Chapter 40 – Watchtower (day two)
“Hey…” Ethan softly muttered as he kicked at his sister’s shoe.
Aislinn blinked a couple of times, and Ethan nodded. The man was hunkered down to her level. He reached out then brushed his sister’s hair away from her eyes.
“Did you sleep here all fucking night?!”
The young woman yawned. Ethan grabbed her journal then helped Aislinn to her feet.
“What?” Ethan questioned as she was looking around the beach in a panic.
“What about it?”
“It’s gone!” She cried.
“You’re kidding… You brought your guitar out here?!”
Aislinn held a hand over the area of her heart and continued in her search.
“FUCK!” Ethan exclaimed as his sister was on the verge of a panic attack.
“Are you sure you brought it with you?” He asked but in a softer tone.
They were pretty high last night, and he was hoping she was mistaken.
“Aye, I had it, right here!” Aislinn looked to her left hand is it felt rather “off”.
“NOOOO!” The young woman shrieked, and Ethan rushed on over.
“MY RING!” She showed her brother her naked finger.
The prospect recoiled but was quick to grab ahold of her as she was going into hysterics.
“Shhh… We’ll find the ring and the guitar, alright?” He soothingly whispered.
“And what if we don’t?! Scotty will never forgive me! He put a lot of thought into that ring and guitar! I can’t believe I did this! I’m the worst fiancée ever!”
“Yeah, I somehow doubt that. I think he’d forgive you for anything you did!” Ethan said trying his hardest to put that mind of hers at ease, but nothing he said worked.
The young woman was beside herself. She pried out of her brother’s hold and went back to searching. Ethan sighed and went to find a security guard. Ethan got the word spread around and had a picture of the guitar on his phone. He didn’t have one of the ring but did his best to describe it. He figured it shouldn’t be too hard to find considering how unique it was. It wasn’t every day a woman was given a ring made of white gold guitar strings. Aislinn was crying so hard she was gagging.
“Jesus…” Ethan said as he couldn’t believe how hard his sister was taking this.
“I have to find them, Ethan! I can’t face Scotty without my ring or guitar! I just can’t!”
“Aislinn hun, I think he’d understand. He can get you a new…” Ethan trailed off as his sister dropped to her knees and covered her face with her hands.
Ethan heard then lifted his head that direction. He nodded Riona and Happy’s direction as they were making their way over.
“What on earth?!” Riona asked once she realized her sister was crying.
Happy narrowed his eyes and nodded Ethan’s direction in question.
“Someone pinched her ring and guitar…”
“NO!” Riona said behind a gasp of her own.
“I told her Filip would understand…” Ethan murmured with a shrug.
Riona went on to console her sister knowing she’d be just as devastated if someone had taken her ring. Ethan didn’t get it. That ring was a token of Chibs’s love and devotion. Aislinn didn’t want a new ring or guitar. She wanted the ones Chibs put so much thought into. The ones he proposed with. Riona understood that more than anyone because it’s how she felt when it came to Jax.
“We’ll find them,” Riona reassured then led Aislinn back to the tent.
The boys stayed put and went on to question everyone around the beach.
“Linny love, you’re makin’ yourself sick,” Riona said as her sister continued sobbing.
“I can’t believe I lost them! I’m the worst Riona. Honestly!”
Riona glanced over as her sister’s cellphone sounded. Aislinn regarded the phone in absolute horror as it was Chibs.
“DON’T ANSWER IT!” Aislinn snapped.
“Linny, he’s goin’ to think somethin’s wrong if ya go and ignore his calls!”
“I’ll call him AFTER I find the ring and guitar!”
“Linny…” Riona uttered in hesitance.
Aislinn grabbed the phone then tossed it across the tent.
“Oh, Mary… What are ya doin’ love?!”
“I mean it, Riona. No one answers that fuckin’ phone!” Aislinn said before storming out of the tent.
Riona pinched the bridge of her nose as her sister’s phone rang yet again. It took all will not to answer it. But she respected her sister’s wishes and left it be.
The four of them spent a total of three hours asking and looking around the entire area of the Watchtower Festival. They asked a few of the security guards if they’d seen anyone leave the festival with anything by that description, but the guards said they hadn’t seen anything. That gave Riona a bit of hope that whoever took it hadn’t left the festival yet. That meant there was still a chance in finding the ring and guitar.
“We got twenty until the festival starts.” Riona reminded, and Aislinn winced.
“You all go on… Imma keep lookin’.”
“Linny love, you’ll miss everythin’ if ya…”
“I don’t care. I just want my ring and guitar back.” Aislinn sadly uttered and her sister nodded in understanding.
“Then I’ll help.”
“No, it’s Imagine Dragon day. I won’t have ya missin’ out!”
Aislinn nodded towards the boys.
“Take her to the festival. I’ll call ya.”
“But ya left your phone at the tent!” Riona exclaimed.
“I’ll go and fetch it in a wee bit. Just go!”
The boys dragged Riona away. Aislinn went back to searching every nook and cranny of the festival and questioned everyone along the way.
“This isn’t right. We should’ve stayed with Linny!” Riona said once the boys had her seated.
“You know she would’ve thrown a fit until she got her way.” Ethan retorted, and Happy nodded in full agreement.
Ethan ran a soothing hand along her back as Riona looked to be on the verge of tears herself. That twenty minutes seemed to fly, and Riona recoiled as the first one out was Halestorm. She knew her sister would be downright pissed. Lzzy sang Amen and was about to sing another song when someone walked onto the stage and stopped her. Lzzy gathered this rather angry countenance and nodded amongst what looked to be one of the road crew. The man left the stage, and Lzzy waved the rest of her band over. They were in mid-conversation when they too share the same livid expression.
“So disappointing…” Lzzy murmured into the mic.
She looked out to the crowd.
“And out of this group… That makes it even sadder.”
Riona regarded Ethan and Happy in wonder, and they too had the same confused demeanor.
“There are a lot of things I can tolerate, forgive even. But thievery and here at the Watchtower Festival?! Come the fuck on guys!”
Riona let out a surprised yelp as Brent Smith from Shinedown walked onto the stage and with Aislinn’s guitar in hand. Ethan let out a laugh of relief, and Happy smiled.
“Is there an Aislinn Telford in the crowd?” Lzzy hollered into the mic.
Riona looked around and prayed to God her sister could hear this. Lzzy called to Aislinn once again, and still, there was no response. Riona shot to her feet then waved her hands about in a frantic manner.
“No, I’m her sister. Linny’s lookin’ for that ring and guitar at this very moment!”
Lzzy smiled then waved Riona onto the stage.
“Hmm, and how would I know if you’re really her sister?” Lzzy rather challenged.
Riona showed Lzzy her tattoo and Lzzy raised her brows on this.
“Now that’s some sisterly love.”
Brent looked over and nodded in agreement.
“Should we try calling her again?” Lzzy asked, and Riona blushed in thought.
“That just might do her in…” Riona uttered.
“She’s a diehard fan, has been for years!”
