Chapter 12 – The Way of Your World
I do not own SOA, Twilight, Destrophy, or anything youtube related.
Bella pulled into the SAMCRO parking lot and parked beside her grandfather’s trike. Gemma exited the garage and the moment she spotted Abel in Bella’s arms, she took off running. Clay looked on from the garage and merely observed.
“ABEL!” Gemma hollered in such a way.
Bella snapped her head that direction and Gemma was quick to take Abel from her hold. She broke into sobs as she held her grandson and went on to check him over. Bella swallowed back as she wasn’t sure what to say or do.
“Thank you.” Gemma kissed Bella on the cheek and pulled her in for a hug.
“You brought my grandson home and you took care of my babies.”
Bella gave a simple nod and Gemma cupped her chin.
“Come to dinner tonight. I want the whole family together. This is something to celebrate.”
“That’s right, sweetheart. I won’t take no for an answer. So I hope you’re hungry.”
Gemma headed into the clubhouse with Abel and Piney made his way over.
“Well I’ll be goddamned. You really did it.” Piney murmured and hugged her close.
Sure, he’d heard it from his son and the others but this he had to see for himself.
“I didn’t do anything.”
“The hell you didn’t.”
“All I did was follow the only lead I had…”
“Sure…” Piney scoffed and Bella sighed as he headed back into the garage.
She grimaced however once she saw the mess in the back of her car. That mess included diapers, powder, toys, pacifiers, spit up, and spilt formula.
“My poor baby…” She groaned and petted the top of her car.
She frowned once she realized what she said and how she was acting.
“It’s just a car Bella.” She scolded and went on to clean up the mess.
She was just about done when Opie, Jax, and Chibs pulled into the lot. Jax hopped off his bike and walked on over.
“Thanks darlin’.” He said as he took the car seat from her hold and kissed her.
Bella gave a simple nod and handed the diaper bag over as well.
“You alright?” Jax questioned with concern.
“Yeah. I didn’t realize your mother was back…”
He narrowed his eyes and glanced towards the clubhouse.
“She wants me to come to dinner. Made it sound like a big ordeal.”
Jax had a genuine beam about him.
“Well it is… to my mother. So you coming?”
“She let me know I didn’t have much choice…”
“Then you had better be there…” He said behind a chuckle.
“I haven’t a clue where your mother lives.”
“I’ll take you. Give that car of yours a rest.”
He placed the car seat and diaper bag into his mother’s car. Then he wrapped his arm around Bella’s shoulder as they headed into the clubhouse. Just as soon as he entered the clubhouse, he and his mother locked eyes. He nodded her direction and Gemma smiled.
“Come here, baby.” Jax headed on over and hugged his mother.
She kissed both his cheeks and nodded upon Bella.
“Got yourself a keeper. Don’t fuck it up.” She said surprising that of Jax and Bella.
Jax sort of laughed.
“Don’t plan on it.” He whispered with a loving wink Bella’s way.
Opie cleared his throat and placed a hand along his niece’s shoulder. He leaned into her ear.
“Don’t… Just stay put. Let it sink in.” He uttered as if reading her mind.
He seated her down at the bar and slid a beer over. Piney shook his head seeing the same thing his son was seeing. Bella had that nervous vibe about her and was twitchy. This girl was ready to haul ass. Not so much away from Jax and Abel but the situation all together. She wasn’t sure who to trust and had a hard time letting anyone in. Then there was the whole questioning her and Jax’s relationship bit. Was this long term or would she fade out like the others? She wasn’t exactly ignorant when it came to Jax. It was more than obvious that Jax was a ladies’ man. She only hoped and prayed that was all in the past. For one thing… She knew if she were EVER in Tara’s situation. She’d kill Jax and the bitch he was fucking. Bella sort of laughed and Opie regarded her in question.
“What was that?”
“My sanity… Hard to keep track of it as of late.”
“That was sanity?!”
“Well fuck…” He slid another beer over followed by a shot.
“Better keep that shit in check.” He uttered with a grin.
Bella looked to the others as they were conversing and fussing over Abel and Jax. She downed that shot then polished off that beer.
“I just need a breather…”
“Bell…” Opie said behind a frustrated sigh.
“Just give me a smoke and I’ll be ten minutes, tops.”
“Sure. More like three to four days…”
Bella reached over and snatched the pack of cigarettes from his cut. She held her hand out for his zippo.
“Ten minutes… Or I’ll hunt your ass down and drag you back kicking and screaming.”
“Can’t keep me here forever. I got my own shit to take care of.”
“No. But what’s a couple days? This is your family, Bell. Like or not… We’re all you got.”
“That’s not the issue.”
“Then what the fuck is it?”
“It’s me. I’m handling it.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“It means get your shit together, kid. That’s what! I’ve gone out and beyond in getting him to see your side of things. But I’m not so blind that I can’t call my own niece out on her bullshit. I’m going to tell you the same thing I told him. You’re either in or out. There is no in between. So if you’re second guessing yourself. Maybe you need to take a step back. Don’t you pull a Tara…” He harshly whispered.
Bella gritted her teeth on this.
“Don’t you EVER compare me to that bitch again. I’m in for the long haul. I’m not going anywhere unless HE pushes me that direction. SO PISS OFF!”
Jax and Gemma looked over as Bella stormed on out the door. Opie sighed and his father patted him on the back.
“Way to go son! We’ve been home for a total of what… Five minutes?!”
“Shut it, pops.”
Bella hid behind one of the junkers and took her time smoking that cigarette. During which she called Dizzy and checked in, letting her know she was back in town. Dizzy was back at the penthouse with Derk and Mia. From the sounds of it they hadn’t anywhere else to go. Derk’s father had kicked him out and Bella wasn’t about to put him back on the street. And with Cory no longer in the picture, Mia hadn’t a home to go.
“Want me to kick them out?”
“Nah… Let em stay. Besides, we’re technically squatters if you think about it.”
“Place is yours, as far as we’re concerned.”
“It’s not. This is temporary.”
“He isn’t coming back…”
“We don’t know that for sure. So do your best to keep it in one piece. That includes everything inside and within the garage itself.”
“Got it, boss.”
“Ugh. Don’t call me that.”
“Why? You should be eating that shit up!”
“Just feels weird…”
“Well you might as well get used to it. You’re leading a crew now.”
“Yeah about that… I’m gonna be a day or two.”
