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A day that Jaxson & Annabelle will never Forget



Out of all the father-daughter moments I pictured my Men of Honor going through, I never imagined writing a circumstance quite like this. Yet here we are, and I gotta say, this is one of my favorites. Bless Jax, he tried. 🤣







With one of the world’s largest martial arts tournaments on the horizon, the gym is in full training mode. Which is why I am here on Sunday. Why all three of us are here. Thankfully, my session was a lot earlier than Sawyer and Cade’s, which means I can get out of here with time to spare.  


Walking out of the office, I scan the area for Annabelle, feeling guilty for dragging her here when I promised her some quality time together while Julia is away on her girls' trip. She assured me it was fine, that it was only for the morning, but I know she was disappointed. Hell, I was disappointed, but I plan to make it up to her in a big way.


Once I find her. 


I head to the other side of the gym where Slade is training one of his fighters. “Have you seen Annabelle?”


“Not for a while.” 


I frown, wondering where the hell she could have gone. 


“Have you checked the locker room?” he asks. 


“I’ll do that now. Thanks.” I head to the private locker room that’s reserved for owners only and stick my head in the door. “Belle, you in here?”


At the sound of silence, I turn to leave but come to a quick stop at the sound of a soft voice. “Yes.” 


The sad sound instantly puts me on alert. I blow through the door to find her sitting on the bench in the back corner, her tiny shoulders slumped and face buried in her hands. 


Concerned, I push forward. “Hey, what’s wrong?” I kneel in front of her, trying to get a look at her face, but she hides it from me. “What’s going on? Did something happen?”


I can’t see any of our fighters treating her with anything other than respect, but if someone didn’t, I’ll fucking end them.


She shakes her head, putting that worry to rest.


“Okay, then, what’s wrong?”


“I can’t tell you,” she whispers, ripping my heart out. 


“What are you talking about? Of course you can. You can tell me anything, you know that.”


We’re tight. Always have been.


“Not this, Dad. I need mom.”


“Well, mom isn’t back until tonight so I’m all you got.”


She remains silent. 


“Tell me, Annabelle,” I demand, my voice firmer. “Right now.”


Her face lifts at the order, the tears staining her cheeks gutting me from the inside out.


“What is it, baby? What the hell happened?” I brace myself, fearing the unthinkable.


“I got my period!”


Every muscle in my body stiffens, utter shock rendering me speechless.


This is not fucking happening. How is this even possible? She’s barely thirteen, for christ sake.


She gazes back at me, waiting for some sort of guidance, but I find myself at a loss for words. It has her bursting into tears again.


The gut-wrenching sound springs me into action. I pull her against me, wrapping her trembling body in a hug. “Shh, it’s going to be okay.”


“No, it’s not. It’s humiliating and I don’t know what to do.”


Jesus. I don’t fucking know either.


“I didn’t think any of my friends have had theirs yet so I don’t have anyone to ask,” she cries. “I need Mom for this, Dad.”


She most certainly fucking does. 


Breaking the hug, I climb to my feet. “I’ll get ahold of her. Just…sit tight. I’ll be right back.” I hurry to the door, praying like hell she’s already on her way home.


“Hey, Dad?”


I turn at the call, my heart pounding like a fucking drum. “Yeah?”


“Don’t tell anyone, okay?.”


“Don’t worry, I won’t.” Once out of the locker room, I fish my phone out of my pocket and hurry into my office, my hands literately fucking shaking as I dial Julia. When it goes straight to voicemail, I remember they were going to see a movie today before heading home.




“You’ve reached Julia, leave a message.”


I anxiously await the beep.  “Call me, it’s urgent…” I’m about to hang up but bring the phone back up to my ear. “Like, really fucking urgent… Okay. I love you. Bye.” Hanging up, I run my hands through my hair, wondering what the hell I’m going to do. My chest is so tight, I feel like I might be having a fucking heart attack. 


At the sound of the door opening, I turn around to find Sawyer walking into the room. He stops in his tracks at the sight of me. “What the hell is the matter with you? You look like you’re about to hurl.”


