Mick deals with depression while Tommy gets married.
At that moment, the Crue emerged back out from the changing room. They looked much more awake now. Mick and Nikki were cracking a joke and Tommy was grinning from ear to ear about something or another. As they passed me sitting on the floor, Mick said, "We're going onstage now, Amy. Wish us luck!"
I gave Mick a thumbs up and a stiff smile while I was still trying to figure out what to say to Steven. As the Crue members walked by, Vince looked straight into my eyes. A lump formed in my throat as I looked at him. Vince quickly lowered his gaze as if embarrassed to be caught looking at me and shuffled along after the Crue members.
"Uh, Amy? You still here?" Steven's voice asked doubtfully from the phone, reminding me that now was not the time to be off daydreaming about Vince. Trying to focus my mind back on Steven, I replied, "Yeah, I'm still here. Sorry, I'm in the middle of a Crue concert right now. We're in Germany at the moment actually."
"Oh, that makes sense!" Steven exclaimed. "I forgot about the time change. I guess it is early in the morning where you are right now. I didn't mean to call so early. Sorry about that." I shook my head and quickly replied, "Oh no, it's fine. I've been up for hours. Tommy got me up at four am so we could catch a plane."
"That sucks," Steven sympathized. "I literally have to be dragged out of bed if it's before noon." Although our conversation was light-hearted and harmless, I couldn't help but feel awkward by my actions from the last time we had seen each other. I felt like I had to apologize again or make up an excuse for what I had none.
Unable to take it any longer, I burst out, "I'm so sorry about last time, Steven. I acted like a total idiot. It's okay if you're mad because I totally understand if you are and stuff." There was a short silence while I held my breath, waiting for Steven's response. Finally, he replied, "It's okay, Amy. I've already told you that, haven't I?"
I nodded, "Well, yeah, but...does that mean you're not mad?" I crossed my fingers in my lap that he wasn't still mad. Steven chuckled, "Of course not! I forgot about that a long time ago so stop beating yourself up about it, okay? Forgive and forget, you know? Anyways, I was actually calling you to see if you wanted to go to a concert with me."
I froze, completely caught off guard. Steven was inviting me to go to a concert with him after all I had done? That was pretty amazing. Steven must be a pretty forgiving guy. When I found my voice again, I said in an unsteady tone, "You want me to go to a concert with you even after everything I've done?"
"Yes, I do," Steven replied reassuringly. "You've gotta quit being so paranoid! Don't you remember how you got me the position of being the drummer for the Hollywood Rose? I still can't thank you enough for that. It's worked out so well so far. Axl is a great band leader and everyone is getting along so well. So what do you say about the concert?"
I wasn't exactly sure what to think about the concert. Nobody had ever invited me to a concert before. True, I had seen several Crue shows before, but that was it. I had never seen another band perform before. A sudden question popped into my head; was Steven inviting me as a friend or as a date? There was a big difference between those two things.
Procrastinating on telling him my answer, I asked instead, "What concert would we be seeing?" Steven replied quickly, "Um, we'd be seeing Poison. You seem like you're a fan of glam metal so I thought they were our best option. But of course, we don't have to go if you don't want to. It's totally up to you. I just want you to be happy babe."
The offer was very tempting. I had really been hoping to meet or see some of the members from the band Poison. And Steven was right; I was a big fan of glam metal. Nothing got better than seeing a whole lot of rock stars with great bodies and makeup perform. It couldn't hurt anyone if I said yes to going to the show, right?
"I'd love to go," I finally decided. "So when's the concert?" I could hear Steven exhale loudly from the other end of the phone. It was as if he had been holding his breath to see what my answer would be. Could me going with him to a Poison concert really mean that much to him? I mean, the man didn't even like glam metal!
"It's in three weeks on a Saturday," Steven replied excitedly. "I'm so glad we're going together. I'll pick you up on Saturday afternoon so we won't be late. I just know we're going to have a blast together!" I couldn't help but smile at Steven's words. He was always so happy and optimistic. Nothing ever got Steven down in the dumps.
But there was one question bugging me that I just had to ask. Unsure of how to word it, I started hesitantly, "Um, Steven? Just one question...are you inviting me as a friend or as a date?" There was an awkward silence while I fidgeted nervously awaiting Steven's answer.
"I'm inviting you as whatever you want us to be. If you want us to be friends then that's cool," Steven finally answered. I let out of a breath of relief. Steven's answer was what I had been hoping to hear. Basically, he was saying that we would be friends for now, but maybe there would be an opportunity for us to get together in the future. In the future, I might not mind it, but right now, I just had to focus on getting through this fucking Crue tour before I could worry about guys.
"Okay," I replied, "So I'll talk to you in a few weeks?" Steven answered eagerly, "Yep! It was nice to talk to ya, Amy. See you soon!" With that, the phone clicked and the call ended. I gazed at my phone for a moment, feeling slightly better. There was just something about Steven that made me feel better.
"Wait, who's hotel room is this exactly?" I asked curiously as I followed the Crue members into an unfamiliar hotel room. Why we were going into this hotel room and not our own, I did not know. As soon as the Crue had finished their show, they had picked me up and whisked off to this hotel.
"It's Claude Schnell's place," Mick informed me as Tommy slipped the lock through the door and stepped inside. Something about invading Claude's hotel room didn't seem right to me. Biting my lip, I hesitated in the doorway and gave Mick an uneasy glance, "Why are we at Claude's and do we even have permission to be here?"
Tommy, overhearing my question, answered, "God, relax girl! Yes, we have permission to get in here. How else would I have gotten the key?" I shrugged and apprehensively stepped into the clean, tidy hotel room. Inside the room, Vince was already slugging down a bottle of Jack Daniels while Nikki was piling beers onto the table.
While the Crue members drank all the alcoholic drinks from Claude's little fridge, I wandered around the room and then stopped at the window. Looking outside, I could see two shiny, new Mercedes Benz cars sitting in the parking lot right beneath us. A little pang of jealousy went through me at the sight of them. I would just die to have one of those.
"Hey guys, let's have some fun!" Vince slurred to the others. Before I could ask what he meant by having "fun", the Crue members started vandalizing the room. Tommy picked up the bed, Nikki overturned the desk, and Vince yanked the television out of the plug. I stared at them in shock and gasped, "What the fuck do you think you guys are doing?"
Ignoring me, Tommy walked right by and said, "Out of the way, Amy!" I stumbled backwards as Tommy made his way over to the window. Still not sure what he was going to do, I watched in horror as Vince threw the television out the window. Tommy followed Vince's example and threw the bed out the window as well. Before long, every single item of furniture had been thrown out of the window. By the time they were done, the Crue members were laughing drunkenly amongst themselves like they had just had the best times of their lives. Why they enjoyed vandalizing someone else's stuff would always be a mystery to me.
"Guys, we've gotta get out of here!" I hissed, glancing at the doorway nervously. Anyone who had been outside would have seen what we were doing. As a matter of fact, the police could be coming here right this minute for all we knew! Luckily, the Crue members followed my advice and ambled after me as I slipped out of Claude's room and strode down the hallway to the elevator as fast as I could. I wished they would hurry up. They didn't seem be in their right minds right now.
Finally, we had all somehow gotten into the elevator and had arrived on the main floor. I grabbed Tommy and Mick's hands and yanked them through the hotel doors and to our cars. Just as I was taking a seat next to Tommy in the corvette, Tommy let out a howl of laughter and slapped his knee, pointing to something in the distance.
Squinting to see what Tommy was looking at, I caught sight of a man being cornered by a police. Not seeing how this was funny in the least bit, I said, "I don't get it. Who is that guy? Do you know him or something?" Tommy frowned at me as if I were ruining a good joke before sighing and explaining, "That's Claude."
