Title: Awakening
Author: Lyra (silsecri)
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Max/Alec
Disclaimer: Not mine. Don't sue.

A/N: I got the idea for this story from a plot bunny by Elf over at NWP. Now, this is after Hello, Goodbye, but Max didn't use Alec as an excuse for Logan, she had guts and broke up with him all on her own. This is mainly because that made things a little strained with Alec and Max and it creates a whole lot of bagage with Logan that I couldn't care less about, so...


by Lyra

Max entered Jam Pony, late as usual, and went directly to her locker ignoring Normal's ramblings. OC was there waiting for her with her hand on her hip.

"You know, boo, one of these days Normal is really gonna fire your ass and what will you do then, huh?"

"Pleeaase, Normal won't fire me. And even if he does, Alec will take care of it." Max said with a shrug.

"Alec? Why would he do that?" OC asked frowning, it wasn't as if he and Max were the best of friends. Heck, most of the time she wasn't sure if they weren't enemies.

"Things have been different lately, he'd do it." Max said confidently.

"Ok, boo, whatever you say." OC let it go, thinking she would have to keep a close eye on those two as she headed to the exit.

"You're even later than Max, Alec. Tsk, tsk." OC said as she passed Alec on his way in.

Alec leaned in close to OC. "Yeah, but unlike Max, I can be as late as I want." He whispered.

Max watched them from her locker thinking about her comment to OC. It was true, since their talk the night she broke him out of jail they had spent less time arguing... oh, ok she had spent less time bitching at him. They still argued a lot, but it was fun. They were getting along a lot better lately.

She watched Alec walk over to Biggs, one of the new transgenics working at JP. There were quite a few now. Biggs and Alec were old friends, so Alec had sweet-talked Normal into giving him a job. And seeing how easy it was for Alec to get anything from Normal they started a small campaign to make JP into Transgenic Central.

Since the job sucked big time it wasn't strange that employees left their work often, and every time it happened Alec had a recently arrived friend who needed a job.

In two weeks they found jobs for five Xs: Biggs, Cece, Ren and Stan, who all were X5's and Kara who was an X6. 'They are a good lot,' Max thought.

Max watched Alec and Biggs walk in her direction while laughing at an inside joke. Things were looking better for Alec, having his friends close agreed with him as he looked relaxed and happier.

"...Lo-la." Their voices reached her and she looked at them. They had twin smirks on their faces and seemed to be reminiscing about a really 'enjoyable' moment, to put it mildly. It was disgusting. She sent a glare at Alec and tried to pass them on her way out, but Alec caught her arm.

"Maxie, you shouldn't keep that scowl on your face for so long, it's gonna become a permanent feature and wouldn't that be a shame?" Alec asked amused.

'He was laughing at her!' Max was seething. "Sure it would! Making the competence to Lo-la and all..."

"Jealous, Max?" Alec asked smirking, and purposefully staying within her reach. She didn't disappoint.

Max swatted him in the neck and then stood awkwardly, unsure of what she was supposed to do next.

Alec laughed inwardly. Lately that happened often. He'd noticed a week ago that Max was trying to do something but didn't seem to know how it was done.

At first it was only her new fixation with hitting him in the back of his neck when up until then any body part had been game. While that was strange enough, she then started using the lamest excuses to touch him right over his hidden or lasered off barcode. Once she even combed his hair saying he was such a pig!

It wasn't until she started lingering after hitting him that he'd recognized what was happening. He'd seen it before, at Manticore. Mating transgenic style.

It was like in the TV documentaries, a ritual, and it let other transgenics know when someone was off-limits. First you acknowledge the other transgenic by caressing his or her barcode and then you lay claim on them by rubbing your cheek against his heart if you're a female and over her head if you're a male.

Alec wasn't sure at first, seeing as hitting is not exactly caressing, but this was Max. So he intended to make sure this time.

Alec stepped closer to Max and put his arm around her shoulder, giving her the chance of laying claim. "Come on, Maxie, you know I'd never do that." He wasn't even sure what he was talking about but it didn't seem to matter because Max wasn't paying attention. The moment he touched her Max leaned into him and started absently rubbing her cheek over his heart.

Alec caught Cece's eyes on them as he looked out over Max's head. She opened her mouth to speak, but Alec shook his head, halting her. Suddenly, Max playfully pushed him away saying, "Whatever, Alec" and went to grab a package from Normal.

