Chapter 35 – Ride The Storm
I do not own SOA, youtube, Don Barnes, Halestorm, Pat Benatar, Metallica, Papa Roach, The Pretty Reckless, Joan Jett. I claim all original characters and give no one permission to use them.
“Mommy, look Daisy got puppies!”
“Aye, she sure does!”
“They is soooo cute!” Abel squealed as they were crawling all over him.
The boy giggled then lay down on Happy’s carpet. The puppies wagged their tails and licked Abel all over.
“I loves them so much! Uncle Ethan says I can have one if you say it okay.”
Ethan sent his sister a wink, and Riona laughed.
“Aye, I don’t see why not.”
“Jax is goin’ to kill ya,” Aislinn whispered, and Riona shrugged.
“I can handle Jackson.”
“They should be ready by the time they get back,” Ethan said with a shrug.
“Really?!” Riona questioned in surprise.
“Yep. Just a couple more weeks and they can find new homes.”
Aislinn scooped one of the puppies up and laughed when it licked her nose.
“These are downright adorable! Wonder if I could convince Scotty…”
“Abel gets first pick.” Ethan made clear, and Abel smiled.
“I can have anyone I want?!”
“This going to be a very hard decision,” Abel said as he looked to the six puppies.
“Well, I suppose you can start with… Do you want a boy or girl?” Ethan asked.
“BOY!” Abel quickly answered.
Ethan pointed out the four boys, and Abel nodded as he looked them over.
“I have to think on this,” Abel said looking overwhelmed.
“Well, ya got a couple weeks to decide. See which one grows on ya!”
“Okay, I do that.”
Happy made a call to the shop and made certain everything was okay with Juice and the prospects. They wouldn’t open for a few more hours, but Happy wanted to check in anyhow.
“Coffee?” Ethan offered, and the girls nodded.
Aislinn had hers, and Riona’s luggage. Happy signaled for her to follow him. He led her into his bedroom. He had a king-sized bed. Everything was black, even that of the walls. Happy hung up the phone then took the luggage from her hold. He opened the closet then stuffed them inside.
“You and Riona get the bed. Ethan’s got the guest room. Abel can bunk with him.”
“What about you?!”
“Couch pulls out into a bed.”
“Happy, Riona and I can take the couch!”
“Not on my watch.” Happy made clear.
“What would I see if I ran a black light through this room?!” Aislinn teased, and Happy spun around.
“Hella lot of cum stains. I’m talkin’ the ceiling, walls, headboard. It’s everywhere!”
“Happy!” She scolded behind a giggle, and Happy smiled.
“You think I’m joking…”
“Now ya have me worried.”
“You should be. You could be sleeping in my sweet, sweet love. You two might wake up pregnant! Bring me your ovaries child!”
“Now ya sound like Tig!” She said but with a touch of sadness.
“I forgot…” Happy apologetically put.
Aislinn forced a smile and shrugged.
“Ya didn’t do anythin’ wrong. I’m just a wee bit sensitive that’s all.”
Aislinn patted Happy on the shoulder and put on a brave front as she headed out of the bedroom. Happy saw right past it but hadn’t a clue what to say or do.
Ethan handed Aislinn a cup of coffee, and she joined her sister on the couch.
“Did you have fun at Neeta’s?” Riona questioned, and Abel nodded while playing with the puppies and Daisy.
“Yes. She makes me chocolate chip cookies, and we watch a movie before bed.”
“That’s sounds lovely.”
“I want chocolate chip cookies!” Ethan said like he were jealous.
“Me too!” Aislinn added, and Riona laughed.
“Maybe we can do that tonight.” Riona offered.
“Yes!” Ethan said then pumped his fist into the air.
“We has to have milk too, mommy!”
“Ya know it.”
“We have to work tonight, Ethan…” Aislinn reminded, and the prospect frowned.
“Dammit. I forgot.” He pouted, and the girls laughed.
“You’re one of the owners!” Riona scoffed.
“I know!” He groaned in protest.
“Ya really are a manchild!” Riona said.
“I don’t deny that,” Ethan uttered with a shrug.
He grabbed a couple game remotes then waved Abel over.
“We got a little time if you wanna play,” Ethan said.
Abel squealed and rushed on over. The girls laughed as Daisy, and her puppies followed.
“Hold on! I wanna play too!” Happy muttered then plopped down on the other side of Abel.
Jax nodded his VP’s direction as Chibs pulled over and answered his phone. The others pulled over as well and waited until Chibs was done.
“That was Alvarez. Says we can meet tonight.”
Jax let out a breath of relief.
“It’ll be late. Says his daughter has a play or somethin’ tonight at school.”
“That gives us time to find a hotel and a place to eat.”
Chibs and the others nodded in agreement. Jax was first to hit the road again, and the others followed suit.
“Is you tuning your guitar again Aunt Linny?”
Aislinn nodded as she adjusted the strings. Abel leaned against her shoulder and watched.
“Ya tired?” She questioned as he yawned.
“No,” Abel said but yawned once again.
Aislinn set her guitar down and had Abel lay his head down in her lap.
“Guess who I brought…”
The young woman reached into her backpack and pulled out Thomas the Dragon. Abel smiled when she handed it over. The boy hugged the dragon close.
“Did he keep the monsters away?” He sincerely asked.
“He sure did.”
“I knew he would. Thomas always protects me. He fall down under the bed when the monsters came to get me. He no can protect me under there.”
Aislinn nodded then combed her fingers through the boy’s hair. It wasn’t long before they fell asleep.
Aislinn blinked a few times as she came to.
“I don’t have long…”
“Jax?” She called after seeing the familiar blue eyes.
The man smiled.
Aislinn shot up once she realized who it was. The man reached out then brushed her hair back with his fingers. He was clammy and cold to the touch.
“Beware of the fake crow.”
“Fake crow?” She questioned, feeling as though her heart would gallop right on out of her chest.
The man gave a simple nod.
“Thomas, what are ya say…”
Thomas recoiled as he started to fade as well as his touch. He was trying to tell her something else, but she couldn’t make out a word of it. His lips were moving, but nothing came out.
“I can’t hear you!” She called out in alarm as the man seemed slightly panicked.
Thomas tried yet again but faded into nothing. Aislinn heard the fluttering of wings and loud squawking. The squawking was so loud it forced the young woman to cover her ears. Aislinn spun around then let out a horrified gasp. The crimson sky above her was filled with crows, and they were falling one by one until there was none left and it was dead silent. Aislinn thickly swallowed and approached the area where the crows had fallen.
“No!” Aislinn cried as the bodies were no longer that of crows but the Sons themselves.
“THOMAS!” She screamed as her nephew and Chibs were among them.
She reached out only to find herself being pulled back.
“STOP IT!” Aislinn shrieked as she struggled against whatever had her.
Her fingers grazed Chibs and Abel’s.
“HELP THEM THOMAS! PLEASE!” She cried as she saw what looked to be his silhouette standing among them.
“He can’t.” An all too familiar voice said.
“JT?!” She softly called.
“But you and your sister can…” He said, and that’s when she realized JT was the silhouette.
“Me and my sister?!”
“JT!” Aislinn shouted and was quick to grab her nephew as he was falling off the couch.
She and the boy locked eyes.
“You dream of grandpa and Uncle Thomas too?” The boy questioned but with a smile.
There was no disguising the stunned expression on Aislinn’s face.
“They plays with me and tells me not to go near the fake crow,” Abel said with a shrug and was looking to the stuffed dragon.
The room started spinning, and Aislinn rolled out from under Abel. She came to her feet, and Abel regarded his aunt with concern.
“Is you okay, Aunt Linny?”
Aislinn paced the area then looked to her nephew once again.
“What did they say about the crow?”
“They says to tell daddy the crow is fake. That he watching us. It no good.” Abel said with a frown.
The young woman held a hand over her heart and closed her eyes. She’d hadn’t experienced anything like this before. What were the odds that Abel would’ve had a dream along those lines as well? Fake crow…?! What were Thomas and JT trying to tell them? Was there a spy amongst the MC? Was SAMCRO in trouble?
