Chapter 17 – Song On Fire
I do not own Twilight, SOA, Nickelback, or anything youtube related.
“This is beautiful.” Bella whispered in awe as Jax parked at the lake.
He smiled then looked to his son.
“You up for a swim, little man?”
Abel grinned and kicked his tiny feet about.
“Thought we could have a picnic afterward.” He said as he hopped out of the truck.
Bella grabbed Abel’s diaper bag and stepped out as well.
“Well yeah. Why do you think I stopped by the house first?”
“I’ve never been here…” Bella admitted and walked over towards the water.
The young woman bent down and ran her fingers through it.
“So clear and surprisingly at the right temp for swimming.” She said as she could make out Jax and Abel’s reflection.
“Right?! This is one of my favorite places, aside from the cabin that is.” He said with a smirk.
“Speaking of which you and I need to go back there one day.”
“Do we now?”
“Oh yeah… Have us another naked weekend.” He uttered while wiggling his brows.
Bella snorted on this. She raised her brows however as Jax stripped down to his boxers. He placed a swimmer on his son then headed into the water.
“You joinin’ us or what?” He hollered out and Bella laughed.
“In my skivvies?!”
“Damn right! Get your ass in here!”
Bella laughed then stripped down to her bra and panties. Jax let out a catcall whistle once she entered the water. Bella disappeared and Abel giggled as she came up and splashed them.
Abel was in attempts to splash her back and Jax laughed.
“Let’s get her!” Jax announced and aided his son in the splashing.
Bella vanished beneath the surface yet again.
“Uh oh… Where’d she go?!” Jax playfully questioned and Abel got this wide eyed look to him.
Jax chuckled however as she jerked his boxers down then came back up.
“That’s fucked up.”
Bella shrugged and Jax handed Abel over as he pulled his boxers back up. Jax found himself in a bit of awe though as Abel had his arms wrapped around Bella and was kissing her. Bella smiled and pecked him on the cheek in return. The man reared back when Bella took his son beneath the surface. When they came up, Abel was in a fit of giggles and begging to go under once again. Bella made chipmunk cheeks as she showed Abel how to go about holding his breath. Abel mimicked this and Jax died of laughter as they dived back under. Jax felt a tap along his shoulder as appeared behind him.
“Damn… He can hold his breath that long?!”
“Oh yeah, he loves it. Right, buddy?”
Abel nodded and was in efforts to splash his father. Bella took notice and had Abel lean against her as she grabbed his feet and used them to splash his father. Abel was laughing so hard he had tears rolling down his cheeks. His father pretended to be hit and fell into the water. Bella let out a fake gasp. “We got him!”
Jax grabbed Bella’s ankle then pulled them beneath the surface. He sent them a menacing smile after. “No da-ee!” Abel scolded after they reached the surface. Jax chuckled but kissed Bella. Abel tilted his head on this and used his tiny hands to try and push his father away from her. Jax raised his brows on this and kissed Bella yet again.
“No!” Abel scolded and tried shoving him away once more.
Bella laughed as Abel actually looked to be jealous. Jax tested his son’s patience once again. Abel gritted those baby teeth of his and tried yet again to push his father away from Bella.
“No. No.” Abel disciplined and hugged Bella close.
Jax lost all composure and died of laughter.
“Well I think it’s safe to say my son thinks you belong to HIM!”
Jax made his way behind Bella, wrapped his arms around her waist then rested his head against her shoulder.
“So when are we doing this whole exchanging of vows bit?”
“Sorry Jackson, I’m afraid I’ve fallen for another.” She teased with a wink Abel’s direction.
“Go figure. Should’ve never left you two alone.”
Abel kept his hold on Bella but was eyeing his father down. Jax couldn’t help but to be tickled by his son’s reaction.
“You stealin’ my girl, son?”
Abel nodded as if he understood what his father had said. Bella laughed in response.
“Dammit. How can I compete with that?!”
“Right?! Face it Jackson, you’re screwed.”
Abel’s eyes were starting to bat.
“Someone’s tired…” Bella whispered.
“Here…” Jax grabbed ahold of him then headed back towards the truck.
Once he had Abel toweled off and changed. He placed him into the car seat then set him up under a tree and in the shade. Bella exited the water and Jax just stood there and gawked at the sight before him. Her bra and panties were white and he could make out EVERYTHING.
“Ho-ly shit. That’s hot as fuck.”
Bella looked down and blushed. She was quick to cover herself and Jax chuckled as he tossed a towel over.
“I’ll have to remember that one.” He uttered and made his way over so he could steal another peek.
“God damn…” He murmured and lowered the straps to her bra, exposing her erect nipples.
Jax pressed himself against her then leaned into her ear.
“If Abel wasn’t here I’d take you up against that truck and fuck your brains out.”
Bella giggled in response and Jax kissed along her shoulder and neck.
“Not even joking… I want you, in a bad fucking way.” He uttered in absolute agony.
Jax heatedly kissed her then put his forehead to hers as he fought to gain composure. He cleared his throat while doing his best to focus.
“So back to my question… When?”
“Well that depends… Is this taking place this year or next?”
Bella nodded as she got dressed.
“Bella, I’d marry you today if we had a way.”
“Would you now..?”
“Absolutely. I’m ready. You just name the time and place and I’m there.”
“How about the cabin? There’s plenty of room and at least it’s something sentimental.”
“Perfect! Now we gotta come up with a date.”
“Hmm how ‘bout December 9th?”
“Have you forgotten already?”
Bella narrowed her eyes in question.
“Oh Bella baby… That’s when we first met.”
Bella regarded Jax in utter surprise.
“You remember the date?!”
“Oh yeah. Time, place, date, what you were wearing, you name it…”
Bella found herself rather smitten by this.
“I remember everything, my little one night cuddlier.”
Bella snorted in memory.
“That’s just a couple months away.”
“Then we better come up with a time and get those invitations out!”
“Are you sure about this?”
“Like I said… I’d marry you now if we had the means.”
Bella drew back a breath on this. She looked to Abel who was sound asleep then back to Jax.
“Alright, December it is. Say… Seven?”
“Done!” He agreed.
“Awesome. So we’re really doing this…” Jax said as if in awe.
