Rating: PG-13 to M
Status: WIP Multi-chaptered
Summary: Sequel to Secrets: This takes place after Proof of Purchase - Only Alec doesn’t go to Max for help but instead makes another deal with White. Eventually M/A
Disclaimer – I don’t own anything
Chapter 2 : Missing you
“I got a tip on the Eyes only informant net about suspicious activities regarding transgenics, unfortunately it’s nothing solid and doesn’t make much sense.”
Logan Cale turned to face Max a smile already in place and the spark in his blue eyes bright. He watched her as she moved gracefully towards his bathroom, the wet and dark clothes she wore sticking to her like second skin, she should have looked out of place in his bright penthouse, but she fit in; Right where he wanted her to be. A jolt of pleasure shot through him when she peeled off her long-sleeved top and brushed down the sleeveless tank she wore underneath.
“What kinda’ activities?” she asked while she wiped her arms and dried her long dark hair with the white towel.
Logan forced himself to look away ‘Soon, soon we’ll be together’
“I’m not quite sure at the moment, but I’ll figure it out.”
Max looked at the back of his head, guilt once again worked its way into her system “Ok, let me know when you have something to go on” she said softly.
This limited amount of ‘Eyes only’ work was familiar, something they could both fall back on.
A common awkward moment passed where neither spoke, but occupied themselves fully with their tasks.
“So... What’s the news on the cure?” Logan asked quietly over the slow hum of his computers. The moment the question popped out of his mouth, he realised he’d made a mistake and wanted to drag them back in. He could see that things weren’t the same, and yes it was probably because of the virus – but how much? How much of the wedge between them was actually due to the virus?
At first he hadn’t thought anything about it, but the more it happened the more he wondered.
Maybe he was just being difficult. Max hated Manticore and being back there probably brought back very painful memories. Maybe she was just trying to forget everything to do with Manticore, including the virus.
That he could understand.
But what he didn’t understand was the way she shut down and hastily retreated whenever the cure for the virus was mentioned.
And once again she didn’t disappoint.
“I’m gonna see him today.” She grabbed her wet top and waved, “I’ve gotta get back to work or Normal will try to can me. Thanks for the towel” she threw over her shoulder as she walked quickly out the door.
Logan sighed heavily.
“Would you like to have dinner tonight?” he asked the empty room.
Original Cindy closed the door to her locker and leaned on it while looking around Jam Pony. ‘What a dump, this place sure could do with a few more coats of paint’
“Hey, I don’t pay you to stand around!” Normal screeched at her from behind his desk. When she ignored him he sent her a sour look while she rolled her eyes at him.
‘As well as new management’.
Before she could reply Max stepped in front of her and bumped her head on the locker door.
“Vandalism, missy! That’ll come out of your pay check!”
As if Normal hadn’t spoken, Max faced her fully “Kill me now”
Original Cindy smiled. “You know damn well I ain’t gonna do that, Original Cindy’s got a life and she wants to keep it that way. Besides Original Cindy don’t like orange”
Max groaned and slumped down on the bench dejectedly.
“What’s up boo?”
Max looked up at her, and said nothing but the look of helplessness was so familiar to her that she sighed. “Sugah’, you know I love you, but you have got to tell the man”
Max looked away sighing heavily “I hate the rain.”
“Original Cindy hates the rain too, it don’t go well with her hair.” She chuckled, patting said hair. “But don’t change the subject.”
“What do I tell him?”
“I don’t know what that is.” She admitted, tugging her hand through her hair in frustration.
Original Cindy moved from where she stood and sat on the bench beside Max. She threw an arm over Max’s shoulders and pulled her in close.
“We’ll figure this bitch out. Don’t you worry. Original Cindy’s got your back.”
“I don’t understand him.” Max whispered, almost to herself. “One minute everything was good and the next it’s all complicated. Then he goes and does something I never expected him to do”
She paused and Original Cindy waited patiently, letting her gather her confused thoughts and continue. ‘This Alec guy had seriously done a number on her’ She mused as she patted Max’s back calmly. A small smile stretched onto her full lips. ‘It was about time’ she had almost begun to think that no man could impress or keep up with Max. And yet, only Max didn’t seem to realise that all she did was talk about him.
“I don’t know what he expects from me now?” Max started again, her thoughts somewhat ready and in order. “I don’t know what I expect. Did we truly have something special? Or was it something else?”
“Like Manticore-induced sex?” Original Cindy provided kindly, the corners of her mouth curving upwards.
“Yeah,.....wait no!” Max jerked up, and shook her head ferociously. “No, no, no!.
An innocent smile “No?”
“I wasn’t talking about Alec!”