“Even better!” Lzzy said with a smile.
“AISLINN TELFORD! GET YOUR ASS TO THE STAGE!”
Lzzy held the mic out towards the crowd and had them calling her name as well.
Aislinn looked to her phone and saw that she had three missed calls from Chibs. She shook her head then pocketed the phone. She locked the tent up behind her and was headed towards the vending area when she heard the chanting from the festival. The young woman couldn’t make it out from where she was. So Aislinn thought nothing of it until she was by one of the vendors. The young woman’s jaw dropped, and her heart skipped a beat when she heard Aislinn Telford over and over. Aislinn took off that direction and pushed her way through the crowd.
“RIONA?!” She shouted once she saw her sister on stage and standing between Brent and Lzzy.
Brent had the guitar in hand still and smiled once he spotted Aislinn. He handed Riona the guitar and helped Aislinn onto the stage.
“Lose something?” He asked, and Aislinn hugged the living hell out of him.
“Oh, thank God.” She exclaimed with a sigh of relief.
The man chuckled once Aislinn realized the hold she had on him. She was quick to drop her hands and blushed. Aislinn snatched the guitar out of her sister’s hand and was checking it over.
She hugged that guitar and had her eyes closed as she did.
“Better now?” The young woman heard then opened her eyes.
She craned her neck Lzzy’s direction and gave a wide-eyed nod.
“Wish I could’ve found my ring though. My fiancée had that made for me when he had this guitar done.” Aislinn sadly murmured.
“Ring, huh?” Lzzy softly questioned.
“Aye,” Aislinn replied but the way she said this had the entire crowd awing on Aislinn’s behalf.
“Linny…” Riona called but with another gasp.
Brad Steward from Shinedown and Dan Reynolds from Imagine Dragons walked onto the stage, but they had a man in their grasp as they did.
“Give the fucking ring back,” Brent demanded, and Lzzy menacingly tilted her head.
The somewhat lanky man sneered at this and Lzzy took everyone by surprise when she grabbed the man by the balls.
“Oh, I see… You needed something that would fit!” Lzzy cruelly hinted.
“Give my girl her ring back.” She added with a sneer of her own.
Aislinn gathered this goofy grin, and Riona died of laughter. The man dug into his pocket then handed the ring back. Aislinn thoroughly examined it before putting it back on her finger.
“Everything good?” Brad questioned.
“Aye, thank you!”
Dan and Brent gave a simple nod before dragging the thief off stage and towards a couple of security guards.
“How’d ya…” Aislinn questioned, and Lzzy gave a mere gesture in Brent’s direction.
“He spotted the asshole a couple hours ago. Brent knew that guitar belonged to you. Not sure how… but he did.”
Aislinn blushed in memory and mouthed the words thank you. Brent sent her a wink then headed off.
“I hadn’t a clue about the ring though,” Lzzy admitted.
“Thank you. Ya’ve no idea what this means to me.”
“Let’s give these girls a round of applause. Asshole just thought he was going to get away with it! We don’t call this festival Watchtower for nothing!”
A security guard escorted the girls off stage and back to the boys. Happy and Ethan gave the girls high fives knowing that was an extremely rare moment they just experienced. Ethan chuckled as Aislinn cried into his shoulder.
“You good now?” He whispered, and she nodded.
Ethan kissed the top of her head and Happy handed Aislinn a beer.
“Yeah, you just go right ahead and down that sweetheart,” Lzzy called before strumming that guitar of hers.
“I’m guessing this one goes out to that man of yours? Whoever made you crazy over losing that guitar and ring…” Lzzy said before singing Beautiful With You.
Aislinn got choked up all over again. She wished Chibs could’ve been there for that part. Another surprise hit as Ledger joined Halestorm onstage. Jen and Lzzy went on to sing Bold.
“Are you sure that’s her?” Everyone heard Lzzy question, and Jen from Ledger nodded Aislinn’s direction.
“Well, talk about irony…” Lzzy muttered.
“Right?!” Jen said, and Aislinn narrowed her eyes in question.
“Seems like your day is just full of surprises. Now, everyone, I promise you this was not a setup. I’m not even sure how this came about, but it just so happens we have a special request under your name.”
Aislinn had this dumbfounded expression on her face.
“Let’s just say that man of yours has put a lot of stock in you and believes in you. And from what I’ve heard… so does Brent! Now everyone, take a good look at this woman. Go on… A good LONG look because I suspect she’ll be standing on this very stage in a few years or so, if not less.”
Riona and Aislinn regarded one another in outright shock as Ledger and Halestorm sang Aislinn’s song (Warrior). They sang it just the way Aislinn wrote and played it.
“How’d…” Aislinn questioned afterward.
Her entire face was beet red as everyone was looking her direction and applauding her.
“We’ll talk about that later…” Jen from Ledger said and with a mere nod.
The young woman couldn’t believe her ears.
“What has your man been up to?!” Riona questioned in shock.
“Ya’ve got me. I haven’t a clue.” Aislinn uttered and was looking a little pale.
“Don’t they hafta go through you legally?” Riona whispered and Aislinn gave a nervous laugh.
“Not if Scotty claimed to be my manager.” Aislinn clowned, but this had Ethan and Riona regarding one another in thought.
Happy however kept that mouth of his shut. He knew this was coming but not today. Chibs had meant for this to take place on the girls’ last day. But Happy assumed they went on and played it after finding out who Aislinn was. That was Chibs’s wedding gift to Aislinn. The Scot wanted her name out there and couldn’t think of a better honor than to have one of her idols play one of her songs. Happy wanted to laugh on the irony considering Chibs did claim to be not only Aislinn’s husband but manager as well. The Scot used those skills of his and made it perfectly clear that Aislinn was earning her citizenship. That it would take some time before she could do anything legally. The recording company was more than understanding and said they would wait however long it took.
In the meantime, Chibs made a deal. The Scot knew the girls would be going to this festival as he and Jax planned this in advance. So Chibs did his homework and did some calling around and succeeded in getting everything set up. But it was literal hell keeping this hush-hush. Happy was the only one to know about this. Chibs wanted to make certain Aislinn was there to hear her song. The Scot hadn’t a clue about Brent Smith’s involvement. That part wasn’t planned. And Brent hadn’t a clue about Aislinn either. This just came out of the blue. Brent was more than impressed when he heard Aislinn’s Warrior. He hoped she would come to her senses about the Crow and Butterfly song and call him when the timing was right. Brent would make certain she got her foot in the door somehow. Between him, Lzzy, and Jen… They’d get her there.
It was one surprise after another. The lights dimmed, and everything on stage went black for a brief moment.
“This bloody road remains a mystery; this sudden darkness fills the air. What’re we waitin’ for? Won’t anybody help us, what’re we waitin’ for?”
Ethan and Happy recoiled as the women amongst the crowd let out simultaneous screams. Riona and Aislinn were jumping up and down, and the spotlight soon revealed Pat Benatar as she was on stage and singing Invincible now.