“Figured that much. Take your time. We got it.”
“Thanks. I’ll set something up soon.”
“You mean me…”
“Um hello… manager? Remember?”
“Right… Okay so YOU set up something for let’s say…”
“Friday? That gives you more than enough time.”
“Alright. Sounds like a plan.”
“Awesome. I’ll see what races are going on that day.”
“We’re cleaning house, Dizzy. I mean it. From here on out it’s strictly racing. No more side shit.”
“That’s right. I’m done.”
“Not exactly. She has a few loose ends to tie up but once she gets everything in order… We’re playing this straight.”
“Not sure what the others will say to that…”
“I don’t give a shit what the others say. I’m not Diablo. I do things MY way. I have others to think about.”
“Others… as in Jax and Abel?”
“Got your back, baby. You know that.”
“I hope so.”
“Are you alright? You sound like there’s something else on your mind.”
“Dizzy, I got a million-one things on my mind. The challenge is pinpointing one at a time, so I can wipe the slate clean.”
“Well let’s start with this and we’ll go from there.”
“What would I do without you?”
“Crawl into a corner and hide from the rest of the world?”
“You want me to head over there and kick your ass?”
“Ohhhh… Yes please!”
Bella managed to laugh as she flicked the cigarette bud onto the ground.
“Alright, no hellacious parties – as in no drugs!”
“How about drunken orgies and pot?!”
“As long as everyone stays OUT of my room. I don’t give a fuck what you do.”
“Awesome! Hey Mia, Derk… She gave us the go ahead on that orgy. Call the others!” Dizzy playfully called.
“You’re some kind of fucked up. You know that?”
“You wouldn’t have me any other way.”
“Damn straight. Later.”
Bella came to her feet and regarded the clubhouse in thought. She drew back the deepest of breaths, before making her way back inside.
“Longest ten minutes ever!” Opie witted once she seated herself at the bar.
Bella flipped her uncle off and he snatched his smokes from her hold.
She shrugged as Opie held his hand out.
“Do I hafta?”
He cocked a brow on this.
“I rather like this one…” She murmured and retrieved it from her pocket.
It was one of the reaper ones. She flicked it then stared at the flame. Opie rolled his eyes then reached for it. Bella held it out of his reach and smiled.
“I’m keeping it.”
“Oh come on… I’m sure you can get another one seeing as how you’re SAMCRO and all.”
Opie shook his head as his niece pocketed the zippo.
“Thanks, Uncle Op!”
Piney laughed however as Bella stole her uncle’s smokes, once his back was turned. She put a finger to her lips and hopped off the bar stool.
“You ready?” Jax questioned as he and the others were getting ready to head on out.
“Relax. It’s only dinner.”
“With your mother…”
“Bella, if it makes you that uncomfortable. You don’t have to go.”
Bella regarded Gemma and Clay in thought. The two seemed to be bickering with one another about something but were keeping hush-hush. Jax was holding Abel when he reached for Bella. Chibs caught wind of this and busted out in laughter. He held his beer towards Bella and gave a mere nod – as if to say I told you so. Jax raised his brows in amazement and handed his son over. A lump formed within the back of her throat as Abel rested his head along her shoulder and closed his eyes.
“Damn…” Jax uttered in awe.
He did his best to keep what Opie said in mind, but having his son react that way to Bella had that man all a flutter. He kissed the top of Abel’s head then led them outside the clubhouse. From there they got Abel into Gemma’s car and into his car seat. Jax waved his mother and Abel off as they headed to the house.
Jax and Bella were the last ones out as he handed his helmet over.
“I put his diaper on backwards, I put too much formula in the bottle, and I hadn’t a clue how much to feed him!” She said as if she’d been holding her breath for forever.
“But you didn’t break him.” Jax said with a grin.
“Jackson…,” she groaned and pinched her eyes shut.
“I don’t know the first thing about being a…” Jax was quick to interrupt.
“Bella, I didn’t chase after you because I wanted a mother for Abel. Selfish as it was… Abel isn’t what came to mind. He should’ve been, but wasn’t. I came to you because you gave me something I didn’t know I needed. Something I’d been craving. Now I don’t wanna scare you off. But you need to know that what I saw in you is something I never saw in anyone else. You’re so different… And for once, I truly feel as if I found my equal. You get me, Bella. And believe me when is say that’s a rarity. I’ve NEVER had that before.”
Jax climbed onto his Harley and nodded her way.
“Come on, baby.”
Bella nodded in response and hopped on.
“You cook?” Gemma questioned as she handed Bella some carrots to peel.
“You a druggy?”
“MOM!” Jax scolded once he entered the kitchen.
Bella went on to peel the carrots and Jax sent her an apologetic glance.
“Don’t…” He warned and shook his head upon his mother.
“Well, if you’re referring to the cocaine I snorted on the way over…” Bella taunted and went on to peel another carrot.
Gemma stopped what she was doing and Jax laughed.
“Chill. She’s joking.”
“Jackson and I snort crack all the time! Don’t we?”
“You know it!” Jax uttered with a grin and grabbed a beer from the fridge.
Gemma rolled her eyes as he popped it open and leaned against the counter.
“Can you at least TRY to play nice…?” He whispered and his mother sighed.
“Fine. I’ll do my best to appease your crack whore.”
“Gemma likes crack whores and I don’t care. Gemma likes crack whores and I don’t care…” Bella teasingly sang, mocking the Jimmy Crack Corn song.
This had Jax doing a spit take and Gemma sighed.
“Dammit… I like her.”
“I knew you would…” Jax muttered under his breath and pecked Bella on the cheek on the way out.
Bella finished with the carrots then placed them into the salad. Gemma handed her the meat she’d prepared.
“Take this to Clay. Tell him not to burn the bratwurst like he did last time.”
“Burned bratwurst, huh?”
“That’s the wurst!” Bella witted and headed out of the kitchen.
Gemma just stood there in a bemusement for a moment.
“Here.” Clay narrowed his eyes but grabbed the plate of meat.
“Oh and don’t burn the bratwurst this time. Old lady’s orders…”
“One time and she can’t let it go…” He muttered as he placed the meat onto the grill.
