Chapter 24 Two Gunslingers

Chapter 24 – Two Gunslingers

I do not own SOA, Twilight, or anything youtube/Tom Petty related. RIP Tom. You will be missed.

“Jackson?”

“Hm?”

“Those pictures you were telling me about… You know the ones you set Agent Stahl up with?”

“Yeah?”

“How’d you come about getting those?”

Jax cleared his throat then flicked his ashes into the ashtray. Bella placed his and Abel’s plates down and waited for an answer.

“Well…?”

“Would you consider it stalking if I took the pictures myself?”

Bella’s jaw dropped on this. Jax leaned back and sort of laughed.

“Well I wasn’t about to let any of the boys take those pictures!”

“Jackson!”

“What?! Would you prefer it if I had?” He taunted with a teasing grin.

Abel smiled in response to his father’s playful demeanor.

“You could’ve told me!”

“Nah, I needed them to look legit. I didn’t need you posing and shit. We’ll get to that in the bedroom.” He said whilst wiggling his brows.

“You wish…”

“I bet I could get you going enough to agree.”

“Fat chance.”

“Oh we’ll just see about that…” Jax uttered in a challenging manner.

“I can’t believe you were following me and taking pictures. Just how long did you go about doing this?”

“Hell, if I know. A few of them were taken whenever I spotted you in town.”

“Perv…”

“Damn straight. I’m the only one allowed to stalk your ass. That’s how I show love…”

“Oh, I’ll show you love…” Bella hissed and Jax chuckled.

“Look at you, getting adorably mad.”

“That’s like the worst thing you could say to a woman when she’s pissed!”

“Not my fault it’s true.” He murmured with a shrug and stuffed his mouth with mashed potatoes.

“And why are you so angry? It’s just me…”

“How would you feel if the tables were turned?”

“You mean if you were stalking me?!”

“Well duh…”

“Huh… That’d be kind of hot. I’m certain I’ve had that fantasy a time or two.”

Bella looked to Jax in disbelief.

“You’re so full of shit.”

“Nope. So will you?”

“Will I what?!”

“Stalk me?!”

Abel clapped his hands together and repeated the word (stalk aka “sock” according to Abel) over and over. Bella pinched the bridge of her nose and Jax smiled with a mouthful of mash potatoes.

“Mamee?”

“What is it, buddy?”

Abel pointed to a bowl of corn Bella had on the table.

“You want more?”

Abel rubbed his tummy and nodded.

“I think it’s safe to say he loves your cooking.”

“That or he’s hit a growth spurt.” Bella said as she scooped Abel some more corn.

“He hardly even touches his bottle now.” Jax said in thought.

“Yeah I noticed that as well. I had to throw out the last bit of formula, it got too old.”

“Little man’s growing up.” Jax said with a wink his son’s way.

Abel smiled and scooped a spoonful of corn into his mouth.

“What are your plans for Halloween?” Bella curiously asked.

Jax looked to Bella in thought.

“Haven’t decided yet.”

“Well you’re taking him trick or treating, right?!” She questioned rather accusingly.

Jax couldn’t help but to laugh.

“Of course.”

“You better…”

“Would you like to join us?”

Bella chewed on her bottom lip and with this guilt ridden expression.

“Something wrong?”

“I may or may not have had him a costume made…”

Jax found himself taken back by this.

“I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking when I did it. The idea just came to me and…” Bella let out a anxious sigh.

“It really wasn’t my place to do that. It should’ve been up to you. Look, just be honest. If you hate it or would rather he wear something else I understand.”

“Bella baby… just show me what you got.”

Bella took a sip off her tea then headed outside for a brief moment. She returned with a bag in hand. She had this nervous twinge about her as she went on to reveal the costume.

Jax was blown away. Bella went all out. The costume was a perfect replica of his white shirt, cut, and Sons rings. Bella swallowed back and observed Jax’s reaction closely. Jax raised his brows and held his hands in a prayer-like fashion.

“Jackson…” Bella fretfully called.

“I fucked up, didn’t I?”

“No. Not at all. It’s beyond perfect and something I would’ve never come up with.”

Bella let out a breath of relief. Jax gawked at everything in disbelief. He couldn’t believe the sheer amount of detail.

“Who made this?” He asked with full on curiosity.

“The same person who made the Phantoms getup…”  Bella whispered in such a way.

This had Jax tilting his head in wonder.

“Sweet Asian lady by the name of Seiko. She runs a small business outside the projects. I’m looking into moving her business elsewhere. This woman’s been robbed, repeatedly. In fact, the last time… she barely made it out alive. They didn’t know she was in the back still working. She startled them and the assholes let her have it.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“There’s a place not far from the shop, bigger even. I thought if she were closer in town. I could keep a better eye on her.”

Jax nodded in understanding.

“I was going to check it out tomorrow morning. It’s the building next door to the ice cream shop.”

“I know that place.”

“Do you know the realtor by chance?”

“No. But I can look into it.”

“It’s okay. I can do that.”

“Are you sure? I don’t mind helping your friend out, darlin’.”

“I know. I was more curious than anything.”

“Something else on your mind?”

“I’d be dipping into Han’s money.”

“You mean yours…” Jax reminded and Bella pulled a certain face on this.

“Han left everything to you.”

“I know. But it feels wrong.”

“Why?”

“I’m not sure I can explain it. It’s not so much guilt as much as I feel undeserving. Of all the people in the world… he chose me? Why?!”

“Because he thought of you like a sister and that’s what big brothers do. They take care of their family.”

Bella nodded but didn’t look very convinced.

“Bella baby, you’ve gotta quit being so hard on yourself. Maybe it’s time you start asking yourself why not…”

Why not?”

“Yeah. Why not you? Don’t you bust ass and put forth just as much as anyone else? Haven’t you gone above and beyond for others? Why shouldn’t you deserve the best in life?”

“That sounds very egotistical.”

“No it’s not. I mean fuck… if it wasn’t for your crew, you’d be doing this shit for free and you know it. There’s no shame in earning a hard days cut. Recognizing your worth doesn’t make you a bad person or selfish even. It means you’re not about to let anyone fuck you over.”

Jax drew back a breath as something else came to mind. Something he’d been meaning to ask her but it felt too personal at the time. He figured now was as good of time as any.

“Now don’t take offense…  But I’m curious. Just how much do you leave yourself?! You know… by the time you pay your crew?”

“That’s a little personal, isn’t it?”

“We’re sharing a bed and getting married. I can’t think of anything more personal than that.” He said with a warm smile.

“And I don’t mean to sound intrusive. I’m only out to make a point. But I can’t make that point, unless you’re perfectly honest.”

“On a good night…?” Bella said then folded her arms in thought.

Bella did the figures in her head then shrugged, once she came up with a rough estimate.

“I give my team whatever they earn, depending on how they placed. They earn that on top of whatever job we get.”

“Okay… So about how much do they take home, say a week?”

“A week with a race and job… that’s probably about five to seven grand. But that’s to last them the month as these races take sometime. There’s a lot that goes into them, as to why they are usually monthly. The amateurs as we call them can be anywhere from weekly to bi-weekly but their take would be half of that.”

“Okay so say… Half-Sack for example. He brings home roughly what… a month?”

“Well the last job he did he got fourteen hundred. But he won one of the races that week as well and that earned him another two grand. I added Wraith’s earnings for the night and halved that with my crew, including that of Kip. So he made a solid six thousand, four hundred and…” Jax whistled before Bella could even finish.

Bella raised her brows on this.

“Can I work for you?!”

Bella snorted in thought.

“Shit! Granted we Sons have had our moments of tripling that, thanks to the cartel. But say without it… Yeah nowhere near that good! Fuck baby, your crew is killin’ it.”

Jax handed Abel a roll as he was reaching for one.

“Alright, so how much does the big boss bring home?”

“Jackson…”

“Come on… It’s just us. Tell me how much you bring home, in comparison to your crew, on good week, month, however you wish to put it. Say in comparison to Kip’s six thousand four, hundred something…”

Bella shrunk back in her chair knowing Jax was going to disapprove of her answer. But she meant it when she said it was never about the money. Dizzy brought home more than anyone, the Phantoms came in a close second, and Wraith… Well she managed in comparison. She made it her mission to take care of her crew, first and foremost.

“A couple grand, maybe three.”

Jax hit at his chest as he choked on his tea.

“You’re kidding…”

“Jackson…” She groaned and he shook his head.

“So you bring home less than anyone else, yet you’re the oak tree.”

“Oak tree?”

“That’s right. Where would the Phantoms be without Wraith?”

Jax shook his head in thought.

“How in the fuck do you pay your bills, much less eat?! That penthouse has to be eating you alive!”

“I manage… Besides the house is paid off.”

“That doesn’t include monthly expenses. You gotta keep up with the utilities, amongst other things. Jesus, that certainly explains why you damn near starve yourself.”

