Chapter 3 – Running Blues
I do not own SOA or Twilight.
Opie paced the area of the waiting room.
“How is she?” He heard and snapped his head that direction.
He darted on over and hugged his wife and kids.
“What is, baby?” Donna asked once Opie had the kids seated.
He took her into a more secluded area.
“Haven’t heard yet. She’s still in surgery. These guys… I don’t know who the fuck they were but they meant business. Jacked her up real good…”
“Jesus…” Donna whispered.
“How much shit can one person endure?”
“We help her through this. Just like last time.”
“Opie, what if we can’t? I mean honestly if I was her…”
“Don’t. Just don’t even go there. She’ll get through this. I promise. You know me. I don’t give up easily. I’m going to find these motherfuckers and put an end to it.”
Opie curled his lip however and nodded towards the hospital doors.
“What are you doing here?”
Jax held up his hands and inched his way over.
“I just wanted to see how she’s doing.” His eyes were bloodshot and he looked just as crazed as Opie at this very moment.
“She’ll be fine. You can go now.”
“Opie!” Donna scolded in disbelief.
Jax drew back a breath on this.
“He has his reasons.” Jax defended knowing he deserved whatever Opie dished out.
Donna had this confused look about her.
“What are you talking about?”
“I hurt her. It was never my intention. But I did.”
“Wait… Are you saying she’s in here because of you?!”
“Not exactly, but you never know. What I did… could’ve played a factor in this somehow.”
“Okay, I’m lost. Someone explain and now.”
Before Opie could even get it out, Jax beat him to it. He revealed the truth, behind everything. When he finished Donna slapped him across the face. Opie couldn’t help but to laugh.
“Seems to be a thing as of late, everybody’s punching bag.”
“No more than I deserve.”
“Do you have any idea what you’ve done?” Donna said and Jax looked to Opie.
“No. But I’m willing to do whatever it takes. I’m here and I’m not going anywhere. Let me help. Give me something to do or I’ll go crazy.”
“You can go fuck yourself for all I care, Teller.”
“Come on, Op. I’m serious, I have to do something. I know you won’t let me see her and I doubt she wants anything to do with me. But talk to her, at least. Find out who these sons of bitches are and I’ll hunt them down, every last one of them. I give you my word. Just please, Op. I’m begging you. Give me something.”
“Let him…” Donna uttered with vengeance in her eyes.
“Let him hunt the bastards down!”
“And what’s to say she knows who these guys are? Even at that… You know how private Bella is. Getting information out of her is like getting one of us to rat. It’s not going to happen.”
“Yeah well, we all know where she gets it from.” Donna hinted.
“Guess it’s a Winston thing. Either way… I haven’t a clue where to even begin.”
“You start by talking to Bella just as soon as you can. You have a way with her that no one else does and you know that. Why do you think Renee turned to you all those years when it came to Bella?”
“Yeah well… Look at where that got us. The last time I tried talking some sense into that girl, I damn near got her killed!”
“That wasn’t you or her for that matter. We know who was at fault on that one.”
“Yeah well he’s long gone now…” Opie murmured in such a way, one that had Jax rearing back in wonder.
“I’m guessing that goes back to those vampire wannabes?” Jax threw out there and Opie shrugged.
“You could say that.”
“How the hell did Bella of all people get mixed up in that shit?”
“Let’s just put it this way… There’s a reason Bella hadn’t dated anyone for a little over three years. The last guy did a real number on her. In fact, he was the reason behind a lot of shit.”
Opie clinched his hand around the back of Jax’s neck then gave his wife a simple nod as he led Jax outside. Once it was just the two of them he leaned into his ear.
“I LET you live… Now him… not so much. So you just keep that in mind. And you had better keep that shit to yourself. Not a word of this gets back to Bella. You got me, brother?!”
“She’s awake…” They heard and Opie drew back a breath of relief.
Jax staggered back looking like that of a ghost.
“Stay put.” Opie made clear and Jax nodded as Opie followed Donna back inside.
Opie reared back once he entered the room. The bed was empty and there was a trail of blood leading to the bathroom.
“Bella?!” He called as he knocked on the door.
