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Selene didn't lie when she said these LGBT+ meetings were perfect for networking purposes. Obviously the setting 'debate room in broad daylight' wouldn't immediately lead to action. Max hadn't expected it to. But a few smiles and chats did lead to tips and invitations that could; parties and the like. 

It probably helped he knew Selene, who always seemed to know exactly who to talk to and who could do stuff for her. Part of the reason why she had befriended Max too, no doubt. You don't run into someone who gives you free access to a gym every day. Max didn't mind. She helped him in many other ways. 

Unfortunately, not even Selene could help him escape his parents' crazy ideas about taking a plane to Iceland with the Cortés family. 

They arrived in the pitch dark country at five in the afternoon. Not that there was much to look at even if there had been light; all Max saw after hauling their luggage over to a big ass rental jeep and taking off, was lots of rocks and nothing on the side of the road. 

Thank all the gods there was an invention called mobile network nowadays allowing him to watch videos, else he would've been bored to death before arriving in the city. He couldn't even bug and tease Axel, who was in the backseat next to him, with the LGBT+ meeting and his sudden departure after the speeches ended. Not with both sets of parents in the car, loudly chatting about the snowstorm that had been announced for tonight and various tourist attractions available. Max hadn't heard one interesting idea yet.

Axel didn't seem to be enthusiastic, either. He kept staring out of the car window and pointedly away from Max. 

If that was how he wanted to spend the rest of the Iceland holiday, Max would have no issues with it. If he wouldn't... well, Max now had the perfect way to get him to back down. His dirty secret. Or was it? From Axel's reaction, Max assumed it was his big secret and his parents didn't know. They probably still thought their perfect son wanted to save it for after marriage with an equally virginal girl.

"Hey, guys," Leo turned in his seat, waving a tourist pamphlet at Max and Axel with a wide grin. "Did you know nightlife doesn't stop here until the morning? And why would it? It's almost always dark anyway." 

"Leo! We're not taking them illegally drinking even in another country!" Max' mom chided with a slap against his arm, which only made Leo grin wider and the Cortés' chuckle.

"Auch, sorry," Leo said, not looking sorry in the slightest. "Of course, I mean going out drinking soda.

Mr. Cortés chuckled. "That's alright. Our Axel wouldn't drink regardless - he takes his wrestling training far too seriously, and he knows better." 

"Yes dad," Axel replied dutifully. Then he turned to Leo. "Thanks for the idea Mr. Desera, but I can't go to bed after eleven. I'm trying to stay in a healthy sleeping rhythm before the competition." 

Max rolled his eyes at Axel's perfect goodie-goodie response. He knew Leo saw, because his lips twitched at Max's reply. He quickly overcompensated to mask his amusement by furrowing his eyebrows like an actual adult and nodded.  "Ah," Leo said. "Very... mature of you." 

"Well, I'd be happy to see the nightlife, Leo," Max said. "Maybe meet some Icelandic girls..." He slyly shifted his eyes to Axel. "Or boys." 

Axel went rigid in his seat. His lips pursed together, and he went back to staring out of the window. God, it was so easy to rile that guy. 

Maybe he'd be having some fun after all, subtly jabbing and giving stabs under water the parents wouldn't get, but Axel most certainly would. The most beautiful part: Golden Boy wouldn't be able to do a thing against it. Max grinned to himself. Forget about letting Axel completely ignore him. He'd just decided on a new way to keep himself amused in Iceland.

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