A New Day
Gemma Teller-Morrow was furious. Her husband and son were nowhere to be found. Clay had flown out of their house the night before, telling her that Tara's stalker had gotten into her house. Standing in the club house, she kept snapping at any and every Son trying to find the two of them. Just when she was about to leave to drive over to Jax's, Clay walked through the door.
"Where you been?" she snapped.
"Driving over. I went by Tara's to check things out." Clay answered, "what's eatin you?" he asked.
"What's going on?"
"Nothing. Jax has Tara at his house."
"I'm gonna kill him." Gemma swore.
"Gem, why don't you give the woman a chance?"
"Because she is an uppity up, who I know will begin to think she is better than Jax." Gemma snapped, "my son and grandson don't need that in their lives."
"Jax is old enough to take care of himself and Abel. It's time you let him." Clay answered walking towards the bar.
"Don't tell me what to do!"
"It's not like you'd listen."
Opie had come walking in on the middle of Clay and Gemma's conversation and knew Gemma was not going to like the news he was going to give Clay. Walking up he cleared his throat.
"What's up Op?" Clay asked, "where's Jax?"
"That's what I need to tell ya. He isn't coming to church today." Opie said looking sideways at Gemma.
"Why not?" Gemma demanded.
"He's taking Tara to see a therapist in Lodi."
"The one that Donna suggested?" Clay asked ignoring his steaming wife.
"Good for him." Clay said nodding before heading into the chapel.
Gemma had steam coming out of her ears. That little bitch had her son wrapped around her little finger and was making him do things for her. That wasn't how things went in SAMCRO, things went her way. She was the matriarch. Turning she looked at Opie and sized up exactly what he had just told Clay.
"Opie, who told you that Jax was taking the baker to the therapist?" she asked coming to stand beside him.
"He did." he responded.
"Son of a bitch." she stated.
"Gemma give it a break. Jax cares about Tara and you having a conniption about it isn't going to change his mind."
"Jax is my son. He'll listen to me." Gemma said glaring at her sons best friend.
"Give it up Gemma. Jax has finally found a woman, who is more important than you."
Gemma raised her hand and put it hard across Opie's face, "you listen to me Harry Winston, Jax is my son and he will always love me more than any other woman in his life." she threatened.
Opie took one step towards Gemma, "now you listen to me Gemma. That may have been true when we were teenagers, but now Jax has a son of his own and is looking for someone he can settle down with. Tara has everything that he didn't know he was looking for in a woman and a Mom for Abel." he finished before walking into the chapel.
Gemma shook her head and let out a frustrated huff before stomping out of the club house and over to the office of Teller Morrow.
Jax stepped out of the shower and heard Tara talking. Cracking the door, he saw her pacing back and forth on the phone. Nodding he shut the door. He was glad that she actually called the therapist. It was one step closer to them becoming something. Tara needed to believe in herself, before she would ever believe in them.
Tara paced back and forth in Jax's bedroom. She was on the phone with Margaret Murphy, the therapist Donna had suggested. "I was wondering if you had any openings for this morning?" she asked when heard the bathroom door creak. Not looking she knew it was Jax checking on her.
Over the phone, "I do. How does 10:45 sound?" Margaret asked looking at her calendar.
"10:45 sounds great."
"Okay, now will it be just you or will you have a party?" she asked.
"Just me." Tara answered twisting her hands.
"Alright and what name will be under?"
"Okay, Tara I will see you at 10:45."
"See you then." Tara said hanging up the phone. Taking a deep breath she turned and saw Jax standing in the door way between the bathroom and bedroom in just a towel. Blushing she turned to leave.
"Is Margaret able to see you today?" Jax asked looking at her.
"Yeah, I have an appointment at 10:45." Tara said with her back to him.
"What's wrong Tara?"
"I'm embarrassed." she admitted turning to face him.
"Because of what I did last night." she said, "I don't act like that."
Walking towards her, "Tara nothing happened last night. We were both out of our element."
Tara nodded, "you're not embarrassed."
Taking her into his arms, "you have nothing to be embarrassed about. You reacted, it happens."
Tara shrugged, "I forgot you're used to women throwing themselves at you." she commented.
Jax stiffened, "Oh God I'm sorry. I didn't mean for it come out that way." she quickly added looking at him.
"It's alright darlin'". He said stepping back.
"Jax, please. I didn't mean it." Tara added watching Jax pull away from her.
"Tara it's fine." he said walking towards the dresser.
"I'm not used to being around men, so I usually eat my foot." Tara said looking at the ground.
Jax turned towards her, "is that what you really think?" he asked pulling out a pair of boxers.
"I don't know what to think Jax. I have heard so many things."
"What do you want to believe?" he asked
Tara crept closer to him, "I want to believe that you won't hurt me and that you care about me in some way."
Jax gently pulled Tara to him, "and that is what I'm going to prove to you. I do care about you Tara and believe me when I say I will never hurt you."
