I'm writing. I'm not dead, but honestly, I'm just going where my muse takes me at the moment. Please continue to be patient and lovely. Rue :)

P.S. I don't speak Italian so google translate hopefully did a good enough job there! And obviously, I own nothing but my Original Characters and the plot that you don't recognise from SOA. Everything else belongs to Kurt Sutter and other appropriate people.

Riding Bitch

Chapter 3 - Red Lipstick

By Rue Dawn

The shower situation really needed attending to Lottie decided, after forcing herself to stand under the icy cold jet of water for a full half-hour to ensure she was freshly shaved and smelling like fragrant Japanese Cherry Blossoms for her impromptu date that evening. How she'd managed to find an appropriate outfit in all of her storage boxes she had no clue and, as she tripped over a pile of discarded clothing and stumbled to the mirror bright red lipstick clenched tightly in one hand, she realised perhaps her organisational skills could use a little work. Who stored date-worthy dresses with faded camo pants anyway?

Fumbling with the lid of the lipstick tube as she came to a stop in front of the rather grimy mirror on her bedroom wall, Lottie finished off her look rather calmly, as though the utter chaos of strewn clothes and shoes surrounding her was something she knew absolutely nothing about. Grabbing the small black bag she'd chosen to pair with her emerald green dress for the evening, and flicking her blonde hair over her shoulder Lottie made a beeline for the door.

6.45 pm at this rate, she thought, I'm going to be cutting it close.

Lottie jumped smashing her hand against the handle of the door, instinctively releasing a long hiss of pain and displeasure as her phone beeped obnoxiously. Frowning slightly she shook her hand so hard her fingers slapped together as she waited for the pain to dissipate. Lottie peered at the little screen as it lit up her otherwise dark apartment when she extracted it from her bag trying to ascertain why it had beeped at all, as she used an elbow to push the door handle down. Toeing the door open she hit the call button and smushed the phone between her shoulder and ear, as she finally made it out of her apartment and locked the door behind her.

"You have, one, new message!" Squawked an overly cheerful, somewhat mechanical, female voice. "Press one to listen, press two to delete."

Feet pounding on the old, rather squeaky stairs, Lottie carefully extracted the phone from between her ear and shoulder and pressed the one button, speeding her pace as she did.

"Hi, sweetheart it's Mom, again. It's about time you called me back young lady, you know when you don't call I get worried sick about you and I haven't heard for a long time now-" Lottie snorted to herself.

"It's been a week Mom, damn, I'm not twelve." She murmured rounding a corner, as she began to pant slightly with exertion, hating herself a little when it crossed her mind that Juice just might have a point about healthy eating if a quickened pace was all it took for her to be out of breath these days.

"-If I don't hear from you soon, I'm going to send Jax to New York looking for you-"

"Fat lot of good that would do him." A slightly feral grin made its way across Lottie's face at the thought of 'golden boy' running around New York like a headless chicken and coming home just to find she'd been here all along.

"Look, sweetheart, I'm sorry. I just," Lottie scrunched her nose as she slowed to an even pace now she was only a block away from the restaurant, hearing her mother's recorded sigh making her heart twinge a little. "It's been years since we've seen you, Baby. I feel like I never hear from you anymore, I know.." There was a pause. A sniffle. "I know things have been hard since Tommy and your father but you were happy here...mostly... after a while and you could be again, you should be, we're your family, there's so much…" Another sniffle and sigh. "...look I guess what I'm trying to say is, come back home soon, sweetheart. Everyone misses you."

Lottie stopped, pulled the phone from her ear and frowned at the tiny screen, mind blank as the message ended and the annoying mechanical woman asked her if she wanted to listen to the message again.

"I'll give you a nickel for those."

Blinking blearily, pressing the end call button and raising her head Lottie found her own electric eyes once again locked onto Juice's bright brown ones as he grinned at her from in front of a tiny wooden doorway she was sure to have missed despite its position being dead on the corner of Peach and Pine.

A small smirk tugging at her lips Lottie shoved her phone into her bag as she moved closer, "I think you overvalue the contents of my brain."

