From: "Veronica Bowles" <> Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2001 14:24:07 -0400 Subject: New Post Source: direct Title: Choices Author: Mystic25 E-mail: Distribution: Archive, as long as my name is kept on it Genres: Story/Angst/Romance Relationships: Max/Logan Romance, Kendra/Max/Cindy friendship Bling/Logan friendship Max/Bling friendship Content Warning: violence, swearing, adult situations, and images of child experimentation(basically that means Max's memories from Manticore) Keywords Alternative unniverse Rating: PG Spoliers: takes place around "The Kidz are Aiight" Summary: After an encounter with Logan Max is pregnant. How do they deal with it? Author's note: Some of the 'Manticore' history may not be 100% accurate, also I changed some of it around to fit the storyline..but the important ideas are still there ***** 10:30 a.m. The loud noises coming from the street was what woke Max up. She opened her eyes and did a double take. This wasn't her apartment. This wasn't her bed. She became more awake as she saw the sleeping form of someone next to her. <What the fuck did I do, or rather *who* did I do?> she rephrased the question in her mind. Heat. That every four month, full moon bitch that made her want to get it on with anything male that was warm blooded. She hated it, feeling like a trashy fifty cent whore every time her animal chromosomes wanted her to pass on her Alpha genes. She quietly inched her way over to the bed's other occupant, she needed to see who she had "chosen" in her feverous passion to mate. <Oh shit> That was the first thought that came to her mind as she gazed at Logan, still asleep beside her. He looked so innocent, like a little boy. And he was obviously nude under that cotton blue sheet. Come to think of it... <Yep> she said mentally, checking herself. <So am I> Further evidence to this revelation lay strewn about Logan's hardwood floor. A pair of jeans, a blue ribbed man's sweater, her own black tank and leather pants. <We must have been busy> she remarked with a small smirk. Flashes of the night suddenly came to her <"You're so beautiful Max" his voice was husky, "I never thought I could do this again" He kissed her and wrapped a leg around hers> Wait, back that up...he used his *leg*..but that can't be. She looked around for his wheel chair, but didn't find it.Another memory filtered it's way into her mind. <"I can't believe this" she cried enthusiastically launching herself at him> <"Neither can I" he hugged her back "But here I am, or rather here I *stand*"> Now she remembered everything. He had recovered, was able to walk again, and had surprised her with dinner, which turned into *other* things later. She had told him that she was in Heat, but he said that he didn't care, that if this was what she needed every four months, who was he to deny it. <"But, it won't be *real* emotion Logan, I'll just be responding to instinct" she said while trying to contain her treacherous hormones> <"Don't you get it Max?" he held her face in his hands "I *do* have emotions for you, and I know that you do also, and after this cycle is over I will still be here for you"> He had sounded so sincere, so reassuring that she had given in, let him give her what she needed, and what he wanted. And after that memory, came a bolt of realization that struck her like a blow to the gut by one of Lydeker's goons. Fuck! she was in Heat, and she *gave* in. She had never given in, always being strong enough to ward off the urges, because she knew of the consequences. She jumped out of the bed and raced towards the bathroom. She retched, again, and again until there was nothing left but noxious stomach acid, and when she was done she slid, exhausted to the floor.<What have I done?> "Max, are you okay?" Logan's voice came through the door of the bathroom "Yea" she called out with more reassurance then she felt. Her mind was racing as well as her heart, and her stomach ached from all that heaving. Logan came through the door, obviously unconvinced. He kneeled by her on the floor. He took in her appearance, of her sweat soaked hair, and pale face. "What happened?" "Nothing" she replied "Something I ate just didn't agree with me" She stood up, wincing as she did, and then realizing that she was still naked, she yanked a towel around her body. She walked back on shaky legs to the bedroom and retrieved her clothes off the floor. Logan had disappeared, and now came back with a damp cloth. He took her hand and made her sit down, and she followed him, without argument. "You sure you're okay? you look pretty crappy" Logan asked again, wiping her face with the cloth. "I'm *fine*" she spat back. He just shot her a look, setting the cloth down. There was an uneasy silence that hung about them. Max pulled some lint off the towel that she wrapped around herself, and Logan re-adjusted the sash on his robe. "So about last night" Logan began, but Max interjected "If this is one of those 'I'm sorry, but it was just a one time deal' speeches, spare me now" she said with an assertive tone. Logan shook his head "I wasn't going to say that, I was *going* to say that it was incredible, and if you do THAT every time you're in Heat then you came hide out here all the time" he finished his remark with a smile. Max didn't reply at first, she was to busy thinking. <I have to see the doctor, I have to know> She looked back up. Logan was still waiting for a response. She didn't have one. "Hate to screw and run, but I have to get to work" she stood and went to get dressed, leaving Logan sitting there. ***** Upper Seattle Women's Health Center One Week Later 11:30 a.m. <This room is fuckin' freezing> Max noted sitting on the examine bench in the shitty little paper gown they made her put on. She glanced back at the clock for about the twentieth time in five minutes <What the hell's taking so long?> The doctor told her it would only be a minute, and that was forty minutes ago. She was already late for work. Normal was going to blow a gasket, if he hadn't done so already. The door to the room opened, and the doctor came back in. "Sorry that took so long" she apologized walking up to Max "I had to see another patient who re-scheduled at the last minute" <That's why these people MAKE appointments so they can KEEP them> Max fumed to herself, but said to the doctor: "I understand" She fell silent, unable to think of the right words to use for her next statement, but finally decided on: "Am I knocked up?" It seemed like forever, but it was actually three seconds later when the OB/GYN responded "Yes, the test was positive" Max let the information seep in. She was pregnant. There was a baby growing inside her, LOGAN'S child, and she was terrified. She had successfully avoided him all week. Coming over only when necessary, this put a terrible strain on their relationship, but she need space to think. "You're only about seven days along, so right now I can't tell you anything other then that the embryo is healthy" the OB told her <Thank god for small favors> she mused. "Can I go now?" her tone was edgy, she wanted to get out of this place. "Yes" the doctor responded, and handed her a pill bottle "This is an iron supplement, take it twice a day, and avoid things like asbestos, cat hair, these can harm the developing embryo" "Doctor" Max began in her 'you-don't-know-shit-tone' "In case you haven't realized, it's a crappy, dirt ridden world out there, how can I avoid stuff like that when it's just one big land fill outside?" The doctor looked at her for a long moment before speaking "Ms. Guevara, I am fully aware of what life is like out in Seattle's 'real world', and I *know* about all that "stuff" as you like to call it, but for the health of your baby, you will just have to take extra care" her tone was like that of a exasperated mother telling her child that the sky was NOT purple, it was blue. "Fine I'll do that" Max spat out snatching the pill bottle from her.She collected her clothes from where they lay on a table. "Do you want me to run a paternity test?" the doctor's tone made her turn back around. <The nerve of this snobby, upper crusted *bitch*!> Max's thought's were angry. She knew *excatly* what the doctor was getting at, that she slept around, basically that she was putting all those girls on the streets out of business "No that's all right" she responded coyly "I'm sure I haven't crossed paths with any of you're married lovers" She spun back around and went to get changed, ignoring the doctor's enraged look. <play with fire you get burned> Max slammed the door to the ladies room She yanked her clothes back on, her thoughts were racing. <I can't tell Logan> she decided suddenly. <It will just be another liability that he has to worry about> She pulled the navy blue sweater over her head, and smoothed her hair down. She exited the room, and walked out the building. ***** Jam Pony X-Press 12:40 p.m. "Well well, you finally decided to show" Normal said to Max as she peddled her way into the building on her bike "To what do we owe the privilege of you lateness?" "I had business" was all Max said as she dropped the bike in a heap on the floor. Normal just looked at her "The only 'business' you have is here, with me" he said to her. "Normal, leave my girl alone" Original Cindy told him straight up "So she's a little late, people have LIVES" Cindy crossed her arms, daring him to say anything more. As usual Normal was up to the challenge. "No, you use to have lives,*now* you have jobs, and next time I want comments from the peanut gallery, I'll but some Planters" he paused and looked at Max "Next time I'm gonna start deducting your pay for every minute you're late" "Whatever" Max muttered under her breath. She walked over to where Cindy was siting on an over turned crate. "So what's the dealio girl?" Cindy asked looking up at her "You've been actin' weird