Tara looked down defeated when Jax gently put his hand under her chin. Looking into her eyes, "we'll get through this. We just need to get to know each other and figure out how we fit together."
Tara nodded, "how do we fit together? The baker and the biker doesn't exactly sound..."
Jax cut Tara off by gently kissing her forehead, "I don't care how it sounds. I'm me and you are you."
Tara nodded and rested her head against his shoulder until the doorbell rang, "that's Anitta." she whispered.
Pulling away she gently kissed Jax on the cheek and shut the door when she left to answer the front door. Jax watched as Tara walked out of his bedroom and shook his head. This was going to be more difficult than he had originally planned. He smiled when he heard Tara open the door, until he heard his Mother.
Gemma couldn't stand being at Teller-Morrow knowing that her son was taking that women to the therapist. Jax had a responsibility to the club. On the drive over her mind wandered to the worst places that it could. This woman had come out of nowhere and now had Jax doing her bidding.
Walking up the door she was seething. Tara opened the door and came face to face with a very angry Gemma.
"What is your deal you little bitch?" Gemma accused.
"Excuse me?" Tara responded taking a step back.
"You heard me." Gemma said taking a step closer to the baker.
"Gemma I don't know what you are talking about."
"Why is Jax taking you to a therapist?"
"He offered so I didn't have to go alone."
"Can you do anything on your own?" Gemma demanded to know.
"Of course I can!" Tara retorted getting angry at the older woman standing in the living room.
"Then why can't you go to the therapist by yourself?"
Jax heard his Mom come in and start in on Tara. Quickly he got dressed and headed out into the hallway to break up the sure to happen cat fight. "Mom I offered to take Tara, so she wouldn't have to go alone." he said coming to stand behind Tara.
Tara turned to face Jax, "stay out of this." she said shoving him backwards.
It was an awkward moment, but Jax couldn't help but be turned on by the woman who was going toe to toe with his Mom. Gemma was a force all her own to reckoned with. Stepping around the two women he gently squeezed Tara's hip and headed into the kitchen.
"Got him to speak for you now?" Gemma sneered.
"I don't need a man to handle my shit." Tara said looking Gemma straight in the eye. "I didn't ask Jax to come with me, he offered. I'm not trying to take your son away from you." Tara said.
"Like hell you're not." Gemma snapped.
"Gemma, I would never try to take Jax away from you. He is your son. I get that, but I am going to be a part of his and Abel's life. I'm not going anywhere. So either you and I can hate each other till the day either one of dies or we can agree to disagree." Tara replied calmly.
Gemma stepped towards Tara, "listen here bitch. You don't mean a damn thing to my son. He may tell you that you mean something, but he loses interest quickly in women, so don't get your hopes up that you are going to be the one to change that."
Tara got up in Gemma's face, "that's where you're wrong Gemma. I don't want to change your son, I just want him to be happy. "
"He is happy and he'll be happy when he's done with you." Gemma sneered.
"Well I'm not going anywhere." Tara snapped back, she was tired of Gemma Teller-Morrow thinking she could come in and rule over all that Jax did.
Jax had been standing in the kitchen where neither Tara or his Mom could see him. He was beyond pissed at his Mom for saying everything she had to Tara, but at the same time he was proud of Tara for standing up for herself and whatever this was between them. He wasn't going to let Tara walk out of his life.
Rounding the corner he saw his Mom raise her hand to slap Tara, "Mom!" he snapped.
Gemma turned around at once to face her son, "Get out." Jax said menacingly
"Jax." Gemma started looking at her son, shocked.
"Get out." he said again walking towards the front door and opening it.
Gemma stalked towards her son, "Jackson." she said stopping in front of him.
"We'll talk later, Mom. Right now I need to get Tara to Lodi." Jax said calmly.
Tara watched as Jax interacted with Mom. She couldn't imagine what he was feeling right now. It was all too much. She hadn't run away from Chicago to come into more drama.
"Ready to go?" Jax asked looking Tara.
"Ready as I'll ever." Tara responded following Jax out of the house as Anitta pulled into the drive.
"Good morning all." she said looking at Jax and Tara.
"Good morning Anitta." Jax and Tara said in unison.
"Where are you two headed?"
Tara shuffled her feet, "Jax is taking me to see a therapist in Lodi." she said not looking at the other woman.
Anitta walked forward and took Tara's hands, "Seeing a therapist after everything you have been through is nothing to be ashamed of." she told the embarrassed woman standing in front of her.
Tara nodded and gave Anitta hug and walked towards her car. Jax watched her walk towards her car, "she'll be okay, Jax." Anitta whispered coming to stand beside him, "she needs to know that you're going to be here."
"I will be." Jax answered looking at his sons nanny.
"I know you will be." she smiled, "now get on the road before she changes her mind."
Jax just smiled and gave Anitta a hug. Walking towards Tara's car he looked over at her, "ready to go?"
