TITLE: Daughter of Anarchy
AUTHOR: The Chronicler
There was no mistaking the sound of an old Harley roaring down Charming's main drag. Citizens were too used to the sound to be surprised, or even take notice, as the deep voice of the heavy engine shook windows and vibrated through thin walls.
Only those few who actually looked saw that this wasn't one of their local bikes.
It was a jet black bike. Down the nose was a gold-blue falcon in a screaming dive, wings tilted back along the body. Trailing the wings on either side of the body were gold flames out lined with sparkling silver. The rider was covered from head to toe in jet black, the only color being the blood red eyes on the helmet, and silver claws on the calves in the black leather boots.
Half Sack and Juice were examining one of their bikes when they heard the engine. They watched curiously as the stranger rode right up to the front doors of the SAMCRO's club house. The figure dropped the kick stand, turning off the engine, and pocketing the key. The helmeted head focused on the door and waited for someone to come out.
"Who the hell is that?" Sack wondered as he reached back to touch the hand gun tucked in his belt under his vest. He couldn't help but be a little nervous that the rest of the guys weren't back yet from their last run. But, shit, it was just one. And a little one at that.
Though Juice was just as young and itchy, he was the senior member, so he took the lead. Crossing the yard, he called to the new comer "We help you?"
The helmeted head turned towards them. Sitting back, the red eyes studied the two young Sons for a long, silent moment.
The boys exchanged glances when they stopped in front of the club house. Silence wasn't exactly something they were used to. Always reminded them of the calm before the storm.
"Who are you?" Juice wanted to know when he couldn't stand the silence any longer.
A robotic voice sounded from the helmet, asking "Where's Clay Morrow?"
Juice stiffened. Again he glanced at his friend.
Sack moved away, taking a protective stance in front of the door.
Crossing his arms over his chest, Juice asked right back "Who wants to know?"
The red eyes turned to one, then the other. Then one long, slender leg whipped up and over the handle bars of the bike and the rider was suddenly on his feet, facing Sack.
The prospect jumped at the move, stepping back into the door. Trying to recover his courage, he demanded "Who the fuck are you?!"
The robotic voice spoke "I am here to see Clay Morrow. Here to speak with the men of SAMCRO."
"Well… here we are." Sack spread his arms. "We're Sons."
The red eyes looked him up and down. A robotic chuckled sounded. "I said the MEN of SAMCRO. Not the baby brothers."
Sack's jaw dropped. He looked at Juice. "Can you believe this asshole?"
Juice smiled. Working his jaw, he thought on the situation for an entire two and a half seconds, before warning "Man, you need to get the hell outta…"
Suddenly a leather fist slammed into Sack's jaw, spinning the young prospect around. A heavy boot hit him in the back of the knee, dropping him to the ground. Then the rider grabbed the back of his head and slammed it against the hard, wooden door of the club house.
Juice's jaw dropped as he watched his friend lay out on the ground with a groan. When he looked back to the rider, the stranger was already moving toward him.
Doing a break dancer's spin on the seat of the bike, legs and boots flying through the air, the stranger hit Juice in the chest with both feet.
He blinked, and then he was looking up at the sky, wondering just how the hell he ended up on his back.
The stranger was spinning around the front of the bike, meeting Kipp before the he could make it completely to his feet.
Dazed, but aware, Sack jerked to the aside, just barely missing a kick to the head. Scrambling back on his knees, he tried to get enough room and time to get to his feet. Bringing up an arm, he blocked a kick that left his arm numb. But, before he could react again, the rider snatched the bandanna around his head, jerked him forward, and leapfrogged over the top of him.
Spinning, the rider brought a boot down between Sack's shoulder blades, knocking him face first in the dirt. Realizing that he had spent too much time on the feisty youngster, the stranger spun about to find the other one.
Juice had appeared out of the corner of his eye, swinging a bat.
The weapon caught the helmet a glancing blow, sending the rider stumbling back as a chunk of black fiber glass went flying through the air.
Gloved hand reached up to the crack across the temple of the helmet. Something mumbled within, the robotic voice no longer working.
Juice paused, his weapon held at the ready. "What?"
Pulling off the helmet, the stranger snapped "I said, fuck, man! You know how expensive that damn thing was?!"
Juice froze, his eyes going big. "Fuck, man… You're a girl!"
Dropping her damaged helmet on the seat of her bike, she answered with a sharp "No shit, Sherlock? Wonderin' 'bout that my whole damn, fuckin' life!" That said, she jumped, sending one of the fast boots of hers up, hitting him square in the face.
"Juice!" Sack managed.
Juice stumbled back, dropping the bat as stars danced about his vision.
"Son of a bitch!" Kipp snarled. Too hurt, too dazed to really see who he was attacking them, he brought his pistol up and took aim…
The girl was spinning again, slipping within Sack's reach. Her back slamming against Sack, one hand grabbing the gun at the hammer, keeping it from firing, the other coming up, slamming her elbow against his teeth. With a twist and a spin, the girl was suddenly on the other side of her bike, gun in hand.
With a groan, Sack dropped back into the dirt.
Satisfied that he was finally down for the count, the attacker spun about, gun in hand, waiting to see what the remaining Son would do.
Juice held his hands up, surrendering.
"What the hell is going on out here?" Gemma demanded as she crossed the yard.
The girl smiled at the boys, tucking the pistol in the back of her pants. "Nothing much, Aunty. Just me and the boys getting comfy with one another."
Gemma stopped cold, her own hand only a breath from the knife in her jacket pocket. "Nicky?"
Juice and Sack looked at one another and asked the other "Aunty?"
Jax and the boys entered the club house in a mixture of rough laughter and pushing and shoving. But it all stopped cold when they saw their two youngest sitting at the bar.
Sack had his bottom lip pulled as far as he could, trying to see the hole that leaked blood down his chin.
Juice sat behind the bar, a cold steak pressed to his eye.
"What the hell happened to you guys?" Jax wanted to know.
Instantly his men snapped to and paid attention.
Sack was quick to answer, sort of… "Big… BIG guy…. Three of them…"
Juice huffed. "One."
Sack threw him a glare.
Bobby snatched Sack's beer from his hand and took a swig for himself, before he snatched Sack's head and, twisting it this way and that, inspected it for himself. "What the hell did you run into, prospect? A door?"
The boy shrugged, offering a "Something like that."
"Exactly like that!" Juice snapped, dropping the steak so he could glare right back at his fellow victim.
Opie whistled. "That looks like it hurt."
One more time, Juice huffed, dropping his head on the bar.
"Okay, tell." Clay ordered as he came to sit at the bar. "Who the hell beat the crap out of you two?"
"Hey, I want to know what the other guy looks like?" Tig wanted to know. "Please tell me he looks worse than you two." When the two didn't answer, Tig pressed "Half as worse…?"
The boys looked at each other, just daring the other to answer.
Now Clay wanted to know. "Just say you actually hit the guy… once!"
Sack couldn't take it. "You should'a seen it, man! Legs were like…" he did a swirly motion with his finger, "… and she was flipping and whirling and doing, like, brake dancing crap, and…."
"She?" Jax repeated.
"She?" Bobby was quiet a bit louder about it. "A she beat the crap outta you? Both of you? One she?" His laughter shook the room.
"Asshole!" Juice snarled, throwing his steak at the prospect.
"Lightening McQueen, there, did get a good swing in." added a new voice.
The Sons of Anarchy turned to see a young woman standing behind them. She was petit, maybe 5'4" and slender as a bean pole. Tight, black leather jeans hugged her legs right up to the perfectly shaped back side. Her black leather jacket hung open, revealing a camo t-shirt and dog tags hanging around her neck. Her sun tanned skin and shoulder length jet black hair almost gave her an Indian appearance, a striking contrast to her bright green eyes and red-red lips. Her hair was braided into tight pigtails that hung down just behind her ears. Strapped to each thigh was a long buck knife in black leather sheaths.
Opie's jaw dropped. "Nikita?" He looked at Jax. "That Nikita?"
"Shit." Jax breathed in astonishment. "Nicky?"
She grinned. "Hey, Jackie." She squealed as Jax rushed forward, sweeping her up in a hug and spinning her around the room.
Setting her on her feet again, he held her at arms length, giving the girl a good look over. "Damn, haven't seen you in forever."
Opie came up beside them. "Hey, Nicky." he greeted, offering her a hug.
"Hey, Teddy Bear." She looked up at him, practically disappearing in his hug. "Still big and cuddly, I see."
Opie blushed, but managed to poke back "Still short, I see."
Nicky shrugged. "Yea, well, when you're good at something…" She looked pass him. "Uncle Clay, good to see you." she said almost shyly.
Clay stood where he was, staring at the girl.
Nicky took a deep breath, stepping away from the boys, looking as if she was preparing for a punishment.
But before she could say a word, Clay stepped forward and hugged her. "Been a long time, little girl." he whispered in her hair. Then he set her down and frowned. "You did that? To them?" he asked, throwing a thumb over his shoulder.
"Well, to be fair, I did hit first. And that skinny guy? Usually when I slam a guy into a door, he goes down. That kid just kept on getting up. Feisty as hell." she quickly explained.
Bobby stole another gulp of beer. "A door, huh?" he teased Kipp.
With a groan, the boy slid down to hide behind the bar.
"And Lightening… He walloped me in the head with that bat… busted up the vocals in my helmet…"
Clay threw a glare at his computer geniuses. "He hit you with a bat?"
"She was wearing a helmet!" Juice cried in his defense. "Hell, we didn't even know she was a girl!"
"Been that long, huh?" Tig wondered with a smirk.
Ignoring him, Juice snatched the cracked helmet off the bar and pushed off from his bar stool. "A helmet I said I'd fix… so, I'm gonna go over here in my little corner and fix the damn helmet away from you people!" He continued to grumble and cuss under his breath as he dragged himself to his computer station.