Immediately, I felt a wave of remorse for Claude. He was getting blamed by the police for something he had never done. How fair was that? But before I had time to protest to Tommy about what was going on, Tommy had already sped out of the parking lot at top speed in his corvette, leaving me feeling unexplainably guilty for something I hadn't even participated in.
Sighing with relief, I rolled over onto my back and stared at the ceiling of my hotel room. The rest of the Crue tour had seemed to fly by. They had done their last show today and we were heading back to Los Angeles tomorrow morning. I was feeling homesick like usual and couldn't wait to sleep in my own bed and use my own bathroom.
Feeling thirsty, I sat up on my bed and decided to go get a drink. I knew it was early in the morning, but the vending machines were always available so it couldn't hurt to go get some water. Lazily, I slid off of my bed and padded across the room and out into the hallway. Just as I stepped out the hallway and was turning towards the vending machine, I heard someone call my name from behind me, "Amy, stop a sec!"
Wondering who else would be up at this time, I paused and turned around to see Tommy and Vince running towards me with lopsided grins on their face. I felt a small twinge of pain at the sight of Vince. He hadn't once spoken to me after the assault in my hotel room the other night when I had accused him of being with other women. Probably the only reason Vince was talking to me now was because he was all fucked up from the alcohol which he continued to consume in larger amounts by the day.
"Hey Tommy, hey Vince," I greeted them. "What's up?" Vince was doubled over laughing and was dragging his feet on the floor by the time he and Tommy approached me. Even Tommy was grinning from ear to ear and was trying to stop laughing so that he could answer my question. I tapped my foot impatiently, wishing he would let me in on the joke.
"So Amy," Tommy finally began between chuckles, "You know how Vince and I bought flare guns, right?" I nodded slowly. On some random impulse, Tommy and Vince had decided that they had to have flare guns. So they had spent all of yesterday afternoon shopping for the perfect ones. I still hadn't figured out what they wanted the guns for.
"Well, Vince let off a flare," Tommy continued, "and the flare landed right on my mattress! And guess what, Amy? It actually set it on fire! Isn't that hilarious?" Tommy broke down into another fit of drunken giggles that Vince immediately joined. I stared at them with wide eyes; they thought if was funny that they had just set Tommy's mattress on fire? Didn't they realize how dangerous that was? Apparently, they were even more fucked up than I had thought.
Taking control, I inquired, "So where are you guys going? You've put out the fire...right?" Tommy and Vince exchanged dubious looks, their answers written all over their faces. Tommy said, "We were going to go find Doc McGhee so he could see how funny it was. That's why we didn't put out the fire yet."
I slapped my forehead with my palm in frustration. Trying to keep a cool tone, I explained, "Tommy, Doc McGhee isn't even here! He's back in Nevada. So guys, please open the door to your room while I call the fire department?" Tommy and Vince shrugged and wandered aimlessly down the hall until they reached the end room.
Smoke was drifting out from underneath the door and flooding the hallway at an alarming rate. The stench of smoke made me crinkle up my nose and say to Tommy, "Geez, Tommy! Can't you hurry up and open the door already? I don't want to sit in this smoke filled hallway forever you know!"
Not answering, Tommy dug through his pockets and then turned to me with a look of panic, "We must've locked the keys in the room! I don't have them anymore. You don't happen to have them, do you, Vince?" Vince looked down guiltily at the floor and shook his head. My mind whirled as I tried to think of what to do now.
At that moment, the smoke detectors went off, sending an excruciatingly loud beeping through the hallway. I clamped my hands down on my ears and retreated from the smoky room. Hopefully, someone would hear the smoke detectors going off and come to rescue us! Tommy and Vince followed me down the hallway, now looking just as worried as me.
Suddenly, a hotel worked came barreling past us and charged bravely through the smoke and into Tommy and Vince's room by a key he pulled out from his pocket. Tommy, Vince, and I stood off to one side of the hallway as several more workers followed the first into the room with fire extinguishers thrown over their shoulders.
Five minutes later, it was all over and the fire was out. I let out a loud sigh of relief. What if the fire hadn't been put out? What if the whole hotel had burned down? I decided not even to bother thinking of those possibilities. As the workers retreated heroically from the room, one of the paused and glanced over at us suspiciously.
I backed up against the wall, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible. But sadly, the worker saw right through my disguise and marched right up to where the three of us were huddled. He looked intently into each of our eyes before saying in an authoritative tone, "Did one of you start the fire?"
Before Vince or Tommy could blab some drunken excuse, I managed a smile and said, "It was an accident. Tommy here accidentally let off a flare on a flare gun and the mattress caught on fire. We didn't know what to do! I'm so sorry." I hoped with all my might that the worker would just take my excuse and not ask for any more information.
He bit his tongue, looking like he wanted to say more, but resisted. He just shrugged and said, "Make sure it doesn't happen again." I nodded vigorously, glad that he was walking away, "Yes sir! It won't happen again." As soon as the workers were out of sight, I wrapped an arm around Tommy and Vince and led them back into my room. There was no way that they were going to sleep in their room when it wreaked of smoke. And truth be told, I didn't want them alone with those flare guns.
Sighing contentedly, I flopped down on the couch and took a deep, relaxing breath. I had gotten home from the tour about four hours ago and had just finished unpacking all of my gear. Now it was time to relax! This morning certainly hadn't been relaxing. On the way out of the hotel, Vince had smashed the mirrors in the elevator earlier this morning which caused us to be kicked out of the hotel. So we had wandered around the airport for a few hours before finally taking the flight home. The plane ride had gone by fast since I had slept for most of it. And now I was finally home again.
As I pulled a blanket around myself, my phone started beeping loudly from across the room. I cursed under my breath. I couldn't even be home one minute before I was getting phone calls already! Couldn't people realize that I needed a chance to relax without interruption after my long trip? Apparently not.
Since the incessant beeping was driving me nuts, I marched across the room, picked up the phone, and opened it as I returned to my spot on the couch. I glanced at the number before answering it out of curiosity. To my surprise, it was Tommy! Why would Tommy be calling me already? He had just talked to me four hours ago for god's sake!
"Hi Tommy," I said into the phone, "What's up?" Tommy replied excitedly, "Guess what, Amy? Actually, nevermind because you'll never guess it. I'll just tell you instead - Candice and I are getting married?" At first, I thought I hadn't heard him right. Candice and Tommy were going to get married? Oh god, this couldn't be happening!
Trying to hide my alarm, I managed to say, "Um...that's interesting...are you sure you want to marry Candice?" Tommy laughed at my reply, "Yes, I am. I'm sorry you don't like her, Amy, but she's the love of my life. I wanna be with her and have a commitment from her. That's what marriage is all about, you know?"
"Yeah, I guess," I said, envious that Tommy had someone who was willing to make a commitment to him. At the moment, there was absolutely nobody who wanted to make a commitment to me. Tommy's voice lightened and he asked, "So I was wondering, want to go downtown with me tomorrow to look for a ring? I could sure use your help."
I didn't have any plans set up for tomorrow, so why not? It might be fun to look at the rings. Maybe someday a guy who actually be buying me a ring...or maybe not. I answered, "Yeah, I'll come. Do you have Candice's ring size and stuff?" Tommy nodded, "Yep! We've got our wedding all planned out. I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"
"Yeah, okay," I replied, getting the feeling that Tommy had to hang up. "Bye!" I flipped the phone shut and tucked the blanket tightly against my body. It was December now and quite cold outside. My thoughts slowly traveled to marriage as I sat on the couch. Tommy and Vince were both married and Vince and Mick both had steady girlfriends. But what about me? Would I ever get married or even have a boyfriend for more than a few months?
