Rooftops and Invitations ( M/L, Mature)(Complete)

Finished stories that feature the characters from the show, but there are no aliens. All fics completed on the main AU without Aliens board will eventually be moved here.

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Daydreamer23
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Re: Rooftops and Invitations (AU, M/L, Mature)Ch10 1/3/08

Post by Daydreamer23 » Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:42 pm

Chapter 11


The song we were dancing to has long since ended and the intensity that fueled our first kiss has cooled to simple touches as we each acquaint ourselves with the other. My hand trails across her fingers and up her arm, and I watch its path as it moves over her shoulder and disappears inside her hair. The other hand that is gripping her waist rises slightly, exposing a line of smooth skin, and begins to stroke lightly back and forth. My attention is entirely trained on the sensations at my fingertips, that is until I feel Liz’s hand creeping up underneath my shirt and her lips gently pressing against my throat.

“Oh God, Liz,” I moan as her hand skims down low across my stomach.

She moves her lips up my jaw and over to my ear, and my grip in her hair reflexively tightens. “Do you want to take this inside the jeep?” she asks, her warm breath grazing my ear.

My knees nearly buckle at the images that her suggestion produces in my mind. I’m burning to explore the skin underneath my hand more fully, and Liz seems to be thinking the same thing if her insistent pulling and pushing on my shirt is any indication. I’m on the verge of scooping her up and carrying her to the backseat of the Jeep when I’m struck with a sudden, unwanted thought.

Isn’t there something I’m supposed to be doing tonight?

How I can even think about anything else at this moment amazes me, prompting me to think that it must be something important. I’m wracking my brain even as my hand slides to Liz’s back and pulls her tightly against me. As her tongue tangles sensually with mine I start to think that I’m worrying over nothing, but there’s a nagging at the back of my mind that won’t let up. And when my hand slips down the curve of Liz’s backside, it suddenly hits me.

Alex and his band have a gig tonight. A gig that I promised to attend.

I move my lips down the side of her neck, take a furtive glance down at my watch, and realize that it starts in less than an hour. Now normally, this dilemma would be a no-brainer. Your buddy’s band or a hot girl who wants your body. Yeah, real tough. And if it were any other night I know that Alex would understand. The problem is that it isn’t just any other night. It’s their first real big show, and they may even get on the radio if the DJ likes what he hears. Alex had even made a point to ask everyone to come, saying how much it meant to him to have us there.

When I look down into Liz’s eyes a selfish part of me wants to say ‘fuck it’ and just climb into the backseat with her. But I know that I couldn’t do that to Alex. This is a big deal for him, and I promised I would be there. Damn my moral fiber!

It takes me a few minutes before I reign in enough self-control to pull back from Liz’s warm embrace. Her confusion is etched clearly on her face and I immediately feel guilty.

“I hate to do this, God, if you only knew how much I hate to do this,” I mumble in a rough voice.

“Do what, Max?” she asks in a similar tone, her fingers skimming across my cheeks and into my hair.

Unable to resist, I dip my head in for a brief kiss. “Alex and his band are playing for this radio DJ in about an hour and I promised that I’d be there to support him. I’m sorry.”

Liz’s hand pulls back to cup my cheek. “Don’t be. Max, I think it is so sweet that you want to be there for him. Is it ok if I come along?”

A wide grin breaks across my face. “You really want to?”

She leans up on her tiptoes and murmurs against my lips, “If it means I get to be with you, then of course.”

If her mouth wasn’t pressed so passionately against mine I’d probably be shouting out my happiness right now. Could this girl possibly get any more wonderful? I stumble blindly, still tangled up with Liz, until we bump against the hard metal of the jeep. I reluctantly let her go and help her up, then jog around to the driver’s side and get in. We’re soon speeding along the highway back to town, Liz’s hair whipping around her face. Before I even know what I’m doing my hand is reaching over to her and tucking the wild strands behind her ear. I linger there, letting the silky tresses slide through my fingers. I don’t know what’s come over me but I just can’t seem to keep myself from touching her.

As the outskirts of town appear ahead of us, the opening lines of ‘Baby Got Back’ filter through the speakers. I start humming along under my breath, when I catch Liz singing along. I quirk an eyebrow at her, even though she hasn’t noticed me watching her yet.

And I cannot lie. You other brothers can’t deny that when a girl walks in with an itty...” she trails off as she catches my eye, a slight blush coloring her cheeks. “What?”

I shake my head. “Nothing. I just didn’t know this was the kind of thing you listened to.”

“Oh come on, Max. Everyone knows the words to this song. You know you love it,” she adds with a light shove to my shoulder.

I’m about to join her in singing when I hear sirens sound behind me. I glance up in the rearview mirror and see the flashing blue and red lights of the Sheriff’s SUV. Liz looks worried as I pull off to the side of the road and turn the radio off. I gulp audibly as a boot clad foot steps to the ground, followed by its twin. I wait in apprehension as the lazy shuffle approaches us, until I am met with a rough voice.

“License and registration please, son.”

“Is there a problem officer?” I ask as I reach for my wallet.

“Just do what I said and keep your mouth shut,” is the curt response.

“I’ve got an idea,” I begin as I hand over the requested documents. “Why don’t you take my license and registration and shove it up your ass?”

“Max!” Liz gasps, her eyes wide in horror.

In a flash I’m pulled roughly from the Jeep and forced against the hood.

“Just who do you think you’re talking to, son?”

Liz is standing up in her seat now, watching me with an intense expression of worry. “Just do what he says, Max!”

There’s a long, tense pause, and then the sheriff starts laughing and pulls me into a hug. “How’re you doing, Max? And why haven’t I seen you at the house lately?”

“I’ve been meaning to stop by, Uncle Jim. Just been really busy lately,” I say, returning his embrace.

I turn to Liz and wink. “Liz, this is my uncle Jim. Uncle Jim, this is Liz.”

Quicker than I would have thought possible, Liz is out of Jeep and at my side. She punches me, hard, in the arm. “You think that was funny, Max? You really scared me!”

I put on an appropriately contrite expression, even though I’m still laughing on the inside. It’s not like that little show was my idea, though. Uncle Jim was the one who started it when I first got my license, thinking he would get a kick from scaring the shit out of the local teenagers. I just play along.

I wrap my arm around Liz’s shoulder and pull her close, pressing my lips against her temple and whispering a soft apology.

“Is this the Liz that’s staying with you and Isabel?” Uncle Jim asks, eyeing us with a strange look.

At my nod he offers out his hand to her. “I’ve heard so much about you from Kyle. I tell you, that boy just can’t stop talking about you.”

Ah, now I get it. Uncle Jim knows that Kyle has had his eye on Liz, and he is more than aware of Kyle’s success rate with girls, so I understand his surprise at seeing us together like this.

Liz blushes at his words and I choke down the possessive growl threatening to erupt from my throat. I don’t want Kyle even thinking about Liz, let alone talking about her to his dad.

“Well I’m very flattered,” Liz replies politely. I smirk as her arms come around my waist and her hands link together on my hip, showing us both exactly which cousin she’s with. “And it was very nice to meet you, sheriff,” she adds.

“Oh yeah,” I say, “We really have to get going. We’re going to be late for Alex’s show.”

There’s a gleam of approval in my uncle’s eyes as he gives us a final look-over. “Alright, but you slow it down a little, Max. And be sure to come over for dinner sometime soon.” He turns to Liz and tips his hat saying, “Nice to meet you miss,” before returning to his SUV and pulling away.

I turn in Liz’s arms until we’re face to face. “You’re amazing, you know that?” I breathe out as I lean down to kiss her.

She presses her fingers to my lips and stops me. “Max, you know I’m not interested in Kyle, right?”

“Of course,” I say, but even I notice the uncertainty in my response.

She looks intently into my eyes, her voice serious, almost forceful. “I mean it. I’m not interested in him at all. Don’t get me wrong, Kyle’s a nice guy. But he’s clearly a shameless flirt, the kind of guy who’s always just looking for a good time.”

I notice the second something shifts in her. She seems nervous, almost afraid. “He’s not the kind of guy a girl gets serious about, and definitely not the kind that she…that she falls in love with.”

My forehead falls involuntarily against hers. “What?”

Okay, so it’s not exactly an eloquent response, but the underlying meaning is clear. Am I the kind of guy that a girl falls in love with? Am I the kind of guy that you could fall in love with? Is there a possibility that you could feel for me even a fraction of what I feel for you?

My breath locks inside my lungs, and I think I might die if she doesn’t answer soon. Of course, depending on her answer, there’s a chance I might die anyways.
Last edited by Daydreamer23 on Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rooftops and Invitations (AU, M/L, Mature)Ch11 2/11/08

Post by Daydreamer23 » Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:46 am

A/N: Thanks for all your wonderful comments guys! I just wanted to let you know that I leave for spring break on Thursday, so this will probably be my last update before then, and I'm not sure when the next one will be. Thanks for reading!


Chapter 12



I don’t think I’ve ever truly understood the concept of ‘waiting with baited breath’ until this exact moment. Liz’s eyes hold mine as her hands slide up my torso and join behind my neck. I watch, mesmerized, as those dark eyes narrow in scrutiny and then widen as though some realization has just now hit her. My anxiety ratchets up a notch at the fear I sense hiding beneath the fringe of her lashes. Her mouth hangs open and her bottom lip quivers, like she’s trying to say something that just refuses to be said. It’s amazing how enticing she looks right now, how vulnerable. Does she even know the kind of power she has over me?

Her nostrils flair as she takes a sharp, fortifying breath, her eyes now set determinedly. When I finally think she is going to put me out of my misery, the intrusive sound of a horn has us jumping apart. I mutter a curse under my breath, raking my hand harshly through hair. I glare at my supposed best friend as he hangs out the driver side window of Maria’s Jetta.

“What the fuck are you guys doing standing in the middle of the road?”

“Nothing!” I grit out through my teeth.

His face remains blank, unaffected by my anger. “Well are we going to the concert or what?”

“Yeah, we’ll be right behind you,” I huff, turning back to Liz.

She has her arms wrapped about herself in a stance of self-protection. I can tell just by looking at her that whatever was surfacing between us has retreated back down into hidden depths. I can already feel her closing herself off again, and more than anything I wish I could know what’s going on inside her head.

I place a hand on her arm, gently guiding her back to the jeep. Michael pulls around us as I start the engine, and I get a close-up view of the scrutinizing eyes and sly smiles gracing Tess and Maria’s faces. Great, that’s just what I need. For Maria and Tess to tag-team me, asking endless questions about me and Liz that I don’t even have the answers to. It really isn’t fair that she’s holding all the cards in this relationship- is what we have even a relationship to her?- but when her lips are pressed against mine I just can’t bring myself to complain.

But now she’s there and I’m here, separated by more than the gear shaft, and I wonder how long we can really go on this way. She’s so involved in my life, knows so much about me that I don’t share with anyone else. But for my part I sometimes feel that I’m trying to look at her life through thick layers of warped glass, the shapes distorted and unidentifiable. Not knowing what it is that is holding her back from opening up to me, I still can’t help but feel that it wouldn’t affect my feelings for her. Emboldened by the progress we’ve made today, I decide to push the issue.

“I wanted to thank you again for coming with me to this thing. It means a lot to Alex.”

I feel a little better when the smile she flashes me comes across as genuine. “No need to thank me. I’m sure it’s going to be fun.”

She’s given me just the opening I was looking for. “So what do you and your friends back home do for fun?”

Not even looking over at me, she shrugs. “The same kinds of things you guys do. Go to the movies, parties, hang out at the beach or go shopping. Some of them were really into drinking, but I guess that was never really my thing.”

“Have you talked to any of them since you’ve been here?”

She responds in the affirmative, but she sounds detached, distant.

