"I broke up with you partly because I found out Duff loved you, like real fucking love. The, I’ll lasso the moon, reach for the stars, climb a fucking mountain love.”
“Seriously fucker. I’ve seen you naked dozens of times.” Slash glanced at the half dressed disheveled blonde. “Wait a, you and you…fuck me.” Pointing at each of them his smile spread wider. “Finally! You fuckers finally got it together. Congratufuckinglations! I knew you two would make a hot couple!”
“So that’s why you brought me here Duff?” Izzy glowered. “To fuck me? Then what, did you want a fucking three way?” Izzy tossed the covers away less modest than he was a few seconds ago pulling his pants on.
“No Izzy. It’s not like that.” Duff said placing a hand on the guitarist’s arm, but Izzy threw it off.
“Get the fuck off me. You’re just like them!” Izzy roared.
Duff snapped. He backhanded Izzy sending him stumbling into the wall. He worked to steady himself with his shoulder, but Duff quickly yanked him from the wall shoving him back into it with a painful thud. The warm loving hazel eyes flared with wrathful hurt.
“I never would do that to you asshole!” Duff screamed into his face, spittle flying from his enraged lips. He pulled the guitarist forward only to slam him back into the wall again. Izzy flinched back further into the wall. Digging his hands deeper into Izzy’s shoulders Duff wrenched him from the wall, throwing him onto the bed.
“How could you even think that?” Duff’s rage drained, his eyes hollowing as he saw the guitarist shrink away from him. Seeing his red handprints on the guitarist’s naked shoulders, he recoiled. “Oh my god, Izzy.” His body shook as he fell against the wall sliding down onto his butt, drawing his knees into his chest. His eyes bore sadness, pain and more regret than he deserved to take on as his responsibility. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
“Izzy.” Slash placed a firm, but restrained hand on Izzy’s shoulder. His thumb delicately rubbed the red bruise. Izzy stiffened but remained still. “He was half asleep when he called me and told me to come here. He thought if we talked you could become yourself again.” Slash dropped his hand. “That fucker loves you more than anything and he’s watched over you ever since I left you in that bed. So don’t attack the one person you know has only your best interest at heart.”
Izzy remained silent his gaze following the curly haired man as he took a seat in the chair next to the window.
“I still fucking hate you.” Izzy shot him daggers. Silence hung thick in the air. Slash shifted running his hand through his long curls.
“And so you should.” Slash acknowledged finally.
“Answer me one thing.” Slash nodded quickly. “Why did you pick me to fuck around with out of all the guys?”
“I thought you would be the one who would be most resilient to me. You never were one for public displays of emotion. Really you were kind of an enigma in yourself. I didn’t know how close I was getting to your heart. And you were kinda hot in your own weird way. It was a lie when I said I never loved you. I did. Not in the “I want to be with you forever kind of love” way, but I love you, love. Please forgive me. If not for me do it for yourself or Duff or…Axl.”
“What does Axl have to do with this?”
“Everything.” Slash sighed. “We’re fighting more, because of your disappearing acts. I even confessed to him what I did to you. Every time he sees you warming up to that Crue fucker he…it’s getting to him and…” Slash paused for a minute. “He wants us to be friends again. He’s threatened to leave the band.”
Izzy starred hard at Slash. He knew the words were true, but he wasn’t ready to be friends again with Slash. He looked at Duff whose eyes had begun to run. The blonde sniffed slightly curling his arms around his bent legs wiping his nose on the knee of his jeans like a sad child.
“I’m sorry Izz.” Duff whispered as he shook a few times from holding in the sobs.
“Duff, man, come here.” Izzy opened his arms to receive the cautious yet hopeful blonde. With trepidation he crawled toward Izzy worming his way into the V of Izzy’s legs that hung over the bed. He held Duff feeling relief for the first time in a while. The sobs died away as Duff burrowed his face into the space between Izzy’s collarbone and neck. The blonde hair was soft against Izzy’s cheek. He remembered the texture from the night when they had jacked the drug dealer’s truck. When Duff held him. He liked Duff he really did. Duff had saved him twice that he could remember.
Izzy felt something for him. It wasn’t love. Was it? Maybe friendship? No, it was more than that, but what was it? Maybe it didn’t have a name. Glancing at Slash almost wanting his input or thoughts on what was going on with his life. No he didn’t want Slash’s voice in his head ever again.
Slash gave a tiny smile not daring to endanger the calm that his two band mates seemed to find. He scratched his head trying not to fidget.
