Chapter Ten

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Lucy

I had just finished the bacon when everyone walked into the kitchen and Gemma made a beeline straight for the coffee as the others sat around the table all looking half asleep still. Gemma got four cups and started making everyone a coffee whilst I went to the fridge and got some juice for Alex before we sat at the table and everyone started putting food on their plates. It was decided when we were eating that I would take Alex, Gemma and Koz in my car to the airport and that Tig would ring someone from the New York charter to meet them at the airport to pick up the bikes that had been loaned to them. Everyone but Happy filed out of the kitchen to go get ready and as I was clearing the table he spoke. ‘You sure you don’t want to come home with us Lucy?’ he asked as I was loading the dishwasher with my back to him.

‘Hap, I am home and I have so much to do to start sorting through all of Matt’s stuff, plus I have to go see the lawyer again sometime this week to sign more shit about his will.’

‘You know what I mean’ he said and I didn’t hear him move but he was right behind me as I straightened up and turned to look at him.

‘I have things here I need to do, I can’t just drop everything to go halfway across the country for a few weeks Hap. I trust you to keep Alex safe so just drop it ok?’ I said as he glared at me, but I wasn’t backing down.

‘I don’t like the idea of you here by yourself’ he finally said as he lent back against the island and crossed his arms over his chest.

‘Jesus Happy I have been alone here before. I am more than capable of looking after myself, I have been doing it for long enough. I don’t know where this sudden macho bullshit has come from but knock it off alright. I don’t need anyone to try and rescue me. I am fine.’ I said through clenched teeth as I walked out of the kitchen and away from him. Tig and Koz were watching cartoons as I walked past them, but I didn’t stop as I made my way upstairs to make sure Alex wasn’t putting stuff in his duffel that he would never need, but I didn’t miss the way the pair of them had smirked at me obviously hearing at least some of what me and Happy had talked about. When I got to the top of the stairs Alex was walking out of his room dressed and dragging the duffel behind him. ‘Leave it baby, I need to check it again and then I will bring it down’ I said. He just nodded at me, walked past me and down the stairs as Gemma came out of the bathroom and followed me into his room.

‘You ok Lucy?’ she asked as she checked her bag.

‘I’m fine Gem, just Happy trying to pull some macho shit about me being here alone.’

‘So he is finally realising then?’ was all she said still with her back to me.

‘I’m not sure I want you to even explain what that means.’ I said as I sat on the end of Alex’s bed with a sigh.

‘What I mean is’ she said walking towards me and sitting next to me ‘is that he is starting to see you in a completely different way than he did all those years ago.’

‘What the bitch that he wanted to choke out every time we came within feet of each other?’

‘No’ she laughed ‘the bitch that has always stood up to him and never backed down or bowed to his every command. The bitch that has always went toe to toe with him even when you were sixteen years old. The woman who has given him the best thing that he has ever had in his life which is his son and finally Luce the woman I do believe he is falling in love with.’

‘Gemma whatever shit you smoked this morning on the sly must be some strong stuff cause there is no way that man feels anything like that for me. We barely tolerate each other and even that is for Alex’s sake.’

‘Lucy you have no idea how the two of you have always looked at each other, even when ya both being stubborn assholes about things or throwing insults at each other. We have all been able to see it for years when you lived in Charming. Christ baby it was Tig who first ever mentioned it and we all know that he said he would kill anyone that came near you.’

‘I honestly don’t think that is the case Gemma, but if I am being honest with you Maris said something similar to me when we went to see her in Bakersfield, but I said holding up at hand when she smirked at me ‘with everything else going around my head whatever attraction is there is the last thing on my mind.’

‘I know Lucy but just don’t block it out is all I am saying, I remember how good you always were about putting things in boxes in your head and pushing them to one side. Maybe try and get things straight in your head over the next few weeks without having to worry about Alex for once and I know as a mom its not that easy but just try if not for you then him ok?’

‘Yeah ok Gem’ I said.

‘Now want to tell me what happened when he followed you up here yesterday?’ she asked as I stood up.

‘Not a chance’ I said causing her to laugh as I walked out of the room carrying Alex’s duffel over my shoulder.

