Tara was laying on the floor of her bedroom holding the gun straight in front of her. Kohn turned around and faced Tara with fire in his eyes, she had nailed him in the shoulder. Shaking she tried to crab crawl backwards.
"You stupid whore!!" Kohn snarled as he headed towards her.
Jax was rounding the corner of the hall into Tara's bedroom when 4 more shots rang through the air. "Tara." he shouted again running into her room. Looking around he found her shaking uncontrollably by the wall, with a body laying in front of her.
Opie had ran into the house when Jax shouted again, coming into Tara's bedroom he stopped, "Oh shit." he whispered as he watched his best friend pick up Tara, who was shaking.
Donna was outside on the phone with the Sons of Anarchy. She hung up the phone when Jax came out of the house holding Tara, who was clinging to him. "Tara" she whispered. Hurrying over she laid a hand on her friends arm, only to feel her jump, "it's okay, it's Donna." Jax said.
Tara slowly moved her head to stare at her friend, "I killed him." she cried and buried her head against Jax's shoulder.
Donna just looked at Jax, who held Tara closer allowing her to cry. Looking around Donnas' eyes slowly came to land on Opie who was coming out of the house. Soon the group of four heard the roar of motorcycles coming down the street. The Sons of Anarchy had arrived.
Wayne Unser had been getting ready to go to bed when the phone rang. Clay Morrow was calling to report a crime. After hanging up the phone, Wayne had called Hale. Now both men were headed towards Tara's house.
Tara clung to Jax. He was the only thing keeping her from completely losing it. Every time he shifted, she tightened her grip. She didn't want him to go anywhere.
Clay and the rest of the Sons dismounted their bikes and looked at Tara's house, "What happened VP?" Clay asked coming up the group.
"He found her and got into her house." Jax stated.
Donna grasped and buried her face in Opie's chest. "Donna what's wrong?" Opie asked rubbing his wife's back.
Looking up, "I know how he got in." she whispered looking at Tara, who had cried herself to sleep.
"How?" Jax asked in a menacing tone.
"Jax." Opie warned.
"Remember when I said I couldn't find the extra set of key's Tara had given me to her house?" Donna asked to Opie.
"Well I ran into him outside the bakery yesterday."
"Ran into him how?" Clay asked stepping closer.
"I was coming out of the bakery and I ran into someone. I dropped my purse and Tara's extra set of keys fell out. Ever since then I have searching for them." Donna whispered looking at her friend.
Clay, Jax and Opie all looked at Donna, who was now in tears, "Donna." Jax said.
Donna looked at Jax expecting his usual angry face, "This is not your fault. It's his." Jax said, "He knew coming after Tara here would only end one of two ways. It ended the right way."
Nodding, "What are we going to do about Tara?" she asked, "this is going to tear her apart."
Unser had arrived when Donna was talking and just walked up to listen, "You get her to talk to someone." he offered to the group.
"Unser, this was self defense." Jax said quickly, holding Tara closer.
"I don't doubt that Jax. I just have to check things out." Unser asked.
"Yeah I'll come in." Jax said shifting Tara.
Tara could feel Jax gently shaking her, "Hey I'm going to go inside with Unser, Ope's gonna hold you." he told her when she opened her eyes.
Tara quickly shook her head no, she didn't want Opie, she wanted Jax. "Tara."
"No, I'll come in. It's my home." she whispered.
Nodding his head, Jax gently set her down. Putting his arm around her shoulders they followed Unser inside.
Walking through her front door Tara tightened her arm around Jax's waist. As they headed back towards her bedroom her breathing became shallow, "Tara you don't have to do this." Jax said stopping in the hallway.
"Yes I do. If I ever want to feel comfortable here again." She said looking at her bedroom door.
Hale was already in Tara's bedroom looking at the scene. The ATF agent was laying face down on the floor, dead. He had taken 5 bullets, 4 of them to the chest region. It didn't look good, but Hale could see nothing that said anything besides self defense. Unser walked in with Jax and Tara behind him. "It all screams self defense." He said looking at Unser.
"Yeah it does." Unser agreed looking around, "Tara can you tell me what happened?"