When that song came to an end Lzzy Hale joined Pat Benatar in singing Hell is for Children.
Aislinn thought that rather perfect considering Halestorm covered that particular song for one of their albums. This had Riona and Aislinn thinking about Abel and everything he’d been through. Everything from Tara Knowles, to his psycho of a grandfather and grandmother, to the human trafficking ring he was thrown in, up to recent events with this fake crow bit. This had them singing their little hearts out and feeling each word they sang. There was an intermission afterward, and the girls looked to one another as if overwhelmed. Riona’s cellphone sounded, and she excused herself as it was Jax.
“Am I interrupting the festivities?” Jax asked once she answered.
“Nah, intermission time!”
“Ah… So how goes it?”
“Rather perfect actually. I mean Linny had a little mishap, but it’s been perfect otherwise.”
Jax listened in silence as Riona told him about the last couple days, about the bands they saw, and what all happened in between. Jax was shocked when he heard about the guitar and ring coming up missing and how Aislinn got them back. But nothing stunned him more than what Chibs had done for Aislinn. Jax hadn’t a clue about that as Chibs made no mention of it, not even when they set this up.
“Holy shit…” Jax uttered once she spilled it all out.
“You two have certainly lived it up!” Jax said but was starting to feel lame in comparison to Chibs.
Not that he wasn’t happy for his VP, Jax most certainly was. But Jax hadn’t gone all out for Riona, not the way Chibs had when it came to Aislinn. Then again, Jax had a to-do list that was a mile long. He’d more than make up for it once they were in Hawaii. Riona laughed in response, and Jax could hear the announcement about intermission coming to an end soon.
“I’ll let you go darlin’. I’m glad you two are having a good time. You deserve it.”
“Aye, thank you. I love ya.”
“I love you too Riona and miss you like fucking crazy.”
“Then ya best hurry and get home!” She teased, and Jax chuckled.
“How’s everyone today?!” Chester asked once Linkin Park entered the stage.
Everyone hollered out in response.
“Who cares if one more light goes out?” Chester held his mic out towards the crowd, and they all sang ‘I do’.”
Chester gave a mere nod.
“Should’ve stayed, were there signs, I ignored?” He solemnly put before singing the rest of One More Light.
“I got you,” Ethan whispered while leaning into Aislinn’s ear.
Something told him she needed to hear that and sure enough, she hugged him. Ethan said nothing and simply held her throughout the rest of the song. He thought back to when he carried Aislinn into that room at the party all them years ago and how tripped up she was. He would’ve never dreamed that she would remember that night or what he said. But something about that meant the world to Ethan. That would always be his and Aislinn’s thing – just those three simple words. That’s all they ever needed. That was their own version of saying I love you.
Linkin Park went on to sing Final Masquerade, but it was during this song a man walked right past them and groped Riona’s breast as he did.
Happy gave Riona no time to react. He had the man by the collar of his shirt and was in his face.
“Touch her again and see what happens.” Happy warned.
Riona’s hand was balled up and ready to go. But she knew this wasn’t the time or the place for that sort of thing. The young woman wrapped her hands around Happy’s arm as the Son was staring the man down. “Happy.” She whispered as a few security guards were looking their direction. The man raised his hands in the air and laughed in mockery.
“Chill man… just having a little fun.”
“Not with her you’re not.”
This had not only Ethan but Aislinn’s attention. It was the way Happy said it. It sounded damn near possessive, almost like Happy was making claims to Riona himself. Happy dropped his hold then gave the guy a little shove away from them. The Son cleared his throat once he saw the look the three of them were giving him. He stuffed a cigarette into his mouth then walked away.
“What was that?!” Aislinn whispered, and Ethan sighed knowing damn well what that was.
He could see it written all over Happy’s face and had off and on since the trip. Happy had it bad when it came to Riona. But the prospect didn’t dare comment on it. He knew better. Happy would bury him alive if he even attempted such a thing. Happy just wasn’t one to talk about those sorts of things. Hell, he wasn’t one to really express himself period. But that was another thing… Happy loved and respected the MC too much to even consider making a move. If she had belonged to someone outside the MC, now that would’ve been a different story. Happy would’ve gone out his way to steal her and wouldn’t have cared who she was with.
“Hell, he’s probably hungry… Needs a Snickers or something.” Ethan teased, and the girls laughed.
More like needs to get laid. The prospect thought as he glanced the Son’s direction.
It wasn’t what Happy said that shocked the girls, it was how he said it. Happy sounded as if he were about to murder the guy, right there. Happy disappeared through the crowd but kept an eye on the Lawless family from afar. He shook his head in frustration and watched Riona’s every move. Linkin Park exited the stage, and Papa Roach took their place. They sang Periscope, and Happy rolled his eyes as the lyrics were pissing him off, something fierce. It was that one lyric… “I’m falling like a loaded weapon in your arms.” That was the perfect description when it came to his feelings on Riona Lawless. She truly was the forbidden fruit. This entire trip was maddening. All he could think about was sneaking into Riona’s bed. Even when she was staying at his place and sharing a bed with her sister. Aislinn could watch or join. Happy didn’t give a fuck. All he wanted was Riona.
The Son had never been in this situation. The guilt alone was eating him alive. Jax would torture then kill him if he had an inkling of the thoughts Happy had when it came to his wife. The Son forced his eyes another direction and was checking out a group of women beside him. One of the women smiled his direction, and Happy nodded in return.
“So which one’s yours?” The woman questioned with a gesture the Lawless sisters’ direction.
“Really?!” The woman uttered with interest.
Happy gave a simple nod but cocked a brow when the brunette made her way over.
“I was more than certain you were with the pretty one.”
“Pretty one?” Happy asked with narrowed eyes.
The woman pointed Riona’s direction.
“Don’t get me wrong. The other one’s super cute but doesn’t seem like your type.”
“But you think the other one is?” Happy curiously questioned.
“Actually, I was hoping I was your type.” The rather voluptuous woman said while running a seductive hand along his chest and down towards his crotch.
Papa Roach was singing Warriors now, and the girls seemed pretty distracted, and it didn’t look like Ethan was going anywhere.
You’ll do… Happy thought as he signaled for the brunette to follow him. The man needed some sort of release. He wouldn’t be long. Cruel as it was Happy knew an easy lay when he saw one, and that’s all he cared about at the moment. He’d let her down easy afterward.
Riona hollered out when Shinedown joined the stage and sang Second Chance.
She sang every lyric and sang along to Amaryllis as well. Ethan had ahold of Aislinn still, and Riona let them have their little moment knowing they rarely got that opportunity. Ethan craved any moment he could get with his sisters.
Shinedown took a small break before getting to their next song. Brent downed an entire bottle of water then wiped the sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand.
“You know all this talk about suicide, rape, and human trafficking… Makes me want to bring something else to the table. Something that can go right along those lines if not full on lead to these events.” Brent softly spoke into the mic and was looking to the audience.
