The Unspoken Rules

I wrote it on a piece of paper. I know, it sounds like I'm some emotionless and completely unromantic boyfriend. Of course, I wasn't and for a while, we weren't even 'like that'. We had these unspoken rules and one day, I just snapped. I don't regret it; I have nothing to be sorry for. I broke one of these 'rules' and she couldn't take it. Truthfully, in the end, all the rules had been broken and we both knew it.

It all started when Logan got too clingy after the flag-raising ceremony. He was the only one who thought Max and I were an item, so it had barely started then. Anyway, he did whatever he could to be around Max and brought a box of latex gloves with him, everywhere he went and I mean, I respect the guy a lot but he'd really gone off the deep end.

Max loved him; she told me she did when she took me aside after a meeting. She never said it again after that and I was never to question their relationship, her feelings or his. I was simply to assume that he owned her heart and well vice versa but that needed no assuming. This was Rule Number One but it wasn't the rule Ibroke. I was well behaved in this area and respected her unspoken wishes.

So this meeting was between the Executives of Freak Nation. Oddly enough, I was SIC of Terminal City and of course, attended the meeting with Max. She was an incredible leader; she had a natural ability and should've been a CO back home. Yeah, I know what you're thinking- Alec's SIC of Freak Nation? They're calling Manticore home? Are these transgenics crazy?!

Maybe we were but things were sailing smoothly as far as the siege against the ordinaries and that had to mean we were doing something right!

Anyway, she had asked me to stay behind for a 'chat' after the meeting. As it turns out, this 'chat' would change everything.

FLASHBACK

"Alec, I need a favour," she stated in a soft voice as she stared at her feet.
"Anything, Maxie."

"I need you to take the boyfriend act up a notch." Her brown eyes finally met my own widened orbs. I didn't reply. I needed to hear more first. So she continued, "I love Logan."

END FLASHBACK

She didn't pause here but I thought I'd just point out that this was where she said it. FIVE months ago. Anyway, she had said more.

FLASHBACK

"I can't do this to him. I nearly touched him again."

"Maybe if you stopped leading him on, he'd back off."

Now, Max's eyes widened. "I have told him that I'm not interested. He's not convinced though, he doesn't think me and you are together and it's obvious."

"God, Max. Just be truthful this time!"

I did my best to stay on track. For once, Alec was going to do the right thing. Of course, that lasted about five seconds before she pulled her gaze from my eyes and looked down again and that was it. The vulnerability in her crashed through and entered into me, leaving me almost in tears. Yeah, yeah, I know.

"Of course I'll help you Maxie."

END FLASHBACK

I gave in. Maybe that was my mistake.

Rule Number Two was formed. Act like a good boyfriend. Now, I tell you, I was perfect in this area for a long time and how this rule was broken, well, it had every right to be broken.

Fast-forward five months. Max and I had been 'dating' the whole time. Everyone in TC accepted it, Logan had moved on and yet we were still acting. I didn't get it but then again I did. I guess it was just our personalities. We were together but we just got off on the wrong foot- and stayed there.

Max never really spoke about our relationship; I never knew where I stood. I never knew how she really felt about me and yet inside, I loved her. I'd loved her all along and the answer to all my questions was there too: she loved me back. However, this was Max, so instead she was playing with me, pretending and hiding.

We never slept together but we'd moved into an apartment and we were always kissing and holding hands- in public. I know, secret relationships are meant to be the opposite but we were so dysfunctional, really.

FLASHBACK

Max walked through the door with a big smile on her face and called out to me.

"Honey, I'm ho-ome!"

She walked over to me in the kitchen, putting her keys down and kissing me on the cheek, all the while never wiping the grin away.

"Dix said he needs you to head over to HQ at around seven tomorrow."

"Seven?!" I shrieked, unable to help sharing the contagious smile still on her face.

I opened the door of the fridge behind me and took out two beers. Handing one to Max, I flicked my head in the direction of the couch before the TV.

She smiled and followed me over to sit on the sofa. I pushed away the pillows and she laid her head on my chest as I put my arm around her.

END FLASHBACK

For five months, five months, I did this same thing day and night. Held her in my arms, kissed her passionately and obeyed her every command. I shook off every flirtatious potential one-night-stands and rejected them, admitting to be taken. I followed these rules that were never discussed and never questioned her. I was pretending. So, one night I cracked. I did what the old Alec would have done: set things straight.

Nothing had changed; I'd been romantic boyfriend of the century, as always. Nothing had happened. It was just a voice in the back of my head that was suddenly screaming.

FLASHBACK

I sipped a glass of scotch, sitting on one the stools at Crash. Towards the back of the bar was O.C. and Sketchy, challenging each other at a game of pool. O.C. was teasing a hammered Sketchy as she gained the upper hand in the game.

It was probably my third glass, yeah, third. I was a long, long way from being drunk. Yet as I slurred my words when I ordered my next drink, I realised I had convinced myself that I was drunk.

For the sixth time this night, a leggy blonde in a short skirt came up and began to flirt with me. It had become a natural reflex, from the past months, to just slide the rejection and for some reason, beyond me, this time I didn't.

I didn't even realised what I'd done. She was talking, smiling, touching me, just like any other bimbo had done. Next thing I know, I'm whispering in her ear.

"My place or yours?"

She grinned and headed for the exit.

I finished my scotch and followed after her.

