Sorry about the delay guys..This past week has just kicked my ass. Seriously.
Again..I appreciate the reviews and story adds.
Question..Are you guys enjoying this season of SOA so far? I think it's been pretty excellent. Tara still annoys me, but a lot less than she did last season. I actually got angry for her when that porn girl was coming on to Jax! lol
So let me know if you like this chapter..it's a fairly long one. :)
The next week was spent settling in at the firm and consequently into Charming as well.
My first day at the office is when I finally met Richard's partner Dan Rosen.
Having been left to my own devices in my small office while waiting for one of the paralegals, I heard a light knock at my door. "Come in." I called out setting down the cup of coffee I had been slowly nursing. I looked up to find a dark haired man aged perhaps somewhere in his early to mid thirties standing in the doorway. Entering the office at my invitation, I noted that he wore an extremely expensive suit on his tall lean frame.
"Just wanted to be sure and introduce myself." He said as he advanced toward my desk with his hand outstretched. "I'm Dan Rosen, your Dad's partner." He wore a disarming grin as he waited for me to accept his hand.
I rose to my feet and shook the offered hand. "Oh, right." I said then added with a pleasant smile, "I think you might be the only person around here I hadn't met yet."
"I was disappointed to have missed your visit the other day, but no matter, we're both here now.." he said smoothly widening his grin. Perhaps one minute was a little fast to label someone, but at that moment one world rang out in my mind as I shook Mr. Rosen's hand.
I would be hard pressed to explain what had prompted the snap judgment except that he came off a little bit too sleek, and his smile while friendly enough was just a touch too predatory. I'd bet the family farm this guy was a fantastic criminal defense lawyer though.
"So we are." I said politely, careful to give none of my inner thoughts away.
As an intern it would be my duty to assist and prepare agreements, reports, and appeals. In addition I would also be required at times to visit court, and even attend some hearings. This all meant that the first few days consisted of familiarizing myself not only with the firms filing system, and computer programs, but also learning how to find my way around Charming.
Luckily the job of showing me the ropes fell to the shoulders of a woman named Heather, a paralegal and also the youngest employee on payroll before me. Guesstimating her age to be somewhat close to mine, Heather was attractive in a girl next door kind of way. Long dark hair and warm brown eyes complemented a peaches and cream complexion. Short and curvaceous, she was one of those girls that managed to always make me feel like an amazon every time we stood side by side.
Taking a seat beside me to begin my tutorial, her first words to me were,"You seem pretty smart, so I'm not going to waste your time on to much of this computer bullshit. It's all pretty self explanatory." I knew right away that I was going to get along with this girl.
And get along well we did. It wasn't long before Heather became my daily lunch buddy, really not a shock that the two youngest females in the office would gravitate toward one another.
Already grateful to have someone close to my own age to talk to, imagine my delight when my newfound companion proved herself as an invaluable source of town information and gossip.
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and we were sitting under the shade of a tree on a bench just outside of Pop's Diner eating a late lunch. I was just about ready to sink my teeth into one of my all time favorite sandwiches, a BLT, when yet another Harley pulled to a stop in front of the Diner. I paused mid bite as I caught a glimpse of the driver.
"Wow." I couldn't help but say out loud as I eyed the blond hunk who had removed his helmet and was now talking on a cell phone as he continued to straddle his bike.
Wearing a pair of lose casual jeans and a black t-shirt topped by a well worn motorcycle vest, I would roughly gage his age to be somewhere in his mid to late twenties though it was hard to tell with the black sunglasses that hid his eyes. He wore his blond hair longish and one length with the ends curling around the bottom of his neck. I watched as he reached up and tucked both sides of his hair behind his ears in a well practiced motion.
Heather looked up to see what I was gawking at and simply said, "Oh..yeah I know."
Chuckling, I finally chomped down into my sandwich and said out of the corner of my mouth, "I take it you've seen him before then." I knew talking with my mouth full was all kinds of rude but I was starving!
Smirking she answered, "Honey, everyone in Charming has seen him before. That's Jax Teller, Vice President of SAMCRO."
My eyebrows drew together in confusion, "SAMCRO?"
The look she gave me was almost scandalized as she asked, "You don't know what SAMCRO is? Really?"