Alec knew Max didn't know what she was doing. After all she hadn't been at Manticore when they'd started mating. But it was instinctual for them and some instinct in Max wanted him as her mate.

He wasn't going to complain. 'There'll be hell to pay when she realizes what she's doing, but hopefully she'll be mine by then,' Alec thought.

Alec hadn't acknowledged her yet. The thing was that when a female did it without knowledge, the way Max was, it usually meant her heat was approaching and she was looking for a male to mate with during her fertile cycle.

But Alec wasn't sure Max would want to be his mate and he wasn't ready to face that. It wasn't too long ago that she broke up with Logan, and it wasn't because she didn't love him. But she seemed to be better lately and he wishfully believed he had something to do with that. But with Max you never knew.



Alec turned around and found himself face to face with a confused Cece.

"What's up, Cece?" He'd been expecting this.

"What are you doing, Alec?" She asked him in a curious tone. She knew Alec and if he didn't want Max to know he must have a reason. "You know what she's doing, Alec. Does she?"

"No, she doesn't and that's why you can't tell her. This isn't the time for this." Alec was thankful she was at least letting him explain. It made for a nice change that not all women were like Max.

"But she's mating, Alec. Don't you think she should know?" Cece insisted.

"She's not. You know she won't be mated until I acknowledge her claim with mine and I'm not going to. Not yet, anyway." Alec paused. "She's had a rough time and she doesn't need this complicating things." Alec said patiently.

The last thing Max needed right after her break up with Logan was worrying about mating with him of all people. She'd love that.

"But what if she turns to some other male because you don't acknowledge her? If she doesn't know what she's doing someone might take advantage of her."

"That's not gonna happen. I'm giving her enough to keep her with me. You know about Logan?" Cece nodded. "Well that's been hard for her, and she needs time to get her mind straight." 'Hopefully to get over him.' He added to himself.

"Well, I won't tell her if you don't want me to, but you better keep an eye on her and make sure she's okay." Cece warned him. She liked Max and she didn't want to see her hurt.

"I always do, Cece, I always do." Alec told the blonde girl and left.


"Cece, can I talk to you?" Max walked up to the other X5 standing at the lockers.

"Sure Max, what's the matter?"

"Well... I've noticed some strange things lately. I was wondering if you could tell me what's going on."

"What is it?" Cece said carefully, thinking 'oh, oh'.

"It's just that Biggs and the guys... well, they're avoiding me... well, not really avoiding me, I mean they talk to me if I say something to them, but they never start a conversation or joke with me the way they did before. Have I done something wrong?"

"Max... I don't know what to tell you... I..." she trailed off. She didn't know what to do. Cece was recalling her conversation with Alec a couple of weeks ago, where she said she wouldn't tell Max, but Max was asking now and Cece didn't want to lie to her. "Listen, now is not the moment. How about you come over later, we can talk then, ok?"

"Yeah, ok... but you know what's going on?" Max pressed.

"Yes, Max, I do but there's a lot to talk about. Don't worry, you haven't done anything wrong."


Cece and Max entered Cece's apartment at TC.

"Come in Max." Cece went to the kitchen. "You want a drink or something?"

"Sure, coffee?" Max answered as she made her way to the couch. She leaned back and looked around the living room.

The apartment wasn't much, but Max could see that Cece had tried to make it homey. It didn't have much in the furniture department, just the couch and a small table. But the place gave off a warm vibe and Max found herself able to relax.

"Coffee it is." Cece put water to boil and took the mugs from the cupboard. "Let's see. I'm not sure how to explain this," Cece fumbled around the kitchen looking for the right words. "I know the guys have changed their behaviour around you, and while you haven't done anything wrong, you did do something to provoke it."

"No, I haven't." Max got up from the coach and walked up to the kitchen counter. "I have?"

"Max, have you noticed anything different about Alec?"

"Alec? What do you mean? He's the only one who treats me the same. What does Alec have to do with anything?"

"Think about it. Do you remember your conversation with him this morning?" Cece asked pouring the coffee in the mugs.

"With Alec? Sure, we talked about getting some supplies for the transhumans here."

They each took a mug and went back to sit in the couch.

"Ok. Can you 'see' your conversation, word by word?"

"I know sometimes I don't look like it, but I'm still an X5, Cece. I can recall a conversation word by word from three months ago." Max said rolling her eyes.

