Somewhere, Anywhere (M&M, CC/UC, AU, Adult) COMPLETE, 07/23/17

Fics using the characters from Roswell, but where the plot does not have anything to do with aliens, nor are any of the characters "not of this Earth."

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Location: Somewhere. Anywhere.

Part 68

Post by April » Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:43 pm

Part 68

Max double-checked the grocery list Maria had written out for him as he made his way to the check-out counters. This wasn’t one of his usual errands—he usually handled things like trips to the hardware store or the auto garage—but Maria seemed to have less time on her hands lately, and he volunteered to help her out, stop by the store and pick up all their food items for her. Not that there were many. She’d done a good job of stocking up.

He wheeled his cart into what seemed to be the shortest line, and there buying a twelve-pack and a bag of popcorn was none other than Maria’s boss. Max recognized him right away.

“Hey, Brody,” he said, waving. “Max. Maria’s boyfriend. We met at the housing party.”

“Oh, I remember,” Brody said as he held up five fingers for the clerk. “How are you?”

“Doin’ alright.” Max chuckled as the clerk handed Brody five scratch-off lottery tickets, each of which was probably a losing one.

“Gotta play to win,” Brody said, pocketing the cards.

“That’s right,” Max agreed, thinking he might splurge and buy himself a couple. Why not? He used to be a pretty lucky guy. Maybe he’d get the big winner.

“So did you watch the Spurs game the other night?” Brody asked while the clerk scanned and sacked his items for him.

“No, I had to take care of some stuff with . . . my son,” Max said, trying to push that night out of his mind.

“It was good,” Brody said. “High-scoring.”

“Those are always the best.” He would have loved to have been able to just sit and watch that game, preferably to watch it with Dylan, but his son’s interest in basketball was almost non-existent, and after his meltdown about potentially taking swimming lessons . . . the game just hadn’t seemed that important anymore.

“Hey, I’m glad I ran into you,” Max said, feeling like there was something they needed to discuss, something beyond basketball. “I actually needed to ask you something.”

“Go right ahead,” Brody urged as he handed his debit card over to the clerk.

“Well, it’s . . . it’s Maria’s work schedule,” Max started in. “She’s probably too polite to say anything herself, but it just seems to me that she’s workin’ a lot lately. Like more than she used to. And I know she likes the job, so she probably doesn’t mind, but . . . I don’t know, I just feel like I barely ever see her.” He wasn’t trying to whine or complain, but he had to say something. Because it wasn’t just him that was missing her; it was Dylan, too.

“That’s odd,” Brody said, wrinkling his face as he punched in his PIN number. “I don’t think I’ve increased her hours.”

“I think it’s just ‘cause she’s been workin’ so many late nights,” Max said. “I mean, I know someone’s gotta do it, but maybe it could be someone who doesn’t have a son at home to take care of.” If everyone who worked at the housing department was a student, surely there were plenty of other options.

“I don’t schedule Maria for nights,” Brody told him. “She was perfectly clear when I hired her that she couldn’t do that, so I just schedule her during the day.”

Max frowned, confused. “So she hasn’t been working late these past few weeks?”

“Nope,” Brody said, taking his debit card back from the clerk, “not that I’m aware of.”

Max’s frown intensified as he struggled to understand. If Maria hadn’t been working late, then what had she been doing?


“Ugh, I hate doing dishes,” Maria groaned, handing another plate over to Max to dry off.

“We need to fix the dishwasher,” he said.

“Do we have enough money for that?”

“We should,” he said, thoroughly toweling off the plate before putting it back up in the cabinet with the others, “with all the hours you’ve been puttin’ in lately.”

She looked away from him and stared down at the silverware in the sink, pretending to be all focused on using the scrub brush to get it them all clean.

“Maria, I have to ask you about that,” he said quietly.

“About what?” she asked, trying not to tense up.

“Work. Your work,” he clarified.

Oh, crap, she thought, not at all liking the sound of this. Max had seemed sort of out of it all night, not really talking to her as much as he usually did. Even Dylan had noticed it. At the dinner table, he’d asked him what was wrong, but Max had just shrugged and said it was nothing.

It definitely seemed like something now.

“What about my work?” she asked, removing her hands from the sink. She dried them off quickly, hoping they wouldn’t start shaking.

“Well, see, I ran into Brody at the store today,” he revealed, “and I kinda got confused.”

Oh, god. Oh, god. Her heart was starting to pound, but she managed a soft smile and asked, “What do you mean?”

“Well, I asked him about your schedule--”

“You asked him about my work schedule?” she cut in. “Max, why did you do that? I don’t wanna get fired or anything.”

“No, he’s—he’s not gonna fire you. I was just asking,” Max assured her. “He said he’s still scheduling you during the day. So . . .”

Maria’s stomach clenched as her mind raced, trying to figure out a way to explain herself.

“I don’t know,” he mumbled, “I guess I’m just wondering what the deal is, ‘cause you’ve had so many late nights.”

She knew she couldn’t very well change her story now. She said she’d been at work, so that was what she needed to stick with. “Yeah, I’ve pulled some double shifts,” she lied.

“But you weren’t scheduled.”

“No. No, but . . . a lot of people have been sick lately,” she went on, hoping the lie sounded as smooth as it felt. “And a lot of them have a really tough class load, so when they need someone to fill in, I figure it’s the least I can do.”

“So . . . you’re working extra?” Max made a face.


“And Brody doesn’t know about it?”

“Well . . .” Fuck. “We have these time sheets, you know, so he probably just didn’t look at mine very closely.”

“But you’re gettin’ paid extra?” Max asked.

“Yeah, it counts as, like, overtime.”

“Oh.” Max nodded, seemingly accepting that as an explanation. For now, at least. “That’s good then. When do you get paid?”

“Soon,” she replied. “Tomorrow, I think.”

“You think?”

“Tomorrow,” she confirmed, even though she’d already gotten paid. She got a check every week, and it was a good time Max never saw it, because there was absolutely no overtime income added onto it. She’d have to collect a little extra cash by tomorrow, just so her story seemed more plausible.

“I guess it’s nice to have the extra money,” he said.

“To fix the dishwasher,” she added light-heartedly.

He smiled at her, nudging the defunct machine with his knee. “You don’t have to work so much, though,” he assured her. “If we need more money, I can pick up my hours.”

“Oh, it’s no big deal,” she dismissed. “I like my job.” And by that, she of course meant that she liked having sex with Michael. A lot. The thought of not being able to do it so frequently was a forlorn one.

“I like it when you’re here,” he said quietly, as though he didn’t want her to truly hear any of the insecurity in his words.

She nodded slowly, wishing she could promise him that she would be at home more often, that she wouldn’t have so many late nights. But something inside just wouldn’t allow her to do that, not as long as Michael liked having her around, too. As long as they could be together, even if it was just in secret . . . it was like nothing else mattered.


“One-twenty, thirty, forty, fifty,” Michael counted as he laid a stack of bills in the palm of Maria’s hand. “That’s all I got.”

“That helps,” she said, closing her hand around the cash. “Thanks. I’ll pay you back.”

“You don’t have to.” It wasn’t like he’d spend that money on anything good anyway. Just food and condoms. And he already had a stock supply of the latter.

“No, I do,” she insisted, stuffing the money in her back pocket. “Otherwise I’m like a prostitute, getting paid for my services. Although . . .” She smiled wryly. “Wouldn’t be the first time.”

“Hey . . .” He didn’t like her even thinking about that, let alone joking about it.

“Sorry,” she said. “Dark humor.”

He sat down on his couch, pulling her down on top of his lap. “I’m not paying you for sex,” he said.

“No. You’re just giving me money to wave in front of my boyfriend’s face so I can perpetuate my lies.” She looped her arms around his neck, eyes downcast. “Either way it’s bad.”

“Well, here’s a novel idea: You could tell him the truth,” he suggested, reaching his hands behind her to cup and squeeze her ass. “I hear it sets you free.”

She shook her head stubbornly. “That’s not an option right now.”

“Right now?” That wasn’t so bad. That at least gave him hope. “When will it be an option?”

“I don’t know,” she groaned, pouting. “Can you just kiss me or something?”

He grinned, always willing to fulfill that request. Leaning in, he pressed his mouth to hers, letting his tongue dart out to caress hers a few times before he pulled her body closer to his and kissed his way down to her neck instead.

“Oh, I need better excuses,” she moaned, rolling her hips into his. “He’s getting suspicious. I’ve ‘worked really late’ really often these past few weeks. I can’t keep doing that.”

“Then what’re you gonna do?” he mumbled, nibbling and sucking on her pulse point.

“I don’t know.”

“Cut back on your time with me?” He lifted his head, really hoping that wasn’t her solution. All this sex they’d been having wasn’t making him want it any less. If anything, he just wanted more and more.

“No,” she said, smiling adorably.

“No?” Thank God, he thought. Nowadays, he felt like he was going crazy if he wasn’t touching her.

“I can’t stop,” she said, her voice full of passion and longing as her groin rubbed right against his, right against the straining hardness in his pants.

I can’t, either, he thought, gazing at her with intrigue. This was supposed to have just been a quick visit today, because he had psych class in about . . . two minutes. But there was no way he was going to make it there now. “Ride me,” he told her, his voice husky with desire. He wanted his girl to hop on his cock and use his body for her own satisfaction. He wanted to watch her work for it, feel her sweat.

Maria definitely didn’t need to be told twice. One second her hands were on his shoulders. The next, they were working feverishly to undo his jeans.


As Isabel trotted down the stairs, she heard Courtney call her name from the kitchen. “Isabel, come here.”

For a second, she thought about just walking out that door, pretending she hadn’t heard her, but she waited for one second too long, and in that second, she changed her mind. “Hey,” she said, sauntering into the kitchen, not at all surprised to find Courtney sitting on the counter in nothing but Eric’s t-shirt. “I actually have to leave. I’m late to meet someone.”

“Who? A guy?” Courtney wriggled her tongue suggestively.

“Yes, actually.” Although the only thing Alex would be doing with his tongue was talking to her.

“Does Jesse know?”

“It’s not like that. He’s . . . kind of like a professor,” she explained.

Courtney gave her a knowing look. “Oh, so it’s one of those meetings.”

“No, it’s not like that, either.” She’d learned her lesson at Princeton. No way was she getting kicked out of college again. “He’s looking over my novel.”

“You wrote a novel?” Courtney twisted around and reached into the cookie jar, taking out an Oreo that must have been in there for a while, because it crumbled in her hands the moment she grasped it.

“I’m still writing it, technically,” Isabel said. “I really have to go.”

“What’s it about?” Courtney chomped away on her cookie, this amused gleam in her eyes. “Is it sexy?”

Sexy . . . really wasn’t the right word for it. “It’s graphic,” Isabel replied vaguely.

“Well, I’d totally read it . . . if I didn’t hate reading.” Courtney laughed and rolled her eyes.

“I gotta go,” Isabel repeated, turning.

“Hey, wait a minute.”

Once again, she stopped, growing evermore frustrated. If Courtney was just bored and wanted to hang out . . . she really wasn’t in the mood for it. “What?” she groaned impatiently.

Courtney brushed the crumbs off her hands and slid down off the counter. “Okay, so I overheard Jesse and Eric talking, and I thought I should just give you the heads up before they talk to you,” she started in.

Oh, great, this didn’t sound good. “About what?”

“Your website, Isabel. It’s not making money. You’re losing advertisers and subscribers. You gotta do something unexpected, something edgy.”

“What, like a gangbang?” Isabel grunted, repulsed by the thought. No way. There were just some lines she wouldn’t cross.

Courtney shrugged as if it were no big deal. “It’s really not so bad,” she said, “if all the guys are nice.”

And the porn industry was so full of nice, wholesome guys, wasn’t it? “Were they all nice with you?” Isabel asked challengingly.

Her friend didn’t answer, and the silence said it all.

“I don’t care about my website, Courtney,” Isabel declared, very much over it right now. “I just . . . don’t care.” She flapped her arms against her sides, spun on her heel, and walked out the front door. So what if she was losing subscribers, losing advertisers, losing money in general? In the long run, it actually felt like she was winning something in return.


Maria was only stopping by the Student Union for a cup of coffee when she saw her: Sarah. She was sitting outside by the fountain, her feet in the water, her head in a book. She had sunglasses on, but Maria could tell it was her. She was so absorbed in whatever she was reading that she didn’t glance up, didn’t seem to realize anyone was watching her.

Maria stopped at the rotating doors in front of the Union, debating whether or not she should approach her. It wouldn’t be so easy to strike up a conversation anymore, not that it had ever come naturally to her or anything. What was she supposed to do, apologize for sleeping with Michael and breaking up their engagement? Thank her for keeping their secret from Max? Either one seemed bound to get a repulsed reaction.

Despite all her second-guessing, it felt like the right thing to do to at least say something, so Maria took a step forward. Before she could get anywhere, though, a warm hand gripped her arm and pulled her back.

“I wouldn’t,” Michael said.

She glanced down at his hand on her arm, immediately wishing it was someplace else. “I just thought I could go talk to her,” she said weakly, her resolve to do so quickly fading.

“It’s not gonna make her feel any better,” he told her, gently tugging on her arm. “Come on.”

“Where are we going?” she asked, finding it hard to think about Sarah when he was standing so close to her.

He grinned and replied, “Someplace where I can make you feel better.”

And there it was again, that breathless feeling that he always seemed to know how to produce in her. She took one more glance back at Sarah before giving in to Michael’s simple seduction.

She followed him down to the bookstore, which sold a lot more than books these days. It was full of Aggie memorabilia, from posters and other decorations to clothing. She’d purchased plenty of shirts there at the start of the school year, though there had been no need to slip into the dressing rooms to try any of them on. But that was where they were heading now. She was sure of it.

Quiet as mice, they slipped inside. Michael hastily shut the door and slid the lock into place. The door went all the way down to the floor, so no one would know they were in there together. As long as they managed to keep quiet.

Easier said than done, she thought, gasping as he pushed her back against the wall. She hadn’t planned to meet him here, hadn’t planned to have sex with him right now, but the pure spontaneity of it all made it even more exciting.

His mouth occupied hers expertly while his hands dove in between them to tug her black leggings down over her hips. Maybe she’d had a guttural feeling that she’d run into him, because she hadn’t worn any underwear today. She kicked off her sandals and helped push the garment down further, so that it was around her knees. She tried to spread her legs, but it was too constricting until, with a low growl, he bent down and dragged her leggings all the way down to her ankles. She stepped out with one foot and lifted that leg up to wrap around his waist. Grinning mischievously, though, he sunk down to his knees, apparently with other ideas in mind.

“Oh my god,” she whispered in a rush when his mouth came into contact with her pussy. No tender kisses, nips, or nuzzles. It was a full blown oral assault right from the start, and she was more than willing to give into it.

He lifted her left leg up to drape over his shoulder, and it gave her the perfect angle to roll her hips forward and back, grinding herself against his face. His tongue tickled and tantalized, just like it was supposed to, and she swore she’d be cumming in no time. Maybe that was the point.

“Oh, Michael,” she moaned as her fist slammed back against the wall.

He stopped his ministrations momentarily and peered up at her with a playfully sexy gleam in his eyes. “Shh,” he teased.

Not wanting him to stop, she grabbed a clump of his hair and pushed his face forward again, right between her legs. He gave her a few more licks, but that was it before he stood up, his hands already pushing aside his own belt buckle. His pants were down to his knees in mere seconds, and then his hands were underneath her ass, lifting her up so that she was in the perfect position for him to shove his dick into her.

She couldn’t help but cry out, because he started to go hard right from the start. At first he tried to just hold her up rather than using the wall for any additional support, probably in an effort to reduce the noise they were making. But that idea quickly fell by the wayside, and he slammed her back against it so he could really pound her. Her legs wrapped around his waist tightly while her hands scrunched up his shirt and held on for dear life. Somehow, she managed to get herself quiet, but it didn’t matter much, because every time his hips pressed forward, her ass slammed back into the wall, making an unmistakable, rhythmic sound. If anyone walked by, surely it would be no secret what they were doing. And it was supposed to be a secret.

Right now, it felt too good to care.

“I want you to cum,” he whispered in her ear, all of his words blending together. He moved both his hands beneath her knees so he could get a good grip on her legs. He moved them both out to the sides so that she was spread open even more to him and he could fuck her harder.

“Oh god, please,” she begged, looking down between them to try to watch. It wasn’t very often that she got to see it happening, got to watch him sliding in and out of her. And she couldn’t even see it very well now, but she could see the next best thing.

Turning her head to the side, she watched their reflections in the full-length dressing room mirror. It was a complete turn-on seeing herself get fucked. They looked primal together, animalistic, like they weren’t just doing this because they wanted to anymore, but because they had to. Because they’d go crazy if they didn’t.

He gave a few more deep, hard thrusts that rattled her to the core, and the physical feelings combined with the reflective peepshow sent her over the edge. She had to bite back a scream as she came, clenching her eyes shut and tossing her head backward as it electrified her. He reached his own orgasm a few more thrusts later, as if he’d just been holding out until she got there first.

It all felt so damn good.

He was still inside her, though neither one of them were moving anymore, when there was a knock on the door. “Excuse me?” a woman’s voice said. “Is everything alright in there?”

Michael started to chuckle lightly, but Maria whacked his shoulder to shut him up. “Um, yeah, everything’s fine,” she said, she answered. “I’ll be out in a minute.”

They waited a few seconds until whoever was on the other side sounded like they were shuffling away, and then Michael slipped out of her and set her down on her own two feet again. “Did you like that?” he asked, his voice thick with desire.

“Yeah,” she confessed, looking down at his still semi-hard cock. Part of her wanted to get down on her knees and suck it, return the favor that he’d paid to her. But he’d already cum, and it would probably be too sensitive for that right now. Besides, they really had to get out of that dressing room before anyone came knocking again.

As he pulled his jeans back up and fastened them, he said, “You know, we might have to squeeze in more quickies if we can’t have as many late nights.”

“It’s bad, though,” she said, sure that he probably had more important things to be doing right now. “Aren’t you supposed to be in class?”

“Screw class,” he mumbled. “I’d rather be screwing you.”

Well . . . he’d certainly done that. But class mattered, too, and she hated that his grades were suffering because of how preoccupied he was with her.

He squatted down and picked her leggings up off the floor, handing them to her. “You comin’ over later then?” he asked.

She would have loved to, but with Max’s recent suspicions, it just didn’t seem like a good idea. “I can’t,” she said, tugging her clothes back on. “I have to go home tonight.”

“So when am I gonna see you?”

“Maybe . . .” She straightened all her clothes and her hair out, thinking through their limited options. There was one that stood out, though, seemed particularly appealing. “This weekend,” she decided.


“The whole weekend.”

His eyes lit up with intrigue.

“Yeah, Max and I were planning on taking Dylan to Roswell to see my mom and Diane,” she explained, “but I can just pretend I’m sick or something, and Max can just take him alone.”

“You sure?” he asked.

