Hey everybody. I'm back. Kind of. I'm situated in England. Kind of. It's a long process, moving from one country to the next. Just to let you all know, I do plan on updating stuff soon, including the final chapter of C, S, and OOO. This little one-shot is meant to distract you for the time being.



By: Delayed Epiphany

Life was perfect. I had a good job, decent money and Mr Right. Then I found out I was actually the other man in Mr Right's five year relationship with a Russian hottie. I guess we can just call this payback.

"So, are you up for it?" These words ring in my head over and over again. It's almost like some fantastic dream, similar to being high but no drugs involved.

The company I work for is taking over a nearby competitor and my boss is now asking me if I will manage the new branch. I'll admit that I've always been a wallflower. I normally sit back and let others race by me, firmly believing that if I work hard and stay focused, my chance will come.

And here it is.

The chance of a lifetime.

I can't believe that this is happening, but my boss' serious face tells me that he is not pulling any prank.

I, Ben Maddox, will be the new manager of a top branch in Jameston Software Incorporated, a leading computer software company.

My boss, Patrik Johnson, smiles up at me from behind his desk, watching my half flabbergasted, half overly joyous face with a look of pure amusement. Mr. Johnson is a snarky little bastard with a subtle, but overpowering, competitive streak. He knows the business world and he hold his own with anyone who crosses him. I guess that's what you can expect from him, seeing as he's managed our office with the ease of a natural business man.

I meet his stare head on and give my own smile.

"I'd be happy to take the position sir." I say, working to keep my voice from shaking in excitement, "I look forward to being a leading head in Jameston Incorporated."

Patrik laughs, a loud booming sound that easily fills the room, "Good, good. You always were a hard worker; quiet, but you're smart, dedicated, and I think you'd be a fine manager. I'll put word through to the board and they'll make your promotion official-"

Despite his long spiel of supposedly meaningful preaching, the only word that reaches me is 'promotion.' God, how I've waited for this to happen. I'm in a euphoric trance, and not even Mr. Johnson's mindless chatter can burst my bubble now.

From now on, I give the orders, not follow them.

No more wallflower Ben Maddox anymore.

Just wait till I tell Jason, he's going to be so jealous.

"WHAT!!" Jason's voice screeches loudly. I wince and hold my cell phone a good foot from my ear.

"Yeah! I know." I practically yell in the direction of the mouthpiece, "Totally didn't see it coming. Out of all the other candidates, he picked me. ME!"

"I'm so proud of you."

I run one hand through my short brown hair and look around the empty bathroom, checking again to make sure no one has come in.

"Jesus Christ on a fuckin pogo stick." I murmur, overwhelmed.

"Where?" Comes Jason's innocent inquiry.

"Shut up." I snap bluntly, but a smile tugs at the corners of my mouth.

"You know, we gotta celebrate."

"Uh, fuckin duh!" I wave one hand around emphatically and roll my eyes, even though Jason can't see me.

"Aye, Ben, calm down." He chastises lightly through the phone. "Tonight, I'm picking you up, say at about… eight. We're going to that Japanese place that you like so much. Benny-watsits. You get to order whatever you want and I'm paying."



"You're not going to get drunk off the sake again are you?"

"Beeeeeeennn." Jason's whine sounds pitiful.

"Sorry, you're just really funny while drunk."

"That means a lot coming from you. You have a lower tolerance than me."

"Alas, the reason why I don't drink."

"Haha, I love you baby."

I smile giddily and I can feel my face flush. I always get the butterflies in my stomach whenever he says that.

"Love you too."

"Aw, damn. I gotta go, the boss is bitching again." I sigh slightly. I know that Jason's boss is a complete, jerk, unlike Mr. Johnson, who simply talks too damn much.

"Ok. See you tonight."

"Talk to you later, babe."

"Wait, Jason."


"How does this sound? Mr. Benjamin Maddox, Jameston Inc branch manager."

Jason laughs, "Sexy. Now I'm sure you have work to do and so do I-"

"Nice ring to it, eh?"

"Goodbye, Ben."

"Or should I just be Mr. Maddox? Haha. Mr. Maddox."

"I'm hanging up now." I can tell he's amused by my antics.



I met Jason under rather interesting circumstances. Our relationship is the kind that seems… unreliable at first, but now we look back and laugh at our rocky beginning.

We met at a bar.

