Now You Know
Tara quickly headed inside her house and locked all three locks and headed towards her bathroom. She was going to be sick. How could he have found her? She hadn't left a trail, unless... No they wouldn't do that she thought about her neighbors. Well they could have, Joshua was a scary man when riled.
Leaning back against the wall she heard a motorcycle pull up. She knew it was Jax, he had followed her home. And as much as she wanted that to comfort her, it didn't. Crawling she got to her nightstand, got her gun out and went to her walk in closet.
Entering her closet, she locked the door. That was a feature she had installed when she moved in. Unrolling the sleeping bag, she nuzzled in and tried to sleep.
Jax had followed Tara home, as always. She was slowly becoming more comfortable with him behind her, he could see. It was nice that she didn't look so scared of him anymore.
But something had changed that. When she had opened the box that had been sitting on her front porch she had stiffened and freaked out like she had in town. He had to see what had scared her.
Driving his bike to her driveway he parked and turned the bike off. Walking up to her porch he could see that she had dropped everything in a flurry of emotion. Squatting down he picked up the camera and turned it on. The screen lit up with pictures of Tara holding Abel, him watching his son with Tara and then the three of them together. Jax stared at the camera wondering who had taken them and why no one had noticed the person. The pictures were creepy accurate of when things went down in town. Something was up.
Setting the camera down, Jax picked up the note. He re-read the note three times before curling his hand into a fist. Okay now he knew that something was wrong with Tara. It was something that Opie and Donna knew about.
Leaving his bike in Tara's driveway he walked over to Opie and Donna's. Banging on the door, "Op, open up!" he thundered. Banging on the door he was about to yell again when the door swung open.
"Are you out of your God damn mind?" Donna seethed, "I have two kids who are asleep and I have to work in the morning."
"Where's Op?" Jax asked not backing down.
"He's coming." Donna responded crossing her arms. "What is going on Jax?"
Opie came to stand beside Donna, "What the fuck Jax?" he swore.
"Look I'm sorry to wake you both up, but I need answers." He answered.
"Couldn't they wait until tomorrow?" Donna glowered.
"No!" Jax snapped as he pulled out the camera and note. Handing them over to Opie.
"What the fuck are these?" Opie asked handing the camera over to Donna as he read the note.
"Oh my God." Donna breathed as Opie handed her the note. "Tara." she whispered as she handed the camera and note back to Jax.
"Now either one or both of you is going to tell me what is going on." Jax spoke finally.
Opie and Donna exchanged looks and Donna began," I can't tell you everything, but I can give you the basic version."
"Whatever I can get."
"But Jax you can't tell the club what I'm going to share with you."
"I'll do whatever I need to do to keep my son safe and the woman who he seems to be smitten with."
"He isn't the only one." Opie mused looking at his best friend.
Donna patted Opie's arm and they moved so Jax could come into the house. Leaving the boys in the living room, Donna headed towards their liquor cabinet. Unlocking the door she grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniels and three tumblr glasses. All three of them were going to need the whiskey to have the conversation they were about to have.
Before walking back into the living room, Donna unlocked her phone and texted Tara, I'm sorry but I have to tell Jax. He has the camera and note, sending the message Donna just stared at her feet. She was betraying her new friend, she had promised to keep this away from Jax. Putting her phone back in her pocket she picked up the glasses and bottle and headed into the living room.
Tara rolled over when her phone lit up. Looking at it, she read the message Donna had sent her. Feeling the tears coming, she quickly unlocked her phone and typed a response letting Donna know that was okay, I understand, Donna. Thank you for letting me know.
Donna set down the glasses and bottle when her phone beeped, pulling it out she looked at the message from Tara and breathed a little easier. Jax was sitting on the edge of the couch with Opie on the other end, watching him.
Donna took a deep breath and began, "When Tara was living in Chicago she started dating this ATF agent named Joshua."
"Joshua what?" Jax interrupted.
"I don't know. She never told me." Donna continued, "They were together almost two years, at first he was great and then things changed when Tara started to show some independence. Whenever Tara would do something that he didn't like, he would beat her."
Jax jumped up and started pacing, his hands in fists and his shoulders squared.
Donna watched him for a minute and turned to Opie who just nodded encouragement to her, "One New Years eve he saw a family at the bakery where Tara worked and decided that they should start a family. Tara didn't want to have a baby with Joshua as the father so she continued to take her birth control without his knowledge. When he found out he beat her, left her out on the porch of their apartment as punishment. The next morning her brought her in and raped her for two hours."
Jax's temper blew and he threw a punch that landed hard against Opie who had moved in front of him so he wouldn't hit the wall. "What else?" he growled, not looking at Donna.
"He told her before he went to work that they would be "making love" every spare moment they had until she was pregnant with his child. A couple weeks later, Tara discovered she was pregnant. Since she was still working at the bakery, her boss took her to the clinic to get an abortion. After wards she kept up the charade until she couldn't anymore." Donna all but whispered, it was hard for her to tell her friends secrets, "Joshua put her in the hospital when he found out. Their neighbors are the only reason Tara is alive."
Jax just stared at his shoes for a few minutes. He was trying his hardest to process what Donna had just told. Turning he looked at the door, he couldn't believe that the woman who now lived next door to his best friend and his wife had been beaten and abused for almost a year. Looking towards Donna he could see her crying, walking over he squatted down in front of her and pulled her towards him. He hadn't meant to cause her any harm by asking, he just knew that he wouldn't be able to sleep if he didn't find out what was going on.
Donna clung to her husband's best friend. She didn't know how Tara had been able to hold on to this secret. It had been killing her all day to not tell Jax what had happened to Tara. She guessed the woman was strong because of what she had been through.
When Donna's tears subsided she sat back and looked at Jax, "You can't tell the club, just yet," she whispered.
"Why not?" Jax questioned in a tight voice.
Donna knew that voice, it was his protective voice, "Because Tara needs to know she can do something about this on her own. She has looked into self defense classes in Lodi. We are going to start going on Monday."
"Why are you going with her?" Opie asked as he sat back down on the couch.
"Because I want her to know she isn't alone anymore, that she has people she can depend on."
Jax looked between the couple. He was still trying to wrap his head around what Donna had just told him, "I'll make you a deal Donna."
"I'll give you and Tara two weeks to take the classes, so she feels as though she has some control, but then I'm telling the club." Jax explained, "Obviously this asshole is in Charming."
"Thank you Jax."
"Don't thank me. I don't want to give you two this time, but I understand Tara's need to feel like she has some control." Jax said standing up, "I'm sorry I woke you guys up. I'm going to head home."
Opie walked Jax to the door and shut and locked it after he left. Turning to look at his wife, "we knew he would find out eventually."
"I know, but what does this mean for Tara."
"That she is going to have more protection than she knows what to do with."
"Opie please don't let Jax say anything. Tara needs to know that she can do something against her attacker and if he steps in like I know he wants to, she'll never get closure on what has happened to her."
"I'll try Donna, I really will. But you know Jax." Opie said taking her hand, "come on let's get back to bed."
Donna just nodded and followed her husband.
Tara tossed and turned all night long. When her alarm on her phone went off she just turned if off and rolled back over. She didn't want to face the day or the reality that Joshua had found her and especially the fact that Jax Teller now knew her secret.
She finally had her feet under her in a new town, a friend she could confide in and in one day all of that came crashing down. Allowing herself to cry, Tara finally fell into a deep sleep.
Jax woke up to Abel crying. Getting out of bed, he headed into his sons room. "What's up little man?" he asked as he picked up Abel.
Abel just smiled at him and clapped. He had just wanted his Dad. Walking back to his bed room Jax laid Abel down on the bed and the two Teller men went back to sleep. Abel snuggled against his Dad. Jax holding his son tightly.
Opie woke up a couple of hours after Donna had left for a therapy session. He could hear his kids moving around in the house. Pulling a t-shirt over his head he walked into the living room to find his Dad, Piney, playing with the kids.
"Daddy, look who came for breakfast." Kenny laughed looking at his Dad.
