Chapter 46 – Blast From The Past
I do not own SOA. I claim all original characters and give no one permission to use them.
“I’ll get out of your hair now,” Ethan said after his second cup of coffee.
“Nonsense! Stay, I’ll make you something to eat.” The lonely old woman insisted.
“You have no idea how tempting that is, but I have someone waiting on me.”
“A beautiful young woman I bet!” The woman said with a hint of jealousy.
Ethan smiled in response. There was no denying this woman must’ve been a knock out in her younger days. She was quite attractive for an older woman. She looked to be in her seventies or so.
“Something like that.” He uttered with Leia in mind.
Only he wasn’t sure what he and Leia were yet. He wouldn’t until this Sam ordeal was handled. Go figure. He hadn’t dated anyone in years, and the man was starting to feel as though he was cursed.
“Lucky girl. I’m sorry I couldn’t be more help sugar.” The woman hinted as to Ethan’s “missing friend”.
“I appreciate it all the same. Thank you for the coffee, Ms. Harrison.”
Ethan made it sound as if he were afraid, Happy had a motorcycle accident and might’ve arrived here to get help.
“You sure you can’t stay? I make a mean pot roast!”
“I don’t doubt that.”
Ethan came to his feet as there was a knock at the door.
“I’ll get it.” The woman said, and Ethan rinsed his cup out at the sink.
“Oh my, you should’ve told me you had a mouthwatering young man waiting on you. I don’t judge!” The woman said, and Half-Sack raised his brows on this.
“We’re not…” Kip started to say.
“Sorry baby, lost track of time.” Ethan quickly murmured catching Kip off guard.
The Son staggered back, and the prospect sent him a playful yet flirtatious wink.
“Oh, aren’t you two just the cutest! What I wouldn’t give to watch you two roll about in the sack!”
The Son’s eyes grew as wide as saucers and Ethan chuckled.
“Maybe next time.” The prospect said and while giving the older woman a respectful nod as he headed towards the door.
Kip’s jaw dropped when the woman smacked Ethan on the ass.
“So firm.” She said and with a smile Kip’s direction.
“This one’s a keeper. If you don’t want him, you best send him my way! I’ll take very good care of him!”
“I just might do that.” Kip bitterly hissed, and Ethan died of laughter.
“Should’ve seen your face,” Ethan said, and Kip rolled his eyes.
“I was starting to wonder…”
“The woman is on the verge of Alzheimer’s, so it took a bit.”
“Great, so she didn’t know shit and even if she did, she wouldn’t remember, huh?”
“Fraid not.” Ethan admitted.
“Then what the fuck took so long?”
“Just one of those things.”
“Guess she reminded me of my grandmother,” Ethan said with a shrug.
“Your grandmother smacked you on the ass?!”
“No, but she sure spanked my ass!”
“Dude, I don’t wanna hear about your sick fetishes.”
Ethan shook his head then sent Kip a ‘look’. Kip broke into a fit of laughter.
“Serves you right. Playing the fucking gay card on me. Lame.”
The prospect shrugged as they walked to their bikes.
“Where’d the others go?” Ethan questioned.
“Hospital. Bobby said something about getting colder instead of warmer.”
“I tried, man. I have no clue where they could’ve gone from here.”
“I know. We’ve done everything we can.” Kip did his best to reassure, but Ethan sighed in disagreement.
“If it were any of us, he wouldn’t give up,” Ethan said, and Kip nodded in agreement.
“We’re not done. But there’s nothing else to go on, not here anyway.”
“Fuck,” Ethan muttered under his breath.
“Look, let’s see how your sister is doing, and we’ll figure it out from there.”
Jax caressed his wife’s arm as she was leaning against his shoulder on the drive back to Charming. The dishwasher by the name of Brad Montana lived a couple towns over. But Jax knew they needed to get home and shower and change before they even considered heading over there. They’d have to break in as it was.
“How’s the hip?” He asked.
“Stings a wee bit, but nothin’ I can’t handle.”
“We’ll get it cleaned up once we get to the house.”
“Don’t ye find it a wee bit strange that this Brad fella lives so close to Charmin’?”
“I’m telling you… You’re dead on with your theory babe.”
“But do ya think he was behind the fire?!”
“Oh, you know he was! I wouldn’t put it past the motherfucker!”
“But how could he…” Riona sadly murmured.
“Riona, I’ve been trying to tell everyone the truth behind Clay Morrow, for years. If only they would’ve listened. But it’s too late now, and here we are, cleaning up after him again!”
“He’s downright evil.” His wife whispered.
“He’s more than that. Clay’s always been in it for himself, from the very beginning. Maybe now everyone will see what I’ve been trying to say. If it weren’t for Clay, my father and brother would be alive today. Clay might not have killed Tommy, but he took part in the deal that got him killed. And don’t even get me started on my father! I won’t let him get to you or Abel; I won’t!” Jax vowed then kissed the top of his wife’s head.
The VP hollered for whoever it was to come in as there was a knock at the door. Chibs, Brodie, and Pepper were watching the local news on the TV. They were covering the hospital shooting. Bobby entered the room with coffee for everyone.
“Where’re the boys?” Chibs questioned.
“Ethan and Kip are visiting the elderly and Trager mentioned something about a shower and jerk off.”
Bobby replied as he received a call from Half-Sack on the way to the hospital. He was bitching about Ethan taking too long. Chibs chuckled. The VP wondered what Bobby meant by his elderly comment, however. But figured he couldn’t dive into that with Brodie and Pepper right here.
“So, we won’t be seein’ Trager, for a couple days at least,” Chibs added.
“At least.” Bobby reiterated before taking a seat beside Brodie.
“Any word yet?” The sergeant questioned as to Aislinn.
“Nah, they should be wheelin’ her in, any minute now.” The VP said while looking to the time.
“Says he has a few loose ends to tie up…” Bobby did his best to hint.
Chibs drew back a hesitant breath. He hoped Jax wasn’t getting in over his head, especially with Riona involved.
“You ate anything?” Bobby questioned after hearing Chibs’s stomach growl.
“He had some Jello and three cups of coffee,” Brodie responded on Chibs’s behalf, and Bobby curled his lip in disgust.
“You need REAL food.”
“I’ll eat later.”
“Come on, brother. You look like shit, and I can hear your fucking stomach from here.”
“Already tried, both of us have,” Brodie said with a nod Pepper’s direction.
“He’s rioting until he sees his girl,” Brodie added with a smirk.
“Why does that NOT surprise me,” Bobby muttered and while rolling his eyes.
Chibs glanced over as there was another knock at the door. The surgeon entered the room with Aislinn’s nurse.
“Everything went smoothly!” Dr. Brown announced with a warm smile.
“We’re giving her a few more minutes before we bring her in. I want to keep an eye on your wife for just a little longer. The swelling is down though. Once I’m certain she’s in the clear, I’ll reduce her meds and have her come to. Just keep in mind it could be a few hours to a few days. It’s on her from here.”
Chibs nodded in understanding.
“Is there anything we can do for you in the meantime?” Dr. Brown asked.
“Yeah, get this man some real fucking food,” Bobby said, and Brodie nodded in full agreement.
Dr. Brown chuckled in response.
“Are you on a liquid diet?” He asked while grabbing Chibs’s chart and looking it over.
