Hiding Beneath (AU,M/L,ADULT) [WIP]

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Re: Hiding Beneath (AU, M/L, TEEN) Pt 10, 7th September 08

Postby Rowedog » Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:08 am

Ok, so this is the possibly the end of my really quick updates, I have few parts after this. Just a hint, the next part is the one you should be looking out for, you should really enjoy that. In other news, my housemate recently joined the board, so say hello to irving.sappho or Asi as is her real name. And you know what they say, any friend of Alison’s... is probably mentally unsound. But we’re good for a laugh.

Natalie36
Nibbles2
Eve
Laira-
Freud can go have sex with his mother. He seemed to be really into that sort of thing.
Alien614
Caro-
I was referring more to the violence in the last post, but now that you mention it, yeah, we do seem to be the same person living in different countries. :? How unsettling...
Gordon? Jump? He manages to flop over small jumps twice then says, “screw this” and just runs through the poles. It’s pretty amusing. That’s why he’s a dressage and showing horse. I haven’t ridden for a couple of years either. I have too much work going on it seems. so, it just saddens me.
Max’s motivations, although unclear at the moment will become more clear after the part after this one. It’s the one you’re waiting for.
Feel free to quote me, I’ll enjoy the knowledge that someone out there will be saying “who crapped in your bed”.
Nitpick23-
These guys are so blind they need canes!
:lol:
Raemac
Novy


Part Eleven

‘The more I think, the less I do
When I'm able to talk
I'm queen of my world
I let it rain on my skin
I don't ask myself why
I don't ask myself why
I wanna be one with you
Wanna be one with you

And all I want is to rock your soul
All I want is to rock your soul
All I want is to rock your soul’
Rock Your Soul by Elisa


***


“Hey baby,” greets Michael as Maria walks into the centre’s art room. Gah, they are just too sweet together. I dutifully look the other way as they make out in lieu of a real greeting. What’s wrong with shaking hands I ask you? People should look back into that greeting. It’s underrated.

Alright, I guess I am just a little bit jealous and narky of their relationship right now. I want that for myself, the giggling, star eyed, mooning, lovey dovey shit that seems to be contagious when it comes to my best buds. Alex is still hung up on that dirty ditz and Maria seems to have tamed Michael, even if they still argue over his hair.

“Are you done yet?” I ask with irritation. Just because I realise that I’m jealous doesn’t mean I’m going to be any more sympathetic to their need to mack on each other. Seriously, get a room.

“Sexually frustrated much, Lizzy?” asks Maria sweetly, knowing the exact cause of my annoyance.

“Yeah!” I say brightly. “Mind if I borrow your boyfriend?”

Michael guffaws as Maria glares at me. “Nuh uh. Get your own.”

“Oh,” I whine, loving the pissed off look on her face. “They’re just so hard to come by these days. Come on, just this once?”

Maria’s annoyance swiftly dissipates and a wickedly speculative look crosses her face. “Oh... ok then! But just this once.”

Michael’s laughter halts abruptly. “Wait- what?”

I motion to my watch and tap my foot with fake impatience. “Well, come on Michael, I don’t have all day. Let’s go into the supply closet and make whoopee.”

“Whoopee?” Michael’s amusement returns and he crosses over to me. “I’ll give you whoopee.”

Without warning, Michael throws me over my shoulder and begins to walk to the aforementioned supply closet. I squeal and begin to bang my fists on his back, demanding to be let down as Maria latches onto my arms trying to stop Michael’s slow path towards the door.

We’re all laughing so hard that we fail to notice the people standing in the doorway watching our tomfoolery.

“Put me down you freaking Neanderthal!” I squeal, my fingers digging into Maria’s forearms as she digs her heels into the ground in a particularly vain attempt to stop Michael’s progress.

“You wanted to relieve your sexual frustrations, Liz. Don’t blame me if I’m too much man for you to handle, you little cocktease.”

We stop mid-laugh as a cough alerts us to the presence of others. Shit, I hope that’s not the parents of any of Michael’s students or worse yet, the students themselves. That would be so bad.

Michael swiftly drops me from his shoulders and spin, nearly dying as I notice Alex, Leanna, Isabel and Max standing in silence, staring at us.

“Sharing boyfriends with Maria, Liz?” Alex enquires, amusement colouring his voice.

“More like recycling,” I joke. “It’s more environmentally friendly.”

Silence hits again and I wish there was a big black hole I could jump in right now. I can’t even bring myself to even glance at Max.

“So... what brings you here?” I finally ask, shooting daggers at Maria who is currently laughing silently at my plight. Bitch.

“Well, Isabel and I had just finished volunteering at the hospital and she idly said that she wished she could paint, so I said that Michael could teach anyone to paint and then Max was there to pick Izzy up so I showed them the way to the centre.”

“Way to ramble, Alex.”

Alex gives a little bow in Maria’s direction. “Thank you. I am the master.”

Michael picks at some dried paint on his shirt, obviously confused by the tense undercurrents in this room, and casually asks, “So what type of class were you after? I take a beginners class for adults that should suit.”

“That’d be wonderful thanks... uh, I didn’t quite catch your name?”

Michael sends a smile over to Isabel. “It’s Michael.”

Isabel seems to be the only verbal one in this group, strangely enough. “Great, so how do we sign up for this class?”

I spring into action. “Oh, well if you’d just follow me I’ll fill your details in and we’ll get you started.”

I practically sprint to the front desk, eager to have something between me and Max, even if it is a small counter. I start up the program that Maria swears she can’t use and plug some details in while I wait for them to catch up.

“You know I was totally thinking of getting an eyebrow ring,” says Alex uncharacteristically as the group reaches the front desk.

Maria and I let out simultaneous snorts. “Alex, why on earth would you want an eyebrow ring? It wouldn’t suit you.”

“Yeah,” continues Maria. “You’d look so tryhard.”

“I think he’d look sexy,” simpers Leanna as she traces a fingernail up and down his forearm. I see. Leanna is forcing Alex to get an eyebrow ring.

“On other guys? Maybe, but not on Alex. His charm comes from his wholesome, clean cut nature.” Leanna glares at Maria for her comment, but stops when Alex turns to look at her.

“Yeah, you guys are probably right...” he drawls, looking somewhat relieved. I don’t really think he was too taken with the idea of a piercing.

“Ok... so, Alex, are you signing up?” I mutter as I click through the program.

“May as well... Wednesday nights, yeah?”

“5 o’clock Wednesday,” I confirm.

“Baby, are you sure you want to be doing that? I mean, you have so much on your plate already.” I wonder just what Leanna’s up to now? My guess is that she can’t come to these lessons and doesn’t want Alex to be with Isabel anymore than he has to. It’s probably why she picked him up from the hospital.

“I’ll manage,” replies Alex cheerfully.

“Alright,” I quickly spit out before Leanna can object anymore, handing him a sheet to sign. “You’re all signed up Alex, if you can just sign our waiver we’ll do this thing.”

“Excellent.” Alex punctuates this statement by signing on the dotted line, much to Leanna’s distress. Handing the pen over to Isabel, Alex turns to his obviously pissed girlfriend, totally oblivious to her bad mood just like he is to all her numerous faults. “You have basketball practice on during this class don’t you? That’s a shame, I think you’d have great potential for this class.”

Leanna is not warmed by Alex’s cheerful smile or soft compliment. “Yeah. It’s a real shame.” She sweeps her eyes disdainfully over the artwork that covers the hallways, all of it done by students in Michael’s class. While some of it is particularly dreadful, there are some pieces that aren’t half bad. But of course Miss Snooty Britches has no appreciation for effort. I don’t think I could despise her more if I tried.

“Are you interested in painting?” Michael asks Max politely, who is leaning on the counter between me and Michael.

“He can’t” I reply quickly for him. “The boys’ basketball practice is on at the same time as the girls.”

I look up from my computer to enquire after Isabel’s date of birth only to find them all staring at me, Max more intently than the rest. “What?”

“Nothing,” he replies, letting his gaze wander a bit as a swift smile crosses his lips.

“Ok-ay, whatever. Izzy, I’m going to need your date of birth.”

I plug that in and as we wait for the computer to finalise both Alex and Isabel’s forms, Max asks casually, “So, you know basketball practice times off the top of your head?”

I shrug and then quickly blush as I consider just how I sounded before. Can you say stalker? “Oh, no... it’s just, Kyle and I love this particular TV show and we always complain to each other because he has basketball practice and I’m rostered to work when it’s on. Plus he was always talking about how distracting it was for the guys to have the girls practicing so close to them.”

Max’s smile fades a little. “Right.”

“Done,” I call out to both Izzy and Alex who are being shown artwork on the walls by Michael. I grabbed the forms fresh from the printers and have them sign again before handing them a schedule. “Just turn up at that time dressed in something old.”

I wave them all goodbye, rolling my eyes as Leanna grasps Alex’s arm and drags him ahead of Isabel and Max, obviously pissed by the way things turned out.

I let my head slump against the laminated counter once I’m sure they’ve left and let it rest there. I swear, anymore of these confrontations with Max and I’ll lose what’s left of my sanity.

***
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Re: Hiding Beneath (AU, M/L, TEEN) Pt 11, 9th September 08

Postby Rowedog » Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:39 am

Not so sure about this part, but I couldn’t edit it to make it better because I smell. So, deal with my suckageness.

Raemac
Nibbles2
Steph
Natalie36
Addicted2AmberEyes
Caro
Alien614
Laira-
Call that an update?
Must I remind you of your... god what did you call it... chapterette or something which went something along the lines of “Somehow or another, three days passed.” I think you win the most horrifying tease award.
By the way, my rats are plotting against you as we speak.
Eve- She should, shouldn’t she. I’ll see what I can do about that ;)
Katydid
Novy
Veronica
Nitpick23
Ashley-
Dear lord... where to begin...
I do warn you that the board is addicting, so don’t blame me if you and Alison start acting all cavemanish when it comes time to use the computer.

We both have separate laptops and wireless, so we’re not going to resort to beating each other over the head with clubs. At least, not over something like the internet. We might do it for fun though. ;)
Feel free to quote me, I like knowing that I’ve changed some lives, helped people in some way through my stories :lol:
Maybe it’s because things are heating up between the two of them, but I for one would love to see Max get some of that confidence back and just make a friggin’ move already!

Hopefully this part will fill you in on the reasons behind Max’s inaction. He’s got his own insecurities to deal with.
The only thing that keeps me from bringing out the pitchfork after that tease is the word possibly.

Do you even have a pitchfork? Cuz, I do (parents own a hobby farm and I still have my horse) and let me tell you, they certainly wouldn’t be my weapon of choice if I was in an angry mob. You’d think a bunch of angry farmers would bring axes along to a riot, but no… popular culture deems that a spindly pitchfork is the best for attacking. To sum up my point, if you wish to intimidate me into giving you more parts, a pitchfork would induce more sarcastic eye-rolling and snorting than fear. Be sure to bring along your axe.
After all, you can’t just tease them by saying the next part is the one we should look out for and then withhold the next part.

In my defense, I was rewriting it because it was crap. Aren’t you glad that I have some sense of pride in my work? It makes for better reading than the original drivel…
Tequathisy-
from I hate you to baby in one date.
Passage of time. I’ve been jumping quite a bit. I should probably tell you when I do that shouldn’t I, instead of just expecting you to read my mind. But it’s been helpful to make this fic a lot shorter than I originally intended. So, way more than one date for Maria and Michael.
Or why can't Liz ask Max out, it's the 21st century. She's a modern girl.
I agree, but there’s the old chestnut of “rejection”. It makes cowards of us all. Or maybe that’s just me... :roll: Plus, Liz is all about the avoidance of tension with Max, how easy could she be with him being her lab partner knowing that she’d made a fool of herself by asking him out and he’d rejected her. She’s going for self preservation, which is annoying, but it works for her. Sort of.

Part Twelve

‘If I kiss you where it's sore
If I kiss you where it's sore
Will you feel better, better, better
Will you feel anything at all
Will you feel better, better, better
Will you feel anything at all
You're getting sadder, getting sadder, getting sadder, getting sadder
And I don't understand’
Better by Regina Spektor


***


I wander downstairs in my PJ’s totally loving the fact that I don’t have to work today. I’m definitely going to look into sleeping in till noon more often. “Lizzy, can you get hold of the delivery company? I just found out we have an orthodontists’ convention coming through tomorrow and you know that they cleaned us out last time.”

I pause, knowing that I’d have to talk to Max. “Uh, okay...”

My dad smiles gratefully as he retreats into the stock rooms. “Thanks Lizzy, I’m flat out getting ready for everything else.”

I reach for the phone and take a deep breath. You can do this Lizzy. Deep breaths. I press the buttons reluctantly and listen to the dial tone with my heart in my throat, I know that I’m just going to keel over and die when he answers.

“Max Evans for Evans Deliveries, how can I help?”

I take deep breath. “Hi Max... it’s Liz.”

“Liz! Hey! What’s uh, going on?” Max seems surprised by my call.

“Oh, well there’s an orthodontists convention in town and we kinda need another delivery.”

“Oh... a delivery.” Well, what else would I be calling for Max? “Sure, when do you need it by?”

I give a nervous half laugh. “See, that’s the thing... we kinda need it by tonight, because the convention’s tomorrow.”

“Tonight? I’m about three hours away right now,” Max explains apologetically.

“Oh... crap.” I close my eyes and sigh, wondering how in the hell we’re going to manage this tomorrow. “That’s cool, I’ll just... we’ll figure something out. See you later Max.”

I go to press the end call button, but Max’s voice halts my action. “Liz, wait.” I press the phone back against my ear. “I’ll be back by around 11 tonight. I can come over then.”

“Oh Max, you don’t have to. Honestly, that’s so late. Even if you came over tomorrow morning, that’d be fine.”

“I’ll come tonight. I have school tomorrow morning,” he reminds me gently. Well, duh Liz.

“Ok,” I say reluctantly. “But if you’re too tired, don’t worry about it, honestly. We’ll be fine.”

Max lets out a chuckle. “I’ll see you tonight Liz.”

***


After having a shower I dress myself in my satin robe and begin drying my hair. Since my parents have gone to bed, I’m the one who has been nominated to stay up and wait for Max’s arrival. I collapse on my bed, and lay there contemplating what I’m going to say when I see him in about an hour. Man I’m tired, maybe I should just rest my eyes for a while...

I sit up abruptly in bed when I hear Max’s voice calling to me from downstairs. Shite-balls, I must have fallen asleep. I must have left the front door unlocked as well. Shite.

“Uh, yeah. I’ll be down in a second!” I call out to him, rushing down the stairs.

“Hey, sorry I’m late, you’d think a small town like Roswell wouldn’t have much traffic, but it was murder out there. I nearly drew up a will on a napkin as I drove through the stree-”

Max comes to an abrupt halt as he catches sight of me in my silky robe that drops to just above mid thigh. I blush and pull it tighter around me. I know I must look ridiculous and underdeveloped, but does he have to stare so hard?

“Ahem.” I clear my throat, hopefully reminding him that I can see him. “Thanks for coming out here so late Max, we really appreciate it. We do need those vegetables for tomorrow and I know you must be tired from the long drive today.”

“I’m fine,” Max protests, still staring at me.

“Well good, I’ll open the storage door for you and you know what to do after that.”

“Yeah,” mutters Max, still standing stationary. He shakes his head and then begins to move towards the boxes he dumped near the doorway. He works in silence as I hold the self locking door open. Once he’s done he exits and I sign for his delivery like I’ve done a thousand times before. Thank God. Not that I don’t love the boy, but I just want him gone so I can start to repress this event. There goes another memory locked under ‘Horrifically embarrassing moments with Max”.

Max hesitates, then clears his throat.“So, did you do anything exciting over the weekend?”

I shrug, pulling my robe’s ends tighter together, wishing he didn’t feel the need to make small talk. “Besides sleeping? Nothing. I’m afraid my social life leaves a lot to be desired.”

“I’m sure it’s not that bad,” Max reassures.

“Actually, it is. Your friendship is probably the only reason I haven’t had my head flushed down the toilet,” I joke.

Max frowns, looking a little taken aback by my self-deprecation. “Liz... that’s not true. Everyone loves you.”

No,” I correct him with a sardonic laugh. “Everyone loves you. You’re Mr Perfect.”

He shakes his head with a sardonic laugh. “No, I’m not Liz.”

I roll my eyes at him. “Oh, yeah? Who doesn’t love Max Evans, sports star, bonafide hotty, straight a student and all around nice guy?”

“My biological parents for one,” he says so quietly that I can barely hear him.

I blink a couple of times, trying to make sense of that in my head. “What?” As far as I can tell, Diane and Phillip Evans are fantastic, loving parents who provide well for their kids.

“I’m adopted Liz. So is Isabel.”

My hands fly to my mouth, trying to hold in the surprised gasp that is desperate to escape my lips. “How did I not know about this?” I ask instantly regretting the words as soon as they leave my mouth.

“It’s a secret. Please, don’t-”

I interrupt him, really needing to reassure him after the stupidity of my previous statements. “I won’t tell anyone, Max. I promise.”

He sends a tight, almost forced smile to me. “Thanks.”

I shake my head, trying to get around this new piece of information. “Adopted... wow. How many people know about this?”

“My, uh family and now... you.”

“That’s it?” God I feel like crap. I practically goaded him into revealing that. “I’m so sorry Max, I should never have pushed you into telling me. You must hate me right now, I hate me right now-”

“Liz,” Max butts into my horrified ranting. “I wanted you to know.”

“You did?” I ask, my voice full of surprised wonder and hope.

“Yeah.”

“Oh... ok. Did you...” I pause, not knowing quite what to say. Max’s revelation has really thrown me. “Can I ask a question?”

“Go ahead.”

I pause for a moment, trying to word the question right without further revealing to Max just how insensitive I can truly be. “Are you and Isabel biologically related or did they adopt you from different families?”

“We had the same mother, as far as fathers go we don’t know, our mother from all accounts was umm... promiscuous.”

“They write that down in adoption records?” I ask, confused.

