The wait is over! I'm so excited to finally bring all of you another Jason & Maxie story and this one is already looking like it will be my favorite of the 3!

Tired of Pretending

Summary: With no other options, Maxie Jones agrees to marry Jason Morgan and her life is immediately altered. She would have never thought it would turn out to be like this.

Characters: Jason Morgan & Maxie Jones; Diane Miller; Johnny Zacchara; Mac Scorpio; the rest of Port Charles

Disclaimer: I don't own anything GH related, except for an old tape of General Hospital's Greatest Weddings. If I did, I wouldn't be spending time writing fanfics. :)

I would love to hear from all of you, so please review once you're done reading! I hope everyone enjoys this one. --Melinda

Chapter 1

May 21st, 2009

I've never written a diary before. It seemed so stupid, so pointless. As I sit here now, I'm beginning to see how it could help...

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"Maximista is looking lovely tonight. Have I mentioned that yet?" Spinelli smiled lovingly at the object of his affection. He'd been in love with her for quite some time and he wanted nothing more than to tell her that. He'd decided that he would tell her that night. He would finally make his move and pray to God that she would return his sentiment.

Maxie smiled and squeezed Spinelli's hand tighter. "You have...but I certainly don't mind hearing it again." He was so kind to her. So loving and so supportive. She'd grown close to him and was so grateful for his friendship. Damian Spinelli had changed her life.

"You know, you're really too kind to me," Maxie sighed as they walked along the docks, her head resting on his shoulder. I don't know what I'd do without you." She was tempted to go into her "essential person" speech yet again, but she figured Spinelli would be tired of hearing that. After all, she said that fairly often to anyway who questioned their relationship.

As Spinelli was about to respond, they heard a loud bang from around the corner. Maxie clutched onto her companion, a little frightened.

"What was that? Was that a gunshot?"

Spinelli gently covered Maxie's hand with his. "The Jackal will go investigate. There is no need to worry." He assured her with a small smile. It was the perfect opportunity to prove himself to her.

He'd tried in the past and failed miserably. But tonight, he felt, was different.

Maxie agreed to stay behind, which of course they both knew wouldn't last. She wasn't good at standing still or following directions, especially where Spinelli was concerned. She worried about him when he tried to prove he was some macho superhero.

After a quick kiss on the cheek from his beloved, Spinelli carefully rounded the corner into the unknown.

What happened next all seemed like a blur to Maxie. She could barely process the image of Spinelli on the ground, bleeding.

Her legs went limp as she ran to him, collapsing beside his lifeless body. In shock, she slowly lifted up her head to look into the eyes of the man responsible.

"How could you?!" Maxie screamed before breaking down into sobs that wracked her body. She placed her hands on her best friend's chest, feeling the warm blood that had soaked through his shirt and jacket.

The shooter watched helplessly, stunned by what had just happened. Spinelli was dead...because of him.

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May 21st, 2009 continued...

He's gone. My essential person, by best friend...is gone. It is difficult to even write those words, let alone speak them. I haven't yet—I'm too scared.

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The police arrived only a few minutes after the shooting, but Maxie was too upset to talk to them. Mac pulled her aside so the paramedics could transport Spinelli to the hospital and in turn, the morgue.

"Maxie, you need to tell me what happened." He pressured gently as he held his daughter in his arms. She was shaking and still sobbing. "Was there anyone else here? Did you see anything?"

Knowing it would be too much for her to handle at the moment, Mac decided to escort Maxie home so she could try and get some rest. It wasn't helping any for her to be at the scene of the crime. Even though it was somewhat dark outside, the pools of blood were clearly visible.

"I'm so sorry, sweetheart," he whispered, not sure what to say to comfort her. She'd been through so much; lost so many people over the past couple of years. Now she'd lost another and he was scared of how she would react.

Maxie wasn't known for her good choices in life. Many of her worst ones came out of grief. Her relationship with Lucky, a married man at the time, came out of Jesse's death. Her obsession with ruining Lulu's life came out of Georgie's death. Now with her "essential person" gone, there was no telling what she would do.

