He shot up from the dream gasping for breath looking around. He knew what he did to his baby girl, he could feel the soft skin under his hand from the slap, that snap of her wrist when she tried to run, and her screams and whimpers still fresh in his mind. His hands went over his face feeling the dampness and sat back in the seat while the nightmare kept playing over and over again in his mind. He had been told about the fight he had with Mickey, but never remembered it. He knew it had been bad, and remember breaking her wrist, but never the full thing. But what he did to Addison… he hurt her; and saw the sheer look of terror on her face when she saw him. “Son of a bitch,” He sighed, knowing what the hell Jones was talking about now, and got it.
The violence he unleashed on her over his own greed and stupidity ate at him. But the vail that the drinking and drugs gave him was gone, and there was no more hiding from the truth. He would be a man and face the truth, unlike his fucking father. His baby girl has forgiven him for every fucked up thing he had done to her. The lying, the cheating, walking in on him screwing women, all the times he’d hurt her, she forgave it all. So no matter what she’s done with Dax, he would forgive her, it didn’t matter… Dax was another matter. He just wanted the truth and to know what his best friend tried to do to get Addison that would have Mindy leave her family behind.
When he had left Dax's house, he needed to find a place out of the public’s eye to detox. He didn’t want to go back to Jones place; he wasn’t ready to see Addison yet. There was a big park downtown that he drove by when he was out with Addison and the boys, so he made his way to it. When he pulled in, he found a spot under some trees and away from people and pulled out his cell and texted Addison that he wanted to talk, but she didn’t text him back. He figured the guys must have called her to tell her what the fuck was going on, and she was scared to call him. But after the nightmare he had, he understood why. So, he dropped it down on the seat next to him and put on some music to relax and must have fallen asleep.
After he got his bearings, he sat back again, seeing that the sun was setting and figured he’d been out for a while. But then he heard a vibrating sound and glanced over to see his cell going off. It looked like there was a dozen text that he’d missed, and the same amount of calls, but then he saw Addison’s name and reached over to pick it up. It took him a minute before he swiped it open and started reading the text, not sure of what to expect.
“Hey, baby. I had an emergency surgery come up… what’s going on?” Addison texted.
He stared at the words thinking of what to say. From the sound of it, she didn’t know what had happened between him and Dax, at least not yet. But he was sure she would soon enough. If he had been the first call, Lynn would be the second, so he didn’t want to scare her…
“Can you meet me back at your place?” He texted and then waited.
“Yeah, sure. I’m just getting into my car now. See you in ten.”
“Sounds good.” He texted back and threw the cell back on the seat. As he pulled out of the parking lot, he thought about all the shit he’d pulled in the relationship with this woman, coming off mad and half-cocked when she saw him wasn’t a good idea. He knew why he was pissed, but he had to make sure she wasn’t frightened of him.
He found the key for the back door to her place, he walked into the kitchen, taking a soda from the fridge, sat down at the table, and waited. The house was quiet, which let his mind linger on things that it shouldn’t. But after about three minutes as he sat at the table, he heard the front door open, and Addison’s voice and her cell going off. “Baby, are you here?”
“Yeah, I’m in the kitchen.”
She turned the corner with a smile that beamed, but then fell when she saw him. “What’s wrong?” She asked, rushing to him, looking him over like a doctor would a wounded man, then felt his forehead. “Are you sick?”
“No, I’m not sick.”
“Then what’s going on?” She asked again when the phone started to ring and was about to answer it when he reached out to stop her.
“Don’t answer it.”
“But its Lynn. She’s already called me a couple times, but I was driving. If I don’t answer it, she’ll get worried.” She explained.
“I know why she’s calling.” He told her.
“What about him?” She shrugged.
“I want you to tell me what happened between you and Dax?” He said.
“I don’t understand, what about me and Dax?”
He sat forward, resting his arms on his thighs and tried again. “I want you to tell me what happened between you and Dax that made Mindy leave.”
“I…ah, What?” She stammered.
He pushed himself up from the chair and watched the color drain from her face taking a couple steps back from him. “Baby girl, I’m not going to hurt you,” He said, trying to calm her fears, but her eyes were big, like a deer caught in the headlights. “I promised you, remember? I would never lay a finger on you again.”
She gave the slightest of nods, letting him know that she was still petrified of what he was capable of. “Look, I’m fucking pissed by what Dax spewed out of his mouth about you. That doesn’t mean I’m going to hurt you over it.” He explained but was so angry at himself at how scared his girl was of him. “I love you, Addie, and I know fucked up and hurt you in the past. But did I ever hurt you when I was sober?”
