Home is Where You Will Always Belong

Chapter 9

Juice hadn't said anything to Tig after he let him read the letter and at the moment he preferred it that way. He was still trying to process the information. He opened the letter again and read one particular part of the letter over again.

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.

He could feel the rage build inside him as he thought about his child being raised with such a horrible, sick person. He was glad that the children had been taken out of the home and away from the situation, but he felt horrible that Peyton couldn't get out of the situation as well.

He was so angry, so confused and so sad, he wasn't sure which end was up. The only thing he did know at this very moment was that there was no possible way he could be mad at Peyton for keeping this from him. She really didn't have any way of telling him through those tumultuous times with Justin and if he ever found out, he probably would have killed her. His heart ached, he couldn't lie about that. He wished he would have had the opportunity to see his son grow up in those first few years, but that was never possible.

He stood up from where he was sitting on the ground and dialled Jax's number. "Hey, Juice, what did you find out?" Jax asked before the second ring. "The desk clerk at the hotel said they saw someone suspicious walk in around 8:00 this morning," Juice answered, "He never came back out, but shortly after, they saw a white Honda Pilot peel out of the parking lot. He was either heading east to Idaho or south east to Utah." "Juice, do you think you can do a search for Honda Pilots, particularly white ones, in Charming?" Jax asked, "and track Justin and Peyton that way? They have been on the road for about 3 hours." "Yeah, I can do that," Juice replied, "I'll take care of that right now. What's the plan after that Jax." "Once we find out where they are headed then we will all head in that direction," Jax answered, "We'll have yours and Tig's bikes brought out and we will worry about Gemma's car later. You guys will rent a car and meet us wherever we end up." "Sounds good Jax," Juice replied, "I'll go do this research and get back to you."

Juice closed the phone and put it in his pocket and headed back into the hotel. "Hey," Juice said to Tig once he was back in the room. Tig nodded to him. He was on the phone, probably being filled in. Juice grabbed his laptop from the chair and then walked into the bedroom. He looked around the room, the bed in particular, and was reminded of what had happened just 5 hours earlier. He missed her. He found himself thinking back to the beginning of their relationship.

FLASHBACK

Juice had walked into the clubhouse but noticed something off with Peyton. He was about to go out and talk to her when he noticed Chibs walking up to her. "Why doesn't he notice me Chibs?" he heard her ask Chibs, "I just want him to see me, and I mean really see me." He closed the door quietly and walked into the clubhouse. He had no idea that she was interested him like that. He was very much into her, but he would prefer to live a long healthy life than to get killed by her best friends.

He sat down at the bar, completely in his own world, when Opie sat down next to him. "Hey man," Opie said, nudging him in the ribs, "Why such a bummed out look?" Juice turned and looked at him. "I don't want to get my ass kicked Ope," Juice replied, "But what would you do if I asked Peyton out." Ope spit out his beer and turned and looked at Juice. "You're into Peyton?" he exclaimed, "Hey Jax?!" Jax walked into the main room from the hallway leading to the dorm rooms. "What's up?" he asked walking over to them. "Juice is into Peyton," Opie stated with a big grin. "It's about time man," Jax said, smiling at him and smacking him on the back, "We wondered how long it would take you to realize she wants you. But if you hurt her, we'll kill you." Juice smiled uncomfortably at them and was unable to say anything in response.

He took a big gulp of his beer and then looked back and forth between Jax and Opie. They really did look happy for him, but he also knew that they were capable of causing copious amounts of pain and he didn't ever want to cross them. "Well, I guess I should go talk to her," Juice said, standing up and excusing himself.

He walked outside and she was no longer sitting on the picnic table. He looked around and then watched as she drove her car out of the parking lot. "Shit," he mumbled. "Go get her," he heard someone say behind him. "What?" he asked as he turned around and saw Chibs standing there. Where the hell did he come from? "Go after her," Chibs said, "She is just going home. Go after the lass." Juice stared at him for a second. That was not what he was expecting from Chibs at all. Right, Juice thought, go after her.

Without another thought, he ran to his bike, strapped on his helmet and kick started it before taking off out of the parking lot and down the street towards Peyton's apartment. As he slowly approached her apartment, he began to feel nervous. He hadn't planned out what he was going to say to her, all he knew was that he needed to see her.

A few minutes later he pulled up along the curb in front of her place just as she was walking up the path to the front entrance. She stopped and turned around when she heard the bike. Juice took his helmet off, hung it on a handle bar and slowly walked up the path towards her. His heart was pounding. She was gorgeous, her long black hair hanging in two lose pigtails and her eyes a piercing green color. She was wearing a pair of white capri pants and a blue tank top. It was amazing to him how she could make such a simple outfit look so sexy.

He could see her face subtly light up when she saw him walking towards her and he smiled at her. "What are you doing here?" she asked shyly. "I have to confess something," he replied, stopping in front of her, "For the last three months, you have not gone unnoticed by me Peyton. But it wasn't until today when I heard you talking to Chibs about you being interested in me as well, that I figured I should talk to you about it." Her whole face turned red and she looked down at the ground. "I didn't want you to hear that," she said quietly, "I thought you were already inside." "Please know that I wasn't meaning to eaves drop," Juice told her, "But you sounded so sad. I'm sorry I was the one who made you sad." "So who told you to come after me?" she questioned, giving him a small smile. "Chibs," Juice replied, "With no interrogation, which was surprising, but that doesn't mean that I didn't get a couple death threats from Jax and Ope if I ever hurt you." She giggled in response.

