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

As the World Falls Down

by RebelRose 1 review

Stella's birthday turns into a thing of nightmares. Warning: Violence

Category: Guns n' Roses - Rating: R - Genres: Angst,Romance - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2018-01-08 - 2911 words - Complete

Author's Note: Thank you so much for reading! Please leave a review and let me know what you think! This chapter gets a bit violent (not graphic) and deals with a mass shooting, if that triggers you read with caution and be advised. I hope to be posting another chapter tomorrow night! Enjoy!

Chapter 3: As the World Falls Down

On the days leading up to her eighteenth birthday, Stella spent her time with Axl. Their bond had grown much stronger and Stella found that this bond had helped her cope with what had happened to her and led her to him. The two had grown inseparable, spending most of their time in the gardens or the library. Stella had come to learn a lot about the man who had opened his home up to her and had even seen a more sensitive side of him.

“Stella…” The sound of Axl’s voice woke her, a sound she quite honestly didn’t mind waking to. His voice velvet and soft as a weight came to sit next to her on the bed and the smell of breakfast filled her senses.

“Happy Birthday!” Beta and Axl cheered in unison as Stella opened her green eyes and found Axl’s.

“Thank you.” Stella smiled as she gave Axl a brief hug before sitting back and taking the breakfast. “Thank you for breakfast.”

“You better eat up because I’ve planned a big day for you….I mean you only turn eighteen once.” Axl smiled almost sheepishly.

“And when he says big he means it.” Beta confirmed as she watched Stella’s grin form. “I had to help him plan it.”

“You guys didn’t have to go through all of this trouble.” She shook her head as she bit into her toast.

“We wanted to.” Axl stated, answering for both.

“I’ll leave you two so Axl can tell you exactly what it is he has planned.” Beta grinned before turning on her heel and heading out to make some final arrangements regarding Stella’s birthday.

“I hope you have that song ready for me.” She laughed softly causing Axl to roll his eyes.

Once Stella had finished her breakfast, Axl headed out with the tray to clean up after breakfast and Stella moved to her closet to decide what to wear for the day. After choosing a simple, low cut, black lace dress, Stella moved into the bathroom to prepare for the day. She couldn’t seem to stop herself from grinning; she couldn’t believe that Axl had put so much effort into planning an entire day for her birthday, it was more trouble than she could have ever asked him to go through and more trouble than anyone ever had gone through.

“Axl?” Stella called as she headed down the staircase and into the main foyer.

“Mr. Rose is in the library, he wanted you to meet him there.” The housekeeper stated with a sweet smile, earning a nod and a soft thank you from the red headed girl.

Stella headed into the library, pausing when she saw Axl. He stood between several piles of gifts, but that wasn’t what made her pause. It was him, it was always him and she didn’t quite understand it. She knew she could never have him, she knew that he didn’t need the bad press, and she knew that his hospitality and sweetness was only his true nature and nothing more.

“I wanted you to open your presents.” He said with a soft grin.

“You didn’t have to buy me anything.” Stella said as she moved to sit in a nearby chair. How could she have not noticed all of these presents being brought into the house?

“I wanted to. Here, open this one first.” He said as he bent down, picking up a box wrapped perfectly in black wrapping paper with a gold bow.

“Okay.” She nodded and took the box from him, opening it carefully. The box contained a series of envelopes containing letters from her family that were neatly placed on top of a new dress.

She could feel the tears welling up in her eyes at the sight of her mother’s handwriting on the first envelope in the stack. Her time spent with Axl had dulled the ache of being away from her family but the second she saw the envelopes; her heart began to ache dully.

“I got a hold of your family, asked them to send letters to Beta’s home for you. I couldn’t get one from your father, but your siblings and your mother wrote you a letter.” He said as he placed a hand on her arm.

“You’re amazing.” Stella shook her head and looked at him with tear filled eyes before moving to hug him. Soft sobs shook her small frame as she felt his strong arms wrap around her and his chin rest atop her head.

“I just wanted you to have an update on your family…One directly from them.” He said as he rubbed her back, allowing her to move back to her seat so that she could see the dress they had sent to her.

“I’m guessing Camille, my sister, picked this out.” She laughed shakily as she wiped at her cheeks and held the dress up to examine. It was a green dress with a simple but elegant design, her sister was always trying to get her to wear lighter colors.