I had been having a rather trying week at work, Mr. Johnson being the main source of my agony, because he wanted everything perfect. It was the winter holiday shopping season and inside the office was complete chaos.

My best friend, Amanda, was off doing a two week long modeling trip, so I was forced to drown my sorrows all alone. Until Jason showed up.

As Jason so nicely pointed out, I'm an extreme lightweight when it comes to alcohol.

I was pretty much gone by the time he showed up.

We made small talk, but Jason noticed how shit-faced I was and quickly backed off, knowing it wasn't exactly smart to sleep with a drunk due to impaired judgment.

I wasn't about to let him go though, being lonely and desperate for company. I needed somebody and he was there, so sue me. Don't think I'm some kind of slut, I hadn't been laid in almost eight months. I eventually convinced him to come home with me and we had a passionate night of steamy sex.

The next day we parted, going our separate ways and both willing to let the situation stay as is.

If only it were that simple.

A week later we ran into each other again at a small café. He shyly offered to buy me a latte and who was I to refuse a free drink from such a handsome man. We sat in that coffee shop for almost four hours, just talking and finally getting to know each other. I learned that he was the art coordinator for an art gallery and museum nearby.

It was an interesting start to a strong friendship, which eventually evolved into something more.

We've been dating for five months now and I've loved every second of it.

Jason did end up getting plastered from too many cups of sake. I know him too well. I don't really mind though because unlike me, Jason is a cute drunk. He tells corny jokes and tends to treat everyone like they're his children.

We're now heading back to his house, me driving his truck because he is too inebriated to dive. I like driving Jason's truck. It's a lot bigger and more powerful than my little car.

I laugh as he makes faces at the people sitting next to us at a red light. He has his face pushed up against the glass and keeps on puffing out his cheeks at them. I think it's funny. The driver next to me doesn't and pointedly ignores us.

I can just catch a cab home once I drop him and his truck off at his apartment, which we arrive at not ten minutes later.

I guess Jason has different ideas because once I get him to the front door of his apartment, he pulls me in for a deep, not-suitable-for-public kiss.

"Wanna stay the night?" He asks, his voice mischievous. It's obvious that he doesn't want me to go and the hard bulge poking my thigh is a good indication that he's horny.

I decide that staying the night would be a wonderful idea.

It is then that I realize that I've never actually been in Jason's apartment. He normally picks me up and drops me off and whenever we hang out or have sex, it's at my house. I've always wondered about this, but whenever I ask, Jason shrugs it off, claiming that he hates his apartment and that mine is so much better. I normally just let the subject drop, but apparently tonight he's not going to be picky.

We stumble into his apartment, laughing and giggling. I only get a quick glance around at a well decorated living room before he attacks my mouth again. We then engage in a rather arousing duel of tongues and hands as we nip and strip each other. Jason is the focus of my complete attention and both of us are being extremely vocal about our pleasure, moaning and calling each other's names.

Jason finally pins me up against the wall of a short hallway that looks like it leads to the back bedrooms and a bathroom. I caress his back as he sucks on the soft skin around my exposed neck and chest. I love being with Jason. He's so strong and dominating, most of the time making me the submissive one in bed, but he's surprisingly gentle and he makes sure to give me just as much pleasure, if not more, than I give him.

Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I catch movement down the hall. I turn my head slightly in that direction and I see a dark figure standing in the doorframe to one of the bedrooms. I panic slightly, the person's sudden appearance rather eerie and unexpected, but Jason chooses this moment to reach down and cup my growing erection in his hand.

"Aw fuck, Jason." I moan, throwing my head back and pushing my hips into him to create more friction.

When I look back down the hall, the unknown person is still there. The figure is obviously male, having broad shoulders and no curvature around the hip area. Surprisingly, he remains silent, simply standing there like a statue and watching us. It's kind of creepy, but I just can't bring myself to break away from Jason and tell the guy to get lost.

I find myself feeling rather jealous. Jason never mentioned that he had a roommate.

At that point though, I think 'what the hell' and continue making out with my sexy boyfriend. If Jason's roommate has a problem with us he can go back to bed; if he doesn't, I don't mind putting on a show. Deciding to put our unknown audience in the back of my mind, I redirect my attention to Jason and our steamy foreplay session.

It isn't until Jason hikes one of my legs up onto his hip and grinds hard against me, making us both moan loudly, that Mr. Creepy Roommate decides to make himself known. His interruption is little more than a loud clearing of his throat, a simple 'a-HEM!' like sound that gets both our attentions.

