerely put.
“Me too.” She said with a warm smile.
Tig plopped down on the other side of Jax then stuffed a cigarette into his mouth.
“That kid sure has a lot of energy.”
“Tell me about it,” Jax said with a grin.
“Is it cuddle time already?” Tig teased then leaned against Jax lovingly.
“Knock that shit off.” Jax scolded then shoved Tig off the bench.
Riona laughed as Tig just lay there in the grass.
“I see how it is.” Tig bitched under his breath.
Riona sat up however and had this stunned look about her.
“What?” Jax said taking notice.
“She hasn’t done that in years!” Riona remarked as Aislinn and Ethan were tossing a football around.
Ethan was using his left hand, and Aislinn was laughing as his throws were terrible.
“Linny and Pepper were always tossin’ the ball about. Pepper would make jokes about how Linny should’ve been born a boy.” Riona shook her head in thought.
“Yeah, well your old man pushed away the only boy he had…” Jax murmured with a frown.
“That he did.”
“Girl can throw.” Jax complimented.
“Right?! Linny could put most of the boys in her class to shame!”
Happy and Kip had joined them, and Riona laughed seeing the look on Jax’s face.
“You want to play too don’t ya?!”
“Little bit,” Jax said with a grin.
“Yay!” Jax playfully put then skipped off.
Riona laughed so hard she snorted.
“Ya big goof.” She said amongst herself.
Riona grew somewhat emotional as she watched her brother and sister play with the boys. She hadn’t seen Linny like this in years. It brought her back to their childhood and how Linny was when it came to their father. But what truly hit her in the feels was Ethan… He mentioned how it should’ve been him in Pepper’s place and here he was tossing the ball around like Pepper did when they were little.
“Why’s you, sad mommy?” Abel questioned, and Riona was quick to wipe the tears off her face.
She smiled as Abel sat beside her.
“I’m not sad.”
“But you’s crying.”
“It’s a happy cry.”
“So’s like when you became my mommy?”
“Exactly! Just like that.”
“So’s you really happy right now and it makes you cry?”
“I’s happy too.”
“ETHAN!” Aislinn scolded as he tackled her to the ground then snatched the ball out of her hold.
She elbowed him in the gut then stole the ball back. Ethan let out a painful grunt but laughed when she tossed it Happy’s direction.
“I told you you’d rip a stitch!”
“I don’t see how I was using my left hand,” Ethan said with a shrug.
“When you tackled me ya buffoon!”
Aislinn sighed and helped her brother to his feet.
“No more ball for you.”
She sat Ethan down on one of the lawn chairs and was checking his arm over.
“I’ll hafta get Scotty’s medical bag. Just hold on.”
She went to walk away, and Ethan gently took her by the wrist. He wanted to say something but was at a loss for words. Aislinn smiled as if reading his mind and simply hugged him.
“I got you.” She whispered then headed off.
“Ethan?” Riona called as she made her way over.
She’d seen the exchange between her brother and sister from afar and wanted to make certain everything was okay.
“Hey.” He patted the empty seat beside him.
“Just perfect.” He genuinely put then smiled as he looked to the sky.
“Sun’s about to set.” He murmured.
“Aye. It sure is.”
“Guess this makes our first sunset!” He said and sounded so childlike.
“That it does.”
“I thought about that a lot.”
“You two seeing the same stars, moon, sun… but in different worlds. I always thought about what you two were doing and wondering if you were okay.”
Riona took her brother’s hand and gave it a comforting squeeze.
“You’re not alone anymore Ethan.”
“Wish we could’ve grown up together.”
“Aye, me too.”
“I’m going to make up for all that time. I’m going to take care of you both.”
“That’s not your responsibility.”
“No. But I want the responsibility. I don’t care if you two are married or popping out a few kids even. I want to be there Riona. I want to be there for everything.”
Ethan wrapped his arm around her, and they watched the sunset.
“Stay gold, Ponyboy.” Ethan teased, and Riona laughed.
“I will, Johnny!”
“Scotty!” Aislinn scolded but with a giggle as he was tickling her.
Happy and Tig headed off with the fireworks and Riona nodded Jax’s direction.
“Where they off to?” She asked.
“You’ll see.” He said with a grin then pulled her into his lap.
Abel was kicked back and sitting between Ethan and his father. One of Riona’s favorite songs came on, and Aislinn glanced over as Chibs was tickling her still. She tried breaking out of his hold but he snatched her back, and Riona laughed.
“I remember this song.” Jax murmured as Riona was singing along to Something Just Like This by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay.
