Categories > Celebrities > Guns n' Roses > Dying in the Waltz

Picking Up the Pieces

by RebelRose 1 review

Axl opens up to Stella in a way he hadn't expected, how will Stella react? Read to find out!

Category: Guns n' Roses - Rating: R - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Published: 2018-01-09 - 2300 words

1Moving
Authors Note: Hope you're enjoying the story so far! This chapter gives you a look into what I imagine could have happened to Axl as a child, partially based on fact. Please Review, Rate, and let me know what you think!

Chapter 4: Picking Up the Pieces



The morning following the attack was spent quietly, Stella hovering near Axl as they prepared breakfast. Neither of the pair dared to speak about what had happened, preferring to avoid the reality that several of their friends had been killed and they had witnessed bits of the horrible massacre. It wasn’t until after breakfast that a small conversation was struck, nothing too serious, just a light and easy conversation that allowed the two to listen to the sound of the other’s voice. It wasn’t until mid-afternoon that the two decided to address their relationship properly, Stella unable to ignore the looks given to her and Axl unable to resist kissing her again.

“What are we, Axl?” Stella was the one to break the silence, her hand moving to catch his when he got up to order them pizza from the local restaurant.

“What do you mean?” He asked, his brows furrowing as he turned to look at her.

“What are your feelings for me?” She questioned as she bit her lip gently. She needed an answer.

“I care very deeply for you.” He answered honestly as he took a seat across from her.

“But?” She could hear the hesitance in his voice and knew there was a concern he wasn’t voicing.

“But I’m worried that it will draw too much attention to us, that the media will get a hold of it, and there will be more of a target put on your back.” Axl said, his eyes never leaving hers. “I can’t allow you to be put in danger.”

“Or your reputation tarnished?” She spoke coldly, her eyes narrowing at him as she let go of his hand. Beta had endlessly spoke about how much it meant to Axl to keep his name out of the media’s mouths.

“That’s not it at all, Stella. I want to protect you.” He said as he took her hand back in his, kissing it gently. “I don’t want you getting hurt or killed.”

“You promise me that’s your true worry?” Stella said as she looked into his eyes.

“I promise. If it were up to me, I would take you out every day and show you off. I mean…Look at you.” He laughed softly as he pressed a kiss to her hand.

“Is that so? Well…Can’t you show me off just a little?” She questioned as she moved into his lap, her arms wrapping around his shoulders.

“Perhaps.” He grinned, leaning in to close the gap between them and kiss her for the first time since they’d been at his Malibu home nearly twenty-four hours ago.

The kiss was soft yet passionate, full of emotion that had been pent up since the shooting. It was Stella who deepened the kiss, her hands moving into his silky red hair as she leaned against him. Axl, of course, allowed the kiss to deepen; he’d been so starved of such affections that he had forgotten the way it felt to kiss someone. But Stella wasn’t just someone, no. She was his and he was hers. Stella was smart, beautiful, strong willed, opinionated; she was someone who wasn’t shallow like his previous partners, she had depth to her that matched his own.

Stella broke the kiss, her fingers running across his jawline as her forehead rested against his. Even as he’d grown older, he remained handsome to her. She thought back to when she would look on Tumblr for new pictures of him, read his most recent interviews, watch videos of him and imagine what it would be like to see him face to face. And here they were, Stella hadn’t ever pictured herself here in his arms, kissing him the way she was. He was far more handsome in person than pictures made him out to be, the media making fun of his weight despite his body still being in fairly good shape, his arms muscular.

“Promise me this is something real, Stella.” Axl said as he stole another kiss, his arms tightening around her waist.

“It is. My feelings for you are real.” She assured after returning his kiss, her fingers twirling his hair. He smiled softly, hands running along her hips as they sat there in complete bliss. She was his new beginning.

“Let’s get some food, lover boy.” She hummed as she heard her stomach growl. She moved from his lap to grab the home phone and dial the number to the pizza restaurant.

After their pizza, Stella decided they would spend the night in bed watching movies. They changed into their pajamas and moved into the bedroom where Axl pulled her close to him as they settled into bed.

“What movie would you like to watch?” Stella questioned as she looked to Axl, pressing a kiss to his cheek.

“Something newer…Maybe action?” He shrugged, honestly not caring what kind of movie they watched, if they were together he didn’t care.

After settling on a comedy, Wedding Crashers, before relaxing together. There relaxation and movie were interrupted by the doorbell ringing; Axl got up and moved to check the security camera before opening the door for Beta.

“Hey, Beta.” Axl smiled and gave her a gentle hug after taking the box she had brought with her. He had been waiting on this to arrive for several days, hoping that the timing of its arrival would be perfect. It was his final birthday gift to Stella.

“Beta!” Stella grinned as she moved to hug the older woman. “What are you doing here?”

“I came to bring something to Axl and check in on the two of you. How are you guys holding up?” She questioned as she moved out the front door to bring in some groceries for the two of them.

“We’re okay.” Stella said and blushed a dark red as Axl pulled him to her, holding her around the waist and handing her the box.

“Oh?” Beta rose a brow, looking between the two of them, and offering them a soft smile.

“I decided I didn’t give a fuck what anyone thought. It’s time I start living my life and allowing myself to open up to someone.” Axl said, smiling rather proudly at his accomplishment.