Jason jerks away from me and looks around in the direction the sound came from. I already knew our unwanted guest was there so I simply turn and glare at him for butting in.

Jason's roommate reaches over and flips the hallway light on, the switch being not two feet away from him. I squint a little as the bright light hits my eyes, but I finally get to see who rudely interfered with our alone time.

The guy seems to be a little older than my twenty four years and about Jason's age, which is twenty seven. He is so pale he makes me and Jason look like tanning junkies and his body is almost anorexic skinny. I can't help but stare at his rather pointed face, which still possesses a feminine look to it. He's extremely handsome in that dark and dangerous way, his black hair framing his face and falling into dark, brown eyes.

He would be even more attractive he if he wasn't glaring at us the way he was, his pink lips a flat line of displeasure.

"Maxy!" Jason exclaims, eyes going wide. He immediately separates from me and almost falls over in the process. He sways drunkenly from side to side as he attempts to bring 'Maxy' into focus, "What are you doing here?"

Maxy scowls, a look of mixed disgust and sadness showing that he's clearly not pleased.

"I live 'ere." The black haired man states quietly, and then pauses. "Yurr drunk, aren't you." He adds as he stares at Jason, his voice is tinged with a thick accent that sounds Russian, making my stomach turn to mush. I always had a weakness for guys with accents.

However, the overall atmosphere of the room is beginning to get to me. Just what the hell is going on here? Maxy obviously seems very upset with the whole situation.

He suddenly points at me, "I vant to know vhut 'e is doing 'ere?"

"Oh him?" Jason jabs a finger in my direction without even sparing me a glance, "He's just a friend."

I freeze, completely shocked at Jason's words.

A… friend?

"What?!" I interject, stunned. I'm simply ignored.

"Do you kiss all uv yurr friends like zat?" Maxy asks, crossing his arms, his eyes becoming angrier by the second.

"He's just a guy I met at a bar." Jason whines, the slur in his voice becoming more evident, as he runs a hand through his gold blond hair.

Excuse me? What the HELL do you mean, 'just a guy you met at a bar?'

I open my mouth to object again but find that my voice is gone. I'm just too stunned and angry to speak. What the fuck does Jason think he's saying? Just some guy? It makes me sound like a street whore.

And now I'm wondering who the hell Maxy is? He lives here with Jason and he's acting an awful lot like a…

"Do not lie to me, Jason." Maxy states coldly, "I'm you're boyfriend. I know the truth."


No FUCKING way!!


This is… no. Impossible. Maxy can't be Jason's boyfriend!! I'm Jason's boyfriend and I'd know if he was cheating on me. We've been dating for five months and oh shit… this is not good. Not good at all.

My heart in starting to beat crazily, thudding like a jackhammer against my ribcage. I think I can actually feel it beginning to swell and start clawing its way up my throat so I can't breathe right.


How could Jason cheat on me?! How could he lie to me like this?

He has a lot of fucking explaining to do, that's for damn sure.

Maxy suddenly looks over at me, giving me the head to toe. I feel like I'm being evaluated. He then walks over to me and almost makes me jump through the roof when he leans over and pushes his nose into my unbuttoned shirt as it hangs loosely around my shoulders. At first I don't know what he's doing but then I realize he is smelling me.

When he pulls away he buries his face into his hands and I think I see his shoulders shake a few times. Is he…crying?

Oh god, I can't handle this. If he starts crying I'm gong to lose it. I can't handle sad, depressed people. I just can't.

"You 'ave bin dating uh-bout seven months, no?" he asks me quietly, voice shaking slightly, face still covered by his hands.

I can only make a small grunt of confirmation, my throat dry and scratchy.

It is then that I figure out why Maxy smelled me. Why he knows how long we've been dating. Why he lives with Jason and I don't.

Jason hasn't been cheating on me with Maxy.

He's been cheating on Maxy with me.

I feel... used. Embarrassed. Betrayed. Filthy.

I feel dizzy.

Jason speaks up, "I was going to break up with him sometime…"

My chest seizes up uncontrollably, and I have to drown Jason out because it hurts too much. I want him to go away. I just want this all to go away. God, why did something like this have to happen? Everything was so perfect before.

