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[personal profile] chrysalitron
I keep forgetting to add updates....and since the real (reel?) Zander story is certainly not going how I personally would like it to go, I think I'll just go back to my special happy world. Hmph.

Walking back into the hotel, a huge lump formed in her throat when she spotted Ric Lansing in the lobby. Just as she was thinking about turning around and walking back out, he'd spotted her. "Maxie?" He sounded genuinely confused, but to Maxie, he looked like a snake, getting ready to pounce. "What are you doing here?" He glanced at the bag. "What's that?"

None of your damn business, she thought angrily, but instead smiled sweetly at him. "I was doing a favor for someone."

Ric's eyebrows shot up. "Oh, really? Anyone I know?"

Before Maxie could say anything, another voice spoke up. "Oh, Maxie, there you are." Cameron Lewis strolled over, taking the bag from her. Turning to Ric, he gave the other man a friendly smile. "I'm in the middle of a medical conference, and asked Maxie if she'd mind picking up some food for us. She was nice enough to agree."

Ric narrowed his eyes at Cameron, but finally nodded. "Yeah, that is nice....," he said, letting his voice drop off. Maxie knew he was still suspicious, but she also knew that Ric was remembering that Cameron and Zander had years of animosity between them - he knew that the last person Zander would go to for help was Cameron. Finally, he gave them both a smile. "Sorry to have bothered you," he added genially, before turning away. Maxie gave Cameron a silent look of gratitude. They waited until Ric was busy with another problem, and both moved around the corner. "I'll go out the back," Cameron told her, handing her back the bag.

"You're not staying?" Maxie asked. Cameron shook his head. "I'll be back....but for right now, I think I shouldn't be around when he first wakes up."

She nodded her understanding. "How is he?"

"It looks like he's going to be okay. I got the bullet out, got his leg stitched up - I'm glad you told me what was going on, so I could get some medical supplies before I came in here." They had reached the door leading down to the boiler room. Cameron glanced around, and then nodded at her as she moved to the door. "I'll be back later."

Maxie headed downstairs, softly calling out once more to Zander. She found him back on the other side of the corner. He smiled happily up at her. "You came back."

She grinned in return, holding up the bag. "I brought you food."

"Thank god." She giggled, and settled down next to him. Zander watched her get the food out. "Are you going to eat with me?"

Maxie nodded, then glanced back at him. "I mean....if you don't mind."

"Oh, no, not at all. I was kinda hoping you'd stay."

She blushed, and then handed him a foil-wrapped cheeseburger. "I hope you like burgers."

"I love 'em."

They ate quietly for a few seconds, but Maxie caught Zander looking at her. "What?" she asked, swallowing - and nearly choking on - one of her fries.

He bit his lip. "If someone were to walk in right now....."

"Don't think about it."

"Maxie, I have to think about it. If Ric is already suspicious of you...."

"Well, he's not now. He was here at the hotel, and saw me with the food, but your dad made up an excuse. He saved my butt."

"Wait! Maxie, Ric's here? At the hotel?"

She flinched, realizing she probably shouldn't have mentioned that. "He might not be now. But like I said, your dad covered for me. And Ric never saw me come in here."

Zander was quiet for a minute. "Maxie.....look, I have an idea."

She raised an eyebrow. He sighed. "You're not going to like it - but it's the only way I can think of keeping you safe in case we get caught."

Maxie felt confused. "What do you mean?"

"See, if the cops find out you're helping me - "

"I know, I'll get in trouble. Aiding and abetting. Ric told me earlier."

"But what if you're not voluntarily helping me?"

She squinted at him in confusion. "I don't get it."

", if I'd forced you to help me."

She paused, and then got it. ", you'd threatened to hurt me if I didn't."


"How'd we do that, though?"

He winced. "If someone comes in....," his voice trailed off, but then he spoke up once more. "If someone comes in, I have to act like I'm holding you hostage."

Maxie paused. She'd seen enough movies to know how that went. "You mean, you'd hold your gun to my head."

Biting his lip, Zander nodded. "I knew you wouldn't like it."

Maxie sighed. "Well, no, Zander. I can't think of too many people who would enjoy being held at gunpoint."

"I just don't want to get you in trouble. I wouldn't hurt you, I swear to you. I'd never hurt you."

Maxie thought for a minute. Finally, squeezing her eyes shut, she nodded. "But only if we absolutely have to, Zander."

"Of course...I wouldn't do it unless I felt there was no other choice."

Maxie tried not to think of the fact that he'd held a scalpel to Brian Beck's throat because he'd felt there was no other choice. Then again...he hadn't actually hurt Beck, right?

