Getting Addison out of the house was a complete cluster fuck. She didn’t park her truck in the garage because of all of the instruments. So they used the side door, hoping not to be seen getting into the car. But when they got into his rental, the group of reporters that had all hovered near the front ran over shouting questions and snapping photos while he tried to back up.
When they finally managed to break free, all of those assholes got into their cars and vans and started to give chase. He was so fucking grateful that the guys lived where they did because as soon as they got to the front gate and drove in… those bastards looking for clickbait were out in the fucking cold.
When they got to Jones place, he hurried to bring the bags upstairs. He was right in the middle of planning a conversation in his head when he turned around and saw Addison watching him. “Hey baby girl, everything okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. Just a bit of a stomach ache is all. But I’m wondering what’s going on. You seem upset about something?”
“What do you mean, you know why I’m pissed. Those fucking reporters.”
“No, there’s something more to it then the paparazzi. I can tell by the look on your face.” She stated.
Damn it, she knew him too damn well. But he put a smile on and took her by the arms. “Baby girl, I’m fine. I was just enjoying being a regular guy for once and living a normal life with my woman.” He answered, kissing her.
“Really, I mean, is that really what’s going on?”
“Yes, that’s all.” He assured her when her hand went to her stomach. “Hey, what’s wrong? Your stomach bugging you that much?”
“I think I got a stomach bug from the kids. I guess there’s one going around at school.” She sighed.
“Are the boys sick?”
“No, not yet, at least.” She smiled, taking his hand and leading him downstairs. “I’m going to get myself a ginger ale…” She said, then glanced over her shoulder. “Who are you going to go see?”
“No one for you to worry about.” He grinned, but that had her stop. "What?" He asked.
“Well, are you meeting with someone you shouldn’t, or are you trying to keep who you’re meeting a secret from me?” She asked, but he could see her body stiffen and her face pale telling him exactly where her thoughts had gone.
“Damn it, baby girl.” He growled, pulling her back into his arms. He had a feeling it was going to take some time for her to fully trust him again… might as well have this beginning start off on the right foot. “I’m not hiding anything from you. So, don’t go thinking I’m going to go meet up with some woman or some shit. I’m going over to talk to Dax, that’s all. I’ve been trying to get ahold of his ass for a while now, but he won’t call me back.” He explained.
“Oh… is everything okay?”
“Yeah, everything is fine.” He grinned.
“Okay, if you’re sure.”
“Yes, I’m sure. Now I’ll be back in a little bit.”
“Oh, I might have Margie drop me off at my place so I can pick up my truck. I still have to get to work and take the boys to school, and I can’t do that on foot.” She laughed.
“Baby girl, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“I’ll only have her drop me off if everyone is gone. Besides, they’re probably looking for your rental truck, not Margie’s minivan.” She smiled.
“Yeah, okay… just keep your cell on you.” He ordered.
“I will. Just go do your thing, and tell Dax I said hi.” She smiled, getting on her tippy toes to give him a kiss before walking into the kitchen.
“Yeah, I will.” He said, going to the front door.
He was getting into the suburban when Jones came running up to him. “Hey, I heard you were going to see Dax. Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, why?” He asked.
“No reason, do you mind if I come along?” Jones asked.
Jimmy was about to get into the truck when he stopped and turned back around. “What the fuck is going on with you assholes? Nickels was bugging me about talking to Dax, and now you? What the fuck are you guys hiding?” He growled.
“Nothing, I just want to get away from the kids… you know, let the girls deal with that shit. Besides, Addie said that there’s a stomach bug going around, and there’s no way in hell I want to be in California sick as a dog… and my girl nowhere near to take care of my ass.” Jones winked.
“Pussy.” He chuckled.
Dax lived in the same development as Nickels, Howie, and Jones, but it was a big fucking area with many housing developments inside it. It was a ten-minute drive to Dax’s place, but when he pulled up, he saw Nickels black corvette already in the driveway. “Looks like Nick wanted to talk to Dax too.” Jones offered.
“Yeah, funny how that worked out.” He answered, glancing at Jones.
“Hey, I didn’t do anything.” He exclaimed, holding his hands up.
“Sure, you didn’t…”
Jimmy got out of the truck and went to the front door and walked in with Jones, swearing behind him. He went through the front room, then the dining room, when he heard voices coming from the kitchen. When he walked in, he saw Nickels and Dax looking like they were arguing with one another.
“Hey, assholes, what’s going on?” He asked, making both guys turn his way.
“Jim, what the hell are you doing here?” Nickels asked, glancing at Jones.
“You know, I was wondering the same thing about you.”
“I just wanted to ask Dax a question.”
“Yeah, well, that makes the two of us.” He growled. “Like if he was the one that called the fucking paparazzi and had them taking photos of Addie and me together last night. Or if he was the asshole that gave that web site the names of all those women.”
Dax turned around with a scowl on his face. “Why in the fuck would I do something like that?”
“You tell me, brother. The first night I’m here that fucker South comes over accusing my best friend of trying to get in my girls’ pants. Then tells me that he’s the one that wants to make sure me and Addie don’t get back together because he wants her. But I knew that shit couldn’t be true because you know how much that woman means to me, right?”
Nobody said anything as silence fell around them. The longer nobody spoke, the more pissed Jimmy got when Nickels broke in. “You know that isn’t true…”
“Shut the fuck up, Nick, and let Dax speak for himself.” He growled.
“No, I didn’t call any fucking reporters to come and snap photos of Addie and you. I would never do that to her.”
“Not to her, then what about to me?”