Scowling, I wiped my mouth with a napkin and said, "Heather, I've been here for a week. Give me a break!"
Sighing she took a sip of her drink and said apologetically, "I'm sorry alright, you just caught me off guard. Here in Charming, SAMCRO is a way of life. I honestly don't know how you made it even a week without hearing about them, or noticing them or something."
"Just tell me already." I said exasperated. There was nothing I hated more than feeling ignorant or out of the loop.
Setting her drink down she mumbled, "Alright, when he walks by take a good look at his vest, front and back."
Winking mischievously I said, "Oh I was planning on looking at him, but just a little lower than his vest."
Giggling at my remark she said, "Seriously I'll fill you in if you think you can reign in your hormones for a hot minute."
"Ok..ok..consider them reigned in." We both fell silent as the blond sauntered from his bike to the front door of Pop's Diner, the aura that surrounded him literally screaming bad ass as he entered the building.
Turning to Heather I asked, "OK..what's the Sons Of Anarchy?"
"Sons Of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original...SAMCRO." She answered, then added, "The patch on the back was a Reaper, basically their logo."
"Clever acronym. So...It's a motorcycle club?" I asked as I reached down and grabbed up my Diet Dr. Pepper to take a sip.
Heather sighed then said, "Yeah they are a motorcycle club, but they're also much more than that if you catch my meaning."
Watching her thoughtfully for a moment I said, "You mean a gang?"
She nodded, "I guess some would call them a gang, but really everyone just refers to them as "The Club". They've been around here for a long time from what I understand."
"Are they dangerous?" I wondered.
Chewing a bite of her own sandwich before answering, Heather said, "Well they're not exactly choir boys, but for the most part they protect Charming."
At my questioning look she continued, "You may or may not know this but California is full of gangs, especially in the valley. When a gang moves in and takes over a town or territory they usually bring a lot of bad shit with them. Drugs, prostitution, things like that. SAMCRO being here keeps all that out of Charming for the most part."
Taking in what she was saying, I thoughtfully chewed on another piece of my BLT before asking, "So SAMCRO isn't into anything like that?"
Just finishing her last bite of food, Heather began to gather all her trash together as she answered, "They're not into drugs, or prostitution..but like I said they're definitely not saints." Then she added with a chuckle, "Actually they are our biggest clients over at the firm. Rosen pretty much handles anything that comes up legally for them. Your Dad too on a smaller scale."
Hmm, that meant if I had the urge to feed my curiosity further, I could pull their files pretty easily.
I was going to comment on this fact when I was distracted by the sound of one of my phone's ring tones. It was Ball and a Biscuit by the White Stripes, which told me that it was a number not entered into my phone.
"Hello, Roxanne Murray speaking." I answered.
"Yes, I'm more than ready!" I said into the phone after listening for a moment. I could feel Heather watching me curiously.
A few more seconds ticked by in which I listened into the phone again before saying, "That sounds perfect." I glanced down at my wrist watch. "Can we make that at 4 o'clock, or is that to late?"
"Thank you so much, I'll see you at four." And with that I pressed end on my phone.
Heather couldn't stand it any longer, "Who was that?" she burst out as soon as I hung up.
Grinning widely I said, "That my dear was Rob Maynard, Richard's Realtor. He called to tell me that he has found a few prospective rentals." Then after reaching down and taking one last sip of my soft drink I said, "I'm going to meet up with him this afternoon to take a look at them."
Watching me gather my trash together she said, "I don't know why your so anxious to leave your Dad's house. I saw it last year at the firm's Christmas party. It's so beautiful, and it has a pool!"
"Yeah the pool is nice." I said wistfully. Then I added, "Trust me if I'm going to make it through the summer without murdering someone I need to get my own space."
"I'm going to leave that alone for now." Heather said. Then she added, "At least till we can have a girls night that includes a bottle of hard liquor. Then you'll spill your guts." She gave me a slightly wicked smirk.
"Wow, you totally look evil when you smirk like that." I said blinking.
We were just opening the doors to Heather's green 4 door Honda Accord when Mr. Jax Tellar came out of the Diner carrying a couple brown bags of food.
Glancing up I caught him checking me out as he put the bags of food in a small back pack that had been hanging on the motorcycle. A slow sexy smirk worked it's way across his face as we made eye contact.
