Chapter 15 – Crashed
Jax rolled over as his alarm sounded. He reached out hitting the snooze button. Jax opened his eyes and smiled as Bella was still asleep. He brushed a strand of hair away from her face and drew back the deepest of breaths. Even now… He couldn’t get over just how breathtaking she was. Jax shook his head however knowing he had a long day ahead of him. That talk with Op… would be no cakewalk, that’s for certain. Jax inched his way out of the bed, so he wouldn’t disturb her. He was running a little late so he jumped into the shower, rinsed off, and got dressed. He kissed Bella’s cheek on the way out.
Jax hopped into the truck and headed right for the Winstons’. He had hopes of Opie being there; so he could get that ‘talk’ out of the way. Yet there was a part of him that feared it all the same. What if Op downright said no?! Jax wasn’t about to sit this one out and let THAT be it. Jax shook his head in thought and stopped at a red light. He looked to the time knowing he had to get Abel to the house, get to the shop, pull a few hours, then go to his mother’s last hearing. This one would be the deciding factor. Would she face hard time or would she be proven innocent? This had the man’s stomach churning in thought. He couldn’t picture his mother in actual prison, nor did he wish to. Even as hardcore as Gemma was, she’d eventually break and that would kill him. And he hadn’t a clue how she’d handle the truth about Clay. Then again, he was certain that in itself would be one hell of a nightmare. His mother always was one to back her man, no matter the situation. Thus, led to many fights back in the day and he was certain there would be more to come.
Jax thought back to what little he could remember of his mother and father’s marriage and wondered how that all played out exactly. Sure, there were the rumors between the Sons themselves and of course what little Clay and Gemma had personally told him. But the VP couldn’t help but to feel that there was so much more behind all of this. For one thing, when his little brother (Thomas) died; his mother and father’s true colors seemed to shine through and not in the best of ways. At least from what little he knew. That was something he never understood. Should that be the one reason to stick it out and fight harder than you’ve ever fought?! He thought back to his father’s manuscripts and turned down the road leading to the Winstons’. His mother had not only cheated on his father but left him, altogether, and for Clay. That really set wrong with Jax. He hadn’t a clue how to bring all of that up but knew he had to eventually. He needed to know even if he didn’t necessarily want to know. Jax felt as if he could learn from their mistakes and make certain he and Bella NEVER crossed that same path. He couldn’t fathom… Jax cringed however realizing he’d taken that step already – with Tara! He cheated on her with Bella and now here he was; ready to build a life with the woman he had cheated with! Jax pulled up to the Winston house and killed the engine. He took his helmet off and just sat there for a moment. Was he truly like that of his mother?! No. He couldn’t think like that. He was in control. It was up to HIM on where to take things from here. He couldn’t nor would he piss this all away. No matter how crazy things got. He had to make this work. He’d much rather die than to watch everything go up in flames.
“Hey…” Opie called as he exited the house and spotted Jax, parked behind his Harley and with the windows down.
Jax gave a simple nod.
“You alright there?”
It was then that Jax realized what his real problem was. He never dreamed that talking to his best friend about the love of his life could be THIS nerve wracking. But he needed HIS approval as stupid as that sounded. Jax had to get Opie’s blessing. If it had been any other woman… He wouldn’t give a flying fuck about asking anyone’s permission. But this wasn’t just any other woman. She was a Winston, in blood, and one of Op’s most treasured people. Jax knew Opie wouldn’t bat an eye if he ever stepped out of line. He’d be dead in a heartbeat. All the more reason… He needed to give Opie that reassurance. Then again, he knew Bella needed that same reassurance.
“Hey…” Opie called once again and Jax cleared his throat as he climbed on out of the truck.
“What’s with you? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
Jax couldn’t help but to laugh at this.
“Look, we gotta talk.”
One look said it all and Opie staggered back a bit.
“You don’t even know what I was goin’ to say…”
“Oh I know… I can see it all over your face. I can’t believe you fucking proposed!”
Jax raised his brows on this.
Opie narrowed his eyes and Jax let out a nervous laugh.
“You’re not marrying my girl; not right now you’re not. Bell needs more time.”
“And what if she said yes?”
“Doesn’t matter. Make up some sort of excuse.”
“So you want me to take the ring back and give your niece some sort of pathetic excuse as to why we can’t get married?!”
“That’s jacked up.”
“Don’t care. Get it done.”
“Fuck you, bro.”
“You heard me. I can’t believe you’d expect that shit out of me. And after that whole spiel about making certain I didn’t hurt her. What do you think that would do to her?!”
Opie curled his lip on this and Jax popped a cigarette into his mouth. He lit it up and took a long drag.
“I didn’t propose…”
Opie drew back a breath of relief.
“That’s not to say I’m not going to. I was hoping to get your blessing but I can see that’s not going to happen.”
“That’s right. Seein’ as how you’re probably going to be the one givin’ her away and all.”
“What in the living fuck?”
“Yeah that’s about what I figured.” Jax let out a miserable sigh and headed inside to get his son.
“You want me to walk down the aisle and hand my niece over to you?!” Opie hollered gathering the attention of Donna and the kids.
“Yes. It would mean a lot to her.”
“That’s not the point Jax and you know it.”
“Dammit Op, we’ve talked about this! You knew this day was coming.”
“Yeah and I made it clear NOT to rush her. She isn’t ready, neither are you! You’re being stupid as FUCK! Can’t you fucking think, for once?!”
“Calm down, baby.” Donna whispered and placed a hand along his shoulder.
Opie shrugged out of her hold and shook his head as he pointed upon Jax.
“Next thing I know you’ll be knockin’ her ass up and with some goddamn Cara Cara girl to the side. She’ll be raising YOUR son and that child on her own, while you’re out doing god knows what.”
“I’m not that same man.”
“Bullshit. You want everyone to believe you’ve changed, especially Bell. But just you wait… after a year or so of the same ole same ole, you’ll start to stray. And you’ll go out your way to make excuses as to why you can’t be home. And I’ll be left to pick up the pieces when you cause her to self-destruct, again!”
“IS THAT REALLY WHAT YOU THINK OF ME?!”
“IT ISN’T ABOUT WHAT I THINK. IT’S WHAT I KNOW. I’VE KNOWN YOU FOR YEARS. WHEN HAVE YOU EVER TAKEN ANYTHING SERIOUSLY, JACKSON?! YOU EXPECT ME TO HAND HER OFF LIKE SHE’S…”
“LIKE SHE’S WHAT…” Jax challenged and Opie closed his eyes for a moment.
“I love her, Op. I don’t know what else to tell you. I came here out of respect and you basically spit right in my face. So here’s the deal. I’m going to get that ring. Then I’m going to see what Bella has to say.” “So whatever I have to say doesn’t matter…”
“I gave you that chance and you fired, before you even knew where I was going with this. I had it planned sooo much better in my head. I was going to sit down and talk about this like fucking adults. But you didn’t give me that chance. So here we are, Op! I tried doing the chivalrous thing but it got me nowhere. It’s clear what you think of me. My best friend thinks I’m a piece of shit and that’s all I’ll ever be. I’ll never be good enough for Bella, on that we can agree. But you’re wrong about me, Op. I know I hurt her. But that’s all in the past, where it stays. That bastard isn’t coming back. I killed him and left him there to rot! Don’t you fuckin’ get it?! Jesus Christ, Op! What does it take?!”
