Under One Roof (M/L Adult) ch 21 9-15-10 [WIP]

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Under One Roof (M/L Adult) ch 21 9-15-10 [WIP]

Post by destinyc » Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:00 am

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Title: Under One Roof
Author: destinyc
Rating: Adult
Pairing: Max and Liz
Disclaimer: I own nothing of Roswell nor any songs or brands mentioned.

Max and Liz are high school classmates both left devastated by the loss of a parent. When Jeff Parker and Diane Evans meet at a support group for surviving spouses, their courtship and marriage suddenly bring Max and Liz together as step-siblings. Max and Liz develop a deep affection for each other, but are forced to hide their feelings as their love grows into something forbidden.
***

“Hello everyone…I’m Diane Evans, and I lost my husband three years ago,” Diane introduced herself and glanced round nervously at the circle of men and women seated in the padded folding chairs.

“Hi, Diane,” came the warm though oft-repeated reply.

“So, what brings you here today, Diane?” the group leader gently inquired. Diane noted that his adhesive name tag read ‘Stan.’ The other participants turned their attention to the newcomer.

Diane took a deep breath before beginning.

“Well, I usually don’t talk a lot about my problems—I just wasn’t raised that way, you know…”

Understanding nods ran round the circle and slightly wry smiles crossed many lips as the other members of the Widows and Widowers Support Group related to their own similar feelings.

“And it’s been three years since I lost Philip, but it seems that some new difficulty rears its ugly head every day,” Diane took a deep breath before continuing, “and I’m trying to deal with all the demands—the bills, the mortgage, trying to keep my daughter in law school, making sure my son doesn’t take too much on his shoulders…” Diane heaved a weighted sigh as she started to explain all that she was facing on her own.

“What about you, Diane? What do you do to take care of yourself?” Rosalyn, a full-figured African-American woman sitting beside Diane asked.

Diane stared out into the middle of the circle and held her breath as she considered the question.

“Nothing, I guess,” she scoffed self-deprecatingly as she considered the luxury of tending to her own emotional life.

“At first, all my friends were very supportive, bringing food and flowers and such,” Diane recalled the days after Philip’s death. “But, you know, they were all part of a couple, and I wasn’t anymore,” her blue eyes glazed with tears, and her voice cracked with emotion. The woman sitting next to her took Diane’s hand and patted the top of it as a comfort.

“But I told myself that my kids would be ok,” Diane sucked in a determined breath, “that their lives wouldn’t change. Isabel is a couple years away from finishing her law degree, and Max—he’s a senior this year—he’s working so many hours, and he has college coming up next year,” Diane began to cry in earnest as she voiced her fears for her children’s futures.

Tears rolled down her pale, delicate cheeks as she continued to share her story.

“I’ve just been trying to keep their lives as normal as possible, but I don’t know how long I can do that,” Diane dried her eyes with a crumpled Kleenex and smiled embarrassedly when she realized all the personal thoughts and feeling she had just shared with a group of strangers in the rec room of the United Methodist Church.

A dark-haired man spoke from the other side of the circle, “I know what you mean. You can try to fix everything and be mom and dad rolled into one, but, I agree, most days you fall short,” he sighed a deep breath and met Diane’s wry smile. “I’ve got a daughter your son’s age—Liz, and she’s so bright and so sweet, so hardworking, but, yeah, even after four years, she’s still suffering,” Jeff Parker took a deep breath as he looked down at the floor, voicing his fear that he could never fill the void that was left by Nancy’s death.

“I think that those of you with children need to keep in mind that it is impossible for you to keep every facet of their lives the same,” the group leader offered. “ Teenagers and young adults have the capacity to understand the changes that are inevitable when a parent dies, like moving out of the house where they grew up or altering their plans for college, for example. They may not always like it—but they can learn to cope with those new changes in their lifestyle,” the tall, lanky, balding man replied as he wound the session to a close. “I have some resource material for children’s services on the table by the cookies. You can pick up those on your way out if you like.”

Muffled sounds of conversation and laughter sounded from behind the closed double doors.

“It sounds like the youth group is ready to practice their skit for Sunday. We’ll meet again next week, same time,” Stan announced as everyone shuffled from their seats. “Have a good week everyone—call if you need anything,” he turned to remind everyone before pushing open the heavy wooden doors.

“Hi, Diane—Jeff Parker,” Jeff offered his hand to Diane as the other group members made their way to the exit after introducing themselves to her.

“Nice to meet you, Jeff,” Diane shook Jeff’s strong, calloused hand. “I think we may have met at last year’s science fair.”

“Oh, that’s right. I think Liz did some project on cellular abnormalities that I couldn’t begin to understand,” Jeff chuckled. “I think your Max is good friends with Michael, one of my cooks,” Jeff noted.

“Yes, yes they are,” Diane concurred, nodding.

Jeff’s nervousness seemed to increase as he fiddled with his collar.

“We sort of ran out of time back there,” Jeff glanced back at the now-empty circle of folding chairs. “I closed the Crashdown early tonight, but I could put on a pot of coffee, and I think I have a couple pieces of pie leftover from today if you’d like to talk.”

Diane stammered nervously and glanced round the room, uncertain as to how she should respond.

“Just to talk,” Jeff insisted, as he feared Diane may have thought she had just been propositioned for a date.

“Well, do you have any of that lovely blackberry pie left?” Diane smiled after she decided there was little harm in joining Jeff Parker in his diner for coffee and dessert.

“Men in Blackberry?” Jeff playfully questioned. “I always have a slice or two available,” he smiled warmly.

“Then I will meet you there,” Diane decided.
Last edited by destinyc on Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:48 pm, edited 20 times in total.
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Re: Under One Roof (M/L Adult) ch 2 6-27-09

Post by destinyc » Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:44 pm

Abby-Will do!
Eve-Thanks so much. I do hope that Diane is very relatable here. It is a very difficult position to find yourself in, I’m sure.
Sara-Max and Liz have endured much before the story begins. They will find solace in each other later on.
Jan-I’m so glad you found it. I wasn’t trying to keep it a secret or anything. Once I hit on the idea-I couldn’t wait to get started.
Kris-More of the Diane and Jeff dynamic coming up right away.
Ginger-Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy Jeff and Diane’s story as well as Max and Liz’s.
Carolyn-Yes, things (eventually) will get very interesting.
Cocogurl-More coming up right away!
Alien_Friend-Hope you enjoy this next chapter!
Carrie-The rating is not an exaggeration—I promise! I’m right there in the gutter with you, sweetie!
Amanda-They certainly will find a common ground.
Behr_able-Oh the possibilities! Of course, you know I can’t be a good girl when it comes to Max and Liz.
AlysLuv-I’m chained to the computer as we speak—more on the way

“So, three years…” Jeff began as placed a slice of blackberry pie in front of Diane Evans, grabbing two rolled packets of silverware from behind the counter before collecting his own small plate and slice of pie. Diane unrolled her silverware and used the spoon to stir the creamer in her coffee.

“What made you finally decide to come to the meeting?” Jeff asked as he sipped his black coffee.

“Um,” Diane started after taking a sip, “my lawn,” she succinctly explained with a smile.

“What?” Jeff chuckled as he cut away a bite of pie.

“My son, Max--” Diane explained, “A few days before Philip passed, he was speaking with Max and told him he was going to be ‘the man of the house’ now,” Diane took a drink of the warm coffee to clear the lump in her throat as she recalled the painful conversation, “and the minute he said it, I just cried—I knew Max would take his words to heart, and of course, that’s exactly what he did. So every time he sees me with a stack of bills or overhears me on the phone with the mortgage company, he goes outside and mows the lawn,” Diane chuckled sadly. “I’m down to a quarter inch, and I’m afraid he’ll soon be mowing more dirt than grass,” she smiled.

“He sounds like a good kid,” Jeff commented.

“He really is,” Diane sighed, “I’ve tried to keep so much of my troubles from him, but he is very perceptive for a teenage boy,” Diane took another long sip from her cup.

“Are you working anywhere now?” Jeff inquired, hoping he wasn’t intruding.

“I’ve been trying to find something,” she explained, “but I have been out of the workplace so long, it’s been really tough. Of course Philip had insurance, but his medical bills were ungodly—I’m sure you understand that—“

“Oh, yes, I do,” Jeff concurred, nodding in agreement over the not only emotional but also financial devastation a prolonged illness can bring.

“That was just the tip of the iceberg, though. He had also taken a case on contingency—a family of four injured pretty severely by an oncoming semi, but the insurance company was trying to shortchange the victims because they were immigrants. So Philip fronted the expenses for much of their care, certain he would recoup that money after the case was settled. Of course, after Philip got sick, they had to find another lawyer, and we were stuck with those bills as well.”

“Wow, that is certainly a lot to take on your shoulders,” Jeff sympathized as he took another bite of pie.

“And Isabel, she has taken out every student loan she can, but it’s still not enough. And if I can just get her on her feet, that will be a huge load off my mind. Then, I’ve got Max who will be ready for college next year,” Diane laughed wryly as she noted how one concern followed the next.

“Every time that Mr. Davis calls, Max leaves to go work an extra shift. I’m afraid that with all the hours he’s working that his grades will slip, and he’ll lose his scholarship money,” Diane shook her head, indelicately taking a large bite of pie, grateful for its comfort.

“I know what you mean,” Jeff pointed with his crusty fork, “Liz won’t even cash her checks—she squirrels away all her tips for her college fund. She’ll close down the restaurant, even though I’ve told her to go on upstairs, and then she’ll start studying when she should be going to bed,” Jeff shook his head. “Hell, she doesn’t even sleep once she does go to bed,” Jeff breathed out, exasperated at his inability to help Liz with her problems.

“Whoops, I guess I shouldn’t have mentioned that,” Jeff grimaced at the private information he had just shared.

“I promise—my lips are sealed,” Diane assured, grateful that the Jeff had elected to share some of his difficulties as well.

“Well,” Jeff looked around making sure that Liz was not in earshot, “she has trouble sleeping—nightmares, insomnia—that kind of thing. And I have sent her to the school counselor, doctors—she won’t talk to any of them. She’s a very private person.”

“Mm, Max is the same way. Very quiet—to himself—internalizes everything. And I’ve tried counselors, even made him keep a weekly appointment with that Topolsky woman, but I don’t know that it does any good—he just keeps mowing that grass over and over again,” Diane sighed finishing off the last of her coffee. Jeff went behind the counter for the coffee pot.

“Well, no grass here,” Jeff chuckled, “Plenty of food to serve, tables to clean, that kind of thing, though.”

Diane laughed with Jeff at the similarity of their circumstances.

Diane sighed deeply at the release their conversation had brought her, smiling for the first time in a long time, it seemed.

“Diane, I hope I’m not being too forward—please stop me if I am,” the nervousness Jeff had experienced earlier in the evening seemed to return, “but would you like to get a bite to eat after the meeting next week, something a little more substantial than pie?” he offered. “Just so we can keep talking, you know. An hour for the problems of twelve people is sometimes just not enough,” Jeff gushed, uncertain as how to proceed. Before tonight, it had been over twenty years since he had asked someone on a date. Wait—was this a date? He wasn’t entirely sure.

“Well, I guess we could get something to eat,” Diane decided, her eyebrows rose as she rationalized her decision. “I think that would be ok,” she blinked a couple of times as she tried to decipher the situation. Had she just been asked out on a date?

“Senor Chow’s sound good?” Jeff asked, thinking that Diane Evans would appreciate something a little classier than an alien-themed dinner.

“That sounds lovely,” she agreed. Looking at her watch, she noted the time, “Oh my, I’d better get going. Max is liable to call Sheriff Valenti if I don’t make it home soon,” Diane laughed lightly.

“I’ll walk you to your car,” Jeff rose and helped Diane from her chair, his hand falling to the small of her back as he led her to the door.

Diane blushed a little at the gesture. It had been three years since she had been touched by a man, not including hugs from her son, and this one was startling, but strangely pleasant at the same time.

Jeff opened Diane’s car door for her as she slid into the driver’s seat.

“I’ll see you next Wednesday, then,” Jeff smiled warmly as he closed the door for her.

Diane nodded and waved as she started the car and headed for home.
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Re: Under One Roof (M/L Adult) ch 3 6-29-09

Post by destinyc » Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:10 pm

Monica-Thanks so much! Glad you like it! :D
Kris-Lots of Max and Liz interaction in this chapter…I promise. :P
Eve-Diane does have some fairly pressing problems to deal with. But I do hope people see Jeff and Diane as a real couple—this relationship won’t just be for convenience sake. :wink:
Jan-Liz tries so hard to keep on top of things and control her life that she doesn’t cope with her emotional needs very well—which manifests itself at night. We’ll get a heads up in today’s chapter. :wink:
Carrie-Thank you so much. I see Diane in many people I have met over the years, and the decisions she will make in the upcoming chapters will be some difficult ones. I hope you like the Max and Liz chapter today! I hope it rings true as well. Yeah, I’m a sucker for the small of the back thing, too.
I really do want Jeff and Diane to come together plausibly—common beliefs, common interests, etc… Their story will have to move a little faster than Max and Liz’s story, though. :wink:
Behr_able-We see a little bit of Max and Liz today (nothing porny, yet—still too early) :lol:
Keepsmiling-Glad you’re enjoying it! :D
Abby-Ok-so I read your feedback to my husband—he laughed and agreed. (Hey, that’s one reaon I’m posting so fast!) :wink:
Alien_Friend-We’ll see that again today as well with Max and Liz. :D

****
Chapter 3
One week later
“Hi, Max, just have a seat anywhere—I’ll be with you in a minute,” Liz called out to her classmate as she hurriedly clipped a ticket to the carousel at the pass through window.

“Thanks, Liz,” Max responded softly, taking a booth situated against the cartoonishly-painted wall. Liz went behind the counter, scooped a cupful of ice, then filled the glass with soda. Her silver antennae bobbled as she strode over to the booth.

“Cherry Coke, right?” Liz questioned, placing the glass and a straw from her apron down on the table at Max’s affirmative nod.

“I haven’t seen you in awhile—I mean besides at school,” Liz queried, wondering why Max no longer came in for an afterschool alien blast or piece of men-in-blackberry pie.

“Yeah, well, I’ve been trying to save money for college next year,” Max tried to explain his absence from the popular hang-out.

“I totally understand that,” Liz nodded, acknowledging the fact that most of her tip money went straight into her bank account. Nancy’s illness and death had taken its toll on the Parker family finances as well.

“But I get home from work tonight, and on the table was a ten-dollar bill and a note telling me I was supposed to come here and get something to eat,” Max explained, “My mom’s at some meeting at the Methodist Church, I think,” Max explained off-handedly.

“Yeah, that’s where my dad went too, if I remember right,” Liz’s brow furrowed as she noted the coincidence, then shook it off as inconsequential. “Huh—well, I’m due for a break, and I haven’t had dinner yet, do you mind if I join you?” Liz was not relishing the thought of eating alone, seeing as Michael and Maria had the night off and were spending it alone at Michael’s apartment.

“Sure,” Max indicated the empty seat across from him with upturned palm, “It’d be nice to have some company.”

“Will Smith and Saturn rings?” Liz verified. She smiled at Max’s nod. “I never forget an order,” she smiled.

Walking back to the pass through, Liz clipped the green and white slip in place, “Two Will Smiths and two Saturn rings, please.”

“Coming right up, Lizzie,” Jose’ responded in a thick accent.

“Agnes, I’m taking my break. Can you cover fourteen for me?”

“Sure,” the weathered waitress conceded as she shoved her pack of cigarettes back under the counter.

Liz poured herself a Cherry Coke and then joined Max, sliding into the booth seat opposite him, pulling a straw from her apron and tapping it against the table to release it from its paper before taking a sip.

“Mm, missed you in bio today,” Liz scrunched her face in concern over Max’s absence. “Seligman filled in for you, so, yes, I also was privy to the fact that our science teacher had garlic chicken for lunch,” Liz chastised with playful sarcasm.

“Ugh, sorry, Liz, Topolsky called me in for our weekly ‘chat’ as she calls it,” Max explained, grimacing.

Liz groaned in commiseration.

“Ok, you’ve got me beat, there,” she chuckled. “I’m not really sure how that woman got her master’s in counseling.”

“I don’t know either,” Max shook his head. “A couple of years ago, she calls me in, shows me some coloring book picture of a bunch of kids asking me which one I thought I was…”
“Yes, I’m familiar with the picture, go on,” Liz waved her fingers lightly, smiling, as she took a sip of her soda.

“So, I point to some kid playing hide-and-go-seek, just because I figured he and I had the same haircut in kindergarten,” Max chuckled self-deprecatingly.

“See, I pointed to one of the girls playing ring-around-the-rosy, not the one with the headscarf though—she just looked like a dork,” Max and Liz laughed at the common memory.

“Lizzie, your order’s ready,” Jose’ called from the kitchen.