Handing his stolen beer down to Sack, Bobby held his arms open, inviting a hug from the pretty girl.
Nicky raised her eye brows, glancing up at Clay.
Jax made the introductions. "Bobby… never mind him, he just likes to hug pretty girls… Tig, Chibs. Guys, remember JoJo Stone? Meet his baby girl, Nikita Stone."
The big man hesitated. "Nomad JoJo?"
Nicky held her hand out. "One in the same. Though been a while since I've been anyone's baby."
Bobby took the hand and pulled her into a big hug. "Damn, you sure didn't get your pretty from that ugly old man." Setting her back on her feet, he offered much more somber "Sorry to here about the old man."
Her smile faltered. "Yea… well, that's kinda why I'm here." She turned to face her uncle once more. "I need your help."
Clay waved a hand. "Anything you need." he promised.
"Help me take down the bastard that murdered my father."
Clay couldn't believe his eyes. Last time he'd seen her, she was a ten year old girl standing on the back of JoJo's bike, little hands clutching at his shoulders as they rode away. The last time he had seen his little goddaughter.
JoJo had gone nomad fifteen years back, leaving town with his wife and baby girl. He had always wanted a son, an heir to his collection of bikes and his place in SAMCRO. Getting a girl instead didn't slow his plans down one little bit. He raised Nicky right along with Opie and Jax: fast, mean, tough, and always ready for a fight. Despite the fight with the club that had sent JoJo running off on his own, Clay tried to keep tabs on the family over the years. They had settled in Ferndale, a speck of a town best known for its county fair and pot farms. JoJo had ridden mean, butting heads with even the Hell's Angels, but always managed to get home in one piece. Nicky had looked after her mother, playing man of the house when her father was away. Her mother died giving birth to baby Alexander when Nicky was sixteen. Two years later, they heard she shipped out with the Marines. Gemma got the occasional letter from the war front since then and nothing since JoJo was killed in an accident on 101 nearly two months ago.
"Wasn't an accident." Nicky told him as she paced the floor along the table in Church.
Clay, Jax, and Gemma stood around the room, listening to her tell her story.
"What do you mean?" Clay asked slowly. "JoJo wasn't an accident?"
The girl nodded. "I wasn't there. There's no proof. But since when has any Son gone riding without his cut?"
Jax frowned. "How do you know he wasn't wearing?"
Nicky shrugged. "Didn't get returned with his body. Locals said it must have been washed away in the ocean when he went over the cliff."
"You don't buy it?"
"Nothing to buy." she answered. "I saw it just a week ago."
Clay's head tilted. "Where?"
"Heard of a 101 rider named Tank?"
Clay glanced at Jax.
"Big guy, rides for the Warlords. Little group, but they've got ambition. Been moving down from Oregon. Butted heads with a few Sons and Bulldogs on the BACA ride couple months back." Jax supplied.
"When pappy died, I was given a family need discharge so I could come home and take care of Alex." Nicky went on. "Took me almost six weeks, but, when I got home, Tank had taken over Ferndale. Got the bank to close on our lot, took over the house, took over the garage, took pappy's bikes. When I made a fuss, he had the local law lock me up. Son of a bitch took custody of me, said whatever was pappy's was now his."
"What?" Clay rose to his feet. "He lay a hand on you?" he snarled.
Nicky shook her head. "Uncle, I'm a goddamn Marine, spent the last seven years in a fucking war zone, fighting mad men who hate only one thing more than women: strong American women." She raised her hand as if she needed to remind them that she fit both of those qualifications. "Tank? He's a fat, slobbering coke sniffer. I busted his nose. He's gonna have to lick his dope up for a good long time." She paused to shrug. "Marine or not, one of me against nine of them… Tank didn't try me again himself, but he up and sold me. Dude that bought me… laid out on the side of the road. Didn't wait around to see if I had killed him or not. Nice enough to give me his bike though."
"Where's Alex during all this?" Gemma interrupted.
Nicky hesitated. She licked her lips. "I couldn't get him out of the house. Tank has him sitting and sleeping under the mantel… right under pappy's cut tacked to the wall like some damn trophy." She had to asked them then "Tell me that sounds like an accident to you."
Clay ran a hand down his face. "Damn."
"We have to get Alex out of there." Gemma hurried to say. "What does he want with him?"
"Our trust funds maybe." Nicky answered. "The only thing that makes sense. Mom was the last of a very well to do family. Alex and I both inherited a lot of money."
"How much is a lot?" Jax wondered.
"You know the Weaver wing at the hospital?" Nicky shrugged. "Grampy Jordon Weaver paid for and is still supporting Charming's hospital through a fund which, as eldest living heir, I have control of."
"Not that I'm a big fan on calling the cops, but that's kidnapping." Jax wanted to know.
Nicky rubbed her hands on her pant legs. "Law's scared dickless of the Warlords, Jackie. And the town's too spooked to speak up for us. I have legal custody, but, turns out, possession is 9/10 of the law… even when it comes to kids. I can call an outside law enforcement, but, first thing they will do is investigate. If Tank even thinks I called any law or such, he'd have Alex learning to ride his bike off the same cliff pappy went off."
"Clay…" Gemma started.
But her husband turned to her. Taking her hands, he suggested "Dinner tonight? The whole family? Nicky could use a good meal. A safe place to sleep."
The queen of SAMCRO narrowed her eyes, but, after a moment, turned and wrapped an arm around the girl's shoulders. "Come on, honey. Let the boys chat it up, while we go and make war in the kitchen."
"Aunty, I'm a soldier. I'm no good in the kitchen."
"Yea, well, knowing you, sure as hell you spent plenty of times peeling potatoes for the Marines. Sure you can peel a few for me." Gemma led the girl out, closing the door behind them.
When they were gone, Clay crossed his arms and turned to face his step-son.
Jax shrugged. Taking a seat on the corner of the table, he pointed out "JoJo was the eleventh member of SAMCRO. He was in Vietnam with dad and Piney. Was with the first gun run way back when." He knocked his knuckles on the table. "Was one of the first to sit down at this table."
"Lot of history." Clay agreed. "But he went nomad."
Jax's eyes narrowed in that same, suspicious way his mother's did. "Yea, you wanna tell me about that?"
Clay huffed. "No." was his simple answer.
With a sigh, Jax left it at that…. For now. All he really remembered was that there had been a big fight. But, that aside…
"The Warlords have been pushing their way south, expanding their territory, butting heads with M.C.s all over. Now they've taken out a Son and took over his home. They're moving in on us. Nomad or not, if we don't answer, we might as well send them an open invitation. And, don't forget, asshole's got Alex." He shook his head. "Even if JoJo wasn't a Son, sure as hell wouldn't want to leave a kid in Tank's care." But he had a question of his own. "What about Nicky? She's right: she's a soldier, not a camp follower. You could almost give her a seat…"
Clay shook his head. "Sons, not daughters. That's been discussed, voted, and dealt with. What's on the table now is war. Warlords have declared it. Do we answer?" He started for the head of the table. "Call in the boys. Let's put this to a vote."
She held the baby awkwardly. "Jax? Jax is a pappy?" Nicky could almost laugh at the idea. "I mean, Opie was a forgone conclusion. All big and cuddly and sweet… 'course he was gonna be a pappy. But Jackie?"
Tara chuckled. "Yea, well, think it kinda surprised him too." She held out her arms and Nicky, gratefully, handed the baby back. "But he's a good dad. Loves his son like there's nothing else in the world."
"As it is with fathers and sons." Gemma told them as she set a large bowl of salad in the middle of the table.
Nicky leaned against the breakfast bar and looked out to the front room, watching Opie's and Lila's kids watching cartoons. She remembered rolling around on that very floor, wrestling with Jax and Opie, their pappys drinking and laughing, their mothers fussing over dinner.
So very long ago.
She couldn't help but wonder if Alex would ever have memories like that. Roll around with Opie's and Jax's kids…
Gemma stepped up behind her and ran a dark braid through her hand. "With fathers and daughters too." she added softly.
The girl looked at her and smiled slightly. "You know why pappy left, don't you? What he gave up for me?"
Her aunt raised her chin, pursed her lips. She remembered the fight. And, though she had disagreed with the out come, she would never speak against Clay's ruling, never against the club. Even when the topic, proof that Clay had been wrong, was standing right before her.
Nicky shook her head. "No worries, Aunty. Pappy was a nomad and he raised a nomad daughter. I'm an obedient soldier of SAMCRO. I know I'll never be a Son." She looked back out at the children. "But Alex is a son and he's nine years old… and he deserves a chance." She closed her eyes. "I just need to get him back. Everything else can come after."
"We'll get him back." Tara quickly offered. "It's family." She looked of at Gemma. "Right?"
The queen smiled and nodded. Brushing a braid out of the way, she kissed Nicky's temple. "Family." she promised. Then she turned and headed back for the kitchen, silently adding `even if I have to go up and get him back myself.'
Nicky watched her go. She knew what her aunt was thinking and she knew, for the first time since she left the Marine Corp, that things would be alright, that she wasn't alone in this.
"Huh." Tara mumbled. When Nicky glanced at her, the doctor sighed. "Damn if I'm not going to be patching up bullet holes soon."
Nicky frowned at her. "For a doc, you almost sound okay with it."
The young woman looked down at the baby in her arms. "I'm not. I hate it. Every time Jax rides off, I hate it." Again she sighed. "But, this is his life, this is what and who he is. And I love him too much to walk away." She looked up at the Marine with a slight smile. "Hell, always was into bad boys." That said, she called "Gem, can I help you?" as she followed the family's matriarch into the kitchen.
When the front door opened and the men filed in, it was like one big, happy family. Hugs and teases were given to the children, kisses to the women, swats to the occasional hand that tried a snatch at desert before dinner.
Leaning against her husband as he stood at the head of the dinner table, inspecting the feast laid out on it, Gemma looked up at him, expectantly.
