Chapter 5 – Nothing Else Matters
I do not own SOA or anything youtube related. I claim all original characters.
Aislinn smiled as Abel was sitting on his father’s lap while talking to Riona. Abel was telling Riona all about his grandma and friends back home.
“Linny?” The boy called once he finished.
“I can gives you my dragon since you gives me dis.” He held up the cross necklace she’d given him.
“Ah now, there’s no need for that lad. It was a gift!”
“But I gives it to you, so you have something too!” Abel said, and Jax chuckled.
“No sense in arguing with him.” His father said, and Abel crawled on out of his father’s lap.
He headed into the clubhouse as they were all outside. It was a pretty day out, and SAMBEL was barbequing for everyone. Chibs made his way over. He handed the girls a beer then sat beside Aislinn. Abel returned with the dragon in hand.
“Here’s you go!” He said then handed the dragon over.
“Abel love, you didn’t have to do that. Like I said it was a gift.”
“But I wants you to have it. It’s a gift!”
Aislinn smiled then hugged the dragon close.
“I love it. Thank you, Abel.”
“You is welcome. You can put it on your bed, and it will keep you safe. Dat’s what daddy says.”
“I’ll do just that!”
“See?! I gives you something I wove, and you gives me something you wove. We be best friends always.”
Abel leaned into her ear then cupped his hand around his mouth as he whispered.
“I’s going to give my daddy to Riona.”
Aislinn stifled a giggle and was looking her sister’s direction.
“No, tell anyone yet. Okay? It a surprise.”
“Aye, your secret’s safe with me lad.”
Abel crawled into Riona’s lap and went on to play with his cars. Jax looked on with this stunned expression, and Chibs chuckled amongst himself. Jax hadn’t heard what his son had said, Chibs on the other hand did.. That’s what had the Scot so tickled. Jax, however, was blown away by the relationship between his son and these girls. It’s like Abel had known them forever. Aislinn came to her feet then kissed the top of Abel’s head.
“I’m gonna put him away, so he’s safe and sound.”
Aislinn headed into the clubhouse. The young woman was an emotional mess as she placed the dragon on the cot where she slept. She pinched her eyes shut and tried as she might she couldn’t stop the tears. The clearing of a throat startled her, and she wiped her face with the back of her hand before peering back. Chibs gave a mere nod as he held out a white bag.
“Doesn’t matter. The cream ye put on three times a day it’ll help with the healing and pain. The pills are twice for infection. There are some pads in there as well. I advise against tampons for now. Ye should be back to yer old self in no time.”
What Chibs hadn’t told her is that he broke into a local pharmacy and gathered whatever she needed. He couldn’t think of another way around this and from the sounds of things they were going to be Ireland for a lot longer than he and Jax anticipated. Aislinn needed those meds before the infection stole her ability to have children. That was Chibs’s main concern. He’d never forgive himself if he let the infection take her over like that. Aislinn struck him as the type that wanted to be a mother one day. He wouldn’t let Jimmy rob her of that.
“Not a prob. I’d get started on those now darlin’.”
Chibs started to exit the room.
The man stopped in his tracks then spun back around.
“It was Jimmy, wasn’t it?” She gestured to his face, and the Scot gave a simple nod.
Aislinn nodded in response.
“I’m guessin’ that had somethin’ ta do with the wife? Well, when she was your wife?”
“Where were you five years ago when SAMCRO passed through?”
“Jimmy and Galen had me banned from Ireland. I’m not supposed ta be here. I was back in Charming with the prospects.”
“So they have that much influence?” Aislinn murmured in thought.
Two MC’s and they still bowed down to Jimmy and Galen.
“Fraid so.” Chibs grudgingly admitted.
Aislinn opened the bag then looked to Chibs with widened eyes.
“The cream…” she whispered with a flushed face.
Chibs drew back a breath on this. He stepped into the room then shut the door behind him.
“Aye, the instructions are inside the box it comes in.”
“How bad am I?”
“How do ye mean lass?”
“I think we both know what I’m referrin’ ta. No need to sugar coat these things. Ya saw me…”
Chibs nodded in understanding.
“Yer a little torn but it’s nothin’ permanent.”
Aislinn gathered this look of relief.
“If yer worried about future intercourse… That’s not goin’ ta be an issue, and I’m certain you’ll bear children just fine. Yer only bleedin’ like that because ye were a virgin and he got too rough, yer menstrual isn’t helpin’ matters. Rotten luck there darlin’.”
This conversation was somewhat uncomfortable for the both of them. But Chibs knew these were the answers she as looking for and respected that. The man had to think like a doctor having a casual conversation with his patient.
“Once yer cycle’s done, I’d like to run some tests and make certain yer not carryin’ anythin’.” He hinted.
“A swab ya mean?”
“Aye, but I can walk ye through it and tell ye what to do. We’ll run that and some blood work. Better ta be safe than sorry.”
Chibs gave a simple nod.
“What happens if Jimmy gave me somethin’?” She asked with a touch of fear in her eyes.
The Scot sat beside her then took the bag from her hold. He opened the pills and handed a couple over. She popped them into her mouth then Chibs gave her the rest of his beer. She used that to wash them down.
“Stick ta water after that. As to your question, we’ll cross that path if and when we get there.”
“I suppose it’s safe to say I’m not pregnant.” She hinted as to starting her period.
The poor girl was a nervous wreck, and it was all in her voice.
“Aye, no worries there.”
“Good. We’re Catholic…” She said, and Chibs gathered the hint.