“And your parents? Or brothers and sisters? You know, I don’t even know if you have any brothers or sisters.” There’s amusement in my voice when I finish, but I find none in her face.

“I thought I told you that I don’t like talking about my family.”

Her tone is cold, but I’m not about to let that stop me. I can’t. “Why not? What’s so horrible that I wouldn’t understand, Liz? You could tell me anything and I’d still lo- I’d still care about you.”

I stop myself before I can say that I love her, even though I’m sure now that it’s true. Impossible, but true. But I can’t tell her that until I better understand how she feels about me. It’s scary how easily she could break my heart, and I just can’t trust her with that knowledge yet.

Unfortunately I’m not very skilled at concealing my emotions, and my hurt is evident when I cry out, “Why can’t you just talk to me?!”

Suddenly she’s no longer ice, but an explosion of emotions. “I have no family, Max! Is that what you wanted to know? My parents were all I had and they’re gone!”

I’m immobile for a second, unprepared for the outburst. But the tears streaming down her face push me into action. She’s uncontrollably weeping as I pull the jeep over to the side of the road. I reach over to pull her against me, wanting more than anything to stop her tears. I hate seeing her cry. She resists, but I’m persistent, and a moment later she’s holding me as tightly as I’m holding her.

“I’m sorry sweetheart, I’m so sorry. I had no idea,” I murmur against her hair, hating myself for being the one who caused this. Why couldn’t I have just listened to her when she told me leave it alone?

“Of course you didn’t,” she responds against my chest. “How could you? I…” she stops mid-sentence and sniffles, and I reach into the glove compartment to hand her a tissue. She pulls back and accepts it, wiping at her eyes, and then continues. “I never talk about it. To anyone.”

I trace her cheek with the back of my hand before sweeping it into her hair. “You can talk to me. I mean…i-if you want to.”

She sighs and falls back against the seat. “I do want to, Max. It’s just hard.”

“I understand.” It’s a lie. How can I possibly understand what it’s like to lose your parents? Sure mine drive me crazy sometimes, but I can’t imagine being without them.

She reaches for my hand and I gladly give it to her. She takes a fortifying breath and begins. “I was fourteen years old and we were living in Madrid at the time. It was a perfectly normal day. Looking back I always feel like I should have known somehow, that there should have been some sign. But there was nothing out of the ordinary. My parents were going to out to buy groceries like they did every Saturday. I told them that I was old enough to be left on my own and asked them to let me stay behind. They were only going to be gone for an hour, so they agreed. A police officer showed up at the door twenty minutes later and told me that there had been a car accident. Both of my parents were killed on impact.”

The tears flood to her eyes once again, and I reach out to brush them away as they roll down her cheeks. “God, Liz. I’m so sorry.”

“Everything that happened for a while after that is kind of a blur. I was sent to live with my aunt and uncle in Sevilla. I had only met them two or three times before. They were so nice to me, but I hated it there. I just wanted to have my parents back, I wanted everything to go back to the way it was. I still want that.”

Finally I understand her behavior when I found her crying in her room. “That’s why you were crying the other day, listening to that song. It reminds you of them.”

She silently nods her head, eyes focused on the tissue in her hands. “Max there’s…there’s more. There’s something else you don’t know about me.”

“You’re not going to tell me that you’re really a guy, are you?”

I don’t know what possessed me to joke at this moment, but my heart lightens when she laughs. “No, it’s nothing like that.”

“Well then I’m sure I can handle it,” I assure her, my fingers massaging her scalp in a gesture that I hope is soothing.

“After several months living with my aunt and uncle, things started getting better. I still missed my mom and dad, but I was moving on with my life. My cousin introduced me to some of his friends and I started spending more and more time with them. There was one boy in particular. Esteban.”

I feel a stab of jealousy at me heart, but I force it aside. Liz is opening up to me, sharing her most painful memories. She doesn’t need me acting like a possessive ass. Especially, I realize, when I have no real claim over her.

“He was a year older than me and one of my best friends. I eventually developed a huge crush on him, but I was certain that he didn’t feel the same way about me. It was over a year later, when one night we went to a party. I guess he had had a lot to drink, but he didn’t seem that drunk to me. He asked me to go with him into one of the bedrooms and he…he told me that he loved me.”

Out of the corner of my eye I could see her wringing that tissue to shreds. Whatever was coming had to be bad.

“I wanted to believe it so much. I just wanted to be happy again. He kissed me and the next thing I knew we were on the bed…”

She doesn’t say it, but I know what happens next. I close my eyes against the images of someone else making love to Liz. It’s not fair of me. It’s not like I’m a virgin. Hell, I don’t know if Liz would even want to be that way with me. But I can’t help how much it hurts.

“The next day he left, went on an extended vacation with his family. It was a couple weeks after that when I started suspecting.”

“Suspecting?” I repeat dumbly.

She drops her head slightly, her hair hiding her face from my view. “I was due for my period, but I missed it. I was tired and sore and nauseous…”

She turns towards me with a meaningful look. My mind feels blank as it goes over her words again. Nauseous…tired…missed period. Oh God.

“Liz?”

“When the pregnancy test came back positive, I didn’t know how to feel. I was scared and nervous and excited…I couldn’t wait for Esteban to come home so I could tell him. I wasn’t worried about his reaction. I just knew that he’d be there for me and the baby. I mean he loved me, right?”

I grip her hand tightly, sensing that this story doesn’t have a happy ending. “Liz, you don’t have to-”

“Yes, I do,” she interrupts. “It was a couple days later when my cousin told me that he had seen Esteban in town. I went over to his house right away, not even calling to tell him that I was coming over. Their maid let me in and I went right upstairs to his room. I was so excited to see him that I didn’t even knock, I just opened the door. He didn’t hear me come in. Neither did she.”

Her eyes are locked on the dashboard, anger the dominant presence in them. She looks like she’s back there, experiencing it all over again. I squeeze her hand and she blinks hard before turning her gaze back to me.

“I couldn’t understand what I was seeing, couldn’t understand how he could do that to me. I stumbled back from the door and…and lost my footing. I tried to regain my balance but…I fell down the steps. I don’t know if he heard it or not. I got out of there as fast as I could.”

She leans in closer to me and I wrap my arm around her shoulders before pressing my lips against her temple.

“The house was empty when I got home. I went straight to the bathroom and…there was so much blood. I knew I lost the baby.”

I feel tears spring to my own eyes and tighten my grip on her. I’m suddenly so angry that I can hear my blood pounding in my ears. Why her? Why did she have to suffer so much? She is so sweet, so gentle, so loving. She didn’t deserve the terrible things that happened to her. My only thought now is to get on a plane to Sevilla and beat the living shit out of the bastard who hurt her. Didn’t he see what he had right in front of him?

“I transferred to another school the next week. No one knew why. I hadn’t told anyone what happened. Later the opportunity came up for me to come here and I jumped at the chance. It was like I could start over. No one would know what my life had been like, no one would treat me differently because of it. I could be whoever I wanted to be.”

“God, Liz. I…”

What do I say? ‘I’m sorry’? That seems so empty, so feeble.

She shifts to face me, smiling softly. Her voice is soft and relaxing, and suddenly she’s the one trying to comfort me. “It’s okay, Max. Really. I’m doing a lot better now.” She grips my chin with her fingers and pulls my lips against hers for a brief second. “It actually feels really good to tell you all that.”

“Thank you,” I mumble, gauging her reaction as I lean in for another kiss. She doesn’t flinch or pull away, so I brush her lips with mine again. “Thank you for trusting me enough to share that with me.”

She initiates another kiss before pulling back, smiling. “Come on Evans, your friends are going to be wondering what I’ve done with you.”
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Re: Rooftops and Invitations (AU, M/L, Mature)Ch12 3/17/08

Post by Daydreamer23 » Wed May 07, 2008 2:57 am

Posting and running because I need to go to bed.



Chapter 13



“Are you absolutely sure that you don’t just want to go home? You know, we can chill…maybe watch a movie…”

It’s at least the tenth time I’ve asked her, but I’m sure that she can’t possibly want to go to this concert anymore. Not after that heart-wrenching, gut-spilling story she just relived for my benefit. Because I pushed her. Because I was insecure about her feelings. I don’t think I’ve ever believed myself to be more of an ass than I do right now. God, I made her cry. I hate seeing her cry.

“Ugh, Max,” she groans in exasperation, her head lolling back and forth against the headrest. “How many times do I have to tell you? I’m perfectly fine.” She hesitates for a moment before grudgingly conceding. “Okay well…maybe I’m not perfectly fine. But I’m getting better.”

Her hand sliding up my arm draws my gaze to her, and I find her eyes radiating with hope and sincerity. “You are making me better.”

There’s a swell of pressure in my chest that prevents me from speaking. I doubt I’d know what to say even if I could. So instead I offer her my most grateful smile and, forcing my eyes back to the road, take hold of her hand and raise it gently to my lips. Her fingers slips from mine and trace along my jaw with a feather-light touch, before drifting down my chest. Tremors run across my skin following her touch and I’m two seconds from pulling over when I feel her fingers twist and pinch my side.

I let out a yelp of pain, rubbing my injured skin and giving her an incredulous look, clearly meant to ask ‘What the hell?’

There’s a playful hardness in her features and I can tell that she’s fighting a smile. “I may think you’re wonderful Max Evans, but if you ask me one more time if I just want to go home, I’m gonna-”

“Okay, okay,” I cut her off with a laugh, secretly thrilling at the fact that she called me wonderful. “I’m not looking to lose any body parts tonight. I won’t ask again.”

“Good,” she replies, satisfied. Her fingers creep back up my ribs and she leans close to me to whisper, “Now. Want me to make it better?”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I’m definitely better by the time we pull up to the park. Cars are lined up and down the street and it looks like there’s a pretty large crowd already gathered in front of the stage. Good, I think. Maybe Alex won’t notice if Liz and I cut out a little early. We could go home, but Mom might be there. Maybe she won’t mind going back to the rock formation. At least there I’m pretty sure we won’t be bothered. But what if that’s not what she wants? Maybe we could-

“M-max?”

Her breathless voice barrels through my thoughts, and it’s then that I realize that I’m practically running and the fact that I’ve been pulling Liz along with me. I guess I was in more of a hurry to get this over with than I thought. I mumble out my apology and slow down, leading us over to the stage where Alex and his band have just finished setting up.

“Hey man, I’m so glad you could come,” Alex calls out as he sees us approaching. “And you too, Liz. We need all the support we can get.”

“Alex always gets nervous before a show,” I inform her. “Sometimes I think he does it just to fish for compliments.”

“Well don’t worry, Alex. I promise not to boo too loudly,” she says with a wink.

I laugh, but I don’t think Alex is in the frame of mind to appreciate the humor. I hear him mumble something that vaguely sounds like ‘foreigners’ as he turns back to his equipment. I stretch up to see over the crowd, and spot a mess of blonde curls bobbing up and down somewhere in the middle of it. Apparently Tess is also looking for me. Poor girl is just too damn short.

“Come on,” I say, gripping Liz’s hand. “I see the others.”

Maria pulls Liz away from me as soon as we near them, making some lame excuse about wanting to know what shampoo she uses, and Tess flounces to my side. I groan, instantly recognizing the routine. Divide and conquer.

“So Max,” Tess starts, at least having the decency to keep her voice low. “I uh, noticed that it took you and Liz a while to get here. Did you get lost? Flat tire?”

She looks like she’s going to bust from excitement if I don’t say something soon. I figure I’ll give her a small detail, something that will get her and Maria off my back for at least a couple of days. Before I have the chance to say anything though, Michael interjects.

“*Blowjob*,” he chokes out under the guise of a cough.

“Shut the fuck up, Mike,” I say, only half joking.

“God Michael, don’t be disgusting,” Tess adds.