“She picked well. You can wear that to dinner tonight if you’d life.” He said and handed her another box.

Stella opened her gifts from the various employees she’d befriended and finally got to the final gift from Axl. Inside the box was a simple silver necklace with a rose charm.

“It’s beautiful.” She said as she looked up at the man with a grin, hugging him once more. “I’ll wear it at dinner.”

The rest of the day was spent doing random activities that Axl had planned for her. Stella finding herself more and more drawn to him than she had in past days, his hard work putting into each activity melted her heart. Their day was interrupted by a loud bang, followed by a scream, and an employee running out of the sliding glass door and into the garden where Axl and Stella were.

“Mr. Rose, you and Stella have to hide.” He said, body trembling from the fear.

Axl didn’t hesitate a moment before grabbing Stella’s hand and pulling her along behind him towards the guest house and away from the danger. Once in the guest house, Axl pulled her into a large closet before closing the door, leading her to the corner and crouching down.

“Axl, I’m sorry.” She whispered, her hands shaking as they rested on his arm.

“This is not your fault.” Axl said quietly, looking at her and taking her hands in his. “It’s going to be okay, I won’t let anything happen to you.” He said and moved a hand to her cheek.

Once Stella had settled against him, she closed her eyes and tried to block out the sounds of the screams of the employees and the sounds of gunshots. The only thing keeping her from breaking right there were the strong arms around her, holding her against Axl’s chest. It wasn’t long before the employees that had hidden in the living area of the guest house had been shot and the shooter was in the closet. Stella and Axl froze as the shooter did a quick sweep around the closet before moving on, the front door closing, and shots were soon being fired outside and growing distant.

“Stella, I need you to run and get help. Get away from here first. I need you to run through the trees behind here, take the window in the bathroom to get out, and go down the driveway. Get to the house across the street and don’t stop until you get there. I need to try and stop him, try and get security on the line in the house.” Axl said quietly as he looked down at her.

“Axl, I’m not leaving you.” Stella protested, her eyes filling with tears, her head shaking.

“Stella, I need you to do this for me. It’s going to be okay.” He said as he cupped her cheeks. “I can’t go out there knowing you’re trapped in here.”

Stella’s green eyes met his, her shaking hands moving to touch his. She knew this could very well be the last time she got to see those piercing emerald eyes, the last time she got to hear his voice, the last time they ever spoke to one another.
“Please, Stella.” He said softly as she rested her forehead against his, before finally getting a nod from Stella.

Stella moved quickly to the bathroom as Axl headed towards the main house. Stella ran as quickly as she could through the trees and down the driveway, running past the dead security men at the gatehouse, and across the street. She began her ascent up the hill towards the large house, once she finally reached the house she began to pound on the door and ring the doorbell.

“Help! You must help me! I need the police!” She cried frantically, tears running down her cheeks as the neighbors, an older couple, opened the door and allowed Stella inside.

With the police now called, all Stella could do was sit and worry about Axl and all the friends she’d made in her time living with him. Luckily, it wasn’t long before she saw the police and other emergency vehicles arrive at the scene and storm the property while media trucks waited outside to document the tragedy unfolding. Stella saw the police escort a man to a police car after an hour or so of searching, by now Stella was outside at the gate of the neighbor’s house. With the man being taken away and media packing up to follow in hopes of getting a comment as to why he committed such an atrocious act, Stella headed for the gate where Beta was waiting.

“Oh, thank God you’re alive!” Beta said as she saw Stella running towards the gate, the older woman moving forward to hug the shaking girl. “I haven’t gotten any word on Axl.”

That phrase was enough to send a knife right through Stella’s heart, her eyes filling with tears. “I have to find him.” Was all she said before heading up the driveway and past the gurneys being rolling past her that carried the deceased victims. She remembered he’d started towards the main house, that’s where he would be.

Her pace picked up, running through the front door and trying to shift through the crowd of police interviewing various surviving employees, her green eyes frantically searching for red hair. Not finding him in the lower portion of the house she started up the stairs to search, going room to room.

“Stella!” Axl said as she opened the door of the library, rushing towards her and wrapping his arms around her.

“I thought you were dead!” She cried softly, her arms wrapping around him and face burying in the man’s shoulder. “Beta said they hadn’t given report of you.”

