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Gradually Falling
by Sorrow Reminisce

“Hey Max, wait up!”

Footsteps sounded from behind her, but Max continued to walk away. She didn’t want to deal with Alec right now. Or rather, she didn’t want to deal with the accompanying sense of guilt she was always struck with, when forced to think upon their false relationship. Alec had never wanted to go along with the idea of lying to Logan about them, but she had goaded him into agreeing it was the right thing to do, for Logan‘s sake. Bit how much longer would the guilt of her lies would continue to eat away at her from within - until she was nothing but an empty shell?

Max had never realised the measure of respect Alec held for Logan until the day he’d looked to her with eyes filled with disbelief and anger, as she casually revealed how she had used him - and allowed Logan to believe the worst of him. Being regarded as the kind of guy to steal another guy’s girl had upset Alec more than she would have thought. But the worst thing was that he couldn‘t even stand up for himself and admit he wasn‘t the bad guy.

No, that wasn’t the worst thing.

To admit Alec was willing to let his integrity falter for her, went to prove he had integrity - and therefore prove Max had many misconceptions about Alec’s nature. How many false accusations had she lain against him in the past, all because she wanted to believe the guy was lacking in ethics? When all the time it has been she who lacked such things...

But knowing she was wrong about his morale fibre still wasn’t the worst thing.

Alec could’ve turned around and called her a liar. But he didn’t. Why? Because she had asked him not to. That was what really got to her; the fact that he would prefer to lose his honour than disappoint her… As much as she appreciated it now, the knowledge that he could be so dedicated made Max cringe inwardly. There was a growing list of men who had been willing to sacrifice parts of themselves for her, and all had done it for one thing. Love.

This was the last thing Max wanted to be thinking about right now.

“Go away Alec. I just want to be alone.” Her tone venomous, she glared at him icily, hoping her attitude would turn him away. Instead he grabbed her arm and pulled her towards him.

“C’mon Max. Why don’t you stop with the suffering and just tell him the truth?” Loosening his hold on Max’s arm, but not quite letting go, Alec held her fixed in place, not allowing her to walk away from the issue as she usually did.

“What truth? I don’t know what you’re talking about.“

Ignoring her glare, Alec chuffed. “Give me a break, if you pout too much more you’re gonna get road rash on your bottom lip. Just turn your ass back around and go talk to Logan - don‘t make me do it for you.”

“There’s nothing to talk about. It’s over with Logan and me.” Overuse of these words had turned her tone monotonous - how many times had she chanted this phrase now?

“Oh blah blah blah, Max.” Rolling his eyes, Alec began to feel his patience wane. “Look, I know I’ve never been supportive of you two, and you know how I feel about our kind having relationships with ordinaries, but when I see you moping about because you’re too scared to even talk to the guy, I think well, maybe I’ve been wrong.”

“And why do you care Alec?” Max slid her eyes away from the hazel orbs that had captured her attention. She was unaccustomed to having heart to hearts - with Alec of all people, and this topic of conversation in particular was one she didn‘t feel comfortable in discussing.

“Because I care about you Max.” Alec faltered slightly and averted his eyes, then as if suddenly uncomfortable at their proximity to each other, he released his light hold on her arms. “I mean, we all care about you.”

Max’s mouth fell open slightly, and she glanced down to where his hand had just been, frowning slightly as if disappointed the moment of contact between them had been severed. “And that’s it?”

“What Max? Is me telling you I care not enough? Are you expecting more?” Alec waited as she raised her eyes to him hesitantly, unsure of whether he actually expected an answer.

“I’m not about to reveal some ulterior motive for wanting to see you happy. It’s just that no one likes being stuck around a Moaning Myrtle" It wasn’t a lie. Max’s black moods had a way of bring those around her down. As if she were an energy source those around her fed upon - if she was unhappy, so was everyone else.

“I just need to be alone.”

She realised Alec was only trying to do the right thing, but the right thing just wasn‘t sitting well with her right now. Since the night she’d confided in him the truth about Ben and allowed herself to drop her guard - even cry into his shoulder, Alec had transcended from being the man she’d always thought of as an irresponsible sociopath, to a friend and confidante. As the months continued to pass, her relationship with Alec was gradually falling into the same category as what she once had with Logan: Something indefinable. And knowing the path that indefinable relationships had a tendency to take, Max wasn’t quite sure if she was ready for that yet.

“Max…” Alec breathed her name softly, forcing the raven-haired transgenic to raise her eyes and catch the tenderness in his expression as he watched her with concern. “Is there some other reason you haven‘t told him the truth about us?”

Realising her discomfort in this situation had reached a whole new height, Max backed away, shaking her head in denial of whatever her mind was trying to tell her, and in denial of what the man before her was wordlessly offering.

“No Alec. Never. Just leave me alone.”

Barely sparing Alec a glance as she turned and continued to head into the night, Max increased her pace as she felt his eyes follow her. Strengthening her resolve to not turn back and retract her words, to make amends and allow herself to give in, Max fought the feeling that she was throwing away a chance at something.

Something that could at last be definable.