“Yeah. It’s not like I’m dying to see my mom or anything.”

Smirking, he moved in closer for a hungry kiss. “Sounds perfect,” he murmured against her lips. “We can just . . .”

Visions of the two of them tangled up in sheets and in each other danced through her head. “We can just,” she agreed, pressing her forehead against his. As intensely passionate as this frantic, rushed sex had been, this weekend would offer them more time. Time to draw it out, go slow, pay attention to every single inch of each other’s bodies. This weekend, they wouldn’t just have to fuck. They could make love.


While she was in the midst of trying to make sense of organic chemistry, a shadow fell over Sarah’s textbook.

“Ew, studying,” Tess said. “I really don’t miss doing that.”

Sarah smiled and closed her book, all too happy to be done with it for now. “Hey, Tess,” she said, getting to her feet. “Coffee?”

Tess nodded affirmatively. “Coffee.”

They went inside the union, stopped by the Starbucks counter, and then sat down at one of the open tables, where Sarah made sure to say, “Thanks for spending time with me today.”

“It’s not like it’s a chore,” Tess said as she sipped some of the foam off the top of her caramel macchiato.

“Well, I know I’m not exactly the most exciting person to hang out with these days,” Sarah acknowledged. Even though she wasn’t allowing herself to sink down into a black hole of depression or anything, she still felt pretty down in the dumps pretty often. It was hard to try to be . . . cheerful. About anything.

“Well, that works out well, because I’m not too exciting to hang out with, either,” Tess said, smirking. “Hey, wanna go shopping after this? You can buy all the clothes I’m too big to fit into.”

Sarah chuckled. “Yeah, that sounds fun.” She really didn’t need any more clothes in her closet, but it would be fun just to browse. “Can I talk to you about something first, though?” she asked. Before they made any effort to be lighthearted, there was something weighing on her, something she had to discuss.

“Sure,” Tess said. “What is it?”

“Well . . .” She trailed off, sighing, dreading this conversation. But it was one they needed to have. She decided to ease into it gently. “End of the semester’s coming up, and I’m not taking summer classes this year.”

“Good for you. Enjoy your summer.”

“That’s the plan.” It certainly wasn’t going to be the summer she’d envisioned—no wedding or anything like that—but it could still be nice in its own way. “Actually, I was thinking I might—I might go home to Las Cruces this summer,” she announced.

“Yeah, that makes sense,” Tess said. “Save money, spend time with your family.”

Inwardly, she cringed, clarifying, “And then I was thinking I might just . . . stay there.”

Realization swept across Tess’s face, and she quieted down. “Oh.” As she thought about it for a few more seconds, it seemed to dawn on her just what a big change that would be. “Oh. You mean, like, transferring?”

Sarah nodded. “It’s a bigger school. More classes.” Less Michael, she thought, hating that he was a big part of her motivation for this. “I think it might be a good fit.”

“Yeah. Yeah, it—it might be,” Tess stammered, trying to smile supportively.

“It’s just an idea,” Sarah assured her. “Nothing’s set in stone at this point.” She still had a month to figure out what was in her best interest. If Carlsbad was the right place for her to be, then she wouldn’t leave. But if she’d be better off in Las Cruces, then . . .

“I know it’d be awful timing,” she said, “what with the twins on the way and all.”

“Hayden and Haley.” Tess smiled fondly. “That’s what we’re naming them.”

Hayden and Haley, Sarah thought. They would probably be perfect children, blessed with all sorts of amazing talents and abilities. They’d be smart and adorable and all the things that Kyle and Tess were. She wanted to know them, but if she left town, would that still be possible? “Look, I know I’m supposed to be their godmother, and it would be such an honor,” she said. “But if you wanna pick someone else just in case I don’t end up being around so much, I would understand.”

“What?” Tess made a face and immediately dismissed that idea. “No. No. You’re their godmother, no matter what.” Reaching across the table, she squeezed Sarah’s hand assuring. “You’re my best friend. And I don’t care if you’re in Carlsbad, Las Cruces, or Fargo, North Dakota for crying out loud. You’re always gonna be my best friend.”

Sarah breathed a sigh of relief. She’d expected as much, but still, it felt nice to hear it. “Like I said, it’s just an idea at this point.”

“Well, if that’s what you decide to do . . .” Tess blinked back tears, but she managed to hold it together. “I’d miss you. But I’d support you.”

Of course you would, Sarah thought. Tess was still a cheerleader, even if she didn’t wear the uniform anymore. She supported people, encouraged them. Until they fell out of her good graces, anyway, like Michael had.

“It’s not like I’m trying to run away from everything that happened here,” Sarah said, feeling the need to explain herself. “It’s just . . . it’s been a lot to deal with, and I think I might just need a fresh start.” It was ironic, she was aware, that Las Cruces seemed fresh; after all, her whole reason for choosing Carlsbad had been to get out on her own, have some independence, even if it meant a slightly longer commute back home. But right now . . . home just seemed so inviting, and she would have done anything to be back there with her family, with people who loved her no matter what. Because obviously Michael hadn’t been one of those people.

“Can I ask you something?” Tess requested quietly.

Sarah nodded.

Tess leaned in, her voice dropping almost to a whisper when she inquired, “Do you miss Michael?”

She could have lied, and part of her wanted to lie, just to seem stronger than she actually was. But this was her best friend sitting across from her. No need to lie to her. “Every single day,” she admitted, letting the hurt linger. Even worse than missing him, however, was the agonizing suspicion that he didn’t miss her nearly as much in return.


Michael felt like he had an extra bounce in his step as he headed to Lecuona Hall for Music Appreciation that Friday, not because he was particularly excited about the class or anything, but because he was excited to see Maria. The plan wasn’t to have sex with her after class today; no, instead, he was just going to flirt with her, get her all hot and bothered so that, when they hooked up later tonight, she’d be begging for it.

“Yo, chico.”

He grinned as Fly caught up to him. “Hey, man,” he said. It felt like it’d been forever since he’d seen this kid.

“Hey,” Fly returned, walking alongside him. “What’s up, man? I ain’t even seen you lately.”

“Yeah, I know. I’m just busy.”

“You busy this weekend?”

“This weekend?” Michael echoed. His plans were this weekend were set. In stone. “Uh, maybe. Why?”

“I was just thinkin’ about havin’ some people over,” Fly explained. “You know, fiesta.”

“With strippers?” Michael guessed.

“Hell, yeah, with strippers,” Fly eagerly confirmed. “You in?”

He chuckled inwardly, because the only girl he wanted to watch take her clothes off would take her clothes off for him. This weekend. All weekend. “Uh, well, the last stripper you booked was my ex-girlfriend,” he reminded Fly, “so I’ll pass.”

“No, I won’t get her,” Fly assured him. “I could get an Asian chick.”

Michael shot him a warning glare.

“Sorry, bad joke,” Fly apologized quickly. “Come on, man, it’ll be fun.”

“Yeah, I know, but . . .” He also knew it wouldn’t even compare to the fun he and Maria were going to have. He had virtually no interest in watching any other girl undress right now. None whatsoever. “I can’t. I got stuff to do.”

“Like what?” Fly prodded.



“Yeah, for real.” That was probably what he should have been doing. “My grades suck this semester.”

Fly sighed in resignation. “Alright, well . . . stop by Saturday if you get bored.”

“Yeah, I will,” Michael said, even though he knew there was no way he would get bored. “Later, Fly.” He picked up the pace as Lecuona Hall came into view, eager to get in there and see his girl.

“Yo, Mike,” Fly called after him.

He swiveled around.

In a rare moment of seriousness, Fly looked right at him and said, “I know you’re busy and all, but don’t forget to hang out with your friends once in a while.”

My friends, Michael thought, nodding slowly. Right. They were important, too, and he didn’t mean to make them feel unimportant. But it was just that . . . given the choice to hang out with them or hang out with Maria, there was obviously no decision to be made.

TBC . . .


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Location: Somewhere. Anywhere.

Part 69

Post by April » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:16 pm

Part 69

“Maria, you ready to go?” Max hollered.

Maria slumped out of the bedroom, hair tousled, makeup smeared, hoping she looked like an absolute mess. “I don’t know, Max,” she groaned, trying to sound all achy. “I feel like crap right now.”

“Still?” he asked as he set their bags down by the door.

She nodded. All day, she’d been hinting that she felt sick, and as the day had gone on, she’d tried to act sicker and sicker. He hadn’t been home, but he’d called plenty of times from work, and each time she answered the phone, she’d tried to make her voice sound scratchier, more congested.

“I thought you were gonna rest today,” he said.

“I did, but it didn’t help.”

“Did you end up goin’ to class?”

She nodded.

“Why? I told you to just stay home.”

“I know, but . . .” She shrugged, not about to tell him why she hadn’t followed his advice.

“You think it’s allergies?” he asked, taking a few steps closer to her.

She took a few back, shaking her head. “No, I think I’m getting a cold. My head hurts, my throat hurts. All I wanna do is lay down.”

“Well, maybe we shouldn’t go then,” he suggested.

She leaned against the wall, closing her eyes momentarily just so it looked like she could barely keep them open. “But Dylan’s all excited,” she pointed out. “And your mom probably made some huge dinner for us.”

“You think you can make it?” he asked.

“I don’t know.” She rubbed her forehead, glad that she wasn’t really feeling as sick as she was pretending to be. “If I am getting a cold, I don’t wanna spread it to you and Dylan.” She glanced out the front window, watching him run around in the front yard. He was chasing an animal of some kind, hopefully just a squirrel or something harmless. “Maybe . . . maybe you should just take him without me,” she told Max. “That way he still gets his weekend with his grandmas, and I get a chance to relax and start feeling better.”

Max sighed, clearly thinking about it. But he didn’t agree to it right away. “I don’t know,” he muttered. “You sure you’d be alright on your own?”

“Yeah. And I could always call Liz if I need anything.”

“True,” he said. “If you want me to stay, though . . .”

That was exactly what she didn’t want. For days now, she and Michael had both been eagerly anticipating this uninterrupted time together. She had to convince Max to leave, otherwise Michael wouldn’t be able to come over and stay. “No, you should go,” she told him. “Spend the weekend in Roswell. It might actually be kind of a nice father/son weekend for you guys.”

He smiled fondly at the thought of that, but that smile soon fell, and it was as if he still wasn’t completely convinced. “I just hate leavin’ you here to fend for yourself,” he said.

“Oh, I’ll be fine,” she promised him. “Honestly, a couple days to myself might just be exactly what I need.”

His eyes narrowed as they stared straight into hers, and for a second, she was worried. Worried that he suspected something, that something just didn’t feel right to him. But then, much to her relief, he eventually nodded his agreement.

Once Max had loaded up the car and driven away with Dylan, Maria wasted no time. She texted Michael to come on over, and then she hurried to make herself look more presentable. First she took her hair out of its messy ponytail and straightened it, even though it wouldn’t stay that way for long once Michael got her in bed. Then she redid her makeup and picked out something cute to wear: jean shorts and Michael’s very own Aggie sweatshirt, which she still had yet to return to him. Which she probably never would.

Standing before the full-length mirror on her bedroom door, she smiled confidently at her reflection. She felt . . . sexy. And whether that was because of her outfit or the fact that Michael would soon be taking it off of her was irrelevant, because it was a good feeling regardless.

The doorbell rang, and she couldn’t recall feeling more excited in her whole life. She bounded towards it, taking a second to calm herself down before she opened it. “Hey,” she said, smiling at him coolly, hoping to look . . . seductive.

“Hey.” He came inside, his eyes immediately roaming all over her, taking her in. “You look . . . really good.”

“Thanks.” He didn’t look so bad himself.

“So . . .” He shut the door for her and looked around. “Here we are.”

“Here we are,” she agreed. “Place to ourselves.” There were only a few times he’d ever actually been over there, and even though this wouldn’t be the first time they’d had sex there, it would be the first time he’d be able to spend the night. And spend the next day. And the day after that.

“When are they comin’ back?” he asked.

“Bright and early . . . Monday morning.” She grinned.

“So we’ve got some time then.”

“Oh, yeah. Plenty of time.” She backed into the living room, teasing, “In fact, we don’t even have to have sex right away. We could just sit around, watch some TV, kill some time if you want to.”

He gave her a knowing, suggestive look, obviously amused, but also eager to get started.

Oh, who am I kidding? she thought, giving in. I can’t wait.

They closed the distance between each other swiftly, mouths crashing together, hands immediately grabbing, groping; and together, they stumbled down the hallway and into the bedroom.



Amy gasped with delight, beaming from ear to ear when she saw her grandson. “Hi, sweetie!” She knelt down and gave him a huge hug. “I missed you.”

“Missed you, too, Gramma,” he said. Pulling back from her embrace, he held up a daisy for her, one that appeared to have been plucked right here out of Diane’s front yard.

“Oh, well, thank you,” Amy said, taking a sniff. “Mmm. My goodness, look at you. You look even bigger than you did at Christmas.”

“That’s ‘cause I’m not a kid anymore, Gramma,” he proclaimed proudly.

“Oh, no? Are you a grown-up now?”

He nodded affirmatively. “Yep.”

“Okay, if you say so.” She gave his cheeks a little squeeze, and he giggled. “Why don’t you head into the kitchen and say hi to your other grandma?” she suggested. “I think she’s making us dinner right now.”

Dylan’s eyes got really big, and he yelled, “Food!” and darted inside.

Amy laughed, standing up straight again. “Hi, Max,” she said, opening her arms to hug him as well.

“Amy. Good to see you.”

Looking out over his shoulder, she expected to see Maria still in the car, maybe talking on the phone or grabbing some of their luggage. But there was no Maria. Anywhere.

“Where’s my daughter?” she asked, confused as to why she wouldn’t be there.

“Oh, she couldn’t make it,” Max explained, coming inside. “She’s home sick.”

“With what?”

“Just a cold.”

Amy snorted. “Must be a pretty bad cold for her to stay home.” A sore throat or stuffy nose shouldn’t have kept Maria away this weekend. They had family plans, and those were important.

“Yeah, she just didn’t feel up to comin’,” Max said as he took off his shoes. “Still wanted me to bring Dylan, though.”

“Well, I’m glad you did.” Seeing that little guy was obviously the highlight of the whole weekend for both her and Diane. “Your mom and I have been looking forward to seeing him. And you. And Maria, but . . .” She trailed off, disappointed that her daughter couldn’t have just toughed her way through it.

“I’m gonna go see my mom,” Max said as he headed to the kitchen.

“Yeah, sure.” Amy smiled at him, then waited until he was gone, to let a frown find its way to her face. Not because Maria was sick, but rather because she had a hard time believing that.


“Mmm,” Maria purred as Michael spooned with her that night, his arms around her waist, holding her close. All the energy had vanished from her body, and she felt completely spent. But also completely content.

“I missed this,” Michael said, rubbing his legs against her beneath the covers.

“What, sex?” she teased. “We’ve been having plenty of it.”

“No, this.”

She smiled, grateful to have this time with him. “Yeah, me, too.” It was nice not to have to rush around or put a quick end to the night. Being able to just lie with him and bask in his warmth felt so romantic.

“But now I get to fall asleep with you,” he murmured, kissing the back of her neck, then her shoulder. “And wake up with you. And fall asleep again tomorrow night.”

“Mmm,” she moaned again, smiling happily at the thought of it. “Today was amazing.”

You were amazing,” he emphasized.

Just trying to keep up, she thought. Sexually speaking, Michael sure knew how to wear her out, but she just reveled in every second of it.

“I love you so much, Maria,” he told her, his voice getting softer as he became more tired.

He told her that almost every time they were together, like it was his way of assuring her that it wasn’t just about sex. But she already knew that. And even though he had to know that she loved him, too, she realized she didn’t say it enough. But tonight, as they lay here, falling asleep in each other’s arms for the first time in years . . . tonight it just felt right.

“I love you, too.”


Even if his mom hadn’t said, “Rise and shine,” Max would have woken up when she came into the room the next morning. Because she had a tray of food with her, and it smelled amazing.

“What the . . .” He sat up, rubbing his eyes. “Mom. You didn’t have to do this.”

“Oh, it’s not all that often I get to see you,” she said, setting the tray down on his lap. “I need to spoil you when I do.”

“Well, thanks.” He surveyed the insurmountable collection of food in front of him. Eggs, sausage, bacon, toast, hash browns, and two pancakes drenched in syrup. She’d made way too much, but he’d eat as much of it as he could. This was way better than the cereal and Toaster Strudels he normally ate for breakfast.

He first took a bite of the pancakes and nodded his appreciation as he swallowed. “Tastes good.”

“Oh, I’m glad.”

He scooted over a bit, giving her room to sit down next to him. And there was plenty of room. Even though this was just the guest bedroom, the bed in it was bigger than his and Maria’s was.

“Is Dylan still asleep?” he asked, continuing to eat.

“No, he’s up,” his mother replied. “I made him some breakfast, too.”

So Dylan and I are both getting spoiled then, Max thought. Not that he minded. In fact, he pretty much knew to expect it at this point. His mom had always treated him well, probably better than he deserved. Maybe it was the guilt of not having been in his life for the majority of it. He often thought she blamed herself for his drug problem, because she hadn’t been there to prevent it. But at least, unlike Isabel, he’d put his problems behind him.

“So how have you been, Max?” she asked, putting her hand on his shoulder.


“And how’s work?”

He shrugged. “Steady. Backbreaking, but steady.” Honestly, on his weekend off, work was the last thing he wanted to talk about.

“Don’t worry, you won’t have to work construction for the rest of your life,” she assured him.

“Or paint houses?”

“No, you’ll go back to school someday. I just know it.”

He appreciated her optimism, though sometimes, he doubted it. Lawyer Max had left the building a long time ago. “I don’t mind,” he said. “I mean, it’s hard work, and I’m way more blue collar than I ever thought I’d be, but . . .” He trailed off and shrugged again. “It’s alright. I come home every night to an amazing son who loves me. So I’m pretty lucky.” Even that was probably an understatement considering how his relationship with his son had begun.

“And your daughter loves you, too,” his mom added.

He smiled, wishing he had Scarlet with him this weekend, too. “My daughter’s perfect.”

“She is,” his mom agreed before asking about the other important ladies in his life. “So how’s Maria? How’s Liz?”

“They’re good, yeah,” he told her between bites. “I know Maria wishes she felt up to coming this weekend.”

“Yeah, I wish she was here, too. But at least you and Dylan came.”

“Yep.” He stopped eating long enough to take a drink of the orange juice she’d given him. Holy crap, that stuff was fresh. The whole thing was like the kind of breakfast you got at a fancy hotel or something.

“So do you think you and Maria are getting any closer to . . . making things official?” His mother smiled at him hopefully.

“You mean getting married?” he translated.


He didn’t feel like they were close to that at all. And that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, given their history. “I don’t think Maria’s in any big rush,” he said. If she was, she sure as hell hadn’t mentioned anything about it to him. “So if she’s not, then I’m not, either.”