If Jimmy had knocked her up, she would’ve had no choice but to go through with the pregnancy, according to their religion anyhow. But if that had been the case… Chibs would’ve found a way around that somehow. Wouldn’t be right… making a young woman carry the child of her rapist. But that also revealed just how sloppy Jimmy had gotten. He actually came in her, with no protection, whatsoever. This had the Scot shaking his head in thought.
Aislinn clamped a hand over her mouth, and Chibs was quick to wrap his arms around her as she had herself a good cry.
“I’m sorry.” She apologized and was genuinely embarrassed by the scene she was causing.
“Ye’ve nothin’ ta be sorry about. It’s gonna take ye sometime lass. Don’t rush yerself. If ye need ta talk I’m here. But I think yer sister’s been waitin’ for ye to reach out ta her.”
“And why is that?”
“She’s already lived this; only she was married to it. It wouldn’t be right of me to bring those dreadful memories back.”
“Somethin’ tells me that isn’t how she’d see it. Ye can’t hold this in Ali. Ye need an outlet, and it sounds as if Riona can sympathize. I really think that’s whatcha need.”
Chibs came to his feet then looked her in the eyes.
“Ye need ta put that cream on just as soon as ye can. It shouldn’t take long ta kick in.” He said as she was hunched over again.
“If ye need anythin’, ye let me know.”
“Aye, I appreciate yer help.” She coyly put, and Chibs smiled.
“We’ll get ye through this Ali.” He vowed before exiting the room.
“Ya seem to be in better spirits!”
Riona remarked, and Aislinn nodded. The cream Chibs had given her seemed to work like magic. It didn’t hurt to go to the bathroom like it had before.
“I do believe that Scot has magic fingers…” Aislinn whispered with a playful grin, and her sister’s jaw dropped.
Aislinn had a way of embarrassing her sister like none other and knew that would get her.
“Linny!” She scolded but with a touch of a smile.
“I can’t believe ya said that!” Riona was blushing, and her sister laughed.
Riona snatched the bottle of whiskey from her sister’s hold.
“Ya shouldn’t be drinkin’ like that! Not with those meds!”
Aislinn frowned like that of a child and Riona shook her head.
“Aye, she’s right.” Chibs chimed in as he handed the girls a plate of food.
Riona took notice of how the Scot made certain his ex-wife and daughter were taken care of as well. So he’s a doc and a gentleman. The young woman thought with a smile her sister’s direction. It’d be nice… Seeing Linny settle down with someone like that. Riona thought knowing that was wishful thinking. She could tell the Scot had it bad for Aislinn, it was written all over his face. The man was damn near tripping over himself, in attempts to help Aislinn, in whatever way he could. Riona doubted her sister even noticed. Then again, Aislinn never took notice of things like that. Ever since Aislinn walked in on Nicholas attacking her sister, Aislinn hadn’t a very high opinion of relationships, much less marriage. No matter how much Riona went out her way to convince Aislinn that not all men were like Nicholas, it was already ingrained in her. Their father didn’t help matters. Without meaning to, Aislinn had become rather bitter towards men, and that’s what had Riona so concerned. After what those men did, she wasn’t so sure if Aislinn could overcome that. It was bad enough she was a twenty-three-year-old virgin.
Brodie Dowe (good friend of theirs) thought Aislinn hung the moon and stars and had been trying for years to win her over. But like usual, Aislinn made it clear that they were just friends.
“I wasn’t sure what ye liked, so I grabbed a bit of everythin’,” The Scot said.
“Thank you.” The girls chorused, and Chibs nodded.
He went about his way, and Aislinn looked to her sister with a flushed face.
“You don’t think he heard me, do ya?” Aislinn hinted as to the magic fingers comment.
“It would serve ya right!”
“You should join us!” Jax hollered and waved the girls on over.
The girls shrugged upon one another and joined him and Abel. Chibs was sitting with his daughter and ex-wife. Riona couldn’t help but notice the ugly looks Fiona was giving her sister, however. Fiona had a good shiner going thanks to Aislinn. Riona giggled amongst herself. This had her sister looking over as she was sitting next to Abel and Riona was on the other side of Jax.
“What’s with ya?”
“Just entertainin’ myself,” Riona replied with a shrug.
“Meanin’ you’re up ta no good,” Aislinn said, and Jax raised his brows Riona’s direction.
Half-Sack plopped down beside Aislinn then handed the girls a bottle of water.
“Thanks!” They chorused, and Half-Sack chuckled.
“Sure you’re not twins?” He teased.
“Nah, Riona only wishes she was this savage!”
“You’re just as mad as a box of frogs! Ya know it’s the other way around!” Her sister witted in return.
“Aye, whatever ya hafta tell yourself, love.”
Chibs himself was laughing as he picked up on the girls’ banter. But he also noticed how Half-Sack was damn near groveling at Aislinn’s feet. The prospect seemed just as smitten as he was. Chibs overheard the prospect softly apologizing to Aislinn. This had the Scot wondering what he was apologizing for. Aislinn gave the prospect a warm smile then let it known that he was forgiven but not to do it again. Half-Sack vowed not to touch her again without her permission. Chibs kept quiet on the matter, but his curiosity was killing him. Had the prospect come on to Aislinn while he and Jax were in prison?! The mere idea had the Scot feeling rather peculiar. He didn’t like the idea of anyone hitting on her, yet he hardly knew her. This had the Scot thinking back to the way Jax described his and Riona’s encounter and how quickly things escalated from there. The Scot shot to his feet however as a familiar face pulled up on his bike.
“Padraic!” The Scot hollered in greeting, and the young man climbed off his bike.