He wasn’t Chibs’s doctor but thought he could take a look anyhow.
“He was…” The nurse said in response.
“He should be good. Run it by Dr. Stevens first, but he should be able to handle that tetrazzini they’re serving.”
The nurse nodded on the doctor’s orders.
“I’m good.” Chibs firmly put, and this had everyone’s attention.
“You sure?” Dr. Brown asked.
“Aye, just look after me girl.”
“Stick em up!”
Tig spun around and nearly fell as he was in the shower.
“Jesus Christ baby!” He hollered as it was Dinah (aka the sheriff).
The woman died of laughter and broke his fall before joining him in the shower.
“Did you break in?” Tig questioned while wiggling his brows and grabbing a handful of her ass.
“You know it!”
“And you resisted the urge to hold me at gunpoint and cuff me to the bed?”
“Oh hell boy, you damn near pissed yourself at stick em up!” She taunted, and Tig let out a disappointed sigh.
Dinah shoved him up against the shower wall however and kissed him. But as she did this, she had her hand wrapped around his balls. This had Tig at immediate attention.
“You need to drop to your knees and get to work!” She ordered, and Tig smiled from ear to ear.
“Yes, ma’am.” He murmured.
The sheriff threw her head back and moaned as Tig had that tongue of his at work.
“Get your tongue in there boy!” She said while grabbing a fistful of his hair and humping his face.
Tig had never been with a woman this dominating, but he loved every minute. He went out of his way to please her, and that dominating attitude is what had him groveling to her feet. That and he knew this woman would downright murder his ass if he even thought about fucking another woman. Not that she left him anything to work with. On the nights they did get together she left him drained and sore as fuck, but it was worth it. Tig knew he’d have to ice himself down come morning. The mere idea had him diving in even deeper.
“Get your ass to the bed.” She said while forcing his head back and locking eyes with his.
He nodded, and Dinah turned the shower off. Tig couldn’t get to that bed fast enough. He plopped down, and Dinah grabbed her cuffs and panties from the pile of clothes she left on the floor. She twirled them about, and Tig’s dick bobbed in response.
“Look at you, all eager.” She whispered before cuffing his wrists to the headboard.
She stuffed her panties into his mouth then slapped him across the face.
“I’m bout to wear you out.” She said before climbing aboard and riding him till he had nothing more to give.
Tig was a horny bastard, and Dinah could get him to last a good three to four hours tops. Four, if she withheld getting him off at certain points and took her time with her seductive torture. That’s what had the man so sore. She took pleasure in getting him riled up and right to that point, only to make him hold off a little longer. She loved making him cum so hard he’d shoot a foot or two across the bed. Tig would pass out directly after and she’d lick him clean.
“Did you order something?” Jax questioned once they approached the porch.
Riona shook her head no. She bent down then picked up what looked to be a fancy wrapped jewelry box.
“Ya’d think they’d deliver somethin’ this small in the mailbox,” Riona mumbled in thought.
This had the president thinking back to the packages Aislinn and Riona opened. This was no shoebox. But there was no telling what was inside and if it was just as vile.
“I’ll open it in the shed. I gotta head that way anyhow.”
“The shed?!” Riona curiously questioned.
Jax didn’t want his wife tagging along if this was as bad as what she and her sister opened, especially. The girls had been exposed to enough. So, the president convinced his wife to head on inside and shower. He told her to dress in something warm, comfortable, and black. Her husband told her to pull her hair back into a bun or ponytail as well. Jax took the box to the shed. He stared at the box for a solid minute before bringing himself to open it. The president was extra cautious however as he hadn’t a clue what to expect. Jax removed the kerchief and was quick to recoil. The president staggered back in absolute shock.
“Hap…” The man whispered in horror.
Jax looked for a letter or something implying some sort of threat or a hint as to whom sent this. But there was nothing, just the finger, and one of Happy’s golden rings was still attached. Jax placed his hands together in a prayer-like fashion.
“This isn’t happening.” He whispered.
Jax reached over and removed the ring from Happy’s finger. The president headed into the house and cleaned it off at the sink. Jax took one of his SONS rings off then put Happy’s on his finger instead.
“I’ll find you.” The president vowed while looking at the ring.
“I’ll find you, brother.”
Jax stared at the kitchen wall then made that dreadful call to the sheriff.
“Hm?” The sheriff tiredly answered when her phone rang.
Tig was out cold.
“We gotta talk, in private. Think you can meet me in say… an hour or so?”
“Can’t do this over the phone?”
“It’d be better face to face.”
Jax sighed in thought.
“The usual.” He hinted as to the old barn they normally met at.
This was a few miles outside of Charming.
“Fine. But this better be good!”
Jax shook his head but didn’t utter a word on that. He hung up knowing that was for the best.
“Jackson?” Riona called when she entered the kitchen in just a towel.
“Get dressed. We gotta go.”
“Aren’t ya goin’ to shower?” She asked but was caught off guard when she saw Happy’s ring on her husband’s finger.
“Why are ya wearin’ that?!” Riona nervously asked.
“I’m not sure yet.” Jax honestly replied.
“Jackson…” Riona pleaded with a panic-stricken tone.
Jax pinched his eyes shut then told her the truth behind the package and what was inside.
“Jaysus, Jackson!” Riona said with a hand over her heart.
“I know. But we’re going to find him. So, please, get dressed. I gotta rinse off then we gotta hit the fucking road.” But as he said this, it was then it truly dawned on him.
The president put that ring on as a promise. He wouldn’t take it off, not until he found Happy Lowman.
“And here she is…” Brodie whispered when the nurses wheeled Aislinn into the room.
Chibs sat up and glanced over as the nurses got Aislinn’s bed positioned and his wife squared away. They had her in a ventilated neck brace. This way her neck could breathe where she had the surgery. The room was awkwardly quiet as the nurse went over instructions for Aislinn’s care and the meds that would be prescribed to her once she woke. The nurse let it known that the baby was fine and Chibs would be released in a couple days but with a prescribed Nebulizer (at home breathing machine) just in case he needed it. He was told not to smoke for at least a couple months or so while his lungs and throat fully healed. Bobby laughed at the miserable look on Chibs’s face.
“Better get yer arse some nicotine gum.” Brodie chimed in, and Chibs rolled his eyes.
Pepper got a little choked up after checking on his daughter. He took her hand then brushed her hair back with his fingers.
“Up to you now Aislinn. You gotta wake up baby.” Pepper softly expressed then gave his daughter’s hand an encouraging squeeze.
Brodie, however, could see it written all over his cousin’s face. Chibs wanted to be alone with his wife. But he had Brodie, Pepper, and Bobby fussing over her. Chibs hadn’t the chance to even let Aislinn know he was there. The VP, however, kept quiet, but his patience was growing thin. Brodie softly chuckled then went on to escort Bobby and Pepper out of the room. He sent his cousin a wink before exiting the room as well. Chibs let out a breath like he’d been holding it forever. The VP cleared his throat then crawled on out of bed. He grabbed a cup of ice then made his way to Aislinn’s bed and pulled up a chair.
“Hey, there darlin’.” The Scot said but cleared his throat yet again.
He hadn’t meant for that to come out so emotionally-packed.