"Good. Remember the day when we had a delivery to sector 3 together about two and a half weeks ago?"

"Yes, it was Wednesday and it was raining on our way back."

"You remember your conversation with Alec that day? I saw you talking to him right before we left." Cece said trying to get Max to figure out on her own what was going on.

"Again with Alec? Why-"

"Humor me, please." Cece said.

"Ok. He came in and stopped a moment to talk to OC," she started in a suffering voice, "and then he and Biggs had a few words in their way to the lockers, where I was standing. By the time they got to me they were saying something about a Lola and you should have heard them. You could hear sex in their voices. I must have glared at him or something because he asked me if I was jealous. As if!" Max laughed.

"What did you do then? Details, as much as possible."

Max frowned and tried to remember. "Well... of course I hit him. I swatted his neck and then, after a small pause he put his arm around me and said..." Max trailed off.

"What?" Cece prompted her.

Max closed her eyes in concentration. "Weird, I don't remember. I know he said something. I could hear his voice over the sound of his heartbeat." Max opened her eyes surprised.

"His heartbeat?"

"Yeah… I was rubbing my cheek over his heart." She sounded surprised with her actions. "Then I pushed him saying 'whatever, Alec' and went for the package to sector 3."

"How about your talk that Friday night at Crash?"

Max didn't see the relevance of this, but her curiosity had peaked. "We met up at the table. He was playing pool when I got there, but he came to the table for his beer just as I was sitting down. He stopped beside me and leaned over to grab his glass that was on the other side of the table. I noticed the collar of his shirt was crooked so I fixed it. Then OC said she was gonna talk to a redhead at the bar and left. Sketchy called Alec saying it was his turn. Alec put his glass on the table and whispered in my ear something about coming back in 2 minutes... I think... I wasn't paying attention to his words."

"What were you paying attention to?"

Max thought about it just a second. "How soft his shirt felt against my cheek." She muttered.

"And this morning?" Cece reminded her.

Max was almost in a daze as she began recalling the morning. She could see a connection with her actions being out of character toward Alec, but she didn't know why. "He was sitting in the bench by the lockers. I was taking my lunch break so I went to sit with him. He was facing away from me so I touched him to let him know I was there..." Max trailed off thinking about her own words and noticed the look on Cece's face, encouraging her to draw her own conclusions. "...on the neck," Max added. "I caressed his neck to let him know I was there. Then he changed position. Instead of straddling the bench he sat facing the lockers so I could sit by his side. Then he put his arm on my shoulder saying 'hey, Maxie', and I rubbed my cheek on his chest... over his heart... What does that mean, Cece? Why do I keep doing that?"

"Let me tell you something about growing up at Manticore, Max. It sucked, big time. The only good thing about it was being close to our kind. It wasn't like you guys had it. Manticore frowned upon that kind of tight relationship, but we all were close to each other in the same way army people are. We were living hell together and that bonds people."

Max shifted in her seat. Hearing about life in Manticore from the people who had suffered the consequences of their escape always made her uncomfortable. Alec told her once that she couldn't understand because she hadn't been there. The truth was that she wanted to understand, she wanted to understand him. So as uncomfortable as it made her feel she always listened carefully whenever someone talked about it. And it wasn't often.

"When we got to the teenage years, around 13-14, you know, the females got their heat cycles and the males started fighting for dominance between them. I suppose you don't know what that's like since Alec told me you guys split up the night of the escape."

"Yeah, Zack split us in pairs." Max said. "I was with Jondy and we were supposed to stick together and lay low until he contacted us, but while we were running I fell through the ice and Jondy had to leave without me." Max looked away, a faraway look in her eyes. "I've been alone ever since."

Cece squeezed her knee and Max smiled at her. "I'm sorry, Max, that must have been hard, going through your life alone."

"Yeah, I spent ten years looking for them. And I never heard a word from any of them until Zack found me last year." Max smiled sadly. "Yeah, it was hard. But not harder than your lot. Tell me about it Cece."

"Well, we can talk about the whole thing another time, Max. Now I wanted to tell you about mating." Cece said looking Max in the eyes.

Realization widened Max's eyes to saucer size and she stuttered. "Mating... but... I... you... we... What?!"

"You see, some time around that time we started developing our instincts and one of them was the instinct to mate. We were a bit young but the first stage of the mating is innocent enough. When a transgenic has an interest in another you acknowledge him or her by caressing their barcode and then show your interest in them by rubbing your cheek on his heart or her head depending. If the other one is interested they reciprocate the acknowledgement and lay claim with the rubbing."

