Chapter 2

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I really wasn’t surprised when I woke up at three am the next morning, with the time difference it didn’t shock me. So after a shower I decided that I may as well get up. I went to sit outside on the benches and enjoy the heat of California even at this early hour. I hadn’t been sitting very long when I heard the door behind me open. ‘Mind if I sit?’ I heard Happy rasp as he came and sat opposite me without waiting for me to answer him. He pulled out a pack of smokes from his sweats and offered me one, which I took even though it had been years since I had smoked but I knew I was gonna need the nicotine in my system if he wanted to talk. ‘So I spoke to my mom about everything’ he said after lighting his smoke and mine.

‘Oh yeah, how did that go?’

‘Well after she finished cursing me out in such rapid Spanish that I missed every other word, she helped me see things from your point of view. By the way she wants to know if she can have your number so she can call you too’ he smirked at me when I groaned.

‘Well I always did get on well with her whenever she came to see you when you were here. Did it help Hap talking to her?’

‘Yeah it did. She has always been good at talking me off the ledge. I meant what I said earlier or yesterday I really do want to meet him.’

‘Well he will be on summer break soon so I will talk to him tonight and explain that instead of our usual trip that maybe we could come here for a few weeks, but it really does depend on how he feels. I won’t push him into something he isn’t ready for.’

‘Yeah I get that, I just want to meet him. I know that I ain’t gonna be a dad to him straight away, or at all really, something else my mom helped me see.’

‘You don’t have to be Hap, simply be his friend. He knows who you all are, I never hid it from him. He knows Tig came to see me when I had the accident but just that we argued and he came home. He is so much like you though, he never stops looking around and picks up on things that people don’t say just by looking at them.’

‘Will you tell me about him?’

‘Sure Hap, what do you want to know?’

‘Koz showed me the pictures he has in his Kutte.’

‘The birthday ones?’ I asked and he nodded. ‘He has always been there for us both and like I told Tig I won’t apologise for it. He has always been my rock since I was four years old and I was pretty much dumped on Tig right over there.’ I said pointing to the rolling doors of the garage behind us.

‘I didn’t mean it like that Lucy.’

‘Sorry.’  I said looking down at the bench before looking back up at him. ‘When I got to Boston I was a mess but after a few weeks I contacted Koz and told him where I was. He said he would be up soon to see me after he promised not to tell anyone where I was. He came to the hospital with me and was there within two days of Alex being born. Sorry that isn’t what you asked. Alex is amazing Hap and I know all mothers think that about their kids but its true. He is really smart and is super protective of those he cares about. He can be really quiet which he got from you cause we both know it wasn’t from me.’ I looked at him then and we both smirked ‘but once he knows and trusts someone he talks a mile a minute. He loves to read and has been helping me in the garage since he was six and can pretty much tell you what is wrong with a bike just by listening to the engine. He loves to draw and loves animals but especially dogs, which is why he currently has four curled up in bed with him. He is not really into sports but loves his kick boxing, he has been doing it since he was five and is a purple belt.’

‘Wow, he sounds like a great kid’ Happy said as he lit another cigarette, he looked deep in thought as he stared out into the darkness of the lot.

‘He really is Hap. Well since I am up and it is already after four am I am gonna go and start breakfast. I have to leave here about ten thirty to get to the airport for my flight home and I don’t eat on planes.’ I said getting up and making my way back into the clubhouse.

By seven thirty when Gemma walked into the kitchen I already had four dozen muffins made, two platters of pancakes, three massive baskets of breakfast rolls made and was currently frying enough bacon to give us all heart disease. ‘Jesus Christ Lucy, how long have you been up?’ she asked leaning against the counter with the coffee I had just handed her.

‘Since three cause of the time difference and started cooking about four after my chat with Happy.’ I said pulling the first load of bacon out of the pan and transferring it to the tray to go into the warming oven. ‘We both know that I have always loved to cook thanks to you and Bobby, plus my dad and Kozik could set the kitchen on fire without even cooking in it.’

‘Yeah that’s true, need me to do anything?’ she asked.

‘Could you crack those four dozen eggs into a bowl ready for scrambling? Once all the bacon is done I will start that and you can round everyone up.’

‘Sure sweetheart, I have to ask though, how did it go with tall dark and growly?’ She said as she started to crack the eggs.