“Do you think it could happen, though?” his mom pressed. “Sometime this year?”

He didn’t want to give her any false hope, but at the same time, it wasn’t impossible even though it was improbable. “It could. You never know,” he said. “But right now, things are good.” He understood that his mom wanted to see her son get married, but it just wasn’t all that important in the scheme of things. Whether he put a ring on Maria’s finger or not, they were going to continue to be good. And that was all that mattered.


Resisting the urge to wake up, Michael moved closer to Maria. Or, at least, what should have been Maria. He reached for her, but the bed was empty.

Opening his eyes, he lifted up his head and looked around the bedroom, confused. “Maria?” Maybe she’d just gotten up to go to the bathroom or something.

He tossed the blankets aside, sat up, and pulled on his boxers, then headed out into the hall. He heard her rummaging around in the kitchen, and when he sauntered out there to join her, he just stood behind the fridge and peeked his head around, watching as she cooked. It didn’t come naturally to her, that was for sure. She made a face when the toast popped up out of the toaster, very burnt. She grabbed it with her fingertips and winced, quickly dropping one slice at a time onto the two plates she had set out on the counter. Then she returned her attention to the eggs she had in the frying pan, groaning when they started to stick.

So cute, he thought, smiling as he watched her. Although there was something about the fact that she was just wearing his t-shirt that was just fucking sexy.

“Seriously?” he teased, slinking towards her. “All that talk about wakin’ up with you, and then you aren’t even there?”

“I was trying to cook,” she said, twisting one of the oven knobs to turn off the heat on the eggs. “I thought it’d be a nice surprise.”

“It is.” Half of it probably wouldn’t even be edible, but hell if he cared.

“Well, I can’t guarantee it’ll be a Sarah Nguyen level breakfast, but . . .” She shrugged helplessly. “I tried.”

He moved right up in front of her, placing his hands on her waist, pulling the t-shirt up a bit. “You don’t have to compare yourself to her,” he said.

“It’s kinda hard not to.”

“Why?” He didn’t get that. Was it just a competitive girl thing? Female insecurity? “I don’t compare myself to Max.”

“You don’t?” She sounded surprised.

“No. I already know I’m smarter and better-looking. And that you love me more.” He smirked.

Her eyes dropped down to his chest as her fingers grazed up his sides. “Maybe we shouldn’t talk about Max and Sarah,” she suggested.

“Maybe we shouldn’t talk at all.” He moved in closer, pressing his body against hers. “I’m hungry.”

“That’s why I cooked,” she pointed out.

He shook his head, grinning suggestively. “That’s not what I’m hungry for.” Pressing his hips forward a bit, he let her know just how much seeing her in his shirt turned him on.

She inhaled sharply, grabbing his arms, and he kissed her, wishing he’d brushed his teeth first. But she didn’t seem to mind. Her hands were sliding up to circle around his neck in seconds, and she held on tightly as he lifted her up and set her down on the counter. She spread her legs, and he moved in between them, kissing her insistently, ready to make love to her right there.


Max brought Dylan to Amy’s shop that day, and she opened it up just for him. She was adamant to keep the closed sign facing the street, since it was a Saturday, but she said she had no qualms about letting Dylan pick out a few things.

“Cool!” Dylan exclaimed as he eyed an alien head backpack. “Dad, can I have it?”

“Ask your grandma,” Max replied.

Dylan looked at Amy with side, hopeful eyes.

“You can have whatever you want,” she told him.

“Awesome!” He picked up the backpack and unzipped it, then ran over to the keychains.

Max quickly saw where this was going. He was going to fill up that whole bag, and they were going to end up with more quirky alien souvenirs than they knew what to do with. “Hey, Dylan,” he called. “Three things.”

Dylan pouted exaggeratedly, then wagered, “Four?”

“No, three.” Max smirked. Good on his kid for at least attempting a better deal.

Dylan became decidedly less maniacal then as he slowed down and started looking over everything in the store so he could make a smart choice.

“I’ll pay you, Amy,” Max promised. Knowing his luck, Dylan would pick the three most expensive things there.

“Oh, don’t even worry about it,” Amy said. “I’ve got more silly alien stuff than any person should ever have.”

“Pays the bills, though,” he pointed out.

“Most of the time.” She sighed, then chuckled as Dylan spied an item in the farthest back corner of the store. It was in the shape of a football, but it was bright green and had eyes like an alien.

“He’s gonna have fun with that,” Max said as his son put the ball in the backpack.

“Sure is,” Amy agreed, turning towards him. “Hey, while he’s occupied,” she said, “can I ask you something, Max?”


She hesitated, bit her bottom lip, and when she did speak, it was in a low tone, one that Dylan wouldn’t overhear. “Do you really think Maria’s sick?”

“What?” He frowned, not sure he even understood why that was a question. “Yeah, why wouldn’t she be?”

“Oh, I just wonder if maybe she was looking for an excuse to not have to spend the weekend with me.”

“What? No,” Max said quickly. “No, she wouldn’t do that.”

“I don’t know.” Amy still sounded skeptical. “Our relationship is . . . well, you know what our relationship’s like.”

He knew that Amy’s personality could be a grating one, and most of the time, Maria just bit her tongue and put up with her. But surely that wasn’t enough for her to bail out on the entire weekend. “Isn’t it better than what it used to be?” he pointed out.

“Better, but still not great.” She sighed dejectedly, eyes downcast. “I know I wasn’t the most supportive, compassionate mom, but I do love my daughter. And it hurts to think that she doesn’t love me.”

“She does,” Max reassured her, although he didn’t doubt that that love was an extremely strained one. “And she’s just sick, Amy; she’s not avoiding you.”

“Are you sure?” Amy asked.

“Positive,” he said. “She wouldn’t lie to me.”


They day went fast. Too fast. Why was it that the days you couldn’t wait to be over dragged on and on, and the days you wanted to last forever flew by at light speed?

At least it was a good day, though, even if it was fast. Neither Maria nor Michael had ever really gotten dressed, because there hadn’t been any reason to. It was like they were tucked away in their own private little utopia, where nothing could disturb them or disrupt them.

Well . . . there were a few disruptions. Phone calls, mostly. From Max. But she couldn’t very well do anything about that. Whenever he called, she pretty much had to answer. Otherwise he’d just keep calling, and since her whole cover story here was that she was sick, he’d probably start to worry that something was wrong if he got her voicemail too many times.

Around 9:00, he called for the last time, just to tell her goodnight. He told her about taking Dylan to her mom’s shop that day, and taking him to the park with Diane. It sounded like they were having a really good time, and had she not been having such a great time of her own, she probably would have regretted not being there.

She had to do a few fake coughs and make her voice sound weaker and scratchier than it actually was, but when he asked her if she was feeling better, she told him that she was, that she’d probably be back to her old self by the time he got home Monday morning. He sounded happy to hear that.

Once their conversation was over, she skipped back into the living room, where Michael was sitting on the couch. The only light was coming from the TV. American Ninja Warrior was showing on repeat, and apparently he was still a fan of it.

She hopped onto the couch with a little bit too much force, and he winced and yelped, “Oh! Careful, babe. Watch the junk,” as her head hit his lap.

“Sorry,” she said, wriggling to get positioned comfortably.

He lay one hand on her chest and touched her hair with the other. “Who was that?” he asked.


He made a face. “Again?”

“He thinks I’m sick,” she reminded him. “He’s just checking up on me.”

“Ah, so nice.”

“Hey, don’t be jealous.”

“I’m not jealous,” he denied adamantly.

She gave him a doubtful look.

“I’m not,” he insisted. “I just wish you’d turn your phone off.”

“I can’t.” She reached over and set her phone aside on the coffee table, though, confident that it wouldn’t ring again. Max had said he was going to bed soon, and no one else had any reason to be calling her. The rest of tonight was theirs.

“So what’re we gonna do tomorrow?” she asked, already looking forward to it. Another full day with him. She felt spoiled.

“Uh, more sex comes to mind,” he answered bluntly. “Unless you’re too tired.”

“I’m not tired,” she said, smiling up at him.

“Didn’t think so.” His eyes gleamed with mischief as he looked down at her. “Come here,” he putting his hand underneath her head.

She pushed herself up into a sitting position and climbed on top of his lap, straddling him. His mouth found hers, and for a moment, their tongues swirled around each other, and she thought he was going to pull her shirt up and her push her panties down so he could do her right there. But a few seconds into the kiss, he surprised her by pulling away.

“Do you love me?” he asked huskily, his eyes locked with hers.

“Yes,” she replied, her voice a breathy whisper.

He trailed one hand through her hair, his callused palm grazing her cheek. “Do you trust me?”

“Of course,” she said, struck by his sudden seriousness. “Why?”

“Because,” he said, his hands rubbing her hips, “I know something we can do tomorrow.”

She had a feeling she knew exactly what he was hinting at—Michael was the kind of guy who was as subtle as a dump trunk. When his hands moved around to squeeze her backside, she knew with absolute certainty.

TBC . . .


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Part 70

Post by April » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:24 am

The iconic song “Running Up That Hill” by Placebo is my music recommendation for a very short (yet big) part today. You can listen to it here when you see :? if you’d like.

The first scene in this part may not be for everyone. But whatever, I don't see anything taboo about it.

Part 70

The shower was a good idea. Not only for the obvious sanitary reasons, but because it was relaxing. And Maria knew she had to be relaxed for this. She stood with Michael under the cascade of warm water, letting herself get aroused by the slick feel of his skin against hers. His hands moved all over her, rubbing, squeezing, massaging, and they longer they stood in there, the lower they roamed.

She shuddered with anticipation as he spun her around so that her back was to him. The last time she’d let him have sex with her this way, she hadn’t known what to expect. She’d just been an eager nineteen year old girl, willing to try anything with her boyfriend—her far more experienced boyfriend, who was still more experienced than her and still reassured her he’d make this great for her. And she knew he would. He knew what he was doing, and he savored the act so much that he wouldn’t rush through it. It’d been exhilarating last time, even if it had felt a little bizarre at first, and it would probably be even better now that she knew what to expect. It was something she desperately wanted to experience again, but Michael was the only person she wanted to experience it with. Ever.

This was their thing.

He sank down on his knees in the shower and started raining tender kisses all over her ass. His hands wrapped around her legs and stroked her inner thigh while he did so, and Maria threw her head back, eyes closed, smiling as the water continued to pour down on her. Already, he was making her feel completely and utterly adored, and it was the best feeling in the world.

When they got out of the shower, he was in total romance mood. Ironic, perhaps, considering that anal sex wasn’t traditionally thought to be romantic. But she swore he never touched her more gently or held her more tenderly than he did when they were doing this. Before, during, after . . . he knew how to do every phase of this in a way that demonstrated his utmost appreciation and respect for her. But she wanted him to know that she wasn’t just doing this for him anymore. She was doing it with him.

He picked up the towel and dried her off, and then she took it and did the same to him, mesmerized by all the water droplets decorating his broad chest. When she got lower, she was struck by how hard he already was. He already wanted her. But he still wouldn’t go too fast. She trusted him completely, because she knew he’d take it slow. He’d make sure she was ready so that it wasn’t painful.

Eventually, he brought her into the bedroom, where everything was already set up for them. He had the covers pulled back and the pillows arranged so that she’d be comfortable. There were plenty under her head, and one under her hips, too.

She lay on her stomach, arms folded, head turned to the side, waiting for him to really start his explorations. It was a lot of massaging at first, which helped her to further relax, but she decided to take matters into her own hands by spreading her legs, giving him a not so subtle hint that she was ready for the next step. Looking back over her shoulder, she grinned playfully. He smiled, too, getting the message, and his hands and fingers started to become more daring, tracing up and down her crack, skimming right over the hole he would soon enter.

Closing her eyes felt natural as he shifted, moving himself down further on the bed. He brought his mouth down to kiss each cheek again, but it gradually started to follow the path his hands had. He had pretty much the same technique back there that he had when he went down on her in the typical way: some little flicks of the tongue, followed by some longer, sensual licks. It felt strange at first, only because it had been years since they’d done this, and self-consciously, she laughed.

It was easy to lose track of time while he was down there, because after the initial strangeness wore off, it started to feel sinfully good. He sat up eventually, though, and reached towards the night stand for the lube. He’d brought it with him, apparently anticipating that this was something they’d do this weekend. He applied it generously to every inch of her skin back there, making sure everything was slickened up nicely before concentrating specifically on her entrance.

She moaned contentedly as he slipped a finger inside her, because she knew she was in the hands of an expert. Michael Guerin was sexually gifted. He could do things that other people just couldn’t do, didn’t know how to do, or didn’t care to even try.

Another finger eventually joined the first, moving in and out of her, getting her ready. There really wasn’t any pain so much as there was just a pressure. But as long as she kept her body relaxed and her muscles loose, it felt fine.

It felt more than fine, actually.

She found herself moaning when he withdrew his fingers after several more minutes of foreplay, because she wanted him. All of him. She wanted to feel him moving in and out of her, of this most private part of her. And she wanted him to make her cum this time, because she knew it was possible.

“Do you want me to . . .” She trailed off and started sitting back on her knees, but he put his hand on the small of her back and urged her down again.

“No, no, you’re good right there,” he said, his voice husky with desire.

She looked over her shoulder, watching as he lubed up his own cock, stroking it a few more times than was probably necessary before moving forward on his knees, positioning himself right at her entrance. “You ready?” he asked.

“I don’t know, you tell me,” she joked. He was, after all, the one who’d been doing all the work down there.

“No, you tell me,” he insisted, like he wouldn’t dare continue forward with this if he didn’t get her permission one last time.

“I’m ready,” she assured him, finding it sweet that he would have stopped even this far into it if she’d asked him to.

“Alright, don’t worry,” he said, circling the head of his cock around her tight hole. “I won’t go too fast.”

“I know,” she said, smiling. “You’ll take care of me.”

“That’s right.” He got this intensely fascinated look on his face as he pushed forward, entering her just a little bit. Even though she tried to stay relaxed, she couldn’t help but clench up a little bit. This was technically an exit that he was entering, after all.

“You okay?” he asked.

She nodded wordlessly, taking a few deep breaths, relaxing again. He waited a few seconds, then eased forward a little more. And then even more. Inch by inch, centimeter by centimeter, he penetrated her. In a way that she hadn’t been penetrated in three years.

It never ceased to amaze her that her own body could stretch to accommodate him. Michael was definitely well-endowed, and having him inside her here made him feel even bigger.

“Good?” he asked, grabbing one butt cheek with each hand.

“Very good,” she told him, reacquainting herself with this feeling. God, how had she gone so long without it?

He squeezed and kneaded her flesh as he began to roll his hips forward. The movements were pretty subdued, for now at least, but she had no doubt he’d pick up the pace once they got into their rhythm.

“You like it?” he growled low in his throat.

“I love it,” she moaned, wishing she had the luxury of seeing it like he did. That had to be a total turn-on.

“Want me to go faster?” he asked.

She smiled and nodded hazily. Already, she was getting lost in this. A faster pace and increased friction would be completely intoxicating.

He did start to speed up his thrusts, but he never started going too fast. He just knew how to strike that perfect balance so that she felt like she was being fucked without being used.

As great as this was feeling, she was well aware that this was the same position they’d done it in last time. He said it was supposed to be the most comfortable one for girls, but she felt plenty comfortable. Comfortable enough to switch it up, even. So she pushed backward, bring her knees up underneath her, and he immediately stopped thrusting and held onto her hips so he stayed inside her.

“You alright?” he asked.

“Yeah.” Slowly, she got up on her hands and knees, and he just moved right along with her, keeping his cock buried. He seemed to like the new position—and why wouldn’t he? It was pretty much just doggy-style, his favorite—so he resumed thrusting right away. His hands remained on her hips, gripping tightly, pulling her ass back as he pressed forward.

“Oh, god yes,” she breathed as her whole body sizzled for him. She liked this new position, because now she had more control over it. She started to rock her hips backward and forward so much that he eventually just stopped thrusting, took his hands off of her, and let her do the work.

“That’s my girl,” he said, grinning with satisfaction.

That’s right, she thought, feeling dizzy with pleasure. I’m your girl.

“Look at you,” he said, watching in astonishment as she backed herself up on him over and over again. She definitely felt herself becoming more assertive in bed these days. Never would she be as dominant as he was, nor did she want to be. But every once in a while, it was fun to surprise him.

He surprised her, too, when he leaned forward, grabbed her hair in one fist, and pulled back hard. She gasped, not expecting the sudden rush that gave her. It made her feel even more animalistic, more aroused. Soon enough, he started thrusting his hips forward again, and it was a much more frenetic pace this time, one that she welcomed. She thought he might be nearing his climax, because he always sped up when he got close, but he surprised her again when he bent forward, wrapped his arms around her midsection, and whispered, “Come here, baby.”

Her stomach muscles fluttered as he pulled her upward with him so that her back was sliding against his chest. They still stayed connected. Though the positions kept changing, every movement felt fluid and easy, like water.

They moved together, perfectly synchronized, and she didn’t doubt that their hearts were beating in tandem, too. She arched her spine and tossed her head backward, eyes closed, various moans and whimpers of pleasure escaping her open mouth. His arms wrapped around her so his hands could caress her breasts and stomach; and every once in a while, in the midst of everything else their bodies were doing, he would remember to kiss her shoulder, her neck, her ear. All those little things added to the ecstasy blazing through her. It was when one of his hands ventured down in between her legs, however, to play with her clit that she totally lost it.

“Oh!” she cried out lustfully. “Oh god!” Every inch of her was teeming with pleasure.

“Yeah, come on,” he rasped into her ear as his fingers worked their magic. “Come on.”

She knew he was desperately trying to get her off before he came, and she was close, no doubt about it. She felt the familiar sensation rumbling deep inside, like a fire pooling low in her abdomen, ready to explode. Just a little bit more . . .

“Yes, yes, yes,” she chanted as he kept thrusting. She was feeling it in all the right places. “Oh, fuck, Michael!” Squeezing her eyes shut, she moaned loudly as her orgasm ripped through her. It felt like lightning crackling through all her limbs, pulsing, sending shockwaves through her body. She dissolved into pleasure, leaning back against him for support, barely able to keep herself upright as she drenched that hand of his between her legs. He held her upright for a few seconds, then carefully lay her back down on her stomach and plastered himself atop her, undulating his hips forward for a few jarring final thrusts. He groaned and halted his movements as he achieved his own orgasm. Judging by his volume, it must have been an intense one.

Once it was over, he slumped against her, his larger body a heavy weight on hers. He moved out of her quickly enough, though, so that he wouldn’t crush her, and curled up to her on his side. He looked completely spent, and she felt completely spent, but at the same time . . . that had just been so good. And there was still plenty of time left in the day. The afternoon. The night.

Grinning dazedly, he asked, “You wanna do that again?”

She smiled back at him, still feeling like the earth was spinning. But obviously her answer was yes.