Within the hour saw us all making our way to the airport and I knew Happy wasn’t well happy with me about our conversation, but I was honest when I told him I had a lot of things to sort out in the next few weeks. When we pulled in we saw the guys from New York, but Happy and Tig talked to them for a few minutes as I found a place in the short term to park and when we were walking towards them they were pulling out so we made our way into the airport. I hugged Alex extra hard and told him I wanted a call every night, he just nodded as he squeezed me longer than he had in a while. I got hugs off Gemma and Tig, when I got to Happy he looked at me with a look I hadn’t seen on his face before pulling me to him and hugging me as well. Koz was getting a later flight back to Washington so we were going to grab a coffee while the others walked through the gate and I fought the tears that were filling my eyes when Alex turned back and waved at me before disappearing through it.

Happy

When we landed Clay was there in Gemma’s SUV to pick us up and after brief hugs we made our way back to Charming, with him stopping at my house so we could drop off Alex’s bag on the way to the garage. Alex had been quiet since we left Lucy at the airport in Boston but I didn’t push him to talk. I knew he was a little nervous about leaving her and being here without her. Once we got to TM Clay said that we needed to have church so Alex went with Gemma into the office while we headed into the chapel after Clay. Once we were caught up with club business I headed outside to see Alex and found him in the garage with Lowell working on a car. Gemma walked up beside me where I was standing smoking. ‘You ok Hap?’ she asked as she lit her own.

‘Yeah’ was all I said still not being able to put a name to the feeling and thoughts swirling around my head as I continued to watch Alex.

‘Well just remember that I am here if ya need an ear’ she said before walking back over to the office.

A few hours later we pulled into the store to get some food on my bike and the prospect following us in my truck so he could take them to mine for me. We were walking around the store me pushing the cart and Alex putting things he liked in when he looked at me. ‘Dad, mom will be ok sorting things out back home right?’

‘Alex’ I said looking down into his worried face ‘she will be fine. She has to start sorting out Matt’s house as well as go talk to the lawyers again. You heard what she said she will ring you every night and you can call her whenever you want to.’

‘Yeah ok dad, I just have never been away from her for more than one night when I have a sleepover, I know I’m being a baby about things’ he said and went to walk away down the cereal aisle but I grabbed his shoulder and turned him around to look at me, hoping that what I was going to say to him wasn’t the wrong thing.

‘Alex listen to me’ I said when he finally lifted his head and looked at me a slight blush on his face. ‘You are not being a baby, she is your mom and you love her and want to protect her, just like I do with my mom. It is ok to miss her when you are here with me and not in Boston, if you want to go home just say the word and I will book flights home. It won’t upset me if you want to go home son.’ He just looked up at me before throwing his arms around my middle and hugging me, I didn’t care that we were in the middle of the store or that people were staring at us, I hugged him back as I felt his shoulder shake as he cried into my kutte. After a few minutes he pulled away and muttered a ‘thanks dad’ as he darted down the aisle and came back carrying two boxes of cereal, he grinned at me as he dumped them in the cart neither of us mentioning again what had just happened.

The next day we were at TM when I saw my aunt’s car pull into the lot and Alex darted out of the garage when he noticed my ma step out of the passenger side and hugged her as I wiped my hands and slowly walked over to them as my aunt got out the drivers side and smiled at me. I knew my aunt wouldn’t stay long but we all went over to the benches and I dropped a kiss on ma’s head. I sat opposite her and Alex who were still both talking a mile a minute to each other. Within the hour my aunt left to go back to Bakersfield, I handed my ma the keys to my truck so she could drive herself back to mine and Alex said he wanted to go with her.

When I got home a few hours later I walked into the house to hear laughter coming from the kitchen and when I walked in Alex had a massive smile on his face as he was drying the dishes, when I looked at ma she just winked at me and kept on doing the dishes. ‘Ma I have a dishwasher ya know’ I said.

‘We dirty it, we clean it’ Alex said and I couldn’t help but smirk at the two of them because that is what she used to say to me when I was his age as I walked over to the fridge to grab a beer.

Later that night after we had eaten dinner and thankfully ma had used the dishwasher, Alex said he was going for a shower and to ring his mom before reading for awhile in bed, ma got a hug and me a fist bump before he made his way to the bathroom, me and ma went on to the back porch to smoke and share another drink together.

‘So Hap wanna tell me why you sounded so weird the other day on the phone?’ she asked as she pulled a joint from her pocket, lit it up and took a deep drag.

‘Some shit happened when we were in Boston’ I said and took the joint when she offered it to me.

‘I gather you mean between you and Lucy.’

‘Yeah, when I got there the pair of them were in bed as it was really late and ma all I could think about was getting to them, not just Alex. I climbed into bed with them desperate to be there. Lucy never mentioned anything and the next day Alex wanted us both close, so that is how we slept the whole time I was there bar the last night when she fell asleep on the sofa out of pure exhaustion.’