“I don’t starve myself.”

“Come on, baby. You can’t fool me. Just how many times have I gotten onto you for that growling stomach of yours. I thought you were being absentminded and forgetting, but no. You’re downright starving yourself, just in order to keep that crew of yours spoiled. Do they have any idea?”

“No and don’t say shit about this. That’s my business, Jackson.”

Jax looked offended by this.

“I didn’t mean that as ugly as it sounded. But I don’t tell you how to run your finances when it comes to SAMCRO. So I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t tell me how to run mine.”

“I wouldn’t care if you did. What part of we’re getting married don’t you get? You have just as much say in how I run things in SAMCRO as Opie does.”

“BULLSHIT! You’d divorce my ass, in a heartbeat if I ever pulled something like that and I wouldn’t blame you if you did.”

“Goddamn, there you go again; telling me what I would and wouldn’t do. You don’t know shit! If I was doing something to upset you, I’d want to know. I’d want us to talk it over and work it out.”

“I’m just the old lady. I have no rein, whatsoever in how you run your MC.”

“I’m sorry you think that. I never meant to make you feel that way. The way I see it? You might as well be my wife already. And I’m tellin’ you right now… If I EVER do something to make you question me and how I run SAMCRO, confront me. Don’t avoid it and pretend as if all is right in the world, because we’d be living a lie. That’s what my mother and JT did and I’ll be goddamned if you and I follow that same path. I wasn’t lying when I said you were queen. As far as I’m concerned, we’re the king and queen of Charming. We’re cleaning this shit up and earning those stripes of ours. Just because we run our own crews doesn’t mean we’re not working together on this. And it isn’t just about Charming, it’s about the future of SAMCRO, The Phantoms, and our loved ones.”

Jax held up the tiny cut Bella had made for Abel. He smiled as it even had the president patch.

“This right here is what I’m working towards. This is a perfect example of why we need to be honest with one another and talk this shit out. This could be our Son’s future, if that’s what he wants. I would never push him in this direction, unless it’s what he wanted. But I don’t want Abel to go through what we’re going through now. I want him to find love; to do whatever brings him pride. I don’t want him suffering, in means of making an honest living. I don’t want him dodging bullets, finding ways of riddin’ bodies, and making deals he may never find his way out of.  Let’s just say for shits and grins sake… he takes a page in Wraith’s page instead of Jackson Teller’s.”

Bella looked to Jax as if the thought never occurred to her.

“It could happen. He adores you, Bella. He could find himself leaning more towards his mother and how she does things. And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as he’s happy. And that there… is why I want you to think about what you’re doing. If Abel takes that same path… Is that what we’re going to teach him? To take less than he deserves? To barely make ends meet, in order to appease everyone else around him?”

“It’s not like that…” Bella started to defend and Jax held up a hand.

“Let me finish, please.”

Bella nodded and Jax lit up a smoke as he looked to his son.

“I already know you’re going to clean up the racing district. I can see that fire in your eyes, even now. It’s gonna happen, just as I’m going to clean up SAMCRO. But Wraith needs to start thinking of her actual worth and she shouldn’t feel any shame in taking home what she truly deserves. If her crew isn’t suffering… why should she? Why should anyone in your shoes? Is that the message you want to send out for the next Wraith?”

“Next Wraith?” Bella whispered and Jax nodded.

“Maybe Wraith should die with me…” She said and this had Jax on edge.

“What do you mean by that?”

“Maybe no one else was meant to take the helmet. Maybe it should end with me.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Why not?”

“Because like that of SAMCRO, Wraith brings hope. So many look up to her. You didn’t see what I saw that day at the race. You were too close to the picture. But I saw the slew of fans wearing t-shirts and hats, in support of their favorite street racer. But it wasn’t just about Wraith being their favorite racer, no. Wraith stands for something. Something we all need, even SAMCRO. You bring light into the darkness. And I think that’s what makes your word so powerful. Everyone knows how Wraith overcame her own darkness. There was a time where Wraith had no choice but to play the villain. Everyone FEARED HIM. But with that fear, came respect. Only now?  Wraith stands for so much more and she’s living proof that anyone can overcome the worst, if given that chance. Charming needs that, just as much as they need SAMCRO. You Wraith… bring light, courage, and second chances. SAMCRO brings fear, honor, and respect. And together… we bring hope.”


“No dadee. That mamee!” Abel said as he snatched the stuffed bunny from his father’s hold.

Jax pretended to pout as Abel handed the bunny to Bella instead.  Abel giggled once he saw his father’s face. Abel walked on over to his toy box then handed his father a toy truck instead.

“Dadee.”

“Ah, you’re right! That’s more my speed.”

Jax made vroom sounds as he pushed the toy truck around the carpet. Bella placed the stuffed bunny into the back of the truck and Abel teared up in laughter.

“No mamee…” he said as if she were being silly.

He grabbed the bunny and shook his head as he handed it back. Bella hugged the bunny and Abel hugged her in response.

“Dat babee.” He said and pointed to the bunny.

“So this is your baby?” Bella questioned and Abel shook his head while giggling.

“No. Mamee babee.” He pointed to the bunny then himself.

“That’s right. You’re my baby.”

Abel nodded in response then looked to his father.

“Dadee babee.” He said and Jax nodded.

“That’s right little man.”

Abel crawled into his father’s lap and snuggled up against his chest.

“Oh yeah… I almost forgot.” Jax reached into his shirt pocket and handed Bella a new cellphone.

“Not for business…” He reminded as to keeping a low profile.

Right. Thank you.”

Jax nodded and pecked her on the lips. Bella looked to the phone and frowned.

“What?” Jax questioned taking notice.

“All the pictures I had of you and Abel…”

“Hmmm…” He hummed as he took out his cellphone and skimmed through it.

Jax went on to send her whatever he had of him and Abel. He went as far as to send her the videos she’d been sending him of Abel as well.

“Thank you.”

“No prob.”

Jax smiled as Abel was sawing logs in his lap. Bella snapped a picture and used it as her new background. Bella was somewhat impressed as Jax took it upon himself to set up her contacts; aside from a few Phantoms (whose numbers he didn’t know). Other than that, it was ready to go.

“I better get. A lot going on tonight.”

“Yeah. I gotta get Abel to Gemma’s and finish that Ford back at the shop.”

Bella came to her feet and helped Jax with Abel. She managed to get Abel into his car seat, without waking him. She placed the stuffed bunny into his arms then kissed his forehead. Jax came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist.

“We need more nights and days like this.” He whispered while kissing along her neck.

Bella smiled in response and spun around in his hold. She draped her arms around his neck.

“And we’ll have those, plenty of them. I promise.”

“I hope so. Can’t get enough of you darlin’.” Jax nodded towards Abel.

“And I know he feels the same.”

Jax narrowed his eyes however as something was poking out from Bella’s leather jacket. He grabbed the prescription bottle and reared back in surprise.

“Xanax?!”

Bella’s entire face flushed over. She snatched the bottle from his hold and was quick to stuff it back into her pocket.

“Have they gotten that bad?”

“Jackson…” She pleaded.

“Hey… I’m only asking out of concern. I knew you were having trouble… but I hadn’t a clue they’d gotten that out of hand.” But the moment he said this he felt like a royal dick. How could he NOT notice? He thought back to the last few times he’d witnessed and cringed.

Jesus…” He uttered in shame but Bella took it wrong.

She let out this miserable laugh and shook her head.

“I didn’t mean it like that.”

“Sure you didn’t.”

“No. I’m serious. I should’ve been the first to notice. But it took fucking Chibs. God…” Jax paced the area as he was pissed with himself.

It seemed as if it was always Chibs to the rescue and Jax was fucking blindsided. He thought back to the last few times Chibs had defended Bella and how he always had her pegged, to a t.

“Bella…” Jax said as if he were about to be sick.

It was a wonder she hadn’t left him for his fucking sergeant.

“I’m so sorry. I should’ve done something, anything. I wasn’t there for you.”

“That’s not true!”

“Bullshit. I can look back and realize just how fucked up everything’s been. I keep going at it, like its usual MC business, but it’s not. You’re my old lady and all I keep doing is failing you.”

“Okay, that’s enough. You’ve more than been there for me, so I don’t get where this is coming from. It’s just pills, Jackson.”

“Nah, it’s more than just pills. It’s me not paying more attention.”

Bella shook her head and hopped onto her bike.

“I’m not going to stand there and listen to this, because it isn’t true. We both have our plates full; we’re bound to miss a few things here and there. That doesn’t mean you haven’t been there for me.” Bella put her helmet on and nodded Jax’s direction.

“I’ll see you around.”

Jax wasn’t sure what to say as her bike roared to life and she headed on out. Jax combed his fingers though his hair then looked to his son.

“What am I doing…?” He whispered as he was downright disgusted with himself.

“See you around?!” He repeated with a frustrated sigh.

