Chapter 49 – When A Crow Calls
I do not own SOA. I claim all original characters and do not anyone give permission to use them. Also, the religious spiel between Riona and Jax is for story purposes only. These are fictional characters and I’m simply telling a story. I don’t wish to be personally attacked like I have in the past. Thanks in advance!
“Riona?” Pepper called as he walked up on her crying outside the hospital.
Her father sent her an apologetic glance as this startled her. The young woman wiped her face with the back of her hand then nodded upon the two strangers.
“Did something happen?” Pepper questioned with slight alarm.
“A few things…” Riona admitted in a whisper.
“Why don’t you two head on in? I’ll meet you in the waiting room. Ethan should be here shortly.” Pepper said, and Marianne headed inside with Steven.
“Who are they?”
“That’s Marianne and Steven. Ethan’s mother and stepfather.”
Riona’s jaw dropped, and Pepper nodded.
“What are they doin’ here?”
“I’ll explain later. So, what’s going on?” Pepper questioned then used his thumb to wipe a tear off his daughter’s cheek.
“Just a whirlwind of emotions,” Riona said like she was out of breath.
“Is Aislinn okay?”
“She is now.”
Pepper tilted his head in question.
“She was so scared!” Riona cried.
“And I was scared for her. She came to, and no one was here. Well, Happy was, and I know he was doin’ his best. But she couldn’t feel her legs and…”
“She’s awake?” Pepper interrupted, and Riona nodded.
“Why didn’t you call me?!”
“A lot’s happened since…”
Pepper shook his head in disappointment.
“That’s just a nice way of saying you didn’t want me here!”
“Jaysus, Pepper must everythin’ be about YOU?!” Riona fired back, and Pepper recoiled.
“I didn’t call because I’m doin’ my best to wrap my head around this. If ya’d let me finish, ya’d know why, ya horse’s arse!”
Someone laughed, and they craned their necks that direction.
“Ethan!” Riona greeted in relief, and Pepper rolled his eyes with envy.
The young woman reached out and hugged her brother.
“What is it?” Ethan questioned with concern.
“Is Aislinn alright?!”
Pepper shook his head as Riona started over and told her brother what happened. Pepper felt a little left out as his daughter didn’t so much as glance his direction as she told her story. The two listened in silence but shared the same look of relief once she got to the part where Aislinn got the feeling back in her legs, not long after Chibs’s arrival.
“I can’t even imagine,” Ethan uttered under his breath.
“Right?! Ya should’ve seen her! She was frightened beyond belief; we all were!”
“I gotta see her,” Ethan said in a broken tone.
“Where’re the boys?” Riona asked.
“Looking for that Brad Montana fella. Bobby said they would call if they needed me.”
“They alright, though?”
“Yeah, just a long couple days.”
Ethan joined his parents in the waiting room, and Riona was headed that way when her father took her by the hand and pulled her aside.
“Can’t you see I’m trying?” He rather hissed..
“Come on, Riona. There’s gotta be some give. What do you want me to do?”
“Cover our asses in court then get your arse on home!”
Pepper let out a miserable laugh but reluctantly agreed.
“Alright. I’ll do that.”
Pepper recoiled like she’d slapped him one and Riona sighed taking notice.
“I’m trying too. But it isn’t easy. Ya spent years givin’ us nothin’ but hell. Ya were so cold, and that isn’t somethin’ that heals overnight.”
“I understand and accept that.”
“You should see her… but give Ethan some time with her first.”
“I can do that.” Pepper said then watched as Riona, Ethan, Marianne, and Steven headed into the hallway where the elevators were.
“Man, when karma bites. It really bites.” Pepper muttered before taking a seat in the waiting room.
“Scotty?!” Aislinn called when she woke to find her husband using his breathing machine.
He gave her a thumbs up and a wink to follow. But that didn’t stop the worrisome look she was giving him. Chibs removed the mask then cleared his throat before speaking.
“Just need a little hit every now and then. I’m alright, pet.”
“Are ya sure? Did your lungs get damaged?”
“Aye, just a wee bit but nothin’ permanent. Just one of those things, Ali. I don’t want ya worryin’ on it. I’d tell ye if it was somethin’ serious.”
“Hope so.” She said as there was a knock at the door.
Chibs went back to his breathing machine, and Aislinn called whoever it was inside.
“Ethan!” She squealed, and her brother smiled.
“Hey there…” He said then rushed on over.
Aislinn reached out, and Ethan shook his head in protest.
“Lay back down!” He scolded, and Riona giggled at the pouty expression on her sister’s face.
Ethan laid her back down then sat beside her on the bed.
“You gave us quite the scare.” Ethan softly admitted.
“Gave myself a scare.”
“I heard…” Ethan rather hinted, and Aislinn gathered this curious countenance.
“Riona told me…” He said then patted one of her legs.
“But you’re feeling okay now?”
“A wee bit sore but at least I’m feelin’ somethin’. Ready to get this fuckin’ brace off!”
Ethan chuckled in response.
“We’ll dye it black, so it matches your clothes and your personality.”
“HEY!” Aislinn snapped with a playful grin.
Ethan brushed her hair back with his fingers then kissed her forehead.
“Good to have you back.”
“Good to be back. Though I gotta admit, I feel a wee bit out of place.”
“Well, you were out for a while.”
“You were just shy of a full week.”
“I missed Abel’s birthday?!” Aislinn said in a panic.
“We all did, love.” Riona regrettably admitted.
“But he’s got a good heart and understands.”
“But he’s just a wee lad! He deserves a birthday party!”
“And he’ll get one, just as soon as we nip everythin’ else in the bud.”
“It has to be the biggest and best party ever!” Aislinn sadly put, and this had Ethan and Riona glancing upon one another.
“It will be.” They chorused then smiled.
The two had been going back and forth on their plans whenever they had a chance. Jax himself had something to add and would be getting the SAMCRO prospects involved as well. They would give Abel a party he’d never forget.
Another thought hit Aislinn however, and she sent Chibs a look of absolute horror.
“What?” He questioned after moving the breathing mask away from his face.
“Will I have to wear this brace on our wedding day?!”
Chibs had a good laugh at this.
“I’m serious! Do ya know how mortifyin’ that would be?! I don’t want to be in a lovely getup and have this gaudy thing ruinin’ it for me!”
“Ye should be healed up in time.” Her husband reassured, and Aislinn let out a breath of relief.
“Ye gotta stop that love,” Chibs uttered as her monitors were spiking a bit.
“Sorry.” She apologetically whispered.
“Everything’s going to be just fine. You just focus on getting better.” Ethan reiterated, and Aislinn nodded.
Ethan looked to the door, however then Riona.
“You sure now’s a good time?”
“Aye, it’ll be fine,” Riona replied with a warm smile.
“Good time?” Aislinn questioned, and this had Chibs’s curiosity as well.
“Come on in.” Ethan hollered, and the door cracked open.
Marianne poked her head inside then smiled.
“You sure?” She asked, and Ethan nodded.
She entered the room, and Steven stepped in behind her.
“Aislinn, Riona, this is Marianne and Steven – my mother and stepfather.”
Riona, of course, had already figured that out on the elevator, but Ethan felt the need to introduce them anyhow.
“The pictures!” Aislinn exclaimed, and Riona nodded in memory as well.
“Pictures?” Marianne questioned, and Aislinn smiled.
“Ethan showed us pictures of you and your husband.” She explained, and Marianne smiled in response.
“You’re even prettier in person!”
“Oh, wow. Thank you!” Marianne said with a blush.
“I can’t believe you’re in California! You’re a long way from home.”
“So, are you from what I’ve heard,” Marianne replied.
“This is our home now,” Aislinn said with a warm smile her husband’s direction.
“Have a seat.” Chibs offered after coming to his feet and gathering a few chairs.
“Thank you,” Marianne said as Chibs seated her down.
“I’m good,” Steven said with a respectful nod towards Riona as there weren’t enough chairs to go around.
“Sit.” Steven insisted with a gesture towards the chair.
Riona took a seat, and Chibs nodded Marianne’s direction.
“I take it ye hadn’t any trouble.” He hinted as to finding her son.
“Nope. Just as you said, he would be.”
“Wait… You already met his mum?!” Aislinn questioned in surprise.
“She came by while ye was out and asked of his whereabouts.”
“He didn’t make it easy,” Marianne confessed.
“Sorry darlin’, but I had to be extra cautious. We got a lot goin’ on here, and I didn’t know ye from Jack.”
“Or Jackie Boy!” Aislinn teased in her husband’s accent, and he chuckled.
“Oh, trust me, I understand. I’m glad you had my son’s best interest at heart.”
“Ye were a cute kid…” Chibs commented Ethan’s direction.
His mother had shown Chibs a few pictures in attempts to prove she was indeed his mother.
“I discovered smokes and whiskey.” Ethan teased, and Chibs chuckled.
“Hell, then ye’ll be lookin’ like me before long.”
“Great, something to look forward too.” Ethan sarcastically put, and Chibs chuckled.
“Where’s p…” Aislinn started to say pa but corrected herself.
“Pepper. Where he’d go?”
“He’s around.” Ethan bitterly uttered.
“Here?! I mean the hospital?”
“Oh…,” Aislinn whispered in confusion.
“I told him to hold off for a bit,” Riona explained.
“I see,” Aislinn said but seemed rather hurt that he wasn’t in the room.
“I’ll fetch him. Would ya like somethin’ to drink?”
“I’d kill for a Dr Pepper.”
“Think that’d be okay?” Riona asked Chibs and Chibs gave a dismissive shrug.
“Should be fine. It’s a liquid.”
“And a doctor!” Aislinn jested, and Riona snorted.
“Alright, one Dr Pepper coming up.” She said but saw the pleading look on her brother’s face.
“Make that two.” Riona corrected.
“Yes!” Ethan said while pumping his fist into the air.
“Hopeless is what ya two are!” Riona said before asking Ethan’s parents and Chibs if they wanted anything as well.
The three of them declined her offer but thanked her anyhow.