“Be right back,” Liz patted the table lightly as she rose to retrieve their baskets. Pulling the greasy meals from the ledge, she looked round at the nearly empty dining room.

“Jose’, if fourteen doesn’t want anything else, go ahead and shut down the grill for the night,” Liz suggested accommodatingly.

“Ooh, I might make it home in time for the game,” Jose’ brightened and began cleaning the kitchen. Liz noticed that the table Agnes had taken over was getting up to pay their check. The surly waitress stepped behind the counter to ring their bill. As soon as the family was out the door, Agnes grabbed her cigarettes and keys.

“See you folks tomorrow,” she called out, flipping the closed sign over as she left.

“One Will Smith and Saturn rings,” Liz chirped as she sat the red, paper-lined basket in front of Max. “And one for me,” she smiled as she slid back into the booth.

The pair busily doctored their burgers and onion rings with the available condiments.

“Do you need anything else?” Liz asked graciously.

“No, no—I’m good,” Max replied, dousing his fries with Tabasco.

“So…” Liz began before folding an onion ring, dipping it in ketchup and taking a bite, “Why don’t you just tell your mom Topolsky is a nut case, so you don’t have to go anymore?” Liz asked off-handedly, then took a bite of her burger.

Swallowing the bite of burger in his mouth, Max explained, “Because I’m afraid if I tell my mom that seeing Ms. Topolsky is a waste of time, then she’ll send me to a psychologist she has to pay for, and I don’t want her to do that.”

“Oh,” Liz’s eyebrows rose as she swallowed, wiping her mouth with a napkin before continuing, “Now that makes sense,” she nodded. “My dad tried that with me, but I refused to answer any of the doctor’s questions—I just shrugged a lot,” Liz took a sip of her Cherry Coke as she explained her refusal of professional help. “I just had no desire to talk to some stranger about how I felt, you know? It creeped me out, and I wouldn’t go back.”

Max nodded in understanding as he took another bite of his dinner, scoffing as he thought of doing the same.

“Hmm, I wonder why Topolsky has taken such an unhealthy interest in you, Max…,” Liz considered mischievously as she playfully bit her lip. “Maybe—maybe she is some crazed alien hunter who has come to Roswell searching for some sweet young boy from another world to corrupt,” Liz guessed as she waggled her fingers, teasing Max with the eerie scenario.

“More like a demon from hell trying to steal my soul,” Max laughed as he upped the ante.

“No, no—I’ve got it,” Liz laughed, covering her mouth with her fist as she swallowed, “She thinks you’re really, really cute, and she just can’t wait till you graduate, then she can have you for her own,” Liz vampishly batted her eyelashes and lowered her voice seductively, till the urge to laugh was just too great.

“Oh, God, thank you so much for that disturbing image,” Max chuckled as he threw his crumpled napkin at Liz which landed in her lap as they continued to laugh together. “I’ll remember this tonight when I wake up in a cold sweat.”

“Eh, just call me—I’ll probably be up anyway,” Liz shrugged.

“You don’t sleep, huh?” Max asked as he chewed a piece of ice from his cup.

“Not really,” Liz blew off the answer, trying to make it seem unimportant. “A couple of hours—I can function,” Liz raised her eyebrows as she gathered up their empty baskets.

“Here, let me help you,” Max picked up their glasses and followed Liz to the kitchen where she put the last of the soiled containers in the dishwasher.

“Hey, you wanna’ go upstairs, and I’ll get those notes for you?” Liz offered, pointing up the back stairwell.

“Yeah, sure—that’d be great,” Max followed Liz up to her room. Liz pulled off her silver headband and yanked her ponytail out of the elastic as they neared the upper floor.

“Have you ever been up here?” Liz’s face scrunched as she tried to remember.

“Mm, once, I think. Remember back a few months ago when Michael was working and he came down with the flu—almost passed out? I helped carry him up here,” Max pointed to the sofa in the living room.

“That’s right. He and Maria had just started dating, and she was playing nursemaid—cold compresses, aspirin, orange juice—very romantic,” Liz teased as she showed Max around the upstairs apartment. “That’s my dad’s room,” Liz pointed to the first closed door they came to. Continuing down the hall, she pointed to a similar one, “That’s a spare bedroom—pretty much just full of junk and my mom’s old things,” a Liz’s voice strained a little at the last description causing Max to take a quick apprising glance to make sure Liz was alright. “And, this is my room,” she opened the door to the room filled with pictures, candles and tiny lights. “It’s just like the one across the hall, but I have a bathroom to myself,” Liz declared with a cocky wiggle, “and—and, my own balcony,” Liz indicated with her palms upturned toward the large window.

“Very cool,” Max noted as he peered out the open window. “Must be great for stargazing,” he looked up into the inky blackness before pulling his head back inside.

“Yeah, especially since I knocked out the streetlight in the alleyway with rocks one time. That took skill,” Liz explained proudly.

Max chuckled at her determination as he continued to look around her room, his eyes falling over the photos displayed—several of Maria and Alex, some recent ones with her dad , in the restaurant, camping last summer, next to Liz and her science fair project last spring with a puzzled expression on his face. But on the nightstand next to her bed, were several of Liz and her mother—Nancy holding Liz in the hospital when she was born, Liz grasping Nancy’s fingers as Liz took her first steps, Nancy helping Liz bake cookies for her Girl Scout patch, and the last one of Christmas when Liz was about thirteen, her mother sitting in a rocking chair opening presents, a festive scarf tied about her head.

“Let me just grab my backpack,” Liz called from the bathroom, breaking Max out of his trance. She had stepped in to change out of her green and silver dress, emerging quickly, dressed in black knit shorts and a red tank top.

“Have a seat,” she patted the space next to her on the bed where Max sat down on the edge, his feet remaining on the floor.

Unzipping the heavy pack, she sorted through the colorful binders until she found the one marked AP Biology. Flipping through the pages, she snapped open the binder rings and retrieved that day’s class notes.

“Here you go,” Liz offered. “You can just return them tomorrow during class.”

“Thanks—and yeah, I’ll make sure I’m finished with them before class,” Max rose from his seat. “Well, I guess I’d better pay for dinner and head home. Got notes to copy, you know,” Max smiled as Liz stood, sliding on a pair of flip flops to head downstairs.

“Sure,” she said noting the time, “Huh, dad’s usually back by now…” she muttered as they went back down the stairs and through the kitchen.

Liz stepped behind the register about to ring Max’s bill when Jeff and Diane stepped through the front door of the Crashdown.

“Mom!” Max looked up, startled.

“Dad!” Liz echoed the sentiment.

“You seem surprised to see me, Liz,” Jeff joked as he stepped into his own restaurant.

“Oh, no,” Liz shook off her stunned expression, “Max and I had gone upstairs to pick up some notes he missed today, and I was just about to ring his dinner bill,” Liz explained as she turned her attention to the cash register.

“No need, Lizzie, it’s on the house,” Jeff declared.

“Now, Jeff, you don’t need to do that,” Diane furrowed her brow, not wanting Jeff to feel obligated to pay for Max’s dinner.

“I insist,” Jeff put his hand out gently to ward off Diane’s persistence. “It’s my fault that the kids had to eat alone tonight, so I am taking care of it,” he said with a smile as he took the ticket from his daughter and tore it in two.

“Fine,” Diane smiled, “But only if you let me make dinner for you and Liz next Wednesday, about six?” Diane suggested. “How does that sound?”

“It sounds perfect,” Jeff agreed with a smile.

Not wanting to imagine the impossible—that their parents had actually been out on a date together, Max and Liz could only stare at each other in wonder, utter confusion written on each of their faces.
*****
Last edited by destinyc on Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Under One Roof (M/L Adult) ch 4 7-9-09

Post by destinyc » Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:30 pm

Alien_Friend-Max and Liz certainly have more issues than they are willing to admit.
When their happiness interferes with their parents’ happiness, trouble will surface.
Carolyn-There will certainly be some correlation as these couples come together.
Ginger-Thanks so much! Any good jokes lately???
Kris-A touch of angst coming in this next part.
Alysluv-Next part, coming right up
Behr_able-Max and Liz will certainly come to rely on each other a great deal.
Jan-Why, yes, things will become increasingly difficult for Max and Liz.
Carrie-It will be a little while before we get to what you want, but you know me…
Abby-No romantic inklings for them just yet, but…
Nitpick-You’re right, Max and Liz really have pushed aside their social lives out of necessity and family obligation. They’ll speak of their dating experiences in a future update, but, yes, they will be a bit concerned over the future of their parents’ relationship.
Eve-No crushing as of yet—I considered that as a possibility when I was planning the story, but decided to let their relationship develop naturally.

ch 4
*****
Pulling his jeep in beside his mother’s sedan, Max hurriedly entered the house shortly after his mother. Looking for some sign of illness, dementia, or alien-possession (surely his mother’s sudden interest in dating must be attributable to one of the three) Max followed his mother into the kitchen and leaned against the kitchen cabinet, studying his mother for some noticeable change.

“Mom, are you ok?” Max questioned with an urgent edge to his voice.

“Well, of course I’m ok, Max. Why wouldn’t I be?” Diane replied, holding on to the cabinet doors as she perused the contents inside.

“Your hands are… blue,” Max pointed at Diane’s fingers, still clutching the porcelain knobs.

Diane held her hands in front of her to examine them.

“Oh, that—it’s pool cue chalk,” Diane explained dismissively, moving to the kitchen sink to wash off the remaining turquoise-colored dust.

“What?” Max pressed, rather astonished.

“Jeff took me to Senor Chow’s for dinner. We played pool afterward.”

“You don’t play pool,” Max replied dumbly.

“Well, I didn’t,” Diane explained as she shook the water from her hands before drying them on a dishtowel, “but Jeff taught me tonight. He’s quite good,” Diane smiled. She returned to her task of looking through the contents of her kitchen cabinets.

“Are you hungry, Mom? I thought you said he took you to eat?” Max questioned, unable to hide the suspicion in his voice.

“We did,” Diane stressed. “I’m checking on what I need to buy at the grocery store before Jeff and his daughter come over for dinner.”

“I thought they were coming next week?” Max questioned, confused at his mother’s late-night reconnaissance of the kitchen cabinets.

“They are. I was just trying to decide what to serve,” Diane grew increasingly exasperated with her son. Closing the cabinet, Diane opened the freezer door, frosty air spilling forth as she examined its contents.

“Hmm, we have a pot roast, pork chops, meatloaf, maybe…,” Diane considered as she looked through the cellophane-wrapped packages.

“Go for the meatloaf, Mom. That way if it doesn’t turn out well, you can always add more ketchup.”

“Thanks a lot, son,” Diane raised a warning eyebrow at Max.

“Just kidding, Mom,” Max teased nonchalantly as he reached into another cabinet for a glass.

“So do you think Mr. Parker will ask you out again? Max asked with a feigned casual note as he filled the glass from the tap.

“I don’t know, Max. We had a nice dinner, talked all evening, played pool…,” Diane explained with a liveliness in her manner that had been long-absent. “He may ask me again. I think Jeff had a nice time, too.”

“Are you going to date any other men as well?” Max tried to keep the question casual, taking a sip of his water as he asked it, but Diane caught the edge in his tone that he was trying unsuccessfully to hide.

“I really hadn’t thought about that, Max,” Diane considered, chuckling a little at the memory of herself as a college co-ed dating in the late 70’s. “Honestly, I wasn’t looking for someone to date, but Jeff and I started talking, and we seem to get along quite well. Having someone to talk to is really nice,” Diane smiled a little sadly. “Sometimes things get a little tough when you are a single parent.”

Max searched his memory for the list of man-of-the-house duties he had set for himself, trying to eliminate as many potential household problems as possible, ‘Lawn—check, Mom’s oil change—check, garbage—check.’

“Tire pressure,” Max blurted out loud. “I should go check your tires—make sure the psi is in range,” Max started toward the back garage door, feeling his pockets for a tire gauge. Diane gently put a hand on Max’s shoulder to stay him.

“The tires are fine, son,” she said soothingly, halting his progress. Diane turned Max around to face her. She was fortunate in that even though Max was a rather quiet young man who generally kept to himself, his face spoke volumes. Even in the low light of the darkened kitchen, his concern for her, for not fulfilling enough of the duties his father had so unwittingly bestowed upon him, shone clear in his eyes.

“You don’t need to worry about the tires, Max,” Diane smiled knowingly. “There are just some things I need to discuss with another adult—someone who’s been in my shoes,” Diane explained, then heaved a sigh before continuing. “Max, you know no one will ever take your father’s place--,”

“I know that, Mom,” Max cut in, trying to tamp down the nervousness rising in him as the conversation continued.

“Let me finish, Max,” Diane interjected, “These last few days with Jeff have been the nicest I’ve had in a while—talking... going out… we even chatted online the other night,” Diane gave a little self-deprecating laugh, considering her inexperience in the digital world. “Jeff is a very nice man—sweet, attentive. We’ve been acquaintances for some time.”

“Because of Liz and me,” Max finished the thought, wryly seeing himself as a catalyst in his mother’s love life.

“Well, yes, I’ve run into him over the last several years at school events and things—so he’s not a total stranger,” Diane rationalized to her son. “He’s a businessman, an upstanding member of the community…,”

“He’s not running for mayor, Mom,” Max replied drolly.

“No--,”Diane met her son’s good-natured smirk with her own, “But what I’m saying is—Jeff is a good person. He wouldn’t do anything to hurt me,” Diane explained.

Max shifted uncomfortably, moving to the sink to pour out the remaining water before sitting his glass inside the basin. Max had to disguise the upset he felt at the notion of Jeff Parker getting so close to his mother that the potential for his hurting her even existed; therefore, the task of dispensing with his glass was a convenient one.

“Did you have a nice time tonight?” Diane asked as she leaned against the countertop, surveying her son as he looked out into the moonlit backyard.

“Huh?” Max was startled out of his concerns. “Oh—you mean dinner with Liz? Yeah, we had a burger…talked…she loaned me the notes I missed from today,” Max stressed the last item on the list, indicating that it was his weekly meeting with Miss Topolsky that caused him to miss class. While it was true, he didn’t want his mother to believe that the sessions were fruitless; nevertheless, he couldn’t pretend that he wasn’t mildly annoyed at the compulsory amateur therapy.

Diane chose to ignore her son’s jab and continued with the topic at hand, “So are you two friends? Have you hung out together before?”

Max shrugged, “We’ve been lab partners for years, so yeah, we’re friends. Liz and I have tagged along with Michael and Maria a little bit, but, really, between work and school, we just don’t have much time for hanging out,” Max sighed and raised his eyebrows, wanting to answer his mother’s question, but, at the same time, not make her feel guilty over his lack of a social life.

Diane smiled sadly, too aware of his underlying meaning.

“Well, you’d better get to copying those notes then and head to bed,” Diane hugged her son goodnight before heading down the hall to her own room.

Still standing at the window, Max craned his head to see past the eaves of the roof and into the night sky, trying to notice if some shift had occurred in the alignment of the planets or the stars. Scoffing at the lack of any marked changes, Max turned to gather his books and head to his room for a night of Counting Crows and copying the notes from his lab partner and dinner companion, Liz Parker.

Later that night—above the Crashdown

“Liz…can you come help me, Liz?” the thin, distant voice of Nancy Parker called to her daughter.

“Mom?” A startled Liz called, looking around her room frantically, trying to pinpoint the source of the sound. “Where are you, Mom?” Liz called, opening her bedroom door onto a long, dark hallway that seemed to go on forever.

“Lizzie…I need you, Lizzie,” the disembodied voiced was plaintive with yearning.

“Mom, where are you? I can’t find you,” Liz opened numerous doors, a carbon-copy of her parents’ empty master bedroom behind each one.

“I’m downstairs, Lizzie,” the voice called once again.

Liz ran faster and faster down the hallway, searching for an elusive staircase.

Desperate to find an exit, Liz opened another door, this one containing dark, wooden stairs. Liz lit on the top step, quickly running down each flight of the switchback sets of stairs. Though she kept moving forward, Liz felt as though she was travelling uphill at times and then down again, as though M.C. Escher had somehow designed the dream-plane.

“Liz, please, sweetheart,” the urgency of her mother’s voice increased as did her daughter’s efforts to locate her.

“Mom, mom, I can’t find the bottom floor,” Liz called back, hoping from some guidance as she searched fruitlessly.

“Follow my voice,” Nancy called, her words growing more distant as Liz’s desperation increased.

Liz looked over the railing, could see the tile floor of the Crashdown below her. Surely it wasn’t that far, she thought. Maybe her mother was sitting in a booth, just out of her line of sight—or maybe at the cash register, where she always used to be when Liz was younger.

Following the path of the steps where they would go, Liz tried to rationalize where the staircase in front of her would lead and how many steps it would take to get to her mother, but she just couldn’t seem to puzzle it out. The stairs that opened to the downstairs seemed to be coming from the wrong direction, and Liz needed to find her mother before she went away again.