"Yeah." Tara said quietly. She was nervous.
After climbing in the car and taking off, Jax took Tara's hand and held it the whole way to Lodi. He wanted her to know that he was here for her. When they passed into Lodi, Tara's grip on his hand tightened. She hadn't said anything the whole drive, but holding Jax's hand she felt confident that she could do this.
Pulling into the lot, Jax and Tara got out of her little Mazda. Jax waited by the front of the car as Tara came to him, "It's okay to be nervous." he told her when she got to him. Tara just went into his arms.
"Thank you for driving me." she whispered against his neck.
Taking his hand, Tara made her way into the building and found Margaret's suite. Once they were standing outside the door, Tara took a deep breath and opened the door and walked inside with Jax right behind her. Walking over she gently pressed the blue button so that Margaret would know she was there.
Jax had sat down while Tara had hit the button. Shifting he watched her walk back over to him. When she sat down in the chair beside him he put his arm over the back of her chair and gently rubbed her neck. Tara let out a contended sigh as Jax rubbed her neck. She was so grateful that he had come along with her.
Margaret had been in her office when the little blue light by her door had shown. She knew that her newest patient was here. Pushing back from her desk she walked over to the door slowly. After she had gotten off the phone with Tara that morning she had called Donna. She had found out that Tara would not be coming alone to her session, but would have a chaperone of sorts with her. Taking a calming breath, Margaret slowly opened the door and gazed at the baker and biker sitting before her.
Jax looked and notice the therapist standing in the doorway to her office watching them. Shifting he stopped rubbing Tara's neck, causing her to look at him. Nodding he got Tara to notice Margaret watching them.
Tara quickly stood up, "I'm sorry. I was in my own little world." she said walking over to meet Margaret.
"That's quite all right. It's good to disappear sometimes." Margaret said, "I'm Margaret Murphy." she said extending her hand.
"Tara Knowles." she replied shaking Margaret's hand.
"It's good to meet you." Margaret said, "and who might you be?" she asked looking at Jax.
Jax got up and came to stand beside Tara, "Jax Teller." he said shaking Margaret's hand.
"Will you be joining us today?" Margaret asked looking between the two.
"No, I just wanted to accompany Tara on the drive. So she wouldn't be alone." Jax replied squeezing Tara's hand that had found his when he had come to stand beside her.
"That was very nice." Margaret said looking at Jax, "Ready to talk?" she asked looking at Tara.
"I think so." Tara replied slowly letting go of Jax's hand and following Margaret inside her office.
Margaret lead Tara into her office and quietly shut the door. After the door was shut she went and sat down in the arm chair she had and gestured for Tara to take a seat on the love seat across the table from her. Tara looked around the office and surprisingly felt comfortable. It wasn't sterile like she had envisioned.
"What are you thinking right now?" Margaret asked watching Tara.
"That this room isn't as sterile as I thought it would be." Tara replied looking at Margaret.
Margaret let out a little laugh, "well I'm glad for that also. I don't much like hospitals." she finished, "Okay Tara so I have talked to Donna and gave me the spark notes version of why you are coming to see me. But I don't want to start there. I want to start backwards." she said standing up.
"Okay. What do you mean by backwards?" Tara asked as she watched Margaret go behind her desk.
"Ah ha!" Margaret said pulling out a little black blindfold, "I want to know why you are coming to see me, but I also want to know what is going in your life beside the circumstances behind your phone call."
"So you want to know what's going on inside my head."
"Okay, then why the blindfold?"
"I have found that many people guard their thoughts when they can see what is going on around them, so I use the blindfold to keep them out of their own thoughts." Margaret explained.
"I guess that's a good thing."
"I have found it to be so." Margaret said coming to stand behind Tara, "I'm going to put this on now, okay."
Tara took a quick breath, "okay."
Smoothly, Margaret put the blindfold on Tara, "Okay take a deep breath and start any where you would like to."
Tara took a deep breath and started, "How can I tell if someone is telling me the truth that they want me in their life? How will I know if that is real? Will anyone ever want me again after everything that has been done to me? Will I ever be able to trust men again or have confidence in myself?" she rattled off.
Margaret had made her way back over to her arm chair, sitting down, "Okay Tara you ask a lot of questions that I can't give you the answers to. Only you know when something will be the truth and if something is real. Also only you can decide to trust men again and have confidence in yourself." she said, "now what has caused you to question all of this?"
"My Mom died of cancer when I was 18 and then my Dad stopped caring about me. After I moved away to school, I had no one but myself to confide in. When my Dad got into an accident while drunk and killed two people my world fell apart again. After I returned to Chicago, graduated from college and started working did I start to listen to my heart. Then I got in trouble again." Tara said taking another deep breath.
"What kind of trouble?" Margaret asked.
"Joshua Kohn." Tara whispered, "I met him at a bar and we hit it off. He was over protective and I thought that was what I wanted and then it became too much." she continued, "up until that point men had never scared me, but he did."
