I disclaim. I own nothing.
AN: I know there are a few teenage Jax and Tara stories out now-all of which were recently updated and I'm reading and loving. But this popped into my mind and I just couldn't make it go away. Hope everyone who reads it enjoys it.
She was with Hale first. Well, not really with Hale, just sort of with him. Hale told everyone they were an item. Tara didn't tell anyone shit. Jax didn't know what the story was. Only that Tara Knowles had gone out with David Hale several times before they waltz into Opie's New Year's Eve party hand in hand. The first time they'd gone out was homecoming, Jax knew this because he'd been hanging with Tara at her locker when Hale asked her to go with him. They even arrived at the after party out in Oswald's woods together.
Jax never got them, never understood what Tara could see in a dick like Hale. She wasn't the cheerleader type, other than Hale she didn't hang with the jocks. During pep rallies she walked right out the school with him and Opie. Jax would offer to let her hang with them but she'd only laugh and walk off in the opposite direction.
She was brainy, but not in a way he understood. She wasn't one of the students who sat upfront, she didn't remind the teacher when an assignment was due or that homework haven't been given. She didn't brag about her grades. But he'd glanced over at her enough when assignments or test were handed back to know she'd fucked up the curve more than once for the rest of them. She didn't even throw her grades in the faces of the kids who assumed having a drunk for a father made her an idiot. But she was quick to snatch a bitch up and make them regret ever opening their mouth.
She wasn't a stoner, but she ducked away from Hale at the homecoming after party to get high. Jax had always found it sexy to watch a girl smoke a joint, Tara especially so. But that night she surpassed every other girl.
Jax had walked up to her, standing so that his breath could flutter across her neck. He held his mouth close to her ear. The plan had been to talk her into leaving the party with him and with any luck talk her into his lap. The smirk that had all the other girls falling at his feet was on his lips when he asked for a hit of the joint she held. Tara brought one hand up behind her, cupping his cheek to pull his face close to hers. Jax's mouth fell open in anticipation for a kiss that never came. Instead she exhaled all her smoke into his mouth. From that moment on he'd gone from being interested in Tara Knowles to practically obsessed with her.
Now here he was at his best friend's party, a blonde standing intimately between his legs and his eyes trained on the door. There was a party at the clubhouse, a wild one where he'd have no doubt gotten laid. But he'd been trying to get closer to Tara for awhile now. And while their friendship actually continued to grow, he was no closer to filling his hands with her incredible ass.
So he talked Opie into throwing this party. Because there was no way in hell he was going to subject Tara to a SAMCRO party, at least not before they were together. He and Opie had gone to Eglee's the old fashioned candy shop where Tara worked. Jax had actually been spending a whole lot of time at that damn store, for all the good it was doing him. He made the invite casual, as if it wouldn't matter to him if she came or not. But he hadn't been able to keep the grin off his face when she said she'd be there. What he hadn't been expecting was for her to show up with Hale. The Hales made no secret of how poorly they thought of SAMCRO, the MC both Jax and Opie's father belonged to. But fuck if he didn't see Hale before he saw Tara.
Hale had Tara's hand locked in his, keeping her close to him, and Jax really didn't get it. They just didn't make any sense. What more proof did anyone need than that 'I smell shit' scowl on Hale's face. How the guy could look so fucking unhappy when he had Tara at his side wearing the shit out of a pair of jeans was just beyond Jax. And all the proof he needed that Tara was suppose to be with him.
"'Scuse me, darlin'." Jax gave a charming wink as he pushed the blonde away. Grabbing a beer from one of the many buckets placed throughout the cabin he started towards Tara and Hale. "You made it."
Tara smiled, cursing her pale complexion as she could feel the heat rising to the surface of her skin at the sight of Jax. She was still shocked at her behavior after the homecoming dance. True she wasn't the retiring type, but she'd never been that blatantly…sexual. There was just something about Jackson Teller and his cocksure attitude that brought it out in her. She wanted to knock him off his stride a bit. "Told you I would."
"Guess you did." Jax held out the beer. "Beer?" When Tara reached for it, he pulled it back, twisted off the cap before handing her the bottle. "Hale?"
Jax jerked his head toward the interior of the cabin. "Grab me one, too."
"It was really sweet of Piney to let Opie have a party out here." Tara jumped in quickly when she noticed Hale's jaw clench.
