Disclaimer: See previous chapters

A/N: yes, it's been ages… but hopefully I'll get better about posting… I've got a lot in store for them… and more time on my hands(for the time being at least)…. But I promise the more reviews I get the faster I'll post….



Max entered the garage housing Jam Pony slightly before 12:30, only to find Original Cindy already tapping her nails impatiently as she waited. Max coasted down the slight slope to her locker. Straddling the bike she swiftly opened her locker and removed the lunch Logan had packed. Snatching at the bag Max pedaled over to where Original Cindy was holding court.

"Ready?" Max asked, her head motioning towards Cindy's deserted bike.

"Sure sugar, anyplace particular?"

"How good a climber are you?" Max inquired a glimmer in her eye.

"No way! No how! You are not getting this likety ass up top that broken up needle. This girl gets plenty excitement with her feet firmly on the ground."

Max hadn't really expected Cindy to go for an excursion to the space needle, but just had to test the reaction. "How about the park down the street?"

"That Original Cindy can do." She said as she threw her leg across the bike and began to pedal off.

The sun was bright and the sky free of clouds as the women made their way to the derelict park. At one time it might have been a nice place to take a break from work, situated as it was in the old industrial district. However recent years and economic conditions had taken its toll on the once peaceful grounds. A set of broken swings lay on the ground, a clear reminder of a more prosperous and happier time. The once neatly trimmed grass had turned to weeds, and the cement benches were fast becoming pile of rubble. The entire area reeked of neglect.

Max and Cindy found the leas broken of the benches and sat, the brown bag placed between them.

"Okay Boo, spill!" OC ordered.

"I don't know where to start…" At Cindy's threatening look, Max continued. "Okay, after I left on Friday, I went over to Logan's…. we had a nice dinner… drank some wine…ya know, the usual… well anyway… we'd moved out to the front room… there were candles all over… and we started talking… then, he let me read this…" Max finished as she handed the much read poem to OC. Max had taken to keeping the poem on her, pulling it out frequently to re-read it.

As Cindy read, Max began to empty the lunch sack.

"Wow… a lot of emotion packed into those few words… Original Cindy is assuming that Logan wrote this about her boo." At Max's nod of confirmation she continued, "I'm surprised you didn't bolt."

"I did…" Max answered sheepishly as she finished pulling out their lunch. "I headed for the needle at top speed… hung there for a while… thought about it… and then went back."

Cindy surveyed the meal spread out before her; 2 large roast beef sandwiches, a marinated pasta salad with forks for each of them and a couple of apples.

"At least you went back…" Cindy supplied between bites. "Original Cindy is just glad you're over that 'we're not like that' crap… you two have been dancing around that truth since day one."

Max grinned, finally realizing the truth. Cindy never had bought the just friends and business associate thing. Apparently the only ones who had bought into, or even pretended too, were Max and Logan themselves.

"Anyway, after a while on the needle, I went back… we talked, ya know… from there things just kind of happened." Max broke off, her eyes glassy with the intimate memories the subject was conjuring up.

"Hey Boo! Damn girl, guess I don't need to ask how that part went… How you feeling about all this?" Cindy asked.

"Ya know… at first I was really scared, sometimes I still am… but Logan… I don't know… sometimes I feel all soft and mushy around him… all girlie like, ya know? … He could hurt me so easy, much more so than Darren ever could have… I'm so exposed when it comes to him… vulnerable… I think that's what really scared me the most… But at the same time… I feel so safe… and protected… Cherished really… I know this must sound corny as hell, but he makes me want to be a better person… like he sees something in me that no one else does… and I'll be damned if I'm going to let him down…"

"Boo… that ain't corny…. That's love." Cindy answered wisely, tears welling in her eyes.

"Oh Hell!" Max cried in dismay. "I'm sorry; here I am blathering on about my life… I'm sorry about Diamond." Max said, remembering Logan's words about first loves, she opened her arms. "You gonna be OK? My shoulder's here if you need it."

Cindy put down her unfinished sandwich and returned the hug. "Thanks Boo. Original Cindy's going to be aiight… I'm happy for you… Logan's a real solid guy… He loves you, don't let nothing get in the way of that… ya hear?" Cindy advised sagely.