Max turned down the volume on the radio when he noticed that Dylan was falling asleep, slumped to the side in his car seat. He turned the corner onto the highway that would lead back to Las Cruces, and every once in a while, he glanced back at his son and smiled. The first time he’d been in a car with him, the poor kid had been terrified, crying, screaming. A lot had changed since then, and he was glad it had.

A few more miles down the hallway, he picked up his phone and pressed and held the number one to speed dial Maria. After a few rings, he was expecting her to answer, but she never did. In fact, it kicked onto her voicemail.

“Hey, this is Maria. Leave me a message, and I’ll call you back.”

After the beep, he cleared his throat and said, “Hey, it’s me. Just wanted to let you know, we’re on our way home. Dylan was pretty tired, so I thought it’d be better to bring him back tonight instead of tomorrow morning. Plus, we kinda miss you.” He smiled, hoping she was feeling better now than she’d been when he’d left. “Anyway, we’ll be home soon. Love you.” He ended the call and tossed his phone aside into the passenger’s seat. Maybe she’d call him back, maybe not. Maybe he’d make it home before she even saw that she had a voicemail. Right now, she was probably just resting.


( :? )

Maria groaned as her phone vibrated, then beeped. It was making all sorts of noises, even though she had the ringer turned off. Just enough noises to wake her up.

She reached over and grabbed it, checking to see what was going on. One missed call. From Max, probably. And a voicemail.

She could listen to it later.

Setting her phone aside, she flopped back down on her stomach, head turned towards Michael. He hadn’t stirred. He lay on his side, naked underneath the thin sheet covering both of them. She scooted a little closer, just close enough to be able to inhale his scent. He looked as exhausted as she felt. After everything they’d done today, they just needed to get some rest. And once nighttime came, then they could be wide awake again.

She closed her eyes and drifted back off to sleep.


Glancing back in the rearview mirror, Max actually felt bad for having to wake his son up. He looked like he could just sleep the whole night away slumped to the side in his car seat. It didn’t look particularly comfortable, but it must have been good enough.

“Hey, Dylan, wake up,” Max said as he turned onto their street. “We’re almost home.”

Dylan moved around a bit, struggling to open his eyes. “Already?” he squeaked out.

“Yeah. You slept the whole way . . .” Max trailed off, narrowing his eyes curiously at the red car parked in his driveway next to Maria’s. The only person he could think that would be over at his house was Liz, but that wasn’t her vehicle. Unless she’d gotten a new one recently, but he doubted it.

“Who’s here?” Dylan asked, noticing the same thing.

“I don’t know.” Max pulled in behind the car, looking it over some more. There was a familiarity about it, even though nothing stood out.

“Whose car?” Dylan asked, unbuckling his seatbelt so he could lean forward and get a closer look.

Max frowned, trying to place where and when he’d seen it before. And suddenly, it just hit him. Here, right here, in this very driveway. The night Michael and Sarah had come over to have dinner. He remembered wondering if the fact that the numbers 69 were on the license plate were just a coincidence or something Michael had requested on purpose.

What the hell? he thought, confused. Why was Michael over there?

“Hey, why don’t you shoot around for a minute before you come in?” he suggested to his son.

Dylan groaned. “Do I hafta?”

“Yeah, make ten shots.” Max got out of the car, roaming around to the other side to help Dylan out, but he got out on his own.

“That’s gonna take me forever,” he complained, sulking over towards the basketball hoop.

“You can do it,” Max encouraged him, glancing towards the house. The curtains were all pulled.

Dylan picked up the long-forgotten basketball that sat next to the hoop, bounced it up and down a few times, and flung it into the air unenthusiastically. Somehow, it hit the rim and fell in.

“Good. That’s one. Keep doin’ that,” Max told him as he headed up to the porch. He tried the door, but it was locked, so he inserted his key and turned the handle carefully, quietly, pushing the door open with a deliberate slowness so that it wouldn’t creak.

It was almost eerily quiet in there. No lights, even though evening was setting in. No sounds from the TV. Just silence.

“Maria?” he called softly, looking around. Just how sick had she been this weekend? The kitchen was a mess, with plates and pans and cooking ingredients lying everywhere, and the living room was in similar shape. There were blankets and pillows on the floor, and the coffee table looked like it had been moved a few times.

It didn’t make sense. Maria wasn’t a clean freak or anything, but still, she wouldn’t leave the house like this. Not even when she was under the weather.

Something inside him hesitated as he stepped further into the house, like he just didn’t want to go any further. But something else kept going.

He shuffled forward, stopping to bend and pick up a towel that was lying on the floor in the middle of the hallway, still damp. Frowning, he then looked back at the door to his bedroom. It was just slightly ajar, and he could barely make out Maria’s sleeping form inside.

Maybe she called Michael because she’s sick, he reasoned as he slowly approached the door. And Liz couldn’t make it over or wasn’t answering her phone or something. So she called Michael.

His heart started to beat faster, and he felt a lump forming in his throat as he got closer to the door.

Why would she call Michael? It didn’t make any sense.

A sense of fear twisted through him from the moment he started to push open the door. It intensified the moment he got a closer look at Maria as she lay asleep on the bed. Completely naked.

Too late, he wished he could walk back out that door and forget any of his suspicions. When he pushed open the door enough, though, he saw what he dreaded seeing, what he’d worried he would see from the second he pulled into that driveway.

Michael. Lying next to Maria in bed, unclothed as she was.

His heart stopped beating, and he just stood and stared.


It didn’t matter that there was some space between them now, that they weren’t touching. Because it was clear that they had been.

No. Please no.

He felt like he could barely even blink, but he wanted to. He wanted to blink his eyes and see something different when they snapped back open. He wanted this to be a nightmare. Because there was no way it could be real. There was no way Maria would be in bed with that guy right now. In their bed. There was no way she would have betrayed them.

The longer he stared, the more real it became.

At one point, Michael shifted and moved in a little closer to Maria, but that was it. Otherwise, they both just kept sleeping peacefully, each of them completely unaware that he was standing there.

What do I do? he thought, feeling like an idiot. He couldn’t just keep staring like an idiot. He had to . . . do something.

His most guttural reaction, of course, was to yell. Scream at the top of his lungs. Wake them the hell up and demand to know what had happened. Even though it was obvious. Even though he didn’t need them to paint him a fucking picture in his head. He wanted to get angry, and he wanted to take all that anger out on Michael. He wanted to punch that loser’s fucking face in. His hands yearned for it. And if Maria tried to pull him away, he’d toss her aside and just keep going. Just keep beating on him like he had that night on the bridge.

His breath caught in horror. The bridge. That night. No, he couldn’t repeat that night. He had to be smarter than that. He had to keep his cool.

Carefully, he reached out and grabbed the doorknob, pulling it shut again, keeping it just slightly ajar so Maria would have no clue he’d been there. And then he turned around and staggered back down the hall, barely able to put one foot in front of the other. He couldn’t see anything in front of him, because all he could see was the two of them together.

No wonder she hadn’t been answering her phone. She probably hadn’t even heard it. Or if she did, she probably didn’t even care.

She didn’t care about him at all, did she?

He dropped the towel back down onto the floor, right in the exact spot where he’d picked it up, and he stumbled back to the front door, trying to focus on what really mattered here: Dylan. He had to get him out of there. He couldn’t have him run inside and see that. He couldn’t try to explain it. He didn’t want him to overhear the confrontation about it. He had to protect him instead of endangering him this time.

Nearly tripping over his own feet, he practically fell out the front door onto the porch. He literally felt sick, like he might throw up any minute, but he struggled to keep it together and pulled the door shut, locking it into place again.

Dylan was still out in the driveway, lethargically dribbling, shoulders slumped in defeat. “I only made two,” he admitted shamefully. As if it was even something to be ashamed of.

“That’s alright,” Max assured him, kicking it into high gear. “Let’s go.” He practically ran back into the driveway, eager to get out of there now.

“But I’m not done yet,” Dylan pointed out.

“It’s fine. Just get in the car.” Max opened up the door to the backseat and hurriedly motioned him inside.

Dylan set his ball down and toddled back over to the vehicle, his face scrunched up in confusion. “Where we goin’?” he asked.

“Just . . . somewhere,” Max replied vaguely. Anywhere but here.

Dylan tilted his head to the side, looking up at Max with wide, curious eyes. It was that same expression he’d had on his face all those years ago, when he’d coaxed him out of Michael’s house and persuaded him to climb into his car.

“We’re gonna go get some ice cream,” Max told him, hoping that might be enough to distract him, put his little mind at ease. “Does that sound fun?”

Dylan thought about it for a moment, then shrugged. “I guess.” He climbed back into the car, crawled up into his car seat, and Max quickly reached in and got him all belted up.

“Alright, let’s go,” he said, forcing an excited smile. Only when he stood up and slammed the door did he let that smile drop. The despair took over again, and his jaw trembled as he tried to keep the emotions inside.

He took a deep breath, trying to make himself feel like stone as he walked back around to the other side of the car, got in, and pulled out of the driveway as fast as he could. If he was made of stone, then what he saw couldn’t hurt him. If he was stone, then this wouldn’t be enough to make him break.

TBC . . .


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Part 71

Post by April » Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:28 pm

Part 71

Maria felt a slight tickle as Michael’s hands grazed up and down her bare back. She smiled, keeping her eyes closed, and asked, “What’re you doing?”

“Waking you up,” he replied, wrapping his arms around her suddenly. He moved her so that she was on her back, and he got on top of her so he could kiss her deeply. Instantly, she felt wide awake.

“Mmm,” she moaned into his mouth, hands and legs sliding all around his body. When he bent his head to suck on the side of her neck, she couldn’t contain a groan of pleasure. She swung her head to the side, reveling in the glorious feeling of his tongue sliding against her skin. “That feels good,” she told him.

“Yeah?” Seconds later, he was moving lower, low enough to latch onto one of her nipples while his hand covered her other breast.

She gasped, delighted, and arched her back off the bed, pressing further into his mouth. Her breasts were a huge trigger point for her, and she so appreciated how he never neglected them. “That feels really good,” she said, tangling her hands in his hair.

Her mind began to race with possibilities, with the anticipation that he might slink down even lower still and get to the area that could do some real good. But right in the midst of it, as she was really starting to feel it, her phone let out a shrill ring.

“Son of a bitch,” Michael muttered, lifting his head. “Don’t get that.”

“No, just hold on a minute,” she said, reaching over to pick it up. She couldn’t help but frown when she saw Max’s name on the screen.

“Come on, Maria,” he said, nuzzling his face against her neck.

“It’ll just take a minute,” she promised, knowing she had to answer this time. She’d already neglected to pick up a few times today, and she didn’t want Max to worry.

Michael sat up abruptly, rolling his eyes, and swung the covers aside as he got out of bed.

“Where are you going?” she asked.

“I don’t wanna be here for this,” he mumbled as he strode out into the hallway completely naked.

She sighed heavily as the phone continued to ring in her hand. When it was about to kick onto voicemail, she relented and answered it. “Hey,” she said, trying to sound as if she were happy to hear from Max. Not that she wasn’t, just . . . it was just bad timing. But there was no way for him to know that.

“Hey,” he said. “You sound . . . chipper.”

Probably too chipper, she thought, reminding herself that she was supposed to be sick, or at least in the process of getting better. “Oh, I, uh . . .” She cleared her throat, trying to make it sound as if she were coughing. “I am feeling better now, I think.”

“Good, good,” he said. “Hey, so did you get my voicemail?”

“Voicemail?” she echoed. Crap, had he left her one of those? “Uh, no. No, I was . . . resting.”

“Right,” he said. “Well, Dylan and I are almost home. We decided to leave early.”

Every inch of her was immediately on high alert. “Oh, really?” She sat up in the bed, looking outside. It was definitely later than she’d realized, almost completely dark outside. She hadn’t expected Max to drive home at night.

“We missed you,” he informed her.

“Oh, that’s . . .” Awful, she thought, panicking. What if they were about to pull into the driveway? “So . . . so how far away are you then?”

“Well, we stopped by Dairy Queen to get some ice cream,” he replied, “but we should be home in . . . maybe fifteen minutes?”

Oh god, she thought, heart pounding. Fifteen minutes?

“Sound good?”

No, she thought. This wasn’t supposed to happen tonight. She and Michael were supposed to have more time together. The plan had been for him to leave sometime in the a.m., well before Max and Dylan would arrive home.


“Oh, um . . .” She snapped herself back to it. “Yeah. Yeah, sounds great.” She raked her hand through her hair, hoping his fifteen minutes wasn’t an underestimation. She was going to need every single one of them. “I’ll see you soon, okay?”

He barely had time to say, “See ya,” before she ended the call and tossed her phone back onto the nightstand.

“Oh, shit,” she swore, springing from the bed. “Michael!” She grabbed her shirt and panties off the floor and raced out to the kitchen, where she found him searching through the refrigerator, still without a stitch of clothing on. “Michael, you have to go,” she said in a rush as she yanked on first her shirt, then her underwear.

He made a face. “What? Why?”

“Because Max is coming home early.”

He shut the fridge, grunting, “When?”

“Like right now!” she said dramatically. “Or in fifteen minutes. Just get dressed!” They really didn’t have time to stand there talking about it.

He looked completely disappointed, but much to her relief, he didn’t waste any time. “Dammit,” he muttered, rushing back into the bedroom.

She surveyed the kitchen, appalled by what a mess it was. Doing dishes hadn’t exactly been a huge priority this weekend, even though they’d both done plenty of eating to keep their energy levels up. “Make sure you don’t leave anything!” she called after him as she swiped all of their dishes into the left side of the sink and turned on the water. Maybe she could be doing dishes when Max came home. That would look nice and normal, wouldn’t it?

While the sink was filling up, she made an effort to fix the mess they’d created in the living room. When you were screwing pretty much anywhere and everywhere you could, things tended to get moved all around. She didn’t want it to look like a disaster when Max came home. She just wanted it to look . . . like it always looked. Like nothing unusual had gone on this weekend. Like there was nothing to hide, even though there was.

“Why the hell’s he comin’ home early?” she heard Michael bark from the bedroom.

“I don’t know, he just is,” she yelled back, darting back into the kitchen long enough to turn off the water when the sink was brimming. “Are you hurrying?” she called. No response. “Michael!” she yelped, stomping down the hall and back into the bedroom.

When she got in there, he was dressed, but he was just sort of standing next to the bed, his bag halfway packed. Not moving. Not hurrying at all. He looked almost devastated, in a way, that their time together this weekend was being cut a few hours short.

“Get your stuff,” she told him.

“We’re supposed to . . .” He flapped his arms against his sides. “We’re supposed to have another night.”

She sighed, similarly disappointed. “I know.” As selfish and wrong as it was, she would have loved more time, more time to just fade into him and get lost in his kisses, his touches. But as luck would have it, that just wasn’t in the cards tonight. “Hurry, Michael,” she whimpered, not sure how she would explain it to Max if he came home and found that she wasn’t alone.

He finally kicked it into high gear then, rummaging all around the bedroom for anything that belonged to him. Boxers. Socks. His wallet, his phone. She made sure to get everything out of the bathroom, things like his deodorant and his toothbrush. There couldn’t be one single clue that he’d been over there. Not one thing.

“Alright, I think I got everything,” he proclaimed finally, zipping up his bag.

“Uh, wait,” she said, spotting something wicked obvious. She took the lube off the nightstand and tossed it to him.

“Oh, right,” he said, slipping that in with the rest of his stuff. “Now I got everything.”

“Okay, you really have to go then,” she said, wondering how much time had already passed. Maybe just five minutes? Maybe ten? The longer it was, the more the butterflies rearranged her stomach.

“Am I gonna see you tomorrow?” he asked.

“Maybe, I don’t know. Just go,” she said, practically shoving him out into the hallway. From there, she basically had to shove him right out the front door, too. Obviously the fear of getting caught wasn’t nearly as terrifying to him as it was to her.

“Wait,” he said when he was out on the porch. He turned back around and gave her a quick kiss. “I love you.”

“I know. But you have to leave.”

Sighing frustratedly, he turned to do so, but he only took a couple steps before he turned back around one more time, came back to her, and gave her one more kiss. She couldn’t even be mad at him for it, even though she was worried she’d see the headlights of Max’s car any second.

Finally, he got in his own car and took off. She breathed a sigh of relief when she watched him drive down the road and disappear into the night. Crisis averted. Thank God she’d answered her phone this time. If she hadn’t, Max probably would have walked in on the two of them. And then she would have had some major explaining to do.

With what little time she had left, she tried to make the bedroom look presentable. She made the bed quickly and sprayed an ample amount of air freshener, figuring it probably reeked of sex in there. She slid on a loose-fitting pair of jeans, dragged a brush through her hair, and then went into the kitchen to get a start on those dishes. She actually managed to get about half of them done before Max’s car pulled into the driveway.

Okay, just be calm, she told herself. There was no need to freak out about anything. Michael was gone and Max was home, and even though that wasn’t exactly what she’d pictured tonight . . . it was fine. Everything was fine.

The door opened, and in came Dylan with a big smile on his face. “Hey, Mom,” he said.

“Hey, you! Come here.” She dried off her hands, knelt down, and opened up her arms. He came running at her and gave her a big hug. “I missed you,” she said, smiling at Max as he came in, carrying both his and Dylan’s bags. He set them down by the door, kicked it shut with his foot, gave her a half wave, and lumbered into the living room.

“Did you have fun?” Maria asked Dylan, wiping some leftover ice cream off his cheek.

“Yeah. Gramma Amy gave me lots of stuff,” he boasted.

“Alien stuff?” she guessed.

“Yeah! It’s awesome.”

“Oh, I’m sure.” They had plenty of alien junk in their house, all of it gifted to them by her mother. “Hey, why don’t you go unpack some of it, okay?”

“Okay,” he said, toddling over to grab a backpack in the shape of an alien head. “You gotta come look.”

“Oh, I will, in a minute,” she promised him, motioning for him to head into his room. Once he’d scampered off, she headed into the living room to join Max, who had flopped down on the couch and turned on the TV.

“Hey,” she said, wondering why he looked so . . . out of it.

“Hey,” he said, barely glancing up at her.

She frowned. “You alright? You seem . . . tired or something.”

“I am,” he said, slumping lower on the couch. “Long day.”

“Was it a good weekend, though?” she asked, squeezing in beside him. He was so sprawled out that there was barely any room for her on the cushion.

“Yeah, it was nice,” he said. “My mom spoiled me; your mom spoiled Dylan.”

“Hmm.” That was . . . expected. Her mom had always loved her grandchild more than her actual child, and despite everything he’d done in the past, Max’s mom had never given up on him. “I’m glad you guys were able to go.”

“Yeah,” he said. “Too bad you were sick, otherwise you could’ve gone with us.”

She tried not to tense up and continued the lie. “Yeah, I was just too under the weather.”

“But at least you’re feelin’ better now,” he said, finally looking at her. “This whole weekend must’ve done you some good.”

