Thursday brought a rough morning for both Jax and Tara. Tara had an emotional meltdown that morning and then struggled to keep herself emotionally in check for the rest of the day. Jax as well had a breakdown that morning while showering to get ready for the day, grateful that the sounds of the shower would have drown out any of the sobs he was trying to hold in. He continued to struggle throughout breakfast to hold it together emotionally. He couldn't let Tara see him weak or let the boys sense something was wrong, but with the thoughts running through his head, while he watched his family eating their breakfast, he almost couldn't hold it in.
They finished up breakfast then Jax got Abel ready for the day while Tara cleaned up the kitchen. After a few hours of watching cartoons and just hanging around the house they decided to take the boys to the park. Jax and Tara relaxed on a blanket, spread out in the grass by the playground. They simply talked about anything and everything that wasn't serious while keeping a watchful eye on the boys as they happily played. After a while the boys convinced Jax to play their version of kickball with them. Tara stayed on the blanket watching her three guys, running around and kicking the ball back and forth to each other. All three laughing the whole time. Tara loved seeing the pure joy and happiness on her boys faces as they played and spent time with their father who was just as happy to be with them. She felt the pain in her heart though, at the thought that it would be many years, if ever, that she would see them like this again. If the judge sentenced Jax to the full 20 years of his deal with Patterson, even Thomas would be too old for these kinds of games when he came home. Tara took her camera out fo the bag next to her on the blanket and snapped some pictures of her family having fun together before taking a few short videos as well.
After spending a few hours playing at the park and having a picnic lunch that Tara packed before leaving the house, they headed to Scoops for some ice cream before heading home. The family of four sat in a booth next to the front windows enjoying their ice cream together. Both Abel and Thomas were making a huge mess all over themselves and their clothes, much to Jax's amusement and Tara's annoyance. This was a real treat for the boys. Normally when they got ice cream Tara insisted that it be in a cup so they didn't have to hold it and drip it everywhere and she was constantly wiping their hands and faces to minimize the mess at the end of the treat. But Daddy bought them cones today and was definitely enjoying his time watching his boys have fun and make a huge mess.
After thoroughly enjoying their ice cream Tara brought the boys into the bathroom to try to clean them up, while Jax went upstairs to talk to Chibs about everyone coming by the house after dinner tonight. After arranging things with Chibs, Jax brought his family home for their last evening together in the near future.
The family of four was watching TV on the couch and munching on popcorn when there was a soft knock on the door. Jax got up to open the door and was surprised to see Nero on the other side. "Hey Mano, sorry to bother you. I know you probably have a busy today. I just need a few minutes of your time. Strictly personal, I promise no business talk." Jax nodded his head and opened the door further as an invitation for Nero to enter. Nero followed Jax into the living room and smiled at Tara still sitting on the couch with the boys. "Hey Mama, I'm sorry to interrupt your family time. This wont take long I promise, but I do need to speak to both of you."
Tara genuinely smiled up at Nero, she really did the like the man, even if he did have questionable taste in women. "Not a problem, Nero. It's good to see you. The boys are past due for a nap. Let me just put them both down and then we can talk." Tara said as she picked Thomas up and held her hand out for Abel to follow her down the hall.
Nero and Jax both sat on separate couches and Nero asked "How you doing Mano? Were you able to take care of all the loose ends you needed to tie up?"
"Pretty sure that today has been the hardest so far, but that only scares me for tomorrow. And anything that wasn't taken care of yet can be handled later on. All the important shit has been sorted out." Jax sighed then finished by saying "The rest we will figure out as we go."
Nero nodded before saying, "I wish there was another way. But I know and respect why you are doing this. I meant what I said, I will do anything I can to help you and your family. You guys are my family too. Anything you or Tara need I am just a phone call away. I love you guys."
I appreciate that brother. I love you too. It's good to know that so many people will have my family's back if needed, when I wont be able to be here to protect them. I know we're heading legit and there is less to worry about, but that wont keep me from spending all my time worrying about my family. Eliminating even just a small amount of that worry will go a long way in helping to keep me whole inside. Keeping me focused on my own survival." Jax finished saying around the same time Tara reentered the room taking a seat on the couch next to Jax. Jax smiled at his wife, putting his arm around her and pulling her in closer to his side. He turned back to Nero, "So brother, what's going on? What's so important for you to come all the way here today?"
Nero took a deep breath before starting to tell them why he was there. "I really hate to have to come here to tell you this. Especially today, knowing what you have going on tomorrow. But I had a visit from a Janice Denver this morning. She is..."
Tara felt Jax tense up at the mention of Gemma lawyer and was not surprised at the venom in his voice when he cut Nero off by angrily saying "We know who the bitch is. She already stopped by here, spewing her bullshit or I guess Gemma's bullshit. I already told her my opinion on Gemma rotting in Hell and let her know that no one will be testifying on her behalf. So I don't really know why you are here now, if you are here on her behalf then you can rot in Hell along with Gemma."
Tara could tell that Jax's anger was rising, so she grabbed his hand to get his attention and when he turned to look at her she smiled sweetly at him before calmly saying, "Calm down babe. Nero knows how we feel about your Mother. Relax and let him explain why he is here." A quick nod was all the response he provided so she leaned over and pressed her lips to his, pulling away only when she felt the tension start to melt away.
Jax smiled sadly at Tara and quietly said "Thank you, I love you." Then turned back to Nero, "Sorry man, I am still pissed at the fact that she is still trying to manipulate me. She told her lawyer if she could get me alone to talk I would back her story. I would confirm her story that she was innocent and never tried to kill my wife. I'm sure you can understand why that upsets me."