“So ye made it through the roughest part. All ye gotta do is wake up. I’m here, whenever yer ready. I’m not goin’ anywhere, pet.” Chibs brought her hand to his lips then kissed it.
He placed a hand along her tummy afterward and smiled.
“And ye pulled through too wee one! Do like yer mother now and keep on truckin’.”
The Scot retrieved a cube of ice from his cup then rubbed it against his wife’s dry lips. Chibs couldn’t get over how small and fragile she seemed right now. He didn’t like it, not one bit. Chibs wanted to lock her away, safe and sound, in his arms. The Scot would be in full guard dog mode now. Anyone meaning his wife or child harm would have to go through him. Chibs shook his head as he thought back to Fiona and when he first discovered she was with child. This was so different in comparison, at least his mindset was. He remembered how excited he was, but he wasn’t ready for marriage and all the fuss that came with it. But the Catholic owned up to his responsibilities and did what he had to do. If he had known he was being played, he would’ve never proposed. But that was a lifetime ago, or so it seemed, and this was now. Chibs had never been so ready for anything in his entire life. He could see his and Aislinn’s future so clearly. Whereas his and Fiona’s was in the dark and he second-guessed every decision he ever made.
“God, I love ye. Ali, ye’ve no idea. I just need ye ta wake up, put some of my woes at ease, will ye? I could sure use it about now darlin’.”
Chibs removed his hand from her abdomen then leaned back in thought.
“Yer sister will be here just as soon as she can. She and Jackie had a few things ta wrap up. But ye got everyone else waitin’ on ye, even the old man. Well, almost everyone. Yer brother and Kip should be here any minute, and Trager’s off bein’ well Trager. I don’t mean ta dismiss Ethan like an afterthought. Just not used to the idea of ye havin’ a brother yet. I suppose that’ll take some time.”
There was a knock at the door, and Chibs laughed once he saw who it was.
“Yer ears must’ve been burnin’!”
Ethan gave a simple nod then strolled on over.
“How is she?” He softly asked.
“Good. Just waitin’ fur her ta come to now. Said it could be a few hours ta a few days or so.”
“Damn…” Ethan uttered in thought.
“And the baby?”
“Pulled through just fine.”
Ethan let out a breath of relief.
“I take it you didn’t find Hap?”
“Nah, but we’re not giving up,” Ethan said while holding his sister’s hand.
“She looks so…” Ethan trailed off as he wasn’t quite sure how to put it.
“Aye…” Chibs murmured knowing damn well what Ethan meant.
“Riona should be here. She’d want her here.” Ethan whispered.
“That she would. But Ali also knows Riona’s doin’ her best.”
Ethan nodded in thought. Chibs tilted his head however once he got a better read on Ethan.
“Ye know she wants ye here too, right?!”
“I know.” Ethan murmured but seemed somewhat distracted.
“What is it?”
“It’s this whole thing with Pepper. It’s confusing as fuck, and I don’t know how to act around him or my sisters even. It’s like I can’t be myself when he’s around! I shut the fuck down and all because I’m so angry!”
Chibs nodded in perfect understanding.
“Pepper has no effect on the relationship ye have with yer sisters. That’s between the three of ye. That man robbed ye of their childhood. Don’t let him win by takin’ what ye got now. Put that anger inta somethin’ else. Or take the old man for a drink and hash a few things out in yer own way. If that means it comes ta some blows, then so be it! But ye two need that closure.”
“So, you want me to take my bastard father out for drinks?”
“If that’s what it takes. Ye gotta figure somethin’ out Ethan. Ye can’t hold onta that forever. It’ll eat ye alive if ye do. Trust me. I would know.”
“Yeah well, there’s only one problem.”
“The old man’s a recovering alcoholic, remember?!”
“Right… Well, water it is!”
“Well, that sounds like a blast!” Ethan mockingly put, and Chibs chuckled.
“Ye’ll figure it out.”
“Yeah well, the idea of going about this sober sounds like a punishment, for me!
“Hey now, no one said ye couldn’t drink. Hell, that might be the true test!”
Ethan cocked a brow at this.
“Can Alastar be around someone that’s havin’ a few and not partake himself?”
“Actually, that’s rather brilliant. I think I’ll take you up on that and see how it goes.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
“Tell me you’re joking.” The sheriff rather hissed, and Jax sighed.
“Wish I could. But it was him or Alvarez.”
“So, you took the agent out instead?”
“Me?! No. But I knew you’d point the finger my direction.”
“You’re right. What I find downright hilarious is you thinking I’ll believe you didn’t have anything to do with this!”
“Now, I never said that. You know I was backed into a corner.”
“I gave you an idea, remember? Why didn’t you go with that?”
“Mine was better?” Jax taunted with a smirk, and the sheriff sighed in response.
“Look, I know you got a job to do. So, do whatever you got to do. But I have to protect my family and my club. The only way to do that was to make certain Potter was out of the picture.”
“Just how many times do you expect me to turn my head?!”
“However many it takes.”
The sheriff shook her head in disbelief.
“Hey, you’re no better than I am. We might be playing on different sides of the street, but we aren’t exactly blind either. Sometimes you gotta get dirty. And whether you wish to admit it or not, I have a feeling you’ve gotten your hands plenty dirty. If you hadn’t, you wouldn’t have come to me in the first place! You know I’ll protect this town, just like I know you will. We have different means of going about it. But our hearts are in the right place. That’s all that matters.”
“Is yours?” The sheriff challenged and while studying the president’s mannerisms.
“I don’t need to prove myself, not to you.”
“I’d think about that one Mr. Teller.”
“Jax. And in all fairness Dinah… I think I already proved myself. You wouldn’t be standing here if I hadn’t.”
“How’d it go?” Riona asked once her husband was in the truck.
“That bad or good?”
“Guess we’ll find out. I can’t concern myself with this right now. We gotta find this dishwasher’s place and see if there are any leads on where Hap could be.”
The sheriff and Riona locked eyes as Jax backed out of the barn.
“She seems conflicted,” Riona admitted with a touch of sympathy on the sheriff’s behalf.
“I’m sure she is. But she knew the risks.”
Jax was lost in thought when his wife called to him. He glanced her direction, and she pointed towards the gauge. The president was going a hundred in a seventy-mph zone. He’d been like this since they left the barn.
“The longer we take, the more dangerous it is for Hap. We have to find him, babe.” Her husband explained.
Riona gave a nervous sigh but nodded in understanding. This had her looking to the tattoo Happy had given her. She couldn’t bear the idea of something happening to him. Riona thought back to the trip and how the four of them bonded and over such a short time. Her lip quivered in thought of never seeing Happy again. Jax reached over and took her hand into his own.
“I know…” He whispered then gave her hand a comforting squeeze.
“I know.” He added once again and with a touch of nerves to his voice.
Tig let out a weary moan as he snuggled up against Dinah’s pillow. The Son wrinkled his nose then reached over with closed eyes.
“What the hell is that smell, babe?” He uttered while patting her side of the bed.
Tig shot up; however, the moment he felt something wet against the palm of his hand. He turned on the lamp then sprang out of bed. He fell as he staggered back. The right side of his bed was covered in blood and maggots. Tig covered his mouth then gagged.
“DINAH!!!!” The man yelled in a panic.