"How did he scare you?"
Tara wrung her hands, "how possessive he was scared me, I couldn't be myself. I had to be this idea of what he had inside his head. I wasn't my own person anymore."
"And how did that effect you?"
"I lost myself. I don't know who I am anymore." Tara whispered.
"Do you feel as though you are finding yourself again where you are now?" Margaret asked.
"I do." Tara said, "and it scares me."
"Because what if people don't like who I really am. I'm opinionated, I want my way, I say whatever pops into my head and I hate asking for help." she admitted.
"So you're frightened that people will reject you like your Dad." Margaret stated.
"Yes." Tara gasped.
"Do you think that Jax judges you based off your past?"
"How can he not? I have been beaten and made to be submissive and that's not what I want to be." Tara argued getting angry.
"Tara take a deep breath. You're in a safe place." Margaret said sitting forward.
Tara listened, "Jax could have any woman he wants. Why in the world would he want me? I'm not glamorous or anything like the women who hang around the Sons of Anarchy."
"Do you think you have to be that way for him to care about you?"
"I don't know." Tara huffed.
"What else is going on?"
"I miss my Mom. I need her here to help me figure my life out. I want her to be proud of me."
"I want someone to want me for me. I want to be a mother. I want a family. I want a husband to cook for." Tara said wiping away her tears, "Really I just want someone to love me." she finished.
"Do you love yourself?" Margaret asked.
"No. I'm weak."
"Why are you weak?"
"Because I let Joshua control me for almost 2 years. I should have been stronger. I should have run away sooner." Tara said angrily.
"Did you believe that he loved you?"
"At first yes. He was everything a girl with Daddy issues would look for." Tara stated, "He was attentive, loving, sweet, a gentleman, and over all he said all the right things."
"So that convinced you." Margaret stated.
"Yeah. After my Mom died, my Dad stopped being all of those things. I ceased to exist. I was no longer his little girl. I didn't matter anymore." Tara said shoulders slumping, "I wanted to be loved and Joshua seemed to love me."
Margaret got up and walked behind Tara. Slowly she removed the blindfold from Tara's eyes. Walking back to the arm chair she sat down.
"I don't see how Jax could ever love me. I'm a mess from head to toe. I don't know where I'm going anymore. I don't want to run, but at the same time I feel as though I have over stayed my welcome in Charming." Tara stated, "Right now I don't know what I need in my life. I have become attached to Charming, Jax, Abel-Jax's son, Donna, Opie and their kids, and my bakery in town. I don't want to run anymore. I just want to be home."
Margaret sat back and watched the woman in front of her fight herself. She had seen many patients after they had escaped the abuse of someone they believed loved them. But the woman in front of her wasn't trying to get over the abuse, she was over that. Tara Knowles was trying to be past being abandoned by her father, someone who was supposed to love her always.
"Tara will you do something for me?" Margaret asked.
Tara looked at Margaret with a tear stained face, "I'll try." she whispered.
Walking over to sit beside Tara, "Will you write your Dad a letter?" she asked.
"He's dead." Tara stated, confused.
"This letter isn't really for him. It's for you." Margaret explained, "I want you write him telling him anything and everything you have on your mind when it comes to him."
Taking Tara's hands, "Because I don't think you came to see me because of the abuse that Joshua Kohn inflicted on you. I think you are here because of what your Dad did to you many years ago. You are scared of men because the only two men you have trusted have beaten you in different ways; Joshua beat you physically but your Dad beat you emotionally." Margaret stated calmly, feeling Tara's hands start to shake, "Physical scars heal much faster than emotional ones. You, Tara Knowles, are a very strong woman." she continued, "Now in regards to Jax; I can't tell you want to do. All I can tell you is to not shut him out. Talk to him, tell him what you are feeling. Do your best to include him on your life and what is going on. But most of all, get to know him." she said, "because from the little I have seen; that man sitting out in my waiting room is dying to have you trust him and he wants to be there for you but doesn't know how to be because of the walls you have constructed."
Tara let her tears fall freely down her cheeks, "You're right. I don't know how to let him in. I'm so scared of getting my heart broken again." she whispered.
"Try talking to Jax on the way home. When you get home sit down and ask him about himself and share some of your past. Let him know you are trying."
"Okay. I'll try." Tara agreed, "Can I come back tomorrow?"
"Of course." Margaret said getting up to check her calendar, "How about 1:30?"
"That'll work." Tara said standing up, "Thank you Margaret."
"You're welcome, but we're not done yet."
"I know." Tara said walking towards the door and opening it.
Jax stood up as soon as Tara walked out of the office, "you okay?" he asked wrapping his arms around her.
"Better than I was." Tara said laying her head on his chest, "I have to go to the bakery when we get back to town, I have some orders I need to get finished."
"Okay. I'll call Anitta and have her bring Abel. We'll help." Jax smirked.
