A/N: Ok, so it's been a while, but that is probably mainly because the stories on my story alert in the Mediator section haven't been updated... So my awful case of writers block hasn't really shifted. At all.

BUUT THIS IS A LONGER CHAPTER, SO FEAR NOT! (although it is really quite late... or early depending on which way you look at it, so I'm not sure if I'm happy with it... Might be edited later...)


Live Dance and Hope: Yeah, I hope to pull it all together soon... It'll help when I actually have the faintest idea where I'm going with it... :L PM me if you have any ideas... O.o

Guest: Eh, yeah, it's been a... fairly long wait... But it IS longer so... yeah. Happy? :D

Alveepurple: Well, I would reaaally like it if you started writing as well! ;D Actually, you may already be, and I just haven't read it... I am now officially going onto your profile to see (when I've finished this...) So I hope you like this...

Sorry for the wait everyone!


Manipulation-Persuasion in the cruellest sense

'Hey Babe.' An arm went around my waist as I was standing by my locker getting all my books for the day.

'Max! Crap, you scared me…' He chuckled darkly.

'Yeah, well, that's what I'm good at, you know? Getting under people's skin…' His hands slid down my bare arms.

Oh boy, did I know it.

'Hey, what's happening between you and Slater by the way? You looked like you had an argument in the car park.'

'What? Oh… yeah…' I thought back to when my emotions were so raw that I hadn't minded what came out of my mouth… I hadn't cared if what I said hurt.

'Look, Susie-'

'Don't call me that.'

'-sorry, Suze. Look, I don't care what's going on, alright? He lives near you, right? So I don't care if you share rides. You shouldn't be scared of telling me stuff.'

Let's be fair here, who, exactly, is the murderer out of you two? I'm sure that will give me a good idea of who I should trust- even if I'm mad as hell with him right now.

'Oh I think I should.' I winked at him. 'You're far too dangerous to be trusted, Mr Team.'

'Oh, really?' Smirking, he trapped me in between his arms, pinning me to the lockers.

'Oh, I think so…' Ducking under one of his arms I darted into homeroom with only one thought on my mind.

Paul would have anticipated me escaping… He would have managed to stop me.

'Suze! Team's here!' I heard Dopey yell from somewhere in the house-probably the kitchen, that boy eats like there's no tomorrow.

Sliding into my heels I gave my little ensemble a nod of approval in my full length mirror and dashed downstairs.

'Bye mom!'

'Bye Susie! Be safe!'

'Aren't I always?'

Sliding out of the door I opened the car door.

'Hi, babe, you look gorgeous.' Max smirked, without even looking at me.

'You too.' I felt uneasy; there was something that just wasn't right… He was only human so why did I feel so…Vulnerable?

'Mmm, alright sweetheart let's go.' Whoa, not wasting anytime are we Mr Team?

We pulled up at Kieran's house about ten minutes later; the whole ride had been in silence. Talk about awkward.

The party seemed to be in full swing though, as we entered I saw two kegs and people everywhere.

How many people were even invited to this thing?

'Suuuuze!' Kieran staggered over to me and Max with a cup sloshing with beer. 'You made it! It's gonna be mental tonight!'

Max wrapped his arm around me, pulling me away from Kieran.

'Hi, mate.'

'Teaaam! Hell yeah, dude! You've arrived! Someone was lookin' for you and I was like, he said he were comin'!'

Casting an amused look at me he nodded, 'Cool, man, I'll be sure to look them up later. I think some more people have arrived.'

'Oh my GOD! TRUE! Gotta be somewhere! Bayum!'

He ran off in some random direction.

'Wow, he was gone…'

'I know right, well let's get a drink in you, Simon.'

Ten minutes, seven shots and three beers later I was sitting on Max's lap with his hands all over me; the room had started to sway quite violently so I was really quite dizzy from all the alcohol when I heard it.

Stop, Suze.

'Huh? Did you hear that, baby?' I asked Max whose face was currently in my neck-well practically eating my neck to be honest, but still.

'What?' He whispered against my ear lobe before taking it in between his lips.

'Uh, nothing, don't worry.'

'I say,' He moved down under my jaw, kissing along it. 'that we have another round of shots and then go upstairs… Just you and me…'

Now, in my normal state I would have freaked out at this point, I had only met the guy a few days ago. But I was drunk, so it wasn't nearly as shocking an idea as it should have been.

Suze, get away from him.

I was sure I heard it then. But I made no effort to heed the warnings as Max poured me a shot of tequila.

Simon, I mean it.

'No.' I whispered, and downed the shot in one.

Getting up, Max grabbed my hand and pulled me away, giggling I went along with it without caring.

I hadn't felt this good in so long…

'Oi, Suze!' I turned to see Luke beckoning me over. 'Join us for double suicidal shots! Come on!'

'Suzeee! Max tried to pull me back towards him and I laughed.

'Go up, I'll meet you there in five, okay?' I kissed his cheek.

'I'll be waiting…' Pausing to wink at me he wondered off into the crowd.

Turning, I grinned at Luke, 'Really think you can top me?'

'Hell yeah!'

'I really have to go!'

'Nooo, Simon! Come on!'