Bella smiled as she looked over to see Jax pushing Abel on the baby swing they had in the back. He seemed so different around Abel. More at peace even. He was talking to Chibs and Opie about something but with a genuine smile about him. Bella hadn’t seen him this happy since their little affair – well affair on his side of things anyhow. It was then that Bella took a step back and truly observed the scene before her. Clay cooking on the grill, Bobby giving him hell over how he was going about it, Happy and the prospects were laughing about something as they sipped on their beers, Piney and Juice were in deep conversation. But everyone there seemed more at ease and the environment itself was so different from that of the clubhouse. Sure, they shoot the shit and let loose every once in a while. But there was just something about this gathering that really hit home for Bella. This right here truly felt like family, what Jax had always talked about. Clay handed the empty plate over.
“Tell Gem not to burn the rolls like she did last time.”
“Right…” Bella murmured and headed back inside.
Bella took the plate to the sink and went on to rinse it off.
“Old man says not to burn the rolls…”
“I didn’t burn the rolls! Juice was supposed to keep an eye on them, while I made the potatoes!”
“You weren’t even here.”
Bella nodded as she loaded the plate into the dishwasher. She pointed to the oven after.
“No. But I am now and you clearly did it again.”
Gemma’s eyes widened and she was quick to get the rolls out of the oven.
“SHIT!” She hollered and waved her potholder over the smoke.
Bella covered her mouth to stifle a giggle.
“Not a word…” Gemma warned and pointed Bella’s direction.
“Wouldn’t dream of it…”
Gemma dumped the rolls into the trash and started a new batch. Kozik and Tig entered the kitchen and grabbed a beer. Tig nodded upon Bella in greeting and she nodded in return.
“Thanks for getting my Phantom back in one piece.”
“Phantom?” Gemma questioned.
Neither commented and Gemma cleared her throat.
Bella grabbed a beer from the fridge and headed on out of the room.
“Hey darlin’…” Chibs greeted then kissed her cheek, before taking a seat beside her.
“I believe we had a bet goin’.” He said and waved his hand towards Abel.
“We never went into detail over that bet, so your loss.”
Chibs let out a sigh of mockery.
“Ye could get me a beer and we’ll call it even.”
“But I’m all comfy…”
The Scot nodded and lit up a cigarette. He reached over and grabbed what was left of hers. Bella cut him a look as he downed it, just the way she had his that one day. He sent her a wink then handed the empty bottle over.
“Guess we’re even now?”
“Nah… Ye still owe me one more life debt. Then we’ll be even.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
“I’m holdin ye to that.”
Bella raised her brows catching the rather flirtatious pitch to that. Chibs cleared his throat and was quick to change the subject.
“Thought ye should know that Greg’s already out on bond. But his case should be an easy one, considering all the evidence that was built up against his brother.”
“Poor guy. I can’t even imagine…”
“So all of that happened because of personal vendetta?”
“Damn… And you just had to wear your cut.” Bella teased and Chibs chuckled.
“So yer blamin’ me?!”
“Whatever eases that cracked mind of yers.”
“So you admit that it’s your fault?”
“Alright quit flirtin’ with my old lady.” Jax said as he joined them at the table.
“Why?” Chibs taunted.
“Cause getting around is going to be awfully hard with my foot up your ass, old man.”
Chibs had a good laugh at this.
“Ye can try Jackie boy…” The Scot said then came to his feet.
He patted Jax on the shoulder then went about his way.
“Can’t leave you alone can I?” Jax taunted but was half serious.
Men rather flocked to Bella. Not that he could talk… Women acted just about the same when it came to him. Both just had that way about them. Deep down, Jax knew he hadn’t anything to worry about. Bella was as faithful as they came and Chibs would die before betraying a brother. Chibs was the literal definition of loyalty. Jax’s only fear was that of his own history. He knew Bella would keep that in mind from time to time and question herself as to his loyalty. But Jax was done with that way of life. He wanted something real for once and he knew in order to get that, he had to give Bella and Abel his all.
Jax wiggled his finger about. Bella narrowed her eyes in question but came to her feet. Once she was within range he pulled her into his lap. He brushed her hair back and kissed along her neck. Tara was never one for public affection. In fact the only time he could truly remember was when she wanted to put Ima (one of the Cara Cara girls) in her place. This was before Bella entered the picture and Ima was coming on pretty strong around that time. Jax remembered being a little annoyed with Tara and making her stop. He didn’t like his old lady pulling that shit. Not when it just about putting another woman in her place. He knew it hadn’t anything to do with him. Tara of course read it wrong but she didn’t get it. Jax wanted Tara to be INTO him and not putting on a show of ownership. Not that he minded that… A woman staking her claim – that can be hot as fuck. But not when that’s ALL it’s about.
“Still nervous?” He whispered in question.
“I wasn’t nervous to begin with. I just want to be careful that’s all. Let’s take our time, Jackson.”
“Does this mean we can’t have sex?!” He taunted.
“Don’t be an idiot.”
“Yes, ma’am…” He said behind a chuckle.
Bella wrapped her arms around him and leaned into his chest.
“Not rushin’ into anything darlin’. But for whatever it’s worth, I’m glad you’re here.”
To his great surprise Bella kissed him.
“Hungry?” Bella teased as Jax scooped up three spoonfuls of mash potatoes and dumped them onto his plate.
“Fuck yeah.” He said with a grin and handed her the bowl.
Bella lifted her eyes as Gemma was holding Abel when he started to cry. He was reaching for the mash potatoes on his grandmother’s plate. Chibs pointed to Bella accusingly.
“See what ye started!”
This had Jax and Gemma looking to them in question.
“He thinks it’s ice cream!” Chibs scoffed.
“You told me it was okay!”
“Ice cream?” Jax asked.
“That’s right. The little lass fed yer son an entire bowl of ice cream.”
“You fucking narc.”
Chibs had a good laugh at this.
“Abel ate ice cream?!” Jax questioned in disbelief.
“Oh yeah… Ye should’ve seen him. Wee one couldn’t get enough.”
“You like ice cream, little man?”
Gemma cut Bella a look.
“What?” Bella questioned taking notice.
“You didn’t consider what would happen if he had an allergic reaction?”
“Says the woman feeding him mash potatoes when no one’s looking…” Bella taunted in return.
Jax reared back at this.
“He isn’t reaching to that because he thinks it’s ice cream. Grandma’s been feeding him solids off and on. So get off that fucking high horse.”
Jax stuffed a roll into his mouth, to keep from laughing at his mother’s reaction. Gemma wasn’t used to someone calling her out like that. But he found it rather fitting. He needed an old lady that could put his mother in her place, someone with a backbone. As much as Jax loved his mother… He knew she could be a downright bitch to deal with. He also knew this was his mother’s way of testing Bella.