"You mean distract." Tara countered smiling.
"Something like that."
Tara laughed as Jax led her to the door and to her car. For the first time in several years, she actually felt light and ready to open up. Joshua had never known about her Dad and she had never wanted to share. Now she wanted someone else to know what had happened in her past.
Jax could see that Tara was thinking about something, so he didn't say anything. He was dying to ask how her session went, but didn't want to push. When Tara had come out of the office he saw the woman he had two months ago. She looked more confident, not as guarded as she had the past few weeks. It was something he wanted to see more of. Seeing and hearing her laugh had made him realize that something was happening.
Tara took Jax's hand and kissed the top of it. Taking a deep breath and staring out the window, "My Mom died when I was 18. Two days after I graduated from high school. She had had cancer." she said looking shyly at the man driving her car.
Jax took a quick glance at Tara and saw how much that had cost her. Squeezing her hand he encouraged her to continue. "After my Mom died, my Dad started drinking heavily. I stopped being important. I was not something he cared about anymore. My Mom had been his world." she said, "I moved to Chicago at the end of that summer and never returned home. Well not until my Dad got into an accident while drunk and killed two people." she choked out.
Dropping Jax's hand she wiped the tears that were creeping out her eyes. "Tara." Jax said squeezing her leg, "I'm sorry that happened to you."
"It's not your fault. It's my Dads." Tara said picking his hand back up again, "I need you to understand this. I don't trust men and it's not all because of everything Joshua did. My Dad abandoning me when I was 18 scarred me for life. I have never relied on anyone since, not even Joshua."
Jax nodded and squeezed her hand. He could tell that she wanted to get this out as quickly as she could. "I don't trust because I have never found someone too. I want to trust you Jax. I want to stay in Charming, keep my bakery and have friends." Tara whispered, "I just need time to trust."
Gently Jax rearranged his and Tara's hand. Bringing her hand up to his lips he gently pressed a kissed to the top, "I'm right here Tara. I'm not going anywhere." he said, "I can't promise that we won't have tough days, but I can promise that I will never abandoned you."
Tara smiled and loosened her seat belt. Stretching over she kissed Jax gently on the cheek, "Thank you." she whispered. When she sat back she looked back out the window.
"What's going through that head of yours?" Jax asked rubbing gentle circles on her hand.
Tara looked at their hands. She was nervous to say what was going on in her head. She knew that Margaret said to be honest with Jax and let him in, so... "you know it would kill me if I knew you were sleeping with other women." Tara hurried out.
"What?" Jax asked confused, looking over at Tara.
"Cheating. That's a deal breaker for me. And I don't want to just play house."
"I'm going to want a baby or two, someday. And I need to know whatever this is heading in that direction."
"I know I'm sorry. I needed to say all of that, probably should've done it in smaller doses."
"Tara, I haven't been with anyone since you came to town and this became whatever this is." Jax said looking over at Tara, who looked beyond relieved.
The rest of the ride back to Charming was quiet. Neither Jax or Tara knew how to break the silence. Tara was nervous because she had spewed so much about wanting a family. It hadn't been her intention to make things awkward with Jax. Jax on the other hand was thinking back to the last time a woman had made him feel the way Tara did. He couldn't honestly remember a time, it was such a change of pace for him to actually want to be with one woman.
When Jax pulled Tara's car out into a spot in front of her bakery, Tara jumped out quickly. Shutting off the car he came up behind her quickly, "Tara, stop please." he asked.
Tara dropped her hand but stayed facing the door, "can we talk about what you said in the car?" Jax asked gently put his hands on her arms and turning her around.
"I don't know how to." Tara admitted looking into Jax's blue eyes.
"That's okay. I just want to know what brought it on? It came out of the blue."
"No. No more you're sorry. You have nothing to apologize for." Jax said forcefully.
Tara nervously traced the V. President patch that Jax had on his kutte, "I'm not used to letting people into my life. I don't know how to ask for help, I really don't like admitting when I need it. But also I'm not good at talking about my feelings." she said moving her hands to the buttons, "When I came to Charming I wasn't expecting to find people to care about or have people care about me. I didn't want to find you attractive, but then you swaggered into my life with that smart ass smirk on your face and I couldn't help it anymore." she finished outline the letters of SAMCRO on his t-shirt.
"Swaggered?" Jax asked smirking.
Tara blushed, "yes you swagger when you walk. It makes it really hard to look away." she admitted not looking him in the eye.
Jax cupped Tara's face, causing her to look him in the eye, "thank you telling me." he said before kissing her forehead.
Tara dropped her head to Jax's chest and took several deep breaths. She was finally opening up and it was hard. Jax wrapped his arms around Tara's shoulders. He wanted to be there for her, and right now she just needed him to listen and let her know he wasn't going anywhere.
Donna and Opie stopped on the sidewalk, standing in front of them were Jax and Tara in an embrace. Donna looked up at Opie, "Tara went to see Margaret this morning." she said looking back at her two friends.