“No...” Max takes a deep breath. “She was a... prostitute. We were seized when we were six after one of her clients attacked us when they were both high. He put us both in hospital and she gave us up to social services. I think she was kinda glad she didn’t have to feed us anymore, it was a drain on her crack funds. My dad, Phillip, did the legal paperwork for the case and decided to adopt us after meeting us.”

“Oh, Max,” I gasp, grasping his hand in mine, trying to bite back tears of sympathy. “I’m so sorry.”

He just shrugs, staring at the bench top where our hands lay tangled together. “That’s my past. Not so lovable now, huh?” he asks with a bitterly sardonic edge. His flippancy about it tears at my heart, because I can see the pleading behind his question, begging me to reassure him that he is still worthy of love.

“Max,” I take his other hand in mine and force him to look at me. “Your past doesn’t change who you are. You’re still Max. You’re still all those things you were before. You’re just all the more amazing having such a rough start to life.”

He shakes his head, not looking at me. “I’m the son of a crack whore, Liz.”

“Don’t talk about Diane Evans that way,” I scold, my heart just about breaking as I look at Max and see the lost, lonely, little boy he must have been. “Just because someone gives birth to you Max, does not make them your Mom. It’s a privilege, not a right. They have to earn it. Diane’s been there to hug you, clean up your cuts, take you to school, cook you dinner, she’s your Mom, Max. That other woman, she didn’t deserve to have someone as wonderful as you in her life.”

“Do you mean it?” he asks, staring at me with a sort of desperate hope.

“Of course I do, Max.” I reply with a small smile, hoping to convey the sincerity I feel.

“Thanks, Liz.”

“My pleasure,” I respond, pulling him into a light hug. My eyes widen in shock when he crumples into my embrace, wrapping his arms around me tightly. I blush as his body heat scorches me through my thin, satin robe. I rub his back lightly and let myself inhale his scent before going to pull away.

Only I can’t because Max is still holding on tightly.

I sink back into his embrace gladly, rationalising his need for affection. He’s just overwrought with relief that someone knows his deep, shameful secret and doesn’t think any less of him.

So I concentrate on that, feeling ashamed at the sexual awareness running through me. He’s distressed and upset and all I can think of is how arousing his embrace is. I’m such a sleaze.

Eventually, Max pulls back till we’re face to face, but doesn’t release his grip on me. My breathing gets shallower as I stare at his lips, his face so close to mine that his breath hits me in little puffs. I manage to tear my eyes away from his oh-so-tempting lips and my breath catches in my throat as I notice the expression in his eyes. For some reason it makes me extremely nervous.

My eyes widen as his head makes a slow descent towards mine. Is he doing what I think he’s doing? Jesus Christ, he’s actually going to-

My eyelids flutter shut as his lips tentatively press against mine. Luckily for me, Max has such a tight hold around my waist because my knees buckle instantly at the teasing contact. He begins to kiss me slowly, the feeling better than anything my imagination could ever have come up with. I moan lightly just before he becomes more urgent in his movements, demanding more from me.

My fingers dig into his skin through his shirt as my arms desperately clutch him to me. I need to be closer to him. His lips break from mine and begin a trail down my neck as I gasp, tilting my head back to give him better access.

Without me even barely realising it, Max lifts me up and sits me on the table, stepping between my legs. Not that I’m complaining, now I can wrap my legs around him. Max’s hand cups the back of my head as he ravages my mouth, his hands running up the outside of my thigh. It’s my surprised squeal when his hands slips to my inner thigh that makes him break away from me.

“I’m sorry,” he gasps, my head still spinning from that fucking amazing kiss.

“Why?” I ask before I can even get my brain to think.

He glances up at me for the first time since he kissed me. “I nearly mauled you on a table,” he says as if it’s self explanatory.

“Didn’t hear me complaining,” I say before I can take it back. Jesus, one kiss from Max Evans and my brain is running away with itself. Somebody stop me.

“You didn’t mind?” he asks hesitantly, his eyes burning into mine.

“Not... really,” I mutter softly, entranced as his head is drawn inexplicably to mine again. He keeps the kiss soft and gentle this time. Pulling away only when our lungs begin to burn.

I pant unevenly, his forehead pressed to mine, our noses softly bumping into one another in time with the rhythm of our heaving chests.

“Liz?” he asks, his voice more gravelly than usual.

“Yeah?” I respond breathlessly, our bodies still pushed together in a heated embrace.

“Do you... I mean... do you think we could... possibly go on a... date?”

I pull back from him, my eyes wide with shock. Max Evans doesn’t date. I was entirely happy with just having the pleasure of kissing him, but this? This is totally unbelievable!

“A date?” I ask, not entirely sure I’d heard him right.

He inclines his head nervously. “Uh yeah... I mean, you don’t have to. I just... thought that... seeing as how we’d...” Max gestures to our current state, our bodies still clinging tightly together, “you know... that you might want to... but it’s ok, I mean... if you don’t want to... I completely understand... maybe I should just go.”

Max attempts to pull himself away from me but my legs lock tighter around his waist. “Max?”

Max halts, his eyes trying hard not to look at me. “Yeah?”

“I’d love to go out with you.”

Max’s entire demeanour changes with that one declaration. His eyes snap to mine, hope and disbelief mingling into one beautiful sentiment, his hands that had been trying to disentangle my legs from around his waist, now lay clamped against my skin in a possessively gentle manner. “You would?”

I can’t stop the enormous grin that tries to stretch my face out of proportion. “Yeah. I would.”

“Ok.” Max smiles brightly at me, making me forget everything else in the world.

***
Last edited by Rowedog on Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hiding Beneath (AU, M/L, TEEN) Pt 12, 12th September 08

Postby Rowedog » Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:11 am

Ok, so this part switches to Max’s point of view. From now on, all my parts might be from other perspectives than Liz’s. I’ll label them though.

Katydid
Ashley-
I'm just gonna... go... process that.
Is that a good thing or bad thing?
Steph
Raemac
Roswell4life
Tequathisy
Nibbles2-
They really did, didn’t they?
Novy
Kitten88
Natalie36
Alien614
Nitpick23


Part Thirteen

‘She changed my life
She cleaned me up
She found my heart
Like only a woman can
She pulls me up
When she knows I’m sad
She knows her man
Like only a woman can
She’s kind of perfect
She’s kind of everything I’m not
Yeah, she’s an angel
And it’s amazing how she’s patient
Even more at times I’m not
She’s my conscience
And who decided I’d be hers
I wanna hate them
Cos now I can’t live without her’
Like Only A Woman Can by Brian McFadden


***

Max’s POV


I know you must be thinking. You’re thinking that a teenage boy should not be singing mushy love songs this early in the morning, but I really don’t give a shit what anyone thinks. Because I have a date with Liz Parker. So excuse me while I belt one out.

“She changed my life!” I grab a carton of orange juice and shimmy my way over to the cupboard. “She cleaned me up! She found my heart! Like only a woman can.”

Perhaps I’m putting too much enthusiasm into this song, I might wake up the neighbours.

My sister looks me in bemusement at my uncharacteristically good mood. “I don’t know what’s scarier, Max, the fact that you knows the words to that song, or that you’re actually singing it.”

I smile brightly at my sister, pulling some orange juice out of the fridge and pouring both her and myself a glass.

“So spill, what’s got you this excited at this ungodly hour of the morning? Sean DeLuca die a horrible death for even daring to look at your precious Lizzie?”

I laugh, buoyed by the mere thought of Liz and knowing that Sean would never stand a chance with her.

“Better,” I state resolutely.

Isabel leans forward, her mouth hanging slightly open in anticipation. “No... you didn’t actually ask her out on a... date, did you?”

I bite my lip, trying to hold in the grin that’s threatening to split my face wide open. “Last night, when I made that delivery to the Crashdown,” I pause, knowing that the suspense is killing her, “we kissed.”

She squeals and jumps from her seat, rushing around the table to give me a hug. “Oh my God! Max!” She pulls back, calming herself and takes a deep breath. “Please tell me that you took that opportunity to ask her out on a date?”

Rolling my eyes, I reassure her. “Of course.”

“When?”

“Tonight,” I mumble, blushing.

She cocks an eyebrow at me. “A bit eager are we?”

“I think I’ve waited long enough, Izzy.”

She smiles at me and pinches my cheek. “You can let out a girly squeal if you want, Max. I won’t tell anyone.”

I narrow my eyes at her. “I am not girly squealing.”

“Oh come on, I want someone to jump up and down and squeal with! My brother just grew a pair! This is huge news!”

“What’s huge news?”

I glare at Izzy as my mother stares at us both.

“Nothing,” I mutter, chugging down my glass of juice.

“Nothing,” replies Izzy, trying not to laugh, but failing miserably.

“Alright, if it’s nothing then.” She looks wholly unconvinced. “I was wondering if we’d all like to go out as a family tonight. I know it’s short notice, but-”

“I can’t!” I butt in, freaking out to extreme proportions. There is no way that I’m cancelling this date. This may be the only chance I’ve got and I need to impress her. And I can’t do that if I dick her around by rearranging dates. I mean, she’s probably already regretting saying yes to me, so she might be tempted to use my cancellation as a reason to never rearrange another.

Mom’s eyes widen at my sudden outburst. “Why’s that Max?”

“I, uh... I need to... I have...” I look to my sister for help but she’s too busy laughing at my plight. I sigh and prepare to bite the bullet and just get it over with. “I have a date.”

If my mother’s mouth was hanging any lower, she’d probably swallow the table. “A date?”

“Yes.”

“With a girl?” she asks incredulously.

“No Mom, with my goldfish, Bubbles. Of course, a girl.”

“Did she ask you out?”

“Uh, no.” I scratch behind my ear, nervously avoiding her gaze.

“So you asked her out?”

I nod in response wishing I was anywhere but here right now. Isabel never gets the third degree when she goes out with guys, but then again, she goes out with guys all the time. I never go out with guys... I mean, girls. I’ve never really wanted to go out with anyone but Liz.

“What’s her name?”

“Liz Parker.”

“And what’s so special about this Liz girl?”

“Mom!!!”

“Honey, I’m just asking because you’ve never shown any interest in dating or girls before.”

Isabel gives her unwanted input at this point in time. “Yes he has. He’s just been too hung up on Liz to see other girls and too shit scared to ask her out.” I wish she’d die. Does she even have a reason for living that I’m aware of?

“Really?” my Mom asks, obviously intrigued. “Is that true Max?”

I place my glass down in the sink and begin to walk out of the kitchen, idly commenting over my shoulder, “Well, this has been great, I should really get ready for school now.”

As soon as I hit the stairs I hear my mother mutter urgently to Izzy, “Quick Izzy, get your year book, I need to see this girl. I’m going to call your father and tell him the great news!”

I shake my head sadly and trudge up the stairs. I couldn’t have had just one day to enjoy the knowledge?

***

Liz’s POV


“Hey Liz, how’s Sean going?” asks Pam snidely as I walk down the hall, still hung up on the fact that Sean and I went out a little over a month ago. I honestly don’t care what she has to say. I have a date with Max Evans. Me. Liz Parker. Max Evans. Max and Liz. Liz and Max. Max and Liz for ever...

“Liz!” I turn to see Max heading towards me in the hall. I guess my love struck look must be completely obvious, because Pam sees fit to comment on it. “Oh please... don’t tell me you actually think you stand a chance with him. You are so sad.”

Pam’s words have the desired effect. My insecurities hit me in the face, causing the smile to slide off my lips. Why oh why did she have to condescend to talk to me the night before my date with Max? I don’t need all my neurosis biting me in the ass tonight and stopping me from having a good time.

“Hey,” breathes Max as he halts in front of me, sending me a dazzling smile.

It makes me feel a little better, but does nothing in the way of curing all my insecurities. How can someone so wonderful want to be with someone like me? “Hi.”

“So, uh, I was thinking of Senor Chows for our date tonight, but I wanted to check to make sure you like Mexican.”

He’s so unbelievably sweet, I just want to hug him till he can’t breathe.

Before I can answer him, Pam butts in. “Ex-cuuuuuse me? Did you just say ‘date’? As in you and Liz have a date?”

“Yeah, we do.” Max nods, a little nonplussed by her reaction.

“Uh, why?”

Max’s brow furrows, obviously confused by her question. “Because... I want to go out on a date with her?”

“Uh, Max... in case you haven’t noticed, there are so many other, more attractive and worthy girls that you could be taking out on a date,” Pam purrs, sticking her chest out and preening.

“I don’t see any,” says Max harshly, taking my hand. “If you’ll excuse us, we were trying to arrange our date.”

Max practically tows me down the hall, muttering under his breath the entire way. He comes to a halt suddenly and I nearly collide with his back. “Liz... I am so sorry about her. She wouldn’t know beauty if it bit her in the ass.”

I snort, not really believing Max’s beautiful words. “Most people would disagree with you there, Max.”

Max catches my gaze and holds it, forcing me to look at him, to see the sincerity in his words. “Liz, Pam is ugly, through and through. It’s in her air, the way she walks, the way she flaunts her body and cheapens herself, the way she dresses and most importantly, the way she treats people. Whereas, you? You’re perfect, who you are on the inside reflects so much on the outside. You just... glow. It’s what makes you so attractive. I don’t think there are even words to describe how amazing you are.”

“Max,” I whisper, trying not let my burgeoning tears over flow. “That’s the most wonderful thing anyone has ever said to me.”

Max shrugs, a little embarrassed by my emotional display. “It’s the truth, Liz.”

“How’d you get so wonderful?” I tease, still trying to reign in my emotions.

He shakes his adamantly, not looking at me. “I’m not wonderful, Liz.”

“See, now I’m going to have to beg to differ.”

Max blushes under my gaze and quickly changes the subject. “So, can I walk you to your class?”

I smile widely in response and slip my arm into his offered one. “You certainly can.”

***
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Re: Hiding Beneath (AU, M/L, TEEN) Pt 13, 14th September 08

Postby Rowedog » Sat Sep 20, 2008 5:57 am

Ok, so I’m changing the rating in keeping with later parts. I didn’t want to make this an adult fic, because writing love scenes give me hives, but I felt that for the purposes of the plot that this story needed some adult. However, be very kind, because I haven’t ever written adult for anything other than stargazing before in Absolution. I swear, I’m the strangest dreamer I know :roll: It won’t be for a couple of parts yet though.

And I’m not a great big fan of this part. I actually wasn’t even going to write the first date, because I hate writing first dates, but you all asked so nicely and just assumed that it was coming, so I felt kinda obligated.

Steph
Ashley-
Oh, it’s good - it’s very good.

Phew!
That’s not good. Me don’t like that - not at all!
Anything we can do to entice you to perhaps add a couple more parts?

What I was actually referring to was that I was able to jump time instead of boring and frustrating you all by making their path to each other impossibly long and even more aggravating. Would you have liked me to stretch out them getting together to 30 parts? Thereby taking far more time and making me lose my inspiration for it, so making you wait even longer until my muse came back? No? Didn’t think so.
I think a sword trumps an axe... more stabby and lightweight.
I’m glad you liked the revelation, there are more surprises to come. I told Steph all about them and she liked them. However, real life is shitting all over me at the mo, so parts may take a while to be written.
Hugs and I'm off to attempt to piece together the next bit of my own attempt; though how long that will take remains to be seen. You could inspire me, perhaps, by demonstrating to me what a new chapter look likes.

Done and done. Update now?
Nibbles2
Eve
Raemac
Natalie36
Laira-
You sir, shall stay away from my rats.
Tequathisy-
Though I think Max was girl squealing on the inside
I think you may be right about that one... :lol:
Novy-
I like getting into Max's head

I’m more a fan of getting into his pants...
Alien614
Caro-
WOOF!!!!! Groan and so on and so forth

I laughed so hard at that one.
Neat plan- and no one bought the "oh I’m just so tired that I accidently fell asleep before I could change after my shower" bit. Close but no cigar, we all know better

Damn! And I thought I was being so sly!
Your side thoughts were very entertaining and nice and rambly. I love a good ramble. I’m glad that the fact that we’ll be switching up POVs is to your liking. Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to have full effect of the other couples getting together or the full effect of the big twist! (Good big twist, not bad big twist)
Max was so cutsie pie singing his girly song and drinking his juice.

That just tickled me deep inside.
She reminds me of my own tendencies to gently stalk new peoples of interest

Umm... I think I’ll just leave that one alone... :lol:
Sigh, and Pam Troy. Who really cares about you? You have no real purpose in this fic, you a merely a prop, one of many reoccurring 'c' characters that are written into fics to fill space. If only you knew. If only you knew

I love the places your mind goes...
New motion! I move that the rest of this story also be written in rhyme!

I have a new motion! I move that you hush your mouth :lol: ! Do you have any idea how long it took to write that? You’d be waiting for months for a new update.
Kitten88
Pandas2001


Part Fourteen

‘Stay forever who you are
don’t change a thing
because you're perfect

you Sway gently in the breeze
In between my dreams
It kind of makes me nervous

You’re storm, yeah, the lightning striking down
To only strike me once, would still be worth it

In my dreams you were perfect
when I woke you were perfect’
Perfect by Vanessa Amorossi


***


“Shit,” I exclaim, looking through my wardrobe. “Shit, shit, shit! Why do I have fucking nothing to wear?”

“Calm yourself, young child,” advises Maria from my bed. “Everything will be ok. Max would think that you’re hot even if you wore a burlap sack.”

“He would not,” I grumble back as I search for a shirt to wear. I have the perfect skirt to wear, why do I have nothing to suit it?

“Hello ladies! Lizzy, I just came to offer you moral support before the big dat-” Alex lets out a high, womanly shriek. “Jesus Christ, woman, put a shirt on! I don’t want to see your lovely lady lumps!”

I roll my eyes at him, having bigger things to worry about right now than Alex’s prudish sensibilities. Like my aforementioned lack of shirtage. “I have a bra on, Alex. It’s like seeing me in a bikini.”

“Who said I liked seeing you in a bikini?” He takes a seat on my bed next to Maria.

I hold up two different tops for their perusal. “What do you think? This shirt or this shirt?”

