The sun was disappearing beyond the chain link surrounding the compound, making the sky a perfectly blended watercolor of pinks and oranges. There was a peacefulness that hung in the air. One that only seemed to come at twilight during the summer. The only sound was the creaking of the rusty swings as they traveled back and forth. The smell of alcohol, exhaust, and cigarette smoke was prominent, but it had become an almost permanent perfume for everybody, so it went unnoticed most of the time. It was the perfect summer evening...if you were a Son.
Tara's shrill scream pierced the tranquility. Gemma and Sandra turned from their spot at the picnic table to watch Jax chase her around the playground the prospects had built. Thomas was there, too. He wobbled behind Jax trying desperately to keep up with his younger brother. He was three years old, but that did not stop him from following Jax and Tara around like a lost puppy. Gemma chuckled and took another hit from her cigarette. Sandra shook her head and twirled her empty beer bottle around on the wooden table.
"You know that's going to kill you?" She asked, nodding toward the dwindling cigarette pinched between Gemma's two fingers.
"No, darling," She shook her head and let out a smoky breath. "My heart condition is going to kill me. This will just make life more enjoyable while I'm here." She tapped the end against the ashtray and brought it to her lips again inhaling deeply while keeping her eyes on Sandra. A playful smile danced around the corners of her mouth.
The two women turned their attention back to their kids. Tommy was sitting on the ground grabbing tufts of grass and throwing them into the air before bursting out in a belly laugh. Tara and Jax were on the swings. Each of their legs were pumping in the air as they tried to force themselves higher. It looked like a contest. Much like the ones Sandra and Gemma used to participate in when they were nine.
"Can you believe those two?" Gemma asked, stubbing out the rest of her cigarette and leaving the remains in the ashtray.
Sandra shook her head, never letting her green eyes leave her daughter's smiling face. "When Tara was born I never thought she would get to meet you. Let alone your son." She smiled at her old friend. "I always wanted this for her. You know, your child to be her best friend like you were mine."
Gemma smirked, staring at Sandra. "I bet you never thought I would be an old lady to a motorcycle club and my son would be their prince. That's not the life you had planned for your little girl."
Sandra let out a small laugh. "No, it's not," She turned to look at Gemma meeting her eyes for the first time this conversation. "But we've made it work, huh?"
Tara and Jax giggled together as they slowed their swings to a stop. They let their sneakered feet drag across the grassy patch beneath the playground, kicking up small amounts of dirt. Ben Knowles was bent over his wife's Cutlass The line of motorcycles that normally occupied the lot were missing. Tara pondered the near empty compound for a moment before addressing her best friend. "Where do you think they go?" She nodded toward the vacant motorcycle parking spots.
Jax seemed to think about this also. His parents had never told him where his father disappeared to during the early hours of the morning or what his 'business' trips that lasted days at a time were about. He did see the small hand guns his parents kept and the knife that was always present on his father's belt. He could also never shake the fear that something bad was going to happen whenever his father mounted his Dinah. He did know that his father was considered the bad guy. Jax was only nine years old, but his father had been in prison three times in his short life. He looked at Tara and shook his head. "I really don't know." He answered truthfully.
This was a conversation the two of them had often. Tara cracked a smile and looked back at the empty lot. "This time their fighting dragons. Huge, fire breathing ones that are going to kill all of Charming."
Jax smiled too, stretching it from ear to ear. "Right now my dad is using his magical knife to scare them away before they come for the three of us," He nodded to Tommy who was now stuffing the blades of grass in his mouth, then smiling at the two of them with a spacey toothed grin.
Jax and Tara burst out into a fit of hysterics at the little toddler. They grabbed at their bellies and bent at the waist, letting a joyful sound rip from their throats. Tommy was always doing funny things and he didn't even know it. Tara stood and walked over to him, kneeling down so she was at his level.
"Hey, Tommy," She cooed and pulled the grass from his mouth and wiped off his dirt encrusted palms. Jax knelt down beside her still laughing.
"You can't eat that, buddy," He managed between giggles.
In the silence of Jax's room, long after Gemma had come in and told him and Tara that it was lights out for the night, they whispered back and forth. Their hushed voices were the only sounds in the eerily quiet house. The clock on his nightstand reminded them that it was past one A.M. They were having their weekly Friday night sleepover. It was Gemma and John's turn to host it. Tara knew that the few girlfriends she had at school would never be allowed to have a slumber party with a boy they weren't related to, let alone share a bed with said boy. One time Tara mentioned one of her and Jax's sleepovers and the girls had been horrified.
"You have sleepovers in the same bed as Jax?" Mindy Carlisle had gasped.
"My mom says you're not supposed to sleep in the same bed as a boy until you're married." Hannah Gates whispered.
