Author Topic: Love Thy Neighbour  (Read 1413 times)

Mataya

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Love Thy Neighbour
« on: March 22, 2010, 12:00:26 AM »
[size=9]((Scene posted with permission.))[/size]

"Ok, we're almost there." Max had carried Taya for what seemed like hours since leaving the Inn. Truly nothing was ever really far from the Inn, but his mind was heavy with the thoughts of the recent events. As he reached the Zen building, he readjusted by jostling her a bit. "Taya, you even awake?"

"M'awake, I am," she protested at the jostling, lifting her head off his shoulder where she had been - in her mind, at least - craftily reminding herself of his unique scent. The loud sniffing may well have given her away, though. "Where are we?"

"Home." he turned sideways to go through the doorway and then crab walked up the stairs to keep from hitting her head. "What possessed you to have more than one drink?"

"Th' nice lady gave me one and we were taking and she was really nice to me," was the proffered explanation as her arms tightened around his neck, her lips dangerously close to making contact with his jaw. "An' you're really nice too."

"Thought I was a controlling jerk who took away your identity?" his brain to mouth filter wasn't working so well after the shot of whiskey. "Which one is your apartment?"

"2B," she replied promptly. "Didn' say that, said I lost myself an' that's my fault, not yours." She was quiet for long moment, nestling against his shoulder. "Miss you."

He found the apartment and gently put her on her feet, but kept a hold of her to keep her from falling. "I miss you too, Taya." He sighed and waited for her to open up the door.

Her smile was infinitely fond, and ridiculously inebriated as he set her down, her head lolling as she leaned into him to carefully squint at her keys and find the appropriate one. "Should come back'n be all sexy'n and manly an' mine again," she suggested, scowling in deep thought as she manuvered the key into the lock and turned it. The door opened under her weight, and Mataya lurched forward, landing on her back just inside the door in fits of giggles.

He'd forgotten what a light weight she was. He sighed resignedly, knowing that if she weren't drunk, she'd never be saying exactly what he had been wanting to hear. When she fell through the door, he bolted forward, attempting to catch her and failing miserably. "You alright?"

Her mouth wide open in loud laughter, she flailed at him in silent demand to be helped up. "I flew! Did you see me, I flew!" Her laughter died down a little as she looked up at him. "Help me get into bed?"

"You flew alright." He chuckled and pulled her keys from the door before shutting the door behind himself. The keys were placed on a shelf nearby. "Taya..." he reached down to lift her from the floor. "You know what could happen if I go into that bedroom."

They do say that truth comes from the mouths of drunks ... "So?" She shrugged, smiling merrily up at him as he pulled her up off the floor, leaning heavily against him. She was drunk, and the man she was still in love with was irresistably close. Her arms were suddenly locked around his neck as she lurched up to him.

Max was a bastard. A vain bastard. Her throwing herself at him like that could easily be taken as a golden ticket to happy land. But not tonight. Not after all of the revelations of that evening. "Taya.." He was cut off as her lips met his. His arms tightened instinctively and he held her close, kissing her passionately. But only briefly. He pulled his head away and looked down at her. "Not like this. Not when you're drunk. When you're sober, we'll talk. Ok?"
Life's like a play; it's not the length but the excellence of the acting that matters.

Mataya

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Re: Love Thy Neighbour
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2010, 12:00:58 AM »
Hurt flashed, loud and clear, in the brown eyes turned up to his, but only for a moment. Without the sobriety of her common sense in the way, Mataya was not taking no for an answer, however gentlemanly Max wanted to be. She drew him down to her, crushing her lips to his.

"Ah God," he moaned against her mouth. So easy it would be to take advantage of her. How right it felt to hold her again, feel her body against his and to taste her once more. With a growl, he pulled himself away. Leaning against the wall, he panted and slowly wiped his lips with the back of his hand. "Taya, I love you. God knows, I never stopped loving you. And when you divorced me, I thought my life was going to end. I followed you everywhere. I can't imagine life without you in it." His face was contorted with pain. "But, please, let's do this right. For once in our lives, let's do this right."

"But I love you," she answered with drunken, childlike certainty. "And you love me, isn't that doing things right? You're all tense ... I know, I'll take off my clothes." Max was very lucky that Mataya was not going to remember much, if any, of this in the morning. Her tunic hit the floor quickly enough, her attention now on the suddenly very complicated fly of her jeans.

"Taking advantage of you while you're drunk.." he was cut off, once again. He drew in a choked breath at seeing her disrobe. "God, you're making this so hard to be noble." he helped her with the fly of her jeans and pulled them down to the floor. "Step out."

"Don't you want me, Maximillion?" she asked in a breathy husky, her hands laying on his shoulders as she stepped out of her jeans. Leaning backwards to look down at him, she smiled affectionately, drawing him back up to press close. "Missed you so much," she whispered fervently, curling her arms about his waist.

"I never stopped." he whispered and stood up, his hands moving to her waist. "Come on." he gently lifted her by hugging her to his chest. He could pretty easily figure out where the bedroom was and went there.

With no separate room for the bedroom, it was a simple matter of negotiating his way around and between a wide, tall bookcase and a folding partition wall to find the bed space. Albeit with Mataya cuddled against him, nuzzling distractedly at his neck.

He managed to find his way to the bed space and somehow got there without falling over or dropping her. "Hey.." He pulled his head back anytime those nuzzlings became sucklings. Carefully he placed her onto the bed, and then lay down beside her. He remained fully dressed. "Shh you rest now, you'll need it."

Much to her momentary displeasure, Mataya's eyes were already hooding as he laid her down. She rolled onto her side, wrapping her arm around his waist as he lay down beside her and pulling herself close. "Love you, Max," was mumbled softly into his shoulder, just moments before she gave in and fell asleep. And even as she slept, she was reluctant to release him.

He held her close and when he rolled onto his back, kept her head cradled to his chest. "Love you too, Taya." he sighed and kicked off his shoes. It was going to be a long night. He stared up at the ceiling and prayed for sleep that he knew would not come.
Life's like a play; it's not the length but the excellence of the acting that matters.

Mataya

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Re: Love Thy Neighbour
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2010, 06:35:03 PM »
[size=9]((Scene edited from Live Play, posted with permission. May include some mature content.))[/size]

Dry lips and a sore backside woke Mataya in the early hours of the morning, just as the dawn was turning the sky outside to dusky grey. Lying still, her eyes stubbornly staying closed, she nestled closer to the warm body stretched out alongside hers, squeezing her arm about him. Even unable to see, there was no mistaking the scent of him, the way his arm curled about her shoulders so possessively. "Morning, Max," she murmured sleepily.

The reality caught up. Her eyes shot open, and she stared in wide-eyed mortification at her ex-husband, who had finally fallen to sleep. Her senses rushed to register that she was naked, but he was not; that she had drunk a little too much the night before. The memories of what had been said and done were a little slower to arrive, but still ... kisses, declarations of love ... "Oh god," she whispered, not daring to move in case she woke him up before she was ready. "Stupid, stupid, stupid ..."

And yet, lying here next to him, it was so easy to remember how good they had been together. how perfect that first year or so had been, before the cracks began to show. Before they started to grow apart.


<FLASHBACK>


Four years ago ...

