It had been one of those days when nothing went right and it was only noon. Tig sat at the bar in the clubhouse, alone with his thoughts.
A female voice asked which of course grabbed his attention straight away. He looked over at the front door and saw a beautiful woman with a sultry figure and long fiery dark red hair, wearing big Tom Ford sunglasses that covered most of her face.
"Yeah" he answered suspiciously
"What? You've forgotten me already?" She asked with a smile "Alex, It's only been three years"
She slowly took her glasses off and smiled at him. There was no mistaking those green eyes, sure she had gotten them from her father but they were beautiful. He stared at her shocked for a few seconds before jumping off his chair and rushing over to hug her. Stella held on to him tight and closed her eyes because finally she felt like she was home. He pulled back to take a look at her and he saw the bruises at the corner of her eye and across her temple. He moved her face to the side to take a good look at it
"Picked up the wrong guy in a bar"
"Did you give, as good as you got?"
"With some help from the yellow pages by the bed, yeah."
Tig cracked up laughing at the imagine he got in his mind of his tiny Princess beating the crap out some guy with the yellow pages but then he kept thinking
"Since when are you picking up guys in bars?"
"It's better then marrying them" she told him shrugging her shoulders. He frowned at her before hugging her again. Before wondering if she was ever going to heal completely. They walked over to the bar and he poured her a whiskey.
She sat at the bar with him and they caught up, in actual fact Stella was trying to keep her mind off the fact that she was sitting in the clubhouse. The place all her nightmares had taken place over the past three years, the nightmares that don't seem to let up or let her surrender to a peaceful nights sleep. If Stella actually thought about it for too long, she would relive what she did in the waking hours too.
"Could you look anymore Irish, right now?" Tig asked her.
"It's the red hair and the pale skin" she laughed and poured herself other drink.
"So where have you been?"
"Dublin, Hamburg, St Petersburg, Alberta, Miami, Seattle, Ranch in Mexico, Charlotte, Boston again and then Harlan"
It didn't surprise him that she had been so many places, that was Stella but one thing did stand out and he had to ask
"Ranch in Mexico?"
"Yeah, so if you ever need Darby tagged and vaccinated, you know who to call"
"We'll keep that in mind"
They heard someone walk into the room but either of them looked up to see Chibs, that was until he said
"Well, if it isn't the toast of Dublin"
Stella quickly jumped and race over to him
"Do you know everybody?" she asked hugging him.
"No. Just a certain Gentleman" Stella lent back and stared at him surprised, of all the people in Dublin that Chibs knew, it had to be him. Stella couldn't believe her luck "I think you won a heart there, Stel"
"Pity I couldn't return it"
"I explain it to him. He understands, don't worry about it"
She hugged him again truly thankful that Chibs had done that for her. He didn't have too. They made their way back to the bar. Stella met some of the new Prospects'. She thought some of them were in over their head and had no idea what they were in for, but then again they never did. Stella was kind of glad she was a girl and never had to do the whole Prospect thing. Stella liked being their Princess too much.
"So why didn't I get a swing set and a slide?" she asked about the new addition to the clubhouse "I feel ripped off. Ruined my childhood, it has"
"You got a jumping castle, Princess"
"For like an hour, until Opie and Jax busted a hole in it!" she said laughing.
Gemma saw the familiar, worse for wear Porsche in the driveway. Her breath got caught in her throat, in surprise. She dropped the things in her hands on to the desk and rushed over. Gemma burst through the front door. The guys was smiled at her
"Where is she?"
Stella stood up from behind the bar "I'm here and you're out whiskey"
They walked over to each other and had a long awaited hug. As they did Stella's top lifted up and her bare back was shown and something was missing. Her Kozik and crow tattoo no longer there. She had them removed.
"Hey" Tig called out before both the girls looked at him surprised "You missing a crow, there"
Stella quickly touch her back and pulled her top down, she turned back to face them.
"I still have the most important one" she said holding up her wrist, with a crow sitting on top of a letter A. She just smiled at him, hoping that would be the end of the conversation. Stella stifled a yawn. They couldn't all see how tired she was, they could as soon as she walked into the clubhouse.
"Baby, why don't you go sleep in Jax's old room, for a little bit, recharge"
They were surprised that she didn't fight Gemma on it. Stella just kissed them all and walked into the back. Gemma walked over and stood next to Tig.
