Thanks to p3karen, quirks, mars494, Chica De Los Ojos Café, predatorynature, VeggieAsh, iluvaqt, Erkith (I hope you do write your own version!), PurpleSpinx, and purplebunnywabbit (I adored your reviews) for reviewing. I hope this last installment is as enjoyable as the previous six.
Ratings: W-T, X-T, Y-T, Z-T
AN: Sorry about 'X', I couldn't get Sketchy quite right, and 'Y' is part of a snippet arc I have going on Word and will eventually post to my LJ.
She found him a couple blocks from his place, getting some kind of sandwich and fruit smoothie from Jerry'z. She watched in disgust as he leaned against the brick wall of the condemned building next to his favored dive and offered a girl with bright purple hair a sip of his drink, both of their expressions flirtatious. Rolling her eyes, Max came to a stop, just bumping his bike and sending it crashing to the ground.
"Hey!" Alec exclaimed, seeing his means of livelihood toppled. He shoved his food and drink at his new companion and turned to glare at the culprit. "Max," he growled.
"Alec," she replied, borrowing his smirk. She waited, somewhat impatiently, as he righted his bicycle and started to pedal away. She rode after him, neither sparing a glance at the cry from the girl they'd left behind.
"I think you broke one of my spokes," he accused her.
"On that piece of crap, how can you tell?"
He shot her a dark look and swerved to avoid a pedestrian. "What do you need, Max?"
"There's a Monet I need to lift from a gallery. It's a two man job."
"Are the gallery owners 'bad people'?" he asked caustically.
She shot him her own dark look, "As a matter of fact, yes. And it's a mission for Logan. For the greater good."
"The greater good being you two finally able to get busy?"
"Shut up!" she hissed across the distance, having to swerve herself this time as two kids raced by on skateboards.
"Max!" he mocked.
"You owe me, it's your fault-"
"I'm sorry," he interrupted, "Did I inject you with a DNA-specific retrovirus? No, that was Renfro. Did I kiss Logan the second I got away from Manticore and almost kill the guy? No, that was you. Did I ask you to give up your one chance at happiness in order to save my life? No, that was you again. Did I interrupt your ten hour window to do the deed? No, that was Joshua. So, tell me Max, what exactly is my fault in this whole screwed up situation?"
Taken aback by his rant, Max searched for something to say. He glanced her way, snorted, and started pedaling faster.
She caught up to him outside of Jam Pony, storing her bike beside his as he chained it to the railing. "You're right," she conceded, hurrying to lock her own bicycle.
"I know," he said over his shoulder, not waiting for her, as he descended the ramp into their place of business.
Slightly exasperated at his uncharacteristic disinterest in her life, she found herself chasing after him again, granting Normal a glare as he tried to fry her for being late. He probably hadn't said anything to Alec, even though he was just as late. Max bit back her grumble at the unfairness of it all and slid in beside him at the lockers. "You're right," she repeated, successfully not gritting her teeth, "I was wrong-"
"Can I get that in writing?" he snarked, checking his pack.
"Alec, please! I need your help!" She winced, looking at floor, looking away from him because she was practically begging. "Please?"
"Tell ya what, Maxie, I'll make you a little wager."
She bit her tongue on the instinctive 'it's Max' reply and thought her tone very even as she asked, "A bet? What are the terms?"
"They're pretty simple," he snapped his vest on and headed toward the dispatch desk, gesturing her to follow, "I ask you a question, if you get it right, I back you up on your dastardly scheme to get some nookie. You get it wrong, you stop asking me for these favors. So, you in?"
"Yeah." Not like she had a choice, there was no way she was getting into that gallery without him. "What's the question?"
"What color are my eyes?"
Her first impulse was to blurt out 'blue' and grin triumphantly, but a memory stopped her before the first syllable emerged. She scrutinized his profile carefully as he put his packages in order of his route. He was studiously not looking at her. "Hazel," she finally said, her voice almost a whisper, "green-hazel."
Alec looked at her then, eyes wide with surprise, and she had to force herself not to look away, to examine them. She hadn't noticed how beautiful they were before, the color more or less intense with his moods, the way his long dark lashes framed them…She'd never seen before.
"Well," he finally stated, his customary smirk suddenly curving his mouth, "color me shocked."
"Why?" She hated how defensive that had sounded.
"I never thought you noticed me enough to know."
She should let it go. Let it go and let him walk away until she needed him for the heist. But her brain seemed to go on the fritz. "I didn't." It wasn't loud, that admittance, but he was transgenic and so it was loud enough.