Be ready at seven, Max had said. And of course, as usual, she was nowhere near ready as seven rolled by. Hopping around her condo in nothing but a towel, painting her toenails at every other hop, Mataya was already in fits of giggles at the thought of the look on her boyfriend's face when he let himself in and found her totally unready for him. But, you know, he should be used to it by now, surely?

To be on time is to be late. To be a half hour early is to be on time. But he knew Mataya all too well. They'd been dating for the duration of the shoot and now that it had wrapped up, they didn't have the stresses of directors, make up, wardrobe, cameras and extras to deal with. It was time for fun. And he could relax the rules a bit. He showed up at seven on the dot and used the key that she had given him to get in. This was THE night and he had things all planned out. He patted his coat pocket and was reassured by the shape of the box. He could hear her upstairs and he shook his head with a chuckle. It was cute how she was always late for everything. Fashionably late, his mother had laughed when he brought her home. But now, he was wanting to get the evening going. "Taya, I'm coming up there! If you're not ready to go by the time I get up the stairs, I'm leaving without you!"

What he got in reply was a loud laugh, and a towel in the face. Giggling to herself, Mataya ran back to her bedroom in nothing but her underwear and struggled to get into her dress, slipping easily into the silk and tying the halter behind her neck. The brazen red showed off her tanned skin, a fine contrast to the natural dark brown of her hair as it fell about her shoulders. "I'm coming, I'm coming!" she called back to him, once more hopping around, alternately blowing on her drying toenails as she hunted about for her shoes.

Max caught the towel and tossed it to the side. Let the maids get it, that's what they were paid for. "You will be, later!" he laughed and lounged at the top of the stairs to wait for her. "Good thing I made the reservations for nine o'clock!"

"See? You know I'm hopeless, what's the rush?" she asked with an audible grin, now calming down enough to perch on the edge of her bed and buckle the thin straps on her shoes. Dressed now, at least, she then slipped to her vanity and began the practised technique of hasty makeup. A lick of mascara, a swipe of shadow and rouge, and crimson lips were the order of the day. "Where are we going, did you say?"

"What's the rush?" He shrugged non-chalantly and pursed his lips. "Only the second most important day in your life, that's all." He chuckled and glanced up, over his shoulder, at her bedroom door. "Thought we'd go to Club Noir, maybe a movie or something."

"Second most important - what are you talking about, Maximillion?" The bedroom door opened, and she leaned against the doorframe, her head tilted with an admiring grin for the way he was turned out. "My, my, aren't you the handsome one tonight?" she complimented him, stepping towards him with a loving smile. The last few weeks had been one hell of a rollercoaster ride, and she really wasn't ready to get off yet. If at all.
Life's like a play; it's not the length but the excellence of the acting that matters.

Mataya

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Re: Love Thy Neighbour
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2010, 06:35:49 PM »
Max looked down at the black suit and red tie, white shirt and leather shoes that he was wearing. "Hey, I got to look good. Because a hot girl should not be seen with a dweeb." He chuckled and when she emerged, he gave her a lusty leer. "My lady in red. Mm mm mm so hot!" His hands went to her waist and he was careful not to kiss her too roughly; didn't want to mess up her make up.

Giggling at his daft, if sweet, reaction to her, Mataya was putty in Max's hands, curling her arms about his neck as she surrendered to his kisses more than willingly. The heels gave her more of an advantage tonight; usually she was bent half over his arm as he leaned down to her, but tonight she only had to lift a little way to meet him with smiling lips. Drawing back, she offered him a deliberately flagrant smile, flicking her hair from her face. "Cafe Noir, huh? Planning on putting on a show for the paps?"

He glanced into a mirror as he held her and had to grin at the perfect shape of her ass. His hand reached down and he grabbed a handful. "Of course, time to give them a little to write about. Sell the movie baby." He chuckled and let go of her. "Damn, you are so hot!"

She let out a little 'eep' of sound as his hand took possession of her backside, her lips curving into a wide grin as she echoed the touch on him. He wasn't the only one riding high on lust as well as love, after all. "Down, boy." She patted his backside before stepping back, smoothing the skirt of her dress. "Plenty of time to play later. You invited me on a date, remember? Pay up!"

"Oh yeah! Date." He grinned a roguishly crooked grin  and led her down the stairs and towards the door. "Brought the Jag. Not a convertible so you don't have to worry about messing up your hair."

"Hey, I'll have you know I'm not half as picky with my hair as Christine is," Mataya laughed back at him, picking her way down the stairs carefully after him. The last thing she wanted to do was go ass over tip - very classy. "And you're one to talk - don't think I didn't see you spending half an hour in front of a mirror just to get that one bit perfect!"

"Christine..." he rolled his eyes and shook his head. "Hey, I've got a cowlick! It takes forever to get it to sit right." He put his hand in the small of her back as he opened the front door. "Besides, spirit gum sticks, it's impossible to get out."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah." She flashed him a merry grin as the door opened. Public faces were on straightaway - after all, what happened outside private property was of the public interest, wasn't it? There were a lot of responsibilities that came with being a celebrity. She stepped out into the growing dusk, warm air stirring the asymmetrical hem of her dress as she turned to wait for Max. "So what was so important that meant I absolutely had to come out tonight?"

"Patience." Max wore a smile as he escorted Taya to the car. He waved as he saw a flashbulb go off in the bushes. "Really you should invest in more security." He got her safely to the car and opened the door for her. "Your chariot, my lady."

"I'm fine, I don't do as much screen as you do," she pointed out with a smile, sliding into the passenger seat of the beautiful Jag. "They'll get bored of me in a few weeks, it's just how it goes." Pulling the door closed, she waited for him to walk around and slip into the car himself, taking the time to check her hair and make up.

He slid into the car and started it up. "I don't see how anybody could be bored with you." He leaned over and kissed her cheek before putting the car into gear and taking off.

She blushed prettily, just about managing to catch the corner of his mouth with her lips before he sat back and they were on their way. "I can't believe we only met each other, like, two months ago," she mused, drawing the bulk of her hair over her shoulder as she watched him drive. "I can't imagine not being with you."

Once they were on their way, he reached for her hand and laced his fingers between hers. "That's the intention." He smiled and gestured towards the glove box. "Open it up." A box of Godiva chocolates sat inside, waiting for her to discover it.

Lifting his hand to her lips to kiss his knuckles, Mataya was loath to take her eyes off Max until he nodded to the glove compartment. She leaned forward and flicked the box open, her eyes lighting up on seeing the distinctive red fabric box within. "More chocolate?" It was her biggest weakness, and one he had wasted no time in discovering and exploiting. "I'm going to blow up like a balloon with you spoiling me so much!"

"What yoga can't handle, Dr. Feelgood can." He laughed and kept his eyes on the road. "There's more surprises, so don't eat too many of those." His smile was sublime and he looked the part of the confident actor he was.
Life's like a play; it's not the length but the excellence of the acting that matters.

Mataya

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Re: Love Thy Neighbour
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2010, 06:36:36 PM »
"I'll just have one," she promised, somehow managing to get the box open with one hand, as she refused to remove the other from his grasp until he needed it. Her fingers closed on a rich, dark chocolate caramel, and she made the most exquisite sound of pleasure as the flavours exploded on her tongue. Grinning to herself, she picked another at random and leaned over, holding it to his lips before pressing her mouth to his cheek. "Thank you, sweetheart."

