I own nothing you recognize. All original characters and storylines are my own.
This story is dedicated to the beautiful, talented and amazing Dendrie Taylor. She brought Luann to life and I doubt I would have grown to love the character as much as I did without her performance. RIP Luann and I miss your performance Dendrie, you were awesome.
"Mom, Mom!" I shouted as I ran as fast as my seven year-old legs could carry me into the office at the garage. I had big, important news and Mom needed to hear it.
"No you don't get it. He needs a father not a fr-" Mom was talking to Dad and he looked angry but he looked different when he looked at me.
"Hey baby." He got down on his knee and opened his arms as I flew into them. I loved my Daddy.
"This isn't over." Mom said before she leaned on the desk and Daddy picked me up.
"Why'd you come runnin' in here like a bat outta hell for Squirt?" Dad asked and I rested my head on his shoulder.
"I got the class hamster! I get to keep her. Her name's Mrs. Fuzzybottom and she-" Mom looked up at us with a mad look.
"No, no hamsters. No rodents in my goddamn house." I looked at Daddy and he kissed my forehead before he sighed and set me down.
"It's not fair, Jax has a snake." I argued, upset that I couldn't take care of Mrs. Fuzzybottom.
"A snake's not a rodent. I'll call your teacher and tell her you can't have it." Mom picked up the phone and Daddy put up his hand.
"She's right, Jax has a pet and she wants this one. We'll find a place for it." I grinned at Daddy while he messed up my hair.
"Fine, I won't call right now but you have until Friday to figure this out." Daddy nodded before he went down on one knee again.
"Auntie Lu's in the clubhouse. Go have her get you a Coke then stay for a little while. You can go hang out at Uncle Piney's tonight. Aunt Mary said it was ok." I nodded. I liked it over at Uncle Piney's, he let me have ice cream and soda and always had a package of pop rocks for me. Aunt Mary also liked having a little girl around and would do my hair and bake cookies with me. Auntie Lu didn't like me spending time with Aunt Mary, she called her a "lush" but I didn't know what that meant. I gave my Daddy a kiss and ran out of the office and into the clubhouse. I stood in the doorway watching all the people moving around, we must have had visitors from other states.
"Babygirl!" I looked over and saw Auntie Lu come out of the corner. She gave me a big hug before she carried me over to a couch. "What are you doing here baby?"
I was usually kept in the garage when I got done with school until Mom got done with work or they found somebody else to watch me. I wasn't really allowed in the clubhouse unless Mommy or one of my Uncles would watch me.
"Dad and Mom are fighting about Jax so they sent me here." Auntie Lu nodded before she leaned over and kissed my cheek.
"Want a Coke Sweetness?" Auntie Lu asked and I nodded before she put up a hand and waved over one of the ladies that always hung around Uncle Tig and helped Uncle Bobby with his pants. "Get her a Coke."
The lady nodded and went to get me a coke while Auntie Lu braided my hair. She always liked to say that I had great hair and she wished her hair was as shiny. As she was finishing up the lady came back with a Coke and a glass of ice. I smiled at her. How'd she guess I liked a glass full of ice with my Coke?
"You can go now." Auntie Lu said in kind of a mean voice when the lady smiled back and asked about the horses on my backpack. I frowned at Auntie Lu, the lady seemed nice. "I know she seemed nice baby but those girls will use you to make your Uncle's like them more. You're worth more than that baby."
I frowned again then felt sad when I remembered Mrs. Fuzzybottom. Auntie Lu must have noticed because she turned me around in her lap and took my face in her hands.
"What's wrong sweetness?" She asked and I sighed before I sat up straight. If anybody could help me with Mrs. Fuzzybottom, Auntie Lu could.
"I won the drawing for the class hamster since school's done Friday but Mom says no rodents in her house. Daddy wants me to keep her but you know Mom, what she says goes." Auntie Lu laughed a little and smiled before she got the look on her face that she gets when she's thinking hard about something. Then she smiled big and leaned in to kiss my cheek.
"Your hamster can come live with me and Uncle Otto. He likes animals so he shouldn't care about this one. You can see it any time you want." I grinned before I jumped into her arms and hugged her close. She hugged me tight before she snuggled me. "What's the hamster's name?"
"Mrs. Fuzzybottom." I said and Auntie Lu got a look on her face like someone had just put Jax's sneaker under her nose then she shook her head.
"We'll give her a new name; I don't think Uncle Otto would like a "Mrs. Fuzzybottom" in his house." I nodded, Uncle Otto really wouldn't like that and he could be scary when something made him mad. He wasn't that bad though, he might yell and throw things but he'd never hurt me or Auntie Lu. He saved that for people who hurt good people or made Daddy angry.
