A/N: This is the conclusion to the Karaoke Trilogy I started many months ago. :P Please refer back to my previous fics Bent and Bang a Gong for events in the trilogy up until now. Giving this one an R rating for naughty words and a bit of sex. Fluff warning however: this one is a bit strong on the mush factor, but I deserve the break. :P I just wanted to write a final part to the trilogy that was all about love. :)

In the trilogy universe, the virus never existed, and Logan has been healed. Don't ask.. sometimes I get tired of dabbling in the real world. :P

My apologies for the site/sight mistake. I've actually found myself doing that alot lately, not to mention tho/though. Too much time chatting I think. :P It's fixed now.. I haven't seen any others tho.. so hit me with them if you want to.. logansfox@home.com . Thanks. :)

They're not mine, I just like to borrow them sometimes and mutate their inner voices. What can I say? It's fun. :)

Thanks to Chris for the awesome beta read, yet again. :) You rock, girl. :)



Thank You For Loving Me

By: Danae Bowen



It was amazing how one moment they could be speaking quietly, teasing each other as friends often do, and then the moment passes and the world intrudes. Their mundane interruption was an elevator. As the door slid shut and the elevator began its smooth ascent, Logan's eyes met those of Max... Max's gaze darkened, and the game began anew.

"You do realize that Kendra and Original Cindy expect us to rattle your bed posts tonight, don't ya?" Ever blunt, by now Max couldn't be bothered with the art of subtlety.

Logan feigned shock, his twinkling blue eyes opening wide with surprised innocence. "You don't say?"

Max chuckled softly, taking a step closer, her fingers teasing Logan's chest through the thin fabric of his shirt. She slipped closer still, the whisper of her breath burning his ear. "They expect us to do things. Dirty things. Very dirty things."

Logan swallowed hard, trying to resist the urge to reach out and touch her, resigning himself to tucking a stray lock of hair behind her ear. "Really?"

Her head tipped forward, and she nipped his earlobe quickly before she stepped away and flashed him a smile. "Yep. Was just wondering if you were up for it." She winked. "I know we said we were doing this for them, but, hey, if the pressure's too much, I understand. Things can be harder than we imagined."

His body clenched visibly as he let his eyes rake over her scantily clad body. He nodded slowly. "I've noticed that." He paused. "So, what did Original Cindy have in mind for us tonight?"

Max shrugged as the doors to the elevator opened and she stepped through. "Last I heard she was mutterin' something about whips, chains, leather cat suits, and foods."

"Foods?"

Max turned and slowly ran her tongue over her lips, her smoky eyes casting a longing gaze down his body. "Mmmhmm. Warm foods. Sticky foods." She paused, eyeing the now rather noticeable bulge in Logan's jeans, and she flicked her tongue out once again. "Do you have any fudge sauce?" Her eyes sparkled with mischief.

Logan moved then, grabbing Max around the waist and hauling her to him. His lips met hers hard, sending shockwaves of pleasure flaring through both their bodies. One hand tangled in her hair, his other slid down her back, dragging her impossibly close to his body, never breaking the kiss. Long moments passed as their tongues waged sweet war, and finally Logan pulled away.

"Max?"

"Hmm?" Her eyes were glazed over, her body trembling as every nerve burned for Logan to return to her arms.

"I have a whole bottle of fudge sauce in the fridge, but I don't think I have the patience to heat it right now."

Her eyes sparked and she caught hold of his shirt, ripping it open and using the ends to drag him to his door. "Fuck the fudge sauce."

Logan laughed at her harsh words, opening the door and allowing himself to be pulled through, kicking the door shut behind him. "Only if you're wearing it."

Max blinked in surprise, her jaw half open as the full impact of his words hit home. She laughed out loud then, leaning back against the wall as she looked him over with newly opened eyes. "Logan, I never knew you had it in you."

He shrugged and gave her a teasing wink. "I could run with that one too, Max, but I think I've been crass enough this evening." Two steps forward and his body pressed up against Max's once more, pinning her lightly against the wall.

