Home is Where You Will Always Belong

Chapter 8

Peyton was getting bored and while watching Juice sleep was always fun, she felt like she needed to get some fresh air. She quietly made her way over to her shorts that were laying the floor and pulled them on and slipped on her flip flops. She slipped out the bedroom door, making sure not to wake up Juice. Tig was fast asleep and snoring loudly. She smiled at this as she quietly crossed from the bedroom to the door and carefully let herself out.

She walked down the hallway and stopped at the pop machine and grabbed herself a pop before continuing her walk to the elevator. In that particular moment she was ridiculously happy for someone whose life had been pissed on more than once. Just as the door opened and she began to walk onto the elevator she heard a voice from behind her that gave her chills. "Hello sweetheart," she heard before something smashed against the back of her head and everything went black.


Juice rolled over and realized the bed was empty. He looked at his watch and saw that it was 10:30. "Perfect timing," he said to himself as he crawled out of bed and pulled on his boxers and jeans. He sat down on the side of the bed and smiled to himself. Maybe this was the start of something new, he thought to himself. Maybe he could make all of his wrongs right. Maybe they could start over and maybe the four of them could be a family. He knew this was what he really wanted and he was ready to make her trust him again. He reached over on the night stand to grab his phone when he noticed Peyton's notebook lying there.

He thought about it for a minute and then he reached for the book and an envelope fell to the ground. He reached down to pick it up and noticed that it had his name written on the front of it.

He had it partially open when there was a knock on the door. "Come in," he called as he stood up, folded the letter in half and shoved it in his back pocket. Tig opened the door and walked into the bedroom. "You ready to go?" he asked, looking around the room. Juice began to feel concerned when the smile on Tig's face disappeared instantly. "Where's Peyton?" Tig asked, the worry in his voice evident. "What the hell do you mean, where's Peyton?" Juice replied, his voice raising, "I thought she was out there with you." "No man, I just woke up," Tig replied. Tig smashed his hand against the wall once his mind registered what that meant.

Juice pulled on a shirt and tugged on his shoes before taking off into the hallway and towards the elevator. He pushed the emergency exit door open and took the stairs two at a time all the way down to the lobby. Tig wasn't far behind him as he ran through the lobby and out the door to where they had parked the Escalade. "Fuck!" Juice yelled when he saw the damage done to the car. Hot angry tears were threatening to fall and he could hear the blood rushing through his body. He was seeing red. He couldn't wait until he found Justin so he could rip his bloody head off. Tig pulled a piece of paper off the shattered windshield and handed it to Juice. "The bitch is mine assholes," Juice read out loud. He crumpled the paper up and threw it on the ground in a rage. "What do we do Tig?" he asked him desperately. "The first thing you do is take some deep breaths," Tig replied, "You're no good to the situation if you aren't thinking straight and acting irrationally. Just breath Juice. I'll call Jax and let him know what has happened. And then we hunt." Juice nodded his head in agreement before crouching down and putting his hands on the ground and taking deep breaths. He had no idea where they were going to start, they had nothing to go on.


Bobby and Chibs were sitting outside on the picnic table in the sunshine drinking straight from the Jack Daniel's bottle and shooting the shit when Happy walked outside. "Bobby, Tig is on the prepaid," he said, handing him the phone.

