There's a time hop here. It goes from Febuary to June in like the middle of the chapter. This chapter has Axl's birthday and Iz being introduced to Duff for the first time.
It's Axl's 23rd birthday today. It was currently 6:40am, Izzy and I were driving to probably the only bakery open this early to pick up the cake I'd ordered for Axl "Did we haaaaaave to go this early??" Izzy complained sleepily "Yeah, I don't want Axl to see it," I said as I looked at the directions I'd written down "Iz, it's not like he constantly follows you around everywhere," Izzy said matter-of-a-factly "Yeah, but it'd be too obvious for me to go out in the middle of the day," I said critically "Whatever," Izzy said as he leaned his head back on the chair and closed his eyes. I only took him with me because it was so early and I didn't want anything to happen to me. I finally found the bakery, me and Izzy pulled over, jumped out, and got the cake. Izzy peered into the box "Oh it's soooo preeeetyyy!" he said in a high pitched voice, I rolled my eyes and looked at it, it was a vanilla cake with black icing, it had red icing roses going around the border of it/ on it, and it said 'Happy Birthday Axl!' on it. "It's just how I imagined," I said, smiling "Yeah it's cool," Izzy said as he shut the box, I paid the lady at the counter, then we left. "So, did you get Axl a present?" Izzy asked as we drove "Yeah," I said "What is it?" Izzy pried "I'm not gonna tell you, you have to wait," I chuckled "Whyyyyy? When we were doing your birthday we all said what you got you," "Really?" "Well, everyone except Axl, he wouldn't tell," I swatted Izzy on the knee "So neither am I!" I said, laughing. "So what's it like living with Axl?" he asked "Uh, it's pretty cool, it's been a pretty big step too, but we've known each other since we were kids so it just feels natural," I said "I bet there's a lot more banging," Izzy said slyly, I rolled my eyes "Yeah, more of that," I said somewhat sarcastically, Izzy chuckled slightly "Yeah...I'm glad you're doing good. I miss you though, it's cold and lonely and dirty and that dead mouse smell came back, it's just been in shambles since you left," he said, suddenly turning depressed and serious "Oh, uh, um...I'm sorry Izzy. I didn't know how it would effect you, I mean, I didn't think about it much. But, hey, your girlfriend must be relieved you're not living with a chick anymore, right?" I said, sympathetic and nervously, trying to cheer him up "We broke up! Something went wrong!" he said as he leaned his head on the recently replaced car window "Oh no! I'm sorry!" I said "It's okay," Izzy said, he looked over at me and for a second seemed to glance at the half of the pendant Axl had given me, he looked like he was about to say something, but he stopped himself. We didn't talk for the rest of the ride home.
- 7 Hours Later -
'Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Axl, happy birthday to you!' we all sang to Axl, and by 'all' I mean: me, Izzy, Axl's friend Shannon, and 2 of Axl's other bandmates, Chris and Rob. Needless to say...it was a small, personal party. "Make a wish!" I said after Izzy set the cake down in front of Axl, who rolled his eyes and smiled, then blew the candles out, we all clapped "Yay! Let's eat it!" Shannon piped up, we all laughed and Axl started cutting the cake. When he isn't angry, rowdy, drunk, pressured, or goofy, Axl is like the perfect host, he served everyone's cake, even though i'd offered to do it. "Cake's great," Axl said, mouth full "I'm glad you like it," I said. Once we were done with the cake, it was time for Axl to open his presents, which there were about 3 of, since only me, Izzy, and Shannon had gotten him something. Izzy handed him what he'd gotten for him first "Okay...let's see," Axl said as he opened up the box "Oh, a hat!" he exclaimed when he took it out, it was kind of like a police hat, but it looked like it was made out of patent leather and it didn't have the police symbol on it....it kind of looked like the hats people in the army wore. "Cool. Thanks Izzy," Axl said as he put it on his head. Then Shannon gave him his present, which were a pair of silver, medium-sized hoop earrings "You're in a band, you need those," Shannon said "Yeah, I guess you're right, let me put them on," Axl said as he took his other earrings off and put the new ones on "Thanks, Shannon," he said. Finally it was time for mine, I'd had it wrapped in dark blue wrapping paper, it was something special. "Ooh wrapping paper," Axl said as he smiled at me, starting to unwrap it, then he got down to the box and opened that, "Oh wow," Axl said as he picked it up carefully. I'd gotten him a cross necklace that was encrusted with real gold and diamonds "Oh my god, Isabel...this, this, is...I mean, I don't know...what to say, I mean, how'd you get the money for this? It's so beautiful," he said as he studied it "That's many months of work and saving up," I said, shrugging. I'd actually wanted to get it for Axl on his 22nd birthday, but I couldn't afford it then, so I had the jewelry store keep one on hold until I had the money. I was surprised they'd kept it for so long, but lucky they did. Axl stood up "Thank you so much," he said as he hugged me and gave me a kiss "I love you," he said "I love you too," I said, smiling back. After another hour went by, everyone left, leaving just me and Axl "Babe, this is the greatest present ever," he said as he touched the cross on his neck "I'm glad you like it," I said as I cuddled up next to him on the couch "Once my band takes off, I'm gonna drown you in jewelry and a whole bunch of shit you like," he said as he kissed my temple "But I already have you, and all the jewelry and money in the world couldn't be better than you," I said, Axl looked at me and smiled "You're like a fuckin' angel Iz," he said "Speaking of...what do you say we go to the bedroom and I'll give you another, sexier birthday present?" I said sexily "I think I'd like to unwrap this present," he said as he picked me up and carried me to the bedroom. And I gave him a present he'll never forget.
