Disclaimer: As always, I own no part of SOA. All characters and settings belong to Kurt Sutter / Sutter Ink. However, those characters that are a living breathing product of my imagination belong solely to me.
Abel’s Room (roughly 4a.m.):
The stillness of the pre-dawn hour was broken by Amanda’s frantic mumbling in her sleep. Tossing and turning Amanda struggled to escape the evil invading her dreams. “Please” she groaned. “Stop it!!” she mumbled.
Coming awake in the chair, Abel watched Amanda struggling – tossing in her sleep. His worry and anger rising in equal parts inside his gut. Hating whatever or whoever did this to her, he rose and went to the bed. Sitting on the edge of the bed, Abel reached out and stroked her hair, moving it away from her face. “SShh” he whispered “its ok now, your safe here with me.” Her hair like cool silk between his fingers as he continued to stroke it back away from her battered face. Careful to avoid her bruises, he softly ran his fingers along her cheek - Continuously murmuring words of comfort. Reaching for the quilt that she had tossed aside, Abel moved to lay the blanket across her. As he stood to straighten the quilt, he looked down at Amanda’s now still form. It was then he noticed the faded navy blue roughly two sizes too big SAMCRO t-shirt that she was currently sleeping in. As he spread the blanket across her he was filled with a sense of aching that he could explain. As he stood watching her, he found himself for the first time looking at her long legs and really noticing them. For just a second he noticed her the way a man notices a beautiful woman. He shook his head ruefully; he was her best friend offering comfort; not some horn-dog looking to get laid. Sitting close to her once more, he waited a few long moments until he was sure that she was resting quietly again.
Moving back to the chair, Abel sat very still and watched as Amanda drifted back to sleep. His anger and worry boiling like molten acid in his gut. No matter what road they each chose in this life – she would always be “his” Amanda. He didn’t see being able to put this to rest until someone paid for what they did to her. He knew she was stalling earlier. It was obvious she didn’t want to talk. “Well that’s just too damn bad isn’t it?” He thought to himself. She’s the one who showed up on his doorstep looking like she went five rounds with Happy in the ring outside the clubhouse. He hoped she rested well, for tomorrow she would answer his questions.
Amanda awoke with a lazy yawn. Stretching as she snuggled down under the thick quilt, Amanda remembered where she was. As her gaze roamed around the room, an old photo stuck to the mirror caught her attention. Soundlessly sleeping from bed she removed the photo from the mirror and returned to the bed. Once again under the warm quilt she studied the old photo of her and Abel at a clubhouse Halloween party several years ago. She looked like some psycho cross between gothic vampire and a cheap hooker. She remembered going shopping with Tara and Gemma like it was yesterday. She let Gemma talk her into wearing the black and red leather and lace bustier. The leather short shorts, stockings, heels, teased hair, and thick make-up completed the look.
Abel smiled; Amanda obviously had not noticed him sitting in the corner yet. He didn’t want to startle her but he needed to let her know he was there. With a broad smile he said “that was a good look for you. Although I have to admit I think my old SAMCRO t-shirt is a better one.”
Amanda jerked looking for the first time towards the corner. “OH MY GOD!! Abel what are you doing here? I thought your mom said that you were going to crash at the clubhouse.” Amanda sat a little up a little straighter on the bed, pulling the quilt closer to her upper body.
“I was,” he replied still smiling “but decided not to hang last night – just needed some down time.” Amanda looked around the room nervously, “You should have woke me when you came in.” Abel watched her with intense smiling eyes “Naw darlin’ you were sleeping…it’s all good.” Amanda smiled at Abel sheepishly, a slight blush covering her bruised cheeks.
Abel didn’t want to break the teasing atmosphere, but he also wanted answers. “Amanda…..I” Before he could say anything further, Amanda interrupted “Abel, I know what you’re going to say. Please it’s really not a big deal. Can we just let it go for now? I promise if it becomes more – something to worry about you will be the first person I come to.” Abel hated the fear in her eyes. He hated the not knowing, but what was he going to do beat it out of her. Moving Abel went to sit beside her on the bed, tucking his finger under her chin he lifted her eyes to his. “For now Manda, I’ll let it ride. But if whatever happened in Tacoma follows you to Charming I make no promises save one; NO ONE will ever put their hands on you again. You understand what I’m saying.”
Amanda cringed slightly there was no doubting the dire serious nature of what Abel was telling her. Some part of her expected this very reaction, when she raced home to Charming, escaping Daddy, Dean, and the nightmare that Tacoma had become. Leaning forward Amanda placed her hands along Abel’s cheeks, her fingertips brushing across his skin, “my big strong biker in shining armor,” she teased, just as she had back in high school.
Simple words, bringing back warm memories, “So” Abel wondered why wasn’t his reaction just as simple. Why could he feel her innocent touch spiraling through his entire body? Uncomfortable with his reaction, Abel placed his hands on her slender wrists and moved her hands back into her lap. Standing up Abel looked down at her, “I think Ma has the day off, so you’re welcome to hang here as long as you want. I however, need to get my ass moving before dad or the “uncles” come looking for me.” With that he grabbed some clean clothes from the dresser and headed to the bathroom without another word.