“Hmm, Bella Marie Teller. I like the sound of that.” He uttered with a true beam and kissed her.
“I honestly can’t wait. I can’t believe you’re going to be my wife.”
He didn’t care how foolish he sounded. This felt like a dream come true to someone like Jackson Teller. He’d had the worst luck when it came to women and for him to finally find THE ONE. This had the man on cloud nine and for once he was looking forward to the future. With Wendy and Tara…? He was blind. Jax couldn’t see past the present and both relationships felt like a broken record, both ending with hurt and disappointment.
“Just give it a year or two. You’ll be eating those words.”
Jax chuckled and shook his head in disagreement.
“Nah… No regrets. You’ll see.”
“I hope so.”
“I know so. I just need you to trust that. Hold on…”
Jax headed to the truck and grabbed a few things from the back, one of those things being a picnic basket. He laid out a blanket and gestured for her to lie down.
He sighed then took it upon himself to scoop her up and place her onto the blanket.
“Is this what you grabbed from the house?”
He nodded then plopped down beside her. He brought out a few items from the picnic basket.
Bella laughed as there were a couple of beers, sandwiches, chips, grapes, and strawberries.
“Pretty smooth, Jackson.”
“I know.” He uttered with a cocky grin.
“I grabbed a few things for Abel as well but wasn’t counting on him knocking out.”
“He did that last time I took him swimming.”
“I imagine it wears him out.”
Jax looked over as Abel was snoring.
“He’s got the cutest snore.” Bella remarked.
“Right?! He almost sounds like one of those cartoon characters with the whistling snore.”
“I’ve thought that exact thing when I first heard him!”
Jax stuffed a grape into Bella’s mouth then opened her beer.
“Sorry it’s not wine or champagne. Last minute so…”
“Pffft, who needs that shit when you got beer?!”
“That’s my girl.”
Jax bit into a strawberry and Bella chewed on that bottom lip as she observed.
“What?” He questioned taking notice.
“That’s kind of sexy…”
Bella nodded and Jax sent her a wink as he bit into another one and took his time chewing and swallowing. He raised his brows as Bella ravished his mouth directly after. He chuckled against her lips then pulled her into his lap. The two were in another world, as they ended up in a heated make out session. Their little moment was interrupted however as Abel woke up crying. Bella lifted her head and her jaw flew open.
“Ants!” She hollered and rolled off of Jax and crawled towards Abel.
Bella was quick to get Abel out of the car seat and frantically knocked the ants off his legs and feet. Jax grabbed a first aid kit from the truck then hurried on back. He found some ointment and used it to doctor the areas.
“Hey… He’s okay, baby.” Jax assured as Bella was panic stricken and rocking Abel.
“See…?” He whispered as Abel’s cries had died down and they were barely sniffles now.
Bella nodded but her hands were trembling as she checked him over. Jax ran a soothing hand along her back and kissed Abel’s boo boos. Bella laid back down but with Abel in her hold. Jax swallowed back at the sight before him. Bella ran her fingers through Abel’s hair and quietly hummed as she consoled him. Abel put his thumb into his mouth and closed his eyes. Jax lay beside them. The connection between her and Abel was unbelievable. Bella had truly gone out and beyond and she hadn’t stopped. He knew she loved his son, just as much as Abel loved her. This was something Abel never had. He needed a real mother.
“How do you feel about being his mother?”
Bella looked over, like a deer caught in headlights. Jax laughed and cleared his throat.
“Sorry. I shouldn’t have put you on the spot like that. What I’m trying to say is that Abel could use someone like you in his life.”
“Jackson… I don’t know anything about being a mother.”
“The hell you don’t! Look at you. You shot up, before I even had the chance! That right there is a mother’s instinct.”
Bella looked to Abel in thought.
“We’re not even married yet…”
“I know. But I feel like it’s something we need to discuss. Whatever you decide… it won’t change my mind. We’re getting married, no matter. I suppose what I’m really doing is proposing on Abel’s behalf, since he can’t do it himself. If he had a choice… I know he’d want you to be his mother. And that’s where I’m going with this. If you decide that’s what you want he would only know you as that figure in his life. You wouldn’t be his stepmother, Bella. You’d be his actual MOM. You understand what I’m saying?”
“You want Abel to know me as his mother?”
“Like would he actually believe I gave birth to him?!”
“I thought we’d cross that road when we get there. But for now… it doesn’t matter if you gave birth to him or not. You’re doing everything a mother would do and in the long run. That’s all Abel will truly look back on. I don’t think he’s going to care whether you birthed him or not. He loves you and always will. Hell, I dare someone to say something along the lines of you not being his biological mother. He’d probably go ape shit on them.”
Bella snorted on this.
“I’m serious. Look at that hold he has on you now. Hell, look at the hold WE both have on you. We’re not letting go, darlin’. You’re ours.”
Bella kissed Abel’s forehead.
“If you decide that’s what you want… We’ll make it official once we get married. I’ll get that shit put on paper!”
“And what if Wendy contest to that?”
“She won’t and if she does. I’ll deal with her.”
“As in blackmail?” Bella curiously asked.
“If that’s what it takes.” Jax admitted and Bella nodded.
“Say I don’t agree to this… And Wendy decides to fight you for some sort of custody…”
“Bella, don’t let what COULD happen affect your decision. If this isn’t something you want. You just let me know. Like I said it won’t fuck up our future. I just wanted to know where you stand when it comes to my son. I need to know that in order to teach him who you are exactly. If you wish to play the role of stepmother only, that’s more than alright. If you wish to become more, just let me know. That way I can get Abel in the right frame of mind when it comes to our little family.”
Bella handed Abel over as the cellphone rang. Jax narrowed his eyes as she ignored the call.
“I don’t want to be his stepmom… Besides, aren’t stepmother’s considered “evil”?!” Bella uttered with this repulsed look about her.
Jax chuckled but tilted his head wondering where she was going with this. Bella stood up and paced the area.
“And I sure as hell don’t want Wendy playing the part of mommy dearest.”
Bella came to a halt then pivoted back around.
“Alright, let’s do it.”
“Are you sure?”
Jax gathered this true beam then looked to his son.
“You hear that, son? Got yourself a mom, kickass one too!”
Bella smiled in response.
“I’ll get that taken care of, just as soon as we’re married, darlin’.”