Juice laughed, the warm sound seemingly melting the slight awkward tension that had laced the air. "I dunno." He shrugged, hands pushed into the pocket of his dark jeans, his white button-down shirt contrasting nicely with his tanned skin, he somehow pulled off the effortlessly smart-casual trouble-maker look, complete with biker boots that he clearly could not give up and a cheeky grin. "Anyone who can look as beautiful as you, eating all of the crap I know you do might hold the secret to immortality in there. You promise you're not going to turn into the evil mermaid from that Disney movie if you don't get your dose of trans-fats this meal right?" Juice fought the urge to wince, comparing a girl to the ugly villain in a Disney plot was probably not his best move, witty yes, complimentary no.

Chuckling and shaking her head at his cheek, as her hair ruffled in the breeze, the fading sunlight making it shine like spun gold, Lottie grinned and then stuck her tongue out. "No it's okay," she stepped closer, tilting her head to look up at her mohawked date for the evening, "my magic mirror assures me I am still the fairest of them all."

Juice couldn't help himself, grin widening, relief flooding him as he realised he hadn't managed to completely cock-up already, he reached his hand out and twirled a strand of her hair around his finger. The soft silky feel made him wonder just what it would be like to run his hands through it properly. "Well, I could have told you that, think magic mirrors come with a refund Rapunzel?"

"I've lost the receipt." Lottie shrugged, the light-hearted banter coaxing another soft smile onto her face. "But I'm sure I could get rid, Snow White could always use a second opinion after all."

Ever so softly, Juice raised his other hand and trailed his fingertips down her bare arm, small goosebumps rising in their wake. "I'll vouch for its honesty." He had to admit even to himself he was on a roll today, thus far he hadn't made himself look like a stammering dork as he'd feared. "You look amazing."

He shivered as Lottie's eyes trailed down his body, filling him with a pleasant heat.

"You don't clean up to bad yourself." She smiled. "So are we going in or has the place been busted for supplying poison apples?"

A short bark of laughter escaped Juice as he dropped her hair to clasp her small hand in his own. "No, no poison apples, that I know of." He assured as he used his other hand to open the door. "After you Princess."

The restaurant was not what Lottie was expecting and neither, for that matter, was her date. Juice was possibly the most attentive man she'd ever had the pleasure of eating with, he went out of his way to make sure everything was exactly so (although that might have been his slight OCD kicking in Lottie allowed); he encouraged her to try multiple dishes waving off the prices as if it were no big deal but not in the smug 'hey notice how rich I am' way men normally did, he shared his food, he made her laugh, honestly Lottie thought she was a little bit 'wooed' by the man which was an entirely new situation for her.

"Try it." The large grin which had stretched across Juice's face most of the evening reappeared as Lottie eyed the food on the fork he held out to her distastefully, the still familiar but unplaceable crinkle in her nose appearing as she scowled down at it.

"I don't like mushrooms," Lottie whined. "I told you they're literally fungus. Who would want to eat a fungus?"

Juice narrowed his eyes and smirked, meeting Lottie's gaze. "I don't know, maybe a fun guy." He said with a wink.

Lottie snorted and slapped at his arm lightly. "That was awful."

"Made you smile," Juice replied, his grin reappearing. "Come on Princess, don't be a baby. You like garlic, I promise you'll like these. Just try them."

Lottie's electric blue eyes flicked down to the food then back to Juice. "If I die, I expect 'I told you so' to be written on my gravestone."

"Princesses don't die, they get kissed by the handsome Prince and wake-up." Juice joked with an eye-roll. Lottie made a little bit of a show of leaning around Juice looking to both sides until Juice frowned. "What are you looking for?" He asked.

"Just checking to see if there were any handsome Prince's round here, just in case you know. Seems I'm out of luck."

Juice's eyes narrowed at the smirk that tugged her full pink lips. He couldn't help but take a second to appreciate how beautiful she was, her hair pulled behind her, a few loose tendrils escaping to brush the sides of her face, mischief sparkling in her eyes. How he had ended up on this date without fucking everything up he wasn't sure but he was damn sure not going to mess it up now if he could help it.

"I'm going to get you for that one." He murmured, voice coming out much huskier than intended. Lottie bit her lip, doing nothing for the growing problem Juice had, he shifted subtly he hoped, trying to get comfortable again.