- June 1st 1985 -
I was just finishing up my work at McDonald's when Axl came in, with a tall blonde guy trailing behind him "Axl!" I exclaimed as I reached over the counter to hug him "Hey babe," he said as he kissed me "What's up? Who's your friend?" I asked "Ah, Iz, I want you to meet Guns n Roses new bassist, Duff McKagan," he said as he motioned to the guy next to him "Oh cool, nice to meet you! I'm Axl's girlfriend Isabel Kikx, but people just call me Iz," I said as I shook Duff's hand "Cool, cool, nice to meet ya," he said "Yeah, you too," I said as I turned to Axl "You get off soon, right?" he asked "Uh, yeah...right about now," I said as I looked at my watch "Oh good, 'cause we need a lift back to the apartment," Axl said "How'd you get here?" I asked "Bus," Duff said "Oh, yeah, of course," I said as I walked out from behind the counter "I can't stand this McDonald's shirt," Axl said as he pulled on my shirt "I know, it's sooo ugly...which is why I'm wearing...this under it," I whispered to him as I pulled the McDonald's shirt off to reveal a white ruffled tube top, "That's what I like," Axl said as we all started to walk out of the McDonald's, I took my hair out of the pony tail it was in and made Axl hold my McDonald's shirt. We went outside, got into my car, and drove off. "So how old are you Iz?" Duff asked, leaning up from the backseat "18," I said "Niiiice," Duff said as he looked at Axl, who just rolled his eyes and smiled a bit "Yeah, but i've known Axl since I was like 11 or something," I said "Ah, well I just turned 21 like, almost 3 months ago," Duff said "Oh, finally old enough to drink," I said "Pfft, please, I've been drinking for years," Duff said, laughing "I bet," I said. When we were almost back to the apartment, we noticed a bunch of people crowded around the door of the Troubadour "What's going on here?" I wondered aloud "Let's jump out and see," Axl said, we pulled over to opposite side of the street and got out. Me and Axl crossed and then stood with the rest of the crowd, trying to see over all the people and figure out what was going on "I can't see shit," Axl said "Me neither," I said as Duff walked over to us, he took one look over/into the crowd and then said "I think it's the dude from Van Halen," Axl raised his eyebrows "Really? Cool. Which one?" he asked as he tried again to see over the crowd "Isabel?" I heard a man's voice say, I looked around and then saw David Lee Roth attempting to fend off many fans while trying to get a good look at me "You know David Lee Roth?!?!" Duff screamed like a little girl "Seriously?!" Axl said as he came over to me. By now the fans had started to swarm around me, Duff, and Axl "Oh, my goodness! David!" I said as I hugged him "Oh my god! It's been a lifetime since i've seen your hide or hair!" he said as he examined me "Okay, how the hell do you know David Lee Roth?!" Axl shouted over the clamoring crowd "He's my cousin!" I happily announced "What?! Your cousin?!" Duff exclaimed, shocked "Yeah, he's my mom's sister's kid," I said "You never told me!" Axl said, dumbfounded. A girl grabbed my arm "I want your autograph too!" she said "Uhh...okay..." I said, a little shocked, she handed me a pen and I signed the piece of paper she held out that also had David's autograph on it "Thanks," she said "So, I haven't seen you since you were an ankle biter!" he said, trying to talk to me "I know, I must've been like 9 the last time I saw you," I said "I wish to see you more! Do ya reside around here?" he asked "Uh, yeah, my address is..." I began as I stood on my toes to whisper my address into his ear "Okay," he said, nodding "I'm gonna come see you!" he shouted as he started to get engulfed in the fans "Okay!" I yelled back. Me, Duff, and Axl went back to the car "Okay, in the 7 years i've known you, you thought it unimportant to tell me you were related to David Lee Roth?" Axl asked "I haven't seen him in ages and I can't believe you're freaking out like a little girl over David Lee Roth," I said, teasingly "I'm not! I'm just surprised you're related to him!" Axl said defensively "Well I am. It's kinda obvious, I have his eyebrows and eyes," I said, Axl looked at me "Huh, you do," he said "That's so fucking awesome," Duff said. We pulled up to the apartment and got out, went inside, into the elevator, and up to our floor "So do you two live together?" Duff asked "Yeah," I replied as Axl opened the door to the apartment, where we found Izzy "Hey guys," he said "Hey Izzy," I said "Duuude! This chick knows David Lee Roth! He's her cousin!" Duff said as he pointed to me "Really?" Izzy asked "Yeah," I said "Awesome," Izzy said.