“…fuck…” 


“Bella?!” Ellie squealed as she answered the door.

Bella smiled as Ellie hugged her. Bella hugged her cousin in return then nodded Kenny’s direction. He was sitting in the recliner, playing a video game.

“Now that takes some talent…” Bella teased.

Kenny looked to his cast and shrugged.

“Bet I could beat you…” he taunted with a grin.

“Alright, you’re on.”

Bella plopped down beside him and Kenny handed her the other remote. This had her thinking back to Cliff and Duke.

“Are you okay?” Kenny asked as Bella looked to be in physical pain.

“Yeah… Just let me hit the bathroom first.”

Kenny nodded in response and Bella headed into the bathroom. She took the pills out from her jacket then sighed. “This shit’s getting old.” She whispered while popping one into her mouth. The young woman used her hands to gather some water from the bathroom sink. She used it to wash the pill down. Bella gazed upon her reflection afterward. She thought back to Chibs and how he himself was popping these. Still, she found that hard to fathom. He never showed the signs… But Chibs wasn’t one to lie either. Bella took off her jacket and made herself more presentable. She had a couple hours before she hit the races. She promised Ellie and Kenny she’d stop by today. It was nice, seeing them in better spirits. Opie must’ve been doing something right, since he’d come back home.

Bella exited the bathroom but reared back in surprise. There was another boy in the house. He and Ellie were talking in the kitchen. Ellie looked awfully upset and Bella tilted her head, as she was trying to hear what was being said. The boy had her cornered and Ellie had this fearful presence about her. Kenny was lost in his video game and hadn’t taken notice.

“Kenny?”  Bella whispered.

“Hm?”

“Who’s the boy?”

“Eh, some guy Ellie’s dating.”

“Dating?!” Bella hissed and Kenny lifted his eyes on this.

“Yeah… she’s that age you know.” He scoffed.

Bella curled her lip at this and Kenny sort of laughed.

“You’re too funny.”

“That doesn’t look like dating to me…” Bella said and Kenny paused his game.

Kenny cranked his head that direction and just in time to see this guy punch his sister. Just as Bella was to react, Kenny beat her to the punch.

“Hell yeah!” Bella encouraged as Kenny had the boy on the ground and was letting him have it.

Bella was quick to grab ahold of Ellie and got her out of harm’s way. Bella didn’t interrupt and let Kenny have his way. But the moment the other kid got a blow in, Bella snatched him up, by the collar of his shirt. She thrust him up against the wall and stared him down.

“I don’t know who the fuck you are… But come anywhere near my cousin again and I’ll rip your little pubescent balls off.”

Kenny gathered this shit eating grin and nodded in agreement.

“She will too. I’ve seen her do it. It’s sick! So much blood…”

Bella resisted the urge to laugh. She dragged the boy outside the house then hurled him across the yard.

“Consider yourself dumped, you little shit.” Bella slammed the door shut and Ellie just looked to the both of them in shock.

To their great surprise, Ellie covered her mouth and broke into a fit of tearful giggles.

“That was awesome!” She said and Bella smiled.

“Winston blood, baby. Next time you let him have it. I mean it, Ellie. No one should be hitting you, not ever. I don’t care what their excuse is.”

Ellie nodded in understanding.

“So what was that about anyhow?”

“I was breaking with him. He’s always calling and coming over. It’s creepy.”

“Creepy…?”

“Yeah… I never really said yes. He just started calling me his girlfriend.”

“Ellie?”

“Yeah?”

“Was that Greg?”

Ellie lowered her head and nodded.

“So he bullied you into a relationship?!”

“Yeah…” Ellie muttered looking embarrassed.

THAT WAS GREG?!” Kenny yapped looking pissed.

Ellie nodded once again and Kenny snarled back on this.

“I’m sorry, Ellie. I had no idea. I thought you liked him, he came by so much.” Kenny said as he was angry with himself.

“What an idiot…” Bella murmured causing both kids to look over.

“Who in their right mind bullies the VP of SAMCRO’s daughter?! Is he mentally challenged?!” She said but she meant it to be serious. Both Winston kids died of laughter.

“He’s lucky your father didn’t see that. Uncle Op would’ve buried him six feet under and then some.”


“Wassup?” Opie asked as Jax had everyone gather round after their shift.

He went on to tell the Sons about Rat and Kozik and how they roughed his old lady up. This had the Sons looking to one another in disbelief.

“What a couple retards!” Happy hooted behind laughter.

“They’re so fucked!” He added and Jax nodded in full agreement.

“Should’ve left town when they had the chance…” Opie muttered with balled up hands.

“You got that right.” Jax said and he made a gesture Piney’s direction.

“Did you bring that belt sander I wanted to borrow?”

“Yep.”

“Cool. I’m gonna need that, tonight. Seems as if Kozik never got that ink of his blackened.”

The Sons looked to one another then back to Jax.

“I like your thinking, son.” Piney said.


“You have got to be joking…” Jax uttered as he and the boys had been searching all the local bars throughout Charming.

Never did they dream that Kozik and Rat would end up at the SAME bar in which they attacked Bella.

“Are these fuckers suicidal or what?!” Chibs questioned.

“My thoughts exactly…”

“Could’ve wrapped this shit up sooner…” Piney stated and Jax chuckled.

“Oh man… this is rich. Guess they learned nothing.” Jax declared as to their time with the Sons.

Tig tapped Jax on the shoulder and Jax nodded his way.

“He stole my dog…” He said with that serious mien about him.

“Yeah…”

“Yeah…” Tig murmured and Jax smiled.

“Alright “Tiger”, I’ll let you have first go.” He taunted as to his old lady’s nickname for him.

“Don’t be jealous, boss. Doesn’t suit you very well.” Tig goaded with a wide grin.

“Watch yourself, Trager.”

“Gotcha!”

The boys headed inside and were discreet, as they welcomed themselves to the booth where the Kozik and Rat were sitting. They had a couple girls with them. Chibs wrapped his arm around the one Kozik was flirting with. Happy leaned into the one sitting in Rat’s lap and whispered something flirtatious into her ear. The girl blushed and Happy sent her a wink. Both Rat and Kozik had these oh shit looks about them. Jax held his hand out as if in greeting. He nodded upon Kozik in particular.

“Hello, I’m Karma. I don’t think we’ve met, at least not officially.” He finished with a growl.

Jax hadn’t taken notice of how “Wraith-like” that sounded. Then again the two were rubbing off on one another. Wraith most certainly had her “Jackson” moments.

“WHAT THE FUCK?!” Rat hissed as the girl he was with was Frenching Happy.

Happy held up a single finger and used his free hand to feel her up. Jax cocked a brow at this.

“Looks like she’s lost interest. Tell you what Happy, take the night off, show the lady a good time.” Happy lifted his head on this and saw that Jax was dead serious.

Happy shrugged and wasted no time. He flipped the girl over his shoulder then took her into the men’s room. Jax chuckled. The girl Kozik was with however looked downright appalled and well… pissed.  She hopped up and squeezed her way past the Sons. Kozik reached out to her.

“Come on, babe.” He pleaded and the girl flipped him off.

“I like her…” Chibs said with a shrug and was checking her out on her way out.

Tig scooted on past Chibs and was practically sitting in Kozik’s lap. He ran his fingers up along Kozik’s thigh then pecked him on the cheek.

“I get first dibs.” He whispered rather seductively and Kozik rolled his eyes.

“I can’t believe you’re at the same bar. Just how stupid are you? I mean honestly. THIS was the last place we’d look. Then again, we were thinking like actual Sons, not pussies.”

“Come on, Jax. Pussies can take a pounding. Something tells me these two fuckers will be crying for their mommas.” Opie mocked and put his cigarette out on Rat’s shoulder.

Jax noticed the looks they were getting and decided they’d better head on out.

“You got two options. Come with us now and we’ll rid of that ink of yours and escort you on out of town. Or stay and we hunt you down then put a couple bullets in your heads.”

“I don’t have any ink…” The old prospect stupidly remarked and Jax tilted his head on this.

“No shit…?” He scoffed as the prospects weren’t allowed to get MC ink.

They had to be voted in, as full-fledged members first. Rat nodded and Jax leaned back in thought.

“Not to worry. We have something special planned for you as well. I wouldn’t want you to feel left out.”


“They call him The Nomad.”

“Okay…” Bella said as she was scoping out Wraith’s newest rival.

“He travels from state to state, challenging only the best. Rumor has it he hasn’t lost a race yet.”

“Is that so?” Bella said with a touch of a smirk.

The women were all over this guy. It unnerved Bella, just how much he dressed like Wraith. The only difference? He wore denim pants, whereas Wraith wore leather ones. This had her thinking back to the guy she’d met, the day she picked out Jax’s ring. In fact, she swore those were the same boots and jacket.

“He’s making his way over.” Dizzy muttered under her breath.

