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Larger Than Life

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The phone rang as Miranda stepped out of the shower. She wrapped a blanket around her body and answered it, “Blake” she said automatically, moving through to her bedroom.

“Miranda? You busy?”

“Max? I just got out of the shower, why?”

“Inés just rang, she told me to tell you to pack a bag”.

“Why didn’t she ring me?”

“Would you have answered it?”

“Eventually- look why am I packing a bag?”

“I’m coming over to pick you up. Inés wants us at the station”.

“At this time of night?”

There was a pause where she thought her signal had dropped but it was just Max finding the words.

“Just be quick Blake, please” he hung up.

She looked at her room and found her bag.

Max calling her Blake unnerved her, his voice had felt so out of it, so un-Max. Something must be wrong for him to be acting like that. However, she trusted his judgement, he was a brilliant police officer when he put in effort so she knew for him to be calling her Blake he must be worried. Anxious for her. 

Pulling on her clothes she began to pack some clothes away anything she thought she might need wherever it was that they would be going. Briefly, she thought about her toothbrush. Would she need it? How long would she be gone for?

She grabbed it, and other essential toiletries, not wanting to be caught out again like she was in Cazador.

A knock at her door threw her into panic mode.

Nobody knocked at her door, Max didn’t even knock at her door, she was always waiting outside for him.

As far as she was aware, he didn’t even know what number she lived at.

Slowly, with trepidation, she moved to the door.

“Miranda it’s me” Max called from the other side.

Huffing, she unlocked it, “why didn’t you just ring?”

Max shrugged, “got a bag?”

She nodded and moved back to her room, letting him into her apartment for what would be the first time.

“Where’s your dog?”

“He’s a stray” she called from the bedroom before sticking her head out of the door, “I fed him earlier”.

Max nodded and moved to her laptop. It was resting on the sofa as was a now empty glass of wine.

He looked at her, “got a charger for this?”

She nodded to it as she pulled her jacket on and her bag over her shoulder. Max pulled the charger out of its socket and grabbed it. He handed the laptop and charger to her.

“Max. You know more than you are letting on don’t you?”

Max sighed, “I don’t want to worry you…”

“I’m worried enough as it is! You ringing me at 11 at night and asking if I can pack a bag? Max just tell me what’s going on?”

“We might have to be in lockdown”.

“We?”

“Me and you…Inés was telling me that there had been a development in a case and that your name kept coming up. Alongside your address”.

“o-Oh”.

Max shrugged, “I’m here as your collateral”.

“What so my name gets mentioned and you’re dragged alongside?”

“Isn’t that always the way? Here give me that” he held out his arm for her bag.

“I can carry my own bag Max” she pointed out.

“I know. But it’s you they are after. You can run quicker without a bag weighing you down”.

“This is ridiculous” she snapped but handed over her bag. Max nodded, “got everything? We can’t come back”.

Miranda looked around at her apartment, at her home. As much as she didn’t take to Mallorca instantly, this had been her home for over a year now. She pulled her balcony door shut and made sure it was locked before she nodded.

“Yep. Got everything”.

“You okay?”

She nodded, she hadn’t realised that her voice had cracked.

“I’m fine” she said, she moved to his side, “didn’t expect to be leaving here so quickly”.

Max nodded, “you’ll be back. It’s just temporary measures Miranda”.

Miranda shrugged and grabbed her keys, “so, to the station then I assume I’m being taken to a safe house?”

“It’s safe enough” Max said, “those measures haven’t been mentioned yet”.

Miranda nodded and as they left her apartment, she locked it and pocketed her keys.

Max thought about holding her hand and thought better of it, instead he opted to smile goofily at her.

It was comforting to have Max maintain his Maxness at a time like this.

 


 

Inés looked at Max and Miranda. Max had her bag in his hands.

“I take it you’ve decided then?” she asked him.

“There was no time needed” he replied.

“I’m missing something…what has Max decided?” Miranda asked and crossed her arms.

“That you are going to stay with him”.

Max grinned warily at her, “I uh surprise?”

“I thought you said safe house”.

“I said it was safe enough. And besides, it’s not my name or address they’re concerned with…it’s yours”.

“I can’t stay at yours we don’t even know how long that I’m going to be-“

“As long as it takes us to catch the perpetrator’s” Inés said, “it is not up for discussion Miranda. You are staying at Max’s and neither of you can leave the apartment”.

“Hey you never said that” Max said, “I thought we were able to go back to work”.

Inés narrowed her eyes at them, “I suggest you go and get some food whilst you still can. Because if I catch you out of your apartment; even if it is to go to Joan’s. I will personally make sure that you both walk the Arenal every night for a month, cleaning up the sick and drunken tourists”.

Max gulped at her threat, “fine”.

“Am I clear Detective?” Inés asked Miranda, after her being oddly silent for so long.

“Yes” she bit out, “I’ll stay at Max’s and not leave. Although I can’t promise Max will be alive after it”.

Inés shrugged, “sacrifices have to be made”

“Hey!” Max exclaimed.

“Miranda go wait outside. I have further instructions for Max” Inés ordered.

Miranda nodded and looked at Max, “don’t you agree to anything that involves keeping me in your apartment”.

Max shrugged, “what Inés wants, I won’t be long” he said.

She nodded and left Inés office, going straight for her desk as the door shut.


Inés looked at Max, “have you told her who is behind it all?”

Max shook his head, “not yet”.

“Max this is important! She needs to know”.

“This is her life at stake Max. Tell her” Inés stated.

“You think I don’t know that? You think that I’m not terrified for her?” Max exploded, “I don’t want her dead Inés. I want to do everything I can to keep her safe!”

Inés raised her eyebrow, “then tell her”.

“How? How can I tell the woman I love that because of my mistakes her life is now at risk!”

“I think you just did” Inés said.

Max turned and saw Miranda looking at him from her desk. Shock and fear covered her face.

“Shit” he breathed and ran as she bolted out of the station.

 


 

Miranda ran fast and furiously away from the station. Thanking her past self for giving Max her bag so she had nothing to obstruct her.

She ran away from the station, not caring what direction just wanting to get away from Max’s revelation.

The woman I love

How could Max say that? How could he dare to lie about something? He didn’t love her. He probably only liked her as a friend.

“Miranda” Max called, he gotten into his car and was driving behind her, slowly so as not to spook her. But fast enough so that she couldn’t escape him.

“Go away Max” she snapped and looked at him, slamming her hands on his bonnet, “go away!”

Max stopped the car and got out of it, “i-I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not telling you” he said and approached her, “I didn’t know how” he said.

He took her arm and manoeuvred her, she struggled in his arms.

“Please just let me explain” he breathed, “Miranda stop moving” he said and placed his hands on her shoulders.

She glared at him, and, he noticed that her eyes looked watery.

“There was a drugs bust I did a year ago…just before I met you. He was a nasty piece of work…targeted people. I had to move, Carmen had to go to her mothers. A few days ago, Inés told me he had been seen near the island…and then a few hours later an unknown number had sent me this”.

He handed her his phone.

Miranda looked down at it, at the preloaded picture of her on her balcony.

“He said my girlfriend looks pretty” Max said.

“What’s his name?”

“Mario Lucharedez”

Miranda’s eyes widened, “Max i- w-we…” she had heard his stories about Mario. Been absolutely terrified by them.

“I know” he said, “I know…I’m sorry you’re involved in the whole thing. If there was a way to keep you out of his games I would take it”.

“Well you are…you-you’re letting me stay at yours…that’s keeping me out of his games isn’t it?”

Max nodded, “so you okay with having to stay at mine now then?”

Miranda nodded.

“Come on we’re too exposed here. Let’s just get some food and then go back to mine. He’s got eyes everywhere”.

Miranda got into his car and looked at his worried face, “how long have you put off telling me?”

“As long as I could. I didn’t want it to distract us from the case we had been working”.

“It was just a stolen necklace” she pointed out.

Max sighed and started the car, “I wanted to believe it was all a dream, that Mario wasn’t really back”.

Miranda nodded, “what made him get so pissed at you then?”

Max chuckled, “I don’t know. I guess he just took an instant hatred to me. Tried to kill me, nearly succeeded, guess he doesn’t like that I escaped. He told me that my girlfriend would be the first person he kills once he returned”.

Miranda nodded.

“I’m sorry”.

“It’s not your fault” she said, “I’m sorry he’s back”.

Max shrugged and pulled his car over, just outside of his local grocery store, “Miranda-“

“What did he do to the people he killed?” she asked suddenly, not wanting Max to offer anything about his revelation.

“You don’t want to know”.

“Max”.

“He tortured them” Max said in a small voice, “he’d pump them full of drugs; they’d be so high…so high that if they initially survived they’d be hooked. They never survived. They’d be burnt…cut…tied up and locked into a car and that would be set alight…or the car would be driven off a cliff…he did awful things Miranda...awful" his voice cracked slightly towards the end.

Miranda nodded, suddenly feeling so grateful that Max had offered to remain locked-down with her.

“I won’t let that happen to you” Max said, “I won’t let him get anywhere close to you” he took her hand in his and squeezed it, “okay?”

“Max-”.

“No let me. I want you to be alive Miranda. I know you heard me in the office and that doesn’t change anything if you don’t want it to. I won’t push or press you into anything. I want you safe, the fact that I’m in love with you doesn’t change anything. Not unless you want it to”.

Miranda gulped, “w-we should uh, get some food”.

Max nodded and kept her hand in his, squeeze it he added, “I’m not leaving your side okay? Just in case”.

“He’s got eyes everywhere then?”

“Everywhere” he nodded and got out of the car.

“Well in that case...we’re going to need wine” she said and followed him into the grocery store.

Chapter Text

Max and Miranda sat next to one another on Max’s sofa, neither felt like they could get any sleep, and the thought of being alone was a little bit unnerving given the matter at hand.

Max had offered to put a film on, a classic. He’d had been determined to teach Miranda what was a classic film and what was not to be watched.

Most of the time they were fast paced, and action related.

Miranda had just smiled and shook her head as Max’s classic tonight, meant Titanic and not Die Hard. Which when she’d asked Christian about it had gotten a grumpy face from Max, which was only slightly adorable. Apparently, it was a guilty pleasure film of his and Christian was still bitter about not going to see it with Max.

Max smiled at Miranda as she leaned against him. He knew despite her protests, she was tired. He wrapped an arm around her and smiled as she rested her head on him. A relaxed and sleepy Miranda usually meant she was more likely to accept affection.

He grabbed the blanket from the back of the sofa and draped it across them. Miranda’s eyes drifted shut and her arms moved so she was holding his waist.

He smiled and kissed her head, “goodnight Miranda” he whispered, knowing she’d fallen asleep already.

Turning the tv off, he let himself relax against her and fell into a slumber.


Miranda woke with a stiff neck but having slept the entire night against Max’s body. Throughout the night they had moved, or Max had moved them, and they were lying against one another on the sofa. Her curled against him and Max holding her as though she might run away in the night.

“Max” she said groggily, “Max wake up” she nudged him, and he opened his eyes suddenly.

“Oh...hey uh morning” he looked at her and half smiled, “good sleep?”

“Yeah” she said softy, “mind letting me go?”

Max looked at their position and went red, “sorry” and removed his arm from her waist.

He turned and sat up, “would you like a coffee?”

Miranda sat beside him and sighed, “yeah…I’m gonna go freshen up first. Get into something else”.

Max nodded, “Miranda-“

“Max I-“

Max smiled and looked at her, “you first”.

“No you” she said and looked at him.

Max touched her hand, “you. I insist”.

Miranda looked at him, “we uh should probably make a plan, a routine of what to do now we can’t leave here”.

Max nodded and smiled, his hand left hers and he stood, “good plan…I noticed you didn’t pack your iPad…I have some English titles if you would like to read something in English…a lot of my books are either in Spanish or German…unless you wanted to learn more of the languages”.

Miranda smiled gratefully, “thank you Max”.


Miranda looked at her reflection in Max’s mirror. From now until sometime in the future, this would be her home. Living with Max.

God she’d kill him how could he possibly think he could live with her; he only knew how she was at work and not how she was at home. Not how particular she was or how she liked alone time, to lose herself in her head.

“Earth to Miranda” Max said from the doorway, “there is coffee ready for you if you’ve finished gazing at your reflection”.

She glared at him but smiled, “thanks” she moved towards him and he caught her elbow.

“If you need some time alone or I’m being annoying you just let me know okay? These are close confinements and well you’re my compañero…I don’t want to change that because we are living together”.

Miranda was touched by his thoughtfulness, “as long as you tell me if you need some time alone too. You’re my friend- well, best friend I guess, and I don’t want to piss you off with my habits”.

“You could never piss me off Miranda” he said before looking at her unimpressed face, “okay well, uhm sometimes you do. But that’s natural in a relationship”.