all week" her voice was that of a concerned friend. "I just have allot on my mind" Max answered truthfully. She flipped an old office chair around and sat, resting her chin on the back. "Things okay between you and Rich?" Original asked "I guess" Max shrugged Cindy pounced on her "What does that mean? either you're in pixie land, or you're bitchin', ya know what I'm sayin'? There's not much of an in between'" "Okay, I haven't spoken to him in a week" Max answered. "See, Original Cindy knows what she's talkin'' about" Cindy said, scoring one for herself. Max just rolled her eyes. "That's not what I meant, we TALKED, just not on a-" she paused, searching for the right phrase "deeper level" "Oh, I hear ya" Cindy stated. "Max, this one's yours" Normal shouted at her. Max groaned in annoyance and walked up to him. He handed her a package. "It's headed for Indigo Valley" "Ooo.." Max shook the box "I bet it's drugs" "We don't worry, about the contents, we just deliver the stuff" Normal told her. Max sighed and retrieved her bike. "Wait up chica" Cindy called out "I'll go with you" "You're working remember?" Normal interrupted "I'm taking a break 'kay?" Cindy glowered, and Normal was actually silent. ***** "Thank you for using Jam Pony" Max said with over coated sweetness to the tall black man, who accepted the package. He slammed the door in her face. "Same to you pal" she sneered and walked down the rickety wooden steps that led back down to the ground. Her stomach suddenly did a one eighty, and she hopped off the steps to yap in the bushes. "Hey Max, you all right?" Cindy approached her concerned. Max nodded, and heaved a few more times. <Damn morning sickness> She had gotten it everyday like clockwork for the last week. This was another reason she wanted to avoid Logan. She couldn't very well hide the fact that she was carrying his child if she was visiting the Tidy Bowl man all the time. After she was done, she wiped her mouth off, and stood up, meeting Cindy's scrutinizing glare. "What is up with you Max? You're all keyed up all week, you haven't spoken to you're man in all that time, and now this" "It's nothing" Max shot back, walking back over to her bike. "That ain't nothin'" Cindy stated, looking at the stained grass, before going after her. They peddled for about five minutes, when Cindy spoke again. "Ya know I'm only askin' ya 'cause you're my home girl, and I care 'bout you're well being" Max stopped peddling "You're not gonna let this go are ya?" Original shook her head "Okay" Max began "I'm uh, sorta pregnant" Cindy nearly fell off her bike "What?" she looked Max full in the face "Are you serious?" She nodded "About one week along" "Does Logan know?" Max let it slide that she had jumped to her obvious, but in this case *correct*, conclusion, and answered her "No, not yet" "Why are ya holdin' out on him?" Cindy wanted to know "I have my reasons" Max shot back "Anyway, I just found out today" "*Are* you going to tell him?" Cindy went in another direction. "I don't know" Max answered honestly, finding the dirt filled road a little more interesting. She stared at it a few more seconds before looking up. "Don't tell anyone about this okay?" her tone was more demanding then asking. Cindy nodded "Original Cindy knows when to keep her mouth shut, but you DO have to tell him sometime" Max didn't say anything more. ***** Upper Seattle 7:30 p.m. "Logan?" Max called out to him. She entered his penthouse cautiously. "In here" he called out. She followed the sound of his voice and found him sitting at his computer chair in his office. He was typing feverishly, the glare of the screen was bouncing off his glasses. "I need a favor to ask of you" "What is it now?" he asked not bothering to turn around. Max tried not to cringe under his stinging remark "I need you to delete some stuff for me." "What kinda 'stuff'?" he asked still facing the screen and not her. "Uh" Max stumbled for the words "In the women's health center on Lindsor" She waited as Logan typed up the main data base before going on "Under the OB/GYN section" Logan went where she said. "Who's the patient?" he asked "You'll know it when you see it" she replied, suddenly feeling the need to distance herself from him. She stepped back across the room. Logan scrolled down the list on names and diagnosis's, and stopped at the listing on her. His eyes scanned the screen for a few seconds,reading the information, before he turned back around. "Why didn't you tell me?" his tone was demanding. He deleted the file and then stood up and walked over to where she was standing in the middle of the room. "I didn't want to burden you with this" she said, her eyes down cast. "That's why you avoided me all week?" he asked raising her chin up to look at him. She nodded. "Who's the father?" Max was taken aback. That was NOT what she wanted him to say. She then did something she didn't normally do to Logan, she slapped him, hard. "Hey" he cried out rubbing his cheek "Why the hell did you do that?" he rubbed the red spot that was forming on his face. "How DARE you ask me that kinda of fucked up question Logan!" her voice was razor sharp. She got all up in his personal space, her breath hot on his skin. "You're suppose to be a *intelligent* man, not revert back to those prehistoric ways" "It was an honest question" Logan said in his defense "I haven't seen you that much all week, how was I to know?" Max's anger grew "I am *not* a scank Logan, I don't party harty, I worked my ass off all week so I wouldn't have to see you, but here I am, and I *thought* you would be different, that you wouldn't ask me that kinda shit" she back away from him, eyes glowering. "You wanna know who the fucked up father is Logan?" Max shot back when Logan didn't say anything else "*You* are, and believe me you we're fucked up long before you got me *knocked* up" Logan was taken aback. *He* was the father? This was his child? "How?" he asked, but then be-rated himself for asking such a stupid question. That was something he learned in third grade. "That is a stupid ass question Logan" Max said his thoughts out loud "Remember that little romp from last week? Remember the remark I made about being in HEAT? well I kinda forgot to mention that I get my groove on during then I get seeded" she finished. "You should've told me" Logan stated "I wouldn't have done it if-" "If what? If you found out that you'd produce heirs by me in one sitting?" her tone was very high, and very pissed. "I didn't say that" Logan interjected. "Yea, but I can read you like an open book" Max retorted. She backed off from Logan and whirled around, but then at a second thought she faced him again "Ya know I thought you we're going to be different. This is terrifying the hell outta me, and I thought that since this was partly YOUR fault, that you would help me, but maybe Zack was right, maybe you are just a liability" her voice was longer angry, it suddenly became heart achingly sad. A solitary tear wove a path down her cheek. "Gotta blaze" she said wiping the moisture off her face. She spun back around and walked out of the office. "You come by later, and we'll talk?" Logan's tone had softened from earlier. "It's to late for that" she said not turning around or stopping. She left him there, standing alone in his cold office. ***** The Crash Lower Seattle 9:30 p.m. "The nerve of men!" Kendra shouted out, pounding her fist on the table. She took a swig of her beer before going on "They expect you to play nice in the bed, and then bolt when they realize they've planted a seed in the field" "Why did you have to tell Kendra?" Max asked Original Cindy who was seated next to her at their usual hang. Cindy placed a hand over hers "'Cause suga, your girls are here for ya" Max didn't say anything, she just played with the froth on her cappuchino. "Anyway" Kendra stated "If Cindy didn't tell me I *would* have noticed all that weight you would be putting on" She paused "Have you thought of a name yet?" Max shot her a look "Kendra, it's about the size of a walnut, and it has NO sex organs yet, so how can I name it?" "Still you could *choose* one, didn't you ever do that when you we're little?" "I had an unusual childhood" Max replied. <I had enough of a time keeping MY name without a guard killing me for it> "How about Tamarki?" Kendra asked "It's a very popular in Japan" "Girl this ain't no pagoda" Cindy interrupted "This is good 'ol Pulse stricken America , so we got to give him a good name, how 'bout Trevon?" "How do you know it's male?" Max asked with the first smirk on her face in days. "I told ya, Cindy knows these things" she said "And it got you to smile" Max just rolled her eyes teasingly. "Trevon is an unique name" she admitted. "Yea" Kendra said "But it has to go with 'Cale' How about Morgan?" "I like Trevon better then 'Morgan'" Cindy shot back "It sounds less like a car salesman" "Well Trevon sounds like the guy who runs the local Ring on Palo" Kendra replied "What about you Max? Which one do ya like?" "I think their both to much to the extreme" Max answered honestly. "I need something that's in-between car seller and Ghetto Seller" she ignored the looks Cindy and Kendra shot her and searched her mind for a good name "How about Jesse? that way if Cindy's wisdom is off, it's also a good, but not to lacy name for a girl" "Jesse Cale" Kendra tried it out "He need a middle name though, so how about what I mentioned earlier?" Max shook her head "Personally I like Cindy's better, I don't want him being beat up by the Sector Police for a whimpy name" she laughed at Kendra's hurt look. "Jesse Trevon Cale" Kendra spat it out at first, but then she grinned "Gotta admit it's catchy" Original Cindy smiled "See that Jesse" She leaned down towards Max's flat abdomen "Aunt Cindy and Aunt Kendra are getting along" Max looked at her with a raised eyebrow "Aunt Cindy?" "Damn