"I'll go and get some food, stock her house up with things. If she can stay there, I know I couldn't with the ghosts in that house"
"She's not okay is she?" he asked worried.
"No where near, Tigger. No where near"
They all thought that once she come back that Stella would be back to normal but it was only now that they could see the pain still in her eyes. What she did was still with her. He was still with her and there was nothing that they could do.
After a quickly shop and a quick clean up of Stella's old place Gemma drove back into the autoshop and saw that her son was back. Gemma didn't say a word when she saw him. She just smiled, very mischievously and that was never a good sign. Jax playfully frowned at his mother and wiped his hands on an old red rag, before leaning against the wall and finally asking
"What's that smile about?"
"Oh, nothing" his mother said her smile getting bigger "There is just a Princess sleeping in your old bed. That's all"
"Yeah, go look"
Jax dropped the old rag and walked across to the clubhouse and down the hallway to his old room. Jax quietly opened the door and moved across the room before kneeling by the bed. He gently brushed his hand through her red hair and on to her cheek. Her eyes fluttered open and she smiled at him.
"Hey Jackson" she said smiling "You okay?"
"Better now" he said She guessed that they were always going to share something special now, given everything that they had been through together. She turned over on to her side and Jax saw the marks on her face and she saw the anger in his eyes. She just smiled and told him that she was okay "Is it your full time job to worry me, Woman?"
"It's okay. I took care of it"
"Yeah but you shouldn't have too, Stella. That's when you call us. You don't have to do everything yourself"
She smiled, brushed his cheek with the back of her hand and chuckled "You're going to ride all the way out to Shawnee, to beat a guy up for me?"
"I'd go farther" Stella laughed before yawning again. He brushed her hair back again "Go back to sleep"
Suddenly she remembered something and lightly grabbed his hand
"Can you check out Trixie for me? She didn't sound too good on the way here, I think some things is wrong with her"
"Trixie? You named your car?"
"Stella, you are such a girl"
Stella chuckled and fell straight back to sleep and Jax went out to try and fix her car.
Next time she opened her eyes the sun was going down and she couldn't sleep anymore, so she hopped out of the bed and walked to the bar. Like always, her dreams were keeping her up. Stella smiled when she saw Bobby's guitar just sitting there.
I miss those blue eyes, how you kiss me at night. I miss the way we sleep. Like there's no sunrise, like the taste of your smile.I miss the way we breathe. But I never told you what I should have said. No, I never told you, I just held it in
Tig knew that voice he walked out of the back rooms and saw Stella, sitting on top of the Bar, strumming Bobby's guitar, Singing quietly to nobody, but herself.
And now I miss everything about you. I can't believe it, I still want you. And after all the things we've been through I miss everything about you, without you
He thought about it for a second, listened to the words she was mindlessly singing, thought about the room she was in, thought about what she had done there, who she had said goodbye to in that room.
I see your blue eyes every time I close mine. You make it hard to see. Where I belong to, when I'm not around you. It's like I'm not with me
She had been gone for three years and she hadn't healed and there was still nothing he could do about it.
"You're getting better at that thing" he called out
"Dated an Army Medic/Musician for a bit. He taught me a few things"
"And I am sure you did the same, for him" Tig said with a chuckle. "You going to stick around until after church. You feel like a party?"
Suddenly they heard a bunch of little foot steps, followed by a few big foot steps. Tig watched Stella's face light up, knowing it was all of the kids, coming to see her. She jumped off the bar as Ellie and Kenny ran in yelling excited. Stella kneeled down on the ground and they both ran into her arms.
"You guys have gotten so big!" she told them, as if they didn't know "You okay?"
They both nodded their heads excited and happy before Stella looked up to see Abel in Jax's arms and this one hit her hard. He was just a baby when she left, he had just started crawl and now he was a little boy, she couldn't believe her eyes.
"No" she said to Jax, even though she knew it was Abel. Jax just nodded his head and smiled before he handed Abel to her. Stella stared amazed at the little boy in her arms, she took in every feature, every little detail "It's official. I've been gone too long"
Jax, Opie and Tig looked on as Stella's martial side shined on through. None of them said it but their hearts broke knowing, that for Stella, this was as good as it was going to get.