‘It went fine, we talked more about Alex and that he still wants to meet him. He talked to his mom and says that it helped. I told him that I will talk to Alex tonight and see if he wants to come here on summer break instead of us taking our usual trip but it all depends on him. We usually go somewhere just the two of us for two or three weeks depending on how busy the garage is. This year I have already cleared three full weeks but we hadn’t decided where we wanted to go yet so coming here is still an option.’

‘That would be great Luce’ she said stopping whisking to fully turn to look at me.

‘Yeah Gem I think your right but like I said I have to talk to him. I am not going to force it if he’s is not ready. It is going to be a massive thing for him, not just meeting all of you but his dad as well.’

‘Yeah I get that sweetheart’ she said pulling me into a sideways hug before telling me she was gonna go start knocking on doors and waking the ones that slept here last night.

Thirty minutes later the clubhouse was full of all the people I had missed over the last ten and a half years. I found myself sitting between Tig and Kozik and couldn’t help but smile as I looked around the table at Clay, Gemma, Jax, Opie, Bobby, Happy, Pinie, Chibs and Juice. When Pinie had arrived he came straight over to me and pulled me into a hug and whispered to me ‘I always knew it would happen eventually, glad to have you back Loulou.’ He was the only one to ever call me that from the first day I arrived and I couldn’t help but give him an extra squeeze when he said it again after all these years. We sat around and talked for over an hour as we ploughed our way through all the food I had cooked before I realised that I would have to leave here. It would be a lot harder than I ever felt it would be. I had fully expected when I turned up yesterday that I would speak to Tig, tell him exactly what had happened as well as what I thought about him after over ten years of silence between us, then I would cry myself to sleep in some shitty motel before going home to my son and never step foot again in Charming. Part of me really hoped that Alex would want to come here in a few weeks to finally meet the extended family he had missed out on cause it felt really good to be back here, but like I had explained I wouldn’t push him if he wasn’t ready. We would do this at Alex’s pace no matter how much I missed this. Kozik had said that he would ride with me to the airport before making his way back to Tacoma and he had told me straight that if something like the ATF coming around again didn’t at least mean I rang him he was gonna kill me. I just smirked and hugged him knowing just how full of shit he was.

Gemma told me to leave the clearing up as the crow eaters would do it when they arrived later in the day so I made my way to the dorm I had slept in last night to grab my bags. I was just zipping up my laptop when I heard someone knock on the frame and turned to see Happy leaning in the doorway. ‘Here Lucy, this is my personal cell, maybe you could ring me later and let me know what Alex thinks about coming here. It doesn’t about the time difference’ he said handing me a piece of paper with his number on it as well as his mom’s.

‘Thanks Happy’ I said taking the paper and pulling my cell out to put it in straight away and as I sat on the bed called him so he would have my number as well. ‘I am gonna talk to Alex first and see what he thinks about everything before I even think about ringing your mom Hap. I know that sounds like I am putting it off but I have to put him first and if he doesn’t want to come here yet everyone is just going to have to deal with it.’

He pushed off the doorway and did something I never thought he would do with our history. He came and sat beside me after pushing the door closed and pulled me to him with an arm around my shoulder, I couldn’t help but lean into him, ‘Lucy I completely understand as does my mom. She said last night that a sign of a good mother is someone who puts there kid’s needs above anything else, which from what you have told me you have always done. So don’t worry about it and if anyone of them gives you shit ring me and I will sort it out from this end ok?’ he said giving my shoulder another squeeze before getting back up and walking towards the door but before he could reach for the handle I spoke. ‘Hey Hap?’ He turned to look back at me. ‘Thanks and I think that is the longest sentence I have ever heard you say to me without you calling me a bitch in all the years I have known you.’ I smirked at him. He simply smirked back and walked out of the door. I finished making sure I hadn’t left anything and made my way back out to the main club house to find it empty. I walked outside to see Gemma and Clay waiting for me but before I could ask where the others had gone I noticed that the others were all leaning against there bikes, my dad started to make his way towards me. ‘Hey sweetheart we thought we would give you an escort to the airport.’

‘Really Dad, I will be fine. Kozik is gonna ride with me it really isn’t necessary.’

‘Don’t care, it’s happening’ was all he said as he made his way back to his bike.

I turned back to Gemma and Clay with a look as if it say really but they just both smirked at me before Clay spoke. ‘Lucy just let him do this for you. He missed out these last ten years plus Hap said he was riding regardless if anyone else was and it’s a quiet day so the others decided to join them. Tig isn’t the only one that missed you.’ He pulled me into a hug before making his way to his bike leaving me with Gemma.

