Chapter 29 – Redemption
I do not own Twilight or SOA.
“Welcome to Charming…” Ava whispered in Kerrianne’s ear as they were driving past the Charming sign.
Kerrianne had this nervous twinge about her and Ava patted her on the leg.
“You’re going to fit right in.”
“Sure looks different…” Kerrianne muttered.
“It most certainly does.”
“Smells different too.”
Michaela and Ava exchanged glances on this. Kerrianne looked out the window as Michaela pulled into the clubhouse parking lot. Ava smiled as Gemma, Tig, Half-Sack, Cherry, Donna, Kenny, Ellie, and the prospects that had stayed behind were already waiting outside. They’d brought the bodies of the others back with them which were no easy task, considering they to not only keep them in freezers, but had to get through border patrol. Thankfully, SAMBEL really came through on helping SAMCRO collect enough to do some paying off and had them looking the other way. Then again, these were also ones SAMBEL already had a connection with so they were able to set it up nicely. Ava opened the door and helped Kerrianne out of the truck. The roaring of the bikes was heard as the Sons pulled on in behind them. Ava wrapped her arm around Kerrianne and was heading towards the welcome committee. Gemma was first to hug and kiss her.
“Look at you! You’re about to pop!” Gemma remarked as she placed her hand along Ava’s stomach.
“Feels like it…”
Gemma looked to Kerrianne in confusion.
“Gemma, this is Keri, my stepdaughter.”
Gemma looked to Ava in absolute shock.
“You mean as in Kerrianne Telford?!”
Ava smiled and gave a mere nod.
Gemma shook her head on this and planted her hands along the teenage girl’s face.
“Well I’ll damned.” She said and hugged her.
“You need to quit eating!” Ava taunted and Cherry laughed as she hugged her.
“Seriously. Damn.” Ava said and they went on to compare bellies.
Half-Sack gave Ava a simple nod.
“How you doing, sweetness?”
“I should be asking you that. Chibs tells me you held down the fort while everyone was away.”
Ava looked around the area.
“And everything’s still standing!”
“Barely.” He said with a smirk and went on to hug her.
“I told you…” She whispered in his ear.
“You just earned some serious stripes. Chibs has been singing your praises, don’t let him down.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it.” He whispered in return.
The Sons had made their way over as well and everyone was mingling. Ava was hugging Donna and asking how she was doing when she took notice of Kerrianne and Kenny. Kenny was already introducing himself, as well as his sister. Ava smiled on this. She didn’t think about the fact that Kenny was just a couple years older than Kerrianne and that Ellie was a year younger. She’d probably end up at the same school even.
Ava took Abel out from one of the prospects arms and gave him a big hug as she was making her way over to Jax and Michaela. He giggled and kissed her cheek.
“Well thank you, sir!” He giggled as she kissed him in return.
He went to hand her his sippy cup and Ava laughed.
“You can hold on to that. Look, it’s daddy!”
“Dada!” Abel squealed and Ava and Jax shared the same wide-eyed expression.
“Did he just…” Jax uttered in awe.
Michaela had a hand over her mouth as Jax had this grin going ear to ear. He grabbed Abel and lifted him into the air. Abel giggled and was kicking his feet about.
To Ava’s surprise she looked over to see Chibs kissing Tig’s cheek and hugging him as well. She sent Tig a smile and he nodded in return. Ava turned however as she heard someone whistle. They were kicked back against a really fancy sports car. Ava narrowed her eyes on this and headed that direction as they waved. She smiled once she recognized him.
“How you doing, kid?” He asked whilst taking off his shades.
“Why don’t we try going on a first name basis? It’s Andrew.”
He held out his hand and Ava shook it.
“Figured that part out…” He said with a warm smile.
“So I heard. I also heard that you got our boys out.”
“So how’d you do it?”
“Let’s just say your little Mayan friends are doing life. They should’ve thought twice before getting into the gun business with the Irish and selling to those little thugs.”
Ava’s jaw dropped and he drew back a breath on this.
“I won’t lie. It wasn’t easy. But the Mayans had dealt with the Irish before so that was the easy part. It was setting up the actual‘dealing’ that I struggled with. I can’t go into detail. But that was the last of my strings, if you get my drift. So do try and stay out of trouble. And tell that husband of yours to do the same. I don’t need SAMCRO getting caught or we’re all fucked. So you just make sure he follows through with dropping this cartel and ridding of these bastards like promised.”
“I got to hit the road but heard you were coming home and had to see for myself.”
“Heard?” She questioned in mere curiosity.
The agent smiled on this.
“Word spreads fast…”
“Well, I was going to call you…”
“Took your time now, didn’t you?”
“Let’s just say there was a lot going on.”
“With you… I can only imagine.”
He made a gesture towards her stomach.
“Looks good on you, kid.”
“Thank you.” He opened his car door and was about to step inside.
“For everything, Andrew. But I am curious…”
He said nothing on it as he put his shades back on. Ava watched as he headed on out.
“Who was that?” Chibs questioned as he’d made his way over.
He reared back looking rather stunned.
“He wanted to see how things were going.”
Chibs wrapped his arms around her waist then left a trail of kisses along her neck.
“You ready fur all this, darlin’?”
Ava thought back to the trip back home and how the three of them bonded. They’d a good thirteen days on a ship back, during which they got to learn more about one another. Kerrianne opened up a little more about Jimmy and her mother. A few things Ava already knew about, or assumed. Still, it hit Chibs pretty hard. Ava could see it in her husband’s eyes. He blamed himself and nothing she said seemed to put him at true ease. Then again, it wasn’t just the weight of what his daughter had been through, but Ava as well. And a part of him felt a tad of remorse on Fiona’s behalf, only he hadn’t a REAL clue. Even with those thirteen days, Kerrianne hadn’t let on about the affair or what went down the day her mother was killed. Ava wanted to tell Chibs, but felt that needed to be a conversation between him and Kerrianne. Especially, considering how hard the guilt hit Kerrianne. Ava felt like she was betraying Kerrianne’s trust if she were the one to reveal the truth behind the affair. She only hoped Kerrianne came clean and soon, before the truth ate them alive. She couldn’t bear the thought of keeping something like that from her husband. He needed to know. Ava sensed that knowing… would put some of that guilt at ease. But she also knew it would hurt all the same. Whether Chibs had bitter feelings towards his wife, or not, there was a time he would’ve taken a bullet for her and loved Fiona with every ounce of his being. Ava respected that and understood how it may affect him, when that day came. For now… All she could do was be there, for the both of them.
“Ye just keep in mind everythin’ we discussed.”
“You got it.”
“I’m surprised to see everyone and everythin’ still standin’.” He admitted.
Ava drew back a breath as they regarded Gemma and the others in thought.
“Me too. I thought they’d strike while we were on our way here.”
Chibs nodded and thought back to the surrounding chapters he had keeping watch.
“That only means they haven’t made it ta Charming yet and are plannin’ somethin’ even bigger. So we’d best prepare.”