"I see buddy." Opie smiled at his Dad and walked into the kitchen to grab some coffee.
Piney Winston knew when something was bothering his son, so he followed him into the kitchen, "what's going on? Ellie said Jax showed up late last night mad as hell about something."
"I was hoping they hadn't heard him show up." Opie commented filling a mug for his Dad.
"Jax is a little hard not to hear. Now what is going on?" he asked again.
"You know our new neighbor, Tara? The owner of the new bakery, Cookies crumbles and Cupcakes."
"Yeah the whole club knows her. Gemma hates her and doesn't even know the poor women." Piney commented.
"Well she is in some trouble and Jax found out exactly how bad it is last night."
"Ah I'm guessing he is going to want club action on her behalf."
"That would be putting it mildly." Opie smiled.
"So Jackson Teller has finally had his heart taken?" Piney asked smiling, his son's best friend had been acting awfully protective a woman he didn't know.
"Something like that."
"Well I can get out of church since Clay and I don't see eye to eye, so why don't I take the kids to the park and meet up with Anitta there."
"You would do that?"
"They're my grandkids."
"That hasn't mattered to you before."
"Well I have a feeling you are going to playing watch dog today and will be no entertainment to your kids, plus Ellie will love playing with Abel and Kenny can swing till his heart's content."
"Yeah, yeah don't get used to it." Piney commented heading back into the living room.
Getting dressed Opie headed into town to check on Tara. When he hit main street he saw that her tent for Taste of Charming wasn't set up and the lights in her bakery were off. Pulling into Teller-Morrow he called Donna and asked her to check on Tara when she was done with her session.
Walking into the club house he didn't see Jax, but that didn't mean anything. Jax was either late or walking right as they were getting ready to start church.
Sitting down he looked around the table at his brothers, not knowing how they would react when Jax told them about Tara's situation. He knew they would all want to beat the ATF agent to death for beating a woman, that was something SAMCRO didn't stand for.
Gemma Teller-Morrow went through her whole spiel about how Taste of Charming was doing phenomenally and was on route to raise more money than it ever had. Thanks to a certain baker and her delicious treats. She hated giving that woman any credit, but she had to admit the woman could bake. Throughout her whole spiel she had kept an eye out for Jax, it wasn't like him to miss church. He knew this was important to her.
After letting the Sons go, she headed towards Jax's house. Seeing his bike in the drive way made her feel a little better, but she had a bad feeling that he had a woman in the house. "I swear Jackson Nathaniel Teller if you have that baker in there I will chop off your dick." she said to herself as she opened the door with her key.
Looking around she didn't see any evidence that there was a woman at the house. Walking down the hall she checked Abel's room to find he wasn't in it. Heading towards her son's room she opened the door and stopped. Her son and grandson were snuggled together, fast asleep. Standing there she couldn't be mad at her son for being with his son, over the past month he had become a much better father and she wanted that to last.
When Gemma was getting ready to leave she saw Anitta's car pulling up. The woman was a tough one to break and didn't like Gemma all that much, but she dealt.
"Good morning, Anitta." Gemma said sweetly.
"Good morning, ma'am." Anitta responded.
"The boys are asleep."
"Okay, then I'll start making breakfast."
"Let them sleep. They need some together time."
"And they will have some together time at breakfast. If Abel sleeps much longer, Jax will have a little bear to put to bed tonight." Anitta stated, "I'm doing your son a favor."
Gemma just turned and walked towards her car, "bitch," whispered when she was inside. She didn't like the nanny one bit, but she had to admit the woman was good for Jax, didn't put with his bull shit and told him like it was.
Donna pulled her car into Tara's driveway beside her Mazda3 and parked. She was worried about her friend, Opie had called her an hour ago telling her that Tara's bakery was dark and nothing was in her tent. Walking to the door she pulled the spare key out of her purse.
Unlocking the door she headed inside, looking around it looked as though Tara wasn't even home. Moving towards the bedroom she saw that Tara's bed was still made. Turning around she saw that the closet door was open and the barrel of a gun was sticking out.
"Tara, it's me." Donna spoke quickly watching the barrel disappear into the closet.