"How about we name her…Lulu!" Auntie Lu grinned and hugged me again.
"Alright babygirl. I'll just talk to your Mom and Uncle Otto and get it sorted out. Now, tell me about the rest of your day." I smiled and filled her in on everything that was happening. Mom and Daddy were always so busy dealing with the club and Jax that they didn't always have the time to ask what I was up to but Auntie Lu always found the time for me.
I looked down at the red in the toilet and felt like throwing up. There was a lot of blood, too much. Was I dying? No, no, the school nurse gave us pamphlets about this; I was going through "that time of the month". I may have known what was happening but I had no idea what to do. I didn't have anything and I had no one to talk to. Mom was with Dad in Tacoma, I wasn't allowed to go to the clubhouse without someone to stay with me and everyone was busy. Jax had already left to pick up Tara, like he did every morning, Opie was probably getting Donna and of course most of my Uncles were with Dad in Tacoma but I didn't want them to be here anyway, this was girl business. I went to my bedroom and grabbed a new pair of underwear before a thought came to my head. There was one important person who stayed behind.
"Cara Cara. Dana speaking." I heard the voice of Aunt Lu's secretary, great… I hated her but I could talk to her, this was an emergency.
"This is Milla Morrow, I need to speak to Luann." She better not make me wait just to be a bitch.
"Luann's busy at the moment. I'll take a message and let her know you called." Lies, she never gave Lu my messages.
"This is an emergency. I'd hate to have to call Uncle Otto and let him know his wife's staff is disrespectful to his president's daughter." When in doubt threaten with Otto.
"Hold on a second I'll get Luann." Worked every time. I waited for a few seconds before I heard the noise of the call being transferred.
"What's wrong sweetness? Dana said it was an emergency and begged me not to let you talk to Otto. Using him as a threat again?" I laughed, she was the one who taught me to use him as the main threat when dealing with her staff, though I was never supposed to go to Cara Cara. I knew they made dirty movies and didn't think it was a big deal but even Lu wanted me to stay away so I did.
"Lu, I'mhavingmyperiod!" I said it quickly and hoped I wouldn't have to repeat it.
"Oh sweetheart, are you in school?" I looked at the clock, shoot. One of the guys from the garage would be here soon.
"No, I can't go like this. I don't know what to do Auntie Lu." I must have been scared; I hadn't called her "Auntie" in a while.
"Don't worry baby. I'll call the school then I'll come pick you up. We have some shopping to do." I smiled; I could always count on Aunt Lu.
We said our goodbyes and hung up. I had no idea what to do about the bleeding so I went downstairs to Mom and Dad's bathroom and looked under the sink. Eureka, Mom had some essentials so, after reading about how to use the product I used it then went back upstairs to find an outfit. My stomach hurt a lot so jeans were out. I settled on a tracksuit with one of my Sons t-shirts. I was feeling crappy so I didn't want to dress up. By the time Lu arrived I was sitting on the couch nervous and a little scared. I was only thirteen, too young to go through this. The doorbell rang and I was jolted out of my thinking. I got up and saw Luann standing on the steps with her hand on her hip. A she rang the bell again I opened up.
"Come here baby." She crooned and I walked out of the house and into her arms. I didn't realize how much I needed a hug until her arms wound themselves around me. "Get in the car we have some shopping to do."
After I locked up the house I got in the passenger's seat and we took off. For the first couple of minutes we were silent before Lu started talking. You could always count on her to talk.
"Did you find some pads? You're a little young for the tampons." Lu asked and I felt my face heat up, I couldn't even bring myself to say those words.
"Mom had some under the sink in her bathroom." God, I wanted to die.
"Good, we'll go to the pharmacy and pick some stuff up for you on the way back. We're gonna start the day in Oakland." I raised my eyebrows in confusion, Oakland? Why were we going to Oakland? "You're a woman now sweetheart and a woman needs to have some sexy clothes. We'll go to Vicki's then Freddie's, I'll get you some good shit. Then we'll go get you a couple of dresses and some shoes. Ooh, I just remembered my camera guy Vince's sister owns a boutique in Galt that sells some good makeup. Yeah, we'll have a good trip."
"Dad says I can't have makeup and Mom would never let me have sexy clothes." I blushed at the thought, I was only thirteen. I was way too young for that.
"Age is a number honey, besides you can hide things in the false drawer in your dresser and the toilet tank. Even your Mom won't know about it." She looked over and gave me a warm smile. "Don't worry honey; I'm not getting you anything really sexy. You have to work up to that."