Miranda huffed, “yeah well you’re no picnic either”.

“Miranda” Max smiled, “learn to live”.

“I am living” she said, “now coffee?”

Max smiled, “I thought you would never bring it up”.


Max knew Miranda would have a hard time being cooped up in his apartment, so when Inés had given him the news he had thought ahead.

Picking up various things he thought she’d appreciate, a book on how the brain worked, a DVD she had mentioned she liked a few months back. Bars of chocolate that she usually kept in her desk for the odd occasion she wanted a treat. In truth, he knew Miranda more than he let on. He knew she liked being alone at times.  

He also knew when she was happy or touched by a gesture she went quiet, almost embarrassed by someone caring so much.

He approached her, seeing she was staring at the coffee, milky, and the pastries cut with jams and spreads beside it.

“M-Max”.

He smiled, “thought we could at least start off with a good first day…I’ve learnt food in you is a good thing”.

“I’m not-“

“You can be very grouchy” he grinned and pulled the chair out for her, “but I know how to cope with Grumpy Blake. Although I much prefer Slightly Grouchy Blake. She’s my favourite”.

Miranda rolled her eyes, “am I supposed to say I prefer Happy Goofy Max than the Insane one?”

“Maybe, I don’t know which me you like. You might like Grumpy Max”.

Miranda shook her head and took a sip of her coffee, “plain Max is fine for me”.

Max smiled and sat opposite her, “so this routine thing. Christian said he would get us food and anything else we might run out of”.

Miranda nodded, “maybe we could read?”

“I like that…so an hour or so of reading…I’m not sure if we can use the balcony so…for a while maybe we just read on my sofa?”

Miranda nodded, “maybe that could be a mid-afternoon activity?”

Max nodded, “so breakfast, then –“

“Some fitness? I know I can’t go for a run but I don’t want to be cooped up”.

“Fitness is not just all about running maybe we could find something we could do together? I’ve been meaning to lose a few pounds”

Miranda nodded and spread some jam across the pastry to her left, the croissant, “Breakfast, fitness activity…alone time before lunch?”

Max nodded, “is that where you plot to kill me?”

“I’ll plot that before breakfast” she replied but was smiling, “post lunch can be when we read…after that got any ideas?”

Max nodded, “I’ll surprise you…after dinner a film because frankly Miranda your knowledge of films is awful”.

She finished her croissant and shrugged, “I never liked the idea of going on my own and I didn’t own a TV so didn’t keep up with TV series”.

“Wow” Max said, “so even after not having one as a child you just…”

“Yep” she said, “I prefer my own company usually”.

Max nodded, “and working out like crazy?”

“Keeps my mind healthy…after I uhm well after I had time off I had to do something…it was that or therapy and I’d had enough of that as a teenager”.

“You’ve been in therapy?”

Miranda paused her spreading of a second pastry and nodded, “my Mam died and the school thought I needed it…it sort of continued until I left for uni and I pushed all of my feelings away”.

Max nodded, “and then you came to Mallorca”

“And put a lot of my feelings even further down”.

“Yeah?”

Miranda finished her coffee, “I’m not good at having to rely on people Max...you know that”.

“I do” he said, “but you’ve started to be a lot more relaxed…Mallorca has changed you”.

“Mmm” she agreed and looked at him fondly as he shoved the biggest piece of crossiant he could manage into his mouth. She chuckled as he contorted his face to fit the food.

He smiled at her, grinning as he used the coffee to swallow the food, “you see a year ago you would’ve stared at me like I was an idiot for eating like that. Now you just smile and go oh Max

“I do not” she protested, “I do not!” she repeated as he grinned at her reactions.

“Admit it. You don’t mind being with me and my ways just like I don’t mind being with you and your English ways”.

Miranda raised an eyebrow, “did you just call me English?”

“No” he said quickly.

“You did! You just called me English! You bloody pen bwlyn!”

Max laughed, “I love it when you go Welsh. Makes teasing you a whole lot of fun”.

“Plotting to kill you just got a lot more creative” she muttered, realising he had been joking around with her all this time.

Max shrugged but was smiling, “you see, I told you, I’ll surprise you in ways you won’t even expect Miranda. I promise, by the end of our little lockdown; you will have been surprised in every way I can think of”.

Chapter Text

Max watched Miranda as she looked at his bookshelves. Perusing through them, taking mental notes on each title. Most of them were in another language but he had the odd few in English.

He enjoyed how she took her time, clearly choosing the right book to read. Not wanting to make a mistake or pick a book that she wouldn’t enjoy.

“Have you really read all of these books Max?”

“Most of them sure” he approached her and rested a hand on her back as he leaned past her and pulled a book down, “this one was good…if you like mysteries”.

“I usually just read Non-Fiction…autobiographies…studies…”

Max smiled at her and pushed the book in her hand, “then time to try a new genre Miranda. It’s a very famous book”.

Miranda looked at the title, “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” she muttered and half smiled, “quite a thick book”.

“It’ll keep you quiet then” he grinned and chose a book at random for himself, “would you like a coffee or an English Tea?”

Miranda smirked, “coffee is fine Max”.

Max nodded and tossed his book onto the chair.

“How can you just pick a book at random?” she asked him suddenly, “I mean I assume it’s at random…it takes me hours sometimes”.

Max shrugged, “I guess I’m just open to reading anything…I mean apart from those sickly love stories”.

Miranda nodded, “so everything else is readable?”

Max nodded, “more or less yeah…I like series’ mostly but a single novel is good too. I have no clue whether that book is a series or not”.

“But it could be the second or third doesn’t that-“

“Schatz” he laughed, “It’s a standalone. It’s called The Wall”. He moved to the kitchen and she stared after him.

“Schatz….is that German?”

“Sure is…but if you think I’m telling you what it means you are mistake Blake. And don’t even try to Google it”.

Miranda smiled at his back, “wouldn’t dream of it”.

“Oh you would. I know you. Give me your phone so you are not tempted”.

“And have you take a load of selfies and mess with my storage? No chance. I’ll put the phone on charge but I’m not giving it to you”.

Max laughed and made sure her coffee was to her liking before looking at her, “and don’t even try to text Christian”.

Miranda frowned but put her phone to one side, holding the book she moved to the sofa and relaxed on it, “fine. I’ll just read and ask him later”.

Max placed the coffee on the table and whispered in her ear, “I wouldn’t if you know what is good for you…” he paused and grinned as she looked at him from the corner of her eyes, “cariad”.

She turned her head, “you know Welsh?”

“I get a partner who can speak another language? Of course I am going to learn some of it to tease her with”.

“You do know what that means Max”

“Of course” he grinned and sat in his chair, “now get reading…Schatz”.

Miranda rolled her eyes but opened the book.

Max watched her out of the corner of his eye and smiled as she adjusted her position on the sofa, swiftly becoming engaged with the book.

 


“Scheiße” he laughed as he looked at the time, the sun had started to set and his stomach was growling for food. Both of their coffees lay forgotten on the table beside them.

Miranda looked at him, scowling for him daring to interrupt her reading.

He snorted at her expression, “I take it you were enjoying the book?”

She rested one finger into the open pages and nodded, “surprisingly so…I don’t read fiction that often. It’s a nice change”.

“Well I had thought we could make cookies…my mother makes the most amazing Lebkuchen cookies but… I quite like this” he said and gestured to their books, “besides I’ve seen you in a kitchen and I am not ready for that experience in my own kitchen”.

Miranda rolled her eyes, “stop exaggerating”.

“I am not exaggerating” he grinned and stretched, “we should probably start dinner” he said before looking at her. She’d gone back to the book.

He smiled, “Miranda?”

“Mm?”

“I love you because of moments like this” he said, “you make my heart fill more than possible in such simple actions…like getting engrossed in one of my favourite books, falling silent to the world”.

Miranda looked at him, her face becoming pleasantly unreadable.

“So, dinner” he bit his lip, face flooding with heat.

She put the book down and stood up. He half smiled as she approached him, “you should’ve told me it was one of your favourite books” she stated.

He breathed slowly, nodding, hardly daring to move.

“You should have also told me you loved me before we were faced with this” she gestured to his apartment, “it’s not fair on me for you to just announce it moments before we are forced to spend time together”.

“Miranda i-“

She kissed him quickly, bringing her hands around his neck and pressing her lithe body against his. He held her close as he kissed back, not wanting to let her body or lips go. He deepened the kiss. Unsure of where she was going with it he slipped his tongue against hers. In his mind stars went off at the noises Miranda made as he threatened to slip a hand under her shirt.

She pulled back first and looked at him, eyes flush with lust, “not when I wanted to tell you months ago”.

“Ohh Schatz” he growled, “you’ve been teasing me with everything haven’t you” he kept a grip on her so she couldn’t move away like she normally did when faced with her emotions.

“Max” Miranda said, trying to take control.

“Oh noo Schatz” he said, “making me think I’d stepped out of line…” he grinned and backed her towards the wall, “Dein Hals wird meine Leinwand” he whispered as he pinned her to the wall.

“Max-“ Miranda started again before breathing in suddenly and sharp as his mouth moved to her neck, bruising it with his teeth. The thrill of this sudden development sent tingles down her spine as quickly as Max’s lips moved against her neck. She longed to run her hands through his hair, pulling him closer.

She was hungry sure, perhaps she could’ve waited till after dinner to confess to Max she reciprocated his feelings. But he had held back on her about Mario so she had to have her own time to hold back on her feelings.

But she knew she was screwed the second Max opened his mouth and added to his confession of love.

Speaking of Max’s mouth he was making work of her neck and she felt sure he was making the most out of having her pinned to the wall.

“Max” she breathed, her voice coming out breathless, “let…let me go”.

His answer was to kiss each mark on her neck before kissing just underneath her ear.

“Cut it out” she laughed softly and nudged him, “you’ve already marked me enough don’t go anywhere else”.

Max grinned dopily at her, “is that a threat or a challenge?”

“It’s a threat Max” she said and moved quickly so Max was pinned against the wall. She was surprisingly strong when she wanted to be, a thought which made Max smile.

“You know me and threats” he smiled and pulled her towards the sofa, they fell in a heap together, with Miranda underneath him.

“They don’t go well” he grinned and stroked the marks on her neck, “these are some of my finest work”.

Miranda tried to break free underneath him but his grip held firm, “ah ah ah Schatz” he teased, “you kiss me once and now I’m cursed to be yours”.

Miranda smiled up at him, wrapping one leg around his legs, “I guess this lockdown just got a bit more entertaining”.

Max laughed, “Schatz, wenn das gut für dich ist… Ich möchte dich überall küssen und nie aufhören”.

“Teach me German if you insist on murmuring it to me”.

Max grinned, “okay,” he grinned and placed a hand on the top of her thigh, “ich werde means I’m going to”.

Miranda nodded, conscious of Max’s hand slowly slipping up to her butt.

“Ich werde” she said and untucked his shirt from his trousers.

Max grinned and adjusted their position, moving them so he could slip his hand up her back.

“Ich bin bis über beide Ohren verliebt” he muttered, “that means I’m head over heels in love. Well actually it means head over ears but…translations are a tricky thing”.

“w-Why did you teach me I’m going to in German then?” she breathed softly.

“Because now when I say it you’ll know I’m going to do something to you” he grinned, “for example, ich werde dich überall küssen” he grinned, “Can you guess what it means?”

Miranda looked at his lips, as he smiled at her.

“I can hope” she replied, “that it means you want to kiss me somewhere”.

“Oh very good Schatz. Ten points. I do want to kiss you…but I want to kiss you everywhere” he growled, and unbuttoned the bottom of her shirt.

“Max” she breathed as he moved down her body, “Max you-“

He kissed her stomach and smiled as her stomach contracted, “I told you ich werde dich überall küssen” before he slowly unbuttoned her shirt. She looked down at him as his lips moved up her body, pausing in places that ordinarily would make her blush but with Max’s lips her insecurities were soon forgotten. She gripped his chin as he made to get her out of her shirt.

He looked up at her, grinning cheekily, “I want you to get comfy Miranda…that shirt looks like it would be more at home on the floor”.

He stroked a hand across her stomach, stroking a lone finger up to her bra, “so does this”.

She shrugged her shirt off and took his hand and moved it to the clasp, “before you touch that you can take your shirt off. I’m not lying here topless whilst you’re fully clothed”.

Max nodded fast and nearly ripped his shirt from his body. He got caught in it half way, giving Miranda a view of his torso as his head was trapped.

She laughed and knelt up, stroking a hand down his body as she unbuttoned two of his shirt buttons, they freed his mouth so she claimed it. Kissing him as his hands moved to her back. His shirt freed his face as he unclasped her bra. He looked into her eyes as they pressed against one another, neither daring to move, to explore this new territory they had suddenly been given.

