Jackson Teller, the prince of Charming. The boy all Dad's feared and girls loved. The bad boy biker. Vice President of the mother charter of the Sons of Anarchy. Broad shouldered, blonde haired, blue eyed and a smirk to that would make anyone swoon, Jax knew he was attractive. When he was a teenager all he had ever dreamed about was becoming a brother. His Dad and his best friends Dad had started the Sons as a motorcycle club; a way to have a connection and friendship across the state. Somewhere along the way it changed.
At 30 years old, Jax had had his fair share of women. He knew many intimately, but none personally. Yeah he had a son, but his kids Mom was not in the picture and hadn't been since she had OD when pregnant with him. That had been a mistake from the moment Jax had taken her to his bed at the club house.
Someone had blown up the clubs gun warehouse and they were heading out in about an hour to assess the damage and determine how to cover up what had happened. On his way back to the club house Jax drove down main street. As he drove he noticed a new store front Cookie crumbles & Cupcakes was on the window. Wondering who had opened the new store stopped when he pulled into Teller-Morrow garage.
Tara Knowles, the new girl in town. The one woman that no one knew anything about and no man had touched; at least not in Charming. Tara didn't consider herself to be outstandingly beautiful, she had okay features she believed when she looked in a mirror. She wasn't ugly certainly.
She had arrived in Charming California almost a month ago. It had taken almost all of her savings to start up her bakery and buy a house for herself. The small town had its appeal of not being overly small but also the curious motorcycle club that seemed to run the town. When she had gone into get her permit to open her bakery she had met with the president of the club, Clay Morrow. He had scared her senseless until he realized that she only wanted to open up a small bakery in town and had already put money down on a small house in town.
Setting the last cake in the display case, Tara stood up just as the bell above her front door dinged. "Good afternoon Sheriff." she commented wiping her hands on her apron.
"No need to call me Sheriff. It's Wayne." Responded Wayne Unser. He had been keeping a close eye on the newest local to Charming. "How's everything going? Ready to open tomorrow?" He asked looking in the display cases.
"I think so. Everything is in place." Tara confessed. She was unsure of how Charming was going to take to her little bakery. "I just hope that people come in and give me a chance." she admitted staring out the front window.
"Tara, don't worry about Charming not accepting you. The Sons of Anarchy are okay with you being here so you have jumped your first hurdle." Unser responded coming to stand beside the young woman. "Have you met any other Sons besides Clay?" he asked.
"No. But I see them riding around town." Tara admitted blushing, she wanted to ask about the blonde haired one, but thought better of it.
"Everything okay in your head chef?"
"Yeah, I just feel like a school girl."
"You want to know if I know Jax." Wayne smiled.
"Jax?" Tara questioned turning to face the sheriff.
"Jax Teller. The blonde biker that every woman falls all over themselves to meet and get with." Unser commented.
"It's okay. He's a good lookin' boy."
"That may be, but I can't afford to be distracted. I have a new business and don't need to get involved when..." Tara stopped herself from finishing her sentence. She hadn't told anyone about why she was in Charming.
"When what Tara?" asked Unser looking concerned. Gently he led her to a booth. "What's going on? I know you aren't in Charming because you wanted to settle down." He commented once they were both seated.
"What I tell is confidential right?"
"That's only lawyers, but you can trust me. What's going on?"
"If I had a restraining order against someone in another state would it still be in effect here?" Tara asked looking nervously around.
"It depends on the person the RO was against."
"So it may be useless." Tara feared.
"Why don't you explain me what's going on and we'll go from there." Unser offered covering Tara's shaking hands with his own.
Tara looked at Wayne with glossy eyes, "You're right I didn't come to Charming to settle down, although now that I'm here I wouldn't mind it." she offered nervously, "I was dating this guy in Chicago, an ATF agent, we weren't together long and when I tried to end it he got violent. So one night I just packed up bags and jumped on the first plane that got me as away from Chicago as it could that night." she finished, "That's how I ended up in Charming."