I smiled; Lu knew just the right thing to say sometimes. I had started out the day scared and worried; now I was happy and content as I sat in Lu's car helping her choose a radio station. I let my mind wander a bit once we had the station selected. I had a feeling that even if Mom would have been home I probably would've called Lu. I just knew she'd go out of her way for me. Besides, who wants to talk to their Mom about that?
"You're sure no one's home?" Alex asked as I unlocked Lu's front door and went inside.
"Positive, Lu had a Porn Convention in Vegas this weekend. She shouldn't be back until tomorrow at the earliest." I typed in the code, Otto and Lu's anniversary, and waited for the beep before I ushered him inside, "Want a brew or something? Lu always has a fully stocked fridge."
Alex shook his head and grabbed my hips before he walked me back until I hit the wall.
"I think you know what I want baby." He brought his face down to mine and I let out a little, helpless noise as he kissed me. I shouldn't have felt this nervous about my boyfriend kissing me. He pressed me against the wall as his hand reached up under my shirt and squeezed my breast. I panicked and pulled away while he gave an angry grunt.
"Um..ah..not here ok. Let's go to the living room." Maybe by the time we got there I'd be less nervous.
"Does this living room have a couch?" He asked, all traces of anger gone from his voice.
"Yeah right here." I turned on the lights and dimmed them before I stood on the end of the couch. With no warning Alex tackled me and we went sprawling onto the couch. Before I had time to react he was kissing me in a way that felt like he was trying to unhinge my jaw or eat me from the mouth down. He moved so I was on top and as things progressed his hands roamed my back. I moaned in surprise as my bra suddenly loosened and I felt him smirk before he lifted my shirt up and stared at my breasts.
"So beautiful…" He whispered and leaned up. He took my nipple between his lips and wrapped an arm around the small of my back. His mouth felt so good but this felt so wrong. I was beginning to get into panic mode again when there was the sound of the kitchen door being opened and the alarm. Yay, someone was here! Also, shit I was in so much trouble.
"Milla! Baby? You here. I saw your car out front. You having a fight with your Mom again?" I glanced at the doorway and saw Luann standing there with a look of shock on her face. Alex disengaged and moved down the couch, getting as far away from me as he could. "Jesus Christ!"
"Lu, it's not...I mean…" I sat there with my bra dangling out of one sleeve, straddling Alex's very happy lap with Luann shaking her head.
"I'll be the judge of what this is. You get off of him and sit in the chair and you-" She pointed at Alex. "Get out of here. I'm guessing the Lexus down the street is yours."
I scrambled off Alex and sat in the chair like Lu wanted and Alex looked confused and more than a little frustrated.
"Ma'am..I-" The look on Lu's face cut him off and he stood up and ran for it. He did have some sense of self preservation after all. Lu followed him out while I put my bra back on and straightened myself up. Luann came back, took a deep breath and sat across from me.
"What were you doing Milla? I gave you a key to my house so you could get away from time to time, not so you could sneak in and hookup with that douchebag you call a boyfriend." She shook her head and I felt bad, she trusted me and I broke that trust.
"I'm sorry Lu, if it makes you feel better I was gonna put a stop to it. It was going too fast." Lu gave me a sad look.
"No honey, you weren't gonna stop it. I've seen that look he had in his eyes before. I'm just glad I showed up when I did. I think if you would've been with anyone else I would've gone out and taken a long drive but I don't trust that little prick Mills…you shouldn't trust him either." I looked in her eyes and knew she was right. He wouldn't have taken no for an answer and I took a deep breath before I let it out.
"He wanted to be alone for a while. I love him Lu." She got a soft smile and shook her head before she walked over to the chair and sat on the arm. As she ran her fingers through my hair she leaned down and kissed my cheek.
"You don't love him baby; he's just the first person who's been interested that your Dad hasn't scared off. He's also not a Son and as much as you love those boys that's attractive. Promise me you won't do this shit again Milla. I don't want to come home and find you broken because something happened that you didn't want. I couldn't handle that and you know what would happen." I swallowed hard. If anyone hurt me, there'd be hell to pay, it could probably go statewide. Hell, Koz and Hap would come down from Tacoma to deal with whoever hurt me. I nodded and she leaned down again, this time to kiss the top of my head.
"Lu, I think I'm in too deep." It felt good to get it out. Things had been changing with me and Alex, tonight was nothing. I couldn't tell her about the bruises on my hips and arms where he gripped me or the knot on the back of my head where he threw me against a wall. Tonight was all about making a fresh start, he promised he'd never hit me again or hurt me. Swore on a damn Bible.
"What do you mean baby?" She asked and ran her fingers through my hair. She gasped when she felt the knot. "He gave you this didn't he?"