The smile again “I didn’t say you were”
Max sighed. “I’m serious. I am no way talking or even remotely thinking about him. In fact, if you ever meet him, I can guarantee that you won’t like him”
“No, he’ll drive you crazy with his laughing-“
“I like people who laugh”
“And his talking-“
“And his breathing-“
“Breathing means he’s alive, so that’s an extra plus” She laughed at Max’s frustrated growl. “Sugah, you got issues.”
“Of course, I do.” Max said resentfully. “Welcome to my life”
Original Cindy smiled and pulled her arm away, getting ready to go back to work, and extremely surprised that Normal hadn’t rolled down on them yet. “Boo, you gotta ask yourself this, why are you sitting here moping and worrying about some guy you’ll probably never see again instead of bumping uglies with Logan, if you can’t stand him?.”
“So this is the infamous Jam Pony?”
The man’s head jerked up and a smug grin plastered on his face. He pushed back his thick-rimmed, dark glasses and covered the mouthpiece of his headset. “You came!”
Alec shrugged and stuffed his fists into the pockets of his dark jeans. “I had nothing better to do”.
“That’s good” He moved from behind the desk, and came to stand in front of Alec. “That’s good”.
“Not a bad place Reagan could use some freshening up though” Alec said as he looked around the moderate sized building. He didn’t really know what he was doing there. He wasn’t really interested in working – he had the cage-fighting going and that was keeping him in enough beef jerky and scotch. Plus the extra stuff he did on the side – well let’s just say he was living very comfortably.
“You were in a hurry last night, so we didn’t get to talk-“Reagan – his big fan- started but Alec only partially listened. Yes he had been in a hurry last night, time had been running out and he hadn’t checked in with his prize. Of course the effects the micro-explosive bomb planted on his brainstem – a present from Ames White – hadn’t helped at all. It was the first time that he had left the checking in so late and damn had he suffered. The weakness that had hit him and the heaviness of his joints had played havoc with his nerves, and had him almost curled up on the bathroom floor, almost like the seizures he’d had as a child. Never again was he going to let that happen.
“Look Reagan, I appreciate the offer, but I’m not looking for a handout.”
The offended look on his face almost had Alec feeling guilty. “Who said anything about a handout? I’ve lost a few workers lately and I could do with someone like you on the team.”
“Someone like me?”
“Yes. A strong and handsome rooster”
Alec chuckled, slightly uncomfortable “Handsome....are you trying to tell me something? Should I be worried? “ His tone of voice was light but the glint in his eyes was the opposite. He didn’t have time for the guys fantasies, he had a lot of crap as it was. The ladies, now them he could handle.
“Jumping George W, No!” he paused sighing. “I like ya kid, and I think you could do better”
“And Jam Pony is better?”
“Maybe not better and definitely doesn’t pay no- where near as much but it is legit and you get a sector pass. We can even talk about the hours.”
Alec paused. A sector pass. That was something that would make his life easier. He needed one.
“What’s the catch? What do you stand to gain?”
“You keep fighting” he said, the colour rising on his neck. “It’s a win-win. We’ll split the share; we’ll be rich in no time”
Alec laughed, he couldn’t hold it against the guy for wanting to make money. He had planned on keeping the cage-fights anyway, it helped him deal with the stuff he did. Plus if he took this job, he got a sector pass which would definitely make his life easier. He had nothing to lose.
He held out his hand and Reagan grasped it enthusiastically. “Deal”
“Who’s your boy toy Normal?”
Alec let go of the hand and turned to face a beautiful dark-skinned woman with big brown eyes and short tight curls. His eyes quickly and discreetly slid down her body as his grin stretched.
“Normal?” he asked.
“That’s what they call me” Normal explained and Alec almost laughed. Normal huh. “Where’s missy miss, I might as well introduce you all so you can show him the ropes.”
“Oh, you’re that boxer dude” Alec grinned at the lanky guy who had joined the little group.
He blinked. It couldn’t be. Of all the damn places she had to work there? She had to be there? He turned slowly to face her and almost cursed. Yep, there she was, with her wet tangled long dark hair and her big earnest chocolate eyes. This wasn’t happening. He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t do it with her so close.
He turned to Normal “I’m sorry buddy, it’s not gonna work” he said regrettably, ‘There goes the sector pass’.
“What?! Because of missy miss? I’ll fire her.” He turned to Max “You’re fired”
Alec shook his head and climbed the rank, pulled at the collar of his coat and stepped out into the rain. He felt someone tug at his sleeve and turned around to face Max.
“Don’t” she said simply.
“We can’t work together Max, I don’t want to.”
She blinked and just stared at him for a moment. “You need a job”
He shook his head. “No, not really”
“Then you can get the sector pass”
He pulled away his sleeve. “Why do you care?”
She was watching him silently, soberly, and he knew he couldn’t say no to her. He could never say no to her.
“Stay away from me Max” he whispered gravely “If you know what’s good for you, you’ll stay away.
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