Chapter 18.

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Love is evil.

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I sit on the floor, my hands trembling as I replay the movement of my husband taking his own mother's life. My breath shakes as I sit in fear, shock and confusion- not being able to fully process what just took place. I gather all of my strength and go to stand up, my knees buckling from the anxious shakes. I put a hand out to lean on the wall and Jax notices me moving, walking over to comfort me. He goes to set a hand on my shoulder and I push it away. "Don't."

I walk past him and down the narrow hallway to our bathroom, photos of Gemma and our children hung on the walls as a painful reminder that loyalty isn't always blood deep. I push open the bathroom door and shut it behind me, locking the door and stripping from my bloodied clothes. I start the shower and step in, sliding my body down the tiled way as water hits me, soaking my body and washing the blood from my skin.

Tears run down my cheeks, seemingly invisible with the water rushing onto my body. I rub my eyes, knowing that they're going to be puffy and red by the end of this shower. There's a BBQ that we're supposed to go to, and I can't force myself to look everyone in the eyes and lie about what just happened, to pretend that Jax didn't just kill Gemma due to her trying to kill me. My life is absolutely a mess, and I know it's going to follow me wherever I go. The things I've done and the people who have died around me will forever haunt me. I can't run from this. I can't run from Charming or the Sons. I'm supposed to be here, and I'm supposed to suffer.

Am I supposed to tell the kids that Gemma got sick? Or in a car accident? What lie comes next? Raising them without their grandmother who was there with them every day, through thick and thin. Raising them without the woman who would've killed anyone for her grandbabies, including their own mothers.

"Babe?" I look over to the door to where Jax is calling for me and I sigh, not wanting to look him in the eyes let alone talk to him. "Are you alright?"

I reach for the shower knob and turn off the water, stretching myself out as I stand up. I grab a towel and dry my hair quickly before wrapping it around my body and unlocking the door to reveal my husband. "What do you think?" I tell him softly. I brush past him and walk into the bedroom to get dressed.

"Let's just stay here, we can skip the BBQ. I'll tell them you're sick or something." He suggests, and I look over at him like he's insane.

"The last place I want to be is in the house where my mother-in-law was murdered." I tell him, venom behind my words.

Jax shakes his head in anger and confusion, "She was trying to kill you, and I helped you! If it wasn't for me, you would've been dead by now, and our kids wouldn't have their mother around!"

I stop in my tracks and set the t-shirt on the bed, letting out a sigh. I turn to look over at Jax and stare into his eyes. "This is never going to change or get better, Jax. You, the club, the killing. Tara had every right to want to leave this place with her kids, but it's haunting, and it doesn't matter how far or fast you run, you'll never get away from what happens in this place."

Jax's eyebrows knit together, "What did you just say?"

"You know exactly what I'm saying." I defend myself before grabbing socks from my dresser and setting my outfit on the bed. "Think of some lie to tell the kids about Gemma, and make sure you tell the club. I'm leaving tomorrow with the kids, and I'm not sure it's best if you come."

Jax walks over to me, grabbing my shoulder to turn me around. "Don't you dare." He hisses, "You're not leaving me, leaving with our kids. This was our plan, we were going to leave!"

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