Part of him hated how he went about that. He felt like a snake. But he couldn’t bear the thought of Wendy being introduced as Abel’s mother. Jax would much rather claw his own face off then to watch as that bitch claimed ANY rights to HIS son. He knew this was going against Opie’s wishes as well. But Jax had to think about his son and what was best for him, especially after Wendy’s little threat. He’d hopes of Bella scaring the bitch straight. But with Wendy?! You never knew… Jax wanted to make certain all bases were covered. That and he couldn’t think of a better mother for his son. He hadn’t any doubt that Bella was just what he needed and they’d wind up inseparable.
“That’s pretty ingenious actually…” Jax remarked as Bella revealed the truth behind her tattoo shop visit.
“I think it’s safe to say you certainly have your resources.”
“As do you…”
Jax smiled then pulled into the clubhouse parking lot.
“You really think they want ME here?”
“Doesn’t matter. We’re getting married. You have just as much right to be here as Abel. They can suck it up. Besides, Op and Piney are around here somewhere. So I dare someone to say something.”
Bella exited the truck and went on to get Abel out from his car seat.
“Thought I’d help the guys out for a couple hours. Why don’t you head on in? If you’re tired you and Abel can head into the backroom.
“You could’ve taken me home you know…” Bella taunted and Jax sent her a smug grin.
“Now why would I do that? I got you right where I want you.” He uttered before smacking her on the ass.
“I won’t be long.” He called as he grabbed a clipboard and got to work.
Bella headed into the clubhouse and nodded upon her uncle. He was sitting at the bar, talking to Chibs. Opie shot to his feet then made his way over.
“Didn’t expect to see you here.” He admitted and Bella hugged him.
“Truth? Neither did I…” Bella confessed and nodded upon Chibs in greeting.
He sent her a wink and headed out. Opie let out a miserable sigh however, once he saw the ring on her finger.
“Of course…” He muttered then shook his head in disapproval.
“Umm okay…” Bella said as Opie took Abel from her hold then handed him over to Happy.
Happy tossed him into the air and Abel giggled when he caught him. Opie wrapped his arm around his niece then led her to the rooftop.
“Sit.” He ordered and Bella sighed as she took a seat.
Opie sat beside her and there was a minute of silence.
“Are you sure this is what you want?”
“Bell, I really need you to think on this one. Vowing yourself to the VP of this club is a big deal. And from the looks of things… He won’t be VP for long. He’ll become president. And I’ve seen what that can do to a man. Clay’s a fine example of letting that position get to his head.”
“Jackson isn’t like that.”
“Bell, we’re all like that, myself included. Even if we don’t mean for it to happen, it does. Jax might not lose himself fully, but he will change. The gavel does that, as to his reason for not wanting it in the first place.
“All that does is prove that he always belonged there…”
Opie looked to his niece in question and Bella gave a mere nod.
“I never wanted to lead my own crew and look at me now. I was never one to lead. You know this.”
Opie nodded in agreement.
“But now that I’m in this position… All I can think about is doing right, by my Phantoms, my friends, and my family. And I haven’t any doubt that’s what Jackson will do for this club. He’s ready. He has that fire in his eyes. I’ve seen it. All he needs is for that vote to go through.”
“We’re working on that.”
Opie cleared his throat however and nodded amongst himself.
“Jax came to me yesterday.”
“Oh?!” Bella curiously put.
“Yeah… Asked for your hand in marriage.”
Bella snapped her uncle a look of flat-out shock.
“I told him no.”
Opie let out a miserable laugh.
“Jackson Teller, the VP of SAMCRO, your best friend, came to you and asked for my hand in marriage, like that of a perfect gentleman, and you said NO?!”
Opie rather cringed on this but nodded.
“What in the flying fuck is wrong with you?! Do you have any idea how hard that was for him! I could only imagine how that must’ve made him feel. You’re his best friend, you dick!”
Opie raised his brows on this and Bella rolled her eyes.
“Oh don’t even give me that look. I swear… you can be such an ASSHOLE!”
Opie shook his head.
“I can’t believe you did that to him…” She whispered rather heartbrokenly.
“I guess this means you don’t wanna give me away then.”
Bella lowered her head and Opie sighed. He wrapped his arm around her then rested his forehead against her temple.
“Bell, if you want me to give you away. I will. All I care about is making one hundred percent certain this is what you want. Once you’re in… there is no getting out. This isn’t your typical marriage. The moment you walk down that aisle and say your I do’s. That’s it. You’re not just marrying Jax. You’re marrying the entire club and everyone else involved. There is no out.”
“I don’t want one.”
“You might be eating those words later.”
Bella thought on the irony of his words, considering she told Jax that very thing.
“Is this what you told Donna when you married her? Did you warn her of the pros and cons of being married to you?!”
“Actually yes, I did. I didn’t want her caught flatfooted, just as I don’t want that for you.”
“But you still fight about it…”
“That we do… I don’t think she ever believed me to be honest.”
“Well that isn’t the case here. I know what I’m getting myself into. I’m not exactly new to trouble.”
“You got that right.”
Bella elbowed her uncle and he let out a painful grunt.
“You’re still an asshole…”
“Apologize to him.”
“You heard me. I want you to apologize to Jackson. Tell him you were wrong and that you support his decision.”
“I’m not doing that.”
“Then you’re not walking me down the aisle.”
“You’re fucking blackmailing me?!”
“Damn straight. If you want to walk me down that aisle then you had better apologize to YOUR BEST FRIEND!”
“What the fuck…”
“Fine. I’ll ask gramps to give me away instead.”
“The hell you will!”
“Then get in that garage and make amends, now!”
“You little shit.”
Bella smiled on this.
“Learned from the best, Uncle Op!”
Opie rolled his eyes but came to his feet. He started to walk away and Bella looked to the sky.
“Love you too.” She said and Opie froze in his tracks.
“You don’t have to say it. I know.” Bella uttered and Opie sort of laughed as he headed off.
“What do you want?” Jax practically snapped as Opie was peering over his shoulder.
“Bell tells me she said yes…”
“And I’m guessing you have a problem with that?” Jax murmured as he continued working.
“Only if you fuck it up.”
Jax stopped what he was doing and pivoted around.
“You better not.”