The Son gagged once again after jerking the covers back. He recoiled once he saw the massive crow laying where Dinah had. There was a necklace wrapped around its neck. One Tig had given Clay, years ago. This had the Son in a full-blown panic.
“DINAH!” Tig shouted on top of his lungs then went on to search the entire house.
“Come on baby! Where are you?!” Tig desperately hollered.
Just as he was to open the front door and see if her car was still there, Dinah entered the house.
The look on his face said it all.
“What is it?” The sheriff asked and was quick to withdrawal her gun.
“I thought…” Tig murmured looking awfully pale.
“What on earth is that smell?!”
Tig pointed towards the bedroom, and the sheriff headed that direction.
“Oh, hell no. What the…”
Tig heard her whisper in shock.
“Are you alright?” She questioned after making her way back to the living room.
The Son nodded but was leaning against the counter like he was going to be sick. Only this had more to do with thinking something had happened to her rather than the actual smell itself.
“I thought…” Tig muttered but kept his head down and shook it.
“I thought that was YOUR blood.” The Son admitted, and the sheriff cringed in thought.
“I’m sorry. I should’ve told you I was headed out. But I didn’t want to wake you.”
“Where were you?” He curiously questioned.
“Visiting with your president.” The sheriff said but headed back into the bedroom.
Tig followed but was quick to stop her from taking pictures of the incident.
“Don’t.” He pleaded.
“This is an MC matter.” The man made clear.
“MC matter?!” The sheriff repeated looking rather offended.
“We don’t need this shit getting out to the public. Just let me handle it.”
“What’s going on Alex?”
Tig lifted his eyes, and they locked with hers.
“I wish I knew.” He honestly uttered.
The sheriff tilted her head in a mistrusting manner.
“We keeping secrets now?”
“I’m serious. I don’t know who’s doing this. None of us do! But I’m certain I’m the last.”
“Everyone’s gotten a crow. Everyone but me. Well, until now.”
“What’s that mean?”
“Just as it sounds,” Tig said and with a gesture towards the dead crow.
“Wait… are you telling me that you and your boys are on some sort of hit list?!”
Tig wasn’t sure how to respond.
“Is that why you got two members missing and within the span of just a couple weeks?!”
“I’m not sure what it is. But I think you should leave.”
“Dinah baby, I don’t want you around this! Alright?! Just let me handle it!”
“Oh hell, boy. I’m not going anywhere!”
“Dinah, I’m begging you. It isn’t safe!” Tig pleaded.
“And that’s why I’m staying. Besides, I got a few sick days!”
“NO!” Tig firmly put, and the sheriff smiled.
“I’m not giving you a choice. Besides, someone’s gotta protect that cute little ass of yours.”
“Well, it’s smaller than mine.” She uttered in a sassy tone before calling the office.
Tig wanted to argue this but couldn’t. He was too busy staring at her ass. The sheriff hung up once she finished and Tig shook his head in disapproval. Tig stripped the bedsheets, and Dinah laughed when he grabbed some chemicals and went to scrub the mattress.
“Oh no, we gotta throw the WHOLE thing out!” Dinah made clear, and Tig glanced her direction.
“The whole bed. Hell, maybe this entire room!” She said with a curled lip.
“We’re not throwing the bed out.”
“You’re right. We’ll burn it!”
There was no disguising the stunned look on Pepper’s face when Ethan asked if he’d join him tonight. Pepper gave a simple nod out of fear of saying something stupid and ruining it. They took Pepper’s truck, and Ethan gave him directions on where to go. Pepper was struck stupid all over again when they ended up at a local bar.
“Ethan…” Pepper started to say something on this, but Ethan hopped out of the truck and was headed inside.
His father sat in the truck for a moment and let out a reluctant sigh before joining his son.
“On me. What do you want?” Ethan offered once Pepper approached the bar.
Ethan nodded then ordered that coffee along with a beer and couple shots.
“What is this?” Pepper questioned and with a hint of irritation.
“It’s whatever you make it.”
Pepper laughed then shook his head in misery.
“So, you’re testing me.”
“Maybe. Orrrr maybe I brought you here so we could talk. Maybe both!” Ethan murmured with a shrug then downed those shots. He pointed towards a table afterward.
Pepper grabbed his coffee and headed that way. Ethan followed and sat across from his father. The two were quiet as they got a feel for the place and one another. Pepper leaned back and lit a cigarette. He took a long drag then nodded his son’s direction.
“So, where do we start?”
“Hell, if I know. I’ve been wondering that myself!”
“Alright, I’ll start,” Pepper said then cleared his throat.
“How’s your mother?”
Ethan laughed then leaned back in mere amusement.
“That’s your starter?”
“Gotta start somewhere.”
“She’s good. Got her nurses’ degree years ago. That’s how we survived. Well, until Steven came around.”
“Ah… and what’s he like?”
“Around.” Ethan bitterly put, and Pepper gave a miserable laugh.
“I see.” His father murmured gathering the hint.
“Yeah, he’s good for her. Been married for a while now.”
“That’s good, real good.”
“What’s he do for a living?”
“He’s a mechanic, runs his own shop too.”
Pepper nodded in response.
“You got any other siblings?”
“No. Mom and Steven tried for another child, but Steven was shooting blanks.”
“Damn. They didn’t think about adoption?”
“They did, but that shit’s pricey.”
Pepper put his cigarette out in a nearby ashtray. Ethan ordered another round and Pepper had another cup of coffee.
“How can you drink that shit with no cream or sugar?”
“Just the way I prefer it.”
“That’s fucking bean water. Nasty.” Ethan uttered, and Pepper chuckled as he took a sip.
“Why didn’t you love her?” Ethan practically whispered, and Pepper lifted his eyes on this.
“Ethan, I didn’t know your mother long enough to love. It was just one of those things.”
“Not enough to love but enough to fuck…” Ethan bitterly muttered, and Pepper sighed.
“It was a mutual thing.”
“Yeah well, I doubt the whole knocked-up part of it was. Especially in her case!”
“I didn’t know about you. Not until Teagan and I were already married!” Pepper defensively put.
“I get that. But you couldn’t even acknowledge her. Hell, your own son even. You shoved us out of that mind of yours. We were nothing more than an afterthought. A bill you had to keep track of every month. That’s the only time we entered your mind, out of fucking obligation.”
Pepper didn’t comment, and Ethan nodded.
“Your mother was crazy and beautiful. Not someone you could easily forget. If Teagan weren’t in my life by that point, who knows how things would’ve played out. But she was, and I chose her. I never told her about you or your mother. You see, Teagan was very religious and I wasn’t sure how she’d handle something like that. I mean come on… How do you tell your wife that you have a child with another woman and in another country? Cheating wasn’t involved, but it doesn’t look so good, not to a Catholic woman especially.”
“So, what your saying is… It was easier to move on and start a new family. Even with the knowledge that you were missing out on tee-ball games, birthday parties, Christmases, camping trips… You know, basic father, son shit. But I guess you didn’t need a son, not when you had two tomboys as daughters. They did all those things for you. You know… I used to HATE them.”
Pepper cocked a brow on this, and Ethan gave a firm nod.
“I hated them sooo fucking much. You chose them over me and my mother. I never understood why. Why were they so…”
“Ethan…” Pepper interrupted as his son ordered yet another round and three more shots to go with that.
