Miranda eyed everyone suspiciously in the office. She’d had a week off after Inés insisted, she take some time to relax. She’d been overworking herself and refusing to take days off. She’d used that enforced leave to go back to London to pick up the rest of her life.
Sell what she didn’t want, and come back with what she did.
Today was the first day back, Max had a slightly later start to his shift on account of working overtime the night before.
She’d missed him, missed him like crazy. Not that she would admit that to anyone out loud.
She looked again at everyone before her eyes settled on the source of her suspicion.
A card with her name on it.
She sat down and opened it.
There have been many things I have seen in my life,
But none compare to your beauty.
Be my Valentine's,
Perhaps for longer than a day?
All of my love
Miranda blushed and looked at the writing, whoever had written it, had used someone else to write the card.
She didn’t recognise the handwriting. She put the card up by her computer and smiled softly. She’d never had someone do this before.
Never been asked to be someone’s Valentine before.
“Detective Blake. Do you have a secret admirer?” Inés said with a grin as she noticed the card.
Miranda looked up, “it appears so”.
Inés smiled, “did you have a good week off? Max said you went back to London?”
“I did. I finished getting the last of my stuff over here”.
“So you didn’t go see your family?”
Miranda shook her head, “Aber is a long way from London. I didn’t want to stay too long over there”.
Inés accepted her lie and nodded, “well, there are heart shaped biscuits going around the office. One for everyone”.
“Mmm, apparently the commissioner wanted to boost morale”.
“If he wants to boost morale maybe he should give us all a pay rise”.
“Indeed” Inés said and looked at the card, “any ideas?”
“So it is not from your boyfriend?”
Miranda rolled her eyes, “Max isn’t my boyfriend Inés. No matter how much you all keep saying”.
Miranda rolled her eyes and then smiled as the man in question, walked into the office.
“Miranda! You are back!”
Miranda smiled, “hey”.
Max looked and saw she had a card and grinned, “might I expect a happy announcement?”
“Shut up” she grumbled, “it’s just a card…a very sweet card”.
Inés rolled her eyes as Max read it despite Miranda trying to get it away from him.
He held it up and grinned at her, “you have a secret admirer?” he teased.
Max gave it back, “are you blushing?”
“No” Miranda pouted, “I am not blushing you are just very irritating. Making me regret buying you anything in London”.
Max’s eyes widened, “you bought me something?”
Miranda nodded and pulled out a bag with a book shaped present in it, “I mean it’s not wrapped but-“
Max took it carefully and pulled the book out.
“I took a few photos of your bookshelves and noticed this was missing from a collection. I asked Christian and he said you lost it when you moved”.
Max nodded and his hands shook as he traced the cover. It was an old, tarnished copy of a book of German Fables.
It was part of a set of 3, his mother had owned as a girl and he had lost his favourite as he moved to Mallorca years ago.
“I uhm,” Miranda began, “I hope it’s the right one”.
Max looked at her, “it is” he breathed, “how did you- w-where…”
“There was an old bookshop near where I lived. I asked them about it and they had a copy. Well I emailed them and they searched around for it and got it”.
“Miranda this is – the cost of it-“
“It obviously meant a great deal to you” Miranda said, “and I know how you are when it comes to incomplete collections”.
Max nodded and put the book down and looked at her.
“Yes, come on, please? Let me hug you? You did a really nice thing for me and I want to hug you”.
“Ohh no Max you-“
She groaned as he crushed her into a hug, reluctantly, she rubbed his back, relaxing somewhat in his embrace.
“Diolch” he breathed into her ear and pressed a kiss to her shoulder.
She smiled at his attempts of Welsh.
“You’re welcome” she replied and he released her.
He looked at the book again and smiled.
Unbeknown to both of them, Inés was watching them with a smile.
Max pulled up outside a restaurant later that day, for Valentine's Day they had a relatively quiet workload. Only reports to finish, but he had Miranda back so it made it much more fun. Every so often he caught her glancing at the card and smiling.
And every so often he found himself looking at the book, the book which must have cost her a small fortune, especially when she admitted she had gotten someone to track it down.