“You two alright?” Happy questioned when he entered the clubhouse.
“We has a dream about grandpa and Uncle Thomas. They plays with me!” Abel happily said, and Happy narrowed his eyes on this.
“Mind keepin’ an eye on the wee lad for a moment?” Aislinn asked, and Happy took notice of her unsteady hands.
The Son gave a simple nod and sat beside Abel on the couch. Aislinn grabbed her phone then headed into the back room.
“Come on pick up…” Aislinn said as she was on her third attempt in reaching Jax.
Her stomach was in knots as it flip-flopped. She thought back to the dream and how real it felt. She looked to her reflection in the dresser mirror and thought about Thomas’s brief, yet soothing touch. It wasn’t like that of a lover’s touch. No. It was protective, and she could sense Thomas’s fear.
“Hey!” She finally heard, and Aislinn let out a sigh of relief.
“Everything okay?” The president asked.
“Everything’s fine… I just needed to tell ya somethin’. Now it’s a wee bit out there, and you’re not gonna believe a word of it!”
“Try me…” Jax uttered with a humorous vibe.
Aislinn drew back a hesitant breath then told him about the dream she had and how Abel dreamed about Thomas and JT as well.
“Fake crow…” She heard Jax whisper on the other end.
“Aye… Abel said his grandfather and uncle wanted you to know about the fake crow. Crazy right?”
“Normally I’d say yes. But I believe you. Don’t say anything to anyone else about this. Tell Abel to keep quiet as well.”
“He already told Happy.”
“About the fake crow?”
“Not that I’m aware of. But he did tell him that he dreamt about Thomas and JT.”
“Aislinn, did he have that dragon with him?”
Aislinn reared back wondering what that had to do with anything.
Jax half laughed.
“I figured. Keep that thing close to my son. I know that sounds insane. But there’s something about that goddamn dragon… I’ll explain when I get back.”
“Aye and I will.”
“You sound pretty shaken up…” Jax admitted.
“Well, it’s not every day ya dream about your brother-in-law’s father and brother.”
“Point taken… Was there something else?” Jax rather hinted.
Aislinn didn’t see the point in revealing the scene between her and Thomas. It was brief and innocent. Even if it were a dream… she didn’t want that part getting back to Chibs. The Scot seemed a little sensitive when it came to Thomas’s feelings.
“Alright. Call me if anything changes.”
“Shouldn’t you be getting ready for tonight?” He asked, and Aislinn looked to the time.
“OH SHITE!” She hollered before hanging up the phone.
She could picture Jax laughing as she hurried on out of the room.
“I gotta be at the bar in fifteen!” She said in a panic, and Happy nodded.
“That’s what I came in here for.” He said but sounded rather off.
“Your sister says she isn’t going and insists on staying behind with Juice and the prospects, here at the clubhouse.”
Aislinn frowned on this.
“I gotta call the boss and check with him first.” Happy reluctantly put.
“I’ll call AC and let him know I’m running behind.” She said but pulled Abel off to the side and told him what his father said about keeping this dream of theirs a secret.
Happy chuckled as he dialed Jax.
“Late and on your first day! Congrats!” He sarcastically put, and Aislinn sighed but continued her conversation with Abel.
“You understand?” She softly questioned afterward.
“I no tell anyone,” Abel vowed and Aislinn kissed his forehead.
“It’ll be our little secret, love.”
She couldn’t believe she and Abel slept that long. It was morning when they dozed off. Time must’ve flown as it was three in the afternoon. She didn’t get how that was possible. It most certainly didn’t feel that long. They slept right through lunch.
“We’re good.” She heard Happy say once he got off the phone with Jax.
Aislinn nodded as she left a message for AC letting him know she was on her way. Ethan laughed once he overheard this.
“I’m your boss too, remember?” He reminded, and Aislinn flinched.
She’d forgotten all about that.
“I think we’re both running a little late. AC’s used to it with the garage. He knows how things can get when we’re slammed. He also knows that we’re taking you with us today… So you’re good.” Ethan assured, and Aislinn let out a breath of relief.
She grabbed her journal, guitar and picks on the way out. Ethan handed a couple wraps over as they followed Happy to the van.
“Feel free to use whichever one you want. Don’t need ‘em back.” Ethan said with a shrug as Happy opened the back for them.
Ethan hopped in then offered his sister a hand. Happy was about to shut the door when he felt a hand along his shoulder.
“Hold on,” Riona said then glanced her sister’s direction.
“Break a leg!” She stated, and Aislinn’s jaw dropped.
“YA KNOW I HATE THAT EXPRESSION!” She snapped, and her sister died of laughter.
“Why do ya think I said it?!”
Aislinn flipped her sister off then slammed the doors shut. Riona laughed once again.
“Take care of them.” She said, and Happy kissed her cheek.
“With my life.” He vowed but peered back before getting into the driver’s side.
“Stay with Juice. Boss’s orders.”
Happy nodded then hit the road.
Ethan looked over as his sister was placing the wrap on her hand. She tested out a few notes afterward.
“Aye, much better!”
“Calm down, will you?” Ethan said as he took notice of her shaky hands.
“Tryin’.” She said, but those nerves had more to do with the dream she had rather than her performance tonight.
The added stress wasn’t helping matters.
“I’ve never seen you like this. You better not choke!”
“I never choke.” She uttered.
“Man… that’s gotta suck for Chibs!” Happy hollered from the driver’s seat, and Aislinn laughed.
“Funny!” She called in return, and Happy chuckled.
Happy parked in the back and Ethan opened the door for his sister. She grabbed her things and was about to step out when she felt her phone vibrate.
“What?” Ethan questioned.
“I gotta take this.” She said as it was Chibs.
Ethan nodded in understanding. He grabbed her belongings then headed on in.
“Hello there Scotty…” She answered as she followed Happy and Ethan inside.
“I won’t keep ye. Just wanted ta wish ye luck one more time.”
“Ye got this.”
“Hope so. What are ya up to?”
“We’re havin’ an early dinner at one of the cafés here in Oakland. Hittin’ a meetin’ after.”
“Ah…” Aislinn said knowing he couldn’t discuss much over the phone.
“Alright love, I’ll let ye go.”
“Aye, love ya, Scotty.”
“Love ye too, Ali darlin’.”
“They doing alright?” Jax questioned, and Chibs nodded as he stuffed the phone into his pocket.
Jax found this side of Chibs slightly amusing. Chibs was never this in touch with Fiona. Not that he remembered anyhow.
“She still nervous?” Jax questioned after cutting into his steak.
“A wee bit but she’s got nothin’ ta worry aboot. Once she gets ta playin’, it’ll be like second nature ta her.”
“All set!” Bobby called from across the table they were sitting at.
“Now we gotta get Alvarez’s approval to enter Nevada.” The sergeant uttered as they’d be crossing Mayan territory to get to the other charter in Reno.
This was a charter SAMCRO (back when JT and Clay were in office) patched in a few years ago. They were originally known as the Devil’s Tribe. This took place before Jax killed the fed that was stalking Tara. This had the president reminiscing to that particular time and how crazy everything was. The things he was willing to do and in the name of Tara Knowles. But when it came to him and Abel… Tara was pretty much nonexistent. She was only around when she felt the need to be. The president curled his lip in thought.
“Can we trust Indian Hills?” Chibs whispered as to the knowledge he and Jax had about Clay.
“He’d be our best bet on finding out for sure,” Jax said with a nod Bobby’s direction.
“Aye.” Chibs murmured as Bobby, and the Nevada charter had a better relationship than the others.
“We’ll have Bobby talk to Jury and Gains. See if he can get the feel for whatever Clay and Jury were up to.”
