I own nothing you recognize. All original characters and storylines are my own.
"Hey." I said quietly as I walked into the hospital room and stared at my best friend and the newest edition to the Winston Clan. "How's the little princess?"
"She's not a princess and you won't be spoiling her like one." Donna commanded from the bed despite being exhausted.
"Oh I'll definitely be spoiling her. Can I hold her?" I asked and Donna rolled her eyes before she tilted her head to direct me toward the bed. I sat on the edge of the bed and she put the baby in my arms.
"Ellie, meet Auntie Milla. Milla meet Elizabeth Marianne Winston." I felt tears in my eyes as I looked at the beautiful little girl in my arms. Sure she had that red-faced-monkey-alien thing that all newborns get but she was still the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen.
"Hey babygirl. I am so gonna spoil you." Donna chuckled before she put a hand out and smoothed back Ellie's hair.
"I have to talk to Opie about it but, how would you feel about being Ellie's godmother?" Donna asked and I grinned at her.
"Questions of faith aside I would be honored. As long as you know that I'm taking the responsibilities in a different light. This little girl will not want for anything if I can help it and I'll do everything in my power to keep her safe and happy." Donna grinned before she moved her hand from Ellie's head and squeezed my forearm.
"I trust you with my life and wouldn't want anyone else to take on this responsibility. I love you Mills." She leaned her head back on the pillows and I got off the bed and put Ellie in the bassinet next to the bed. I went back to the bed and kissed Donna's sleeping head.
"I love you too Donna, more than you know." With one last smile at the room I went out to the waiting room to sit with the rest of the SAMCRO family and wait for the proud Daddy to get back from his run.
I pulled into the TM lot scared and worried. Mom's call had simply been to come home and that something had happened to Opie. She said Donna was at the clubhouse with Ellie and Kenny. That was all I needed to know. I grabbed my emergency bag from my closet, told my roommate to take my messages and packed my laptop, then I was gone. I knew that I'd broken at least a dozen traffic laws as I raced home but it didn't matter. My family needed me so I'd be there. I started to get more and more concerned as I passed the "Welcome to Charming" sign and couldn't breathe until I parked. As soon as I was parked Mom came over to my car and pulled me into a hug when I got out of the car.
"What happened Ma?" I asked and Mom put her head down, she looked as upset as I felt.
"Opie got picked up baby, he was with Hobart and they were supposed to take care of a problem. Police showed up and Opie was stuck." Why did she keep saying Opie like he was alone? Kyle was with him.
"What do you mean only Opie? Did Kyle get caught in the crossfire?" I was confused, a brother would never leave another behind.
"He ditched Ope baby, let him get picked up and ran like a bitch." I saw red and started going toward the doors. Mom grabbed my arm and held me in place. "They're in church, I want you calm before you go in to see Donna and the kids. We have them in the apartment, felt it was better to keep them with family tonight."
I nodded and stood with Mom as I tried to calm down. That stupid, fucking, cowardly bitch! You never leave a brother, you die to protect each other. You're fucking family! You don't leave family behind. Now Ellie and Kenny were going to live without their Daddy for who knows how long and he was getting off scott free? Fuck no, if Hap or Tig didn't take care of him I would. The bastard didn't deserve to breathe the same air as the rest of us. I started pacing and was on my third round when the doors opened and Kyle was led out. Before anyone could stop me I walked toward him at a fast clip and punched him in the gut with as much power as I could, thankful for all the lessons Chibs had taught me. I may have been petite but Chibs taught me how to use that to my advantage. When he doubled over I brought my elbow up and felt the cartilage in his nose give. I was rewarded with a spurt of blood but before I could deliver another blow I felt arms around my waist as I was pulled off.
"Let me kill him!" I shouted and the arms around me tightened as I fought.
"He's being excommunicated Millipede, nothing else we can do." Jax said into my ear, he was the one holding me and I could tell that he had the same dark thoughts in his mind.
I sagged in Jax's arms. Excommunication wasn't as good as death but it was fitting. He'd never wear the Reaper again and no one within the sphere of influence would help him. He was shamed, he was worthless. I turned around in Jax's arms and he held me while I cried before he kissed the top of my head and handed me off to Mom. We watched as they took Kyle over to his bike and made him light it on fire, then they took everything off of him that had the Reaper or Sons insignia. Once it was collected Tig started one of the barrels on fire and they dumped everything in it. Kyle screamed but was cut off when Bobby, of all people, took out his piece and placed it to the back of his skull. Bobby was the most calm, cool and collected of all the Sons but he understood loyalty better than most. With a nod from my Dad he used the gun to guide Kyle off the lot and down the street for the long shame filled walk home. Once he was off the lot I looked at Mom and she knew what I needed to do.
