a/n: huge thanks to all those who reviewed last chap! you people seriously rock! I loved your insights about the MA relationship, too. Very good points from everyone.

Now, this update should have come sooner, but I get distracted easily by shiny objects, story challenges, and of course Alec. And the angst bug bit me and wouldn't let me go until I wrote it all out of me. But I found my happy muse again for this one! So here goes, hope you enjoy:


Chapter 3: Cops and Robbers

"Get your hands where I can see them!" the rough voice ordered.

Max obediently held up her hands, giving Alec a mischievous look while her back was the only thing facing the men in blue.

Alec couldn't believe the sight in front of him. Max was wanting to have some fun with the cops. She'd been delaying him on purpose… in anticipation of knocking out a few policemen? Alec was really wishing he'd let her have the goon from earlier. If he'd known how badly she needed to beat on someone, he would have sacrificed the amusement it gave him in getting to the guy first.

Max turned slowly, grinning in anticipation of the shock she was about to personally deliver whatever gruff idiot was shining a light in her face.

As she focused beyond the glare of the light, she noted the obvious attraction the man holding the light found in her. So predictable! she thought with annoyance. She walked over slowly toward him, making sure to sway her hips as she moved.

"Stay where you are!" the man called hesitantly as she moved closer.

"Why?" Max challenged him playfully, "to keep the view?" She could have sworn that the comment caused a flush to come over the man's cheeks. Pathetic! she thought with mild amusement.

"Just… please remain still," the man asked again, his voice hesitant and the light twitching with his nerves. It seemed Max was quickly unraveling him.

"Imagine that!" Max told him sarcastically, though her words were coated in a sugary sweet voice that almost purred at him. "Suddenly you sound more friendly." She narrowed her eyes at him almost seductively. "You sure you want me to stay all the way over here?"

Alec stared in complete shock as Max continued to surprise him. He couldn't believe she was taking the moment to toy with the cop- not to mention, the last time he'd seen her hips sway like that, it was definitely not by her own choice. In fact, she'd given him hell for insisting she go undercover as part of the entertainment for the club they were staking out.

"That's enough!" another voice was heard as a second figure entered the room. "Area secured," he spoke into a radio.

Max rolled her eyes. This one clearly thought he was running the show. She wondered how much longer she'd let him think he had the situation handled and the area 'secured' before she ripped his sheltered little reality to shreds.

Kicking ass was basically her middle name. In fact, she was getting bored with being the eye candy. It was definitely time to return the gratitude of the fine gentlemen that had broken her taillight right in front of her on that cold night in July.

But as the cop came into the light, Max realized he wasn't just a cop. He was a detective.

And he wasn't just any detective.

"Detective Sung," the man said, flashing his badge in her face as a way of introducing himself.

Max stared in complete shock as the carefree feeling that had been running through her was chased away by a tight knot in her stomach. Oh, my, God. She stood frozen, hoping he wouldn't remember her.

Right, Max. Like a detective is going to forget that little detail of meeting you!

Max cursed inwardly at the truth in her self-deprecating thoughts.

Alec turned to Max, his face pleading her to do something. He knew they could easily still escape completely unscathed. And so did she. So what the hell was she waiting for?

Max looked worriedly into Alec's eyes before turning her sights again to Detective Sung. She swallowed, unable to find words, watching in slight horror as recognition spread across his face. He lost the stern 'cop' look and was suddenly staring at her wide-eyed, his expression soft and confused. "Max?" he asked in disbelief.

As the room fell silent amidst the confusion, one person still knew exactly where his voice was and he most definitely planned on using it. "You're on a first name basis, Max?" Alec asked her. "You do this kind of thing often?" He was rubbing it in her face, but he was also struck with true curiosity. How in the world would Max, the same Max who was constantly nagging him about keeping a low profile, have allowed herself to be so well-known to a leading detective in Seattle?

Max turned her face to his with a glare. "Shut up!" she snapped at him before Matt's voice brought her attention back to him.

At Alec's comment, Matt's attention quickly turned to the other transgenic. He withdrew his gun and aimed it at Alec. Though his sights were on Alec, he still spoke only to Max. "Max, are you all right? Do you know this guy?"

Alec flashed his cocky grin and took the opportunity to answer while Max was momentarily shocked (or maybe, 'mortified'?) into silence. "We had sort of a summer fling," Alec told the man before almost bursting out in laughter that there was still a gun steadily pointed at him. "Do you really think I'm just gonna let you shoot me?" he asked the man before smirking.

"Alec, don't!" Max said to him. She could tell that he was about to use his transgenic speed to escape, and knowing Alec, probably show off as well. "I told you to shut up!"

"Max…?" Matt asked one more time, chancing moving his sights away from the male suspect to look her in the eye. As he did so, he noticed that she was wearing a, well… an outfit he'd certainly never seen her wearing around Logan any time before. "What are you doing here?"

