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[09 Sep 2017|10:26pm]
admittedly, this was the worst timed party max had ever thrown. he'd had it in the works since well before he'd told jamie that he wasn't throwing him a party this year, and after the fights of the past few days and jamie even admitting he wasn't in the mood for celebrating anything, it all felt a bit wrong. but it was jamie's birthday and he wasn't going to let it go by without a party, and besides, even if he had been the puppet master, kirsten was the face of all his work. sure, she'd used his connections and funds, but she'd been the one to rent the restaurant and invite all of jamies's friends and teammates. granted, max had been the one to invite all of his family, and he'd just been happy they'd managed to keep the secret, even when the two of them had been at complete odds with one another.

it looked lovely, he had to admit that. he'd been working with the restaurant staff all evening to get everything sorted, fairy lights and bunting, a massive spursy cake chilling in the walk in refrigerator. the bar was well stocked and he'd even sorted the same signature drink from their party. and maybe it had been daft to have them use navy and white tablecloths for each table, and even having them change out the candles to navy and white, but max had been trying to make every little detail for jamie, even if no one else would bother to notice.

it was a relief when everyone started to arrive, the lads first, helping out with the last minute bits while max had a bit of a panic over things. it had been too late to cancel everything when jamie had said what he had the night before, and it wasn't like max could think of an excuse. oh no kirsten, you have to cancel the party because my big mouth has ruined everything. it didn't really work and he couldn't think of how she could actually sell that either. so there they were, loading in lads and spurs players and their wives and girlfriends, a year later but a world of difference. max stood back this time, nodding to richie to let him speak to everyone, especially to get them into hiding when kirsten texted they had just dropped the car off at the valet. it was a different view this year, being in the back when everyone yelled "surprise!" at jamie when they walked in, plastering on a grin with everyone else as they all crowded around him to wish him well. it wasn't the club of last year, but it was dinner, everyone mixed in at tables and settling in after saying hello and happy birthday to jamie. he'd left himself off, just moving to the main table to take his seat, across the table from the plate with the crown on it for jamie. it made sense, putting kirsten and richie on either side of him, while max took the other side with george and danny. hell, he'd even gotten george to agree to leave ellie at home for the night, and if nothing else went right for the night, at least there was that.

"happy birthday james." the grin was a bit easier as he looked at jamie moving to sit across from him, knocking their feet together lightly. if everyone else thought kirsten had thrown this, at least jamie would know the truth, no matter how things were at the moment. he loved him, he'd do anything for him, except cancel a good party at the last minute.
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