The SAMBEL prospect referred to Chibs as Uncle Chibs, like that of Abel.
“I haven’t seen ye in years!” Chibs said and was looking the boy over.
“How ye doin’ kid?”
The two went on to catch up, and Aislinn smiled at their exchange.
“What are ya doin’?” The girls heard in a harsh whisper.
They looked over seeing as how that came from Fiona, and she was looking right at Aislinn.
“Pardon?!” Aislinn questioned.
“Whatever you’re thinkin’ ya best get that out of your head, right now.”
This had the sisters and Jax looking to one another in question.
“Aye now, don’t ya go and play games. I’ve seen how ya look at him.”
“Fiona…” Jax warned in disbelief.
He was never one to get into Chibs and Fiona’s business, but even he felt Fiona had taken things too far.
“Ya’ve done lost me. I haven’t a clue what you’re referrin’ ta!” Aislinn said, and Fiona shook her head with sheer annoyance.
“Sure you don’t…”
“Ma…” Keri whispered looking slightly embarrassed.
The teenage girl sent Aislinn an apologetic glance before lowering her head. Aislinn drew back a breath on this.
“Look, we’re all adults here. Don’t ya think there’s been enough drama?” Riona uttered before her sister could get a word out.
Aislinn took notice of the uncomfortable look on Keri’s face. The young woman came to her feet and grabbed her plate and bottle of water.
“Where ya off to?” Her sister asked.
“Gonna see what ole Elvis is up ta!” Aislinn said with a smile.
Riona knew that was her sister’s way of trying to avoid another conflict. Aislinn meant what she said about children. It was a peeve of hers. She’d much rather walk away than for Keri to be exposed to much more. Riona thought that rather sad considering this Fiona was much older than that of Aislinn. Yet Aislinn was handling the situation more maturely.
“Hey, there gorgeous!” Bobby greeted as Aislinn plopped down beside him.
“You can call me gorgeous.” Bobby teased before taking a bite out of his food.
“Can’t have ya gettin’ too flattered now.” She taunted in response, and Bobby smiled.
“You might change your mind after you have some of this!” Bobby slapped something rolled in foil down before her.
The young woman tilted her head in question.
“Well go on… open it!”
Aislinn opened the foil, and Bobby leaned back in waiting.
“Well, aren’t you going to try it?!”
“What is it?”
Bobby nodded and stuffed a joint into his mouth.
“Ya made banana bread?”
“That’s right, haven’t you had banana bread before?”
“No, but me ma used ta make buttermilk walnut scones,” Aislinn said with a shrug.
“Not even the same thing. Go on… try it.”
“Alright…” Aislinn used her fork to cut up a slice.
Bobby merely observed as she brought the banana bread to her mouth. She let out a satisfied moan after taking a bite.
“This…” She said after swallowing.
“This is savage!”
Bobby held his gut in laughter.
“I told ya!” He exclaimed as Aislinn went on to take another bite.
“You’re gonna give me a contact high!” She said he took another puff off his joint.
He shrugged then offered her a hit.
“Ya want me to smoke that?!”
“Sure, why not? Don’t mind sharing.”
“I’ve never been high in my life.”
“Well goddamn darlin’, I say now’s a good time to start!”
Aislinn giggled in thought.
“My sister would kill me.”
“What she doesn’t know…” Bobby murmured with a shrug.
“Sorry about that…” Jax whispered into Riona’s ear.
“Aye, ya don’t hafta go and apologize on someone else’s behalf. Sounds like she’s just a chancer puttin’ on airs. We’ve met our share of em.” (Chancer: Dodgy person who will do anything to get what they want)
Jax had this wide ass grin to him, and Riona narrowed her eyes.
“Your accent… It’s killing me.”
“Is that so?”
“Amongst other things…” He muttered as he sipped his beer.
“Ya said that the last time we met.”
Jax smiled in memory.
“I said a lot of things darlin’…”
“Aye, ya sure did, and I doubt ya meant a word of it. Ya were fluthered!” (fluthered: drunk)
Jax leaned into Riona’s ear once again, only this time he wrapped his arm around her shoulder.
“Then why do I still remember the song we danced to, what you were wearing and everything we said that night?!”
“Jackson…” Riona playfully scolded, and Jax chuckled.
“You should’ve come with me. You said it yourself. You knew he was running around on you.” Jax uttered in disappointment.
Riona shook her head then excused herself from the table. Jax grimaced once he realized how that sounded.
“That’s not how I meant it…”
Riona gave a simple nod but walked away.
“Dammit,” Jax muttered knowing he fucked up.
He hadn’t meant it the way it sounded. Jax remembered how disappointed he was when she never showed. Not that she promised she would. In fact, Riona made it clear that she wasn’t meeting him, but he hoped she’d change her mind. The woman looked to be on the verge of tears when she turned Jackson down. It broke both their hearts. It’s amazing what eight hours’ could do. They were smitten, and Jax even swore that he was in love, as to why it broke his heart when Riona never showed.
Then again, he understood all the same. Riona had made it clear she wasn’t about to lower herself to her husband’s level. Jax hadn’t a clue about the abuse Riona endured. But after getting a few drinks in her, Riona opened up to Jax about the affairs. She opened up about a lot of things, and Jax couldn’t believe just how much they had in common. He felt that pull even when Tara reentered his life.