“Let’s talk about bullies… And I mean ALL bullies – The ones you deal with during your adolescence, way into your adult years. Whether it be someone you work with…” Brent looked to his band mockingly, and everyone laughed.
Brent sent his boys a playful wink, and they shook their heads then laughed in response.
“No, no… Alright, in all seriousness. Whether it be someone you work with, share a home with, go to school with, hell deal with on social media even. No one likes that feeling of having your back against the wall. That feeling where you have to endure everything they say and do. Bullying… mock it all you want. But it’s a dangerous game, my friends. That only ups the stakes when it comes to drugs, self-harm, suicide, and prostitution. I don’t care how fucking minor it is. Don’t do it! You may think you know what’s going on in that person’s life and behind closed doors, but you don’t! You haven’t a clue until you’ve walked a day in their shoes. You don’t know what’s going on in that mind of theirs or what all they’ve endured since you’ve entered their lives. And for those of you that are victims… You don’t have to take that shit! And to those of you that are bullies. Fuck you man! You know… It’s true; no one’s going to miss you when you’re gone. So I want you to think about that the next time you’re smacking your kid, wife, or husband around. Or the next time you think about trolling someone on the internet or being a little dick at school. Keep that shit in mind. You’re completely worthless when you go out your way to make others feel that way. No one ever wins at that game, no one!” Brent said before singing Bully.
Riona had her abusive ex-husband in mind and was singing along when she felt her cellphone vibrate. It was Abel, and she let her brother and sister know she was taking the call. The young woman took off into a quieter area and answered the phone.
“You takes so long mommy!” Abel complained.
“Sorry love. Are you alright?”
“Yeah but grandma comes by Neeta’s this morning.”
“Yeah, grandma say she wants to see me and Neeta was going to let her, but Juice say no way that daddy will be very mad if she does.”
Riona pinched the bridge of her nose.
“Is she still there?”
“No she go away, but she get mad at Juice and call him names. She hits Juice in the face mommy and his nose bleeding.”
“Oh, Mary…” Riona muttered under her breath.
“Grandma say she has rights to see me and she going to make sure she does. That no one is keeping me from her. That she my grandma and not going to let this go. She say she going to fight mommy.”
Riona gritted her teeth on this but did her best to stay collected for Abel’s sake.
“And how do you feel about this love? Do you want to see your grandmother?” Riona genuinely asked.
“No mommy. She get so mad. Juice tells me and Neeta to get out cause he no want grandma to hurt us. Grandma yell at him and say she never hurt me ever. But she just so mad. Juice say no come near me or Neeta. I no know what happened cause Neeta takes me to her room then and we shut the door.”
“I’m so sorry Abel,” Riona said as the boy sounded to be on the verge of tears.
“Have you told your father?”
“No. Daddy going to be sad if I do! Grandma always make daddy angry and sad! Daddy always say sorry too for grandma and what she does.”
“Aye, but ya know he isn’t upset with you right, love?”
“I know. But I no like daddy sad and grandma always makes him sad. Daddy no know why grandma do these things. I don’t either mommy. She no nice anymore. And I no know where grandpa went. Not grandpa JT but grandpa Clay. He be gone for a long time. I think that why she mad too. I don’t know.” Riona recoiled on this but didn’t utter a word on it.
“Is Juice there now?”
“Yeah, he just got back.”
“Okay, let me talk to Juice, love.”
“Hey.” Juice greeted once he was on the phone.
“Are you alright?” Riona questioned with concern.
“Yeah… I’m alright.”
The Son pretty much revealed what Abel had already. But Riona wanted Juice’s side to all this as well.
“But everyone’s alright? Neeta too?”
“Yeah, she’s just a little shaken. Jax should’ve told her about Gemma.”
“Agreed. I’m sure it slipped his mind with everythin’ else though.”
“I’m sure it did.” Juice agreed.
“Don’t let Abel out of your sight, Neeta as well.”
“I won’t,” Juice vowed.
“Rat still around?”
“He went to check on Daisy and the pups.”
“Aye, let me call Jax, and I’ll let him in on what’s goin’ on.”
“Hold on Riona,” Juice said in such a way; one that had her fullest attention.
“Juice?” She called as the Son grew eerily silent.
She could hear Juice asking Abel if he wanted to play a game. Abel said yes and Juice got everything set up for him while keeping Riona on hold.
“You’re not going to like this…”
“I had Rat, and one of the prospects stay with Neeta and Abel while I made certain Gemma went home.”
“Riona, I could’ve sworn I saw your father at Gemma’s place.”
“I can’t be one hundred percent certain, but the guy looked just like him. He opened the door for Gemma, and hadn’t a shirt on… and well… I’ll let your imagination do the rest…”
Riona curled her lip in downright disgust.
“It can’t be him. Pepper’s in Ireland! And Jackson’s ma? That’s just gross, Juice!”
Juice let out an uncomfortable laugh.
“You’re probably right. Like I said… I wasn’t sure. Just my mind playing tricks on me.”
“It’s gotta be. Pepper’s in Ireland and Gemma Morrow?! She’s most certainly NOT his type!”
“You sure about that? Because I thought they were both assholes!” Juice teased, and Riona had a good laugh at that.
“I suppose ya got me there. But trust me… That isn’t Pepper you’re seein’. But ya do have my curiosity. I wonder who she’s seein’ now.”
“That makes two of us. Sorry about that Riona.”
“Ah now, you’re fine — no worries. Ya just take care of our boy and Neeta. Give Abel a hug for me.”
“Will do. See you soon Riona.” Juice said before hanging up.
Riona made her way to the tents so she could make that phone call to Jax. She had the phone in hand and was about to dial him when she heard something coming from Ethan and Happy’s tent. Riona put the phone away and was extra cautious as she unzipped their tent. The young woman wondered why it was unlocked and feared she was about to witness a thievery attempt. Their guns were back in the van and Riona hadn’t anything on her if she had to defend herself. But she couldn’t bear the idea of someone going through her brother and Happy’s belongings, much less stealing from them. She’d hopes of scaring them off once she opened the tent. Riona had a million things running through her mind when that tent door hit the ground and exposed what she was hearing.
The young woman locked eyes with the Son for a brief moment. Happy had a woman down on all fours and was going at it doggy style. Riona was quick to turn her head and zipped the tent back up. She crossed herself then whispered an apology on Happy’s behalf. She didn’t mean to intrude like that. Her entire face flushed over as she stumbled towards her and Aislinn’s tent. She’d never been so embarrassed. She could’ve called out first or something before exposing them like that. She just knew Happy was going to be pissed with her.
Riona cursed herself as she sat on the air mattress and dug the phone out from her pocket. She gave herself a few minutes before calling Jax. She couldn’t help but feel very awkward at the moment.
“Hey…” She heard Happy call and lifted her eyes to see his silhouette outside their tent.
“Can I come in?”
She heard him unzip the tent. Happy nodded her direction before he entered.
“The man was covered in sweat and carried that scent of sex.”
He cleared his throat then sat in one of the corners.
