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11 Like the sweet boy next door?

MAYA pov

Angry tears roll down my cheeks when I storm out of the restaurant. I want to believe that Alex hasn’t been cheating on me, I really do and I did until I got the last photos that were dated. All memories of Simon and my sister, my mother´s death and everything that happened after that came back to me and those photos turned my world upside down.

I dry away the tears with an angry movement of my hand and stare up at the storm gray sky. Apart of me just wants to go back in there and wrap my arms around him and kiss the pain away but I need a little time and space.

Sure, I have packed all my stuff and I did it in anger but I won’t move them, not yet. I need to think first and I won’t be sleeping home tonight. I take a deep breath, trying to calm all the feelings inside me when I hear a voice behind me.

“Maya, are you okay?”

I turn around and face Max who looks at me with a worried expression.

“I will be.”

I tell him knowing that it is true, I will always be fine no matter how much it hurts right now. He gives me a soft smile and then the rain starts to fall. It pours down like someone opened a hole in the sky

“Come on, I have my car here.”

He tells me and we run to his big black SUV and jump inside. He pulls off his suit jacket and then he hands me a few napkins that he has in the middle console of his car. I dry the water off my face and hands.

“Fucking great.”

I mutter and drag my fingers through my now tangled wet hair.

“You still look absolutely beautiful.”

He tells me and I raise an eyebrow at him

“You are such a smooth talker.”

I tell him and he chuckles

“I would like to call myself a man that voices his opinions.”

I give him an amused smile and he starts the engine never taking his eyes off me. It is hard to believe that he is Lukes brother, even though they have a few similar features they are far from alike in anything.

“So Miss Frost where can I take you?”

I say and smile

“Yours and Alex's house it is then.”

I say and shake my head and give him the address to my mother’s house, my real home. No matter where in the world I am that will always be my real home. When he pulls up on the short driveway, I realize how much I have missed this house.

I haven’t been here much since Simon and Tim kidnapped me. I have barely been alone for a second partly because Alex is so worried and partly because I was too scared. I am not scared anymore, at least I think so.

I’m not scared being alone during the days, but Alex has always been home every night, and when he has been out of town working then Liv and I have been having girls night drooling over some hot guy on TV. I wonder how many times we have watched Magic Mike or 365 days now? I turn to Max and see that he is looking at me.

“Is this where you grew up?” Max asks me
“After my mother left my dad yes. It's not much, but I love it.”

“I’m sure it holds a lot of good memories.”

He says and I give him a genuine smile

“It does, my mother was amazing.”

“She died, cancer that is why I moved back here from Stockholm.”

I don’t know what it is with Max that makes it so easy to talk to him. Sure, Alex and I had a rocky start, but after everything that happened, we have been talking about everything… until those photos.

“Thank you for saving me from the rain and the ride.”

I say and he smiles softly

“No need to thank me, just say the word and I will come for you.”

A blush creeps up my cheeks and I nod, looking back at the house I ask him.

“Do you want to come inside? I don’t have much to offer since I haven’t been here for a while, but I’m sure there are a few beers and a cheap bottle of wine somewhere.”

“Cheap wine is my favorite drink.”

He tells me and I laugh

“Yeah, I bet it is since Italy has the world’s best wine.”
“See, another reason for you to move there. Wine, food and me it don’t get any better than that”

He tells me with a wink and I roll my eyes at him before I step out of the car and walk up to the front door with Max walking behind me. When I step inside I wrinkle my nose, it smells dusty and the air is stagnant.

“Sorry about the smell and dust I haven’t been home for a few months now.”

“Why do you call it your home when you live with Alex?”

I turn to look at him. He is damn hot not as hot as Alex and Luke but definitely hot. He sure as shit doesn’t look like a mafia guy and he is sweet, like the boy next door with a smooth tongue.

“It will always be my home.”

I say and walk into the house and open some windows and the door that leads out to the backyard.

“Aren’t you and Alex a couple anymore?”

He asks and my chest starts to ache painfully when I turn to look at him

“I… I’m not sure yet.”
“If you want to talk about it”

He says and I look into his eyes that have the same colors as Lukes. I swallow hard when memories of me and Luke flash inside my head. Luke is… no, we are not going to think about sex now. Damn Alex for refusing to take me to Lash!

I know that he wants to be there, he craves it as much as I do. If he cheated on me is that the reason? Does he think that I am too damaged to make my own decisions? The thought makes me so angry that I just want to break something.