Bobby looked at Chibs and then took the phone from Happy. "Tig, what's goin on?" Bobby asked. "I tried calling Jax, where is he?" Tig asked sounding frustrated. "I sent him home last night for some well needed family time," Bobby replied, "He will be in this afternoon. I have a feeling we will be getting him here sooner." "You better do that Bobby," Tig stated, "We have a bit of a problem here." "Tig, what the hell is going on?" Bobby demanded. "Well, I guess our princess decided she wanted to venture out on her own while we were asleep," Tig replied, "and she ventured right into Justin's trap. He destroyed the Escalade and shot out the tires and left a friendly little note saying "the bitch is mine assholes." Bobby grabbed the bottle of Jack off the table and threw it against the wall. "Damnit Tig, what the hell happened?" Bobby growled, "You were supposed to watch her!" "This was beyond anyone's control Bobby," Tig said defending himself, "She didn't think that stepping outside for a minute would be a big deal. No one can blame her for that. Bobby, I swear we were both paying attention. Not once did we see a black truck follow us at all." Bobby understood this, but at the same time, Peyton disappeared on their watch. "Well see if anyone saw anything suspicious," Bobby said, sounding a little calmer, "Do whatever you can Tig and stay there until you hear from us." They said goodbye and Bobby hurled the phone against the wall.

"Bobby, what going on?" Chibs asked, standing up and walking towards him. Bobby looked up at him and tried his damndest to keep his emotions in check. He knew how much Peyton meant to Chibs and this news would absolutely destroy him. "Bobby, for Christ sakes," Chibs demanded, "What the hell is going on?" "She's gone Chibs," Bobby said quietly, unable to make eye contact with him. He loved Peyton and she was his only niece, but the bond between Peyton and Chibs was undeniable. He loved her like he loved his own daughter, Kerrianne, who lived back in Ireland with her mother. "What? Where is she?" Chibs asked angrily. "Justin got her," Bobby replied, sounding just as angry, "Tig and Juice paid close attention the whole way to Portland and they didn't see a black truck matching your description, follow them at all. He must've switched vehicles somewhere along the way." Bobby watched as Chibs' facial expression turned from one of anger to one of sadness and devastation. Bobby knew it was futile to try and talk sense into him when he was in this state. Bobby watched as Chibs turned and walked into the clubhouse without uttering another word.


Chibs sat at his spot at the table and let the angry tears fall. They had just gotten Peyton back and now she had been taken away from them again. Ever since he met her when she was 12, both of them got pretty attached to each other. Her father wasn't around a lot because of his business and she missed her father all the time. Bobby helped as much as he could, but where he couldn't that's where Chibs would step in. Peyton spent a lot of her time at the clubhouse and whenever she was sad, down, or even happy, she would turn to Bobby, Tig, but mostly Chibs. Sometimes she would need someone to talk to and she just wasn't comfortable taking about certain things with Jax or with her all time best friend, Opie. She would sit with him for hours and watch him work on his bike and he even showed her some things. But there was one particular time when she was 18 that stood out significantly in his mind.

FLASHBACK

Chibs walked out of the automotive shop and was about to make his way over to the clubhouse when he saw Peyton sitting on the picnic table watching as Jax, Opie and Juice rode through the gate and pulled into their parking spots. He could see a small smile begin to form on her face, which made him smile to himself.

She stood on the bench of the picnic table and Opie approached her and pulled her into his arms and swung her around. "Hey baby girl," he said happy to see her. He kissed her on the cheek and then set her down. "Hey sweet girl," Jax said, leaning in and kissing her on the cheek. "Hey guys," she replied, smiling her brightest smile.

Chibs watched as Juice walked up gave her a quick smile and followed the guys into the clubhouse. Juice had been prospecting for about four months and it was very obvious that Peyton was into him. Chibs had seen her smitten over Jax at one point, but he only had eyes for Tara, so she quickly got over that. This was different though, the way she looked at Juice was different from her little crush on Jax. The two of them had flirted a little, but Juice still hadn't clued in. Chibs could see the sadness creep across Peyton's face as the clubhouse door closed and then she sat back down on the picnic table. He watched as she put her head in her hands.

