(For the record, I do not own any of the original Sons of Anarchy characters, they belong to Kurt Sutter, however this storyline, although using basic information from what were given throughout the series, is my own. Enjoy!)


She put in the combination without even thinking about numbers. Her mind was somewhere else again. Sometimes she drifted through entire days without remembering what she'd accomplished or how she got from Point A to Point B. Sixteen years old was supposed to be the time of her life and here she often spent it in a daze, actually looking forward to going to class just to fill the endless void that was the rest of her life. She didn't have any really good friends and was much too shy to have any sort of boyfriend. She didn't have a car yet, not that she'd have anywhere to go anyways. Hell, she didn't even have a mother at home to talk to about her problems. Loneliness was a good friend of hers and shutting everything out was her specialty.

Tara tucked a stray strand of her dark brown hair behind her ear and started switching out her Science textbooks for her English ones. She wasn't exactly anticipating her next class but when you've got straight A's and a 4.0, it's not exactly like it was hard either. It was just the standard 10th grade English. She'd actually tested out of it, but the guidance counselor had recommended she take it anyway to help prep her for the AP English class she was bound to be put in later. It was kind of nice to have a class where she could let her mind wander and still manage to ace the course.

She grabbed her purple notebook labeled "English" and took a quick look in the little magnetic mirror on her locker door. Her hair was flat and the little bit of makeup she had on seemed to be wearing off. She really didn't know why she bothered half the time. She was about to mutter a complaint when something else caught her eye.

About twenty feet down the hallway, partially hidden behind his own locker, Jackson Teller was staring at her. Tara quickly darted her eyes back inside her locker and felt her breath catch in her throat. She must have been mistaken. There was no way Jackson Teller would have been looking her way. She could feel her heart start pounding in her chest. He was one of the hottest guys in her grade, if not the whole school. He was also one of the biggest bad boys. So there was no reason he'd be looking at straight laced little Tara Knowles. There must have been someone else behind her, one of the more popular, pretty girls. Tara took a quick peek back down the hallway again but he was gone. She took a deep breath and shook her head.

"Stupid girl…"she muttered and slammed the door shut.

She walked to English with her head down, as usual, only peeking up through her hair to check the room numbers and to make sure she wasn't about to run into anyone. By the time she reached her classroom her heartbeat had almost settled back to normal but one tentative look through the door and it spiked again. It was almost two months into the school year, how had she never noticed Jackson Teller was in her English class?! But there he was, sitting in the back of the class with his best friend, Opie Winston. Laughing at something Opie must have said, his eyes briefly scanned the room before meeting and locking on her own, twinkling with mischief and as blue as those postcards you see of the ocean surrounding some exotic island. They were beautiful. Tara was frozen and drowning in them before another student's voice snapped her back to reality. Immediately flustered and embarrassed, her eyes shot back to the ground and she quickly crossed the room and fumbled into her usual seat in the front.

'Stupid, stupid girl!' she thought. It took everything she had not to slam her head into the desk. It was going to be a really long day.

The rest of the school day was uneventful, thank God….That mornings little encounter had tormented her the rest of the afternoon. All Tara wanted to do was go home and bury her head in a pillow. Luckily, she'd just finished 8th hour so that was exactly what she planned to do. Her father wouldn't be home for a few hours yet so she'd at least have a little bit of time to herself before she had to clean the house and make a dinner that he probably wouldn't eat anyway, opting for his whiskey and cigarettes instead. Whatever, she didn't care. She just used the leftovers for her lunches the next day anyway. She threw the rest of her homework in her black canvas bookbag, shut her locker and headed toward the front entryway.

The California sky was bright and somewhat blinding as she got out the doors. It took her eyes a moment to adjust before she started down the steps. It was early October so the heat was starting to fade away into the slightly cooler fall temperatures but Tara loved it. Say what you will about the podunk little town of Charming, but the weather was always rather beautiful. She hooked her thumbs into the straps of her backpack as she walked, watching the sunlight dance across the pavement as it filtered through the trees; how it twisted and bent, flickered between light and shadow, drawing her into a trance. It wasn't long before her thoughts crept back to English class and Jackson Teller's eyes.

It wasn't the first time she'd seen them. She'd known Jackson more or less her entire life. Mostly less. They may have grown up together but their paths didn't cross much. She knew his family was a part of the Sons of Anarchy, a local motorcycle gang that had a very questionable reputation. His father had died in an horrible accident a little while ago and her heart had broken for him because she knew what it was like to lose a parent although not quite so publically. She had always been too shy to try and reach out to him, even when she saw how he struggled with it. Besides, she didn't know that he'd want her sympathy. She could tell how hard it hit him just as well as she could see how hard he was trying to hide it. She knew the signs. Tara had always thought about how nice it would be to have someone she could relate to but she wasn't so sure that Jackson Teller was interested in that.

Truth be told, they really didn't seem to have much in common. He was outgoing and confident. She was quiet and a loner. She was top of the class. He was on the verge of failing out. He seemed like he was still so full of life and she just felt like a hollow shell after losing her mother. But he was handsome… He didn't dress especially well, usually in jeans and some kind of t-shirt, and he wore his sandy blonde hair long, which was usually greasy because he was constantly running his fingers through it, kind of a Kurt Cobain feel to it except not quite so grungy. But his face…. Oh, his face…his eyes were so blue she could barely stand to look in them. Moments like this morning were not all that rare when they caught each others eye. She knew she wasn't the only one. All the girls whispered about Jackson Teller's eyes. And his smile was so perfect that it could have been used in a dental commercial. There was just something about him that was open and honest, yet mysterious and dangerous. All the girls wanted Jackson Teller, even if they'd never be caught dead with him because of his reputation. She was a fool for thinking about him the way she was. He would never be interested in a girl like her…but as her hazel eyes focused in and out on the intricate patterns and dancing shadows, she thought that it never really hurt anything to dream a little.