Trying to make sense of the days events
That was the least of his problems.
How could I do that? I love Joey will all my heart and soul and then I betrayed him! I might as well have put an ice pick in his heart. He's the most caring, most unselfish, most loving person I've ever met. He has the biggest heart of all of us. He is the easiest to hurt too. He's so god damn oversensitive! But yeah, I did it to him. I did that to his son. He has ever right to hate me forever.
He sobbed again. He will never forgive me. I am alone. He looked over at the pink and white bouquet that was on the end table. He had sent them to Joey, but it was returned, the card unopened.
Why the fuck am I like this? Why do I hurt anyone that loves me? Why do I hurt anyone I love? Of course if Tim was here, he'd say 'Cause you're a sex addict!' I am of course. That's no fucking excuse! I'm a drug addict. I'm an alcoholic. I'm a greedy son of a bitch! I want everything!
Joey's right. I never think of the consequences. I just think of the moment. I wanted Jesse and in the heat of the moment I got him. He will never trust me again.
God, what if he would quit! What would I do? What would we do? Take Jesse on? Yeah right! Like that would work. Playing something that is written is one thing, but figuring out a new song is completely different. But then, maybe there won't be any new albums. Maybe I've already done my swan song...
He heard a knock he raced to the door. It wasn't Joey. It was Joe. "Hey, I was just wondering how you are."
Steven hung down his head the he gave a shake.
"Can I come in?"
He opened the door and watched him walk in. He himself collapsed back on the couch.
Steven felt his eyes well up. He handed him the card. He knew what he'd written; he watched Joe's face as he read. "He sent them back?"
He gave a slow nod. 'He hates me.'
"No, he doesn't. I know he loves you."
'He didn't even read the card.'
"Give him some time. You can't stop a love like the love you two have."
'Maybe this is a sign.'
"A sign? What?"
He pointed at Joe then at himself. 'You and me.'
"Us?" Joe sat back, "Back together as a couple?"
Steven nodded, staring at him, trying to see if he was interested.
"Steven, hey man, I mean, this is just a lover's spat-"
He interrupted him by slapping his hand on his thigh. 'Lover's spat.'
"Yeah. In a week this will blow over."
Steven cried. 'You don't want me either.' He doubled over crying into his hands.
"No, it's not like that. I can't. I can't do it."
He knew he was right. Billie would be in the way.
"Steven, I'm in love with Tom."
He shot up in amazement. 'Tom Hamilton?'
Joe gave a smile. "Yeah, he wants it kept quiet, but it's the truth. Tom and I have been at it for about a year now."
"I'm sorry Steven. I just can't."
He knew he wouldn't budge. He gave a deep sigh. Then he nodded. 'I understand.'
"Steven, you know that he'll come around. He loves you. You love him, it'll work out." Joe played with his rings, "How's your voice anyway?"
"Try to get some sleep. We're taking off right now." Joe stood waiting for him to walk him to the door, but he just sat there. "I'll see you tomorrow."
Steven heard him close the door, he numbly sat there, thinking, Joe and Tom. Good god in heaven, he's fucking Tom. Why did I ask him? Why did I ever think there was a chance in hell that he'd come back to me? He wouldn't risk me doing a hand job on one of his boys.
If only I could speak! If only I could talk my way out of this, I could convince him how much I love him.
Or convince Joe how much I need him.
He cried as he realized the very real possibility that he would never be loved again. I don't have Teresa. I don't have Joe. I don't have Joey. I don't have a voice. Soon I won't have a band. I will lose the fans.
Joey sat down on the bed think about what a horrible day he had put in. He knew that he still loved Steven, but then there are several types of love.
He was also certain that Steven did mean to commit suicide. It wasn't a bluff. He was thinking about it as his phone rang.
It was April. "Darling I'm so glad you called."
"Joey, what's wrong? Are you upset about the show?"
"Well yeah," He swallowed hard. He had to tell her, even if it was just a part of it. "But Steven and I had a fight."
He told her about the sex. He told her about finding the rubber and the notebook. He didn't dare tell her who Steven got his fingers around-just that he gave some guy a hand job.
"Oh." She paused. "So what was his excuse?"
"Ego. That he is old and this guy's young so he just wanted to see if he could convince him." Joey wiped his eyes. "I've never been so hurt by anyone. I thought it hurt with Brad, but this, this is like a tiger just ripped my heart out and ate it in front of me."
"Joey, I know it's bad, but you got to remember this is Steven."
"Look at his life. His world revolves around music and sex, that's all he really thinks about. Family and friends are seconds, lovers and fans are first.
"Joey I know he hurt you, but maybe you should try to work this out. I know how much he means to you."
"Well, after I confronted him, he went and got Joe and he came here to explain. I wasn't really even listening to him. So he-" He sniffed. "He tried to jump off the ledge."
"He did what?"
"He can't talk so he mouthed 'I can't sing, and I don't have you so I'll kill myself.' And I said, 'No you won't.' And he just bolted. I'm telling you April, if Joe hadn't been here, I don't think I could have pulled him back."
"Where was Jesse?"
"Out with some guys." He lied. "He thinks I'm bummed about the shows being canceled."
"Do you think," She began to speak slowly, "That he's had a breakdown?"
"I don't know. He's worried about his voice, and frankly I don't blame him. Even when he was crying he didn't make a sound."
"How about during sex?"
"Nothing." He lay back on his bed. "I'm worried that if I can't forgive him, that he'll do something stupid. But I don't want to be with him out of guilt either."