Clay looked down at her. With a sigh, he put an arm around her shoulders. "We'll go in the morning." he whispered an answer to her unasked question.
Gemma nodded once. She looked across the dinning room to where Nicky was being hugged and chatted to by Piney. "Keep her safe, Clay. And let that bastard know he can't take our children away from us."
He almost smiled. "We'll do." he promised He laid a gentle kiss on her cheek as much to seal his promise as to show his love.
With the queen's blessing…
The Sons of Anarchy were going to war.
Sitting on the step in the cold night air, her elbows on her knees, dangling her long neck beer between two fingers. She should feel relieved. They had agreed to help her. In the morning they would ride out. By the next morning she would have Alex back and Tank would be road kill.
But, no, she felt… not empty. Solid? Like she was a wall, a rock, braced against the wind, tense, ready to take the blow, ready to strike back.
Same way she felt before any mission. Walk around the chopper, check the guns, check the fuel lines, turn the blades, sit, and wait for the go.
'Cept this wasn't any mission. Hell, she wasn't in Iraq, she wasn't a Marine any more, she didn't have the whole goddamn military might of the U.S. of A behind her.
This was about her father, her brother, her club.
Maybe it was good she didn't feel anything. It kept her hand steady, kept her focused of the job. She was a soldier. A damn good soldier. A cold blooded, killing machine, ready and able to strike without hesitation. On her bike or in the air, she was a soldier set on smiting her enemies and protecting her loved ones.
Nicky huffed at herself. She took it back. She didn't feel nothing. She felt rage. Damn it all to hell and back again, she was fucking well pissed off.
Her helmet was set on the step beside her.
Glancing up sharply, she saw the lean, dark Juice standing beside her. He bobbed his head at the helmet. "I fixed it."
Nicky frowned. "Bull shit." She snatched it up and turned it over, inspecting the complicated computer bits inside.
World GPS, radio with government channels, night vision, black light, laser sights, vocals with eight different settings, internet link, fucking I-pod…
"How the hell did you fix it?" Nicky asked in astonishment. "This is military, designed by the Banzai Institute…. And few of them would know how to fix it. Only a hand full of pilots on top, TOP missions used these things."
Juice shrugged. Dropping down on the seat beside her, he admitted "Kinda have a thing for… these things." Leaning over her shoulder, he pointed to the gadgets inside the helmet, explaining "Soldered here, rewired around the speaker, bypassing the break, and repositioned the power unit. I took out the broken fiberglass, filled the hole with insulation, covered with liquid welled, and added padding. I didn't paint the outside, but ran out of time. When we get back…" He paused glancing at her. He couldn't help but feel a little fluttered under the gaze of those green eyes.
Ah, shit! Now he was thinking like a damn girl!
Snorting, he turned his attention back to his work. "I had to replace the antenna and the right speaker. Retuned the vocals…."
"I bet you say that to all the pretty girls." Bobby laughed as he stumbled down the steps, practically climbing over the top of them. Once on the ground, he turned to face them, swaying as he did. "Have you ever heard sweeter pillow talk?" he asked Nicky.
The girl grinned. She could almost feel Juice blush beside her. It was kinda… cute.
"Man, you're drunk!" Juice accused.
Bobby looked shocked. "Man! Did you really think I'd be somethin' else?" he slurred.
Juice tried to look mature and disapproving, but managed to only shake his head and chuckle. "I better take him home." he told Nicky.
"Ha!" Bobby barked. Spinning about, he took one step toward the truck before he landed face first in the grass, in a drunken stupor.
The two on the steps looked at him.
"Huh." Juice observed.
"He okay?" Nicky asked, before taking a sip of her beer.
The Son shrugged. "Yea. He's fine. Gonna be a bitch in the morning though."
Juice looked at her again. He was actually surprised at her laugh. It was almost musical.
She looked back at him. "What?"
He blinked, blinked again, couldn't think of anything to say. Finally, he pushed off the step. "How the hell am I gonna get his fat ass in the truck?"
Nicky watched him walk around his snoring friend. She loved the way he moved… like a cat. Even the concern nudge at Bobby with the toe of his boot was an elegant move that just tickled her….
Crap! What happened to the cold blooded soldier stuff from two fucking minutes ago?
Gulping another swig of beer, Nicky shrugged and climbed to her feet. "Dude, it's a tow truck. Hook him up."
He was a big, ugly man, every child's image of a monster. Fat, every move pulling at the seams of his filthy jeans. Dirty t-shirt, once white, now a grayish yellow, stank of body odor and stale alcohol. Fingernails were chipped and encrusted with dirt and motor oil. His mouth filled with stained and rotting teeth, his breath rancid and decaying. Below his dulled eyes, above his mouth, where his nose should have been, was a dirty bandage. He had long ago given up on caring for hair and just shaved his head, leaving behind cuts, scrapes, and scars. His heavy black riding boots were accented with steel toes and heals, caked with mud, stained with old blood.
The only thing care for on the beast was a black leather vest with sharp, silver studs. A patch of a skull and cross bones, the cross bones being a double bladed axe and an AK-47, covered the back of the vest. On the front of the right lapel was the silver letters `WARLORDS.' On the left was a patch of a Tiger tank flying a Nazi flag.
He was born Edwin Sinclair. Now he was only known as Tank, Lieutenant of the Warlords.
With a snarl, he tossed a half eaten cob of corn at the boy crouched beside the fire place hearth. "Eat, piglet. Wouldn't want you to waste away."
Alexander Stone glared at the man with hard green eyes. At only ten, his anger over shadowed his fear… if only by a little. Still, his stomach grumbled, reminding him that they had forgotten to feed him the day before. Probably would forget tomorrow. Picking up toe cob with two fingers, he eyed it with disgust.
Tank barked out a laugh. "How the mighty falls… leaving their piglets of Anarchy nothing but the scraps from the Warlords' table."
Alex's fingers wrapped around the cob, squeezing until juice ran through his fingers. With all his might, he threw it back, bouncing it off Tank's chest.
Humor turned to sudden rage as Tank reared up, slamming his chair back to smash to bits against the wall. Roaring forward, he pulled back a hand to smack the boy.
Alex rolled up in a ball, his arms wrapping protectively around his head.
"Tank!" Whip snapped.
"What?!" Tank snapped right back at him.
The smaller, leaner Warlord held up his hands. "Kid can't talk if his jaw's broken."
"Wouldn't have to talk if'n you hadn't lost the sister!" But the big man let his hand drop, settling instead to glare at the child.
Whip huffed. "Don't remember you hanging on to her all that tight."
With surprising speed for one so heavy, Tank spun about, slamming the back of his hand across his friend's jaw, sending the smaller man flaying back to join the broken chair on the floor. Despite the rage of the blow, Tank chuckled. "Least I still have my bike." Stepping back to the table, he snatched up his beer and drained it. He looked back at the boy. "Fine. Starve, piglet. But if your whimpering wakes me up…" He threw the bottle, smashing it in the hearth just barely missing Alex's head. That done, Tank pushed and shoved his way out the front door.
Throwing the child a glare, Whip climbed to his feet and followed his leader out.
Alone, Alex raised his head and looked around. After shaking the shards of glass out of his dark curls, he looked up at his father's cut. It was staked to the wall high out of reach with an iron railroad spike. A blood stained bullet hole marked the center of the back, telling a very different tale than the one the cops had told them, that his father, in a drunken haze, rode himself right off a cliff.
To Tank and the Warlords, it was a trophy.
To the Sons of Anarchy, it was a call to arms.
But to Alex, all alone, cold, and hungry, handcuffed to the firebox, it was all that was left of his father. And, even at nine he swore to god, to hell, to SAMCRO…
Tank was gonna be road kill!
Eight hours from Charming was Fernbridge. It wasn't really a town. Just a two pump gas station, a tiny café, and a long abandon brewery. Fact be, Fernbridge would have long ago blew away with the dust, if not for the long bridge that crossed the river. It was the only road from the west side of the county that lead into Ferndale.
Parking her bike in the clearing beside the bridge, Nicky pulled off her helmet and watched as the Sons of Anarchy pulled in around her.
"Where are we going, girl?" Clay wanted to know.
Nicky pointed down the road. "This goes straight through the center of Ferndale about five miles down. Pappy's garage is at the end of town. The house's five miles down the drive behind the garage. Pappy liked it that way because his mechanics could always warn the house when someone was on the way."
"Which means," Jax grumbled, "Tank is gonna get warning that we're on our way."
"How many and where?" Clay asked.
"Last count there were four hanging out at the garage, three at the house." Nicky shrugged. "But that was a couple of days ago. More could have come or gone. But, Tank didn't like lots of folks hanging around the house. So I'd bet most of them will be at the garage."
"Probably worried someone will get cold feet about kidnapping." Jax figured. He looked at the men around him.
It was Tig, Chibs, Bobby, Opie, Juice, Clay, and himself. Half-Sack was pulling the tow truck in behind them.
"We can go toe to toe." Tig offered. Hell, rubbing his knuckles on the rough of his jeans, he was just itching for a good, old fashion butt kicking.
But Jax shook his head at that idea. "If Tank gets wind we're coming, he could hurt Alex."
"We need to get the boy out first." Chibs said the obvious. "Love, you musta been working' on a way inta 'ere…?
The girl tilted her head, rocking back on her bike. "Scout. Plan. Execute with Marine ass whooping."
"We're not Marines." Juice pointed out. "And I don't see a fucking tank or a Black Bird backing us up."
"Easy, Lightening McQueen." Nicky teased. "Was thinking we'd skip the Black Bird and go with tow truck." Turning her attention to her uncle, she jabbed a thumb over her shoulder. "There's a torn up car behind the station. Pappy's place is the only legit garage on the books here abouts. No one will look twice at a tow truck pulling into a garage or its driver looking around."
Clay look at Tig.
His Sergeant at Arms shrugged. "Sounds solid. Get a look at what we're up against."
Clay looked at Jax.