“I didn’t know ya was in there… or I wouldn’t have… .” Riona started to explain.
“I know.” Happy curtly responded.
Riona flinched thinking he was angry with her.
“I should’ve known since the lock was missin’.”
“I got to finish.” Happy hinted and with a grin.
“Things I DON’T need to know!” Riona said but with a grin of her own.
“Thought you’d want to know since you interrupted the flow…”
Something about that made Riona laugh.
“You’re all crazy! Ya know that?! How can ya sit there and be so chill about…”
“I just got laid. That would make anyone chill.”
“I suppose ya got me there.”
“Thought you’d be at the festival.”
“Somethin’s come up. I gotta call Jackson.”
“Oh?!” Happy questioned while stuffing a cigarette into his mouth.
Riona told Happy about the phone call from Abel, and Happy shook his head in disbelief.
“That woman…” She heard him mutter under his breath.
The woman Happy was with poked her head into the tent.
“You coming baby?” She flirtatiously put, and Happy shrugged.
The brunette frowned.
“Come on! We can watch the rest of the festival together!”
“Made myself clear.” Happy hinted as to what he said before he even fucked her.
The Son thought it best considering what this particular festival stood for. Wouldn’t be right to fuck her then tell her he wanted nothing else from her, even if that was his original intention. He just couldn’t do it, not at Watchtower and not with the Lawless sisters around. He was doomed to hell either way but knew he’d be first in line if he went and pulled something like that.
“I thought you were fucking around.” The woman sadly murmured and Happy let out a sigh of sheer annoyance.
“So you were serious when you said you wanted a good fuck and nothing more…” She added with a quivery lip.
Happy gave a mere nod, and the woman snapped Riona a look of hell.
“YOU ONLY FUCKED ME SO YOU COULD MAKE THIS BITCH JEALOUS, DIDN’T YOU?!”
Riona’s jaw dropped in disbelief, and Happy jerked his head that direction. He sneered in a way Riona had never witnessed before. She could’ve sworn he growled as well. The Son pointed his cigarette the brunette’s direction.
“Get lost before I make it permanent, bitch.” Happy furiously warned.
The woman regarded Happy in shock and was quick to dash off. Riona shook her head in thought.
“Been here for a couple days and you’re breakin’ hearts already.”
“She was well aware.” Happy made clear.
“Aye, but ya can’t deny that was a wee bit of a dick move, love.”
Happy reared back with raised brows. He wasn’t used to women talking to him like that.
“Come now… Ya had that poor thing in tears.”
“I told her.”
“I’m sure ya did. But I imagine she was hopin’ she’d be good enough to keep around. You boys have a lot to learn about women. I get that ya have your Crow Eaters and porn stars, but you’re all blind considerin’.”
“Blind?” Happy curiously questioned.
“SAMCRO shares the same mentality most men do. Ya think women are good for one thing and one thing only!”
The Son raised his brows even higher, and Riona sighed once she realized how bitter that came off as. That wasn’t the way it sounded in her head.
“I didn’t mean it quite the way it came out. But ya can’t deny ya tend to take advantage and act as if there shouldn’t be consequences.”
Happy gave a simple nod then made his way over. He squatted down to Riona’s level and his eyes locked with hers.
“I only take advantage when a bitch wants to be taken advantage of. If they didn’t want that type of life, they wouldn’t put themselves in that situation, to begin with. SAMCRO has never forced a woman under their roof, or in their beds. If a bitch is there, it’s because she wants to be.”
Riona flinched on his words, and Happy closed his eyes for a moment.
“You and Aislinn… you’re different. We’d never take advantage, and that was before you were old ladies.”
“First off, they are women, with feelings, not bitches.”
“Depends on the woman…” Happy muttered under his breath and Riona pretended not to hear that.
“And when you say “we”… We both know Clay didn’t share the same beliefs and I have a feelin’ a few others don’t as well. So I wouldn’t speak on the club’s behalf but your own.”
Happy hated it but nodded in understanding. Riona had a point, unfortunately. He really couldn’t speak on SAMCRO’s behalf. He found that rather sad but very true.
“Have ya always looked down on women like that?” Riona softly questioned but with a touch of regret in her voice.
“I don’t look down on women.” Happy defended with a hint of agitation.
“Are ya sure about that?!”
“Make your call so we can head back.” Happy ordered and Riona cut him a ‘look’.
Happy went to exit the tent and Riona called to him. He froze but with his back to her.
“Is this about your ma and what your father did to her?”
The Son pivoted around, and the look he gave Riona sent chills up her spine. But she stood her ground and gave a mere nod as if waiting for an answer. Happy marched on back, and Riona thickly swallowed as he got right in her face. He went to brush a strand of hair out from her eyes, and she jumped like he was going to hit her.
“You really think I’d hurt you?” Happy whispered as to her mannerisms.
Riona didn’t answer, and Happy gawked at her for a long while.
“Answer me… please.” Riona barely heard the please part but picked up on Happy’s desperation.
“Then why are you acting like that?”
“Because you’re mad…”
“So…? That doesn’t mean I’m gonna…” Happy narrowed his eyes then took a couple steps back.
“Jax isn’t…” Happy started to say but cringed on his own words.
Jax just didn’t seem like the type to smack women around. Happy had only seen his president get that way when the Crow Eaters got out of line, but that was extremely rare. The Son hadn’t seen Jax hit one of his old ladies before, not even when he was with Tara.
“Jax would never,” Riona said gathering the hint.
“But my dead husband would.”
This had the Son taking a few more steps back and with this apologetic air about him.
“It’s a good thing he’s dead then.” Happy uttered with a curled lip.
“I get mad from time to time just as anyone… But I wouldn’t lay a hand on you, Riona. I’d die before I hurt you or your sister, whether you two are SAMCRO or not. Not sure what all you know… but it doesn’t matter. Everyone thought it was a car wreck, but it was me. The bitch (Happy’s stepmother Luanne) had it coming, and I’d do it all over again if given another chance. I loved my momma, and no one and I mean no one was replacing her. Not even in death. There are bitches then there are women like you. My mother was one of those. She lived for her family, and my father pissed all over that. That’s why I fuck and keep moving. I don’t want an old lady and the drama that comes with it. So I’ll fuck a bitch, but I’m not touching a woman, because they deserve more than what this hell bound motherfucker has to offer.” On this note, Happy left the tent, and Riona felt the urge to cry on his behalf. She hadn’t a clue he felt that way, not until now. But she’d take what Happy said to the grave, even if he hadn’t asked her to. She knew he told her those things in the strictest of confidence.
“Wonder where Happy, and Riona ran off to,” Aislinn said as the festival was coming to an end.
Fog filled the stage and just as Ethan was to comment on what she’d said someone walked onto the stage.
“I belong to you…”
Aislinn was first to squeal out as she recognized the voice and song right away. Ethan covered his ears then shook his head as if to scold his sister.
“Sorry.” She said behind a giggle.
“But it’s Lenny!” She hollered.
