Chapter 48 – Awake and Alive
I do not own SOA, youtube, or Skillet. I claim original plot and characters. I do not give anyone permission to use them.
“Good lord.” Ethan murmured when Bobby tossed a shovel his direction.
“Problem?” Bobby questioned as Ethan started digging.
“Nope,” Ethan uttered but with Tracy in mind.
This made two bodies in less than twenty-four hours. Well, two that he played a part in. Tig adjusted his leather gloves then helped Ethan with the digging. Ethan raised his brows; however, when he caught Tig whistling, like this was a happy occasion. Tig took notice of the odd look Ethan was giving him.
“Old friend…” Tig happily put, and Ethan shook his head.
“Okay…” He muttered, and Tig chuckled.
Tig tilted his head however when he saw Dinah pull up to the house.
“What’s she doing back here?” He muttered under his breath then handed Kip his shovel.
“Really?” Kip complained.
“Yes, really! Get to it, Sack!” Tig said with a smirk and Kip frowned.
“Like a fucking prospect again.” He whispered, and Ethan glanced his direction.
“Just you wait… You have no idea.” Kip added but got to digging.
“I thought you were staying with Happy and Riona?!”
“I never said that.” Dinah made clear, and Tig sighed.
“What? Are you afraid of what your peers will think?” She teased, and Tig glanced their direction.
“Wait… You haven’t told them about us, have you?!” Dinah assumed they knew because of Jax knowing.
“Not everyone…” Tig admitted, and the sheriff was the one sighing now.
“It’s not like you’ve told everyone about me!” Tig said in defense.
“I suppose you have a point,” Dinah uttered.
“Besides, it’s not like we’re really… You know…” Tig softly put, and Dinah raised her brows.
“Not really what?”
“Dinah, I’m a criminal. Being here puts you and you and your job in jeopardy.”
“You think I don’t know that?!” She rather snipped.
Dinah shook her head then let out a miserable laugh.
“I’m such an idiot.” She whispered in this defeated tone.
This was a side of Dinah Tig had never seen. She never acted this vulnerable around him before. He wasn’t sure what to make of it.
“You just let me know where this relationship was headed.”
“I did?” Tig innocently put, and Dinah rolled her eyes.
“You sure did and nowhere apparently.”
Tig narrowed his eyes in confusion but backtracked on what he said and recoiled.
“Dinah baby, I didn’t mean…”
“Save it. I’ll help your MC then show myself out. No sense in making a scene. I’m a big girl. I can handle rejection.”
“Rejection?!” Tig nearly hollered.
“Well, what would you call it?!” She bitterly questioned, and Tig looked to his MC then back to the sheriff.
Dinah had a good laugh at this.
“You got that right.” She uttered and started to walk away.
Tig reached out and took her by the hand. He pulled her back towards him, and this naturally had everyone’s attention.
“Come on baby. Don’t be like that. You know how I feel about you. I looove trouble.” He whispered.
“No, actually I don’t. I thought I did. But it’s not like we’re really… You know…” Dinah bitterly quoted, and Tig flinched like he’d been slapped.
“I meant it’s not like we could ever be public about this. I know what it would cost you. I couldn’t do that to you, doll. I know what this job means to you.”
“Ever think that maybe you mean more?” She said.
Tig was at a loss for words. Dinah yanked her hand out of his hold then headed towards the area where they were burying Kozik.
“No, no… This won’t work.” She said in a tsking manner.
This had Ethan and Kip stopping in their tracks.
“That’s too many bodies. You have to plant this one somewhere. You can’t just have all these random disappearances!” She scolded, and Bobby cocked a brow on this.
“And what’s your suggestion?”
Dinah sighed in thought.
“I overheard something about an arson at Mrs. Morrow’s place…”
“WHAT?!” Bobby interrupted before she could even finish.
The sheriff held up a hand.
“Let me finish. They haven’t been identified yet, but there were a couple bodies inside. I checked on your entire MC and all your loved ones. Everyone’s accounted for. But you boys need to make some sort of connection. I have a feeling this is your president’s doing, and there’s only so much I can cover for you boys. You boys are usually better than this! Where is your president anyhow? Isn’t he normally the brains of the operation?”
The boys looked to one another knowing they couldn’t answer that, and the sheriff half laughed.
“Right… That’s about what I figured. He’s out on “business” and creating all kinds of paperwork for me when I get back. The least you boys could do is cut me enough courtesy to help cover this shit up! And when I say cover this shit up. I mean we need to find a suspect, a believable one that would have reasonable cause for all this…” The sheriff trailed off in thought, and Tig regarded her with concern.
Bobby took notice of the way Tig reached out to her.
“You’ve got to be kidding.” Bobby hissed in disapproval.
“You’re in bed with a pig?”
“I beg your pardon?! You of all people shouldn’t be using the word pig, lard ass.” The sheriff scoffed in response.
Tig resisted the urge to laugh.
“You heard me. I was wondering why you showed up all of a sudden and why you were so eager to help!” Bobby snapped a disaproving look Tig’s direction.
“Of all the stupid things…”
“Now’s not the time.” Ethan murmured and with a gesture towards the body they were trying to rid of.
“You say something, prospect?” Bobby sneered, and Ethan rolled his eyes.
“Watch your mouth. I might be a prospect, but I’ve earned my stripes, where it counts. I won’t be talked down to like some little bitch.”
“Oh, you think you have a choice, do you?” Bobby added with a chuckle.
“Oh, lord. I’m having schoolyard flashbacks. You boys never grow up, do you?” Dinah scoffed.
“Cute. We don’t need you crampin’ up our way of doin’ things. We’ve done just fine without you.” Bobby said.
“Have you now?” Dinah challenged as to all the times she and Jax worked together, behind the scenes. But she wasn’t about to dive into all that. That would make trouble for Jax, and she knew how these MC’s were when it came to rats. Not that Jax was a rat, but he worked with the law from time to time when needed. He did whatever it took to protect his family, the club, and Charming. And like that of Chibs, Jax wasn’t down for doing any more time. He meant it when he said he was cleaning shit up. Dinah knew all about Jax’s goal for SAMCRO, and she was all for it. It was those plans that earned Dinah’s respect. She wanted that future just as much as Jax did.
Bobby tilted his head on this.
“Look, why don’t you give “daddy crow” a call and see what he thinks?” The sheriff challenged.
Bobby made this odd clicking sound with his tongue. The sergeant was pissed and didn’t approve of this one bit.
“Just call him.” Tig encouraged.
“And here I was thinkin’ you were a faggot with all the pussy you were turning down. This is much worse.” Bobby fired.
Tig took everyone by surprise when he slugged Bobby across the face. Dinah, however, was struck stupid by what Bobby had said. So, Tig was taking their relationship seriously after all. Dinah sent Tig an apologetic glance. She couldn’t help but feel guilty over her accusation. But Tig was too focused on Bobby to even notice.
“YOU WANNA SAY THAT SHIT AGAIN, ASSHOLE?!” Tig thundered.
Ethan grabbed ahold of Bobby and Kip grabbed ahold of Tig. The sheriff stood between the two Sons so they couldn’t get to one another. She took it upon herself to call Jax…
Gemma nodded amongst herself once she realized where her son was taking her. She thought it rather poetic. Jax was taking her to the Teller cabin. This cabin was a little over an hour or so away. This was a place she, Thomas, JT, and Jax shared many memories. They hadn’t been here in years. Gemma had gone above and beyond to forget about this place. Whereas the cabin brought forth fond memories for Jax, they weren’t so great for Gemma. All those memories did was remind her of how much she fucked up. She’d said as much to her son once before. Gemma figured that was Jax’s reason for bringing her here. If he was going to kill her it might as well be in a place where she’d be forever tormented.
“Jax baby.” His mother softly called as she saw tears streaming down her son’s face.
Jax didn’t so much as blink. He put his gun to her head and kept driving.
“Not a word. Not until I’m ready for you to speak.” He made clear, and Gemma nodded in understanding.
Jax lowered his gun but didn’t utter another word, not until they were at the cabin.
“Get out.” He ordered once he parked.
Gemma unbuckled her seatbelt and found herself feeling somewhat foolish for even bothering to buckle up. She knew where this was going. She couldn’t talk her way out of this and by this point, she didn’t want to. Gemma knew she’d hurt her son more than anyone ever had, and she was ready to pay for her sins. If it was going to be anyone – it might as well be him.
“Go,” Jax uttered once they were standing outside the truck.
Gemma nodded then headed inside. Jax followed and shut the door. The president gestured for his mother to have a seat. He brought his gun back out and sat across from her. Jax took a moment to process his thoughts.