Jax nodded. "Scout. Plan. Execute." he agreed. "Need someone who knows the town though." He tilted his head toward Nicky.
Clay frowned. "They know her."
"Four know me. Only two got a good look." Nicky quickly countered. "And I know how to get from the garage to the house without anyone seeing."
Clay scratched his chin, looking her over. Finally he concluded "Yea, well, shit." He looked around at his men. "Juice… take the truck. Go with her."
Juice straightened. "Me? And her?" He actually squeaked, earning snickers and chuckles from the others.
Clay turned completely around on his bike to look him straight on. Eye brows rose, and he told him in a slow, easy tone "Yes."
"No worries, Lightening." Jax teased. "Nicky'll protect you."
"Or beat the crap outta you… again." Clay added.
The snickering turned into full fledge laughter.
She spun the radio knob like she was playing Twister.
Juice groaned. "What do you have against me?"
Popping her jaw, Nicky glanced up at him. "Huh?"
With a shake of his head, the biker reached over and turned off the radio. "Now I know why they strap toddlers down in car seats."
Nicky grinned. Leaning back in the passenger seat, she crossed her arms over her chest and braced her feet up on the dash. "Shouldn't be so tense, Lightening. Haven't you ever done the undercover thing before?"
Juice glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, before quickly refocusing on the road ahead of them. "Something like it." he mumbled, not really sure if playing bait to a perverted, dick grabbing prison snitch qualified as undercover or just plain stupid. Sure as hell wasn't going to ask her!
Nicky chuckled. "Well, that sounds like a story." She would have probed further if it wasn't for the first buildings coming into view. "Ferndale."
It was quieter than she remembered.
The curtains were pulled closed at the little Bed & Breakfast, the grass left uncut. The checker tables in front of the Ace Hardware sat empty. The big window at the corner liquor store was boarded over from a recent brake. The Bootery where she had gotten her first pair of steel toed biker boots, custom made, ordered by her Pappy, sat closed, an "On Vacation" sign in the door. A few teenagers, the local punks, sat on the brick planters outside the movie theater/recreation center, beer and soda cans tossed about like a frat house. Cars were parked, nose in, in front of the diner and little grocery store, women, children held tight to their side, dashed from building to cars, spending as little time as possible in the open. A speed sign was riddled with bullets. A skull and cross bones was spray painted on he library windows. Both church and school house had been vandalized: broken windows now boarded up; garbage cans tossed about, some burned; black tire marks scarred the school yard, some even streaking down the slides. A local cop sat on the hood of his cruiser in front of the tiny station, watching suspiciously as the tow truck navigated the streets.
Juice took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "So…. You're home town, huh?"
Nicky watched what once had been her town. She barely recognized it any more. What had once been a thriving, little hub of a rancher community, now closer resembled the Village of the Damned.
"Pappy would never have let this happen to his town." Nicky growled.
"Which is probably why the Warlords took him out first."
The girl looked at him sharply. She flared at the thought, the idea that those bastards had murdered her father. That they could possibly have the audacity to threaten what was theirs, to even breath the same air of a Son of Anarchy, to….
Juice looked at her. "You're not gonna go all van Dam crazy on me, are you? 'Cause we're supposed to be just scouting the joint, remember? Not taking on the damn bunch ourselves."
Nicky cracked a dangerous smile. "Chicken?" she asked.
"Noooo." Juice turned his attention to his driving. "But I have nothing against living either."
"Humph." Nicky looked out at the town again. "This isn't my home town." she breathed, almost more to herself than the man beside her. "Home has always been Charming. This… even back when it was pretty and sweet… this was just a place to be. Pappy always said… Our soul was on the road, our heart in Charming."
Juice smiled slightly. "Yea, I get that."
"There." Nicky dropped her feet and leaned forward. "That's Stone Mechanics."
Ahead of them, at the edge of town where the main drag turned sharply and headed back up into the mountains and woods, was a large courtyard surrounded by a chain link fence some twelve feet high. They could see through the open gate a large warehouse with huge garage doors. A dirt road went up and around the left side of the garage and disappeared into the trees behind. Trash was tossed about, beer cans, broken glass, pizza boxes. Seven motorcycles were lined up outside the garage, a hand full of big, dirty, mean looking bikers lounging about, bulling about a pair of everyday mechanics.
"Park to the right, then walk to the office at the left corner." Nicky instructed as she scrunched down in the foot well, out of sight of anyone out side the truck.
"Where you going?" Juice wanted to know.
"There's a trail in the trees to the left, runs along the tree line up to the house."
Juice threw her a warning glance.
Nicky grinned up at him. "You worry too much, Lightening. I'm not gonna do anything rash." she assured.
The Son shook his head. "You? Rash? Never crossed my mind." he lied. Putting the truck in park and turning off the engine, he watched the Warlord bikers come to their feet, eyeing the newcomer. "Ah, shit."
"What?" Nicky wondered as she slid out the passenger door.
"This is gonna hurt." Juice complained. None the less, he kicked open his door and hopped out, waving a clip board in the air as he went. "So, where you boys want this piece of junk dropped?"
Three of the bigger, meaner looking bikers headed his way. The smallest of the three wanted to know "Who said we wanted it dropped anywhere?"
Juice shrugged. "Hey, man, it's your payday. Just tell where the next shop on the block is and I'll be out of your hair."
One of the nobody mechanics ran across the yard, meeting Juice before he came within reach of the bikers. "Teller-Morrow…. We have a contract with them." he lied. Taking the clipboard, he looked up at the Son with a raised eyebrow.
"What? This joint don't look like a wrecker to me." pointed out the biker.
The mechanic took a deep breath, gathered his courage, and turned on the man. "We're not. But, when the opportunity arises, we take junkers and turn them in for the recycle pay. We get a few extra bucks, and these guys don't have to haul them all the way back to Charming."
The speaker eyed the mechanic suspiciously. He looked Juice up and down. Finally, he shrugged. Turning around, he swatted his buddies, and lead the way back to the others.
Snatching the clipboard from Juice's hands, the mechanic said "Let's go to the office. Fill out the paper work and get you on your way… son."
Juice tilted his head to one side, eyebrows raised in surprise. He hadn't expected an ally on the inside. With a quick glance at the Warlord bikers, he reminded himself not to knock a friend when he needed one.
With a shake of his head, Juice hurried after the mechanic.
The man had walked straight through the office, closing the door leading into the garage. Once Juice had entered, he hurried back and closed the door behind him. Alone, he spun about to face Juice. "What are you doing here? You're just gonna make it worse for the town."
"Who are you?" Juice wanted to know first.
"Jerry. I managed for shop for JoJo before…" He shrugged, waving a hand at the windows and the invading bikers beyond. "You…. You can't be here. Last thing we need is another dead Son. Start a goddamn war on our streets. In case you didn't notice, we've already been hit pretty damn hard."
"We're here for Alex." Juice told him. "We'll take him and leave."
"We?" The mechanic quickly looked out the windows, searching for any others. "Are there more? Is it SAMCRO? Where are they?"
The biker's eyes narrowed. Not that he wasn't thankful, but just who the hell was this dude. Shaking his head, he asked "Where's the kid?"
Jerry shrugged. "Last I heard, he was up at the house. But they don't let us up there anymore."
"So? You just left him to these guys?" Juice snapped, surprising even himself.
Jerry waved his hand in the air. "I'm not some kill-'em-all biker! I'm a fucking mechanic, for crying out loud! I have a wife and a kid…"
"Yea. We'll remember that when some kill-'em-all biker snatches your kid." He neglected to add that they would probably still get his kid back for him. "Look, man, I just want to know where Alex is. Who and how many Warlords do we have to go through to get him?"
The mechanic stood there and glared at him for a moment, before finally answering "We got them guys who are always out there. Then that bunch at the house. They keep coming and going, whenever they run out of beer or want someone to smack around." He shrugged. "Maybe six, seven, eight dudes."
Juice had a sudden image of hot headed Nicky walking in on eight, beer soaked, sex starved, kiil-'em-all bikers. "Shit." Glancing out the windows at the Warlords who were, for some drunken reason, kicking the tires on the wreck, he demanded "How do I get up there?"
"To the house?" Jerry shook his head. "Dude, they find out who you are and I'm gonna be a smear of the rod out there!"
Juice took a sudden step toward the man, hissing "You don't tell me how to get up there, you'll be a smear right here and now!"
Jerry swallowed. Grinding his teeth, he growled "If'n you don't want to get seen by that bunch, climb out the window in the john. They come in looking for you, I'm telling them you're shitting. Then I'm getting in my truck, picking up my family, and getting the hell out of this fucked up town."
Juice huffed and started for the bathroom.
But Jerry had to add "You know, JoJo… he was a good man. He looked out for us. Looked out for our families."
"Yea? Well, where the hell were you when he and his family needed a little looking out for?" Juice demanded.
"Where were you?" Jerry demanded right back.
The biker glared at him. He thought about pummeling the man right then and there, but remembered what Nicky was walking into. Snapping about, he continued on his way.
Like the town, the Stone house did not fare well under Warlord rule.
Beer bottles, smashed windows, garbage, the reek of piss and pot smoke, scorch marks in the grass, trees pock marked with bullets, white picket fence burned down, brick bar-b-q pit smashed….
Nicky barely recognized her childhood home any more. Not that it mattered much. She simply didn't care. It hadn't been her home for awhile now. All she wanted now was to get her brother, kill Tank, and get the hell out of there.
Burn the whole fucking town down for all she cared!
Physics aside, she and Alex were already long gone.
It was the four smelly bikers laying about the front porch that was the problem. Whip and Dickie and two others she didn't recognize.
Now, she knew she could take Whip and Dickie, least one on one. Pretty sure Whip was too mean and Dickie was too stupid to win even if they teamed up on her. But the other two she didn't know. And just where the hell was Tank?
Unknowns were dangerous things.
"Come on, piglet. Time to earn your keep."