"Either it went really well or really bad." Opie said looking down at his wife. He couldn't imagine what was going through Jax or Tara's heads.
Taking her husband's hand, Donna walked down the sidewalk to where Jax and Tara were standing, "Hi." she said when they were beside the two.
Tara peaked over Jax's arm, "hi." she said smiling.
"How is everything going?" Donna asked looking between the two.
"Better." Jax answered letting his arms go from around Tara's neck.
Tara nodded and turn to unlock her bakery. Opening the door she found the door stop and stepped inside. Taking a deep breath she walked back towards the office to grab her apron.
"How is she?" Opie asked Jax.
"Better, I think." Jax said, "she told me about her parents on the way home."
"She did?" Donna asked looking at her friend who had found her groove in baking.
"Yeah. I understand better now why she is so shy about trusting me."
"Good." Opie said, "Oh, Clay wants you to stop by the clubhouse so he can talk to you about what to do about Tara house. The forensic team from Lodi is done."
"Shit. Alright." Jax said looking inside Tara's bakery. He smiled when he saw her dancing around while getting everything ready to make her cupcakes.
Donna and Opie both just smiled as they watched Jax. Neither thought the day would ever come when Jackson Teller would be in love with one woman. It was a change that was for sure, but it was a change for the better. Jax had finally met his match, a baker who had seen as much darkness as Jax had.
Taking a step into the bakery Jax smiled, "hey, I have to go the club house for a while. You going to be okay?" he asked standing in front of the display case that Tara was working behind.
Tara looked up, "yeah I'll be okay. Thank you again for taking me this morning. I wouldn't have gone if I had had to do it by myself." she admitted, "Oh and you can tell Anitta she can bring Abel by if she wants and take the day off."
"Yeah. I love kids remember." Tara smiled.
Jax smiled, "yeah I remember." he said before turning to leave, "I'll be back soon." he told Tara before walking out.
Tara just smiled and went back to work. Looking up she realized that Donna was right beside her, "what can I do to help?" Donna asked.
"See that pouch of sugar there?" Tara said pointing.
"I need it sorted into those four containers on the counter." Tara said.
"Alright." Donna smiled and went to work on the sugar. She didn't ask how things went with Margaret. Seeing Tara being held by Jax had told her everything she needed to know. Her friend was healing and hearing that Tara had told Jax about her parents gave her hope that Tara was going to be sticking around for awhile.
Jax took Tara's car back to his house and parked in the driveway. Walking inside he heard Abel giggling, looking in the living room he saw his son laying on his back while Anitta tickled his feet with a feather. Smiling he stepped inside and sat down.
Anitta looked up at Jax, "where's Tara?" she asked continuing to tickle Abel.
"At her bakery. She has some orders that are due later this afternoon." Jax answered moving to sit on the floor by his son.
"Is she okay?"
"I think so. We talked on the way home."
"Good." Anitta said sitting Abel up, "why are you home?" she asked getting to the heart of the matter.
Jax smiled as his son crawled into his lap, "I missed church this morning so I could take Tara to the therapist." he explained cradling Abel, "I brought Tara's car back so I could get my bike." he said, "Oh and Tara said you could bring Abel to the bakery and take the afternoon off if you want."
Anitta smiled, "Jax is there something else you want to tell me?" she asked looking at the man across from her.
"What do you mean?"
"Tara said I could take Abel to the bakery and have the afternoon off."
Jax looked down at Abel and smirked, "caught again little man." he smiled, "on the way back from Lodi, Tara said she didn't want to just play house. She wants this to be something. And that someday she will want a baby or two." he finished as Abel clapped happily.
"Uh huh." Anitta smiled.
"Uh huh, what?" Jax asked looking at Anitta, "Anitta, Tara loves you."
"I know." the other woman said, "But Jax, Tara is considering settling down in Charming. She is so enthralled with you and Abel."
"That doesn't mean we won't still need you." Jax defended, "I still need you. I don't know how to take care of my son on my own."
"Jax I'm not going anywhere. I'm just pointing out a fact, the woman at the bakery that you are so enthralled with is the one you need to be confiding in." Anitta said standing up, "And you do know how to care for Abel. Look at yourself. You have come so far from the man you were a year and a half ago"
Jax scooped Abel up and stepped towards Anitta, "Thank you." he said as he gave the woman a hug, "but please don't go anywhere." he pleaded.
"I'm not." Anitta responded pecking Jax on the cheek, "now get onto the club house and I'll take Abel to Cookie crumbles & Cupcakes."
"Okay." Jax said setting Abel on the carpet, "see ya later, little man." he said kissing his son on the head.
Anitta smiled as Jax got his keys to his bike and headed out, "your Daddy is in trouble, Abel." Anitta said as she took apart his play pen, "he just doesn't realize how much, yet."
