"Jackie's boy is doing alrigh'," I said to the lad as I hung up my cell. I'd just spoken to Gemma and the wee one had come out of surgery on the strong side of things. It was a relief. Jax had been all torn up and distracted since Abel had been born. The bit of good news was just what he, and the club really, needed.
"That's great!" Half-Sack exclaimed and smiled. I was looking at him still when a frown appeared on his face. "What the hell?" He muttered, and I looked back to the road to see a woman beside an old pickup parked in the middle of the roadway. She was waving her arms, trying to flag us down. She looked panicked, but it could be an act to get the boy and I out of the tow truck. I slowed the rig, though, as either way I was going to have to maneuver the tow and our recent repo around her pickup.
As we approached, I saw that she was saying "Please help." By God, she was beautiful. Clad in jeans and a tank, she was by no means dressed to the nines, but the clothes clung to all the right places. Her long blond hair had a bit of wave to it and the slight breeze ruffled it enough that I could see it came to her mid-back. I hesitated for a moment and then stopped the tow. Hopefully, this wasn't a setup.
Half-Sack gave me a look as I stopped and I shook my head and nodded toward her. "Let's see wha' the lass needs."
"Thank you!" I heard her cry as she came toward me. I'd put her in her mid to late twenties, if I had to guess. Her eyes were bluish and freckles smattered across her nose and on her shoulders. It made me wonder where else I'd find freckles if I went exploring.
"Whas' the problem, lass?" I asked and watched her eyes widen a bit at my accent. No one really expects a Scot in Charming. I've gotten used to the reaction by now. It was amusing and it definitely didn't hurt my chances with the ladies.
"It looks like he was hit by a car and my shoulder's blown out. I can't lift him to the bed of my pickup." She was pointed to the side of the road, where I could see brown and black fur. I followed her over to the side of the road and found a German Shepherd puppy, probably just shy of a year old, laying on the ground. He was matted by blood near his midsection and panting.
"You wan' to take him, lass?" I asked and she nodded her head.
"I can get him to a vet, but I need help loading him. Can you do that?" Her eyes pleaded with me and I sighed. There was a good chance the dog was a lost cause, but for reasons that I couldn't express, I couldn't say no to her.
"Aye, lass." I turned to Half-Sack and motioned toward the animal. "Hold his muzzle. He might try to bite when I move him." The kid nodded at me and we approached the canine. "Eh, there, boy. The pretty lass is going to take ya' to a doctor. Ye' jus' have to be patient wi' me as I lift ya', righ'?"
Half-Sack moved to the front as I leaned down and lifted the animal. He whimpered, but didn't struggle. Poor thing seemed exhausted. As I stretched back up, the woman moved to her pickup and lowered the tailgate. She laid out a tarp and I placed the German on it. I caught a bit of moisture on the lass' cheek out of the corner of my eye. She wasn't carrying on, but it was clear that her heart was aching for the animal.
I raised the tailgate back up and she turned to me and Half-Sack. "Thank you," I saw her look at the TM shirt as she hesitated, "Chibs. You're my hero." She gave the kid and I a bit of a watery smile and then ran to the driver's side of her rig and hopped in. Half-Sack and I watched as she put the truck in gear and drove away.
There was plenty to do when we returned to the shop and so I didn't really have a moment to think too much until late that night. As I stared into the bottom of my Guinness, I thought about the lass' blue eyes. I've seen many a beautiful woman in my life, but it had been a while since one had captured my attention for longer than what it took to bed her. That I was still musing over this one, despite the utter lack of anything sexual in our interaction, was a bit of a surprise to me. It may be her soft heart, or perhaps that she called me a hero; I didn't know what it was, but there was something about the lass that had me twisted up inside.
I was so wrapped up in thoughts of her that I missed Tig coming to join me at the bar.
"You've been quiet, tonight. You alright, brother?" He asked and I saw Half-Sack scoff out of the corner of my eye. Here we go.
"I bet he's still starstruck from this afternoon." The lad said and I considered whether my glass could be embedded in his face. It was a regular pint glass, so I wouldn't need to use much force to shatter it.
"Starstruck?" Jax asked, coming up from behind me and joining in on ribbing me, because the more the merrier, right?
"We stopped to help a sweet thing with an injured dog this afternoon. Chibs hasn't said more than a few words since. I think he's in love." The kid said and I thought about adding Tig's beer bottle to my torture plans.
"Shut it, ye idiot." I muttered, though there wasn't much heat to it. Half-Sack wasn't wrong. I didna even get her name. There was literally nothing I could do to find her again. I hadn't paid attention to her license plate and the pickup was old, but unremarkable. It's not like I could drive around Charming asking people if they knew a beautiful blonde with a heart of gold. Ach, even to my own mind, that sounded sappy and right ridiculous.
Jax slapped me on the back and chuckled. "What's her name, Romeo?" He teased, hitting the nail straight on the head of my problem.
Rather than answer, I shrugged and pointed to the bottles behind the bar. "I'll take somethin' stronger, lad, if ye don't mind."
Half-Sack poured a few shots out and looked to the other men. I knew I was being a right ass, but I couldn't shake the image of that watery smile out of my mind. It was going to be a long night of what-ifs. Best to do that with a shot glass in hand and a bottle close by.
Seeing that I was in no mood to entertain their fun, the men split off to find more pleasant company to fill their evenings while I lost myself in quiet solitude.