“I like the one that covers up the most skin,” suggests Alex who still won’t look in my direction.

“The white one,” states Maria after a moment’s deliberation.

I throw it on over my head and study my reflection in the mirror. “Good, that’s the one I liked.”

“Why even ask for my opinion if you’ve already made up your mind?” queries Maria.

“I wanted back up,” I explain as Alex finally lets his gaze rest on me again.

“Well, I’m just grateful that you’ve put away your fiery biscuits.”

Maria stops to stare at Alex strangely. “Who calls boobs, ‘fiery biscuits’, Alex?”

“I saw it on TV. It’s valid,” Alex protests, while I search for my curling iron. Shitbags, why do I always leave my room in such a mess? I really need to get my shit together.

***


“Ahem.” I clear my throat as Max and I sit silently at Senor Chows, having finished our meals. So far, the date has been... awkward. I really wish I could say that this wasn’t the case, but it is. We got along so well before we started kissing and dating, what happened? Maybe we’re both nervous and over-thinking everything. “So how’s the football team going?”

Max gives a little half shrug and shy smile and I instantly want to smother him in kisses. His demeanour is just too adorable. “Yeah, we’re going well. There’s a game on Friday, I’d... uh... I’d really like it if you could come.”

“I always go to your football games, Max,” I remind him as I sip on my water, my heart beating a little faster at the implication that he wants to see more of me.

He shrugs uncomfortably. “Yeah, I know... I just thought that we could maybe do something afterwards.”

Yes! Even though this date isn’t exactly going to plan and I’ve probably bored him senseless, he’s already securing another date in the future with me. “But if you win, won’t you want to go out and celebrate with your team?

“Not if I could be hanging out with you,” he replies, causing me to go into cardiac arrest. Get me a defibrillator. “I mean, that is... if you don’t have anything else on and you want to, that’d be, you know... great.”

I watch Max wince after his mini ramble and I want to pump my fist in the air. Yes! I affect his composure! I am ramble inducing! Not normally something I’d long to be, but the way he’s acting around me makes me feel kinda special. Why should I be the only one shitting goddamn bricks on this date?

I smile at him, trying to hide my amusement at his eagerness. “Ok then. So long as something really, really life-changingly important doesn’t come up between now and then, I’m all yours after the game on Friday.”

Max gives me a peculiar look before his face spreads into a grin. It takes me a minute to realise what I’ve just said, but when I do, I curse myself. What is wrong with me? Why must I suffer from foot in mouth disease? I’m all yours? I may as well have said, ‘Take me on the table, you sexy hunk of man meat, you!’ which would be fine by me, but I’ve heard all about how making a guy wait for sex is more likely to make him fall in love with you because he respects you more. So I’m holding out for those three little words, unless he decides that he doesn’t really like me and doesn’t want to see me anymore, in which case I’ll rohypnol his drink and take him for a ride.

Yeesh, settle down. I was just kidding.

Kinda...

I’m just about to try and qualify that statement, but more likely dig myself a deeper hole, when a shadow falls across our table. “Hey Max, my man, what’s happening?”

I could just about cry right now. Not only does my mouth taste of feet after that fantastic faux pas, but now Max’s entire crew of amazingly good looking friends have just walked in the door. There’s the main ring leader - who appears to have Pam stuck to his side like a simpering leech - and a whole bunch of other people that I can’t remember the names of, with Kyle and Tess bringing up the rear.

“Hey Trav, what are you doing here?” Is it just my imagnination or does Max sound as pissed off as I feel? Go away beautiful people, don’t you know that we’re on a date? “I told you in Gym that I’d be having dinner at Senor Chows with Liz tonight.”

He shrugs, and looks around. “There’s not many places to go in Roswell. It’s either here or the Crashdown.”

“So why don’t you go the Crashdown?” I mutter, louder than I anticipated. So loud that Travis hears it.

He snickers and shoots Max a look. “I don’t think your girlfriend likes me very much.”

I freeze on the spot and turn the colour of a tomato as Max coughs uncomfortably. Girlfriend? I wish...

Someone shoves Travis from behind and I instantly love them. “Get out of here, Travis, they’re trying to enjoy their first date. I don’t even know why I let you swindle me into coming here. I was all for the Crashdown.”

Travis moves on reluctantly, dragging Pam with him who has been shooting daggers at me the entire time and I shoot a grateful smile at my rescuer, Kyle. Tess politely says hello and then moves off to continue her conversation with another girl, leaving Kyle standing by our table.

He bestows upon me a wicked smile as his friends move off. “Parker, you crazy hooligan. What are you and Maxie poos up to tonight? Gonna go steal rims off of cars?”

“I’m starting with your mustang,” I inform him glibly, noting that his eye has wandered to his girlfriend’s retreating derriere.

“That’s great,” he replies absently, giving me a friendly pat on the shoulder, his eyes firmly trained on Tess’s ass. “Don’t do drugs.”

He wanders off to catch up to Tess and I’m left semi speechless. I eventually let out the laugh that has been wanting to come out and turn my attention back to Max. “Well, that was... awkward.”

Max lets out a relieved laugh, but his face is still rather grim set. “Listen, did you want to just skip dessert and just get out of here?”

“And forgo seeing your friends again?” I pull a mock shocked face, then my lips slide into a relieved smile. “Yeah, I might be up for that.”

We both stand up and Max pays for the bill, despite my protestations that I could pay. He then leads me out to the jeep and opens the door for me. Sigh. Do you think he’d be up for marrying me tonight? Because I really feel that if I looked for one hundred years I’d never find anyone more amazing than Max, so I’d better snatch him up fast.

We end up driving back to his place, which sounds very suggestive, but it only ends up with both of us on the couch, bare footed, eating vanilla ice cream as we watch cartoons. His parents and Isabel have gone out to dinner at Chez Pierre apparently, so we have the whole house to ourselves.

The mood is so much less uptight, so much less like a date, that I actually find myself relaxing in Max’s presence and actually enjoying myself. We’re finally having fun, even if he did protest when I made him switch to Cartoon Network.

“So... did you have fun tonight?” enquires Max as I look around for my shoes. It’s nearly my curfew and I would like for my parents to have no reason to ground me.

“Yeah, I did,” I answer truthfully. It may not have been fun the entire night, but it wasn’t as if I didn’t enjoy just being in his presence. “But the night’s not over yet. You still have to drive me home.”

“Do I?” he muses thoughtfully. “I might just make you walk home so I can watch some more Dexter’s Laboratory.”

“Maxwell!” I gasp in horror. “You will not! I’m turning off the TV.”

I make a grab for the remote but am thwarted by Max’s long arms. Damn him. I end up nearly clambering all over him to reach the remote which he holds up above his head. “Give me the remote, you spanker!”

“Spanker?” echoes Max incredulously, starting to laugh hysterically as I try in vain to gain control of the remote. I end up straddling Max’s legs to try and grab the remote. It’s not like I think that he won’t take me home, it’s just that it’s now become a matter a of principle. I will have that remote.

It’s only after a second that I realise that my breasts are now practically in Max’s face and he’s stopped laughing. I still my movements and ever so slowly look down. The look on Max’s face stops my heart. Ever so slowly he runs his hand that has been situated on my waist, slowly up my side, his fingers grazing the sides of my breasts so softly that I shudder as a chill sweeps through me. His hand doesn’t stop until he reaches the curve of my neck, sweeping his thumb across my jaw lightly before sliding back to cup the back of my head, his fingers entangling in my hair.

With gentle pressure from Max’s fingertips, my head begins a slow descent, drawing me ever closer to his oh-so-tempting destination while I struggle to remember how to breathe, until I finally press my lips softly against his. Shit, I’d forgotten how good this feels. Sitting astride him, his arms wrapped around me tightly - like he’s afraid that I’ll run away if he gives me an inch – as he kisses me so softly and sweetly, makes me feel like I won’t be able to cope if he ever stops touching me.

My phone ringing is what cause us to break apart. I glance at the caller and nearly shit my pants when I notice the time as well.

I launch myself from Max’s lap and make a mad scramble for my shoes. Just how long were we kissing for? I let out a loud string of expletives. “Fucking ass crap penis!”

Max blinks for a moment, his head still dazed. “What?” he asks in a rather breathless, endearing way.

“The time.” I reply, hopping on one foot to push my other shoe on.

Max’s eyes go wide with realisation. “Shit.” He shoves his shoes on, grabs his keys and we race out the door to his jeep.

My parents aren’t extremely impressed when we arrive, twenty minutes late, but are willing to overlook it, considering how remorseful we both are, and I made up some crappy excuse about Senor Chows having lousy service and taking forever which I think definitely helped our case.

I don’t get to kiss Max goodbye, because my parents are watching, but I blow him a kiss in true simpering girly fashion. But I don’t give a damn if I sound or look stupid to anyone else, because Max’s answering grin is more than enough for me.

I reach my bedroom in a daze after answering a few precursory questions from my parents and then glance at my phone and open my new text message from Maria.

So, did you kiss him? Tell all!!!!!!

I smirk and set about my reply, knowing that this will only raise more questions than it answers.

Of course. All I had to do was shove my boobs in his face. Why didn’t I think of it before?

I sit with my phone in hand, my hand over the answer button and wait three seconds. Maria doesn’t disappoint.

I press the green button, it’s girl talk time.

***
Last edited by Rowedog on Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hiding Beneath (AU, M/L, ADULT) Pt 14, 20th September 08

Postby Rowedog » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:50 am

Yay! Jumping forward in time! I loves it!
Raemac
Eve
Natalie36
Laira-
Who’s black now?
Kitten88
Caro-
Lets start at 'fiery biscuits' and move forward from there shall we?
What the hell? I cannot, in any senario, imagine 'fiery biscuits' (?????????) being used as a psyudonym for breasts. EVER. Some how the 'its vaild because it was on t.v' reason just doesn't cut the mustard with me. Alex, NO! just don't.
It was on The Mighty Boosh. It was hilarious. Get it up ya. The Boosh is awesome.
I love that you said loser cruiser. Love. Love. Love.
I mean it was a full on snort!!!!!! It really hit the spot (humour wise). But then I took pause, and thought.......date rape isn't funny at all. no siree.

Yeah, I thought about cutting that line, but then I thought I’d qualify it with a ‘just kidding’ so that I wouldn’t be chased by an angry mob who had traded in their shitty pitchforks for axes. Speaking of pitchforks… my puppy tried to pounce on and bite my pitchfork when I was picking up horse poo in the paddock. And then she tried to take on all my horses. She’s not too bright…
I'D LOVE to take him for a ride................If that’s not over share

Not at all…
I really can't explain why his job makes me such a pervert. I just do not know why. Truthful.

Max the vegetable delivery man makes perverts of us all. I firmly believe in that statement.
You know, that job came to me because I needed a reason for Max to see Liz on a regular basis at the Crashdown. And then I considered how sexy he’d be… lifting all those crates and getting all sweaty and earthy… and I was glad that my brain seems to work in mysterious ways.
I don't want to get pushy or anything but its been four days. Four. I'm starting to get anxious.

Spoiled. You are so spoiled.
My sister is having a baby. A girl infact. I am going to get her to name her Sophie after your puppy.

Um… really… you can just have the part. There’s no need for branding a baby with a puppy’s name. Although… :twisted: the evil part of me kinda wants to offer you a new part every day until the finish of the fic if you can get your sister to call the baby, dangles or nubs, which were the names I wanted to call the puppy (Dad called her Sophie, he also wanted to call her Fergie after Princess Fergie, because she likes to lick our toes).
Novy
Roswell4life
Cocopucks-
Welcome!
Nitpick23-
You didn't take the easy way out and make the first date perfect with Max and Liz having this wonderful conversation, comfortable in each others company.

No, I’ve done that with other stories and it feels kinda off. I think it suited them better to be awkward anyway, especially given their insecurities.
BB
behrluv32
Alien614
ShatteredDreamer
Daydreamer23
Ronnie
Steph
Ashley-
Never one to push, guilt trip, or threaten

Snort.
I would just like to point out that both of you should post.

Great idea. Laira, your turn.
Ashley (who is completely innocent in all her doings and hopes to bring this to a quick resolution)

Yet, again: Snort. Umm, hello, you could update as well! I’m just saying, I put in all this effort for you and you hold out on me. Unfairness.
It's not puppy dog eyes, but I think it's better.

Sophie is insulted, but realises the truth of your statement.
Dziumka
Tequathisy-
Ok, you got me with the baby seal. You win! I cave! Everyone thank Tequathisy for making me give you this part.

Part Fifteen

'Torn in between the two.
Cuz I really wanna be with you.
But something's telling me I should leave you alone.
Leave you alone.'
Torn by Letoya Luckett


***


I honestly don’t know how it happened. One day I was Plain Jane Lizzy, queen of the nerds and the next... BAM! I was Max Evans’ girlfriend and extraordinarily high up on the social ladder. Dizzyingly high actually. I even brought Maria and Alex up too, much to Maria’s consternation. She asserts that she was fine being amongst the faceless masses and never wished to be rid of her anonymity. Now she has popular jerks asking her out all the time, regardless of the fact that they know that she’s in a relationship. I now have people talking to me that I don’t know that name of, asking me all these borderline rude questions about my relationship with Max.

Not that any of this matters. The only thing that matters is that I finally have a relationship with the man of my dreams and the reality is even better than anything I could have imagined.

Speaking of, here comes my boyfriend now.

“Hey,” he breathes, gracing me with a brilliant grin before kissing me witless.

“Hey right back at ya,” I whisper playfully when we pull away, my hands resting upon his chest.

“Listen,” he begins, his hand meshed in my hair while his other hand rests in the small of my back. “I know I said that I’d take you out on Saturday, but Mom is insisting that I stay in that night.”

I bite my lip to stop from laughing at Max’s scowl. I love it when things happen that disrupt his plans of seeing me. Well, no I don’t... but he gets so pissed off at the reason behind his inability to see me. It’s nice to feel missed once in a while.

“She said ‘Oh Max, ever since you started dating Liz, I never see you. I just want one night were we’re all at home together. You and Isabel have such conflicting schedules.’ Why couldn’t she get Isabel to take one night off during the week? Why’s it always me who has to bend to her?”

“I really don’t feel I’m qualified enough to understand your family dynamics,” I reply somewhat bemusedly. Max loves his sister, but I swear, some days he could merrily cut her up with a chainsaw, whistling as he worked.

“They see me all the time. I don’t know what they’re complaining about.”

Whew, Max is grumpy. I guess I’d better play the guilt card to calm him down. “Max, I don’t want to cause any trouble between you and your family. I mean, what with school and sport and dating me, I’m sure that finding time to spend with your family is really hard. I don’t want you to feel like you have to spend every moment of every day with me.”

Max’s scowl remains. “I know I’m being cranky and unreasonable, but I was really looking forward to Saturday and now... it’s like being told that you’re going to the Caribbean for a holiday and then being told that you can’t go and have to go to Clovis instead. I could go to Clovis any old time. The time I spend in the Caribbean is priceless.”

My heart goes all a flutter at his slightly twisted analogy. “You see me more than you see your family, Max,” I remind him.

“And yet, I still miss you all the time,” he muses, drawing a smile from me.

“Hey Liz, Max.”

I turn to the voice and grin. “Kyle Valenti, they let you out of your cage today?”

Kyle grins at me. “Only on Fridays.”

Kyle’s grin fades as he catches sight of Max’s face. I glance up and notice his forbidding expression and roll my eyes. I elbow him discretely and he forces out a grunted greeting. “Hey Kyle.”

“So where’s Tess?” I ask politely.

“Yeah, where is Tess?” Max asks pointedly, nearly drawing a gasp from me.

Kyle ignores Max’s blatantly rude question and sends me a woeful look. “She ditched me for her friends. Apparently they desperately need to discuss prom or some shit like that. It’s like months away.”

“Prom? Already?” I feel a mixture of amusement at their girlyness and worry that perhaps I’m not preparing soon enough.

“Apparently.” Kyle gives an exaggerated eye roll that sets me off giggling.

“That’s great,” says Max bluntly, interrupting our conversation. “Liz, we have to be somewhere.”

Max tugs at my elbow, but I snatch my arm back, appalled at how rude he’s being. “No we don’t.”

Max opens his mouth to rebut this, but Kyle jumps in first with a frustrated groan. “Evans, I’m only going to say this one more time, okay? I. AM. NOT. HOT. FOR. LIZ. She’s your girlfriend and you don’t have any competition for her from me.”

Way to be blunt Kyle, he’s certainly silenced Max. “We went out twice before we both decided that we were better as friends. It was a mutual decision, and that means that neither of us have feelings that stray beyond friendship for each other. Right Liz?”

Kyle looks to me for back up, which I give readily. “Absolutely right, Kyle.”

“Anyway, I’ll let you two to it.” Kyle shakes his head in disbelief as he walks off, muttering as he goes. “You’d think he’d let it go...”

I turn to Max, my eyebrow cocked, arms crossed in front of me, foot tapping. I am so not impressed right now.

“Liz...” I shake my head at his pleading. I am not going to be swayed from being extremely pissed at him.

“Explain yourself. And believe me,” I narrow my eyes at him. “It had better be good.”

“I just... don’t like that you two are all...” Max makes some sort of weird flailing hand gesture that leaves me mystified.

“All what?” I ask, needing clarification.

Max slumps, hating the fact that he has to explain himself. “All... friendly.”

I throw my hands up in the air frustrated by his stupid macho bullshit. “I just don’t get how you can possibly feel threatened by him.”

“Well, he’s... your ex boyfriend.” He explains as if that makes everything ok. It certainly doesn’t.

“Two dates does not make him my boyfriend. We went out twice, but there was no spark, so we decided to stay friends. I- I don’t know what else I can do to reassure you that I don’t want him! I don’t understand this petty jealousy.”

“How could I not be threatened by him, Liz? You liked him enough to go out with him twice. He’s funny, a good athlete, a good guy and you get along with him well. And he knows who his dad is.” Max mutters the last bit and my anger quickly dissipates as his vulnerability shines through.