The smirk on Jax's face stayed firmly in place and directed at Hale even as he spoke to Tara. "Clearly you've never met Opie's pop."
Reaching out, Tara punched Jax in the arm. "Shut up. Mr. Winston's a really nice man." He was a man who didn't judge, didn't give her pitying glances. She hated that. Hated how, on the mornings after one of her father's violent, drunken outbursts, their neighbors would watch her with sad, knowing eyes. Shaking their heads at her misfortune. Piney never did. And Piney was the only one whoever came over at the sound of her father's yelling or her screaming or the sound of breaking furniture. He wouldn't say a word either, he'd just take her by the elbow, and lead her out the door to his house.
"Piney? Nice?" Jax had known Piney his whole life and had heard him be called a number of things over the years. Nice was never one of them. "If you say so."
Tara's smile turned flirtatious. "I do say so."
"Oh, yeah." Jax had just reached out to place his hand on her hip when Hale decided to remind them that he was standing there by pulling Tara tight to his side.
"Hey, I see Candy." Tara placed her hand on David's shoulder, part comfort, part nudge to get him to let her go. "I'll be right back."
David waited until Tara disappeared into the crowd before pulling himself up to his full height. "I know what you're doing, Teller."
Not even bothering to look innocent, Jax merely shrugged. "Do you?"
"Tara is my girl."
"Yeah? Then why isn't she wearing your jacket." Jax's lips curled in disgust as he flicked his hand over the shoulder of David's letterman jacket. "Isn't that what you jocks do? Throw these little pussy jackets over your girls to show everyone they're yours."
"She'll wear my letter before she's wearing one of those ridiculous crows."
It was all Jax could to do keep from adjusting himself as the image of Tara with a crow inked into her skin flashed in his mind. "Wanna bet."
Jax lost track of her. Before tonight he wouldn't have even thought the cabin was that damn big. Granted he wasn't putting in much effort. He wasn't about to follow her around the party like she was carrying his balls in her purse, that shit was for Hale. Jax was back in the kitchen, perched up on the counter, a different blonde settled between his legs.
Turning his attention from the girl between his legs, Jax looked over at Lowell Harland. Lowell had been angry at the world in general since his old man took off a few months back. Clay had asked Jax to keep an eye out for him, make sure he didn't pick a fight with the wrong guy and get his assed kicked.
"What's up, man?"
"Fucking Kyle" Lowell lowered his voice. "I was outside with Tara and he played me."
The grin that had been on Jax's face dropped. He stopped just short of shoving the blonde aside as he hopped off the counter. "Kyle and Tara? She's underage." Granted Kyle was only nineteen, but there was enough of an age difference for Jax to believe Kyle needed to keep his distance.
"You think Kyle gives a shit." Lowell cast one last pissed off look towards the backdoor before walking off.
Wasn't much Lowell could do against Kyle, as the guy was still in the same shape he'd been in when he played ball at Charming High. Not to mention everyone was pretty sure he'd be prospecting SAMCRO in a few months. But Jax didn't have the same worries that Lowell had and there was no way in fuck he was going to leave Tara outside with Kyle.
It took him a moment to find them. There seemed to be people everywhere. Kyle, the slick bastard, had lead Tara out into the woods, towards a half-assed fort Jax and Opie had built when they were kids. Tara was leaning against structure, Kyle had his arm stretched out above her head, leaning in closer than what was necessary.
"A little far away from the party back here, aren't you?"
Kyle turned his head, but didn't bother stepping away from Tara. "What's up, Jax? Just catching up with Knowles here."
"Yeah," Jax reached out for Tara's hand, tugging on her arm until she was at his side. "You tell her about the kid you got coming in a few months."
"Naw," Kyle was no longer grinning. "We didn't get around to that."
Jax jerked his head towards the cabin. "Tig's here. And he's looking for you." He lied easily, smirking as Kyle practically sprinted back towards the house.
Tara waited, not at all missing the pleased look on Jax's face. When Kyle disappeared into the crowd, Jax let go of her hand to throw his arm around her shoulders but Tara stepped away from him. "You think you're cute, Teller?"
"I can handle Kyle, you know."
It didn't matter, Jax didn't want her to handle Kyle. He wasn't so stupid as to not realize Tara had been flirting with Kyle. That she was flirting with him was exactly why he sent the other guy off. Kyle wasn't Hale. Given the chance the older boy would have taken Tara's virginity right where they stood. "Well now you don't have to."
With a roll of her eyes Tara leaned against the wall again. She realized there was no point in telling Jax that she liked Kyle. She knew he had a kid on the way and it wasn't like she was looking for a pledge of his everlasting love. She just didn't see the harm in flirting. There was something…dangerous about Kyle. He reminded her of Jax in that way. But unlike Jax he didn't treat her like one of the guys. In that way Kyle was like David, actually recognizing that she had boobs. But unlike David, Tara was almost sure she wouldn't have to give Kyle instructions on how to touch them.
"Quite popular tonight. Showing up with Hale, sneaking off with Lowell then Kyle."
Tara rolled her eyes, she was almost sure he'd been through twice that many girls already. "Kyle was back here because I'm one of the few girls in school he hasn't slept with and he doesn't believe in leaving anything half finished. And Lowell was back here because he wanted me to help him get Vickie Jones' number."
Jax's brow creased in a frown. "Vickie?" The chick was hands down one of weirdest girl in school, maybe around town. What any guy would see in her was way beyond him.
Tara scoffed, before giving a very simple answer. "Lowell."
It was a point Jax could only concede with a shrug.
"What are you even doing checking up on me, Teller? Shouldn't you be talking your way into Stacey's panties right now."
Moving closer to her, Jax gave her a grin. "Jealous?"
Tara gave an indifferent shrug of her shoulders. Of course she was jealous but she'd come to terms a long time ago with the fact that Jax would never look at her the way he looked at every other girl in school. "Why should I be? I don't want to get into Stacey's panties."
"Funny." In a move he hoped was more casual than he was feeling at the moment, Jax stretched his arm out until his hand was braced above her head.
Tara's breath caught at his closeness, her heart picking up rhythm. Their faces were closer than their bodies and Tara had to focus her eyes on his right ear to keep from looking at his lips. Or worse, into his eyes. He had the most amazing blue eyes she'd ever seen. "How've you been, Jax?"
Jax tilted his head in an attempt to catch her eyes, but she seemed intent on looking everywhere but at him. He knew what she meant, that she wasn't asking the question just to make conversation. About a week before school started, she brought her old man's car into his family's shop. He'd been the only one there, the club had business that needed their attention and his mother had to run out to the bank. A few people were suppose to come by and pick up their cars, so Gemma had made Jax sit in the office to wait for them.
The problem for Jax was that the office still smelled like his old man, still felt like him. And it hurt, the pain that he tried to ignore, that he done his best to push away, didn't just sneak up on him it hit him square in the chest. Jax didn't know what to do with his tears, had been freaked out to find himself crying that way.
That was how Tara found him, sitting at his old man's desk head down as he cried. She didn't say a word, just kneeled down next to the chair he was sitting at and ran her fingers softly through his hair. Jax's head came up then, wiping frantically at his tears. He wanted to push her away, would have pushed her away if he had seen anything other than understanding in her eyes.
There was some part of his mind that told him to pull her to him, slant his mouth over hers and push her down to the floor. To lose himself, to bury his pain, in her the way he had been doing with the women who hung around the club. The way his soon to be step-father told him to. God knows he wanted to, but he didn't. Instead Jax found himself going to the floor with her and wrapping his arms around her waist so that he could pull her tightly against his chest. When her arms came around him, he buried his face in her neck and cried.
Tara hadn't said anything, no soothing words to quiet his tears or empty platitudes to make him feel better. She just held him. And it had been exactly what he needed.
"You know me, babe. I get by."
Tara thought it was utterly ridiculous for her heart to skip a beat just because he called her babe. She had no doubt he called everyone babe. "I guess that's true."
He wondered what she'd do if he told her she was all he thought about. That ever since that day at TM it was her face she saw when he was with other girls. That more than anything in the world, he wanted to know if her lips were as soft as they looked. That it was all he could do to keep himself from lapping at her neck like some eager puppy.
He didn't know what she wanted from him. Sometimes he wondered if she even really saw him. When he saw her sitting alone, he'd drop down next to her and throw an arm around her shoulder. More than one girl took that as a sign to crawl into his lap, Tara merely passed him whatever she was drinking. When he called her darling she was quick to remind him she had a name. And when he tried the smirk that worked like magic before, she'd roll her eyes and walk away.
Tara was grateful for the complete lack of light as she was sure her skin was a bright red. She could practically feel her skin heating from her chest to her hairline. She had to place her hands behind her back to keep from burying them in his hair. His lips were so close to hers it was all she could do to keep from nipping at them.