He gave it a few seconds before opening the door only to find it empty as well. His heart dropped to the pit of his stomach as he saw a puddle of blood along the counter and in the sink. There was blood coated fingerprints along the rack of towels and one of them was missing.
“What in the…”
Opie rushed on out of the room then grabbed the nearest nurse.
“Where is she?!”
The nurse cut him a bewildered glance and jerked out of his hold.
“The woman that was in that room… WHERE’D SHE GO?!”
She shook her head looking awfully confused.
“Is there a problem?” One of the other nurses called out.
“YES AS A MATTER OF FACT THERE IS! MY NIECE… WHERE IN THE FUCK IS SHE?!” He shouted gathering the attention of his family and Jax as well.
Jax looked to Opie in question then went on to investigate the situation himself. He exited the room looking like he was about to pass out. Jax leaned against the wall and sunk to the floor with his hands along his face in a prayer like manner. Donna had the kids in her hold as they were crying. Meanwhile, Opie was going off on the entire hospital staff. Jax forced himself back up then did a complete walkthrough of that particular area. He didn’t bother in knocking on any of the doors.
“Sir, you can’t do that!” One of the staff hollered.
Jax ignored this and continued in his search.
“Jax?!” He heard in an all too familiar voice.
He froze then cranked his head that direction. Tara nodded upon him as she exiting one of the other rooms.
“What are you doing?”
He didn’t answer and went on to check the bathrooms.
“Jax!” She called and went on to follow him as he headed towards the fire exit.
He ran on up the stairs whilst looking for any signs that Bella might’ve been here. Sure enough, there was another bloody fingerprint along one of the rails.
“No…” He alleged in a panic then rushed on out the door leading to the roof.
“BELLA!!!” He shouted on top of his lungs and went on to search the area above and below.
“Bella…” He whispered whilst pulling at his hair and pacing the area.
“What’s going on?!” Tara probed yet again.
Opie entered the area and he too was looking around.
“JESUS! WHERE IS SHE?!” He shouted and Jax shook his head looking just as lost.
“YOU!” Opie roared whilst pointing at Jax.
“YOU DID THIS!” He accused while shaking all over.
“SHE’S GONE, BECAUSE OF YOU!!!”
“NOOOOOO!” Tara screamed as Opie had Jax and was holding him over the edge of the roof.
Jax held on for dear life but closed his eyes in defeat.
“I’m sorry, Op…” He said in a broken tone.
Opie gritted his teeth as he flung him back over. He placed his boot along Jax’s sternum then pointed upon him.
“PUTTING YOUR DICK IN HER… WAS LIKE PUTTING YOUR DICK IN ELLIE! SHE MIGHT’VE BEEN MY SISTER’S KID, BUT SHE’S MINE ALL THE SAME! I LOVE THAT GIRL, MORE THAN SHE’LL EVER KNOW!”
Jax swallowed back as Opie came to his knees. He didn’t so much as budge as Opie had him in a choke hold but the man was hugging him, while crying his eyes out.
“We need to find her, now!”
“Jax?!” Gemma called as she entered the house with Abel in her hold.
She set down the diaper bag then the car seat with Abel in it. She walked throughout the house wondering where her son was. Gemma opened the bedroom door then let out a bit of a gasp.
He was kicked back against the bed. He’d a bottle of Jack in hand and was three sheets to the wind. Gemma hunkered down then cupped his chin.
“What is it, baby?”
“Mom…” He uttered in a cracking voice and she went on to hug him.
Jax broke into sobs and was hugging her in return.
“Talk to me.”
Jax went on to tell her about the situation and how Tara left him.
“I fucked up…” He murmured afterward and Gemma wiped his tears with her thumbs.
“Now you listen to me, baby. You’re better off. I told you that doc was bad news and that she’d rip your heart out in the end.”
“This isn’t about Tara. I knew that was coming. I’ve known for some time.” He did his best to hint.
“I need her back. There’s so much I need to tell her. Mom, I’ve never felt this way. I’m in deep.” He said as if he were in agony and out of breath.
“I did this. I could’ve put an end to it but didn’t. Jesus, what have I done? Op… You should’ve seen him. God…”
Jax leaned back then closed his eyes. Gemma knew it was serious when he acted as if he gave two shits about Tara and her feelings on all this.