I slump a little in sadness, all the fight draining out of me. I step in closer to him and wrap my arms around him. “Max... I don’t care about your past or where you came from. None of that matters to me. I’ve known about it since we started dating. Why on earth do you think I would want to be with another guy, just because of that?”

Max looks away from me, staring resolutely at the lockers. “You should be with someone who isn’t tainted.”

“Is that what you think you are?” I whisper, my heart clenching in my chest. “Max, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Who you are isn’t determined by where you’ve come from. I love you, not the circumstances in which you were born.”

My appeal seems to work, because his eyes snap to mine. “You love me?”

My eyes widen as I review what I’ve just said in my head. Oh shit, I did just tell him that! Oh fuck! I guess because I’ve had these feelings for so long that telling him just seemed natural.

“I- I...” Now would be a great time for a natural disaster. Bring on an earthquake! Flood! Fire! Anything would be preferable to this. I suppose I should just bite the bullet and get it over with. “Yeah. I do.”

Max stares at me in shock for a moment, seemingly not knowing what to say in response. “It’s okay, you don’t have to say it back.” Oh God, here it comes. I can feel myself beginning to ramble. There’s nothing I can do to stop it. “I mean, I don’t expect you to feel that way about me, it’s just that I can’t kinda help the way I feel. There’s absolutely no pressure or anything, just don’t- urmph!”

My rambling is thankfully cut off short by Max’s ferocious and possessive kiss. Dear God this boy is a great kisser. His hot hands burn through the thin material of my shirt as they skim over my back, clutching me closer to him as he ravages my mouth.

He pulls away just as my lungs start to protest, leaving his forehead pressed against mine. “I have loved you for so long,” he pants, a hand caressing my cheek.

“You have?” I squeak, my mouth dropping open in what I’m sure is a suave and attractive look.

“Yes. I just never thought that you’d ever feel that way about me,” is the whispered response.

“For a smart guy you sure are stupid,” I giggle, my head in the clouds and my heart soaring even higher.

“So are you going to be nicer to Kyle?” I query, getting back to the real reason we began this whole messy debacle.

“Maybe,” he prevaricates. “I think I need some more persuasion.”

I laugh and kiss him again. How freaking great is this?

***


How wonderful, they’ve decided to give us partners for today’s History class. I work better alone. Always have, always will. I give a hopeful glance over to Maria who crosses her fingers for luck back at me. C’mon, give me Maria. Or even Isabel. Or at the very least, someone who isn’t a total dick. I hold my breath in anticipation as she reads out my name.

“Elizabeth Parker with Travis Cunes.”

Note to Universe: I hate you.

Why, oh, why do the Gods despise me so? Great job Mrs Hinkleberger, putting the straight A student with the slacker so that the work gets done and you don’t have to discipline anyone, knowing full well that the geek will be doing all the work. Lazy bitch.

I reluctantly move my stuff over to Travis’ table as he seems pretty sedentary and reluctant to move. Lazy mofo...

I take a seat and pull out my pen, flicking my page open and preparing to do the entirety of today’s class work, just so long as he doesn’t talk to me, I’ll see it as a fair trade. I’m certain that he doesn’t like me. He’s made that much clear whenever Max isn’t around. Nothing huge, just little jibes here and there, but enough that my patience has worn thin to the point of snapping.

He leans back in his chair, his arms crossed with a lazy, self indulgent smile as he watches me work. I wince when his voice breaks the silence between us. “You know Parker, I’m glad we’re partners, there’s something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about.”

I instantly tense. Nothing good can come of this conversation. Nothing.

“You and Max have been dating for what? A month now?”

I silently incline my head, wishing that the silence from before would keep up. I really, really miss the non-communication we were sharing before.

“Wow, Parker your pussy must be fuckin’ gold for you to have him whipped for that long. I gotta hand it to you, first Valenti, now Evans, you’re really moving up into higher places. Though I gotta ask, just what is so good about it to have men like them stoop to pick up a girl like you? Maybe I should just have a crack at your crack and find out myself.”

My mouth drops open with appalled horror as my brain slowly registers what he said. “Excuse me?

He rolls his eyes at me. “Don’t worry Parker, I’m not going to try something with you. I like girls with a little more...” he cups his two palms in front of his chest. “Oomph.” He flicks a disparaging gaze at my bust. “You don’t exactly do it for me. I mean, let’s face it; flat, plain and as boring as my grandmother’s tales about the good ol’ days. But take a look at Max, he’s a star athlete. A good looking, all American boy who’s wound up with a less than quality girlfriend because she’s entranced him with her magic vagina.”

I gape at him open mouthed and he leans in a little closer, a patronizing smirk stamped across his face. “Let me break this down for you; Max... hero. You... zero. So know this, you slutty harpy, I’m onto you. And one day soon, Max will find another girl who’s hotter and just as good as copping dick as you appear to be and you will be dumped back into the social circles you belong in, you get me?”

He pats me on the head and gestures to the whiteboard. “Now be a good geek and do my work for me.”

I sit in my seat, stunned for a moment, tears threatening to break through, until anger quickly flushes over my entire body. I stand up in my seat and Mrs Hinkleberger flicks a look over the top of her glasses at me.

“Is there a problem, Liz?”

“Yes.” I state firmly, trying not to show any of the turmoil that’s raging inside of me. “I refuse to work with him.”

“It’s non-negotiable, Liz. So, why don’t you take a seat and resume-”

“No.”

I think it’s the firmness of my tone that has her taking a second glance at me. Her eyes rake over my form taking in the stiffness of my shoulders, the angry stance and the welling tears in my eyes and concedes defeat. She sighs and then shoots an angered glance at Travis’s smirk. I get the feeling she hates him as well.

“Very well. Liz, you can go with Maria. Move there quickly and quietly. Mark, up the front with Travis.”

I silently praise the lord and take a seat next to Maria, my shoulders hurting from the tension running inherent through me. I’ve never been so insulted in my life and I’ve never wanted to cry so badly before.

“Hun, are you alright?” the sympathy in Maria’s voice cause the first tear to well over and roll down my cheek. I shake my head and hold up my hand at her in a silent plea when she goes to speak, knowing that if I talk about it I’ll burst into tears.

She lets me remain silent the entire class until the bell rings. She then takes my hand and drags me in the opposite direction of my next class out into the carpark. She unlocks the jetta, stuffs me in it and peels out of the school.

“This is cutting class,” I state unemotionally, not really caring either way.

“I don’t care. I want to know what that asshole, cum bucket said to you that got you so upset.” Maria sounds more upset than I am. She pulls off the highway down a dirt road and parks the car, turning to me expectantly a look of sympathetic pain and anger across her face.

And suddenly, the dam breaks within me. I start to sob. Loud, wrenching sobs that come from deep within your abdomen. I manage to get my story out between shuddering gasps and Maria’s face takes on an almost comical mixture of both shock and fury.

“That ass licking, mouth breathing, shit eating...” she struggles for another insult that can correctly capture her anger. “vagina face! How dare he?” I go to speak, but she cuts me off. “No! How fucking dare he? He is so fucking lucky I didn’t hear him saying it, or he’d be on his way to the hospital right now to get my footprint removed from his balls!”

I don’t doubt that she’d have done it too. She once gave a kid a black eye in the middle of shop class for daring to call Alex a wussy little bitch.

“Thanks, Maria.” I give her a weak, watery smile and her frown transforms into a look of sympathy and concern.

She strokes my hair with one hand. “You poor thing, I’m amazed you managed to keep your composure throughout that entire class. I’d have either been arrested for assault or wailed in the corner, my arms around my knees, rocking myself.”

I let out a snort at the image and a look of pleased wonder comes across her face. “And see? You laughed! You’re such a trooper.”

I rub my hands across my face and go to speak but I’m cut off by the buzz of my cell phone. I glance at the screen and see that I’ve received a message from Max. I stare at it for a bit, wondering how I’m going to explain my absence to him. I mean, I don’t want to be one of those girls that runs to her boyfriend each time she has a problem, but surely this is warranted? I also don’t want to cause any trouble, there’s a big game of football coming up and Travis and Max are on the same team and I’d hate to be Yoko Ono and break up the team and make them lose because two of their players weren’t cooperating. West Roswell will never forgive me if I cause their team to lose out on their potential championship.

But even as I run through all those reasons in my head, I’m aware that I’m shying away from the real reason behind my reluctance to tell Max. I’m afraid that he’ll listen to what Travis told me... and see some truth in it. I don’t want to lose Max. I can’t. But I don’t know how I can’t tell him either.

“Is that Max?” I nod. “What are you going to tell him?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing?” Maria repeats my answer incredulously, her mouth hanging open. “Nothing? Are you insane? You have to tell him!”

I repeat all the reasons that I’ve already gone through, minus the last one, knowing that Maria will harp on about me being too insecure. I can’t help it. It’s the way I was made.

“That is such a cop out,” Maria bites out bluntly. “You’re just afraid that he’ll agree with what Travis said, even though it’s totally stupid and completely untrue.”

“I hate that you know me so well,” I sigh. Why does she have such great powers of perception? Mine seem to be away on vacation or just never there to begin with.

“You have to tell him,” repeats Maria determinedly, trying to catch my gaze which is trained firmly in my lap.

“I know,” I mutter softly. I just wish that I didn’t have to.

***

Max’s Pov


I wait impatiently in my seat, trying to catch sight of Liz coming through the doorway into our class. I always get a little antsy before she shows up, I just like seeing her. The warning bell rings and I stare at the door, mentally willing her to hurry up, it isn’t like her to be late and I’d hate for her to have a tardy. The final bell rings and Liz still isn’t here. It’s not like Liz to be late. And I know she was here this morning, We made out in front of her locker. Maybe she’s gotten sick. Maybe something’s desperately wrong with her.

My mind racing with all sorts of improbable theories, each one worse than the next, I dig out my cell phone. Sitting my text book up on its end, pretending to read it that way, I start desperately texting her behind the shield of my text book to find out. I quickly send her a message and then tune in to the mutterings that I can hear around me. My attention snaps to the lab table behind me when I hear Liz’s name.

“She asked to move tables?” asks Sally to her partner Alice.

“More like demanded. But fair enough, I wouldn’t want to work with Travis either. Especially not after what he said to her.” She lets out a low whistle. “Way harsh.”

“What’d he say?” enquired Alice, her voice more tinged with excited anticipation for the juicy gossip than with concern for Liz. My brow furrows, what could Travis possibly have said to Liz? How could anyone say anything at all harsh to Liz?

“The basic gist was that he accused her of sleeping her way up into higher social circles. He congratulated her on fucking Kyle and Max and asked if she had a magic vagina because he could see no other reason that two guys like them would stoop to dating her.”

“Oh my God!” exclaims Sally as my blood boils in my veins. My pencil snaps in my tight grasp, going unnoticed by the two behind me, who seem to be too entranced by what they’re saying to notice their volume level.

“I know! But... it gets worse!”

“No!”

“Yes!” Alice pauses for dramatic effect, while I wait, getting angrier with each passing second. “He then said something about how he thought she was physically unattractive and boring and then he said that once Max found someone of his standard who was as good at ‘copping dick’ - in his words – then she’d be dumped like yesterday’s garbage.”

“I can’t believe it!” Neither can I, Sally. Neither can I. “Max would never do something like that, he’s too nice.”

“Shh! He’ll hear you,” reprimands Alice, casting a furtive glance at me to weigh up whether I can hear her or not, in which Sally follows suit.

I have to school myself to un-tense somewhat and pretend to be taking notes from the board with my broken pencil. They somehow fall for this. Idiots.

“So, then to top it all off, he pats her on the head and tells her to do all the work for their joint classwork.”

Sally lets out a shocked gasp. “He is such an asshole!” A dead asshole. I am going to fucking rip his head off. How dare he talk to my girlfriend that way? How dare he? Liz is such a superior person, she’s kind, gentle, smart, funny, beautiful... if anyone isn’t up to standard in our relationship, it’s me.

Alice continues and I’m diverted from my murderous rage to listen in again. “She was, like, nearly crying, but then she stood up and demanded to be moved. So she sat next to Maria who, like, dragged her out to the car park as soon as the bell rang. Not that I can blame her, poor thing... you could so tell she was trying not to cry the entire class.”

“Oh my God... that is so horrible!” She makes a clicking sound with her tongue. “Poor Liz. I wonder what Max is going to do once he finds out?”

I’ll tell you what I’m going to do Sally. I am going to kill Travis Cunes.

***
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Re: Hiding Beneath (AU, M/L, ADULT) A/N, 9th October 08

Postby Rowedog » Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:43 am

Not so sure about this part, but I can’t tweak it anymore without deleting the entire thing and starting again.

Steph
RiceKrispy-
I gotta say, I'm loving this fic. Wonderful writing, miss.
:oops: Aw shucks...
Tequathisy
Daydreamer23
Eve
Laira
Novy
Natalie36
Spray-
Spray! You’re alive! Who knew? :P How’ve you been? And yes, that was a reflection of my personal tastes. I will never grow up. Cartoons all the way!
Veronica
ShatteredDreamer
Nibbles2
Pandas2001
Caro-
Ha! I just read my feedback for the last part. Man I was pretty harsh on Max.
I understood where your rage was coming from, I tried to write the most appalling shit I could think of when writing what Travis said. Glad to see it’s had its desired effect!
Blink1lit
Trulov
Scorpio6
Destinyc


Part Sixteen

‘Breathing in,
Lightning;
Tonight's for fighting.
I feel,
The hurt,
So physical.

Think twice before you touch my girl.
Come around I'll let you feel the burn.’
Think Twice by Eve 6


Isabel’s POV


“So... uh, Isabel... you free tonight?” asks Travis as I pull my books from my locker.

“Yep,” I grunt out, as I shove my books in, trying to stabilize them all. You’d think being a girl that my locker would be compulsively neat, but it’s just the opposite. My therapist would say that the chaos in my locker symbolizes my emotional chaos. Pfft, what does he know anyway?

“So you wanna hook up later tonight?”

I let out a laugh. “God, no. You’re the last person in the world that I’d wanna date.”

Travis’ smile falls momentarily, then twists into a malicious grin. “I wasn’t talking about taking you out on a date. I just wanted to fuck your brains out. God knows, you look the type. I bet you love the cock.”

I slam the locker door, the only indication that his words have affected me in any way. “Even if I was a slut, Travis, I still wouldn’t fuck you. Even a whore has standards.”

His face twists in rage and his nostrils flare. He goes to speak, but his eye is caught by something coming his way.

“Max, my man, how’s it-”

A loud crack resounds as Max throws his full weight behind a right hook that smashes into Travis’ cheek. My hands fly to my mouth as Travis falls to the ground like dead weight. What the fuck?

Max doesn’t even leave time for Travis to get his head around what’s happened to him, straight away he’s pulling him up, only to slam his back into the lockers.

“Get up! Fucking get up!”

Max’s roar echoes down the now silent hall. A crowd has now gathered, all of them gaping in amazement at the fury that’s practically radiating off of Max right now. I don’t think they’ve ever seen Max this angry. I don’t think that they knew that he had it in him to be this angry.

Travis spits out some blood and sneers at Max. “So the little bitch squealed on me, huh?”

Max’s voice holds so much anger, I’ve never heard such a horrifying sound come from him before. “She didn’t have to, Travis! People heard you! And don’t call her that!”

“Sorry, I know she prefers slut,” Travis smirks, causing Max to draw back his fist and attempt to hit him again. Travis apparently anticipates this, because he ducks out of the way at the last moment, to allow Max’s fist to crash into the metal lockers, then he drives his fist up into Max’s unprotected stomach, causing him to double over in pain.

“You just made the wrong move, Maxie. I hope the slut is worth it.” I wince in anticipation of the blow that Travis is about to administer, sympathetic tears welling in my eyes. Why isn’t anyone helping my brother? I struggle to reach him, pushing through the crowd that has gathered when suddenly another body crashes into Travis right before he can hit Max, an audible crash of metal echoing down the hall as his back it yet again slammed into the lockers.

“Don’t even fucking think about it, you fucking douche,” grunts Kyle as he pins Travis to the lockers, allowing my brother time to recover.

“How fucking noble of you, Kyle, protecting your-” Travis is cut off by my brother’s forceful backhand to the face. He rips Travis from Kyle’s grasp and throws him to the floor before laying into him with a rage that scares the shit out of me.

He throws punch after punch, long after Travis has lapsed into unconsciousness. His knuckles are stained with blood and Travis’ face is a mess. It takes four of his football teammates to pull him off of Travis.

In the end, an ambulance has to be called.

***

Max’s POV


“Mr Evans...” drawls Mr Macintosh from over the top of my school file. “I assume you know why I pulled you in here?”

I nod lightly, my mind still reeling from the bloody haze. Did I really just do that?

“Then you’ll know that what just occurred is a serious offence. You put a boy in hospital today.”

I nod again, not really caring or feeling any fear for my own personal well being. I’m too caught up in reviewing what just happened. How could I have done that? Yeah, maybe Travis deserved a beat down, but I took it too far. I wanted him dead.

Am I really turning into a monster like my mother?

“This is a criminal offence, Mr Evans. You are not only looking at a suspension, but also an expulsion, not to mention that Mr Cunes’ parents may wish to file criminal charges against you.”

I nod again, staring out the window.

A commotion from outside the office door commands both mine and Mr Macintosh’s attention. The door springs open to reveal a very flustered looking secretary, my sister, Sally and Kyle.

“Miss Evans, what-”

“Before you go ballistic, hear me out,” demands my sister. “I’ve brought you witnesses of the sexual harassment that prompted my brother to act out in this way. I’m not saying that he shouldn’t be punished, I’m just saying that you need to see the mitigating circumstances behind this act.”

Mr Macintosh sighs, his patience apparently wearing thin. “Miss Evans, now is not the time-”

“YES IT IS!” she cries, her hands coming down to slam on his desk. She takes a calming breath before continuing. “What happened here today was very serious, but an even more serious case occurred to prompt this. Travis Cunes sexually harassed Liz Parker and myself today. If you turn a blind eye to this, I swear I will bring hell down upon you. In Davis vs. Munroe it was legislated that school could be liable for showing deliberate indifference to peer-to-peer sexual harassment. Think very carefully about how you handle this, I have a room full of witnesses completely prepared to testify against you and this school.”