“Mom!” Liz called out again, but could only hear a soft whisper in response.

Looking from the floor below back to the endless staircase, Liz could hear the faint clicking of heels against tile, the sound growing dimmer with each passing moment.

“Wait! Don’t go!” Liz called back. Then in a moment of determination, she swung her legs over the stair-railing and dropped to the tile floor below, the fall seeming to last for an eternity. When she finally landed with a thud, Liz searched the room for her mother, finding nothing. As she looked to the sunlit door, Liz saw the distant figure of Nancy Parker walking away, wearing the navy blue suit she was buried in, her long, red hair glowing in the late afternoon sun.

“Mom! Come back!” Liz cried, reaching for the door, though her legs seemed to be glued to the floor. “No!” she wailed once more as the dream went dark.


“Liz, Liz—wake up,” a different voice insisted. Liz felt a strong hand against her back, lifting her up.

“Dad?” Liz breathed out heavily, opening her eyes to find herself on the wooden floor, tangled in her bed sheets with tears streaking down her face.

“Come on, baby,” Jeff helped his daughter to her feet, unwinding her from the sheets as he helped her find the edge of the bed. Locating her pillow, Liz rolled it to the cool side, the other soaked with sweat and tears. Curling onto her side, Liz faced away from her dad, as he gently held the edges of the sheet and popped it high, sending it fluttering down onto his daughter’s sobbing form.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Jeff asked softly, though he already the answer before the question left his lips.

Liz shook her head and sniffled, her response a predictable one after the last four years.

Jeff Parker sighed, helpless as he tried to comfort his grieving daughter. Though he tried counseling and group therapy, Liz refused to speak with strangers about her problems, her guarded nature not allowing others to pick apart her psyche or analyze her relationship with her dead mother. Desperate, Jeff considered sending Liz to the doctor for something to help her sleep, but Liz refused, disliking the numbing haze she would endure during the day. Jeff Parker fell back on the only talent he had that could provide some relief for his troubled daughter, choosing a tune from his youth that Nancy always liked…

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise


Jeff pulled up the top sheet and comforter, Liz shivering as little as the sweat dried on her body. Jeff continued to sing as he sat against the edge of the bed.

Black bird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
all your life
you were only waiting for this moment to be free


Though Liz was nearly eighteen, Jeff patted his hand gently against her back as he had done when she was little, coaxing her back to sleep. Her sobs began to slow as she concentrated on the song, a welcome distraction from her nightmare.

Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.


Jeff could hear her breathing begin to grow even and her heartbeat steady itself even through the thick comforter.

Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.


Assured that his daughter had fallen back to sleep and hoping that this would be the last bad dream of the night, Jeff gently rose from the edge of the bed, trying not to wake Liz from her tentative slumber. He kept singing as he backed out the door, leaving it open a crack, so he could hear if she needed him again. Even though he reached the hallway, he finished the tune, more for himself than Liz at that point.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise,
You were only waiting for this moment to arise,
You were only waiting for this moment to arise…
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DestinyC's New Fic
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Re: Under One Roof (M/L Adult) ch 5 7-13-09

Post by destinyc » Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:37 am

Carrie-I'm so glad you love Max...whatever will he do with all that energy when Jeff steps in??? 8) :lol:
Eve-Thank you so much for your comments. I was concerned that the chapter not turn out too melodramatically, so I'm glad that I kept it as true-to-life as possible.
Jan-There are certainly going to be difficulties as Jeff and Diane's relationship blossoms, but Max and Liz will be also come to rely on each other through those problems.
Kris-Coming right up!
Ginger-Thanks for the jokes. And just wanted to let you know-your last update gave me a perfect fix for one of my logistical problems here (jack and jill...[had to look that up by the way] :lol: )
Alien_Friend-You really hit the nail on the head. They will certainly have to come to terms with their new roles. Lots of changes coming up!
Carolyn-This really is new territory for everyone concerned.

A yawning Max walked into AP Bio to see his lab partner, Liz Parker, fast asleep with her cheek resting against her folded hands and her long, dark hair lying dangerously close to the rather nasty formaldehyde-laden specimen Mr. Seligman had just placed at each station.

“Rise and shine, sleepyhead,” Max softly called, gathering the hair that had gone astray and securing it behind Liz’s ear. Even though they were friends, Max wouldn’t usually have acted so forwardly, but after their long conversation of the previous night and the proximity of rather foul-smelling porcine organs, Max felt his actions more than warranted.

“Huh?” Liz was startled awake, her hand automatically touching her hair where she’d unconsciously felt Max’s hand moments before.

“That was me,” Max pointed to her hand. Your hair was about to smell like preserved pork, so I moved it,” Max explained.

“Oh, thanks,” Liz smiled and yawned, causing Max to yawn as well. They laughed at the simultaneous action as Max settled into his seat beside Liz.

“Rough night?” Max questioned in low tones, making sure the other students filtering into the room could not hear.

“Mmm-hmm,” Liz nodded, her chin resting on her fists.

“Me too,” Max sighed, rolling his neck and shoulders to loosen the stiffness. “Dreaming is exhausting,” he groaned.

Suddenly alert and sitting up straight, Liz’s eyes grew wide, “Oh my God! They weren’t about Topolsky were they?” Liz questioned in urgent, hushed tones, her eyes darting to her classmates as she said it to make sure no one overheard.
“No,” Max laughed recalling Liz’s teasing of the night before. “Pipes,” Max announced succinctly.

“What?” Liz asked, chuckling at the bizarre answer, narrowing her eyes with playful suspicion.

“Bursting pipes, everywhere in the house—I can’t get to them fast enough…trying to find rags to tie around them, buckets to catch the water, but every time I fix one, another pipe breaks through the wall.

“Ok…so fear of plumbing,” Liz teased good-naturedly.

“And then the aliens joined in,” Max continued with self-deprecating humor.

“Aliens?” Liz questioned, scrunching her nose in disbelief.

“Well, you know, I work at the UFO museum, so aliens pretty much figure into most of my dreams in one way or another. They were pretty helpful last night, though, sticking those long, spindly fingers into some of the holes,” Max and Liz were laughing uncontrollably by this point, eliciting some questioning looks from a few classmates.

“Then Mr. Harris showed up,” Max continued.

“Our calc teacher?” Liz questioned as she tried to catch her breath.

“Mm, he stood in the corner shouting calc problems at me as I tried to keep my mother’s house from becoming a giant aquarium,” Max sighed.

“Ohh,” Liz gave Max a sympathetic squeeze around his shoulders as she empathized with Max’s plight. “You poor thing, why did you dream about killer plumbing in the first place, you think?”

“Last Sunday, we had a pipe burst under the kitchen sink, of course all the hardware stores were closed, and I’m desperately trying to figure out how to get all these pipe fittings apart, turn off the water main, try to keep all the nasty backed-up water from landing on me…basically that’s how I spent my Sunday night. Of course I already explained the aliens,” Max listed, “And Harris? I still had two homework problems to finish this morning, so that’s probably why he showed up,” Max supported his tired head with his hand as he turned to Liz, still chuckling at his expense. “So what about you?”

Liz took a deep breath, her mood shifting a little as she sighed, “Endless hallway…crazy staircases…my mother’s voice calling out to me, but I can’t find her, winding up in a heap on the floor, you know—the usual,” Liz smiled wryly as she sighed.

Instinctively, Max’s large hand wrapped around Liz’s smaller one as a comfort. He leaned in, again speaking in low, hushed tones. “Invite the aliens next time, change things up a bit,” Max nodded with a knowing smile. His small joke succeeded in making Liz smile.

Just as Liz was about the take notice of their close proximity and Max’s hand on hers, he sat up, releasing her hand but holding his hand out flat, palm up.

“Give me your phone,” Max said, curling his fingers to egg her on.

“What?” Liz’s face again scrunched in question.

“Just, give me the phone, Liz,” Max insisted playfully.

Looking around to make sure Mr. Seligman was still out of the room, she retrieved the phone from her backpack, handing it to Max.

Max took the phone, scrolling through the menu until he found her list of contacts. Rapidly pushing the letters and numbers, Max then pressed ‘save’ and the requisite tone sounded. He handed the phone back with a grin.

“What did you do?” Liz asked with a lively and playfully suspicious grin.

“Next time you can’t sleep, call me, ok?” Max asked, his eyes soft with care and understanding.

“Ok,” Liz whispered in response, smiling back at him. Though she never really confided in anyone, it seemed so natural, so easy to speak to Max. She never told anyone about her dreams, but today, without even really thinking about it, she told Max.

Feeling a little lighter, Liz slipped the phone back into the zippered pocket. The moment of peacefulness was broken by the excitable Alex bounding into class.

Dumping his backpack to the floor in front of Max and Liz’s lab table, Alex leaned against the counter on his elbows, his eyes expectant.

“So?” The brief question escaped his lips, only to be met with confused stares from Max and Liz.

“So what?” Liz queried, uncertain as to what extraordinary event their lanky friend was referring to.

“I saw them,” he insisted, his eyes growing even larger if that were possible.

“Saw whom?” Max questioned, wondering if poor Alex had finally gone round the bend.

“Your parents—at Senor Chow’s last night—eating dinner, playing pool, laughing, joking, that kind of thing,” Alex gesticulated widely as he described their date. Max and Liz stiffened a little at his enthusiasm.

“Well, Alex, you were there—we weren’t. You know more than we do apparently,” Max responded matter-a-factly, hoping to avoid further speculation on the matter.

“Well, are they going out again?” Alex asked eagerly.

Max and Liz looked nervously at each other, a silent communication seeming to pass in between them. Liz heaved a sigh and then said, “My dad and I are going to the Evans for dinner next Wednesday.”

“Yeah, my mom started planning the menu last night,” Max informed Liz. “Meatloaf, maybe,” he suggested with a shrug.

“Mm, sounds good,” Liz replied off-handedly. Turning to Alex, Liz concluded, “That’s all we know, Alex. Sorry, but there’s really nothing else to tell.”

“Hmm,” Alex groused, hoping to learn more juicy details than what was offered. He suddenly brightened at a sudden thought. “Hey, Max, is your hot sister going to be at this dinner?”

“Alex, she’s in California,” Max huffed impatiently.

“I know,” Alex sighed despondently. “Just thought I’d ask.”

“Alex, you do know that she’s seven years older than you, right?” Liz inquired.

“Yeah, but that’s alright. One day she’ll understand the irresistible charm of Alexander Charles Whitman,” Alex smiled knowingly. “I’m saving myself for her, you know,” he insisted unashamedly.

Max bristled at the image while Liz tried to suppress a laugh.

Alex seemed unaware of his friends’ reactions. “Ever since she gave me mouth-to-mouth resuscitation at the swimming pool,” Alex sighed wistfully at the time when Isabel was a high-school lifeguard, and he had smacked his head against the diving board and landed in the water unconscious. He counted this moment as the highlight of his young life.

“Alright, class, let’s take our seats,” Mr. Seligman strode in the doorway. “Mr. Whitman, that includes you as well.”

Alex was startled out of his reverie by the teacher’s order, “Yes, sir. Right away, sir.” Turning to grab his backpack, he whispered to Max and Liz, “Let me know when Izzy’s coming home—ok?”

“Sure thing,” Max responded wryly, he and Liz rolling their eyes and shaking their heads as Alex finally found his seat.
***
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Re: Under One Roof (M/L Adult) ch 6 7-18-09

Post by destinyc » Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:56 pm

smileeUK-Just in under the wire! Hope you enjoy this next part as well:D

twilight-They are going to be a bit self-conscious of their romantic feelings, but they just can't help the intimacy that is beginning to build between the two of them (hopefully that made sense :wink: ).

Eve-Alex really is part of our comic relief here. Max and Liz are building a pretty deep understanding and comraderie between the two of them. :wink:

Kris-Hope you enjoy the next chapter! :D

Carolyn-Ah yes, don't we all... :wink:

Jan-Alex does lend a little humor to the situation. Much more Max and Liz interaction in this chapter as well. :D

Alien614- Glad you're here! Hope you like this next chapter. :D

Ginger-No problem--I got the general idea, but I looked it up for the specifics--helped me out tremendously here (You'll see in a few chapters :wink: )


behr_able-Liz will be ringing that number--but there will be a few more complications before they get too hot and heavy :wink: (I know, I know, not my usual tactic, but we'll get there :roll: )


Carrie-I'm afraid poor Alex will be taking cold showers for awhile! :lol: I think you'll definitely like Max today as well.

Alien_Friend-Max and Liz will take a few more steps closer today. :D

A/N-Well. if all goes as planned (crossing fingers) we should be in New Mexico on Monday for a quickie vacation. hee hee. :D Now, if I can just make it that far with two kids whining in the backseat "Are we there yet...??? :wink:" Happy reading, Destiny C.

***
3:00 that afternoon
“Thanks for the lift, Max,” Liz smiled as she and Max made their way to the high school parking lot. “Maria doesn’t come in till 5:00, and I think she and Michael were looking forward to a little private time after school,” Liz smirked.

Max chuckled, “Yeah, especially after Principal Martin busted in on them while they were in the eraser room during last period.” Max offered Liz his hand to help her into the passenger’s seat of his jeep before he made his way to the driver’s side, hopped in and started the ignition.

“I’ll be lucky if they make it to work at all, then,” Liz laughed. “But, I really appreciate you driving me to the Crashdown…as do Maria and Michael, I’m sure,” Liz snickered.

“It’s no problem, Liz—I’m just going right across the street, you know,” Max smiled. “I can give you a ride anytime. I don’t know why we hadn’t thought of it before,” Max commented off-handedly.

“Cause Maria never minded going into work early until she started dating Michael,” Liz replied with a knowing grin.

“Makes sense,” Max commented with a wry grin.
*****

Inside the Crashdown

“Well, you could call it Cosmic Cappuccino,” Diane pondered as she took another sip from her frothy mug.

“The coffee’s already…Cosmic Coffee, though,” Jeff grimaced, trying to come up with an original name for his new product. “I need something different,” he sighed, stirring his cup of instant cappuccino, giving the powdered stuff a trial run before investing in a pricey piece of equipment.

“Hmmm…” Diane thought, “Capricorn Cappuccino, Cyborg Cappuccino, Constellation Cappuccino…,” Diane brainstormed aloud.
*****
Pulling into a space in front of the Crashdown, Max pulled the emergency brake and cut the ignition before moving to the passenger side and offering Liz his hand.

Liz smiled as she placed her hand in Max’s and stepped down, “Thanks, Max,” Liz replied warmly, “If you want, I’ll make you a cherry Coke to go, and you can take it to work with you,” Liz offered as a thank-you for the ride.

“That sounds great—here, let me get your backpack,” Max lifted the heavy pack from the backseat and slung it over one shoulder. “Jeez, Liz, this thing’s heavier than you are,” Max playfully groaned as he adjusted the strap.

“Here,” Liz rolled her eyes playfully and held out her hand, “I can carry it, if it’s too much for a big, strong guy like you,” she teased.

“I got it,” Max laughed and grinned as he opened the Crashdown door for Liz.

“Thanks again,” Liz smiled as she turned her head to smile at Max. As she was about to pass through the doorway, Liz was suddenly pulled back against Max’s muscular chest, his strong arm wrapped around her waist. Three burly young boys donning alien masks and blasting toy ray guns burst past Liz into the open doorway, their ragged parents scurrying after them.

“Sorry,” the frazzled mother gave Liz an apologetic smile as she pursued her rambunctious boys.

“It’s ok,” Liz replied as if shaken out of a dream, happily remaining in Max’s embrace as the grumbling father trudged through the doorway as well, muttering a similar apology.

Max’s had to catch his breath, and while he could pretend that it was from the sudden surprise of three boisterous children, it was the scent of Liz’s hair, the soft curve of her waist, the warmth of her body against his that startled him most of all.

“Oh—sorry,” Max blushed as he became conscious of his hold on Liz, sheepishly removing his arm from around her waist.

“Don’t be,” Liz blushed in return, finally making her way into the restaurant.
*****
“Crater cappuccino,” Diane tried to think of all the possible alien-themed names for the creamy brew, “Oh, what was the name of that robot from Star Wars…’C’ something...,” Diane looked at the ceiling, trying to remember the character’s name.

“C-3PO?” Jeff suggested, leaning against the table, across from Diane.

“That’s it! C-3PO Cappuccino—it’s got a nice ring to it, don’t you think? And he had that little friend of his…”

“R2-D2,” Jeff smiled at Diane’s enthusiasm, chuckling as he took a sip from his cup.

“You could have R2D2 raisin pie…or raspberry…maybe even rhubarb!” Diane expanded with excitement, taking another big sip from her cup in her small triumph.

“I’ll have to check with Amy and see what she can make for us,” Jeff grinned and nodded in agreement. “Oh, Di, you have a little something…,” Jeff leaned forward, and crooking his index finger, gently removed the errant cappuccino foam that strayed above Diane’s lip.