“Well man?” he asks, unperturbed by our responses.

I direct my attention solely to Tess. “We talked. I mean really talked. I really think I understand her better now.”

“Talked? How could she talk with her mouth around your-”

“MICHAEL!” Tess and I shout at the same time.

“I’m so glad, Max,” Tess says warmly to me. “You guys look soooo cute together.”

Oh God, she’s practically squealing. I can tell already that this isn’t the end of it. I wrap my arm around her shoulder and thank her anyways. Then for good measure I give Michael a shove just as Maria and Liz return, warning him with my eyes to keep his mouth shut. Knowing Michael though, he won’t care.

“Isn’t Isabel coming?” Liz asks, glancing around.

“Speak of the devil, and she will appear,” I mutter in response, seeing my sister elbowing her way through the crowd.

“I didn’t miss the beginning did I? It took me forever to figure out what to wear.”

I appraise her clothes and can’t figure out what the big deal is. I’m sure she looked great in everything she tried on today. Why does she have to go through her whole wardrobe before deciding what to wear?

“Whatever, just try not to throw your bra at the stage this time Izzy,” Michael dryly responds.

“You know damn well that I spend too much money on my underwear to just go throwing it around,” is Isabel’s angry retort.

“Hey everybody, we’re uh…we’re the Whits,” Alex’s voice resonates from the speakers and across the park. A loud cheer goes up, mostly from where my sister is standing, and Alex smiles proudly. “Okay, well our first song is called ‘Poisoned Love.’”

I suppress a groan but silently roll my eyes. It’s not exactly the song I would have picked after the day I just had with Liz, but I look over to find her moving in time to the music. Smiling to myself, I walk behind her and place my hands on her hips, swaying along with her. Her head turns to regard me over her shoulder, and she smiles before leaning in to kiss me. I happily oblige, and ignore the dual gasps beside us as our lips move together.

Alex and his band play a few more songs, and I really think that Liz is having fun. But I’ve definitely had enough, and I say so to Liz.

“You ready to get out of here?” I whisper in her ear.

She bites her lip in a shy smile and silently nods her head. My arms wrap around her waist as I turn to our friends.

“Listen you guys, I think Liz and I are gonna go. Tell Alex the show was great.”

“No! Max, you can’t leave,” Maria interjects. “I’m gonna sing. The next song, I’m going up and I’m going to sing. Please just wait till I finish?”

What can I say? I’m a sap for a pleading girl. “Okay Maria,” I submit, “But just one song, okay?”

She smiles broadly, vigorously nodding her head. “Just one song. Oh, that’s my cue! Wish me luck babe,” she says to Michael before kissing him on the cheek and running towards the stage.

Alex grabs an acoustic guitar as Maria steps up to the mike. He starts out playing soft and slow, and the sound is so not Alex, but totally Maria. I don’t know what she did to talk him into this, but it must have been good. Maria has always been good at getting people to do what she wants.

“Yeah! That’s my girlfriend!” Michael shouts, both fists raised triumphantly in the air.

Maria winks and blows him a kiss before turning her attention back to the song. The music is sweet and romantic, and I see an opportunity that I know I have to take. I spin Liz around, keeping both hands on her waist, and give her what I hope is a tempting smile.

“Would you do me the honor of this dance?” I ask.

Her eyes widen and she looks around the crowd. “Right here? In front of everyone?”

I shrug my shoulders. “What can I say? You make me better too.”

My stomach tightens when I see her eyes soften and mist over, a breathtaking smile on her lips. She winds her arms around my neck, pressing her body against mine and resting her head on my shoulder. I rest my cheek against her hair and am reminded once again just how soft it is. She smells sweet and exotic and like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I breathe it in, filling my lungs until they feel like they could burst. I close my eyes, losing myself in the moment as Maria’s velvety voice begins to sing.

When you’re all alone
And you need a light,
Someone to guide you through the night,
Just remember that I am here,
To hold you close and dry your tears
.”

I feel Liz’s fingers twirl in my hair, her warmth breath stirring against my throat, and I’m amazed at how good the simple gesture feels. My hands move against her back in slow, idle circles and she sighs contentedly.

And just when you thought you were falling,
but you know I'll always be right there
.”

Her arms tighten around my neck as she pulls me even closer to her body. I can feel every breath she takes, her chest rising and falling against mine, and I can think of nothing but the way she feels in my arms.

When you're all alone,
And you need a friend,
Someone to help you to the end,
When you need someone to catch you when you fall,
I'll be there through it all
.”

I breathe her in again, and there’s nothing but her. Her smell, the feel of her, the tiny sounds she makes. Everything around me is Liz. I tilt her chin up and kiss her with all the passion that has been building inside me. My hands hold her face gently but possessively as my tongue claims her mouth. There’s no hesitation as her hands crawl up my back and anchor themselves on my shoulders. A moan vibrates at the back of her throat and my kiss becomes desperate. I know that what I say next could ruin everything, could send her running from me. But even afraid as I am that I’ll lose her, I can’t stop myself.

“Liz…” I gasp out as my lungs draw in much needed oxygen.

Cause just when you thought you were losing,
But you know I'll always be right there.
And I'll be there through the good times,
And the bad,
And we'll be there for each other,
Cause you're the best friend I've ever had
.”

“Liz…I love you.”

And there it is. No frills, no decoration. Just the simple truth of how I feel. And whatever happens now, I’m glad that I said it. I want…no I need her to know how I feel. I only hope that I haven’t ruined the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

And just when you thought you were falling,
but you know I'll always be right there.
Whenever you need me,
I'll always be right there
.”

For a minute she looks terrified. But she hasn’t pushed away from me, and I take that as a good sign. Her eyes wildly scan the park, as if looking for an escape. But slowly they find their way back to me, and when they do I see more than just fear, even though it’s definitely prominent. There’s also vulnerability, and tenderness, and determination.

“Max…”

I feel myself roughly grabbed from behind and dragged back from the crowd. I’m pushed to my hands and knees, but I quickly regain my footing, ready to beat the shit out of whatever asshole attacked me. My eyes register my cousin’s face, before they see his fist closing in on my jaw.
Last edited by Daydreamer23 on Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rooftops and Invitations (AU, M/L, Mature)Ch13 5/7/08

Post by Daydreamer23 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:09 am

Chapter 14


It’s not like Kyle and I have never fought before. After Aunt Claire left them, Kyle and Uncle Jim moved into our place for a while, with Kyle and me sharing my room. Being stuck so close together all the time naturally led to a few arguments, which detiorated into childish pushing and wrestling. And God knows we get pretty intense in a game of one-on-one. But we’ve never fought over something serious. And we’ve definitely never actually hit one another. But it looks like that is exactly what’s about to happen.

Kyle’s hand is drawn back, his eyes hard and his jaw clenched. I don’t even consider striking first, knowing how much I’d regret it later. I’m trying to figure another way out of this when Kyle’s eyes suddenly soften into sadness and his hand falls limply to his side.

“Christ, Max,” Kyle sighs, stepping back from me. “I-I’m sorry.”

I hear collective shouts of my name as the others come running up from behind me. Everyone circles around us, except for Liz. She roughly shoves Kyle out of the way, not even looking at him, in order to stand squarely in front of me.

“Dios, Max! Estás bien? Are you alright?” Her hands flank my face as she confirms to herself that I’m fine. I can’t help but smile at the way she worries over me.

I firmly take her hands in mine, halting her anxious searching. “I’m okay,” I assure her softly.

She nods once, returning my smile, and kisses me. I don’t care that my cousin was just about to knock me out, or that everyone is watching us. All I care about is keeping her soft lips against mine, having her hands stay locked in my hair. But she ends the kiss far too soon for my liking.

“What happened?” she asks me.

“It’s my fault, Liz,” Kyle cuts in apologetically. “I saw the two of you together and I guess I just got… jealous.”

I watch her face as she processes what Kyle just said, her eyes widening slightly in comprehension. Suddenly she whirls on him, her expression furious and disapproving. “Jealous? You mean did this because of me? Maldita sea! Who the hell do you think you are?”

Kyle just stands there, mouth agape, dumbfounded. I don’t think he’s ever had a girl shoot him down this viciously. In hopes of diffusing the situation, I step in to defend my cousin.

“Liz-”

“No, Max,” she cuts me off briskly. “I’m not your girlfriend, Kyle. I don’t belong to you. What in the world were you thinking? Have you taken a few too many tackles to the head?!”

Kyle seems to have gotten past his initial paralysis in the face of Liz’s wrath, because now he’s on the defensive. “Look,” he grinds out, pointing an accusing finger in my direction. “Max knew that I had a thing for you. He knew that I wanted to ask you out. And he’s my cousin. He never should have made a move on you!”

Liz snorts, and if I didn’t know how pissed off she was I’d almost say she looks amused. “Oh my god, are you serious? Why don’t you pick your knuckles up off the ground and join the rest of us here in the twentieth century. I choose who I go out with and I made a move on him!”

“Come on Kyle,” I lean against a tree for support as I push myself to my feet, no longer interested in having his back. “You’ll hit on anything in a skirt.”

“Not anything,” Tess grumbles dejectedly, her fingers twisting in the hem of her miniskirt.

“You don’t really feel anything for any of the girls you hit on,” I continue, finding myself growing angrier. How dare he act like Liz is someone special to him? Like he wouldn’t dump her the second he got bored, or when someone new came along? He doesn’t love her. I do. And I’m the one she wants. My lips turn up in an arrogant half-smile. “You’re just mad that she picked me!”

“Oh get over yourself, Max!” he explodes. “Why do you always have to prove that you’re better than me?!”

That’s the last thing I expected him to stay and enough to stop me in my tracks. I’m better than him? I feel myself deflate a little. “What are you talking about, Kyle?”

His eyes steel like he’s about to let me have it, when they suddenly shift to the left. He turns to look at the gawking faces of our friends and family gathered around us as if he’s just noticed that they’re here.

“Fuck. Never mind, alright,” he croaks. “Just forget it.”

He looks around him one more time, makes an unintelligible grunt, and stomps off. Tess takes a step forward as if to go after him, but stops herself. She knows that if she tries to talk to him now he’s only going to take out his anger on her, and that’s not going to help anyone. Her eyes look a little bloodshot, but she doesn’t cry. Tess never does.

“Michael?” She clears her throat. “Do you think you could drive me home now?”

Michael nods and wraps his arm around her shoulder, giving her a reassuring squeeze.
“You coming too, babe?”

“Sure thing,” Maria answers, moving to Tess’s other side and taking her hand.

“Isabel?”

“Nah, I’m going over to Alex’s after the show. I’ll just catch a ride with him. Oh Max, I was supposed to tell you that mom called. She said Dad needed help with his case in Santa Fe, so they won’t be home till tomorrow afternoon at the earliest. I’ll probably stay the night at Alex’s house, just so you know.”

There’s a chorus of listless goodbyes and we all break away. Liz slides her hand into mine and I’m taken aback at how automatic the gesture feels. We stay that way until we get back to the Jeep, and although we’re touching she doesn’t really look at me. It’s a long while before she says anything and I wonder what she’s thinking about. My impulsive declaration of love still hangs unanswered between us and the weight of it is oppressive. Frightened of what she still hasn’t said, but unable to bear the silence any longer, I start conversation on what I hope is a safe topic.

“What was the deal with Kyle? You know, that whole ‘proving that I’m better than him’ thing?”

She shrugs nonchalantly, staring straight out the front windshield. “Well the two of you clearly have issues with each other.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Please Max,” she says in an annoyed tone. “You guys are always trying to one up each other, right? Have been since you were little?”

“I guess,” I admit grudgingly. “It’s not like there’s ever been a real competition. Kyle always-”

“Constantly fighting over things…” she interrupts quietly, and it almost sounds like she’s puzzling something out to herself. “Like a couple of dogs over a bone. Only one of you can have it.”