He kissed her fingertips as the chocolate truffle nearly melted on his tongue. "You're welcome, baby." He looked over at her with a warm smile. "We're going to be forever, Taya. M & M, we belong together."

"M & M ... I hadn't even looked at it like that," she mused with a sweet smile on her lips. "You're right, we're perfect together. And, you know, you can handle my mom, which is always good." She laughed softly; her mother was the terror of her apartment block, having refused to move out even when Mataya had offered her a new place to live. "You shouldn't look at me like that, else we won't even make it out of the car when you stop."

"Ha!" He grinned and turned his head to look back out at the road. "You know, screw Club Noir." He swerved suddenly, taking an off ramp.

"What - whoa!" Startled, and not a little bit frightened by the suddenly reckless driving, Mataya rocked in her seat, grabbing onto the car door tightly as though it could keep her safe. "Max, what are you doing?"

"Change of plans baby." He laughed and glanced over at her to make sure she were alright. "How long has it been since you've been to the pier?" Max had practically grown up at the pier, and couldn't think of any place else he'd rather be at the moment. Butterflies were flitting about inside of his stomach and he needed something comfortable and familiar.

"The pier?" For a moment, Mataya was completely non-plussed, before realising what he was talking about. "I didn't grow up around here, Max, I don't think I've ever been to a pier before. There aren't many in Brooklyn, I don't know if you've noticed that." She laughed teasingly.

"Oh, well then  you're in for something." he grinned even more broadly and eased his foot down on the accelerator. "You're going to love it, baby. It's over the ocean and one of my favorite places."

Her hand released his as he accelerated, lowering to squeeze the edge of her seat uncomfortably as she sat back, her smile a little tense at the speed they were doing. She did trust him, of course - she loved him, didn't she? - but a speeding car on these roads? Asking for trouble. "Over the ocean? How does it stay up?"

"You're kidding, right?" He laughed and his foot left the accelerator to quickly slow down for the red light. "It's held up by pilings they sink into the ocean floor. The beach is there and..." he shook his head and laughed. "Well, you'll see."

"Really? That's gotta cost a bomb to keep up." Her brown eyes sparkled with excitement as they slowed to a stop, though she did let her gaze flick about, looking for any photographers out of habit.

They were in a part of town known more for their hard working middle class than anything else and there were no photographers following them, this time. "It's owned by the city and free. Like a park." He chuckled and accelerated when the light turned green. "You alright, babe?"

Again, as they accelerated, she'd leaned back in her seat in awkward concern. "Yeah," she assured him, though, a smile on her lips still. "Yeah, I'm fine. All this cloak and dagger mystery stuff, though - you hiding anything big I should know about?"

"I'm a mass murderer," he chuckled darkly. "And I'm hiding a body in the trunk." He turned his gaze onto her and winked playfully. "Don't trust me, baby?"

"Dude, I let you in my panties the first night we met, I think we can safely say I trust you," she snorted with laughter, rolling her eyes at his playful teasing. "Just out of curiosity, why are we going fishing?"

"Yeah, good memories." He shivered and closed his eyes briefly. "And we're not going fishing." Though the smell of fish, the odor, was almost palatable outside of the car now that they had reached the parking garage. He rolled down the window and punched the red button to grab a ticket and lift the arm of the traffic control pylon.

Peering about, Mataya got her first glimpse of the pier as they drove into the garage, laughing at her own lack of understanding. "Why didn't you tell me it's a boardwalk?" she demanded cheerfully, slapping his arm lightly. "I'm not so dumb I don't know what one of those is."

"We just call it the pier." He laughed at her patting his arm. Pulling into a parking spot, he killed the engine and quickly got out of the car. He was around the car and pulling her door open in seconds flat. Holding his hand out, to help her up.

Long tanned legs slid out first, and she twisted in the seat to slip her hand into his, letting him pull her up and out of the vehicle with a smile. She gave the door a nudge to close it, and took full advantage of the relative privacy of the parking lot to press a teasing kiss to the corner of his mouth.

"Mmm ..." Max pulled her close and that chaste kiss became something much more as his hand went to the back of her head. Pressing her against the car, his free hand slid down her side.

Her cheeks flushed with sweet lust as he pressed her against the car, caught between the coolness of metal and the heat of him, and not minding in the slightest. Her arms curled about his neck as her lips parted beneath his, a tiny part of her mind marvelling at how easily just a kiss from him could make her lose all sense of propriety.
Life's like a play; it's not the length but the excellence of the acting that matters.

Mataya

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Re: Love Thy Neighbour
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2010, 06:37:39 PM »
Slowly, painfully, he pulled away from her. He adjusted his crotch as he stepped away. "Right, plans now, after plan fun later." He grinned and extended his arm, palm up, to her. "Come on, let's go dancing.":

She stayed leaning against the car a moment longer, darkened eyes lazy with longing gazing at him as he adjusted himself. Then she pushed forward, clapping her hand into his, and lifted his arm, twirling herself beneath it as her skirt flew out from her body prettily. "All right, sweetheart, you can show me what you've learned."

"What I've learned?" He curled his arm around her shoulders once she was done with her pirouette. "Yeah, I don't think dancing to show tunes has the street cred that we're looking for." He chuckled and walked with her up the stairs to the main level of the pier.

She rolled her eyes, laughing. The man insisted on not accepting the fact that she was, first and foremost, a dancer, and therefore had more than show routines up her proverbial sleeve. She hadn't released his hand, her fingers still curled into his at her shoulder, and her other arm about his waist. "Don't worry, baby, I'll make you look good," she promised, her gaze darting about all around them as they gained the pier proper.

"I know you will, and I'll put your name in the papers." he chuckled darkly. Max had the reputation of a badboy, a playboy, a destroyer of innocence; evil personified if you asked the people of the bible thumping town of Provo Utah. "It's just up there." He hurried his steps, excitement taking over.

"That's all we're together for, huh?" Mataya laughed as he hurried along, skipping with him to keep up. Where he was the bad boy, the playboy, she was the unknown, a nameless actress who had suddenly become more than unknown since being papped with him on their first date. "Easy, handsome, the pier's not going anywhere!"

"Oh but this place is awesome!" Sure enough, music could be heard and getting louder with each footstep closer to the club. "You've got to see it, baby!" He couldn't wait to get her inside to see her reaction.

"Alright, alright!" Laughing, she let herself be all but dragged forward to the club, already smiling at the sensual beat of the music from within. "Not overdressed, are we?"

"Naa, we'll fit in." He stopped suddenly, in front of a door. It was opened wide and the security guard greeted Max like they were old friends. Ushered into a dark hallway, and then to an elevator, where they were left to ride up three floors. He held her in the elevator. "Don't worry baby, VIP treatment."

Caught against him in the elevator, Mataya behaved herself, although her embrace was perhaps a little less appropriate than his as she grinned up at him. "VIP, huh? Wow, I should hang out with you more often," she teased. "Back home, I didn't even rate a P."

He grinned at her and in a rare moment of gentility, leaned to kiss her softly. "Baby, you deserve the entire alphabet." He gazed into her eyes and the mask was gone. There was nothing there but the unadulterated love and adoration he felt for her.

And she melted, just like she always did when he stopped pretending to be what the world saw, and was just her Max. In turn, her expression softened immeasureably, her smile tender as she looked up at him. "Even the Fs?" she asked impishly.