Grabbing him by the shirt, I yank him all the way in and shut the door. “I need your help.”


Concern fills his expression. “Okay.”


“Can you try Grace’s cellphone? I tried Julia’s, but it went straight to voicemail.”


“They’re probably still in the movie,” he says.


“I know, but I’m hoping one of them left it on.”


Pulling out his phone, he calls Grace.


Hope fills my chest when I hear a ring on the other end of the line, but not long after I hear her voicemail. 


“Shit!” I pace back and forth, my mind scrambling to find a way to fix this.


“What the hell is going on, man?” Sawyer asks.


“It’s Annabelle. She…” I trail off, struggling to find the words.


Jesus, I think I am going to get sick.


“What?” Sawyer snaps. “Spit it out?”


Halting my steps, I turn to face him. “Has Hope had her period yet?”


He rears back as if I just slapped him, his eyes bulging. “Jesus, no. She’s only twelve for fuck sakes. That shit doesn’t happen until they're like…eighteen or something.”


A bitter laugh escapes me. “Apparently not because Annabelle just got hers.”


His jaw drops, the shock on his face mirroring my own. “No fucking way.”


“Yes fucking way. She’s in the locker room crying right now and I have no idea how to help her.” I shake my head, feeling stressed all over again. “Jesus, why did this have to happen the one time Julia leaves? I mean, out of all the fucking days.”


“I can call my mom,” Sawyer offers. “She’ll know what to do.”


“No, not yet. I told Annabelle I wouldn’t say anything. She’s really embarrassed about it.”


“Why would she be embarrassed?” he asks, confused. “It’s not her fault she’s a chick.”


I wish I could explain it to him, but I can’t because I have no fucking clue either.


The door opens again a second later to reveal Cade and I quickly realize I might have help yet.


He comes to a stop the same way Sawyer did, his gaze volleying back and forth between the two of us. “What?”


Pulling him the rest of the way in, I close the door behind him, making sure to lock it this time. “I need to ask you something.”


“Okay,” he responds slowly.


“It’s kinda personal,” I add, wanting to prepare him.


“What, you want to know the size of my dick or something?”


Sawyer chuckles, finding his dry humor funny. Usually, I would too, but not this time. There is nothing funny about this at all.


“This is serious.”


He gives me his full attention, all joking ceasing. “I’m listening.”


“Has Ruthie…Uh…did she…”


Sawyer cuts in, giving him the words I can’t bring myself to say. “He wants to know if she’s had her period yet.”


Cade visibly stiffens, before shifting uncomfortably on his feet. “Yeah, why?”


“Really?” Sawyer gapes in surprise. “How long ago?”


Cade’s eyes harden at the question. “None of your fucking business.”


I decide to cut back in. “Look, I need to know how you helped her. Annabelle just got hers and I don’t know what to do.”


He lifts his hands, surrendering “Don’t look at me. Faith dealt with that shit. Ruthie was so upset about it that I didn’t even bring it up to her. We just ended up watching the baseball game together and pretended like it never happened.”


Great. Just fucking great.


“Do you think Ruthie could come help Belle?” 


I get she doesn’t want anyone knowing, but it’s Ruthie or me and I have no doubt she will choose Ruthie when it comes down to it.


“I’m sure she would if she was here, but she’s away on a college prep course.”




“Sorry,” he adds.


I’m sorry too.


“What are you going to do?” Sawyer asks.


“I don’t know. Take her to the drugstore, I guess, and buy her…whatever the hell she needs and go from there.”


“You got this,” Cade says.


I grunt. “I most certainly fucking don’t, but I’m going to pretend like I do.” 


Sawyer slaps me on that back. “That’s the spirit!”


Pulling myself together, I head back to the locker room.


No more freak out, Reid’s. You’ve dealt with battle zones before you can handle your daughter getting her fucking period.


Just saying it has my stomach churning. 