Jax’s father and Jury had served in the same squadron during Vietnam. If Jury was pulling some shady shit behind SAMCRO’s backs, it would be taken as a personal insult, considering the Tellers and Jury had history. If it weren’t for John Teller, Jury wouldn’t be here today. John saved Jury in Tang-Nam and Jury had always said that he owed John one. Siding with Clay wasn’t what Jax would consider “paying it forward”. They hadn’t a choice but to trust the Nevada charter. All that shit with Clay would have to be brought up after they set the Aryans up. SAMCRO couldn’t afford to have anything go south. They needed the Mayans and Indian Hill’s involvement if they were going to see this through.
“Think they were in bed with Galen?” Chibs uttered.
“It’s a possibility… but it’s more like Clay brought the option to the table, and they were ready to eat out of his hand.”
Chibs nodded in thought.
“Think Trager knew?”
This had Jax looking that direction as Tig was talking to Bobby and Kip.
“Hope not. For his sake.” Jax made clear, and Chibs sighed.
“What?” Jax softly questioned.
Chibs kept his voice down as he told Jax about the sheriff and Tig.
“That is odd…”
“We’ll keep an eye on it. Surely, he wouldn’t be that stupid. But you never know. I was hoping he turned over a new leaf.”
“Aye, me and you both.”
“Hmm. Let’s not jump to any conclusions just yet. I’m curious and want to see where this goes.”
“Yeah well, that curiosity could be dangerous Jackie.”
“Sheriff isn’t about to fuck up our arrangement. She’s counting on this just as much as we are. Hell, we’re doing her a service. She gets to take all the credit for tracking these motherfuckers down. It’s a win-win for her.”
“Don’t get too cocky Jackie boy. If she wants ta take us down, she will. It’s just a matter of time. It doesn’t matter about the deal ye’ve made now.”
“This hasn’t anything to do with cockiness. Sheriff Cole and SAMCRO have common goals for Charming. We’re good with her.”
“I hope yer right, boy.”
Back at AC’s:
“Everything alright?” Ethan questioned as he helped Aislinn set up the stage.
“Aye, just Scotty checkin’ in.”
It took them a little over an hour to get everything set up. This gave Aislinn half an hour to practice. AC made his way over and handed Aislinn a bottled water.
“Everything’s on the house. So holler if you want anything stronger.”
“I might take you up on that later. Water is perfect at the moment.” Aislinn said as she was breaking into a sweat.
AC nodded and handed a hand towel over as well. Aislinn dabbed at the sweat rolling down her face then set the towel down on a nearby stool. AC went on to test the mic and adjusted it to her height.
“You ready?” He questioned once they had everything set up..
“Alright. Earn me some money honey!” AC teased with a wink then headed back to the bar.
Aislinn giggled amongst herself. She put her cell phone on vibrate then stuffed it back into her pocket. The bar was surprisingly quiet. A few customers were looking to Aislinn with doubt in their eyes. She decided to wake everyone up with her usual opener; that being Joan Jett’s Crimson and Clover. She’d get to the heavier stuff afterward then she’d introduce herself.
Aislinn gave no time for applause and went on to sing Heaven Knows by The Pretty Reckless.
Ethan couldn’t help but laugh at AC and everyone else’s reaction to his sister on that stage. Customers were coming in off the street just to see who was playing. She was only two songs in and the place was filling up.
Back at Teller-Telford mechanics:
“I want to talk to your manager!”
Riona heard from the office, and she let out an agitated groan. She recognized that voice all too well as she’d dealt with the unruly customer, just a few moments ago, on the phone.
“Mommy?” Abel called as he was peeking outside the window.
“There’s a mad lady yelling at Juice.”
Riona was on her feet and headed that way already.
“Stay put, love.” She made clear, and Abel nodded.
“Is there a problem?” Riona politely questioned once she approached the woman and Juice.
“Yes, I want to speak to a manager!” The mouse-faced, beaver-toothed woman replied.
“Manager’s out of town. I’m all you’ve got.” Riona reiterated for the fifth time as they’d gone over this already.
“It’s you!” The woman scoffed, and Riona nodded.
“And I already told ya… We’re keepin’ the car until ye pay for these lads’ services. The manager himself would tell ya that.”
Juice cleared his throat and regarded Riona in thought.
“You’re talking to the assistant manager. Whatever she says goes until our manager gets back.” Juice made clear.
“Are you telling me that some girl that can barely speak English is running this shit hole you call a mechanic shop?!”
Riona was getting really tired of this woman poking fun at her accent. She’d done this plenty of times over the phone and asked over and over if she could speak to someone that spoke English.
“That’s exactly what I’m telling you,” Juice uttered but in his best Puerto Rican accent.
Riona laughed once she caught on.
“Oh, so you think this is a laughing matter, do you?!” The woman bitterly sneered.
“A wee bit,” Riona admitted with a snarky grin and Juice was the one laughing now.
“Hmph.” The woman scoffed.
She saw her car parked out by one of the junkers and started that direction. Riona rolled her eyes as the woman went on to test all the doors.
“My key?!” The woman demanded.
“Pay for your services, and we’ll hand it over.”
“I’m not paying five hundred for something my husband could’ve done!”
“Then you should’ve had your husband do the work for you, Mrs. Whitman.” Riona made clear.
“Are you sassing me?”
“No, ma’am… I’d never!” Riona sarcastically remarked, and this had the prospects rolling in laughter.
“Alright, I’m giving you one more chance. Give me the key.”
“Or what?!” Riona challenged surprising not only Juice but the prospects as well.
She’d enough of this woman.
“I’ll call the police!”
“And what… Tell them we’re keepin’ your car until you pay us? Which is perfectly legal by the way and abiding by the contract YOU signed. Or that you’ve been harassing me ever since this mornin’?!”
“Fine! You want the car! Keep it!” The woman said then snatched a crowbar out of one of the prospects hands.
“HEY!” Riona shouted as the woman took that crowbar to the windshield and windows.
The woman let out a crazed laugh and Juice started towards her only to have Riona stop him. Riona signaled for the prospects to back off as well. That was the last thing the shop needed, to have one of their employees accused of assault. Riona figured it best to let this woman dig her own grave. It was her car she was destroying after all. Riona hated what she was about to do but hadn’t a choice. She called the sheriff and had the prospect by the name of Rat look after her son.
“STILL WANT IT?!” The woman hollered then went on to destroy the body of the car as well.
Riona didn’t comment and stayed on the line. The sheriff could hear the woman’s tirade over the phone and let Riona know she was on her way. Riona had her head down, so she didn’t see the woman take a swing her direction. Juice shoved Riona out of the way and took the blow intended for her. Riona screamed as the crowbar sliced Juice’s cheek open.
“What bin did ya escape from? You’re mad as a box of frogs!” Riona hollered as she got a protective hold on the Son and held her hand against his cheek.
“Ya just got yourself a nice assault charge, and I’ll be chargin’ ya for damagin’ Teller-Telford property as well! Take another swing! See where it lands ya!” Riona shouted.
“Watch her,” Riona ordered another prospect, and they kept an eye on the woman as Riona tended to Juice.
“I’m alright.” He said as he was more concerned about Riona than himself.
He knew Jax would have his ass if anything happened to her and on his watch.
“Ya need stitches.”
“Riona, don’t worry about me.” Juice made clear, and Riona frowned.
The sheriff pulled into the lot and with her lights on. She sprang out of the car and with her gun in hand. She hollered for the woman to drop her weapon (aka the crowbar). The woman snapped Riona a dirty look but dropped the crowbar and started to cry. Riona rolled her eyes thinking this woman was ten kinds of crazy. Another vehicle pulled up just as the sheriff was cuffing the woman.
“What in the hell, Irene?” A man yelled after stepping out of the car.
“What did you do?!”
“They wouldn’t give me the key, Bruce!” She went on this long-winded rant, and the man pinched his eyes shut in misery.
He apologized on his wife’s behalf.
“I had the spare.” He said afterward, and the wife had this defeated presence about her as the sheriff read the woman her rights and stuffed her into the squad car.
“Want me to send for an ambulance?” The sheriff asked Juice, and he shook his head no.
“You sure. That’s pretty gnarly.”
“I’ll take him.” Riona offered.