“Who?!” Ethan questioned looking downright lost.
“Ummm okay…” Ethan uttered but with a shrug.
This made the first where he didn’t know the person on stage. That was a strange feeling to Ethan. His sister, however, seemed so child-like and happy. Ethan loved every second of this. Seeing his sisters let loose and have fun brought him back to their younger years when they performed together. Aislinn was so darn cute with that big-ass guitar of hers and Riona was stunning, as always.
The song came to an end then Lenny waved towards the crowd.
“How’s everyone this evening?” He asked, and everyone hollered out in response.
“Good to hear. Good to hear.” Lenny lowered his shades then looked at everyone in the crowd.
“Beautiful. You’re all beautiful, every one of you!”
A screen was lowered behind him, and different images flickered off and on; ones of homeless men, women and children, pictures of people abusing drugs, of people cutting or harming themselves, of teenagers and women working the streets. There were brief ones of people committing suicide, rape, and women and children forced into trucks or vans implying human trafficking. This had everyone’s attention as it was dead silent now. Lenny gave a mere nod as he watched the scenes as well.
“Sad world we live in. What’s even sadder? We helped create all this. We walk right past this stuff, on a daily basis, without so much as batting an eye on it. It’s become the norm, the expected. We feed the ones that don’t need to be fed but starve the ones that do. Listen to your loved ones, recognize their cries even when they aren’t crying.” Lenny stepped aside as a picture of a little girl appeared on the screen.
“Isn’t she perfect? I mean look at those eyes!” Everyone awed in unison.
“That’s my little girl.” The man said with pride.
“She’s at home watching her favorite cartoons, getting three meals a day, nice warm bed to crawl into. Not a care in the world!”
The image flickered to another little girl that looked a lot like his daughter.
“Looks like mine, doesn’t she?!”
Everyone nodded thinking it was.
“No. But she too was watching her favorite shows, getting three meals a day, had a nice warm bed to crawl into. She too hadn’t a care in the world. That is until her parents woke up one morning and she was missing. Someone snuck in through the window and abducted her during the night…”
Lenny signaled towards whoever was working the film projector.
“Forgive me,” Lenny said as a body appeared and it was covered with a sheet.
“That was her a couple years later. That girl was a victim of human trafficking. Now I want that to sink in… Eight years old… This girl was sold off to a grown man like myself. What business does a grown man have with a sweet baby girl like that, huh?!”
The image flickered back to his daughter, and Lenny gave a simple nod.
“I can’t even imagine, and I don’t want to. Those eyes.”
Aislinn wasn’t the only one sobbing as Lenny went on to sing Little Girl’s Eyes.
Ethan stayed behind with his sister as day two of the festival came to an end. It was just the two of them after the crowd dispersed.
“Wish Riona could’ve seen that,” Aislinn said while wiping a stray tear off her cheek.
“Me too. Not sure where they ran off to. You gonna be okay?”
“Yeah, just had me thinking about Abel. The lad was four years old, Ethan!”
“I know… trust me I know.”
“What do ya even do with a child like that?”
“Don’t know. Don’t want to.”
Aislinn nodded in agreement. Ethan grabbed Aislinn’s guitar then took her by the hand. He led her towards one of the vendors then bought his sisters a couple of shirts a piece. They were Watchtower ones. The shirts had the date and names of the bands on the back. The prospect figured they’d want one for wearing and one for safe keeping. He bought one for himself and Happy as well.
“Thank you,” Aislinn said then hugged the shirts close.
Ethan smiled then pecked her on the forehead.
“I’ve been wanting to do that for a long fucking time. So thank you. I wanna make up for all the time we lost.”
Aislinn was going to say something in return, but her cellphone sounded. She flinched seeing as how it was Chibs. This made the sixth call. She was quick to answer this time around.
“Ali… I’ve been tryin’ to get ahold of ya for a while now.”
“Sorry I couldn’t hear ya over the music.” She lied but recoiled when she did.
“I figured. Look, Ali, I may or may not have done somethin’ that’s goin’ ta get yer feathers ruffled. Ye see I had yer best interest in heart, but the more I think on it, the more I’m afraid yer gonna take offense and think I shouldn’t be buttin’ inta yer business like that. I just…”
Aislinn smiled knowing where this conversation was going. Chibs hadn’t a clue that had already taken place.
“Just?” She probed with curiosity.
“Ali, I just want ye ta be happy and get what ye deserve in life. I don’t want ye thinkin’ that ye can’t achieve those things on yer lonesome cause ye sure as hell can. Ye got talent darlin’, and I’m not the only one that thinks so. At the time, I thought this would be the perfect way of showin’ ye. But now… I’m startin’ ta worry that I might’ve gone too far.”
There was a moment of silence, and Aislinn heard him whisper “fuck“.
“Are ya talkin’ about given some other band permission to sing my song?!” She said but with a touch of aggravation. But she wasn’t mad. If anything, Aislinn thought that was the sweetest thing anyone had ever done for her. Chibs put a lot of faith in her, and that meant the world to Aislinn. But she had to make the man sweat a little and see how he’d react if he truly thought she took offense.
“How’d ye…” Chibs murmured sounding absolutely lost.
“I can’t believe ya went and told them you was my manager! And ya sent them a recordin’ of my song?! How’d you even get ahold of that?!” She only threw the manager bit in there as an assumption and out of curiosity. She wanted to see how Chibs would react.
“Jaysus. I’m guessin’ they done played it, a day early?!”
“And I’m guessin’ it didn’t go very well?” Chibs murmured in disappointment.
“It went just fine. I can’t believe ya went and did that!”
“I’m sorry. I only wanted ta open yer eyes a bit. I thought if they played yer song ye’d see what I see.”
“And what is it you see?”
“Yer heart and soul, Ali. I was hopin’ that singer yer so fond of would convey it the way I wanted to. And I only said I was yer manager so I could go about this legally as possible. Ye know me, love. All I want is ta show ye my support, but I’m not aboot ta hover and tell ye what move ta make next. Alright?”
“Oh Scotty, can’t ya tell when I’m givin’ ya hell?!”
There was another moment of silence.
“What are ye…?” He finally said, and Aislinn giggled.
“No one’s ever believed in me the way you do.”
“Aye now, ye know that isn’t true. Yer sister and Brodie will always back ye, pet.”
“I know. But this is different, and we both know that. Scotty, I know what ya did. I’m not sure how… but I know that didn’t come cheap.”
Aislinn thought back to Lzzy’s comment. Let’s just say that man of yours has put a lot of stock in you and believes in you. Aislinn knew what that meant.
“Aye well, let’s just say that there was yer weddin’ gift. And we’ll be holdin’ off on those additions ta the house, but I figured it was worth it. I know yer goin’ ta make it Ali. There’s not a doubt in my mind.”
“And how do ya know that?”
“Just do, and I want ye to look back on this conversation, say a couple years from now and when yer on there on that stage and I’m out there in the crowd, cause ye know I’m goin’ ta be there.”