Riona met her father in the waiting room after gathering the Dr Peppers.
“She asked about you…” Riona admitted, and Pepper perked up at this.
“Aye, but listen. Keep it civil. Linny doesn’t need any added drama. I mean it. I will have the boys drag ya on out of this hospital if ya cause those monitors of hers to flare up. She’s been givin’ specific orders. Linny needs to keep her blood pressure and heart rate down. I won’t have ya goin’ in there and givin’ her a stroke or heart attack.”
“Is she that bad?!” Pepper questioned in alarm.
“She made it through the worst of it, but she’s a long way from complete recovery. I don’t mean that in just the physical aspect. We must take everythin’ she’s been through into consideration, and she’s with child to top it off. Linny needs our support and the only way to give her that… is by showin’ it. So, leave any arguin’ outside the room, or better yet just let it go.”
“You say that, like it’s all ME.”
“No, but a good eighty percent of it is.”
“I only speak the truth. Ya don’t know when to shut your mouth, ya never have!”
“If my presence or something I say upsets her, I’ll leave the room.” Pepper vowed.
“Thank you.” Riona sincerely put, and her father nodded.
Aislinn giggled as Marianne shared stories of Ethan’s childhood.
“He was quite the daredevil that one. I thought I’d have to keep that boy in bubble wrap.”
“Probably should have,” Steven added with a grin Ethan’s direction.
“Sounds like Aislinn when she was a kid.”
Everyone heard then peered back as that came from Pepper. He entered the room with Riona. Chibs cocked a brow on this and Pepper nodded his direction.
“I won’t be long, just wanted to see how you were doing,” Pepper said but with a hint of nervousness.
He didn’t like how packed this room was, and knew everyone was watching his every move.
“I’m alright.” Aislinn softly put, and her father nodded as he made his way over.
“That’s good baby, real good.”
Aislinn smiled as he took her hand and kissed it.
“I bet you’re loving that neck brace!” Her father witted.
“I’m makin’ a fashion statement.”
“That’s one way of looking at it.”
“Might I have a moment alone with my father?” Aislinn requested.
This had Chibs, Ethan, and Riona regarding Aislinn in utmost surprise.
“Of course.” Chibs was first to say, then herded everyone out of the room.
Pepper rubbed the back of his neck and with that uncomfortable vibe.
“You’ll have to move him.” Aislinn randomly put, and Pepper lifted his head in confusion.
“Nicholas… You’ll have to move the tank and dig him up. We can’t sell the land or the oil to it with him there.”
Her father nodded in understanding.
“I’ll get it done.” He promised.
“I will never forget. You need to know that.” She said.
“The things you said and did. The danger you put Riona and me in…” Pepper recoiled in shame and Aislinn drew back the deepest of breaths.
“I forgive you.”
Pepper staggered back in complete shock and Aislinn gave a simple nod.
“You’ll never be my pa again, but I do forgive you.”
“Shhh, let me finish.” She said, and her father sent her a respectful nod.
“I’m a Christian and goin’ to be a mother. I can’t hold on to that anger forever.”
“But you should,” Pepper admitted.
“You’re wrong. We forgive our enemies.”
“Aye, now Pepper… Ya know what you were.” She whispered, and Pepper grimaced.
“So, I’m no better than that Jimmy fella? And you can’t tell me you forgave him.”
Aislinn closed her eyes, and twin tracks of tears streamed down her face.
“You weren’t, but ya are now, and you’re right, I haven’t.”
“I suppose I deserve that.” Pepper painfully admitted.
“That’s what you wanted, remember? You wanted me to hate you.”
“That I did.”
“But I don’t hate you. I hate what you became. I loathe the sickness that took you over. We lost Alastar Lawless the day our mother died. That’s somethin’ we had to come into terms with. We buried him with my mother.”
Pepper pinched his eyes shut and began to cry.
“I’m so sorry, baby.”
“I know ya are. I can see it. But ya weren’t then. You killed the man we loved and willingly. That’s what made you our enemy. You see Alastar would’ve fought for us. He would’ve done whatever he could to keep us safe. Pepper knew that and had him killed.”
Pepper couldn’t believe his daughter’s words. He opened his eyes, and Aislinn gave a little nod. He had told Chibs this very thing.
“You carry pa’s memories, nothin’ more.”
“You’re right, and it’s those memories I fight for even if they’re not mine.”
“I miss him.” Aislinn cried, and Pepper hugged her.
“I miss him too, every day.”
“Then why’d you kill him? Why did you take him from me?!”
“I don’t know, baby. I don’t know.”
There were no more words as Pepper held her. He knew this was her moment to grieve. Aislinn was right; Pepper killed Alastar. It didn’t matter what he did; Alastar wasn’t coming back. All he could do was make up for it. He’d do that by facing his brother in court. But once that was over and done, he knew it was time to go home. He didn’t belong here, much less in his children’s lives. They’d moved on, rightfully so. The least he could do was respect that. He’d leave them the land, and whatever money the oil brought in. He wanted no part in it. Every dime would go to his children. It was theirs to do whatever they wanted with. Pepper soaked up these final moments knowing this would be the last he held Aislinn in his arms. He’d never get that chance again, at least not like this.
“She’s asleep,” Pepper whispered after pulling the door to behind him.
“She does that… in and out.” Chibs admitted.
“I think I’m gonna head on out.” Pepper said, and Ethan handed his keys over.
“You going back to the hotel?” Ethan questioned.
“Yeah… I’ll be there. But I’m heading back to Ireland after court.”
Riona and Ethan exchanged glances on this but didn’t comment. Pepper patted Ethan’s shoulder then pecked Riona on the cheek.
“Call if anything changes, or if you need me.” Pepper said before taking off.
“I think it’s time we headed back as well,” Marianne said and out of concern for her husband’s wellbeing.
“But we just met!” Riona called in disappointment, and Marianne smiled.
“Something tells me we’ll meet again. Until then, you take care of each other. I’m so glad Ethan found you and your sister. He’s wanted this for so long. I’ll leave a little goodbye note for your Aislinn.”
Riona nodded and watched as Marianne entered the room.
“Aislinn?” Ethan’s mother softly called.
She was surprised to see her awake.
Aislinn glanced over but with tears in her eyes. Marianne knew she must’ve faked being asleep so her father would leave.
“Hope, I didn’t startle you.”
“No,” Aislinn said while forcing a smile and dabbing her tears away with a tissue.
“You said goodbye, didn’t you?” Marianne whispered.
“In my own way…” Aislinn admitted, and Marianne nodded.
“I could tell, by the look on his face.” She said, and Aislinn recoiled.
“You did what you had to do, and he understands that.”
“He’s tryin’ even I can see it. But…”
“It’s too late.”
“Trust me. I get it.”
“I wanted him there… I wanted my father to give me away. I wanted my father to be in my child’s life.”
“But he isn’t your father anymore…”
Aislinn sucked back a quivery breath, and Marianne was quick to hug her.
“Oh honey, I know I barely know you, but I feel like I’ve known you and your sister all my life. I hate seeing you and your siblings like this. You three deserve better, so much better.” Marianne craned her neck towards Aislinn’s monitors then nodded amongst herself as her stats were spiking.
“Deep, long breaths,” Marianne whispered and held up a hand as her son entered the room.
She could see Chibs peeking into the room as well as they too heard Aislinn’s monitors go off.
Aislinn sucked back a long sobbing breath, and Marianne looked to her stats.
“Let’s take a few more of those.”
Aislinn followed Marianne’s example, and Marianne smiled once she got her calm.
“There you go. You’re going to be just fine.”
“Will you and your husband come to the wedding?”Aislinn asked, and Ethan smiled as he saw the stunned look in his mother’s eyes.
“You mean your wedding?”
“Aye. It’s October 31st. I’d like you to be there.”
“I’d love to!” Marianne said, and Aislinn gave another tearful smile.
“You’ll have to ask my husband about the details. I know nothin’ other than the date itself. But I want Ethan to give me away. I haven’t had the chance to ask him yet.”
Ethan wanted to comment considering he and Chibs overheard this. But he kept quiet, as he wanted to hear what his mother had to say.
“Oh, I know he’d be honored!”
“You’ll meet my wee nephew and his father.”
“Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
“Bein’ a good mother to my brother. After what my father did…”
“I don’t need thanking for that.”
“I know. It’s just… family’s a big deal to me, always was. If Riona and I had known…”
“We can’t change the past, but we can focus on the future. We can fix it.” Marianne inspirationally put.
“That we will.”
“It was a blessing meeting you and your sister.”
“Likewise. Travel safe.”
“And you get better. We’ll see you in October.”
Marianne hugged Riona goodbye then asked what she should get her sister as a wedding gift. The two talked about Abel for a few minutes, and Riona showed her and Steven a few pictures on her phone.
“Oh, you weren’t kidding! Spitting image of his father!” Marianne complimented once she saw one of Jax and Abel side by side.
“Right?! Same blue eyes and everythin’!”
Ethan excused himself, then walked his parents outside.
“I hate the circumstances, but I’m glad you came, both of you,” Ethan said before hugging them.
“Take care, son,” Steven said, and Ethan gave his stepfather a firm handshake.
“Don’t come home.” Ethan’s mother firmly put and Steven chuckled at his stepson’s reaction.
“Um, okay…” He said, waiting for the punchline, and his mother smiled.
“There’s nothing for you in Texas. You belong here. I hate it, but it’s in your eyes. And I hope you’re bringing this new girl of yours to the wedding. I’d like to meet her.”
“New girl?” Ethan questioned in confusion.
“Oh, there’s a girl. You can’t fool your mother. Bring her! And whatever mess you and this MC of yours are in… clean it up and don’t get hurt!”
Ethan chuckled in response.
Marianne kissed her son’s cheek then gave his hand a bit of a squeeze. She leaned into his ear afterward.
“You should know the temptation was there and so was the option, but he didn’t take it. Your sisters should know too, but when the time is right.” His mother hinted as to their father.