"Definitely the F's. Fantastic, Fun, Flirty..." he kissed her once again. The bell rang indicating they were at their floor. "Let's party!" When the door opened, he pulled her from the elevator and into another hallway. "This is going to blow your mind."

"I hope not literally, I don't take stuff, remember?" Tugged along after him, she couldn't help another fond laugh at how excited he seemed to be. "How far do we have to go to get to the music?" she giggled.

"Right here." He opened the door and the wave of sound staggered him. Laughing loudly, he pulled her forward into a room that was made of glass entirely. They stood on the thick glass above the dancefloor. The disco ball hung down beneath their feet.

Her first reaction was one of wondering amazement. "Oh ... my god ... this is fantastic!" she yelled to him over the thump of the music, her eyes wide with excitement as she looked around. Then she registered the fact that beneath them, guys in particular were looking up through the glass and her legs clamped tightly together. "I should've worn my granny panties," she laughed, blushing furiously.

"I don't believe you have granny panties!" He laughed and pulled her to him, bumping and grinding to the music. The music was loud and had an erotic beat to it and most couples on the dancefloor were doing exactly what he was doing.

So he thought she could only dance to show tunes, did he? Boy, was he about to be proved wrong. Thumping up against him without reserve as he drew her close, Mataya curled one arm about his neck and bent her knees, bumping, grinding, undulating against him to the sensuous beat of the music. "You haven't had free access to my closet yet, that's why!" she grinned back at him.

"Oh God, baby..." he moaned as their hips rubbed, bumped and provided enough friction to start a forest fire. "Do I want to see your closet?" He chuckled, voice thick with emotion. "You keep this up and they'll see a lot more than your granny panties."

Grinning wickedly, she eased back just enough to be able to swing her hips from side to side, her knees bending to lower her down in time to the beat. Her hands dragged down his chest as her face moved past his crotch, her grin widening as she rose again. "You were saying, sweetheart?"

As she moved down, he leaned back and thrust his hips towards her upturned face. "Yeah, tease me now, please me later." He pulled her close, one hand going to her breast. He squeezed to test the waters and then slowly smoothed the material of her dress down her stomach.

Her skin darkened with a flush of want at his possessive touch on her, arms coiling about him as she teased his lips with the ghost of a kiss. "In front of all these people?" she asked in a husky growl. "My, you are kinky."
Life's like a play; it's not the length but the excellence of the acting that matters.

Mataya

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Re: Love Thy Neighbour
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2010, 06:38:55 PM »
"Oh, you have no idea, baby.." Max grinned wickedly and his hand moved further down her body. He bent his knees and slowly, inch by inch, kissed his way down her cleave, to her stomach. His hand reached the hem of her dress and slid under it, nails softly raking up her thigh.

If he thought her shy, he had another thing coming. With Max's lips pressing that slow trail down her skin, she lifted her arms, bending her body backwards and lifting her knee to his hip, pressing their bodies intimately tightly together as she ground against him with a grin.

He dropped to one knee as his hand moved to the small of her back to support her. With her thigh up on his shoulder now, he slid his cheek along the silky material that seperated them. His other hand reached into his coat pocket and he pulled out that velvet box. Flipping it open with his thumb, he held it up to her. "Marry me?"

Thankfully, she had already been straightening up before he dropped that bombshell on her. Her body snapping the last part of the way, Mataya stared down at him, wide-eyed as her jaw dropped. "Excuse me?"

He couldn't help but laugh at her expression and the way she responded. Now that she was upright, his hand moved from her back to take hers. "Marry me, Taya." He held the box up further, the large diamond sparkling and the rows of tiny diamonds nearly blinding in the club's lights. The music had stopped playing, spotlight on them.

Her leg unhooked from his shoulder to let her stand upright easily as he took her hand. Never mind that they were in a spotlight, for the moment all she could see was him, and that huge diamond. "You ... what ... uh ..." Her mouth worked incoherently for a few moments as she tried to form a decent sentence before giving up completely. Bending, she pressed her lips to his, drawing back just long enough to say, "Yes, I will."

He continued to hold the box, but his arms went around her as she knelt down. He kissed her and then smiled brilliantly when she said yes. His hand went to the back of her head and he pulled her in for an even more passionate kiss. The DJ congratulated them, then played "The Lady in Red".

It was strange, but she only became aware of their audience as the first strains of music began playing, almost drowned out by the whooping cheers of the dancers around them. Giggling ecstatically, she drew back, pulling him up to his feet with her. "Do I have to put it on myself?"

"Oh no." He grinned and quickly pulled the ring from the box. Grasping her left hand, he slid the ring onto her finger. then he clasped her hands between his and brought her fingertips to his lips. "I love you, Taya."

Eyes sparkling with loving affection, she watched as he slipped the ring onto her finger, barely noticing the way it glimmered under the lights. Her gaze was captured by his, her heart thumping happily at his declaration. "I love you back, Max," she promised, her Italian background prompting her to repeat herself in a language more suited to such words. "Ti amo."

His nostrils flared as he inhaled deeply. Her Italian sounded so beautiful. She looked and was so beautiful. He quickly swept her up in a warm hug and gently swayed to the music. "I'll never will forget.. the way you look.. tonight."

Cheek to cheek, they swayed together, eyes closed, the world falling away to leave only them, Max and Mataya. She didn't care what happened next, whether everything would fall apart. All she knew was that there would never be another night as perfect as this one.


<END FLASHBACK>



She'd been wrong, of course. There had been plenty of nights as perfect as that one; plenty of days to pair with them, too. And then, somehow, they'd lost the romance of it all. Everything had become a chore, she'd found herself changing her ways, herself, to fit better with him in the hopes that things would work out. And they hadn't.

Sighing softly, Mataya gently eased herself away from Max's sleeping form, ducking out from under his arm. She rose, slipping on a robe to cover her nakedness, and padded out from behind the partitions that separated her bed area from the living area of her loft. Her eyes fell on a particular box, resting at eye level on the wide bookcase. Without needing to think about it, she lifted it down, her feet taking her to the sliding doors and out onto the balcony, into the spring chill of the early morning.

So ... she'd made a fool of herself the night before. He knew now she still loved him, which would no doubt make no difference to the way he behaved around her. He'd still continue his apparently burgeoning relationship with that Kate woman, probably with more relish, since now he knew he could hurt her deeply that way. And yet ... he'd brought her home, undressed her, stayed with her to be sure she was all right. Didn't that sort of suggest that he'd told the truth when he'd said he loved her still?

She sighed, looking down at the box in her hands. Her fingers twitched, drawing it gently open to let the rising sun sparkle on diamonds. Perhaps there was hope, after all.

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Mataya

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Re: Love Thy Neighbour
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2010, 03:08:20 AM »
[size=9]((Scene posted with permission.))[/size]

Max groaned in his sleep. He felt like he was being suffocated, bound up and left in an uncomfortable position so that his body ached with every twitch of apathetic muscles. Choking, choking, must sit up, sit up Max, breathe, Max, BREATHE! He sat up, gasping and tugging at his throat. His eyes went wide and then instantly closed as he fell back onto the bed. The light hurt. Everything hurt. He managed to yank his shirt off and was able to breathe, lungs expanding. Finally, he relaxed against the pillows.