Knock, knock, knock! I jumped up from the couch, threw my purse around my shoulder, and strode over to the door the next afternoon. Tommy was outside waiting for me with a huge grin on his face. Even though I didn't like Candice, I had to admit that I was glad that he was getting married to her if it made him happy. Because in the long run, all that mattered was Tommy's happiness. At least Candice wasn't as bed as Beth Lynn!
"Hey there, Tommy!" I smiled at him as I stepped outside and followed him to his corvette. To my surprise, little white snowflakes were fluttering all around us. It was snowing for the first time this winter! Good thing I had decided to wear my boots instead of the sandals I had been thinking about wearing.
"Hi Amy!" Tommy greeted at me buoyantly as we took our seats in the corvette. Tommy quickly revved up the engine and off we sped towards the downtown area to pick up Candice's ring. I frowned at the speedometer as we reached sixty miles per hour. I figured the sped limit in this area was around forty-five, not sixty!
"I know you're excited, Tommy," I said, "but that doesn't mean you can drive like crazy and get yourself a ticket!" Tommy glanced down at the speedometer and immediately put his foot on the break, blushing as he said, "Oops, I didn't realize I was going that far over the limit." I rolled my eyes at him. Tommy was just the kind of guy who got distracted while he was driving.
A few minutes later, we reached the local jeweler's store and parked right in front of it. Tommy flung his door open excitedly and practically raced to the door with excitement. I followed him inside and was glad to find that the jeweler's store had heating in it! The heater in Tommy's car had broken a while back and he hadn't bothered to fix it, so I was chilled to the bone!
As Tommy browsed through rings, I asked, "So when's the wedding? In a few weeks or something?" Tommy, not even bothering to take his eyes off the rings, replied, "Nah, it's in two days." My eyes bugged out and I stared at him in shock. Two days? How the hell were they going to manage to pull off a wedding in two days?
I tried to explain this to Tommy, "Look, Tommy, I know you're excited, but there's really no way you can have a wedding in three days. What about wedding invitations and all that?" Tommy just shrugged as if that was the least of his concerns as he said, "We're not having wedding invitations. It's just gonna be a small wedding."
A small wedding could be good. I figured that I would probably want to have a small wedding if I ever had a wedding of my own someday. Sighing, I decided to stop dishing out wedding advice to Tommy and just let him handle the whole thing. He seemed to be doing a pretty good job of it on his own.
"So Amy, have you talked to Mick lately?" Tommy asked me as he picked up a ring and examined it carefully. I didn't know why Tommy was asking me this question. I had obviously just seen Mick two days ago since the Crue had all taken the same plane back to Los Angeles. Frowning, I said, "Well yeah. I saw Mick less than two days ago. Why do you ask?"
"I meant when was the last time you really talked to Mick," Tommy corrected himself as he held the ring he was holding up to the light to look at it even closer. "Like about his personal life and all that. Not just about band stuff." I thought hard about Tommy's question. I couldn't even remember the last time I had talked to Mick about personal things. Mick had been really quiet lately and had pretty much just kept to himself for the most part.
"I don't remember," I confessed to Tommy. "Why do you ask though? Is Mick having problems or something?" Ignoring my question, Tommy ordered, "Give me your hand." Having no idea what Tommy wanted with my hand, I tentatively held it out, waiting to see what he would do. Tommy quickly slid the ring out of the box he was holding and slipped it onto my finger. He stepped backwards and scrutinized my hand to see if he liked the look of it.
But regardless of what Tommy thought, I thought it was one of the most beautiful rings ever. The diamond in the center of it was a square shape and glinted all the colors in the rainbow when the light hit it. Up until this point, I hadn't realized just how much I wanted a wedding ring. The more I thought about it, the more I was starting to think that I was ready to get married!
"What do you think?" Tommy asked with his brow creased, holding his hand back out for the ring. I hesitantly slipped it back off and dropped it back into his palm. Still gazing at that perfect little crystal, I remarked, "It's gorgeous, Tommy. Perfect. Do you have enough money to buy it for Candice?"
Tommy rolled his eyes at me and replaced the ring back into the box, "To hell with the money, I can afford anything for Candice. She deserves the best." For a few moments, I was actually jealous of Candice. I would do just about anything for a guy to talk about me the way Tommy was talking about Candice. As Tommy proceeded to the checkout counter to pay for the ring, I decided to wait for him outside.
After telling Tommy where I was going, I slipped out of the door and wandered around by the entrance of the building. As soon as I was outside, I wished I had decided to stay inside. The snow was falling thickly from the sky now and a layer of fluffy whiteness had buried the road. It was really starting to look for Christmas!
Clutching my coat closer to me, I continued to pace in front of the building to try to warm up. Unfortunately, I was not looking where I was going though because two seconds later, I ran smack into someone. Both of us had been walking pretty quickly and we collided with a loud smack. Losing my footing in the slippery snow, I waved my arms and wobbled precariously for a moment before pitching backwards and falling to the ground. The person who I had run into also lost their footing and came smashing down right on top of me where we both lay stunned on the ground.
I felt like my back had cracked when I had smacked the hard, concrete sidewalk. My breath came in short wheezes as I tried to get my bearings. Once I had finally caught my breath, I realized that whoever I had run into had fallen right on top of me and was currently pinning me to the ground in the most awkward way.
Praying that this guy on top of me wasn't some creepy old man or someone like that, I slowly lifted my gaze. I immediately found myself looking into a pair of deep brown eyes that were looking at me with concern and recognition. Those eyes were some of the most gorgeous eyes that I had ever seen. I was so taken with the guy lying on top of me that I forgot that I should say something or ask him to move.
Finally, he spoke, "Amy...didn't expect to see you here. Um, sorry about running into ya like that." I blinked and tried to force myself to regain my composure as I answered, "Hey Axl. It's okay about running into me. I wasn't watching where I was going. It was all my fault. It's kinda slippery out with the snow and stuff, you know?"
As Axl nodded, his sleek auburn hair fell over one of his eyes and tickled my cheek ever so gently. I didn't think I had ever been this close to Axl before. Having him lying here on top of me made my heart race and my blood pulse excitedly through my body. Axl had put a hand on my chest when he had fallen and had left it there right between my breasts.
We gazed into each other's eyes for a few minutes, neither of us making a move. Slowly, Axl's friendly grin disappeared and he was looking at me differently. It was like he was looking at me for the first time. My heart was really hammering against my chest at this point. If it kept this up, it would probably explode in a few seconds! Ever so slowly, Axl leaned down towards me. I could feel the warmth of his breath on my cheek and see his lips barely inches from mine. It was the perfect situation for a kiss. I closed my eyes lightly as Axl continued to lean towards my lips and was just about to kiss him when...
"What the fuck?" Tommy's surprised voice met my ears. Damn! Why did Tommy have to ruin the moment? Once the moment was gone, it couldn't ever come back. Axl had shot a sideways look at Tommy and hurriedly got up, blushing ever so slightly as he said, "Amy and I ran into each other on accident."
Tommy smirked as he looked from me lying on the ground to Axl's flushing face, "Looks like more than that to me." Despite the cold, I could feel my face growing warm. God, sometimes Tommy could be so annoying! I took Axl's extended hand and stood up as well, brushing the snow off myself as I said, "Seriously Tommy, I wasn't watching where I was going and I accidentally ran into Axl. There's no more to it than that."
"Sure," Tommy said in a sarcastic tone which told me that he obviously didn't believe a word I said. Oh well, why should I care what Tommy thought? To try to get myself out of this awkward situation, I grabbed Tommy's wrist and started towing him towards the car, "Uh, we should probably get going now, huh?"
Tommy didn't really respond, but let me shove him into the car and slam the door behind him. After that, I shyly walked back to where Axl was standing, looking very sexy in the sunlight. Nervously, I said, "Don't mind Tommy. He's been a little out of character lately. So what's new with you?"