Her head is slumped forward, her hair between us so I can’t see her face.

“Liz-”

“Is that what I am, Max?” she asks, her voice shaking. I turn to find her looking at me, tears glistening in her eyes, her lower lip trembling. “Just something else for you to compete over?”

I fly into the driveway, my Jeep bumping heavily over the curb and stopping short just before I run into the garage. I’m so angry right now that I can hardly think straight, let alone concentrate on my driving.

I struggle to keep my voice level. “Is that what you really think?”

She shrugs weakly, helplessly. How can she possibly believe that?

“God, Liz I…I love you!” I shout vehemently.

And just like that she throws herself against me, straddling me in my seat. Her whole body is in electrifying contact with mine as she grips me in an overwhelming kiss. The primitive male in me accepts the physical contact at face value, my body propelling me to claim more. But the rational part of my mind rebels against it, knowing I can’t take her like this. I have to know she’s sure of how I feel…I have to be sure of how she feels…

“Liz,” I gasp when I free my lips from hers. “Liz, wait…slow down.”

She groans disappointedly. “Max, please don’t stop. Bésame. Por favor, Max. Tócame.”

Her voice is husky and pleading, and it sends a tremor all the way down my spine. “I’ve got to learn Spanish,” I moan.

Her lips turn up in a sexy smirk, and my body responds down to my toes. “Well, allow me to teach you then.”

She pushes open the door, her eyes never straying from mine, and steps from the Jeep. She grabs me by my shirt collar and pulls me inside the house. Her smile is devastating, and I almost trip over myself as she leads me down the hall to my room.

“Now just repeat after me,” she instructs huskily. “Puerta,” she says, drumming her fingers on the door.

“Puerta,” I repeat, not even sparing it a glance. My eyes only have one target.

“Cama,” she whispers, pulling me to sit beside her on the bed.

I parrot the word dumbly.

She presses her palms against mine. “Manos.”

“Manos.”

“Mejilla,” she says softly, her hand stroking my cheek.

I repeat the word, mimicking her action and caressing the soft flesh of her of cheek.

Her fingers tunnel into my hair. “Pelo.”

I twirl a few strands of her tresses in between my fingers and dutifully reiterate the word.

“Pecho,” she breathes, undoing the buttons of my shirt and tracing the lines of my chest.

“P-pecho,” my voice quivers as her hands continue to stroke over my bare flesh.

She’s as breathless as I am, practically panting as her face leans in closer to me.

“Labios…” she sighs just before her lips close upon mine.

I return the kiss eagerly, seeking out her tongue with my own. Her sweet taste invades my mouth, and the feeling consumes me so much that I don’t notice she’s pulled me down on top of her. But when I feel her fingers inside the waistband of my boxers, my mind snaps back into functioning.

“Liz wait, we don’t have to do this.”

I’d be lying my ass off if I said I didn’t want to, but I don’t want Liz to feel pressured to give more than she’s prepared for. God knows she’s been through enough already.

“I know that, Max. I know that you want to protect me. And I know that you’d never hurt me. And that’s why I know that I’m ready for this, with you.”

I kiss her soundly, at the same time helping her push my shirt from my shoulders. My lips move from hers, descending slowly down her jaw to the column of her neck.

“Max?”

I hum in response, my mouth closing over her collarbone. Displeased with my lack attention to her words, she forcefully pulls my face up to hers. Her fingers smooth over the confused creases of my brow and she smiles softly at me.

“Before we go any further, I have to tell you…Te quiero, Max. I love you too.”
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Re: Rooftops and Invitations (AU, M/L, Mature)Ch14 6/6/08

Post by Daydreamer23 » Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:35 am

Chapter 15


The mattress creaks as I roll to my side, the same blissful smile from last night still helplessly plastered across my face. Because last night, I slept with Liz. I made love to Liz.

I. Made love. To Liz. Liz, who said that she loves me.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, Liz loves me! It’s still hard for me to believe, but I’ve been replaying the words over and over again in my head, hearing them in Liz’s soft honey tone. Everything about last night was just…perfect. It’s the only word I can think to describe it that doesn’t sound completely cheesy. For all her previous bravado, Liz turned out to be really nervous at first. Of course it was to be expected. Her only other experience with sex had turned out in the worst way possible. So I took my time with her, hoping she would know that I wasn’t going to hurt her like he had.

Clothes were slowly shed, and it took me a moment to notice that I was completely naked before she had removed anything. It took a little prodding to help her overcome her shyness, and I’ll admit to distracting her with kissing in order to slip off a few garments. Once she was exposed to me, I couldn’t understand why she had been so timid. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, and I told her so. She flushed the prettiest shade of pink and I made a silent promise to make her blush more often. My hands ached to explore her, to touch her in places that I knew would make her feel good.

Bracing myself above her, my other hand started a slow journey down her neck, tracing a light path back and forth against her collarbone. My fingers were almost shaking as they dipped lower, brushing across the smooth curve of her breast. My eyes sought Liz’s, and I found them staring down at me in an intoxicating blend of arousal and trust. I leaned up and kissed her, taking the full weight of her in my hand and stroking the rosy bud of her nipple with my thumb. She tore her lips from mine, gasping out my name and arching further into my palm. I kissed up her jaw line, my tongue tracing the outside of her ear. Adrenaline jolted through my whole body as she shifted beneath me, aligning our hips and bringing our lower halves into full contact. A hungry moan vibrated deep in my chest when I felt how wet she was. I turned my head, the tip of my nose glancing against her cheek and brushing against her nose. My hands moved up to either side of her face, cradling her head while I kissed her gently.

I pulled away to look down into her eyes and whispered that I love her, my fingers trailing down her face. She returned the words, her fingers weaving into my hair as I entered her. My breath caught in my throat as she raised her hips up to meet mine, enveloping me in her slick heat. I started rocking in a smooth rhythm once we were fully joined, mesmerized by the way her body held me so tightly. Her legs slid up mine, wrapping themselves around my waist and pulling me deeper inside her. Her mouth fell open, panting against mine with breathless words I didn’t understand. Soon she was shaking beneath me, tightening her hold on me as we both reached climax. She came crying out my name, my own release following quickly after. I could have sworn I was heaven.

And the second time was even better.

I open my sleep heavy eyes, eager to pull Liz into my arms, to hear her musical voice and inhale her sweet scent. Instead I’m met with the insistent beeping of the smoke alarm, and the acrid smell of something being burnt. I jolt upright, my eyes finding the other side of my bed empty. I quickly pull on a pair of boxers and make my way into the kitchen.

Liz is there, bustling about the room in a flurry of activity. One hand is shaking a towel at the smoke rising from the toaster to the smoke detector, while the other is wiping up spilled orange juice on the counter. As she accidentally knocks a pan of cooking eggs from the stove, she curses loudly.

“Maldita sea!”

She doesn’t hear me as I come up behind her, wrapping my arms about her waist and whispering her name in her ear. She spins around in horrified surprise, her eyes wide and ashamed.

“Max!”

“What’re you doing, beautiful?” I question with a chuckle.

She glances around at the mess, her lower lip quivering. “I…I just wanted to make you breakfast,” she pouts miserably. And damn if she doesn’t look absolutely adorable.

I pull her into my arms, kissing her lightly on the temple and trying not to laugh. I don’t really think she sees the humor in the situation yet. I brush away the few tears on her cheeks, and then get to cleaning up the kitchen. I toss the burnt toast in the garbage and open the window to allow the smoke to clear. I scoop the eggs back into the pan and toss them into the sink, along with the orange juice-soaked towel. As soon as I’m done, I find myself embracing Liz again.

“I’m sorry,” she mumbles against my chest, her palm resting just above my heart. “Last night was just so special for me, and…I wanted to do something nice for you. I didn’t mean to make such a mess.”

“You don’t have to be sorry, Liz,” I tell her, my hands finding the hem of her shirt and slipping underneath. “This was really sweet, what you tried to do.” I lean back, gripping her chin and turning her face up. “And it just makes me love you even more.”

A wide grin spreads across her face, her breakfast disaster forgotten as she pulls me down to kiss her.

“How about we go grab breakfast at the Crash?” I ask against her lips.

She nods her head in acceptance. “Sounds great. I’m starving.”

My hand slides across her ribs before lacing my fingers with hers so I can lead her down the hallway. “Good. Let’s get some clothes on and get out of here before you try to cook something else.”

“Hey!” she shouts in feigned indignation and slaps me playfully on the chest.

I pull her against me, kissing her hard and fast, before swatting her butt and watching her scamper into her room.
********************
As Tess leads us to our table, I suddenly realize that the Crashdown might not have been the ideal place for breakfast this morning. There’s something about her smile and the way she and Maria are sharing looks that makes me think they somehow know what happened between me and Liz last night.

She hands us our menus, winking at me before flouncing over to the register where Maria is working. As Liz and I decide what to order, I can’t help but notice the way the two of them are whispering, nor the way the keep looking over at our table. Liz smiles at me over her menu, and when I incline my head towards our two friends, a questioning look on my face, she just rolls her eyes good-naturedly.

With growing curiosity, I turn my head back towards the register, only to find my line of sight blocked. My eyes move from the varsity jacket, up to the uncomfortable face of my cousin. His eyes shift restlessly between me and Liz as he shuffles his weight from foot to foot.

“Hey Max,” he begins sheepishly. “I was hoping we could have a minute to talk. Alone?”

“Actually Kyle, Liz and I were just in the middle of breakfast.”

Kyle glances down wryly and it doesn’t escape anyone’s notice that there isn’t any food on the table. Hell, we haven’t even ordered yet. But Kyle doesn’t know that.

“Maybe some other time,” I tack on dismissively.

Liz straightens in her seat. “Actually I had some things to talk about with Maria and Tess. So if one of the other waitresses comes around to take our order, just picking something out for me, kay?”

She leans across the table and kisses me, giving Kyle a small smile and then walking away from us. I look over Kyle’s shoulder at her, mouthing the word ‘traitor.’

‘Talk to him’ she replies silently, her expression stern. She waves her hands at me, directing me to turn around and hear what my cousin has to say.

Kyle gestures to the seat Liz just vacated, asking permission to sit down. I shrug my shoulders, not really caring what he does. He slides in, drumming his fingers awkwardly on the table and looking almost anywhere but at me.

“Well?” I demand impatiently. “You’re the one who wanted to talk.”

He sighs heavily, his lips pursing together. “I just wanted to tell you that…that I’m sorry.”

“You’re sorry?” I respond caustically.

He falls back against his seat. “Look Max, you know this isn’t easy for me to say.”

I relent, biting my lower lip to stop myself from interrupting again.

He runs his hand roughly down his face before continuing. “You know that you’re like a brother to me and I would never want to hurt you, not really. It’s just that I…I saw you with Liz and it was one more thing that you had that I didn’t.”

When I hear that I can’t stop myself from interrupting. “That’s the second time you’ve said something like that. What the hell is that supposed to mean, Kyle?”

“Oh come on, Max. Don’t tell me you’ve never noticed?”

My brow furrows in confusion. “Noticed what?”

“The way people compare us,” he states simply.

I roll my eyes at the ridiculousness of that statement. “No one compares us Kyle.”

He glowers back at me. “Don’t be stupid, of course they do. They see you, with your perfect grades and your perfect future. Your perfect family. I mean, my own mother didn’t even want me.”

“Kyle, you know that’s not true,” I try to contradict him, but he goes on as if he hasn’t heard me.

“Then they see me, barely making it through class. My only way into college on a sports scholarship. And let’s face it, my chances of actually going pro aren’t great. I’ll probably end up stuck in Roswell working some dead-end job for the rest of my life. And my Dad would never say it, but I know that he’s always wished I was more like you.”