‘Did you really expect anything else baby?’ she asked a slight smirk still on her face.

‘I should have figured huh?’

‘Pretty much, now listen I want a call when you get home and one tomorrow after you have spoke to Alex, we will take it from there ok?’

‘Yeah ok Gem, thanks for everything. It was you I was dreading seeing the most.’ I admitted honestly with a matching smirk as she pulled me into a hug and whispered that she loved me before stepping back. I could only nod at her as I made my way over to my rental car, putting my bags into the back seat and heard Clay say that him and Jax would take the front with Tig and Happy either side, the rest taking the back. I couldn’t help but shake my head, I had been fine these last ten years and one night back here and suddenly I needed an armed escort back to the airport.

The two hour ride back toward the airport went a lot quicker than yesterday but that might have had something to do with my dad being right by my side pretty much the whole way there. When I pulled the car back into the rental place at the airport I saw that all of them had parked in the usual line causing people to stop and stare. Discreet was something that they could never be called, causing me to laugh at the young kid behind the counter as I handed my rental keys back over. He stuttered his way through giving me a receipt not taking his eyes of the line of bikers looking at him through the window. As I made my way outside and walked towards them all I was pulled into a hug first by Jax then Opie, the others followed before I made my way to uncle Kozik who grabbed my hand and pulled me further away so the others couldn’t hear us. ‘You sure your alright sweetheart?’ he asked looking into my eyes.

‘I’m fine Koz, I promise.’

‘So I am guessing that it wasn’t what you where expecting when you landed yesterday then huh?’

‘Not at all but I honestly have missed them all, even tall dark and grumpy.’ I laughed as he did.

‘Well I expect a text when you land cause I will still be riding but I will call you tomorrow to check in properly. Remember what I said about calling me if anything else like this happens again ok?’ he said pulling me into his arms and squeezing me.

‘I will and thanks for everything uncle Koz.’ he just nodded at me and we made our way back to the others as he nodded to Tig and climbed back onto his bike. My dad just pulled me to him and said into my hair that he wanted a call when I landed and that he loved me, but didn’t release me straight away. I could felt my eyes fill up but refused to cry so pushed him back after I told him that I loved him too and I wouldn’t forget to call. Happy was the only one left but given our history I simply stood in front of him. Neither of us made to hug each other, it just wasn’t us so I simply told him I would call when I had spoken to Alex and let him know. I got a nod in response but I could see his jaw ticking as he ground his teeth together before he turned back to his bike and got on. I turned before going through the doors of the airport to see them all still sitting there on the bikes so I simply waved once and made my way to the check in, knowing that if I looked back again at my dad I was going to start crying like a fool and I couldn’t let myself do that with them watching me.

Somehow I managed to keep a lid on my emotions until we were in the air but looking out the window as we took off from California it seemed to get to me more than seeing them all again, so when the sweet old lady who was sitting next to me simply opened her purse and handed me a tissue caused the tears to come quicker and bless her she just squeezed my hand and let me cry silently for the next thirty minutes. When the stewardess came round asking if either of us needed a drink I insisted on buying us both a strong drink not caring that it was only two in the afternoon. When we where both handed our drinks, me a double whisky and her a glass of white wine she asked if I was ok and I ended up telling her what had gone down over the last few days, leaving out the visit from the AFT just saying that I felt it was time to go home and see my dad to try and reconnect after a little over a decade. We ended up talking and sharing a few more drinks for the remainder of the flight and she told me about her boys and how after a falling out she hadn’t spoken to her oldest son for close to fifteen years but had reconnected like I had a few years back and that it was all water under the bridge now. Once we landed she hugged me after we got off the plane and wished me luck with my family as we parted ways. I got my bags and went to stand in line for a taxi home, desperate to see my baby even if it had only been a few days. In the cab I texted them all in a mass message saying that I had landed and that I was in a cab on my way back home.

Thirty five minutes later saw the cab pull up to my house, as I paid and was getting out the door opened and Alex ran down the path to hug me before pulling me into the house to greet Matt as well as the dogs. Matt said that he was going to go home and let me catch up with Alex but would talk to me tomorrow at the garage, but the way he looked at me I knew that tomorrow he wanted to know everything that had happened when I was in Charming, so I just nodded my head at him and hugged him before he left us. We walked into the kitchen and I told Alex I would order us some Chinese food for supper but he needed to shower first and then we could sit and talk about everything. He grumbled but stood and made his way upstairs as I ordered our food and then made my way upstairs with my bag to have a shower to get rid of the plane smell I hated so much.

