The trigger has been pulled it wasn't a direct hit, but a gunshot wound will kill you one way or the other in most cases. Like it or don't. As always, be kind and if you can't be kind, be honest. There are those that will say you were cheated. Perhaps you were...oh fucking well. MKAngelus.


The bartender glanced at Jax and Opie, his expression surly, he said, "What makes you think Samcro is welcome here?"

Jax's ever present grin surfaced, "It doesn't say anywhere that we shouldn't be in here, it's a free country right?" Opie snorted slightly, he had no idea how this was going to work, but watching Jax smooth talk was always entertaining to watch. Jax turned around, his elbows resting on the bar and looked around the mostly deserted room. Turning back to the bartender, the grin still present he raised an eyebrow and nodded to the bottles behind the counter. The bartender curled his lip and turned to grab a bottle of the cheap stuff they kept on hand at the bottom of the bar and grabbed two half clean glasses, he poured a finger into the glass and was about to hand them over, when he was instructed to put the drinks back down by a gruff voice.

"I don't think Teller needs a drink right now," the man said, stepping into the main part of the bar from where he'd been watching from behind a two way mirror.

"Now, why would you say that?"Opie asked, narrowing his eyes to try to focus on the man more clearly.

"Because I think you're going to be too busy answering my questions to get your drink on," the man replied.

Opie stood up to his full height and threw back his shoulders a little bit, quite intimidating even to the hardened element the 'Dog was famous for. Jax glanced at him and winked before turning to the man. "Well this all very film noire gentlemen, what kind of questions do you have for us?"

The man stepped even further into their eyesight and was about to speak when he was pushed from behind by a slightly smaller, more tattooed man, "Where the fuck is my girlfriend you piece of shit? Where's Wendy? I know you did something to her Teller, I'm gonna kill you man!" He tried to push a table out of his way to get to Jax, who had backed up against the bar, his arms held out in front of him. The other man was being restrained by both the man who'd started to speak and another Nord.

"Hold on Jerry, hold on, you'll get your time with the prince, I promise." The original man said, "We'll get to the bottom of this, where's Ima, Teller?"

Jax didn't recognize the man that had stepped out and begun speaking to them, but he reasoned that he was one of Darby's lieutenants. He seemed to carry some sort of authority. Of course, there was no telling with the Nords, they were their own best customers after all. "I'm sorry, Ima?" Jax said with pretend ignorance.

The man put his hands together and cracked his knuckles as he advanced towards them, Jerry also moving forward, no longer as tightly restrained but the unknown Nord still holding his arm. Opie had stepped back towards the door as had Jax, giving the impression that the two men of mayhem were possibly going to make a break for

"You know good and well who Ima is and I know that she was with Wendy, Jerry's old lady, the last time she was seen. So, let's not have to resort to me messing up that pretty face of yours alright? Just tell me where the fuck the girls are."

Opie and Jax took another step towards the door, just then it opened and one of their prospects stuck his head in, as big as a boulder although he moved with the stealth of a mountain lion, he said," Jax, there's a problem at the shop. You have to come right now." His lines were delivered perfectly.

Jax turned back to the men in the bar and grimaced slightly, and said, "Sorry boys, I can't help you with your lady issues. I'd like to, but as you can see I'm needed elsewhere." With that the two of them and the prospect quickly exited the bar. The men followed them and as Jax and Opie moved to cross the street, a blue Dodge truck cruised slowly past.

Jerry exclaimed, "Hey that's my fucking truck! WENDY!" they all turned to look at the truck which turned left at the end of the block, on its way towards the interstate.

"Well, looky there," Jax said, his eyes alight with mischief and his voice light, "There's your old lady right there! That's a sign of luck, my friend. G'bye." He and Opie moved towards their bikes and the prospect mounted his. The men ran back inside the bar, pushing each other to try and get their bulk through the narrow door. Jax and Opie waited until they heard the Nords start up their bikes parked behind the building and then started their own. Opie looked at Jax and said, "Now we find out if this is going to work or not I guess. "

Soberly, Jax glanced at his cell phone for the time and then sliding the phone back into his pocket said, "Yeah, here goes nothing."

The two of them rode away in the same direction as the Nords had taken, hanging casually back so as to not seem a part of any kind of procession behind the blue truck.

Meanwhile back at Gemma's house she was immersed in paperwork, casually keeping her eye on the boys as they played in the front room, having assured Clay that everything was fine and that she was really looking forward to him and the rest of the guys coming home within the next couple of days. She looked over the top of her glasses at the clock and then back at the kids, Kenny was feeling a little better, his fever had seemed to lessen as he slept and although he'd eaten a little he hadn't tossed it up, so that was a good sign. Wyatt had gone down for an afternoon nap just as easy as she could have wished for; Abel on the other hand had wanted to discuss it and then flat out dispute the validity of it. Eventually, she just gave up, Tara would be home soon and more than likely he'd go right to sleep in the middle of the drive home from the airport.