Jesus, how did this happen to her already? She’s just a baby. It’s bullshit. Complete bullshit.


Entering the locker room, I find her in the same spot I left her. “Did you get a hold of Mom?” she asks, looking up at me hopefully.


I shake my head.


Her small shoulders slump in defeat. 


Walking over, I pull her into my arms again. “It’s going to be okay, Belle,” I assure her. “If I take you to the drugstore, do you know what you need?”


“Yeah, I think so,” she mumbles into my chest.


“Good, then let’s head there. Hopefully, we hear back from your mom on the way, but if not, we’ll be okay. I promise, Annabelle, I got you.”


“Okay,” she whispers meekly.


“Let’s go.” With my arm around her shoulders, we walk out of the locker room and head for the door. 


She keeps her head down, avoiding eye contact with anyone until Sawyer calls out to us.


He comes jogging over and places his hand on her shoulder. “Hang in there, kid. You got this.”


My eyes close in utter defeat. 


I swear, I’m gonna kill him.


Annabelle turns to me, her expression horrified. “You told him? You promised you wouldn’t say anything.” Before I have a chance to explain she runs out the door.


Turning, I punch Sawyer in the arm.


“Ow. What the hell did I do?” he asks, rubbing the wound. “I was just trying to be nice.”


“I told you she didn’t want anyone knowing.”


“I’m not just anyone. I’m her uncle, for fuck sake.”


“She didn’t even want me knowing, you dick. God.” I shove him again only to get shoved back.


“I’m sorry, all right. I was just trying to help. I’ll go apologize.”


I grab him by the back of the shirt before he can get too far. “No. Just leave it alone. She’s embarrassed enough.”


“Fine,” he grumbles, clearly feeling bad. 


“Look, I’ll call you later. If you hear from Grace make sure she tells Julia to call me.”


He nods. “Good luck.”


I need more than luck. I need mother nature to fuck off.


Walking out, I jump into my truck and find Annabelle with her head down, resting against the passenger window. She doesn’t spare me a glance. 


“I’m sorry, Belle,” I start quietly. “I didn’t mean to embarrass you. I was hoping Hope had hers so you could talk to her.”


“Has she?” she asks, keeping her head down.




“Didn’t think so,” she mumbles.


“You could talk to her Grandma Catherine. Sawyer offered to call her.”


“No.” She shakes her head vehemently. “I don’t want anyone else knowing.”


“All right. Then we’ll figure this out on our own.” Putting the truck in drive, I head in the direction of the drugstore. The few minutes it takes to get there I pray for Julia to call, but it doesn’t happen. 


Annabelle makes no move to get out of the truck. She stares at the store as if it holds her entire fate in its hands. “I hope I don’t run into anyone I know,” she whispers.


“Want me to go in alone?”


I have no fucking clue what I’m looking for, but surely it can’t be that difficult. If all else fails, I can buy what Julia uses. At least I know what the box looks like.


“It’s okay, but thanks anyway.” She rewards me with a sad yet appreciative smile. It gives me a small measure of hope that she has forgiven me for telling Sawyer.


“We’ll make it quick. In and out,” I promise her.


“I swear, this is the worst day of my life,” she grumbles, before jumping out of the truck.


It’s definitely not my worst but it sure as hell isn’t my best.


Once we enter the store, I search the aisle signs and quickly find what we’re looking for.  “This way.” With a hand on her back, I guide her to the feminine hygiene section, pushing her a little faster than necessary, knowing she wants to make this quick. 


However, the moment I turn down the aisle, I realize this isn’t going to be quick, not with the amount of colorful boxes we’re met with.


I gape at the hundreds of choices, wondering how the hell there could be so many. I don’t even see Julia’s brand in all this mess. 


Reaching out, I grab a large pink box, figuring you can’t go wrong with having too many. “How about these?” 


By the horrified look she gives me, I’m assuming it’s a no. 


“Seriously, Dad?”


“What’s wrong with them?”


“They’re diapers!” she snaps in a whisper.




I look down at the pink bag, confused.