“You’re kidding…”

“Nope.”

Bella pretended not to notice and hoped to god he’d keep walking.  But she’d no such luck as he stopped and at the table they were sitting at. He retrieved a red rose from his jacket then handed it over. Bella looked to the rose then back to the driver.

“Thanks but no thanks.” She mumbled and went to hand it back.

The man held up a hand in refusal and simply walked away. Bella looked around the area in alarm.

“Is he hitting on you?” Kelly asked and Eric looked to the guy as if he wondering that himself.

“We gotta go.” Bella said in alarm.

“You’re kidding…” Dizzy uttered gathering what happened.

“Nope. So hurry the fuck up.”

Bella was quick to herd The Phantoms on out of the area. She stuffed them into the GTO then tossed Dizzy the keys.

“Go!”

“No! Not without you!” Dizzy said and Bella sighed.

“Dizzy, I’ve been made. We talked about this. Now I need you to keep your promise. GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!”

Dizzy did as she was told and hit the road. Bella drew back an uneasy breath then looked around the parking lot.

“Alright, you son of a bitch… Where are you?” She muttered under her breath.

Sure enough a limo pulled up beside her. The back door swung open and Bella let out a nervous laugh.

Right…” She whispered before getting into the limo.

“You’re a very hard woman to reach!” Mr. Putlova expressed and signaled for his driver to go on.

Bella swallowed back and Mr. Putlova offered Bella a glass of champagne.

“I’m good.”

“Have yourself a drink, please.”

Bella’s heart sank to the pit of her stomach as he had a gun aimed her direction. With a trembling hand, she reached for the glass.

“What’s in it?”

“Now is not the time for questions. Do as you’re told.”

Bella nodded and sipped at the champagne.

“All of it. Please.”

Bella downed the champagne then handed the empty glass back. He nodded and merely observed as Bella’s eyes began to flutter and her head swayed about.

“Sleep tight, Ms. Swan.”


“What do you mean she’s been made?” Half-Sack asked as Dizzy had the rest of the Phantoms gathered and was telling them what took place.

Dizzy paced the area and tried getting ahold of Bella, for the twenty-second time.

“Kip…” Dizzy whimpered in fear.

“We’ll find her…” He did his best to reassure.

“Dammit. We shouldn’t have left her! We should’ve stayed and made her take us with her!” Dizzy thought back to what Opie Winston said and recoiled.

“He was right…” She whispered as his words haunted her.

“What’ve we done?!” She said while looking to the Phantoms.

“We just got her killed…”


Opie tested the straps as they had Kozik bound to a rolling work bench. Piney locked the garage doors and Tig turned on the radio.

“Nice…” Jax murmured as Hail To the King by Avenged Sevenfold was playing.

“Crank that shit up, Trager!”

Tig smiled and turned up the volume. Jax gave a thumbs up and Piney handed the belt sander over.

“As promised…” Jax uttered and handed it over to Tig.

“Ever used one of those?”

Tig looked to the belt sander and shrugged.

“I’ll figure it out.” He said with a wink Kozik’s direction.

The boys laughed as Kozik looked to Tig in realization.

“OH SHIT!” He hollered and desperately squirmed about.

“Oh you’re not going anywhere.” Opie made clear as he’d strapped him in tight.

And he was right. The bench didn’t budge as he’d locked the wheels in place.

“JAX PLEASE! I’M SORRY! I SHOULDN’T HAVE…” His pleading became cries of absolute torment as Tig took that sander to the tat on his back.

“How’s that lookin’?” Jax questioned after a solid minute passed.

Tig stopped and looked Kozik’s back over. Everyone within the room grimaced as the sander was tearing away at Kozik’s flesh. Jax walked on over and pointed out some areas Tig had missed.

“On it!” Tig said behind a wicked grin and got back to it.

Jax hunkered down and got about eye level with Kozik. His cries continued and Jax grabbed a fistful of his hair.

“No one and I mean no one touches my old lady. You knew this… Yet you went and did it anyway. You wanted to send me a message, right? Is that it?”

Jax held up a hand and signaled for Tig to stop.

“Answer the question.” Jax ordered and Kozik went back to pleading.

Jax gritted his teeth and took the sander from Tig’s hold. He replaced the belt with a new one and got it going again. He started towards Kozik’s face.

“OKAY! You’re right… But the message wasn’t for you.”

Jax narrowed his eyes on this and killed the belt sander.

“Then who was the message for?”

“It was for Wraith.” Kozik said and Rat’s eyes went wild on this.

“No man…” Rat begged and Kozik sighed.

“They were going to find out anyway. We were never going to get out of this one.” Kozik said behind a miserable laugh.

“Out of what?” Jax demanded.

“That message didn’t come from us, but from Mr. Putlova.”

Jax reared back and everyone else cut Kozik a look of downright shock. Opie pulled a face as it was all coming together.

“You just ruined your chances of getting out of Charming alive.” Opie barked.

Jax held up a hand as Opie had his gun pointed Kozik’s direction.

“Mr. Putlova? When did you talk to Mr. Putlova?”

Kozik didn’t answer and Jax took that sander across his cheek.

“ANSWER THE QUESTION!” He thundered.

“Jax, I’m sorry.”

“I DON’T WANNA HEAR HOW SORRY YOU ARE. ANSWER THE MOTHERFUCKING QUESTION!”

“Come on, Jackson. Why bother? They’re rats…” Opie muttered as it was all coming together.

“They were playing us, from the very beginning. They were working with Clay and when pops rid of Clay, they stepped up to the plate and were playing everyone, including the Phantoms! They’re fucking spies for the Russians! How do you think Mr. Putlova found out about Wraith being my fucking niece?!They told him everything. That’s why she was attacked and the house was bugged. This has been going on for a long ass time. When you had Kozik voted out, it became personal. Because Kozik knew he’d be of no use to the Russians and that scared the shit out of him.”

“Jaysus.” Chibs said looking completely thrown off by this.

Jax looked to Rat, with a sneer.

“Guess you earned that name of yours… “rat” indeed. You ratted on us Sons and Wraith. You roughed her up, because Mr. Putlova gave you orders to do so. Let me guess… He wanted Wraith to lose trust in the Sons. He wanted to ruffle some feathers between us and the Phantoms. He wanted Wraith to pull out of the alliance. But he hadn’t a clue that you’d been voted out and that Rat was no longer prospect material. So you were playing BOTH sides, in order to keep your sorry asses alive!”

Jax gave no warning, whatsoever. He turned the belt sander back on and took it across Kozik’s face. Chibs turned and upchucked as the sander took Kozik’s nose and this was followed by a fountain of blood. Jax walked on over to Rat. He seized him by the throat and brought him to the floor. He put his knee to Rat’s throat then looked him in the eyes.

“Tell me everything and I do mean everything.”

Rat spilled the beans and the Sons couldn’t believe what they were hearing. They hadn’t a clue the betrayal began that far back. They were truly played. Jax closed his eyes and Chibs placed a hand of concern along his shoulder.

“Jackie…” he softly called as he still had his knee to Rat’s throat.

Bella had been accused of being the rat, back when Agent Stahl brought her and Tara Knowles in for questioning. But the rat was no other than Tara herself. Clay knew this and still… He went along with setting Bella up. Jax couldn’t believe the betrayal went this far back. All of this was to cover Clay’s tracks. He didn’t want anyone to know about Tara’s confession and said that he’d deal with Tara himself. Rat had overheard Tara talking to David and Agent Stahl. Agent Stahl assured Tara that she would be safe and the law would be on her side. Jax couldn’t believe David had stooped that low and had become one of Charming’s dirtiest deputies. They were going above and beyond to set Bella up and they were using Tara in order to do that; with the promise that Bella would be doing major time in prison. Of course that deal never came to light and Tara went off the deep end. That was about the time she went and told Jax that Bella was a rat. All of this led up to Clay’s deal with the Russians. Meaning this went as far back as to when Abel was kidnapped. Clay had plans of fucking Bella over, long before they even left for Canada.

“Ain’t no fury like a woman scorned…” Chibs uttered looking just as ill.

Jax shook his head in disbelief.

“Find Tara and bring her to me.” Jax ordered whilst glancing upon Tig.

“You got it, boss.”

“Don’t tell her anything. In fact, I want you do whatever you can to convince her that she needs SAMCRO’s protection.”

Tig smiled on this.

“As you wish.”

Jax gave a simple nod, before taking a bullet to Rat and Kozik’s heads.


“What do you mean she’s left town?” Jax questioned as he and the others were ridding of Kozik and Rat’s bodies.

“I mean she fucking left. The house is vacant, furniture, everything, gone.”

“Jesus.” Jax uttered.

“Alright, head back and I’ll figure out what’s going on, first tomorrow morning. I doubt she’s gone too far.”

Jax hung up and shook his head with sheer annoyance.