Donna swallowed back as Jax had the beginnings of tears in his eyes.
“I love you, brother, more than you’ll ever know. But THIS… hurts like hell. I thought you would see past all that shit and see me for who I really am now. But that’s never going to happen.”
And on this note Jax put his cigarette out, grabbed his son then headed for his truck. Donna and the kids cut Opie a ‘look’ and Opie rolled his eyes.
“Jackson?!” Bella called with concern, as he entered the house and slammed the door behind him.
“Sorry…” he murmured and went on to place Abel into the playpen.
“You sleep good?” He asked as he handed Abel one of his toys.
“Like the dead.”
“Are you okay?”
Jax lifted his head and his eyes locked with hers.
“Just fine, darlin’.”
Jax made his way over. He planted his hands along the apple of her cheeks then kissed her.
“Everything’s just fine, baby. Alright?”
Bella nodded and he kissed her once again.
“I want you and Abel to have fun.” Jax handed her the list for his pediatrician and a card with the address and phone number.
“Thank you.” He sincerely put.
She hadn’t a clue just how much this meant to him. When she offered to watch Abel it truly melted the man’s heart. He’d felt a lot better about Abel being with her than in that stupid daycare. His only reason for putting his son in that day care in the first place was due to his mother being in jail and him and Tara breaking up. He hadn’t anyone else to watch after his son.
“Love you too.” She said as he rushed on out the door.
Bella looked to Abel then back to the front door.
“Well guess it’s just us now.”
Abel smiled and was using the edge of the playpen to balance himself.
“Well look at you! You’re about ready to climb on out of that thing, aren’t you?!”
He giggled and lifted a leg like he understood what she was saying.
“Okay… Not so fast there, buddy.”
Bella made her way over and Abel reached for her. She couldn’t help but to smile as she lifted him out of the playpen.
“Alright. I have a phone call to make but after that… The day is ours!”
“Are you sure?” The retailer asked seemingly baffled by his choice.
“Oh yeah… this is her.” Jax uttered with this true beam about him.
“Alright…” The woman said and took out the ring.
“Do you know what size?”
“Hell if I know…”
“Well that might help.”
“I tell you what darlin’, why don’t you show me one of those ring sizer things and I’ll tell ya if it’ll fit or not.”
“Maybe you should just ask her…”
“Nah. Just show me what you got.”
The woman brought out the sizing chart and Jax looked it over. He thought back to Bella’s fingers and nodded amongst himself.
“This one…” He said and tapped his index finger along it.
“Okay… I’ll get it ready.”
“When will the ring be ready?”
“I can have it ready tonight…”
“Alright. I’ll be here before closing.”
The woman nodded and took the ring to the register. Jax choked back once she rang it up.
“Would you prefer something else?” She inquired rather insultingly.
Jax lifted his eyes on this.
“Nah. I got it.”
“We have something cheaper if…”
“I said I got it.” Jax barked.
He didn’t like this lady’s tone or her mannerism, not one bit. She was somewhat judgmental and from the moment he first entered this store. She hadn’t let up one bit. In fact, she followed him the entire time and watched his every move. Nothing about this day was going the way Jax had hoped. That alone had the man on edge. What if this was a sign of things to come?! He thought back to when Tara turned him down and sighed amongst himself. If Bella pulled the same shit, he’d be done when it came to that. He wasn’t about to go through all of that for a third time! Fuck that shit! If all he could get was someone like fucking Wendy?! What was the point?!
“Jax?” He heard and at this very moment her voice was like that of nails on a fucking chalkboard.
Of all the times… Now just had to be it?! What in the living FUCK was Tara Knowles doing here?! He caught her looking over as the woman asked if he wanted anything engraved into the ring. She let it known that it wouldn’t cost him anything extra. Tara raised her brows as if curious on what his answer would be.
“And what would you like it to say?” The woman asked as she grabbed a memo pad.
“Two hearts. One soul.”
He caught Tara rolling her eyes through the corner of his eye and he’d half the mindset to backhand her one. That would certainly make the first. But he knew she didn’t just happen to show up here. No. It was more than obvious she saw his bike outside and was being nosy.
“And size six, right?”
“Alright. If you write down your name and number I will phone you once it’s ready.”
The woman nodded.
“Well that escalated rather quickly. Don’t you think?” Tara muttered under her breath and Jax drew back a hesitant one.
“What do you want, Tara?”
She had this rather offended look about her but Jax couldn’t care less at this point.
“Come on, Tara. I doubt you’re here to shop.”
“I saw your motorcycle. So I thought I’d drop by and see how things were going.”
He nodded and put his shades on as he headed on out. Tara followed. Jax didn’t utter a word as he climbed onto his Harley.
“So that’s it? You’re not going to talk to me?”
Jax raised his brows on this and went on to put on his helmet.
“And what is it you want me to say?”
“Nah… You don’t want that darlin’.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?!”
“It means to quit checkin’ up on me. I’ve moved on and so should you.”
“You once told me that WE were soul mates.”
Jax cut her a look of downright disbelief.
“Yeah a long time ago, back in high school.”
“But you didn’t mean it…”
“Oh I mean it. But we were different people back then. I was young, stupid, and WRONG.”
“Jax… What we had was real. This thing you have going with her. It’s just a phase.”
Jax reared back on this.
“All men go through it. I should’ve seen it for what it really was.”
“You mean like a midlife crisis?!”
Tara nodded and Jax had a good laugh at this.
“Well goddamn, I’ve been going through a midlife crisis for quite some time then.”
“You told me it was only two months.”
“You never were one to truly listen. And I’m not divin’ into all that mess. So what’s come over you, Tara? You can’t seriously be having second thoughts, and NOW.”
“And if I was…”
“Oh hell… That ship has long since sailed.” He said behind a chuckle of mere amusement.
He honestly couldn’t believe what he was hearing. This was a side of Tara he wasn’t used to seeing and he found it rather pitiful.
“Jax… Think about what you’re doing. This girl you’re about to vow yourself to… She’s just a kid! And she’s a bit of a wild child from what I’ve heard. Is that what you really want for Abel? Doesn’t he have enough crazy when it comes to the club and your family alone?!”
Jax rather laughed and Tara let out a frustrated sigh.
“Bella might be young but she’s got what it takes. And maybe, just maybe… I dig that whole wild child side… It’s different, refreshing even.”
“Is that supposed to mean something?!”
“Take it however you want.”
“Jax, I’m only trying to help. I’m still your friend.”
“Nah, the only friend you ever were… was when you needed something.” Jax couldn’t believe his own words. But these were things he’d kept pent-up and had for sometime. There was just something about Bella entering his life… Jax found himself wanting to get the truth out, once and for all, no matter how much it hurt. He’d grown tired of being the bad guy. Things weren’t black and white, no matter how much Tara went out her way to make it seem like so.
“THAT’S NOT TRUE!”
“LIKE HELL IT ISN’T! YOU BITCH ABOUT HOW I WASN’T AROUND. WELL DID YOU EVER THINK THAT MAYBE I GREW TIRED?! TIRED OF BEING A THING OF MERE CONVENIENCE. Tell me, Tara. Why did you stick around? Why didn’t you move out the day you turned down my proposal, huh?!”