“Guess I’ll owe you some VIP passes.” She teased, and Chibs chuckled.
“I’ll be yer husband by then! Don’t I get full trailer and backstage access?!”
“We’ll see…” She cruelly teased.
“Em, I foresee a red arse in yer future.”
“Ohhh, kinky.” She said, and Ethan sent her a disturbed look.
Aislinn giggled as they were heading to the tents.
“So how’d it really go?” Chibs questioned, and Aislinn told him everything, aside from the missing guitar and ring bit. But she told him about the dedication and everything they said afterward.
“Well now, that sounds like terrific news darlin’!”
“Hope so! Gotta get myself hitched and legal first.”
“Oh, we’re gettin’ that taken care of here soon, real soon. Alright, I better get goin’. We’re hittin’ the road again. I’m glad everythin’ went as planned, even if ye are a dreadful, vile woman that gives me NOTHING but hell!” Chibs mocked as to what she’d pulled earlier.
Aislinn laughed so hard she snorted.
“Ya wouldn’t have me any other way, Scotty. I love you.”
“Aye, and I love ye too darlin’.”
“Goddammit! I told her to stay the FUCK away! Gemma never listens!” Jackson barked once Riona told him everything Abel said.
“She must’ve gotten word that ya was out of town and thought she could press her luck.”
“Yeah well, she’s getting more than an earful when I get back. Hell, her and Tara! I’m sick and tired of their bullshit!”
“Aye well, is it wrong I want to handle that ex-wife of yours myself?!”
Jax chuckled on the other end.
“No, trust me. I’ve been there.” Jax hinted as to Riona’s ex-husband.
“Any luck?” Riona asked.
“None yet,” Jax uttered in frustration.
“Any day now…” Riona did her best to encourage.
“I sure hope so. They should’ve arrived yesterday. Hell, I think I’ve counted every tile in this fucking hotel. Wish you were here… You’d keep me entertained…” Jax hinted, and Riona laughed.
“Oh, I’m sure.”
“Hmm… I’d put your ass in a skirt and have you as my undercover booty call.”
“Booty call?!” Riona said behind a snort, and Jax laughed once he realized how incredibly corny that sounded.
“Hell, if I know. I’m bored and horny baby.”
“Had me worried. Ya sounded like Tig!”
Jax had a good laugh at this.
“Yeah, well I hope you’re ready for when I do see you again. You’re going to need a wheelchair and IV bag to go with that. I’m gonna wear you the FUCK out.”
“I’m holdin’ ya to that Jackson.”
“Oh hell… you didn’t just…” Jax miserably uttered as to Riona putting that accent of hers on a little thicker than usual and with that seductive tenor that drove him mad.
“No fair babe. I’m miles away!”
“Gives ya somethin’ to look forward to.”
“You know it. Now get your sweet ass back to the festival before you miss out on everything. Don’t worry about my mother. I’ll handle it. I love you.” Jax hung up before she could even argue this.
He knew she would as to his reason for cutting the conversation short.
“Love ya too,” Riona whispered amongst herself while looking at a picture of her husband and son on her phone.
“Everything alright?” Ethan asked as he and Aislinn approached the tent and saw Happy standing outside.
Happy nodded in response.
“Where’s Riona?” The prospect asked, and the Son pointed towards the tent.
“Has she been in there the entire time?!” Aislinn said, and Happy nodded once again.
Aislinn sighed before entering the tent. Riona was putting her phone away when her eyes met her sister’s.
“Ya missed the last part of the show!” Aislinn exclaimed.
Riona told her about Abel’s phone call and how she had to get in touch with Jax afterward. Aislinn frowned in thought.
“Think he’ll be okay?” She hinted as to Abel.
“He better be!” Riona made clear, and Aislinn nodded in agreement.
“That mother of Jax’s must have some sort of death wish,” Aislinn uttered in thought “Oh, trust me. I was thinkin’ the same thing. Ya should’ve heard how livid Jackson was!”
“I can imagine. I wouldn’t wanna be on Jax’s bad side.”
“Ya’ve said that before.”
“Aye, and it’s true. He’s downright scary!”
“And that man of yours isn’t?” Riona reminded as to some of the things they’d witnessed when it came to Chibs Telford.
“Never said he wasn’t.” Aislinn thought back to what all Chibs did to Fiona and Jimmy.
The memories alone sent her chills.
“I suggest we stay on their good side!”
“I’m pretty sure they’ve said the same thing about you.” Happy said as he and Ethan entered the tent and picked up on the last bit of that conversation.
“Hell, we all have,” Ethan added with a smirk and Happy chuckled.
“So…” Aislinn said while looking her sister’s direction.
“Are ya ready to meet Imagine Dragons?!”
Riona looked to the clothes she was wearing then smelled herself.
“Like this?!” She said in absolute horror. They hadn’t showered since yesterday and were in the same clothes.
Aislinn looked to the time.
“Fraid so… Sorry love.” She said while looking to her own clothes and smelling herself as well.
“Did you bring your swimsuits?” Ethan asked, and the girls nodded.
“You could always freshen up at the beach. That’s what I’m going to do.” Ethan suggested.
“That’s not a bad idea actually. I mean it’s not the best solution, but it’s better than nothing.” Aislinn said.
“I’ll take you back to the hotel afterward.” Happy offered, and the girls looked to one another as if deciding what to do.
Riona let out a reluctant sigh.
“Salt bath it is.” She said in defeat.
The girls came out in their swimsuits, and Ethan gave Happy a nudge of disapproval as he was checking them out. Happy ignored this and continued gawking.
“Come on man…” Ethan bitterly muttered as he grabbed his towel.
“Ya not gonna swim with us?” Aislinn questioned as Happy was in his usual jeans and t-shirt.
He shook his head no, and Aislinn frowned.
“Well, you’re no fun!”
Happy shrugged then grabbed the girls’ tote bag containing their towels and sunscreen.
“Don’t tell me you’re too manly to swim.” Aislinn taunted once again.
“I’ll frighten the sharks.”
“All the more reason!” Aislinn said behind a giggle.
“Aye, you’re supposed to be our bodyguard,” Riona added.
“I can do that from the beach.” Happy made clear, and Aislinn pouted.
They were halfway there when Happy snatched Riona by the arm then jerked her back towards him.”Happy!” She scolded, but her jaw dropped once she realized why. Riona would’ve stepped on a jellyfish if he hadn’t done that.
“Oh, Mary…” She said with an apologetic mien about her.
Happy gave a simple nod then dropped his hold.
“That was a close one!” Aislinn said taking notice as well.
“What?” Ethan asked looking lost.
“Riona nearly stepped on a jellyfish, but Happy saved the day!”
Aislinn was first to enter the water. Ethan placed his towel on top of the girls’ tote bag. He nodded Happy’s direction as the Son plopped down beside their things.
“You’re miserable, aren’t you?” Ethan whispered, and Happy lifted his eyes on this.
“All this running around, taking them shopping, and this whole festival… I mean you haven’t shed blood in how many days now?” Ethan taunted with a smirk.