right" Cindy said pulling back "I better be something to this kid of yours" "Of course" Max agreed "The 'aunt' part sorta threw me off" She grinned at her to let her know no hard feelings, as they began talking again. ***** Logan's Penthouse Upper Seattle 10:30 p.m. "..and that's why I asked you over here" Logan finished and looked up at Bling. He had just spilled his guts over the incident that happened a few hours earlier. "Man" Bling said leaning against the table "That's a no brainer, just *appolgize* to her" He crossed his arms over his chest. "For what?" Logan replied. Bling just knocked him upside the head "You're dense for a smart guy" Logan rubbed his head "Yea I get that a lot" Bling went on "YOU did the wrong here guy, it was obvious that she was scared about this and you sorta fucked it up even worse, after you fucked it up I mean" he tripped over his words near the end. Something flickered across Logan's brain. Despite Bling's slightly broken english in his last statement he got the meaning of it. <Bling is right, I screwed up, oh god did I made her cry? Smooth move you shit, you actually brought a revved up super solider to tears with your damn lack of sensitivity> Logan mentally kicked his own ass for his previous actions. Bling looked at him knowingly "I know, now how are you gonna fix it?" ***** 10:45 p.m. "What is it?" Max snarled stepping into Logan's penthouse. He had nearly blown up her pager at Crash, so she, along with an admirable amount of 'just *talk* to him girl' lines from Kendra and Cindy had come back to the place she swore she would never set foot in again after what happened. She found him standing in almost the same position as before. "I wanna have that talk now" he said approaching her, but she backed away defensively. "Max please" Logan held up his hands "Just hear me out" he took another step towards her, and this time she didn't back away. "What I said earlier-" he paused "I was shocked, I didn't mean that you were a bed hopper" his tone was sincere. "Yea well, what you meant *isn't* what you said" she stated matter of factly, her eyes as hard as tempered steel "You got me knocked up,and then accused *me* of being a whore" despite her outward anger her voice sounded lost and vulnerable. Logan was about to interject, but realized that she was right. He didn't say the word "whore" but he might as well have made her parade around Seattle in a scarlet cocktail dress with a sign that said 'free for all' He looked up again to meet her gaze and was shocked at the sadness he saw in her eyes, an emotion that *he* had placed there."You're *not* a whore Max" he replied in all honesty. She gave a humorless noise of what would have been a laugh, if she was in a laughing mood, but rather it came out as a rush of air "I know that Logan" she shot back "I've always known that, and I could even deal with that bitch Obstercian callin' me one, but-" here she paused,her voice becoming colored in the same sadness as her eyes "I thought that you believed that I wasn't" She turned away from him so he wouldn't see her tears. She didn't want him to know how badly he had hurt her. <Damn him> she thought half angry half dejected <Damn him for making me think that he cared about me, that he *loved* me> She hugged her arms tightly around herself, and tried to stiffen the sounds of her crying <I can't break down I'm a soldier, soldiers don't cry> Logan came up behind her, wanting to say so much, to fix things,only he didn't know where to start. "Just go away" she said, her voice so low he might have missed it if she wasn't right beside him. She had never sounded so unhappy before. Her normally hard and straight composure had broken under the strain of her emotions. Logan could feel a tug at his heart. His strong and beautiful angel had fallen by his own hand. He placed a tentative hand on her shoulder, feeling her stiffen at his touch. "We have to talk about this" he said in a strong, but gentle tone. "We already did" she pointed out, still not facing him. Logan applied soft, but firm pressure to her shoulder with his hand "Not on the level we should have." She turned to face him, her eyes wet "what the hell other *levels* are there?" she demanded, "You already gave me a clear idea as to where you stand on this" she placed a hand on her abdomen, her intense gaze never wavering from him. Logan reached out to touch her hand where it lay on her stomach, and he was glad when she didn't pull away. Her hand did clench a little a he knew that if she wanted to she could easily take him out, but he was willing to risk it, should it come to that. "I was wrong" he admitted in a strong tone "I should have had more faith in you." "Damn right" she spat out, but her tone held no mirth as it usually did when she offered him a snide remark, it was just desolate sounding. "If I could take it back I would" Logan went on. He kneeled beside her and replaced her hand on her belly with his. "I'm sorry little guy" he spoke to his unborn child in Max's womb "You deserve better then that, you and your mom, and I only hope she'll forgive a asshole like me" he kissed her stomach, and stroked it softly. It was that gesture that was Max's undoing, a tear fell from her eye landing softly on Logan's head. He stood up once more to meet her gaze. "I.." he trailed off, searching for the right words "I'm sorry Max, sorry for what I made you go through alone, and sorry for causing you so much pain" Her eyes filled with more tears. His apology wouldn't set any new standards, but it was the sincerity in his tone that got to her."Damn you bastard, for making me love you so much despite why I shouldn't" she closed the small distance between them and embraced him. He wrapped his arms around her holding her close, feeling the tension released in her toned shoulder muscles. And he silently thanked what ever deity might be around for giving him a second chance. "I love you too Max" he responded to her statement from earlier She pulled back stunned for a moment <did he just say love?> <Shit, did *I* say just say love?> Her thoughts were silenced as Logan kissed her. A sweet gentle kiss, but one of pure emotion. They pulled back, and Logan held her face in his hands "Do you still hate me for knocking you up?" She shook her head "No" she had that mirth in her tone that was missing the last time "But ask me later when I'm in estrogen overdrive" Her statement induced a smile from Logan. The tension been lifted. This is the way it should be. "In that case I better do this now" Max was confused "Do what?" His response was to walk to his dining room table, only to come back a moment later with a small velvet jewelry box. She took it when he handed it to her, opening the lid carefully. It was a band made out of a deep purple jade that had been criss-crossed with thin silver as fine as silk thread. "This is beautiful" she remarked, not daring to say anything more. Things seemed to be going at an incredibly fast pace.<never engage anyone without a good look at what you're getting into> her soldier side warned her. But this was Logan standing here, looking at her with such love, such remorse at what had done earlier, and she knew *excatly* what she was getting into. He took it out of the case "I had it made at one of those specialty jewelry stores that still exist around here" he took her hand and placed the ring on her right ring finger, and then in an old fashioned gesture he kneeled on one knee in front of her. "I made a promise like this before, and I got burned. Valerie loved to play games, and it cost us our marriage, but-" here he paused, looking deep into Max's eyes "you are more amazing and more beautiful then she could ever be. You have such a fire in you Max, and I don't want to ever loose that, what I'm trying to say is-" "Yes" her voice interrupted him. She knew where he was going with his little speech, and she already made up her mind. Baby or no baby she *did* love this man, and she didn't plan to stop loving him anytime soon. Logan looked at her quizically "Yes?" "To the proposal" she replied <xe's a little dense sometimes, but I love him anyway> Logan's face broke with the widest smile she had ever seen. He stood up again and caught her in a fierce hug. Max wrapped her arms around him as well, gasping slightly at the pressure he was applying to her ribcage. "Oh god, I'm sorry I didn't hurt you did I?" he asked, pulling back in alarm. "Logan" Max began in slight exasperation "I'm not made of china, I won't shatter under pressure, and neither will Jesse." Logan looked at her "Jesse?" Max nodded "Yea, something the gals and I came up with, Jesse Trevon Cale." "Trevon was Orginal Cindy's contribution huh?" Logan asked teasingly. He was a little surprised that Max had used his last name for the child. After what he did, he figured that she would want nothing more to do with him, but yet again this woman surprised him, and he wasn't about to complain. "Is that a problem?" she asked with a raised eyebrow He shook his head "No, it's nice, it sorta rolls off your tongue" She smiled wickedly "I have something else that'll roll off your tongue" she kissed him, shoving half her tongue in his mouth. Logan groaned and slid his tongue in her mouth as well, dueling with hers. The sound of the door made Max pull back, but she still remained in close proximity to Logan's body. As in he could see a small portion of black lace from her bra peeking out of her red v-neck sweater, which was not a bad view either. The guest was Bling. He walked through the doorway and then stopped a few feet short of where they were. "Damn" he drew out the middle syllable, surveying the scene before him. Max just smiled, before realizing that she had to throw up *again* she raced to the bathroom before she heaved all over Logan. Logan watched her go in slight alarm, but then realized what she was doing. <I