Tara woke Thursday morning long before the rest of the house. She laid there in the dark, wrapped up in Jax's arms, taking in the deafening silence. Glancing over at the clock she realized it was only 5am, which explained why she was the only one awake. She quietly and carefully maneuvered herself out of Jax's grasp and out of the bed with out waking him up. She then managed to shower and dress all without waking her sound asleep husband. She silently made her way into the kitchen to start a pot of coffee. While waiting for her coffee she started to think about breakfast and what she could make that would make this breakfast special for Jax, seeing as after today he would only have one more breakfast at home before he would be eating nothing but prison food. And that's when it hit her and hit her hard. Replaying that thought over and over again in her head. One more breakfast. A day and a half as a happy family of four. That's it. She had a day and a half left with Jax. Her boys only had a day and a half left with their Dad. Their happy family of four would be a sad and lonely family of three in just a day and a half.
She could feel the tears running down her face at a speed faster then she would be able to wipe them away if she even tried to. Which she didn't. She felt numb, she couldn't move. All she could do was stand there, crying and listening to the words "a day and a half" repeating over and over again in her head. She tried in vain to pull herself together. She tried reminding herself why he was doing this to begin with. To keep her with their boys. To keep her from getting charged with murder. To keep their family safe. But that only succeeded in making her feel worse. It reminded her that it was all her fault he was going back to Stockton. She was trying so hard to hold it all in until he was away. To keep him from seeing her breakdown over this struggle she was having emotionally. She wanted to keep up the illusion that she was his tough as nails old lady and that he wouldn't have to worry about her while he was gone. But it all was just too much weight on her emotionally to not have to release some of it. She couldn't hold it in anymore. She had to face the reality of her current situation. Of course she was going to survive, she had no doubts about that. It would be hard, but she would figure it out. She truly believed she would. But knowing that and whole heartedly believing her and the boys would adjust and survive together, leaning on each other, did not change how painful it was to think about how Jax would not be there with them physically. No ballgames, no school awards or plays, no karate classes would he be able to attend to cheer his sons on and beam with pride at their accomplishments. He wouldn't be able to teach them how to ride a bike with out training wheels or be there to encourage them to get back on and try again after falling down.
Tara knew these thoughts weren't getting her anywhere. She knew she needed to stop the onslaught of tears that were currently running down her face. She needed to lock all the emotions up at least until Jax had turned himself in and couldn't see her loose it, like she currently was. She remembers how hard it was to think she was going to prison, but she could only imagine how much worse it was to know with out a doubt that you were going in. She was this distraught over loosing one third of her heart but Jax was loosing his whole heart. His wife and both his boys would be out of his reach. She understood that it was a pain she couldn't begin to imagine.
After pulling herself together, Tara made her way to the sink to splash some water on her face. It was getting close to 7am. She knew her boys would be waking up soon and she did not want them to see her like this. Once she had calmed down and rinsed all traces of her early morning moment of weakness off her face, she started to preheat the oven and threw some eggs on the stove top. Once the oven was heated she put the bacon in and started on some toast.
She had just put the last of breakfast in the warmer when she heard the first signs of life in the house. She walked back towards the boys' bedrooms to find Thomas in Abel's room, playfully bouncing on his older brother's bed while giggling in an attempt to get Abel out of bed. Abel seemed very unpleased with this and was periodically swatting his hand at Thomas without actually opening his eyes. He eventually opened them and with an exasperated sigh said "Geez Tommy, why don't you just lay back down and sleep here in my bed?" Tara waited to hear Tommy's reply. She figured if he took the bait and actually laid down she would just leave them to get some more sleep. But when Tommy's response was to throw a stuffed animal at his brother Tara knew she needed to intervene.
She fully entered the room with a bright smile on her face and said "And what is going on in here?" Tommy's response was a fit of laughter as he ran toward her and wrapped himself around her legs. Abel only moaned whiled while pulling his pillow over his eyes. Tara chuckled at her oldest son's response before picking up her youngest son and saying "Why don't we get you ready for the day while Abel gets a little more sleep?" Again the only response she got from Tommy was more laughter.
She got Tommy ready for the day, then brought him into the kitchen. She had just put his breakfast on the table in front of him when she looked up to see Abel rubbing his eyes and pulling out the chair next to his brother. He plopped down in the chair with a heavy thud and put his head down on the table. Tara once again couldn't help but chuckle at her son's dramatic antics and asked "Good Morning Baby, you ready for breakfast?" Abel responded by nodding his head against the table and Tara made her way back to the stove to make him a plate too.
Jax entered the kitchen a few moments later, freshly showered and dressed for the day. He smiled at the scene he found. Tommy was siting in his chair with a plate of food in front of him, smiling happily while he shoved his mouth so full he could hardly chew. Abel was sitting next to him with his head down on the table and his eyes closed. He walked past both boys, stopping briefly to bend down and kiss both of them on their heads and continued over to the stove where Tara looked to be making another plate, presumably for Abel. He snuck up behind her, wrapped his arms around her waist and trailed a line of kisses up her neck, stopping right behind her ear to whisper "Good Morning Gorgeous."
Tara, who had initially jumped in surprise when he came up behind her, automatically relaxed back into him and sighed when his lips met her skin. She put Abel's plate down on the counter and turned around in Jax's arms. "Good Morning Handsome," she replied as she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down enough for their lips to meet in a sweet kiss. "Breakfast is ready, why don't you bring Mr. Over Dramatic over there his plate, while I make yours and mine?" Jax smiled and nodded in response, reached behind her and picked up Abel's plate before giving her one more lingering kiss and heading over to the table with his boys. He sat the plate down next to Abel's head and shook his shoulder to alert him to his breakfast. Abel smiled up at is Dad and then began eating. After Jax sat down on the other side of the table, he watched his boys eating breakfast. Both boys blissfully unaware that after tomorrow they wouldn't be sharing any of their meals at the kitchen table with their father. He looked up and smiled when Tara when Tara set his plate down in front of him before she sat down next to him with her own plate. She smiled back before starting to eat her own breakfast. All Jax could think was how perfect this moment was. He wished he would have come to this realization about his mother and Clay years ago. Hell, he wished he would have listened to Tara when they were still teenagers. He recently had been wondering what would life be like if he had left Charming with her all those years ago. But he couldn't change that now and there was no way to know if things would have been any better. All he could do was move forward and make sure that he made the right choices from here on out. Make sure that his boys grew up with every opportunity they should have. They deserved to have a wide open future and be whatever and whoever they wanted to be. He would do everything in his power to make sure they did not have the club thrust at them and were not brainwashed into believing that was the only future they had, to be made to think they had no other options. He would not do to them what his mother did to him. He would easily give his life to make sure that his boys did not have to go through the same things he went through. He wanted better for his boys. They would not be punished for his past bad decisions. He would make sure that from here forward his boys and Tara were always his first priority. His family was the one thing he had done right in his life and he would protect them at any cost. Looking back would get him nowhere, he would continue to look forward from now on. That was his only way to survive this time separated from his family.