C A I N
Tousled bed hair. Swollen lips. Was that...a guilty look on her eyes? Had Andy just left after a night with Max?
"Cain," she breathes, pushing her hair behind her ear almost nervously. Her eyes dart around me, and I offer out the roses.
"I saw him on my way in," I say, as she takes the flowers from me. "Andy."
Max bites her lip then, her teeth turning the soft pink flesh almost white as she does.
"Uh, I wasn't expecting him. Or you, to be fair. Thank you for these," she steps back, allowing me to walk past her. Two coffee cups and a half eaten croissant greet me, and I peer around the wall to the bedroom.
"Are you looking for something, Detective?" Max teases, picking up the coffee cups and disposing of one down the sink. The steam rises as she does, telling me that Andy either stayed overnight, and went out to get coffee, or he turned up, as Max had said.
"Nice of him to bring you breakfast," I say idly, my gaze flickering over her skimpy attire. I bet Andy had struggled being around her like that. I already had a semi.
"He's a nice guy," Max says, folding her arms across her chest defensively. "I didn't think I was seeing you until tomorrow."
I glance around her lounge, before slumping onto the sofa with a yawn.
"I know. I just wanted to see you," I confess, holding my hand out for her to join me. She hesitates, and I laugh gently. "Come here, Maxie."
Max swallows, the guilty look back in her eye as she avoids my hand, sitting beside me with a sigh.
"You've got a guilty look in your eyes," I say quietly, twisting my body to face her. The heat between us is palpable, and our hands inch towards one another, before I slip my palm beneath hers, my thumb stroking the crook of her hand softly. "Why is that?"
She looks up at me then, and I have to resist sweeping her into my arms and taking her there and then. Her tongue wets her lips, and she colours slightly as she speaks.
"Seeing two guys at once is not something I thought I'd ever do," she whispers, wincing.
"In all fairness, I don’t particularly like it either," I declare, moving my hand to tilt her chin up. "But I know why you are in this position."
"You do?" Max wrinkles her nose up, watching me with a curious expression on her face.
"Yeah," I smile, hooking my arm around her, bringing her body flush against mine.
God, that felt good.
"You and me, we were intimate on a level neither of us fully understood. Then you started to get feelings for me-"
'Modest, much?!" Max teases, looking up at me. My heart began to slam against my chest, and as I gaze down at her, my fingers stroke the soft skin above her elbow. For a moment Max appears to be having an inward battle, but I don't waste a second.
I drop my lips to hers, capturing the gasp that escapes her lips. She tastes faintly of mint, mixed with coffee and jam. Within seconds she is sitting on my lap, her arms wrapped around my neck. We've done this so many times before, it's a dance we are now masters of. Her hands are creeping up my shirt, her nails scratching lightly against my skin as she moans into my mouth.
"You're so fucking sexy," I mutter, my hands sliding to cup her ass. Things are getting heated, especially when I break the kiss to move my mouth to her throat.
"Cain," Max whimpers, her voice sending shivers down my spine.
"Mmm?" I mumble, dragging my lips back to hers. We're kissing again, and this time I'm pretty sure she can feel my hardness pressing into her.
"I'm not, we can't-"
"Maxie," I exhale, trying to tear myself away from her mouth to speak clearly. "We're adults. We can do whatever the fuck we want."
Max pushes me back then, and shakes her head with confusion. The woman was sitting on my lap, minutes away from going to bed with me. Now she was having feelings of guilt?
"It's not that, Cain. I like you. You know I do."
Finally, she was admitting it.
"I like you too," I admit, tugging her closer to me. Her sweet vanilla scent drove me insane, but all I did was bury my head in the crook of her neck. I inhaled, my fingers stroking her back softly.
"But I also like Andy," Max whispers, and I tense up.
That mother fucker.
"I know that," I mutter, lifting my eyes to hers. "That doesn't mean me and you are out of the equation, does it?"
Max looks surprised, her eyes widening as she shakes her head; no.
"So, when are you next seeing him?" I ask, trying not to growl.
"Um, it was Monday, but now it's tonight," Max swallows, gazing at me with a strange expression on her beautiful face.
"Tonight?" I echo. "But I'm picking you up from here tomorrow morning."
"I know, I'm not staying over," she says quickly. "I barely know him and it's only the third real date-"
"Please don't sleep with him, Maxie," I whisper, my grip tightening on her waist. "I mean, I can't tell you what to do-"
"No, but I understand," Max says, surprising me with her answer. "I'm not sleeping with either of you."
She glances down at my blatant hard on, and I hold my hands up defensively.
"That's just the effect you have on me," I argue, as her face breaks into a stunning smile.
How had I ever missed this girl?
"I'm not losing you before I've even had you, Maxie."
Max looks stunned, and even I'm not sure where my words came from. Maybe my Mum had used voodoo or something on me, and was controlling me from afar, desperately seeking grandkids.
"You've surprised me, Cain. I didn't expect you to turn up with roses, or be okay with me kissing another guy."
I inhaled sharply, and she bit her lip, realising her slip of tongue too late.
Oh, you bastard, Andy.
"You kissed him?" I swallow, trying not to give a shit.
I mean, it's just a kiss.
"Yes," Max says in a small voice, and I tug her into my arms without a word. I hold her close to me, inhaling her scent as she buries her head into my neck.
"OK. Do you wanna watch a film together? I'm tired, and you are all comfy and cosy," I manage to say, desperate to change the subject, when she nods.
"Yeah, but I better get changed."
"Don't," I say, holding her hand as I kiss it softly. "You look perfect like that."
I wish I could say these were just lines I was spinning, but I meant it. She really was perfect.