Whipped cream, Max thought to her self. Now just what would Mr Eyes Only be doing with a can of whipped cream in his fridge? She tried to spy him in her peripheral vision but she'd stuck her head too far into his fridge. She could hear him though, scooting around the kitchen, slicing and dicing.
"Find anything?" Logan asked, seeming to sense her hesitation.
Hmmm. Confront him now or later? Whipped cream. In a can. It seemed very… un-Loganesque. A little déclassé especially for a man who, only yesterday, was lamenting the rarity of fresh chillies. When Logan touched her arm Max was pondering the origin of fresh whipped cream, wondering if it really did resemble the heavy fuzzy foam that came out of a can. That was the reason she jumped as his fingertips brushed her bare arm.
"Max. You okay?" Logan looked concerned, as though he expected her to fall to the floor convulsing at any moment.
"Yeah I'm fine." He did not seem appeased. "Just- " wondering if you'd like to eat this whipped cream off my- "thinking a snack might ruin my appetite. For dinner."
"Really?" An eyebrow raise accompanied Logan's amused tone. At least it replaced unwarranted concern, Max countered and inwardly sighed.
"Yeah. Anything I can do to help?"
"…temperatures will be rising across Seattle just in time for all those lovers daring to brace the outdoors this Valentine's Day. We can guarantee you won't need your winter woollens but it's always wise to take an umbrella! And anyone looking for love this Friday night should stay tuned for details…"
"Valentine's Day," Max muttered, and switched off the radio.
"Yeah Boo." Original Cindy swept into the kitchen and grabbed her mug of coffee. "You and your squeeze got any hot plans?"
"What's the whole dealio with this Valentine's thing? And he's not my squeeze."
After her smirk, Original Cindy took up her cherished role as sage. "In truth the whole thing is some crook hetro celebration of courtly love, you know, knight on white horse saves damsel in distress. St. Valentine ain't even the patron saint of love. And don't even get me started on all the junk everyone tries to sell this time of year simply by paintin' every damn thing pink or red." OC paused to sigh and gauge Max's reaction. "Still, Original Cindy don't completely diss Valentine's Day. In fact it's one of those rare luxuries that survived the pulse; the time to be reminded that love is essential to life." At Max's snorted look of scepticism, OC changed track. "Without love, Boo and I ain't just talking 'bout the romantic cushy stuff, but without that special connection with another person, be it friend, lover or family, life is pretty pointless. You may have taken a while to realise it with all that hut-hut-hut mission crap they drilled into you but you know it deep down Max, Original Cindy is speakin' the truth. Putting that metal thing in your neck, coming back to give Logan your blood; you chose love over life, over freedom. Now that's what St Valentine's day is all about."
"How d'you know so much about all this stuff?"
"Lesbians are well travelled in the landscape of love. And if Original Cindy has anything to do with it, they'd all be well practised in the act of love too!" Both girls laughed at that, bumped fists and took off for work.
Max listened to the crisp sounds reverberating through Jam Pony. The open spaces and high ceilings made the place seem clear and sharp and brisk. Logan's apartment, in contrast, was quite, peaceful, comforting. The hum of computers and electronic equipment, the weather beating away outside, the patter of keys, the whirring of wheels. Logan's deep breathing. Even the plumbing was silenced in deference to the calm in the penthouse.
"What's got you looking all misty eyed? Or let me guess-"
"I was contemplating the plight of the Madagascan Lemur actually. Terrible all those innocent creatures ceaselessly hunted by scandal hungry journalists. Now, if you wouldn't mind, I have packages to deliver."
Original Cindy merely snorted in response. "Right. So, you wouldn't be interested in the little red envelope I just saw being stuffed into your locker then would you?"
OC flicked her hand in the direction of a boy who could have passed for Skecthy's younger brother and stated, "doobie boy over there just fed a red card into your lock box baby boo. And Original Cindy took it upon herself to discover that, thank whoever's in charge, it was not from the little scrounging messenger himself but from a wealthy, anonymous suitor."
"A wealthy anonymous suitor?"
"Uh-huh. Sound like anyone you know?"
"Max, just open the damn thing."
"No." Max turned from her locker, red envelope in hand, and walked to the drinks machine.
"NO." The clunk of a can emphasised her point.
"Because it is not from Logan. For all I know it's from you trying to play matchmaker. Or some pervert off the street. Or, I don't know," she leaned in for a dramatic whisper, "Lydecker. Plus, I don't need some whack job thinking I need saving when I'm perfectly happy by myself."
"Why d'you say it's not from Logan?"
"Because Logan would not come all the way down here to ask some skanky kid to stuff a red envelope in my locker. It's not his style. And besides, he doesn't even realise it's Valentine's Day." This last was soaked with accepted disappointment. The sound made Original Cindy's heart yearn for her friend and her hands shake in eagerness to wring her neck.
"Of course Logan would come all the way down here for you. He LIKES you."
Max snorted and bent down to tie her sneaker. "Yeah, cos he pops in all the time-"
"Hey Logan!" At OC's call, Max slowly stood up straight again, to look Originak Cindy in the eye.
"Yeah, right. You really expect me to fall for that?"
"Calling out his name so I'll jump around and you can proclaim this as firm evidence that I love Logan-"
"Hey Cindy. Max."