“Don’t talk, just listen. Even if it sounds like I’m asking you a question… Just keep quiet until I say otherwise.”
Gemma gave a mere nod, and Jax thickly swallowed. He had that gun resting in his lap as he locked eyes with his mother.
“How could you put me in this position? First, you kidnap my son then you go after my wife?! All this in hopes of me and Tara getting back together?! A woman you spent years upon years loathing! Now she’s the daughter-in-law you’ve always wanted?! And to top it off… you bought that bogus story of hers? Did you really think I’d turn right around and fuck Tara? That I’d knock her up and go out my way to hide it from my wife?! What part of ’I’m not the same man’ did you NOT get?!” Jax closed his eyes then drew back the deepest of breaths before opening his eyes again.
“Those are questions I wanted to ask, or so I thought. But I already know the answers. It’s sad when your mother is so incredibly selfish that she would destroy everything about your life, in order to get the family, she’s always wanted.” He sadly murmured, and Gemma lowered her head in shame.
“Look at me!” Jax snapped startling his mother.
“You will look me in the eyes. You owe me that much!”
Gemma nodded in response.
“You could control Wendy and Tara, always have. But you couldn’t control Riona. She didn’t back down when it came to you and your manipulative ways. And that’s when you started making plans. Riona could never live up to your expectations because let’s face it; she’s smarter than that! She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And you just couldn’t stand it! You wanted someone beneath you. Someone to make you feel taller if you get my drift and someone that would NEVER take your spot as “queen”. Tara and Wendy didn’t have what it takes, but Riona does, and that scares the living SHIT out of you. That’s why you flipped out when you saw her handling the records and cooking for us boys. Those were things you always did. But Riona showed that she could do them just as well, hell better! Business is booming, more than it ever has, and all because of her. You never brought that much business in. And when it came to Tara, Abel preferred you. You couldn’t stand it when he preferred Riona over you! Gemma, you’re not my wife, and you are NOT Abel’s mother. You are MY mother and Abel’s GRANDMOTHER! That was your role, nothing more. Hell, you’re lucky you even had one!”
Jax thought back to what he walked in on and shook his head.
“If I had walked in just a second later…” Jax closed his eyes once again.
“You would’ve killed me and Abel.”
Gemma started to say something in defense and Jax held his gun up in warning.
“Shhhh.” He reminded.
“Mom, if you had killed that woman. You would’ve killed us. You see to you – she’s just a woman. But she’s so much more. I’m sorry you never gave her a chance. I think you would’ve liked her, grown to love her even, if you weren’t so caught up in this need to make the perfect family. For starters, there is no such thing. Riona and I are going to fight. I’m sure she’s going to put my ass on the couch a few times, and I’m going to snap and leave so I can cool off. That’s what normal couples do. But all that other shit and you know what I’m talking about… That’s long since behind me, and it’s never coming back. I know you find that hard to believe, but it’s true. Riona did that. She loves me enough that I don’t question how she feels about me. I just know… and that’s what keeps me grounded. You see, for the first time ever, I truly see myself growing old with this incredible person. I can’t imagine going a day without her in my life. I need her, and she needs me.” Jax smiled in thought of that last declaration.
“She needs me…” He repeated in a whisper.
“And she loves me.” He added with tears in his eyes.
“Do you know how long I’ve waited to say that? To know what that even feels like?! I don’t tire of her. Riona’s the one person I want to see every morning before I go to work and she’s the one I want to come home to. I’m breaking the Teller curse, tonight. But there’s something I need to know first.”
Gemma signaled for him to go on.
“You can answer this one, but I need you to be honest.”
Gemma nodded once again and Jax shifted about in the recliner he was sitting in. Gemma was on the couch, surprisingly calm, considering.
“Did you know about Clay?”
Gemma recoiled but nodded.
“A while…” She shamefully admitted, and Jax nodded in response.
“Before or after Alastar Lawless?” He hinted.
“Jesus…” Jax whispered with a miserable laugh.
“So, you were hiding him, the whole time?”
“Why?! I mean… What was in it for you?”
“It’s like you said, I wanted my family back. Clay and I were making plans to rebuild.”
“And I’m guessing he was the one giving the pointers?”
“And you believed every word?”
Gemma didn’t answer, and her son sighed.
“So, if you knew about Clay… Then why were you with Alastar?”
“Clay didn’t know about Alastar and Alastar didn’t know about Clay. I was using Alastar to get to Abel, but I swear to you. I never knew about his connection with the Lawless sisters.”
“So, you put Alastar’s life at risk.” Jax uttered and Gemma reared back on this.
“You know what would’ve happened if Clay found out.” Jax hinted but rather dismissively considering it was Alastar.
“My son… Where did you plan on taking him?”
“Nevada… Clay thought if we got Riona out of the picture and Tara back…”
“Gotcha.” Jax interrupted as the mere idea had him ill.
“Boy, he sure painted a pretty picture. You, me, Abel, Tara, and Clay living it up in Nevada. Clay and I would be joining their charter; I take it?”
Gemma gave a shameful nod, and Jax laughed.
“And I thought you were smart. Then again, Clay must’ve been pretty convincing considering Tara had a fucking Ph.D. and he still managed to…”
“Why do you keep using her and Wendy’s name in the past tense?” Gemma nervously interrupted.
“Because that’s where they are – in the past!”
“I told you… I’m ridding of the Teller curse.”
“But the baby…”
“Never existed. Tara played you at your own game. Oh, and get this… That sonogram she showed you… That was Abel! Wendy gave her that!” Jax told his mother the girls plan to set him up and how Tara pretty much knew Gemma would go after Riona on her behalf.
Gemma gave a tearful laugh once she realized she’d been played.
“Karma was making all kinds of rounds!” Jax announced.
“That it was.” Gemma regrettably admitted.
“So, where is Clay now?”
“You going to kill him?”
“Then I can’t tell you that. I’m sorry.”
“You’re kidding me, right? I mean you know why I brought you here.”
“Yes. But I won’t rat. You know that.”
“RAT?!” Jax snapped, and Gemma jumped as this startled her.
“ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS RIGHT NOW? DID YOU EVEN LISTEN TO A WORD I SAID?!”
“Clay has his reasons, always has. He loves you and those boys! He…”
“HE KILLED PINEY AND JUICE. HE TRIED TO KILL CHIBS AND HIS OLD LADY. THEY’RE IN THE HOSPITAL, RIGHT NOW, AS WE SPEAK!”
Jax shook his head in thought.
“Chibs is doing okay, but his old lady, not so great. She’s in a coma! So, go on, sing me more of his praises. Tell me just how much he loves you and everyone else!”
Jax reached into his duffle bag and grabbed the iPod with Happy’s torture, Otto’s rape, and Riona’s attack.
“I’m gonna make you some popcorn and grab you a beer. I’m giving you a front roll seat to a feature – starring Clay Morrow himself!”
Gemma thought he was being sarcastic. But Jax headed into the kitchen with that iPod. He gestured for his mother to follow. He sat her down at the dining room table. Jax found a bag of popcorn and popped in the microwave. He grabbed a beer then set it down beside her. Jax handed the popcorn over once it was finished.
“Well, go on… Eat up and have yourself a drink.” Jax menacingly put and with his gun aimed his mother’s direction.
He took a seat across from her so he could watch her face.
“Put your finger to the screen and tap play. You’re not to speak until it’s over and I better not see you close your eyes or look away. You’re going to watch every agonizing minute, and you’re going to finish that popcorn and beer.”
Jax kept to himself as his mother abided by his wishes. The president nodded amongst himself as she sobbed into that beer and popcorn. Gemma knew better than to question if her son was serious or not.
“You finished?” Jax questioned as to the beer and popcorn once the videos were finished playing.
She nodded then cried into her hands.
“What’s it like?”
Gemma uncovered her face and Jax tilted his head as he waited for an answer.
“I want an answer…”
“I’m afraid I don’t understand the question.”
Jax gritted his teeth then sprang to his feet. Gemma jumped when he slammed his fist on the table.
“WHAT’S IT LIKE… KNOWING YOU WERE DEFENDING A MOTHERFUCKING MONSTER?!”
“That’s what you called me.” Gemma tearfully reminded.
“BECAUSE YOU ARE! ONLY A MONSTER WOULD KIDNAP HER OWN GRANDSON AND PLOT THE MURDER OF HIS MOTHER AND DESPITE WHAT YOU THINK; RIONA IS ABEL’S MOTHER. SHE’S THE ONLY MOTHER THAT KID’S EVER KNOWN. ABEL IS THIS WHOLE OTHER PERSON AROUND HER. HE’S HAPPY!”