The look on Mr Macintosh’s face is like he’s been forced to eat a big bowl of shit. “You have my attention,” he finally grunts.

Isabel gestures to Sally who repeats her story, and then both Kyle and Isabel tell of how Travis made unwanted repeated sexual advances towards my sister, causing my ire to rise again. Apparently Kyle had been two lockers down and had heard the entire thing.

Mr Macintosh’s eyebrows crease into a frown. “And where is Liz?”

“She was so upset she had to leave school,” I whisper angrily, my fist clenching. “He degraded, belittled and insulted her. How would you react if it was your wife or daughter, Mr Macintosh?”

He expels his air slowly, his mind apparently reviewing what he’s just heard. “Travis is on a good behaviour bond for sexual harassment already. I assume you remember Tracy Shaw?”

We all nod, remembering the slander that Travis spread around the school about her being easy and putting out, mainly because she wouldn’t put out for him. None of us believed it, but Tracy ended up leaving, but apparently not without complaining.

“Max, if I can get Travis’ parents to drop all potential charges in exchange for Liz and Isabel not pressing charges, I may be able to finally expel him from my school and get you off with an in school suspension at the least. It’s the best I can do and I’m not guaranteeing it’ll work.” He sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose. “You’re a good kid, Max. You just used very poor judgement. We could have had him expelled with minimum fuss if you’d left the punishment to us instead of going vigilante on us.”

“I wasn’t thinking,” I mutter. God, isn’t that the truth? My brain just refused to work and was stuck on search and destroy.

“This is going to hurt your chances of getting into a good college, you realise?”

I nod again, not too fussed by that. I know what I did and I understand the consequences.

***


“Max... you know I don’t approve of violence, but from what Isabel tells me, it is understandable what you did. Although you could have handled it better.” Dad informs me after serving it to Mr and Mrs Cunes. He apparently alerted the hysterical parents to the severity of their son’s actions in the most complicated legal jargon he could come up with, to make it seem like their son was lucky he got beaten up compared to what the legal system could do to him. Dad also alerted them to the fact that should any legal action be taken against me that I would more than likely get off scot free, whereas Travis wouldn’t be so lucky considering his actions that prompted my... attack.

Mom’s been telling me for half an hour how lucky I am that this wasn’t taken more seriously and how I’ve compromised my future with this one foolish act and then doing 180’s and telling me that she’s proud to have such a moral son that will stick up his girlfriend and sister. Not that I knew about it at the time, but it does help to ease my conscience a little bit. Who verbally abuses someone’s girlfriend and then propositions their sister in the space of an hour? The freaking nerve of him.

I wish Mom and Dad would let me have the afternoon off from work, all I want to know is how Liz is doing.

***

Liz’s POV


Holy shit,” I yell out, as I glance at my cell phone, unable to believe what I’m reading.

“What?” asks Michael and Maria at the same time. It’s a quiet day at the centre, and all of Michael’s young art class have a school play on this afternoon, so we have some time to kill. Well, I have time to kill, Maria and Michael have been snuggling in the corner while I’ve been bored out of my brain.

“Max just put Travis in the hospital!”

“No way!” cries Maria, grabbing the phone from my grasp to read the text message from Isabel. “Holy shit!”

“How did he even find out?” I ask, wringing my hands together. This is all my fault. Max is going to get expelled all because of me.

“Gossip?” suggests Maria, “You know what high school can be like. I bet someone next to you heard and then they told someone and then they told someone and so on and so forth.”

“Oh my God! This is all my fault!”

“What’s going on?” asks Michael, confusion colouring his tone.

Maria rushes over to me and puts her arm around my shoulder. “No, honey, this isn’t your fault. Max makes his own decisions and Travis made his. And if Max knows what Travis said to you, then he can tell everyone that he had it coming. And besides, his Dad’s a lawyer, I’m sure he’ll be ok.”

I grab my phone and begin dialling his number, only to have it ring out. My phone buzzes with another message from Isabel explain that Max has had his phone taken away from him in punishment, but that he’ll probably come over to my place after work anyway. She explains that Max shouldn’t be getting into too much trouble, but that he’ll probably have an in-school suspension. I sigh a little in relief, a lot of my guilt gone, but still some remaining.

***


“Lizzy, Max is here,” calls my mother from the bottom of the stairs. I’m amazed that she’s still letting me see him, but I don’t think she’s really thought through what happened. All that she heard from my principal was that I had been sexually harrassed by a classmate and that they needed to talk to me in order to help my boyfriend who had beaten up said classmate. So, she and dad are Max’s biggest fans right now. Although they now know that Travis’s sexual harrassment was only verbal and he wasn’t actually coming onto me, they’re still appreciative of Max’s protection.

“Send him up,” I call down to her, my voice wavering a bit. I’m nervous, and I don’t know why. It could be that I’m afraid that he’ll blame me for what happened, but I think it’s more than that. It’s that I don’t know this violent side of Max. Frankly, I don’t really want to. What made me love Max was his gentle, caring nature, not because he was tough or overtly physical. I’m not going to lie; the idea of Max viciously beating up someone – regardless of what they had done to me previously – is horrifying to me. I have no idea how I’m going to react to him, and that’s more unsettling than anything I’ve ever encountered before.

I hear him pause right before my door, his foot steps halting before he comes into sight. My breath catches in my throat until a very forlorn and lost looking Max steps into my room and my apprehension vanishes.

He slumps on my bed and hold his head in his hands while he lets go of a shuddering sigh. I stand silently, watching his internal struggle with great pity. While Max may have beaten Travis, he’s not an intrinsically violent person. I should have known that he’d be struggling with it.

“I lost control today, didn’t I?” he finally remarks, more than asks. Even though I wasn’t there, I get the feeling he just really needs to talk about what happened. I wonder if he’s spoken to anyone else about it.

“Yeah,” I confirm, pressing my knees against his as I run my hands through his hair. “But in your defence, you were really angry.”

He snaps his head up and pulls away from my touch, looking away from me. “That’s no excuse, Liz! God, I was so angry, I just... wanted to kill him. I didn’t just want him dead, I wanted the satisfaction of killing him with my two hands... if they hadn’t pulled me off of him...” Max trails off as he contemplates what might have happened. “What kind of person does that make me? God... what am I?”

I place my hands back onto his head, letting them slide down his unkempt hair until I can cup his cheeks. “Listen to me. You’re Max Evans. Wonderful brother, caring son, exceptional boyfriend. You care deeply for those close to you and I consider it a privilege that you care so much for me that you would risk suspension or expulsion just to stick up for me. While what you did may have been a bit extreme, your reasons for it are totally understandable. You’ve got to stop punishing yourself, Max. You’re not a bad person.”

Max falls silent and his gaze falls to the floor again. I internally hope that Travis contracts herpes while I simmer with rage. If only Travis had kept his fucking mouth shut, my boyfriend wouldn’t be on a self-loathing spree right now. That guy sure has some skills, he managed to shatter my confidence and destroy Max’s peace of mind, all in one day.

Someone give him a prize.

***


A couple of hours after Max leaves, Maria begins her attempts to cheer me up. It’s basically pyjamas, ice cream and Never Been Kissed and She’s All That. She says her movie choices are random chick flicks, but I get the feeling she’s trying to send me subliminal messages to make me feel better.

Alex rushes in to my bedroom, his hair unkempt, his shirt askew and his chest heaving, clutching a pint of Ben and Jerry’s in his hand. “Ok,” he pants. “I know I’m like twenty years late for this, but I just got off the phone with Leanna who heard it from Marcus, who heard it from Tracy, who heard it from Shannon, who heard it from Alice, who was sitting near you in history, that Travis was a total asshole to you – which is no real surprise to anyone, that kid’s DNA is 90% asshole and 10% sex offender – and that you were really upset about it and then that Max and Travis got into a fight and I knew you’d still be really upset, so I grabbed some ice cream and ran all the way here.”

After that long, disjointed and belaboured speech Alex finally notices the spoons in our hands and half eaten cartons on the bed. His brows furrow slightly and he casts a disappointed glance down at the ice cream in his hand which he so dutifully carried all the way here.“Oh. I’ll just go put this in the freezer, shall I?”

I purse my lips considering Alex’s new carton, feeling a little sick of the flavour I have. “What flavour you got?”

“Uh, some chocolatey thing. I didn’t really look, I just grabbed, bought and ran.”

I hold out my half eaten carton to him. “I’ll swap you for some Triple Caramel Chunk.”

“Deal.”

Alex and I exchange ice cream as he takes a seat on the bed, grabbing the discarded spoon from Maria who is lying on the bed groaning and holding her stomach.

“Alex?” I smooth down wayward patches of his hair, evidence of Alex’s need to comfort me in my time of woe.

“M’Yeah?” he replies over a spoonful of caramel ice cream.

I smile at him. “I love you.”

He throws the spoon into the container and hooks his free arm around my shoulders, dropping a kiss on my head. “Right back at you, Lizzy. Right back at you.”

***
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Re: Hiding Beneath (AU, M/L, ADULT) A/N 30th October 08

Postby Rowedog » Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:10 am

Ok, so I know some of you really enjoyed Max’s violent spree and some of you thought it was really worrying, truth be told I was going for really worrying. I wanted a fight scene that wasn’t so enjoyable and that pointed out that Max had some serious issues. Oh, and for those of you who pointed out that Max got off too lightly and didn’t actually see any consequences, I always planned to have his punishment in this part. And this part is a little short, but I think it packs a bit of a punch. And, we’re bringing in Clarb people! Clarb has to be brought in for the good of mankind. Anywho enjoy!

Elci
Eve
BB
Trulov
Novy
Spray-
I would ask Laira, but you see, she regularly stops talking to me when I say something stupid, which is all the time, so that won’t work.
ShatteredDreamer
Destiny
Tequathisy
Caro-
Thank you for gifting Clarb to the masses. I hope I have used it in such a way that makes you proud. By the way? My face? Harshness... :(
Natalie36
RiceKrispy
Ashley-
Early birthday present! Yay for you!
Sarammlover- Thanks, and Alex gets a mighty big wake up call in this one.

Part Seventeen

‘Were you thinking of me when you kissed him
Could you taste me when you licked his skin
All the while I showered you with trust and promises
What I'm needing now is some sweet revenge
To get back all that I lost then
I gave you all I had to give, but I could never reach you’
Adrianne by The Calling


***

Max’s POV


I pause right before the front door of my house, debating whether or not to go in, or whether I should just sneak in through the window. I know that I’m going to be in deep shit for what happened today. I’ve let everyone around me down and have become what I swore I would never become, just like my mother. When we moved in with the Evanses I swore to myself that I would never ever raise my hand in violence at another person, and now look at me. Today I tapped into a rage that I didn’t know I had and scared the shit out of myself. Not to mention everyone around me. They’re not saying anything, but I can see the apprehension and wariness in their eyes and it kills me.

I close my hand around the door knob and turn, stepping through the doorway. As soon as the door closes, my mother calls out to me from the living room. “Max, come in here please, we need to talk.”

I exhale slowly then make my way into the living room, not wanting to face the disappointment in my parent’s eyes.

“Please, sit down, Max.” Dad gestures to one of the armchairs across the from the couch, and I sit stiffly in it, feeling sick from the thought of what’s about to happen.

“Max...” Mom pauses and I wince at the weary, confused tone in her voice. “What happened today was very, very serious. I don’t think I need to tell you how serious.”

“You don’t,” I mumble, my heart heavy with shame.

“And if your father hadn’t been able to handle it, the consequences for your actions could have been very severe and screwed up the rest of your life.”

I nod again, wishing that today had never happened. I can’t even look at Isabel, knowing that what she thinks of me will be written across her face.

Mom smoothes our her skirt, obviously feeling very uncomfortable in this situation. “Now, just because we got you out of trouble at school does not mean that you’re not going to be punished. You made a very, very grave error today Max that could have turned out much worse. As it were, Travis only suffered a concussion and a broken nose.”

I look up at my parents, unable to believe what I’m hearing. I felt sure that I’d done far more damage than that. It sure felt like it at the time. “What?”

“And severe bruising,” Mom amends. “But he’ll recover quickly enough. You got extremely lucky today, Max. You were fortunate that he was able to hit back at least once so that your attack seemed more like a fight and that once he had lost consciousness that your friends pulled you off fairly quickly.”

“From now on, you are to take anger management classes, you are not allowed to do anything outside of school hours without our express permission and you are certainly never, ever allowed to talk or go near Travis ever again. Your wages will handled by us and if you wish to buy something, you have to ask us and give us a detailed explanation of what it is and why you need to buy it. This will continue on until we feel that we can trust your judgement once again.”

I nod my head, still not able to look them in the eye. “Ok.”

Mom sighs, obviously hating the stance she has to take. “Max, I want you to listen to me, I know how distressed you are at the moment, but you’re not a bad person. I just wish you’d open up to someone about your past. Me, your dad, your therapist, God, anyone would do. You can’t keep running away from it Max. You bottle it up and then something like this happens.”

“It’s my problem, I’ll deal with it,” I bite out, my ire raised by them bringing up my past. I just want to move past it and never think of it again, can’t they see that.

“Like you handled it this morning?” counters Dad harshly, before hastily taking it back at once he sees the look on my face. “No, Max... I didn’t mean...”

“It’s fine,” I mutter, standing up to leave. “If you’ll excuse me, I have homework.”

I take the stairs two at a time, my eyes burning and my chest shuddering with the effort of holding back my tears. It’s only once I reach the refuge of my room that I let my tears fall. What the hell is wrong with me? I’ve never been more horrified with myself and my actions. And everyone has just forgiven me for it, something I really don’t deserve. And then I snap at my parents who were just trying to help me. God, who the hell am I and what am I capable of?

***

Michael’s POV


“Up a bit more! A little to the left - no! The other left - wait! Hold it there! That’s perfect, Michael,” sighs my ever demanding girlfriend.

“Are we done yet? Seriously, I can’t keep it up all day,” I whine, the strain already getting to me.

“So many jokes, so little time,” she smirks, flicking her eyebrows suggestively at me.

I roll my eyes at her as she hands me the hammer. “Wanna chuck in a “That’s what she said” and a “your mom” just for good measure?”

“Ok!”

I laugh at her and place the nail right above where she wants the picture I painted for her hung in her room. Not only did I paint it for her, apparently I have to hang it up too. I beat the nail in with the hammer, but just as I’m about to deliver the coup de gras on that nail with one final hit, my hand slips and I manage to smash the hammer into my thumb instead of the intended target.

I drop the hammer immediately and double over grabbing at the hand that had suffered the hit, wincing as it throbs. “Fuckin’... CLARB!”

Maria, who has been hovering around trying to ascertain if I’m ok, pauses and straightens slightly. “Clarb?”

Pinching my eyes shut, I groan whilst gripping my thumb tightly. “Shut up. I’m in pain.”

Holding up her hands in mock surrender, Maria shakes her head in bemusement. “I’m just saying... that’s weird.”

“You crack your thumb with a hammer and see what you come up with,” I grate back, straightening up as the pain lessens in my thumb.

“Want me to kiss it better?” enquires Maria as she cradled my large, calloused hand in her smooth, petite ones.

“Yes,” I reply petulantly, pleasantly surprised as she bends her head to fulfil the action.

I shiver as the tendrils of her hair brush against my hyper sensitive skin, the pain already deadening as her hot breath beats against the back of my hand. My eyelids flicker shut as I feel her soft lips press lightly against the already swelling skin of my thumb. I feel her gently turn my hand over and press another hot kiss to the centre of my palm. Slowly, I open my eyes and lock gazes with her, noticing the sweet vulnerability that shines in her eyes. Sweeping my uninjured hand down her soft hair, I once again marvel at my good luck. There is absolutely no reason why someone so small, fragile and beautiful would want to be with a clumsy brute like me, but yet, here we are.

I cup her cheek with my hand and kiss her softly, ever amazed by the response I get. That she would welcome my attentions still blows me away. I am never going to get used to this.

***

Isabel’s POV


I walk through the halls of West Roswell High and notice the people around me. People don’t think I notice them, they think that I think that I’m above them or something like that. But I notice. You think I don’t see the hundreds of eyes trained at me every day? You think I’m that self centred and oblivious? They made me this way, the people who stare. They scrutinise for any sign of flaw or error. I have to look perfect, act perfect, be perfect every day, or they attack. If I don’t conform, they’re there whispering behind my back, thinking that I can’t hear them. But I can. Every damn word. If I don’t talk to them I’m a snobby bitch. If I do talk to them, I’m condescending or I want something or have some ulterior motive. I cannot win.

I wish for once that I could just be Isabel Evans. A person allowed for once in her fucking life to be vulnerable. To have a zit and not have it broadcast around the fucking school. To just be left alone.

I move swiftly down the hall and nearly collide with the very person who has the one thing I want. Leanna McNamara. And she’s holding his hand.

“Why don’t you watch where you’re going next time?” she asks rudely, causing Alex to gape at her. He’s too good for her.

“Sorry,” I state, feeling anything but.

“Whatever,” she sneers.

“God, Leanna, there’s no need to be rude! She said she was sorry and she didn’t even crash into you.”

“Are you taking her side, Alex?” she asks in surprise, her eyes narrowing. “Because you might find yourself minus a girlfriend should you travel down that road.”

Alex’s eyes narrow and I can tell he does not like to be threatened. “I’m not sure I like who my girlfriend’s turning out to be, so maybe it’s best if I do go down that road.”

As predicted, Leanna pales then goes red in a matter of seconds. “Well, you can go fuck yourself! We are so through!” She cries out, storming off down the hall.

My smile fades as I catch sight of Alex’s pale face. “Did that just happen?” he asks quietly.

“Uh, yeah it did. I’m really sorry, Alex.” I’m sorry that he ever got mixed up with that conniving bitch. He deserves so much better.

