The next day had been spent with O.C. listening to Max gush about Alec all day. It got to the point where she thought even she was falling for him. She described him with such amazing accuracy that O.C. wondered how long she'd been having these feelings towards Alec. She went from his hair, the spiky look he sometimes had to the cute boyish look on his face. From his amazing green hazel eyes with just a glint of gold in them to how they sometimes turned completely green depending on his emotions. She spent a devastatingly long time talking about his lips again and his adorable freckles. Then she started on the rest of his body and O.C. found herself aptly paying attention. She talked about it in such detail O.C. started wondering how much time those two actually spent together. And what they actually did when they were alone. Then she got into his personality and what she loved about him and she stopped listening. She had to shake herself back to reality a few times. Boo's got it bad.

Then came the time to get dressed, she had to be absolutely perfect. Of course O.C. helped her the entire time wondering what in the world she was doing encouraging her. When she was done she found herself admiring Max appreciatively herself.

8:00 came around too quickly and O.C. dreaded the outcome. There was a knock at the door and she opened it. Sketch was standing there in a tux Alec beside him. They both looked incredible. To her amazement Sketch cleaned up nicely. Alec looked good in just about anything. She let them in and they waited by the door.

Max made her entrance and Alec's jaw visibly dropped. No words would come to mind other than. "Wow." He said it so softly Max was the only one who heard him. She shared a small smile with him. He could smell the soft scent of lavender and honey. Her long black hair shined and was swept up with long strands escaping to the sides framing her heart shaped face. She had on a light touch of make up and a deep lustrous look about her lips indication that she had applied a fair amount of lip gloss that he felt the need to taste right then and there. His eyes trailed to the rest of her and he was floored. The glittering red dress hung off her right shoulder the rest hugging her tantalizing curves. It trailed down to her calves and two incredibly dangerous slits reached each thigh. He could see the dark complexion and the sensual shine of her skin that made him too aware how easily he could lose himself in her. She had on a matching pair of high heels that tied around her ankles complementing the dazzling outfit.

"Shall we go?" She said happily glad of the affect her dress had on him.

"Uhm… yeah." He finally found his voice. "Let's."

Sketch looked at Cindy and told her in a sweet voice. "You look great O.C."

She slapped the side of his head. "Keep your eyes in yo' head." And then added. "Thank you."

They made their way to the hall that would house the dance for the night. When they entered the room it had two soft lights that seemed to twinkle as they turned on themselves. Heart shaped balloons pooled in a net on the ceiling, streamers hanging every which way. Cherubs had been added sporadically around the room and dead center there were two hearts with one arrow going through both. Making them all forget about the pulse making them travel through time where everything seemed perfect. A slow song filled the air; the romantic air was amplified tenfold. "Lifehouse – You and Me." Amazingly enough Max felt herself captured by the words.

What day is it?

And in what month?

This clock never seemed so alive.

I can't keep up

And I can't back down

I've been losing so much time.

Alec and Max walked in looking around the room with a small smile. They looked at each other and they didn't even have to say anything each knew what the other was thinking. They didn't even wait for O.C. and Sketch and headed to the dance floor.

Alec entwined his fingers with hers and took her in the dead center of the room. Max had never been one to dance not really knowing how and now stood timidly in front of him. Alec feeling her lack swept her up with confidence and led her into swaying movements. He had way too much experience from his training at Manticore but now wasn't the time to mention it. He looked down into her trusting eyes and smiled. She was so absolutely breathtaking he felt himself suffocating.

Cuz it's you and me and all of the people

And nothing to do…nothing to lose

And it's you and me and all of the people

And I don't know why I can't keep my eyes off of you

Max let herself be carried away and for once in her life she was content in letting someone else take control. She actually enjoyed every moment not to mention the closeness to Alec. She looked up at him with love in her eyes, completely dazzled by him. She let go of his hand and wrapped her arms around him holding on tightly. He followed suit and she leaned her head on his shoulder.