Max’s mouth went dry, “I want you very much Miranda. B-But if this is too fast we can go slow. I can shut my eyes”.

“I don’t want you to shut your eyes Max” she breathed, “I don’t want to stop or pause or think” she wrapped her arms around his body, “compañeros…right?” she smiled.

Max grinned and lifted her around his waist, “compañeros” he agreed and carried her to his bedroom.

Chapter Text

“What do you mean you lost sight of him!?” Inés roared at her officers as Max and Miranda listened in on speakerphone, unbeknownst to Inés. Rico was useful for more than just pathology it seemed.

They were sat in his bed, cuddled together with coffee, as they listened to Inés yelling at her officers.

Max stroked his hand down her spine and moved the phone to one side, he kissed her head, “does this count as our daily exercise?” He murmured.

“Depends on the activity you have in my mind” she teased and rolled so she was straddling him.

“Cause if it’s this? Then yes” she grinned as his hands rested on her thighs.

“Oh it is definitely this” he growled and gripped her thighs so hard they made marks, “I’m the luckiest man in the world Schatz”.

Miranda leaned in close as he ended the phone call. He looked up at her and grinned, “I hope you have enough energy for this Schatz. I don’t want to have to stop for snacks”.

Miranda shifted her position and Max whimpered, she stroked a hand down his chest and grinned.

“Miranda?” He whispered, looking at her in awe.

“Yes Max?” She asked innocently.

He growled and shifted her position slightly. She gripped his wrist and whimpered.

“I’m not letting you leave this bed” he growled and consumed her with his desire.


“Seeing you in my shirt Miranda is doing many wonders for me” he growled as he saw Miranda standing in his kitchen wearing only his shirt.

She looked at him over her shoulder and feigned innocence.

“Thought you were staying in bed all day?”

He wrapped his arms around her waist and rested his chin on her shoulder.

“When you look like that Miranda” he growled, “I can only hope to worship your body outside of the bed”.

“If you’re good” she smiled and kissed him, “I’ve made pancakes. Sit and I might give you some”.

Max unbuttoned one of the buttons and grinned, “if you don’t I won’t do that thing with my tongue you liked so much”.

Miranda blushed, “Max you-“

He grinned at her and moved to the kitchen table, “but I like doing that thing with the tongue so I don’t think no pancakes will be an issue”.

Miranda hit his arm.

“There’s only us here Schatz” he smiled, “I intend to give you every pleasure possible and then some. I want to know how to make you blush uncontrollably at work”.

Miranda blushed, “that won’t be-

Max smiled and pressed a finger to her lips, “we’ve got time on our side Schatz. I think it very much will be”.

She raised an eyebrow at him and slowly took his finger in hers, “so you think” she grinned carefully, “but remember it takes two to tango” she let his hand go and moved back to the pancakes.

Max looked at her legs and grinned, “oh Schatz this is going to be more than a tango, I’m thinking at the very least a paso”.

“Eyes up” she said, “or I won’t do that thing with my tongue”.

Max looked at her and grinned, “I’ll behave…mostly”.

Miranda laughed and looked at him, “I’ll believe that when I see it. Remove your hand from my butt”.

Max grinned and moved his hand. Holding them up he smiled, “Schatz you are no fun”.

She turned back to the pancake making, putting the ones she had been making on top of the pile.

She turned the oven off and grabbed the plate. Purposefully not looking at Max she sat at his table and placed the plate in the middle. Before resting her legs on his other seat, letting his shirt ride down her thighs.

Max groaned, “Miranda”.

She looked at him, “not hungry Max?”

Max grinned at her, “you can’t say that…and then put your legs up”.

She took a pancake and added lemon before folding it over. Cutting a piece off she ate it as Max slowly approached her. He fell to his knees and kissed down her thighs.

She watched him and smiled as he moved his lips up her arm and leaned close to her, kissing her and running his tongue ran against her lips and she gripped him.

“Don’t think we’re having sex without some food in us Max…besides, Rico said he’d ring us with where he was spotted”.

Max sighed, “for one blissful morning I had forgotten the imminent danger… Mario Lucharedez felt like a bad dream”.

Miranda sat properly and stroked his face, “maybe we shouldn’t be spending our time being so relaxed and blasé about everything Max…I mean, we could try and put together where Mario would move next? Who he could be in contact with…he wants to kill me right?”

Max pulled up a chair and nodded, “he wants to hurt me by hurting you…I don’t think kill is the right word for what he’ll do to you”.

Miranda nodded, letting the information wash over her, “let’s not be too hasty then. We’ve not even been in this lockdown for a week yet”.

Max smiled and took her pancake from her plate and shoved it all in his mouth.

“Oi!”

He grinned at her, “if you have a problem with it you are welcome to sit in my lap”.

“On your lap sit on your lap”.

“Well if you insist” he smiled and in one swoop he had her on his lap. Holding her close as she gripped his shirt. His hands tracing patterns on her legs.

“You are something else Max Winter” Miranda smiled and reached for a pancake as Max slipped his hands under the shirt.

“So are you” he breathed and kissed her neck, “I propose our exercise is early today followed by a repeat later on”.

“We can’t just spend the day having sex Max” Miranda laughed as his hands worked their way up.

“Can’t we? If we stay in my bed, however will Mario find us?” Max grinned and stood, lifting her against his chest, “we’ve just let ourselves have this love Miranda. Don’t deny me so soon”.

Miranda gripped him and laughed, “Max I’m not denying you anything I’m just hungry”.

“I saw you have some pancake I think you’ll be fine” he grinned but put her down, “but to prevent an appearance from Grouchy Blake I’ll let you eat your pancakes. I just can’t promise to behave”.

Miranda held his shirt in her hands and smiled softly, “if you don’t let me eat my pancakes in peace Max Winter…there’ll be no sex for at least a day”.

“At least a day?” he groaned, “Miranda-“

“We’ve coped before without sex. I’m sure we can go a day without sex” she sat down and went back to eating her pancakes.

Max smirked and leaned close, whispering, “Oh Blake. By the end of today you won’t be able to walk”.

Miranda swallowed her pancake whole and felt a thrill rush through her, “you best not be making promises you can’t keep Max Winter…”

Max kissed down her neck and unbuttoned her shirt slowly, “an unlimited amount of time to make love to you Miranda. I’m going to give you the world”.

She groaned and tried to reach for the pancakes. He tugged across the shirt and kissed her collar, biting gently. She bit her lip, “Max” she warned.

“Yesssss” he grinned.

She turned to face him and when she smiled sweetly Max knew he was in trouble, “you keep your lips, hands, body to yourself for five minutes and I’ll come back to bed. Any part of your body misbehaves and I’ll be showering alone as you watch. Unable to do or say anything”.

Max let out a whine, “oh god Miranda” he breathed.

“So, lips, hands, body off. Let me eat, you eat too. I don’t want you passing out in the middle of sex”.

Max moved to the seat and smiled, “you play a hard game Miranda. But I’m sure I can make up for it later on…” his foot brushed hers as he piled pancakes onto his plate.

Miranda squeezed his hand and smiled, “I seem to remember saying keep your- “ she cut off as his foot stroked up her calf and she shivered.

“See, I can play too” he grinned, “eat up Blake. I don’t want you passing out in the middle of sex”.

Miranda finished her pancakes as Max blatantly refused to stop touching her with his foot. Paying no heed to her threats. They were in the throes of a new relationship, they’d let themselves have happiness and they had nothing else to do. If anything, being stuck alone with Max would do them wonders, advancing their relationship quicker than they had thought possible.

Besides, sex with Max was good.

Really good.

She smirked at Max who looked at her with a quizzical expression. There was still a pancake left.

She stood and kissed his head, pressing against his side as she stroked a hand through his hair, “take me to bed” she whispered.


There was no doubt in his mind, Max thought as Miranda lay dozing in his arms, exhausted and yet stubbornly trying to stay awake to bask in his warmth and love, he loved this woman. This stubborn, wonderful woman who amazed and astounded him every day. Their relationship was new, but he knew it was meant to be.

He would follow her to the end of the world if she asked. He kissed her head, he wanted every-day to be like this.

Lying in bed beside Miranda, his girlfriend, as they savoured the sounds of Mallorca, he knew she was his compañeros for life and not even Mario Lucharedez could scare him from this life.

Chapter Text

 

“Hola Inés!” Max grinned into his laptop, they’d managed to get Inés on board with the idea of keeping Max and Miranda in the loop whilst they were locked away in his apartment.

Max smiled as Miranda made a face behind the laptop.

“Hola Max” Inés replied, “where is Miranda?”

“In my bed” he grinned.

“I’m making coffee!” Miranda retorted, letting Inés see her face, “hola”.

“Hola Miranda” Inés replied before glaring at Max, “coffee is really bed no?”

Max shrugged but was smiling, “how’s the search for Mario?”

Inés made a big show of looking through her notes and then sighed, “terrible. Those incompetent idiotas! Lost him this morning. We had the best lead and now there is nothing! So whatever you do you do not leave the apartment, even to stick your head out of the window. Not till we can find any more leads”.

“Not even out of the window?” Max repeated, “Miranda’s going to love that”.

“You both are doing this for her benefit” Inés reminded him, “and besides, I thought you would’ve liked an unlimited amount of time in bed with her”.

Miranda hit Max’s head as she walked behind him with the coffees, sitting beside him she placed the tray down and handed him a coffee, “he wouldn’t even let me make food this morning”.

Inés smirked, “well, make sure you use protection. I do not want my best detectives coming back pregnant”.

Miranda nodded, sipped her coffee as Max’s face went sheepish.

“You are adults are you not? Do I need to give you the sex talk?” Inés said, sounding all at once as fierce and scary as she usually was.

“No no we’ve been using protection don’t worry Inés” Max smiled, “lots” he smiled wide and sipped his coffee, “good coffee…can you not send us some files over so we can help? I know him, I know his ways Inés. Please? It might stop me from tying Miranda to the bed”.

“If anyone is being tied up it’s you” Miranda countered, “your hands mostly”.

“You love my hands” Max grinned and placed one on the top of her thigh.

She’d since changed into her shorts and shirt, after having a shower that was less of a shower and more of Max trying to find new places to have sex with her.

“Díos Mio!” Inés breathed, “I will send you one file. One. Nothing else. And do not make me say this again Max; Use. A. Condom!”

Max moved his hand quickly and gulped.

“Yes ma’am”.

Miranda rolled her eyes but smiled at Inés, “thank you”.

“Try not to tie him up Detective Blake. Although I won’t arrest you if you do. Adios”.

“Adios Inés” Miranda said with Max. They ended the call and sipped their coffees before Max looked across at her, “I wouldn’t mind you tying me up”.

She looked at him and grinned, “I’ll bare that one in mind” she smiled and stroked his face, “maybe one day you’ll wake up tied to the bed”.

“Don’t tease me Schatz” he growled in her ear, “you know I can’t control myself when you do that”.

Miranda flushed as his lips brushed against a bite he’d made earlier that day.

“Max, if you keep on kissing me, we both know what will happen…and given we’ve not been at all careful, maybe it’s wise to wait till we get some condoms?”

“Schatz you are going to ask me to wait? I have nothing else to dooooo”

“You have plenty more to do than me” Miranda retorted.

Max smiled and bit her shirt, tugging it slightly, “you love it”.

She laughed at him and stroked his face, “I do. But I also would like to try some of dinner and finish reading that book”.

“Ahh speaking of!” Max smiled and ran over to his desk, he pulled out a bag and looked at her, almost shy.

“Max?”

He approached her and held the bag out.

“I ordered it this morning whilst you were in bed…speedy delivery. I got Christian to collect it”.

Miranda took the bag and then looked inside, she smiled and looked at him, “you bought me a book?”

“Well I know you really like Science-y type books and whilst I like them too I don’t have any in English and i-I just thought you’d appreciate-“

Miranda cut him off with a kiss, gripping his shirt she pressed her body against his. Max smiled and held her firmly in one arm, “guessin’ I did good?”

Miranda nodded and began making work on his shirt, unbuttoning it to Max’s amusement.

“Very good. Shut up” she said and pushed him to the sofa. Straddling him he tried to kiss her but she gripped his chin in her thumb and forefinger.

Smiling wickedly, “let me show you how good you’ve done Max” she purred.

“Behaving now” he grinned as her fingers grazed his chest.

She took his shirt off and then unzipped his trousers, pulling them off she smiled sweetly at him. She kissed him and squeezed his hands, tying them with her hair tie she pulled back.

I’m going to read my book”.

“Miranda? Miranda!” Max whined as she grabbed the book and her coffee. He whined and as he moved to follow she pushed him back to the seat.