“Well tell me how you really feel…”
“I did. Would you like some rolls with that?” Bella said and passed her the plate.
“Hmmm…” Gemma hummed as she and Bella eyed one another down.
“Alright…” Jax muttered and shook his head.
“It’s like two lionesses going head to head…” Tig murmured and the guys laughed.
“Why did you invite me here?” Bella questioned and the room grew eerily quiet.
Jax pinched his eyes shut in misery. Gemma leaned back then looked to Abel and her son.
“Look, I get it. You want to test the waters, right? To see what I’m truly about?!”
Gemma didn’t comment but raised her brows.
“I’m not the enemy. So don’t treat me like it. I’m here because you invited me into your home and made me feel welcomed. Only now I’m not feeling so…” Gemma jumped to her feet and took Bella by the hand.
Bella cut her an odd glance but followed her into another room.
“Goddammit.” Jax spat and slammed his hand down on the table.
Opie sighed and patted Jax on the back. The VP scooted on out from the table and lit up a smoke as he headed outside. The Sons looked to one another but went back to eating.
“You’re right. I’m sorry.” Gemma sincerely put and Bella let out a miserable sigh.
“Have I done something to you? I mean honestly… what is shit all about? You’ve given me hell since day one. And your mood swings… well they’re enough to give me fucking whiplash!”
“Menopause? That’s your excuse? You don’t know shit about me, not really. Yet here we are… First official gathering and you’re putting me on the spot, like I’ve done something to warrant it.”
Gemma went to say something only to have Bella beat her to the punch.
“Let me guess… Mama’s boy, right? Is that what this is about? He’s got you wrapped around his little finger, just where YOU like it. And you feel threatened by ANYONE that could possibly ruin that relationship. Well I’m not here to become his mother. I’m here because I love your son and wanted to show my support when it comes to the club and his family. I’m NOT replacing you, so get that sick shit out of your head! He’s your son! So quit going out your way to run off anyone you don’t personally see fit. He’ll wind up dying alone that way. Is that what you want? For your son to only know the love of a mother and not that of a woman’s touch? Do you have ANY idea how jacked up that is?! You told Jackson I was a keeper. Then you go and pull this…?!”
Their little feud was interrupted as Jax let it known that Agent Stahl was at the door.
“Ah shit…” Gemma and Bella simultaneously muttered.
Bella regarded the older woman in shock however she handed Abel over then kissed Bella on the cheek.
“Take care of my boys.”
“What?!” Bella questioned and her jaw dropped as Agent Stahl and a slew of others entered the house, with a warrant.
Stahl went on to read Gemma her rights. Bella held on to Abel for dear life as the Sons were losing their shit, mainly that of Clay and Jax, as Gemma was being dragged away.
“Shhh…” Bella shushed as she was doing her best to console Jax’s son.
Abel was reaching for his grandmother and crying. Bella thought it best if she took him into another room so he wouldn’t have to see all the commotion. Once she had him in a quieter room, she softly hummed and rocked him to sleep.
Jax entered the room to find Bella kicked back on his mother’s bed. She had Abel in her arms and he was sound asleep.
“Thank you…” He whispered with troublesome eyes.
Bella nodded but continued in her soothing back rubs. This had Jax looking to her a certain way.
“What?” She asked thinking she was doing something wrong.
“That’s how I get him to sleep too.”
Bella smiled and Jax lay beside them. He ran his fingers through his son’s hair and kissed his forehead.
“So what was that all about?”
“You remember how I told you my mother was framed?”
“Well that’s what that was about. She was supposed to stay at the safe house Clay had her in. But my mother’s stubborn as they come. Once she heard about Abel’s kidnapping she managed to sneak her way past Half-Sack and the other prospects. They hadn’t a clue she was back in Charming, until Clay called them on it. They assumed she was in the safe house still.”
“So your mother could be facing some serious time.”
“She should’ve listened to Clay. She had no business coming back to Charming.”
“She wanted to see her grandson, Jackson. Not that I’m taking sides but that’s understandable after hearing about his kidnapping.”
“Trust me… I know. But it’s been one thing after another…”
“She’ll be okay. We’ll find a way to prove her innocent.”
“I hope so.”
Jax cleared his throat and his eyes locked with Bella’s.
“Bella, I’m sorry. My mother… she had no right.”
“It’s okay, Jackson. I’m a big girl. I can handle your cray cray of a mother.”
“That’s just it… You shouldn’t have to.”
“Just comes with the territory. You have to deal with my uncle and gramps…”
Jax had a good laugh at this.
“Mind waiting with him while I go and get my truck?”
“Not at all.”
“Thanks. I’ll drop you off at your car but I’m hoping you’ll follow me back to my place.”
Jax lay his son down in the crib and started the music to his mobile. Bella smiled as she watched from the doorway.
“All tuckered out…” She whispered and Jax nodded.
He exited the room and pulled the door to.
“Would you like a beer?”
“Sure.” Bella replied as she looked around the house.
She felt a little strange considering this was the home he and Tara shared. Sure, she wasn’t exactly his wife. Still she wasn’t sure how to feel about that. The house was surprisingly well kept for a single father she found herself thinking. Jax made his way to the kitchen and grabbed a couple of beers.
He sat at the couch and simply observed as Bella looked around.
“Abel?” Bella asked as she held up his hospital picture.
Jax smiled and nodded.
“Damn. He was so little.”
Bella joined him on the couch and Jax handed her beer over.
Bella took a pull off her beer and Jax buried his nose within her neck.
“…fuck…” he whispered as her scent had him rising in torment.
He took her beer then set it down on the coffee table.
Bella let out a bit of a gasp as Jax grabbed a fistful of her hair and rained kisses along her along her shoulder and neck. He made his way up to her ear where he licked her lobe and leaned in.
“Let me eat that pussy, sweet thang.”
Bella swallowed back as this wave of heat cascaded over her. Her heart felt as if it’d gallop right out of her chest. Jax laid her down and was quick to strip her down. He placed his hands along her knees then eased them apart. The mere sight had him licking his lips.
“Bella…” He whispered as if in downright agony.
Bella clamped a hand over her mouth as he took possession and went to work. Jax got a firm hold as she squirmed about. He lifted his head and sent her a bit of a smirk.