He kissed her forehead first, slowly twirling a strand of her soft dark hair around his finger as he moved to kiss her nose. His lips were feather light as they moved over her, making her sigh and shiver. She gasped lightly as his fingers slid down her neck, across her chest, to slowly cup one perfect breast in a gentle caress. Logan's heart stopped at the low sound that slipped between Max's lips, and he lowered his mouth to hers once again. He pulled away only when human nature demanded he fill his lungs with oxygen, and gazed down at Max, lovingly.

Her lips were red and full from his kisses, her eyelids only half open. He tracked tiny shudders down her body to gaze openly at her breasts. He smiled as he caught sight of her hardened nipples through the fabric of her dress, and couldn't resist dropping a thumb across one, watching her body tremble in reaction.

"Max?"

She groaned, opening her eyes fully. "Why, after all the time we've known each other, are you choosing this very moment to get talkative?"

He chuckled. "I was just going to ask if you'd like to move into the bedroom before I cave in and just take you right here, against the wall."

"Oh." She paused for a moment then met his steamy gaze with a wicked smile. "In that case..." She hiked her dress skirt up to her waist, giving Logan an eyebrow raising view of the red silk slip of lacey something that passed as her panties. She slid her hands up to his shoulders, bracing herself against him. Much to Logan's pleasure, one of her long, golden legs wrapped around his waist, quickly followed by the other. He stumbled a moment as his knees went weak, the evidence of his desire now firmly cradled between Max's strong thighs, and his eyes threatened to flutter closed.

Max slowly licked her lips, allowing one of her hands to run through Logan's sexy, semi spiked hair. "Take me where you want to go, Logan."

Her grin was burning, but no more so than the kisses she lay upon his neck as he finally carried her to his waiting bed.

******

Silently, Max entered her apartment, dropping Kendra's red dress across the kitchen counter. She snuggled deeper into Logan's sweatshirt, laughing quietly at the sight of the drawstrings on his sweat pants tied so tightly they were hanging down past her knees. His strong, masculine scent filled the clothing she wore, or perhaps it was still on her skin, she wasn't sure which, but the scent made her shiver and regret her decision to come home before dawn.

"Well, boo, now there's a sight I was startin' to think I ain't gonna never see."

Max jumped, clamping a hand over her mouth as Original Cindy smiled at her from her prone position on the sofa.

"I see my girl, there, not wearing the clothes she left with 'n gettin' all starry eyed over some ole sweaty piece of shirt her squeeze probably wore to bed last night, 'n I gotta wonder if Original Cindy's gonna be gettin' the details tonight or if she's gonna hafta beat on her boo 'till she spills."

Max blushed lightly, chewing on her lower lip, but her sparkling eyes told Cindy all she needed to know.

"S'aiight, boo, Original Cindy ain't blind. I can see when my girl's had da bomb night, but I'm still gonna get my details in the mornin'."

Finally, Max cracked and slumped onto the sofa next to Cindy. "Girl, you ever had one of those experiences where you could just curl up next to some person and forget you had a job, a life, 'n even a home? Ya just wanna stay there in that bed forever and not move?"

"Hell, yeah. Original Cindy had herself a girl that was so fine, it broke my heart just to get up to use the toilet, know what 'm sayin'?" Cindy grinned, shifting so that her legs rested across Max's lap. "Girl had legs that didn't end, breasts like a comic book character, 'n loved to make her Cindy scream. Damn near perfect."

Max grinned, slipping down further into the sweatshirt, staring at the ceiling as again she inhaled Logan's intoxicating scent. "Just so warm, and right. Kinda like the rest of the world didn't exist anymore, nothing outside his arms."

"Mmhmm. You got it so bad, my boo, 'n I'm happy for ya. Y'know that, right?"

"'Course."

"You tell that boy, though, that if he don't treat you right, 'n if you ever come home 'n those starry eyes are replaced with tears, Original Cindy's gonna beat on his ass so hard he'll wish he never got outta that chair."

Max grinned. "My hero."

"Hey, what's a best girl for if not kickin' the ass of some white bread rich boy ragging on my boo's sense of well bein'." Cindy grinned. "So, when's the wedding?"