I started crying and Lu held me close. I couldn't say anything to anyone else but I poured the whole story to Luann. I told her about the makeout sessions where he touched me when I didn't want him to, the arguments where he threw me against the wall, the bruised arms and the constant monitoring of my activities. When I was done she gave me such a sympathetic look that I was shocked, there was no pity but behind that sympathy there was a gleam of anger.
"He said he was never gonna hurt me again, that he was going to give me space." She shook her head.
"He won't, yeah for a few days he'll leave you alone, then this shit will start again. I need you to amend your promise Mills. Promise me that you'll never see this asshole again. I know how these guys are and the only way to end it is a complete cut off." I shook my head.
"I can't, he promised." I knew my eyes were wild and Lu grabbed my head in her hands and gave me a stern look.
"Listen to me now sweetheart. You end it with him now or I tell your Dad everything you told me and we let him sort it out. Right now I'm giving you a head start. End it before I do. If you think you care about this guy this is the way to do it. Otherwise you know what your Dad's capable of." I shivered, I could guess what Alex was in for if Dad found out and I wouldn't wish that on anyone, except maybe a Mayan or Nord.
"I'll figure out a way to end it. Can I stay here tonight?" I wanted to end the conversation and Lu sighed.
"Of course you can but we're not done." She kissed the top of my head again." Help me unpack, I bought you some gifts, then we'll order pizza and you'll tell me about your Salutatorian speech. Still so proud of you for doing that baby."
"As many times as I've been in detention I never thought it was going to happen." I chuckled and Luann smiled before we made our way outside and I helped her with her bags.
Later that night we sat sharing a pizza and drinking margaritas while Lu told me about some fun stuff that happened at the convention. She gave me her gifts and I was in awe. She had Jenna Freaking Jameson sign an autograph for me and bought me some sexy lingerie to add to my collection. Though she was adamant that no one see the lingerie but me until I met someone she approved of. I smiled, feeling normal for the first time in weeks. We toasted to new beginnings before we went to watch a movie. I didn't feel like sleeping and Lu was always perceptive when it came to me.
I gripped the phone tightly as I fought with myself. I was debating calling or not. This news was big, life altering but it was also dangerous news. Just as I was going to put the phone down I got a text message.
Luv U! Can't w8 4 2nite. 2morrow we c the world! Kisses
Oh Carmen, I love you but learn to use proper English. Few things in the world annoyed me as much as chatspeak. I was glad that I got the message when I did. It was the turning point. Now I knew what I had to do. I hit number four on my speed dial, after Mom and Dad but before Jax on the importance meter. It rang three times before she picked up.
"What's up honey? You've gotta be quick we're between scenes right now. That shot right there, we need it on her tits." I rolled my eyes as she obviously ordered the editing tech.
"I wanted to call to say goodbye Lu. I'm going on the world tour with Carmen." I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding and heard her suck one in.
"The fuck you are." This raised my hackles, I called her out of courtesy, she didn't get to tell me what to do.
"I'm going Lu and you can't stop me. I just wanted you to know." I was about to hang up when she made an indescribable noise.
"Please, baby, think about this. If you go your Dad will disown you and your Ma will go along with it. Jax will go nuts, probably track you down and kidnap you. We'll be completely cut off from you. Shit babygirl I can't lose you. I love you so much. Please just take a few days and think about this. I know you think you love her but baby, she's not it and you'll regret giving everything up for her." I felt tears in my eyes but I had to do this.
"I love her Lu." She sighed before she spoke again.
"No you don't baby, you just think you do. She's exciting and exotic…a taboo. No one in your life accepts her and that just makes you want her more. Sweetness, she's slumming it with you, you're from the wrong side of the tracks, a safe bit of danger. It's the way these rich bitches with their entitlement issues get off. Once she gets tired she'll drop you and then you'll have nothing, no family, no home and I don't want that for you baby." I had to hang up, this wasn't sounding like such a great idea anymore.
"I've gotta go." I said it quietly but I know Lu heard it. Right before I hung up I heard her speak.
"I love you honey, please don't do this." She pleaded and I hung up. Carmen was taking me to dinner and I had to get ready.
"How Lu? How did I miss that amazingly sculpted and beautiful piece of manflesh for almost a year? Goddamn!" I sat on the couch in Lu's office at Cara Cara. I needed to get away from the clubhouse for a while and Lu gave me an out.
"I don't know because that boy is fine as hell and has abs so tight you could bounce a quarter off 'em. Besides he stares at you like you're a Ming Vase or some shit like that, something to be cherished." I looked at her and raised an eyebrow. She was the fourth person this week to say something about Juice wanting me. No, not wanting me, loving me. It was too much to ignore but I was going to try because if it was true that meant I was an idiot and had denied myself something good for too long.