“What are we doing here?” Miranda asked.
Max smiled at her, “it’s Valentine’s Day” he said.
“Yesss, doesn’t explain why we are outside Andulez’s Max”.
“It does. I made a reservation”.
Miranda looked at him, “is that why you asked me to go home and get into a posh frock?”
Max laughed, “well you did say when I pack a tux you should pack a posh frock”.
Miranda rolled her eyes, “why did you make a reservation then?”
“Because it’s Valentine’s and Andulez is very hard to get into without one”.
“Max if this is a work thing-“
“It’s a date Miranda” Max said, “I thought you would have worked out I wrote the card but…well, surprise”.
“Y-you…the card was…from you”.
“Well strictly speaking I got Inés to write it for me, you know my handwriting”.
Miranda nodded, “so you u-uhm, this isn’t a joke is it? Not just your way of being a good friend?”
Max looked at her, saw the fear of rejection so prevalent in her eyes and shook his head.
“No joke. Not for one second would I joke about my feelings for you”.
Miranda gulped and nodded, “how long ago did you realise?”
“About a few weeks ago. When you were in hospital i-I was staring at you…scared you wouldn’t wake up. I knew then that the second you did I would do everything in my power to make you know how much I love you”.
“Killed me to not see you for a week. I begged Inés to pull a few favours for this…for Valentines to be quiet at work so we could come here. I checked the menu and they are doing a sharing one…paella...crayfish. And they do puddings although you can take those to go”.
“Will you say something?” he laughed nervously.
Miranda looked at the bar and then at Max, “you should have told me this was a date”.
“I know…I-I’m sorry. We can ski-“
“No, I meant” she covered her hand with his, “because I would’ve made more of an effort”.
Max looked at her, “you are beautiful Miranda. Effort or not”, he squeezed her hand and smiled, “so you are not angry?”
“Max, I-I’ve never been on a date before. Or had a Valentine’s card, I’m not angry I’m just confused”.
“Allow me to stop any confusions” Max said and kissed her, pressing his lips gently to hers before pulling back, “wait this is your first date ever?”
“Mm” she said.
“I mean I totally should have not gone all out then” he laughed and Miranda grinned.
“Oh I don’t know,” she stroked his face, “aren’t you meant to pull out all the stops in the hopes of sex?”
Max looked into her eyes and nodded, “maybe we might take those puddings home then” he muttered.
“Maybe indeed” she replied and dropped her hand, “did you say they do crayfish?”
“Ja. Freshly caught”.
“I love crayfish”.
Max grinned, “Ja?”
Max sipped his coffee the next morning as Miranda stood, leaning against his side, sipping her tea. He looked at her and smiled.
“You have a love bite on your neck”.
Miranda chuckled and stroked her hand lazily between his legs, “do I?”
“j-Ja” Max whispered.
“So do you”.
Max laughed and put his coffee down, he took her tea off her and wrapped his arms around her waist, holding her close against his body as he looked out at the views of Mallorca. Life would soon be beginning again.
Miranda chuckled and turned in his grip, letting his hands slip up the backs of her thighs, she was only dressed in his shirt from last night, despite having spent the night at hers, she had pulled it on that morning as she made them a drink. It hung low on her.
Max grinned as she teased open a few buttons.
She pulled him into a kiss and he smiled against her lips before pulling back, “just so we are very clear” he said as her lips moved down his neck, “this is a relationship and not just sex. Right?”
“It’s a relationship” she confirmed, “I didn’t just buy you that book to get you into bed”.
“Ohh so you bought that to capture my heart did you?”
Miranda surveyed him, “it’s only fair. You stole mine a long time ago”.
Max smiled and pulled her close again, kissing her once more before pulling her back towards her bed.
“Did I?” he grinned as she let the shirt fall to the floor, “when did I capture your heart Miranda Blake?”
Miranda pulled him close, tugging at his boxers, “I can’t pinpoint when it happened exactly, but everything you did spun me into a web of love that I don’t want to ever escape from”.
“I won’t let you escape” he growled and fell to the bed with her.