With a kiss to the cheek Mom dismissed me and I walked into the clubhouse, ignoring everyone and everything until I got to the apartment. I knocked gently on the door and waited before Donna opened up. Her eyes were red and her face swollen from the tears. It took her a few seconds for her eyes to focus and when they did she pulled me into her arms and walked me into the room. We didn't speak, we didn't need to. I walked with her to the bed where Ellie and Kenny were sleeping like the angels they were in a puppy pile. She climbed in one side and I climbed in the other. We linked our arms and rested them over the kids before we stared at each other. Things were about to get rough, but we'd always have each other.
I sat down gingerly at the dining room table while Donna raised an eyebrow and smirked. I blushed at the knowing look on her face and stared intently at the tea she'd just made. After a few seconds of awkward, for me anyway, silence she scoffed.
"You really aren't going to tell me about this?" She set down her tea and gave me a searching look.
"I want to, really, really badly but, with you not…shit..." I took a sip of my tea and her eyes softened.
"Honey, I know you're worried about me but I'm your best friend. Besides I had my monthly conjugal with Ope last week, so, not so frustrated this week." The comment made me snort and I smiled at her. "Besides, if you can't tell your best friend about your first time, who can you tell?"
"Well, you literally are the first person I'm telling about this. As soon as Juice and I left the hotel I had him drop me off here…not a fun ride." I winced as I remembered the throbbing pain I got straddling his bike…totally worth it though.
"Well from the pain I saw when you sat down and your confession I'm guessing he's pretty…well endowed." I blushed brighter but nodded.
"He's huge!" I announced before we both collapsed into giggles.
"He's also your first…no way to gauge. Other than the pain how was it?" She set down her tea and I smiled.
"Would it be too cliché if I said it was the best night of my life?" She gave me a serene smile. It was, the best night I'd ever had.
"Not if it's true sweetheart." She picked her tea up and took a sip. I grinned at her before I continued with the story.
"I surprised him I think. He seemed to think that I was this complete innocent. By the way, you know I've at least seen dicks so I can too gauge size." I stuck my tongue out at her and it was her turn to snort.
"As long as he knows how to use it, size really doesn't matter." I got an evil grin on my face as I remembered the night before and the morning then a blush started on my body again, only this one had nothing to do with embarrassment.
"He definitely knows how to use it." We laughed and I continued to tell her about my night, knowing that there was no one else I could really go to about this. Everyone else would have some form of judgment, but not Donna.
"He should be with his family!" Donna raged as we stood in her kitchen, Ope was getting out in a few hours and there was the inevitable party at the clubhouse.
"He is Donna. We are family." I pleaded and her raging eyes calmed a bit.
"You're family, you and Juice are our family but not the rest. Juice wasn't here when shit went down, he at least understands how I feel about the club. You've always been my family but not them." she hissed and I put an arm on her shoulder and when she didn't push me off I pulled her into a hug.
"Listen to me sweetheart. SAMCRO is your family, we've been here for the last five years, done everything we could to make sure your family's taken care of. We love you." She tensed but then relaxed before she moved away from me.
"Tonight, we'll do the whole party thing tonight but then I want him to get away from this shit. He was in there for five fucking years, he didn't get to know his children and now we're swimming in debt. All because of that goddamn club." She paced before she turned to me. "I love you, never think that I don't but I am fed up with the fucking club. I know that it's your life and Juice's life but it's not mine."
"You and Ope need to talk, to get to know each other again. Forget the club and forget the shit. I'll make sure that he leaves the party as soon as he can so that the four of you can have a night as a family, start that trip. Tomorrow night Juice and I will take the kids so that you two can reacquaint as husband and wife. Just let the club take care of things for a little while longer. Please…" I begged and Donna pulled me into a hug.
"Tonight." She said with finality and I sighed. Things were definitely going to be tense but I loved her and would do anything for her…except abandon the club.
"Winston residence." Ellie announced proudly and I smiled as I tried to work the tears out of my voice.
"Hey Elliedoll, is your Mom home?" I asked as I wiped my eyes.
"Mom! Auntie Milla's on the phone and she's crying!" Damn, I wasn't as good at masking myself as I thought. I heard Donna's voice then the tell-tale shift as the phone was moved between hands.
"Mills?" Donna asked and the concern in her voice made me cry again. "What happened sweetie is Juice ok?"
At the mention of his name I burst into tears again. I'd sent Cherry to get me something to drink and knew that I needed to talk to Donna, I needed my big sister. She waited patiently while I worked through the crying jag.
"He…he cheated on me. I walked in on him getting a hand job from a sweetbutt. What do I do?" I asked pathetically and I heard a sharp intake of breath from her end.
"He what? Shit, sorry shoot…Juice? You're sure?" She asked and I chuckled darkly. "Ok, of course you're sure; it's just that he's not one of those guys. I know how he looks at you. You're his world; I just can't believe that he was a big enough ass to hurt you like that. Listen, I'm going to have the kids play outside then we'll continue this talk."