"What?" He turned to look at her, one eyebrow raised.
"I didn't notice your eyes." Max took a deep breath and took a few steps until she was back by his side. And then she ran roughshod over his confusion. "I remembered Ben's eyes." The look in them as the light went out was something she'd never forget. Something she still had nightmares over.
His eyes blanked like someone had drawn a curtain over them and Max found herself ashamed. Alec was always around, a constant presence in her life, and she hadn't really paid him any attention. Not even when he was doing something right. "Of course, I should've known."
She found herself speechless for the second time that day. He sounded so bitter… "Alec!"
He waved a hand as he walked away, calling back, "Bet's a bet, Max, I'll meet you at Logan's around seven. He'll probably be making pasta."
She stood at the bottom of the ramp, feeling off-kilter and guilty. "I'm sorry."
Reagan Ronald, known to the degenerates who worked for him as 'Normal', was going through the replicas of his newest employees' files. He believed in hard copies, preferably in triplicate. After the Pulse, he could never really bring himself to trust a computer again. So, he was organizing and alphabetizing, when he found an item that didn't belong.
The man voted 'Least Likely to Succeed' in the informal, annual Jam Pony elections, sauntered up to the dispatch desk and peered over his hippie little sunglasses at his boss. "What's up, Normal?"
No respect from kids these days. Only his golden boy knew his manners. "Care to tell me what this is?" he prompted, holding up the piece of paper.
Sketchy took it, turning it this way and that before his eyes widened. "It's someone's butt!" he announced in triumph.
"I can see that Einstein," he snapped, "Why is it in my employee files?"
"Huh. That is weird." Sketchy looked down at the stapled, sorted papers and then back at the single, Normal-offending piece and then back at his boss. Behind the thick lenses, Normal's expression was impatient and not-amused. "Whoa, Normal, you don't think it's mine, do you?"
"As much as I doubt the good Lord blessed you with that particular asset, you're the only one who's been in the stock room recently."
"Only 'cuz you sent me in there!" Sketchy protested, "Besides, the sign says the machine is broken!" A sudden thought occurred to him and he looked at Normal suspiciously, "Are you saying you lied about the Xerox machine, Normal?"
"I was tired of you hooligans messing around in there!" Normal exclaimed. He pointed a finger at one of the said hooligans, "Not that that stopped you."
"It's not mine!"
"Then whose is it?"
"Alec, he was in there, like, yesterday, man! I saw him come out." Sketchy gave a couple nods as he recalled the furtive looks the younger man gave the rest of the room before venturing out. "I think he was with a girl, but I didn't see who."
"Are you suggesting that this," Normal looked at the print-out with renewed interest, "is Alec's derriere?"
"Yeah, that's what I'm suggesting."
"Huh." It might have been Sketchy's imagination, as he was slightly toasted, but Normal's eyes seemed to gleam a bit and that was definitely a smile playing around his usually dour mouth. Sketchy didn't think Alec would appreciate the expression on their boss' face. "Although, to be sure, we should probably ask him."
"Ask him," Normal repeated.
"Yeah." Sketchy turned and rested both elbows on the dispatch desk, surveying the incoming and outgoing messengers. "Call him on it. Confirm your suspicions." According to Alec's typical routine; taking into account traffic, wind speed, pretty girls, and Steelheads, Jam Pony's designated 'Most Desirable Male Specimen' should be rolling in right about…now. "Hey! Alec, buddy, c'mere!"
Alec unzipped his sweater and ran a hand through his growing hair, ignoring the droplets of rain that clung to the strands and dripped onto his skin, before ambling over to the desk. "What's up, Sketch? Normal?" He wasn't sure he liked the anticipatory smile on his fellow messenger's face, or the slightly dazed glaze to Normal's features.
"Normal has something to ask you, man."
"Oh yeah?" he turned his green-eyed gaze to the older man and smiled, "What do you need, boss? Hot run?"
"Are you okay, Ray?" Alec was starting to get a little nervous and he was pretty sure Normal had just twittered.
Normal cleared his throat and looked back down at the cause of this little confrontation. "It has come to my attention that you've been using the stock room for some lascivious purpose. Granted, with your physical appeal and charm, I realize women gravitate to you like tiny planets to a golden sun. But," he gave the cream of his pathetic little crop an understanding smile, "we've had this discussion before. No office romances, they don't end well."