have to get use to things like this> "What did you give her man?" Bling asked with a raised eyebrow "Nothing" Logan responded "She's pregnant remember?" It still felt weird to think about Max as being pregnant, and it was even harder to grasp that it was *his* baby that she was carrying. Max came out of the bathroom a moment later, feeling slightly better. <I won't have to do that for about three more hours> She walked back over to Logan "Sorry, this kid is doin' a number on my stomach." she wrapped her arms around him "now where were we?" she smiled and began to kiss a line down his neck. "You sure you didn't give her anything?" Bling asked "I'd swear you turned a Femi-Superwarrior in to a Nympho" he finished teasingly. Logan, shook his head, well as much as he could with Max attached to his juglar vein "I just asked her to marry me." Bling stood, dumbfounded "You serious?" Max pulled back from her task and looked at Bling with a smile "Straight up" she wagged her engagement ring-ed hand in the air A shit eating grin broke across Bling's face "It's about damn time." he proclaimed walking over to them. He hugged Max, and turned to Logan. "You gots a good thing here guy" Bling said "two for the price of one" Logan laughed "I know my stuff" "Don't be getting to cocky 'bout this Logan" Max warned "I still know *my* stuff" she finished with an air of teasing in her voice. Logan laughed lightly "Yes ma'am" end of part one.. ***** Eight Months Later Life had become different in Seattle. Oh sure, their we're still homeless people living in shanty towns, and Sector police beat up everyone when ever the hover cams were not focused on them, but for Max and Logan it had changed, and for the better. Two weeks to the day of Logan's proposal, they we're married. There was only about a twenty people in attendance. Logan was afraid anymore would attract too much attention, and that Lydeker would be able to locate Max. Bling was there, along with Max's friends from Jam Pony. Natalie had talked to Max before the ceremony, saying how happy she was for her, and a little disappointed because she and Logan were tying the knot after a two week engagement, while her and Sketchy have been shacked up for a while and haven't set a date yet. But, nonetheless, she wished Max eternal bliss. Along with Max's gang there were a few decent members of the Cale family, and some who just heard about the nuptials and wanted to see who Logan had snagged. The ceremony was held on a small beach over looking Puget Sound. Max had not wanted to wear in her words a "white nasty ass dress that cost more then re-building my baby from scrap" so she had settled on a simple, yet elegant dark purple silk slip dress. She had done up her hair in a loose chiffon and covered it with small white flowers. Logan still could smell their fragrance, and could still remember the way she had looked walking up to him on the beach, wearing that dress that matched the Jade in her engagement ring. Even the most hypocritical of Logan's relatives took a liking to Max when they saw her. He remembered the way Bling, who was his best man slapped him manly on the back and whispered "You did good this time around" Twenty minutes later they were pronounced man and wife. And after the vows we're exchanged they partied all night, and through part of the next morning. Since this was a 'high social affair', meaning Logan could pay off the law, the Sector Police did not complain about the late hours they kept. Max could not drink, but that did not stop her from having a good time. Cindy told Logan more then once during the reception he had better treat her girl well or she would attack him in the night, which was a remark that still made him laugh when he thought about it. And after the ceremony the newlywed couple had ridden off on the Max's Ninja to their honeymoon at the cabin that belonged to Logan's parents. They had to take extra care to not leave a paper trail for Lydeker.This meant deleting sector checks, although Max was a little disappointed that the file at that last check stop that addressed them as Mr. and *Mrs* Cale had to go. She rather liked the thought of the new attachment to her name. Whilst Max and Logan were away Bling kept Logan's penthouse clean, collected his mail, and answered the phone. One time he didn't pick up fast enough and the machine kicked in. Logan's dull and monotone 'You have reached the number you dialed' message was had been replaced with Max's "Can't talk, getting screwed,leave a message, if you don't I can hunt you down anyway." Cindy thought it had been kinda funny when she called one time, but Logan's Aunt Claire thought it was distasteful when she called to tell her 'favorite nephew' congratulations on finally being practical again and starting a family. Bling had to spend a full thirty minutes trying to convince the woman that Max was not something cheap that Logan had picked up in a bar when he had to many. He was glad when she finally just gave up and ended the call, he knew that Logan detested the woman, and it wouldn't make him any happier if he knew she thought that his wife was a sleezy call girl. Max had moved in with Logan when they got back from their honeymoon. She had no attachment to her old place. It was nasty and filthy, not a real home, and even Cindy remarked that with her expecting a kid it wouldn't help for her to find a rat on her leg, or *in* her leg, seeing as how they loved to bite people. So she had relented the crap hole for Logan's nicer digs. Her Ninja had it's own spot next to Logan's Aztec, and across from that was the candy apple red Impala Logan gave her for their one month anniversary. "You can't ride that cycle anymore" he had told her once teasingly, rubbing her stomach that was now noticeably swollen. The pregnancy was the normal thing, she got that shitty morning sickness for a few months, her ankles started to swell, and she was always full of emotion. That pissed her off more then anything. She had always been an independent woman, hard as steel, and now she actualy lost it over the fact that she couldn't find *anything* in her closet that matched her(stretchable) black sweater. She had given up leather pants two months ago, but refused to wear the flowery shit they made for pregnant women. She came out of her daydream as she found the sweater she wanted, it had fallen on the floor. Logan had caught her one day in a fashion panic, an would have laughed at her if she didn't look so sad. He instead, wrapped his arms around her, which was no small feat now. "Baby just calm down" he rubbed her back in gentle circles "I can't" she sniffed "I look like a *whale* and *nothing* of mine fits anymore, and their ain't now way in hell I'm gonna drape a flowered canvas over my body" He had soothed her as best he could, and the next day had promptly maxed his credit card on every piece of high fashion and stylish maternity wear he could find. He even got her a full length leather coat after she remarked how hers wouldn't fit anymore. After she pulled on the sweater she pulled on the cotton twill pants. <Didn't even know that they made these for expectant mothers> She brushed her hair and added a little lip gloss. She didn't need to use anything else, she was positively glowing. That, and the newly acquired cleavage was one of the few things (besides Jesse of course) that she liked about being pregnant. Satisfied with her appearance, she walked out into the living room. Logan was sitting at the dinning room table with Bling. He stood up when he saw her. "Hey sweetheart" he gave her a kiss "How are you?" "Fine" she spat, she hated being doted on, but he was just being nice, so she added "Sorry, I just have a short fuse lately" Logan grinned softly "That's okay" He handed her a cup of decaf, which she took. "There's a seat right here" Bling said patting the empty chair next to him. She walked over and sat down where he indicated. Needless to say she had to back up the chair a few inches from the table. Logan sat down opposite her. "So how are you Max?" Bling asked "Can't complain" she replied sipping her coffee. She made a face. She hated decaf. "No you just do that to me" Logan teased. She flipped him off, but her eyes were still light. Bling held up his hand "Hey now, none of that, I just stopped by to give ya'll a baby present" "*Another* one?" Max shot back. Bling had gone out of his way by supplying enough stuff to last until Jesse was six years old. "I'm just you're basic doting friend" he remarked. He pulled out a basketball from his lap and laid it on the table top. "Uh Bling" Logan began "That'll be as big as him when he's born" Bling laughed "It's for later man, when me and my boy can shoot hoops with his dad" "And his mom" Max remarked "Of course his mom too Max" Bling replied "You know you're my girl" He tossed her the basketball, which she caught in one fluent motion. "You still got it" Bling said with a smile. "Mmhmm" she responded standing up "I'll just put it with the others" She walked off to the nursery. It was located adjacent from their bedroom. It use to be the spare room but now.. She stepped into the room with the purple walls. Kendra had done that, she said that blue was so stereotypical, and Max had agreed whole heartily. Pink for girls and blue for boys was something she always hated. Purple might have been a color of contraversey in the last century, but Max liked it. Next to the large window was a black crib, and a few feet from that stood a wooden rocking chair. It had belonged to Logan's mother. Logan's Aunt Claire had invited Max over to her house one day, and Max had decided to go, if she despised her she would simply tell her so. When she got there, the first thing she noticed was the chair in a corner of the sitting room. The damn woman was using it as an end table! Logan had told her how much that piece of furniture