Nikki's sadistic side makes its appearance for the first time at a Halloween party.
“Lee,” he murmurs into my ear, lightly stroking my side. “I’m sorry to wake you up, but I got you a surprise…”
I stir, rolling over with my eyes halfway open, and find him hovering over me, soft black hair hanging into my face. When he sees me looking up at him, he smiles and leans down to kiss me.
“G’morning, Nikki,” I say quietly, sitting up. He sits beside me, a plastic bag hanging between his legs. His hand comes out and lightly strokes the hair from my face, and I think, this is the happiest I’ve ever been.
Over the past few weeks, ever since I moved in with him, he’s been purely amazing. He’s taken me on a few drug runs, but mostly we sit inside and make out, or go to the Strip and hang with his friends, or I go see him do gigs with London at clubs. There’s only one thing about him that bothers me—not that I’d ever complain—and that is his cold distancing from me whenever I try to ask him about himself. I’ve told him everything about me—how I’m half Greek, how I was in the marching band last year and got my nose smashed by a cymbal, how this is my first sexual relationship ever—but he won’t talk about himself at all, aside from that he’s always been on the move and he loves his grandmother, Nona. I want to know why he deals, why he stiffens when I touch him, why he refuses to fuck me even though he knows I’m ready. But I can wait. It’s Nikki Sixx, for Christ’s sake. For him, I’d wait forever.
“What’s in the bag?” I ask after a while, leaning into his touch.
“S’the surprise,” he says, reaching down. “You gotta shut your eyes though, all right?”
Obediently I shut my eyes, holding my hands out. There’s a pause, then some soft material is placed in my arms. I look down, and a surprised gasp leaves my lips. It’s a costume for Halloween, which is tomorrow; it’s Mighty Mouse.
“Nikki,” I say, surprised and pleased. “You remembered.”
“Of course I did,” he says, lifting the head of the costume and perching it on my knee, where it balances precariously, just short of falling. “The tattoo, Lee, c’mon. Stares at me all the time when I’m trying to get to sleep.”
“Maybe you shouldn’t be staring at my arm when we’re in bed, Nikki,” I reply, slipping the head on and grinning, even though he can’t see me.
There’s a pause, then Nikki laughs, sounding surprised. “I’ll remember that for next time,” he says, reaching over and squeezing my leg.
“Do you have a costume?” I ask, pulling the head off. Nikki nods, reaching into the bag again and pulling out a cape; devil horns.
“I’m Satan,” he says, grinning. “The bass playing drug dealer from hell.” We both laugh, and he kisses me. “You’ll come to the party tomorrow, yeah?”
I don’t know what party he’s talking about, but I nod anyway. He smiles for a second, then wraps his arms around me and pushes me back against the bed. His dusky emerald eyes look sad, but he’s not volunteering information and I’m not going to ask. He puts his hands on each side of my head and covers my body with his. “You’re too good for me, Lee,” he whispers. “You should be with a guy who won’t treat you like shit—”
“Sixx,” I say, interrupting him for the first time. “Please stop putting yourself down. I don’t want anyone else. You’re it for me. I love you, you know that. And you don’t treat me like shit.”
“Not yet…” Nikki says under his breath, but he smiles a little bit, and dips his head to kiss the hollow of my neck. After that, I lose myself in his sensual touches, and by the time we get hungry and go out for lunch, I’ve pretty much forgotten about our earlier conversation.
The following evening, we get dressed and head down to the Roxy, where the apparent party is. People are going inside, some of whom I recognize despite their extravagant costumes. Nikki is dressed as the devil, and when he reaches down to take my gloved hand, I can’t help but laugh, thinking of what it must look like—Mighty Mouse and Satan.
As we approach the door, Lizzy Grey comes up. He’s dyed his hair an almost silvery shade of platinum blond, and he’s smiling at us.
“Sixx,” he says, inclining his head. “Who’s under the suit?”
I remove my hand from Nikki’s in order to take the head off. Lizzy lets out a surprised laugh.
“Wasn’t expecting to see you here,” he says. “It’s Lee, right?”
“Tommy Lee, actually,” I reply, holding my hand out. We shake, and he says:
“So has Sixx shown you the bodies under his bed yet?”
Nikki laughs shortly and starts to reply, but I cut him off—because I’m feeling good, because he seems like he’s in a relatively good mood, because Lizzy seems genuinely interested in me:
“Yeah, and it was utterly terrifying.”
Lizzy looks amused. “Maybe you should come stay with me for a while, then, just to be on the safe side.”
“Maybe I will,” I reply, surprised by my own daring. It isn’t until Nikki’s fingers close around my wrist tightly that I think I might be making a mistake.
“C’mon, Lee,” he grunts. “We gotta go in.” He heads for the door, and I follow automatically, waving over my shoulder at Lizzy.
Once we’re inside, he drops any semblance of a sanguine mood he might have been imitating and drags me to the bathroom. A brief flash of fear runs like electricity through my chest; he’s got that look on his face again, and I get the feeling it’s somehow my fault. He slams the bathroom door shut, locks it, and shoves me against the wall.
“Listen to me,” he snarls, gripping the collar of my costume. “You don’t fucking flirt with my friends, understand?”
I think my mouth falls open. “I wasn’t—”
“You don’t make a fool out of me in front of them, either,” he continues angrily. “Don’t fucking interrupt me when I’m talking to my band mates.”
“He was talking to me, too,” I protest. I can’t figure out why this is such a big deal. “Nikki, I wasn’t flirting—”
And then, abruptly, he slams his fist into the side of my face. My head hits the door and I let out a yelp, feeling tears well up in my eyes. There is a heavy, burning pain on my cheekbone; I know, I just know, that I’m going to have a major bruise later.
“Put the fucking costume head on,” he snarls. “Don’t talk for the rest of the evening. Y’understand?”
I nod. I’m shaking. I put the head on, covering the swollen bruise, the shining tears. I keep expecting him to say he’s sorry, but he just unlocks the door and slips out, without even waiting to see if I’m following.
Fuck. He hit Lee. He can’t believe he actually lost control like that. Flirting with Lizzy Grey? How the hell did he even come up with that? For Christ’s sake, the kid barely even flirts with him. He knows he needs to apologize, but he isn’t going to; not now, anyway. Lee did interrupt him, after all…
He looks at the kid. He’s drinking punch—Nikki gets the feeling it’s infused with alcohol—and his shoulders are tense beneath the wool of his costume. Even though he knows Lee will stay, he can’t help worrying—he likes the kid, actually likes him, and can’t bear to think of losing him.
And then he remembers the look in Lee’s eyes when he hit him. And he curses himself for getting pleasure from it.