He downed each of those shots then took that beer to the label.
“What?! You gonna tell me to stop drinking so much?” Ethan challenged, and Pepper let out a frustrated sigh.
“Imagine that. My alcoholic father telling me that I should take it down a notch!” Ethan laughed in mere amusement and finished that beer.
Pepper thickly swallowed as his son had the beginning of tears in his eyes.
“We don’t exist, kid. Your mother and I were just one big mistake, and you’re the product of that mistake. It’s that simple. Just think of me as a sperm donor. I gave you life; nothing more.” Ethan quoted as to the first time he met his father.
Pepper recoiled in memory.
“I was a mistake,” Ethan said with a firm nod.
“That’s not what I said.”
“No, but it’s what you meant. If my mother had come to you when she was knocked-up, you would’ve had her abort my ass, and you know it!”
“I’m Catholic. I don’t believe in that sort of thing.”
Ethan had a good laugh at this.
“You don’t believe in abortion, but you do believe in paying a woman for her silence. Such class you have. Fucking gentleman aren’t you?!”
“Ethan…” Pepper whispered as his son was getting louder and louder.
“God, I was so stupid. I pictured it so differently, you know. When I found those checks you wrote my mother. I had this amazing reunion in my head. I just knew you were going to be as eager to meet me as I was you. That you’d beg me to stay. I just knew my mother was wrong about you.”
Pepper recoiled on this and Ethan laughed once again.
“Do you have any idea how long it took me to save up that kind of money?! I was a fucking kid, man.”
“I don’t know what to say. Apologizing would be nothing more than a slap to the face at this point.” Pepper admitted.
“You’re goddamn right it would be! I don’t want your fucking apology. We are way past that point. I mean seriously, it takes a special kind of man to fuck up not just one but ALL three of his kids’ lives. That requires motherfucking talent.”
Pepper shook his head as Ethan waved the waitress over yet again. He ordered another beer and two more shots.
“You know what’s so fucked up about this situation?!” Ethan asked, and Pepper shrugged as he was at a loss for words.
“I wanted MY son. I wanted that kid in my life. I wanted him so much that I tolerated his drug-addicted mother and did whatever I could to make things work. I took that kid on fishing and camping trips all the fucking time. I read to him every night I was home. We watched Saturday morning cartoons and made homemade slime. I ate cereal with fucking Gatorade and hated it! But Liam was allergic to milk, so we used Gatorade instead because that’s what he wanted! I did that shit because he wanted to be just like me. So, in return, I showed him I wanted to be like him, even with that disgusting crap in my goddamn Cheerios. I ate that shit like it was the best thing I ever tasted! You see, THAT’S what a REAL father does. But I had him ripped right out of my arms. Yet here I am, staring at a father that didn’t want his son, a man that didn’t deserve his daughters. But he has them all within his grasp. HOW UNFUCKING FAIR IS THAT SHIT?!”
Ethan closed his eyes and tears trickled down his face.
“I miss him so fucking much.” His voice cracked, and Pepper stopped him from taking another shot.
“Let’s go.” He softly put, and Ethan shook his head no.
“Come on son. Don’t be like me.” Pepper pleaded, and Ethan looked to the beer in his hand.
“I couldn’t be like you if I tried.” Ethan bitterly murmured, and Pepper snatched the beer out of his son’s hand.
“Let’s take this conversation somewhere else, somewhere without booze.” Pepper paid his son’s tab then dragged him out of the bar.
Ethan laughed the entire way to the truck. Pepper opened the passenger side door then gestured for his son to get in.
“You’re going to hurt them, aren’t you?” Ethan said.
“No, I’m not.”
“Yes, you will. It’s all you know.”
“I’ll just have to prove you and everyone else wrong.” Pepper said, but his attention was elsewhere at the moment.
“What?!” Ethan questioned once he noticed the strange look on his father’s face.
“Marianne?!” Pepper softly called.
“What?!” Ethan drunkenly sputtered.
“It’s your mother.”
Pepper nodded that direction, and Ethan craned his head that way as well.
The woman smiled then made her way over.
“What are you doing here?!” Ethan asked.
He pushed past his father and hugged his mother close.
“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to intrude.” But as she said this, she couldn’t take her eyes off Pepper.
She was just as shocked to see him as he was her.
“Mom…” Ethan whispered once he saw the blood on her blouse, and how beat up she was.
“What’s going on?!”
“I have a bit of an issue and was told you’d probably be here.”
“Told?! By who?”
“I’ll explain just as soon as I can. But I really need you to follow me.”
Ethan reared back when he heard something banging around in his mother’s trunk.
“Yeah, now would be good.” His mother nervously added.
“What the fuck?!” Ethan’s words slurred as he jumped into the truck with his father.
Pepper followed Marianne out of town. They followed her out into the country and into an empty field.
“What is she up to?!” Ethan uttered.
Pepper wondered that very thing as he parked beside her. Marianne sprang out of the car then rushed on over to Ethan’s side of the truck.
“Don’t be mad. But I had no choice. I need you to know that.”
Ethan reared back in response. He followed his mother to the trunk. She opened it, and Ethan staggered back at the reveal.
“WHAT THE FUCK, MOM?!” He shouted, and Marianne looked around the area in alarm.
“Who is that?” Pepper questioned as he looked at the young woman.
Her arms and legs were bound with duct tape, and her mouth was taped shut as well.
“My ex-wife,” Ethan replied but looked to his mother.
“Have you lost your mind?”
“Ethan, I had to!”
“Tracy attacked me and Steven!” His mother lifted her blouse, just enough to reveal the area where Tracy had cut her.
Ethan’s jaw dropped.
“Steven’s in the hospital and…”
“And…?” Ethan probed, and his mother looked to Tracy with downright hatred.
“Your grandfather witnessed all this and went into cardiac arrest!”
“He’s dead, Ethan.” His mother cried, and Ethan’s heart sank to the pit of his stomach.
“No…” The man whispered.
His mother told him all about the incident. How Tracy welcomed herself to a picnic Steven and his mother were having for Ethan’s grandfather. She showed up causing all sorts of drama and was there asking for his grandmother’s brooch and for more money. His mother made it clear that Tracy was on something when she arrived. She and Steven were doing their best to handle the situation and make her leave. They were on the phone with the police when she pulled out a knife and threatened Marianne with it. Marianne didn’t cave, and Steven saw it coming before his wife did. He tried pushing his wife out of the way, but the knife sliced her abdomen. Tracy reacted and stabbed Steven out of rage. Steven was taken to the hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas. Tracy outran the police and made it clear to Marianne that she was going after Ethan and his “significant other”. Marianne made certain her husband was okay then headed straight for Charming to warn her son. Only she found Tracy waiting in Ethan’s place of residence and Marianne took matters into her own hands.
Pepper raised his brows as Ethan snatched Tracy out of the trunk.
“YOU CAME AFTER MY FAMILY?!” Ethan growled as he had his ex-wife by the hair.
Tracy mumbled some sort of plea, but they couldn’t make out a word of it. His mother cringed when Ethan slugged Tracy across the face. She’d never witnessed such a thing. Her son just wasn’t one to hit women. But she knew Tracy had it coming.