Tara had been there when Abel was born. She was a doctor at the hospital and working in the pediatrics’ department at the time. Abel’s mother was a nothing more than some Crow Eater Jax had knocked up. Not that he looked down on Crow Eaters, but Jax knew he’d never settle down with one. They’d always hoped he would, Wendy (Abel’s mother) in particular. As to why she got knocked up in the first place. It was a rule within the MC that the “entertainers” as you would call them had to be on some sort of birth control. Wendy, however, had gone behind Jax’s back thinking if she got pregnant with his child, he’d cave in and pop the question. Only it didn’t go anywhere like she thought it would. Not only did Jax find out what she had pulled, but she was doping up while she was pregnant with his son. Jax let it known that she would never lay a hand Abel and that he’d be taking full custody, just as soon as he was born.
But even through all this, Riona always was on the back of his mind, yet he only knew her for just the one day. One was all it took. Tara had been gone for over a year now. She left and never came back; this was after a year of marriage. She gave no warning whatsoever, just up and vanished. They hadn’t seen her since. For the longest time, Jax feared something had happened to her. But Bobby had made it clear he’d seen her when traveling with the Nevada charter once. She was at one of the casinos and with some posh looking schmuck. It broke Jax and Abel’s hearts. Tara had vowed herself to the both of them, only to wind up turning her back on them. Jax had swore he’d never take her back. He was done when it came to Tara and her cruel games. It was bad enough she aborted one of their children without his knowledge. To this very day, he hadn’t forgiven her.
“Guess congratulations are in order?” Jax heard and lifted his head.
Opie nodded then sat beside him.
“Congratulations?” Jax questioned, and Opie nodded.
“You and Riona…”
Jax reared back on the bitterness behind Opie’s words.
“Not sure what you’re congratulating me on…” Jax admitted.
Opie narrowed his eyes.
“I thought you two…”
“Not exactly.” Jax uttered with disappointment.
Opie took a pull from his beer then lit up a smoke. He offered Jax one and Jax declined.
“I’m sure you’ll figure it out,” Opie muttered.
“Plan on it,” Jax said as he came to his feet and was heading Chibs’s direction.
“So this is how it’s going to be, huh?”
Jax came to a halt then spun back around.
“How what’s going to be?”
“Come on, Jax. You’ve barely said two words to me, much less looked at me.”
“I’ve nothing to say.”
Opie let out a miserable laugh.
“Of course you don’t.”
“That’s right. I don’t, not to you.”
“Wow…” Opie uttered under his breath, and Jax shook his head.
He went to say something on this only to take notice of the way Opie was eyeing Riona from afar. She was talking to Keith and Liam, and they were laughing about something.
“You’ve gotta be kidding…” Jax murmured, and Opie craned his neck back.
“You know what!”
“What the fuck?!” Opie spat in disbelief.
“I know that look. Hell, that’s the ONLY reason you came over here, isn’t it?! You wanted to know if I’d hit that already.”
“Just Jax is fine. As to her… go for it. See what happens. I’ve been waiting five fucking years, and you know it! I won’t make it easy, Op.” Jax said his peace then strutted off.
Chibs followed Jax into the clubhouse, but they froze at the sound of Bobby and Aislinn laughing.
They were sitting on the couch listening to the Rumjacks the Pot and Kettle on the radio and eating banana bread.
Chibs cocked a brow as Aislinn would sing along off and on and Bobby was encouraging her to keep going.
“Looks like she’s feeling better.” Jax uttered with a grin.
“Aye…” Chibs uttered as he looked on.
Padraic exited the men’s room and joined in on the singing. Aislinn laughed as Padraic swiped Bobby’s joint and took a hit. Padraic was quick to brace Aislinn against him however as she got a little dizzy and lost her footing. He sat her down, and Chibs looked on with concern. Jax tilted his head and merely observed as Chibs made his way over. He stood before Aislinn then bent down as he cupped her chin.
“Tell me ye weren’t gettin’ high while on those meds darlin’.” The Scot whispered so not to embarrass her.
She gathered this guilty expression and Chibs sighed.
“All for ye havin’ a good time, but ye gotta take it easy, love. I made that perfectly clear.” Chibs recoiled once he realized how he sounded.
He lifted his head to see his nephew and Bobby looking at him like he was the ultimate party crasher. Jax was chuckling amongst himself but didn’t dare say a word on it. Chibs cleared his throat.
“I told yer sister I’d look after ye, remember?” He said with a playful wink and Aislinn shyly nodded.
“I’m sorry. I never…” She started to say, and Bobby sighed in interruption.
“Way to go Chibs! You just ruined her first buzz man!” Bobby taunted, and Chibs reared back on this.
“First?” He said, and Bobby nodded.
“Done busted her cherry high!” Bobby said with a wide grin.
Chibs leaned into Bobby’s ear so that Aislinn couldn’t hear.
“I get every other cherry.” The Scot taunted letting Bobby know that he had taken an interest in Aislinn as well. Bobby shook his head on this.
“You son of a bitch…” Bobby muttered with a challenging grin.
“I see how it is. We’ll just see about that.” He added.
Chibs got the feeling that Bobby wasn’t joking around. Then again, neither was Chibs. That cherry comment… as cruel as it sounded, Chibs meant what he’d said. The Scot wanted the opportunity to be Aislinn’s first, in everything. The mere idea gave him that heady feeling. He’d grown used to women that had been around the block a time or two. Someone like Aislinn… that was new territory. A genuine Galway Girl and Catholic at that?! What he wouldn’t give to be given that chance.
“See about what?” Padraic asked as he handed Aislinn a bottle of water.
“This is an adult conversation, son.” Bobby uttered.
Once Chibs was certain Aislinn would be okay he made his way back. Jax had this shit-eating grin about him, and Chibs narrowed his eyes in question.