Tara remembered never to talk about her Friday nights again. For her and Jax it was normal. They had been doing this for as long as either of them could remember. It's not like they did any of the gross stuff parents did. Like kiss and hug while they were in bed. They simply stayed up until the early hours of the morning talking.
Jax stared up at the ceiling, never letting his eyes leave the glare the moon left on the white paint. "You know Mindy Carlisle?"
Tara nodded, remembering her shocked expression at Tara's confession. "Yeah."
"She's really pretty," Jax whispered, thinking of the girl's long blonde hair and chocolate brown eyes.
Tara sat up and looked down at Jax. "You like Mindy?" She asked in a teasing, sing-song tone.
It was only a month or so after Jax's twelfth birthday, Gemma and Sandra were taking Thomas grocery shopping with them and leaving the two older children at the compound. Most parents would cringe at the thought of having bikers babysit their children, but most of the time the Sons were the only babysitters Tara and Jax ever knew. Ben was out on a repo job with the new prospect, Chibs. John, Clay, and Tig were on a protection mission. That left Bobby, Piney, and Big Otto to watch the kids.
"Be good. And do not use that bike. It stays in the garage," Gemma warned. She was referring to the dirt bike she and John had gotten Jax for his birthday last month. John had taught him how to ride it last week, but Jax had been given careful instructions not to use it without an adult.
"I know," Jax answered, pasting on his most innocent expression.
Gemma turned to leave, but took one look at her son's face and whipped back around. "I'm serious, Jackson."
With a last warning glare over her shoulder Gemma climbed into the passenger seat of Sandra's Cutlass and the two of them peeled out of the parking lot. After their car was no longer visible from the gated lot Jax turned to Tara, mischief was gleaming in his eyes. "We're going to use the dirt bike, aren't we?"
Jax nodded and stalked off to the garage. "Get Ope! He's in the clubhouse," He called without bothering to turn and look at Tara.
Tara and Opie joined Jax by coming through the office because Jax had drawn the garage doors shut so they couldn't bee seen from the clubhouse. He had the bike in the middle of the garage. It's shiny blue and white paint glistened under the fluorescent lights. Jax stepped back and admired it's beauty before addressing Opie. "What are they doing in there?"
"A whole lot of nothing. My old man is on his second glass of Scotch. Bobby and Otto are sharing a joint," He shrugged and ran a hand over the bike.
"Think they'll notice if we roll this thing out of here?"
"Nah, they're pretty much out of it and your old man isn't coming home until tomorrow," Opie answered Jax's question. His eyes never left the dirt bike and he did nothing to hide the lust in his eyes.
The three of them had successfully managed to remove the bike from the compound. Tara was pressed up against Jax's back, his shoulder blade digging into her cheek and Opie was behind her hugging his arms tight around her waist. They were taking the back roads of Charming to a park where they could openly ride the bike. Although Tara was terrified of being caught she had to admit that she enjoyed the feeling of the wind blowing her hair around and the warm sun on her bare limbs.
Sirens blared and red and blues lights reflected off the black asphalt in front of them. Jax muttered a curse under his breath and veered the bike off to the shoulder of the road. Tara burrowed her face further into Jax's leather jacket, already imagining what her parents were going to say. When the bike came to a stop Opie sat up straight, but Tara simply tightened her hold on Jax's waist.
"JACKSON NATHANIEL TELLER!" Gemma's voice traveled down the hall, echoing off the concrete walls.
Tara watched Jax's relaxed posture stiffen and he sucked in a breath. Opie's head perked up, too from his spot on the floor where he was casually leaning against the wall.
Gemma came to a stop in front of the cell. Her face was twisted with fury, her mouth a straight line. All three of the kids looked up at her, pure fear registered on their faces. Jax and Tara were sharing the metal bunk inside the cell and Opie was leaning against the wall opposite them, his long legs stretched out in front of him. They must have looked pathetic because Gemma cracked a smile.
"You three aren't supposed to do time until you're at least sixteen," She joked.
Relief washed over Jax's face. He lifted Tara's legs out of his lap and hopped off the bench to grab hold of the bars that were separating him from his mother. Unser came careening around the corner, clearly out of breath after chasing Gemma. He held up the key to the cell and jingled it slightly.
"Should I let them out?" He questioned, his eyes never leaving Gemma. "Or let them sweat it out a bit?"
Gemma chuckled again, then took a step back. "No, let them out. I think they've learned their lesson."
This was just a backstory of Jax and Tara's life together as kids before the next chapter! I hope you enjoy it! I'm sorry I know it's kind of unorganized, but it was just supposed to be a mixture of stories! Leave reviews and let me know what you think!