My eyes widen slightly as I listen to Kyle’s self-deprecating rant. So that’s what all this was about. I never knew he had such a problem with his self-esteem. It’s ironic how he was envying me, while all this time I was wishing I could be him.

“Kyle, Uncle Jim has always been proud of you and…” I trail off when he holds his hand up.

“But I’ve had some time to think, and those are my problems though, not yours. The thing is…I’m happy for you. I mean…I love you cuz,” his lips turn up in a half-smile.

I can’t help but smile back.

“And I’m really happy for you and Liz. I realize now that nothing was ever really going to happen with us, and I’m totally over it. So you don’t have to worry about me taking another swing at you,” he winks.

Laughing, we both stand from the booth and grip each other in a hug. I pat Kyle on the back, feeling a hand on my shoulder as I pull away.

“I see you both survived.”

I wrap my arm around Liz’s waist, pulling her against my body. I notice now that Kyle’s awkward mood has returned, and I’m worried that maybe he wasn’t being honest about his feelings for Liz.

“I wanted to apologize to you too Liz. The way I acted was completely out of line.”

“Don’t worry about it, Kyle. It’s totally forgiven,” she answers with a reassuring smile.

As soon as she speaks the words, Kyle brightens, and I realize he was just worried that she would still be upset with him. He extends his hand out to her then, and they both laugh softly as they shake hands.

“Congratulations, Liz. You’ve snagged yourself a special guy.”

She looks up at me with an adoring smile. “Don’t I know it.”
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Re: Rooftops and Invitations (AU, M/L, Mature)Ch15 7/9/08

Post by Daydreamer23 » Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:50 pm

I take a deep breath, flexing my hand in hopes that it will stop my fingers from shaking.

It doesn’t.

It serves the opposite purpose, actually. Now I can feel the tremors creeping up my arm, seeping into my chest where my heart beats frantically, and sinking into my stomach.

Why in the world did I ever think this was a good idea?
***********
The day before…

“Are you cold?” I ask, tightening my arms around Liz.

The jeep is parked out in the desert, the top taken down so we can see the stars. Liz and I are cuddled together in the backseat, Liz nestled between my legs. Her hand traces meaningless patterns across my thigh as music filters softly from the radio.

She snuggles closer to me, vacantly humming her response. “Mmm-nmm.”

I twist my upper body so that I can better see her face. “Liz, is everything okay? You’re being so quiet. It’s like you’re a million miles away.”

There’s a long pause, and I’m about to ask the question again, when she speaks.

“One week,” she whispers, so softly I can’t really hear her.

“What baby?”

She shrugs herself out of my arms, leaning forward between the seats to turn off the radio. I expect her to fall back into my lap, but instead she sits down at the opposite end of the jeep. She curls in to herself, distancing herself from me in a gesture that speaks volumes.

“One week, Max. That’s how long we have left. After that I go back to Spain.”

My head starts spinning. One week? One week? No, that couldn’t be right. Had time really gone by that quickly?

“Liz-”

“What are we going to do, Max?” Her voice breaks and she looks up at me with wide, tear-filled eyes.

I stare at her dumbly, not sure what to do or say. I haven’t prepared myself for this yet, haven’t allowed myself to even think about it. Liz and I have only really been together for a couple of weeks, and those were probably the happiest that I’ve ever had. How could they possibly be coming to an end?

Her shoulders slump when I don’t respond. “Let’s just go home,” she murmurs in a thick voice.

She climbs into the front the seat, buckling herself in and turning her head towards the window. I can see from her reflection that she’s struggling not to cry, but she doesn’t turn in my direction even once during the entire ride. That’s okay for now. I need to think, to process just how much time we have left, and I can never seem to concentrate when she’s looking at me with those big brown eyes.

She beats me inside the house and I lock the front door behind me, noting the silence that fills the darkness. It seems my parents are already asleep, which is definitely a good thing. Liz and I have been very careful about keeping our relationship from them, though it was extremely difficult at times. Of course it was necessary; I very much doubt that they would like the fact that Liz and I are sleeping together in their house. And my threats about revealing her nighttime activities keep Isabel’s mouth shut.

As I pass by the living room, I’m struck by the memory of that first night when my parents came back. We had been sitting with them in living room, watching a movie with the lights turned off. Liz and I had our hands on the seat between us, our pinkies only barely brushing together, trading secret smiles when I knew neither of my parents was looking. It was torture having her so close and not being able to hold her or kiss her the way I wanted to. Just when I thought I was going to lose it, they finally announced that they were going to bed. As they said good night to us, Liz yawned conspicuously and said that she was going to bed as well

She stretched her arms high over her head, brushing her chest against me before she whispered in my ear. “So, Mr. Evans. My place or yours?”

I smiled, catching on to her game. I leaned forward, keeping my eyes locked on hers until my lips connected with the skin just to the left of her chin. My lips ghosted across her skin, and I smiled when I heard her breathing hitch. I moved back to her lips, kissing her briefly before I responded, “I’ll meet you in your room in ten minutes.”

So from then on that was our tradition, taking turns sneaking into each other’s rooms in the middle of the night, always making sure we were in separate beds by the time the sun was coming up. Tonight it’s her turn.

My shirt is already half-way off when I enter my room. I toss it into the corner where it is soon joined by my jeans. Liz sits at the foot of my bed and I hand her one of my clean t-shirts. One night she had borrowed one and I immediately became addicted to the sight. I lower myself onto the bed, watching as she frees her silky hair from the collar. I pull back the covers on her side of the bed, inviting her to climb in.

She looks at me dubiously for a moment, and then speaks in an apprehensive tone. “Maybe I should sleep in my room tonight.”

“What? Why?”

She climbs up on the bed, kneeling at my side as I sit up to face her. She looks me confidently in the eye, but I can tell she’s nervous by the way her fingers twist the hem of her shirt.

“Let’s be serious about this, Max. Where is this really going? How could we possibly keep this up being thousands of miles apart?”

I grab one of her hands, pulling her closer to me, and reach up with the other hand to cup her cheek. She leans into the touch, her eyes gently falling closed.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do, Liz.” I move to hold her face between my hands, coaxing her eyes open. “All I know is that nothing in my life matters to me more than you.”

She pulls back and my fingers slip from her face. “Maybe it’s better for both of us if we just…end things now.”

I feel all the air escape from my lungs. “Liz, please don’t say that.”

She starts crying in earnest, hugging her arms around her body. “I don’t know what to do Max. It hurts so much.”

I scoop her into my arms, cradling her against my chest as my hand strokes through her hair. “I know baby, I know. We’ll figure something out. I promise. Just please don’t cry.”

Her hands move tentatively at first and then she melts against me, her arms winding around my torso. The bed creaks as I pull her down with me under the covers. She shakes in my arms for several minutes, her tears falling hot against my skin. It tears me apart to see her this way, and it’s even worse now because I have a hand in it. I just wish she could trust that I won’t hurt her and know that I’m serious about our relationship. Her leaving won’t be the end of it.

I don’t know how long I sit there holding her, but eventually I feel her breathing even out and I look down to find her fast asleep. I don’t think I’ll ever get over how beautiful she is when she sleeps, so natural and unguarded, without any of the scars that seem to weigh her down. I could just sit here for hours and watch her. That’s especially true tonight, since I know I won’t be sleeping. How could I? My mind is too active, too consumed, churning with the knowledge that in a short seven days I’ll be losing the girl I love.
***********
As I sit here waiting for Liz, I admit to myself that this idea is kind of half-assed. It’s the cheesy kind of thing they do in the movies...the sort of thing that no one in real life ever actually does. But I’m hoping that it’s enough to prove to Liz the depth of my love for her and how much I’m willing to do to be with her. And even though I’m probably about to make a total fool out of myself, I’m really not bothered about it because I meant what I said. Liz is more important to me than anything.

I hear the lunch bell ring, and moments later students begin filing out into the open quad. It takes mere seconds for them to notice me, rather conspicuously standing on top of a table. I ignore the looks I get, the pointing and the stares because none of it matters.

All of it disappears then, fades and blurs into the background as she emerges through the doors. She and Isabel are engrossed in conversation, so she doesn’t notice me right away. Isabel catches sight of me first, and when her eyes narrow suspiciously Liz’s follow to see what she’s looking at.

Her focus moves from the guitar slung in front of me and up my body, her face expressing her confusion. When she finally settles on my eyes, I smile crookedly at her. There’s no more fear or nervousness or shaking.

“Liz, sweetheart,” I shout over the din. “This song’s for you.”

I take a good look at her face, noting with satisfaction the slight blush painting her cheeks, the smile that’s slowly spreading across her face. I wink at her, strumming random strings as the crowd gathered around me quiets down. I carefully place my fingers, watching intently so I don’t make a single mistake.

We're both looking for something
That we've been afraid to find.
It's easier to be broken. It's easier to hide

Looking at you, holding my breath,
For once in my life, I'm scared to death,
I'm taking a chance, letting you inside
.”

I sing soft and slow, the words meant just for her.

I'm feeling alive all over again,
As deep as the sky, under my skin
Like being in love, she says
For the first time
Well maybe I'm wrong,
But I'm feeling right where I belong
With you tonight
Like being in love
Can feel for the first time
.”

The words slip from my lips, deep and full of meaning. I still haven’t looked up for fear of a slip-up, but I can feel her drawing nearer.

We're crashing
Into the unknown
We're lost in this
But it feels like home

I'm feeling alive all over again
As deep as the sky under my skin
Like being in love, she said, for the first time
Maybe I'm wrong, I'm feeling right
Where I belong with you tonight
Like being in love can feel for the first time
.”

I look up when I finish to find her right in front of me. She’s biting her lower lip in that way that drives me crazy. Her expression is unreadable and I think maybe I’ve made a mistake.

“Liz, I’m sorry if I embarrassed you. It’s just that I-”

In quick succession she steps up on the bench seat, grabs my shirt to draw me down to her level, and fists her hand in my hair to pull my lips forcefully to hers. She breaks away for a second, impatiently pulling the guitar over my head and tossing it aside. The clang of it falling to the ground is lost with the catcalls and cheering around us. None of it reaches my ears though, as Liz overwhelms all my senses. My hands slide to her back, one pressing between her shoulder blades to bring her body in closer contact to mine.

She pulls away from the kiss, but her lips remain a breath from mine. “We’re going to be okay, aren’t we Max?”

I smile, stroking her lower lip with my thumb. “Of course we are. Don’t you get it? Liz, you’re it for me.”

The fingers that had been twisting in my hair shift, sliding down my chest as she looks up at me with a thoughtful expression.

“Mean it?” she whispers.

I lean in, my lips meeting hers slowly, intimately, hoping to show her more than I could ever say. It didn’t matter anymore where we went or what separated us. Whatever it took, I would find a way to be with her.



*Song is "First Time" by Lifehouse*
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Re: Rooftops and Invitations (AU, M/L, Mature)Ch16 8/26

Post by Daydreamer23 » Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:57 am

Chapter 17


I sigh heavily as I slide my horrid mustard-yellow work vest from my shoulders. I’d managed to get every other day off this week so Liz and I could be together as much as possible, but tonight we had a big tourist group show up and Brody said that I had to come in. It just figures that it would be the night before Liz has to leave, all the things I’d planned for us thrown right out the window. My forehead creases in frustration as my fingers slide over the object in my hand, a small consolation gift that I managed to put together during my break thanks to the guitarist in Alex’s band.

**“Okay man, now this knob is the gain. That controls your input volume. Now this one-”

“Dude, I’ve only got like half an hour left on my break. Just tell me which fucking button is record and let’s get going.”