"Why? Like you said, he's fine as hell why would he want me? I don't even have tits." I looked down sadly at my barely Bs and she laughed her throaty laugh.
"The way he stares I think the boy likes your tits just fine." I blushed, there was some truth to that. The other day there was an accident involving the Miller spigot and my t-shirt and I had to keep reminding him where my eyes were. I never should have chosen to go braless that day. "The question is, how do you feel about him babygirl?"
I looked at my hands for a while trying to figure things out. I could lie to Lu but she'd see right through it or I could tell her the truth, but that was scary. I looked in her eyes and realized that there really was only one option.
"I think I'm in love with him Lu…" I let it drift off and Lu grinned from her place at her desk and joined me on her couch. She put an arm around me and grinned.
"I know you are baby, this is the first time the feelin's real and that's why you're so scared. It's even scarier because he loves you back and you're denying it. Stop that and just let it happen. You could do a lot worse than Juice. In fact, I have this feeling that he's just right for you." My brows furrowed and I felt my stomach do a flip…like it did every time he smiled at me.
"He's going to be a Son, I don't think I'm strong enough to handle being with a Son." There, I could make it one sided, no need to admit anything and prove I was a dumbass.
"You think anyone other than a Son could handle you?" She asked then she chuckled and squeezed me. "You were always gonna be an old lady baby,"
"He's still a prospect." I said quietly and she nodded.
"Yeah he is, but I've seen the way he handles everything he sees around the clubhouse. He takes it all in stride. I'd be shocked if he didn't get that top rocker." She has a valid point. Juice took all the crap they gave him and filed it away with a zen-like calm and he handled all the club business like a pro, never flinching from the hard stuff or begging off the stupid, tedious stuff. Shit, he was gonna be a Son.
"You really think he likes me?" I asked quietly and mentally slapped myself. I'd reverted back to the shy, awkward thirteen year old, only this time the object of my infatuation was equally infatuated with me and that thought was too frightening and exhilarating to contemplate.
"I know he does baby. Now you should get back to the clubhouse, I bet he's lost without you." I smiled and kissed her cheek before I got up. As I walked through the studio, happy for the first time in a long time I saw one of the actresses watching me. She was gorgeous with caramel skin, long dark hair, beautiful almond shaped eyes and entirely too tall. I smiled and waved as I passed but she quickly ducked into another room. A shy pornstar? Well, wonders never ceased.
"You down with OPP, I'm down with OPP, who down with OPP?" I sang as I looked through my closet for the appropriate outfit to wear to a Porn studio reopening. I had to find something sexy, but that didn't interfere with my thickening middle and didn't clash with the grean and yellow bruises that the concealer refused to conceal.
"You better not be down with OPP baby because the only person's property you are is mine." He nipped my earlobe and I smiled.
"Old school Naughty By Nature, you gotta love it." I grinned at my husband and he smiled before he gave me a quick kiss.
"We don't have to go, SAMCRO will have enough bodies there." I shook my head and kept looking for an outfit. Juice kissed my bare shoulder and reached over me, drawing out a gray tunic dress that usually hit me at knee length. "Wear that and those new leggings you bought."
I grinned, the man was a genius. He always knew which outfit would work best for me. I doubted he could have picked out anything for anyone else, he was just so attuned with my body that he knew what would look best.
"Oh baby, I forgot to tell you that I'm driving there. Tara says it's not safe riding bitch anymore." The look on his face turned sad. He liked having me on the back of his bike. I turned around and covered the few inches between us and kissed him, trying to change the look on his face. He smiled and happily returned the kiss. It didn't take long to get heated and he pulled me to him. I laughed as he spun us around and took us down on the bed. I continued to giggle as he moved so that he was on top but the laughter died when I saw the look in his eyes…we were gonna be late.
I drove into the lot of the new Cara Cara impressed with the new look. Yeah it was the warehouse but Lu had put her usual flair into it. There were posters of her talent up and she had decorations and outside there were some tables with free stuff for the partygoers. I walked over to the tables with the DVDs and smiled when I saw the demo-DVDs that Juice had painstakingly pieced together for Lu. Well, I smiled until I saw which bitch was front and center on the cover. Fucking Ima, I hated her so much that I could hardly breathe. The bruises on my face and the fracture that was still healing in my cheekbone could attest to her selfishness. She'd thrown me under the proverbial bus and obviously thought nothing of it.