Ethan reared back in surprise but didn’t utter a word on it. He waved them off as Marianne and Steven got into their separate vehicles and drove away.
“You alright darlin’?” Chibs questioned once he entered the room.
Aislinn nodded then reached for her Dr Pepper.
“I got it.” Her husband said and hurried on over.
“I had it, Scotty.”
“Ye shouldn’t be reachin’ like that and ye know it. Ye gotta take it easy, Ali.” He said as he handed her soda over.
“Thank you.” She uttered before taking a sip.
Her stomach growled, and Aislinn frowned.
“When do ya think they’ll let me eat real food?”
“Once they know ye can go to the bathroom on yer own and can get around okay.”
Aislinn pouted in response.
“I’m tired of broth and nasty orange JELLO!”
“Em, and what is it ye want love?”
“A big fat burger, with bacon, cheese… Oh, and I want fries!”
“Tell ye what as soon as they give ye the go-ahead; I’ll get ye the biggest damn burger I can find and a large order of fries to go with it.”
“Don’t forget the bacon and cheese, no onion!”
“You got it!”
“Our baby’s gonna up and starve!” She dramatically put as her stomach growled yet again.
“Nah, baby’s gonna be just fine.”
Aislinn smiled when she heard her husband’s stomach as well.
“Are you hungry too?”
“Have you eaten?”
“I’ll eat when ye eat.”
“But that could be forever! Ya should eat somethin’!”
“I’m alright.” He said while stealing her orange JELLO and sending her a playful wink.
“Ugh, take them all. That shite is rancid! I mean seriously, why orange?!”
“Ye can request another flavor, Ali.”
“But I don’t want JELLO! I want a big fat burger!”
“Well, I see the mood swings and cravings are kickin’ in!” Ethan announced as he walked in with Riona.
“Funny lad, aren’t ya?!”
“I’ll talk to the nurse and see if we can speed things up a bit.” Her sister offered and Aislinn stuck her tongue out at her brother.
“Yeah, yeah spoiled lil shit is what you are.”
“You know it!” Aislinn fired back, and her brother laughed, knowing that was the furthest thing from the truth.
“Where’s Jax?” Aislinn questioned as she’d yet to see him.
Then again, she hadn’t seen Bobby, Kip, or Tig either but knew they were out on business. Brodie was catching up on some much-needed sleep at the clubhouse. She hadn’t heard anything about Jax though. This had Ethan, Riona, and Chibs exchanging uncomfortable glances. Chibs cleared his throat.
“He’ll be here. He can tell you then.”
“He’s okay, right?”
“Aye, he’s just fine, love. Just tied up in somethin’ at the moment.” Riona said, and Chibs sighed amongst himself.
He knew this was eating Riona alive.
“Bitchin’ at the nurses I’m sure. He’s pure done with this place and ready to check out. But they won’t let him just yet.”
“I’m surprised he’s stayin’ on doctor’s orders!”
“Oh, trust me it’s not on their orders but mine and Jackie’s. We done told him he couldn’t leave until the hospital gave him the full clear.”
“I bet that made his day!” She sarcastically murmured, and Chibs chuckled.
“He knows when we mean business. He’s not about to question me or Jackie on this. He’ll bitch and moan but stay put until we say otherwise.”
Aislinn nodded but bit down on her bottom lip when another leg cramp hit. Chibs recoiled once he saw a knot the size of a baseball in her calf. He was quick to rub it out then worked her leg back and forth after.
“That looked like it hurt!” Ethan said, and Riona nodded with concern.
“I think yer low in potassium.” Chibs murmured in thought.
“That would explain why her legs are so sore!” Riona exclaimed.
“Aye. We’ll bring that up as well.” Chibs said after laying her leg back down.
“So where is Jax anyhow?” Ethan curiously questioned as Bobby mentioned something about Jax not answering his phone earlier.
This had Chibs and Riona looking to one another.
“What was that?” Aislinn questioned, and her husband sighed.
“It’s nothin’, love.” Her husband lied but planned on telling the truth once he thought she could handle it.
This caused a twinge of guilt, considering Riona had no choice but to endure it, and Jax was her husband. He could only imagine how much this was eating at her. But Riona kept with that brave front of hers and was using her sister as a distraction. She was going above and beyond to take care of her and was driving the nurses absolutely bonkers. Chibs found that rather enduring. Riona and Aislinn’s relationship was something to live up to and extremely rare. The Scot had never known sisters that close before.
“Ya promised,” Aislinn uttered in a rather accusing tone and was looking at her husband.
“We said we wouldn’t keep anythin’ from each other, remember?!” She added, and Chibs cocked a brow on this.
“I know when you’re lyin’, Scotty.” She bitterly scoffed, and Riona giggled at his struck stupid appearance.
“Ya’d that same look when I found out about the porn studio!” Aislinn said, and Chibs sighed.
“Welp, there ya go. Can’t hide anythin’ from her now!” Riona taunted and with a playful wink his way.
Chibs incoherently grumbled under his breath, and this had Ethan chuckling as well.
“Why don’t you want me to know about Jax?” Aislinn innocently questioned, and Riona was the one sighing now.
“I got this…” She whispered, with her eyes locking with Chibs’s.
Riona calmly explained the situation and Aislinn couldn’t believe what she was hearing, neither could Ethan for that matter. He hadn’t a clue Jax was in jail; no one did other than Chibs and Riona.
“Why would he do that?” Aislinn whispered.
“Jackie has his reasons. Ye know he wouldn’t leave yer sister and Abel behind.”
“But what will he do if he’s there longer than planned?!” Aislinn asked.
“We’ll worry on that if and when the time comes.”
“If and when?!” Aislinn, sarcastically replied.
“Where you goin’?” Riona questioned as she caught her brother sneaking out of the room.
“Got somethin’ to take care of.”
“Ya mean Leia?” Riona teased, and Ethan chuckled.
“Maybe…” He murmured with a shrug.
“REALLY?!” Aislinn squealed with interest.
“Gotta take care of this whole Sam ordeal first, remember?” Ethan bitterly put, and his sisters frowned.
“Right…” They said in unison. This had both men raising their brows.
Ethan headed out without another word.
“He’s up to somethin’,” Aislinn confirmed, and her sister nodded in agreement.
“Aye, he had that look about him,” Riona admitted, and Chibs regarded the door in thought.
Jax shook his head as it went just as he figured it would. Dinah was treated like a suspect herself, and she, too, was brought in for questioning. But this wasn’t anything she didn’t see coming. They stuck to Dinah’s story, however. Thanks to Gemma’s note and the way she died… The breadcrumbs fell right into place, just as Jax preferred. The old Jax would’ve felt a tad of remorse on having his mother’s name tarnished like that, but the new Jax felt even that wasn’t enough punishment for what she’d done. Sure, she was dead now, but that didn’t change how bitter and betrayed Jax felt. That image burned into his mind – his mother attacking his wife, in attempts to murder her. His heart had that pitfall feeling as he paced the cell he was in.
The man had a million things on his mind, but what stood out the most was his wife and son. He couldn’t believe he missed Abel’s birthday. Jax felt like a failure when it came to being a father. He wanted to give his wife and son his all, or so he thought. His all just wasn’t enough as of late. Things just kept getting in the way, and Abel and Riona kept getting caught up in the crossfire. He’d vowed never to let that happen, just as his father had when it came to him and Thomas and yet here, he was… following in his father’s footsteps. This isn’t the future JT foresaw, and Jax knew that.
“I’m sorry, dad,” Jax whispered under his breath.
He knew JT would be ashamed of him. All this death and blood… He vowed to put it all to an end. An end to the drugs, guns, violence – that’s all his father ever wanted. JT wanted the MC he envisioned when he first created SAMCRO. He wanted a legit motorcycle club that stuck up for the little guys and kept all those dreadful things out of their town. They weren’t a “gang,” and SAMCRO always took offense to the term. But they weren’t any better and deep in his heart, Jax knew that.
“Clay and I promise, I’m done,” Jax vowed as he looked to the remindful scar on the palm of his hand.
“I won’t take another life. This club will be what you always wanted.”
Jax felt a little crazed as he paced that cell.
“Mr. Teller?” One of the deputies called as they approached him.
Jax lifted his head as the deputy unlocked his cell.
“What’s going on?” Jax questioned with unease.
Were they taking him to Stockton already?! He knew that wasn’t how it worked, but the thought did occur to him.
“Someone posted your bail.”
“I told the judge I was staying,” Jax uttered as he and Dinah had already appeared before a judge.
The judge set bail, but Jax couldn’t remember how much it was. He didn’t pay the judge any attention as he’d plans of staying.
“Well, someone didn’t get the memo.” The deputy said, and Jax reared back when he saw his brother-in-law standing at the counter.
Ethan nodded his direction and was signing off on Jax’s release.
“What are you doing?”
“Taking you home.”
“What?! How’d you even know I was…”
The prospect sent him a look that said it all, and Jax sighed.
“Let’s go, asshole.”
Jax caught wind of Dinah just as he was to exit the station with Ethan. The sheriff was talking to another deputy at their desk. She stopped, just long enough to nod Jax’s direction. That nod had a touch of confidence as if she were telling him everything was going to work out, and their story was bought. This had the president somewhat relieved as he grabbed his things then exited the station.
“What’s this?” Jax questioned as Ethan brought his bike.
“Our ride…” Ethan uttered with a smirk.
“Yep. Get in that bitch seat, bossman!”
“Oh, hell, no.”
“I paid your bail, get in the fucking seat.”
“Fuck that shit.” Jax firmly put, and Ethan sighed.
“Then, I guess we’re not going anywhere.”
“You got that right.”
“Hm?” He hummed while lighting a cigarette.
“Get on the fucking bike. My sisters are waiting.”
“Watch it, prospect; I’m YOUR president last time I checked.”
“Oh, get over yourself. I paid your fucking bail and believe me; it wasn’t cheap.”
“How’d you do that, anyhow?”
“Doesn’t matter… I’ll get the money back. But only if you’re innocent.”
