Leila was asleep, her chest rising and falling steadily in a light pink pajama top, the blanket resting under the curve of her breasts. ‘Get Well’ balloons and flowers filled the dim light room.
Jax sat in the seat next to her. The same one he’d been in for the last week and a half that she was there. He’d given up on the thought of resting himself, instead he kept his eyes on her. Memorizing every mark on her face. The freckles, the small scar on her lip, the bruising on her cheek that had since faded. She was small, fragile to the eye, but she was the strongest women he’d ever met. Her heart and her love were full of determination and courage.
He didn’t know how he would’ve made it past all of this without her. Between her support, her peace of mind, and connections she’d helped not only him but his family. But above all else, she chose to forgive him. He knew he didn’t deserve it. She could’ve just turned her back on him like anyone else would have. Left this burden behind her. But she didn’t. There was nothing he would be able to do to repay her or even to show her how much she meant to him, but he’d have to try.
He had too.
Nothing was clearer than the fact that he couldn’t live without her.
He heard her small voice and lifted his eyes to meet hers.
“Hey babe.” He sat up straighter, leaning forward to get closer to her.
She smiled, letting out a small exhale. “You okay? What’s on your mind?”
Jax shook his head, reaching over to take her hand in his. “It’s nothing babe, you should be sleeping.”
“I’m going stir crazy.” She replied, adjusting herself to sit up. “Talk to me.”
“I don’t know where I’d be without you, Lei.” He sighed, hanging his head, his thumb brushing strokes against the back of her hand. “I really don’t. You bring out a light inside of me that ain’t there when I’m not near you. There’s a darkness inside of me that I fight everyday. I constantly feel myself losing the last shreds of my humanity but you give me a reason to fight for it.”
Tears filled his eyes and he covered them with his hand. He’d never been one to talk about feelings but she had to know. The life he’d been raised in had it’s own rules, it’s own moral code. It made you lose sight of what real life was like. What real people felt. How someones actions affected others. He’d spent so long dealing with hard-shelled people that he’d forgotten what it was like to deal with someone as pure as her.
“Hey.” She slid off the bed, straddling his lap. “It’s okay babe. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.”
He placed his hands on her hips, feeling the gauze under the thin fabric of her shirt.
“I know. I know that. You’ve proven yourself time and time again but I’m not worthy of it. That’s the only thing I’ve proven. I’ve lied. I fucked around …” He could see the words hitting her hard, her eyes staring down at his cut. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to make all of that up to you. I never want to be the reason you are unhappy. I never want to be the reason you look back at your life and regret it.”
“Jax.” Her lips whispered his name only to be followed by a few more moments of silence as she thought it over. With a deep breath, she returned her eyes to his. “I’ve gone over that day more times than I care to admit. God knows the pain I felt thinking of you in the arms of another woman. I can’t lie and tell you I fully forgive you and things are going to be the way they were because they aren’t. Not yet anyway. It’s going to take time. It’s going to take work. It’s going to need healing, but I’m willing to work on it. I love you and I can’t change that. I’ve tried. I tried so hard to hate you for what you did but I couldn’t. I want to be with you, Jax. I want to be with Abel.”
Damn. Goddamn. She was too good to him.
Before he could finished, her lips crashed onto his, erasing all else from his thoughts. He felt the softness of her skin as she cupped his face, pressing herself closer against him as she deepened the kiss. He was putty in her hands.
“Lei-” He pulled away, afraid of hurting her. “You’re still recovering.”
“Shh.” She kissed him again, grinding on his lap as she pressed herself against his firm torso.
He’d be stupid to deny her anything. His dick was ahead of him already, throbbing for release from the constraints of his jeans. She moaned softly against his lips, parting them enough to slide her tongue in, massaging it against his.
Their bodies moved quickly, pushing the clothes separating their bodies out of the way before she slid slowly down his length. She moaned into their kiss, tongues massaging against each other as she started to bounce up and down on him, muffling the sound of her moans against his neck.
“Fuck.” He whispered, grunting into her sweet smelling hair.
He dug his fingertips into her thighs, lifting his hips with her movements. He relished in the feel of her tight center as she took all of him in. The tension between them sparking a fire that had dwindled from the chaos around them.
She bit into his neck, her core squeezing him tightly as she rode out her orgasm. He quickly followed, holding her against him as they caught their breaths.
He heard her giggle, her breath tickling his neck before she lifted her head to show her gorgeous smile, cheeks flushed and eyes heavy.
“What’s so funny?” He asked, unable to stop the corners of his lips from lifting.
“I can’t believe we just did that.” She whispered, slowly sliding off and pulling her pants back up as he did the same.
“Come on babe, we’ve had sex in hundreds of places.” He argued, lifting her up before laying back on the bed with her in his arms.
“Not with people right outside the door.” She laughed, resting her head on his chest.
“That’s cause I love hearing you scream and you insist on keeping quiet when we’re anywhere public.”
“Well duh!” She laughed, hitting his stomach lightly.