“For old people,” she adds.


Well, why the fuck would they put them here? 


Clearing my throat, I put them back on the shelf and scan the variety of choices again. I’m about to suggest another one when we get interrupted.


“Hey, Annabelle.”


I turn toward the young male voice and find some teenage dip-shit wearing the store’s shirt with a stupid grin on his face as he stares at my daughter.


“Oh, hey, Jared,” Annabelle greets him.


Jared? Who the hell is Jared? I’ve never heard of any fucking Jared before.


Jared glances from Annabelle to me, his smile slipping at my glare. He straightens nervously. “Uh, do you guys need any help finding anything?”


Annabelle tenses next to me.


“Does it look like we need your help?” I intervene, saving her from having to answer.


“Dad!” she scolds under her breath. 


Placing my hand on her shoulder, I let her know I got this.


“Uh, no sir,” he stumbles out nervously. “I just thought—-


“You thought nothing. If we needed your help we would have asked for it. Now move it along and take that shit-eating grin with you.”


“Oh god,” Annabelle groans, dropping her head in defeat.


“Uh, yes, Sir. Sssorry, sir.” The kid scurries away, looking ready to piss himself.


Crises averted. 


I smile down at Annabelle, figuring I would be met with the same thing, but that is not the case. 


“I can’t believe you just did that!”


I rear back, shocked by her hostility. “Me? What did I do?”


“You embarrassed me!”


“The hell I did. I saved you. You’re the one who said you didn’t want to run into anyone.”


“That doesn’t mean I wanted you to bite his head off,” she snaps.


“It worked, didn’t it?”


She shakes her head. “Forget it. Let’s just get out of here.” Grabbing a small pink box off the shelf, she slaps it against my chest and stomps away.


Annoyed, I follow her up to the register, and place the box down on the counter. “How old is that little shit anyway?”


“Does it matter?” she asks.


“Yes, it does. He’s too old to be talking to you.”


She rolls her eyes. “He’s only a year older than me and just someone who says hi. Nothing more.”


“Damn straight there’s nothing more and it better stay that way.”


If looks could kill I swear I would be ten feet under right now.


The cashier clears her throat. “Uh, that’ll be $7.97.”


Pulling out my wallet, I tap my debit card. Before the transaction has a chance to go through, Annabelle grabs the bag off the counter and storms out of the store. I stare out after her, feeling bad for giving her shit.


“Bad day?” the lady remarks, a note of sympathy in her store.


“Something like that.” Grabbing my receipt, I thank her and head for the door only to find Jared the turd watching me from behind one of the shelves.


Stopping, I point directly at him. 


His eyes widen when he realizes I’ve spotted him. 


“Stay away from my daughter. Got it?”


After giving me a jerky nod, he turns to head in the opposite direction and ends up crashing into another shelf. 


Chuckling, I walk out of the store, feeling a little better about things. Until I get the silent treatment from my daughter all the way home. She’s so mad she won’t even look at me.


Once we arrive home she races upstairs to her room and slams her bedroom door. I decide to give her some time to cool off and head into the kitchen to try Julia again. It goes straight to voicemail.


Jesus, how fucking long is this movie?


Twenty minutes pass before I climb the stairs to check on Annabelle. 


I knock on her bedroom door. “Belle, can I come in?” 


There’s a long pause before she finally answers. “Yeah.”


Opening the door, I find her lying on the bed, wrapped in the blanket Grams made her, hugging a pillow. 


“Hey,” I greet her carefully, unsure how mad she still is at me. 


“Hi.” Her voice is softer, less hostile.


I take that as a good sign and come sit next to her on the bed. “You get everything figured out?”


“Yeah,” she answers again, plucking at the yarn of her blanket.


“Look, I’m sorry I embarrassed you. I should have handled it better.”


She shrugs. “Doesn’t matter anymore.”


It does, but I decide to leave it alone for now. “You still want to hit up a movie? Maybe go out for a bite to eat?”


“Mind if we stay in?” she asks. “I’m pretty tired.”