Diane blushed and smiled at the gesture, finding her napkin to dab at the moist corners of her mouth.

“Mom—,”

“Dad--,” Max and Liz interrupted, equally startled at their parents’ behavior.

“Oh goodness, is it after three already? I’ve usually left by now,” Diane gathered her purse into her lap.

“Usually?” Max questioned as he and Liz turned toward each other, curious looks on both their faces.

“Well, I’ve been stopping by for coffee after lunch, when Jeff has a little time to chat,” Diane explained, smiling at the kids in turn, then looking across at Jeff to help ease the awkwardness.

“I am thinking of getting a cappuccino maker,” Jeff announced to the pair, trying to change the subject. “And your mom and I were trying to come up with a good name for it—you know—for the cappuccino,” Jeff stammered, looking up at Max as he gestured to the half-empty cups.

“Empire espresso!” Diane exclaimed as the sudden thought came to her. Max, Liz and Jeff turned to her, startled at the outburst.

Noticing the astounded expressions, Diane offered, “Well, if you’re going to have C-3PO Cappuccino, then it makes sense to have Empire Espresso,” she shrugged with a smile.

“That it does…,” Jeff nodded in agreement, “that it does….”

Max glanced at his watch, knowing that Brody would be expecting him in a few minutes and more than anxious to escape the awkward situation he now found himself in.

Liz noticed as Max checked the time and was suddenly reminded of her earlier offer, “Cherry Coke--,” Liz recalled, suddenly refocusing the conversation. Turning back to their parents, Liz explained, “Max drove me home, so I was just going to get him something to drink before he had to go to work,” Liz pointed to the counter as she made her way behind it. Grabbing a Styrofoam cup, she scooped the chipped ice into the cup and then filled it with the dark, bubbly liquid. Fitting it with a lid and poking a red straw through the top, Liz then handed it across the counter to Max.

“There you go,” Liz smiled.

“Oh, here’s your backpack,” Max hoisted the backpack to the countertop.

“Thanks,” Liz pulled the heavy pack with a little grunt, sitting it on the floor behind the register.

“Well, you’re about to get busy—I’d better head out,” Diane fished her keys from her purse and started to slide out of the booth.

“Hang on, Diane,” Jeff put out his hand gently, “Jose' is on the schedule until Michael gets here, and I was going to head over to Ruidoso to check out a cappuccino maker. Would you like to come with me? We could grab a bite to eat while we’re there,” Jeff tempted.

“Well…,” Diane considered, “I guess that would be alright.” Turning toward her son, Diane asked, “Max, can you fix yourself something for dinner?”

“I can bring you something,” Liz offered, “What time is your dinner break? ”

“Um, six, I think,” Max replied, “Brody is cataloging some new acquisitions tonight, so I really can’t leave, but we could eat in the break room if you want to join me—that is if you don’t mind eating surrounded by fake alien autopsies,” Max joked.

“That’s fine,” Liz laughed. “Will Smith and rings?” she made sure.

“Sounds good,” Max nodded, “I’ll see you then.” Waving to Liz and then to his mom and Jeff Parker, Max left the Crashdown, heading across the street to begin his shift at the UFO Center.

“Well, Diane,” Jeff pushed himself up with one hand against the table and the other against the back of the booth, “are you ready to go look at a very overpriced coffee maker?” Jeff teased as he held out his hand to help Diane out of the booth.

“Well, seeing as we already named the drinks, we ought to find a machine to make them,” Diane played along, taking Jeff’s hand as slid out of her seat.

“Hold down the fort, Lizzie. We’ll be back later,” Jeff called as he and Diane made their way out the back.

“Ok…,” Liz’s called softly in response, leaning back to watch through the pass through as her father and Diane Evans left on their first road trip together.
*****
6:00
“Dinner!” Liz called out as the heavy metal door of the UFO Center closed behind her.

“Oh, hey, Liz!” Max stepped out from behind a display he had been repairing, “Break room’s over here,” Max pointed to a small room off to the side and Liz descended the concrete steps with their dinners in a white paper sack and cherry Cokes balanced in a cardboard carrier.

“I’m taking my dinner break, Brody,” Max announced.

Brody poked his head out from his upstairs office, “Right then,” he responded, “Oh, Liz, I didn’t see you there.”

“Hi, Brody,” Liz waved to the curly-haired Brit. “How are you?”

“Doing well. New shipment today—photos, artifacts—very exciting!” Brody nervously buzzed about. “Oh, and, Liz, would you order one of those lovely pepperjack sandwiches for me when you go back…maybe Maria could bring it over…,” he suggested hopefully.

“Um, I think Maria’s already had her break,” Liz fibbed, “but, I’ll send it over with Agnes,” Liz insisted as she met Max at the break room door.

“Ok, then,” Brody sounded a little disappointed, but returned to his work, once again immersing himself in cataloging new crop circle photos from Europe.

“I’m having a little difficulty believing that Maria’s already had her break if she only clocked in at 5:00,” Max whispered to Liz as they entered the break room.

“I know, but I really don’t want poor Brody’s face smashed in by Michael if he thinks your boss is coming on to Maria,” Liz whispered back.

“Mm, good point,” Max conceded as he offered Liz a seat on the green vinyl sofa and pulled the coffee table in close.

Liz placed a burger and onion rings in front of each of them with a cup of ketchup in between to share.

“I’ve got to remember to bring a bottle of Tabasco to work with me,” grimaced Max, wishing he’d thought to mention it earlier.

“I already put it on your burger and some in the ketchup as well,” Liz said proudly before dunking an onion ring in the fiery sauce and popping it in her mouth.

“You are brilliant,” Max complemented before taking a bite of his hamburger. “So what am I thinking now?” he teased before taking a second bite.

“You are wondering if your mother is back from Ruidoso yet—and the answer is ‘no’ because it’s only been three hours, Max,” Liz soothed before taking a bite of her own burger.

“Ugh,” Max’s head fell back against the worn vinyl as he took a sip from his cherry Coke, “Sorry, if you haven’t noticed, I’m just a bit over-protective,” Max sighed, grabbing at an onion ring and dousing it in the ketchup.

Liz chuckled at his admission, “Don’t apologize—I think it’s sweet. You already saved me from three rampaging hellions today,” Liz teased as Max blushed and shook his head, a little embarrassed at his over-reaction.

“But, don’t worry, I promise they will be back soon, probably with one very expensive cappuccino machine that no one will have the time to operate,” Liz predicted wryly, Max chuckling in response as he took another bite of his dinner.

As she took another bite of her burger, Liz thought of a likely solution as she finished off the last of her drink. Wiping her fingers on a napkin, she turned to Max who was finishing off his meal as well, “I wonder if my dad is thinking of hiring your mom to make the cappuccinos?”

Max shrugged at the idea, “I don’t know,” he responded, inadvertently reminded once again of his mother’s financial strain.

Playing out the scenario in her head, Liz continued with the thought, “And if he does, will your mom have to wear the uniform?” Liz asked rhetorically, looking at the empty space in front of her as she tried to imagine Diane Evans in a green mini dress and silver antennae.

Looking at Liz’s bare, tan legs as they extended from the short skirt, every muscle in Max’s body tensed and his eyes grew wide.

“Oh God!” Max groaned as he envisioned Jeff Parker leering at his mother in a similar outfit. He dropped his head in his hands with his elbows grinding against his knees. He pressed his fingers to his temples to try to erase the troublesome thoughts.

“Oh no! Max! I wasn’t being serious!” Liz entreated as her hand went to the back of Max’s tanned neck, her fingers finding the tense muscles underneath in an attempt to relieve the stress she had just produced.

“My God, what do you have—rocks in there?” Liz tried to ply the taut sinew under the skin, but it refused to budge.

“Oh, like you’re one to talk,” Max smiled as he turned his head to look at Liz. “Cause, of course, you’re the most relaxed person I know,” he chuckled with playful sarcasm.

“That’s right—takes one to know one,” Liz replied with a definitive nod. “Come here,” she pulled at his shoulders. “Come sit in front of me,” she insisted, patting the vinyl between her calves.

“What?” Max looked at Liz quizzically. Deciding she must be feeling guilty over upsetting him, he tried to play it off, “Liz, I’m fine—you really don’t have to....”

“Don’t argue with me,” she tugged at Max’s hand till he sighed and scooted the coffee table away, taking a seat on the carpeted floor in front of Liz, his back resting against the green vinyl.

“This really isn’t necessary, Liz, and my neck is twice as big as your ha--,” Max’s dismissive words were replaced with a deep groan as Liz’s thumbs kneaded the muscles on each side of Max’s neck while her fingers worked at the surrounding tissue.

“It’s not how big your hands are, it’s how strong they are. And let me tell you, after years of carrying all those heavy plates, I have one hell of a grip,” Liz declared with a satisfied smirk.

“Where did you learn how to do that?” Max drawled slowly as he rolled his head when Liz’s hands dipped inside his shirt collar to massage the adjoining muscles.

“Maria’s mom—you know, her whole aromatherapy, natural cures obsession—well, she took a class on therapeutic massage, and she came back and taught Maria and me,” Liz explained as her fingers moved to his temples, his jaw, and back to his neck in smooth circles and soothing strokes.

Max’s eyes closed against the glare of the florescent lights overhead, quietly immersing himself in Liz’s touch as she kneaded away the tension in his body. But more than that--it was the feel of her small but strong hands against his skin, the sensation of being touched that was so freeing, gratifying. Unconsciously, his hands went to the back of Liz’s calves, making small strokes against the muscles.

Liz worked her way across Max’s shoulders, rubbing in firm circles until the resistance she met under his shirt was smoothed away, grimacing to herself that she could do a much better job if they were somewhere Max could take his shirt off. Luckily Max was turned away from her, so he could not see the blush rising in her cheeks at the thought.

Liz’s hands traveled to Max’s upper arms, her fingers releasing the pressure in the joints, nearly bringing tears to Max’s eyes as the tension drained away. The groan that issued from Max’s throat made Liz smile, even as she tried to dismiss the fact that she had never heard anything sexier in her entire life.

“Max, are you almost done in there?” Brody called out, breaking Max out of his blissful trance.

“Be right there,” Max answered back weakly.

Liz’s hands stilled at Max’s shoulders as his hands slipped from her calves. Reaching up he took her left hand in his own, placing a sweet kiss on the top of it, turning his head to look up at her.

“I will never doubt you again,” he said playfully. “You are amazing—I owe you one.”

“OK,” Liz responded with a smile, giving Max a hug, wrapping an arm around his neck for a quick squeeze.

As they embraced, Max became keenly aware of Liz’s smooth thighs, her breasts pressed against his back, and as she released him, and he turned to rise, he caught a glimpse of polka dots from beneath her skirt, quickly averting his eyes before his thoughts became too lust-filled, and he embarrassed himself.

“I’d better be getting back,” Liz confessed as she stood and smoothed down her skirt, suddenly aware of her rising self-consciousness.

“Me too,” Max pointed out the break room doorway and nodded feebly.

Liz made a move toward the leftover wrapping and Styrofoam cups to dispose of them.

“I’ll get that—don’t worry about it,” Max waved away her attempt to clean up the trash.

“Well, ok,” Liz smiled, “I’ll call you later—tell you what I find out,” she gave a small wave as she started toward the door.

“Liz?” Max’s voice called, causing Liz to turn back around.

Suddenly, Liz felt two strong arms embracing her as her cheek nestled against Max’s hard chest. She felt the rise and fall of his breath as he held her for a moment before he spoke softly, “Thank you, Liz....”

11:30 that night

Max’s phone vibrated against his nightstand, pulling him away from his reading. He smiled, knowing full well who it must be on the other end.

“Hey,” he said softly into the phone.

“Hey, yourself,” Liz teased with a small laugh. “Did your mom get home ok?” Liz asked.

“Yeah, I heard her pull in half an hour ago. I haven’t talked to her though,” Max explained.

“Well, I went downstairs and found this monstrosity of a coffee maker I have no idea how to operate and all these teeny, tiny little cups,” Liz’s voice squeaked in emphasis.

“I’m sure it’ll be fine Liz,” Max soothed, “Though I really don’t know if my mom can pull off the bobble headband,” Max joked, finally finding his sense of humor at the possibility of his mother making cappuccino at the Crashdown.

“I’ll see if I can talk him out of the headband and short skirt, but I’m not making any promises,” Liz laughed. “You know, I wouldn’t worry—I’m probably completely off-base here,” she tried to dismiss his worries.

“No, I expect you’re probably right,” Max sighed. “It will be ok, Liz,” Max breathed out, the back of his head meeting the wall behind him as he looked toward the ceiling.

“Yeah, let’s hope so,” Liz said wryly as her heavy calculus book hit the floor with a thud. She turned off her light and pulled the covers up over her shoulder as she nestled in her bed, the phone still at her ear.

“You worried about trying to go to sleep?” Max asked gently.

“Yeah, a little,” Liz breathed out. She watched the light in her father’s eyes as he sat with Diane today, heard the excitement in their voices as they discussed new items on the menu, felt the energy in the air as they left together. Rationally, she was happy for her father, but on some instinctual level, Liz was hurt—watching someone other than Nancy Parker sharing these moments with her father, and maybe a little lost—as someone new became her father’s confidante.

Liz tried to shake off these feelings as immature and misplaced, but she was afraid of the lonely and abandoned Liz of her dreams—unable to sort out these feelings into their proper places, mired, instead, in the gloom of a dark and lonesome house.

“If you need me tonight, call me,” Max softly insisted, breaking into Liz’s fearful thoughts. “Promise me.”

“I promise,” Liz conceded. “You’d better get some sleep, Max,” Liz tried to change the subject, though Max was aware of the diversion.

“You too,” he replied in turn.

“Night, Max…”

“Night, Liz…”
*****
Liz opened her eyes once again to a dark endless hallway, ran to the twisting stairs that she knew would lead to nowhere. But she pursued her mother’s thin, distant voice, calling after her, “Mom—Mom, where are you?”

Liz ran up and down the dark steps, knowing from experience that they could not open to where her mother was, catching only the click of her heels, the wisp of red hair when she turned a corner, as evidence of her exisitence.

Liz could hear her father and Diane chatting idly downstairs, unaware of Nancy’s presence, though Liz called for her until she was hoarse.

Liz stopped in her tracks, panting from the endless staircases she had traveled. Desperate, she thought of the last voice she had heard that night before the dream overtook her and called out instead, “Max!—Max! Where are you?” she looked all around, into the darkness, and just as her frenzy began its usual ascent into wakefulness, she felt two strong arms surround her, just as they had twice already that day. She felt the warm muscle of his chest firm against her face as her breath made little ripples against his shirt.

Max’s hands moved in soothing strokes against her shuddering frame, his smooth, low voice repeating over and again, “I’m here, Liz, I’m here.”
Last edited by destinyc on Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Under One Roof (M/L Adult) ch 7 7-26-09

Post by destinyc » Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:03 pm

Ginger-always happy to help! :D
Carolyn-Thanks--we did enjoy ourselves. We'll see both couples grow a little closer in this chapter. :wink:
behr_able-yes--very much like season one as the relationship builds 8)
Kris-Our vacation was great, thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed both couples. I hope you like this chapter as well. :D
alien_614-Max was in her dream..I'll try to remember my italics next time :oops: .
Jan-We're not quite to the point where he will show up in person...but, we'll certainly up the ante a bit today...never fear--all in good time. :wink:
SmileeUK-Max anad Liz are definitely becomeing a more integral part of each other's lives, and they are certainly becoming much more dependant on each other's emotional support. :wink:
Abby-We'll get there--I promise! :wink: They are certainly havaing trouble adjusting to the changes intheir parents' lives--we'll see more of that today.
alien_friend-We'll see more Max and Liz interaction today.Certain realizations will start making themselves known... :wink:
Eve-Max will get a little taste of that today as well... :roll:

A/N-Back from vacation, and now I have to get ready for school to start again :twisted: . But anyway, we saw Roswell (sadly no alien-themed diner except for the spaceship-shaped McDonalds), Ruidoso, White Sands & Alamagordo, Cloudcroft and Carlsbad Caverns--whew! I spent my 40th b-day Friday trekking around Carlsbad--very cool way to spend a birthday :D .

Hope you guys enjoy this chapter, Destiny C.
***
Max hurried at his locker, quickly grabbing his biology book and binder before rushing down the hall. He was more than a little concerned when he woke up after a full night’s sleep, having fully expected Liz to call him during the night, unable to fall asleep or upset from a nightmare. Then again, maybe she’d had a peaceful night and hadn’t needed him after all…

As he broached the doorway, Max’s hopeful expression fell when he saw Liz’s head down on their lab table, her features hidden from view. Swiftly making his way to their table, Max gently lay his books down and smoothed Liz’s hair away from her face, whispering as he bent down to her ear, his hand tracing smooth strokes down her back,

“Hey,” he breathed out softly, “you were supposed to call if you needed me,” Max said with gentle admonishment as he rubbed Liz’s back.

