Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Growing up in Charming California was not how the name sounded. Savannah Thomas had a brilliant mind, even at a very young age. Being that smart wasn’t always a good thing if you wanted her opinion. When her father died when she was six it had surprised her when his motorcycle friends came to the funeral and the wake since it had been awhile since any of them came around the house. Going to school while dealing with her father’s death was hard, but how was she supposed to move on like her mother seemed to?
It took some time but eventually she found her footing along with her mother. Soon they had a new routine and they had a new normal. It lasted for just over a year when one day at dinner her mother told her that she was forbidden to speak about her father or even to bring up his name. It was something Savannah never understood, but that wasn’t the last new rule that was being implemented in their new routine. Her father’s motorcycle friends were also forbidden from entering the house and she was not allowed to make contact with any of them either.
On the two-year anniversary of her father’s death, Savannah really saw what was happening to her mother. She was using drugs and drinking away the money that her father left for her. But she knew from a conversation that he had with her right before his death that he had set up an account that her mother couldn’t touch, but neither could she until she turned eighteen or when she graduated from high school.
For Savannah, having the brain that she did, it normally took someone four years to graduate from high school, but she could have done it in less. She would have too if it wouldn’t have called attention to her, so she started out normally, but she still caught the attention of someone that her mother had told her to stay away from. Since she still had to live with her mother, she tried to listen to her, at least when she wasn’t drunk or high. But when other things bring you together, it makes avoiding the person that much harder.
High School didn’t last forever, but it had an impact on Savannah. Ever since the death of her father her mother became more and more adamant that she stays as far away from Jackson Teller and anyone associated with the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club. When she turned thirteen her mother started to tell her stories that they were the reason her father was no longer with them. At first Savannah didn’t know how to take that, but then she watched her mother’s behavior as it just continued to get stranger and stranger by the year. The drugs and alcohol didn’t help matters in anyway.
When her first acceptance letter came in the mail, she didn’t find it in the normal place. Instead of being on the table or in the mailbox, she found it by accident in the trashcan that was in her mom’s bathroom. All she could see was red, it was as if her mother thought that if she weren’t accepted into any college that she would just stay in Charming where she would always be under her thumb. Carefully going through the trash, she found two more letters and it made her want to scream her head off. Taking the letters, she walked past her mother and her latest drug dealing boyfriend as they watched some crap on TV and out the front door. Heading straight for her beat up Honda, she got in and locked the doors before starting the car and peeling out of the driveway as if the devil himself were on her heels. Slowing down as she neared the elementary school, she took a deep breath and attempted to calm herself.
Rolling to a stop at the stop sign at the corner, she saw that there were a few motorcycles behind her. Pressing her foot down on the gas pedal, Savannah sped away. She knew that might get pulled over for being over the speed limit, but at the moment she couldn’t find it inside of her to care. Checking her rearview mirror, she saw that there was only one motorcycle behind her now. Making a sharp left turn she pulled into the parking lot of a playground that her father used to take her to when she was little.
Killing the engine, she took the keys and dropped them into the cup holder and just sat there with the windows rolled up and the doors locked. Savannah wasn’t sure why she came here, but she knew that if she were to open the letters, she wanted it to be in a place that held a happy memory not something tainted like her home. Hearing a tap on the window of her car, made her jump. Placing her hand over her heart, she took a deep breath before grabbing the letters and the keys. Unbuckling her seatbelt, she opened the door and looked into the eyes of the person her mother had always told her to stay away from after her father’s death. Jackson Teller.
“If you keep going at that speed you might not be able to talk your way out of a ticket.”
“That’s rich coming from a Son. Why are you following me Jackson?” Savannah asked as she slammed the car door closed and started walking towards the park.
“I might be a son, but I still remember that we used to be friends.”
Rolling her eyes, she heard him follow her. “Doesn’t explain why you are following me.”
“Just wanted to make sure that you were alright.”
“I couldn’t be better,” Savannah told him as she finally stopped and sat down at an isolated area that was hidden away by the trees and large rocks. “So, you better not miss whatever club business that you have going on.”
Seeing the envelopes in her hand, he swiftly grabbed them out of her hand and looked at them. “What are these?”
“They are response letters from colleges,” Savannah said as she ripped them out of his hands. “Not that you would know anything about that.”
“So, you got in?” he asked as he watched her sit down before sitting next to her. They were both dangling their legs off the edge of the semi dried up creek.
Savannah didn’t know if she should tell him the truth or if she should tell him anything at all. Afterall her mother would call him as well as his family the enemy. She never really understood the reasoning behind that. The silence was uncomfortable, but she didn’t know what to say to him.
“Or are you still deciding on where you wanna go?”
Hearing his voice, it broke her out of her thoughts. It wasn’t like he was going to tell her mother what she had found. Looking into his blue eyes, she looked back at the letters in her hand before running her hand through her hair with her other hand. “It takes months to hear back from the colleges, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to get accepted into any school. I hadn’t gotten anything back. My mom tells me not to worry about it and that I can find a job somewhere in town.”
“Which is not what you want.”
“Not by a long shot,” Savannah told him honestly. “I was using her bathroom and went to throw something away when I found those. I don’t know how many others she had thrown away before hand, but I guess I’ll never really know.”
“What about those?” he asked motioning to the ones currently in her hand.
“Found these in the trashcan in her bathroom,” Savannah told him. “I guess part of me isn’t sure if I should open them.”
“Give ‘em here,” he said as he held out a hand for the letters. “I’ll tell you.”
Savannah looked at him with uncertainty. Did she want the guy her mother told her to stay away from since her father died to know if she was going to college before anyone else? Charming was a small town and if she were honest the news would spread in a few days. Her blue green eyes met his blue ones and she could see that he wasn’t going to rub anything into her face one way or the other. Nodding her head, she looked at their feet, so she didn’t become anxious as he took his time opening each letter.
“So which do you want first?” he asked with all three letters now opened in his hands.
“All of them.” Savannah told him, trying her best to remain calm.
“I meant bad news first or good news first?” he asked. “Never mind, I’ll do the good news first.”
Nodding her head, she looked at him and then a smirk graced his face. “You got into all three.”
“What?” Savannah asked, “I got in?”
“All three are acceptance letters.” He said, still grinning.
“But then what’s the bad news?” she asked confused.
“You Ms. Savannah Thomas are leaving Charming and I believe I’m going to miss you.”
“You Mr. Jackson Teller will be too busy to miss me. You and Tara will have an amazing summer and maybe one day I’ll come home and check to see if Charming is still standing.”
“So what’s the plan?” he asked her
“What do you mean?”
“With your mom,” he clarified. “What are you planning to tell her?”
“That I got into college and I’m leaving.”
“Going to pack beforehand?” he asked.
“Yeah, and pack the car,” she said. “I just hope it will last until we get to Pennsylvania.”
“That’s pretty far from Charming.”
“It’s far away from my mother.”
“That thing you said about me and Tara won’t be happening. She left. And according to her Pops, she ain’t coming back.”
“I’m so sorry Jax,” Savannah told him. “I don’t know what to say, but I’m really sorry.”
“She has my crow.” He told her.
Savannah nodded her head as she took the letters from Jax and stood up. Placing them in her back pocket, she watched as he stood as well. “Don’t blame yourself for Tara. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. Maybe someday you’ll find someone that you can fall so madly in love with that you won’t even remember how hurt you are by her leaving.”
“You think so?”
“You deserve that Jax.”
“Not sure I do.”
“Ever since my dad died, my mother has told me to stay away from you, your family, and especially the club.”
“We know,” he told her. “But you haven’t really been following orders.”
“I guess I’m not a good daughter that way,” Savannah laughed. “But I know none of you did anything wrong. And I am sorry for the way she has treated you all these years. And the way you protected me from last years boyfriend. I appreciate it.”
“Your mom has shitty taste in boyfriends.”
“If it gets her free drugs she doesn’t seem to care.”
“One of the reasons you want out of Charming huh?”
“One of them.”
Nodding his head in understanding, he looked into her eyes and smiled. “What do you think your mother would do if she found out that you have been hanging with me instead of getting the hell away from me?”
“I think I don’t care,” Savannah told him. “Between the drugs and the booze she isn’t the same woman that my dad fell in love with or even close to the woman I remember before he died.”
“Not scared of a biker?”
“Do I look scared to you?”
“Nah, darling, you look like you are ready to take on whatever comes at ya.”
His hand moved a strand of blonde hair away from her eyes that had come out from behind her hear where she had pushed it earlier. Gazing into each other’s eyes, Savannah found that she couldn’t look away from him. Jax Teller was nothing but bad news if you asked her mother, but in her opinion, he was a good friend, but he wasn’t looking at her like he normally did when she was actually around him. It was as if something had shifted and trying not to think about it too much, she was about to ask him something when his lips crashed down onto hers. With her eyes closed, she didn’t move. The feeling of his chapped lips against her soft lips was a surprise to her, but without thinking about it Savannah wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back.