Inhaling deeply through his nose, a slow frown soured his expression as he realized where he was, simply from that sweet perfume that she wore. Still, he was uncomfortable. His trouser legs had twisted and pulled up to his knees. And his underwear... he didn't want to think about that. Slowly, he brought his hand to his face and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He wondered if Taya remembered the night before. If she did, what would she do about it? She had the ammunition to slice and dice him to shreds. But would she do it? Mother nature made her presence known and with a sigh, Max sat up and his eyes blinked open. He swiveled and his feet hit the ground with a soft thump. Rising up, he walked towards where he thought the bathroom was. Then, suddenly, he realized he was alone.

Stopping, he glanced around. "Taya?"

Her voice called to him softly from beyond the glass doors that led onto the balcony. "I'm out here, Max."

Truth be told, Mataya had been out on the balcony for what felt like hours. She'd come inside just once, to dress herself, not wanting to face him in nothing but a robe despite last night's antics. Her body would be all too willing to betray her to him, even if he didn't take into account the drunken truth-saying the night before. She was frightened, though - with all he knew now, Max could easily destroy what was left of her self-confidence with nothing more than a look. She'd heard him get up and move around, choosing not to walk in and join him, preferring to stay out here, sitting beside her little tranquility fountain as she attempted to meditate. Her engagement ring - the ring he had given her four years ago - lay on the table across from her, sparkling in the crisp sunlight.

"Oh." He turned to look out of the glass doors. A frown at the expression on Taya's face. He turned once again and walked to the bathroom. Easy enough to find; she did love those scented candles. As he relieved himself, he glanced into the mirror. A grin at the foppish way his hair jutted out in all directions. "So easy.." he murmured to himself. And it would be easy to walk out there and repeat all of the things he'd said to her last night. But her expression told him to keep his defenses up. After washing his hands, he walked through the apartment to the sliding glass doors. "Sorry about last night." His eyes fell to the engagement ring and he shut up immediately.

She drew in a deep breath, her brown eyes lifting to his face. There was no hostility in her expression, only a wariness that she could see echoed in his face. "No, I'm sorry," she said softly, lifting her hand to gesture to the padded bench beside her. "Sit down? I think we need to talk. Properly, without arguing or trying to hurt each other."

He was tempted to take the seat beside her. But how quickly would they let things get out of hand when they could barely control themselves; much less at that close proximity? No, he shook his head and walked around the table to sit down on the bench across from her. It was safer this way. If they were to have an adult conversation, they'd have better chances doing it sitting across from each other. "You're right, the games are stupid. We've been behaving like children."

"For two years." She laughed a little, her expression relaxing into a smile when it became clear that he wasn't about to rip into her. She was relieved he hadn't sat beside her; she didn't trust herself at all that close to him. Her fingers reached out, picking up the diamond ring on the table and rubbing her thumb over it. "We both made a lot of mistakes," she began quietly, staring down at the ring. "But I think I made the biggest one. I gave up, and I ran away, and that wasn't fair on either of us. I never told you why."

Max sat quietly, watching the emotions cross Mataya's face. He kept a stoic expression on his face, but the more she spoke, the more sick to his stomach he felt. She was going to tell him everything. Everything he already knew. He barely could look at her as guilt ripped through him and his heart beat accelerated. How much did she know? The actor in him kept the mask firmly in place. Inside, he was a jumbled mass of nerves. He nodded, urging her to go on.
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Mataya

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Re: Love Thy Neighbour
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2010, 03:09:17 AM »
She didn't look up, knowing what she would see. He'd be pretending none of this mattered, hiding from her again, just like he always had. But she wasn't going to let it stop her from saying what had to be said.

"I was too young," she said, still in that quiet tone. "Too young for the responsibilities that came with being married, let alone being your wife. Our honeymoon period lasted so much longer than I thought it would, I convinced myself that it would always be that way. And then we started working on different projects, and you were away so much. I kept hearing rumours, being told what was being written about you, and I got scared. I thought I was losing you without doing anything. So I started making myself fit."

She glanced up briefly. "I stopped working, remember? So I could be with you. I changed my opinions, I changed my hair colour, I did everything I could think of to be the perfect wife for you, and that wasn't fair on either of us. I exhausted myself." SHe shook her head, looking down at the ring. "I forgot how much I loved you in the resentment and awkwardness. And rather than tell you, I ran away. And you let me."

He drew in a deep breath, and then let it out. Nothing that was written about him was true, yet it had driven a wedge between him and Mataya. He wasn't sure what to say or how to say it. Taking another deep breath, he sighed softly. "The changes scared me." He shook his head at how lame that sounded. She was putting the cards on the table, so it was his turn to do so as well. "Nothing they wrote was true. I wasn't dumb enough to have an affair where it could be seen." He lowered his eyes and wondered how long it would take Taya to realize what he was saying to her. "I couldn't stop you from going, Taya, and I honestly thought that you left because well.. " He blew out another breath. "I thought you hated me."

"Where it could be seen?" Her head tilted as she looked up at him, the frown on her face highlighting the sudden flash of pain in her eyes at the thought that he might, indeed, have cheated on her and kept it a secret. She sighed softly, lowering her eyes to her hands again. "I never hated you. I couldn't. Even now, after two years of being stalked, I can't hate you."

"Is that how you see it? Stalking?" Anger flashed in his dark eyes and he turned to look at the fountain. "I was trying to get you back, to show you that I was sorry for the things that I've done." Yes, the pain in her eyes registered and the guilt squeezed his heart. "But if I was just an annoyance, then maybe we've said enough."

"You didn't answer the question," she reminded him softly. "Max, if we've got any chance of moving on, wherever it takes us, we have to be honest with each other. No matter how much it hurts."

"What question?" He set his mouth stubbornly and his nostrils flared with each breath. "You want the details? Every last one of them? Her name was Sophia. She was an extra on the set. I kept her in my trailer. Is that enough or do you need more?"

Mataya flinched back as though he had physically struck her. The ring clattered on the table as she snatched her hands onto her lap, leaning back from his anger. "Stop it," she whimpered softly. "Why do you always do this, why do you always go out of your way to hurt me more than you have to? A simple yes would have done the damage you're looking for."

He hated that she looked terrified and flinched away from him. Maybe he was the monster that the tabloids painted him. "Look, you already knew, why bother asking? I did it the one time and regretted it, ok? Does that make you feel better?"

"I didn't know, okay? I never really believed it, I'm not so stupid as to believe everything that's written in the gossip columns!" She looked up, her eyes wet with hurt tears that hadn't yet managed to flow free as she calmed her voice. "I thought that you were spending a lot of time with your co-stars, getting to know them. I thought there was a chance that you might, possibly, fall for one of them; that's why I tried so hard to keep you. And now you tell me, now, that you were screwing some kiss-and-tell extra and you didn't even bother to warn me that her story had a little truth in it?"

"I didn't fall for her," he grumbled and sat back on the bench, his arms going wide to rest on the back of the wooden structure. "I can't even remember what you and I were fighting about. I went on set and during a party, Sophia sat on my lap. I got drunk and well.." He shrugged. "So yeah, now I'm telling you the truth of it. You can take the papers back to the court house and get the alimony you want."