"Wedding? God, it was just sex, not a declaration of life long love."

"Just sex?"

"Good sex, okay?"

Cindy grinned wickedly. "Only good? You been waiting how long now for only good sex?"

"Fine! It was incredible, hot, mind blowing, body numbing, why the hell am I here when I could be waking him up to live it all over again, absolutely amazing sex. Happy now?"

"Yup." Cindy winked. "Better get t'sleep while you can, girl. Work in a few, 'n I got a feelin' you ain't gonna get much rest for a few nights yet."

"We're not rabbits; we're not gonna be going at each other every second we're in a room together."

"Sure, boo, you keep tellin' yourself that. Meanwhile, Original Cindy's gonna be investin' in some headphones first thing tomorrow. Just in case."

Max sighed and slid off the sofa, heading towards her room. "How pathetic would I be to sleep in his shirt tonight?"

"'Bout ninety percent. But, hey, I ain't gonna tell."

***

"Hey, boo, wake the hell up. Your boy is on the phone, 'n it ain't me he wants to talk to."

Max cracked open an eye, and groaned as she noticed the sun barely up in the sky.

"What time is it?"

"Too early for that phone to be ringin' off the hook. Do your girl a favor, and stay the whole night next time. I gotta work too, y'know?"

Max yawned and caught the phone Cindy pitched in her general direction. She curled up on her side and snuggled down into the surprisingly warm sweatshirt that practically hung free on her body.

"Hey."

She closed her eyes and could almost see his lips curving into that warm smile Logan reserved for those moments he went out of his way to make her heart stop.

"'Morning." He paused. "Did you sleep well?"

She rolled over onto her back and twirled a strand of her hair around her finger. "I slept." He sighed, and she could hear him changing position. "You still in bed?"

"Yeah. After you left I didn't really get back to sleep. Spent most of the night thinking."

//Uh oh, a man thinking is rarely a good thing.// "Uh, about what?"

Logan smiled softly at the uncertainty in Max's voice, holding the phone closer to his ear as if that would dissipate the sectors of Seattle between them. "You. Last night. You. Have I said thank you yet?"

Max's laugh was low and sultry. "You're gonna thank me for having sex with you?"

He shrugged. "Partly, I suppose. Making love with you was probably one of the most amazing experiences of my life, Max." He lowered his voice to a sexy half growl. "One I hope to repeat in the very near future." He smiled as he heard Max's breath hitch, and could almost see her eyes darkening to that amazing, almost black color he'd witnessed on so few occasions. Knowing that if he kept up with this train of thought, however, it would leave them both high and dry when she had to get ready for work, he switched gears. "I was wondering if you'd like to meet back at the karaoke bar tonight."

Max blinked, trying to process Logan's question. "Why?"

"Do you really need to know, or do you think you can manage just showing up because I asked?"

Max's face broke into a slow smile, and she licked her lips softly. "That depends."

"On what?"

"On what your plans are for the weekend. You want me to give up my Friday night at Crash, I gotta be rewarded, y'know?"

"My plans are whatever you want them to be, Max."

"I want Friday through Sunday, no interruptions, no Eyes Only, no genetically engineered killing machine, no outside world."

"And what did you plan to do with this incredible amount of personal time?"

Max grinned. "Do you really need to know, or do you think you can manage just saying yes because I asked?"

"Touché, but I'll bite."

She laughed softly into the phone, softly stroking the material of his sweatshirt. "I hope so."

He chuckled. "Bad, Max."

"Mmhmm. Always."

"So are you gonna come to the bar?"

"'Course. Mind if I hit your place first? Wanna drop off my bag 'n stuff."

"No problem. Come around five thirty and I'll even make dinner for you."

"'Kay. I'll catch you then."

"Hey, Max?"

"Yeah?"

"I miss you."

At his words, a warmth slowly spread through Max's body, and she closed her eyes once more. Her heart began to beat more quickly, loud enough she was almost positive Logan could hear it, and she began to tremble, slowly at first until her entire body was shaking.