"Why rubbing your cheek? I mean, why not talking?" In spite of her shock it was really interesting to learn about it.

"It's because of the feline DNA, we are a very tactile kind, Max. It has something to do with our scent too."

"Why didn't Alec say anything?"

"You'll have to ask him."

"You said he's supposed to reciprocate my actions to mate with me, but Alec hasn't done anything like that. I don't remember him ever doing..." Max didn't finish the sentence, she was deep in thought.

"That's not all, Max," Cece interrupted her, she kept talking as she took the now empty mugs and went to the sink, "if you remember, I said that you do that when you have interest in a transgenic. It's something both parts are aware of, but you weren't. You didn't know what was happening. Sure you may have found Alec attractive but mating is another story." Cece said over her shoulder, washing the mugs, and missing entirely the indignant expression of Max's face, but she didn't stop there. "It's not the first time that happens. When the female starts the mating seemingly unaware it usually means her heat cycle is close and it's instinctual to look for a male to mate with in heat."

'That' stopped the angry retort about to leave Max's mouth. "What?"

Cece came back to the couch. "Max, your heat must be really close. Given that you've been trying to mate with Alec for three weeks I wouldn't give you more than 5-6 days. A week tops." Cece said seriously. "You have to decide what you want. Alec hasn't taken you as his mate because he thinks you're confused right now. But that doesn't mean he doesn't want to. And he didn't stop you from trying as he should have if he wasn't gonna mate with you. Then you would have turned to another X5 and he doesn't want that. So you should go home and think long and hard about what's right for you and what's gonna make you happy."

Max nodded her head. "Thanks, Cece. I think I'll do that now." Max got up from the couch and walked to the door. Suddenly she stopped and turned around. "Wait, what about Biggs and the others?"

"Oh that, well... mating doesn't usually take 3 weeks, Max. They all know something more is going on and maybe if it was anyone else, they wouldn't mind getting in the middle, but out of respect to Alec they're all staying away until you two solve it."

"But that doesn't mean they'll never talk to me again, does it?" Max asked frowning.

"No, of course not. Once you make up your mind things will change. If you don't mate with Alec everything will go back to normal, at least for them. If you do mate with Alec they'll go back to the way they behaved before but you'll be off-limits. They won't touch you intentionally, nor accidentally. Once you mate you're your mate's... possession." At Max's look of horror Cece laughed and explained, "not real possession like a shirt or something, it's different. You're his and he's yours... Trust me, you'll get it when it happens."

Max nodded, not really convinced. "Thanks, Cece. I'll see you tomorrow."


Max entered her apartment in a daze. She had paid little attention to her surroundings since leaving Cece's apartment. Their talk had made her think of something. Something she hadn't noticed at the moment, but now...

Alec hugged her and kissed her hair. "Max, I'm sorry." He said and laid his head on hers while she cried.

She had fought these feelings of guilt over Ben for a long time and they made her treat Alec so bad that it felt good to finally be able to let go of them. She knew Alec would understand, and he did. She could feel his sympathy and understanding washing over her the same way she could feel the warmth of his body close to hers.

She could feel him caressing her neck in a soothing manner and rubbing his cheek over her head. It made her feel good, and safe. It made something stir inside of her...

Now her mind was full of conflicting emotions. She had two little voices in her head, each trying to convince her they were right. The first one sounded a lot like OC's and was shouting at her that she should be mad at Alec for getting her into this mess and then not telling her about it. OC was insistently reminding her that she loved Logan and she couldn't mate with anyone.

But the other voice, Cece's, was louder in spite of talking in hushed tones. Cece was telling her that even if it had been Alec who started the whole mess, that didn't make him responsible of her actions. It had been Max's choice to go to Alec once her instinct to mate had been awakened by his actions. It had been Max who chose Alec as her mate.

Alec could have taken advantage of her ignorance on transgenic ways to take her as his mate and, according to Cece, make her 'his'. And something told Max transgenic matings weren't easily undone.

But he didn't.

And where did Logan fit into the equation? If she were honest with herself she would have to recognise that it hadn't been so hard to let him go. 'Shouldn't the loss of your true love hurt more than this?' Max thought.

Things hadn't been right in a long while and it looked like every time she came close to figuring out her life and the true role of the people in it, something tried to give her hope against all odds, like Mia. And the odds were pretty high.