Abel just looked up at her and smiled. Tumbling over he reached for the feather she had been tickling him with a few minutes ago and stuck it straight in his mouth. Anitta reached down and traded Abel the feather for a teething toy. Abel wasn't happy at first, but then figured out that he could still chew on it so he did and became contented.
Jax drove to Teller-Morrow with no thoughts in his head, he was happy. Pulling into the lot and parking his bike, he walked towards the door and went into to greet his brothers.
Walking through the door he was greeted with the smell of stale beer, vomit and loud music. Smiling he knew he was home. "How's Tara?" asked Bobby when Jax came through the door.
"Dealing." Jax said looking at his brother, "she's better than she was last night."
"Good. I like her. She's good for the club." Bobby stated.
"You think so?" Jax asked lighting his cigarette.
"Yeah. Look at what she has done for you." he pointed out, "and don't go changing because someone has noticed a change in you."
"I couldn't do that if I tried, brother. Donna has a knife ready to chop off my dick if I hurt Tara." Jax joked looking up and finding Clay, "see ya brother." he said before walking away.
Clay opened the door to the chapel and Jax followed him through, "how is the baker?" Clay asked when they had sat down.
"She's okay. Dealing." Jax said looking at his step father.
"How are you?"
"I'm okay. Taking a minute to figure shit out."
"You do know your mother hates Tara, right?"
"Yeah I know. She came over this morning and went off on her."
"How'd the baker handle that?"
"Gave it right back to Gemma." Jax smiled.
Clay laughed, "Oh to be a fly on that wall." he said, "I'm glad that someone is pushing your Mom's buttons. Keep her off my ass."
Jax smirked, "Tara definitely pushes Gemma's buttons but I need Gemma to knock it off." he said more seriously.
"You care about her." Clay mused.
"Yeah I do."
"Good. We need more strong willed women standing behind us."
Jax smiled, "what did you figure out with Tara's house?"
"The forensic team is done and moved out. We went in this morning and pulled up the carpet in her bedroom. She's going to need some new flooring big time. That bastards blood seeped all the way through." Clay said serious.
"But we found a shop in Compton that will give us some cheap wood flooring. We looked and it will be too difficult to just lay hard wood in her bedroom. So we need to know if we can tear up all the carpet and relay wood flooring."
"What kind of wood flooring?" Jax asked rubbing his neck. He wasn't sure that Tara was going to be okay with her whole floor being torn up.
Clay got up and went to the other end of the table, picking up pieces he brought back 4 different samples of wood flooring, "these are the samples of what the shop will give us cheap. The dark is cherry wood, the lighter is maple, the almost white one is oak and the last is pine."
Jax picked up the pieces, "I'll take them to Tara and see what she wants to do."
"Alright VP. Tell her she has the whole club behind her."
Clay and Jax then hugged and headed back out into the club house. Jax had just grabbed a long neck when he heard his Mother.
"Jackson Teller." she screeched.
The whole club house turned to see what was about to go down.
"What do you want, ma?" Jax drawled.
"I want to know why your son is at that bakers shop!" she shot back putting her hands on her hips.
"Abel is at Tara's shop, because she wanted to give Anitta the afternoon off and spend some time with Abel. Plus he loves her."
"Bull shit. Your son loves anyone who will hold him."
"What's your deal, Mom?" Jax asked getting agitated.
Gemma stepped closer to her son, "my deal is that you are acting like you're in love with this bitch."
"What if I am?" Jax asked stepping closer to his Mom.
Gemma stopped, "excuse me?"
"You heard me." Jax said.
"You don't even know this bitch!" Gemma screamed at Jax.
"I know that she is nothing that I was looking for. She pushes my buttons, pisses me off, and cares more than anyone I have ever met." Jax said calmly watching his Mom's head steam.
The whole clubhouse was silent. You could have heard a pin drop, no one was moving. Fearing to miss a part of the show down between Jax and Gemma. It had been years in the making.
Gemma's eyes darken as she looked at her son, "you are going to stay away from that bitch. she's toxic." she sneered.
Jax got right up in Gemma's face, "I'm a grown man, Mom. You can't tell me what to do anymore, sorry to tell ya. I'm going to continue seeing Tara. She makes me happy and I don't and won't let her go anywhere. If you don't like it then tough." he said.
"Jackson Nathanial Teller." Gemma warned.
"Knock it off Gemma. I'm not some damn puppet you can use at your bidding. I'm your son. I have my own life, my own kid and I'm going to make my own decisions." Jax iterated angrily before walking out the door.
Gemma watched her only son walk out the door and broke down. Jax was no longer her baby. She had to find a way to protect him from that uppity bitch. She didn't have to know the baker personally to know that she was no good for Charming or SAMCRO.
Tara was cleaning up the counters when the bell above her door jingled. Donna had gone home a couple of hours ago. They had completed her cupcake orders in record time. It was the first time that Tara had depended on someone else for help. Looking up she saw a very angry Jax.