For the last few years she had thought about what it would be like to kiss Jax Teller, but he had a girlfriend and she wasn’t supposed to even be around him much less kiss him. Feeling his hands move from her waist to cup her ass and bring her even closer to him. Feeling Jax’s tongue seeking entrance into her mouth, Savannah suddenly broke it off. Stepping back, she placed a hand on her lips as she tried to calm her breathing.
“I’m sorry, Jax,” Savannah said as she felt the tears stinging her eyes. “You and Tara just broke up and I’m not staying in Charming. As much as I want to see where this could lead, I can’t be that girl. I’m sorry.”
Without looking at him, Savannah took off to her car. Running as fast as she could, she unlocked the door and got in and locked the door. Taking a deep breath and then another, she finally looked up and she didn’t see Jax anywhere. Putting on her seatbelt, she started the car and left the park to head back home feeling a different kind of confused than when she left earlier.
Three weeks passed by in the blink of an eye for Savannah. There had been no word from Jax, not that she thought there might be. He was busy with the club and she was busy trying to figure out what she had to do to get out of Charming and away from her mother. Luckily for her someone in the admissions office at the University of Pennsylvania had been amazingly helpful and understanding when she explained the situation. She had been horrified to hear that her mother actually threw the letters into the trash in hopes that she wouldn’t find them and when the admissions office worker asked about her father she told her that he died when she was six and how her mother hadn’t been the same since.
Savannah hadn’t meant to lay all that out there for her, but it felt good to get it off her chest if she was honest. The woman ended up actually helping her more than she ever expected. It was because of her that she had a place to live and was on a scholarship as long as she didn’t get below a certain GPA then she was going to be just fine. And for the first time since her father died, it really did feel like things were going to be going well for her.
There was only one thing left to do before she left Charming. She had to see Jax. So, with her car packed up, she only hoped that he was at Teller-Morrow garage working on someone’s car. But it seemed that luck wasn’t on her side because he wasn’t there. Bobby Munson had seemed genuinely surprised that she was looking for Jax, but when he promised to tell him she stopped by she made her way back to her beat up Honda and hoped it made it all the way to her next destination.
Part of her wished that she had stuck around long enough to say good-bye to Jax face to face and apologize for running away like a scared little girl. She hoped that he knew that wasn’t how she normally acted, but if she wanted to be honest with herself, she would admit that if he asked her to stay then she would have without asking why. But that was easy to figure out. Jax. He was the one person she knew she could always count on in Charming, but she just couldn’t stay. Savannah knew that he would be fine with his club supporting him and taking care of him along with his mother. That was the only reason she didn’t turn back around and try and see if they actually had something worth trying. She knew that if she gave up this college opportunity then she would never forgive herself. There had been so many people who told her that leaving was the best thing she could do for her future and that she could always come to visit once she made something of herself. Apparently, she was too smart to be stuck in Charming, at least that was what she had been told by people. Mainly her teachers.
So with everything she needed packed in boxes and in her car, she was on the highway on the way to starting the next part of her life. A life away from her crazy mother and the endless revolving door of boyfriends that were as horrible as she was. One thing she would truly miss about Charming was going to talk to her dad when she didn’t know what to do. A piece of her wondered why she hadn’t gone to his grave when she found out about her mother throwing away the acceptance letters, but in the end it didn’t matter. She was on her way to getting the life she wanted away from Charming.
Maybe one day she would want to return, but the reason would have to be pretty big for her to want to come back. Charming wasn’t what the town name said, but maybe that was just a matter of opinion. All she needed to figure out was her long-term plan when her first semester of school ended since there was no way she would be coming back to Charming. Not that soon, she needed time away from it all to figure out exactly what she wanted to do. It was all up to her and it would be different not to have her mother not breathing down her back with each and every decision she made.
Savannah Thomas watched as her mother walked up to her bedroom and stopped in the doorway as she noticed that the room was full of boxes that were being filled up. Placing more things inside another box, she made her way over to the dresser where she grabbed the packing tape so she could seal that box shut. Once it was done, she picked it up and placed it on top of another box that she had already sealed before turning and looking at her mother. She was surprised that she was even awake since she had been on a week long bender. These days there were very few things her mother loved, but crank was at the very top of the list.
“What are you doing?”
“What does it look like?” Savannah asked as she went over to her dresser and grabbed the wooden jewelry box that her father had made her for her birthday before he died. “I’m packing my stuff.”
“What the hell for?”
“Because I’m leaving.”
“You find a someone that wants to live with you and take your crap as well?”
“Why do you care?” Savannah asked as she opened the box and placed some of her jewelry inside of it before making her way over to a suitcase that was open on the bed. “Shouldn’t you be looking for your next fix?”
“No point in packing that shit up. You’ll be back in a week.”
“No, I won’t,” Savannah said. “I’m leaving this place. I’m leaving Charming.”
“Is that so?” she questioned her. “And where is some idiot kid like you gonna go?”
“College,” Savannah said as she looked right at her mother who didn’t bother to look surprised or ashamed that her daughter knew what she had done. “I got into the University of Pennsylvania. Full scholarship along with room and board.”
“You always thought you were better than me.”
“Never thought that,” Savannah told her. “I just got tired of waiting to see what would kill you first, the drugs, the booze, or your junkie boyfriends.”
“You don’t get to judge me!”
“Ever since my Dad died you stopped being a parent. The rules about never mentioning him, don’t talk to anyone associated with the Sons, and especially stay away from Jax Teller. They never did anything to us and yet you made it sound as if his death was on them. Let me clue you in on something, it wasn’t.”
“If you leave-”
“Not if. I’m leaving,” Savannah told her. “I’m going to make something of myself and have a life. Maybe you’ll sober up and get one as well.”
Cora Thomas looked at her daughter as if she had broken out of the looney bin before walking off. If she had stayed just a moment longer, she would have seen the tears that fell from her eyes. Savannah knew that her mother was never going to wish her well. She was an addict and there was no help for her unless she wanted to get clean and sober. But she didn’t think this would be how it went down. Sitting on the floor with her back to her bed, she took in a shaky breath. Wanting to be tough like her father was something she wanted but most of the time it was all an act. She wasn’t strong like he was, but maybe one day she would be. Getting off the floor, she finished packing her stuff up. The sooner she finished packing the sooner she could put this place behind her.
Shaking her head of the memory, Savannah parked her silver 2009 RAV4 on the street. Cutting the engine, she sat there for a minute as she looked across the street and saw that the house she grew up in and was owned by her mother was still standing. That was a bit of a shock if you wanted her opinion. Finding her inner strength, Savannah took her key out of the ignition and opened the door and left the vehicle. Wiping her hands on her jeans, she grabbed her faded brown messenger bag and put it over her shoulder, so the strap was across her body before slamming the door shut. Glancing up she saw a familiar face getting out of his beat-up truck.
He was Jax’s best friend for as long as she could remember. Giving him a small smile and a wave, she hoped he didn’t tell Jax that he saw her. That was not what she needed right now, she had other things to deal with and that included her mother. What fun.
Glancing at the driveway she saw that her mother’s car was parked there so maybe she was home, or she might be strung out from the drugs. It was going to be a hit and miss with her. Raising her fist, Savannah knocked on the door loudly. She still had her key, but she wasn’t sure if her mother had changed the locks or whatever. Not hearing anything, she knocked a second time. After another minute, she opened her bag where the spare key was and just as she pulled it out, she heard someone clear their throat.
Turning her head, she saw it was Opie. She knew that he was part of the MC but didn’t expect him to live to close to her mother. She was pretty sure that her mother didn’t make it easy on him and although she had nothing to do with that, she was sorry about it. Leaving her sunglasses perched on her face, she walked down the steps to where he stood.
“She’s not home.”
“Are you sure?” Savannah asked as she glanced at the car in the driveway.
“Yeah, she left with someone this morning. That car hasn’t worked since about a year after you left.”
“Is there a chance she came back when you weren’t home?” Savannah asked.
“If the past is anything to go by, she’ll be back in a few days after a bender with her boyfriend.”
“Is she still going through them?” Savannah asked curiously.
“Same Cora, different year.”
“Thanks Opie,” Savannah said. “If you see her, don’t let her know that I’m looking for her, okay?”
“Sure thing,” he told her. “You got some place to stay besides there?”
“I was never going to stay there.”
“So where are you staying?” Opie asked.
“A hotel until I can get a chance to check out some places.”
“I’d offer a place and all, but I just got back and-”
“From where?” Savannah asked. “Did you leave Charming?”