All of the things that I want to say

Just aren't coming out right

I'm tripping on words

You've got my head spinning

I don't know where to go from here.

They simply danced without saying anything because for the moment there weren't any words that needed to be said. They were just happy being in each other's arms. The words of the song carried to their ears and it was just the perfect sentiment as to how they felt.

Something about you now

I can't quite figure out

Everything she does is beautiful

Oh everything she does is right.

Cindy sat back at her table with a glass of punch. She had to admit they looked perfect together. She found herself secretly cheering them on. Her boo was in love and for once looked happy.

"Is this seat taken?" She heard a high pitched voice ask. She turned around to a familiar person but somehow couldn't place her then it dawned on her. "Mia?" She remembered her from her short stay at Jam Pony.

Mia was her cheery self as usual. She watched the room and a smile crept on her face when she spotted Alec and Max. "How are the two lovebirds doing?"

Cindy frowned at her. "They're fine but acting really weird lately."

"Oh that." Mia smiled mischievously. "It'll pass." She admitted sweetly. "Just wanted to give them a little something for Valentine's Day. It'll be gone by tomorrow."

"You mean to tell me you're responsible for all hell breaking loose?" O.C. was starting to feel angry. "Do you have any idea what we've been going through the last couple of days?" She asked tapping her foot impatiently.

Mia giggled and cocked her head persuading Cindy to tell her.

She was like an open book; she just started talking telling her the events of the last two days. "First Normal went off the deep end he was all over Alec, even to the point of turning stalker." Mia winced. "Oh I forgot about that… poor Alec." She laughed " I'll take care of it."

"Then Sketch decided he'd jump on the band wagon started hittin' on yours truly." Mia smiled in amusement. "You don't like Sketch?"

"Please sista' I don't even swin' dat way." Mia inhaled sharply. "Oh."

"Then Logan came in actin' all crazy like, proposing to my boo. And then that crazy girl Asha came rushing behind confessing her undying love. It was a madhouse."

"And don't even get me started on those two. It was all purring and growling." She nodded towards Max and Alec.

O.C. realized she had been talking about something but she couldn't remember. "Anyway you need to deal with it and quick." She said knowing she had been angry at Mia for some reason.

"I'll take care of it sweet pea." She sighed sadly. "So much for happy endings." She had no idea that things would get so out of hand.

She got up and walked around the dance floor, stopping first at Normal, making her way towards Sketchy and then finally to Max and Alec. On her way back to the table she noticed Logan watching the room with fervor. She spoke with him for a few moments and on her way back stopped at a table where Asha seemed to be pouting. She came back to the table and sat. "There that should take care of everything."

It was a few moments before Sketch came over to sit with Cindy. "Hey I had the strangest thought… how the hell did I end up here?" He asked confused.

Cindy visibly relaxed. "Poor little wigga." She sighed. "That's a story for some other time." He just shrugged got up and headed towards a blonde who was watching the room sitting at a table by herself.

She watched Logan and for once his face looked incredibly at peace and he smiled at Max. He turned around stopping at a table where Asha had been watching him. He pulled her up in his arms and hugged her. They exchanged a few words and he kissed her. If Cindy hadn't seen it with her own two eyes she would have never believed it.

Now her undivided attention was focused on her two boo's. She waited for the inevitable to happen. Any moment Max would yell at Alec and storm off, or she'd hit him in annoyance. Alec would then yell back and everything would be back to normal. She waited with impatience. They were still smiling at each other as if nothing was out of the ordinary. "Any moment now." She mumbled waiting.

A new song started playing the sound drifting from the speakers. Even Alec recognized the song. He had caught it once or twice. Amazed at how sappy it had been at the time, but now it seemed perfect. "Tara Mclean – For You."