“Tell you what… I hurt her. You can put a bullet in my head and be done. That’s what I’d want anyhow.”
“Oh, you hurt her and there is no easy out. You will suffer.”
Jax held his hand out and Opie gave it quite a squeeze as he shook it.
“Alright then. Guess I’m giving her away and all that shit.”
“Yep.” Jax uttered and went back to what he was doing.
Opie drew back a breath however as he looked to his niece. She was sitting on the roof still and with her legs dangling about as she drank her beer.
“I’m sorry…” Opie damn near whispered.
Jax froze but kept his back to Opie.
“I was wrong. Despite what you think… I do appreciate the fact that you came to me first. I know you didn’t have to do that.”
“You’re right. I didn’t.”
“But you did… And I know that took some balls. Big ones. You know what Bell means to me.”
“Take care of her, Jackson.”
Jax swallowed back as Opie patted him on the shoulder before exiting the garage.
“You alright, kid?” Piney asked as Bella was holding Abel but staring off into space.
When she wouldn’t answer he reached over and tapped her on the arm. Bella jumped and Piney raised his brows.
“I was askin’ if you were alright.”
“Ya seem a little sidetracked.”
“Just a lot on my mind, that’s all.”
“Heard about you and Jax.”
“And what did you hear exactly?”
“That you’re getting’ hitched.”
Bella smiled in response. Piney drew back a hesitant breath.
“Just be sure this is what you really want, before you vow your life to him. And before you go on one of your rants, I’d say that no matter who you were marryin’.”
Bella nodded and Piney came to his feet. He kissed her cheek then headed to the bar. Bella looked to Abel in thought.
“You hungry?” She asked as he was gnawing on his fingers.
“Let’s see what daddy packed.”
Bella came to her feet and was making her way to the truck, when Bobby stopped her at the club doors.
“What are you doing here?!”
Piney caught wind of this from the bar.
“I don’t think that’s any of YOUR business.”
Bobby sort of laughed and used his body to barricade the door so she couldn’t get past him.
“You killed a member of YOUR crew, on OUR property, shot up our bar, shot our president, and think that’s all fine and dandy, because you’re on the VP’s dick.” He maliciously whispered.
Bella raised her brows on this.
“Your president has given me nothing but hell, since day one, not to mention how bad he FUCKED me over.”
“He didn’t fuck you over. You were in that mess, long before we even knew you! Between you and me… this entire club would be better off without you. You coming up missing… was the best thing to Jax and the Winstons.”
Bella let out a gasp as Piney seemingly came out from nowhere and socked Bobby across the face.
“NOOO!” Bella shouted as Bobby returned the favor.
Piney kicked the door open and shoved Bobby outside. He did this in order to get him away from his granddaughter and Abel. This caught the attention of the others working in the garage.
“HEY!” Chibs, Jax, and Opie hollered and were making their way over.
Piney sent Bobby another heavy hit and Bobby staggered back and nearly lost his footing.
Piney pointed to him afterward.
“Stay away from my granddaughter!”
Bobby laughed and used the back of his hand to wipe the blood off his lip.
“Say something like that again… I fuckin’ dare you, brother.” Piney challenged.
Bobby eyed Bella down as he spit a puddle of blood onto the asphalt. This had her thinking back to Clay and how he looked upon her. She let out this wretched laugh and handed Abel over to Jax.
“I should go.”
Bella looked to her uncle.
“Mind taking me home?”
“No. We’re not doing that shit. If anyone has a problem with you being here… They can deal with me!” Jax made clear.
“Alright! I have problem!” Bobby howled out and Jax nodded.
“Then you can meet me in the chapel and we’ll talk this shit out.”
Bobby nodded and headed that way. Bella cringed on this and Jax pecked her on the cheek as he handed Abel back over.
“I’ll handle it.” He assured then followed Bobby inside.
“Jesus…” Bella whispered and was checking her grandfather over.
Piney shook his head then cupped her chin.
“Don’t you listen to a word he said. I mean it, Bella. Bobby’s just pissed and talkin’ out of his ass.”
“What’d he say?” Opie questioned and Chibs wondered that himself.
Piney repeated what was said and Opie gritted his teeth. Chibs sent Bella an apologetic glance on Bobby’s behalf. The Scot wrapped his arm around her shoulder then escorted her to the office. He knew she needed the escape. The man closed the door behind them and Bella leaned against the desk with Abel in her hold.
“Deep breaths, lass…”
Chibs walked on over and handed her a cigarette in exchange for Abel. He lit it for her then sat the desk.
He nodded and played with Abel while giving Bella a moment to collect herself. Once she finished, she sat at the chair before him.
“It won’t always be like this.” Chibs did his best to assure and Bella nodded.
“So ye and Jackie boy are gettin’ hitched…”
She nodded once again.
“Ye don’t seem very happy aboot it…”
“I am. But it’s rather hard to stay in that frame of mind when everyone’s at your throat about it.”
Chibs nodded in complete understanding.
“Eh, fuck what everyone else has ta say. It’s yer lives. If you and Jackie are happy, that’s all that matters. I think ye two were meant ta be.” He said this with slight envy. Ole Jackie boy was one lucky son of a bitch he found himself thinking.
“Thank you. It’s nice to hear someone say something positive, for once.”
“Aye. They’ll come around. Ye just gotta show them ye don’t give a shite what any of em think.”
“You know… I’m sitting here wondering just what the hell I did.”
“How do ya mean?”
“Clay had me on his radar and from the moment I first stepped foot in this clubhouse.”
“Actually, I think it was the moment ye became “Wraith”. Ye had our heads spinnin’ for sometime. I can’t believe it was ye we was huntin’ down.”
“Not by choice, believe me. You haven’t any idea just how much that fucked with my head, everytime. I couldn’t believe I had a standoff with you guys. Talk about fucking nuts!”
Chibs chuckled on this.
“Well I give ye one thing, lass. Wraith certainly gets yer blood goin’. Trust me, before we knew who ye were… ye were the talk of the clubhouse.”
“Not so sure how I feel about that.”