"Milla! I didn't think you'd make it." I put down the DVD and smiled at Chanty as she came over and leaned in for a hug. We'd had our fight about my inattentiveness and "abandonment" when I started working for Elliot but now that that was over we were good
"Wouldn't miss it. Is Lu inside? I need to congratulate her." Chanty grinned before she linked her arm with mine and walked me into the studio. I looked over and grinned at the site of all the Sons milling around with the pornstars. Yeah, there was going to be one hell of an after party. I looked around and suddenly all goodwill was zapped from me. There was Ima, in all her whorish glory leaning on Jax and talking to my husband. The only good thing about it was the fact that Juice looked like he was trying to figure out where to bury her body. I broke from Chanty and crossed the room. I didn't even have to weave; pornstars and Sons were getting out of my way. Once I got to them Juice looked at me and smiled but my attention was on the blond whore. I tapped her on the shoulder and when she turned her eyes widened and I didn't give her time to speak before I grabbed her throat in both hands and pushed her into the wall. I squeezed and kept squeezing as her face got red, then purple. I was going to enjoy watching her die. The feeling of joy that came from watching the life leave her body was ripped from me as I felt rather than saw my hands being forced away.
"Shit, I think we're going to have to break her fingers." That was Jax.
"Break my wife's fingers and I'll break every bone in your body." Definitely Juice. "Let go baby, I want her dead too but there're too many people here. Do it for the baby, the peanut doesn't need you in jail."
That did it, I released Ima's throat and Juice pulled me to him with my back against his chest. I was breathing heavy and for the first time it registered to me that tears were running down my face. I had a feeling of grim satisfaction as I saw Ima attempt to breathe normally while she clutched at her throat. I suddenly felt pain in my hands and looked down, I had deep scratches but I'd been so hyped on adrenaline that I never felt her go for me.
"You crazy bitch!" Ima screamed and I tried to lunge at her but Juice held me.
"You get quiet and don't say shit about this to anyone." Jax pointed at Ima and she shut up then he turned to me. "You got what you needed so let it go. Ima works for us now and I don't want you damaging the talent."
"Working for you now? Fuck that." I fought my way out of Juice's hold and looked around. Lu was standing with Chantal and the two were looking at me. Lu looked scared and Chantal was in awe. I stalked over to them and it almost looked like Lu wanted to bolt.
"We need to talk." She nodded and led me to her office. I was too keyed up to sit so I paced the end of her office while she went into her desk and took something out.
"Let me wrap your hands baby." I nodded and stood by her as she cleaned the scratches. Shit they were deeper than I thought.
"What's she doing here Lu?" I felt tears in my eyes and Lu wasn't looking at me her eyes were on the wounds.
"She's our biggest moneymaker Mills. I couldn't just let her go. Besides, we're working on that "Mad Men" parody and she's our January Jones. I know she hurt you baby, but there's no proof and I can't fire her without proof." I ripped my hands away from her.
"Proof? My face is fucking proof. She told Georgie and his goons to meet us at the gas station that day and stood by while they attacked me and Lyla. We could have been fucking killed, my baby could have been killed!" I shouted and Lu moved back. I'd never yelled at her like this.
"Calm down baby, I'm just doing what I can for the club." I was suddenly lightheaded. This was my Lu, the woman who had been like a mother to me for my entire life. She was choosing to work with a woman who hurt me.
"I'm going to say this once Lu…" I took a deep breath. "Her or me."
"Baby it's not that simple she's a moneymaker. I can't just fire her for no reason, there are contracts and shit like that. Hell, she's been one of my girls for three years. I can't reward her loyalty by firing her." I was seeing red again.
"Loyalty?" I asked dangerously before I felt myself explode. "The bitch was going to Georgie! She fucking arranged it! Then she stood by and watched us get hurt! You know all this but you're choosing to ignore it. Shit, I guess I'll have to say it again. It's either her or me, you don't get both."
"Milla, baby, I love you like you're my own but you can't ask me to make that choice." Just like that I saw the truth. It wasn't her or me, it was money or me and she was choosing the money. Part of me could understand it. She'd just lost everything and with Ima she had a chance to gain it back a lot faster. She really did need Ima. However that logical part of my brain wasn't working anymore and all I saw was betrayal. I simply took the gauze from her hands and stood there silently wrapping up my hands before I tossed it back to her. I could feel my eyes go flat and she gasped when I looked at her.
"Have a nice life Luann. You aren't part of mine anymore." I walked out and heard her calling out to me but I wasn't having any of it. I saw Juice and he moved away from Bobby and followed me outside. Once we were outside he held me until I was good enough to drive.
