*Hey guys, this is my first Sons fiction, I hope you enjoy it! And reviews make me happy!*
Taking a deep breath, Raelen Gardner stepped towards the Teller-Morrow garage that was her desired destination. Her steps were unsure and hesitant just like her thoughts. How could she approach this man and tell him what she had to? Would he laugh in her face? Would he even remember her mother? From what she had been told about him, she wouldn't be at all surprised if he just popped a bullet in her head. Steadying herself she approached a young man who was working on a car.
"Uh, hi." She said to him and he turned to look at her and gave her a nod.
"I'll be with you in just a sec ma'am." He was polite considering his job, Raelen noted and then chastised herself – she had no right to a snob; she might have a degree, but she was unemployed and this guy clearly wasn't. "What can I help you with?" He smiled. He was adorable in a "little brother" way. She resisted the urge to pinch his cheeks – it might be slightly patronising considering that he was likely to be older than she was herself. Unfortunately for him, although he had facial hair, he was still baby-faced to a certain extent. He was cute as a button.
"I was wondering if Clarence Morrow was around to speak with?" She asked with her soft, whispery voice. That voice had been the bane of her life, but a gift also. People always made fun of her for sounding like Hooks from Police Academy.
"No, sorry ma'am, he isn't here yet." She knew his eyes were giving her the "once-over", but she was twenty-two years old, it wasn't like she couldn't deal with it.
"Are you expecting him soon?" The young man checked his watch.
"He should be like an hour or so. I can let him know you came around or you can wait for him, I'll make you a coffee or whatever you like." Raelen smiled at how polite this young man was.
"I think I'll just come back another time. Thank you for your help."
"Are you sure you don't want to stay and wait?" He insisted.
"No, really. I'll take a rain check on that coffee though." His face brightened as she said that.
"Hey, who should I tell Clay was here?"
"Just tell him if he wants to know, I'll be at 45 Sycamore Avenue."
"You're not even going to tell me your name?"
"Rae. What's yours?"
"It's Half-Sa… Kip." He held his hand out and Raelen shook it, noticing that he had gotten a little bit of motor oil on her hand.
"Aw shit I'm sorry. And I'm sorry that I just cursed in front of a lady, my mom would kick my butt." He looked appropriately abashed and she smiled.
"Don't worry about it. Either of them." She wiped her hand on the tissue that he handed to her. "I better get going. Pass on my message if you don't mind, Kip."
"I will Rae." She waved to him as she walked across the garage parking lot.
"Clay, shit man, you fuck some of the hottest bitches." Half-Sack ran up to Clay as soon as he got to the garage.
"What is this shit Prospect?" Clay continued to walk to the club with Half-Sack tagging along behind him.
"Some girl was here looking for you earlier, and damn she was fine."
"I haven't screwed any whores recently."
"She didn't look like a whore. She looked pretty classy actually."
"Then I definitely know I didn't fuck her. Did you have a point?" Clay stopped at the door of the club and turned to face Half-Sack.
"Yeah she was looking for you. Said you could find her at 45 Sycamore."
"Did she say anything else?"
"She said her name was Rae."
"I don't know any Raes."
"Well, that's what she said. If you're not going to go there then you mind if I do? She is smokin'."
"Tell you what, I'll check her out, see what she wants, and if she's alright, then you can do whatever the hell you like. If that one little nut of yours can keep up with such a "smoking" chick."
"Oh I am more than up to that Clay."
"Yeah I'll bet you are." Clay snorted and went inside for the club meeting.
Raelen was moving a heavy box from the living room to the bedroom when she heard the bikes approaching. Her mom had told her that Clarence would always be on his bike, so she just knew in her gut that it was him. She heard more than one bike which meant he had brought others with him. She supposed she understood that – you couldn't be in a business like what Clarence Morrow was in and not be precautious. She dropped the box on the kitchen counter and took a quick look in the large mirror in the living room. Her wavy red hair was down and curled just above her shoulders. Her pale face was free of make-up as she thought her skin was one of her best assets and didn't want to ruin it with products. Her skin was whiter than white – a trait inherited from her mother. Her red hair was also from her mother, as well as the blue eyes. The only difference between Raelen and her mother was that her mother had been a very skinny, tall woman, whereas Raelen was only 5'1" and the very definition of voluptuous. She had what her grandmother described as "birthing hips", a small waist and a plentiful chest. As a teenager Raelen hated her body, as in your average American high school, any girl bigger than a size four was considered to be fat, and Raelen had always been a size ten. Nowadays Raelen loved her body, it made her feel like a real woman, and she knew combined with her pale skin and red hair she could be considered quite striking. This didn't mean she had much confidence in herself, but she knew her look wasn't "ten a penny" as her mother had said. She stood and waited for the doorbell to ring, and about one minute later it did. Hesitantly she approached the front door and opened it slightly. There were three men standing there. The one at the front was surely Clarence Morrow. He was much taller than her, with silver/grey hair on his head and face. He had the lines of age on his face and a tough demeanour. The man to his left was a little shorter than Clarence with black curly hair and black facial hair. He was probably just a little younger than Clarence, and the way in which he eyed her made her feel uncomfortable. The third man was the one that captured her interest the most, even through her nervousness. He was also a little shorter than Clarence but he was definitely Hispanic, and had a little dark brown short Mohawk, and his head was tattooed on either side. She took the time to note that he was very handsome but then directed her attention back to Clarence.