“You know why…”
Jax hopped off his bike and charged right up to her.
“No. I don’t. So tell me. Since you’re so gung ho on checking up on me…”
“Because I love you.”
“Wrong. Try again.”
“Don’t call me that. There’s only ONE person I let call me that and you’re not her.” Jax was so livid he was shaking.
“If you really love me you wouldn’t have called me just to bitch about David when Abel was missing! If anything… THAT was just another eye opener. I felt bad when Bella called you selfish on that phone. There was a part of me that disagreed. Now?! Not so much. Tara, your true colors are showing, more than ever darlin’. I mean come on… you destroyed my son’s room when you found out about Bella. So what was that about anyhow?! Abel hadn’t anything to do with that.”
When she wouldn’t answer Jax let out a sigh of mere annoyance.
“And now, the one time you reach out is when YOU’RE feeling lonely. So what happened? David not living up to your expectations?! I mean you jumped off the cock of a criminal and right on the cock of a cop. So I’m guessin’ he’s a bit of a bore in comparison?” Jax uttered with a cocky grin.
Tara pulled a certain face on this and Jax staggered back in laughter.
“I’m right, aren’t I?! Ho-ly shit! Little Tara Knowles misses the thrill of being with the VP of SAMCRO! That in itself is a fucking RIOT! You wanted nothing to do with this town or this club. Yet here you are stickin’ around and hoping that maybe, just maybe… I’ll see the light and give us another chance. Jesus. Tara, I cheated on you and I’m about to propose to the woman I cheated on you with. How fucked up is that shit?! You shouldn’t be standing here with that look in your eyes. No. If anything… You should’ve packed up and moved on out of Charming, just as you always wanted. There was a time you wanted me and Abel to join you. But it just wasn’t in me. And I know I led you to believe otherwise. I can’t apologize enough for having done that. When I first agreed, I thought it was what I truly wanted.”
Jax cocked a brow as Tara ran a hand along his chest.
“I know you did. You carried yourself so differently, like the weight of the world was off your shoulders. All you could talk about was leaving and getting that new start. You made it clear that you didn’t want Abel mixed up on all this.”
Jax nodded and with this guilt-ridden expression about him.
“What changed?” Tara challenged but was eyeing his most recent tattoo.
He didn’t answer as he wasn’t sure what to say to that exactly. Tara gave a simple nod and half laughed.
“She changed those plans. Didn’t she?!” Tara said whilst tapping her finger along the tattoo.
“Bella hadn’t anything to do with my decision.”
“Come on, Jax. She’s damn near jailbait and I’m guessing she’s pretty adventurous.”
“So you think my only reason for sticking around is for young pussy…”
“Adventurous young pussy…” Tara corrected and Jax lowered her hand and placed it back at her side.
“I hear she’s into some pretty some wild stuff…”
Jax wanted to say something along the lines of that being none of her business, but he couldn’t control his curiosity. He hadn’t a clue that these rumors came from no other than Tig Trager himself. Tig didn’t take kindly to Tara digging into club business, when she was no longer an old lady and took matters into his own hands.
“Just what kind of “wild” stuff are we talkin’?” He asked and Tara looked around the area before answering.
“Word is that you and Bella share a bed with that blonde friend of hers…”
“DIZZY?!” Jax questioned in mere amusement.
“If you say so…”
Jax had a good laugh at this.
“Oh hell, you’ll believe just about anything you hear! Dizzy is like Bella’s sister. I’m not even touching that!”
“But you want to…” Tara accused in a challenging manner.
“What. In. The. Fuck? Why would you ask me that?!”
“It’s just a question, Jax.”
“No it’s not. You’re trying to catch me in something and I’m not biting. As to what changed… nothing. The club needs me, Tara. But you never were one to understand that.” Normally, he would’ve gone into detail about that. But Tara wasn’t his old lady anymore therefore she hadn’t any business when it came to theirs.
As for Tara’s accusations… Sure, Dizzy was easy on the eyes. But Jax meant what he said. He wouldn’t touch that, not in a million years. He knew what Dizzy meant to Bella and that alone would absolutely destroy her. Besides, he knew if he ever came on to Dizzy. Dizzy would be the one to end his sorry ass. Jax knew what this really was… a test. Well he cheated on me so he must be playing the field when it comes to her as well. He thought in Tara’s nails to chalkboard voice. He wasn’t exactly ignorant when it came to women and how they think. Especially bitter exes with nothing better to do. Tara just couldn’t deal with the fact that he’d moved on and with someone he’d never hurt the way he’d hurt her. There was plenty of pussy out there and Jax most certainly had his share. He’d lost count over the years. But with Bella in the picture, all of that shit was LONG gone. There was NO more temptation and he knew that was pissed Tara off, something fierce. She wanted him to slip up, in a bad way, and all in hopes of him crawling back to her. The man just never dreamed that Tara of all women could be that pathetic. This woman was a fucking doctor, a surgeon at that, yet she was nowhere near as smart as he once assumed. She’d take him back, after everything he pulled?! What was wrong with her?! Why would she leave just to keep coming back?! This was how things were between then. They were off and on again, had been since high school. She’d dump him, then she’d want back together, she’d threaten to leave, and nine times out of ten she would. But she’d come right back, ready for more. This had Jax thinking back to what he’d overheard, during the phone call between Bella and Tara. He drew back a breath as he was growing somewhat agitated, all over again. But something else came to mind. Something his mother had said and he remembered how he accused her of lying and went on about how much she hated Tara. He let his mother know that he wouldn’t listen to a word of it. But now… Now that he was seeing Tara’s true colors? He hadn’t any doubt that his mother had been right, all along.
He pointed a finger Tara’s direction.
“That abortion you had…”
Tara lifted her head on this and he nodded.
“That’s right… I know.” Jax uttered with a crazed smile.
“I have my ways… But it was never mine. It was David’s, wasn’t it?!”
When Tara wouldn’t answer and Jax gritted his teeth.
“ANSWER THE QUESTION! WAS IT MINE, OR NOT?!”
“GODDAMMIT! SAME OLE SCARED LITTLE TARA. YOU NEVER COULD OWN UP TO SHIIIT! WAS THE BABY YOU KILLED MINE OR DAVID’S?! IT’S THAT SIMPLE!”
Tara lowered her head on this and Jax shook his.
“Good God… that’s the REAL reason behind you turning me down. You killed our baby. The baby was mine…” Jax had this ghostlike appearance.
“She tried to tell me. But I didn’t believe her… Jesus Christ.”
“It doesn’t matter…” He said behind a growl.
“You were never going to tell me. I’m guessing if it had been David’s you would’ve left and went on to raise that child. But it was mine – a criminal’s baby. So he wasn’t worth saving. Hell, I’m surprise you didn’t finish Abel off yourself in that hospital!”
Tara hauled off and slapped him and Jax went to backhand her but refrained. He made a fist but lowered his hand back down.
“You’re not worth it, you never were.” Jax uttered and went to walk away.
“So you’re going to marry a rat…”
This had the man stopping in his tracks. He narrowed his eyes and but kept his back to her.
“What did you say?!” His voice was colder than ever.
“She’s a rat, Jax. She’s the reason Stahl showed up at the clubhouse.”
Jax let out this miserable laugh.
“You really are desperate, aren’t you?!”