And I feel so bad for Maxy. He's obviously known the entire time that Jason, his boyfriend, not mine, was cheating on him. He even knows my scent. That must be horrible. To have your boyfriend come home all the time smelling like another man.

They even live together in this apartment. This isn't Jason's apartment. This is Jason and Maxy's apartment. I feel like an intruder.

And as ironic as it sounds, this was actually the life that I had always wanted.

It was my dream to live in a little place like this with Jason where we could be happy and live our lives together. I didn't care where or how, all I wanted was to be with Jason. However, if this is my future, I don't want it. If being Maxy, standing there with his boyfriend's 'other man' and about ready to cry, I don't want this. To hell with that dream.

Fuck, I don't want to be another Maxy. I just met him and he doesn't seem like the kind to break easily, but I can tell he's about to lose it.

I want to apologize to him, but I don't know what to say. Doesn't matter anyway, my voice won't seem to work.

I also want to reach over and slap the shit out of Jason but all I can do is stand there, like a deer in the headlights.

How could I not know? How many kisses did Jason give to Maxy and not to me? How many times did he have sex with me and then come home to be with Maxy? How many times did he say I love you to both of us and actually mean it?

This is making me sick.

Maxy suddenly looks back up at me, and the look in his eyes clearly pissed. He's glaring at me, hate and anger contorting his pretty face into a demonic mask.

Wait… he doesn't think I did this on purpose does he?

He should be mad at Jason, not me!

I quickly back away from him as his hands start to ball into fists, my voice weak and hurried, "Hey, I didn't know about you, I swear. I didn't know that Jason was seeing somebody else. I wouldn't pull that shit on anyone."

Maxy looks away, shoulders relaxing a little. He brings one hand up to rub his temple.

"Ghut lost." He says quietly, "Dis is not going to be pre-ty."

The black haired Russian then turns back towards Jason, fire blazing in his dark eyes.

I know that Jason is going to get it.

Part of me wants to stay and watch. I want to see Jason suffer for what he's done. I want to make him suffer myself. He has humiliated and betrayed me and I can feel anger bubbling away in the bottom of my stomach, underneath all the sadness and pain.­­­­­­­­­

However, Maxy is Jason's boyfriend, as much as it kills me to say it. I have no right to barge into their life. I think I've already done enough damage.

So I do as Maxy says and I leave. Jason calls my name as I leave, but I don't turn around, I just slam the door as hard as I can in his face.

As I walk down the long hallway towards the stairs, I can hear yelling coming from the room I just exited.

I hope nobody calls the cops on them.

Jason deserves everything he gets.

-One Year Later-

"It's just one date." Amanda stresses, twirling one long red lock of hair around her index finger.


"But you haven't been on a date since-"

"Amanda." I hiss warningly.

It's been a year since I last saw Jason. I'd like to say that I'm over him, but in all actuality, I'm probably not.

After our turbulent break up, which consisted of me ignoring his insistent calls for almost a week and then him showing up at my doorstep only to be cussed out and told never to come near me again, I had pretty much shut myself away from the world. I lost my job because I couldn't focus at work. The new manager job went to another guy and I was quietly fired from work after nearly two months of declining work.

I now work at a bank, simply as the computer repairman. If anything happens with the technology, they call on me and I fix it. It's a slow paced job and nobody talks to me except to ask for help, so it suits me just fine.

I've gained about twenty pounds due to an inactive lifestyle since I stopped going to the gym. I'm also a little bit paler and my hair has grown out. At least I keep my face shaved, but that's only because it's required for work.

Amanda won't stop worrying over me. She's been trying to get me to go on dates with guys she's sure will get me out of my slump, but I've refused every single one of them.

"Come on please. Just one little blind date. He's older and he's an artist." She says, wiggling her eyebrows.

I sigh.

I know Amanda pretty well, we've been together since childhood. She won't stop until she's satisfied. I decide that maybe if I go on one date, she'll leave me alone.

"Fine. One date."

Amanda's eyes go wide for a moment, clearly surprised my sudden agreement to go on a date, but then she giggles and jumps up and down in her chair.

She's like a redheaded Barbie doll on crack, I swear.

"Awesome!! I've never met the guy, but Kelly says that he's really sweet and very very attractive-" She starts chattering away happily, but I tune her out.

Fuck… I just agreed to go on a date.


I stand in front of my wardrobe, looking at my clothes.

I have no idea what to wear.