“Chino State Penitentiary,” Opie told her. “Never thought I’d see you again.”
“You were always smarter than most of us and didn’t have any strong attachments to leave behind.”
“My dad is still here and even after all these years I hate to admit it but Charming is home.”
“I gotta get back,” Opie said. “Donna needs to head to the store and the kids are probably getting into something they shouldn’t.”
“I guess I’ll see you around Opie.”
“The locks got changed before I went to Chino so that key won’t work.”
Nodding his head, he headed towards his house where he could see his wife looking from the doorway. Savannah headed to her car and got inside. Hopefully word wouldn’t get to her mother that she was back in Charming before she could talk to her, but with how some people gossip it was less than a fifty-fifty chance. After getting her car started, she rolled the window down before speeding out of the neighborhood. She had some time before she was going to check into her hotel and since her mother wasn’t around, she could only think to go to St. Thomas so she could get her work badge and what not before starting in a few days.
It had been two weeks since she came back to Charming and Savannah was still living out of her suitcase. She stopped by Opie’s last week and met his wife Donna and his kids when she came to talk to him. Donna had been a little hostile at first, but that was to be expected with her husband freshly out of prison. Once she realized that she was no threat, everything turned civil and she ended up having dinner there that night. Savannah left knowing that she now had at least one friend in town. Handing her number over to both Opie and Donna was a smart decision especially since that way she could keep an eye on her mother without stopping by after long shifts at the hospital.
Savannah made it to the break room after being on her feet for the last twelve hours and she had only twelve more to go. She was tired, but that was to be expected as she adjusted to the hospital she was working in now. It was different then when she was in St. Louis, but it didn’t feel like home just yet. Not until she had a place to call home. For now, all her stuff that she had been delivered was stored in a storage unit.
Feeling her phone buzz in her pocket, she was about to grab it when she was being paged. So, she ignored the phone call and headed to the front desk. After filling out some charts and paperwork, she got lost in her own thoughts when her phone started to go off again. Grabbing it out of her pocket, she didn’t recognize the number, but answered it anyways.
“Savannah Thomas?” the male voice on the other end asked.
“I’m working at Teller-Morrow and there is a Cora Thomas here and she is threatening to burn everything down. She said she has-”
“I’ll be there,” Savannah said cutting him off. “Just don’t try and approach her.”
Looking at one of the other nurses she let out a loud sigh. “Everything alright?’
“My mother is crazy,” she said with a half laugh. “Can you call the psych ward and let them know I’m going to be bringing a patient in? I just have to go get her before she hurts anyone.”
“Shouldn’t you call the cops?”
“Nah, that would just make it that much worse. I know this crazy lady; I can handle it.”
“Here,” she said, handing her a vial and a syringe. “Just in case.”
“Thanks,” Savannah said. “I’ll be back as fast as I can.”
Having her friend hand her, her messenger bag Savannah placed the needle and the sedative into a secure place before running out still in her scrubs to her car. Gently tossing her bad into the passenger’s seat, she put the key into the ignition and stated it. Once she had her seat belt on, she peeled out of the lot and started to head to Teller-Morrow. This was not how she wanted to see Jax again, but it seemed that she wasn’t going to have a choice in the matter.
The drive felt as if it was taking forever and in Savannah’s point of view it was. She was hitting every damn light. Red was not the right color right now. When she could see the garage in view, she pressed the gas pedal just a little more and then hit the brakes before she could hit anyone. Leaving the engine running she grabbed the bag and looked around for where her crazy mother could be.
“Are you Savannah?”
Seeing a young guy running at her she nodded her head.
Taking off in a run, she didn’t even wait for the guy to follow her. She didn’t care if she wasn’t a member, she needed to get her mother before she did something that she couldn’t fix. Once she was inside, she saw she was standing at the bar with a lighter and a ton of alcohol.
“Shit.” Savannah muttered as she moved her way towards the bar.
“I mean it you shit heads,” Cora said. “You will give me what is mine or I burn this place down to the ground. And I don’t care if I take you out with me. It’s all your fault that she isn’t here. I know it is. Just like its your fault that Henry isn’t here.”
Brushing shoulders with a member as she walked closer, she didn’t even look to see who it was. All she knew was that she needed to get closer to get the situation under control.
“Hey!” she finally yelled, getting not just her mother’s attention, but the everyone else that was standing around. “What in the hell are you doing?”
“Savannah?” her mother asked, shock written all over her face. “You came home?”
“Do you think this is what my dad would have wanted?” Savannah asked as she walked closer.
“You really think talking her down is the way to go?” a voice asked from her left side. She didn’t need to look to know whose voice it belonged to. “She’s gonna hurt someone.”
“Don’t talk to my daughter.” Cora said looking at the blonde biker near Savannah.
“I think we need to talk about it,” Savannah said. “Can you come over here? I’ve been working for over twelve hours and I’m exhausted. It would make things easier if we could just talk face to face.”
“I can’t get down,” Cora said. “I’ll fall.”
Moving closer Savannah noticed that Jax moved with her as well. Glancing at him she nodded at Jax to tell him to go help her. “Jax is going to help you down ok?”
Cora nodded her head and allowed the Vice President of the club to help her off the bar. Looking at Clay she motioned for the chair near him. When he had brought the chair over, she had Jax place her into the chair and the two club members stayed close by.
“You never came by to see me,” Cora said watching as Jax walked over to her daughter. “You stay away from my daughter you good for nothing-”
“Stop it,” Savannah said looking at her mother before Jax placed a hand on her shoulder. “You have no reason to be so hateful to him or to any of them.”
“You got a plan here?” Jax asked her softly, his hand still on her shoulder.
“My plan was to go to work and back to the hotel I’m staying at to get some sleep. But apparently what I want still doesn’t matter. Stand behind her, she isn’t about to like what I’m going to do.”
“And what’s that?”
“Just make sure you get a good hold on her, okay?” Savannah asked before walking closer to her mother. Looking into her mother’s eyes her sunglasses still covering her own eyes, she gave her a sad smile. “What are you on right now?”
“What do you mean?” Cora asked.
“What drugs did you take?”
“I’m clean now,” Cora told her. “I don’t do that stuff anymore.”
“So, if I test you right now, you’ll have no drugs in your system?” Savannah asked, knowing the answer already.
“I mean I might have had a little something this morning, but not like before.”
Looking at her mother she could detect the lie just like she had the last time she had lived in Charming. But this time she didn’t have to deal with it. She was older now and she didn’t have to put up all of it.
“Okay,” Savannah said with a fake smile on her face. Taking the bag off her shoulder she moved behind the chair so her mother couldn’t see what she was doing. Pulling out the syringe with the cap still on she heard Jax move next to her. Handing it to him she had to dig a little further to get the drug she was looking for. Once she had it, he handed her the syringe back and she prepared herself for this. “I need you to close your eyes for a minute, okay?”
“Why?” Cora asked, starting to panic.
“Calm down,” Savannah told her. “You aren’t going to die, and no one is going to harm you, alright? I just need to give you something to make sure you are going to be ok. So please just relax.”
Watching from the side, she watched as her mother tensed up. This wasn’t how she saw seeing her again for the first time since she left, but she also didn’t imagine her trying to burn down Teller-Morrow. That was just unimaginable, and it made her mad because she knew how important it had been to her father when he was alive. Nodding to Jax he moved in and held Cora’s shoulders down and before she could start to struggle against the hands, Savannah stuck her mother with the needle and injected her with the sedative. Cora screamed at everyone as she thrashed in the chair until the sedative started to kick in. When it did, she went limp Jax removed his hands and walked around and looked at Cora slumped over.
“What the hell did you give to her?”
“A mild sedative,” Savannah sighed as she grabbed a container and placed the used needle into it and sealed it before placing it back into her bad and taking out a few papers. “This is how everything went down. She was high and threatening to kill everyone and tried burning it down. I need someone to sign it and a second person to sign as witness.”
“And what are you going to do with her?”
Looking up, Savannah saw Gemma Teller-Morrow standing there. Even when Savannah was younger, she knew that Gemma was a force to be reckoned with.
“Where I should have put her a long time ago.” Savannah said breaking her stare at Gemma.
“And where is that?”
“Psych ward at the hospital. Signing that paper will make sure she doesn’t get out until the drugs are out of her system and there is an improvement on her mental stability.”
“And when will that be?” Clay Morrow, the President of the MC asked.
“I’ll check on her every week to check her progress, but for me she has to show that she is human and I’m not sure she can do that.”
“So, whose names do we put down?” Jax asked.
“Well I know how much she hates Gemma, so she wanted to hurt Gemma and it would be best if a non-blood relation signed and then I’ll get her out of your hair.” Savannah told them.