Jax would have his wife’s neck if she stayed behind when she was given specific orders not to do so. It wasn’t just about her safety, but their son’s and she understood Jax’s reasoning.
“Hm…” The sheriff hummed in mere amusement.
The sheriff had her deputies watch after the woman as she followed Riona into the office. The prospects stayed with the husband and he went on to explain how his wife was on meds and hadn’t been taking them.
“Hey there!” Sheriff Cole warmly greeted while Riona washed Juice’s blood off her hands.
Abel lifted his eyes but had tears in them. Riona was quick to scoop him up and wiped them away.
“Why that lady so mean to you, mommy?!”
“I think she’s sick love. But they’re takin’ care of it now.”
“Sick?” Abel questioned in confusion.
“Why don’t you play your zombie game?” His mother suggested.
“Okays,” Abel said as Riona seated him down at her desk.
“Thank you, Rat.” The prospect looked over from the couch and took the hint as Riona gestured towards the office door.
The sheriff took Riona’s statement, and Riona went on to press charges on Teller-Telford’s behalf.
“Do you need me to come in?”
“I think we got it all covered. I’ll take Mr. Ortiz’s statement at the hospital. We’ll need pictures of the car and his face.”
“Alright. Guess we’ll see you in a few.”
Riona nodded, and the sheriff handed Abel a sucker and a sticker like she did the last time.
“Thank you,” Abel said.
“You’re very welcome.”
“So how many zombies have you killed so far?” The sheriff asked.
“I kills ummm…” Abel looked to the screen where his score was.
“Thirty-three!” Abel announced.
“Good job! Keep those things off the streets! I hate zombies!”
Abel giggled in response, and the sheriff smiled his direction. The sheriff exited the office, and Mrs. Whitman’s husband asked if he could follow her to the station.
“Pack up, Abel. We’re goin’ with Juice to the sheriff’s station.”
“Where do you need me?” Ethan heard, and he turned towards the pretty voice.
She was tying an apron around her waist. Ethan narrowed his eyes looking somewhat lost.
“AC said to ask you where you needed me…” The blonde said, and Ethan glanced AC’s direction.
AC was too busy mixing drinks to even notice.
“I’m sorry but who are you?” Ethan questioned.
“I’m Sam. AC hired me yesterday…?”
“Right…” Ethan cleared his throat as he found it hard to focus.
“Guess you can start with taking everyone’s order and bringing them to the bar.” He said while gesturing towards the tables.
“Gotcha!” She said then headed towards the nearest table.
Ethan tilted his head as he was checking her out.
“Damn…” He muttered under his breath but was somewhat embarrassed when he looked over and saw his sister smiling his direction.
She finished her song, and Ethan let out a miserable laugh as he got back to work. Aislinn drank some water then wiped the sweat from her forehead and neck before addressing the audience.
“So… how was that?” She nervously questioned, and everyone went wild.
Aislinn laughed as they cheered her on.
“Should I even bother with an introduction or get to another song?” She teased, and everyone laughed.
AC made his way over then snatched the mic from her hold.
“I got this one.” He said, and Aislinn raised her brows in mere amusement.
“Everyone please welcome our very own Piper Shay!”
Ethan chuckled at his sister’s reaction but knew AC’s reason for taking that route as well. Chibs made it clear they couldn’t use her name, not until she was carrying his and had her papers filled out. Ethan thought it rather ingenious. He nodded his sister’s direction, hoping she’d understand AC’s reasoning. Aislinn nodded in return but seemed blown away by everyone’s response. There was hooting, hollering, clapping, and whistling. One table, in particular, was begging for more. Ethan glanced that direction seeing as how most of them were about his sister’s age. One of the guys even had on a Metallica shirt, and one of the girls had on a Black Sabbath one. Ethan laughed amongst himself as a group of bikers entered the bar as well. They weren’t SAMCRO affiliated but were passing through town.
AC finished his introduction then went back to tending the bar.
“You’re late!” AC hollered as someone approached the bar and they too were putting an apron on.
“Yeah, yeah.” The young woman said before pecking Ethan and AC on the cheek.
“Could’ve used you an hour ago!” AC said as she got to work.
“Does that mean you don’t need me now?” The woman teased with a playful yet flirtatious wink Ethan’s direction.
AC rolled his eyes taking notice.
“Off limits!” AC harshly snapped.
“Why? Did you claim him already, brother?”
“Ha! You’re a fucking riot!”
“Who hired bleach Barbie?”
“I did!” AC called as his sister was glancing the new girl’s direction.
“She’s slow as fuck.”
“Yeah well, she showed up on time, and it’s her first day!”
“Well whoopdefuckindoo!” She said, and Ethan laughed as he was serving one of the customers.
“You might wanna take it down a notch before he fires you again Leia.”
“But that’s what I have you for!”
Ethan sent her an odd glance.
“You can hire me back!”
“You know it!” Ethan said with a chuckle, and AC rolled his eyes.
“Is muscles over there going to be here every day from now on?!” Leia said while pointing Happy’s direction.
Ethan glanced that way and sighed.
“Shouldn’t be much longer.”
“Did you lose a bet or something?” Leia teased, and Ethan laughed.
“Something like that.”
“So, why is he here every time you are? You two an item or something?”
“Just asking…” She said with a grin and Ethan sighed.
“You got me. I’m batting for the other team now. I can’t go anywhere without my boo!”
Leia reached over and grabbed one of the shot glasses.
“He’s a lucky man.” She said.
Ethan laughed, but didn’t take notice of the sincerity behind her words. AC however did. Leia grumbled under her breath as her brother sent her a disapproving glance.
“Get to work,” AC whispered.
Leia scampered off and was making up for whatever mistakes the new girl made.
“Think I’m in love,” Leia said as Ethan’s sister was shredding that guitar of hers and singing I’m So Sick by Flyleaf.
“Really?!” The new girl hollered over the crowd.
“Meh. She screams too much.” Sam said with a shrug and Leia reared back on this.
“Yeah, it’s kind of annoying.”
Leia looked to the new girl like she’d lost her mind.
“Please don’t tell her I said that. She doesn’t suck. Just not my cup of tea.”
“Well, what is your cup of tea?”
Sam nodded towards Aislinn’s brother and smiled.
“I meant music but yeah… I wouldn’t kick him out of bed either.”
“Right?! As to your question I’m more of a Brittany and Spice Girls kind of girl.”
Leia wrinkled her nose in disgust.
“That’s gross. Don’t ever say those names in this bar again.”
Sam laughed, and Leia cut her a serious glance.
“Laugh all you want. But we don’t allow that shit in here. You’re lucky you were even hired. Sounds like you belong at the sports bar!”
Sam shrugged, and Leia sighed as she got another order wrong.
“Why don’t you quit eye fucking my boss and focus!”
“Thought AC was the boss.”
“AC’s my brother. He and Ethan run this place. So we answer to both of them.”
“Oh… I like that. Working under the boss man…”
Leia didn’t comment. She was too busy making up for all the orders Sam got wrong. Aislinn took a break after an hour of playing. She headed to the bar and Ethan was quick to hand her a bottle of water. She downed it, and Ethan laughed as he went to give her another.
“Nah, somethin’ a wee bit heavy this time.” She said, and Ethan nodded as he gathered those shots.
Leia inched her way over and handed Aislinn a beer.
“Mind if I sneak in a request?” She whispered and was having a fangirl moment.
“Seriously?!” Leia practically squealed.
“Why not,” Aislinn said with a shrug.
“Hell Is for Children. It’s a fav of mine and with your voice… It’d be killer!”
“You got it.”
“Oh man… I fucking love you.”
“Are we making requests now?” Sam questioned as she picked up on the last bit of this.
Aislinn lifted her eyes as she downed a shot.
“Would you mind playing Toxic or With You?”
“What?” Aislinn questioned looking downright lost.
“You know… Toxic by Brit…”
Aislinn laughed and stopped Sam before she could even finish that sentence.
“Sorry love. I don’t do pop, and don’t mention what’s her face around me again.”
