Jax went into a very dark place; more than he had ever been before Tara had told him she was leaving Charming for good. He hated her. He hated the fact she refused to fight for them. He hated to see her running away once again. He felt angry and bitter. The boys at the club had been on the receiving end of his anger and bitterness, more than once and grew more worried about him.
He could see it, but he couldn’t do anything about it. He felt like he had no control and didn’t care anymore. The only thing in his life that made any kind of sense, was when he held Abel in his arms. Abel would make him forget, but only briefly, because he could picture Tara holding him the last time he had seen her, when she had told him that she was leaving Charming and himself behind.
When would the pain stop? When would his anger subside?
Whenever he had done something for the club and it turned violent, he could feel himself losing control. Just like during sex–in every one of his enemies’ faces–he could picture Tara’s face. He wanted to bash their face in. He needed to take out his anger and frustrations on somebody. His enemies fit the bill perfectly.
Clay called the meeting to order, by hitting the gavel on the desk.
“The next order of business…we need to ship some guns to the Niners, but the Mayans have their spies watching. They know all of our meeting places. We have to come up with new places to meet,” Clay told the room. “Any ideas?”
Some of the members voiced their opinions, but Jax didn’t pay any attention. He had one thing on his mind. It was to go after the Mayans. “Why don’t we raid them? Let’s set up a distraction so that they have something else to worry about?” He suggested, as he looked around the room.
“And who do you suggest would do that?” Clay asked curiously.
“Me,” Jax replied. “Me and Opie can set up something that the Mayans would be more concerned about, then what SAMCRO’s doing. Simple.”
Clay looked over at Opie. “Any objections, Ope?”
“I’m in,” Opie agreed, as he gazed over at Jax with a confused and concerned expression. This wasn’t like Jax. Usually he didn’t like to be in the middle of a dangerous situation or at least always tried to think of less violent ways of doing things.
Jax looked over at Opie, hoping that he’d go along with his plan. Opie was the one person in the club he trusted the most. They had grown up together and he was his best friend.
“Okay,” Clay nodded his head. “All in favor?” He paused, as everyone in the room raised their hands, one by one. “Any objections?” He waited for anyone to raise their hand, which there was none. He turned to Jax. “I hope you know what you’re doing.”
The meeting was adjourned. Jax headed outside and Opie followed along behind him. They each lit up a smoke as soon as they got out there. They stood near their bikes.
“What’s up?” Opie asked, with concern.
Jax looked at him with a puzzled expression on his face. “What do you mean?”
“Why are you taking these kinds of risks lately? It’s not like you,” Opie clarified. “We all are getting worried. You can tell me. I won’t say anything to the others,” he explained, and hoped that Jax would confide in him.
Jax shrugged his shoulders. “There’s nothing really to worry about. I’m fine. Let’s go get those supplies and do our thing,” he jumped on his bike, put his helmet on and drove away.
Opie followed, but at a slower pace.
They picked up what they needed, then drove to one of the properties that the Mayans owned. They set up the building to explode, creating a distraction that the Mayans couldn’t ignore. They stood in nearby bushes from a safe distance. Opie pushed the button on the detonator. The building exploded in a fiery ball of flame. After Jax and Opie had made sure that the job was done effectively, they took off.
Jax drove to his home. Wendy was sitting on the couch, watching TV when he walked in.
“Where’s Abel?” Jax asked curiously.
“Asleep,” Wendy replied, with a grin on her face. She noticed Jax’s clothes.
He had gotten a little dirty while they had planted the explosives.
“What have you been doing?” She wondered, as she noticed the dirt and grass stains on his clothes.
“Nothing.” Jax didn’t want to share anything with her. He was done sharing. The only person who he had taken the chance and shared with; was going to be leaving him soon.
Jax went into Abel’s bedroom and stood over his crib. He watched him sleep for a few minutes, until Wendy came in.
“He looks so peaceful,” Jax said quietly.