Oh, if you only knew, she thought. “Yeah, it did.” Her body felt amazing right now, like she’d just done some major workouts this weekend.

“You didn’t get lonely, did you?” he asked.

“No.” She’d had all the company she’d wanted this weekend. But she didn’t want to hurt his feelings, so she quickly added, “But, I mean, I missed you, obviously.”

“Obviously,” he echoed. “Well . . .” He sat up straighter, handed her the remote, and announced, “I think I’m gonna go to bed.”

“Are you sure? It’s kinda early,” she pointed out.

“Yeah, I’m tired, though.” He stood up, stretched, then bent down and kissed the top of her head. “Goodnight, Maria.”

“Goodnight,” she said, wishing he’d stay out there for a while longer. Maybe that would have given her the chance to . . . change the sheets or something. Not that that would erase what had happened there.

She supposed the sheets didn’t really matter. Neither did the dishes, nor her non-existent illness that she’d miraculously recovered from. Everything that had happened between her and Michael this weekend was still their little secret.


Michael was pissed off when he got home. Sure, his weekend with Maria had only been cut a few hours short, but when your relationship was technically an illegitimate one, a few hours felt like a long time.

His phone started ringing right when he set his bag down, and part of him didn’t even want to answer it. But when he saw that it was his mom calling, he decided to. “Hey, Mom,” he said as he shuffled towards the bed.

“Well, finally you pick up,” she said. “I’ve tried calling about five times today.”

“Yeah, I shut my phone off this weekend,” he explained.

“The whole weekend?”



“I was busy,” he replied, sitting down on the foot of his bed. He caught sight of the stack of books atop his desk, knowing he still had a lot of work to do before the end of the semester, and he added on, “Studying,” just to make her feel better.

“Oh, well, that’s good then,” she said. “Well, I was just trying to get a hold of you because Nicholas and Tina had their first fight last night, and he said he wouldn’t mind talking to you.”

“To me?” Michael made a face, trying to understand that. “Why?”

“Well, you know, he really looks up to you,” his mom told him.

Michael snorted at the irony of that. “Maybe he shouldn’t,” he muttered. Nicholas looked up to Michael Guerin the teen dad, not Michael Guerin the college cheater.

“You’re a better role model than you think you are, Michael,” his mom assured him, similarly disillusioned, “and Nicholas needs that.”

He sighed, shaking his head, knowing that wasn’t true. And if she knew everything about what he’d been up to this weekend, she’d know it, too. He didn’t deserve to be anyone’s role model.


Maria DeLuca was one hell of an actress. She went through all the motions that evening as though nothing were wrong. She put Dylan to bed, showered, and then crawled under the covers next to Max with no hesitance whatsoever. If he didn’t already know better, he would have assumed nothing was wrong.

Maybe music was the wrong career choice. Perhaps the stage was calling her name, because she was playing the part perfectly. Doting mother, devoted girlfriend.

What a load of bullshit.

She seemed to fall asleep easily, but he had no unrealistic notions of going to bed that night. How could he? How could he possibly fall asleep in the same bed where he’d caught her and Michael together? Whenever he closed his eyes, all he could do was picture what he’d seen, the two of them lying naked there together. And when he pictured that . . . well, then it just got even more unpleasant. Because he pictured them fucking, and he wondered how long they’d been doing it. Just how long had she been playing him for a fool? How long had he believed her lies?

God. He hated it whenever someone or something got the best of him.

When he got up in the middle of the night to go lie on the couch, she didn’t even budge, didn’t seem to notice him go at all. It was only when he got out there that he was able to nod off for an hour or so. But before he knew it, the alarm on his cell phone was ringing shrilly, a harsh reminder that it was Monday morning, and he had a whole week of work to look forward to.

What’s Maria looking forward to? he wondered bitterly as he sat up and rubbed his eyes. More sex with Michael?

Since she seemed content to keep acting as if nothing were wrong, he resigned himself to doing the same. He sat at the kitchen table that morning with her and Dylan and made casual conversation. Nothing major. Mostly just talk about what Dylan was doing at school this week, which wasn’t much.

When Dylan went back into his room to get dressed for school, Max took the opportunity to ask Maria, “So what time are you gonna be home tonight?”

“Um, early, I think,” she said, much to his surprise. “I should be able to go pick Dylan up from school.”

“Should be?” he echoed.

She pushed her chair back and stood up, starting to clear the plates off the table. “Yeah, I don’t have to work, so . . .”

Work. He scoffed at that inwardly. So much ‘work’ she’d been doing lately. How had he ever fallen for that flimsy excuse?

God, he felt like such an idiot, and he knew he wasn’t one. But why the hell had he been so eager to believe every damn word that had come out of her mouth? Why had he been so trusting of her, even when he’d been suspicious of Michael? Since when was he such a spineless chump that it was so easy for people to walk all over him and get him to believe shit that wasn’t true?

The old Max would have seen through all her lies right from the start. The old Max would have been shrewd enough to call her on it. Not that he wanted to be the old Max again, but . . .

Maybe just for a second or two, it would have been nice.

Maria left before him to take Dylan to school, and once she was gone, he decided to call in sick to work. Because there were more important things to do. Besides, he was so distracted, he wouldn’t have been much of an asset to the crew today anyway. He didn’t want to be there when she got home, though—if she came home—so he went out for a drive, hoping it would clear his head.

It didn’t.

It dawned on him as he was driving aimlessly that his sister had been right all along. Isabel, of all people, was the one he should have listened to. She’d tried to warn him that this whole thing would blow up in his face, that he’d regret trying to be so open-minded and understanding. She’d told him all along that Michael and Maria would end up back together, and he hadn’t believed her. Because he’d believed Maria. He’d trusted her. Because that was what nice guys did, and that was what he’d been trying so hard to be. A nice fucking guy.

Dammit. No wonder nice guys always finished last.

He grew evermore furious with himself as he drove onto campus. Michael and Maria were the type of people who, if you gave them an inch, they’d take a mile. And he’d definitely given them an inch, on more than one occasion. It all seemed so clear now, but at the time, it’d been a greyer area. He thought he’d been doing the right thing by letting them work together, take a class together, spend all sorts of time together. All in the name of good old-fashioned friendship.

It’d never been a friendship, though, had it? Not between any of them. Hell, he and Michael were always going to be enemies, and Michael and Maria . . . well, they were always going to be lovers.

She loved him. Still. And he hated her for that.

Barely even conscious of what he was doing, he parked in an open spot close to the Vidorra suites complex, got out, and trudged inside. Mind still racing, he rode the elevator up to the third floor and stormed down the hallway. To hell with this, he growled internally, sick of feeling sorry for himself. He wasn’t going to let them get away with this any longer. He was going to do what he should have done months ago when Michael charged out of that office at the school and beat the crap out of him in front of his own son: He was going to hit back.

Fists clenched at his sides, jaw tight, he stopped in front of Michael’s apartment. He would have loved to have just kicked the door in, but a loud knock would have to do.

He raised his right fist, poised to slam it against the door. But he stopped himself just short, reconsidering when he heard laughter coming from inside.

Michael’s laughter. Maria’s laughter. She was there right now, sneaking in more time with him. Thinking that her dearly devoted boyfriend was still completely oblivious to it. Or perhaps not thinking of him at all.

Max slowly lowered his hand, blinking back tears that made him feel weak. The laughter inside intensified. In a way, he almost didn’t even recognize the sound, because she never laughed like that with him. Never. It made him wonder what else she did with Michael that she never did with him.

Well . . . so they were having an affair. Clearly. What he’d stumbled upon last night wasn’t just some one-night tryst. Who knew how long they’d been going at it behind his back? Who knew how much time she actually spent over here under the guise of going to class or going to work? All he knew was that it infuriated him and broke his heart all at the same time. The furious part of him wanted to barge right in there and tell them both to go to hell. But the heartbroken part didn’t even have the strength for it.

And there was a third part of him, too, a part that was just barely managing to hold onto a few shreds of logic. That part of him knew it was better to just walk away and let them continue on inside that apartment; so that was exactly what he did. While they were laughing and kissing and screwing their brains out, he could figure out what to do next. Hopefully it would be something they never saw coming.


Adorable, Michael thought as Maria dashed all around his apartment with only the sheet from his bed around her. She was being very playful and flirty, and he loved it. Because she just looked so damn pretty.

“You can’t catch me,” she teased, backing up towards his bed.

“Wanna bet?” he challenged, slowly approaching her.

She grinned, doing a little twirl. “I’m too fast,” she said.

“Oh, please.” Not only was he a guy, but he was an athletic guy. If he wanted to catch her, he could do so blindfolded with both his hands tied behind his back. No problem at all.

“Come get me then,” she taunted, struggling to keep the sheet up around her.

“I will.” He paused briefly to step out of his boxers and kick them aside. “Don’t need anything gettin’ in the way.”

Eyes locked onto his, she opened the sheet and let it fall from her body. His fingers itched with the second every glorious, naked curve of her body came into view, and he lunged forward. To her credit, though, she did manage to slip to the side and get past him, darting back into the living room. He quickly ran back after her, though, and it only took him a few steps to grab hold of her waist and pull her smaller frame to him.

“Michael!” she yelped, giggling as he fell with her onto the couch. “Geez, you don’t have to tackle me!”

“Sexiest tackle I’ve ever been a part of.” He smirked and sat up so he could get a better look at her, her kiss-swollen lips, perfect breasts, flat stomach. Then he pulled down on her legs, bringing her lower body closer to his. She spread her legs instinctively, and he moved in between them, lying down on top of her, holding himself up on his forearms.

“Well, you caught me,” she said.

“Always do.” He kissed her, wondering if she could still taste herself on his lips. “Now what am I gonna do with you?”

“Hmm . . .” She trailed one of her hands in between their bodies and stroked his length suggestively. “Mmm.”

“You can’t get enough, can you?” he teased, grinning at her appreciatively.

“I can’t help it,” she said, removing her hand as a blush crept up to her cheeks. “It feels so good.”

“Hey, nothin’ wrong with it.” He bent forward, pressing a hot, sucking kiss to the side of her neck. “It’s healthy.” He licked at her skin a few times, then lifted his head and looked down at her again. “It’s just the id at work.”

“The id?” she echoed.


“What’s that?”

“It’s like . . . the part of you that doesn’t care about right or wrong, good or bad,” he explained, starting to feel his own id kick into overdrive. “The id just wants what it wants. So what do you want, Maria?”

She rubbed her legs against his sides wantonly, lifting her hips a bit to brush against his erection. “I want you,” she moaned lustfully.

He brought his mouth down next to hers, his lips moving against her when he whispered, “Then nothing else matters.” And then he was kissing her again, his tongue diving into her mouth this time, dipping in and out, mimicking what about to happen between her legs.

TBC . . .


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Part 72

Post by April » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:43 am

Music suggestion today: "With You I Never Lose," a beautiful song by Athlete. You can listen to it here when you see :cry: if you'd like.

Part 72

( :cry: )

Max dipped his paintbrush into the can of white paint and dragged it across his wooden porch railing, covering up some of the chips in the existing coat of paint. It was a mind-numbing task, painting any part of a house, nothing at all like painting an artistic masterpiece. But it was something to do. Something to occupy the time.

Gradually, as his porch railing started to get whiter and whiter, his thoughts started to get louder and louder. It didn’t matter how much he tried to make his brain blank; it just kept firing out all sorts of questions, impulses, and even memories.


“There. I think I’m done.” Max stepped back from the wall, surveying his work. The back wall of Maria’s living room was now a light brown instead of eggshell white.

“Hey, that looks really good,” she complimented. “Way better than before.”

“Yeah, a little accent wall never hurt anyone,” he said, setting his brush down on top of the paint can lid. “I didn’t even know I could paint.”

“Well, you’re good at a lot of stuff,” she told him.

“A man of many talents, huh?” He laughed lightly, struggling to think of what those talents were. Since moving to Houston, he’d worked a variety of crappy jobs, each one with slightly worse pay than the last. Maybe it was time to get into the house painting business. Why not, right? It wasn’t like he’d be going to law school anytime soon.

“Anyway . . .” He brushed his hands off on the back of his jeans. “Should be dry by the time Dylan wakes up.”

“Thanks for doing this, Max,” she said, smiling at him appreciatively.

“No problem.” Any excuse to spend time with her was a good one . . . not that he needed an excuse anymore. She seemed to have gotten pretty used to having him around. “Well . . .” He cleared his throat, looking over his work one more time. “You probably wanna get some sleep, so I can head out.”

“Oh, I’m not really that tired,” she assured him quickly.

“Not tired, huh?” He liked the sound of that.

“Nope.” She moved in close to him, draping her arms over his shoulders.

“So you want me to stay?” he surmised, putting his hands on her waist.

“Yeah, you can stay a while,” she offered coyly.

“Yeah?” Smirking, he leaned down and kissed her, happy that she didn’t want him to go. Because he didn’t want to leave.

“Actually . . .” she said as she pulled away, “I was thinking maybe you can . . .
stay stay. Like on a more permanent basis. You know what I mean?”

His eyebrows shot upward in surprise. “You want me to move in with you?”

She smiled again. “Yeah, I do. I mean, if you want to.” She rubbed his shoulders, looking at his chest when she spoke. “We’re back together, Dylan’s totally used to having you around, and you spend a lot of time over here anyway, so . . .” Her eyes flittered back up to look at him, as if she were gauging his reaction.

“Wow,” was all he managed.

Immediately, she frowned. “Do you not want to?”

“No, I do,” he insisted. “This just . . . I don’t know. It feels like a really big deal.” They’d never lived together before, and a year ago, the very thought of it would have sounded insane to her. Completely out of the realm of possibility. Now it seemed like a natural progression.

“Well, you don’t have to if you don’t want to,” she reiterated, averting her eyes.

“Maria.” He cupped her cheek, forcing her to look at him. “I wanna move in with you.” It would be nice to come home every night to a son and girlfriend rather than just his crappy studio apartment waiting for him. “You and Dylan are my family. You guys are the most important things in the world to me.”

She sighed contentedly. “Oh, I used to dream about you saying that.”

If only he’d been in the right mindset to say such a thing earlier, to make those dreams come true a few years ago. He regretted that it had taken him so long, but better late than never. “Promise me we’ll make this work,” he entreated, cherishing the thought of having something in his life that
didn’t go to hell for once. “I love what we have goin’ right now, you and me and Dylan. Promise me I’ll never lose that.”

Even though he wasn’t asking for her hand in marriage or anything like that, he still thought she might be a little freaked out. He was, after all, asking her to make a long-term commitment. But she didn’t look spooked in the slightest, maybe because she was asking the same commitment from him by inviting him to move in. “I promise,” she said, her expression a certain, sincere one.

He smiled and leaned in to kiss her again, hoping he knew how grateful he was that she’d given him a second chance.


Max didn’t even realize he was gripping the porch railing so tightly until he looked down at his hands and saw fresh white paint covering them both. He must’ve gotten . . . lost in thought.

My family, he thought. That was what made this so devastating. Sure, he loved Maria, but just losing her wouldn’t have been so hard. She wasn’t the only girl he’d ever loved, and he knew he could move on from her if he had to. But he’d never move on from Dylan.

He had a horrible feeling he was going to lose his son over this. Whenever Maria finally decided she’d had enough of having an affair, whenever she decided it was the right time to break up with him . . Dylan would stay with her. Dylan had always been with her. She was his mom.

But he was his dad. Not Michael.

He dreaded the thought of any future where Dylan thought of Michael as his father. But that was what was going to happen, wasn’t it? Unless he did something to stop it.

Max curled his fingers up against his palm, smearing around the already messy paint. The wheels of his mind worked into overdrive, and he thought through his options.

So he was going to lose Maria. Oh, well. To hell with her.

That didn’t mean he had to lose Dylan, too.


Isabel barely glanced up at Jesse when he came to stand in the doorway of her bedroom. Maybe if she pretended she didn’t notice him, he’d go away.

No such luck. “Isabel, I need to talk to you,” he declared.

“I’m busy right now,” she told him as her fingers typed on her laptop at a feverish pace. The creativity was flowing, so she had to write while she had the inspiration and the motivation. For all she knew, she could be tapped out in no time.

Jesse came into the room, sat down on the bed, and pushed the screen of her computer closed.

“I was writing,” she said, not expecting him to understand why that might be important to her. There was a lot that Jesse didn’t understand.

“This is serious,” he said, looking her right in the eye.

She sighed, setting her laptop aside. “Let me guess: My website’s in trouble because I’m not edgy enough.”

He made a face, as if he hadn’t expected her to already know.

“Courtney warned me we’d be having this conversation,” she explained.

“Well, that’s it, in a nutshell,” he confirmed. “You’re losing subscribers, so the site’s losing money. Fast.”

“Sounds dire,” she muttered sarcastically.

“It is,” he insisted. “This is our business. It’s part of our income.”

“But I’m sure Courtney’s site’s doing just fine.” As long as they had her as a source of income, they’d be fine financially. Right?

“Courtney’s willing to go outside her comfort zone, to push the envelope,” Jesse said. “So yeah, her site’s doin’ fine.” He gave her a pointed look, as though he were trying to urge her to go outside her comfort zone without directly saying it.

“Well, sorry, but there are just some lines I won’t cross,” she stated firmly. The next logical step in her porn career was probably a gangbang, and there was not one part of her that felt on board for that.

“I need you to reconsider, Isabel,” he said softly. “Or else I’ll have to shut the site down.”

“So shut it down. I don’t care.” Maybe it would be nice for it to just be gone. Not that the videos would ever totally disappear. No, they were out there in cyberspace forever, and she’d accepted that a long time ago. But it would be nice to not have to make any new ones.

“This is your career, Isabel,” Jesse kept on arguing.

“It’s not the career I was meant to have.”

“You can’t just quit, though.”

“Why not?” she challenged. She hadn’t ever signed any contract with Jesse. What she did for him was strictly voluntary.

“It’s your site,” he said emphatically. “It’s Naughty Izzy. Without you, it’s nothing. You’re the product, Isabel.”

“Product?” she echoed, mortified. Did he even realize how objectifying that was? “And here I thought I was your girlfriend.” She glared at him accusatorily, waiting for him to backtrack, maybe try to phrase that differently, to assure her that he thought of her as a person and not a thing. But he never did.

She huffed, swinging her legs over the side of the bed. “Nice to know what you really think of me.” Seizing her computer, she stomped out of the room to find someplace else to write. In light of this conversation, even more ideas for her novel were coming to mind.


Around 3:30 that afternoon, Alan showed up at Max’s door. He’d called him over lunch and asked him to stop by after work. Because he needed to talk to him about something. Something important.

“Hey, man,” Alan said as he shuffled inside. “Enjoy your day off?”

“Not really,” Max grumbled, stepping aside. “Thanks for comin’ by.” After a long day on site, Alan had probably wanted to just go home. But the guy was becoming a decent friend, so it really didn’t surprise Max that he’d shown up.