“Alright, don’t get your panties in a twist. Just hit that one over there and start playing.”
**

I glance around as I step inside the house, careful to keep the CD I made for Liz out of sight. There’s quiet mulling around from the kitchen as I pass it, and I quicken my footsteps before anyone notices me. I slip inside Liz’s room, forcing myself not to focus on the emptiness or the fully packed bags settled beside the door. Spying Liz’s purse on the dresser, I slip her gift inside, knowing she’ll find it later.

My mission completed, I creep back towards the front door, opening and closing it loudly like I just came home.

“Hey, where is everybody?” I question loudly.

My mom calls back sweetly. “We’re in the kitchen, dear.”

I follow her voice, and a delicious aroma, to its source. Mom is leaning against the island with a glass of red wine in her hand, chatting with Liz who is pulling something out of the oven.

“Thank you so much, Liz. You really didn’t have to do this.”

Smiling, Liz dismissed her comment. “You all have been so nice to me. I wanted to do something for you before I…” she swallows thickly, glancing over at me. “Before I leave.”

“That is so sweet, darling,” my mom coos. “Now you go have a seat while Max and I bring the food to the table.”

Liz nods, her eyes staying with mine as she walks from the kitchen. Mom places some hot dish in my hand and literally pushes me from the kitchen. I glance down to see what is singeing my fingertips. Chicken enchiladas. My favorite. Liz winks at me as I approach the table, and I suspect that our meal tonight is no coincidence.

Mom sits at one end of the table, musing to herself about how good everything smells, while I take the chair next to Liz. I try to inconspicuously move my chair closer to hers, coughing to cover the scuffing sound the chair makes against the floor.

My father, never one to be late for dinner, comes drifting into the room lead by his nose.

“Well, what do we have here?” he questions amiably as he reaches for the plate of enchiladas.

My mom promptly slaps his hand away and reminds him that Isabel isn’t at the table yet. He slumps back in his seat, practically sulking, until Isabel flounces to her seat. She’s barely apologized for being late when my dad starts digging into the food with vigor, complementing Liz as he fills his plate. My mom and Isabel soon follow suit while I sit back watching, holding Liz’s hand under the table.

“Aren’t you eating Max?” Mom asks, eyeing my untouched plate. “Are you feeling alright?”

I nod wordlessly, gripping Liz’s hand tighter and feeling her grip mine in return. She looks at me and tries to smile, but the gesture comes off hollow. Now both my parents are scrutinizing me.

Isabel jumps to my rescue, changing the subject to the latest episode of ‘Project Runway.’ Mom joins in her excited gushing, while Dad completely tunes out the whole room, and it’s like Liz and I are alone.

“I’m sorry,” I whisper, gesturing to my plate. “I’m sure you worked really hard on dinner, but I just can’t eat. It’s like there’s a stone sitting in my stomach.”

She nods. “Yeah, I know what you mean.”

After dinner we all go to sit in the living room, surprising Liz with the goodbye gifts we bought for her. I don’t like it. It’s like we’re celebrating her leaving.

My parents give her a digital camera, telling her to send them pictures and to keep in touch. I hand her a new CD player, and when she eyes me quizzically, I cryptically respond that she’ll need it later.

“My turn!” Isabel squeals, pulling out a scrapbook and demanding that Liz open it.

Liz smiles demurely at his enthusiasm, but does as requested. The first page holds a collection of pictures from the time we went to the lake. The girls stand with their arms slung over each other’s shoulders, making kissy faces at the camera. Next to it is a picture of Michael, Alex, and I playfully flexing our muscles. Liz laughs as she runs her fingers over the image. Next is Kyle doing a cannonball off the pier, much to the fury of a lounging Isabel. Another page shows our family mini-golfing, Liz jumping in excitement after she hit a hole in one. Tears fill her eyes as she flips to the last page where there resides an assortment of photos from my impromptu serenade. In and around the pictures weave the lyrics of the song in elegant script. Overwrought with emotion, Liz closes the book and throws her arms around Isabel, thanking her profusely.

Liz thanks everyone again, and I tell my parents that we’re going to hang out at Michael’s for a while. It’s a lie, of course. Liz already said her goodbyes to them this afternoon. These are the last few hours I’ll have with her for a while and I don’t intend on sharing her with anyone. So with that in mind I drive us out to the desert, to our spot.
*********************
I roll out a blanket, feeling the warmth of her as she presses against my back. Her head presses between my shoulder blades and I feel how she’s shaking. Part of me wonders if it would been better for her if we had never started this. Maybe we both wouldn’t feel like we were being torn apart from the inside if we hadn’t let things get this far.

It’s a completely foolish thought. I was in love with her the moment I saw her. To deny that would have left my life empty and grey. And worse than that, I never would have known just how wonderful and vibrant the world can be when someone like Liz loves you.

I pull her around into my arms, kissing the tear tracks down her cheeks as I lower us both to the ground. We make love with slow, unhurried movements as I commit everything about her to memory. Every line and curve of her body, her scent, her taste…all of it catalogued in perfect detail in my mind. We move together as one, our bodies molded seamlessly together. I feel release approaching, but my mind rears against it. I want everything to stay exactly as it is in this moment, to have her in my arms and keep her forever. But as she comes, my name on her lips, my will succumbs and I follow after her.

The cool night wind raises goose bumps on my back, and I instinctively burrow deeper into Liz’s warmth. Her hands move delicately across my skin, bringing on goose bumps of a different nature. I pull away from her neck and our lips meet again. Finally, and with great reluctance, I pull away from her and roll to my back. I can’t describe the feeling, knowing this will be my last night with her in who knows how long.

Lying beside her, I realize in belated horror that this may be my last night with her ever. I have absolutely no doubt of my devotion to her, but what if she returns to Spain and decides that our relationship is just too hard? What if she finds someone else?

As much as it kills me, I know I’d just want her to be happy. I doubt I’d ever find someone I loved as much as her, but I wouldn’t stand in her way.

“Liz,” I start, my throat feeling tight. She looks back at me with innocent, wide eyes and I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t fall in love with her. “Liz, you know I love you.”

“I love you too, Max,” she replies, but I can sense the undercurrent anxiety.

“I love you, and I’ll do anything to make this…us…work. But I need you to promise me that…that if there’s ever a reason, any reason, that you don’t want to anymore, you’ll tell me right away.”

She sits up, drawing the edge of the blanket around her naked body. “Are you going to want to break up?” she asks sadly.

“No!” I rush to reassure her, sitting up and framing her face with my hands. “I meant what I said. I love you. You’re the only one I want to be with.”

“So why do you assume that I’ll want to break up with you?” Her voice is no longer sad, but angry and accusing.

“I don’t assume that you’ll want to. That’s the exact opposite of what I’m hoping for. But I don’t want you staying with me if it makes you unhappy, just to spare my feelings.”

She takes my hand, sighing as she watches our fingers entwine.

“I didn’t go into this lightly, Max. It wasn’t easy opening up my heart to you, but once I did I knew there was no going back for me.”

“There’s no going back for me either,” I tell her as I lean in towards her.

She meets me halfway, our lips parting simultaneously as our tongues seek their purchase. Both of us in dire need of air, the kiss finally ends and our bodies sink back to the blanket. We lay on our sides, mere centimeters of space between our faces. We lie in silence for a while, and at some point drift off to sleep.

A sliver of light breaking over the horizon wakes me some time later. Liz is still asleep, though not in the peaceful way I’ve grown accustomed to. Her lips are drawn slightly downward, and there’s a small crease between her eyes.

“Liz,” I whisper, my fingers moving across the plane of her cheek. “Liz sweetheart, it’s time to get up. We’ve got to get back to the house.”

Despite remaining closed, her eyelids flutter and I know she’s awake.

“Your flight leaves in only a couple of hours. It’s time to go.”

She whimpers, pressing her face against my chest. “No. No, it’s too soon. I need more time. Just a little more time. Please Max?”

My throat constricts and I feel tears forming in my eyes. “I’m sorry, baby. We’ve gotta go. But I promise, everything is going to be alright. I love you.”

She returns my words and allows me to help her up. I pull my clothes on quickly and then dress her, my hands lingering on her skin. We trudge unwillingly to the Jeep, only relinquishing our hold on each other to climb in. As soon as we are seated our bodies instinctively seek each other again.

All too soon we reach my house, finding my parents and Isabel outside packing the car.

“You guys were running a little late, so we decided to get the car ready for you,” Isabel says. She looks down at the watch. “We need to leave now if we’re going to get to the airport on time.”
*********************
Despite the early hour, the airport is bustling with activity. It takes us a while to find a porter, and then several more minutes to locate the direction of Liz’s gate. My heartbeat increases with each step, and as we approach the security check it feels like it will flutter out of my chest. You can’t beyond this point without a ticket. It’s time for me to let her go, and everything inside me is screaming that it’s wrong.

My parents and Isabel all take turns hugging her. There’s a course of standard goodbyes, and then she turns to me. We both try to smile, embracing awkwardly under my parent’s scrutiny. Our eyes lock in unbearable longing and all too soon she’s walking away.

I vaguely notice my parents turning to leave and Isabel grabbing my hand. It takes a couple attempts before she’s able to pull me away. My feet move automatically with hers, my brain on autopilot.

A girl walks past us, petite like Liz with the same dark hair, and my heart lurches. I pull away from my family, sprinting back towards the security gate.

“Liz!” I shout, hoping to stop her before she gets too far. “Liz!”

She turns, puzzled, as I reach her side.

“I want a real goodbye,” I say before crashing my lips to hers. My hands hold desperately to her, unwilling to let her go.

“Miss?” A deep voice reaches us. “Miss I’m going to have to ask you to move ahead or leave the line.”

Liz pulls back with a quiet sob, touching her fingers to my lips.

“I love you.”

I nod, kissing the tips of her fingers. With a shaking sigh, she moves forward and through the security check, glancing back at me one last time before disappearing from sight.

My mom comes up beside me as I roughly wipe the tears from my eyes.

“Mom, I-”

“You don’t have to explain anything to me, Max. You’re not as sneaky as you think you are.”

My face reflects my surprise. “You knew?”

She smiles softly and nods. “I’m your mother. Of course I knew.”

“I miss her,” I say softly.

“I know honey. Come on, let’s go get some ice cream.”
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Re: Rooftops and Invitations (AU, M/L, Mature)Ch17 9/25

Post by Daydreamer23 » Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:00 am

Chapter 18


3 months later...


“Hello, anybody in there?”

My eyelids open and close in rapid succession as Alex’s hand waves in front of my face.

“Dude, knock it off,” I grumble, swatting his fingers back so they collide with his nose. “I’m listening, alright?”

“So what do you say?” he asks, continuing a conversation that I tuned out of five minutes ago.

I take a bite of my fry, grimacing when I realize it’s gone cold, and toss it back onto my plate. I rub my hands up and down my thighs to brush away the salt.

“What do I say about what?” I sigh to Alex, confirming that I hadn’t been paying attention.

“To joining the band! Seth’s talking about quitting when he leaves for college, and the guys and I think that you’d be great. I mean, cheese factor aside, that song you did for Liz was really good.”

“I don’t know Alex. I haven’t been playing that long.”

He nods. “Maybe not, but you’ve got talent.”

“Well no offence, but I don’t really know if I can do your kind of music. It’s kind of…intense.”

He grins back at me, not bothered in the least. “We can work on it, do some collaborating. We can make it something that you’re in to.”

Alex seems to have an answer for everything, and it doesn’t look like he’s about to give up. I shift uncomfortably in my seat as I make my next confession.

“Besides, I don’t know that I’d like playing in front of people. It makes me nervous.”

His eyes narrow in confusion and I know what he’s about to bring up my little concert in the quad.

“That was for Liz,” I say, speaking before he can. “I didn’t care about anyone else.”