He was already going over possible scenarios in his head and he didn't like any of them.

"Let's get you home, okay?" He asked as he gently squeezed her tighter. She was still shaking and he swore to himself.

It was another mob-related death, it had to be. He was so sick of seeing them far too often in Port Charles, but nothing he tried to do to stop them worked. He'd become defeated and not very optimistic about the situation. Now that Spinelli's name had been added to the list, there would be even more pressure on him and the entire police force.

Mac had a quick word with one of his officers before he led Maxie to his car. He was tempted to talk to her while they walked, but he couldn't find the right words to say. They drove in silence back to her apartment with Maxie's sobs slowing down just a little.

He helped her out of the car and got her safely inside her apartment.

"I can stay for a while if you want." Mac offered softly, not sure what Maxie's response would be. He hoped she would want him to stay for his own peace of mind, but he knew Maxie. She was stubborn, just like her cousin, Robin, and just like him.

She simply shook her head and headed towards the bathroom to clean herself up. She was dirty and bloody and all she wanted to do was make it go away. Shutting the door behind her, she got the shower started before turning around to look at herself in the mirror.

The sight she saw horrified her. Her eyes were red and swollen, her new blouse smeared with blood. Another bout of sobs wracked her body, but she pulled herself together long enough to strip off her clothes and get into the steaming shower.

She scrubbed her body hard until her skin was raw. But the blood was gone. Maxie stood under the hot flow of water until it ran cold. Her petite body shivered as she finally stepped out of the shower, grabbing a plush towel to wrap around her.

After she dried off, she went into her room to change into some sweats. Once she was dressed, she found a notebook in a drawer of the desk in the living room and opened it slowly. Grabbing a pen, she started writing.

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...There was so much blood. It wasn't my first time seeing blood like that, but this time was the hardest to witness. Spinelli is dead and I don't know how I will go on. I know who killed him and that might be the hardest part to get over. I'm the only witness. I'm the only one who saw what happened to Spinelli.

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A knock at the door pulled Maxie from her focus and she slowly stood up from the desk. She took a deep breath and wiped at her eyes a little before opening the door slowly. When she saw who was on the other side of the door, she promptly slammed it in his face.

A female voice spoke next and Maxie was a little confused. She hadn't seen anyone else.

"Maxie, we need to speak with you. Please open the door."

Maxie placed the voice. Diane. She knew what they wanted and she shook her head before turning the deadbolt to lock the door. They would try and convince her to not say anything, she was positive. But Spinelli's death needed to be avenged. She was tired of not being able to do anything to help the people she loved that had died. This time, she would do something. She would do what was right and she would put Jason Morgan behind bars for good. It was where he belonged.

As she slowly made her way over to the couch, she shook her head again. Spinelli wouldn't want that. Jason had been his friend, his mentor. Even though a tragedy happened, Spinelli would never want Jason to pay for a mistake...especially if it involved him.

Knowing she wouldn't be able to avoid Jason or Diane for that matter very long, she moved back over to the door and turned the deadbolt in the opposite direction. Another deep breath later, she opened the door and stepped aside so the two of them could come inside.

"Is it safe to speak here tonight?" Diane asked as Maxie looked at Jason, anger in her eyes now.

Maxie nodded and turned her attention over to Diane. "Lulu's out babysitting for Elizabeth and Lucky."

"Perfect." Diane moved towards the couch and sat down as Maxie shut and locked the door once more. Jason stood off to the side, arms crossed.

Maxie tried her best to ignore him and keep herself focused on something else for the time being. She was furious and all she wanted to do was give Jason a piece of her mind. But she knew that would just turn into tears and she wanted to be strong for Spinelli. She needed to be.

"Will you just make this quick, please?" Maxie asked softly as she joined Diane on the couch. "My best friend was just killed. I'm really not in the mood to deal with this right now."