“Mm…I did…,” came Liz’s sleepy reply, the smile on her face evident as she turned to rest her cheek on her hands, her eyes still closed as she spoke.

Max looked down as Liz’s sleeping figure, baffled at her words. Reaching into his pocket, Max checked his phone for any missed calls that he might’ve slept through—there were none. Shrugging off Liz’s semi-conscious mutterings, Max slipped his arm around Liz’s waist as he scooted his chair closer to hers.

“Liz…Liz,” Max whispered as he propped up her sleeping body, holding it close to his own. “It’s time to wake up,” he warned softly.

Liz groaned a little and wrapped her arm around Max’s waist, her face snuggling his chest as she fought against waking up.

“Mmm, you smell good…,” Liz said dreamily, leaning in closer.

“I do, huh?” a deep amused chuckle rumbled in Max’s chest, rousing Liz to alertness.

“What?” Liz rose in her seat, suddenly awake, wondering why Max was laughing.

“You said that I smelled good,” Max smiled down at Liz, his hand resting on the small of her back.

“Oh…,” Liz considered, blinking in surprise, “well…,” she turned back to Max’s chest, closing her eyes as she breathed deeply, “you do,” she said matter-a-factly, smiling in self-satisfaction, opening her eyes brightly.

“Jeez, Liz,” Max smiled, sliding the hand from her back to tickle at her side.

“Ah!” Liz exclaimed, giggling as she tried to flinch away from Max’s tickling fingers, nearly falling off her lab stool in the process, “No, no, no…,” she gasped, “very ticklish…”

Max laughed as his arm slid around her side once more, pulling Liz back onto the stool as his tickling had threatened to send her to the floor, “I got ya’,” he said softly as they exchanged mischievous smiles.

Anyway, if I remember correctly, someone was supposed to call me if she woke up last night,” Max crooned the chastisement softly in Liz’s ear.

“Well,” Liz explained, scowling a little as she tried to remember, “the dream started out the same,” she began, looking at the empty space in front of her before turning to face Max, “but then you were there,” she puzzled out slowly, trying to recall the details, “wearing that same shirt,” she studied the snug, black tee that Max was wearing, one of his favorites. “After that, everything got kind of fuzzy,” Liz shrugged and looked up apologetically into Max’s confused face. “But, at least I didn’t wake up, Liz considered optimistically.

“Well, that’s good,” Max agreed, his hand unconsciously settling at her back while Liz leaned in just a little closer than usual as Mr. Seligman strode in the door, setting his briefcase at his desk before gathering the day’s lab equipment in hand.

If Max and Liz’s physical proximity had gone unnoticed by the pair themselves, their attention now focused on their next assignment, the morning’s interaction had been noticed by another pair of lab partners sitting one row behind and one aisle to the right. With raised eyebrows and astonished expressions, Maria Deluca and Alex Whitman could only look at each other and wonder what was going on with Max Evans and Liz Parker.
***

4:00 p.m.
Making their way out of the nearly deserted school building following the National Honor Society meeting where Ms. Topolsky reminded the qualifying seniors once again to complete their service hours before the end of first semester, Max and Liz headed toward his jeep, one of the few cars still parked in the student lot.

“Thanks again for the ride,” Liz smiled weakly, taking Max’s hand as she stepped up into the jeep. Both students had inwardly groaned when Ms. Topolsky told the group their community service hours had been increased for this year’s graduates.

Max returned the same resigned smile in commiseration over adding yet another obligation to their already packed schedules.

“I already told you—it’s no problem,” Max called back as he strode to his side of the jeep.

“So what are you planning to do for your volunteer hours?” Liz asked, trying to find some inspiration.

“Animal shelter?” Max suggested.

“Ooh, too depressing—I’d want to bring them all home, but sadly—no pets at the Crashdown,” Liz’s eyebrows rose as her lips became a thin line between her teeth.

“Adopt a street?” Max offered.

“Mm, I think the football team and cheerleaders have all the good streets already,” Liz sighed.

“Ok…,” Max considered as he downshifted for the next stoplight, “we could volunteer at the elementary school during our off-period,” Max suggested.

“That’s brilliant, Max!” Liz beamed. “That way we won’t have to miss work. How about I pack us a lunch, we’ll eat on the way, and we’ll have it done in no time.”

“Works for me,” Max grinned in satisfaction over another of life’s minor complications solved. “You want to head over to the elementary school tomorrow and talk to the principal?”

“Sure,” Liz agreed, also pleased at having solved the dilemma.

The traffic thickened when they neared downtown, with Max pulling into a space in front of the Crashdown soon after.

“Cherry coke before work?” Liz offered.

“I thought you’d never ask,” Max grinned, Liz playfully swatting at his arm in retaliation.

“Come on,” Liz smiled, a little blush rising to her cheeks.

After cutting the ignition and pulling the brake, Max walked to the passenger side to help Liz step out and grab her backpack from behind her.

“Hey guys,” Michael called from behind the grill where he had begun his shift shortly after three.

“Hi, Michael,” the pair called out, nodding to their friend.

“Maria, I’ll get dressed in a sec—I’m just gonna’ get Max a drink before he starts his shift.”

“No problem,” Maria responded off-handedly. “The after-school crowd’s already taken off,” she replied as she cleared a booth of empty cups and plates.

Liz went behind the counter with Max following so he could deposit her book bag behind the register. As Liz pulled a Styrofoam cup off the stack, their attention was drawn to their parents’ voices as they entered from the back door of the diner. Liz slowly continued filling the cup with ice and soda while she and Max eavesdropped on the muffled conversation.

“It was such a beautiful drive, Jeff. I’m so glad you asked me to come along,” Diane said brightly. “The mountains are just so cool and green this time of year.”

“I think the temperature dropped thirty degrees between Roswell and Ruidoso,” Jeff added, their voices echoing off the walls of the storeroom. Max and Liz listened closely over the shuffle of moving boxes. Without looking, Liz popped a straw through the lid, neither she nor Max taking their eyes off the closed kitchen door. Max sipped at his soda while he and Liz continued listening to their parents’ conversation.

“Wasn’t that little Italian place nice?” Jeff asked Diane. “Too bad they didn’t serve wine though. A glass of Chianti would’ve been nice with our pasta,” Jeff added, his daughter’s brow furrowing a little at the comment.

“Mm, that’s true,” Diane concurred, the wary looks on Max and Liz’s faces deepening. Michael and Maria looked on, trying to stifle their own amusement at their friends’ discomfort.

“And those little cabins across the street looked so cozy,” Diane commented, her voice sounding clearer as she moved to the storeroom doorway.

Cabins?” Max sputtered as he choked on his sip of soda, Liz patting him on the back as he coughed in shock at his mother’s words. “Cabins??? She wants them to stay in a cabin together?? Does she know what she’s suggesting?” Max asked Liz in a distraught whisper as she continued to run her hand up and down his back while Max tried to recover his breath.

“Well,” Liz sighed softly, “She is a grown woman with two children,” Liz commented with resignation as she leaned her cheek to Max’s shoulder, continuing to soothe him.

“We’ll have to check them out the next time we’re up there,” Jeff responded to Diane, also thinking that the mountain cottages would be a romantic getaway. Diane giggled as they burst through the dining room door, carrying boxes of cappuccino supplies.

“Max, are you alright?” Diane asked as her son tried to recover from his fit of coughing while Liz continued to minister to his back.

“Soda just went down the wrong way,” Liz offered with a nervous smile. “He’ll be ok,” Liz assured as Max nodded through his subsiding coughs.

When Max recovered enough to look up, he noticed his mother’s attire.

“Mom, what are you wearing?”

“My Crashdown tee shirt—Jeff had it made specially,” Diane smiled, looking down at the black, lady’s-cut tee, emblazoned with the café’s turquoise and gold logo. Paired with khakis and tennis shoes and her hair gathered back in a barrette with her bangs hanging down, Diane Evans looked about ten years younger than she was.

“I’ve asked your mom to help me with this new contraption,” Jeff indicated the cappuccino machine in front of them as they sat the boxes of coffee and syrup on the counter.

“We’ve already filled it with water, so we just need to take off the basket…fill it up with the grounds…,” Diane continued through the routine as Jeff’s hand slid to the small of her back in support of her trial run at the machine whose directions were all printed in Italian. “Tamp it down…slide it back into place…and push the button,” Diane placed the tiny cup under the spout as they waited expectantly.

Max and Liz stood frozen, looks of fear and fascination on their faces.

Maria and Michael looked at each other with raised eyebrows, noticing both pairs of the Parkers and Evanses standing similarly entwined.

As the bubbling and steaming coffee maker stilled, Diane pulled the tiny cup from underneath the spout.

“Our first espresso!” she exclaimed, handing the first cup to Jeff.

Taking a sip, Jeff opened his eyes wide and declared, “Now that will keep you up all night!” Finishing the small portion, Jeff smiled at Diane, “Shall we practice on the cappuccinos?”

Max turned to speak to Liz in hushed tones, “Call me later and let me know what you find out,” his breath warm on her cheek as he spoke surreptitiously, glancing up to make sure Jeff and Diane hadn’t noticed, preoccupied as they were with the cappuccino maker. Liz nodded in agreement as Max moved from behind the counter.

‘I’ve gotta’ head to work. See you guys later,” Max announced as he headed toward the door.

Jeff took notice of the four busy teens, Liz moving quickly toward the back to change into her uniform, Michael and Maria busily tending to the diner while Max pushed open the door, preparing to work at the UFO Center till closing time. Eyeing the harried and stressed expressions on the faces of his daughter and her friends, Jeff announced,

“You kids are working too hard—why don’t you guys head out to the lake next weekend sometime. Diane and I can hold down the fort here. Max, why don’t you ask Brody if you can have a day off, and the four of you can have one more day at the lake before the weather cools off,” Jeff suggested graciously.

Max, Liz, Michael and Maria looked at each other, communicating in a series of raised eyebrows and conceding shrugs as they came to a silent agreement.

“I’ll see what I can do,” Max nodded, giving his friends one last nervous glance before heading across the street for yet another shift at the museum, leaving his mother at the Crashdown, the newest employee of Jeff Parker.
***

Fresh from his shower and donning only his boxers, Max slid into bed, settling down to complete the few physics problems he hadn’t finished in class. He quickly picked up his cell as it buzzed against his nightstand.

“Hey, Liz,” Max greeted without needing to look at the caller id.

“Hi, Max, how are you holding up?” Liz asked, concerned.

“OK, I guess,” Max sighed. “How’d it go tonight?”

Liz chuckled at Max’s attempt to disguise his meaning.

“She did pretty well for her first day,” Liz assured. “She had a little trouble with the machine a couple of times, but my dad helped her out if there was a problem. Maria and I told our customers about the new menu, so your mom had quite a bit of business tonight,” Liz reported hopefully.

“Great,” Max groaned having secretly hoped that his mother’s career as the Crashdown barista might be short-lived. “I’m sorry—I know that’s shitty of me,” Max confessed. “But, you know, one day she’s president of the PTA and Junior League, and the next she’s--,”

“Working at the Crashdown,” Liz finished with a sigh.

“Liz, I’m sorry—I didn’t mean--,”

“That’s ok, Max—I understand. I don’t plan on waitressing the rest of my life,” Liz insisted with good humor. “Working at the Crash doesn’t pay much, but your mom did seem to enjoy herself,” Liz consoled.

“Yeah, she seemed pretty excited when she came home tonight,” Max breathed out resignedly.

“Did you ask her about it?” Liz questioned.

“Not really—she made us some dinner, but I told her I had a bunch of homework to finish,” Max sighed ashamedly.

“Max…,” Liz drawled, her voice mixed with disappointment and understanding.

“Liz, I tried—I just couldn’t…,” Max’s voice was thick with emotion as he stumbled to make sense of his feelings at dinner, “whatever I tried to say was just gonna’ come out all wrong, you know.”

Liz grew worried as she could hear Max try to stifle the tears that threatened to fall.

“And I could just imagine what my dad would think if he walked in the door, seeing my mom making coffee with Jeff’s arm around her. I mean—I know I sound nuts, Liz…”

“No, you don’t,” Liz soothed. “I get it—I know what you mean.”

“And I’m thinking—would he be disappointed in me? That I didn’t do enough to help her—so she had to take a job making coffee,” Max wryly ground out, swallowing the lump in his throat.

Liz knew that Max was crying in earnest now, and she desperately wished she were there with him, wrapping her arms around him while his tears fell.

“Max, it’s not your fault,” Liz reminded softly. “Your mom’s problems are way beyond what you can handle on your own,” Liz consoled. “She’s just trying to solve them in her own way.”

Max breathed deeply, trying to reign in his emotions, his bare hand swiping fiercely at his wet face.

“I know,” he conceded simply. “I’d better go, Liz, and finish these physics problems,” Max sighed wearily.

“Ok, but listen, this is a two-way street you know,” Liz sweetly admonished.

“How’s that?” Max questioned, an inquisitive chuckle finding its way back.

I mean, when you wake up,or you can’t sleep, you’d better call me,” Liz directed with a smile. “You promise?” she drawled.

“I promise...night, Liz….”

“Night, Max….”
***
3:00 am

Liz’s phone vibrated against her hand as she clutched it in her sleep. Her dreams usually began this time of night, so the disruption was a welcome relief. She answered the phone without needing to open her eyes completely.

“Hi, Max,” Liz whispered, her voice husky with sleep.

“I can’t get my mind off this, Liz…please tell me about something good, so I can think about anything else besides today,” Max groaned.

“Mm…k,” Liz mulled over the request in her sleepy mind. “Hey, did you ask Brody about next weekend?” she questioned in a breathy yawn.

“Yeah, my mom texted me during work, so I wouldn’t forget. I’ve got next Sunday free,” Max assured.

“Good…,” Liz began to describe how she envisioned their trip, trying to give Max something to look forward to, so that he might forget about his troubles for the rest of the night and get some sleep. Her voice stayed soft and steady and soothing as she described what that Sunday might be like…

“Well, it will be a sunny, warm day…Maria and I will pack a big picnic for all of us, you and Michael can load up the towels and the radio…,” Liz began.

“Cherry coke,” interrupted Max, “You can’t forget the cherry coke.”

“Ok, a big cooler filled with cherry coke and plenty of ice on top…”

Max smiled as Liz continued her musings, her voice almost hypnotic as the tension in his body began to melt.

“Go on…,” he breathed out.

“And…we’ll all climb in the jeep, hit the highway and head east—the wind in our hair and the sun shining down on us. You’re driving us out to the lake, the mule deer and antelope barely taking notice of us as we go by,” Liz’s voice lilted playfully much to Max’s amusement.

“Alright then…,” Max encouraged, eager for Liz’s words to fill his worried mind.

“You turn off onto the lake road, and the ride gets all bumpy, and it looks so dry and rocky that if you didn’t know better, you’d never believe there was water out there, but you keep going, and come around that last turn in the road…and there it is—all that deep blue-green water with the cliffs high overhead.

“Then what?” Max asked thickly, transported as he was by Liz’s idyllic tale.

“Well, we go change our clothes,” Liz replied with an embarrassed giggle.

“What are you wearing?” Max inquired, unaware at first, of the intimate nature of his question.

“Umm…” Liz giggled as she thought about her answer, “my red bikini, I guess—what about you?” she challenged coyly.

“Mm—board shorts—kind of a golden-tan, Hawaiian print,” Max chuckled.

“Ok…so we step into the water, and it’s so cold that we’re tempted to turn around and go back to shore…but we don’t…”

“We don’t?” questioned Max hopefully.

“Huh-uh…we keep going, till the water gets so deep…that our bodies warm up…”

“They do?” Max breathed out, noticing that his body was starting to warm up right where he was.

“Mmm-hmm, then we dive under…get our hair wet…come up for air…and then float on all that deep, salty, turquoise water.

Max groaned a little as he rolled over on his stomach, his boxers growing a little too tight for comfort.

“What was that?” Liz giggled, wondering at the muffled sounds she heard over the phone.

“Nothing—just had to roll over,” Max hedged as he repositioned himself.

“Mm-that sounds good,” Liz concurred as she rolled onto her stomach, stuffing her pillow under her chest, finding the friction against her sheets strangely pleasant.

“Keep going, please,” Max entreated, his hips unconsciously grinding against his mattress.

“And after we swim, and the minnows nibble at our toes,” Liz giggled, “we go to the beach and lay on the sand, and the water slides off our bodies while the sun warms us up.

Liz envisioned Max laying there beside her, the salt water trickling off his bare, tanned chest, and she had to concentrate to ignore the ache building between her legs, having long-forgotten Michael and Maria’s part in this story.

“What do we do next?” Max asked, his deep voice choked with need.