“You sang it that night…” Jax said and looked to be in awe as he thought back to that night.
“One of my favorites.”
“It say Spider-Man!” Abel said as to the lyrics, and Riona smiled.
“I’m all about the fairy tale baby,” Jax uttered as he listened.
“Are ya now?” Riona asked in mid-singing.
“Oh yeah,” Jax replied with a smirk then pecked her on the nape of her neck.
“Kind of fitting if you think about it,” Jax whispered, and Riona nodded in agreement.
The song was still playing when Happy, and Tig set off the first round of fireworks. The girls gasped out in unison and glanced that direction.
“That got their attention.” Bobby murmured with a chuckle.
Chibs wrapped his arms around Aislinn and rested his chin against the top of her head.
“LOOK MOMMY!” Abel squealed, and Riona smiled.
Jax’s hold grew a little tighter as they watched the show Happy and Tig were putting on. The Lawless sisters had never seen so many fireworks. The Sons didn’t hold back either. These weren’t your amateur fireworks. No, these were the real deal as to why Happy, and Tig had to head further out and set everything up just right.
“Ummm what are you doing?” Ethan harshly whispered.
The girls looked over to see Ima had welcomed herself into his lap. Ethan had this disgusted look about him. Ima smiled then circled her arms around his neck. Jax shook his head knowing damn well what she was pulling. She wanted to make him jealous and piss Riona off while doing so. What she didn’t expect was to have Ethan shove her to the ground. Riona and Aislinn covered their mouths to keep from bursting out in laughter. Ethan dusted himself off then came to his feet.
“Seriously?!” Ima snapped, and another round of fireworks went off.
“Man, you really are gay!” Bobby taunted, and Ethan raised his brows on this.
“Why? Because I don’t want my dick in your sloppy seconds? I’m not putting my junk in something that carries more diseases than a mosquito and sucks just as much.”
“Amen to that,” Riona muttered, and Jax caught this.
“Are you going to let him talk to me that way?!” Ima spat Jax’s direction.
Jax rolled his eyes and didn’t humor her with an answer.
“You could help me up at least!” Ima said and reached for Ethan’s hand.
“If you were a lady I would…” Ethan uttered and left her hanging.
Ima came to her feet.
“I want to go home.” She ordered, and Juice sighed.
“After the fireworks.”
Jax closed his eyes for a brief moment and had Riona come to her feet. He sat her back down then marched that direction. He grabbed Ima by the arm then dragged her towards a more secluded area.
“We call the shots. Not you. I better not hear you talking to one of my boys like that again. You need to chill the fuck out.”
“I’ll have Lyla take me home then.”
“No. You’re going to sit the fuck down and let everyone enjoy themselves. If you can’t do that, then you can walk home. Understood?”
“Or I could…” Ima peered back seeing as how no one was paying them any attention.
She reached over and tugged on Jax’s SAMCRO belt buckle. She slipped the belt out from the loops of his pants and was headed for the zipper. Jax snatched his belt out of her hold then used it to wrap around her neck like that of a collar. He tugged on the end like a leash and Riona looked over as Jax was dragging Ima towards the dirt road.
“If you start walking now. You’ll get to Charming before sun up.” Jax uttered.
“I’d take those heels off if you don’t want to end up with blisters.”
Ima’s jaw dropped, and Jax freed her from his belt.
“You can’t be serious!”
“Do I look like I’m joking? Get to stepping, and I had better not find out you called anyone to pick you up.”
Jax gave Ima a little nudge and watched as she headed for the road. Riona found herself a little turned on, on how well he handled that. Jax made his way back and had Riona sitting in his lap again like nothing even happened.
“Oh, how pretty!” Aislinn exclaimed as they fired one off that was silver and blue.
“I like the red ones!” Abel said.
“Aye, those are pretty too!”
Ethan regarded the boy in surprise when he crawled into his lap and was showing him a glow in the dark stick his father had given him.
“Yeah, it is! Does you want one? I got more!”
“What color? I got red, blue, and yellow.”
“Okays. I gets you one.”
Abel climbed back down, and Riona took notice of the look on her brother’s face. She thought back to his story about Liam. This had her reaching out and giving Ethan’s hand another squeeze. Ethan cleared his throat then gave a mere nod.
“Not in the house…” Chibs hinted as Kip was leading a couple of Crow Eaters that direction.
Kip frowned, and Chibs shook his head.
“Never in the house.” Chibs made clear.
“Come on man…”
“Nah… Got plenty of land.” He hinted once again, and Kip sighed as he headed off into a wooded area.
