Maxie Jones had never been one to do the right thing until Damian Spinelli came along. Sometimes she cursed her best friend for suddenly helping her grow a conscious, something her sainted sister had never helped her do. If angels like Georgie Jones and Robin Scorpio had managed to instill a sense of guilt in her for not being perfect, it was amazing that it had taken the unconditional devotion of an awkward computer hacker who worker for the mob to make her feel bad about the wrongs she had done to so many people. However, these days, she only had to conjure up the image of his wide-eyed innocence and she would immediately find herself doing the right thing. It was really starting to get on her nerves.
On the top of her regret list was the man she considered her father in every way that counted, Mac Scorpio. He had taken on the role of father for two virtuous brunettes and one wayward blonde when their own parents had deemed them too insignificant to stick around for her. Maxie's own parents had never really bothered to make her or Georgie a priority, always off on some secret adventure or caring for other family members in the Deep South. She used to hold it against Frisco and Felicia, but she had recently decided that she didn't care. .They were only her family by biology. The only family she still had left was Mac, Robin, Patrick and Emma. Jason and Spinelli had become another kind of family as well, the beginning of the one she knew she was going to have to build for herself.
Just below Mac on the list was Lucky and Elizabeth Spencer. While she still had no use for the wholesome nurse, Maxie still regretted her part in the demise of their marriage. She knew that it wasn't completely her fault and that Lucky had become an addict long before he had turned to her. However, she hadn't helped things at all and had admittedly made the situation much worse with her constant ploys and manipulations to land him in bed. Old crushes die hard, and at the ripe age of 18, Maxie had been willing to do just about anything to get Lucky's attention. She was in a dark place in her life after losing Jesse, and the comforting arms of the lone Spencer son had been her only solace. Maxie had just wanted to feel love, and when she would lie in his embrace of their afterglow, she could almost convince herself it was real. That was, until Lucky would nearly knock her out of bed trying to reach for the menacing orange bottle of pills waiting for him on the nightstand.
As for Elizabeth, Maxie still maintained that she was a hypocrite for all the lies she had told about the true paternity of her son and all the hiding she had done when she was secretly seeing Jason. Anyone who spent enough time around the Morgan penthouse knew exactly what was going on, and there had been no frequent visitor as Maxie. She had pieced the puzzle together easily but elected to keep her mouth shut. She felt a loyalty to Jason for all that he had done to protect her and Spinelli. She knew that the cold and calculating mobster would put his life on the line for her, and he deserved her discretion. However, it didn't mean that Maxie didn't make insinuations every once in awhile in a vain attempt to throw it back in the nurse's face. As nice as she had become since befriending Spinelli, she still liked watching the woman squirm once in awhile.
Perhaps the only other two people that made her list that were still living were Spinelli and Lulu Spencer. Even though she still felt like sleeping with Logan Hayes had been somewhat justified after what Lulu had done to her sister, apart of her still hated that it ever happened. Not only had she broken Cooper's heart, she had destroyed Logan's relationship with her blonde adversary. That had been the beginning of the end for Logan, and it likely led to him turned into a psychopath who couldn't see past his own jealousy to the reality his life had become. Maxie knew that she had a part in turning Logan into the broken man he was in the end, and she would always regret that she hadn't tried to help him sooner. It was after his death that she pledged not to make the same mistake twice and started to truly befriend Lulu. She wouldn't let the other blonde lose herself like Logan had in the end.
As for Spinelli, he had had to endure the brunt of her selfish actions in the past few months. There were few people that Maxie really allowed to get close to her anymore. After losing Jessie, Coop, Logan and Georgie in the past couple years, she couldn't' justify having to go through that hurt again. She was forever telling her best friend that she was cursed and that he would eventually leave her like the others had. However, with the kind and gentle soul that he was, Spinelli was always ready with a promise of undying devotion and reassurance that he wasn't like the others. Sometimes Maxie could actually believe him until she would catch a glimpse of her reflection in the mirror and the cruel reality of who she really was would come crashing back down on her.