“KILLING MY SON WASN’T ENOUGH?! YOU HAD TO TAKE MY GRANDFATHER TOO?!”
“Marianne…” Pepper whispered gathering her attention.
Marianne’s eyes met his and Pepper sighed.
“He’s drunk.” He warned, and Marianne closed her eyes on this.
She figured he was when she first arrived but couldn’t be sure considering she caught him flatfooted.
“Ethan…” She softly called then placed a hand along her son’s shoulder.
“Maybe we should…” She started to say, but the look on her son’s face said it all.
Ethan was officially done. This was that pushing point. The one she always feared but knew was coming. He’d been fighting this for years, and there was nothing she could do now. Marianne sighed but gave a simple nod.
“DON’T!” Pepper hollered then knocked the gun out of his son’s hold.
Marianne and Ethan regarded Pepper in disbelief when he retrieved his own instead and shot the woman himself.
“WHY’D YOU DO THAT?!” Ethan shouted, and it was then Marianne realized just how wasted her son was. His words were slurring, and his eyes were bloodshot. This had her picking the gun up off the ground and keeping it out of reach.
“Doesn’t matter. Let’s get this over with.” Pepper softly put and while unbuttoning the sleeves to his shirt. He rolled them up, and Ethan shook his head. Pepper went on to lift the body up off the ground, and Ethan shoved him back.
“WHY’D YOU DO THAT?!” Ethan yelled once again, and the man was shaking all over.
“Because I owe, both of you.” Pepper replied.
Ethan and his mother exchanged glances on this.
“I don’t need your help. I never did. No, I take that back. WE never did. We did just fine without you and we’ll…”
“Ethan hun…” His mother tenderly called.
“I think we need the help this time.” She regrettably admitted, and Pepper gave a mere nod before getting back to business.
“Where you taking her?” Marianne questioned.
“There’s gotta be a pig farm somewhere around here,” Pepper said with a shrug.
“Pig farm?!” Ethan exclaimed, and his father managed to laugh.
“You got a lot to learn about a farmer’s life, son.”
Pepper placed the body back into the trunk. He slammed it shut then held his hand out for the keys. Marianne regarded Pepper in confusion.
“You two take the truck. I won’t have you getting pulled over with this.” Pepper said but with this strong sense of déjà vu.
Nicholas came to mind, and that long night Alastar spent with Aislinn. It took them all night and day to clean up after that mess and get that son of a bitch buried. Sad as it was, that was one of the best memories Pepper had of him and Aislinn. They hardly said a word to one another. But for that one night, Alastar had his little girl back. They were in sync, and he hadn’t felt that connection in a very long time. This had the man regarding his son in thought.
“What?!” Ethan questioned.
“I’ll tell you later.” His father said then hopped into the car.
“If I get pulled over you two keep on going like you don’t even know me.”
Pepper started the car.
“Oh, and Marianne…”
“Don’t let him drive.” Pepper reminded.
“Right…” Marianne uttered in thought.
“Something tells me we might as well leave that bed be after your release.” The nurse alleged figuring this man wasn’t leaving his wife’s side.
Chibs nodded in agreement.
“I’ll see what I can do.” The nurse said.
“Thank you.” The VP sincerely put.
The nurse sent Chibs a warm smile before adjusting the tube to Aislinn’s IV.
“I’ll be in later tonight for her bed bath.”
“Actually, if ye just bring me what I need I can do that.”
“And the husband of the year award goes to…” The nurse sweetly teased and Chibs smiled.
Brodie entered the room, not long after the nurse left and tossed a bag Chibs’s direction.
“What’s this?” Chibs questioned.
“Look inside, numbnuts.”
The VP peeked into the bag and laughed. Brodie had bought him some “adult” related crossword puzzles and color by number coloring books.
“Yer somethin’ else, ye know that!” Chibs uttered but was flipping through one of the crossword puzzles.
It was filled with curse words and sex-related puzzles. The color by number was even worse and chock-full with nudity. Chibs shook his head then flashed his cousin a picture of a giant cock.
“Yer welcome!” Brodie uttered.
“I’ll color this one so ye can frame it right above yer fireplace!”
“I’ll do just that and with yer picture right above it!”
“Ye would too.” Chibs murmured and continued with his flipping.
“I can’t believe they make shite like this. I thought these things were for children.”
“Yers maybe…” Brodie taunted, and Chibs nodded in thought.
“Aye, I’m sure Ali’s gonna love the first set of teats (tits) our son colors.” Chibs jested, and Brodie cocked a brow on this.
It wasn’t the teats part that had his cousin’s attention.
Chibs lifted his head, and Brodie chuckled.
“I knew it! So, ye do have a preference!”
Chibs rolled his eyes in response.
“Ye want a wee buck and ye want him ta look just like ye, hideous scars and all!”
“Aye now, I done made myself perfectly clear on the matter.”
“Sure ye did. Ye only said that so Aislinn wouldn’t think less of ye for not wantin’ a girl!”
“Ye gotta be the most ignorant bastard that’s ever walked this planet.”
“That hurts, you know. I’m aware of who my father is!”
“Did you just call me mum and yer aunt a whore?!” Brodie taunted, and this had Chibs dying of laughter.
“I suppose ye have a point there.” He said considering Brodie’s mother was nothing but faithful and a good woman.
“This is it?” Riona questioned in surprise.
Jax checked the address over once again and nodded. They were parked a few feet away and in some overgrown weeds. This way the truck would be hidden. This place hadn’t been taken care of in years. That much was obvious.
“Dump?” Jax finished, and Riona nodded in agreement.
“I don’t like this…” Her husband added as this was much like Chibs’s place, only Chibs kept his a lot nicer.
The wood around the house was rotted, and the paint was chipping. Jax withdrew the deepest of breaths as he handed his wife one of his guns.
“Stay close. I mean it. Don’t leave my side, not for a second.”
Riona nodded, and they hopped on out of the truck.
“Sooo…” Ethan’s mother whispered while shifting gears.
Ethan looked out the window as his mother followed his father to the pig farm.
“Never thought I’d see him again.” She hinted as to his father.
“That makes two of us.”
“What is Alastar doing in California?” His mother curiously questioned.
“It’s a rather long story.”
“Think you can give me the cliff notes?”
Ethan did his best to explain the situation as briefly as possible. In order to do that, he had to tell his mother about Ireland and what happened to the girls. That led to their arrival in the states and why Pepper was here.
“Wait… your sisters are here?” His mother questioned as it just dawned on her.
“Could I meet them?!” She excitably put, and Ethan smiled.
“I’m sure we can arrange that.” He said but had to explain the situation his younger sister was in.
“Oh, that poor dear.” His mother whispered, and Ethan nodded.
“Yeah, she’s been through the wringer.”
Ethan was about to say something else, but his father pulled over. Marianne parked beside him, and Ethan rolled his window down so they could hear him.
“You two stay put and keep watch. I’m pretty sure this is the place. Call if anyone heads this way.”
Ethan nodded and watched as his father headed off. The two stayed put, and Ethan ran his hands along the dashboard in thought.
“Pigs, huh?” He uttered, and his mother smiled.
“Learn something new every day.” She said with a shrug.
“I bet you got a million-one things you wanna say to that bastard.”