“I saw that…” Jax whispered with a nod Aislinn’s direction.
“Saw what?!” Chibs questioned.
Jax chuckled but went on to tell Chibs what Fiona had pulled. He kept his voice down so no one could hear them.
“She what?!” Chibs whispered in disbelief.
“Yeah man… I just thought you might wanna know.”
“Aye… I can’t believe she went and said that shite.”
Chibs cleared his throat, however. He glanced Aislinn’s direction as she was talking to Bobby and Padraic.
“Do ye think Fi’s onta somethin’?”
“You mean about Aislinn?”
“Aye…” Chibs murmured with hope in his eyes.
“So I am right… You got the hots for the little sister!”
“Would ye keep it down Jackie…” Chibs harshly whispered, and Jax chuckled.
“Oh man, this is great,” Jax said as he was eating this up.
“Ye didn’t answer my question boy.”
“I don’t know… You tell me.” Jax taunted and with a nod Aislinn’s way as she was looking Chibs’s direction.
The Scot sent her a little wave and the young woman waved in return but was quick to look away after.
“Oh yeah… That girl is gone.” Jax murmured with a sly grin.
“Did you see that blush when she got caught?!” He added.
Chibs chuckled in thought.
“Could be interestin’. “ Chibs said with a shrug.
“Well go on. Get to know her.” Jax encouraged knowing this was a rarity for Chibs.
“Gotta deal with the dreadful ex first. I won’t have her harrassin’ the little lass. That’s for damn sure. She’s done enough damage. I would’ve kicked her arse ta the curb if it wasn’t for Keri. But that girl’s gonna follow her mother wherever she goes. I can’t do that, not to me girl.”
“I’m curious…” Jax murmured in thought.
“What would Fiona do if she saw you making the moves on Aislinn?”
“Doesn’t matter. She’s with Jimmy, has been for years, and after what she said… I can’t believe I was ever married ta the woman. She’s done lost her mind. She’s gonna get me girl raped or killed then I’ll have her head.”
Jax reared back in surprise. It took a lot for Chibs to talk that way about Fiona, meaning she truly had pushed him past that point.
The clubhouse door swung open as Abel ran inside. This was followed by Riona chasing after him. Abel giggled and hid behind his father at first. When Riona spotted him, he giggled and took off yet again. Only this time he hid behind the chair Aislinn was in.
“He’s sure takin’ a likin’ to those girls.” Chibs uttered.
“I’ve noticed…” Jax admitted.
“After everything… I’m sure they’re heroes in his eyes.”
“I imagine so,” Chibs said in agreement.
Fiona entered the clubhouse and headed into the ladies room. Chibs waited until she stepped out. He wiggled his index finger in indication then had her follow him into one of the back rooms. Fiona sent him an odd glance when he shut the door behind him.
“What are ye doin’ Fi?”
“What are ya blabberin’ on about?”
“Ye know damn well what I’m referrin’ ta. Why cantcha just leave the girl be? Hasn’t she been through enough without ye goin’ and addin’ to it?”
Fiona tilted her head and observed her ex-husband more closely.
“Aye, I see what this is.”
“Do ye now?” He challenged.
“You’re sweet on her. Lemme guess he scarred ya up and the gash has gone and claimed rape. So ye feel as though there’s some sort of connection. Are you goin’ ta save her Filip? Ya gonna be her white knight since ya couldn’t do that for us?”
Chibs gritted his teeth then closed his eyes for a brief moment. He took the woman by complete surprise however when he opened them and slapped her across the face. Fiona’s jaw dropped as he’d never laid a hand on her before. She went to hit him in return only Chibs was quick to grab that hand. He slammed it up against the wall then backed her into a corner. The Son got right in her face.
“Don’t ye ever say some shite like that ta me again! I mean woman! Ye haven’t a clue what I’ve endured all these years. You and Keri bein’ here while I’m in the states… I can’t even watch me girl grow up! She don’t know me from Adam, and ye can see it in her eyes. I’m nothin’ ta Keri, just the way Jimmy wanted it and ye went and…” Chibs trailed off and looked to be shaking something off.
“And what…” Fiona challenged with a hand along her cheek.
“I don’t think ye ever loved me Fi. I think ye were just caught up in the moment and wasn’t sure what to make of it. We were expectin’ Keri and rushed inta things from there. I’m Catholic love. I was taught ta take responsibility. Everythin’ was a fear for me. But I was never more fearful then when I lost you and Keri. I look at ye now, and ye look relieved. Ye always were happier with Jimmy. Even with havin’ watched as he did this…” Chibs pointed to his scars.
“I loved ye, but ye ripped my heart out, and ye went and took Keri’s with it. Ye’ll never know what this is like. Ye’ve got to be there for everythin’. I look at Keri, and it’s like I’m seein’ a stranger. I don’t even feel as though I’m a father to that girl, even with all the letters, to which she never replies.”
Fiona pulled a particular face on this and Chibs narrowed his eyes in realization.
“Ye never gave her the letters…”
The man shook his head then backed away from her. If he hadn’t, he would’ve ended up beating the ever living shit out of her. The man was trembling with anger.
“Ye never gave her my letters…” He repeated with a broken heart.
“I never knew ye. I never knew ye at all. Steer clear of me Fi, for yer own good. Just steer clear.” He said before exiting the room.
“Ya alright?” Aislinn asked as Chibs walked past.
The man nodded but kept walking.
“He don’t look it,” Riona said taking notice as well.
“Aye, the lad looks downright miserable.”