I didn't say anything as I waited patiently for her to finish getting the kids outside. Then I heard the door close.
"Tell me what happened honey." She said softly and I got my voice in check.
"I'm in Indian Hills, Nevada. There was a party here and the club got new brothers. Juice was delivering something for the club. Dad wanted me here to do administrative stuff so Sean brought me. I walked into the clubhouse and Juice was sitting at a table while a bleach blond with big tits gave him a hand job. Then he beat on another Son for flirting with me and brought me back to talk. Apparently he was getting relationship advice from Tig." I actually did laugh at that. As much as I loved Juice he could be a moron.
"Listen babe, this is tearing you up inside. I can hear it. Do you think you can be with him?" She asked reasonably and I took a deep breath. A better question would be, did I think I could ever let him go.
"I love him more than just about anything else in the world Donna, I'm just hurt, confused and scared right now." I felt so pathetic, but if there was anyone who would understand it was Donna.
"Why are you scared Milla?" She asked and I took another deep breath.
"He's my life, for the last few years everything I've done has been to build a life with him. I'm marrying him and marriage was never in the cards for me. I'm scared of losing him, scared that I might not be able to stay with him. I don't want him to think that fucking other women is ok and I'm scared that that's exactly the message me staying will present." Donna sighed and I felt tears well up in my eyes again.
"If you don't think you can do it then you shouldn't. Make as clean a break as you can and move on honey. I mean, I love Juice but I love you more and if what he did hurt you this badly there seems to be only one option. I just want you to promise me one thing sweetheart." I nodded before I realized she couldn't see me.
"What?" I asked and wiped my eyes again.
"Think about it, take tonight and the next couple of days and think about it. I know this hurts and you feel betrayed but I can't imagine any maliciousness on Juice's part, he's too big of a dope. If, after a few days you can't handle the thought of being with him then the only answer is to break things off. Just wait before you jump into anything." I smiled; it was exactly what I needed to hear.
"Thank you." I said quietly.
"I love you." There was nothing else to say so we both hung up and I looked up to see Cherry in the doorway with a pitcher of what looked like lemonade and two glasses.
"A friend." She asked and I shook my head.
"My big sister."
"No, you are not putting red streaks in my eight-year old daughter's hair. No!" Donna said laughingly as she moved around the kitchen. We were having a girls' day in at my house while Opie took Kenny fishing.
"She'd look so cute, don't you think she'd look cute Mills." Cherry asked as she applied more red to my hair and took care to separate it from the portions that had been bleached and were getting whitened.
"She's always cute, she's my beautiful baby girl." I grinned at Ellie who climbed on my lap while Cherry laughed.
"You're right she's adorable." Cherry smiled at Ellie who beamed. She was so seldom the center of attention that she reveled in it when she had the chance. "Can I give her a pedi? Maybe put some frogs on those pretty little toes?"
"Can she Mommy?" Ellie asked and I saw a look of pure love and devotion cross Donna's face.
"That you can do, as long as you give me French tips." Donna and Cherry shared a grin and I felt more content and at ease than I had in weeks.
When Cherry arrived I started spending a lot of time with her. We were MC girls, different calibers obviously but MC girls nonetheless. We would hang at the clubhouse while Kip and Juice played pool, we'd make supper at home while the guys played Mario Kart in the living room. Hell, we'd just spend time together. It was at such a volume that at first Donna was pissed at me. We were supposed to go shopping, we were supposed to get our dresses fitted, we were supposed to be the "we" that did things together. She got over it when Cherry invited her to join us in non-club related bonding. It worked now we three were together more often than not and the town was talking.
"How do you think my hair is gonna look baby?" I asked Ellie as she sat contently on my lap.
"Beautiful, it's always beautiful. Cherry's just giving it more options." I smiled, I loved that kid.
"That's right Little Bit. More options, I think Uncle Juice will like it a whole heck of a lot." Donna snorted before she looked at it.
"She could be bald and he'd still follow her around like a puppy." I grinned at her, she was the voice of reason when Juice and I hit our rough patch and still offered her support in any way she could.
"Speaking of following you around, did she finally get the shade of red you wanted?" Cherry asked about my wedding dress as she finished adding the color to my hair so all I could do now was wait and while I waited she'd be giving Ellie a pedi.
"Yep, the dress will be ready next week. Your dress will be ready too." I looked at Cherry and her eyes went wide.
"You want me to be a bridesmaid?" She asked as she had Ellie soak her feet.
"You're one of the reasons Juice and I are still together, it's only right that you be part of this. You wanna do it?" I asked and Cherry jumped up before she threw her arms around my neck.
"Yes, yes, yes!" Donna and I laughed as Cherry danced around, happy to be part of the main event.