“Yeah, I’m starting to feel like a motherfucking prospect again.” Happy admitted and Ethan laughed.
“That bad, huh?”
“They make it bearable.” Happy said with a gesture the sisters’ direction.
“Do I even want to know what’s in store for me?”
“In store?” Happy questioned.
“Yeah, being a prospect and all…”
“Nope and I’m not about to tell you. You gotta figure it out just like I did!”
“Asshole,” Ethan muttered but regarded Riona with concern.
Aislinn was swimming and having a good time. But Riona just stood there looking out to sea.
“Hey…” Ethan called when he approached her.
Riona didn’t respond and looked to be in another world at the moment.
“Riona?” Ethan called once again.
The young woman blinked a couple times then glanced his direction.
“You okay there?”
“No. I think we should go home.”
Ethan reared back in surprise.
“But Jax said…”
“I know what my husband said. But I just got this feelin’… I can’t shake it.”
Ethan sighed in thought.
“Look, it’s too late to head out just yet. Let’s finish out the day then see how you feel come mornin’.”
Riona peered back then nodded Happy’s direction.
“We should head back.”
Happy shook his head in disagreement but had this look like he already saw this coming.
“Happy…” Riona argued.
“Boss’s orders.” Happy reminded.
“But I’m the old lady.”
“Nice try. But the prez has first and final say.” The Son made clear.
Riona pulled a face on this and Happy sighed once she entered the water.
“You have a way with her…” Ethan mocked, and Happy flipped him off.
“You’d think you’d be a wee more excited about meeting your second husband!” Aislinn teased as they were getting ready for the VIP greet tonight.
Riona didn’t comment as she put her earrings on. Aislinn narrowed her eyes wondering what had her sister so flustered. Riona was fidgety and barely said a word to anyone. Aislinn tucked her Imagine Dragons shirt into her denim jeans then grabbed her jacket. Riona was already out the door, and this had the three of them looking to one another.
“What’s gotten into her?” Aislinn asked.
“She said something about a feeling…” Ethan softly muttered as they followed.
“Then we should listen! Riona has a…” Aislinn felt a hand clamp around her mouth.
She jumped then peered back seeing as how it was Happy.
“Go on.” The Son told Ethan then gestured for him to follow Riona.
Ethan started to argue, but Happy stood his ground.
“I said go on, prospect.” Happy hated those words the moment they escaped his mouth. But he had to get his point across. Ethan sent the Son a look of utter hell but did as requested.
Riona had no clue of this as she was strutting onward.
“What was that about?! Ya scared the shite out of me!” Aislinn said before punching Happy in the chest.
“We can’t go back. Alright?” Happy severely put.
“But if Riona has a feelin’ we really should listen to…”
“Not happening.” Happy interrupted.
“Because someone had the opportunity to kill her but toyed around instead. We might not be so lucky next time. Besides, Jax made himself perfectly clear. I’m to keep you here, until he says otherwise.”
“So we’re prisoners?” Aislinn rather joked but was somewhat serious as well.
“No Aislinn, you’re under SAMCRO protection, all of you. That’s not something we fuck around with. So shut that pretty trap of yours and get going.”
Aislinn let out a bit of a growl, and Happy resisted the urge to laugh as she stomped off ahead.
The girls were last in line, and Aislinn was on her tippy-toes trying to see the band. She frowned as she couldn’t see anyone other than the people ahead of them. She looked to her sister however and gave Riona’s hand a little squeeze. Riona looked to be on the brink of tears.
“I can’t shake this feelin’ Linny,” Riona whispered.
Aislinn nodded in understanding.
“We’ll talk about that later.” Aislinn did her best to hint, and Riona tilted her head on this.
Aislinn sent her sister a wink and squeezed her hand once again.
“Come on love. You’re meetin’ Dan tonight. Let’s just focus on that for now.”
“I’m tryin’. But I need to check on Piney and want to make sure Abel’s alright.”
“Just somethin’ the wee love said… The more I think on it, the heavier the feelin’. Charmin’s our home now and I…”
“Want to make sure everyone’s safe.” Aislinn finished.
Aislinn gave a mere nod, but the two of them ended the conversation there. They didn’t want Ethan or Happy overhearing any of this. The four of them remained quiet as they waited in line.
“And you are?” They heard after an hour or so passed.
The girls were so lost in thought they didn’t realize they were up front now. Aislinn giggled as this came from Dan of Imagine Dragons and he was staring a hole in Riona.
“Riona,” Aislinn whispered then nudged her.
“Lovely name. Wait… I remember you two now. You’re Aislinn – the one with the missing guitar and ring, and this one here’s your sister.” Dan murmured but tilted his head as Aislinn nudged her sister once again.
“Riona.” Riona sputtered out, and the band laughed.
Aislinn wanted to laugh on the irony but knew Riona’s nerves hadn’t anything to do with meeting the band. No, her mind was too far gone to even enjoy this rare moment. Riona was in that queen mindset. She knew she herself had a job to do and Riona wanted to get back home so she could focus on that. It was Aislinn’s job to support her sister like Chibs would the prez. In a way, she was her sister’s VP so if Riona’s feelings were that strong on the matter then Aislinn would find them a way back to Charming. She only hoped that Happy’s warning wouldn’t come back to bite her. She’d never forgive herself if anything happened to her sister. So if Aislinn were to do this, she’d be acting as her sister’s bodyguard. The idea was more than a little frightening, but she’d do anything for her sister. Aislinn knew not to ignore Riona’s feelings when they were this strong. If Riona said they needed to get home, then they needed to get home.
Riona forced a smile during their pictures and when the band signed their souvenirs. Aislinn hated to see Riona like this and during one of her favorite band meets. This opportunity may never rise again, and it killed Aislinn that Riona couldn’t get the full experience. The band was very personable. But what made Aislinn even sicker was the interest Dan had in Riona. He was flirting, and Riona hadn’t a clue. Riona responded to everything that was said, but it was like that of a robot, on cue. Aislinn wished she had a way to record this moment so Riona could see the interest in Dan’s eyes. Dan, however, gathered this disappointed look when he saw the wedding ring on Riona’s finger. Aislinn couldn’t help herself. “It would never work…” She whispered gathering his attention. Dan lifted his eyes that direction.
“We’re Catholic and well… you’re Mormon, love.” Aislinn teased causing her sister to snap a questionable look her direction.
Dan and the rest of the band died of laughter. Ethan and Happy were lost as to what that meant exactly. They hadn’t taken notice of Dan’s interest in Riona, not the way Aislinn had. But the moment Happy caught on as to what that meant exactly, he sent Dan a menacing look. Ethan took notice and shook his head. Dan didn’t comment on the threatening look Happy gave him. Aislinn waved goodbye on the way out.
(Happy New Year, everyone! Thought this chapter would be a nice surprise. I’m working on the others tonight. Please leave a comment/review and as always a simple ‘like’ is always nice, if you dug the chapter. Thank you in advance.)