Alex was thrown out the front door and down the porch steps. Hitting the ground with a thud, the boy laid for a moment, stunned. But hearing his attacker coming, he quickly scrambled about and jumped to his feet.
Tank stepped out the front door and stood at the top of the steps. "Where are they, boy?" he roared.
Alex raised his eyes just enough to glare at the man. "Suck my dick, asshole." he snarled, his little boy voice cracking under the strain of trying to sound all groan up.
Tank stared. "What did you say to me?" He glanced at his buddies who had managed to climb to their feet to watch the scene. "Did you hear what the little piglet said to me?"
"Man." Whip chuckled. "Didn't realize homos came so small."
Little hands balled up into fists, Alex huffed at him. "You'd know all about homos, wouldn't you?!"
Whip leaped over the rail, landing just a few feet away from the child. His hand came up, ready to take a swing at him. "Mouthy little bastard."
Mustering far more courage than a ten year old should have, Alex squared off in front of him and snapped "Yo mamma!"
Tank laughed. Coming down the steps, he observed "Piglet's got himself a pair of steel marbles." Grabbing a handful of the boy's hair and jerking his head around so he could see those hard little eyes, he wondered "Is he all balls, or does he have an ounce of self preservation somewhere in there?"
Alex glared at him.
The big biker bent over. Tilting the child's head so he could speak into his ear, Tank snarled "You think, if you hold out long enough, your fabled SAMCRO will come for you? Maybe big sister will return from the dead? Your old man told you way too many fairytales. Piglet, you ain't Sleeping Beauty, and there's no Prince Charming in your future. You don't want to die? Tell me where the fucking guns are." He rose up and spread his hands. "Tell me and you can walk right outta here. Hell, I'll even buy you a fucking bus ticket to Charming."
Alex stuck his jaw out. "Suck! My! Dick!"
Tank doubled up his fist, pulled back….
"Touch him and I'll blow your fucking brains out!" Nicky yelled stepping out of the trees, her 9mm up and at the ready.
The Warlords snapped about, hands reaching for their own guns.
"Hey!" Nicky yelled. "I am a Marine trained, pissed off biker chick with a big ass fucking gun and PMSing out the wazzoo! Do you seriously want to provoke me any further? Let! The! Kid! Go!"
Tank released Alex. "Hell and high water, little Nicky came home." he whistled. Holding his hands up, he grinned from ear to ear. "You missed me, baby?"
"Yea, like a yeast infection." Nicky growled. "Alex, in the trees."
The boy spun about and ran down the dirt drive.
"What now?" Whip wanted to know. "You gonna shoot us all?"
Nicky kept her eye on each of them, though her gun remained trained on Tank. "Thought came to mind." she admitted.
"Question." Tank rubbed his chin, played in the dirt with the toe of his boot, before finally asking "If you're busy shooting us, how you gonna shoot the dude behind you?"
At first Nicky thought it was the oldest distraction in the book. But then she heard leaves crumple under foot behind her. "Shit…" she managed before her world slammed into blackness.
Juice saw the boy running toward him.
The kid was too busy looking over his shoulder to see who he was heading for.
"Hey!" Juice called.
The boy skidded to a halt so suddenly, he tripped over his own feet, falling to his hands and knees on the sharp gravel drive. "Ow." he barely got out before he was scrambling away from the newcomer.
"Hey, hey, hey." Juice quickly said, holding up his hands. "It's alright. I'm not gonna…"
Whip grabbed the boy by the back of his color, dragging him to his feet. "Where you think you're going, you little piss?!" he snarled. The Warlord shook the small body violently until Alex finally gave up struggling. Grinning like he was holding up a prized catch, he looked up at Juice, expecting to see that it had been one of his club brothers.
Juice slammed his fist up, catching the biker under the jaw and slamming him back. Yanking Alex away, pushing him behind him, Juice followed Whip. Another fist to the jaw dropped the Warlord. A vicious kick at the man's head made sure Whip was down for the count. Glaring down at him, Juice gave him one more kick, satisfied with the sickening sound of ribs breaking. "Son of a bitch." he snarled at the still figure. "You don't hit kids, asshole!" That said, he turned to find Alex.
The boy was standing a few feet away, eyes big, little hands balled up, knees skinned and bleeding.
Juice forced himself to relax, trying to be as unthreatening as possible. "Alex, it's alright. I'm Juice. I'm a Son. Friend of your sister."
The boy tilted his head to the side, but his fists stayed tight and held at the ready.
Juice scratched his head. "Damn, JoJo raised tough and mean kids." he whistled.
Alex straightened at the mention of his father. "You really one of them? You SAMCRO?" His eyes narrowed. "You come to kill Tank?"
"Huh." The biker didn't like the idea of talking about it in front of a child. "First we're gonna get you out of here." Juice reached for him.
But Alex pulled away. "No! They have Nicky! You have to help me get her back. We can do it! You and me!"
Juice's jaw dropped. "You? And me? Kid, what the hell you smoking? I'm not taking you into any fight. Forget you and me taking on, what? Six, Eight… plus the four in the garage? I don't even know what sort of guns do they have. And what the hell do you mean they have Nicky?" Shit, shit, shit. What the crap happened? What the crap was he going to do? He couldn't take on this bunch himself even without a kid to worry about. And now they have Nicky?
The boy snapped his jaw shut and he glared up at the biker.
Juice glared right back for a moment, before it accord to him that he was trying to stare down a ten year old. Sighing, he scratched his head. "Look, kiddo, I'm not going to leave Nicky. I promise you, I will not leave her. But one of us has to go get help, has to go get Clay and Jax."
"Uncle Clay? SAMCRO Uncle Clay?" the boy asked in aw.
Juice almost chuckled. He wondered what would happen if he called him `Uncle Clay.'
Alex was spinning about. "Where is he? Why isn't he here?"
Juice crouched down so he could be eye level with the kid. "You need to go get him. He doesn't know where to go. He's waiting for us at Fernbridge. You know where that is?" When the boy nodded, he told him "Climb in the bathroom window in the garage. You know Jerry? Tell him to take you to Fernbridge. Okay?"
Now his anger was fading, fear was finally sinking in. Alex's nod was almost frantic, his teeth clacking. "Nicky…?"
"I'm gonna get her back." Juice promised. "But I need SAMCRO's help. You have to be our hero, here, kiddo. You have to get help. Can you do that? Be my little brother. Save the day."
Again the nod. Alex was still nodding as he turned and started down the drive again.
Juice waited until he was out of sight. Then, with a groan, he dropped his chin to his chest, running his hands over his head. What was he gonna do? What the fuck was he gonna do?
With an angry shake of his head, he rose up, spun about, and gave the groaning Whip another kick.
Jerry was actually startled to hear the bathroom door creak. He hadn't thought the SAMCRO biker had been gone long enough… or, well hell, that'd he'd even make it back.
He was right out shocked when he heard the little voice call his name.
"Jerry? Hey, Jerry!"
Jerry glanced out the front windows, assuring that the Warlords were too busy drinking and pushing each other around to take notice, then stepped back to the bathroom door. "Alex? How…?"
"Take me to Fernbridge."
A few minutes later, Jerry stepped outside. "Hey… um, guys…" He winced when the bikers turned on him, almost as if their glares were physical blows. "Tank!" he hurried on just as quickly as he could. "tank called. He wants you all up at the house."
The four men looked at one another. One belched. Another returned the favor. As if speaking their own personal language, they shrugged, and started around the building, following the drive up to the house.
Jerry stood very still as he watched them go. He couldn't help but think any move, even the slightest, might draw their attention back to him, back to the little boy hidden just behind his legs.
But they kept walking, stumbling drunkenly into one another, laughing and making crude jokes at one another. And soon, they were out of sight and sound.
"Now." Jerry breathed. He stepped aside.
Alex ran across the yard to Jerry's truck, climbed in the driver's door and hunkered in the foot well. Jerry was only a few feet behind him. In moments, they were speeding through Ferndale's dead streets.
Nicky bit back a cry as she was slammed forward, face first into the chopping block. Her bottom lip split, the copper taste of blood flowing over her toung.
Tank grabbed a hand full of her hair, pulling her head back so he could look down at her. "Don't make me mess up that pretty face of yours. Just tell me where the guns are."
Beaten and bloody, the girl still managed to grin up at him. "Suck… my… dick."
The Warlord slammed the back of his gloved hand across her face, sending her tumbling across the ground. He followed. "Now we know where piglet got his balls from. Sure as hell not from your old man."
Nicky stiffened. Fingers dug into dirt, legs braced against the ground.
Tank flexed his hand, shaking it, as if the last hit hurt him. "Man, expected something more from one of the great and mighty Sons of Anarchy. Wined and cried, begged for his life like a woman." He paused and looked at her again. "Got more balls and guts from his ten year old brat." He reached for her again. "And his skinny ass girl."
Nicky twisted, throwing a handful of dirt up in his face.
Tank cried out, his hands coming up to his face, the dirt blinding him.
The girl's foot swung out, sweeping his feet out from under him. She was on him before he even realized he was on the ground. Straddling his chest, her fists moving like lightening, pummeling the monster's face. "Lying son of a bitch!" she yelled. "Fuckin' asshole… beating on little kids and old men!"
Suddenly a boot caught her in the ribs, throwing her up and off of the man. Her chest seemed to explode as air rushed from her lungs. Again, the world began to grow dark.
`No, no, no!' her mind screamed at her, willing her body to stay awake. `Stay conscious. Stay moving. Don't let them catch you helpless.'
"Little bitch." she could hear Tank.
"Man! She did a number on your face." spoke his savior, Dickie. "Think she broke your nose."
"It was already broken!" Tank roared.
"Well, man, what comes after broken? 'Cause it sure looks a hell of a lot worse than it had."
Arm wrapped around her ribs, Nicky used the other to push herself up into a sitting position. When she could see clearly again, she looked around.