“Knox made it clear that was the last string he could pull…”
“So however you go about this… No more prison time.”
“You got it, darlin’.”
They looked over to see Kerrianne following the Winston kids inside.
“Think she’ll be okay?” Chibs asked with concern as Ireland was all Kerrianne really knew.
“She’s going to be just fine, you’ll see.”
“I hope so. I hate takin’ Keri away from her home like that.”
“Chibs, that was no home…”
He nodded in agreement.
“Just give her some time and she’ll figure that out for herself.”
“Guess we better get that third bedroom set up.”
Chibs took her hand as they started towards the clubhouse. Everyone else was already inside. Just as they were to enter the clubhouse, Ava stopped him.
“What are you going to do about Tig?”
The president took a couple steps back and looked to be in thought.
“I’ve been givin’ that some serious thought…”
He drew back a breath on this.
“I suppose it’s really up ta us Sons as a whole. If they think we can put our trust in him again then I’ll see about givin’ his cut back. That’s not typically heard of. Then again, we haven’t gone out our way ta blacken his ink like that of Clay.”
Chibs was quiet for a moment.
“What do ye think?”
Ava raised her brows on this.
“Is the president asking his old lady what to do?”
“Not even. I’m merely curious as ta what ye would do in my situation.”
“That’s a bit of a loaded concept.”
“It’s just us, Ava. Ye know ye can give yer honest opinion and it won’t affect mine or the boys’ decision. But as my wife and someone that’s been affected by Tig’s regrettable decisions I’d like to hear how ye’d go about it.”
Ava nodded and Chibs followed her to one of the picnic benches outside the clubhouse. They sat on the table.
“The way I see it… You gotta see if the pros outweigh the cons. Tig has lied and betrayed the club, in order to suit the desires of the ex-president. He shot you, even if by accident, or so he claims, but I do believe his word on that. He clocked me on the head then kidnapped me, which led to me getting kidnapped, again. However, he has also risked his life and taken a bullet in order to save my ass. He’s been on the straight and narrow since you put him in his place and he hasn’t made one complaint about his punishment, at least to the best of my knowledge. He stood up against Clay and even managed to turn the tables, he this all on his own. And when shit went down, he camped out, right outside the clubhouse, just so he could keep watch, and make certain everyone was going to be okay. He did these things knowing he was no longer considered a Son. That’s how much he loves you and this club.”
Chibs folded his arms about his chest.
“You didn’t say what ye’d do with him though…”
Ava tilted her head in thought.
“I’d run a vote and see what the boys thought. If they voted him through, I’d let it known that it would be MY decision on where Tig stands exactly. And by stands… I mean in ranking. He’s not about to become sergeant anytime soon and at the moment, he’s lower than that of the prospects even. But that’s mostly because of his betrayal. Betrayal isn’t something anyone can take lightly, especially when it comes to matters of brotherhood and what it means exactly. It’s like you said back in Forks, the club lost its way a long time ago. But through you… That can change and it already has. Now I’m not about to sit here and tell you word for word what I would do, because in the end it’s not my decision to make. All I ask is to give him some thought. If you decide on keeping him at arm’s length, that’s understandable. But don’t write him off completely. He needs you just as much as you need him. I know you, Chibs. And I know how you feel about Tig… or felt anyhow. Don’t let the ghost of Clay eat whatever the two of you once had alive. He’s long gone and so is all the bullshit behind it. If you don’t keep him as a brother in SAMCRO, at least keep him as a brother in your heart. But if he ever burns you again… let the ‘crows’ have their way with him.”
“I done told ye that whatever ye say won’t affect my judgment!” He playfully snapped.
Ava snorted on this.
“C’mere…” He murmured then pulled her into his lap.
He took his shades off and gawked at her swollen cleavage.
“Damn…” He murmured then went on bury his face between them.
“Chibs!” She scolded behind a giggle.
He chuckled but squeezed them together. He looked about the area, before lowering the top of her dress and the straps to her bra.
“We were having a heart to heart…” Ava reminded.
“And how we’re havin’ a mouth ta tit.” He uttered as he went on to lick and suck on her breasts.
Chibs heard the doors to the clubhouse opening so he was quick to put them away. Ava laughed as he actually looked like he was pouting.
“What do ye want, Trager?!” He called with sheer on annoyance.
“He titty-blocked me…” He whispered and kissed along her neck as he adjusted her bra strap.
Tig sighed and was about to pivot back around and head back inside.
“Hold up…” Chibs called as he was helping Ava down.
Ava kissed her husband’s cheek then took Tig’s hand into her own. His eyes locked with hers as she gave it a mere squeeze.
“Don’t fuck this up…” She whispered with a playful slap across the cheek, before heading inside.
Chibs drew back a breath then patted the area beside him. Tig hopped on up.
“Did I give ye permission ta enter the clubhouse?”
Tig rather flinched on this.
“No, won’t happen again.”
“We’ve been through some shite tagther.”
Tig nodded in agreement.
“And ye’ve pulled some pretty stupid shite, ones I’d never dream of ye pullin’. And I gotta admit… Yer betrayal hurt far more than that of Clay’s. I expected more out of ye. Now, I know ye and Clay went back a ways and ye swore an oath ta do his biddin’, no matter how heinous things got. But even ye have yer breakin’ points and ye knew Clay was out of his gourd. Still, I didn’t expect ye ta take things as far as ye did. I loved you more than ye’ll ever know. Don’t get me wrong I still love ye. But every time I look in the mirror and see that bullet wound, I’m reminded of everythin’, all over again. Accident or not, I never dreamed I’d be at the receivin’ end of a brother holdin’ a gun ta me and ye, especially. Clay sure… But not Tig Trager. And what ye did ta me love… Ye knew how I felt about Ava and still… Ye hurt me in ways I’ll never understand. I took yer hand because ye did the unforgiveable and I wanted ye ta have that constant reminder. I want ye ta look at yer arm and remember what it means ta hurt the ones I love, whether it be my old lady, my children, or me brothers. I can forgive ye for shootin’ me arse, but I can’t forgive ye for the shite ye pulled with Ava. That’s not to say I don’t love ye or see ye as a brother still. I always will. And I can’t thank ye enough fur watchin’ after the family while we were away. Like Ava said, ye’ve really come through fur us and Gemma… that was pretty smooth, I gotta admit.”
Chibs hopped on down then stood before Tig. He planted his hands along his face.
“I just don’t know if I can ever trust ye again…” Chibs said and Tig had the beginnings of tears in his eyes.
“I’m sorry. I know how much this club means ta ye. But ta me… this club is thicker than blood and ye don’t go out yer way ta fuck blood over.”
Tig nodded in understanding. Chibs cleared his throat and used his thumbs to wipe Tig’s tears.
He patted him on the shoulder then headed on in. Tig just sat there looking downright lost.
Chibs let out a whistle gaining the attention of everyone within the clubhouse.
“Time fur church.”