“Stay still darlin’.” He ordered, just as he used to.
This had Bella arching back and chewing on that bottom lip of hers. Jax took his time as he greedily lapped up her juices. The wetter she became the more into it he got. As for Bella… she was damn near purring. Jax had a way with that tongue, always had. And the way he moaned, during… was almost maddening.
“Fuck, I missed that!” Jax declared once he finished.
He chuckled once he saw the mess she left on his couch. Jax slunk on over and let out this animalistic growl once he penetrated. The man savored every minute as he took it nice and slow. He’d longed for this right here. He wanted his little submissive back and here she was, finally. She was putty beneath his arms and his for the taking. He wanted her to know that she was free to let go and that he would take full control. And someone like Bella, it was exactly what she needed. She needed that sense of security that Jax used to give her and he was going to give her that. Only this time… it was hers to keep. He wasn’t about to fuck this up.
“Look at me, Bella baby.”
Bella opened her eyes and Jax gritted his teeth as he kept on pumping. He wasn’t sure what came over him but with everything they’d been through… He couldn’t help that surge that shot through his very core.
“You’re mine. So don’t you even think about going anywhere. I mean it, darlin’. I need you. And I’m going to prove that you fucking need me!” Jax threw his head back in a finish.
Jax nearly fell of the couch as he woke to Abel crying. He braced himself against the coffee table and looked over to see Bella curled up in to a ball, where he had been lying. He smiled and pecked her on the forehead. He grabbed a blanket from one of the recliners then draped it over her. Then he went and checked on Abel. Jax raised his brows as Abel was sitting up in his crib and rubbing his eyes.
“What’s up little man?”
Abel reached for him and Jax lifted him out of the crib and kissed his cheek. He laughed however as he went to change him and saw that Bella had put his diaper on backwards, yet again.
“How in the world…” He uttered wondering how she managed that.
“Girl can change a tire but she can’t change your diaper.” Jax uttered teasingly.
Abel giggled a bit and Jax smiled.
“Crazy about her too, aren’t you?”
Abel handed his pacifier over and Jax acted as if he was going to bite it. Abel broke into a fit of giggles and yanked the pacifier back. He offered his father the pacifier yet again and Jax reacted the same way. Abel giggled so hard he had tears streaming from his eyes.
“Well someone’s in a good mood…” They heard and looked towards the doorway.
Bella smiled and Jax swallowed back at the sight before him. She was in a pair of panties and one of his SAMCRO shirts.
“Did we wake you?”
“Nothing I’m not used to by now, right Abel?” She said and Abel stretched his arms out for her.
Bella picked him up and gave him a raspberry. Abel giggled and grabbed a fistful of her hair so that she’d do it again. Jax chuckled as Abel broke into another fit of laughter. Bella was struck stupid however as Abel attempted to do the same thing but on her cheek. He left a slobbery mess behind.
“Ewwww…” Bella playfully groaned and wiped her cheek off.
For whatever reason, that had Abel laughing all over again.
“BABY GERMS!” Bella continued as she carried him into the kitchen and prepared a bottle.
“Icky sticky baby germs.” She murmured as she sat with him at the dining room table and went on to feed him.
“You don’t have to do that…” Jax uttered as he was keeping what Opie said in mind.
“Feed him. I had it.”
“Pffft, it’s no big deal.”
“Want some breakfast?” He offered as he dug through the fridge.
“What would you like? We got eggs, bacon, pancake mix…”
“Hmm pancakes…” Bella said and Abel smiled in the middle of his bottle.
“Pancakes it is! Bacon?”
Bella’s cellphone rang and Jax reached over and grabbed it off the counter.
“Thanks.” She uttered as he handed it over.
Bella’s entire body tensed up.
“I hear you’re back in town?”
“And how’d you hear that?”
Jax looked over as he got a bowl out from one of the pantries.
“I have my ways. So about that meeting…”
“I’m going to need a couple days, at least.”
“You got one.”
“No. That’s not how this works. You don’t call the shots.”
Mr. Putlova had a good laugh on the other line.
“And how does it work?”
“I’ll let you know.”
Bella went to hang up.
“You should know I don’t take kindly to being brushed aside. Business first then you’re free to whatever it is you got going.”
Bella gritted her teeth and placed Abel into his highchair. Then she headed outside.
“Mr. Putlova, with all due respect… I am NOT an employee of yours. We haven’t any business to get to and I will not have you disrespecting me in such a way.”
“Is that so?” He uttered in a threatening matter.
“You got one day. Take it or leave it. You know the place… usual time. Don’t be late. And if I was you… I’d show.”
Bella’s heart sank to the pit of her stomach as he hung up.
“Goddammit…” She whispered and leaned against one of the patio pillars.
Her stomach was in knots knowing she hadn’t a choice.
“You alright?” Jax questioned once she reentered the house.
“I’m fine. Just got some business to take care of.”
“That soon, huh?”
“Sorry, Jackson. I’ll have to take a raincheck on that breakfast.”
Bella pecked him and Abel on the cheek then got dressed.
“Yeah well do me a favor and try not to disappear for days on end.”
Bella sort of laughed.
“Answer my calls to even?”
“Maybe…” She taunted.
“I mean it, darlin’. Don’t make me worry.”
“Look at you getting all clingy…” She teased and Jax shook his head.
Jax backed her up against the wall.
“I’ll show you clingy… I’ll follow you around town and hump your fucking leg if I have to.”
“That almost sounds like a challenge.”
Jax had a good laugh at this.
“Don’t tempt me.”
“What’s this?” Bella asked as he handed her a key.
“Figured it’s better than you breaking in again…”
“Right…” Bella said but looked to the key in thought.
“Are you sure about this?”
“I’m not asking you to move in. Just letting you know you’re welcome to drop by, anytime.”
This had Bella regarding Jax in downright surprise.
“Wouldn’t that be invading your privacy?”
“What privacy? You already know everything there is to know.”
“Well I’m not giving you a key to my place! Well Han’s… theoretically.”
“And why’s that?” He asked with curiosity.
“Because I’d have to put a stop to my Friday night orgies. Can’t have that shit now. I need my space, Jackson!”
“Well I guess I’ll be coming over every Thursday so you’re too tired to do shit!” He said before smacking her on the butt.
“Don’t be an ass!” He called as he headed back to the kitchen.
“Sure you don’t have time to eat?”