Tank's hands were cupped over his face, blood pouring through his fingers. Two other Warlords were holding him up, one trying to inspect the damage.
"Man, I think you need a doctor." one advised.
Tank's blood shot eyes glared over his fingers at his captive. "Tie her up!" he snarled. Then he spun about, wobbled, and staggered up the steps and into the house.
The Warlords looked at each other, than looked at Nicky.
Knuckles split and bleeding, Nicky spat blood on the ground at their feet. "So, which one of you big men's gonna try and tie me up?" she challenged.
"Well, fuck." Dickie groaned.
"Huh. That's what I said."
The Warlords spun about to see the tall, wiry Mex in grease stained overalls aiming a gun at them.
"Who the hell are you?" Dickie demanded.
"I'm the guy with the gun." Juice snapped. "By happy I'm not the guy with the gun shooting your ass! Now, back the hell up!"
Raising their hands, the men begun to back away.
"Nice to see you, Lightening." Nicky greeted as she forced herself to her feet. Ignoring the sharp pain in her side, she started to walk toward him.
"Sure. Why not." was her mumbled answer. They'd talk about the cracked ribs later.
When she was close enough, Juice started to reach for her. But then Nicky stopped and looked pass him. Juice heard the all too familiar click, felt the cold barrel pressed against the back of his skull.
"Ah, shit." Juice groaned, letting his gun fall to the ground.
"Huh." Nicky agreed. "That's what I said."
The cafe was so tiny, their group nearly took up every seat in the house. The owner, an aging man with thin gray hair and overalls, watched them suspiciously from behind the counter while his wife and sister nervously rushed about, serving the bikers coffee and pie.
Jax stood in the door, watching for any sign of his friends returning over the bridge. Bobby and Chibs took up one table, Tig and Clay another. 'Sack was keeping himself busy with the pinball machine in the corner. Opie was sitting on the window sill, watching Jax. None of them had much to say besides the occasional tease when 'Sack lost a game or Bobby asked for another piece of pie.
It wasn't until a good two hours had passed before Opie asked Jax "You ever think much 'bout Nicky since they left town?"
Jax glanced at him with narrow eyes. He shrugged. "Yea… now and again, I guess. I mean, Gemma would keep me up dated as she got news. But, I don't know, I guess she was just one of those kids that was there, then wasn't."
"Why'd they leave?" Opie wanted to know. "Our dads were tight. Didn't seem like one of them to move away."
Clay spoke up then with a short, final "He had his reasons."
The two looked at their president who avoided their eyes, focusing, instead, on the last swish of coffee in his cup. He held it up and waited for the sister to hurry over and refill it.
Before she stepped away, Tig reached out and took her hand.
With a startled gasped, she tried to pull away, but Tig held on to her hand as if it was a beloved gift from a long lost love.
The owner instantly started out from behind his counter, a shot gun coming up from beneath.
But 'Sack, not so distracted by his game as the others had thought, quickly cut him off. With quick, fluid moves, he grabbed the shotgun barrel, pulling it up with one hand, while the other hand grabbed the trigger guard, blocking the firing of the weapon. With a quick, violent twist, he had the gun and was stepping back to lean it up against the wall on the other side of the pinball machine.
Clay, looked at his youngest with a surprised smile. With a flick of his hand, he sent Chibs and Bobby back to their seats, and turned his attention to his Master of Arms.
Tig had ignored everyone accept the woman whose hand he held. With an almost shy expression, he told her softly "You make very good pie."
Eyes wide with fear, lips trembling, she managed to whimper "Thank you, sir."
As if the thanks had been a kiss on the cheek, the deadly man blushed. Dropping his eyes, he released her hand, allowing her a quick retreat back to her brother's protective side.
Settling back into his seat, Bobby asked "What I want to know is what she's gonna do now?" He winked at Chibs. "Maybe move on back to Charming… fall madly, passionately in love with a big, handsome Elvis impersonator, do wild, unspeakable things to him… name her favorite parts of him like… Big Redwood…"
Clay cleared his throat. "I remember the night she was born. Right in the club house one wild night." His eyes narrowed as he gave Bobby that look father's saved for men eyeing their daughters. "We wrapped her in my shirt."
Bobby, a man who never bulked at chasing a pretty girl, suddenly felt like this was one girl he'd start treating like a sweet, innocent, virgin, baby sister. Else, he just might lose Big Redwood all together.
"What I'd like to know is where she is." Jax admitted. "They should have been back by now." He looked to his step-father. "Something's wrong."
Clay took a deep breath and let it out slowly. He looked at Tig who simply shrugged. Clay almost chuckled. "It's always fight or flirt for you." he complained to his friend.
"What… what do you people want?" the café owner managed. He glanced sharply at 'Sack as the young blond leaned back against the pin ball machine, keeping a good eye on him. "We don't have anything you want. Your friends already cleaned us out."
"Our friends?" 'Sack repeated. He glanced at the other Sons, wondering if he had missed something.
Tig huffed. "Old mans blind. Can't tell SAMCRO from Warlord."
"You think we're Warlords?" Sack actually sounded insulted, disgusted even.
Jax shook his head. "You know JoJo?" he asked the owner.
The man's eyes narrowed. "JoJo… he looked after us… after our town." He looked at 'Sack again, then back at the VP. "You're his people? You're not with Tank and his crowd?"
"Yea…We're JoJo's people." Clay answered. He took a sip of his coffee before rising to his feet. Looking at his step son, he finally agreed "It's taken them too long." He tossed a couple of dollars on the table and headed for the door.
His crew started to follow.
"Hey!" the owner yelled after them. "You gonna fight them? You gonna send them back to whatever level of hell they came from?"
"Oregon." Sack told him as he followed his elders.
The Prospect nodded. "The hell they came from: Oregon."
"Oregon." the owner repeated, a little in disbelief. But then he shook his head and hurried after them. "You need more men!"
Clay stopped. With a tilt of his head, he looked back at the man. "More?"
Jax gave the man his own look. "Just how many more do we need? How many Warlords are up there?"
The owner shrugged. "Thirteen, fourteen. I only know about the ones who came through here to chase the girls. I had to send my daughter to Eureka, get her out of reach."
"Fourteen." Jax repeated. He looked at his father. "We sent Nicky and Juice in against fourteen Warlords?"
"Shit." Clay growled. Spinning about, he continued on to the bikes, snapping "Let's go!"
Engines roaring, they had barely made it across the Fernbridge when a pickup truck drove through the middle of them, sending most of them off the road. Chibs skidded down the river embankment, his bike twisting out from under him on the loose gravel, throwing the Irishman.
"Son of a bitch!" Clay roared when he had gotten his own bike under control.
"Chibs!" 'Sack yelled as he ran down the embankment to his friend.
Cursing and snarling, Chibs rolled over on his back and glared up at the sky.
'Sack dropped to his knees beside him. "You okay? Anything broken? Are you bleeding?"
"Shut up." Chibs snapped. "Where's my bike?"
Clay glanced down to see his man was alive and, with 'Sack's immediate attention, sitting up. He turned his attention to the truck.
It had skidded to a halt in the middle of the bridge, the driver climbing out.
Tig was already on him. One fist taking him in the jaw and slamming him back against the truck. The other fist grabbed overalls and yanked him within hitting range again.
But, before he could hit again, a small boy leaped out of the driver's door, slamming into Tig and pushing him away from the driver.
On pure enraged instinct, Tig adjusted his aim.
"Stop!" Clay commanded, leaping forward.
"Tig!" Jax yelled, a step behind.
Again, he reacted out of instinct, freezing at Clay's command. Tig stood, glaring down at his attacker.
Despite the big man and his heavy fist and his deadly glare, the little boy stood his ground, glaring right back at the biker.
"Stop, stop, stop." the driver was pleading. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean… I was hurrying… I didn't mean to hurt anyone…."
"Shut up." Clay growled. He stepped between Tig and the boy.
"Chibs! You okay?" Jax called.
'Sack was helping Chibs to his feet while Bobby and Opie were standing up his bike and looking it over for damage.
"Ah'll live." the Irishman answered, though the growl in his tone told all he'd live a lot happier if they let him have a swing at the driver.
The boy sudden reached out and grabbed Clay's cut.
"Hey!" Clay wasn't sure how to react. A few years older and he'd put the kid in his place. But this small…
"You SAMCRO?" the boy demanded.
Clay glanced sharply at Jax.
Jax frowned. "Alex? Alex Stone?"
The boy looked up at him and nodded.
Clay dropped to one knee, grabbing the boy by the shoulders. "Are you alright? Where's your sister? Where's Juice?"
And then the driver stepped up and started babbling. "They've got Nicky. And your biker dude… one with the lightening bolts…. He went to rescue her…. Which was real stupid 'cause he doesn't stand a chance. They're gonna kill him sure as hell. But he sent Alex to get help. And Alex and me…. We got out of there to come and get you guys, so you can go help them. If you don't get in there fast, there's not gonna be anything left to rescue. But, hey, you've got Alex now. I'm done. I'm gonna go get my family and get the hell out of here and…."
"I need your truck." Jax interrupted.
Tank was pissed off. His face hurt like hell. Breathing was just short of impossible. He wasn't even sure he had a nose left.
And that little bitch just hung there, grinning like… like… like her fucking old man did when he told Tank and the Warlords to suck his dick. Shit, he was still grinning when he did a swan dive off the cliff, a bullet in his back.
What the fuck was wrong with this family?
"Hey, man, sit down." offered a Warlord as he set a rocking chair from the house behind Tank.
Snarling his gratitude, Tank dropped back into the chair. He looked at where Whip laid in the dirt, shreds of a bed sheet wrapped around his bleeding head. He wasn't sure what pissed him off more: that the asshole with the freaky haircut beat the crap out of his boyhood friend; or that his boyhood friend let his piglet get away.
And he had been looking forward to skewing that little, sweet piglet and turning him slowly over white hot coals…. in front of his skank of a sister.