“I guess…we should roll over—kind of like we are now, dust the sand off each other’s backs…maybe rub on a little suntan oil if we need it,” Liz suggested.

“Oh we will…,” Max groaned, a little more insistently than he intended.

Liz giggled at Max’s eagerness, then she stilled, listening to the deep breaths he exhaled into the phone.

“Um…Liz…I’d better go,” Max stammered into the phone.

“Yeah, me too,” Liz felt herself blush, even though no one else was in the room to see it.

“But, Liz…,”

“Yeah?” she breathed out.

“Thank you,” Max replied softly.

“You’re welcome,” Liz responded, smiling into the darkness.

“Save the rest for next time?” Max asked earnestly.

“Of course…”

“Good night, Liz….”

“Night, Max…”

Alone again in their beds, stray thoughts took shape and idle hands sought their aching bodies, Max and Liz each finding relief before sleep once again reclaimed them.
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Re: Under One Roof (M/L Adult) ch 8 7-31-09

Post by destinyc » Fri Jul 31, 2009 4:59 pm

Ginger-Keep Mother Pure :lol: you are hysterical--I love it!

Kris-Glad you enjoyed it! We're not at the lake yet, but lots of M/L interaction today.

Alien614-Thanks so much!

Carolyn-Hee hee! I actually have Diane's tee shirt-bought it at cafepress.com You can search roswell max liz or crashdown cafe.

Alien_Friend-Max and Liz will go through those fears of crossing the line with each other for a little while longer. They have become each other's confidantes but are also trying to supress some of those sexual feelings out of fear of their parents' developing relationship.

Thanks so much for the birthday greetings!

Eve-Yes, Max may get used to the notion of his mother getting on with her life--but he will definitely run into trouble when it starts to impact his relationship with Liz.

Yes, the whole lake discussion did start to take on sensuous implications.

POM-of course the development of these two relationship will surely hit a crossroads on down the line.

behr_able-naughty fun time? Hell yeah!

Jan-Well you can hardly blame them for their *ahem* sorting, now can you?

***
ch 8

Wednesday evening-

“Would you like some more mashed potatoes, Liz, dear?” Diane Evans stirred the buttery contents of the bowl, scooping up a healthy portion in case anyone wanted seconds.

“Oh, no thank you, Mrs. Evans,” Liz smiled politely across the table at Max’s mother, dabbing at the corners of her mouth, indicating she was through.

“Now, remember, it’s ‘Diane,’” Mrs. Evans gently reminded.

“Sorry…Diane,” Liz looked everywhere but at her father and his new girlfriend, sitting opposite her and Max, the chair at the head of the table notably empty.

“Max…more potatoes?” Diane asked hopefully.

“Sure, Mom,” Max acquiesced, knowing that this line of questioning would continue until the contents of the dining table were consumed.

“The meatloaf was great, Diane,—just the right amount of ketchup,” Liz nodded lamely, trying to keep up her end of the conversation.

“In fact, I think I’ll have another piece of meatloaf, myself,” Jeff declared reaching for the serving fork, shooting Max a look of obligatory encouragement as he did so.

“Yeah, Mom, I’ll have some more meatloaf to go with these potatoes…,” Max went along with refilling his plate, even though he was already quite full.

Liz picked at bits of green beans, trying to make her meal last as long as everyone else’s. She was rather relieved when Diane once again broached a new topic of conversation.

“Max, did I see the jeep parked at the elementary yesterday? I meant to ask, but you had to take off so early this morning,” Diane queried.

“Mm,” Max covered his mouth with his fist as he swallowed a bite, “Liz and I are volunteering there during lunch and study hall for our National Honor Society hours.”

“I pack us lunch, Max drives us there,” Liz chimed in.

“We’re volunteering during school, so we won’t have to miss work,” Max explained.

“Good thinking—good thinking,” Jeff gestured with his fork and a hearty nod.

“Well, what do you two do over there?” Diane asked solicitously.

“Um, we’ve made some copies, answered the phones, delivered messages…,” Max listed some of their more mundane duties.

“But yesterday,” Liz added, “one of the teachers got called away on an emergency, so we had to teach P.E.”

“Yeah, we played soccer—Liz coached one team, I coached the other,” Max smiled mischievously, glancing sideways at Liz.

“And my team kicked your team’s bu-hut…,” Liz crooned softly at Max, breaking out in fits of laughter as he rolled his eyes.

“That’s because you had all those rowdy boys on your team,” Max responded with a raised eyebrow.

“Hey, I let you choose your team captain first, and you picked some giggly little girl,” Liz playfully chastised.

“Misty was the one with her hand up first,” Max defended good-naturedly.

“Yes, and she, of course, was going to pick all her giggly little friends,” Liz wisely explained.

“Well, at least she picked one boy,” Max grudgingly reminded.

“Brandon? Misty picked Brandon because she has a crush on him,” Liz interpreted for the men in the room.

“We’ve been there three days, how could you possibly have figured that out?” Max queried with playful sarcasm.

“A girl knows these things,” Liz laughed at Max’s cluelessness. “And then Brandon wouldn’t play because he was embarrassed that Misty picked him,” Liz noted with haughty teasing and a wicked smile.

“Liz Parker and her insight to the 4th grade psyche, ladies and gentlemen,” Max conceded to Liz’s prowess, nodding his head in defeat as he grinned.

“Well, it sounds like you two are getting along very well,” Diane smiled graciously.

Max and Liz looked at each other nervously, wary at the sudden change in conversation, wondering if there was more to Diane’s question than met the eye.

“Um..,” Max and Liz kept trading glances, each making sure they weren’t over-sharing with their parents. “We’ve known each other for years, Mom,” Max’s face scrunched as he sought to satisfy his mother’s question.

“Yeah, we have all of our classes together… we’re lab partners…,” Liz continued, searching for an adequate explanation to explain their ease with each other.

“We did that experiment with mold and fungus in 5th grade,” Max suddenly recalled, pointing as he made the out-of-the-blue declaration.

“That’s right…we did,” Liz concurred, nodding. “It won second place that year at the science fair.”

“And the only reason we didn’t win first was because one of the judges was allergic and had an asthma attack,” Max sighed, remembering how first place was so cruelly denied them.

Jeff and Diane chuckled at the interchange, having always been impressed with their children’s academic eagerness.

“So you guys are going to go to the lake this weekend?” Jeff questioned, looking at both teenagers.

Max and Liz instantly flushed at the memory of their phone call from several nights ago.

“Yeah, Dad…Sunday,” Liz smiled, reminding Jeff of what she’d already told him.

“You know, I don’t know why they had to go and call it Bottomless Lake—it just sounds so suggestive,” Diane complained.

Max groaned inwardly at his mother’s comment, trying to hide his mortification behind the hand he slid to his forehead, “It’s a reference to how deep the lake is, Mom, not—what you’re thinking,” he grimaced.

“Still--,” Diane waved away her son’s explanation and chose not to press the issue any further, instead bringing up the subject of dessert, “Jeff and Liz brought this lovely coconut cream pie,” redirecting the conversation, Diane got up to fetch the dessert plates and the boxed pie. “And by the way, I made some chamomile tea to have with our dessert—everyone should sleep well tonight…,” she called from the kitchen.

Liz shot Max a questioning raised eyebrow. Max shook his head subtly and mouthed a small ‘no,’ indicating that he had not betrayed Liz’s confidence to his mother. Liz took a deep resigned breath and looked toward the living room, instead of her father who had obviously told his girlfriend of Liz’s troubled nights. Liz bristled a little at the thought of Diane, her new co-worker, Max’s mother and Jeff’s new love interest rolled into one, trying to cure Liz’s very private difficulties with tea.

Liz’s glance traveled across the living room, looking over the furnishings and curios it contained, but something odd about the arrangement caught her attention—on the shelves and mantelpiece, there were some family photos and such, but as far as the figurines, clocks and crystal were concerned, the items seemed…spread too thin, or an inexpensive bauble lay in place of something finer. Diane obviously had sold some of her collectables to help make ends meet, and Liz sympathized with her difficulties. Even though the financial losses due to her mother’s illness and death were great ,at least Liz’s dad owned the restaurant, so she couldn’t fault Diane for trying to keep her family’s head above water, even if it did mean working with her at the Crashdown.

Liz’s musings were cut short as Diane delivered the pie and tea, Liz grinning as Diane placed delicate teacups in front of Max and her father.

Checking his watch, Jeff noted, “We’ll have to finish up quickly, Diane, our meeting starts in twenty minutes,” he dug in quickly to his pie and followed that with a swig of the pale yellow tea contained in a dainty cup.

“Oh, that’s right,” Diane cut a bite with purposeful grace. “Max can you take Liz home later? I don’t know exactly when we’ll be finished.”

“Sure, Mom—no problem,” Max obligingly sipped his mother’s tea, a little disconcerted by the flowery flavor.

“And, Liz, would you help with the dishes since Diane and I have to leave right away?” Jeff asked his daughter as he tried to finish his dessert quickly.

Liz opened her mouth to speak but Diane jumped in, “Now, Jeff, that’s really not necessary, you and Liz are our guests,” she insisted.

“Really, it’s no problem,” Liz assured, not minding to clear the table and fill the dishwasher.

“Mom, don’t worry…we can clean this up in no time. Liz and I have a bit of school work, and then I’ll take her home,” Max dutifully recited, a little relieved at being able to do his part. With Jeff taking Diane out-of-town, buying the cappuccino machine, and making a job for his mother, Max felt his own watchful attentions to the lawn and kitchen plumbing a little overshadowed.

Noticing that Diane had finished her pie and tea, Jeff asked, “Are you ready?”

“Mm,” Diane replied, her napkins touching up her lips before being discarded on her plate, “Just let me get my purse.”

Jeff rose to help Diane from her seat, then she quickly slipped back to her bedroom to retrieve her bag. Placing his hand at the small of Diane’s back to escort her out the door, Jeff turned back to the kids who had risen from the table, reminding them, “Don’t stay up too late you two—remember-- it’s a school night.”

Max and Liz watched through the slight opening in the living room sheers, seeing Jeff hold Diane’s hand as they walked to the curb where his truck was parked. Jeff opened the door for Diane and helped her into the cab before walking around to the driver’s side. The two teens inside seemed to hold their breath until their parents pulled away, heading off to their grief support meeting where they had met several weeks ago.

Watching the headlights fade from view, Max and Liz’s shoulders dropped in relief as they sighed in unison, finally released from their respective duties as proper host and guest, knowing that nosy questions from parents were finished for another night.

“Dishes?” Liz inquired cheerfully as she turned toward Max.

“Yeah, let’s finish the kitchen, then we can relax for a minute,” Max replied, both of them heading back to the table to start to clear, making fast work of the chore as Liz was well-versed at such a task and Max knew where everything was supposed to go. After loading most of the items into the dishwasher, the two set about to wash the serving platters in the sink.

“Max, where does this plate go?” Liz inquired, staring up into the cabinet, trying to figure out where the large piece was usually kept.

Drying his hands on a kitchen towel, Max went to Liz’s side.

“Third shelf, behind the plates,” he responded. He watched for a moment as Liz stood on her tip-toes, straining to return the platter to its normal spot.

Max stifled a chuckle, covering it with a smile when he said, “Here, let me,” moving in behind Liz, his left hand grazing her side as his right extended to meet hers which still held the heavy plate. Liz had to catch her breath in the moment when Max’s strong body sidled in behind hers to take the patter from her hand and slide it in behind the plates. Max’s eyes inadvertently closed as he came back down, the sweetness of Liz’s hair filling his senses. He held her there just for a moment before they noticed their close proximity and broke away with nervous smiles.

Having put away the last of the hand-washed items and starting the dishwasher which had begun its noisy churning, Max suggested, “I’ve got those notes I borrowed in my room if you want to get them.”

“Oh sure,” Liz responded brightly, their ease with each other returning as they turned to the topic of school work.

Max led Liz back to his bedroom, turning on the overhead light as they entered.

“I think they’re on my desk,” Max pointed as he bent to move his backpack and stray clothes out of the way.

“Jeez, Max, what is with the marker smell?” Liz laughed, noticing the black pens on the desk and the oppressive odor in the air. Liz picked up the notes, finding an open photo album underneath, noting that there were large black blotches covering someone in the photos.


“Oh, sorry, just doing a little photo editing, I guess. Let me open the window,” Max slid the glass pane to the side, the sheers covering the screen waving gently in the breeze. Max sat back down against his headboard to stow away any bedside items that might prove embarrassing.

Picking up the heavy album, Liz studied the photos, trying to discern the identity of the person blotted out. Straining, she moved around to the far side of the bed, plopping down next to Max to inquire further about the vandalism to the family photos, when she noticed a stray blonde curl that had been missed by the marker.

“Oh that’s--,” Liz started.

“Ah, ah, ah--,” Max interrupted, “Don’t say her name—you can refer to her as ‘the gerbil’ or ‘the bitch from hell,’ but you can’t actually say her name for fear that she might show up at the door,” Max replied in all seriousness.

Liz couldn’t help but chuckle at the jinx, flipping back through the few previous pages to see them all similarly marked.

“Ok, explain please,” Liz settled back against the pillow as she perused the pictures.

Max heaved a sigh and began his explanation, “Alright, now, granted, we were kind of young, but…you know, the gerbil and I started ‘going together’ in middle school…,” Max grimaced.

“Mm-hmm, I remember—go on,” Liz encouraged with an amused smile.

“And anytime I would tell her that I couldn’t go skating or to the movies or something because my family was going somewhere—she would show up at the door to go with us.”

“You’re kidding,” Liz chuckled.

“No-not at all,” Max laughed, “I would tell her we were going camping—she would show up with her sleeping bag and flashlight—five minutes tops,” Max declared with a shake of his head. “I’d tell her we were going to the lake—there she was, bathing suit and sunscreen in hand.”

“What did your parents say?” Liz asked, incredulous at Tess’s forwardness.

“Oh, you know my mom—she felt sorry for her because Tess was raised by her dad, and Mom couldn’t turn her away. But, Isabel hated her—right from the start. Of course, if we were going camping or had to stay in a motel room overnight—Isabel had to share a bed with her,” Max’s expression conveyed Izzy’s intense dislike of the younger girl. “Yeah, I still don’t think Isabel’s forgiven me for that one.”

“So what happened?” Liz prodded, a baffled look on her face.

“Well, you know, my father died right before I got my driver’s license…”

“Yeah,” Liz replied softly.

“I guess when we started dating, she assumed I would be getting the big, new, shiny car—but, of course, I got the jeep instead. She thought we’d be going to Chez Pierre or at least Senor Chow’s and the movies, but instead, it was dinner at home with mom and a DVD,” Max related grimly.

“Ah…,” Liz understood.

“Then Kyle buys the fancy red Mustang…he’s the star athlete, whereas I had to quit sports, so I could get a job…so—bye bye gerbil,” Max finished sardonically.

“So did you ever…” Liz raised her eyebrows suggestively, causing Max to blush and scratch the back of his neck.

“No...,” Max confessed, “We came close a couple of times…but I kept remembering what my sister told me….”

“What was that?” Liz asked with a chuckle.

“Now, you’ve got to understand, Isabel rarely swears—she thinks it’s tacky—but she told me one time, ‘Never fuck that crazy bitch.’”

Liz was laughing hysterically, visualizing the very proper Isabel Evans saying such a thing. “Oh my God, are you serious?” Liz asked between bouts of laughter.

“I swear—so of course, whenever the opportunity came up,” Max cleared his throat embarrassedly, “All I could hear was Izzy’s voice in the back of my head,” Max laughed along with Liz at the value of his sister’s advice.

Liz flipped the album to the front, keeping her finger on the place where Max had left it open. Liz looked at the early photos of the family, first Isabel and then later Max, scanning over Christmases , birthdays and other milestones.

“Oh, look, you had a cute tushie even then,” Liz teased, noting a baby photo of a bare-bottomed Max laying on his tummy.

“Even then, huh?” Max teased in return, gently elbowing her in the side when he caught Liz’s slip of the tongue.

“Shut up…,” Liz laughed and playfully rolled her eyes, continuing through the book till she arrived back at the pages where Max had concealed the intruding Tess.

“You know, you could probably get Alex to Photoshop these for you—replace the gerbil with a tree or bush or something...he really is quite the artist,” Liz suggested.

“There are a lot of photos, Liz; it would take him hours,” Max reasoned.

“Well, you could take it out in trade or something—like for every photo he fixes, you could tell him some little secret about Isabel—her favorite food, her favorite color, what she loves to do in her free time….”

“Um…she likes long walks on the beach, men who aren’t afraid to cry and puppies?” Max laughed, goofing on the centerfold sentiment.

“Something like that…,” Liz chuckled. Through all their laughter, Max and Liz failed to noticed how they had slouched down together against his pillows, their bodies again at ease with each other.