“No, not today. I just need a glass of wine.”

He smiles and follows me when I walk into the kitchen and take out two glasses and a bottle of wine. I pour the red liquid into his glass and give it to him before I serve myself.

“So Miss Frost tell me why you are working for my brother? He isn’t exactly the nicest of guys”

I laugh and take a sip of the wine and lean against the counter.

“I have grown to like him and I love my job. Why do you… you know the mafia?”

He chuckles and walks closer and lean his hip against the counter with a smirk

“First of all that is all I know, I grow up in the family second I enjoy it.”

“But… you do illegal things?”

“I’m not going to tell you that we never do that, but the Cosa Nostra is now ninety percent a legal business. It’s not like back in the days, just like everything else we develop, we have become smarter and more sophisticated.”

I nod and remember reading a book about an ex-member that said the exact same thing.

“So this illegal part, what do you do?”

I ask not knowing if I am pushing my luck, but something tells me that Max wouldn’t hurt me.

“I don’t do human trafficking, I do respect human lives.”

I nod and look out the window and bite my lower lip. He steps closer, so close that I can feel the heat from his body. I tense up and meet his eyes, shit.

“Are you scared of me?”

He asks and takes a strand of my hair between his fingers and swirl it around until I feel a small tug on my scalp. I swallow hard before I speak

“Do I have a reason to be?”

He chuckles and shakes his head then he let go of my hair

“No sweet Maya you don’t have a reason to be scared of me. I am not going to pretend that I’m not interested in you but I won’t do anything unless you want it.”

“But you are dangerous..”

I say and feel a nervous flutter in my stomach

“Yes Maya, I am but not to you.”

“To Luke?”

I ask and hold my breath while waiting for his answer

“No. As long as he doesn’t do something very stupid of course but even though he makes a few stupid decisions sometimes I think he is smart enough to not cause me trouble.”

“What kind of stupid decisions?”

“First, he brought Logan here and into your lives, then he let you go and let his friend have you”

He tells me and I narrow my eyes at him. What is it with men that don’t think that I am capable of making my own decisions?

“First of all he didn’t let Alex have me that was my decision and how do you know these things? It's not like it’s written down somewhere for anyone to read.”

“I know who Logan is, we grew up not far from each other, and when I found out that Luke and I are brothers I asked Logan about him. He told me about Luke, Alex, and you. Logan really likes you but don’t look at it as a good thing because it is not. I might be dangerous, but Logan is even worse, he is unpredictable and no one knows what he will come up within that fucked up mind of his.”

“I can’t say that I like him… The first time I met him I was terrified, I still am but he saved my life...”

“If he tries to contact you let me know and I will deal with him right away. No offense, but either Alex and Luke are capable of handling him, there is only one way of stopping someone like Logan and that is a way that I doubt that anyone of them will ever walk.”

“You make it sound like it is a bad thing?”

I say and he gives me a smirk

“No it is not a bad thing, all I am saying is that if you ever need anything you let me know.”

“Thank you Max.”

Max stays for hours and we laugh and talk. Of course, he is flirting, but he never takes it further and sure I am flattered, but Alex and I haven’t broken up and I would never cheat on him. I could never do that to him because I know how it feels to be the one standing there feeling like an idiot.

Max calls a cab because he has been drinking and kiss my cheek when he says good night. After closing and locking the doors I crawl down in bed with an unhappy sigh. I miss Alex even though it just has been a few hours since I saw him.

The next morning when I come to the office, I hear sobs coming from Lukes's office and I walk inside without knocking. I look surprised at Luke, who has his arms wrapped around a blond woman that has her back turned towards me, but I’m sure that it is the same woman from the other day.

“I am so sorry and from today you will be staying at my house.”

He tells her and I narrow my eyes. I look at Luke like I have seen him for the first time and he gives me a harsh look that tells me to get out of there. A few minutes later Luke storms into my office his hair is a complete mess and he has an almost wild look in his eyes.

“I need to go home, I need to take Angelica home. This is the second time she has been hurt because of me. I even had security on her and I don’t understand how it could have happened, but someone was in her house and broke her arm.”

“Oh, I am so sorry to hear that. Of course, you should go home, don’t worry I will handle everything here and I have your number if there is something urgent.”

“Thank you, Maya”

He says and storms back to his office. A shiver runs through me when I think about Simon and Tim. You can say what you want about Luke but when it comes to it he is a really good friend.

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