"I…," she began before trailing into silence again. What am I supposed to say? She couldn't take advantage of her transgenic skills to get herself out of this one. He knew Max Guevara, the 'special friend' of Logan Cale's. She couldn't jeopardize Logan, which left her speechless while her brain raced to somehow escape the sticky situation with everyone's cover remaining safely in place and unquestioned.

The worry that had been missing since the fear of being caught snooping in Alec's room earlier came back in full force as Max came to the conclusion that she had to keep her cover, as well as Logan's. Playtime was definitely over.

She quickly pulled a Manticore mask across her face as she grinned innocently at him, clearly embarrassed. "Oh, Matt! I was just looking into something for Logan. What are you doing here?" She put on the best ditz face she could muster. Maybe if I play stupid… she hoped.

Alec was once again staring at Max, completely shocked. Matt?! He didn't realize Max was so well-acquainted with the law enforcement of Seattle. The way she addressed him, it was like the guy was a former flame.

And Logan? Why had she mentioned him? Alec was frustrated that he was left only to guess at what the connection was between Max and 'Matt'. But it seemed she didn't want to give away that Alec could easily escape the path of his gun, or that in the blink of an eye, the two could disappear.

Matt eyed her suspiciously. "Logan is interested in this place?" he asked.

Max smiled as wide as she possibly could. "Eyes Only got a tip," she tried to explain, "and, well… I wanted to help!" She finished with a full-toothed grin.

"Does Logan know you're here?" Matt asked.

"Hey, do you mind getting that gun off of me?" Alec interrupted. If I'm not allowed to unarm him myself, the least Max could do is talk her good buddy Matt into holding his fire!

The grin stretched across Max's face flinched at Alec's comment. She rolled her eyes at him before locking her stare into his. Her stare silently warned him one last time to be quiet.

Alec almost cringed as his hazel eyes locked with hers. The look that he was staring into was near desperation. Something was definitely not right about this cop.

"Logan doesn't have a clue," Alec decided to break the silence again. "As usual," he added with a smirk. His eyes narrowed at the gun that was still pointed at him. "Come on, Matt, is it? We're all friends here, right?"

Alec was answered in unison as Matt refused by simply saying, "No," at the same time that Max snapped, "No!"

"Hey, thanks, Max," Alec said with a slight frown. "I thought I meant more to you than that," he feigned being hurt.

"Shut up!" he was answered in unison again.

"He's… my partner," Max tried to explain to Matt before she realized how vague that answer was. "I mean, to the mission… of Logan's...for Eyes Only, that is."

Alec couldn't help grinning at her immediate answer. He figured Max would introduce him to others as 'some idiot', but 'partner' indicated much more than that. Especially if you put some descriptive words in front of that… like 'breeding'… 'bed'… 'life'… Alec thought with a mischievous smile.

Alec once again let his eyes roam over Max's complimenting attire. She really knew how to grab a man's attention…

It was as if Max could read his thoughts, because she was suddenly giving him her death glare. Get it together, soldier! Alec forced his distracting thoughts aside. Another thought crept in anyway. When did she start being able to read me so well?

Max wanted to slap Alec for the satisfaction the asshole was getting out of all of this. She wanted to slap Matt for being so detective-like in not buying her story and letting them go. But most of all, she wanted to slap herself for losing her cool so easily. Get it together, soldier! She tried to get her head back in the game, but the unexpected, and unwelcome, addition to her plan of foiling Alec's scheme left her feeling uncomfortable and her mind racing with worry at the possible outcomes.

"Logan planned this?" Matt asked, breaking through her thoughts.

"He-" Max began.

But Alec wasn't going to let her make the situation any more worse than it already was. She was no longer in the mindset of a soldier. Her confidence was unfaltering and unquestionable to the human eye. But Alec knew by now when Max was being natural and when she wasn't. He tried to save her from putting her foot in her mouth again, and took a shot at getting them out of the mess. "Look, we're not gonna tell you anything right now."

Max and Matt both stared at Alec in disbelief as he went on. "We're not under arrest, you haven't read us our rights… So why don't we all go our separate ways and forget this ever happened?"

"You know, you're right," Matt surprised the transgenics by agreeing.

Alec nodded with pride. "Yes, I am!" He made a move to leave, but was frozen in place as his eyes lit with surprise at the shiny light reflecting off a certain metal object that Matt suddenly pulled out of his pocket.

The detective's stare was stern again as he held out the pair of handcuffs. "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law."

Alec for once wasn't quite sure what to say. "You're kidding, right?" I thought this guy was a friend to Max… What the hell is he doing?

"You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you." Matt's face was unreadable as he placed the metal restraint over Alec's wrist.

Max looked from Alec's hand that was being cuffed back to Matt. "Matt, come on, you can't be serious! We were just checking it out!"

"Max, could you please hold out your hand? I don't want to make this any more difficult on you."

"Aw..,. that's so sweet of you," Alec drawled sarcastically. Anything to keep Max's focus on being pissed at me instead of worrying.

But Max was too shaken by the entire situation to complain about Alec. Instead, her eyes were only on Matt, widening at his words. "You're cuffing me…? To him?"