Chibs smiled in recollection. Wraith was the talk alright and there wasn’t a member of the MC that didn’t think she was a complete badass and hot as fuck, as most of them put it. And he would NEVER mention it for Opie’s sake but even he remarked on this a time or two. He could only imagine what the poor bastard thought at the reveal. Nothing like feeling like a complete perv and realizing you damn near had an incest moment with your own niece. Chibs laughed amongst himself and Bella raised her brows.
“Let’s just say things were interestin’ for a bit. Ye kept us Sons alive, in the best of ways. And ta be honest… I think Clay’s only problem is that you’re a little more badass than he is and a woman at that. He don’t like the idea of anyone pissin’ around his territory, never has. Ye know I’m rather curious…”
“What it would be like if Jackie were at the gavel instead. Ye’d both be runnin’ yer own crew and on equal terms. It’d be a true alliance, without the drama. I don’t see Jackie gettin’ all up in arms, because ye got yer own shite goin’.”
“You never know…”
“Why would ye think that?”
“Nothing would surprise me as of late.”
“Now that doesn’t sound like the girl I know…”
Abel grabbed a paperweight off of Gemma’s desk then handed it to Chibs.
“If there’s one thing I know… Is that Jackie’s proud of ya. He’s let me know that more than a handful of times. He thinks you’ve come far and will keep goin’ far. Jackie’s not aboot ta do anythin’ ta jeopardize yer progress, just as ye wouldn’t when it comes ta him. That’s what I meant about meant ta be. Ye get one another. He’s never had that before and somethin’ tells me ye haven’t as well. Ye can’t listen ta what everyone else says. Ye need to be the girl he fell for. The one that sticks her middle finger in the air and tells everyone ta PISS OFF! Yer gonna do whatcha want and that’s what ole Jackie boy loves abootcha, darlin’. Offerin’ ta head on home like ye did… that’s givin’ ole Bobby want he wants. He wants ya ta feel as if yer backed inta a corner, with nowhere else ta go. Don’t let him. Ye keep those feet planted and stay by yer man’s side. If anyone tries ta get between ye… ye just shove em on back. I guarantee Jackie boy will be right there with you. He’s not about ta let anything come between ya.”
“I think my main concern is making Jackson feel as if I’m too much. If you get my drift…”
“Ye don’t want him ta get the impression that yer towerin’ over him, right?”
Bella nodded and Chibs leaned back and as he bobbed Abel about on his knee.
“That would be a plague on our relationship. No matter how cool he might be with Wraith and her crew… If Wraith gets in his way…”
“Aye… And the same if he gets in yers. It’s two way street, as ta why ye gotta find that center ground and stick to it. It won’t be easy but ye’ll find it.”
They looked over as there was a knock on the door.
“Yeah?” Chibs called and the door opened.
Opie poked his head inside and nodded upon his niece.
Opie nodded and started to dart back out.
The man stopped in his tracks and spun back around.
“Did you apologize?”
Chibs narrowed his eyes in wonder but didn’t comment.
Bella smiled on this.
Opie gave a simple nod and went about his way. Chibs came to his feet then handed Abel back.
“Ye come up with a date yet?”
“Hm…” Chibs retrieved cigarette from his cut and popped it into his mouth.
“Why don’t I do the ceremony for ya? Save you some bread.”
“You can do that?!”
“Aye. Got yerself an ordained minister, right here. If ye don’t mind a Catholic weddin’.”
“Well shit…” Bella murmured and Chibs chuckled.
“Do I have to say my hail Marys’ and all that jazz?”
“Nah… I’d invite ya to the confession booth but I think Jackie boy might have a problem with that.” Chibs muttered with a playful wink.
“Well Mr. Telford, I do believe we have us a minister!”
“Well alright then. Ye just let me know the dets closer ta time and I gotcha from there, darlin’.”
“Thank you, Chibs.”
He nodded then kissed her and Abel’s foreheads on the way out.
Back in the chapel…
“So what’s your problem exactly?!” Jax challenged as he and Bobby were sitting at the table.
“What’s my problem?!” Bobby scoffed.
It was on the tip of this tongue to tell Jax how Wraith shot their president. But he was given specific orders not to. Bobby let out a bit of a growl instead and Jax raised his brows on this.
“That pussy must be really fuckin’ good if you’re THAT blind!”
“My old lady isn’t pussy.”
“Could’ve fooled me. Not that I blame you… If was tapping that on a nightly basis, I’d be pussy whipped too.”
Jax pressed his lips together and ground his teeth.
“Thin line you’re walking on. Watch yourself… I might not be your prez, but I am your VP.”
“And what are you going to do exactly? Kick me out? Demote me…? If I don’t bow down to your little trick?!”
Jax shot up and flipped the table over. He towered over Bobby and to Bobby’s great surprise, Jax had a fistful of his hair and a gun to his throat.
“Cut her down one more time… See where it gets you!”
“You’d choose pussy over a brother?!”
“I shouldn’t have to choose!”
“That’s not how these things work. She’s a threat to the club, Jax! Open your fuckin’ eyes and own up to what’s right before you!”
“Oh, my eyes are open alright. And what I see… Is a brother acting like a whiny little bitch and all because he’s not getting his way. You and Clay are about to be out voted, big time, and you know it. You’re scared as fuck and this is how you’re dealin’, by going after MY OLD LADY! The one thing you KNOW will piss me THE FUCK OFF! So here I am… holding a gun to a brother. Something I NEVER thought I’d do. But you’ve driven me to that point. I am SICK AND TIRED of you, Clay, and Tig pulling this underhanded shit. I get that I’m not your motherfuckin’ prez. But I will be… Just you wait. And you had better PRAY this day doesn’t come back to bite you in the ass. I would die for you Bobby, as I would any of you! But if you go after MY FAMILY, which includes that of my old lady, soon to be WIFE, I will cut you so fucking deep. you won’t be able to get back up again. I’ll turn you into the next Trager and believe me when I say I will make you take it to the hilt and have you choking on it. You wanna act like a little bitch; I’ll treat you like one. Elvis already died once. So don’t make me pull the trigger, because I’ll do it then I’ll sit your ass on that motherfucking porcelain throne when I’m done! I’m tired of the games and I’m no longer bitin’. And if you think I’m joking… You best look me in the eyes and second guess that shit again. I’m done, Bobby! I’ve been done. So what’s it goin’ to be? Me or Clay… That’s what you need to ask yourself. Cause THIS… is happening!”