had meant to him, how his mom use to snuggle in with him when he was sick, or at bed time and read to him, and she wanted him to give those same kind of memories to their son. She had told her idea to Aunt Claire, adding a few choice words like 'damn thief' and 'bitchy snob' making the elder Cale woman furious. "Listen to me honey" her eyes were cold "You just married into this family, so how can you *possibly* know about what my nephew needs, other then a good screw now and then" Max became lividly angry then, pinning the woman down with one arm. She tried to squirm to free herself, but the five foot five, one hundred and twelve pound blonde was no match for a Manticore warrior such as herself, even at six months pregnant. "I *hate* it when people jump to conclusions" Max's words were clipped and angry to the other woman she was holding down. "As I recall Maxine, *you* called me a bitch" Claire's voice was angry, but not as hard as Max's. "That ain't jumpin' to conclusions woman" Max shot back "You *are* a bitch, and as for your comment I am a little fucking tired of being called a whore by snooty people like you" she released her grip then. She then proceeded to swipe everything off the rocker and carry it out the door to her car. She drove home, angry thoughts swirling through her head, the rocker bumping around where she had lashed it to the back of the car. When she got there Logan had asked where she went, to which her immediate response was to run into the bedroom crying. A knock on the door a few minutes later revealed Logan. He approached her, and asked her again what was wrong. She had promptly told him, a little embarrassed at her flood of emotions, but Logan was awestruck that she had done something like this for him, and being called a whore by Aunt Claire too! He thanked her repeatedly, and more so later that night, but not before telling Auntie Claire over the phone that he no longer wanted to see her unless it was to her own funeral. Max placed the basketball on the floor and settled down in the old chair. She rocked back and forth, lost in her own thoughts. During the first few months she had several ultra sounds, which showed that the baby was healthy, no abnormalities, which was a relief to her. It also showed something else, a small growth in between the fetus' legs. "I knew it!" Cindy had remarked with a look of triumph when she had gone with them to the doctors one day. Logan's hand on her shoulder startled her out of her memories. "Sorry" he remarked "S'okay" she said "I was just thinkin'" She checked her watch "Oh shit, I'm gonna be late" She moved to stand up, but found it a little hard. Logan laughed at her lightly "Trouble?" he said offering her a hand up. She just glowered at him and went back out to the living room. "Sorry I can't stay Bling" She remarked, grabbing her coat off of the couch "Duty calls" "That's okay" he said rising up to meet her at eye level "Ya gotta do what ya gotta do." "That's right" she replied "even if It's boring" "Why don't you just play hooky?" Logan said to her. "Can't babe" she told him "I'd go crazy without anything to do" She walked over to kiss him goodbye. "I would've found something fun" his tone was seductive. "Logan I'm eight months pregnant, I'd crush you" she remarked and he laughed. "Don't work to hard" his tone was serious. "Moi?" she teased leaving the apartment. ***** Jam Pony X-Press 12:30 p.m. "There's my two favorite people" Cindy remarked as Max came through the door-less entry. Cindy walked over to her, and laid a hand on her belly. "Hey Jesse, how's my boy today?" The baby kicked in response, Max cringed, but Cindy smiled "He's a tough lil frigger, 'cmon do it again baby" "Don't teach my son how to fight, that's *my* job" she teased removing her coat, and hanging it on the back of "her chair" When it had become apparent that Max could no longer *sit* on a bicycle Normal had given her a sort of "sorting" job. She would hand people the boxes and they would deliver them. Next month she would be taking her maternity leave, one that she made Normal re-instate by crushing his windpipe, but for now she still wanted to work. "Sorry about being late Normal" she said sitting down "It's gettin' harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning." "Don't worry about it" he replied Max looked at him in a 'say what?' gaze "You goin' soft boy?" He shook his head "I am still the reigning God of all, but in your case I'll be a little lenient" "I'm flattered" she remarked dryly. Skethcy waltzed up to them "Got any for me today Max?" he asked leaning on the handles of his bike. "Yep" she said tossing him a small box "This one's headed for the corner of Dovan and Wesser." He took it, but made no move to go "So how's Logan?" "He's fine dude, but you better get outta here or you won't be" she threatened lightly. "Still have that attitude" he remarked. She yanked him down by the collar of his shirt. "And I could haul you're ass easily with all this extra weight I'm carrying" "Sorry" he remarked pitifully as she let him go. He took his bike and the box and left hurriedly. ***** The rest of the morning passed by basically normal. At one Max took her break with Cindy like always. Max was starving and finished her food in about forty seconds. "Damn girl" Cindy remarked "You sure pack in a lot of food." "I know" She replied wiping her hands off on her napkin "I'm *always* hungry nowadays" "You must be" Cindy said picking at her sandwich "'cause food from Earls' Cafe isn't exactly fine dinning." Max smirked, brushing some crumbs off her pants. She stood up to throw away her empty plate and gasped. "Oh shit" she muttered doubling over "Max what is it, what's wrong?" Cindy asked standing up. "I think Jesse wants out" she said through gritted teeth. Cindy was alarmed "You've still got one month left" "Yea I *know*" Max replied and gasped as more pain hit "But you try telling *him* that." "Okay girl, just take it easy" Cindy said helping her up and grabbing her coat "I'm gonna drive ya to the hospital" she maneuvered Max to the door "Somebody's gotta call Logan" Max gritted out "I got that" Cindy replied and shouted at Normal "Yo Norm-Norm, call Logan and tell him his wife is havin' a baby" "Already?" Normal was just as surprised as Cindy. "Yea already" Max called out "Just give him the message 'kay? He already knows which hospital." The whole Jam Pony crew stopped to watch, and Max would have told them to stop gawking, if she didn't feel like someone dropped an A-bomb in her stomach. Max and Cindy slowly made their way out to the parking lot. "Your car or mine?" Cindy asked "I personally don't give a fuck which one" Max managed while trying to breath. Cindy steered them towards Max's Impala. "You got a better ride then me" she remarked as she helped Max in the car and raced around to the driver's seat. "Just hold tight suga" Cindy said lookin' at her friend "Original Cindy's got your back" she floored the gas and sped off. ***** Logan and Bling were still chatting away when the phone call interrupted their conversation. Bling answered it. "Hello?" "This is Normal, who am I speaking to?" "This is Bling" he replied, wondering why Max's boss would call here, but he didn't want to alarm Logan, so he waited for the conversation to play itself out. "Oh, well is Logan Cale there?" "Yea" he remarked looking at Logan "He's here" "Could you inform Mr.Cale that Max has left for the hospital" "*Now*?" Bling shouted making Logan shoot him a look. "Yes that is correct" Normal replied and hung up. Bling did the same. He turned to face Logan "Max went into labor" Logan looked at him shocked "It's one month early" "That's kids for ya, they never do what you want them to" he replied. Logan hastily jumped up and retrieved his jacket. "I'll drive" Bling told him, and Logan didn't disagree. ***** Seattle General Maternity Ward Upper Seattle 3:30 p.m. "Excuse me, I'm looking for my wife, she was brought here by a friend" Logan said all in one breath to the woman seated behind the desk. "What's the name?" she asked not bothering to look up. He was about to respond when Original Cindy's voice called out to him "Logan, over here" He and Bling rushed over to her. "How's Max?" Logan asked Cindy gave him a look that made him uncomfortable "What is it Cindy?" "Logan" her tone was completely dead panned "Max had a seizure on the way up here, it was brought on by her contractions" Logan's heart stopped, and it was a while before he could find his voice "Is she okay?" "She's fine, it wasn't too long, and she had her meds with her" Cindy's statement lifted the rock that was in his throat. "And how about the baby?" Here Cindy did not reply so soon "They don't know yet, they're running tests, the doctors say they have to see if" here she paused "If he will have any neuro damage" "What do you mean 'damage?' Logan asked, his voce rising "I don't know, I ain't know doctor" Cindy responded and added in a lower tone "They're sayin' he might not even live" <This is suppose to be one of the happiest moments of my life, but it's turning into a nightmare> He looked back up at Cindy "Where is she?" "Room 102, just down the hall" she said and he didn't even look at her he just ran down the white corridors. Cindy turned towards Bling "You got a few bucks guy? 'Cause something tells me that the coffee machine down the hall is going to be seeing a lot of us" Bling nodded and handed her a five, and they walked there in silence. end of part 2... ***** "Is he okay?" Max's voice was anxious, as she felt the familiar sweep of the ultra sound move over her stomach. She was somewhat comforted when she heard the sounds of Jesse's hearbeat. The seizure had hit her out of no where, and she was terrified about what the outcome could mean for him <"Jesse, *Jesse!