“Not really.” His mother uttered taking him by surprise.
“Ethan hun, I let that part of my life go a long time ago. Any resentment I feel towards that man is because he hurt you. Other than that, it hadn’t anything to do with me. I moved on that night; we both did. But that’s no excuse for the way he treated you. I’m sorry. I know you wanted him in your life.”
“I got the best part of him.” Ethan hinted as to his sisters, and his mother smiled.
“And so did I!” She hinted in return and Ethan pecked his mother’s forehead.
“I missed you.”
“I missed you too, mom,” Ethan said but was somewhat emotional as his grandfather came to mind.
His mother reached out and patted him on the leg.
“We’ll wait on the funeral. I know you want to be there.”
“Of course.” He said but thought back to Piney and Juice.
“I’ll have to attend a couple funerals here first.” He said, and his mother’s jaw dropped.
“Yeah, it’s been a bad time all around.”
“I’m very sorry to hear that.”
“This is crazy.”
“Shouldn’t I feel something?”
“What do you mean?”
“Tracy. I mean… I loved her mom. But now all I feel is relief. How fucked up is that?!”
“Ethan, you’ve been holding on to that for years. It was bound to happen. Tracy brought this on herself. We all loved her, but the day she killed Liam…”
Ethan recoiled in memory.
“You did your duty as a husband and father. You put that girl in rehab yourself, and you held her hand the entire time. But she fought you, tooth and nail. We all saw it.”
Ethan nodded in thought.
“I can’t believe gramps is dead.”
“His heart just couldn’t handle all the stress.” His mother said while wiping a tear off her cheek.
“I’m sorry mom. I should’ve done something a long time ago. I can’t believe Tracy went this far.”
His mother sighed then sent her son a look of shame.
“I said significant other, but that isn’t how Tracy put it.”
Ethan tilted his head in question.
“She mentioned something about the “new bitch” in your life and how she wanted you to suffer. She was going to kill this woman and leave her body for you to find.”
“New bitch?!” Ethan whispered but thought back to when Tracy showed up at the shop.
She thought Riona was his lover at the time.
“Jesus, she would’ve gone after Riona!”
“Riona?! As in one of your sisters?!”
Ethan told his mother about Tracy’s little visit and what all took place. His mother shook her head in disbelief.
“She really was a basketcase!”
“That’s no fucking lie,” Ethan said, but his eyes were starting to droop as he fought to stay awake.
“Oh, there he is.” His mother announced as Pepper pulled up beside them.
He stepped out of the car then made his way around. He and Marianne switched vehicles.
“You sure this won’t trace back to our son?” Marianne questioned afterward.
“Pigs were hungry. We’re good.”
“Marianne, not happening. I give you my word.”
“You better keep that word Alastar.”
“Why don’t you follow me to the hotel, and we’ll catch up.” Pepper suggested.
“Hotel?! Isn’t that what got us into trouble to begin with?” Marianne teased with a nod towards their son who was nodding off in the passenger seat.
“He’s gonna regret that come morning.” Pepper hinted, and Marianne laughed.
“You would know.” She cruelly mocked in return.
“Yeah, yeah. Look, just follow me, alright?”
Marianne looked somewhat hesitant.
“Fine. But I have no problem putting you in a trunk as well. I have a keen sense of memory too. I’ll remember this pig farm!”
Pepper chuckled as he rolled the window up. He looked to his son who was officially out.
“Well, I see where you get it.” He muttered as Marianne followed them back to the hotel.
Brodie answered the door as there was a knock. Chibs had been asleep, but the knock stirred him awake.
“Oh, did I wake you?!” The woman called in an apologetic manner, and Chibs smiled.
“Aye, I’ve been sleepin’ all day.” He dismissively put.
The VP sat up and adjusted his shirt. Chibs was back in his regular clothes and had been for the past couple days. He couldn’t stand those hospital gowns. That and he was sick of Brodie’s “bare arse” remarks.
“How is she?”
“Good. Just waitin’…”
“I hope you don’t mind. But I had to see her. When you called to reschedule and told me what happened…” Aislinn’s doctor trailed off and with this guilty presence.
“Such a sweetheart. She didn’t deserve this.” The woman whispered and was looking Aislinn’s chart and monitors over.
“I dare say you two have experienced one hell of a miracle.” Dr. Cole sighed in thought.
“That girl’s tubes are severely damaged. How you managed to get anything through them… That’s beyond me!”
“We’re stubborn like that,” Chibs said with a grin, and Dr. Cole smiled.
“I can see that! I do hope you two will continue in keeping Aislinn under my care. I’d like to see where this goes and offer her the best there is.”
“I think Ali would love that.”
“Well, give her time and talk to her when she’s ready. I do hope she isn’t upset with my misdiagnosis. But I can show you the pictures myself. I think given your own profession you will see what I was referring to and why I suggested surgery.”
“Aye, I’ll set somethin’ up here soon.”
“Congratulations, Filip. She was heartbroken when I gave her the bad news. I’m so happy everything worked out for you two.”
“But do let her know if she chooses to go with someone else I won’t hold it personal. There is bound to be some resentment on her behalf. I don’t wish to make her feel obligated.”
“Chesiree, I chose ye for a reason, and I trust ye at yer word. These things happen. We both know that, and I’m more than certain my wife feels the same.” Chibs sincerely put but something else came to mind, and this had the VP regarding the doctor in thought.
“Yer sister doesn’t happen ta be the sheriff, now does she?” He asked as Dr. Cole set the flowers she’d gotten Aislinn down.
“She sure is!”
Chibs chuckled on the irony. It hadn’t occurred to him until now.
“Small world.” He murmured in thought.
“Sure is. Neither of us was on board with the whole marriage thing.”
“I hear ye.”
“Dinah says she’s seeing someone though and he treats her like a queen! So, I asked if he had a brother!”
Chibs had a good laugh at this considering he knew who the man was.
“She’s even considered putting up the badge!” She added and this had the Scot blown away.
“Oh yeah… That girl is smitten and believe me that isn’t easy to do. Whoever this mystery man is… he must be doing something right!”
“Must be…” Chibs murmured in thought.
A sheriff willing to put her badge up for a biker?! That was certainly unheard of. The sheriff struck Chibs as the prideful sort too. So, hearing that really threw the man for a loop. But if Tig was happy, then Chibs was happy for him. He only hoped this didn’t come back to bite SAMCRO in the ass.
Jax put his finger to his lips, and Riona nodded in response. He was first to climb in through one of the kitchen windows. Jax kept an eye and ear out as he helped his wife inside. They retrieved their guns and Riona followed her husband throughout the house. They searched every room but found nothing. Jax, however, looked to the coffee table and saw that someone had been here and not too long ago. There were a couple of beers and a pack of smokes laid out. The ashtray was also filled with cigarette buds. Jax said nothing on it as he and Riona dug through whatever drawers or cabinets they could find.
“Nothing…” Jax whispered in frustration and Riona sighed on her end as well.
“Not sure. Maybe we should stick around and see if anyone turns up. We can wait in the truck.” Her husband suggested.
“Sounds like a plan.”