"Clarence Morrow?" She asked.
"That I am princess. I hear you swung by my garage today looking for me. Here I am, what can I do for you?"
"Uh, would you like to come in?"
"Sure, you don't mind if my buddies do too, do you?" He indicated the two men standing behind him.
"Not at all." She stood back and they walked into the house. "Sorry, I just moved in last week." She pointed at all of the boxes apologetically.
"Not a problem." The Hispanic man smiled at her and she actually felt herself blush. Seriously Raelen, blushing?
"Did you buy this place or something? I know it belonged to old Mrs Gardner before she passed." Clarence looked around then directed his attention at Raelen.
"I actually inherited it from her."
"You a relative? I haven't seen you in Charming before."
"I'm her granddaughter."
"Far as I know, Mrs Gardner only had the one kid, and she left Charming a long time ago."
"She did." Raelen agreed. Clarence could see she wasn't going to say anything else so he continued the conversation.
"So you needed something from me?"
"I, uh, it's kind of private." Her eyes swept over the other two men.
"Anything you got to say to me can be said in front of my brothers."
"Okay." She was really nervous now. Not only did she have to tell Clarence, but she also had to say it in front of his sleazy friend and his handsome friend. God, this was worse than she imagined it being. "I'm Haley Gardner's daughter." She hoped he would put two and two together.
"Haley Gardner? Are you serious?" Clarence looked shocked, and his sleazy friend also looked surprised.
"Are you trying to tell me what I think you're telling me?"
"I'm your daughter too." Even for Raelen's whispery voice, that was quiet, but all three men picked up on it.
"Holy shit." Clarence rubbed his face with his hand. "Tig, Juice, leave us alone would you?"
"Sure thing Clay." The Hispanic man turned to leave and the black haired man followed him. When they were outside, Clarence turned back to Raelen.
"Your mom told me she'd lost the baby. That's why she moved away, she said she didn't want to be reminded of what had happened."
"I think she wanted to get away from this town for other reasons."
"Yeah, we didn't have the best of relationships, but shit, lying about losing a baby, I could kill her!" He was enraged.
"You'll need to dig her up first." Raelen looked at the ground.
"What? Haley's dead?"
"Yes. She died two years ago."
"How did she…?"
"Some guy shot her because she wouldn't give him her bag." A tear slid down Raelen's face as she thought about it. She tried to never think about it if she could avoid it.
"Shit." After a couple of minutes of silence Clarence said: "So what do you want from me?"
"You came to Charming, I assume you want something from me."
"No, I don't want anything. Grandma died and left this house to me, and I needed a new start. I just thought you should know that you had a daughter living in the same town as you."
"Where do we go from here? I ain't got no kids. I got a stepson Jax, but he was already an adult before I married his mom. I don't know what to do here."
"I don't either. But I guess you have two choices, you can either try to get to know me, or you can walk out of that door and pretend this didn't happen. I wouldn't judge you if you did, it wouldn't make any difference to my life since you've never been in it."
"That wasn't my fault!"
"I know. But you can go."
"I don't want to do that."
"Then you can get to know me."
"I do want that. Let me take tonight to talk to my wife about this. We'll have dinner tomorrow night. I'll invite Jax too. I'll send someone to pick you up about eight."
"Okay, I look forward to it."
"You look just like her." He commented as he stopped at the front door without looking up.
"Tomorrow, then." He nodded and left. As soon as the door closed Raelen collapsed onto the sofa. That had drained more emotional energy than she had anticipated. She felt like a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders but now she had no energy. Unable to face any more unpacking she pulled the throw from the sofa over herself and closed her eyes, willing sleep to come.
*I hope you enjoyed that! More to come soon! In case any were wondering, I had a young Christina Hendricks in mind when I was describing Raelen*