* the young Max cried to her sister as the doctors hauled her away to the back exam rooms. An op yanked her back "Get back to your training 32, the doctors will take care of that one"> The high risk ob/gyn that had been called after Max was brought here looked at her for a moment. "It's to early to tell right now" he said as Logan burst through the door. He took a minute to compose himself, before walking over to where Max lay on a hospital bed. "Hey you" he bent down and kissed her "I got here as soon as I could, or rather Bling did, *I* would've killed someone" She smiled slightly "Logan I had a seizure" her voice was trembling. He drew his forehead down towards hers "I know" was all he said. "I take it you're her husband" the doctor's voice made him turn. "Yes I am" Logan replied and added more importantly "Is the baby okay?" "As I was telling you're wife just before you came in, it's hard to tell at this moment. The seizure, she said lasted only a few minutes,but to a fetus, it only can take that long to cause damage to it's brain" his words seemed so cold to Max. This baby was not an 'it', *he* was her son. "When will you learn more?" she asked "When we get the results of the tests back Mrs. Cale, I'll be able to give you more information" he responded. She nodded "And for future reference my *sons's* name is Jesse so please refer to him that way" her tone was sharp and hard. The doctor cringed slightly, and she felt some small satisfaction in knowing that she still could knock'em down. "I have my rounds, the tests will be back in about an hour" he nodded to both of them and left the room. In all this time Max had not had anymore contractions. When it became obvious that they induced her seizures, the doctors had given her medication to stop them, while deciding on the best plan of action. Max was not in any physical pain, but that was not the case on her emotions.She could not sit still, every few seconds she would change positions in the bed, fiddle with the IV needle in her arm. After about her fifth time around Logan stopped her with a hand on her arm. "Max, you need to calm down" his tone was strong despite the fear he felt in the pit of his stomach. "I can't fucking calm down Logan!" her words we're angry, not really at him, but at the circumstances they found themselves in "Our son may have brain damage, hell he even might DIE and you want me to be cool and collect?" she was shouting at him now, admitting the thing that scared her the most. <It wasn't suppose to be this way> She looked up at him with such sadness that it took his breath away. "Why is this happening now?" her voice was just a whisper, and Logan wanted to comfort her, but he didn't know what she meant. "What baby?" he asked as gently as he could she wouldn't misinterpret it. He rubbed her arm in a soothing gesture with his right hand. She melted into his touch for a moment before going on "Lydeker tried hard to make the perfect Alpha female, strong, fast, but his creation had a flaw" she was speaking about herself, but she did so in a way that made it sound like a clinical analysis, it was a tactic she learned at Manticore. She didn't have to deal with the pain if she separated herself from it. "Your seizures" Logan finished for her She nodded, her eyes clouding over "Yea the *one* thing that made his Grade A prototype a dud. But he kept training us, even the ones like me. I remember how he use to talk about 'breeding' us like we were dogs with a pedigree or something" here she gave a humorless laugh "I use to watch every day as the ops would take girls into what they called the "Fertilization chamber" Some we're even as young as 11, but they didn't care, so long as they had their cycle. There were doctors there that would inseminate them with the sperm from the Alpha Males" she suddenly gave a passionate sob, making the ekg monitor jump sporadically. "I think you need to stop" Logan said. More stress was something that she did *not* need right now. "No, I *need* to get this out" she reached out and touched his face. He grasped her hand with one of his "Okay, but if you get into deep, I want you to get out" She nodded before continuing, to tell him the story of why she chose their son's name, remembering a dark hell hole called Manticore. "One day they took some of us away from training, me, Brin, Jesse and Jondy. We didn't know what was going on, but knew we had to follow orders. They led us to the Room, and told us to undress. There we're metal exam tables everywhere, and they made us lie on them, and they stuck this long metal tube in our-" here she had to stop, the memory becoming to much. Logan noticed her hands were shaking, so he covered them with his own, letting her know that she wasn't alone, grounding her back to the present. Max went on "the tubes were placed in our-" she searched her mind for a word that would take away some of the edge "*bodies* Each one contained sperm from a select group of Alpha males. Most were from mine, X-5, but there were a few from the X-12 section" She gave a slight laugh lacking all humor "I guess he wanted to hybrid his hybrids" Logan just looked at her, appalment on his face "How old were you?" Max searched her memory for a moment "It was a few weeks before we escaped, so I guess I was about nine, yea that's right 'cause I remember I had just gotten my period a few weeks earlier, we we're all early developers" Logan was lividly raged. How could they have done that to children? Little girls? to *his* girl? Max squeezed his hands a little and continued with her dark tale. "After it was over we were returned to the block operator. The insemination had been a success, we were all pregnant. I later learned that Zack was one of the ones, 'picked' to be a stud" her voice was full of malice "But we were young, and the constant physical exertion took it's toll, both Brin and Jondy suffered miscarriages. But Jesse, she carried the baby almost four months, when she had a seizure and it triggered early labor, the doctors tried to save the them, but it was too late, Jesse died because of complications, and the fetus choked to death on it's cord. They didn't even bury her, they just cremated her with the baby still inside. Lydeker said that he didn't want the world to know of his mistake. I had to watch it, I myself was three months along, and after it was over I snuck away to the sergeant's quarters and swallowed a whole bottle of aspirin. I passed out, and when I came to I knew I had succeeded in my goal by all the blood on the floor" "You aborted the child?" Logan asked gently, there was not a trace of anger in his tone, but his mind was seething. "I felt it was necessary at the time" she answered "I was afraid that something like that would happen to me, because I had seizures like Jesse did. We knew no such thing as motherly love, we we're just knocked up to produce more of our genes, and when I did what I did, I rationalized it by telling myself that I was defective, and my offspring would be too. But now" she paused with a hand on her swollen abdomen "There are no guards, no cold rooms, I have a child that I *want* to keep and this happens" tears leaked down her face. Logan pulled her into a embrace, placing himself next to her on the narrow hospital bed. "Why would Manticore give me this body, this fucking heat cycle to create a child whose only purpose was to die?" her question was so heart breakingly sad, and her next words were so soft, it might have been the creaking of the bed "I didn't even get a chance to hold him" Logan had heard enough, he pulled her back and look her full in the face "You will Max" he said half gently half firmly "You will, I will, Manticore may have given you the genes but *we* created the baby. Jesse *will* live okay?" his voice was raising slightly "You have to believe that" "I want to" Max replied "But, I'm scared" "I am to Max" Logan responded "But if we give up on him now, he *is* as good as dead, and your sister deserves to have her memory honored through this baby, and Jess doesn't desrve to die so young." Max looked at him in understanding "Let's hope" "I don't hope Max" Logan told her "I know" ***** 55 minutes later Max had exhausted herself by taking for so long, so Logan insisted that she take a nap. She objected at first, but then realized how tired this ordeal made her. Logan laid down beside her, and she curled around him and fell asleep almost instantly. He just watched her. She looked so innocent when she slept. It was hard to believe that someone with those gentle features could take on Ninja warriors, and haul the ass of every sleeze in Seattle without even batting an eyelash. She must have felt him looking at her because her eyes soon opened, looking into his. Logan smiled at her "good nap?" "Yea" she replied stretching "What time is it?" "5:00" he responded brushing a stray lock of hair from her face. The door opened and the ob walked in the room. Max, who had been still somewhat sleepy from her nap became wide awake. She locked both eyes on the man in the white lab coat, and felt Logan's arm go across her shoulders. "I just got the results of the tests in" the doctor said holding up a manila envelope "*Jesse* shows no signs of neuro damage, or any other risks that might threaten his life" Max broke down and Logan hugged her, relieved "Thank God" He kissed her with deep emotion before looking up at the doctor "What happens now?" "Giving that she was in active labor when she arrived we can't send her home, however in light of the risks of her delivering vaginally I think it would be best to do a cesarean" the ob responded Logan nodded satisfied with his statement. "Let's get it on then" Max said with renewed energy. Her child was all right. He would live to learn the story of his namesake. <You lost this time Lydeker> ***** Wating Room 1-b 6:45 p.m. "What do ya thinks takin' so long?" Original Cindy asked pacing around the row of chairs for about the fifth