“Down boy” she teased and moved to the seat.

Max groaned, “Oh Miranda Blake you tease. I am going to make you pay for this. What is with this hair tie!” he whined as he tried to get it off his wrists, only succeeding in making the tie get tangled. 

Miranda smirked, biting back a laugh, “well, when you can untie yourself we can discuss how you are going to pay me back” she smiled and sipped her coffee, “good choice on book by the way. I’ve had my eye on this one for a while now”.

Max smiled at her, “I know you Schatz”.

Miranda nodded and sat with legs; her face grew concentrated as she opened the book. He smiled at her as she read.

He leaned back and smiled, “am I allowed to go make us some food?”

Miranda nodded, “try anything and I’ll tie you to the bed”.

Max grinned, “that a promise?”

“It’s a threat Max” she said with a smile. He stood and moved behind her, kissing her head before she could protest, he walked to the kitchen.


Miranda had gotten 200 pages into her book, The Gendered Brain, before she felt Max’s presence behind her.

“You are adorable when you are lost in your book” Max chuckled behind her. She jumped and looked at him. He hadn’t got his clothes back on, only kept his boxers on. She smiled at him, “dinner?”

Max nodded, “and I promise, to behave…good book?”

“Really good” she smiled, “thank you” she kissed his cheek as she stood. Max smiled and held her hand as he led her to his kitchen. He’d set up a small table, lit candles and had made some lasagne.

“From scratch. I had to call my Mama for help but…”

“I love lasagne” she breathed and pulled him into another kiss, “I don’t think it’s going to be hard to resist anything tonight Max”.

Max smiled, “I can control myself Miranda”.

“I don’t want you to” she said and smiled at him, “I’m sure one more time won’t kill us. As long as you promise to get some condoms in? If all we’re allowed to do is stay in your apartment I want to make sure we’re not going to come out of this with a baby”.

Max nodded, “I’ll get onto it. Promise. Now, wine?”


Miranda rested against Max’s chest, content and full of love. She’d never felt so safe and happy in all of her life. Max, this stupid man had broken into her defences and taken root. Pitched down a tent and refused to leave.

And she loved him.

She looked at him and smiled, she stroked his face and smiled, “Max?”

“Mmm” he stirred.

“i-I i…” she sighed and smiled, choosing to kiss him, “goodnight”.

Max smiled and stroked her face as his eyes fluttered open, “goodnight Schatz” he held her closer and smiled as she hugged him. Curling her body around his as she succumbed to sleep.

Chapter Text

Inés looked at her phone, “Rico” she stated, “go and give Max a box of condoms. Those two idiotas are going to drive me loco!”

Rico grinned, “Max and Miranda are having fun in their lockdown”.

“Too much. This I expect from Max. No protection, stupid man. But Miranda?! Dios mío…get him something. I do not want to deal with something that is half of both of them. I can barely cope with them as it is!”

Rico laughed, “Inés they are a new couple locked in an apartment…what else can they do?”

Inés groaned, “not have sex every five minutes I had hoped. Rico they are supposed to be adults. How can I cope with them acting like this?!”.

Rico shrugged, “anything to take their minds off of Mario, Inés. Davíd has a lead. An informant has said he was spotted down by the docks…I’ve sent a team down now. Maybe he is staying in a boat, hiding. Watching”.

“That is not that far from Max and Miranda” Inés said, “check it out and shut it down. I want every boat checked and double checked. Anything suspicious, bag it up. Send a few men to standby Max’s apartment. We do not want to be lead on another wild bird chase”.

“Yes ma’am”.


Mario looked across at the officers, they were checking out all of the boats. Following his trails like the stupid idiots he knew they were. Max was always too clever for his tricks. Seeing through each one.

But Max was nowhere to be seen, locked away with his girlfriend somewhere. He’d broken into the lovely Miranda’s place and found nothing. Not a trace of the woman. Not even a photo of Max. Interesting.

He pressed a button on his phone and smirked, “so do you have the information I need? Mmm? Well, where does he live?”

He chuckled and turned his back on the officers, “near a bar called Joan? Excellent. Scope it out. Check they are there. We wait until they break. Max can play games but I can play better ones. What’s the deal with his girlfriend, Miranda Blake? Welsh. They get angry if you call them English”

He paused and smirked, “I need a disguise. They’ll be having deliveries, get me as much info as you can. Hack their phones. You’ve got their numbers. Make me proud or I’ll kill you and your family”.

Mario hung up and walked down past a patrol car, he smiled and waved.

“You do a crackin’ job” he said, adding a Welsh tilt to his voice, “my friend back home is an officer, lovely girl. Don’t want to mess with her mind. By Christ is she tough”.

They looked puzzled at him but nodded, “moverse” one said, gesturing for him to move along.

Mario nodded, “adios!” and moved away from the officers, “so stupid” he muttered with a grin, killing Max and Miranda would be glorious. He might even have time for a party afterwards.

 


He approached the bar, Joan’s, and ordered a gin and tonic from the pretty barmaid. Carmen, he found out.

Max had dated a Carmen.

He smirked, this was the ex.

She was pretty, long dark curly hair. Eyes bright and wide. The opposite to Miranda but he could see why Max liked them both. Both were wildfire, anger them and he could see through Carmen that Miranda would be a fun one to mess with.

“Say you know this area?” he asked Carmen as she handed him his drink, “only I’m looking for an old friend of mine”.

Carmen smiled, “I have lived here my whole life. Who is your friend?”

“Miranda Blake” he said, “she’s Welsh so if she’s been here you’d probably remember her” he chuckled.

Carmen grinned, “I know Miranda. She is often in here with her boyfriend Max”.

Mario nodded and smiled, “do you know where I can find them? I’ve been wanting to surprise her whilst I was out here”.

“Well they are both police officers so maybe they are on a case. They normally stop by here after though so you are more than welcome to wait here for them”.

“Yeah?”

“Of course” Carmen smiled, “Miranda’s friends are our friends…what did you say your name was?”

“I didn’t. But it’s Luca. Miranda and I were best friends growing up. Did everything together. We lost touch when she moved away but her parents told me she was out here. They’re really proud of her”.

Carmen smiled, “I don’t doubt that. Luca was it?”

Mario nodded, “yep”.

Carmen handed her phone over, “Miranda’s number. I’m sure she won’t mind me giving you it”.

Mario grinned, he wouldn’t kill Carmen for this, “thank you. Thank you so much! I cannot wait to catch up with her! And meet Max…see if he’s good enough for her” he copied down the number and smiled at Carmen.

“Oh he is. A few months ago she was held hostage and he ran into it. Risked his life for hers”

“Brave man”.

“And stupid” Carmen said, “sorry. He was my boyfriend at the time”.

“And you don’t hate Miranda for stealing him away?”

Carmen laughed, “Miranda didn’t steal him away Luca. Our relationship was never real. A mixture of a lonely man and a lonely woman who just wanted security. I am much happier not being with Max. I still love him but as a friend. The way Max looks at Miranda, that is love”.

Mario nodded, “well, still, I am sorry you suffered a break up”.

Carmen shrugged, “what is the road to love without a little bit of pain?”

“Quite” Mario smiled and sipped his drink, he typed in Miranda’s number and smiled as it rang out.

“Hello?”

“Miranda?”

Carmen left him to serve as he spoke to Miranda.

“y-Yes who is this?”

He smirked and hung up. Leaving Miranda to wonder who had phoned her. He blocked her number as soon as she tried to phone back, and finished his drink, “adios Carmen” he called and left 50€ on the bar, a tip larger than she had received all night.

Payment, for the lives he would take because of her kindness.

Chapter Text

By the end of the first week of lockdown, Miranda realised that shortly, she could be having a big problem.

She mentally checked her dates and then proceeded to ignore Max for half a morning.

Max, to his credit, thought she was having an introvert day and kept his distance but kept making her tea and kissing her head when he placed it down.

After midday she relented, well after his phone went and he was nowhere to be seen, “Maaax?” she huffed and sat up. Searching for the offending device.

“Max! Max your phone’s ringing!” Miranda called before glancing at the name, “Max it’s your mother!”

She sighed as he didn’t answer her, she pressed accept call and suddenly found herself virtual face to virtual face with Max’s mother.

“Maxim- oh… guten tag! Where is Maxy?”

“He’s just in the shower. Mrs Winter. Would you like me to get him for you?”

“Oh no it’s no trouble dear; Miranda isn’t it?”

“Uhm yes” she said, desperately hoping Max would come out.

“It’s nice to finally see you dear, Maxy has been talking non-stop about you since you became his partner”.

“It’s nice to meet you too Mrs Winter, Max has told me so much about you-“

“Oh please call me Ida! Maximus has always been his Mama’s baby”.

Miranda hid her grin and sat on the sofa, “I can imagine”.

“I hear you both are having to be kept under orders to stay in my Maxy’s little apartment?”

“Yeah we have…a-“

“Been having at it like rabbits!”

Miranda blushed, “well i-I we uhm,-“

“Miranda you are young you are supposed to not leave the bed. If my son hurts you though let me know and I will end him”.

Miranda smiled, “that’s good to know, but he’s been really sweet”.

“Lieben Sie ihn?”

Miranda’s brow furrowed, “uhm, sorry. I don’t speak much German…I mostly just parrot what Max says and even then it’s rusty”

“Sorry dear, I was asking if you loved him?”

Miranda smiled softly, thinking back to the night before when he’d woken her at 2AM to make Vanillekipferl. And she hadn’t wanted to hit him for waking her, much.

“Ahhh I can see” Ida stated with a smile, “Ansel! Ansel!”

Ida smiled and moved the phone so Miranda could see Ansel, a man who looked near identical to Max, if only older and with a slightly bigger beer belly than Max had.

When she saw Ida she saw Max’s eyes reflected back, but looking at Ansel she could see Max.

“Uhm, guten tag?” she offered.

Ansel squinted, “Ida? Ida is that Max? No, too pretty. Miranda then! Hello, I am Ansel Winter”.

Daddy Winter

Miranda smiled, “hi. Uhm, I was saying to Mrs-Ida that Max is in the shower”.

“Always in the shower, always” Ansel muttered, “it is nice to meet that woman who has stolen my son’s heart. I hope you are keeping him in line. Mama’s boy that he is”.

“We’re both looking after each other. He’s quite a cook. We made vanillekipferl this morning they were delicious”.

Ida turned the camera and scowled, “that boy cannot make a good vanillekipferl if he was blind. Did he use ground almonds and hazelnuts?”

“Uhm, we used something almond. I don’t think it was ground though and we definitely didn't add hazelnuts”.

“Every time I tell him, add a pinch of ground hazelnuts! Every time he ignores me!”

Miranda chuckled, “well the next time I’ll add it for you”.

“Good. They have been at it like rabbits Ansel, perhaps we have a grandchild soon?”

Why was everyone so focused on her and Max having a baby just because they were having a lot of sex?! Miranda thought, before realising she’d been just as eager as Max to have sex that first night. And she hadn’t exactly stopped to think about protection.

Or finding out if she could get a pill.

“Work first. Babies later” Ansel stated.

“I quite agree” Miranda said and Ansel smiled.

“You like your work? When Maximus told me he wanted to be cop. Shoot bad guys my heart was broken. I wanted him to go into the family business”.

“My Dad didn’t want me to be a cop either. But I can see you’re proud of him. He’s always got my back even on days I probably don’t deserve it”.

“Max doesn’t deserve a good partner like you dear, he speaks a lot of the time about you. All the time for weeks we had Miranda did this today, Miranda was held hostage but look what she did! He is very lucky to have you. And I am very happy for you to be his partner. Even if you are English”.

“Not that it matters, but I’m Welsh?”

Ansel smiled, “Welsh is not English?”

“Well they’re both British but I was born in Wales, in Aberystwyth actually”.

Ansel nodded, “I have a friend who went to Wales once. Very nice country he said, green”.

Miranda smiled, “Lots of hills”.

“Well I had popped in to talk to my son but as he is busy I will leave you to talk to my love, it was nice to finally meet the woman who has tamed my son. Auf Wiedersehen Miranda”.

“Auf Wiedersehen Mr Winter”.

Ida smiled at her, “my husband likes you. He does not like everyone. Tough man. Very stubborn, when Maxy told us he wanted to be a cop he was so worried. Lots of bad things happen to officers. But he was so desperate. Ansel paid his fees to do his training. We did not let him know this so please-“

“I won’t let him know” Miranda promised, “I wish my Dad was like Max’s…he wasn’t pleased when I came home to say I wanted to be an officer”.

“Some men look at their children and want to desperately protect them. No matter what”.

Miranda nodded.

“We are always at the end of the phone if you would like to speak to someone Miranda” Ida said, “or if Maximus has been annoying. He might be a lover but my boy takes after his father, he can be very annoying to live with. Persistent and mopey”.