Jax sighed then pinched the bridge of his nose.
“And to think… you were going to take that away from him.”
Jax staggered back however as something else came to mind.
“Mom…” Jax felt the urge to vomit, but he had to know.
“Did you take part in my father’s death?”
Gemma didn’t answer, but she didn’t need to. The look on her face said it all.
“Suicide my ass…” Jax cried.
“It was sweetheart.” She tearfully whispered, and Jax narrowed his eyes in question.
“You know, it’s ironic that you mentioned the curse. JT thought he was the curse. But Clay and I drove your father to that point. You, Abel, and the club were better off without him. That was the only way to get the cartel back. Clay and I needed to make things work – as a real family. Your father was in the way of…”
“Of your perfect family…” Jax finished, and Gemma flinched.
“It was all about you… everything, and Tommy…”
“I loved your brother!” Gemma cried in defense.
Jax’s hand balled up into a fist. All this time… Jax thought Clay had done something to his father’s bike. Something to make it malfunction. But Jax thought back to that very day, and it all made sense now.
JT took that truck, head on, because he wanted to. He gave his life in hopes of lifting that curse and to give his son and grandson the life; he thought they deserved. But Tommy didn’t want to die. He knew it was coming. He told Jax it was, but there was no preventing it. Jax told his brother he’d keep him safe and wouldn’t let anything happen, but he broke that promise. Jax couldn’t go through that, not again. Tommy’s face came to mind, and Jax felt this volcanic force within him. All that grief, all that resentment, all that rage created something Jax had never known before.
“No, you didn’t.” Jax calmly, yet eerily put.
That cold and dead look in his eyes brought forth a fear his mother had known once before. JT had that same look in his eyes. The day he found out about her and Clay.
“ALL OF THIS COULD’VE BEEN PREVENTED IF YOU HAD KEPT YOUR FUCKING LEGS CLOSED AND THOUGHT ABOUT SOMEONE, BESIDES YOURSELF, GEM!”
Gemma’s jaw dropped as JT said those exact words, not long after Thomas died. There was no way Jax could’ve known that. He wasn’t home during that fight. Gemma swore she heard JT’s voice booming amongst her son’s. Jax even referred to her as Gem like JT used to.
“Grab my father’s gun.”
Gemma regarded her son in question. He nodded towards the kitchen drawer where his father’s gun was hidden. Gemma came to her feet then retrieved the gun from the drawer.
“Is it loaded?” He asked, and Gemma nodded yes after checking.
“Alright, now you’re going to grab a pen and paper, and you’re going to write down EVERYTHING I say. I don’t want to hear a word against it; just do it!”
His mother was in literal sobs by the time she finished writing everything he wanted her to write. Jax looked it over then nodded in approval.
“I know you have to do this. I’m sorry, baby.” Gemma apologetically put, and Jax shut his eyes for a brief moment.
“Right here.” Jax pointed out where he wanted her to shoot him, and his mother recoiled.
“I can’t! I can’t hurt you!”
“THE FUCK YOU CAN’T! You’ve been hurting me all my life. What makes that bullet any different? You have the option to kill me if that’s what you want. But I’d like to think you have at least one good deed left in you. It’s up to you Gemma. So, what’s it going to be? A headshot? Or you gonna do something right for once in your pathetic life?!”
Jax shook his head as he could see the internal struggle in his mother’s eyes.
“DO IT!” He shouted, and Gemma pulled JT’s trigger.
Jax didn’t so much as blink when the bullet penetrated his upper chest.
“Now turn around.” Jax heartbrokenly put.
“Where’s Clay?” He softly questioned.
Gemma told him then Jax fired the gun.
“JACKIE BOY!” Chibs shouted as he entered the cabin just in time to see Jax shoot his mother in the back of the head.
“Jaysus Christ, kid!” Chibs uttered in a state of shock.
Only that shock hadn’t anything to do with Gemma. It was the look on Jax’s face. The president glanced his VP’s direction.
“I had to.” Jax cried.
Chibs nodded then gradually made his way over. The Scot lowered his president’s gun then took it from his hold.
“Look at me…”
Jax locked eyes with his VP.
“Yer alright. Everythin’ is gonna be alright.” He whispered, and Jax clung to him like that of a child.
Chibs struggled in keeping his shit together, seeing Jax like this broke his heart. Chibs hugged his president close then kissed his forehead.
“I didn’t want to do this.” Jax wept.
“You didn’t do this Jackie boy, she did.”
“Wait…” Jax uttered after a few seconds passed.
“You’re supposed to be at the hospital with Aislinn!” He said in a panic and with this guilt-ridden expression.
“Is she awake?!”
“Filip…” Jax reprimanded.
“It’s alright, Jackie. I know Ali would want me here. She loves ye and would’ve had me arse if I wasn’t here for ye.”
“You need to get back there.”
“I will, but not right now. We gotta take care of this.”
“No, we leave her…” Jax made clear but as he said this his phone rang.
He reared back on the irony. The president wiped his tears away before answering.
“Would you mind settling a little dispute I’m having with your sergeant?”
“Look, I’m here to cover your ass, but he’s too busy playing judge and jury to see that. I just…”
“Hand the phone over, but I need to talk to you when I’m done.”
“Yeah… And I need you to come and arrest me.”
Chibs’s eyes went wild as Jax gave her the address.
“What are ye doin’?!” Chibs scolded then yanked the phone out of his hand.
“You trust me, right?!”
“Ye know I do but…”
“Then let me do this. Just look after my wife.” Jax said after snatching the phone back.
The Scot couldn’t believe what he was hearing. It wasn’t until Chibs read Gemma’s letter and listened to Jax’s plans that he understood what Jax was going for. Chibs prayed to God; this didn’t backfire. This was the worst timing with Clay and his Crowkiller squad being out there somewhere. But Chibs had to trust that Jax knew what he was doing. What Chibs didn’t understand was why this route? Why didn’t he go for a simple suicide letter?! Jax could’ve made it look as if the guilt became too much and Gemma took her own life, but didn’t. Jax decided on this instead. Why?! What did Jax see that Chibs didn’t?!
“Go,” Jax ordered once he hung up with the sheriff.
“Jackie…” Chibs started to argue and combed his fingers through his goatee.
“You can’t be here when Dinah arrives. Besides, you should be with your wife. She needs you more than I do. Just keep an eye on mine as well. Riona almost died tonight.”
“I won’t let her out of my sight,” Chibs vowed.
Jax pecked his VP on the cheek then shoved him on out the door.
“What do I tell the wife?” Chibs hollered.
Jax gave a nervous chuckle.
“The truth. There’s no sense in hiding anything. Riona should know.”
Chibs gave a reluctant sigh but knew he’d do the same if he were in Jax’s shoes. Riona needed to know.
“Aye, and she’s gonna rip me a new one!”
“She might,” Jax admitted but shut the door and waited for the sheriff’s arrival.
“Happy…” Aislinn groaned as he held her a little too tight.
“Sorry.” He softly murmured then loosened his grip.
“How you feelin’?” He questioned but wouldn’t drop his hold for anything.
Happy knew that’d be the first thing she asked.
“He’ll be here.”
“He’s okay though, right?!”
Happy picked up on the panic in her voice.
“Relax.” Happy calmly put as her heart monitor spiked.
“The fire…” Aislinn whispered in recollection.
Aislinn threw the covers off in attempts to get out of the hospital bed.
“HEY!” Happy scolded and was quick to stop her.
Aislinn, however, looked to her legs in alarm.
“I can’t feel em…”
Happy narrowed his eyes in wonder.
“Can’t feel what?”
“MY LEGS! I CAN’T MOVE EM OR NOTHIN’! IT’S LIKE THEY AREN’T EVEN THERE!”
You have got to be kidding… Happy thought as panic struck him as well. Now would be a good time for Chibs to show up. Happy never imagined this. Was he going to be the bearer of bad news? Had the surgery left his honoree little sister paralyzed?! The mere idea had him ill. This just wasn’t right. When does Aislinn get a fucking break?!
“HAPPY!” She cried in terror.
“Shhhh…” Happy said while doing his best to soothe her.
He pressed the call button and hollered for a nurse. There was a knock at the door, and Happy thought the response a little too fast. He gave what he believed to be a nurse the go-ahead, and Riona entered the room, alongside Brodie.
“LINNY!” Riona excitably put, but that excitement died the moment she caught on.
“Can’t feel her legs.” Happy whispered.
This had Brodie and Riona cringing in response.
“…no…” Riona brokenheartedly uttered.