“Yes,” she agreed. She moved next to him and put her hand on Jax’s arm. “Even though we’re both failures at life, we sure did something right when we made him.”
Jax didn’t want to be reminded. It brought back all of what had happened with Tara. He had definitely failed when it had come to her. He sighed.
“Yes,” he agreed, because it was true. Abel was the best mistake he’d ever made.
“Did you hear that Tara is leaving town?”
“Yes, she told me…I don’t want to talk about her,” Jax replied, not wanting to talk about it.
But Wendy did. “I know, but I want you to know that I’m glad she’s out of your life. She deserved it.”
Jax turned to look at her, with a confused expression on his face. “What do you mean by that?” He wondered. There was an expression on Wendy’s face that made him very suspicious.
“Oh, she didn’t tell you? I’m not surprised,” she rolled her eyes. “I’m sure that she’s ashamed by what happened. She’s always been such an uppity bitch.”
Jax reached out and grabbed her upper arms. “What the fuck are you talking about?” He asked her angrily.
“Ouch,” Wendy winced from the strength in Jax’s grip.
“What do you know about Tara leaving town?” Jax prodded.
Something didn’t add up right with him. He needed to get to the bottom of it and Wendy seemed to know something. He couldn’t trust Wendy at all, her actions in the past, proved that she was no better than he was.
“What aren’t you telling me?”
Jax released her arms, hoping that by letting her go, she would tell him.
Wendy rubbed her arms where Jax had gripped her. She didn’t want to tell him because she wanted him to hate Tara and not her, but she knew that Jax wouldn’t stop asking her, until she relented.
“Well, remember my fight with Tara at the hospital? I filed a complaint against her for her abusive behavior. Imagine…a doctor fighting like how she did?” She shook her head in dismay. She tried to keep a gloating smile off her face.
A light bulb in Jax’s mind suddenly turned on, as he realized what Wendy was telling him in that roundabout way of hers.
“You…you are the reason why she’s leaving Charming. What did you do? Why would you do something like that?”
“Why do you think?” She replied, looking at him. “I want to be your woman and she’s in my way,” she shrugged. “I knew that she wouldn’t leave without some kind of incentive. She’s so self-righteous, she couldn’t be bought. I knew that if I filed a complaint to have her fired or transferred; it was the only way to really get rid of her.”
Jax had never wanted to hit a woman as much as he did at that moment. He suddenly remembered how torn up Tara had been when she had told him. It made him sick to his stomach that Abel’s mother would do something like this. He was so angry, he couldn’t speak for a few minutes, until he calmed down a little bit.
“You are moving out of this house and you better be gone by the time I get back or I’m going to remove you myself,” he threatened. “Piece by piece, if I have to.”
He left Abel’s room and raced out the front door. Wendy chased after him, but he ignored her pleas.
“It’s too late for you and her. Her flight leaves in an hour,” she called out, trying to convince him to stay.
He gave her the middle finger, started up his bike and drove down the street, disappearing around the corner.
Wendy stood on the front step, and watched in stunned horror, as she realized that she had opened her big mouth. She had nobody to blame for Jax’s reaction but herself. She went back inside and called the babysitter to come look after Abel.
If she couldn’t have Jax, nobody would, she vowed to herself.
* * *
Tara look one last look around her house. She had put her car in the garage and covered it up with a sheet. She wouldn’t be back for awhile, if ever. She was scheduled to appear at her new job on Monday, it was now Friday. She had hired some movers to pack up all of her belongings and bring them to Chicago. She only carried a small suitcase to take on the plane. She wanted to make sure that she didn’t forget anything.
She had no intention of ever coming back because she knew it was completely over between Jax and herself. He hated her now. She had nothing else to come back for. She knew that she would miss her friends and some of the guys at the club, but what she felt wasn’t near to how much she would miss Jax and Abel. She had accepted the fact that she would have a lonely existence. She felt sad that she wouldn’t be able to watch him grow up.
There was one place she had to visit on her way to the airport. The taxi parked and waited in front of Gemma’s house. Tara walked up the front step and knocked on the door.