An hour later saw us both sitting on the floor in our sweats resting our back against the sofa as we ate our food ‘so little man I know you have questions.’ I said as I put my container and chop sticks on the table in front of us and turned to look at him. He did the same and we looked at each other before he asked ‘was Happy there mom?’

‘Yeah he was baby and I told him all about you. He would really like to meet you, they all would.’

‘Really, he wants to meet me?’ he said not bothering to mention the others but his eyes lit up at the knowledge.

‘Yeah Alex he does, I mean he was shocked when he found out but we talked a lot about you and he really does.’

‘That would be so cool mom, plus meeting the others too but he’s my dad.’

‘Yes he is,’

‘Tig said last night that he wants to meet me too when you left us to talk’ he said.

‘How do you feel about that cause I told them all that we had to take it at your pace and that if you felt like it was too much, calls and Skype sessions would have to do for now.’

‘I think I really like the idea but maybe could uncle Koz be there when I do?’ he asked as he bit his bottom lip looking unsure for the first time since we started talking. I pulled him to me and wrapped my arm around him and kissed his hair. ‘Baby I am sure he would, you know how much he loves you. I was thinking that instead of our usual three week vacation we could go to Charming for it and you could meet them all then if you feel your ready for it.’

He pulled out from under my arm to look at me again with a massive smile on his face ‘mom I think that is an awesome idea. Could we really?’ he asked. I just nodded as he launched himself at me and threw his arms around my neck hugging me. We sat like that for nearly an hour til I realised that his breathing had evened out and he had fallen asleep on me like he used to when he was little. I managed to pick him up and carry him upstairs to his bed and then back downstairs to sort out the trash and the dogs so they could sleep in his room knowing that when that was done I would ring Happy and let him know. It was nearly eleven pm here so I knew it was still early there but hopefully the usual Friday night party hadn’t gotten too out of control yet.


Happy

After seeing Lucy make it safely into the airport we all got on our bikes but I told Clay that if he didn’t need me for anything I was gonna go to Bakersfield and spend the weekend with ma. He told me that I could take the weekend and he would only ring me if it was an emergency.  I made the turning about an hour later and made my way to talk to the one person I could always tell exactly how I was feeling, plus Kozik had given me a few of the pictures of Alex he had in his kutte that I knew ma would love to see. As I pulled my bike up into the drive I was grateful that my aunt’s car wasn’t there, even though ma had been in remission for the last few years my aunt still called nearly everyday to check in much to ma’s displeasure. She hated being coddled even when she had cancer. I had just turned off my bike when I saw her walk onto the porch and smile at me. I got off my bike and made my way towards her. I didn’t say anything just pulled her to me to hug her. We made our way into the house going straight into the kitchen, it had always been our place to sit and talk about shit. She went to the fridge and pulled out two beers handing me one as she sat down opposite me and opened her’s smirking at me. ‘So want to tell me more about my grandson?’ she asked as she took a pull from her beer and I pulled out the pictures from my kutte and handed them over to her.

She looked at them for a few minutes and when she looked at me I could see tears in her eyes even though she was smiling at me. ‘Well he certainly is your son Hap. He is beautiful especially his eyes.’

‘Yeah I know, its a little freaky how much he looks like me ma.’

‘How you feeling about everything today baby?’

I couldn’t help the grin at her calling me that even now at nearly forty years old, if my brothers heard it I would never hear the end of it. ‘I am not really sure ma, I mean for fucks sake I have a ten year old son I never knew existed til yesterday. I am still not sure how the hell I am meant to get my head around it but I still want to met him.’ I said as I drained my beer and got up to get another one but ended up pacing the length of ma’s kitchen. ‘He might not even want to meet me, he has gone ten years without meant now suddenly he has this whole extended family. Lucy said that he knows all about us but just fuck!’ I stopped pacing to grip the counter and let my head drop.