She rushed on over and was doing whatever she could to console her sister. Aislinn was beside herself and doing whatever she could to get her legs to budge. The nurse entered the room, and Happy explained the situation. The nurse ran on out of the room and went to gather Aislinn’s doctor. Happy kept a good hold on Aislinn and tried getting ahold of Chibs but got no answer. The Son let out a frustrated sigh as the three of them were doing their best to get Aislinn under control. She was in hysterics and crying for Chibs.
“This isn’t happenin’” Brodie whispered under his breath and was on the verge of tears himself.
Why her? He thought. After everything, she’d been through… WHY?! Brodie didn’t understand. Hadn’t she been through enough?
Riona sat beside her sister and rocked her like she used to when they were little. The doctor entered the room then nodded Aislinn’s direction. The nurse closed the door behind him.
“We’re going to run a few tests, alright?” Dr. Brown warmly, yet anxiously put.
Aislinn gave a tearful nod and with that lost look in her eyes. The young woman hadn’t a clue what was going on. She was frightened beyond belief.
“Easy love,” Riona whispered as her sister patted her neck brace down.
“WHAT IS THIS?!” She questioned in another frightened tone.
The doctor lifted his eyes as he’d overheard this. He walked Aislinn through everything he could think of. Things such as why she was here, the surgery they performed, and the reason behind the neck brace. As he discussed these things, he worked on her legs. He moved them back and forth and pricked the bottom of her feet with a needle to see if she could feel anything. There was no response, however, and he looked to the nurse.
“Give it time and warm this room up. She’s freezing.” He whispered, and the nurse nodded.
“Time?!” Aislinn snapped in disbelief.
“That’s right. Your body has been through a great deal. Let’s not jump to conclusions just yet. Let’s get you warmed up, and we’ll try again later. But for now… I need you to calm down. I know that’s not the easiest request. But panicking won’t help you or your b…”
“THANK YOU, DOCTOR!” Riona interrupted and with a stern look the doctor’s direction.
Riona knew for a fact Chibs wanted to be the one to reveal that news. It was bad enough he wasn’t here when she woke. But news of her pregnancy should come from Chibs and not the doctor, at least that’s how Riona felt. The doctor sent Riona a rather offbeat glance but gave a simple nod.
He gave the nurse orders on what to do for his patient then exited the room.
“This isn’t happenin’.” Aislinn sadly murmured then punched at the leg Clay had shot.
This had Riona narrowing her eyes in wonder. Brodie reached out and stopped Aislinn from doing it a second time.
“Chill.” He uttered, and Aislinn closed her eyes.
“Just tell me Scotty’s alive.”
“I told you he’ll be here.” Happy reminded and Aislinn opened her eyes.
“Was he hurt?” She asked yet again, and Happy tilted his head on this.
“Somethin’ happened, didn’t it?! You’re hidin’ somethin’! It’s Scotty, isn’t it?!” She accused, and the three of them exchanged glances on this.
“You know I’m straight up with you.” Happy bitterly scowled.
“He was on fire,” Aislinn whispered like she was off in another world.
“CLAY’S ALIVE! HE DID THIS!” She shouted, and Riona clamped a hand over her sister’s mouth.
“Shhhh.” She shushed and Happy was quick to check outside the door, making sure no one heard that.
“We know,” Riona whispered once Happy gave her the clear.
“But we don’t need anyone else knowing that. Jax is dealin’ with it now as we speak.” Her sister added.
“We need you to focus on getting better. Let SAMCRO worry about everything else.” Happy made clear.
“He’s right,” Brodie said, and Riona nodded in agreement.
The nurse returned with some ice and a 7up. She made it clear that Aislinn had to be on a liquid diet for now. They watched as the nurse checked Aislinn’s monitors and IV.
“Keep her calm.” The nurse said as Aislinn’s heart rate and blood pressure were still elevated.
The three of them nodded, and the nurse left after getting Aislinn situated.
“Where is everyone?” Aislinn anxiously questioned.
“Everyone’s grand,” Riona uttered knowing that was her sister’s primary concern.
“Jax and Chibs are dealin’ with somethin’, but they should be here soon. Ethan’s with the others, on club business.”
Aislinn squinted her eyes as she looked Happy over.
“What happened? I mean ya look as if ya took a baytin (beating), love.”
“You should see the other guy!” Happy teased and with a wide grin.
Aislinn managed to smile, and that’s what the Son was going for.
“There ye go,” Brodie uttered taking notice as well.
Riona placed a straw into her sister’s 7up then brought it to her lips.
“Drink up. Gotta get ya nice and hydrated.” She said while Brodie placed a warm blanket over Aislinn’s legs.
Aislinn took a sip but started to choke as it burned the back of her throat.
“Easy…” Her sister whispered.
Aislinn tried turning her head, but the brace got in her way. The young woman started to take it off, and Brodie stopped her.
“Aye now, ye got that on for a reason. Don’t you even think about takin’ it off!”
“I can barely move! It’s bulky!” She complained, and Brodie chuckled.
“Aye, yer like a football player. Well, an American one anyhow.”
Aislinn didn’t comment and stared off into space.
“What’s on your mind, love?” Riona softly questioned.
Happy and Brodie wondered that very thing. She seemed so distant.
“Scotty isn’t goin’ to want a vegetable for a wife.”
“Linny!” Riona scolded.
“Ya’d be the furthest thing from a vegetable. People do just fine without their legs!”
“I DON’T CARE ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE AND HOW THEY FARE! THIS IS MY LIFE WE’RE TALKIN’ ABOUT!
“Linny love, I.”
“Leave.” Aislinn quietly ordered.
“Leave?!” Riona questioned.
“YOU HEARD ME! GET OUT! ALL OF YA! OUT!” Aislinn shouted with tears running down her face.
Her monitors were going off, and Brodie recoiled as Happy rushed him and Riona out of the room.
“You have every right to be pissed. But don’t push everyone away. That’s the worst thing you could do.” Happy said before exiting the room and pulling the door to behind him.
Aislinn screamed out in anger, and something hit the wall if not the door itself. Riona started that direction, but Happy blocked her path.
“Girl needs to vent. Let her.”
“My cuz is the only one that can tame that. That lass is pissed, rightfully so.” Brodie defended.
“But she could hurt herself or the baby.” Riona harshly whispered.
“The lass needs some space. This is a lot to take in. She just woke from a coma and caused by an attempt on her and Filip’s life. She thinks we’re full of utter shite and will until she sees Filip herself. She’s not alright, and we shouldn’t expect her to be! Anyone of us would be just as fucked up in this situation. Let her be, Riona. Just let her be!”
“He’s right. We need to give her some time to take all this in. Knowing Chibs is safe and sound will help.” Happy said, and Riona sighed.
“And what if she really is paralyzed?” Riona whispered in a brokenhearted manner.
“Then we get her through this the best we can,” Brodie replied, and Happy nodded in full agreement.
“Aislinn’s tough. She can get through anything.” Happy reassured.
“What about him?” Happy curiously questioned.
“Do ya think he’ll…” Riona started to hint.
They heard and this had Riona startled. She sent the Scot a guilt-ridden expression, and he tilted his head in question.
“What’s goin’ on? Why ye all out here?” He asked but was fixated on Riona.
“How’d you get here so fast?!” Happy questioned and Chibs handed him a speeding ticket.
Happy chuckled as it showed his VP going 118 in a 55-mph zone.
“Fuck…” Happy muttered under his breath.
“You’re my goddamn hero!”
Chibs’s attention was on Riona however.
“Ye gonna tell me what ye was gonna say darlin’, or is there some sort of secret I’m not in on…” Chibs uttered, and the three of them glanced upon one another.
“She’s awake.” Brodie quietly announced and Chibs’s eyes went wild.
He started towards the door, only to have Happy stop him.
“HEY NOW, I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK IS GOIN’ ON BUT YE BEST LET ME IN THAT FUCKIN’ ROOM!” Chibs barked, and Happy sighed as he held him back.
“You need to know the dets first.”
“Dets?! What dets? Me girl can fill me in!” Chibs reached for the handle, and Happy grabbed him by the cut.
The Son forced his VP up against the wall.
“Listen, will you?!” Happy hissed.
“She’s not in a good place, Filip,” Brodie whispered.
Chibs regarded each of them in confusion.
“She can’t feel her legs.” Happy regrettably uttered and Chibs winced.
The Scot thought back to what he walked up on and caught on to Riona’s little hint.
“YER SOMETHIN’ ELSE!” Chibs harshly growled.
The guys reared back as this was aimed at Riona.
“Ye think I don’t know what ye was hintin’ at?! After everythin’ and ye still, doubt me?! Ye of all people should know better than ta question somethin’ like that! I done told yer sister I’m in for the long haul. I’m not goin’ anywhere. If I hafta wipe her fuckin’ arse for the rest of her goddamn life, then so be it! But don’t ye ever question my loyalty again!”