time. "Beats me" Bling said watching her "I'm single remember?" She laughed a little and plopped down beside him. "This is unreal huh?" Cindy asked looking at him "My girl is going to be a mama" "I know" Bling admitted "It seems just yesterday that Logan was bitchin' that being alone sucked, and now he's finally re-married and he's a breath away from being a father" "Word up" Cindy said "Max was like that too, all 'I don't need no man' and even though Original Cindy's into True Love she knew lyin' when she saw it" she smirked. "They grow up so fast." "To true" Bling agreed. The doors swung open and Logan came out, still dressed in the scrubs that the had to wear to be in the OR. Bling and Cindy stood up. "7 lbs., 6 oz" Logan said proudly displaying the pink bundle in his arms. His little eyes were closed, and his face was pinched but to Logan he was beautiful. "Oh my god" Cindy said looking down at the baby "Look at him" She stared at Jesse for a long time "He's perfect Logan" she stated "He looks just like you" she grasped a tiny hand in hers and squeezed it. "No I thinks he resembles his mother more" Logan stated looking down at his son "He's got dark skin, and brown eyes, plus when he came out he cried so long that the ob said his lung power was exceedingly well off" Cindy laughed "Oh yea he *is* like my girl all right" she paused and then added "How's Max doin'?" "She's a little tired, and sore, but overall she's fine" Logan replied.He walked over to Bling. "So how do you like the goods?" he said holding up his tiny burden. Bling laughed at his statement "He's fine lookin' to me" he touched the head of the sleeping newborn "Remember how I said at your wedding you done good?" Logan nodded "Well, Bling went on "You did even better now" Logan smiled, and kissed his baby's head "Oh yea, I'm two for two" At that moment the doors opened and Max was wheeled out. She made the orderly stop for a moment, and looked over at the people around her "Wow, what a party" her voice sounded tired "It's all for you baby girl" Cindy stated walking over to her. She kissed her on the cheek "Ya made it out alive" she teased "Barely" Max quipped lightly looking over at Logan holding their baby. "But, if this is what escaping death feels like, I can live with it" she reached out and touched, at least *tried* to touch Jesse's head. Logan moved closer, the anesthetics were still keeping Max's body numb from about her collarbone down so she couldn't go anywhere. He kissed her softly "you and me both" Bling walked over to her as well and kissed her forehead "I'm proud of you girl" "I'm lovin' all this attention guys" Max said through a yawn, "but,I'm kinda drifting here" her eyes began to close. Now that it was over, she allowed herself the luxury to sleep. "All right suga" Cindy said "I'll come back later, right now I gots to spread the good word" she offered Max another friendly kiss on the head and went in search of a pay phone. Bling said that he would come back as well, he knew that they wanted to be alone with their new baby, and Cindy would probably have the whole Jam Pony crew descend upon them soon enough, so he bowed out. As he passed Cindy he heard snatches of her conversation with Kendra "Kendra you should seen him, he looks just like Max" "Mmhmm, brown hair and brown eyes" "Of course it's Logan's kid" "Just because he looks more like our girl doesn't mean their doin' the 'whose your daddy' game" "Logan has brown hair too 'kay?" Cindy caught the sight of Bling lookin' at her "Now you got me people starin' at me. Gotta go, tell the gang, and make sure that Normal hasn't gone and fired me, Jess don't need a poor auntie" "You to suga" she hung up and faced Bling "Kendra thought Max had a little action on the side?" he asked Cindy nodded "I love my chica to death, but sometimes she's a little off" she said taking the coffee he offered her She took a swig appreciatively "This is good shit" Bling sipped his and nodded "I sorta wheedled a doctor here to get it for me from the lounge, being a therapist has it's perks" "Good man" Cindy said taking another drink of the hot liquid. Her eyes scanned over at a cute looking doctor in green scrubs "'Scuse me Bling" she said taking one last drink before setting it down "Auntie Cindy could use another lil pick me up" she began walking over to the woman. Bling left her to do her stuff and retreated down the corridors. ***** Three Weeks Later Max checked her position as she blew by Bling and sunk the ball in at the three point line. "That's game" she called out triumphantly. Bling took a minute to compose himself "That ain't right, that makes twice in a row" he wiped the sweat off his face with his shirt. "It's not my fault that I got game boy" she sauntered up to him and got up in his face. "You just can't handle the pressure" she teased "I can handle it Max" Bling said in his defense. There conversation was halted when Logan approached them, cradling Jesse in his arms. "I hate to break up such a good post game argument, but one of the players is needed by her son" Max laid down the ball and wiped off her sweat with one arm. She walked over to Logan and grinned at the sight. "Don't my boys look cute" her statement made Logan smile. Logan was wearing a Knicks Jersey underneath black athletic shorts, and Jesse was dressed in a smaller basketball jersey that Bling had custom made for him. "He's hungry again?" Max's voice had a loving, but slightly exasperated tone. "Yea" Logan said handing her their son "I offered to help but, he turned me down" Max laughed at this "Daddy's a idiot huh Jess?" she kissed him on his small face, before leaning over to kiss Logan, a deep passionate kiss with her tongue, her teeth, every aspect of her mouth. She pulled away, after lack of air. "But daddy's got a hell of a good mouth so he's forgiven" she grinned at him seductively. "He can here you babe" Logan said with a gentle firmness "You have to curve you're language" he leaned down towards the child's face "Mommy has a good mouth to Jesse, she just has to tone it down sometimes" Max smacked him lightly "Okay, me and Jess got a date" she walked over to one of the benches and sat down. Her hands moved to lift up her blue tank top. Jesse gave a small cry. "Hang on sweetie" Max lightly scolded the impatient infant "Mommy can only go so fast" She finally got her squawking son positioned at her breast and felt him start to feed. Jesse's soft baby breath was warm on her exposed skin. She sucked in her breath as he exerted more force on her to obtain his meal. "You wanna ease up a little down there?" she said to the greedy baby "I kinda need those later" After he was done, she replaced her tank over her chest, and placed him on her shoulder patting his little back to get him to burp, which he did, loudly. Max laughed at this, before standing up. "Okay kiddo, the bar is now closed" She searched around for the baby carrier, but couldn't find it. Leave it to Logan to leave no spot for their son to sit on out here. "C'mon Jess" Max said, draping him across one shoulder "Let's go ask daddy where he put you're v.i.p seat, so you can watch mommy beat the sh- I mean the *snot* out of Uncle Bling some more" she caught her foul language before she spoke it. He would have plenty of opportunity build his 'other vocabulary' later, so he didn't have to learn from her right now. She walked back out in the middle of the court, where apparently no one had been playing ball in her absence. Rather she found her man, and Bling talking to a young woman about her age. "Hate to interrupt" Max stated stopping in front of them. "You weren't" Logan responded looking at her "We were just talking" "We meaning-" Max asked. Bling caught what she was saying "Oh, excuse me, I have no manners today, Clairce, this is Max, Logan's wife" "Nice to meet you" the woman said, extending out her hand. Max shook it, carefully holding the baby with her other arm "You too" Jesse coed softly, as if he wanted to be introduced also. "All right, I'll tell, her" Max said to him "This little seed is our son Jesse" Clarice smiled "Happy to meet you there" she said to the infant. Jesse coed again, making Logan laugh "He's such a lady killer for a three week old" "Wonder where he gets it from" Max teased before adding "Baby, didn't you bring his carrier out?" Logan nodded "I think so, why?" "'Cause I can't find it" she replied "And I can't hold him AND kick Bling's ass at the same time" she had forgotten to tread lightly on the language, but one slip now and then wouldn't hurt anything. "I'll go look for it" Logan said, and went in search of the needed item. "I'll hold him for ya Max" Bling said "Even though you made that remark about my ass kicking" Max carefully passed him the baby "That remark is soon to be reality" she teased. Jesse settled comfortably on Bling's shoulder, his babbling, and cooing ceased. "Now why can't he do *that* at three in the morning?" she said Bling chuckled "He's just like you Max, a night owl" he held Jesse above his head "Ain't that right little man?" Jesse giggled. "I have to be" Max responded "He keeps us up so late" She looked towards Clarice "You got any one of these?" She laughed and shook her head "No, not yet, I gotta find a guy first, and there's the whole loosing you're figure thing, although I must say you look damn good for just recently having one" Max smiled at her statement "This is a good woman Bling" she said, focusing her attention back on him "You kids outta get together" Bling didn't say anything as Logan came back with the carrier. "I guess I never took it out of the car" Logan admitted sheepishly. Max playfully knocked him upside the head "What the hell am I gonna do with you?" Logan caught her hand as she was pulling it away and yanked her close to him, setting the carrier on the cement, and wrapped both arms around her waist. "I have my