“That’s right, and I’m not going to do it now. If we’re going to get the past behind us, I need you to believe that I would never hurt you again. I know I’m asking a lot of you, but that’s what we need to do.” He explained.
“Okay.” She whispered.
“So, just tell me what happened.”
“I think we both know which part… the one that made Mindy leave.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“Why, did you sleep with him?” He blurted out.
“What, no! I never slept with Dax.” She gasped.
He could feel the tension drain from his body. The worst of his fears weren’t true… “Then why won’t you tell me?”
“Because I don’t want you to be mad at Dax, when it was my fault.” She whispered.
He shook his head, thinking about what Dax shouted at him that afternoon. “Baby girl, it’s too late for that. After what he said to me today… I don’t think we can ever be friends again.” He admitted. “And tell me why you think it’s your fault.”
“Because, I needed him at one of the hardest times in my life. I think because of that, he thought I needed him to keep me together. But he’s been a good friend to me and helped me out when Win was really sick.” She explained, wiping away a tear that broke his heart. “And when Win passed away.”
“You love him?”
“Yes, I love him. Just not like how you’re meaning.” She whispered.
“I love him like a good friend, or an older brother.” She confessed.
“Could there have been more?” He asked, and she tried to turn away, but he wouldn’t let her. “Just tell me the truth.”
“Maybe, I guess. But being with Dax wasn’t something I ever thought about. I mean, it's Dax. Then after what happened with Mindy… no, it was never going to be a possibility for me.”
“And for him?”
“I told him I loved him, but not that way, and I would understand if he didn’t want to be friends with me anymore.”
Jimmy nodded and then asked the next question. “So, what happened with Mindy?”
“A lot happened to her. We all knew how much Dax had messed with her head. But she met someone, and we all thought that Paul had fixed her broken heart.”
“From what you said a couple months ago, I thought this guy had.” He agreed.
“Well, he did. But I think what happened was too much for Mindy to hear.” She whispered.
“Then explain it to me.”
She leaned against the counter with her arms crossed, picking at the sleeve. “Do you promise to understand?”
He didn’t know if he could keep that promise but wasn’t going to tell her that. So, he told the truth. “I promise to try.”
She bit her lip and nodded. “It was after Lynn and Nickels wedding in L.A. They’d come back from their honeymoon early when Win passed away. Dax came back from California to back here, knowing Win was really sick, and I needed help. We didn’t know Win was in his last days…
“After the funeral, I really didn’t leave the house. Lynn was trying to get me to go back to work, but I was too heartbroken. So about two months later we all got together at her and Nickels’ place just to relax and have a good time. But it was hard, I was having a hard time Jimmy… I can’t even put into words how lost I was and how much I missed Win.” She whispered, and this time he wiped the tears that kept rolling down her face.
“We were all in the kitchen talking when Dax brought up to J.W. how he looked like his daddy when he played his guitar, and that was it, I couldn’t take anymore. I got up and walked into the living room and started to cry. I just wanted Winston back…. I felt so alone, I missed him so much I couldn’t even handle being in my own skin, and I just needed a moment to collect myself.
“Then Dax came and hugged me, and I started to cry harder. It was very innocent, and at that moment I when he held me and let me cry, I felt…safe.” She stopped. “I’m so pathetic. I like the feel of a man to make me feel safe.” She whispered.
“That’s not pathetic baby girl. You just have had some terrible things happen to you, and there’s nothing wrong with you wanting to feel safe.” He told her.
“When I was done crying, we were going to go back into the kitchen when he kissed me.”
He could see by the look on her face there was more to the story. “That wouldn’t be all of it to make Mindy so crazy?”
She bit her lip and shook her head. “No. Dax said somethings that he didn’t mean, and Mindy over heard them.”
“You skipped over most of the story, and went right to the end.” He said, taking her face in his hands and wiping away some more tears. “I’ll be you, and you be Dax. Tell me what he said, and then kiss me the way he kissed you.”
“Why would you want me to do that?”
“Because if you want Dax and me to be friends again, I have to know the truth, Addison. What you tell me will let me know if it was just him getting wrapped up by being around you like you said… or if it was something more.”
“And the kiss?”
Her hands went over mine that held onto her face. “I love you, but I don’t want this to get out of hand. Can you understand that?”
“No baby girl. I don’t understand any of this.” He confessed.
“Whatever Dax said, he didn’t really mean. That’s the reason why you’re back here with me. He knew that I still loved you.” She said and then sighed. “Besides, after Mindy sliced her wrist open, I think he knew he had a lot of things to work on with himself.”