"What's wrong?" she asked walking towards him.
"My Mother." he seethed looking around, "where's Abel?" he asked calming down.
Tara took Jax by the and led him behind the display case. Sitting in a little pile of flour was his one and half year old son. Abel was just playing, he kept picking up handfuls of the flour and throwing it in the air. He had it all over himself and couldn't be more pleased with himself. He looked up and saw his Dad and squealed.
Jax looked at Tara and couldn't help but smile. The simplest things made his son happy and Tara was a major contributor to that. "How long has he been playing in the flour?" Jax asked putting his arm around Tara's shoulders.
"About 10 minutes. I'll give him a bath when we get home." she said slipping her arm around his middle.
"Home?" Jax asked looking down.
Tara looked up at him and then realized what she had said, "Oh God. I'm sorry. I didn't mean." she stammered.
"Tara, it's okay. I'm glad you feel at home." Jax pulling her closer to him and putting his arms around her shoulders, "you don't have to be embarrassed to call my house, home."
"Okay." Tara squeaked and nestled her head under Jax's chin. The two stayed in their embrace until they heard snuffling.
Looking down they saw Abel attempting to stand on his little legs and having no luck. He had flour all over Jax and Tara's pants legs where he had grabbed to stand up. Looking up at them he just put his arms up to be picked up. Jax stepped back from Tara.
"Hold on Jax." Tara said, "let him try again. He can stand."
Jax nodded at Tara and watched his son as Tara gently put her hands down in front of Abel. Abel took hold of her fingers and held on tight and brought himself up to standing. Jax smiled as Abel led Tara to him. When they were standing right in front of him, he bent down and picked up Abel. Abel giggle happily as he snuggled into his Dad.
Tara took in the sight of father and son and couldn't help but smile. It was sight to see Abel all covered in flour and Jax being covered by association. Stepping closer she rubbed Abel's back softly. The little boy lifted his head and looked at her. Grabbing her hand he pulled her closer.
It was quite a trip to get everything home from Tara's bakery. Jax had to run home and get Tara's car. Tara had to take apart Abel's play pen and clean up the flour. Putting Abel in his car seat she was able to get both done before Jax returned. Getting everything into the house was easier.
After getting her car unloaded, Tara set Abel in the sink to give him a bath. He was having too much fun playing in the water. He was having none of the water coming over his head and he let the whole house know. Tara ever patient let him play with the cup she had been using and started to use the sprayer, Abel was much more receptive to that than the cup.
Jax came into the kitchen in sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt with a little towel ready for his little man when he was done. Watching he was amazed at how well Tara handled Abel screaming bloody murder, he would have lost it then and there. Soon Abel was ready to be dried off, "come here little dude." Jax said taking Abel into the towel. Turning he saw the front of Tara's shirt, "looks like he gave you a bath." he laughed.
Tara looked down, "yeah he did. the little stinker." she teased and kissed Abel on the head. "I'm going to go change."
"Alright. I'm going to get this little monster ready for bed."
Tara smiled and headed back to the bedroom to change her shirt and get a pad of paper to write the letter to her father. Just as she found a pad of paper, Jax came into the room, "I meant to tell you earlier, the club went by your house this morning."
Sitting down on the bed, "how bad is it?" Tara asked.
"Kohn's blood seeped through the carpet and everything. New flooring needs to be laid down."
Tara nodded trying to keep her emotions in check, "what's going through your head?" Jax asked sitting down beside her.
"I don't have that kind of money." she whispered wiping away the falling tears.
Jax pulled Tara into his lap, "you are not paying a dime for this. The club is going to handle everything." he said, "we take care of our own."
"But I'm not a part of the club." Tara argued looking at Jax.
"You're important to me that's all you need to worry about tonight." he reassured, "oh and picking what kind of hard flooring you want and if the club can tear up all the carpet and put down hardwood all over."
Tara's head was spinning, "they want to tear up all my carpet?"
"Yeah, it'll make everything look more put together and then people won't wonder why only your bedroom has hardwood."
Shaking her head, "that makes sense. What are my options for the flooring?"
"Cherry, maple, oak and pine." Jax said, "I forgot the samples at the clubhouse.
"Cherry is dark right?" Tara asked.
Jax nodded, "Yeah and has a red tint to it in light."
Tara rubbed her temples, "I like that idea. It'll look good with the warm colors on the walls."
Jax kissed her temple, "I'll tell Clay tomorrow and then they'll get started."
Tara leaned back against Jax, "sounds good." she said stifling a yawn. Standing up she stretched and grabbed the pad of paper.
"Whatcha going to do?" Jax asked watching her.
"I going to write a letter to my Dad." Tara said walking out of the room.
Jax raised his eyebrows and shook his head. He had no idea what that meant, but if it helped Tara get some closure he was all for it.
Tara headed out to the living room, sitting down on the couch she began her letter: