As I was finishing the 3rd season of SOA on Netflix the other day and something really bothered me in episode 12, June Wedding. There was no explanation of why Tara decided to keep the baby or any conversation that included her talking to Jax about it. It really bothered me, so I thought of a story for the in-between for that episode.
There was a gun in her hand and she was running toward a bright light, she could hear footsteps in the distance behind her. The woman ran faster and faster, and kept pushing harder. It was no use; she could hear Salazar behind her. He was getting closer and there was nowhere she could go but straight ahead. She turned around to see how much longer she had before her kidnapper caught up with her. As she whipped her head around, she gasped with an intake of breath at how close behind he actually was. In shock and panic she tripped over her own feet and fell, crashing into the floor. She tried to get back up, but her body seemed to be out of her control. Instead she turned around just in time to see the man raise the gun in his hand and fire a shot. The bullet hit her right in the abdomen. Instead of thinking about the pain, or about the fact that she was seconds away from death, her thoughts went straight to the baby she was carrying, Jax's baby, the baby that was now surely dead. She let out a mangled cry, "No!", before Salazar fired his weapon again, right at her head.
Tara gasped as she woke up and smacked her head against the wooden beam she was tied to. She took several deep breaths to calm herself down and get her head clear. It was only a dream, she said as she tried rationalizing to her quivering body. Tara's movements had woken Margaret up who was tied to the opposite side of the beam.
"Tara, are you okay? What's wrong?" she hoarsely whispered to the younger woman.
"Nothing. Just a…Just a bad dream. Go back to sleep."
"I don't think I can, I wasn't really sleeping anyways, just drifting in and out."
"We are going to be alright Margaret. We will get out of here." Tara's words were more of a reassurance for herself than they were a promise. There was no reply except for a small whimper from the woman behind her. Tara closed her eyes again, but all she could see was the bullet being fired at her stomach and the blood that filled her shirt afterward. She definitely was not going to be able to go back to sleep. Her mind was too full and her thoughts were racing. Why was I so heartbroken about the baby? Having an abortion was and is the best thing. However, if she admitted the truth to herself, she had been having doubts when it came to what she was going to do about the pregnancy ever since Salazar and his girl had bumped into the back of Margaret's silver car on the way to the clinic and held a gun to her head. When the choice had been taken away from her, she had almost experienced a feeling of relief. Even so, Tara wasn't positive that was right because she had been so sure about her decision before any of this shit had happened.
No matter how hard she tried thinking of other things, even something as vital as a plan for escape, her thoughts kept wondering back to the fact that she was pregnant, with Jax's baby. She had made up her mind about what she was going to do absolutely, the night she drove Lyla to the clinic herself. When Lyla talked about the fact that Opie wouldn't let her in, Tara realized that there was too far of a gap between her and Jax now. She was all alone and she had to make the decision for herself. She didn't care what Gemma thought about her situation and what she should do. Besides, how could she ever trust Jax again? How could she forgive him for betraying her in such a deep way, and how could she forgive herself for what happened to Abel? The truth was that she did blame herself for not doing more to save Abel. But, at the time, she had just learned she was pregnant, and she didn't want to risk hurting that unborn baby. It was at that moment when she remembered how scared she had been for her baby when her life had been threatened. There had been an instinctual need to protect that baby, no matter how much she had wanted to save Abel. She thought back again to earlier that afternoon when Salazar had almost kicked her in the stomach. Her first instinct had been to save her baby. So, Jax was gone, he had cheated on her and hurt her, but she was still in love with him and knew that she would always be. This baby was a piece of him, and no matter what happened or where she went, she wanted that piece. Maybe an abortion had been the right choice for Lyla the other night, and Tara knew she had made the right decision when she had an abortion in Chicago, maybe an abortion had even been the right thing for her 24 hours ago. But now, she knew she was keeping this baby no matter what.
This new realization was enough to make all the jumbled thoughts disappear, and she could only think about one thing: Escape.
When the sun rose the next morning and shown through the far window in the attic, Tara heard a commotion downstairs. She had a plan to get herself and Margaret to safety, but she didn't know exactly how she was going to accomplish the logistics. She knew she needed to wait until Salazar had gone to get the money from the Sons. She had to get that little bitch alone. She heard Salazar and the girl coming up to the attic. He was probably getting ready to leave for the drop. As the captors came to check on their prisoners, Salazar's phone rang. Tara could tell that it wasn't good news on the other end of the call. Salazar was saying something about changing the money drop to 12 o'clock. Apparently the boys hadn't come up with the cash yet. She never expected them to, which is why she had made her own plans for getting out of here.
The hours rolled by in silence in the moldy smelling attic with just a few utterings between Margaret and Tara mainly consisting of, "Are you okay?" and other things like that. Finally Salazar came thundering back up the steps to the attic to inform his girl, who had been watching the women tirelessly, that he was going to go claim his money. The two shared a passionate kiss that reminded Tara of some twisted Bonne and Clyde love story. When the man headed back down the steps, Tara knew she only needed to wait a few more minutes to make her move.
Ten minutes later Tara proclaimed, "Hey! I need to use the bathroom!"
"Just hold it, bitch!" The Latino woman spat back.
"Look, unless you want to clean shit up off the floor, I suggest you take me to the bathroom," Tara pleaded.
"Fuck. Fine." was the woman's reply. She came to undo Tara's restraints from the wood beam. As the woman followed Tara from the room, she pointed her gun at Margaret with a warning, "Be good, Red."
The woman shoved Tara into the bathroom. Tara frantically began searching for something heavy enough to knock her captor out cold. The only problem was that her hands were still tied, and there was nothing substantial in the bathroom to attack the woman with. She sat down on the toilet to collect her thoughts, when she saw the cracked glass over the vanity. The grabbed a towel from the shelf and quickly popped out a piece of the glass, this would have to do, and would probably cause way more damage than she had originally intended. With the shard of glass firmly in her hands, Tara got behind the shower curtain and waited until her 5 minutes were up before the little bitch came in to check on her.
All of the sudden, the door came flying in as the kidnapper kicked it open. Although sooner than she thought, Tara made her move and cut the girl on the side of the throat. This kept the girl from putting up more of a struggle. As the blood came pouring out, Tara didn't have time to think and simply threw the bleeding woman into the tub. She quickly got rid of the restraints around her hands and ran back to free Margaret, whose eyes bulged at the sight of Tara covered in blood. Guessing her thought process, Tara quickly interjected, "It's not mine, but come on, hurry. We have to go." Tara was holding the bleeding woman's gun as the pair made their way down the steps to freedom. Just as they reached the bottom step the front door crashed opened and in came Salazar. "God dammit!" Tara thought as she quickly pulled her gun on a bewildered Salazar, just as he pulled his. This reminded Tara of the nightmare she had last night, except this time, she had a gun too, and she wasn't about to give up easily. She didn't know any other way out of this except to spill more blood. But, she couldn't let Margaret get hurt. She quickly thought of another plan that was less than ideal, but the only way she knew to make sure her friend was safe.
"Your girlfriend is bleeding out in the bathroom. If you let my friend go, I'll save your girl's life!"
Salazar stared at Tara's blood stained clothes in horror and took Tara upstairs to find his girlfriend. When he saw what bad shape the girl was in, he let Margaret go to save the girl's life. Tara felt relief once Margaret was headed to safety but she still didn't know what was going to happen to her and her baby. She had cut the girl pretty deeply, at what appeared to be an artery, judging by the amount of blood. She did not think she would actually be able to save her, but she had to make it look like she could. As Tara helped load the girl into the car, she applied pressure to the neck wound. Both she and Salazar were covered in blood that belonged to neither one of them.
The car sped down the highway. "Listen," said Tara, "I can't treat her properly in the car like this. If you want me to help her, pull over." It took the man a minute to think, and suddenly the car was being jerked off the road, onto the dusty and deserted shoulder. Salazar got out of the car and shouted "Save her" before walking off with his bloody hands against his head. But Tara couldn't save her, she was already dead. She waited a couple of minutes before giving the news to Salazar. There was no other way she could play this. The girl was dead and he was going to figure it out sooner or later. "She's dead," Tara said coolly. At hearing the news, Salazar burst into a rage, slamming Tara against the hood of the car. Without saying a word he pulled Duct tape from his pocket and began to wrap Tara's wrists and ankles. She struggled a tiny bit, but knew that she couldn't get out of this without him killing her. He then put a single piece of tape over her mouth. Then, slowly dragging her by the hair, he pulled her to the back of the car, popped the trunk, and threw her in. Salazar shut the trunk and everything went black. She knew that she was safe for now, and in relatively good condition for what had just happened. Honestly, she expected to be dead right now, but she figured Salazar would try using her as a bargaining chip later.
Tara lay in the darkened trunk and her eyes began to adjust to the darkness, she could make out faint shapes around her and she prayed that something could be used as a weapon if need be. Unfortunately she found out quickly that most of the shapes were just trash and old blankets. Dammit. She didn't know where to go from here and she didn't know how long she had to live. The Sons were probably searching for her right now as well as the cops, that is, if Margaret had been able to get help. Thoughts of Jax began running through her mind and she wondered if he had been informed of her predicament all the way in Ireland. She hoped not, because he needed to focus on finding Abel. Abel had to be alright. A car pulling onto the shoulder outside caught her attention and she stopped breathing momentarily so that she could get a better listen as to what was going on. Tara heard two voices, what sounded like a woman and Salazar, but she could not definitively make out anything they were saying. Then a shot rang out and the talking ceased. Tara stopped breathing once again in anticipation of Salazar's next move. She figured he had shot the driver of the other car. Suddenly the trunk popped open, and the sweaty, blood covered man dragged her to her feet. She caught a glimpse the man's girlfriend and the newly dead driver of the car lying in the dirt beside the highway as she was being pushed into another trunk and Salazar shut her in once again.
The ride to wherever they were going seemed to only take about half an hour. Tara used that time to think about what would happen when she got out of this situation. She had become pretty hopeless about getting out of this on her own and knew she probably would need help from the rest of the Sons who were still in Charming. She needed to get herself to the hospital pretty soon in order to check on the baby. Salazar had slammed her against the car pretty hard, but she still felt she was okay. Since she was keeping this baby, what was she going to do when it came to her and Jax? She knew she just needed to see him again to clear her thoughts and get herself thinking straight. The car pulled off the highway and started making frequent stops, which told Tara that they were somewhere in town, being stopped by traffic lights or stop signs. The car jerked sideways throwing Tara into the side of the trunk. Then it came to a complete stop, and the engine was turned off. She heard footsteps come around to the back of the car. The trunk popped open and the light flooded in, stinging her eyes. Salazar removed the cloth from her mouth. As she stepped out of her prison she was able to take in her surroundings. She was near downtown Charming at Hale's development offices.
"Listen here," he said, his words full of venom. "You are going to do everything I tell you, or I will shoot you, ya got that?"
Tara nodded her head in understanding. "Here. Put this on," spat Salazar as he handed her an old button up shirt, "Put this on." He undid her hand restraints, allowing her to put her arms through the sleeves and fasten the buttons, holding his gun on her the whole time. Tara's fingers trembled slightly as she got to the top buttons. What was she about to do? He taped her wrists up once again and threw her back in the trunk. What is going on, she thought. She couldn't make sense of Salazar's plan, but she had a feeling things were about to get worse. She heard Salazar speaking up at the front of the car and no other voices. He must be on his cell phone. He wasn't speaking English so she still had no clue what was going on. Once again she heard him leave the car and walk around to the back. The trunk opened once again and Tara wondered annoyingly how many times she was going to have to get in and out of this trunk today.
"Time to listen, bitch," were Salazar's greeting words. As she climbed out of the back of the car, Salazar gave her another piece of clothing. This time it was a tan trench coat form the back of the Lexus. Tara presumed it belonged to the now dead driver. He placed the coat over her wrists to hide the tape and took her buy the arm. As he forced her along, he began to reveal more of his plan. "When we get inside, you're gonna ask if we can see Hale. You're gonna tell 'em it's urgent. Got that?" he demanded. Tara once again nodded her cooperation. As the pair entered the building, they got a wide-eyed look from the receptionist as Tara asked to see Hale. Before the girl behind the front desk could respond, Hale stepped out of his office and Salazar drew his gun, forcing Tara and Hale inside the office with the screaming receptionist left on the outside.
"What in the hell are you doing?" demanded Jacob Hale.
Salazar yelled, "Shut up!" as he slammed Hale over the head with his gun. Hale fell to the floor and Tara let out a strangled cry. Salazar produced a pair of handcuffs from his pocket, unwrapped the tape from Tara's wrists and dragged an unconscious Hale over to a pipe near the wall. Then, he handcuffed both Hale and Tara to the pipe. Hale began to come back to consciousness as Tara heard sirens in the distance getting closer. Salazar scratched his head with the side of the gun and picked up the phone and a notepad from the desk. He threw the smaller item at her and placed the phone next to her. "They'll call any minute," he said, referring to the police. "You're going to talk to them." He pointed to Tara. "First I have some demands I need for you to write down."
As Tara dictated Salazar's list of demands, she didn't know that Jax was outside, fighting to get her back safely. The phone did eventually ring, it was Unser on the other end.
"Hello," answered Tara.
"Is that you Tara? You alright?' demanded Unser's voice.
"Yeah," she replied, "But, I've got a list of demands here from Salazar. He says if he gets this, he'll let Hale go." She began to recite the list to Unser, which included safe passage to Mexico. As she finished Unser asked, "What about you? What does he want for you?"
"I don't know," she stammered. Hearing this, Salazar ripped the phone from her hands and asked the police chief, "You wanna know what I want for the bitch? Is Jax Teller out there?
"Yes," answered Unser uneasily.
"The only way you're getting her alive is if I get Jax in return. Understand?" He paused. "Do it. Now!" Salazar hung up the phone. "Well," he said, "I guess you can both get out of here okay as long as I get what I want and your old man thinks you're a fair trade," he said to Tara.
"But," Tara replied, "Jax isn't here."
"Not according to the cop."
Was Jax really out there? That meant he was home. It also meant that Abel was safe, or not. But, that was something to think about later. She heard footsteps in the hall outside the door. Salazar pulled a knife from his bag and stared at it longingly. She knew his plan was to kill Jax and she asked the armed man. He replied, "First I'm going to kill you and make him watch. Then I'm going to kill him."
There was a knock on the office door. Salazar opened it, gun in hand. There he was; Jax. He looked straight at her. There was a small hint of worry on his face, but the rest was strength and determination. When she caught sight of him, her chest fluttered in response. So many feelings came rushing forward that she feared they would overwhelm her. She could never deny the connection between them. Salazar pushed Jax down into a chair and held the gun in the blonde biker's face. That was when Jax spoke. "Let her go," he demanded. Salazar's answer came in the form of a forceful smack against Jax's head with the butt of the gun. Tara gasped with a jolt at watching the violent act against the man she loved. Before she could think of anything else, Salazar had a knife to her throat. She tried not to breathe as the cool, sharp edge of the blade brought goose bumps to her skin. What was going to happen next was anyone's guess until Hale reminded everyone of his presence and plunged the pen Tara had been using earlier into Salazar's side. The knife wielding man screamed out in pain. He dropped his guard which gave Jax the opportunity to intervene. Knocking the gun to the floor and claiming it for himself, Jax handed it to Tara and ran after the wounded Salazar who had taken off down the hall through the office door.
Tara stood against the wall, still handcuffed to Hale, with the heavy gun in her hand. She heard someone approaching the door and raised the gun in response. "Lower the weapon," was the response given by the SWAT team member who entered the door first. She quickly and obediently did so, happy that someone was there to take the cuffs off of her. Her hands had been restrained all day and were a little sore. As she rubbed her now free wrist the officers were busy asking her if she was alright. She heard similar questions being asked to Hale, but he was no longer her concern and frankly, she didn't care. But, where was Jax? He had run after Salazar, and he had had the advantage, not being stabbed. She had full confidence that he was okay, but she couldn't help the worry that had nudged its way into the pit of her stomach. And that's when she finally allowed herself to think about the baby. She knew she needed to get checked out soon.
Tara sat in the back of the ambulance outside the development office as the EMTs checked her out to make sure she wasn't injured anywhere.
"Listen," she said quietly to the young paramedic attending to her, "I have to head to the hospital later anyway, and I can just finished getting checked out then." The young man looked at her incredulously. "Don't worry, I'm a doctor. I know I'll be fine." As Tara was finishing up at the ambulance, she saw the SWAT team escorting Jax outside. His right hand was covering something on his left arm and she could see blood dripping from under his hand. As she ran to him she breathlessly asked, "What's wrong?" while peeling away his hand to inspect the damage for herself.
"Oh my God, Jax! What happened?"
"I'm fine, and Salazar's dead. And you're not. That's all that matters." Jax stared into Tara's eyes and resisted the urge to touch her in order to avoid covering her in his blood.
"Let's get you cleaned up," she ordered, pulling him toward the ambulance.