'Well he's a sexy cocksure bastard isn't he.'
As Heather started her car I made sure that he saw me give him a slow full body appraisal before making eye contact with him again with raised eyebrows. As Heather put the car in reverse, I sent him my sassiest wink.
The last think I saw as we pulled away was the blond biker laughing to himself as he started up his bike.
"So what do you think of this one?" Asked Mr. Maynard the Realtor as he watched me look around the small eat in kitchen.
Stopping in the doorway of the attached laundry room with my hands on my hips, I looked back at him and said, "I really think I like this one."
A pleased smile spread across the older balding man's face. He had been patient this afternoon, taking me from one rental to another. We were currently on number six and it was the first one that I had truly expressed any real interest in.
When I had decided on renting for the summer, I had assumed that it would be a small apartment or duplex. Little did I know, Charming had virtually no apartment building complexes, and the two that I did see were a little worse for wear. I wasn't exactly expecting luxury, but safety and comfort were pretty big on my list.
After looking at a few houses located in several different locations through out Charming neighborhoods, we ended up here at 279 Wicker Street. Pulling into the driveway of a modest ranch style house, I immediately had a good feeling.
That was further intensified as we walked through the front door and I took in the large bay windows that lit up the open floored front room, and hardwood floors that reflected the late afternoon light. By the time I had inspected the adequate sized bedrooms, bathroom, and small eat in kitchen that included a laundry area I was ready to talk details.
As I studied the file that Mr. Maynard handed over to me that held all the rental particulars including the agreement, I felt the weight of his stare. Finally he said, "I was a little surprised that Richard had a daughter. I've been knowing him for going on ten years now."
I grunted in response without looking up, absorbed in some of the fine print in the rental agreement. He continued, "I was also surprised that you wanted to rent...with your Daddy having such a big house and all."
My eyes flicked up at the man before going back to the rental agreement yet again. I was catching on to Mr. Maynard now. Looks like someone was a busy body, looking to gleam a bit of gossip.
Finishing the quick contract scan I looked up and said, "You know how it is Mr. Maynard, I'm old enough now that I need to have my own space." Then I changed the subject altogether, "This agreement looks pretty standard, but I promised my Mom I would let her take a look at it before I signed anything. If you don't mind, I'd like to take this by the office and fax her a copy to look over."
Taking the hint that I wasn't going to discuss private matters, he said, "That should be fine. I need to call the owners and let them know we have a possible renter. Meet back up at my office tomorrow afternoon?"
Thinking about my work schedule I asked, "Is four o'clock still ok?"
Nodding he said, "That should be fine."
After the Realtor dropped me back off at the firm where Richard was still working, I quickly made my way to my office to fax Mom a copy of the rental agreement. When I was done I had no choice but to wait for a ride, which reminded me that I had a current transportation problem that needed to be resolved.
Pulling out a phone book, I scanned the yellow pages for local car rental places. It was no surprise to see that there was only one listed in Charming, and it appeared to be privately owned. There was a Hertz listed in Lodi, but I wasn't sure how far away that was. Seemed like Heather mentioned once in passing that Lodi was just the next town over but I couldn't remember.
Busily jotting down the pertinent numbers I heard a quick knock on the partially opened door. I looked up to see Richard standing there with his briefcase in hand, obviously ready to go.
He asked,"Are you ready?" Then seeing that I what I was preoccupied with he furrowed his brows together and asked, "What are you doing?"
Flopping the phone book closed, I looked up and said, "Looking up car rental companies. Looks like I may have found a house which means I'm going to need something to drive soon." I stood up and began gathering my purse and a few reports that I wanted to take with me for reading later.
"You've already found a place hunh?" He asked as we made our way from my office to the back entrance where his SUV was parked. The only other cars left in the lot were one of the paralegals that was staying late to work on an appeal for Rosen, and the office manager Patricia who would stay as late as she needed to make sure everything was turned off and locked up for the night.
"Yep. Went with Mr. Maynard this afternoon and looked at a few possibilities. I think the last one was a winner." I said as we walked to the SUV and got in.
Richard put his keys in the ignition but paused long enough that I looked over at him questioningly. "Don't worry about renting a car, I may have a solution." He said before starting the SUV and pulling out of the lot.