“Man, you got all kinds of friends, don’t you?” Jax uttered with a smirk and Ethan shrugged.
“I wouldn’t call them friends. More like connections.”
Ethan gestured towards the bitch seat of the motorcycle and Jax grumbled under his breath.
“Tell anyone about this, and I’ll make your prospect days utter misery.”
“Like they aren’t already?” Ethan fired back, and Jax smiled.
“Oh, trust me. This is mild. Should’ve been here when my old man was around. You think I’m an asshole. JT had no issue in putting me and Tommy through the wringer; he didn’t treat us any different when it came to our prospect days. So, don’t let the brother-in-law thing get to your head. It doesn’t mean shit behind those walls.”
“Why didn’t you want me to know?” Aislinn rather hissed, and Chibs shook his head, knowing this was directed at him.
“Ali, the doc made it clear ye wasn’t to be under any stress. I was goin’ to tell ye once I felt the timin’ was right. Ye know I meant nothin’ by it.”
“He’s just lookin’ out for you, love.” Riona defended.
“But this isn’t about ME! This is about you and Abel!” Aislinn snapped, and this set off one of her monitors.
“Ali…” Chibs softly scolded, and Aislinn sent him an apologetic look.
“That right there is why I didn’t tell ye! Now, I need ye to calm down!” Chibs muttered while fussing over that particular monitor.
Chibs and Riona didn’t utter another word on Jax’s situation, not until Aislinn’s stats had leveled. The Scot let out a breath of relief but shook his head in a scolding matter. It took over half an hour to get Aislinn where she needed to be.
“Ye want me ta tell ye shite then ye best keep calm. I mean it, Ali. This isn’t somethin’ we can play around with. Yer blood pressure and heart rate were skyrocketin’!”
“Abel and I will be fine. You know Jackson. He wouldn’t have turned himself in if he thought he was going to be there for a while.”
“I sure hope you’re right.”
“I trust him, Linny. So does Abel. He’ll be out before we know it.”
The three of them heard then peered back and saw Jax poking his head inside.
He sent his wife a loving smile, and Riona placed a hand over her heart.
“Hey there, darlin’.”
Aislinn giggled, and Chibs let out a sigh of relief. The VP tilted his head, however, when Ethan stepped in after Jax.
“Ye did this, didn’t you?!” Chibs whispered, looking somewhat impressed.
Ethan shrugged like it was no big deal.
“Thank you.” Chibs sincerely put.
Ethan gave a simple nod, and Riona punched her husband on the arm.
“Ya big…” she started to scold, and Jax interrupted that with a kiss.
That kiss grew somewhat intense. This had Aislinn blushing and Chibs sending her a wink. Ethan rolled his eyes and looked away. Jax kept a firm hold on his wife but nodded his sister-in-law’s direction.
“Good to see you alive and kickin’.”
“Aye, good to be alive and kickin’.” She smarted back, and Jax smiled.
“Don’t scare us like that again, alright?!”
“I’ll do my best.
“And I suppose congratulations are in order…” Jax hinted as to Chibs and Aislinn’s marriage and the baby on the way.
“We’ll be back,” Jax uttered as he dragged his wife on out of the room.
Riona looked to her sister wide-eyed, and Aislinn giggled once again.
“Where are we goin’?!” Riona questioned as Jax pulled her along.
“Somewhere a little more private.” He softly murmured.
Jax led her on out of the hospital and to the truck.
“Get in.” He said as he unlocked then opened the passenger side door.
Riona climbed on in, and Jax shut the door. The two shared a moment of silence once he was in the truck.
“I’m sorry,” Jax said, breaking that silence.
“I couldn’t call.” The man stared straight ahead then ran his hands along the steering wheel as he explained himself.
“Riona baby, I knew I’d break if I heard your voice. That’s why I had my VP tell you. I couldn’t do it. I knew I’d forgo my plans so I could be with you. That wasn’t something I could do. It was important for me to see this through the way I did. Please understand that.”
Riona gave a tearful nod, but Jax took notice of the resentful look in her eyes.
“I love you. That’s why I did this the way I did. I can’t have you and Abel involved anymore. I won’t. All this comes to an end, now. I know where he is…”
Riona snapped her husband a flabbergasted look and Jax nodded.
“Gemma told me where to find him. I’m taking him and his little crew out. Then we’re bringing our son home and truly beginning our lives. There’ll be nothing getting in our way.”
“Don’t get cocky Jackson,” Riona warned.
“This isn’t cockiness. I’m done. I’ve been done! I can’t lose you!” Jax damn near shouted that last part then pinched his eyes shut.
“I just keep seeing it…” He whispered.
“My mother… If I was just a second too late.”
Jax’s face flushed over, and his eyes swelled up with tears.
“How can you stand it?!”
Riona reared back as he said this rather accusingly.
“How can you stand to be in the same room as me?! Death follows you around everywhere I go! How can you not hate me?!”
“Jackson, Death followed me long before ya ever came into my life; you know that.”
“But my own mother? Baby, that isn’t something a normal marriage worries about! You should feel safe! You and Abel!”
“And we do…”
Jax let out a laugh of mockery.
“Jackson, I feel safe when you’re around. I always do, and I know our son does. We know you’ll do anythin’ to keep us safe.”
“And fail, every time! I’m an epic motherfucking failure, Riona! Look at me!”
Riona looked him in the eyes.
“Take a good long look and tell me this is what you want!”
“It is.” Riona wholeheartedly put.
“Nah, you couldn’t possibly. All you’ll ever see is my mother and Clay!”
What is this, Jackson? Are ya pushin’ me away?!”
“Not even close. But I should.”
Riona’s jaw dropped, and Jax sighed at the hurtful expression on her face.
“It would be the right thing to do, sending you and Abel someplace safe, far away, someplace I’d never think to find you!”
“You say that like you’re the enemy!” Riona angrily hissed.
“CAUSE I AM!” Jax shouted, then punched at the steering wheel, causing his wife to jump.
He recoiled at this, then sighed.
“I’d never hurt you. You have to know that. I’d die before I hurt you or Abel. Outside the club, you two are my life. That’s why I’m so angry. Fuck!” Jax shook his head in thought.
“I understand my father more than I ever realized. Riona, all he wanted was a simple life. Just a regular MC, a faithful and loving wife, happy sons to come home to. I want what my father wanted. I’m tired, baby. So, fucking tired. My head just isn’t right, right now, and it won’t be until I know all this has been taken care of.”
Riona reached out then ran her fingers along his hand.
“I know. But you’re not in this alone. You’ll never be alone, Jackson. I’m not goin’ anywhere.”
“Good. Cause I can’t lose you.” Jax said as he pulled her into his lap.
“I was scared. When I walked into that house, I was so fucking scared, and I can only imagine what was going through your mind.”
Riona used her thumbs to wipe her husband’s tears away.
“There were only two things on my mind.”
Jax tilted his head in question.
“You and Abel.”
Jax brushed his lips against hers, and they found themselves in another passionate kiss. The man couldn’t help himself. He wanted to be as close as humanly possible. He had her grinding against him, and was kissing all along her neck and shoulder.
“I need you.” He desperately put then looked around the parking lot.
“Get in the back.” He ordered once he saw the coast was clear.
Riona blushed in thought.
“Hurry up, babe,” Jax growled with sensitivity as just the slightest movement on her part had him in overdrive.
He wanted her in the back where the windows were tinted, and no one could see what they were doing. That and there was more room. Jax shook his head before joining her. He couldn’t help but find that little pose of hers incredibly sexy. She was kicked back and waiting. That had the man aching even more. She was the gift he couldn’t wait to unwrap. The man didn’t waste any time and stripped her down. Jax spread her legs and got to licking. Jax chuckled under his breath when his wife slapped a hand over her mouth and moaned against it. He flicked that tongue in all the right places, and this had Riona arching her back in response.
“God, damn, you taste good.” He muttered, and she could feel the vibration of her husband’s words against her clit.
“I just wanna eat you up, baby.” The man hungrily growled, leading Riona into a convulsing orgasm.
Jax couldn’t help but to smirk and kept with it. The man took his time switching between his fingers and tongue. He counted at least five orgasms before licking his fingers clean and getting her repositioned.
“You’re ruining my seats,” Jax uttered but with that big-headed come-hither grin of his.
Riona sat up as he took her by the hand.
“On your knees and on the floorboard.” He signaled where he wanted her, then sat across from her.
Jax unbuckled his SAMCRO belt then freed himself.
“Get that cock good and wet.” He said, and Riona wrapped her mouth around it.
Jax gave her mouth a few thrusts but was quick to pull out knowing he’d come if he didn’t. The man was desperate to get off but had something else in mind. Something he’d been longing to try. This had been on the back of his mind for quite some time.
“A little closer, baby.” He encouraged as he helped her get into position.
“Fuck yeah… right there.” Jax uttered in longing as her breasts were in line with his dick.
He squeezed them together, then slid his cock between them. Riona was somewhat amazed as Jax went on to show her what a titty fuck was all about. She couldn’t believe how turned on Jax was. He had a good amount of precum oozing from the tip of his dick and onto one of her breasts. Jax couldn’t take his eyes off them.
“See?! Perfect fucking size.” He uttered between breaths.
Riona, however, threw her husband for a loop and licked the tip of his dick every time he pumped near her mouth.
“SHIT!” Jax hollered as he fought the urge to come.
He wanted more of that right there. The more into it he got, the more turned on his wife was.
“You’re digging this, aren’t you?!” Jax questioned taking notice and Riona responded by deep throating his cock. Jax lost all composure. He grabbed a fistful of Riona’s hair and came hard. There was no warning as Jax hadn’t expected his own reaction. He hoped to God she didn’t gag or get pissed with him. Sure, he’d come down her throat before, plenty of times but not with that amount of force. She already had his cock buried down her throat, and he just had to take it that extra mile and go even deeper. Riona took the man by surprise all over again when she cleaned him off by deep throating his cock all over again.
“HOLY FUCK, RIONA!” Jax shouted with welcomed sensitivity.