Tara took a deep breath, "I was sitting on the bed untying my shoes, when Joshua said my name. I was so tired that I didn't pay attention to any noises. He was waiting in my closet." she whispered, "he came at me, calling me a whore and saying that we going to make a baby and that this time I wasn't going to kill it." she continued, "when he stood to undo his pants, I kicked him and fell on me, that's when Jax kicked in my front door. I grabbed Joshua's gun and fired when he turned to head to the front door, I hit him in the shoulder, then he turned around and headed back towards me, so I fired more shots." she finished.
Jax held Tara close. The woman was stronger than any of them had given her credit for.
Unser looked at Tara and gave her a small smile, "Well I know I won't be arresting you for self defense." he said, "I call in a forensic team from Lodi tomorrow." he finished.
"Thank you Sheriff Unser." Tara whispered.
"No need to thank me Tara." Unser said squeezing her hands, looking at Jax, "why don't you take her to St. Thomas to get that bruise looked at."
Jax just nodded and led Tara from the room. "What kind of sick bastard stalks someone as sweet as that woman?" Hale asked watching Jax take Tara outside.
"The kind of man who needs control." Unser answered.
"Are we sure Jax didn't shoot this guy?" Hale asked looking at the body.
Unser turned to look at hi deputy sheriff, "well since none of the bullets are in his back, yeah we can say Tara Knowles did all the shooting, in fear for her life."
Outside, Clay was talking to all the Sons, "Brothers we are going to do security not only on Tara's house, but on Jax's. We are not going to allow someone to come in and charge Tara with a crime that she didn't commit." he said looking at his brothers.
"Agreed." they all said. None of SAMCRO was going to allow Tara to go down for self defense.
Donna was shaking as she stood beside Opie, she had let that bastard into Tara's house. She was going to lose her only friend that wasn't a part of SAMCRO. Looking up she saw Jax and Tara come out.
Almost running, Donna went to Tara and wrapped her in a hug, "I'm so sorry." she whispered when Tara wrapped her arms around her.
Tara cried into her friends shoulder, "it's okay. You didn't know it was Joshua." she kept saying. The two women stood in their embrace for a couple minutes with Jax and Opie looking on.
Finally Donna and Tara pulled apart, "are we okay?" Donna asked.
"We're okay." Tara said squeezing her friends hands, "Donna you're my best friend."
Donna just nodded. "Do you know any therapists I can talk to?" Tara asked looking at Jax, who had worry etched all across his face.
"I know the perfect one." Donna said, "her name is Margaret. She has her own practice in Lodi, not far from the gym."
"Okay. I'll call her tomorrow to see if she taking new clients." Tara said leaning against Jax.
"She take you on. She specializes in traumatic experiences." Donna offered.
"Good." Jax said scooping Tara up again. There was no way he was allowing her to go anywhere that night.
Donna and Opie just nodded and let Jax carry Tara away. Looking at each other, Opie scooped up his little wife and headed home.
Jax drove Tara's car to St. Thomas with several of his brothers following. Happy, Chibs, Bobby and Juice were not about to let anything happen to Jax and Tara.
After a short visit at the hospital and prescription for pain later, Jax had Tara home.
Walking in Jax stopped in the living room and looked at Anitta, who was holding a squirming Abel. Tara came in behind him and just looked around. She looked so lost and haunted. Taking Abel from Anitta, Jax headed back towards his sons room to put him to bed.
"Tara," Anitta said quietly.
Tara just turned and looked at the woman. Anitta walked over and pulled Tara into a hug, "you didn't have a choice. It was kill or be killed." she said rubbing Tara's back.
"I didn't mean to kill him." Tara whispered.
Pulling back and cupping Tara's face, "you listen to me. You did nothing wrong. That man was in your house wanting to cause you harm, you did what you had to do to keep yourself safe." Anitta said.
"But I murdered someone." Tara argued.
"No!" Anitta demanded, "defended yourself."
Tara just nodded and hugged Anitta.
Jax put Abel down in his crib, when he felt arms around his middle. Shifting slightly he saw that it was Tara. Poking her head around Jax' arm, Tara gently helped him tuck in Abel.
Once Abel was in bed and tucked in, Jax and Tara headed towards his bedroom. "You can have the bed. I'll sleep on the floor." Jax said looking at Tara, who was looking around.