I felt my ma’s hand on my back as she guided me back to the chair I had been sitting on. She went to the cupboard above the stove and got a bottle down then two glasses and came back over to the table. ‘Hap like I said last night on the phone Lucy did what she thought was right when she left, especially after you told me how you reacted to the news she was pregnant. She put her child first above her own happiness and that is a great sign of an amazing mother. She has always told him about you all from what you said so why wouldn’t he want to meet you all but especially you. You are his dad but it isn’t going to happen over night. All you can do is get to know him and be his friend. It will happen but it isn’t going to be immediately. These things take time but you are going to have more patience than you ever had before.’ she said pouring us both a large glass of whiskey and pushed one over to me as I pulled out my smokes and lit one.

‘Lucy said the same thing to me, I know you’re both right, it’s just a lot to take in. She said she would call when she got home, after she spoke to him about everything. Even mentioned that when school ends in a few weeks that instead of going on some random vacation they always take that maybe the both of them would come and spend a few weeks in Charming instead but in depends on Alex.’

‘She sounds like a smart woman Hap’ she smirked at me again.

‘Yeah like someone else I know’ I couldn’t help but smirk back.

‘I went out this morning and bought some steaks, you can grill them later for us.’

‘How did you know I would be here ma?’ I asked.

‘Because as much as you hate it my boy, I really do know you best and I knew that before it was dark and you were able to get away you would come home to talk to me.’ She said as she got up to get me an ashtray.

A few hours later saw us both sitting on the back porch after eating the steaks, we were still drinking the whiskey. Ma pulled out a joint for us to share as we sat and watched the sun starting to set not needing to talk. She knew that even at my age and everything I had done and was capable of doing I needed the peace and quiet that I only ever got when I turned up here. We were still sitting in silence together when I heard my cell phone ring in my jeans pocket, but it wasn’t my prepay it was the one I used for ma and Lucy was the only other person with the number.

‘Hey Lucy’ I said as I answered and my ma nodded at me and made her way back inside leaving me to talk in private.

‘Hey Hap, hope I am not interrupting the Friday night party.’

‘No I’m not in Charming. I came to see ma.’

‘Sorry I can call you tomorrow’ she said

‘No it’s fine, just needed someone to talk about everything with and that’s her.’

‘Oh, well if your sure you have time to talk Hap.’

‘I am, how was your flight, you get home ok?’

‘Yeah it was fine. Listen I spoke to Alex when I got home about everything and he is really excited to meet you. He wants to come to Charming for our vacation if that is still something you want.’

‘Really? Yeah, I mean I am still not sure how to be someone’s dad but like you and ma said I have to be his friend first right.’

‘Exactly Hap, I mean don’t expect him to call you dad at first, he has always called you Happy but he knows you are his dad.’

‘I can understand that, when are you thinking of coming down then?’ I asked wanting to change the subject. I still couldn’t get my head around the fact that I was actually some kid’s father.

‘Well, he finishes school in two weeks and I have the first three weeks off, so I was thinking we could catch a flight out on the Saturday and take it from there. I will need to sort somewhere out to stay cause there is no way in hell he is sleeping in those dorms.’ she laughed down the phone and I couldn’t stop the small laugh that escaped at the horror I could hear in her tone.

‘You could stay at my house.’ I offered without even thinking about it.

‘What?’

‘Listen, I have a three bedroomed house in Charming. You could both stay there and I will move into the dorms for however long you’re here for.’

‘Shit Happy, I can’t kick you outta your house, I can just rent us a room at the motel on the outskirts of town.’

‘Like hell you will Lucy’ I couldn’t help but bark down the phone then realised how it sounded so I tried to soften my voice before speaking again. ‘Sorry, but seriously it isn’t a problem, I spend most nights at the dorms anyway. Plus you know it will be clean and tidy for you both.’

‘Yeah I remember that the only thing we ever seemed to agree on was how OCD we both were about stuff even back then.’

‘Exactly so please just think about it ok, I know Tig will offer his place but well even though he’s your dad he’s still Tig.’ I said causing her to laugh for over a minute down the phone making me smile.

Once she had calmed down she spoke again. ‘I will think about it and mention it to Alex in the morning. Right now I am tired so I am gonna go but I will ring you in a few days if that is ok with you?’

‘It’s fine Lucy and thanks for ringing me please think about my offer too.’

‘I will Hap, goodnight.’

‘Goodnight Lucy’ I said as I hung up and put my phone on the table. I picked up my glass and drained it as my ma walked back out and took her seat again and put another bottle of whisky between us.

‘So what did she say?’

‘She said Alex wants to meet me and that they will come to Charming for a few weeks when he finishes school’ I said as I poured myself more whisky.