'What is he up to now?' I wondered on the silent ride home but didn't pursue the question out loud.
Once we reached the house and unloaded out of the vehicle, Richard waved for me to follow him as he headed toward the attached garage. Using a key to gain access through a side door, we walked into the spacious garage where sat two cars that I hadn't even realized were there.
Gesturing at them Richard said, "We keep them as back ups in case we have a problem with our main cars." He gestured toward the driveway where his SUV and Cynthia's silver Lexus GS sat parked.
Eying both vehicles in front of me I recognized one of them as an older model white Lexus LS, and the other a dark green JEEP Wrangler.
Folding my arms in a defensive gesture I looked at Richard and asked, "What are you doing?" Of course I already knew, but the stubborn side of me wouldn't just accept his help free and clear.
Mirroring me he folded his arms together before he drawled, "I want you take one of them to drive."
Shaking my head, I opened my mouth to launch into the many reasons why I couldn't or wouldn't accept a car from him.
"I don't..." I began but Richard cut me off.
"Before you get all stubborn on me just listen. These cars are never driven, they just sit here and collect dust. You would actually be doing me a favor if you drove one..hell drive them both." Then continuing before I could argue, "I'm not trying to give you one Roxanne, I'm just offering you something to drive for the next few months."
I could feel my short lived resolve cracking already. Even if I wanted to stick to my guns and refuse the offer, I wasn't sure about renting a car. I was little wary of the privately owned car rental in Charming, and didn't even KNOW how to get to Lodi.
Lowering my arms I chewed on my lip a moment before asking, "Are you sure it's ok?"
Rolling his eyes Richard said, "Of course it is! Like I said, they don't get driven much if at all."
"Ok..well thank you then" I said before decisively moving into the garage toward the vehicles. Without sparing the White Lexus a glance I made a beeline toward the Jeep Wrangler, feeling a bit of excitement begin to stir. Richard didn't know this, but at home I actually owned a newer model Jeep Wrangler 4x4 sport. I truly adored my Jeep and missed it terribly.
This Wrangler was in pristine condition which refuted the claim that it simply set here and collected dust. It was obvious that someone had been taking pretty good care of it.
"I loved driving this around." Richard had come up behind me to watch as I examined the inside of the Jeep.
"What year is it?" I asked curiously as sat down in the driver side bucket seat.
"It's a 2003 Rubicon Unlimited." He answered with a bit of pride in his voice.
I curious as to why he would go from driving a Jeep Rubicon to something as tame as the Ford Escape, but decided not to ask.
I looked forward to hitting the open road with the top down sometime soon, and wondered briefly if there were many places I could go off road with it as well. This thing could drive on anything and I longed to test that theory.
I heard Richard chuckle under his breath and I turned to him and asked, "What?"
Shaking his head with a small smile he said, "Nothing, nothing..I just remember how much you used to love to crawl into the drivers seat of my truck and pretend to drive."
A memory tickled the back of my mind and I couldn't help but ask, "Was it a big blue truck?"
Surprise seemed to light up Richards eyes. "Yeah..It was a 1975 F-250. It was a tank!" He said laughing. "You sure loved to ride around in it though. Every time we went anywhere you insisted we take the blue truck. I can't believe you remember that."
Watching him as his laughter morphed a sort of sad little thoughtful smile, I just said, "Yeah..me neither. That was a long time ago."
A pregnant silence fell between us and Richard looked as if he might be working up the nerve to say something. Just as he finally said gently, "Roxanne..."
"Richard!" Cynthia's high pitched voice cut through the moment like a samurai sword.
A frustrated look passed over his face before he sighed and called out, "Yes darling."
"I was just checking that you were home, I saw your car in the driveway.." Her questioning voice came from the garage doorway that led straight into the kitchen.
"Roxanne and I were just looking at something. I'll be right there." He said to her before turning back to me.
Reaching down and picking up his briefcase from the floor where he have set it down, he then said quietly, "I'll get you the keys and you can take it for a spin."
With that he began to turn toward the kitchen entrance door. While I had the nerve I called out, "Thank you again..I..just thank you."
Nodding at me he gave a little smile, then again turned to exit the garage.
I watched him walk away and then sighed out loud, suddenly very glad that I would have my own space soon.
'I can do without anymore awkward moments like that.'