Bella looked to the time and set her phone down as she stepped into her boots.
“Alright but I gotta jet after… I’m sorry, Jackson.” She said feeling downright awful about leaving like this.
Jax nodded as she headed into the bathroom. He narrowed his eyes then looked to his son. He put a finger to his lips as he looked to the last number that called. He drew back a uneasy breath as whoever it was blocked the ID. He had a bad feeling about that call… Jax was quick to grab his cellphone and kept an eye out as he called Op.
“Hey… I gotta make this quick. You might wanna see what Bella’s up to. She got a strange call and now she’s damn near bolting out the door.”
“And you can’t because…?”
“Come on, Op. If I start integrating her… you know what that will lead to.”
Opie let out a frustrated sigh but knew Jax had a point.
“Alright… I’ll see what I can find out.”
“Thanks.” Jax hung up the phone and just in time as Bella reentered the kitchen.
Bella reared back as she saw her uncle’s Harley parked outside the penthouse. When she entered the house he was sitting beside Dizzy on the couch and they looked to be in a deep conversation. Opie stopped talking the moment he spotted his niece.
“What brings you here?” Bella asked.
“I kind of figured that much but something tells me this isn’t a friendly visit. You have that look about you…”
“The I’m about to ring you a new one. I’ve seen it time and time again with Kenny. So I guess I’m due one now?”
“You could say that…”
“Well you might want to get to that. I got some shit to take care of.”
“We’ve been home for a day…”
“Yeah and we were gone for nearly a week. Shit piles up.”
“This wouldn’t have anything to do with a certain call, now would it?”
“Call? What call?”
“You know what call… The one that’s going to lead you back into that same ole habit of disappearing.”
“Maybe I like my alone time.”
“More like you’re always getting into trouble.”
“It does, doesn’t it?! Fuck… Jax was right. That call had to do with the goddamn Russians, didn’t it?!”
“Wait… What?! Are you saying that Jackson eavesdropped on my phone call?! Then he went and ratted me out to you?!”
“Not exactly. He’s not ignorant you know… He can put two and two together.”
“That’s some FUCKING BULLSHIT! I can’t believe he called you and…”
“BECAUSE HE CARES ABOUT YOU! AND HE KNEW IF HE WAS TO CALL YOU OUT ON IT YOU’D ONLY MAKE HIM FEEL LIKE SHIT AND BAIL ON HIS SORRY ASS! SO KNOCK THAT SHIT OFF!”
“I can handle it. Alright?”
“The fuck you can. Those Russian fuckers will chew you up then spit you out! You need our help. Admit it!”
“This is my cross to bear. I got myself into this mess. I won’t have you or gramps getting into this!”
“You haven’t learned shit!”
Opie grabbed his niece by the collar of her jacket then lifted her up off the ground, then got right in her face.
“We’re family dammit! Helping each other is what we do! It’s time you learned that, BEFORE you wind up six feet under! Let me guess… You were going to set up this meeting and do your best to turn him down, RIGHT?!”
When she wouldn’t answer he gave her a bit of a shake.
“HEY!” Dizzy snapped and pried her out of Opie’s hold.
Opie sent his niece an apologetic glance once he realized how rough he was getting.
“The Russians don’t take no for an answer. They will do whatever they can think of to make you work for them!”
“I said I got it!”
“FUCKING STUBBORN AS HELL! YOU KNOW THAT!”
“YEAH WELL… WHERE DO YOU THINK I LEARNED IT FROM?!” She shouted in return, she darted on out of the house, and was heading to her car.
“BELL, DON’T YOU DO THIS! TAKE ONE OF US WITH YOU!”
“No. I got this!” She called before getting into the car.
Dizzy’s eyes widened as Opie took his gun and shot out Bella’s tires. Then he marched on over, opened the door, and dragged her ass out.
“WHAT IN THE FUUUUUCK!” She shouted and hit as his chest as he hauled her back into the penthouse.
“YOU SHOT MY FUCKING CAR, YOU ASSHOLE!”
Once they were inside he tossed her onto the couch.
“SIT! Pops and Jax are on their way!”
“GOD DAMMIT!” She hopped up and her uncle shoved her back down.
“IT’S TIME YOU WAKE THE FUCK UP! YOU’RE NOT LEAVING THIS FUCKING HOUSE, KID!”
“You won’t believe what this idiot is up to!” Opie spat once Dizzy welcomed Piney and Jax inside.
“And that would be…?” Piney probed.
“She’s going to set up that “meeting”…” Opie hinted and Piney recoiled as he’d already heard about it.
Jax’s entire face lit up with fury.
“I KNEW IT!” He snapped and Bella sighed.
“JesusfuckingChrist. What is this?! Some sort of intervention? You know this is something I have to do!”
“Fine. Go. But if you go alone then you truly go alone. If you’re going to act like we have no say in this… Then you’re no longer a Winston.” Piney cruelly put and Jax cringed.
“Gramps…” Bella sputtered in disbelief.
“Leave us!” Piney ordered the room and Bella recoiled.
It was a rarity to see Piney this mad, even more so with her being at the receiving end. The others exited the penthouse and Piney hauled off and slapped her. Bella regarded her grandfather in downright shock and he was quick to hug her afterward.
“I’ve never spanked your ass, but I’m starting to see that you obviously needed it!”
Piney dropped his hold then checked her over. He grimaced at the sight of his own handprint. Bella’s teeth were ground together and she had tears streaming down her face.
“What I do… Is no different from that of the club! I fight for my family! If you want to disown me over that then so be it! I won’t have you or uncle Op getting killed over something I GOT MYSELF INTO! Can you not see that?! That whole Diablo nightmare was risky enough. I can’t do that shit again. I DID THIS! NOT YOU! NOT UNCLE OP! NOT JACKSON! I FUCKED MYSELF OVER! THIS IS MY MESS TO CLEAN AND I WON’T HAVE ANYONE ELSE’S BLOOD SHED OVER IT!”
“You didn’t do this. I know my granddaughter. You would NEVER willingly get yourself involved with the fucking mafia! You’re not that stupid! You might be a little on the wild side but you got a good head about your shoulders. You got yourself into this mess BECAUSE of your family! Diablo threatened to have our heads, right? He is the one that had you running guns for these sons of bitches. And you did EVERYTHING you could in order to keep us alive. So get your goddamn head out of your ass and realize that’s what Winstons do. No matter how sticky or crazy the situation is… We fight for one another! AND TO THE FUCKING DEATH IF THAT’S WHAT IT TAKES! We just got you back. So don’t you stand there and tell me you’re about to take on the fucking mafia, on your own! That’s not how this works. You fought for us. You fought for our VP’s son and now we fight for you. So suck it up, princess! You’re not doing this on your own. And if you even try it… I’ll take off my belt and beat your little ass, until I knock some fucking sense into you!”