“And will this blow back on any of us?” Gemma questioned the girl as she saw Tig and Piney sign the papers.
“The only thing anyone will do is call to verify the story. Keep with the story and no one will ask any further questions.”
“And you?” Gemma asked.
“What about me?” Savannah asked.
“You’re inside and you haven’t taken those glasses off. Scared someone might see something?”
“Ma…” Jax sighed as he handed the papers back to Savannah. “Just stop.”
“Why? What’s she hiding?” Gemma asked.
“Annoyance,” Savannah said as she took off her sunglasses where there was a fading bruise around her eye that wasn’t covered up with make-up. “Happy now?”
“Forget how to defend yourself?”
“Against an eighty-seven-year-old man with dementia?” Savannah asked. “I don’t hurt people like that. I’m a nurse and so if you are done with your questioning could I get a little help with getting her into my car?”
Without another word, Jax lifted Cora’s body into his arms and followed Savannah out to her car. It was a short walk and when they got to the car, she opened the back door for him to put her on the seat before buckling her in. Once Cora was secure, she closed the door before making her way to the driver’s seat and got in. Before she could latch her own seat belt, there was a knock on the window. With a sigh, she rolled it down.
“When did you get back into town?” Jax asked, leaning his arms on the door after the window was rolled down completely.
“Two weeks,” Savannah said. “I would have come and said hello, but I didn’t think you wanted to hear from me after what happened.”
“Actually, I wouldn’t have minded,” Jax told her. “You know the carnival is coming back soon.”
“It still comes to Charming?” Savannah asked. “You haven’t scared them all away?”
“Funny,” Jax told her. “You should come. It’ll be fun.”
“Sorry, but I have a date.”
“I didn’t tell you when it was.”
“Doesn’t matter,” Savannah smiled at him. “I have a date on whatever day it is.”
Laughing, Jax backed away so that she could leave and head to the hospital with her mother in the back seat. Shaking his head he had thought about Savannah Thomas from time to time, but now with her back in town and seeing how beautiful she looked now, he knew that there was a good chance that he would seek her out to see what had changed. But for today he would let her be, but tomorrow was a new day.
Looking at the smiling face of the teenage girl that she used to babysit when she was a little girl made Savannah feel old. Sure, she left Charming when she was a teenager and she never expected that she would keep in touch with the family or become as close to the girl as she did, but she wouldn’t change that for the world. Savannah always wanted a sibling and her relationship with Tristen Oswalt was just like that. She loved the younger girl as if she was her sister and if you asked them, they were sisters.
Sitting in the break room at work, she glanced up and saw Tara Knowles doing paperwork before another surgery. For the life of her she couldn’t figure out why she had come back to Charming, she had broke Jax’s heart when she left without a goodbye and now, she was saying she was trying to save his son. As if she was the only one that was trying to help Abel Teller. That made Savannah mad and she was sure the other nurses didn’t appreciate it either. Knowing she had to work with the doctor, Savannah knew she would have to try and be civil towards her for the sake of her career and for the patients in their care.
Glancing down at her tablet, she saw that she was receiving a video call from Tristen. Accepting the video call, she angled the tablet, so she had better lighting in the break room. Smiling as she saw Tristen, she saw that this time neither of her parents were present during this call.
“Are you at the hotel still?” Tristen asked, not bothering with pleasantries.
“Currently?” Savannah asked. “Or in general?”
“Both.” Tristen smiled.
“Right now, I’m in the breakroom at the hospital. I have about three more hours until I get out of here unless something comes up,” Savannah told her honestly. “Then I head back to the hotel that I’ve been staying at.”
“So I mentioned to my Dad that you might still be living at the hotel.”
“Why would you do that?” Savannah asked.
“Because you are family and family doesn’t let family stay in hotels when they don’t have to.”
“I can’t stay with you,” Savannah told her. “The drive to St. Thomas and to your home would cost a little too much.”
“That’s what Dad said as well.”
“He’s a smart man.”
“I’m not telling him that,” Tristen told her laughing. “But he has an empty house and he says that it will be a decent drive to and from the hospital. The best part is that its rent free. You just have to talk to him about it.”
“Okay, I’ll call him after I get done with work. Does that work for you?” Savannah asked with a grin. “So, what are you doing? Homework?”
“Already done,” Tristen said proudly. “I actually wanted to ask something of you. But I know you are busy and what not.”
“Tristen,” Savannah said after checking the time. “What do you want to ask?”
“Do you think we could go to dinner? Just the two of us?” Tristen asked softly.
“I think that’s a great idea,” Savannah said. “But I get the feeling that isn’t what you wanted to ask me.”
“The carnival is coming up,” she said. “And I know it’s a little childish, but Mom and Dad are going to come, and I was hoping that you would come too. You don’t have to drive with us, but maybe we could meet up and go on some rides together?”
“Only if you agree to do the photobooth with me so I have pictures of us on the fridge for my new place.”
“Deal!” Tristen said, the excitement rolling off her in waves.
“Alright I need to get back to work,” Savannah told her. “I’ll call you later this week and we will figure out when you want to get some food and I’ll call your dad about the house.”
“I’m glad your back Anna.”
Savannah smiled at the nickname; Tristen was the only one she let call her that. It was one of the names her own father used to use for her. But it was different when Tristen used the name.
“Me too,” Savannah smiled. “Hopefully you won’t get bored seeing my face.”
“Never.” Tristen said.
“Alright, I’ll see you later.”
“Bye.” Savannah said before tapping the button on the tablet to hang up the call.
Putting the tablet back in her bag, Savannah went and put it into her locker before heading back to work. She headed to the front desk where she took a seat next to one of the other Neonatal nurses that were on shift.
“Late returning to shift?” the nurse smirked. “Were you wrapped up into something?”
“Skype call,” Savannah laughed at the nurse. “With a girl who is like my sister.”
“Thought maybe you went to see you mom.”
“I was having a good day and I just didn’t want to ruin it.” Savannah said.
“How’s she doing?” the other nurse asked.
“Her doctor called me the other day to tell me that she is very dramatic and that the detox is going slower than what he anticipated.”
“And how are you dealing all of it?”
“Honestly?” Savannah asked.
“No, I asked you because I want you to lie to me.”
“I wish I had done it before I left for college all those years ago.”
“Well better late than never,” the other nurse said. “Thanks for covering my shift last week. When the kids get sick, they give it to everyone.”
“It was no problem Kelly,” Savannah said with a smile. “All I was gonna do that night was watch some lousy TV in my hotel room.”
“Girl you need to get out there.” Kelly told her.
“I might have a lead on something.” Savannah told her.
“It’s about time,” Kelly said. “That hotel is eating away at your budget.”
“And here comes Doctor Knowles.” Savannah told her.
“Great. Because I needed to be told how to do my job.”
“Has anyone checked on Abel Teller’s breathing?”
“No improvements,” Savannah told her because she was the last one to check on the baby. “But his breathing isn’t getting worse either.”
“Okay,” Dr. Tara Knowles said before looking at the two nurses. “Who’s on duty tonight?”
“That would be me,” Kelly said. “Savannah switched with me and so we cleared it as just a single day shift.”
“Any plans for your day off?” Tara asked looking at Savannah.
“Looking at this house so maybe I can get out of the hotel I’ve been staying at since I got back to town.” Savannah told her honestly.
“Where is the house?” Tara asked as she handed Kelly a clipboard.
“I have no idea. It belongs to a friend and I have to call and talk to him. Orders from his daughter that I used to babysit for.”
“That’s awfully nice.”
“I suppose,” Savannah said as her pager went off. Glancing at it she smiled. “Feeding time.”
“I’m aware of how to handle infants in the incubators. This is not my first time.”
“Right,” Tara said nodding her head as she went to follow Savannah as she was heading to get Abel Teller a new diaper as well as his feeding. “Do you mind if I speak to you for a moment?”
“Sure.” Savannah said as she stopped near the elevator and waited for Tara to catch up to her.
Glancing around, Tara motioned for her to enter the room off to the side that was empty. Walking inside, she crossed her arms and leaned against the wall. “Is something wrong?”
“I heard you were at Teller Morrow.”
“Is that all you’re going to say?” Tara asked, confused.
“What else is there?” Savannah inquired. “You stated that you heard I was at Teller Morrow. And I was there.”
“To see Jax?”
“Does it matter what I was doing there?” Savannah asked.
“I didn’t realize that the two of you were-”
“That we were what?” Savannah asked curiously. “Look I am a great nurse. I came home to deal with things that I had left unfinished and if I’m honest I don’t need anyone’s permission when it comes to my personal life.”
“No, of course,” Tara agreed, knowing exactly what she meant. “How long have you and Jax-”
“There is no me and Jax,” Savannah said. “I have too much happening right now, and I don’t need the extra drama no matter where it comes from. So please don’t ask me about my personal life unless it looks like I’m drowning.”