"Tara," he said forcefully, "Are you okay?" His question had a double meaning and she sensed it. But, she wasn't sure he knew about the pregnancy. Of course, Gemma probably told him. She knew she couldn't keep this a secret. He grabbed her with his injured arm and pulled her close, looking into her eyes. "Are you okay?" he repeated.
"Um, yeah," she said quietly. "But let's get your arm cleaned up first and we can talk about this later." Jax didn't say anything else as Tara led him to the ambulance. "His arm," Tara noted to the paramedic, "he needs stitches".
"I'll get it cleaned while we take you to the hospital," said the eager man as he hopped in the back of the ambulance and motioned for Jax to follow him.
Jax turned and shouted to Chibs. "My bike. I'm going in the ambulance with Tara." Tara climbed in after Jax and sat next to him as his arm was being cleaned and wrapped to stop the blood flow until he could get to the hospital. The ride was full of silence as neither one of them wanted to discuss their private lives in front of a stranger. But mainly, it was because they didn't know what they were going to say to each other.
After Jax had been patched up, the doctor left them alone in the hospital room. Tara was the first to speak, but her baby wasn't the first pressing matter on her mind. "You're back, does that mean you have Abel? Jax, is he okay?" she asked desperately. She had been waiting to ask this for the past hour.
"Yeah, he's perfectly fine. He's a tough kid," Jax said with a smile.
"Really? He's fine?"
"Not one scratch. And I know he wants to see you, and you want to see him."
"Yeah," said Tara, smiling, "I really do. How did you get him back?"
"I'll tell you all about it later. But, I can't believe I'm the one saying this, first, we need to talk."
'Yeah," Tara said again. "I'm guessing Gemma told you."
"Yeah, Tara. Why did I have to hear you were pregnant from my mother?"
"I didn't know how to tell you. I mean, look at everything that was going on! You're first concern was Abel. And then all that other bullshit with you and me. It just never seemed the best time to blurt out, 'I'm pregnant'". Jax didn't need to know she was thinking about an abortion. Besides, it didn't matter, she wasn't now.
"Don't get me wrong, but you're right, you never would have found the right time before, because there wasn't one. Honestly, I woulda freaked out, and I gotta be honest, I'm kind of freaking out now. But, Tara, you're having my kid, and after all that's happened it seems right."
"Okay, so I'm having your kid. But what does that mean for us? You all but force me out the door and tell me I don't belong with you. You really hurt me. Do you even know what you want?"
"Listen, I know I fucked up. But there was just so much anger and I didn't know what to do with it. I didn't know how to handle anything. But Tara, I love you and nothing's gonna change that."
"Jax," She saw the look on his face and knew he probably guessed where this was going. "You remember what I said about cheating right? It's a deal breaker. I know you were going through a lot of shitty stuff, but what you did with that slut is not fine with me. I have to be able to trust you. You hurt me. I love you Jax. And now I'm having your baby." She began to tear up and her voice began to climb with anger. "You can't just go fuck some girl when you're angry. I love you, but I won't stick around for that. I know some girls will, but you know I won't. I want to be with you and I want to have this baby with you, but this can't happen again".
"Okay," he said adamantly, "It won't happen again. I'm sorry. I don't want to hurt you. I want you with me, with our kids. Abel and this little guy," he said with his hand on her stomach. "I don't want to hurt you and I want you to stay. What you said about the whole truth, I haven't lied to. I let you in more than anybody else, I think ever. I'm sorry." Never mind that he wasn't planning on telling her about what almost happened with Trinity in Ireland. He figured it would just hurt her more than necessary. "I want to be a family with you. That sounds good."
"Yeah, it does." She kissed him passionately through the tears. She wanted this so badly, but didn't know if it could exist inside of the club. The truth was she had already forgiven him, but she would never forget that horrible feeling when she had walked in on him and Ima. She would never forget that feeling. "Now that you know, you can come with me to get checked out." After seeing the worry on Jax's face she added, "But I feel okay so I'm sure everything's fine". She kissed him again.
When Tara heard the baby's heartbeat, she was so relieved. She hadn't let herself think ahead to the possibility of something being wrong. Even though she had made her decision to keep the baby, it still scared the hell out of her. She was still in a bit of a shock. But Jax was there, holding her hand, and in that moment everything felt right.
She had no idea what the next few days would hold.