An uncomfortable silence fell over the two of them. Finally, Maxie took a deep breath. "You need to eat, Zander."

He nodded, and went back to eating, still stealing the occasional glance at her. "Maxie....what does that stand for, anyway? Is Maxie your real name?"

She felt herself start to relax slightly. "It's Mariah Maximillana, actually."

Zander grinned. "That's a mouthful."

She laughed. "Yeah, I know. So we shortened it to Maxie."

He smiled. "So, Mariah Maximillana. What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Maxie giggled at the question. "Honestly? I don't really know. I know I have to make up my mind soon, but..." She shrugged. "I haven't figured it out yet." She paused, then. "What did you want to be?"

Zander leaned back against the wall. "When I was really young, I wanted to be a surgeon. Like my dad used to be. But then we started having problems, and I decided I never wanted to be like him." He rolled his eyes. "Everything went downhill, and I eventually became a drug dealer. Nice, huh?"

She smirked at him. "Hey, I was a drug supplier."

He started laughing at her. "You are full of surprises, Max. Totally."

Maxie grinned, rolling her eyes, but then sort of sighed to herself. "Yeah, and I was a porn star, too," she muttered under her breath, barely realizing she'd spoken aloud.

Zander cocked his head to the side. "You were what? What's that all about?"

Maxie felt stupid that she'd let it slip, but figured she'd stuck her foot in now. "Uh...well, Kyle. The ex. He...," She took a deep breath. It was hard, having to explain it. Everyone else just seemed to know already, but Zander had no idea. "At one point, I thought I really loved him. And, well, you know....I'm a teenager, and...." She rolled her eyes. "Well, I ended up losing my virginity to him." She traced a pattern on the floor, not making eye contact with Zander.

He reached over, tugging slightly on her hand. "Maxie, I know the guy apparently treated you like crap, but if you thought you loved him then.....I mean, I don't think there's anything to be ashamed of, you know?"

She looked up then, meeting his eyes. "Yeah, well," she said, smiling bitterly, "when that guy you think you love goes and tapes your first time with him, and then puts it on the Internet for his friends to see, that tends to bring out the shame."

Zander's eyes got huge. "He did that to you?"

Maxie looked away again, feeling her eyes fill with tears. "Yep. Oh, and it wasn't just his friends. It got passed from person to person....eventually, everyone I knew had seen it, including my family. Guess that makes me sorta famous." She tried to choke back a sob, but everything piled on top of her at once, and she began to cry softly.

"That sonofabitch," Zander said angrily. Realizing Maxie was crying, he moved over closer to her, and pulled her into his arms. "Oh, Max...don't cry. He's not worth it."

She nodded against his chest. "I's just....sometimes, it's hard not to."

"Shhh...," he whispered into her hair. "Look, I'm kinda incapacitated right now, but as soon as my leg gets to working again, I'll go beat the hell out of him for you, okay?"

Maxie giggled. "Shut up, Zander."

He laughed. "See, at least I got you smiling again." He hugged her once more, and she sat back up, wiping her eyes. Blushing, she glanced back at Zander. "Sorry about that."

"You have nothing to be sorry about, Maxie."

"You've got problems of your own, you don't need to hear all about mine."

He waved his hand at her. "Come on. I told you, I don't mind." He paused. "I had no idea how badly he'd hurt you."

Maxie nodded. "It wouldn't be so bad...I mean, it would be awful. But if everyone could just forget it, it would be so much easier. But high school's not like that. Until I graduate, I'm going to be The Girl Who Had Sex On The Internet." She rolled her eyes. "Kyle's Stupid Slutty Girlfriend."

"Hey, stop it," Zander said harshly. "You're not stupid, and you're certainly not slutty."

"Well, I kinda feel stupid."

"Well, you're not."

She just gave him a look, and they both fell quiet. Finally, Zander spoke up again. "He had a good thing, and he lost it. He's the one who's stupid."

Maxie smiled wistfully at him. "I know....I just, it makes it really hard to believe in any of that stuff again, you know? Romance, love, sex....I think I've sworn off of it. Maybe that's what I'll be when I grow up - a nun."

Zander laughed. "Aww, come on. Someday, it will happen for you again. You're perfect, Maxie." She opened her mouth, and he shushed her. "And don't tell me about how stupid and slutty you are, because I don't believe it for a minute. Someday, you'll fall in love again. And when the time's right, you'll even think about having sex again."

Maxie rolled her eyes. "It wasn't that great the first time I tried it," she muttered, not thinking. Zander had just taken a swig of pop, and started laughing so hard he choked. Maxie giggled at his reaction, blushing. "What? It's true."

Zander shook his head, still laughing. "You'll change your mind. You'll just have to find the right person."