Tara looked at her with understanding and nodded her head. “Let me just say one thing. I know we weren’t close or friends really back when we were in school, but I know Jax. He is a good guy, but you have to be careful in that world.”
“I know all about that world,” Savannah told her. “My father was part of the club.”
“I didn’t realize.”
“He died when I was six and after that my mother’s drug use increased and I was forbidden from talking about my father and she did not wish for me to socialize with any of the members or family members of the club. We all have our demons,” Savannah told her as she went to open the door. “Some of us are just better at hiding it than others.”
“So, it would seem.”
Without another word, Savannah left the room and headed to get the supplies she needed to take care of the baby that had been born addicted to crank. If only that had been his worst obstacle, then maybe there wouldn’t be so much worry over the baby. But Abel Teller was born with other issues, but every time that she got to check on him, she talked to him and it always brought a smile to her face when she saw how hard he was fighting to live. It must be a trait that he got from his father, because Jax Teller was one stubborn man.
Following Elliot Oswald into what was commonly referred to as a starter home, Savannah couldn’t help but feel completely in awe of the place. The walls were painted in neutral colors, but the space was incredible. Looking around, there were no nick knacks places around, but there were a few things that just made the place look cozy. Walking further into the house, she found the kitchen and had to hold in the squeal of excitement that she so badly wanted to release. The kitchen was huge, there was a gas range, stainless steel appliances and the sink was a farmhouse style. There was an island and so much counter space that she thought she would never want anything different.
“Go down the hallway. You should see the master bedroom.” Elliot told her, a grin upon his facial features.
With a matching grin on her face, Savannah headed down the hallway. On her way to find the master bedroom, she found two other decent sized bedrooms, a linen closet, a full bathroom as well as a half bath that was closer to the kitchen. When she finally reached the end of the hallway there were only two doors left. The first one she picked was yet another bedroom, but a little on the smaller size so it could even be converted to an office space or a crafting room or whatever her heart desired. Once she reached the last door, she opened it and looked inside. If the other rooms had made her giddy this one had her blown away.
The master bedroom was painted a light grey color on the walls, but the furniture was also a shade of grey along with a beautiful purple. Purple had always been her favorite color and it almost felt like this was the perfect house for her. Walking deeper into the room, she walked over and saw that there was a medium sized walk in closet and next to that was another door. Part of her didn’t want to her hopes up that there was a master bathroom in the master bedroom. But there was! And it was beautiful. She noted the double sinks, the toilet that was closed off with a door and then there was what really got her attention. A jacuzzi tub. It was perfect.
“So, what do you think?” Elliot asked, leaning on the door jam.
“This place is amazing. The kitchen is perfect, this bedroom screams my name, and not having to buy and washer and dryer is like the icing on cake. If I didn’t know any better, I would think that it was designed for me.”
“That’s because it was.” Elliot said moving further into the room.
“Tristen showed me the pictures on that website you two were sharing back and forth. It was very helpful for the designer to know what to get.”
“Wait, so the furniture?” Savannah asked, trying not to get her hopes up about some of the items she had seen.
“Comes with the house if you want it.”
“I don’t know what to say.” Savannah told him.
She was floored by his generosity. It wasn’t often someone did this for her, not since her father died. But could she accept it? As much as she loved the house and even the backyard, she didn’t want to be a charity case to anyone, especially to someone that had been helping to remind her that she wasn’t going to turn out like her mother. Bitter, alone and doped up on drugs.
“Well there is something else you should know about the house,” Elliot told her. “The land it was built on was owned by your father. Your mother sold it and I want to believe that it was meant for you so that you would stay close to your family.”
“So, you bought it?” Savannah asked.
“I was going to give it to you, but I wanted to make sure that if I did you would be okay. I may not have known your father very well before he died, but I know you. You’ve turned into an amazing young woman and I’m thankful for how close you and Tristen are. I know that you call each other sisters in secret, but I think its true. You two really are sisters,” Elliot told her. “So please let me give you this house.”
Savannah could feel the tears in her eyes and wanted to hide them. The last thing she wanted was to be overly emotional right now. But how could she not be? She was given the best gift she could ever imagine and it was partly from her own father and partly from the man that had seen a struggling teenager with a brilliant mind that was trapped and decided to help guide her to the path where she would succeed.
“You bought it,” Savannah reminded him. “Which makes it yours. Not mine.”
Looking into Elliott’s eyes, Savannah never saw the pity in his eyes like she did in other people’s eyes. Even more so after her father died when she was six years old.
“I don’t like handouts,” Savannah said. “As much as I love this place, I just don’t think I can take it for nothing.”
“Then it won’t be for nothing.”
“What do you mean?” Savannah asked looking at him.
“Twice a month you come up and take a ride on the horses,” Elliot smiled. “Tristen would love it.”
“I know what you are doing,” Savannah said, trying not to smile. It was hard since he was being so kind to her. “I just-”
“Just accept that you own this house,” Elliott told her. “We can go through your stuff in storage and anything you want to keep we will move it in and anything you don’t you can get rid of.”
“Or donate it to someone that might need it.”
“You have a good heart Savannah Grace.”
“Must get it from my old man,” she said letting out a laugh. “Thank you, Elliott. I know I would never be able to afford this just yet if it weren’t for your family.”
“You are family too.”
Walking over to the man, she hugged him. He had been a second father to her while she was supposed to stay away from the MC, but it was the simplest thing that brought them together. Horses. She loved them and there was one in his personal horse stall that seemed rather attached to her as well. Although she lost her father when she was young, she could remember some things about him, but not as much as she would have liked. Elliott had become like a second father to her and to the girl with a druggie mother who needed an escape from her home life from time to time, he became one of the most important people in her life. And she would always be grateful for him.
“I have to pick Tristen up from school,” Elliott told her after the separated and started to head out of the house. “But I guess one more day at the hotel won’t kill you right? If I didn’t have to pick her up, I could get the papers done and signed today and what not.”
“You mean that?” Savannah asked him.
“Go do the business stuff,” Savannah told him knowing he wanted her in the house that night. “I’ll surprise Tristen and even take her to dinner. Then we will meet you back at the house when you call. I did promise her I would take her to dinner to catch up in person and not over video chat while I was working.”
“Okay,” Elliott agreed knowing if he said no that he wouldn’t hear the end of it from his daughter or his wife. “But you might want to check out of that hotel.”
“I’ll take Tristen and pack my stuff up.”
“Alright,” Elliot said. “I’ll see you back here tonight.”
“See you then!”
Leaving Elliott to lock up the house that would soon be hers, Savannah made her way to her RAV4 and got inside it. Even if she wanted to, she didn’t think she could stop smiling. Hearing her text alert, she grabbed her phone out of her bag and looked at it.
Elliott: Might need the address.
Rolling her eyes, she knew he was right. She didn’t know exactly where the school was so she wouldn’t admit it, but she was glad he had thought to send it to her phone.
Savannah: Thank you!
Placing her phone into the cup holder, she headed towards Tristen’s school to pick her up and have a much-needed sister date.
Let me know what you think!
Rolling over onto her back on her California King sized bed Savannah took a deep breath and kept her eyes closed. It was her first full day off in eight days and she wanted to sleep in. But what the hell was making all the noise? Taking another moment, she realized it was the front door. With a groan, she tossed off her covers and glanced down at herself. Wearing a pair of leggings and a tank top with no bra. Grabbing the sweatshirt at the end of her bed she tossed it on before heading to the front door.
Grabbing her keys that she left in the bowl when she locked the house up before, she headed to bed last night, she looked through the peep hole and was surprised to see who it was. Unlocking the door, she opened it and looked at the man in front of her.
“Do you have a death wish?” Savannah asked curiously, looking into his blue eyes. “How did you even know where I lived?”
“Are you going to invite me in?” he asked.
“No.” Savannah told him as she crossed her arms over his chest.
“No?” he asked surprised, but with a grin on his face. “Why’s that?”
“You woke me up on my first full day off in days Jackson Teller,” Savannah told him with a glare. “And you haven’t answered any of my questions.”
“Ok,” Jax said with a smirk. “I don’t have a death wish and I found out where you are now living from Opie. He’s protective of you. Now if I show you what I brought you, will you let me inside?”
“Depends on what it is.” Savannah told him.
Moving his arm from behind his back, he showed her the large to go cup of coffee that he had picked up on his way over. Coffee. So, he might know her better than her last boyfriend did since he always seemed to forget that she wasn’t exactly sociable until she had at least half a cup of coffee in her system.
“So?” Jax asked, still holding the cup just out of her reach.