“Oh, so am I. I never knew that Tara Knowles could stoop this low. But you managed to do that perfectly. Watch yourself… You’re getting into very dark territory. You don’t wish to see THAT side of me.” And on this note, he hopped onto his bike and hit the road.
Bella laughed as Abel held his legs up in order to keep from getting them in the water.
“Abel baby, it’s okay. See?” She went on to give him a little splash with her hand, as they were in the pool, at the penthouse.
The boy jumped then clung on for dear life.
“Oh sweetie, it’s not going to hurt you.” Abel pouted and shook his head no, as she took a few more steps and was about waist level now.
“No!” Abel cried taking Bella by surprise.
She’d never heard him actually talk before. Sure he babbled and cooed out off and on. But this was the first actual word she’d heard him say. Bella drew back a breath knowing there was only one way of going about this.
“Alright kid, we’re going under. Hold on.”
Bella dunked under the water and gave it a few seconds before coming back up. Abel had this shocked look about him at first but when they came up, he wanted to go under yet again. Bella cracked up at this.
“Oh Abel… You are too cute for words.”
Bella went back under and this time she held Abel out so she could see his reaction. He smiled under the water and that smile remained as they came back up. Bella was thankful for the heated pool at this point, otherwise she doubted he’d have taken it that well. When they came back up Abel broke into a fit of giggles and pointed to the water again. She dunked him once again and he broke into another fit of laughter when they came back up. She laughed as he was in attempts to splash her with his tiny hands. Bella gasped back and played along pretending to be hit.
“Well you two look to be having fun!”
Bella looked over and Dizzy nodded her direction.
“Brought you some towels. And I sure hope you have that new tattoo covered!”
“Jackson suggested this spray on bandage for the tat so I’m using that. Thanks for the towels!”
Dizzy sat at the edge and placed her feet into the water.
“So… Someone put on one hell of a show last night.”
“Not sure what you’re talking about.” Bella witted with a smirk.
“Sure you don’t… So what happened to the Lamborghini?”
“Went deep sea diving…” Bella murmured with a shrug and dipped Abel yet again.
He came up in laughter.
“You’re kidding me.”
“What are you going to use for racing now?”
“Not sure…” Bella said but looked to be in thought.
“Hey… You think that old 67 Pontiac is still for sale?”
“I can check. But it’s nowhere near race ready.”
“No. But I can get it there. Just call them and see what they’re wanting. We’ll go from there.”
“You got it, boss.”
Chibs lowered his shades as he looked Clay over.
Clay nodded but looked as if he’d pass out, at any given minute. The president headed for the office and shut the door behind him. Chibs reared back in wonder but went back to work. It wasn’t long before Bobby hollered his name. Chibs made his way into the office and Bobby was quick to shut the door behind them. Chibs regarded his president in a stupor as he was passed out on the office couch. His shirt was unbuttoned revealing the bullet wound Wraith had left behind, along with his newest ink.
“Jaysus…” Chibs whispered and Bobby shook his head.
“Yet you want your cut to go towards the bar she shot up.” Bobby damn near growled.
Chibs didn’t comment and was quick to check on Clay’s vitals.
“Well she must’ve taken good care of him after… No fever and she got it sutured up pretty good. Damn near professional even.” Chibs uttered rather impressed.
“The bitch shot our president but by all means… Do go on about how good of a job she did taking care of him.”
Chibs nodded in a smug like manner and Bobby rolled his eyes.
“You realize what this means now, right?” Bobby questioned with severity and Chibs lifted his eyes on this.
“She didn’t kill him…”
“No. But she left one hell of a message.”
“Aye. So did Clay. Ye gotta look at this in another light. Wraith leads her own crew, just as Clay does. He put her in a bad place and she had to respond. He would’ve done the same if the situation had been reversed.”
Bobby shook his head.
“So we just sit back and let this bitch do whatever the fuck she wants?!”
“Nah… I’m sure Jackie Boy’s gonna want a meetin’ aboot this.”
“Last I checked… Jax wasn’t prez.” Bobby murmured.
Chibs looked over however as Clay had his hand wrapped around his wrist. The president had tried to keep this a secret. But he hadn’t planned on passing out and Bobby figuring this out for himself.
“This stays between us. Not a word of this gets back to Jax. I’m dealing with it.”
“She fucking shot you!” Bobby howled and Clay was quick to point his direction.
“Keep that shit down! No one’s confronting the girl on this. I mean it. Just let me deal with it.”
“Thought this was a club.” Bobby fired back causing a bit of a twitch in Chibs, considering Jax had already called Clay, Tig, Juice, and Bobby on their backhanded bullshit.
“It is. All the more reason… Just imagine how Jax and the Winstons will react. You know we haven’t a choice but to keep this on the down low.”
“Just the way she wants it. Shit. She knew she’d get away with it!”
Clay cleared his throat and Chibs helped to get him situated as he sat up. He went on to reveal what happened; only he left out bits and pieces here and there. Then he added a few things that never even took place. By the time he finished, he had Bobby believing that Wraith and her Phantoms were the villains in all this. Chibs however… wasn’t convinced. If anything, this felt a bit staged from Clay’s side of things. But why? Was the question the Scot kept asking himself. Why go all out to set Wraith up and when he’d already fucked her over once? But just as soon as he questioned himself on this… The answer hit him, like a sack of bricks. The Scot gritted his teeth then looked to his president in a way he never dreamed he would. Clay took notice and narrowed his eyes.
“What’s with you?”
“Me?! Not a daaamn thang. Ye… Well that’s a different story, now isn’t it?”
Clay regarded Chibs in bewilderment as he stormed on out of the office.
“What was that?!” Bobby asked and Clay let out a painful grunt as he shrugged.
“We can’t let her get away with this…” Bobby whispered after closing the office door.
“I don’t plan to. But I need this done on my terms…”
Clay nodded but was staring at the office door.
“I need to get in touch with Trager…” He said but was somewhat out of it as the drugs Wraith had left for him were taking affect.
“What’s he…” Bobby started to question but Clay was out cold.
“You alright there?”
Tig heard Kozik question but chose to ignore this as they weren’t on the greatest terms. The only reason he voted him in was to shut Clay up. If it were up to Tig, Kozik wouldn’t be part of SAMCRO. Not a chance in hell. He couldn’t stand the sight of his face, much less his voice. They’d just got back from doing a ‘job’ Clay had sent them on. Clay was supposed to join them but let him know he had to stand this one out, for whatever reason. At the moment, Tig’s focus was elsewhere. His Johnny Depp/Brad Pitt love child was standing outside the restaurant they were in. Just the mere sight of him had the man tight below the belt. Derk was talking to an older man and seemed awfully upset. Tig thought him rather adorable when he was all pissy like that. He wondered who the older man was. Tig reared back however as the older man got right in Derk’s face and Derk shoved him back. The man grabbed Derk by the collar of his jacket and sent him a swift punch to the gut. This had Tig flying right out of that booth and marching his way outside.
“Your mother was right. She should’ve aborted your ass. Look at you. You’re a disgrace!”
Derk lowered his head on this.
“I didn’t raise no fanny bandit.”
“Yes you did…” Derk uttered and the man tilted his head on this.
Derk lifted his and got this crazed look about him.
“Face it dad, I love the feeling of a nice fat cock in my ass. It feels great!” He said with tears in his eyes.