"So," Jax wasn't entirely sure why he dropped his voice but when she leaned a bit closer to be able to hear him better he was awfully glad he did. "Having a good time?"
"Yeah I am." And the enjoyment she was feeling earlier doubled at having Jax so close and all to herself.
"Probably more so since you ditched your uptight boyfriend."
"David's not uptight." She was quick to jump to his defense because he was a good friend and had never been anything but sweet to her. "And he's not my boyfriend."
Just barely resisting the urge not to give a shout of joy, Jax ducked his head to keep her from noticing his grin. "Not according to Davey boy. He's telling everyone you're his girl."
"I'm not his girl. Trust me, if I were you'd have heard his father's head explode. No way the Honorable Hale would stand for his son dating the town drunk's daughter."
The playful mood was gone and Jax's spine had gone ramrod straight. "Did that bastard say that to you. Your worth ten of every fucking Hale there is. And if Hale's too much of a pussy to stand up to his old man than you should drop his ass."
When it looked like he was going to charge off and attack David, Tara quickly grabbed hold of his shirt. Taking two fistfuls of the dark blue flannel she gave it a tug and inadvertently pulled him flush against her. "David never said anything like that, it probably never even occurred to him. It was his asshole brother, Jacob."
"That guy's a dick." He wasn't appeased in the least and he didn't believe that David was any different from Jacob. He'd never met a Hale that wasn't a pretentious asshole. But with Tara's body so close to his, any intention he had of moving away from her fell away. She was close enough that he could feel the heat coming off her skin. He braced a hand on her hip, in part to keep himself from rubbing against her, more because he just had to touch her. "You were my girl I'd be shouting it from the rooftops."
"Doesn't really mean much, Teller. You've yet to have a girl the whole town didn't know about." Tara murmured softly, even as her heart fluttered at the thought of being his girl.
"You'd be different." He hadn't meant to say it, but fuck if it wasn't the truth. "Have you ever been kissed before, Tara?"
Despite her best intentions her eyes were glued to his lips, wondered if she could bring his mouth closer by sheer force of will. "Considering I'm not eight years old? Yeah," She wasn't sure which of them moved first, her or Jax, but their lips were barely an inch apart. And it was all she could do not to beg. "I've been kissed."
The tip of his nose brushed hers, he angled his head to the side. The hands that had been fisted in his shirt moved down to rest on his hips. They moved together, Jax bending his knees ever so slightly, Tara coming up on the tips of her toes. "It won't matter."
They didn't hear the approaching footsteps, or the silent curse, would have continued on if her name hadn't been spoken. "Tara? Tara you back here, Kyle said you were looking for me."
She didn't shove him away, and Jax figured that was worth something. But she did drop back, turning her head to look over his shoulder. He would have sworn she whimpered in disappointment, at least he hoped it was her and not him.
"Yeah. What are you doing back here? I can't see shit."
"Nothing." Because of how closely they were standing she could see Jax start to open his mouth to speak, she quickly stopped him by slapping her hand over his mouth.
"You're not getting high are you?"
Jax rolled his eyes. He didn't know how anyone could be that much of a fucking puss.
"Yeah?" She realized that was more of a question than anything else and when Jax laughed at her response she very much considered suffocating him. "Well, I was thinking about it."
"I'm gonna head back to the house." But there was no sound to suggest that Hale was actually headed back to the house. "You're really better than that, Tara."
Sure that this time David was walking away, Tara took her hand from Jax's mouth only slap him on the shoulder.
"Guy couldn't be any more of a bitch could he?" Jax thought about stepping away from her, giving them both space. But he didn't like how she tried to cover up him being with her. There was no way he was going to let her put him off, push him aside. "I thought you two weren't together."
"We're not." Tara made a restless movement with her shoulders. "But I just think it would have hurt him to know we were back here together….like this."
Jax didn't get it, but then again he really didn't give a shit about Hale's feelings. "Come with me."
"Let's get out of here. We can go for a walk or something." He just wanted to go somewhere they could be alone, so they wouldn't have to worry about anyone interrupting them.
Every cell in her body was telling her to take his offer. To go off to wherever Jax wanted to take her. "I came with David."
Jax's hand came up slowly, running his fingers through her hair and fighting the urge to pull her close again. His eyes locked on hers. "Leave with me."