Roses have thorns
“Hey baby,” I call out as I walk into our home, kicking the door shut behind me. My hands are full of roses for my beautiful girl, and I can’t wait to see her reaction.
Silence greets me, and I pause, glancing around the hallway. I drop my keys onto the side with a clang, wondering where Jolie is.
“Jolie?” I call, panic rising in my voice. She always met me from work, her and that beautiful bump. But the house is dark, and silent.
Walking into the kitchen, I drop the roses onto the counter, taking in the vegetables that are half chopped on the board, the steaks still in their wrap.
Something is wrong.
I check the rest of downstairs which is shrouded in darkness, before striding up the stairs two at a time. My hearts pounding in my chest, and I’m thinking the worst. My mouth is dry, and I curse myself for not making sure Stone dealt with Rad.
“Please be okay, baby girl.”
As I walk down the hallway, checking each room, my heart in my mouth as I head towards our bedroom. The door is slightly ajar, and a soft glow spills into the hallway.
“Jolie?” I whisper, pushing the door open.
I’m not sure what I expected to see, but Jolie is in the middle of our bed, hugging her pregnancy pillow to her, the v-shaped pillow held in between her thighs for maximum comfort. Relief sweeps through me as I walk over to her, a smile on my face at the thought of her needing to sleep to grow our baby.
My smile fades when I get closer, her tear streaked face swollen and red, her body still racked with tiny sobs and hiccups despite her sleeping.
“Baby,” I whisper, crawling across the bed to her. I cradle her in my arms, and she stirs, her eyes slowly opening as she takes me in, filling with tears that spill down her cheeks. “What’s wrong?”
“Oh Jax,” Jolie mumbles, biting her lip as her hair falls into her face. “I don’t even know if it’s true…”
I stiffen immediately, but I wait, as she takes a deep breath, her hands trembling as they lace with mine.
“The man with the sunglasses came over earlier, the one with the sunglasses…”
“Stone?” I frown, my stomach twisting at the thought of the president of the Iron Villains coming to see my woman without me being here.
“He said…” hiccup. “He said he could be…” hiccup, sob.
“He could be what?” I demand, confused to fuckery.
My eyes bulge then, and I stare down at Jolie, a harsh laugh coming out of my mouth. “What?”
“I know, I know,” Jolie says shaking her head. “It’s so fucked up… but I called Aunt Lillian, and she said she always wondered.”
“Stone came here and told you he could be your father when you were alone?” I ask, my voice icy.
Who does that? To a pregnant woman who’s already been through fucking hell at the hands of one of his riders?
“He stayed until I calmed down,” Jolie admits, her hand on my chest in an attempt to sooth me. “He was really nice.”
“Fucking hell, Jolie, do you know who he is?” I exhale through my teeth, pulling her close to my chest.
“Yes, well, he said he’s the president of the Iron Villains, and that he’s not entirely proud of who he is.”
“Huh,” I mutter, staring down at my world. “So he was with your mother?”
“He said he was with her regularly, you know…” Jolie whispers, her voice breaking. “But then she just disappeared, and he didn’t give two shits. It’s not like they were in love.”
But he must’ve known she had a baby. He must’ve seen Jolie, surely?
“He said she was a groupie, and slept with most of the riders, and whoever else was there,” Jolie closes her eyes, and I can feel her pain. “So he didn’t bay an eyelid when everyone said she had a baby.”
I’m speechless. I truly don’t know what I can say to soothe my girl.
“I’m so fucking sorry baby,” I bury my head in her hair, kissing her scalp. “Why didn’t you call me?”
“I called my Aunt because I thought she’s the best person to ask. She said she thought even if Stone was my father, or any of the bikers, I was better off without that lifestyle.”
“Being the president's daughter wouldn’t have been a barrel of laughs,” I admit, my jaw clenching. “But neither was your fucking childhood.”
“It wouldn’t have saved me,” Jolie says, her eyes vacant. “I was convinced my dad was dead, because whenever I asked my mum about him she’d say fuck knows where he is, probably dead.”
I close my eyes, knowing if I ever see Jolie’s mother it will be the first time I’ve laid a hand on a woman, and it would be as I choked the fucking bitch to death.
“So I believed he was, and she went along with it, using it to torture me. All this time he was alive. I used to watch the bikers every Sunday. I had no idea I was watching my daddy.”
“Come here,” I command, lifting her onto my lap as I stroke her stomach. “I fucking love you. I’ll spend the rest of my life loving you. I’m so sorry everyone else failed you. I won’t.”
She lifts her head to mine, and I dip my head to kiss her lips lightly, her hiccups still racking her body.
“He said we can do a dna,” Jolie frowns, staring into my eyes.
“What happens now is up to you,” I say hoarsely, stroking her face as she nods. “Not Stone.”
“Is he a bad man?” Jolie asks, her lower lip trembling. “Am I the product of two monsters?”
I’ve heard of hearts breaking, but I never expected it to hurt so damn much. My chest feels like it’s being squeezed, and I can’t breathe. My Angel, my girl. My absolute fucking world, thinks she’s a monster.
“Listen to me,” I say gruffly, holding her chin in my forefinger and thumb. “You’re fucking perfect, and you’ll be the best mother in the world. Don’t you dare question yourself.”
“Is he a killer?” Jolie presses, taking a deep breath,
“No,” I lie, not wanting her to beat herself up any more than she already is.
“I want to see him. Can you arrange it?” Jolie asks, twisting her chin out of my hand.
“Of course I can,” I say slowly, as she snuggles against my chest, wrapping her legs around my waist. “Do you want me to be there or…”
“Of course I want you to be there, you’re the father of my child.”
“Anything more than that?” I tease, as she kisses me on the mouth.
“You’re everything, Jax. Everything.”
“So are you, baby. I’m never going to leave your side.”
I draw her into my arms, and she whispers that she loves me. It’s important that I’m here for her now, but this is a conversation I’m going to have to have with Stone.
Why come back into her life now?
How did he figure out Jolie was his daughter? Why did it take so fucking long? More importantly, does he realise what her mother did to her?
Because if not, I’ll enjoy enlightening him.