She shrugged. After a minute, she blushed, and covered her face with her hands. "What?" Zander asked, elbowing her.

"I'm just...embarrassed. I can't believe I just told you all that!"

Zander laughed. "Don't worry, I'm not gonna tell."

Maxie snorted. "The whole town knows already; I don't think you taking a vow of silence is gonna help much."

"Aww, come on. I didn't know about it, so I'm sure the whole town doesn't really know." He paused. "Would it make you feel better if I told you a secret? Like, balance it out?"

She thought for a minute, then nodded. "Well, maybe."

"Okay....," he thought for a minute. "I nearly slept with Carly Corinthos one time."

Maxie's jaw dropped. "Sonny's WIFE?"

To his credit, a blush appeared on Zander's cheeks. "Well, they weren't together at the time. Remember when everyone thought Carly had died?"


"Well, right before that....I liked her - obviously - and...yeah." He blushed again. "We got carried away. But we stopped it."

Maxie bit her lip, then decided to ask. "Why?"

He shrugged. "She still loved Sonny. She was pissed at him - she didn't really want me."

Maxie blurted out, "Well then, she's obviously crazy, if she didn't want YOU." A silence fell over the boiler room, as Maxie realized what she'd said. She felt like her cheeks were literally going to burst into flame. Zander's jaw dropped. "What was that?"

"Nothing," she muttered.

"Uh, no, I think it was definitely something," he retorted, a mischievous twinkle lighting up his eyes. "What was that you said, Maxie?"

"Zander...," she warned, still refusing to look at him.

"No, no, I think you should tell me," he said. "Your cheeks are awfully red, Mariah Maximillana. Is there anything you want to tell me?"

"Alexander," Maxie said sternly, trying to adopt the same tone Cameron used on him, "if you don't drop this this instant - " He responded by reaching over and tickling her. "Come on, tell me." Giggling, she fought against him, trying to keep quiet. Just then, a knock came on the door. They both froze.

"Alexander?" Speak of the devil! They both started to relax at the sound of Cameron's voice, but then he continued on. "I've brought Alexis with me."

A second passed that felt like an hour. Maxie knew she and Zander were thinking the same thing: Zander had tried to kill Nikolas. Nikolas was Alexis's nephew. This couldn't be good. Reading the unspoken question in Zander's eyes, Maxie finally squeezed her eyes shut and nodded.

They both quietly scrambled to their feet, both unsteady. Zander's legs were wobbly from his injury, but Maxie's legs were shaking from fear of what was going to happen next. Once they were standing, Zander wrapped his arm around Maxie's shoulders, holding her against him. She swallowed hard as she felt him pull his gun out and hold it against her temple. Oh god, what if his finger slips, she thought to herself as they edged out into the open. I should never have agreed to this. I can't do this! I can't!

Maxie started to shake as they came around the corner. He won't hurt me - he won't. He promised, she thought frantically. But what if something happens?, a voice inside her head screamed. What if there's an accident? She held tightly to the arm Zander had wrapped around her as Cameron and Alexis came into view. Her chin trembled, and her eyes filled with tears. Zander's hand squeezed her shoulder reassuringly, hidden from the view of his father and Alexis.

"Oh my god, Zander...," Alexis breathed. "Zander, you don't have to do this."

"What are you doing, Dad?" Zander snapped, ignoring her.

Cameron looked absolutely shell-shocked at the scene that was taking place before him. "Alexander....Alexis is going to help you."

"Yeah, right," he snarled. Maxie, needing to concentrate on something - anything - besides the cold steel against her head, tried to focus on Zander's voice. She could hear the frustration in it - he'd been betrayed again.

Alexis looked slightly hurt. "Zander, you know I care about you."

"But you care about Nikolas more. He's your nephew, after all. Your family," he replied.

Cameron took a deep breath. "Alexander - "

"Shut up!" Zander snapped back. Maxie jumped slightly, feeling the gun press harder into her head. Zander pulled it slightly away from her - enough that she knew the difference, but the others didn't. She tried to relax, as much as was possible. Zander continued on. "I decided to trust you, for once in my life, and then you went straight to her. I can't believe you."

Maxie couldn't help but shoot Cameron a filthy look herself. No wonder Zander was upset. Of all people for Cameron to go to...

"Look, Zander, we can work something out, all right?" Alexis said gently. "You said Ric Lansing was trying to set you up."

"You told her everything?" Zander asked Cameron. The older man nodded.

"Zander, we can make a deal with Ric. Brian Beck already admitted to you that Ric was setting you up. We can get those charges dismissed."

"Why should I believe you?" Zander responded. Maxie could tell he was wavering, however - his arm was loosening slightly around her.

