Chapter 1

Tara inhaled sharply as her hands were cuffed behind her back for the third time in eight months. She hung her head as Deputy Uhl guided her into the back seat of the his police cruiser. She glared sharply at Jax as she saw him being cuffed and placed in the back of another deputy's car. This was not what she had planned for her life.

She sat back and got as comfortable as she could with her hands behind her back. A few minutes later, the car pulled up at the station and she saw Gemma leaning against the police station's walls. Of course it was Gemma who would be the one to bail her out again. But this was all Jax's fault anyway. At least Deputy Uhl was decent enough to let her get dressed. She couldn't believe she let her self get so carried away that she would have sex on Main Street.

Deputy Uhl helped her out of the car and she was led to one of the cells in the back. Jax was placed in the cell next to hers and she sat on the bed, her head in her hands and refused to acknowledge Jax.

"Tara, baby," Jax pleaded from three feet away.

After fifteen minutes of listening to him try to get her to acknowledge him, she dropped her hands from her face and took a deep breath before standing up and walking to the wall.

"All I can say to you right now Jax, is that I'm happy they caught up with us later this evening rather than earlier."

At that, Chief Unser opened the door to her cell. She turned and walked out to where Gemma was standing, Jax following behind, hands in his pockets and head down.

"Gemma," Tara said confidently, "can you take me to my Dad's?"

Gemma looked at Jax, then back to Tara and nodded. Jax walked to the car and opened the passenger side door. He pulled the seat forward and tried to help Tara into the back but she pushed him off her. Gemma looked at him with a questioning look and he shrugged before climbing into the car.

Gemma climbed in and started the car, glancing at Tara in the back seat and then turned toward Elm Street.

When Gemma pulled over in front of the small box house on Elm Street, Jax got out and pulled the seat forward again. He offered his hand to Tara and she pointedly ignored it, careful not to touch him as she got out of the car. She walked toward the house never looking back.

When Tara entered the house that was supposed to be her home, she found her father passed out on the floor. She sighed and went to her room, and started shuffling through some papers. She found what she was looking for, the paper from University of San Diego that deferred her enrollment for one year. It was October, possibly still early enough to get in for the spring semester.

She went to the kitchen to find the family address book. When she located the book, she flipped through the pages looking for the phone number of her father's cousin who lived in San Diego. When she found it, she lifted her father's phone and dialed the number.

"Bruce," she said when she heard a man answer the phone. "Its Tara, Max's daughter."

The next morning, Opie was leaving to go to the shop for the day when he saw a strange car in the Knowles's driveway. Right before he started his bike, he saw Tara walk out of the door with two suitcases in her hands. Opie started his bike and took off toward the shop.

When he pulled into the lot, he saw Jax working on a car in the first bay. He jumped off his bike and jogged up to Jax. "Where is Tara going?"

Jax looked up. "What?"

"There is a strange car at her house and I saw her walk out of the house with two suitcases."

"Shit," Jax said and took off running for his bike.

Tara knew that Opie would see her cousin's car in the driveway. She knew what time he would leave for work and she timed it so he would see her with the suitcases. He took her bait when he drove out as fast as he could on his bike.

She timed it so that she would be taking her final load out to the car when Jax arrived. As she walked out the door she could hear the roar of a bike approaching. She lifted a suitcase into the trunk and turned just as Jax arrived.

Jax got off his bike and walked toward Tara.

"What's going on here Tara?"


"Goin on vacation?"

"I got accepted to University of San Diego. I start in January. I will be staying with my cousin until I start."

"You're going to San Diego." Jax stated.

Tara nodded.

"What does this mean with us?"

"It means we are done," Tara said matter of factly.

"How can you leave, just like that Tara."

"Its not just like that Jax," Tara said shaking her head. "I can't keep doing this. I want more out of life Jax. I don't want spend my days waiting for you to be arrested, or fuck, Jax, killed. I definitely don't want to see the inside of another jail cell. If I stay, that is what I will do."

"And if you go?"

"I will have a chance at a normal life. I will get to become a doctor. I will get to live my life without fear of losing the most important person in my life."

"So, that tat on your back means nothing? When you got that, you made a commitment to me and to the future of SAMCRO."

"I love you, Jax, I don' know if that will stop, but I can't live like this," Tara said strongly. "I need to go to San Diego. I need to try to be something more than an "old lady."

"Tara," Jax pleaded again.

Tara heard her cousin come out of the house. He walked to the driver's side of the car and got in. Tara nodded to him and looked back at Jax.

She took a step forward and placed her hands on his chest, over his leather. She ran her fingers over the patches over his heart, reading each of them. She looked up into his pleading blue eyes, reached up and kissed Jax softly on the lips. Just as he started to respond, she pulled back. Seeing tears start to fill his eyes and feeling tears starting to run down her cheeks, she leaned forward one last time, gave him a soft kiss on the lips and turned to get in the car. Jax reached forward and touched the window of her door just as the car pulled away.

When Tara turned back, just as the car started to round the corner, she saw Jax sitting on the ground, his elbows on his knees, head bent, hand on the back of his head.