“How is she gone? She was just working a shift at the hospital a couple days ago. I saw her when I brought the old man in for a new tank.”

“He’s right. She was there.” Piney said.

“That’s strange… It’s almost like she had a heads up.” Opie murmured.

“But he said the house was vacant… meanin’ she had time ta pack up, at least.” Chibs said in thought.

“What the fuck man…?” Jax muttered looking utterly lost.

“Hey, we got it from here.” Opie said and Jax looked over.

“Go home. Be with your son.”

“And what about your kids?”

“Got the day off tomorrow, remember? Taking the kids fishing.”

You’re taking the kids fishing?” Piney scoffed and Opie rolled his eyes.

“What are you going to try and catch it with a fish call?”

“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”

“It means I doubt you even own a goddamn fishing pole.”

“Shut up…” Opie grumbled under his breath.

“Do you even know what to use for bait?”

“Yeah, your fucking denture cream.”

“I don’t wear fucking dentures.”

“Could’ve fooled me.”

“What do you mean she’s left town?” Jax questioned as he and the others were ridding of Kozik and Rat’s bodies.

“I mean she fucking left. The house is vacant, furniture, everything, gone.”

“Jesus.” Jax uttered and Happy entered the garage at this point.

Chibs asked him how his night went and Happy chuckled in response.

“Alright, head back and I’ll figure out what’s going on, first thing tomorrow morning. I doubt she’s gone too far.”

Jax hung up and shook his head with sheer annoyance.

“How is she gone? She was just working a shift at the hospital a couple days ago. I saw her when I brought the old man in for a new tank.”

“He’s right. She was there.” Piney said.

“That’s strange… It’s almost like she had a heads up.” The prez murmured in thought.

“But he said the house was vacant… meanin’ she had time ta pack up, at least.” Chibs said in thought.

“What the fuck man…?” Jax muttered looking utterly lost.

“Hey, we got it from here.” Opie said and Jax looked over.

“Go home. Be with your son.”

“And what about your kids?”

“Got the day off tomorrow, remember? Taking the kids fishing.”

You’re taking the kids fishing?” Piney scoffed and Opie rolled his eyes.

“What are you going to try and catch it with a fish call?”

“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”

“It means I doubt you even own a goddamn fishing pole.”

“Shut up…” Opie grumbled under his breath.

“Do you even know what to use for bait?”

“Yeah, your fucking denture cream.”

“I don’t wear fucking dentures.”

“Could’ve fooled me.”

The two continued in their usual banter, as the Sons cleaned up.

“I’ll drop em off…” Happy hinted as to their friend at the morgue.

“He’s gonna want some sort of payment.” Jax said with a frustrated sigh.

“I’ll think of somethin’.” Happy said with a grunt as he tossed Rat’s body into the van.

Chibs and Opie worked together in hurling Kozik into the van as well.

“What aboot what’s her name? The little blonde that likes a good ole donkey punch in the knickers?”

“You mean Debbie?” Jax questioned.

“Yeah isn’t that what he wanted last time?”

“Yeah, only Debbie wants something in exchange…” Jax said with a frown as he thought back to when he asked her.

“Oh?!”

“Yeah… Me, with my cut and nothin’ else.”

Happy wiggled his brows on this.

“And why didn’tcha?” He asked.

“She’s fuckin’ hot!” He added.

Jax cleared his throat on this and Chibs nodded amongst himself.

“Jackie’s a-growin’ up, boys. He ain’t aboot ta hit that when he’s got a good thing at home.”

“He better not…” Piney and Opie chorused.

Jax had this deer caught in headlights look. He’d forgotten they were even there.  He wasn’t sure why he had that pang of guilt. He did nothing wrong, yet it was there all the same. Perhaps it was just the idea of admitting that you were offered pussy and with the old lady’s uncle and grandfather standing right there. It made him uncomfortable, in ways he never dreamed of feeling.

“So what’d she do when ye turned her down?” Chibs curiously asked.

“Oh she was pissed and let me know she wouldn’t be doing me anymore favors. Bitch spit on my damn cut and ran out the room.” Jax chuckled in memory.

“So that’s why ye went and came up with all that money.”

“Would’ve been easier to take the offer…” Happy taunted and Piney smacked him in the back of the head.

“You trying to get me in trouble?” Jax uttered with a grin and Happy laughed.

“With who?” Happy nodded towards the Winstons.

“Them or the old lady? Because my bet’s on Wraith. She’d skin you alive then piss on your remains.” Happy said as if off in another world.

“I like her.” He said with a nod then hopped into the van.

“He’s crazier than Trager…” Jax scoffed in disbelief.

“Nah, I think we all know who the crazy one here is.” Opie said with a nod towards his prez.

“Hell, I’ve been on Wraith’s bad side. Trust me. No one wants that shit.” Opie muttered under his breath and Piney laughed.

Happy headed off after mentioning something about having “seconds”. Jax wondered if that meant he would take Jax’s place in fulfilling Debbie’s “needs”. He was in too much of a hurry to question him on that one. Opie slapped a hand along his shoulder and looked him in the eyes.

“I thought I told you to go home.”

“You’re not my prez…” Jax mocked as he was scrubbing Kozik’s blood off the garage floor.

Opie shook his head but smiled.

“I’m fine, Op. We’re just about done here anyhow. Besides, I got a few things to wrap up before heading home.”

“Alright, just don’t let me catch you passed out here in the morning.”

“Gotcha.”

The Sons wrapped everything up and headed on out. Jax stayed behind and decided on finishing up one of the customer’s bikes he was working on. He knew Wraith was racing tonight. So he was doing his best to keep distracted. But something was nagging at him. He just couldn’t pinpoint what it was. He felt on edge and nothing he did seemed to tame that feeling. He thought back to recent events and figured that’s what it was. That and he hadn’t planned on killing anyone else tonight. But Kozik and Rat left them no choice. That was club rules. You rat… you die. There’s no way around it. Jax narrowed his eyes as he noticed Opie’s cellphone sitting on one of the tool boxes. It was about that time he heard someone enter the garage.

“Forget something?” He taunted thinking it was Opie coming back for his phone.

Jax kept on working but wondered why Opie didn’t answer. He turned that direction and was struck in the back of the head. Four men had entered the garage and they were dragging Jax away from the bike he was working on. Jax’s vision went double as they took turns punching and kicking him. One of the men took off his mask, revealing who he was. He forced Jax to his knees then held a gun to his head.

“You fools set us up…” The Niner’s leader spat.

Jax shook his head on this and one of the Niner’s kicked him yet again. Jax let out a grunt as he fought to keep his balance. Last thing he wanted was that gun going off. Abel and Bella were the only ones on his mind at the moment. This made a first, as he actually saw his life flashing before his eyes. Was this it? Was he about to die? He’d a gun pointed to him many times before. But never did he feel this panicked. He was always ready to face death… but not this time. Jax was scared and that wasn’t something he was used to feeling.

“Set you up? How?” Jax forced out, while doing his best to keep that patch of his in mind.

He couldn’t afford to give into that fear.

“That shooting… You expect me to believe that my boys were behind that?!”

“I haven’t a clue what you’re talking about!”

The man took the blunt end of his gun to Jax’s face. Then he grabbed a fistful of his hair, forced his mouth open, and placed the gun inside.

“Wonder how pretty you’re gonna look after you swallow this bullet.”

A couple gunshots sounded and this had the Niners looking to one another in question.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you…”

Jax’s eyes shifted that direction and Opie had both handhelds out and ready to go. The Niner’s leader laughed and this had the others laughing as well.

“You a one man army, VP?” The man taunted and Opie made a gesture towards the Niner he’d knocked out. The Niner had been keeping guard outside.

“He’s alive, for now.”

The Niners hadn’t time to react as the chilling sound of Harleys pulling into the SAMCRO gates was heard.

Opie smiled and stood his ground.

“I suggest you get that gun out of our prez’s mouth.”

The Niner swallowed back and removed the gun. Opie kept a watchful eye out, as he inched his way towards Jax. Just as soon as he was within reach, Opie grabbed a hold of him. The Sons had the Niners at gunpoint now and Opie was checking their prez over.

“You alright, kid?” He whispered and Jax nodded.

Opie braced him up against the wall.

“Give yourself a minute…” He softly stated as Jax was struggling to keep his composure.

Opie kept his eyes locked onto Jax’s. Jax nodded as if in silent conversation. Opie gave him one of his usual slaps on the shoulder. The prez patted his cut down and withdrew a cigarette. The VP took a step back and lit it with his zippo.

“You ready?”

“Yeah…” Jax muttered as his vision was slowly but surely coming back.

Opie kept close out of fear that Jax would pass out. He looked like utter shit. Jax used the back of his hand to wipe the blood off his busted nose and lip. Chibs recoiled at the sight of their prez. This had him grabbing one of the Niners. He held a gun to their head and tilted his head upon their leader.