Miranda smiled, “thank you. He has been lovely though, he even bought me a book I’d been wanting to get for a long time. He’s very thoughtful”.

“I am glad. And I am very glad he has found you. I will get your number of my boy and send you lots of his baby photos. Fat child, very fat”.

Miranda laughed, “oh this I have to see. I’ll send you a message from my phone to yours. Max won’t know a thing”.

Ida laughed, “Oh yes you are definitely perfect for my son… but for now I must get on with Ansel’s dinner. Auf Wiedersehen Miranda”.

“Auf Wiedersehen Ida” Miranda smiled as the woman hung up. She quickly sent a message to Ida from her phone before replacing Max’s where she’d found it.

“Miranda were you speaking German just then?”

Miranda grinned and looked at him, “I might’ve been” she took in his wet hair, curls sticking to his forehead. Towel around his waist.

Max smiled, “care to tell me why?”

Miranda grinned and approached him, wrapping her arms around his waist she smiled up at him, “is Maximus your first name?”

“Schieße who told you?!“

Miranda laughed, “Mummy Winter did” she smiled, "and so did Daddy Winter”

Max’s eyes went wide, “you spoke to my parents?”

“Yep. You look a lot like your Dad, but you’ve got your Mum’s eyes” she stroked his face.

“They face timed you?! Miiraandaaaa” Max whined.

Miranda laughed and poked his stomach, “it wasn’t that bad. They’re nice people. Your Mum is going to send me some baby photos of you”.

“Oh no. Oh no Miranda noooo” he held her tightly, “no you are not going to be texting my Mama and getting baby photos!”

“I am” she laughed and struggled in his grip, “Max let me goo!”

“Nope. If I keep you in my arms you can’t reach your phone”.

Miranda tugged at his towel, “let me go or I take your towel”.

“You can take my towel but then I’d be naked”.

“So?”

“We both know you can’t resist me with clothes on, imagine how hard it'd be without clothes on” he grinned, “so. Take my towel Miranda”.

Miranda huffed and let his towel go, “fine. I-I liked meeting your parents Max. They’re clearly very proud of you”.

Max pouted, “My Papa is never proud”.

Miranda reached up and kissed him, “he is. They both are”.

Max smiled and held her close, “so tell me then Blake. Would your mysterious Dad and Step-Mum like me?”

Miranda paused before she rested her head against his chest, she was touched by him remembering her Dad had remarried after her Mum had died, “they’d give you the third degree. Ask why their daughter had to go fall for a German. Da’s Dad was killed in the War... But they’d accept you. Especially given how competitive you are. My Dad would ask you about sport and cars. My Step-Mam would make you her Welsh Cakes” Miranda’s voice broke suddenly.

He stroked her back, “you miss them?” he kissed her head, resting his chin against it.

“I’ve not spoken to them in years” she whispered, “they were awful people Max. Pushed me to do what they wanted. Never what I wanted”.

He titled her chin and brushed her tears with his thumbs, “then I don’t want to meet them. Well, maybe to yell once at them”.

Miranda sniffed but smiled, “they’d cower”.

“Good. Any person who makes you cry is a bad person”.

Miranda smiled and squeezed his hand, “maybe I’ll phone them for you to yell at”.

“They don’t do facetime?”

“Max they don’t have a TV. I nearly fainted the first time I saw one”.

Max frowned, how lonely had Miranda’s childhood been. How the children next door had clearly bullied her throughout her childhood. She had lost her Mum and gained a wicked Witch. He suddenly saw why she was confrontational with Inés. Having been controlled by one as a teenager must’ve left a sour taste in Miranda’s mind.

“Stop it” Miranda said softly, “stop thinking about my life in Wales Max”.

“I can’t help it” he said, “it hurts me to know you spent years alone”.

Miranda shrugged, “it’s in the past Max. Nobody can change that”.

“I know” he smiled and stroked her face, “but I can still be sad for little Miranda. Wide-eyed and wanting to play. What made you decide to be an officer?”

Miranda stroked his chest, “we doing this now?”

“We don’t have to”.

Miranda looked back at him, “I ran away”.

“You?”

She nodded, “packed a bag. Left a note, then ran away. Got all the way to the bloody border before I was picked up”.

Miranda!”

She pulled free from his arms, “you wanted to know. I ran away and the police brought me back. Well, they arrested me”.

Max grinned, “you? You got arrested? Miranda Blake”.

“They took me to the nearest station…I made up a name but they knew I was lying. Knew my name was Miranda”.

“How long had you been missing for?”

“2 weeks”.

“Wow”.

Miranda sat on the sofa, “I cried. I begged, sobbed and pleaded with them to not bring me home. I would’ve ran away again”.

“I would’ve liked to have seen you make a scene”.

“I went full Welsh on them…an officer told me I was fast. I’d ran from the patrol car, they had to speed to get me…he said I’d make a good officer. They hadn’t realised I had been missing for so long”.

“So they what? Offered you a job?”

“No. They took me home”.

Max sat beside her, “and you ran away again?”

“Yep. Same officers found me; same ones brought me back. Only this time they said I was persistent, that I’d make a really good Police Officer”.

Max smiled, “you ran away again didn’t you”.

Miranda laughed, “well I applied for University on the library’s computer. Got in and didn’t tell my Dad. I waited. They knew something was up, I turned 18 and they just changed the locks…their way of saying if I want to leave then this would be it. No turning back, no coming home”.

“That’s awful” Max whispered.

“I ran all the way to London, slept in fields, ditches, I ended up being taken to hospital because I’d sprained my ankle and got an infection from sleeping outside. But I did the degree, moved to an area that would allow me to train to be an officer and then got into the MET. Highest scores and fastest officer that year. Actually, I don’t think my record has been broken”.

“I never want to see you that upset again” Max said softly, “I don’t want you to feel so low that you run to another country Miranda. Your parents did that to you! They can’t do that!”

Miranda shrugged, “they did. I’ve had one phone call and one visit since then”.

“When was this?”

Miranda sighed, “I know you don’t like Palmer but she tracked them down. Gave them a bollocking and made them see me”.

“Why?”

“Because I nearly died”.

Max touched her knee, “you nearly died?”

“I was drummed out of the MET because I uncovered corruption. The officers in question kidnapped me a-and hurt me. They put me in the boot of the one’s car half conscious and then crashed. Both died on impact a-and I was trapped. I couldn’t get out…I think I tried. They found evidence I tried. Someone got me out, but I passed out. Didn’t wake for a few days. They were sat by my bed”.

Max nodded, “how bad was it?”

“What? The reunion?”

“Yeah?”

“They spoke English to me. After years of speaking nothing but Welsh I got English”.

“Woah”.

“My Step-Mam had made her Welsh Cakes though. Or bought them. I weighed about 6 stone then…ate them all in a day. Threw them back up mind, but I was delirious and wanted some comfort. I so badly wanted to have someone to want me, to come home to”.

Max nodded. Rubbing her back, keeping contact with her as she continued her story.

“My Dad told me being an officer was a waste and that I should be a proper Welsh girl. A proper Miner’s Daughter. I told him in Welsh that I would always be Welsh but my heart was in being a police officer. If they didn’t like that they should leave”.

“They left?”

“Oh yeah. Nerys, that’s my step-Mam, had to drag my Dad away. Palmer turned up and stayed for a bit but I was on my own until I left. Checked myself out and was back to work within a month of the accident”.

“Stubborn”.

“Lonely”.

Max nodded and kissed her head, “you made enemies like I made enemies, didn’t you?”

Miranda nodded, “the day I decided to stay here I phoned them. I told them I was over here permanently”.

“What did they say?”

Miranda rested her head against him, “good. Make sure to put suncream on…they wanted to know my address”.

“Why the change of heart?”

Miranda shrugged, “Dad always had health problems maybe he had a scare. I don’t know… don’t really care but...they’re my parents you know? I just I wanted them to care for so long” she sniffed, “they ruined my life, from my Mam to Nerys... I got to uni and I was the only one who knew how to cook, clean, pay bills. I couldn’t handle alcohol but I could argue about rent prices and save. They just…they broke my heart Max”.

Max held her, “I won’t ever do that. I mean it Miranda. This is a promise that I won’t ever break your heart. This relationship we have. It’s ours. It’s permanent. It’s forever”.

He kissed her head, “go get into some bed clothes and we can just cuddle okay? Cuddle with those cookies and a book or a film. Okay?”

Miranda nodded and kissed him, “okay…hey Max?”

“Mmm” he smiled.

“I love you”.

Max smiled and stroked her face, “Schatz…I love you too”.

Miranda cupped his face again and kissed him, pressing all the love she had into that one kiss before she pulled back, “compañeros for life Max?”

“Try and stop me” he grinned, “now, go get into some comfier clothes and we can cuddle on the sofa”.

“Oh that was sooo close to the perfect sentence Max” Miranda said and stroked his face, but she moved over to the door to his bedroom.

“You know people will be saying I’m the one who is horny but it is allll you Schatz isn’t it? Taking advantage of me just because we are in lockdown”

“Oh yeah, one look from you and I just want more” she grinned and kissed him, pressing her body to his just long enough to get him thinking more would follow. She pulled back and stroked his face.

Miranda smiled, “you just said cuddling Max. No sex tonight, I can totally control myself…can you?”


Max ordered them some take-away as Miranda got changed, he followed her into the room and kissed her neck as she straightened her shirt. Gripping her waist.

“Did I miss watching you strip?” he growled.

“Yep” she smiled and turned in his grip and kissed him, “time for you to get dressed. What shall we have for dinner?”

“I ordered a take-out for us. Pizza. Hope that’s okay”.

Miranda nodded, “it’s perfect. Shall I set the DVD up? We can even watch that awful musical you keep singing along to”.

“Oh Schatz admit it. You loved watching Mamma Mia. You even sang along to the songs. I have the sequel we can watch that if you want to have more ABBA action”.

Miranda rolled her eyes but nodded, “I’ll go set it up”.

“Blankets are-“

“On the side folded next to the laundry…I know” she smiled and kissed his cheek before leaving the room.


They sat cuddled up on the sofa as the titles for Mamma Mia 2 began playing, Miranda had her own pizza, a small cheese and tomato one, with olives and chicken. Max knew the way to her heart and opened up avenues she didn’t know existed as he went deep for the core.

She had already eaten 3 slices when Max spoke to her. He’d been singing along to the songs and they were now mercifully at a speaking point in the film.

“After they catch Mario. Would you like to stay here with me? Permanently? I know we’ve only been living together for a week but it’s been good hasn’t it? Living with you. Sleeping beside you? I never want to wake up alone again”.

Miranda smiled and nodded, “let’s get Mario arrested before we talk about that. If I move in it won’t be just sex sex sex. It’ll be different. It’d be real”.

“This is real Schatz. And we spend all day together at work. You know we’d be good at living together too. Make it a competition”.

Miranda smiled and stroked his face, “okay. When this is all over, we spend one week apart. One week. I need to sort some things out at my place and probably should phone my parents to tell them my address has changed”.

“Ooo let me? Let me speak to them” he grinned.

“No chance you’d swear at them in German”.

“I can swear at them in Welsh if you teach me”.

Miranda grinned, “fine. You can speak to them. But on speaker. I want to make sure you don’t get berated by my Dad”.

Max nodded, “how bad are we talking?”

Miranda paused to think before she smiled, “he’s as tough as Inés and twice as nasty. So's Nerys”.

“You know on second thoughts I think I’ll let you deal with him”.

Miranda nodded and smiled, “I’ll still put him on speaker. Let you be Mr Macho if you think I need it”.

Max smiled and kissed her head, “okay. You see we can do this. No sex living thing. I mean I am wanting to take you to bed right now but I’m being good. Proving to you that I can go a day without sex”.

“We had sex this afternoon”.

“Okay I can go half a day. But when you look that hot you can’t expect me to not want to have sex with you”.

Miranda chuckled, “you know even your Mum knew we were at it like… well like rabbits”.

Max grinned, “Mama knows her son loves a woman she knows I’m going to devote all of my energy to pleasing you”.

“You do that anyway Max”.

“Good” he grinned, “I still can’t believe you spoke to my parents and didn’t freak out”.

“The promise of seeing baby Max is too much to resist”.

Max grinned and kissed her head, “this is the best life Schatz. Talking to you. Being with you”.

She rested against him, “I love it too”.

Chapter Text

Miranda moved into the kitchen, they’d worked on a food routine early Monday morning and today was Max’s day to cook brunch. Her day to do a mid-morning workout.

They usually woke up together, semi-argued over who got out of the bed to make the coffee. Miranda usually got out as Max faked being asleep. Usually with his fingers tickling her side so she was irritated enough to get out and away from his fingers.