Bella let out a wretched laugh and poured herself a couple shots at the penthouse bar. She eyed her grandfather as she downed those shots.
“FUUUUUCK!” She growled as she threw the shot glass into the sink and it shattered.
Bella clenched the area of her gut then leaned over the bar. Piney sighed and placed a hand along her shoulder.
“Let’s take a little trip.” He said giving it a bit of a squeeze.
Bella lifted her head and regarded her grandfather’s reflection in the bar mirror. Piney dangled the keys to his trike about.
“Come on… It’s time you see what us Sons are really about.”
She followed her grandfather outside.
“We’ll be back…” He said and this had Opie and Jax looking to one another in question.
“Jesus…” Bella whispered as Piney walked her through their private armory.
“All of this is SAMCRO’s?”
“This is enough for a fucking army!” Bella said picking up one of the grenades.
“I thought SAMCRO dealt with “guns”.”
“Guns… rocket launchers, grenades… What’s the difference?”
“Several years to life…” Bella murmured looking ill.
Piney chuckled on this.
“Not funny. Each of you could face some serious time if you were ever caught.”
“Tell me something I don’t know.”
Bella sighed then put the grenade back where she got it. She grabbed one of the AK-47s and looked it over.
“All of this?”
“Yep all IRA and of course what was left of Diablo’s.”
Piney picked up one of the assault rifles and tossed it over.
“Ever fired one of those?”
“Don’t see why not.”
Piney had her follow him out back and he set up a few of their practice dummies. He fired the first round as an example. Bella shrugged and took position once it was her turn.
“Now that… was awesome!” She announced after.
“What about one of the rocket launchers?!” Bella said with a mischievous grin.
“Don’t be an idiot…”
“I shouldn’t have hit ya…” Piney softly stated.
“I’m sorry. I would’ve put a bullet in anyone else for pullin’ that shit.”
“I know you are. But that’s not the point. You’ve had enough beatings to last you a lifetime. Last thing you need is me adding to it. You’re a good kid, always were. Even now… despite what you think. Bella, you’re Murphy’s Law’s bitch. Sorry to say but you really do have the worst luck. Trouble goes out its way to find you. Jackson Teller is a fine example of that too.”
“Not where I’m going with this… Just watch your back with him. He’s a good kid. But he’s just as damaged as you are and I’m not so sure that’s a good thing when it comes to a relationship.”
“And what you prefer? Some jock in a sweater vest? A preacher maybe?”
“Personally, I could go for a double d nurse.” Piney said whilst wiggling his brows.
“That’s so gross.”
“Not really. You should try one!”
Bella followed her grandfather back into the building. He headed into another area of the room and tossed something over.
“Bulletproof vest. I want you to take it. Wear it whenever needed and you’ll know damn well when it is.”
“You want me to wear a bulletproof vest?”
“Russians… that’s nothing to scoff at. You’ll wind up dead with that frame of mind.”
Piney went on to hand her a few more things. Such as a gun and knife holster, a grenade, and one of the assault rifles.
“I can’t take these…”
“Your club will see that they’re missing.”
“And I’ll answer for it… You’re my granddaughter and I won’t have you going into this blindly. Now you’re surprisingly skilled as fuck. I’ll give you that. But that shit with Diablo… that’s NOTHING in comparison to what you’re about to face. These fuckers will torture and rape your ass, before they even consider killing you. And to them THAT’S showing you mercy! And heaven forbid if you ever end up in fucking Russia. We’ll never see your ass again! So laugh all you want to… but once you see what I’m talking about. You won’t be laughing. You’ll be shitting yourself!”
Piney cleared his throat then leaned back against one of the tables. He folded his arms about his chest and nodded her direction.
“Opie told me about what Renee and Charlie pulled…”
Bella grimaced and Piney gave a simple nod.
Bella nodded and Piney sighed.
“Look kid, you have every reason to hate the fucking world right now. But don’t let that cloud your thoughts. You gotta think. I get that you care about us, Jax, and Abel. You’re forgetting one thing however…”
“And that would be?”
“What it would do to us if we lost you…”
When Piney and Bella returned Opie and Jax were playing a game of pool with Dizzy and Derk.
Jax nodded Bella’s way and she drew back a hesitant breath.
“Can we talk, in private?”
“Why? So you can turn right around and tell my uncle?” She bitterly spat and Opie sent her a scolding glance.
Bella rolled her eyes but followed Jax into her bedroom.
“Be mad. That’s fine. It’s better than the alternative.”
“You had no right to listen in…” Jax was quick to place a finger along her lips.
“Slow the fuck down, will ya. I didn’t eavesdrop. I went on a hunch, that’s all.”
“One phone call told you what I was up to?”
“Add the blocked ID to that and…”
“YOU WENT THROUGH MY PHONE?!”
“It wasn’t like that! Dammit baby, can’t you see that I give actually a shit. That’s all this is about. You know me! I would never invade your privacy like that. Not unless I knew you were in some sort of trouble and I was obviously right. You wanna give me hell. FINE! Give me all the hell you want. I don’t give a FUCK! As long as you live long enough to keep dealing it. I’ll take whatever I can get!”
Bella pinched her eyes shut and Jax ran his hands along her shoulders.
“I love you.” He said and went on to cup her chin.
“Look at me…” Jax slipped into his Dom side and backed her up against the wall.
He knew this was the best way of getting her attention. He’d never taken it outside their sex life before but he felt the need to get his point across.
“I already lost you once. I’m not losing you again. So here’s what you’re going to do.” Jax planted his hands up against the wall and leaned into her ear.
“You’re going back out there and you’re going to listen to whatever me, Op, Piney, and Dizzy have to say. And you’re going to shut the fuck up and really listen. I mean it, Bella darlin’. This is me at my most serious of moments. Do NOT push me on this one. Now let’s go!”
Jax seated Bella down on the couch then nodded upon the other three.
“She’s going to sit there and listen, without interruption.”