Chibs welcomed himself to the bar then poured himself a shot. He lifted his head as Fiona exited the room they had been in. She said nothing and headed into the room where their daughter was.
“Riona…” Luther called while holding the phone at the bar.
“Aye.” He nodded, and this had the sisters looking to one another in wonder.
Riona made her way over, and her sister curiously followed.
“So the rumors are true…”
Riona froze at the sound of his voice.
“Riona?” Aislinn called with concern.
“And I can hear your sweet little sister, how lovely.”
The man sighed on the other end.
“Ya know that deal we made…”
Riona swallowed back on this.
“Ya blew it. You had better PRAY I don’t get ahold of her or the wee lad. I gave ya a chance Riona.”
Aislinn overheard this and snatched the phone from her sister’s hold.
“Hello there Galen, how ya doin’? Ego hurt much?”
Riona’s eyes were as big as saucers as she reached for the phone. Aislinn climbed up on the counter and kept the phone out of reach.
“Ya want me?! Come and get me! Oh and bring Jimmy, I’m rather fond of his company.”
“LINNY!” Riona scolded.
“Oh for fuck’s sake what’s he gonna do to us that he hasn’t already?!” Her sister snapped.
“Ya haven’t a clue love. Ya think what Jimmy did was bad. Ya just want until I get ahold of you and your sister!” Galen warned.
“Ya lay one hand on my sister, and I’ll rip ya from D ta A. I have no problem returnin’ the favor!”
“Oh trust me, love… I’ll be doin’ more than rippin’ ya apart. I’ll strip ya down and skin ya alive!”
“Alright. I’m game. Let’s see who ends up with the checkmate.” Aislinn said before hanging up the phone.
Aislinn hopped on down, and all eyes were on her.
“What’ve ya done Linny?” Her sister asked in horror.
“What needed ta be done. Ya wanna leave, we’ll leave. But I’m not down for runnin’. I’ll face Jimmy all over again if I hafta. I meant what I said. Galen’s not comin’ anywhere near ya! I done killed the last son of a bitch that tried it, I’ll do it again if I hafta. I haven’t any issue in gettin’ my hands dirty. You’re all I got Riona. No one’s takin’ you from me.”
Aislinn grabbed her jacket, put it on then zipped it up.
“What are ya talkin’ about and where are ya goin’?”
“Galen wants a war. I’ll bring him one!” Aislinn said then headed on out.
Riona took off running. She grabbed her jacket and chased after her sister. This had Chibs and Jax exchanging glances. The Sons were blown away by what they’d witnessed and hadn’t any words. Chibs and Jax took it upon themselves to grab their jackets as well and followed the girls out.
“LINNY!” Riona shouted.
The young woman shook her head and darted across the street where her sister was.
“DAMMIT LINNY, WHAT ARE YA DOIN’?!”
Aislinn spun around then pointed towards the clubhouse.
“Don’t worry about it! Head on back.”
“Not without you!”
“Ya’ve always taken care of me. It’s my turn ta take care of you.” Aislinn said with tears streaming down her face.
“Head on back with them boys.” She made a gesture towards Chibs and Jax as they were tailing them.
“What did ya mean Linny? Ya never killed anyone.”
Aislinn recoiled on this.
“Aye, but I have, and I’d do it again!”
Aislinn narrowed her eyes as a car was creeping up on them. But it was the man driving the car that had her attention. She recognized him all too well. He was the one that asked about Abel. Aislinn hadn’t the time to say anything. She reacted by shoving her sister down as hard as she could. Just as she hollered for the boys to get down and was shielding her sister, one of the doors opened. A man hopped out and went to snatch Aislinn up. Riona was quick to wrap her arms around her sister, and it became a game of tug-of-war. Riona gritted her teeth as the man was pulling so hard he was dragging the both of them towards the car.
“YOU’RE NOT TAKING HER!” Riona shrieked.
“SHITE!” Chibs hollered as he and Jax were quick to retrieve their guns and fired in response.
“NOOOOOO!” Riona screamed as the man almost had Aislinn out of her grasp.
She was holding on with all she had, but Aislinn was slipping out of her hold. Aislinn let out a grunt as the man let go but fell on top of her. Chibs rushed on over and hurled the body off of Aislinn. Jax was quick to slash the tires. The boys helped the girls to their feet and was checking them over.
“That man wanted your wee boy…” Aislinn said with a sinister look the driver’s direction.
Jax’s eyes went wild, and he headed that direction. He opened the door and yanked the driver out of his seat. He dragged the man towards the clubhouse and Chibs went on to stuff the other body into the trunk. The Scot had the girls climb on in as he drove the car into the back lot of the clubhouse.
“Did I hurt ya?” Aislinn said with this shameful look in her eyes.
“Nah…” Riona whispered.
Aislinn nodded but wiped her face with the back of her hand.
“I should’ve known they’d be creepin’ about after that call. I’m sorry. Guess pa’s temper got the best of me. “
“Aye, ya really should work on that. We should’ve called ya Pepper junior!” Her sister teased and Aislinn gave a tearful laugh.
This had Chibs regarding the sisters through the rearview mirror.
“I love ya, Riona. We done lost ma then pa lost his mind. I can’t lose ya. So Nicholas had ta go… and so does Galen and Jimmy.”
Riona looked on in absolute shock as her sister opened the door and headed into the clubhouse. Chibs and Riona locked eyes for a moment through the rearview mirror.
“She doesn’t seem ta get that it’s two way street.”
“Aye…” Chibs uttered in perfect understanding.
Riona cringed as it was all coming together now. She thought back to when Nicholas came up missing.
