Road Doves, Ride 'til Dark

I've never been with anyone
In the way I've been with you
But if love is not for fun,
Then it's doomed
~ I Wont Try To Change You; Damien Rice

~.~ Chapter 9 ~.~

Jax was hours away from meeting Alvarez to disclose the news about the Niners.

And despite Clay's wishes, Jax was heading there alone.

He doubted he would ever erase Evie's face when he'd asked what Clay wanted and that was enough to convince him he was doing the right thing.

A VP going to a meet alone with a rival club was unheard of, it was too dangerous. Without backup or witnesses, Alvarez would be free to do whatever he wanted to the young Prince.

But he couldn't risk Clay finding out about Jax disobeying him, not until the meet was over at least.

His phone rang in his jean pocket as he was leaning against his bike having a smoke. It was Ruby.

He sent her to voicemail for the third time today. Funny that she was Evie's best friend – they were so different, Jax thought to himself. He recalled Ruby being boisterous and confident in the store where he'd met her. She was eager to present herself as a fun girl, if he didn't know any better, he'd even say she was slightly croweater potential. But the way she was blowing up his phone made him rethink that.

She threw his bud to the ground and stepped on it, he nodded acknowledgement to Clay who was watching him carefully from the garage office. He'd told him he was gonna pick Evie up and head back there for Bobby and Juice to accompany him to the meet. Little did the President know, Jax wasn't returning any time soon.

Before he could ride off, he saw his mother crossing the parking lot.

"What's up, ma?"

Gemma put her hands on her hips and pursed her lips, "you up to something, baby?"

He shook his head as innocently as he could, "nope."

Her eyes flashed with something but she didn't voice whatever she was thinking. Instead she asked, "how's Little Miss Geek?"

Jax had to laugh, "what makes you think I'd know?"

"Clay told me she helped you out."

"She felt bad about what went down here the other week…"

Gemma furrowed her brows, "she was here?"

"She just drove by and saw the whole thing. She's a nosey journalist, ma. Anythin' for a story. She knew the scuffle was due to her backing out of helping us so
she offered to give up the locations of the Niners clubs. That's all."

Gemma seemed to accept that, if she didn't, she didn't argue. "Whose been on your case then like some lost puppy?"

Jax made a confused expression before his phone rang again and Gemma's point was proven. "That her?"

Jax shook his head and rolled his eyes, he waved him mom away as he finally answered Ruby's call. "Bit busy at the moment, darlin'."

"Oh sorry. I just wanted to know if you were up for a drink tomorrow night? You haven't called."

He didn't get the same feeling when she said it than the time Evie mumbled it all those days ago. He shrugged it off.

"Tomorrow's Saturday, right?"

"Yeah. You down?"

"Can't, sorry. Maybe another time?"

Ruby blew out some air on the other side of the phone, "sure okay."

"I'll call you." He hung up and got to work on this meet. He can't have any more distractions. His heart was beating fast in his chest as he anticipated what could happen to him at the meet. But he was willing to risk that than hand over Evie like some croweater.

Besides, tomorrow he was helping her out with her little 'professional' problem.


Alvarez had seen a lot of shit in his time.

Shit that has made his heart concrete. Not much anymore surprised or shocked him. But when the VP of SAMCRO pulled up to the small desolate off road meet alone, he had to admit he was impressed.

"Where's the cargo?"

Jax gestured around him, "you see anybody?"

Alvarez nodded, looking back towards his own back up crew of his VP and four others. "What's goin' on here?"

"Got some bad news for you."

"What? You gonna tell me again that Clay got nothin' for me? 'Cause my patience is wearing thin."

"Actually," Jax had to resist shoving his hands in his pockets, any wrong move and they'd shoot him, paranoia can make you do stupid things, "we got somethin'."

Alvarez raised his head expectantly.

"The Niners are moving town with their business."

"What're you talking about?"

"Those clubs they bought. Aren't in Oakland. Just outside, scattered."