You are all I see

Sweet obsession in my soul

Fill each moment with your voice

Breathe your beauty into me

He leaned into Max not wanting the moment to end. He couldn't believe he was holding her to him. So close, he could feel her soft skin beneath his fingers. They swayed to the music in perfect unison. He wanted to tell her how deeply he cared for her, how he couldn't stop thinking about her. He wanted to be everything for her. They were surrounded by a mass of people but at the moment it felt like it was only him and her. All that mattered to him was her.

And would I die for you…whoa

I live for you

You know I do

You know I do…

Max looked up into his beautiful eyes and her heart wrenched with love. It was almost painful how much she wanted him to know how she truly felt. She listened to the words of this new song and felt herself soar with the words. It was like the song had been written for them. They'd been through so many things together, life and death situations and he'd always been there for her. She knew without a doubt that he'd always be there. When she was with him the world dissipated along with her fears and she felt like a completely different person. With him she felt as comfortable in her skin as he did. He brought that out of her.

You are all I know

Your mouth is all I taste

My breast between your lips

My tongue upon your waist…your waist

She wanted to taste his lips; she wanted all of those things.

"Max…" He whispered.


You are all I am

And everything I feel

Your words are all I understand

He looked down into her soft brown eyes. He couldn't resist her anymore. She was about to say something but he cupped her face with both hands. She upturned her chin towards him and he finally kissed her. His soft lips pressed against hers gently at first, his tongue licking her bottom lip seeking entry and she surrendered into him. It was like an explosion of emotions. He kissed her so passionately she felt herself go weak at the knees. She was completely swept up. It was so incredibly amazing. It was like she had waited her entire life for this one moment and here it was and it was really happening. It all came down to this mind blowing kiss.

He stopped kissing her and she felt slightly dazed a shadow of an imprint of his lips on hers. She held on to him trying to keep her balance. "Alec…I…"

"Shh" And he kissed her again. She whimpered against his mouth and gave in to the kiss. She wanted to stay in his arms forever. She never wanted to forget the sweet taste and feel of his soft lips.

Fom a distance O.C.'s eyebrows were reaching her hair line. "What is going on over there?" She said confused. She looked over at Mia who looked over at O.C. just as confused. "I don't know. I just gave them all a push. I didn't make them do anything they wouldn't have eventually done in the first place." Then she stopped and looked at Cindy her mind dawning on what was really going on. "They're in love." She gushed happily. "They're really in love! Oh gosh this is so exciting! Can you believe it?"

Cindy had no words for it; she simply looked back at the perfect couple and smiled. "Finally." She whispered to herself. "Look at them." She said in an envious voice. "Makes me wish I was in love." She couldn't help but feel swept up with her friends.

The night progressed quickly for Alec and Max who seemed to only have eyes for each other. They were completely and utterly head over heels in love.

They finally joined O.C. at the table, she hadn't the heart to tell them what happened, but she needed to be honest with them. "Guys, there's sumthin' I need to tell ya."

They looked at each other and frowned back at Cindy getting a feeling at the change in her tone of voice. She had gone from being happy for them to being worried about them. She didn't know how to break it to them gently so she said it bluntly. "Remember Mia?" They both tensed again. Alec had more of a reaction than Max because he's spent his fair share in psy ops. "Well she was just here and she put the love bug in the whole gang. Me excluded, thank god."

"What do you mean?" Max asked with a hint of anger in her voice.

"Well Normal and Sketchy, even Logan and Asha. You two were pushed into liking each other. She explains it so much better than me." O.C. exhaled not really knowing how else to put it.

"She put the whammy on us again?" Max declared in an angry outburst looking over at Alec who seemed just as confused.

"Girl I couldn'a put it betta myself." Cindy nodded sadly.

Max looked over at Alec intense feelings rushing back again. It was impossible; she didn't want to believe it. Deep down she knew it had to be true. The last couple of days just seemed surreal. Alec's eyes pleaded with hers as similar thoughts went through his head. Without another word she ran out of the hall. "Max!" She heard Alec call after her but she never stopped.