END FLASHBACK

I'm sure you'd know all about what happened next. FIVE MONTHS! My brain was fried, seriously. It didn't please me, I felt numb through it all and I was only glad when the voice in my head finally stopped its screaming as I pulled her into my bed.

The following morning I awoke in said bed, with a woman in my arms. I knew exactly where I was- for once! - and I didn't regret it. Who cares if it wasn't the best sex? Did I mention how many months?!

Of course, Rule Number Two was out the window. Max knew how much I'd given up for her and how many sacrifices I made so she could have some pretend relationship. She'd been out all night on a TC heist, I'd actually forgotten. So when I heard the apartment door unlock and slam close, I panicked.

"Alec?" she called.

I didn't answer. Instead, I did the first thing I thought of: shut my eyes and pretended to sleep.

Next I heard her drop her bags on the counter, a sound I'd begun to recognise over five months. Then the footsteps. She neared so close and then she turned the handle of my bedroom door, unaware of what lied beyond it.

She screamed and I got out of bed, put on my boxers and gathered my words.

"How could you?! You sick son-of-a-"

I cut her off before she finished, "What? C'mon don't do this, Max! I'm not your boyfriend, you don't love me, remember? Do you not realis-"

This time, bimbo had cut me off, dressing herself as she nervously stuttered, "I'm s-sorry, really. I d-didn't know…"

"Shut up!" Max barked at the girl before she turned to me, "Never speak to me again. Never!"

I didn't speak or move after that. I really felt horrible. Not for sleeping with the blonde or 'cheating' but simply hurting Max. It killed me and now, I'd lost her. It made me wonder what I was thinking last night.

As both women stormed out of the apartment, I stayed where I was.

For the next few days, I just went on with my life and Max did too. I saw her around TC every minute and took any chance I could to talk to her but she walked away every time.

It was the day after, actually, when I'd walked into her office and it's the only time she's acknowledged me since. I'd cornered her and began the speech I'd been rehearsing in my head all morning. She continued on, doing her filing and working away as if I'd never floated into her life. Although, she winced when I raised my voice when she kept on ignoring me.

After five minutes of my non-stop talking, Max finally cracked and steered me out the door, slammed it shut and locked it. I slumped to the ground, my back leaning against the door in a fall of defeat. I stayed there for only a minute when I heard sobs coming from the other side of the door.

I gasped and stood up, rising to knock on the door again.

The crying quietened when she realised I was still outside.

"Max… Max! Please…" I begged, shouting with all the emotion in my heart. However, this didn't please her, she merely silenced herself and ignored me.

It carried on for another week and a half. I never gave in, though. Everyday, I'd walk up to her and argue my point. Although, there was no point anymore, I was only talking to myself. I would've tried harder if I felt that I was guilty but no, I think it needed to be done. I may love Max but I wasn't interested in the classic Logan-Max, 'we're-not-like-that' romance. So I didn't back down because of my feeling but I also reassured her that I wasn't remorseful.

She hadn't been to the apartment since that morning. I assumed she was staying with Original Cindy but I never heard from her.

So after almost two weeks of hell against the devil herself, it came to a close.

FLASHBACK

Here I am again, sipping from a glass of Crash's strong scotch. I hadn't been here since that night and I was reluctant to return. Luckily, things were made easier since all the leggy blondes of Crash had been steering clear of me. Don't know why; I was thankful anyway.

Suddenly, my nostrils flared at the familiar aroma overpowering the strong scents of beer and sweat. That musky vanilla-sweet smell; it made me melt. Then I realised she had sat down next to me and ordered a drink. It sounds ridiculous but I don't think she even noticed who was sitting next to her!

I froze for a period of a couple of minutes. She still didn't acknowledge me but maybe she was hinting something, I thought.

So, I did what came to my mind first. Maybe it was the scotch that made me pull out a pen and a strip from my notebook. I carried them around in my pocket for when I did jobs for TC. After scribbling my message on the strip of paper, I slid it across to the woman I loved beside me, praying she'd take it and stay next to me.

"I already have your number," she said flatly, looking straight ahead of her all the while and ignoring my note.

"Max…" I replied like a parent angry with a child, attempting to persuade her by showing her the seriousness in my tone of voice. I really didn't care what she did now; she had actually spoken to me. That was a miracle in itself.

Alas she reached out her hand and picked up my memo. Typical Manticore soldier didn't show any expression as she read my heart on paper. Here I am, about to have an anxiety attack and she's masking her emotions again!

Max pulled out a pen from the pocket of her pants and wrote a reply on the back. Inside, I was screaming, dancing and squealing?!

'Too much scotch,' I thought to myself.

As I waited for her to finish writing, which only took a second, it felt like centuries. Finally, she slid the memo back to me and maybe I was just excited, but I could've sworn she was smiling. It didn't matter if she was, though. After reading her reply, I knew enough and I was smiling.

END FLASHBACK

So it was all solved thanks to the simple inventions of pen and paper. I still have the note on me. I carry it in my pocket, everywhere I go and of course, a pen and notebook.

The note:

"I love you, Maxie."

"I'm sorry. I love you too."

Simple but it means the world to me.

Now looking back, maybe I do feel stupid about it. The first time I let a girl know exactly how I feel in a long time and let out those three special words from my heart: scribbled on a piece of paper like a love note spread between high-schoolers. Yeah, sounds pathetic.

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Thanks for reading! I hope you liked it. It's kind of simple and not an epic plot but I like it! Please review and let me know what you think!