“I just hope you know what you two are getting yourselves into.” Beta said as she shook her head and sighed. “I’m happy for you two, I am. I just want to protect the two of you.”

“I know that, but Axl and I can handle whatever gets thrown at us. I mean it’s not like we’re going to broadcast it to the world.” She said as she fiddled a bit with the box.

“Well go on, open it.” Axl chuckled as they took a seat in the living area of the home, Beta putting away groceries.

Stella opened the box and her breath caught in her throat, it was a beautiful diamond tennis bracelet. While she’d had diamond bracelets before, they had been things her mother had bought for her. But this…This was a gift from someone who wanted nothing more than to make her happy, this gift wasn’t for her to wear to a socialite event or a charity ball; it was a simple gift to bring happiness.

“Axl. I-I…Why?” She questioned, still breathless from the beauty of the bracelet.

“I wanted to get you something nice.” Axl said as he helped her put it on.

“In other words, he wanted to spoil you.” Beta teased from the kitchen.

The rest of the evening went on uneventfully and Beta soon went home, claiming she wanted to leave the two “lovebirds” alone. Axl and Stella found themselves in bed, Axl’s head on Stella’s stomach as they laid in the dark talking.

“Do you miss them?” Axl questioned, closing his eyes as her fingers ran through her hair.

“Yes. Everyday a little more.” Stella answered honestly as she stared at the ceiling. “Do you miss your mother and siblings?”

“No.” Axl answered. “Why should I? They didn’t exactly make my life all that easy.”

“I know, but I figured you might miss them.” She said quietly, her tone tender.

“They only ever asked for money. When my mother got sick, my siblings would ask for money to help with her treatment. But once she had died, the calls stopped coming and that’s when I knew that all the times they had reached out to me, all they’d ever wanted was a handout.” Axl responded levelly.

“I’m sorry.” She said, deciding it was probably best not to ask too many questions as she didn’t want to upset him.

“My mother never tried to stop my step-father from beating me, never said a single fucking word in my defense. She’d take his side, agree that I deserved the abuse that was being given to me, that I was sinful and evil for every fucking thing I did.” He said before taking a deep breath.

“Axl, you don’t have to tell me all this if you don’t want to.” She tried to stop him before he got upset.

“I’d be practicing the piano and if I messed up, he’d hit me so hard I’d fall of the bench. He’d say I was a failure and I’d never amount to anything…I was just a fucking kid, Stel.” Axl’s voice was shaky and vulnerable now in a way Stella had never heard before.

“You didn’t deserve that. You proved him wrong, didn’t you?” Stella tried to keep Axl from slipping into his thoughts of the past, but it didn’t seem to work.

“He’d beat me so badly that I’d lose consciousness, and nobody would fucking help me. They’d just leave me there and hope I woke up. He’d force me to recite the Bible to him by calling out verses to me, lock me in the closet and make me read the Bible until he decided I could come out.” He was openly crying now, stuck in the past, still tormented by the memories after all the years that had passed. “He’d lock me out of the house in the winter and leave me out there for hours until I ‘repented’… Then once I found out he wasn’t my father, he’d call me a bastard and a faggot. I didn’t know what he meant by faggot until I learned of what my birth father had done to me when I was just a toddler. I can never escape them…The memories.”

“Axl, Axl…Shhh.” Stella said as she ran her hand through his hair, brows furrowed in concern. She’d never expected this from him, he’d avoided speaking of his past, and now here he was pouring his heart out to her.

Perhaps it was the tenderness of the moment or perhaps it was the events of the previous day causing him to become so raw. She tugged at him until he sat up, so she could properly hold the older man. She wrapped her arms around him, lips pressing softly to his cheeks, trying to kiss the tears away as she gently rocked them, trying to calm him. She wished so desperately that she could take his pain away, kiss the tears away, but she knew the best she could do was let him cry it out. She knew this was probably not usual for Axl and knew that pent up emotions were not healthy. So, there they sat for several minutes, Stella whispering sweet nothings and comforting words in his ear, occasionally pressing kisses to his face, and promising him he was an amazing man. Promising him that it was over, that nobody had the power to hurt him like that anymore.

“I’m sorry.” He said softly as he moved to look at her, wiping his cheeks before getting up and heading for the patio just outside the bedroom. He needed air, needed to be able to regain his composure, and needed to cope with the way he’d just humiliated himself. He was worried he might have scared Stella away, he was too old to be crying like he had, too many years had passed, and it shouldn’t hurt him like it did. His worries were put at ease when he felt Stella’s arms snaking around his waist and a kiss was placed between his shoulder blades.

“It’s okay to open up to me. I want to know you, every side of you.” Stella spoke softly and let go of him, taking his hand and tugging him towards inside. He followed with no protest and climbed back into bed, Stella pressing a kiss to his lips. It wasn’t long before Axl was asleep, exhausted and emotionally drained. Stella stayed up for a few moments longer, just watching him, kissing his hair, and holding him. He was even more beautiful to her now.

It was the beginning of getting to know the vulnerable side of Axl, a side nobody could see…Until Stella came along. Now it was time to begin to pick up the pieces, move on in life, and allow the past to be the past.

Until the past found its way to the present….
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