Alec's only response to that was, "What?" Normal handed him a piece of paper and he stared at it uncomprehendingly before coming to a conclusion. "This is someone's ass." He looked at Normal, then at Sketchy, and then back at Normal. "You think this is my ass."
"Mr. Genius over here," Normal pointed to Sketchy, "informed me of your little tryst yesterday."
"Turns out the copier isn't broken," Sketchy put in helpfully, only to receive a death glare from his friend. And, he'd never admit it out loud, but those glares from Alec put the fear of God in him. "So, who was the honey?"
Alec went pale. "Shit," he whispered, "Shit." He watched his knuckles turn white from gripping the sheet of paper and told himself to calm down. Sketchy was the only one who'd seen him exiting the stock room and he hadn't discovered Alec's reticent companion. "This needs to be destroyed." The X5 gave Normal his most pleading puppy dog eyes, "There's a shredder back there, right? Can you take care of this, please, Normal?"
"Destroying evidence won't get rid of the problem-"
"You are absolutely right, Normal, it was a one time lapse in judgment. It'll never happen again, I swear," Alec promised, "Can I trust you never to mention it again?" He made sure to put the right amount of hope in his tone, just enough to make Normal think he was confiding in him.
It worked, because Normal was straightening his shoulders and smiling again. "You can count on me, rock star," he assured his messenger.
"I knew I could, buddy," Alec replied, giving the older man a friendly punch on the arm before backing away toward the lockers.
Sketchy watched him go, admiring his tactics. "That guy can play you like a piano."
"I have no idea what you're talking about," Normal murmured, "Hey! You! That's right reprobate, you, that bike is a privilege, not a right…"
Sketchy watched him go as well; ranting at one of the new kids Alec had recruited, before glancing down at the desk and grinning.
"What are you grinning at fool?"
"Hey OC!" He followed the dark-skinned goddess as she passed, "Wanna see Alec's ass?"
"No," she snorted, shoving her bag in her locker. The she turned back to him, "Well?"
He looked around quickly, making sure Alec wasn't actually in the locker area anymore, and showed her the copy he'd snatched from the desk. "Check it out, turns out the Xerox machine in the stock room isn't so broken. Who would've thought he had so much junk in the trunk, right?"
"Gimme that," Cindy demanded. She studied the picture for a moment. "Huh. That is a lot of cushion for one man." She craned her head toward the sitting area and saw Max talking with some of the latest batch of X5s that had signed up with Team Jam Pony. This was probably something her best friend would like to hear about, if only so that Max, who had won both 'Most Desirable Female Specimen' and 'Most Feared Being on the Face of This Planet, She's Such a Bitch' in the unofficial election, could tear the boy a new one.
Sketchy watched OC go with alarm. That paper was supposed to be shredded. "OC!" he called after her, "I need that back." She didn't even look at him. He decided now was a good time for a lunch break, preferably one outside of Jam Pony, so that if Normal or Alec found out the incriminating copy hadn't been eradicated, he wouldn't be around for the fall out.
"Check it, boo," Cindy proclaimed, settling herself on the couch next to Max, "Original Cindy heard through the grapevine that Alec's been tomcatting around the work pool again."
"He had himself a shorty in the stock room yesterday."
Max's eyes, which had widened in shock, now narrowed. "How do you know?"
"Hot boy left a little evidence." She brought out the picture. "Boy's got some budunkadunk."
Max stared down at the sheet of paper and the image printed on it. "I thought the copier was broken."
Max blinked big brown eyes at her roommate and stood, "Excuse me."
Alec wiped water off of his face and turned off the faucet, reaching for a paper towel. He patted his face dry and tossed the used towel into the overflowing trashcan before glancing in the mirror for a once over. "Whoa!" he shouted, spinning to face a very irate-looking Max. "Hey Max! You know this is the men's room, right?" He gave her a charming smirk, which had won the write-in category of 'Most Likely Expression to Make You Swoon' in this year's poll.
Max didn't look at all charmed or about to faint. "What the hell is this, Alec?" she hissed.
Alec turned his eyes from her homicidal appearance to the piece of paper she held in her hand. He felt all the blood rush out of his face for the second time that day and grabbed the picture out of her hands. "Shit," he muttered, "Normal was supposed to get rid of this."
"Normal," she repeated, voice taking on a strident quality, "Normal saw a copy of my bare ass?!"
"He thinks it's mine!" Alec rushed to assure her.
"Well then, I guess everything's okay."