“I-I gotta go,” he mutters, walking off leaving me all alone, staring at his back as he walks away. Always alone. It’s my curse.

***

Liz’s POV


“Liz?”

When I first hear it, it’s so faint that I almost imagine it’s the wind. Then it occurs again.

“Liz?”

I walk over to my balcony window and pull apart the blinds to come face to face with my best friend. He does not look good.

I quickly unlatch the window and let Alex crawl through into my bedroom.

“Is our front door broken?” I asks half heartedly with a hopeful smile trying to draw Alex into our easy camaraderie. He takes in heavy breaths as if he’s in pain or trying desperately not to cry. I think it could be a mixture of both.

He shakes his head and stares at the floor. “I didn’t want the questions from your parents, so I...” he gestures back to the window he just clambered through.

I take his hand and lead him to my bed and force him to sit down on it next to me. “Alex, what happened?”

He hangs his head in his hands, and when he speaks his voice is muffled, punctuated with the occasional sniff. “Leanna and I... we broke up this afternoon.” My hand flies to my mouth in sympathetic pain and I reach out to him. He holds his hand up to block me. “Just let me finish. I need to get it all out.”

I remain silent and still and wait for him to continue. He draws in a deep breath and takes a long moment to regain his composure. “Just before last period. She was mean to Isabel and I stuck up for her and... Leanna dumped me for it. So I went to her house after school, you know? Trying to patch things up or something, because it was such a stupid thing to break up over. And when I got to her bedroom...”

He trails off and takes in another shuddering breath, tilting his head back to let his red eyes stare at the ceiling for a while. I bite my lip in horrified apprehension. There is no way that this story is going to end well.

“You know Vincent Brook? The guy who likes to ram me into lockers when he sees me in the hall?”

I nod, my heart beginning a slow ache for Alex. I think I know what’s coming.

“He was...” Alex swallows as a tear slowly rolls down his cheek. “They were... fucking. They were fucking in her bed. Not even an hour after she broke up with me and she’s fucking some other guy. Who moves on that quickly?”

I shake my head, my need to console Alex warring with my need to cause serious injury to Leanna. Who would do something like that to such a wonderful guy? “Someone without a heart, Alex. Some callous, cruel, unworthy bitch who doesn’t deserve you.”

Alex remains silent, his head in his hands massaging his eye sockets.

“Fuck,” he says quietly after a while. “Fuck.”

He tries to stop the tears but the dam has broken, they’re flowing now.

“Fuck!” he yells throwing a pillow as hard as he can against the wall. It bounces off harmlessly, landing on the floor as his chest heaves. “Why? Why? What’d I do wrong?”

I shake my head and take him into my arms and let him crumple into my embrace. There’s nothing I can’t stand more than seeing a man cry. There’s something so painful about watching them try to be brave and tough when inside they’re dying. It’s that whole stupid ‘big boys don’t cry’ shit that’s ruining our men. Because they keep everything inside they don’t properly deal with their feelings. That’s why when guys hurt, they hurt harder and longer than girls do. They don’t have that emotional support network to deal with everything. I’m just glad Alex came to me instead of trying to deal with it on his own. One of the perks of having only female friends, I guess. No one calls you a pussy for crying in front of them.

As Alex shakes in my arms, I run a soothing hand down his hair and blink back tears of sympathy, cursing myself for not warning him about Leanna. He might not have broken up with her over my warning, but he might not have been so blindsided by this. Though, one thing is for sure, Leanna better watch her back once Maria finds out, because she’ll definitely be out for her blood. Nobody hurts Alex and gets away with it. Nobody.

***
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Re: Hiding Beneath (AU, M/L, ADULT) Pt 17, 15th November 08

Postby Rowedog » Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:37 pm

I have nothing to say in my defense except that I suck... and writer’s block. I had never really planned to have Max go all violent, but when I wrote Travis’ speech I knew how he would react and I knew that I’d have to write that fight scene. So I’ve been a little bit directionless right now trying to work out how Liz is going to react to Max, how everyone is going to react to Max and how to I can get them all back to the place that I need them to be in to move forward with the plot. It’s seriously melting my brain. I’ve purposely been avoiding writing M/L scenes just so that I can keep thinking about it.

Ashley- I had a long hard think as to how I would use clarb and I’m absolutely thrilled you think it worked.
Nitpick23
Destinyc
Eve
Tequathisy
Natalie36
Novy
POM-
Glad you like it! Be warned, I’m usually fairly crappy with updating.
Steph- Six? What’s wrong with Maria and Michael? They’re doing ok.
Caro- You asked I delivered. Consider me your best friend from here on in. Let’s just say I picked up what you’re putting down.
Me and my three baddies. I just got rid of one, so I guess I’m down to two. Maybe I could have Vincent have a more starring role and bring the tally back up to three.
Jan- Thanks, I loved Spin Me too. I actually had it finished before I posted it, which was a novel experience.
Trulov

Part Eighteen

'I'm gonna try anything to just feel better
Tell me what to do
You know I can't see through the haze around me
And I do anything to just feel better

And I can't find my way
Girl I need a change
And I do anything to just feel better
Any little thing that just feel better'
Just Feel Better by Sanatana and Steven Tyler



Max’s POV


Thank God it’s Saturday. I don’t have to go to school and face all those not so subtle stares in my direction. Maybe I’ll pretend to be sick, though God knows I’m a terrible liar and the timing would look fairly suspicious to my mother. I should probably just do it and get it over with.

I’m on my way to my last delivery, the Crashdown. I’m both dreading it and looking forward to it. While I crave seeing Liz, I’m still not sure where we stand. I’ve never been more ashamed of myself and to think that Liz might be feeling the same shame about her boyfriend kills me. If there’s one thing I couldn’t bear, it’s if Liz and I broke up, but I could understand it if she felt the need to. She probably doesn’t feel safe around me. I know I don’t feel safe anymore.

I take a deep breath before I enter the back door of the crashdown, the crate of vegies balanced precariously on my shoulder. I notice Liz’s back is turned to me as she checks out the roster for the upcoming week. I put the vegies down and cross over to her.

“Hey,” I say, but she doesn’t turn around. Either she didn’t hear me or she’s ignoring me. Please let it be the former though that seems highly unlikely at this point in time.

I place my hands on her shoulders to alert her to my presence and she spins quickly, her hands flying up, sending the contents of her glass onto my shirt. As the apple juice soaks through the thin cotton, it’s then that I notice the ipod that she’d been listening to. At least she wasn’t ignoring me.

“Oh my God, Max! I’m so sorry! I didn’t see you!” she begins staring at the rapidly growing stain with horror.

I throw her a wry smile and laugh at my predicament. “I probably should have announced my presence in a different way.”

“I always listen to it up way too loud,” she exclaims. “Come on, let’s go upstairs and I’ll wash that shirt for you.” She takes me by the hand and gives me no other option but to follow her.

“I’ll go get you one of dad’s shirts, take that one off.” She disappears and I comply with her request, unbuttoning quickly. I’m just grateful that that glass was half full or I might be changing my pants as well.

“Got you a shirt,” she exclaims as she enters the laundry room. She makes no move to hand it to me though, seemingly content to just stare at me. I attempt to hide my smile as I notice her eyes aren’t directed at my face anymore, and appear to be roaming across my chest. Judging from her expression she seems to like what she sees. “Liz Parker, are you checking me out?”

She blinks, shakes her head slightly as if to clear it and then quickly denies everything. “No! I was just checking to...” she trials off after a moment, her brow creased in thought. “Wait a second! You’re my boyfriend now, I don’t have to lie! I totally was. Now turn around so I can check out your back.”

I laugh but comply and shiver as she takes a step forward and gently runs her hands across my shoulder blades, down my spinal column until she reaches my mid back and then loops her arms around my middle, resting her head against my broad back.

“You know, there’s something very sexy about a man’s back,” she murmurs, her long, thin fingers gently tracing my abdominal muscles from their position at my front.

“Any man’s back?” I ask, my voice husky from her touch.

“I have a slight partiality for yours,” she informs me saucily.

The downstairs door bangs and we jump apart guiltily.

She clears her throat after a moment of awkward silence. “I suppose I should wash your shirt.”

“I suppose.”

She hands me the shirt and sets to washing the other. She quickly rinses it out and then places it in the drier. “So, how’d it go with the parents?”

I shrug, not really wanting to talk about it. “It was pretty bad, they’ve pretty much grounded me indefinitely.”

She gives me a piercing look. “Are you doing ok?”

I take my time before I answer. “I guess it’s just horrifying to think that this is something that I’m capable of. And I’ve let everyone around me down, I’ve let myself down. I’m scared of myself, Liz.”

She crosses over to me and takes my hand in hers, gently tracing over the cuts on my knuckles from my beat down on Travis. “I’m not scared of you.”

I’m relieved by her admission but deep down I wonder if she should be.

***


Liz’s POV


“I’m never dating again. Women suck.”

I sigh sadly and overlook Alex’s stab at my gender. “Alex, you just chose badly. Next time you wanna date someone, make sure that they have the Liz/Maria tick of approval.”

“You know who has the Liz/Maria tick of approval?” segues Maria none too subtly as she rolls over onto her side on my bed. “Isabel Evans.”

“Yeah right,” Alex scoffs, stuffing a handful of chocolate peanuts into his mouth, his back flat against my bed as he rests his head on my thigh. “Hottest chick ever has pick of all school and chooses the lanky computer geek. As if. Besides, I already told you. Abstinence is key. No dating for me.”

Maria strokes a stray piece of hair off of his forehead, just as perturbed as I am by his self deprecation. Why, oh why did Leanna choose to shit all over his heart and self esteem? “But what if you get horny and masturbation just won’t cure the itch?”

Alex is very concise in his answer. “Hookers.” He frowns at us as we laugh. “It’s a solid plan!”

I hand Alex a packet of sour worms when he finishes his peanuts. Who knew gorging on junk food worked for male heartbreak as well? “Oh, Al... give it a couple of months and then see how you feel, ok?”

“You know, you guys don’t seem as shocked by all this as I’d have thought,” remarks Alex, a querying look crossing his face. He raises up on his elbow and turns a little to look at us both.

Maria and I exchange alarmed glances. “Well we never really liked her very much. You knew that.”

“Yeah, but you didn’t know she was capable of this,” Alex looks at both of us wearing what must be very guilty expressions. “Did you?”

“Oh Jesus...” says Alex when we don’t respond. “You knew? Why didn’t you tell me?!”

We both jump a little, unused to Alex getting angry and yelling, he’s always maintained that he’s a lover not a fighter. “Remember when we said we thought she wasn’t a very nice person, Alex? How did you react?”

Alex is still for a moment. “I got a bit angry.”

I give him a look and he looks away guiltily. “You bit our heads off. I’d never seen you that angry. Imagine if we’d said, “Oh, by the way, Alex, we think your girlfriend is a slutty bitch from the depths of the earth.” Think that would have gone well?”

Alex sighs, then sinks back down onto the bed. “You’re right. I’m sorry, I just... I was so blindsided by this. I didn’t see it coming.”

Maria bites her lip and rubs his arm. “We’re sorry, Alex. If we’d have known that she’d been cheating on you we would have told you, you know that right?”

“Cheating on me? She did that after we broke up, it’s technically not cheating,” he mumbles despondently. I motion to Maria to stop talking from the other side of Alex but she doesn’t see me.

“Yeah, but it seems a little bit more premeditated than that. I mean, it’d be pretty hard to arrange a screw with some guy you barely know. The speed with which she did it suggests that this was already arranged before you guys broke up, like it was arranged at least the day before.” Maria stops her musing and glances up, catching sight of Alex’s horrified and devastated face. She quickly backtracks as she realises what she’s just said. “But, what do I know about hooking up with guys? I mean, maybe girls our age can just get guys to do them just like that. I mean, teenage guys are just walking penises, right?”

“She was cheating on me,” Alex whispers, his face a picture of devastation.

I rub his back gently all the while throwing Maria death glares, to which she winces. “Come on Alex, you don’t know that...”

“I caught her talking and giggling on the phone a bunch of times and she’d always hang up really quickly and tell me that it was nobody when I asked who it was. She’d have strange excuses for why she couldn’t see me too. Who visits their grandma out of town twice a week?”

Maria’s face pales as Alex covers his eyes with his hands.

“What?” I ask.

“Michael has really weird excuses for why he can’t see me. I know he’s got a lot on his plate, but sometimes his are really odd. Plus, I’ve never even seen his apartment.”

“Maria, we’d know if Michael had another girlfriend,” I tell her with an eye roll as I hug Alex. “Maybe he’s just ashamed of his apartment. You know he doesn’t have a lot of money.”

“Yeah, maybe.” She sounds totally unconvinced.

We all lapse into silence, Maria and Alex both sunk into quiet contemplation while I stare at my toenails. Operation Cheer-Alex-Up is a dismal failure.

***


“How is dodgeball a humane activity for us to engage in?” asks Maria, rubbing her head after a vicious head thwack from one of those nasty balls. Amanda Parkinson has a mean overarm throw.

We grab our stuff and make our way to the opposite end of the change rooms where the showers are situated.

“Beats me,” I reply, my attention caught by a group of gossiping girls near the showers.

One girl in particular is extremely loud. “I heard that Leanna dumped Alex so that she could screw Vincent without having to hide anymore.”

Maria walks over to the bunch of hapless girls and insinuates herself into their conversation. “You know what I heard?” Maria has their complete and utter attention and she’s loving it. “That it was actually Alex that ended the relationship because he found out about her VD and now she’s going around telling everyone that she broke it off just to save face.”

“Oh my God!” says one of the girls turning to her friends, her mouth wide and her eyes vacant. “That totally explains why she goes to the school nurse so often!”

They rush off to spread it around the school and Maria turns to me wearing the biggest shit eating grin. I laugh and applaud her success as she gives me a large, sweeping bow.

“You know the reason why she goes to the nurse so often is because she hates Chemistry and English.”

Maria laughs wickedly, jubilated by her own success. “I know, but with any luck, that reputation will stick like shit on a shoe.”

I don’t doubt that it will. Because of Leanna’s indiscretion with Vincent, people already believe that she’s a slut. No one will be very surprised by this piece of information, however fabricated it may be.

“That’ll teach ol’ margarine thighs to mess with our best friend,” exclaims Maria proudly.

“I’m not even going to ask where that nickname came from,” I sigh. It’s just better not to know with Maria.

***

Max’s POV


I head to my locker wondering just how many people are staring at me. My eyes are firmly locked on the floor in front of me and that’s where they’re going to remain. I don’t want to see all the accusatory and judgemental eyes watching me warily wondering when I’m going to have my next violent outburst.

“Hey Max!” despite my best intentions, I can’t help the reflex action. “Did you hear that Leanna and Vincent are doing it? She’s so easy. I wonder if I could get in her pants...”

Marko muses on his own thought and I take the opportunity to look around. No one is staring at me. In fact, I seem to be the last thing that’s on their minds. Is highschool really that shallow that my fight can be overthrown from people’s memories by something so stupid as two people hooking up?

“Hey man, you know what, maybe you could talk to her for me?”

“What?” I ask, not knowing how I could possibly help Marko’s quest to get laid.

“Well ever since your fight, you’ve become like the defender of the innocent and a hero. All the chicks are creaming their jeans for you. So all you’ve got to do is tell Leanna that we’re both sensitive dudes and I’m in like Flynn. Seriously, dude, you are going to get so much pussy, it’s not even funny!”

Marko holds up his hand for a high five but I’m lost in my own contemplation. Marko may not be the smartest dude but he usually has the politics of this school in his grasp. But I seriously doubt that he’s right about this.

“Marko, you really are an idiot,” says Kyle, a look of disgust upon his face. “Max is taken, he’s not going to slut around.”

At this point, a gaggle of giggling girls pass and wave to me, I raise my hand hesitantly back and they wander off excitedly discussing something.

“Come on man! Look at that! How can you pass that up?”

I ignore Marko and turn to Kyle. “Is he serious? People actually think I’m some sort of a... hero?” I have to swallow before I say the last word, this is possibly the most unjust thing that’s ever occurred.

Kyle nods. “Yeah. Apparently Travis had a lot of enemies. Namely the whole school. Everyone was afraid of him and you took care of that problem.”

“But... I beat the crap out of him!”

Kyle shrugs, clapping me on the shoulder. “Nothing that Travis hadn’t done a million times before, usually to people smaller and weaker than him. You’re everyone’s best friend right now.”

“This is insane,” I mutter, wondering why everyone isn’t treating this like they should be. They should be reviling me, not revering me. What the hell is wrong with these people?

“I know man, you’re going to get so much action!” exclaims Marko with a far off starry look in his eyes.

“Would you shut up?” I snap, not liking his automatic assumption that Liz would somehow get thrown over for the entire female population at school. “I have a girlfriend. One that I’m faithful to.”

Marko sighs, his dream of living vicariously through my exploits apparently shattered. “Aw shit man! All that possibility, just wasted on you.”

“I’m so sorry that meaningless sex doesn’t appeal to me,” I reply, wondering when he’ll go away.

“What’s wrong with you?” asks Marko seriously, only to be shooed away by Kyle.

“Goodbye Marko!” Marko thankfully takes the not so subtle hint from Kyle and I stand there in the middle of the hallway, ignoring all the people that now feel the need to talk to me. I don’t understand how they can just accept what I’ve done and somehow respect me for it.

Why aren’t I being punished for what I’ve done?

***
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Re: Hiding Beneath (AU, M/L, ADULT) Pt 18, 18th December 08

Postby Rowedog » Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:00 am

Yeah, I’m a shit bag. No other real excuse other than I suck. I always claim writer’s block so I won’t this time. This part was actually quite easy to do once I’d gotten past a certain point, the Isabel and Alex stuff. Usually it’s not so hard, but this time it was a total motherlicker. But, I like the flow and tone of the conversations between Michael/Maria and Liz/Max, so that helps. I’ve got to post and run, my internet bill is way high, but thank you all for your feedback, it's very much appreciated.

Oh, totally unrelated, but I rescued a ringtail possum today. Google it, it’s cute.