‘Well that’s a good thing Hap. I mean from what you told me about her and from what I remember when I met her she is just as strong headed as you so it obviously means the boy is too, so if he didn’t want to meet you I don’t think she would have forced him.’

‘I know ma, it’s me that may not be ready. I mean what the hell am I meant to say to him if he asks where the hell I have been for the last ten years.’

‘Well you said last night that when he asked before that Lucy told him the truth about you not knowing so just that. There is no point letting yourself all worked up for the next few weeks and stewing in your own negative thoughts. I know that is what you are likely do it despite what I say but please try. Kids pick up on these things a lot better than adults do, especially if he is as bad as you were when you were a kid. I could always tell when you didn’t believe me when I said I hadn’t had a bad day.’

‘Yeah I remember that. I will try but I can’t make any promises ma.’

‘That’s all you can do son. Right I am going to bed so you lock up whenever you’re finished ok?’

‘Ok ma goodnight’ I said as she kissed my cheek and went back inside leaving me to think on everything.


Lucy

I woke up the next day without my alarm even going off again, but with it being a Saturday I let Alex sleep in a little later knowing that we didn’t have to be at the garage til eleven, so I made myself a coffee and sat outside on the back deck thinking about the last few days. I thought about Happy’s offer to stay in his house when we visited Charming. When I told him over the phone that I would have to talk Alex it wasn’t exactly the truth, I mean I would, but it was more about how I would feel staying there. For years we argued and fought whenever we came into contact with each other. Constantly throwing insults at each other. The one time we never did was when we had one night together that resulted in me being pregnant and leaving Charming for a little over ten years. I really wasn’t sure how to get my head around the change between us even if we hadn’t seen each other in so long.  I guess we had both changed over the years. I had always been opinionated and was known for not taking anyone’s shit. I mean for Christ sake I was not only Alex Trager’s daughter but from the age of four I was raised by a group of bikers who swore like sailors and had taught me to stand up for myself and never back down from a challenge, that was without Gemma instilling in me that one day I would be an old lady and despite what the men said it was us that where that where the backbone of the club. I really didn’t think he expected me to tell him straight when he asked about meeting Alex but I had meant every word. As much as I didn’t want to I guess I would have to talk about it with him when we next spoke otherwise we would be likely sleeping at the clubhouse cause Happy was right, I was not subjecting my son to the kinky shit Tig no doubt had lying around his house, I had seen enough of that shit when I was a teenager. I decided that whilst Alex was still asleep to get my laptop as well as another coffee and see about booking the flights for going back. The next hour saw me booking two flights out but I decided to wait to book the return flights as I didn’t know if we would be spending the whole three weeks there or not, then making breakfast before going to wake up Alex so we could both eat.

Just before eleven saw us waking into the garage with Alex running off to see a few of the guys who were working today and me going into the office to talk to Matt about everything that had happened in Charming. Over the next thirty minutes and a coffee saw me telling him everything that occurred. He got up to refill our cups as he asked ‘so you’re going back there in a few weeks then?’

‘Yeah, I talked to little man last night and he really wants to go and meet Happy.’

‘I’m glad, I mean I know you were dreading it the other morning before you went to the airport but see I was right it all worked out didn’t it’ he said smugly as he turned back round and handed me my cup.

‘Yeah smartass you were right. Happy now?’

He laughed as we walked out of the office and towards the garage. ‘I am Lucy more than you know. I told you after Tig left a few months ago that it was time you talked to him about everything. I could tell over the years that you had not only missed your dad but the lot of them. It will be good for you to have them back in your life and it will be amazing for Alex to get to know the rest of his extended family.’

‘I know it will but that doesn’t stop me from being nervous about it.’

‘Of course you’re nervous but from how you told me it went you have nothing to worry about, I would offer to come with you but this place would grid to a halt if we both left.’ he said as we walked over to our bays which were next to each.

‘Yeah you’re right, plus Alex asked if Koz could come so I text him last night, I haven’t heard anything back yet but thanks Matt really for offering’ I said as I started working on the bike that some dick had managed to fuck by riding it full speed the day he bought it having never been on a bike before.