Alec cringed, "I realize this is a sarcasm-worthy event, Max, but may I remind you that the stock room was your idea."
She frowned in what he thought was an uber-menacing way, "The stock room was your idea. Sex at work was your idea!"
They both froze at the volume of her tone and listened with their genetically-enhanced abilities to make sure no one was around to overhear. And then Alec made that thinking face of his; eyes looking upward and lips pursed before he opened his mouth. "Okay," he conceded, "work sex was my idea, but having work sex on the copy machine was your idea."
"It was broken," she grumbled feebly.
"I think the sign was lying."
"Shut up. Just shut up. I," she seized the paper back, "will make this disappear. You will let OC, Sketchy, and Normal tease you about this for all eternity, and we will never have work sex again."
"But we will have non-work sex, right?" She glowered . "Max?" She walked away. "Right?" He didn't hear her coming back, "Maxie?" Still, only silence answered him. "Damn it."
"I think I'm in love with Max." Alec whispered it to the night, and paused, considering the words.
"You think?" His voice came from four feet away and Alec turned his head, meeting sleepy hazel eyes.
"Like 90 percent sure," he confirmed.
A huff of laughter, "And what's made you 90 percent sure?"
Alec twisted his head straight, so that he was staring back up at the cracks running through the swirl patterns on the bedroom ceiling, and didn't answer.
Max was a…not a problem, exactly, more like a conundrum. She had been since the first time he walked into her cell and she checked him to the door with one well-placed boot. His relationship with her had always been a sort of frustrated affection. He was always walking that thin line between love and hate, and generally his foot slipped onto the latter's side, but today…
Today was Wednesday. Not really an exciting notion, being as they'd only gotten half the week done and still had another half to go, and all of Tuesday's plans and appointments had been shot to hell by Max's heat. It had cooped the three of them up in the apartment for a little less than twenty-four hours, so it was understandable that Max would be tired. She had shark DNA, yes, but that didn't mean she could function that long, after using up as much energy as she had, without some rest. They'd both caught a cat nap before heading to their respective workstations, but Max had blazed out of the apartment immediately after coming back to herself, and Alec was certain she hadn't slept since.
So, it wasn't a phenomenal day. Tuesday had been phenomenal. Tuesday had been mind-blowing, but Wednesday was just another day. At least until Alec bounced into Max's makeshift office.
Their encounter started out the way it so often did since the first night Alec had come home to find Max in his bed. He leered and joked about her sexual prowess and she threatened to bounce him on his ass, or some similar threat. She'd gotten good at picking ones that he couldn't turn into an innuendo, and then they'd segue way into the business of running Terminal City.
But today…today Max had yawned. Max had yawned, trying to hide it behind one slender hand, and then he had yawned, because those things were contagious, and then she had blushed, really truly, tucked a strand of hair behind an ear, and apologized even as her eyes started drooping.
To say Alec had been shocked would have been an understatement.
And if it wasn't enough that she'd let her guard down that far, she then proceeded to fall asleep on her desk. So Alec had been left to stare at her, open-mouthed, while she slept. Granted, it was something he'd seen a few dozen times before, but that was always after a couple rounds of hard fucking and orgasms. Never just because she was tired.
He had sat dumbfounded for at least ten minutes before he consciously became aware that he was memorizing the pattern of her breathing and the way her mouth opened and the way her lashes looked against her cheek. Then he had a minor freak-out and left to flirt with that new X-6 chick in the armory. Not that he could touch, what with being spoken for and all, but a little looking never hurt anybody.
And now he was here, unable to sleep, because he kept thinking about the innocent expression on her face when she yawned. That slight shyness in her gaze before she averted her eyes from his.
"She yawned," he said defensively.
"She's our mate." He hated when his own voice sounded so logical about that fact. He hated that he heard it so often.
"Considering I'll never be able to screw another female as long as I live, I'm well aware of that little detail. Thanks."
A languid little chuckle and the mattress shifted. Alec made an automatic grab for the covers and glared at the other side of the bed. The back of a dark blond head was the only thing visible. "Man, you need to get over it."
"Over it?" Alec repeated, "I didn't really have a choice in the matter."
"You didn't have to mark her."
"You did, too," Alec reminded him.
"Yeah, but I've loved her forever. It was just kinda instinctual."