“She was 18… It must’ve been after we met your MC at The Crown.”
Chibs shook his head gathering the meaning behind that. Riona stepped out of the car then leaned against it for support. Chibs ran a soothing hand along her back then escorted her inside. Jax was dealing with the man Aislinn had pointed out in the ring. He was taking those SONS rings to his face over and over again. He did this until the man hadn’t a pulse.
The Scot seated Riona down at the bar then went on to pour them both a shot. Riona glanced towards one of the backroom doors where she could hear her sister strumming on that guitar of Bobby’s. That always was Aislinn’s go to. When she wanted to shut the world out, she’d drink then pluck away at her guitar. Riona knew it wouldn’t be long before her sister was singing and acting as if all was right in the world. That’s was Aislinn’s way of dealing with things. When their mother died, Aislinn locked herself away, and she didn’t come out for nearly a month. Her fingers were covered in blisters and bleeding from thrumming on that guitar.
Riona downed that shot but choked back as it was stronger than expected.
“Easy lass…” Chibs softly put.
“I’m gonna lose her. I just know it. That temper of hers… It’s gonna get the best of her one day. I keep tellin’ her that, but ever since ma died…” Chibs poured the young woman another shot and had himself one as well.
“When things get too serious, that’s what she does. She locks herself away from the world and will play for hours on end. She’s gonna come out with blisters. Then she’ll go and grab herself a bottle of whisky and chug it like it’s water, just like the old man. That’s what scares the livin’ shite out of me! The only difference between Linny and Pa is that Linny does what she does to punish herself, whereas Pa did what he did to punish everyone else around him. Linny would kill for her family and friends, but Pa would hand them over if there’s a chance of getting a good hand.”
“Ye mean he’s a gambler?”
“Aye, that’s how we ended up in all this mess. I gave him the money ta pay the bastards off, and he went and used it on a hand. That’s how little we mean ta him. He’d much rather we be sold off and raped than to be out of the game.”
“It’s because of him and Nicholas that she’s never even been with a man.” Riona clamped a hand over her mouth and looked to Chibs like a deer caught in headlights. She couldn’t believe she said that. A wave of guilt hit as she felt as though she just betrayed her sister.
“Whatever ye say stays between us,” Chibs reassured.
Riona drew back a hesitant breath.
“I’m gonna need another shot.”
The Scot nodded and poured the young woman another shot. Riona downed it then went on to tell Chibs about Nicholas, a man Aislinn looked up to and thought the world of. Riona hid the abuse from her family and had been planning a way out. But her husband was a cop, making those plans damn near impossible. She tried leaving him a couple of times only to have his buddies help in corralling her back to the house. They would make excuses for Nicholas and would tell Riona that she couldn’t leave because of what Nicholas might do to himself.
“When did the abuse start?” Chibs curiously asked.
The Scot kept quiet however as Jax was back inside and listening to her story as well. He hinted for Chibs to stay quiet. The Scot played along but hated betraying this woman’s trust like that. He’d just told her that what she said would remain between them.
Riona drew back a breath and thought back to that night. It was right after she came home from The Crowns.
“Riona?” Chibs called with concern as her hand had balled up into a fist.
“The night I met Jackson…”
This had Jax’s fullest attention now.
Riona told Chibs all about that night and how she and Aislinn met first met SAMCRO. She told him about the phone call and her suspicions about her husband. Jax of course already knew all about the phone call and her husband’s cheating ways. What he didn’t know was that Nicholas had a PI (private investigator) following Riona around and had been since they first got married. Riona herself hadn’t a clue, not until she came home that night. Just as she was about to point out Nicholas’s infidelities, he pointed out her own. Or what he had assumed to be… He showed her the pictures his PI friend had taken. There were several pictures of her and Jax talking, sitting together, and dancing. Before Riona could even explain herself, Nicholas called her a whore then socked her in the gut, as hard as he could.
Jax recoiled and pinched his eyes shut.
“That was the first, and there were a few instances here and there. The one Linny walked in on was the most gruesome of them all.”
Chibs poured the young woman another shot and slid a beer over as well. Riona wiped her face with the back of her hand and drew back a quivery breath.
Due to Nicholas’s abuse and cheating ways, Riona had lost interest in sex altogether. Her husband snapped and made it clear that she was his wife and it was her duty to fulfill him. Riona was in the middle of cooking supper when Nicholas bent her over the counter. When she went to stop him, he smashed her face into the oven. Aislinn walked in just as he had Riona on the ground. He had one of the kitchen knives in hand and had used it to remove her clothes.
Jax took notice of how Riona ran her fingers along the cut on her thigh from when she and Aislinn were abducted but said nothing on it as she continued her story.
Nicholas held that knife against her throat while he raped her. Riona described her sister as shocked and frozen in place, just as Riona had been when she found out the truth about Jimmy. Nicholas had lowered the knife at one point, and it slipped out of his hand. Aislinn reacted by taking one of the dining room chairs across his back. From there, the girls teamed up in removing him from the house.
This had Chibs and Jax shaking their heads in thought.
“Now ya see why I worry about her? The farm life and our usual gigs, that’s all she knows. And when she’s on that stage singing, that’s when she’s happiest. She’s this whole other person. She’s my Linny, the way she used to be before pa decided we were to blame for ma’s death. Ma died of cancer over ten years ago, and he’s never let that shite go. I think she was the only one he ever loved… We thought it was just his way of mournin’. So we dealt with his anger and drunken ways. We took care of him and the farm. I was workin’ two jobs, just to keep things afloat, while runnin’ that farm and doin’ mine and Linny’s usual gigs. I couldn’t stop those, we didn’t make much money, but I knew how much those weekends meant to my sister. And even though I begged her not to, Linny dropped out of school when she was 16, so she could help with the farm while I worked. We found a way, and even though times were rough, it made us closer, closer than I ever imagined. I love that girl more than life itself and like I said, I’m gonna lose her, and it’ll be the death of me.”