Alone, Amanda slid from bed and quickly dressed. Grabbing a hair brush from her purse she quickly pulled her long unruly dark hair into a haphazard pony tail. Last night’s rest, the best sleep she had gotten in weeks, Amanda felt almost human again as she walked out of the bedroom. As she entered the kitchen, she heard the familiar roar of motorcycles starting and pulling away from the driveway. Tara nodded her good morning, “there’s fresh coffee on the counter – if you like.” Grateful, Amanda nodded in response and headed right for the coffee.
As they stood in companionable silence, Tara again found herself watching the younger woman. Tara could not believe how much the young woman before her reminded her of herself when she was that age. What was Amanda running from? Was Amanda aware of her feelings for Abel? Was Abel aware? What about the woman Abel was seeing, where did she fit into this new situation? So many questions so little answers. Tara only wanted what was best for her children. She would willingly go to hell and back for her kids. However, she would not let herself cross into Gemma territory. Abel’s love life was Abel’s business. She would just have to sit back and let him figure it out for himself.
That didn’t mean she couldn’t give things a little nudge if the opportunity presented itself. “Amanda?” Tara began, “I know you said last night you wanted to stay in Charming for a while. You remember Katie Winston – Opie and Lyla’s girl – she was a year or two behind you and Abel in school.” Amanda thought for a moment and then nodded that she knew who Tara was talking about. “Well” Tara pressed on, “she just moved into an apartment about block over and could really use a roommate if you’re interested.”
Amanda couldn’t hide her enthusiasm “that would be great” she exclaimed “only leaving find a job left to do.” Again Tara thought what could a little nudge hurt. “I may have an answer for that too” she beamed happily “I’m working a lot of hours at the hospital. Jax is busier than ever with the club. Neeta has had to take some time to deal with a personal issue. It would be a great help to all of us if you could be here for Rachael, pick her up after school, hang-out with her after school till I get home. What do you say?” My old job back Amanda thought how much more perfect could this be. “Yeah Tara I would love that thank you.”
“Great then it’s settled, Katie should be at the clubhouse this morning, why don’t you follow me over there and you two can talk.” Tara suggested. Amanda agreed and shortly they were on their way. About twenty minutes later both woman were pulling into Tellar-Morrow Automotive.
As she climbed out her car, Amanda was surprised at little things appeared to have changed. Following Tara, Amanda was a little apprehensive about heading into the clubhouse. She had made no attempt this morning to cover her bruises she could only imagine what the other SOA members would have to say about that. As they entered the front door, Amanda was overwhelmed with the sights and smells of the SOA clubhouse. Even at nine in the morning, the clubhouse was a hub of activity.
Tara saw Juice sitting at the bar working on this laptop. Stopping at the bar Tara smiled “Morning Juice, you remember Amanda don’t you?” Juice looked up from his laptop surprised to see the young woman who used to shadow his “nephew” around here every-day. Standing from the bar Juice smiled that boyish grin he managed so well. Jax wasn’t the only one who had a special place in his heart for Amanda. Four years was a long time, most of the SOA brothers had sort of adopted Amanda into the family and missed her when she decided to leave. As he began to wrap his arms around her, he couldn’t help but wonder if Abel had knew about the bruises. Pushing aside the thought Juice welcomed Amanda home with a strong hug and a gentle kiss on the cheek.
Looking towards the kitchen Juice yelled “Hey Bobby get out man!! Someone here wants to say hello.” Juice, Tara, and Amanda could hear Bobby in the kitchen grumbling about getting banana bread out of the even before it burned. A moment or two later the large older man appeared in the doorway. “Juice… who the hell is...?” Before Bobby could finish his rant he saw Tara and Amanda sitting at the bar looking on. Bobby was pleased to see Amanda Stevens back in Charming. He remembered how inseparable she and Abel used to be. When Abel wasn’t with the club he was with Amanda. Amanda hung around the clubhouse so much many of the brothers came to see her as a club mascot of sorts. Despite the way the both denied it, Bobby never quite believed that there was nothing going on between Abel and Amanda. He saw the way Amanda looked at Abel. He knew Abel was too much like his old man. Watching Abel and Amanda, Bobby was kind of reminded of Jax and Tara when they were young. When she abruptly left Charming immediately after graduation – he assumed maybe he was wrong. Whatever the case he knew Abel would be glad to have her back in Charming. Moving around the bar to stand in front of Amanda he was shocked by the bruises. SOA may bend a lot of rules and break just as many laws, but they NEVER hit a woman not like this. He started to jump to her defense. It was on the tip of his tongue to demand answers. When finally he noticed the slight shake of Tara’s head asking him to leave it be. He trusted the doc, to know what was best and left is questions unspoken. He chose instead to give Amanda a big fatherly hug and welcome her home.