She saw Max had his back to her, she wrapped her arms around his waist and smiled.

“Ahh sleeping beauty has finished her workout?”

She shoved his side and he turned around, “if you want to get hot and sweaty you could’ve just asked me” he grinned.

Miranda rolled her eyes, “we’ve discussed this. No sex before food”.

“Yeah yeah” he laughed, “brunch is all laid out. There are some cheeses…olives…meat. All sorts. I used some leftovers from last night too. Christian is bringing the food round about 5PM. He’s bringing Carmen too she said she has things you would need”.

Miranda nodded, “coffee?”

“Brewing” he smiled, “but you can grab the cups”.

Miranda nodded and grabbed them. Placing them down on the table she looked at the file Inés had sent over.

“You’ve been over it 5 times now Max”.

“There’s something I’ve missed I’m sure of it”.

He grabbed the plate of bread he’d been slicing. He sat down and looked at the file, “there has to be…Miranda I just know it”.

She sat and looked at it, “you going to let me look through it? Fresh eyes can actually help a case”.

Max sighed, “sure go ahead”.

She placed the file to one side and plated up some food.

“So, Mario, why do you think he hates you so much? I mean you’ve told me the case. You’ve told me how you arrested his gang, took the money and the drugs. You’ve told me how you ended up in hospital. But that doesn’t explain why he fixates on you”.

Max sighed and sipped his coffee, “I don’t know why, truly I don’t. Maybe he hates me because I remind him of someone?”

Miranda nodded and as they ate their brunch she moved the conversation on, “did you know that women can out-mutate men?”

“What?”

“It’s true. My genetic coding, or rather the fact that I have XX chromosomes means that I can out-mutate you”.

“Well that explains why you get grumpy quickly”.

Miranda rolled her eyes but laughed, “you see you can joke all you like but genetically, I am more likely to survive out in the wild whereas you, you wouldn’t”.

“Definitely remind me to stick with you in the wild then”.

Miranda smiled, “Max if you’re lost in the wild there’s a high chance I’m lost with you anyway”.

Max grinned, “shortcuts?”

She nodded and smiled before she refilled her coffee.

“So, we going to do something new today. I thought we might actually cook some more of those biscuits? Well what I’m actually saying is, I ate 10 this morning”.

“10?! Max!”

Max grinned, “I couldn’t help it they were too delicious”.

“I tell you what we’re doing. You are doing a workout- you said you wanted to lose a few pounds you cant then ate 10 biscuits and expect no repercussions. Pout all you like, I will make the biscuits. You work out, shower and then if you are lucky you can have one”.

“You think I’m going to let you lose in the kitchen alone?”

Miranda grinned, “I know you will” before leaning in close, “otherwise it’s no sex for two weeks”.

“T-two we-weeks?” Max pouted, “why so long? Mirandaaa

"Well one week is punishment and then the other is well that’s you know…my time of the month?”

“Ohhh. Do you have some stuff o-or shall I-“

“I’m assuming Carmen is bringing something over Max”.

“And we can’t have sex whilst you-“

“Well it’s not like it’s a forbidden thing or anything Max I just don’t want to do that so soon in our relationship…give me time and maybe”.

Max nodded, “I don’t mind either way. Being with you? Showing you how much I love you? That’s all I care about”.

“Max the romancer” she smiled and kissed his cheek.

“All for you” he grinned and finished his coffee, “so, you want to bake some of my favourite biscuits in the world? Fine. I will work out and make you wish you could get hot and sweaty with me tonight. But nope I’ll be too tired from working out”.

Miranda laughed, “we’ll see” before she took a glance at the file, she skimmed over it and stopped.

“Accent? What’s this?”

Max looked across, “oh that? It’s nothing. A witness said he spoke to her with a British accent but it’s made up”.

Miranda sat up and read the witness statement. Batting Max’s hand away as he tried to take the file back. “It says here the witness bumped into Mario, he spoke in flawless English. She was so convinced that he was a tourist she even gave him directions. But when she turned he was gone.”

“Miranda-“

“No no this is good” she said, “it’s a lead”.

“What? Miranda has having no work gotten to you so much that you are making leads now?”

“No! Max. A man phoned me the other day, all he said was Miranda and then he hung up. It was odd, but I rang back and my number was blocked. I couldn’t get through. He sounded Welsh. Nobody in Wales has my number. Nobody. All I have there are my parents and I know their number”.

“What are you saying?”

“I’m saying I think that it was Mario who phoned me, I think he’s got my number and knows exactly where we are”.

A sudden knock at the door made them jump.

“Scheiße” Max breathed, “okay uhm, hide in the bedroom-“

“Max that’s not likely to be Mario is it?” Miranda said before she saw the fear in his eyes, “okay” she said and took one of Max’s knives as the door knocked again.

“Schatz you know I wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t-“

“I know” she said and kissed him, “if it is…don’t die. Please Max, I won’t allow you too”.

Max nodded and kissed her head, “hide. I won’t open the door until you do”.

She nodded and darted across the room, the door knocked again and Max moved to it, hiding his gun in his back pocket.

He answered it and breathed a sigh of relief.

“Hola Max” Christian said and held up two bags of food.

“Dammit Christian I thought you were Mario!” Max hissed and pulled the man inside. Looking out briefly to see if he had been seen.

“Heey” Christian laughed, “What’s-“

Max slammed the door shut and glared, “you were supposed to be here in the afternoon. We are on high alert- MIRANDA IT’S CHRISTIAN, we are on high alert, Mario is watching us”.

Miranda appeared in the doorway of his bedroom, “thought he wasn’t stopping by till later”.

“So did I” Max hissed.

“Look I’m sorry okay? I didn’t think it would be a big deal” Christian shrugged.

“Christian. Miranda hid in the bedroom with a knife because of how big a deal Mario Luchaderez is! Look, thank you for getting us the food and we really really do appreciate it. We’re just jumpy. If Mario sees you coming here what is to stop him from killing you just because you know us?”

“He’s that bad then?”

Max nodded, “very bad Christian”.

“I’m sorry Max” Christian sighed, “really I am”.

“Max” Miranda said and approached the two men, “it’s okay. We’re just jumpy” she stroked his hand, “why don’t we just all have a drink together?”

“I can’t stay, I’m meant to be at work. Carmen put a bag in here for you Miranda”.

Miranda nodded and took both bags off of Christian as Max led him to the door. They said their goodbyes and Max made sure to lock the door behind him.

“We need to let Inés know that Mario phoned you” Max said softly.

Miranda approached Max and wrapped her arms around him, resting her head against his chest she breathed deeply, “just hold me for now Max? Hold me and don’t ever let go”.

Max smiled and brought his arms around her, kissing her head he buried his face against her shoulder and held her.

 


After almost killing Christian, Miranda forced Max into doing a workout. She made sure his headphones were on before she moved to the kitchen and face-timed his mother.

“Miranda!” Ida smiled, “what a lovely surprise!”

“Hello Ida. I was just ringing to ask you a question about those cookies the vanilla-

Vanillekipferl” Ida smiled, “you want to make them perfect so Maxy is putty?”

Miranda laughed but nodded, “you said that thing about adding ground hazelnuts?”

She nodded, “you remembered! Maxy has been told more times than I can count…so I tell you what to do and you will do it?”

Miranda nodded, “he scoffed 10 this morning”.

“You see why he was a fat baby?”

Miranda smiled and nodded, “I’ve made him do some working out”.

“Good. Be firm with that boy, only way he’ll learn”.

Miranda grinned, “I’ll remember that”.

Chapter Text

He had men everywhere. Eyes everywhere. So, it wasn’t surprising when Mario Lucharedez got a phone call to say Max had been spotted outside of a building. It had only been a few seconds but it was all he needed to tie the noose around his game.

As it turned out he lived close to the bar he had met Carmen in, they’d been right under his nose the entire time.

He pulled on a cap and waited in the darkness, scoping out the apartment. Max and Miranda, he had to give it to them, were good at waiting things out.

In the 12 hours he watched over the place he didn’t see a door open nor either go towards the window.

But they were human, they’d crack eventually. He hoped it was Miranda.

She was pretty.

He smirked and typed a few keys into his phone and raised it to his ear. It rang twice before she answered.

“Hello Mario”.

He smirked, “go to the window Detective Blake. I want to see your pretty face”. He waited for a few seconds before he saw her approach the window. She looked out, searching for him but he chuckled into the phone.

“I like your shirt…Max’s isn’t it?”

To his surprise, she didn’t look scared that she was being watched.

“I’m not scared of you” she said into the phone before looking out into the night sky, searching the buildings, scanning them quickly.

“You should be” he replied and watched her, he shone his phone into the darkness so her face turned to his.

“You’re pretty when you smile” he said, “I can’t wait to hurt you” before hanging up.

He moved back into the shadows as she stepped away from the window.

She phoned him back instantly. His finger hovered over whether or not to accept it.

He smiled and accepted it as he walked down the streets.

“If you kill me will you spare Max? If I came voluntarily to you…will you spare his life?”

Well he wasn’t expecting this.

Mario turned back and saw a door open. She stood warily outside, looking around for him.

“If I leave and let you kill me what happens to Max?”

“I’ll give him your body and then slit his throat” Mario stated, “don’t think you can save him Miranda. I want you both dead”.

“Why? Why do you hate him so much?!”

Mario laughed, “you’re feisty…maybe I’ll toy with you a little before I kill you…I want him dead Miranda because he arrested my brother. That same brother died in prison two weeks later, he should’ve died at home. But your boyfriend took him from us. So, I’m going to take you from him”.

“Good luck with that” Miranda stated and hung up, moving back into the apartment before he could reply.

Oh yes, he could have a lot of fun with her.


 

Miranda looked at Max, fast asleep on the sofa with the plate of biscuits she had made, resting on his chest. She smiled at him and turned her phone off. Mario Lucharedez might think he was scary but she’d dealt with Inés whilst she had a hangover.

She took the plate from his chest and grabbed a blanket, tucking him into it she smiled as he rolled onto his side. After the workout he was exhausted.

He’d wrapped his arms around her waist with the intentions of pulling her to bed but had rested his head against her and went silent.

After helping him to the sofa she put the plate of biscuits on his chest, he managed one, smiled at the taste before passing out. Dead to the world.

It gave Miranda a chance to clean up the apartment and as her phone rang, a chance to speak to none other than Mario Lucharedez.

If he used his own voice she didn’t know, but he had confirmed her fears. He knew where they were. Was watching them.

They would have to be extra vigilant now. Not letting anyone come to their door, especially if Mario was intent on killing her and Max. She couldn’t allow for anyone to get hurt because of them.

“Miranda?” Max murmured, stirring on the sofa. She smiled at him and knelt beside his face. She kissed him deep, slipping her tongue into his mouth as he came to life before her. Gripping her waist before she pulled back.

“S’that for?” he grinned.

“I love you” she said simply and took his hand in hers, pulled him up and smiled.

“Yeah?”

“Completely” she grinned and pulled him towards the bedroom.

“Schatz my body is-“

“All you are going to be doing is lying back and letting me do the work” she grinned at him.

“I am so doing more workouts” he growled and kissed her.


 

Miranda kept quiet about Mario’s phone call, every time Max had began talking about ordering something or having Christian deliver food she pinned him to the floor and kissed him.

Perhaps, she thought as she realised her period was 10 days late, using sex to distract Max was not the best option in a lockdown.

Especially when they ran out of condoms and she couldn’t risk Christian from getting injured just to deliver them.

“Miranda?” Max called through the door, “are you okay?”

She leaned against the door and looked at herself in his mirror, “I’m fine” she replied and stroked her stomach, 10 days might not be anything.

Might just be stress from being lockdown. Her body delaying her period because of all the sex she had been having. 

She couldn’t be pregnant.

Not at all.

But they’d had a lot of sex in the first few days of their relationship, hardly leaving his bed let alone wearing any clothes. A lot of unprotected sex. She felt sick at the thought of how reckless they had been.

“Shit” she hissed, “shit shit shit”. She couldn’t be a mother, not at all, not yet at least. She wanted to be with Max and possibly maybe even have a baby with him, but not yet. Not when they were just in the early throws of their relationship. She couldn’t have a baby.

She definitely couldn’t have sex with Max again before she knew for certain. She didn’t want to end up pregnant after thinking she wasn’t. She had to find out somehow. Had to get a test.

She opened the door and smiled at Max, “hey”.

He seemed to sense the change in her,  “you feeling okay?”

“Mmm” she nodded, “why?”

“Just…you..you look scared”.

Miranda rested her head against his chest, letting him bring his arms around her body, “it’s just this Mario thing is really getting to me Max. We’ve been in lockdown for nearly 3 weeks a-and i-I just it’s tough really tough for me” she sniffed.