Leia laughed at Sam’s rejected face.
“Damn… She shot you the fuck down!” Leia said as Aislinn made her way back on stage.
“Yeah man… She’s kind of a bitch.”
Leia reared back on this.
“Bitch?! How so?!”
“Well, she didn’t have to be so rude about it.”
“Rude?! Um no. She apologized but was to the point. She’s tired and has a long night ahead of her. She isn’t about to take requests that aren’t in her…” Leia trailed off as Sam handed another patron another wrong order.
“That is NOT a Pina Colada!” Leia reached over and put the right drink down instead.
She apologized to the customer.
“Didn’t you put two years of bar experience on your application?!”
“Like they really look into that stuff…” Sam scoffed.
“You mean to tell me that you lied on your application and my brother hired someone he thought had experience?”
“I needed the job…” Sam whispered, and Leia sighed.
“That’s not how you go about it. We’re slammed tonight, and I’m having to work twice as hard just to keep up with your fuckups!”
“I’m sorry. Please don’t say anything. I’m a fast learner. I’ll get it down!”
Leia was quick to shush her as Aislinn went on to play her request.
“WOOOOOO!” Leia hollered out once Aislinn hit the chorus.
“Look, I won’t say anything. I’ll train you myself. But don’t you EVER lie to my brother again. You would’ve fucked up his entire night if I wasn’t here. He’s counting on us!”
“I understand. I’m sorry. Thank you for giving me another chance. I won’t let you down.”
“I didn’t do it for you.” Leia made clear as Ethan was gawking at Sam.
Sam smiled then sent a flirtatious wave his direction. Leia cleared her throat and went on to hand Aislinn another beer.
“That was brutal!” She said, and Aislinn smiled as she took that beer to the label.
“I forgot how much I loved that song. So thank you.” Aislinn said, and Leia smiled in response but was quick to howl out as Aislinn went on to play Papa Roach’s Love Me Till It Hurts.
Aislinn was downing a beer and getting ready to sing her last song of the night when she received a video from Chibs. She narrowed her eyes seeing as how it was her. She looked around the bar wondering who recorded that. This was followed by a text message.
Why you gotta be sexy like that when I’m miles away!
Aislinn blushed in response but pinpointed the culprit. Happy gave a simple wave, and Aislinn shook her head but with a smile. The Son recorded every song she played and was sending them Chibs’s way.
Happy knew Chibs hated missing out on her first night like this.
(Happy to Chibs)
Your old lady is tearin’ it up tonight! Happy sent along with that last video.
I knew she would. Thank you Hap.
(Chibs to Aislinn)
Too popular to respond to your man now?
Sorry, Scotty, I’m knee-deep in groupies right now. I’ll get back to you later… Aislinn taunted in response.
Watch it, lass. About to earn yourself an ass-whoopin’.
Fuck darlin’. You keep that up, and I’ll have to rush back home. Love you. Keep on rocking.
Aye, love you too.
The crowd let out disappointed groans when Aislinn announced she was doing one more song.
“I’ll be back.” She reminded, and they cheered in response.
Aislinn couldn’t believe how packed the bar was. People had to stand it was so crowded. Ethan, Leia, AC, and Sam were slammed with customers. Aislinn nodded amongst herself then went on to sing Sweet Things by The Pretty Reckless.
Aislinn spotted Happy recording her once again and decided to blow a kiss that direction knowing this was being sent to Chibs. She figured Chibs would get a kick out of that. What she didn’t know was these were being sent to her sister as well. Riona asked Happy to do this but discreetly. She wanted to see how her sister did but didn’t want to rain on her parade by showing up. This needed to be Aislinn’s night and Aislinn’s night alone.
Aislinn thanked everyone before calling it a night and heading off stage. She was in the dressing room and chilling out when Leia entered the room. Leia smiled then handed her a wad of cash. Aislinn sat up and counted it out. She reared back seeing as how it was double what she was supposed to get.
“We haven’t had business like that in a very long time.”
“This is four hundred dollars!”
“That it is and you earned every dime.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t catch your name…”
“Leia. I’m AC’s well-behaved little sister!”
“You look like him.”
“Yeah… That’s something I have to deal with.”
“Sounds dreadful.” Aislinn teased, and Leia laughed.
“You’ll have to forgive me. I’m a little star struck. My brother said you were good, but I wasn’t expecting to feel like I was at an actual concert.”
“I gotta admit that feels a wee bit strange.”
“Oh my God. You’re Irish!!!! I hadn’t a clue your accent doesn’t translate into your music.”
“It usually doesn’t.”
“Oh, I didn’t mean to offend!”
“Ya didn’t, love.”
“Whew… So you have an American brother…” Leia said in thought.
“Long story,” Aislinn said, and Leia smiled.
“Hope to hear it one day.”
“I’m sure ya will.”
“Can I get you anything? Beer, whiskey, water? Male strippers?! Female strippers?!”
“I’m good. Thank you.”
“Cool. Let me know if you change your mind.” Leia said before exiting the dressing room.
“How was dinner?” Alvarez questioned in greeting before shaking Jax’s hand.
“It was good. Thank you for allowing us on your territory.”
Alvarez gave a mere nod then signaled for his men to stay with Jax’s while he and Jax went on a little stroll.
“It’s been awhile,” Alvarez said as they walked downtown.
“So what brings you to Oakland, Teller?”
“I need a favor.”
Alvarez chuckled in response.
“Of course you do.”
“Look, just hear me out, and I’ll make your time worth your while.”
“Even if I don’t agree to whatever this is?”
“Even if you don’t agree,” Jax vowed, and Alvarez nodded in thought.
Jax followed the Mayan president into a local thrift shop. Alvarez made a simple gesture, and everyone cleared the room. The Mayan president locked up behind them and had Jax take a seat at one of the tables.
“Don’t have to ask…” Jax hinted as to who ran the place and Alvarez smiled.
“Better than the garage you and your boys have going. No one questions Christian contribution.”
“I’m guessin’ not,” Jax uttered in thought.
“How’s that going by the way?”
“Pretty good actually. Business is booming.”
Alvarez seemed truly surprised by this.
“Took you a few years.”
“It did, but my wife managed to…”
“Wife?!” Alvarez interrupted then regarded the wedding band on Jax’s finger.
“That’s right. I’m a married man!”
“Congratulations.” The Mayan president sincerely put.
“I gotta admit I hadn’t a clue you were seeing anyone. Hell, you were in Stockton last I heard.”
“Yeah… long story.”
“I can imagine. So where’s Clay?”
“Another long story…”
“Hmm… I don’t particularly care about your old lady and how that came about. That’s none of my business. But I’d like to know what happened to Clay…”
“You sure about that?”
“You need my help… and let’s be honest. You and I have history… I don’t trust you, and I know the feeling is mutual.”
“You’d be correct,” Jax uttered with a cocky grin, and Alvarez chuckled.
The Mayan president leaned back in thought.
“I’m gonna need to know a little more about what’s going on with you and your boys before I even consider doing you a favor. I want to know the truth behind Clay Morrow and why he’s missing. I want to know why me and my boys were questioned as to his disappearance.”
“What?” Jax said as he was caught off-guard by this.
SAMCRO had been questioned, sure. That was to be expected but why were the Mayans brought into this? Alvarez nodded then went on to tell Jax about an FBI agent questioning them on Clay Morrow’s sudden disappearance.
“FBI?!” Jax questioned in shock.
“I don’t know man. We haven’t dealt with any agents. Just the guys in blue.”
“Do I have your word on that?”
Alvarez nodded but didn’t look convinced.
“Look man; I’m telling you the truth. What was the agent’s name?”
“Potter…” Jax murmured in thought.
“No. What the fuck?”
Alvarez went on to tell Jax about this agent and how he came to his home, not even a month ago. This agent interrogated Marcus and his wife and scared his children. He left Alvarez’s place and went on to question his VP next at his home as well.