"I know Ric," Alexis continued. "I know what he's capable of. He shouldn't be in the position he's in." She paused. "Zander, I know you. I know you don't want to hurt anybody."

Zander remained silent. Cameron took a step forward, making Zander's arm tighten around Maxie. She shot Cameron a warning look. He looked frustrated, but then continued. "Alexander, I won't let them hurt you. I promise. Please give me the gun."

Maxie could feel the hesitation in Zander. She watched Cameron closely, and knew he was telling the truth. Remembering everything he'd told her earlier, she squeezed Zander's arm. He seemed to get the message. Finally, he sighed, and seemingly reluctantly, handed his gun to Cameron. Nobody else noticed the gentle push he gave Maxie. Realizing what he meant, she moved across the room from him.

Everyone in the room seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. "What happens now?" Zander said numbly. Alexis rubbed her temples wearily. "Your father and I will talk to Ric, and convince him to drop the charges."

"I can't leave here," Zander insisted stubbornly. "I'll be arrested on sight."

"He's right," Cameron said, looking imploringly at Alexis. "He has to stay here."

Alexis finally nodded. "You stay here until we get Ric to drop the charges."

"How soon will that be?"

"Hopefully, within the next day or so, at the very most," she replied.

"He was here in the hotel earlier," Cameron offered. Alexis nodded. "We should go talk to him right away."

Cameron nodded his agreement. He glanced at Zander, and then at Maxie. "Come on, Maxie, let's get you out of here."

She looked at Zander, and then back at Cameron. "No," she said strongly, shaking her head. "I'm not leaving."

"What?" Alexis said in disbelief, as Maxie went to stand beside Zander. Cameron stared at them, a sudden dawning in his eyes.

"He wasn't going to shoot me," Maxie said quietly. Zander nodded. "It was a set-up. Maxie agreed to help me."

Alexis looked at them for a minute. Shaking her head, she walked out the door. Cameron stared at them for a minute, and then nodded. Giving them a little smile, he finally followed Alexis out.

As soon as the door had closed, Maxie fell back against the wall. "Oh my god."

Zander ran his hands through his hair. Maxie hadn't realized until then how badly his hands were shaking. "Maxie -" he started, looking over at her. She shook her head, and instead reached forward and wrapped her arms around his waist. He hugged her tightly. "Maxie, I'm so sorry....," he whispered into her hair. "I can't believe I did that. That was so stupid. I'm so, so sorry."

She shook her head once more against his chest. "No, Zander," she said quietly. "You wouldn't hurt me. I believed you."

"I know, but -"

"But, no. I knew what I was doing." She looked up at him. "Zander, I haven't trusted anybody in a really long time. I said after Kyle, I wouldn't trust any guy ever again. But I trust you. That's why I've been helping you. I knew I could trust you. And when you said there was nobody else you could trust, I knew how that felt."

Zander leaned his head on her shoulder, breathing deeply. "You know I can never repay you for what you've done for me."

Maxie smiled into his hair. "Well, when this is all over, I'll let you buy me a cheeseburger to make up for it."

Zander smiled back at her, but then a shadow crossed his face. "Maxie, I can't do this."

Maxie narrowed her eyes at him. "Do what?"

He shook his head. "Ric will never make a deal with Alexis. He wants my head on a platter."

Maxie felt a sudden sinking in her stomach. "Zander, you don't mean to tell me...."

He nodded. "Maxie, this time, I've really got to take off. I just told Alexis and my father that I was going to cooperate so they'd leave."

"Zander, are you sure? They both seemed to think they could -"

"It won't happen. Sure, maybe they will be able to blackmail Ric into dropping the charges about Beck, but Max, I went to the docks and threatened Nikolas. Emily can testify to that, Jax can testify to that. And I tried to kill Jax." He shook his head. "Maxie, there's no way. This won't work."

Maxie sighed, covering her face for a minute. He was right. She knew he was right. If only he hadn't gone to the docks... "You'll need money."

He nodded. "Maxie, I'll pay you back. As soon as I get to Canada, I swear to you -"

She cut him off. "Zander, you don't have to do that." She paused, sighing. "Besides, they know now that I was helping you. They'll be watching to see if you send me anything."

Zander sighed. "Yeah, probably." They stood there quietly for a minute. "Maxie....," he said. He stopped, seemingly unsure or unable to say what he was thinking. Maxie smiled sadly. "It's okay, Zander."

He closed his eyes. Taking her chance, Maxie leaned over and kissed his cheek. "I'll be back with the money as soon as I can," she whispered, slipping out of the room.


chrysalitron: (Default)

July 2009


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