“Yeah, of course. Whatever you want,” I tell her.


“Thanks.” She finally looks up at me, those ice-blue eyes filled with so much sadness. “I bet days like today you wish you had a son instead, huh?”


I tense at that statement, every word slicing through my chest like a hot blade. “What? No! Never.” 


She looks away, clearly not believing me.


“Look at me, Annabelle.” I grasp her chin, forcing her gaze back to mine and the single tear rolling down her cheek guts me from the inside out. “I have never wished for a son instead of a daughter. Not today and not ever. I wouldn’t trade you for anyone in this world, do you hear me?”


Sitting up, she wraps her arms around my neck and sobs into my shoulder.

“I love you, Dad and I’m sorry for getting so upset at you. It’s been a rough day.”


My throat burns like a motherfucker. “I know. It’s okay. I love you too.”


She lets me hold her until her tears subside and I cherish every second of it, praying I never lose this. That she will never stop hugging me like this, no matter how old she gets.


After wiping the remainder of her tears with the back of her hand, she lays back on the bed.


“Can I get you anything?” I ask. “Something to eat or drink?”


The offer earns me a smile.  “A cup of mom’s tea would be nice.”


“Got it. I’ll be right back.”


I rush downstairs and put on the kettle. In the few minutes that it takes for the water to boil, Julia calls me in a panic. I fill her in on everything that happened and she bursts into tears, feeling guilty she wasn’t here. 


Turns out, I’m a real fucking winner today with making people cry. 


After calming her down, I end the call and head back up to Annabelle only to find her passed out, her face soft with sleep. 


Placing the cup of tea down on her nightstand, I pull the blanket up higher on her shoulder then settle in on the floor next to the bed big ass furry pink bunny I won her at the carnival when she was seven years old and watch her sleep, knowing there’s nowhere else I would rather be. 





Later that evening, I sit out on the porch steps with a beer in hand and take in the stillness of the night. My thoughts heavy as I think about the day’s events and how badly I fucked up.


The soft click of the front door opening and closing sounds before I feel Julia’s slender form settle in next to me, her arms wrapping around my bicep. Her warmth is a welcome presence, easing the darkness that resides.


“How is she?” I ask.


“She’s good—sleeping again,” she answers softly. 


She has spent most of the night sleeping, something I am thankful for. Hopefully, the next time she wakes up it will be morning and today can be nothing, but a memory for her.


“She told me you tried to buy her diapers.” Amusement coast her tone.


Looking down, I find her biting back a smile. “Jules, tell me something. Why the fuck would they keep diapers in the same place they keep tampons? It makes no sense.”


She breaks into laughter, finding my outburst hilarious. I, on the other hand, still find the whole thing a complete mind fuck. 


“You did good, Jax,” she says, smiling up at me. “I’m proud of you.”


I grunt, knowing it’s a complete lie. I fucked up royally but we survived. 


Both of us.


I peer into my wife’s pretty face and find myself still mesmerized by those aquamarine eyes, even after all these years. “Come here.” 


Reaching down, I lift her over to straddle me. Her arms circle my neck while my hands slip beneath her sundress, and the soft skin of her slender thighs turns my cock rock hard. 


She drops down, letting me have a taste of her lips.


“Did you have a good weekend?” I ask.


“Yes. But I missed you guys— so much.”


“We missed you too, baby.” Leaning in, I nuzzle her neck, trailing my lips down the slender column. The sweet taste of her skin rushes through my veins.


I will never tire of this—never tire of her.


“Jax.” Her fingers thread through my hair, my name a whisper of urgency.


“What’s wrong, Jules? Is your pussy wet?”


A sexy moan falls purges past her lips. “Always for you. You know that.”


“Yeah, I do.” Gathering her in my arms, I stand and move for the door. “Let’s go and take care of it.”


For the rest of the night, I get lost in the woman who will forever own me, the one who gave me the best gift I’d ever receive on this earth. The mother of my daughter, my wife, and always…My best friend.

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