What fun is being in love if everything's easy?

Gee, Mia, a lot of fun. Where's the fun in being in love with someone you have nothing in common with? No past, no present and, most importantly, no future?

Logan and Max's backgrounds were so different they could have been out of alternate universes. Their past was as clashing as it gets. Their present didn't look so bad... if you didn't count the virus keeping them from touching. But looking at it objectively, their story wasn't fairy tale material.

They started off on the wrong foot. They had a friendship or something of the sort and with time they could have gone beyond that, but Max had never felt comfortable enough to share her past with him.

Max told him about her heat because there's no way of hiding 'that'. But the darkness in her soul, born from growing up in hell and that she had hidden behind her carefully constructed mask, had stayed shrouded. And if she couldn't share herself with Logan... what kind of future could they have?

And that was before she was recaptured. Before she met Alec and, through him, her own kind. Being separated from her siblings she had to hide herself behind a human façade and she had forgotten how transgenics related.

Max felt a pang of solitude and misery thinking about her siblings. But when she thought of Alec, Biggs, Cece and the others she felt less the loss of her family. With their help she could even look for the rest of them. Maybe at some point in the future Alec and her could travel a little and try to find them...

Suddenly Max realized what she'd just thought. The future... that was the key. She could see a future with Alec. Maybe she never thought about him that way before, but she'd always counted on him being there for her in some way or another.

Max couldn't imagine her life without Alec. Didn't that mean something? She could picture her life without Logan in it, but not without Alec.

Why hadn't she thought about Alec like that anyway? Just because of Ben? It's not as if he wasn't the hottest man she knew. He was gorgeous and exuded sensuality and he was charming as hell. Alec could talk his way out of the bed of an ex-virgin guarded by an overprotective father with a shotgun. You couldn't help falling in love with him.

And that cocky attitude of his, the same she'd busted his balls about so many times, was actually really attractive in him. He behaved as if the world belonged to him. Max smiled to herself as she thought of Alec and the way he enjoyed himself everyday without losing sight of what was really important.

Sometimes she'd found herself wishing she were more like him. He was so comfortable in his own skin, so in control of his own body that you could feel his feline DNA pouring out of him, whereas she'd spent half her life avoiding that part of herself.

So... where did all this leave her?

She could hear Cece's words. Alec hasn't taken you as his mate because he thinks you're confused right now. But that doesn't mean he doesn't want to. And he didn't stop you from trying as he should have if he wasn't gonna mate with you because then you would have turned to another X5 and he doesn't want that.

'But that's what Cece thinks. I don't really know what Alec wants. I know he's not the kind of guy to take advantage of a situation like that. But maybe it's not that he wanted to give me time. Maybe he just doesn't want me for a mate.' Max thought suddenly and a feeling of sadness washed over her.

She needed to talk to him and it would have to be soon. Tonight.


Alec was laying on his couch watching TV when he heard a soft knock on his door. Surprised, he turned off the TV and went over to the door.

There was Max with her arm raised about to knock again. She lowered her arm quickly.


"Hi." She looked at him and hastily looked away. "Can I come in?"

"Sure." He said stepping aside to let her in.

Max went to the couch and sat in a corner. She kept looking at her hands and shifting in her seat.

Alec closed the door with his foot, watching Max carefully. She looked nervous and uncomfortable. "Max, is everything alright?" he asked going towards her.

"Yeah, fine. I just... I've had a few strange weeks and... well, it's not everyday you find out you're trying to mate with one of your best friends, is it?" Max finished in a rush.

Alec almost fell flat on his butt from the shock. "How'd you find out?"

"I noticed something was off and I asked Cece if I had offended Biggs and the others. Imagine my surprise when she told me." Max smiled briefly at Alec. "When she explained the whole thing I remembered something." She looked him in the eyes and asked softly, "It was you, right? That night in my apartment?" She didn't need to tell him what she was talking about. He knew.

"I didn't do it on purpose, Max. I..." he sat dejectedly on the couch next to her. "Truth is I had forgotten about that." Alec paused trying to find a way to explain himself. "I wasn't trying to take advantage of the moment. When I was holding you I... I just felt like it was the right thing to do, you know, caress your neck. I was trying to make you feel better. I could've run my fingers through your hair or rubbed your back... but it just felt right. And then it was almost instinctive, my cheek was already laying on your hair and..." he trailed off.