"You go home, I'll go let the guys know I'm goin'." I nodded and accepted his kiss. Once I got in the car I took a deep breath. Juice came out a couple of minutes later and waited for me to maneuver out of the lot. I looked into the rearview to see him following behind and my eyes were drawn to the warehouse. Standing outside the door was Luann and she had mascara tracks down her face...I couldn't have cared less.
"Ok, we have azaleas in decorative pots by the coffin. Some wreaths. A lot of flower arrangements." Francine, Luann's sister and my partner in this, said as she looked over the set up.
"Yeah, my guess is that since so much shit is going down people are sending flowers in lieu of being here." I felt my head ache and pressed the heel of my hand against my eye.
"You're here when you have reason not to be." She placed a comforting hand on my shoulder.
"I owe it to Lu, the last words I ever spoke to her were cruel." I felt my throat close as I thought about the last time I ever spoke to Lu.
" I've given you the choice of me or Ima and you've chosen. Have a good life Luann; I hope you finally get enough money to fill that empty spot in your soul."
As I looked back I doubted I would have said anything different. I was hurt, angry and more than a little disgusted with her. I'd thought our situation a lot over the last few weeks and came to a conclusion about why everything turned to shit. Lu had chosen someone else over me and that never happened. I was Lu's plain and simple, she chose me over Jax, over the Club, over everyone and for the first time I couldn't count on that. That's why it hurt so badly and all I wanted was for Lu to hurt. Now I wished things would have been different. I wished I could have seen past the hurt, past the betrayal and remembered that even though she chose Ima, that was just a business venture. I always was and would always be her babygirl.
"She told me about that fight. It broke her heart to lose you." I nodded, it broke my heart too. "She was never mad though, she said it was all her fault. She hoped you two could have worked things out before the baby was born."
I felt the tears start. Shit, I didn't want to cry, I wanted to be strong. Francine pulled me into her arms and held me as I sobbed. I'd lost Donna, now I lost Lu. Was there any woman who mattered in my life who wouldn't be torn from me in some way?
"I wish we could have made things right. We never got a chance to fix things." She patted my back before she moved away and handed me a tissue.
"I know, but that's the way things go sometimes." She ran her hand over my head. "Her body's in the . I think now would be a good time to tell her all of this. I know she's watching over you, you were always her little girl."
I blew my nose and nodded. I had to say goodbye, had to let her know how much I still loved her and would always love her. Francine gave me a kiss on the cheek then gave me a gentle push. She knew that I needed it. I walked through the doors and saw the coffin at the front of the room, I wanted to turn and run but I owed more to Lu. I owed her so much more. When I got to the coffin I felt my heart shattering again, the creature there wasn't my Lu with her sparkling eyes and wicked smile. No it was a husk, a body. Besides, my Lu would never wear that shade of lipstick. Without thinking I took a tissue out of my pocket and wiped it off before I took out a tube of my own. We shared lipstick in life, why couldn't I help her out in death.
"Here we go Lu, you would have killed them if you'd seen the shade they put you in." I applied the lipstick with a steady hand, focusing on the task. There was no way I was going to let Lu be seen in inferior makeup. The woman had been the one to teach me about the value of a good kit. "There, done, now you're the Lu I knew and will always love."
I wrapped the lipstick in the tissue and tucked it in the pocket of the suit she wore. I was almost offended by Francine's lack of understanding when it came to her sister's style until I saw the leopard print shirt underneath that showed off those tits Lu was so proud of yet remained respectful. Before I moved away I brought my lips to her forehead, by now used to the cold and waxy feeling dead bodies produced, but I had to move away when I almost gagged from the scent and feel of the makeup they used to cover her injuries. If I ever saw Georgie Caruso again he wasn't getting out of the meeting alive. Once I composed myself I took Luann's hair between my fingers and played with it.
"I've always loved your hair Lu, when I was little I wanted blond hair like yours but I guess you knew that. You always told me how pretty my hair was, probably wanted me to feel good about myself. Shit, I can't believe you're gone Lu, even when I was angry you were there, you were always there. I should have been there for you." I took a deep breath before I was able to speak again. "I want you to know that I forgive you Lu, I know it was just business but I felt betrayed. I thought I wasn't worth anything to you anymore. Now I know that's stupid, Ima was just a means to a paycheck and I actually mattered to you. I hope you can forgive me too."
I leaned down and kissed her cheek as a tear slipped, luckily it didn't make a dent in the makeup she was in.
"Don't worry, my kids are gonna know all about my Auntie Lu, how you helped me with schoolwork, took in my hamster when my Mom said no…how you loved me… Shit, Lu you loved me so much and I took that for granted. I'm so, so sorry Lu." I leaned down and kissed her again, this time resting my head next to her. "I'll never forget you. I'll always love you Lu. You were the best surrogate mother anyone could hope for."