His father leaped over and slammed Derk up against his car. From there, he took off his belt and used it to beat the ever living shit out of him. Tig marched on over and tapped the man on the shoulder.
Tig gave a simple nod and ripped that belt out from his hold. Before the man even had a chance to respond, Tig had that belt wrapped around his throat.
“TIG!” Derk shouted in a panic.
“HEY!!!” Kozik and Juice hollered as they made their way out of the restaurant and rushed on over.
Just as soon as they had the two pried apart…
“So you get a kick out of beating up your “faggot” of a son, right?!” Tig roared.
“WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?!” Derk’s father shouted and Tig smiled.
“I’m the one tapping that sweet little ass. And trust me… He’s right he loves my “fat ass cock”!”
Kozik and Juice regarded one another in downright shock. The father broke out of Kozik’s hold and dived right for Tig.
“NO!” Derk shouted and jumped in between the two.
Derk took the hit intended for Tig and the blow was hard enough to send his head flying back against the side mirror of his car. Derk’s eyes rolled into the back of his head and Tig broke his fall but with a grimace. Blood was oozing out of his nose and ear, where he’d hit.
“Hey…” Tig called as he tried in getting him to come to.
Kozik and Juice were holding the older man off and it was a true struggle as he wanted his hands on Tig Trager.
“Come on, baby…” Tig whispered and Kozik and Juice looked on with concern as Tig started to panic.
“Come on, dollface. Wake up…” He pleaded and slapped at his cheek.
Tig brought Derk against him and eyed the father down as he was doing whatever he could to stir Derk.
“He dies and I’ll find the BIGGEST motherfucker out there and I’ll have him fuck you dry, until you die from fucking blood loss!” Tig spat and Juice swallowed back as the sergeant broke into literal sobs and scooped his lover up.
“I gotcha, baby. Just hold on…” he murmured and placed Derk into his car then patted him down in search of the keys.
Once he found them, he kissed Derk on the forehead then rushed on over to the driver’s side door.
“Keep tabs on that son of a bitch. I want to know where he is, at ALL times!”
“Don’t you think Clay should…” Kozik started to say and Tig was quick to snatch him by the cut.
“Don’t. Not a word of this gets back to the others. You let me handle this. I mean it, Kozik. Don’t fuck with me.”
Juice had never seen Tig this crazed before but he was officially pushed past that brink. They merely observed as Tig hauled ass out of there and was heading to the nearest hospital.
“Tig’s a queer?” Kozik questioned as if in a daze.
“News to me…” Juice murmured looking just as blown away by all this.
“Maybe we should call Clay…”
Juice shook his head on this.
“Come on, man. Word gets back the to guys about Tig and you know where that will lead…”
“Not our problem. It’s club business.” Kozik uttered with a shrug.
“I don’t see how his private life is club business. I think we should let this one be and let Tig handle it.”
“Pffft, Tig’s all talk and no show. He’s been like that for years. Besides, it’s clear he doesn’t belong in SAMCRO now. Since when does the MC let queers stick around?”
“Hey man… Tig’s been around A LOT longer than you…” Juice reminded.
“Let me guess… You’re taking it up the ass too?!”
Juice shook his head on this and Kozik rolled his eyes before letting Derk’s father go. He took out his cellphone and was in attempts to dial Clay, when Juice knocked the phone out of his hold.
“This isn’t any of OUR business. This is Tig’s private life and we’re butting out of it. GOT IT?! Rat Tig out and I’ll let your old lady know that you’re knee deep in her sister next time she comes around.”
Kozik reared back on this and Juice gave him an assured nod. Kelly (one of Wraith’s Phantoms) was Kozik’s old lady but her sister just happened to be a Cara Cara girl. Kozik found it a bit of a cheap thrill – tapping them both. That sister however… was none other than Ima Tite (the one that had been chasing after Jax for so long). She’d turned to Kozik, in hopes of making the VP jealous. But Jax hadn’t taken notice and that got under Ima’s skin. For now… She was taking pleasure in knowing she was entertaining her little sister’s man. But Ima hadn’t given up on Jax, not just yet…
“That right there breaks the brotherhood code! I can’t believe you’re blackmailing me.”
“Don’t care. I’ll do it, man. So keep your mouth shut. Let Tig handle his own affairs.”
Kozik had this bitter look about him but nodded in understanding.
“You’re late…” Clay muttered as Jax entered the shop.
“Had some shit to take care of.”
“And it couldn’t be done after your shift?”
“Not today.” Jax uttered with a shrug and grabbed one of the clipboards.
“Your mother’s trial is today…”
“I’m well aware.”
“Are you going?”
Jax was flipping through the notes on the car he was about to work on. He lifted his head and locked eyes with Clay.
“Why wouldn’t I?”
“Wasn’t sure if you had more important plans…” Clay cruelly hinted.
“She’s my mother…” The VP said in response.
“I’m not doing this, not today.” He uttered and went on to talk to the customer about their vehicle.
“You ready, son?”
Jax lifted his head and looked to the time. Clay was already dressed in his Sunday’s best and ready to go.
“Not your son.” He uttered and went back to work.
“Still having a hissy fit I see…”
“Hissy fit?! You sold my old lady out!”
“How many times must we go over this?!”
“I don’t know. How many does it take before you wake the FUCK up?!”
“Easy now…” Chibs whispered and took Jax’s place.
“I’ll finish up. Ye head on out.”
“Thanks.” Chibs gave a simple nod and Clay rolled his eyes.
“If you had showed up in time, you would’ve been done with that already.”
“I done told you. I had shit to take care of.”
“I’m guessing it had something to do with your old lady, huh?”
“Why don’t you worry about YOUR business and I’ll worry about mine!” Jax spat as he was growing more and more agitated.
Clay found his wife’s keys and headed on out. Thanks to “Wraith” the president couldn’t drive his bike. He had Jax believing this was due to his arthritis, since Gemma hadn’t been around to administer his shots. Jax didn’t question it as he knew how bad Clay’s arthritis got. Jax wiped the oil off his hands. Then he grabbed the duffle bag with his change of clothes. Chibs however stopped him and pulled him to the side. He made certain they hadn’t any eyes on them before he spoke.
“Ye need ta keep an eye on yer old lady.”
Chibs let out a regrettable sigh as Jax had the wrong idea. He could see it in his eyes. The VP assumed that was a threat and that Chibs had jumped on that same bandwagon as the others.
“Come now, Jackie boy. Ye know I’d never hurt her. The others however… not so much.” The others, aside from the Winstons he meant but he couldn’t go into detail here.
“Is there something you need to tell me Chibs?”
“Wraith’s become a threat to the club…”
“You mean Clay…” Jax corrected and Chibs was about to comment on this but saw Bobby making his way over.
Chibs laughed like he and Jax were having a lighthearted conversation. He patted him on the shoulder afterward. The Scot downright hated this. He was never one to go against his president’s wishes. But he felt this time most certainly called for it. He’d never felt so conflicted. But when it came down to it… He’d have his VP’s back any given day over that of his president’s. Chibs was beginning to see what Jax had been trying to say all along. Clay was destroying this club and they needed Jax at that gavel in order to save SAMCRO.
“Aye now, ye can return it ta me tomorrow after yer shift. Ye can meet me at the house.”
Jax nodded gathering where Chibs was going with this.