'Course the problem at hand was, now that he didn't have the boy, how was he going to make Nickita talk.
Tank's eyes shifted to the man that hung beside Nicky. "Fuck, man." he huffed. "Who the hell fucked up your head?"
The stranger's eyes narrowed. "Fuck, man, who the hell fucked up your face?"
"Umm… That was me." Nicky answered.
He twisted so he could look at her. "Uh… should have guessed. "You have a thing against the male of the species?"
"That…" Nicky threw her chin in Tank's direction. "That is not of our species."
The stranger sniffed loudly, looking back at the busted up Warlord. "Yea… I'll go with that."
Dickie rose up and took a stomp toward the two. "Just who the hell are you? Whatcha you got to do with her?"
"He's nobody. A tow truck driver." Nicky explained. "I was hitching. He was picking strange girls up on the side of the road."
Tank grunted. "A tow truck driver with a gun?"
Nicky shrugged the best she could while hanging by the arms. "Shit. Maybe he's a perverted freeway killer. I mean, he does pickup hitchhikers." She whistled. "You boys just saved my honor and life."
The stranger chuckled.
Dickie jabbed him in the ribs with the barrel of his gun. "What's you're name?"
Wincing, the man glared at him for a moment, before answering "McQueen. Lightening McQueen. Wanna race?"
Nicky laughed. "I'll be damned. I didn't think you got the reference."
He tilted his head. "Opie's got kids. Cars is a required communications skill."
"What the fuck are you talking about?" Dickie demanded. Not giving him a chance to answer, he punched him in the gut.
If he wasn't hanging, the stranger would have doubled up in pain, the air forced out of his lungs. As it was, all he could do was squeeze his eyes close and gasp for breath.
Nicky jerked against her bonds, glaring at the Warlord.
Tank's head came up, watching her. "Dickie, ever played Russian Roulette?"
"Dude!" Nicky huffed at him. "Sounds like you've got a stuffed up nose."
Lightening managed a weak chuckle. "What nose?"
"Eeeeew." The girl gave a disgusted wince.
Dickie's answer was to backhand the man across the face.
"Hey!" Nicky snapped at him, jerking against the bonds again. "What sort of Warlords can't fight a fair fight?!" she demanded.
Tank pushed himself to his feet and approached his two prisoners. Leaning close to the girl, he grabbed her by the chin. His fingers still sticky with his own blood, he left smears on her cheeks. Slowly, he answered her with a snarled "A great, all conquering Warlord." He stepped back, raised a gun and aimed it at Lightning's head. "Where are the guns?"
Lightning frowned. Spitting blood, he looked at Nicky. "Guns?"
Nicky glared at Tank.
Tank pulled the trigger, releasing a solid click.
Nicky's breath caught in her throat.
"Where are the fucking guns!" Tank screamed at her.
He pulled the trigger.
"Fuck!" Juice snapped, jerking. "Fuck, fuck, fuck!"
"Swear to Hell!" Nicky yelled at Tank. "You pull that fucking trigger again, man, and they'll be digging what's left of your nose out of your fucking ass!"
Dickie frowned. "Thought he was just some psycho truck driver."
"Yea… well, he's a cute psycho truck driver!" she snapped at him.
"Thank you." Juice breathed.
Tank sank his fist in Juice's gut.
The air exploded out of Juice's lungs and the world grew fuzzy and all sound was dulled out by the pounding of his pulse. The very next thing he heard when the world began to come back was the unmistakable click of a trigger being pulled.
"Son of a bitch!" Nicky snarled.
"Where are the guns!"
"Fuck you, you fucking pile of shit!" Nicky screamed at him. "You seriously think I'll tell you anything? For this guy? You killed JoJo. Hell, I'd shoot him myself if it means you don't get what you want!"
Juice gasped for air, his mind struggling to think. He had to get them out of here. Somehow. He started to look up to where the ropes around his wrists looped around a hook. If he could just brace his feet against something, maybe he could pull the loop off…
The gun pressed against the side of his jaw.
Nicky's voice dropped to a snarl. "You are a fucking dead man, Tank."
Tank managed to smile despite his bloody and swollen face. "Lightening first."
A loud crash sounded from down the drive.
The Warlords came to their feet, looking at each other.
"What was that?" Dickie wanted to know. So intent on the noise, he tripped on the still unconscious Whip still laying on the ground. He fell flat on his face in the dirt at Tank's feet.
Tank stepped back, looking down at his man. "What the hell are you doing?"
The pickup truck busting through the back of the garage and up the drive right at them was enough to draw their attention.
Nicky's feet came up, kicking, slamming into Tank's side and sending him stumbling away from them.
"Don't just hang around!" Nicky snapped at Juice. "Time to get out of here." Bracing her feet against the pole and grabbing the hook with one hand, she was able to get enough leverage to slip her rope up and over the hook.
The truck creaned up the drive, skidding in the dirt and gravel, heading directly for the Warlords.
It took them a breath or two, but then it accord to them that they were under attack. And they scattered.
As soon as Nicky's feet hit the ground she was moving.
Tank lunged, grabbing at her, but she twisted away and around Juice. "Do me a favor, Lightening, and kick that son of a bitch."
Tank grabbed at her again, but Juice pushed away from his pole, swinging both feet straight at the Warlord's chest.
Tank was thrown back into the dirt.
The truck smashed through what was left of the fence and smashed into the side of the house. For a moment all was silent.
Then the Warlords were drawing guns and opening fire on the truck.
From behind them, from the same trees Juice and Nicky had snuck up through, came an answering shot. Then another. Coming out of the trees, spread out, guns up and taking aim, were the Sons of Anarchy.
One of the Warlords spun about, grabbing at his shoulder as he fell to the ground.
His fellows again took time out to look at each other, their slow, drunken minds unable to grasp the what exactly was going on. Apparently giving up on any sort of good sense, they just started shooting.
"Get down already!" Nicky snapped at her fellow captive as she spun around and kicked at Dickie who was struggling to free his gun from his belt.
Following her example, the SoA grabbed the hook and pulled himself up enough with one hand, that he was able to slip his rope free. Hands still tied together, he dropped down to the ground.
"Shoot the bitch!" Tank screamed. "Shoot the bitch!"
Juice grabbed Nicky's collar and yanked her back just in time to miss the bullet fired from another Warlord.
"Juice! Get down!" Jax yelled.
Juice shoved the girl down to the ground, ignoring her cursing protests.
Tank rose up again, aiming his gun right at Juice's head. "Die." he ordered before pulling the trigger.
Juice winced at the empty click. But, realizing he hadn't been shot, he smiled at the Warlord. "Russian Roulette, asshole. I win." Then he lunged, tackling Tank and driving him to the ground. Slamming his tied hands down at his tormentor.
Dickie ran in, slamming the butt of his gun across the back of Juice's head, knocking him off.
His head exploaded in flashes of light and pain as he rolled off Tank and fell back into the dirt.
"Get up! Lightening, get up!" he could hear screamed somewhere far off. But everything was suddenly heavy and suffocating. The gun fire sounded like little pops. Voices were a distent humm. And, for a moment, Juice forgot where he was. He struggled to his hands and knees.
Dickie kicked, catching him in the ribs with enough force it flipped him on his back. Ignoring the fight around him, the tall, lean Warlord stood over the fallen SoA and aimed his gun at his head.
"Hey!" Jax yelled as he rushed forward.
But Nicky got to him first. She slammed her shoulder into Dickie's back, toppling him over the top of Juice.
When Dickie rolled away, coming up with gun still in hand, he was slammed back down by Jax's fist.
Nicky glanced around, looking for someone else to hit. But the Warlords were already giving up.
Five were on the ground, bleeding and moaning. A couple were running scared down the drive. Most were laying down their guns, raising their hands.
One was trading punches with little Half-Sack, but the army boy dodged the bigger man's swings easily, dishing out quick, powerful punches. It took only a minute or two for the young SoA to be to have the man laid out on the ground.
Tig was delivering vicious kick after vicious kick to a Warlord already on the ground. He snarled and snapped his teeth with each blow like a rabid dog.
"Nicky…" Clay suddenly yelled, taking a step toward her.
A heavy hand grabbed her by the hair, dragging her back, off her feet. Tank wrapped a thick arm around her, pinning her arms to her side, and holding her to his body. Chin resting on her shoulder, he ignored her squirming and hissed in her ear "Fuck you, you little bitch." He pressed the gun to her head.
The Sons of Anarchy stopped cold. Even Tig stopped in mid kick to glare at the head Warlord.
"Let her go." Jax ordered, but he didn't dare take a step to make him. He had no doubt that the fat man, busted up and bleeding, would kill his cousin.
Clay pointed a finger at the Warlord. "You hurt her and I'll kill you." he promised.
"Uncle Clay." Nicky called to him. "Kill him anyways." She slammed her head back against what was left of Tank's nose.
Pain once more enveloped Tank's world and he dropped the girl.
Nicky fell forward on top of Juice.
Clay and Jax fired as one, the others a breath behind.
Tank was dead before he hit the ground.
When Juice managed to open his eyes again, he was looking up into Nicky's green eyes. She was laying on his chest, smiling down at him. "Hey." he managed, wondering just what had he missed and was it any good.
"Hey, Lightening." she managed back.
Then Jax crouched down beside them. "You want us to, you know, give the two of you a little privacy?" he teased. "Hell, we can come back later."
The cut was pinned high on the wall by a knife straight through the collar. The bullet hole went straight through the Reaper's chest, blood stain surrounding the hole with almost red-black flames. The shoulder was torn at the seam from when it was ripped off JoJo's body. A boot print on the side…
Nicky closed her eyes, turning her head.
Clay stepped around her and yanked the knife out of the wall, catching the cut. Carefully folding it, he turned to face the daughter of his long time friend. "You know, we all say it, but not many of us actually end up having to go through with it." he told her.
She looked up at him. "What?" she whispered.