“Fine,” Savannah said taking the coffee from him and letting him into the house. She waited until he was inside before closing the door behind them and heading to the kitchen so she could put some creamer into the cup before she inhaled it. “So, what are you doing here?”
“I wanted to see how you were doing,” Jax said and when she gave him a look that told him she didn’t believe a word of what he was saying he ran one of his hands through his blonde locks. “And I might have wanted to check to see if you changed your mind about the carnival.”
“I have a date,” Savannah told him with her back towards him as she pulled open the fridge doors and grabbed the coffee creamer and poured some in before placing the cup on the island before placing the creamer back on the shelf and closing the doors of the fridge. “And I think someone else might be interested in you.”
Standing at one side of the island she watched Jax.
“Oh yeah?” he asked, a grin on his face as he took a seat on the bar stool on the opposite end of the island that Savannah was standing. “And who might that be?”
Jax looked shocked to hear her say that name. The last time the two of them talked about Tara was when they had kissed at the playground the day, she had discovered her mother was throwing her college acceptance letters into the trash.
“How the hell do you know that?” Jax asked, his curiosity peaked.
“We work at St. Thomas,” Savannah said as she inhaled the aroma of the coffee, he had brought her. “Sometimes we even have to work together.”
“Were you two talking about me?” he grinned. “I think I might be flattered. So about-”
“I still have a date,” she told him again. “But Tara was asking about my visit to Teller Morrow. And then she thought we were seeing each other, and I told her there was nothing going on there.”
“So that makes you think Tara is interested?” Jax asked.
“It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out,” Savannah scoffed at him. “Plus, the two of you have history.”
“We have history.” Jax reminded her.
“Not like the two of you,” Savannah argued. “One kiss versus being in love with someone is not the same thing.”
“You can deny it all you want,” Jax told her as he stood up and walked around to where she stood. She didn’t move because she wasn’t afraid of him. “But that day at the park you felt something.”
“It doesn’t matter,” she said. “I left for college.”
“And now you’re back.”
“Can we not talk about this?” Savannah questioned him. “It’s in the past and I would rather leave it there.”
“So, are you saying you felt nothing that day?” Jax asked her.
“Are you serious?” Savannah questioned him; disbelief written across her face. “Of course, I felt something for you. I wouldn’t have kissed you back if I hadn’t. But you ignored me for the next three weeks, so I guess it didn’t matter much to you. Or I didn’t.”
“Jax, what do you want?” Savannah asked, knowing that she couldn’t play this game with him or anyone for that matter. Playing games were dangerous and exhausting.
“Come with me to the carnival this afternoon.”
“Did you not get it when I said no the first time? I’ve got plans Jax.”
“Let me see your phone,” Jax said. “Please.”
Hearing him say please, for some odd reason made her heart beat a little faster. She couldn’t tell why it did. Maybe it was in the way he said it, but nodding her head, she left grabbed the coffee and took a large drink of it before walking back to where her bedroom was. Savannah didn’t say anything and so apparently Jax took that as a sign to follow her.
“This is cozy,” he commented as he looked around the room. His eyes landed on the pictures stuck inside the mirror on her dresser. “Who’s the kid?”
“Tristen,” Savannah said. “I watched her when she was a kid and when I left the family and I stayed in contact.”
“What about that?”
Glancing at the nurses in the photo with her in the middle, Savannah couldn’t help but smile at the memory. “That was in St. Louis. Right after Lori got engaged. Three of the nurses were engaged. One married. I was the lone one out. I still talk to them sometimes.”
“So you were still unattached.”
“I didn’t say that,” Savannah said as she handed him the phone that she had taken from her side table next to her bed. “What do you need that for?”
“I’m putting my number in here along with Gemma’s,” Jax told her what he was doing as he did it. “If anything comes up with Abel, I want you to be able to reach one of us.”
Nodding her head, she watched as he finished and handed the phone back to her. “Should I put mine in yours?”
“Already there darlin’.”
“Do I want to know how you got my number?” she asked him.
“Opie,” he told her. “With the promise that if I mess with you and break your heart then he gets to come after me.”
“You guys are strange,” Savannah said as she tossed the phone on the bed and looked at him. “You should know that I’m not looking for anything right now. I’m just trying to find my place right now.”
Closing the distance between them, Jax looked into her eyes before leaning down and kissing her. The decision to kiss Savannah was impulsive, but it was just how he remembered. Her lips were soft against his dry chapped lips. Savannah’s eyes fluttered closed the moment his lips touched hers. This was not what she had been expecting when she had gone to get her phone for him. But she would be lying if she said she didn’t want this to happen. When her hand clutched his Cut, he took the opportunity to bring her even closer. Jax’s hand rested on her neck with his fingers in her loose hair. When the need for air became a necessity and the kiss broke, neither of them stepped away from the other.
Placing her head on his chest, Savannah let out a sigh. “We seriously need to stop doing that.”
“I think we might need to do it some more.”
“Still the same Jax.” Savannah said as she finally took a step back and took a deep breath in order to get her thoughts organized.
“Nah,” he told her, watching as she moved about her bedroom. “I’m not the same guy that stayed in Charming while you went to school. And you aren’t the same girl that left. So how about we don’t play that card?”
“Fair enough,” Savannah said as she looked at Jax. “Let me be honest. When my dad died, and my mother wouldn’t let me talk about him or mention him it was like a part of me died. What really hurt was when the club stopped caring enough to see how we were doing. I always thought the club made you family.”
“The club was told to stay away, or Cora was going to file restraining orders on all of us. Even me.”
“Then why was school the one place I didn’t have to be near her and listen to her rules but none of you came to ask how I was?”
“Back then I didn’t know what was happening,” Jax said walking closer to her and taking her hand into his own. “But as we got older and everything was explained a little more it was a little late to bring you back into the friendship. Some of us thought you wouldn’t ever come back after you left.”
Nodding her head, she realized he was right. Both of them were young when her father died, and her mother had done off the rails. It wasn’t that she blamed him or the club, but everything had shifted during that time. And when she got older and her mother became more adamant about how the Sons were the cause of all their problems and how she was supposed to stay away from all of them even when it made absolutely no sense to her.
“I guess I should have known better than to believe what my mother was telling me. It just felt right at the time.”
“What did she tell you Darlin’?” Jax asked.
“She said that since my dad was gone the club was no obligated to care about us anymore so I should also stop caring about anyone in the club.”
“We might have been told to stay away but that didn’t mean that we didn’t have others looking in and making sure you were alright. At least for a while.”
“When did it stop?” she asked, curiously.
“When Clay decided that if you needed help that you were old enough to come to us for it,” Jax chuckled. “He didn’t take in your stubborn streak though.”
Laughing, Savannah relented. Jax was right. She was stubborn, always had been. And it wasn’t like that trait would be going away anytime soon which was just fine by her.
“So where is this date of yours taking you?” Jax asked, casually.
“If you were trying to be smooth about figuring out where I’m going to be, you totally failed,” Savannah laughed. “But I’ll tell you anyways. We are meeting up at the carnival.”
“Are you serious?”
“I am,” Savannah said with a huge grin plastered upon her face. “I should actually start to get ready since we are going in the afternoon and then dinner later.”
“Maybe I’ll run into you.”
“You won’t scare my date that easily,” Savannah said as she watched him leave her bedroom. “So please don’t try anything.”
“Sweetheart, I just don’t know what you are talking about.”
“You might want to bring that car of yours in,” he said once he opened the front door. “The air in your back tires are looking low.”
“I’ll get right on that,” Savannah said with an eye roll as she watched him walk over to his motorcycle that was parked next to her car. Glancing at the tires she held in the groan she was feeling because he was right. It didn’t look too bad that she would have to miss out on the carnival, but maybe on her next day off she would have to bring it in and get them looked out. “Hey Jax!”
As he straddled the bike, he looked back at her as he put his helmet on.
“Thanks for checking in on me.”
He smiled but didn’t say anything as he started the motorcycle and headed away from her house. She watched as he drove away before closing the door and locking it once again. It made her feel safer that way. Feeling like she was always looking over her shoulder these days was horrible, but it was what she had to do just to feel normal. And so that’s what she did.
Dressed in dark blue jeans and a light purple V-neck tee and a pair of dark boots with a heel, Savannah arrived a little bit before she was supposed to meet up with the Oswald family since Tristen convinced her to come to the carnival. She couldn’t even tell her no because she was working because she wasn’t about to lie to her little sister. Afterall it was a sister date.
With her hair blowing in the wind and her sunglasses perched on her nose, she walked past the families and went to bypass some carnival workers when out of the corner of her eye she saw Jax Teller on a ride, but it wasn’t just him. Jax, Tig, and Bobby were all on the dragon rollercoaster that was so obviously meant for the younger kids, but she couldn’t help but smile as she watched them on it with their own smiles. Opening her bag, she took out her digital camera and started snapping some pictures. With a laugh she placed the camera back in her bag and zipped it up before making her way to the concessions to get a drink. A nice cold lemonade sounded amazing right about now.