Brodie was quick to grab ahold of her as Riona started bawling.
“Jaysus cuz, ease up a bit, will ye?!” Brodie scolded.
Chibs ignored this and entered the room.
“Ali…” Chibs softly called as she had her face covered and was crying into the hospital blanket.
The young woman froze then lowered the blanket.
“Scotty?” She cried, and Chibs swore she’d never sounded so innocent as she did at that very moment.
The Scot thickly swallowed as a knot formed within the back of his throat. Chibs gave a little nod and inched his way over. He adjusted her monitors and fixed her IV, but his eyes didn’t waver, not for a second. They were glued to hers the entire time.
“You’re here.” She whispered, and something about that gave the man that pitfall feeling.
“That’s right, pet. I’m here, and so are ye.”
“But you were on fire…”
“Nah, love. The house was on fire. I was just fine.”
Aislinn shook her head in denial. Chibs reached over and caressed her cheek.
“No, you were dead. I know cause…” Aislinn frantically shook her head.
“Ali…” Her husband whispered with concern.
“I let go! I’m so sorry! Scotty, I let go!”
“Ali love, what do ye mean?!”
“You were dead! SO, I LET GO OF THE ROPE AND DIED TOO!”
Chibs reared back, and tears of remorse flooded her cheeks. The Scot couldn’t fathom what he was hearing. Did his wife just admit to giving up and all because she thought he died?! He’d half the urge to bitch her out for doing such a thing. But the Scot thought back to when he saw Bobby giving her CPR. That’s when Chibs let go. He just knew she was gone. Like she, Chibs wanted to be done with this world. The Scot shook his head on the irony. He swallowed back all that anger on having her admit to something like that. Chibs didn’t think he was worth dying for, never did, even now, but Aislinn most certainly was. He’d die a thousand deaths just to be with her. The man shook his head in realization. Was Aislinn his soulmate? Had she been this entire time?! Was that the reason behind all the hell he endured in his younger days?! His soulmate wasn’t even born yet, he humorously thought, and Aislinn gave him a strange look as he softly chuckled. That chuckle, however, hadn’t anything to do with his latest thoughts. No, it was something else, something incredible. He waited for it – hoping she too would catch on. Aislinn was complaining about a cramp in her leg and rubbing one of her calves.
“How can ya laugh at a time like this?!” She uncontrollably sobbed and while sending her husband a look of complete and utter hell.
“We almost died, and I’m fuckin’ paralyzed!”
“Are ye now?!” He challenged with a smirk and Aislinn sneered at him.
“Ali love, I want ye to think about what ye just said and focus on what yer doin’.”
Aislinn sent him another ‘look,’ and Chibs let out a frustrated sigh. The man took manners into his own hands. He scooped her up then set her down on the floor.
“Em, now will ye look at that!”
His wife’s jaw dropped, and Chibs smiled. He was quick to brace her against him however when her knees gave out.
“Yer legs are just fine! Ye’ve been in that bed for so long ye done forgot how ta walk, and yer circulation is all jacked up. Yer gonna be just fine darlin’.”
Aislinn wrapped her arms around him and cried into his chest.
“Aye now, I know how ye are. Ye just wanted to show off. So, ye was waitin’ till I got here! Ye felt bad ‘bout wakin’ up AFTER I fuckin’ left, ye rotten pain in me arse. I swear Ali, I hadn’t left this room, not once, and the moment I…” Chibs trailed off as all this was getting to him as well.
“I wanted ta be here. I’m sorry.”
“But Jax needed you.” She softly put, and Chibs nodded as he held her.
“I remember…” She uttered, and Chibs sat her down on the bed.
He grabbed one of her legs and worked it back and forth as they talked.
“Remember what, pet?”
“You said you had to go. That you promised to be here, but something came up. You said Jax needed you.” Chibs raised his brows in surprise.
“You said Happy would watch after me.”
“That’s right. Ye must’ve been on the verge of comin’ to right before I left!”
Chibs switched legs then started on the other.
“How’s that feel?”
“Sore.” She admitted.
“Aye well, at least yer feelin’ somethin’!”
Chibs cleared his throat as he adjusted her catheter. Aislinn grew somewhat embarrassed when they saw urine flowing through the tube and into the bag.
“Sorry…” She whispered with a flushed face.
“Nothin’ ta be sorry for. I’m just glad yer awake. Ye let out whatever fluids ye need.”
“I didn’t even feel it.”
“And ye won’t with that in.”
Chibs laid her down as her legs were starting to tremble. He didn’t want to push her too far.
“We got lots to catch up on, but I hafta let yer doc know about yer legs and ask him a few questions.”
Aislinn nodded in understanding and Chibs pulled the sheets up over her legs and waist.
“This is goin’ to sound crazy, but I don’t think it was a dream. I mean… Do coma patients even dream?!”
“Not that I’m aware of.”
Chibs took notice of the way she held her stomach and thought he’d pass out.
“Are we… I mean… Is it even possible?!’
“Is what possible?” Chibs encouragingly uttered.
Had she picked up on her pregnancy?! The Scot thought amongst himself.
“Are we havin’ a baby?” She questioned as if in a daze and Chibs smiled.
“That we are.”
Aislinn clamped a hand over her mouth, and Chibs chuckled as he hugged her.
“How’d ye…” He started to ask, but the nurse entered the room with Aislinn’s doctor.
“Yer me wife now. So, I’d appreciate ye not goin’ and makin’ me a widower. Ye gotta make it through this darlin’. You and our wee one. I’m not givin’ up on ye. So, don’t ye go and give up on me. Ye gotta keep on truckin’. Fight no matter how temptin’ it might be ta go ahead and give up. Yer not allowed ta! I mean it! Ye can rest up plenty once ye wake. I’ll take good care of ye. I promise. I’ll always take care of ye, even if God forbid ye wake up paralyzed. I’m keepin’ me vows.” Aislinn perfectly quoted and Chibs regarded his wife in outright shock.
“Well look at that!” The doctor praised once he saw Aislinn sitting up and moving her legs.
Chibs hadn’t heard a word the doctor or nurse said. He couldn’t take his eyes off his wife. He wondered just how much she picked up on.
“I could hear you, but I couldn’t open my eyes. Everything felt so distant and sounded so far away.” Aislinn explained as if reading her husband’s mind.
Chibs gave the doctor a few nods here and there as Dr. Brown discussed Aislinn’s progress. But the Scot was in another world at the moment. Did Aislinn pick up on everything that was said?!
“Comas can be funny like that. I’ve heard all kinds of stories.” The doctor uttered thinking that was directed at him.
“We’re havin’ a baby,” Aislinn whispered, and with the biggest grin, Chibs had ever seen.
This tugged at the man’s heartstrings. Just when Chibs thought he couldn’t possibly love her, more Aislinn proved him wrong over and over again.
The doctor cleared his throat once he witnessed the interaction between his patient and her husband.
“We’ll come back later.” He whispered then ushered the nurse on out of the room.
Chibs managed his way around that neck brace and kissed his wife.
“It wasn’t a dream…” She softly murmured.
“Nah, all real. This is happenin’ pet. We’re havin’ us a wee one!”
“What did ya mean by wife? We aren’t married yet!”
A nervous chuckle escaped him as he revealed the truth behind the marriage license and how he forged her name. He told her about the surgery and how he signed off on that as well.
“And this is legit?” She whispered.
“If ye want it ta be. We can always get that shite annulled.” He mocked, and Aislinn giggled.
“It’s legit as we want it ta be. But yer gettin’ that weddin’, as promised.”
Chibs pulled the drawer out from the nightstand and grabbed the marriage license. He handed it to her, and Aislinn looked it over. She saw where Bobby and Ethan had signed it as well.
“So, I wake up with a husband and a baby? Not all women can say that ya know!”
Chibs chuckled then got her tucked away once again.
Aislinn nodded. Chibs scooted her down then laid beside her. He had to lie on his side but managed to pull it off. The Scot had his head propped up on his knuckles as he ran his free hand along Aislinn’s tummy.
“How far along?” She asked.
“Just a lil over two ta three months.”
“That’s crazy! How could I skip that many periods and not notice?!”
“Ye’ve been under a lot of stress. It’s bound ta happen, and ye hadn’t skipped that many. Yer not that far along.”
“It seems unreal.”
“Aye,” Chibs uttered in agreement.
“It’s such a strange feelin’… The coma I mean. I remember what ya were sayin’. I tried so hard, but nothin’ I did worked. It was a wee bit scary, to be honest. I thought I would never wake.”