Riona couldn’t help but giggle at his reaction. Jax bucked off the seat then looked as if he were about to pass out. That giggle continued as she licked him clean.
“Goddamn, I’m dizzy as hell.” Jax murmured then leaned back with his head against the seat.
“You’re an evil woman.” Jax breathlessly muttered but with a smirk.
“Have to be to deal with your arse!” She teased, and Jax nodded in full agreement.
“C’mere.” He tiredly whispered while wiggling his index finger.
Riona crawled into his lap, and Jax brought her against his chest.
“Let’s just stay like this.” He said, and Riona smiled.
“That sounds lovely.”
“Yeah, it does.” He said then gave her ass a little smack.
“You have no idea how much I needed that. I had to feel you. You’re like a fucking drug, babe. I swear. I’m an addict.”
“I hate to be the mood killer…” Riona softly put while running a hand along his Abel tattoo.
“Then, don’t.” Jax pleaded.
“Jackson…” She said with a sigh, and Jax let out a sigh of his own.
“You never told me what happened.” She said, and Jax tilted his head in slight confusion.
“Are ya goin’ back. Is there a trial date?!”
“Don’t know all that just yet. Dinah will let me know just as soon as she knows something. She’s in hot water herself, so we gotta give it some time.”
“Hot water?!” Riona questioned with unease.
“Yeah, but this wasn’t anything we didn’t expect,” Jax revealed what all Dinah had done for him, and Riona found herself blown away.
“I’m maxed out baby. No more favors. That was it.” He hinted.
“I can imagine!”
“I didn’t ask her to do this… She went above and beyond. That cover story… that was her idea!”
“She sees what I see…” Riona said in thought.
“Oh, and what’s that?!” Jax questioned with curiosity.
“Hope. Jackson, you’re what this town needs, even if they don’t know it.”
“Doesn’t feel like it at times.” Jax regrettably admitted.
“It’s like you said… These things take time. But you’re getting there. We can see the finish line!”
“You’re only saying that because you ride my dick like a horse!!” Jax playfully put, and Riona laughed.
“No, like a Harley!” She corrected, and Jax wiggled his brows.
“It’s hard to picture.”
“You and Aislinn… you know… growing up on the farm and all. Country girls.”
“Aye, but we are!”
“I’d like to see you on a horse.”
“Would ya now?”
“Oh yeah, I wanna see that side of you. That sweet lil country girl.”
“Sweet, huh?” Riona scoffed, and Jax chuckled.
“Maybe you could teach Abel a thing or two about horses. I bet he’d get a kick out of that. Abel’s never been around things like that before.”
“I’d love to show him!”
“Cool. We’ll put that on our to-do list.”
Jax looked to his wife’s bundled up clothes and sighed.
“Guess we better put those back on.”
“If we must.”
“Panties are too wet. So those stay with me.”
Riona snorted, thinking he was joking until he stuffed them into his pocket.
“I lose more panties that way; ya know that?!”
“I’m not sorry,” Jax uttered with a shrug.
“What do ya even do with them?!”
“Do you really want to know?!” Jax taunted with a mischievous grin, and Riona shook her head.
“Point taken.” She said.
“Figured as much!”
Jax grew serious, however, as Riona got dressed.
“What?!” His wife asked afterward.
“Riona, there’s somethin’ you should know.” Jax couldn’t believe he was about to admit to this crazy shit, but if something happened to him, Riona needed to know.
He only hoped she didn’t think he was insane. Then again, her sister and Abel had something similar happen. Jax hadn’t told a living soul about this before.
“It’s about Abel’s dragon…”
Riona listened as Jax told his wife about his own experiences when it came to “Thomas”. He started with when his son first got the dragon…
“Hey, lil man,” Thomas whispered as he peered into the baby crib.
His baby nephew kicked his legs about and smiled.
“Man, how my dumbass brother created something so stinkin’ cute is beyond me.”
Abel giggled, and Thomas laughed.
“So, you agree that your dad’s a dumbass?!”
Abel giggled once again, and Thomas nodded amongst himself.
“Hell, kid, we’ll get along just fine. Oh yeah, gotcha somethin’.”
Thomas dug into his prospect cut then handed his baby nephew a stuffed dragon.
“Room’s lookin’ kind of bare, kid. Thought you could use at least one stuffed animal. Your old man thinks it’ll suffocate you in your sleep. Pfft… What does he know?! You’re not a day old anymore! You’re on the verge of becoming a full-grown man! And what does every grown man need? A fire-breathin’, asskickin’, dragon!”
Abel hugged the dragon then let out a small squeal.
“Couldn’t help yourself, could you?!”
Thomas heard over the baby monitor with a built-in camera. Jax not only heard but saw the interaction between his brother and son.
“Oh, come on. It’s a little dragon!” Thomas defended, and Jax sighed on the other end.
“You gotta quit frettin’ bro. The worst of it is over. He’s home now.”
Jax entered the room then looked to his son as he held the dragon.
“Look at how happy he is!” Thomas said with a wide grin.
“Don’t even think about taking that dragon away!” He added.
Jax rolled his eyes but was somewhat amazed by his son’s reaction to the dragon. Abel was all smiles and hugging that dragon close.
“See?! Kid needed something!”
“Fine. But watch him with that thing. I mean it, Tommy.”
“Yeah, yeah. You know, I will. Where you going, anyhow?”
“Tara needs me to look at her dryer or something.”
“Dryer, huh?” Thomas scoffed.
“Don’t,” Jax warned knowing where his brother was going with that.
“Don’t you think you should take a break?”
“Yeah man, I mean you literally just had a kid, with a fucking Crow Eater, and now you’re getting BACK in the game?”
“This is different, and you know it.”
“Yeah, you and Tara go way back…” Thomas mocked while rolling his eyes.
He scooped his nephew up then pecked him on the forehead.
“She came back for a reason. It’s gonna work out this time.”
“And I’ll be the first to say I told you so.”
“What’s your deal with Tara?”
“You know what my deal is! There’s a reason Chibs refers to her as boomerang, you know! She only comes around when she needs something. Then she’s gone again!”
“Now, you sound like dad.”
“Good! Someone needs to!”
“She’s not the same person anymore, neither am I. We’ve grown.”
“Tara?! Grown?” Thomas scoffed in ridicule.
“Yeah, that’ll be the day!”
“So am I! Tara’s only in it for herself, always has been. I’m not the only one that thinks so! Dad and Op have said the same thing!”
“Well, Op never liked Tara.”
“Imagine that… your best friend can’t stand your high school sweetheart. When are you going to pay attention to the signs, Jax?”
“Says the one that’s never been in a serious relationship!”
“Yeah, for a damn good reason! You think I want all that stupid drama?!”
“Tell me something…”
“You remember those sisters from Ireland, right?”
“Would you have dated Aislinn?”
“What’s that have to do with anything?”
“Just answer the question!”
“Why does it matter? That was years ago!”
“But you still talk about her…”
“No, I don’t!”
Jax raised his brows on this and Thomas sighed knowing he had him there.
“Maybe who knows…” Thomas said with a shrug.
“Why didn’t you ask her out?”
“Um, she was from another country for starters!”
“It would’ve never worked, and you know it,” Thomas said as he placed his nephew on the changing table.
Jax handed his brother the wipes and a clean diaper.
“No, I don’t know that; neither do you.”
“Fine, what about you and the older one… What’s her face…” Thomas looked to be in thought.
“You mean Riona.”
“She was married.”
“Come on, Jax. The dude was cheating on her!” Thomas reared back on his own words, however.
“I know…” Jax bitterly muttered.
“All the more reason…” Jax hinted as to his own history with women, and Thomas laughed.
“Karma bit you right on the ass, brother!”
“Shut the fuck up, Tommy!”
Riona snorted causing Jax to snap out of that particular memory.
“That conversation really happened?!”
“Oh yeah… We talked about you ladies a lot.” Jax said with a smirk.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt.” Riona apologetically put.
“Nah, I was getting off track. I need to get to the part about the dragon itself. That was when Thomas first gave Abel the dragon. I got carried away…”
“Cause ya miss him…” Riona said in understanding.
“Yeah, it’s nice you know… Talking about him like this.” Jax tilted his head, however, as something just occurred to him.
“I never thought about it before…”
“You and I… We’re older siblings…”
“You’re right. We are…” Riona said as if the thought hadn’t occurred to her either.
“You’re lucky, Riona. Don’t ever take what you and Aislinn have for granted. I did, and I regret it every day. I’d do anything to have my brother back.”
Jax cleared his throat as he was getting somewhat emotional. Riona gave her husband’s hand a reassuring squeeze.
“This took place after dad and Tommy died…” Jax uttered as he got back to his story.
Another Jax flashback:
Jax let out a frustrated sigh as his son reached for the door to his bedroom.
“You don’t need him right now!” Jax sternly put, and this led to Abel’s very first tantrum.
Jax regarded his son in utter shock when he threw himself down and screamed bloody murder. He kicked at his bedroom door and was yelling at his father.
“WANT TOMMY NOW!”
Jax closed his eyes. Losing his brother was hard enough but hearing his name every five seconds didn’t help. Tommy was the name of Abel’s dragon. Abel had taken it upon himself to name his dragon after his uncle. That was something Thomas had taken pride in. But Thomas and JT died not long ago, and Jax couldn’t stand to hear his brother’s name.
“Jesus, kid!” Jax said then hunkered down to his son’s level.
“Want Tommy daddy! Peas!” Abel shrieked on top of his lungs.
Jax recoiled from hearing his brother’s name yet again. But also seeing that pitiful look on his son’s face.
“Alright… you win.” The man uttered in defeat.
He reached over then wiped a stray tear off his son’s cheek. Jax rose to his feet, and Abel followed him into the bedroom. Jax was in attempts to grab the dragon from the crib, but Abel beat him to it by crawling inside.
“Guess it’s time for a lil man bed,” Jax whispered amongst himself but watched as Abel held that dragon.
The boy put his thumb in his mouth and rocked back and forth. Jax shook his head as a wave of guilt hit.
