‹ Prequel: Charming the Charming
Early morning had come so fast and as Juice sat back against the couch he took a deep breath in placing his hands behind his head. Helen's bite marks on his neck and arm still stung in the most sensual way. Finally things seemed to slowly be getting back on track.
Then there was a knock at the door.
“At this hour?” Juice mumbled to himself while he shuffled his sweat pant clad legs to the door and casually swung it open.
“Juice.” He was greeted by Lucy's wide and white smile.
“No.” Moving to close the door Juice wasn't about to let Lucy ruin anything.
“I just want to talk.” Sticking a red heeled foot in the door she pushed it back open. “Listen I want to apologise for everything. I know that you're with Helen so I'm not here to hurt that.”
Juice looked up from the carpet patch he had been looking at with eyes that were torn between not wanting this woman here and curious about her apology. It was certainly over due and as he weighed up the options in his head Juice moved aside. “You got five minutes.”
Waking to the feeling of dog slobber over her hand wasn't Helen's ideal way of greeting the day but as she rolled over Harriet raised her giant head and looked Helen right in the eye and began to whine.
“What's wrong girl?” Helen mumbled swinging her legs over the edge of the bed and slipping from the sheets.
No match for the large pooch Helen moved quickly as Harriet nudged her down the hall towards the lounge room where she let out a deep bark.
Helen's chest sank as she stood in the hallway watching as Juice and Lucy turned their heads to her standing there in just a tank top and pj shorts.
“Dammit Juan what the fuck is going on here?” Helen saw red and Juice quickly moved from the couch at the use of his real name.
“Helen it's not what you think, ok? Lucy came to the door and all she wants to do is apologise.”
Moving her shoulder from Juice's out stretched hand her cheeks burned bright and as far as her ego went it was taking a serious bashing. She looked over to Lucy who was perfectly primped and dressed.
“Why didn't you just close the door on her?”
“I wanted to hear what she said. An apology is the least she owes me.”
Helen cast her gaze to the floor watching as Harriet nuzzled at her leg. “I have work and need to get dressed. She better be gone by the time I am ready to leave.”
Juice nodded. “Thank you.”
“Don't thank me, just make sure she is gone and doesn't come back.”
Pulling on a pair of tight black jeans Helen's hands moved to thread a studded belt through the loops when she stopped. It was hard to think that once upon a time Juice found someone like Lucy attractive compared to Helen who stood half dressed in his bedroom.
The differences were many. Helen began to study her reflection in the closet mirror. Her skin was patched with tattoos and scars. Lucy as far as Helen could tell had skin unmarked and clear as the summer sky. Then there were her long legs accompanied by an ample chest area and hips as curvy as a slide at a water theme park. Helen moved side on following her own curves down her hips and back up to her chest and sighed when her eyes came to thick pink scar over her stomach.
Pulling a long grey tunic style top from the bed Helen tugged it over her head followed by her flat heeled boots on her feet and again met her reflection. Her black bra peeked out from the wide arm holes but she didn't mind. Today Helen was meeting a group of men at KerraKerra and booking in a party so it was in her interest to at least apply some degree of make up. Usually a sweep of powder and mascara did the job, though as Helen picked out her eyeshadow, the ordinary everyday make up went from simple and clean to smoky with glossed and pouty lips.
“That'll do.” She gave herself on last check over before running a hand through her hair and loosening the curls before picking up her car keys from the bed side table.
Harriet was where Helen had left her sitting in the hallway facing the lounge room.
“I told you to make sure she was gone.” Helen raised a perfectly groomed brow as Lucy sat laughing with Juice. “For a man who hates his ex you two sure do look cosy.”
Lucy watched from her spot on the couch as Juice moved to Helen who had a storm cloud of rage building behind her eyes.
“Baby it's fine. We were just chatting about old things.”
“Talking leads to fucking and right now I am starting not to trust you. First you try pull me away from punching her and now I wake up to find you two giggling about old times. You know those 'old times' were when you were bedding each other and here I am like a fucking idiot just letting it happen.”
By now Juice was noticing some of Helen's cracks appear as her hands began to shake and voice begin to rise.
“I don't know what you're playing at or what the fuck is going on up there.” Helen pressed a finger to the side of Juice's head. “But you better be damn careful because despite everything I won't stick around to get hurt.”
“Well I should probably go then.” Lucy rose from the couch. “Could I use your bathroom first?”
“No get the fuck out!” Helen shouted.
“What's with the sour face JuicyBoy?” Chibs noticed Juice sitting at the bar with his head between his hands.
“I thought I was doing everything right.”
Chibs rose a brow and took the stool next to the young Puerto Rican from Queens. “What happened?”
“I let Lucy talk to me at the house this morning. I wasn't thinking and wanted to hear what she had to say.” Juice ran his hands down his face that met in a point at his chin. “Helen came out and we were right there just talking like nothing had happened.”
“Oh Juice you are one stupid kid.” Chibs shook his head. “Don't drag up the past, there is no need for it. Just leave it alone.”
“I just don't know what I am doing any more. Everything is just so....”