Ava narrowed her eyes as the boys followed him into the chapel. Once the doors closed, Ava headed outside. She grimaced when she saw the look on Tig’s face. She walked on over then sat beside him. She said nothing as she pulled him into her arms and let him get it out. After a few minutes, Tig came to his feet and kissed Ava’s cheek.
“Take care of yourself, doll.” He whispered and was heading towards his car.
“Tig!” Ava hollered with slight fear.
This had the man stopping in his tracks. She dashed on over and hugged the hell out of him.
Jax signaled towards the window and Chibs turned back to see his wife hugging Tig. But she was quick to haul off and slap him after.
“Guess she feels just as conflicted…” Jax murmured.
Chibs gave a mere nod and turned back around.
“I suppose a vote’s in order… Better make it quick.”
The Sons nodded and once they finished making their decision Chibs slammed the gavel down.
“What the hell?!” Tig barked as he placed his hand over his cheek.
“I fucking hate you, you know that?”
Tig reared back and Ava pushed him away from the car.
“But as much as I hate you…” Ava shook her head.
“I love you all the same.”
“What the hell? Is this the mood swings talking or have you finally gone off the deep end?”
“SHIT!” Tig hollered as Ava took her knife to one of his tires.
“It means you’re like the pervy fucked up stepbrother that never goes away! And I don’t want you to… But it’s beyond my control. If Chibs says you gotta go then you gotta go. I stand behind him, always will. And that’s why I hate you… Because as much as I want to get mad at him and yell at him about giving you another chance, I can’t, because I understand his reasoning. He’s got a responsibility to this club and to everyone involved. Something goes wrong and all because he put his trust into someone everyone was leery about to begin with… that falls back on him.”
Ava put the knife away then placed both hands along the hood of his car. She closed her eyes and drew back the deepest of breaths.
“I’ll call you a cab. I’m not letting you drive like this…”
Ava pivoted around so she could grab her cellphone from the clubhouse. She jumped however at the sight of Chibs. He gave her a mere nod as he’d heard what was said. He waved Tig over but said nothing as they headed inside.
Tig had this nervous vibe about him as the sons sat in silence. Chibs was running his fingers along the gavel looking to be in deep thought. It seemed like forever before the president finally spoke.
“Ye remember when I mentioned ye bein’ my bitch?”
Tig pulled a certain face on this but nodded.
“Don’t ye think it’s time ye got on yer knees and earned that right?”
“Right?!” Tig uttered whilst rearing back.
Chibs gave a simple nod.
“That’s right…” The president said as he came to his feet.
He backed Tig into a corner of the room and looked him dead in the eyes.
“Just how bad do ye want in? Are ye willin’ ta stuff me cock and balls inta yer mouth and give them a good gurgle?”
Chibs went on to unbuckle his belt and to everyone’s surprise; Tig kneed him in the crotch then popped the shit out of him afterward.
“The hell with you… I’ve done everything I can think of in order to prove myself to you! If getting back in means I’m RIGHT BACK where I started with Clay then FUCK you, man! Now I respect you and that patch you wear. But I’m tired. I’m tired of being the push around. I’m done. So I guess that means I’m done with the club as well. Whatever… I’ll be around if you guys need me for anything. Cut or not… You’re still my brothers, but you’re all fucking assholes!” Tig went to storm on out of the chapel.
Tig paused but let out a miserable laugh.
“What?!” He spat as he spun back around.
Chibs went on to toss him something and Tig reared back once he realized what it was.
“It’s aboot time those balls of yers dropped. Now get put that on and get yer arse back in here.”
Ava caught wind of this through the cracked door and covered her mouth to keep from letting out a gasp. Chibs took notice and sent her a wink.
“Are ye alright?” Kerrianne asked as the doors to the chapel shut once again.
Ava nodded but was an emotional mess at the moment.
“Those boys are going to be the death of me.” She murmured.
Gemma wrapped her arm around Ava and kissed her cheek.
“Now you know what it means to be queen.” She whispered and Ava narrowed her eyes on this.
The older woman had Ava follow her outside the clubhouse.
“You did, baby. I had my doubts. But you more than proved me wrong. I’m not just talking about Tig. But what you did for that Scot of yours… bringing his little girl back.” Gemma waved her hands towards the clubhouse itself.
“You remember when I said that you had to earn that title?”
“Well you most certainly went out your way to SHOVE that right in my face.”
“Shhh. Listen… I pay more attention than you think. You’re not only holding that husband of yours together but you’re holding those boys and the family itself together. Every time something goes down you’re ready. It might take you a few trial and errors to get there but you don’t let that stop you and you haven’t called it quits, if anything, you’ve become more determined. The boys went into the slammer and what did you do? Sure… you shed a few tears but you prepared for war. And THAT right there is what it takes. You’re going to breakdown from time to time, there’s no stopping that, you’re human. It’s how you pick yourself up in the end that counts. Because sweetheart, it’s contagious… however YOU react to a situation spreads among the other old ladies and their families. If they see you holding your shit together then they’re going to do their damnest to do the same. But if you go and fall apart… then you drag those boys and everyone else involved right along with you. He’ll never admit it… they never do. But that Scot would be lost without you and his decisions for the club itself would change drastically, if you weren’t involved. Men tend to think with a clearer head when they got others at home to think about. When it’s just them… they’re a little more reckless.”
“And here I was afraid of being a distraction…”
“Oh you are, no doubt. But you’re the sort of distraction he needs.”
“I have to ask… How are you handling Clay’s death?” Ava whispered and Gemma nodded looking to be in thought.
“I miss him then I don’t… It’s a strange feeling to say the least. Part of me is relieved while the other misses what we once had. He wasn’t always the man you knew. He was different. But he let pussy and greed get in the way. It clouded his head.”
“It was a little more than pussy and greed. He murdered Jax’s father.” Ava reminded and Gemma nodded.
“Did you know? I mean back then… did you have an inkling, at least?”
“Considering how JT died, no. I just thought it rather convenient…”
“Well Clay and I had been seeing each other for a while… JT didn’t take it so well when I left him for Clay. You add what happened to our youngest to the mix… and well, something happened. Something within him snapped. Only in a way no one expected. JT went soft, as well as his visions for the club. He wanted Jax protected, at all cost. But the way he was going about it, was sure to get SAMCRO bankrupted, if not worse. It makes sense if you think about it. Clay had no choice. He had to step up and take care of business.”
Ava couldn’t help but to laugh once she realized where Gemma was going with this.
“You haven’t a clue, do you?”
Gemma tilted her head on this.
“I’m guess you’re talking about the gun cartel?’
The older woman nodded.
“Well then… You don’t pay THAT much attention.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means that Jax needs to keep you in touch more, since you don’t have Clay in order to do so. Then again, if you and Tig are truly an item now, he’ll be getting you there eventually.”
“Would you quit dancing around the subject and spill it out already?!”
“SAMCRO’s finishing what JT started.”
“What the hell is that Scot of yours thinking?!”
“Don’t go putting this all on him now. It’s a brotherhood, Gemma. That’s how it works.”
