Short chapter. Tommy wakes up and realizes he needs to go back home.
Now I’m sitting up, struggling my way out of the blankets and scooting back against the headboard. For a little while, I’m just sitting there, feeling young and lazy and seventeen; then, inadvertently, my head rolls to the side, and I see the time, blazing out in red digital numbers. Twelve-thirty, it says, with the p.m. dot lit up. My eyes widen; it occurs to me that my parents have no idea where I am.
Suddenly the door opens and Nikki comes barging in, in leather pants and a torn tank top, his green eyes blazing. He smiles briefly at me before setting his things down on the dresser. He’s got a couple bindles, and I subconsciously rub my nose, remembering the cocaine at the Roxy.
“Finally up, hey kid?” he says, ruffling out his hair before walking over and sitting next to me. He leans over and starts pressing gentle kisses to the side of my neck, and I shiver, inhaling his scent.
“Hey, Sixx. Thanks for letting me stay the night…” I look at him and kind of smile, but he doesn’t smile back, just gazes at me, burning my skin with his hellish-green eyes.
“You wanna shoot some coke or something?” he asks after a bit. His hand is on my leg, making it difficult for me to focus on anything except the feel of his hot, rough skin on mine. Still, I swallow and force myself to say it:
“I have to go, Nikki. It’s after noon and mom and dad don’t know where I am.”
There’s a silence, and I’m thinking maybe he didn’t hear me, because he keeps kissing me and stroking my leg absently, but then abruptly he gets up and takes a bottle of nail polish off the floor. He’s lathering it on and not looking at me when he replies:
“Then go, Lee. I’ll see ya around.”
But suddenly I don’t want to go, don’t want to leave Nikki and his beautiful tattooed arms; don’t want to forget this now familiar scent of alcohol and cigarettes and leather which is buried in the sheets. I’m hesitating, and I guess Nikki’s getting sick of me, because suddenly my clothes are in my lap: rumpled jeans and a sweat-stained shirt, and he’s not exactly yelling, but he’s getting pretty close.
“Fuckin’ go, Lee,” he snarls. “You ain’t even supposed to be here.”
I swallow hard, getting up and sliding into my jeans, zipping up the fly. “Will you walk with me to the end of the street?” I ask uncertainly. Nikki frowns, but he nods, and when I’ve finished tying my shoes, he reaches down and grabs my hand, hauling me to my feet.
“D’you need some money for bus fare?” he asks as we walk out, but I’m shaking my head, because if I take money from him, I’ll feel even worse than I already do.
“I can walk…”
We’ve reached the front door by this point, and Nikki pauses mid-step and looks at me.
“Oh, please, you can’t even get to the end of this street on your own.” He’s shaking his head, reaching into his pocket, pulling out fifty cents. “Take it, kid. Think of it as an additional birthday present.”
So I take it, and I try again to smile, but he’s still not looking at me. We walk to the end of Wilshire together, feet scuffing on the pavement; once we reach Sunset Boulevard, he stops.
“I guess I’ll see you around,” he says, and his voice tells me he’s sorry for how he acted earlier. He reaches over and lightly touches my chin, and finally I get a hint of that smile I’ve been looking for. “Next London concert’s next Thursday at the Rainbow, okay?” Then he turns and walks off, and I’m left with fifty cents in my hand and a vague feeling of love stirring in my chest on the edge of Wilshire and Sunset.