Alec wasn't sure if this was the right moment to tell her what he felt, but the occasion seemed too good to pass up and she did look like she was open to the dialogue. She still hadn't kicked him in the balls for doing what he did, so maybe it was the moment after all.

"And?" Max pressed.

"I said I didn't start the mating on purpose, Max. And it's the truth, but still... to be honest I've always felt something for you. Since the moment I met you. At first it was just a physical attraction. You know you're hot." Alec said a little bit self-deprecatingly. "But then, the fire in your eyes... the passion you put into everything... and you gave me a name." Alec looked deeply into Max's eyes, "You made me a person. You gave me something to hold onto to fight them even after we got out. And I fell for you. Hard."

Alec got up and went to the window. Max watched him play with the curtain for a moment and then he went on talking.

"I guess somewhere in my mind I have wanted you for my mate for a while, but I never knowingly named that feeling because you obviously weren't interested and it was easier to convince myself I didn't care about it if I didn't admit those feelings." Alec turned around to look at Max. "What I'm trying to say is that I wasn't 'mating' with you, but my subconscious was-"

"I know what you mean, Alec." Max said smiling at him.

Alec let out his breath. Smiling was good. Actually, smiling was really good, especially because it didn't happen often. There was a new air about her. Confidence and decision but embedded with certain vulnerability.

Max felt surprisingly good. He did want her. She had been feeling unsure about herself, but satisfied and happy with her decision of forgetting about the dream of Logan and replace it with the reality of Alec. The uncertainty over Alec's feelings was disappearing quickly now. They could make it work.

"So... now what?" Alec asked sitting down again.

"Now we mate." Max said firmly.

"You want to mate? With me?" Alec couldn't believe it. It was too good to be true. She wouldn't play with him like this, would she?

"Yes." Max said, suddenly feeling shy. "If you want to, I'd like to mate with you."

"Are you kidding? Hell yes! I want to."

Max laughed. "Aren't you gonna ask me if I'm sure? Cece said you thought I was confused. You don't think so anymore? Aren't you gonna ask about Logan?" Max cringed a little saying the other man's name. It was like turning down the AC to freezing. It sent a chill down her spine and she didn't want to look at Alec.

Alec took her chin and raised her head. "You said Cece had explained about mating. She would have had to tell you that we mate for life, Max." Alec said seriously. "If you had any doubt about this you wouldn't be here asking me to mate with you. You'd know once we mate you'll be mine."

The way he was looking at her gave her goose bumps all over and the cold that had surrounded her moments before was being replaced with the fire in his eyes. A fire so full of promises, and damn if she didn't want to burn in it.

"That's what I've heard." Max said, her voice deepening. "That's what I want."

Max scooted closer to Alec in the couch, almost sitting on his lap. She raised her hand to his neck and looking him in the eyes, caressed him. Alec closed his eyes relishing the feeling. With all the caresses he'd felt in his life nothing had ever felt this good. Her fingers were so soft and the touch so tender... and the acceptance behind it felt even better. Then she leaned her head on his chest and closing her eyes she rubbed her cheek over his heart.

Alec took a deep breath. She'd done it and she knew what she was doing this time. He caressed her neck softly and rubbed his cheek on her silky hair. This felt incredibly great. It was safe and comforting and exciting all at the same time. He could have stayed like that forever, but Max seemed to disagree with him, because she raised her head to look at him and the look in her eyes left him breathless.

"Well, now that we've taken care of the formalities, how about you show me how you're gonna make me yours?" Max said in a sultry voice.

She leaned into him and kissed him, her lips brushing over his, softly at first but not for long. Alec returned her kiss with passion, he almost couldn't believe it was finally happening. But before it could get out of hand he pulled back. The disappointed moan coming from Max making him smile.

"I'm all for it, Max, but first I want you to tell me what do you want from us."

"I want to share my life and myself with you, Alec. And I want the same from you. Can you do that? Can you let me in?"

"You're already in, Max. You just never bothered to look around you." Alec smiled tenderly at her. "But I'm glad to know you want the same things. I want to know everything there is to know about you. Your past. And your future." He run his fingers through her hair and pulled her to him so that they both lay down on the couch, him on his back and her on top of him. "I want to know about our future."

"Well, now that you mention it I have been thinking a bit about that..."

They talked all night and when the sun rose it found them asleep on his couch, happy in each other's arms.


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