“Something about that isn’t right…”
“It’s ironic because I was plannin’ on paying you a visit myself, about that…”
“I can imagine.” Jax uttered looking ill.
“We better be good homes,” Alvarez warned.
“We are. Whatever that was… Hadn’t anything to do with us. I can promise you that.”
“Then what was it?”
“I wish I knew.”
Jax let out a hesitant sigh knowing he had no choice but to come clean now. If he was going to earn Alvarez’s trust and get this deal going, Alvarez had to know the truth. Jax told him about his son’s kidnapping and Clay’s betrayal.
“So you and your VP were set up…”
“Damn… That’s pretty low. Your stepfather and best friend…”
“Tell me about it.”
“You seem different…” Alvarez softly uttered, and Jax raised his brows on this.
“That doesn’t mean I trust you. But there’s something… Guess we’ll see. So what do you need from me?”
Jax told him about the Aryan Brotherhood and about the hit they put on his wife’s brother. This, of course, led back to Opie once again.
“Sounds like you should’ve tossed him overboard as well.”
“That’s no lie.”
“I get your situation and can respect it. But what’s this have to do with my MC and Mayan territory? You haven’t exactly said what you needed yet.”
Jax dove into the situation a little more, and Alvarez frowned.
“Are you sayin’ you led them this way?”
Jax let out a frustrated sigh.
“I’m not sure yet. But I’m hoping I did.”
Alvarez let out a menacing chuckle.
“Just hear me out…”
“Not so sure I want to. We don’t want any Aryans in Oakland, much less Mayan territory period.”
“I don’t have a choice.”
“I’m sure you do.”
“No. I don’t. I need you and Indian Hills to spread the word.”
“And what word would that be?”
“That we’re running their drugs.”
“Ohhh, now that sounds like a war we Mayans don’t want any part of!”
“There won’t be a war. I got a plan… All I need is for word to get around Oakland and Reno. We got it from there.”
“That’s still ours!”
“Not after we cross the border that’s Indian Hills, but that’s why I’m here. The Aryans will come snooping around and when they do… I need you to rat.”
Alvarez had a good laugh at this.
“Now those are words I’ll never hear again, and I can’t believe that came out of your mouth.”
“Me either… but it’s what I need. I need them to know where we are and what we’re doing.”
“You ready for that kind of heat?”
“No,” Jax admitted.
“But like I said… I have a plan.”
“You really think they’ll come to us?”
“Not necessarily. But we both know how the grapevine can work, and that’s all we need.”
“And what if word of this gets to the wrong people… Say the authorities instead?”
“I’ll worry on that.”
“Doesn’t sound very wise.”
“True. But it’s all I got.” Jax wasn’t about to reveal the truth behind Sheriff Cole’s involvement.
There was such thing as too much information, and this was an MC the Sons had conflicts with in the past. Hence the reason behind not only Jax’s hesitance but Alvarez’s as well. They were on mutual ground when it came to their doubts. But they shared the same resentment when it came to the Aryans and Alvarez could sympathize when it came to betrayal, like that of Clay’s. He too had been done dirty in the past.
“Alright, but I want some of your loot in exchange.”
“Marcus, we need everything we have for this to work.”
“Not my problem. That’s the deal. You said you’d make it worth my while, remember?”
“That’d be some good bread.”
“I’m sure it would be!”
“How are you packing?”
Jax drew back an uneasy breath.
“And there’s five of you?”
“Yeah, but we got eight.”
“Hm…” The Mayan president hummed in mere amusement.
“We’ll take those three off your hands then.”
“No deal man. We need those.”
“Think of it as a favor. Carrying that extra weight could raise suspicion. One bag per bike, that’s all you need.”
Jax thought back to his plan and the arrangement he made with the sheriff. She was expecting all eight. He’d have to call in advance and explain that they’d be short. But he’d have to make up a good reason. He couldn’t involve the Mayans. The sheriff would know they were dealing in drugs then and the Mayans would end up with more than one fed at their door.
“Alright. Just those three, nothing more.”
Alvarez reached out, and shook on it.
“I’ll spread the word after our exchange. But I want you out of Mayan territory by morning.”
“I can’t meet all your demands. We need more time.”
“Right… you’re headed to Reno.”
“And you have no say once we cross that line.”
“Look, I don’t want your little white supremacy brothers in our neighborhood, much less our state!”
“Don’t do that. Don’t make this a racist thing. Those fuckers are NOT my brothers.”
“You sure about that?” Alvarez cruelly hinted.
“I’m not Clay, asshole. And newsflash they’ve been in OUR state. So you gonna help us get them out or not?!”
“You know I want them out. As to being like Clay… I should hope not. Because it will come to blows between us if you prove otherwise.”
“Jesus Christ, what did Clay do while we were in prison?”
“We’ll save that for another day.”
“Okay…” Jax impatiently muttered.
“I need to see how this goes before we dive into all that. You boys were locked away for some time. A lot’s bound to happen. But I will say Trager has some major cojones showing up here. Trust has to be earned. Now, I believe you have your work cut out for you.”
God dammit Tig, what did you do?! Jax thought and was growing iller by the second. This was the last thing he needed. Why didn’t the others warn him about this? No one said a word of the ill blood between Clay and Alvarez.
“This backfires, and I will come knocking on your door, vato.” Jax knew damn well what he meant. Alvarez hadn’t any issue getting his wife and son involved if need be. But Alvarez also knew Jax would return the favor if it ever came to that. So whatever Clay and Tig did must’ve been pretty bad for Alvarez to make that kind of threat. The Mayan president came to a stand, and they headed back.
Chibs was first to shake his head after the Mayans left with their cut of the drugs.
“Now what?” The VP irritably put.
“It was the only way…” The president said.
Chibs let out a miserable laugh and the others were looking to one another in doubt as well.
“We can make this work. I just gotta sort some things out.”
“I imagine.” The Scot murmured.
“Look, we got this alright?”
“And if the Mayans get caught sellin’ that particular stash… Who do ye think they’re gonna track it down ta, huh? Ye know they won’t hold back, not on our account.”
“Well, we better count on that not happening.” Jax rather snipped, and Chibs sighed.
“I hope he’s worth all this.” Chibs bitterly muttered, and Jax regarded his VP in shock.
“Did you seriously just…”
Chibs revved the engine as he started his bike.
“HEY!” Jax furiously hollered.
The Sons looked to one another as Chibs sent Jax a look of hell.
“She’s going to be your wife.” Jax reminded.
“Aye, she is, and I’d like to be there for my own weddin’!”
“Might not be one if she knew what you said.”
Chibs shook his head then took off. Jax sighed in frustration then signaled for the others to follow.
“You wanna tell me what the fuck that was?” Jax questioned once they arrived at the hotel.
Chibs didn’t comment and went on to get a room.
“Goddammit.” Jax bitched under his breath as he and the others went on to get their rooms as well.
Jax waited until Chibs was parked outside his room. The president jumped off the bike then grabbed his VP by the cut. He dragged Chibs off his Harley then shoved him up against the hotel door. The president looked his VP in the eyes.
“Talk to me.”
“I got nothin’ ta say, Jackie. Ye’ve got it all mapped out, and we’re just along for the ride, aye? Remind ye of anyone?!”
“That’s not how it is, and you know it! Don’t you fucking compare me to him!”
“You made that decision without us, just like the man that sat in that chair before ye!”
“I had to! It was a now and then situation!”
“Are ye sure about that?!”
“What the fuck, brother?! And what was that shit you said about Ethan being worth it?”
“It’s just what I said, boy. I ain’t apologizin’ for speakin’ the truth. If I’m runnin’ the risk of goin’ back ta prison, I’d like ta know it was worth it! I think we all do!” He said with a nod towards the others as they were looking on.
“He’s family. That isn’t something we question. You of all people should know better. I want you to picture Aislinn’s face next time you spew some shit like that! Better yet, call her. I dare you. See if she thinks her brother is worth it! He’s in this mess because of us!”
“He’s in this mess because of Winston.” Chibs corrected.