Chibs walked across the parking lot and sat down beside her on the picnic table and pulled her into his arms. She cried into his shirt and then snuggled into the crook of his arm. "Why doesn't he notice me Chibs?" she asked sadly, "I just want him to see me and I mean really see me." Chibs knew that Juice was interested in her, but he was playing this one close to the chest. "He does notice you love," Chibs replied, "He's just playin it safe." "Why does he need to play it safe?" she asked, pulling away from him and looking up at him. "Look who your best friends are Peyton?" Chibs stated, smiling at her, "I'm sure Juice doesn't want to mess with Jax and Opie...Especially Opie." "I never thought of that," she said, "Do you really think he's into me?" "I think that if Juice really wants to be with you and it is meant to be, you two will end up together," Chibs replied, "But not until he goes through an extensive interrogation from myself." She giggled and wrapped her arms around his neck and squeezed him tight. "I love you Chibs," she whispered. "I love you too baby girl."

Chibs wiped his eyes and pulled out a cigarette. He knew he wouldn't be alone in making a vow that he would find her or he would die trying.

The door to the chapel opened and Jax walked in. "Hey Chibs," Jax said quietly, sitting down in the president's seat. "Hey Jackie boy," Chibs mumbled with the cigarette in his mouth. "How you holding up?" Jax asked. Chibs looked over at Jax and could see the redness around his eyes. He knew he had had an angry cry at home when Bobby called him with the news. "Honestly," Chibs stated, "I'm not. We need to get her back Jax. If we don't hurry, he will kill her." "I know," Jax replied as he lit a cigarette, "We will work our asses off to find her. I'm just waiting for Tig to call back with any information he gets from the front desk of the hotel." Chibs nodded his head in acknowledgement and then they sat in silence.


Tig walked out of the hotel and back to the Escalade and Juice was sitting on the ground beside the passenger seat door, where he left him 20 minutes ago. "What did you find out?" Juice mumbled as Tig sat down beside him. "One of the desk clerks said they saw a suspicious guy walk in around 8:00 this morning, but they never saw him walk back out," Tig replied, "However, about 30 minutes later they saw a white Honda Pilot peel out of the parking lot. They said he was headed east. Either south-east, down to Vegas or east, to Utah." "I'll call Jax and let him know," Juice said quietly. Tig looked over at him to acknowledge him when he noticed that Juice was holding an unfolded piece of paper. "What's that?" he asked him, pointing at the piece of paper. "A letter Peyton wrote me," Juice replied, passing it over to him, "You can read it." Tig noticed for the first time that Juice looked like he was in shock.

Tig took the piece of paper from Juice and a smaller square of paper fell to the ground. He picked it up and it was a picture of Peyton's oldest son, Evander. He put it in his lap and opened up the letter and began to read...

Dear Juice,

The only reason you are reading this letter is because I am too much of a coward to tell you myself. Too scared to tell you how I felt for you, how I feel for you now and I how I will always feel for you. Too scared to tell you that my life hasn't been quite the same without you in it. Life has been hell and the only thing that gets me through are my children and thoughts of the time I had with you. You made me feel complete and you made me feel important. Juice, you were my best friend.

Today was the first time seeing you in 5 years and despite the feelings of fear and anxiety I felt because of what I have been subjected to in the last 3 years, I am still completely in love with you.

I have been keeping a rather large secret from you and never knew how to tell you. When my son Evander was born at the end of January, 2010, something didn't quiet add up to me. Over the first month of him being in my life, I noticed that his skin was a little darker than Justin's, his blue eyes turned to a dark brown, almost black color, where Justin's eyes are bright blue. I decided to go behind Justin's back and have a paternity test done.

Sure enough, my suspicions were confirmed. Juice, you have a beautiful, playful and happy 4 year old son. I'm so sorry that I kept this from you, but I really had no way of telling you. But please know that I want you to know him. He reminds me of you and just having a small piece of you makes life a little more bearable.

I hope that you can forgive me one day for keeping this big secret from you. I also hope that maybe one day we can get our second chance.

I love you Juice and I always will.

Love Always,

Peyton

Tig looked up from the letter and over at Juice, who had somehow gotten the picture from Tig's lap and was staring at it. "Shit."


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