Keepsmiling7
Janetfl
Novy
Yayaliens
Steph
Laira
Eve
Tequathisy
Sunrise102
Destinyc
Lauren
Crazedearthgirl
Dreamon
Caro-
Why must you always be so violent? And why is it always my face? What is it about my face that offends you so much?
Shattered dreamer
Tessa1982


Part Nineteen

‘Why can’t I feel anything for
Anyone other than you?
And will you tell all your friends
You’ve got your gun to my head?’
Cute Without The E by Taking Back Sunday


Isabel’s POV


“Hey Alex,” I murmur as he stands next to me while we hand out food to the children in the cancer wing. “I’m sorry about Leanna.” I know he’s better off without her, but I can’t help feeling guilty that I was the catalyst for their break up. I hate knowing that something I did is causing him pain.

He shakes his head stiffly. “Don’t be. It was bound to happen sooner or later. I’m just glad it was sooner.”

He leaves abruptly and I hand out the last meal on my own before chasing after him. I find him in a practically deserted hallway sitting in one of the hospital chairs with his head in his hands. I sit next to him and tentatively reach out and touch his shoulder. He looks up at me with red, wet eyes and my heart squeezes painfully.

“Alex, I know this probably sounds trite or... stupid, but you will feel better eventually. She didn’t deserve a guy as wonderful as you.”

“Yeah right,” he snorts. “I was a fool to think I could ever keep a girl like her.”

“Alex,” I begin, my anger starting to rise as he somehow manages to put himself on a lower level than her. There’s no one lower than her. “She was nothing but a superficial bitch. She didn’t deserve you.”

I lean in closer to try and catch his eye, my hand still resting on his shoulder. He looks up at me suddenly and my stomach gives a quick twist. The way he’s looking at me...

My mouth goes dry as his eyes train heavily on my lips and his face looms closer to mine. His hand reaches up to cup my cheek and I stop breathing, I even think my heart stops beating. This could be the fulfilment of my most fervent daydream, because I think Alex Whitman is actually about to kiss me. When our lips finally touch, it’s like everything I’ve ever dreamed it would be. He’s so soft, so gentle. He treats me like I’m delicate, beautiful.

But the moment is over all too quickly as he reels back suddenly, leaving me bereft.

“Alex?” I call as he stands up shakily, a distressed look covering his features.

“I have to go.”

He rushes out of the hall and I sit there stunned, still feeling the warmth of his lips. I press my hand to my forehead as tears well. I just made the biggest idiot out of myself.

***

Liz’s POV


“You did WHAT?” yells Maria staring at our best friend in dismay.

He throws up his hands in defence. “I left. I had to!”

I shake my head, unable to believe what I’m hearing. “Did you even say anything to her, or explain the kiss before you left?”

“No! How could I explain what I didn’t understand myself?”

“Ugh! You asshole!” cries Maria, nearly reaching over the bench to strangle him. “You just left her there? You left her there thinking that she did something wrong? You probably made her feel like absolute crap, Alex!”

“I’m not ready, ok!” rebuts Alex forcefully. “I’m not ready to date or be with girls. I wasn’t ready for that kiss.”

“Alex, she really likes you. You need to talk to her and straighten this out. It’s not fair on her.” I sigh. “Why can’t you just go out with her and get over Leanna?”

“I wish things were that simple. Besides, even if I did stand a chance with her before, which I highly doubt, there’s no way she’d go out with me now.”

“You need to make this right, Alex,” grates Maria. I can’t help but smile a little at the irony of Maria’s protectiveness over Isabel. A couple of months ago and Maria would have congratulated Alex on being able to hurt Isabel. How quickly things change. “You have to go and talk to her.”

“I’ll do it tomorrow,” he says reluctantly, a look of shame on his face. I’m not sure if it’s from running away from Isabel after kissing her or from putting off talking to her like a coward. I suppose it’d be a combination of both.

He buckles under our combined glares. “I’ll do it right now.”

“Good boy,” I tell him. “I knew you’d do the right thing.”

“Make sure that she knows that it’s completely not her fault,” insists Maria. “Tell her that under normal circumstances you’d be honoured to date her but that you’ve just got your heart crushed.”

“I know,” grunts Alex, obviously not looking forward to what he’s about to do.

“I’ll take you,” I tell him, grabbing my coat and throwing it on over my uniform. “I wanna see Max anyway.”

“You don’t want to get changed first?” he asks me hopefully.

“Alex, the longer you put it off the worse it’ll be.”

He sighs. “Alright then.”

***

Isabel’s POV


I lay with my head on my pillow and consider never ever moving from there. I try not to let my mind run through what happened today, but I can’t escape it. Each time I think about it, a fresh bout of mortification slashes through me. I made such an idiot out of myself. And now Alex probably won’t want to talk to me. He probably thinks I’m a slut, prowling for guys on the rebound. Like mother like daughter. I let the soft cotton of my pillow absorb my tears as shame and guilt run through me.

I hear a tentative knock on the door and I mumble, “Go away, Max.”

The door creaks open and I contemplate throwing a pillow at him, but in the end I don’t. He’s only worried about me, like the fantastic brother that he is. I don’t deserve him or his kindness.

“It’s not Max,” a soft voice informs me and I lift my head from the pillow to turn and stare at Alex, standing in my doorway.

“Alex?” I ask, only then remembering that my eyes must be red and puffy and my hair a mess from the amount of times I ran my hands through it. I quickly turn away from him and scrub the remaining moisture from my cheeks.

“Hey,” he says uncomfortably as I turn back to face him. “Look, I’m sorry for what happened today, it was really unfair of me to do that to you.”

He’s apologising to me? What for?

“No, Alex, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. You were vulnerable and upset and I took advantage of you... I’m so sorry.”

I can barely look at him, but I manage to make out the confusion in his eyes.

“Isabel,” he begins, looking very confused. “I kissed you. The only person who deserves to be apologised to here is you. You were trying to comfort me and I kissed you out of heartbreak and sadness, which wasn’t fair to you at all. Then to top it off, I ran away right afterwards and... made you cry.”

He looks very ashamed as he says the last part.

“No, I shouldn’t have-”

“Shouldn’t have what?” he interrupts. “Tried to comfort me when I was upset? Said kind things to me when I was feeling pretty low as a human being?” he sighs and moves in from the doorway to stand in front of me. “You’re a good person, Isabel. Don’t let what I did today make you doubt that.”

I swallow, fresh tears trickling from my eyes. If only he knew the falseness of that statement. Who I am, where I’ve come from... is nowhere near good.

He smiles a little. “Besides, I think we both know that I don’t deserve you. You’re beautiful, inside and out. Nearly every guy in school would kill to have experienced what I did today. And were I in a better frame of mind, I would have been pretty awed by the fact that I kissed you, but it’s too soon after Leanna.”

He winces when he says her name. She doesn’t deserve to be causing him pain, she doesn’t deserve to have inspired such emotion in such a wonderful guy. What type of guy would try to comfort the girl who tried to take advantage of him at his lowest, most vulnerable point? The knowledge that he cares about how I feel is bittersweet to me, I’m elated by his concern, but it stings knowing that I truly don’t deserve it.

“Thanks for saying that, Alex.”

He shrugs, his face holding the barest hint of confusion. “Well, it’s easy to say it when you mean it.”

I nod, but don’t say anything. I’m not getting into an argument with him. I’d be stupid to look a gift horse in the mouth. If he’s decided to relieve me of all the blame – to no detriment to himself- then I’d be foolish to try and convince him otherwise. I’m too selfish, vainly holding onto the hope that one day this amazing guy would want me to be his. I shy away from the pain that this self awareness brings me. I like Alex too much to ever give up that hope, even if I know that I’m being selfish.

After a moment of silence he shuffles uncomfortably. “Right. Well, I’d best be off. I’ll take Liz home before your parents get back from work. I’m sure this isn’t how she’d like to meet them.”

We share an awkward smile and he exits, allowing me to slump back on the bed. And even though I know I shouldn’t, I allow myself to think of the kiss again, this time not feeling the mortification as much. I’m actually allowing myself to enjoy the memory, the feel of his lips pressed to mine, the heat of his breath, his large hand pressed to my face so gently. How sad that one of the best moments of my life quickly turned into one of the most painful and humiliating.

I suppose that’s just the way that my life is.

***

Max’s POV


“So, you know what’s going on with my sister?” I enquire offhandedly, hoping to give the impression of nonchalance. I’m pretty sure I failed, but I’d really like to know what’s causing her pain and to see if I could stop it somehow.

Liz rolls her eyes. “Subtle, Max.”

“That’s a yes,” I tell her as we skirt around some giggling girls who wave at us. Liz for some reason glares at them.

When she speaks, her tone is miffed. “Could you tell your fan club to stop blatantly hitting on you while I’m around? It’s really disrespectful.”

I frown at her. “Stop changing the subject.”

“Stop avoiding the subject,” she cries, exasperated. “How would you like it if a bunch of guys started winking and waving at me?”

I shy away from the mental image and the anguish it causes. I know that other guys will find Liz attractive, but the rationale doesn’t help me deal with the jealousy and downright fear that she’d leave me for one of them. “What, you think they were hitting on me?”

“Are you blind?” she hisses, infuriated by this more than I’d thought possible. She’s possessive and jealous of me. I like it a bit more than I should. Her anger shouldn’t be a source of comfort for me.

“Well, I don’t encourage them,” I remind her, trying to turn her anger away from me and on to its proper subjects. “I’ve already got my dream girl. I don’t even see them.”

Her scowl softens a bit into an adorable pout and her eyes roll a little. “You’re such a sap.”

I shrug, smiling at her. “You bring it out in me.”

And for a brief moment, when she smiles at me so openly, so trustingly, I feel worthwhile. I feel worthy of her love. Because if a girl like her can see something in me, then it must be there.

But the moment soon dissipates as my mind flicks back to Travis. Ahh, will there ever be a time when I can think of him and not feel the most crippling mortification and shame?

“I think you’re just trying to butter me up so I’ll tell you what’s wrong with Isabel,” she says a little smugly.

I think about it for a moment. “Actually, I hadn’t even thought of it, but now that you mention it, that’s a good idea.”

“I’m not going to tell you, Max,” she tells me, a smile on her face. “If she wants you to know, then she’ll tell you.”

“When did you become my sister’s closest confidante?” I mutter, wondering if I kissed Liz passionately enough whether she’d be dazed enough to answer any question I put to her. Probably not.

She gives me a rueful smile. “It’s not like she has many others.”

I consider her words. Isabel’s supposed “friends” are so shallow, vain and self involved that it’s no wonder she can’t talk to them. Whereas Liz – being the total opposite – would look like the more attractive prospect for my sister to talk to. I suppose I should just be thankful that Isabel has anyone to talk to, even if she can’t confide in me. “Well, she couldn’t have picked a better person.”

Liz slaps my arm and we continue on our way down the hall. “I said stop trying to butter me up.”

“Aah, she sees through my wicked plans,” I lament, not even bothering to correct her on her mistake. She refuses to take compliments, even though she’s more worthy of them than anyone I know.

“Not wicked, just transparent.”

I laugh and hold open the door for her and am greeted to a blinding smile. And I am once again on top of the world. There is nothing better than Liz Parker’s smiles, except perhaps her kisses.

***

Maria’s POV


“So... what do you want to do now?” I ask a tad suggestively. The boy may be sexy as hell, but he’s a little slow on the uptake. Numerous times have I hinted that it would be nice if we had a place where we could be alone. Somewhere private... someplace with a lock... and preferably someplace that my mother didn’t frequent.

His apartment was perfect for escalating our physical romance, the emotional aspects having speeded along far and beyond the other. Not that I mind that he hasn’t been desperate to get into my pants, but the impatient, petty side of me can’t help but wonder why. It’s not like I’d let him take me to his place and boff me on the couch. All I want is the security of getting to second base without the fear that my mother is going to walk in and freak out.

Am I attractive to him at all? There’s a large part of me that’s shrinking away from him, the rejection getting sharper each time he pushes back my physical advances. He hasn’t even tried to grab my boob yet.

And even with the hurt going on, there’s an even larger part of me that’s about shove him against the wall and attack him. There’s only so many hints a girl can give before she gets brazen.

“I’ve got a couple of early classes tomorrow, so I’d better get home early. I’ll call you tomorrow and maybe we can go for some ice cream or go see a movie. Depends on how busy my day gets.”

I grit my teeth in annoyance. I’m the girl here. I’m not supposed to be getting blue balls. He’s supposed to be the one that’s begging on his hands and knees here, not me.

“You know, I’ve never seen your apartment,” I comment a little petulantly, the annoyance getting to me more than I’d like.

“Hmmm.” His tone shows a lack of concern. “Did you finish that English report that was due on Thursday?”

“Yes. What’s your apartment like?”

“Boring and drab, mainly. Did you reach the word limit or go a little bit under?”

I refuse to cave to his insistent attempts to change the subject. “Twenty words under. You know, if you’d like I could help you decorate it.”

“If I had the money to do that, I’m sure I’d let you. Do you get marked down for that?”

“No, so long as it’s within ten percent of the word limit either side they don’t care.” I try to stop myself, but the words come out anyway. “Do you want to have sex with me or not?”

He jerks to a stop, about twenty yards away from my house and stares at me incredulously. “How did we go from your English paper to us having sex? Even for your mind it should be an enormous leap.”

I glare at him. “We weren’t talking about my English paper, we were talking about your apartment, which you won’t show me.”

“Still not making the connection,” he grunts throwing the car into park.

“It’s the only place we can be alone and you obstinately refuse to take me there.”

Michael sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose. “So because I’ve decided to respect you and take things slowly, you’re pissed off? Have I got this right?”

I look out the window to hide the pain that threatens to choke me as I speak. “It’s like you’re not attracted to me.”

“Hey!” His voice whips out, harsh and upset. “You know that’s not true.”

I turn to look at him, the pain having quickly turned to anger. “Do I? You’ve never ever instigated anything more than a kiss.”

“Fine, you want to have sex, let’s have sex. Right here, right now.”

He’s that angry that he’s actually reaching for his belt buckle. I must have hit a raw nerve. “Oh please, I don’t want to have sex right now. I’d just like it if we went a little farther, which you should know, I’ve given you enough hints.”

He groans. “Do you come with a manual? A code book, perhaps?”

I ignore his rude question, still miffed at him. “I mean, it’s like you’re hiding something from me.”

“What do you mean?” His tone is gruff, wary and I know in that instant that I’m completely right. My heart beats out of control in my chest. The suspicion that I haven’t allowed myself to think of since that day in Liz’s room.

“Like... maybe... another girlfriend.”

I hold my breath in the silence that follows immediately after I speak my most pained fear, it’s something I automatically shy away from. It hurts too much to think of it. I couldn’t handle him cheating on me. I know it’s melodramatic, but I feel like I’d die. He’s come to mean so much to me that I know I’d break down. And it’s not a feeling I relish.

His laughter rings loud and relieved. “Another girlfriend? Maria, you’re enough trouble for seven girlfriends. One more would kill me.”

I glare at him for his jocularity, but deep down I’m relieved. I know he’s hiding something from me, but I think I could handle anything but him cheating. Unless he’s a drug lord... or a pimp... or a drug user... maybe he’s homeless? That would explain why we’ve never been to his apartment.

“Are you a pimp?” I blurt out before I can really think it through, causing his laughter to come even harder.

“Yeah, they call me Sloop B. Sugadaddy.”

“Drug addict?” I enquire, waiting for his answer.

He lets out a plaintive cry. “I’m addicted to cough syrup! It’s my secret shame!”

I roll my eyes at his theatrics. “Drug lord?”

He pins me with a look. “Do you really think I’d be working so many jobs if I was?”

I shrug, he makes a good point.

“Homeless?”

He rolls his eyes. “Just because I haven’t taken you there doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I promise you, Maria, one day we’ll go to my apartment. But not until I’m ready.”

“And your secret?”

He smiles at me, a little sadder this time. “Not until I’m ready. But one day... you’ll know everything. And don’t go all Harriet The Spy on me, let me tell you when I’m ready to let you know.”

I groan, already feeling the impatience coursing through my body, but nod in agreement anyway. I unclick my seatbelt and twist in my seat, opening the car door. I stop when his hand touches my shoulder.

“Maria...”

I turn back to him and barely have time to process the action before his lips are on mine. Fire rips through me and suddenly his suggestion of right here, right now doesn’t seem too bad.

He pulls back a bit from me, his large hands still framing my face as he stares into my eyes. “And trust me, I want you. I’m just trying to do this right.”

I pull in a shaky breath and he releases me. I fumble my way out of my car, trying desperately to maintain some dignity when I hear his amused chuckle. Smug bastard...

I wave and head towards my house, watching him drive off once I’m safely inside. This secret he has, is going to eat away at me. I can just tell that this is one promise I’m probably going to break to him. I have to know what he’s hiding.

***
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Re: Hiding Beneath (AU, M/L, ADULT) Pt 19, 31st January 09

Postby Rowedog » Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:21 am

Jan
Novy
Eve
Keepsmiling7
Steph
Ginger
Destinyc
BB-
Clearly. I don’t think there’s been a fic where Michael has ever truly understood women, much less Maria.
Tequathisy- I think your method might be a bit too radical to actually work, but I’ll see what I can do about making them better. Eventually.
Sunrise102
Scorpio6


A/N: Just because I said so, a couple of months have passed and Max’s misdemeanour is in the past, practically forgotten by everyone. Alex has steadily gotten better. Isabel is pretty much the same as ever. Maria is still really curious about Michael’s secret, but has respected his privacy... so far.
I’m really trying not to drag out this fic too much. I really like fast paced fics and I really want this one to steam ahead instead of stagnating like I did a lot with NID.
Oh, and this part is Adult, much to my embarrassment. It needed to be done for purposes of the plot, but my cheeks are flaming like a mofo over here. Be very gentle, I was trying to capture the awkwardness and clumsiness of losing your virginity, so it’s not all poetic and flowery, just a warning.
And I couldn’t be arsed writing another ‘meet the parents’ dinner. I seriously could not be fucked.