Turning towards Jax, Tara walked slowly towards him and pulled him to her and pressed her lips against his. Jax groaned deeply as he wrapped his arms around Tara's waist pulling her closer. Tugging, Tara brought herself and Jax to the edge of his bed and pulled away to lay down.
Grabbing a hold of Jax's belt loops she pulled him down on top of her. Fluttering kisses along his neck, she pushed off his kutte and brought her mouth back to his. Jax put his hands on the back of Tara's thighs and pushed her up his bed, before reality hit him.
Pulling away, "Tara we can't." he said.
Tara just blinked at him, "You don't want to?" she asked in a low embarrassed tone.
"That's not the problem." Jax stated staring at his crotch, where his erection was straining painfully against his jeans, again.
"Then why can't we continue?" Tara asked pulling him towards her again.
Jax pulled away and sat on the edge of the bed, "Because this isn't going to help you deal with what happened tonight." he said looking at her.
Shaking her head, "I knew no one would want me. Especially when they find out what happened with Joshua." she said getting off the bed.
Grabbing her arm, "this has nothing to do with that jackass, Tara." Jax said turning her to face him, "I want you more than you know. But right now you need to sleep and deal with everything that has happened." he continued "I'll still want you in a few weeks, I promise. I've wanted you since you came to town."
"Don't lie to me Jax."
Trying to pull her closer, "I'm not lying, Tara."
"No." Tara screeched spinning and slapping Jax.
"Tara." Jax said, but Tara was already heading out to the living room. He was rooted to his spot. "This is going to be a long night." he whispered as he headed out into the hall way.
Tara sat down on Jax's couch shaking. "Why did I think that he would want me?" she whispered to herself. Rocking back and forth, she finally let all of the emotion she had been holding in. "How could he want me? He wants a family, a Mom for Abel, someone who can stand beside him." she whispered as tears flowed down her cheeks.
Laying down, Tara cried. Finally allowing everything from the past month and half come out.
Jax had stopped in the hallway when he heard Tara whispering to herself. Sitting down he listened to her cry. He knew that going in the living room, would end with both of them angry and no way to resolve what was going on between them.
After 30 minutes, Tara had finally stopped crying. Standing up, Jax slowly entered his living room and looked at the woman who was passed out on his couch. She was exactly what he hadn't been looking for. She pissed him off, pushed his buttons, didn't listen to him, but above all else Jax couldn't deny that Tara was exactly what he and Abel needed. She was the right woman to help him raise his son, maybe give him more kids.
Grabbing a blanket off the loveseat, Jax gently covered Tara's sleeping body and sat down on the floor. Softly he pushed the hair out of her eyes, "you don't have to believe me now, but I hope someday you'll believe that I don't care about your past, but I do care about you Tara." he whispered. Running his fingers through her hair, Jax couldn't help but feel at home for the first time in his own house.
Morning came before Jax knew it. He rolled his shoulders, he was going to have a serious crick in his neck from sleeping leaning against the couch. Shifting he looked at Tara, who was still peacefully asleep on the couch. Standing he gently bent over and kissed her head, before heading into the kitchen to make breakfast.
Tara woke up to the smell and sound of bacon cooking. Looking around she realized she was at Jax's house. Stretching the previous night came flooding back to her. Squeezing her eyes shut, she tried to come up with some way to face Jax.
Rubbing her eyes, she slightly jumped when she felt something tugging on the blanket that was covering her. Rolling over she saw Abel smiling up at her.
Swinging her legs over the couch, she scooped up the little boy and snuggled him in close. Abel just squealed and clapped as Tara hugged him close. Sitting him on her lap, Tara couldn't help but smile. The little boy had wormed his way into her wounded heart and made himself at home.
Playing with Abel, Tara was able to ignore how hungry she was until her stomach growled, startling Abel. Abel just stared up at Tara like she was an alien, who had something growing inside her tummy. "Come on little man, let's go see what your Daddy is making for breakfast." she said setting Abel on the carpet.