“Ok…so what about you—I’ve told you my little tale of angst and pathos, now what about you?” Max turned the tables on Liz, his upper body turning to face her. “Whatever happened to old ‘Dog Shallow?’” Max teased.

“Oh him,” Liz’s voice squeaked as she continued to laugh. “Doug is far, far away,” Liz replied with a definitive smile and single nod of her head.

“Details,” Max waved his fingers toward his palm, “Come on, I told you mine—you tell me yours,” he smiled.

“Ok,” Liz smiled wryly as she sighed, “So anyway, you know, I dated Doug when I was a sophomore, and he was a senior….”

“I remember,” Max nodded. “Go on….”

“Of course, Dad was pretty nervous with me dating a senior at that age, so he didn’t let me out of his sight too often. But, when Doug went off to college, we were still dating. You know, we’d call, email, text—that kind of thing. We had fooled around a little before he left, but nothing major, you know--,” Liz continued as Max nodded. “So he was supposed to come home for fall break, and I decide that it was time—I should go ahead and sleep with him--,” Liz continued.

“Oh my God, not with Dog,” Max groaned as he chuckled.

“Hang on, hang on—story’s not over with yet,” Liz placed her palm toward Max and grinned. “So anyway, a couple of months before the break, I make up some excuse and go to the gynecologist to get on the Pill; I bought this lacy little outfit—hell, I even got a bikini wax!” Liz recounted through her laughter.

“Seriously?” Max exclaimed, wide-eyed, unable to resist a glance down at Liz’s lap.

“Seriously,” Liz chuckled, “So, fall break rolls around, and Doug calls to tell me he can’t make it—that he’ll come home the next week, then the next week, so on and so forth,” Liz indicated with a knowing nod and roll of her eyes.

“I see,” Max nods in response as he listened intently.

“So, I start to get a little suspicious, you know ‘Why isn’t he coming home? Doesn’t he want to see me?’ and all that. At Alex’s suggestion, I decide to do a little checking. Poor, dumb Doug has forgotten that he asked me to send in a bunch of his scholarship applications, giving me the excuse that he just didn’t have the time to deal with all of them. So, like an idiot, I had emailed all these applications for him during his senior year.”

“Right…,” Max encouraged.

“Well, I had saved all the correspondence in a file on my hard drive just in case he ever needed it again, trying to be the dutiful girlfriend, of course. So, I went to the UNM site and put in his student number and pulled up his account—not really sure what good that would do me, but it was a place to start. Anyway, I go into his health center history and discover that in October he had seen their urologist and received a prescription for an antibiotic and some ointment,” Liz stressed with meaning.

“Oh my God,” Max’s jaw dropped, then asked.

“But you never…,” Max hedged.

“Oh hell no,” Liz insisted. I went on my Facebook page, told everyone what I had uncovered and that Doug was a lying, cheating scumbag, and he never showed his face at the Crashdown again,” Liz said succinctly, smiling as she capped off her story. “So, no, I wasn’t really ready to trust anyone right away after the whole Doug debacle.”

“I never liked that pompous ass anyway,” Max responded. “I’m sorry, but he always had that attitude that smacked of ‘I’m smarter than everybody in this room,’ and I just couldn’t take it,” Max confessed.

“Why didn’t you ever tell me?” Liz playfully swatted Max’s thigh in retaliation.

“What am I going to say—‘Liz I think your boyfriend is a total dick?’ You would’ve hated me….”

“No, I wouldn’t…,” Liz playfully shoved her shoulder into Max’s. “And just for the record, I never understood what you saw in the gerbil,” Liz shook her head in commiseration, “Well…apart from the obvious,” Liz indicated with a laugh, cupping her hands out in front of her.

“Oh God,” Max groaned and winced, “It wasn’t like that,” he stressed in obvious mortification.

Really?” Liz scoffed with a smile.

“No…,” Max sighed, “I don’t care about that…I kind of think everything should sort of…be in proportion. Those big boobs on a little, tiny body sort of seemed…out of place,” Max tried to explain.

Liz considered the analysis, “I guess that’s true,” she pondered, “like with Isabel—the big boobs don’t seem so out of place since she’s tall.”

“Can we not talk about my sister’s boobs, please?” Max entreated with a pained expression on his face.

“Oh, but your ears turn all red when you get embarrassed,” Liz tormented playfully, running her thumb and forefinger at the shell of Max’s flushed ear, throwing her head back in laughter as he squirmed.

“Oh crap,” Liz grabbed the back of her neck, the sudden movement having reminded her of the crick in her neck she woke up to that morning.

“Serves you right,” Max nudged playfully, Liz flashing a humorously wounded expression in return. “What did you do to yourself, anyway?”

“I fell asleep reading Pride and Prejudice last night—stupid Jane Austen,” Liz grumbled. “I thought if I read long enough it would put me to sleep, and it did,” but I was propped up on all my pillows and woke up with a sore neck,” Liz rolled her neck around in her hand.

“I thought you like Jane Austen,” Max asserted, having heard Liz’s responses to the book in class.

“I’ve been reading it, of course, and I pretend to like it for Mrs. Wynn’s sake, but I really can’t stand all the adherence to social custom…some rich aunt telling you who you can marry…waiting to receive an invitation to a party…having relatives you can’t stand come and stay for months at a time…. Give me the Brontes any day—at least then you’ve got ghosts on the moors, crazy wives locked in the attic—I mean—it’s depressing, sure—but at least something is happening,” Liz insisted.

“So did you finish the reading after all this torture?” Max asked with a grin.

“No, I fell asleep too soon—had to fake my way through discussion this morning,” Liz confessed as she continued to rub her neck.

“Well, I checked out the movie from the library, so we could watch it,” Max suggested.

“The Kiera Knightley version?” Liz perked up.

“No,” sighed Max, “they didn’t have that one. They had some old BBC production, but it should run pretty close to the book.”

“I guess we should watch it then,” Liz conceded.

“After—I get rid of this crick in your neck,” Max smiled. “I owe you a rub down anyway.”

“Yes, you do,” Liz agreed with a smile, shrugging off her cropped cardigan to reveal a spaghetti-strap tank underneath. Scooting down and rolling over on Max’s bed, Liz closed her eyes and lay her head to the side.

Stealthily, Max reached down, just below his bed to retrieve a bottle of baby oil, pouring some out onto his hand. Liz had to restrain a chuckle when she heard the cap snap closed.

With one hand pooled with the powdery-smelling oil and one hand still free, Max looked down at Liz nervously.

“Well I guess I’d better…,” delicately, Max pulled the thin straps down to rest on Liz’s arms to avoid them getting stained from the oil. When she didn’t seem to mind the contact, he proceeded, sitting at Liz’s side while he spread the oil along her tanned shoulders. Max began to rub the sore muscles, though his awkward angle made it difficult to massage the muscles evenly. He tried shifting around to find a better position, but nothing he did seemed to feel quite right.

Liz turned her head toward Max, her voice a little muffled against his sheets.

“Sit where you need to Max—you’re not going to hurt me, I swear,” Liz assured, noting his nervous expression as he looked to her lower back. “It’s ok—I don’t mind.”

After another moment of indecision, Max scooted his left knee against Liz’s hip and swung the right over her body to straddle hers, Liz chuckling to herself when Max’s weight on her bottom caused her to pelvis to grind toward his mattress.

As soon as Max’s weight shifted forward and his hands returned to her stiff shoulders, Liz let out a deep groan that frightened him.

“Did I hurt you?” Max rose up in concern over his weight bearing down on her tiny frame.

“God, no—it felt good…keep going,” Liz insisted, her mouth against his sheets.

Spurred on by the encouragement, Max kneaded the sore muscles in Liz’s neck and shoulders, producing moans, groans and sighs from Liz as his hands worked away the knots. With all of Liz’s verbal encouragement and the sounds that could be mistaken for something other than an innocent backrub, Max’s jeans started to get a little snug, something that Liz didn’t fail to notice as his body pressed against hers, though she kept that knowledge to herself as not to embarrass him.

After a thorough working over of her neck and shoulders, Liz turned her head to face Max.

“Do you mind going a little lower?” she asked, her back muscles also having suffered from the same awkward sleeping position.

“Lower?...sure….,” Max agreed nervously. His fingertips grazed against the edge of her camisole, just barely scooting under the bottom hem.

“Is this ok?” he questioned, not wanting to be too forward in his ministrations.

“It’s ok,” Liz smiled before turning her head back to its original position and closing her eyes once more.

Max’s strong fingers traveled underneath the camisole which also apparently served as a bra, since he didn’t encounter another strap to avoid.

His fingers and palms rubbed soothing strokes against her back, his weight rhythmically pushing against her body with each pass of his hands. Max groaned a little himself as his hands splayed out against her sides, inadvertently touching more rounded flesh as he did so. Swallowing hard at the discomfort in his jeans, Max scooted down a bit to rub Liz’s lower back, now exposed as her top had ridden up. Max tried to concentrate on his task, made more difficult, as now, Liz’s jeans -clad bottom came into full view. He proceed with the massage, even though his tension was multiplied by his efforts, his hands stroking along the graceful curve of her lower back, his fingers exploring the sexy dip that sank just above her waistband.

Coping with the raging erection that he couldn’t help but stroke along Liz’s ass, Max tried to finish the massage as he prayed not to lose control and embarrass himself in front of his friend. When his thumbs dipped inside the waist of Liz’s jeans and her hips rose to meet his touch, a low moan issued from Liz’s throat. Max’s breath became raspy at her sound and response, the fantasy of what he would really like to be doing to his friend (and Jeff Parker’s daughter, for that matter) ratcheted up a notch. Knowing he was at his breaking point, Max slid off the end of the bed, pulling Liz’s camisole back into place gently.

“How was that?” Max questioned nervously.

“Oh God, I am a puddle of goo,” Liz groaned and chuckled simultaneously, still remaining face-down on Max’s bed, “That was freaking fantastic,” she declared finally rolling over. “You have the best hands in the world,” Liz confessed enthusiastically, Max grinning with a shy pride at the complement.

“Um, I’m just gonna’ find the DVD,” Max pointed to the old TV and basic DVD player at the foot of his bed.

“Take your time,” Liz responded lightly, still giddy from the massage.

Max pretended to search for the box, in reality, giving and his body time to relax and a chance for his raging hard-on to subside.

“Here we are,” he finally announced, popping the DVD in the player and turning on the tv. “I’ll just get the light so there won’t be a glare on the screen,” Max explained, the room now dark, save the glow from the television.

“Jane Austen—here we come,” Max settled in against Liz resuming the positions they had as they looked at his photo album earlier in the evening.

The colored but grainy image appeared on the screen, the distant world of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy slipping slowly into oblivion…

Two and a half hours later the blue light of the DVD player was broken by the flash of headlights playing against the curtains in the bedroom. The sound of closing truck doors helped further bring Max and Liz back to wakefulness.

“Max?” Liz muttered, her eyes still closed as she nestled her sleeping head further into Max’s soft tee and his hard chest.

“Liz?” Max’s arms tightened around her small frame that lay cuddled against him, his hand caressing the bare, warm skin of her back where his fingers had unconsciously traveled once again under the hem of her camisole.

Startled at the voices that now came from the living room, Max and Liz were suddenly awake, flushing against the dark when they saw the positions they had been laying in.

“Max!”

“Liz!” they both whispered again, this time with the distress of having fallen asleep together during the movie.

“What time is it?” Liz whispered.

“Almost midnight,” Max responded in a panic. “What are we going to do? I was supposed to have you home a long time ago!” he spoke in strained but hushed tones.

“Well, we could just tell them the truth—tell them we fell asleep during a movie we were watching for class,” Liz rationalized.

“On my bed, in the dark, at nearly twelve,” Max responded incredulously.

“Ok, well, it sounded a lot better in my head,” Liz reconsidered.

“Listen, we’ll crawl out the window, I’ll drive you home, and hopefully I’ll be back before your dad leaves. If not I’ll tell them, I wanted a midnight snack, forgot to get gas—I’ll make something up,” Max searched frantically for his keys and slipped on his shoes as Liz gathered her sweater from Max’s bedroom floor and slipped on her shoes as well.

“Here, let me help you,” Max whispered as Liz went through the window, landing with reasonable grace on the other side. Max followed moments after.

Liz looked back as Max regained his footing, holding out her hand to him as they made their stealthy escape.

“I’ll roll back down the driveway and put it in neutral that way we can be outta’ sight before I start the engine,” Max explained, making his way to Liz and grasping her hand.

“Sounds like a plan,” Liz spoke, turning back once more to reply, but as she did so, something else caught her eye. “Max, look,” Liz said shakily, pointing weakly with her free hand back toward the house. Though the curtains in the Evans household were closed, the kitchen light still shone softly from behind, revealing the silhouettes of Jeff Parker and Diane Evans moving together in a kiss.
Last edited by destinyc on Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Under One Roof (M/L Adult) ch 9 8-14-09

Post by destinyc » Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:12 pm

Carolyn-They are in that funny place somewhere between friendship and romance, so they are being quite open, but that will also set the scene for future events. :D
Ginger-Pure?? Someone around here's still pure? Really??? :shock: :lol:
behr_able-you have no idea how hard it is (hee hee) not diving right into the smut :lol: .
Jan-Hopefully, there will be more moans and groans in the future for these two. :wink:
SmileeUK-I think I write these scenes when I have a stiff neck myself (hmmm, wonder what that says about the other scenes I write :lol: :roll: !)
Eve-Glad you liked it! :D
Kris-Coming right up! :D
AlysLuv-Hope you enjoy! :D
Alien_Friend-They are starting to get to the point where their desires will complicate things as well. :wink: They do act as each other's confidante, so there is a fair amount of guilt as sexual urges enter the picture.
Natalie-But...consider the possibilities... :wink:
Amanda-As she does for him... :wink:
Ken-I left you a response earlier (right after your feedback) so please check that out if you haven't had a chance. Max and Liz do rely on each other for emotional support but must also deal with the romantic feelings that are beginning to bubble to the surface. :wink:
Alien614-Hope you enjoy! :D
Twilight-I really do want Jeff and Diane's relationship to be understandable. I'm glad you're enjoying it! :D
Nubantu-Thanks so much! :D
behr_able-I'm trying! I swear! (Now, if I didn't have to get up and teach freshmen all day, then I could stay home and just write...ah...*sighs wistfully*)

I was trying to get the last bit of this chapter finished, but it was a bit slow-going, so I'll post it as soon as I can, but I didn't want to make you guys wait any longer. Enjoy!


***
Shutting off his headlights at the corner and coasting silently into his parking space, Max crawled back through his window moments before Jeff Parker left his mother’s house. Max wondered if they had been kissing since he and Liz first saw their shadows come together through the living room curtains. Max tried to block such questions from this thoughts. He also tried to block from his thoughts how good Liz’s skin felt against his massaging hands or how wonderful she felt snuggled up to his side as they slept. Faced with too many questions, too many temptations, Max instead resigned himself to the rather unsexy world of Jane Austen, picking up his rumpled paperback and trying to finish the homework he had earlier neglected.

Downtown, Liz wasn’t faring much better. Though Max had rushed her home, and she climbed the ladder to her room without incident, the weight of the evening’s events plagued her as well. Hearing her father come in shortly after she, herself, had arrived home, she dare not place a phone call to Max and risk her father overhearing, expecting Jeff Parker to remain awake for quite awhile, the memory of his first romantic kiss in four years replaying in his head.

Liz as well turned to her missed homework, trying to escape into the restricted world of Elizabeth and Darcy. Frustrated by the hero and heroine and annoyed by the frivolous mother and domineering Lady Catherine, Liz pressed on with the reading, trying to expend some of her confusion and frustration on finishing the assignment and hopefully having something to contribute for class tomorrow. As Max had not called her, Liz assumed that once the adrenaline of sneaking out of his house wore off, Max would fall soundly asleep, and she didn’t have the heart to wake him after such a traumatic evening. Worse than that, she certainly couldn’t face the inevitable subject—the kiss between their parents. Liz continued reading, only falling asleep in the few moments before her alarm sounded and dawn began to break.
***

When Alex and Maria walked into first period, they were greeted with a rather unusual sight—Max and Liz both fast asleep, their foreheads propped against their arms and their bodies hunkered down, side-by-side, with little room between them. Now while they were accustomed to such behavior from Liz, Max was usually the one to wake her, but he was just as unconscious as she was. Alex and Maria exchanged concerned looks, moving quickly to wake the sleeping duo before Mr. Seligman walked in.

“Max…Liz…time to wake up,” Alex sang out in hushed tones.

Maria gave them each little shakes as her voice grew more insistent, “Come on, you don’t want Seligman to catch you napping—you know he’ll embarrass the shit out of you just for kicks!”

Seeing their science teacher stride quickly down the hall in their direction, Alex grimaced at his approach and took action to wake the pair once and for all. Slamming his biology book against their table, the glass tubes and beakers rattling at the force, Alex woke Max and Liz, the sudden noise and reverberating force proving too much to sleep through.