“After everything Clay’s done in order to get OUT of that fucked up vision of JT’s!”
The way she said this… had Ava looking to Gemma in a whole new light.
“Gemma, tell me you didn’t play a part in JT’s death…”
“Of course I didn’t!”
Ava couldn’t help but to shake her head in disbelief. She grabbed Gemma by the arm and dragged her into the office. She slammed the door shut then locked it afterward.
“Queen to queen, I want the truth. Did you play a part in JT’s death?!”
“Then how can you stand there and defend a man that not only cheated on you, but beat the living shit out of you, and blackmailed you into going back to him, not to mention he NEARLY RAPED ME!”
“I’m not defending the man, just the vision. We need that cartel.”
“WE?! That isn’t our decision, Gemma. That’s the boys. And frankly… THE FUCK WE DO! Look at everything it’s caused – lies, betrayal, infidelity, and MURDER! Is that the vision you want for your grandkid, because it’s sure as hell isn’t what I want for Lil Jackie or Keri?!”
Ava nodded and ran a hand along her belly, hintingly. Gemma placed a hand over her heart and looked to be taken back.
“The boys are cleaning this shit up, like or not, and there’s not a damn thing EITHER of us can do about it. So you might as well fucking deal. But let me get one thing straight. If I find out you played a part in JT’s death, I’ll kill you myself. I’ll find a way of making it look like an accident. If the boys want this shit put behind them… Then I’m going to do my best to help, even if that means taking out the TRASH along the way.”
Gemma shook her head on this.
“Don’t. You wanted someone that could get the job done, well here I am. That’s not to say I don’t respect you and how far you’ve come. But it’s the lies and amount of blood that’s been spilt along the way. I’d like to think that Abel isn’t growing up with a grandmother that helped in getting his grandfather killed. A grandfather he never had the chance to meet.”
“You do realize if any other ‘old lady’ talked to me like this, they’d be six feet under by now.”
“Well that’s just it… I’m not just “any” other old lady. I’m Chibs Telford’s and you’d do well to keep that in mind.”
Ava unlocked the door and went to step out.
“I loved JT, more than I ever loved Clay.”
Gemma couldn’t believe she was telling Ava this shit. Shit she’d kept to herself for years. But she couldn’t control that feeling of ‘urgency’. That urgency as in Ava needed to know.
With her back kept to Gemma… “Then why’d you betray him, by running away with his best friend?”
“That is how you’d see it, wouldn’t you?”
Ava pivoted back around and Gemma leaned against the wall with her arms folded about her chest.
“Clay had me right where he wanted…”
“Let me guess he used money and power to seduce you, right?! So that somehow makes you the victim in all this?”
“It was more than that…”
Ava rolled her eyes.
“At least you had someone in your corner willing to take the heat off you. I wasn’t so lucky!”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You wanna go on and whine about how you were nearly raped. Well sweetheart, you haven’t a fucking clue…”
Ava looked to Gemma in wonder.
“You and that little crow eating BITCH! That’s right, I know she’s carrying Clay’s little bastard!”
Ava lost all composure and lunged on over. She slammed Gemma’s head into the desk and leaned into her ear.
“Say what you want about me but don’t you EVER talk shit about my friends again.”
Gemma flung her head back and Ava let out a grunt. She staggered back, with her hand over her mouth and nose. Gemma spun around then grabbed a fistful of Ava’s hair. She went to smash her head against the cabinet, only to have Ava push it down with the weight of her own body. Both came tumbling down and Ava snatched one of the drawers and took it across Gemma’s back. Gemma let out a painful groan and Ava rolled Gemma onto her back then overlapped her.
Gemma took her knee to Ava’s crotch and Ava rolled off her.
“SHIT!” Gemma hollered in alarm.
“Ava…” She whispered once she realized what she’d done.
“Come on, sweetheart…” She said as she went to check her over.
The door was forced open at this point and Tig reared back at the sight. He was quick to shut the door behind him.
“What are you doing?!” He barked at Gemma.
Ava was holding her crotch and her eyes were watering.
“HELP ME!” Gemma yelled in a panic.
Tig nodded and they got Ava onto the desk. Tig checked Ava over then looked to Gemma.
“What in the hell were thinking? Jesus, Gem!”
“You alright, baby?” Tig asked.
Ava nodded but was focusing on breathing.
“I was trying to tell her…”
“And this is how you go about it?! I tell you what… Next time you wanna tell the story about carrying the product of a rape, why don’t you let me handle it?!”
Ava snapped Gemma a look of shock and Gemma sighed.
“I hadn’t exactly gotten to that part yet.”
Tig let out a sigh of mere frustration.
“Look long story short, Clay rapped Gemma then blackmailed her into keeping quiet. They had JT believing Thomas was his. He didn’t want to hurt the relationship he, the club, and JT had going. Well JT started suspecting something wasn’t right and well we know how it played out from there… Clay was trying to lure you in, just as he had Gemma. And that’s the reason behind this…” Tig uttered with a rueful glare towards Gemma.
“Now I love that crazy bitch, but she has some issues with it comes to you. A lot of it having to do with her wishing she’d have taken a stand against Clay, like you did, but she didn’t. And here she is… acting like a bitter old woman about it.”
Gemma’s jaw dropped on this and Tig held up a hand.
“Come on, baby. You know you are. Don’t do this. Don’t ruin what we have. It’s over. They’re all dead. It’s history.” Tig kissed Ava on the forehead then walked on over and backed Gemma up against the wall. He cupped her chin then looked her in the eyes.
“I’m here and I’m not going anywhere. So quit making everyone the enemy and move on.”
Gemma started to cry and he wrapped his arms around her.
“But I don’t understand… I thought Clay wanted a child of HIS own. So why didn’t he take advantage of Thomas being his? I mean think about it. JT didn’t mean THAT much to him if he was fucking his wife. Why not shove it in his face? He could’ve used THAT as a reason for Gemma to be with him rather than JT?!”
Tig swallowed back on this. He ran a single finger along the scar on Gemma’s chest.
“The moment he learned about Thomas’s heart complications, Clay was pretty much done. He blamed Gemma, because of genetics; she couldn’t give him the son HE wanted. He wanted someone like Jackson. A son HE could be proud of. He never considered Thomas to be his. As to why he was so easy to write him off and let JT have that claim. If anything, Clay found it laughable. Clay wanted someone like you, someone in perfect health, but reminded him of the spark he and Gemma once had. You had a way of getting under his skin. I’d never seen him that way. He truly believed you were his to claim and he thought that from the moment he first laid eyes on you. And learning of Chibs’s feelings… didn’t stop him. If anything, he sought it a challenge and it had him even more riled up. He wanted nothing more than to prove that he could have you, the way he had Gemma.”
Ava hopped on down but with a wince.
“Please tell me you’re not going into premature labor…” Gemma said with concern.
“The baby’s fine. My vag… not so much. Bitch…”
Gemma managed to laugh as Ava flipped her off on the way out. Tig darted on out and stopped her.