“I’m sorry, lil man. I know you miss him too.”
Jax reached into the crib then scooped his son up. He brought him into the living room and lay down on the couch. Jax hummed one of his son’s favorite songs, and it wasn’t long before Abel fell asleep. Jax looked to the dragon that was clutched between Abel’s hands.
“I wish Tommy would’ve never given you that.” Jax bitterly complained.
Jax himself was feeling sleep deprived as he’d been up with Abel most of the night.
“You and that temper, I swear.” Jax heard in an all too familiar voice.
This had the man snapping a look the direction in which it came from.
“Tommy?!” Jax called in absolute shock.
His brother gave a simple nod then made his way over. He squatted down to Jax and Abel’s level.
“When a crow calls to follow your soul, they are reminding you to follow your own road…” Thomas softly uttered.
Jax narrowed his eyes in question, and his heart was going ninety to nothing as he stared at his brother.
“You take everything with you – all the memories, all the love…” Thomas placed a hand on Abel’s dragon then smiled as it started to glow at his touch.
“It’s amazing, Jax.” He said, but that smile faded.
“I can’t find dad. He should’ve arrived by now.” Jax reared back as his brother’s voice grew staticky, and his body translucent.
“Can’t find him?!”
“I don’t understand, Tommy. How are you even here?!”
“I’m not,” Thomas said with a gloomy sigh.
“But I won’t be there either. I won’t be allowed back. I’m sorry, Jax, but I have to find him! So, I won’t be there when you arrive, which isn’t for some time. Forgive me. But I won’t leave him. He needs me.”
“Tommy, what are you…” Jax trailed off as his brother vanished right before his eyes.
“That wasn’t the only instance, Riona. There were a few more. Each of them involved that fucking dragon. It was there every time! But this one was the most powerful. It gave me the fucking creeps.”
Riona couldn’t believe the irony of her husband’s words. This had her thinking back to hers and Aislinn’s conversation. Aislinn had mentioned something about Thomas and JT being stuck. This was after their discussion about one of Aislinn’s favorite movies. It starred Robin Williams, and it was called What Dreams May Come.
“Jackson…” Riona uttered while looking slightly pale.
“So, my sister isn’t crazy?” Riona said in a teasing matter but told Jax about Aislinn’s theory after having her own experience with Thomas and JT.
“Fraid not.” He uttered in return but looked to be in thought.
“Trust me when she called and told me about that fucking dream, she and Abel had…” Jax shook his head.
“I never told anyone about that, Riona. You’re the first…” Jax admitted.
“I’ve told you things I didn’t want anyone to know about, even you. That conversation about Tara, especially, but you need to know the truth. I was a different person then. My brother was right… I was a dumbass.”
“That you were!” Riona teased with a grin, and Jax chuckled.
“I wouldn’t even know where to begin… I mean seriously, baby. This isn’t just about my brother’s message and your sister’s theory. But I’m not a religious man, never have been.”
“Maybe it’s time you were…”
“Riona… I know you, your sister, and Chibs are. But that just isn’t me.”
“But you’ve led the prayer and…”
“Riona babe, I only did those things for you. I never believed in all that shit. I’m sorry. But Heaven, Hell, God, and Satan?! I mean seriously. It just sounds like a way of keeping us all on track. I mean come on… most of us grew up believing in Santa and all that other bullshit. What’s not to say that isn’t true when it comes to God as well? I mean isn’t all this religious crap made up anyhow? It’s only there to keep us grounded and fearful of what’s to come in the afterlife!”
“So, you’re sayin’ the bible, and everythin’ else is all made up?!”
“Think about it, Riona. It’s been passed down and rewritten over and over… How would we know the truth from our asses now?! Say there was a God… What’s not to say that he even exist now?! At least when it comes to the fucking bible. Every bit of that is man written! I can promise you that much.”
“Maybe you’re right. But that’s not to say he doesn’t exist.”
Jax shrugged, and Riona sighed.
“Jackson, look at everything we’ve faced and overcome. How can you not believe in somethin’, somethin’ bigger than us?!”
“I don’t know, Riona. There’s too much to it. For starters, where the fuck did God come from, huh? Doesn’t everything need a beginning and end, even him?!”
“So, what you’re sayin’ is ya believe we live and die. That there’s nothin’ after this. We’re merely worm food!” She bitterly put.
“Not if you’re cremated!” Jax taunted, and Riona sighed.
“Jackson…” She scolded as this conversation was getting to her.
“I don’t know what to believe Riona. I never have.”
“But your brother said…”
“I know… but I don’t even know if that was real!”
Riona raised her brows, and Jax pinched his eyes shut.
“Yeah, I know. Aislinn and Abel saw them too. Hell, Abel sees them all the fucking time.”
“But you think that’s what… just coincidence? Insanity on all your behalf’s?” Riona scoffed.
“This is really getting to you, isn’t it?!”
“Well yeah! I’m Catholic, and I’m married to an atheist! I had no idea you felt that way! You never even told me! All these years… I hadn’t a clue you didn’t believe in God!”
“Riona, I don’t know what to believe. Alright?! I’m sorry.”
Riona stared out the window and looked to be on the verge of tears.
“I want to believe. More than anything, trust me. I do! But what proof is there?”
“Proof?! It’s all around us!”
“Then why did he leave us?!”
“He didn’t leave us, love… God is always quiet during a test.”
Jax wasn’t sure what to say to that. He looked at the time, however, and sighed.
“I have to go, Riona.”
“You know where. The sooner I take care of this, the better. I know where he is. So, I have to do this now.”
“I want you to stay here with your sister and Chibs. You two aren’t to leave his or Happy’s side. Things could get out of hand, fast. I need to know where everyone is and without the risk of any surprises.”
“You’re taking Bobby and the others, right?”
“JACKSON!” Riona snapped in disapproval.
“I’ll take Ethan, but I need the others to stay on task. I need them to find Brad Montana, ASAP or all this goes to utter shit. If he goes to the feds about Potter…”
Riona recoiled in thought.
“See?! This is something I gotta take care of before Clay gets wind of what all’s taken place. I need that element of surprise on my side. That’s how this works.”
“Aye, take Ethan with you. But let the others know where you are.” Riona pleaded.
“Jackson… please be careful. I have a bad feelin’. Just watch your six.”
“When did this bad feeling hit?”
“It’s been there… I’m just not sure what it is yet.” Riona apprehensively put, and Jax sighed knowing this was something he couldn’t take lightly.
His wife and her sister had a sixth sense about them. He knew not to take what they said for granted. Abel’s kidnapping was a fine example of that.
“I’ll pay extra attention, and have everyone wear a vest.”
“Ethan, too,” Jax promised.
“I love you.” He said while adjusting her shirt.
“I love you too, Jackson.”
Jax let out a frustrated sigh when she opened one of the back doors and climbed on out.
“What?!” She questioned.
Riona tilted her head in wonder.
“I told you-you wouldn’t be able to walk once I got ahold of you.” He reminded with a smirk, and Riona laughed.
“That’s right; you did!”
“Hmmm.” Jax hummed in thought.
“Guess that means I’ll have to try again, soon.”
Jax hopped on out of the back as well and watched as his wife headed back into the hospital.
He retrieved his cellphone from his cut then texted Ethan.
Wrap everything up with your sisters. We gotta go. Meet me in the parking lot. I’ll let Bobby know you’re with me.
Jax nodded amongst himself, then tucked his cellphone away. He wanted to go back and hug the hell out of his sister-in-law but knew he hadn’t the time. He fucked his wife because his life depended on it. Crazy as that sounded it was true. Jax needed that release. His head was clearer, and he was more confident in his plans. That and this was something they both needed after Riona’s little brush with death aka Gemma Morrow.
Ethan looked to the message on his cellphone then back to the girls.
“I gotta go. Bosses orders.” Ethan regrettably put, and Aislinn frowned.
“Sorry,” Ethan said while giving her hand a soothing squeeze.
He leaned in then pecked her on the cheek.
“You know I’ll come back, just as soon as I can.” He whispered.
“I’m guessin’ you sent the old man away?” Ethan hinted as to Pepper.
“More like he sent himself away.”
“Well, either way… I got you. Always.” Ethan vowed, and his younger sister smiled.
“I love ya.”
“Love you too. Both of you.” Ethan said as he lifted his head and nodded Riona’s direction.
“Come here.” He said, and Riona made her way over.
“Promise me; you two will stay put.”
“Aye.” They chorused, and Ethan hugged Riona.
Just as he was to walk away, Riona took her brother by the hand then pulled him back towards her.
“You gotta watch each other’s backs. Jackson’s head’s a wee bit shuffled, and he’s gonna need your eyes and ears.”
“I’ll take care of him.”
Ethan gave a simple nod then rushed on out the door. This had the girls looking to one another and sighing in unison.
“They’ll be alright,” Chibs vowed after seeing the look on their faces.
“They better be,” Riona muttered under her breath.
Chibs observed as she paced the room.
“Yer gonna leave a trail, darlin’.” He said, gathering her attention.
Riona stopped, then glanced his direction.
“Why don’t ye help me and yer sister go through those boxes the prospects brought?” Chibs suggested thinking that would help keep her somewhat distracted.
“What’s in them?” Riona asked.
“Mine and Ali’s belongins… well, what’s left of em.” He said as they grabbed a couple of boxes and placed them on the extra hospital bed.
“That’s what those are?!” Aislinn said and was in attempts to climb out of her bed.
Chibs was quick to stop her and shook his head in a scolding matter.
“Ye just lay yer arse back down. I’ll show ye what all’s inside, but ye can’t be moving around like that and ye know it!”
The Scot chuckled when his wife lay back down but folded her arms about her chest in a pouting manner.
“Ah, Ali. What am I goin’ ta do with ye?”
“Hey…,” Bobby tiredly called as they’d been staking out this particular house for a couple days now.
“Hm?” Tig groggily hummed.
“Isn’t that him?” Bobby pointed towards a guy stepping out of a black two door sedan.