"I know. Maybe you should just wait it out."
"April, I never told you, but when he was staying with us, he'd say shit like this. 'If I didn't have my kids and you I'd die.' And 'I would have given up a long time ago without you.' Maybe this has been brewing for a while. I just thought it was the medicine talking or he was being dramatic."
"Yeah. Just remember whatever happens out there Joey; just remember that I still love you. I will always love you."
That got him crying again. He pulled the phone away in a vain attempt to keep her from hearing him. "Thanks. I love you too Darling."
"I don't have anything planned, do you want me to come there?"
"I think I'll be back before you know it. We're moving on to the next city, but I don't know why. We're gonna have to cancel."
They said their goodnights and hung up. Joey thought about what she'd said. She wouldn't have been so calm if she'd know what Steven had done to her son.
Joey sighed. It least he had April. She had to be the most wonderful woman he'd ever met.
His thoughts were interrupted by a knock. He took a deep breath and hoped that it wasn't Steven. He opened the door and there stood Joe Perry. "Hey."
"Can I talk to you? About Steven."
"Yeah." He let him in. "What about him?"
"You gotta take him back, you have realized that right?"
"I don't know if I can. The way he forced himself on Jesse-"
"He didn't force himself. Steven wouldn't do that."
"How can you be so sure?"
"He asked me never to tell, but under these circumstances," Joe cocked his head. "Steven was raped by a man."
Joey frowned at him. "Raped?"
"One time, I got a little too frisky for him, and he said no, but I didn't care. He just freaked out. Then he told me the first time he was with a guy it was this rape. He said I'd met him, and for a long time I'd see an old acquaintance and wonder if he was the one.
"My point is, and I know it's hard for you to understand, but Steven wouldn't make someone do something that they wouldn't want. If Jesse would have said no, he would have stopped."
"He's very persuasive though."
"I know. He had me doing things I never thought I would do."
"Why don't you make your move?" Joey crossed his arms. "This would be a perfect time to come in like the cavalry and save him."
He itched behind his ear thinking about Tom and the conversation he just had with Steven. "He doesn't love me anymore. He loves you Joey. I've seen it in his eyes. I've seen it for years. He is madly in love with you, not me."
"Then why did he do this? If he loves me so fucking much then why do this and with my son?"
"I don't know. Jesse does look a lot like you, you know maybe that had something to do with it."
"I don't know. Maybe I'm just being selfish, but I'm still in shock over this."
"Yeah. But will you talk to him, before we head out?"
"You think I should?"
"Yeah, at least give him the benefit of the doubt. Give him some hope cause everything else has turned to shit."
"Yeah." He walked out behind Joe. "Are you heading out now?"
"I told them I was checking on Steven and I'd be right back. We're leaving as soon as I get there."
"See you, and Joe." He watched him walk away.
He flashed a quick smile and walked to the elevators.
Joey walked the silent hallway to Steven's door. He thought about the advice he'd gotten from April and Joe. Of course they were both right.
He gave his secret knock and the door opened revealing Steven. He looked like he'd been crying all day. His eyes were mere slits, and his nose was red, but he managed a smile.
Joey suddenly saw how much this hurt him. Sure he'd tried to jump off the ledge, and whimpered and cried as he had Joe read his words, but he was truly sorry. He was as sorry as Jesse was after finding out about their affair. "Can I come in?"
Steven opened the door as his fingers latched onto his forearm. He pulled the drummer to his couch. He flipped off the T.V. and looked at him.
Tears ran down his cheeks, he put his hand on Joey's shoulder. 'I am so sorry.'
'Can you forgive me?'
Joey swallowed hard as he saw the flowers-the flowers he'd refused. "Steven I think that we might have to just talk about this when you can talk. It's hard to have a conversation when you have to write everything down."
He frowned a bit then took his notebook. Can't we try?
"It'd just be easier."
I was hoping we could have make up sex.
"I'm not sure about that."
'Oh.' He hung his head down, his lip quivered.
April was right: His life revolved around the perfect song and the perfect fuck. He put his arm around him and pulled him closer. "Steven."
He looked at him, like a beaten puppy that didn't know if he was about to get hit again.
"I forgive you."
He looked like a weight had been knocked off his shoulders. 'Thank you.' He mouthed and threw his arms around him.
He returned the hug. "But I want you to also know that I don't ever want you to do that again."
He broke away and gave a set of deep nods. 'I won't I won't do it again. I swear.'
"Cause if you do that to Jesse again, I will kill you."
Steven sniffed. He saw it in his eyes. He was dead serious.
Joe was lying on his bed, listening to the tires and traffic whizzing by, it all was like a music arrangement. The tires were like the drum and bass, keeping the rhythm going the cars were like guitars, breaking up the monotony.
He had the woman of his dreams lying beside him, but he thought about the secrets he had. Sure she knew about Steven, and how it was all over.
But Tom, god Tom was special. He couldn't just throw him aside. But then again...He was never too sure about him. They had said the forbidden 'I love you' to each other. The sex was getting better and better. He felt that they were one good jolt away from breaking up. Oh how the hell could I do that? Tom, hey man, I'm going back to Steven, yeah sorry. Maybe you can go to Joey. I know you don't like his rules, but hey, I got my own life! I gotta make up for lost time!
Or I could be clever and keep it away from him. Maybe I could have had Tom on the off-season and Steven on the road...Nah. Joey and Steven belong together. I can't break that up.
He closed his eyes and slumbered to the lullaby of the road.