suggestions" his tone was low and seductive by her ear. "Logan" she began relaxing in his embrace "We're on a basketball court" "I'm into new things" he murmured Max smiled at this "It would give whole new meaning to the phrase 'I got game' "Woah there now" Bling interrupted "This is a little x-rated for your son to here" "He's gotta learn eventually" Max said teasingly. She pulled out of Logan's embrace, and retrieved Jesse from Bling. "But I guess some things are better learned later" she finished and set him down carefully in the seat. After seeing that her son was secure she picked up the carrier, and looked back up at Bling "Right now all he needs to learn is how bad I can knock you around in a basketball game" her voice was teasing Bling looked at Logan "Your woman is dissin' me boy, aren't you going to do something?" Logan shook his head "You forget I have to go home with her later" Max laughed at this "Good man" she said to him, spotting Original Cindy at the benches that lined the side of the court. "My baby sitting service has arrived" Max stated turning towards Clarice "Sorry for such a short meaning, but I need to deliver a package to my girl over there" Clarice laughed lightly "No problem, I have to leave as well, it was nice meeting you" The two women shook hands again, and Clarice walked to her car parked by a large maple tree. Max pounced on Bling again "Really guy, you need to shack up with that one." "Max" Bling had a warning edge in his tone "I'm just sayin' is all" she interrupted "as I recall *you* did the same thing to us" she indicated her and Logan "and look what happened" this time she pointed to the baby carrier she was holding, where Jesse had managed to fall asleep through all the conversation. Bling had to laugh at her remark "You got me there" he answered honestly. He dribbled the basketball he was holing a few times "Go give Jess over to your girl there, 'cause me and you gots business" he had a competitive edge in his tone. "Ooo.." Max's voice was full of her trademark attitude "Wanna loose some more huh? well if that's what your trip is" she finished before walking over to Cindy. "You made it" Max said approaching her friend. She set the carrier down on the bench beside Cindy. "Uh huh" Cindy said lookin' up at her "I wouldn't do this for know one but you boo. I had me a rendezvous with this well built blonde at the farmer's market, but, I had to tell her that I had to meet my guy" Cindy turned to Jesse who was still asleep. She traced his forehead gently before continuing "And suga, blondie was a little pissed 'cause she thought I was bi" Cindy finished looking back up at Max. "Sorry about ruining, your moment" Max said apologetically. Cindy waved her off with one hand "Don't worry about it baby girl,'cause youz alwayz been my woman above the rest, and this boy here, well if I don't watch out I might cross over to the other realm." Max laughed lightly at Cindy "He's a keeper huh?" she sat down next to her son, stroking the small amount of brown hair that was covering his head. "Defiantly" Cindy responded looking at Jesse again "You and Logan make nice lookin' babies together, you outta think about doin' it again" "Oh no" Max said raising her hand "I got my hands full with this one, plus it'll be awhile before I do the whole pregnancy thing again" They grew quiet as Logan walked up to them, he smiled over at Cindy. "Thanks for coming on such short notice Cindy" Logan said "Max, gets a little, how shall I put this - "competitive" when it comes to this game, and with *me* having to make sure she doesn't kill Bling over there, there's no one to watch Jess" "Don't worry about it" Original responded "Max is my home girl, and you and the little seed are her boys, so it's all good, I *do* have a favor to ask of you" "What?" Logan asked "Since, I'm doin' you a service, you need to sell Max on my idea of giving Jesse some more family to play with" Cindy responded. Logan gave her a shit eating grin and walked up to Max, laying a hand on her shoulder "You oughta listen to her on this one baby" he finished waggling his eyebrows at her. She just shook her head standing up "I'll think about" "Right now, I gotta attend to something" "Take'em down Max" Cindy said with a smirk. Max nodded in reply, and looked at Logan "After this game is over, I'm gonna be all sweaty, so I'll need a hot shower" her tone was low Logan caught what she meant, and a ripple of desire went through him. They haven't had sex in weeks. Oh sure they kissed, and cuddled, but because of her c-section the ob had outlined no intercourse for until her incision healed. That was two weeks ago. Max was up and around she was still off work for about three more weeks, and well, they had to do *something* to occupy all that free time. Max saw the desire in his eyes as well. It's the first time she felt truly turned on in weeks. Her estrogen levels had been all over the place lately and she had been acting like some fuckin' sissy ass teenage girl. She knew that it would pass eventually, her ob said in about two to three weeks after delivery, but when she caught herself loosing it over a damn Hallmark card commercial on tv she wanted to literally suck all that excess female hormone out of her body and flush it down the crapper. She had been getting better though. When Bling had asked them to come shoot hoops with him, she had taken the opportunity to re-aquatint herself with her *other* baby, the gray one with crome and leather handle bars.Logan offered to take Jesse in his car, knowing how much she missed ridding the Ninja. It felt great too. Just like before, the wind in her hair, the feel of leather seat under her legs. Well it wasn't QUITE like before. Then she didn't have her husband and infant son trailing her by a few miles. The streets of Seattle *were* how she remembered them though, with the Black Market booths and the street sleeze. When she slowed to a stop at the end of a four way street one of them approached her. He was tall, wearing a red bandanna, trashy jeans and a plaid shirt underneath a navy blue cotton jacket. "Hey chicky chicky" he said running his eyes over her body appreciatively "That's a nice hog, you got there, but I gots a better way for you to feel vibrations in between your legs" he was positively leering at her. Obviously he didn't see her wedding ring on her right hand, or he didn't give a shit. Max figured it was the latter, 'cause the "locals" didn't discriminate. She was starting to get pissed. Not only was he de-grading her, he *actually* thought he was gonna score. "Hey" Logan's voice came from out of the window of the Aztec. He had obviously caught up with her. Now normally she wouldn't mind when he defended her, but she had enough of that in the last few months. She was sick of being the 'weak little woman' But, Logan was very much aware of that fact because the next words out of his mouth were: "Stop hitting on my wife before she makes something bad happen to you" Max felt relieved, and looked at the scuz "You heard my man" she said with a growl. Scuzz obviously didn't care, 'cause he tried to grope her "What's a little thing like you gonna do, 'sides give me some of that sweet sweet love. And no offense doll buy your man needs to mind his own business" The traffic light changed colors. "Green light" Max announced she revved up the Ninja, making sure her baby backed up enough to nail the guy in the balls with her back wheel before going forward. The guy doubled over cursing. Logan slowly wheeled the car over to him "Told ya" was all he said before following Max down the road. Max came back to the here and now and looked at Logan "Does my plan sound good?" she asked locking eyes with him. "Oh yea" Logan replied "Plus it saves water" his voce was husky "Always Mister Practical" Max said with a laugh, leaving them and walking over to Bling "Let's go" she said stopping in front of him, and snatching the ball.She began to dribble it down the center of the court. "You forgot to check it" Bling said Max threw the ball hard at his chest, where it landed with a loud thud "Check" Bling just shook his head and bounced it back to her "*Now* let's go" She grinned as the game got underway. Logan watched her from the sidelines. "She does love to strut her stuff huh?" Cindy said looking up at him with a smirk. "That's the truth" Logan responded "But that's why I love her so much" he walked over to the game in progress. After he left Cindy turned to Jesse who was now awake. "Jess" she began turning the carrier so that he faced her "Your aunite met such a nice woman earlier, but she blew her off to see you" She tickled the baby's stomach and he giggled "But, I don't mind, she was a little to built for me, plus I don't think that was her real hair color" she talked to him like he understood "Can you say 'bleach blonde'?" Jesse just stared at her quizzically. Cindy turned her eyes up to the court. Max had obviously won the game of Horse cause she was doin' her victory dance and Logan came up behind her and spun her around in circles. Cindy watched this observantly, turning back to the baby "Your moms and dad love each other a whole lot baby boy" Cindy's mouth pulled back in a grin "I think I'd better check on you tonight,'cause I think they gonna love each other a *whole* lot tonight as well" she finished. ***** End This took a while to complete. I originally planned to have Max miscarry the baby because of a seizure, but I'm such a softie I couldn't *do* that to even an imaginary child. Plus then I would have to get into that whole angst thing, and depression that women undergo after was just to deep. I did add a little drama with the whole birthing thing though...didn't want this to be just all mush and sap. I hope you enjoyed it. I've already written a sequel, and think I may turn this into a series, let me know if you liked the first one.