“And before ye go and judge me on what I said… maybe ye should be thinkin’ about yer wife and son. Are ye willin’ to face life again? Are ye willin’ ta be pried away from them, for Ethan’s sake?”
“Fuck you, Filip. Fuck you.”
“Thought so,” Chibs uttered then shoved Jax off him.
He headed into his room and Jax regarded the Sons in thought.
“What the fuck was that?!” He asked, and they shrugged.
They’d never seen Chibs like this. He was never one to question something like this, much less show that much concern about going to prison. Bobby, however, cleared his throat.
“Chibs has lost more than any of us.” The sergeant reminded, and Jax sighed.
“Besides us assholes, that girl is all he’s got, and they’re having trouble conceiving,” Bobby added.
“Guess there’s something that sets Chibs off after all,” Jax uttered, and Bobby and Kip nodded in agreement.
“Better make sure he doesn’t go to prison.” Bobby murmured but with a playful smirk then patted Jax on the back.
“Let him cool off. Hell, you both need a breather.” The sergeant said as it was a rarity for Jax and Chibs to get into it like this.
Jax nodded then stuffed a cigarette into his mouth. The boys were headed to their rooms when Jax took Bobby by the arm and pulled him aside.
“Why didn’t you tell me there was bad blood between Clay and Alvarez?”
Bobby reared back on this.
“You boys had some sort of deal going with the Mayans while Chibs and I were doing time…”
“We passed through their territory once, but nothing really came of it. Clay and Tig met up with them and got their permission ahead of time.”
“Well yeah…” Bobby said, and Jax let out a miserable laugh.
“Well, something happened… Not sure what. But it’s enough to have Alvarez breathing down our necks and up our asses. That’s what I meant by not having a choice. If I didn’t give him those bags he would’ve sent us on our way.”
“Seriously?!” Bobby questioned in surprise.
“Oh yeah. And he mentioned something about some fed by the name of Potter paying them a visit after Clay came up missing…”
“Fed? What would a fed be doing in Mayan territory, asking about Clay?”
“Exactly. Something about that isn’t right.”
“I’ll look into it. See what I can find out.” The sergeant offered.
“Get you some sleep.” Bobby added.
“Alright but after I talk to Tig.”
“Yeah. Alvarez mentioned him by name.”
Jax hugged Bobby then headed for the room Tig was in. He knocked on the door, and Tig answered in his boxers.
“You don’t waste any time. Looking for lotion or…” Jax teased, and Tig wiggled his brows.
“Wouldn’t you like to know…” He said before inviting Jax inside.
Tig shut the door, and Jax sat at the table. The president signaled for Tig to have a seat as well.
“We gotta talk.”
Tig let out a childish groan.
“Come on man… not you too.”
Jax cocked a brow on this.
“Me too?” The president asked while flicking his ashes into an ashtray.
“Well yeah… I’m guessing this is about the sheriff?”
“No. But I am curious about that.”
“Well if this isn’t about that then…”
“I want to know what happened between you, Clay, and Alvarez.”
Tig let out a nervous laugh, and Jax shook his head.
“Jesus fucking Christ, Trager! You could’ve warned me you know. I went into this with no fucking clue. So imagine my surprise when Alvarez brings you and Clay up during our meeting and something about you having some major cojones showing up here. What the fuck is that supposed to mean?! What did you and Clay do?! And why were you meeting with Marcus alone?!”
“I fucked his goddaughter…”
Jax raised his brows on this and Tig sighed.
“Not my finest moment…”
“Come on man, if you had seen her you…”
“Doesn’t matter… When we’re on business… We’re on business. Pussy can wait!”
“Not this pussy.”
Tig went on to explain how he was watching after Alvarez’s goddaughter because the Mayans were dealing with some shady shit downtown. Clay and Alvarez were in a meeting. Alvarez’s goddaughter was under Mayan protection, but Tig offered to look after her while Clay and Alvarez talked business. That business having to do with someone worse than Weston and the Aryans. That man was none other than Ernest Darby. He was a known meth dealer and leader of the white supremacist gang known as the Nordics. They dealt with the Aryans and Weston often, mainly with their meth and heroin dealings and that’s how the Mayans got involved. Clay was making Alvarez a deal he couldn’t refuse. Tig had let it known that Clay and Ernest had a deal going. Clay offered Alvarez a percentage of the drugs they were helping the Nordics run, in exchange for passing through Mayan territory during their runs. This was a deal the others hadn’t a clue about. Clay was going to bring this up once the timing was right. He’d plans of SAMCRO agreeing once they saw how much money they pulled in.
Jax chuckled in thought.
“So we get out of guns and get into drugs and make deals with people we should be burying!” Jax snapped, and Tig recoiled.
“I can’t believe you were a part of this… Are the Nordics going to be a problem as well?”
“No one knows where Ernest is…”
“Yeah, just went missing. That’s why the deal never went through and why it never was brought up. Clay and Alvarez were pissed.”
“I can imagine.”
“God, to think… If Chibs and I were in there just a few more months…”
“I’m sorry Jax.”
“I can’t believe he was talking you boys into another cartel! A drug one at that. Aryans is one thing but the fucking Nordics? Do we really want that kind of reputation? Could you imagine if that got out?!”
Jax pinched the bridge of his nose.
“This thing with the sheriff…”
“It’s not what you or Chibs are thinking.” Tig defended.
“Cut me some slack man. What Chibs saw… hadn’t anything to do with the club. And no offense but you’re not one to talk… We know you and Dinah got some sort of deal going. That’s why we’re here.”
“Dinah?!” Jax murmured with a smirk, and Tig’s eyes widened once he caught his mistake.
“First name basis now, huh?”
“Jax…” Tig groaned, and Jax chuckled.
“Oh man… you and the sheriff?!”
Tig pulled a certain face on this.
“Holy shit. You’re shooting the sheriff!” Jax exclaimed, and Tig was quick to reach over and cover his president’s mouth.
“This stays between us.”
Jax moved Tig’s hand and laughed.
“I’m serious.” Tig damn near pleaded.
“Since when are you secretive about who you’re fucking?”
“Come on Jax… You know I can’t talk about that shit.”
“Whoa… are you fucking or…”
The look on Tig’s face said it all.
“Damn… for real?”
“Yeah brother… I’m crazy about her. She’s the Jimmy to my John Wick!”
Jax laughed but thought back to all the pussy Tig turned down and to his odd behavior.
“Well shit… How long has this been going on?”
“Month or so… maybe longer.”
“I can’t believe you’re in bed with the sheriff… literally speaking that is.”
“This has to stay between us.” Tig reiterated with that anxious vibe again.
This was a side of Tig Jax had never seen before.
“Alright. But… if this relationship starts to leak into MC business…”
“It won’t,” Tig vowed.
“It better not. We can’t have her in our business. So JT’s rule doesn’t apply here. I’m sorry, brother. But she can’t know everything, and I highly doubt she tells you everything.”
“That’s been discussed…”
“Alright. I’m putting my trust in you. Don’t let me down.”
“Secret’s safe… for now. But if it poses a threat to the club…”
“I know.” Tig made clear, and Jax nodded.
“You might consider letting Chibs in on this, at least.”
Tig frowned in thought.
“He should know… otherwise, you’ll keep him wondering.”
“Goodnight, brother,” Jax said as he came to his feet and kissed Tig’s forehead.
“Night,” Tig uttered as his president left the room.
“Does it hurt?” Abel asked as he and Riona observed while Juice was getting his stitches.
“Nah…” Juice said but flinched when the doctor drove the needle through.
“Juice is strong. Just like daddy!” The boy complimented.
“He sure is!” Riona said with a wink Juice’s direction.
Juice chuckled, and the doctor scolded him.
“Sorry.” Riona mouthed and Juice shrugged.
Riona kept Abel quiet until the doctor was finished.
“How many?” Juice questioned.
“Seventeen.” The doctor said, and Riona grimaced.
“Think Chibs, and I will be mistaken for twins now?!” Juice teased after looking into a mirror.