“Yeah, no problem.” Alan took off his shoes, even though that wasn’t necessary in this house, and followed Max into the living room. “So what’s up?” he asked eagerly. “Is it Liz? Please tell me she wants to go out with me again.”

Max shot him an apologetic look.

“Dammit,” Alan swore. “Oh, well. She’s probably too hot for me anyway.” His eyes lit up suddenly then, as if inspiration had struck. “Hey, what about your sister?” He grinned hopefully. “Do you think she’d be into me?”

“Probably not,” Max muttered. “You don’t wanna date her anyway.”

“Oh, I think I do,” Alan insisted.

“Trust me, you don’t.” The words train wreck came to mind.

Alan flopped down on the couch, sighing. “Alright, well, clearly you didn’t invite me over here to propagate my love life. So I can only assume this has to do with yours.”

“More or less.” Did he even have a love life anymore? Clearly Maria didn’t really love him, so . . . what exactly were they even doing together? Not fucking, that was for sure, because it’d been a hell of a long time since he’d gotten any.

“Gonna pop the question?” Alan asked. “Need some ideas on how to do it?”

Max laughed at that as he paced back and forth through the living room. “No. No, I think it’s safe to say I’m not gonna pop the question.” The sad fact was . . . he probably would have within the next few months if he hadn’t learned the truth.

“Oh.” Alan frowned. “What’s the hold up, man? You guys already have a kid. Just go for it.”

“I might,” Max said, curling his hands into fists at his sides, “if she wasn’t cheating on me.”

“Wait . . . what?” Alan sputtered. “Cheating? Your girl’s cheating on you?”

It wasn’t fun to say out loud, so he didn’t want to say it again. But he did make sure to add, “With her ex-boyfriend, of all people.”

What?” Alan sounded shocked, even though he’d only met Maria a few times. “Shit, man. No way.”

“I saw it with my own eyes.”

“You mean you saw . . .” Alan trailed off and gestured wildly with his hands to indicate sex.

“No, they weren’t . . .” He rolled his eyes. “But it was obvious they had. They were in bed together.” He stopped near the hallway, glancing back to the closed bedroom door. “In my bed,” he growled, wishing he had the strength to go in there and just snap the whole damn headboard in half.

“No way, man,” Alan said sympathetically. “Dude, that sucks. I’m sorry.”

“No, it’s . . . whatever,” he dismissed, not in the mood for a pity party. He was done feeling sad about all this. From here on out, he was going to let the anger he was feeling work its magic. Because, in all honesty, he always got the most accomplished when he was pissed.

“You wanna go get a beer then?” Alan offered. “Hit the strip club? Anything?”

“Actually, I was wondering if you could put me in touch with your brother,” Max replied.

“My brother?” Alan made a face. “Dave?”

“Yeah. Didn’t you once tell me that he’s a private investigator?”

“Uh . . .” Alan squirmed a bit. “Not legally, per se. But yeah, he’s done some work for a few people. Why?”

“Because . . .” Max crossed his arms over his chest and swallowed hard. “I have a problem that needs investigating.”

Alan frowned. “Right, but . . . you already know she’s cheating on you. So why do you need Dave?”

“Because I need proof,” Max explained. “Photos, videos, that sort of thing. You think Dave could get that for me?”

Alan stood up slowly, looking unsure. “I guess so,” he said. “But what’re you gonna do with it, Max?”

He smirked, delighting in the thoughts of everything he was planning. “I’m gonna do what any good lawyer would do,” he said, “and build a case against her.”

“And then what?” Alan probed.

Well, that was the fun part, wasn’t it? The outcome. “I’m gonna bring the bitch down,” he growled, a newfound determination coursing through his veins.


Even though she felt so comfortable and so warm, Maria slowly opened her eyes. It didn’t feel strange to wake up in Michael’s bed anymore, nor did it feel alarming to be lying next to him. What was alarming, though, were the three bright red numbers on the bedside clock. 5:30.

“Oh my god,” she gasped, sitting up quickly. “Michael, is that clock right?”

He groaned, reluctantly stirring. “What?”

Oh my god,” she fretted, shooting to her feet. “I was supposed to pick Dylan up from school two hours ago.” She rifled through the various pieces of clothing scattered on the floor for the ones that belonged to her. “I can’t believe we fell asleep.”

He stretched out his arms and legs, grinning. “Guess we wore ourselves out.”

“This isn’t funny!” she hissed, yanking on her underwear. “God, I’m such an idiot.” What kind of mother just forgot to go pick up her son? Hopefully somebody was still waiting there with them, the principal or maybe the counselor. Surely they wouldn’t just leave him alone there, right? They couldn’t.

“Maria, wait,” Michael said, reaching out for her.

“I can’t wait. I’m already late.” Frantically, she tugged on the rest of her clothes, stumbling out the door with her shoes in her hands instead of on her feet.


By the time Maria got home, Max already had dinner prepared. Nothing fancy, just macaroni and cheese out of the box. One of Dylan’s favorites.

She looked like a worried mess when she burst through the door, and he wondered if she was worried about Dylan or worried about what lie she was going to tell to explain this one.

“Max,” she said, sounding out of breath. “I’m so sorry. I don’t even know what happened.”

“Lost track of time, huh?” He stirred the cheesy noodles, then spooned a small bite out of the pan and taste-tested it. “The school called me around 4:00, so we’ve been home for a while.”

“Is he mad at me?” she asked.

“No.” But I am, Max thought. He couldn’t show it, though. Outwardly, it had to seem as if it were no big deal. Because Maria still expected him to be a nice, understanding guy. About everything. If he didn’t maintain that persona, she’d know something was up.

“Is he okay?” she asked.

“Yeah, he’s fine. He’s playing in his room right now.”

Sighing regretfully, she took off her shoes and dropped her purse down on the floor. “I just . . . I guess I just totally spaced it off,” she said.

“I’m sure you were busy today,” he said, taking three plates out of the cabinets. Busy getting fucked.

“That’s no excuse,” she said. “I don’t know, I guess I just had it in my head that you were picking him up or something . . . I don’t even know.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Max said. “He’s home. That’s all that matters.”

“I guess so,” she mumbled. “I’m really sorry.”

He wanted to roll his eyes at that, but he couldn’t. It was a half-assed apology that paled in comparison to the apology both he and Dylan really deserved. But for now it would have to do. “Maybe you should go say somethin’ to him,” he suggested. “I think he was curious about where you were.”

“Okay,” she said, stopping in the kitchen first to give him a quick kiss on the cheek. Her lips on his skin felt like acid.

Once she’d slipped into Dylan’s room, Max forgot about the macaroni and sauntered down the hallway to his own bedroom. He sat down at the computer and opened a document he’d just created today. Time for entry number one.

He typed the date, then a brief description of the incident. Maria forgot to pick up Dylan at the school. School called me. I picked up Dylan instead around 4:15. Maria got home at 5:50.

Documentation was important. Women did it when they were trying to build a case against abusive husbands, so why not do it when you were trying to take down a cheating girlfriend? He smirked, then quickly saved the document in a locked folder, one that would require a password to open.

Hopefully there would be many more of these little entries, because they would start to add up. Surely the longer Maria was screwing Michael, the more irresponsible she would become. Which was great for him. The more she slacked off on her parenting, the better he looked in comparison. He’d document everything, every little mistake she made, every slip-up, and she’d have no fucking clue he was even doing it.

After shutting off the computer, he headed back out to the kitchen, putting on his happy face for a family dinner. Even though it was tempting to just confront Maria about her whereabouts today, he knew he couldn’t. No, if he wanted to emerge from this whole fiasco with Dylan in his custody, then he had to be smart about this.

Luckily, it wasn’t hard to outsmart Maria.

TBC . . .


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Re: Somewhere, Anywhere (M&M, CC/UC, AU, Adult) Part 72, 04/30/17

Post by sarammlover » Wed May 03, 2017 1:42 pm

April April April....I had to take a week off reading because I as so so so pissed at Michael and Maria. I know, it's only a story and damn you write angst better than ANYONE will ever. You have me siding with Max. WTF? MAX! But seriously Maria only cares about getting off with Michael that she has completely neglected Dylan AND Max AND all she does is lie. It so completely annoying! HA HA HA. She needs a serious fucking wake up call and losing Dylan will be a hell of one. She needs to come clean, be honest and move on. And I would love to see Max engage with Liz!

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Part 73

Post by April » Sun May 07, 2017 1:53 pm

sarammlover wrote:April April April....I had to take a week off reading because I as so so so pissed at Michael and Maria. I know, it's only a story and damn you write angst better than ANYONE will ever.
Well, thank you. Frustrating, dramatic angst has always been my thing. ;)
You have me siding with Max. WTF? MAX! But seriously Maria only cares about getting off with Michael that she has completely neglected Dylan AND Max AND all she does is lie. It so completely annoying! HA HA HA. She needs a serious fucking wake up call and losing Dylan will be a hell of one. She needs to come clean, be honest and move on.
You know what? I get it. I totally get it. As hard as it is to fathom right now . . . you can definitely make the argument that right now, Max is the better parent. :( Maria is so caught up in this affair with Michael that she really has neglected her responsibilities with her own son. It's really sad, actually.
And I would love to see Max engage with Liz!
Max and Liz have a really good relationship. They've grown to have such respect for each other, and that has led them to be super supportive of one another.

Thanks for the feedback!

Part 73

Alex’s eyes got wide with anticipation when Isabel dropped a stack of papers on his desk. “Is this a sequel?” he asked.

“No, just another chapter,” she replied proudly. “I may need to break it up a bit.”

“Wow.” He fanned through the pages, thoroughly impressed. “Someone’s been feeling inspired lately.”

“Someone’s been feeling . . . restless lately,” she confessed.

As someone who appreciated the English language, he couldn’t help but note the interesting word choice. “Restless?”

“Yeah.” She moved around a bit, shrugging. “I don’t know. I just feel like . . . maybe it’s time to write another chapter. Of . . . my life.”

He sat up straighter, intrigued by the sound of that. “Meaning?”

“Meaning . . .” She trailed off, sighing. “I don’t know. It’s hard to say. But lately, I’ve just been thinking that I might . . .” She didn’t finish the sentence.

“That you might what?” he prompted.

She smiled at him almost wistfully, and her voice was barley loud enough for him to hear. “Quit,” she whispered. “The movies, the stripping . . . I might just be done with it.”

Oh god, he thought, wanting to believe that. Please.

“Do you think it’s possible?” she asked. And it seemed as though his opinion really mattered to her.

“I think so,” he said. Sure, she had a reputation nowadays, and maybe that might always be her reputation. But there was still hope for her to be better. “I think you should, Isabel,” he told her. “I mean, if nothin’ else . . . it’d be a hell of an ending to your novel.”

She smiled a bit, the first genuine smile he’d seen from her in a long time. “We’ll see,” she said, obviously still working through the decision in her mind.

We’ll see, he thought, letting himself be hopeful for her. Just this once.


When Jake handed Michael a drawing, Michael wasn’t even sure what to say at first. It was mostly just a piece of paper with scribbly lines on it, but for Jake, it was a huge accomplishment. Because it was . . . a gift. He was giving Michael a gift. And Jake didn’t do that.

“Nice work, man,” he told the little guy. “I love it. Thank you.”

Jake didn’t exactly smile, but at least he held up his right hand. Michael had been trying to teach him how to give a high-five. Even though it seemed like a basic social skill for someone Jake’s age to have, he just didn’t have it. But at least he was learning.

Michael gave him the high-five he was looking for just as Jake’s mom got out of her car and started walking forward. “Hey, look who it is,” he said. “Look who’s here to get you.”

Jake started to scamper towards her, but then he stopped, turned back around quickly, and wrapped his arms around Michael’s legs, hugging him. He said something that sort of sounded like goodbye. At the very least, it was more than just a scream.

“Well, look at that,” Jake’s mom remarked in astonishment as she approached. “That’s incredible. The only other people he’ll even touch are me and his dad.”

“Well, he’s my buddy,” Michael said, patting Jake on the back.

“He sure is,” his mother agreed. “I can’t thank you enough, Michael. All of you who help him out . . . you don’t get nearly enough credit. I know he’s not an easy kid.”

“He’s a good kid, though,” Michael put in. That was all that mattered.

“But he’s challenging,” Jake’s mother reasserted. “And no one at his last school was up for the challenge. I’m so glad he’s had you here.”

It was a major compliment, one Michael hadn’t quite been expecting. He didn’t think he was doing anything monumental with Jake. He was just trying his best day by day. Some things worked, and other things didn’t. But it was nice to know that his efforts didn’t go unnoticed. “Thank you,” he said gratefully.

“No, thank you,” she said. “For what it’s worth, I think you’re in the right career field. You’re really good with kids.”

He smiled a bit.

“I wish there were more young people like you,” she went on, “people willing to just step up and help. It’s nice to see that your generation isn’t completely devoid of nice, respectable guys.”

He struggled to keep his smile in place as those words sunk in. Nice? Respectable? Maybe that was how he seemed to her, but in reality . . . was he either of those things? Did nice, respectable guys do the things he was doing behind closed doors?

When he got home, he didn’t even try to be nice and respectable. Maria was already there, waiting for him. He yanked off his shirt as he crossed the room, then swept her up in his arms and scrunched her top up beneath his fingertips, hands clawing at her back, her shoulder blades. Needing to feel her. Every inch of her.

They were naked in no time.

He sure as hell wasn’t nice when he tossed her onto the bed. Sure as hell wasn’t respectable when he crawled on top of her. Frantically, his hands squeezed and caressed her body. Her breasts, her thighs, her waist. Her skin felt so hot against his. So perfect.

“Let me eat your pussy,” he breathed out in between kisses. Nice guys didn’t say that. At least not to girls who already had a boyfriend.

When she maneuvered herself up onto all fours, he got behind her and bent down to plunge his tongue into her core. They probably didn’t have time for this, but he just couldn’t resist. He had to get a taste. And it tasted so damn good.

Once she’d already cum once, he flipped her over onto her back again, pulling her legs open wide, kneeling in between them. He held his cock with one hand, rubbing it along her slick folds. “You want it?” he growled low in his throat.

She nodded dazedly. Yeah, she wanted it.

A nice, respectable guy would have taken the time to make love to this girl. But time wasn’t on their side tonight, not when she had to be home for dinner.

So he screwed her. Hard. Fast. Didn’t worry about being gentle. Shot his load into her and wanted more even then.

Collapsing atop her, he murmured, “I can’t stop fucking you,” as his hips continued to thrust forward on their own accord.

She moaned and tightened her legs around him, digging her fingernails into his back. She couldn’t stop, either.

A nice, respectable guy wouldn’t have had to worry about stopping. A nice, respectable guy wouldn’t have started any of this in the first place.


“Michael? Michael?”

Snapping himself out his thoughts, Michael jerked his head back towards his friend. “Huh? What?”

Kyle held Michael’s overly large psychology textbook open, giving him a curious look. “Are you even here right now?”

“Yeah.” Physically, at least. But his mind had gone somewhere else for a while there. It was just so damn hard to think about psychology when you were still coming down off an afternoon sex high.

“Come on, man, you’ve got finals in a few weeks,” Kyle reminded him, “and let’s be honest, you’re not ready.”

“That’s why I’m studying,” he pointed out.

“You’re not even paying attention,” Kyle snapped, clearly growing impatient. They’d been at this for about an hour already, and even Michael knew they hadn’t gotten much accomplished.

“Sorry,” he apologized. “I’ll do better.” He could buckle down. Kyle had been nice enough to agree to help him out, after all. He shouldn’t waste his time. He couldn’t, not when Tess would be home in half an hour. Then he’d have to vacate the premise on account of . . . well, her hatred for him.

“Man, you gotta make this a priority, you know,” Kyle said, sounding a bit like the high school version of himself. “Aren’t your grades still . . . pretty bad?”

They were in the shitter . . . but they could still go up before the end of the semester. “They’re not great,” he admitted, downplaying the severity of the situation.

“You gonna lose your scholarships?”

Michael sighed. “Hope not.”

Kyle frowned. “Man, what happened to you this semester? Why’d you slack off again?”

There was no excuse, but he tried to come up with one anyway. “I kinda had a lot goin’ on. I got suspended. My sister had a baby.” Lowering his head, he mumbled, ashamed, “I cheated on my girlfriend.”

“Yeah, somethin’ tells me she’ll do just fine on her finals, though.”

Guess she’ll finally have a higher GPA than me, Michael thought. Good for her. She deserved it.

“Look, I’m not sayin’ you haven’t had a lot to deal with this semester,” Kyle acknowledged, flipping to the next page of the textbook, “but . . . you have to focus now. Alright? Focus on what’s important.”

Focus? Michael thought. Was that even possible anymore? He understood what Kyle was saying, but Kyle didn’t understand why he was so distracted. These days, when he thought of what was important to him . . . all he thought of was Maria.


It wasn’t hard to track Maria’s boss down. He lived in the same building as Michael, down on the first floor. The chick working the front desk directed Max to his room, and fortunately, he was home.

“Max, hey there,” Brody greeted pleasantly when he opened the door.

“Hey,” Max returned. “Sorry to just stop by. I’m here for Maria.”

“Maria,” Brody echoed curiously. “Maria’s not here.”

Max chuckled. No, of course not, he thought bitterly. Because she’s with Michael. “Actually, I’m here for her schedule,” he elaborated. “She lost her calendar for the rest of this month and for May, and I told her I’d swing by and pick up another copy. I think she’s kinda embarrassed.”

“Oh, I always make plenty of extra copies,” Brody said as he headed over to his desk. “Seems like everyone loses theirs.” He rifled through a few stacks of papers, then found exactly what Max needed. “There you go,” he said, handing both the April and May calendars over.

“Thanks,” Max said. This would help a lot.

That night, when Maria and Dylan were both already fast asleep, he stayed up to get some work done. Not the kind of work that would pay anything, but . . . well, it would all pay off in the long run.

Financially, they weren’t the most organized couple. They had a huge box where they stashed all their bills and records, and it was a mess. He took it out into the living room and sifted through it for copies of her most recent paychecks. She got paid every other week, and since she was paid by the hour, he figured it might come with some documentation of just how many hours she’d worked. A timesheet. Something.

After what felt like forever, he finally found what he was looking for. There it was in black and white, proof of the hours she’d worked for these first two weeks of April. And it definitely didn’t add up to all the late nights she claimed to be having. There was no overtime pay, no evening hours where she’d filled in for someone else. There were only a few hours in the afternoons, and that wasn’t even every day of the week.

Carefully, quietly, he put the lid back on the box and carried it back into the bedroom, stashing it back in their closet. He then unplugged the laptop and took it out into the living room. Maria stirred but didn’t wake up.

He sat in darkness, letting the computer screen illuminate the room. He worked well into the night documenting everything he could, thinking back to all the late nights she’d had, delighting in just how quickly they were adding up.

March 3. Worked late, he typed. March 5. Worked late.

It got better when he got into April, because he had both her work schedule calendar and her timesheet to refer to.