“Alright. See you then.”
“And you are?” The pediatrician questioned and held out a hand in greeting.
“Bella Swan.” She replied as they shook hands.
“Not exactly. I’m dating his father…”
“Ah…” The pediatrician said and signaled for Bella to sit Abel on the examination table.
Bella kept quiet as the doctor checked him over. Once she finished, she handed Abel over. Bella went over the list of questions and concerns Jax had. The pediatrician was very thorough in her answers.
“Abel’s doing just fine. As long as he isn’t showing any signs of an allergic reaction, he can continue with the solids. I imagine he’s sleeping better at night?”
“Yes, much better.”
“That’s always a relief.” The doctor teased and Bella smiled.
She handed Bella a diet chart for Abel to follow. After discussing that she handed Bella a list of things to expect at his age: things such as what dangers he could get into and what milestones to look forward to. After going over everything the pediatrician dismissed them.
“See that wasn’t so bad, now was it? No shots!” Bella said as she strapped Abel into his car seat.
He smiled and kicked his feet about.
“I say we hit that park we saw on the way. Sound good?”
Abel nodded and she shut the door. Jax had left her the truck so she could get around town with Abel. She couldn’t help but to laugh however as she thought back to Jax’s comment. She was indeed carrying and right where he said she would be. Bella got into the truck and was headed to the park when her cellphone sounded.
“Yeah… Look doll, I thought you might want to know that Derk’s up here at the hospital.”
“Had a run in with the old man.”
“Jesus… What room?!”
“On my way.” She said before hanging up.
She spun the truck around then regarded Abel through the rearview mirror.
“I’ll make it up to you, Abel. I promise.” She said her voice was laced with guilt.
Tig recoiled once Bella entered the room with Abel.
“I didn’t know you had the kid with you.”
She gave a simple nod and handed Abel over. She went on to check on Derk and cringed. The entire right side of his face was swollen and bruised where he’d hit. They had him hooked up to a bedside monitor and IV. Bella’s hands balled up into fist when she noticed the welts along his body.
“You say his father did this?”
“How long’s he been out?”
“Since his head hit the side mirror to his car about…” Tig looked to the time.
“Three hours or so ago?”
Bella staggered back on this.
“I’ll kill him…” He heard her whisper.
“You’ll have to get in line.”
Bella lifted her head on this and Tig nodded her direction.
“You know where he lives?”
“No. But I can find out.”
“Do that and we’ll deal with this asshole, together.”
“You got it.”
Tig nodded. Bella drew back the deepest of breaths and took Derk’s hand into her own.
Tig swallowed back as he quietly observed Bella’s interaction with Derk. She brushed his hair back and got him better situated. The young woman shed a few tears on his behalf and muttered something about how she should’ve done something sooner. Tig cleared his throat on this.
“Come on, doll. This isn’t your fault.”
“Tig…” She whispered looking ill.
“I knew about the abuse and all Han and I did was offer him a job and place to stay. I should’ve approached the motherfucker myself.”
“I didn’t do shit about it either.” Tig admitted.
“How could’ve we known?! You gave him an out, sweetheart. That’s what he needed. You couldn’t control what happened from there.”
Bella pinched her eyes shut and Tig made his way over a she started to cry.
“Hey…” He called and cupped her chin, gathering her attention.
Abel made a pouty face once he saw that Bella was crying. He held his arms out for her and Tig handed him back. Tig kissed Bella’s forehead then looked her in the eyes.
“We’ll make certain this never happens again, okay?”
Bella nodded. Normally, this was something Tig would’ve handled on his own. But he knew “Wraith” would end up beating him to the punch if he didn’t include her.
“I’m not leaving him, not for a second. Go home. Take care of the kid.”
There was a knock at the door and they cranked their heads that direction. Bella let out a miserable laugh as “Dr. Knowles” entered the room. Apparently she was the new shift doctor.
“Oh hell no. Not you. You’re not watching after one of MY crew!” Bella snapped.
Tara sighed and went to check Derk’s vitals.
“Don’t you fucking touch him! I mean it.”
Tara went to ignore this and Bella sent Tig a pleading glance.
“Don’t let that woman watch after my guy. I’m begging you. She cannot be trusted. I want someone else.”
“Me?! I can’t be trusted?! That’s rich coming from you!” Tara smarted in return and Bella handed Abel back over.
“Whoa…” Tig murmured and was quick to snatch Bella back.
“Not worth it. Just imagine the old man’s face when he finds out you’re in jail.”
Bella recoiled in thought. First day with Abel and she ends up in jail… Yeah. Jax would have her ass.
“Right?!” He said as if reading her mind.
He handed Abel over yet again and took matters into his own hands. He placed a gentle hand along the doc’s shoulder and aimed her towards the door.
“Find someone else.”
“I don’t want to hear any excuses. Just get it done.” Tig ordered and Tara bitterly left the room.
“Thank you.” Bella said as if she’d been holding her breath.
“He’s in good hands. I promise.”
Bella looked to Derk and Tig ran a soothing hand along her back.
“I’ll call, just as soon as he wakes.” He reassured then sent Bella and Abel about their way.
Bella was crossing the walkway when her other cellphone rang; the one she used as Wraith. This had her on edge as Mr. Putlova came to mind. She looked around the area, before answering.
“I believe we have a deal.”
Bella drew back a breath of relief.
“The entire jury MUST agree or you won’t see a dime.”
Bella hung up the phone and looked to Abel.
“Guess what?! Grandma’s coming home!”
“We had a deal…” Gemma hissed and Agent Stahl raised her brows on this.
“Did we?” She whispered mockingly in return.
Gemma nodded and Agent Stahl leaned into her ear.
“I’m afraid you’re mistaking. You see there’s nothing I can do past this point. It’s up to the judge and jury.” She said with an impish grin.
“Good luck!” She called as Gemma entered the court room.
Agent Stahl had genuinely screwed her over, just as Gemma suspected she would. But there was nothing she could do about it now. The woman was all nerves as she looked to her husband and son. She nodded their direction then took her rightful seat by her lawyer. Her family… They needed her. Yet here she was about to be sentenced. She could be facing twenty-five to life in prison. She would have to watch her grandson group up behind bars. The only reason she was at that house in the first place was to seek revenge; on something she’d kept hidden from the entire club, her husband and son included. No one knew about the kidnapping and rape. A kidnapping and rape, in which Gemma was the victim of and Polly Zobelle had played a role in setting her up. Gemma hadn’t told a living soul knowing what it would do to the club and she didn’t wish to be treated any differently. But she hadn’t a clue what keeping it bottled up would do. Gemma was on the verge of a meltdown and she was doing everything she could think of to keep that at bay. So yes… She had gone to that house to kill Polly. Only things didn’t go as planned. When Gemma walked in Edmond Hayes was already dead and Polly was at the scene. It wasn’t until she shot and killed Polly (out of self-defense) that she realized Agent Stahl was there. She was the one that killed Edmond. And she was more than happy to let Gemma know that she was setting her up for BOTH murders. Stahl let Gemma flee with this knowledge. Gemma knew she hadn’t a choice. No one would ever buy that a federal agent murdered someone then pinned it on a biker’s old lady. Stahl knew that as well, as to her reason for playing Gemma for all she had. She was nothing more than a pawn in this woman’s sick game. This seemed to be a thing of Stahl’s. She was corrupt as they came and she had the entire town within her grasp. All this stress had Gemma reaching to her heart.