"No! You are not moving in with us dude." I grinned when I heard Juice's voice; he was obviously talking to Kip, who had made several thinly veiled requests to move in with us.
"I, uh, I know that dude. Just messing with ya." Kip was so cute when he got caught in a lie.
"Whatever." He said then he looked into the kitchen and saw the mess of beauty products and takeout that we had. He finally got to me and raised an eyebrow. "What are you letting Cherry do to you baby?"
"Well she gave me a shorter, asymmetrical cut and is now giving me streaks of white and red. No Fourth of July jokes, Ellie's already made them all." Ellie looked over with a grin and Juice gave her a soft look. He loved that little girl.
"That right?" He ran a hand over his Mohawk before he crossed the room and kissed my cheek, "I bet you're gonna look so sexy."
He whispered the last in my ear and I found myself blushing. We'd been in a very intense honeymoon period ever since we'd worked out the shit that happened in Indian Hills and he was always on me in some way. Some of the texts he'd sent me were Hustler quality smut. Luann took my phone one day at work and saw, she said that if Juice ever wanted to help write a script she'd make it happen.
"Hey Juicy, can you move away from her for a bit? You don't wanna get that shit on your cut." Cherry said as she lightly ran a pumice stone over Ellie's foot.
"That's fine, Sack and I were just here to pick up some shit anyway. I'll see you later baby." He kissed my cheek again before they walked through the kitchen and out the back toward the garden shed. "Later Ladies!"
"You better not be hiding shit in my shed baby!" I yelled and Donna snickered. "He's hiding shit in my shed."
"One thing about men sweetie, you can always count on them to hoard stuff. Just go in there later. He'll have changed the hiding place, but you'll still be able to find whatever he's hiding." She smiled and I chuckled.
"It better not be weed. I at least have the decency to share." I grumbled in a voice low enough so that Ellie didn't hear but Cherry did. She snorted and continued working on Ellie's feet.
"It's not, he hides that behind the Blu-ray." I looked at her sharply and she shrugged. "Kip and I were watching The Godfather and found it, smoked some. Best way to watch it."
Donna and I laughed as she finished with Ellie. The rest of the night was awash in sisterhood, Cherry finished with my hair and Ellie's pedi and Donna got her French tips. After hugs and kisses goodbye they left and the guys arrived soon after. Cherry was right Juice liked my hair a whole heck of a lot.
"You can see her if you want, say goodbye." The guy at the funeral home really was nice but I was terrified. I didn't want to see her dead, cold body. Then again, I wouldn't believe it was real until I saw her. I simply nodded and the man took the bags from my hands and set them on a table before he led me into the cool room.
"Here she is, we've already done reconstructive work on the damage caused by the bullets." I was silent as I watched him pull back the sheet. There she was but at the same time wasn't. It was Donna's body but the woman I loved and adored as a sister was gone. "I'll leave you alone for a few minutes."
I nodded before I moved closer to the table. The man said nothing as he walked out the door, probably to sort through the clothes to find the most acceptable outfit. Once I knew I was alone I ran my fingertips over Donna's hand, she felt as cold outside as I was inside. I'd never been so cold.
"We don't have much time sweetheart. I love you, will always love you." I felt the first tears move down my face and I hastily wiped them off. "Why did you have to drive the truck that night? Why did they have to think Ope was a rat? Shit Donna, why did I have to lose you? Don't blame Juice honey, he just gave them what he found, it wasn't his fault. If you wanna blame Dad I'm with you, he made the call. I can talk to you about this but you're it. Juice would be forced to report what I said to Dad and I'd be joining you under the ground. As much as I love you babe, there's too much important stuff left for me to do. I gotta keep my suspicions to myself."
I moved my hand to her head and carefully smoothed her hair back. The last thing I wanted was a chunk of scalp coming off in my hand. As soon as I had that thought I felt my stomach convulse and barely made it to a garbage can before I hurled. Once I was calm and collected I walked back to the table and took her cold, dead hand in mine.
"I'll take care of Ellie and Kenny, you know that I love them like they're my own. I made promises when I became their godmother, I'll do everything in my power to keep them safe and happy. I'll also do everything I can for Ope, this is tearing him up pretty bad and he needs me." I took her hand in mine to hold it for the last time. "I love you you know. Love you as much as I love Jax, maybe more…I don't know…I'll always love you and mourn you and someday I'll find a way to honor you. You're my sister now and always will be."
I leaned down and kissed her cold, waxy forehead. There were no more words to say. A few seconds later the man came back and escorted me to his office where we went over the funeral plans. It was a simple service, Donna wouldn't have wanted anything too fancy, and I was able to get out of there before I went even crazier. I had just lost my sister, I didn't want to lose my mind too.
Author's Note: Here's my latest one shot. I felt that the fact that Donna was her best friend was kind of a minor plot point until later in Mending Walls and I wanted to expand on that. Thank you all for reading and please review.