Chibs couldn’t help it. He didn’t want that kind of shit in his house. He felt that way even when he was single and messing around. There was just something about it. If it were Jax and Riona, he wouldn’t have a problem with it. But if it were Jax and a Crow Eater or any other Son he’d raise some hell.
“WOW!!!” Abel exclaimed at the finale as fireworks lit up the entire sky and of all colors.
There was one right after another, and the girls were starting to wonder just how many were in that one alone. The boys howled out then raised their beers. Jax leaned into Riona’s ear.
“Let freedom ring, baby.” He hinted as to the girls past and the future ahead of them.
Riona smiled, and Jax kissed her.
“I got an early start tomorrow. So I’m heading out. It was wonderful meeting you two. I can see why these boys are smitten!” Lyla said, and the sisters smiled in response.
Lyla pecked the boys on the cheek then said her goodbyes. She rounded her girls up then asked were Ima was afterward. Jax let her know that he sent her walking and Lyla laughed.
“Good. She could use the exercise!”
“I figured as much.”
Bobby used his cellphone as a flashlight and escorted the women to their car.
“So?” Chibs questioned while placing a strand of hair behind Aislinn’s ear.
“Now that was pretty savage. We’ve never done anythin’ like that back home.”
“Aye, cause it’s forbidden!” Riona added as the laws in Ireland were a lot stricter when it came to fireworks.
This had Chibs and Jax nodding amongst one another.
“Then we’ll just have to keep surprising you two,” Jax said with a wink.
“Guess we better head home too,” Jax said as Abel was starting to nod off in his chair.
Riona came to her feet then hugged everyone goodbye. Jax scooped his son up and headed for the truck. Everyone else followed suit and was about to head off as well. Happy and Tig showed up right after they left. They had all the used fireworks with them, and Chibs hosed them down. Happy bagged them up afterward. Aislinn and Ethan picked up all the empty beer bottles and paper plates and tossed them in there as well.
“That was a kick-ass show boys!” Aislinn complimented.
“Glad you enjoyed.” Happy wholeheartedly put.
Aislinn walked Happy to his bike but laughed when he complained about Kip taking off with the girl that was going to keep him company tonight.
“Guess one wasn’t enough.” She teased, and Happy reared back on this.
“Aye… He must’ve been hungry.”
“Look at you… Talking like one of us now!” Happy said with a look of pride, and his bike roared to life.
“Think ya can give me a minute before ya take off?”
Happy nodded and killed the engine.
“Sorry…” She whispered then glanced her brother’s direction as he was talking to Chibs and Tig.
“Think it would be disrespectful of me to ask Chibs to let Ethan stay at the clubhouse?”
“Why would that be disrespectful?”
“I don’t want anyone thinkin’ I’m takin’ advantage…”
“You’re the VP’s old lady… That automatically gives you perks. They can suck it up.”
“Think his dog could stay too?”
“Aye, she’s a wee beagle and about to pop any day now.”
Happy sighed in thought.
“Why doesn’t he just stay with me for a bit?” Happy surprisingly offered.
“Dog too.” He added with a shrug.
Happy nodded, and Aislinn hugged his neck.
“We’re takin’ him home here soon.”
“Gotcha. Have Chibs bring him by the house when you’re done.”
“Ya got it. This means a lot to me Happy. I know he’ll be safe with you.”
The Son gave a simple nod then revved that engine of his before taking off.
“This it?” Chibs questioned as to the right street to turn on, and Ethan nodded.
“I’ll get my bike sometime tomorrow.”
“Ye won’t be drivin’ that bike anytime soon. It’ll be fine at the house.”
“Gotta get to work somehow,” Ethan uttered.
“I’ll pick ye up.” Chibs offered with a shrug.
“I can’t put you out like that.”
“We’re headed ta the same place in the mornin’s. Wouldn’t be puttin’ me out.” He said while Ethan pointed towards his house.
Chibs pulled into the drive, and Ethan hopped out. Chibs was driving one of the old cars that got left behind at the shop. They ran into that off and on. They’d work on someone’s car, and they couldn’t pay for the repairs. The Sons would strike up some sort of deal, or the customer would sign the car over to them. They gained three vehicles within the last couple years that way. The Scot left this particular one at his house just in case he needed something other than the Harley. It was an old Lincoln town car. Aislinn followed her brother inside, and Chibs looked around the neighborhood. It was a surprisingly quiet neighborhood. The houses seemed fairly small. Chibs entered the house and was greeted by Ethan’s dog. The Scot hunkered down then petted the top of her head.