‘Right well I can’t see how that is a problem, you care for them and wanted to be strong for them.’

‘Yeah but I get that I feel that way about Alex he’s my kid and I love him. It’s the shit that’s in my head when it comes to Lucy that I can’t seem to get straight. The day of the funeral she slipped away and I went to make sure she was ok, when I saw her standing there sobbing and falling apart all I wanted to do was to make it all better for her, to take away all the pain she was feeling and then when she calmed down we kissed and then she ran outta there like the fucking devil was about to catch her’ I said and she chuckled a little as I glared at her.

‘Hap my boy I am not laughing at your feelings, I am laughing at just how much you reminded me of ya dad right then’ she said which shocked me as she very rarely talked about him anymore and I knew she still struggled to this day with his death when I was a toddler. ‘He too didn’t know how to grasp his emotions when it came to matters of the heart and I will say to you what his ma said to him all those years ago. Pull ya head outta ya ass and realise what is right in front of you. Just because you have never been in love before doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to see it when it’s literally staring you in the eye.’

‘Jesus Christ ma, I ain’t in love with her’ I growled as I got up to pace the length of the porch, pulling a joint out of my pocket this time and lighting it.

‘Ok well tell me this son, when you first get up in the morning since you found out about him who is it after him that you think of or last thing at night or any random time during the day. You may think I am full of shit right now but trust me on this Happy you love that girl, you may even have loved her all those years ago but then wasn’t the time for either of you then. You were both too stubborn and young to see just how good you could have been together, if only you hadn’t both fought the attraction with barbs and insults being thrown at each other whenever you were in the same room together.’

Everything she had just said to me started swirling around in my head as I slumped back into my chair and continued smoking the joint not even offering her any. Fuck was she right, was I in love with Lucy? Had I been for all these years and was only just realising it now. I mean I always thought she was hot when she lived in Charming and I had wanted to fuck her since she was sixteen but it was that night in the clubhouse that had finally pushed me over the edge when she walked into my dorm room not realising it was mine and whipped off that tank top wiping out any self control I had left. I could admit to myself even now that every time she refused to back down from an argument with me never failed to get me hard. Jesus Christ she is right, fuck ma is right I am in love with her and I left her all alone in Boston whilst she is going through all this and to top it off I took our son with me.

‘Happy look at me’ ma said squeezing my hand ‘listen, I can see all the doubt crossing your face as you think it, don’t do anything rash and well very un you like. You need time to process this and think everything through before you even consider telling her, not only for her but for Alex as well. She has just lost her best friend and isn’t in the right place emotionally for you to be telling her any of this. I know how you get when you have your mind made up about something but this time you are going to have to put her feelings and emotional state above your own right now. Wait til she comes here to pick Alex up and have a conversation about things, see where she is in her grief and for god sake don’t just start making demands cause I know from the little time I have spent with her that it will only make her dig her heels in and do the exact opposite of what you say just to piss you off even if she does feel the same way about things ok.’

I just looked at her, taking in everything she was saying to me but being unable to form any words about what I was currently feeling so I just nodded at her. She stood up to give me a hug before saying she was going to turn in for the night and that she would see me in the morning and made her way inside. She was staying in my room and I was taking the couch til I had time to sort out the third bedroom and make in into another guest room now that Alex had his own permanently here. I sat out there for hours thinking about everything not able to turn my brain off. Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to get any sleep I made my way into the kitchen hours later to make another pot of coffee, going back outside once it was done taking that and a whole pack of smokes with me.

Ma stayed through til Monday and Alex was either with me at the garage, with her at the house or out and about in Charming. I was thankful that even though I never really stopped thinking about what we had talked about on the porch her first night here she never brought it up again. Years of never giving anything away unless I wanted it to be known also helped me keep everything under wraps from my brothers. I knew ma was right and now was not the time to lay it all on the line with Lucy. We had sent a few texts back and forth but never spoken since I left Boston but she did talk to Alex every night.

Alex had been here with me for two weeks when my burner rang whilst I was in the garage with Alex and Tig working on a car, even though I didn’t recognise the number I answered it anyway as we tended to change numbers often in the club but what I wasn’t expecting when I answered was to hear Hank’s Boston accent down the line asking me if I had a minute to talks to him, so I excused myself and walked around behind the garage and sat on the old pile of tires to talk to him.