Alvarez spat at the floor, "pendejos. You're sure?"

"Looks clear to me they're extending their territory."

Alvarez glanced back towards his crew, "okay. We'll check them out. You got the co-ordinates?"

Jax handed it over and Alvarez passed it back to his vice president. "If we walk into a trap or this information is wrong, I'm comin' for you. And your old lady."

The blonde cocked his head, "excuse me?"

Alvarez was already walking away, waving at his boys to get on their bikes. "We're done here. You did a stupid thing today coming alone. But I respect it." He held up the piece of paper, "remember what I said."

Jax assumed Alvarez was referring to Evie as the 'old lady.' No wonder he took such a liking to her. Fucking around with a rival club members old lady is the ultimate demonstration of disrespect.

If only Alvarez know Evie was nowhere near to be his old lady. The thought of it made him almost laugh. Stubborn Evelyn Hart wearing his crow, cleaning his wounds, hanging around with Gemma and Luann. Yeah, right.

As he straddled his bike for the journey back, he realized he had missed calls from Clay and his mom. And Ruby.

Rolling his eyes, he called Evie first.

"Hey."

"Hey, so I'll come over tonight and we'll talk about this thing with your boss."

"Okay," Evie said, "you sure you're not gonna get me fired?"

"Look, some simple words to this senior journalist who was on your case and she booked it outta Charming without a peep."

"Yeah but…"

"Should I pick up some takeaway for us?"

"Um… okay."

"What'd you like?"

Evie sighed, obviously not able to get her point across right now, she admitted defeat. "Surprise me."

Jax smirked, "deal. See you in a few."

He decided to dodge the call from his mom, completely forget about Ruby's and texted Clay he'd call to explain later. Right now, he wanted some downtime and the last time he felt relaxed, he was eating dinner with Evie.

When he got to her house, the sun was setting and he noticed the door was already open. Knocking once to be polite, he let himself in and saw her descend her staircase halfway. She was still in her pencil skirt and black blouse with her hair tied up, she'd obviously just got back from work.

"Hey, I'll be down in a few. Did you bring food?"

Jax held up a bag of Chinese food, "yeah."

Evie's eyes gleamed in hunger, "great. I'm going to shower really quick."

Jax just nodded and set the bag down. It didn't take long to locate some cutlery from her kitchen. Her cupboards were pretty straight forward. She didn't own a lot living alone.

He guessed she'd thrown out a lot of her parents things.

Jackson didn't know a lot about the Harts. He knew her father was a top lawyer and lived outside of Charming. He knew her mother took off. He'd seen her parents when they were teens but he'd never met them. His ma said her mother, Polly, was quiet and kinda awkward whilst her father was always in your face and wanting to be right – sounded like the perfect combination for Evelyn Hart.

He had no idea the relationship Evie had with her parents. By the Camaro outside, he presumed she was still friendly with her dad. He lounged on her sofa and opened a box of noodles, she came down the stairs moments later dressed in comfy trousers and a tank top. His attention was drawn to her long hair, still damp and stuck to her back.

She threw the towel she was using to dry it onto a hamper in the corner of the room and took the seat beside him, "Chinese is actually my favourite."

"Seriously?"

She nodded through a mouthful of rice and opened up her laptop in front of her, she gestured to it, "you watch Netflix?"

Jax wanted to laugh, "don't have a lot of time for it."

"What do you do for downtime?"

Come here, Jax thought, isn't that why he was here? There was another thing he did for downtime but he didn't feel like saying that to Evie.

"Um, smoke?"

"Urgh," Evie said amused, "not my thing."

"What is?" Jax teased.

Evie mocked hurt and typed fast into her laptop, Netflix appeared and she clicked on a section. Documentaries about a lot of social issues came up on the screen. "I love documentaries."

"What else?"

Evie glanced around the room, "I like Ruby's photography."

"Oh that reminds me, I have to call her back."