“I hadn’t a clue you were seeing someone else…” Gemma admitted and Jax nodded.
“I never meant for things to get THIS out of hand. I haven’t a clue where she is now and she’s in big trouble. Mom, she could die if we don’t find her and that’s IF she isn’t dead already. Op thinks she’s gone and done the unthinkable. But that isn’t Bella. She’s a lot of things. Crazy maybe… But not suicidal. You gotta believe me. I know Op thinks otherwise. But that’s not the Bella I know. She wouldn’t kill herself. If she’s missing it’s because someone took her or there’s some other reason behind it. I’m talking like a threat against her family or friends. He thinks I don’t know… But I know enough to know that Bella wasn’t popping those pills out of selfish gain. No. She was ending her life in order to save his! She never gave names, neither did I, but we sought comfort in one another. It’s like I tried to tell him. It wasn’t just about fucking. I know her… I know her…” He repeated as his eyes batted about and his words were slurring together. Gemma couldn’t make out shit after that.
“Ah fuck…” She whispered and called Chibs so he could help in getting her son to sober up.
“Jackie boy!” Chibs called as he slapped at his cheeks.
“Come on, kid…” He said as he cupped his chin and was looking him over.
Chibs sighed as he got him to come to but only for a few seconds. From there, the Scot dragged him into the bathroom and he got the shower going. Jax let out a gasp once the water hit. It was ice cold and Chibs shook his head in response. He wasn’t used to seeing Jax this way.
“What’s come over ye, boy?!”
“I need to set up a meeting…”
“Meeting?” Chibs questioned.
“I need to get Op back in. And we need help in finding someone. She’s important…”
Jax gave a mere nod.
“I never had the chance…”
“What if she never knows? What if she really thinks she was just some easy lay?” He said with his words slurring together again.
His mother overheard this as she was on the bed, with Abel in her hold.
“Fuck!” Jax grabbed Chibs by the cut then looked him in the eyes.
“She wasn’t pussy. I mean she was at first… But now… Chibs, she’s the one, the only one. And I never told her that. I have to tell her.”
“I can take ye ta Tara. Just…”
“Bella.” Jax corrected while giving Chibs a firm shake.
“It’s always been Bella.” Jax recoiled in thought then gathered this guilt ridden expression.
“My son. Where’s my son?”
Chibs leaned back and made a gesture towards Gemma. Gemma picked Abel up then made her way over.
“I never told her…” Jax admitted and regarded his son in thought.
“I should’ve. I should’ve told her a lot of things but didn’t. And now… I may never get that chance.”
“Dammit Jake, I already told you. I’m not coming back.”
“Because there’s nothing to come back to!”
“Don’t! Don’t you even put that on me. I’m not falling for it. Not this time.”
“No! I mean it, Jake. You just stay put. Don’t you even think about showing your face here.”
“BECAUSE I’M FUCKING DONE, THAT’S WHY!”
Jax raised his brows as he and the bartender quietly observed. The young woman dunked her cellphone into a pint of beer, hopped off the stool, then grabbed her jacket. Jax took a pull off his beer and flicked his ashes into a nearby ashtray.
“Shit…” The bartender uttered as the young woman was stumbling towards the door.
“Can you stop her while I call her a cab?”
Jax narrowed his eyes and looked to the woman in thought.
“I got it…” He said with a shrug.
“You sure?” “Yep. I’ll make sure she gets home safe.” He said while putting his cigarette out.
“Thanks. She’s not normally like this… Must’ve been a really bad day.”
“She a regular?”
“For the last couple weeks, at least.”
“Huh… Never seen her before.”
This had the bartender rearing back in disbelief.
“Girl like that…? How could you not?”
This had the VP laughing but he nodded in agreement as he came to his feet and went to pay his tab.
“On the house. Just get her home.”
“You got it.”
When he stepped out the young woman was fumbling with her keys, in attempts to unlock her truck. He shook his head as she dropped them a couple times but went back to it.
“Hey…” He softly called so not to frighten her.
The woman peered back and he nodded upon her.
“Why don’t I give you a ride, darlin’?”
He raised his brows as the young woman actually snorted.
“A ride, huh?”