"We're not getting anywhere with this," she sighed suddenly, rubbing her brow. "Okay, so we screwed up. Both of us. I'm not going to pretend that I'm not hurt, but I'm not going to dodge the blame either. My mistakes cost me you, and I still haven't stopped making them. I should never have filed for divorce, I shouldn't have run away, I shouldn't have done half the things I did, but it's done, it happened, and arguing about them won't change that. Even if you can't stand to be anywhere near me after my ridiculous performance last night, at the very least I want to come out of this conversation with a clean slate. Is that too much to ask?"
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Mataya

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Re: Love Thy Neighbour
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2010, 03:09:52 AM »
He dragged his gaze from the fountain, back to Taya. "No, you were right in doing what you did. It kept you sane." He leaned forward then, elbows coming to meet the wooden table. "And if I didn't want to be around, would I be?"

She gazed at him for a long moment, once again devoid of hostility as she felt her way through what she wanted from this conversation. Without thinking, she leaned forward onto her own elbows, one hand reaching to curl about his fingers. "I don't want to make the same mistakes again," she told him gently. "I think, if we stand any chance of getting back to where we were ... we need to learn how to be friends first. The romance got in the way of us, and as much as I want it back ... I don't want to hurt you again, Max."

He watched her move and didn't pull back when her hand closed around his. "Taya, I'm sorry for everything that I've put you through, and I don't want to make those mistakes either. But why do you want to be with somebody that hurt you so badly?"

Her eyes bore into his. "Because I love you," she told him simply. "Even after everything we've put each other through, it hasn't changed. I don't think it ever will. M & M forever, remember? You had it right, then. Even when we're apart, you've still got me."

"God, Taya." He drew in a ragged breath. "How did I ever deserve you?" the self loathing and inward beatings began. He pulled from her and stood up quickly. "No, say you don't love me anymore. Don't hurt yourself, Mataya."

"I'm not going to lie to you, Max," she insisted, rising with him. "I love you, and it's not something I can turn off. But just because I do love you, it doesn't mean I'm going to let you straight back into my life and my heart - if that's even what you want. If you'll give me the chance ... I want to know you this time."

For two years he'd been waiting to hear those words from her. And now that she'd spoken them, he didn't know how to react. He sat down again, quickly. "I, Taya, uh.." He looked up at her, confused and conflicted.

She watched him back away, and couldn't face the truth head on anymore. She'd lost him. Turning away, Mataya leaned her hands on the railing of the balcony, quiet for a long moment as she took deep breaths, forcing herself not to give into the despairing tears that had surfaced. "It's okay, Max," she managed, finally. "It's fine." She cleared her throat, looking up at the clearing sky. "You're done with me, that's fine, I can see how totally scared off you are. The door's right there, and it won't hurt my feelings." And if he didn't spot that lie for what it was, he didn't know her at all.

He was off of the bench like a shot and had her in his arms before he could realize what he was doing. "Stop it, stop it right now!" He had her by the arms and was shaking her. "I didn't chase you over hell and earth for two years for you to think that I am done with you!"

Her hands clenched into his shirt as he shook her, her head tilted back to look up at him in hopeful disbelief. "You're not?" The relief that crashed through her was palpable, urging her forward to fling her arms around his waist and squeeze him tightly, pressing her face into his shoulder. "Oh god, don't scare me that way again!"
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Mataya

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Re: Love Thy Neighbour
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2010, 03:11:20 AM »
"Jesus." he groaned and loosely wrapped his arms around her shoulders. "Did you really think I was stalking you? If not to be with you, then why?"

"I didn't let myself think about it," she admitted, her words muffled in his shirt. "My mom was the one who said you were stalking me, I didn't even argue with her, I just went along with it, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, Max ..."

"Shhh.." He sighed and gently smoothed her hair down her back. "So what now, Taya?"

She nestled against his chest, enjoying the feeling of being where she felt she belonged once again. At his question, she leaned back, looking up at him. "I ... I'm not really sure," she admitted. "Things still feel really fresh, you know? I know I'll hurt you if we just pick up where we left off, and I know I don't want that. But I don't want to go away again, Max. I don't know what to do."

"I know, I feel the same way. I'm sorry I hurt you, Taya. I'm sorry I scared you." He tightened his arms around her and brushed a kiss to the top of her head. "How about we start with breakfast? Because I'm famished."

She nodded, smiling softly. "Breakfast is good," she agreed, taking a deep breath before voicing the all important question. "Scrambled or fried?"

"Scrambled. It matches what I'm feeling." Max laughed and let her go. Stepping back, he glanced to the ring, then back at her. "What were you going to do with this?"

She looked down at the ring. "I don't know," she confessed again, looking up at him. "I want to wear it again, but ... I don't want it to mean too much, right at first. Just in case I can't live up to who you want me to be."

He shook his head and put his hands up. "Ok, this isn't going to work if you keep saying things like that. Just be who you are, Taya. I didn't fall in love with you because I thought you were perfect for me. I thought you were perfect for you." Even he was blown away by his own profoundness.

Staring up at him as he spoke, a very small glimmer of 'his' smile flickered on her face. She bit her lip, her eyes soft as he finished. "I'll try," she promised. "We have to be honest with each other, okay? No matter what, or we're not even going to make it as friends, let alone ... where we want to be."

"We've got a deal then." He smiled and picked up the ring. "Might want to put this in a safe place." Truly, he wanted to be rid of the ring. A new start meant all new things. Nothing to remind them of the past and the ring was tainted, as far as he was concerned.

"How about donating it to the Opera House's costume fund?" Mataya suggested - he wasn't the only one who wanted a clean slate. "At least then it won't be able to screw up anyone else's relationship with our bad karma, right?"

He nodded and smiled, then put the ring back onto the table. "Sounds good to me. So, scrambled and I'll smother and chunk 'em."

"Hell, no, you're cooking, I have to warm up," she laughed back at him, waggling her finger under his nose. "Forgotten so soon, huh?" If he looked down, he'd realise she was wearing her dance kit, and after all, a wide corner of her loft was set up as a mini studio. This was how she started every day, and he was just going to have to get used to it. She flashed him a cheeky smile, and slipped into the apartment.

"Oh, I see. Want me back for my culinary skills." He snorted and followed her inside. There was the simple elegance of the way Mataya danced and he could watch her for hours. "Fine. I'll figure out something. You just.. dance." His eyes lit up when he said that last word.

A soft flush lit up her cheeks as she moved to the CD player, turning on the music. It seemed he was going to watch her; it wasn't as though he hadn't done it before, so why was she suddenly feeling a little shy? As the beat started up, she moved into her warm-up, the thorough stretch and roll of each of her muscles that ended in the splits as she stretched out her hips, legs and back.

He pulled eggs and milk from the fridge and set out whisking breakfast up. From the kitchen, he could watch her. And he did, with a smile on his face. "Do you know how beautiful you are, Mataya?"

"Hot, sweaty, and wearing pants with holes in, yeah, I'm so hot," she laughed sarcastically back, drawing herself to her feet as the music changed. Though the music was of the contemporary style they were both familiar with, her freestyle dancing seemed to incorporate every style imaginable as she flung herself around the four metre square space she had cleared for just that purpose.

"Holey pants are tres chic." he laughed, stirring the eggs in the pan. He was a whiz in the kitchen, thanks to his mother's teachings when he was much younger. "You got any peppers?"