Axl shrugged and kicked a lump of snow on the ground with his black boots, "Not much. The Hollywood Rose broke up though. Slash and I had a disagreement and that was kind of the end of that." So the Hollywood Rose had failed after all. It wasn't like it was that much of a surprise though. Axl didn't make the best band leader. I instantly felt really bad for Steven though. I had gotten him into this band and now he had been kicked off of it and was probably playing his drums out in the cold by the Rainbow hoping to find another band to join.
"That really, really sucks," I responded genuinely. Knowing that this wasn't a good subject for either of us, I changed it, "So what are you doing for Christmas?" Axl's face fell at the mention of Christmas and he looked down at his feet as he mumbled, "I dunno yet. Probably hang out at Izzy's place since I don't have a place of my own. Maybe Erin will stop by our something. Hey, you could stop by too if you wanted."
"Thanks for the offer," I said, knowing that I wouldn't go to Izzy's house for Christmas. It was way too awkward with Izzy right now because of the fact that we hadn't technically broken up and yet we weren't exactly together. Axl seemed to read my thoughts because he slapped a hand on my shoulder and said consolingly, "Hang in there, girl. You're doin' fine. Anyways, I'd better get going. I'm pretty pressed on time right now. So seeya around?"
I nodded, "Yeah, seeya." I watched as Axl headed down the street and disappeared in the liquor store. No surprise there! Reluctantly, I trudged back through the snow and made my way back to Tommy's car. A small part of me wanted to go after Axl and ask him if he would've kissed me earlier if we hadn't been interrupted. I wanted that kiss from him so badly! It was probably a kiss that I would never get.
As soon as I got back into the car, I could feel Tommy giving me a funny look. At first I ignored it, but it started to get annoying to catch Tommy staring at me every few minutes. He had done it so many times that I was really starting to get pissed off. Annoyed, I finally said in exasperation, "Is there a problem here, Tommy?"
Tommy, who had just gotten caught in the act of trying to sneak another look at me out of the corner of his eye, just grinned and shrugged, "I dunno. Is there?" Apparently even my rudeness couldn't dampen Tommy's high spirits. Sighing, I just shook my head and decided to just let the subject go. But now Tommy's curiosity had been piqued.
"You really like Axl, don't you?" Tommy pressed, grinning widely at me through pearly white teeth. I could feel my face start to color at Tommy's question, a sure give away that I really did like Axl. Deciding not to lie in this case, I admitted, "Yeah, I guess I do. It's not like there's a problem with that though. And don't worry, I'm not gonna go bothering him since he already has Erin."
Tommy laughed, "I never said I thought you'd go bothering him! But yeah, it's pretty obvious that you like him. Um, can I ask you a question?" Without even waiting for me to give him permission, Tommy went right on ahead with the question, "Was he about to kiss you when you guys were down there on the ground together?"
I thought back to the somewhat romantic scene with Axl. Everything about the situation had been perfect for kissing, but maybe I had just imagined the fact that he had been about to kiss me? Maybe I had been wishing so hard that he would kiss me that I had just imagined the whole thing. That could happen when you wanted something really badly.
"I honestly don't know," I replied truthfully. "But thanks to you, I'll never know! Maybe next time you can just keep your big mouth shut and not disturb us?" Tommy answered in an amused tone, "I can try I suppose. I didn't mean to ruin your moment with Axl there. I was just surprised at seeing him on top of you like that. To be honest, I didn't realize it was Axl until after I had gotten your guys' attention. I called out because I thought someone might've been trying to mug you or something."
I felt my anger disappear when Tommy said that. He had just been trying to protect me. No longer upset, I said, "That's okay, Tommy. You're a good friend." Then I remembered our topic of conversation from earlier and decided to return to it, "So what's up with Mick? You never answered my question about him earlier."
Tommy's face went blank for a second before he understood my question and replied, "Oh that. Well, you know that Mick got back together with Linda and stuff a little while ago, right?" I nodded. I hadn't exactly approved of Mick getting back together with Linda after she had been so mean to him in the past, but if it made Mick happen, well...what could I say?
"I don't think she's being very nice to him," Tommy told me, his eyes narrowing. "He told me something she said the other day, and let me tell you, it sure wasn't nice! But don't you think he's been acting a little depressed lately?" Now that I thought about it, Tommy was absolutely right. Mick had been acting depressed ever since the end of the tour. It was like nothing could cheer him up and all he wanted to do was sit around in his misery.
"He's been drinking a lot too," Tommy informed me, looking worried. "I mean, he's drinking almost as much as Vince! Which is really saying something because we all know how much Vince drinks!" I was really starting to get concerned now. Mick had always been a good friend of mine. He was always calm, quiet, and gentle. He had always been there for me when I needed him and now in his time of need, nobody was there for him.
"I tried calling him the other day and invited him over to my house," Tommy explained, "but he didn't seem to want to come. He said he was busy, but I don't think he was because he wouldn't tell me what he was busy doing. It was probably just an excuse." Tommy was right; it probably was just an excuse. Probably the last place Mick wanted to spent his time in was Tommy's house with Candice. It would no doubt be hard for him to see a couple so happy and sharing so much love when he himself was being ridiculed by his very own girlfriend!
"Do you know if Mick has any Christmas plans?" I asked Tommy, thinking I could invite him over to my house for Christmas. My mother had taken a liking to Mick, so it would work well for everyone. But Tommy was already talking, "Yeah, I think Vince is inviting everyone over to his house or something. He said he'd call me when he gets it all worked out. Speaking of which, how have you been doing with Vince anyways?"
I frowned, Vince and I still hadn't talked since Vince had cornered me that night in the hotel room. It was as if we were both too embarrassed to talk to each other or something. I replied to Tommy's question, "Uh, not that well. We haven't even talked to each other. But maybe it's better this way so Vince can focus on Beth Lynn?"
Tommy laughed at my attempt at optimism as we pulled into my driveway, "I don't think Vince is focusing any more on Beth Lynn than before. You know Vince, he's always picking up new girls at the strip club." I nodded slowly. Tommy's statement was sad but true. Vince's life seemed to revolve around drugs and girls these days.
I popped the car door open and stepped outside, calling to Tommy, "It was nice shopping with you! Have a nice wedding with Candice. Call me when you decide what we're doing for Christmas, okay?" Tommy nodded, closing my door behind me as I stepped onto the driveway, "Yeah, definitely. Thanks for the coming with me shopping. I'll see you soon!"
Ring, ring, ring! I sighed irritably and picked up my cell phone. It was Christmas Eve and Tommy still hadn't called me about the Christmas plans. I was seriously thinking about just ignoring his call at this point. He had sure waited long enough to call me! But the thought of being home all alone on Christmas made me pick up the phone and say with as much composure as I could muster, "Hi Tommy. Are you here to tell me about the Christmas plans or what?"
"Yeah," Tommy replied apologetically. "Sorry I didn't call you earlier. I've been kind of busy since I just got married and all. Anyways, we're all at Vince's. He's having a Christmas barbecue. I think it would be a really good thing if you came. Things aren't looking so good around here right now."
Not understanding what Tommy meant by that, I asked, "What do you mean about things not looking so good? And who is already at Vince's place?" Tommy paused guiltily before saying, "Uh, pretty much everyone. His neighbors, a few girls, Mick, his wife, and me. And when I said things weren't looking good, I meant Linda and Mick are getting in a pretty heated argument at the moment. Maybe if you came, things would calm down a bit here."
I rolled my eyes. How could Tommy think that I could help the situation? Besides, it wasn't like I was wanted at the party. I hadn't even gotten an invitation for god's sake! As I thought this through, I could hear distant voices from the other end of the phone. A shrill girl's tone shrieked, "Is drinking all you do these days? All you ever do is get fucked up!"