"I'm sorry, Max. It's out of my hands. I have a job to do, standard protocol. If what you're saying is true, this will all be cleared up very soon. But for now, I have to take you in."

Max didn't fight him as he took her right hand and cuffed it with Alec's. She was silenced with disbelief. This can't be happening!

Alec was just as surprised as Max with the abrupt arrest. Under different circumstances, he certainly wouldn't mind being handcuffed to Max. But being arrested was certainly not involved in any of those... different circumstances.

Matt motioned for them to walk toward the door. "Don't worry, Max. You'll probably be released before morning."

"I'm not worried," she told him with a confident, couldn't-care-less, smile.

Alec would've believed her, had his skin not been brushed against hers. Because now that he could feel her every tension, he knew there was no questioning it. She was most definitely worried.

---------------------------------------------

The ride to the station was silent. Disturbingly silent, given that Alec knew Max's head was probably ready to explode right about now. He considered making a rude comment just to distract her, but found he couldn't come up with anything. He was too overwhelmed with the desire to comfort and protect her. In her troubled silence, he'd found that his own voice abandoned him.

I can't believe I didn't just leave. Alec silently scolded himself for not taking off. She would have followed, anyway. And then they wouldn't be enjoying a ride in the back of a police car.

But instead, he'd stayed around to toy with her some more. It brought him immeasurable satisfaction, pushing the right buttons, anticipating and watching her reactions.

Max never would have been so careless if he hadn't pushed her so much. I went too far this time, he decided.

Finally, he had Max all to himself. How many times had he wondered if it would ever be like this, close enough to be coated in her intoxicating scent and feel her heart beat against him?

But he didn't see anything pleasing about their current situation.

Maybe Max could take an entire ride in silence, but the longer it went on, the more he realized he needed to break it, for his own sanity. "So, who wants to play cops and robbers?" he blurted with a smirk.

-------------------------------------

Max was silently beating herself up over every stupid mistake she'd made that day. Going to Alec's in the first place was a bad idea. She'd blamed it on the cat DNA, but she knew there was something more. Another thought she didn't want to think about.

Ignoring Logan's page was a stupid mistake. If she'd answered, maybe she wouldn't be riding in the back of a police car.

Tripping the alarm, wasting time to wage a verbal war against Alec that somehow brought a twisted satisfaction to her. Enjoying his confusion, dancing around the first policeman…

You are such an idiot, Max! she told herself.

The worst part about the arrest had to have been when Matt's eyes fell upon the bag laying on the ground behind Max.

"Max, will you please follow Officer Davis to the squad car."

And that was when he'd noticed it. She'd watched in silent horror as his eyes moved from her eye level to the ground. Talk about getting caught red-handed.

"Who wants to play cops and robbers?" Alec's voice broke Max out of her thoughts.

Scratch that, Max quickly thought to herself, Alec is the idiot. "Shut up," she snapped at him.

"So… that's a no?" Alec continued.

Max rolled her eyes before letting out a sigh of frustration. "Would it kill you to just keep your mouth shut for once?"

"Yes, actually," Alec replied. "Hey, I gave you a good 5 minutes of contemplation there." He paused before speaking quiet enough that only Max could hear him, "Besides, I already know what you were thinking about. And your buddy Matt was right- you've got nothin' to worry about. Logan'll get us out of this. He always does."

"I don't want Logan to know about this!" Max breathed.

"Max… we wouldn't be in this mess if it wasn't for Logan."

"Explain that to me," Max argued, "'Cuz I coulda sworn that you are the idiot who had the blueprints to the place."

"Yeah, but come on, Max. You have to admit it- if that guy didn't know Logan, you would've knocked him out in less than a second and gotten away just fine, with time to enjoy all that money."

Max frowned in defeat. Damnit, I hate it when he's right!

"Coincidentally, what were you planning on doing with that amount of cash?" Alec asked.

"Buying a nice tombstone with your name on it," Max answered immediately.

Before Alec could make a comment about the not-so-subtle death threat, Max continued more seriously. "What the hell are we supposed to do now? I really don't want Logan to be involved in this."

"He already is," Alec pointed out. "Your detective friend knows him. There's nothin' you can do about that now."

Max grimaced slightly as she realized that she was totally screwed.

"But hey! Look on the bright side," Alec went on, "Now you've got a couple hours to kill… handcuffed to me. Got any ideas?" His brow wiggled suggestively as he finished.

Max glared back at him. "A couple hours stuck to you? There's a few things I could think of to pass the time… all of which involving you and serious pain."

"So you're into the kinky stuff," Alec joked.

Max reached up to slap him, but was especially slow in the delivery this time, weighed down by the extra resistance of having Alec's arm attached to hers.

"Ah, ah…," Alec said as his free hand slid over her wrist as it neared his face. "Why don't you save that energy for later, when we're alone in a cell together."

The image of being trapped in a cell with Alec while handcuffed to him filled Max's mind.

"I think I'd rather play cops and robbers…," she said in defeat as she realized that this day really could get worse.


a/n: thanks to all for reading! see you next chap...