“Shite? That it is but don't go fucking up what you have for something that isn't near worth it. All that matters is the Club and your Old Lady. Don't take this for granted JuicyBoy.”
Nodding Juice moved from his stool. “I'm gonna go over to KerraKerra and talk to Helen.”
“Steps forward son, not steps back.”
Halfsack sat beside Helen as she finalised her meeting his hand over his gun the whole time watching as the two men sitting opposite them in Luanne's office smiled and shook hands with Helen.
“Well that went well.” He said after they had left.
“Yup and I'm sure the girls are going to enjoy this one. Those guys are returning clients according to the books.” Helen slumped back in her chair and swung it so she faced Sack. “Thanks for today Kip, I don't think I could have gotten through this meeting if Juan were here.”
His fair brows raised. “No problem Helen just glad I could help out.”
“Helen, someone is here to see you.” BabyDoll knocked on the office door leaning in.
“Thanks BabyDoll. Sack why don't you talk to some of the girls for me and make sure they are ready to get on set.” Kip blushed and nodded eagerly moving from his seat as Helen left the office.
The noon sun was bright as Helen stepped outside meeting her biker boyfriend as he leaned against his bike.
“How'd the meeting go?” He asked sticking hands into his back pockets.
“Fine.” Helen nodded as her boots kicked at the ground in front of her.
“About this morning...”
Helen looked up and shook her head. “It was what it was. I don't want to fight with you over this. I have no idea why you wanted to talk to her but you did.”
Juice didn't have any real answer for her or even reasoning he just hoped that Helen could forgive him, again.
“But I wasn't lying when I said I wasn't going to stick around just to get hurt. I love you Juan, but right now I am just confused and really don't know what you're up to. I once told you no lies between us and after this morning and seeing you laugh with her on our couch in our home...” She averted her gaze. “I called Luanne and she said I could stay here for a few nights.”
A stab of pain struck Juice's chest. “But...I...Helen!”
Helen stepped back as Juice approached her. “Just a few nights so you can sort out what you're doing.”
“But we just talked!”
“From what I have been hearing that's not all you do when Lucy is around.”
He wiped his hands down the side of his face. “This is stupid baby. I love you! I want you!”
What he was hearing was knocking him for a sixer, had things really gotten that between them? Had he really fucked up that badly? This was a woman he loved, adored and worshipped. How could she have lost trust in him so fast? Or had she already started to falter and he just didn't notice? All these questions and more ran through his head as he stood in front of Helen.
“I know you love me but I need to know that it's enough to keep you from wanting Lucy. You have no idea how it felt waking up and walking out there to see that. It made me feel so small and unimportant.”
Her hands began to shake again and tears stung her eyes. “I will be around after work to pick up some things.”
Night set in as Helen saw the last of her KerraKerra girls home from the studio. She looked back at the paperwork sitting on Luanne' desk and sighed.
“When do things get better, Luanne?”
Music still played from the dressing room but Helen didn't mind as she pulled a packet of cigarettes and a lighter from her bra and made her way out the back.
Wind kicked up around her as Helen perched on the edge of a barrel with arms wrapped around her. The only light was that coming from the end of her cigarette.
Everything seemed like it was in pieces and as she sat there Helen knew that sooner or later she would just have to deal with it. After all that's want an Old Lady did. It's what Gemma did. What Tara did.
A shuffle close to her right dissolved all current thoughts as she stood.
Silence met her.
“Come on don't play with me.”
Helen took a step towards the sound only to be met by a slugging thud to the back of her head and dizzying black as her body hit the ground.
“Quick tie her up and get her in with the other two!”
“See how quick the Son's hand over that stash now.”
The smell of damp walls woke Helen to a thudding headache encompassing her whole head.
“Oooh fuck.” She hissed with eyes squeezed shut against the pain.
Her head whipped around to the voice and her eyes opened to pitch black.
“I knew this would come back to bit us in the ass.”
“Gemma?” Both the women hissed into the darkness
“Yea baby girls it's me.”
“What the hell is going on?” Tara's voice rushed with panic as her arms began to struggle against binds that were invisible in the lightless room.
“I don't know honey. Just stay calm and we can figure this out.”
“Fuck why didn't I just go home instead of staying at KerraKerra.” Helen chastised herself.
Tara turned in the direction of her sisters voice. “Why were you staying at KerraKerra? Not with Alex?”
“No. Juice and I had a little mess up involving Lucy.”
“Ladies this really isn't the time!”
Both the women followed Gemma's voice. “Sorry Gem.”
“So what are we going to so?” Helen asked as she began to move against her own binds.
“There isn't much you can do.” A voice echoed through the room as a light flickered on.
The women looked around at the dingy room they had been tied up in. Water slicked the walls and the stink of damp and rot increased.
Gemma moved her gaze to the source of the voice and spat. “Jimmy O you rat Irish bastard! What do you think you're playing at?”
His smirk was pure evil. Jimmy crouched down next to Gemma cupping her chin forcing her to look into his eyes.
“You my three ladies are bait for your precious Sons of Anarchy.”