April 2. Worked late. Records indicate otherwise.

A smile crept to his lips as he kept typing the same thing over and over again.

Records indicate otherwise.

His only regret about the way he was documenting this was that he hadn’t started sooner. Maybe if he hadn’t been such a sucker, he would have.

Around 5:00 that morning, just as he was getting close to finishing up, his phone rang. He didn’t have the number stored as a contact, but he recognized it. For a few days now, he’d been waiting to see it appear on the screen.

“Yeah?” he answered.

“Max, this is Dave. Alan’s brother.”

Max quickly saved the document, knowing the proof he was about to get was a hell of a lot more damning. “Got anything for me?” he asked.

“Oh, I got a lot,” Dave assured him. “Wanna meet up today?”

Max grinned, eagerly anticipating what evidence his investigator had collected for him. “Absolutely.”


Something smelled good when Isabel traipsed downstairs. Here she’d been resigned to a typical breakfast of cereal and toast, but Jesse appeared to be making omelets instead. He was all smiles when he saw her. “Good morning, beautiful,” he said. “I don’t know how you manage to look so stunning first thing in the morning.”

Beautiful? Stunning? Oh, he was really laying it on thick, wasn’t he? She had on an old, ratty t-shirt and plaid sweatpants for pajamas, and her hair wasn’t even combed yet. “Jesse . . . save it,” she told him. “All the compliments in the world aren’t gonna get me to change my mind.”

“About what?” he asked. As though he didn’t already know.

“About the website,” she said, leaning back against the counter, crossing her arms over her chest defiantly. “I’m not gonna push the boundaries any further than we already have. So if that’s not enough to keep the site running then . . . well, I guess you’ll just have to shut it down.”

He sighed heavily, clearly disappointed. “You’re more than a product, Isabel,” he assured her. “I didn’t mean to upset you when I said that the other day.”

“Whatever, I’m over it,” she dismissed. “But the decision’s still the same.” It felt weird to lay down the law with Jesse, to be the one making the decision, because he was such a dominant force in their relationship. But in a way . . . it felt good.

“So we’re done then?” he summarized.

“Done?” she echoed, suddenly a bit fearful. Maybe Jesse wasn’t the world’s greatest boyfriend, but she wasn’t trying to break up with him or anything. He was a big part of her life. Not only was she dating him, but she was living with him. He was sort of . . . all she had, as pathetic as that was.

“With filming,” he added.

“Oh. Yeah. Done with that.”

“And the website . . . I’ll just have to shut it down.”

“Right.” She savored the thought of it but tried to downplay her excitement. No more videos. No more racy photo shoots. No more stripteases at birthday parties and bachelor parties. Just freedom. Sweet, glorious freedom.

“Well, I guess I can respect that,” he said.

“Really?” She hadn’t expected him to.

“Yeah. It’s your body, your life.” He shrugged, turning down the heat on an omelet that was almost done. “Can I ask why, though?”

“Why?” Wasn’t it obvious? It wasn’t fun for her. It never had been.

“Yeah, I mean . . . why throw it all away?”

She grunted, not exactly sure what she was throwing away. Money, sure, but there were other ways to make money. She’d get a real job if she had to. Waitressing or something.

“Jesse . . . I just want out,” she explained. “I want out of it. I don’t think I ever really wanted in.”

“You did, though,” he insisted. “You know you did.”

“Yeah, maybe back when I was in . . . a dark place.” She shook her head, realizing that she’d never gotten out of that dark place. She’d stepped into it back in high school after Michael had cheated on her, and she’d never emerged. Everything for the past three years had just been . . . dark. So dark. “I’m just tired of it,” she admitted. “I don’t wanna be Naughty Izzy anymore. I wanna be someone.”

“You are someone,” he assured her, stroking her cheek.

“Someone better.” She had to believe it wasn’t too late to strive for that.

“I understand,” he said, rubbing her shoulders. “Come here.” He pulled her into an embrace, the warm, secure kind.

She breathed a sigh of relief, surprised but grateful that he was being so empathetic. This had definitely gone better than she’d anticipated. Hopefully it was a sign of good things to come.


Max made arrangements to meet Dave at a coffee shop right off of campus. It wasn’t hard to spot him, even though he’d only spoken to him over the phone and never met him face to face until now. He was the guy with the big manila envelope full of photos.

“Thanks for meeting me,” Max said as he took a seat next to him at the table. Dave had already ordered him a coffee, and he took a sip just to be polite. But caffeine wasn’t his thing, especially not when he was already feeling so damn wired.

“I think you’ll be pleased with what I brought you,” Dave said, discreetly sliding the envelope across the table. It was thicker than Max had even anticipated.

“This is over four days?” he said, amazed that Michael and Maria could be that ridiculously horny.

“Three days, actually,” Dave corrected. “You’ve got yourself one frisky little girlfriend there.”

“Yeah, well . . . she’s not frisky with me,” Max muttered, opening up the envelope. He took the first few photos out, and they weren’t as incriminating as he’d hoped. It was just Michael and Maria sitting in class together, a little closer than they should have, perhaps, but not necessarily doing anything wrong. He shot Dave a sharp look and said, “Tell me you got more than this.”

Dave smirked. “Oh, trust me, I did.”

When Max pulled out the next few photos, he felt significantly more . . . jilted. It was like seeing the storyboard of a movie. First was a photo of Maria standing outside the door to Michael’s apartment, then a photo of him opening it. In the next, they were both looking out into the hallway suspiciously, as if to ensure that no one was watching, and then . . . well, then they started kissing. The photos stopped once the apartment door was shut and they were both inside.

“Yeah, they weren’t exactly covert,” Dave said. “At least I didn’t think so.”

The last pictures were the ones that would do the most damage to Maria’s reputation, though, because they were the most explicit. They were back in Max’s own house, back in his bed, and Dave had gotten some shots of them actually going at it. Her on top of him, him on top of her, behind her . . . all of it. Like something straight out of a porno or from the cover of an erotic novel.

“They probably should’ve closed the curtains,” Dave said, snickering.

Max stared long and hard at Maria’s face in all the photos. Her eyes were usually closed, her mouth usually open as though she were gasping or moaning. In ecstasy. She was . . . ecstatic.

“These are good,” he said, placing all the photos back in the envelope. “Thanks.”

“No problem,” Dave said. “Hey, sorry she’s cheatin’ on you, man.”

Whatever, Max thought. I don’t care.

After he paid Dave the amount they’d previously negotiated, Max left with the envelope in hand. He had it, exactly what he’d wanted. It was all there in black and white. The proof. The photographic evidence.

So why the hell didn’t he feel better?

He got in the car and just sat there behind the steering wheel for a few seconds, putting the key in the ignition without twisting it. Against his better judgment, he took out one of the photos again. In it, Maria was underneath Michael, and he was clearly fucking her. And she was laughing. He was saying something that made her laugh.

Max couldn’t even remember the last time she’d laughed with him. He couldn’t remember the last time they’d had sex. All these things that she was doing with Michael on a near daily basis . . . she hardly ever did them with him.

It stung. It hurt worse than he cared to admit.

The longer he stared at the photo, the more worked up he became. Eventually, the tears stinging his eyes started to fall over, and there was nothing he could do to stop them. All he could do was wipe them away quickly and pretend they’d never manifested themselves in the first place.

Get it together, he told himself, sliding the photo back into the envelope. He couldn’t be a pathetic little pussy about this, couldn’t let himself feel bad that she didn’t love him. No. He had to be strong. That was the only way to take them down.

TBC . . .


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Re: Somewhere, Anywhere (M&M, CC/UC, AU, Adult) Part 73, 05/07/17

Post by keepsmiling7 » Sun May 07, 2017 6:12 pm

Found this first over here, so couldn't wait to see the latest Maria and Michael screw up.....
Love that Max is continuing to build his schedule from her boss and the timesheets.
Those pictures are the best evidence, though it must have torn Max apart to actually see them.
Can't wait for the next screw up.....

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Location: Somewhere. Anywhere.

Part 74

Post by April » Sun May 14, 2017 2:43 pm

Found this first over here, so couldn't wait to see the latest Maria and Michael screw up.....
Screwing each other is causing them to screw up a lot of things. :?
Those pictures are the best evidence, though it must have torn Max apart to actually see them.
Yeah, I think he was surprised by how it actually got to him.

Thanks for reading!

Part 74

Maria wrinkled her nose as she stirred the crazy concoction in the pot in front of her. She wasn’t exactly sure what she was going for here, but . . . hopefully it’d turn out.

Max walked in, and he looked surprised to see her. “You’re home early,” he remarked.

She was home at what was supposed to be a typical time, but it definitely hadn’t been typical. Not lately. “I didn’t have to work at all today,” she said.

“That’s good.” He kicked off his shoes, slowly sauntering into the kitchen. “Everyone needs a day off.”

She nodded in agreement, still stirring.

“What’s that?” he asked, leaning over to get a good look.

“Who knows?” she responded. “I sort of just tossed a whole bunch of stuff in together.”

“Well, it smells good.” He moved so that he was standing behind her, his hands on her waist.

“I doubt it tastes good, though,” she said, trying not to tense up. It wasn’t that she minded having him close or having his hands on her; it just felt weird, in a way, because . . . they weren’t Michael’s hands.

“I bet it tastes great,” he said, lowering his head to press a kiss against the side of her neck. He pulled her shirt collar farther to the side, revealing more of her skin, and then kept kissing her. Long, drawn-out kisses. The persistent kind. Like he was in the mood for something.

She wasn’t in that same mood.

“Do you wanna set the table?” she asked, hoping to distract him.

“Not really,” he murmured, his breath hot against her skin. His hands became more daring as one wrapped around her stomach, and the other reached around to squeeze her breast. When he pressed his hips forward a bit, she could feel his hardening cock pressing into her backside.

“Max . . .” She realized what a mistake it was to say his name, because even though she wanted to tell him to wait a minute or to slow down, he mistook it as a sign of passion. Seconds later, he was spinning her around so he kiss her mouth and grab her ass.

Oh, shit, she thought. This felt . . . fast. Like they were moving straight ahead at light speed, and there was nothing she could do to stop it.

It wasn’t his fault. He didn’t have any reason to stop.

She quickly reached behind herself to turn down the heat on the stove before he lifted her up and set her down on the counter. He’d already started unbuttoning his shirt and trying to get her legs open when she said, “Wait, what about Dylan?” The thought of him walking out here and seeing his parents going at it was . . . well, mortifying.

Even the mention of his son wasn’t enough to slow him down tonight. He lifted her up off the counter, and she was left with no real choice but to wrap her arms and legs around him and hold on tight as he carried her down the hallway and into their bedroom. He shut the door forcefully and then walked her over to the wall, slamming her back against it hard.

She cried out, not out of pleasure, but because it actually hurt a little. He was too caught up in the moment to apologize.

What moment, though? It was a completely different moment for him than it was for her. For him, it was clearly wild and sexy. Exhilarating. For her . . . it just felt wrong. In so many ways.

He set her down on her own two feet so he could quickly unzip his pants and take his cock out. He was straining hard and ready to go and clearly didn’t intend to take his time. He didn’t ask for permission to push her own jeans down, but then again . . . he didn’t really have to. He was her boyfriend, after all. This was what boyfriends and girlfriends did together. So she didn’t make a move to stop him. Didn’t protest.

Once her pants were off, he lifted her left leg up to wrap around his waist and held it there while he bent his knees and penetrated her. She gasped, another sound that he probably mistook for pleasure, and squeezed her eyes shut as he started thrusting right away.

Oh god, she thought, holding onto his shoulders as he moved. What’s happening? What am I doing? It had been a long time since she’d had sex with Max, and that probably explained why he was so into it.

His hips slammed into hers, jolting her whole body repeatedly. He was being rougher than normal, which wasn’t always a bad thing. But this, right now . . . it was all a bad thing. It felt wrong, even though it wasn’t. It felt like a betrayal. To Michael.

She was glad he pressed his head against the side of her neck while he moved inside her. That way he couldn’t see any of the tears spill out of her eyes.


Michael didn’t need to know. Not telling him was sort of the most appealing option. But for some reason . . . Maria almost felt obligated to tell him. Even though it was getting easier and easier to lie to Max, she just couldn’t lie to Michael. And if she didn’t tell him about what she’d done . . . it would be a lie. Because it’d be a secret.

She showed up at his apartment early that morning and hesitantly pushed down on the door handle. It was unlocked, so she walked right in.

“Hey,” he said as he scrambled around to finish getting ready. “What’re you doin’ here?”

She smiled sadly and shrugged. “Just wanted to see you.” He looked like he was in a good mood this morning, probably because they were going to be able to spend plenty of time together today.

“Couldn’t wait until class, huh?” he teased, slinging his backpack over his shoulders. He came right up in front of her and bent down to kiss her, his lips just as lively as the rest of him. She barely kissed him back, though, because she felt . . .

She wasn’t sure what she felt, but it wasn’t a good feeling.

“You okay?” he asked.

Leave it to him to immediately sense that something was wrong. “Yeah,” she squeaked out, wondering if she could just keep her damn mouth shut. What he didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him, after all.

“You wanna walk together?” he offered. “Or would that be too obvious?”

She longed to be able to walk to class with him, maybe even hand in hand. To be a couple out in public . . . that would have been nice. “Probably too obvious,” she figured, resigning herself to a long walk alone.

“Right,” he said, hanging his head. He perked back up in an instant, though, and suddenly he was lowering his backpack to the ground and declaring, “You know what? Screw class then. Let’s just stay here.”

Class is important, she wanted to say. She knew he’d been slacking ever since getting back together with her, and that bothered her.

“Look at this,” he said, practically bouncing over to his bed. He peeled back the covers and motioned grandly to the new blue sheets underneath. “Fresh and clean, just like you wanted.” Grinning from ear to ear, he asked, “You impressed?”

She tried to smile, but it was probably more of a grimace.

Narrowing his eyes at her, he came forward again, knowingly inquiring, “Okay, Maria, what’s wrong?”

Of course she couldn’t hide anything from him. He knew her too well. “I need to tell you something,” she revealed quietly, dreading the thought of it. He wasn’t going to be happy.

“This doesn’t sound good,” he mumbled, leaning against the dividing wall.

It’s not good, she thought. In fact, it was downright awful. Gulping, she worked up the courage to get the words out. Like peeling off a Band-Aid, she knew it was best to just say it fast. “I had sex with Max last night.”

His whole body stilled, and for a moment, his eyes glazed over. As though he were picturing it, even though he probably didn’t want to.

Well, at least he’s not yelling, she thought. Although that didn’t necessarily mean he wasn’t mad. “Say something,” she begged, needing to be able to gauge his reaction.

“I don’t . . .” He threw his hands up in the air frustratedly. “What do you want me to say?”

“I don’t know. Anything.”

He moved around a bit, starting to look more irritated. He shook his head, snorted, and then grumbled, “Dammit, Maria.”

She winced.

“Why would you do that?”

“Why? Because I—I felt like I had to,” she stuttered.

His eyebrows shot upward, and his expression morphed into one of concern. “So he pressured you then?” he said. “Is that it?”

“No, of course not.” She definitely hadn’t said no, and given that they were dating, Max would have needed a no in order to stop. “It just . . . it just happened.”

He rolled his eyes and turned his back to her.

“What, would you have preferred me to be pressured?” she demanded.

“No! Just . . .” He whirled back around, shaking his head again. Every bit of that good mood of his was just gone, and clearly he was pissed.

“Look, Max is my boyfriend, okay?” she whimpered, hoping he could find it in his heart to understand.

“Yeah, I remember.”

“If he wants to sleep with me, then . . .” She trailed off helplessly, wishing there’d been some way around it. But she’d known this day was coming for a while now, and he should have, too. “I mean, what was I supposed to do?”

“Say no,” he proposed.

“And make him suspicious?”

“Yeah, you know, I really don’t give a shit if Max is suspicious.”

“I’m in a relationship with him, Michael.”

“Yeah, well, you’re also in a relationship with me,” he pointed out.

“I’m having an affair with you.” It was a totally different kind of relationship. He knew that.

“Oh, so what we have isn’t as important as what you have with Max?” he yelled. “That’s more of a priority to you than we are?”

“Oh, please, Michael,” she grunted. “I think I’ve made our relationship a pretty big priority.” It dominated each and every one of her days. Nothing occupied her thoughts or her actions as much as time with him did. Nothing. Not even Dylan, and she was ashamed to admit that.

“You still slept with Max, though,” he grumbled.

“Look, I’m sorry!” she cried, moving closer to him. “I feel really bad about it. I know it’s not fair to either of you.” She reached out to touch his arm, hoping to calm him down.

He shook her hand away. “You’re damn right it’s not fair,” he bit out accusingly. “I don’t like goin’ to bed at night knowing you’re sleepin’ next to him. Now I gotta think about you sleeping with him? Oh, that’s great. That’s fantastic.”

“Michael . . .” God, this was making her feel even worse.

“I don’t wanna have to share you, Maria. I’m tired of it.”

“I know, but what am I supposed to do?”

“Just break up with him!” he roared. “And then we can be together. Because we’re meant to be together. You know that.”

He sounded so sure. He was so sure. She wished she had that same certainty, but with Dylan to consider . . . she just didn’t. She wanted to be with Michael, but what right did she have to rob Dylan of his father, of a family he’d grown to love being a part of?

“Michael . . . I’m sorry,” she choked out. “I just can’t.” If she only had herself to consider, it would have been easier. But she had to think of her son.

“So I’m supposed to be okay with this then, huh?” he growled. “I’m supposed to just put it out of my mind that you’re still screwing him?”

“I don’t know. I mean . . .” It wasn’t something she planned to do every night, if that made him feel any better. “It’s not like we do it that often.”

“But it’s gonna happen again,” he said. “Obviously.” Banging his head lightly against the wall, he continued to look frustrated, continued to look pissed, and she regretted saying anything. She’d probably just ruined his whole day, and if his day was ruined, then hers was, too.

Dammit, Maria,” he said again. “This is . . . this is so fucked up.”

Oh . . . nobody was more aware of that than her.

“I mean, what if you get pregnant?”

Her heart instantly felt like it broke in half when he said that. Because it dawned on her just why this was upsetting him so much. It wasn’t just that he was jealous or territorial or anything like that. He was worried. About the future.

“You know I’m on the pill,” she reassured him.

“But what if you get pregnant,” he speculated, his voice wavering, “and we wouldn’t even know if it was mine?”

She stared up at him sadly, apologetically, wishing there was something she could say to that, something to make him feel better. But there was just . . . nothing.

“Just get outta here,” he said suddenly.

She felt like she needed to stay, though, so they could talk some more. “Michael--”

“Just go,” he cut her off, clearly done talking. His whole body was slumped now, as though he were just completely emotionally spent. And it was all her fault.

Sighing in distress, she reluctantly turned and walked to the door. She stopped with her hand on the handle, though, and cast a glance back at him. He wasn’t even looking at her anymore. His eyes were on the floor, and his face was drawn tight in despair.

