Walking into Tellar-Morrow, Abel felt the familiar sense of coming home. Heading into the clubhouse, Abel nodded to Kenny Winston having coffee with the two new prospects. Before heading to his room at the back of the clubhouse, Abel saw his father sitting at the table inside the chapel. Sticking his head inside the door, he saw his dad sitting there with his familiar leather journal in front of him. Abel recognized the look of concentration on his ol’ man’s face. “Morning Dad” he greeted before taking a seat next to him at the table. Abel respected the weight that presidency placed squarely on his dad’s shoulder’s.” While SAMCRO had always been outlaws, he knew his dad was always looking for ways to take them legit. As his dad’s VP, he knew how his dad struggled with every decision.
Closing his journal, Jax looked into his son’s face, “Morning Abel,” he smiled “Did your mom reach you about Rachael?” He asked with that same fatherly smile.
“Yeah, I promised to pick up the little rug-rat after school.” Abel smirked. Like Tara, Jax was proud of his children. He could not have asked for finer sons. They honored him every day with their love and respect for their mother and sister. “It should be a light day around here, your “Uncle” Chibbs and I have a meeting with Alvarez in about an hour to discuss the new Mayan deal.” Jax reminded him. “Juice is updating the servers over at Cara-Cara. I imagine Tig will be with him most of the day.”
Abel laughed “Are you sure the girls at Cara-Cara are cold enough for “Uncle” Tig?” he chortled. Jax just smirked in reply. “Opie and Bobby are still up at the warehouse working things out. Your gramma’s gonna work the office today. So you and Kenny just keep things moving in the garage.” Jax instructed. Standing to go, “Yeah dad absolutely,” stated Abel turning towards the door.
Jax thought for just a second stopping Abel before he could open the door. “Son, it’s not my business, I know you’re a grown man, but your mom and I are a little concerned about this girl you’re spending so much time with lately.” Oh the beauty of an ultra-protective over involved family thought Abel ruefully. Unwilling to discuss it at this point, Abel simply answered “She’s not a crow-eater Dad, tell mom not to worry.” That said he opened the door and headed towards his room at the rear of the clubhouse.
Inside his room, Abel stripped off last night’s clothing a headed immediately for the shower. Turning the water to its hottest setting, Abel slipped inside. The hot water slicing over his body was welcome down time. The water swirling down the drain seemed to be an appropriate metaphor for his swirling thoughts. Shutting off the water, Abel sauntered into his room with his white towel slung low around his hips. Lost in his reveille, he quickly dressed and headed over to the garage to meet Kenny.
Older in years, Abel often saw Kenny Winston as the big brother he didn’t have. He trusted that he could always take anything to Kenny and get an honest straight up answer. Working together, Abel was sure that time in the garage would pass quickly. Several hours later, Abel looked up from under the hood of the ninety-nine Chevy pick-up he was working on. Checking the clock, he realized that he would have to double time it over to the school to meet Rachael on time. “Hey Kenny,” he shouted “I got to bail, head over and pick up Rachael. Mom and Dad will chew my ass if I’m late.”
Kenny grinned “Not to mention grandma Gemma.” He stated with a quiet laugh. Abel just smiled in return, as he grabbed his cut and raced across the lot to his bike.
Abel pulled his motorcycle up to the front of the school with less than five minutes to spare. Removing his helmet, he watched with absent interest parents, students, and various teachers and staff as they came and went from the parking lot. Shortly, he watched as Rachael ran from the building laughing with a friend her long dark blonde hair braided, hanging loose behind her. Rachael was a stunning combination of their parents. Rachael took her long straight blonde hair from dad. She got her beautiful eyes from mom. Someday, Abel predicted, she would be break a lot of hearts. He was certain, Dad, Tommy, and he would be working overtime to make sure she was treated like a lady. He could tell the instant she spotted him waiting. Her smile was contagious, as she yelled “See ya later!!!” to her friend and raced towards Abel waiting on his bike.
“Hey rug-rat how was school?” Abel asked as Rachael came to a stop in front of his bike. Rachael shrugged, “school was ok I guess. Did mom really say you could give me a ride home on your bike?” she asked with all the pure joy of only the young. Abel grinned from ear to ear; maybe spending time with Rachael today was just what the doctor ordered. Being with her had a way of washing away the aches and pains of any day.
“Well” he hedged just a bit. The boys knew that mom worried over them very much. Just as they knew that Rachael was mom’s only girl. Mom knew they would never let anything happen to her little girl. However, Rachael on a bike was just not something mom was totally comfortable with yet.
Climbing off his bike, Abel picked up his helmet and began to put it on Rachael’s head. Slinging her back pack on to his shoulders, he picked her up and placed her on the front of his back. Seeing Rachael grin up at him like the Cheshire cat was all the motivation he needed. “How about we make this our little secret for now?” he whispered as tapped the end of her nose. Rachael giggled with wild joyful abandon. Looking around she spotted her friends watching in awe as Abel climbed on the back behind her and started it up. “Bye Katie!!!” Rachael yelled with a wave as she and Abel went cruising out of the parking lot.
Soon they were parked in front of the Tellar household. “I think you should pick me up from school all the time Abel.” Shouted Rachael as Abel helped her off the bike. Unstrapping the helmet and setting it on his bike “Don’t think mom would see that as a real good idea – do you rug-rat?” Rachael just shrugged as she turned toward the house. Her mind was already changing gears, “Hey Abel, you gonna make me your famous peanut butter banana fluff sandwich?”
Abel was just about to reply when he thought he saw a familiar car parked on the shoulder about two doors down. Staring down the street, he watched the old multi-colored pick up for several seconds. His mind suddenly traveling back to a past better left buried. “Manda” he whispered aloud. Giving his head a forceful shake he tried to clear the cobwebs of the past. Scooping up Rachael in his arms he raced her towards the house. “One peanut butter banana fluff sandwich coming up!!” he shouted with glee.
As he stood in the kitchen making snacks, he couldn’t shake the past memories now haunting him. He hadn’t seen Manda since graduation. She was his best friend. There was nothing he could not tell her. The “uncles” all had bets going that something more than friendship was happening between Abel and the quiet shy Amanda Stevens. Abel just laughed them off saying “It’s not like that with Manda.” Manda was a constant in his life. He could always count on her when things were rough. She may not have always understood the MC lifestyle but she understood Abel and that was enough. She headed for Tacoma right after graduation. Told Abel, it was family obligations and promised to stay in touch. She tried at first, Abel had to give that but then time and distance eventually pulled them apart.
Taking the sandwiches to the table Abel felt more agitated with his thoughts than he had first thing this morning. He just wished he could shake this feeling of impending change. As he moved, to pour Rachael a glass of milk, he heard the knock at the door. “Be right back,” he mumbled to Rachael as he headed for the door. Opening the door with cautious care Abel was shocked when he looked out. Standing on his mom and dad’s front porch was a very bruised and beaten Amanda Stevens.