“Ye got ten seconds ta spill out why yer here and roughin’ our prez up!” He spat.

The leader went on about the shooting and how he thought the Sons were behind it. He believed they set up his boys. When truth of the matter? It was just as Jax suspected. These guys went behind their leader’s back and it was indeed a personal vendetta. Still, he didn’t understand why they killed a bunch of innocent kids in the process. The only thing that came to mind is that these guys were blood hungry, before they even arrived at that school. They had their own intentions. Those intentions being to spill blood and raise havoc amongst the school itself. Maybe they wanted AJ’s boys to suffer before taking off with them. That’s the only solution Jax could come up with, as they interrogated the Niners. The Niners truly believed that their boys were murdered in cold blood and innocent in all this. That’s how fooled these assholes had them. Nevertheless, the Sons played dumb. This worked out in their favor, as the Niners seemed to work it out amongst themselves. One of them said something about one of their members having it out for the Aryan brotherhood and mentioned something about payback. But never dreamed they’d take it this far. The leader looked to the Sons and shook his head in shame.

“And we just made SAMCRO our enemies…” The leader uttered looking ill.

“And you know what that means…” Jax said with a firm nod.

“Yeah…”

“Shit…” The leader mumbled directly after.

“We’ll give you 48 hours. That’s it. Don’t let us see your faces around here again.” Jax made clear.

The Sons nodded in agreement.

“None of you are to cross Charming territory again. We’ll gun you down, where you stand. We’re here to protect this town. We won’t have your boys gunning down our schools, due to your own negligence. And accusing US of pulling some shit like that, will NEVER fly. This is OUR town and we take care of our own. That includes those kids.” Opie stated.

The Niners nodded amongst one another and the leader cut Jax an apologetic glance.

“I’m sorry. If I had known…”

“We’re good. But you had better get to steppin’ you don’t have much time left. You got an awful lot of packing to do.”

The Niner nodded once again and his boys followed him out.

“And to think… I was fucking pissed about leaving my phone and having to come back.” Opie muttered with a wink Jax’s way.

Jax managed to laugh but with a painful grunt. Chibs tossed him a beer.

“Heard the gunshot and called the others knowing they weren’t far.” He explained and Opie nodded in response.

“Glad you did. Wasn’t sure how I was going to get Jax out of that one.” Opie admitted.


When Bella opened her eyes she saw that her wrists were cuffed, to a steering wheel.

She looked down seeing that not only was she in full Wraith attire, but her ankles were cuffed together as well. Panic set in and she went to cry for help but couldn’t, as her mouth was sewn shut.

“Ah, someone’s awake and just in time.” She heard as this was coming from the helmet she wore.

The gunfire signaling the race sounded and the car she was in took off. Bella panicked as it was out of control.

“We control the speed, you control the wheel. Understood?”

Bella struggled against the cuffs as she held the wheel and was doing whatever she could to keep it in control.

“There you go!” Mr. Putlova praised.

Bella shook her head as the car rocketed about. She hadn’t much time to think as she maneuvered the wheel.

“That was quite a message you sent, Ms. Swan. Or should I call you Wraith?”

Bella cringed on this.

“Either way… We’ve a message of our own…”

Bella jumped as Every Breath You Take by The Police started playing on the radio.

The voice in her helmet hummed along as Bella struggled in order to get to the finish line. Once the song finished, she could hear Gemma as she was talking to her grandson. She was putting him to bed and Bella could hear everything that was being said.

“That’s right… You care about them, don’t you?”

Bella’s heart felt as if it’d fly right on out of her chest.

“Then I strongly advice you listen. I own you. Not Clay, SAMCRO, or your dear Phantoms but ME! If I tell you to jump, you better ask how high. Despite what the president of SAMCRO thinks, YOU WORK FOR US. Do we have an understanding?”

Bella nodded and tears streamed down her face.

“Excellent! I’m so glad we’ve come to an agreement.” He said as Bella reached the finish line.

“Hmmm second place. Now that’s more like it. I’ll give you back your wings, AFTER you give me what I want.”

Bella closed her eyes as the connection died. She could hear the crowd going wild over her newest opponent’s win. But there were a significant amount of boos and over half the crowd was waving some sort of Wraith flag, or t-shirt in the air. The passenger door opened and the other driver welcomed himself inside. He shut the door then handed her another red rose. He removed his helmet and Bella gawked at him in disbelief. He sent her a cruel wink and removed her helmet. Bella recoiled from his touch as he caressed her cheek.

“Ah, the memories… How they take me back. I believe I made you a promise, didn’t I?”

The man leaned in and breathed her in.

“Hmmm, you’ve certainly blossomed over the years. I suppose that makes the long wait worthwhile.”

Bella jumped as the man lowered the collar to her leather jacket and bit down on her neck. He let out a moan as he drank from her.

“So sweet, my little ballerina. You’ll be dancing for me in no time.”

The man chuckled however as he could hear his fans calling to him.

“To be continued…” He murmured before licking her clean.

The Nomad opened the door and went on to bask in the glory of his newest fans.


Jax was asleep on the couch when the sound of screeching tires woke him. He hopped up as this was followed by the sound of a car door opening then slamming shut directly after. Jax grabbed his gun off the coffee table then darted outside.

“What the…” He uttered before making his way towards the body lying in his lawn.

Jax narrowed his eyes and kept a lookout, while using his foot to roll the body over.

“SHIT!” Jax shouted once he saw that it was Bella.

Jax was quick to scoop her up and darted back inside. He locked everything up then laid her down on the couch. He went on to thoroughly check her over. The smudges and tears along her leather outfit was a clear sign that she’d had the crap beat out of her. Jax grimaced as he pictured her cuffed and taking the beating of a lifetime. He knew this was recent as the cuts along her body were still fresh.

“Bella baby!” He called in a panic as she was out of it.

She was cold to the touch and covered in blood.

“Come on… wake up. Please.” He said while giving her a good shake.

Bella shot up and Jax cringed as she went to say something but couldn’t.

“Hold on…”

His hand shook as he used his knife to remove the stitches.

“Cabin…” She whispered as softly as possible and Jax didn’t dare question it.

He gave a simple nod then rushed his son and old lady into the truck. Bella had Jax call one of the boys and they went to gather his mother. From there, they headed straight for the cabin.


“There…” Jax murmured once he freed Bella’s wrists.

She rubbed her wrists as he went on to remove the ones around her ankles as well. Jax tossed the wire and cuffs aside then looked to her swollen ankles.

“Jesus…” he muttered under his breath and massaged them.

Blood trickled on down her lips and neck and Bella was quick to dab at it with a tissue. But every move she made caused her to flinch back in agony. Her entire body was covered in cuts and bruises. It was just as Jax suspected. They did a real number on her before dropping her off. Mr. Putlova had his men take turns kicking the living shit out of her, before he had her dropped off on Jax’s lawn.

“Who did this, baby?”

Bella gritted her teeth as she went on to dab the area where she was bitten. Bella kept her cool as she told him what happened. But once she finished, she lost all composure. Jax pulled her into his lap and cradled her in his arms.

“I got you…” He whispered while shedding a few tears of his own.

“So that’s why you wanted us here…  I take it both houses are bugged?”

Bella nodded and Jax shook his head in thought.

“I’ll look into that first thing in the morning.”

“I have to call Dizzy.” She said and blood spilled out from her mouth.

Jax grabbed another tissue and was quick to clean it up.

“You just let me worry on that. You need to rest.”

“I can’t. I have to come up with a plan.” The poor girl could barely talk.

“You mean WE. And I’m not asking you… I’m telling you to rest.”

Bella rolled on out of his lap, came to her feet then stumbled into the kitchen. Jax jumped up and went to help. Bella grabbed their old bottle of Jack and leaned against the fridge, as she drank straight from the bottle. Jax recoiled as she dropped the bottle and covered her mouth in torment. Whiskey spilled out from the it and Jax nearly slipped as he went to her aid. Blood and whiskey oozed out the punctures in her lips and mouth. Bella started to choke and Jax braced her against him as he gave her back a firm pat down.

“Easy…” He soothingly whispered.

Abel began to cry and Jax looked to Bella apologetically.

“I’m okay. Go.”

He nodded and went to check on his son. Bella inched her way towards the sink and rinsed her mouth out. This hysteric-like laugh escaped her as the newest Wraith phone rang the ringtone was set to Every Breath You Take. Bella closed her eyes knowing she had no choice but to answer it.

“And how are we doing, Ms. Swan?”

“Just peachy…”

“Good to hear. I do apologize for any inconvenience. But I felt the need to my message across as well. Do take care. I’ll be needing your assistance soon. Until then… I’ll be in touch.” 

                Bella backed up against the fridge then covered her face. She sunk down to the floor and before she even realized it, she was out again.