“Well, I could use a ‘ride’ but not the one you have in mind.”
Jax couldn’t help but to smile.
“You sure about that?” He uttered surprising himself.
“Ugh…” She groaned but managed to get her key inside.
He reached over then placed his hand along hers.
“All joking aside… You haven’t any business driving. You’ve been fumbling around with that door for a good minute or two, at least. You’re liable to get yourself or someone else killed. So how bout that ride?”
The young woman drew back the deepest of breaths and Jax raised his hands.
“I promise to behave. Scouts honor!”
“Something tells me you were never a boy scout.” She murmured with a gesture towards his cut.
“You’d be correct.” He said with a shrug.
“You got a name?”
“I sure do!” She witted and the VP chuckled.
“Tit for tat?”
“Now that hardly seems fair…”
This had him raising his brows yet again.
“The exchange…” She teased but with a smile and looked to be blushing.
The young woman covered her face and muttered something about how she couldn’t believe she’d said that. Jax swallowed back finding that rather adorable.
“Sorry…” She said looking downright embarrassed.
“Don’t be…” He said with a warm smile.
“Jax.” He said as he held his hand out.
“Short for Jackson, I assume?”
“You’d be correct.”
“Well, Jackson. I’m Bella, at least I think I am.”
“Short for Isabella?”
“Well Isabella… How bout that ride HOME?”
“Actually… If you wouldn’t mind dropping me off at this hotel? It shouldn’t be far.”
“Not one bit.” He said while looking to the card she handed him.
“So you from out of town?” He asked as they were heading towards his Harley.
He stopped then peered back looking her over. This was just what he needed. But truth of the matter? He’d his eyes on someone else. Not that he hadn’t taken notice of Bella, if anything she was the FIRST thing he took notice of. She stood out with her snowy white skin, pouty red lips, and deep brown eyes that had a way of pulling you in from afar. What had him looking the other way? One look told him she wasn’t the one night stand kind of girl and at the moment that’s what he needed. So he spent his time looking for someone along those lines. He’d a little blond number in mind. She was nowhere near as appeasing to the eyes, but she’d do. Or so he thought. He hadn’t exactly planned this. But he had to make do with what he had and the hotel she mentioned was the perfect setup. He knew his old lady passed by that hotel every morning on the way to work. And this girl was from out of town, so she wouldn’t stick around long enough to cause much more of a fuss. She could help him take care of the one thing he hadn’t the heart to do himself and that was to put that final nail in the coffin, when it came to his old lady. He knew Tara would be done with him after this and at the moment that’s all he wanted, to be done and to wash his hands of it all.
“Washington?!” He questioned in disbelief.
“Huh… Don’t look it.” He said and started walking again.
“And how does someone from Washington look?”
“Not sure. But you’re not it.”
Jax handed his helmet over but was quick to grab ahold of her as she’d lost her footing.
“Easy…” He whispered as they were hip to hip and he had his hand along the small of her back.
The man couldn’t get over how good she smelled, much less how she felt in his arms.
“Vice president, huh?” She questioned with a single finger along his patch.
“And what is Men of Mayhem exactly?”
This had the VP clearing his throat as he wasn’t sure how to answer that. He earned that patch through shedding blood aka taking a life for the club. But he didn’t know this woman and now wasn’t the time to be diving into that.
“Just an MC thing, darlin’.” He said with a shrug.
“MC as in…”
Bella stepped out of his hold and laughed.
“Of course.” She said with a gesture towards his Harley.
“Did I mention a small town in Washington? Didn’t have any nearby MC’s…”
“Hm. Well that certainly explains things.”
“Does it?” She asked but with a touch of seriousness behind that.
He didn’t comment as he helped to get the helmet adjusted then climbed onto the bike and patted the area behind him.
“My father was a cop, you know…?”
This had him dying of laughter. He revved that engine of his but leaned back, so she could hear.
“And how would daddy feel about this?” He taunted as he peeled on out and hit the road.
“This it?” He asked once they pulled into the hotel parking lot.