"Uh, Tommy?" I asked, hoping to block out the sound of the girl's profanities. "Is that Linda?" Tommy sighed and answered, "Unfortunately, yes. She's driving us all nuts right now. I'm really hoping she's gonna get sick of this party and just head home. I don't even know why Mick puts up with that girl. I told him to just break up with her, but he just won't listen."
Feeling really bad for Mick, I decided I would go to the party just to try to cheer him up. But first, I had to clear something up with Tommy. Clearing my throat, I asked, "Was it an accident that I wasn't invited to this party? Or did Vince purposefully invite everyone to the party but me?" There was an awkward silence that told me all I needed to know.
"Regardless, I'm coming anyways," I told Tommy, getting up from my chair to head upstairs and pick out a Christmas dress or something a little fancier to wear than my jeans and tank. Tommy agreed, "Yeah, you should definitely come. Everyone wants you to come...well, everyone except Vince that is. But nevermind Vince. So I'll see you in a few hours?"
"Yeah, definitely," I said, already rummaging through my closet for something appropriate to wear. "See you then, Tommy!"
I parked on the road nearby Vince's house and looked nervously at the twenty or so other cars that were already parked on the driveway and the side of the road. Vince was certainly having a big party! I couldn't help but feel hurt that he hadn't invited me to come along. True, we had argued the other night, but usually we were able to make up from our arguments by now. It wasn't as if I was acting unapproachable or anything. As a matter of fact, if Vince offered me an apology, I would accept it just to get onto good terms with him again. This awkward coldness between us was really starting to bother me.
I gave myself one last look in the mirror before sliding out of the car. I had decided to wear a strapless blue silk dress. It wasn't exactly a tradition Christmas dress, but it wasn't exactly a tradition to have Christmas out by the beach either. Vince was the only person I knew who's backyard was only a little ways from the beach. Pretending to be confident, I strode past Vince's driveway and out into the backyard.
It was full of all kinds of celebrating people. Young girls who looked like they were around the age of fifteen were dancing and partying around, Vince and Beth Lynn were lounging around on a recliner drinking beer, Tommy and Candice were talking and tending to the barbecue, and poor Mick was gazing out at the ocean all alone.
I was going to walk straight over to Mick and try to cheer him up, but before I was able to reach him, Tommy noticed me and waved excitedly, "Hiya, Amy! Wow, don't you look good!" I watched Tommy's eyes look me up and down before meeting my eyes. I grinned back at him and skipped over to where Tommy and Candice were standing.
"So how are the newlyweds doing?" I asked conversationally. Candice smiled almost a little too sweetly and said, "Oh, just fine, thanks for asking. I'm getting rather tired of this party though. I mean, who wants to barbecue for three whole days?" Three whole days of barbecuing? Did that mean that this party had been going on for three days and I hadn't been invited?
Tommy, reading my thoughts, cringed and said, "Um, yeah...I was going to invite you earlier, but I kind of got distracted." I shook my head and waved his apology away, "It's okay. I'm not upset." Actually, that wasn't quite true. I was really fucking upset with Vince, but not at all upset with Tommy. It wasn't Tommy's duty to invite me to Vince's party.
I shot a glance over my shoulder at Mick. He was now standing a few feet from the water's edge and looking into that vast sea of blue. I squished my toes deep into the sand as Candice looked up at Tommy and said, "I've gotta go inside for a few minutes. I'll be right back, sweetie." Tommy nodded absentmindedly as she turned on her heal and strutted up to the back door.
"Hey Tommy-" Vince's voice started and then broke off abruptly when he saw me standing towards Tommy's right. "What's she doing her?" I gulped and looked at my toes, feeling very unwelcome. Tommy glared at Vince and put a protective hand on my shoulder, "I invited her. Why else do you think she's here?"
Vince blushed slightly and shrugged, deciding to ignore me, "I dunno. Anyways, you're making sure the steak doesn't burn, right? Beth says that it smells smoky over here." Tommy rolled his eyes exaggeratedly and answered, "Beth is always complaining about something or the other! And yes, I'm watching the steak so you can just sit back down and enjoy your drink."
As soon as Vince was gone, I sighed and remarked, "That went well." Tommy shrugged and gave me a compassionate look, "Sorry about Vince. I'll try to get him turned around. He just needs a shove in the right direction in order to talk to you again. Personally, I think he's embarrassed about what he did to you in the hotel room that one night."
I half laughed as I retorted, "I don't think Vince feels embarrassed about anything." Trying to get away from the subject of Vince, I diverted the subject by saying, "So are you liking having Candice as your wife?" Tommy looked around furtively before leaning in close and whispering in my ear, "Honestly? Well...not exactly. We had a big fight the other day."
I lifted a brow curiously. So Tommy and Candice had only been married for around a month and they were already unhappy together! That certainly wasn't a good sign. I asked, "So what were you two arguing about?" Tommy looked around again to make sure nobody was listening before replying.
"Uh, remember how Candice found those pictures of me and those girls having sex on the beach a long time ago?" Tommy asked. I thought hard and thought I remembered Tommy and Candice getting into an argument over that before. Hadn't Candice tried to throw a dinner plate at Tommy on that occasion?
After I nodded, Tommy continued, "Well, I think I accidentally gave my phone number to one of those girls. I don't remember doing that to be honest, but when you're drunk, anything can happen I suppose. Anyways, so one of those girls showed up at my doorway a couple of days ago. Candice didn't take that too well. She thought I was having an affair and tried to stab me with a butter knife while I was making peanut butter and jelly."
"Are you okay?" I asked nervously while I was thinking about just how whacked Candice must be. "You didn't get hurt at all, did you?" Tommy shook his head reassuringly, "Well, no. But I don't exactly think it's a good thing that Candice and I are already fighting after a month of marriage."
I wanted to agree with Tommy, but knew better. Trying to sound optimistic, I said, "You never know. Things can get better." I must not have looked very convincing because Tommy just gave me a knowing smile. I looked around at the party, feeling like something or someone was missing. Then it hit me; Nikki was here.
"Where's Nikki?" I asked Tommy curiously. Tommy glanced over at the steak on the grill as he answered, "Nikki went to Martinique. It's an island in the Caribbean. His friend, Robbin Crosby, invited him." The name Robbin seemed very familiar to me. Then I remembered that I had caught Robbin, Nikki, and Vince all doing heroin in Vince's living room a while back.
"Hm, I hope Nikki behaves himself," I commented. At that moment, Candice reappeared and put a hand on Tommy's forearm. She gave him a sickly sweet smile and started leading him away from me, saying, "Hey Tommy, let's go sit by Beth Lynn and Vince, shall we? Beth Lynn was telling me something interesting about modeling."
Tommy threw a sorry look at me over his shoulder as Candice dragged him away. I tried smiling back at him and attempted not to be mad at Candice for dragging my only companion away. It was only understandable that she would want to be with her husband. It probably would look weird too if Tommy spent more time with me than Candice anyways.
Feeling kind of bored and lonely, I collapsed on one of the striped lounge chairs and grabbed a glass or some drink or another. I didn't even bother to try to figure out what it was before I took a long refreshing sip of it. Glancing around at the party, I saw that everyone seemed to be laughing, smiling, or having a good time. Well, everyone but me that it.
I wasn't used to being left alone. There always seemed to have been someone willing to talk to me. But today, everyone seemed busy doing something or talking with someone. I obviously couldn't go over to talk with Tommy since Vince was nearby and it wasn't like I could join in a conversation with Candice and Beth Lynn.
That was when I finally remembered Mick! Geez, how could I have forgotten about Mick? He had been the reason I had decided to come to this party anyway. I could be so forgetful sometimes. I glanced over to where Mick had been wading in the water...and saw nothing! Where had Mick gone? He had been standing by the ocean's edge only a few minutes ago. He couldn't have gone far. I nervously looked around Vince's large, sandy backyard to try to find Mick, but he wasn't anywhere to be seen. I was starting to panic at this point. Mick couldn't just have disappeared!