Gently picking up Abel, Tara put him on his feet and gave him two of her fingers, which he greedily accepted and started to lead her to the kitchen. Walking behind Abel, Tara could avoid looking at Jax for a few seconds longer. She was nowhere to closer to knowing how to handle what had happened between them last night than she had been when she had woken up. Stopping by the play pen, she picked up Abel and set him down inside and took a deep breath.
Turning around, "Good morning, Jax." she said quietly.
"Good morning. Do you feel any better?" Jax asked taking the bacon out of the frying pan and putting it on a plate.
"A little." Tara admitted, "I was actually hoping we could talk about last night." she said.
"There's nothing to talk about."
"But there is." she said, "I was upset. I didn't know how..."
"Tara." Jax said finally looking at her, "let's get through breakfast, get you cleaned up and then we can talk, okay?"
"Okay." she agreed, "do you want me to put Abel in his high chair?"
"No, I feed him a little while ago. He just wants to play now." Jax said picking up two plates and heading towards the table.
Jax and Tara ate in a compatible silence. Tara wanted to talk about last night, but knew that Jax was right that they both needed to calm down some more. She had no idea that Jax had slept by the couch last night or that he had admitted that she was exactly what he wanted.
Jax stared at Tara as she ate her breakfast. It was nice having a woman in his house that wasn't Anitta or his Mom. The woman sitting across from him had no idea how badly he wanted to discuss last night, but at the same time he needed time to digest what had happened. While he had not had sex with Tara, he had been dying to. Last night was the first time in years that he had fought his carnal desire to bed a woman.
"Jax" Tara said tentatively.
"Huh?" Jax answered looking up.
"About last night"
"Please let me say this" Tara pleaded looking at him.
"Last night was the end to a major part of my life. I never thought I would be rid of Joshua. And I never thought I would find someone who would make me feel safe again. I acted rashly and..."
"Tara" Jax cut her off, taking her hands, "last night was a lot to handle."
"I know. I shouldn't have tried to take advantage of you." she admitted staring at their hands.
Raising his hand, "you didn't take advantage. That's why I stopped. I didn't want you to wake up this morning regretting what happened." Jax said wiping away a runaway tear, "I'm so attracted to you that I can't see straight some days. The way you are with Abel on intensifies that attraction, but I want this to be right."
Tara nodded and looked Jax in the eyes.
"Remember when I said we needed to take a minute to figure things out?" Jax asked.
"Well that minute has run out. Tara, I want us to be something. I want you in my life and my sons life. I want to protect you." Jax admitted, "But I also need you to trust me, when I tell you that your past with the ATF agent doesn't bother me, it doesn't. Everyone has a past, we can't out run them so we deal with them."
"You make it sound easy."
"It's not." Jax said looking at Abel, "I look at my son everyday and thank God that he is alive."
"What do you mean?" Tara asked looking at Abel.
"Abel's Mom was a junkie who had to have an emergency C-section. She used when she was pregnant with him."
"Jax, I'm sorry. I didn't know."
"It's okay. But that's what I mean. I have a past, only mine looks exactly like me."
Tara couldn't help but laugh, when Abel turned to look at his Dad. The two really did look so much alike. "so that was your motive for keeping me safe?" she asked turning her attention back to Jax.
"No, my motive was purely my own. Although my son adoring you doesn't hurt things." Jax admitted, "I wanted to keep you safe, because you piss me off, push my buttons and are exactly what I didn't know I was looking for. When you came to town, I was fucking any and every woman I could. But then I couldn't get you with my charm, you saw right through it. It threw me for a loop."
Tara just stared at him, "so this is about sex?" she asked.
"No. It's about me wanting you in my life, in my sons life." he explained, "I'm not good with words, but it comes down to the fact that I want to come home to you every night, Tara."
"I know this is a lot, but I needed to tell you."
"It is." Tara agreed, "we don't really know each other, beyond the fact that we are both sexually attracted to each other."
"Well then I guess we will have to change that." Jax said smiling.
"What do you have up your sleeve Teller?" Tara asked.
"First that we get you cleaned up and then we go see that therapist Donna told us about last night."
"You want to go with me?"
"No, I just want you to know that I support you. I want you to know that I will do everything I can to help you see that you did not murder someone last night."
Tara leaned into Jax's hand, "thank you." she whispered.
