After her fight with Wendy, Tara had received a one week suspension from work. It wasn’t ethical for a doctor to fight on the premises; blah, blah, blah. Tara understood and had even expected it, but she was disappointed just the same. She had just started to catch up on all that she had missed while on her temporary leave of absence.
One night while she was at home watching TV, her phone rang. She answered, not thinking to look at the call display first. As soon as she heard the voice on the other end, she wanted to hang up. It was Jax.
“Hi,” she greeted, quietly, unsure of what to say or what he wanted.
“Tara,” he replied. “I need you. I mean—we need you. We have a…situation that we need you to take care of. I wouldn’t ask this of you because of what’s happened between us but…you’re the only one I know who can help us. Could you please help us?” He begged. His voice sounded unsure.
Tara had done some minor surgeries and such for the club in the past. She figured that this was the same sort of thing. “Sure, just let me gather my stuff and I’ll meet you. Where are we going to meet?”
“At the clubhouse. I’ll be waiting outside.”
Jax hung up the phone.
Tara stared at hers, wondering how in the world she had agreed to do this. Not that helping SAMCRO was any different than any other patient. They paid well.
But seeing Jax…it wasn’t something that she looked forward to doing, but it was too late now. She had agreed to go and it could really be an emergency. She had grown to care for the members of the club. In the end, she would do whatever it took to save someone’s life; especially someone she cared about.
She raced to get ready, gathered up her things, then left her house.
When she arrived, she noticed Jax sitting on his bike having a smoke. He didn’t seem to be in a hurry. It must not be a dire emergency, she thought to herself. He smiled when he saw her pull in. He butted out the smoke and walked over to her car. He held the door open for her to climb out.
She carried her medical bag over her shoulder and headed inside. She looked around for the injured person. Jax guided her to the board room where the club held their meetings. Lying on the table was Tig, who had taken a bullet into his shoulder.
“Who’s girlfriend were you sleeping with this time?” Tara teased him. She opened up her medical bag and took out the supplies that she needed to take the bullet out.
“Ha, ha,” Tig replied. “Ouch!” He exclaimed, as Tara applied some ointment to cleanse his wound. “Jax, I thought you said your woman had a tender touch?”
Jax grinned. He knew that Tig had a big mouth and loved to tease people. He only hated it when others teased him back.
“Only with me, I guess,” he replied and shrugged his shoulders. His gaze swept over Tara, as she worked.
Tara felt awkward. She pretended to ignore her feelings, but she felt nervous around him. She hoped he would leave them alone. She hated the way his presence seemed to overwhelm her. He was all she could think about, even while concentrating on Tig’s wound.
He watched Tara treat her patient. He had always admired her skills. She was a good doctor, who had saved his son when he’d been born. He would thank his lucky stars for that until the day he died. He just wished that he hadn’t fucked things up between them.
The tension between them; you could cut with a knife. If Jax moved an inch closer, Tara would stiffen her back and move further away from him. He hated that this was the state their relationship was in now. He felt sick to his stomach all of a sudden, and had to leave the room. It would be better for both of them, he thought. Tara could concentrate on Tig and he wouldn’t be tortured by the way Tara reacted to him.
She noticed Jax leave and she immediately breathed a sigh of relief. Tig, of course, must have heard her.
“What is going on between you and Jax anyways?” He asked, as curious as most of them were in the club. Jax had been very daring in their dealings of late. He had been taking unnecessary risks. It was starting to scare some of them.
“Nothing, why? What has he told you?” She asked curiously. She stopped what she was doing and watched Tig’s facial expressions.
“He told us that the two of you broke up,” Tig answered. “I’m sorry, you know I wasn’t your biggest fan at the beginning, but now I realize you seemed to ground him somehow…kind of like Gemma does with Clay.”
“Maybe,” she shrugged. She wasn’t sure about that. Jax had always seemed to do his own thing, regardless of what she thought about it.