“What did he say, Addison?”
“He told me that he loved me and that he could be a father to my boys… that we could be a family." She admitted, but then stopped.
"I know there's more baby girl, you need to tell me."
She nodded and then said what he was excepting hear. "He said that he had always loved me, it had always been me who he loved, and never Mindy. She heard that, and it broke her. But don’t you see he didn’t mean it. He had just gotten close to J.W. and Justin, that’s all.” She stated, but his hands dropped from her face and he took a step back. He wanted to go over and beat the living hell out of Dax again.
He got one of the chairs and pushed it across the kitchen, crashing into the cupboards, and then started pacing the floor. “That no-good fucking son of a bitch! He wasn’t in love with the boys Addison, he was in love with you! Don’t you fucking get that?” He roared, only to have her hunched down to the floor, covering her head with her arms making him stop cold. He swore under his breath, pissed for frightening her, and then with a sigh, he walked over and knelt down in front of her. “Baby girl, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
She didn’t say anything, just shook her head, but before he could reassure her, the front door slammed open. “I swear to everything holy Jimmy, if you’d so much as laid a finger on Addison, I will cut off your balls and roast then over a spitfire!” Lynn's growl echoed from the entrance. He looked up from where he was on the floor and saw Nickels and Lynn turn the corner. “What the fuck did you do?” Lynn hissed.
“Nothing, we were just talking when I let my temper get the better of me and scared her.” He assured them.
“Addison, is that true… he didn’t touch you?” Lynn asked with a glaring look aimed his way.
“I’m fine, Lynn, really. Jimmy didn’t do anything; it was just me.” She said standing back up.
“Addie was telling me about the night Dax told her that he loved her, and how the ass kissed her.” He stated, staring at Nickels, who was silent over the statement. “She was just going to show me how Dax kissed her.”
“Jim, don’t go there…. just stop this shit before it gets out of hand.”
“Shut the fuck, Nick. I didn’t do this, Dax did.” He growled.
“Jimmy, please. I love you, not Dax. Please don’t do this.” Addison whispered.
He looked at Addison’s pale face remembering the nightmare he just had. At that moment, he saw the saw same look, and his shoulders fell. Without another word, he walked over and snatched her up into his arms. “I’m sorry baby girl, I know you do. I love you to… so fucking much.” He murmured into her hair, then felt her arms wrap around his waist.
“Jimmy, I was thinking maybe we should head back home early and get into the studio and start laying down some tracks. We already have prior engagements in L.A. in two weeks. It might be good for all of us to get back to work and put this shit behind us.” Nickels stated.
“I told you that I’m done with the band…and I meant it.”
Nickels’ hand went over his forehead. “I know you’re pissed at Dax, and I get it, I do. But is that fair to Howie and Jones or to me? We’ve all worked so fucking hard to get where we’re at. Put the people we love through hell to get there. Are you telling me after everything we’ve gone through, this is how you want to end it?”
“Damn straight! You think I can see Dax every fucking day and not want to beat the ever loving shit out of him?” He snarled.
“Damn it...” Nick sighed.
Addison pulled back, shaking her head looking up at him. “Don’t Jimmy. Don’t do this because of a miss understanding. Dax knows I love you; he loves you too. This is something you can get past to do what you love with the people you love. I don’t want to be the one who breaks up the band.” She said.
He looked down at her knowing she didn’t realize the truth. Dax didn’t love him, he hated him, and the feeling was mutual. Dax confessed how he really felt this afternoon, about everything, and there was no misunderstanding over it. The band was already finished, but he wasn’t going to let his baby girl know that. He would do one more album, and then work all the shit out afterward. “Okay, I’ll go back home and start working on the next album with the guys. But when I go on tour, Addison and the boys are coming with me. After this, I won’t spend another day away from them.”
“Fine. I’ll have a limo pick you and Jones up in the morning.” Nickels said, taking Lynn around the waist who looked like she wasn’t ready to leave.
“Call me!” She ordered, and soon he heard the door shut.
He watched Addison standing in the corner of the kitchen watching him. “Are you scared of me?”
“No, I’m not.”
His hand came up, touching the warmth of her cheek. “Then show me baby girl, because I need you... I need you to show me you’re mine.”
Her hand dropped down and pulled off her top, dropped her pants, and stripped off her bra, showing him her sexy little body. “You want me to show you on the kitchen floor, the counter-top, or the bedroom?” She grinned.
He scooped her up in his arms, placing her on the counter. “How about all three.” He growled before kissing her lips and taking her body completely.