Jax took notice of this and nudged his stepfather with concern. Clay drew back a worrisome breath. “Come on, baby. Don’t let the old ticker getcha.” Clay uttered and Jax found himself somewhat amused. His mother would’ve jumped down Clay’s throat if she’d heard that. She wasn’t one to take kindly to the usage of the word “old” in any sentence pertaining to her. Gemma wasn’t the only one on edge. Jax couldn’t bear the thought of his mother going to prison. She didn’t belong there. She needed to be with her family. A wave of nausea hit as he looked to the judge and jury. As if reading his mind… Clay reached over and patted his stepson’s leg. Jax wasn’t sure how to respond, considering they were still at odds. But when it came to his mother… they had a mutual understanding. All the more reason, Jax didn’t understand Clay when it came to HIS old lady. Clay would’ve put a bullet in ANYONE that pulled that shit with Gemma.
A couple hours had passed with the lawyers going back and forth. Gemma just sat there like a gargoyle knowing she was fucked. Before long they called a recess and the judge let it known that once everyone returned the foreman of the jury would come forth with a decision. Clay handed the lawyer his wife’s pills for her heart condition. Gemma locked eyes with his and he gave a firm nod as she took them. The recess itself felt longer than the last couple hours. But it was only fifteen minutes.
Gemma didn’t dare make eye contact with the jury. She couldn’t out of fear of begging. She wanted nothing more than to throw a fit and spill out the beans about Agent Stahl. But doing that… would cost her everything, including her pride. It wasn’t long before the foreman came to a stand. He cleared his throat gathering the room’s attention.
“We, the Jury, find the defendant, Gemma Teller Morrow, not guilty.”
The foreman went on about what all she had been charged with but the celebration within the courtroom itself was all that was heard. To Jax’s surprise Clay hugged the hell out of him and blew his wife a kiss. Gemma wasn’t sure what happened. It wasn’t possible. It couldn’t be. She just sat there with her fingers running along her old scar.
“Mom…” Jax called with concern.
The judge slammed his gavel down and shushed the room.
“I’m okay…” Gemma mouthed towards her son and forced a smile.
The judge went over a few more things before dismissing. But the moment Gemma came to her feet, she passed out.
“MOM!” Jax hollered in a panic and Clay looked on in fright as Jax leaped over the benches, in order to get to his mother.
“CALL 911!” He shouted and Clay was already on his phone and making his way over.
“Hey baby…” Gemma wearily called and Jax smiled.
“How you feelin’?” Clay asked as he was sitting on the other side and holding her hand.
“Like I could run track.” She smarted and Clay chuckled.
“So what happened?” Gemma asked looking awfully confused as she was lying in a hospital bed.
“Eh, your arrhythmia decided to act up on us. Wasn’t a heart attack…”
Gemma drew back a breath of relief and Clay kissed her hand.
“You’ll have to chill out for a couple days until we can bring you home.”
“A couple days?!”
“Don’t get yourself all worked up again.” Clay uttered as her monitor started to beep.
“I can’t stay here. I wanna see my grandson!”
“Gem baby, I need you to relax. Alright?!”
“He’s right, mom. You gotta focus on getting better first.”
“I just got out and now I’m in the fucking hospital?!”
“I know… I’m so sorry, mom.”
“Look at it this way. After this… you’re home free.” Clay whispered and Gemma nodded.
“Where’ve you been?” Clay asked once Tig entered the room.
“I’ve been trying to get ahold of you all day.”
“Must’ve had my phone off.”
“You had your phone off?”
“Yeah… Couldn’t sleep so I turned it off last night.”
“And you didn’t come in today because?”
“Something came up.”
“Something came up?” Clay mocked and Gemma narrowed her eyes in question.
“What’s going on?” She asked and Jax let out an uncomfortable sigh on this.
“Nothing. Just focus on getting better.” Jax said with a stern look upon his stepfather and Tig.
“Look, why don’t I bring Abel by in the morning? That should brighten your spirits.”
Gemma smiled on this.
“I’d love that.”
“I thought so.”
“Where is Abel anyhow?”
“Bella’s watching after him.”
“And how’s that going?”
“Great. Things couldn’t be better mom.” He said while resisting the urge to cut Clay a go to hell look.
“That’s wonderful, baby. As long as she’s treating you two right.”
“She’s been an angel. Don’t concern yourself with me and Abel. We’re fine.”
“Angel isn’t how I’d put it.” Clay muttered under his breath and Jax snapped his head that direction.
“Well no one asked you.”
Clay simply laughed and came to his feet. He signaled for Tig to step outside. Tig nodded but hugged and kissed Gemma on the cheek first.
“How you feelin’, baby?”
“Been better. Been worse.”
Tig smiled and gave her hand a bit of a squeeze.
“No more scares alright? It’s good to have you back.”
Tig nodded upon Clay once he stepped out of the room.
“Well if you would’ve answered your phone, you would’ve known.”
Tig shook his head on this.
“I need to know I can count on you.”
“Are you sure about that? You seem awfully sketchy as of late. You wanna tell me what that’s about?”
“It’s nothing. I’m sorry I didn’t answer my phone. But I got shit in my life too you know.”
Clay rather scoffed at this.
“Like what?!” He challenged and Tig regarded his prez in disbelief.
“Just tell me what you were trying to get ahold of me for.”
“You mean besides my old lady damn near having a heart attack?”
“You said you’ve been trying all day. So what was it?”
“What’s come over you?”
They heard one of the nurses call as she was making her way down the hall.
“Who’s awake?” Clay asked.
“No one.” Tig uttered and waved the nurse off.
She had this perplexed look about her but went about her way.
“Are you going to tell me what you needed?”
“After you tell me what the hell is going on? What’s she talkin’ about?”
“I was checking up on a friend of mine.”
“Do I know this friend?”
“Yeah.” Tig said with much reluctance.
When Tig wouldn’t answer Clay decided to take matters into his own hands. He followed the nurse to the room six doors down. He looked at the name on the door and staggered back in downright shock.
“That cum guzzling Phantom is a friend of yours?!”
“And what if he is?”
Clay had a good laugh at this.
“You have got to be kidding me.”
Tig pulled a certain face on this and Clay looked to Tig as if piecing a puzzle together.
“No. You’re not. No way.” Clay said with a touch of anger.
“And what if I was?!”
“Then you know what would happen…”
Tig swallowed back on this. Clay grabbed Tig by the cut and forced him into an empty room. He shut then locked the door behind him.
“No. You understand. Not happening. I’m giving you this ONE out and you better take it. I want that little faggot’s boss out of the picture and I want it done ASAP. I don’t care how you do it. Just make certain you leave no tracks. You wanna stay a part of this club? You’ll get the job done and you’re not to see this Derk guy again.”
Tig couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Clay was his best friend (or so he thought) and now he looked upon him like he was nothing more than a dog and Tig had officially become his BITCH. Wasn’t this the same shit he pulled with JT?! Tig pinched his eyes shut.
“Alright. Consider it done.”