‘Hey Hank what’s up?’ I asked after making sure I was alone. I had given him my number when we were working in the garage in Boston and told him to call if there was ever a problem with Alex or Lucy, but honestly never thought he would ring me over ringing Koz about anything relating to Lucy.

‘Hey man, sorry to call but I am at a loose here about what to do’ he said.

‘What’s going on?’

‘I came to check on Lucy since for the past week I haven’t seen her and bad, it’s really bad. I have tried to get her to talk to me but she just keeps telling me she is fine and that she is still processing everything, but it looks like she isn’t sleeping and I can tell that in the last few weeks she has lost a shit ton of weight. She is clearly anything but fine man. I honestly don’t know whether to call a doctor or not, she looked at me and it was like her eyes were looking right through me not even registering that I was standing in front of her. I didn’t know whether to ring you or Koz, but then I remembered what you said when we were in the garage about wanting to be there for them both. I really think you, Tig or Koz might have better luck getting through to her than me. She really seems to be on a slippery slope here and she ain’t willing to let me help her man’ he said and I could hear the panic in his voice.

‘Shit Hank, I will go talk to Tig and Gemma and get back to you soon and Koz wouldn’t have answered anyway cause I know he is on his way here. I will call you soon and Hank thanks for ringing.’

‘No problem, I am gonna go home but will speak to you soon Happy. Bye.’

I walked towards the club house stuffing my phone in my pocket after not seeing Tig or Alex in the garage nor Gemma in the office. All three of them were sitting in the club house watching Jax and Opie playing pool. ‘Gem, Tig can I have a word please?’ I asked as I made my way over to them gesturing with my head towards the chapel where Clay was sitting looking at papers with Bobby. They both nodded and followed me in and I closed the door behind me making Clay look up at me and ask ‘What’s going on?’

‘Sorry to disturb but I just had Hank on the phone, he is running the garage for Lucy and he went over to check on her since she hasn’t been to the garage in a week and he says she’s in a really bad way. Pretty much not sleeping or eating and that she looked right through him telling him she was fine without even registering that he was in front of her’ I told them as they all said shit at the same time as Tig got back up and started pacing the length of the table.

‘Right, well I am going back up there and dragging her ass back here whether she wants it or not’ he ranted as he continued to pace and before I could say anything it was Clay who spoke next.

‘Tig brother I get it man she’s your kid and you want her here but I don’t think you going up there and starting to make demands is going to help at all. Remember when you went when she was in hospital, you had to be removed by security.’

‘He’s right Tig’ Gemma said from where she was standing behind Clay her hand on his shoulder. ‘I think Happy should be the one to go. She knows that he is keeping Alex safe and trusts him to do that and currently she doesn’t have anyone there do to that for her since Matt died. I know she is close to Koz but I don’t think sending him is the right answer either. She needs someone in her corner just for her right now and Clay is right you going in half cocked making demands is not going to end well for anyone involved but especially her and Alex. Let Happy go and bring her back here for a few weeks. Hank can manage the garage and it will do her good to get away from everything that reminds her about what she has lost.’

Tig nodded defeated but didn’t look remotely pleased with what had just been said at all. ‘You better bring her home Happy, Alex can come stay at my place for a few days and before anyone says anything, it’s cleaned and there is no kinky shit lying around ok.’ I couldn’t help but smirk at what he said cause he knew that I was the least of his worries if he exposed Alex to that side of him, Lucy would literally cut his balls off, feed them to one of her dogs and do it with a smile on her face the entire time.

‘Ok I will go but lets just tell Alex that I have to leave town for a few days on club stuff, he knew that it could happen and that if and when he would be staying with either Gemma or Tig. I will get Juice to book me the flight out but not the return cause I have a feeling we might be driving back’ I said but hid my shudder at the thought of being in a cage whilst driving literally across the country.

When we all filed out of the chapel Alex was now playing against Jax with Opie giving him pointers and Juice was in his usual corner surrounded by his tech stuff. I quietly asked him to book me one ticket on the soonest flight to Boston, he looked between Alex and me but just nodded his head and started clicking away as I walked over to Alex and explained that I had to go out of town for a few days but that he would be staying with Tig til I was back. He just nodded at me as he went to pocket the black, actual nailed it and won the game getting high fives off both Jax and Opie.