Opie sent Jax an odd glance but didn’t comment. Opie cleared his throat and sat before Bella on the coffee table.
“Look at me, kid.”
Bella lifted her eyes and Opie reached out and took her hand into his own.
“We’re not doing this to gain up on you. We’re doing this because we give a damn. I’ve said all I can think of already and so has pops. How many scares does it take before you’ll willingly turn to us? Why do you feel as if everything is on your shoulders and you’re in this alone?”
Bella closed her eyes and Jax swallowed back the knot that was forming within his throat, as she had a single tear trickle on down her face. Opie reached over and wiped it away with his thumb.
“Answer the question.” Jax demanded and Bella’s hands balled up into fists.
“Because?” He prompted.
“Because my parents are dead and it was MY FAULT! And I’ll be damned if I lose one of you because of my BULLSHIT!” Bella was shaking all over and Opie shook his head in disbelief.
“Renee and Charlie are dead because of that fucked up vampire cult!”
“And who introduced me to that cult, huh?! MY FUCKED UP DRUGGY BOYFRIEND! THIS IS NO DIFFERENT FROM THAT AND YOU KNOW IT. I GOT MYSELF INTO ANOTHER SITUATION WHERE EVERYONE AROUND ME IS AFFECTED!”
“You think we don’t get what that’s like?” Jax piped in and Piney nodded knowing where he was going with this.
“Us Sons face this kind of shit all the time. Each of us have families we care about. And our everyday decisions affect EACH of them. One wrong move is all it takes and we could lose everything. Why do you think I want to get out of guns?! It’s like you said baby – it’s bloody business and I won’t have my son cleaning up after me. Not the way JT did. Hell no.”
“Wait… What?” Piney questioned and Jax sighed.
“That’s right. I was going to bring up it at the next meeting. Op already knew…”
“And you think Clay’s going to follow through with that?” Piney uttered in a mocking manner.
“It doesn’t matter. I’ll find a way to make him and everyone else at that table understand. We can’t keep doing this! We have to get out and ASAP!”
“Jesus, kid…” Piney uttered looking ill.
“Come on, Piney. This right here is a fine example. Do you want your granddaughter agreeing to what we have? Could you imagine…? She’d never be free. She’d spend the rest of her days as their bitch!”
“And just what do you think will become of us when we tell the IRA we want out? Did you think about that shit?”
“Alright… So live by example and tell your granddaughter what SHE should do when this Mr. Putlova blackmails her into working for him.”
Jax leaned back and merely waited.
“When he threatens to take one of our lives, let him!” Piney said whilst throwing his hands in the air and Jax gritted his teeth on this.
“No. That’s not how this works. She’s going to fight, just as we are. She’s going to tell that motherfucker to take a goddamn hike and when he won’t take no for an answer… We’re going to be out in the shadows waiting. One move… that’s all it takes and we’ll be on his ass.”
“Great. That sounds perfect! Let’s make enemies all around. We’ll piss of the Russian Mafia first then we’ll turn around and tell the IRA to stick it where the sun don’t shine. Hell, let’s go all out and do it with our pants down and our asses in the air.”
“I don’t understand… I thought you were all about getting Bella out of this!”
“Yeah… Until I found out we were going to double up the stakes with the fucking IRA. Russians? That’s a damn near death sentence in itself. You go and pile on the Irish as well and you might as well kiss all this goodbye. We’ll be dead before the years over!”
“I never said we were going into this with the IRA directly. We handle this FIRST. Then we worry on getting out from under the IRA. I’m not exactly incompetent.”
“Could’ve fooled me. Why don’t you act like the actual VP and let Clay handle the bigger shit, son.”
“Pops…” Opie warned and Jax let out this miserable laugh.
“It’s my job as the VP to put myself out there and point this shit out!”
“No. It’s your job to do whatever your president says and not act like a god damn idiot! There’s a reason JT couldn’t get out. I’m guessin’ you’re going by those fucking manuscripts of his… Well if you’ve gotten to the end then you’d realize why his vision failed. There is no getting out.”
“Alright. Sorry Bella baby, you’re fucked according to the old man. You have no choice but to drop to your knees and suck this motherfucker’s dick!” Jax spat with a flushed face.
“Watch it, son…” Piney warned.
Dizzy had kept quiet the entire time, until now. She cleared her throat and everyone looked her direction.
“I hate to break up this manly feud of yours… but aren’t we here for HER?! Maybe SAMCRO business should be SAMCRO business.”
Opie nodded in full agreement and Jax winced once he realized what he and Piney had done.
“You’re right. I’m sorry.” He sincerely put and Piney rolled his eyes.
“Let’s just focus on getting my granddaughter out of this ordeal then we’ll focus on that scatterbrained idea of yours.”
Jax let out a miserable laugh.
“Whatever you say, old man.”
“Look, you have no choice but to go to this meeting. If you don’t… he’ll hunt your ass down. Just tell us the time and place and we got it from there.” Opie said looking as if he’d be sick.
“You think Mr. Putlova’s going alone?” Bella scoffed.
“Oh we know how these Russian fuckers work. Trust me.” Jax put out there and Bella sighed.
“All the more reason I should go alone. If he suspects anything…”
“We won’t give him reason to. Well go about this incognito as possible. And you… Well you’re going to be your badass self and keep your cool. Understood? Let us worry about everything else.”
“Us as in SAMCRO and the Phantoms.” Dizzy added and Jax nodded.
“That’s right. We got this. We’ll make this Russian king our bitch.”
“At what price?” Bella questioned.
“Blood will be shed. Why do you think I wanted to go about this alone? Risking the life of one is by far better than risking the lives of multiple people. I die… It’s over. It’s that simple. Someone else dies… It becomes a never ending game of chess. And everyone knows the queen must fall at some point. That’s how this works. I’m sorry, Jackson. But that’s the only logical way of going about this.”
“This isn’t chess. You’re not some game piece. You’re fucking Wraith. You earned that name for a reason. And it’s time you show what it’s like to rise again. Only you’re better and stronger and you have an entire army to back you up. THAT’S how this works. Got it?”
“No. I’m not giving you a choice and I know that Op, Piney, and Dizzy will back me up on this. You’re not doing this alone and if you even attempt it… I swear to GOD I will hogtie your ass and throw you in a basement somewhere, until we get this shit sorted out for you.”
The three of them nodded in agreement.
“So give us the date, time, and place. You do your part and we’ll do ours.”
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