Tara lowered the gun and placed it under her pillow. Getting up she opened the closet door and faced her friend, "I'm sorry, it was a rough night."
"I can see that." Donna said quietly, "Why are you sleeping in your closet?"
"Because it's dark, quiet and I have a lock on the door." Tara admitted embarrassed.
"Oh Tara, I am so sorry." Donna said moving towards her friend.
"It's okay. I just didn't feel safe in my room last night so I slept in the closet."
"Well you're safe now, so why don't you get ready for the day and we will work your tent and then go to the gym for a class."
"Okay, thanks Donna."
"No problem. Now go on and I will start making some brunch."
After Tara went into the bathroom and locked the door, Donna peaked inside the closet and saw the sleeping bag, the gun that had been pointed at her and could barely breath. Taking a picture she sent it to Opie. She was worried about her friend.
Jax woke up to someone wiggling his arms. Groaning he rolled over, but the wiggling kept up. Opening his eyes he was greeted by Anitta staring down at him. Jumping slightly he looked at what she was reaching for, Abel, who was still passed out next to Jax.
"Do I want to ask why he is in your bed?" Anitta asked smiling reaching for Abel.
"He was fussing this morning so I brought back here and we fell asleep." Jax admitted tickling his sons feet.
Abel wiggled against Anitta as Jax tickled his feet. Eventually he squealed with laughter. Anitta just smiled and walked out of Jax's room so he could get dressed.
Swinging his legs over the side of the bed, Jax headed to the bathroom to take a shower. Before making it to the bathroom he noticed the time on his alarm, "shit" he whispered as he walked into the bathroom.
Turning on the shower, Jax thought of how to deal with Gemma, who was going to be pissed he has missed her all in important meeting about Taste of Charming. Stepping in he realized he didn't care about how she reacted. He wanted to see Tara, to see how she was doing and then he had to talk to the club.
Donna was in the kitchen when Tara walked in, "feel better?" she asked flipping the pancakes.
"More human at least." Tara admitted sitting down, "that smells amazing."
"Thanks. I'll teach it to you after this mess is taken care of."
Tara just smiled and stared at her hands, "how did.. how did... how did..." she stuttered.
"Jax took the news as expected. He's livid and wants to protect you. But he did say he would try to not go to club so that you can get some time to gain the upper hand." Donna assured as she set down a plate in front of Tara.
"He's going to give me time?" Tara questioned unsure reaching for syrup.
"Sort of. He will tell the club today so from here on out you will always have a son watching you, but hopefully he will let you confront Joshua first." Donna answered and then asked, "Tara, what is Joshua's last name."
"Kohn." Tara answered digging into the pancakes Donna had set in front of her.
After the two friends finished eating breakfast they headed into town. Walking down main street Tara felt herself tensing. She knew Kohn was in town, but had no idea where. As she opened the door to her bakery she heard the clicking of heels.
Turning she faced Gemma Teller-Morrow, "Well it's nice of you to show." Gemma snidely commented.
Tara just nodded her head and headed inside, she wasn't going to take the bait today with Gemma.
"What you're too good to talk to me?" Gemma said following Tara inside.
"Of course not Mrs. Teller-Morrow. I'm just not in the mood to argue with you." Tara said walking behind the display cases.
"Don't get lippy with me, chef. I can ruin you in this town."
Tara spun around and walk to where she was toe to toe with Gemma, "bring it on. I have had people do a lot worse to me than you. So go ahead and try to take me down."
Donna sat down at one of the tables and watched Tara take on Gemma. No woman in town ever went toe to toe with her.
"Watch it chef. I can make your life real miserable and ruin your business."
"I'd like to see you try. My tent was the only one yesterday that had a constant line." Tara challenged, "you can hate me all you want, but it won't change a God damn thing. I'm not going anywhere Gemma." she finished snidely and turned to go back to get supplies to start baking.
"Bitch." Gemma said loudly.
"Whore." Tara responded turning to face the matriarch.
"What did you just call me?" Gemma asked giving the woman a second chance to change her response.
"You heard me."
"I don't think I did."