That stark realization is what had led her here, pinned beneath a drunken and sweaty mob kid on the dingy couch left over from the previous tenant in the rundown apartment she shared with Lulu. Johnny Zacharra moved over her expertly, his lips hitting all the right notes to make her body sing. However, she couldn't let herself really enjoy the moment because every time she met his eyes, she was reminded of the circumstances that had brought them both here. They had been meeting like this regularly since they had hooked up the first night at the garage. Everything was off kilter since the tragedies at General Hospital, and Maxie was using Johnny as a way to forget how one night had changed everything.
They still hadn't slept together, but they had definitely teetered dangerously close to the edge during many drunken makeout sessions. He would always show up on the nights when Lulu was working with Kate armed with a twelve-pack of beer. They would down a few quickly before one or the other would make the first move. It didn't take long before the empty bottles and discarded items of clothing would litter the floor. They'd go on like that for hours until one of them regained their faculties enough to stop. However, Maxie knew that it was getting harder for her to stop, and by the frustrated grunt Johnny had offered last night, he shared in her sentiment.
"We have to stop," she insisted breathlessly, even as she craned her head to the side to allow Johnny access to the sweet spot where her neck met her clavicle. His tongue traced a delicious little maze along her dewy skin before making its way back up the column of her neck. Her fingers threaded through his dark hair, hungrily bringing his mouth back up to hers. Maxie moaned as Johnny darted his tongue past her frosted lips and tangled for control with hers. "Johnny, seriously…"
"Shut up," he grunted in a low voice as he pinned her flat against the couch and covered her body completely with his own. He liked the way she reacted to him, her pulse quickening as his hands sought out a new home beneath the hem of her flimsy sweater. Her legs wrapped around his strong torso instinctively in a vain effort to pull him closer to her. "God, you feel so good."
Maxie muttered made her mutual feelings on the subject while Johnny ran his warm hands further up her stomach. His fingers worked expertly over her, eliciting all those guttural reactions that he had come to love from her. He hadn't done more than sleep next to Lulu since they had gotten out of General Hospital after the quarantine. Lulu just didn't seem up to it, and once he had started coming to Maxie, he wasn't either. He just wanted this. It was easy. It was satisfying. It was right.
Just as he was about to maneuver her sage green v-neck over her head, his cell phone began to rattle across the makeshift coffee table the girls had made with an old trunk Maxie had found in a flea market downtown. The blonde groaned as she pushed him off of her. She stalked across the room as he answered it, both of them knowing who it was without having to look. "Hey, Lulu."
"Hey, I just wanted to let you know that we're probably not going to be able to get out of Manhattan tonight," Lulu informed him from the other end of the line. The snow was really starting to come down, and the list of lights cancelled out of LaGuardia was now twice as long as the ones they were allowing to take off. "Kate and I are just going to get rooms at the Waldorf tonight, and I will call you in the morning when I know something more. I just didn't want you to wait up and worry about me."
"Okay, well, thanks for calling," Johnny replied, wondering if he would have even noticed when his girlfriend hadn't come home. For someone that claimed to love Lulu, he had become kind of apathetic about her presence in recent days. "I guess I'll see you tomorrow."
"Alright," she agreed. She hated the distance in his voice, knowing that she had a big part in putting it there. Johnny had given up so much for her, and she had started pushing him away. She knew that without her, he had no one other than his sister. "I love you."
Johnny looked up at where Maxie was leaning gingerly in the doorway to the kitchen. Static sizzled between them as his dark bedroom eyes met her hooded blue ones. "I love you."
Without another word, Johnny disconnected the call and threw the phone on the living room carpet with an unceremonious thud. Maxie was on top of him two seconds later, her sweater removed before she even made it to him. They fell into a kissing tangle on the couch, nothing but a mess of tangled arms and legs. Maxie pulled back just long enough to yank off his own black sweater and throw it across the room. His nimble fingers removed her black lace bra without much trouble as she came back against them, their bare chests pressed together. "You're so warm," he sighed deeply as she placed a sinful trail of kisses along his jaw. "Dammit, why do you have to taste so good?"
"Just good enough to make it worth it," Maxie promised him as she moved her hands down to his belt buckle. She unclasped it without breaking the kiss, parting only to whip out the expensive black leather piece and toss it to the side like she had his shirt. His hand crept along her thigh, dipping just below the hem of her short skirt. "You know you can go higher."