When I took a break about three I checked to see where Alex was and couldn’t help but get my phone to snap a picture of him and Hank as they were both face first in an engine. I called his name before I took it and captured him looking up at me grinning with smudges of grease on both cheeks and his forehead. I made my way back to the office to grab a water and noticed I had a few messages on my cell so sat down to read them as I took a long drink. The first one was from Koz saying that he would talk to Lee and get back to me but that it shouldn’t be a problem for at least the first week as he was going back down to Charming mid week anyway so a few days shouldn’t make a difference and that he would call me later. So I didn’t bother replying knowing he would ring me tonight. The next was from Gemma asking me how my chat with Alex had gone and I suddenly remembered I meant to call her last night but forgot so I quickly hit reply and told her that we were ago for coming to Charming and that I would ring her on Monday and tell her the plan. The last one was from Happy which I hadn’t expected after talking to him just last night but opened it anyway. He asked that would there be a chance that I could email some pictures of Alex to his mom when I had the chance and he attached her email address too. I hit reply again and said I would send her some either tonight or tomorrow, I included the one I had just took in the garage and that I would call or text him when I had sent them. As I got up to walk back out to the garage Alex came into the office with his backpack and told me he was going to have his lunch, I just chuckled at him and nodded. 

At six thirty that evening we walked back into the house both of us carrying bags from the grocery store and whilst I started unpacking the food, Alex took the dogs out back to play with them. They had a dog door that the brood used during the day but he always took them outside when it was nice to play with them when I made dinner on an evening. Over dinner we talked about this and that but nothing of importance til I was sitting a bowl of ice cream in front of him for his dessert whilst I had a beer. ‘So I text your uncle Koz last night and he will be in Charming during the time we are there, he is going to speak to his boss about coming down a few days early but he might not be with us for the full time’ I said as he was shovelling ice cream into his mouth like it was going to be taken away at any second.

After he swallowed he said ‘that’s great mom. I really do want to meet them but is it wrong to want uncle Koz there with us?’

‘Not at all baby, it has be overwhelming for you, even though you have always known about them it’s a lot to take in and I for one am pleased he will be there too. Apart from uncle Matt he is my best friend.’

‘Where are we going to stay when we get to Charming mom?’

‘Well that’s another thing I wanted to talk about with you. Happy has said that we can stay at his house and that he will stay at the club house. How do you feel about that?’

‘He doesn’t mind us staying there does he?’ he asked as he finished his bowl of ice cream.

‘Trust me Alex, Happy is not the type of man to say something he doesn’t mean but I am going to talk to him about it when I speak to him next. He sent me a message today and his mom wants to see some more pictures of you. Uncle Kozik gave him some of the ones he carries in his kutte and he is staying with his mom this weekend and showed them to her. I was thinking of sending them some of the ones I have from when you were a baby’ I laughed as he groaned and stood up to take his bowl to the sink.

‘Mom really, that’s like so embarrassing.’

‘Well it’s either I send them to them or I take all the albums in my suitcase then everyone will see them.’

‘Fine but please not the naked ones from bath times please.’ he begged.

‘I make no promises now go shower and I will sort out this lot’ I said gesturing to the kitchen and feeding the dogs. He huffed as he walked out to go upstairs to his room.

By nine that night saw me sitting with my laptop at the kitchen table while Alex was upstairs playing something online and talking to his friends as I opened a new email and got the address from the message Happy had sent me earlier. I decided to attach a few pictures from every year of his life so far including the ones from every one of his birthdays too. I hit send after I had wrote a small note about them as well as giving her my landline number and the best times to catch me in the house with the time difference. I texted Happy to tell him I had sent them because I wasn’t in the mood to speak to him again so soon, but vowed to myself that I would ring him during the week and talk about where we would be staying when we got to Charming.

Just as I was settling down on the sofa with another beer to see if there was anything to watch my phone chimed with a message and I opened it to see it was from Koz telling me that he couldn’t talk but it was all sorted for him to come to Charming for at least the first week and that he would meet us at the airport on the Saturday, all I had to do was text him the flight details and that he would ring me in the next few days. I simply replied for him to be careful and that we both loved him.