“Look, we’re fine. No sense in bringing up more hurtful sins of the past. Like you said, everyone involved is dead now. Let’s just let bygones be bygones and move on.” Ava said and Tig nodded.
“I don’t want a thank you. But you need to keep that woman of yours under control. If that means an eight hour eating session then so be it. She needs to chill the fuck out.”
Tig smiled on this.
“I have my ways…”
“Then I strongly advise you get to that…”
“Ye wanna tell me what happened ta yer face?!”
“It’s nothing, really.” Ava said as she finished cleaning up.
Chibs shook his head on this.
“Nah, we’re not doin’ that shite again. We promised ta be honest with one another, remember? So spit it out.”
Ava sighed as he handed her an ice pack from the clubhouse freezer.
“Fine. Just promise you’re not going to go all kill-mode on me. Besides, I attacked first.”
Ava looked around the area before dragging Chibs into the back bedroom. She told him about her little encounter with Gemma. And just as she’d expected, those hands of his balled up into fists and he started for the door.
“No, Chibs!” She scolded with her hand wrapped around his arm.
“This was something that Gemma and I needed to take care of. It was a long time coming and I have to prove that I can hold my own, without my husband coming to the rescue.”
“This isn’t about me comin’ ta yer rescue. Ye can hold yer own, no doubt. But yer MY old lady and if anyone had pulled that shite with Gemma when Clay or JT was president, they’d have put that person in the motherfuckin’ hospital!”
“She’s Jax’s mother…” Ava reminded and Chibs gritted his teeth on this.
“I don’t give a FLYIN’ FUCK who she is. It could’ve been Jesus Tap Dancin’ Christ. Doesn’t matter she disrespected ye and I WON’T HAVE IT!”
“Chibs, I’m begging you. Let me fight my own battles, at least when it comes to matters of other old ladies, crow eaters, things of that nature. You can handle the bigger things. But when it comes to things like this… I just need you to trust that I got this.”
“Dammit Ava, must ye be so…”
“So…?” She said in that flirtatious pitch and ran her hand along his chest.
“Ah nah ya don’t…”
She went as far as to put on that ‘angelic’ front and Chibs rolled his eyes.
“Knock that shite off!”
“Knock what off?”
“Ye know what. Ye used ta pull that shite all the time, back in Forks. Well I’m not fallin’ fur it, not this time.” But as he said this he was backing her up against the door.
He couldn’t help it. Something about that look always had him astir. Sure, he loved the badass side, it was a major turn on. But that tad of innocence remained and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t look the other way. That was one of the things that appealed to him most when he first met “Bella”. She was so sweet and innocent, yet there was a darker side to her. And Chibs was one of the few people to truly know that darker side. With him, she never held back. Charlie hadn’t a clue. And even with that darker side taking over more as of late, that innocence never faded, it never would. That was one of the things he loved about “Ava” she never let that part of Bella die. She allowed that small glimpse to remain. She hadn’t a clue how much he wanted her right now. He thought back to all the times she gave him that particular look and he had to keep from ripping her clothes off and having his way with her, which was quite a bit back in Forks. But the man couldn’t help it. She was so different and he’d grown tired of the same ole same ole and that’s all it ever was between the Cara Cara girls and Crow Eaters… They were after one thing and one thing only, money. Sure, that was a little hypocritical, considering that’s all Chibs could think about or at least that used to be the case. Until she entered his life and he started seeing things in a new light. Bella never was one to concern herself with such things. She was as real as they came. In fact, the two had argued about this very thing once before. He was going out his way to call her buff and she was more than happy to proof him wrong. And that she did by doing away with a ten thousand dollar diamond Edward had given her. She didn’t so much as bat an eye. Meanwhile, Chibs felt like he’d cry and wanted to have a small funeral in honor of the loss.
“Bella…” He whispered in such a way and went on to cup her chin.
“There she is.” He said as those beautiful brown eyes locked with his and he caressed the apple of her cheek.
The young woman went to lower her head and Chibs shook his while putting a stop to it.
“Nah, ye just listen ta me, lass. I don’t care what name ye carry, ye’ll always be my little swan. The girl I fell fur and I don’t know how ye do it but I continue ta fall in love with ye every day. I never knew that was possible. So ye can get mad all ye want but when someon’s goes out their way ta hurt ye. I’m gonna act. That’s MY job. It became my job the moment ye agreed on becomin’ my old lady. That’s not somethin’ I take lightly. I know the risk ye take each and every day and I know everythin’ ye’ve been through, in order ta make us work and ta show me how much ye love me. So yer gonna let me do my job and show ye in return. I’m not goin’ ta kill her. Just put the fear of God inta her. Gemma needs ta know where she stands. And whether ye attacked first, or not, there’s respect ta be paid, in the sense of the title you carry and even if I weren’t president, yer the wife of an angrys Scotsman and I don’t are who they are. They need to know what it means ta mess with ye or Keri… I won’t make the same mistakes JT or Clay made. I stand behind ye, both of ye, just as I would my brothers. So… as much as I adore that look in yer eyes, even if it’s only you tryin’ ta get yer way. I have to turn away and let ye know that I’m a man of me word, darlin’. That’s no easy task, believe me. I want nothin’ more than ta fuck yer brains out, but I gotta take care of business first. So ye just consider this…” He pressed himself against her in longing.
“Ta be continued. So ye had better prepare. Yer in fur one hell of a long night.” And on this note he exited the room.
“Leave us.” Chibs demanded once he entered the office.
Tig looked to Gemma with slight apprehension.
“Trager…” He warned and Gemma gestured for Tig to go on.
Just as soon as he exited the office, Chibs shut the door and locked it behind him. He went as far as to prop a chair up against the doorknob. This had Gemma looking to him in fear. He gave a simple nod and took a cigarette out from his cut. He lit it then took a long drag, before propping himself up on Gemma’s desk.
“Let me guess. The little toddy went and tattletale?”
Chibs raised his brows on this.
“Is that what ye think?”
Gemma shrugged and Chibs nodded as he put his cigarette out on her desk.
“Ava’s not the type. In fact, it took some convincin’ ta even get the truth out of her. She wanted ta keep this between the two of ye. Perhaps ye should’ve thought twice, before leaving proof of yer little miff on her face.” Chibs cleared his throat then folded his arms about his chest.
“Do ye know what she went through in order ta get me girl back?”
Gemma didn’t comment and this had Chibs slapping his hands along her desk.
“LOOK AT ME!” He roared and cleared everything off her desk, with one sweep of the hand.
The woman swallowed back and did as she was told.