Jax and Opie pulled up at Gemma's house and Opie pulled around back to where the guys often left their bikes, away from prying and destructive eyes they were well protected and not in the way. Jax pulled in behind him and the two of them walked around through the back yard and into the dining room.

"Daddy!" Abel shouted as his father came inside, "Where you been? We go home now?" He launched himself at his dad and demanded to be picked up. Jax obliged the toddler and held him in the crook of his arm, "We'll go soon buddy, I promise. I have to get Wyatt and then we can go."

Gemma took off her glasses and looked at the boys, "So, how did it go?"

Opie answered, "We didn't really have to do anything Wendy's old man was pretty amped up, so he didn't need much persuasion. They saw the truck and took off after it." He grabbed a glass and poured himself a drink of the tea she had on the counter and then continued, "We should know something pretty soon I would think, right Jax?"

Jax nodded, "Yeah shouldn't be long." He was interrupted by Opie's phone ringing, Opie glanced down at the screen and frowned slightly. "Hello?" He said hesitantly. Jackson and Gemma watched him, both with uncertainty and concern, "She's okay though right? Okay…yeah…no problem, okay I'm on my way." He hung up.

"Who was that?" Jax asked at the same time Gemma said, "Was that about Lila?"

"Ellie threw up at school and seems to have a fever too," Opie said with a heavy sigh, "Man, I hate to do this to you, but I have to go get her, Piper too, I'm sure he's gonna get hit with whatever this is next, I know things are tight, but they'll be tighter if Lila cuts my nuts off because the kids didn't come first."

"Go get her man, are you taking Kenny too?" Jax asked, mentally running through the plan again to see if they could do this one man short.

"Do you mind?" He asked, juggling his car keys.


Opie turned and made his way to the sofa, grabbing Kenny around the back of his knees and neck he picked him up, blankets and all and took him towards the front hall; Gemma met him around the front and opened the door. Smiling at him, she patted his arm and said, "They'll be fine Ope, we'll drop Lila off for you too, don't worry." Opie smiled gratefully at her and said quietly, "Thanks Gemma, I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm better suited for what Jax and I did, then for this." She winked and pushed a bit of Kenny's hair back off his forehead, "You're better suited for this than you think Opie." He made his way to the car and after settling Kenny in; he pulled out on his way to the school.

Jax was gathering up Wyatt's things when Gemma came back in, Abel was still holding tightly to his leg, so it was slow going. "Do you think this is really going to work?" She asked, helping him stuff things into Wyatt's bag.

"We'll soon find out, I trust them and if it doesn't then we'll just have to move to plan B." He slung the baby's bag over his shoulder and stooped to pick up Abel, grabbing the car seat in his other hand he made his way towards the door.

"And, what is plan B?" Gemma asked, eyebrow raised.

"I blow up the fucking bar and hope I get 'em all." Jax said as he exited the room with his two boys in his arms.

Gemma stood in the doorway, arms crossed across her chest, she murmured under her breath, "Let's hope this works then."

Jax and the boys drove directly to the shop and we're unloading when Chucky came out of the clubhouse and said, "How'd it go Jax?"

Turning to look over his shoulder, Jax said, "Well Chuck, I don't know I haven't heard anything yet, all I know is the first part of the plan took off about an hour ago and in about an hour I have to go get my old lady from the airport. I just hope somewhere in between there, everything clicks into place."

Taking Abel's hand as they crossed over to the clubhouse Chuck nodded, "I accept that."

Jax and Wyatt went into the office to take a look, aside from the spot on the walls where calendars had hung for years and the paint seemed to be fresher, the office looked pristine. No trace of the blood or carnage was there, nodding at the prospects work, he moved to the garage and everything there was in perfect place as well. At least it looked as it did on any other day. The two day shift mechanics were in there working on a couple of customer cars and neither one of them mentioned anything about the late start today to Jax when he said hello. He set Wyatt down, who mercifully had stayed asleep and took up a wrench, appearances were everything, he would have to see how great of an actor he could be when it came down to the end of the plan.

Wyatt started fussing after about fifteen minutes and Jax stopped working on the motorcycle he'd started working on a few days earlier, to pick the baby up. Taking him into the office, he changed him and warmed up a leftover bottle in the refrigerator. As he was shaking the bottle, his phone rang and he found that he was actually hesitant in answering it, "Hello?"