“I’m sure it was.”
“I can’t believe I yelled at everyone like that.”
“Scotty, I was terrible! I made everyone leave!” Aislinn shamefully admitted.
“Aye, I’ll take care of it.” He uttered while leaving a trail of kisses along her arm.
“No, it should be me. I was a horrible person. They didn’t deserve that.”
“Ali, ye thought ye’d never walk again. I don’t care who ye are. That’s enough ta fuck with anyone’s head, me not bein’ there for ye didn’t help matters.”
“You did nothin’ wrong! Jax needed you, and that’s where ya needed to be! You know I understand that, right?”
“Aye, and that’s why I love ya. You get it and trust me when I say no woman ever has. Why do ye think I forged yer name and tricked ye inta marriage?!”
Aislinn giggled in response but sighed in annoyance.
“This brace is gettin’ on my last nerve, and it’s only been a day.”
“Actually, ye’ve been wearin’ one since day one. They put ye in a different one after the surgery. This one allows yer stitches ta breathe a bit.”
“Aye, ye’ll have some scarrin’ but yer alive ta tell aboot it. So, don’t ye go and get all up in arms about it. Yer my precious Bonnie, no matter.” Chibs dragged himself out of that bed but wanted to spend the day perched right beside her but knew he couldn’t. Aislinn needed more room for one thing, and he had to give Riona, Brodie, and Happy the good news. Only he hadn’t a clue where they ran off to. As upset as Riona was, he was certain the boys took her outside or to the cafeteria.
“Where ya goin’?”
“Ta find yer sister and the others. They’re gonna wanna know aboot them legs of yers.”
“I won’t be long. I gotta catch up with yer doc anyhow. I missed a wee bit of what he said. Ye had me struck stupid; I won’t lie. I never pictured ye pickin’ up on THAT much. Ye truly are somethin’ else, and I mean that in the best of ways, darlin’.”
Chibs wasn’t about to reveal the truth behind Jax just yet. Aislinn needed to focus on getting better, and that would only stress her out. But Chibs hadn’t a choice when it came to Riona. Riona had to know that Jax was facing possible time and why. The Scot recoiled considering Riona had been through the wringer as it was, thanks to him and Aislinn. But now she was going to find out about Jax killing his mother and having himself arrested. Chibs kissed his wife; only this time he let it linger for a bit. He put his forehead to hers afterward then kissed her once again.
“I need ye to do me a favor.”
“Don’t move. I mean it. Ye keep that sexy little arse of yers put. If ye need anythin’ ye best call the nurse. I won’t have ye fallin’ and doin’ yerself in. So, ye best let me and everyone else wait on ye. I know ye hate that, but it’s just until I know ye can handle things on yer own.”
Chibs placed a hand along her abdomen as a reminder.
“Ye gotta be extra careful now, love.”
“I will be. I promise.”
“That’s me girl.”
Chibs grabbed his leather jacket then started towards the door.
“Ye know… I thought ye’d go and give me hell over forgin’ yer name like that.” He admitted with his hand around the handle.
“Do ya want me to?” She playfully taunted, and Chibs chuckled.
“Rain check, at least until ye get that neck brace off.”
“Sounds like a plan!” He uttered with a grin then exited the room.
“Oh, hell no…” The sheriff uttered just as soon as she entered the cabin.
Jax lifted his eyes as he sat at the dining room table. He had tears streaming down his face.
“What did you do?” The sheriff hissed, and Jax leaned back in his chair.
“What I had to do.” He said with a nod towards his mother’s body.
“I can’t do this. I can’t…” The sheriff murmured and looked to be in damn near hysterics herself.
“I know you can’t. You’re gonna arrest me.”
“You bet your sweet ass I am.”
The sheriff regarded Gemma’s body in thought then looked to Jax.
“Because she would’ve taken everything away – everyone I ever cared about or loved.”
Jax handed the letter over.
“That ought to help your situation. I’m sorry. This will be the last time I turn to you for anything.”
“Oh, you better believe that! You have no idea! Who kills their own mother?!” The sheriff growled, and Jax pinched his eyes shut.
“Me,” Jax admitted in defeat.
The sheriff went to comment on this but read Gemma’s letter. Jax nodded amongst himself once she finished.
“Hell, if I know.”
“Dinah, please. I don’t care what you do to me. But this cannot fall back on my wife or son. So tell me what I need to hear.”
“What you need or want? There’s a difference.” She said but in a softer tone.
Jax’s eyes were bloodshot, and he was a miserable mess.
“My wife and son stay out of this. That’s all I care about.” Jax said then went on to tell Dinah, the truth behind his mother. Only he left out bits and pieces as he needed the sheriff to believe Piney, Juice, the prospect, Wendy, and Tara died at his mother and Kozik’s hands. He hated deceiving her like that after everything she’d done for him and the club, but he hadn’t a choice: his main concern – Tig’s forgiveness. Tig was sure to let him have it. But Jax figured he’d owe her the truth one day if she and Tig made it that far that is.
“So, she played a part in these murders, kidnapped your son, and almost killed your wife.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Jax respectfully put.
“And I’m supposed to believe all this because…”
“I never said you had to or would,” Jax confirmed, and the sheriff sighed.
She read the letter once again then paced the room.
“I can’t believe I’m doing this. But you are right – never again. I mean it, Jax. Don’t come to me next time you need a favor.”
“Shut the fuck up and listen!”
Jax reared back on this but didn’t dare say a word. He knew the sheriff meant business at this point and he couldn’t afford to get on her bad side.
“You were on the phone with me when the scuffle between you and your mother took place. I heard everything over the phone and told you to shoot in self-defense. You argued with me because it was your mother and I told you she would kill you if you didn’t.” The sheriff pointed towards the gunshot wound he had.
The sheriff pulled up the time Jax called her and showed him how it could’ve been possible for it to take place during that time.
“I showed up and saw you bleeding to death on the fucking floor. I tended to you first then called 911 and the sheriff’s office. I’m about to do that, so prepare yourself. It’s going to get ugly, and they’re going to ask us a million one questions. But we have a good half an hour or so before they arrive. That gives us plenty of time to talk this over and cover everyone’s ass. Don’t you make me fucking regret this. I swear to God Jax, I…” The sheriff trailed off as she saw him staring at his mother’s body.
It was as if the man hadn’t a soul himself at the moment. He was in another time and place. The sheriff reached over and placed a hand along his shoulder.
“Don’t look at her… Look at me…” She softly put, and Jax’s bottom lip quivered.
“She was my mom. She was all I had!” He cried sounding damn near child-like.
This had the sheriff wrapping her arms around him.
“That was no mother. You have a family – that sweet baby boy and that beautiful wife and they’re waiting on you. Abel wants his daddy to come home and he will. But you have to play this right and do whatever I say. You cannot stray, not even a bit. Do you understand?”
Jax nodded, and the sheriff couldn’t get over how innocent he looked. She’d only witnessed the big bad boy biker, the president of SAMCRO. This was a new side, and she didn’t like it, not one bit. Her reason? Because a mother did this to her son. A mother brought a grown man to this point. Gemma made someone like Jackson Teller vulnerable and defenseless. That said a lot about the cruel nature of the woman lying before them. Dinah hadn’t any reason to believe Jax was lying, well not about this. She knew half of what he said was pretty bogus. That was his way of covering his and SAMCRO’s asses, so that was to be expected. But not this time, no Jax was telling the truth, at least when it came to Gemma Morrow anyhow.
The VP’s assumptions were dead on as he found Happy, Riona, and Brodie at the cafeteria. He nodded amongst himself before approaching the table they were sitting at. Riona was in sobs still as she sipped on a bottle of Dr Pepper. Chibs cleared his throat gathering their attention.
“Well, it’s not every day I can ask ye this…” He started off, and Brodie raised his brows.
“Now, do ye want the good news or do ye want the good news?” Chibs questioned with a smile.
Each of them regarded Chibs in waiting.
“Ali’s done got the feelin’ back in her legs. She never was paralyzed just a wee bit of fright is all.”
Brodie hugged Riona as she burst into tears. Chibs sent the young woman a shameful glance.
“I owe ye an apology darlin’. He didn’t deserve the Scotsman’s wrath.”
“Nah, I shouldn’t have questioned somethin’ like that. I know how ya feel about my sister.”
“Riona, ye had every reason ta worry. We know how most would be in that situation, but ye’ve to keep in mind I’m not most. I love yer sister and nothin’s keepin’ me from her. I made those vows fur a reason, and I’m stickin’ to em.” Most was Chibs’s way of saying most men and sadly it was true.