An hour later saw me hugging Alex goodbye and climbing into the van with Tig as we made our way to the airport for me to catch my flight out to Boston. I had rang Hank to tell him I was on my way and insisted that I didn’t need him to pick me up from the airport as it would be early morning when I arrived and I would just grab a cab to get to Lucy’s house. We didn’t speak much in the van but when Tig dropped me off told me again to bring his baby home as I was exiting the van. Thankfully my flight was on time and I was sat next to a older guy who didn’t talk to me at all during the flight.

Getting a cab was easy enough and just after five am I was pulling in Lucy’s street and I wasn’t surprised to see all the lights on when I got out and walked up the path to her porch and knocked gently on the door before I turned the handle and it opened, I would address her not locking the doors later.  After I dumped my bag, kicked off my boots and shushed the dogs as they barked at me, I walked into the living room as I could hear the tv on but was in no way prepared for the sight that greeted me. She didn’t even turn and look at me as I walked towards where she was sitting on the couch with the dogs who had turned from me when they all realised I wasn’t a threat. I sat on the table in front of where she was staring at the wall oblivious still to me being in her house til I touched her knee and she looked up at me her eyes suddenly going wide as she looked around the room. ‘Hap, where’s Alex?’ she said and it sounded as if she hadn’t spoken in awhile from how scratchy her voice sounded.

‘He’s fine Lucy, he is still in Charming, staying with Tig for a few days. Hank called me yesterday and said you weren’t doing so good.’

‘I’m fine really’ she said but was now looking at the wall again.

‘Lucy you are clearly not fine. Clearly you haven’t eaten in awhile. I can tell you have lost weight without you having to even stand up.’ I said but I simply got a shrug from her and she silently began to cry causing me to move from in front of her to beside her and pull her into my side. Christ the feelings this woman was able to pull outta me was actually kinda scary not that I would ever admit that to anyone, her especially. The only woman who I had ever felt this protective of was ma. Soon I heard her breathing even out I knew she had fallen asleep on me so I moved and picked her up carrying her to bed so she could get some sleep whilst I rang Gemma and made plans to bring her back to Charming whether she wanted to come or not. For once she was going to do as she was told and be with her family when she needed them the most.

Gemma had told me to call no matter the time so I wasn’t surprised that she didn’t sound sleepy when she answered her phone after only one ring. ‘Hey Hap, how is she?’

‘Hey Gem, well it isn’t good that’s for sure. She is asleep at the minute but Christ Gem the front door wasn’t even locked when I got here at 5 in the fucking morning. She is a mess Gem, I am bringing her back whether she wants to or not at this point. I am gonna pack her shit whilst she is asleep if I have to.’

‘Hap just remember that she ain’t the Lucy we are all used to at the minute ok.’

‘Yeah I know Gem but I ain’t messing around either, she needs to come home for at least a little while.’

‘I agree, but just remember what I’ve said Hap, call me when you have everything sorted ok?’

‘Will do Gem bye.’ I said hanging up before dialling Hank and telling him that I was taking her back with me for a few weeks, he assured me that he would keep the garage going, that Lucy’s truck was at the garage and that if she wanted to take the dogs with her that he could drop it off for me in a few hours.

At this point I didn’t care how we would get back to Charming, I need to grab a few hours sleep and then talk to Lucy about it all, but I had no problem driving us back if she wanted to bring the dogs with us, even if it did mean driving a cage across the damn country to do it.  I needed to make sure she was ok and I couldn’t do that with her being here and me in Charming so she would just have to accept that she was coming with me.

After making sure everything was locked this time I lay on the sofa and closed my eyes cause as much as I wanted to go crawl into bed with Lucy now was not the time for me to do anything but make sure she came to Charming with me.

I woke up a few hours later to the smell of coffee and found Lucy sitting in the kitchen with a cup in front of her and was relieved when she actually turned and looked at me when I walked in, she had obviously had a shower as her hair was wet. I went and sat opposite her when I had poured myself a cup. ‘Lucy I ain’t fighting you on this but I am telling you right now you’re coming back to Charming with me.’ I said expecting her to point blank refuse and fight with me but what shocked the shit out of me more was her just nodding her head in agreement as she got up to pour herself more coffee. ‘I can’t leave the dogs though, nobody to watch em’ she said with her back to me and I knew she meant that Matt had always looked after them when she went away.

‘Figured as much Lucy but you have that truck that will fit them in, it would only take us three days max to drive it.’

‘Yeah ok Hap, but it will only be for a week or so as Alex starts school again soon.’

‘I know Luc’ I said as she sat back down at the table to drink her coffee.





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