"That's why you had bruises on you and a broken ankle when you first came to town?" Unser questioned thinking back to his first meeting with Tara.
"I'll make some calls and see what I can find out." Wayne uttered. "And don't worry Tara, no one can hurt you in Charming."
"You don't know Joshua." Tara remarked.
"That maybe, but you don't know the Sons of Anarchy or their V.P."
"What do they have to do with this?" Tara accused standing up.
"I don't mean anything by it Tara. I'm just saying I'm not the only person who saw you when you first came to town and I took you to the hospital after you bought your house." Wayne supplied.
"Who else saw me?" Tara hesitated.
"Why would that matter?" Tara wondered.
"Because he and the Sons don't take kindly to men beating up on women. Regardless of how well they know them." Unser imparted, "He's been keeping his eyes out for you since that night."
"Yes. You just won't see him until he wants you too." Unser continued, "Jax is Clay's eyes and ears on town. He just wants to make sure you are really just opening up a bakery."
"What else would I be opening?" Tara screeched.
"Forget I said anything."
"Wayne." she warned as the sheriff headed towards the door.
"Have a good afternoon Tara and I'll see ya tomorrow for the opening."
"Cryptic old man." Tara smiled.
The rest of Tara's day went smoothly. She dusted around her new little bakery, put napkin holders on all the tables and finally relaxed. Her dream of opening a bakery was coming true, now she just had to hope that what Sheriff Unser had said was true, that the Sons of Anarchy accepted her being in town.
Walking out of her bakery, Tara picked up her pace as she headed towards her little Mazda3. She hated walking alone at night, especially in a town where she didn't know anyone. Getting in her car, she never noticed her blonde haired shadow.
Jax Teller had been keeping an eye on the new town resident since he had seen her coming into the hospital with Unser a month ago. She had had a boot on her foot and was covered in bruises. He had tried to get information out of Unser, but the old man kept saying he didn't know anything. Jax didn't know what was up with the baker, but he wanted to find out why she always seemed so nervous out in public and never interacted with the community.
Straddling his Harley he followed the baker home, keeping a safe distance, even though he was sure she could hear his bike. He wanted to be close to her, to know what had made her choose Charming, and why she was always alone. He stopped halfway down the block from her house and watched her lock her car and enter her home.
Tara quickly locked her car and headed inside her home. Rushing she turned the deadbolt, clicked the lock on the door and swiped the chain across the top of the door. Since everything in Chicago she never took safety for granted. After getting in her car outside her bakery, she noticed a motorcycle following her, not wanting to make a bigger deal than it felt, she stayed on her normal course home; figuring that if the Sons V.P. wanted to know where she lived he could find out.
Steadily Tara calmed herself down and went out her nightly routine of getting ready for bed. She knew she was going to need the extra sleep that night since her big opening was the next morning. After brushing her teeth and washing her face Tara headed into her bedroom; opening the top drawer of her night stand she pulled out her little Smith and Wesson revolver. Setting it by her alarm clock, Tara climbed into bed and turned out the light.
Unbeknownst to Tara, she had a visitor who had watched her nightly routine including seeing the gun she laid on her nightstand. Standing a little ways from the house, Jax tried to figure out why a woman who seemed so withdrawn from the world would need a gun on her nightstand.
"Ya know if the neighbors didn't know you, they might call the police." A voice behind Jax laughed.
Jumping, "Dammit Ope." Jax swore.
"What are you doing man?"
"Keeping an eye on things."
"You mean creepily stalking the town's new baker." Opie Winston laughed.
"Laugh all you want, but she has a secret." Jax retorted turning towards his best friend from childhood.
"Everyone has secrets brother."
"True, but does everyone sleep with a gun on their nightstand because of those secrets?" Jax questioned.
"Okay, you have been around you mother too much, brother." Opie pointed out, "You need to go home and be with your son, tomorrow talk to the baker and see if there anything suspicious, but I can tell you from living next to her she is the nicest, quietest person I have ever met."