“Is this an introvert thing?” he asked softly.

Miranda shook her head and gripped his shirt, “more”.

“Okay” he said and rubbed her back, “maybe we could-“

“I just need to be alone for a bit” she replied.

“Oh okay”.

She moved away from his embrace.

“So much has changed in the past few weeks Max. And I love it but I’m terrified by it”.

“Have I done something wrong?”

“I-I I just need to be alone. I’ll sleep on the sofa tonight”.

“You don’t have to do that. I’ll take the sofa” he said and stroked her cheek, “keep you comfy Schatz”.

“I don’t need babying” she snapped and pulled free from him.

“I wasn’t babying-“.

“Yes you were!” she moved back from him, “you-you’re pestering me a-and you don’t let me be alone for one second!”

“Miranda don’t be so stupid! I’m not pestering you I’m giving you everything! I asked you if you wanted me to give you some space and I’m okay with that! I’ll take a bath and you can just be an introvert“

“No! I need to be alone alone Max! i-I I need fresh air I just need time Max!”

“Miranda you know we can’t go out! Don’t be an idiot!”.

“I’m not an idiot! I just…I don’t care anymore Max. Mario can do what he likes I want to leave this place!” she snapped and stormed out.

“Miranda- Miranda no! MIRANDA!” Max ran after her but he was too late, she ran and ran fast.

“Schieße” he breathed.  

 

Chapter Text

Max was going out of his mind. Arguing with Miranda was never something he relished in doing, and in these confined spaces it was bound to happen sooner or later.

But for her to retaliate by killing their argument and running out?! Of all things he didn’t see her being stupid and reckless!

She’d been gone half an hour but it felt like he was reliving his life over and over again. Wondering what could be happening to her, if Mario had her. Was hurting her as he breathed.

When the door went he nearly cried.

He ran to her and pulled her into his arms, “thank god! I was worried stupid!” he breathed and kissed her neck, “Schatz you scared me so much!”

She pulled away and looked at him, “I’m still angry ” but she stroked his chest, “but m’sorry for running off…i-I I know it was stupid and reckless I know”.

Max kissed her head and wrapped her in his arms, “the important thing is you are here now. Safe. Schatz. I’m so sorry we fought. So sorry for what I said, I didn’t mean any of it”

She hugged him back, “yes you did... but you were right, I was being a pain. Being cooped up, I can deal with. But being open so much” she breathed, “I need time to adjust to that, my feet were itching for a run and I uhm, I needed to pick something up from the drug store. Something I didn’t really want Christian to pick up”.

Max raised an eyebrow, “ohhhhh okay uhm, I have chocolate and a ho-“

“I’m not on my period Max…I’m nearly two weeks late” Miranda said, hoping he’d catch on before she had to admit it.

“Then wha-ohh. Oh”.

“Yeah…” she put the bag she had shoved into her hoodie to one side and leaned against the door.

“But how I mean I know how but w-we’ve been careful? Haven’t we? We’ve been using protection”.

“It doesn’t take much Max” Miranda said, “and it’s not exactly as if we used it in the start. Doesn’t the phrase at it like rabbits ring any bells? You had to get Christian to get you some. Which means Carmen knows, which means Rico knows. Which means everyone knows hence why I didn’t want anyone knowing this…”.

Max nodded, “so do you think…”

“I’m not sure” she folded her arms and then unfolded them. Max smiled and pulled her close, “don’t wriggle away...not now. Not when we could be…when we could have…” he sighed and kissed her head.

He rubbed her arms, “whatever the outcome we’ll deal with it. Okay? I-I mean I know it’s not ideal right now but we will do what we think best okay Schatz?”

“How can you have such a level head about this Max?” she said and shut her eyes.

“Because it’s you. And me” his hand moved to hers, taking it in his before he placed both on her stomach, “and possibly something else too…but as long as I’m with you I can do anything”.

Miranda smiled then and rested her head against his chest, “I’m so tired of running away from my problems Max”.

Max kissed her head, “stand still with me then. And let the world run past”.

She brought her arms to hug him, choosing to stay in the embrace and fight off her mind telling her to run.

 


“So…I think it’s been two minutes” Max said as they sat on the edge of his bath. She gripped it tightly, “I don’t think I want to look” she breathed.

“Neither do I” Max breathed, “d-do you want to leave it for a few hours?”

Miranda nodded, “please…i-I’m too scared to deal with what happens if it’s a positive”.

“Schatz” Max whispered and rubbed her side, “you’re brave enough to stare down the barrel of a gun but not afraid to check a tiny stick?”

“That tiny stick could be resulting in me being called Mama by the end of the year Max. So,  yes I’m scared, I’m bloody petrified!”

Max laughed, “hey it’ll be a long time before our baby-“ Max cut off abruptly, “oh schieße it’ll be calling me Papa”.

The two stared in fear at the lone white stick on the sink. Neither wanting to discover their fate.

“I want pizza. Shall we make some pizza?” Miranda asked and stood up, turning her back to the stick.

“Excellent idea” Max stated and moved to door, both of them virtually running out before they could confirm or deny their fears.


Max looked at Miranda on his sofa, resting comfortably under a blanket, a plate on her lap and a book in her hand. He smiled and imagined her sat cuddled with their baby. Him sat with them, holding her, holding their baby.

Their baby.

“I don’t think I’d be too scared if we were going to have a baby you know” he smiled.

She looked up at him, “r-really?”

“Yeah, because it’s with you. And I love you. Love can be scary but it gave me you. And it might have given us a family”.

Miranda slowly smiled at him, “yeah…so if I am, you’d want to keep it?”

Max nodded, “and if you wanted to get married we could”.

“Max a month ago we were running down the Arenal and chasing murder suspects. Marriage and having a baby with you certainly wasn’t how I thought I’d be spending my March”.

Max shrugged, “a lot of things can change our plans. I guess we sort of have Mario to thank for that”.

Miranda took a bite of her pizza, “well, anyway” she sighed, “I wouldn’t need marriage Max. That isn’t to say I wouldn’t want to marry you; I do. I want that at some point sure, but we’ve been together less than a month and we’re already facing the possibility of raising a child together…we don’t exactly do things by half do we?”

Max nodded, “I understand your fears Schatz. And I would support any decision. It’s your body and your choice”.

“I wouldn’t abort the baby Max” Miranda said, so softly he almost didn’t catch it.

“y-You wouldn’t?”

“No” she said, “this baby – the potential it has, it’s ours. Something that is us. Love is scary right? But it’s good. I like being in love and being loved. If I am pregnant I would want to keep it and raise it with you…our child. You’d be a Papa and I’d be a Mama. We’ll be scared but tell me what parent isn’t at first?”

Max smiled and moved to sit with her, putting the plate to one side, “then let’s pretend we are…we don’t need to look at it right away right?”

Miranda smiled at him and pulled him into a kiss as his hand slipped across to her, placing his hand against it.

She smiled against his lips and looked at him, joining his hand with hers, “hold us?”

Max nodded and moved them so he was lying back on the sofa and she joined him, his arms wrapped around her waist and kissed her neck.

He looked as she smiled, holding her hand with his as she let her eyes shut. He pulled up the blanket, bringing it over their bodies.

She smiled as he smiled before they found themselves drifting off to sleep.


Max woke up in the middle of the night to Miranda hovering in the doorway to his bedroom, she looked scared and sad.

He sat up quickly, “Schatz?”

“i-I woke up…I needed to pee…Max we should’ve checked straight away b-because it’s saying i-we we can get false results if we leave it too long”.

“What result does it say?”

“p-Positive”.

“And-“

“And the internet says if you leave it too long then a negative can become a positive”.

“Schieße” he breathed, “we’re going to have to get another one to make sure aren’t we”.

“It could still be too early though Max” Miranda sniffed, hugging herself against the cold of the night, she had clearly been awake for longer than he realised. He moved over to her and kissed her head.

“Schatz how late is your period? Like do your maths and tell me”.

Miranda buried her face in his chest, “no”.

Max chuckled and tilted her chin to look at him, “you were thinking 10 days? Is that accurate?”

Miranda shook her head, “m-maybe two weeks…I should’ve been on the second week of this… at the latest... But I mean I’ve never been regular, always a nightmare to plan when to hook up with someone, but uhm, well with you i-I made a note of that first time…”.

Max brought her back into his arms and rested his chin on her head, “my Mama used to say a woman knows…how do you feel?”

“Shit” she sniffed and he laughed.

“Other than shit? Is there anything you are craving?”

Large glass of wine”.

“Schatz it’s 1AM”

“So?” she sniffed, “I might be pregnant with a stupid baby I can crave wine”.

“We still need to find out accurate results Schatz”.

“We pretended I was Max, let’s just pretend I’m not…let me have some wine and just be me. Miranda Blake”.

“You know if we got married you’d be Miranda Winter”.

If we got married?”

Max grinned, “ja”.

“So it’s only an if?” she grinned as his face fell to panic, “no no no Schatz I want that I do I want you to-“

She pulled him close and kissed him, “good job you’re handsome…I bought two tests Max”.

“You can’t keep kissing me as a distraction Blake”.

“I can try” she grinned, “I don’t see you protesting”.

“Schatz with your hands where they are, I’m never going to protest”.

She smiled and walked to him to the bathroom, “if I am pregnant it’s going to be learning Welsh”.

“And German”.

“And we’ll both have to teach English and Spanish”.

“That’s a lot of languages” Max breathed, “has it been two minutes?”

She nodded and pointed to the stick.

“No chance of anything going wrong time?”

Miranda shrugged, “not unless it was too early to have taken it yeah but…I mean I don’t think it would’ve been too early Max. Whatever the result is I think it’ll be the accurate one this time”.

Max nodded and squeezed her hand.

“Then let’s find out”.

Chapter Text

They hovered in the doorway, hands still clasped together. Miranda moved slowly to the stick and peered over.

Her hand dropped from his.

“Schatz? Are you okay? Is it-“

“Negative” Miranda said, “it’s negative…not pregnant”.

“Oh” Max said, doing his best to not sound disappointing but failing miserably.

She put the stick in the bin and looked at him. He was surprised to see tears forming in her eyes, “I mean it’s not as if we were even ready for it” she said, “b-but I-I”

“I know” he said coming to hold her close, “I know Schatz I know” he kissed her head and rubbed her back, “I’m sad too”.


 

Max ran her a bath and despite it being nearly 2AM, poured her a large glass of wine before he grabbed a book and sat beside the bath. Relishing in spending these quiet moments with her. Her running off had made him worry he would never see her again, so he would do absolutely everything he could to keep her in his home.

Their home.

He’d made a little dog bed for her dog should it want to stay with her when she moved in. It all felt so natural to him, he didn’t feel scared about committing to Miranda. She had a magnetic pull and he was powerless to resist her.

So they weren’t pregnant, that had been disappointing in ways he didn’t want to delve too far into. Instead, he tried to look on the positive side, not being pregnant meant more sex. Which was great. But seeing the negative sign hadn’t made either of them want to immediately go and have sex to celebrate. It had made both of them sad. Despite being so new to relationships, they had for one brief moment believed that they had made something that was entirely theirs.

A baby.

Max glanced at her stomach as she leaned back in the bath. He smiled and looked back at his book. She had shut her eyes and was relishing in the warm temperatures.

He wanted to splash her to get her attention that would definitely result in sleeping on the sofa.

If you’d’ve told him a month ago when Mario first text him he’d be here, watching his girlfriend drinking wine in the bath he would’ve ran away and hidden or laughed it off with a blush that Miranda would’ve teased him for.

But here he was, watching her, staring at her stomach and to where hope had lain for a few blissful hours.

She hadn’t been so scared of having his baby. He smiled as he remembered her hand against her stomach. Already protective despite not knowing if she was pregnant or not.

Miranda however, seemed to be convinced if they just had sex one more time she’d end up pregnant so she had shrank away from most of his touches all evening, even if they had innocent intentions.

He rested his one hand against the side of the bath and Miranda rested her cheek against it.

“What you reading?” she asked softly before taking a small sip of the wine.

“That brain book you read the other week…really interesting” he muttered, “I can definitely see why you read it non-stop. I love it”.

She nodded and smiled softly at him. She put her wine down and took the book from him. Placing it by her wine she kissed his hand, “I’m sorry for lashing out earlier Max…”

Max smiled at her, “yeah?”

She nodded and stood. Holding her hand out.

He stood and helped her out of the bath. He moved to get her a towel but she shook her head and unbuttoned his shirt.

He smiled as she pushed it off his shoulders and moved to his belt. He touched her hands and looked at her.

She smiled softly at him, “do you have any left?”

He shook his head, “none…Miranda if…if you want this we can. But you know the risks. We both know what could happen”.