Bobby had this look of absolute shock as Jax stormed on out of the chapel.
“Where is she?” Jax questioned as he made his way to the garage.
Chibs pointed towards the office and Jax headed that way. Jax entered the office to find Bella feeding Abel at the desk. Abel was begging for more, as she wiped his mouth clean.
“Hold on there, buddy.” She softly stated and he gobbled up the next spoonful of carrots.
“Such a big boy.”
Abel smiled and Jax’s heart skipped a beat. He cleared his throat letting his presence known. Bella lifted her eyes and he gave a mere nod as he entered the room and shut the door behind him.
“Likes those carrots, huh…”
“Oh yeah, I think they’re his favorite. Carrots and bananas, right Abel?!”
Jax smiled and sat on the desk.
“So…” Bella hinted and Jax drew back an uneasy breath.
Bella fed Abel another spoonful of carrots and locked eyes with Jax.
“Handled… as in you’re the bad guy now?”
She let out this miserable laugh.
“I’m right, aren’t I?”
“I need you to let me handle this. Don’t worry on it, alright?!”
“Jackson, I can’t have your guys turning on you because of me!”
“They won’t. Like I said… Let me worry on it.”
“Well, on a positive note… Chibs offered to do our wedding ceremony!”
“Yep. Seems as if he’s an ordained minister.
“Huh… The things you learn.”
“I’ll have to thank him.” Jax uttered but kept in mind that Chibs wanted to see him after work.
“I gotta get back but I wanted to make certain you were okay.”
“I’m fine. Do what you gotta do, Nathaniel.”
Jax narrowed his eyes on this and Bella smiled, rather mischievously.
Bella held up a copy of his birth certificate and Jax shook his head, looking somewhat embarrassed. He cleared his throat then strutted on over. He planted one hand along the table and the other along the back of her chair.
“Jackson… Nathaniel… Doesn’t matter, I’ll bring you to your knees and have you beggin’ for more.” He said in that come hither smirk of his.
This had Bella utterly breathless and all a quiver below. The VP’s greedy mouth took possession of hers. He let out a low growl and continued with his little persuasion. She couldn’t argue this if she tried. He had her right where he wanted and knew it. Jax marched on out the door and Bella just sat there, as if in a trance.
“Ye alright?!” Chibs questioned and Jax stuffed a cigarette into his mouth.
“Oh yeah.” The VP said behind a chuckle.
He loved getting here all flustered like that.
Jax pulled up to the penthouse but with a frown.
“Something wrong?” Bella asked as he parked the truck.
“What are we going to do about living arrangements?” He murmured and was looking towards the penthouse.
“Haven’t thought about that yet…” She admitted and Jax nodded.
Truth of the matter? Jax couldn’t picture himself living here. It was a bit too much. Not that he minded the luxury behind it, but that’s what bothered him most. This penthouse was nothing more than a red flag. Living somewhere like this and with the way he lived his life… This was sure to raise questions. That wasn’t something he needed. He didn’t care to have his old lady in that position either. But he knew if he asked her to move in now… she’d turn him down. It would be too much at once and he couldn’t bear the thought of running her off. One step at a time… He told himself. But deep down he wanted her to come on home – home as in with him and Abel. This wasn’t a home. At least not to him and he had a feeling that Bella felt the same way. Jax tilted his head however as something else came to mind.
“Maybe we should get a house, something that says us.”
Bella nodded and looked to be in thought. She wouldn’t voice it but she did prefer that considering the history he, Tara, and apparently Wendy had, in the very house he was in. That didn’t set right with her and it damn near felt like a curse.
“Alright, let’s get a house!”
“Awesome! I’ll start lookin’ around and let you know if anything seems promising.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
“I’m thinking four bedroom, two bath, two car garage?”
“Big kitchen and none of that mulch shit.”
Jax had a good laugh at this.
“I think Abel and I BOTH agree on that one.”
“Good. I hate that stuff. It’s not even a yard!”
“Besides, I’ve yet to see you with your shirt off, all hot and sweaty, from a full day’s yard work.”
Jax cocked a brow at this.
“We can arrange that. You come over this weekend and I’ll rock your socks off with that shit. Hell, I’ll sweat extra, just for you baby.”
“Got yourself a date!”
“Alright, better wear your shortest shorts. I hear it’s going to be a scorcher!”
“You’re such a dork.”
That wasn’t something he was used to hearing. In fact, Jax was certain no one had ever referred to him as a dork before.
“Hmm… Add a midriff to those shorts.”
Bella pecked him on the lips then she blew Abel a kiss.
“Love you!” She called on her way out.
“Love you too, darlin’.”
Jax made certain she got in alright then headed on over to Chibs’s.
When Jax pulled up Chibs was working on his bike. He stopped what he was doing then waved him on in. Jax followed him inside and Chibs went on to grab a couple beers from the fridge. Jax plopped down on the couch and Chibs handed one of the beers over then sat in a recliner across the way.
Chibs nodded then took a good pull off his beer.
“So yer gettin’ hitched.”
“Seems so. Bella tells me that you offered to do our ceremony?”
The Scot nodded.
“That’s really cool of you, Chibs.”
“Figured it was the least I could do with all the shite ye two are dealin’ with.”
Jax let out a miserable laugh.
“It really has been one thing after another. We’ve yet to truly celebrate. I mean we had a little getaway with Abel today. Still… I don’t know. Something just doesn’t feel right.”
Chibs looked to Abel in thought.
“That’s cause ye two need some one on one time. Why don’t I watch after the wee one tomorrow and ye two go out? Have yerself a nice dinner and drunken night of endless sex.”
“You wanna watch Abel?” Jax questioned in surprise.
Sure Chibs had watched him, more than a handful of times, but overnight?
“Why not…?” The Scot murmured with a shrug.
“I’d hate to put you out like that…”
“Look at me, Jackie boy. Leave the kid and get the fuck out of dodge. Ye need it. It’s written all over yer face. Like ye said… It’s been one thing after another. Ye and the little lass need some sort of escape, even if it’s just for the one night.”
“Alright… I’ll surprise her.” He murmured and Chibs nodded.
“Bring some flowers with ya, kid. Keep it classy.”