His hand drifted to the space between them, stopping when he felt the bed dip. She'd lain there last night, warm and satiated, and he'd gone straight to sleep with no hesitation. No wondering what it meant or how she felt about him. It had just been sex. Incredible, earth-moving sex, but still just sex. Now his stomach was in knots and he wanted to feel the heat her body radiated sliding against him. Wanted his breathing to slow to match hers as they drifted to sleep. Shit, he just wanted to hold her for a little bit.
He groaned and spun, stealing more of the covers, and buried his head in his pillow. "I lied." He murmured the confession to the flattened cotton of his pillowcase, but of course his brother heard.
"I know." He hoped his voice never had that smug tone when he was amused.
"I'm in love with Max."
"Yeah," Ben's voice was just a whisper, "It's about time you figured that out."
"My zipper's stuck." She stared at him in horror and then started giggling. He shot her a dark look, still struggling with his pants. "It isn't funny."
"Yes, it is," she said, full out laughing now.
He looked down at himself, his tie askew, his dress shirt ripped open, lipstick streaks on his chest… "It's a little funny," he conceded.
"It's a lot funny," she shot back.
He looked at her a moment before grinning, a rumble of a laugh escaping his own lips. Flopping down beside her on the office's leather couch, he reached over to pull her onto his lap. "What are we doing?"
Placing a gentle kiss on his cheek, she leaned in against him. "We were trying to have sex."
"In my office."
"Does it seem like we're trying too hard?" He felt her head tilt upwards on his shoulder and he looked down into her brown eyes. Her left eyebrow quirked upward and he smiled, lips brushing over her forehead. "It just seems like this falling into bed thing should be easier."
She snorted, "Sex is supposed to be easy?"
"Was before," he countered.
"You're such a dick, Alec." She slid off his lap, shooting him a dirty look as she snatched her shirt from its position under the couch. He bit his lip as she put it back on, adjusting the hem over her jeans. She never looked liked she belonged with him; always out of place in his posh office, discordant standing at his side in her street gear while he wore Armani, but he never forgot that they came from the same place.
After Manticore she'd found him in the cage, taking Ordinaries down for a little dough, and dragged him, loudly protesting, back to her place and set him up at a real job. Minimum wage and all. He liked hanging with her and her friends, but the sub-par pay and squalid living conditions weren't appealing.
So he used his genetically superior skills to plow his way to the top of the company. Jam Pony was now incorporated and had a messenger service in almost every city in the nation. It had helped that Reagan Ronald, owner and President, had known him from the fighting circuit and was one of his biggest fans, giving Alec leeway the boss would never give anyone else, and Alec wasn't above taking advantage of that. The name plate beside his office door read Alec McDowell, Vice President.
She stayed at the bottom rung, content, angry with him for trying to stand out. She hadn't spoken to him for months when he told her his plans, and when she finally did, the friendly hostility they had always enjoyed had taken on an edge of real antagonism.
He'd asked her to move in with him, eager to get her away from the crumbling building she lived in and almost desperate to prove he could take care of himself, and her too, without her mothering. She informed him, in no uncertain terms, that she wasn't the kind of girl to leave a friend in the lurch and OC couldn't afford rent on her own and if he wanted someone to play housemaid and bed warmer, then he could go to the nearest corner and find someone more willing.
Cindy had started ignoring him after that, too, especially when he'd found her a new roommate. Kendra, the office assistant on the third floor, had been bemoaning her break-up with her Mr. Multiples in the lunch room one day and how she had to move out, when Alec had swooped in to the rescue. Max and Original Cindy liked Kendra too much to turn her away when she'd landed on their doorstep, and when the living quarters got too tight for three women, he had come home one day to Max flipping through his DVD collection, her stuff already dispersed throughout the apartment.
Their frenemy status back in tact, Alec had joined her at her favorite haunt and found himself welcomed back into the fold of bike messengers as if he'd never left. OC had let him buy her a beer, Skye had asked for help picking up a girl by the bar, Herbal Thought granted him a new pearl of wisdom from his never-ending supply, and Sketchy challenged him to a game of pool. He'd left Crash on the back on Max's Ninja with a smile on his face.
Logan broke up with Max. Alec couldn't make himself feel bad about it, although the fact that it was his bed her heat had led her to, kind of made it his fault. The cyber-journalist had never been good enough for Max. Of course, neither were the two guys she dated after the split…but who was Alec to butt in on her relationships?
They'd decided, sometime after Max had broken it off with Rafer and Alec had an unfortunate incident with two of the girls he was seeing, that being friends with benefits would be easier. They knew they were genetically compatible, thanks Manticore, they knew they could have explosive sex, thanks again Manticore, they might as well just scratch each other's itches.
