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Chapter 4

 

Max awoke to find himself on a couch. He first saw these two beautiful blue eyes staring back at him.

“Are you all right, Max?”

He blinked once and realized that his eyes hurt. And they were wet. He looked over and saw the wet towel and ice on the table. “I think I’m okay.” Max said, trying to sit up, only to be pushed back down by Susan.

“You should lie down.” Her smoothing voice said. “You were hit pretty hard.”

“You got a mighty bad shiner there, gumshoe.” That statement came from Zachary, who was sitting across from them in the easy chair.

“I wanted to make sure you’d be all right.” They looked at each other, almost silently saying what they both felt.

“Um…” she said, breaking their intense gaze. “I think the ice has melted. Would you like me to get more?”

“Yes, please.”

“All right.” She said, smiling at him and touching his bruised face with her hand. She left the room, with Max’s gaze not leaving her, until it was blocked by Zachary’s figure.

“Listen, flatfoot,” Zachary said, taking the seat that had occupied Susan. “She’s engaged to be marry. And to someone who isn’t you. So you can stop your eye wandering and cool smiles.”

“Is it your personal duty to be involved with Susan’s love life?” Max asked, sarcastically. He was getting just a little bit tired of this attitude his son had acquired.

“That’s Ms. Hilton, to you. Careful, Mr. Smart,” Zachary said, staring down his father. “If you’re not, you could leave this house looking like a raccoon.”

The two were still engaged in a mean stare when Susan came back with fresh ice. “Well, I gotta go, Slim.” Zachary said, standing up from the couch. “I got some things I gotta take care of back at the club.”

Susan kissed his cheek and got his jacket. “Remember what I told you, gumshoe.”

That was directed at Max, with the coolest of stares he’d ever seen from anyone. With that, Zachary left and Max got a huge smile on his face. What Zachary doesn’t know won’t kill him. Susan came back to the living room after showing Zachary to the door.

“Do you have any idea who those men were today?” she asked, as she placed a bag of ice over Max’s eye.

“I have no clue, but I think it has to do with a lot of things that have been happening lately.”

“Like my uncle’s disappearance, those guys at his apartment, then being killed there, and that guy following you…”

“Not to mention the name of Jonathon Charles and those guys we met today.” Max concluded.

“Jonathon Charles?” Susan asked.

“You know him?”

“I know the name, not the man.” She replied, smiling. “But I believe my uncle knew a man by that name. You think he’s involved in this?”

“I don’t know.” Max said, sitting up. As he did, he neglected to remove the ice pack from his eye. That tumbled down his shirt and to the floor, where it cracked and caused a couple of pieces of ice to fall out.

“Sorry about that.” Max confessed, bending down and picking up ice.

“Max, it’s all right.” Susan said, also bending down to pick up ice. “I got it.”

The two quickly picked up ice and placed it into the pouch. “Thanks for helping, Max.” Susan said, sweetly and shyly. She turned away in order to put the bag somewhere. Max knew it would be wrong, but he just had the urge to kiss this woman. This woman, who in other worlds of reality, would be and was his wife.

This woman, who it seemed was engaged to some KAOS gambler (something Max just didn’t think he could handle again!), just needed to be shaken out of her senses and come back to him. Well, as long as the opportunity presented itself, he wasn’t going to be the fool he had been when he first met the woman he’d marry and have children with.

A sense of regret over took him. That stupid Bogart marathon! He thought. That’s what caused this whole thing.

“Susan…” Max started.

“Yes, Max?” she asked, turning around to look at him…and running straight into the puckered lips he had waiting.

He had been afraid she’d pull away from him and tell him that she was a taken woman, just like Zachary had said, but it wasn’t the case. She kissed him back, just as passionately if they had been Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell Smart. But alas, they weren’t. At least, not in this dream and the two would be lovers broke apart.

Both were at a loss for words. Max was more convinced than ever he had this dream licked. He had finally kissed 99 and he was more than determined to make it out of this dream with his marriage still intact. Susan, on the other hand, was completely flushed and at a loss for words.

She had finally given in to the urge to kiss this man, a man who was NOT her fiancée, a man whom she had met just the other day, a man who made her heart flip every time he entered a room…and worse yet, she had ENJOYED the kiss! Enjoyed it and wanted more and knew she couldn’t.

The woman was basically sitting in her home and having…dare she say it?…an illicit affair with someone she hardly knew…a private detective she had hired to find her uncle, who she was convinced was now dead.

“About…that Jonathon Charles…” Max gathered to find words, especially when had seen the look on her face after he kissed her. It was one of happy confusion. He felt like a heel, for putting her in a situation like this. This could get him fired or worse…wake him out of this dream before he had patched things up with his wife.

“Did you…want me to make some calls, perhaps find out what he’s up to?” she asked, timidly.

“Would you?”

“It would be my pleasure…” she had started to say his name and thought she should call him Mr. Smart, as she had started out doing, but after a kiss like that, how could one possibly call a person by their last name? “…sir.” She concluded, finally.

Susan got up and went to the phone, while Max took his place on the couch. He smiled to himself, the thought of having broken up a possible romance between his beloved and some rich playboy just made him happy for some reason. He thought about the whole mess they had gotten into and he was determined to find out who killed her uncle. Susan came back over to Max very excitedly.

“Max,” she started, holding a piece of paper in her hand. “I just called information and they said they didn’t have a Jonathon Charles in the phonebook or even listed.”

Max looked at her confusion. The fact that this bit of news made her happy, made him confused. She saw the confused look on his face and ran her fingers through his hair.

“That means that Jonathon Charles is an alias. After making some calls, I found out what his name is. It’s David Khan.”

“David Khan?” Max asked, excitedly. “Of course. How could I have been so stupid? It had to be David Khan! There’s no one else it could have been except David Khan! Why, if we had known this beforehand, this case would’ve been solved by now! Just one question, Susan.”

“Where can David Khan be located?” Susan asked, seemingly to read his mind.

“No, but that’s helpful too.” Max complimented. “More importantly, who is David Khan?”

Susan just smiled. Despite her best efforts, she was becoming very fond of Maxwell Smart. Another time, another place, maybe…the two would be just right for each other.

“Despite all of that, you done good, Angel.” Max didn’t even think twice about his choice of name calling for her. It wasn’t like she didn’t embody everything an angel should be. “Now listen to me, Susan, and listen good. I want you to immediately forget that name. Forget you ever heard the name David Khan. Never, ever repeat the name of David Khan.”

Before Susan could comply with Max’s wishes, the phone rang. She got up and answered it. She hadn’t even said one word to the other caller, when she covered the receiver with her hand and looked at Max in shock and surprise.

“It’s him!” she hissed, trying to keep her voice low, but yet tell Max this very important information. “It’s David Khan!”

Max rolled his eyes at her (the only way Max could) “I asked you to never repeat that name!” he scolded her.

“No, Max,” she corrected him. “It’s David Khan on the phone.” She turned her attention back to the phone and listened as Mr. David Khan gave her instructions. After a few minutes, Susan said, “All right. Tomorrow morning then, at your estate.”

She then hung up the phone. She looked at Max and said dryly, “I hope you’re not busy tomorrow morning, Mr. Smart. We’ve just been invited to brunch.”

 

 

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