She nodded then gestured towards the room she was staying in. He nodded and parked out front. He looked to the highway then back to the hotel. Perfect. He thought, but with a twinge of guilt. Not so much on what he was setting up, but for having this innocent woman involved. Then again… She could very well turn his advances down. If so, then so be it. He’d make sure she got into the room safe and sound then head back to the bar. Drunk or not… This woman seemed like she had a good head on her shoulders, but was going through a bit of a rough patch herself. And judging by the way the bartender was acting… That seemed to be the case as he’d made it clear that was pretty rare, at least for her.
Jax killed the engine then patted himself down as he searched for a smoke. He offered her one as well but she declined.
He nodded then helped her off the bike. He shook his head however as she dropped the key to her hotel and when she bent down to get it, she let out this hysterical-like laugh.
“Hey…” He called with concern.
Jax walked on over then helped her inside. Once they were in, he laid her down then took her shoes off. He sighed knowing he couldn’t go through with this now. Jackson Teller was a lot of things, but he wasn’t THAT much of a dick. She wasn’t in the right frame of mind and even attempting to fuck her right now would be damn near rape and he wasn’t down for that. Her eyes came to a close and he nodded amongst himself.
“Night, darlin’.” He whispered and was about to exit the room when she took him by the hand.
“You have someone to get home to?” She asked and he shook his head no.
“I can’t believe I’m asking this… But will you stay, just until I fall asleep?” She asked in a quivery voice.
Jax narrowed his eyes on this. He reached over and moved a strand of hair from her eyes.
“You want me to stay. I’ll stay.”
She nodded then closed her eyes once again. Jax stepped out of his shoes then locked up for the night. He took off his cut and shirt then crawled into bed. He swallowed back as she rolled over and lay on his chest. He drew back the deepest of breaths and ran his fingers through her long brown locks. He hadn’t realized just how much he missed this. Sure, he’d hopes of getting laid and using that to get all his frustrations out. But at the moment, he was just as content with something as simple as holding her and breathing her in. Something about her scent put the man at ease. In fact, it wasn’t long before his eyes came to a close.
“You’re still here…” He heard as he woke the following morning.
He nodded and went on to caress her cheek as she was still lying against his chest.
“I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I asked you that. Jesus, I hardly know you.” She uttered looking somewhat mortified.
Jax couldn’t help but to smile.
“All good…” He said whilst running his hand along her back.
Bella’s entire face flushed over and she sat up.
“I’m not normally like that. I…”
“Hey. I don’t need an explanation. It happens, to the best of us.”
She nodded but looked to be in thought.
“Not a problem.”
“I’m sure you have some place to be…” She did her best to hint and he raised his brows on this.
“You kickin’ me out, sweet thang?”
“Well I already got what I want. What’s the point in you sticking around?” She teased, but with a touch of a flirtation.
He nodded but let out a disappointed sigh as he lit up a smoke.
“I see how it is… You used me.”
“You know it.” She said behind a laugh.
“Tell you what. Have a cup of coffee with me then I’ll buy you breakfast, before I head on out.”
“Sounds fair. You gotta be famished after all that cuddling.” She uttered looking embarrassed all over again.
Jax chuckled in response but gathered this serious vibe.
“You just let me know if you need anymore ‘cuddling’.” Bella looked to Jax in surprise as he handed her his actual cell phone number.
He himself couldn’t believe he had done that. But he couldn’t stand the thought of never seeing this girl again. There was just something about her…
“When you leaving town, darlin’?”
“You and me both. You and me both…” He said in such a way.
“That bad?” She questioned as she got some coffee brewing.
“You ever get your fill?”
She narrowed her eyes on this. He sat up then put his cigarette out.
“You know… of everything?”
He nodded and motioned her over.
“Ever get tired of talking?” He hinted and Bella had this unsure look about her as he pulled her into his lap.
“Just two people with nothing to talk about…” He murmured and brought her in for a kiss.
“You wanna use me… Then really use me.” He challenged whilst grinding her against him and bucking off the bed a bit.
He cocked a brow as she was quick to unfasten his belt. Within the matter of seconds, this girl was stripped down and riding him like there was no tomorrow.
“Fuck…” He whispered and nodded amongst himself.