Of course, after reaching this decision, everything had become awkward.
It had been one disastrous attempt after another. From his watch tangling in her hair to him getting frustrated with her bra strap. From being interrupted by friends to driving his Duke into a ditch. Anything that could go wrong usually did. Case in point, this lovely shot at work sex. She was on lunch, he didn't have any appointments, it was the perfect opportunity, then BAM!...zipper stickage.
They were fine with casual intimacy; kissing, light touches, holding hands…It was just when they reached critical mass that everything went haywire. It was only their amazing ability to adapt and their extraordinarily witty banter that kept them from screaming at each other in frustration and calling it quits.
Oh, and one other teeny, tiny detail…
"I love you, Max," he told her seriously.
Her mouth fell open and her ball cap dropped from her hands to the floor. "What? Where did that come from?"
He stood up, buttoning his shirt and walked the few feet from the couch to where she stood by the chairs in front of his desk. Her bag was settled on one, her ID tag clipped to a pocket. He put his hands on her shoulders and met her gaze. "I think that's why this is so difficult, for me at least. Before you, I didn't care and now I do, and I really want this…Us…to be right. To work out to be more than just scratching posts." He gave her one of his roguish grins, the one that always made her roll her eyes.
She didn't roll her eyes. "Alec-"
He wasn't sure he liked the tone she said his name in. "Just tell me the truth, Maxie, do you think you might love me back? Even just a little?"
"Rock star! I need-" Max practically leapt away from him at the disruption and Reagan paused at the movement. "You…" he trailed off, finger pointing at Max as if trying to remember her name, "Missy Miss, what's your business up here?"
"I was delivering a message for Mr. McDowell."
"Are you done?" Max nodded and Alec wanted to tear at his hair in disappointment at his boss' intrusion. "Then bip!" he yelled, "You're on company time, do your job!"
"Yes, sir," she grit out, picking up her bag and walking to the door.
"Wait a minute, Max," Alec called after her, not willing to let her run away from the conversation. "I have something to go down to four." He turned back to Mr. Ronald. "What's up, Reagan?"
"I need to know if you're bringing a date to the holiday party."
"Yes, of course, if my girlfriend is ready to meet the public." He smirked and his eyes shot to where Max was waiting impatiently by the door. "Max?"
She blinked as Reagan turned to look at her too, obviously not getting the subtext. "Fine," she hissed, eyes narrowing, "Yes. Whatever."
"Well, there you have it, Reagan," his smirk grew into a smile, "We'll be there."
"You…" His boss cleared his throat, pushing his glasses up his nose, "and…" he waved his hand at Max, "her?"
He cleared his throat again, "You have superb business sense, Alec, but your taste in women-"
"Is excellent, Reagan," Alec interjected, "I'll see you at three o'clock for the meeting?"
Reagan nodded and walked out, hand going to his headset as the ringing indicated a call. Max and Alec watched him go, the door closing behind him, leaving them alone once again. "I think old Normal wanted you to take him to the party," Max mused.
"Lock the door, Max. I don't want to be interrupted again."
"There's nothing to interrupt," she stated, but locked the door anyway.
"We weren't done with our conversation."
"If I have to wear a dress to the stupid party, you're buying it." She was still standing across the office, fiddling with the door handle.
"I'm not talking about the party, Max," he said, finally giving in and walking toward her. "I told you I loved you."
"I heard you." She glared at him.
"Well?" he demanded.
"I said yes, didn't I?"
"To the party."
"It was a general yes, Alec, stop being a dick."
He moved closer, gathering her in his arms, "Yes…" he whispered in her ear.
She finally looked up at him, brown eyes blazing, "Yes, I love you too. Ass."
Alec let loose a laugh and bent down to kiss her. Her lips met his eagerly, heatedly, and they found themselves slowly migrating back to the couch they had started on; her bag was dropped, cap knocked off, her shirt flung back beneath the furniture, jeans falling off her hips as she pulled apart his dress shirt, buttons flying, and wrapped a hand around his tie, pulling him on top of her. "If at first you don't succeed," Alec murmured, his hands on his pants, zipper sliding down easily.
"Try, try again," Max finished with a gasp as his flesh finally, finally, met hers.
AN2: Well, that's it folks. I'm going to focus on Culpability before starting anything new, and once that's finish I'll need some advice on which fic to write next. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you next year!