Lottie pursed her lips in thought, then quickly, quicker than he thought a person could move, she darted forward and took the food from the fork. Her facial expression was priceless as she scrunched up her eyes and chewed, looking as if she was expecting to keel over or throw up any second. Slowly her expression evened out, face relaxing and she actually gave him a closed-lipped smile as she swallowed.

"Okay, so, those weren't awful."

"You liked them!"

"I said they weren't awful, that's not the same!"

"Hmmm I beg to differ, you liked them. Ha! I told you so."

Lottie smiled at the expression of childish excitement Juice was displaying. He looked about three seconds away from fist-pumping before he realised where he was and cleared his throat, using his hand to cover the majority of the blush slowly spreading across his cheeks. He really was attractive, Lottie thought, eyeing him again. He had that sweet, goofy kind of look about him, whilst still seeming strong and handsome, the right mix between serious and playful. She realised she really was feeling something for him, she must be to be willingly trying all these vegetable concoctions.

"What?" Juice asked, nervously rubbing at his face. "Do I have something on my face?"

Realising she'd been caught staring, Lottie blushed, cursing internally that the blush would be much more noticeable on her pale skin than it would Juice's olive complexion. "I'm having a really good time Juice." She muttered for lack of anything else to say, biting her lip and twisting her hands together on the table.

Juice's worried look disappeared in a second, his eyes softening he reached out his hands and encompassed hers with his own. "I'm having a really nice time too Lottie."

Perfect. The date went perfectly. There was quite literally nothing that Lottie could complain about.

When they'd finished eating Juice opted to walk her home, like a gentleman. Kissed her cheek, like a gentleman. Waited for her to walk inside after extracting a promise of a date the coming weekend where he could prove that he did eat unhealthily sometimes, like a gentleman. Honestly, Lottie was starting to get a little suspicious, he was too perfect. Too funny, too kind, too thoughtful. Surely there had to be something wrong with the guy. Charming looked like a perfect little town after all but there was an outlaw motorbike club which constituted the seedy underbelly.

Biting her lip, back still against her front door, blushing like a schoolgirl Lottie let her back slide down the wood, her dress bunching at the waist as she sat on the cold linoleum floor of her new kitchen, trying and failing to stop herself smiling like an idiot. Without really considering what she was doing or acknowledging the time difference at all Lottie pulled out her old beat-up cell and called her best friend.

Chewing at the skin around her nails as she waited patiently listening to the obnoxious ringing, she thought about the evening again and couldn't help it when a grin stretched across her face. Honestly, the heat leaving her cheeks could probably cook something at this point.

"-Lo." Hearing the groggy voice, more strongly accented than usual slipping from her phone, Lottie cringed.

"Shit! Sorry, Ana - I didn't think about the time… are you busy?" Mentally she facepalmed, quite clearly she'd woken her up so why would she ask that.

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! She thought, punctuating each thought with a dull thump to her head with the hand not holding the phone as she waited for the teasing response she was sure to get.

"Oh yeah I'm just skydiving at the minute Lotts - No I'm not fuckin' busy it's 3 am you tosspot." A pause and another muffled voice before Ana continued. "Max says he hates you."

"Sorry, I can call back in the morning when you're awake." Lottie murmured feeling extra shitty now she thought about it.

"Don't even think about it! I'm awake now ain't I? Just give me- Sì Max, vado per l'amor del! Alright. I'm out of the bedroom. So...what's up?"

"Do you think people can actually be perfect? Or is that like a fuck um… a...a… not mystery…"

"Hang on - did you call at 3 am for philosophical question time? Because I love you but Lotts I swear to God-"

It was amazing, at least in Lottie's opinion, how Ana's British accent could get even more pronounced in her annoyance. With an eye roll, Lottie responded. "No. Jesus don't throw your tea out of the cup over there."

"Ha. Ha." The deadpan way Ana spoke told Lottie volumes about her lack of amusement. "So what is it?"

"I went on a date and it was…" Lottie paused trying to find any other word to use to not embarrass herself. "Perfect."

A pregnant pause seemed to crackle down the line.

"Well, that's concerning."

Lottie laughed, startling even herself. "You have to be the most cynical person I've ever met."

"I'm British. Look, do you like the guy?"

Lottie didn't need to consider her response. "Of course I like him. Actually, I like him a lot, Ana." She said softly.