Evie licked her lips and avoided his eyes, clearing her throat she considered telling him what she really liked doing. "I'm also writing a book."

Jax raised his brows and chewed his food quickly so he could respond, "shit, really?"

Evie blushed, she waved her hand dismissively, "it's not a big deal. Barely written."

Jax didn't want to convince her that he found the idea of her writing a book pretty great. She was always smart and he remembered seeing her in all the advanced creative writing classes in Charming. "So, a journalist isn't your dream career?"

The young woman shook her head, "no way. Just something that can keep me around in Charming, pay the bills."

"What's keeping you in Charming?"

"Honestly, it was the only way out I could find from going to this law school."

Jax finished up his food and leaned back on the sofa, "I always thought you'd follow your fathers' footsteps."

Evie popped the last spoonful of rice into her mouth and said, "I'm full of surprises."

Jax was beginning to discover that. His phone rang and he pulled himself away and out onto her porch, "yeah?"

"A little birdy told me you went to meet with Alvarez alone today."

Jax rolled his eyes and leaned against one of the wooden beams on the deck, "yeah I did."

"Son, frankly I couldn't give a shit about that writer but you going alone to a meet especially with the Mayans – that's when it becomes my concern."

"Clay, I wasn't about to hand her over to Mayan dick," he cleared his throat, "listen, I'm sorry for going behind your back. But the meet went fine."

"I know it did. I just got a call from Alvarez. They're planning on smokin' out those Niner clubs next week. They want us on board."

Jax knew siding with the Mayans to go against the Niners was a bad idea. But he didn't have the fight in him to argue it. He just agreed and hung up.

For months now, Jax has been unhappy with the calls Clay's been making. This is the first time he'd directly gone against the President but internally, he's been dreading the direction the club's been heading for a while.

Jax breathed in the night air. Evie's house seemed so lonely. But the quiet was nice. He didn't get much of it.

Rubbing his hands together, he went back inside. Evie was washing up in her small kitchen. Her hair was dry now and was becoming curly at the ends.

"So about my boss…" she said from the sink when she saw Jax leaning against the doorway.

"… he wants me at his place tomorrow night."

"Then he'll be getting me instead."

Jax lit up a smoke and watched Evie lift her face up to look at him, "what?"

"I'll go to his place, tell him to leave you alone and leave. Job done."

Evie was struck for a moment in place, she dried her hands slowly, processing what he'd said. "That's it?"

Jax gestured to the gun in his holster, hidden by his cut, "I can go a different route if you'd prefer."

The woman blanched slightly at the sight of the gun. She shook her head, "I just wasn't expecting it to be that easy."

"Darlin' he's the one doing something wrong by threatening you."

"I guess." She said crossing her arms against her chest. "Aren't you going out with Ruby tomorrow?"

"I told her I was busy."

Evie was torn between relief and guilt. She didn't want to see her best friend hurting and she was obviously into Jax considering the conversation they'd had
about him. And now Evie was the reason he was blowing Ruby off tomorrow.

"Maybe you should go."

Jax blew out smoke towards the open window, "why?"

"She likes you."

"Miss Matchmaker," he smirked, "if it means that much to you, I'll deal with your boss and then hit her up later."

Evie nodded. That is what she wanted, wasn't it?

"You know Alvarez thinks you're my old lady."

Evie made a face, "what does that even mean?"

"Old lady is the other half to someone in the club. Their woman. Wife, girlfriend, someone important to them."

"Well," Evie sighed, "he couldn't be more wrong…" she paused and looked up at him casually smoking. "Is that what Ruby is to you?"

Jax laughed, "no way."

"Then what is she?"

Jax cocked his head and threw his butt out the window, "what does it matter?"

Evie shrugged and glanced at the clock, "I'm tired."

As she went to pass him, he reached out and took her arm gently. "Seriously, why do you care so much?"

"I don't." Evie argued.