“Does this mean that you’re free to see other people?” Tig teased her. “I don’t have a girlfriend at the moment…”
Tara laughed. “Thanks for the offer but…you’re not exactly my type.”
He laughed. “True, you’re not a Latino beauty either. You know how I love to rumba with the senoritas,” he winked.
She knew that he was doing it only to cheer her up. It was sweet of him, which really surprised her. She could still remember how he had treated her when she had first begun seeing Jax.
Tara dug the bullet out of his shoulder, stitched and bandaged it up. She wondered how he had received the wound, but knew that it was none of her business. That was one of the first things she had learned from Gemma, not to ask questions unless you were prepared to deal with the consequences. Tara figured that this was one of those times. Since she had broken up with Jax, it was no business of hers anyways.
Tig raised himself from the table after she had finished. She put everything back into her medical bag. She threw her dirty medical gloves into the nearest garbage can. She walked out into the bar area. She noticed that Jax was playing pool.
Their eyes connected and locked. She quickly looked away. Clay came over and handed her a wad of money in an envelope. Cash only so that there wasn’t a trail; another thing she had learned. She made her way to the exit, trying to ignore Jax and the way he kept staring at her. She could feel his gaze as if he were trying to bore holes into her or see into her soul.
She felt self-conscious and afraid. Her heart raced. She wanted to get out of there as quickly and as painlessly as possible.
She noticed out of the corner of her eye, Ima (a porn star who had a crush on Jax) sidle up to him and hand him a beer. She smiled up at him covetously. Jax flirted back. Tara wasn’t amused by the sight. She felt sharp pain in her heart. She quickly left; after saying one last goodbye to Clay and the boys.
She rushed out to her car, climbed in and raced off into the night. She was glad to escape before she started to cry.
What she didn’t know was that Jax had pushed Ima away as soon as he noticed that Tara was out the door. He stood outside of the clubhouse and watched her leave with a sad expression on his face.
One day he would win her back, he vowed to himself. One day.
Tara returned to work after her suspension was lifted. The administrator called her into her office almost as soon as she had walked into the door. Tara didn’t even have time to put her briefcase away.
“Dr. Knowles,” she began, hesitantly, after they had both taken their seats. “I know that your suspension is over, but I wanted to go over a few things with you first, before you returned to work.”
Tara nodded her head, understanding that the administrator had her own job to do.
The administrator paused. “Why did you fight someone on hospital property? Those actions are not what we want to see here. You are a doctor and we have an image that all doctors must live up to.”
Tara sat there and let her talk. She knew that she was right, but she was glad that she would have this opportunity to speak her mind. She didn’t regret fighting Wendy in the least.
“I want to hear your side of the story before I file the reports,” the administrator continued. “I want to be sure of all the facts before we transfer you.”
“Pardon me?” She asked, stunned and confused.
“The person who you fought on hospital grounds, has filed a formal complaint against you and this hospital. She is demanding your immediate dismissal or transfer to another hospital,” she explained. “I feel that you’re a good enough doctor that we shouldn’t dismiss you because of one blemish on your record. That is why we’ve decided that we’re going to transfer you.”
Tara clenched her hands into fists. That fucking bitch, she thought to herself. Wendy was trying to ruin her life, like how she had ruined her hair. But this was to the extreme. Wendy was a vindictive bitch. Tara never thought that Wendy would stoop this low—to actually go after her career. Her job had nothing to do with Jax.
“I would like to hear your side of the story now Dr. Knowles.” She waited for Tara to tell her side of the story. She sat there with an expectant expression on her face and her hands crossed on top of the desk.
“That woman…” She quivered in anger. “Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. You see, this has nothing to do with my work ethics or my job performance. This is something personal. The woman, her name is Wendy, is trying to keep me away from the father of her baby. She wants him for herself and hates the fact that he loves me and not her,” Tara explained.
“Mind if I ask you a question, doctor?”
“Go right ahead,” she urged.
“Are you breaking up a family? Are you the other woman?”