Over the next week things pretty much went back to normal for us with me going to the garage everyday and Alex going to school and getting dropped off there in the afternoons. The only thing that differed was the messages a few times a day from Charming. I still hadn’t managed to speak to Happy again yet but I promised I would do it by the weekend. I had spoken to Gemma on Monday and she was just as shocked as I was when I told her what Happy had offered but also agreed that he wouldn’t have said it if he didn’t mean it, so that helped me realise that maybe we should stay at his place but I wouldn’t make up my mind until I had spoke to Happy about it. On Friday Alex had a sleepover planned at his best friend Aj’s house so after I dropped him off I went to the store to buy myself some wine so I could have a relaxing bath in peace. I was just about  to get in the bath when I heard the door bell start to ring so as I grumbled under my breath and put my robe on I made my way downstairs telling the dogs to go outside. Which they did and looked through the peephole to see my dad and Happy standing on the porch. I swung open the front door. ‘What the fuck are you two doing here? You both look like shit too.’ I said as I pulled the door open wider and gestured them both inside. Tig just grinned at me as he walked past and dropped a kiss on my head as he went and Happy just shook his head and shrugged his shoulders at me as he walked past. They followed me into the kitchen and I pulled out three beers out of the fridge and turned to see them sitting at my table. ‘Seriously is everything ok?’ I asked as I passed them the beer.

‘Luce everything is fine’ Tig said taking a long pull from the bottle. ‘We had some business to take care of in New York and thought we would stop in on the way back to Charming.’ Happy scoffed at this which caused Tig to laugh. ‘Well I did and dragged Hap here with me as we are not meant to travel back alone. Where is Alex?’ he asked as he looked around my kitchen.

‘At a sleepover with his friend. I take it you guys are gonna want to crash here tonight?’ I asked still in shock that they had turned up on my door step but I could tell that it was not Happy’s idea and that he was only here because he would never let my dad ride alone.

‘Yes’ Tig said as Happy said ‘no.’

‘Well I tell you what I am going to put some clothes on then order some food so while I am upstairs the pair of you make up your mind. I have a spare room with two beds in it so there is enough room. At least stay and eat with me.’ I said as I walked out of the room to put some sweats on so I wasn’t practically naked in front of them both. As I walked upstairs I knew that if the both of them decided to stay I would ring Alex and ask him if he wanted to come home because he would not be impressed if I didn’t at least give him the option. I walked back downstairs in sweats and a vest top and I could hear them arguing about something but trying not to shout. I didn’t stop just waked back into the kitchen and went to the fridge to get more beers. ‘Right if you are staying I will ring Alex and ask him if he wants to come home because he will be annoyed with me if I don’t. So tell me you have both stopped bickering about it and have made up your minds.’ I said smirking at them both and got two matching smirks back.

‘We are staying Lucy if you really don’t mind, I tried telling him.’ Happy said gesturing at Tig ‘that you wanted to take it slow but with you coming to Charming next week and with us both being close he said that he was coming whether I followed him or not.’

‘Well as much as I hate to agree with Tig’ I said not even looking away from Happy ‘it might actually be better for him to meet you both on his turf rather than in Charming and plus your right he would have turned up here with or without you. So let me ring Alex and see what he wants to do ok?’

‘You both realise that I am still sitting here right?’ Tig huffed but when we both turned to look at him he was grinning at me knowing he had won and people wondered why I was as stubborn as I was. I got up and grabbed my cell off the counter and rang Alex, he answered on the third ring. ‘Hey mom, you ok?’ he asked before I could say anything.

‘I’m fine baby don’t worry but after I dropped you off I had two very unexpected visitors and wondered if you wanted to come and meet them?’

‘Erm well who is it?’ he asked sounding nervous as I never normally rang him when he was at a sleepover with AJ.

‘Tig and Happy are here baby, they had some business in New York and decided to stop by to meet you.’

‘Oh wow mom can I come home?’ he asked and I knew he was excited by the way his voice pitched high. I could tell that he was already packing his stuff back into his bag.

‘Of course, let me talk to Kelly real quick while you finish packing your stuff up so she knows what is going on ok.’

‘Ok mom, see you.’ I heard him run done the stairs and shout for Kelly.

After a brief chat with Kelly explaining why Alex wanted to come she said she would see me soon. I had met Kelly in one of my pregnancy classes and we hit it off immediately. She was a few years older than me but we were both single mothers and had been close friends ever since.

‘Right’ I said looking back at them both ‘I am going to pick Alex up, there is a pizza take out menu on the fridge, me and Alex like a pepperoni and sausage pizza and some chicken strips. Order whatever else you want and there is cash in the jar by the sink to pay for it if it gets here before I get back.’ which got me two eye rolls from them. ‘I will be back in about thirty minutes but before I go let me introduce you to the dogs so they know you both aren’t a threat’ I said and made my way to the back door.

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