It's been a long time since I've put any interest at all into my appearance and all my old flirty dating clothes are a little bit too small to fit around my small pudge of belly-fat.

Screw it.

I grab a simple red tee and a pair of baggy pants.

I'm not trying to impress this guy anyways.

Who the hell cares what I look like?

So here I am, at the designated meeting spot for my blind date. I'm running a little bit late by about ten minutes because I got stuck in traffic. Amanda set up a reservation at a nice little steakhouse for us and she even had the nerve to slip a condom into my pocket before I left.

I have no intention of letting this guy ten feet near me.

I give the hostess my name and she quickly smiles and leads me towards my table.

It's a small table in the very back so I can't really see my date until we get right up to the table. She sets my menu down and then walks away, giving me the chance to stop and pause before I sit down.

My mouth falls open.

I can't believe who is sitting in the opposite chair.

A pair of deep-set brown eyes stare at me from underneath a familiar head of black hair.


What… the fuck…

The one time I agree to go on a blind date and it just happens to be with my cheating ex-boyfriend's lover!!

Amanda wouldn't have done this on purpose. She knows that I don't want anything to do with Jason anymore.

This has to be the Devil's work.

Yeah, he must be laughing his ass off right now.

Maxy's eyes widen slightly before he quietly sets his menu down, stands up and turns to leave. I guess he's not happy about this either.

Before I can even think about what I'm doing, I step forward and grab Maxy's shoulder.


The black haired man turns towards me, giving me a blank stare.

"We didn't ask for any of this to happen. The date tonight or… what happened with Jason. I'm hungry and we're both here so let's just have dinner. It doesn't have to be a date, we can just talk." I have no idea where this is coming from, but it just seems right to ask him to stay.

Maybe the two of us can sort out what happened in the past. It's been a year and we're both adults so there's no reason we can't simply enjoy dinner and be nice to each other.

Surprisingly, Maxy actually sits back down, back straight as a board, and stares down at his menu as if it's suddenly going to jump up and start doing tricks. I also sit down, busying myself with looking over the menu and choosing a meal.

Finally, after a tense silence, Maxy breaks the silence. "I guess ve did not get properly intra-duced 'ast time." He thrusts one hand in my direction, "I am Maxim Smirnov. 'Ust call me Max."

I smile and gently take his hand in mine and shake it, "Ben Maddox."

Maxy, or rather Max, gives me a curt nod of acknowledgment before pulling his hand away hastily. There is a tense silence as we both stare at each other. I won't call our stare down hostile, but we are both sizing each other up. I want to know more about Max and Jason's relationship and I know that he was just as curious about me. Neither of us admits it though.

Our eye contact quickly breaks and I go back to picking my meal while Max picks at his nails.

"So you're an artist?" I ask, trying to make this 'date' more manageable. I remember Amanda saying he is an artist or something like that. For the first time since I met him, Max brightens. His face softens and the corners of his lips curl into a smile. He really is quite handsome when he's not sulking.

"You 'ave 'eard uv me?" He asks, his voice in still carefully controlled, but I can detect a faint tremor of excitement.

My heart sinks a little. "Um… no. Amanda… said something…"

Max visibly deflates, and his face becomes stony once again. "Oh."

"But still. I really like art. I'm horrible at anything artistic, so I really respect those who have talent. I think it's amazing." The stuff I'm saying is a complete lie, but Max doesn't need to know that. I just feel the need to make things up to him. I still feel so bad about what happened a year ago. I know it's not my fault, but I still feel partially responsible.

Max stays quiet for a while, staring blankly off into the room. Without turning to look at me, he states quietly,

"You do not 'ave to say so'ry. Ahn do not feel responsible." He looks back at me, dark eyes open and honest, "I do not blame you."

At first I am speechless, shocked that he saw through my façade so quickly. That surprise, however, slowly turns into something else. Respect.

I respect Max.

I just hope he feels the same about me. I have this dire urge to earn his respect as well, to show him that I am a good guy, not just his ex-boyfriend's little slut.

After that, things became much most pleasant. The silence was no longer as awkward, which helped me calm down.

"Zhe ribs 'ere are amazing." Max states after watching me scan over the menu a few times.

"You've been here before?"

"Yes. A long time ago"

"This is my first time."

"I vould recommend de ribs."


A slight pause.

"I'm guessing from you're accent that you're from Russia."


"When and why did you move here?