She was sitting on the space needle taking in the entire city below her. Always back to her safe haven. At least she knew that up here she could feel safe and leave her troubles and worries down there where they belonged. Here she was free. She took in the night air and huddle in her bomber jacket. She didn't care anymore; she just wanted to stay here until she forgot everything. "Love sucks." She sighed again softly letting her tears slip.

"I don't think so anymore." She heard his deep voice and closed her eyes. He had managed to creep up on her and she hadn't noticed. Her heart started beating faster just by hearing the sweet sound of his voice. It's not real. She tried to convince herself. None of it had been and she was a fool.

"How can you say that?" She said softly knowing he could hear her. She wanted to get everything off her chest. "I feel stupid." She deadpanned. "I swear Alec for a while there I was falling completely in love with you." Her voice trembled softly. "I could still remember what it felt like. It was so real. It was like I couldn't handle being away from you for even a minute. Everything I ever went through, the loneliness, the worry, the fear it was gone. Instead I felt loved and protected for once, as if everything was going to be okay." She swallowed around the lump in her throat. "I had finally found my soul mate and now I find out it was all a lie. It's going to sound stupid but it's like I found love and now it's gone. It wasn't even real." She wiped a tear that had trailed down her cheek. "I'm going to wake up tomorrow and it's going to be gone."

He had been leaning on the doorframe the entire time hearing every word she said and finally he closed his eyes and smiled shaking his head softly. "I know how you feel, because I felt the same way." He approached her and sat beside her. He waited a few moments in silence and finally he put his hand on hers. She didn't resist she simply entwined her fingers in his feeling comforted by his presence. She turned to look at him her eyes still shining from the tears in them.

"She did put the "whammy" On us like you said, but she went around reversing the effects, on each and every one of us after she found out how badly things went." He paused then added with a soft chuckle. "I feel sorry for Normal, it's a good thing he won't remember anything come Monday morning. Still I never thought he was that into me. I have my very own personal stalker now." He tried to get her to smile but she wasn't sharing in his laughter. She frowned not understanding what he was getting at

"You see Mia, she explained it to me. No one will be able to remember what happened. That's the way it works. You kinda left in a hurry so you didn't get the full explanation. I'll give you the abridged version." He grinned. "She gave us a push amplifying feelings that were already there. It made us do things we wouldn't have normally done. Hence Normal stalking me since he idolizes me, Sketch going after Cindy. Don't ask me about that one that came way out of left field. Logan went all gaga because he was losing you and felt like he needed to do something drastic to keep you. Asha well I always knew about that one." He admitted in amusement. "Bottom line is it was all superfluous, kind of like enhanced infatuation."

"Wait she reversed the effects?"

"Yeah that's the kicker…she actually got to us right before we kissed." He smiled looking at her waiting for her response.

She opened her mouth to say something but the words wouldn't come. She felt like everything was just a bad joke.

He couldn't hold it in anymore. "Max..." His hand reached up to her cheek wiping away her tear with his thumb. "I found my soul mate too." He whispered.

She couldn't breathe. This was torture; it was just the residual effect of what happened. None of it was real. She couldn't bear to look in his eyes anymore but she couldn't make herself look away either.

"There are a lot of things I need to forget, pain, guilt, loneliness. When I think of you, everything goes away and I'm happy. I don't want to lose you either." He cupped her chin and brushed her lip with his thumb. "I think deep down I've always known that…" He gave her a gorgeous smile. "I love you Max." His eyes reflected her tears. "I've loved you all along." And he leaned in and kissed her softly at first, pressing his lips gently on hers. The kiss deepened and the pain and sorrow lifted. In its place she felt complete trust and love, she really wanted to be with him and she felt like she finally had the freedom to do so.

Everything she'd felt was real. Her heart soared with his revelation and she lost herself in him. She truly loved him, it wasn't an illusion. Like him, somehow she knew, she'd loved him all along. "I love you Alec."

The End