"Try the fridge," she suggested, slowly warming down again with a shorter routine of stretches. Mataya found herself watching him from between her own legs as he moved around her kitchen as though he owned it. "You know, you're still pretty damn handsome yourself, Maximillion."

"Yeah, that's why the scripts are just rolling in, right?" He'd had plenty of time to chase her from hell and back in the last two years. The scripts had come in, but that slowed to a trickle when he stopped responding. He pulled the peppers from the fridge and began to slice them up.

Straightening up, she turned, flicking the CD player off as she walked towards him, heedless of the slick of sweat on her skin. "You haven't been working?" she asked in concern. "Max, you're a great actor, you just need the right script to get you back on top again."

"I've been busy doing other things." he shrugged off her question. The sheen of sweat had her glowing like a candle and he smiled. "Breakfast's almost ready. Are you going to kiss the cook?"

"When I get out of the shower, I will," she nodded, smiling, reaching up to pat his cheek affectionately before turning to disappear into the bathroom.

He watched her walk off with a goofy grin on his face. As he finished cooking the meal and began plating it, he hoped that he had the patience to wait out this friendly routine. Her swaying hips and smooth step had him wanting her more than ever before.

So ... this was going to be a strange adjustment, but if they could manage to be friends, then being lovers again wouldn't be half the trouble it had been to begin with. It was all just a question of time.

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Max Yako

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Re: Love Thy Neighbour
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2010, 06:05:02 PM »
As Mataya showered, Max grabbed a glass of orange juice and wandered back out onto the porch. Sitting down, he placed his glass down and immediately picked up the diamond ring that lay on the table. As he stared into the fiery depths of the stone, his teeth worried his lower lip. He remembered with a chuckle the day he?d given it to Mataya. And, as that smile faded from his face, he also recalled the downfall, the out of control downward spiral that had led to her removing it from her finger. The day they were married, he was the happiest man on the face of the Earth.

Shaking his head, he put the ring onto the table. It had been given with the very best of intentions. How could he have known just how far off of that road paved with good intentions he?d go. Closing his eyes, he leaned back in the chair and thoughts of their honeymoon swirled in his mind.