"Right so, you'll discover the bad as it comes. Just treasure this bit. Trust me it goes away."

"But I don't want any complications, my life doesn't need any more complications I just - how do I tell if he has something wrong with him before I get too involved?"

"Are you seriously asking me that question? Me?!" Came the reply.

"No. But-"

"Look if complications are the issue I mean, our offer still stands...although then you'd have no reason to not come back to New York and well… okay."

Letting out a giggle at how Ana always seemed to talk herself round in circles Lottie finally figured out what she needed to say. "I just needed to hear someone else agree with me I guess. Thanks. I'll keep you updated."

"At normal times one hopes." Ana snorted and then through giggles finally managed to choke out, "Pretty sure Max thought someone had died."

Lottie shook her head. "Well, he wouldn't be Max if he didn't jump into Badass mode as soon as he switched on. Tell him I'm sorry about the phone call. Won't happen again."

"Yes, it will!" Groaned a very American, very New York voice.

Lottie laughed again - realising that Ana must have put her on speakerphone as she reentered the bedroom. "Love you Max!" She shouted, picturing him flipping her off she continued, "Love you too Ana, thanks."

"Anytime," Ana replied, already sounding sleepy again.

The last thing Lottie heard before she hung up the phone was Max's grumbled: "But not at 3 am."

The rest of the week seemed to fly by for Lottie. She had orientation at work and was introduced to the Dentist she'd be assisting, Mr Patil and the second Dentist, his son, whose wife actually happened to be his dental nurse. Mrs Patil Snr was the lady who had conducted the interview and hired Lottie and honestly for a practice entirely run by one family, Lottie was surprised how easily she slotted in. From day one she was joking around with Kirsi and Sachin as if she was their sibling, treating the elder Patil's like parents and feeling much more stable than she had in a while. Considering she had re-trained and in a field which she felt people would be least likely to think she'd enter, it was a pleasant surprise for Lottie how much she was enjoying her new work situation.

The clock in the main waiting room was slowly ticking towards six on Friday evening, the last five minutes of the day seemingly dragging in a way Lottie hadn't felt all week. Her paperwork was all finished, the surgery was spotless and she was more focused on getting home and getting ready for her second date with Juice than she was on making sure the surgery was ready to hit the ground running Monday morning.

Come on! Lottie internally ranted. Move faster. The second hand stuttered before ticking.

"You've been set to go slow just to fuck with me haven't you, you bastard thing?" She grumbled.

A light, girlish giggle, followed by a very un-girlish snort interrupted Lottie's musings and cursing of the slow clock she was sure was set to tick slower than time actually passed.

"Excited for your date with mystery man this evening are we?" Kirsi asked, bumping her hip against Lottie's as she leant on the front desk, watching the girl who had her face propped on her hand looking more disengaged than a plug pulled from the socket.

"No." Lottie snapped, straightening jerkily and worrying the edge of her scrub top between her fingers. "Yes." She reevaluated as she looked between Kirsi and Sachin who were both pinning her with 'who are you kidding?' looks. "Maybe." Letting out a long sigh Lottie plopped down onto the plush reception chair and leant back, tucking her legs beneath her. "Our last date was perfect." Warmth spread across her cheeks as she watched the couple share a small smirk. "Is that even possible? A perfect date? There has to be something wrong with the guy right?"

Kirsi snorted in a very unladylike manner. "Not with him, it's not." She gave a flippant gesture towards her outraged husband. "Always making a mess of things he is."

"I wasn't that bad!" Sanchin cut in trying to defend himself. "I took you on some of the most memorable dates you'd ever been on, you said that!"

Kirsi patted his arm consolingly as she looked to Lottie, "Yes dear, but they were memorable for all the wrong reasons, I'm not likely to forget my date pushing me off a boat now am I?"

A chuckle escaped Lottie as she looked from the placating look Kirsi was sporting to the mix of outrage and creeping embarrassment Sachin had. He'd gone from having a look of anger to red creeping up his neck and dropping his head almost as if he was trying to hide in his shoulders really quickly.

"He did not push you off a boat!" Lottie whispered shock colouring her tone. Hand covering her mouth to suppress the chuckles that kept bubbling out of her at the mental imagery she had managed to conjure up.