“Well if you’re only problem is stage fright,” he scoffs, “then we can work on that. But while you were concentrating on Liz, I was watching everyone else. They loved you. No one could take their eyes off you. You just have something that draws people in. And I think with you in the band it could really take off. Just imagine it, Max: fame, fortune, beautiful girls and exotic places.” Alex leans back in his seat, linking his fingers behind his head and basking in his fantasy.

One corner of my mouth pulls up in a smirk. “I’ve got the only beautiful girl I’m ever going to need. The exotic places on the other hand…”

My phone vibrates in my pocket and I open it up to find a message from my mom. Ever since Isabel taught her how to text, she messages me every time a thought pops into her head. ‘Did you clean out your hamper this morning?’ ‘I bought you some new socks.’ ‘Did you eat the last of the turkey?’ ‘Do you know where I left my car keys?’

I open the message, only mildly curious what it says this time.

When are you coming home? You didn’t forget about family dinner night, did you?

As a matter of fact Mom, I did. Family dinner night, wherein we all eat dinner together at the table and then play some game or another, has been a tradition in our house for many years now. But as Isabel and I get closer to leaving for college, Mom has become fanatical in her adherence to the routine.

I shoot Alex a quick apology, drop a couple of bills on the table, and rush home. Dinner is already set out on the table, Dad and Isabel at their seats. Isabel looks up as I enter, her eyes darting towards the kitchen before returning back to me. She smiles apologetically at me and I wonder what she knows that I don’t. Before I can ask her what’s going on, my mom enters, talking with someone I can’t see.

She startles when she catches sight of me. “Oh Max, look who I ran into at Starbucks this afternoon.”

She gestures behind her, stepping aside and revealing my ex Samantha. It’s funny how things change. Less than a year ago, seeing Samantha would send my blood racing through my veins. Now I feel absolutely nothing.

Samantha flashes me a wide smile as she waves demurely. “Hi Max. You’re mom and I got to talking and she invited me over for dinner. I hope you don’t mind.”

I glance over at my mom and she’s grinning like the cat that ate the canary. It isn’t hard for me to figure out what exactly is going on in her mind. She always did fancy herself a matchmaker.

“I thought it would be nice for the two of you to catch up. It’s been so long since we’ve had Samantha over.”

“Of course,” I answer coolly as they sit down. “So how are you doing Sam?”

“Good,” she answers, tucking her hair behind her ear. Somehow it isn’t half as sexy or endearing as when Liz does it.

“I got accepted to my first choice school, ASU, so I’m super excited.”

My dad nods thoughtfully, wiping his mouth with his napkin. “Max got a few early acceptance letters too. Have you decided yet where you want to go son?”

“I’m really not sure which school I want to go to. Honestly, I’m not sure if I want to go anymore.”

I can see my dad’s face darken out of the corner of my eye, and I know that little bit of truthfulness is about to land me in a lot of hot water.

“What do you mean you don’t know if you want to go to college?”

I can hear the restrained anger behind his voice. I know my dad loves me, but to him there’s only one right way to do things. I’m straying from the plan here and it definitely doesn’t sit well with him.

I slouch down in my chair, dropping my fork to my plate. “I’m not saying that I never want to go, it’s just that there are other things I want to do first.”

“Such as?” He prods.

“Well…I mean the world is a big place. There’s so much I want to see and experience.” I brace myself for his reaction to the next words out of my mouth. “And…and Alex asked me to join his band.”

“Really, Max? That’s great!” Isabel’s soft voice conveys her excitement for me.

I manage to smile at her, silently thanking her for her support. Unfortunately my dad responds exactly as I expected him to. His booming voice is full of disapproval.

“A band? You can’t be serious Max.”

“Why can’t I?”

“You’re not going to make a living playing in a band. You need to go to school and get a real job so that you can support your family.”

“What family?! I’m eighteen years old Dad! Just because you’ve planned my life out for the next thirty years doesn’t mean that’s how it’s going to be.”

My mom clears her throat and I can see her panicking. This isn’t how she wanted the evening to go. She quickly tries to change the subject.

“Just today I was thinking about that one spring break when we went camping at the Grand Canyon. You remember Max, somehow you convinced us to let you and Samantha share a tent? It rained the whole entire time and we ended up stuck inside playing cards and watching your father try to cook on that little grill.” She laughs a little as she raises her glass to her lips. “That was one of the best vacations I ever had. You know Max, it might be nice for you and Samantha to go back before you leave for college. You could borrow your dad’s SUV.”

Samantha raises her eyes to mine. “That sounds like fun. What do you say, Max?”

“Maxwell, you and I are not done…”

“Well Max, answer her…”

I want to throw my hands over my ears, to block out their voices. I don’t want my dad’s scolding or my mom’s pushing or Sam’s hopefulness. It’s just too much.

“I really don’t have much of an appetite,” I say in a low voice, speaking through my teeth. It’s taking great effort for me not to just scream at them. “If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to my room to do some homework.”

I push away from the table, knowing without looking the expression of shock on everyone but Isabel’s faces. I can hear them all calling, Mom and Samantha pleading, Dad ranting, but I ignore it. There’s only one voice I want to hear, one person I want to talk to. I find Liz’s name easily in my address book and press ‘call.’

I wait impatiently as the phone rings, dropping it dejectedly when it finally goes to voicemail. When Liz first left, we were in constant communication. If we weren’t talking on the phone, we we’re chatting online or writing emails, sending pictures to each other. But lately we’ve been having trouble connecting. I mean, whenever we do reach one another she always says how much she misses me, how much she still loves me. But what if she just doesn’t know how to end things? What if we just keep missing each other until we both eventually give up trying? I feel like she’s slowly slipping away…and I’m just letting it happen.

What the hell is wrong with me?
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Re: Rooftops and Invitations (AU, M/L, Mature)Ch18 11/29

Post by Daydreamer23 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:25 am

A/N: Drive-by posting. As per my M.O., it's late and this is really only half-edited. But, also as usual, it's been a long time since I updated so I really wanted to get it out. Anyways, thanks for all the comments guys, and enjoy!



Chapter 19




I look down at the scrap of paper in my hands and then back to the door in front of me. This is definitely the right address. I can’t wait to see the look on Liz’s face when she realizes that I came all this way just for her. I raise my hand to knock, and as my fist connects with the door, it swings open.

“Liz?” I call out, taking a step inside. “Liz, are you here?”

As I walk further into the house, I can hear some muffled groans immediately followed by the sound of something crashing to the floor. My first thought is that Liz, or someone in her family, is in some kind of trouble. Acting purely on instinct I charge forward, down a hallway to my left and burst through a closed door, only to find my worst fears confirmed. Liz is pinned down to a bed, naked, beneath an equally undressed man.

I grab him with both hands around his throat, hauling him to his feet. Out of the corner of my eye I see Liz scramble to cover herself with a sheet, just before I punch her attacker directly in the jaw. My hand hurts like hell, but I’m pretty sure I busted a couple of bones in his face, so it’s definitely worth it.

When I turn to Liz she’s sobbing and screaming, but instead of jumping into my arms like I expect her to, she drops to the floor beside the man I just knocked out. I watch in utter confusion as she lifts up his head and cradles it in her lap, stroking his bruised flesh.

What the hell?

“Oh God, Max. I…I-I didn’t mean for you to find out this way. I’m so sorry. Max, I’m…”

I can see her lips moving, but I can’t hear her. I can’t hear anything. This isn’t real. This isn’t happening.

No. No. No. NO. NO. NO!


“Sir…sir!”

My body jolts awake as a hand shakes my shoulder. I wipe my face and find a sheen of cold sweat gathered on my forehead.

“Sir, are you alright?” the flight attendant asks me. Beneath the veneer of concern on her face I see some lines of annoyance, and I’m guessing that she’s probably been enduring complaints from the other passengers.

“F-fine. Sorry. Bad dreams,” I reply dumbly, shrugging my shoulders.

She offers me a wide, clearly forced smile in return. “We’re beginning our landing procedures now, so you’ll have to put your seat up.”

I nod and do as she says, shaking the lingering traces of the nightmare from my memory. I tell myself that I’m just nervous. I tell myself that Liz would never- never- do that to me. I tell myself whatever I need to so that I don’t start freaking out. I cling to the confidence that I first felt when I made the decision I’m now carrying out.

I’m sitting at my desk, paging through the college acceptance letters and course catalogues that my dad none-too-subtly left out for me. He’s gotten really anxious lately that I might have been serious about not going on to college, and he’s been pushing me to commit to one. But I look at the papers in my hands and they just leave me feeling cold. They’re all the same, smiling faces set next to complete bullshit about my future. And, most importantly, none of them has the one thing I want right now.

When Liz enters my mind, as she does about every other minute or so, I decide to check my emails and see if she’s responded yet. Lady Luck must be on my side today, because as soon as I log on I find an unread message from Liz. I take in each word greedily, starving for anything I can get from her. She talks briefly about her friends and school, about her plans for after graduation.

‘I wish you were here. I miss you so much. God, I just…I just wish you were here with me.’

I read it over again, wishing I were there with her too. And then I think…why can’t I be?

Before I know it, I’m looking up flights to Madrid and packing a bag. I hear the front door open, my parents’ voices carrying down the hallway, but I don’t stop for a second.

“The boy is confused right now, Diane. He doesn’t need you shoving a girl in his face.”

“Sam is not just any girl. She and Max were so perfect for each other. I know he’s having a tough time getting over Liz, and I think that if he would just-”

“I disagree. No, I think what Max needs right now is just to pick a good school and concentrate on his studies. Get his priorities straightened out. I know he’s going to just fine.”

Anyone else would probably be shocked to hear their parents talk about their life that way, but I’ve sort of gotten used to it. They’ve had a lot of discussions like that over the past couple of weeks. I don’t think either of them realizes how much Liz means to me.

I grab the bag off my bed, not even really sure what I put in there, and open my door. I’m two steps into the hallway when I bump into my parents.

“What’s going on, Max?” my dad asks, eyeing my bag warily.

“I’m…” I swallow down the lump in my throat. “I’m going after her.”

“Going after who?” Mom asks, but she already knows.

“I’m going to Spain. For Liz.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, son. There isn’t time for that now. Maybe in a couple months, after you’ve gotten settled into school, you can go visit your friend. Now, have you decided on a college yet?”

His condescending, commanding tone is enough to push me over the edge. I love my dad, but I won’t allow him to demean my feelings for Liz or our relationship.

“She’s not a ‘friend’ Dad. I’m in love with her.”

“Max-”

“And this isn’t a ‘visit.’ I’m going there to be with her.”

Mom’s eyes are wide, her mouth hanging open, while Dad looks like a kettle ready to blow.

“This is absurd! You’re willing to throw away everything we’ve been dreaming about for some girl! What is going on in that head of yours?”

Beyond my parents I see Isabel’s door open, my father’s shouting having drawn her from her room.

“They’re your dreams, Dad, not mine. I went along with it because there’s never been anything else I wanted more. But then I met Liz and…I want more. I want
her.”

My father waves his hand dismissively. “You’re a child, you don’t know what you want.”

I know there’s nothing else I can say. My dad is too single-minded to see past his own goals for me. Mom is gazing at me wistfully, tears in her eyes and her hand on her heart. She’s always been a hopeless romantic, and I think I may have gotten to her with my confession. It’s a long shot, but right now she’s my only chance.

“Mom, I just…I just need a little money. Please.”

My dad cuts in before she can speak. “I’m sorry son. If this is your choice, then you’re on your own.”

My heart falls into my stomach. I was so close. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. But maybe…

“Isabel?”


My eyes are pleading with her as my leg bounces nervously. She glances at my parents, debating with herself if she’s willing to risk their resentment to help me. She still has another year until graduation, and my father could make her life very difficult if he chose to.

Finally she decides, raising her eyes to mine. “I’ve got about fifteen hundred in my savings. It’s yours.”