"I miss you, too."

Her words were the barest of whispers, but they were honest, and warmed Logan as he lay alone in his bed, glancing over to where Max had lain only hours before.

They were playing with the most dangerous of all emotions, dabbling in something neither of them understood very well, but both found their doubts were slowly beginning to melt away. Logan made up his mind in that instant, that very night he would sacrifice himself on the altar of humiliation and prove to Max exactly how much she truly meant to him.

After all, what harm could come from one little song?

****

Max sat at the front of the room, directly below the stage, trying to keep the cat-like grin of satisfaction from breaking across her face. Logan had disappeared only minutes before, preparing for the surprise he had in store for her. Even though she'd already figured out he was going to sing, her heart beat that much quicker as the lights dimmed and the announcement was made that the karaoke section of that night's entertainment was about to begin.

Dinner had gone well, considering they never actually managed to eat the dinner that now lay charred in Logan's garbage. Max had barely been at the penthouse ten minutes before they found themselves naked on the floor of the living room, re-learning each other's various pleasure spots.

A quick shower had turned into an hour long soak in luke warm water that neither of them noticed. Dressing had turned into undressing. 5:30 had become 8:00 before either of them realized more than an hour had passed.

Now, slightly late, a tad disheveled and wearing a silly grin, Max waited impatiently for Logan to begin.

The lights dimmed and the spotlight hit the stage, and Logan stepped up to the microphone. Max giggled softly as the stage lights glinted off Logan's glasses, and he cleared his throat, squinting until the lights were directed a shade lower, allowing him to see clearly. His eyes locked onto Max immediately, and a smile softened his features.

Without any preamble, the music began, and Logan nodded at Max, indicating he was singing only for her.

****

It's hard for me to say the things
I want to say sometimes
There's no one here but you and me
And that broken old street light
Lock the doors
We'll leave the world outside
All I've got to give to you
Are these five words when I

Thank you for loving me
For being my eyes
When I couldn't see
For parting my lips
When I couldn't breathe
Thank you for loving me
Thank you for loving me

****

His eyes radiated the emotions he sang, and Max's body tingled softly as she watched him. Her tongue wet her suddenly too dry lips, her arms crossing her chest as she held herself closely. Max had known a lot of emotion in her life: fear, pain, regret, hatred, but the one thing she knew so very little about was love.

Did she love Logan? Possibly. Probably. Definitely.

Did she believe Logan loved her?

Max blinked rapidly, trying to stop the tears threatening to fill her eyes as Logan stepped into the second verse.

****

I never knew I had a dream
Until that dream was you
When I look into your eyes
The sky's a different blue
Cross my heart
I wear no disguise
If I tried, you'd make believe
That you believed my lies

Thank you for loving me
For being my eyes
When I couldn't see
For parting my lips
When I couldn't breathe
Thank you for loving me

****

Max tried to keep her body still. She tried to stop the train of thought that was threatening to derail her already over charged senses. She'd known that one day she'd have a chance at finding a man that was more than just a hotboy out for a one-night stand, but she'd tried her hand at a long-term relationship less than two years before, and that had ended on a stale, bitter note. Still, something was different this time.

Logan knew exactly what Max was. He knew what she was capable of, what she's done and what was still likely to come. He knew that there were people chasing her that could force her to pick up and leave one day without any notice. He knew that being with her would be dangerous. Thing was, he didn't seem to mind, and that made him different.

He helped her when she needed help. Held her when she was alone and hurting. Didn't back down when she threatened to kick his ass. Didn't take back the things he said in the heat of the moment. Somehow that made what they were different.

Logan looked at her and didn't see a barcode, he saw a girl.

****

You pick me up when I fall down
You ring the bell before they count me out
If I was drowning you would part the sea
And risk your own life to rescue me

Lock the doors
We'll leave the world outside
All I've got to give to you
Are these five words when I

Thank you for loving me
For being my eyes
When I couldn't see
You parted my lips
When I couldn't breathe
Thank you for loving me

****

So, as Max watched Logan sing, his soft, gravelly voice making her toes curl in the combat boots she wore to accentuate the too tight jeans and black tank top, she was brought full circle in her questioning.