"I moved to America vhen I vhus eighteen because I vanted to find a better plaze to ex'ibit my art ahn get away from my parents."

"What's wrong with your parents?"

"Zhey do not… approve of my 'omosexuality."

"Oh. My parents never really cared."

"You ur very lucky dhen."

"Not really. My parents never really cared about anything I did. They just kind of pointed my in the right direction and left me alone. Got kinda lonely at times."

"Vhen did you know?"

"Know what?" I ask, curious.

"Dhat you where gay?"

"I didn't figure it out till college really. I just wasn't interested in anybody and then my friend Amanda set me up on a blind date. I didn't know it was with a guy until he picked me up. At the time I was pissed at her, but now I look back and thank her. He was my first boyfriend. What about you?"

"I knew very early dhat I vhus different but I kept it a secret until I vhus eighteen. My father immediately kicked me out, but it did not really matter because I vhus already set on coming to America."

We soon found ourselves engrossed in conversation with each other. Neither one of us mentioned one word about Jason and whenever there was a need to reference him it was with a certain loathing. We talked about our jobs and families, anything and everything being fair game in our conversation.

I felt myself becoming more relaxed with Max than I had been in a long time.

I discovered that Max loved barbeque, he was twenty eight years old, was a decently well know artist and interior designer, wanted to adopt a child, preferably a daughter, and that he displayed his art at the art gallery Jason worked at. It was actually how the two of them met.

"How long where you two together?" I blurt out in the middle of eating my ribs, which are absolutely delicious.

Max pauses for a moment, but then says quietly so I have to strain to hear him, "Five years."

"And you always knew? About me and Jason?"

"Yes. He vould stay late for work and never call me. Ahn he no longer seemed as… passionate in bed. Pluz he vould always take a shower as soon as he got home zo I hugged him once before he got in and he smelt like sex and yurr cologne."

"Why did you stay with him?"

Max's shoulder sag and I can tell he wants to change the subject, but the black haired man answers anyway, "I thought dhat if loved him enough and vhus the perfect boyfriend, things vould go back to zhe way they were before. I thought… he vould eventually see dhat he truly loved me ahn only me. I only ended up hurting myself more."

I slowly chew the meat in my mouth, not really tasting it as I mull over this new information. Five years… five fucking years. Why did Jason cheat on him with me? Was he bored with Max? Could Max not satisfy Jason's libido, which I knew was very high from personal experience?

The Russian artist is a lot more interesting than I ever was or will be. He's also way more attractive.

I will never understand Jason's mind so maybe I need to just let it go.

About two hours later, Max and I exited the restaurant. He was trying to explain the concepts of art to me, but they sounded like a whole bunch of gibberish left up to interpretation. He chuckled lightly when I voiced this bleak view on art and proudly said that art was all about one's own personal interpretation.

As we walked through the parking lot, it began to dawn on both of us that the night was over and we could now go on with our separate lives again.

I didn't say it out loud, but I wanted to see Max again. Not as in a date, but just… as friends. Maybe just friends. Hell, I don't know. Max confused me and excited me at the same time. I really liked him, he was an interesting person and I found him intriguing and fun to talk to.

Not to mention, he was absolutely gorgeous in his own quirky and mysterious way. From the way he would sometimes flip his bangs out of his face (in a rather girly way, I might add) to his overly polite and reserved mannerisms to his downright sexy Russian accent, he just drew me in. He didn't smile or laugh often, but when he did, his dark features lit up and I found myself staring.

Max slows down and eventually stops at a silver car, "Well… um, tonight vhus fun. I am glad ve got to really meet each o'ter."

"Yeah. me too. I enjoyed hanging out with you."

There is an awkward pause.

Is it indecent to ask for his phone number or address? Is it right for us to interact at all? Is it wrong to be attracted to Max this way?

I don't want it to end like this.

"You know, Ben," Max says quietly, "If you vhanted, you could…come over to my place."

His words shock me, since they are the last thing I expect to come from his mouth. He was so strait laced and polite during conversation, which I never thought an invitation for sex could pass through those dusty pink lips.

I am not sure if Max is making the right decision.

"Max, you're a great guy and I like you a lot, but are you sure? I mean… we just met and then what happened before…."

I don't really know if I want to do this either.

Without even hesitating, Max nods his head, "I think ve both need to forget 'im and move on. Maybe ve can help each o'ter zome more."