“I’m sorry,” she apologized again as she let herself out. He deserved more than those two overused words, but . . . there was really nothing else she could give him.

She walked to class alone, crying the whole way there. For him. For Max. But not for herself.


A lot had changed. Just a few months ago, Michael had been the one dragging Kyle around, trying like hell to get him to socialize. Now, the tables had turned. Kyle was the one dragging him. Just like old times.

They went to Steve’s place that night for guy time. Poker night in the basement, to be precise. It wasn’t much of a game, though, since they were competing against a certified genius.

“Dammit, Monk,” Fly swore as he slapped his cards down on the table, “why you gotta be so good at this?”

“I’m good at everything,” Monk boasted flatly.

“I used to be good at everything,” Kyle recalled wistfully. “I miss that.”

Munching on potato chips, Fly turned to Michael and asked, “Yo, chico, you got anything?”

Michael glanced down at his cards again. Hell, he had nothing. If he kept on going, it would be a pure bluff, nothing more. “Maybe,” he answered vaguely, shifting his focus over to Monk. Being as emotionless as he was, the guy had the ultimate poker face. There was just no way to tell whether or not he actually had a good hand.

“Ah, fuck it,” Michael muttered, laying his cards down in defeat. “I fold.”

“And Monk wins again,” Steve proclaimed.

“Dude, that ain’t even fair,” Fly complained.

“Thank God we’re not really playin’ for money,” Kyle said.

“Oh.” Monk’s face got so close to showing an actual expression, like maybe disappointment. “I thought we were.” It registered, though, and then he just shrugged and collected all his chips.

“Man, we should do shit like this more often, you know?” Fly said. “Bropack stuff.”

“I know,” Steve agreed, “but I got a kid to take care of.”

“I got kids on the way,” Kyle added.

“I gotta wax my back,” Monk blurted.

“And I’m just . . .” Michael grunted. “Freakin’ busy.”

Fly made a face. “How? You ain’t got Sarah to fool around with no more.”

No, Michael thought, but I’ve got someone. If she wasn’t too busy fooling around with Max, of course.

“Nice, Fly,” Kyle said.

“Sorry, man,” Fly quickly apologized.

“It’s alright,” Michael assured him. These guys didn’t know that losing Sarah was his own damn fault.

“What Michael means is that he’s been busy studying,” Kyle told them. “For finals.” He shot him a hard look and added, “I hope.”

Michael nodded, wishing that were the case. “I’m gettin’ there.”

“You’re gonna ace ‘em,” Steve predicted confidently. “I mean, you have to. You’re, like, the smartest person I know.”

“Me?” Michael stared at him in astonishment. “I’m the smartest person?”

“Yeah. Well, besides Monk.”

Monk nodded in agreement. “I’m smarter than everyone.”

Steve smirked. “And bear in mind, I know some real idiots.”

“Oh, that’s true,” Fly confirmed. “He does.”

Michael chuckled lightly, wondering if Steve or any of these guys would still think he was so smart if they saw his grades right now. Or if they knew . . . what he was doing. With Maria. “I don’t know, Steve-O,” he said. “Lately I feel like I’ve been . . . pretty dumb.”

“Well, you ain’t been yourself,” Fly said, reaching out to recollect everybody’s cards. “That’s for sure.”

Michael frowned as the table fell silent. It hadn’t been an accusation, but for some reason . . . it still felt that way.

Later, as Kyle drove them home, he brought it up, figuring if there was anyone who’d be completely honest with him, it was his best friend. “You think Fly’s right,” he asked, “that I haven’t been myself lately?”

It took Kyle a few seconds to answer. “Kind of. Maybe.”

“ ‘cause of my grades?” he guessed.

“No. I mean, that’s part of it, but . . .” Kyle shrugged. “It’s more than that.”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know, it’s like . . .” Kyle sighed. “Ever since you broke up with Sarah, I can’t tell where your head’s at anymore. I can’t get a read on you. And that’s weird for me, ‘cause let’s face it, I’m pretty much your soulmate. But not in a gay way.”

Michael looked out the window and frowned again. If even Kyle couldn’t figure him out right now . . . then he really was different. He wasn’t high school Michael, and he wasn’t college Michael. He was some screwed up version in between.

“I can’t stop thinkin’ about her, Kyle,” he confessed. Even now, she was running through his mind.

“Who?” he asked. “Sarah?”

There was this hopefulness in that question, like Kyle wanted him to be thinking about her. But Sarah didn’t have that kind of power over him, the power to make him completely forget about everything else. And he and Kyle both knew that.

Michael shot him a look and didn’t say anything. He didn’t need to.

“That would be the problem then,” Kyle said quietly as he turned onto Michael’s street.

Was it a problem, though? When he was with Maria, it felt like time stopped, and his whole world was perfect. It was only when he was without her, like he was right now, that reality crept back in.

TBC . . .


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Part 75

Post by April » Sun May 21, 2017 2:57 pm

Music suggestion today: "Infinite Horizons" by God Is An Astronaut, which you can listen to here when you see :( if you'd like. It's a really beautiful instrumental piece, one of many beautiful pieces by God Is An Astronaut.

Part 75

When Max fell asleep on her couch with Scarlet on his stomach that night, Liz couldn’t resist taking a few pictures. She let them rest for a while, but eventually she had to go over to him and give his shoulder a little shake. “Max,” she said. “Max, wake up.”

He struggled to open his eyes. The poor guy just looked so tired, like he hadn’t gotten a good night’s sleep all week.

“It’s getting late,” she told him. “You should probably go home now.”

“Sorry,” he said. “Didn’t mean to fall asleep.”

“It’s okay. You guys got comfy.”

“Hmm.” He rubbed the back of Scarlet’s head, threading his fingers through her ever-growing dark hair. His eyes fluttered shut again, and he made no effort to get up off that couch. “I don’t wanna leave,” he murmured groggily.

She didn’t want that, either, not in the slightest, but . . . he had another family to get home to. “Why not?” she asked, trying to keep him talking so he wouldn’t fall back asleep.

“Because,” he said, his voice quiet, “I like it here.”

She couldn’t help but smile, one of those smiles where your heart skipped a beat. For a second, she let herself be giddy about that, like a crushed out teenager. But then she brought herself back down. It wasn’t like he’d suddenly changed his mind and decided that he preferred her to Maria. He was just tired. He didn’t even know what he was saying.


In the midst of debating dinner options—Hot Pockets or pizza out of the box, yum—Alex heard someone call his name.


He spun around, his eyes immediately landing on Isabel as she scurried across the parking lot to catch up with him. “Hey,” she said. “Oh, wait, should I have called your Professor Whitman in public?”

“No, Alex is fine. I’m not a professor yet.”

“Hey, I’m glad I ran into you,” she said. “I wanted to tell you . . .” She drew it out dramatically, a big smile finding its way to her lips. “I quit. I’m done.”

“You mean with . . .” He trailed off, knowing he must have looked surprised, but it wasn’t because he’d doubted her. It was just that . . . well, yeah, maybe he had doubted her a bit.

“With all of it,” she confirmed. “And I told Jesse, and he was totally understanding.”

“Really?” Now that was a shock. “Well, that’s . . . that’s great, Isabel. I’m really proud of you.”

“Thanks,” she said, looking the happiest he’d seen her in a long time. “But you know, I don’t think I would’ve had the strength to do this if I wasn’t writing again. And I wouldn’t be writing if it wasn’t for you, so . . . you were a big part of this.”

“Oh, don’t give me so much credit,” he said, unwilling to take any away from her. “This is all you, Isabel.” She’d gotten herself into this mess, but thank God she was getting herself out of it now.

“Thanks, Alex,” she said again. She leaned in and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek this time. Nothing major. Just a peck. And with a smile and a wave, she was gone, heading back through the parking lot in the opposite direction. There was a bounce in her step, quite literally. She looked exuberant and vibrant in a way she hadn’t for years.

He watched her go, wondering if it was possible for her to go back to being the girl she used to be. The smart one. The sweet one. The one everyone liked. If she went back to being that girl, he wouldn’t be able to resist liking her again.


( :( )

Back when he’d been a kid and life at home had been hell, Michael used to lie on his bed and toss a small, plastic football up into the air repeatedly. He’d count how many times he would catch it, and that would help distract him from all the yelling downstairs. There was no yelling now, but there was still a football. And he was still tossing it.

It wasn’t distracting him, though.

He’d caught it seventy-five times when there was a knock on the door. “It’s open,” he called.

Quietly, like a timid little mouse, in came Maria. “Hey,” she said softly, locking the door as she shut it. She sulked over to his bed and sat down on the side of it, legs drawn close together, hands in her lap. She just sat there for a few seconds, not saying anything, and he didn’t feel the need to say anything either. But finally . . . “Do you hate me?” she asked weakly, her voice barely above a whisper.

He threw the football up one more time and caught it, then brought his arms down. “I love you,” he answered. “That’s why this sucks.”

She looked down at her lap as if she didn’t want to look him in the eye. “I feel horrible,” she admitted. “Kind of disgusting, actually.” She blinked as a few tears spilled over onto her cheeks. “I’m such a slut.”

He sat up slowly, hating that she would attach that label to herself. “Don’t say that.”

She shrugged sadly. “Why not? It’s true.”

“It’s not true.” He scooted closer to her.

“I’m sleeping with you, I’m sleeping with him.” Swallowing hard, she grumbled, “Like a whore.”

“Hey.” He cupped her cheek and forced her to look at him. “Don’t you dare call yourself that.” Maria DeLuca was a lot of things, but that wasn’t one of them. And it never would be.

“I really am sorry,” she apologized, covering his hand with hers. “I know this isn’t what you want. I know that I’m a coward and I should just . . . tell him.”

In a perfect world, that would have happened. But Michael had lived long enough to know the world was far from perfect. And so were they. “Someday you will,” he said, lowering his hand.

Her head drooped, and she stared down at her lap again. “I understand,” she mumbled, “if you don’t wanna wait for that day.”

He definitely didn’t want to. He wanted to walk outside with her right now and tell the whole wide world he was in love with her. But until then . . . “I’ll wait,” he told her. For him, there was no other option. “I can’t not be with you, Maria.”

She gazed up at him with wide eyes, eyes that were shimmering with tears. Tears of relief, maybe. Tears of sadness. Guilt. Maybe a mixture of all different kinds. She was as heartbreaking as she was beautiful, and the only thing that felt right to do was to kiss her.

Her whole body instantly relaxed the moment his mouth came into contact with hers. It was as if this calm just settled over her, and he felt it wash all over him, too, seeping into every fiber of his being. All the anxiety, the fear, the doubt . . . it just faded away, and she was the only thing that existed again.

He wrapped his arms around her, brought her in close, and laid her down to make love to her in a way Max Evans couldn’t even comprehend. Because Max didn’t love her this much.


When Max peeked into Dylan’s room that night, he didn’t expect to see his son still awake. But there he was, sitting up in bed, using his desk lamp to illuminate a comic book. Hell, even if it was just a comic, at least his kid was reading.

“What’re you still doin’ up?” Max asked him. It was late. No way was it that much of a page-turner.

Dylan set his comic aside, pouting. “Where’s Mom?” he whimpered.

Max sat down on the side of the bed, sighing. Even Dylan was noticing it at this point, wondering, questioning. In a way, it was a good thing. Just more and more for him to document. “She’s . . . working late,” he answered, figuring that was pretty much a euphemism at this point. “Don’t worry. I’ll take care of you.” He pulled the blankets up further over his son’s chest and turned the lamp off. “Get some sleep.”

Dylan snuggled back down under the covers, apparently reassured that there was nothing to worry about.

Max got up and started to leave, but he stopped mid-way through the room and turned back around. “Hey, Dylan?”

His son’s eyes blinked back open.

Taking a seat on the side of the bed again, Max hesitantly asked the question he’d always wanted to, one that seemed more relevant now than ever before. “Are you glad I’m your dad?”

“Yep,” Dylan replied right away, much to his relief.

Max smiled happily. Thank God there was some redemption left in the world, because he’d sure as hell needed it with Dylan. He didn’t know what he’d do without it, who he’d be.

“But . . .” Dylan hesitated for a moment, then mumbled, “I like Micho, too.”

And just like that, the relief was gone, replaced by uncertainty and dread. Even after all this time, Michael’s name still came to mind when he heard the word dad? Why? It didn’t have to be that way. Maybe if Maria hadn’t let them get so close, if she hadn’t confused the kid so much . . .

Swallowing the lump in his throat, Max nervously asked another question: “Who’s your favorite dad? Me or him?”

Dylan’s eyes got wide, almost scared, like he didn’t know what to say. Or just didn’t want to say it.

That . . . pretty much said it all, though, didn’t it? It was a crushing blow, one that Max had always feared but never quite managed to prepare himself for. His son preferred Michael to him. And maybe he always would. That knowledge made him want to sink inside himself and never come back out again.

“You don’t have to answer,” he said, trying to smile lightheartedly. But it faded quickly, and he had to get out of there before Dylan caught a glimpse of just how much that truly hurt him. It wasn’t his fault that he felt that way, but it still hurt.

“Goodnight,” Max said on his way out of the room. But it wasn’t a good night at all. None of them seemed good anymore. In fact, the only one that had been bearable was the other night at Liz’s house.


“Did you hang out with Sarah yesterday?” Kyle asked Tess as he helped her out of the car. He couldn’t help but notice that she had on two different shoes, but . . . he wasn’t about to say anything. It wasn’t her fault she couldn’t really see her own two feet anymore.

“Yeah, we went to yoga,” Tess replied.

You did yoga?” he said skeptically. That couldn’t be physically possible at this point.

“I did mental yoga,” she corrected.

He shut the car door, making a face. “What does that even mean?”

“It means I was imagining it in my mind, but obviously I can’t right now.” She patted her huge stomach and waddled forward through the parking lot. “Sarah enjoyed it, though. I think it helped her de-stress.”

Kyle quickly grabbed her yoga mat out of the backseat—although she definitely wouldn’t be using it for any yoga today—and followed her. “Is she stressing about finals?” he guessed.

“Not really. More like . . . life stuff. I mean, she’s for sure going home this summer, but she still doesn’t know if she’s coming back.”

Kyle caught up to her and held the door to the rec center open for her. “I hope she does.”

“Yeah,” she agreed. “I’ll miss her if she’s not here. Besides, I already lost one best friend to Michael Guerin’s infidelity. I really don’t wanna go through that again.”

He ignored that jab at his friend, knowing it was probably warranted, and escorted his girlfriend down the hall, having to redirect her a few times when she tried to take a wrong turn. “Even if she doesn’t live here, she can still be your best friend,” he pointed out. Although long-distance friendships were probably hard, just like long-distance relationships.

“Yeah, but it wouldn’t be the same,” she mumbled. “Don’t tell her I said that, though. I don’t want her to feel obligated to stay.”

“Your secret’s safe with me,” he assured her, opening one more door, this time to the big open studio where this birthing class was being held for the day. There were a bunch of expectant moms and their partners already there, mingling and socializing. Not one of them was as big as Tess was, though, so they were either not as far along or just not having twins.

“You ready for this?” he asked her, actually kind of stoked to be there with her. A few months ago, he probably wouldn’t have been.

“Ready as I’ll ever be,” she said, smiling at him. Reaching out, she took hold of his hand, and together they shuffled into the room.


Michael was in the midst of a truly fucking great dream when he heard someone clear their throat. Loudly. As if the sole purpose of making any sound at all was just to wake him up.

He slowly opened his eyes, taking a moment to figure out where the hell he even was. Not in his own bed, that was for sure. He was in the Music Appreciation lecture hall, slumped over in his usual seat, Maria’s head on his shoulder as she slept, too. Their professor towered over them, glaring down at them disapprovingly, scowling.

“Class is over,” he snapped.

Class? Michael rubbed his eyes, trying to remember a single second of it.

As the professor strode back to the front of the room, Michael moved Maria around to wake her up. She groaned and tried to stay sleeping, but finally, when her eyes fluttered open and she realized where they were and saw that no one else was still around, she started functioning again.

“I’m interested to see how you two do on your finals,” their professor remarked snidely as they gathered up their things.

Michael shot him an annoyed look, but Maria just grabbed his arm and dragged him out of the room.

“Did you hear that?” he ranted as they slowly made their way down the hall. “‘Interested to see how you two do on your finals.’ Fuck you, man.”

“He hates us,” Maria said, stating the obvious.

Michael rolled his eyes, figuring it probably had as much to do with the whole Billy incident as it did with falling asleep in class. “Huh,” he said, taking a minute to let it soak in that there was an actual adult on this campus who didn’t think highly of him for a change. “I’ve never actually had a professor hate me before.”

“No, but all your high school teachers hated you,” she reminded him.


“Like Mr. Frost.”

Oh. Asshole.” Just the mere mention of that guy made him want to punch something.

She laughed a little, then yawned. A pretty big yawn for such a small girl.

“Am I wearin’ you out?” he teased, nudging her side playfully.

“Kind of,” she admitted. “It’s a lot of sex.”

“You wanna cut back?” he offered, though there was no chance of that happening.

“I didn’t say that.” She grinned, that same sexy, flirtatious grin he’d grown so accustomed to seeing these past few months. It really turned him on. Pretty much everything she did turned him on at this point.

He grabbed her hand and pulled her off into an empty side hallway right before they got to the front exit doors. There was no one around, so he went for it. He pressed his whole body against hers and kissed her, knowing that this would have to do for today. Because he had to work at the school all afternoon and at the Vidorra front desk that night. They wouldn’t be able to get any more time together.

When their lips parted ways, he kept his head bent down to hers, loving the way her hands had found their way to his belt loops to keep him pulled against her close. “It’s getting harder and harder to say goodbye to you,” she confessed sadly.

“I know,” he agreed, feeling those same reluctant pangs of acceptance. Knowing he wouldn’t have to say goodbye forever was the only thing that kept him going. The harder this became for her, the easier it would be for her to give in and tell Max the truth someday. And once he knew . . . then they’d never have to say goodbye again.


Day or night, rain or shine, it seemed as if there were always some hippie wannabe rockstar sitting out in the middle of nowhere on campus, strumming a guitar, collecting tips in an open case. Max usually bypassed them without so much as a second glance, but not this time. In fact, there was a certain musician he was intentionally seeking out.

Billy didn’t look much different than he had a couple months ago at the hearing with the disciplinary committee, except that he had more facial hair now. He still looked like a smarmy, opportunistic son of a bitch. Which was perfect.

Max walked up to him and dropped two quarters into his guitar case. Billy must have recognized him right away, because he slowed down the song, then eventually stopped singing altogether. He gave the strings of his guitar one final strum and then just looked up at Max with wide, curious eyes. He probably thought he was about to get beat up or something. But that wasn’t the case.

“Well, well, well,” Max drawled. “You’re just the person I’m looking for.”

That alarmed expression in Billy’s eyes didn’t diminish at all.

TBC . . .


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