“Yer expectin’.” He murmured, and the beagle wagged her tail.
Aislinn laughed when the beagle propped herself up on Chib’s leg and was begging for more attention.
“Aye, she likes ya!”
Chibs welcomed himself to the couch, and Aislinn laughed as Daisy climbed up with him.
“She’s really taken by ya. He’s a handsome fella isn’t he?! Ridin’ accent too!” She teased, and Chibs chuckled.
“Either of you want something to drink?” Ethan offered.
“I’m good,” Chibs called in return.
“Me too.” Aislinn said.
“Alright. I’ll find those pictures.” Ethan said and pulled a trunk out from under the bed.
Aislinn sat beside Chibs on the couch.
“We should get a dog.”
“Don’t ye think we should worry about a baby first?”
“Babies gotta cook.” She said with a shrug.
“Baby?!” Ethan uttered and glanced that direction.
“You’re not even married yet. You don’t need no baby!”
“Ethan…” Aislinn warned, and her brother sighed.
“Are you really trying to have a baby?”
“Jesus, what’s the hurry?!”
“Me balls will shrivel and dry if we wait much longer.” Chibs smarted, and Aislinn died of laughter.
“So you’re admitting that you’re an old fuck.”
“You taking the blue pill yet? I heard it works wonders.”
“That’s enough!” She barked.
“Sorry…” Ethan murmured once he realized how much he was upsetting his sister.
“Ya promised!” She reminded.
“You’re right. I’ll be cool.”
“It’s alright lass. I can handle whatever he has ta say.”
“That’s just it. He shouldn’t be saying that shite!”
Ethan placed a photo album on the coffee table, and Aislinn picked it up.
“Hold on…” Ethan said then placed a hand along it stopping her.
“Just keep in mind this was all I had. So don’t freak out on me.”
“Freak out?” She said, and Ethan sighed after removing his hand.
Aislinn opened the photo album and started flipping through it. Chibs was looking at the pictures as well. Ethan had pictures for every gig he ever went to and the date beside each one. The photos were in order of the dates. The last one being around the time she was twenty-two.
“That was the last one before shit hit the fan…” Ethan hinted, and Aislinn nodded in understanding.
“Ye alright?” Chibs questioned with concern as she got a little choked up.
“I can’t believe he has all these. Ya can see how much we’ve changed as the years went by.”
“Dammit, I made you cry again.” Ethan murmured, and Aislinn laughed.
Ethan handed a box of tissues over.
Chibs went through the pictures, and he too was blown away by all this. He thought Aislinn was the cutest kid. He loved the one of her in a Metallica shirt. She looked no older than thirteen at the time. Chibs froze when he came to a particular picture. Aislinn looked over as he removed that one from the sleeve and was looking it over.
“The boys are in this picture…”
Chibs pointed out Jax, Thomas, JT, Otto, Clay and Tig in the background.
“You were there when the Sons were!” Aislinn exclaimed.
Ethan grabbed that picture then regarded it in thought.
“I left not long after taking that one. I had a flight to catch.”
“Probably a good thing.”
Ethan narrowed his eyes wondering what that meant. Chibs chuckled in thought.
“That’s the day Jax and Riona met! He was all over her!”
The man frowned in thought, and Aislinn laughed.
“Thomas looked so much like his brother.” She said in awe and regarded the picture once again.
“I bet Jax would like a copy of this one. It’s a good one. Ya managed to get us all.”
“Wasn’t intentional. Their table was right by the stage.”
“Aye, they put it there on purpose!” She uttered in memory.
Chibs wished he could’ve been there that day. He wondered what it would’ve been like if he could’ve met Aislinn then.
“I can do that. I plan on making you and Riona copies of everything anyhow.”
“Look, it’s Brodie!”
Aislinn put the other picture away then showed Chibs one of the three of them on stage.
“Aye, back when he had his hair!” Chibs uttered with a grin.
“And look at ye! Yer just a-rockin’ out! Ye were a wee thang and look at ye now darlin’. Rock goddess.”
“Sure,” Aislinn said behind a snort.
“Ye said you were sixteen when ye first met Brodie?”
“Fifteen maybe sixteen…” She said with a shrug.
“He was a fuckin’ hound dog hittin’ on ye like that! Ye look so young!”
“That’s Brodie for ya. He swore up and down he thought I was eighteen. Said he would’ve settled for seventeen.”