“Oh yeah even girls like Wraith eat that shite up. Trust me. Just get her some fuckin’ flowers.”
Jax chuckled on this.
“Alright, I’ll get her some flowers. But I’m not doing that whole chocolates bit.”
Chibs wrinkled his nose on that one.
“Nah, she doesn’t seem like the chocolates kind of girl.”
“I don’t think she is.”
“Ye’d be better off getting her a box of shells.”
“I’m gonna do that!”
Chibs had a good laugh at this.
“To be a fly on the wall fur that one!”
“Yeah well I’m not sure whether I should punish her or praise her for what she did.”
“And what’d she do this time?”
Jax told Chibs about Wraith’s little stunt at the race the other night.
“Huh… Well ye can always do both! I’m sure she’d enjoy the punishin’, just as much as the praisin’.”
Jax chuckled in thought.
“Hell, I know she would.”
“Well there you go. Sounds like you got yer night mapped out already!”
“So what’d you wanna talk about?” Jax questioned as he sit Abel on the floor and let him do a little exploring.
Chibs leaned back and finished his beer. From there… He went on to tell Jax about the conversation that took place between him, Bobby, and Clay. But it was during this that the truth came out. The truth behind Wraith, her Phantoms, and what they’d done to Clay.
“Jesus…” Jax uttered looking ill.
This had him thinking back to the hospital and how tense things were between the two of them. It made perfect sense now.
“She didn’t tell me shit! I hadn’t a clue that even took place!”
“Aye now… We gotta put ourselves in the little lass’s shoes and think on how we’d handle something like that. Of course she didn’t tell ya. This is somethin’ Wraith needed to deal with herself. She’s not aboot ta answer ta ye or anyone else, not after what Clay did.”
“Chibs, she’s about to become my wife. Don’t you think I should know these things?!”
“And what would’ve ye done if she had told you?”
“I would’ve understood!”
“Would you?!” Chibs questioned rather accusingly.
Jax reared back on this.
“Come now, Jackie boy. I’ve seen how ye are with the little lass. You know ye would’ve given her some grief on that.”
“I didn’t say I wouldn’t. I care about her. Of course I don’t want her getting in over her head like that. We know how Clay is. He’ll…” Jax trailed off and thought back to Clay’s threat.
Chibs narrowed his eyes as Jax shot to his feet and got on his phone.
“What is it?” Chibs questioned as he scooped Abel up.
Jax held up a hand but cursed under his breath as Bella’s phone went straight to voicemail. He tried a couple more times to get ahold of her. During this, he told Chibs about what he’d witnessed at the hospital and how Clay threatened to have Bella gang raped.
Jax shook his head and pocketed his phone. He kissed his son on the forehead then handed one of his favorite stuffed animals over.
“I gotta go.”
“Go on. I’ll take care of the wee one.”
Jax nodded but bolted on out the door. Abel teared up a bit and was pointing to the door.
“Aye now… Ye won’t even know he’s gone.” Chibs assured as he pulled a Bella and grabbed some ice cream from the freezer…
Jax narrowed his eyes as he pulled up to the penthouse. All the lights were off and he wondered if she’d had turned in for the night. He thought it rather odd since he’d dropped her off just a couple hours ago. Jax used caution as he made his way to the front door. Normally, he’d ring the doorbell or knock, but something within him told him not to. In fact, this feeling was so strong he brought his gun out, before entering the house. Jax could hear someone moving about upstairs but it was very faint. He was heading that direction when he picked up on someone breathing and they were awfully close. Jax shook his head however as he couldn’t make out shit. Her intoxicating scent hit however and Jax nodded amongst himself. He wasn’t sure if she was carrying but judging by her erratic breathing, he knew she felt threatened. There were two ways of going about this. Softly call to her and pray to God she doesn’t blow your brains out in the process, or grab her, scare the living shit out of her and pray to God she doesn’t blow your brains out. Nothing like being with a woman that can hold her own and fearing for your own life, while trying to save hers.
“Bella…” He whispered and her erratic breathing stopped for a brief moment.
“How many…?” He asked and reached out for her.
He pulled her towards him then backed her up against the wall, using his body to shield hers, just in case.
“Not sure. One upstairs and one in the garage for certain.”
Jax knew she was carrying as he felt the metal within her hold. That wasn’t the only thing. This girl was damn near naked, if not fully. Due to him not knowing what they were dealing with exactly and how many. He led her on out the door then rushed her towards the truck. “Jesus…” He uttered once he got the truck started men seemly poured out from the house itself. They jumped however as they began shooting. Jax was quick to grab her and had her ducking down. “HOLD ON!” He hollered and backed out of the drive. Jax hit the gas but let out a grunt as one of the bullets went through the windshield and grazed his neck.
“Jackson!” She called out in alarm and started to rise.
“STAY DOWN!” He ordered and forced her back down.
“Let me take them out! I can shoot, you know!”
Jax shifted gears and shook his head. Another bullet barely missed him and he gritted his teeth on this. He hated it but knew he could use the help and she had a point. Bella was one hell of a shot.
“Fine. But don’t you go and get yourself fucking shot or killed. I mean it!”
Bella nodded and got her gun ready. She crawled into the back seat then used the blunt end of her gun to knock out the rest of Jax’s back window.
“Sorry!” She said afterward and Jax sort of laughed.
“Watch out!” He shouted as another bullet zipped on by.
He and Bella looked to one another wide eyed, through the rearview mirror. That bullet was too damn close for comfort, as it nearly hit them both. Bella got into her Wraith mode and Jax looked on whilst dodging oncoming traffic. She took out one of their tires then dropped back down, just long enough to count how many bullets she had left. Jax chuckled amongst himself. Wrong as it was he was getting all kinds of riled up. His girl was in nothing but a black thong, wielding a gun, like it was nothing.
“Hot damn, baby. Fuck em up!” He hollered with a crazed grin.
Bella laughed then came up once again. Not only did she manage to hit the driver, but took out another tire as well. She nodded amongst herself then crawled back into the front. Jax cocked a brow as she fussed over the graze along his neck. During this, she had her breasts pressed up against him and was tending to the area.
“I’m alright, baby.” He assured and took one of the exits, since they’d lost whoever was chasing them.
“You need stitches…” She murmured while holding a hand over the area.