February in Venice; Carnival time and Mataya couldn't quite believe it, still. She was married - married! - to her Max, and he'd brought her to Venice for their honeymoon. Along the canals, gondoliers plied their trade, those aquatic taxis to take you where you wanted to go, and in the streets and main squares, the carnival shows were on, filled with fantastical characters in bright costumes, all masked and mysterious. There would be a masquerade ball at the Doge's Palace and Max had gotten them tickets! Mataya was so excited, she couldn't sit still.
Max's head was still spinning at how quickly everything was happening. Suddenly he found himself married and on his honeymoon. As the gondola slid placidly over the dark water of the canal, he had his arm curled around his Taya. Max couldn't stop smiling. The city was alive with actors and shows and here they were, in the middle of it all. It was overwhelming. As Taya wriggled with excitement, Max laughed and lowered his head to kiss her softly. "Calm down, you're going to sink the boat!" he laughed and kissed her again.
Giggling, her lips moved softly against his, the hand she curled to his neck sparkling with diamonds that marked her as his, now and forever. Her mother was never going to forgive her for eloping to marry Max, but that didn't matter so much. She grinned up at her husband. "We won't sink, this is Venice!" she declared cheerfully. "City of Lovers!" Her arm gesture took in the street that ran alongside the canal, packed with brightly festooned people, many of whom were also couples.
"Then that's the city for us. Taya, my little dancing lover." he pulled her into his lap and hugged her tightly. Her excitement was infectious and he laughed out loud. "I can't wait to get to the hotel room. I'm so damn horny."
Behind them, the gondolier coughed a little awkwardly, adjusting his own weight on the back of the gondola to make up for the sudden redistribution of weight in the body of the little boat as Mataya found herself curled up on Max's lap. She squeezed him lovingly, her head turning in every direction, eager to see everything there was to see. "You keep it in your pants until we get in private, sweetheart, I'm not going to join the exhibitionists as well as the Mile-High Club on this trip," she snickered back to him.
"Aww, why not?" He grinned and joined her in the swivel head department, trying to take in as much as possible. "You've got a beautiful body and would put the rest of the exhibitionists to shame. So maybe you're right." That got another nuzzle to her neck and a soft kiss to the top of her collarbone.
Her brow rose as she smiled at him, gently but firmly drawing his head back, his lips from her skin. "You can manage a little longer without playing," she insisted playfully, tapping her fingers on his lips as the gondolier let out a yell that made her jump in surprise. From around the corner of the canal, another yell came, and the gondola paused to allow another gondolier to come around the corner without difficulty before continuing on their way.
"Aww!" he, too, jumped when the gondolier yelled and he shook his head with a laugh. As their little boat passed another, he waved to the occupants who waved back and shouted greetings in a language he didn't understand. "Well if I have to behave, I will. But I'm telling you right this second that I'm filing a formal complaint. It's our honeymoon!" He pouted playfully.
"Yeah, our honeymoon," she laughed back, calling out an answering greeting to the Italian couple in the other gondola. "Not everyone's honeymoon, ours. So keep it in your pants until it's just you and me," was her giggling reply as the gondola moved onto a wider stretch of canal, along which the entrances of several hotels backed onto the water.
"Fine, fine." he leaned back and his arms loosened around her. "Have you called your mother yet?" He smiled then, and waited for her response.
Mataya gave him a guilty look, chewing on her lip as she slipped back onto the seat beside him. "I called my sister," she admitted awkwardly. "Oh, hell, look - I'm not setting myself up to be yelled at on my honeymoon!"
"Mmmhmm." he folded his arms across his chest. "You're just ashamed to admit to her that you married the big bad wolf." He shrugged and rolled his eyes. His mother in law will be dealt with, eventually. He preferred to ignore her.
"Maybe I'm waiting to see if the big bad wolf is going to eat me up first." She flashed him an impish grin as the gondola bumped against the pier of their hotel, the gondolier calling for someone to come and help his passengers. Rising to her feet, Mataya moved to get their luggage, but was stalled by the concierge of the hotel shaking his head and taking her hand, helping her out of the little boat.
"Raaorf!" he snapped his teeth at her as the boat nudged the pier. "Hey, watch it that's my wife!" he hurried up and after her. He didn't even give the concierge or the gondolier a second glance. When he caught up to her, he grabbed her arm. "Yeah, you're going to get eaten, alright." He chuckled darkly and steered her through the lobby.
"Be polite, Max," she murmured as he took her arm, glancing back to murmur an apology to the men who grinned and waved them on. She shook her arm free of her husband's possessive grasp, smiling up at him, and quite deliberately stalled, stepping to the desk to ask if there had been any messages for them.
Max was a spoiled rotten brat and did not take well to being admonished. Much less in public. Even though she had murmured, he narrowed his eyes and glared at anybody passing by. He waited, rather impatiently, a good six feet from her as she flirted with the desk clerk. "Hmmph."
She wasn't flirting all that much - just enough to make Max boil. Mission accomplished, she paused one moment longer, leaning down to remove her shoes and hand them to her husband. "Hold those, would you, sweetheart?" Smiling lovingly, she leaned up to kiss him, barely letting her lips touch his before she suddenly whirled away and made a dash for the elevator.
His brow arched, showing his irritation as she handed him her shoes. Watching her dash off, he tossed the shoes into the fountain and strolled casually towards the bar off of the lobby. He shot a very cat like look towards the elevator as he put his hand onto the small of the back of the hostess and smiled his most charming smile.
She knew he wasn't behind her, forcing herself not to look at where he had gone. She knew he'd be going to flirt with someone else himself, but she was confident that he would come to her before letting such flirtation get anywhere. She loved him, and trusted him. Stepping into the elevator, she smiled to the other passengers, ignoring the curious half-recognition on their faces.
Max was at the bar a good hour before finally coming up to the room. He swaggered through the door with a drunken laugh. "Ok, where are you?" Slamming the door, he stripped off the already loosened tie. Lipstick of different colors shaded his cheeks. "Mataya, where are you my little pussy cat?"
She was lying on the floor; half out on the balcony, watching the boats go by on the water below. An hour was a long time to keep your new bride waiting, and coming in drunk was not the best way to make her feel wanted. She looked up as he came in, her expression serious. "I'm here, Max," she told him quietly. "And you're drunk."
"I'm not drunk." He laughed as he staggered and tripped his way towards the balcony. "Italian wine is just a bit stronger than I'm used to." he flopped into a chair and unbuttoned his shirt. "Why's you on the floor, Mataya?"
She rolled onto her side, looking up at him. "I was stretching," she shrugged with one shoulder. "It's a way to pass the time while my husband is flirting and drinking downstairs."
"Stretching." He snorted and reached for a pack of cigarettes. "You worry about your muscles more than you do me." His hands were unsteady and it took him a full two minutes to light the cigarette.
"Max, don't let's argue," she sighed, flopping onto her back. "It's our honeymoon; we shouldn't be having this conversation at all."
He exhaled and moved his hand with the cigarette to the side, holding the cigarette vertically. "Perhaps you'll think twice about giving me s*** in front of other people then?" He shrugged and took another hit, inhaling deeply. He exhaled the smoke slowly. "But then, probably not. You are a stubborn one. Spoiled, too."
She frowned, not understanding what he was talking about. "Giving you s***?" she repeated. "What did I do? All I did was ask you to be polite, the guy only helped me out of the gondola." She sat up, curling her knees to her chest. "I'm stubborn, sure, but you knew that before you asked me to marry you."
"Telling me to behave. You're always telling me to behave. You knew how I was when you said yes. So why do think I?m going to change? This ring?" he held up his left hand and shrugged. "You don't have to change, why should I?"
"What, you think this ring gives you the right to manhandle me like a piece of property?" she demanded mildly, waving her own left hand at him. "I don't want you to change, I love you. But I don't want you to tell the world that I belong to you like I was a new car, or something."
He leaned forward quickly and grabbed her left hand. "That's right. You do belong to me. Get used to it." He tossed her hand to the side and sat back. "Go get me a beer. An American one. The crap they sell over here tastes like s***."
She flinched a little as he grabbed for her hand, pulling it back to her chest when he tossed her aside. Rather than argue, though - he was a lot bigger than her, after all - she rose and moved over to the mini-bar, which had been stocked to his specifications. She drew out a bottle and uncapped it, bringing it over to offer to him.
He continued to smoke his cigarette, looking out over the balcony. His eyes were glazed over, and it was more than alcohol that was intoxicating him. When she brought the beer, he took it and set it down. Reaching for her waist, he pulled her into his lap. "Thanks, baby."
She swayed into his lap, curling her arms around his neck as his arm wrapped possessively about her waist. Lips touched his cheek lovingly. "I love you, Max," she murmured into his ear, determined to break his bad mood if it killed her.
"Love you, too, Taya." he turned his head and kissed her gently. "In public, we have to be perfect. Smiles and all of that. Devoted and doting. So when you got jostled, I had to tell them to watch out for my wife. When we were in the lobby, you scolded me and flirted with the guy at the counter. That was wrong and you won't do it again, will you?"
Her palm curled against his cheek as he kissed her, brown eyes opening to gaze at him obediently. She shook her head like a good little girl for him. "No, Max, I won't," she promised, and perhaps foolishly, didn't even think she needed an answering promise from him. Her head tilted, and she kissed him in return, soft and small against his harder, larger frame.
His arms curled around her and he smiled into the kiss. "That's my girl." sighing contently, he leaned his head back a bit. His brows arched and he touched her lips. "That's not your usual shade." Neither were the multiple shades on his cheeks, either.
"You don't like it?" she asked softly, not mentioning the lipstick that graced his cheeks. "I can change it, if you don't like it." Her hand slipped from his neck to his chest, fingers teasing gently into his shirt to touch against his skin.
"Oh, no, it?s beautiful. Just like you." He smiled and his eyelids drooped. "I'm the luckiest man on Earth." He held her to his chest, his tiny dancer. "I love you, so much."
Relaxing as his bad mood filtered away, Mataya curled against his chest, smiling as the words flowed over her. "You're not so lucky as I am," she argued teasingly. "I'm the envy of women all over the world, because I love you, and you married me." Her lips touched his neck softly as she squeezed her arms about him.
"You're the envy because I love you. Not just because I married you. That's something none of them will ever have. Do you understand that?" He kissed the top of her head, and then rests his cheek on the spot that was kissed. "I'll never love anybody else."
She giggled softly, nestling affectionately into his arms. "You're rambling, sweetheart," she murmured warmly, lifting her head to look at him. "I know you love me. I see it every time you look at me; I feel it in the way you hold me. I'm never going to feel this way about anyone else for the rest of my life, Max."
He smiled when she pulled her head back and gazed into her eyes. "It's you and me, M&M's forever."
Her fingers touched his cheek, drawing him into a kiss to seal that promise with warm loving affection as she shifted on his lap. Unaware of the photographers on the balcony opposite them, snapping away at every movement they made.
He'd never felt such warmth and comfort as when in the arms of his tiny dancer and kissing her sweet lips. The beer and cigarette forgotten, he moved his arms to scoop her up and then stood with her across his chest. "Let's christen the bed, what do you say, Mrs. Yako?"
Cradled against him, there wasn't any way Mataya was going to argue with that suggestion, her lips curving in a bright, happy smile as he rose to his feet. "Oh, yes, we should probably christen the bed first," she nodded in a sagely manner, before letting out a low peal of giggles.
"And then the shower, the Jacuzzi, the couch..." he chuckled as he carried her into the room. The sliding glass door was closed and the curtains drawn. He was a showman for the paparazzi, but certain things were to remain private.
"Not to mention the walls, the door, the balcony ..." She chuckled sweetly, cutting herself off with lips pressing to his with more purpose than before, the devastating sort of purpose that wipes coherent thought from the mind and engages instinct to take over.

Their lovemaking had been swift and passionate, followed by the loving touches and caresses of new found joy. Endorphins and hormones given and received, the act of becoming one, for eternity.



Max?s eyes flew open when he heard Mataya getting dressed. He?d promised breakfast, and was late in the delivery. Getting up, he finished off the orange juice. Briefly he glanced back at the ring on the table. Shaking his head, he left it to sit there. He hoped a sea gull would see it and pluck it up. Anything to be rid of the symbol of the bad karma that was their short and troubled marriage.

Walking into the loft, he began to prepare their breakfast.
I ain't done with you, not by a long shot.