“That’s going to leave a scar.” Izzy stroked the bassist’s forehead. A tiny cut glared crimson under his thumb. Nikki’s mark. The skin around Duff’s eye had almost faded back to its original color. Duff’s lips curled at the corners.
“It was worth it.” Duff looked up.
Izzy studied him wordlessly. His mind still and his body though warm from the fluffy haired bassist, was distant. Yet a warm yearning churned in his stomach crying out to escape. It made him feel weightless and anxious. Did he have this same feeling with Nikki? No with Nikki it was more heat, more primal yet there was a kindred spirit to the Motley bassist. He knew there was an underlying secret to be unearthed there. Maybe that was the attraction, but Izzy was never one for extracting secrets. Duff had a strong a pull on his heart though, but was it stronger?
“If that isn’t love I don’t know what is,” Slash said softly. Izzy looked up.
“Why didn’t you and Duff fool around?” Duff cringed as Izzy spoke. “He’s your best friend and I could have kept a secret. Or why weren’t you just straight with Axl on your feelings?”
“Izzy you know him. He’d never have been okay with me if I just walked up to him and said hey you’re hot let’s be boyfriends.”
“And Duff? Izzy pressed unimpressed.
“Duff wasn’t that way then,” Slash said. Izzy’s gaze flickered questioningly at the bassist in his lap.
“I didn’t know at the time what I was feeling when I first saw you.” Duff explained. “I just remember a guy playing a guitar like it was an extension of himself. I knew I wanted to play with you, but it grew into more.”
“So I made you gay?” Izzy asked.
“I think I might have always been, but I just didn’t know it then. I mean Seattle’s not the most liberal city. If I had known, I would have field goal kicked Slash in the balls and ran away with you.” Izzy smiled, amused at Duff’s declaration. A spark of happiness sprung into Duff’s eyes.
“So just give him a chance fucker.” Slash exhaled impatiently. Izzy’s gaze narrowed slightly. Slash threw his head back fed up. “Look man, I’m not trying to control or use you anymore. I haven’t since that night. I just wish you’d give Duff a chance. I broke up with you partly because I found out he loved you, like real fucking love. The, I’ll lasso the moon, reach for the stars, climb a fucking mountain love.”
“And is that the love you have for Axl?” Izzy asked his voice sharp.
“Yes, yes it is.”
“He’s not lying, Izz.” Duff reassured, giving Izzy a tight squeeze. “I’ve known Slash for a long time and I know he loves Axl with all his heart.”
Izzy sat thinking. At times his eyes flicked to Duff. The comforting arms, the feeling he got from the bassist gave him the happiest feeling he could ever dream of experiencing. Then why did it seem like there was a cold darkness looming?
“Since you’re telling the truth,” Izzy began, staring directly at Slash. “What do you think of Nikki?”
“Him.” Slash said avoiding saying his name as he saw how Duff winced and clung harder to Izzy’s thighs. “He likes sex a lot. I think he’s had every guy in the Crue at one point. Maybe not Mick, I don’t know though, but I don’t see him really loving anyone except himself. I don’t think he wants to hurt you, but if you keep seeking him out he will.”
“Hurt me how? Like you did? Or that night you came home drunk?” Izzy looked directly at Slash as he spoke. Duff looked up questioningly. “Have you told your best friend about that night? When you tied me up? No? Why not Slash? Aren’t you sorry? You’re a liar Slash and you’re going to leave Axl one day. Just like you left me.”
The door slammed. Duff sat on the floor fixated on the shuddering decrepit wood as if by sheer will, he could bring the guitarist back in. A thick hand came on his shoulder as a body ventured closer.
“I’ve uh…” The hand was removed as Slash stepped back hanging his head. “I’ve got something I probably should have told you back in the bar about me and Izzy.”
Duff turned expectantly, eyes like wood being devoured in flames.
“Okay, um.” Slash said stepping away. “Remember when Izzy disappeared for three days and he said he had gotten a job, but he got robbed on the way home? Well, there was no job. It was because I beat him.”
“What?” Duff’s mouth went dry.
“It was when I first started going out with Axl and Izzy was always around him. Well one day I got really drunk, I mean really drunk and I came home and he was asleep in Axl’s arms, so I tied Izzy up and beat him, bad. I was drunk the whole time I…”
A hard fist smashed into Slash’s face sending him into a painful backwards somersault.
“Fuck you Slash.” Duff roared between desperate gasps for air. Throwing open the door only to find the sun and a screeching blaze of red disappearing over the asphalt. Duff’s heart dropped in his stomach.