Jax listened to the other end of the conversation and leaned back against the desk, peppering his side of the conversation with one word responses, he slowly began to smile. "Alright man, thanks. No, you did fucking great. I'll let Ope know, see you tonight." He clicked the phone shut and sighed, he chuckled slightly as he said to himself; I knew this streak of shit luck couldn't have lasted any longer." He dialed Opie and filled him in and then sat up abruptly, "What? You don't think Wyatt or Abel could get it do you? Man, that sucks, both of them huh? What about Piper? She did? Okay, let me know if you need anything. Alright man, yeah…no…we'll drop her off. Okay, yeah…maybe tomorrow…" He hung up and called Gemma.

"It's done Mom, I just got the call…yeah…no, I didn't ask…I guess so. Opie said the school nurse thinks it's the chicken pox…yeah…I don't know, I'd have to ask Tara…okay, yeah…I'll talk to you later too…okay.."

He clicked the phone closed and tossed it up and then put it back into his pocket. "I'm putting out fires all over the place today." He thought to himself smugly. He yelled into the garage that he was taking off and grabbing Wyatt's car seat made his way to the clubhouse. Chuck and Abel were playing with some finger paints and both managed to look like they'd rolled around in the paint before putting them on the paper that Chuck had taped to the table. "Daddy! Look! Abel pointed to the picture he'd made and when Jax made his way over, he grimaced at the blue paint on the back of his son's neck and in his hair, "Yeah buddy that looks good." He said, seeing the pink streak down his arm and the green paint on his ankle and sneaker. Abel was pointing to the picture, explaining to his dad who was whom and what everything was. Jax looked over his head at Chuck and with false calm said, "You couldn't have found something a little less messy? I have to go get Tara and Lila and he looks like he fell into a bucket of paint!"

"Sorry man, he wanted to paint and I thought it would be a good way to pass the time, I just didn't expect him to end up wearing so much of it." Chuck said. "I'll help clean him up; his clothes from yesterday are clean and in the apartment."

"It's fine," Jax said in exasperation, "I've got to go, Tara's plane lands in about fifteen minutes." He turned back to Abel, "Come on Abel, we're going to go get Mommy."

Abel looked up at his dad, "I don't wanna."

Jax rolled his eyes and looked down at Abel, noting yet another color of paint on the back of his ear, "Abel you've been waiting on Mommy all week long, we're going to go get her now, come on. Wyatt's ready and we've got to go."


Chuck grinned and tried to hide it. "I'll put Wyatt into the truck Jax." Grabbing the car seat he took the baby outside the clubhouse. Jax knelt down in front of his son.

"Abel, I don't have time for this. Let's go wash your hands and we'll go. You can paint tomorrow or something. Don't you want to see Mommy?"

Abel kept painting and reached up to wipe his hair out his eyes, which left a dark purple streak across his forehead, "No, want to paint."

At the end of his rope with his son and the entire week, Jax decided it was time to stop being Mr. Nice Dad and plucked Abel out of his chair, screaming and immediately arching his back into the classic toddler tantrum position, Abel began to kick and punch as his dad carried him towards the bathroom in the back, Jax was holding him out in front of him to avoid both a toddler shoe to the groin and the paint that was flying everywhere. In the bathroom, Abel's wails echoed off the walls as Jax tried to get the struggling kid out of his clothes so he could wipe the majority of the paint off before they left. By the time he'd gotten Abel out of his dirty clothes and into some clean ones, they both had finger paint in their hair and there was a smudge of yellow paint on the front of Jax's cut. He didn't care at this point, all he wanted was to get his old lady and drink himself into a coma. Abel never stopped screeching and kicking, in fact Jax was sure that he was getting louder and enjoying himself more as they progressed. When they left the bathroom, Abel was slung over his shoulder like a sack of flour, kicking and pounding that he wanted to paint!

Chuck had prudently left them alone and had managed to clean up most of the mess that he and Abel had made; wisely he just smiled slightly as Jax stormed through the clubhouse on this way to the truck. Chuck wasn't stupid, right now; he'd be the next victim this week if he'd said anything.

Jax buckled the still screaming toddler into his seat and wasn't a bit surprised when Wyatt joined in. Both of the boys hollered all the way to the airport, by the time they parked and unloaded, the calm and easy going dad of earlier in the week had been replaced by the hard as nails and murderous vice president of Samcro. He was at his wits end and it was obvious, both to him and to the people that had gathered to meet the planes that were landing.

Wyatt, being a new place had calmed down and was looking around brightly when Jax made his way to the receiving gate. Abel had also stopped screaming but was being as uncooperative as he could, going from being as limp as pasta to a rigid board in his fathers' arms. If Jax set him down, he'd want back up, if he picked him up, he squirmed and whined that he wanted down. Just as Jax was wondering if he'd made a mistake in bringing this child home from Ireland, he spotted Tara coming through the gate. He turned his son towards her and Abel stopped whining and protesting immediately, he took off running towards her as fast as his toddler legs would allow.

