"What's you're favourite colour?" Maximus asked me.
"It changes every day."
"So what's it today?"
"Umm..." I looked around the room for something noticeable, and then discovered his emerald eyes looking directly at mine when I found nothing. "Green." What? I don't like green. "I didn't mean green." I rushed. "I meant yellow."
"OK." He followed me out of the kitchen and into the front room, where we sat on opposite ends of the sofa. "Favourite food?"
He frowned and shook his head. "Oh, come on. Pasta isn't proper food."
I raised an eyebrow. "So rephrase the question."
He paused, thinking. "Right. If you were fed up, and tired, and couldn't be bothered to cook, and you felt like having something other than healthy stuff, what would you do?"
I answered easily, without even needing to think about it. "I buy some chips and chip shop curry and sit and dip the chips in the curry."
He grinned. "That's brilliant. If you'd told me that before we wouldn't have gone to MacDonald's." His grin got bigger. "Your favourite song?"
"Oh! That one that goes this, love, has, taken it's toll, on me."
"That's the one." I smiled. I hadn't known he could sing. "Anyway, it's my turn. have a question appropriate for you."
"How many girlfriends have you had?"
"Well," he exaggerated thinking. "Sixteen in school, twelve in university, then there was those three I had at the same time..." he looked over at me, sarcastic smile on his face. "No, joke. Seriously, I've only had three."
This was surprising. Considering all the girls I'd seen Maximus flirt with, my guess would have been in double digits. "Really?"
"Really," he insisted. "In school I wouldn't go out with anyone unless I liked them, and in university she asked me out. My first two were in secondary school - one in year nine, one in year eleven. And then in uni she was my best friend so... yeah."
"You've had more boyfriends, haven't you?" he chuckled and shoved his hair back out of his eyes.
"Just one more." I told him. "My first one was in year seven. I didn't really know him that well, but I felt bad saying no. Then I had one in year nine, he asked me out 'cause I liked him. Then in college, he kind of hinted that he liked me so I said I'd go out with him if he wanted. And then last year... and that's it."
"Last year's the unmentionable isn't he?"
"Then Last Year shall not be mentioned," he smiled in understanding. "Right. Hmm... have you ever had a one night stand?"
"What!?" my answer was too quick, and Maximus's eyebrows shot up into his hairline.
"Oh. My. God. Briony McAnderson, that is despicable," he pretended to be
"Oh yeah, like you can talk. besides, I was drunk."
Maximus shook his head and tutted. "I know. I've had loads. But this is you. I never would've thought-"
"Let's change the subject."
"All right then," he said. "Why do you keep looking at me like that?"
I averted my eyes down to my now half cup of coffee. "Don't people normally look at who they're talking to?"
"Yeah, but people don't normally look at me like they're actually interested in the crap I come out with."
"People don't normally talk to me," I mumbled.
Maximus shrugged. "I don't see why. Just 'cause you're cleverer than them."
"That's what I thought." I looked back up at him and realised just how close we were. We must have unconsciously moved closer together while we were talking.
I shifted. "Maybe we should get on with sorting out the files?"
"We probably should. I can't be bothered," he said.
I rolled my eyes, slid off the sofa and began sorting the paper into different piles - one for each suspect.
"Tomorrow we're actually going to do something," I muttered.
"Anything except drive around in your mini," Maximus smirked.
I coughed defensively. "What exactly is wrong with my car?"
"Nothing. Just mine's better."
I grabbed a cushion and threw it at him. He threw it back.
"You're so immature," I accused, chucking the cushion so it hit his face.
"You started it," he mimicked a child's voice and launched it at me. It missed and hit the papers, scattering then across the carpet.
I shook my head and folded my arms, giving him my "unbelievable" look.
He smiled, and then burst out laughing.