Once I finished my goodbyes I went back to Francine and we had the croweaters Mom happily loaned us set up the food in the anteroom. It didn't look like there were going to be many people, but we wanted those that showed up to have a nice spread. Once that was done and we were sure everyone was set up we sat and waited for everyone who was going to show up to arrive.
Later that night I walked into St. Thomas, dead on my feet and emotionally exhausted. The memorial service was a joke. The only people there besides Francine, myself and quite a few Cara Cara stars were her hairstylist, a distributor she worked with from Fresno and a few other old ladies. An old lady died, where were the Sons? That pissed me off and hurt. I knew the Club was going through shit but she deserved so much better than that. She was such a good person and the world constantly took a dump on her. I just wished I wasn't part of that group. As I made my way to room 207 I tried to shake the tension from my body. Juice was already in bad enough shape, he didn't need this from me. Once I got to his room I squared my shoulders and pushed open the door. I felt a relief so profound when I saw him that I could have collapsed. Juice was sitting in his bed with a carton of Jello in one hand, a remote in the other and shouting at the tv.
"No, number 3 goddamnit! Choose case 3! Ah man, you're gonna lose everything." He whined and I couldn't keep in my giggle. This was exactly what I needed after the day I'd had. My giggle drew his attention and he shut off the tv. "Come over here baby, tell me how it went."
I crossed the room and Juice put down his Jello and moved to give me room, More often than not I was in the bed with him when I visited, we both felt better having that contact. Once I climbed in the bed I cuddled with him and he pulled me close. We'd gotten the movement down so that his IVs were fine and I didn't hurt his back. Once we were settled he put his hand over my stomach like he always did. I could already tell our baby was going to be all about Daddy. The peanut liked to kick when we were with him.
"Comfy?" He asked and I nodded, almost asleep. "Tell me about it. You know I would've been there if I could've."
"You would've been the only Son there baby, it was a joke. Lu deserved more than that." He sighed as he held me closer.
"This is a bad time for us baby, but I agree Lu deserved to be mourned properly. When I get out we'll go to her grave, plant some stuff. Make it beautiful. I think Lu would've liked that." I nodded and he ran his hand softly over my stomach. "You know she loved you more than just about anything else, right baby?"
"I do now." I whispered and Juice kissed my forehead.
"We'll make sure she's not forgotten baby." After that he held me while I told him about the service, Lu's hair, the little annoyances. I cried when I told him about my goodbye, how awful I felt about everything that happened between us. Juice just held me and listened, proving once again that he truly was perfect for me.
Once he fell asleep I left the hospital and went home, only this time I took the long way and found myself at Luann's house. I parked the car and sat for a while before I decided on my course of action. Once I steeled my resolve I got out of the car and went to her garden shed where I got the shovel and pots I was going to need. Once I had the light from the yard's motion lights to find my way I went to her rose bushes. Too soon there was going to be family and friends coming out of the woodwork, stripping the house of everything that made it Lu's but before that happened I was going to liberate these damn roses. Soon I got into a rhythm as I carefully dug up and transplanted the roses, thank god Mom and Lu were avid gardeners and had taught me the basic skills. After two hours and several rest breaks I managed to get five of the plants out of the ground and securely in the pots. Once I had them set down I got in my car and backed up. There was no way I was going to carry those flowers across the yard. As I loaded up the roses I felt something in my chest loosen. I was doing something Lu would've wanted me to do and that made me smile. Once the weather got better and I had help I'd have to bring one of the bushes to her grave. That way she'd always have them with her.
That night I dreamed a frighteningly vivid dream and in the dream I got to tell Luann everything. She never spoke but held me in her lap and ran her fingers through my hair as she did so often while I was growing up. When I woke up I was in tears but I also felt a smile spread across my face. Lu knew I was sorry and she forgave me. Now I could move on with my life, never forgetting the woman who helped mold me into the person I'd become. Never forgetting the woman I loved like a mother.
Author's Note: Ok I swore I was going to stop doing this but I have to say a major thank you to all of my readers and reviewers, you all rock. I also have to say that I may have taken some liberties with the timeline but I always do, it's how I make things fit in my world. Finally I have two authors I need you all to check out. First check out Superdani she's my amazing and supportive friend who helps me and encourages me and who I'm working with collaboratively on Down the Road, her stuff is great, especially The Nurse and the Son. Secondly, check out Verda Napoli, I love her work and she meshes with me when it comes to Luann. We both love Luann and Verda's a big reason this story happened. Check out Turtledove and From the Same Cloth both are excellent. Also she offers me support and honest criticism when it comes to my work; I just wanted to give her some props.