Both women pulled back, catching their tears before they could fall. "Damn would you look at us? We're supposed to be having a good time. Tonight, we party. And… you were right about Logan… he did say yes… so I guess we'll meet ya there."

"Coo'" Cindy replied, flashing an 'I told you so' grin. "So… you never did say how was IT?"

"Absolutely mind blowing!!!" Max laughed.

The mood suitably lightened the two women picked up the remnants of their lunch and headed back to Jam Pony.

Logan eased the Aztek into a vacant parking spot and surveyed the area. The Pike Place Market had once been a thriving open air market in the heart of Seattle. As with elsewhere in the failing city, time and neglect had taken its toll on the once famous landmark. The air which had once carried the briny scent of the sea was now filled with the stench of rotting fish and other refuse. With a rueful shake of his head for what had been Logan killed the engine. Pushing open the door Logan slid his seat and wheels out from behind him and snapped them together with practiced ease. Grabbing his pack from the passenger seat he slipped it over the chair back as he checked the brakes in preparation for his transfer.

Taking a firm grasp on the rims Logan forced the wheels over the cracked and crumbling pavement, slowly making his way towards Salley's. As Logan approached he was pleased to see the shallow step and door facing smoothed over in a small concrete ramp. Logan backed into the closed door pushing it open, and with a quick pivot hand himself through the door.

Jack's description of Salley's as a dive was generous, Logan decided as he looked around. The once black and white linoleum was cracked and yellowed with age, the tables and chairs had also seen better, much better days. At least it was clean, as the squeak of his wheels on the freshly washed floor attested.

"Hey Jack!" Came a voice bellowed from the back. "Grab a table; I'll be right with you."

Unsure of what to do Logan remained rooted in place. In a matter of minutes a great bear of a man emerged from the rear. Easily six and a half feet and built like a bull the man had an intimidating air about him that his long salt and pepper hair and tattoo covered arms only enhanced.

"Oh! Hey…" the big man started in surprise. "You're not Jack" he finished lamely.

"No, I'm not…but I'm supposed to be meeting him here." Logan grinned.

"Well, he should be along any minute now. By the way, I'm Burt." He said as he held out a large paw.

"Nice to meet you, I'm Logan" Logan replied as he shook the offered hand.

"If you want to take a seat, I'll grab some bread for ya, have some just about ready." Burt replied.

Logan wheeled off toward an empty table set for two, as Burt bustled back to the kitchens. Locking the brakes Logan pulled his bag from the back of his seat and placed it on the adjacent chair. Pulling out the corporate spreadsheets once again Logan began to pour over them, hoping maybe this time he'd see something in them. Lost in his perusal of the papers Logan failed to notice Jacks arrival.

"Hey Logan! What've you got there?" Jack boomed.

"Jesus! You're as bad as Max, sneaking up on a person like that!" Logan exclaimed, startled. "Sheesh, these are the reason I called. I can't make heads or tails of them." Logan said as he slid the papers towards Jack.

As Jack reached for the papers Burt came by delivering Oyster stew and oven fresh bread. Setting the papers aside the men both dug into the delicious broth. Conversation was kept to a minimum as they emptied their bowls.

Logan leaned back, content as Jack reviewed the spreadsheets.

"Logan, where did you get these?" Jack asked, indicating the papers.

"Huh? oh, I just came across them while doing some digging for and article." Logan replied evasively.

Jack seemed to accept the reply and retuned his attention to the spread sheets before him. "Well, there is definitely something fishy here.., you were right about that. But there just isn't enough information here to tell us what." Without missing a beat Jack continued. "Hey, let me see your glasses."

Confused by the abrupt change in topics Logan complied, gently sliding them over to Jack. Jack stared at Logan, a speculative gleam in his eyes.

"I'll be damned!" Jack murmured, as knowledge replaced the speculation in his eyes.

"What?" Logan replied warily.

"Logan… I know who sent these, and I know who I sent them to… I was hoping Eyes Only, you as it turns out, might have some contacts that could help."

Logan sat back, stunned, feeling vulnerable and oddly relieved knowing his cover was blown. Jack ignored the stammered denials that sprung from Logan's lips.

"Now I guess the question is, what can we do about it? And how can Anne and I help?"