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Don’t Rayne On My Parade; chapter four, part two

“She give you a rough time?”  He asks as we get into his car.  For a moment, I can’t answer.

“Why didn’t you tell me you fucked Max?”  I blurt out.  I didn’t mean to ask him this way, but I can’t get it out of my mind.  The thought of him having sex with Max is just too repugnant to bear.

“What?”  Fortunately, Paris isn’t driving yet as he freezes at the wheel.  “Who told you that?  Did the inspector tell you that?  How did she know?”

“Apparently Max told her.”  Now that I’m working through the shock, I wonder why Max told the inspector in the first place.

Paris begins driving, and I prudently hold my tongue though I’m dying to jump down his throat for this one.  Put aside the ramifications concerning the murder, how could he not tell me?  Worse yet, how could he lie to me?  I feel like a spurned lover, as I’ve been completely honest about every exploit I’ve ever had.  How could he have held this back from me?  Paris struggles to explain that it was just one time early in their relationship before they both realized they were better off as friends.  Although he emphasizes that both of them made the decision, I have a feeling that Max would be more than willing to have a second round in the sack with Paris.  As I’m grappling with my emotions and trying not to feel too betrayed, the salient question pops into my head.  Why did the Max tell the cops about it if it really was just a one-night stand?  As I mull it over, I can’t escape the conclusion that Max is setting Paris up.

As usual, Paris blows his top when I suggest that perhaps Max doesn’t have his best interest in heart.  Despite everything he’s told me, there is definitely something going on between the two of them other than friendship.  Paris seems to have a blind spot about Max that even I cannot penetrate.  He accuses me of harping on her because I don’t like her.  While I admit my bias, I also point out that she’s the one who told the cops about them sleeping together.  She’s also the one who called him over to his place the night of the murder, perhaps to have him at the scene of the crime.  If the police are focusing on Paris as a suspect—and I think they are—it’s strictly Max’s fault.  By this time, we have reached our apartment, and Paris pulls up to the curb with a screech.  We don’t say anything else until we’re in the apartment.

“Rayne, you know I love you, but you are way out of line with this.  I don’t want to hear another word against Max.  She is not trying to frame me, and I’ll never forgive you if you tell that inspector this cockamamie theory of yours, understand?”  He glares at me, daring me to make one of my trademark flip responses.  I simply sigh and throw up my hands.

“I give up.  It’s on you.”  I walk into the kitchen to grab a beer from the fridge.  I don’t want to fight with Paris, but I think he’s been shortsighted about this.  I can’t promise I won’t mention my theory to the inspector if it seems appropriate.  I will not let Paris take the fall for something he didn’t do.

Paris does not take kindly to me walking away from him, and he follows me into the kitchen.  His voice is combative as he won’t let it go.  I’m more than prepared to stop talking about Max and how she’s out to get him, but Paris won’t drop the subject.  I rummage in the fridge so I won’t have to look at him as he rants, but he shuts the door firmly and turns me to face him.  He shakes his finger in my face as he admonishes me not to be bullheaded as I usually am and to think before I do anything.  I retaliate by telling him not to treat me as a child because I’m not one.  I walk back into the living room, my heart pounding.  Something about Max has him all turned around, and I have no idea what it is.  I hope whatever he has with her is worth losing his best friend over.

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