“Ye haven’t a clue… First off, I wanna apologize for whatever Clay put ye through. I can’t even imagine. But on that same note, ye could’ve fought back, if ye really wanted. Ye had people ta back ye up but you chose ta play victim and just between us… I think part of ye got off ta whatever attention ye were gettin’. Ye had two men fightin’ over ye. And ye know damn well JT would’ve put a bullet in Clay’s head if he had known the truth. So ye had that option, but ye failed in takin’ it. Whether Clay raped ye, or not, ye loved him, as ta yer reason fur stickin’ it out the way ye did. Yer on hell of a woman, Gemma. Anyone can see that. So fur ye ta go and play ‘victim’. Well I don’t buy it, not fur a minute. The Gemma I know. Would’ve gone out her way ta make sure Clay paid. So where was SHE when shite went down, huh? Then ye wanna go and attack me girl, because she has a bigger set of balls than ye?! She could’ve folded ta Jimmy or Clay even, but she didn’t! She fought back! And now… YE GOT ME TA DEAL WITH!”
Gemma let out a gasp as he grabbed a fistful of her hair then forced her to her feet. He dragged her on over then shoved her into a chair. The woman looked to him in absolute shock as he backhanded her, not once, or twice, but three times, as hard as he could, then he got right in her face. He went on to tell her EVERYTHING Ava endured during her stay with Jimmy. By the time he finished Gemma was apologizing over and over and in literal sobs. She hadn’t a clue what all Ava endured.
“So me girl lives through all that, just ta come home and be smacked around by me boy’s mum?!”
“She attacked first…” Gemma defended.
“Aye… And fur a very good reason. Me girl has always been one ta defend her friends and family and she’ll shed blood in order ta do so. What ye said was downright vile and ye know it. Crow eater or not Cherry’s always had a heart of gold. Not only that, but the girl is family. Just as any other crow eater or Cara Cara girl and ye’ve ta keep in mind that she’s no longer a crow eater. She’s earned her way through Kip. And even she deserves some respect. Ye should’ve known Ava would’ve blown a gasket and fuck ye up. That’s her best friend, aye? So ye knew it was comin’. Still, ye chose ta retaliate and took it even further than she, knowing she was with child, not just any child BUT MY SON!”
Chibs brought his gun out then forced it into Gemma’s mouth. She jumped as he fired but the chamber was empty. He gave a simple nod as tears streamed down her face.
“Let that be a warnin’… Now, I want ye ta look me in the eyes and remember what it means ta fuck with one of me own. Ye might be Jackie’s mum, but if ye lay another harmful hand on me wife or daughter even, I’ll kill ye. And ye know I’m good fur it. Tara’s a fine example and that’s even with the knowledge of what she meant ta Jackie. Now if he was ta walk in here and see this, he’d put a bullet in my head, no doubt. Then again, I’ve every reason ta believe that he doesn’t know the real Gemma Morrow. Ye’ve all kinds of skeletons in that closet of yers. I got me eye on you. So if I were ye… I’d walk the line. Just one wrong move, that’s all it takes. And that’s another thing… Ava is queen. Yer nothin’ more than an old lady now. So get off that high horse of yers and show some GODDAMN RESPECT, just as ye expected when ye were queen! Now, I’m goin’ ta exit this room and put this shite behind us. Don’t give me reason ta fill the chamber, cause I’ll do it. No matter how much I love you or Jackson, I won’t let anyone hurt my family and you of all people should understand that.”
Chibs put his gun away then handed Gemma a tissue for her bloodied nose.
“Filip…” He froze with his back to her.
This made the first Gemma had ever referred to him as such.
“You’re one of the good ones. Ava’s lucky…”
“You’re wrong. I’m the lucky one.” And on this… he removed the chair then exited the office.
Ava tossed her purse onto the coffee table then looked to Kerrianne.
“Home sweet home…” She said with a warm smile.
Kerrianne nodded and shyly looked around. Chibs had already scanned the inside and outside of the house, before letting them inside. He nodded upon his wife as he came in with the rest of their belongings. Ava nodded in return then went on to show Kerrianne around. Coming home like this… Had the Scot a bit on edge, but he knew the Irish were bound to attack, no matter where they were. They couldn’t keep everyone on 24/7 watch at the clubhouse.
“As you can see we have some work to do. But I thought once things settle down a bit we could go into town and see about getting you a bed and whatever else you need.” Ava said as she was showing Kerrianne her bedroom.
She pointed to the bathroom across the way.
“This bathroom is yours… Well at least until Lil Jackie comes into the picture then you’re stuck sharing with an icky boy.” Ava teased and Kerrianne sort of laughed.
“The couch is a sleeper. So we’ll get you set up with that, for now. Sorry. I’m sure you want your privacy but it won’t be for long.”
“I’m okay. The couch is fine.”
Ava pointed to Benny who was sniffing everything in sight.
“And you…” Benny lifted his head and Ava smiled.
“Sorry buddy, but I’m afraid it’s the backyard for you.”
Ava grabbed his leash and Kerrianne followed Ava to the backyard.
“As you can see he’s got plenty of space and I’m sure your father wouldn’t mind making him a doggy door that leads into the closed patio for whenever the weather’s bad.”
Ava took Benny’s leash off and the girls laughed as he ran throughout the yard.
“I think Benny approves.”
“Yeah…” Kerrianne said while getting a feel for everything.
“I know it’s going to take sometime to adjust. But just know I’m here if you ever need to talk. You’re not alone in this, Keri.”
Chibs stepped on out and hunkered down.
“Whattya think?” He asked while petting Benny.
“It’s nice…” Kerrianne said.
“I talked to Donna and it seems as if you, Ellie, and Kenny will be going to the same school.” Ava stated.
“School?!” Kerrianne asked with this wide-eyed expression.
Ava nodded then seated Kerrianne down at the patio table.
“I know it’s been awhile… But yes, I think it’s time you went back to school.”
“But I’ll be so behind!”
“And Ava can help get ye where ye need ta be. Little miss smarty pants over here was top of her class.”
“Actually, it was Edward, Jessica, then me…”
“Alright so second… sparkle britches don’t count.”
“What your father’s trying to say is that I’m more than willing to help you. We’ve means of making certain you’re not held back, or anything of the sort. And honestly… Keri, you’re smart girl. I haven’t any doubt that you’ll excel in anything thrown your way. So I’m not even worried and you shouldn’t be either. Just take it a day at a time and go with the flow. Either way, we’re here to help, whenever you need it. We’ll give you sometime to adjust first. I wasn’t even considering enrolling you until the end of the month. So that should give you plenty of time. We’ll need that just to get everything in order and your father will be handling that part…”
Chibs smiled on this.
“Gotcha covered, darlin’.”
“See?! We just want you to make yourself at home and let us worry on everything else.”
“Can I see the baby room?”
“Sure! It’s not done yet. But we’re getting there…”
Chibs followed as they headed that way. Ava cut on the light and Kerrianne’s eyes lit up at the sight of the crib.
“Awwwee.” She said surprising that of Chibs and Ava.
The girl ran her hands along the crib and the bedding within.
“I love it!”
Ava gave her husband’s hand a bit of a squeeze as he looked a little choked up. She exited the room figuring now would be a good time for Chibs and Kerrianne to get that time they needed.
“I can’t believe yer havin’ a baby…” She whispered and her father nodded.
“Yer goin’ ta be a big sister.”