Forgetting the fact that I didn't want be seen by Vince, I ran up to where he and Tommy were lounging around and grabbed Tommy's shoulder to get his attention, saying, "Tommy, where's Mick? Wasn't he standing by the water a few minutes ago? I can't find him anymore! I just don't know what to do!"
My words tumbled out of my mouth on top of each other, making my sentence sound like one long string of words. Tommy, not realizing the severity of my situation, just laughed and said, "Can you say that a little slower, girl? I didn't catch any of that!" Vince had comprehended my sentence though. His beautiful aquamarine eyes were gazing at something behind us.
"What's that?" Vince asked, pointing at a black blob lying on the sand several hundred feet away from us. I narrowed my eyes, but couldn't make out what it was. Wasting no time, I kicked off my sandals and starting running towards the blurred figure. It was pretty hard to run in the sand. Every time I stepped into it, my foot seemed to sink deeper into the tiny, white grains. I heard running footsteps behind me and figured that Vince and Tommy must be following me.
When I finally reached the huddled figure, I gasped with shock. Mick was lying on the beach, completely soaked and unconscious. He still had on his leather pants, jacket, and boots and was clutching a glass bottle in his left hand. I immediately sank down on the ground next to Mick and put my ear to his chest to try to hear his heartbeat.
Meanwhile, Vince checked Mick's pulse. Two seconds later, Vince's face relaxed and he said, "He's still alive. Let's see if we can wake him up." I sighed with relief, for a moment I had thought that Mick had drowned! Vince gently shook Mick's shoulders while calling, "Mick? Mick, can you hear me?"
Mick gave a load groan and spat some of the saltwater out of his mouth. Slowly, his eyelids popped open and he gazed at our three worried faces staring down at him in concern. I was so glad to see him open his eyes that I exclaimed, "Mick! I thought you were dead! What happened to you? Did you get caught in a current or something?"
Mick thought hard for a moment while he tried to remember what had happened. Finally, he slurred, "I...just wanted to end it all. I guess I must've blacked out before I had a chance to do anything about it though." My eyes widened with horror; Mick had actually planned to drown himself! His depression must've been a lot worse than any of us had imagined.
I opened my mouth to ask Mick why the hell he would want to drown himself when Tommy shook his head slightly at me to stop my question and mouthed, "Linda." Oh, that made sense. Mick had probably decided that he had taken enough of Linda's abuse and just wanted to be rid of her. That was fine, but seriously, he should just break up with here then, not try to kill himself!
"Let's get you back to the house," Vince told Mick in a friendly but serious tone. Mick didn't respond. Vince grabbed one of his arms and Tommy grabbed the other. Together, they somehow managed to get him to a standing position and haul him back towards the the backyard. I trailed behind them and tried to think of something to cheer Mick up.
"Hey Mick," I finally suggested, "What do you think about going over to my house now? We could watch a movie or just hang out." Mick gave me a sad smile and shook his head, "Thanks for the offer, Amy, but I just want to be alone right now." I nodded. I had kind of expected him to say that, but on the other hand, I was worried about him and wanted someone to supervise him so he wouldn't try anything crazy or desperate.
As Vince helped Mick up the porch steps and into the house, Tommy turned to be and said, "Don't worry, Amy. I'll stay here all night and take care of Mick. He'll be okay. He just needs to get rid of Linda so he can live his life without all of her shit." Knowing Mick would be safe with Tommy, I said, "Okay. Just do your best. Mick really needs you right now."
But even though I had told Tommy I wouldn't worry about Mick, I worried about him all night long. He was never off my mind. I would probably spend the next few nights having nightmares about Mick's dead body washed up on the shore.
Later that night, I found myself sitting at the dinner table, still thinking about Mick. I didn't think I had ever had such a miserable Christmas before. It totally sucks to be home alone on Christmas Eve with nobody to keep you company and knowing that one of your best friends had actually thought about suicide early.
I stared at the Christmas tree and thought just for a moment that it would be nice if my parents were home. Sure, we didn't get along most of the time, but having there company would really be nice right now. They had decided to go off to see the nutcracker together earlier when I had told them I was going to Vince's party.
I took a sip of the sugarless hot chocolate I had heated up earlier. To be honest, it was really disgusting. It tasted like cocoa without sugar added yet. At least it was healthy though! So I raised my mug to my lips to take another sip, but somehow missed my mouth and ended up with a big brown splotch on my tank top. Great!
I had changed into my old, holey tank and flannel pants earlier that night because why not be comfortable if nobody was around to see you? The silk dress I had been wearing earlier had been really uncomfortable. I had flung it off the second I had stepped back inside our house after the "party" at Vince's which hadn't really ended up being much of a party.
Just as I stood up to try to wipe the hot chocolate smudge off of my shirt, the doorbell rung. That was interesting. Who could possibly be at the door? Mick and Tommy were still at Vince's party, Nikki was at some island in the Caribbean with his drug buddy, and I couldn'y even think of anyone else who would want to see me.
I hesitated as I thought about whether or not I should go and answer the door. I wasn't exactly in a state to answer the door. I was wearing my pajamas that now had an ugly brown stain on them, all my makeup had been taken off, and I had taken my hair out of its ponytail so that it fell long and loose around my shoulders. I pretty much looked like I was going to bed.
But even though I knew I didn't look so hot, I really wanted to see who was at the door. I had to admit that I really wanted some company right now. Just having someone to talk to would be really nice. So before going to the door, I ran through the hallway and opened our closet. After selecting a long, black coat that would cover me and my pjs up, I slipped it on and rushed towards the door, wishing all along that I had time to change.
Once I stood in front of the door, I took a deep breath and slowly pulled the door open, saying, "Come on in," without even looking to see who was outside the door. I heard the shuffle of footsteps as the mysterious guest stepped inside and pushed the door shut behind them. As soon as the door was shut, I glanced up to see my visitor. As soon as I saw who it was, my mouth fell open. What the fuck was Axl Rose doing at my house on Christmas Eve?
Axl laughed at my eyes that were bugging out and my gaping jaw, "Surprised to see me, hm? If you're busy or have company over, I can leave if you want." I shook my head almost a little too hurriedly as I said, "Oh no, please don't leave! Believe me, nobody's coming over. My parents are at some play and my friends are all at Vince's party."
"Vince Neil?" Axl asked as he peeled off his black leather jacket and tossed it onto the couch. "I'm surprised they chose his house to have a party at. He doesn't seem like a very good host to be, but that's just my opinion." Axl shrugged and stepped into the living room. That was something I always liked about Axl; he could be blunt, but honest just the same.
"I agree," I said, following Axl into the living room and motioning towards our couch for him to sit down, "Vince didn't even invite me to the party actually. Tommy Lee invited me. Vince wasn't too happy when I showed up at his house a few hours ago. If Tommy hadn't had been there, he probably would've kicked me out! But what about you? What did you do for Christmas?"
Axl plopped down on the old couch and propped his feet up on the coffee table, saying, "Not much. I just hung out at Izzy's for a while. Izzy wasn't in much of the Christmas mood though, so we didn't have much of a party. Actually, all we did was sit around and drink beers. Then Izzy went off to-" Axl cut off his sentence, shooting me a nervous glance.
I raised an eyebrow at him curiously, wondering why he had stopped his question. I wondered if he had been about to say that Izzy had gone to another girl's house. I prompted Axl, "Izzy went off to where? You can tell me, it's not like Izzy and I are together anymore or anything. I won't be offended if he picked up some girl at a strip club or whatever."