I rush forward to hug her, lifting her off her feet. I don’t think I’ve ever loved my sister more than I do now.

“But you are sooooo paying me back,” she says, smiling.

“Thank you so much, Izzy. You have no idea how much-”

“Yeah, yeah, I love you too,” she says sarcastically. Isabel’s like that, playing off her true feelings so she never feels vulnerable. She may act tough, but inside I know my sister’s just a big softie.

“Come on,” she says, tugging me by the sleeve of my jacket. “Let’s hit the bank, and then I’ll take you to the airport.”

I stop her mid-step. “Just one second.”

I turn back to my parents, stopping right in front of my mother. “I just want you guys to know that I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. I know you want what’s best for me, and I promise you that that’s Liz. I love you and I’m going to miss you both so much. I’ll…I’ll call you later, ok?”

I kiss my mom on the cheek, and she pulls me into a hug.

“Be happy, Max,” she whispers in my ear.

She cups my cheeks as I pull away, saying something about her ‘baby boy.’ I smile at my dad and prepare to leave, but before I can step away I feel my dad’s hands on my shoulders. He turns me to face him and quietly tells me he loves me. I know how hard it is for him to let me go, so I say it back before patting him on the shoulders and walking out the door with my sister.


“Ladies and gentleman, I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome you to Madrid and to thank you for flying with us. The local time is…”

The pilot’s voice seems to fade away as I turn my head towards the window. Liz is out there somewhere, and I’m going to find her.
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Daydreamer23
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Re: Rooftops and Invitations (AU, M/L, Mature)Ch19 1/24

Post by Daydreamer23 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:57 pm

A/N: My first completed Rosfic! Yay! Thanks for everyone who took the time to read, and those of you who left reviews. They really kept me going when I was ready to give up. So uh,...yeah. I guess that's it. Here's the last installment. Thanks again!


Chapter 20


Okay, so maybe my decision to hop on a plane to Madrid was a little impulsive. A lot impulsive, really. But in the four years since, I have never once regretted it. Because for once I knew what it felt like to have a dream, to chase after something you want more desperately than your next breath. And even though I was beyond terrified that I was about to lose her, I knew that I at least had to try or I would always regret it. Some things in life are worth risking everything for, and Liz was definitely worth it. So now, the million dollar question: did she still want me?

“Max! Get your cute ass over here!”

Damn, Liz is hot when she’s bossy.

Ok, so you all knew I was going to end up with Liz. But I’ll bet you’re wondering how. Well…

Address in hand I knock at the door, which is answered by a tall, dark-skinned guy in his twenties.

I clear my throat nervously and begin speaking with a choppy, badly accented rhythm. “H-hola. Um…Veevay a key Liz? Uh, E-elisa? Um…me yamo-”

“Max,” he cuts in before I can finish, smirking knowingly at me.

“Uh…yeah. Wait, how did you know that?”

He thumbs over his shoulder to a table in the living room, and I instantly recognize Isabel’s photo album. It’s flipped open to a picture of the two of us, worn and fraying around the edges, like someone has looked at it over and over. And then I note, with great satisfaction, that Liz must talk about me to her family. That has to mean something, right?

“I am Raul, Elisa’s cousin.”

He extends his hand to me and I offer him mine. He shakes my hand with a firm grip, gazing at me speculatively. God I hope her family likes me. Would she still want me if they disapproved?

He releases my hand to fold his arms across his chest, eyeing me sternly. “What are your intentions with my cousin?”

“My…my intentions?”

“Yes. This is not just a game to you, is it? Because my cousin deserves better. And if you hurt her,
I hurt you.”

I didn’t doubt him for a second.

“Believe me, I would never do anything to hurt Liz. I wouldn’t have come all this way if I wasn’t serious about her.”

There’s another long pause while he judges me. It’s hard not to fidget under his intense stare. Finally he relaxes, smiling again, apparently judging me worthy of his cousin. I can’t help the sigh of relief that escapes my lungs.

“Perhaps now Elisa will not be so miserable, eh?” he says with a chuckle. “Lately it seems all she does is mope around the house. You go cheer her up, yes?”

He gestures toward a hallway and I start to walk past him, my steps hesistant.

He laughs again, giving me a slight shove to hurry me along. “Do not be shy. She will be so excited to see you.”

I stop at the first door, and I don’t even need Raul’s confirmation that I’m at the right room. It’s like I can feel that she’s there, every cell in my body responding to hers. There’s no answer when I knock, so I slowly crack the door open. Immediately I see Liz asleep on her back, earbuds in her ears.

God, she’s so beautiful. I’d almost forgotten just how much. Her hair’s a little longer, and I reach out to run my fingers through. Still sleeping, she leans into my touch, a serene smile turning up her lips. I wonder what she’s dreaming about, hoping that somehow I play a part in it. My hand slides from her hair to her cheek in a caress that is so familiar, so natural to me. Her next breath shudders a little in her chest and she makes a contented sound in the back of her throat.

With an irrepressible smile, I silently pick up her iPod to see what she’s listening to, and I’m shocked to see my own name. She’s listening to the songs I wrote for her. I guess she really does miss me as much as I miss her. I was so afraid that I would show up here and find out that she really didn’t want me anymore. The thought left an ache in the pit of my stomach like nothing else I had ever felt before.

My eyes return back to her face, just watching her as she sleeps. Should I wake her? Come back later? Snuggle up beside her and just wait?

The choice is taken from me as she stirs, arching her back in a stretch before her eyes flutter open. I smile my most dazzling smile at her, waiting for her reaction.

“Hi,” I whisper.

She smiles back at me, turning her face to kiss the palm of my hand, and then settles back against her pillow.

“Ay, que sueño…” she mumbles, running her hands up and down my sides. “Ven aquí, mi amor. Como te extraño. No puedo decirte cuanto. No me olvides, te lo suplico.”

My forehead creases in a frown as I try to understand her. “Uh, you wanna try that a little slower? I’ve been practicing but I’m not quite that good yet.”

Her eyes widen to the size of saucers. “M-max?” Her hands, which hand been leisurely caressing me, suddenly grip me hard, testing the firmness beneath their palms.

Suddenly it occurs to me, and I start laughing. She thought I was a dream. I could certainly relate. I’d had more than my fair share of dreams while we were apart.

“Max?” she says again, her voice still tinged with disbelief.

“Yeah baby?” I chuckle, trailing my fingers down her bare arm, then slowly back up. I love the way she shivers underneath my touch.

“You can’t be…are you real?”

I lean over her, my chest against hers, our noses brushing. My voice is low, husky with all the sexual frustration pent up in her absence, “You tell me.”

My hand slides over her shoulder and to the back of her neck, pulling her towards me so I can claim her lips with mine. My mouth brushes slowly against hers a couple times before my lips part, massaging against hers. With a wild gasp she launches herself against me, deepening our kiss ever further and pulling me more fully on top of her. Her hands are everywhere, groping and drawing me closer to her.

I’m this close to ripping her clothes off, not even caring that her cousin is most likely still somewhere in the house, when suddenly her hands are on my chest, pushing me back. I relent, but only enough so that I can see her face.

“Oh God Max!” she chokes out, tears brimming her eyes. “I can’t believe you’re really here! I have dreamt about this every night since I left.”

“Me too,” I respond breathlessly. “I have been going crazy without you.”

She laughs a little, kissing me again. “What even…I mean…
God, Max what are you doing here?”

It’s irrational, I know, especially with the way she’s smiling and clinging to me, but I have a sudden flare of insecurity. “Is…is it ok that I’m here? I know that it’s really sudden. I would have told you, but it really was just this spur of the moment decision. If I’m, you know, interrupting or something you can-”

Her fingers cover my lips, stilling my speech. “It’s perfect.
You’re perfect. I love you so much.”

After that, Liz and I were inseparable. I spent four months with Liz and her family in Spain, touring the places where Liz spent her childhood and seeing the sights. Liz’s eyes gleamed with excitement as she showed me her favorite places, and it was impossible not to share her enthusiasm.

And in case you were wondering, Liz’s family did like me. Maybe it was my charm, or the fact that I was as taken with Liz as she was with me. Of course staying in their good graces meant me sleeping in a guest room, but that didn’t stop Liz from sneaking in every night. I guess some things never change.

Isabel mailed me my diploma, repeating her disbelief that I would skip my own graduation. But what was a common, over-hyped graduation in comparison to a vacation in a foreign land with the girl that I loved?

Come on.

And with the aid of some intensive summer courses, Liz was able to graduate early. So when I came home, Liz was right beside me.

“Seriously Max, everybody’s waiting for you!”

Damn if she isn’t persistent. And the ‘everybody’ she’s referring to is Alex and our band, The Whits. Weird, right? I mean, how many high school bands actually stay together and make it? Not that we’re number one on the Billboard charts or anything, but we’ve got a pretty devoted fan base in the college indie crowd. Really, it’s all thanks to Alex. He’s the one who kept pushing us when we were ready to give up, which is why we never made him change the lame name of the band. (Just kidding, Alex!) We’re doing well enough to have even earned my dad’s seal of approval.

Of course the fact that I did manage to squeeze in time for a degree didn’t hurt matters. I took one criminal justice course and hated it. But if this whole band thing doesn’t work out, I can always get a job as a music teacher.

“Max? Come on. What are you doing?” Liz sighs in exasperation, sidling up beside me.

“Just thinking about things,” I answer as I pull her into my side.. “You know. Life, love…which flavor of Jelly Belly is the best.”

“Heavy stuff,” she giggles. “But can that maybe wait until after the show?”
***********************
“Alright everyone, this first song…I think I can safely say that none of you are going to know. And you probably won’t understand a damn word. But tonight just happens to be my second wedding anniversary, and I’d like to sing something special for my wife. I love you, Liz.”

From directly in front of the stage, Liz smiles up me, blushing a little as Maria nudges her and says something I can’t hear. She glances sideways at Michael, narrowing her eyes at him. They’ve been ‘living in sin’ since graduating from high school, but I know for a fact that Michael plans on proposing, and soon.

Mi gran amor,
has sido tú
aurora, cielo y paraíso
de juventud
.”

Isabel hands Liz a tissue as her eyes begin to tear up. Oh baby, don’t cry. She smiles reassuringly at me, as if she knew what I was thinking.

Mi gran amor,
si no es por ti
mi vida vacía
sin luz estaría
.”

Liz turns to Isabel and thanks her, then pats her protruding belly. She and Alex are expecting their first child in three months. They both decided to wake to find out the sex, but I’m pretty sure Isabel called the doctor and found out. She never was one for patience.

Mi gran amor
quisiera ser,
mendigo, rey y centinela
de tu querer
.”

Out of the corner of my eye, I can see Tess offstage, chatting with Kyle. Tables have turned a bit since high school, though. I don’t know when and I don’t know why, but Kyle had something of an epiphany and the dumb ass finally saw what he had right in front of him. Unfortunately Tess had started up with our drum player.

Poder soñar sin despertar
que soy tu alegría
de noche y de día
y siempre tuyo vida mía
.”

It’s nothing really serious between the two of them, and I’m almost positive that they’ll end it soon, but I think Tess is enjoying seeing Kyle squirm for a change. I doubt she’ll string him along for too long, though. She’s only been waiting for him since…forever.

Te presentí,
mi corazón por tu pasión
sin darme yo cuenta
se ha vuelto canción.
Ya soy feliz
.”

My attention is drawn back to Liz, and in her eyes I can see all my hopes and dreams, everything I never knew I wanted. It’s amazing how this one, tiny girl could change the whole trajectory of my life. But that’s what I learned from Liz. You never know what life is going to send your way, but if you open yourself up to it, it just might turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you. So maybe I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. But I do know that I have Liz. Forever. And that’s enough for me.
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