"You don't have to thank me." Jax said standing up and leading her back to the bathroom.
After getting Tara ready for a shower, the door bell rang. Walking towards the door Jax took a deep breath preparing himself to deal with his Mom. But when he opened the door he was surprised to see Donna and Opie standing there.
"Come on in." Jax said moving out of the way.
"How is she?" Donna asked looking around.
"She's in the shower right now. You can take the duffel back if you want."
"Thanks. I will."
Opie just stared at his best friend. He could tell something was off. "What going on brother?" he asked when Donna was out of ear shot.
"I almost took Tara to bed last night." Jax admitted walking to get Abel.
"You what?" Opie all but shouted.
"Will you keep it down. I'd like to keep my dick."
"Jax..." Opie warned.
"How did she handle that?"
"Not well. She came out here and slept." Jax said, "she thought me stopping it from happening meant that I didn't want her."
"You changed her mind, right?"
"We talked this morning. That asshole really messed with her self esteem."
"No kidding. What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to take her to meet that therapist and every day and night make sure she knows that I want her here." Jax admitted, "God I sound pussy whipped."
"No, you sound like a man who has finally met his match." Opie said smiling, "anyway I came to see if you going to the club house today. Clay wants a table meeting about how to handle everything."
"Shit. I told Tara I would go with her to meet the therapist." Jax said sitting down on the couch.
"Okay, I tell Clay. I'm sure he'll understand you wanting to keep her safe and sane."
"Clay understand something that doesn't involve blood?" Jax added, "I doubt it, but he'll have to deal. I'm not leaving Tara to face this on her own."
"Good for you brother." Opie said as both guys heard the shower shut off.
Donna was sitting on Jax's bed. She had heard the whole conversation between Jax and Opie. She wanted to kill Jax for almost taking Tara to bed. Just because he dealt with pain with his dick didn't mean that Tara dealt with pain with her pussy.
Standing up she pulled out a change of clothes for Tara, as her friend opened the bathroom door. Jumping back, "Donna." Tara said holding a hand over her heart.
"Oh God, I'm such an idiot." Donna said walking towards her friend.
"No, no. You're fine. I was just surprised."
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah. A little embarrassed, but I'm alive."
"Embarrassed?" Donna questioned.
"I threw myself at Jax last night." Tara admitted turning beet red.
"What? Why? I'm confused."
"Me too. I don't know, we put Abel to bed and then it was like my brain and my sex drive were not connected."
"No, it's okay." Tara said walking towards the bed, "I think I just wanted to feel wanted. I wanted to know that someone could want me... after everything that had happened with Joshua."
Donna smiled, "well you don't have to worry about Jax not wanting you."
"Tara, he has been driving everyone crazy since you came to town." Donna said sitting down, "The first time he saw you at the hospital he wanted to know everything about you, that's when he became your shadow. He may go about things in an unconventional manor, but Jax Teller is crazy about you."
Tara tried to stop herself from beaming but couldn't help it. "Anyway I brought you a change of clothes." Donna said moving the duffel bag between them.
"What would I do without you?" Tara asked getting a change of clothes out.
"Run around like a chicken with your head cut off?" Donna laughed.
The two friends shared a laugh as Tara changed and got ready to face the day. Walking out into the living room they met the guys.
"Ready to head out?" Opie asked Donna.
"Yeah." she answered, "oh here is Margaret's number." she said handing a business card to Tara.
"Anytime. Now we'll go and get out of your hair."
Jax walked them to the door and turned to Tara, "you okay?" he asked walking towards her.
"Yeah, just a little nervous. I've never seen a therapist." Tara admitted as Jax pulled her into a hug.
"It'll be okay. Just think of it as a talking diary or whatever."
"What would you know about diaries?" Tara asked pulling back to look Jax in the eye.
"Nothing." he scoffed, "I'm going to go take a shower. Why don't you call the doc and make an appointment." he said kissing Tara on the forehead.
"Okay." Tara said following him back to the bedroom to grab her phone, that Donna had tucked into the side pocket.
Jax walked into the bathroom and shut the door and turned on the shower. Tara stood in his bedroom and took a deep breath, "she's only going to help." she told herself as she dialed Margaret's number.