Gemma answered the door, pleasantly surprised to see her. “Tara,” she greeted her cheerfully, with a warm hug. “Come on in.”
Tara hadn’t seen Gemma ever since she had told her that she hadn’t appreciated the way she had planned to reunite Jax and herself. It was no use. It was all pointless, but she understood where Gemma was coming from and did want to say goodbye.
Tara sat down at the table. Gemma poured them both coffees and brought them to the table.
“I’m not sure why you’re here, but I’m glad. Your eye is looking better. The swelling has gone down,” she commented.
Tara squirmed in her seat. The black eye was an unpleasant reminder of why she was leaving. “Yes, well…this is hard for me, Gemma. You have no idea how hard.” Tara couldn’t help it, she burst into tears.
Gemma moved her chair closer to her and tried to comfort her. “Oh, honey, what’s wrong?”
Tara tried to gain control over her emotions. It took her a few minutes before she replied. “I’m leaving. I’m leaving you, Jax and Abel. I don’t want to, but I have to.” She started crying once again.
“Why would you say that?” She waited patiently for Tara to continue. “What’s going on?”
“Because I’m getting transferred. There’s a job opening in Chicago. It will be really good for my career. If I don’t take it, I always will be wondering, what if? I think that this will be best for everyone involved.” Tara spoke those words while crying. “I’m leaving today.”
Gemma studied her for a few minutes. “You don’t seem too thrilled about the transfer. Is that the reason why you have a cab outside waiting?”
She nodded her head.
“You don’t sound very convincing. If you’re looking forward to this position as much as you say you were, you don’t seem very happy about it,” she observed.
Tara knew that Gemma was a good friend. She couldn’t lie to her. She had to tell her the truth. She owed her that much for showing her the ropes about loving someone in the club.
“That’s because I’m not happy, Gemma. There’s more, but I didn’t tell Jax this,” she confessed and looked away. “I don’t want him to know. Promise me you won’t tell him.”
“After my fight with Wendy—she filed a complaint against me and the hospital. It was either I get fired or transferred or the hospital gets sued. I have no choice in the matter. They offered me a position at my old hospital. But I want you to know it’s not my choice to go. I figure after all we’ve been through, that I could trust you with this. Please don’t tell Jax,”she pleaded.
Gemma digested what she had told her. Wendy, that fucking bitch. She should have done something to her before this happened to Tara.
“I’m glad you told me, sweetie. That bitch doesn’t deserve to get away with this.” Her eyes squinted, as she thought of how to repay Wendy herself.
“Gemma, please don’t do anything to her, I beg you.” Tara just wanted everything to be over and done with so she could move on with her life. If Gemma did anything stupid, like go after Wendy, she would feel guilty about it.
“Oh? So, you agree with what she’s done? She has purposely removed you from Jax’s life, from Abel’s and from mine. She doesn’t care about anybody but herself and I won’t allow it,” Gemma stubbornly refused.
“Trust me, she won’t get away with this.” Gemma leaned over and kissed Tara on the forehead. “I hate to see you go,” her eyes filled up with tears.
“I don’t want to go either,” she hugged Gemma back, already knowing how much she was going to miss her. “But we’ll write to each other and we have each other’s cell numbers. We can always keep in touch.” She tried to reassure her.
Tara looked at her watch. She had to leave. She stood up and prepared to go. Gemma watched her with tears in her eyes. Tara knew she was going to cry at any moment.
“And don’t shed a tear for me. I’m fine with this, I really am. I’m just going to miss you and everyone,” Tara hugged her and Gemma hugged her back.
“For what it’s worth. I’m happy I was raped because it gave me you. You’re like the daughter I never had.”
“I feel the same way too,” Tara spoke into her shoulder. She brushed the tears from her face and backed out of Gemma’s embrace. “Goodbye, Gemma.”
Gemma watched from the front door, as Tara climbed into the taxi and drove away. She burst out crying as soon as Tara’s taxi had disappeared from sight.