Axl's brows shot up at my statement and he said, "What? Did you break up with Izzy or something? As far as I know, you're still his girlfriend." As much as I wanted to believe Axl, I knew I couldn't. How could Izzy and I still be together when we hadn't talked for months? No boyfriend ever ignores their girlfriend for that long.
"We didn't break up," I admitted, twisting my fingers nervously in my lap. "That's the awkward thing. And he hasn't called me or talked to me or anything. I don't know what to do." Axl sighed, "Well, just have some patience with Izzy. He's going through a hard time right now. He'll turn around sooner or later. You can always have faith in Izzy."
I rolled my eyes, not buying it. I knew that Izzy was Axl's friend and Axl felt like he should stand up for Izzy, but in this case, it was better to face reality than to make up some lie about Izzy and me. Our relationship was currently over as far as I was concerned. So I didn't say anything and waited for Axl to change the subject.
Looking uncomfortable, Axl took my hint and quickly changed topics, "So anyways, the real reason I came here was to deliver a message to you from Steven. He said that he had invited you to go to a concert with him next weekend. Well, Steven's currently at the hospital so he's not gonna be able to go."
"Steven's in the hospital?" I asked, thinking that this day couldn't get much worse. First, Mick tries to drown himself. Secondly, Steven ends up in the hospital. What's next? Axl grimaced as he said, "I'm not exactly sure to be honest with you. I know Steven's been doing a lot of drugs lately though. Maybe that has something to do with it?"
I hadn't had any idea that Steven was doing drugs. He always seemed so happy and carefree. I just had never imagined him doing drugs. But maybe Steven was so happy all the time because of the drugs. Regardless, I knew I had to talk to him. I asked Axl, "Can I call Steven or visit him or something?"
"You could if you have the phone number to the hospital," Axl remarked, scratching his chin thoughtfully. "But I don't have the phone number to the hospital. Actually, I don't even know what hospital he's at right now. I didn't really get a chance to get to know Steven since the Hollywood Rose broke up so suddenly."
I was really worried about Steven! He could be in a fatal condition for all I knew and I couldn't even talk to him! I bit my lip and tried to control my emotions. This had really turned into the worst Christmas Eve ever. I was started to get drowned in my contemplations when Axl tugged lightly at my long, floor length coat.
"So what's up with the costume?" Axl asked, fingering the neckline of my coat. Remembering that I was still wearing my pajamas underneath, I blushed and stammered, "Uh..." Axl's lips hinted at a smile as I stuttered about for an excuse. Before I could come up with one, he suddenly yanked the coat off and tossed it to the side next to me.
Oh god, this was bad. The last thing I needed was for sexy Axl Rose to see me in my old, dirty pajamas. Besides, the tank top I was wearing wasn't exactly modest. The neckline plunged really low and the top ended just above my navel, exposing all of my belly. Plus, I still had that dirty stain on my shirt.
Not really sure what to say, I said, "Um, maybe I should go change? Sorry, I wasn't expecting company so I..." Then I realized that Axl wasn't exactly listening. He was pretending to, but his eyes were roaming over me, taking every curve of my figure in. Biting my lip, I waited for him to say something.
"Don't change," Axl replied finally after he had ran his gaze all over me, "You look good like that." I started at him with wide eyes. There was no way that I could possibly look good right now! He was probably just lying to be nice or something. Axl, seeing my dubious expression, added, "Seriously. You're fine. You don't have to go change or whatever. Unless you don't feel comfortable around me or whatever." Axl threw an arm over my shoulders and gave me a little squeeze, "It's good to see you relaxing. You're always stressing about something or another. Sometimes you've just gotta let all that go and live you life."
Trying to ignore the fact that my skin was tingling under Axl's touch, I asked, "So what are you up to? Are you gonna stay for a while or do you have a party or somewhere to go?" Axl played with the zipper of his black sweatshirt as he said, "No plans for tonight. I could hang out with you for a while if you want or I could go. It's your call."
Hanging out with Axl did seem like a really good idea. It was nice just to spend some quality time with a friend. Of course, if my parents came home, they probably wouldn't be too happy about him coming over. But for once, I wasn't gonna worry about my parents. Like Axl said, maybe I just needed to let things go and stop worrying so much.
"Please stay?" I asked, looking up into those gorgeous brown eyes of his as I did so. I felt like a little child pleading candy from their parents. It was only then that I realized just how much I did want Axl to stay with me. Axl smiled at me, "Yeah, sure. But why don't we do something? It's kind of depressing just sitting around in the dark and watching the Christmas tree do nothing, don't you think? Is this what you've been doing all day?"
"No, I went to Vince's party, remember?" I corrected him. "I've only been home for four hours or so." Axl grimaced, "Four hours of staring at the Christmas tree still sounds pretty boring. Hey, what's that?" Axl pointed at my cup of the sugarless hot chocolate that was still sitting on the counter. Without waiting for me to tell him what it was, Axl took a tentative sip of it.
Making a face, he said, "God, what the hell is that stuff? It tastes like dirt or something like dirt. All I have to say is that it's disgusting! No wonder you were in such a bad mood." Axl wandered over to the kitchen and opened the fridge. He pulled out two bottles of some drink that my parents had stowed way in the back of the fridge.
Axl returned to where I was sitting, put the bottles on the coffee table, and then picked up the remote control to the television. He flicked it on and started flipping through the channels saying, "Let's see if there's a movie on. What kind of genre movies do you like?" I liked horror and romance movies, but in this situation, romance seemed much better than horror.
"I dunno, how about a romance movie or something?" I suggested, trying not to blush as I said so. Axl flipped back through the channels and stopped when he found a chick flick. He lounged back down on the couch and took a sip of his drink. I took a sip of mine too and leaned back on the couch, yawning widely. I was actually quite tired.
After about only thirty minutes of the movie, I found my eyes closing and myself drifting off into dream world. Axl gently shook my shoulders and said, "Hey, are you sleepy? I could bring you up to your bed and then leave if you want." Half asleep, I shook my head and mumbled kind of incoherently, "No, no, don't leave..."
I slumped back against Axl's chest and yawned widely as I did so. Good thing I was mostly asleep because otherwise I would've been really embarrassed by my actions. But Axl didn't seem surprised. He shifted over to the left side of the couch to allow me to lay down and pushed my hair out of my eyes. That was all I remember because right after that, I fell into the all consuming darkness of sleep.
The next morning, I woke up really late. It was probably eleven by the time my eyelids fluttered open and I took in my surroundings. I was lying on the right side of the couch pressed right up against Axl's body. He had rested his head on my shoulder and had one arm wrapped around me. Sometime during the night, I must've thrown my legs on top of his because we were all tangled up together. It was obvious that we hadn't had sex or anything, but the position we were in right now was definitely intimate. I wasn't really sure what to do know. Did I wake Axl or let him wake up on his own?
As if he were reading my thoughts, Axl's eyes blinked open at that moment and he gazed around himself blearily. Brushing shiny auburn bangs out of his eyes, he looked over at me and said, "Oh, I'm still at your house. I didn't know I had stayed the night. I guess I just got sleepy or something. Sorry 'bout that."
"No, really, it's fine," I replied, trying to untangle my legs from his so neither or us would have to feel awkward. "You know you can stay here anytime, right?" Axl smiled at me, still in the process of waking up, "That's nice of you to say. I've kind of been on a lookout for places to go lately. 'Course, my real goal right now is putting a band together so there's not much time to search for a place to stay or anything."
That was when I remembered my parents. Where were they? They should've been home a long time ago. If they were home, they definitely would've waken me up by now. Had something happened to them?
"Hey Axl," I said as I finally managed to untangle myself from him, "You didn't happen to see if my parents came home last night, did you?" Axl's eyes widened as he sat up on the couch, glancing around the room as if there might be people spying on us, "No, I didn't see anyone. Your parents live here?"