"You're SAMCRO for life. Only way this cut comes off our backs is off our cold, dead bodies." He held the cut out to her. "Your daddy was a good man. He was a strong and loyal man. He was a Son of Anarchy. And he was my brother."
Nicky sniffed, and smiled up at him. "He missed you too." she let him know softly.
Clay smiled back. Then he took deep breath and looked around the house. "Anything else you want to salvage?"
Nicky glanced about. With a sigh, she shook her head. "The bastards tore the place all to hell. Just burn it down and be done with it."
"Torch and done. Think we can manage that." Clay wrapped an arm around her shoulders and lead her back out on the porch.
Juice was sitting on the top step, Chibs fussing over his head.
"He gonna live?" Clay wanted to know, sounding more gruff and less concern than he really was.
"Sure." Chibs answered. He set a hand on Juice's shoulder. "Few bruised ribs, maybe a concusion… probably a concusion…. But nothin' that'd kill 'im."
"Death would be nice right about now." Juice groaned.
Chibs chuckled and dropped an ice pack on his head. "If not fer 'at hard head of yers, you woulda been." He turned his attention to the girl. "Nicky, darlin', ya alright? Yer face is all black an' blue. Could probably use some ice on 'at lip."
Nicky looked up at him and started to smile, but winced. Gingerly she touched her lips. "Yea… guess I'll have to give up on that modeling career."
"Eh, ya'll heal. Be as pretty as ever." the Irishman assured.
"Ah… you're sweet." Looking around him, she demanded of Juice "Hey, Lightening! Why can't you be sweet like that?"
"'Cause I get the crap kicked out of me when you're around!" Juice growled.
Nicky grinned up at Chibs. "I think he likes me."
"Do not!" Juice protested. Falling back across the porch, he laid the ice pack over his eyes. "And stop calling me Lightening!"
Chibs chuckled. "Ah think yer right." he whispered to Nicky.
Clay frowned at the whole thing. Wasn't quite sure he liked the teasing between Juice and Nicky. Wasn't quite sure he liked that over protective feeling he was getting for the girl. But, JoJo gone, and him being the girl godfather… ignoring the fact that she was all grown up and a war experienced Marien.
Wouldn't be the first time he took on a friend's kid.
Thinking of such… "Where's Jax and the boys?" Clay asked as he started down the steps, looking around for his men.
The living Warlords were tied up and sitting in the back of the pickup, back to back, knees to knees. The two dead, including Tank, were gone.
"Jax's taken care of the bodies. Took Tig and Sack with 'im. An' Bobby…" Chibs looked up as the tow truck pulled up in front of the house. "'ere he is."
Almost before the truck had stopped, Alex was leaping out of the passenger's door. "Nicky!" he cried, running to her and wrapping his arms around her with such force she had to step back.
"Alex, my main man." Nicky greeted back, hugging her brother for all she was worth. "You okay, kiddo? They hurt you?"
"Not a chance in hell." Alex promised, despite the bruises visable on his jaw. "I'm tough."
"Tough as hell." Bobby agreed as he climbed out of the truck. "Shoulda seen him get in Tig's face. Man just didn't know what to do about him." He chuckled.
"'Course he did." Nicky laughed. She cupped little Alex's face and turned it up. "He's a Stone. Hard as rock."
"And I didn't tell them. Not one word!" Alex told her proudly.
Clay frowned. "Tell him what?"
"Guns." Juice mumbled. Sitting up, letting the ice pack dropping in his lap, he looked at Nicky. "What guns?"
"Guns?" Clay repeated glancing back at his man to make sure he had heard right. Then he turned his attention back to the siblings. "What guns?"
"Guns." Nicky mumbled.
"Yea." Juice insisted. "You know…. Those things that had a big, fat, smelly bastard putting a gun to my head and pulling the trigger for!"
"Ah… guns." She looked down at Alex. "Pappy didn't move them, did he?" When the boy shook his head, she wrapped an arm around his shoulders and told the SoA "If you gentlemen would follow me…"
The brother and sister walked out to the center of the yard where a wood pile had been tipped over. Kicking the wood out of the way, Nicky crouched down and dug in the dirt until she pulled free a rope. "My mother's family came from money. To be precise, Weaver Arms money. Since we lost the Nighthawk to China, we don't do a lot of gun making any more. But, we do have a few government contracts."
"Government contracts as in making guns for the military?" Bobby asked.
Nicky waved the men back a step and she began to pull on the rope. A slab of the ground, six feet long, four feet wide, began to slide. "Not exactly. All those guns confiscated by cops or U.S. forces are mostly marked to be destroyed and sent to Weaver Arms for the deed."
Juice chuckled. "Oh, crap."
Nicky paused and looked back at him with a grin. "Pappy hand picked the crew. They destroy the junk, anything useless, and enough scrap metal to make it look like the whole load when into the burners. Anything usable, they clean, make repairs. Part of the contract with the military is to turn what guns we can around to arm friendlies."
Alex ran pass his sister and down into the hole the slab had revealed. In a minute a light came on and Nicky lead the way down into an old bomb shelter. She continued to explain "About a quarter, just enough to make it worth while, not enough to attract attention, we keep. Stripped, barrels traded out, serial numbers acid… completely clean and untraceable."
"Holy shit." Clay gasped, stopping cold at the foot of the steps.
It was a comfortable sized, cemented room, 18'x18'. But it was filled with racks upon racks of guns. Each rack was a different type of gun. There were three large crates in the center of the room, the last shipment that hadn't been unpacked yet.
The Sons wandered the room with big eyes, looking a bit like kids in a candy store.
"Damn. I've died and gone to gun runner heaven." Bobby whistled.
Clay turned back to Nicky. "What were you gonna do with all these?"
She shrugged. "Pappy knew you guys were having trouble here and there with the supply. He wanted to make sure that the Sons had an alternative." She shook her head. "Now, we can't be the main supply line, not without taking on some very much unwanted attention. But, we can stock enough to give you a bit of leverage, give you some negotiating power."
"JoJo did this?" Clay wanted to be clear about it.
Nicky nodded. "I had the military connections. Found out when the contracts were coming up for bid. Pappy found a club loyal crew, handled the State side action. And here we are."
Clay looked around again. "Why didn't he tell me?"
The girl almost laughed. "When, in the last fifteen years, did the two of you actually talked to each other?"
The SoA President's eyes snapped about to glare at her, but he didn't say anything.
Nicky sighed and shook her head. "I was in Iraqi. Best I can guess is he was waiting to build up enough stock."
"Bullets." Alex spoke up.
Everyone paused and looked at the boy.
Alex had attached himself the Juice's overalls and was following him around. He didn't even look at any of them as he continued to explain "We didn't have bullets. Just guns. Pappy wanted to fix that."
"Fixed." Bobby answered. "We have another supplier of bullets. It was guns we were having trouble with." He clapped his hands. "Back in gun runner's heaven!"
"Holy shit!" was Jax's immediate reaction when he came down the steps.
"Yea?" Nicky chuckled. "Think I've heard that before."
"Where the hell did this all come from?" the VP wanted to know.
Nicky took a deep breath and started again. "My mother's family came from…"
"Yea. Long story." Clay interrupted. He looked at his step-son. "Tank?"
Jax took one more look at the treasure before answering "No one's gonna find them."
Bobby jabbed a thumb over his shoulder, back up the stairs. "What about that truck load?"
"Shoot 'em!" Alex growled. "Kill every one of them!"
Nicky looked at her little brother, startled at his sudden blood lust. Nine year olds weren't supposed to want to murder people. Even after all he had been through. "Alex…" she started, but she stopped when she realized she didn't know what to say. Hell, she wanted them dead too. But she was old enough to know what she wanted wasn't what was always best.
"Alex, come here." Clay ordered.
The boy blinked. He glanced at his sister, then, with a set jaw, released his hold on Juice and walked right up to Clay.
Clay crouched down so he could be eye to eye with the boy. "Alex, when we get home, you and me are going to have a conversation. Until then I'm the President of this club and I'm the one who gets to say who we kill and who we don't."
Alex's eyes narrowed. He wanted to protest. He wanted to run up there and kill them himself. But he knew the chain of command. His father taught him how to throw a punch, how to sharpen his pocket knife, how to load a rifle, and how to obey. With a final sigh, he mumbled "Yes, sir."
Clay ran a hand over the boy's head. "Trust me, kiddo. I'll do right by your old man." he promised. Rising up, he looked at Jax. "Pack Nicky and Alex up. Soon as the flat bed gets here, get them home."
"Where you going?" Jax wanted to know.
SAMCRO's President shrugged. "Gonna make sure the Warlords find their way home."
They were almost relieved.
When Tig's switch blade snapped out in their faces, the Warlords thought for sure that they were about to be gutted and left on the side of the highway.
Of course, being left on the side of the road, hogtied and all but bare butt naked, wasn't too much better.
Clay Morrow crouched down beside Whip. "You boys are alive for one reason and only one reason." He pointed to the sign welcoming visitors to Oregon. "You're on this side of the boarder." He tilted his head to one side. "This was just a little clash that you lost. You step on our side of the boarder again and you will find out what war is really like with the Sons of Anarchy." That said, he rose up, turned, and headed back for his bike.
Sirens could be heard in the distance, coming from the north.
"Prospect!" Tig yelled as he opened a duffle. He dropped it in the center of the Warlords.
"Few toys." Sack explained as he dropped another duffel beside Whip. "Wouldn't want you to think all that was for nothing." He opened up his back to show them the atomatic weapons mixed in with blocks of pot, colorful mushrooms, little bags filled with little rocks…
"Let's go!" Clay called to his men.
Tig gave one of the Warlords a last kick before heading to his own bike. Sack jogged to the truck. Their taillights were just disappearing in the sunset as Oregon State Troopers pulled to the side of the road and stepped out of their cars.
"Wow. Warlords." one said as he circled the group. "Christmas came early."