Opie shook his head as he crushed another bug. They’d just finished with Gemma’s house and found quite a few. Chibs found another hidden beneath Abel’s mobile. The boys kept quiet and were very thorough as they scanned the entire house, inside and out. The Sons went as far as to search Jax’s bike as well. Once they finished, they headed to the penthouse and the Phantoms joined them in the search. But there was nothing there. Then again, Bella had tightened security since the attack. Thus, making it virtually impossible to break into the penthouse. They hit the clubhouse directly after but it too was clean.


“All clear…” Opie said and Jax sighed in relief.

“How many were there?”

“About a dozen, at least.”

“Fuck…”

“Yep. How is she?”

Jax looked to Bella as she was asleep on the couch.

“Seen better days, that’s for sure. I think you should come by.”

“Pops and I are already on our way.”

“Good. She’s going to need all the support she can get.”


Opie and Piney regarded Bella in downright shock, once they saw what the Russians had done. Piney beat his son to the punch and hunkered down before her. He brushed his granddaughter’s hair back. Jax swallowed back as the old man broke into literal sobs and went on to hold his granddaughter. Opie and Jax shed a few tears of their own. The room was silent as a tomb as everyone knew just how serious this was. If Mr. Putlova wanted… he could’ve killed her. Jax could’ve stepped out to an actual body.

“Gramps…?” Bella tiredly called.

Her voice was barely audible as she was hoarse. Piney held her in his lap, just as he used to when she was little. Opie nodded amongst himself. He knew it was bad when his dad responded like this. Bella was doing her best to stay awake but she was out again, within the matter of seconds. Piney grabbed some tissues out from his cut and wiped the blood from her mouth. He curled that lip of his once he saw the bite mark. Jax drew back a breath on this. Opie’s eyes went wild and Jax grabbed ahold of him.

“You’re kidding…” Opie hissed and punched at the nearest wall.

“Op…”

“No. No! Not again. WHAT IN THE FLYING FUCK IS GOING ON?! WHAT’S THAT HAVE TO DO WITH THE MOTHERFUCKING RUSSIANS?!” He roared and Jax was quick to drag his VP outside.

Opie was so livid he was shaking.

“He found her, didn’t he? THE LITTLE SHIT FOUND MY NIECE! I’LL FUCK HIM UP, SOMETHING FIERCE!”

Jax didn’t dare say it. But he’d plans of ending James himself. Opie let out this guttural growl and threw his cut off. Jax recoiled as Opie kicked it into the dirt.

“Did he rape her?”

“No.”

“Are you sure? Because that fucker made it perfectly clear what his intentions were if he ever found her.”

Jax cleared his throat then glanced towards the cabin. In all honesty, he wasn’t quite sure. He checked but at the time Jax wasn’t sure what to check for other than blood or signs of tearing. He saw neither and only prayed his assumptions were right.

“That was the first thing I checked…” He admitted as to when he first brought her into the house.

Jax used the back of his hand to wipe his own face.

“Jax…” Opie called with concern as the president was turning awfully pale.

“I’m fine.” Jax murmured but his words slurred together and Opie was quick to catch him.

“CHIBS!” Opie hollered as he had to drop down in order to keep Jax in his hold.

Chibs darted on out of the house. He looked to the boys in alarm and was quick to check Jax over.

“JACKIE BOY!” Chibs shouted while slapping at his cheeks.

Jax’s eyes fluttered about as he came to.

“Come on, kid…” Chibs softly stated as he and Opie helped him to his feet.

They dragged Jax into the cabin and sat him down at the dining room table. The Sons looked on with concern as Chibs and Opie were doing their best to get Jax to fully come to. Jax grabbed ahold of Opie’s cut then pulled him towards him.

“I’m sorry, Op.”

This had the VP narrowing his eyes in question.

“You’re right. I never deserved her.”

“Jackson…” Opie uttered in disagreement.

“I was wrong, bro. And you know that. You’ve more than proved yourself.”

“The fuck I did! Look at her. I didn’t keep her safe. I’m a piece of shit, just like you said. I might as well of handed her off the Russians myself.”

“Ah, now Jackie boy…” Chibs started to say and everyone froze as Jax grabbed ahold of Opie and had himself a good cry.

“You’re alright kid and so is she.” Opie said as he too was getting rather emotional.

Gemma and Tig had entered the cabin at this point. The moment Gemma saw her son she rushed over.

“Is he alright?!”

“Mom?” Jax called and Opie stepped aside.

Gemma combed her son’s hair back with her fingers. She was looking at the bruises and cuts along his face.

“What is it, baby?”

Jax pointed to Bella on the couch and Gemma and Tig recoiled at the sight of her.

“Jesus…” They chorused and to everyone’s surprise Gemma hurried on over to Bella.

She sat at the coffee table and took Bella’s hand into her own.

“Where’s Abel?” She frantically questioned.

“He’s asleep.”

Gemma nodded in response and she herself wiped a few stray tears.

“Come on, sweetheart. You’re one tough bitch. Tougher than me, that’s for damn sure.” Gemma said surprising every one within the room.

Opie never realized just how big of an impact his niece had on everyone else. He was too blinded by his personal feelings. He felt like an ass for having the meltdown he had, when he hadn’t thought about how Jax must be feeling. It wasn’t until Jax passed out that he realized just how hard this was hitting him. Jax truly believed it was HIS responsibility to keep Bella safe. And while there was some truth to that… It wasn’t exactly all his responsibility. If anything, Opie blamed himself, just as much as he blamed The Phantoms. Where were they?! He bitterly thought. Here she was in her Wraith attire, yet her crew was nowhere to be found. Opie shook his head in thought. His hands balled up into fists and he looked to Chibs.

“I’ll be back.” He uttered and Chibs looked to Opie in question as he headed on out the door.

He was about to follow and ask what he was up to when Jax turned to him with that look of desperation.

“Can you help me?” The president asked as he came to his feet and lifted his old lady off the couch.

Chibs nodded and followed Jax into another room. To the sergeant’s surprise, Jax went on to strip his old lady down. Chibs averted his eyes out of respect and Jax waved him over.

“How do we help her?” Jax said with tears in his eyes.

Chibs cleared his throat as he hadn’t expected that.

“Forget that she’s naked and that she’s my old lady. I need the medic, Filip.”

This made a first for Jax. He never called him by his actual name before. This reminded Chibs of that young boy he’d met when he first joined SAMCRO. Chibs drew back the deepest of breaths and made his way over. He put on his glasses and went on to fully examine Bella.

“I told Op she wasn’t… you know.” Jax uttered looking a little green.

“Aye…” Chibs replied gathering the hint.

“I checked… But I’m not so sure I know what I was checking for.”

“Jackie…” Chibs whispered as he felt like this was a massive invasion on Bella’s privacy.

Here she was naked and Chibs had his hands all over her. He couldn’t bear the idea of her waking up to this.

“I’ll take the blame. Just…” Jax pinched the bridge of his nose and Chibs swallowed back on this.

“Alright…” Chibs covered Bella up and exited the room for a brief moment.

He returned with some gloves.

“I’m no doc…” He reminded and Jax nodded.

“She trusts you.” Jax assured.

“I hope so. Cause this don’t feel right. She’s gonna wake up and I’m gonna be between her goddamn legs. With ye lookin’ over. Women tend ta get irate about that kind of shite!”

Jax let out a nervous laugh.

“I know. But I also know you’ll be upfront and take good care of her.”

That was another thing bothering Chibs. He still had a thing for Jax’s old lady and that only added to the guilt. Here she was beat to a pulp and he was about to check and see if she’d been raped to top it off. Still, he found her breathtaking. But he couldn’t afford to dive into fantasyland. Jax would hand him his ass and he’d gladly let him. Hell, at this point the Scot would hand the gun over himself. Jax was putting his fullest trust in him and he wasn’t about to jeopardize that, by giving into his own desires. He propped Bella’s knees up and was about to check her over when Jax placed a hand along his shoulder. This made a first as Chibs’s hands were shaking.

“Don’t ye think we should ask her instead of goin’ aboot it like this?! The lil lass is sure ta kill us both!”

“After what my mother went through?! Hell no. I don’t care if it pisses my girl off. I want to know if some other asshole had his dick in her! Bella’s no different than Gemma in that regard. They will take that shit to the grave, in order to protect their loved ones. I need to know, so I can plan this fucker’s death, the right way. If he fucked her… He’ll get fucked.”

“Fair enough.” Chibs uttered and walked Jax through his every move.

He told him what all he was looking and feeling for. But like he said he was no fucking doc or gyno for that manner. He was going solely on his own knowledge. Jax nodded once Chibs finished. The sergeant lowered Bella’s legs and shook his head. He’d never felt so guilty in his entire life. He felt as if he just betrayed one of his own. The Scot took off his gloves then tossed them into a nearby trashcan. He narrowed his eyes as and popped a cigarette into his mouth. Had Bella truly become one of the boys to him?

“Don’t ever ask me ta do that again.” Chibs made clear and Jax nodded.