"Yeah," I said, making a face, "I don't have enough money to move out of here yet. "I wish I did, but I don't have a job or anything so that's kind of out of the question. Speaking of which, they really should be home by now. I'm gonna go check to see if they're home or not, okay?" Axl nodded, still rubbing his eyes.
I jumped off the couch and yanked my tank top down as far as it would go. Then I raced up the stairs to my parent's bedroom. The door was shut. I gave a gentle knock on it. When there was no reply, I tentatively eased the door open and glanced inside. Nobody was there. I was starting to get worried about them. They hadn't gotten into an accident, had they?
The next thing to do would be to check my phone and if they hadn't called, to call them myself and see if they were okay. Dashing out of the bedroom and across the hall to my bedroom, I burst inside and grabbed my phone that was sitting on my nightstand. I whipped it open and found that I had two new messages. I clicked the "listen" button and waited impatiently for the first of the two messages to start.
The first message was from my mom, "Hi honey, it's just me. I wanted to let you know that your dad and I are staying at a hotel overnight and we're going to be doing some shopping this afternoon so we probably won't get home until late. We figured that was okay with you since you said you were going to be spending Christmas at your friend's house anyways. If there's anything you need, feel free to give us a call. We should have our phones turned on at all times. But if we're in the mall, we might not be able to hear it. Anyways, we'll see you tonight!"
I let out a sigh of relief. So at least my parents were okay. As a matter of fact, it was probably a good thing that my parents had stayed at a hotel overnight. It would've been a pretty uncomfortable situation if my parents had come home to find me sleeping with Axl on the couch last night. It wasn't like we had done anything inappropriate on their couch, but still.
I clicked the delete button and proceeded to the next message. Tommy's voice met my ears, "Hey Amy, it's me. I'm sorry that the party sucked so much yesterday. I talked to Vince yesterday and told him not to bother you. He should leave you alone from now. Speaking of which, we're partying at his house again today. Please come? I know you don't have any plans for today, so there's no excuse for you not to show up. Besides, I think Mick would like to see you. He's feeling a little bit better today. He keeps thinking that drinking is the solution to his problems though. Enough of me blabbing. You can just come over here and see Mick for yourself. See you then."
So Tommy wanted me to go over to Vince's party again today. Did I want to go to Vince's party? Half of me did and half of me didn't. It would be nice to see Mick if he was in a better mood. Maybe I could help cheer him up. Seeing Vince, Candice, and Beth Lynn again didn't sound too appealing though. However, Beth Lynn hadn't really bothered me at all yesterday so I couldn't really complain too much. And besides, going to Vince's party would give me a good excuse so I wouldn't have to try to entertain Axl all morning and possibly afternoon. Axl was one who always needed entertainment.
Once I reached a decision that I would go to Vince's party, I decided that I might as well get changed now since I was in my bedroom. I decided not to dress up like I had yesterday. Partying around in a little silk didn't sound very appealing. So instead, I grabbed a bright green tank top with lace around the edges and a short white skirt.
After stripping out of my pajamas and throwing on the new clothes, I decided to go to the bathroom and apply a little makeup and do my hair. Hopefully, Axl wasn't getting himself into trouble downstairs. I brushed my hair until it shone in the light and then dabbed on a little lip gloss and applied some brown eyeshadow.
Deciding that I looked good enough, I skipped back down the stairs and found Axl exactly where I had left him on the couch. He was sipping from his bottle from last night and looked extremely sexy the way he was lounging on the couch with his legs spread apart. Feeling a little guilty for looking his body over, I said nervously, "Hey Axl, Tommy invited me to go with him to Vince's party again today. I said I'd go."
Axl put the bottle back down on the coffee table, stood up slowly, and stretched, "Oh, okay. Is he picking you up or are you driving over there?" I picked up our almost-empty bottles and replied, "I'm driving over there. Tommy's married now so it might look kind of weird if he picked me up or something, you know?"
Axl raised an eyebrow as I poured the rest of the contents of the bottles into the sink, "I suppose so. Speaking of which, what do you think of marriage, Amy? Would you ever like to get married?" The question caught me completely off guard and I just about dropped the glass bottle I was holding.
"Uh..." I stammered once I had reclaimed the bottle, "I guess I want to get married someday once I find the right guy. But right now I wouldn't want to get married. It seems like every boyfriend I've ever had has only been with me for a few months. There's never a guy who sticks with me for very long. What about you though? You want to get married?"
Axl shrugged as we walked side by side to the doorway. As I slipped my feet into some high-heeled black sandals, Axl said, "I've always thought it would be nice to get married eventually. I think Erin might have wanted me to ask her, but I just don't think the timing is right. I think I need to get a band set up first and have a steady income going before I just go asking her to marry me. What do you think? I don't want to time it wrong."
I tried not to be hurt at all by what Axl had just said. Of course he would want Erin to marry him someday, what had I been thinking? Sometimes I got too carried away with my fantasies that I forgot that Axl and Erin had been partners for a long time and would probably end up married together and some point.
"Yeah, you might as well wait to ask her until you have a job," I agreed, feeling really selfish as I said this. Axl nodded in agreement as we stepped outside the door and walked to Axl's van that was parked in the center of my driveway. Axl motioned for me to get into the passenger seat as he jumped up into the driver's seat.
We rode to Vince's house in silence, both of us lost in our own thoughts. I was pretty much stuck thinking about the whole marriage thing and Axl was thinking about who-knew-what. After about five minutes, Axl pulled into Vince's driveway and parked to let me out. I was surprised to see that there were even more cars in the driveway and on the street than there were yesterday. Had Vince invited more people here?
As I slid to the ground and looked up at Axl, I asked, "Hey, want to join the party for a bit? We'd love to have you here for a bit. Why not come in and have some fun?" Axl gave me a look that meant he thought I had gone half crazy in the last five seconds, "Seriously? You think Vince would want me here?"
I shrugged, knowing obviously that Vince most likely wouldn't want Axl around. Axl answered his own question, "No, Vince certainly wouldn't want me here. Don't get me wrong, Vince is an okay guy, but the two of us don't always get along that well. I think I'll head back to Izzy's place or see what Erin is up to for the rest of the day. It was nice hangin' out with you last night though. See you around sometime soon?"
I nodded, half wishing Axl would've said yes to going to the party so I would've had someone to talk to, "Yeah, okay. I had a really fun time last night too. Anyways, you'll let me know if there's anymore news on Steven, right?" Axl nodded as he rolled up the windows to his car and waved at me before backing out of the driveway and heading towards the highway.
Sighing at being left alone again, I watched Axl's car fade in the distance and then took my time in heading to Vince's backyard. I wasn't really in a hurry to see him, Candice, or Beth Lynn anytime soon.
"There you are, Amy!" Tommy exclaimed a little while later when I finally stopped procrastinating and made my way to the backyard where the party was taking place. I instantly saw that there seemed to be twice as many people at the ongoing party than there were yesterday. I supposed that was a good thing. It cut down the likeliness that I would run into Beth Lynn.
"Why are there so many more people here today than yesterday?" I asked Tommy, scanning over the crowd to see if there was anyone who I recognized. To my chagrin, all the faces were foreign and unfamiliar. Tommy followed my gaze and replied, "Oh, Vince invited the members from Hanoi Rocks to the party today. They're a really nice crowd. You should really like them."
Tommy glanced over his shoulder at a man who was standing nearby who was laughing and smiling. Tommy called over to him, "Hey Razzle, come over here a second, will you? There's someone I'd like you to meet." The guy, who's name I assumed was Razzle, finished his conversation with whoever he was talking to. After that, he came over to where Tommy and I were standing and gave me a big, warm grin that made me feel like he was genuinely glad to meet me, "Hi there! You must be the girl who travels around with the Crue! Tommy's told me all about you. What's your name?"