I shrug one shoulder, "Yeah, but there's millions of other guys hotter and cooler than me out there. I'm sure they'd make much better partners."

Max smiles gently and reaches up to rest one hand on my cheek. "You underestimate yourself."

I shake my head, knocking away Max's hand in the process, "No. I'm honest."

"And dhat's vhat I like about you." Max's face hardens, "You don't lie."

I know that, in the end, both Max and I are just using each other. The difference with this situation is that we both know we're being used by the other and we're okay with it. Max needs me just as much as I need him. The new developed chemistry between us feels so natural, but somewhat awkward and unsteady.

We're like two children holding hands while fumbling around in the dark and all we have is each other to lean on.

"Ok." I answer finally.

Max moved out of his and Jason's old apartment the very next day after the incident. He told me this as he pulled up in front of a nice new apartment complex and I was very thankful that we weren't heading back to the old apartment. Bad memories for both of us.

I follow him silently up the stairs to the third floor. Max stops in front of a plain white door, unlocks it and holds it open for me.

This apartment is a little bit smaller than the old one, but it's still nicely decorated.

"Vould you like a drink?" Max asks, gesturing towards the kitchenette area in the far corner. I shake my head no.

Silence follows and our eyes meet for the first time since I agreed to come home with Max. The Russian's dark eyes are desperate and hungry, mirroring a desire that must be in my own eyes.

Slowly, ever so cautiously, he leans forward, bringing our faces closer and closer. I'm taller than Max so I have to lower my head slightly to meet him halfway. The process is painfully slow and hesitant, but the moment our lips meet, a jolt of warmth shoots through my body. It's a chaste kiss, a simple act of pressing lip to lip meant to get a small taste of the other and decide whether or not to continue.

We pull away, but our faces remain close, noses barely touching and I can feel Max's hot breath on my cheek.

Our eyes meet again and we both know that the other wants this. From now on, there's no turning back.

Our lips meet again, this time much more forceful. Max immediately opens his mouth and I vigorously take full advantage of this with my tongue. He tastes like his steak dinner. While I'm busy tonguing his mouth, Max pushes his body flush against mine and his hands go to work on the buttons of my pants.

There is no sensual compassion or caring in our making out. Both of us are aggressive and insistent, pushing and pulling on each other, yanking off clothes without regard. We have reduced ourselves to careless lustful animals, violent with need, and it's more arousing than anything I've ever done before.

To break down all the complex emotions and simply act on instinct is so liberating, one can't begin to describe it.

Max shoves me against the back of his couch so the top of it is digging painfully into my lower back as we move into the living area. We're both undressed down to our boxers now so I kiss and bite along his neck and dig my nails into his back almost hard enough to draw blood. He clearly loves it, throwing his head back and moaning from deep down in his throat. It almost sounds like a growl.

We had sex right there on the living room floor.

I finally managed to force Max onto his stomach and without a condom, or even lube, I fucked him right into his beige colored carpet.

Max's reserved exterior slowly broke down and soon he was just as vocal, if not more vocal, than me. He squirmed and cried and moaned and begged for more, which I was more than happy to do.

Max needed to forget Jason, He needed someone else to use him and show him that Jason wasn't the only guy out there, despite their five years together.

I needed to vent my anger. I needed to take out all of my pent up sexual frustration on something and loose the hate that had been eating at me for the past year.

I think we both reached our goal, during that frenzy of tangled limbs and forceful thrusting. In all the lustful chaos, our right hands somehow found each other and the fingers on each one intertwined tightly, keeping them locked together the entire time.

Finally, when we were both done, I collapsed on top Max and wrapped his thin, sweaty body in my arms. Neither one of us made a move to part because we were both panting and tired, the sweat making our rapidly cooling bodies stick together. I was too worn out to move to the bedroom, so I climbed up onto the couch. Max joined me, settling his head on my chest and curling up around my side.

"Thank you," He whispered softly, his breath paying over my chest.

I hugged him gently, pulling his thin frame closer and kissed him on the forehead.

It was meant to be kind of an unspoken 'you're welcome' gesture, but I think Max had already fallen asleep.

The next morning, I'm the first to wake up. Max is still snuggled up next to me and I lay there for a few minutes to study his face.

His ever present frown is now gone and his peaceful face is innocent, almost childish. Max now looks more like a girl than he did before. If he ever decided to grow his hair out, he might be able to actually pass as a girl. I think I'll keep this to myself though, because Max probably won't like being called feminine.