“Da, do ye really love Ava?”
“More than ye loved ma?”
Chibs gathered this uncomfortable mien about him.
“It’s okay if ye do. I won’t be mad.”
“Keri, what I had with yer mum and what I have with Ava are two different things entirely. There’s no real comparison.”
“Ye smile and laugh more than I remember…”
“Aye… I can admit that but it hadn’t anythin’ ta do with ye. Yer mum and I hit a bit of a rough patch there towards the end and it took its toll on the both of us.”
“I wish I was Lil Jackie…”
Chibs reared back then cupped her chin.
“What do ye mean by that?”
“I wish I could’ve had a ma like Ava and that we would’ve never met Jimmy.”
“I mean no disrespect ta yer mum but ye don’t know how many times I wished fur that same thing. But look at it this way. We’ve been given a second chance and Ava might not be yer blood mum but she is yer stepmum and I’m sure within time, the two of ye will be inseparable. The connection’s there… I see it.”
“About ma and Jimmy… I should’ve told ye but I…” She trailed off and took a couple steps back.
“What do ye mean ye knew?”
“I knew ma and Jimmy were sleepin’ tagether. I’d seen them. I never told ye… I…”
Chibs narrowed his eyes on this.
“I was afraid ye’d wanna leave and I didn’t want ye ta leave.”
He hadn’t a clue she’d been holding on to that all these years, or that Fiona had been seeing Jimmy, before shit hit the fan. She went on to tell her father what she’d told Ava. Chibs gave a simple nod and seated her in the rocking chair. He hunkered down before her.
“Now ye listen ta me, darlin’…”
“What yer mother did was her sin. What ye did wasn’t yer fault. Ye were just a little girl, scared by what ye’d seen and afraid of losin’ her parents.”
“She all set?” Ava asked once Chibs entered the bedroom.
He nodded and pulled the door to. Ava placed her book onto the nightstand then looked to her husband with concern.
“Is something wrong?”
He lay beside her and adjusted the strap to her gown.
“Keri, just admitted ta me that Fi and Jimmy were screwin’ around, way before shite went down.”
“I take it she told ye?”
“Yes. But I more or less suspected it was something like that, by what you had told me already.”
Chibs nodded and looked to the ceiling.
“I’m sorry, for the both of you.” She said while running a hand along his chest.
The Scot took her hand and kissed it.
“I just hate that she had to endure all that shite… And fur her ta go and feel any kind of guilt on keepin’ it from me, just makes me wanna dig that bitch of a mother up and stomp on her remains.”
It took A LOT for Chibs Telford to say something like that. This only proved just how far Fiona had taken things and how much she really hurt Chibs and Kerrianne in the process. Ava thought back to Chibs’s story about his father cheating on his mother and how he’d walked in on it as well.
“I suppose I have no room ta talk. I was knee deep in pussy, once I knew she had given inta Jimmy.”
“Filip, that’s different and you know it. If I was willingly fucking another man, I’d expect no less.”
“Yeah well that’s the difference, I know ye… Ye’d die before ye let another man fuck ye. Why do ye think I was beside myself about Jimmy takin’ ye?! And ye should know I’d rip my own cock off, before I even thought about fuckin’ around on ye. I might be a lot of things but when I give my all ta someone that’s exactly what I do. These boys…”
He shook his head in thought.
“They’ll take a bullet fur one another and wouldn’t dare to rat. But when it comes ta their old ladies their morals take a plunge and that’s why I worry about Jackie at times. He’s got a good thing goin’ with Michaela. She’s good fur him but I’ll swear Jackie’s his own worst enemy. I’d hate fur Jackie ta put Abel through that same shite. Seems ta be a thing nowadays. Pissin’ away yer vowels and fuckin’ around like ye don’t give a shite, not until ye get caught. And I don’t just mean the literal fuckin’ around. I mean fuckin’ around in the sense of livin’ a lie and havin’ everyone around ya believin’ it.”
“I don’t see Jax taking that road, not this time round. He’s got you to knock him back into play and to remind him of what he could lose.”
“I hope so. I love that, kid. And I’d like ta see him rise fur once, instead of knockin’ himself down. Ye should’ve seen the way he was actin’, on just the mere thought of proposin’. Poor kid went on about how he fucks up everythin’ he touches.”
Chibs rolled onto his side facing her. He placed a hand along her belly.
“Looks like I got my wish…”
Ava looked to the man in question.
“On Keri gettin’ the mother she always deserved. I don’t have ta ask how ye feel aboot her, because I can see it in yer eyes and with everything ye’ve done… I know better than ta ask. So here’s ta a new vow…”
Chibs took a blue jewelry box out from his cut.
“Ava darlin’, I’m puttin’ an end ta this – ta Jimmy, the cartel, ta the shite within the club itself. I’m goin’ ta give ye, Keri, and Lil Jackie everythin’. It’s time ye and Keri got the life ye’ve always deserved and I’m forever grateful fur what ye did for me little girl. Now yer still the peg o’ my heart but yer also the apple of my eye.”
Chibs went on to reveal what was in the box and Ava clamped a hand over her mouth. She sat up on the bed and looked to the ring in shock. It was a rose outlined in diamonds and the wedding band itself was sapphires. On one band it read peg o’ my heart the other said apple of my eye.
He took the ring from the box and placed it onto her finger.
“Chibs…” She uttered looking to be in shock.
“How’d you… I mean when…”
The Scot smiled on this.
“I’ve me ways… The moment I saw it, I knew it was ye. Now when I spoil ya with roses at least ye know this one will never die, such as me love fur you.”
“It’s beautiful. Thank you.” She said looking a little teary-eyed.
What he wasn’t telling her is that he’d dipped into the last bit of money, he’d set aside, but he couldn’t bear the thought of his wife going without a wedding ring and he wasn’t about to settle for some cheap knock of the original. He’d just enough to get Keri and Lil Jackie’s rooms prepared, but that was about it. He wasn’t too concerned, considering they had money coming in from the shop and Cara Cara still.
Ava crawled on over and kissed him. As she did this her breasts popped on out of her gown. Chibs raised his brows on this.
“Will ye look at that?! The twins are jealous!”
Ava laughed as he went on to play with them. He reared back however as she had drops of clear liquid coming out.
“Well someone’s getting milk here soon…” he murmured and went on to show her what he was referring to.
Ava’s jaw dropped.
“Is that normal?!”
“Oh yeah. I didn’t expect it this soon but yeah.”
Chibs squeezed some of the contents out and shook his head. Ava’s looked to him in surprise as he was so hard she could feel him pulsating through his jeans.
“Fuck…” he whispered.
“That turns you on?” She questioned with a blush.
“Ye’ve no idea. There’s just somethin’ about it.”
Chibs had her sitting up as he ran his hands along her breasts, on down her tummy.
“Jaysus…” He whispered as if he were already out of breath.
Ava unfastened his pants and smiled as he was pitching one hell of a tent. He was so riled up he’d precum soaking through his boxers. Ava went on to lick that particular area.