“Feels more real now we’ve had that scare doesn’t it…” she said met his gaze. He nodded and stroked her face, “it does my love”.

“Screw consequences” she said and pulled him close, “I love you Max, I love being with you and I’ve loved waking up in your arms. I want you. I don’t care about you not having a condom... we didn't care before why start now?”

“I can always” he started but she silenced him with her lips.

“I don’t want you to” she said softly, “I don’t want to ever leave your embrace” she breathed and took his belt off.

Max smiled and took his trousers and boxers off, “music to my ears” he smiled and pulled her into his arms.


Miranda wrapped herself in a towel as Max gathered their clothes. Kissing her neck he followed her to the bedroom. Chuckling as she purposefully dropped the towel.

“Like you weren’t expecting more” she laughed and took the clothes from him, tossing them to one side she pulled them to bed, “besides…it’s my turn to make you whimper”.

“God I love you” he said and kissed her.


Max looked across at Miranda as she slept, subconsciously holding her stomach in her sleep. He looked at the time, it was coming up to 5AM and she would usually kick him awake at 6. Hopefully she would stay sleeping until mid-morning, she needed it. He needed it.

He smiled and spooned her, slipping own hand to cover hers he smiled and thought about what might’ve been had the test been positive and not negative.

A baby.

His mother would’ve been happy, his father perhaps not so much at first. Being traditional he would want Max to propose and marry Miranda before the baby was born.

“That wouldn’t be so bad” he breathed and kissed her shoulder, “the future is never scary when I picture you by my side” he said softly, “when we do have a baby Schatz” he said, “when we do, it’ll be so stubborn but so beautiful. All you but maybe it can have my eyes”.

He smiled and rested his head against the pillow.

“The next one can have yours” he chuckled and was elbowed in the stomach by Miranda who apparently had been faking her sleep.

“Stop feelin’ me up m’tryna sleep” she grumbled.

Max laughed and kissed her head, “okay Schatz we’ll sleep” before hugging her waist and letting his own eyes drift shut.


 

Inés glared at Rico, “What do you mean Carmen spoke to Mario?!”

“i-I uh she uhm was a bit suspicious of this uhm man who was asking about Miranda…he was Welsh and uh well…we looked at the CCTV and it was Mario. He’s got Miranda’s number and we think he knows where they are”.

“Well vamanos! Rico get a team sorted! Do not come to me whimpering my officers lives are in danger!”

Inés glared until Rico ran out, her phone buzzed and she cursed everything that this was important. She looked as she saw it was Miranda phoning.

“Detective?” she said.

“Don’t speak. Don’t hang up” Miranda whispered and was silent.  

Inés moved to say something but heard a noise in the phone, her blood went cold.

Mario was in their apartment.




Chapter Text

Miranda looked at Mario Lucharedez standing in the apartment with a gun to Max’s head with a mixture of disdain and anger. Max was tied to the chair and was looking more frightened than she had ever seen him be.

“I thought you were taller” she eventually said.

Mario laughed, “so the girlfriend finally speaks and it’s an insult”.

“Would you like a coffee? I presume you’re staying for a while” she said and put the plate she had been carrying down.

“Small talk won’t save you or your boyfriend”.

“Do you take milk? Sugar?” Miranda continued.

Mario paused, “neither. I have it black”.

“Same as Max then, bunch of bloody weirdos having it black. Max do you want one?”

Max looked at her with alarm clear across his features, he was very conscious of the gun pointed at his head, so he opted to stay quiet.

Miranda nodded and then glared at Mario, “put the gun down I need to know if he wants a coffee or an espresso”.

Mario laughed again, “you know I think I quite like you. You’re ballsy” he lowered his gun, for the time being he was playing along with her unwavering calmness.

She wasn’t fearing him at all.

“c-Coffee” Max said, “Miranda-“

“Three coffees it is” Miranda said and walked to the kitchen.

Mario watched her go and replaced the gun to Max’s head, “before I kill you I’m going to have her. Make you watch as I beat her bloody and kill her. Sweet thing she is deserves that don’t you think”.

Max looked up at Miranda and gulped, “p-please. Please don’t hurt her. Please Mario”.

“But you hurt me” Mario replied as Miranda returned with the coffees.

“If you insist on holding Max hostage, fine, but put your gun down. He won’t move if you’re threatening me. Will you Max?”

Max nodded.

“See? Now I’ve had a bit of a crap 24 hours, so please, put your gun down and have a coffee?”

Mario weighed up Miranda before smiling, “I like you” he lowered his gun and took the offered coffee.

Miranda moved to Max and Mario suddenly raised his gun to her, “untie him and I’ll shoot the pair of you right now”.

“Thought you didn’t need guns to threaten people” Miranda said, “but, I’m not untying him. I’m helping him drink some coffee, I don’t think you want people knowing that Mario Lucharedez helped a cop drink coffee”.

Mario glared.

She ignored his response and helped Max sip some coffee, locking eyes with him she stroked his cheek.

“So, how did you find us?” Miranda asked, putting Max’s coffee down and taking her own.

“One of my men found you…and then you went running of all things, he followed you here. But thanks to the lovely Carmen I knew where you were”.

Miranda nodded, “so you fell for it then”.

Max’s eyes shot to hers, “fell for it? Miranda did you-“

“I spoke to Carmen. She knew the risks but she knew what had happened before. I knew at some point he’d find her and she had to give him my number. I just didn’t know how long it would take, or what you’d sound like…as for the running? I had a problem, two problems and I knew you’d fall for it. I argued with Max and ran out. Knowing you’d have people watching everywhere. And you fell for it” Miranda smiled, “followed me all the way here. I had thought you were smarter than that and now thanks to Carmen the police are on their way”.

Mario laughed, “so you think fooling me into what? A trap? Sweetheart I don’t play well in traps. People get hurt. Get killed”.

“You torture people” Miranda stated, “and this week I thought I was pregnant, you tell me what’s worse. Thinking I’m carrying the man I loves’ baby only to find I’m not. Or your pathetic, twisted little games?” she approached Mario with wild fury.

“Because let me tell you Mario, you think you can be this power house of greed and anger. Of blood and pain? Nothing compares to thinking you’ve disappointed the man you love. Nothing. And I will do anything to protect him”.

She tackled at Mario, battling him for the gun. Max struggled against his ties as the gun went off in the struggle. Miranda punched and scratched at Mario, shoving, him down to the floor. She pressed her hands to his throat, straddling him as she kicked his hand. Shoving the gun to one side before Mario flipped them and grabbed her by the hair. He slammed her head repeatedly down to the floor as she struggled beneath him.

Max strained against the ties before his hands loosened.

Mario grabbed Miranda and dragged her as she went in and out of consciousness. She spared a look at Max before looking at her coffee cup.

He followed her gaze and saw she’d placed her pocket knife on the saucer.

Max smiled and worked harder on loosening the ties. Slowly, inching his way towards the cups.

Mario lifted Miranda and slammed her against the wall, “you played a good game I’ll give you that. And if you hadn’t hit me I would’ve given you a merciful death. But now? Oh now I get to have some fun”.

He dealt blow after blow to her ribs as she tried to leave his embrace.

He shoved her to the floor and kicked her. Repeatedly until a crack could be heard across the room.

Max’s eyes shot up as he looked at Miranda, lying helpless on the floor but keeping Mario distracted.

“You call this fun? I call this Friday night Spin class” Miranda spat and tried to crawl away. Mario kicked her onto her back and pressed his foot onto her ribcage.

She winced in pain, “you get off to beating women up don’t you? Get off to hurting them”.

Mario laughed, “I won’t just be hurting you love. I want to break you. Make you bleed and cry. Beg for mercy”.

Miranda gripped his foot and yanked, so suddenly Mario fell back. She scrambled to stand and gripped her side. Mario snarled and tackled her to the floor, keeping her down he fumbled in his pocket and pulled out a knife. He pressed it to her throat and snarled, “one more trick like that and I’ll slash loverboy up so badly nobody can recognise him”.

Miranda gripped Mario’s hand, pushing with all her might to keep the knife from her throat. It had a serrated edge, it would tear her throat to pieces if he decided to cut.

She just had to hold on. Hold on for help to arrive or for Max to get free, whichever came first.

Mario howled in pain as suddenly Max appeared behind him. Miranda smiled and used this opportunity to turn the knife around. Pushing at him as Max held Mario’s one side. She tore the knife from Mario’s hand, wincing at it cut her palm before she shoved it into Mario’s side.

Mario howled again, his one leg giving out as Max shoved him to the floor.

“Mario Lucharedez. I have waited too long to say this. You are under arrest for murder, kidnap, injuring with intent to kill of a police officer and so much more”.

“MAX!” Miranda suddenly yelled as Mario turned them over. Kicking Miranda down and pressing his hands to Max’s throat, he squeezed tightly. Miranda winced, how could Mario still be so intent to kill when he had a knife in his side.

She looked at Max’s face turning red, legs kicking out against Mario’s weight. Her eyes then fell to the gun she’d kicked to one side. Fumbling for it she grabbed it and raised it.

“Get off my boyfriend” she snapped.

Mario looked at her, keeping his hands locked on Max’s throat.

“You’ll never shoot me” he laughed, “I know you Miranda Blake”.

“You’re hurting Max” she laughed, “and I told you, I’ll do anything to stop that” she stated and fired into Mario’s chest twice.

His grip on Max dropped as he fell back, dead.

Miranda’s hand shook, but she regained enough composure to move to Max.

“You okay?” she asked and stroked his face.

He stroked her face and smiled, kissing her, “it’s over. It’s all over”.

She winced but rested her head against his shoulder, “Max”.

“Soo you planned for him to come to us then” Max smiled and ran his hand down her arm.

“Only way for us to know we’d be free from him…I’d called Inés. She’s still listening now…” she pulled her phone out of her shirt and smiled softly at Max.

“Hola Inés” Max called and as Miranda pressed speaker.

“Max! Miranda! I heard a gun shot! There is a team on their way to you in less than one minute! Are you okay?”

Max looked at the wound on Miranda’s head and nodded, “we’re fine. M-might need an ambulance but we’re alive. It’s Mario…we had to Inés. We had to”.

Inés was quiet then.

Miranda looked at the dead body, the body she had put there. She had killed a man.

“Get out of your apartment and I will deal with it” Inés spoke, “Rico will be first on the scene”.

The call cut off and Miranda struggled to her feet.

Max smiled and stood beside her, holding her hand he then moved them to the door, he paused to look at Mario and then at Miranda.

“We did this okay? I stabbed him, you shot him. We both killed him”.

Miranda half nodded, “yeah…but the bullets killed him, you only stabbed him with my pocket knife. I did his side and fired a gun. M-Max…I killed him”.

Max stroked her face and kissed her, “to save me. Because I was in danger. We killed him my love. We did. Without me being in trouble you wouldn’t have acted, ergo, we”.

Miranda nodded and squeezed his hand, “let’s…let’s go wait for Rico”.

Max nodded and led her down the stairs as a car pulled up outside.

Rico ran towards them, “my friends! It is good to see y-shit you look awful”.

Max nodded, “there uhm. His body is up there. We had to Rico we had to”.

Rico nodded, “Inés told me. You go in the car and they’ll get you to hospital. Everyone is scouting the area for any of his friends…I’ll deal with the body”.

“Thank you”.

“Oh, and I heard you thought you might’ve been pregnant” Rico grinned, “haven’t you heard of using a condom Max?”

 

 

 


A FEW DAYS LATER:

 

Miranda sat on her balcony, a coffee in hand and a book on her table. She was in her shorts and an old shirt of Max’s watching Mallorca’s night life begin.

Max was in the kitchen finishing off making his favourite biscuits.

After they had been discharged from hospital and interviewed privately by Inés, they had been driven to her apartment. Camping out there with one another for a few days whilst Inés cleared them for active duty.

She had missed her apartment, the terrier that insisted she scratch it before she got in the doorway, the small things. But she found herself torn with how she felt over the potential of moving back here, alone. No Max to hold at night. Rico was going over Max’s apartment, he’d taken Mario away and had volunteered to clean the blood from all surfaces, eliminating evidence that could incriminate Max or Miranda later on.

They’d been in her apartment for a few days, oddly content to be spending it indoors together. The days had been full of blissful hours in each others’ arms, catching up on reading and life, they were due back at work tomorrow and Miranda had promised herself to go for a run early on. Max approached her with the plate of Vanillekipferl. He sat beside her and smiled.

“So, Schatz…” he started, “have you checked?” he had that small smile on his face that she found irresistible, she couldn’t not be happy with how her life was now. Max smiling at her, being with her.

She looked at him and smiled, “waiting for you…whatever we do, we do together”.

Max smiled and kissed her head, “together sounds good to me meine Liebe”.