"You're right. I'll see ya tomorrow, brother." Jax nodded heading towards his bike.
Opie turned towards the little tan house, he just couldn't see his new neighbor having that big or bad of a secret. While he was extremely curious about her sleeping with a gun beside her bed; he couldn't judge her because of what he had done for the club.
"Opie, what was Jax doing in the neighborhood?" Donna Winston questioned coming to stand beside her husband.
"He has been keeping a close eye on the new baker." Opie replied putting his arm over his wife's shoulders.
"You can't be telling me that he doesn't trust that sweet woman."
"I don't know what to tell you Donna. I wish I did. I see nothing wrong with her, but Jax says she is sleeping with a gun on her nightstand."
"Oh brother, Jax needs to grow up. Tara Knowles is a city girl who just moved to a quiet little town in a new state. Of course she is going to have need some adjustment time." Donna shook her head. She had known Opie Winston and Jax Teller since high school. "If if will make you and Jax feel better, why don't I get to know her and feel her out." she mused.
"I don't know if that's a good idea."
"Why not? You and the kids loved the cookies she brought over when we helped her unload the furniture trucks." Donna pointed out, "Plus you and the kids have always wanted me to learn to bake. Now I have a reason and a cover to get to know our new neighbor." Donna retorted kissing her husband's cheek and heading home.
Opie just stared after his wife. He couldn't believe what she was suggesting, plus Jax would kill him if he ever found out that Donna knew he was suspicious of the new town baker. But having a sweet tooth, Opie really couldn't turn down his wife learning to bake from the woman who made mouth watering cookies.
Jax headed home to his little boy. Abel had been born premature due to his mothers drug use. After he was born, Jax and Wendy, Abel's Mom, tried to make it work, but couldn't. She couldn't give up the drugs and Jax couldn't handle her putting their son at more risk. Six months ago their divorce had become final. It was a bittersweet moment, but both Jax and Wendy had known it was coming.
Climbing off his bike, Jax made his way into his house. "Thanks for staying late, Anitta." he told the nanny he had hired.
"Any time Jax. Is everything okay?" the older woman asked. Anitta liked Jax, ever since he and Wendy had become officially separated he had become a better father; home to put his 1 year old son to bed and spend some major week and weekend time with him.
"Yeah, everything is fine. Just thinking about some stuff." Jax commented getting down Anitta's jacket from the hook.
"When are you going to leave that poor baker alone Jax?"
"What do mean?"
"I know where you were. You were keeping an eye on the woman who pays you no regard. It's something you're not used to."
"I don't know what you mean Anitta." Jax scoffed, blushing.
"Of course you don't." She smiled, "Abel is probably still awake, he has been waiting for his Daddy to tuck him in and tell him night."
"Thanks again, Anitta."
Jax just laughed as he shut his front door, Anitta always knew when he was bluffing. He had learned that the hard way when she had wiped him clean at a Sons get together at Teller-Morrow. Heading towards his son's room, he could hear squealing, meaning that yet again Anitta was correct that Abel was still awake.
Stepping into the room, Jax just stared at his son, who was standing in his crib holding the side in a death grip, "Hey little man. You're supposed to be asleep." he commented walking towards the crib.
Abel just squealed more and let the side go, falling onto his bottom looking up at Jax.
"Come here little man." Jax cooed picking up Abel. Stepping to the side of the crib, Jax sat down in the rocking chair and cradled Abel against his chest. Rubbing his back softly, Jax let his mind wander to what Anitta had said about the new baker not paying him any attention. Usually he would just blow off a comment like that, he could get any woman he wanted; well almost any woman.
Hearing his son's soft snoring, Jax stood up and laid Abel down in his crib and made his way to door, turning off the light and cracking the door, he made his way to his bed room still thinking about what Anitta had said. It had never bothered him this much that a woman seemed to have no interest in him, but something about the baker had him interested and he wanted her to notice him as much as he noticed her.