“Oh, yeah,” Tig uttered then reached back, shaking Kip awake.
Kip incoherently grumbled under his breath as he sat up in the backseat of the van. They were parked a thousand feet away and using binoculars. They had been taking shifts off and on. This made one of their longest stakeouts, but they knew they couldn’t leave this house. Jax made it clear that Brad would show up eventually. They were to snag him first chance they had before he found out about Potter.
This was the same house where all hell broke loose, and Clay was holding Happy hostage. Bobby argued with Jax saying there was no way Brad would show up after what happened, but Jax insisted otherwise. Jax knew Brad would go back despite Clay’s or anyone else’s warnings against it. All his belongings were in this house. Bobby hadn’t a clue if Clay had gotten to Brad first or not. Meaning they hadn’t a clue what they were getting into the moment they entered that house. Brad could be expecting them, or he might be clueless as to what all went down. Either way, it wasn’t a risk Bobby was willing to take. So, they were going in fully loaded, just in case.
“Jax wants this one alive.” Bobby reminded as they hopped out of the van, one by one.
“Yeah, yeah.” Tig grouchily murmured.
Kip yawned then tripped on a rock on the way to the house. His gun flew out of his hand and landed with a thud on the ground. This had Bobby and Tig shaking their heads.
“You okay there?” Bobby sarcastically put, and Kip sighed as he dusted himself off then picked his gun up.
“It was a slip-up, guys…”
“One hell of a slip-up. Gun could’ve gone off, then what?!” Bobby uttered, and Kip rolled his eyes as they started towards the house again.
“Hand me your cut,” Bobby whispered once they were at the door.
“What?! Why?!” Kip whispered in return, and Bobby sighed with sheer annoyance.
“Because you’re the pizza boy, that’s why,” Bobby said, and Kip frowned as he handed his cut over.
Tig and Bobby made themselves scarce. Kip adjusted his shirt then knocked on the door.
“Who is it?!”
“You order a pizza?” Kip called, and a gunshot followed this.
“OH, SHIT!” Bobby and Tig simultaneously hollered as a bullet struck Kip in the arm.
“SON OF A!” Kip shouted and was quick to take cover.
Bobby and Tig rushed on over and fired in response. This was used as a scare tactic to get the dishwasher away from the door, so they could bust on through.
“You alright, brother?” Tig questioned as Kip held a hand over his wound.
“Yeah, great plan, guys!” Kip sarcastically put and with a frown Bobby’s direction.
Bobby chuckled in response.
“Guess we should’ve got an actual pizza…”
“Fuck you, man,” Kip uttered as Bobby kicked at the door and fired a few more rounds.
The dishwasher was running out the back, however, and Bobby gritted his teeth.
“GET HIS ASS!” He hollered.
Tig and Kip darted on back and looped around the house.
“NICE!” Tig hollered as Kip tackled Brad Montana to the ground.
Tig grimaced however as the two ended up in a struggle over Brad’s gun.
“A LITTLE HELP!” Kip yelled as Tig was just standing there watching.
“Nah, you got this!”
Kip looked to Tig in disbelief, and Tig smiled.
“You’re one of the big boys now! Kick his ass!” Tig encouraged then lit a cigarette.
Bobby exited the back of the house and looked to Tig then back to Kip.
“He’s got it,” Tig uttered while taking a drag off his cigarette.
Bobby chuckled in response. The two watched as Kip put those boxing skills of his to use and managed to get the upper hand. He knocked the gun out of Brad’s hold then headbutted him. Kip thought back to what the dishwasher pulled with Aislinn however, and all bets were off. Kip laid into him, and Bobby and Tig had no choice but to pull Kip off the dishwasher before he killed him. Kip, however, gave one more swift kick to the ribs before they dragged him away.
The sergeant looked to the Son, waiting for an explanation. Kip sneered the dishwasher’s direction.
“This fucker pulled some shady shit with Aislinn back on the ship,” Kip said, and Bobby tilted his head towards the dishwasher.
“That true?! You put your hands on one of our girls?!” Bobby growled but vaguely remembered that taking place. He wasn’t there but heard about it later on.
Brad came to his feet then spit their direction.
“What’s it to you?! Huh? You’re all dead, and you know it!”
“Are we now?” Tig questioned with a smirk.
“That’s right. He’s gonna kill you! ALL OF YOU! Your little bitches too!”
Bobby marched on over and snatched the dishwasher by his curly locks.
“There’s only one bitch that’s gonna die… and that’s you.”
Bobby shoved the dishwasher towards Tig. Tig dragged him into the van where he hogtied him and taped his mouth shut.
“Where we takin’ him?” Tig questioned afterward.
“Clubhouse…” Bobby murmured with a shrug.
“But we just barely got the smell out from the last time!” Tig complained, and Bobby chuckled at the fearful expression on Brad Montana’s face.
“Just wait until Chibs gets ahold of you, fucker!” Kip said before slamming the van doors shut.
“We gotta get that taken care of.” Bobby hinted as to the bullet in Kip’s arm.
“Nah, cover that shit up, get to the hospital, and go see Chibs. He’ll get you squared away. We’ll drop you off at the house. Your bike there?” Bobby asked, and Kip nodded in response.
“Yeah, man. We got this.” Tig said in agreement.
“What are you doing here?” Happy questioned as he was at one of the vending machines and Kip walked past him.
Kip stopped in his tracks and craned his neck that direction. He wanted to laugh at the look of boredom all over Happy’s face.
“Sergeant sent me here…” Kip scanned the area before exposing his gun wound.
“Damn…” Happy murmured then got a better look.
“Yeah, I gotta get Chibs to sew me up.”
“I can do it.” Happy eagerly volunteered and Kip laughed, thinking he was joking.
“I’m serious. Chibs is busy with Aislinn. I’ll get you squared away.” Happy uttered and wasn’t giving Kip much of a choice as he grabbed ahold of his arm and dragged him into his room.
“Are you sure about this?” Kip questioned with a touch of panic.
“Relax. I’ve seen Chibs do it a million times!”
“Seeing and doing are two different things completely.”
Happy cocked a brow on this then tilted his head.
“You scared or somethin’?” He taunted, and Kip sighed.
“Hm… Take your shirt off.” Happy ordered as he washed his hands at the sink.
“How you gonna stitch me up with no supplies?!”
“Don’t need stitches.”
“Don’t need stitches?!”
“Yeah man, gonna pluck it out then…” Happy retrieved his SAMCRO zippo then pulled one of his knives out from a nearby duffle bag.
“OH, HELL, NO!” Kip shouted then started towards the door.
“What’s the big deal?! I’ve done it to myself!” Happy called, and Kip shook his head.
Happy rolled his eyes then grabbed ahold of Kip. He shoved him towards the hospital bed.
“Lay down, fucking pussy. It’ll be over before you know it.”
“Come on, man…” Kip pleaded.
“It’ll be fun!” Happy said with a shit eating grin.
Chibs set the pictures Abel and Aislinn colored for him down on Aislinn’s bed, along with Keri’s picture, the bottle of Jameson, the Cracker Jack’s ring that used to be Chibs’s mother’s, and a picture of him and Brodie at the Metallica concert.
“You lost all your other pictures.” Aislinn sadly murmured.
“Aye, but it’s crazy these things made it, ye know?”
“Aye, it is.”
Riona didn’t utter a word on it but was thankful she kept her sister’s wedding dress at her and Jax’s place, or it too would’ve been lost in the fire. The clothes they bought on the trip were at the house as well. Riona thought it ironic they arrived not long after the fire took place.
“You rang?” Happy said as he peeked into the room.
Chibs nodded. He grabbed the picture Aislinn had colored and headed Happy’s direction. Aislinn narrowed her eyes in question when her husband whispered something then handed the picture over. Happy looked to the picture in thought and took off like he was in a hurry. Riona took notice of the bloody surgical gloves Happy had stuffed into his shirt pocket. But he was out the door before she could even comment on it.
“What’s that about?!” Aislinn questioned.
“He’s lookin’ inta a frame for it.” Chibs fibbed.
“Frame?! For a picture, I colored with crayons?!”
“You should be framin’ Abel’s, not mine! It’s not even that good!”
Chibs didn’t comment and continued in digging through the boxes. There wasn’t much. The fire destroyed everything else. He looked over as his wife put on his mother’s Cracker Jack’s ring.
“Was this the one ya was tellin’ me about?” Aislinn questioned as she looked to the ring.
“Aye, ye have it.”
“I can’t keep your mother’s Cracker Jack’s ring. It’s yours!”
“Ali, she’d want ye to have it. Besides, what am I goin’ to do with it?”
“Keep it. So ye have somethin’ to remember her by.”
“Ali darlin’, we’re married. I’ll see it plenty. I know ye’ll take good care of it. Just don’t go around wearin’ it like ye did that mouse ring I gave ye.”
“I won’t,” Aislinn promised.
“Hm?” He asked as he flipped through a few more pictures, most of them were burned.
“Did yer mother like Cracker Jacks too?”
“It’s been a while, love. But I think she used to buy them for me if I remember correctly. She had them shipped from the states. I do know she had them in the house a lot. Brodie and I used to snack on them.”
Aislinn reared back on the irony.
“You never told me that!”
“Never thought about it, ta be honest.”
The Scot froze, however, as a certain memory came to mind. He blinked a few times then looked to his wife, then the ring as it was on her finger still. Chibs let out an amused yet rather startled chuckle.
“What?!” Aislinn questioned, and this had her sister’s attention as well.
“Not sure why it never occurred ta me but me mum used ta tease me about that ring.”
“Oh?!” Aislinn probed with interest.
“Aye, she used to tell me I could use that ring to propose to a lass one day!”
“Now I know you’re just takin’ a piss!”
“Nah, trust me. I’m pretty weirded out by this now that I think about it.” Chibs wasn’t exaggerating either.
He thought that a little too uncanny and here was Aislinn aka his wife wearing that very ring.