I stood, staggering slightly and managed to make my way to the bottom of the stairs… Ooh, this was going to be a bit harder than normal…

I had managed two steps when I heard giggling in the kitchen, deciding that it would be a lot easier than attempting the stairs again I made my way along the hall to find Max in a tight embrace with a blonde girl.

Both of their tops were on the floor and her skirt was heading the same way judging from his hands fumbling to find that zip at the back.

'Well, I knew someone was looking for you, but I had no idea you were so close.' I spoke, cold hatred lining every syllable.

The blonde girl tried to break away, staring wide eyed at me. 'Oh my God!'

'You left me waiting, Suze. Nobody keeps me waiting.'

'Well, I can see this is going to be a problem…'

'Might just be, yeah. Depends on what you plan to do about it.' He pulled the blonde back towards him, against his chest.

The thing was, even in my drunken state, I didn't even care about him. He was nothing. I was concerned about the blonde chick he was currently holding oh, so close to his bare chest.

Simon, get out of there, or I'm coming in. I mean it. Listen to me for once in your life. He's not going to hurt her, but he may well hurt you. Get out, now.

I clutched my head, staring around wildly and then glaring back at Max.

'I don't know what the hell you think you're doing, but-'

Just as I was about to leap at him to punch the living daylights out of him an arm looped around my waist, holding me back.

'Stop, Suze.' Paul whispered in my ear. 'Don't.'

'Lemme go!' I thrashed around, his arm constricting tighter around me.

'Sorry about this, she just doesn't think when she's drunk.' Paul called over my shoulder at Max and the blonde. 'I'll get her home if you want?'

'That might be best.' Max spoke with hatred staring at me. 'We'll talk about this either tomorrow or on Monday alright, Suze?'

'Done, alright, time to go, Suze…' Pulling me out of the door and down the corridor I heard someone call my name.

'Oh, and Suze? I'm not sure if I can make tomorrow… I'm sure you'll understand.'

'Oh, like I still want to.' I shouted back.



'Alright! Come on, Simon! We're leaving now.' Paul growled at me, and his voice was just plain deadly.

We didn't speak for most of the journey home, there was too much friction between us to strike up a conversation like we used to.

'My mom was expecting me and Brad to sleep over…' I muttered.

Glancing at me before turning his eyes back on the road, Paul answered, 'Yeah, well do you really think I'm driving you home? Oh, I bet your mother would love to see you in this state.'

'Not-but where are we-?'

'My place. My parents are away for the weekend in New York and Jack will be asleep so he won't hear us come in. Although I'm sure my parents don't care as much as yours do when you turn up at midnight drunk.'

'You shouldn't be driving…'

Turning, he glared at me. 'Unlike some, Simon, I wasn't downing shots all night. I have had two beers and that's been my action for tonight.'


'God, if you could've controlled yourself…' He stopped the car and opened my door for me.

Clicking my seatbelt I tried to stand and managed to stagger three paces to my left.

'Look at you! You can't even stand!'

'Yeah? Well at least I had fun! More that I can apparently say for you!'

'I was bloody looking after you for most of the night! Not that you ever actually listened!'

'I don't need LOOKING AFTER!'

'Really?' He scoffed. 'I find that hard to believe, judging from the state of you right now. I told you THIS MORNING, Team is bad news! Do you even bloody believe me NOW?'

'No, do you know what I think? I think you're irritated that Team is probably having a one-night stand with the blonde right now and that you couldn't get any action for the night. That's what I think! You're always jealous of other people aren't you, Slater?'

'Really, Simon?' His voice lowered to a deadly whisper. 'Do you really believe that? Because if you think I'm jealous of Team, then you really don't understand me or Seattle very well at all.'

We'd got closer, glaring at each other in hatred, loathing, determination and, oh, I don't know.

I tried to look up, directly into his eyes, but I staggered back from the dizziness hitting the car.

Marching up to me he grabbed my shoulders to steady me and I felt a jolt of electricity zap through me.

'Damn…' He whispered. 'Even now?'

We met half-way.

Pulling me closer, his arms wrapped around me tightly as my hands went to either side of his face, trying to get closer. Too bad he couldn't exactly get any closer.

His lips against mine were vicious, taking over with an almost overwhelming hatred.

He pulled me over to the front door, never taking his lips from mine and fumbled with his key trying to locate the lock.

I kissed his neck, wrapping my arms and legs around him, until I heard the lock click.

Holding me with one arm, he made it inside and somehow successfully locked the door before making his way upstairs to what I guessed was his room although I couldn't see without any of the lights on.

'You make me so mad sometimes, Simon.' He growled against my lips.

'I know.' I gasped back, trying, desperately, to find some oxygen.

'I don't think you realise the effect you have on me…' His lips left mine to move all over my neck.

Oh, God.

I pulled his shirt off, his brown skin was everywhere…

'Do you know how close I came to killing that idiot, Team, tonight?' He asked between kisses. 'God, when he said he wanted you to go upstairs with him…'

'You were listening?' I panted as his lips went further down into my cleavage.

'No, his mind was practically screaming his intentions to the world…' Straightening up, he kissed my forehead, looking down at me with a mixture of anger and worry. 'If you'd gone… Oh, I'm going to thank Luke so much tomorrow.'

I was going to reply, but his lips met mine again.

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