Chibs didn’t know a lot of men or women for that matter that would stick around if their partner ended up in that kind of situation.
“In all fairness, Aislinn doubted you first.” Happy admitted and this had Brodie and Riona elbowing him.
“What?!” Chibs questioned in disbelief.
Happy rolled his eyes.
“Give the girls a break. Aislinn was hysterical and mentioned something about you not wanting her if she turned out to be a vegetable.
“What is it with ye lasses?! Do I have ta get me girl’s name tatted ta my damn face?!” Chibs trailed off then muttered a slew of Scottish profanities.
But as he did this, he regarded Happy in thought.
“Yer gonna give me a tat.”
“On your face?!” Happy taunted with a wide grin.
“You’ll see…” Chibs uttered with a certain something in mind.
“Now, if ye wouldn’t mind watchin’ after her while I run a couple errands. I won’t be long. But I don’t want her left alone for long, not with Clay and his little Crowkiller posse out and aboot.”
“On it.” Happy willingly volunteered and Chibs sent the Son a respectful nod.
Happy took off and headed straight for Aislinn’s room.
“He’s lookin’ better,” Chibs remarked as to Happy.
Happy wasn’t trucking that usual IV bag around.
“Seems to be in better spirits too,” Riona admitted.
Chibs hugged the young woman from behind then pecked her on the cheek.
“Why don’t ye go with me ta the gift store? We’ll find somethin’ ta brighten Ali’s spirits a bit.”
“Mind if I tag along?” Brodie uttered looking bored.
“Because ye always go out yer way to outdo whatever I do and I don’t want ye pullin’ that shite, not today. I wanna get Ali some flowers and…”
“Ye don’t want me upstagin’ you.” Brodie expressed with a wide grin, and Chibs rolled his eyes.
“Why don’t ye go and find ye a couple nurses ta hit on?
“Not feelin’ it. I think I’ll just hang with you guys.” Brodie said with a smirk.
Chibs grumbled under his breath as his cousin followed them onto the elevator and to the gift store.
Riona couldn’t help but giggle at the two men as they eyed one another off and on while looking at the flowers.
“Give it a rest…” Riona whispered in Brodie’s ear.
“I just love givin’ him hell,” Brodie whispered in return then pretended to look at some flowers in a fancy vase.
“That’s kind of morbid,” Brodie mumbled as Chibs picked out a black vase with black roses.
It was sitting behind the counter. There were some fancy guitar picks and a box of Cracker Jacks with the roses.
“Wait a minute… They don’t even sell those guitar picks or Cracker Jacks!” Brodie called, and Chibs chuckled as he thanked the woman behind the counter.
The cashier had been holding the items for him. Chibs had called the order in on his way to the hospital and had these things delivered to the shop itself. That’s what made the moment even more meaningful. Chibs hadn’t expected Aislinn to be awake when he arrived. The Scot got those things in hopes of his wife waking up to them. But now he could hand them over personally. He grabbed a stuffed mouse from one of the shelves and paid for that as well.
“I’ll gie ye a skelpit lug! (I’ll give you a slap on the ear)!” Brodie hollered as he heard Chibs laughing on the way out.
“He got you there,” Riona said as she picked something out for her sister as well.
Brodie grumbled under his breath as Riona picked out a lovely sunflower arrangement with a stuffed bee that read “Bee Well”. The Scot watched as she paid for it then exited the gift shop. Brodie ended up with a stuffed bear that was covered in bandages and with a smaller flower arrangement.
“Hold on,” Chibs called taking Riona by surprise as she was about to enter the room.
She could tell he had been waiting for her.
“We gotta talk darlin’.”
Riona nodded, and Chibs gestured for her to follow him. The young woman followed her brother-in-law into an empty room where he shut and locked the door behind him.
“First off, I really need ye ta hear me out before ye freak the fuck out and interrupt me. Secondly, I need ye ta trust in Jackie. He knows what he’s doin’ and he’ll be out before ye know it.”
Chibs tilted his head as if to scold her.
“Right… Sorry.” Riona apprehensively put, and the VP gave a simple nod.
Chibs started off by telling her what went down between Gemma and Jax and how that ended. He told her about the letter Jax had Gemma write. How Gemma took the blame for not only Juice and Piney’s demise, but Tara and Wendy’s as well. Riona felt as though the room were spinning the more Chibs dived into everything. The fire was Jax’s little touch. He did that so it would look like the one Chibs was in. Jax set it up to where nothing would be pinpointed SAMCRO’s direction. The president had his mother take the rap for everything. Jax had her name Kozik as her conspirator because Gemma knew he had out it for SAMCRO when he didn’t get voted in and knew Kozik would help in delivering some payback. Her reason? Jax had her write about her suspicions when it came to her husband’s sudden disappearance. But that disappearance would fall back on Brad Montana. The dishwasher that got into a scuffle with Clay Morrow and that’s how the two of them ended up “overboard” as Jax had her say in the letter.
Jax had to find this Brad Montana however and fast, that’s the only way this would work. He had to blackmail the dishwasher into this story of his. But Jax was counting on this to clear not only his but SAMCRO’s name. The original plan was to pinpoint everything on Clay, but the more Jax thought about it, the more he realized it wasn’t worth the risk. Clay had to die. He played a part in the Teller curse, and Jax swore he’d rid of anyone that tainted the very Teller name. But this would only work if the law bought what was written in that letter. Jax had his mother grab that gun for a reason. It had to look as if he shot her in self-defense. The letter would make it look as if Jax interrupted a meltdown of Gemma’s. That she was in the midst of a severe breakdown and contemplating suicide but realized she couldn’t go through with it after all. That was his reason for not making it sound as if there was a legit suicide note but rather that of a confession. He wanted that letter to prove how mentally unstable his mother was and had been. That would explain her breakdown and why she and Jax ended up at odds and why she shot him. Jax was currently detained at another hospital, and he’d be released into custody once they had him patched up.
It wasn’t easy, but Riona respected Chibs’s wishes and kept quiet while he explained the situation. But there was no disguising the fearful look in her eyes. Chibs sighed taking notice.
“If he says he’ll be out then he’ll be out. Not sure when, but he will be. We have to trust that darlin’.”
Riona wasn’t sure what to say.
“Maybe I should’ve bought ye some roses too.” Chibs lovingly teased, and Riona gave a tearful laugh.
“Would’ve softened the blow a bit.” She mocked in return and Chibs hugged her.
“I know ye don’t need this right now. But Jackie has his reasons. He doesn’t want any of this near you or Abel. He’s cleanin’ shite up. But that requires a bit of dirty…”
“Aye,” Riona uttered in understanding.
“Alright. Ye go on. I gotta make a couple phone calls. Let Ali know I’m on me way.”
“Will do.” She said before exiting the room.
Chibs looked to the roses in his hand then leaned against the vacant bed as he called Bobby.
“Damn…” Bobby said after Chibs told him about Aislinn’s little scare and how all that turned out.
“Aye, it’s been a day,” Chibs uttered in defeat.
“Sounds like it.”
“I’m gonna need you and the boys to drop by the hospital when ye get a chance. We need church.”
“You’re calling for church?”
“I’ll explain later. Just phone me when yer headed this way.”
“Will do. Oh, and Chibs?”
“You might wanna look in the nightstand drawer beside Aislinn’s bed.”
“You’ll see. Just think of it as a wedding present from me and Sack.”
“Hey brother, you can’t forge her name and have nothing to show for it. If you’re putting her in shackles then it’s only fair you have a cuff of your own.” Bobby hinted before hanging up.
Chibs reared back in wonder but headed on into the room. Brodie and Riona had already given Aislinn their gifts, and Riona was setting the flowers down by the window. Happy had gone back to his room, so he could eat and catch some shut-eye.
“Awe you didn’t have to go all out, all of ya!” Aislinn said once she spotted the black roses.
Chibs handed them over then pecked her on the lips.
“I think we’ll all argue that. We’re just happy yer with us darlin’. We had quite the scare.”
Aislinn giggled when Chibs handed her a box of Cracker Jacks and the stuffed mouse as well.
“He looks like the mouse on the ring ya gave me! He’s adorable!”
“Why do ye think I got it. Besides ye bein’ my wee mouse and all.”
“I done told ya, I don’t look like a mouse!” Aislinn scolded, and Chibs shrugged as he searched through the nightstand drawer.
“Actually, you kind of do…” Brodie admitted after taking a good long look at her.
“Aye, an adorable wee mouse!” Her sister added and Aislinn flipped them off.
Tried as he might, Chibs couldn’t hide the stunned look on his face when he opened the two boxes. Each box contained a ring and not just any rings, but the very ones he’d picked out for the wedding. Chibs had been making payments on them and with plans to pay them off before the wedding.