After waiting in line, she finally spotted the Oswald family, but that wasn’t the only ones she spotted. Apparently, it was family day at the carnival for the Sons since it looked like Clay and Gemma were also there. It made her curious as to why Jax had been hounding her to come with him, but in the end it didn’t matter.
“Hey Clay,” Elliot said. “How are you doing?”
“You came!” Tristen smiled as she ran and threw her arms around Savannah. “I didn’t think you were gonna show.”
“I told you that it was a date,” Savannah smiled and hugged her back. “Have I ever broken a single date of ours?”
“Never.” Tristen said dragging her back to where her parents and the club members were.
“I see you made it,” Karen Oswald said looking at Savannah. “Are you coming for dinner next week?”
“Didn’t know I was invited. Send me the date and I’ll see if I can make it,” Savannah said with a smile. “Hey Elliot. Clay. Gemma. Jax. Tig.”
“I thought you had a date.” Jax said.
“I do,” Savannah said. “Tristen is like my younger sister, so we made it a sister date.”
“Sometimes it’s the only way to get her to come to things,” Tristen smiled, before looking at her mother. “Hey Mom, I’m gonna go to the spin out again.”
“Tristen, you’ve been on it four times already.” Karen said looking at her daughter.
“I know,” Tristen said. “But Savannah hasn’t.”
“Hey,” Jax said digging into his front pocket and pulling out a couple of ride tickets and handing them to Tristen. “Here.”
“That’s not necessary.” Karen said.
“It’s alright,” Jax said turning to look at Tristen. “They kicked me off because I was screaming too loud.”
Tristen stared at Jax, unsure what to make of him until Savannah nudged her and she heard her father’s voice. “What do you say?”
“Thanks.” Both Tristen and Savannah said before heading off.
“Let’s go get our pictures done before we go on any rides. I need some of us.”
“But you’ll go on the ride after?” Tristen asked.
“Okay, deal.” Tristen said and the two headed in the direction of the photobooth.
Since there was a line, they had to wait.
“So what’s the deal with the dinner?” Savannah asked.
“Just make sure you come,” Tristen smiled. “Do what you have to, but you have to come, okay?”
“That important, huh?” Savannah laughed as the younger girl took a drink from her lemonade as if she did it all the time.
“Trust me,” Tristen said as she smiled at her. “So how do you know those guys?”
“I went to school with Jax and those other guys are in the club together. My dad used to be a part of the club before he died. But after he died my mom went kinda crazy and wouldn’t let them be in our lives. I would still see Jax around from time to time and even had a few classes with him. He’s a good guy.”
“You like him.” Tristen said as they moved up in the line.
“I do not,” Savannah denied. “Not at all.”
“Do you think that if you say that enough times, you’ll believe it?”
“Are you going to tell everyone?” Savannah asked, eyeing her little sister.
“Not a soul.” Tristen said.
“I think I might like him,” Savannah said. “Just a smidge, though.”
“I knew it.” Tristen laughed as they went into the photobooth for their turn.
Let me know your thoughts!
A/N: So sorry for the long wait. Things are a bit crazy right now, but I just finished working on chapter 11.
A/N2: I don't own anything besides my characters...
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Gemma Teller-Morrow looked over at Karen Oswald as she was screaming her head off for her daughter. Something was obviously very wrong. So, she walked over to the mother who was panicking and calling out her daughter's name.
"What's going on?" Gemma asked as she approached Karen.
"We can't find Tristen." Karen said, the panic evident in her voice.
"Oh Jesus," Gemma said as Savannah approached them. "She must be around here somewhere."
"No, we've looked everywhere." Karen told Gemma.
"She's not in the bathrooms and she's not around the games." Savannah said, trying her best to stay calm as they searched for the missing teen.
Elliot was the next to join the small group. "She's not on any of the rides."
"Oh my god, oh my god," Karen said panicking again. "Tristen."
"I'm gonna make another round," Savannah said. "I'll call you if I find her."
Searching for Tristen was heartbreaking. Savannah had left her with her parents before taking a phone call and now she was missing. Every worst-case scenario was running wild through her mind and she couldn't get it to stop. Seeing some of the stuff being taken down, she wished there was a sign of where Tristen was. This just wasn't like her. She didn't just leave on her own without someone she knew, she was smarter than that.
Walking around felt useless and it felt like it was taking too long. Glancing over at the woods, her stomach plummeted thinking that her little sister was in there. But her feet took her there. Using her phone for a light, she kept looking in every direction. After about twenty minutes Savannah was about to head back to the Oswald's, when she heard something. It was a soft whimpering sound.
"Tristen?" she called out. "Tristen, are you out there?"
All she was met with was silence, so she moved in the direction that she heard the noise. More than anything she wanted to find Tristen and have her be unharmed and just a little scared or wake up and this be all a horrible, horrible nightmare. But then she saw why she couldn't find her little sister earlier and her heart broke into a million little pieces.
"Tristen?" Savannah called as she rushed over to her. "Oh god, Tristen."
She could see the tears in the eyes of her sister, and it made her sick to her stomach that someone had harmed this innocent child. Quickly making her way over to her sister's side she grabbed her hand. "Tristen? Tristen, I need you to look at me right now."
Slowly Tristen rolled her head to the side and saw Savannah and that's when she squeezed her hand and let the tears fall freely. "You are going to be okay. You hear me? You will be okay."
Using her other hand, she dialed a number that she dreaded. This was going to hurt everyone and all she could think about was that there was a monster in Charming. When the other person picked up, she lost her voice for a minute.
"Savannah?" Elliott's voice sounded in her ear. "Are you there? Savannah?"
"I'm here. Sorry," Savannah said as she regained all of her facilities. "I found Tristen. Call 911."
"Anna…" Tristen said softly.
"Don't worry," Savannah said. "I'm right here. I won't leave you."
Slowly opening her eyes, Savannah glanced around the hospital room. Tristen was still asleep, but Karen was gone, and Elliott was sitting on the opposite of the Tristen. No matter how many times she slept at the hospital, it was no substitute for her bed. Watching Tristen sleep, Savannah realized what it was that woke her up. Tristen was squeezing her hand very tightly. Glancing at the monitors she saw that her heart rate was starting to spike.
"Tristen?" Savannah called out to her. "Tristen, I need you to wake up for me. It's Savannah."
"What's wrong?" Elliott asked as he started to rise to his feet but stopped when Savannah motioned for him to stop.
"Tristen, I need you to listen to my voice. You are not in the woods; you are with me. That is my hand you are squeezing right now. Trust me, open your eyes."
After another moment or two, Tristen looked at Savannah before she pulled her closer. As carefully as she could Savannah put her arms around the teenager as she cried. She knew exactly how she was feeling. She was still fighting her own demons, but she there was no way she was going to allow Tristen's to get the better of her. Not when she was by her side and she swore that whoever did this to her little sister would pay. Once Tristen calmed down enough, Savannah whispered softly to her.
"Will you lay down with me?" Tristen asked.
"There is something I need to do," Elliott said looking at Tristen and then Savannah. "Are you okay here?"
"I'm not working until later. I won't leave," Savannah told him. "But maybe you could bring back a decent cup of coffee?"
Nodding his head, Elliott leaned over and kissed Tristen's cheek. "I'll be back soon and I'm sure your mother is on her way back as well."
Tristen nodded her head before watching her father walk out of her hospital room.
"Did you work last night?" Tristen asked, once they were alone.
"No," Savannah said as she carefully laid next to Tristen in the hospital bed. "I spilled something on it and my change of clothes were dirty because I forgot to take them home to wash, but I had some scrubs in my locker room. I didn't want to go too far so I just decided to stick with the scrubs."
"Where do you think he went?"
"He is hurting so he is going to look for someone that can help find the monster that did this."
"Will I have to see him again?"
"No," Savannah told her. "You won't have to. There are other ways to make sure this never happens again."
"I thought I was there again and that it was happening again."
"You don't have to talk about it," Savannah said lacing their fingers to let her know that she was there for her. "Try and rest. I'm not going anywhere."
"Thanks for not leaving me."
"I'm always here for you Tristen."
Later that afternoon, Savannah was back in the chair next to the bed looking through a magazine when she felt a nudge. Glancing up from her magazine she saw Gemma coming into the room.
"What are you doing in here Gemma?" Savannah asked as she stood up.
"I just wanted to see how she was doing."
"No Gemma," Savannah said. "Hale already pulled this bullshit. She isn't going to talk to anyone about what happened. She doesn't remember anything and so she can't help. Please go before Karen gets back and gets pissed off."