“No,” she shook her head. “Jax doesn’t care about her. The baby was a mistake. Wendy is only using the baby to hold on to Jax.”
“I see…” The administrator looked to be in deep thought. “And why would this woman go after your career? Why would she take part in a physical fight on hospital grounds?”
“Well, I did something awful to her,” Tara tried to keep the smile off of her face. “We were at the hair salon and I changed the dye for her hair, that’s why Wendy went after me. She wants me out of the way. And before you tell me that it was an awful thing to do…what would you do if someone said mean things about you all the time and admits that she’s using a baby to hold on to what she wants? I had to do it. I’m not sorry about that at all. She has to learn that the world doesn’t revolve around her.”
“I see…”she looked like she was trying to think about what Tara had said. “Excuse me, but I thought I heard through the gossip mill here at the hospital—you know how fast gossip spreads around here—you broke up with him?”
“I…did, but that still doesn’t change the fact that Wendy deserved what she got…maybe more. She’s a drug addict, who endangered her baby because of her drug addiction. I think you should take her word with a grain of salt. She loves to lie and steal things that don’t belong to her. She’s a horrible person and I’m not surprised she would stoop this low. I’m sorry, but that’s how I feel.” Tara shrugged. She felt unrepentant.
“Thanks for telling me your side of the story,” she replied, as she shuffled some paper on her desk. “I will still have to put your transfer through because she did mention the hospitals’ name in the complaint. We don’t want the hospital’s name brought into this. I’m sorry,” she apologized.
Tara knew that the administrator felt bad about it. She could tell by the look on her face. “I’m sorry too,” she replied, with more regret than she had ever thought possible.
“I’ll let you know when and where; as soon as we have everything arranged,” she explained. She stood up and held out her hand towards Tara, who shook it. “You are a talented doctor, who we’re going to miss tremendously.”
Tara walked out of her office, full of anger at Wendy and disappointment at the whole situation. She wondered how everyone involved with SAMCRO would feel once they heard the news. They might hate her for leaving, just like many years ago, but this time—the difference was that it wasn’t her decision—it was out of her control.
She wondered if she should tell Jax and Gemma face to face. It was a tough decision. One, she’d have to think about long and hard. If she didn’t tell them, they’d resent her for it. If she did, they would be upset and she’d have to see Jax’s reaction in person. It was a lose-lose situation. It didn’t change the facts at all; either way she was leaving Charming for good.
Jax read Abel a book in his nursery. He couldn’t stop thinking about Tara. He wished that he hadn’t made her feel so uncomfortable while she had worked on taking the bullet out of Trig’s shoulder.
He was always making mistakes where Tara was concerned. He just didn’t know what to do anymore. Gemma had lots of advice, but he didn’t take her suggestions or ideas because he didn’t think that Tara would approve. He was on his own.
He heard the doorbell ring. Wendy had gone to the hairdressers’ to finally get her hair dyed back to her normal color. He would miss the blue. It always made him smile because he liked the fact that Tara had done it. It proved to him that Tara was perfect for him. He admired her grit and her brains. She used both; making her a worthy contender for anybody who tried to mess with her. He was proud of her.
He answered the door with Abel in his arms. He was surprised to see Tara standing at the door. Tara smiled at Abel, then looked up at him. Her smile disappeared. He could see heartache and pain, which he had helped put there.
Jax just stared at her. He took in the jeans and the tank top that she wore. She looked good, he thought with a dull ache. He missed her something fierce. He wondered why she was there. Had she decided to take him back?
“Hey,” he greeted her, unsure of what to say. He was lonely without her.
“Hi,” she replied, sounding unsure if she was doing the right thing or not. She had done so much thinking in the past few days, since the hospital had told her that she was leaving, her brain hurt. “May I come in?”
“Sure,” Jax backed away and allowed her to enter.