She was safe in his arms, he was alive, he was safe, it was over, and that’s all that mattered. She closed her eyes as she listened to his breathing, felt his arms tightening around her. They stayed like that for several minutes, just listening to the other breathe, and assuring themselves that the other was there and was alive. After what seemed like minutes but could have easily been an hour, Stella looked up at the man and allowed her hand to cup his cheek.

“Don’t you ever ask me to leave you behind again, do you understand?” Stella said, her eyes staring into his. “I need you to promise me you won’t.”

“I was only protecting you.” He said as he rested his hand over hers, head tilting to the touch. “I told you I wouldn’t let anything happen to you and I meant it.”

“I don’t care. I could have lost you.” She said, her voice unwavering and serious. “I can’t lose you, don’t you understand that? You’re all I have left.”

Axl wasn’t used to being depended on, wasn’t used to having someone who needed him, and certainly wasn’t used to being cared for so deeply. He looked at her, saw the tears in her eyes, felt her forehead touch his when she leaned in, and felt her breath ghosting over his skin before deciding he didn’t care what the press said, what his employees thought, what Beta thought; he cared for her. He cared for her so deeply and so strongly it scared him to his core. He had never felt this before, this certainty. He’d been in love before, thought he’d found his other half in Erin and then in Stephanie; but never once had he felt this/. And /this was not something he could ignore anymore. So, for the first time in a long time, Axl took a chance. He leaned in and closed the space between the two of them, pulling her closer, and pressing his lips to hers. The kiss wasn’t lustful or heated, it was a simple kiss. A first kiss that was everything it should have been; slow, timid, but deliberate. Soon, Stella’s hands moved to rest on Axl’s chest, feeling the beat of his heart, as Axl’s arms tightened around her. The kiss lasted for several moments until Axl decided to break it, his eyes opening as Stella’s did.

“I was beginning to wonder when you would do that.” She said softly, laughing quietly as her arms moved around his shoulders which in turn caused him to chuckle softly.

“It’s not like I planned to kiss you.” He said softly, his thumb running along the small of her back. “We better get downstairs to answer questions.” He said quietly, earning a nod from Stella and one final kiss.

The pair moved down to the living room, answering questions for the police, and giving their account of the horrors that had taken place that day. With the police finally gone, Beta was allowed back into the home where she wasted no time in hugging the pair that sat together on the couch. Beta didn’t stay long, citing her family as the reason for leaving, leaving Axl and Stella alone together.

“I’m sorry your birthday didn’t go as planned.” Axl said as Stella leaned against him and closed her eyes.

“You had no way of knowing what would happen, I’m just glad you’re okay.” Stella said as her fingers laced with his.

“Let’s get out of here, okay? I don’t think I can stand being in this house right now.” Axl said as he stood, offering his hand to hers.

Stella nodded and took his hand, walking with him to the garage and climbing in Axl’s Porsche. The two set of on a journey out of the city and towards the country side, desperate for an escape. After a few hours in the car, the pair pulled up to a beautiful countryside home lined by trees much like his main home.

“Welcome to my home away from home.” He said as he parked the car in the garage and cut the engine. The pair quietly made their way into the home, both exhausted from the events of the day and ready for it to end.

“You can pick any bedroom you like.” Axl said as he handed her a pair of his pajamas to sleep in until they could send for her clothes in the morning and begin figuring out how the shooter had found out Stella was at the home.

“I don’t want to be alone.” Stella said softly as she took the pajamas.

“Okay.” He nodded as she walked towards the bathroom to change. “You can stay with me.”

Once they were ready for bed, Axl moved to check the locks one final time while Stella climbed into bed. When he returned to the bedroom, he smiled softly at her before climbing in next to her and sighing softly at the softness of the bed. Stella moved to wrap her arm around his torso, head resting on his chest.

“Goodnight, Axl.” She said softly as he kissed her head.

“Goodnight, Stella. Happy birthday.” He responded, a hand running lazily along her back.

While neither would get much sleep that night, they laid in the dark in silence and enjoyed each other’s company. The events of the day would take a long time to process and cope with, but they would do it together. Tomorrow would be another day and Axl would make sure that day was a better day for Stella. Tomorrow he would make sure they finished the day he had intended for Stella to have. His biggest gift to her would arrive in the afternoon when Beta came to find them.
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