Clay gave a simple nod before exiting the room. But when he left Tig took off his cut and used it to take out his frustrations. By the time he finished, the room itself was a disaster. The door opened and Tig was quick to grab whoever it was. He had them up against the wall and with a firm hand clasped around their mouth… “Not a word. Got it.” He threatened and Dr. Knowles gave a tearful nod.
Tig eyed her down as he put his cut back on. Then he exited the room like nothing even happened.
“Bad dream?” Bella questioned as she lifted Abel out from his crib.
He drew back a quivery breath and hugged her. Bella placed him onto the changing table and he reached for her.
“It won’t take long…” She uttered and got him changed as fast as she could.
By the time she finished he was in literal sobs.
“Shhh… you’re alright.”
Bella swallowed back however as Abel wrapped his tiny arms around her neck and was clinging on for dear life.
“What has you so spooked, huh?”
To her great surprise he pointed towards his closet. Bella tilted her head on this.
“Oh Abel baby, there’s nothing…” She started to say as she opened the door but with a gasping yelp.
“WHO IN THE FUCK ARE YOU?!” Bella shouted as she held Abel out of reach and was backing away.
The woman inside the closet had this downright fearful presence. She held her hands up.
“I just wanted to see him, that’s all!”
Bella gave a simple nod and placed Abel back into the crib. She marched her way over and got in the woman’s face.
“You’ve got five seconds or I swear to GOD I’ll fuck you up, something fierce.”
“I’m his mother!”
Jax had pulled into the driveway at this point and could hear the commotion from where he was.
“So you’re the deadbeat mother that nearly got that baby killed…” She said in such a menacing way that it even sent Jax chills as he was right at the front door.
“You’re not going anywhere near that boy.”
“And who the fuck are you?!” Wendy asked rather accusingly.
“You want to know who the fuck I am?!”
Wendy nodded and Bella smiled.
“The new old lady and this one… don’t play games.”
“This is between me and Jax.”
“Not while I’m in the picture.” Bella said then grabbed a fistful of Wendy’s hair.
Wendy went to break out of her hold only to have Bella slam her up against the wall. One of Abel’s pictures fell off the wall and Bella forced Wendy’s head back. Abel started bawling and Bella cranked her head his direction.
“Abel…” She called with this heartbroken tone.
She knew scene before him was upsetting.
“I’m so sorry baby.” Bella apologized and was in attempts to get Wendy out of his room.
Wendy flung her elbow back and Bella gasped back as the wind was knocked out of her. Abel let out this hysteric cry and was reaching for Bella.
“Nooo.” He cried and that’s when Jax entered the room.
He was quick to grab his son. Bella hadn’t taken notice of his presence as she had Wendy on the floor, in a chokehold.
“I WANT YOU OUT OF THIS HOUSE!” She roared while giving Wendy a good shake.
Bella froze however as she felt a familiar hand lock around her arm. She lifted her head and Jax gave a simple nod as he helped her to her feet. He checked her over then caressed her cheek.
“Are you alright?”
“Wendy… What are you doing here?!”
Wendy held up a key and Jax flinched.
“She has a key?!”
“From a long time ago, baby. I forgot she even had it.”
The woman came to her feet and rubbed her hand along her neck as she fought to catch her breath.
“Jax, we need to talk.”
“Talk?! It’s two in the morning and you welcomed yourself into this house, like you own the fucking place! Hell, you’re lucky she didn’t kill you!” Jax spat.
“Jax, things are different now. I’m clean and have been. Abel deserves to know who his mother is!”
“You’re not his mother, Wendy. You never were. Giving birth doesn’t make you a mother.”
“I would’ve been here if I could. You know I was in rehab!”
“By court order!” Jax reminded.
Bella took it upon herself to pry the key out from Wendy’s hold. She tossed it Jax’s direction. He caught it then pocketed it.
“We’ll be getting the locks changed; so don’t even think about coming back. Come anywhere near that boy again and I’ll rip out your goddamn jugular out and eat it for breakfast!”
Jax found himself taken back. This girl was livid and she’d that caged lioness thing going. If he hadn’t arrived when he had, he hadn’t any doubt that his old lady would’ve ripped Wendy a new one, if not flat out kill her. He could see it written all over her face. She wanted to, in a bad way.
Wendy looked to Jax as if she needed some sort of conformation on this.
“I don’t want you coming over and stay away from MY son.”
Bella smiled on this.
“Well there you have it. It was a pleasure, Wendy.” Bella said before opening the door and shoving her outside.
“I’ll fight this!” Wendy threatened and Bella responded by backhanding her.
“BELLA!” Jax scolded.
Wendy held a hand over her cheek and Bella leaned into her ear.
“Try it… See where it gets you. I’ll make it look like an accident – like you fell off the wagon. Let me guess heroin?” Bella uttered as she got a good look at the woman before her. When she wouldn’t answer Bella nodded.
“I know all about covering my tracks. Try me, see what happens.”
Jax looked on in sheer amazement as Bella stuffed Wendy into her car then waved her off.
“Ho-ly shit…” He uttered in absolute awe.
“Now THAT was a biker’s old lady.”
Bella raised her brows and went on to lock up the house.
“Let’s get married!”
Bella snorted on this.
“Keep dreaming, Jackson.”
He nodded and tried again, only with the actual ring in hand this time. Bella froze and looked to the ring in shock.
“Come on, Bella baby. Marry me.”
“You’re serious…” She whispered.
“Absolutely.” He said with a nod.
Abel took the ring from his father’s hold and offered it to Bella. Jax couldn’t help but to get that smug grin about him.
“See?! Even Abel agrees. It’s what’s in the cards for us, always was. So let’s just do it.”
“I never wanted to get married…”
The way she said this had Jax’s heart sinking to the pit of his stomach. Bella made her way over and held her hand out. Abel placed the ring into the palm of her hand. Her heart was all a-flutter once she read the engraving.
“At least that’s what I always told myself.” Bella muttered under the breath then placed the ring onto her finger. It was a perfect fit, just as Jax had assumed. She looked the ring in thought.
“Then you came along and fucked all that up!” She playfully spat and Jax lifted his head on this.
Bella sent him a tearful smile.
“Of course I’ll marry you, Jackson.”
“Jesus fucking Christ…” He uttered as if out of breath.
“I love you too.” She witted while admiring the ring.
The ring was white gold and in the center of the ring… was a skull. To the sides of that skull was a set of wings and on top of the skull itself was a diamond.
“I’ve never seen one like this…”
“Seemed like you.” He said with a shrug.
“I love it. It’s perfect, Jackson.”
Jax smiled then kissed her.
“So that’s what it takes to get a proposal from Jackson Teller?”
He narrowed his eyes and regarded her in question.
“Gotta put the exes in their place?”
“Damn straight, baby!” He teased with a cocky grin.
Bella punched him on the arm.
“Owww!” Abel broke into a fight of giggles and Jax shook his head.
“Really, son? Taking her side already?”
Abel smiled and Jax sighed.
“Well at least he’s smart.”
“Good. Maybe he’ll learn from his daddy’s mistakes.”
“Just calling it the way I see it.”
“Maybe I should take the ring back.” He taunted as Bella was getting Abel a bottle ready.
“Too late. It’s already attached to my finger. And face it Jackson… I’m the best you’re going to get!” She goaded and Jax raised his brows then looked to his son.
“Well she’s right. But we’re not about to tell her that, now are we?” He whispered with a wink and headed into the kitchen.
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