Jax nodded then opened the window for Riona. She climbed on out, and he went to join her when he heard someone at the front door. The president froze then looked to his wife. He shoed her away. Riona wanted to argue this but knew she’d put them in danger if she did. So, she did as her husband wished and started for the truck. Jax hid in the utility room. He could hear someone talking on the phone as they entered the house.
“Just find the bitch.”
“Then you better find a way. Boss’s orders. He wants her right here, stripped down, and lubed up!”
Jax was extra cautious as he snuck a peek at whoever it was. The president curled his lip the moment he saw Kozik. Jax mouthed the words “what the fuck”.
“Nah, he wants to do that part himself.”
“I know right? Fucking bastard. Wait, are you in the house now?”
“Damn. He was certain she’d be there!”
“I don’t care how hot she is. Put the fucking picture down. Get your ass out of there before the fucking prez gets home. No man, Clay will lose his shit if you fuck that bitch before he has the chance! No one touches her but him!”
Jax gritted his teeth once he realized they were talking about his wife.
“Made himself perfectly clear. He wants Lowman to watch.” Kozik added behind a chuckle.
“Right?! Too bad Jax won’t be around for it. I’d like to see the look on his face. Step-daddy fucking his old lady!”
Riona was on the verge of tears as she forced herself towards the truck. She struggled against that will of hers knowing she had to do as her husband said. Jax knew what he was doing and would be okay. Riona told herself that over and over. The young woman came to a halt however as something caught the corner of her eye. She thought it her imagination at first. But the wind blew the tall grass back, and her heart damn near galloped out of her chest. Something within had her running that direction.
Jax waited until Kozik hung up the phone. The president snuck up behind him then got the man in a headlock.
“Now, I know you weren’t talking about my wife!” Jax growled, and Kozik wrapped his hands around Jax’s arms as he fought to break free.
Kozik started to choke as Jax’s hold grew tighter.
“I can’t believe you. Tig doesn’t vote your sorry ass in, and this is your way of getting revenge?! You go behind our backs and work under fucking Clay Morrow?!”
Jax spun Kozik around then kicked one of his knees out. The man fell and with an agonizing grunt. Jax gritted his teeth then put his gun to Kozik’s head.
“Get to talking, or I’ll paint this motherfucking room with your blood, and I’m talking every inch!”
Riona pulled the weeds back then placed her hand along the door to the storage container. She hadn’t a clue why something like this was even out here. But it was, and that had her on edge. If it hadn’t been for the wind blowing the weeds back, she would’ve never seen it. The young woman said a small prayer before getting her gun ready and entering that unit.
“Happy!” Riona whispered and with tears in her eyes.
The Son snapped his head that direction but with alarm. Riona didn’t catch this and rushed on over. This had the man going ballistic as he was trying to warn her.
“What?!” She asked, and he nodded a certain direction.
Riona pivoted around, and a spotlight flickered, right in her eyes. The young woman received a swift blow to the head. The impact had her seeing double, and her gun tumbled to the floor. Happy was doing whatever he could to break free. The man tried shouting for help, but it came out muffled against that duct tape.
“Well, isn’t this something?! I send one of the boys out, and she comes right to me!” Clay uttered as he had Riona by the hair and pressed up against his chest.
Clay breathed her in then closed his eyes.
“Damn, she smells good. I bet she feels good too!”
Riona’s eyes fluttered about but just long enough to let Happy know she was faking being knocked out. Happy picked up on this and played along as he continued in that panic-stricken struggle. Clay flung her about like that of a ragdoll. He shoved her onto the floor then grabbed his knife from his holster. He bent down then glanced Happy’s direction.
“Now pay attention. I’ll go nice and slow. I wouldn’t want you to miss anything. Oh, and I hit record. That way Jax gets the full VIP package as well.” Clay uttered with a malicious smile.
Clay started to cut through her blouse but stopped when he heard a couple gunshots coming from the house. The man looked to Riona then Happy. He let out a sigh of annoyance.
“To be continued,” Clay uttered but stole a peek at her breasts.
“Fuck…” Clay whispered in longing.
“Just you wait… I’m gonna fuck you dry, bitch.” He said before taking off.
Riona waited until she knew the coast was clear. She rolled over and her eyes locked with Happy’s. He gave a simple nod as if to encourage her. Riona’s head pounded, and she was seeing double still. She used the wall to brace herself and inched her way towards Happy. Riona removed the duct tape from his lips.
“So, how we gettin’ out of here?” The Son questioned but with this intense look in his eyes.
Riona didn’t respond but looked to be in thought. The Son tilted his head in utter confusion as Riona untied one of her shoes and yanked the shoelace out. “Saw this on the internet. Worth a shot!” She said, and Happy was blown away as she used that shoelace to cut through one of the ties, freeing one of his hands. She moved on to the other, but this one took a little longer. Part of that had to do with her trying to keep from passing out. Happy reached out and lifted her chin. Riona grimaced once she saw it was the hand with the missing digit. She could see where the area had been soldered shut.
“Stay with me, alright?” He said as she had a good gash on the top of her head and blood was running down her face.
Riona nodded but with tears as she looked to his bounded legs.
“I got this part.” He said while removing the duct table from his legs and ankles.
“Riona…” Happy called and was quick to brace her against him.
“Just remember I saved the damsel this time.” Riona faintly uttered and Happy managed to laugh.
“I’m the damsel, huh?”
Riona gave a firm nod.
“Hell, I’ll take it. Now, let’s get the fuck out of here.” He said after coming to a stand.
The two leaned against one another for support. Happy himself wasn’t doing so great. He hadn’t anything to eat or drink in days. That and he’d taken quite the beating.
“Happy, Jackson’s in the house.” She whispered once they were outside.
“Shit.” Happy said as neither of them could handle a confrontation right now.
The Son sat Riona down in the grass and up against the back of the house. He ripped a chunk of her shirt off. He placed it on the cut and had her put some pressure on it. He would’ve used his shirt if it wasn’t covered in sweat and blood.
“Don’t let up on that.”
Happy found himself caressing her cheek.
“Thank you.” He sincerely put, and Riona forced a smile.
This had the man hugging her close. He put his forehead to hers afterward.
“Stay put. I’ll find Jax.” He whispered.
Happy came to his feet but only made it a few steps before he hit the ground.
“HAPPY!” Riona shrieked.
“HEY!” She heard then lifted her eyes.
Jax was peeking around the corner of the house and with Kozik in his hold.
“HAP?!” Jax hollered.
There was no disguising the shock in his voice when he saw Happy lying, just a few feet away from his wife.
“WHERE’S CLAY?!” Riona screamed in alarm.
“HE WAS HERE, JACKSON! HE WAS HOLDIN’ HAPPY HOSTAGE! I WAS RIGHT! HE WAS ALIVE, THIS WHOLE TIME! THE WHOLE TIME, JACKSON! HE TRIED TO KILL MY SISTER AND CHIBS!” Riona cried.
“Jesus Christ,” Jax uttered looking ill.
“Jackson now might be a good time to call for backup.”
Kozik tried taking advantage of the situation by hobbling off. The president spun around then used his gun to take that other kneecap out. Kozik hit the ground and begged for mercy. Jax ignored this as he got on his phone and called Bobby. He ordered every member of SAMCRO (aside from Chibs) to the house, including that of the prospects.
(Props to 4padfoot for the shoe lace idea. I’d be lost without ya!)