"Can I take you out for dinner?" he asked after a couple moments of silence, "Maybe tomorrow night?" "I would love that," she replied, smiling brightly at him. "Perfect," he replied, smiling back. He was unsure of where to go from there. He knew what he wanted to do, but he wasn't sure what she would do. "I'll meet you at the clubhouse around 7:00?" she asked, looking at him hopefully. "Yeah, that sounds good," he replied.

He decided to take a chance before he left to go back to the clubhouse. He slowly moved towards her, reached his hand up and put it on the side of her face. He pulled her towards him and kissed her softly, unsure of what her reaction would be. She moved into him, wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back. Her lips felt so good against his. He could do this all day. After a moment, he slowly and reluctantly pulled away from her. "I've have to go Peyton," he said quietly, "But I'll see you tomorrow night, if not before that." Her cheeks were flushed. She nodded her head and smiled at him as he turned and walked back to his bike.

Tears had snuck out of Juice's eyes and he quickly and angrily wiped them away. He had been doing a bunch of searches while he was thinking about Peyton and now he finally found what he had been looking for. The Honda Pilot was owned by a man named Jim Carter, and he lived just on the outskirts of Charming. Juice did one final search using the license plate number he had gotten and turned on the GPS locator. "Bingo!" Juice shouted, "He's on his way to Utah!" Juice slammed his laptop shut and picked up his cell phone.

"Hey," Jax said on the other end. "They are about 4 hours out of Portland and on their way to Utah," Juice declared, "I'm not sure where in Utah, but I can keep track of them as we go. We can leave now. It's going to be a long drive." "Sounds good Juice," Jax replied, "We'll be on our way shortly. I just have to go to Gemma's first and let her know what's going on." "Ok, we'll keep in touch," Juice replied. "Oh Juice," Jax said, more as an afterthought, "I'm sorry about all this." "Me too Jax," Juice said quietly, "Me too."


Jax pulled into Gemma's driveway and walked up the path to the front door. He had noticed that Nero's car was in the driveway. "Mom," Jax called out as he walked into the house. "In here baby," Gemma called out from the dining room. He walked into the dining room and Gemma and Nero were sitting at the table drinking coffee and talking about whatever it is they talk about. Jax leaned down and kissed his mom on the cheek and then he hugged Nero who had stood up to greet him. "Hey Ese," Nero said quietly, "Your mom was just filling me in on the what's going on." "I might need a favor from you," Jax said in response, "Do you think you could help us out?" "Sure man," Nero replied, "Whatever you need."

Gemma looked up at him with curiosity. "There has been a change in plans mom," Jax replied, answering her unasked question, "We are on our way to Utah. All of us, including Nero." "What the hell happened Jackson?" his mother asked. "Justin intercepted them in Portland," Jax replied, "Justin kidnapped Peyton and they are already four hours outside of Portland and on their way to Utah. Juice is going to keep us posted on their location." "Jesus Christ," Gemma responded after blowing smoke out of her mouth, "Jax, I'm sorry baby." "Don't worry," Jax retorted, "We'll deal with it." "That's what I'm afraid of," Gemma replied, "Just be careful, that's all I ask."

"Where do I come in?" Nero asked. "We need you to drive the flatbed with Juice's and Tig's bikes on it," Jax replied, "They are renting a car to wherever our final destination is, but then they are going to need their bikes." Jax looked over at his mother, again she was looking at him curiously. "Your Escalade was totalled," Jax replied, reading her mind, "We'll have it towed back to the shop and take care of the repairs ourselves." He turned back to Nero, "So are you in?" "Of course man," Nero replied, "I'll be right behind you." "Thanks man," Jax said, shaking his hand and then pulling him in for a hug, "We appreciate this more than you know."

Jax sat down and grabbed Gemma's cigarette and took a long drag. "Mom, Bobby was going to head over to Dave and Joyce's today and tell them about Peyton," Jax began, "But we need Bobby today. We will probably be gone a few days. Do you think you can let them know what's going on? They deserve to know." "You bet baby," Gemma replied, "I was thinking about going over to see them anyways." "Thanks mom," Jax said quickly before standing up and quickly kissing her on the forehead, "Nero, we leave in 30 minutes. We'll meet you at the club." Nero nodded his head in acknowledgement and Jax bolted out the back door.


30 minutes later they had all convened in front of the clubhouse. The flatbed was loaded with the bikes and the guys were ready to go. "We haven't heard anything from Juice in an hour, so I'm assuming that we are still heading toward Utah at this point," Jax called out, loud enough for everyone to hear him, "When we get there we will figure out our plan of attack. It's probably not wise to go in guns blazing as I am sure that's what we all want to do." He was looking at Chibs and Bobby when he said this. "Now let's go get her back and kill this son of a bitch," Jax yelled. Everyone hooted and hollered in response and began revving their engines. Jax was the first one off the lot and everyone followed, unsure of where the journey may take them.


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