“We’ll have to cut the other side too I’m afraid.”
“I strongly advice against that.” The doctor said but with a grin.
“Your nurse will be with you shortly with your discharge papers and instructions.”
“Thank you,” Juice said, and the doctor nodded before exiting the room.
“At least that went smoothly…” Juice hinted as to the stitches and the statements the sheriff took.
“Amen for that!” Riona said.
“Sorry, you had to tag along…” Juice uttered.
“Pffft, you’re good. Besides, I should be thankin’ ya!”
“Thanking me? For?!”
“You’s no let mommy get hurt!” Abel said then climbed down from his mother’s lap.
He crawled into Juice’s and was looking at the stitches.
“He’s right,” Riona confirmed, and Juice was taken aback as Abel hugged him.
“Well, I think it’s safe to say your father would have my head if anything happened to either of you.”
Riona nodded in understanding.
“Not that I wouldn’t have if…”
“Relax love… I’d be scared of Jackson too!” She teased, and Juice laughed.
“Daddy no scary!”
“Aye, we’re pokin’ a wee bit of fun love.”
“…yeah…” Juice mockingly whispered, and Riona giggled.
The nurse knocked on the door and gave Juice his discharge instructions and prescription.
“You ready?” He asked once the nurse left the room.
“Aye, but I’m drivin’.” Riona made clear.
Aislinn exited the dressing room, and Happy waved her over. She sat beside him, and Happy handed her a lit cigarette. The two smoked in silence and watched as AC and Ethan were closing up for the night. Leia and Sam were wiping the tables down and placing the chairs on top.
“You ready?” Ethan asked once he wrapped everything up.
Happy nodded and came to a stand. The Son and Aislinn were dead on their feet. Aislinn followed them out to the van but was stopped by a man standing outside the bar.
“You’re good.” He said, and this had Ethan and Happy’s attention as they spun around in guard dog mode.
“Thank you…” Aislinn said but kept her distance as the man flicked his cigarette bud onto the ground.
“Real good… Too good for a place like this.” The man handed a business card over.
Aislinn laughed once she saw this was the owner to the sports bar AC was bitching about.
“That desperate, huh?” Aislinn muttered, and the man raised his brows on this.
“Corky’s… You’re the one stealin’ all his business.”
“Can we call it stealing when they’re willing?” The owner witted, and Aislinn shook her head.
She ripped the business card in half then handed it back.
“I don’t take kindly to men like ya. I’ve been here one night, and ya’ve gone and propositioned me! You’re a sad man. Find your own customers.”
Aislinn went to walk away, and the man chuckled in mere amusement.
“I’ll double whatever he’s paying you!”
Happy and Ethan got protective holds on Aislinn and were escorting her to the van.
“TRIPLE!” The man hollered but was caught off-guard when someone grabbed him then slammed him up against the door of the bar.
“AC!” Leia shouted as she and Sam looked on.
Ethan, Happy, and Aislinn observed from the van.
“You got some nerve…” AC said, and the owner raised his hands in the air.
“Can’t handle a little friendly competition?”
“Oh, I can handle it. Over half your customers were at my bar tonight. I’ll have that doubled by the end of the month. You want a war. You got one Darren. I’ll make sure you go out of business!”
The man laughed but glanced Aislinn’s direction.
“Word is you got a sister… Looks and puts on a better show.”
Ethan sneered at this and Aislinn laughed.
“Aye, I do, and she does. And she’ll chew ya up and spit ya out if ya even think about it…”
“Hm.” Darren hummed.
Leia placed her hand along her brother’s shoulder.
“He isn’t worth it…” She softly put, and AC let out a low growl.
“AC… please. That’s what he wants.” Leia pleaded.
AC dropped his hold, and Darren adjusted the collar to his shirt.
“It was lovely to meet you, Miss. Piper Shay.”
“Can’t say the same.”
They watched as the owner to Corky’s got into his red Porsche and left.
“I’m sorry,” AC said with a nod Aislinn’s direction.
“Ya’ve nothin’ to be sorry for. I can see why ya hate the snaky bastard.”
“We have history…” AC admitted.
“I can see that.” She said as Ethan opened the van door and had her step inside.
“Hold on…” Sam called as Ethan was about to join his sister.
Happy started the van and was getting it warmed up as it was cold out. Sam headed over.
“I was hoping you’d ask me out tonight…” She said, and Ethan raised his brows on this.
Leia laughed amongst herself then pecked AC on the cheek.
“I’ll see you tomorrow.” She said before climbing onto her Indian Motorcycle and hitting the road.
AC shook his head knowing his sister had it bad. But he didn’t like the idea of her dating anyone SAMCRO related, a prospect especially.
Ethan was caught flat-footed.
“Ask you out?” He muttered, and he could hear his sister giggling from inside the van.
Ethan cleared his throat.
“Okay, so you wanna go out sometime?”
“I’d love to!” The young woman squealed.
Sam handed Ethan her phone number then kissed him on the lips. Ethan gave a simple nod as he looked to the number. Sam laughed then headed to her car. Ethan rubbed the back of his neck as AC gave him a thumbs up before locking everything up.
“Way to go!” Aislinn congradulated once her brother entered the van.
“Though I gotta admit I was hoping ya’d ask Leia out.”
“Leia?” Ethan questioned, and Aislinn shrugged.
“I think she’s got a glad-eye.”
“Aye, she’s crushin’ on ya Ethan!”
“Leia?!” Ethan said in disbelief, and Aislinn laughed.
“Ya really are clueless.”
“She’s out,” Ethan remarked as Aislinn had fallen asleep on the couch.
“Aye, it’s been a while for her. She’ll probably sleep till morn.”
Ethan scooped his youngest sister up then carried her into the bedroom. He took her shoes off then got her tucked away. He went to exit the room when Aislinn took him by the hand.
“Say it…” She tiredly murmured, and Ethan smiled.
“I got you.”
Aislinn gave a simple nod then closed her eyes.
“…always…” Ethan whispered on the way out.
“Happy says I sleeping with you,” Abel said as he greeted Ethan in the hallway.
“We’s gonna have fun!”
“You know it.”
Ethan took the boy by the hand then led him into the room where they would be sleeping.
“Mommy says I have to shower and get my pj’s on first.”
Ethan nodded then pointed toward the connecting bathroom. Abel took his bag and dragon with him. Ethan set his wallet and keys down on the nightstand.
“I no know how to work the shower! It too cold!”
Ethan chuckled amongst himself then headed into the bathroom. He adjusted the temp to Abel’s pleasing and showed him where the shampoo and soap was. He grabbed a couple of towels and laid them out as well. Abel stepped into the shower and Ethan could hear the boy singing to himself. This had him thinking back to his son Liam. He used to sing in the bath and shower all the time.
Ethan kicked back on the bed and waited for Abel to be done with his shower.
“He drivin’ ya crazy?” He heard and lifted his eyes to see Riona peeking into the room.
“Nah, he’s a good little guy.”
“He really is.” She said then entered the room and joined him on the bed.
“She did great. Didn’t she?”
Ethan narrowed his eyes in question.
“Happy sent me the videos from tonight…” Riona hinted, and Ethan smiled.
“She nailed it. Seemed happy too.” Ethan agreed.
“Aye, she’s happiest on that stage. Well, until the Scot came around. I think he might have that beat!”
“I think so too,” Ethan admitted with a frown.
“Ah, he’s not so bad,” Riona said with a nudge and Ethan shrugged.
“Ya sure, you’re alright with Abel bunkin’ with ya?”
“Why wouldn’t I be?”
“Just makin’ sure. We can always make him a pallet in the bedroom with us if he gets to be too much.”
“He’ll be fine.”
They heard Abel turn the shower off and it wasn’t long before he was brushing his teeth.
“Guess I’ll leave ya two to it.”
“Yeah, get the fuck out of here. This is a no girls zone! We don’t want your cooties!” Ethan teased, and Riona laughed before heading on out of the room.
(Thank you 4padfoot for the awesome banner!)