“That certainly sounds like my cousin. Fuckin’ perv. I can’t believe he was tryin’ ta getup in your knickers at that age!”
“You’re one to talk,” Ethan grumbled, and Aislinn smacked him on the arm.
“I’m just saying this bro would’ve hit on you too. You always thought there was something wrong with you. But if that was true why did I have to worry about all these fucking guys chasing you.” Ethan said.
“It was just Brodie…” Aislinn uttered with a blush.
“Nah, you have no idea! Trust me there were waaay more.”
The way Ethan said this had Chibs rearing back.
“Are ye sayin’ ye ran those bucks off?” The Scot questioned.
“You’re goddamn right I did! She was too young! These were grown ass men wanting to hook up with a teenage girl!”
“Ya, what?!” Aislinn asked in disbelief.
“These guys were relentless. You should’ve heard the shit they’d say about you and Riona! I wasn’t letting those creeps anywhere near you.”
“And how did ye avoid that when ye weren’t around?” Chibs curiously questioned.
“Military life… You make friends all over.”
“So yer sayin’ ye had someone at these pubs and keepin’ an eye on things.”
“Where do you think Quinn came from?” Ethan said with a smirk.
“Quinn?!” His sister exclaimed.
“That’s right. I said I knew all about him, but I never mentioned that I knew him before you girls even met him.”
Aislinn’s gathered this stunned appearance.
“So that’s why he bought the pub!”
“We bought the pub.” Ethan corrected.
He headed for his trunk once again.
“Quinn and I met back in England when we were on base. We hit it off, and he mentioned something about settling down in Ireland. I brought you two up and bam it just came together from there. Quinn has sisters of his own and said he’d be more than happy to look after things and make certain you two were in good hands. I said it was Pepper and Brodie and that was true. But it was through Quinn that I found out you two were missing. It wasn’t until later that he told me how you showed up… needing a place to hide.”
“Why didn’t you tell us that when we were here?!”
“Because it felt like too much. I didn’t want to run you off before I had the chance to prove I wasn’t a total basket case!” Ethan returned with his copy of the deed and Aislinn’s jaw dropped.
“Says, Ethan Hart…”
“That was before I changed my name to Lawless.”
“Wait… you changed it to Lawless? I thought your mother…”
“No. That was all me. I told her my reasoning and she supported me so did Steve.”
“So we were playin’ in YOUR pub?”
“Well, half of it,” Ethan said with a grin.
“Ya gotta tell Riona.”
“I will. I just wanted to wait for the right time.”
“That’s so crazy.” Aislinn leaned back in thought then took her time looking the pictures over.
“You think I’M crazy don’t you?” Ethan questioned in hesitance.
“Just a wee bit,” Aislinn admitted with a warm smile.
“But I love ya for it. We wouldn’t have these pictures, and it’s kind of nice knowin’ we had a silent guardian lookin’ after us.”
“I don’t think Riona would agree.”
“Just give her a chance. Ya might be surprised.”
“I don’t know… I feel like I come off as too much at times.”
“Ya do,” Aislinn admitted.
“But don’t all siblings do that? You’re no different from me and Riona and how protective we are of one another. We might not feel the way ya do just yet. But that’s not to say we won’t. Ya’ve had a few years of gettin’ to know us, and we’ve only just begun. We’ll get there. Have some faith.”
Aislinn looked to the time.
“We gotta go.”
Ethan nodded in understanding.
“I’ll see you around.”
“Nah, I mean we gotta go. Pack some clothes you’re stayin’ with Happy until the boys figure out what they’re goin’ to do with this hit.”
Ethan regarded Chibs in shock. Chibs, however, hadn’t anything to do with this. He didn’t even know about this until now.
“Then who?” Ethan asked taking notice of the lost look on the Scot’s face.
“That was Happy. I asked him about the clubhouse and if he thought Jax would let your dog tag along as well. Happy offered to let you stay with him instead. He’s waitin’ on ya so hurry it up.”
“Aislinn…” Ethan said as he was struck stupid by all this.
“We’re not lettin’ anythin’ happen to ya,” Aislinn vowed, and Ethan dashed off and packed his things.
Aislinn set the book down and gathered Daisy’s belongings.
“Guess Happy can take him to work then.” The Scot smarted, and Aislinn laughed.
“Already thinkin’ like a VP’s old lady. I’m proud of ye!”
“It wasn’t a club thing but a family thing.”
“There is no difference darlin’. Ye’ll learn that soon enough. We’re all one big family that includes yer prick of a brother.”
“I heard that!” Ethan called, and Chibs chuckled.
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