“Not if we have anythin’ to say about it,” Jax said then sat beside her.
Riona sent the Scot a look of hell.
“Don’t be mad at him. I’m the one that told him to keep quiet, and he’s gotta do whatever I tell him.” Jax witted as to his old prez days. This had the Scot rolling his eyes.
“Shut up, boy!”
“Why didn’t you call me?” Jax questioned, and Riona sighed.
“Come on babe; I was still in town that night. I could’ve done something, anything. I could’ve taken you with me THEN!”
Riona shook her head and was looking to the shot glass in her hand.
“Look at me.” Jax pleaded.
Riona lifted her head then craned her neck his direction.
“I could’ve helped you and Aislinn. I would’ve protected you.”
“It wasn’t your job to protect me. This was somethin’ I needed to handle myself.”
“But I got you into that mess. Those pictures…”
“Ya can’t do that Jackson. What Nick did hadn’t anythin’ ta do with ya. He just needed an excuse, and you were it. He was actin’ on his own guilt. It took me some time to figure that out, but once I did, I was able to see it for what it was. Nick was punishin’ me for HIS wrongdoings and his own fears. I think he always knew things would go arseways and come back to bite him. He just wanted ta beat karma to the punch.”
Jax recoiled on this.
“I need ta hit the jacks (bathroom),” Riona said, and Jax helped her down.
Jax kept an eye on her as she headed that way. He cleared his throat afterward.
“We got everything cleaned up…” Jax hinted while looking towards the ladies room.
“Did ye find out anythin’?”
“Nothing we didn’t already know.”
The Scot sighed but nodded. Both had these solemn expressions as they were thinking about the girls.
“They need this night…” Jax hinted as he was still shaken up.
“Booze and loud music.” Jax uttered.
Chibs nodded in full agreement.
Jax chuckled however as one of the SAMBEL prospects rolled a keg into the clubhouse.
“Aye, now I do believe Keith wanted that outside, lad!” Chibs hollered, and the prospect looked to the keg then back to the door.
“OUTSIDE!” Chibs and Jax chorused.
Chibs looked to Riona as she had made her way back from the ladies room.
“Ye just hang out with ole Jackie boy, he’ll show ye a good time.”
Jax raised his brows on this.
“I’ll get Ali.” The Scot confirmed.
“Ali?” Riona asked.
“Aye Ali…” Chibs uttered with a playful grin and headed into the room where Aislinn was.
Chibs entered the room to find Bobby playing his guitar while Aislinn sang. She was propped up on a table and belting the lyrics to Nothing Else Matters (Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox version to Metallica).
The Scot found himself mesmerized all over again. This girl had put a bluesy twist to it and was singing with her heart and soul.
Bobby had a big ole grin on his face and was jamming out. Aislinn’s entire face flushed over the moment she spotted Chibs. The Scot found that rather adorable; the way she got all flustered around him. He gave a simple nod and leaned against the wall as they finished.
“NOW THAT IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!” Bobby hollered, and Aislinn laughed as he high-fived her.
“Damn…” Bobby murmured while shaking his head.
“You girls gotta play with me one day.”
“You mean like onstage?”
“I’m game.” She said with a shrug.
Bobby put his guitar up then glanced over.
“You here to steal my girl?”
“That’s right,” Chibs said with a wink Aislinn’s direction.
Bobby grumbled under his breath and mentioned something about finding Riona on the way out. Chibs made his way over and offered his hand. Aislinn had this baffled look about her but accepted as he helped her down. The Scot cleared his throat then brushed her hair back with his fingers.
“Keg’s here…” He uttered.
“Is it now?”
“Aye, thought we could split it.” He said with a shrug, and Aislinn laughed.
“I don’t wanna hear you sing anymore.”
Aislinn looked somewhat insulted.
“Ya don’t like my singin’?!”
“Nah darlin’, I’m afraid I like it a little too much. If I hear ye again… I’m gonna fall for ye. We can’t have that shite, now can we? So ye just keep that shite ta yerself.”
Aislinn was at a loss for words as he led her outside where everyone else was gathered. SAMBEL, SAMCRO, and a few of their “entertainers” were there as well. This wasn’t something the girls were new to. They’d seen how hard these MC’s partied. Then again, they were no stranger to how wild things got at those pubs. But the MC’s were keeping things on the less wild side as Abel and Keri were still up and about. Aislinn knew once those two were out for the night, things would get a lot more primitive.
Abel was sitting on his father’s lap as Jax and Riona were having a beer and talking. Riona and Aislinn locked eyes for an instant. They seemed to be in silent understanding. Sure, they hadn’t gone over the details of Nicholas, but tonight wasn’t the night. Even the Lawless sisters knew things needed to die down a bit. Aislinn hugged her sister in apology and Riona smiled.
“We’re good,” Riona whispered.
Aislinn gave a simple nod as Riona gave her hand a little squeeze. Chibs had sat down and was about to brave up and pull Aislinn into his lap. He’d been waiting to make that move. But just as he had his hands along her hips, someone hollered out her name.
The young woman spun around, and her jaw flew open.
“BRODIE?!” She squealed then took off running.
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