Nero sighed heavily before telling Jax "I completely understand. I am definitely not here on her behalf. I had a long talk with her lawyer before sending her on her way. I wanted to try to get as much information as possible before I told her that no matter how much I love Gemma I would never get up there and lie for her. What she tried to do is unforgiveable. Not just by Tara, but by everyone who loves her, which includes me. I doubt her lawyer will be coming back around. But I wanted to come by and tell you what I learned before I kicked her out. Figured it might help in the criminal case against her."
Jax tightened his grip on Tara's hand. She glanced at him and noticed he looked almost eager to hear what Nero had to say. "Thank you, Nero" she spoke up "I know how hard this has to be for you. I know how much she means to you. I am grateful for anything you can tell us that could help. I can't have her getting out of this. If she is out walking around while Jax is locked up, he will never stop worrying about me. He needs to stay focused on his own survival, not problems on the outside."
"I know Mama," Nero looked down sadly before continuing "It's probably not as hard as you think. I do love Gemma. Still after all the bad shit she's done, I can't seem to stop loving her. It hurts like Hell to be able to stop loving her, but I can't stand behind her after what she has done. And I can't let her try to weasel her way out of being punished for her actions but turning this around on you guys. Which is exactly what she is trying to do. Seems like when she couldn't get Jax on her side she changed her strategy. She is now going to try to say that you are both in on everything together. You are both setting her up. Evidently everything is technically in Jax's name. TM, her house and a very substantial savings account from JT. She was supposed to turn it all over to him when he turned 18. JT had saved for your future. College, a home, whatever you wanted or needed. You were also his only heir and sole beneficiary. He had two very large life insurance policies. The life insurance money was put into the savings account. Since JT was gone and you were still a minor Gemma's name replaced his on the account. You weren't old enough to have the house or business in your name so it was set up in a trust for you to receive when you turned 18. Gemma was also conservator to the trust. I can only imagine that it was her job to hand everything over to you when your 18 birthday came around."
Jax was confused and his face clearly showed that confusion. His brow was furrowed when he finally said his thoughts out loud. "It sounds like Gemma may not have known that everything was going to be left to me. Like maybe he made some changes at the last minute when he realized she was with Clay. But what does this have to do with her defense. How could her admitting that she illegally kept control of my money, my business and my property help her case when she goes to trial? Wouldn't that hurt her character? Show the jury and judge how conniving and controlling she really is?"
"I was confused at first too, Mano. But the more the lawyer talked the more it made sense. I realized what she was doing. The new defense is that Tara somehow found out what Gemma had done. She knew all about the money, the house and the business being yours. Her and Gemma got into a verbal argument because she was blackmailing Gemma to keep her away from her son and grandsons. Jax overheard what was said between them and both of you came up with this story about her trying to kill Tara to have her put away as her punishment for not being honest with her son. And evidently once you have access to all the money you will be paying Sherriff Roosevelt for his statement that backs your statements. And according to her lawyer Gemma is adamant that the whole plan was all Tara's doing. Poor Jax is being manipulated by Tara cause he is afraid she will keep his sons from him. I'm sorry Mano. I know this is a lot to take in. But I also know that Gemma's story has to have some truth to it because the lawyers will need to be able prove things. Meaning the house, the business and the money more than likely really are all yours. Besides telling the DA this information to prepare for the trial, you may want to have your lawyer start looking into things too."
Jax was quiet while he took it all in. Tara was silent as well. Not actually shocked that Gemma would do something like this, she knew Gemma would go to any length to control Jax's life as much as possible. She was however shocked that Gemma believed that this story would get her out her charges. Jax really didn't know how to respond to the information that he just heard. "That is a lot to take in," he finally said. "Thanks for bringing it to me. We will let Patterson know so she can be prepared. I'll also have Rosen look into it. See what he can find out."
Tara gave Jax a small smile, then turned back to Nero and Thanked him again for coming to tell them. Nero got up to leave reminding them again to let him know if there was anything he could do to help. Tara studied Jax for a few moments before she finally decided to ask what was going on in his head. She wanted to know what he was thinking about and what he wanted to do with this information. "I really don't know what to think, babe. It's so much to think about. I am so confused. If there is truth to her claims, why would she do it to begin with? I mean she knew I would never make her leave her home or push her out of the business. I just can't think of any good reason for her to keep these things from me."
"I think it actually makes perfect sense." At Jax's confused look Tara continued, "If you had access to the money, your future would have been wide open, you would have had every opportunity possible. If she kept you from knowing that you owned TM, kept you from knowing that you had a saving account with a shit load of money from your Dad then she could continue to pull all the puppet strings. She was terrified of loosing that control. She couldn't let you know it was all yours. She couldn't let you have control of your own life. If you did, you may not make the choices that she wanted you to make. You may actually had the chance to find your path in life. Like JT wanted for you."
Jax looked thoughtful for a moment. "I guess that makes sense. We will have Rosen dig into it and see what he can find for us. Maybe thanks to my Dad both my boys will have a full College fund before they have even started school. We will also talk to Patterson about it when we meet tomorrow. Make sure she is at least prepared if it is to come up in court. But right now, I just want to forget about it. I want to spend the next 24 hours with my family, with out having to think about all the bullshit Gemma has done and what she still has yet to do. We have much better things to do with the little time we have left."
"Yes," Tara replied "we will work all that out later. Right now I estimate we have about an hour before both of our monsters are awake and I definitely think of better ways to spend that hour then thinking about Gemma." Jax's response was that infamous Teller smirk as Tara stood and pulled Jax's hand to get him to stand and follow her to their bedroom to spend the next hour completely lost in each other while the boys continued to nap.