Part Twenty

'Leaf by leaf and page by page
throw this book away
All the sadness all the rage
throw this book away
Rip out the binding and tear the
glue
all of the grief we never even
knew
we had it all along
Now it's Smoke
The things we've written in it
never really happened
All the things we've written in it
never really happened
All the people come and
gone
never really lived
All the people come have gone
no one to forgive
Smoke

here's an evening dark with
shame
throw it on the fire
here's the time I took the
blame
throw it on the fire

here's a secret
no one will ever know the
reasons for the tears
they are smoke

Those who say the past is
not dead
can stop and smell the smoke'
Smoke by Ben Folds


***

Diane’s POV


“Max, can you grab me some frozen peas?” I ask as Max good-naturedly trails behind me with a basket.

“Sure,” he replies with an easy smile, trotting off to the frozen goods section of the supermarket. I watch him walk off and smile happily at the enormous change in his attitude. He’s always been a serious child, one with the weight of the world on his shoulders. When Phillip and I first adopted both he and Izzy, it took him a whole year to laugh in front of us. A whole year. And when he did, he stopped abruptly, looking at us as if we were going to rebuke him for making noise. The fear on his face made me want to cry. But I just smiled at him, gently rubbed his shoulder and said, “That was pretty funny, wasn’t it Max?”

It had taken him three months before we could even coax a smile out of my son. Max was six years old going on forty five. Isabel had been easier to draw out. She had been a year younger when we had gotten them and she hadn’t been responsible for them both. Max had been taking care of his sister since before he could remember and his childhood had suffered dramatically because of it. He even refused to go into the year above his sister in school, because he didn’t trust anyone to take care of her.

But the day that Max had laughed, I wanted to weep. I wanted to weep with joy that Max was finally, finally coming back out of his shell. I wanted to weep with deep sadness that this tiny, amazing, little boy hadn’t laughed in years and had been forced to grow up well before his time.

From then on he made steady progress, until the first day of grade three when we transferred them to a new school. Max had come home with the biggest smile on his face and none of us could work the reason out of him. He just seemed to grow in leaps and bounds after that, attracting friends and developing in a way that a normal eight year old boy would. We began having sleep overs, baseball, basketball, football and cheerleading practice, birthday parties. Everything was so normal that we could fool ourselves into believing that our kids were normal and weren’t too scarred by their experiences.

We were fine until puberty hit. Max was the first to retreat. Isabel followed soon after. I think the ramifications of where they had come from hit them hard. Their therapist tried his hardest but getting them to open up was like trying to pry open a safe with a toothpick. They just became closed off. Not hugely, but to the extent that we could feel the difference.

That is, until Max started dating Liz Parker. Suddenly, Max was alive. He was excited about life. Isabel and I were roped into jewellery shopping for Liz. Max was asking us for advances on his salary so that he could buy concert tickets. He was staying out past his curfew, he was laughing, he was smiling. His grades had even picked up because they studied together at the library after school when he didn’t have practice.

He was finally Max again. And now I just cannot wait to meet the cause of his happiness. I cannot wait to meet the girl that has helped our family so much. Sure there was that fight that Max got into over her a couple of months back, but from what I’ve heard of the vile things he was saying I can understand why he got so upset and lost his temper and control. Obviously I don’t condone violence, but it would have been worse if Max’s fight had been sparked by something little rather than something as monumental as that.

His therapist has been working as hard as he can to get to the roots of his problems, but Max makes it extremely difficult by refusing to talk about his past or the fight at all. It’s his belief that the past should stay in the past, which is unhelpful to him considering that I believe his anger over his past had pent up and had snapped when he got into a fight with Travis. Max really needs to accept the past and acknowledge his anger before he can truly move on, but there’s no telling him that.

“Got ‘em,” says Max, strolling up to me. I blink, startled by his sudden reappearance. I must have been lost in my own thoughts for longer than I realised.

I grab a loaf of bread from the shelf next to me and we walk together as Max relates a story about one of his teachers to me.

I laugh as he does an impersonation of his science teacher drone but look up with concern when he stops suddenly. I watch him closely as he looks at something over at the fruit and veggie section, a slow smile spreading over his face. I watch in amazement, having never seen Max smile like that before. His entire face is just glowing.

“Mom, can you watch my basket?” he asks vaguely, not even waiting for a reply before he’s put his basket down and is striding over to that section.

I watch in abject amazement as he walks up behind a petite girl with brown hair and covers her eyes with his hands. The girl whirls around, her own smile as bright as my son’s and throws her arms around him, her bag of apples still tightly clutched in her hands.

Max returns the hug eagerly, his head resting on top of hers as they slowly rock together. This is not a hug of friends. I think I may have just spotted the elusive Liz Parker.

I pick up Max’s basket and lug both his and mine over to where they’re standing, still locked in an embrace. Max notices my arrival and reluctantly pulls away. He places his hands on her shoulders and turns her to face me. “Liz, this is my Mom. Mom, this is Liz.”

“Hi Mrs Evans it’s nice to meet you,” is the soft spoken reply of this tiny girl. I can see why he’s so smitten with her. She looks vaguely familiar to me though...

I try not to tear up when Max leaves his hands on her shoulders as reassurance and rubs them gently. My baby boy is just so loving, which is amazing considering his early years. “Oh honey, my name’s Diane and it’s nice to meet you too. I’ve heard so many things about you.”

She laughs nervously at this and shoots Max a look over her shoulder. “I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.”

I almost melt when Max presses a kiss to her temple. “Of course it’s a good thing,” he replies, his arms finding their way around her middle and clasping together in front of her stomach.

“Liz, you’ll have to come over for dinner one night, we’d love to have you over.”

Liz looks to Max over her shoulder again and he nods with a smile. “Oh, uh... sure! I’d love to.”

I smile broadly at her. Operation ‘Get To Know Max’s Girlfriend’ has commenced.

***

Liz’s POV


This was a terrible idea. Honestly, what was I thinking? Meeting Max’s parents? Could there even be a bigger recipe for disaster? They are going to despise me; I can feel it in my waters.

I take a deep breath and exhale and then knock on the door, preparing to get it over and done with. The door springs open and Max beams at me, practically dragging me through the front door.

“I’m so glad you’re here. Mom’s been practically gnawing at the walls with impatience, she’s so excited to have you over.”

I give him a weak laugh as he drags me through his house into the kitchen where the entire Evans family is congregated. Isabel must see my nervousness and sends me a reassuring wink and a smile. I attempt to smile back, but it must look so forced.

“You must be Liz,” says Phillip, extending his hand to shake mine. “It’s nice to meet you.”

“It’s nice to meet you too,” I managed to reply, even with my heart beating in my throat.

“You’ve already met my Mom,” says Max, gesturing to Diane.

She crosses the space between me and pulls my startled form into a tight hug. “It’s good to see you again, Liz.”

“It’s uh... great to see you too, Mrs Evans.” So far, so good. Hugging can’t be bad, right? Phillip’s still smiling at me, Isabel and I have already bonded and I’m getting hugged by his Mom. These are all good things.

“Call me Diane.” She pulls me over to the table and pulls out a chair for me before taking one across the table from me. “Now, let’s get to know one another.”

Oh. Crap.

Tonight is going to be very long indeed.

***

Max’s POV


Liz is very silent on the car ride back. I’m hoping my family didn’t completely terrify her with their enthusiasm. Isabel was excited that Liz was going to be able to come over to our house all the time because of this dinner, Mom was excited because she loves anything that makes me happy and Dad was excited... well Dad was mostly excited by the fact that I wasn’t gay and meeting Liz was just concrete proof he could see with his eyes. Dad’s not a homophobe – not by any stretch – but he really wants grandkids someday. I know it hurt him and Mom that they couldn’t have any real kids of their own, so he desperately wants me to be able to some day.

“Hey,” I say, my voice carrying over the soft music of the radio. “That wasn’t too bad, was it?”

She must hear the concern in my voice and she rushes to comfort me. “No! They were all lovely. Honestly. My mind was just...” for some reason she blushes. “Elsewhere.”

“Care to share?” I tease, wondering what she could have been thinking about that would cause her to flush so prettily like that.

She shakes her head. “Tell you when we get back to the Crashdown.”

“Ok.”

The ride there is very short, mainly because Roswell isn’t a huge town. It’s only ten o’clock and I’m allowed out till twelve on the weekends, so Liz and I have some extra time to kill, something I’m very pleased about. Dinner with my family was great, especially seeing how much they all liked Liz, but I really like having her all to myself.

She takes my hand once we leave the car and drags me into the back of the closed cafe. She spins and bites her lip, obviously nervous with what she’s about to say. I wonder why she’s nervous, unless... Oh shit, she’s breaking up with me. That’s why she was so distant in the car! She wanted to get out of the moving vehicle into her safe home before she told me she no longer wanted to see me anymore. Fuck. I can actually feel my heart caving in on itself. I don’t know how I’m going to handle this.

She licks her dry lips and my heart aches knowing that with what she’s about to say I’ll never be able to touch them ever again.

“So... my parents are away for the night.”

My head may have just exploded.

No, you dirty plebs, not that head, though it’s probably well on its way. I was referring to the fact that my brain just seized up. I honestly never truly believed that Liz Parker and I would ever be in anything like this situation and the possibility of the fulfilment of my most fervent desire has me shitting goddamn bricks. Not to mention the complete 180 from where I thought this was headed, how can my heart go from complete devastation to complete elation in five seconds flat?

“Are we...?” I ask, not even daring to finish off that question.

“Come upstairs,” she says with an enigmatic smile, taking my hand in hers and gently leading me towards the staircase. Fuck me, I think I’m going to explode before we even get to her bedroom. I’m going to have to do everything in my power to make this pleasurable for her, because once we’re actually... you know... making love – God, I can’t even think that without giggling with insane happiness - I prophesize that I’ll last all of five seconds.

We finally reach her bedroom and she locks the door behind her before coming to stand in front of me.

Well... this is awkward. I thought we were both supposed to be overcome with passion right now? Where’s the ripping off of each other’s clothes that I’ve read so much about? Where’s the blinding heat that makes us forget everything but the need for pleasure? ‘Cause we seriously could use some of that right now. We both seem so nervous that this idea may have stalled before it’s even really taken flight.

“Umm...” says Liz, who obviously had hoped that when it actually came time to do it we’d just instinctively know what to do. “Should we... uh... I don’t know... takeourclothesoff?”

The last half of the sentence is so rushed that I barely understand it.

I nearly laugh. But I know that would mortify her, so I pull myself back. I suppose I should take control of this situation. Now if only I knew what the hell she was expecting. “Maybe we should just kiss first and see where that takes us?”

“Yeah,” she breathes, relieved that I seem to have a better idea about what we’re going to do. I cup her cheek with one hand as I wrap my other arm around waist, pressing her close to me and slowly lower my lips to hers, relishing in that indescribable feeling that only she can bring about.

We somehow make our way to the bed and I begin the nerve wracking task of undressing Liz Parker. To think that it’s come to this, after all of my wishing and hoping I’m actually going to be able to see Liz Parker naked. My hands begin to shake as I reach for the hem of her shirt.

My hands slowly ease my way up her sides, taking her shirt with me as I kiss her slowly, trying to burn as much of this to my memory as I can. I never ever want to forget this. She sits up and raises her arms allowing me to gently pull the shirt off over her head. It’s such a strange feeling to be undressing someone else, but strangely heady too. I feel so goddamn powerful because for some insane reason, Liz Parker has allowed me to make love to her.

My eyes widen as I see her shirtless, wearing only a lacy bra. I have a sudden burning desire to know if her underwear matches. I drop to my knees in front of her as she sits on the edge of the bed and I press a kiss to the tender skin in the valley of her breasts. She shudders and trails her fingers through my hair and exhilaration courses through me. She liked that, I’m touching her and she likes it. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it.

My fingers run across the skin above her waist, leaving her time to pull away if she wants to stop. I can’t believe she doesn’t want to stop. My hands are still shaking as I reach for the top button of her jeans. I give it a tug and it pops open, revealing a small amount of skin to me. Another tug and another button opens. More skin. Finally the last button is undone and I gently tug her jeans over her hips.

And what do you know? Her bra and panties do match. I’m almost over come by the sight, I barely notice it when Liz begins to unbutton my shirt. She pulls it off over my shoulders and I shiver as she rises from the bed to press a kiss to my chest. I may not have noticed the unbuttoning of my shirt, but I sure as shit feel the hands on the buckle of my belt. I press my face to the side of her head as my hands clasp around her back. I’m barely breathing right now. I’m almost afraid to breathe, as if one sharp movement will bring her to her senses and this sensory haze we’re in will be broken. In move that mirrored my previous one, she tugs my jeans off over my hips and down my legs and I step out of them, feeling very exposed in only my boxers. I bend and press a kiss to her neck before hungrily kissing her. The sight of her in her underwear is far too much for me, I have to touch her.

We fall back on the bed, hungry to touch the newly exposed skin that we’ve uncovered. We acquaint ourselves with each other’s bodies, lines and curves that had only been hinted at underneath clothes are now brought into sharp focus and I feel that I could lay like this forever with her, just touching her.

My hands curve around her back and as swiftly as I can, unhook her bra. The loose article of clothing slides down her arms, revealing her breasts to me. I stare in amazement for a moment before taking her back into my arms. I don’t even need a longer look, because I know that the sight of Liz’s bare breasts will forever be burned into my memory.

I let my thumb brush over her nipple and I pause as a memory that I thought I’d repressed washes over me.

‘Mommy?” he calls out, as strange noises reach his ears. He’s just woken up from his nap and he doesn’t know what’s going on. He reaches up for the door handle and lets himself into her bedroom, where the noises are coming from.

His eyes widen in fear as a large, naked lumbering man viciously thrusts himself up and down on his equally naked mother.

He stands there shocked for a moment, not understanding what’s going on. He doesn’t understand some of the words coming from the man’s mouth. He’s scared for his mother, that man looks like he’s hurting her.

“Yeah, you like my cock in you, you little slut?”

His mothers grunts along with the man and Max is frozen in fear, but has never wanted anything more than to run away.

“Yeah, fuck me. Fuck me so hard.”

It’s then that the man notices his presence. He sneers at the little boy in his raggedy pyjamas, clutching a teddy bear that a kindly neighbour donated to him.

“Well, looky what we have here.” The man doesn’t stop thrusting as he speaks to Max. “A little peeping Tom. You want to join in? Have a little fun with Mommy and me?”

Max’s mother laughs like it’s the funniest thing she’s ever heard. The man squeezes his mother’s breast and rolls the nipple towards Max tauntingly. Max quickly retreats back into the tiny bedroom he shares with his sister. He locks the door.


“Max?”

I blink and find myself looking into the worried eyes of my beautiful, pure and perfect girlfriend.

“Are you ok? What just happened?” she strokes my cheek and I close my eyes and lean into her hand, needing some reassurance and to distance myself from that God-awful memory.

“I’m ok, I just... can you give me a second?”

She nods and I bury my face into her neck, breathing in her sweet scent for a while before pulling back to resume our previous activities. I refuse to be a victim here. What I’m about to do is so far removed from what occurred in that room that day. What happened in that room was cheap and disgusting, but what I’m about to do with Liz will be beautiful. Because it’s done with love.

I won’t let this thing control my life.

I rear back and take her lips between mine, tugging on her bottom lip gently with my teeth before moving in again to kiss her. I block that memory and send it back into the darkest recesses of my mind where it belongs. I will not think about it again.

I shiver as Liz’s hands stroke up my back, such a simple touch sending simultaneous waves of heat and electricity through my body. My hands slide higher up her legs, hesitantly at first because I’m not sure how this motion will be received, but when she squirms underneath me and begs me to touch her, my hand moves a lot steadier.

She sighs, a mixture of relief and pleasure as my hand reaches the apex of her thighs. Shit, I wish this thing came with an instruction booklet. Penises are pretty straight forward, the ol’ up and down motion works everytime, but vajayjays? Not so simple. I try to remember anything sex related that will help me, but eventually I give up and start to explore.

I hear a moan.

I am buoyed by my success.

I repeat the action.

Another moan.

I am a sex God.

I spend about ten minutes “exploring” until Liz’s cries become too fervent for me to ignore. Knowing that she’s close, I move up her body and reach for the condom. Liz protests until she sees what I’m doing. The way I figure it, I’m incredibly close to ‘gasming just by looking at her, so if she’s close and I’m close, then by some skilful timing by me, maybe we can both get there together. As I position myself above her, I glance down to see her flushed, glowing face. God, she’s just so incredible, so fucking innocent and wanton at the same time.

I don’t deserve her.

I push in hesitantly, groaning at the sensation, waiting for me to hit her barrier. There isn’t one.

“Liz... uh, where’s your... uh?”

“Hymen?” she gasps, her eyes wide as she looks down to where we’re joined. “Broke it... while riding... my bike.”

I let out a relieved puff of air. I wouldn’t mind if Liz wasn’t a virgin, but I’d rather that we were both experiencing this together for the first time.

I notice the slight grimace on her face and freak out. “Are you ok?”

“It’s a little... uncomfortable, can you just give me a moment?”

I nod, bite my lip and think of unsexy things.

It doesn’t work.

I swear, I’m going to pull a Jason Biggs in a second and blow without even having done much of anything. My eyes widen as I feel her relax, well, that was a revelation.

I begin to move within her, amazed by the sensation. Shit, this feels unbelievable.

I’m drawn back to my task at hand as I hear Liz let out a moan. Running a hand down the valley of her breasts, I slowly make my way down to her small bundle of nerves and begin to gently rub in rhythm with my strokes. She’s so close right now, it’s such a power trip. She’s bucking against my hand and making these fucking sexy gasping noises. All it takes to tip her over the edge is for me to increase the pace and pressure of my rubbing for a couple of seconds. Her back arches and she reaches for me wildly, her hands digging into the flesh of my back. She clenches around me and that’s all it takes for me go over too.

Holy shit. I never thought it would be like this.

***
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