I eventually get bored, laying there with nothing to do, plusI have to go take a piss, so I shake Max awake. He's a light sleeper, so waking him is and easy task. He lets me untangle our intermeshed bodies from around each other before flopping back down on the couch with a contented grunt.

I easily find the bathroom. It's a nice room done in green and blues and the shower is huge. After I take care of my business in the toilet, I grab a towel from the cabinet and slip into the shower. My body is covered in scratches and bite marks and my legs feel like jell-o if I stand in one place for too long, but I am fine with that. The warm shower eases my body and memories of last night replay in my head.

I'm strangely very pleased with last night, considering the odd circumstances.

I had sex with my cheating ex-boyfriend's former partner.

Jeez, I thought this stuff only happened in soap operas.

I eventually end my shower and head back out into the living, with the towel around my waist, to find Max making breakfast in just his boxers and my baggy red tee-shirt. I think I accidentally ripped his shirt to shreds last night. My own pants are lying over the back of the couch, so I drop the towel and put them back on. When I look back up, I see that Max is watching me. I can't really read the expression on his face.

He could be regretting last night and want me to disappear into the carpet, but he's just too polite to tell me to get lost.

Or maybe it's the opposite and he wants a repeat of last night. I'll never know.

"Vould you like brek'fast?"

Or maybe he just wants to know if I'm hungry.


Max gives a curt nod and then turns back towards the stove.

Oh crap, he's ticked about something.

This really was a bad idea.

"Max?" I say, voice tentative.

His shoulders tense and his steady stirring of what looks like pancake or waffle batter pauses for a moment.

"It's ok." He says loudly, and resumes stirring at a rapid pace, "I understand if you vhant to 'ust leave."

Max's reaction stuns me, and I'm sure that my surprise is written all over my face for Max to see as he turns around to face me.


I don't want to leave.

That's what I want to say, but I wonder if that's what he wants to hear.

I take a leap of faith.

"I want to stay."

Max's eyes widen slightly. I can hear my heart pounding in my chest and I wonder if Max can hear it too. Can he sense my fear?

A smile appears on that pale face.

"Zhen stay."

Not fifteen minutes later, we are situated at his small, two-seater table. He is actually a pretty decent cook.

-One Year Later-

"And this is the gallery of Maxim Smirnov; his art is mainly abstract and contemporary as you can see. He works with mainly oil paints, but some of his earlier sketches can be found on the counter to your left. Smirnov is originally from Russia, but he moved here when he was eighteen and now is one of the most sought after new artists in the United States and Russia. He will actually be here in a while, if anyone would like to meet him, so please look around and enjoy his works."

As I circle the room, looking at pictures I've already seen a million times before but still find just as beautiful, one painting in particular catches my eyes.

I've never, ever seen it before and trust me when I say that Max shows me every one of his paintings. "Do you like it? Does it look ok? Is it lopsided? Do you really like it?" He's like a five-year-old boy every time he finishes one.

It's of a man sleeping, snuggled deep within a multitude of blankets. The male subject seems peaceful and happy, handsome face done in soft peaches and pinks. A light seems to be emanating from the bed, or rather the man sleeping on it, and the area around is a swirl of blues, purples, and black.

With a stunned pause, I realize that the sleeping man is me.

I have no idea when Max did this and how he kept me from seeing it, but it's definitely his work and it's definitely me.

One of the art critics next to me closely examines the picture and notices me, stopped dead in front of it and looking like I've forgotten where I am.

"Do you know him?" He asks.

I snap out of my stupor with a slight jump.


"Smirnov. Do you know him? I mean, that's you in the picture isn't it?"

"I-I guess it is…"

"Hmm. It's a good portrait."

"Yeah… it is…." The smile on my face is uncontrollable.

I move away from the picture and look around, taking in the large room with all its different inhabitants and paintings on the wall.

This is by far the largest gallery opening Max has ever had.

He doesn't know I'm here. I wanted to surprise him so I told him I had to work today. Poor Maxy, he looked so disappointed, but I'm hoping a kiss and the rose in my coat pocket will make it up to him.

I'm really quite proud of him.

He's come a long way. I have too I think, and we're both genuinely happy.

We've learned a lot over the past year together.

I just hope there are many more years to come.

Review please!!! pouty face

Much luv