His long blonde hair had fallen into his eyes as he looked down at the small woman. He let go of her arm and a shit eating grin appeared on his face as realization overcame his features. Not wanting to stick around to be ridiculed, Evelyn stormed off in the direction of the stairs.

"Goodnight Jackson," she called over her shoulder but she was frozen on the stairs when he shouted after her.

"You're jealous."

A lump formed in her throat. She was. She had to admit it. And it almost broke her inside to realize she was in fact jealous of Ruby because of Jackson Teller.

She bit the inside of her cheek and turned slowly to see Jackson smiling up at her from the bottom of the staircase.

"So?"

"Is that you admitting it?"

She became defensive due to her embarrassment. "Jackson, please don't flatter yourself, alright? I might be concerned about Ruby and the way you treat her and I might be enjoying your company lately but I most certainly am not jealous because you want my best friend and not me."

"I think that's exactly it."

His smug smile was infuriating and Evie couldn't help but feel a little hurt. "Go home."

"Evelyn Hart is jealous."

Evie swallowed her shame as he stated the truth, and he didn't appear to care at all. Evie took that as the sign he would never care about her at all. She pointed to her coffee table, "Alfie's address is on that piece of paper."

She went for the stairs again but he stopped her. "Evie, I don't want Ruby. Hell, I've been ignoring her calls all damn day."

"Then tell her that."

Truthfully, Jax was hoping his arrangement with Ruby might extend a little further into his dorm bedroom so he could release some steam but he was beginning to think Ruby was a little clingy for that. And, if she told Evie he did that to her best friend, he doubted she'd forgive him despite whether or not she was jealous.

"Do you want me to date her?"

Sighing, she ran a hand through her hair, "do whatever you want, Jackson. Goodnight."

He didn't stop her this time and left her house, shoving the slip of paper into his jean pocket. He couldn't stop his ego from inflating and the smirk that appeared on his face the whole damn night.


The next day, Evie was still embarrassed about the previous night. She wasn't usually so open about her feelings but she felt hurt the way Jax had reacted to her jealousy.

He found it funny. Just like he found all her feelings in high school. He'd be amused by her upset, her sadness and her anger.

The only time she seen he'd truly felt sorry for her was when she was crying and begging him to cut her loose from SAMCRO. And look how that worked out.

Around lunchtime, she received a phone call from Jax.

"I'm not dealing with your boss anymore."

"What? What happened?"

Jax's tone was tense and she sensed anger from him. "Why don't you get your boyfriend to do it for you? I'm not your fucking lapdog."

"What boyfriend?"

Evie couldn't have been more confused about the conversation that was happening.

"You sure kept him fucking quiet," he seethed on the other end of the phone.

Gripping the phone tightly, Evie spoke slowly and deliberately, "Jackson, I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Ruby told me about Jamie. I don't appreciate you sending me off to do your dirty work!"

"Oh my god," Evie mumbled, "would you calm down? Jamie doesn't even exist."

"What?"

She rolled her eyes, "I made him up so Ruby would get off my case about you."

"About me?"

Evie scratched the back of her head, after his reaction last night she didn't particularly feel like disclosing she'd been pining over his phone call. "Forget it. Point being, Jamie doesn't exist. I don't have a boyfriend. I think you would have seen him around the amount of time you've been at my house."

He went silent and Evie didn't press him suspecting he needed to calm down. She glanced at the clock, "can I come over?"

"I'm at work."

"So?" Evie felt the need to see him face to face. Reassure him that he had nothing to worry about. She didn't quite know why she felt like she needed to do that but her gut was telling her to.

"I have a break in half hour. Bring lunch?"

"I'll ask Jamie to pick some up." She teased and waited with bated breath what his response would be.

She heard him sigh, "shut up and come over."


Hey guys, long chapter for you.

Nice to hear I'm not the only one who gets jealous - man, I am such a jealous person.

Anyway, hope you liked this chapter.

Question for reviewers: Introvert or extrovert?