"Whore." Tara said with more emphasis walking back towards Gemma.
"You little bitch." Gemma spat and raised her hand.
Tara beat her to the punch and her hand went hard across Gemma's face leaving a red mark.
Gemma was about to retaliate when strong arms wrapped around her middle and carried her out of Tara's bakery. She was madder than a bumble bee. That bitch had hit her. Now she wanted her out of Charming.
When Gemma had gotten carried out of her bakery, Tara looked at her window and saw that she and Gemma had attracted a crowd, the Sons of Anarchy. Shaking her hand she went back to getting her supplies so she could make her cupcakes and cookies.
Donna got up and went to help her friend, smiling. The woman had gumption.
Jax set his mother down and looked at her cheek, trying not to smile. It wasn't funny that someone had hit his Mom, but it did amuse him that it was Tara.
"Stop smirking at me Jackson." Gemma warned. Turning to Clay, "I want her shop closed and her out of Charming." she demanded.
"Gem, I can't do that." Clay responded looking at his wife, "her bakery is the only thing making money at this event. And we all know Charming needs more businesses that actually do good economically."
"Clay Morrow." Gemma huffed.
"Let it go Gem. She got you today." Clay responded his tone meaning business.
Gemma crossed her arms and pouted. Her husband was supposed to be able to do anything she wanted. He may be the president of the club, but she ran things.
Jax patted Clay on the shoulder, "it ain't easy being king," he commented before making his way to the bakery. Smiling he walked in to the sight of Tara covered in flour with a dot on her nose. Standing in the doorway he realized how comforting the sight was considering what he had learned last night.
Lost in his thoughts he didn't hear Tara greet him, "huh?" he said coming out of his head.
"I said I'm sorry for hitting your Mom." Tara said again more embarrassed.
"It's alright, she'll live." Jax commented smiling as he walked further into the bakery. This was the first time he had been inside with the lights on, "you do know she wants you kicked out of town."
"Yeah I know, she can try all she wants, I'm not going anywhere." Tara answered bending over to set the trays in the oven.
Jax leaned back on his heels watching Tara bend over. Her jeans hugged her ass just right. Stepping forward he was about to grab when he heard, "um hum." Turning he looked at Donna who was grinning like the Cheshire cat. Stepping back he let his hand fall, but his dick was not listening to the command to calm down, because it was now straining against his zipper.
"Tara I was wondering if we could talk." He asked when he was a safe distance away.
"Okay." Tara said stepping out from behind the case, turning to Donna, "when the cupcakes start to smell, check on them. That's usually when they are done." she finished, wiping her hands on her apron, taking it off and wiping her face.
Jax was slightly disappointed to see the dot of flour disappear off her nose.
Donna nodded and watched as Jax and Tara head outside.
Walking up the street Jax didn't know how to start this conversation. "Jax I know Donna told you about my past." Tara said breaking the silence.
"Yeah she did. But why didn't you?" Jax asked looking sideways at her.
"Because when I first came to Charming I didn't know anyone and quite honestly you scared the ever livin' daylights out of me."
"No it wasn't you being you. It was you in the fact that you are a man." Tara said, "even now men make me nervous, I don't like having my back to anyone and being in crowds makes me nervous." she admitted as they continued.
"Have you talked to anyone about what happened?"
"A professional? No. I didn't see the point when I left Chicago, I had gotten away from Joshua. But now that everyone knows I guess I should." she commented staring straight ahead.
Stopping Jax gently put his hand in front of her, "Tara, I haven't told the club anything yet. But I will tell them tomorrow at church. We'll help you."
For the umpteenth time Tara was tired of feeling like a charity case, "Don't you dare tell the club" she warned in a low voice.
"Tara, I have a responsibility." Jax tried to reason.
"Yes to them, not to me." Tara pointed out stepping back.
"Tara what is this about? I just want to help."
"No this is about you and your God complex. Well not everything is going to go your way Jax Teller." Tara said turning to walk back to her bakery, "And I don't need a man to handle my shit." she finished before walking away.
Neither Jax or Tara noticed the man in the dark suit taking pictures of them and their conversation.