“You know I wouldn’t. Who the fuck has pretty much babysat your ass all these years for you to stay out of trouble?” Dax griped.
“So now we’re getting to the truth of it, mother fucker.” He chuckled, shaking his head. “But that doesn’t answer the other question about Addie, does it? Did you try to hook up with Addie?”
“Jim, I don’t think that is going to solve anything.” Jones started, but then…
“Yeah, I did,” Dax confessed.
He could feel his body shaking after that answer but made himself stay in place. “Do you love Addie? And I’m not talking about brotherly kind of love either.”
“Don’t Dax…” Nickels started.
“Yeah, I fucking love her. Always have and always will.” Dax scowled.
“You mother fucker.” He growled, starting to make his way over to where Dax was, but Nickels took him by the arm.
“Don’t, this won’t solve anything.”
“What the fuck are you talking about? That asshole tried stealing my girl from me!”
“She wasn’t yours anymore!” Dax roared. “You fucked that shit all up with her, and you know it. Win said that he thought you could heal her, but I knew I would be better for her.”
“Her husband wrote me the letter, you stupid fuck, not you.”
“Yeah, but I never hurt her, I don’t come with the fucked up past that you do.” Dax snarled. “I’ve loved that woman for so damn long, and this was my chance to have her, and see if you could love me. She was finally free to be mine.” He said but then shook his head. “I love you man, I really do, but I love Addison more. I didn’t care if I threw your ass under the bus to have her.”
“You son of a bitch!” He seethed and then jumped to beat the shit at his onetime best friend.
He tore through Jones and punched Dax in the face, but then Dax came back, shouldering him in the gut and knocking him to the floor. They both got a few good punches in before Jones and Nickels separated them.
He shook off Nickels grasp, spitting some blood into the sink. “You knew this would happen if I ever found out. You fucking knew it! What did you think I would do if I found out you got together with Addie? Did you even fuckin think about that!” He roared.
“I didn’t give a rats ass what you thought. All I knew is I wanted the chance to make her mine… my wife.” Dax sneered, pushing Jones away from him.
“You heard me. I was going to have her Jimmy, and I was so fucking close to having her… if only Mindy hadn’t come in. You’d be coming to my wedding.” Dax told him.
“Shut the fuck up, Dax!” Nickels growled, but that shit was too late.
“I told you that day in Mary’s kitchen what would happen if you ever made a play for Addison, you remember that? Our friendship, our brotherhood, it would be fucking through. That woman is mine and always has been. So, you can keep fucking dreaming, asshole.” He seethed, then glanced over at Jones and Nickels. “You can take the band and shove it up your fucking ass, I’m done!”
He was getting into his truck when Jones came running out. “Hey Jim, Jim, don’t do anything stupid, man. Where all family here. I know Dax fucked up, and I’m not defending that, but let’s be real, we’ve all known he’s been hot for Addie for as long as we can remember. But give the guy some credit, he’s been trying to make amends for everything that happened.”
“What the fuck happened that he’s trying to make amends for, that’s what I’d like to know? And since when did everyone know he was into Addie when I had no fucking clue.” He growled.
Jones shoulders sagged before he ran his hands over his face. “Damn it, Jim, you always knew how he felt. Like you just said in the kitchen, you told Dax off years ago. Think back, you never let Addie and Dax be alone together. You might not have wanted to admit it, but deep down, you’ve always known how Dax felt about her.”
“So that makes everything okay? Now that one of my best friends was going after my ex-wife, all this shit is fine?” He snarled. “He knew I loved her, and he knew I wanted her back. But because he finally spits the fucking truth out on what he was trying to do it’s time for me to just forget about it and move on, is that what you’re saying?”
“That’s what we’re hoping you’d do.”
“We, whose we? Because from what Dax just said, I think he hates my fucking guts as much as I hate his.”
“Things are fucked up right now, I’ll give you that. But don’t break up the band because of it… Addie is yours; she’s always been yours and you know that.”
“Yeah, well, we’ll see about that.” He said, opening the truck door.
“What does that mean?”
“Let me ask you something. If Dax had a thing for Margie, and he made a play for her after knowing all the shit you went through to get her back. Are you telling me you’d be just fine with it? You’d just forgive him and move right fucking along as if nothing ever happened?” He questioned.
Jones was quiet but then sighed. “No, I would’ve done exactly what you did and beat the shit out of him. But I wouldn’t have blamed Margie either. I’m the one who fucked up our relationship, not her.”
“Yeah, that’s one thing I can agree with… I got to go.” He said, getting into the truck and starting it up.
“Where are you going?”
“I need to cool down and then find out what the fuck really happened from Addie. If I stay and talk to Dax anymore I’m afraid I’ll forget myself and end up beating the shit out of him.”
“Don’t do anything stupid, Jim. I mean, you just got Addie back. Don’t go fucking it up because of jealousy. I don’t know if you remember what happened last time you let that get in the way of you thinking straight, and what you ended up doing.” Jones warned.
“Yeah, I’ll remember that.” Was all he said as he drove off.
He didn’t remember the damn incident that Jones was talking about but took the warning seriously. He was never going to hurt his baby girl again, but he was pissed, and the last thing he wanted was to be raging when he sees her.
He needed to talk to Addison and find out what really happened between her, Dax, and Mindy. He had a feeling that there was a lot more then what he was told. But whatever it was, he knew it was going to be hard to hear because of what his fucking mind was thinking, but he had to know all the same. Then there was a nagging thought in the back of his brain he couldn’t shake. If it wasn’t Dax who sent the paparazzi to break him and Addison up… then who did?