M A X
“You can’t lose your job over me,” I say, as Cain lifts his eyes to mine over his coffee mug. Which, ironically, has the words ‘The World's Best Detective’ on.
“It comes down to morals, Max,” Cain reaches over, lacing his fingers with mine. “I’m not stupid- it’s just the straw that broke the camels back, you know?”
I didn’t know. I knew his job was stressful, but that was all.
“I’ve done this all my life. But since being with you, I’ve realised…hell, I’ve realised a lot of things. My priorities need to change, Maxie. I want to be happier.”
“But ten years, Cain. It’s a lot to throw away,” I point out, my heart sinking at the thought of him being unhappy. “I want you to be happy too.”
We’re curled up on his sofa, our legs entwined as we gaze at one another. Cain was addictive in so many ways, but his current emotional state frightens me.
“You’ve done well for yourself. You’ve got a beautiful house-”
“A beautiful girlfriend,” he says, kissing the back of my hand he is holding. I flush, still unable to believe he was mine.
“What would you do instead?” I ask, resting my head on the sofa. Cain shrugs, before sighing.
“I don’t know,” he answered honestly. “But it’s not something I want to do anymore, Maxie. Don’t feel guilty either. This isn’t just to do with your sister.”
At the mention of my sister my stomach churns, and I sigh. My response yesterday had seemed so simple, but today, I wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do.
“Hey,” Cain cups my face in his, leaning forward to kiss me. “What do you want to do?”
He knows what I’m thinking, the pros of being a detective I guess.
“If I tell my family it will destroy them. But they can’t trust her again,” my lip quivers as I recall how desperately we searched for her. The sleepless nights, the scrambling of money. All so Alex could run off onto the sunset with her dealer. “I just worry that even if I told them, they would still try to help her.”
Cain scowls, shaking his head in disbelief.
“Alex isn’t some junkie. Yeah, she does drugs, but the decisions she made were made because she is in love with Yan. I don’t know what the fuck she thinks she is going to get from him though.”
I remain silent, as Cain drops his mug to the floor beside him.
“Come here,” he murmurs, pulling me into his arms. He smells of soap and aftershave, his breath minty fresh as he dots kisses on my face. “I support you whatever you choose.”
I tilt my head up to his, and he kisses me tenderly. We’d already made love twice this morning, and if we carry on it will be a third. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I want to see my family.
“I’m going to go home today,” my voice trembles, and Cain frowns at me.
“Let me come with you.”
My parents disliked Cain, but only because he had stood by Andy instead of Alex.
They don’t know the real him. Even I’m barely scratching the surface, and I’m loving every gem I discover.
“You know what they’re like,” I groan, burying my head in his chest.
“Yeah well, they aren’t the first people to judge me before they know me, are they Maxie?” He kisses my nose when I gasp, laughing as he arms circle me.
“You were a whore,” I remind him, jealousy uncurling in my stomach.
“Correct use of past tense there, sweetheart.”
“Hmm. You’re still sex crazed.”
His hands slips up my shirt, caressing my bare skin with his fingers.
“Look at you,” he gives me that lazy smile I love so much. “It’s not my fault.”
“Just me though, right?” I poke him in the chest, as he captures my hands.
“Yes, beautiful. You’re my Queen.”
I’m giddy, my smile almost reaching my scalp at his words. I never thought I’d have this with anyone, let alone the enigma that is Cain Harvey.
“I love you,” I murmur, as his eyes light up, a boyish expression on his face.
“Every time you say that, it feels like Christmas morning.”
“I love you, I love you, I love you,” I gush, laughing when he attacks my lips with his.
“Let’s go tell your parents that.”
I’m twisting my hands all the way to my parents house, so much so that Cain eventually reaches over and clamps his hand over both of mine.
“Stop,” he commands softly, still focusing on the road. “I don’t care if they throw me out, Maxie, as long as you still want me.”
“Cain, how many times do I need to say it? I’m in love with you.”
I’m still not used to saying it, my cheeks flushing as he shoots a happy glance at me.
“I’m a lucky bastard.”
When we pull up to my parents house, I’m alarmed to see a police car there. Cain frowns, and together we exit the car. Cain grabs my hand, striding towards the empty car, a strange look on his face.
“They must be inside,” he says gravely, as I panic.
“Oh, God, what now?” I wail, walking towards the house. The door is unlocked, and when the two of us walk in, the chatter stops.
“Max!” Frankie cries, running forward to embrace me. Cain loosens his hand from mine, but I grip it tightly, keeping him with me.
My eyes move to my parents, who are sitting on the sofa looking shell shocked. Opposite them is a uniformed officer and Harry.
“Harry?” Cain frowns, stepping forward.
“Cain, Max. I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news,” Harry makes a face at us, as though telling us to play along. Cain and I exchange a look, before turning our attention back to him. “Your sister has confessed to being in a relationship with Yan. She knew about the blackmail, and she knew about Andy being innocent. Looks like you were right about Andy from the off, Cain.”
I’m stunned. Cain looks like he’s going to laugh, but then he regains his composure.
I move over to my parents, whilst Harry and Cain excuse themselves.
“How could Alex do this?” Mum moans, as Dad stares blankly ahead. “Using drugs, blackmailing her own family- lying! I never brought her up like this!”
She turns to Dad then, and me.
“I thought that money was police money,” she glared at us both with disappointment. “Not your own money. Our money.”
“We did what we had to do,” Dad says gruffly, shaking his head as Frankie sobs. “Frankie, you and your sister aren’t alike at all, don’t feel bad.”
“I’m angry, Dad. Andy nearly got sent down for life because of that witch! Max got kidnapped and hurt because of her! I hate her.”
Frankie runs from the room as my father follows her, leaving me with my mother.
“Mum, I’m sorry we didn’t tell you about the money,” I sigh, sitting beside her. Tears full her eyes as she smiles at me, reaching out to wrap her arms around me.
“I’ve been wrong too. Backing my daughter never felt wrong, but I guess that’s love for you. It blinds you. I’m sorry, Max.”
Cain walks back in, his eyes meeting mine as I release my mother. She dabs at her eyes, looking over at Cain.
“I think we owe you an apology too,” Mum smiles sadly. “You were just doing your job.”
Cain nods stiffly, and I stand up, walking over and searching his eyes.
“Later,” Cain grins, wrapping his arms around my shoulders as he kisses my head.
I nod, resting against him as my father returns. He looks older than I’ve ever seen him, and he looks at us with a weary expression.
“I’m sorry, detective. It seems we had the wool firmly over our eyes.”
I know how hard it is for a man to admit he is sorry, but my Dad always told me to apologise where it is due.
“Call me Cain, Mr George.”
My dad nods, sinking to the sofa beside my mum.
“Shall I make tea?” Cain offers, rolling his sleeves up as he heads to the kitchen. My parents aren’t with it, and Cain tugs me onto the kitchen with him. “Harry risked everything to tell your family,” he murmurs, stroking my face. “He told the bureau that due to personal conflict, we couldn’t abide with their agreement. The bureau agreed.”
“He’s amazing,” I smile, my eyes filling with tears. Cain kisses me softly, before replying.
“He really is, my love. He really fucking is. Now let’s get some sugar in these teas. Excellent for shock.”
I watch Cain busy himself in my parents kitchen, his broad frame looking out of place beside my mother’s frilly oven gloves and tea towels. I swallow a lump in my throat as he stirs the tea, my heart reserving a permanent place for him.
Cain was my one, alright. I can’t imagine being without him now.