A/N: Before I begin this chapter, I'm warning you to grab a large box of tissues and set them next to you. You will be using them for this one and next. I apologize in advanced.
"Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits. ~Author Unknown
New Year's Eve reluctantly followed after Christmas. This year had flown by, if anything. And, I was ready. I was ready to get new classes, to do a stellar job in 'Grease', pass freshman year and go onto being a sophomore, and fall even more in love with my boyfriend. Boyfriend. Man, that still felt weird to say. I was going to make the most out of this year—my year.
We didn't have any definite plans for tonight. My mom and dad's plan was going to be landing tomorrow morning, so Jax and I thought it might be a good thing to go over to my house and clean up. This turned out to be a bad thing, however because all we ended up doing was making out on the couch, with some occasional dusting. Heading back to the Teller's, I could tell something wasn't right. Everything seemed okay, though. There was an un-calming chill in the atmosphere despite the fact the fireplace was going.
"You guys doing anything special tonight?" Gemma asked us, as we made our way into the kitchen. She stood over the stove, stirring what smelt like chicken noodle soup.
"Nah, probably not," Jax and I both took a seat at the kitchen table.
"You're welcome to stay here or come to the clubhouse. I just don't want you guys roaming the streets after eleven, alright?
"Yes, mother dearest," Jackson chuckled. Gemma gave him a dirty look.
"What's going on at the clubhouse?"
"Nothing special, really. They guys are all going to be over there, and I figured that LuAnn and I would join them. We could always use another old lady,"
"Tempting," I said to her. "I'm sure that's what we'll end up doing,"
"Heard from your mom and dad?"
"Yep, they called last night. Their plane lands tomorrow,"
"I bet you'll be happy to go home, huh?"
"You're hilarious," I joked.
"Well, you know you're welcome here anytime hun,"
"I know. Thanks," I told her.
"Go get changed, you guys," we looked at her profoundly. "Not together, separate. It's already going on 4:30. I want to be there by at least six,"
Brantli, Jax, Opie and I had managed to lock ourselves up in one of the far back rooms. Opie had brought in a bottle of Crown Royal, Absolut, and Jack Daniels as well as four shot glasses. Jax carried in a small plastic bag. I knew just what it was as soon as he placed it in front of us.
"And how are we going to smoke that, bro?"
"Relax. There's a bong in the top drawer over there," Jax said, taking a drag off of his cigarette. Yes, because I wanted to ring the New Year in by getting high and drunk. Fantastic.
Brantli was happy, and I could tell. She was cleared from the doctor on Wednesday when she found out that she wasn't pregnant. Hopefully, this would be a huge wake-up call for the both of them.
"Are you girls going to join us?" Opie asked, looking at both Brantli and I.
"You can count me in," Brantli chuckled.
"I don't think so," I told them. Jax rolled his eyes.
"At least try it," A lot of the guys in the club smoked weed—and by a lot, I mean all—and it didn't bother me. It was just something I really didn't care for, to be honest. I would do a few shots though—even after my massive hangover Monday morning.
"You're such a good girl. How are you with her, Jax? She doesn't smoke. She doesn't drink. She's just like Sandra Dee," Brantli joked. I knew she was joking, but it still hurt.
"Guys, back off. If she doesn't want to smoke, she doesn't have to," Jax took a hit.
"No, I will. Pass it over," I couldn't believe I was doing this. I took a hit, mimicking what Jax had just done. My head began to fill lighter, and my eyes started watering. "Fuck!" I exclaimed, coughing soon after. Opie opened up the bottle of Absolut and poured the liquid into each one of the small shot glasses. "
Now, this is a party,"
Brantli, Jax, and Opie were on their way to getting high and drunk before they knew it. I was designated the baby sitter, after realizing that I probably wasn't meant to smoke like that. Colton burst into the back room and began laughing at us. "They're turning on the countdown right now. You guys might want to come out,"
They were fucked if any of the adults smelt weed or booze on them. I handed each of them a piece of gum from my purse—with Jax wanting to kiss me soon after. He was hilarious when he was drunk—randomly talking about the weirdest things. I took my body spray out and wasted almost the entire bottle on the three of them.
Clay wasn't stupid though, and he could tell as soon as they walked out into the rec room of the clubhouse. "You guys blazing up back there?"
Jax, Brantli, and Opie starting laughing, as Clay joined in. "Sit down before you hurt yourselves," he told them.
They did as they were told, taking unoccupied seats on the floor. We were soon seated in front of the small television. All of the guys were dressed in their cuts, and wore Happy New Year hat's on their head. Jax handed me a pair of glasses with a 9 and a 3 on them, along with a Happy New Year tiara. I placed it on top of my crimped hair, and scooted closer to him. Gemma passed out empty glasses and noise makers. Chibs, Colton, Braison and Bobby were in charge of the confetti, and Tig handed each of the teenagers a container of silly string. They were mostly cramped on the couch, with some of them standing around us. LuAnn and Big Otto were seated at the bar, with Gemma and Clay alongside them Piney stood next to Tig behind the couch. Alyssa and Paisley sat close to Braison on the floor. Paisley was beginning to get sleepy, as he cuddled up against Alyssa's chest.
"Good evening, guys. There are only a few more minutes to go before it's officially 1993!" Dick Clark—the host of Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve—announced. He was reporting live from Time's Square in New York City—a place that I was going to be someday.
"I would love to go there on New Year's Eve," I spoke aloud amongst the guys.
"That would be pretty sweet," Gemma said, taking another sip of her beer.
"We're going to start the countdown clock now. 59, 58, 57, 56…"
Jax pulled me closer to him. I felt bad for most of the guys that didn't have anyone to kiss on New Year's Eve. They all deserved someone. They were all nice, sweet, genuine guys. "30, 29, 28, 27, 26, 25, 24…" Clay grabbed three bottles of champagne from behind the bar. "19, 18, 17, 16…"
"Here we go!" Bobby yelled.
"10, 9, 8," we were all counting out loud now. "7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…HAPPY NEW YEAR!" as the ball dropped, the champagne exploded, the confetti went flying in the air, the silly string began landing on people, noise makers went off, and Jax kissed me on the lips—one of our longest kisses to date.
"I love you. Happy new year,"
"Happy New Year to you, too,"
"Happy 1993, guys!" Brantli yelled out loud, as Gemma walked around pouring champagne in our glasses. We toasted to the new year, in hopes that it would be somewhat better than last.
Waking up that morning though, I could feel an uneasy feeling settle over me. I didn't know if it was from the champagne or from the rush of it being another year, but something prompted me to shoot out of bed. Walking into the rec room of the clubhouse, most of the guys' eyes were bloodshot and puffy. Something had gone terribly wrong. Everyone was there except the two guys that always were—Colton and Chibs.
"Hey, baby. How are you?" Tig asked me.
"What's going on?" I asked him. I could feel my heart sink into my butt.
"You should probably sit down," Clay said, clearing his throat.
"Clay, what happened? Where's my brother?" I sighed.
My thought process stopped dead in its tracks. I knew what was coming, and I prepared for the worst. "Where the fuck is Colton?!"
Gemma looked at me, and let a tear fall from her face. "He's not here, sweetie,"
"What do you…?" I couldn't even finish my sentence.
"Something really bad happened last night. All of the guys got involved. There were shots fired unintentionally, and your brother jumped out in front to protect Jax," Clay began to explain. "He was admitted into the hospital this morning for bullet wounds. It went straight through him, sweetie,"
"But he's okay, right?" I asked. I could feel my eyes become heavy with tears. "He's just at the hospital, right?
Clay shook his head. "He passed away this morning, honey,"