“Nah, I’ve had worst. Trust me. Did we lose them?” He asked and looked into the side mirror.
Bella looked back and laughed.
“Oh yeah, they’re not going anywhere.”
Jax nodded and shifted gears as he headed on out of town.
“Where we going?”
He didn’t answer and turned onto a dirt road. Bella let out a bit of a gasp as he braced her against him and took another sharp turn. She went to say something on this but saw the deer crossing the road. He nodded as if reading her mind. The truck was hidden within the foliage so Jax thought it best to stay put, for now. Besides, he’d other things on his mind. Without a word on it he pulled her into his lap. He pried the gun out of her hold and feverishly kissed her. He readily moved her about him. The man wanted her to truly feel him. And that she did as he was swollen and throbbing against her. He unfastened his belt and with this possessive gaze about him. Jax gritted his teeth and the moment he entered, this animalistic growl escaped him. He got a firmer hold then gave into that reckless, unrestrained, lust. The VP had her convulsing with one earth shattering climax after another. She hadn’t clue what came over him but she wasn’t about to argue this. The man was on fire and she complied without thought.
“Doubt thou the stars are fire; doubt that the sun doth move; doubt truth to be a liar; but never doubt I love…” Jax quoted into Bella’s ear as he held her.
“You know Shakespeare…?!”
“What? You think I came out of my mother’s womb a criminal?”
“The thought has crossed my mind a time or two…” She teased and Jax chuckled.
Bella buried her face within his chest and Jax ran a soothing hand along her back.
“So… You wanna tell me what happened tonight?”
“I’m not really sure.”
Jax drew back a breath on this.
“I think we need to get you out of town for a bit.”
“Bella baby, you’ve got a line of people just waiting to get their hands on you.”
“I can handle it.”
“I’m not saying you can’t. But it’s a chance I’M not willing to take!”
“I can’t just disappear. I have my Phantoms to think about. They need Wraith!”
“And how good are you to them DEAD?!”
“The Speedster is long gone. She fell of the face of the earth. I can’t just introduce Wraith and up and vanish, not with my latest message!”
“God dammit, Bella. Why do you do this shit?! Are you trying to KILL ME?! Because that’s what’s going to happen. I can’t lose you again! What part of that don’t you get?!”
Bella rose up and shook her head.
“You think I don’t worry about that when you’re out on your runs and doing God knows what?! I know the risks you take and I know it could be ME getting that call or knock on my door one day. It’s a two way street! I would never ask you to step down as VP or to bail on your MC! They’re your family, just as me and Abel are. But I need you to understand that the Phantoms are mine!”
“So is SAMCRO!” He fired back.
“Not according to your president!”
“I don’t give a FUCK what Clay says. That isn’t his call, never was!”
“So what are you saying, Jackson? You want me to turn my back to Wraith and the Phantoms?! Is that it?!”
“That’s not what I’m saying and you know it. I know what that part of your life means to you, just as you do when it comes to me and the MC. What I’m trying to say is I can’t, nor will I having you fucking DYING ON ME! Those guys were there to kill you. Does nothing faze you?”
“Alright, say the shoe is on the other foot and you’re on a couple hit lists. Would you do what you’re expecting me to do?!”
Jax shook his head on this.
“This isn’t about me.”
“Just answer the question!”
“FINE! NO, I WOULDN’T. BUT THAT’S JUST IT… YOU’RE SO MUCH MORE THAN I AM. I’M A PIECE OF SHIIIIIIT IN COMPARISON AND YOU KNOW IT! IT DOESN’T MATTER IF I DIE!”
Bella punched the living shit out of his arm then shoved him back against the driver’s side door.
“FUCK YOU, JACKSON!” She shouted behind tears.
“THAT’S RIGHT!” He shouted in return.
“WHAT ABOUT ME AND ABEL?! EVER THINK ABOUT WHAT IT WOULD DO TO US?! OR IS THIS ONE SIDED, LIKE ALWAYS?!”
Jax pinched his eyes shut and nodded amongst himself. She had a point, no matter how much he wanted to argue this. He couldn’t.
“And for the record, you’re not a piece of shit. So don’t you EVER talk that way again. You have no idea how much I love you. Why do you think it killed me when I found out about Tara?! I wanted to hate you. I mean FUCK… I used to fantasize about killing your sorry ass. I wanted rub some salt in that wound. But I knew it for what it was… Despite what went down between us, I still loved you. As to my reason for aiming for your knee and not your heart. It didn’t matter what you did and I hated you for that. I hated you sooo fucking much for making me feel like that. I couldn’t get you out of my head. If you were a piece of shit… I wouldn’t have bothered. I would’ve killed you that day and been done. I want to marry you, Jackson. I want to give Abel a brother or sister one day. I want our family to grow and I hope SAMCRO and the Phantoms become just as much family to each other. That’s how it should be. But even if that never comes about… You have me. I’m not going anywhere, unless you go out your way to fuck it all up. And I hope we’re long past that point.”
“We are.” Jax affirmed and pulled her into his arms.
“We’re moving forward, baby.” He brushed her hair back with his fingers.
“Look, I see where you’re coming from and can respect that. So can we make a deal, at least?”
“Okay… I’ll bite.”
“For starters… I want you to start giving a shit about whether you live or die. Because darlin’, when you’re in your Wraith persona or whatever you wish to call it. You don’t give a fuck and that scares the shit out of me. You’re just a-blowin’ and a-goin’ and if we’re serious about getting married and having a family… You can’t have that attitude anymore. Meaning you need to be cautious of the risks you’re taking. Wear a fucking bulletproof flak jacket when you’re out there as Wraith. Keep your head up and pay attention to whatever’s around you. If you need some weapons, or what have you… You know who to turn to. Don’t worry about what Clay has to say. That inventory belongs to SAMCRO, not him. These are the precautions I myself take when I’m out there. And trust me… they come in handy. I’d rather be OVER prepared than under.”
“I can do that…”
“Are you sure?”
Bella nodded and he cupped her chin.
“I can’t keep my promises if you wind up dead. Live; so I can prove to you that I mean business, alright?”
Jax wanted to ask her about Clay but knew now wasn’t the time. For one thing, he needed to find out for certain if those men were hires of Clays or worse… The Russians.
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