The VP wasn’t the only one in need of release. He could see it written all over her face. This girl needed a good fucking and he wasn’t leaving until he gave her that, at least. Jax rolled Bella onto her back then took over. The girl was chewing on that bottom lip of hers and driving him utterly insane with her moaning. He wondered just how long it’d been for her as he had her cumming nonstop.
“That’s right, Bella baby. I got you covered.” He murmured in full on lust.
Jax couldn’t remember the last time he felt like this. He never wanted to stop. He was so lost in the moment, he’d already came a couple times. But he wasn’t ready to call it quits. No. He didn’t want to stop until he had those legs of hers shaking and the other hotel guests knew him by name.
“JACKSON!” She hollered behind a gasp.
He smiled and thrust with everything he had.
“Call to me again, sweet thang…” He pleaded as they were covered in sweat.
His name escaped those pouty lips of hers and he threw his head back in a finish.
“God damn…” He whispered then looked to her in sheer disbelief.
She smiled and he found himself kissing her all over again.
Jax leaned back in memory.
That’s how it all started… And from there… He’d forgotten why he dragged her into this life to begin with. He should’ve done right by her and left the moment he got her to the hotel. But he didn’t… And now? He was in, more than ever. It amazed him… what all could happen in two months’ time. He thought back to all the times Bella had called when Tara was in the room. He’d drop whatever he was doing and excuse himself, just in order to hear her voice. That’s how bad he had it. She was a literal addiction and he couldn’t get enough. But the poor girl hadn’t a clue. He’d go from spending the day with her, to working the shop, to dealing with MC manners, then he’d come home to his old lady and son. Towards the end… he was spending more time at the cabin, with her. That’s where he took her in order to play it safe and get away. She had mentioned moving in with her family but they never went into depth. That was more or less an unspoken rule. Bella was VERY protective of her family and friends. She mentioned having an aunt and uncle that might frown upon Jax being SAMCRO, much less the VP. He wanted to laugh on the irony now. “Uncle Op…” He whispered amongst himself then let out a miserable sigh. The guilt was there, but he never allowed it to take him over when he was around her. He wanted ALL of her time. So much so that no matter how much the guilt weighed upon him, he pushed it aside and would never fuss up. He did this out of fear of losing her all together. But now here he was… He managed to lose his lover and best friend, all in one day. He hadn’t anyone to blame, other than himself.
Jax scrolled through his phone and was searching for one of Bella’s old voicemails. He closed his eyes and listened as he played it back.
“Hey Jackson, just checking in. Wanted to see how you were doing. Thought we could get together this weekend sometime. Let me know. Later!”
Jax scrolled on down and continued in playing whatever he could find.
“Hey, sooo looks like I’m going to be running a tad late. I’ll make up for it later, promise. See you at the cabin!”
As he continued in his personal torment, he wondered how Tara hadn’t found out sooner. Then again… she was off in her own world half the time. He could’ve brought Bella by the house and she probably wouldn’t have taken notice. That’s how bad things had gotten. So why did Tara act as if she gave a damn when he got caught, much less when Opie had him dangling over that rooftop? The more he thought about Tara and her reaction to everything, the angrier he became. Why would she give a flying fuck? She should’ve been the one shoving him off that roof! And that there was all the proof he needed. Tara didn’t love him! She might’ve cared or felt some sort of pity on his behalf, but he hadn’t any doubts whatsoever now. What woman in her right mind didn’t want to kill the son of a bitch that cheated on her?! Was the whole thing an act? How did it benefit her? Acting as if she gave a damn… If it had been Bella, she’d have let Opie finish him off. Sick as it was… Jax knew THAT to be true love. Having someone rip your heart out, so bad, that you want them to suffer, because of the amount of pain they’ve caused you. Jax knew he had to watch his back. Whereas he was concerned and looking for Bella and praying to GOD he found her, part of him was concerned about HER finding HIM first. He wasn’t lying when he told his mother Bella was crazy. But that’s one of the things that drew him in. He hadn’t any doubt, that if given the chance… She’d put a fucking bullet in his ass, if not his head. He knew that’s how much she loved him. And that was the reason for chasing after her instead. There was a big difference between women and their reactions on the situation. Sure, Tara was hurt by what he’d done. But nowhere near like that of Bella. In some ways… he felt as if TARA was the other woman and Bella had been the old lady all along…
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