Ch. 12 Pain Management

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Kenny stood outside Angela's room, his heart beating fast. She'd already been in the hospital for almost three days, and he hadn't gone in to see her. His excuse was first that he was busy trying to find whoever had done this to her and later that he'd been too busy making sure Jasmine got on her flight home safely, but he knew it was all bull shit. He was scared as hell to see his Mom laid up in a hospital bed like he knew she would be. He'd been avoiding seeing any of his adoptive family, trying to keep to himself as best he could to avoid having to face the reality of Angela being seriously hurt.

He knew Evie was hanging out with Lino today, protected by the Mayan while also having fun with Tessa. As much as he hated the Sons and everything they stood for, he had no problem with the Mayans and was thankful they were there to protect them. If only Piney and Opie could see him now, what would they think, he wondered. They certainly wouldn't have approved of him thinking of Dia and Marcus as grandparents. Then again, they probably wouldn't have approved of him not prospecting either. He frowned to himsef, shaking his head; those thoughts were useless. He didn't know how they would feel nor did he really care. They were gone. He missed them, of course, but he had to admit his future was a lot brighter since he wasn't in their shadows. He knew he had Angela and Juice to thank for that. If it hadn't been for them, he'd have stayed with Lyla and would no doubt be wearing a Reaper just like his father and grandfather before him.

Taking in a deep breath to calm his nerves, he pushed open the door and found the blank Prospect cut he'd just been thinking about hanging off the shoulders of a tall, dirty-blonde boy, the blue letters on the lower rocker bright against the stark white background. The person wearing it was standing at the foot of Angela's bed talking to Juice who was seated next to her. His arms were braced on the side rail of Angela's bed, clean and free of any tattoos. Kenny didn't recognize the young prospect until he turned around. "Piper?" he asked, slightly surprised to see him in Angela's room.

Piper gave him a sad little smile and nodded. "Hey Ken. How's it goin'?"

"I um...good," he answered awkwardly. He felt guilty as hell that Piper of all people had gone to visit Angela before him. Worse that he hadn't known who he was. Piper was his stepbrother; how could he have not recognized him? "You?"

"Been better," he replied on a shrug, his hands digging into the pockets of the new leather.

Kenny saw the patch on the bottom that read: "In Memory of 'OPIE'" and felt his heart sink; Piper had clearly taken the spot that had once been meant for him in SAMCRO. "Nice cut. Ellie mentioned you were prospectin'."

"Yeah, Rat's sponsoring me."

"Cool. That's...awesome, bro," he replied, burying his own hands in the pockets of his jeans. He looked over Piper's shoulder to see Angela and Juice talking quietly to each other, doing their best to give them some privacy despite being stuck in the same small room. He appreciated that, but he also wished they'd interject and end this already awkward conversation. "W-what are you doing here?"

Piper looked hurt for a brief moment before he quickly hid it. Again, Kenny grimaced; Piper had every right to visit Angela. She and Lyla were close, and while Piper wasn't as close to Angela as he and Ellie were, it made sense for the younger blonde to stop by to visit her. "Checkin' in on Ang and seeing if there were any updates about my Mom," he explained smoothly.

Kenny mentally smacked himself. He'd forgotten about Lyla being taken too. He grimaced again; he must sound like a real selfish dick. "Right! Shit. Anything new?"

He shook his head before shrugging. "No news is good news, right? I mean, that Mayan chick got her fingernails ripped off and shit. We haven't gotten anything from our side so..."

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