She noticed Jason's posture change when she spoke. It was clear that he was upset, but she really didn't care. It was his fault that Spinelli was dead. He had to deal with the consequences.

Diane nodded. "I understand what you're going through."

"No you don't." Maxie countered. "Have you seen your best friend get murdered in front of you?!" She asked loudly as she stood up. "I don't think you have. Have you seen your boyfriend get shot in the head? Have you seen your boyfriend hanging from a rope? Have you seen your sister strangled and laying on the cold cement?"

Diane looked down and sighed. "No, I haven't."

"Then you don't know a damn thing about what I'm going through. Please don't pretend that you do."

Diane nodded again. "Okay. Well, I assume you know that you're the only witness to the horrible accident that happened to Damian Spinelli tonight."

Maxie looked over at Jason who avoided her eye contact.

"Jason was there too."

"And that is why we are here now, Maxie. What happened tonight was an accident. Jason would have never meant to hurt Spinelli. You and I both know that."

"I want to hear Jason say that. I want to hear Jason own up to what he did to my best friend." She said softly, her voice threatening to break.

Jason lifted his head, about to speak, but Diane interjected. "That won't help anything right now, Maxie. There isn't much time. The police are well on their way to figuring something out and they will be tracking down Jason for questioning as soon as they can."

"And how is that my problem all of a sudden? This is Jason's fault! He deserves to pay for what he did! He took my best friend from me, Diane. Don't expect me to give a shit about anything that Jason wants right now." Maxie was fuming. How could this woman come into her home and expect everything to be fine? Maybe Jason didn't mean for any of this to happen, but it did.

"Maxie..." Jason started, his voice barely audible.

She shook her head quickly. "No, Jason. No. Nothing you could say right now will make Spinelli come back, so I don't even want to hear it. How can you even stand there and act like everything is fine?!" She was crying again and she swore softly to herself.

"Diane, would you give us a moment please?" He asked and the older woman obliged.

"I'll use the restroom." She stood up from the couch and Maxie pointed her in the right direction.

When she shut the door, Jason moved towards Maxie.

"I know that you don't want to talk to me and I really don't want to have to do this. I shouldn't have to do this..." He shook his head, not sure what he was trying to say. "I didn't mean to hurt him, Maxie."

"Why?" She asked, wiping at a few tears that trailed down her cheek. "How did this happen?" Maxie looked up at him with pleading eyes. "Please just explain it to me, Jason."

He looked away and ran his hand over his face with a sigh. "I can't explain it. I was there at the docks to meet someone..."

"And so you shot into the dark? That is so...that is so..."

"Irresponsible, stupid...you name it. Believe me, I've already gone through the whole dictionary of words to call myself."

"How can you be so nonchalant about all of this? Spinelli is dead, Jason. DEAD! He's never coming back to me and it is all your fault." She sobbed. He reached out to touch her shoulder but she shrugged him off. "Please don't touch me."

He nodded and moved away, not wanting to make matters worse.

"You know, I feel so stupid for thinking that maybe you don't deserve to go to jail. I mean, Spinelli wouldn't want that...but I want that." She explained. After all Jason had done during his career as an enforcer, it was only a matter of time before he ended up in jail. There'd been so many close calls, but he'd always managed to avoid jail time.

"Oh good, you're on the right subject." Diane smiled as she came out of the bathroom, obviously overhearing what she had just said. "We need to keep Jason out of jail, don't you agree?"

"They'll ask me to give a statement tomorrow. I'm the only one who saw anything, Diane. I'm the sole witness. It's not like they'll throw out my testimony." She didn't know much about the law, but she knew the basics. The police would do whatever they could to use her testimony against Jason once they discovered he was behind the shooting.

"Actually," she began, "They could. The law in New York states that a spouse is not legally obligated to testify against their significant other."

Maxie looked at Diane like she'd seen a ghost. "What are you suggesting? That Jason and I get married so he doesn't go to jail for murdering Spinelli?"

"Yes, Maxie, that is exactly what I'm suggesting."