“Hmm, I wanna try somethin’” He whispered in such a way.
Ava lifted her eyes and he sent her a wink.
“On yer back, love.”
Chibs took his time licking and sucking on her tits. She regarded him in shock however as he squeezed them together and was giving them a thorough fucking with his cock.
“God that’s fuckin’ hot.” He growled before shooting a load into her mouth.
He wasn’t about to leave her hanging so he slid a couple fingers into her pussy and pumped them back and forth, until he had her flooding his hand.
“That’s me girl.” He whispered before licking his fingers clean.
When Chibs woke the following morning, Ava’s side of the bed was empty. He could smell the coffee brewing and bacon frying. Chibs threw on a pair of jeans, lit up a smoke, then headed that way.
“Smells good, Ava darlin’.” He said and pecked her on the cheek.
Ava smiled and Chibs nodded upon his daughter as she was sitting at the dining room table.
“Somethin’ wrong?” He asked as Kerrianne was gawking at him.
She blushed in response then looked to her plate of food.
“I told you…” Ava said as if reading Kerrianne’s mind.
Kerrianne smiled and Chibs looked to the both of them in bewilderment. Ava handed him a cup of coffee but tapped her finger along Kerrianne’s name on his chest.
“Ah… well of course I’ve me favorite girls…” He said with a gesture towards the swan and crow tat as well.
“Why a swan?” Kerrianne asked as she took a bite of her bacon.
“Well you remember when I said that I too faked my death?”
“My last name was Swan.”
“So yer the swan and he’s the crow?”
“At least that’s what he tells me…”
Chibs cocked a brow on this. He pulled Ava into his lap then stuffed a piece of bacon in her mouth.
“I like that. It’s different.” Kerrianne paused however once she caught wind of Ava’s ring.
“Ye got her a new ring…”
Chibs nodded and Ava went on to show it off.
“It’s really pretty.” She said but with a quivery lip.
“Keri?” Chibs called with concern.
“I thought ye were lying about the tattoo…” Kerrianne whispered this had Ava coming to her feet.
“Why would you think that?”
“So I’d go with ye…”
“Keri hun, that’s not how I do things. I’m sorry you thought that. But everything I told you was the truth.”
Chibs knew where this was going so he hopped up and exited the room. It wasn’t long before he returned with a couple of photo albums and a baby blanket. He slid Kerrianne’s plate out of the way.
“I never forgot about ya, kid.”
Kerrianne opened the first album and Ava looked over seeing that Chibs had everything in order, from year to date. From when Kerrianne was first born up until she ‘died’.”
“The blanket is what ye carried around until ye were about five or so. Ye loved that thing.”
Chibs was quick to hug his daughter as she started to cry. Ava shed a few tears herself but decided on giving them their space. She headed into Lil Jackie’s then Kerrianne’s room, so she could make a list of everything they needed. Afterward she went and checked on Benny.
“How you doing, boy?” She questioned while filling his water and food bowl.
He jumped up and licked her cheek.
“Easy there. I could topple over with this baby weight you know.”
Benny let out a bark then took off running about the yard. He returned with a rock. Ava snorted on this. She bent down and retrieved the rock form his mouth. She tossed it across the yard and he took off after it.
“Guess we need to get you some actual dog toys. Never had a dog… Then again, I never had a teenage daughter until now.”
Benny returned with the rock and Ava threw it a few more times. When she headed back inside Chibs was in the shower and Kerrianne was putting the couch back together.
“I would’ve gotten that for you.” Ava called and Kerrianne shrugged.
“I got it. Ye don’t hafta wait on me. We’re not at Jimmy’s anymore…”
“True, but I never minded doing those things for you. I hope you know that.”
Ava sat beside Kerrianne on the couch.
“So… Let’s talk colors.”
“For your bedroom! Are we going emo black, crimson red, or flamingo pink?” Ava teased and Kerrianne laughed.
“No on flamingo pink…”
“I figured that much… I was never much for pink either.”
“I don’t know what color I want.”
“We can always leave it as is. But I wanted you to know that you have an option. It is YOUR bedroom so it’s your decision. I want you to feel at home. That means if you want pictures of your father and Fiona together or the three of you even… I would never stand against you on that. Understood?”
“I don’t think da would like that…”
“Well it’s your room and I know even he wouldn’t stand against you on how you decorate it. I know you loved your mother and the life the three of you had together, before Jimmy came into the picture. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not replacing your mother, Keri. All I care about is making you and your father happy.”
“There’s only one of us I want…”
Kerrianne nodded and opened one of the albums. She pointed to a picture of the three of them. It was Christmas as there was a tree in the background. Kerrianne looked as if she were no older than three. Filip was holding her and Fiona was kissing her cheek. Each of them had genuine beams about them.
“Keri, that’s a beautiful picture and I have just the frame for it.”
Ava exited the room then returned with a wooden frame. Kerrianne took the picture from the album and handed it over.
“We look happy there…” Kerrianne softly stated.
“I don’t remember being like that.”
“You were young and a lot has happened since. Come on…”
Kerrianne nodded and followed Ava. She grabbed a hammer and nail then headed into the bedroom.
“Where would you like it?”
Kerrianne pointed to an area on the wall and Ava hung it up.
Ava smiled then kissed the top of Kerrianne’s head. Chibs entered the room at this point and nodded upon the girls.
“What are ye up ta?” He narrowed his eyes however once he saw the picture.
He walked on over and got a better look.
“That was always me favorite…”
Kerrianne smiled in response and he sent her a wink. Yet again, Ava struck him stupid by how selfless she could be. Most women would have a fit on the mere idea, but not her. Then again, even if Fiona were alive, his little swan would have nothing to be threatened by. Ava hung the moon and stars according to Chibs Telford, no one could ever replace her.
“I gotta head ta the shop. Kip’s had his hands full as it is. I want ye and Keri ta follow me there. Ye need ta be where there’s protection, just in case.”
Ava frowned on this.
“I know ye hate bein’ on 24/7 watch, lass. But I can’t run the risk.”
“Can we take Benny?” Kerrianne asked.
“Don’t see why not, as long as ye clean up after him…”
“I will. Promise!”
Ava headed into the bedroom and was looking for her boots. Chibs followed and shut the door behind him.
His wife looked over as she found them and was putting them on.
“I know ye encouraged her ta do that…”
“I want Keri to know this is just as much her home.” Ava said like it was no big deal.
“I’d marry ye all over again if I hadn’t already.”
“That would make wedding number… three, right?”
“Oh yeah. That means three honeymoons. We might wanna get a bigger house…”
“Because we’re gonna have a shiteload of babies!”
Ava had a good laugh at this.
“Oh no buddy, you’re having the next one.”
“I don’t think that’s how it works.”
“Well… I’ll find a way.”
(Be a good sport by leaving your comment/review or a simple ‘like’, if you dug the chapter. Please be patient as my granny has been diagnosed with cancer and I myself have been under the weather. So chapters maybe slow getting out, family and health first.)