"Alright," Gemma said. "But Jax said he stopped by your house and said you haven't been home."
"I've been where I need to be. Here." Savannah said, not moving an inch.
"Feel better Tristen," Gemma said. "You've got a good friend watching out for you."
"She's my sister," Tristen said. "Just not the normal way."
"It's good to have family support."
Watching Gemma leave the room Savannah let out a long sigh. "Who was she?"
"Remember Jax?" Savannah said scooting her chair closer to the teen.
"He gave us tickets to go on the ride after you got there."
"Yes, he did," Savannah nodded her head. "That was his mother. They are trying to find out who did this."
"Dad hasn't said anything."
"And he won't," Savannah said. "Your parents are trying to protect you. That's all and it is a good thing."
"Even if I do remember?"
"Talking about it can be pretty scary. Especially so soon."
"Would it help?" Tristen asked. "Letting Jax know?"
"Not if you don't want to tell," Savannah said. "This isn't an easy thing to deal with, but I will be here whenever you need me. If you don't want to tell, then that's okay."
"I remember what happened," she said. "I told mom, but she said to keep it all a secret."
"I want to be brave like you," Tristen said. "It was one of the guys at the carnival, the clown. He was big."
"Big like he was tall or big like he was fat?"
"Fat," Tristen said. "Tell Jax."
Seeing the door open and Karen walk in, she smiled at them. "I need to step out for a bit. I was waiting for you to come back. Didn't want Hale to try again."
"Thank you, Savannah," Karen said. "Thank you."
Walking out of the hospital room, Savannah sucked in her breath as she was walking. The things her little sister had gone through that night made her sick to her stomach. She knew what happened, but when she was told that Tristen didn't remember anything that gave her hope that she would move past it a bit easier. Now that she knew the truth it hurt more than anything she ever felt.
Not even realizing where she was going, Savannah found herself facing Jax and Gemma. When he caught sight of the tears in her eyes, he left his mother and headed straight for her. It was the first time since returning to Charming that she was feeling cornered. It was like once she turned the corner into a hallway something even worse was going to pop out at her.
"Hey," Jax said as he walked towards her, but she shook her head and headed towards Gemma. "Savannah?"
Taking Gemma's hand, she walked around the corner and Jax followed them. Breathing deeply, she tried to get her emotions in check, but it was easier said than done right now. Especially with the information she had been given by Tristen herself.
"Savannah, what's the matter?" Jax asked, grabbing her arm and pulling her in close. "Talk to me."
It was in that moment that she officially lost it. The tears that she had been fighting to keep contained was a losing battle and they just poured down her face. Jax pulled her in tight against his chest and held her as she cried it out. Rubbing her back and whispering that it would be okay, that he was right there while he did so. After about a minute or so, Savannah backed up slightly and wiped the tears with the tips of her fingers.
"I'm sorry for blocking you Gemma," Savannah said. "I guess I'm pretty protective of Tristen. But Karen doesn't want what happened to get out. She doesn't want Tristen to be known as the girl that was raped at Fun Town."
"She's always going to be known as the girl that was raped at Fun Town."
"Try getting that through to Karen. She is even more protective of Tristen."
"I'll talk to her." Gemma said digging into her purse and handed Savannah a tissue.
"Has Tristen said anything that could help?" Jax asked, keeping Savannah close to him.
"She remembers everything," Savannah told him. "It was a carnival worker. A clown. He was big. Big as in fat."
Kissing Savannah on the cheek, he looked at her in the eyes. "Thank you. We are going to get this guy. He won't hurt anyone else again. Does Hale know?"
"Not yet," Savannah said. "Tristen was going to tell her Karen that she doesn't want to hide what happened so it will only be a matter of time before she tells him. If you want to get there first, you better go."
"Thank you," Jax said. "I'll see you later."
Without another word, he walked away from them. He looked over his shoulder at Savannah before heading to the exit. The only way he was sure that he could get to the club and let them know what Savannah found out and to get to the rapist first was to make sure that Hale couldn't get there first. So, he did what he had to and put his knife into the tire of Hale's police jeep before getting onto his motorcycle and making the call to Clay. They were all going to meet at Fun Town and get the sick bastard and then they would call Elliott to do his part as was agreed.
Looking at Gemma, Savannah wanted to apologize once again, but she wasn't sure that Gemma really cared.
"Is there something going on between the two of you?"
"What do you mean?" Savannah asked.
"Don't play dumb," Gemma said. "You and Jax. Are you two-"
"I don't know how to answer that because I don't know. I told him that I wasn't looking for anything, but-"
"Let me guess, he hasn't given you time to figure out what you want?" Gemma asked. "He gets that from his father. Just remember to use protection. We don't need you getting pregnant."
"Thanks?" Savannah said looking at Jax's mother.
"He could do worse," Gemma said. "He could be with the one that broke his heart when she left."
"You mean Dr. Knowles."
"Yes, I mean her. Just don't do anything stupid."
"I've gotta go talk to my friend and see if she will swap shifts so I can stay with Tristen."
"Tristen is what to you?" Gemma asked. "I heard what she said, but what is she to you?"
"She's my sister in every sense of the word. It is eating me up inside that I wasn't there to protect her when she needed me the most."
"You can't put that on yourself."
"How can I not?" Savannah asked wiping a stray tear from her eye that had escaped and was heading down her cheek. "I need to get back as soon as I see my friend."
Not even giving Gemma a chance to reply, Savannah walked away to the desk where she saw her friend was working. Her heart was hurting more than she thought it could at this point, but there was nothing she could do to stop the pain.
Walking through her front door, Savannah closed the door and locked it before making her way to her bedroom. It wasn't that long ago she agreed to take the house from Elliott Oswald and then she picked Tristen up from school and hung out for the afternoon before going out to dinner. It was a special day for her. Although she didn't want to admit to it, she was getting antsy to get out of the hotel. But after what happened at Fun Town, she didn't know how to feel.
Savannah had been by Tristen's side through the last few days. Only surviving on coffee and snacks from the vending machine while sleeping in the chair next to her little sister's bed. Her neck hurt and so did her heart. It was hard not to blame herself for what happened to Tristen. If she had been with her when her parents went for ice cream and waited for her to get off the ride, then she wouldn't be in the hospital and she wouldn't have been raped.
Turning the light on in her bedroom before sitting on her bed before she pulled out her cell phone and looked through her contacts until she came across the name that she didn't have any intention of using unless it was about her car or something hospital related. But she clicked on his name and called him.
"Hey Darlin'," his voice came through the other side as she slid down the wall. "You at the hospital still?"
Feeling the tears threatening to fall once again this evening, she didn't say anything. She just tried to hold them back.
"Savannah? Are you there?"
Taking a shaky breath, she just shook her head and ended the phone call. She felt so stupid for calling him just because she was feeling lost and didn't want to be alone after everything that had happened recently. Tossing the phone onto the center of the bed, she let the tears fall from her eyes since there was no one there to witness her breakdown. When she lost her father, she had been so young that she couldn't remember it ever feeling this hard to wrap her head around.
Giving herself a minute, she did her best to calm herself down before getting off the bed and making her way to the bathroom. Turning on the water, she stripped down as she waited for it to heat up. Feeling too drained to care, she left her clothes scattered on the floor before walking into the shower and letting the hot water beat down on her.
Not sure how long she stayed under the spray, but just as she was finishing washing up she heard a pounding sound at her front door. Her first thought was not to answer it. Shutting off the water, she stepped out onto the grey floor mat as she reached for her towel. Quickly drying her body, she grabbed the robe that was on the back on the bathroom door and put it on. Moving as quietly as possible she made her way to the front door just as there was another loud banging on her door. Grabbing her keys that had a small can of pepper spray attached, she looked through the peep hole and saw the familiar blonde-haired man standing there.
Sticking her key in the lock, she quickly unlocked it and looked at him standing there in his casual clothes with his Cut over it. When they locked eyes, she could see the worry in his eyes, most likely from her phone call when she hung up on him. Not answering the door quickly probably didn't help matters either.
"Are you alright?"
Nodding her head, she opened the door wider so he could come inside. Once they were both inside, she closed the door and locked it. She knew that Jax would protect her if something were to happen like a break in while he was there, but it just gave her a bit extra piece of mind which was needed so badly right now.
"I'm sorry," Savannah said as she crossed her arms over her chest. "I didn't mean for you to come over here to check on me."
"When you didn't say anything you had me worried," Jax told her. "I wasn't going to just ignore something like that."
Walking over to him, she wrapped her arms around him and for what felt like the millionth time that day the tears came. Feeling his arms wrap around her, Savannah didn't want to admit it, but it was the first time in years that she felt safe.
A/N: Let me know what you think!