Did Logan love her?

Judging by the look in his eyes as he gazed down at her, a look so full of reverence and desire that her breathing stopped momentarily, Max would have to say yes. She'd been a fool not to have seen it long before; he never said the words, but he spoke his love in every action he took for her and her family.

Yeah, Logan loved her. She smiled, and then she laughed, her shining eyes raising to meet his gaze, an answering smile upon his own face. Some weird weight she hadn't noticed before lifted off her chest, and suddenly Max knew what it meant to be loved. All those warm fuzzy feelings she'd tucked far away, the glances that made her tremble, the kisses that made her heart stop, and the smiles that made her breathing hitch. All of that was love, but not just love, it was first love.

****

When I couldn't fly
Oh, you gave me wings
You parted my lips
When I couldn't breathe

Thank you for loving me
Thank you for loving me
Thank you for loving me
Oh, for loving me

****

As Logan finished his song, Max got to her feet and moved to the back of the stage, waiting for him to descend the stairs.

She'd heard that one's first love could be the sweetest and most painful love of all, but that suddenly didn't scare her as much as it once would. At least if she and Logan didn't work out in the end, they'd have given the whole love thing a good go.

She had her arms open, and he met her embrace moments after catching sight of her. His face was buried in her hair, his hand softly stroking her back as Max rested her head against his powerful chest and listened to his strong heart beat.

"So when you said you wanted to thank me, you really weren't joking."

He chuckled softly, wrapping his arm around her waist as they made their way to the doorway. "I thought I should get it over with before Original Cindy found an excuse to drag me up there with a song of her choice."

Max pouted softly, feigning disappointment. "So you really didn't mean it?"

He shook his head, dragging her out into the night and the cool air. "I chose the song didn't I?"

"So you sing pretty good for a guy who spends all his time behind a computer. What other secrets are you keeping from me?" Her eyes sparkled softly as they walked towards the Aztec.

"I don't know, Max, guess you're going to have to stick around if you want to find them all out."

"You propositioning me, Logan Cale?"

He flashed her a wicked grin. "Is it gonna get your ass in the car any faster?"

"I don't think I'm gonna answer that."

Logan's stomach grumbled and Max raised an eyebrow. He shrugged. "Didn't get a chance to eat dinner. Some strange girl seduced me and made me burn a perfectly good chicken."

Max climbed into the passenger seat, and leaned back, peeking out the door, her face the mask of a mock glare as she met his gaze. "You're cheatin' on me already? And here I thought you were only cooking for me, almost mistook it for true love."

He leaned down and captured her chin in one hand, his eyes meeting hers in a serious gaze. "There is only you, Max. Since the day we met there has only been you."

Max blushed and tried to lower her eyes, but Logan tipped her chin and made her look at him.

"Believe what I sang. I do thank you for loving me, because otherwise I would have just let myself fade away hoping that one day you would see what was standing before you. I love you, Max."

At a loss for words, Max merely smiled, unable to bring herself to voice the words so early into their relationship. He nodded his understanding and stepped away from the door, walking around to the driver's side. He started the car and they began the short drive back to his penthouse and the continuation of their uninterrupted weekend alone.

"Y'know, I wouldn't have figured you for a Bon Jovi fan."

He grinned. "Really? Must be another of my many secrets you've yet to uncover."

Max slipped closer to him, sliding her fingers under his sweater, and across the strong, flat planes of his stomach. "We'll just have to see how many I get outta you in the next couple days."

"And how do you expect to do that, Miss Guevara?"

She smiled softly and slipped her hand down to his thigh, squeezing gently. "Oh, I have my ways, Mr. Cale. When I'm done with you, you'll be singing a different tune."

Logan smiled, and softly, just loud enough for Max to hear, began to sing once more.

****

And then I saw her face
Now I'm a believer
There's not a trace
Of doubt in my mind
I'm in love
I'm a believer
I couldn't leave her if I tried

****

End.