“Scotty?” Aislinn called with concern.
Chibs couldn’t believe that Bobby Munson of all people did this. Kip?! Now that wasn’t out of the realm of possibility he’d proven time and time again that he’d do anything for his brothers even when he was a prospect. Bobby, however, was a little more self-centered when it came to things like this. So, Chibs was without words at the moment and gawked at the rings in complete shock. In fact, he was so taken back he hadn’t heard his wife calling to him. Chibs figured this was more for Aislinn than it was him, either way… That said a lot when it came to Bobby and how far he’d come as a person in general.
Chibs cleared his throat once he gathered himself. The Scot wanted to wait until their wedding day, but the more he thought on it, the more he realized Bobby was right. It was only fair that he give her that ring now, he did forge her name. The man was lucky she didn’t jump down his throat and then some, and he knew that. All the more reason, Aislinn deserved that ring. But this had more to do with Chibs wearing his, and that’s what Bobby was hinting at when he mentioned cuff of his own. Bobby was referring to the ring itself.
“Is somethin’ wrong?” Aislinn softly questioned.
Chibs took Aislinn’s hand then looked her in the eyes.
“I want ye ta put that on me pet,” Chibs whispered after placing the band into the palm of her hand.
Aislinn narrowed her eyes and regarded the ring in misunderstanding. Chibs held his finger out, and Aislinn took a gander at the ring. She thought it rather perfect. There was a crow in the middle, but it had a Celtic design around the ring itself. She placed the band on her husband’s finger and smiled. Chibs nodded after he himself had a good look at it.
“Now yours.” He whispered.
Chibs removed her engagement ring and replaced it with a diamond and emerald Claddagh wedding set. He put her engagement ring on her right finger afterward.
“Scotty…” Aislinn whispered in disbelief.
Chibs brought the ring to his lips then kissed it.
“Like you.” Chibs flattered, and Aislinn blushed.
Riona elbowed Brodie when he rudely made a “gag me” gesture.
“Airson mo Ali (for my Ali).” Chibs uttered in Gaelic tongue.
He pointed to her ring in explanation.
“Look on the inside, love.” He said, and Aislinn took it off seeing that it said just that.
This had her a little choked up, and Chibs sent her a playful wink.
“I have a wee bit of a confession ta make here,” Chibs said.
“What?! Ye screwin’ around already?” Brodie smarted, and Chibs ignored his cousin.
“I only put down a portion of what these cost. I planned on payin’ them off before the weddin’, but I didn’t plan on losin’ all that money.” He hinted, and his wife recoiled.
“Bobby and Sack did this Ali. They paid off the rings and brought them here. I hadn’t a clue they were goin’ to do this. Bobby says it’s our weddin’ gift from them.”
Aislinn was just as stunned by this, if not more.
“I’m gonna hug those big goofs when they get here!” She said with tears in her eyes.
“Aye, I might owe them some favors I don’t wish ta admit to!” Chibs jested, and Aislinn giggled.
“I don’t think I wanna know.” She teased in return.
“Ye probably don’t.”
“Will make for an interestin’ bachelor party.” Brodie murmured.
“Bachelor parties are for unmarried men!” Riona scolded.
“He’s done taken the plunge! He doesn’t get that right now!” She said with a taunting wink Chibs’s direction.
“Aye, no strippers for you!” Brodie added.
“Got my own personal stripper right here.” Chibs murmured with a nod Aislinn’s direction, and Brodie died of laughter.
“She’ll really get ye goin’ with that neck brace and gown!”
“Watch it ya gimp! Don’t make me kick ya where it hurts, again.” Aislinn barked in response, and Chibs laughed.
“Don’t pay him any attention. He knows he’d be down for it if ye twirled about in that brace and gown. The perv wouldn’t be able ta help himself. He’s just givin’ ye hell.”
Brodie leaned back and looked to be in thought. Chibs sent him a look of warning, however, and Brodie cleared his throat.
“Hey, you brought it up.”
“Don’t ye have a girlfriend in Tennessee?” Chibs fired back and with the most malicious of grins.
This, of course, had Aislinn’s fullest attention.
“Ya do?!” She practically squealed, and Brodie sent Chibs a look of utter misery.
Chibs plopped down on the chair beside Aislinn’s bed.
“Why don’t ye go and tell us allll about the lass!” Chibs suggested, and Brodie chuckled.
“Couldn’t help yerself, could ye?!”
“Not one bit.”
“Scotty…?” Aislinn randomly called.
“Where we goin’ ta live now?”
“I don’t want ye worryin’ about that, love. I’ll get it figured out. We can stay at the clubhouse for now. We got that bedroom in the back.”
“Aye now, that’ll sweep the wee lass off her feet! Let’s make love in this crow’s nest; it’s covered in everyone else’s jizz! You ole romantic you!” Brodie scoffed, and Chibs rolled his eyes.
“You gonna tell us about your girlfriend or not?!” Aislinn said in defense of her husband and Chibs chuckled as Brodie hadn’t expected that one.
“Aye well, she’s nothin’ like ye, and she’s taller!” Brodie snapped in protest and Chibs cocked a brow on this.
“Way ta be subtle.” Chibs mockingly put.
“Em, let’s talk about somethin’ else.” Brodie bitterly suggested.
“We gotta meet this one…” Riona said as she was joining in on the fun.
Brodie had a good laugh at this and shook his head no.
“Not happenin.” He said, and this had the girls regarding one another with grins.
“Oh, we’ll just see about that.” Riona challenged.
“Aye,” Aislinn said in agreement.
The sheriff gave a simple nod once she locked Jax away. He didn’t utter a word and kicked back on the cot. Jax knew he wouldn’t get out tonight, and he wasn’t about to call his wife, even if they posted bail. He’d plans of staying here all night. Riona had enough to worry about. He kept everything the sheriff said in that head of his. It wouldn’t be long before the big boys arrived and started interrogating him. They’d be watching for any slip-ups on his and the sheriff’s side. He knew there would be some brows raised at the sheriff’s claim as well and they’d be questioning her as to why Jax called her personally instead of the office. But the sheriff was just as crafty when it came to things like this. She had an alibi and answer for everything, even if some of it were frowned upon and she could lose her job. It was the best she had, and she argued with Jax when he tried persuading her otherwise. Like that of Tig, Jax didn’t want Dinah to lose her job. But she insisted on things being done her way and wouldn’t let him get a word in edgewise. Not that he had much time to convince her anyhow.
Dinah was going to claim that Jax had called her out of desperation and for some advice during his “standoff” with his mother. That he didn’t want the sheriff’s office in on this if he could’ve ended things differently. He was trying to calm his mother down and without getting the actual law involved. Dinah would claim that Jax made her swear not to call anyone and that he only wanted her help. Dinah would claim she couldn’t think straight as Gemma and Jax shouted back and forth and Dinah was trying to help Jax out of a sticky situation. So, not knowing what to do exactly and how abrupt the call was, and on a day, she called in sick – meaning she didn’t have her badge on her. She would make it sound as if she wasn’t even planning on handling anything work-wise today. Dinah wanted to sound as if she was just as thrown off as Jax was and the two were simply going back and forth like a 911 operator would when handling a crisis. But things escalated, and she heard Jax holler when his mother shot him. The sheriff added the tidbit about hearing Gemma admit to Kozik’s murder over the phone when she and Jax were arguing back and forth. It would be mentioned that Kozik killed the prospect and Gemma killed Juice. It was the perfect set up, considering the sheriff had Tig plant the body elsewhere. It too would look like an arson at first. The sheriff thought it best if all the dots connected. The story would go from there and the scene she walked in on. She kept Gemma’s letter for evidence and called someone to the Morrow house as well as Piney and Juice’s but to cover her own ass. She knew everything would be cleaned up, at least she hoped SAMCRO didn’t leave anything behind.
Jax wasn’t the only one with something to lose. Dinah knew if this backfired on either of them… it would cost her not only her job and reputation, but she too would be facing time. That’s how much faith she put into Jax and Tig. She was more than willing to put her ass on the line if that meant putting a few drug dealers and murders away in the process. She figured it was the lesser of two evils and it might as well be SAMCRO canceling the other out. Dinah wasn’t blind; she knew the boys had some “cleaning” up to do when it came to the people of Charming. But never did she imagine it would get this out of hand. So many were missing, but through Gemma’s letter, they’d each be accounted for, everyone aside from Clay Morrow. But Jax had a plan for that too, and the sheriff, of course, hadn’t a clue. But she’d plans of getting Jax out of that cell, ASAP.