“What—“ Max breathed out, taking in his surrounding as Liz rose and did the same, wiping at the corners of her mouth just in case some drool had collected there.

Turning around to eye Alex and Maria questioningly, Max and Liz watched their friends nod once toward the door with expectant eyes, Mr. Seligman appearing in the doorway as the tardy bell rang.
***
Lunchtime

“Max, I went into the restroom and called the elementary. I hope you’re not mad, but I just couldn’t face those kids today. I told the principal that we needed to stay here for study hall, so she said that she would see us tomorrow,” Liz sighed, dropping her head against Max’s shoulder.

“That’s fine—missing one day won’t set us back,” Max agreed, “Are you hungry? Do you want some lunch?” Max asked gently.

“I’m just not hungry, and the cafeteria would be just way too much to handle right now,” Liz confessed, unable to deal with the unappetizing fare, rowdy students, and prying questions from their friends.

“I agree,” Max replied. “I just don’t have much of an appetite today,” he concurred, slipping an arm around Liz’s back, her head still sitting against him.

Glancing around the now-empty hallway, Max drew Liz’s attention, her head rising from its perch. Nodding to a small doorway down the hall, Max inquired, “Do you wanna…?” looking at Liz with sympathetic eyes as they shared a similar thought.

“I thought you’d never ask,” Liz sighed in relief, their arms around each other as they made their way to the infamous eraser room. Covertly surveying the hallway for any onlookers, Max opened the door, his hand at the small of Liz’s back as she went through.
***
“Our friends won’t miss us at lunch because they think we’re at the elementary,” Liz began.

“And the elementary thinks we’re at lunch with our friends,” Max finished. “Set your phone alarm for one thirty…,” Max requested as he shrugged off his jacket, the weather finally cooling off enough to need one. Shoving the jacket into a wad to form a make-shift pillow, Max lay down against the cool tile floor of the eraser room, his head propped up slightly against the leather.

“One-thirty,” Liz said with a satisfied nod before sitting her phone on a shelf and locking the door, smiling as she turned back to Max, stretched out on the floor.

“Come here,” Max said, stifling a yawn as he held out his arms, last night’s self-consciousness about falling asleep together now forgotten. Yearning for that closeness that was so comforting and restful, they made use of the one room in the school known for its intimacy and privacy.

“Gladly,” Liz agreed, catching Max’s yawn with a grin. Joining Max on the floor, Liz snuggled to Max’s chest as his arms wrapped around her warm body.

“An hour nap, and we’ll be good as new,” Max predicted, his eyes growing heavy as Liz’s breathing beginning to match his own.

“That’s right,” Liz mumbled, snuggling against Max’s tee as her jeans-clad leg draped over his.

“Sweet dreams, Liz,” Max uttered the sentiment against Liz’s dark hair as he held her close, the words feeling reminiscent of a sweet kiss.

“You too, Max…,” Liz whispered in reply against his chest, long-denied sleep already claiming them both as they lay, innocently entangled on the eraser room floor.
Last edited by destinyc on Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:34 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Under One Roof (M/L Adult) ch 10 8-19-09

Post by destinyc » Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:54 pm

AlysLuv-Thanks so much! :D
NotYourChick-Glad you like them! Hope you enjoy the next chapter. :P
XAF RU208-Glad you're enjoying it! :D
veronica-As soon as I can... :P
Eve-Sorry, I knew I would end up upsetting some Austen fan...so sorry! :cry:
Jan-Well, they do head back to class on time...but their nap makes it a little tough to go to sleep that night. :lol:
Carrie-They have become quite the snuggle buddies, haven't they? :wink: They will be having more serious issues as Jeff and Diane's relationship progresses. I am so glad you are enjoying it!
Kris-Glad you are enjoying it! Thank you so much for your feedback! :D
behr_able-You know, I do what I can... :D
Abby-thanks! :D
Ginger-Actually, their plan is pretty well thought out, but getting to sleep that night may be a different story. :wink:
behrluv32-Thanks! :D
Carolyn-I figured everyone would be ticked that I sent them to the eraser room to nap! :lol:
Alien_Friend-They do seem to do a lot of cuddling, don't they? :wink:
***
ch 10
12 hours later
Max and Liz awakened from their nap in the eraser room refreshed and alert, acing their quizzes and tests during school and breezing through work afterward. But now, at midnight, with their homework complete and nightly routines finished, Max and Liz each lay in their beds, replaying the events of the night before. Though they had fallen asleep and awakened in each other’s arms, Liz still in Max’s bed at midnight, compelled to sneak out of Max’s window and drive the first block with the jeep’s headlights turned off, those were not the memories keeping them awake that night. Instead, it was the shadowed kiss between their parents that kept their worried thoughts occupied.

While their rational, daylight minds could understand the necessity of their parents finding someone new, could recognize that they, themselves, were just a few months away from college and forging new lives of their own; nevertheless, at midnight in their darkened rooms, Max and Liz lay awake, memories of Jeff and Diane together appearing behind eyelids that wouldn’t remain closed.

After punching his pillow and rolling over for the hundredth time that night, Max was relieved when his cell rattled against the nightstand, grabbing the shaking device before it buzzed again.

“Hey, Liz…”

“Hey, Max…you asleep?” Liz asked softly.

“No, I just can’t get my brain to shut off,” he groaned, figuring Liz had a similar complaint.

“I know the feeling,” Liz sighed.

“Did you have any trouble with the calc homework?” Max inquired.

“Nah, finished it after my shift….I just…couldn’t stop thinking about…things,” Liz hinted, not really wanting to overtly bring up the topic of their parents’ budding romance.

“Yeah…I was thinking about things, too,” Max concurred. Neither of them really wanted to delve into the topic of the kiss they saw through the curtains the night before, though they each would welcome a pleasant distraction, both thinking of their last late-night call and the fantasy of their upcoming day at the lake.

“So…what else will happen on Sunday?” Liz coaxed, blushing a little at the thought of their previous phone conversation that had come to a sudden stop.

“Oh, wow…it’s up to me now, is it?” Max chuckled.

“It only seems fair,” Liz playfully retorted, her mood beginning to lift just at the sound of Max’s voice.

“Ok…I’ll give it a shot,” Max chuckled with her before his laughter tapered off, and he took a deep breath before continuing. “Where were we anyway?”

“Suntan oil,” Liz offered, a little too quick on the draw with that recollection.

“Mm, that’s right,” Max concurred, his eyes drifting down to the bottle of baby oil he had used on Liz the night before.

“So…I pour the oil into my hands, and, um…spread it on your arms… your legs…your back,” Max nervously described, his boxers beginning to grow tighter as the scene took shape in his imagination. His body hovered between guilt and desire while he spoke.

“Cause I don’t want you to burn…of course,” Max rationalized nervously.

He and Liz were friends—they had grown close—they needed each other. As her friend he could talk to her late at night, hold her close, relieve her pain with his touch, but in the dark, alone in his bed, Max could dream of wanting more.

Liz thought of the massage that Max had given her—how strong yet gentle his hands felt against her skin. She tried unsuccessfully to squash the fantasy that began to brew in her thoughts—how his hands might feel touching other parts of her body. But as much as she tried to dismiss her imaginings, the memory of his touch was a strong one.

“…Oil on my back…like you did last night?” Liz breathed out huskily, hoping her voice did not betray her.

“Um…yeah,” Max stammered.

“It was nice—the massage, I mean,” Liz’s face burned crimson in the dark, remembering the delicious pressure of Max’s body on her own, straddling her hips while he touched her bare skin.

“Oh…good,” Max breathed out, his cock hardening further at the memory, despite his best efforts at self-control. “So…Liz,” Max’s voice grew breathier as he tried to continue with the conversation, “When you sunbathe…do you, um…untie that little string in the back?”

Liz giggled a bit at Max’s nervousness, “Yeah…sometimes.” Liz’s left hand rose to her chest, draping an arm across her breast in misplaced modesty as she was alone in her dark room. A little gasp passed her lips when she realized the nipple under her palm had hardened. Unconsciously, she dragged her hand across the soft cotton tank top, the puckered flesh underneath tingling at her touch.

“Well…that’s good,” Max muttered nervously, then groaned inwardly at asking such an inane question.

“It is?” Liz breathed out, wondering if somehow she had telegraphed her fantasies to Max over the phone.

“So…so…you won’t have, um—tan lines. Right? Isn’t that why girls untie—that string?” Max attempted to rationalize, albeit ineffectively.

Liz had no choice but to laugh at Max’s discomfort, her hand slipping down to her shaking belly as the unacknowledged tension was relieved.

“Yes, Max,” Liz teasingly giggled, “That is, in fact, why we girls untie the strings on our bikinis. Why, do guys think we do it just to taunt you with side-boob?”

“Yes, yes, we do,” Max laughed in return, expelling the breath he had been holding for too long. “Anyway—no fair laughing at me, you’re the one who asked me to continue with the story, you know,” Max smiled into the darkness. “You are way better at this than I am,” Max insisted, grateful, at least, that their nervousness was broken by Liz’s laughter.

“No, Max, you’re doing fine,” Liz humorously consoled, cradling the phone as she rolled onto her side. “Please continue…untied string, suntan oil…come on, come on…,” Liz egged Max on good-naturedly.

“Now what about me?” Max played in return, finally recovering his power to carry on an intelligent conversation. “Are you just going to let me remain all SPF-free? Make me go without my suntan oil and burn to a crisp?” he played along in feigned innocence.

“Now, how am I supposed to put oil on your back if I am already topless?” Liz questioned with wry humor.

“Well, I don’t exactly see the problem there,” Max playfully retorted in moment of uncharacteristic boldness.

“Max!” Liz squealed and laughed, delightfully shocked at his teasing.

“Or you could just do me first,” Max replied with a smile and a shrug, the stiffness in his boxers returning with his confident daring.

“Oh my God,” Liz laughed loudly, her smile shining in the moonlight while the delicious hum of excitement passed through her body.

“Time for bed, Liz,” came the muffled directive from across the hall.

“Damn, I woke up my dad,” Liz chuckled in a hushed whisper, feeling only mildly contrite.

“Sorry…,” Max laughed in the same soft tone, trying to catch his breath.

“No, don’t be,” Liz breathed out, snuggling into her pillow. She ran her hand over the cool, soft cotton, but smiled sadly at the lack of firm warmth she had quickly become accustomed to.

Max grabbed at the extra pillow that had fallen on the floor and wrapped an arm around it, though the squishy down only served as a poor substitute.

Their breathing slowed as their laughter subsided, both growing quiet again in their darkened rooms.

“I miss you, Max,” Liz whispered, her fingers absently tracing the pillowcase beside her.

“I miss you too, Liz,” Max responded with a sigh of longing, clutching the pillow even closer to his chest.

“Pancakes in the morning before work?” Liz tempted softly.

“I wouldn’t miss it,” Max replied in a sweet whisper.

“Good night, Max…”

“Good night, Liz…”

Max and Liz closed their phones and then their eyes, still smiling, even though the conversation had ended. They fell asleep replaying the tension, the trepidation, the laughter and longing of the evening, but not once, did they think about their parents’ kiss….

~~~
Sunday morning

“Come on, girls, day’s a-wasting,” Michael shouted up the wooden staircase, he and Max waiting below, ice chests in hand.

“We’re coming, we’re coming—keep your pants on,” groaned Maria as she and Liz bounded down the steps, their bikinis concealed only by shorts and unbuttoned, oversized shirts with sleeves rolled up loosely to the elbows.

Michael was ready with a suggestive retort, but reigned in his words as Jeff Parker was in earshot.

Their beach bags were slung over their shoulders and their sandals flapped nosily against the wooden stair when Liz and Maria greeted Max and Michael—Maria leaning into Michael for a quick kiss while Liz wrapped her arms around Max for a tender hug.

“What’s in the ice chest?” Liz nodded to the coolers in their hands.

“Hot dogs for tonight in this one,” Michael lifted the container slightly in response.

“Plenty of cherry coke in this one,” Max smiled at Liz, both blushing a little at the memory of their previous conversations about the trip.

“Did you get my marshmallows?” Maria queried, knowing that no cookout was complete without those delightfully toasted treats.

“They’re in the jeep,” Michael assured with a sigh, Maria having reminded him a dozen times to buy the marshmallows.

“Well, Maria and I made some sandwiches for lunch,” Liz went to the refrigerator and pulled out the four subs they had earlier made, handing them off to Michael to place in the ice chest.

“Not quite as meaty as mine, but they’ll do,” Michael teased as the regarded the sandwiches, shifting the hotdogs in the ice to make room for the subs on top.

“You wish,” Maria playfully taunted in return, elbowing her obnoxious boyfriend.

“I mean as meaty as the sandwiches I make, Maria,” Michael retorted, shoving the lid back on the cooler, Maria laughing at Michael’s slip of the tongue. Max and Liz groaned at the interchange and shook their heads.

As the group headed toward the dining room door with their coolers and beach bags, they were stopped short by Jeff.

“Here, kids, some egg and sausage burritos for breakfast,” Liz’s dad volunteered as he slipped four of them in a to-go container.

“Thanks, Dad,” Liz reached up and kissed her dad on the cheek, taking the Styrofoam box from him. “They smell delicious,” Liz smelled the spicy sausage and salsa before fitting the lid closed.

“Well, I just want to make sure you kids have plenty to eat,” Jeff warned good-naturedly, plating the order on the grill and ringing the bell for Agnes to pick up.

“Hold your horses, I’m coming…,” Agnes’s gravelly voice groused.

“Anybody else want some coffee with breakfast?” Liz inquired as the four pushed through the kitchen door. Max’s mom stood behind the counter in her Crashdown tee and khakis. Every so often, Agnes could be heard grumbling about Diane not being required to wear the requisite turquoise dress and sparkly antennae headband.

“Morning, Mom,” Max kissed his mother on the cheek as she had already left for work by the time he had woken up.

“Morning, son,” Diane returned the greeting while she finished making a customer’s latte.

“I’m just gonna’ grab us some coffees for the road,” Liz pointed to the coffee pot as she slid past Diane and Max.

Diane piped up, “Why just have coffee when you can have cappuccino?” her eyes twinkled in encouragement.

“Oh, ok,” Liz agreed as she looked at her friends who nodded in agreement.

Liz and Max stepped from behind the counter to give Diane room to work, the cappuccino machine steaming, hissing and gurgling as she started on the first cup.

Michael and Maria sat the coolers atop one of the booth tables, Michael reaching into the one containing soda to push the hot ones on top down toward the bottom.

Max and Liz waited at the counter to collect the hot drinks when Liz had a thought--

“How ‘bout some donuts to go with our burritos?” Liz grinned at Max.

“Sweet and spicy sounds good,” he replied with a warm smile.

Liz hopped up and leaned over the counter to grab a white paper sack from the shelves underneath, Max’s hand instinctively reaching for the small of her back to steady her, her loose cotton shirt riding up while she strained to procure the bag before sliding back down. As Liz pulled off the clear domed lid, picked up the donuts with the small silver tongs and popped them inside, Max’s hand remained at the small of Liz’s bare back, his thumb unconsciously tracing circles there.

Everyone’s attention was suddenly diverted to Diane who was struggling with the obstinate cappuccino machine.

“Jeff, I can’t get this filter basket to latch back into place,” Diane bent to look at the brewing mechanism, trying to find the problem.

“Mom, it’s ok, we can just get regular coffee,” Max offered.

“Nonsense, it’ll just take a second,” his mother waved away his concern.

“Here, let me see what I can do,” Jeff entered the dining room and sidled up beside Diane, his left hand sliding to her back as he also bent to examine the machine.

Michael and Maria looked up, anxious as they were to get their coffees and go. As they watched the scene from the back of the room, Maria raised a silent eyebrow to Michael who could only shake his head and shrug, not knowing any better than Maria what to make of the Parker-Evans pairs that stood before them. Both men’s hands lay tenderly at the ladies’ backs; both women leaned in, smiling at the men beside them; two pair of dark eyes and two pair of light eyes glittered brightly as they looked at each other, carrying on conversations that seemed warm and comfortable. All four seemed oblivious to the fact that anyone else was in the room.

“Here we go, Di, this little gasket had slipped down,” Jeff pushed the rubber ring back into place, allowing Diane to swing the filter back into place and finish making the last of the cappuccinos. Jeff helped Diane with the to-go lids, turning to place them on the counter for the kids, Max picking up two cups to carry to Michael and Maria.

Max’s forehead scrunched in confusion as he turned and saw Michael’s smirk and Maria’s sly grin.

“What?” he questioned at their suspicious expressions, his ears turning a little pink even though he didn’t know why they should.

“Nothing…,” they replied in unison and then took a drink, grateful that the large white cups could hide their knowing smiles.
Last edited by destinyc on Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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