“I mean it, Jackie. Yer gonna get the girl hatin’ me!”

“Not possible. Bella thinks the world of you. Why do you think I turned to you?”

Jax looked as if the world was lifted off his shoulders. He seemed content in Chibs’s examination. That Bella had not been “touched”. Chibs thought it best to clear the air a bit. He cut Jax a serious look.

“Was this yer way of tryin’ ta see if ye done knocked her up?”

Jax managed to give a tearful laugh.

“If only…”

Chibs reared back on this as Jax said that like he weren’t joking.

“What?”

“Are ye tellin’ me yer wishin’ she was?”

Jax looked to his old lady as they got her tucked away.

“Wouldn’t be a bad thing… Having a little Bella running around.”

“Ah shite… Ye truly are fucked.”

“Right?!”

“She’s got ye by the balls and yer never gettin’ them back.”

“That’s okay. As long as she has them they’re in good hands.” Jax murmured with a bit of a smirk.

“There was a time ye weren’t havin’ any of that…” Chibs uttered as he thought back to Wendy and Tara.

Jax would’ve lost his shit if anyone accused him of that back in the day.

“Besides, I think it’s safe to say that we have each other by the balls. That woman has more than most men I know.”

“Ye got that right. Why don’t ye go and run her a cold bath? Ye need ta address those wounds of hers. I can give her somethin’ to fight off infection. But ye need ta keep them clean.”

“Alright.”

Jax started that direction but froze and spun back around.

“Chibs?”

“Hm?”

“Thank you.”

Chibs gave a simple nod and took off his glasses.

“I mean… I know.”

The Scot tilted his head on this.

“Come on, brother. You might be like the father I always wanted. But you got it bad for my girl. I knew that even when I asked you to look her over.”

“Jackie…”

“Don’t. You’re not one to ever lie to me. So don’t start now. I love you, Filip. I’m sorry I put you in that situation. But that’s how much she means to me. I didn’t care if you saw her in light only I was used to seeing. At that moment, all that mattered was her. And I know you understand that, more than anyone.”

Chibs found himself a little choked up. He hadn’t any words as Jax went about his way. Chibs looked to Bella and shook his head.

“Yer nothin’ but trouble. Ye know that?!” He scolded but with a tearful grin.


Jax lowered Bella into the tub. The cold water wasn’t enough to stir her. He sighed amongst himself and went on to clean her up. Bella would cry out every now and then but her eyes didn’t budge. Jax thought back to Diablo and what all he’d put her through. She’d come so far in putting all that behind her. Now here she was… in a far worse situation. Diablo’s gang was nothing in comparison to the Russians. When the Russians owned you… they truly owned you. Jax cursed Clay’s name to this very day. How could he agree to something like this?! He knew what he was doing from the very beginning. Clay threw Bella under the bus and all so he could profit from it. Now it could end up costing her life.

Jax let out some painful grunts of his own as his body was still sore from the aftermath of the Niners. He thought it rather ironic that he and Bella were jumped, on the same day. What were the odds?

“Jackson…?” Bella tiredly called and Jax lifted his eyes.

“Hey…”

Bella looked to the tub then back to Jax.

“I don’t remember running a bath…” She said as she was still out of it.

Jax cupped her chin then looked her in the eyes.

“I ran you the bath, darlin’.”

“…oh…” She said looking rather lost.

“It’s cold.”

“I know. Just let me finish and I’ll get you out of here.”

Jax shook his head as her hair was a knotted mess. It was caked with mud and blood. He was doing his best not to get the shampoo on her wounds but that was no easy task. She was covered in them.

“Jackson, what happened to your face?!” Bella scooted up and reached out to him.

“Careful baby…” He said as she let out a painful grunt afterward.

“Who did this to you?!” She said and started to stand.

Jax shook his head and kept her in place.

“Bella, I need you to stay put and let me finish.”

“He did this, didn’t he?!” She said in a panic.

“He hurt you!” She damn near growled.

“The Russians didn’t do this.” He said realizing she must’ve been so out of it she hadn’t realized how beat up he was before.

“Who?” She asked while running her fingers along a cut on his arm.

“Niners…”

“Jackson!”

“Bella baby, I’m fine. Let’s worry about you.”

Jax shook his head as she continued in fussing over him and all his wounds. Jax grabbed ahold of her hands and gently lowered them back down.

“Look at me…”

Bella looked over and Jax nodded.

“When I say I’m fine, that’s what I mean. Quit worrying about me. I need you to worry about yourself.”

Jax gave her no time to argue as he grabbed the shower head and rinsed the shampoo from her hair. He shook his head as it took a bit to get the blood and mud out. Once he finished, he went on to drain the tub and rinsed her off.  Jax helped Bella to her feet, dried her off then led her back to the bed. He was thankful to see that someone had switched the sheets out so she had a nice clean bed to curl up in.

“I want you to rest. I mean it. You’re not to move from that fucking bed.”

“I thought the Niners were leaving town.”

“They’re gone now.”

“Are you sure?”

“Trust me. The boys gave them that rude awakening they needed.”

Bella grimaced on this.

“They were going to kill you, weren’t they?”

“Yeah baby…” He uttered knowing he couldn’t lie about something like that.

“Boys showed up just in time. Fucked em up real good.” He added that last part just to make her feel better.

Jax reached over and wiped a stray tear from her cheek.

“Hey, we’re still here, right?”

Bella nodded and Jax forced a smile.

“We’re not giving up that easily. Those Russian fuckers don’t know what’s comin’. As for James…  I already told you what I’d do if he came back into your life. So don’t even think about challenging me on that one. That son of bitch is mine. He wants to parade around, like some goddamn creature of the night then I’ll be a fucking vampire hunter. He won’t be that hard to find.”

Bella had this look that had Jax rather concerned. She looked downright fearful.

“Bella?”

“Did he…” She whispered with this mortified expression.

Bella ran her hand along her private area but like that of a knee jerk reaction.

“No. You’re good.”

Bella drew back a breath of relief and Jax kissed the top of her head.

“I don’t remember what they did after the race…” She said with a trembling voice.

“I keep seeing flashes of it and I remember their voices. They were laughing and…” Bella’s hands balled up into fists as she remembered Mr. Putlova ordering that they “teach her a lesson”.

“I remember getting up and everytime they’d knock me back down and start kicking again. I must’ve gotten up at least a half a dozen times. He told me for every mission I failed; he’d kill someone I loved.”

Bella closed her eyes and Jax caressed her cheek.

“Good, not about the threat.” She opened her eyes on this and Jax had this genuine beam about him.

“You showed them that you weren’t about back down. That you were going to keep fighting. Why do you think they kept knocking you down and starting over? Mr. Putlova wants to achieve what Diablo did. But we’re not going to let him. You see… you and I are smarter than that. We’re going to use this little blackmail to our advantage.”

“How?”

“Well darlin’, you’re going to work for him.”

Jax put a finger to her lips and shook his head. He hated the words, the moment they left his lips. But there was no other way about this. He had to take the bait, in order to set it up himself.

“Let me finish. You’re going to work for him and leave the impression that you’re backed into a corner, with no choice. We’ll play along and work behind the scenes. You see my little firecracker… I’m going to set up the Russians and the Irish. They’ll never see it coming. They’re going to cancel one another out and we’ll take out whoever’s standing. It’ll be a blaze of glory.”

“And if that doesn’t work?”

“It will.”

“Jackson, that shooting is a fine example of how wrong shit can go. This could backfire and it could be them taking US out.”

“Won’t happen. I need you to trust that. Alright? Have some faith in me. I got this.”


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8 thoughts on “Chapter 24 Two Gunslingers”

  1. Holy smokes! another awesome chapter!!! that halloween outfit for Abel is absolutely adorable. its perfect for him. put him on a little harley and he is daddy! didn’t expect the russians to come in or the nomad.. damn all hell is breaking loose and jax and bella are the ones that are going to do the shattering. they fucked up messing with bella. and I thought chibs had a soft spot for her i thought he loved her too. glad i was right. when are people going to learn never back Bella up into a corner because she will come out swinging for the stars and she will take down whoever is a threat to what she claims is hers. Your muse inspired you greatly. I hope she keeps it up. update again soon. i want to know more and i want to see Abel go trick or treating as his daddy. until then the next time.
    *bows*

  2. Holy cow. Ok so I love Abel’s outfit, it’s presh. And now James is back? Man I can’t wait wait for Jax and Opie to get their hands on that asshole. Like seriously. Poor chibby. I think he needs some comfort. Ill be glad to assist 😉 love it! So glad u posted the same day I finished (though I didn’t get to read it til now lol)

  3. Glad she wasn’t raped. I could see James wanting her wide awake in order to figjt back. Je’d like that.

    Working together, Bella and Jax should be able to come up with some good (evil) ideas on how to take care of the Irish and the Russians.

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