Abel started fussing. Jax tried to comfort him, awkwardly. Abel reached out for Tara to hold him. Tara’s heart melted. She took him out of Jax’s arms and started to sway from side to side, something that had often worked in the past at calming him. Sure enough, Abel settled down. He reached for the necklace around Tara’s neck and pulled on it.
Jax smiled at Abel in her arms. He liked seeing how natural it was for Abel to be in Tara’s arms. Abel knew Tara as his mother more than he knew Wendy.
“Would you like a drink or something?” He asked.
Tara shook her head, even though her mouth was dry and her throat was parched. She had planned on coming there and telling Jax about her transfer, but after seeing Abel, she wanted to put it off for as long as she could. She was scared of Jax’s reaction. Seeing Abel, reminded her of how happy he was with fatherhood. And of how this would destroy him; how it would destroy both of them.
“No, thank you,” she replied. “I…um,” she tried to find the right words to speak. This was harder than she had ever thought it would be. But Jax should know that she was leaving Charming. He deserved to hear it coming from her and not someone else. He would hate her if she didn’t.
“What?” Jax asked, curiously.
He ushered Tara into his living room. They sat down on the couch next to each other. Tara still held baby Abel in her arms.
“I wanted to tell you this face to face, but…” she couldn’t get the words out. It was so hard. It reminded her of how much she had hurt him the first time around when she had run away many years ago.
“Are you coming back to me?” Jax wondered. “Because if you are…I love you and I promise that I won’t push you away ever again. I’m sorry for being such an ass,” he apologized, hoping that his words would do the trick.
They didn’t. Tara looked sadder than ever. It made Jax brace to hear something he knew he wouldn’t like.
“You’re not coming back to me,” he spoke up for her.
Tara shook her head. “No,” she replied and cleared the clog out of her throat. She gazed at him, with tears in her eyes. “I’m sorry, Jax. I’m leaving. I’m moving back to Chicago. They offered me a great position in pediatrics. They have one of the best departments in the country. I feel like I could learn a lot there.”
It was partly true. It was a line she had thought of to convince herself that her move would be okay. She had hoped it would work with Jax too. She looked away, because she didn’t want to see the hurt and sadness in Jax’s eyes.
He remained silent. He got up and paced around the room. She knew that he wasn’t happy and was barely managing to control his temper.
She hated this.
“I wanted to tell you in person because you deserved to hear it from me and not someone else. I’m sorry, Jax. I really am. I hope that one day, you’ll be able to forgive me.”
She stood up and put Abel in his playpen in the corner of the living room. She walked to the front door to make a quick escape before Jax exploded. She knew he would. She didn’t want to see it.
She was barely keeping control herself. She didn’t want him to see the tears in her eyes or know the pain that was in her heart. But it had to be done. She had wanted to tell him herself and she couldn’t use the excuse that it wasn’t by choice. Jax wouldn’t see it that way. It had been a hard choice to make to tell him, because she couldn’t bear the thought of him hating her more than he would already.
She had her hand on the doorknob, the door ajar, when she heard Jax yell at her back. She could hear the venomous anger and pain in his voice.
“Running away from me once again, aren’t you Tara,” he snarled at her. “I should have known. You and I aren’t made for each other after all. You aren’t brave enough to fight for us. You have shown how selfish you are by desserting Abel and me, when both of us need you and love you. I can’t believe that I fell for you once again. I knew it was a bad move,” he cried. “Gemma, Clay…they all warned me that you were bad for me and for the good of the club, but I didn’t listen. I refused to listen, because my heart was telling me something different. I guess they were right after all. Good bye, Tara and try not to let the door hit you on your ass on the way out.”
He ended his tirade from across the room. Anger and pain in his handsome face. Tara could feel her tears begin to flow. She quietly let herself out of Jax’s house and closed the door behind her. Not a moment flew by before she heard something crash and shatter after hitting the closed door.
She felt sad. She had said goodbye to the one person in the world who mattered the most to her.
She walked to her car, climbed in and backed out of Jax’s driveway. She started crying before she had even left his driveway.