“Think she’d be mad that you didn’t use this ring to propose to me?!” Aislinn mocked, and Chibs died of laughter.
“She just might!”
“Must’ve been fate.” They heard Riona whisper and she smiled their direction.
“Mother’s intuition. She must’ve known ya’d go and give that ring to yer first real love.” She said knowing Chibs loved her sister far more than he ever loved Fiona.
“Ye never know.”
The three of them glanced towards the door, and Brodie welcomed himself inside. He had two bags of fast food with him.
“Brodie…” Chibs scolded and before Chibs could even get a word in on where he was going with that, his cousin sent him a cocky grin.
“I phoned the nurse on the way, and they said Aislinn can have solids now. So bein’ the white knight I am, I brought her the biggest fucking burger in town, large fry… I have to go back for the drinks. They’re in the car. I couldn’t carry all that, shite.”
Brodie tossed everyone a bag of food. Chibs had half the urge to bitch him out considering the nurses hadn’t told him shit, and he wanted to be the one to bring Aislinn that juicy burger she’d been asking for. But Chibs himself was too hungry to argue. Brodie chuckled as the three of them dived on in. The room was quiet as everyone chewed their food.
“Stupid brace!” Aislinn complained as bits of her burger kept landing on the neck brace and she could barely move her mouth to eat.
Chibs headed that way and tore the burger in half so she’d have an easier time.
“You gonna chew her fries and feed her those too? Such the mother bird!” Brodie scoffed, and Chibs ignored him.
The VP looked to her fries, however, then smiled amongst himself. He sent Aislinn a wink letting her in on what he was about to pull. He snatched one of her fries, chewed it, then leaned into her lips.
“OH, COME ON, CUZ!!! ARE YA SHITEN ME?!”
Chibs pecked her on the lips, however, but it didn’t look that way from where Brodie was sitting. Riona died of laughter when Brodie shouted a slew of Scottish profanities and stormed out of the room.
“Now we can eat in fuckin’ peace!” Chibs uttered, and the girls laughed.
“Hey there, stranger!” Jax and Ethan heard as they were filling up at one of the local gas stations.
“Hey…,” Ethan called in response.
Jax gave a simple nod, and Leia smiled.
“Think you’ll come by the bar anytime soon?” Leia questioned with hope in her eyes.
“Not today. No. Sorry.”
“Not the same without you and Aislinn.” Leia sadly murmured.
“We shouldn’t be much longer. Sorry, Leia.”
“It’s not me you have to worry about.”
“AC can chill. He knows we’re dealing with some serious shit right now.”
“Awake actually and doing good, real good.”
“That’s wonderful! I’ll have to get down there and see her!”
“She’d love that.”
“Sam’s been asking about you…” Leia uttered with a groan and Ethan chuckled.
“She’s still there?” He joked, and Leia laughed.
“Hm. Well, I’ll be handling that just as soon as I get back.”
“Promise?” Leia said in a flirtatious tone, and Jax smiled as he picked up on it.
Ethan, however, was clueless as he hung up the nozzle.
“Yeah, I’ll deal with her.” Ethan absentmindedly put, and Jax shook his head when he saw the disappointment in Leia’s eyes.
“Cool. Guess we’re stickin’ to the plan then.” Leia said, and Ethan nodded.
“Take care, Leia. Don’t let AC give you too much hell.”
Leia smiled, then climbed onto her Indian motorcycle and hit the road.
“Man, that was rough!” Jax said as he hung his nozzle up as well.
“Come on, Tex… She had that lil vibe going and everything, and it flew right over your head!”
“Vibe? What vibe?”
“She fucking wants you, man!”
“Yeah, well, I can’t do shit about it. Not until I take care of this Sam ordeal.”
Ethan nodded and told him all about the other waitress at AC’s.
“But Leia’s helping you and Riona set it up?” Jax reiterated making sure he heard that right.
“Well, once all this is said and done… I’d get you some of that. She’s cute!”
“Yeah, cute, with an overly protective brother.”
“Oh, man, I didn’t know AC was like that.”
“Oh yeah, he doesn’t want anyone touching his little sister.”
“Hm, sounds like someone else I know…” Jax uttered with a smirk.
Ethan sighed, knowing damn well he had that one coming. He thought back to how he reacted when he saw Chibs and Aislinn together at that airport and shook his head.
“Where we goin’ anyhow?” Ethan asked once they were on their bikes.
“You’ll see. Just follow me.”
“What are ya…” Riona started to questioned once she entered Happy’s room.
She’d knocked beforehand, and Happy called her inside, but she never expected to see him with a heated blade against Kip’s arm. Kip was biting down on a pillow and screaming into it. Happy gave a simple nod like this was no big deal. Riona made her way over and saw the bullet in a plastic cup. Happy had dug it out and tossed it in there.
“You’re kiddin’, right? I mean, we’re in a hospital!”
“That’s already had too many reports related to SAMCRO…” Happy reminded and Riona sighed.
“Chibs is just a few doors down!”
“And taking care of your sister. Sack’s fine. I’m just about done.”
“Easy there, darlin’…” Chibs murmured as he helped his wife into the tub.
He seated her down, then turned the water off. Chibs reached over and locked the door and he too got undressed.
“That feels so good,” Aislinn said as she leaned back.
“I bet. Don’t get that brace wet.”
“But what about my hair?! It’s all oily and gross!”
“I’ll take care of that once we’re done,” Chibs uttered as he climbed in and had her scoot up just long enough to sit behind her. He pulled her back against him afterward.
“Don’t my hair smell?”
“You’re lyin’, aren’t ya?” She said, and Chibs chuckled.
“Ye worry too much. Yer in the hospital, love. Yer bound ta smell like one.”
Chibs grabbed a bar of soap and got her back, arms, and chest. Aislinn laughed, however, when he went on to play with her breasts. He had her spin around once he finished and got the rest. He handed her the soap afterward.
“My turn!” He said with a smirk, and Aislinn snorted.
She dipped the soap into the water and got it lathered up again. Just as she was to soap him down, she froze. Chibs cocked a brow as she just sat there staring at his chest.
“What happened?!” She questioned with a mortified look on her face.
Chibs sighed once he realized what she was referring to.
“Eh, just one of those days…” he dismissively put.
“One of those days?! It looks like someone tried to carve her name off your fuckin’ chest, Scotty!”
“Because they did.” He shamefully admitted.
The way he said this had Aislinn studying his mannerisms.
“Ya didn’t…” She rather hissed looking somewhat appalled.
“Aye, now, ye know me better than that.”
“Well, if it wasn’t you then who did it?!”
“It was me… Like I said, it was one of those days.”
“But you just said…”
“I know what I said. But I’m tryin’ ta tell ye I wasn’t quite myself alright?!”
“Somethin’ happened, and ya don’t want me to know!”
“Dammit Ali, can’t ye wait until we’re home for all that mess. Ye know what the doc said. We can’t have ye gettin’ all upset!”
“Then, tell me what the fuck happened!”
“Calm yer teats, and I will!”
“Calm my tits? Now you sound like Elvis!”
Chibs sighed in thought. He shook his head as his wife ran her fingers along the marks. He took her hand into his own, then lowered it back down. The Scot told her the truth behind that night and how he ended up on acid.
“So, Tig gave you acid?”
“Aye, by accident.”
“How do ya give someone acid by accident?”
“Trust me when I say Trager is capable of anythin’.”
“Apparently! You could’ve died, Scotty!”
“Now, what’d I tell you about that?”
“I’m serious, Scotty!”
“And so am I! Now ye gonna soap me arse down or not?!”
“If you’re gonna keep talkin’ out of it!” She snapped in response and Chibs raised his brows on this.
Aislinn broke into a fit of giggles, and Chibs pulled her into his lap then slapped her on the rear.
“And yer just a pain in me one!”
Aislinn let out a small gasp when she felt her husband throbbing against her.
“Been awhile, love.” He apologetically put.
“I’m surprised ya could… ya know…” She hinted as to the neck brace she was wearing.
“Ali, ye could be covered from head ta toe in a full body cast, and I’d get fuckin’ hard. Yer me wife for a reason.”
Aislinn snorted in thought, and Chibs regarded his wife in question.
“I’m just imaginin’ ya tryin’ to drill a hole in that full body cast so you can get some!”
This had the Scot dying of laughter.
“I’m afraid you know me too well, darlin’. Nothin’ would stop me!” He said with a playful wink.
Chibs didn’t voice it but when he truly thought her to be paralyzed. He swore in that mind of his he’d never have sex again. If she couldn’t even feel him or enjoy it… What would be the point?! He’d feel like a dick if he went and used her like some sort of sex doll, and he wouldn’t go against his vows and start fucking Crow Eaters and porn stars again. He wouldn’t do that for any other woman and deep down Chibs knew that. But Aislinn wasn’t any other woman. She had his love and respect, and he went out of his way to show her that.
“What are ye doin’ Ali?” Chibs questioned as she fondled his cock.
“Helpin’ ya out!”
Chibs shook his head, then stopped her.
“Nah, we do this when it’s enjoyable for the both of us.”
Aislinn sent him a pouty look and Chibs chuckled.
“I appreciate the offer but yer health comes first.”
“But aren’t ya hurtin’?”
“Oh yeah…” he admitted with a shrug.
“Just means I’m takin’ a week off work when we get goin’ again.” He uttered.
“Aye, I’m puttin’ ye back in the hospital.” He hinted with a little pelvic thrust, and Aislinn laughed.
Chibs would’ve gone through with it knowing he needed the release. But the guilt alone would’ve ate him alive. That and he had their baby to worry about now. He thought it best not to risk it. He’d never forgive himself if he went and pushed her too far and she miscarried. He wanted that baby just as much as she did. That would devastate them both. The Scot cleared his throat, then pulled her into his chest.
“Water’s gettin’ cold.” He whispered.
“Just hold me a little longer.” She said, and Chibs’s hold grew a little tighter.
(A/N: We’re getting close to the end! Thank you 4padfoot for the beautiful banner. You always know the perfect way to keep me inspired. Love ya!)