"Oh, he did!" Kirsi hollered. "There we were, our third date and I was in Louis Vuitton heels and the most gorgeous Vera deep blue dress you ever did see. I had my hair up elegantly with all my favourite little pearl hairpins scattered in and I'd taken extra care with my make-up, naturally."

Lottie nodded engrossed. Sanchin wasn't so impressed "Oh naturally." He bit out sarcastically, rolling his eyes.

Kirsi practically hissed at her husband, her eyes narrowed into slits as she looked at him. Lottie, feeling for the poor man, cut in, "Well the third date's the sex date Sachin."

"Exactly!" Kirsi pointed victoriously at Lottie looking much more pleased now someone seemed to understand where her offence came from. "So there we were, drinking champagne, looking out over the water, the moon sparkling it was all terribly romantic you see, when this, this….cretin pushed me straight off the boat. I went tumbling over the edge, everything ruined, of course, lost one of my heels, my Louis Vuitton heels, Lottie. All because of this idiot!"

"In my defence, I was trying to save her from seagull shit and I didn't realise how close to the edge she was." Sachin put in timidly.

"I'm honestly surprised she married you. Do you know how much Louis Vuitton heels cost Sachin? I mean designers aren't really my style but I know they don't come cheap!"

"Well," Scahin ran a hand through his jet black hair, ruffling it as he let out a long sigh. "I do now. Replacing those heels set me back a decent chunk of savings but on the flip side, best sex date I ever experienced." He cut his brown eyes to his wife who was now smiling serenely at him and wiggled his eyebrows.

Reaching out a perfectly manicured hand, Kirsi caught Sachin's face and drew herself towards him, "Oh Babe, that might be the sweetest thing you've ever said about me."

"Well, I try-" Sachin was quickly cut off by Kirsi kissing him rather soundly. Within a second the couple were so wrapped up in each other Lottie was worried they might forget she was there and try and re-create 'the best sex date ever' but luckily she was saved that awkward situation by the entrance of Mr and Mrs Patil Snr.

"Okay kids break it up!" Mr Patil loudly announced. "Whilst I'm not opposed to grandchildren I'd rather they not be created in my surgery."

"How rude of the two of you!" Mrs Patil cut in tutting, "Poor Charlotte sitting here having to view your debauchery."

"Mother we're married," Sachin replied with a deep sigh as Kirsi's dark skin grew darker a red undertone seeping across her cheeks.

Mrs Patil fixed her son with an unimpressed look, "Yes well still dear…" Her eyes flicked to the clock Lottie had been cursing internally earlier and Mrs Patil gave a little jump. "Oh, dear! Look at the time! It's run away from us. Charlotte dear do hurry to get ready, won't you? I'm not opposed to grandchildren and if I'm lucky perhaps you'll gift me before these two layabouts. Honestly, married three years and where are my grandchildren? I ask you. Non-existent! Still! After three years married! " Mrs Patil gave Lottie a sly wink as Sachin put his palm to his face and gripped the bridge of his nose. This was obviously not a new conversation topic. "A little diversity in the family will do us some good."

Lottie laughed. Mrs Patil might be as opposite from her own mother as you could get, (who she still needed to contact as Tig kept texting to remind her), but they were both extremely family orientated. She'd taken Lottie in under her wing, seeing someone in need of a little motherly affection and Lottie was besotted. She'd be honoured for Mrs Patil to call her children grandchildren.

"Oh, Mrs Patil-"

"Now dear how many times have I told you it's Kamala to you."

"Kamala," Lottie corrected herself with a small smile tugging at her lips. "You can be my children's grandmother whenever I have them."

Kamala let out a throaty laugh as she pushed and nudged Lottie out from behind the desk and towards the door. "Well of course I can dear, but I'll be out of luck if you ruin the budding romance you have growing. Now go, get ready and come in Monday with some wonderful tales so Kirsi and I can live vicariously through you!" She finally shoved Lottie out of the door before the rest of the family who seemed thoroughly amused by the whole situation. "Off with you now! Go!"

Lottie did not have to be told twice. "Thanks, Mrs P!" She said, half laughing at the clucking noise Kamla made as she took off down the street, "I'll see you Monday!"

So... worth the wait or nah?