Tara turned as she heard others entering the clubhouse. Standing just inside the door was Katie Winston. Tara asked Katie to join them. As Bobby moved back to the kitchen, Tara let the girls get re-acquainted with one another. After about fifteen minutes, she knew the girls were going to be fast friends – something she strongly felt both girl needed right now. Tara hugged both young women goodbye. Amanda promised that she would be by the house first thing in the morning to take Rachael to school. Feeling really good about her life and her decisions for the first time in months Amanda smiled. She thought to herself, “Maybe things are finally looking up for me.” Interrupting her thoughts Katie spoke, “I have to get to work, but here is the spare key and the apartment number. Take your stuff over whenever your ready – Roomie” she said with a excited girlish giggle. Amanda gratefully took the key and hugged Katie tightly.
Katie and Amanda left the clubhouse together heading out to the parking lot. As Amanda was getting into her car, she heard Abel call her from across the lot. Turning to the sound of his voice, Amanda smiled big and bright. It’s good to be home she thought as she watched him lope across the lot to meet her. “Hey Darlin’ what’s going on?” The open car door separating them, Amanda stood silently watching his face for a moment maybe two. “Your mom brought me by to talk to Katie Winston, she thought we might good roommates. “
“That’s great – so you’re going to stay in Charming?” Abel asked hopefully. “Looks like,” replied Amanda happily. “OH” she exclaimed as she reached out to touch his hand currently resting on the open door. “Your mom also hooked me up with a job – for the time being” Abel loved to see Manda so happy “Yeah doing what he asked?”
“I’m going to help your mom out with Rachael before and after school – just until Neeta gets back or your parents schedules work themselves out.” Abel leaned in and kissed her on the cheek. “That’s great darlin, the rug-rat will love that.” Looking around Abel noticed the fellas watching him from the garage. “I should get back to it.” He told her. “I’m happy for you though, this really is great news.” He told her before he took off back across the lot.
Later That Evening (roughly 7pm):
Abel stood in his dorm room at the back of the clubhouse. Fresh from the shower, Abel pulled his wet shoulder length blonde hair back into a neat ponytail. Slipping in black button down dress shirt, he turned and grabbed his cut off the bed. As he looked into the mirror, he wondered idly “What the hell am I getting myself into?” With that final thought he headed out of the clubhouse and went to his bike. The ten minute ride to Maria’s gave him a few minutes to think. He knew Maria asking him to this little family gathering was an important step for her. He had never really given much thought to what the future held for him and Maria. Was he ready to move their relationship to the next level? As he pulled into her driveway, he decided it’s too late to back out now. Maria came out the front door, looking simply beautiful. Her long dark hair hanging lose and curly down her back. She moved to stand beside his bike wearing a beautiful black and white top that clung to her curves just enough to be inviting. She paired her dressy top with a pair of black jeans and black and red leather boots. She was relieved to see Abel sitting in her driveway. He had been so distracted lately; she worried if he would remember her party tonight.
Removing his helmet, Abel handed it to Maria as he helped her onto the back of his bike. Starting the bike, Abel felt Maria wrap her slender arms around his waist. The sensation was a comfortable familiar one. Why did that bother him so much? Twenty minutes later they were pulling up out in front of the little Mexican café her parents ran. Taking Maria’s hand he led her inside. She was immediately greeted by loving friends and family all wishing her a happy birthday. Sharing hugs and greetings with everyone, Maria led them further into the small café toward her parents. “Maria” gushed her mom “you look beautiful tonight baby.” She lovingly hugged her daughter close.
“So do you Mom,” replied Maria as she turned to reach for her father. Taking her hands in his her father stood looking at his baby girl love and pride flashing in his dark eyes. “Poppy,” Maria whispered. “I love you daughter mine.” He replied, pulling her close to kiss her cheek. Pulling back from her folks, Maria turned to introduce them both to Abel. “Mother Poppy this is Abel Tellar. Abel these are my parents Sophia and Alberto Velez.” Extending his hand Abel shook hands with her father “It’s nice to meet you sir. Maria speaks so much of you both.” Sophia touched Abel’s arm kissing his cheek she whispered “It’s nice to finally meet the young man who makes my daughter so happy.”
Maria turned away from her parents to mingle and greet other friends and family. As the evening wore on Abel relaxed considerably and was actually beginning to enjoy his self. Abel and Maria were sitting at a small table in the corner talking with her cousins, when he heard the front door open. Looking up Abel was shocked to see Marcos Alveraz and his son walking into the café. Excusing them from the table, Abel took Maria’s hand and led her to a private corner – gesturing wildly towards the door Abel asked “What the HELL is he doing here Maria?” Confused Maria looked to the door and saw Marcos and his son talking with her parents. “Abel that’s my “Uncle” Marcos and his son.” “You’re what?” Abel exclaimed. Maria took his hands in hers and replied calmly “Uncle Marcos is my Godfather. He and my father have been as close as brothers all of my life.”
Maria was the God daughter of the Mayan boss. Could his evening possibly get any worse.