"Mommeee!" He squealed, throwing his arms up. The people disembarking the plane made a path for the boy and as Tara knelt to absorb his jump she laughed. Jax looked like he'd survived an explosion, his cut had paint on it, as did his hair, there were shoe prints on his t-shirt, his hair was a disheveled mess, and he had three days growth of beard. He never looked better to her. A true dad, he's survived the time with his sons, but barely from what she could see. Abel chattered all the way back down the aisle as she carried him to where Jax and Wyatt were.

"Hey Babe." He whispered against her throat as he leaned down to hug her and Abel. "I'm so glad you're home."

"Me too Jax, me too." She replied, kneeling down to pick Wyatt out of his car seat. "How's my little man?" She cooed at the baby, who smiled and babbled back at her. Abel was still chattering away and she was expertly talking to both of them as effortlessly as if she'd been stirring a pot on the stove. Jax watched her with envy, Lila stepped up and he slid an arm around her and said, "Welcome back to you too. Opie would have been here, but the kids are all sick. We'll drop you off on the way home."

Lila smiled, "Okay, how'd he do Jax?"

Thinking back over everything that had gone on, Jax said with false cheer, "It was a piece of cake, you girls should go away more often. We did great."

Tara raised her eyebrows and looked at the two of them, covered in paint and then glanced at Lila who caught her eye and winked. They all made their way out to the truck after gathering the bags and Jax listened to the girls tell him about the conference and their trip. They pulled up outside of Opie's house, and as they got out Lila said, "How sick are the kids anyway?"

Jax grabbed her bag and said, "The school nurse thinks its chicken pox." Lila groaned, "Oh, three kids down with that? That's not going to be fun." Jax grinned and Tara said, "Let me know how they are Lila, don't know if I can help, but I'll try."

"Thanks Tara, I will. Good bye everyone." She smiled and waved as the door opened and Opie was standing there a towel slung over his shoulder.

Winking he nodded at the truck where Tara was waving from the front seat, "Do we tell them?" he asked as Lila went inside to check on the kids.

"Let's just see what happens brother." Jax said, "Right now, I'm more concerned with explaining the paint all over the inside of my truck then what happened to Wendy and Ima." He dropped his voice at the end and turned back to the truck.

"Paint?" Opie said cocking an eyebrow.

"I'll tell you later." Jax grinned and rolled his eyes. Opie smiled back and nodded. Jax got back into the truck and pulled out, headed home. Tara reached over and took his free hand, "So, how did it really go?" She asked a knowing smile on her face. Abel was finally silent, having not had a nap and being over stimulated he'd worn himself out.

Jax squeezed her hand and started to tell her when there was a muffled burp from the back seat, Jax glanced back into the rear view mirror as Tara turned in her seat, Abel was awake, vomit all down the front of his shirt and pants and car seat, looking up at his mom he said, "Fuck."

Tara turned carefully around and looked at her old man, "Really Jax? I'm gone for a week and the baby learns a new word and that's what it is?" Jax sighed and looked up at the ceiling. There was no way out of this. He started to speak and she held up her hand, "Don't even start Jackson Teller. I don't want to hear it. Let's just get home and get the kids taken care of."

Jax was silent on the ride home, they pulled up in front of the house and he and Tara unloaded the kids and baggage. Trying desperately to avoid the vomit all over, Jax carried Abel inside and peeled him out of his clothes, Tara took the opportunity to get Wyatt taken care of and put down. She crushed up a baby aspirin and let Abel drink it in a bottle, sleepy and bleary eyed he went right to sleep. Turning towards his old lady, Jax pulled her into his arms and held her close. She was rigid at first and then relented, he pushed her hair back and kissed her throat lightly, trailing feather soft kisses to her jaw as his hands roamed over her back and butt. She could feel that he was ready to take it to the next level and he was indeed guiding her towards their room, his mouth never left her skin. Just inside their doorway, she pulled out of his embrace slightly, and pulled a rag off of the stack of towels on the bureau; Jax glanced down, eyes heavy with desire and the bulge in his pants evident and started to speak. Tara handed him the rag and stepped out his embrace fully, he looked at her and saw that she wasn't feeling as amorous as he was, she crossed her arms over her chest and then pointed down the hall, "Clean up the truck Jax." She said and turned to unpack her bag. Jax looked down, her back to him and then towards the truck.

"But…" he started to say.

She glanced back up and it was if she was channeling Gemma directly, the look on her face said it all. Shaking his head, he crumpled up the rag, willed his cock to relax and made his way down the hall. As he opened the front door she laughed when she heard one word, "Fuck."

The End…