He laughed, holding her closer before pressing a kiss on her temple. “Get some rest babe. Hopefully we can get you out of here tomorrow.”
“Fingers crossed.” She yawned, closing her eyes.
A few days went by before Leila and Abel were free to go. She couldn’t contain her excitement to bring the boy home. It was something she’d been waiting on since he was born and after all the family had been through, they deserved a break. They were due for a win.
Charlotte grabbed Leila’s bags, the nurses insisted she remain in a wheelchair until she got to the car but she refused, choosing to walk down to pediatrics where Jax was checking out Abel.
Jax’s face lifted into a smile when his eyes landed on hers. He finished signing the paperwork and walked over, wrapping his arms around her tightly, placing a kiss on her forehead. Leila smiled, brushing a hair out of his eyes.
“Well?” She asked excitedly. “Where is he?”
Jax chuckled, motioning his head towards the room. “The nurse is getting him ready.”
“I’m so excited, Jax.” Leila beamed before her eyes widened in realization. “You didn’t come here on your bike did you?”
“Well yeah. I figured we’d adjust the car seat onto the handles and you ride in the back…” He said with a straight face but soon broke into laughter after he watched her face contort in horror and disbelief. “I brought your car babe.”
“God, you scared me!” She hit his arm lightly, resting her head against his chest. “I can’t believe it’s all over. We get to go home.”
“Yeah.” He whispered, resting his chin on her head. “I can’t believe it either. I almost lost the both of you.”
“But you didn’t.” She reminded, lifting her head to look up at him. “You didn’t lose anyone.”
Sarah came out holding Abel in her arms, the two proud parents waiting patiently to get ahold of him. She handed the baby to Leila and he giggled into her arms, wrapping his hand around a strand of her hair. Both her and Jax smiled, tears brimming their eyes, before Leila pulled Sarah in for a hug.
“Thank you.” She whispered against the nurse’s ear. “ Thank you for everything.”
“Don’t cry, sugar.” Sarah smiled, wiping the young woman’s tears. “It’s a happy day. Go! Go be happy with your little family.”
Jax laughed, giving her a hug as well before placing a hand on Leila’s back, leading her outside to the car. He helped buckle in the car seat, jumping in the front while Leila sat in the back with Abel. She watched as he cooed, eyes open wide, taking in his new surroundings.
When they pulled up to the house, blue and white streamers were wrapped around the front columns, balloons were placed on the front steps, bikes lined the driveway with a few other cars. Gemma greeted them at the door. She kissed his forehead before kissing both of Leila’s cheeks, smiling proudly.
“Welcome home, baby.”
“It’s good to be home, Gem.” Leila wrapped her arms around the woman for a hug before making her way around the others.
To everyone’s surprise, Donna had come and brought the kids with her. Laughing and enjoying the party. They’d never seen Opie so happy. Everything was as it should’ve been.
Leila reluctantly handed the baby over to Gemma, everyone wanting a turn holding the little man. There was a point where no one thought this baby would make it and here he was, the pride and joy in all of their lives.
It was strange. All her life she’d been told to stay away from the club. How dangerous these people were, how corrupt they were, how they had no value in society. Though she had no delusion of their ways, this was the most loved she’d felt since her mother’s passing. Not just from Jax or Gemma, but the club as a whole. They cared about one another. In a life as uncertain as theirs, their bond as a family held them together. Very unlike the cutthroat world of politics she’d been raised in.
Jax came up behind her, arms wrapping around her narrow waist, breath caressing her neck as he rested his head on her shoulder. “You okay?”
“Better than I have been in a long time.” She smiled, turning her head to press a kiss against his lips.
He smiled against the kiss before dropping down to one knee. Her eyes widened, staring down at him as he shuffled through his pocket for a small, velvet box.
“Lei,” He began, his hands shaking as he opened the box to show her the diamond ring. “I’ve wanted you as my old lady since I laid eyes on you at the county fair when I was 10. You were singing the national anthem on stage and I remember being mesmerized ever since. I never thought the day would come when you’d actually give me the light of day, but here we are twenty years later. I don’t know anyone else that would’ve done what you did for me. For my son. For my club. I don’t deserve you, but I’d be stupid to let you go. Lei – I love you with every fiber of my being and I want to spend the rest of our lives showing you that. Will you marry me?”
Leila couldn’t take her eyes off of him. She could hear the “aww’s” coming from the crowd surrounding them but the sound of those words coming from his lips quieted everything else. Jax was proposing to her. After his shitstorm with Wendy, she never thought he’d want to be married again but here he was, on his knee with the most beautiful ring she’d ever laid eyes on.
“Ye-” She stuttered, choked back by tears. “Yes!”
His nervous expression changed into one of pure joy as he placed the ring on her finger before lifting her up in a hug, spinning around as everyone clapped. She kissed him deeply, struggling to contain her emotions as she replayed the better half of the year in her head. The ups and downs of their relationship bringing her exactly where she wanted to be. In Jax’s arms. Happy and free.