"I prefer the slow build-up," he reminded her cockily before thrusting his center against hers. She groaned involuntarily at his body's obvious reaction to her. It had been months since she had been with anyone other than Spinelli. While the Jackal had truly mastered the art of making love, he had little skill when it came to really ravaging a woman. Maxie was the kind of girl who liked it fast and dirty, without apology or reservation. She liked the fear of getting caught, the adrenaline of muffled cries of pleasure, the bruises garnered in the heat of the moment that she wore like a badge of honor the next day. Johnny understood that part of her, the one that felt like sex was sometimes a punishment. It might have looked like they were using each other to the outside world, but Maxie and Johnny understood that they were the only ones that could really each other.
Johnny's hand crept dangerously further up her leg before she clenched it tightly between her legs to stop him. The mob son bit her bottom lip in frustration. "What the hell, Jones?"
"I'm not Lulu," she reminded him seriously. She pulled back enough to meet his eyes so that she could really emphasize her point. "This isn't about love. I'm not going to be some dutiful little girlfriend who follows you around and hangs on your every word. I'm selfish. I take what I want without any apology. I'll tell you lies and make you regret things. I just thought I should give you fair warning what you're getting into here if you sleep with me."
"Thank God for that," he muttered. The last thing he needed was another naïve romantic in his life like Lulu. Maxie was like him; a cynical realist who had been jaded and hardened by the hand life had dealt to them. "It's just sex, Jones. I'm not looking for someone else who I'm going to let down. I don't need the truth or the apologies or the devotion. Hell, I don't even want it. I just want to use you for the next twenty minutes to forget."
"Twenty minutes?" she scoffed. "Really, Zacharra, twenty minutes?"
"Forty-five minutes, an hour, whatever," he laughed despite himself. "The point is that I get it Maxie. I don't need your warnings. You and me, we're on the same page. No one gets attached, no one apologies, no one has regrets. It's about feeling good in the here and now."
Neither of them said another word as they resumed kissing. Before she knew it, Maxie had shed the last few items of clothing so that she was completely entangled in a naked Johnny. The only sounds that filled the dim apartment was the occasional groan and grunt, followed by a curse word that managed to escape from gritted teeth. By the time Johnny managed to retrieve the condom he had discreetly slipped beneath the cushion of the couch, they were both beyond the point of no return.
A full hour later, Johnny and Maxie lay sprawled on the bare floor, inches away from each other and not touching. There was no cuddling in the afterglow or sweet nothings whispered into the night air. Instead, the two sinners lay staring at the ceiling, both of them suddenly nervous to make the next move. Finally, Maxie rolled her eyes to herself and opened her mouth to break the tension. "Can I just say, wow?"
Johnny propped himself up on his elbow and turned to her with a sly grin. "I know, I'm pretty impressed with our performance myself," he mused. He'd slept with his share of women in the day, but few possessed the sexual chemistry he undeniably felt with his feisty blonde companion. "That thing you did near the end, that is to be congratulated. That definitely requires some practiced skill."
"If you're nice to me, I just might teach it to you some time," she joked as Johnny leaned over her. The moment became thick with something more than she was willing to feel. "So, I guess I should be getting to bed. With Lulu in New York, Kate's going to depend on me to open the office early in the morning."
"Yeah," Johnny replied as he pulled back, leaning on his heels as he watched her start to gather her clothes strewn around the room. Maxie didn't even make any move to cover her body up. She was brazen as she strolled around the living room naked, leaning down periodically to toss his jeans and socks his way.
"Thanks for the fun, Zacharra."
She smiled at him, hoping that he would allow her to use him again when she needed to forget. "I'll hold you to that," she confirmed with a saucy wink. "Goodnight, Johnny."
Johnny stayed quiet as Maxie made her exit toward her bedroom. He sat there in the living room for a moment longer, ignoring the vibration of his cell phone on the trunk again. He still wasn't quite sure what had happened here tonight, but something in his gut told him that it was more than either of them were willing to admit. The last thing he needed was to go falling for another blonde, especially when his life was still so entangled with the last one. Johnny brushed it off as he grabbed his clothes and headed toward the shower. It was just another lie he would tell himself. This meant nothing. She means nothing.